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Friday, March 7, 2008

UPDATE 4: MSM Finally Admits Obama Won Texas

So far it's just NPR but it's a start. The are finally admitting what was evident late Tuesday night. With 41% of the Texas caucus vote in, Obama's 12 point lead (56/44) is insurmountable.

NPR is reporting a net 3 delegate lead for Obama once all is said and done.

* MaverickModerate's diary :: ::
*

This is how this works, first there is the TX primary:

Clinton won the primary with 51 percent of the popular vote to Obama's 47 percent, according to the Associated Press. Those results earned her 65 delegates to Obama's 61 delegates.

Followed by the TX caucuses:

The state Democratic Party estimates that Obama will come out ahead: 37 pledged delegates to Clinton's 30 delegates

Clinton: 65 + 30 = 95
Obama: 61 + 37 = 98
=======================
Obama wins by 3!

I diaried yesterday that the MSM narrative of Clinton winning Texas was false. It may be up to us, to make sure that this narrative must be changed to accurately reflect what really happened. Clinton did NOT have a 3 to 1 victory over Obama, it was a 2 to 2 tossup.

The media loves to jump the gun and sensationalize whenever it looks like there is a good story, such as another Clinton comeback. But in this case it is particularly reprehensible because as of Tuesday night these same results were evident with about 30% of the vote in. If nothing else, instead of illegitimately declaring Clinton the winner, they should have done what they did in Florida in the 2000 general election, wait for the final outcome before they declared the winner.

They jumped the gun and Obama paid the price by appearing to have lost his Mojo. Well I'm delcaring his Mojo is back!

Update: Wow, made the rec list. Thanks to all!!

Update 2 10:52:AM MST A few commenters are trying to make a point that Clinton maintains the popular vote lead in Texas. This is factually incorrect.
According to NPR, more than 1 million voters showed up to caucus.

Let's do a little math (Primary vote totals from ABC News):

TX Primary Result
Clinton 1,459,814
Obama 1,358,785

TX Caucus Result
Not formally tabulated but if we derive from the available totals we have good approximate numbers
Clinton 440,000
Obama 560,000

Grand Popular Vote Totals (Primary + Caucus)
Clinton 1,469,814 + 440,000 = 1,909,814
Obama 1,358,785 + 560,000 = 1,918,785

'nuff said?

Update 3 12:20PM MST
There is some controversy over whether it's fair to calculate the popular vote as listed above. It is a fair point to be sure. The Texas system is...unusual to say the least. And popular vote is open to interpretation. How do we define it really? The total number of votes cast? That is clearly advantage Obama. Or the total number of people who cast votes? Advantage Clinton.

In the end, I suppose it's up to Texas to define it. But I think Texas gives us a clue in that they are willing to allocate additional delegates based on the caucus results. In the end it is a judgement call and surely will generate continued controversy. Whatever the argument, it is clear that Obama won the delegate count, and thus the state.

Update 4 6:18PM MST
Well Keith Olberman just said the magic words. Obama WON Texas! If there was any doubt before, it's gone now. The MSM has indeed picked up on this.

Original here

Breaking the Final Rule

It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party's nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned.

By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party's nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.

As a veteran of red telephone ads and "where's the beef" cleverness, I am keenly aware that sharp elbows get thrown by those trailing in the fourth quarter (and sometimes even earlier). "Politics ain't beanbag," is the old slogan. But that does not mean that it must also be rule-or-ruin, me-first-and-only-me, my way or the highway. That is not politics. That is raw, unrestrained ambition for power that cannot accept the will of the voters.

Senator Obama is right to say the issue is judgment not years in Washington. If Mrs. Clinton loses the nomination, her failure will be traced to the date she voted to empower George W. Bush to invade Iraq. That is not the kind of judgment, or wisdom, required by the leader answering the phone in the night. For her now to claim that Senator Obama is not qualified to answer the crisis phone is the height of irony if not chutzpah, and calls into question whether her primary loyalty is to the Democratic party and the nation or to her own ambition.

Original here

Bill Clinton: John McCain and Hillary are 'very close'

Hillary Clinton and John McCain are very close, Bill Clinton says.

(CNN) — If Hillary Clinton and John McCain become their party's presidential nominees, the general election race is likely to be a love-fest.

At least according to Bill Clinton.

Campaigning in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Friday, the former president brushed aside suggestions his wife would prove to be a divisive nominee for the Democratic Party, pointing out how she has successfully worked with Republicans in the Senate — including one of the current GOP presidential candidates.

"She and John McCain are very close," Clinton said. "They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."

The comments may not be welcome by the McCain camp — which yesterday faced fire from several of its rivals for winning the backing of the New York Times — a longtime archenemy of conservatives.

Sens. McCain and Clinton last met publicly at an ABC debate earlier January, when presidential candidates of both parties shared the same stage. The two were seen exchanging pleasantries, and a Clinton side said she told the Arizona senator he’d done a “good job” staging a comeback in New Hampshire. He asked that she say hello to Bill Clinton for him.

Original here


Desperate Clinton crosses 'the Joe Lieberman threshold'

In a turn of phrase no doubt authored by the poison Penn, Hillary Clinton is now peddling bull manure packaged inside more bull manure with bull manure labeling.

And, she's doing everything she can to get John McCain elected.

The pro-McCain talking points below the fold.

Today's new standard: "Crossing the Commander-in-chief threshold."

What's that, you ask?

Beats the hell out of me. Is it the secret entrance to the West Wing? A line in the sand somewhere? I got nothing.

You think I'm making this up?

I'm not.

"I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold," the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

"I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy," she said.

Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a "distinguished man with a great history of service to our country," Clinton said, "Both of us will be on that stage having crossed that threshold. That is a critical criterion for the next Democratic nominee to deal with."

I will tell you what I know about this, though.

It's an attempt to poison the well for Barack Obama in 2008. Her goal is two-fold:

  1. To make Obama appear as unelectable as possible to scare Superdelegates into voting for her at the convention; and
  1. if that doesn't work, to make sure that McCain defeats Obama in November so she can run again in 2012 and scold the party with "I told you so."

"There are certain critical issues that voters always look to in a general election. National security experience (and) the qualifications to be commander-in-chief are front and center. They always have been. They always will be," she said.

She said she and McCain had traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan together as she repeated a line that surfaced from the campaign trail. She and McCain "bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, Clinton said, while "Sen. Obama will bring a speech he gave in 2002," stating his opposition to the Iraq war as an Illinois state senator.

Folks, for 2008, Hillary Clinton has one overriding goal:

Prevent Barack Obama from winning the White House.

If that means she wins, great. But, if that means handing the White House to the Republican and John McCain, that's also acceptable. Because, after all, there's always 2012.

Her worst case scenario is Barack Obama defeating her close friend and ally, John McCain.

She has crossed a threshold.

Not the "Commander in chief threshold."

She's crossed the "Joe Lieberman Threshold" by campaigning on behalf of the Republican nominee for President.

Permission is granted to reproduce this diary in whole or in part with proper atrribution.

If you want to punish Senator Clinton or otherwise express your outrage, you know what to do. (Volunteer too!)

Original here

Updated 2x - Why isn't MSM reporting the truth about NAFTA Clinton Involvement???

I would think that this is huge news - ie Canadian government and CATV publicly apologizing for the Obama NAFTA fabrication AND the fact that Clinton's camp was the first to discuss the NAFTA rhetoric with Canada. I've been searching through the news channels and online MSM newspapers - and I haven't found a single mention yet.

Am I taking crazy pills or is MSM and the Clintons burying this story? I would assume that Sen. Clinton essentially lying to the Ohio and Texas electorate would be a somewhat sizable news story, given this week’s results.

What's equally infuriating is the fact that the Clinton camp has brow-beaten the Media into carrying her water and failing to actually "vet" her. My guess is that Olberman will be the only one to mention this story. Sorry to vent, but the only thing that makes my blood boil more than hypocrisy like this is when that hypocrisy is intentionally buried and ignored. Got Orwell?

Unfortunately, many, many uneducated people will continue to believe that Obama actually had a role in this entire controversy - add that to the whisper campains and numerous other falsehoods. Oh well, time to get back to comparing Obama to Ken Starr, Karl Rove, Elmer Fudd, or whoever they think of next...

**UPDATE 1:
Here's the Clinton camp's rebuttal - I guess, based on their track record of truth, we should take them on their word (snark):
"Unlike the Obama campaign, we can and do flatly deny this report and urge the Canadian government to reveal the name of anyone they think they heard from. The Obama campaign has given a variety of misleading answers to the press and the public about its top economic adviser’s contacts with the Canadian government and should come clean about why they did so," writes campaign spokespman Phil Singer.

**UPDATE 2:

Thanks to cadjo4 for picking this up -
http://ap.google.com/...

Report Questions Clinton NAFTA Position
By ROB GILLIES – 56 minutes ago

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff said someone in Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign gave Canada back-channel assurances that her harsh words about the North American Free Trade Agreement were for political show, according to a report by the Canadian Press.

- Also on CNN ticker - buried below a few posts.
Poll

When will this be reported?

8%72 votes
63%522 votes
20%169 votes
7%58 votes

| 821 votes | Vote | Results

Original here

Bradley: Bill Clinton's Financial Backers Could Pose Big Problem

Though known for his soft-demeanor, former senator and current Obama supporter Bill Bradley let off a bit of steam at the Clinton campaign during an appearance on NewsHour Wednesday night.

Calling into question the known unknowns (channeling my inner-Rumsfeld) of former president Bill Clinton's financial backers, Bradley raised the specter of down-the-road quid-pro-quos and one-hand-behind-your-back general election fights against Sen. John McCain. As he explained to host Jim Lehrer:

"I think Barack Obama has a much stronger chance of beating John McCain in the general election. I think Hillary is flawed in many ways, and particularly if you look at her husband's unwillingness to release the names of the people who contributed to his presidential library.

And the reason that is important -- you know, are there favors attached to $500,000 or $1 million contributions? And what do I mean by favors? I mean, pardons that are granted; investigations that are squelched; contracts that are awarded; regulations that are delayed.

These are important questions. The people deserve to know. And we deserve, as Democrats, to know before a nominee is selected, because we don't want things to explode in a general election against John McCain."

Here is the video:

Tip of the hat to goldmj at Daily Kos for first noticing this.

Original here

Journo Takes Redundancy To Illogical Extreme

We count six recording devices in the hands of the woman on the right. Why? Is she covering for five colleagues on a smoke break? Is she presenting them as an offering to Press Corps God Barack Obama? Do some of the devices pick up secret messages spoken in registers too high for normal humans to hear? Is one of them a tricorder? And what's up with her arms? Can human fingers even do that? Please speculate wildly in the comments. [Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images, Via]

Original here

On the Red Phone

Here's an idea for an Obama ad: a montage of Clinton's Sybillish personalities that have surfaced during the campaign with a solemn voiceover at the end saying, "Does anyone want this nut answering the phone?"

How is it that she became the one who's perceived as more equipped to answer that 3 a.m. call than the unflappable Obama? He, with the ice in his veins, who doesn't panic when he's losing or get too giddy when he's winning, who's as comfortable in his own skin as she's uncomfortable in hers. There have been times in this campaign when she seemed so unhinged that I worried she'd actually kill herself if she lost. Every day, she reminds me more and more of Adele H., who also had an obsession that drove her insane.

A few weeks ago, I started to feel sorry for her. Oh Christ, let her win already...Who cares...It's not worth it. There's not that much difference between them. She can have it. Anything to avoid watching her descend into madness. So I switched. I started rooting for her. It wasn't that hard. Compromise comes easy to me. I was on board.

And then I saw the ad.

I watched, transfixed, as she took the 3 a.m. call...and I was afraid...very afraid. Suddenly, I realized the last thing this country needs is that woman anywhere near a phone. I don't care if it's 3 a.m. or 10 p.m. or any other time. I don't want her talking to Putin, I don't want her talking to Kim Jong Il, I don't want her talking to my nephew. She needs a long rest. She needs to put on a sarong and some sun block and get away from things for a while, a nice beach somewhere -- somewhere far away, where there are...no phones.

Original here

Bush Uses Signing Statement to Legalize Warrantless Searches of US Citizens' Mail

On December 20, 2007, President Bush signed routine postal legislation. In a "Signing Statement", the President claims Executive Power to search the mail of U.S. citizens inside the United States without a warrant, in direct contradiction of the bill he had just signed.

The Seattle Times
The move, one year after The New York Times' disclosure of a secret program that allowed warrantless monitoring of Americans' phone calls and e-mail, caught Capitol Hill by surprise.
"Despite the president's statement that he may be able to circumvent a basic privacy protection, the new postal law continues to prohibit the government from snooping into people's mail without a warrant," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the incoming House Government Reform Committee chairman, who co-sponsored the bill.
"You have to be concerned," a senior U.S. official agreed. "It takes executive-branch authority beyond anything we've ever known."
Yet, in his statement, Bush said he will "construe" an exception, "which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection in a manner consistent ... with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances."
White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore denied Bush was claiming new authority.
"In certain circumstances -- such as with the proverbial 'ticking bomb' -- the Constitution does not require warrants for reasonable searches," she said.
Bush, however, cited "exigent circumstances" that could refer to an imminent danger or a long-standing state of emergency.

I feel safer already.

If you were wondering what Keith Olbermann was going to talk about tonight, we've got you covered... This.

The only real question is, will Keith have video of The President actually wiping his ass with The Constitution, or are those films Top-Secret Presidential -- like the list of people Dick Cheney has shotgunned, then made to apologize?

Reading our mail? Letters from soldiers to their boyfriends and girlfriends. Strategy memos from Fortune 500 Companies to strategic partners including how they'll bid on government jobs. Whistle-blower memos. Letters to criminal defense lawyers, priests and rabbis.

If the U.S. Mail isn't private, next thing you know the Feds will be listening to our damn phone calls! Reading our emails! Restricting our ability to travel or arresting us for trying to get into a political event if we're not assimilated.

Worst. President. Ever.

Original here

Who leaked the details of a CIA-Mossad plot against Iran?

The Bush administration is prolonging the hunting season against journalists. The latest victim is James Risen, The New York Times reporter for national security and intelligence affairs. About three months ago, a federal grand jury issued a subpoena against him, ordering Risen to give evidence in court. A heavy blackout has been imposed on the affair, with the only hint being that it has to do with sensitive matters of "national security."

But conversations with several sources who are familiar with the affair indicate that Risen has been asked to testify as part of an investigation aimed at revealing who leaked apparently confidential information about the planning of secret Central Intelligence Agency and Mossad missions concerning Iran's nuclear program.

Risen included this information in his book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," which was published in 2006. In the book, he discusses a number of ideas which he says were thought up jointly by CIA and Mossad operatives to sabotage Iran's nuclear capabilities.

One of these ideas was to build electromagnetic devices, smuggling them inside Iran to sabotage electricity lines leading to the country's central nuclear sites. According to the plan, the operation was supposed to cause a series of chain reactions which would damage extremely powerful short circuits in the electrical supply that would have led to failures of the super computers of Iran's nuclear sites.

According to the book, the Mossad planners proposed that they would be responsible for getting the electromagnetic facilities into Iran with the aid of their agents in Iran. However, a series of technical problems prevented the plan's execution.

Another of the book's important revelations, which made the administration's blood boil about James Risen, appeared in a chapter describing what was known as Operation Merlin, the code name for another CIA operation supposed to penetrate the heart of Iran's nuclear activity, collect information about it and eventually disrupt it.

Operation Merlin

The CIA counter proliferation department hired a Soviet nuclear engineer who had previously, in the 1990s, defected to the United States and revealed secrets from the Soviet Union's nuclear program. His speciality was in the field of what is called weaponization, the final stage of assembling a nuclear bomb.

The scientist was equipped with blueprints for assembling a nuclear bomb in which, without his knowledge, false drawings and information blueprints were planted about a nuclear warhead that was supposedly manufactured in the Soviet Union. The plan's details had been fabricated by CIA experts, and so while they appeared authentic, they had no engineering or technological value.

The intention was to fool the scientist and send him to make contact with the Iranians to whom he would offer his services and blueprints. The American plot was aimed at getting the Iranians to invest a great deal of effort in studying the plans and to attempt to assemble a faulty warhead. But when the time came, they would not have a nuclear bomb but rather a dud.

However, Operation Merlin, which was so creative and original, failed because of CIA bungled planning. The false information inserted into the blueprints were too obvious and too easily detected and the Russian engineer discovered them. As planned, he made contact with the Iranian delegation to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and handed over to them, also as planned, the blueprints.

But contrary to the CIA's intention, he added a letter to the blueprints in which he pointed out the mistakes. He did not do this with ill intent or out of a desire to disrupt the operation and harm his operators. On the contrary, he did so out of a deep sense of mission and in order to satisfy his American operators. He hoped that in this way he would simply increase the Iranians' trust in him and encourage them to make contact with him for the good, of course, of his American operators.

The result was disastrous. Not only did the CIA fail to prevent the Iranians in their efforts to enhance their nuclear program, this operation may also have made it possible for them to get their hands on a plan for assembling a nuclear warhead.

Freedom of the press

In Israel, military censorship would have prevented the publication of details such as these. But in the U.S., where the principle of freedom of the press is sacred and anchored in the constitution, there is no compulsory and binding censorship. There is, however, an expectation there that the press will show responsibility. This expectation has increased in recent years, particularly with the conservative Bush administration and in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Risen is not the first journalist to have been subpoenaed to give evidence before a grand jury and reveal his sources. According to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, some 65 journalists have been summoned for such investigations since 2001. Some agreed, cooperated and testified. Most refused, so that they would not have to reveal their sources. In this way, they exposed themselves to being charged with contempt of court.

There were some who even preferred to be jailed so long as they were not forced to reveal their source. The best-known case was that of Judith Miller, another New York Times writer. The background to her 85-day imprisonment was her refusal to reveal who had leaked the name of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, to the media.

"It is true that there is tension between the Bush administration and the media," says Steve Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy on behalf of the Federation of American Scientists, an independent body which aims at analyzing the activities of government with a critical eye, "but I would not go so far as to say that the administration is waging war against the media."

In Aftergood's assessment, the danger to the freedom of the press comes rather from private citizens and organizations, those who feel themselves harmed by journalistic publications and commentators and who would therefore like to limit the press' freedom. The most conspicuous of these is Gabriel Schoenfeld, a senior editor at Commentary, who believes that liberal newspapers like The New York Times are not sufficiently patriotic. In his articles and in testimony before a Senate committee that discussed the issue, Schoenfeld claimed that

The New York Times reporters had revealed confidential material that weakened America's struggle against Al-Qaida. He calls for relinquishing the soft approach which he says the administration has taken against journalists in whose publications, in his opinion, America's security is harmed.

There are many others who take the opposite approach and believe that the right of journalists to keep their sources secret should be anchored in law. Two Congressmen, the Republican Mike Pence, and Rick Boucher, a Democrat, have proposed legislation to this effect - a law for the free flow of information. The House of Representatives has already approved their proposal but the legislation is being held up in the Senate, to the displeasure of the American Civil Liberties Union.

On the face of it, this is a sensitive issue that is intended to draw the lines between the freedom of information, freedom of the media, and the public's right to know, against the right of a democracy to defend itself against enemies that are not democratic. But James Risen has no doubt that the correct and just moral act on his part has to be to defend his sources, even if this means he will lose his freedom.

The next test case in the U.S. concerning the freedom of the press could be of even greater interest to Israel. It is connected to next month's trial of two former senior American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employees, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, who have been charged with crimes based on an old First World War anti-espionage law, which has hardly ever been put into practice since.

The indictment states that they obtained confidential information from officials at the Pentagon and transferred it, inter alia, to Israeli diplomats and journalists. A number of American journalists have already been investigated by the CIA in connection to this, and it is possible that they will be called to give evidence incriminating the two senior AIPAC officials.

Original here