Patterico's Pontifications


Guess Who Else Refused to Accept the Results of a Presidential Election?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:00 am

Americans face a stunning situation this morning: a presidential candidate who refuses to accept the results of a presidential election.

I’m speaking, of course, of Hillary Clinton.

As Jim Geraghty notes in National Review this morning, Hillary told fundraisers in 2002 that George W. Bush was “selected, not elected” in 2000.

If that phrase sounds familiar, it’s because it’s been a recurring theme for Democrats for almost 16 years now. It’s a mantra that has been repeated by everyone from Joe Biden (who said Al Gore “was elected president of the United States of America”) to Jimmy Carter (who said there is “no doubt in my mind that Gore won the election”) to Jonathan Chait (who wrote a piece titled “Yes, Bush v. Gore Did Steal the Election”).

Yes, Democrats have been rewriting the 2000 election for years, saying that Al Gore really won. But until the last 12 hours or so, I never heard their new revisionist history: that Al Gore in fact graciously surrendered power. The very same Chait who still alleges fraud in 2000 is claiming that Al Gore conceded, end of story:

Um, no.

Here’s what actually happened: news media called the election for Gore about an hour before polls closed in Florida, depressing turnout of the Republican vote in the panhandle, which was in a different time zone and heavily populated by Bush voters. Then the media retracted their call and very late that night awarded the contest to Bush. Gore called Bush and conceded.

Then he retracted it.

After automatic machine recounts showed Bush still winning, Gore sought manual recounts. But despite his rhetoric about “counting every vote,” Gore did not ask for a statewide recount of all votes, but a recount only in four Democratic counties that were more likely to favor him. As recounts proceeded, shenanigans were happening in these Democrat-controlled counties, with standards shifting constantly in ways that benefited Gore. Here’s a passage from the majority opinion in Bush v. Gore:

As seems to have been acknowledged at oral argument, the standards for accepting or rejecting contested ballots might vary not only from county to county but indeed within a single county from one recount team to another.

The record provides some examples. A monitor in Miami-Dade County testified at trial that he observed that three members of the county canvassing board applied different standards in defining a legal vote. 3 Tr. 497, 499 (Dec. 3, 2000). And testimony at trial also revealed that at least one county changed its evaluative standards during the counting process. Palm Beach County, for example, began the process with a 1990 guideline which precluded counting completely attached chads, switched to a rule that considered a vote to be legal if any light could be seen through a chad, changed back to the 1990 rule, and then abandoned any pretense of a per se rule, only to have a court order that the county consider dimpled chads legal.

It was chaos, and utterly . . . rigged. Yes, that term is a fair description of what Al Gore tried to do. He tried to steal the election, by having selective recounts and supporting an absurd and partisan “counting” process . . . and failed.

Ultimately, Gore conceded when he had to, and not one second before. And, as Sean Davis from The Federalist notes, Gore grudgingly conceded only the “finality” of the outcome while still disputing the correctness of the Supreme Court’s decision. And he spent years implying that he had really won. I watched him do it, on talk shows and in other appearances.

And Hillary Clinton pushed that same line, too. Which makes it ironic that she is getting on her high horse about Trump’s refusal to validate the fairness of an election that hasn’t even happened yet. An election where James O’Keefe has revealed Democrats acknowledging Democrat voter fraud, and inciting violence and pretending it resulted from “spontaneous” demonstrations . . . that DNC officials linked to Hillary actually orchestrated. An election where the DNC put its thumb on the scales for Hillary in the primaries. An election against a party, the Democrats, with a long and storied history of stealing elections, from LBJ’s first Senate race to JFK in 1960 to Al Gore’s attempt in 2000 to Hillary’s nomination this year.

Trump is wrong to claim that the vote counting process is rigged against him. He has no evidence of that. But he is not wrong to refuse to agree to concede the fairness of an election that has not even occurred.

And Hillary Clinton is wrong to refuse to concede the fairness of an election that did occur.

But good luck reading any of this anywhere but conservative blogs.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


Debate Video: Trump Yells: “YOU’RE THE PUPPET!”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:52 pm

Believe it or not, this is probably the highlight of this sorry debate so far: Trump interrupting Hillary repeatedly to call her a puppet. (Putin’s puppet.) It comes at the end of this clip:

I think it’s starting to sink in for Trump that he’s going to lose.


[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Final Celebrity Deathmatch, Er, Uh, Presidential Debate Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:07 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The third and final presidential debate is tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. The topics include Debt & Entitlement, Immigration, Economy, Supreme Court, Foreign Hot Spots, and *Fitness to be President. Notice that sexual assault is not listed.

With Trump’s numbers plummeting, I am expecting a no-holds-barred-take-no-prisoners eruption of gargantuan proportion from the Republican contender. After all, what better way to stimulate interest in a possible post-election venture, Trump TV? Tonight’s reality show is just a dress rehearsal! Obviously he is vulnerable in any number of areas tonight.

For her part, Hillary is going to have to contend with the untimely release of former television news reporter Leslie Milwee’s claim that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her while governor of Arkansas. Her video testimony is riveting and believable. However, given Hillary’s almost non-reaction to the presence of three of her husband’s victims at the previous debate, I suspect she won’t be too deterred by this latest revelation. Perhaps more damning to her will be the Wikileak revelations of the past two weeks and her obvious lies about her handling of classified email, as well as her comfy and financially beneficial relationship with Goldman-Sachs, in spite of her demonization of Wall Street.

No matter how it goes, one thing remains certain, nobody with a sound mind is fooled by these two awful candidates. Not really. Because as their recent appearances on the streets of New York City made clear, there is absolutely no doubt that these wanna-be emperors are wearing no clothes. And America is the poorer for it. In so many ways.


(*If the issue of character comes up tonight, I anticipate both candidates to be struck by lightening. Which reminds me, the little-known candidate, Evan McMullin, is now leading in the latest Utah presidential poll.)


Trump Pulverized in New Poll

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

A new poll is out from PRRI, and it is a shocker, showing Hillary Clinton with a national lead of — wait for it — FIFTEEN points, 51%-36%:

With only three weeks remaining in the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton maintains a double-digit lead over Donald Trump among likely voters (51% vs. 36%, respectively).1 Support for Clinton among likely voters has increased significantly over the past few weeks. In late September, Clinton was tied with Trump among likely voters (43% vs. 43%, respectively).

Democratic voters are more likely to support Hillary Clinton than Republican voters are to support Donald Trump. Ninety-five percent of Democratic likely voters say they are supporting Clinton while roughly nine in ten (87%) Republican likely voters report they are supporting their party’s nominee. Clinton has opened up a substantial lead with independent voters, who are supporting her by a 16-point margin (46% vs. 30%, respectively). Notably, roughly one in four independent voters say they will be casting a ballot for a third-party candidate (17%) or report no candidate preference at all (7%).

Clinton continues to benefit from her overwhelming lead among female likely voters, who favor Clinton over Trump by a margin of nearly two to one (57% vs. 31%, respectively). Male likely voters are nearly evenly divided in their candidate preferences, with roughly four in ten supporting Clinton (44%) and Trump (40%). This represents a stark reversal from last week, when Trump held a considerable advantage over Clinton among male voters (48% vs. 37%, respectively).

This is the same poll that had Clinton up by 11 a week ago, and had the candidates tied 43% to 43% less than a month ago. This chart from Kyle Griffin shows the trend:


Now for the caveat: last week’s poll had Trump down by 33 points among women voters — a gap that Allahpundit said was “enormous to the point of implausibility.” That gap has lowered to 26 points — but, as Larry David might say, that’s still pret-ty, pret-ty big. Outlier-ish, one might even say. And the 15-point national lead is obviously larger than most polls have shown in recent days. But the trend is not good for Trump heading into tonight’s debate.

Not good at all.

P.S. The PRRI servers appear to be melting this morning, and the link to the poll has not been working since I first read about it around 9:15 Eastern this morning. Feel free to use this Google cache link, which is how I accessed the poll.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


Trump Invites Obama’s Half Brother To Tomorrow’s Debate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 pm

Troll level: weak. A distraught mother of a Benghazi victim will not be Donald Trump’s only surprise guest at tomorrow’s debate. He’s also bringing President Obama’s half-brother:

As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prepare to spar during the third and final presidential debate, Trump has continued his tradition of inviting controversial guests.

As an attack on the sitting president, the campaign has invited the half-brother of President Barack Obama, Malik, to attend the debate as Trump’s guest, ABC News has confirmed. The news was first reported by the New York Post.

Malik Obama, a native Kenyan, has been an outspoken critic of Clinton and said that his support is with Trump.

So why is Obama’s half-brother an anti-Hillary figure? The New York Post provided some insight in this article from July:

Obama, 58, a longtime Democrat, said his “deep disappointment” in his brother Barack’s administration has led him to recently switch allegiance to “the party of Lincoln.”

The last straw, he said, came earlier this month when FBI Director James Comey recommended not prosecuting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of a private e-mail servers while secretary of state.

“She should have known better as the custodian of classified information,” said Obama.

Oh, okay. Gotcha. That makes sense. Anything else?

He’s also annoyed that Clinton and President Obama killed Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy, whom he called one of his best friends.

Malik Obama dedicated his 2012 biography of his late father to Khadafy and others who were “making this world a better place.”

That also seems like a perfectly sensible . . . wait, what?

I can understand someone saying it was a bad move to take out Khadafy because the power vacuum created an opportunity for terrorists to run wild. That happens to be my view. But the man Trump is inviting tomorrow went further and said: Khadafy is my best friend! He made the world a better place! As a reminder, Khadafy is generally thought to be behind the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. He was a genuine son-of-a-goat herder. And, to those paying attention, the presence of Malik Obama will remind people that Trump has flip-flopped on what was the right thing to do about Khadafy.

But I think even more people will squint in a confused fashion and ask: “What is Obama’s half-brother doing at the debate?” As a way to throw off Hillary, it seems pretty lame.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Witnesses: Trump Is Lying About Sexually Assaulting A People Magazine Writer

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 pm

In his characteristically Trumpy way, Donald Trump has denied sexually assaulting People Magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff, suggesting she is too ugly for him to have propositioned (“Look at her, I don’t think so.” Charming!). But today, People published the accounts of several witnesses who have corroborated Stoynoff’s story. Brace yourself for a shock: it looks like Donald Trump is almost certainly lying about this . . . just like he lies about, well, pretty much everything:

Marina Grasic, who has known Stoynoff for more than 25 years, says she got a call from her friend the day after the attack. Stoynoff detailed everything about the attack, from Trump pushing her against a wall to the business mogul showing up at her massage appointment the following day, she says.

According to Grasic, her longtime friend was embarrassed and even thought of Trump’s then-pregnant wife when deciding not to come forward about the encounter.

“Natasha was also struggling about not hurting pregnant Melania if the story came out,” Grasic says. “Beyond just the attack, she was horrified by the vulgar circumstances under which she was attacked and propositioned to have an affair. She was there in a professional capacity, writing an article about their happy marriage, and after the incident Trump acted like nothing happened.

. . . .

Stoynoff’s former journalism professor, Paul McLaughlin, says that the writer called him in tears looking for advice the very night of the harrowing encounter. However, he cautioned her to remain quiet in fear of how Trump may retaliate.

“She wasn’t sure what she should do,” McLaughlin recalls. “I advised her not to say anything, because I believed Trump would deny it and try to destroy her.”

“It was tough decision but in a he said/she said we believed she would lose,” the professor said in a tweet regarding the incident. “He seemed rather nasty at the time.”

And it goes on and on. Liz McNeil remembers Stoynoff saying Trump had “shoved her against a wall.” Mary Green relates that Stoynoff told her: “He took me to this other room, and when we stepped inside, he pushed me against a wall and stuck his tongue down my throat. Melania was upstairs and could have walked in at any time.”

There’s even a witness who disputes Melania Trump’s claim that she didn’t run into Stoynoff on Fifth Avenue afterwards.

It is true that none of these people witnessed the attack. So what? Unless these six people are all completely fabricating the same story, why would Natasha Stoynoff tell them about this 11 years ago, and remain silent about it until Trump ran for President? Not to sue him; the statute of limitations has surely run on a civil suit. Not to derail a presidential bid; nobody is saying Stoynoff had a crystal ball that could see 11 years into the future. No, the conclusion is clear: Trump is lying, and lying big. (Stoynoff says in the story that maybe Trump has assaulted so many women in this way that he just forgot this one. That strikes me as overly generous on her part, to a fault.)

Why does this matter? Because if Trump is lying, it’s relevant. And Trump is lying all the time. It’s particularly egregious now, because he is lying and smearing the women who are telling the truth.

When Bill Clinton did this, most Republicans attacked him for it. Some were doing so because they were partisan hacks — and those people are the scum defending Trump today. Some did so out of principle, and they condemn Trump today like they condemned Clinton.

Trump has killed the GOP’s chances of taking the White House this year. Don’t let him kill your intellectual honesty too.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

O’Keefe Video Fallout: One Operative Fired, One Operative “Steps Down,” And The Foul Stench Of DNC Crap Lingers

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:14 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Because Hillary Clinton only hires the best, most ethical and classiest people, that I can promise you!:


Last night we learned about James O’Keefe’s latest undercover video exposing the nefarious actions and collusion bewteen the DNC and Democratic operatives.

Today it was reported that one of the charming operatives seen in the videos, national field director for Americans United for Change, Scott Foval, was fired from the organization. Foval was seen in the first video discussing how the group uses the homeless and mentally ill:

We have mentally ill people who we pay to do s–t, make no mistake.

And this afternoon, top operative Bob Creamer suddenly “stepped down”. However, he warns us not to think for one second that these “unprofessional and careless hypothetical conversations” had anything to do with “his” decision:


Kudos to CNN, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper for covering this story today.

Here is O’Keefe’s second video, which was released today. The focus is on voter fraud tactics. And it’s as eye-opening as Part I.

Ironically, in today’s video, Foval says this about Creamer:

I work with Bob Creamer one to one all the time. I’m the white hat, Democracy Partners is kind of a dark hat. I will probably end up being a partner there at some point, because our philosophy is actually the same.

Bob Creamer is diabolical and I love him for it.

Oh, what a fitting end (if only temporary) to two despicable and diabolical indvididuals.

In other news, which again demonstrates that Democrats never run out of filthy, vile crap to spew , Gwinnett County, Georgia found itself the unlucky recipient of their latest dump:

Authorities are investigating whether a Democratic Party campaign bus illegally dumped raw sewage in Gwinnett County Tuesday morning.

According to the police report, authorities were called to the O’Reilly Auto Parts on Grayson Highway after reports that an RV was dumping its sewage into a storm drain.

“I was like, ‘What the heck? Are you kidding me?’”

A store employee told police that he watched an RV affiliated with the Democratic National Committee stop in the turn lane of Grayson Highway in front of the store.

The employee says he watched someone get out of the RV and open the sewage drain. Raw sewage then spilled onto the roadway and into the storm drain.

“They pulled the bus up right here. They stopped right here at this storm drain,” said Mike Robins.

Robins snapped several photos of the bus that he shared with Channel 2 Action News.

“I was like, ‘What the heck? Are you kidding me?’” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.

What a bad few days for Democrats as they try to dig out of an unexpected and damning shit storm before tomorrow night’s debate.


A Hillary Presidency Will Bring Us Four Years Of War . . . Between The Sexes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:15 am

When Hillary Clinton is elected (it’s going to happen, Trumpers), brace yourself — because it will be time for a new “national conversation.” But this time, instead of race, the never-ending topic will be supposed inequality between the sexes. You hadn’t thought about it before — but now that you do, you know I’m right.

When Barack Obama was elected, starry-eyed leftists foretold a new era of harmony between the races. The more realistic among us knew that his election would likely exacerbate ill will between the races.

Part of this was the unavoidable by-product of electing the first black president. We always knew that any criticism of Obama would be attributed to racism. (And some of it was, which just made the accusation — which was usually wrong — easier to level at critics.)

But Obama made an inevitable situation worse. Whether it was blaming a police officer for perfectly understandable actions towards a grievance-mongering Harvard professor, or attending funerals of pistol-grabbing thugs while snubbing police officers killed in the line of duty, Obama knew how to take a bad situation and make it worse. We all knew this was coming . . . and it did, good and hard.

Well, guess what?

With the election of the First Woman President, we’re going to get the same thing, with a vengeance.

Every single criticism of Hillary will be called “sexism” by the collectivism crowd. We’ll hear absolutely endless repetitions of the bogus “pay gap” argument. Outlandish statistics about rape on and off campus will be repeated with a frequency that will make today’s shouting sound like a whisper by contrast.

And, of course, there to help us at all times will be the chest-beating Trumper types of the Internet (no, they’re not all going away after Trump’s defeat), doing their level best to confirm every idiot stereotype of the left.

Like I said: you know it’s coming.

I have an opening salvo for you, when you see one of these people coming. Ask them why 90% of the prison population in this country is male. If they try to say males commit more crimes, accuse them of sexism. While they’re sputtering, run the other way. As fast as you can.

If you employ this simple strategy, you may be able to get through the next four years. But I don’t guarantee it.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

FBI Document Shocker: Hillary “Contemptuous” Towards Her Security Detail

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 am

I say “shocker” ironically, of course, because this is anything but shocking. Andrew Stiles at Heat Street dug up a nugget from yesterday’s FBI document dump, and it is not very flattering to Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton was so abusive toward her diplomatic security staff that many quit or sought reassignment during her tenure as secretary of state, a former agent told FBI investigators, according to documents released Monday.

Clinton’s treatment of the diplomatic security agents assigned to protect her “was so contemptuous that many of them sought reassignment or employment elsewhere,” according to an FBI summary of its interview with the unnamed former security official.

The former agent described how protecting the secretary of state had long been viewed as “an honor and privilege reserved for senior agents,” according to the FBI summary, but that changed during Clinton tenure.

The agent told FBI investigators that by the end of Clinton’s time at the state department, the secretary’s security detail was “staffed largely with new agents because it was difficult to find senior agents willing to work for her.”

Here is a screenshot of the document:


The document is page 45 of the document dump, if you’d like to see it in context.

Hillary Clinton: arrogant and contemptuous? That comes as a surprise to . . . precisely nobody.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


Explosive James O’Keefe Video: Democrat Operatives Boast About Provoking Violence At Trump Events

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:15 pm

James O’Keefe has been having a lot of fun lately tweaking the establishment and showing how Democrats engage in voter fraud and dirty tricks. Today he has a blockbuster new video, which he teases on Twitter with this:

I took him up on it, and here’s what I saw:


Yup: the top result is O’Keefe’s latest video. This one highlights the dirty tricks pulled by DNC operatives who go to Trump events with the express motivation of goading Trump supporters into committing violence.

The video is embedded below, and it’s well worth the 16 minutes it takes to watch it. You meet shadowy operatives like Bob Creamer and Scott Foval, who (according to the video) run dirty tricks on behalf of both the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. (Foval explicitly tells one of O’Keefe’s journalists that he is contracted to both the Hillary campaign and the DNC. He says that consultants like him serve as a sort of communications link between entities that are not allowed to communicate directly.)

These people have created a lot of the stories you have read about in the news. Democrat operatives on this video brag openly about how they seek to provoke violent situations at Trump rallies and other events. Foval boasts about sending provocateurs to have “leading conversations with people who are naturally psychotic” at these rallies. The events are scripted in advance.

A shadowy fellow named Aaron Minter, who goes by Aaron Black, says: “Nobody is really supposed to know about me. . . . So the Chicago protest, when they shut all that? That was us.” He is referring to a Chicago Trump rally where violence broke out and two police officers were injured, and the rally was cancelled. He continues:

None of this is supposed to come back to us, because we want it coming from people. We don’t want it coming from the party. So if we do a protest and it’s branded — “oh, the DNC protest” — right away the press is going to say: partisan.

Foval explains:

We have to be really careful because what we don’t need is for it to show up on CNN that the DNC paid for x people to . . . that’s not going to happen.

An operative named Zulema Rodriguez adds: “And then we also did the Arizona one where we shut the highway down.” And the dirty tricks aren’t all recent, either. They’ve been going on for a while. Here’s Foval talking about a staged incident at a Scott Walker rally months ago:

FOVAL: You remember the Iowa state fair thing where Scott Walker grabbed the sign out of the dude’s hand and then the dude gets kind of roughed up right in front of the stage right there on camera? That was all us. The guy that got roughed up is my counterpart who works for Bob [Creamer].

He explains that they “scenarioed” the situation, planting several people up front, and several more in the back so there could be a reaction. He adds that a story in the media, about a 69-year-old woman using an oxygen tank assaulted in North Carolina by a Trump supporter, involved one of their operatives.

Here’s my disclaimer and caveat. I’ve met James O’Keefe. I’ve had dinner with him, and talked far into the night, closing the restaurant down. He and I have battled many of the same people. I’m fond of the guy and I like him. I think many of the attacks on his editing are overstated or even dishonest. That said, there have been times — and James knows I feel this way — when I have disagreed with his editing decisions. (An example of a post where I both criticize and defend O’Keefe is here.) So I think we need to see the reaction to this, and see how the raw footage stands up to the inevitable accusations of “selective editing.” There are enough long quotes showing these folks boasting about their handiwork that the DNC is not going to be able to wave it all away with editing complaints. And O’Keefe has already claimed his first scalp, reporting tonight that Foval has been fired.

Overall, I think he’s done a lot of good work. And to his credit, he has historically put out all his raw footage, so that anyone looking to make accusations of misleading editing can look to his raw footage. (Does Katie Couric do that? No — and if the people slandered by Katie Couric had not made their own recordings, she never would have gotten caught.)

Critics will argue that even if Trump fans are goaded into committing violence, they are legally and morally responsible if they start the violence. Even if that’s true, the protestors are, by the operatives’ own admission, going to the events for the express purpose of getting Trumpers to start violence — and police officers end up getting hurt in the resultant chaos. (The O’Keefe video shows a police officer bleeding from the head after being injured at the Chicago violence that was deliberately provoked by DNC operatives.)


Furthermore, the operatives are promoting the protests as spontaneous and unconnected with the DNC, and they are neither. They are scripted and absolutely directed by Hillary’s and the DNC’s henchmen.

Note well: these folks concede in the video that Hillary was aware of the work they do. And they don’t seem to think they are operating legally or morally; indeed, Foval discounts the idea of following what the “legal and ethics people say” — saying that “we need to win this motherf**ker.”

These operatives’ biggest fear is having CNN and other networks tell the public that they are behind all this. Well, James O’Keefe just told the world. We’ll see if CNN and the others follow up on it.

Here’s the video:

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

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