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Tilting at Windmills

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November 6, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DIRTY TRICKS....The latest campaign trick from the fine folks in the Republican Party is to make repeated robo-calls to voters that sound as if they're from Democratic candidates. Do it often enough and voters will be so pissed off at their local Democrat that they'll just stay home instead of bothering to vote. Clever, eh?

TPM is all over this if you want the details, but here's the gist from a House race in New Hampshire:

Incumbent Republican Congressman Charlie Bass denounced the calls yesterday and said he tried to get the NRCC to put a stop to them. But a spokesman for the NRCC said the automated phone calls would continue indefinitely.

"The calls will continue as planned," said Alex Burgos, a spokesman for the NRCC, the national group charged with electing Republicans to the House. "They are done independently of Charlie Bass's campaign. He has nothing to do with them."

Ignore the question of whether Bass is denouncing the tactic or merely "denouncing" the tactic. Instead just think about what's going on here. In every election, there have always been individual wingnuts who go over the edge with desperate campaign tactics. It happens on both sides. This time, though, the desperate tactics are coming straight from the Republican central committee. What's more, there's not even a hint of embarrassment. In fact, they sound pretty proud of themselves.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Kevin Drum 12:42 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (225)

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I used to like this blog before the phone calls started!

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on November 6, 2006 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

When you get a call telling you bad things about a Democratic candidate, do you assume that the call came from the Democrats? The problem isn't that these robo-calls mislead voters. The problem is that Ken Mehlman was slick enough to set up the robo calls and Howard Dean wasn't.

The Republicans out-smarted the Democrats, and the Dems are whining about it.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 6, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

"If you think that beating adorable little puppies into a bloody pulp with a tire iron while laughing maniacally is a bad thing, please press One."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

I don't understand you bloggers. You live in a bubble. This is a huge potential story. You all have media contacts. Why don't you act like the thousands and thousands of volunteers around the country and phone bank the hell out of all the local and national press on this? Why just bitch to the converted on blogs and then, maybe in a month do a follow-up post shaking your fists about those dirty Republican tricks when the Rs get fines.

Good grief. People could file injunctions on their entire robocall operation over this, no? It might not put a stop to them, but at least it would be something offensive and powerful, rather than just one other item lost in the haze and buried in liberal blogs no undecided/uninformed voter will read. People need to know that these calls are TRICKS.

Posted by: plunge on November 6, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

I hope the Dems make hey out of this tomorrow. Someone's got to. Oh, and Drum, how confident are you about all the latest poll number?

Posted by: KC on November 6, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

The latest campaign trick from the fine folks in the Republican Party is to make repeated robo-calls to voters that sound as if they're from Democratic candidates.

Hah? Where's your proof that Republicans are doing them? Answer: you have none. The most likely explanation is that Democrats are the ones behind this dirty trick and the American people have seen through it. Your dirty tricks have resulted in a backlash from the American people and now you're trying to blame the Republican Party. This is the same thing that happened with your orchestrated attacks on the troops by the John Kerry, and when you saw the backlash you attacked conservatives. Liberals are becoming unhinged as your desperate tactics to deceive the American people have failed and all you can do is attack Republican. The American people are tired of your dirty tricks and lies. I wish you libs would just fess up to your mistakes in starting the robo-calls but I don't that will ever happen.

Posted by: Al on November 6, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans out-smarted the Democrats, and the Dems are whining about it.

Goddamit, why didn't we just think of lying to voters and misleading them? Oh, right, that's because Democrats have standards and ethics. It's hamstringing our political operation!

Posted by: NBarnes on November 6, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

So you approve of automated telemarketing calls at 3am made under false pretenses, eh?

Heh. I guess the only thing you have left is pissing people off.

I'll bet this makes you feel really good about yourself, doesn't it.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

A rove by any other name would not smell so bad.

Posted by: RoveWatch on November 6, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

If it works, they're geniuses. If not, they've just burnt Republican credibility a little further to the ground. And some of them may end up in jail.

My long-held opinion is that the GOP is nothing more than a criminal syndicate. So these tactics aren't surprising.

If we are ever to have anything even in the same neighborhood as an honest democracy, the current Republican Party will need to go the way of the Whigs. So long as they are part of our politics, the Constitution is in danger.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 6, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

"The problem isn't that these robo-calls mislead voters. The problem is that Ken Mehlman was slick enough to set up the robo calls and Howard Dean wasn't."

It's clever, I'll give them that. But it's also absurdly pathetic. They can't win on their ideas and/or their candidates, so they have to resort to sucker punch tactics that scream desperation. How fitting for this group of clowns.

Posted by: Brian on November 6, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Al:

Get help, seriously.

This is no longer a mere matter of political disagreement.

You are mentally ill.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that Ken Mehlman was slick enough to set up the robo calls and Howard Dean wasn't.

As if to prove my point, we have a Gooper taking a dump on honesty and decency. Criminals, the whole lot.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 6, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

"Hah? Where's your proof that Republicans are doing them? Answer: you have none. The most likely explanation is that Democrats are the ones behind this dirty trick and the American people have seen through it."

If you had bothered to read the Concord article, the RNC people make it very clear that they are the ones behind it. Take this, for instance: "The calls will continue as planned," said Alex Burgos, a spokesman for the NRCC, the national group charged with electing Republicans to the House.

http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061105/REPOSITORY/611050397

Posted by: Brian on November 6, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

"exliberal" should be cock punched.
What a smarmy prick!

You probably cheat on your friends playing poker too.

Posted by: Albert on November 6, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

Brian:

Don't even bother.

Al is off his meds.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

These things are illegal in our state, but in other states...

...But even if they get prosecuted, someone dived on their sword and they do it again next year. Why does the GOP do it?

And do they have proof? Uhh, yes, all phone calls have their source and destination recorded. Their exact GPS coordinates are a bit less common, and sometimes you can't get the information right away, but...

Posted by: Crissa on November 6, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

I had a former friend in high school. Whenever he starting losing a game, he'd knock the board over, spilling the pieces. He'd resort to physical violence if necessary. Years later, at a high school reunion, he asked a single woman, when she said she wasn't married, if she was a lesbian. Years later, in 2004, he voted for Bush. He's a dedicated republican. And not a friend any longer.

This is what I think the Republican party is boiling down to. A bunch of jerks.

Posted by: T.R. Elliott on November 6, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1:

He has to be, unless he skimmed through everything so quickly that he missed key points, which we are all quilty of doing. But really, if you are going to post something so certain in tone, shouldn't you, you know, make sure you're correct?

Posted by: Brian on November 6, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Fake Democratic repeat calls are not the only robo-calls going on in the last few days.

The New York Times reports on another kind: New Telemarketing Ploy Steers Voters on Republican Path.

An automated voice at the other end of the telephone line asks whether you believe that judges who push homosexual marriage and create new rights like abortion and sodomy should be controlled. If your reply is yes, the voice lets you know that the Democratic candidate in the Senate race in Montana, Jon Tester, is not your man.

In Maryland, a similar question-and-answer sequence suggests that only the Republican Senate candidate would keep the words under God in the Pledge of Allegiance. In Tennessee, another paints the Democrat as wanting to give foreign terrorists the same legal rights and privileges as Americans.

...
The Ohio-based conservatives behind the new campaign, which include current and former Procter & Gamble managers, say the automated system can reach vast numbers of people at a fraction of the cost of traditional volunteer phone banks and is the most ambitious political use of the telemarketing technology ever undertaken.

Rove invents a new trick: The November Surprise.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

I love this. So it was the fault of the people Saddam Hussein killed that they were killed, it wasn't Hussein's fault. Not only that, their families shouldn't be whining because they should have outsmarted Hussein. Maybe this is the reason I think Bush,Cheney, Delay,Boner et al are stupid.

Posted by: azggl on November 6, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, I've come to believe that Al is a parody. A kind of Andy Kaufman meets Patriotboy.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 6, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Well, there appear to be at least two flavors of this.

The first is what's detailed above; the deceptive robo-call to your opponent's supporters. John Kerry was doing that before the NH primary to Dean supporters, so it's not exactly a new innovation. And people wonder why I loathe John Kerry so much ...

The other flavor is less blatantly illegal, but it might be even more insidious. That's the push-polling robo-calls they're doing to Ford and a bunch of other people. "Do you think that liberal activst judges have too much power? Press One. If you knew that Ford claims to oppose same sex marriage but supports liberal activist judges, would that make it more, or less likely to vote for him? Press Two if less."

That gets the Corker campaign two things. First, a listing of people who actually sat through the survey and answered the questions to identify themselves as frothing social conservatives. They call these folks back for GOTV.

And two -- it just pisses the living fuck off everybody else.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

16 soldiers killed in Iraq this month! Surely, this catastrophic war will lead to a political reordering on Tuesday. God help us, if it doesn't.

Posted by: old gold on November 6, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

What's more, there's not even a hint of embarrassment. In fact, they sound pretty proud of themselves.

Oh, if only what we, in the Secret Republican Gay Sex Ring knew were made public - THEN they'd be embarrassed. Like Haggard. Like Foley. Like Gannon. Don't get your hopes up, Dems, the story about Bush giving head in the Oval Office isn't going anywhere.

Posted by: Secret Republican Gay Sex Ring on November 6, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

plunge wrote: This is a huge potential story. You all have media contacts. Why don't you act like the thousands and thousands of volunteers around the country and phone bank the hell out of all the local and national press on this?... People could file injunctions on their entire robocall operation over this, no?

If these calls really mis-identified who produced them, then the Dems could do just what plunge suggests. That's one reason why I don't believe the calls are deceptive. Also, if the calls were illegal, the NRCC would be trying to hide their involvement.

I'd bet dollars to donuts that there's nothing on these calls claiming that they're coming from Democrats.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 6, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

This time, though, the desperate tactics are coming straight from the Republican central committee.


No interest in democracy there, it comes as no surprise. But bragging about what is a probably illegal attempt to subvert an election is certainly news.

At every part of Republican life they have now revealed themselves to be a criminal enterprise, and now an overtly traitorous enterprise, at a moment when we need to have our democratic and egalitarian values on exemplary display for all the world, they try ever harder to make a mockery of them.

Why do we permit people like this to organize themselves?

Posted by: cld on November 6, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

The denial of involvement in the "caller motivation program", or "robocalls", is no longer operative.

The phrase now is "They are done independently of [candidate's] campaign. S/He has nothing to do with them."

Please adjust your talking points accordingly.

Posted by: Ken Mehlman on November 6, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

...And two -- it just pisses the living fuck off everybody else.
Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Heh - I wonder what effect it's having on legitimate pollsters (ie. I bet they get a lot less participants than they used to.)

Posted by: Rumsfeld_ARMS_Terrorists on November 6, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

The Founding Fathers would be so proud!

Posted by: R.L. on November 6, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

jimBOB:

No, Al is not a parody, and when he's at the top of the thread, he's not a spoof. His rhetorical voice is pretty recognizable. And sometimes, he's have a little back-and-forth with Hawk. He seems like a real person, sadly enough.

The reason why I'm sure he's not a parody is because he has absolutely no sense of humor.

Which isn't to say, of course, that some of his posts don't make you laugh. But in a decidedly "at you," not "with you" way ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

If these calls really mis-identified who produced them, then the Dems could do just what plunge suggests.

I agree with ex-lib on this. If this is fraud in such massive scale, and the Dems cannot expose it in the national media, then they probably deserve to lose. As I posted last night -- too much Democratic chicken counting recently, while the Republicans have rolled up their sleeves (literally for Bush) and are fighting hard. Anyone remember Dukakis taking the high road to hell?

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

If this is fraud in such massive scale, and the Dems cannot expose it in the national media, then they probably deserve to lose.

The Dems may, indeed deserve to lose. But the world does not deserve another 2 years of this Bush bullshit.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on November 6, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

You know, you really need to be bitch-slapped. With a tire iron.

Don't be such a total asshole, woudjapleez. Obviously if the calls are on behalf of a Democrat (at thee o'clock in the FUCKING morning) and they're coming from the RNC, then they're deceptive.

Do you have, like, a moral bone anywhere in your body?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

JS:

Thanks for your concern, troll.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans out-smarted the Democrats, and the Dems are whining about it.

Yeah, because we Dems aspire to be a bunch of lying, cheating, con-artist thugs, just like the GOP.

Good lord, these people are horrible, and our side does whine too much instead of standing up and unequivocally stating just how horrible they are. This ain't a matter of 'bad apples;' this is what Republicans are like at their rotten little core, and all of the professed decent people who support them are enablers at best and accomplices at worst. I have no use for them politically, socially, or personally.

Posted by: latts on November 6, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

"If these calls really mis-identified who produced them, then the Dems could do just what plunge suggests. That's one reason why I don't believe the calls are deceptive. Also, if the calls were illegal, the NRCC would be trying to hide their involvement."

The thing is, the calls don't mislead about the identity of the call--if the entire message is played. But the point is, the entire message isn't played, because the Republicans are calling at odd hours, making people hang up. Thus, it's misleading in the sense that it creates a false impression. Of course, the GOP is going to hide behind the defense that it's not their fault that those they are calling hang up. As I said before, it's very clever, but it's truly pathetic.

And how are the Democrats supposed to expose something that has happened in the last few days? It's not as if this nonsense has been going on for weeks, and with good reason: if it had, the Republicans would have been caught in time to really put the nails in the coffin.

Posted by: Brian on November 6, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

the world does not deserve another 2 years of this Bush bullshit.

No argument from me on this. But don't you agree that such a huge fraus should be easy to expose -- even with paid national TV ads if necessary?

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

"That's one reason why I don't believe the calls are deceptive. Also, if the calls were illegal, the NRCC would be trying to hide their involvement."

If you weren't so repeatedly ignorant of what you are talking about in this thread, I might not have had to explain this to you, but the current punishments for these sorts of acts are just fines, and maybe an occasionally flunky going to jail. The RNC has plenty of money to pay the fines: they don't have much need to hide it, and they can't (phone records and audits of campaign spending). They'll just break the law, pay the ticket, and move on with their lives.

And Kevin Drum, apparently, will just sit back and watch TPM "be all over this" by which he means "posting lots of blog posts about it that most voters will never see instead of contacting every reporter he knows in the local and national media and demand that they cover the story."

Posted by: plunge on November 6, 2006 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

JS:

You're another one who needs to be slapped upside the head.

There's a piece in the NEW YORK FUCKING TIMES today, O Disingenuous One. I think, in fact, you quoted it.

That "national media" enough for you?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1, I supose you imagine that you are the only Democrat allowed to express concerns. You truly are an idiot. Get a life.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

And where does that New York Times article say that there are fake Democratic calls made by Republicans?

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Plunge is right. These things are decidedly unethical but only borderline illegal. Your complaints (should you get any of these calls) should go to the FCC. And then, maybe after the election, they'll get around to issuing a fine or charging some low-level local office dude with a misdemeanor.

And there are two flavors of it. The push-polling, as stated in the NYT article, even Democratic strategists admit is not illegal.

The calling on behalf of the opposing candidate is absolutely fraudulent and might indeed be. But it's not going to stop the RNC, since they have "the cost of doing business" in their pocket.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

JS:

I'm sorry for getting a tad hotheaded about this -- but you seemed to be making excuses for it. This is just so mind-bogglingly exasperating ...

It's obvious what the strategic purpose of this is. The RNC is attempting to neutralize the enthusiasm advantage by shitting in the Democratic punchbowl. All they need to do is piss off a percentage of us into not voting, to compensate for their own sagging base -- and they're in.

It's a subversion of democracy every bit as nefarious as hacking voting machines or sending letters out to Hispanic communities telling them they'd be arrested if they tried to vote.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Bob

The reason I think Al's a parody is that there's just breathtaking dishonesty in every post, combined with Al's pressing of utterly absurd points (in the sample above, he blames Dems for robocalls which actually admit within the later text of the call that they are from GOP candidates). And it's not like he's fooling anyone in this thread. The two explanations are mental illness (not too likely IMHO; he's pretty lucid) or a really dedicated parodist.

I brought up Andy Kaufman because he did just this sort of thing - play-acted dramas that he pushed to the point that everyone thought they were real.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 6, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think Al's job is to test-market the more ludicrous wingnut talking points.

Posted by: Disputo on November 6, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

Listen - the Republicans have some compeletely unsupported allegations about a Democrat somewhere and John Kerry may have made a mistake talking the other day. How dare you care that Republicans are violating election laws and engaging in illegal conduct! How date anyone care about 13 dead American Soldiers in 3 days! How dare anyone believe in anything.

Republicans seek to destroy hope. That is their root goal.

Posted by: MDtoMN on November 6, 2006 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

Heh.

jimBOB:

Well sure, I understand the style: deadpan sardonicism. For as long as I've posted here, people have thought Al was a parody. What I see, though, is the same stodgy, dogged voice day after day. It may not technically be mental illness (Al at one point revealed he's some sort of bureaucrat working at a Texas university), but I do think his contradictions and inability to see the facts directly in front of his face are a response to a rather radical level of cognitive dissonance.

I just don't think a parodist, for instance, would post links. Al's always sourcing his stuff -- from NewsMax, WorldNetDaily, NRO. Would a parodist bother to make such a contortion merely for the sake of maintaining a believable wingnut persona? I kind of doubt it.

Al's Mommy is clearly a parody, in the same deadpan sardonic style. But Al's Mommy is genuinely *funny* (I love the way she captalizes BABIES :) ... it's hard, thinking about it, to find a concrete way of explaining the difference ...

But it kind of hits you in the face :) Or at least it does me.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

The only article I have found that discusses the fake robo-calls is this one int the Concord Monitor. It says:

The state attorney general's office said Friday it was investigating complaints about the calls but could not say when the investigation would be finished.

That seems to suggest that it's not a open-and-shut case.

I still believe that if this is happening in a scale large enough to make a difference, the Dems shout spend their last advertising dollars exposing the Republican fraud nationwide, and send all their talking heads to to networks to do the same. A campaign needs to serve some red meat to the people, to show some nerve. Right now red meat is a specialty of the Republicans.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

JS:

I totally agree with you there. And whether or not it's some kind of arcane violation of an FCC rule or not -- I think the people can understand it, because people *loathe telemarketing calls*.

Turn it into an ad: Joe blow uses junk phone calls to harrass voters." Something direct and punchy, to question the candidate's character.

Problem is, we're really too close to the election for anything to make a difference short of a court order to desist.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

JS:

And that's why they only started doing it this close to an election.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't sweat this dirty trick too much. I think democrats have done a decent job in the last couple years of driving home the idea that Republicans seek to drive down the vote. I saw Carville smack Ed Gillespe around with that notion on Larry King tonight.

Although, telling the candidates to broach the subject might not be a bad idea. I'm sure all the ads and the dems overlapping GOTV efforts have managed to get on the nerves of some voters. Pinning the blame on GOP dirty tricks would be a nice counter-attack.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 6, 2006 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with ex-lib on this. If this is fraud in such massive scale, and the Dems cannot expose it in the national media, then they probably deserve to lose.

...Because the Democrats don't have the money or the ability to sway public interest into things important yet boring, they deserve to lose.

What sort of logic is this, anyhow?

The, 'Someone is cheating, cheaters win, so those who don't cheat should lose.' excuse?

Posted by: Crissa on November 6, 2006 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

This time, though, the desperate tactics are coming straight from the Republican central committee.

It's not just this time.

In my own lifetime, I can recall Republican dirty tricks' campaigns (authorized and paid for by the RNC) every single election cycle going back to Nixon. Here's one from the last election.

Bush would love to think of his Presidency as being Reagan 2, but in fact it's Nixon-Watergate Redux. Same players, same ideology, same diseased foreign policies and world views.

I heard John Dean say something on C-Span today that should sober up all voters who are hoping that if Democrats prevail in Tuesday's election, that will cause the GOP to reconsider their far-right positions and tactics.

"If Republicans lose one or both houses of Congress on Tuesday, they will redouble their efforts to win in 2008."

Winning is the only thing to these Republicans - they have no interest in bipartisanship, in working with Democrats, in cooperating or compromising with other Americans.

What's more, there's not even a hint of embarrassment. In fact, they sound pretty proud of themselves.

Because these Republicans (these far right-wing conservatives and neocons) who have taken over the Republican party and kicked moderate Republicans to the side are characterological. Sociopaths. Not all of them, but enough of them in positions of power, at the top of the party, to embolden others in the party (or inspire others) to do their bidding. Or intimidate and threaten others into getting on board. People with no strong self-identity, who recognize Bush-Cheney to be without ethics (or reflections in a mirror), but are afraid to say no and just walk away.

Look at the jobs this White House gave to a generation of young (barely out of college), inexperienced Bush-Cheney2000 campaign workers who showed up post-election 2000 in Florida? Bush-Cheney sure showed their gratitude, and gave high-level jobs throughout the U.S. government to these kids, over moderate Republicans with years of experience in government. Why wouldn't others, seeing what Bush-Cheney have gotten away with, play ball if it means money and glory for themselves?

And then there are those with such strong egos, who don't agree with Bush-Cheney, but believe that they'll be better able to influence Bush-Cheney and the Republican party, but only if they are inside the administration. How stupid must Colin Powell feel, realizing that he got played instead of the other way around?

If you ever had any confusion about why the German people didn't stand up against the Nazi machine before and during WWII, observing the Republican party operate in contemporary America should clear it all up for you.

After seeing the Bush and Cheney negative campaign the last few days (especially yesterday and today), so brazenly insult Democrats and refuse to change course in this failing war, I can't help but conclude that the fix is in for Republicans stealing this election, too.

The war in Iraq is a losing issue for them, and yet Bush and Cheney are "in your face" about keeping Rumsfeld, about not doing anything differently. They're "in the face" of the American people on this!

They're going to steal another election, and yet they seem to not have a care in the world about it because there's no way they're going to lose this election. And, without paper receipts, no way for them to get caught. The news consortium has already announced it's quarantining and blacking out exit poll results, so the GOP will be home free. With an assist like this, why should they show any embarrassment?

Posted by: Maeven on November 6, 2006 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, I've come to believe that Al is a parody. A kind of Andy Kaufman meets Patriotboy.

Of course Al is a parody. He's been a parody for about 600 posts, and he's still fooling people.

The same sort of people who hang up after a phone call tells you why a Democrat sucks, and assume it's from the Democrats. The same sort of people who can't handle lever voting machines, paper ballots, butterfly ballots, punch cards, or ice cream cones that don't have a "This Side Up" sticker on them. Which is why we're in this electronic voting mess now. It wasn't the Republican's idea to try to idiot-proof the voting process.

I have caller ID, and ignore all the damn automated calls, just like I dump all the damn special-interest campaign brochures in the recycle bin. If I were sick, I'd turn off my phone when I was sleeping and let the machine take it. This is what people with brains do.

Posted by: monkeybone on November 6, 2006 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1, I supose you imagine that you are the only Democrat allowed to express concerns. You truly are an idiot. Get a life.
Posted by: JS

Don't bother arguing with Bob. The guy is so thick he actually believes Al isn't a blatantly obvious parody troll.

Posted by: Winda Warren Terra on November 6, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Bob

You could be right; I'm certainly no psychologist. I just have a hard time reading Al's passage at the top of this thread and seeing a sincere human intelligence behind it. It just seems too bizarre.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 6, 2006 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

Maeven:

They're going to steal another election, and yet they seem to not have a care in the world about it because there's no way they're going to lose this election. And, without paper receipts, no way for them to get caught. The news consortium has already announced it's quarantining and blacking out exit poll results, so the GOP will be home free. With an assist like this, why should they show any embarrassment?

Already laying the groundwork?

What will be the most fun if the Republicans pull their scorched asses out of the fire on Tuesday will be watching a bunch of you completely lose whatever minds you had left after the 2000 election. Right around the twist. Screaming Yellow Bonkers.

Alcoa is going to have to open two new plants just to keep you in tinfoil.

"The Mind Rays! THE ROVE MIND RAYS!!"

Posted by: monkeybone on November 6, 2006 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

Crissa, you may be content to lose elections in the knowledge that your side did the honorable thing while the other side cheated. I am not. I'd rather that my side wins. And I'm not advocating answering cheating with more cheating -- I am simply saying that such cheating, if it is in fact happening, should be easy to document and expose. And it could be turned to advantage.

Do you remember the Michael Dukakis campaign? He was more than 10 points ahead of Bush Sr. and he got comfortable and lazy while Bush flooded the airwaves with Willie Horton ads. Guess who won.

Clinton's campaign was MUCH more nimble. News stories were written about how Stephanopoulos, who was doing PR for Clinton, would fire faxes to all networks within literally minutes of some inaccuracy being mentioned by a Republican -- sometimes reacting so fast the the TV interviewer would mention the Clinton position in the same show. Guess who won then.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

jimBOB:

Well, you know, it's kind of sad, but there are lots of people like Al out there.

I mean ... *somebody's* buying Ann Coulter's books, right? And voting for Bush. And believing that the Iraq war is a success. And supporting Rummy all the way. And who want to deprive gay people of their civil rights because they think they're "special rights." And who'd like the Ten Commandments posted in public school classrooms. And who believe that a little "dunk in the water" is a "no brainer" just like Cheney said if it helps us prevent a terrorist attack. And who believe that our debt to the Chinese is meaningless because they themselves won't have to pay it. And who ...

You get the general idea.

Winda Warren Terra:

That's correct, I think Al's what he says he is: some Texas university bureaucrat who gets morning Kool Aid transfusions from the wingnut media.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

JS:

I totally agree with you as a matter of strategy. I believe in hitting back hard when attacked.

I just think that as a matter of tactics, whatever we'd do would have to be in this coming news cycle to have any effect. And that might be exceedingly difficult if some official doesn't immediately rule the deceptive calls illegal.

Those just seem to be the facts of the situation.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

You may be content to lose elections in the knowledge that your side did the honorable thing while the other side cheated. I am not.

Then you get out there and fire off the faxes instead of blaming others for not being proactive enough.

Whether or not they fire off faxes doesn't have anything to do with whether the news sources pay attention to them - we're in the age of Fox news, where nothing is as live as it seems to be, and no imposing facts should be mentioned lest the controlling powers and their loyal (if minority) fans shun you.

Posted by: Crissa on November 6, 2006 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

Crissa:

Well, if we could actually get the story out that the RNC was violating FCC rules by making harrassing calls to Democrats, I think it would have a lot of play.

Fox, after all, ran with the Foley story no matter how bad it made the GOP look -- even if a little later on they lent all their spinmeistering tools to minimizing it.

But the initial headlines would be extremely powerful for a news cycle or so.

This would be a worthy project if we can get the evidence and confirm it as illegal ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

Crissa, the media would of course ignore faxes from individual citizens -- as they should, since an individual citizen could not have any credible evidence on this. But I can assure you that a coordinated accusation of fraud made by the DNC and from a group of individual Democratic campaigns would get prime billing. Whatever you believe about the MSM, they would compete for this story.

And I think that 48 hours and even 24 hours would be enough time to do it -- if the Democrats have the goods (ie indisputable facts) on this. But I am not convinced that they do.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 3:14 AM | PERMALINK

Bob

Yeah, I know some people like that. In most cases I think there's a combination of mindless tribalism with self-imposed ignorance. Coming here, Al gets exposed to plenty of conflicting views, as well as specific debunking of his postings, so it isn't plain ignorance. The tribalism is there in his writing, but doesn't explain why he keeps coming back here for more punishment.

I'm going to bed. Thanks, and I'll see y'all around.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 6, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans out-smarted the Democrats, and the Dems are whining about it.

ex-liberal, if I ever actually meet you, I am going to beat you to a bloody pulp with a length of lead pipe.

The problem, then, will not be that I have beaten you to a bloody pulp with a length of lead pipe; the problem will be that you didn't think of doing it first. I will have outsmarted you, and you will probably start whining about it.

Posted by: Gen. Idi Amin on November 6, 2006 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

If this is fraud in such massive scale, and the Dems cannot expose it in the national media, then they probably deserve to lose.

If the Jews really were being exterminated on such a massive scale, and they could not get any attention for it in the US national media, then they probably deserved to die.

The above two statements differ only in degree, not in kind or in logical structure.

Posted by: brooksfoe on November 6, 2006 at 3:59 AM | PERMALINK

I have caller ID, and ignore all the damn automated calls, just like I dump all the damn special-interest campaign brochures in the recycle bin. I

Another supposed wingnut outs himself as a parody troll.

(hint: real wingnuts don't recycle.)

Posted by: Disputo on November 6, 2006 at 4:19 AM | PERMALINK

Brooksfoe, as Clinton would say, depends what the meaning of "deserve" is. A better analogy would be:

If the Red Sox couldn't complete a single pass then they deserved to lose.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 4:26 AM | PERMALINK

At tradesports.com, it's still possible to make a 25% profit by betting that the Democrats take the house Tuesday -- or a 300% profit betting that they take the Senate. (Of course you lose your money if you are wrong). Betting that they take both would bring a 350% profit if correct. That they lose both would bring 400%.

The actual probabilities reflected in the contract prices right now are:
GOP Senate 77%
GOP House 22.5%
GOP House + GOP Senate 22%
DEM House + GOP Senate 60%
GOP House + DEM Senate 4%
DEM House + DEM Senate 28%

The probabilities against each of the above events (contract bid) are about 1% - 2% lower.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK

If the Red Sox couldn't complete a single pass then they deserved to lose.

I am unclear what your meaning is here.

The Red Sox play baseball, so your analogy might be apt, if this is what you intended, in the sense that, indeed, whether or not the Red Sox could complete a "pass" does not have any bearing on whether or not they deserve to lose.

But there's nothing innately immoral about not completing a pass, whereas lying is to various degrees evil. So the analogy remains flawed.

More importantly, however, politics is not primarily a game. If the Red Sox win, they don't get to decide whether or not to send American troops to get blown up in downtown Baghdad, whether to run our government into the ground by increasing spending and cutting taxes on the ultra-wealthy, whether to order American agents to kidnap and torture people in secret prisons, whether to hand out multibillion-dollar no-bid cost-plus contracts to firms they have a personal financial interest in, and so forth. When the GOP wins, they are given the power to do all of the above; and they do.

Posted by: brooksfoe on November 6, 2006 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

What, is there something surprising agout THE republican party being scum? kevin, where have you been? ...fantasizing about some mythical republicans with integrity; that stand for something other than raw grabbing of power no matter what the costs - any ends justify the means - remember.

Posted by: pluege on November 6, 2006 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

WANNA BET whether our fine MSM picks up on this tactic and reports it...OR, like "ex-liberal" and other brilliant moralists just applauds the cleverness of ROVE AND COMPANY...always the ethical "do the right thing" party! NAH, it's all about the WINNING at all costs...ELEPHANT OVER EAGLE, DOLLAR SIGN UBER ALLES!!!!!

Posted by: Dancer on November 6, 2006 at 6:53 AM | PERMALINK

As Gore Vidal has said, "the four sweetest words in the English language are, 'I told you so'". However, I take no great pride in reminding Kevin's readers that the Dirty Tricks Party was going to pull out some new treachery before this election was over and here it is. The sad part is, it appears to be working...

Look, the GOP is not capable of winning an election honestly. Their "ideas" suck too badly!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 6, 2006 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib,
Your concept of democracy is that one side should "outsmart" the other with sneaky tactics, heh-heh. Are you actually an American?

Posted by: Kenji on November 6, 2006 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

News Roundup

Crist To Bush: Please Don't Help.

Hastert "Not Hiding": Boehner.

Army Times To Rumsfeld: "Go, Now".

Attorney: O'Reilley Will Be Probed.

Diebold: All Set To Steal Your Vote.

Haggard Confesses "Sexual Immorality".

Cheney Hunts U.S. Ducks.

Ex-KKK Wiz, Lifer, Dies In Prison.

GOP Coming In A Little Behind.

=*=

Posted by: Mainstream Media on November 6, 2006 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

In every election, there have always been individual wingnuts who go over the edge with desperate campaign tactics. It happens on both sides. This time, though, the desperate tactics are coming straight from the Republican central committee. What's more, there's not even a hint of embarrassment. In fact, they sound pretty proud of themselves.

Yes, and it's called winning, which is why you Dumbocrats can't come up with anything to match it.

Today I begin working to suppress the vote--I will don workman's clothing and go sabotage the buses that the local DNC is planning to use to transport people to the polls. (sugar in the gas tank is easier than slashing the tires).

It never hurts to send word to the local nursing homes to clamp down on their people by putting out the rumor of free flu shots for anyone who doesn't vote. We never actually give them the shots and that cuts down on the overhead.

Then I shall spread around a little cash and get every off duty cop that I can find to harass people outside of polling places on Tuesday. I call it having The Man take it to the people. A little pat down here, a little shakedown there and you have hippies avoiding the polls. (most hippies don't vote--too drugged up to find their way, you know.)

On Wednesday, I shall rejoice at the defeat of the Dumbocrats. And you wonder why you can't win an election!

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

Our turnout operation is state of the art. We even have robots pissing off dem voters at 30 cents a pop. House 5 Senate 2. Just wait till Tuesday and you'll see why they call him turd blossum. Posted by: American Hawk on November 6, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Now Kevin is just ripping off American Hawk's comments. A little originality?

Posted by: B on November 6, 2006 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Let's assume that the liars and trolls here are just ordinary folk. What this means is that ordinary people who aren't paid to lie or support liars have now embraced lying and filth just as a matter of course. We used to draw a line between The People and Politicians. Now, that doesn't exist. Dirty Tricks?! Good on ya! Lies from politicians? Repetition coming up!

It's that willingness to embrace political filth so eagerly that's new. It's like lying for The Cause is the new marijuana. Something that nebbishes are afraid to ignore or they'll be left behind. Or worse. It could be the rise of the thug that presages Fascism.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 6, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Leave it up to the robocaller to alienate the voters as well

Posted by: truebelievah on November 6, 2006 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

I believe Edmund Burke said it best: Win at all costs because if we lose we'll end up like the French [or words to that effect].

Conservatives always have and always will think this way: what's shocking is that you liberals still somehow manage to be surprised by it.

Posted by: saintsimon on November 6, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

It's that willingness to embrace political filth so eagerly that's new.

It's a good thing you didn't live in the 1880s, you dunce. The reality is, American politics have been smash-mouth, nasty and brutal since the days of the Founders. The problem is, you Dumbocrats have been raising your kids in an environment where there are no losers, score is not kept at soccer games, and everyone has to respect everyone else's feelings. Bah! That's not the American way! Americans love a winner! Winning isn't everything, winning is the only thing.

Vince Lombardi is the greatest American thinker who ever lived.

But how many of you would last five minutes in a world where Coach Lombardi was President? Had the man lived, he would have easily been elected President in 1976. I encourage all of you Dumbocrats to sit on your hands and fret. It makes it so much easier for me to do my work.

Oh, and give everyone a trophy just for showing up!

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

This is a non-story. People expect Republicans to do this type of thing. Man bites dog. Now if Howard Dean was doing it, it would be serious news. Hippocritical people-powered voter suppression? The story would last a week.

Posted by: asdf on November 6, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

I would put Vince Lombardi up against Edmund Burke any day of the week. I highly doubt whether Burke would know how to motivate Fuzzy Thurston to snap a man's spinal column in two pieces.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Norman, shush. the grown ups are talking now.

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I don't know about the hippos, but the hypocritical elephantcritical herd has run amok as usual.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 6, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

It's that willingness to embrace political filth so eagerly that's new. It's like lying for The Cause is the new marijuana. Something that nebbishes are afraid to ignore or they'll be left behind. Or worse. It could be the rise of the thug that presages Fascism.

They learned that lying about what they were doing was energy-sapping and unnecessary. Stuffed with bread bought on credit and distracted by endless circuses, Americans are embracing a political, civic and social culture in which winning really is the only measure, and virtue, honesty and integrity are for schmucks.

This makes possible the Iraq invasion, torture, the wholesale discard of civil liberties and rights, a fuck-you-everyone foreign policy and everything else they've been up to all these years. Gosh, it's just so freeing for them to be able to speak frankly about it now! Whew!

Posted by: shortstop on November 6, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Norm, I'd happily show up anywhere to kick your @ss. Game?

Posted by: SavageView on November 6, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

JS said:

If the Red Sox couldn't complete a single pass then they deserved to lose.

Along with AH, now JS has been outed as a non-American troll. (Who else would conflate baseball and football?)

The GOP is offshoring their troll needs. How sadly appropriate.

Posted by: Disputo on November 6, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Norman, shush. the grown ups are talking now.

Pardon me for being the only one who makes any sense.

Does anyone know where I can find a couple of dozen homeless people to go into voting booths and relieve themselves? What with this economy being in such fabulous shape, there is a dearth of homeless people who I can pay to ruin some voting machines. I have a twenty dollar bill for any liberal who wishes to help me out. Any takers? That's a whole lot of munchies you can buy--almost enough to last you til Thanksgiving.

Thank goodness for electronic voting. My fear is that they'll ruggedize those delightful machines and make them impervious to fluids.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

"Norman, shush. the grown ups are talking now." - cleek


That is such a tired juvenile refrain, of course most liberal rhetoric is.


"Hey, Norm, I'd happily show up anywhere to kick your @ss. Game?" - SavageView


Wow, a fighting liberal. Who would have thunk it.

Posted by: Jay on November 6, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers,

I would have no qualms breaking your jaw with a slight flick of my wrist.

AAAA

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on November 6, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

well, how else can the party of me retain power when our positions are so unpopular? tell me that, smart guy.

Posted by: dubya on November 6, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

And Jay, I'll put your head through a plateglass window.

Posted by: SavageView on November 6, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

"And Jay, I'll put your head through a plateglass window." - SavageIdiot


I thought liberals abhorred violence? Are you a hypocrite or just weak?

Posted by: Jay on November 6, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Weel, the safeties for the Bears could not hit the cut off man, yesterday. Take that water logged!

Speaking of Edmund Burke, Winston Churchill wrote of him:

"His soul revolted against tyranny whether it appeared in the aspect of a domineering Monarch and a corrupt Court and Parlimentary system, or whether mouthing the watch words of a non-existent liberty, its towered up against him in the dictation of a brutal mob and wicked sect. No man can read the Burke of Liberty and the Burke of Authority without feeling that here was the same man pursuing the same end, seeking the same ideals of society and Government, and defending them from assaults, now from one extreme, now from the other."

I believe the Edmund Burke Trophy carries more hope for a Republic than that of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 6, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Your efforts will be for naught, Norman Rogers. We in the Democrat Party have already organized 2.3 million Mexican illegal immigrants to vote by absentee ballots in bedrock Republican districts. Also, entire cemeteries full of deceased Italian-Americans will be voting for the all-Sodomy-and-vegetarianism slate.

Our plan to annihilate Christmas proceeds apace!

Moo haaa haaaa haaa!

Posted by: brooksfoe on November 6, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, a fighting liberal. Who would have thunk it.

Now, now Mr. Jay. I have the liberals firmly in hand and there is no need to provoke them or get them riled up.

A hint to you--if they are of a mind to fight, that means they will turn out to vote tomorrow and that's why they need to be sedated and calm. I say shhh! to you sir, for you need not stick your pole into the beehive to find there's honey for all.

As to you Internet tough guys, well. Please remember--I'm a 64 year old man, but I have powerful legs. My arms are a bit skinny, but my legs are like small treetrunks. I can handle the likes of you--most of you have bad lungs and sunken chests from being indoors a great deal, playing your little computer games and feeling bad about yourselves.

I have the power of optimism, and don't ever forget this--I played football at Princeton, and in my day, I was quite the competitor.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

TTP: Weel, the safeties for the Bears could not hit the cut off man, yesterday. Take that water logged!

Don't bother me none. I hate football.

Norman: I can handle the likes of you--most of you have bad lungs and sunken chests from being indoors a great deal, playing your little computer games and feeling bad about yourselves.

Okay, that made me laugh really hard.

Posted by: shortstop on November 6, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

As to you Internet tough guys, well... I played football at Princeton, and in my day, I was quite the competitor.

brahaha

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on November 6, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

The so-called conservatives are only conservative in one aspect: they insist upon the authority of convention and on the authority of strong leaders. What the term conservative hides is their insistence on submission to authority by themselves and others and their belief in using aggression to establish authority.

The Republican Party is not a party of Edmund Burke conservatives (American conservatism is alien to the English tradition) or classic libertarians; it is a party of authoritarianism. Like other 20th century authoritarian movements it carefully manages the image of the Party. Nativism, xenophobia, aggression, and religious orthodoxy are all tailored to appeal to the fear and self-righteousness of authoritarian personalities. George Bush is the image of the moral Leader they find so appealing. For these people anything that looks like compromise or empathy or human understand is a form of weakness and defeat. They will never abandon the Party and the Leader no matter what happens. They followed Nixon even after he was shown to be a nasty paranoid crook. Somewhere around 20-25% of the American population will follow the Party to the bitter end.

This kind of single-minded power is something closed to both conservative and liberal non-authoritarians.

Posted by: bellumregio on November 6, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers: Princeton grauduate, posting on the comments section of a politics blog at the age of 64. brahaha. failure.

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on November 6, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

great fake Norm

Posted by: Disputo on November 6, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Those waskly wepublicans. Dirty twicks - that's all they do!

Posted by: Orwell on November 6, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

Oh, it's the Norman persona all right. But it's hard not to begin to suspect that he isn't a creation of some James Carville-like Democratic consultant to shame cyber-Dems into going out to the polls through reverse psychology.

The voter suppression he's talking about is clearly the product of a fertile, if not fevered imagination. Norman does have quite an acuity with visual tropes.

bellumregio:

Good analysis. Richard Hofstadter comes to mind here, too, both Anti-Intellectualism in American Life and The Paranoid Style of American Politics.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

great fake Norm

Fake Norm, real Norm--these are nebulous concepts without significant meaning or measurement. The Essence of Norm is what counts.

Posted by: shortstop on November 6, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

brahaha

You laugh, but at least I have an education from a decent institution of learning. What do you have, besides your GED and your hairnet from working at Arby's?

In 1962, we beat Columbia 33 to nothing. In the fourth quarter, I tackled the Columbia quarterback (cannot recall his name) so hard he threw up on his cleats and had to be taken out of the game for a set of downs. In those days, I would place a few nickels over the back of my hands and tape them down--devastating when I could bring my hands up and catch another player in the chinstrap.

I don't think the likes of you would cause me much grief. In fact, bring your asthma inhaler and snort up an extra dose of Angel Dust--it might make it a fair fight.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

It's true. It's futile to speculate if the Normoverse is expanding or contracting, or whether it began with a big bang.

We already *know* it exists in 11 dimension :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

The Essence of Norm

it's less of a spicy Cajun "Bam!", and more of a suffocating blend of Aqua Velva and week-old B.O..

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

cleek:

Oh shit, cut it out ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

cleek: it's less of a spicy Cajun "Bam!", and more of a suffocating blend of Aqua Velva and week-old B.O..

Giggling into my coffee cup...

Posted by: shortstop on November 6, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

The voter suppression he's talking about is clearly the product of a fertile, if not fevered imagination. Norman does have quite an acuity with visual tropes.

Yes, well--you can just scurry back to where you came from, twit.

I just used ten pounds of sugar to disable forty-seven buses.

As I drive to the next vehicle storage facility (where I will pay the attendants a few hundred dollars to take an early lunch break), I can't help but notice that you have gotten it wrong once again--don't you understand? I know full well that I will get caught. I'm using a laptop with a wireless modem that lets me steal Wi-Fi--try tracking my movements. You can't! I'm like a cat with a mouse's tail, dangling from my lips! Meow!

Why do you not think two steps ahead? Winning the election is the only thing that matters. Yes, I know that I will get caught and be punished. But I have a slush fund to pay the fines. This is all in the post-election cost budget. But the fact is, after we win the election, we appoint the judges. Hello? Are you figuring this out yet? The judges will give me probation that ends, conveniently, before the next election cycle. So I have to sit out the 2007 election cycle? Big deal, kiddos.

And you wonder why I think you're morons. Morons who can't win an election, by the way.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Norman:

Nobody believes your Walter Mitty fantasies.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Some can argue that the modern Pub Party changed when the Southern Democrats switched their affiliations to the Pubs.

However, I believe that the party changed when Moe Dalitz met with Meyer Lansky and merged forces.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 6, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

A campaign needs to serve some red meat to the people, to show some nerve. Right now red meat is a specialty of the Republicans.
Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK


That may be because a lot of Republican voters are neanderthals who eat red meat uncooked.

Posted by: MarkH on November 6, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

fighting liberal, my butt. i'm just looking for an excuse to kick jim webb's ass. navy cross, whoop-de-doo. i flew jets, little boy.

Posted by: dubya on November 6, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Norman:

If you *actually* disabled the engines of 47 privately-owned buses with sugar for the expressed purpose of voter suppression and allowed yourself to get caught, you'd face jail time, not merely a fine. And you couldn't pay to argue your way out of it.

As much as you'd like it to be, this isn't *quite* a banana republic just yet.

Although you're doubtless a Banana Republican.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Here in Michigan, the horrible phone calls that have made our home phone line basically useless the past week are coming from republican groups. I wonder if they are fake.

Nothing is as likely to get me to vote against a candidate as phone call. My phone line is by invitation only. Politicians should know that. They passed a law to stop companies from doing what they're doing. Why would they expect us to be receptive to their calls when we are all so clearly opposed to univited calls as to get a law passed.

Posted by: aaron on November 6, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Where's your proof that Republicans are doing them?

Ummm, they haven't denied it? C'mon Al, you've got to do better than that!

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

aaron:

That's quite true. The backlash potential to this is immense.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I was doing a little bit of OK flying jets until I started flying coke.

But, what the hey, no dang Migs over College Station in my day!

Posted by: dubya on November 6, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

If you *actually* disabled the engines of 47 privately-owned buses with sugar for the expressed purpose of voter suppression and allowed yourself to get caught, you'd face jail time, not merely a fine. And you couldn't pay to argue your way out of it.

What part of "we appoint the judges" did you not understand? I know full well that the license plates of my vehicle are recorded by the security cameras. I even gave a smile and a wave as I disabled the vehicles. I'm a rich old man and I have a mean streak--your honor, it will never happen again and I will be happy to pay for the damages. I just write the check and laugh at you, you know. It's all about the Benjamins, and it's all about winning. Enjoy losing much?

And you wonder why everyone thinks you're the biggest moron on this blog.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

That may be because a lot of Republican voters are neanderthals who eat red meat uncooked.

hey now, this lib loves some carpaccio.

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Here in Portland, OR, it has been "Hi, I'm Ron Saxton", the Pub for Guv, calls every day for weeks. For the past two days, we have had, one each, calls from the re-elect Governor Kulongoski (D) people.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 6, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Norman:

Local judges have nothing to do with ideology, you nitwit.

What -- you think that criminal court in the municipal building is going to decide abortion or something? :)

Voter suppression is a felony, Norman. It's not the material damages. It's the intent.

Even a first-year prosecutor fresh out of law school would have you behind bars.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

The backlash potential to this is immense.

it's also irrelevant, if the backlash doesn't happen until after the election. once the votes are in, we're all stuck for the next two years.

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

After the Dalitz-Lansky merger into the Publican Party, Dick Cheney has taken over the Murder, Inc operation. Shrub and Karl just run the numbers, extortion and the prostitution end.

Posted by: stupid git on November 6, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Norm, I'm a graduate of Harvard Law and I practice Jiu Jitsu for fun.

You're a pansy.

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on November 6, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

cleek:

Backlash in terms of not voting for the candidate who the saturation calling is intended to help.

And that would be, on balance, the Republicans. All we need to do is to link the robo-calls to the GOP in the public mind, and this could potentially disable much of their GOTV operation.

Who's going to take a GOTV call after being so alienated?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Fox, after all, ran with the Foley story no matter how bad it made the GOP look...

Except they usually put a "D" next to Foley's name.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

The sanctimonious twit:

Local judges have nothing to do with ideology, you nitwit.

Hello? The people I associate with can buy or sell anyone they wish. If a man can go to prison for having a small amount of drugs on him and if I can get probation for making a cool profit of $625,000 after discovering that the value of a manufacturing company is about to skyrocket because of a fat new contract, what does that say about your silly little theories?

What -- you think that criminal court in the municipal building is going to decide abortion or something? :)

Heavens, no. A retro-active abortion like yourself falls under the purview of the thought police.

Voter suppression is a felony, Norman. It's not the material damages. It's the intent.

Oh, balderdash. All I have to do is make my little puppy dog eyes and say I'm sorry. Case closed!

Even a first-year prosecutor fresh out of law school would have you behind bars.

Actually, he or she would settle the case quickly so they could go after the drug users. But because you don't live in the real world, I'm sure it's difficult for you to see how things really work.

I have to take a short break--if I don't get these vehicles disabled before noon, I won't have time to recruit hobos to stand outside of the polling places tomorrow with no pants on. Nothing gets an old lady to run away from the voting booth like the sight of some fellow with his bait and tackle hanging out for all to see.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

All we need to do is to link the robo-calls to the GOP in the public mind, and this could potentially disable much of their GOTV operation.

not much time left for that to happen.

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

MeLoseBrain?:

Oh shit, that's right ... three times when it first broke.

But even the spinners at Fox couldn't do that for more than a day while claiming it was an "accident."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Norman actually gives me faith in the American justice system :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

cleek:

It could already be happening. How many people are really dumb enough to believe that a Democrat would make a GOTV call at 3am? Folks talk to their neighbors -- and there has been national press about the GOP's hyped-up telemarketing use.

Telemarketers have even lower public approval ratings than *members of Congress*.

It's entirely possible that the GOP's been shooting themselves in the foot over this past weekend. And when you alienate a potential voter into cursing you off on the phone -- forget about ever calling back.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Norm, I'm a graduate of Harvard Law and I practice Jiu Jitsu for fun.

Well, we've now established that you are confused by logic and dance the Asiatic equivalent of ballet.

The Eastern arts of self-defense mean nothing to me. I'm an American, and my two fists and my powerful legs are all I need to defend myself. In case you've forgotten, Taijutsu can kick your ass without breaking the single stalk of grass used to distract you.

Better double your intake of Angel Dust if you want to survive our confrontation, sir.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

in my day, I was quite the competitor.

Hey, Norman, I should set you up with my Aunt Ida. In her day, she was quite a beauty.

Posted by: brooksfoe on November 6, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

think that webb guy ever had to hold off a half-dozen wired oklahomans? not likely. "oh, look at me, i'm jim webb. i'm a war hero" - well, so am i, buddy, and i didn't have to do anything stupid like risk my life or save the lives of US marines to become one.

Posted by: dubya on November 6, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

How many people are really dumb enough to believe that a Democrat would make a GOTV call at 3am?

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

That's the most priceless quote of the day! Hello, twit? The American people have been watching the Dumbocrats step on their own dicks for years now.

Hey, Norman, I should set you up with my Aunt Ida. In her day, she was quite a beauty.

If she's 18, double jointed and looks like a cross between Angie Dickinson and Beyonce Knowles, I'll take a ride on that bicycle.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

How many people are really dumb enough to believe that a Democrat would make a GOTV call at 3am?

anecdotes on TPM show that the number is non-zero.

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that Ken Mehlman was slick enough to set up the robo calls and Howard Dean wasn't.

This is hardly a new take on 'democracy' by the GOP hard men.

Six years ago, trolls were telling me that Bush deserved to win, because he was manly enough to cheat and Gore followed the law, and by that very fact unfit to lead a republic, one supposedly based on the rule of law. "Wanting it more" was weighed in the balance with due process, and due process lost.

Or as the shorter version went "Democracy is for pussies".

Fascism is very close to us....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on November 6, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

here's a reporter who thought the Dems were behind the calls, until she checked. and then she found out that she wasn't alone in thinking the Dems were doing it.

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Having actually listened to some of the calls from New Hampshire, New York, and the ones I receive myself here in Connecticut, I have to conclude that they are not misleading. Every one I have heard opens with, "I have some information about (Democrat candidate name here)."

I suppose some voters are stupid enough to assume that the calls are from the Democrat's campaign, but you really do have to be as dumb as a doorknob to think this since the ads are negative about the Democrat candidate.

As for calling those on the "Do not call list", just get the law changed to remove the political advocacy exemption. I am sure a strong majority of people would support such a change, as would I. However, blog entries like this one amount to whining.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 6, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

cleek:

Oh sure. Like I said above, I witnessed this in Claremont NH volunteering for Howard Dean. John Kerry not only robo-called his ID'd Dean supporters at 3am -- but told them the wrong polling places, too.

It's going to fool a certain amount of people, for sure.

But it's also going to enrage another number of them who've correctly sourced the noxiousness to the Republicans. And that number may well be non-trivially larger than the first group.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Ass Ass Sin Nations

Posted by: lone wolf on November 6, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Had the man lived, he would have easily been elected President in 1976.

As if we needed any further proof that Normie is balls in his mouth insane, he thinks Vince Lombardi would have been elected president. Whatever you say Normie, don't worry, I hear their serving pudding at lunch today. But with plastic spoons. They don't want the patients to hurt themselves with metal.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

And that number may well be non-trivially larger than the first group.

let's hope.

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Many Republican political managers cut their teeth on direct marketing. They have studied the efficacy of calling from every angle. They are clearly using the data in a positive way- to get out their base- and in a negative way- to suppress the motivation of the enemy. They would know that a robotic call after say 8 pm is only listened to for about 15 seconds and is a de-mobilizer in a certain class of postal code. They may even look at the effects of voice, recording style, background music and words used. The do-not-call folks are likely to be really angry. You can get really sophisticated. It depends on how much money the operation running the program has on hand. Given the past scandals they really think it is a prime mover on Election Day.

Posted by: bellumregio on November 6, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Yancy Ward:

Like I have been pointing out, there are two variations on this game. There's robo-called push-polling, which is as you say pretty clearly identifiable as coming from the opposition.

And then there are deceptive disinformation phone calls that purport to *be* for the other candidate and call at 3am, give the wrong polling place, etc . ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Oh sure. Like I said above, I witnessed this in Claremont NH volunteering for Howard Dean. John Kerry not only robo-called his ID'd Dean supporters at 3am -- but told them the wrong polling places, too.

Bwah hah hah hah hah!

Oh, stop the presses, liberals!

Do you see what rmck1 is saying?

I suppose if John Kerry does it, it's okay, correct? But the Heavens will fall if a Republican does it, eh?

Outstanding, rmck1, outstanding!

Just when I think you can't post the most awful and self-incriminating evidence of Dumbocrat hypocrisy, you set your movement back by spewing your priceless observations! You are the best thing going! I pray to my Creator that you will never, ever stop to think twice before posting! We can't have you developing a conscience, you know! It would be bad for business!

I can probably knock off early and give up now--you've revealed that the sainted John Kerry used dirty tricks to screw your man Screaming Dean? Oh, but do you have evidence of this? I know your little liberal friends like to see things like evidence and whatnot.

Double Bwah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

As if we needed any further proof that Normie is balls in his mouth insane, he thinks Vince Lombardi would have been elected president.

In a country that elected Ronald "The Gipper" Reagan President, how is it you can't see that Lombardi would have been elected President?

Lombardi was the real deal; he would have eaten you for breakfast and you know it.

Carter vs Lombardi? Please. Lombardi would have won all 50 states and still had time to put the Packers in the playoffs.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

bellumregio:

There's a limit on that. You could piss off people enough not to vote at all, and they might be late-breaking undecideds. The people who get most pissed off, who've made the greatest use of the Do Not Call list, tend to be wealthy suburbanites. Younger people with cell phones and no land lines would be immune, because you can easily screen calls.

Who you could really piss off are senior citizens -- often a key Democratic target, and the ones least sophisticated with CID and call block. But word also gets through the neighborhood, and as soon as somebody IDs them as Republicans, there could well be a backlash effect, as I've argued ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

I have the power of optimism, and don't ever forget this--I played football at Princeton, and in my day, I was quite the competitor.

I know your Mommy told you you were playing football, Normie, but handing cups of water to guys in pads doesn't qualify. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Please remember--I'm a 64 year old man...

Interesting, just a week or so ago, you described yourself as 67. Trimming some years off, Normie?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Where's your proof that Republicans are doing them?

Well, there is the fact that Republicans have admitted it:

Alex Burgos, NRCC spokesman, said his organization has been making calls to independent voters in the state's Second Congressional District since Monday and would continue to do so. . . .
"We are a federal organization campaigning about a federal race," said Burgos. "We feel that New Hampshire law does not apply to what we are doing."

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com

Jonathan Collegio, NRCC spokesman, acknowledged that the NRCC has paid for series of robocalls in the 6th and 8th districts, saying phone banking are part of any modern campaign.
"Phone banking is used by campaigns of all stripes and all these calls are made between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.," he said.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com


A national Republican group yesterday scuttled a pre-recorded phone call effort the state Attorney General's Office said may have violated New Hampshire law by contacting residents listed on the federal Do Not Call registry.
The National Republican Congressional Committee voluntarily agreed yesterday afternoon to stop making automated calls to homes on the registry, said Deputy Attorney General Bud Fitch, who oversees election law.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com

Posted by: Stefan on November 6, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

I know your Mommy told you you were playing football, Normie, but handing cups of water to guys in pads doesn't qualify. Sorry to burst your bubble.

No, linebacker. I had a fair amount of speed in those days and could arm tackle fairly effectively. I really only played in the '61 and '62 season, as we had a few fellows who were better at knocking the ball down. Even though I was 6'4", I had trouble getting my hands up to close out the passing lanes.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

In 1962, we beat Columbia 33 to nothing. In the fourth quarter, I tackled the Columbia quarterback (cannot recall his name) so hard he threw up on his cleats and had to be taken out of the game for a set of downs.

Interesting. You were playing in the 4th quarter of a blow-out? Can you say "scrub"? Quite the competitor, indeed.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting, just a week or so ago, you described yourself as 67.

No, that must have been one of your wiseass compatriots.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Norman:

Just as your body has deteriorated with age, so goes your reading skills.

I was furious at Forbes for that. The entire Dean team was.

How do we know it's true? GOTV calls at 3am with the wrong polling place are rather a dead giveaway, you Fantasy Island sexual fetisher of midgets with really awful accents :)

Kerry volunteers were appalled and gave a heads up to Dean people. Forbes also had a "Dean person" come to a precinct and swiped the early-morning vote totals they had printed out for Dean to do afternoon vote-pulling.

And Kerry played fierely dirty in Iowa, too.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Bob,
Yes, you could be right. My point is that the Republicans have fine-grained empirical data. They know the pro and con efficacy of these calls and they know how to TIME them. They are not masters of the universe because environments change but they have a very good sense of the results of their efforts. I believe that all this marketing should be banned outright because it is an abuse of the democratic process.

Posted by: bellumregio on November 6, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

you guys know that "Norman Rogers" is a parody, right, and not the actual Norman Rogers who used to post here last year?

Not to spoil his fun and all, but guys, no need to bust a gut responding to a parody when there's real work to be done today.

Posted by: Impartial Observer on November 6, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting. You were playing in the 4th quarter of a blow-out? Can you say "scrub"? Quite the competitor, indeed.

That shows just how much you know--in those days, Princeton was a football powerhouse. The Princeton Tigers have more National Championships than any other football team in Division I history. We rarely rode out the clock and used our reserves to finish a game we had in hand. This is something you find in the modern professional game. In those days, you kept your players in the game from start to finish and beat your opponent fair and square. Coach Colman liked to tear the guts out of an opposing team and he would never ease up--that's why he had a record of nearly .700 when he coached at Princeton.

I must admit--I was not a starter. I did play a fair amount, but I was not a starter. I still have the scars on my hands from taping coins to them--somewhere, there is a Cornell University player who stil has the imprint of a 1957 nickel embedded behind his ear.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Lombardi would have won all 50 states and still had time to put the Packers in the playoffs.

C'mon, keep up, Normie. Vince was with the redskins when he died.

But yes, a couple of years after being an NFL coach, Lombardi would run for prez. Whatever you say, Normie, whatever you say.

I was quite a competitor...

Why do I get the feeling that Normie played football at Princeton the same way Dumbya played football at Yale?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

(Who else would conflate baseball and football?)
The GOP is offshoring their troll needs. How sadly appropriate.

Ah yes. Make that the Patriots. Here in Kazakhstan the only sport we have is goat racing, and a man gets confused. Please excuse.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Even though I was 6'4", I had trouble getting my hands up to close out the passing lanes.

Yes, it's hard to put your hands up when they're stuck down your pants.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

How do we know it's true? GOTV calls at 3am with the wrong polling place are rather a dead giveaway, you Fantasy Island sexual fetisher of midgets with really awful accents :)

Kerry volunteers were appalled and gave a heads up to Dean people. Forbes also had a "Dean person" come to a precinct and swiped the early-morning vote totals they had printed out for Dean to do afternoon vote-pulling.

And Kerry played fierely dirty in Iowa, too.

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah!

Oh, priceless! Absolutely priceless!

The sad fact is, poor rmck1 can't stop telling everyone how much he knows! He has a compulsion to expose himself in public! He's like a pervert in a raincoat, except he has nothing to reveal except that he's "smarter" than you and you better not forget it.

Notice how few, if any, of the liberals challenge him? They know they'll get an earful if they do.

I guess that settles it--thanks to rmck1, you sanctimonious boobs can't sit there and judge any Republican for what they do to win!

And you wonder why I think you're all morons.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Vince was with the redskins when he died.

A thousand pardons; I remember the salad days, and I remember the Fuzzy Thurston era very fondly.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Well, well, well -- more evidence of Republican voter suppression efforts, via Justin Rood at TPM Muckraker. The message is clear: Republicans do not believe in democracy. Republicans do not want a free and fair election. Given the choice between democracy and power, Republicans will choose power everytime:

Among NM Dems, Growing Complaints of GOP Phone Calls
By Justin Rood - November 6, 2006, 10:47 AM
In New Mexico yesterday, the state Democratic Party accused its GOP counterpart of calling Democratic voters and falsely telling them their polling place has changed.

This morning, the AP reports, the Dems are asking a judge to immediately bar the GOP from calling any registered Democratic voters in the state.

In their defense, the New Mexico Republicans are saying it happened just once, and it was a mistake.

....But in a conversation with me this morning, New Mexico Democratic Party director Matt Farrauto said the GOP had given incorrect information to more than just one Democrat.

"I am standing in front of four people who had it happen to them, and there's a fifth woman who contacted me this morning," Farrauto told me. The group was standing in the courthouse lobby, he said, waiting to meet with a judge who could order the GOP's calls to stop.

Contacted by phone last night, the judge had verbally agreed to issue the injunction, but she had not yet signed the paperwork, Farrauto told me.

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/001938.php

Posted by: Stefan on November 6, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

I searched your comments on this thread and found no links to these 3 a.m. disinformation calls. I did a scan of Marshall's latest comments and reader tips, and found no such links, just anecdotes like yours. I am not saying that such calls are not being placed, but I would like to hear one. Considering the numbers of links I can find for the push-poling variety, I find it surprising to have such difficulty in finding actual examples of the second type.

And, by the way, the Al post you initially replied to is a parody troll. I really don't see how anyone could possibly be fooled by that one.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 6, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Norm, apparently all I need to distract you is a laptop and the comments section of washingtonmonthly.

You are one sorry excuse for an inferiority complex.

AAAA

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on November 6, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK
The latest campaign trick from the fine folks in the Republican Party is to make repeated robo-calls to voters that sound as if they're from Democratic candidates.

Automated calls that do not (among other requirements), at the outset, identify the actual person or entity responsible for the calls are illegal, and both a private cause of action and one which may be undertaken by states' attorneys-general exist under federal law to recover $500 per offense, potentially tripled for "willful and knowing" violations. See 47 USC § 227 and 47 CFR § 64.1200(b).

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

I did a scan of Marshall's latest comments and reader tips, and found no such links, just anecdotes like yours. I am not saying that such calls are not being placed, but I would like to hear one.

Go to www.talkingpointsmemo.com and scroll down to the following post, where one of the calls is permalinked:

(November 06, 2006 -- 07:07 AM EST // link)
You can hear one of the NRCC robocalls here, from the race in the New York 19th Congressional District. -- TPM Reader DK

Posted by: Stefan on November 6, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

That shows just how much you know--in those days, Princeton was a football powerhouse.

Powerhouse??? Princeton was 5-4 in 1962, with losses to "powerhouses" Colgate, Cornell, Harvard and Dartmouth. They won their last national championship in 1950, long before even an old goat like you got there.

The internet is a wonderful thing, Normie, we can easily debunk your many lies.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

GOP calling Dems to give them incorrect polling location information.

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

I searched your comments on this thread and found no links to these 3 a.m. disinformation calls.

That's because he probably made them up. I, for one, don't think John Kerry has the courage to play dirty in a campaign. But that's my humble opinion.

You see, rmck1 has this need to expose himself to you as all-knowing and all-seeing. Don't challenge him--he'll end up threatening to kill you. I have watched him invent new swearwords going after a fellow liberal who dared to question his veracity. And he's got that liberal racist streak in him as well, don't forget that. He is a curious specimen of liberal, one who has no shame and no inner monologue.

Best to just let the twit make a twit out of himself and enjoy the fireworks!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

That shows just how much you know--in those days, Princeton was a football powerhouse.

5-4 in 1962 is a powerhouse? Or maybe they just sucked when you played.

I really only played in the '61 and '62 season...

If you played often, you must have lettered, right? Funny, I couldn't find any letterman in '61 and '62 who didn't letter in '63. Care to explain?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward:

Stefan's post directly above yours is objective confirmation of deceptive calling. The 3am polling place calls happened in Claremont in the primary. They are clearly the same type of calls that TPMM has documented in New Mexico -- if not made at 3am. You'd do that on election morning, anyway. I'm sure we'll hear word of it happening.

As for Al? I'm always surprised when I hear people make unequivocal statements about the actual identities and motives of posters on Washington Monthly. A strand of conventional wisdom has always asserted that Al is a parody. By all means believe it; knock yourself out. I have a different view; I've seen Al too many times and he's too consistent (and too consistently humorless) to reek, to *this* nose, of parody.

bellumregio:

All I'm saying is that there's a self-limiting effect, especially given the incredible volume of GOP efforts this cycle, based on expanding the 72 Hour Project. It may have worked better during a time when the environment was less poisonous for Republicans. Right now, I'm sensing that their potential to reach their supporters is becoming limited through saturation (a person can take only so many positive calls for a candidate before they turn completely off), and so have been tempted to turn all that awesome machinery to the negative, vote-suppressing side.

And this cycle, there may well be a price to pay for that.

If the call stories can get in the national news cycle, we may have a good chance of pushing this meme right before e-day.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

I suggest you reread what I wrote in my two comments. I had already cited that recording as one that I had actually listened to and it is clearly not of the second type of call that rmck1 and I are discussing.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 6, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward:

Misidentifying polling places is clearly a deceptive strategy. You quite obviously wouldn't wish to do that to a call list of your supporters.

Sheesh. It's exactly the same thing, save not at 3am.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

If you played often, you must have lettered, right? Funny, I couldn't find any letterman in '61 and '62 who didn't letter in '63. Care to explain?

I didn't letter; and if you had any common sense, you'd see that we went 9-0 in 1964, well after I graduated but with a few players I played with.

If you knew anything about college football, you'd be dangerous. Please remember, this was the Ivy League. Duh.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it nice how we've taking a comment thread on GOP dirty tricks and turned it into an opportunity for Norman to stroll down Memory Lane? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan (or anyone else who can get to TPM, I can't right now): does the robo-call identify itself as coming from the NRCC, or is it deceptive in the way Kevin describes?

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, initial reporting from TPM on this suggested that the offending robocalls were "made to appear that they're from the Democratic campaign." Many (including apparently Kevin) seem to have assumed that this meant they were calls FOR the Democratic candidate made repeatedly and at inconvenient times.

But more recent TPM reporting (including the examples you cite) suggests that these are straight negative campaigning robocalls, so if you listen to them it should be clear that they are not from the Democrats. That's what the Republicans have admited to as far as I can tell.

TPM now quotes someone who says "If you only listen to the first sentence" you think the calls are made by Democrats -- because they start with a vague "Hi, I'm calling about candidate X".

cmdicely says above that it is illegal to make campaign calls without identifying the organization calling. If he is correct (and I think that this definitely SHOULD be the law) then all these negative robocalls would be illegal. What is less certain now from TPM reporting is what we originally assumed -- that the robocalls in question were supportive of the Dem candidates but made repeatedly and at inconvenient hours to PO the Dem voters. So this is more complex than it appeared at first.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Look, isn't it obvious by now that "Norman" is a parody? Why are you wasting your time trying to point out inconsistencies in the parody's supposed football record? Couldn't your time better be used making GOTV calls for the election tomorrow? Sheesh.

Posted by: Impartial Observer on November 6, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

yeah, nice....

stop feeding the trolls.

GOTV.

Posted by: Disputo on November 6, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

No identification in the call as coming from the RNCC, and thus an FTC violation.

Supposedly this is coming from the NRCC's "independent expenditures" shop -- and thus they believe they have the legal right to claim plasuible deniability.

I just read TPMMuckraker.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK
Isn't it nice how we've taking a comment thread on GOP dirty tricks and turned it into an opportunity for Norman to stroll down Memory Lane? :)

Prevents you from your usual practice of talking about yourself for 90 percent of the thread, does it, you unwashed twit?

And you wonder why my jowls shake with mirth at your follies.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Six years ago, trolls were telling me that Bush deserved to win, because he was manly enough to cheat and Gore followed the law, and by that very fact unfit to lead a republic, one supposedly based on the rule of law. "Wanting it more" was weighed in the balance with due process, and due process lost.

That's a variation on the line from The Great McGinty: "If it wasn't for graft, you'd get a very low type of people in politics, men without ambition, jellyfish! "

So, what the current lying crop of Republicans are saying is that the 8 years of trying to lynch Clinton were all for show. They were lying then. Lying now. Positions? Beliefs? Meaningless. The only important thing is power. Gotcha.

So, Fascism and its worship of action and power it is.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 6, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK
cmdicely says above that it is illegal to make campaign calls without identifying the organization calling.

Automated (specifically, pre-recorded voice) calls, not "campaign calls". The NM calls, at least, from the stories appear to be live calls from humans, which aren't covered by the rule.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Couldn't your time better be used making GOTV calls for the election tomorrow?

I just made a few calls and laughed at Power Leg's Norman not lettering in cheerleading.

Posted by: Ack Ack Ack Ack on November 6, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

FTC violation = FCC violation.

I was thinking of commercial telemarketing.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK
No identification in the call as coming from the RNCC, and thus an FTC violation.

FCC, not FTC, but that's a minor detail.

Supposedly this is coming from the NRCC's "independent expenditures" shop -- and thus they believe they have the legal right to claim plasuible deniability.

Even if the "independent expenditures" shop were legally independent of the NRCC (its "independent" label is because it is independent of and not coordinated with particular candidates, and therefore not subject to restrictions that apply to candidate campaigns: the whole point is that it is controlled by the NRCC not the candidates), that shop itself would still be fully liable for violations of the law.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Yep. The NM calls, with the misidentified polling place, came from a volunteer and there's a question of intent there. A judge may issue an injunction.

The push-poll robo-calls are much more legally ambiguous -- unless there's something statutory about what times even political-speech calls can be made. And there may be an ID issue as well.

But it's clearly a lot more ambiguous than calls deliberately giving out false information.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I left out "automated" or "robo" in that last paragraph.

So since these are illegal and the Republicans have admitted making them then the Dems should proceed, as we were discussing last night, to push the story so it gets in all local and nantional news this evening. It may not be as bad as Republicans explicitly pretending to be Democrats, but it's still bad enough IMO to warrant news coverage -- and bring back some of the voters who may have been turned off.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

JS:

Agreed.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Does the FCC regulation specifically require identification at beginning of a robocall?

The sample offending robocall linked at TPM has clear identification at the end of the call. it says "Paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee and not authorized by any Community or Candidate's Committee -- www.nrcc.org".

TPM doesn't mention this. Does this make the call legal?

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK
So since these are illegal and the Republicans have admitted making them then the Dems should proceed, as we were discussing last night, to push the story so it gets in all local and nantional news this evening.

One way to do that might be to have a call for states' attorneys-general in the affected states to prosecute, or maybe getting some victims to announce that they will be suing the NRCC for the illegal calls. I don't think the legal remedies are timely enough to be particularly useful, but they are better than nothing, and media seems to generally treat legal controversies as a bit more serious and newsworthy.

But I think, politically, the story should be pushed even where the calls aren't illegal but are clearly deliberately dishonest. Dirty tricks leave a bad taste in people's mouth, and having a dirty dishonest strategy revealed may hurt GOP GOTV and may effect those few voters on the edge, even if it doesn't stick that much to the individual candidates in blame terms.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Look, isn't it obvious by now that "Norman" is a parody? Why are you wasting your time trying to point out inconsistencies in the parody's supposed football record? Couldn't your time better be used making GOTV calls for the election tomorrow? Sheesh.

It's always easier to dismiss me as a parody, isn't it? But the fact of the matter is, I'm not the parody--you are. All of you libs who slap your faces and exclaim outrage--you're the parody and you're the ones who have fallen for the Dumbocrat line of bullshit.

See, there's no outrage at the fact that John Kerry may have beaten Screaming Dean. I don't think Kerry had the cojones, but there it is.

If a Democrat cheats, you condone it. If a Republican cheats, you trot out lawyers and law students and shit yourselves trying to prove how outraged you are.

Pathetic.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

JS:

I don't think it would. In charitable and commercial telemarketing, the organization is required by law to identify itself (and often the caller) at the beginning of the call. At least those are FTC regs.

One would think it's the same with political calls -- due to the vast number of people who hang up on them in the first minute. I'm not certain of this for the FCC and political calls, however.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK
Does the FCC regulation specifically require identification at beginning of a robocall?

It specifically requires identification at the beginning and a callback number (for the organization, not to get the pre-recorded message again) during or after the message. 47 CFR § 64.1200(b) [emphasis added]:

All artificial or prerecorded telephone messages shall:

(1) At the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call. If a business is responsible for initiating the call, the name under which the entity is registered to conduct business with the State Corporation Commission (or comparable regulatory authority) must be stated, and

(2) During or after the message, state clearly the telephone number (other than that of the autodialer or prerecorded message player that placed the call) of such business, other entity, or individual. The telephone number provided may not be a 900 number or any other number for which charges exceed local or long distance transmission charges. For telemarketing messages to residential telephone subscribers, such telephone number must permit any individual to make a do-not-call request during regular business hours for the duration of the telemarketing campaign.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

you trot out lawyers and law students and shit yourselves trying to prove how outraged you are

Just look at awl the lawyerly Librulz tryin to sumbvertz mah democrassy!

Posted by: Norman's LIttle Soldier on November 6, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

My thoughts as well.

Norman:

We condemn Kerry as well, sheesh. Don't forget he had David Whouley organizing for him -- the grizzled Democratic op who sabotaged Dean in Iowa. Whouley's surely not beneath the odd illegally deceptive robo-call, or two or three or eighty-nine.

Isn't it funny, Norman, how you on the one hand exhort winning at all costs -- and then shriek hypocrisy when Dems actually do it?

But two wrongs don't make a right. Color me at all times opposed to deceptive robo-calling.

It tends to corrode the democratic process.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for that cmdicely. Seems to clinch it.

But I think, politically, the story should be pushed even where the calls aren't illegal but are clearly deliberately dishonest. Dirty tricks leave a bad taste in people's mouth

Very true. Last night I was questioning whether the Democratic political organizations (national and local) are pursuing this with the media, as they ought to. Too late to get meaningful relief from the courts -- but initiation of legal action, as you suggest, would add to the newsworthiness of the story.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

But two wrongs don't make a right.

How pithy. You can pick up your participant's trophy as you leave the ballpark.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

I thought political, public-interest (as in polling) and/or charitable solicitations (even if for-profit) are exempt from the federal Do Not Call list?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

David Whouley = Michael Whouley.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK
don't think it would. In charitable and commercial telemarketing, the organization is required by law to identify itself (and often the caller) at the beginning of the call. At least those are FTC regs.

They are FCC regs—in fact, the same regs that apply to political calls,47 CFR § 64.1200. There are provisions in that section that don't apply to tax-exempt non-profits (including most political groups), or that apply only to commercial solicitation. But 47 CFR § 64.1200(b) applies to all prerecorded or artificial calls.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK
I thought political, public-interest (as in polling) and/or charitable solicitations (even if for-profit) are exempt from the federal Do Not Call list?

They are, which is why the part referring to opt-out in 64.1200(b)(2) is prefaced by "For telemarketing messages to residential telephone subscribers...": those are two substantial limitations that don't apply to the earlier portion of 64.1200(b)(2).

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Are you sure the Federal Trade Commission doesn't have a hand in regulating telemarketing calls -- at least out-of-state ones?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

We've been getting robo-calls about fifteen times a day, but they're more like robo-calls from Mothman. We answer and there's no one there but a sort of hollow empty sound, like tape hiss in the Batcave.

A secret Republican technology to subliminally implant evil programming?

Posted by: cld on November 6, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

We've been getting robo-calls about fifteen times a day, but they're more like robo-calls from Mothman. We answer and there's no one there but a sort of hollow empty sound, like tape hiss in the Batcave.

That's the homeless woman who I gave a sack full of quarters to. She has a list of liberals that she is responsible for calling; what she's supposed to do is howl and call you an m-f'er for voting Dumbocrat.

I think she took the quarters and ran off.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

There should be a law banning advertising on the telephone. All advertising, commercial or political, including advertising disguised as polls or surveys or 'information'.

Posted by: cld on November 6, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK
Are you sure the Federal Trade Commission doesn't have a hand in regulating telemarketing calls -- at least out-of-state ones?

No, what I'm saying is that the FCC regulations at 47 CFR § 64.1200 also apply to prerecorded, artificial, and robo-dialed calls (different provisions applying to each) by commercial and non-profit telemarketers as well as the political calls were are discussing.

The FTC also has a role in regulating telemarketing calls more specifically.


Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

If she took the quarters and ran off it isn't her, Norm.

But the sound of it does suggest a kind of dark wintry howl far away in a witch's skull.

Posted by: cld on November 6, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK
We've been getting robo-calls about fifteen times a day, but they're more like robo-calls from Mothman. We answer and there's no one there but a sort of hollow empty sound, like tape hiss in the Batcave.

That sounds like an abandoned call (if there is no voice within 2 seconds), which isn't illegal individually, but it is illegal for an operation to abandon more than 3% of their autodialed calls that are answered by any live person within a month—47 CFR § 64.1200(a)(6).

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, but the abandoned call limit doesn't apply to tax-exempt non-profits. So, if its Republican phone-jammers, it may be legal (or at least, if its illegal, its illegal for other reasons.)

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

I read the story on the New Mexico calls and it is ambiguous at best. Still, no one recorded these calls and they don't appear to have been placed at 3 in the morning and they don't appear to have been automated. In addition, the callers appear to have actually identified themselves as working for the Republicans, but that point is a little obscure from what I have read.

However, in the New York call that Stefan directed me to, the call is clearly identified as coming from the Republican party, though the explicit ID comes at the end of the message.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 6, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward, this has all now been covered here. cmdicely established that automated calls which do not identify their origin AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CALL are illegal.

Posted by: JS on November 6, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans are so petty they're trying to jam my home phone? Just what you'd expect --yes, or perhaps too expected?

Is it not more realistic to say it's a Democrat false flag operation to besmirch the naive innocence of the Republican party?

Posted by: cld on November 6, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK
However, in the New York call that Stefan directed me to, the call is clearly identified as coming from the Republican party, though the explicit ID comes at the end of the message.

So its clearly illegal. And these kinds of calls are often made thousands at a time. Those $500 per instance penalty can sure add up pretty fast, even if they aren't tripled for a "knowing and willful" violation: someone might want to contact the New York Attorney General.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK
...That's the homeless woman who I gave a sack full of quarters to.... Norman Rogers 1:29 PM
Buying sex from homeless women? Par for the course. Posted by: Mike on November 6, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

penalty can sure add up pretty fast, even if they aren't tripled for a "knowing and willful" violation: someone might want to contact the New York Attorney General.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK
...That's the homeless woman who I gave a sack full of quarters to.... Norman Rogers 1:29 PM
Buying sex from homeless women?

See here! Thats rude and I don't think you should say suych things to my old friend Norman.

Stop, I say@! Stop.

Posted by: Winthrop Beans on November 6, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Beans,

If you read this--call me.

Call me at the main house, not the vacation place in New Hampshire.

Do not post anything else until you speak to me.

Liberals, just go about your business--no, you're not going to win anything tomorrow. Good night. Don't vote. Don't go to the polling places tomorrow.

The election has been cancelled. Yes.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

we have to do illegal stuff because the democrats won't lay down and let us win...

Posted by: RNC on November 7, 2006 at 6:01 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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