May 5, 2006

A Fitting Epitaph to a Fraudulent Campaign (Source of Smith Campaign “Poll from Nowhere” Refuted)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:05 pm

Welcome to Right Angle Blog readers! — Also see election-related post collections on Bill Pierce, David Smith, and the Second Congressional District (Schmidt-McEwen).
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On Friday of last week (April 28), I forwarded the e-mail that one of David Smith’s backers had been circulating — the one touting the “National Republican Senatorial Committee” poll showing Ohio’s US GOP Senate primary race as running 41 – 29 – 10 DeWine-Smith-Pierce to David Kotman at the (you guessed it) National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Mr. Smith, recall, also was touting this poll on a hush-hush basis to selected influential supporters.

Mr. Kotman said that he would forward the e-mail to those who might have been involved in any polling. For the record, the tainted final result (see below and this previous post for the identification of the various taints) was 71.8 – 14.5 – 13.7 DeWine-Smith-Pierce.

Having received no response before the election, I called Mr. Kotman on Thursday, because I had expected a response much sooner. He said he was sorry that no one had gotten back to me, but relayed that he had been told that the NRSC had not polled the Ohio race.

I asked if I could quote him on that. He said that he wasn’t in a sufficient position of authority to be able to allow that.

I asked to speak to someone who could. Mr. Kotman asked, since the election was over, why it was so important. I responded that if a candidate was making a false claim and using the NRSC as its supposed source, that I cared, and that the NRSC, whose name is being thrown around without authorization, should also care (I can be such a pain). Mr. Kotman referred me to NRSC Press Secretary Brian Nick.

After two unanswered voice mails, I called the NRSC just before 1 PM today, and was fortunate enough to be able to catch Mr. Nick at his desk just before he said he was leaving for a meeting (just in the nick of time, so to speak).

He told me that the NRSC had not polled the Ohio primary, and that I could quote him on that.

There.

Another Smith campaign claim, one that certainly influenced thousands of voters, bites the dust (I am so NOT surprised).

Perhaps David Smith was played as well, if someone supplied him the bogus info and passed it off as inside stuff from the NRSC. If so, I don’t care, because the result, deceived voters, is the same. A responsible candidate would have demanded the details, and wouldn’t have used unsupported information, no matter how good it looked, just as Bill Pierce and his suppporters stayed away from and did nothing with an earlier “poll from nowhere” that showed him with 26%.

Anyone who wishes to confirm what the NRSC said can call 202-675-6000. Anyone who wishes to tell me I’m wrong will have to have Brian Nick call me himself so he can tell me he was mistaken.

Internet Censorship Update from Reporters Without Borders

Filed under: Privacy/ID Theft,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:39 pm

A troubling report, covered by BBC (a digest of the Reporters without Borders report and a link to the full PDF report are here):

Net censorship spreads worldwide

….. Julien Pain – who heads the internet freedom desk at the RSF and was one of the report’s authors, noted: “Everyone’s interested in the internet – especially dictators”.

Mr Pain said the world’s dictators have not remained powerless in the face of the explosion of online content. By contrast, many have been “efficient and inventive” in using the net to spy on citizens and censor debate.

In many nations, the net used to be the only uncensored outlet and the place people turned to for news they would never hear about through official channels.

However, noted the report, governments have woken up to the fact that the people they regard as dissidents are active online. Many are now moving to censor blogs and the last year has seen many committed bloggers jailed for what they said in their online journal.

For instance, in Iran Mojtaba Saminejad has been in jail since February 2005 for putting online material ruled offensive to Islam.

China was the nation that came in for most criticism for its efforts to monitor and censor the net. The RSF noted that net censorship in the country had undergone a significant shift in the last two years.

Originally, said the report, China was only interested in monitoring political dissidence on the net. Now its scrutiny covers general unrest in its population – ironically something that has grown because the net makes it easier for people to communicate.

Jail term

China’s success at censorship means it has effectively produced a “sanitised” version of the internet for its 130 million citizens that regularly go online.

The wide-ranging scrutiny also means that it is the biggest jailer of so-called cyber dissidents. RSF estimates that 62 people in China have been jailed for what they said online.

Net users have also been jailed in Egypt, Iran, Libya, the Maldives, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam.

Where China has led, other nations are following and taking active steps to filter the net before it gets to their citizens. Zimbabwe is reportedly buying technology directly from China to beef up its censorship efforts.

Many other nations, including Burma, Cuba, Iran, Libya, Nepal, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam censor the net. Often this filtering involves stopping access to some types of sites, such as those showing pornography, but it can also involve blocking sites critical of governments or religions.

Some nations, such as Turkmenistan, have banned home net connections and restrict people to using net cafes which, said the RSF, were much easier to control. Burma has banned web e-mail systems such as Hotmail and Yahoo mail and every five minutes screen grabs are taken of what people are looking at in net cafes.

….. The 153-page report also criticised Western firms for selling technology to repressive regimes to help them monitor what people do online.

If it weren’t for the point made in the last sentence, made possible by the various inductees into the BizzyBlog Internet Wall of Shame, much of the censorship and control described before it would be impossible, or at least a lot more difficult and much slower to happen. What is with taking major bucks from dictators of countries so poor and oppressed that their people barely eat, when that technology better enables the tyrants to keep them in those conditions?

DeWine Joins Arlen Specter’s Coalition of the Snookered on Kavanaugh

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:15 pm

The question is whether there was any need for a second hearing on the judicial nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

There was supposedly a commitment from Republicans on the Judiciary Committee not to allow this to happen and to have an up-or-down vote out of the committee on Wednesday.

Trouble is “Republican commitment” is an oxymoron in the Senate Judiciary Committee (HT Rush Limbaugh’s site):

Chairman Specter’s stated reason for agreeing to a second hearing is—get this!—that Senator Schumer said that a hearing could be useful in persuading him to vote for Kavanaugh. No sooner had Specter said this than Schumer proceeded to label Kavanaugh a “partisan warrior” and attack his fitness to be a judge. Unless Kavanaugh is lobotomized between now and May 11, there is zero prospect that Schumer will vote for Kavanaugh’s nomination. Expect instead that he and his fellow Democrats will use the hearing to ask invasive questions Kavanaugh can’t possibly answer and to demand sensitive documents that the White House can’t provide—all of which will then set the stage for demands for further delay.

Although it’s tempting to blame Specter for this delay, a committee staffer tells me that Senators Graham and DeWine—members of the Gang of 14—worked hard to persuade Specter that another hearing would ensure that Democrat members of the Gang of 14 wouldn’t support a filibuster. We’ll see.

Why find out? This is not an exercise in conflict-avoidance above all else. If that’s what the Gang of 14 is all about, the nominations backlog will never get cleared out.

I hope this doesn’t end up being the first of gazillion “Don’t blame me, I voted for Pierce” posts.
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UPDATE: Patterico agrees (“Gang of 14 Deal Still Doing Damage”) — “The time to strike is now. Unfortunately, the Gang of 14 deal makes that difficult, because the threat of a filibuster continues to loom over qualified candidates like Kavanaugh.”

The Jobs Report

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:31 am

138,000 jobs added — okay.

Previous months revised downward a total of about 36,000, for a net of just over 100,000 — Hmm.

Unemployment stays at 4.7% — That’s good.

Overall — I’ll take it, but repeat performances are not welcome.

So, Murphy’s Law being what it is, of course this is the day Majority Leader Boehner gets all excited about employment growth (received in an e-mail, re-posted at Weapons of Mass Discussion). Zheesh.

UPDATE, May 7: Macroblog basically agrees.

Bill Pierce Gives Thanks

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:25 am

With class, as always, and with his priorities in order. Excerpts:

THANK YOU. That is all I have left to offer to the many who supported my campaign to challenge a two term incumbent senator for the opportunity to represent the people of Ohio. So many offered help and so many provided it over the last ten months, and believe me it was greatly appreciated. It was a daunting task from the start, but one I felt was necessary and one for which I have no regrets for undertaking.

….. My most heart felt appreciation goes to those whose gallant efforts to inform the citizenry of Ohio that a choice did exist in spite of the main stream media’s refusal to acknowledge a contested primary. The blog support and the talent of those who write them were greatly appreciated. I only hope and pray that someday people will realize the contribution they are making to our society and the voids they fill created by the laziness or hidden agenda of the main stream media we used to rely upon for a complete news package.

Jan and I were out of town on Wednesday as we watched our daughter, Mary, present and defend her final studio project prior to her receipt of a Master’s degree in Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. It was a fast trip there and back again, but it gave us tremendous joy to witness her completion of a dream which began as an 8th grader so many years ago.

….. I am determined to find a way to continue to speak out in the name of common sense and entice the populace to take a pro-active interest in government rather than a passive “I give up” approach. We must re-engage our citizenry or risk losing a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Please help me find that way and help me deliver that message – future generations are counting on us.

Thank you, sir, for running.

What’s French for Schadenfreude? (Villepin in Trouble)

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:07 am

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin is in a world of hurt as the “French Watergate” scandal known as Clearstream unfolds (complete timeline is also at link):

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin’s job was under threat Thursday as he stands accused of lying over claims he ordered a secret probe into his chief political rival Nicolas Sarkozy.

Villepin is also the clown who, when he at the UN, was essentially the “leader” of the group of nations, largely, as we now know, corrupted by Oil for Food Scandal money, that prevented the war in Iraq from being a UN-sanctioned operation, and who therefore forced the US to defend the world with its own coalition in Iraq.

Villepin’s most famous assignment as Chirac’s Foreign Minister was opposing the U.S. plan to invade Iraq, making France look like the leader in a coalition of countries such as Germany, Russia and China that opposed the invasion. The speech he gave to the United Nations to block a second resolution allowing the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s regime is regarded by some as an historic moment, receiving loud applause. Nevertheless, the impotency of France and its allies to halt the oncoming invasion has cast a shadow over Villepin’s “dove-like” image.

A former ally, the right-wing newspaper Le Figaro (Villepin is to the right of most French politicians, a sad commentary in and of itself) has branded him a liar.

Villepin possibly corrupt and lying? I’m shocked, just SHOCKED. You’ll have to excuse me, as my sympathy meter is low.

Quick Refs to Pierce, 2nd District, David Smith, and Alliance Coverage

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:07 am

Pierce for Senate Second District
David Smith S.O.B. Alliance Coverage

The Alliance link is to the last post directly related to primary results on May 4.

Pierce for Senate Collection

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:06 am

Ballot-Based County Endorsement Meeting Reports:

  • Jan. 18 — Clermont County (Pierce Well Qualified–from WoMD)
  • Jan. 26 — Knox County (Pierce Endorsed–from WoMD)
  • Feb. 26 — Miami County (DeWine Won–From Enquirer’s Politics Extra)
  • March 2 — Preble County (Pierce Wins First Ballot; Ties DeWine on Second–from WoMD)
  • Fulton County (Pierce Defeats DeWine [Who Finishes Third]–from WoMD)

Key Policy and Position Posts:

Other BizzyBlog Posts:

The David Smith Collection

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:05 am

The David Smith Chronicles:

  • June 3 — How Long Should It Take a Candidate to Remove Campaign Signs after an Election?
  • May 11 — How Long Will It Take the Smithbots to Remove Their Illegal Campaign Signs?
  • May 5 — A Fitting Epitaph to a Fraudulent Campaign (Source of Smith Campaign “Poll from Nowhere” Refuted)
  • May 4 — David Smith: NOW We Find Out (He Did Not Have the Money He Claimed)
  • May 3 — Well, What Have We Learned from Ohio’s 2006 Primary?
  • April 26 — The Polls from Nowhere Are Officially NO GOOD (and Look Who’s “Using” Them)
  • April 26 — Man, Is THIS Tiresome (Smith Campaign Illegal Signs Continue, and Worse)
  • April 11 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (on March 28), Then He Hides It (on April 10)
  • April 11 — Here Are Actual “Signs” That the Smith Campaign Doesn’t Understand Campaign Law — Or Highway Safety
  • April 6 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (”Deceiving From the Very Start” Edition)
  • April 6 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (Fulton County Obfuscation Edition)
  • April 3 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (Utah “Busted” Edition) — Smithbots Alert
  • March 30 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us (Utah “Busted” Edition)
  • March 30 — David Smith: NOW He Tells Us
  • March 23 — David Smith and the FEC
  • March 23 — The Disappearing and Reappearing Columbus Townhall Forum Post
  • March 22 — In the Ohio GOP US Senate Primary, David Smith Hasn’t Dropped Out, and Should — SOON

Second District 2006 Primary Collection

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 9:04 am

This post collects all the relevant Second District posts since the Blumer v. McEwen Ohio Election Commission hearings in one place.

If You Only Read One Post:

Ohio Media Investigative Reports and Public Documents:

Other BizzyBlog Posts:

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (050506)

Free Links:

  • After $14.6 billion, please don’t tell me the tunnels will fall in — Six indictments involving allegedly inferior concrete in Boston’s “Big Dig” project came down yesterday. Here’s the second paragraph from the Wikipedia entry about this “Your Government Dollars at Waste” project (go to the link to get to the footnotes within the paragraph):

    Big Dig is the single most expensive highway project in American history. Although the project was estimated at $2.5 billion in 1985, when the last major highway section opened in December 2003, over $14.6 billion had been spent in federal and state tax dollars in the over 20 years since the project’s conception. However, according to a former state official, “they just picked $2.5 billion to get it rolling — everyone knew that was a lie.” The construction was replete with delays, escalating costs, leaks, poor execution and use of substandard materials. The Massachusetts Attorney General is demanding contractors refund taxpayers $108 million for “shoddy work.”

  • Psst, don’t tell anyone (you figure I would find this at an Australian site) — “US Economy Firing on All Cylinders” (HT Drudge). There’s so much good news in this one, you just have to read the whole thing.
  • The ACLU is so determined to get a cross removed in San Diego that it gets a judge to override the will of 75% of the voters who said they want it to stay (HTs Right on the Right and Interested-Participant).
  • The Irony in This Item Is Indeed Bitter

    Court rejects Catholic request to stop Popetown

    MUNICH – A German court rejected Wednesday a last-minute request by the Catholic Church to halt the broadcast of Popetown, a British-made TV cartoon that makes fun of the pope and the Vatican.

    Judges said they could only have stopped the German arm of MTV from airing the 10-part weekly series if it had risked causing a breach of the peace by insulting religious sensibilities.

    The court in Munich told church lawyers that TV shows might be tasteless or stupid, but that did not mean they endangered civic peace. Judges said debate about the forthcoming programme in Germany had remained rational.

    Something you won’t see coming to German TV any time soon: Meccatown.

  • The World Cup as aHuman Rights Disaster“? — If there’s one in the works, it has nothing to do with the soccer players, and everything to do with some of the attendees.
  • Is Somebody at AP Not-So-Secretly Hoping for Bad News? Looks like it to me (bold is mine) –

    Oil prices sank more than $2 a barrel for the second straight day on Thursday, falling below $70 as traders focused on U.S. government data that show gasoline supplies grew last week, reversing two months of declines.

    ….. Gasoline futures tanked by 9.11 cents to close at $1.9946 a gallon, and some analysts say it could be a sign that the 2006 highs for retail gasoline prices in the U.S. are behind us — assuming there is no repeat of last summer’s ferocious Gulf of Mexico hurricane season.

Positivity: A High-Tech Rescue in a Low-Tech Accident

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:07 am

In New Zealand, a worker buried in a cement silo survived:

(more…)

Label of the Evening from Lifelike Pundits

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:35 am

The Patrick Kennedy car crash story is at Drudge.

The label is at Lifelike Pundits: The Culture of Car Crash Coverups.

Michelle Malkin, as usual, has much, much more.

UPDATE: The WaPo story (requires registration) has this gem:

When police approached, the sources said, Kennedy got out of his car and said he was late for a vote. The House had not been in session for hours.

On the way TO a vote at 2:50 a.m. Uh-huh.