Was Larry Sinclair arrested today? 2xUPDATED

Larry Sinclair, a fellow with a rap sheet as long as your arm, and toast of the anti-Obama blogosphere, went to a rented room at the National Press Club today to spread his smears.

Before, he went, he had a pretty good takedown by Politico
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/060 8/11164.html
and Greta on Fox told her readers that she wasn't going to help him get his BS heard http://gretawire.foxnews.com/2008/06/18/ here-is-why/#comment-1216701

Now there's an on-line report that Sinclair was arrested by the DC police. He has an outstanding warrant in Colorado on fraud charges. You can see what the Pueblo County sheriff's office's WANTED notice here: http://www.co.pueblo.co.us/cgi-bin/webpu rbroker.wsc/mostoff.html?name=135062

And the story of his arrest is by Dave Weigel who says

I attended Larry Sinclair's press conference today and was confused when he concluded by rushing out of the room, taking no more questions. The reason? He was arrested by the D.C. metropolitan police. I called the First District station where he was being held and confirmed that Lawrence Wayne Sinclair was charged as a fugitive from justice based on his outstanding Colorado warrant.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/6/18/ 185659/039/915/538089

Has anyone else seen anything about this?

Here's a report from Blogger News Network: http://www.bloggernews.net/116292 [UPDATE at 6:53: Sinclair was arrested by DC Police after 2 US Marshalls showed up and presented a warrant from the State of Delaware for Sinclair’s arrest. Montgomery Blair Sibley, who’s had his law license suspended by the District of Columbia and Florida, and who was previously Sinclair’s attorney, reviewed the warrant and then Sinclair was led away.

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Who should Obama meet with next?

Last week Obama met with a group of evangelical leaders.

Tonight he's meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and on Thursday he'll be meeting with member of the Congressional black caucus.  http://thepage.time.com/2008/06/17/obama -to-sit-down-with-hispanic-leaders/

As far as I'm concerned, all of this is good. It's important to make the rounds, to connect with people who don't know you that well and those who already do.

But who should be next?  I tend to think Obama should meet with a group of women elected representatives.  This would fit with the congressional groups he's meeting with this week and would be a positive signal to Clinton supporters who have committed to Obama without much enthusiasm or who are persuadable but haven't been willing to commit yet.

As I've said here before, I'm a 50 year old woman, a life-long feminist and a union member. I used to support Clinton until the Iowa caucuses and then switched to Obama. I think Obama's doing just fine in the current polls and I do think that even more of the Clinton supporters will be voting for Obama than currently say they will.  But I also think it would be worth doing some events and having some meetings with women political leaders.  

Should those be scheduled? Or is the timing not quite right?

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One Justice mattered today - 5-4 Gitmo decision

Here's some news to pass along to anyone who thinks one Justice on the Supreme Court doesn't matter.

The Court ruled today - 5-4 - that prisoners at Gitmo can appeal their convictions to civilian courts.  This means that the US can't detain people indefinitely and that the people swept up and sent to Gitmo will have an outside review to ascertain their guilt or innocence.  This brings the US back into compliance with very old Anglo-American principles and the approach our country helped establish in international law.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times."
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Sc otus-Guantanamo.html

Let's elect a president who believes in the rule of law and who will appoint judges who care about the Constitution and fundamental rights -- Senator Barack Obama.

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After one week - Enough already!

Tomorrow night it will be one week since Barack Obama clinched the nomination.

A lot of us seem to have plenty of stuff to say about the nomination fight.  And I admit that I've joined in, whether it was about tactics, policy, or even about what happened and by whom at this site.

One diary I've thought about writing is that the nomination contest was over once it was basically mathematically impossible for Clinton to overtake Obama in pledged delegates. While some kept saying that the superdelegates might do anything, as recent reporting had indicated, that just was never so. Unfortunately, there is a lot of unhappiness from people who thought the superdelegates might do so and they now say "the DNC" or "the party" gave it to Obama. Actually, the party did no such thing -- it just ratified the pledged delegate contest.

But enough about that.

What I've really written this diary to say is -- After tomorrow night, can we stop looking backward?

As Hillary Clinton said:

Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.

So, will you join me tomorrow night to look forward - together?

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On unity and political opportunity

After a hard-fought contest, at mydd and elsewhere, we see some Clinton supporters who have decided to back the nominee and others who are unsure or who are saying that they won't.

Nationally, there appears to be signs that the party is starting to unify.  Rasmussen reports today:

http://rasmussenreports.com/public_conte nt/politics/election_20082/2008_presiden tial_election/daily_presidential_trackin g_poll
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Barack Obama's bounce growing to an eight-point lead over John McCain. Obama now attracts 48% of the vote while McCain earns 40%.  On Tuesday, just before Obama clinched the nomination, the candidates were tied at 46%.

This shift -- from a tie to an 8 point Obama lead -- has occurred because Democrats are coming together.

Obama's bounce is the result of growing unity among the Democratic Party. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Democrats say they will vote for Obama over McCain. That's the highest level of party support ever enjoyed by Obama.

Frankly, this shift is faster than I thought it would be. Will the party continue to consolidate?  One reason why they might is that, as Rasmussen found, people don't actually know much about McCain.

Think about that: Although McCain has been a nationally known political figure longer than Obama, folks don't know that much about him. I'd bet that as people learn that last year that he voted with Bush 95% of the time on Bush's top legislative initiatives (according to National Journal) and that he is firmly anti-choice, his numbers will drop.

I'm a former Clinton supporter who switched to Obama back in January. I'm a 50 year old woman, a life-long feminist, and the mother of two fabulous kids.  I have friends who worked for Clinton and who supported her all the way.  But these friends and I are focused on how the election will affect our lives and those of our children. Again, I understand that for some Clinton supporters, they need to process all that has happened.

This is a time of opportunity for Democrats to take control of the White House and to promote the policies and values we share. I hope we can acknowledge the feelings of Clinton supporters who are not feeling good right now and can leave the door wide, wide open to them, as we talk about why this election matters to our lives.

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This is brilliant

Obama and the congressional leadership have planned a brilliant strategy.  (It may be that they planned to do much the same if Clinton had become the nominee.)

Congressional Democrats will pass a series of bills that are part of Obama's platform.  These will be bills that Bush does not favor and McCain either opposes or will be put in a tough political spot vis a vis moderates on the one hand and rank and file conservative Republicans on the other.  

What kind of bills?

Bills Democrats say they'll take up with good prospects for passage include: reauthorizations for higher education and the Pentagon, banning imported toys that contain lead, shielding middle-income taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax, extending some expiring tax breaks for businesses and preventing doctors from absorbing cuts in their Medicare payments.
http://www.time.com/time/politics/articl e/0,8599,1812546,00.html

However, whether they can pass these now or not, there are some that Bush may veto -- but that, were Obama president he would sign.  One flashpoint already is the veterans' education plan that McCain opposes.

These include universal health care for children, a limit on greenhouse gases, and labor and trade bills.

Other tough votes loom for McCain, such as on legislation that would extend unemployment benefits, make it easier for workers to sue for wage discrimination, and ban workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

With this strategy, Democrats:

  1. Make it clear that it really does matter who is president.
  2. Shows that McCain is not as moderate as people think he is, but is rather a conservative Republican.  
  3. Makes a great case for Obama on policy grounds.
  4. Demonstrates that Obama's policies are the ones that Senator Clinton also supports.
  5. Shows that the Democrats will work together after the election on an agenda for the people.

I am very excited - It sort of reminds me of what Truman did in 1948 when he ran against Congress.  But the Democrats are running against the notion of a Republican in the White House.

What do you think?  Will this draw the clear contrast between parties? Attract independents? Unify the party?

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The vast majority of Democrats support Obama over McCain

Is there some division in the Democratic party now? Well, yes, there is some.

But a new poll, taken entirely (as one might expect) from before Obama clinched the nomination, shows that the vast majority of Democrats support him over McCain.

In the poll, Obama leads McCain by 6 points -- 48 to 42.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/0 4/opinion/polls/main4154051.shtml

And only 12% of Democrats say they will vote for McCain over Obama. These numbers come at the very end of this competitive nominating season, one in which passions were high.  And, as I recall (sorry, no link), those numbers were higher for Republicans who wouldn't vote for McCain when their nominating fight ended.  So, while it would be better if even fewer Democrats supported McCain, these are not terrible numbers for Obama for this stage of the campaign.

Among Clinton supporters, 22% now say they'd vote for McCain over Obama. With those numbers, Obama is still leading McCain by six points. And many of those folks are likely to move to Obama after Clinton endorses him and over the next months as the GE campaign really gets going.

I know that some Clinton supporters will never accept Obama. But these current numbers are not bad at all -- they're certainly not the full 18 million or so who voted for Clinton -- and they should improve.

The good news is that Democrats are already unifying.

FINAL NOTE: Thank you Senator Clinton for a spirited contest, one that brought out so many voters and which talked about how government decisions really matter to their everyday lives.

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The VP pick and the 2012 strategy

Hillary Clinton's vp push is now in full swing.  Yesterday she volunteered to a group of NY legislators that she'd be on the ticket and now both Lanny Davis and Bob Johnson are working on it as well, Davis with a petition and Johnson with an effort with get the Congressional Black Caucus to promote the idea.
[see http://thepage.time.com/2008/06/04/they- want-you/ ]

What's going on?

Well, first of all, as has been reported in various places, the Obama folks have already told Clinton that she won't be on the ticket. I heard it myself from someone who works for the national campaign.  So, I doubt that she will get the call.  

What she did yesterday made a vp slot much less likely -- stepping on his day of triumph with all sorts of manufactured stories, like a) the leak she was going to concede, b) the campaign pulling that story back, and c) Clinton herself telling state legislators that she would be vp. She then went out and made the same tired, discredited claims about how she could win and used flawed numbers on the vote, even claimed that SD was the last primary. She also claimed that she was in it for the "18 million," as if Obama won't work for those folks, too, pursuing nearly identical policies. All that meant that last night the pundits were talking about her nearly as much as him. That night could have been a huge use of free tv for the general election, with packages about Obama's life story and discussions of how he won the nomination.  

Second, what Clinton is doing is working for 2012. It used to be that saying that was so appalling that no one wanted to do it. But now we know it's so acceptable that a prominent diarist here makes it a key part of her diary.  The Clintons and a subset of her supporters (I believe they are a minority) say that they will be working for Clinton for president in 2012. So they are fine with an Obama loss - and all this vice-presidential talk is a way to make this happen.

If Obama doesn't pick Clinton, and as I said in point one, I doubt he will, the outrage machine will crank up.  They will claim that the "18 million" won't vote for him, which is pretty unlikely.  (I know many Clinton supporters, mostly women over 50, and there's only one who said she might not vote for him and I think she'll change her mind.) So the small number of Clinton supporters who are most committed based on personal loyalty will make a lot of noise, distracting the campaign. And, who know, in a close state, their votes could matter.

Another point: Were Obama to pick Clinton under these circumstances, it undermines him. I would ask, and I think a lot of others would, too, if he can't stand up to the Clinton machine, how can he stand up to dictators and national security threats? And it undermines his message of change.

Frankly, I don't think the Clintons want the vp for Hillary that much. They would face quite a lot more scrutiny, from the sorts of things raised in the Todd Purdham article about Bill's relationships with women to a whole lot of vetting on finances. You may not think that they should face that vetting, but it will happen. They would have to deal with that and so would the rest of us.

So, this is more than a kabuki dance. It's power politics and it's aimed at undermining the Democratic nominee so that Hillary can run in 2012.

I'm a former Clinton supporter who switched to Obama after the Iowa caucuses. I argued for her on many occasions. But now our country's future is at stake. If the nominee is undermined and the Republicans hold the WH, our country and indeed our world is in greater peril.  And I don't like it a bit.  

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Let's start a pool

I'm not a big sports fan, so I never join in on the pools some folks have at their workplaces.

So, I thought I'd start a poll here on the delegate race. Unfortunately, the only prize that can be given out is the recognition of having done the best job.

Before telling you what the pool is, I want to say that Democrats should be proud of its candidates. They worked hard and represented the ideals and policies of the Democratic party.  I say this as a former Clinton supporter who switched to Obama and who had the utmost respect for other candidates as well.

OK, onto the business -- and keep in mind that this will only work if people REC THIS DIARY so we can keep track of the predictions.  And then I'll go through the predictions and see how folks do.

PREDICT BY 4:30 PM Eastern Tiime, the magic numbers for Clinton and Obama AT THE TIME THAT SENATOR CLINTON BEGINS TO SPEAK IN NY.
The official source to be used is http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/

Right now, they are
Obama   34
Clinton 200.5

This should not be an occasion for either gloating or insults, but a time to recognize these great candidates and to have a little fun.

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Clinton shedding staff

In what looks like a big change, Hillary Clinton's campaign is shedding staff.  Politico reports:

Members of Hillary Clinton's advance staff received calls and emails this evening from headquarters summoning them to New York City Tuesday night, and telling them their roles on the campaign are ending, two Clinton staffers tell my colleague Amie Parnes.

The advance staffers -- most of them now in Puerto Rico, South Dakota, and Montana -- are being given the options of going to New York for a final day Tuesday, or going home, the aides said. The move is a sign that the campaign is beginning to shed -- at least -- some of its staff. The advance staff is responsible for arranging the candidate's events around the country.

With the future of her campaign in doubt, Clinton hasn't announced her plans for the final election night of the primary cycle or beyond, but the aides said she would stage her election night event in New York City. Her entourage is currently expected to wake up Tuesday in New York and to arrive in Washington, D.C. Tuesday night.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0 608/Clinton_camp_converging_on_New_York_ Tuesday_and_shedding_staff.html

I don't think it's clear what this means.  These are advance staff.  So it could be that Senator Clinton is not planning on having events around the country for which she would need advance staff.  

Not traveling will save a lot of money. And Clinton could still speak in places like think tanks or the National Press Club, places that would handle the event planning and much of the logistics.

This step is consistent with

  1. Ending the campaign
  2. Suspending the campaign
  3. Taking a breather for a week or so to see what the remaining superdelegates do.

What do you think is going on?

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