A series of blasts make this year the deadliest since 2006-2007, with scores killed around Baghdad ahead of Shi'ite holy day. Gavino Garay reports.
Life Is Crazy: 4 aides to former long-shot GOP Presidential candidate and U.S. House Rep. Thaddeus McCotter --- Representative of the state's 11th and one of its most Republican districts --- were indicted yesterday on dozens of criminal felony and misdemeanor election fraud charges for having turned in over 1,500 forged and falsified signatures in a "blatant" and "disgraceful" attempt, as the state's Republican AG described it, to qualify the Congressman for this year's ballot?... The charges were filed yesterday by MI Attorney General Bill Schuette against McCotter staffers Don Yowchuang, Paul Seewald, Mary Melissa Turnbull and Lorianne O'Brady. According to the Detroit Free Press, "Most of the charges were filed against McCotter's Deputy District Director Don Yowchuang and District Director Paul Seewald. Yowchuang faces 17 charges — 11 felonies and six misdemeanors — and Seewald 10 — one felony and nine misdemeanors." In all, the four were indicted on 12 felony and 21 misdemeanor election fraud-related charges. The investigators' report [PDF], details each of the hundreds of fraudulent signatures and petitions submitted by the four aides and, as they described, "revealed that the petition collection efforts were carried out by a dysfunctional congressional staff that had completely lost its moral compass." The investigators found that the Republican "Staffers function in a culture completely indifferent to the requirements of law, and with the arrogant attitude that the rules simply did not apply to them." Though "fraudulent nominating petitions were submitted for the 2012 elections cycle," the report concluded, "perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that evidence indicates similar fraudulent petitions schemes were used in prior elections." After the fraudulent signatures were discovered, there were not enough left for McCotter to qualify for this years ballot. Amazingly, just 1,000 valid signatures were needed. After the fraudulent ones were tossed, just 244 were left. McCotter himself was not indicted, though, according to The Detroit News, the state AG described him as "asleep at the switch," failing to oversee his own staff, and called his conduct "disgraceful". When the Republican election fraud was first revealed, McCotter suggested he would run as a write-in candidate. Instead, he resigned from the U.S. House suddenly last month and announced he would not be seeking re-election. At the same time, as The BRAD BLOG detailed yesterday, Michigan's extraordinary partisan Republican Sec. of State Ruth Johnson, has been continuing her witch hunt against "non-citizen" voter fraud criminals, even if the effort keeps legitimate citizen voters from voting and/or having their ballots counted.