Bush Lied

So says Mark Kirk about the justification for the Iraq War.

First—irony concerning being lied to noted.

Second, the base cannot be happy about that.

CHICAGO (AP) – Republican Mark Kirk says the Bush administration lied to him about the evidence for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Kirk voted to invade Iraq and said he was morally certain Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

But in a debate Wednesday, the U.S. Senate candidate said he was given false information in a briefing by the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President George W. Bush.

Kirk says he “absolutely” believes he was lied to.


Third, irony regarding a guy running on his intelligence credentials is noted.

Senator Brady doesn’t believe in equality for women and would rather LGBT people not exist

Well, that was inappropriate.  Ricky Hendon being inappropriate isn’t news though Quinn should have apologized for them since Hendon was speaking on behalf of him–nice advance work there gang!

I had to read it a couple times before I got the full problem with it.  At first, I simply read it as typical fodder about Brady not being good on issues of equity and fairness, but the whole would rather LGBT people not exist takes it a lot further once I thought about it and the equality issue would be a flub, but not as serious alone.

There are actually candidates we have around who do argue that women shouldn’t be equal. and everyone seems to ignore that, but Brady has never said anything like that which I’ve heard and if you can get him past platitudes about marriage equality he simply starts mumbling. There’s a reason for this.  He doesn’t think any deeper than that.  The man is not intellectual which isn’t unusual in a politician, but he goes a step further and is just dumb.  He’s good with people and he can campaign hard, but he’s dumb. He doesn’t think that deeply about women’s issues to be against equality. He’s just against the gummint getting in his business and is icked out by  Teh Gay. But he doesn’t wish they don’t exist–he doesn’t think about it enough to make a difference to him.

Bill Brady doesn’t have some evil plot he wants to unleash on the State of Illinois.  That would take a lot of initiative and he’s never shown any in his legislative career except to climb the ladder–even if it was while one beloved Senator was recuperating from a stroke.

He’ll do bad things as Governor, but only because he sees everything in very simple terms and doesn’t dwell on any solutions besides making broad platitudes and then go and be personable.  He’s not Kirk Dillard who might do things I’d disagree with, but make a coherent value based argument about why and be honest about the downside.

If Brady becomes Governor, I already have his theme picked out for four years:  Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Don’t Mess With Rand’s Beautiful Mind


This splices two videos together from the event in Kentucky where a MoveOn Activist was tacked and had her head stomped.

Being a campaign volunteer doesn’t mean you can be a thug because you don’t want your beautiful candidate spoiled by free speech.  Flashing a sign in the face of a candidate for office isn’t a crime.  Trying to take an embarrassing picture of a candidate with a sign isn’t a crime.  Unless the Rand Paul faces death from a paper cut there was no justification for anyone putting hands on this woman.  You can act as a barrier  or such or perhaps the best ides would be to set up a more controlled entrance area.  But Rand Paul not wanting his beautiful mind to be spoiled by pesky free speech isn’t a reason to put your hands on a woman and that includes the goofus who is in a suit and runs over at the very beginning.

If there is some fear of a threat then there are these people we call the police who can do crowd control for a candidate, but clearly that wasn’t thought necessary.

I’ve been to tea party events and had more aggressive behavior with signs towards me in my face, but my reaction was to smile and greet them.  Cardboard signs aren’t weapons.  What’s most bizarre is the Rand Paul supporters seemed to think they needed to have her arrested.  Seriously.

Early Voting Numbers

The Sun-Times covers the campaigns’ view of early voting:

The Giannoulias campaign has composed a model that includes every voter in Illinois with a grade from zero to 100, a score of 100 meaning they are most likely to vote for Giannoulias.

So far, of the 150,000 Illinois voters who voted early as of Thursday morning, 54 percent of them scored 50 or above on that predictor, Rendina said.

Among those more intensely for Giannoulias or Kirk, the most-likely Giannoulias voters — those scoring 70-100, accounted for 47 percent of the early votes.

Those judged to be most likely to be Kirk supporters — scoring 0-30 — accounted for only 38 percent of early votes.

There is a lot of guessing involved there, Rendina admits. Not everyone will vote as predicted. The projections are based on past tallies of whether they have generally requested Democratic or Republican ballots.

On the Republican side, Illinois’ Republican Party has been out-performing every other state in America for making phone and in-person contacts with voters, said state GOP Chairman Pat Brady — 3.5 million since June; 110,000 on Saturday alone.


This is going to be very close.  The modeling may seem complicated and such, but in reality it isn’t.  It essentially asks people in surveys who they are supporting and then a series of voting behavioral questions.  The data is then crunched–I imagine using similar methodology to Nate Silver by running simulations based on the likelihood of support for Alexi based on matching past behaviors to the survey data.  The probability at the end then tells you the likelihood of a vote for the candidate.

It is far better than precinct level results because it focuses on individual voter behavior and not a geographic proxy.  Where the potential weakness exists, it’s very similar to most statistical models. If the models assumptions and underlying data from surveys is not consistent with reality then you’ll get bad predictions.  Overall though, the basic technique is relatively simple and should improve upon likely voter models in surveys since it takes behavioral cues as the most important predictor instead of respondent opinions of the moment.

Vote Fraud Cannard

This is usually how these things turn out. I’ll note that nearly the same results turned up when Matt Blunt, as Secretary of State, tried to investigate ‘massive voter fraud’ in Missouri.  He identified a fairly high number of initial problems.  It turned out then that his staff did not understand the property coding system in the City of Saint Louis and it came down to less than a dozen cases of potential fraud.

But Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told TPMMuckraker that conservative groups have exaggerated the threat of voter fraud. He also said that their investigation revealed that there was no coordinated campaign to commit voter fraud. Freeman said that 43 of the cases involve felons who were ineligible to vote and four cases involve double voting.

The conservative group Minnesota Majority first alleged that 1,250 people, including over 800 felons, were illegally voting. But the vast majority of those claims didn’t pan out.

“They claimed in November 2009 to have 800 additional individuals who were illegal felon voters,” Freeman said. “When they summited names to us in late February 2010, it was down to 451. We have processed that 451, and more than half of them were either not felons or not on probation when they voted. The rest of them we investigated more fully, and today we reported that the remaining cases presented sufficient support to charge, so we charged them.”

The felon cases are interesting too because those are cases that cannot be caught at the precinct level, but at the registration level.  That’s also true with double voting where the people aren’t pretending to be someone else, they are voting under the own name in two different places.

Voters with previous felonies are also irrelevant in Illinois since the law allows all, but those currently incarcerated to vote.  Voting integrity projects wouldn’t have prevented any of the fraud cases in Minnesota.  What would improve the issue is better list maintenance, though that is difficult.


There He Goes Again

Mark Kirk claims Phoenix the 2nd in the World in Kidnappings.  There is no evidence for this, but there isn’t much evidence for anything he says:

Summing up: “Kidnapping capital” turns out to be a headline-grabbing label; no wonder it caught Dewhurst’s attention. Still, it’s incumbent on him — and news organizations bandying the No. 2 description — to check it out. So far, we’ve seen no evidence that it’s accurate, or even close.

Phoenix has experienced hundreds of kidnappings over the past few years. However, we couldn’t find reliable around-the-planet evidence to confirm that only Mexico City experiences more of them. In fact, experts advise that such rankings can’t be made based on available information. If they could, they speculate, other cities would prove to have more kidnappings than Arizona’s capital.

Punch line: Nothing confirms Phoenix as No. 2 in kidnappings worldwide. We’ll revisit this turf if compelling evidence surfaces, but for now Dewhurst’s statement is False.

Just Keep Repeating It

Kirk claiming recent convictions of vote fraud, but as I pointed out, that was with absentee ballots which wouldn’t be helped by ‘voter integrity’ program.

Going back to this, Alexi said never which is not true either, but in recent years there hasn’t been more a handful of cases where people voted more than once and that was across state lines and in no way coordinated.  Of course, monitors won’t stop that, good list maintenance would.

Daily Dolt: Bob Delaney St Clair County Clerk

A reporter friend of mine always joked that the biggest thing you had to do as a reporter was listen as someone got themselves in trouble.  Bob Delaney has lots of people listening. Rich has been all over this story.  From a link Rich provides

St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney acknowledged Thursday that 1,297 military ballots were mailed out two weeks after a deadline set by federal law, including 223 absentee ballots sent out to troops overseas.

Delaney blamed the missed deadline on his decision to wait on an appellate court ruling on whether Constitution Party candidates may remain on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Delaney, a Democrat, said if he had mailed out the ballots before the court ruling had come down, putting the Constitution Party back on the ballot, “I would have had to redo the whole thing again” — at a cost of $2 per ballot, Delaney said.

“I thought it was the safe way to wait,” he said. “I was trying to be prudent. I was trying to be wise.”


You may have thought that, but that would make you an idiot.  A really big one. As I pointed out yesterday, unless a court enjoined you from mailing the ballots, you didn’t have a choice.  Complying with federal law on voting is not an optional activity.  It’s never prudent to violate voting rights laws.  It may cost you extra money if the Illinois Court had ruled in favor of the Constitution Party, but that’s the cost of being in the voting business.

Rich points the ISBE might not have entirely clean hands, but Delaney is the person primarily responsible and this would seem to me to be an offense that could easily get you removed from office.


Dear Edward McClelland of the Ward Room


Worst analysis ever:

In 2008, Schock hadn’t even been sworn in as a congressman yet, but when I asked him whether he was frustrated that he wouldn’t turn 30 until 2011, he didn’t even deny that he was looking past his next job.
“In politics,” he said, “you never know who’s going to die, retire or — in Illinois — get indicted.”
He was prescient. The next week, Rod Blagojevich was arrested.
So you could say Schock has been running for the Senate for the last two years. His photo spreads in Details and GQ have made him the only congressman whose celebrity transcends politics (just as Obama was one of the few senators).
In Giannoulias, though, he’ll have a target — a freshman senator entering office under an ethical cloud. Giannoulias will be a slavish follower of the president, which means that in 2016, he’ll have to answer for any weariness the voters feel about the (presumably) outgoing Obama Administration. Also, Democrats won’t be able to use youth as an issue against Schock (not that that’s ever worked against him, obviously). At 35, he’ll be a year older than Giannoulias is now.

Ward Room’s prediction: if Giannoulias wins, Schock will make him a one-termer. Check back with me then, if the Internet is still around in 2016.

Yeah, if you think Illinois is going to become socially conservative.  Mark Kirk is essentially tied against Alexi and Kirk has long tried to paint himself as a moderate like John Porter.  On issues like the environment, gay rights, and abortion, and guns he has tried to tack to the middle, though not always successfully — he voted for the energy bill and then flip flopped .  Aaron Schock is a full blooded culture warrior type and very conservative.  So one has to demonstrate how anyone can win in 6 years who is more conservative than even Peter Fitzgerald and Alexi would have his bank issues and Bright Start well behind him.  Let’s recall the only Republican to win the US Senate in Illinois since the 1970s is Peter Fitzgerald who ran against a very weak candidate in Carol Moseley Braun.  Since then, Illinois has only become more blue.
And then there are the cheeky references in the article to Schock:

This guy was elected to the school board when he was 19, to the state legislature when he was 23, and to the House of Representatives when he was 27. Only the U.S. Constitution has been able to put a brake on his upward mobility, with that clause requiring ambitious young bucks to get some seasoning before joining the World’s Greatest Deliberative body. By 2016, Schock will have eight years in Congress under his turquoise belt.

To be fair, Schock has matured: people who once called him “Doogie Howser” now compare him to Neil Patrick Harris’s latest character, Barney Stinson of “How I Met Your Mother.”




Pretty similar, but there’s a payoff at the very end that’s worth it in the second.