Wednesday, 01 July 2009

DARWIN AWARD FINALISTS

Ken Berwitz

No need to explain why these two are Darwin Award finalists:

Police: Robbers hit NY gas station, ran out of gas

Wed Jul 1, 2009 12:18 PM EDT

 

Associated Press

KIRKWOOD State police in New York say two Pennsylvania men robbed a gas station and might have gotten away if they had also fueled up. Troopers said they caught 29-year-old Lonnie Meckwood, of Carbondale, and 51-year-old Phillip Weeks, of Tunkhannock, after their getaway car ran out of gas while the were trying to escape late Monday night.

They're accused of using a knife to rob a clerk at the Quickway Convenience Store in Kirkwood, near the New York-Pennsylvania border about 80 miles south of Syracuse. The clerk wasn't hurt.

Police found the pair about a mile away. Their car was on the side of the road.

They're being held in the Broome County Jail without bail. Troopers don't know if they have lawyers.

Forget whether they have lawyers.  Do they have cerebrums?


BARACK OBAMA ON IRAN & HONDURAS.....

Ken Berwitz

How is President Obama's "benign neglect" in Iran working out?  And how does it compare with his actions regarding Honduras?   Let's take a look and see.

From today's Jerusalem Post:

As the Iranian authorities warned the opposition on Tuesday that they would tolerate no further protests over the disputed June 12 presidential elections, a report emerged of the hangings of six supporters of defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

 

A supporter of pro-reform leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, flashes victory signs during a gathering near Ghoba Mosque in Teheran, Sunday.


Speaking after Iran's top legislative body upheld the election victory of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sources in Iran told this reporter in a telephone interview that the hangings took place in the holy city of Mashhad on Monday. There was no independent confirmation of the report.

Underlining the climate of fear among direct and even indirect supporters of Mousavi's campaign for the election to be annulled, the sources also reported that a prominent cleric gave a speech to opposition protesters in Teheran earlier this week in which he publicly acknowledged that the very act of speaking at the gathering would likely cost him his life.

And the Associated Press:

The crackdown on the opposition in Iran continued on Wednesday, with authorities banning a newspaper allied to presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi after he denounced Iran's government as "illegitimate" because of claims of voting fraud in last month's election, a reformist political group said.

 

The closure of the daily Etemad-e-Melli, or National Confidence, is another blow by officials seeking to block media and Web sites critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose disputed June 12 re-election was confirmed this week by Iran's powerful Guardian Council.

 

Karroubi, a former parliament, received only a fraction of the votes in the results announced by authorities and joined opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in demanding a new election.

 

Recently, however, Karroubi has stepped up his independent criticism of the election and could emerge as a leading dissident voice against Ahmadinejad.

 

On Tuesday, he issued a harshly worded statement that blasted Ahmadinejad's government and pledged to continue challenging its authority. Karroubi's political group, the National Confidence Party, said the newspaper was shut down in response.

 

I don't consider this government as legitimate," said the statement posted on Karroubi's Web site.  "I will continue the fight under any circumstances and using every means."

 

Ahmadinejad on Tuesday repeated the claims that post-election street riots were linked to a "soft revolution" aided by foreign powers.

 

"Enemies, despite overt and covert conspiracies to topple (the ruling system) through a soft overthrow, failed to reach their goals," state television quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Intelligence Ministry officials.

 

It's unclear how many people have been detained during the post-election riots and protests, but at least one group, the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights, claimed at least 2,000 arrests have been made.

 

Officials place the death toll at 17 protesters and eight security forces, but the figures could be not independently verified because of media restrictions.

Other than a couple of belated, perfunctory statements, Barack Obama has looked the other way on Iran.  This has greatly benefitted the country's freedomless, religious-fanatic islamists, and is almost certainly a major reason that the protests, initially by hundreds of thousands of people, are winding up as you've just read above. 

But when Honduran President manuel zelaya acted outside the law and was removed through the country's legal, constitutional means?  Barack Obama immediately came out with both barrels blazing ---  in favor of zelaya and against his legal, constitutional removal.

The next election can't come soon enough.


ONE PICTURE (OK, CARTOON), IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS

Ken Berwitz

From the great Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily:

.


KARL MALDEN R.I.P.

Ken Berwitz

Unbelievable.  Another important entertainer is gone.

Karl Malden, probably best known as Lt. Detective Mike Stone on "The Streets of San Francisco" and as the American Express spokesperson who spent 20 years warning us to "Don't leave home without it" died today of natural causes, at the age of 97.

Malden was a terrific stage and screen actor with a true "everyman" face.  In that regard, I think of him the way I think of Gene Hackman or Tom Hanks.

From Dennis McLellan's article in the Los Angeles Times:  

Karl Malden, one of Hollywood's strongest and most versatile supporting actors, who won an Oscar playing his Broadway-originated role as Mitch in "A Streetcar Named Desire," died today. He was 97.

Malden starred in the 1970s TV series "The Streets of San Francisco" and was the longtime American Express traveler's-check spokesman, warning travelers to not leave home without it. He died of natural causes at his home in Brentwood, said his daughter Mila Doerner.

With his unglamorous mug -- he broke his bulbous nose twice playing sports as a teenager -- the former Indiana steel-mill worker realized early on the course his acting career would take.

"I was so incredibly lucky," Malden once told The Times. "I knew I wasn't a leading man. Take a look at this face." But, he vowed as a young man, he wasn't going to let his looks hamper his ambition to succeed as an actor.

In a movie career that flourished in the 1950s and '60s, Malden played a variety of roles in more than 50 films, including the sympathetic priest in "On the Waterfront," the resentful husband in "Baby Doll," the warden in "Birdman of Alcatraz," the outlaw-turned-sheriff in "One-Eyed Jacks," the pioneer patriarch in "How the West Was Won," Madame Rose's suitor in "Gypsy," the card dealer in "The Cincinnati Kid" and Gen. Omar Bradley in "Patton."

It is also more than a little noteworthy that Mr. Malden leaves a wife, the former Mona Greenberg, with whom he celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary last December.  That is pretty remarkable even for a non-actor.  But in his business some marriages don't even last 70 days, let alone 70 years.

In all the years I have known of Karl Malden I never heard a bad word about him.  That, coupled with his superb acting ability, makes it terribly sad to say goodbye, even at the age of 97.

May he rest in peace.


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS' DISHONESTY ABOUT HONDURAS

Ken Berwitz

I usually post only excerpts from Associated Press articles, with links to the entire piece.  But it is necessary for me to post every word of this one, to show you how blatantly dishonest AP coverage of Honduras is -- paying special attention to the parts I've put in bold print:

Honduran coup leader to AP: Zelaya won't return

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras Honduras' interim leader warned that the only way his predecessor will return to office is through a foreign invasion though a potential showdown was postponed Wednesday when the ousted president delayed plans to return.

 

A defiant Roberto Micheletti said in an interview with The Associated Press late Tuesday that "no one can make me resign," defying the United Nations, the OAS, the Obama administration and other leaders that have condemned the military coup that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya.

 

The U.N. General Assembly voted by acclamation Tuesday to demand Zelaya's immediate restoration, and the Organization of American States said Wednesday that coup leaders have three days to restore Zelaya to power before Honduras risks being suspended from the group.

 

That period for negotiation prompted Zelaya to announce he was putting off his plans to return home on Thursday until the weekend.

 

Micheletti vowed Zelaya would be arrested if he returns, even though the presidents of Argentina and Ecuador have signed on to accompany him along with the heads of the Organization of American States and the U.N. General Assembly.

 

Zelaya "has already committed crimes against the constitution and the law," said Micheletti, a member of Zelaya's Liberal Party who was named interim leader by Congress following the coup. "He can no longer return to the presidency of the republic unless a president from another Latin American country comes and imposes him using guns."

 

Soldiers stormed Zelaya's residence and flew him into exile early Sunday after he insisted on trying to hold a referendum asking Hondurans if they wanted to reform the constitution. The Supreme Court, Congress and the military all deemed his planned ballot illegal.

 

Zelaya, who is an ally of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, backed down from the referendum Tuesday, saying at the United Nations that he would no longer push for the constitutional changes he wanted.

 

One of several clauses that cannot be legally altered in the Honduran constitution limits presidents to a single, 4-year term. Congress claims Zelaya, whose term ends in January, modified the ballot question at the last minute to help him eventually try to seek re-election. Chavez has used referendums in Venezuela to win the right to run repeatedly.

 

"I'm not going to hold a constitutional assembly," Zelaya said. "And if I'm offered the chance to stay in power, I won't. I'm going to serve my four years."

 

OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza delivered what he called "an ultimatum" during a marathon session in Washington. "We need to show clearly that military coups will not be accepted. We thought we were in an era when military coups were no longer possible in this hemisphere," he said.

 

France and Spain announced Wednesday they are recalling their ambassadors from Honduras as part of international efforts to reinstate Zelaya.

 

Zelaya's popularity has sagged at home in recent years, but his criticism of the wealthy and policies such as raising the minimum wage have earned him the loyalty of many poor Hondurans, and thousands have rallied to demand his return.

 

Thousands of others rallied in favor of Micheletti on Tuesday, accusing Zelaya of trying to bring Venezuelan-style socialism to Honduras. Yet beyond the demonstrations at the presidential palace and the capital's central square, there has been little sign of major disruption to daily life.

 

Micheletti said he would not resign no matter how intense the international pressure becomes. He insisted Honduras would be ready to defend itself against any invasion.

 

He did not name any specific countries, but Chavez has vowed to "overthrow" Micheletti and said earlier Tuesday that any aggression against Zelaya by Micheletti's government should prompt military intervention by the United Nations.

 

"No one can make me resign if I do not violate the laws of the country," Micheletti said. "If there is any invasion against our country, 7.5 million Hondurans will be ready to defend our territory and our laws and our homeland and our government."

Micheletti said it was too late for Zelaya to avoid arrest.

 

His foreign minister, Enrique Ortez, threw a wild card onto the table, telling CNN en Espanol that Zelaya had been letting drug traffickers ship U.S.-bound cocaine from Venezuela through Honduras. Ortez said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was aware of Zelaya's ties to organized crime.

 

DEA spokesman Rusty Payne could neither confirm nor deny a DEA investigation.

 

The U.S. government stood firmly by Zelaya, however. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Washington saw no acceptable solution other than Zelaya's return to power. He said the United States was considering cutting off aid to Honduras, which includes $215 million over four years from the U.S.-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation.

 

Micheletti said he had no contact with any U.S. official since assuming the presidency.

 

The interim leader, who now occupies the same office in the colonial-style presidential palace that Zelaya did, insisted he was getting on with the business of governing.

 

He and his newly appointed Cabinet ministers were settling in, even as soldiers wandered the ornate hallways and manned barricades outside to keep Zelaya's supporters away.

 

Micheletti, who promised he would step down in January and had no plans to ever run for president, said a key goal of his short term in office would be fixing the nation's finances.

 

Zelaya never submitted the budget to Congress that was due last September, raising questions about what he was spending state money on.

 

Asked if Zelaya could one day return to power stronger than ever, Micheletti said that "it's not about sympathy, it's not about being a martyr, but simply that we are following the letter of the law which he did not respect."

The headline calls it a coup.  The second paragraph calls it a military coup.

It is neither.  As the AP well knows!!!  Its own body copy (buried deep inside the article, of course, which is why I put it in bold print),  states that Honduras' congress and supreme court agreed zelaya was acting illegally.   The military did not implement a coup, it acted on the legal authority of those bodies.

Further, the AP article conveniently left out the fact that the military was INSTRUCTED to oust zelaya by the Honduran congress and supreme court.

Great job, guys.  Very fair and balanced.  Have you considered merging with the New York Times?


ROBERT GIBBS: PATHETIC......

Ken  Berwitz

I try not to use a lot of bad language in this blog.  But sometimes the only word that fits is not very nice.  And this is one of them.

Watch the following four minute performance by Presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs regarding the fraudulent, prepackaged "town hall meeting" Barack Obama will hold tomorrow.  If he isn't the most pathetic asshole you've ever seen at that podium, please tell me who is.  I have to know:

 

White House Reporters Grill Gibbs Over Prepackaged Questions for Obama

"The point is the control from here. We have never had that in the White House. And we have had some control but not this control. I mean I'm amazed, I'm amazed at you people who call for openness and transparency and have controlled..." veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas said Wednesday.

I've seen a large number of press secretaries in my life.  Some were good, some were not.  But Robert Gibbs?  The single worst of them all.  Even Obama-lover Helen Thomas, can't take it.

What a pathetic asshole.


THE HONDURAS FRAUD

Ken Berwitz

There is a fraud being perpetrated in Honduras, right under our noses.

The fraud is not being perpetrated by the Honduran legal system.  Its Attorney General, Supreme Court and congress all acted properly to oust its President, the hugo chavez-wannabe, manuel zelaya. 

The fraud is being perpetrated by zelaya, who claims that his country's legal actions are some kind of coup, his leftist pals in neighboring states (like chavez, kirschner in Argentina, castro, etc) and - sickeningly - US President Barack Obama.

I have written about this several times over the last few days, but today's article by Benny Avni, writing for the New York Post, summarizes what happened so concisely and explains the political dynamics so well that I want to put it up for you to read.  Please pay special attention to the last paragraph, which I have put in bold print:

ROOTING FOR THE ENEMY

 

By BENNY AVNI

 

Last updated: 3:24 am
July 1, 2009
Posted: 2:42 am
July 1, 2009

 

THE Honduras mess is going to heat up, not cool down. Will President Obama keep rooting for the side that rallies to the cry "Yanqui go home"?

Obama threw his lot in with deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who's seen throughout the region as a stooge of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. Indeed, Chavez has already threatened military action to return Zelaya to power.

Zelaya now plans to return to Honduras tomorrow, even though the nation's military, acting in accord with its Congress and courts, just forced him out of the country on Sunday. "Who is going to protect me? We are the blood of Jesus Christ, as we say," Zelaya told reporters yesterday.

Does he expect help from Chavez if the army confronts him as soon as he lands back home? "Not now," Zelaya said, smiling broadly. That implies possible help later -- and perhaps as soon as Friday morning.

If Venezuelan forces try to impose Zelaya against the wishes of every other democratic institution in Honduras, will Obama continue supporting him?

Addressing the UN General Assembly yesterday and speaking to reporters afterward, Zelaya compared himself not only to Jesus Christ, but also to Mahatma Gandhi, George Washington and Martin Luther King. Announcing his plan to return to his country tomorrow to resume the role that "the people" chose him for, he broadly attacked the Honduran "power elite" that just exiled him.

He also introduced the entourage that's to accompany him on tomorrow's flight from Washington to Tegucigalpa. The top figures are Argentina's leftist President Christina Kirchner and UN General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann -- an old Sandinista hand who's spent the last year trying to turn the United Nations into an arm of the Nicaraguan-Cuban-Venezuelan axis.

Using language common to caudillos like Chavez, the Castro brothers and Kirchner, Zelaya claimed that 70 percent of Hondurans backed him even before Sunday, and that his support has now only grown. He went on to deny having planned an anti-constitutional referendum to allow himself to serve a new presidential term. All he did was conduct "a number of surveys" about constitutional changes, Zelaya said yesterday. And no, he doesn't plan to remain in office after his term ends Jan. 27. "I am a farmer. I enjoy planting and sowing seeds," he said.

But that isn't what the Honduran Congress or courts believe. They feared that Zelaya would copy Chavez's feats -- seizing excessive powers via constitutional changes. To prevent such a power grab, they used the army to overthrow the president -- installing the speaker of Congress, Roberto Micheletti, as interim president, and now they say they'll arrest Zelaya once he lands in Honduras.

After he was sworn in Sunday, Micheletti called it all an "absolutely legal transition process" and promised that the presidential election will go ahead as planned in November.

But the military's involvement leads many in Europe and the United States to think "coup." Zelaya yesterday played to that stereotype, enjoying cheers at the United Nations and announcing that every European Union member had withdrawn its ambassador from Honduras.

But most of all, Zelaya basks in the speedy endorsement he got from the Obama administration. Not only did Obama denounce the "coup," the deposed Honduran president said, he also demanded that "I would be immediately reinstated."

Indeed, several reports say the State Department spent weeks pushing the rest of the Honduran government to refrain from deposing Zelaya.

Hmm. Obama very publicly refrained from intervening in an internal Iranian affair earlier this month. Yet, in the more complex Honduran crisis, he resolutely and rapidly took a side -- and not our side.

That's right.  Honduras' legal system worked properly, the country peacefully removed a rogue President intent on subverting its constitution and President Obama........supports the rogue president intent on subverting its constitution.

The next election can't come fast enough.


BLACKS, MUSLIMS AND THE SLAVE TRADE

Ken Berwitz

Here is a piece by Amy Alkon, writing for Mens News Daily.  Read it slowly - a lot is concentrated into this short little article.

The Trouble With Black Muslims

By Amy Alkon | Jul 1, 2009

The Trouble With Black Muslims


A black African, Rudolph Okonkwo, talks turkey to one of the black American converts to Islam, a guy carrying a newspaper put out by the Nation of Islam:

 

"Why are you a Muslim?" I asked him at one point.


"Because my people were Muslims before the blue-eyed white devils bought us and brought us to America as slaves and forced us to be Christians and to worship a blue-eyed Christ."

"O' yeah."

"Yes!"

"But I am from Africa and my grandfather was never a Muslim nor was he a Christian."

He was shocked when I said that.

"It is OK if you want to be a Muslim and follow Elijah Muhammed and changed your name to Muhammed, too. But don't tell me you are trying to be like your forefathers," I said.

And for four years, we continued our debate. Like some members of the Nation of Islam, he became a convert to Muslim while in prison on drug charges. He had accepted the myths of the Nation of Islam. He told with all the seriousness in his bones that the white man was made in a laboratory in Egypt by a black scientist named Yakub.  ...First of all, I came from a country where there are Muslims. Those who have Arabic features assume superior position over those who are black. In many instances, the black Muslims are totally disregarded, treated as inconsequential.

I have asked black Muslims mad at how white people treated black slaves to ask themselves were the millions of slaves the Arab world took from Africa were? They disappeared. They were used and disposed of. If not, the Arab world would be booming with its own share of black men and women.

I have asked black Muslims mad at the "war" between the West and Islam to look at the genocide in Darfur and find out how Muslims treat their black brothers and sisters.

In Africa, the homeland of all black people, Islam came from the Middle East and Christianity came from Europe and they all exerted inordinate damage. But where Islam touched, there is no recognition of the ways of life of the people. Islam, being a way of life, swallowed all that was African in the people.

All black people must think before they jump from frying pan to fire. And before you pick up arms to fight for those Talibans dying in Afghanistan, spare a minute for two million children who die of malaria each year in Sub-Saharan Africa. Those are your people. For real!

 

Guess who takes in the black Muslim refugees from Darfur? That would be those evil Israelis, not Arab Muslims, who only care about other Muslims (Palestinians) if they're white and provide a really excellent excuse for hating Jews.

 

Most people don't have a clue about this, but the African slave trade was predominantly conducted by Arabs for something like 1,000 years before Europeans got into the act.

 

And what about that thought-provoking paragraph I put in bold print?  What did become of  the enormous number of Black slaves taken by Arabs?  Why aren't they all over the countries where slave trading took place?  What happened to them?

 

There's a lot of food for thought here.  Wouldn't you say?


THE COST OF "FREE HEALTH CARE"

Ken Berwitz

John Stossel is brilliant, knowledgeable and honest.  (How the hell does he still have a job in mainstream media?)

After decades of insightful, meticulously researched reports (and, believe it or not, 19 Emmies!!!),  I think it would be fair to say that he knows what he's talking about.

And does he ever know about health care.  Read his latest column below and see for yourself.  The bold print is mine:

"Better" Health Care?

By John Stossel

President Obama says government will make health care cheaper and better. But there's no free lunch.

In England, health care is "free" -- as long as you don't mind waiting. People wait so long for dentist appointments that some pull their own teeth. At any one time, half a million people are waiting to get into a British hospital. A British paper reports that one hospital tried to save money by not changing bedsheets. Instead of washing sheets, the staff was encouraged to just turn them over.

Obama insists he is not "trying to bring about government-run healthcare".

"But government management does the same thing," says Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute. "To reduce costs they'll have to ration -- deny -- care."

"People line up for care, some of them die. That's what happens," says Canadian doctor David Gratzer, author of "The Cure". He liked Canada's government health care until he started treating patients.

"The more time I spent in the Canadian system, the more I came across people waiting for radiation therapy, waiting for the knee replacement so they could finally walk up to the second floor of their house." "You want to see your neurologist because of your stress headache? No problem! Just wait six months. You want an MRI? No problem! Free as the air! Just wait six months."

Polls show most Canadians like their free health care, but most people aren't sick when the poll-taker calls. Canadian doctors told us the system is cracking. One complained that he can't get heart-attack victims into the ICU.

In America, people wait in emergency rooms, too, but it's much worse in Canada. If you're sick enough to be admitted, the average wait is 23 hours.

"We can't send these patients to other hospitals. Dr. Eric Letovsky told us. "Every other emergency department in the country is just as packed as we are."

More than a million and a half Canadians say they can't find a family doctor. Some towns hold lotteries to determine who gets a doctor. In Norwood, Ontario, "20/20" videotaped a town clerk pulling the names of the lucky winners out of a lottery box. The losers must wait to see a doctor.

Shirley Healy, like many sick Canadians, came to America for surgery. Her doctor in British Columbia told her she had only a few weeks to live because a blocked artery kept her from digesting food. Yet Canadian officials called her surgery "elective."

"The only thing elective about this surgery was I elected to live," she said.

It's true that America's partly profit-driven, partly bureaucratic system is expensive, and sometimes wasteful, but the pursuit of profit reduces waste and costs and gives the world the improvements in medicine that ease pain and save lives.

"[America] is the country of medical innovation. This is where people come when they need treatment," Dr. Gratzer says.

"Literally we're surrounded by medical miracles. Death by cardiovascular disease has dropped by two-thirds in the last 50 years. You've got to pay a price for that type of advancement."

Canada and England don't pay the price because they freeload off American innovation. If America adopted their systems, we could worry less about paying for health care, but we'd get 2009-level care -- forever.

Government monopolies don't innovate. Profit seekers do.

We saw this in Canada, where we did find one area of medicine that offers easy access to cutting-edge technology -- CT scan, endoscopy, thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, etc. It was open 24/7. Patients didn't have to wait.

But you have to bark or meow to get that kind of treatment. Animal care is the one area of medicine that hasn't been taken over by the government. Dogs can get a CT scan in one day. For people, the waiting list is a month.

Is this what you want?  Is this your idea of improved health care?  Well, if so, congratulations.  You've got a major booster at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Just do yourself a favor and never, ever get sick.  Unless you're a dog.


HOW AL FRANKEN DID IT (THE CHRISTINE GREGOIRE MODEL)

Ken Berwitz

From today's Wall Street Journal, we have a well-researched, well thought-out explanation of how al franken took the Minnesota senate seat from Norm Coleman:

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

JULY 1, 2009

The 'Absentee' Senator

Franken wins by changing the rules.

 

The Minnesota Supreme Court yesterday declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of last year's disputed Senate race, and Republican incumbent Norm Coleman's gracious

 

concession at least spares the state any further legal combat. The unfortunate lesson is that you don't need to win the vote on Election Day as long as your lawyers are creative enough to have enough new or disqualified ballots counted after the fact.

 

Mr. Franken trailed Mr. Coleman by 725 votes after the initial count on election night, and 215 after the first canvass. The Democrat's strategy from the start was to manipulate the recount in a way that would discover votes that could add to his total. The Franken legal team swarmed the recount, aggressively demanding that votes that had been disqualified be added to his count, while others be denied for Mr. Coleman.

 

But the team's real goldmine were absentee ballots, thousands of which the Franken team claimed had been mistakenly rejected. While Mr. Coleman's lawyers demanded a uniform standard for how counties should re-evaluate these rejected ballots, the Franken team ginned up an additional 1,350 absentees from Franken-leaning counties. By the time this treasure hunt ended, Mr. Franken was 312 votes up, and Mr. Coleman was left to file legal briefs.

 

What Mr. Franken understood was that courts would later be loathe to overrule decisions made by the canvassing board, however arbitrary those decisions were. He was right. The three-judge panel overseeing the Coleman legal challenge, and the Supreme Court that reviewed the panel's findings, in essence found that Mr. Coleman hadn't demonstrated a willful or malicious attempt on behalf of officials to deny him the election. And so they refused to reopen what had become a forbidding tangle of irregularities. Mr. Coleman didn't lose the election. He lost the fight to stop the state canvassing board from changing the vote-counting rules after the fact.

 

This is now the second time Republicans have been beaten in this kind of legal street fight. In 2004, Dino Rossi was ahead in the election-night count for Washington Governor against Democrat Christine Gregoire. Ms. Gregoire's team demanded the right to rifle through a list of provisional votes that hadn't been counted, setting off a hunt for "new" Gregoire votes. By the third recount, she'd discovered enough to win. This was the model for the Franken team.

 

Mr. Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election. If the GOP hopes to avoid repeats, it should learn from Minnesota that modern elections don't end when voters cast their ballots. They only end after the lawyers count them.

Don't expect to see this in most other mainstream media.  It's not the kind of material they like to publish.


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