by John Hawkins | December 3, 2007 5:00 am
* Venezuela’s dictator-for-life in the making, Hugo Chavez, narrowly lost a close election that would have allowed him to run for reelection indefinitely in 2012. But, if Chavez controls the voting machines, why would he allow himself to lose?
Well, keep in mind that Chavez is in office until 2012, so he can always put this same package up again. Then, instead of losing 51% to 49% (keep in mind, the last two polls showed him losing by 12+ points), he can win 51% to 49% next time. If people claim he cheated, then he can point to the last election and say that it proves the polls are not rigged.
These words tell the story,
Echoing words he spoke when as an army officer he was captured and jailed for leading a failed 1992 coup, he said: “For now, we couldn’t.”
The official seal on the dictatorship is just being held off for a few years and, if you think about it, it’s a much smarter strategy than winning with 99% of the vote like Saddam and Fidel. Everyone knows their elections are phony, but with Hugo, you’ll have liberals coming out of the woodwork to say that this proves he’s on the up-on-up.
* Speaking of dictators…
Vladimir Putin’s party won a crushing victory in parliamentary elections Sunday, paving the way for the authoritarian leader to remain in control even after he steps down as president.
…Several opposition leaders accused the Kremlin of rigging the vote, and the Bush administration called for a probe into voting irregularities. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov called the election “the most irresponsible and dirty” in the post-Soviet era.
…The Kremlin portrayed the election as a plebiscite on Putin’s nearly eight years as president – with the promise that a major victory would allow him somehow to remain leader after his second term ends next year.
Putin is constitutionally prohibited from running for a third consecutive term, but he clearly wants to stay in power. A movement has sprung up in recent weeks to urge him to become a “national leader,” though what duties and powers that would entail are unclear.
…”People are being forced and threatened to vote; otherwise they won’t get their salaries or pensions,” said Boris Nemtsov, leader of the liberal Union of Right Forces party.
Dozens of voters reported being paid to cast ballots for United Russia, said Alexander Kynev, a political expert with election monitoring group Golos. In the town of Pestovo in the western Novgorod region, voters complained they were given ballots already filled out for United Russia, he said.
And with that, the final nail was driven into the coffin of freedom and democracy in Russia as Putin, in effect, becomes the new Czar.
* I suspect that Larry Craig hasn’t quite been honest with voters when he has said he’s not gay or bisexual,
David Phillips. Mike Jones. Greg Ruth. Tom Russell.
Four gay men, willing to put their names in print and whose allegations can’t be disproved, have come forward since news of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s guilty plea. They say they had sex with Craig or that he made a sexual advance or that he paid them unusual attention.
They are telling their stories now because they are offended by Craig’s denials, including his famous statement, “I am not gay, I never have been gay.” Those words, spoken on live national TV on Aug. 28, are now memorialized on a just-released-for-Christmas Talking Senator Larry Craig Action Figure.
David Phillips is a 42-year-old information technology consultant in Washington, D.C., who says Craig picked him up at a gay club in 1986 and that they subsequently had sex.
Mike Jones is a former prostitute who told the world he had sex with the Rev. Ted Haggard last year. The former Colorado Springs evangelist at first denied it but eventually confessed. Jones says Craig paid him for sex in late 2004 or early 2005.
Greg Ruth was a 24-year-old college Republican in 1981 when he says he was hit on by Craig at a Republican meeting in Coeur d’Alene.×
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Tom Russell, now 48, is a former Nampa resident who lives in Utah. Russell said his encounter with Craig occurred at Bogus Basin in the early 1980s.
A fifth gay man, who is from Boise but who declined to be named for fear of retaliation, offered a recent and telling account: He was in a men’s restroom at Denver International Airport in September 2006 when the man in the next stall moved his hand slowly, palm up, under the divider. Alarmed, the man said he waited outside the restroom and then identified the man in the adjoining stall as Craig, whom he had met in Idaho.
* Apparently, having Mike Huckabee pass him in Iowa has spurred Mitt Romney to finally give the big “Mormon speech” that people have been waiting for.
Is this a good idea? Well, on the one hand, I think it’s necessary because Mitt’s national numbers have been flat for roughly 6 months and it’s hard to say how much of that is a result of the “Mormon factor,” but it is unquestionably having an impact.
On the other hand, it’s tough to figure out exactly what he’s going to say. The general beef people seem to have with Mormonism is that it’s a heretical Christian cult with some wacky, way out of the Christian mainstream beliefs. Since that’s true, it’s hard to see how Mitt gets around it. He can, of course, emphasize religious liberty, note that he believes he’s saved through Jesus Christ just like mainstream Christians, and say that he’s running for President, not national pastor, so that his religion shouldn’t matter.
Either way, for good or ill, the speech will get an enormous amount of attention, so Mitt better knock it out of the park.
* Speaking of Mike Huckabee, he’s now in 2nd place nationally according to the latest Rasmussen poll. Combine that with his lead in Iowa and it’s clear that Huckabee’s campaign is for real.
In other words, not only is Huckabee in the top tier, he is genuinely in the running and capable of winning the whole thing. In fact, I would say that at this point, he has passed Fred and is now the third most likely candidate to win, only slightly behind Rudy and Mitt.
There are some “X-factors” for Huckabee, however:
1) He really needs to win Iowa.
2) His fund raising through the first 3 quarters was pathetic. He needs to have a really big 4th quarter to have the money to compete.
3) The other campaigns recognize that he’s the hot guy right now and they are all taking shots at him. Can he stand up under the withering fire, particularly given his poor record on fiscal and illegal immigration issues?
* This goes to show you how much underlying racism there is in the Democratic Party,
The Alabama Democratic Conference, the black wing of the state Democratic Party, endorsed New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in October.
…Before the endorsement vote, Perry County Commissioner Albert Turner praised Obama’s qualifications, but urged the group to support Clinton.
“The question you have to put forth to yourself is that whether or not in this racist country a black man named Obama — when we are shooting at Osama — can win the presidency of the United States?” Turner said.
Turner said Clinton is the Democrat most likely to win in November “because of her husband and because of some other things, mainly because she’s white.”
Put another way, are a bunch of white Democrats who think black people are too incompetent to get by on their own and need liberal help, special treatment, and Affirmative Action to make it going to vote for a black man to run the country or will they vote for a Republican instead just because he’s white? Apparently, Albert Turner thinks they’ll pull the lever for the GOP — and he’s probably right.
Republicans have always been the Party that believes blacks and whites are equal, which is why we’ve been pushing for a colorblind world since we freed the slaves in the Civil War. The Democrats were and still are the party for racists. The difference is that they got smarter about it. Instead of discriminating against blacks because they thought they were inferior, they decided to help blacks because they think they’re inferior. This gets the Robert Byrd mouth breathers, the black Caucus, and the bleeding heart liberals who want to feel good about themselves all on the same page and best of all, they get the black Americans to vote for the very people who are methodically destroying their communities.
Ask yourself a question: what has done more damage to black Americans in the last 50 years: old school Democrats in the KKK or new school liberals like Ted Kennedy who’ve destroyed black families with welfare, discouraged black Americans from trying to grab the American dream by convincing them that they’re victims, and have undermined black successes with Affirmative Action?
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