Saturday, November 17, 2007

One Last Thing About CNN's Nevada Debate

I seriously do not understand how the traditional media gets to spin their circus show debate any which way they please. Everyone with a mic and a camera are saying that Hillary won the debate, especially CNN. At least the chief MSNBC political hack Chris Matthews had a couple of progressive viewpoints told on his show that refute the unconventional wisdom.

From Crooks and Liars:

video_wmv Download (125) | Play (140) video_mov Download (136) | Play (71) (h/t Heather)

Tweety had progressive radio giants Mark Green and Ed Schultz on to talk about Hillary’s big win at the debate in Las Vegas Thursday night and apparently Schultz didn’t get the memo.

Schultz: “I think all this postmortem of this debate about how wonderful Hillary is a bridge too far. I think it’s a sad day when a candidate has to start saying well its mud-slinging if you point out what my voting record is.” … “CNN, and especially Wolf, I think they were bending over for Hillary big-time last night.”

Ed also went on to make several other good points too that went against what’s become conventional wisdom regarding who “won” the debate. I’m not saying Hillary did poorly, because it surely was an improvement over her last debate in Philly and clearly she owned the audience all night who were quick to come to her defense to boo Edwards and Obama when each tried to attack her record, but she had a lot of help from CNN too. Not only was the network completely unfair in the amount of time they gave to most of the other candidates, they also were caught planting a softball question from the audience specifically for her to end the night that they had to admit to and then they followed that by having James Carville and David Gergen featured on their post-debate show, both of whom had previously held positions in her husband’s administration and Carville is currently listed as an “informal advisor” to her campaign. That’s quite a coup for any campaign to pull off and should be cause for anyone to re-evaluate the entire evening. Quite frankly, if Hillary won the debate, then any record of the win deserves an asterisk beside it.

So I’m wondering. Who do you think won the debate?

I personally think we all lost. No one really won the debate, because it wasn't a debate. Our democracy is being pulled asunder by the cable news networks so that they can create a narrative that sells their "product." Hillary may have won some points in the horse race, but that is exactly what it is, a horse race. This is not a public forum where voters can choose a candidate based on real issues.

Someone Wants A Cabinet Position

Yeah, Joe is right about a lot of things. He's a little off on others. Nevertheless, he doesn't have a shot in hell, so this must be a shout out to the front runners to pick him for something nice, like Secretary of Defense, State, etc. Maybe he even wants to be Vice President, though I don't even think that is very likely. Though his credit card company friends would love it.

If You Still Have Sympathy For The MTA, You'll Lose It Now

Thanks to local station CBS 2, it is now known that thousands (24,000 to be exact) of bureaucrats have been given lifetime passes to use the bridges and tunnels in New York. While the MTA claims they are strapped for cash and must raise the fares for hard-working New Yorkers, board members don't even bother to show up for public meetings. Now that this information is public, some are calling for heads to roll.


It's an appalling investigation that led David Moretti, the head of the MTA's Bridge and Tunnel division to avoid being questioned by CBS 2 HD. Moretti was so anxious to get away from CBS 2 HD cameras, in fact, that he hid in a classroom for 45 minutes before a scheduled MTA fare hike hearing.

What was he hiding from? He's running from questions about free rides.

At a time when the agency wants to raise fares, it's giving free orange EZ passes to nearly 24,000 people to get across the MTA's nine bridges and tunnels.

That's 3.3 million trips.

"It's outrageous. It makes me completely angry," says Jana Glowatz of East Meadow.

Councilman Michael McMahon, D-Staten Island, testified passionately against the fare hike. He was stunned to learn of the free pass scheme.

"That's the most outrageous thing I've ever heard, and if it's true, whoever's doing it should go to jail," he said.

Moretti better hide. Millions of New Yorkers would love to get the chance to talk face to face with him for a few minutes....each. Not only do some of these people have the free EZpasses, several have multiple boxes for their cars. Former board members Kalikow and Nasti have eight and four passes respectively. Not surprisingly, both claim that they are the sole users of those twelve passes.

Do you believe them? I didn't think so.

Maybe We Are The Problem In Iraq

My title may be a little misleading, everyone already knows that we caused the problems in Iraq. Yet there are still conservatives and moderates out there that believe we must stay to fix the mess we created. I often shake my head at these people and try to explain why that will not happen. People want to rule themselves, angry at the occupier for killing their relatives, easier PR for al-Qaeda, etc etc. Even though I try to exhibit common sense here, I have never stepped foot in Iraq and the closest I got was the Dead Sea (western side). However, writer Brandon Friedman knows what he's talking about, he's been there.

From DailyKos:

The thing you have to understand about an occupation like the one in Iraq, is that much of the violence results from the unrest that occurs when people have no sense of a permanent presence of authority. At the risk of going completely unscientific here, it’s like a class that won’t behave for a substitute teacher. The people have no need to please or respect the occupier, because they know that ultimately, that occupier will give way to a more long-term power.

In such a situation—where there is no sense of permanent authority—dozens and dozens of groups vie for power. They all want to end up being that more long-term power. And their agendas are varied—as are their methods for causing trouble. I described it this way when I returned from the middle of the Iraqi insurgency:

There are a few fighters who have a real political agenda for killing both the invaders and those who would build a new government; there are a few foreign zealots, a few religious zealots, a few more foreign religious zealots, and then there are the rest of them—the overwhelming majority of whom are young, impressionable, male, unemployed, bored, and pissed about, among other things, the fact that their uncle was killed in an air strike or their cousin was killed at a traffic control point for not stopping soon enough. Without this last group there would be no insurgency.
And with these types of insurgencies, the longer you stay there the worse it gets. On a long enough timeline, an occupying force will eventually piss off everyone. That’s just what happens, even when you come with the best of intentions.

When I wrote that, I failed to include the category of common criminal gangs and thugs—the other major problem in Iraq.

So what happens you don't stay around. America still has the "surge" in Iraq nearly a year later. Oh wait, Britain is pulling their forces out of the Basra area. Would the port city fall deeper into chaos and a bloody civil war? Would the "White Man's Burden" complex fall upon us and force our troops to rush in and protect them?

Or maybe something completely crazy would happen. Perhaps the violence there would fall by NINETY percent. Imagine that, oh wait, anyone could have seen it had they looked at the geopolitical reality on the ground there. As the International Herald Tribune pointed out in their article, it made complete sense to the British on the ground there, as it did for Friedman who spent time in Iraq as well. Thank god I didn't have to go there to get it too.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Diamonds, Pearls And CNN's Manipulations

This is one of the serious questions that CNN had Maria Luisa ask Senator Clinton. How embarrassing for the network when it turned out that they forced her to use that instead of the original pre-approved question that she had come up with by herself.

The Climate Is Changing Faster Than You Think

Last month in my piece about Rob Marciano ridiculing Al Gore, a couple of commenters spouted their mistrust of Al and their insistence on still thinking that climate change is debatable. Of course as I pointed out in that comment section, neither backs up their statements with any proof, just a ton of rhetoric. People like them, deniers such as Senator Inhofe continue to dismiss the reality facing the planet (and those that live on it). Though they are right about one thing, it isn't as bad as Al says, its worse.

From The Courier Mail:

The report, prepared by Dr Graeme Pearman, former head of the CSIRO's atmospheric research unit, found temperatures and greenhouse pollution were rising faster than forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report, prepared for the Climate Institute, noted that the IPCC's recent Fourth Assessment Report used material published up to mid-2006, but many important new observations had been published since.

"These suggest that the IPCC assessment is underestimating the risks of adverse impacts due to increased warming during this century and that impacts previously considered to be at the upper end of likelihood are now more probable," the report reads.

I wonder if that makes them happy? At least they can say with some sort of credibility that Al was wrong. Of course, it is just a shame for all of us that are going to have to live with the problems that climate change will present.

The Pigeons Strike/Poop Back

Another day and the pigeon story develops a new wing. Did you know that if you counted pigeons in the census New York would have over nine million residents (One could only imagine if you put rats and mice in there as well)? With such a strong presence in New York City, it was only a matter of time before pigeons would speak up against the City Council's attack on the rats with wings birds. Ok well maybe not the pigeons themselves, since they only make that incessant cooing noise. There are people however who are turning out and spreading their own wings in this new political debate.

From The New York Times:

About a dozen or so of the city’s leading pigeon advocates gathered for an emergency meeting Wednesday night on the second floor of a Starbucks on the Upper East Side to plan a counteroffensive.

The meeting was called by Anna Dove, founder and president of the New York Bird Club, which claims 60 members and is one of the two leading pigeon-rights groups in the city. Ms. Dove legally changed her last name from Kugelmas in honor of her dove Lucy. Also present was Al Streit, director of Pigeon People, a rescue and advocacy group that claims 200 members in its online discussion group. Representatives were also present from New York City Pigeon Rescue Center, Win Animal Rights and other organizations.

“Don’t people realize that this is an extraordinary bird?” asked Mary Beyerbach, a member of the New York Bird Club, who noted the heroics of a homing pigeon named Cher Ami — in French, meaning “dear friend.” Cher Ami was credited with saving 194 American lives in France during World War I, earning him the Croix de Guerre honor.

Now that is one piece of military history that I had forgotten about. Ms. Dove is right, the pigeon is no ordinary bird. That is 194 more American lives saved than George Bush could ever lay claim to (not including those he indirectly sent to their deaths in Iraq). However, the pigeon problem here is not one of whether these birds are patriots, its that they are taking over the city. Sometimes you need to deal with such issues, as you know Serendipity 3 will be when it comes to those cute furry mice.

A Noun, A Verb And September 11th

Not that important you say? It's the only thing Rudy runs on:

Markos Publishes...Not A Diary!

Literally hot off the presses and not in an orange format, Markos Moulitsas of the famed DailyKos has penned his first Newsweek article. This will be the first of many as he goes up against the infamous Karl Rove. "Kos" pulled no punches today (as he always does on the blog) and went after everyone on Iraq, Bush, the Democratic Senate and the House of Representatives. Markos knows that Americans aren't fools and he isn't buying the Congressional crap either.

From Newsweek:

For a party that won historic gains in 2006, the Democrats have proven surprisingly reluctant to deliver on their chief campaign promise: forcing George Bush and his Republican Party to change course on their disastrous war in Iraq.

Anti-war sentiment among the American people is now approaching 70 percent, but Congress has proved incapable of action. Twice now, the Democratic-controlled House and Senate have caved on Iraq funding bills, giving the unpopular Bush everything he has demanded. Now the Democrats are reportedly ready to tackle this Sisyphean task once again tomorrow, when they consider a fresh $50 billion for Bush's wars.

Nevada's Harry Reid claims the Senate bill will establish a December 2008 "goal" for the end of combat operations. If Bush vetoes, the Senate majority leader says, "then the president won't get his $50 billion." The words sound tough, but we've heard them before.

One thing I do miss are the links. These clickable words in the article are a traditional media tool that only show Newsweek's archives on the person or place mentioned. It is better than nothing I guess, but the links in the blogosphere are far superior.

Besides that, Markos hits hard in his introduction to Newsweek. He is holding Bush, Pelosi and Reid accountable for their actions. Especially so for Reid and Pelosi who vowed to change the tune of Congress. The only sound that has changed so far is one of Republican compliance to Democratic kowtowing. Our Democratic leaders have been pitiful thus far, and now they need to back up their tough talk with hard action.

Enough With These Damn Debates

I've complained before and I'll complain again about these faux debates that the networks host for candidates to come on to pomp and preen. Last time it was Tim Russert and MSNBC that got the blame for ridiculous questions, now its Wolf Blitzer and CNN. These people are all the same, its really revolting. To them it is about entertainment for entertainment's sake, not asking real questions to inform the voting public. It is people like Wolf Blitzer and Tim Russert that help to undermine our democracy, slowly but surely.

Matthew Yglesias nails it:

As ever, it's really striking to observe the difference between the audience-generated questions and the journalist-generated questions. Wolf Blitzer's main interest is in asking questions designed to put Democrats on the wrong side of public opinion, even if those questions are about things like driver's licenses or "merit pay" for teachers that aren't really under federal purview. Efforts to reframe those questions by putting those topics in the larger context of immigration policy more generally or education more generally are derided as cowardly dodges. The point, after all, is to force a choice -- piss off an interest group, or say something that could be used in a GOP attack ad.

The real people, by contrast, ask about problems in their lives. The mother of an individual ready reserve member wants to know about Iran policy. The mother of an active duty soldier wants to know about military pay versus pay for military contractors. An Arab-American wants to know about racial profiling. Then the candidates explain what they think about these issues.

The voters are curious and want to learn where the candidates stand. Blitzer doesn't care about informing the public about the issues -- he actually objects when candidates try to explain their views on broad immigration policy issues -- he's just interested in trying to embarrass the candidates.

Perhaps we can try a citizen's style debate. Let the candidates have at it on YouTube, maybe that kid who interviewed Mike Gravel in his dorm room wants a second shot at fame. Seriously anyone can do better than Wolf or Tim.

Sorta, Kinda, The Daily Show

Reporting live from the strike against the big studios....

The Prosecution Flees On Rev. Billy

This story isn't too surprising, but good news is always appreciated when it comes to the first amendment. Reverend Billy (a.k.a. Bill Talen) has been so outspoken in New York that the police here do not like to see such expressions of freedom. They provoked and arrested him for nothing, drawing up false charges and making criminals out of themselves (a crooked cop in New York? Never!). Instead of dropping it there, the city had the D.A. try to prosecute the Reverend, but apparently they could never get their act together.

From The Gothamist:

Hallelujah! Yesterday the judge presiding over the Reverend Billy case dropped the charges that claimed he harassed public officials. The Rev was arrested in June while reciting the First Amendment in Union Square during a Critical Mass ride which coincided with the protest of the proposed MOFTB rules.

Turns out the prosecutors didn't meet their deadline to file papers explaining the arrest and its justification. The Reverend's (whose real name is Bill Talen) lawyer, Earl Ward, said they likely let the deadline pass in order to end the case. The video from that day does a good job of showing that he was just reciting, you know, the amendment stating our rights to free speech and free assembly -- albeit in the vicinity of power-tripping police officers.

The NY Times reports that Civil Rights lawyer Norman Siegel "said the dismissal was not the end of the road for Reverend Billy. He said he would file a federal lawsuit against the city and the Police Department charging false arrest, malicious prosecution and violation of Mr. Talen’s free-speech rights." Did the NYPD really think they could send Reverend Billy to the Tombs and expect him to just roll over?

Time to teach the NYPD a lesson. If anyone can back up Reverend Billy, its Norman Siegel.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Markos Meets Bush's Twisted Brain

I don't know if the icon of DailyKos has ever physically met the so-called "evil genius" Karl Rove, but they are about to go head-on in the pages of Newsweek. The magazine wanted two differing points of view and personality and they got it with these two national figures. Rove has been around since the Nixon years, wreaking havoc with his dirty tricks since he was the President of the College Republicans. Markos is a whole other animal entirely.

An ex-Republican who actually served in the military, Markos realized where our country was headed years ago. After being sick and tired of yelling at his non-compliant television screen, he started DailyKos so he could yell at the internet. Well the internet gave him a response and it helped to start a Netroots revolution.

Besides being political icons, there is no comparing the two soon-to-be Newsweek contributors. Rove will be lying for the right, while Markos helps speak truth to power. All you need to do is look at each's history and it is easy to see what you are going to get from them. So to all that read Newsweek, keep your eyes open for the commentary and watch how one will spin, play dirty and lie as he has for over thirty years and the other that speaks from the heart with all the facts you could ever want.

Parsing, Planting, Politics, Oh My!

Edwards is staying on the attack, and he released this on the day of the Nevada debate to prove it:

Alms, Alms For Gonzales

Oh, poor, poor Fredo. Forget those veterans who are homeless on the street. The man you (you meaning conservative backers nationwide) should be donating to is ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He has been such a tireless Bush sycophant lawbreaker torture supporter Constitution-shredder public servant and we really must sympathize with him as he is subjected to the law justice accounting for his actions some baseless partisan attack.

From The Washington Post:

Supporters of former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales have created a trust fund to help pay for his legal expenses, which are mounting in the face of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into whether Gonzales committed perjury or improperly tampered with a congressional witness.

The establishment of a legal defense fund for the nation's former chief law enforcement officer underscores the potential peril confronting Gonzales, who is one of a handful of attorneys general to face potential criminal charges for actions taken in office.

David G. Leitch, a Gonzales friend and general counsel at the Ford Motor Co., wrote in an e-mail solicitation to potential contributors last month that Gonzales is "innocent of any wrongdoing" but does not have the means to pay for his legal defense after a career spent mostly in public service.

Awww, how sad....I hope he rots in hell for his crimes.

These Three Truants Should Be Fired

Andrew Saul, Donald Cecil and Susan Metzger are supposed to be working for you. They are privileged to serve on the board of the M.T.A. They should find it in themselves to be motivated to show up to the hearings concerning their fare increase that will affect millions of New Yorkers every day. While board member attendance is low already, these three haven't shown up to any, thats right, all three are zero for eight.

From The Daily News:

Andrew Saul, Donald Cecil and Susan Metzger failed to attend any of eight public hearings the Metropolitan Transportation Authority held during the past 10 days.

Some board members attended only one hearing, including Nancy Shevell, who didn't show up at sessions held after her relationship with Paul McCartney became public.

Millions of daily subway, bus and commuter train riders will pay more if the increases are approved by the board next month. Drivers using MTA bridges and tunnels also would be affected.

"Membership on the MTA board is a privilege, not a right, with awesome responsibilities," fumed state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens). "Members who can't drag themselves to even one fare hike hearing to face the riding public not only shouldn't be allowed to vote for a fare hike, they shouldn't be on the board at all."

Notice Lancman's outrage, he lives in Queens and represents people that take the G, R, V, E and other trains every day. As the Daily News notes in their article, all three of the absent board members lives, for all intensive purposes, upstate. Metzger is in Orange County, 40 miles away. Saul is busy getting ready to run for Congress in the 19th CD as a (surprise!) Republican. Cecil is up in Westchester, the closest of the three to the mega mass-transit system that New Yorkers depend on. I wonder how often they ride the rails.....hmmmm.

Tell me why these three got on the board in the first place? Maybe they won't show up because they have nothing in common with the average straphanger. How embarrassing would it be if they had to ask what a Metrocard looks like. Ok, they might not be that ignorant, but you get my point.

It's Time To Come Home

It sounds good, but we'll see where this goes....

Schumer Bought Mukasey's Bridge, Passes Costs To The Constitution

Mr. "I'll follow the laws you pass" Mukasey is already a busy man in his new job. In just his first week as Attorney General, he is recommending to the President that he veto any legislation that does not let telecom companies off the hook for violating the Constitution. Of course Schumer got confidence to vote Mukasey after he said he'd follow laws regarding waterboarding, even though they were already passed and ignored two years ago. Now how does anyone expect to trust Mukasey regarding any law the Congress might try to enact?

From CNN:

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on the eve of crucial committee votes to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Mukasey was adamant in opposing Leahy's plan for changing the law.

Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell co-signed the letter released Wednesday night by the Justice Department.

"We strongly oppose the proposed substitute amendment. If the substitute is part of a bill that is presented to the president, we and the president's other senior advisers will recommend that he veto the bill," they said.

We know they are against it, they are against accountability, justice and protecting the Constitution. If they served the people, they'd have to get rid of their boss. Knowing George Bush and anyone who has worked for him, how does anyone think that the Administration would follow any law that is to their detriment. You'd have to be pretty naive to buy that...oh wait, maybe Schumer thinks he owns the bridge that leads towards his fancy Park Slope address.

Is That A Bit Of Leadership I Smell?

Yesterday we saw Spitzer bow to the local, state and national pressure to abandon giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Not only did he take heat, but Senator Clinton did as well for not giving a straight answer until she could follow Eliot's lead. No one is particularly surprised at her actions because she is a follower. A follower of others, polls and focus groups. Now for Barack, he is a contradiction of sorts. He stumbles here and there, follows others here and there, but sometimes he'll actually take a stand, and he's doing it on this controversial issue.

From The Huffington Post:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Il, is standing by his support for granting driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, even after Gov. Eliot Spitzer, D-NY, abandoned the proposal amidst rising political opposition.

"Obama said in the debate he supported it and he's standing by it," an aide to the Senator told the Huffington Post. "He supported a similar bill in the state senate as a law enforcement measure."

Obama's backing stands in stark contrast to the position taken by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, whose campaign now cites the issue as a basic policy difference between the two Democratic frontrunners.

Is it the right move, the wrong move, who cares, at least it is his stand and he's sticking to it. All along I've supported the plan, I'd rather people who are going to drive anyway have some preparation to be out on the roads. Sometimes you need to put your xenophobia to the side to make way for common sense. I'm glad to see that Obama sees it that way too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's A Progressive?

Don't be fooled by Republican activists that try and say the word "progressive" is a new word conjured up by the DNC. That word has meant volumes to activists long before you or I were born:

The Center for American Progress is a progressive think-tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.
We are creating a long-term, progressive vision for America—a vision that policy makers, thought-leaders and activists can use to shape the national debate and pass laws that make a difference.

As progressives we believe that America should be a country of boundless opportunity—where all people can better themselves through education, hard work, and the freedom to pursue their dreams. We believe this will only be achieved with an open and effective government that champions the common good over narrow self-interest, harnesses the strength of our diversity, and secures the rights and safety of its people.

McCain Making Money Off "The Bitch"

Just as McCain was about to come back from the dead, he seems to want to go straight back across the River Styx. Yesterday he made headlines when a supporter referred to Hillary as "the bitch." Activists can be heated at times, but candidates should dismiss that type of hateful nonsense. Instead, he blew it up and agreed with his elderly, yet riled supporter. Then his campaign took it to a whole other level.

From The Huffington Post:

....On Tuesday, CNN's Rick Sanchez raised the question of whether McCain should have admonished the woman, and McCain's campaign criticized that criticism on Wednesday.

"Most people who have seen it are looking at it as a real mistake on his part in terms of the way he handled it," Sanchez said on the cable network's "Out in the Open."

McCain's South Carolina campaign manager, Buzz Jacobs, said in a statement Wednesday: "It not only reflects poorly on him, but on CNN. If Mr. Sanchez had even the faintest perspective on the race for the White House, he would know that Senator McCain has expressed his utmost respect for Senator Clinton numerous times on the campaign trail, as he did at Monday's event in Hilton Head."

Hours later, the McCain campaign was using the controversy to raise money for his candidacy.

Campaign manager Rick Davis e-mailed supporters, saying, "We are asking you to help us fight Rick Sanchez and CNN and stand with John McCain. Please make your most generous contribution from $25 up to the maximum limit of $2,300 to the only candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton."

Usually it is the campaign on the receiving end that raises money off of goofs like these, not by the offender. I guess McCain is doing anything out of the ordinary to at least keep his face in the spotlight. It is pretty sad that this is what he has to stoop to in order to get that accomplished.

Hillary On Drivers License Debacle, "Now I'm Against It"

Now hear this, Hillary has a third answer for the question asking if she supports drivers licenses for illegal immingrants. First she was for it, then she understood Spitzer's dilemma and now she's against it. I wonder if that has to do with Spitzer dropping the issue today? Or perhaps it was a focus group or a poll, it isn't like this woman has many principles.

From The Daily News:

"I support Governor Spitzer's decision today to withdraw his proposal. His difficult job is made that much harder by the failure of the Congress and the White House to pass comprehensive immigration reform. As President, I will not support drivers' licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system."

Yeah we know Congress and the White House has failed the country on immigration reform (and nearly every other issue). I guess to her credit, she finally gave a definitive answer, as opposed to the last two within a minute of each other at the last debate. Of course, that is only because our Governor made the first move, we wouldn't expect any type of leadership from Mrs. Clinton, now would we?

O' Brother Where Art Thou?

President Bush Skipped Biology Class

I don't know where George was in 7th grade, but it seems he missed that section of material that explained where all the vital organs are. Forget that, he must have been tuned out in pre-k when his teacher told the class how to do the pledge of allegiance. It looks like he doesn't know where his heart is, or for that matter doesn't have one at all.

From Butt-Dialed (interesting name for a blog):

Right wing freaks recently attacked Sen. Obama in a photo from the campaign trail about him not placing his hand over his heart during the playing of the National Anthem ...

...but then there is President " Purple Haze", who doesn't even have the decency to place his hand over his heart, unless...he doesn't have one!

Laura is a little off too when you look at the picture, maybe her ticker is pressed a little too close to her left lung. So where is the right-wing outrage on this one? Hmmmm? Any takers?

As We Approach ChrismaHanuKwanzaakah.....

Somehow this year has fast-forwarded itself and it is already the middle of November. The Macy's Day parade is next week and then the holiday season will be in full swing. Forget about the chestnuts on the open fire and the miracle of the oil, what people care about is...."whatcha get me?" There are plenty of things to buy, society throws out myriad ideas on what to get your mom, dad, spouse, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, best friend, acquaintance, get the point.

In the past I used to freak out right about now. The anxiety of what to get everyone, including a mother that has everything would rip my mind to pieces. By the end of the gifting holiday, I would feel a sense of relief that it was over, and rarely enjoyed the time. I was conditioned to like the crap that I got as a kid, playing with whatever piece of plastic or plastic/electronic combination that was hot that year. Using it obsessively helped to numb my head, thats for sure.

Now my childhood wasn't all bad, but a little personal experience helps to make a prelude to what I am trying to get across. A new study that came out not only shows a correlation between low-self esteem and materialism, but a direct casual relationship. Basically, it is our materialistic society that helps to foster more cases of depression and feelings of low self-worth. And for those that feel blue for our planet, mass-consumerism hurts the environment as well on top of that.

As the Daily Galaxy reports:

The paradox that findings such as these bring up, is that consumerism is good for the economy but bad for the individual. In the short run, it’s good for the economy when young people believe they need to buy an entirely new wardrobe every year, for example. But the hidden cost is much higher than the dollar amount. There are costs in happiness when people believe that their value is extrinsic. There are also environmental costs associated with widespread materialism.

In the book “Happiness: Lessons From a New Science”, Richard Layard exposes a paradox at the heart of our lives. Most of us want more income so we can consume more. Yet as societies become richer, they do not become happier. In fact, the First World has more depression, more alcoholism and more crime than fifty years ago. This paradox is true of Britain, the United States, continental Europe and Japan.

So what do we do about this paradox? Do we stop buying things we don't need and "crash the economy?" Could our culture really trade empty materialism for a chance at happiness? I know for me, materialism does not matter as much to me now as it used to. Sure, I like nice things, but I'm aware that nothing external is going to make me happy, that has to come from within. The problem is that there are so many temptations out there, especially living in New York City.

Yet as December gets closer and closer, there's really nothing that I "want" or "need." I asked my girlfriend to take me to a basketball game, but I forgot that I won't be in town when the Lakers play the Knicks, so that's out. Other than that, I just want to spend time with the people I love and that (in small doses of course) is what makes me happy.

Drivers' Licenses For All!

I love this out, heavy sarcasm ahead!

Can Spitzer Make It All Go Away?

Finally, Eliot Spitzer has rescinded his bid to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. I was personally in favor of it, just as Hillary was or wasn't in his camp as well. Despite the Governor's good idea, he presented it in spectacularly bad form, since he managed to piss everyone off and throw his poll ratings in the crapper. Now he says he didn't choose to abandon the program out of principle.

From The New York Times:

The governor, who is to announce the move formally on Wednesday, said in an interview Tuesday night that he did not reach the decision easily. “You have perhaps seen me struggle with it because I thought we had a principled decision, and it’s not necessarily easy to back away from trying to move a debate forward,” he said.

But he came to believe the proposal would ultimately be blocked, he said, either by legal challenges, a vote by the Legislature to deny funding for the Department of Motor Vehicles or a refusal by upstate county clerks to carry it out.

“I am not willing to fight to the bitter end on something that will not ultimately be implemented,” the governor said, “and we also have an enormous agenda on other issues of great importance to New York State that was being stymied by the constant and almost singular focus on this issue.”

For a while there it seemed like he was going to go to the 'bitter end' with this but apparently the negative publicity that reached national proportions has gotten to be too much for the first term Governor. Even though his fight is over, the effects could linger for weeks, months or conceivably his entire term. For a man swept into Albany with tremendous popularity, he is certainly going to have to try hard to win back public support in New York.

NYC Police Union Disses Rudy

Isn't it amusing that while Rudy enjoys great poll numbers nation wide his ratings here in New York continue to drop as people recall what type of Mayor he really was? Sometimes you can romanticize about a political figure in the past even though he beat you several dozen times. Well some people that took those beatings still remember him and aren't taking it lying down. The local firefighter union has already come out against him, now it is the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association's turn.

From The Gothamist:

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch issued a statement blaming the former mayor for not giving cops raises ("zeroes for heroes" contract) and essentially creating the recruiting/retainment problems the NYPD has. And then there's what the PBA thinks about Giuliani's 9/11 record:

Giuliani has wrapped himself firmly in the cloak of 9/11 for his own political purposes. But the real heroes of 9/11, those who helped to evacuate those towers and lived to tell the tale and all those who participated in the recovery and cleanup, know the truth. Rudy Giuliani has no real credentials as a terrorism fighter. His only credentials lie in managing the cleanup after a terror attack. The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association could never support Rudy Giuliani for any elected office.

Yeah, that's right, the cops don't like him either, Mr. I cleaned up New York.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We're Paying How Much !?!?!?!?

$1,500,000,000.00 = $20,000 per household.....and almost all of it is on credit. Bush has the gall to claim that Democrats are spending money like a teenager with a credit card yet he is refinancing the house for the seventh time. This war of words must end, we have to punish Bush now and make it hurt.

Attack On The Flying Rats

The flying rats (more commonly known as pigeons or Columbiformes if you want to go all Latin) that soar, shit and roost all over the city have never been the object of most New Yorkers' sympathy. No one has really ever done anything about them except bitch and moan....until now. Councilman Simcha Felder is on the prowl and wants to appoint a pigeon czar to take care of the problem. So what does his leader in the council have to say about all of this?

From The Daily News:

"I am not a fan of pigeons. No, I have no love of pigeons at all. I find them to be flying rats, and I have very little use for pigeons. But I don’t want to comment on the legislation, and I will not let my personal pigeon position impact my professional pigeon position, which I will be taking later upon review of the pigeon possibilities in the legislation. And that’s my full use of alliteration for the day."

You got to hand it to Christine for her wittiness. She hasn't taken any position as of yet on Felder's proposals, so we'll have to see where it goes from here. The media likes to spotlight this story because of its oddity factor, I'd like to post on it to again show the absurdity of our council and the crap (no, not pigeon shit) that comes out of the 51 member body. Can we please focus on more pressing matters than addressing 'flying rats?' Seriously whats next, mice and rat czars?

Defending Predators?

The NYT Cityroom has a great piece up this afternoon on myths and realities of payday lenders. They highlight two different websites, one an outlet for the industry and another that parodies it. I'm not sure which one does a better job of making me laugh, the one that is trying to be humorous or the industry trying to keep a straight face.

From NYT's Cityroom:

There is a new Web site today, which I’ll get to in a moment. But first you should check out the site it is parodying, from the Community Financial Services Association of America – otherwise known as the Payday Lenders.

On the Myth v. Reality page, you will find:

“Myth: Payday loans are extremely expensive and have exorbitant interest rates.

“Reality: Payday loans are two-week loans — not annual loans! Industry critics quote the “390% annual percentage rate” to misrepresent the truth and to help make their case. The typical fee charged by payday lenders is $15 per $100 borrowed, or a simple 15 percent for a two-week duration. The only way to reach the triple digit APRs quoted by critics is to roll the two-week loan over 26 times (a full year). This is unrealistic considering that many states do not even allow one rollover. In states that do permit rollovers, CFSA members limit rollovers to four or the state limit—whichever is less.”

It then goes on to calculate annual percentage rates for banks charging exorbitant bounced check fees or credit card late fees on a $100 loan or charge. They range up to 1,409 percent. So, it concludes, “the high APR of payday loans pales in comparison to the realistic alternatives considered by consumers.”

I guess the above quote is funny in a sad way. They really try hard to sound believable, even when all of this is coming straight from some marketing professional's ass. The parody site, Predatory Lending Association is more clean cut and direct in their 'predatory analysis.' Be sure to check out the PLA's site, there is so much snarky goodness inside.

This Is What We Are Dealing With

The hate on the right is well known, but this video clip shows just how far it goes. They call Hillary, Barack, Edwards and the rest spiteful names...our side has them too I'm sure. Yet McCain's response shows the difference between our side and theirs.

O'Reilly Versus Stark, Bill Raises The Stakes

The feud between propagandist and wingnut extraordinaire Bill O'Reilly and blogger Mike Stark has been going on for quite sometime now. Stark calls in to Bill's radio show (among other wingnuts) to make a mockery of what Bill O represents. I must say that Stark excels at what he does.

In August O'Reilly sent a minion after the CEO of JetBlue at his home for sponsoring YearlyKos, so Stark went one for one and went to Bill's home over in Long Island. Stark told O'Reilly's neighbors about the sexual harassment lawsuit that Bill settled for millions with an ex-producer of his show. Now O'Reilly is trying to hit Mike personally, by expressing grievances with the dean of Stark's law school in Virginia.

From RawStory:

The letter to Stark's dean claims his actions "may constitute criminal harassment" under New York law, and it warns that a civil lawsuit could be headed Stark's way, he told RAW STORY.

While he acknowledges that some may take issue with his tactics, Stark said the letter was more about damaging his personal reputation than raising any serious legal concerns. He has followed up with a letter to Fox News CEO Roger Ailes requesting an apology "for the attempt to harass and intimidate me at my school place," but he's received no response from Fox.

"Ms. Brandi’s false and malicious assertions have the potential to redound to Fox’s negative benefit," Stark wrote to the network chief, "and Mr. O’Reilly’s bizarre abuse of the legal process reflects poorly upon the Fox News brand."

Oh Mike, that brand is long past saving. Don't hold your breath for any sort of an apology from Ailes or anyone else at Fox News.

Will There Be An Alaska Left When The FBI Is Done?

Alaskans may not have to pay an income tax to their state government, but there's an implicit arrangement that the constituents have little or no say in comparison to the oil interests that indirectly pays their royalty check every year. The tale of corruption in the giant state to the north is seemingly consuming every politician from Juneau to Nome. The stories uncovered by the FBI is quite a sight to see.

From The Washington Post:

ANCHORAGE -- When the FBI came looking for corruption in Alaska politics, it found an excellent perch in Suite 604 of the Baranof Hotel in Juneau, the state capital. There, a profane septuagenarian named Bill Allen did business throughout a 2006 special session called to set taxes on the oil industry. With hundred-dollar bills in his front pocket for ease of access when lawmakers turned up with their hands out, the oil-services company executive turned in a bravura performance before the pinhole camera that federal agents installed opposite his favorite chair.

"Let me count first here," Allen said, shushing a former statehouse speaker as he counted out a bribe in video footage entered as evidence in the lawmaker's September trial, one of several crowding the docket of the federal court here.

On another tape, Pete Kott, the former Republican speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, crowed as he described beating back a tax bill opposed by oil companies. "I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie," Kott said. "Exxon's happy. BP's happy. I'll sell my soul to the devil."

"Well, that will stay in this room," one lobbyist said as a midnight session wound down.

Since this is a quote from the WaPo via the FBI, it most certainly did not stay in the room. Alaskans always knew that the government was corrupt, but never to the degree that was uncovered. It paints an ugly image of politics (even for politics) in sub-Arctic state that begs the question, can it be reformed?

Changing the governor's office was a good start last year, but that is only a drop in the bucket for Alaska. Getting rid of the Stevens family among others is vital, but more importantly, the oil industry needs to be corralled, up there, across the country and around the world.

Meant To Be Scary

Tom exploits the tried and true Republican tactic of using fear to persuade people with this ad. Yet I just can't stop laughing at how ridiculous it is, especially due to the narrator's voice. How's Tom doing in those national polls anyways?

CA Dems Start To Turn On Feinstein

The spotlight on Dianne Feinstein in the last couple of weeks has not just drawn the ire of this NY blogger but a coalition of the CA Democratic Party.

The Courage Campaign is seeking to censure the conservative Democrat at the upcoming state party executive meeting. Many progressives consider her an old-fashioned DINO and her support for Mukasey as AG and to give the telecom companies retroactive immunity for their complicit crimes of spying on customers for the Bush Administration. She should definitely be held accountable for her actions and this is a good first step before running someone against her in the next primary.

From The Huffington Post:

"Dianne Feinstein does not listen to the people of California," said Rick Jacobs, president of the Courage Campaign, a progressive organization in California. "She supports George Bush's agenda time after time."

Feinstein's office did not respond to messages seeking comment.

East Bay For Democracy, a chartered Democratic Club outside San Francisco, will introduce the censure motion on Saturday at the state party's executive board meeting in Anaheim. The Governing Board of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party and the Progressive Democrats of America are also backing the measure.

In addition to her move to back Mukasey, critics have lashed out at her decision last month to vote to confirm Judge Leslie Southwick to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Southwick's opponents charged that his record on the bench in Mississippi demonstrated that he was both racist and homophobic. The Congressional Black Caucus, Human Rights Campaign and People for the American Way opposed his nomination.

It is tough to say if the state party will approve the measure, since there are always those old timers in state party organizations that do not want to 'upset the balance of things' per say. What is known is that she deserves this censure because she does not represent her constituents and hardly resembles an elected official that stands up for the principles of most Democrats.

Criminal Investigation Opened On SF Bay Oil Spill

Although the SF Bay spill is no where near the size of what has happened in the Black Sea, 58,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil that is currently floating around the Bay Area is causing unconscionable damage to the sea life of the region. Six days after the fact, we are finding troubling reports that the Coast Guard was slow to act and the Federal authorities were also dragging their feet to open a criminal investigation.

From Democracy Now:

AMY GOODMAN: We are broadcasting from San Francisco, where a criminal investigation has been opened into the 58,000-gallon spill of heavy bunker fuel into the San Francisco Bay. The spill took place when a container ship slammed into the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Wednesday -- the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Coast Guard officials acknowledged on Friday that they had waited over four hours before notifying the public of the magnitude of the spill. They previously reported a leak of just 140 gallons.

The oil spill has shut down over a dozen beaches and killed at least sixty birds. Ecologists warn it could take months to clean up and that it threatens the Bay's diverse ecosystem, including several endangered species.

Environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth and San Francisco Baykeeper have condemned the ecological impact of the spill and the slowness of the official response. They're also calling for a ban on the shipping industry’s use of the heavily polluting bunker fuel, which they say is a thousand times worse for the environment than highway diesel.

Amy's interview with Sejal Choksi who runs the SF Baykeeper organization provides a wealth of information on what the damage to the environment is and how important it is to keep these types of fuels away from our ecosystem. Choksi is petitioning Congress to ban bunker fuel from being used in ships that dock in our ports. Help him out and call your member of Congress today.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Olbermann Talks To Greenwald About Fox's "Decency"

The NYPD Abuse No One Blinks An Eye At

Does 9/11 really change everything? I know Bush says so, his Republican counterparts and anyone that wants to put security in front of liberty. I'm not talking about common sense things here, when I'm in Israel I expect someone to wave one of those bomb-detecting wands before I walk in any store. We don't need it here, but if we did....well lets hope it doesn't get that bad, besides Israel is nothing like the situation in the United States.

My problem is when police accost citizens for doing things that have nothing to do with security and all about showing their authority when it is completely unnecessary, like what happened to this blogger when taking panoramic pictures on the subway platform in Queens. A few plainclothes cops came up and started asking questions without any good reason for it.

From Telescreen:

He asks me for ID, and I show him my driver's license, and one of the other cops writes down my information. The lead officer, the one who's been doing all the talking, says he "can see that I'm just a little railroad buff" and that I'm not doing anything wrong. I tell him that I'm really more of a New York City buff and photography buff than a transit buff (I found his phrasing patronizing, but wasn't going to tell him that), show him my sightseeing-guide license, and tell him that I understand why he stopped me and wanted to find out what I was doing, and that I didn't mind. I also tell him that we're all on the same side here -- I go all over New York City to shoot pictures, and that the NYPD should cultivate good relations with street photographers like me, since we're well-poised to alert the cops if we see something truly suspicious.

One of the other cops asks me if I put my photos online, saying that he's heard that sometimes train buffs contribute photos to a website with pictures of the subway. I reply that I'm not a part of a website like that, but that I do put my photos on the Web. He says "oh, like a Flickr account or something?" and I allow that yes, I do have a Flickr account. (I was surprised he didn't ask me for the URL.) The cops then went on their way.

I shot a couple more pictures, but my heart wasn't really in it, and I just wanted to go home. The encounter really rattled me; the officers weren't abusive or hostile, but getting questioned unexpectedly by three plainclothes cops is, in a word, intimidating. The lieutenant had that very direct, I'm-totally-in-control-of-this-situation attitude that cops tend to have, and I just knew that in any interaction with the police, one false move can mean ruining your whole day/weekend, even if you're completely in the right.

The personal account goes on, saying that in hindsight and with some web surfing you can find out that one does not have to give their information to the police 'just because.' Cops need probable cause, no ifs, ands or buts. No one likes being the center of attention of police officers, especially when you have done nothing wrong, as was the case for this innocent blogger/photographer. Is this what "9/11" has done to us, given too much authority for the police to boss around ordinary people? Why do we have to feel like we are doing something wrong when there is absolutely no logical reason for it?

Vets Banned From Veterans Day Parade

In liberal Los Angeles (or specifically Long Beach,CA) the Veterans Day Parade Committee denied veterans who are against the war from marching in the local parade. Instead of representing all vets, the event turned out to be a dog and pony show, where only those who agreed with the views of the organizers got to participate.


LOS ANGELES - Antiwar veterans who attempted to march in a Veterans Day Parade Saturday in Long Beach were banned by organizers who said the parade is supposed to thank veterans and not serve as a political demonstration. Slideshow: Long Beach Veterans Day Parade Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out were prevented from joining the annual parade down Atlantic Avenue and restricted to a nearby parking lot, officials said. Organizers said the groups were trying to push a political agenda at an event to honor veterans. Earlier this week, the Veterans Day Parade Committee rejected their applications to participate, according to the Long Beach Press- Telegram. "This is not a political event, this is a time to come and just say thank you to all veterans," said Long Beach City Councilman Val Lerch, who also was on the parade committee.

MSNBC's quick article, titled "The Beat Goes On" mostly gave the opinions of those that supported the antiwar vets being kicked out of the parade. One differing opinion was given, but even that was preempted by mentioning that the committee was a non-profit organization. The leaders of this show claimed that they do not want a political agenda being pushed on their parade, yet they unknowingly, unwittingly and ignorantly show their politics in the process.

Will Ron Paul Support Impeachment?

Paul talked to students last week about limited government and what the constitution is supposed to be about. To him, the purpose of our cherished document is to preserve liberty and restrain the government. Well under Bush, our liberties have been hampered and now it is time to restrain the Executive in our government. It is written in there that when confronted with a tyrant, we must impeach him out of office.

So what say you Ron?

Bush Flip-Flopped On Iraq Invasion

We already know that Cheney thought it would be a bad idea to invade and occupy Iraq, but now it seems that his monkey George Jr. had the same sentiments. Back in 1997, George offered the same excuses for his father's decision to leave Iraq quickly as Darth Vader did a few years before. Will the President have a response to this newly-spotlit information (besides saying "9/11"), and do reporters have the strength to ask the question?

From Editor and Publisher:

"There are a lot of Americans (who say), 'Why didn't you go get him?'" Bush told the Express-News back in 1997, according to Christenson. "Well, I'm confident that losing men and women as a result of sniper fire inside of Baghdad would have turned the tide of public opinion very quickly," Bush added.

Bush said efforts to ferret out Saddam from his many Baghdad hideouts would have transformed the battle from a desert conflict to an unpopular "guerrilla war," Chistenson recalled.

He added: "Neither Bush nor his son expressed regret in the 1997 interviews over the failure of U.S. forces to pursue and destroy the Iraqi army's Republican Guard."

I don't care if they regret it or not, I want to hear an explanation, that can be interpreted in the reality-based community. As Christenson's article goes on to say, the Bush Administration's excuse for the turn-around is 9/11, so we can forget about rationality here.

MTA Doesn't Care What You Think

The MTA board meetings to hear what the public thinks about fare increases is in full swing now. The only problem is that the board isn't showing up.

Plenty of New Yorkers are coming to voice their concerns about how devastating the increase will be. Dozens of politicians have spoken up, talking about giving the MTA what it needs at the state level. The MTA's response is to act like they are tone-deaf. Sure, Hemmerdinger says they aren't, but actions speak louder than words.

From The Daily News:

MTA board member attendance at last week's fare-hike hearings was a dismal 50% or less - with as few as two of the 16 voting members turning up to listen to riders' concerns, a Daily News review shows.

Last Monday in Brooklyn, six Metropolitan Transportation Authority voting members showed up to listen to riders upset by proposed fare and toll hikes - the third since 2003.

Wednesday in Queens, only three of the bigwigs were there.

Thursday in Manhattan, five voting members were present.

The chairs weren't empty. The dais was filled with top MTA staffers, including NYC Transit President Howard Roberts, and board members who don't vote.

So not only did they not bother to show up in significant numbers, they tried fooling the public on top of it. Now that takes real class, for all of them. I don't care if Nancy Shevell is bothered by the press coverage surrounding her new Beatles love. She is responsible to the people of New York first, her ego can come second. The rest of the truants have no excuse either.

What Attracts Flies Again?


I'd Love To See Obama Supporters Defend Barack Over The Third Rail

If any liberal has followed politics in America in the last few years, they can tell you that times were down and out until George Bush screwed with the unscrewable. The third rail is something you never touch on a train track and absolutely stay away from when a government program is considered as such.

When the President and his minions tried to privatize social security, they began to lose and lose big. It was George's first defeat and now it is one of many, especially with a Democratic majority in the Congress. Although Bush was doing spectacular damage to our nation from January of 2001, it was the social security debate that pulled the wool from the country's collective eyes.

So if any Obama supporters can tell me why Barack is buying into the right-wing hype that social security is a growing problem that must be addressed with increasing taxes for the slightly upper middle class (something wingers will pound us for), please let me know. If you are shocked that your candidate would do such a thing and the first thing that comes to mind is how to spin this so you can justify your support for him....please do not do that, just take a step back and realize that there are eight candidates in the race and that Barack isn't the only anti-Hillary.

We all know what the real problem is behind those increasing social security costs and Paul Krugman can tell you why.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Twenty Five Years Later And Its Time For A New Wall

Today marked the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam War Memorial on the western side of the Mall in Washington. Twenty five years later, we need to build a new one. We have lost nearly four thousand soldiers in something almost as pointless as the Vietnam War. I say 'nearly' because we lost so many more young men in Southeast Asia in the 60s and 70s as compared to the mere 4,000 in Iraq this decade. That is not to trivialize anyone's death, certainly it is the ultimate sacrifice to give your life for one's country, even if the war is pointless.

That war was predicated on a lie just as the one started in 2003. As we celebrate today and tomorrow with parades, Google's army helmets and other remembrances, it is of the utmost importance that we not only pay homage to our veterans of wars past, but of the current one waging as I type these words. Men are being emotionally scarred, physically wounded and killed for absolutely no good reason. The "War on Terr" is just a slogan used by Bush and his propagandists to fuel the military-industrial complex and their own greed.

Just as veterans, family and friends come to make pilgrimage to the Vietnam Memorial, so will they to the Iraq Memorial twenty-five years from now. The only difference is that we have a choice on how many names are going to be put on the latest symbol of sacrifice.

Didn't We Win This One Already?

Not since 2001 have we lost six soldiers in a single day in the land of Afghanistan. Insurgents attacked them with rocket propelled grenades and arms fire, killing nine in all. Wasn't this supposed to be a part of the 'Mission Accomplished' banner President Bush stood in front of so many years ago?

Theocracy Run Amok

When it comes to outright lunacy, it is hard to figure out which Republican Presidential candidate deserves the title. They all say such ridiculous things, like who can screw up the Constitution more to supposedly protect our safety and how we live in a Christian Nation (thanks for making me feel like I belong Mr. McCain). Huckabee's latest quote deserves mention, since it is so absurd I don't know where to begin with tearing it down.

From CBN News:

"People look at my record and say that I’m as strong on immigration, strong on terror as anybody. In fact I think I’m stronger than most people because I truly understand the nature of the war that we are in with Islamo fascism. These are people that want to kill us. It’s a theocratic war. And I don’t know if anybody fully understands that. I’m the only guy on that stage with a theology degree. I think I understand it really well. And know the threat of it is absolutely overwhelming to us. As a president, nobody’s going to be stronger on building border security, not having amnesty, no sanctuary cities, having a process in place that forces a process that is legal. When it comes to national security, I understand that the threat that we face is not about our grandchildren having better homes and better cars, it’s about whether they’re going to have a breath and a pulse."

Sounds more like a fire and brimstone declaration than any coherent policy on how to combat terrorism. How a theocracy degree can protect anyone from terrorist is insane. What is he going to do, debate them at the Interfaith center? As for not providing amnesty or sanctuary....what exactly did he learn at his theology school?