Today in Obnoxious

Early voting has begun in Harris County, Texas, and there are reports that voters in minority districts are being harassed and intimidated by wingnuts posing as poll watchers.

“We have a long way to go in this election, and we’re committed to having it done lawfully and successfully,” said Terry O’Rourke, first assistant Harris County attorney.

The complaints, he said, came from Kashmere Gardens, Moody Park, Sunnyside and other predominantly minority neighborhoods. The complaints included poll watchers “hovering over” voters, “getting into election workers’ faces” and blocking or disrupting lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots.

The “poll watchers,” who belong to a tea party-affiliated group called True the Vote, says its people are trained poll watchers who are following all guidelines. Some county officials speculate that the unusually high number of people who showed up to watch the polls caused some voters to feel intimidated and to file complaints. So at the moment we can’t say for sure that the True the Vote people were doing anything wrong.

However, the County Clerk’s office received 14 complaints from 11 precincts on Monday, which is way above the normal number of complaints received. The Texas Democratic Party, which has joined with other groups in a lawsuit against True the Vote’s parent organization, King Street Patriots, has promised to release a video within the next few days showing intimidating behavior by the poll watchers.

Weirdly, an attorney for King Street Patriots denies that the True the Vote poll watchers were registered poll watchers:

Hiram Sasser, an attorney for the King Street Patriots, denied the group was intimidating voters. “The King Street Patriots don’t have any registered poll watchers,” he said. “Registered poll watchers work for either a party or a candidate.”

True the Vote, Sasser said, is a project of the King Street Patriots, but it’s not in a position to assign poll watchers. The party or the candidate with whom poll watchers are affiliated would be responsible for their actions, he said.

It’s as if the attorney is laying the groundwork for an argument that poll watcher guidelines to apply to his people because they aren’t registered poll watchers.

Also, before the voting started True the Vote “had promised to verify voters’ credentials at polling places,” which sounds to me as if they were planning to actively challenge individual voters’ right to vote. And the Liberty Institute, which is providing legal representation to the True the Vote group, says the Texas Democratic Party filed suit “to try to bind and gag citizens from speaking out during an election.” But poll watching is not “speaking out.” My understanding is that poll watchers are not supposed to talk to voters, but just watch, and take any concerns to whoever is in charge of the polling place.

So, True the Vote’s own lawyers seem to be undermining the argument that they were just watching.

In other obnoxious news — Virginia Thomas, wife of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas, actually called Anita Hill and asked for an apology. Um, it’s been 19 years has since Thomas’s confirmation hearings. And Virginia Thomas calls Anita Hill now? That’s quite bizarre. It’s also obnoxious.

Thomas has already become way more active in partisan political activities than would be ethical for the wife of a Supreme Court justice. One wonders what she is up to, or even if her head is screwed on straight. Calling Anita Hill and asking for an apology is not something a completely rational, emotionally stable person would do after 19 years.

25 thoughts on “Today in Obnoxious

  1. That’s unbelievable that Ginny would do something so obviously insane. Doesn’t she realize that the jury already rendered a verdict, and her little Clarence baby has been found guilty of being a lying, pud pulling fraud. Clarence should just do the right thing and fess up..There’s no sin in watching skin flicks or trying score a little back from a fine looking hen. Do the right thing…Clarence! Be a man and stand behind deeds and desires. Don’t hid behind an old sow hoping she’ll find your dignity for you after you’ve cast it away with your lies.

  2. Prior to Bush’s 2004 election, the UN made a request to the US to send UN observers to visit various precincts on election day as observers. The request was denied, nor was it made public why the request was denied. Interesting.

    As far as the Thomas affair is concerned, it’s an interesting interpretation of an olive branch – accusing someone of lying is extending an olive branch???

  3. One of the other KEY differences, besides abortion, between Liberals and Conservatives is peoples right to vote.
    Liberals want to extend that right to as many people as possible. Convservatives want to limit that right to as select a group as possible.
    That is a great divide over which there is no crossing.

    Oh, and Clarence, ‘Pudbuster’s Porn Shop’s’ in DC wants an apology from YOU. It seems years ago you didn’t rewind copies of “Big-butted Ho’s: Volume 13” and “Tempest’s in DDD-cup’s: Episode 69.” Also, in the XXXX-room, you left a can of Coke with a curly hair on it. Management, knowing it was you, had to call for the Center for Disease Control to remove it.
    Poor Anita Hill. First, sexually harassed and demeanded by the husband, now harassed for an undeserved apology by the wife. She must wonder what she did to earn this, when all of this BS from the Thomas’ will stop.

  4. Virginia Thomas, stalker. My favorite part of the story is that Anita Hill reported the call to campus police, who turned it over to the FBI.

    As for the election story… I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll need to bring a taser to the polls on election day. I would so love to zap some arrogant TP toady right there on the sidewalk, and hope he or she forgot to wear their Depends that day.

  5. Thanks, and I know why. Your filter works well, maha. Dummy me. I used the word that rhymns with “horn,” but starts with a “p.” And the letter between “w” and “y” four times.

  6. Felicity: “As far as the Thomas affair is concerned, it’s an interesting interpretation of an olive branch – accusing someone of lying is extending an olive branch???”

    These ARE Republicans… They have ways strange to the civilized.

  7. “She must wonder what she did to earn this …”

    She stood between a member of the Conervative Tribe and something they wanted.

    “… when all of this BS from the Thomas’ will stop.”

    It will never stop. She stood between a member of the Conservative Tribe and something they wanted, and will not apologize for such gall. This cannot be tolerated. The fact that Thomas got what he wanted is irrelevant.

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  9. Thomas has already become way more active in partisan political activities than would be ethical for the wife of a Supreme Court justice.

    Never forget: she was on the Bush transition team in 2000, even as her husband was voting on Bush v. Gore. That she is oblivious to the very notion of conflict of interest is no surprise, having become obvious 10 years ago.

  10. I have a question I would like to ask it’s alittle off topic, but it does concern voting. I asked a friend of mine the other day, if he thought the American people would vote the repug party back into power. He said yes he believed they would. Then I said well don’t they realize that when when the repugs bring us down again, and they shurly will, won’t we all be back in the same boat regardless of political affiliation? He said no. most of them think that by voting repug, they will be rewarded. I said you can’t be serious? So what do you think of his analysis?

  11. jugheadjack – Does this work? I didn’t make this up, somebody else did. There are people, middle-class and even poor, who really believe that if a ‘wealthy’ class/category ceases to exist, their belief/dream of one day belonging to that class can’t happen. From where I sit these people at best suffer from an incurable case of optimism, at worst they’re delusional.

  12. They suffer from gambler’s disease. Even though they somewhere deep down realize they are supporting something that is detrimental to their health (like a slot machine), they are still hopeful that someday they will pull the handle and the lights will go on and the bells will ring. Do not EVER come between a gambler and his or her fix.

  13. So, not delusional, merely human. The Republican leadership is very clever – they have studied psychology intensely, and have tapped into the inner dark side of humanity for their own gain.

    Sad, but we are merely human…

  14. I can hear the conversation back at the Thomas’ tonight. Ginny, “But you told me all of that stuff at the hearing was a lie. So I called her and told her you should apologize. You mean it was true. You were watching nudey flicks and you told me she was fat.” Clarence, “Oh, baby, you know I love you babe.”

  15. Me, I was thinking Ginny must have been hitting the wine box too hard, but then I found out that the call was in the morning.

    It’s a bad sign when you WAKE UP drunk, Mrs. Thomas. Perhaps, in the future, you should limit yourself to one box of wine at a time.

  16. Had the Senate paid MORE attention to Anita Hill, we would have been spared a truly horrible “Justice”. To be sure, they would have unearthed a different knuckle-dragger of the Roberts/Scalia/Alito ilk.

  17. As for the “voter intimidation”, I´d say this is the direct, predictable and inevitable result of the New Black Panther Party brouhaha. The Obongo and his merry kamarilla brought this upon themselves. It´s going to be fun watching Holder handle this – he can´t do a terrible lot, unless he wants David Duke as Prez in 2012 (g).

    • I´d say this is the direct, predictable and inevitable result of the New Black Panther Party brouhaha.

      You mean the incident in which one black man was arrested outside a polling place for carrying a police baton, and about which the local district attorney said he had not received any complaints from voters, and about which the Republican-appointed vice chairwoman of the Commission on Civil Rights said the case did not meet the legal standard to support a voter intimidation indictment, and that “After months of hearing, testimony and investigation, no one has produced any actual evidence that any voters were too scared to cast their ballots”? And the case involving the testimony of a former Justice Department lawyer who is a known Republican Party activist? And which the Right has attempted to flog into a scandal anyway, just because they hate to pass up such a good opportunity to lie and stir up racial animosity? That voter intimidation case?

      I’d ask if you were kidding, but you are obviously brainwashed and don’t know any better.


      Racist, much? Of course you are. There’s a lad and go drool on someone else’s site. Thanks much.

  18. I was completely unaware that ‘kangaroos’ meant brains in Austrailian.
    Here I was thinking they were marsupials who lept about.

  19. I liked that when Anita Hill called the cops, she said she thought the call was a prank. This is a real-life example of Poe’s Law; the impossibility of telling the difference between a parody of the right wing and the reality.

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