Following Up and Following Down: Hallowe’en 2016 Edition


Follow Up

It’s been a few months since WC gave his irregular, half-hearted nod to following up on stories, noting stories WC skipped and engaging the loosest possible kind of responsible journalism. Besides, it’s Hallowe’en and scary stories are in vogue. Here are some random items.

There’s been a rare, genuine case of voter fraud reported: Terri Lynn Rote, 55, was booked into the Polk County, Iowa Jail about 3:40 p.m. Thursday on a first-degree election misconduct charge, which is a Class D felony. Rote is a registered Republican and allegedly cast an early voting ballot at the Polk County Election Office and another ballot at a county satellite voting location in Des Moines, according to a Des Moines police report.According to the Huffington Post, Rote told Iowa public radio, “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice. It was a spur of the moment… The polls are rigged.” Rote said she feared her first vote for Donald Trump would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton. So the first case of voter fraud in Iowa in some 25 years was a Trump supporter. Anything WC could add to this news item would be cumulative.

Ms. Rote’s criminal enterprise was small potatoes in comparison to Florida Governor Rick Scott, who attempted to destroy 23,000 mail-in ballots. County canvassing boards decided that signatures on the mail-in ballots didn’t match signatures on file. The voters weren’t and aren’t given notice. A lawsuit was filed, and a hearing was pending, and the Governor and his Secretary of State were patently stalling. The judge advanced the sharing to Monday, saying:

If one were skeptical, it would appear that the Florida Secretary of State requested as much time as he felt he could possibly justify so that he could use every second available to run out the clock. And by wasting a week on his scintillating response, he quite nearly succeeded.

It seems unlikely those voters aren’t going to get an opportunity to explain the differences in their signatures. And their votes are likely to be counted.

WC posted about apparent growths at the base of the bills of Peruvian Pelicans. So far, WC hasn’t been able to get any kind of definitive identification, but WC’s buddy, Dr. Derek Sykes, is inclined to think they may be a marine organism. Stay tuned.

FBI Director James Comey, in violation of policies that date back to J. Edgar Hoover, sent a letter to Congress implying Secretary Cinton may have violated security classifications applying to her emails. Mind you, even the FBI doesn’t know if there are actually classified documents on Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer, which he shared with his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, who is a top adviser to Secretary Clinton. The Justice Department told Comey not to do it; former Republican Justice officials told Comey not to do it. But Director Comey injected himself and what at this point is absolutely no evidence into the final days of a political campaign. Recall Director Comey told Congress this summer that the Clinton investigation was complete. Apparently, Comey worried that if word of the new emails leaked out — and it was sure to leak out, Comey concluded — he risked being accused of misleading Congress and the public ahead of the election. So to cover his own ass, to protect himself, FBI Director Comey violated long-standing policies and issued his misleading letter to Congress. Please note at this point the FBI doesn’t even have a search warrant to see the laptop, let alone looked at the emails, let alone found anything incriminating.

After the nastiest presidential campaign in modern history, with the two least popular major party candidates in history, a battered electorate seems to be heading to the polls to vote early. Here in Idaho, record numbers are voting early. It seems to be a national thing. There’s a message for political candidates there, if the candidates are smart enough to understand it. WC voted early. You should, too. It allows you, in good conscience, to make obscene gestures at the political advertisements that interrupt World Series baseball games.

Gah. That’s enough scary stuff. Besides, WC needs to find some scotch.