Patterico's Pontifications

9/28/2010

Obama Activist Tied in With Organization Accused of Voter Fraud

Filed under: General,Obama — Patterico @ 6:33 pm

You may have read that there is strong evidence of voter fraud in Houston. Here’s what you may not have heard: the organization accused of shady behavior is linked to a former head of an Obama campaign office. She is a fan of Che Guevara. She is also the person who invited to a town hall meeting a woman who then posed as a doctor at that meeting during the health care debate.

Here are the details.

Last month, Houston’s Registrar accused a Democratic organization called “Houston Votes” of voter registration fraud. The allegations were recently detailed here, and make compelling reading:

When Catherine Engelbrecht and her friends sat down and started talking politics several years ago, they soon agreed that talking wasn’t enough. They wanted to do more. So when the 2008 election came around, “about 50” of her friends volunteered to work at Houston’s polling places.

“What we saw shocked us,” she said. “There was no one checking IDs, judges would vote for people that asked for help. It was fraud, and we watched like deer in the headlights.”

Their shared experience, she says, created “True the Vote,” a citizen-based grassroots organization that began collecting publicly available voting data to prove that what they saw in their day at the polls was, indeed, happening — and that it was happening everywhere.

. . . .

Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state’s office and the Harris County district attorney.

Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who also worked for the Service Employees International Union before coming to Houston. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid.

The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures. . . .

“The integrity of the voting rolls in Harris County, Texas, appears to be under an organized and systematic attack by the group operating under the name Houston Votes,” the Harris voter registrar, Leo Vasquez, charged as he passed on the documentation to the district attorney.

Guess who was active in recruiting for Houston Votes? That would be one Maria Isabel.

Does that name sound familiar? It should. She is a radical Obama supporter who ran an Obama campaign office that sported a picture of Che Guevara.

Maria and Che
Maria Isabel (identified by Babalu blog) at Obama/Che HQ

Her name resurfaced when we reported here that Isabel had invited Roxana Mayer to a Sheila Jackson Lee town hall meeting. Mayer, of course, is the woman who pretended to be a doctor to lend credibility to her support for Obama’s health care reform.

Isabel in Audience
Maria Isabel at town hall meeting

Maria Isabel, having invited Mayer to the meeting, was sitting right there with this fraud in the front row:

Front Row Together

Isabel is a long-time Organizing for America activist.

Isabel with Obama
Maria Isabel with Obama

(So, as it turned out, was Mayer.)

So last year, you had two Obama activists sitting in the front row of a Sheila Jackson Lee town hall meeting, one of whom invited the other via a listserv.  One was a Che Guevara fan and the other lied about being a doctor.

Now the fan of Che Guevara and Obama is shown to have been involved (beginning as early as 2007) with an organization that stands credibly accused of rank voter fraud.

Doesn’t mean she had anything to do with it, of course. And she didn’t necessarily have anything to do with Roxana Mayer’s fraud, either. She just happens to keep popping up in the company of others who commit fraud. That’s all.

Or is it?

(Thanks to a reader who wishes not to be identified.)

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

UPDATE x2: David Jennings, who took two of the photos used above, has a post that further ties Isabel to the Houston Votes organization — using photos that Isabel herself put on Flickr. It’s excellent work — go see it now.

Seniors Kicked Out of Their Health Insurance Plans Thanks to ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:42 pm

But, but, they told us nobody would lose their health insurance plan because of ObamaCare.

I guess that wasn’t entirely true:

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has notified customers that it will drop its Medicare Advantage health insurance program at the end of the year, forcing 22,000 senior citizens in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine to seek alternative supplemental coverage.

The decision by Wellesley-based Harvard Pilgrim, the state’s second-largest health insurer, was prompted by a freeze in federal reimbursements and a new requirement that insurers offering the kind of product sold by Harvard Pilgrim — a Medicare Advantage private fee for service plan — form a contracted network of doctors who agree to participate for a negotiated amount of money. Under current rules, patients can seek care from any doctor.

“We became concerned by the long-term viability of Medicare Advantage programs in general,’’ said Lynn Bowman, vice president of customer service at Harvard Pilgrim’s office in Quincy. “We know that cuts in Medicare are being used to fund national health care reform. And we also had concerns about our ability to build a network of health care providers that would meet the needs of our seniors.’’

The new substitute plan will be “slightly more expensive’’ than the existing plan.  Also, it “won’t pay for prescription drugs, which are covered by some versions of the current plan.”

No problem, right, seniors?

Will this company be locked out of the system for daring to act according to its business interests?

Thanks to A. W. and another reader.

No Execution for Child Rapist-Murderer Any Time Soon

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am

If you weren’t paying attention, it might have appeared like his execution was coming up.

Dream on.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco late Monday ordered a trial judge to reconsider a ruling that allowed for a convicted murderer and rapist to be executed this week at San Quentin State Prison.

Albert Greenwood Brown was scheduled to be executed at 9 p.m. Thursday for the 1980 killing of a 15-year-old Riverside County girl.

But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that a U.S. district court judge erred by offering Brown a choice of being executed with a one-drug lethal injection or a three-drug cocktail.

I have downloaded the decision for your perusal here. I may have more to say about this later, but my quick analysis is: nothing is happening any time soon. Perhaps the weirdest part of all this: the moratorium on executions is likely to continue because . . . California doesn’t have fresh supplies of the execution drug:

The California attorney general’s office said Monday it would recommend not scheduling any more executions after Thursday until the state can secure a fresh supply of the drug, an anesthetic that renders condemned inmates unconscious before lethal drugs are injected.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has said it likely can’t acquire more of the drug until next year. That would further extend the de facto execution ban Fogel put in place in 2006 when he found California’s lethal injection process deeply flawed.

It’s only a de facto ban because the Attorney General never made the judge issue a real ruling, choosing instead to roll over and not set execution dates, forcing the judge to halt them.

The time has come, folks. Our officials are failing us. They are failing to force the issue. They are failing to buy fresh supplies of the necessary drugs.

Bring back the firing squad.

Global Cooling! L.A. Experiences Hottest Day in History

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:12 am

The title is poking fun at the people who constantly invoke the “coldest [winter, summer, day] in history” stories as proof there is no global warming:

It was so hot Monday that it broke the all-time record — and the weatherman’s thermometer.

The National Weather Service’s thermometer for downtown Los Angeles headed into uncharted territory at 12:15 p.m. Monday, reaching 113 degrees for the first time since records began being kept in 1877.

Shortly after that banner moment, the temperature dipped back to 111, and then climbed back to 112. Then at 1 p.m., the thermometer stopped working.

I was in Dallas, Texas, where it was an unseasonably cool 73. When a colleague texted me that it was 106 in Long Beach, I didn’t believe him. So I checked the Weather Channel site on my phone. He was wrong. It was 109.

It is silly to take a single day of any type of weather and extrapolate that to conclude anything about long-term heating and cooling trends. One hot day or season does not prove global warming any more than one cold day or season disproves it.

9/27/2010

Leftist Radio Host Mike Malloy to Liz Cheney: “Go Plan Your Father’s Funeral”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:26 am

Paging David Neiwert! It’s “eliminationist rhetoric” — and it’s not a conservative, but rather well-known lefty radio yapper Mike Malloy:

Via Newsbusters.

9/26/2010

L.A. Times Uses Skewed Sample to Show Fiorina Way Down

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 3:47 pm

If you believe the poll, it shows Boxer up 51 to 43. The problem, as Allahpundit explains, is that the sample is completely skewed. Exit polls from Obama’s 2008 win showed Californians breaking down 42% (Dems), 28% (Ind.), 30% (Rep.). The L.A. Times‘s breakdown? 55% (Dems), 9% (Ind.), 35% (Rep.)

You would have to believe in a higher Democrat turnout in 2010 than 2008. Absurd.

I did some quick and dirty math to try to figure out how the poll would have looked if they had done the breakdown according to 2008 turnout numbers — which, even those are ridiculously skewed towards Democrats — and I got a result of 50-47 with Boxer in the lead. Feel free to check my math.

The poll seems designed to discourage Fiorina supporters. Luckily, we are smarter than that — and our recognition of the need for Unity means there is nobody who is going to prefer Boxer to Fiorina just because Fiorina isn’t pure enough.

Right?

9/25/2010

Obama Administration: Sure, We’ll Enforce the Voting Rights Act . . . But Only If It Helps Black Voters, Not White Ones

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am

Post-racial!

UPDATE: I checked the front page of the L.A. Times to see if this was there. Imagine my surprise to see it was not. What was there instead? Stephen Colbert!

9/24/2010

Sockpuppet Friday!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:23 pm

It’s Friday — the day of the week when sockpuppeting is allowed in one very special thread: this one.

If you don’t have something nice to say, make it funny.

Palin Says She Will Run in 2012 If Nobody Else “Steps Up”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

Details at Hot Air.

Remember: you don’t get to vote for the “idea” of Sarah Palin. If she runs, Americans will have to cast a vote for her.

In fact, supporting the “idea” of a candidate, as certain bloggers have suggested they are doing with Christine O’Donnell (while pointedly disclaiming that they are fully invested in the notion of the candidate herself as a “hill to die on”) is the type of thinking that got us Barack Obama. People voted for the “idea” of Hope and Change, and got something quite different in reality.

It is blind idealism, and it is dangerous on the left and on the right.

Will we follow that path with Sarah Palin — that is, if nobody else “steps” up?

Or will we confront the candidate as she exists in real life — with whatever faults and flaws she has — and decide whether that candidate is worth staking our hopes on?

Time will tell.

L.A. Times Corrects Error on Judicial Confirmations — But Why So Long?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:59 am

Yet another falsehood debunked:

Judicial logjam: An Aug. 31 article and chart in Section A about judicial vacancies said that the 47% rate of confirmation of President Obama’s nominations to the federal judiciary compared with 87% for President George W. Bush during his first 18 months in office. The 87% rate was for Bush’s entire eight-year presidency; for Bush’s first 18 months, the rate of confirmation was 61%. Additionally, the confirmation rates given for Presidents Clinton (84%), George H.W. Bush (79%) and Reagan (93%) were for their full presidencies and not their first 18 months.

You’ll remember me first raising this here and here.

They didn’t even call me a jackass or moron. They just corrected themselves.

Let’s not be too quick to praise, however. Ed Whelan sent an e-mail to the reporter (Carol J. Williams) about this error over two weeks ago, and nothing happened until I got the Readers’ Representative involved. That does not speak well of the reporter’s commitment to accuracy.

What’s more, as I pointed out in my original post, when you compare apples to apples, Obama has done as well as Bush. Looking only at nominations made through December, a scholar determined that as of April, “Confirmation rates, though, are nearly identical — 69% for Obama nominees versus 66% for Bush’s.” What’s more, proportionately more Obama nominees have gotten hearings, and more quickly. The (slightly!) higher confirmation rate for Bush appears to reflect a higher percentage of Obama nominations made shortly before the measurement was taken — nominees who haven’t had time to make it through the full nomination process.

Hardly an earthshattering revelation.

We’ll see what the figures are at the end of the first four years of Obama’s presidency. And we’ll hope those are also his last four years as President.

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