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FBI: Lieberman Campaign Responsible for Website Crash

If you missed the story back in 2006 about Joe Lieberman campaign's allegation that the Ned Lamont campaign hacked his website the day before the CT primary, Crooks and Liars has a good rundown from the day the Lamont Campaign was cleared following an investigation by the state attorney general's office and the U.S. Attorney's office.

Today the Stamford Advocate releases an e-mail it obtained via a FOIA request showing the FBI's conclusion that Lieberman's campaign was responsible for the crash.

The FBI office in New Haven found no evidence supporting the Lieberman campaign's allegations that supporters of primary challenger Ned Lamont of Greenwich were to blame for the Web site crash.

Lieberman, who was fighting for his political life against the anti-Iraq war candidate Lamont, implied that joe2006.com was hacked by Lamont supporters.


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Latest AP Super Tuesday Delegate Count: Obama Leads by 2

The AP has released a new delegate count. Obama has 796 and Hillary has 794.

With nearly 1,600 delegates from Tuesday contests awarded, Sen. Barack Obama led by two delegates Friday night, with 91 delegates still to be awarded. Obama won 796 delegates in Tuesday's contests, to 794 for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to an analysis of voting results by The Associated Press.

As for totals to date, the AP includes Superdelegates:

In the overall race for the nomination, Clinton has 1,055 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. Obama has 998.

And, finally, an explanation of why it's so hard to count delegates in plain English: [More...]

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Republican Debate Thread

By Big Tent Democrat

Ronald Reagan! Ronald Reagan!

The Republican Debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in Callfornia is being conducted by CNN.

Alas, I can not live blog it and J. is dealing with life stuff. So please fill us in with your thoughts.

Warning, no drinking games on how many times Ronald Reagan is mentioned.

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Hillary Goes Door to Door in Nevada

Update: Another article on the event:

A man shouted through an opening in the wall that his wife was illegal.

"No woman is illegal," Clinton said, to cheers.


Hillary Clinton arrived in Las Vegas today and embarked on a door-to-door campaign in a Hispanic neighborhood, asking residents for their help. At a Mexican restaurant afterwards, she sat with locals and talked about her plan to ease the foreclosure crisis, which has hit Nevada particularly hard.

Mrs. Clinton said she would like to freeze interest rates for five years, and create a federal program that would help homeowners get “through a bad time,” to prevent foreclosures. Mrs. Clinton also said she believed “we’re slipping into a recession.”

She arrived a day ahead of Barack Obama. But it doesn't seem like Obama will be staying long since his schedule is packed full in South Carolina Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m., where he also spent Thursday.[More...]

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Oprah and Obama in South Carolina

29,000 turned out to hear Oprah stump for Barack Obama in South Carolina today. Here's what the pair had to say:


``It's not good enough to tell the people what you think they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. That just won't do. Not this time,'' he said. ``We can't spend all our time triangulating and poll-testing our positions because we're worried about what Mitt or Rudy or Fred or the other Republican nominees are going to say about us.''

[Note: Read Eriposte's analysis of research showing who is triangulating more.]


``South Carolina - January 26th is your moment,'' .... ``It's your time to seize the opportunity to support a man who, as the Bible says, loves mercy and does justly.''

An attendee: [More....]

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Elizabeth Edwards Profile

The New York Times has a very nice and long profile of Elizabeth Edwards today. I hope I get to meet her at some point during the campaign. Her heart and her politics are in the right place.

As for John Edwards, as I wrote here, he's coming around on mandatory minimum sentences and the crack-powder cocaine disparity (as is Hillary), and here's what he said on Iraq and Guantanamo at a Tampa fundraiser this weekend:

Most important, he said, is ending the war in Iraq. "This is not politics, " he said. "This is about life and death."

Edwards said if elected he would close Guantanamo Bay detention camp on his first day in office and make it clear the United States does not condone torture. He also pledged to stop "illegal spying" on Americans and push for an end to the violence in Darfur.

It's also refreshing to see he held a $15 fundraiser. It brought out 500 people. Edwards has been very gracious in making himself available to others than fatcats and even to bloggers.

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Spitzer and Cuomo Sworn in as NY Gov., Attorney General

At midnight in Albany last night, Eliot Spitzer was sworn in as Governor of New York.

"Day one has begun," Spitzer said to a resounding cheer after being sworn in. "It is a joy to be here. It will be exciting. I will do my best as the public has asked me to do."

Also sworn in was Andrew Cuomo -- as state Attorney General -- the position Spitzer had before the election.

Gov. Pataki, Spitzer's predecessor, tried but failed to implement significant reform to the state's draconian Rockefeller law for drug offenders. Spitzer needs to make real reform or repeal of the law one of his top priorities.

As a commentator in the Albany Times Union wrote last month:

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John Edwards: Time to Start Troop Withdrawal is Now

Update: John Edwards will be live-blogging at his campaign blog at noon ET.

Former Senator and vice-presidential candidate John Edwards is running for President. We all knew that yesterday, but today he made the official announcment in New Orleans.

In addition to his campaign against poverty, he's blasting the war in Iraq, particularly John McCain's plan to increase troops in Iraq.

Edwards says we can bring 40,000 troops home now.

From the setting to the words, Edwards is using the day to signal that he intends to run a grassroots, insurgent campaign with an anti-Washington flair. He directly criticized Arizona Sen. John McCain, seen as a leading candidate for the Republican nomination, for recommending that more troops be sent to Iraq to help quell the violence there.

"We need to reject this McCain doctrine of surging troops and escalating the war in Iraq," he said in his campaign video, recorded on Wednesday. "We need to make clear we're going to leave and we need to start leaving Iraq."

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Values Voters and Vanderslice: The Big Lie

Again we are regaled with stories about "Values Voters" and how to get them. Self proclaimed Dem values voters guru Mara Vanderslice has a good publicist and was able to have this story placed in the NYTimes:

Party strategists and nonpartisan pollsters credit the operative, Mara Vanderslice . . . with helping a handful of Democratic candidates make deep inroads among white evangelical and churchgoing Roman Catholic voters in Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Exit polls show that Ms. Vanderslice’s candidates did 10 percentage points or so better than Democrats nationally among those voters, who make up about a third of the electorate.

Sounds impressive right? It is a load of crap. I'll explain on the flip.

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John Edwards to Announce Next Week in Iowa

Rumor had it that John Edwards was going to announce his candidacy for President last weekend in New Orleans, but it didn't happen.

The Des Moines Register says it will happen next week in Iowa.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards plans to announce his candidacy for president next week during a nationwide swing scheduled to include a stop Thursday in Des Moines, Democratic activists in early nominating states said.

The plans indicate that Iowa's lead-off nominating caucuses could be competitive, despite home-state Gov. Tom Vilsack's candidacy for president.

By getting into the race before year's end, Edwards would pre-empt announcements by prospective Democratic candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, on whom national news media attention has focused in recent weeks.

I'm glad. I don't think Vilsack has a prayer and if he doesn't run away with his home state, maybe he'll drop out quick. As to why Edwards is choosing Iowa:

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Keith Ellison Reacts to Virgil Goode's Muslim Comments

As a follow-up to TChris' post here, Wolf Blitzer had newly elected Congressman Keith Ellison on the Situation Room this afternoon.


In a letter released to CNN Wednesday, Goode wrote in part to a constituent, "I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran."

Ellison's response: Goode "has a lot to learn about Islam."

"I would urge Congressman Goode to have his congregation reach out to a synagogue or a mosque and start some inter-faith dialogue so we can increase understanding among each other as American of different faiths," Ellison said.

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Stupid Politician of the Week

As this post points out, the Constitution prohibits any religious test for public office. Somebody needs to give a copy of the Constitution to Rep. Virgil Goode (R-of course he is-VA). Goode warned his constituents that the election of a Muslim to Congress (Rep. Keith Ellison) should be seen as a “wake up” call because there are “likely to be many more Muslims elected to office” if we don’t “adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America.”

Goode’s remarks are offensive beyond measure. Only citizens can hold office, and Muslim citizens have as much right to hold office as citizens of any other religion. Isn’t the Constitution, including its prohibition of religious tests, a part of our “traditional values”? Does Goode remember that he’s sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution?

Goode’s comments also reflect an appalling degree of ignorance. Our country’s first Muslim Congressman isn’t an immigrant; he was born in the USA and he traces his American ancestry to 1742. Do Goode’s own roots extend that far into the American past? Why does Goode think he’s more an American than Ellison?

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Oversight: What a Democratic Congress Means

Why did we fight so hard to gain a Democratic Congress in the last election? Why did we stress the importance of the D next to a candidate's name? This is why:

President Bush should expect tougher oversight of the war on terrorism and a closer look at his administration's policies on torture and other human rights issues, the incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday.

. . . Leahy said he would also deal with what he says are the administration's human rights abuses by creating a new subcommittee focused on legislation on such issues as torture and detainee treatment. Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois will chair the new panel, Leahy said.

. . . Leahy also talked tough about President Bush's ``signing statements,'' in which the president has laid out which parts of laws he has just signed that he will follow and which he might not.

. . . Leahy, who was chairman of the committee in 2001-2002, said the return of Democratic control would mean a period of ``restoration, repair and renewal'' after what he termed years of the Bush administration's virtually unchecked power to hunt for terrorists even within U.S. borders. ``This administration has been less and less willing to let us know what they are doing,'' Leahy said. Bush's warrantless wiretapping program and the government's secretive terrorism risk assessments of Americans traveling abroad merit a closer look by his panel, Leahy said.

The separation of powers. Checks and balances. The Founders were very smart.

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Howard Dean Calls for New Election in Florida House Race

Howard Dean took up Cristine Jennings' cause today, calling for a new election in the Florida House race:

State officials certified Buchanan as the winner by just 369 votes. But Jennings claims that touch-screen voting machines in Sarasota County malfunctioned in the U.S. House District 13 race and possibly cost her the election.

More than 18,000 Sarasota County voters who marked other races didn't have a vote register in the House race, a rate much higher than the rest of the district.

'There are 18,000 people who may have voted, and we don't know what happened to their votes. You can bet that if the Republicans were 500 votes short they'd be calling for a new election, and they'd be right,' Dean said.

This is the seat formerly held by Katherine Harris. The winner has been declared to be Republican Vern Buchanan.

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Pelosi Names Reyes to Head Intelligence Committee

It's official. House speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has named former Border Patrol agent and current Congressman Silvestre Reyes to head the House Intelligence Committee.

What's his background?

Known as "Silver" to friends, Reyes was drafted into the Army and served during 1966-68 as a helicopter crew chief and gunner. His service included 13 months in Vietnam.

He rose through the ranks during 26 years of service in the Border Patrol, leaving as a senior law enforcement official in Texas in 1995. He won his seat in Congress the next year.

What will the agenda be?

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