New O’Keefe Video: Journalist in Burka Obtains Ballot While Claiming to Be . . . Huma Abedin (VIDEO)

Very cute. Remember the guy who boasted in an O’Keefe video about how Democrats commit voter fraud by busing people from place to place to vote multiple times?

He makes a reappearance . . . and we remember that he said that one way you can get away with it is by wearing a burka.

So that’s what O’Keefe’s undercover journalist does — while giving the name of one of the most famous women in the world at the moment. Watch:


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CONSENSUS? Polls Harmonize into Near Across the Board Hillary Lead

As the campaigns make their final final pitch tonight, FiveThirtyEight has an interesting new piece out that seems to indicate a consensus in the most recent polling: Hillary Clinton has a noticeable, though not quite commanding, lead. Here’s Nate Silver’s analysis:

Seven of the 19 polls have Clinton leading by 4 points; another four have her ahead by 3 points, then we have a smattering of 1’s, 2’s and 6’s — along with two pollsters, IBD/TIPP and Los Angeles/USC Dornsife, who still have Trump ahead. (We admire the L.A. Times poll for not changing its methodology in midstream, even though the poll has its issues.) On average, Clinton leads by 2.9 points in the polls, although the highest-rated pollsters2 have her a bit higher at 3.8 points, on average. As is usually the case, the range of national polls closely matches the FiveThirtyEight popular-vote forecast.

It’s worth raising an eyebrow, though, when the polls (other than the L.A. Times) show a range this tight at the end of an election, especially given that they’d diverged so much earlier in the campaign. That probably reflects some degree of herding — for instance, because pollsters stick surveys that seem to be outliers in a file drawer rather than publishing them. So the tight range of polls shouldn’t be taken to mean that everyone’s figured exactly how to poll this challenging election just in the nick of time. Still, the polls clearly agree that Clinton is the favorite, and perhaps has a slight wind at her back for Election Day.

I think to a degree that Silver is right here, particularly because of how embarrassing 2012 was for a great many pollsters. Last time, they wanted to be the outlier. They wanted to be right. This time, there is no need to take that chance. The data is clearly indicating the most likely outcome (70%, according to Silver) is Hillary Clinton’s victory tomorrow.

Last presidential cycle, a lot of “unskewing” went into a lot of polls, and a great many people ended up with egg on their faces because of it. If the polls are all showing Clinton with a 3-4 point lead, then they certainly would tuck that outlier away in favor of something a little more mainstream.

Still, 3-4 points the night before election day is still incredibly close, and I think Silver giving Trump a 30% chance is actually pretty fair. But, he is also right about this: the near-uniform results are certainly a sight to behold, and you’ve got to wonder if that’s actually how it’s going to play out.

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Patterico’s Closing Argument: A Return to Constitutional Principles, Or: This Ain’t MY Trainwreck

A lot of people today are making “closing arguments” about how you should vote tomorrow. I won’t do it. I refuse to do it.

I am a passenger on a train being driven by the most reckless conductor I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. To make this as heavy-handed and obvious an analogy as humanly possible, I am going to name the driver “Mr. Electorate.” Clear enough? Good!

This conductor has worked himself into a situation where he has the kind of choice you usually see discussed in ethics textbooks or dorm-room bull sessions. He can plow directly into a large crowd of school children, which will certainly kill dozens of innocent young kids. Or, he can steer the train onto a different track, in which case he will kill a Nobel-winning scientist who appears to be, but may not be, on the verge of curing cancer.

I’ll leave it up to you whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump represents the kids or the scientist. One of the less attractive features of political debate on the Internet, especially approaching an election, is that people get wound up in silly analogies like this. The point of my analogy is that I don’t care which happens.

It’s not that I don’t care because I am not concerned about the kids, or because I don’t care about cancer. It’s not that I think one eventuality or the other isn’t just unthinkably awful. They both are! Of course they both are! But I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know which of these situations is worse, and I don’t feel qualified to choose.

Depending on who is on the train with me when I am asked to give advice to the conductor (I’ll call these people my “audience”), it might be tempting to make my choice based on what will please the audience. If my audience consists of parents of the schoolkids, it will be tempting for me to advise the conductor to kill the scientist. The more adamant and forceful I am about it, the more applause I will get. If I can vilify scientists as low-life scum who are all worthless and should probably be run over on general principles, whether the kids are killed or not, so much the better. If I can climb on a soapbox and sing about how the children are our future, I’ll be carried on the shoulders of these parents like a conquering hero.

And if my audience consisted of people with loved ones dying of cancer, it would be equally tempting for me to say the conductor should kill the kids. For the greater good! Hooray!

Either way, I’ll be blamed by someone -– even though I’m not the guy who got us into the situation. So you know what? I’m not going to decide. I’m going to let Mr. Electorate decide.

And guess what? That’s what he’s going to do anyway. You see, even though the audience will blame me for giving him bad advice, Mr. Electorate is going to do what he wants no matter what I say. He was always going to do what he wanted. He was never going to listen to me.

So I’m not giving him any advice. But it doesn’t mean I’m washing my hands of the whole thing. It means I’m concentrating on a Bigger Picture. As I stand in the middle of a train full of people who are busy arguing about which murderous track we should steer ourselves onto, I’m thinking about one thing and one thing only:

What can we do to keep this from happening again?

You see, Mr. Electorate drives the train. He has always driven the train. It is expected that he always will drive the train. But, you see, it kinda seems like Mr. Electorate is the problem here. It kinda seems like our first mistake was giving the keys to Mr. Electorate, without making sure he knew what he was doing, or setting up better rules to make sure he was going to steer us responsibly.

Am I saying that we snatch the keys from Mr. Electorate and hand them over to Mr. Dictator? Not at all. That guy has an even worse track record.

But I do suggest that, if we survive this calamity, our top priority should be to figure out why Mr. Electorate screwed up. How did he get us in this situation?

Allow me to cut the crap and stop talking in analogies.

What we face tomorrow is horrible by any definition. I believe the only way to respond is to re-focus ourselves on our fundamental principles. Why are we interested in politics anyway?

I don’t know about you, but the key principles for me are liberty, the free market, and the Constitution. When Ted Cruz bowed out, I decided that the time was ripe to begin assembling a movement of people who care about these principles: a group I call the “Constitutional Vanguard.” The idea is still in its formative stages, but my general idea is that we need to educate the public in these principles, and I want to do what I can to make that happen.

My key goal, therefore, is educating people on liberty, the free market, and the Constitution. And in creating structural reforms that promote decentralization, freedom, liberty . . . and ultimately, better, more responsible and restrained governance.

I know, I know. It sounds naive and idealistic and pointless in the era of Trump — a man who has taken over the only party that even pretended to stand for these principles, while also having a chance of winning. But I don’t think the era of Trump can possibly last forever . . . and it may be over tomorrow. When it ends, it will be time to pick up the pieces. I hope you’ll join me. If you’re interested, I discuss the idea in more detail here.

I’d love it if you’d join and share your ideas on how to prevent Mr. Electorate from doing this to us again.


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This Election’s Best Campaign Ad Isn’t For A Candidate

Pedigree Dog Food has been running an ad campaign called #FeedTheGood that explores all the good that celebrates all the good that dogs bring into our lives. They made a commercial that is at once a clever advertisement and a brilliant social experiment.

They sent an actress into “enemy” political territory to see how crowds would react to her t-shirt supporting the opposite candidate. The twist: she had a “lost dog” on a leash and she was looking for the owner. The result was people being a lot more human to one another than we’ve seen recently.

You may have seen this already, but I only saw it for the first time today.

Pretty refreshing.

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A Federal Judge Rules There is No Evidence of a GOP Plot to Suppress Voters in NC

Well, after striking down commonsense voter ID laws in the state of North Carolina, and a host of other moves the court has engaged in, it looks like Republicans may have won one.

A federal judge said Monday that she sees insufficient evidence that North Carolina Republicans and presidential candidate Donald Trump want supporters to intimidate minorities on Election Day, but she’ll keep an eye on whether there’s a coordinated effort to dissuade voters from casting ballots.

“These are difficult times,” U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles said after an hour long hearing into a lawsuit North Carolina’s Democratic Party filed last week.

The lawsuit is similar to cases in five other crucial swing states that could decide whether Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton become the next president.

The gist of the case lies with Trump’s ridiculous claims of a “rigged” vote.

There’s no real proof that the fix is in, and it sets a really dangerous, irresponsible mood to have a party nominee promoting that to his supporters.

Of course, where there is smut, there is Roger Stone.

North Carolina Democrats asked the judge to block what they claim is a “coordinated campaign of vigilante voter intimidation” involving the state Republican Party; Donald Trump’s presidential campaign; informal Trump adviser Roger Stone; and Stone’s political organization, Stop the Steal, which plans to monitor polling places.

Stone has said Trump-supporting volunteers plan to watch polls in nine U.S. cities, including Charlotte and Fayetteville. Democrats contend that’s aimed at intimidating minority voters.

Dawn Smalls, an attorney for North Carolina Democrats, claims Trump and Stone have used bogus claims of voter fraud to stir up supporters in an effort to keep black and Hispanic voters from voting. Though it’s lawful for anyone to observe polling places and speak to voters coming and going, Trump and Stone have urged untrained volunteers to watch for signs they interpret to be voter fraud in cities with high minority populations, Smalls told Eagles.

“We’re not in a normal election year.” Smalls said. There are “concerted efforts to make people feel insecure at the polls.”

But Eagles said she didn’t see strong evidence that Trump’s campaign or the others targeted by Democrats were involved in plans that warranted extraordinary legal measures.

Yeah. It’s not like they’re dressed in their Black Panther Party militant gear and holding metal pipes at the doorway to polling places.

The director of the State Board of Elections said last week that the U.S. Justice Department will send monitors to four counties: Cumberland, Forsyth, Robeson and Wake.

Hopefully, that will be all that’s needed to keep things on the level, and trouble down.


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Lubbock County Detention Center using iPads to educate, rehabilitate inmates

iPads and tablets….it seems like everyone has one. In fact, they’ve become so popular, they’re used in education as well as the medical field and law enforcement. But what about our criminal justice system right here in Lubbock County? A new pilot program at the Lubbock County Detention Center is changing lives, one inmate at a time.
Source: KCBD News