Friday, 07 November 2008


Ken Berwitz

On Tuesday, Norm Coleman barely beat out al franken to retain his senate seat from Minnesota.

That, however, does not mean he is going to be the senator.  His win is in the process of being expunged from the record....or, at the very least, Democrats are giving it their best shot.

John McCormack of the Weekly Standard gives us the details - details you won't find in almost any mainstream media.  The bold print is mine:

Why Is Norm Coleman's Lead Slipping?

Markos Moulitsas notes that Norm Coleman's lead over Al Franken has been diminishing:

A reader has been tracking vote results updates from the Minnesota's SoS office:

9:15 AM
Coleman: 1,211,520
Franken: 1,211,077

10:15 AM
Coleman: 1,211,525
Franken: 1,211,088

1:20 PM
Coleman: 1,211,527
Franken: 1,211,190

That means the gap has gone down from 443, to 437, to 337 as provisional and other straggler ballots are counted. It was 477 votes last night.

Coleman's lead is now down to 236 votes, but the gap is not tightening because "provisional and other straggler ballots" remain uncounted. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, the state does not have provisional ballots and all absentee ballots had to arrive on or before Election Day to be counted.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie told me in a phone interview this afternoon that the vote totals are fluctuating because county election officials are correcting errors in the unofficial vote totals. "The most common issue is the transposition of numbers," Ritchie said. "Depending on the county and the circumstance, there are occasionally people late at night on election night and 84 becomes a 48, and they might skip a digit."

Ritchie told me that in one county, "there was a 1 left off of a number so there was a hundred vote error"--the correction of which cut into Norm Coleman's unofficial lead. When I asked which county had seen this 100 vote shift toward Franken, Ritchie told me it would be too difficult to look at the screenshots of the website--static pictures of the site captured throughout the day--and determine which county it was.

According to Ritchie, "when the recount begins there will be representatives [of the Franken and Coleman campaigns] there" to monitor the process, but "before the recount begins it is the job of the local county and city election officials to accurately determine the results." Ritchie, a member of Minnesota's Democratic-Farm-Labor party, said that most of those officials are elected and all are officially "nonpartisan."

The Coleman campaign did not return calls this evening inquiring if they were concerned that these vote totals--which have been shifting in Franken's favor--are currently being reevaluated without the oversight of campaign officials. Ritchie said he was confident that votes were shifting because of honest errors. "There isn't much tolerance here for partisan manipulation of elections on any basis whatsoever," he said.

There will be certification hearings on Monday, at which point there will be hard numbers going into the manual statewide recount. The law governing how a voter's intent will be determined during the recount may be found here. A recent statewide recount for a judicial race in Minnesota resulted in only a 7 vote difference from the initial results. In that race, about 100,000 ballots were cast, while nearly 3 million Minnesotans voted in Tuesday's election.

This has all the odor of the phony "adjustment" of votes in Washington State four years ago, which caused Republican Dino Rossi to lose to Democrat Christine Gregoire after he won the election AND the recount.  In that fraud, hundreds of votes from (vastly Democratic) King Country magically materialized after the fact, were added in, gave her a win by something like 143 votes, and then they stopped counting. 

Why count any more, they got the result  they wanted, didn't they?

This seems to be happening to Norm Coleman now, even as I write this.  He will either lose to al franken, or come within a hair's breadth of doing so.

This is the voter fraud - the REAL voter fraud - mainstream media can't seem to find a reason to be outraged about. 

j Is ACORN doing the recount? (11/07/08)


Ken Berwitz

I respect Don Feder greatly.  Yes, he is to the right of where I am and yes, his attitudes on same-sex marriage differ from my own.  But for the most part I find him right on target.

He has written a very thought-provoking essay on why John McCain lost the presidency.  I think it is so well worth reading that, though it is a bit longer than what I usually post here, I am putting every word below:

GrassTopsUSA Exclusive Commentary
By Don Feder

          If someone had told me last year that, come the fall of 2008, I would be praying for John McCain to become the next president of the United States, I would have had three words for him seek psychiatric help. (McCain is my kind of Republican the way rap is my kind of music.)

          But, in the last four months of the campaign, thats exactly what I was doing praying for a McCain victory not because McCain is so good (any resemblance between the Arizona Senator and a conservative is purely coincidental), but because I would have done almost anything to spare my country from the nightmare that is Barack Hussein Obama.

          Now that the worst has happened, the blame game begins.

          Some will fault the leftist media, which lost any sense of balance and objectivity and practically panted over the Kenyan-American.

          Others will point to the huge disparity in fundraising. Obama outspent McCain by nearly three to one. Still, if it was only about money, John Forbes Kerry whos married to Ft. Knox would have won the 2004 campaign. As a friend put it, McCain failed to raise the money to project the message he didnt have.

          There are those who will attribute McCains defeat to the unpopularity of outgoing President George W. Bush, or the financial meltdown for which Republicans unfairly took the fall, or the fact that only once in the post-war era has a two-term president been succeeded by a member of his party.

          It also didnt help that McCain resembled Methuselahs grandfather, as presented by Madame Tussaud's. We live in an age of image where how you look matters more than what you believe or what youve done.

          But, in the final analysis, Republicans lost because they nominated their weakest candidate. And McCain lost because hes McCain.

          As a member of Club Capitol Hill, McCain was best known for cooperating with Democrats, reaching across the proverbial aisle to embrace big government halfway. Perhaps hed spent so much time forging coalitions with the left that hed forgotten how to fight it
if he ever knew.

          For the past two decades, McCain basked in the adoration of the mainstream media. He was their pet Republican. They honored him with the accolade maverick their term of endearment for a Republican who specializes in betraying his own party (as McCain did with Campaign Finance Reform). Then, when the bigger, better deal came along, The New York Times et al. decided that the former object of their affection was a Republican after all, and hateful to boot.

          Of course the Fourth Estate did everything it could to elect Barack Hussein Obama. (To a large extent, he is their creation.) What else is new?

          If the media chose our presidents if they were omnipotent, as many conservatives believe why did the GOP win five of the last eight presidential elections? Was the media enamored of Ronald Reagan infatuated with George W. Bush?

          Unquestionably, media bias was worse this year than in any election in memory. But that handicap could have been overcome, had McCain run a real race.

          Like Bush Sr. in 1992, McCain was the victim of hubris.

          Initially, he thought he could win on experience alone. Im John McCain. I was a war hero. Ive been in the Senate for 22 years. Im a reformer. I know how to work with the other party. How can voters possibly choose a four-year veteran of the Senate, with questionable associations, over me? McCain mused. But they did.

          McCain did a poor impression of a conservative.

          The ostensible opponent of regulation and champion of the market economy was neither. In September, McCain rushed back to Washington to vote for the $700-billion bailout package for financial institutions.

          In October, he offered socialism lite to rescue improvident borrowers and feckless lenders, proposing that $300 billion of the $700 billion bailout be used to buy the loans of people who took out mortgages they couldnt pay, which would then be written down to affordable levels. The full impact of any losses would be borne by the Treasury (read, the taxpayers).

          Soon to follow, bailouts of people who take out loans for cars they cant afford. And how about the grads who dont want to be burdened with student loans? Why stop at mortgages? Why should any borrower be responsible for his debts?

          Other than taxes, which McCain promised to lower for everyone, the principal difference between his economic program and Obamas was the wrapping.

          There were issues McCain couldnt use and issues McCain wouldnt use.

          Immigration Americans overwhelming favor a crackdown on illegal immigrants the carriers of poverty, crime and social fragmentation.

          The Democrats are the party of porous borders. Barack Obama did everything to signal his support for alien lawbreakers except giving them backrubs and enchiladas as they cross the Rio Grande.

          Republicans could have appealed to middle-class rage over the failure to control our borders if anyone but Senor Amnesty was the nominee. Along with his buddy, Ted Kennedy, in 2007, McCain was the co-sponsor of a bill to regularize the status of roughly 12 million undocumented workers. Talk about throwing away a winning issue. BTW, two-thirds of Hispanics voted for Obama.

          Marriage Here, McCains record was mixed. He voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment each time it came before the Senate, but said he supported state marriage initiatives.

          But it was one of many social issues that McCain resolutely refused to discuss on the campaign trail notwithstanding that his opponent promised to repeal the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which says states dont have to recognize same-sex unions contracted elsewhere.

          On Tuesday, state defense of marriage amendments passed in California by 52% to 48%, in Arizona by 57% to 44%, and in Florida one of McCains big electoral losses by a landslide vote of 62% to 38%.

          Including the three latest, marriage protection amendments have been on the ballot in 31 states, and passed every time.

          Alan Sears of Alliance Defense Fund notes that in California, there were 1.5 million more votes for marriage than McCain. Floridas amendment got 779,000 more votes than the Republican ticket. And in McCains home state, the vote for marriage exceeded his total by 25,000. In Florida, the vote for marriage surpassed McCain's total by almost 780,000. If McCain had picked up 98,000 of those votes, by stressing his marriage stand, he would have carried the state.

          Think highlighting Obamas stealth campaign for gay marriage might have helped McCain? McCain didnt.

          Rev. Jeremiah A Wright The October 27 issue of Newsweek explained McCains refusal to discuss Obamas racist, Marxist pastor: Many senior advisors, as well as McCains running mate, Sarah Palin, believe the campaign should remind voters of Obamas ties to Wright, whose inflammatory sermons emerged as a problem for the Democratic nominee during the primary. If we were to go with an ad during the final weeks of this campaign showing excerpts of (Wrights) sermons, we would probably win, says one senior McCain aide who declined to be named discussing internal debates on tactics. But we wont.

          Imagine the following ad:

          Announcer: Listen to the man who was Barack Obamas pastor for 19 years -- the man whose advice Obama said he valued.

          Cut to clips of Wright: God d*** America. We (the U.S. of K.K.K.) started the AIDS virus. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. White folks greed runs a world in need. The United States cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. America is still the No. 1 killer in the world.

          Announcer: For 19 years, Obama sat in Wrights church and listened to this. He and his wife gave the church $26,000 in one year. How can we trust the judgment of a man who associated with an anti-American demagogue for almost two decades? Can we expect courage from a man who was afraid to confront the ravings of his own pastor, until he was forced to do so as a candidate?

          Obamas association with Wright spoke volumes about the type of president he would make. It could have raised serious doubts in the minds of many about the Democrats competence to lead the nation.

          But McCain wouldnt touch the issue, for fear of being called racially insensitive. Ultimately, the Republican standard-bearer chose sensitivity over the presidency.

          Said cop-out notwithstanding, the media still painted McCain as the Michelangelo of the smear. In a November 5 editorial, The New York Times claimed the Arizonan lost because he forsook his principles for a campaign built on anger and fear. (In an October 7 editorial, The Slimes accused McCain-Palin of entering "the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia.")

          No, what McCain did was to betray his supporters by running a campaign without the brains, heart and guts to win.

          Picking Sarah Palin as his running mate was McCains first and last smart move. Other than that, McCains campaign was much like the rest of his political career equivocal, hesitant, passionless and lacking any real focus or genuine commitment to principles.

          More than a partisan media, Bushs ratings, the Fannie-Mae fiasco, and Democratic fundraising, John McCain is responsible for the defeat of John McCain.

          The next four years will test the mettle of both Republicans and conservatives, who too often follow the GOP over a cliff.

          Political exile may be the best thing thats happened to the movement and the party in a long time.

          Perhaps well learn to fight again. Maybe well rediscover the value of choosing principle over expediency. Maybe well discover that we cant compromise with an enemy which loathes us and despises everything this country used to stand for.

          If so, John McCain may have performed his most important service to his country since the Vietnam War.

This should be required reading for every Republican who thinks the path to victory is being almost like a Democrat.

Thanks, Don.  I don't always agree with you, but you always make me think.

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