Friday, October 17, 2008

Turning an ACORN Into a Political Oak Tree

I know a bit about acorns and oak trees. I live under three California live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) and have for about 35 years. Were it not pretty black outside, I would take a picture of my pride and joy, one that is about 1,000 years old. It's a beaut and is treated with great respect.

When I had to get a permit for working on the house, they had to hand-write mine. They told me they had no box to check or anything else to explain downsizing a home and, in fact, the 30 year planner told me he had never done it before. Chuckle.

Twice we downsized to save our oak. We either had to cut the tree, or move our home and its structure back to save it and our home. Twice we have done the latter, the more recent giving the tree perhaps another 100 years of growth before the oak protections we are working on will guarantee its survival. I will be dead, then, but I fully intend to be watching over this tree even so. And God help the person that attempts to destroy it.

You can imagine my discussions with the property tax assessment department on the change of square feet. Our house is small to begin with... and getting smaller. They actually raised my property taxes getting all the math wrong because they haven't done it before. Two hours and countless documents later, I have them (currently) at a draw. Wait until they get my recession-based appeal to my tax assessment. Won't be pretty.

When the santana winds come in their full threatening force (we get well above hurricane force winds here every fall), the rattle of falling acorns on any solid matter is deafening at 3am.

That is exactly the sound you are hearing upon the GOP defensive armor right about now. Trouble is, they are using the opportunity to call them ballot-box nukes. You know... the Rovian thing. Up is down, black is white, registration fraud is voter fraud...

This is the sound of potential new growth pounding on the GOP's well deserved failure to thrive.

ACORN is a group that seeks, in the usual sense, to promote issues. Why not let ACORN speak for themselves?

So let's get to the claim of voter fraud by ACORN, as suggested by McCain and the GOP [and in the larger sense the main stream media (MSM)] which doesn't seem to be able or perhaps willing to discern much of anything right now out of the way because it is a factual non-issue.

ACORN paid workers to register voters. Clearly, some workers either falsified registrations--in some cases many--or looked the other way when registering voters did. Not a good situation but NOT voter fraud. Voter fraud is defined in this way:

By legal definition, to commit voter fraud means a person would have to present some kind of documentation at the polls — a driver’s license, a phone bill or another form of ID — that bears the name of Mickey Mouse, for example. To do so risks a fine and imprisonment under state laws. [my emphasis], 10-17-08

This doesn't excuse fraudulent registration. It's still a crime. Fraudulent registration, however, merely falsely and fraudulently inflates the roles of registered voters. It inflates the porcupine. It doesn't mean the porcupine votes twice or two hundred times or two thousand times. The porcupine can vote one time. And heaven knows, the GOP doesn't like porcupines or (apparently) any other species.

Let me give you an example.

Someone submits a registration form under the name of George Wellworn Bush. In that registration they submit an address, as well. If the local board of registration accepts such a registration, George Wellworn Bush has to go to the polls with legal ID to vote (under current law, there are strict ID parameters for this where prior to 911, legal ID was much less stringent) and the ID has to have the same address as the registration. So someone desiring to commit voter fraud has to actually have a picture ID (Driver's license, current passport, etc... something with a picture of the few things legally allowable) with a false address on it. Likewise with the various Mikey Mouse and Donald Duck registrations actually submitted or the registrations with every names of the Dallas Cowboys, each registered in Nevada.

Are you getting the picture? (sorry for the pun)

Here is one assessment of the threat:

"It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than he will impersonate another voter at the polls," the report said., 10-17-08

Here's the rub: This is a presidential election, and a contentious one at that. Perhaps the most contentious one ever.

Now, looking back, we should be secure with the fact that both the 2000 election (decided by the Supreme Court, not votes) and the 2004 election (voter manipulation) were FAR, FAR more serious examples of massive fraud, yet those tactics are being repeated in this election NOT by ACORN but by the GOP, the very group attacking false voter registration. They cannot possibly be talking about voter fraud because the vote has not been done, is not finalized, and not tabulated. There has been no voter fraud, provable or not, to date.


Nonetheless, both Palin and McCain and others are going after ACORN as if the entire election hinged upon this "community organizing" (recognize that?) group while the GOP cages and strips voter roles in at least seven states with the help of highly paid and well connected generally white guys and gals (to use Palin terms) with important titles like Secretary of State.

And while we are on the topic of Palin and McCain, lets have a look at the history and rhetoric, shall we?


"We appreciate Senator McCain's effort to stir up the Republican base by attacking a community organization working to increase public participation in our democratic process. However, these attacks reflect an increasingly panicked candidate. Unfortunately, the Senator McCain we saw tonight is very different than the Senator McCain who stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN at a February 20, 2006 immigration reform event.

It is clear for us to see that John McCain was for ACORN before he was against ACORN; he was for reform before he was against reform; and he was a maverick before he became erratic. What is really going on here is that Senator McCain and his allies are part of a coordinated effort to engage in what appears to be an unprecedented effort to suppress voter turnout. Repeating a lie doesn't make it true, and the McCain campaign has resorted to the worst type of deceptions in regards to ACORN."


ACORN, Ayers... Gee, I can hardly wait until they get to the letter B. What's next, the Better Business Bureau?

And, ever the rapture/dominionist/'world-is-coming-to-an-end-because-of-somebody "Palin"', here's some of what this lost cause had to say:

“Now, Obama says that his only involvement with ACORN was when he represented the group as a lawyer. But what about the training that he provided ACORN in the past and ACORN staff, and his role in past ACORN voter registration efforts,” Palin said. “And then, there’s the two hundred thousand dollars that he got for ACORN when he was on the board of the Woods Fund. And the fact that ACORN endorsed him this year and they’re working pretty hard on his behalf.” --Fox News, 10-17-2008

"The truth is that far-left groups in this country will do anything to help the Obama-Biden Democrats win the White House and maintain their majorities in Congress," Palin says in a fund-raising e-mail.

"The left-wing activist group, ACORN, is now under investigation for voter registration fraud in a number of battleground states... We can't allow leftist groups like ACORN to steal this election." --Kansas City Star, 10-14-2008

"You deserve to know," Palin told thousands surrounding her stage in a suburban community park. "In this election, you're going to be asked to choose between a candidate who will not disavow a group permitting voter fraud and a leader who will not tolerate it."

"This group needs to learn that you here in Ohio won't let them turn the Buckeye state into the acorn state," she told a roaring crowd., 10-17-2008

and my all-time favorite (remember Alaska is asking $15 million dollars for copies

of Sarah's illegal yahoo account e-mails under open records act laws!!):

“John [McCain] and I are calling on the Obama campaign to release communications it has had with this group, to do so immediately,” Palin told 24,000 cheering fans at the Verizon Wireless Music Center. --Chicaco Sun Times, 10-17-2008

I swear, when I read that last one I was laughing so hard I just about hurt myself. Oh my dear Lord... such sweet irony.

The bottom line is this: The GOP has, in fact, been attempting to throw voters off the roles because they are scared crapless of the landslide they think is headed their way. There are already illegal caging and voter suppression cases involving the GOP in eight states. In Ohio, the state where the 2004 election was largely lost due to GOP manipulation, they are heading to the Supreme Court to stop the GOP from such nonsense again.

And what does Obama do about all this? Does he attack back? Nope.

Obama stays cool. He has little to hide and less to defend, unlike McCain and Palin.

Ice cool.

One heady controlled due, "that one".