Monday, 10 November 2008
THE STEALING OF NORM COLEMAN'S SENATE SEAT (cont.)
Here is the latest news concerning the stealing of Norm Coleman's senate
seat, which is in progress and going on right in front of our
Please pay special attention to the two paragraphs I've put in bold
For Ritchie, keeping recount nonpartisan is main
By PAT DOYLE, Star Tribune
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie pledges to oversee
a fair, accurate and open recount of the nearly 2.9 million ballots in the
"Minnesotans have an expectation of a nonpartisan
election recount," Ritchie said late last week.
Yet a fight with partisan overtones is shaping up
over the recount of the race between U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, and
Democrat Al Franken.
On Friday, the Coleman campaign questioned the
integrity of the vote counting by citing "improbable shifts" in vote tallies
that it said benefited Franken.
Ritchie responded by scolding the Coleman campaign
for trying "to create a cloud" over the recount and "denigrating the election
Republicans indicate they will be watching Ritchie
"A recount of this magnitude is absolutely huge
and it's going to define his time in office," said Rep. Laura Brod, R-New
Prague, a critic of Ritchie. "The eyes are going to be very heavy on that office
and on Secretary Ritchie."
Ritchie acknowledged that his office will face
pressure over the next few weeks, but pledged to resist it.
"People who are the most active have a kind of
bias to want to get [results] fast," he said of the recount. "Election
administrators have a bias for wanting it correct, transparent and trusted. We
know there will be pressure for fast, faster, get it done. We will not be swayed
by those demands."
A recount requires ballot verification by precinct
in each county and allows the public and representatives of the candidates to
watch. Disputes over contested ballots go to the state canvassing board, made up
of two state Supreme Court justices, two district court judges and chaired by
the secretary of state.
Secretaries of state are elected partisan
officials. Yet the composition of the canvassing board and Minnesota law limits
the influence of secretaries of state over a recount, said Christian Sande, an
attorney who lost the DFL endorsement to Ritchie in 2006.
But Sande said the political affiliation of a
secretary of state gives a candidate from a different party an opening to raise
doubts about a recount, "whether unfounded or not."
Since Tuesday's election, the vote margin
between Coleman and Franken has narrowed, widened and narrowed again. On Friday
Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan issued a statement asserting there were
"improbable shifts that are overwhelmingly accruing to the benefit of Al
Franken," and cited some changes on the heavily Democratic Iron
Ritchie said the shifting tallies were
well within the normal range in the days immediately following an election, when
county officials double check and verify election night tabulations reported to
the secretary of state's office. He accused the Coleman campaign of carrying out
"a well-known political strategy," and defended the work of local
"If people want to accuse county elections
officials of partisan activity, they better be ready to back it up," he
In response, Sheehan said the Coleman campaign has
a right to question the recount. "I don't think it's raising a cloud over the
process," he said.
Ritchie got high marks for a recount of the
primary election this September for state Supreme Court.
"A shout out to the counties and the office of
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie for getting this recount done so speedily," said
the Minnesota Lawyer Blog. "The retabulation by hand of thousands of ballots in
a statewide election is no easy feat, and in this case was carried out with
Political perceptions have been at the heart of
past disputes over how secretaries of state administer other aspects of
Ritchie, a longtime advocate for liberal causes,
won election in 2006 after accusing the incumbent, Republican and social
conservative Mary Kiffmeyer, of acting on her biases during her eight years in
"She's making decisions designed to help
candidates from her party have a partisan advantage," Ritchie said in an
interview before that election. He said Kiffmeyer discouraged turnout of
Democratic-leaning voters. She denied it.
When Ritchie took over, Republicans accused him of
mixing official and campaign business after he gave his campaign contact
information for participants in a civic engagement program sponsored by his
Legislative Auditor James Nobles investigated and
cleared Ritchie of any wrongdoing, but criticized him for initially failing to
be forthcoming with the inquiry.
Ritchie became a liberal advocate in the 1980s
when he marched with European and Canadian farm groups in Montreal protesting
U.S. trade policies on agriculture.
Before taking office, he pushed to register
low-income people and minorities in areas likely to lean Democratic. His
National Voice effort to register voters for the 2004 election set the stage for
his campaign against Kiffmeyer.
The office under Ritchie has made it easier for
military personnel overseas to vote and improved its election results
Ok, let's get a few things straight:
-The headline of this article is about as neutral as a
propaganda leaflet. It tells you that Ritchie, whose partisanship
is cited almost immediately within the article, is 100% on the up and up in
this recount. How did that go from speculation to fact? Because
THE PARTISAN said so? Ridiculous and shameful;
-Take another look at those two bold-print paragraphs. How does Doyle
have the gall to imply that the votes are going this way and that way, as if
there were no specific lean to the changes?
If that were so than Coleman would still be about as far ahead of franken
as he was in the initial count. But in reality Coleman's lead has
dwindled in these recounts to a small fraction of what it was. Maybe
that's why Doyle left out the NUMBERS. Because if you saw them you would
know that this "narrow, widen, narrow" premise is a crock of Bull
-And spare me Ritchie's response to the complaints lodged by Coleman and
When 100 votes in a heavily Democratic area suddenly materialize out of
thin air, and every one of them (not even 95% - 5% but every last one)
are for Franken, you would have to be a blithering idiot not to question their
A Secretary of State who is seriously invested in providing an honest recount would do more
than offer an angry, partisan defense. He would, at the very least,
promise a full, immediate investigation to be certain about these highly
improbable new results.
By reflexively accusing Coleman of playing politics instead,
Ritchie makes his true intentions very obvious to me.
Right in front of your eyes, folks. Right on the square.
Unless Ritchie is pressured into a fair count, Norm Coleman
might as well be packing his things for the trip back to Minnesota right
And can Mr. Coleman count on such
pressure from a newspaper which glorifies the partisan Secretary of State with
the headline "For Ritchie, keeping recount nonpartisan is main goal"?
Yeah, sure, right.
What a complete, utter
Well, he won. Now what is he going to do?
Do you think you know the answer to this question? If so, explain this,
which comes to us from www.sweetness-light.com:
November 10th, 2008
A Washington Times exclusive of something we posted
EXCLUSIVE: Agenda disappears from Obama Web
Over the weekend President-elect Barack Obama
scrubbed Change.gov, his transition Web site, deleting most of what had been a
massive agenda copied directly from his campaign Web site.
Gone are the promises on how an Obama
administration would handle 25 different agenda items - everything from Iraq
and immigration to taxes and urban policy - all items laid out on his campaign
Web site, www.BarackObama.com.
Instead, the official agenda on Change.gov has
been boiled down to one vague paragraph proclaiming a plan to revive the
economy, to fix our health care, education, and social security systems, to
define a clear path to energy independence, to end the war in Iraq responsibly
and finish our mission in Afghanistan, and to work with our allies to prevent
Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, among many other domestic and foreign
We are currently retooling the Web site, said
Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro.
The site went active on Wednesday and was
available to the public Thursday. The agenda items, which were active for at
least part of the weekend, appear to have been deleted by late Saturday.
The site still contains pages about how to apply
for jobs in the Obama administration, biographies of top transition team
members and a call for Americans to serve in volunteer jobs and for students
to do 50 hours of community service. The site also has press releases and a
The 25 agenda items are still available on Mr.
Obamas campaign site.
Indeed, not only did we first report the
airbrushing, we may very well have caused it.
Oh well, what does this say about Mr. Obamas
promises about a more open and honest government?
I guess we're starting to get a good idea of what Barack Obama meant by
"change". He's changed back to heavy-handed hatchetmen like Rahm Emanuel,
to Israel-haters like Robert Malley and he's expunged his agenda from the
Apparently his real motto is not "change we can believe in",
it's "change he can relieve on"
STEVE LIPSKI (? - NJ)
We see it again and again and again and again and again. If there
is an embarrassing story about a Democrat, no party affiliation
Here is the latest example:
Report: Jersey City councilman
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - A Jersey City councilman has
reportedly been arrested for urinating on a crowd of concertgoers from the
balcony of a Washington D.C. nightclub.
The New York Daily News reports in Sunday's
editions that two-term Jersey City councilman Steve Lipski has been charged
with simple assault.
The newspaper says 44-year-old Lipski was
removed from a place called the Nightclub 9:30 on Friday night.
That's after club staffers saw him relieve
himself onto the crowd from a second floor balcony during a concert by a
Grateful Dead tribute ban.
Messages left at Lipski's council office, and a
Jersey City listing under his name were not immediately
Is he an independent? He must be, since there is no party affiliation
Oh, he's a DEMOCRAT? Never mind. That explains everything.
I apologize for the frequency with which I use this line but, as Mr. Lipski
is the latest to find out, life is sure easier when the referee is on
Look at the bright side, Steve; not only is your party unidentified,
but the cranberry juice worked.
THE WASHINGTON POST'S BIAS DETOX
The election is over. Barack Obama has won the presidency, with massive
help from mainstream media - provided in no small part by the Washington
But now that they got what they wanted, the former journalists who run the
Post (how can you call them journalists anymore) are feeling guilty. So in
addition to the mea-culpa from their ombudsperson, Deborah Howell, which I
blogged about this weekend, they have allowed Michael Gerson to write a positive
commentary about the man Mr. Obama will take over from.
Here is Gerson's piece. No bold print from me this time, because every
word is worth reading:
The Decency of George W.
By Michael Gerson
Friday, November 7, 2008;
Election Day 2008 must have been filled with
rueful paradoxes for the sitting president. Iraq -- the issue that dominated
George W. Bush's presidency for 5 1/2 bitter, controversial years -- is
on the verge of a miraculous peace. And yet this accomplishment did little to
revive Bush's political standing -- or to prevent his party from relegating him
to a silent role.
The achievement is historic. In 2006, Iraq had
descended into a sectarian killing spree that seemed likely to stop only when
the supply of victims was exhausted. Showing Truman-like stubbornness, Bush
pushed to escalate a war that most Americans -- and some at the Pentagon -- had already mentally abandoned.
The result? A Sunni tribal revolt against their
al-Qaeda oppressors, an effective campaign against Shiite militias in Baghdad and
Basra, and the flight of jihadists from Iraq to less deadly battlefields. In a
more stable atmosphere, Iraq's politicians have made dramatic political
progress. Iraqi military and police forces have grown in size and effectiveness
and now fully control 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces. And in the month before
Election Day, American combat deaths matched the lowest monthly total of the
For years, critics of the Iraq war asked the
mocking question: "What would victory look like?" If progress continues, it
might look something like what we've seen.
But Air Force One -- normally seen swooping into battleground states for rallies during
presidential elections -- was mainly parked during this campaign. President Bush
appeared with John McCain in public a total of three times -- and appeared in McCain's rhetoric as
a foil far more often than that.
This seems to be Bush's current fate: Even success
brings no praise. And the reasons probably concern Iraq. The absence of
stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in the aftermath of the war was a
massive blow. The early conduct of the Iraq occupation was terribly ineffective.
Hopes that the war had turned a corner -- repeatedly raised by Iraqis voting
with purple fingers and approving a constitution -- were dashed too many times,
until many Americans became unwilling to believe anymore.
Initial failures in Iraq acted like a solar
eclipse, blocking the light on every other achievement. But those achievements,
with the eclipse finally passing, are considerable by the measure of any
presidency. Because of the passage of Medicare Part D, nearly 10 million low-income seniors are receiving
prescription drugs at little or no cost. No Child Left Behind education reform
has helped raise the average reading scores of fourth-graders to their highest
level in 15 years and narrowed the achievement gap between white and African
American children. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has helped
provide treatment for more than 1.7 million people and compassionate care for at
least 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children. And the decision to pursue
the surge in Iraq will be studied as a model of presidential
These achievements, it is true, have limited
constituencies to praise them. Many conservatives view Medicare, education reform and foreign assistance as heresies. Many liberals
refuse to concede Bush's humanity, much less his achievements.
But that humanity is precisely what I will
remember. I have seen President Bush show more loyalty than he has been given,
more generosity than he has received. I have seen his buoyancy under the weight
of malice and his forgiveness of faithless friends. Again and again, I have seen
the natural tug of his pride swiftly overcome by a deeper decency -- a decency
that is privately engaging and publicly consequential.
Before the Group of Eight summit in 2005, the White House senior staff overwhelmingly opposed a new initiative to fight malaria in
Africa for reasons of cost and ideology -- a measure designed to save hundreds
of thousands of lives, mainly of children under 5. In the crucial policy
meeting, one person supported it: the president of the United States, shutting
off debate with a moral certitude that others have criticized. I saw how this
moral framework led him to an immediate identification with the dying African
child, the Chinese dissident, the Sudanese former slave, the Burmese women's
advocate. It is one reason I will never be cynical about government -- or about
For some, this image of Bush is so detached from
their own conception that it must be rejected. That is, perhaps, understandable.
But it means little to me. Because I have seen the decency of George W.
I think of this as the print version of crocodile tears from the Washington Post.
But, at the same time, I very much appreciate what Michael Gerson has
Saying anything good about George Bush is a pretty thankless task these
days. I have a feeling, though, that it will somehow become easier as
the years go on.
THE RETURN OF ROBERT MALLEY (AS IF HE EVER LEFT)
This article, from Israel Today, is for my friends who think that
Barack Obama is going to be a great friend of Israel.
Report: Obama lied about firing anti-Israel
Robert Malley, a top Middle East advisor that US
President-elect Barack Obama promised months ago would play no role in his
administration due to ties to Hamas, has reportedly been sent out on the next
administration's first diplomatic mission.
According to a report in Middle East Newsline,
Obama dispatched Malley to Egypt and Syria late last week with a message that
the he intends to mend and bolster relations with both nations, and to give
greater weight to their concerns regarding regional conflicts than did President
George W. Bush.
During the Democratic Party primaries, Obama was
lashed by critics for having Malley on his team after the latter admitted to
being in regular contact with Hamas as part of his work with the International
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt quickly responded at
the time that Malley had provided "informal advice to the campaign in the past,"
but insisted that he had "no formal role in the campaign and he will not play
any role in the future."
This is the same Barack Obama who sat happily in the
Jew-hating, Israel-hating church of jeremiah wright for 18 years without a peep
of protest. Not even when his church gave last year's lifetime achievement
award to louis farrakhan.
But if the exit polls are correct, 78% of all Jews
in the United States voted for him anyway. And, presumably, a vast majority of them support the
state of Israel.
What the hell did they THINK he was going to do as President? Or is the
week after the election when they START to think?
THE TROOP SURGE AND THE END OF THE MAHDI ARMY?
When even the LA Times is trumpeting the end of moqtada al-sadr's
"mahdi army", you know it's really happening in a big way.
Want the details? Well, you can read the entire article by
clicking here, or the excerpt I've put out below:
In Iraq, Muqtada Sadr's followers struggle for
Once the mightiest of Shiite militias, the Mahdi Army finds itself on the
run as rivals benefit from government ties and U.S. backing. Efforts to
reorganize into a socio-religious group may not help.
Reporting from Baghdad -- The
Mahdi Army fighter gets nervous every time he passes an Iraqi army checkpoint in
Sadr City. He has even shaved his beard, a sign of his piety and his fealty to
the Shiite Muslim militia, so the soldiers won't recognize him.
hunted. I can't stay home. The neighbors are informing on us," 28-year-old
Bassem said at a recent rally for his leader, cleric Muqtada Sadr. Using a
derogatory term for the Iraqi army, he added, "Four times, the dirty division
has raided my house."
At the height of Iraq's civil
war, the Mahdi Army was arguably the mightiest group in the country, revered as
a protector of Iraq's Shiite majority and feared for its death squads and
criminal activities. The militia functioned as a state within a state, its
members collecting protection fees from businesses, its fighters intimidating
the Iraqi security forces that were supposed to police them.
In a telling
measure of the militia's power, the U.S. military credits Sadr's decision more
than a year ago to call a cease-fire as one of the chief reasons for the sharp
drop in violence in Iraq.
But Sadr's fortunes have also plummeted, and
his followers now contemplate a world where they are on the run and their Shiite
rivals have the upper hand.
The current order in Sadr City
is a bitter pill for the militia, a testament to its weakened state. Iraqi
soldiers march through the street outside Sadr's headquarters in the crowded
Baghdad district. Nearby, an army base fills the dirt lot where people once
prayed on Friday afternoons. Deprived of the traditional spot, worshipers lay
their prayer mats on the street.
The movement is trying to survive hard
times by restructuring, absorbing fighters into a new social organization, and
by waging a political campaign against an unpopular U.S.-Iraqi security
agreement. The maneuvers could resurrect Sadr's militia as a leaner, more
disciplined force that could vie for power in Iraq if America draws down and no
longer provides military support to Sadr's rivals. Or they could mark the
beginning of the end for the populist movement.
Although fighters such as
Bassem say they must honor Sadr's freeze, others in Sadr City whisper about
Mahdi Army loyalists who have started to set off explosives or shoot Iraqi
soldiers at close range. The U.S. military says it has no record of such
assassinations; still, the rumors suggest that some Mahdi Army factions could
continue to carry out attacks even if the broader movement is marginalized,
raising the specter of a return of the violent days of the past.
troubles are rooted in the fighting between his militia and Iraqi security
forces that erupted in March after Prime Minister Nouri Maliki ordered the army
to clear the militia's strongholds in the southern city of Basra. The clashes
there ended only when Sadr commanded his militia to stand down, and then did the
same in Sadr City six weeks later.
The cleric's retreat was hailed as a
victory for Maliki. Former Sadr supporters expressed relief at the end of the
fighting and resentment toward the Mahdi Army for endangering them.
his armed wing formally frozen, Sadr looked to repair his movement's image. He
announced in June that his fighters should form a new social and religious
education organization, named Mumahidoon, which aims to teach Iraqis about
Islam. Some fighters would also be tapped to join an elite armed wing that Sadr
has authorized to fight the Americans, outside the cities away from civilian
Sadr's top aides echoed his message that the old Mahdi Army
was finished in the cities.
"The Americans may fear that the Mahdi Army
will come back with weapons. We tell them no. That chapter is finished. The
struggle is now in parliament and the political arena," said Sheik Hazem Araji,
a senior advisor to Sadr.
How did it happen? How is it that the mightiest militia in Iraq is now
in this state of near collapse?
The answer is that we did this. The USA. Our troop
surge, which decimated much of its infrastructure and enabled Iraqi troops
to train and take over for ours, has directly provided this wonderful
And who should get the credit for this? Heaven forfend, do we have to give
it to President Bush for implementing the surge and John McCain for insisting it
was necessary? Oh my God, what a horror show. THEY were the
But wait, what about Barack Obama? Didn't he have something to say
about the troop surge?
Well, yes. He did. In January of last year Mr. Obama said "I
am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the
sectarian violence. In fact, I think it will do the reverse"
Let's remember this when that same Barack Obama, as President, orders a troop
reduction in Iraq and takes personal credit for it.
Let's remember that, if he can reduce our troop
strength without handing Iraq to al qaeda or al-sadr on a silver platter, it will be because his
dead-wrong opinion about the troop surge was ignored.
We better remember it. Because you can bet the house that most media
Ideas never die. And sometimes it's too bad.
Here's a little reichstag blast from Germany's past for you, straight from
the Saxony region. It comes to us from the Agence France-Presse, via www.breitbart.com:
|Jewish group mulls charges over
neo-Nazi Obama slurs
11:48 AM US/Eastern|
|A prominent Jewish
group said Monday it was reviewing legal options against a German neo-Nazi
party for "racist" remarks calling Barack Obama's election a "declaration
of war" on non-white America.
The Berlin chapter of the American Jewish
Committee (AFC) condemned statements made by Juergen Gansel, a deputy in
the Saxony state legislature for the far-right National Democratic Party
of Germany, against Obama's election as the first African-American US
In a statement from his office entitled
"Africa conquers the White House," Gansel said multicultural America
sought the destruction of "pure" national cultures and that Obama aimed to
destroy the United States' "white identity."
"A non-white America is a declaration of war
on all people who believe an organically grown social order based on
language and culture, history and heritage to be the essence of humanity,"
"Barack Obama hides this declaration of war
behind his pushy sunshine smile."
Gansel said Obama's triumph was the product
of "the American alliance of Jews and Negroes" and warned the
president-elect enjoyed toomuch popularity in Germany.
"Many people in the 'diverse' republic
Germany have been swept up in Obama fever which resembles an African
tropical disease," he said.
Gansel said he hoped that Obama's voters
would be quickly disappointed by his performance and rise up against the
"It would be a gross irony of history if the
first black president drove his clientele of minorities to openly revolt
due to his grandiose domestic failure, and the much-touted American dream
became a nightmare," he said.
The director of the AJC's Berlin office,
Deidre Berger, said she was shocked by Gansel's "open expression of
racism, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism."
She said the AJC hoped German authorities
would look into Gansel's press release and that German politicians would
clearly distance themselves from his sentiments.
"We are investigating the legal situation
concerning the statement and will continue monitoring closely political
statements using extremist language," she told AFP.
"We urge state authorities to do their
utmost within legal bounds to prosecute such incitement."
The NPD, which professes an anti-immigrant,
anti-Semitic platform, holds seats in two eastern German states but has
never cleared the five-percent hurdle for representation in the national
parliament, the Bundestag.
joseph goebbels would be so proud.
But I wish the folks in Saxony, where juergen gansel reeks from, were a
little more discerning. They are the ones who - so far - have accepted
him in their state legislature.
Of course it is possible (improbable considering his party, but possible) that they
didn't know gansel has these views. But they certainly do now.
Will the people of Saxony demand that he be removed from his position?
Would they vote for him in the next election?
It doesn't get much uglier, does it?