Friday, October 18 2002
LAYER IN SD: Okay, okay, we're a little fixated on the South
Dakota thing. New story in the Rapid
City Journal reports the DNC has shelled out $12,867 over
the last three months to Becky Red Earth-Villeda, the "independent
contractor" used by the Dems to register new voters in SD.
Marshall makes the case that the whole vote fraud investigation
is a sham, trumped up by the Thune campaign and its connections
KSFY-TV. I'm not sure I buy this theory and I've sent Josh
the registration numbers and asked him to comment. - TB 12:39
October 17 2002
THE GROWING CASE: The data I've collected on South
Dakota voter registration certainly seems to support the idea
that something is amiss, though ultimately the numbers alone aren't
conclusive. See for yourself:
New Registered Voters in South Dakota
(Primary Day Thru Election Day)
South Dakota Secretary of State's Office
about one week left of registration, Democrats have accounted
for 49.4% of all new voters put on the rolls since June 4. That's
a 23% increase over the last election and 16.8% more than their
average from 1996-2000. In terms of raw numbers, Democrats have
already managed to register more people this year between primary
day and election day than they did in 1996, a year in which
both the Presidential race and Senate race were hotly contested.
registration numbers proof of vote fraud? Of course not. But with
evidence from the ongoing investigation suggesting that in
certain counties as many as 1 in 10 registrations are invalid,
just based on the data I've collected there could be upwards of
a thousand fraudulent registrations in South Dakota by election
day. That, my friends, would be a serious case of vote fraud.
- TB 6:09 pm
UPDATE: I just got off the phone with the South Dakota Secretary
of State's office. Here are the numbers they provided regarding
*June 4 - October
SD Voter Registration June - November
(Primary Day - Election Day)
New Voters Registered
As you can
see, this year's numbers are already double the number of new
voters registered between June and November in the last mid-term
election and we still have three weeks left. There were, however,
no real competitive races in 1998 that would drive voter turnout
(Janklow won 64%-33% and Daschle won 62%-36%) and the numbers
are consistent with Presidential election years.
voter registration in South Dakota the GOP enjoys a 10 point advantage:
48% Republican, 38% Democrat, and 13% unaffiliated. (Source: 2002
Almanac of American Politics). Now take a look at the breakdown
of the 18,111 new voters registered since June 4:
New Registered Voters
Make of this
what you will. Personally, I haven't drawn any conclusions just
yet based on these numbers. Maybe the Dems are just doing a better
job of registering voters this year and there really are only
a couple of bad ballots. I'm skeptical, but it's quite possible.
The one piece
of information missing (which I'm working on getting) is how this
year's breakdown of new registered voters by party (June-November)
compares to similar breakdowns from 2000, 1998, 1996. In other
words, if over the last three election cycles the new voters registered
between June and November are historically in the GOP's favor
(along the lines of overall registration), but all of the sudden
this year the Dems have turned that number on its head then I
will be VERY inclined to believe there is some sort of organized
As you can
see, at most we are talking about a few thousand ballots which,
though they will represent less than 1% of the total vote cast
on November 5, are probably going to make all the difference in
the world. - TB 1:03 pm
Secretary of State's office could confirm the claim of higher
absentee balloting this year because ballots are sent and received
by the county offices - and I'm not industrious enough to call
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: One of the nice things about a blog is
that is allows for shameless self-promotion. Today, that means
we'll be talking about the Weekly Standard. It's one of our favorites
and a staple on the main page. We told Terry Eastland we could
help him sell some subscriptions, so do us a favor and sign
up for the magazine.
partnered with Zogby to promote his 2002 election polls. The second
batch was released this past weekend. Subscribe
now to get all of the great internal numbers as well as the
next round which will come out at the end of the month. - TB 11:35
Senator Tim Johnson says he's "not particularly familiar"
with the vote
fraud investigation going on in South Dakota.
Brett Healy, head of the SD Democrats, says only a couple of ballots
are involved and the GOP is blowing the whole thing out of proportion
for political purposes. "The fact is," said Mr. Healy, "he
(the GOP State Chairman) is trying to inflame rhetoric. Painting
a picture of some grand conspiracy is ludicrous at best" But hold
on a minute. The next sentence of the article suggests Mr. Healy
might be the one stretching the truth a bit:
17,000 new voter registrations have been reported since the
June primary, according to state records. Additionally, the
level of absentee voting has been higher than a presidential
thousand people in four months sure seems like a lot. And the
high level of absentee balloting smells fishy as well. I'm trying
to dig into this a little deeper and hopefully will post an update
later in the day. - TB 10:20 am
CONTROL: So North Korea has
a nuclear weapons program. This is news in a weird "it's
not really news" way, because everyone pretty much knew they
were trying. Maybe the big news is that after 50 years of telling
nothing but lies, North Korea decided to come clean on something.
It will be interesting to see how the Bush administration responds.
By the way, Dubya's now batting .667 on the AoE thing.
interesting story to me, which Andrew
Sullivan alludes to in a brief post, is that this revelation
is yet another piece of Clinton's legacy that's gonna need some
quick fixing. You know, the choice Time Magazine profile piece
with quotes from "top administration officials" detailing
how engaged Clinton was on the issue, how it was their top priority,
and how when they handed off the urgent files to the Bush administration
it got buried. No doubt we will all be treated to a full hour
of Madeline Albright fielding softballs from Larry King in the
near future. Sandy Berger has probably already filed his op-ed
with the Post.
fits perfectly into a pattern that continues to develop with respect
to foreign policy in the Clinton administration. It was a foreign
policy that was neither practical nor effective and, with the
conspicuous example of Kosovo, relied on handshakes and deals
worth little more than the paper they were printed on. From Iraq
to North Korea to Russia to China, Clinton's foreign policy was
all trust and no verify. Treaties were signed, backs were slapped
and everyone walked away feeling good about themselves. At least
for the next few years, it don't work that way anymore.
FOREVER: The Australian death
toll from the Bali bombings continues its excruciating rise
as more bodies are identified. Meanwhile, PM Howard confirms
the US warned the Aussies about a possible attack in a tourist
location. The arc of this tragedy is absolutely haunting.
NY Times reports
that Indonesia has finally labeled Jemaah Islamiyah a terrorist
group. Let's hope kicking the terrorist habit works just like
a 12-step program: after denial comes recovery.
to our little experiment. The King lives in Tennessee, and I'm
not talkin' about Elvis. -
TB 12:15 am
Wednesday, October 16 2002
52: Given what's
happening in South Dakota right now, can you imagine the chaos
52 would cause in California?
By the way,
I haven't heard anyone decry the obvious conflict of interest
in having the DNC (and probably the RNC as well, though I haven't
seen proof of it yet) providing financial incentive to "independent
contractors" for registering new voters. Of course there
will be people who will be willing to cut corners and forge documents
to get paid, especially if they know there is little likelihood
of getting caught. - TB 11:54 am
LIKE MIKE?: In typical fashion, Michael Moore
poisons any serious debate on real issues:
why conservatives usually win: law and order, bigger military.
They appeal to the most basic instinct in us as humans, our
self-preservation. We'll always vote for anybody who's going
to promise to protect us. But sometimes they need to create
the illusion there's a greater threat than there actually is,
they create the need to be protected. They have to invent the
Other. The Other can be the black man, the Other could be the
poor, the Other could be Saddam Hussein. Whatever it is, they've
got to have it.
about one thing: people do want protection. It's the primary mission
of the US government and an issue that deserves much needed attention
in today's world.
amusing. I'm sure the above mentioned Michael Moore will conclude
the poll results are directly correlated to Dubya's excessive
war mongering and falling approval ratings. After all, he predicted
exactly such a scenario years ago.
ZOGBY : James lectures
the Saudis about getting involved in U.S. politics.
TROUBLES: Here's a detailed
analysis of the recent elections in Pakistan that will have
the State Department working overtime. - TB 10:46 am
Tuesday, October 15 2002
GLOBE : Now here's a
piece of unbiased journalism for you. I can just see Maeve
Reston sitting in her office typing away on her computer, tight
against deadline, with press releases from NARAL and the Shaheen
campaign littering her desk. Consider the following statements
from the article:
supports the right to abortion in all cases"
2) "Sununu supports abortion only in the case of rape,
incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger"
3) "Only about 10 percent of New Hampshire's voters believe
abortion should be illegal in all cases"
missing from this analysis? How about the number of people who
are against abortion in all cases? I've never understood
why pro-life candidates can't turn this argument in their favor.
Being in favor of abortion under any circumstances
is an inherently more radical position than being pro-life with
exceptions. Most people, whether pro-choice or pro-life (or whatever
you want to call them) support some moderation. It would seem
very easy to make this case by asking candidates like Shaheen,
who favor third-term and partial birth abortions, why ending the
life of a baby a week or two before birth is considered a "woman's
choice" but doing the same a week or two after birth is legally
defined as murder. The logic just isn't there to support such
a radical position - TB 3:35pm
Trolling the web looking for the latest political stories I came
one on Drudge: "Trial in Brutal Killings Grips Kansas."
Just too clickable. The AP story, written by Roxana Hegeman, details
the gruesome abduction and killing of five people by two brothers
in Wichita in December 2000. About half way through the story
Hegeman drops this bomb:
case has become a rallying cry for white supremacists groups
across the nation because the suspects are black while all the
victims were white. Weeks before the trial was set to begin,
a Nazi group held a rally in Topeka where the case was repeatedly
in Topeka a few weeks ago (this could also be read as "nearly
two years after the murders took place") by a few whackos
and it's a "national" rallying cry for skinheads? Puhhlease.
a couple of more pertinent questions: why did this brutal case
not receive more media attention at the time? Surely the election
chaos that gripped the nation until mid-December is part of the
answer. Still, if the races of the suspects and the victims in
this case were reversed does anyone believe for one second that
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson wouldn't have raced into Wichita
and made it an issue? One more question: this case is not being
tried as a "hate crime"; that peculiar, extralegal designation
of which liberals are so fond. Shouldn't somebody alert Ron Kuby
to this gross miscarriage of justice? - TB 2:07 pm
The Altanta Journal-Constitution reports
that GOP crossover votes weren't the cause of her stinging defeat
to Denise Majette earlier this year. But don't worry, Cynthia
isn't going to let the facts get in the way of her self-righteous
pity party. The lawsuit she filed challenging the election results
will go on. And it looks like McKinney is going to make a statement
today around 11:00 am. Democrats shudder every time she opens
ON THE LAW: Here is an
instructive piece in the Chicago Tribune about how the two
candidates (Republican Joe Birkett and Democrat Lisa Madigan)
in the hotly contested race for Illinois Attorney General view
the position. Here's the money quote:
sees the attorney general's office almost as a social service
agency that actively advocates for consumers, seniors and others
in need. Birkett views the job from more of a law-enforcement
perspective and would focus on getting tougher on crime, rather
than injecting himself into social issues.
a young, liberal State Senator who makes no bones about the fact
that she will seek to shape as well as enforce law. The article
quotes her as saying she "will oppose efforts by the General
Assembly to pass anti-choice legislation that is clearly unconstitutional
and will result in the waste of taxpayer dollars on litigation."
on the other hand, is a 47 year-old career prosecutor in the State's
Attorney's office who sticks to the line that he will enforce
all state laws regardless of whether they conflict with his personal
With a worldview
like this, it's no wonder that Democrats so feverishly opposed
(and continue to demonize) John Ashcroft. I think it's fair to
say that Ashcroft has let his personal views effect DOJ policy,
including the government taking a broader interpretation of the
2nd Amendment and stretching federal law to get involved in the
assisted suicide issue out in Oregon. By and large, however, Ashcroft
has not used the office to be an activist for conservative causes
- like allocating extra resources in an attempt to challenge Roe
v. Wade - and has stuck to a core belief in enforcing the rule
of law. - TB 9:05am
Monday, October 14 2002
STATEMENT : I've long thought Osama is dead. Megalomaniacs
of his stature - especially those trying to inspire an intense,
burning hatred in their subjects - simply can't do the job with
releases. Good media exposure
can, however, be a nice way to reinforce your primary message:
of Islam ... whether this whole nation is targeted, without
distinguishing between allies or foes, is no longer an issue.
The issue now is, how do we face this flagrant aggression?
in Bali and on the French tanker in Yemen have served yet further
notice that the war against civilization has begun in earnest.
Still, it strikes me as extraordinarily unwise for al-Qaeda to
provoke the rest of the world with such attacks now and eliminate
any remaining opposition to an aggressive pursuit of terrorists
by other nations. Yes, there will always be the appeasement-at-all-costs
crowd, but it would have seemed much smarter for al-Qaeda
to continue to focus on American interests. Perhaps, just perhaps,
the United States has been much more effective in preventing attacks
at home and abroad than we even know, and the terrorists have
become frustrated, impatient and willing to strike wherever possible.
Or perhaps they simply don't care about strategy and are consumed
with the desire for jihad. -
TB 5:45 pm
FOR PRESIDENT: A new Marist
College poll shows 69% of Americans say Hillary should "never"
run for President. But don't be fooled into believing that the
poll results indicate Hillary couldn't run - either in 2004 or
2008 - and still have a decent chance of winning. Let's do the
math: Hillary would be virtual lock to win the Northeast (CT,
ME, MA, NY, RI, VT), most of the Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ),
California, Hawaii, and most likely her home state of Illinois.
That's 172 electoral votes. Other liberal leaning states that
could easily break for Hillary are Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington,
and Wisconsin. That's 45 more. So we're back to a few key battleground
states like Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania and, of course, Florida.
Don't laugh, it could happen.
Sure, a lot
depends on the economy, the War on Terror and the like. But the
overall dynamics of the electorate, the ones that produced that
vivid red/blue map of the United States in 2000, don't seem to
have changed that drastically - despite the tragedy of September
11. In fact, the scenario outlined above is equally plausible
for almost any potential Democrat nominee: Al Gore, John Kerry,
Joe Lieberman, Howard Dean. -TB 5:03 pm
OF THE RACE: Zogby came out with a batch
of new polls this weekend on the hotly contested Senate races.
If the election were held today, Democrats would hold Minnesota
and New Jersey, Republicans would win Missouri and South Dakota,
but Colorado and Arkansas could go either way. Still, that's a
worse case scenario of no change to a best case scenario of a
two seat pickup and control of the Senate.
are on the defensive in New Hampshire (where Shaheen has taken
a slight lead over Sununu in the latest poll) and North Carolina
(where Bowles has pulled to within 4 points of Dole). Democrats
have their own concern in Georgia, where Max Cleland's lead over
Saxby Chambliss has dwindled to mid-single digits.
it looks as if Republicans are in a slightly better position to
make gains, but only by a seat or two - contrary to what Don Nickles
said on Fox News yesterday. Bush will be campaigning nonstop over
the next three weeks and even though his high approval ratings
may not provide coattails in November, the amount of attention
and money he will raise for Republican candidates will be significant.
EXCUSE: The canard that the impending war with Iraq is "all
about oil" is so
tired and so false it's a wonder people are still using
it, including Michelle Martin just yesterday on ABC's "This
Week." Because of Bush and Cheney's background it's an irresistible
story line for the cynical far-left crowd, but the reality of
the situation is significantly
different. -TB 9:08 am