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The occasional open thread: I did not start the birther movement

Start something with your Obama conspiracy comments that don’t relate to the current articles here. This thread will close in two weeks.

59 Responses to The occasional open thread: I did not start the birther movement

  1. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 10, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    How Trump used Hurricane Sandy to fuel Obama birther conspiracy

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/trump-hurricane-sandy-obama-birther-229237

  2. avatar
    Dave B. October 10, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    So do you reckon someday they’ll put together a TrumpSnippetsDotCom where they edit clips to make him look like a model of grace, probity and statesmanship? I’m not sure what they’d find to work with, but if they ever do, there will probably be folks falling for it.

  3. avatar
    Rickey October 11, 2016 at 1:02 am #

    In other wacko birther news, Cody Robert Judy is making the bizarre claim that the Supreme Court’s denial of cert in Elliott v. Cruz invalidates the denial of cert in prior birther cases which were dismissed because of lack of standing and/or the political question doctrine. His twisted logic is that Elliott v. Cruz wasn’t denied because of standing or the political question doctrine, therefore SCOTUS has agreed that they are not barriers to birther lawsuits.

    Judy, of course, is ignorant of the fact that standing and the political question doctrine are issues in Federal courts, and Elliott v. Cruz was filed in a state court. Standing wasn’t even raised as a defense in Elliott v. Cruz, and the state court ruled that the political question doctrine was not applicable.

  4. avatar
    Joey October 11, 2016 at 2:22 am #

    Rickey:
    In other wacko birther news, Cody Robert Judy is making the bizarre claim that the Supreme Court’s denial of cert in Elliott v. Cruz invalidates the denial of cert in prior birther cases which were dismissed because of lack of standing and/or the political question doctrine. His twisted logic is that Elliott v. Cruz wasn’t denied because of standing or the political question doctrine, therefore SCOTUS has agreed that they are not barriers to birther lawsuits.

    Judy, of course, is ignorant of the fact that standing and the political question doctrine are issues in Federal courts, and Elliott v. Cruz was filed in a state court. Standing wasn’t even raised as a defense in Elliott v. Cruz, and the state court ruled that the political question doctrine was not applicable.

    Add to the above the fact that the Supreme Court has never stated a reason for denial of certiorari in any birther-related petition. Every petition was simply “Cert Denied.”

  5. avatar
    Lupin October 11, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    I just discovered some common ground with the Trumpistas: they don’t want to vote for the GOP downticket, and we don’t either. A win-win.

    Are there any Whigs left to provide moral support?

  6. avatar
    Scientist October 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Lupin: Are there any Whigs left to provide moral support?

    Only the W(h)ig on Trump’s head….

  7. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater October 11, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

    So like after trump pulled his latest stunt with the Clinton accusers I have an idea for the next debate. Dig up Vince Foster’s body and sit him in the gallery. Maybe Trump can even get NRO to join him in the audience.

  8. avatar
    Crustacean October 11, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    Some say it’s a wig. But a lot of people are saying it’s really a giant caterpillar (the Southern Flannel Moth caterpillar, or Asp, Megalopyge).

    https://www.wired.com/2014/09/never-touch-anything-looks-like-donald-trumps-hair/

    A few months ago I had an idea for a cute little character that could be put on t-shirts or hats (or whatever they sell at Café Press), a flannel moth caterpillar named Li’l Flan who is angry about being associated with Donald (“Tuck Frump” is her line). A good friend of mine is an artist, and he graciously agreed to draw Li’l Flan, so I uploaded his logo to Café Press. So far I think we’ve sold about four shirts, LOL!! (Disclaimer: my friend is an excellent artist, but he can’t spell for beans, so in the fine print under Li’l Flan she is identified as a “fannel” moth caterpillar.)

    Doc, I understand if you choose to delete this link (with my apologies). I don’t mean it to be spam, This is not a get-rich scheme; just my little way of spitting in the eye of the Trump campaign.

    http://www.cafepress.com/+lil_flan_baseball_hat,1826770768

    Scientist: Only the W(h)ig on Trump’s head….

  9. avatar
    Rickey October 11, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

    Joey: Add to the above the fact that the Supreme Court has never stated a reason for denial of certiorari in any birther-related petition. Every petition was simply “Cert Denied.”

    This is how Judy’s brain malfunctions. He believes that a cert denial means that SCOTUS agrees with every ruling that the trial court made. Of course, the trial court never made a ruling on standing, because Cruz never raised it as an issue. The trial court did rule that the political question doctrine did not apply, but neither party appealed that ruling. Appellate courts, including SCOTUS, only rule on issues which are raised in an appeal.

  10. avatar
    bob October 11, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    Rickey:
    In other wacko birther news, Cody Robert Judy is making the bizarre claim that the Supreme Court’s denial of cert in Elliott v. Cruz invalidates the denial of cert in prior birther cases which were dismissed because of lack of standing and/or the political question doctrine.

    Let’s check SCOTUS’ docket in Judy’s last case:

    Oct 8 2015 Case considered closed.

    A year later, and still closed.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

    I whacked about 150 bad hyperlinks this morning and have about 550 left to go. Basically if there’s nothing in the Web Archive, the link is removed. I did fix a few for FactCheck.org manually.

  12. avatar
    bob October 12, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    Yup, the whole birther movement was racist.

    — Colin Powell
    — Email to Emily Miller

    Over at the essentially abandoned Birther Report, obsessed Rambo Ike writes:

    I just noticed Dr Con has a statement from Colin Powell posted up in an attempt to give their racial smears of Americans some cred.

    Powell: “Yup, the whole birther movement was racist.”

    He’s also smearing the Clinton Political Machine who started the Birther Movement.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 12, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

    Article about the role of journalistic fact checking, with examples from the birther conspiracy theories:

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/deciding-what-s-true-the-rise-of-political-fact-checking/article_3f99b817-752f-59ce-bcff-b4c468f4597a.html

  14. avatar
    Dave B. October 12, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    And unfortunately, Graves starts out with a statement he should’ve fact-checked.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Article about the role of journalistic fact checking, with examples from the birther conspiracy theories:

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/deciding-what-s-true-the-rise-of-political-fact-checking/article_3f99b817-752f-59ce-bcff-b4c468f4597a.html

  15. avatar
    Arthur October 14, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    Thank you, Dr. C., for removing the Twitter link. Aside from the fact that I have little interest in Twitter as a source of news or commentary, the link was difficult to navigate through on mobile. ,

  16. avatar
    Thrifty October 14, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    I hated that Twitter window too. I browse this site on PC only, so I don’t have mobile issues. What bothered me the most was that it seemed to show retweets too, so you would see every post a dozen time.

    Arthur:
    Thank you, Dr. C., for removing the Twitter link. Aside from the fact that I have little interest in Twitter as a source of news or commentary, the link was difficult to navigate through on mobile. ,

  17. avatar
    Thrifty October 14, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    I kind of regret not placing bets on Hilary Clinton a few weeks ago, when her betting odds were at a low point. It’s probably for the best, since I don’t understand how these things work anyway.

    Just 24 days and about 14 hours until this is all over. I can’t wait until the Trump threat is neutralized.

  18. avatar
    J.D. Sue October 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Donald Trump on Oct 13, 2016:

    “We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time — very soon.”

    Where/when have I heard that before?

  19. avatar
    Scientist October 14, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    Thrifty: Just 24 days and about 14 hours until this is all over. I can’t wait until the Trump threat is neutralized.

    I wish that to be the case, but I’m skeptical. He’s already said he will scream “Fraud” and “Conspiracy” rather than accept the results, because he doesn’t believe it’s possible that someone as great as he could ever lose. The man is a walking toxic waste dump spreading poison everywhere he goes and triggering cancer years later.

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 14, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    I would expect Trump election conspiracy theories to continue with at least as much tenacity as the birther movement, during Hillary’s term in office.

    Scientist: I wish that to be the case, but I’m skeptical. He’s already said he will scream “Fraud” and “Conspiracy” rather than accept the results

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    It’s gone for good. It was making less and less sense for the future when this becomes a reference site rather than a news site.

    Arthur: Thank you, Dr. C., for removing the Twitter link.

  22. avatar
    Notorial Dissent October 14, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

    I would expect them to last as long as LaRump has the money or will to keep them going. A wounded ego is mighty inducement.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I would expect Trump election conspiracy theories to continue with at least as much tenacity as the birther movement, during Hillary’s term in office.

  23. avatar
    Scientist October 14, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I would expect Trump election conspiracy theories to continue with at least as much tenacity as the birther movement, during Hillary’s term in office.

    I suspect both will be permanent fixtures, up there with JFK assassination and faked moon landings. They are actually more tenacious now with the internet.

  24. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater October 14, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    Imagine my surprise when I finished Season 2 of Narcos and NRO was never mentioned.

  25. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG. October 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    I am just sitting back and enjoying watching Trump completely meltdown. Watching Shurfjoke and Roy Moore’s careers end is the perfect side dish.

  26. avatar
    Thrifty October 14, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

    I don’t really care what he does as a private citizen. He doesn’t have a choice in the matter of accepting the results. He can scream fraud all day and all night but the adults who make and enforce the rules still won’t let him into the White House if he doesn’t get at least 270 electoral votes.

    The Trump threat is neutralized if Hilary Clinton is elected president.

    Scientist: I wish that to be the case, but I’m skeptical.He’s already said he will scream “Fraud” and “Conspiracy” rather than accept the results, because he doesn’t believe it’s possible that someone as great as he could ever lose.The man is a walking toxic waste dump spreading poison everywhere he goes and triggering cancer years later.

  27. avatar
    Dave B. October 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    I reckon electing birthers with five-letter names ending in “p” just isn’t ever a good idea.
    http://www.heraldcourier.com/news/judge-who-advocated-birther-movement-under-investigation/article_627819da-ae83-59c5-907d-f71f1e3dd9d6.html
    That’s probably much more specific than is necessary.

  28. avatar
    Thrifty October 14, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    Birtherism went along fine before Trump got in on it. Hillary Clinton is already being accused of rigging votes by some radicals on the left–disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters–who believed she rigged votes in the primaries for the nomination. Clinton conspiracy theories will exist for as long as Hillary Clinton is president, and will take on a lot of the same characteristics. I suspect they will be Orly Taitz’s next big crusade.

    Notorial Dissent:
    I would expect them to last as long as LaRump has the money or will to keep them going. A wounded ego is mighty inducement.

  29. avatar
    Keith October 14, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    Dave B.:
    I reckon electing birthers with five-letter names ending in “p” just isn’t ever a good idea.
    http://www.heraldcourier.com/news/judge-who-advocated-birther-movement-under-investigation/article_627819da-ae83-59c5-907d-f71f1e3dd9d6.html
    That’s probably much more specific than is necessary.

    Who here did not see that coming?

  30. avatar
    Scientist October 14, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    Thrifty:
    I don’t really care what he does as a private citizen.He doesn’t have a choice in the matter of accepting the results.He can scream fraud all day and all night but the adults who make and enforce the rules still won’t let him into the White House if he doesn’t get at least 270 electoral votes.

    The Trump threat is neutralized if Hilary Clinton is elected president.

    His supporters can try to get Congress to block her. Unless the Republicans lose the House, expect more` shutdowns and gridlock. And certainly the Democrats won’t have 60 votes in the Senate.

  31. avatar
    bob October 14, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    Dave B.:
    I reckon electing birthers with five-letter names ending in “p” just isn’t ever a good idea.
    http://www.heraldcourier.com/news/judge-who-advocated-birther-movement-under-investigation/article_627819da-ae83-59c5-907d-f71f1e3dd9d6.html
    That’s probably much more specific than is necessary.

    There are two birther-related allegations against Kreep: (1) Kreep’s birthering while he was campaigning was unethical; and (2) Kreep failed to timely withdraw from the birther civil war case (i.e., Berg’s proxy versus Taitz and others).

  32. avatar
    Thrifty October 14, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

    How is that any different than the last 6 years?

    Scientist: His supporters can try to get Congress to block her.Unless the Republicans lose the House, expect more` shutdowns and gridlock.And certainly the Democrats won’t have 60 votes in the Senate.

  33. avatar
    dunstvangeet October 15, 2016 at 12:43 am #

    Tweet that wins the internet: If you had “GOP candidate rolls out pimp for gay pedophiles to rebut claim of sexual assault” in the headline pool, 2016 is your lucky year.

    https://twitter.com/tedfrank/status/787048874368131072

  34. avatar
    Scientist October 15, 2016 at 6:34 am #

    Thrifty:
    How is that any different than the last 6 years?

    “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce”-Karl Marx (though it could have been said by Groucho as well)

  35. avatar
    Steve October 15, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    Has The Fogbow been hacked again?

    My anti-virus program blocked the site.

  36. avatar
    Rickey October 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Thrifty:
    Birtherism went along fine before Trump got in on it.Hillary Clinton is already being accused of rigging votes by some radicals on the left–disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters–who believed she rigged votes in the primaries for the nomination.

    Whenever a Sanders supporter gripes about that, I point out that Clinton won the popular vote by 3.6 million votes. That would take some serious rigging.

  37. avatar
    tek October 15, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    Me too.. Started in the middle of a session.

  38. avatar
    Thrifty October 15, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

    That’s kind of a thought I have about accusations of Hillary rigging the general election too. She only needs 270 votes to win. There are a lot of scenarios that give her just a little over 270. A lot of the projections are guessing something in the 330-350 range. Which would be serious overkill. Why go through all the trouble of rigging to get 60-80 electoral votes (and several million popular votes) you don’t even need?

    Rickey: Whenever a Sanders supporter gripes about that, I point out that Clinton won the popular vote by 3.6 million votes. That would take some serious rigging.

  39. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    How Arizona became Ground Zero for ‘birthers’ – Arizona Republic print edition today, and online:

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2016/10/16/how-arizona-became-ground-zero-birthers/91924322/

    Features interview with Brian Reilly

  40. avatar
    justlw October 16, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    J.D. Sue:
    Donald Trump on Oct 13, 2016:

    “We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time — very soon.”

    Where/when have I heard that before?

    But this time he delivered! And it was so very, very wonderful!

    The Gilberthorpe story is hands-down my favorite of the election, which makes it all the more disappointing that it imploded literally within minutes of its release.

    Thursday morning: As noted above, Donald says there’s “substantial evidence” coming

    Friday morning: Pence says “before the day is out there will be more evidence that calls into question these allegations.”

    Friday, 5:16 PM ET: NY Post breaks Gilberthorpe story: “Trump camp puts forward witness to refute sex assault claim”

    Friday, 5:17 PM ET, just about everyone on my Twitter feed who’s from the UK: wat

    Friday, 5:28 PM ET: Daily Mail publishes story recapping some (but not nearly all) of Gilberthorpe’s past history of unprovable claims

    Friday, 6:11 ET: NBC reports campaign confirmation that yup, this is the evidence Trump and Pence were talking about

  41. avatar
    J.D. Sue October 16, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

    justlw: The Gilberthorpe story is hands-down my favorite of the election, which makes it all the more disappointing that it imploded literally within minutes of its release.

    —-
    Me too. Funny. I still have questions, e.g., what was this 17 year old–an admitted trader of teenage flesh to powerful men–doing sitting across the aisle is first class with Donald Trump? Ha!

  42. avatar
    Keith October 16, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

    I used to think the only Orange County was in California. What’s going on in there, Doc?

  43. avatar
    Keith October 16, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    Thrifty:
    That’s kind of a thought I have about accusations of Hillary rigging the general election too.She only needs 270 votes to win.There are a lot of scenarios that give her just a little over 270.A lot of the projections are guessing something in the 330-350 range.Which would be serious overkill.Why go through all the trouble of rigging to get 60-80 electoral votes (and several million popular votes) you don’t even need?

    Have a review of the Nixon/McGovern election, and think about that question again.

  44. avatar
    Curious George October 16, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    How Arizona became Ground Zero for ‘birthers’ – Arizona Republic print edition today, and online:

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2016/10/16/how-arizona-became-ground-zero-birthers/91924322/

    Features interview with Brian Reilly

    One of the best comments in the article:

    “Working with the Tea Party Patriots in Surprise, Reilly would persuade Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, perhaps the state’s most popular politician at the time, to investigate the leader of the free world.

    He would then become disillusioned as he saw the investigation slide away from verifiable evidence into the shadowy world of conspiracies. It was a slide that would become germane in federal court, used as evidence to charge Arpaio criminally.”

  45. avatar
    Curious George October 16, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

    Another comment in the article that was precious:

    “But Zullo refused to provide such documents. He also refused a detailed interview about the investigation saying he feared character assassination.”

    Does he really have any character left after claiming the 5th over 200 times?

  46. avatar
    dunstvangeet October 17, 2016 at 1:35 am #

    justlw: The Gilberthorpe story is hands-down my favorite of the election, which makes it all the more disappointing that it imploded literally within minutes of its release.

    Gilberthorpe reminds me of a British Larry Sinclair (though Gilberthorpe seems to at one point have more credibility). But basically just saying outrageous things to get attention. Still, the tweet that explains how weird this has gotten:

    If you had “GOP candidate rolls out pimp for gay pedophiles to rebut claim of sexual assault” in the headline pool, 2016 is your lucky year.

  47. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 18, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

    Sheriff Arpaio received humanitarian award:

    http://archives.mcrcbriefs.org/2016/10/10-16-16-briefs.html?m=1

  48. avatar
    Arthur October 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Some weeks ago, john predicted that Trump would win the debates. I guess it goes without saying that a birther was wrong again. Sad.

  49. avatar
    justlw October 20, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

    You’re a birther.

  50. avatar
    Thrifty October 21, 2016 at 7:00 am #

    I kinda think that discussion of who “won” a debate is stupid. It’s not a baseball game. There’s no scoring system. It’s entirely subjective. So John’s not exactly wrong or right, IMO.

    Arthur:
    Some weeks ago, john predicted that Trump would win the debates. I guess it goes without saying that a birther was wrong again. Sad.

  51. avatar
    Reality Check October 21, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    I agree with your sentiments but unfortunately the sports analogy is probably going to stick around. I wish they would concentrate more on who told the truth. The pundits all praised Mike Pence and panned Tim Kaine for their performances in the VP debate. However, Pence was lying his ass off for the entire debate and all the fact checkers showed that.

    Not to mention that Pence is a homophobic, creationist, far right kook. I would find him as dangerous as Trump to be president.

    Thrifty:
    I kinda think that discussion of who “won” a debate is stupid.It’s not a baseball game.There’s no scoring system.It’s entirely subjective.So John’s not exactly wrong or right, IMO.

  52. avatar
    Crustacean October 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    You’re the puppet.

    justlw:
    You’re a birther.

  53. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG. October 21, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

    Its fun watching Birther Report wind down. I liken to visiting the site, to a soon-to-be shuttered store, where all the merchandise of any worth has already been picked from the shelves, but everything must go, before the lights can go out. They don’t even have hope any more. Just some bitter copy-pastes of irrelevant videos and grunts about Trump being “robbed”.

    Smith’s blog is in a comparable state. There are three birthers who get poked at by someone named Bob. And Bruce runs the show, as Smith has long since fled(Or is perhaps finally behind bars in the states?). Bruce seems completely disconnected from reality as well, as every blow Trump suffers, gets spun as a great success.

    Time has run out for birtherism, five minutes left on the clock, and they are just now finally realizing that there will be no “great white hope” to save them from Obama completing his term. Trump is sure to lose the presidential election, and Shurfjoke’s chances of reelection are looking worse by the day, so they can’t even go “President Trump will sic Joe on Obama”. Nope, not even that is a wild possibility anymore.

  54. avatar
    Arthur October 21, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

    Thrifty:
    I kinda think that discussion of who “won” a debate is stupid.It’s not a baseball game.There’s no scoring system.It’s entirely subjective.So John’s not exactly wrong or right, IMO.

    There are different ways to measure victory in a debate. One way is to poll the audience before and after a debate to determine how many people changed their minds. Another way is to rely on the perceptions of victory as described by the public and by commentators. The former is objective, the latter, subjective. Most of the subjective judgments gave the advantage to Clinton. There is also polling information that suggests Clinton achieved objective gains.

  55. avatar
    Rickey October 21, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    Reality Check:
    I agree with your sentiments but unfortunately the sports analogy is probably going to stick around. I wish they would concentrate more on who told the truth. The pundits all praised Mike Pence and panned Tim Kaine for their performances in the VP debate. However, Pence was lying his ass off for the entire debate and all the fact checkers showed that.

    I believe it was John Oliver who pointed out that it is much easier to critique the performance than the substance, so most of the pundits take the easy road.

  56. avatar
    justlw October 21, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

    There’s a truism in sales (especially in technical pre-sales) that it’s easy to win the debate and still lose the sale. Clearly the same deal in politics. It doesn’t matter who had the most facts on their side, or even necessarily who looked the least dickish — did the needle move?

    So far, after every debate, the polls swung heavily in Clinton’s favor. I expect there will be a modest trend in her direction as more polls come in. Only “modest”, because I think that on the whole, he actually managed to land a couple of blows, and also because I don’t think there’s a lot more of a gain available for Clinton to take advantage of.

    What I’d be really interested in measuring is how much Trump stepped on his own body parts last night, but I think that’s going to be really hard to separate from the effect of the debate. I’m guessing It’ll have to be considered as a single event, stretched over two nights.

  57. avatar
    Scientist October 22, 2016 at 6:04 am #

    if you look at poll averages, rather than one or another individual pollster, Clinton has led all the way. At a few points you could have argued Trump was close, but he’s never led. And in the Electoral Vote tallies, she’s always had close to a lock, because all she needs is to hold the states Kerry won + Colorado and Virginia and she has substantial leads in both.

    Now what the first debate, followed by the Access Hollywood revelations, did was transform a close race that was very likely going to Clinton into a potential landslide. And that matters quite a bit for the congressional outcome.

  58. avatar
    Rickey October 22, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    Scientist:
    if you look at poll averages, rather than one or another individual pollster, Clinton has led all the way.At a few points you could have argued Trump was close, but he’s never led.And in the Electoral Vote tallies, she’s always had close to a lock, because all she needs is to hold the states Kerry won + Colorado and Virginia and she has substantial leads in both.

    The problem with the way the news organizations report on the polls is that they tend to focus only on their own polls, whereas Nate Silver has proven that poll averages give you a far more realistic picture at any given time. He also has pointed out that when a candidate’s odds of winning reach as high as where Clinton stands (86% as of now) it is difficult to go much higher when the election is still a couple of weeks away.