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Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Redrum? GOP IT guru's crash death 'timely'
From RawStory, and slowly leaking into the "regular media," could it be a classic case of "die before you testify...?"

The death of Republican "IT guru" Mike Connell last Friday in a fiery plane crash has been the subject of intense speculation online about whether it might have been murder -- but very little of that speculation has made it into the national media. Now one local TV station in Connell's home state of Ohio is acknowledging that there are questions about his death.

"Well, this sounds like a made up story," Scott Taylor of 19 Action News in Cleveland began. "One man rigging state elections to help his boss, President George Bush. After it's done, power players in Washington say 'Get rid of the guy.' Do I believe it? No -- for now."Taylor noted that "bad weather could have played a part in the crash" but "some in Washington have a different opinion."

"Some say Connell was about to reveal embarrassing details involving senior members of the Bush Administration," Taylor explained, "including their involvement in destroying incriminating emails and rigging elections. Connell died on impact, and was only 3 miles from the Akron-Canton Airport. He was an experienced pilot. Was it an accident, or murder?"

Connell had played a central role in two separate Bush administration scandals. He had created the website for the Ohio secretary of state's office which some have linked to suspected election fraud during the 2004 presidential race. He also set up the domains which White House staff used for their off-the-books emails concerning the firing of US Attorneys, emails which are now said to have been destroyed. In a press release cited by 19 Action News, the website Velvet Revolution revealed that "a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how Mr. Connell can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that the George Bush and Dick Cheney would 'throw [[him] under the bus.' A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife."

19 Action News also reported on Sunday that Connell had previously been warned by a friend that his plane might be sabotaged and had canceled two flights because of suspicious problems.

Watch the 19 Action News piece here (or here:)

Connell had been called to testify in a federal civil rights lawsuit involving allegations of the rigging of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio. He had been warned off flying his plane (he was an expert pilot.) Meanwhile, Bradblog reports that the lead attorney in the vote rigging case says he is pressing on with the case.

This case is full of weirness, and now some in the blogosphere are warning Al Franken to stay on the ground, and filling in more blanks about Connell:

Connell told various sources that he was being threatened by Rove. He canceled at least two previous flights due to mechanical failure. A father of four, his decision to fly from a highly restricted airport in Maryland remains a mystery. Connell reportedly did contract work for security-industrial agencies, like the CIA. Connell also openly acknowledged that he was the first IT contractor to move his servers behind the firewall of the US House of Representatves where he oversaw the websites of the House Judiciary Committee, Intelligence Committee, Ways and Means Committee, and Administrative Committee, arguably the four most powerful committees in the House.

Strange days indeed, but if the KGB can (allegedly) do it ...

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posted by JReid @ 12:26 AM  
Friday, August 08, 2008
Team Obama hits McCain on DHL
Now that's what I'm talking about!


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posted by JReid @ 5:11 PM  
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The latest Quinnipiac swing state polls have bad news for Pat Buchanan and other political analysts who have created a mini cottage industry out of Barack Obama's supposed inability to win over women and blue collar voters in the traditional battleground states, the way Hillary Clinton did.

Not only does Barack Obama lead John McCain in three crucial battleground states -- Ohio, Pennsylvania, and for the first time this political season, Florida -- his lead in PA is the largest of them all. I guess those "real Americans" in Appalachia are closet Adlai Stevenson fans? The numbers:
  • Florida: Obama edges McCain 47 - 43 percent;
  • Ohio: Obama tops McCain 48 - 42 percent;
  • Pennsylvania: Obama leads McCain 52 - 40 percen
The poll also reveals ongoing demographic challenges for John McCain:
In the three states, Obama leads McCain 10 to 23 percentage points among women, while men are too close to call. The Democrat trails among white voters in Florida and Ohio, but gets more than 90 percent of black voters in each state. He also has double-digit leads among young voters in each state.
And as to the idea of Hillary Clinton on the ticket, even in Clinton Country (Florida and Pennsylvania,) the idea leaves crucial independent voters cold:
  • Florida: Democrats want Clinton on the ticket 57 - 33 percent while Republicans are opposed 59 - 17 percent and independents oppose it 46 - 37 percent;
  • Ohio: Democrats want Clinton for Vice President 58 - 31 percent, but Republicans say no 60 - 19 percent and independents turn thumbs down 47 - 31 percent;
  • Pennsylvania: Democrats say yes to Clinton 60 - 31 percent, while Republicans say no 63 - 20 percent and independents nix the idea 49 - 36 percent.
"If Sen. Obama seriously is thinking about picking Sen. Clinton as his running mate, these numbers might cause him to reconsider. The people who really matter come November - independent voters - turn thumbs down on the idea. And, many say they are less likely to vote for him if he puts her on the ticket," Brown added.
The crucial finding here is that women are quickly consolidating behind the Obama candidacy, or against McCain, however you choose to spin it. As McCain's views become more widely known, he will become even more difficult to market to women, and to younger voters, for whom issues like the environment, ending the Iraq war, holding the Supreme Court and ridding the country of Bush era policies are paramount, and for whom McCain's very real sacrifices in war, frankly, age him all the more because they stem from a war younger voters only know as the father of unnecessary wars like Iraq. Add McCain's newfound zeal for offshore drilling, and you can imagine his stance helping him close the gap somewhat in Pennsylvania, but widening it in the Sunshine State.

By the way, the other problem with McDrilling is that the notion of despoiling Florida's coastline will, as Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times put it on MSNBC this morning, instantly activate a legion of environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters, who might otherwise have been less exercised by the McCain candidacy. These groups have lists, and they consist of mainly older, supervoters. If McCain's new stance touches off a very real push for drilling in Florida, his stance could fuel increased coordination by environmental groups and perhaps elements of the tourism industry, not only against his candidacy, but against other vulnerable Republicans in November.

I dig deeper into the Florida numbers on the Flapolitics blog, here.


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posted by JReid @ 9:13 AM  
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
She's a winner
Hillary just gave a feisty speech following her come from ahead (ahem) victory in Ohio. The speech was notable in a few ways: first, it wasn't at all gentle. She continued to slam Barack without using his name, saying "the American people deserve a president who is tested and ready on day one," making allusions to the White House being no place for "on the job training," and deriding the notion of "change" without works.

You could see the Harold Ickes camp rebound in the latter part of the speech, in which Hillary attempted to coopt both the change message, and the historical/inspirational campaign theme that have been so successful for Barack. She talked about a mother of two little girls who told her that she wants her daughters to believe that they can "be anything." She mused that the question facing the country is not "whether we can make changes, it's whether we will," and she completely ripped off Barack's signature line, enjoining the crowd to call out the answer: "yes we will!" (The crowd contributed liberal chants of "yes SHE will!" throughout...)

Hillary may have a new campaign theme going forward, and its an amoebic send-up of Barack Obama's campaign: "together we will promises into actions, words into solutions and hope into reality."

This is no doubt a big night for Hillary, who won by a significant margin in Ohio (though again, not the 60 percent plus that she needed.) And she has pulled ahead in Texas, making an Obama victory there increasingly doubtful as the night drags on.

Howard Fineman claimed earlier tonight on MSNBC to have found "no joy" in the Clinton inner circle, and a sinking feeling that without Texas, some in the sanctum would want her to drop out. Well there will be no dropping out, clearly, and what Hillary displayed on the stump tonight was, if not joy, a certain smug satisfaction. This is clearly a woman who wants not just to beat Barack Obama, but to crush him under her stilettos.

It's strange for me, as someone who, seemingly ages ago, was a fan of Hillary's. But the manner in which she and her bully boys, Howard Wolfson and Mark Penn, have run this campaign has left me cold. She clearly is very much in this race, and could very well strong-arm the super delegates still undeclared into giving her the nomination. But I predict that if she does win it this way -- by scorching the earth with Barack Obama, belittling his campaign and declaring him more unfit to be president than her GOP opponent, many Democrats, particularly younger folks, Black voters and those new to the process -- and I'm shocked that I'm even saying this because I am a super-voter in every sense of the word -- myself included, will feel rather disinclined to stand in line on Mrs. Clinton's behalf in November. This campaign has become, not about putting a Democrat back in the White House, but about putting Hillary (back?) in the White House, all else be damned.

We've seen this movie before. Bill Clinton won back to back presidential campaigns, and the Democratic party was not left the better for it, particularly in Congress, which they lost. Now, Hillary Clinton appears poised to break the party if she has to, in order to get what she wants. During the last few weeks she has fed the innuendos about Barack's faith, (as far as she knows...) declared him unfit to be commander in chief, and accused him of nefarious associations with indicted folk (pot ... kettle...) all while he stands closer to becoming the nominee of her party than she does. It's not an attractive quality, and it's not mitigated, for me, by her feel good appearances on the comedy show circuit. My only hope now, is that Harold Ickes' wing really does wrest control of the campaign from the Wolfson gang, so we don't spend the next seven weeks being fear mongered, bullied and bludgeoned into a new Clinton era.

Update: Barack is speaking now, and he has finally begun to tie Hillary and McCain together, and to defend himself against their tag team campaigns.

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posted by JReid @ 11:32 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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