Yesterday on WCRN Hank Stolz commented on the revelations concerning Donna Brazile funneling debate questions to the Hillary Clinton campaign which caused CNN to drop her (although apparently it didn’t cause CNN to devote a lot of air time to the story).

In the course of his comments he asked what would seem to be a logical question and I’m paraphrasing here: Why would she bother to do so?

Several of the questions could have been anticipated and were on topics that she was likely prepared for, that being the case, why would she bother to take the risk of scandalous behavior for a seemingly minimal advantage?

It is seemingly a very good question however the answer is very obvious: Why wouldn’t she?

Consider:

  • There was apparently no reason to believe the people she contacted in the Clinton campaign would object to refuse or divulge the reception the inside information
  • There was apparently no reason to believe that Hillary Clinton herself or any of her debate prep handlers would would be passed this info would object to, refuse or expose her divulging inside information.
  • There was apparently no reason to believe that the any such person would give a tip to the media about the divulging of this information or apparently the media bothering to report on it.
  • And There was apparently no reason to believe that the media would pursue this question on their own.

She didn’t worry about the dangers of being caught because she knew that neither the Clinton campaign nor the media that supports it would have any inclination to try to catch or expose her but she had positive evidence that any attempt to claim that the fix was in would be met with universal derision and ridicule by the media.

In other words she had no reason to believe there would be any consequences for her actions so why shouldn’t she do these things?

It was only through Wikileaks  that this information came out, and this was something she did not anticipate nor did she have reason to do so at the time of her actions.

A better question for Hank to ask is this:  Given the complete lack of risk of exposure for these actions, how many years do you think people like Donna Brazile were “fixing” debates in this way?  As the Hill put it:

Americans now have reason to wonder about the other debates and who else in the so-called unbiased media world was seeking to assist the Clinton campaign by sneaking her a preview of questions or tilting the news in her favor. Such thinking is no longer cynical; it’s just realistic as we’ve seen just how widespread the corruption and bias goes.

And if people are willing to cheat in the debates, what else wouldn’t they justify cheating on to accomplish their ends?

Closing thought:  I have for many years publicly objected to wikileaks and anonymous and still do.  I don’t like hacking and believe in personal privacy.  The question is:  Given the fact that there is every reason to believe this illegal/immoral behavior would have continued unabated without these exposures,  can these actions be justified as a form of “guerrilla journalism” to keep our rulers honest?  Particularly give the fact that almost nobody in the MSM is asking the obvious question raised at the Hill, certainly not on TV anyways.


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It’s 9 am on Monday, I’ve had 2 hours sleep in the last 26 hours (counting 20 & 10 minute catnaps at work during breaks) and I was all ready to happily crash until I saw this from veteran reporter Bob Schieffer at Newsbusters:

How have we come to this?

That answer is quite simple.  You did this.

  • In 1992 the media decided to ignore the evidence of Bill Clinton’s actions when he ran for the White House
  • When the president of the United States was hitting on twenty something interns in the White House and getting blowjobs in the oval office the media decided it was “just sex”.
  • When the president of the United States lied about this under oath and was investigated for it, the media called it a “witch hunt” and called special prosecutor Ken Starr’s actions “puritanical”.
  • When the president finally was impeached over this the media attacked the GOP for doing so rather than the president for his actions.
  • When one of the women accused him of rape and a NBC reporter actually decided to cover the story, they held it so said facts wouldn’t affect the president’s trial. 
  • When said president left office the media pretended that none of these actions by said president, all of which would preclude a person from a job in corporate america under sexual harassment law, existed and lionized said ex-president.

And I haven’t even mentioned the media spending months spinning away and ignoring the Clinton emails scandals, Benghazi et/all

Then when finally someone calls them out publicly over this (and the double standards as to how conservatives have been treated) you have the temerity to ask:  How did we come to this?

But DaTechGuy you say, what about Trump?  Well you can take a bow there too

  • This same media that has had a fit over Donald Trump’s remarks has spent the last three decades fighting a war in the culture against  traditional values and the Judeo Christian culture that supports them while elevating vulgarity, narcissism and Lasciviousness as virtues.
  • The same media that attacks Donald Trump  over his business dealing and his actions and words concerning women elevated the same type of attacks on Mitt Romney and John McCain to the point where such attacks are meaningless.
  • The same media that attacks Donald Trump as a populist extremist and is appalled that such a man would be nominated spent the last decade labeling senators like Ted Cruz, governors like Sarah Palin and Scott Walker and members of the House like Michelle Bachmann and Allen West who wanted to address issues like our open borders, islamic terrorist, black on black violence in the cities and the 2nd amendment rights of the people as dangerous extremists and racists encouraging the GOP to attack them and praising them when they did, leaving the voters who care about these issues nowhere to go within the normal party structure.

Bottom line How DARE you insult our intelligence by decrying the state of our republic when you and your media allies by a combination of enabling Bill and Hillary Clinton at every opportunity for decades while marginalizing any pol who dared address the concerns of the center right of the nation and attacking their culture at every turn have done all you could to bring about this result?


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While the rest of the world was focused on game six of the world series, the national race for the senate and the Charlie Baker Martha Coakley debate  two candidates for State Senate in Massachusetts and their supporters converged on Leominster city hall:

Both Senator Jen Flanagan & former rep  Rich Bastien’s people turned out in force for the pre-debate standout while inside the final preparations were made.

While the debate was carried on Leominster Public access cable it still drew a fair-sized crowd.

Unlike the Wofford Tsongas debate applause was allowed after answers.  That came in handy allowed me time to live tweet just about every question and response. Before I get to some of those tweets let me give you the post debate comments of both candidates first Senator Flanagan

Then former rep Bastien

In the debate the candidates agreed on more issues than you might expect.  from the Kinder pipeline (both opposed although Flanagan wants to work with federal reps)  the new  bottle bill (both opposed Bastien calling it a tax on water Flanagan saying it’s not necessary with the current recycling).  Both suggested college costs have to be controlled (Flanagan talking about controlling fees Bastien suggesting state money directed to well endowed colleges be diverted toward state and community colleges)  and both against increasing taxes to pay for mental health programs (Bastien noting his signing of the no-tax pledge Flanagan saying new taxes won’t help arguing for reorganization instead).

There were also pronounced differences on a new Fitchburg Charter School (Bastien for Flanagan against) On question 1 the automatic Gas tax, Bastien calling it ducking responsibility and noting the cost per mile of road in Mass. vs other states while Flanagan noting she is constantly told by local cities & towns that more money is necessary for roads.

The elbows came out when Bastien hit Flanagan on her record nothing she voted for the budget including the bottle bill and for Deval “Patrickcare” while coming out against the ballot question and the nursing cuts but the most dramatic exchange came after the obligatory mutual Unitil bashing..

Bastien noted Flanagan while hitting Unitil took campaign donations from them, Flanagan was indigent

But Bastien countered noting the firm that donated openly boasts on their site about influencing legislative and regulatory processes.   That drew an unfortunate answer from Flanagan

Tip O’Neill famously noted he didn’t look at donations when he was voting but while Flanagan’s defense drew strong applause from her supporters at the debate her answer in an age when national democrats are constantly talking about the corrupting influence of money from corporations might not play well beyond the base.

In fairness it’s really a catch 22 for a sitting committee chair running for re-election. If your influence as a finance sub committee chair of a 30+ Billion dollar budget is a selling point for voters of a district it’s certainly going to be an even bigger selling point for firms looking to influence how that money is spent when they decide who to give money to.  It’s the classic chicken & egg problem and if this was a national race the video of that exchange would go viral potentially destroying a candidate.

With a local race and an office holder who is fairly well-known in the district with a reputation as a caring advocate, particularly on mental health issues (where a lot of the debate oddly seemed to focus on) A quote like that might be twitter fodder but  it’s unlikely to produce more than minor damage,  even in a state as cynical as Massachusetts.

My take? I’d give Bastien the debate on points but I don’t think Flanagan cost herself votes that she already had.

I think this race is going to come down on turnout if “Turn the rascals out” is the cry then in the year of a GOP wave Baker’s coattails will make the difference for Bastien, if however the sentiment is more anti Coakley than anti incumbent mood then she has a great chance of staying where she is.

I’d watch this race, it might say a lot about where at least Central Massachusetts is going.

I want you to be famous for those exact words. I want people to call you Colonel Runaway. I want children laughing outside your door, ’cause they’ve found the house of Colonel Runaway.

The 11th Doctor A Good Man goes to War 2011

While Dan “Colonel Runaway” Maffei continues to dodge open Forums Ann Marie Buerkle and the Green Party Opponent answered questions from the assembled Crowd.

There was some press before the event that took a few shots before

But were not there at the end.

I’ve already posted on the comments of the audience (the voters comments always take priority) now lets look at the event itself

The candidates made their opening cases first Miss Rozum

And then Congresswoman Buerkle:

I particularly liked the format it maximized the influence of the votes while minimizing the impact of the moderator. The questions were submitted in writing from the audience, put into a basket and drawn randomly by the moderator to be asked, Audience members were offered the chance to read their own questions if they declined the moderator would read them. The first question was on Benghazi.

At the time I hadn’t heard about them men going in against orders (more on that tomorrow). The questions continued Social Security:

The Economy:

And High Speed Rail which has been an issue of discussion in NY as well as California

The question on Fracking was one of only three where an audience member choose to ask their question themselves

I wasn’t aware that Fracking was a big issue in NY. the Next question was on Re-Licensing Nuclear Plants

and Privatizing Social Security

The Obamacare question was very significant as layoffs had just been announced at a local hospital over it

and another question on jobs

I thought the congresswoman make a good point on the nature of what a member of congress can do.

Both candidates then made closing statements, first Miss Rozum

I thought she was a rather good representative for the far left Green Party. She made a positive case for positions that many democrats would agree with and at the end of the event there were not many of her signs still in the hall to be taken. As her opponent Congresswoman Buerkle put it:

Ursula is a woman who has the courage of her convictions and I think whether agree or disagree on one issue or ten issues the only way our society and our government and our civilization is going to come, is going to reach any solutions is if people are willing to sit down and have a robust debate and discussion on issues and I think her courage as a Green Party candidate to do what she has done is to be commended and should be appreciated by this community because what she has done has not been an easy task by any stretch.

That’s pretty high praise from an opponent.

Congresswoman Buerkle closed the event with her closing statement

Throughout the event she made a positive and rational case both for her re-election and on the issues, what was really impressive was how she didn’t over promise and talked sensibly taking the voters seriously.

The real winners of the event were the voters who were present

Not only did they ask great substantive questions

But they had direct access to the candidates who spent a few minutes afterwards talking to them

And the biggest loser that would be Dan “Colonel Runaway” Maffei who after spending 2010 running away from his record has decided a winning strategy is to run away from the voters. What can you say about a grown man, a former congressman who has less courage than a girl in her 20’s as Congresswoman Put it.

Dan Maffei’s absence has been, I think an insult to the voters of this district I think if he wants the voters to know where he stands on the issues he has a responsibility as a candidate to come forth and the (record?) and you all know where he stands.

There were four town halls, one in each county in NY-24 and Dan “Col Runaway” Maffei ducked every one of them for fear they might ask him something that he would have to answer.

There is a clear choice in this race a Congresswoman who gives access or a Congressman who runs away.

Re-Elect Ann Marie Buerkle to Congress in NY 24

Because NY-24 deserves a representative who listens to the people in the district instead of running away from them

You can kick into her campaign here.

Update via the Lonely Conservative I suspect this video was not shot at the event:

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Back in 2011, after Gabby Giffords was shot, Obama made a touching speech in Arizona.  Pundits said that it was a “defining moment” in his Presidency.  On Peter’s show, I doubled down and said, “Hell, no, it’s not, and it won’t change a thing.”

You’re all thinking, “Ohhh, yeah, I remember that speech, I think, sort of, maybe; people called it a ‘defining moment’?”.

My rationale: making a speech has nothing to do with the core functions of the Presidency, or even its ancillary functions.  Read Article II. Commander in Chief.  Chief Executive. The power to make treaties,  with the consent of the Senate.

Let’s ignore the Frank Luntz Focus Group and say that Obama “won” last night. (Note that most polls that have Obama winning have him winning a plurality, not a majority; the polls that show Romney winning the debate show a majority.)  We’re still at our January, 2011 issue: this doesn’t change the fundamentals.

Gas is still $4.00 a gallon.  Unemployment is still sky-high.  The economy is still terrible. Health insurance premiums are still skyrocketing. Companies are moving overseas.  The national debt is still $16 trillion and climbing.  The Democrat-controlled Senate still hasn’t passed a budget in three years. Deficits are still over a trillion per year. And Obama did not even try to make the case, let alone make a successful case, that the next four years will be different.

Most people who aren’t total whackadoodle liberals aren’t going to vote for the guy unless they believe that the next four years will be different.  “Give that Romney fellow a chance; he’s done a good job with the Olympics and Massachusetts” will be the thought.

Even a decisive win would not have changed a bloody thing, because it wouldn’t have convinced Americans that the next four years would bring something different. We’re beyond the point at which debates and smackdowns matter for the Obama Administration; absent a clear plan to change things (and “tax the rich” isn’t working), he’s not going to get the support of America.

At first I wouldn’t believe, because I was a Norman I wouldn’t let myself believe…

Olivia DeHavilland The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938

JOURNALIST: Public opinion-made to order.

DIZ*: Yeah, Taylor-made.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1938

This morning I briefly linked to Ann Althouse’s piece as an update to my bit on polling and narratives, but the more I think about it the more I see real significance in her blog post that deserves attention.

Let’s start with the title:

What’s the birther/truther word for those who think political polls have become, basically, propaganda?

Right off we see an equivalence between “birthers” (those who think President Obama was not born in Hawaii) and Truthers (Those who believe we attacked ourselves on 9/11 as part of a grand conspiracy) and those who doubt the polls,  A person not reading the rest of this would naturally think this post was dismissive of those who question the pollsters

Pollers? Pollemicists? Poller bears? The Poller Opposites? Help me out.

It sounds like she is going to have some fun with those rubes who doubt, Johnathan Chait would be happy

I need a good coinage for the condition I’ve found myself lapsing into.

…right up until the point when it becomes apparent that she is one of those people

Here’s the latest symptom.

Note the use of the word, “symptom” she is describing a disease, a problem something that must be cured

I think I saw somewhere this morning — on Drudge? — that CNN had the presidential race suddenly tightening up, in advance of the polls.  And my first thought — I just blurted it out loud

Again, note the phrase:  “Just blurted it out loud“, no careful consideration, no weighing of evidence she just reacted .

— was: They’re saying it’s close right in advance of the debate so they can say, after the debate, that Obama went up. He won the debate.

Ann Althouse is a prominent law professor, an academic, she’s not just some Cheetos eating blogger.  Law professors just don’t do this kind of thing.  She continues:

I went over to Drudge to look for what I’d seen, and I didn’t find that but I found:

Under oath, Edwards pollster admits polls were ‘propaganda’…

POLL: Plurality of Americans believe POLLS biased for Obama…

Althouse is a lawyer, he understand the difference between circumstantial evidence and admissible evidence.

And here’s what I remember seeing this morning that brought on my pollemic

Again pollemic a word signifying something unreasonable.

: “New CNN/ORC poll less skewed for Barack Obama than the previous one.”
The survey, that includes a smaller eight percent over-sample of Democratic voters, has Obama leading by a 49 percent to 47 percent edge….

The news here is not that this poll is slightly skewed, but compared to the 15.4 percent skewed in favor of the Democrats in the controversial September 10 CNN/ORC poll, this latest one is based on a far less skewed sample.

Note she states as fact that the previous poll was badly skewed, (and yes it was) and she points out that the subsequent poll is skewed “far less”

And then comes the full Maid Marian, the moment of realization

See? I think they adjust the skew to get the result that suits the propaganda purpose, and they’re temporarily making the race look tight to make the debate seem super-important. (That’s good for CNN’s ratings, so there’s a commercial, nonpolitical reason too for poll fakery.) Then they can make a show of breaking the news that Obama got big debate bounce.

Now why is this any more important than any other, take a look at the language here, Ann Althouse is an Obama voter from 2008 who insists that given the same information at the time she still would have voted for him, but month after month she has seen what she has seen, in fact during the entire Scott Walker business she was in the middle of it. Being a reasonable person she didn’t want to believe, she didn’t want to think that we had reached this point in our political and media discourse, but she saw first had the difference between reality as it is and reality as our media present it, till finally at an instinctive level when exposed to it she can’t restrain herself anymore. No matter how much she would rather it not be so, she finds herself crying aloud like the child in the farie tale: “The Emperor has no Clothes”

I think there are millions of Ann Althouse/Maid Marions who have come to realizations that they would rather have not over the last few years. And I think the media has only itself to blame.

Ann Welcome to realville.

As we get ready for tonight debate here is my examiner piece contrasting the two debates in Massachusetts I covered this week, Brown v Warren & Tsongas V Golnik:

On Sunday afternoon incumbent Niki Tsongas running to retain her seat in the newly redrawn 3rd Massachusetts district faced Jon Golnik in the first debate of their rematch of the 2010 race at the Concord Carlisle High School.

On Monday Evening incumbent Scott Brown running to retain his seat in the US senate faced Elizabeth Warren in their second debate at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.

Both debates where an hour long and both featured the respective nominees of the Republican and Democrat Parties but there the similarities ended.

We focus on the big races, Romney vs Obama, Brown vs Warren but there are hundreds of house races flying under the radar that the future of the next president’s terms will depend on.

Please click and read the whole thing, it’s the easiest way to put 3/4 of a cent in my pocket short of hitting DaTipJar

Here is what people discovered:

  • Scott Brown stands by his good record.
  • Scott Brown’s stands by his awful record
  • Everybody loves the troops
  • Everybody loves women.
  • Scott Brown wants to protect Millionaires & Billionaires
  • Elizabeth Warren wants to turn your wallet into her personal piggy bank.

What you really learned, this style debate is fun and it’s not about the moderator which is good, but it got old really fast.

Good thing for Brown: The “I stand by my record” is appealing.  It’s always good when a person doesn’t duck

Bad thing for Brown: He is a likable person, you didn’t like ether of these folks much by the end.

Good thing for Warren: The stress of her family in the military. It de-elites her which is her biggest weakness

Bad Thing for Warren: If there was ever a week to NOT stress how much you want Barack Obama as the Commander-in-Chief, this was it.

My take:  Tacitly:  This debate was pretty much a wash, I think that helps Warren because of her slight lead. When a great part of your appeal is likability a debate that makes you want to throw rocks at the screen is bad, that could hurt, Scott Brown.

 

Strategically:  Brown established a big meme last night.  “Elizabeth Warren wants to turn your wallet into her piggy bank” was a memorable line.  If he has planted that meme in the heads of people it can be the basis of attacks for the rest of the campaign.  Additionally Warren took a big risk stressing not just she support for Barack Obama (which helps in MA)  but her support for him as Commander in Chief.

As the details of a successful Terrorist attack on  9/11  continue to come out the “I want to keep Barack Obama” as commander in Chief.” just might come back to haunt her.

Warren people might be happy tonight but if the Brown Campaign is smart (and I think they are) they will hang the repetitive narratives of this debate around Elizabeth Warren’s neck and make her slowly choke her on it.

This could be VERY Interesting

Update: I should have mentioned we also found out that Scott Brown in not an incumbent, because the debate moderator refused to call him “Senator” he was Mr. Brown. In my life I have never seen that. Was there a single debate where Ted Kennedy was not referred to as “Senator”?

Just watched yet another GOP debate and was totally unamazed by the lack of questions on fast and furious and BS questions such as: “Why did the Bush Tax Cuts fail?”. I think political types are sick of questions from people who want the GOP to fail.

I have a solution:

I suggest Hotair send an invitation to each candidate for a 2 hour debate moderated by Ed Morrissey.

The panel can be 4 bloggers the rule being each blogger has to be a known supporter of a different candidate (for example Bill Jacobson for Gingrich, Powerline for Romney, Stacy McCain for Santorum and a Ron Paul blogger for Ron Paul (Tom Woods?) )

I would suggest prospective bloggers could submit requests to be on the panel and the Hot Air Staff would vote. (That might be bad news for Stacy, oh well.)

I think Ed Morrissey should contact each campaign and see if they are willing. I guarantee it would be more interesting that what we’ve seen already.

Go for it Ed!

Update: Instalanche, thanks Glenn. I’d dead serious about this. The new media should demonstrate that it knows how to run a credible and substantive debate.

Update 2: Ed’s willing and we already know he is able.

Well, never let it be said that I would disappoint my friends. I hereby offer an invitation to the remaining four major Republican candidates to hold an on-line debate sponsored and webcast by Hot Air/Townhall, moderated by myself and a small panel of conservative and center-right bloggers. The most convenient place to conduct this would be at or around CPAC, which takes place in two weeks or so, and fortunately hits around the middle of a four-week lull in media debates. I believe all four candidates will be appearing at CPAC, which should make this convenient for them as well. However, I’m certain that we could schedule this at any other time and place where we could have all four on stage at the same time.

The candidates would be wise to jump on board.

Tina Hood of Worcester talked to Robert Stacy McCain after the Lamb/ McGovern, Barron debate last night

Tina is active in the Republican party in the area.