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Archive for January 19th, 2010

Does Harold Ford Jr.’s Race Matter?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

Does Harold Ford Jr.’s Race Matter?
New Yorkers, beware. It seems that former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., a transplant from Tennessee, has upset people again. Ford, an executive at Merrill Lynch and a New York University lecturer who might be seeking to unseat fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York in a race for the U.S. Senate, has made a very bold statement about his identity.

Harold Ford Jr.

By Marcia Alesan Dawkins

New Yorkers, beware. It seems that former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., a transplant from Tennessee, has upset people again. Ford, an executive at Merrill Lynch and a New York University lecturer who might be seeking to unseat fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York in a race for the U.S. Senate, has made a very bold statement about his identity.


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Mike Smith: Kennedy May Have Called Coakley Outcome

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Mike Smith: Kennedy May Have Called Coakley Outcome
Scott Brown has the audacity to run for a seat held by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy for 47 years and by a member of the Kennedy family for 53 years. He just might win.

Massachusetts Senate Seat: Election Day Is Here
BOSTON — Voters thronged to the polls in Massachusetts today in a special election Republicans hope will be a national game-changer, slowing down President Barack…

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend: With Opposition To Healthcare, Brown Is Not The Pro-Life Candidate In Massachusetts Senate Race
How is the defeat of health care a pro-life position? A recent study from Harvard Medical School claims 40,000 Americans die on average every year as a consequence of having no health insurance.

Jeff Danziger: Glenn Beck, Palin

Democrats In Danger Of Losing A Senate Seat As Massachusetts Voters Go To The Polls
BOSTON — Voters thronged to the polls in Massachusetts today in a special election Republicans hope will be a national game-changer, slowing down President Barack…


Newsmax cites Franken-Coleman race to baselessly hype fears of a “stolen election” in MA

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Newsmax cites Franken-Coleman race to baselessly hype fears of a “stolen election” in MA

In a January 18 Newsmax.com article, managing editor David A. Patten raises the prospect of a “stolen election” in the race for Massachusetts’ open Senate seat by citing “fears that a close election could trigger the same type of recount process that saw former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman’s lead over then-challenger Al Franken steadily evaporate in Minnesota.” However, the Minnesota Supreme Court stated that “[n]o claim of fraud in the election or during the recount was made by either” Franken or Coleman, and experts reportedly said that there was a “lack of crookedness in” Minnesota that debunks claims that the Minnesota election was stolen.

Newsmax: Franken-Coleman shows risk of “stolen election” in MA

In the article, Patten repeatedly raises the possibility that the election between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown would be “stolen” by Democrats given the race between Franken and then-Sen. Norm Coleman. From the article, headlined “Republican Fears of Stolen Election Grow in Massachusetts”:

The specter of Minnesota’s bitterly contested election contest between Al Franken and Norm Coleman now hangs over Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts, with Republicans and conservative pundits warning that anything less than a clear-cut victory for GOP challenger Scott Brown over Democrat Martha Coakley risks a “stolen election.”

Brown appears to be surging. Increasingly desperate in the campaign’s waning days to save their supermajority in Congress, Democrats are doing everything they possibly can to keep the seat.

Several Obama advisers have told Democratic Party officials in recent days that the administration expects Coakley is likely to lose the election Tuesday, CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry reported.

President Obama’s last-minute visit on Coakley’s behalf Sunday coincided with a flurry of attack ads against Brown. The ads’ accusations are so flagrant that Brown’s campaign has announced it plans legal action.

John Fund, the election expert, author, and Wall Street Journal online commentator, told Newsmax that Brown probably has to win by at least 20,000 votes to avoid “the margin of litigation.”

Republicans are crowding the blogosphere with fears that a close election could trigger the same type of recount process that saw former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman’s lead over then-challenger Al Franken steadily evaporate in Minnesota.

“Actual vote stealing will occur” on Tuesday, Fund told Newsmax. But he expects it will be reduced “because ACORN is discredited and adrift and there are serious anti-fraud efforts being mounted.”

[…]

“They’re very much aware of how to stuff ballot boxes,” [NewsBusters.org associate editor Noel] Sheppard said. “They obviously know how to play the game. They obviously stole the Franken seat several months ago.”

“One of the scary things” about the election is that getting the most votes may not be enough to win the race, Sheppard said.

“I think Brown’s going to have to win by a good 3 percent of the vote, or else we’re getting into a Franken-type situation, and we’ll be recounting votes for God knows how long. And obviously that benefits the Democrats,” he told Newsmax.

As of 5:30pm E.T. on January 18, Newsmax’s “stolen election” claim is promoted at the top of its homepage:

Coleman challenged vote count but did not make a single allegation of vote fraud

Minnesota Supreme Court stated that Coleman did not make any allegations of vote fraud. In its decision rejecting Coleman’s appeal of the decision declaring Franken the winner of the 2008 Minnesota Senate race, the Minnesota Supreme Court stated that “[n]o claim of fraud in the election or during the recount was made by either party” and that “Coleman’s counsel confirmed at oral argument that Coleman makes no claim of fraud on the part of either voters or election officials.”

Experts cite “lack of crookedness in the [Minnesota] election”

St. Paul Pioneer Press: Experts said there was a “lack of crookedness in the election.” The Pioneer Press reported in a June 29, 2009, article (from the Nexis database): “Experts said the lack of crookedness in the election, as well as a commitment to the law and not politics, allowed the five state high court justices to explore the key issues in depth.” The Pioneer Press added: “Rick Hasen, an election law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the court’s ruling Tuesday was so thorough that it also ruled out the possibility that either candidate — or their lawyers — could be accused of stealing the election.”

Pioneer Press: “no corruption charges to undermine the fundamental fairness, transparency and accuracy of Minnesota’s election system.” The Pioneer Press wrote in a September 25, 2009, article that there were “no corruption charges to undermine the fundamental fairness, transparency and accuracy of Minnesota’s election system — from the common-folk election judges to the esteemed Supreme Court justices — and no new evidence to show that Coleman had in fact won.”

MN reporter Black: “lack of any evidence of fraud, or even attempted fraud.” In a September 30, 2009, post on his MinnPost.com blog, former Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Eric Black wrote: “As I’ve written before, the lack of any evidence of fraud, or even attempted fraud, in this excruciatingly close, highly scrutinized election is something of which Minnesota should be proud.”

Election law professor Foley:  “election was about as far from ‘stolen’ as any extraordinarily close and intensely disputed election could be.”  On July 1, 2009, Ohio State University election law professor Edward B. Foley responded to claims that the Coleman-Franken election was stolen, writing:  “this election was about as far from ‘stolen’ as any extraordinarily close and intensely disputed election could be–and to use that term in this context is to rob it of appropriate meaning for those situations in which election officials abuse their power to throw an election for a preferred candidate, thereby robbing an opponent of a rightful victory.” 


Weekly Standard Scribe And Coakley Aide In Altercation On DC Street

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Weekly Standard Scribe And Coakley Aide In Altercation On DC Street
Conservatives are up in arms over an incident last night in which a Weekly Standard reporter who was pursuing Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley ended up on the ground — with ripped pants — after an altercation with a Coakley aide.

Hands Off! The Political Insiders Accused Of Hijacking The Tea Party Movement
Tea Party activists increasingly are finding themselves fighting off what they see as cynical bids by unscrupulous sophisticates to co-opt the movement for their own ends. Who are these insiders?


Florida Lawyer Claims Rights To Tea Party Name — Says Activist: He’s ‘Trying To Hijack Our Movement’
A Florida lawyer has become the latest conservative activist to be charged with co-opting the Tea Party movement for personal gain, after he registered the “Tea Party” as an official political party, then asserted rights to the Tea Party name, pressuring fellow activists in the state to rechristen their local Tea Party groups.


Roger Ailes — On His Way Out at Fox News?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Roger Ailes — On His Way Out at Fox News?
Read the full Guardian story here.


Obama Plans Combative Response

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Obama Plans Combative Response
President Obama “plans a combative response if, as White House aides fear, Democrats lose Tuesday’s special Senate election in Massachusetts,” reports Politico.

Said one senior administration official: “This is not a moment that causes the president or anybody who works for him to express any doubt. It more reinforces the conviction to fight hard.”

“Whatever words Obama chooses, however, will have trouble masking the substantive reality: A Massachusetts embarrassment would strongly increase the pressure Obama was already facing to retreat or slow down the ‘big bang’ agenda he laid out a year ago.”


Bill Moyers & Thomas Frank: How America’s Demented Politics Let the GOP Off the Hook for Their Giant Mess

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

Bill Moyers & Thomas Frank: How America’s Demented Politics Let the GOP Off the Hook for Their Giant Mess
Bill Moyers interviews Thomas Frank on how our short attention span has allowed conservatives to escape blame for their role in the economic meltdown.

Bill Moyers interviews Thomas Frank on how our short attention span has allowed conservatives to escape blame for their role in the economic meltdown.

Sex Addiction: A B.S. Excuse for Not Thinking
Sexual compulsions are real and they harm the person in their grip as well as others. But treating them like a problem — something to be ‘fixed’ — isn’t working.

Sexual compulsions are real and they harm the person in their grip as well as others. But treating them like a problem — something to be 'fixed' — isn't working.

How Carbon Polluters Have Hijacked Part of California’s "Green" Business Movement
the AB 32 Implementation Group, supposedly an environmentally-friendly coalition, is working to change the state’s global warming laws.

the AB 32 Implementation Group, supposedly an environmentally-friendly coalition, is working to change the state's global warming laws.

9 Things the U.S. Could and Should Do for Haiti
The unfathomable tragedy in Haiti demands that we do things differently.

The unfathomable tragedy in Haiti demands that we do things differently.

Should You Stay Together for the Kids? Hell No!
Choose the pursuit of happiness instead. For yourself, and for your child.

Choose the pursuit of happiness instead. For yourself, and for your child.


A Sobering Picture

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

A Sobering Picture
[See a high-resolution version of the map here.] Yesterday, at my request, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that provides a thorough understanding of the state of the housing market at the end of June 2009. A…


Government Accountability OfficeGovernmentViolence and AbuseElderFinance

Scott Brown “Doesn’t Know” Whether Obama Was Born out of Wedlock
Both Josh and Jonathan Chait have posted on the discovery that Mr. Tea Party with a Human Face, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, aligned himself with the wingnut conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was born out of wedlock. (Not that there…



Barack ObamaMassachusettsUnited StatesScott P. BrownJonathan Chait

Yes We Can
“At this point Mr. Obama probably can’t do much about job creation.” That’s a quote from Paul Krugman’s article in New York Times today. Now I admire Dr. Krugman. And he was right that the stimulus package should have been…


New York TimesPaul KrugmanUnited StatesEnergyTreasury


Brown stands by supporting a tax-subsidized golf course over 9/11 rescue workers.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Brown stands by supporting a tax-subsidized golf course over 9/11 rescue workers.
State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate special election on Tuesday, voted on Oct. 17, 2001 to deny financial aid to Red Cross rescue workers who had volunteered with 9/11 recovery efforts. As a state representative at the time, Brown was one out of only three legislators who had opposed […]

State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate special election on Tuesday, voted on Oct. 17, 2001 to deny financial aid to Red Cross rescue workers who had volunteered with 9/11 recovery efforts. As a state representative at the time, Brown was one out of only three legislators who had opposed the overwhelmingly bipartisan measure. As ThinkProgress reported on Saturday, at the same time Brown was voting against the 9/11 rescue workers bill, he sponsored House Bill 4423, a measure to provide a tax-subsidized bond to build a golf course in Newport, a town in his district. Brown, earlier this weekend, told ThinkProgress that he opposed the rescue worker money because of the state’s fiscal condition and because he had his own “priorities.” Given the revelation that Brown fought for a golf course over the rescue worker aid, ThinkProgress again approached Brown for comment today:

TP: Mr. Brown, in 2001 when you voted against financial aid for 9/11 rescue workers, you were pushing a bill for a tax subsidized golf course in your district. Can you explain that?

BROWN: I’m not sure what you’re referring to. […]

TP: Are you going to explain that vote?

BROWN: Number two, we were in a financial difficulty and we couldn’t afford it unfortunately.

TP: But you could afford a tax-subsidized bond for a golf course?

BROWN: We had to obviously take care of the people of Massachusetts who needed to stay employed.

Watch it:

Brown’s golf course bill passed on November 30, 2001, a few weeks after he voted to kill the 9/11 rescue worker financial aid. While the golf course construction certainly kept people employed, Brown’s self-professed interest in protecting the American homeland doesn’t extend to the rescue workers who rushed to the site of the twin towers after the attacks of 9/11.

Kerry: ?The only thing Republicans say yes to are Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, tea partiers, and Fox News.?
Campaigning for Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley on Friday, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) took a shot the “party of no.” Kerry argued that while Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration focused on governing for the past year, “the Republicans did nothing but say no.” After ticking off a list of items the Republicans […]

Campaigning for Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley on Friday, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) took a shot the “party of no.” Kerry argued that while Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration focused on governing for the past year, “the Republicans did nothing but say no.” After ticking off a list of items the Republicans have opposed, Kerry concluded:

They made a calculated political decision that they would say no to governance, create anger, and then let the anger fall on those who are struggling to make the choices and these tough decisions. And now, they have the gall to want to receive a bonus for doing it.

Well my friends, the only things the Republicans say yes to are Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, tea partiers, and Fox News.

Watch it:


FBI broke law for years in phone record searches

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 19th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

FBI broke law for years in phone record searches
The FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact…

Health-care debate delayed action on other big issues
For Congress, December procrastination could turn into Valentine’s Day blues.

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