Live-blogging tonight’s insane GOP clown ‘debate’ in New Hampshire

Here we go again!

The 87th GOP ‘debate’ is being held this evening at 9:00 pm (ET) at San Anselm College, featuring GOP clowns Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, John Huntsman, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum bringing up the rear.  What?

Hosting tonight are George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer.  We can expect Diane Sawyer to ask very long questions in her patient Nanny MacPhee voice.

I am anticipating that Newt Gingrich will attempt to commit murder/suicide against Mitt Romney, since Mitt’s PAC has been a big fat meanie to Newt — even after Newt decided to have a positive campaign…and somehow thought that his decree was enough to force the other clowns to do the same.

Also this evening, I think we will witness the beginning of the end of Rick Santorum’s bid for the GOP clown presidential nomination.  It’s just a feeling, of course.  A stinky slippery feeling…

There are supposed to be live streams on WMUR and Yahoo News.  We shall see.  I’ll update those links as we get a finer point on them.

Join us in the comments section with your hard-hitting, in-depth analysis of each clown’s performance, or you can just do what the rest of us are doing — alternately laughing and puking.

Live Free or Die!

President Obama Dispels Myth Of “Death Panels” At NH Town Hall

President Obama said, “it turns out that this I guess rose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end of life care” as well as living wills, hospice care, and the like. The “intention,” the president said, was to help patients prepare for “end of life on their own terms.”

President Obama said the “irony” is that one of the chief sponsors of this idea was Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who “sensibly thought this would expand peoples’ options.”

Obama’s first win of election day – Dixville Notch

This is the first time since 1968, that a Democrat won the little town of Dixville Notch, NH.  Obama racks up his first win by 15-6.  This is a charming story by Alex Koppelman about the McCain aides celebrating their first victory almost a year ago, starting with the tiny town of Dixville Notch, N.H.

About ten months ago, John McCain’s aides were celebrating what they knew would become the first step in their victory over Mitt Romney in the New Hampshire primary, when the results from tiny Dixville Notch, N.H., trickled in a little after midnight.

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MSM Failed to Note “Hackable Diebold Red Flags” in New Hampshire Primary Results

BradBlog:

Syndicated Tribune Media Services columnist Bob Koehler bumps up our serious concernsuntransparent, and still-uncounted (by anything but a hackable Diebold computer, and a company with an executive criminal past, to say the least) New Hampshire Primary election results, from “blogger conspiracy theory” to mainstream media concern.

Some excerpts:

PRIMARY CONCERNS
By Robert C. Koehler
Tribune Media Services

As the breathless sports coverage of the presidential primaries bursts around me this morning, I’m doing my best to resist surrendering to the contrived drama about “comeback kids” and the flying shrapnel of numbers and hold onto my troubled skepticism about the electoral process, or at least most of it.

First of all, before we get too enthusiastic about feminist solidarity or wax knowingly about New Hampshire Democrats’ traditional soft-heartedness toward the Clinton family, let’s ponder yet again the possibility of tainted results, which is such an unfun prospect most of the media can’t bear to remember that all the problems we’ve had with electronic voting machines — and Diebold machines in particular, which dominate New Hampshire polling places — remain unsolved.

Problems which have existed at least since 2004, and which persist, leaving any election results in doubt.

Did the Hillary campaign really defy the pollsters? She had been trailing Barack Obama by 13 percentage points, 42 to 29, in a recent Zogby poll, as election watchdog Brad Friedman pointed out. And the weekend’s “rapturous packed rallies for Mr. Obama,” as the New York Times put it, “suggested Mrs. Clinton was in dire shape.”

So when she emerged from the Tuesday primary with an 8,000-vote and 3-percentage-point victory over Obama, perhaps — considering the notorious unreliability, not to mention hackability, of Diebold machines — the media might have hoisted a few red flags in the coverage, rather than immediately chalk the results up to Clinton’s tears and voter unpredictability. (Oh, if only more reporters considered red flags patriotic.)

Our MSM, so in love with the feel-good and comeback kid stories, they are apparently willing to ignore the unreliability of Diebold machines, and any possible tampering with our election process.

The fact is, whatever actually happened in New Hampshire voting booths on Tuesday, our elections are horrifically insecure. For instance, Bev Harris, of the highly respected voting watchdog organization Black Box Voting, recently wrote that the Diebold 1.94w optical scan machines used in some 55 percent of New Hampshire precincts (representing more than 80 percent of the state’s voters) are “the exact same make, model and version hacked in the Black Box Voting project in Leon County (Florida)” a few years ago. They haven’t been upgraded; the security problems haven’t been fixed.

National, or at least media, denial about this situation doesn’t say much for the strength of our democracy.

Amen.

Read the rest of Koehler’s column here.

Why WERE the polls so far off in NH?

What happened last night? Why were the polls that had Obama winning by 13% (according to Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby New Hampshire Tracking Poll) the day before the election really that far off? Why were Hillary Clinton’s numbers the only ones that got a big bump, while all the rest of the numbers pretty much matched the polls?

Brad Friedman of BradBlog had an interesting post last night raising the question of how the polls could be so far off, and had some interesting questions and insights. It was especially interesting to me after last night viewing the DVD “Uncounted – – the new math of American elections“, a documentary that looks at election fraud and voter disenfranchisement in our elections since 2000. It was a stunning documentary, and frankly, I cried throughout the entire thing. I had great difficulty going to sleep last night. A couple months ago I watched the excellent documentary called “Hacking Democracy“, with that one impacting me in a big way, but this one for some reason hit me harder.

I think the worst part for me is the fact that I no longer trust our voting system. I question every result. I don’t know if anything happened last night or not. Worse yet, I don’t know if we have any way of finding out if something DID happen to swing the results. There are forces at play that have a lot riding on the outcome of our elections, and with this privatizing of our system of voting (the machines), that lack of any paper trail or receipt and way to verify the results, and nobody being allowed to look into the source codes being used, the system is entirely vulnerable to abuse, and frankly, our election is at risk of being hijacked in an invisible and insidious way – completely out of the view of the American people. Anyone questioning the results would just be accused of ‘sour grapes’ or being a ‘conspiracy theorist’. It is clear by many investigations and experts looking into the last two presidential elections that votes were messed with in a big way, with experts pointing out the simplicity and ease with being able to do it. We are still using the same machines that still have no way to know if your vote was counted, or counted correctly. And, this going into another presidential election.

I don’t know what happened or didn’t happen. I will say that again. I am only saying that I have alarm bells going off in my head. I have questions and I really hope this gets looked at. Because, if these machines start flipping votes in the primaries, our presidential election hasn’t got a chance in hell of reflecting the will of the American people.
The post from BradBlog this morning raises some questions and red flags for me. Brad Friedman includes a number of charts and polls along with his own observations and questions. If you get an opportunity to read this please do. Its our democracy at risk, and these are valid questions.

He writes:

Other Pre-Election Numbers, For Republicans and Rest of Dems, Nearly Dead on the Money…
I’m not sure why Obama would have conceded so soon, given the virtually inexplicable turn of events in New Hampshire tonight.What’s going on here? Before proceeding, I recommend you read the third section of the post I just ran an hour or so ago, concerning the way the ballots are counted in New Hampshire, largely on Diebold optical-scan voting systems, wholly controlled and programmed by a very very bad company named LHS Associates.Those Diebold op-scan machines are the exact same ones that were hacked in the HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy. See the previous report, as I recommend, which also includes a video of that hack, and footage of the guy who runs LHS Associates.That said, the the pre-election pollster’s numbers (NOTE: that’s not Exit Polls, but Pre-Election Polls!) were dead-on, for the most part, on the Republican side, as well as on the Democratic side. Except in the do-or-die (for Hillary) Clinton v. Obama race. I’m watching MSNBC right now, and they all seem to agree that the results, for the moment, defy explanation.I concur.
Brad includes many graphs and charts from a number of different sources to prove his point and raise the questions.
After the charts, he says:
They were all not just wrong, but wildly wrong. But only for the Clinton/Obama race.

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ABC News/Facebook Presidential Debates Tonight

Tonight, live from New Hampshire, at 7 p.m. Pacific, are the live back-to-back Democrat and Republican ABC/Facebook Presidential Debates — though they are incomplete.

Candidates Dennis Kucinich (D), Mike Gravel (D), and Duncan Hunter (R) have been excluded from these debates, even though they are still running for president.

Ron Paul (R) has been excluded from the Fox News GOP Debate in New Hampshire scheduled for tomorrow night. In a turn of events, the New Hampshire Republican Party has now pulled out as co-sponsor.

Bear in mind that Fox News is excluding Paul from the debate, despite the absence of any objective criteria that would shut out Paul and still include some of the other people they’re inviting. For example, Paul got 10% of the vote in Iowa, while invited candidate Rudy Giuliani took only 4% and is at about the same place as Paul in New Hampshire polls.

See an interview with Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Bill Moyers here.

TheZoo will be live blogging these beauty pageants debates this evening on this thread.

Looking back – and ahead – 3 days into the primaries and the last 380 days of Bush

The dust has settled over the Iowa caucuses and the media are back in anticipatory mode. The European newspapers are still chewing over Barack Obama’s win and, equally, Hillary Clinton’s loss. Again the Republican candidates are slightly less of interest, but all in all the Republican race is considered more open as the Democratic one. Serious contenders, in the eyes of Europe, are Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.

There is the one big question when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Is her campaign able to bounce back as her husband’s did in the 1992 primaries, or is her bid essentially dead? Well Hillary Clinton is not Bill and her image of a hard-working, efficient, intellectual woman does not cater to the more emotional wish for change. Moreover, she is deeply connected, in the eyes of voters, with everything that the people feel is wrong with Washington. This will be hard to overcome and she lacks the charms and openness of her husband. 

But never, even in the darkest days of the Monica Lewinsky affair, has she been tested so visibly. Unlike her husband, her connection to voters is less emotional than intellectual. It is hard to imagine Hillary Clinton in a McDonald’s, turning the race around by sheer willpower.

The odds are:

35.2% Chance of winning New Hampshire 53.7% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 32.2% Chance of winning presidency

John Edwards is marginalized, his name turns up eventually, but his campaign is clearly not “sexy” enough for the newspapers. He is expected to quit the race and the exciting question about that would be: Who is going to get his endorsement.

John Edwards former Senator and vice-presidential nominee in 2004 who has reinvented himself as an angry populist. Did well to scrape second place in Iowa but, with Obama now clearly the alternative to Clinton, he is expected to struggle in New Hampshire where union votes matter less and he will be outspent once more.

The odds are:

1.6% Chance of winning New Hampshire 2.3% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 1.3% Chance of winning presidency

The only question on Obama, will he be able to keep up the momentum? He is closing in on Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire now and if he wins there, he may well inherit the inevitability tag from Senator Clinton. The far more sober atmosphere of New Hampshire, as opposed to the more lively action at the caucuses, may mull the sound of the change drumbeat a bit. Barack Obama, however, has finally moved into the crosshairs of his opponents’ attention, be it Democratic of Republican.

Barack Obama Senator seeking to become first black president with a message of change and bringing America together again. After a stunning victory in Iowa, he now must repeat the trick in New Hampshire. Questions remain about whether he can build similar excitement nationally in big states where he cannot force himself on voters with the intensity he has shown in the early contests.

The odds are:

65.2% Chance of winning New Hampshire 43.8% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 27.5% Chance of winning presidency

The Republican race will likely see John McCain’s campaign, which was hanging by the fingernails, revive. Mike Huckabee will have a much tougher time with the less religious voters in New Hampshire. And Mitt Romney is obiously getting nervous:

“We cannot afford Barack Obama as the next president. He’s a nice fella and a very well-spoken fella, but he’s never done it,” Romney said in Derry, challenging Obama’s experience while adopting a version of the change message that worked for Obama and Huckabee in Iowa.

I have to thank my sister this time, who not only arranged for the laptop, she let me use her wireless as well. It’s good to have her for a family, too.

“Europeanview” wishes you all a healthy and safe Saturday. Take Care!