Sunday, November 30, 2008
St. Paul, Minn. — Local elections officials are expected to resume recounting votes in the U.S. Senate election on Monday after taking time off for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The entire recount must be done by next Friday, Dec. 5. The State Canvassing Board then meets on December 16 to start reviewing challenged ballots. The board intends to declare either Norm Coleman or Al Franken the winner a few days later.
But even then, the election may not be settled. A court challenge is likely, and both sides are preparing for the possibility that the Senate itself could weigh in.
After saying for weeks that he was going to take the recount process one step at a time, Democrat Al Franken's attorney now appears to be jumping ahead.
On Wednesday the State Canvassing Board rejected Franken's appeal to review any rejected absentee ballots, but the board did leave open the chance that they could examine any rejected ballots that were discarded for errors outside the voter's control. Afterwards Franken's Attorney Marc Elias said he would continue to work to make sure that all legitimate votes are counted.
"There are a number of ways that this can happen. Whether it is at the county level, before the State Canvassing Board, before the courts of Minnesota or before the United States Senate, we do not know, but we remain confident that one way or another, all lawful votes will be counted in this election," said Elias.
The Senate's top Democrat Harry Reid also weighed in on the canvassing board's ruling. In a statement he called the decision "a cause for great concern" and urged Minnesota authorities to ensure that no voter is disenfranchised. The comments by Elias and Reid have increased the potential that the Senate may take the rare step of weighing in on the race.
"Ultimately, the Senate has complete authority to determine who was elected," said Washington University political scientist Steven Smith.
According to Smith the Constitution allows the Senate to be the final arbiter of its membership. Smith said the Senate does so by determining the qualifications of each member. On most occasions, Smith said the Senate simply accepts a state's election certificate, but it has diverted course a few times.
"There is a motion under Senate rules and precedents that allows any Senator to make a motion to refer the credentials to a committee, presumably the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over election matters, in order to delay action on it," explained Smith.
In other words, the Senate could start its own investigation into the election and vote counting. If that action is taken, it's conceivable that Franken's argument regarding rejected absentee ballots could be reconsidered by the Senate.
"So, if this is like cases in the past in the House and the Senate, we could have staff members, or even Senators, sitting there looking at these contested ballots. It could come down to that," said Smith.
Smith said the Senate last weighed in on a serious election contest in 1974.
The contest involved a dispute between two New Hampshire candidates. After several recounts, the Senate moved to seat the Democrat. The motion was brushed back several times by Republicans who filibustered the issue. After months of wrangling, the Senate declared the seat vacant and ordered another election, which the Democrat won.
The possibility that the Senate, which is now controlled by 58 Democrats, could weigh in on Minnesota's election is a worry for Republican Norm Coleman's campaign.
For weeks Coleman's attorneys and Republican surrogates have warned that Franken was laying the groundwork for the Senate to consider the election.
Coleman spokesman Mark Drake called on Franken to abandon any efforts to get the Senate to weigh in on the race when the body seats its new members in January.
"We fear that that's where it's headed, and I think Al Franken owes it to the people of Minnesota to reject any and all efforts to stop a Minnesota Senator from being sworn in on the 6th. If the recount shows that Norm Coleman prevailed, as we expect it to. Al Franken should respect that," said Drake.
Drake said the Coleman campaign is preparing for a lengthy fight either in court or in the Senate.
Political scientist Steven Smith doubts the Senate will get involved. But he said there could be a real temptation for Democrats to consider the option, if Franken loses to Coleman by only a few dozen votes. But he said Democrats know a nasty floor fight could take away from all of the other business they want to conduct over the next several months.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
• He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics
• He was known as "O'Bomber" at high school for his skill at basketball
• His name means "one who is blessed" in Swahili
• His favourite meal is wife Michelle's shrimp linguini
• He won a Grammy in 2006 for the audio version of his memoir, Dreams From My Father
• He is left-handed – the sixth post-war president to be left-handed
• He has read every Harry Potter book
• He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali
• He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager and now can't stand ice cream
• His favourite snacks are chocolate-peanut protein bars
• He ate dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper while living in Indonesia
• He can speak Spanish
• While on the campaign trail he refused to watch CNN and had sports channels on instead
• His favourite drink is black forest berry iced tea
• He promised Michelle he would quit smoking before running for president – he didn't
• He kept a pet ape called Tata while in Indonesia
• He can bench press an impressive 200lbs
• He was known as Barry until university when he asked to be addressed by his full name
• His favourite book is Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
• He visited Wokingham, Berks, in 1996 for the stag party of his half-sister's fiancé, but left when a stripper arrived
• His desk in his Senate office once belonged to Robert Kennedy
• He and Michelle made $4.2 million (£2.7 million) last year, with much coming from sales of his books
• His favourite films are Casablanca and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
• He carries a tiny Madonna and child statue and a bracelet belonging to a soldier in Iraq for good luck
• He applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar while at Harvard but was rejected by the all-female committee.
• His favourite music includes Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Bach and The Fugees
• He took Michelle to see the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing on their first date
• He enjoys playing Scrabble and poker
• He doesn't drink coffee and rarely drinks alcohol
• He would have liked to have been an architect if he were not a politician
• As a teenager he took drugs including marijuana and cocaine
• His daughters' ambitions are to go to Yale before becoming an actress (Malia, 10) and to sing and dance (Sasha, 7)
• He hates the youth trend for trousers which sag beneath the backside
• He repaid his student loan only four years ago after signing his book deal
• His house in Chicago has four fire places
• Daughter Malia's godmother is Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita
• He says his worst habit is constantly checking his BlackBerry
• He uses an Apple Mac laptop
• He drives a Ford Escape Hybrid, having ditched his gas-guzzling Chrysler 300
• He wears $1,500 (£952) Hart Schaffner Marx suits
• He owns four identical pairs of black size 11 shoes
• He has his hair cut once a week by his Chicago barber, Zariff, who charges $21 (£13)
• His favourite fictional television programmes are Mash and The Wire
• He was given the code name "Renegade" by his Secret Service handlers
• He was nicknamed "Bar" by his late grandmother
• He plans to install a basketball court in the White House grounds
• His favourite artist is Pablo Picasso
• His speciality as a cook is chilli
• He has said many of his friends in Indonesia were "street urchins"
• He keeps on his desk a carving of a wooden hand holding an egg, a Kenyan symbol of the fragility of life
• His late father was a senior economist for the Kenyan government
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
On July 25th, 2008, Sonny Landham called for genocide against Arabs and referred to them as "ragheads". His comments were made on the political radio show the Weekly Filibuster. Three days later, on July 28, the Kentucky Libertarians voted unanimously to withdraw Landham's nomination, citing his comments were not in keeping with the party's platform and values.
Looks like at least one person from Predator has no shot at an office now.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
(well fuck, Fox's video deal sucks ass and won't show up here... I'll try to fix it tomorrow.)
Well double fuck it, I can give you this link to Salon.com and see if you can find the video there...