Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Are You And I The Only People Who Have To Follow Rules?
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Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Are You And I The Only People Who Have To Follow Rules?



If There Is A Way That We Can Divide The Party, Create Convention Hell And Lose The White House AGAIN in 2008; We Will Find It! On Florida and Michigan: Headlines: “Howard Dean Urges Do-Over”. “Howard Dean Argues against seating.” Both based upon the same few words. Confused or angry? The Florida/Michigan deal was batched from the outset but as the old lyrics go: “The rules are rules as any fool can plainly see!” I guess we’re like the President; we run into a rule we don’t like….just don’t follow it and damned be the consequences, and no matter what happens on this issue there are going to be consequences, consequences for Howard Dean, consequences for the party, consequences for the candidates, consequences for the convention in the hall and/or in the “68” like streets, and consequences for America! Now it’s just a matter of time before we find out who is the screwer and who is the screwee, or( the F-er and F-ed).


Why do have the sickening felling that we loyal party members are about to be ……..


As regards the basic question; all teachers are taught: “Never say something you can’t back up or aren’t going to do”; well the party said it in the rules/rulings, now it’s time to enforce them, not piss them away!


Please your comments to this post at the end as opposed to sending me emails…more fun and informative that way on this one.


The Florida-Michigan Morass

By Kate Phillips


Updated What to do about those Florida and Michigan outliers whose votes in January don’t count because their states defied the national Democratic party and held early primaries? Those fat slates of discounted delegates — 210 pledged delegates and 28 superdelegates in Florida and 156 pledged delegates and 25 superdelegates in Michigan — have become more and more valuable as the two Democratic candidates march neck-and-neck through this incredible, cliffhanging, elongated primary season.


This morning, following yesterday’s joint appeal made by the governors of those states (Democrat Jennifer Granholm (a Clinton supporter) in Michigan and Republican Charlie Crist (a McCain backer) in Florida, Howard Dean, the national party chairman, appeared on nearly all the morning shows to reiterate his opposition to seating either state’s delegates at the August convention in Denver.

“You cannot violate the rules of a process, and then expect to get forgiven for it,” Mr. Dean told CNN, adding, “You’ve gotta play by the rules.”


Governor Crist has called this situation “unconscionable,” not just for the Democratic voters of his state, who lost all their delegates, but also for Republicans, who were stripped of half their delegates by the national party. He remarked that the Jan. 29 primary drew record turnout.


“The people should be heard, not the party bosses in Washington,” he told CNN.


“Common sense would dictate that every vote should count,” he said. “The argument that we are making is that the people of our respective states voted. They cast that precious right. They made their voice heard, and those delegates who represent them should be seated at both conventions.”



Ever since it became apparent that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton would win the primary vote in Florida on Jan. 29, when she took nearly 50 percent of the 1.7 million Democratic votes to Mr. Obama’s 33 percent, she has insisted that the state’s delegates be seated at the convention. Because the candidates adhered to a pledge not to campaign there or elsewhere outside of the four early states, Senator Obama has repeatedly said that he would abide by the D.N.C.’s rules.


[Update, 2:40 p.m. Our colleague Ariel Alexovich just emerged from Mrs. Clinton’s news conference in Washington, D.C., where the first question posed to Mrs. Clinton was about the delegate mess and whether she thought the states should conduct new contests. While she said that she would leave that up to the state’s leadership, the senator added: “I am still committed to seating their delegations.”


Mrs. Clinton also won the Michigan primary, (328,309 votes) but in that case Mr. Obama and John Edwards had taken their names off the ballot because of the D.N.C.’s decision. A drive in Michigan for Obama supporters to cast their votes under “uncommitted,” resulted in 238,168 votes — but whether those were all in Mr. Obama’s favor would probably be disputed were they to be counted toward delegates.


Phil Singer, spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said today that the senator stands by her wish — restated as recently as yesterday — to have the delegates seated. As for the discussions under way (lawmakers met into the night last night) to try to find a solution, Mr. Singer would only say: “We are hopeful that the state parties and the national party will come to an agreement and resolve the situation and we want to make sure everyone’s vote counted.”


And on the Obama side, Bill Burton sent us this statement: “Our campaign will support whatever the D.N.C. rules are, including a fair remedy to this problem. However, allowing Senator Clinton to change the rules and award her the non-existent delegates when there was no campaign in the state is not the answer.” (And provided a list of comments compiled by the Obama campaign that have been made by Senator Clinton on the delegate matter.)


Will Florida hold another contest, perhaps a caucus or a mail-in vote? There’s talk in Michigan of a “firehouse primary” in which people would drop off secret ballots at their fire stations. People are worried that caucuses preclude blocs of voters — remember the military overseas — from taking part.


But the biggest sticking point comes down to paying for another go-around or do-over. Florida’s primary cost $15 million; Michigan’s $11 or $12 million. The two governors are demanding that the D.N.C. pay the cost of a second round. Mr. Crist said today that both senators, Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and Mel Martinez, a Republican, are in agreement with him on this.


Mr. Dean dismissed that out of hand today. On CBS’ “The Early Show,” he said:


We can’t afford to do that. That’s not our problem. We need our money to win the presidential race.”


He also argued that seating the delegates based on the two states’ January primaries would mar the “integrity” of the nominating process. He released a statement yesterday in response to the governors’ request:


The rules, which were agreed to by the full DNC including representatives from Florida and Michigan over 18 months ago, allow for two options. First, either state can choose to resubmit a plan and run a party process to select delegates to the convention; second, they can wait until this summer and appeal to the Convention Credentials Committee, which determines and resolves any outstanding questions about the seating of delegates. We look forward to receiving their proposals should they decide to submit new delegate selection plans and will review those plans at that time. The Democratic Nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules, and out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game.


In January when we were in Florida, the D.N.C. pointed to the party’s credentials committee as a vehicle for resolving this issue.


As it was explained to us, the 186-member committee has 25 people appointed by Chairman Dean. The remainder are chosen from the states (with the exception of Florida and Michigan under the current sanctions.) Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic.com has posted the names of the Dean appointees.


If those delegates were accepted, the likelihood is that Mrs. Clinton would collect quite a few, especially from Florida. (We still think Michigan’s situation with the uncommitted is problematic.)


But if they’re not, and this primary battle continues through the summer, with superdelegates still in knots, the notion of a brokered convention becomes less and less farfetched.


From the D.N.C.’s own Web site, here’s a little history on the last brokered convention:


Since the 1956 Democratic Convention a candidate has secured the presidential nomination on the first ballot. The last time the presidential nomination required more than one ballot was at the 1952 Democratic Convention in Chicago. At the 1952 Convention, 11 names were placed in nomination in a heated contest between Adlai Stevenson, Estes Kefauver, Richard Russell, Averell Harriman and Paul Dever. Adlai Stevenson became the nominee on the third ballot. At all other Conventions since then a candidate has secured the nomination on the first ballot.

Imagine that.


As readers, how do you think Michigan and Florida should be treated now? Here are a few possible solutions. We’d love to read your take on those as well as any other ideas you may have in the comments section below:


1. Seat all the delegates based on the January primary votes.

2. Each state should hold a do-over, or a revote. (Maybe they should hold Internet fundraisers to pay for this or receive partial payment from the national party.)

3. The D.N.C. should relent and seat half the delegates, as the Republicans did.

4. Deny Michigan and Florida delegates seats at the convention, letting the Democratic party ignore two of the most populous states.

5. Let these states’ delegates storm the doors of the convention in open revolt.

6. Let the superdelegates broker a deal.


WASHINGTON - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean urged Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans to repeat their presidential nominating contests so that their delegates can be counted.

"All they have to do is come before us with rules that fit into what they agreed to a year and a half ago, and then they'll be seated," Dean said during a round of interviews Thursday on network and cable TV news programs.


The two state parties will have to find the funds to pay for new contests without help from the national party, Dean said.


"We can't afford to do that. That's not our problem. We need our money to win the presidential race," he said.


Officials in Michigan and Florida are showing renewed interest in holding repeat presidential nominating contests so that their votes will count in the epic Democratic campaign.


The Michigan governor, top officials in Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign, and Florida's state party chair all are now saying they would consider holding a sort of do-over contest by June. That's a change from the previous insistence from officials in both states that the primaries they held in January should determine how their delegates are allocated.


Clinton won both contests, but the results were meaningless because the elections violated national party rules.


The Democratic National Committee stripped both states of all delegates for holding the primaries too early, and all Democratic candidates — including Clinton and rival Barack Obama — agreed not to campaign in either state. Obama's name wasn't even on the Michigan ballot.


Florida and Michigan moved up their dates to protest the party's decision to allow Iowa and New Hampshire to go first, followed by South Carolina and Nevada, giving them a disproportionate influence on the presidential selection process.


But no one predicted the race would still be very close at this point in the year.


"The rules were set a year and a half ago," Dean said. "Florida and Michigan voted for them, and then decided that they didn't need to abide by the rules. Well, when you are in a contest you do need to abide by the rules. Everybody has to play by the rules out of respect for both campaigns and the other 48 states."


Dean urges do-over voting in Fla., Mich.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean urged Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans to repeat their presidential nominating contests so that their delegates can be counted.


The Michigan governor, top officials in Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign, and Florida's state party chair all are now saying they would consider holding a sort of do-over contest by June. That's a change from the previous insistence from officials in both states that the primaries they held in January should determine how their delegates are allocated.


Clinton won both contests, but the results were meaningless because the elections violated national party rules.


"The rules were set a year and a half ago," Dean said. "Florida and Michigan voted for them, then decided that they didn't need to abide by the rules. Well, when you are in a contest you do need to abide by the rules. Everybody has to play by the rules out of respect for both campaigns and the other 48 states."


Dean urges do-over contests in Florida, Michigan

Houston Chronicle


Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today urged Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans to repeat their presidential nominating contests so that their delegates can be counted.


Clinton campaign communications director Howard Wolfson said in a conference call with reporters today that it's hard to envision a scenario where the Florida and Michigan delegations are not seated at the conventions.


That would send a "very unsettling signal to the people of those states," Wolfson said.


Asked whether the campaign favored a caucus over a primary if the states had a do-over, he said it would be premature to comment on any particular one at this point.


Clinton won both contests, but the results were meaningless because the elections violated national party rules.


"We believe that vote ought to count," Wolfson said.


Dean says DNC won’t pay for Fla., Mich. ‘do-overs’

The Hill

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean on Thursday said the Democratic National Committee would not pay for repeat primaries in Florida and Michigan, which have been stripped of their delegates for violating internal rules.


In addition to the potential headaches that could arise from not having a nominee until the convention, Dean also has to deal with the issue of Florida and Michigan delegates. Those state’s governors, Charlie Christ (R) and Jennifer Granholm (D), on Wednesday asked that the delegates be seated at the convention.


Dean said this outcome could happen in one of two ways.


“One, they can come before the DNC rules committee and submit a process that does comply with the rules, that is fair to both campaigns and the other states; or they can simply appeal their denial to the credentials committee at the convention,” Dean told CBS. “One of those choices is a good choice. We’d love to see Florida and Michigan, but it’s going to be done within the rules.”


Dean also expressed his hope that the race will not get “nastier” and indicated that the party would “have discussions” with the campaigns about that issue.


With regard to the superdelegates, the party chairman indicated that they should “go and vote the way they think they should vote, just like every other delegate will do.”


“My goal is to have the half of the people who supported the losing candidate believe this process was a fair process,” Dean said on NBC, adding, “I am happy as long as the rules are followed. That includes the rules about superdelegates and that includes the rule about every state doing what they said they were going to do a year and a half ago. If everybody does that, we’re going to have a fair nominating convention, and that’s what I care about.”


DNC's Dean urges do-over contests in Fla., Mich.

Baltimore Sun

But chairman says national party won't help pay for the contests Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean urged Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans to repeat their presidential nominating contests so that their delegates can be counted.


DNC's Dean urges do-over contests in Florida, Michigan

WOOD TV 8 Grand Rapids

WASHINGTON -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean urged Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans to repeat their presidential nominating contests so...


DNC's Dean urges do-over contests in Florida, Michigan

KSLA-TV Shreveport

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean wants Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans -- and the money -- to repeat their presidential nominating contests.


DNC's Dean urges do-over contests in Florida, Michigan

KATC 3 Lafayette Associated Press - March 6, 2008 10:23 AM ET WASHINGTON (AP)

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean wants Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans -- and the...


National Democratic party chief, Howard Dean, urges 'do-over' contests in Florida, Michigan, but won't help pay for ...

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Howard Dean Weighs In on Clinton-Obama Battle

NPR - Mar 05 3:47 PM

Robert Siegel talks with the Democratic National Committee chairman, former Vermont governor and former presidential hopeful Howard Dean. With Hillary Clinton's victories Tuesday, it's clear that she and Barack Obama both will continue to vie for the Democratic nomination in a protracted battle.


Dean downplays the possibility that the two candidates will rely on personal attacks in the coming weeks, and instead applauds the spirited contest taking place.


He takes issue with the description of Democratic Party superdelegates as party "bosses" or "hotshots," noting that they reflect the makeup of the Democratic Party. He also says it would be "surprising" if the number of pledged delegates determined by the primaries was overwhelmed by the superdelegates.


Dean also discusses the thorny issue of delegates from Florida and Michigan, which held early Democratic primaries in violation of Democratic National Committee rules.


According to ABC News, with 12 states remaining, Senator Barack Obama would need to win 77% of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination. Similarly, Senator Hillary Clinton would need to win 94% of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination with pledged delegates alone.


What does it mean? Simple: neither candidate can win the decidedly un-simple nomination on the decidedly undemocratic Democrat-side of the aisle without the help of Superdelegates.


These, dear readers, are not delegates who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, or see through anything but lead. While suddenly (and unnecessarily famous), these folks (including Governor Janet Napolitano and the Democrat members of Arizona’s delegation to Congress) are simply delegates to the Democrat National Convention who, by their superness, don’t have to bother with getting elected to attend and vote at convention.


You can almost imagine Congresswoman Giffords saying from the Texas home she shares with her spaceman husband, “We’re already special enough… we’re SUPER!”


So, with twelve primaries remaining on the Democrat side, and proportional allocation of the delegates in those states mathematically making it essentially impossible for either candidate to win the nomination outright, Democrat US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided today was the appropriate time to show off. Quoted in the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, Pelosi said voters, not party leaders, would determine the Democrats’ nominee.


Actually, Madam Speaker, no they won’t… but thanks for playing.


Your inability to do basic math — like addition and subtraction — now explains why Democrats have brought forth the largest tax increases in American history. We’re going to type this r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y for you, Mrs. Pelosi, so you can follow along: it’s impossible. That means it ain’t going to happen.


That means this is the year that the Democrats put behind the voters and nationally let their presidential nominee be picked by a few hundred elected officials, special interest fat cats and party insiders.


Frankly, we’re not surprised. It’s the same way Democrats have run Washington for all but 12 years of the last half century. It’s something in the blood now.


Sources close to the Republican Party tell us that New York junior U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat’s nominee for president.


“The Obama campaign was relying on a Texas victory to put their own Clinton nightmare to rest,” said the source.


“Now, without an endgame, Clinton will force her longtime DNC allies to prevent a convention floor-fight by getting involved and moving the so-called superdelegates away from Obama and solidly back to her camp. Plain and simple, the Obama people got played.”


Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic Monthly blogs today that the DNC has reopened the possibility of seating the Michigan and Florida delegates, a boon to Senator Clinton who won Michigan with 55% of the vote (Senator Obama was not on the ballot here) and who won Florida with 50% of the vote to Senator Obama’s 33%.


Together, the states combined 366 delegates were stripped from the nominating process after both states moved their primaries ahead of the February 5th “Super Tuesday” date. Even if Senator Clinton were to receive her proportionate number of those Michigan/Florida delegates, she would overtake Senator Obama and vault into the delegate lead.


Meanwhile, Senator Obama, we’re told, expected a new bloc of superdelegates to land on his doorstep, post-Texas primary.


Apparently, the package has gone missing.


Lesson learned: never count Senator Clinton out… unless she’s really out. “Obligatory “no comment”.


Dean's comments are the latest salvo in the Democratic presidential nomination battle that is increasingly looking like an arena in which the contestants are all elbows and knees and there are even calls for do-overs.


Millions of people in Florida and Michigan went to the polls in January, but their votes didn't count because the national parties punished the states for improperly moving their primaries to the head of the field. In effect, the voters' efforts didn't count toward choosing the Democratic presidential candidate.


But with about 100 delegate votes separating Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, there is increasing attention on the Florida and Michigan situation, including the possibility of rerunning the races.


Elected officials in Florida and Michigan have mentioned the prospect of holding new primaries, estimated to cost $25 million in Florida alone. Another plan being floated is to hold caucuses, a move that would tend to favor Obama's campaign.


"The rules were set a year and a half ago," Dean said. "Florida and Michigan voted for them, then decided that they didn't need to abide by the rules. Well, when you are in a contest you do need to abide by the rules. Everybody has to play by the rules out of respect for both campaigns and the other 48 states."


The battle between Obama and Clinton continued to heat up today, two days after Clinton revived her campaign with wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. Despite the strong electoral showing, Clinton made only small progress in trimming Obama's lead in delegates.


Going into this week's primaries, Obama was about 110 delegates ahead, according to the Associated Press count. This morning, Obama's lead had fallen to about 105 delegates with some delegates still to be allocated in Texas.


It is unlikely that either candidate can reach the 2,025 delegates needed to win the nomination, throwing the final decision to the superdelegates, Democratic Party officials and government office-holders.


Clinton is scheduled to hold a news conference dealing with national security issues this afternoon before heading to Mississippi tonight and Wyoming tomorrow. Wyoming will hold caucuses this weekend and Mississippi its primary on Tuesday.


Clinton has stressed her argument that she is better qualified to handle national security issues than Obama, who fired back Wednesday that she had yet to demonstrate that she was better qualified to handle an emergency, despite a tough advertisement that seemed to move voters in Ohio and Texas.


The Clinton campaign this morning attacked Obama for taking a negative bent. "Sen. Obama's decision to go explicitly negative suggests that he is unable to make an affirmative case for his candidacy beyond ad hominem attacks," the campaign stated.


In Wyoming, Clinton and Obama are fighting for 12 delegates at stake in Saturday's caucus.


Clinton plans town hall meetings in Casper and Cheyenne. Obama, who has had greater success with caucuses, plans a rally in Laramie at the University of Wyoming.

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