[Updated at end of article...Including details on Hillary Clinton dramatically saving the day...]
Allow me to stress the unconfirmed nature of this report before I even tell you what I'm hearing. It's difficult to get information and/or confirm out here on such things, so take it with the grain of salt that it's currently intended to be served with.
That said, a reliable source on one of the state delegations tells me that today's nominating speeches have been moved up from 4:30pm to 3:45pm MT. (That much, we've now been able to confirm from a couple of different sources.) The reason for the move, so the speculation has it, is that there may be concerns of a floor fight on the way in regard to the roll-call nominations of Clinton and Obama.
I don't have much more than that, and Clinton's hopes for her supporters to move their support to Obama during last night's speech seemed pretty damned clear. So, for now, let's consider this report a rumor only for the moment (which I don't usually like reporting without confirm). But if the source is correct, it's certainly something noteworthy enough to watch out for, along with all of those caveats.
Todd Beeton at MyDD reports on Hillary's comments, within the last hour or so, at a meeting of her delegates. Some of her noteworthy comments to her delegates, as reported by Beeton, follow...
A lot of voting zeitgeist in the media of late. What took ya so long, folks? Wanted to wait until it was largely too damned late to do anything about it? Same story. New year.
In any case, on the road to Denver right now, so time enough only to round up some of the most notable must-reads on everything from: The GOP "voter fraud" scam growing in intensity between here and November (a theme I'll also be discussing in my column for the UK's Guardian this week); Election officials finally acknowledging their machines don't work, but remaining unwilling to correctly place the blame or otherwise do much about it; Faint glimmers of actual improvement at the previously dreadful U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC); A bit of news from the "Rove Cybergate" election fraud case in OH, and; The one phrase you'll want to get very well familiar with between here and November 2 (hint: my name is in it, but it has nothing to do with me.)
[Update 8/15/08 5:05pm PT: The offending death threats discussed below, though not all of them, have now been removed by Townhall.com, and the writer's Townhall blog has had all comments scrubbed as well. So O'Reilly should therefore know about it all now, and can report on it next time Townhall's Amanda Carpenter joins him to dishonestly bash "far-left" blogs. Our cached version of the webpage still shows the offending more-than-month-old comments, as does the graphic at the bottom of this article.]
On Wednesday night, Fox "News'" Bill O'Reilly continued his dishonest and deceptive attacks on websites, such as Huffington Post and Daily Kos, which he misleadingly describes as "hate sites" featuring "vicious far-left attacks" as based on selective reader comments he's discovered posted on those sites.
In the latest of his continuing segments with "Internet Cop" Amanda Carpenter, of the rightwing website Townhall.com, O'Reilly pointed to a number of objectionable comments at the two sites, from "far-left kooks," before tepidly lauding both HuffPo and Daily Kos for having removed some of them, presumably after they were brought to the attention of site moderators.
"Where is that rocket propelled grenade launcher when you need one," O'Reilly displayed on a chyron, and then "Let's hope the dissidents aim is good!" Both of the quotes are purported to be from a "Blog Posting" at HuffPo, according to the Fox "News" graphic, posted in regard to a group of Iraq War Veterans who support the war effort.
Failing to note any distinction between actual articles posted by contributors to the two sites versus comments from anonymous and pseudonymous users, O'Reilly accuses "bloggers" at the two sites of posting "despicable" material, even though it's unknown whether the commenters in question are actually rightwing posters, or even O'Reilly supporters, writing under a pseudonym. The entire segment is posted at left, as recorded yesterday by The BRAD BLOG's Alan Breslauer.
"These people are out of control and that's where they live," O'Reilly notes indignantly before tossing it to Townhall's Carpenter for comment.
"It's a good step that they are moderating the comments section more, and we've applauded that," Carpenter says in reply, before noting the "deeper issue...of posting blogs" critical of the Iraq vet group, which is reportedly going back to the war-zone to report on the country's status following George W. Bush's "troop surge."
But O'Reilly and Carpenter clearly have been protesting a bit too much, as it turns out Carpenter's own website is guilty of the same --- and even far worse --- "vicious" attacks, and potentially even illegal ones, including death threats issued against Barack Obama and "traitorous liberals."
Despite the mock outrage of the Fox rightwingers, The BRAD BLOG has been pointed, by a reader, to a number of out-and-out (and repeated) death threats issued by "bloggers" at Carpenter's own Townhall site.
The multiple threatening comments are posted on the Townhall blog of rightwing radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt, and include death threats against the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama. They were posted on July 10th of this year at Townhall and, as of this posting on August 14th, still remain on the popular rightwing website which requires registration before commenters are allowed to post...
Last week we noted that John McCain had managed to complete a full 180-degree reversal on his position on offshore drilling in a mere 18-day period. Now he's topped that record by reversing a stated position within a single news cycle. Traveling in Colombia, he told reporters that he wouldn't criticize Obama while he was overseas, but on the plane a few hours earlier he had criticized Obama while speaking to these same reporters for, what else, changing his position on trade:
"I believe that partisanship ends at the water’s edge," McCain said emphatically, when asked about Obama at a press conference at the Colombian Presidential retreat here.
But on the inaugural flight of the Straight Talk Express --- airborne edition -– McCain felt freer to let loose.
On the plane, he blasted Obama’s opposition to the proposed Colombia free trade deal.
"He’s a protectionist and anti-free trade," McCain said. "Now he has switched, I mean remarkably, from saying that he would unilaterally renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement in the strongest possible terms in Ohio – he went to North Carolina and said well, I’m for free trade.
"It wouldn’t surprise me to see him switch on this one," McCain said.
For his next trick, McCain will reverse himself before he even speaks.
John McCain's election strategists plan to tone down the Republicans' traditionally aggressive and public campaign against potential voter fraud, several Republicans familiar with the situation say.
The strategists and consultants all would speak only on the condition that their names and affiliations not be used because they were not permitted to divulge the information, they did not want to disclose internal deliberations, and because the issue is still being discussed within the party.
Sources with direct knowledge of the coordinated Republican effort this year say that high-ranking Republicans, including some within McCain's campaign, are convinced that GOP efforts in 2004 were damaging.
"Spreading 10,000 lawyers around the country and announcing a challenge to 40,000 new registrants in Ohio was counterproductive," a Republican familiar with the situation said.
And if you believe the GOP has any intention of scaling back any such thing in 2008, we've got a swell bridge, beautifully located near Manhattan, to sell ya.
But just to drive home the point that we're equal opportunity disbelievers, there's this old standby from the Obama camp, later in the article...
Who says Republicans don't have class? From the Dallas Morning News blog's report on the Texas GOP state convention...
While a number of speakers --- such as Railroad Commission chairman Michael Williams and Mike Huckabee --- have praised the advance of Barack Obama and what it means towards a colorblind society, at least one vendor hasn't gotten the message.
At the Republican state convention, a booth hosted by Republicanmarket was selling a pin Saturday that says: If Obama is President will we still call it the White House.
If you're interested in their items, their website is here. Their slogan: "Patriotic and Republican Products at Republican Market." I guess the above is an example of one of the Republican products. No clue if they've actually got any patriotic ones.
UPDATE: Our friend Mike Rogers points out that Republicanmarket doesn't bother to show that particular button on the buttons page at their slimy website for some reason. Go figure. Not sure why, since, as commenter Creid points out, they aren't embarrassed about running this sexist garbage. Again, very very classy stuff.
UPDATE 6/19/08: The Texas GOP distances themselves from Republicanmarket.com, bans vendor from future events. Details now here...
I should say first off I don't have a dog in the hunt. I support neither Obama nor Clinton in this nomination race and couldn't tell you now whether I'd vote for either of them next November. I've stated long ago that both of those candidates have plenty of supporters, so I'll be supporting the voters this year, since they don't have nearly enough support.
With that said, this morning's meeting in the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee (RBC) has been an interesting one to watch. All sides in the unfortunate matters of fighting over how to seat (or not) the delegations from Florida and Michigan at this year's national convention have argued smartly for their various cases.
But where the DNC's RBC is concerned --- no matter which candidate the various members of the committee may already be on record as supporting in general --- there should be only one consideration in their ultimate decision: what will be best for the party itself and whichever candidate ends up being their nominee.
Everyone at today's meeting spoke in general consensus that party unity is key. If that's truly their belief, then every side in the dispute needs to place unification first as the top priority for any final rulings on whether and how to seat the MI and FL delegations at the Democratic Convention.
To that end, the version for those with short attention spans: The party must agree to the Florida compromise which nets a 19 delegate advantage for Clinton while giving delegates at the convention a 50% vote. They must also agree to the Michigan state party's compromise of awarding the Michigan delegates 69/59 in Clinton's favor with a 50% vote at the convention.
And while it's not necessarily germane to the decisions being made by the DNC RBC today, Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida should be made Barack Obama's Vice Presidential nominee.
For the longer explanation of the above, please read on...
Polls have been closed in Lake County for some 6 hours, but no results in Indiana's corner county, closely bordering Obama's homestate stronghold of Chicago and home to Gary. Tiny Union County has also failed to come up with any numbers just yet.
As of now, Indiana remains "too close to call" according to all the cable nets, with 92% of precincts (not necessarily votes, since Lake County is the second-most populous in the state) reporting. There are currently just under 20k votes reportedly between Clinton, who is currently leading, and Obama, out of more than 1.1 million "counted" so far.
Union County, on the other hand, you needn't worry about, since our old friend Diebold runs the place with a combination of their hackable paper-ballot systems, and their unverifiable and hackable DRE (touch-screen) systems. But Union also has a tiny population of just more than 7k, whereas Lake has a population of just less than half a million.
Unfortunately, I don't know that I'll be able to follow this one through the night, so if I can't (or even if I can), I welcome you folks to tell the story in comments below as you are best able to figure out what seems to be going on there. Tonight, I'm guessing you can tell the story as well as (or better than) I can...
UPDATE 12:47pm ET: Results now coming in. The state could be a squeaker by a few thousand votes or less.
Let's see, with Indiana's own estimates of 43,000 voters who could be disenfranchised by their new Photo ID/voter suppression law, and less-conservative estimates suggesting several hundred thousand voters who could be robbed of their right to vote...Gosh, hope the final results in the Hoosier State don't come down to the question of a dozen or so 80 & 90 year-old disenfranchised nuns from South Bend...
Early on election night last Tuesday, with just 18.07% of the unofficial returns from the Pennsylvania Primary in, astute BRAD BLOG reader Matt Sircely (who was aware enough to save off the HTML page locally!) noticed the following oddity on the official Dept. of State website results page...
Note the three different sets of bars and percentages representing Obama's tally. The problem did not occur for any other candidate [Update: looks like it did, see updates at bottom of article for more info], as seen on the full web page, which was noticed early in the evening, and saved locally by the alert reader. Whatever the problem, it was eventually corrected by officials.
Today, Sircely called the PA Dept. of State to try and get an explanation of what caused the problem seen above (audio from call is posted at the end of this article)...
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is the luckiest woman in the world. Just when it looks like she'll have no chance to become the party's nominee, extraordinary good news comes her way, just at the last minute. Again.
Take, for example, yesterday's Pennsylvania Primary. For weeks we heard endlessly how she would need a double-digit victory margin in the Keystone State to offer a legitimate reason for her to stay in the race. And, as the gods would have it, she achieved the ability to trumpet that double-digit margin by a single tenth of a percent.
So, in truth, that's actually just a 9.2-point difference, but, as luck would have it for the New York Senator, rounding each of those numbers to their nearest percent, as the bulk of the media were happy to do today, allows for a nice, easily-trumpeted, double-digit, 55% to 45% number that can be reportedfar and wide!
The stunning turn of good fortune comes on the heels of Clinton's last make-or-break moment back in New Hampshire, when conventional wisdom had all but counted her out after her loss to Obama in the Iowa Caucus. But, there again, Clinton came through, despite both pre-election and exit poll numbers which all, almost uniformly, predicted she'd face a thumpin'.
Of course, you conspiracy theorists out there are likely to spin this tale of remarkable providence, into a shadowy tale of skulduggery by supporters of a Clinton nomination, be they Democrats or Republicans, who'd rather see her, instead of Obama, go up against John McCain in the fall.
But you'd have not an iota of actual proof to support your paranoid suspicions...
On Tuesday night, you will be told who the winner of the Pennsylvania Primary is. You will accept it. You will have no choice. No matter who the winner really is. Or isn't.
This Tuesday's crucial contest will be primarily run on 100% faith-based, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen or push-button) e-voting machines across the state. There will be no way to determine after the election whether the computers have accurately recorded, or not, the intent of those voters who voted on them. As VerifiedVoting.org summarizes the crucial contest, it "will be essentially unrecountable, unverifiable, and unauditable."
Most of the votes, more than 85%, will be cast on such DRE systems which do not provide so-called "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails" (VVPATs), as their use has been found unconstitutional in the state, since its been determined, accurately, that ballot secrecy cannot be guaranteed when using such paper trail systems. Not that it matters.
With or without a so-called "paper trail" printer, all touch-screen/push-button/DRE voting machines are equally unverifiable and antithetical to American democracy. Period.
So, as with South Carolina's primary, so so long ago, and other states since, whatever the officials tell you at the end of the election is what you, and we, will have to accept. Whether votes are counted accurately is completely out of anyone's hands at this point. It's strictly Democracy of the Gods...
This guy --- and I'm sorry I don't know his name --- is my new hero. Can't really set up the following must-watch killer video any better than "Rat" of RatTube, from whence it was found, did:
Rat Says: Wow… this priest is sharp! The little Fox reporter wasn’t expecting someone this studied. “Was Bill O’Reilly a Marine?” ……………….I’m speechless, this guy is good!
Yes. Very good. Can we please get the good father his own TV show? Perhaps at 8pm ET on Fox "News" where they currently show nothing but Anti-American trash?...
And that's what America really looks like. Which is why you normally don't get to see it on TV. Not sure where the video actually aired, if anywhere. Though the questioner was O'Reilly's reporter/hitman, not surprisingly, I've yet to see any clips of that interview on his show (though, admittedly, I don't get to take out the trash every day.)
(Hat-tip to "CD")
UPDATE 8:34pm PT: Turns out the man in the video above is a Catholic priest by the name of Rev. Michael Pfleger, and apparently Bill O'Reilly did use a part of the interview above on his show. Approximately 5 seconds of it. On April 2. And yet, despite how well Pfleger deflects the nonsense tossed at him by O'Reilly's ambush reporter (as seen in the above, not on his show) O'Reilly has been flogging the same "racist, hate-monger" nonsense for weeks.
As if that's not bad enough, after the 5 seconds shown from the above interview, O'Reilly went on to do a full 6 minute segment discussing whether or not...wait for it...Pfleger should be sanctioned by the Catholic Church!
Recently, Barack Obama indicated he would "immediately investigate" if "there [are] possibilities of genuine crimes" having been carried out by this White House, should he become President. He said he'd direct his DoJ and AG to "immediately review the information that's already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued."
In his comment, which seems to have carefully played every side of the street and both side of the fence, Obama told AttyTood's Will Bunch:
I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General --- having pursued, having looked at what's out there right now --- are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it's important-- one of the things we've got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing between really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity.
You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I've said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances.
Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law --- and I think that's roughly how I would look at it.
On the other hand, last night, during her appearance on the Colbert Report in Philadelphia, his wife Michelle was remarkably impressive, I thought. Really. For whatever that may be worth. Here's the video...