Month: October 2012

Conservative Tries To Donate To Obama As Bin Laden, Commits Crime

WND is just one of many right-wing online publications that seem to have spent a huge amount of time trying to shine the most negative and despicable light on President Obama through lies, innuendos and blatant slander….

Addicting Info

WND, one of my personal favorite right-wing propaganda machine sites, has apparently and unwittingly committed a crime while erroneously reporting that Obama is accepting money from foreign nationals.

WND made the claim that, “Using a Pakistani Internet Protocol and proxy server, a disposable credit card and a fake address, “Osama bin Laden” has successfully donated twice to Barack Obama’s presidential re-election campaign.”

First of all, that’s not true. As the Obama campaign has explained (and has, unsurprisingly, been ignored),

“If a billing address is verified via AVS, then the credit card contribution is processed without delay. Some transactions caught by AVS may initially appear to a donor to have been accepted even though this is not the case. Obama for America employs a manual process to review any transaction flagged by AVS, also taking into account other fraud risk factors, and using fraud detection services provided by our credit card processor.

“As an example, the contribution discussed here may have initially appeared to have gone through when the donor completed the transaction at 10:18 a.m. but it was rejected at 4:51 p.m. under our standard fraud detection procedures.

“So any claims that Obama for America has disabled AVS are inaccurate; any question about this would have been answered-if the question had been asked.”

Conveniently, this information is not noted in the WND article, but they don’t seem to care much about what is correct and what isn’t. They also state that, “The acceptance of foreign contributions is strictly illegal under U.S. campaign finance law,” which isn’t true, either. Foreign donations, provided they come from U.S. citizens, are perfectly legal. What isn’t legal are donations from foreign nationals. American citizens outside of the United States must prove citizenship for the donation to be accepted.

Another bit of easily verifiable information that they failed to properly investigate comes from the Daily Caller, a well known source for totally fair and balanced conservative propaganda news:

As the Daily Caller reported, a statement accompanied the GAI’s report from former U.S. Attorney Ken Sukhia noting that 68 percent of traffic to BarackObama.com comes from foreign users, all of whom are redirected to a fundraising page operated by the president’s re-election campaign.

First of all, the domain name that the Daily Caller reported on was not – repeat, not – BarackObama.com. It was, in fact, Obama.com, and those two domain names have different traffic results entirely. However, the 68% foreign traffic number is wrong for both, as easily seen and verified on Alexa (barackobama.com site stats found here and obama.com stats here).

Here are screenshots for the traffic percentages to each:

As you can see, foreign hits are actually only 17.6% of traffic on BarackObama.com — a far cry from 68%.

Here’s the picture for Obama.com:

For Obama.com, 29.3% are from foreign countries. Also, considering Obama’s good standing in the world, it is not surprising in the least that there are foreign visitors to his site.

On another note, somebody should probably let the good folks over at WND know that donations in another person’s name are not permitted before they take the following action: “WND is preparing an affidavit for the Federal Elections Commission and the FBI on the illegal donation accepted by the Obama campaign.”

Yeah, good luck with that. Aaron Klein, the writer that published this piece of easily disproved garbage, should probably get the “worst journalist ever” award for this one. However, the real goal was never accurate journalism anyway, but rather a piece of fiction that will be seized upon and repeated ad nauseam. As reported by Media Matters:

Right-wing media are ignoring anti-fraud protections the Obama campaign has in place to allege that the Obama campaign accepted donations from someone impersonating Osama bin Laden.

Matt Drudge is hyping an article by World Net Daily’s Aaron Klein who claimed that ”Using a Pakistani Internet Protocol and proxy server, a disposable credit card and a fake address, ‘Osama bin Laden’ has successfully donated twice to Barack Obama’s presidential re-election campaign.’ “

Have fun with that, conservatives. We’ll be looking forward to your breathless and credulous reporting on this non-story for the next week in between your hourly floggings of the made up Benghazi scandal.

Mitt Romney’s Electoral Problem and the War on Nate Silver

Full disclosure: Nate Silver of The New York Times’ 538 blog is my go to guru on all things STATISTICS.

Silver is not a partisan, he is a mathematician that deals in algorithms and other mathematical methods to draw conclusions on elections, sports and other numbers driven activities.

I understand that many in the right wing are scientifically challenged and only see Nate Silver as a partisan.  But that is so far from the truth, just like their concept that “global warming” is merely a hoax…

US News

 

What is it with Nate Silver? Given the increasing amount of attention the New York Times blogger is getting in the waning days of the election and concomitant animus from the right, one almost expects him to start showing up in, if not a Romney campaign ad, then perhaps a Crossroads GPS ad. (“Liberal stat nerd Nate Silver says Pennsylvania is 94.2 percent likely to vote for President Barack Obama’s foreign agenda—show Silver he’s wrong by voting for Mitt Romney.”)

In part it’s a function of attacking the messenger because you don’t like the numbers, and Silver has become the most prominent—but not the only by any means—purveyor of those numbers.

Silver, if you’re not more than a casual political observer, is a sports stat-geek turned politics stat-geek; his website fivethirtyeight.com was so successful at predicting the 2008 electoral outcome that the Times retained his services. He has crunched available national and state level public polls to estimate what portion of the popular and electoral votes President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will get on November 6. His calculations have given the incumbent a durable advantage in terms of total electoral votes (his estimate as of this writing is 294.6), popular votes (currently 50.3 percent), and percentage chance of winning (72.9 percent chance). His reasoning boils down to the fact that Obama has maintained leads in enough swing states to get more than the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the White House.

Not surprisingly, conservatives, especially ones who believe inthe myth of Mitt-mentum, are not big fans of Silver. So he’s come under increasing fire from the right as merely a partisan hack. The most astounding and bizarre such attack came from one Dean Chambers, who criticizes Silver for assigning different weights to different polls, an astounding critique given that Chambers started a whole Web site devoted rewriting poll results to fit his partisan proclivities. (His attack was bizarre because he seemed to suggest that Silver’s analytical skill is marred by what Chambers sees as his effeminate qualities.)

But let’s be clear on something: Conservatives might dislike and disagree with the numbers Silver is pushing, he is not alone in pushing them. There are in fact several Web sites and/or scholars who push statistical models aimed at making similar estimates about who will be the next president, and they all give an edge to President Obama. The Princeton Election Consortium, run by Professor Sam Wang, projects Obama pulling in 303 electoral votes, for example; Votamatic, which is run by Drew Linzer, a professor at Emory and Stanford, predicts 332 electoral votes for Obama; Real Clear Politics’s “No Toss Up States” map gives Obama 281 electoral votes. (Huffington Post’s Pollster.com gives Obama a base of 253 electoral votes and leads in five of toss-up states as compared with 206 electoral votes and a single toss-up state lead for Romney.) And the major online betting markets all give Obama pretty good odds of re-election (Intrade puts it at 63.3 percentchance, and Betfair says 68 percent).

Rather than the figure conservatives portray—a lonely voice inveighing against the oncoming Romney juggernaut, giving liberals a last beacon of hope before the inevitable change—Silver and his percentages are comfortably in line with a host of other prognosticators ranging from political science nerds to straight pollcrowd-sourcing markets.

So why is Silver getting the attention from conservatives and others? That’s simple: He writes for the Times and so is the highest profile of the number crunchers. If the newspaper had hired Wang two years ago we’d likely be reading “Sam Wang: One-term celebrity?” in Politico instead of the recent Silver-focused piece.

 

Obama surveying NJ disaster; Navy sends carriers to help with Sandy recovery

Image: President Obama is greeted by N. J. Gov. Christie

President Obama is greeted by N. J. Gov. Christie

I’m very proud of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who I have had a few issues with in the last few months.  I admire his dedication to his job and the way he’s put politics on the back burner.

Of course I’m generally proud of President Obama’s actions during times of crisis in our country.  Both men have shown their leadership capabilities and dedication to the job they were elected to do.

MSNBC

President Barack Obama was in New Jersey surveying its battered coastline on Wednesday, as the state and 15 others dealt with cleanup and power outages two days after Superstorm Sandy tore through.

Obama boarded a helicopter for an aerial survey with N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and vocal backer of presidential challenger Mitt Romney who nevertheless has praised Obama and the federal response to the storm.

Christie earlier said he would ask the president to task the Army Corps of Engineers with how “to rebuild the beach to protect these towns.”

But, he added, “it won’t be the same because some of the iconic things are washed into the ocean.”

Christie on Wednesday ordered that Halloween trick-or-treating be moved to Monday due to unsafe conditions. Aerial footage of the coastline Wednesday morning showed mile after mile of destruction: a neighborhood on fire, others swamped by sand and evacuations still happening in places with high water.

Recovery operations on Wednesday got a boost from the Navy, which ordered three helicopter carrier ships to the New Jersey and New York coasts, officials told NBC News.

The USS Wasp, USS Carter Hall, and USS Mesa Verde will provide landing platforms for Coast Guard, National Guard and civilian agency helicopters if needed, the officials said, adding that the Atlantic Fleet command made the decision in the name of “prudent planning.”

Wall Street reopened Wednesday, as did some airports, but 6 million homes and businesses — two thirds in New Jersey and New York — were without power Wednesday morning.

Continue here…

FEMA boss fires back at Brown

Politico

FEMA Director Craig Fugate had a blunt response on Wednesday to his Bush-era predecessor who criticized President Barack Obama’s early preparation for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

“It’s better to be fast than to be late,” Fugate said on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Michael Brown, who ran the agency during Hurricane Katrina, told POLITICO Tuesday that he stood by his criticism that Obama moved too quickly federal relief and response to Sandy.

“In the context of the election, I simply said he should have waited,” Brown said. “The storm was still forming, people were debating whether it was going to be as bad as expected, or not, and I noted that the president should have let the governors and mayors deal with the storm until it got closer to hitting the coastal areas along the Washington, D.C.-New York City corridor.”

Intrade’s Election Predictions

Intrade touts itself as “The world’s leading prediction market“.  We’ll soon see how accurate they are on this one.

Presidential Election Winner

Updated at: 1:13 PM, next update in: 00:36 Refresh
Barack Obama

Today’s Change: +1.4
Shares Traded: 2,587,277
Mitt Romney

Today’s Change: -1.6
Shares Traded: 2,274,078
87 @ $6.55
323 @ $6.56
1 @ $3.45
18 @ $3.46

Surprise!! Romney ‘Relief Rally’ STAGED!! Pre-Purchased $5,000 in Walmart Goods for Bogus Photo Op!

This is reminiscent of that Paul Ryan staged event at the soup kitchen a few weeks ago.

It appears to me that these guys are actually showing their disdain and callousness toward unfortunate Americans and I think it’s abhorrent…

Democratic Underground via Think Progress

As the East Coast and parts of Ohio struggled to regroup in the devastating wake of “Superstorm” Sandy, the Romney campaign hastily transformed a scheduled victory rally in Dayton, Ohio into a non-political “storm relief event” on Tuesday. According to BuzzFeed, the campaign encouraged supporters to bring hurricane relief supplies and “deliver the bags of canned goods, packages of diapers, and cases of water bottles to the candidate, who would be perched behind a table along with a slew of volunteers and his Ohio right-hand man, Senator Rob Portman.”

Just to be safe, campaign aides reportedly spent $5,000 at a local Wal-Mart on supplies that could be put on display. When supporters arrived at the rally-turned-relief event, they were treated to the 10-minute video about Romney’s life, which was first unveiled at the RNC. The event ended with supporters lined up to hand over supplies and meet Romney. But according to BuzzFeed, this donation process was also staged:

Empty-handed supporters pled for entrance, with one woman asking, “What if we dropped off our donations up front?”

The volunteer gestured toward a pile of groceries conveniently stacked near the candidate. “Just grab something,” he said.

Two teenage boys retrieved a jar of peanut butter each, and got in line. When it was their turn, they handed their “donations” to Romney. He took them, smiled, and offered an earnest “Thank you.”

The Red Cross, meanwhile, said they were grateful for the supplies but encouraged people to donate money or blood as a more efficient way to help the relief effort.

3 ways Hurricane Sandy complicates Mitt Romney’s path to victory

The Week

Mitt Romney is rewriting his itinerary for the final days of the campaign thanks to the storm’s rampage. Will that hurt his chances?

Mitt Romney sits on his campaign bus on Oct. 29 en route to a rally in Avon Lake, Ohio: The Republican presidential nominee canceled his campaign events Monday and Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy.

Mitt Romney canceled several campaign events Monday and Tuesday “out of sensitivity for the millions of Americans in the path of Hurricane Sandy,” his campaign said. The GOP presidential nominee was scheduled to attend a Tuesday event in Ohio dedicated to hurricane relief, but he has towalk a fine line, say experts, keeping his campaign going while avoiding any suggestion that he’s scoring points off the storm(which is no longer technically classified as a hurricane). “It’s a very difficult situation for the challenger to strike the right note to not look too political but to also [be] empathetic with the victims,” says Mary Kate Cary, a former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush. How has the monster storm that hammered the Northeast made Romney’s final push toward next week’s election more difficult? Here, three obstacles it’s thrown in Romney’s path:

1. Romney has ceded the spotlight to Obama
Romney has been trying not to completely “cede the mantle of leadership to Obama,” say Jim Huhnhenn and Steve Peoples at The Associated Press. He has spoken by phone to officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Homeland Security Department, and the National Weather Service, and publicly warned those in the storm’s path to expect extensive damage. “In the competition for attention, Obama held the edge, however,” going on cable TV, live, to call for people to heed evacuation warnings and pull together. “Such is the advantage of incumbency, provided things don’t go wrong.”

2. This undermines Romney’s final pitch in Virginia and New Hampshire
Romney is tied with Obama nationally, but he still needs to eke out gains in a few critical swing states, says James Joyner at Outside the Beltway, if he hopes to collect the 270 electoral votes he needs to win. It’s “next to impossible to say how or whether the storm is going to impact [his] ability to persuade a relative handful of undecided voters” in the battlegrounds, but it’s distinctly possible that he could “lose the race because he’s unable to campaign in Virginia and New Hampshire in the final days.” On the other hand, he’s left with “an extra couple of days in Ohio,” which could be “a blessing in disguise” if it improves his chances of winning there.

3. The storm derailed Romney’s bid for Wisconsin
With Obama still favored in Ohio — the swing state many expect to decide next Tuesday’s election — Team Romney was making a compensatory play for the long-reliably blue state of Wisconsin. Now-post-tropical storm Sandy “may be a safe distance from Wisconsin,” says Matt Taylor at The Daily Beast, “but the Frankenstorm has upended Mitt Romney’s late push to claim [its] 10 electoral votes.” The GOP nominee “was compelled to ax an event in suburban Milwaukee, a GOP stronghold, Monday evening,” and his team “apparently decided to stop politicking with flooding, power outages, and even deaths on the horizon,” leaving Obama in command in Wisconsin, according to the latest polls.

“AP photo of POTUS yesterday- it tugs at my heart strings.”

This post’s title-quote was written by Mira of The Democratic Underground.  It was in reference to the above picture of President Obama walking in the rain.   She goes on to say:

After cancelling his appearance at a morning campaign rally in Orlando, Fla., President Barack Obama walks toward the White House in a driving rain Monday. Obama returned to Washington to monitor preparations for early response to Hurricane Sandy on Monday.

When I take a look at this, and think of the hours, the energy and care extended and the grueling work all the way around, it makes me humble and grateful to our President for his dedication to his obligations to the country and to us.
This photo shows that it is not at all easy, if you take it seriously, no matter how fancy being the President can look at times.
Just sayin’.

Another Democratic Underground commenter said this about the above photo:

Remember President Obama’s convention speech?

He quoted Abe, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.” 

Or at least he para-quoted part of it, and I completely believe him.

TFC readers, what are your thoughts on the above photo?