Most all polls show McCain ahead in FL. Pundits on Hardball say Romney will win.

What do they know that 10 polls don’t know? Chris and his repub peeps are nearly hyperventilating for Romney. It’s all Romney. Even though most polls show Romney behind by at least one or two points. It’s stunning. It’s more than that. It’s damn scary. I am looking at the Clear Politics poll in another window, and I am listening to these —uh—-people—-say Romney is going to win. I gotta go watch Fox. At least I know they are Satan for sure.

Poll Captain in FL. : “Ahhh looky here, we forgot to unpack all the ballots”

Sheneka McDonald spent 10 minutes trying to convince poll workers at the same precinct that she should have a Democratic ballot. She questioned poll workers when she was handed a Republican ballot but was told, “this is the only ballot we have.”

“I said, ‘How can this be the only ballot,'” McDonald recalled. “That’s when the guy chimed in from the back and said the Democratic primary was in March.”

The poll captain eventually apologized to McDonald and told her they had forgotten to unpack all the ballots. “It was a little unnerving this morning,” she said. “I don’t see how you forget to unpack ballots. This is what gives Florida its reputation.”

[Orlando Sentinel]

DAVID BROOKS: Outstanding piece on why Romney can’t win general election.

“The PowerPoint mentality always fails to anticipate something. It always yields unintended consequences.What Romney failed to anticipate is this: In turning himself into an old-fashioned, orthodox Republican, he has made himself unelectable in the fall. When you look inside his numbers, you see tremendous weaknesses.”

“The leaders of the Republican coalition know Romney will lose. But some would rather remain in control of a party that loses than lose control of a party that wins. Others haven’t yet suffered the agony of defeat, and so are not yet emotionally ready for the trauma of transformation. Others still simply don’t know which way to turn. ”

WALL STREET JOURNAL: McCain most electable

 As Primary Moves Along, Republican Voters Face Question of Who Can WinBy Alex Frangos And Elizabeth Holmes
The Wall Street Journal
January 25, 2008

The leading Republican presidential candidates all claim to be the best-suited to overcome the Democratic tide expected in the general election. But opinion polls clearly favor Arizona Sen. John McCain in that regard.

In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 37% of respondents said Mr. McCain has the best chance to win in November against the Democrats. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was far back in second, with 16%, followed closely by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 15% and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 12%. Those results are mirrored in other polls.

FBI wiretaps *waterboarding* journalist, comes to house and asks questions about daughter.

FISA: Wiretapping Without A Warrant,

It Could Be You Next


By Christy Hardin Smith, Firedoglake
Posted on January 27, 2008, Printed on January 29, 2008


So much for that “innocent Americans aren’t being wiretapped” talking point. A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist was not only wiretapped while doing his job in following-up on some sources, but it resulted in the FBI coming to his house to ask questions about his daughter — who was away at college at the time and not a party to any calls being made to or from the family home.

Think it couldn’t happen to you? Read on:

U.S. intelligence tapped the telephone calls of Lawrence Wright, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, starting in 2002….

As far as I can tell, only Pam Hess of the Associated Press picked up on Wright’s confrontation with spy chief Michael McConnell over the phone taps, and no major paper ran it. The version of her story that The Washington Post printed recounted McConnell’s telling Wright that water boarding would be “torture” if it were done to him, but dropped the five paragraphs Hess wrote on the eavesdropping. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal skipped Wright’s wiretap account altogether.

But The New Yorker’s Web site did feature an audio interview with Wright in which he described the visit of FBI agents to his Texas home in 2002 to quiz him about the telephone calls intercepted by U.S. intelligence.

The encounter came, mind you, amid the constant assurances from the Bush administration that the U.S. has not, and is not, “spying on Americans” or running a “warrantless domestic spying program.”

“Totally untrue!” McConnell told Wright, insisting that the conversations of American citizens with no connections to terrorists would be immediately discarded. U.S. intelligence is after al Qaeda, McConnell and others have repeatedly pledged, not innocent Americans.

“I’m telling you,” the former Air Force general said, “if you’re in the United States you have to have a warrant. Authorized by the court. Period!”

But Wright then told McConnell he had a more-than-professional interest in electronic surveillance.

“Let me make a disclosure,” he told the spy boss. “I have been monitored.”…

One of his intelligence sources had revealed to him that he had “read a summary of a telephone conversation that I had from my home with a source in Egypt.”

McConnell said the eavesdropping must have been triggered by getting a call “from some telephone number that’s associated with some known outfit.”

The journalist, however, had originated the call.

What happened next bears repeating, not just because it has gone largely unreported, but because it’s the kind of encounter many more Americans can expect if they end up as a target of our distressingly sloppy — some would say incompetent — counterterrorism agencies, if Congress extends a law (PL 110-55) enacted last August, that expanded the government’s electronic surveillance authority.

The law, which expires on Feb. 4, in effect turned U.S.-based Internet servers into a mail drop for U.S. intelligence.

In 2002 Wright was visited by two FBI agents after placing calls in the course of researching The Looming Tower, his Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the rise of al Qaeda and U.S. responses to it, as well as an article on al Qaeda’s number two leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

“They were members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force,” he recounted. “They wanted to know about phone calls made to a solicitor in England” who was upset that I was talking to some of her clients, who were jihadis, former members of Zawahiri’s terror organization in Egypt, and they wanted to know what we were talking about.”

What startled him, however, was that the visiting gumshoes thought that his daughter, Caroline, had made the calls.

“Our understanding is that these calls were placed by Caroline Wright,” they said.

But Wright’s daughter was off at college at the time. He now worries that “she’s now on the link chart as an al Qaeda connection.”…

The Congressional Quarterly report from which this was taken is a must read for anyone concerned with the incursions on the rule of law, and in having more effective, carefully targets surveillance and intelligence — not illegal band-aids that mask the fact that without on-the-ground live intelligence work. All the sifting of phone calls and e-mails in the world only provides an illusion of security. And that sort of shoddy work results in a lot of calls to Pizza Hut…but is that the best use of our nation’s national security apparatus?

We had a teenage German foreign exchange student live with us a few years ago. I have to wonder how many of our calls were tapped because she wanted to talk with her family back home on occasion? And are they still? Where there is no oversight, no limitation, no real concern for civil liberties in how this is done — and no real way to assure that such care is being taken, even when good people behind the scenes try to be careful in what they do, all it takes is a few bad actors to rig the system — how can any of us ever know whether we have been a target, or whether we still are years after the fact?

Christy Hardin Smith is a former attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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Bloggers: Don’t use the same passwords on your online activities.

Are you sure what you are signing up for? Because you might be putting in passwords at places you shouldn’t- ESPECIALLY if those passwords are the same as your other passwords on other blogs, etc. – This is one way they have of shutting down your blog. Once they learn the password to one, they might have the password to everything you do online. Keep different passwords for everything.

Military Bloggers begging for Ron Paul ? Is anyone listening?

The New Republican Litmus Test
Jan 29, 2008

“It doesn’t matter if you’ll seize our freedom and money like a foaming-at-the-mouth fascist…as long as you’ll stay the course in Iraq.  That is the message the Republican party of 2008 has sent to its possible presidential nominees this primary election season, and we’ve all heard it loud and clear.”