Patterico's Pontifications

6/25/2014

The McDaniel Challenge May Have Merit

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:06 pm

There may be something to McDaniel’s election challenge. I say: there may be.

The stats wizards at FiveThirtyEight say that unusually high black turnout did indeed, as suspected, help Cochran win. Counties that always go Democrat had massive numbers of voters going for Cochran in the Republican primary. Your initial reaction might be the same as mine was: isn’t that what happens when you have open primaries? After all, Rush Limbaugh famously encouraged Republicans to throw a monkey wrench into the works in 2008, and go vote for Hillary, just to undermine Obama and create more drama in the Democrat presidential primary process. Rush called the proposal “Operation Chaos.”

There are two differences between that and the Cochran situation: one moral and one potentially legal.

Limbaugh himself points out the moral issue: Establishment Republicans helped with this. Calling this a “Reverse Operation Chaos” is not accurate, because there is no evidence that Hillary helped Rush in 2008. But Republicans were behind the get-out-the-black-Democrat vote effort in this primary.

Charles C. Johnson has been leading the charge on this. He posts a picture of a flyer smearing McDaniel as a racist:

Here is a robocall where you can hear the race-based appeal:

OK, what about the legal aspect? Well, the Mississippi statute does allow open primaries . . . but it also limits participation in a party’s primary to people who intend to vote for the party’s candidate. The relevant Mississippi statute says:

No person shall be eligible to participate in any primary election unless he intends to support the nominations made in the primary in which he participates.

Now. I think you’d have some trouble enforcing that when it comes to the actions of an individual voter. What are you going to do: have elections officials quiz them about who they voted for, and who they intend to vote for in the general election? It seems to me that a court would put the kibosh on that kind of intrusion into the voters’ deliberative process.

But . . . it certainly would seem to show an intent to violate the law if a candidate or his supporters were to market their political message explicitly towards people intending to vote Democrat in the general election. Take another look at that flier above. See the bit at the bottom? Let me quote that for you:

MS law is clear. Anyone who did not vote in the June 3rd Democratic primary may vote in this Senate Run-off on Tuesday, June 24. If anyone asks you who you are voting for now or in November, tell them it’s a secret ballot and you don’t have to answer them.

That’s not what the statute says. You can’t vote if you don’t intend to support the nominations made in the party in which you participate.

This seems like an attempt to persuade people to vote who are not eligible — and to cover it up.

I still don’t see how a judge can throw out any votes based on a suspicion — however correct — that the voter intends to vote for the other party in the general election. But if they already voted in the Democrat election, that’s a different matter entirely.

This is a random claim on the Internet and I can’t trust it for that reason, but there may be something to it:

If people voted in the Democrat primary and then voted again in the Republican primary, I think the process will be able to catch that. Those votes should be thrown out. Whether that’s enough to turn the tide for McDaniel, I don’t know. I suspect it’s not.

Ultimately, there may be no way to reverse the results of this election.

The real issue is: who is responsible?

Chuck Johnson says he has the goods to show that establishment Republicans were behind this:

He’s also told me I can break the news here, tomorrow.

So stay tuned.

Add GOP Senator Grassley To Lerner’s List

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:13 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Thanks to commenter OldSarg for alerting us that the Ways and Means Committee is investigating Lois Lerner’s involvement in targeting Senator Grassley:

Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative individuals includes a sitting United States Senator. According to emails reviewed by the Committee under its Section 6103 authority, which allows the Committee to review confidential taxpayer information, Lois Lerner sought to have Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) referred for IRS examination.

“We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” said Camp. “At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights. We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal. The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS’s abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this Administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.”

Here is the background information:

While the Ways and Means Committee investigation into Lerner’s involvement in the potential Grassley examination is ongoing, documents show that Lerner received an invitation to a speaking event that was intended for Senator Grassley. Instead of forwarding the invitation to Grassley’s office, Lerner immediately suggested to others in her office that the issue should be referred for examination. The Committee was able to investigate this information through its authority under Section 6103 of the tax code. A waiver was signed by Senator Grassley and his wife in order to make this information public.

Time to once again be reminded of what the President told us about the IRS… not even a smidgen of corruption…

–Dana

UPDATE: Allahpundit has an interesting analysis on the Lerner-Grassley news.

In other words, both Grassley and Lerner were invited to the same tax event, but somehow Grassley’s invite ended up in Lerner’s envelope. That’s how she knew he’d been invited. And because Grassley’s wife was included on the invite, Lerner jumped to the conclusion that the event organizers were offering to “inappropriately” pay for his wife. What’s wrong with her raising the alarm about that? Well, (a) there was no reason yet to think Grassley had accepted the invitation. She wanted to “examine” the guy on the mere possibility that he would. And (b) per her e-mail exchange with her deputy on this, she seems … not to understand the law at all. It falls to the deputy to explain to her that it’s not illegal for event organizers to pay for his wife so long as he reports the income on his 1040. In other words, not only did she assume without knowing that Grassley and his wife would attend, she assumed without knowing that they’d end up lying about it on their next tax return.

No Surgery Required To Change Designated Sex On Birth Certificate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:06 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This month the American Medical Association opted to officially “modernize” its birth certificate policies and not require reassignment surgery in order to change an individual’s sex on their birth certificate. This is what modernization looks like:

The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted new policy supporting the elimination of any government requirement that an individual must have undergone surgery in order to change the sex indicated on a birth certificate.

Across the country, state laws governing changes to a person’s gender on a birth certificate is granted to applicants who change their sex by “surgical procedure” and provide a court order to that effect. Only a handful of states allow corrections to gender markers on birth certificates on the basis of “clinically appropriate treatment,” as opposed to surgery.

“Surgery shouldn’t be a requirement to align a person’s gender identity with their birth certificate,” said AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. “State laws must acknowledge that the correct course of treatment for any given individual is a decision that rests with the patient and their physician.”

The AMA rejected “gender affirmation surgery” as the guiding requirement for changing birth certificates as inconsistent with current medical standards. The new AMA policy also supports that any change of sex determination on an individual’s birth certificate must not hinder access to medically appropriate preventive care. Medical options for transgender people include a medically appropriate combination of mental health care, social transition, hormone therapy, in addition to the option of sex reassignment surgery.

It is assumed that the decision was made, at least in part, to the advocacy and claims from the transgender community :

Transgender people say they need IDs to accurately reflect their gender when they apply for jobs, travel and seek certain government services among other things.

There is no consensus on this issue from State lawmakers:

Just last week, New York State said it will no longer require transgender people to require proof of surgery when they attempt to change the gender on their birth certificates. But earlier this year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have allowed those who had a clinical sex change to amend their gender on their birth certificate.

While historically, the AMA has been more progressive than lawmakers, this comes on the heels of the Medi-Care ban on sex reassignment surgeries being lifted, as well as President Obama recognizing Transgender Day Remembrance, and his recent comments made following a Department of Education action that designated an expanded view of protections under Title IX: [T]ransgender students can now “assert their rights.

Oh, and on a side note: last week the Obama administration quietly lifted its ban prohibiting health insurance carriers from covering transition-related care for transgender federal employees.

Of course, the debate will rage on as to whether a person’s gender can be changed by a piece of paper or even through sex reassignment surgery. Clearly though, the times they are a-changin’ have changed.

–Dana

It Depends On What The Definition Of ‘Smidgen’ Is

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:48 am

[guest post by Dana]

Lately, it appears that scandal and the IRS are attached at the hip.

Now, due to yet another issue of corruption, a consent decree orders the agency to pay out a $50,000 settlement to the National Organization for Marriage. The IRS admitted to releasing the group’s confidential tax information to the gay rights group, Human Rights Campaign.

In February 2012, the Human Rights Campaign posted on its web site NOM’s 2008 tax return and the names and contact information of the marriage group’s major donors, including soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That information then was published by the Huffington Post and other liberal-leaning news sites.

HRC’s president at the time, Joe Solmonese, was tapped that same month as a national co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Not surprisingly:

In May 2012, NOM Chairman John D. Eastman and NOM President Brian Brown asked the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute the case. Eastman appeared last June before the House Committee on Ways and Means to testify about the illegal disclosure o the marriage group’s donors.

Unauthorized disclosure of confidential tax information is a felony offense that can result in five years in prison, but the Department of Justice did not bring criminal charges.

Here’s a little reminder President Obama’s reassurances to the American people:

–Dana

McDaniel Will Seek Recount

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:05 am

The lesson of this election, as someone wrote me, is this: establishment Republicans don’t need Tea Party votes . . . as long as they have Democrat votes. Apparently, establishment Republicans consider the two groups of voters to be interchangeable. Whatever it takes, right, guys?

McDaniel’s not happy about it.

McDaniel said Cochran’s decision to seek Democrats to vote for him in the Republican primary runoff was un-Republican. . . .

“Before this race ends, we have to be absolutely certain that the Republican primary was won by Republican voters. We will stand with courage, we will stand with judgment, we will stand with integrity. This is our fight conservatives. This is necessary. We are not prone to surrender, we Mississippians. A strong and sturdy people we are, a brave people we are, a people that can still lead the conservative revival in this country. We will lead the resurgence. That begins right here in Mississippi.”

What is this guy, Yoda?

He could actually learn some wisdom from the little guy.

If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are . . . a different game you should play.

Unexpectedly! Q1 Number Revised From +0.1, to -1.0, and now -2.9

Filed under: General — JD @ 6:37 am

[guest post by JD]

Unexpectedly, and shocking. I blame Bush. And winter. Because we never had a winter before.

Obama is succeeding in fundamentally transforming our country. We are a good ways towards the Obama recession right now.

—JD

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Thanks to JD for getting this important news up early. Ed Morrissey passes along the details. Basically, according to revised numbers, the GDP shrank by an annualized rate of 2.9% in the first quarter.

I have criticized GDP here in several posts. Perhaps the most obvious objection is that it takes into account government spending, which originates in coercion and does not satisfy consumer desires. A better measure would ignore government spending.

The fact that government spending is taken into account underlines just how bad this news is — because federal government spending keeps on chugging along. In fact, when the Bureau of Economic Analysis gets to the breakdown (.pdf), we’re told that federal spending increased:

This downturn in the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected a downturn in exports, a larger decrease in private inventory investment, a deceleration in PCE, and downturns in nonresidential fixed investment and in state and local government spending that were partly offset by an upturn in federal government spending.

You could say that, because declines in state and local government spending slightly outran the increases in federal government spending, the picture for the private sector is actually better than the GDP number represents. While there may be something to that, there is nothing reassuring about seeing greater spending by a centralized government at the expense of lesser spending by decentralized loci of power.

Any way you slice it, the bottom line is that this is horrific news. But, of course, entirely expected.


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