Saturday, January 12, 2008

Don't Listen To All The Critics, Listen To Me!!!

It's getting pretty pathetic on the Giuliani campaign, hopefully this should all be over by Jan 29th when Florida gives him a 3rd or 4th or....5th place finish.

Friday, January 11, 2008

WTF Is Wrong With Andrew Cuomo

The raging debate today going on at DailyKos has to do with one of New York's top politicians. Andrew Cuomo is no stranger to controversy here in NY but now he has outdone himself across the country by making a racially charged remark. He claims that it was taken out of context when he used the phrase "shuck and jive" against Obama, saying that he said nice things about the candidate and that he's a great symbol. What a bunch of bullshit. Is anyone buying this bastard's BS?

From Jack and Jill:

Hat tip:

Dept. of word choice

A prominent New York Clinton supporter, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, on how Hillary beat Obama in New Hampshire by beating him at retail politics:

”It’s not a TV-crazed race. Frankly you can’t buy your way into it,” Cuomo said. “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference,” he added. “All those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room.”
Are you going to tell me THAT isn't racial? SHUCK AND JIVE? How come it seems as if, we repeatedly get these statements coming from the Clintons, and/or their surrogates, and then we're either given a phony apology, or we're told we 'misinterpreted' it. English is the PRIMARY language of the Black community. We understand it when we hear it, and don't need anyone else to interpret it for us. But, oh yeah, we're ' imagining' it.

Jack and Jill isn't imagining anything here. Before Cuomo became Attorney General here, he was a member of Bill Clinton's cabinet and of course the son of the former Governor. He's got quite a page on wikipedia, but this is the first time we've heard a comment out of him like this. Shame on Andrew for sinking this low for the Clintons.

Chris Matthews Has His Panties All In A Bunch

How's that for a little gender joke Chris? You like to make fun of women like Hillary and conduct yourself in a crude manner around women on your show, well why don't you just shove it. Turns out your 'friend' on the election night specials has saved the network from your inane commentary and an executive at MSNBC has sold you down the river.

From MediaBistro:

If MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann were to write a book about Office Politics 101, he'd call it "Do As I Write, Not As I Did for 20 Years." Olbermann discusses office politics and other issues in the February issue of Men's Journal magazine, out yesterday.

In the interview with Paul Tullis, one focus is Olbermann's habit of, "trashing people publicly, even his employers."

But he seems to be doing well for himself in the office now. Tullis cites a senior executive at MSNBC, who says, "Keith runs MSNBC. It's been an amazing turnaround, because two years ago they were going to cancel him. Because of his success, he's in charge. Chris Matthews is infuriated by it."

The article also touches on Olbermann's goals, in the context of his main competition, Fox News Channel. "I'd like it to be the accurate counterweight to Fox. My attitude is not to counterbalance them because they're conservatives; it's counterbalancing because some of their stuff is outlandishly in violation of every tenet of responsible broadcasting," he says.

Awww, why so upset Chrissy? Is that bruised ego of yours actually bigger than your fat head? Get over it quick, or (hopefully) you'll find yourself out of a job.

So How's That Surge Going?

Olbermann takes a look at the surge, one year later:

When Hell Freezes Over

The cliche above is often meant for one person to use a certain type of sarcasm against another, implying that something will never happen. Well to be fair, nothing froze in Baghdad, but it did snow in the Iraqi capital today. No one can really recall anything like this happening for decades. Is it just a freak and bizarre occurrence, or a sign from up above?

From Yahoo News:

Although the white flakes quickly dissolved into gray puddles, they brought an emotion rarely expressed in this desert capital snarled by army checkpoints, divided by concrete walls and ravaged by sectarian killings — delight.

"For the first time in my life I saw a snow-rain like this falling in Baghdad," said Mohammed Abdul-Hussein, a 63-year-old retiree from the New Baghdad area.

"When I was young, I heard from my father that such rain had fallen in the early '40s on the outskirts of northern Baghdad," Abdul-Hussein said, referring to snow as a type of rain. "But snow falling in Baghdad in such a magnificent scene was beyond my imagination."

It snows up in the north in the Kurdish areas, but never down in the desert. For once, the snow actually brought calm to the city. No violence was reported late into the afternoon. Isn't it amazing that little water crystals falling from the sky can bring peace where the U.S. military and Iraqi government has miserably failed.

I only wish it snowed more often there.

Happy Anniversary Guantanamo!

Isn't it amazing how we've stuck together after all of these years. All of the torture, dehumanization, stripping of habeus corpus and destroying the Constitution. It sure has been good times for the Bush Administration and their one and only Guantanamo Bay facility. In most loving relationships those around them seek to foster more good years to come, but I'd rather pledge for the two to be divorced immediately and commit Guantanamo so that no one gets hurt from this day forward.

In all seriousness, six years is far too long for the U.S. to condone torture and prohibit the due process of law for the detainees on our military base in Cuba. Six years ago today the military brought the first 20 men over and since then hundreds more to follow. Many of these detainees were sold to the military from Pakistan and local warlords to profit off of the "war on terror." Many have never even seen a court room, let alone the evidence that is supposedly holding them away from their families and their country.

Today, New Yorkers will be praying during the lunch hour down at Foley Square for this sad chapter of American history to come to an end. Across the country, from Maine to Hawaii, Americans are standing up and having their voices heard. Will George Bush listen? Of course not, but the candidates hear us and while some want to double or triple Guantanamo, thankfully all of the Democratic candidates pledge to shut down the facility along with some of the Republicans.

It'll be a great day when we won't have to commiserate over a seventh anniversary for these terrible two.

Ron Paul The Racist?

CNN's Anderson Cooper did a big story on Ron Paul's highly controversial newsletters from the late 80s and early 90s the other day. It goes the terrible things that are said in there, but never really got to the bottom of the story. When Ron Paul was confronted about them, he claims he has no idea who wrote them and doesn't feel like investigating who did. Let the past be the past? That's bullshit, this is the race to be President, Paul better expect this to be dragged out until he either comes clean about what was written or slowly die out on the campaign trail.

Seriously Ronnie, expose the writer if it wasn't you.

Another Shocker From The President

The country was riveted to their television screens multiple times in 2006 and 2007 when the media descended upon mines across the country like Sago and Crandall Canyon to see if rescuers could save several miners trapped in what was claimed to be an earthquake (though that is under dispute). When hope ran out people demanded action, they wanted the President to come to the mining community's aid and make sure that the tragedy we saw wouldn't happen again. Remember that? Well guess what's happened since?

From the AFL-CIO:

U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao missed the Dec. 15 deadline to issue new federal rules for better trained mine rescue teams at the nation’s coal mines. The Charleston Gazette reports:

The rules are still not finalized and are sitting at the White House, under review by the Office of Management and Budget.

In 2006, spurred by what would become the highest coal mine death toll since 1996—including the deaths of 19 coal miners at the Sago, Aracoma and Darby mines in West Virginia and Kentucky—Congress passed and President Bush signed the MINER Act that mandated several mine safety improvements, including rescue teams.

The June 2006 mine law gave the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 18 months to finalize the new rescue rules. It took the safety agency 15 months to write the proposed rules and now the Bush administration says it can’t provide a timeline for issuing them.

Are you surprised nothing got done? You better not be when it comes to George Bush protecting his friends in the mining industry. Speaking of those friends who make their money off of the blood of dead miners....

Meanwhile, Bush once again circumvented Congress and reinstated MSHA administrator Richard Stickler to head the agency. Stickler, a former coal company executive, twice failed to win Senate confirmation, but in late 2006, with Congress out of session, Bush used a recess appointment to install Stickler in the post, officially known as the assistant labor secretary for mine safety and health.

The recess appointment expired at the end of 2007. In a somewhat bizarre chain of events, MSHA removed Stickler’s bio from the agency’s website and announced Jan. 3 that Stickler’s assistant was the acting assistant secretary. But his tenure was brief: On Jan. 4, Bush named Stickler the new acting assistant secretary, a move that does not require congressional approval and is likely to last until the end of Bush’s term. After press reports that Stickler’s bio had been removed, it’s now back online.

Yep, that's right, George Bush does not care about those dead miners, their families or the thousands more that are still in the mines day in, day out. As long as people like Richard Stickler can make a profit, no one in George's Administration really gives a damn.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Forget FISA "Security," It Really Is All About The Money

Remember how the Democrats were accused of being weak on national security for objecting to the new FISA laws Bush wanted for limitless spying? He told us it was absolutely necessary for him to have his way to wiretap anyone he pleases, because you know we all could be terrorists.

Well as Chris Dodd fights against retroactive immunity for the telecommunications industry that acted as co-conspirators in Bush's illegal wiretapping, the telecoms have done something that comes from far left field. It turns out they are shutting off some of the FBI's wiretaps. Now why would they do something to endanger America and embolden the terrorists?

From The Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON—Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.

A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. Poor supervision of the program also allowed one agent to steal $25,000, the audit said.

In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation "was halted due to untimely payment," the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies.

So potentially useful evidence has stopped being recorded because the FBI can't pay their AT&T or Verizon bill? The phone companies (save for Qwest) were best buds with the Bush Administration when they thought they'd be making bank by allowing the government to wiretap everybody. Now that they realize the FBI is too incompetent to pay their bills, the new policy is f**k em.

Such is Corporate America in 2008, there isn't even a false sense of patriotism left at these companies.

Huckabee Goes On Colbert For Another Bounce

The interview is hilarious, even of Huckabee's positions can be downright scary. Once again, Huckabee promised Colbert the VP bid if he wins the nomination, damn I almost want the Huckster to get the GOP's nod to see Colbert run. Or maybe the Gov is just saying that because he doesn't think he stands a chance.

Big Media Says Free Speech be Damned On The Internets

It really is a constant battle trying to save free speech against corporate America these days. Companies like AT&T, NBC, Verizon and a whole slew of them seem to have a never-ending thirst to see their customers be stripped of their rights from the First Amendment while using the Internet. The latest salvo concerns network-level filtering, a tool the corporations want to use in order to stop any possible "copyright infringement." What that really does is stop free speech like parody and the people's right to discuss specific pieces of content while online.

From The NY Times:

Network-level filtering means your Internet service provider – Comcast, AT&T, EarthLink, or whoever you send that monthly check to – could soon start sniffing your digital packets, looking for material that infringes on someone’s copyright.[...]

“We are very interested in a technology based solution and we think a network-based solution is the optimal way to approach this,” he said. “We recognize we are not there yet but there are a lot of promising technologies. But we are having an open discussion with a number of content companies, including NBC Universal, to try to explore various technologies that are out there.”

Internet civil rights organizations oppose network-level filtering, arguing that it amounts to Big Brother monitoring of free speech, and that such filtering could block the use of material that may fall under fair-use legal provisions — uses like parody, which enrich our culture.

Now why would media giants be so concerned about what goes on the Internet if they aren't going to make a dime anyways? Of course the writers of said content say otherwise, and helpfully explain the producers' excuses and the reality of new media, all in one wiki!

Perhaps they might want to add this net neutrality piece, showing that the networks really do care about every dime they make off the net, and the millions they are willing to spend to protect those shiny pieces of money.

When Is Enough Enough For Blackwater?

While we pay our troops shit for serving over in Iraq, Blackwater mercenaries have been making ridiculous amounts of money with no shortage of controversy. First it was the four contractors killed in Falluja and then we found out they killed civilians without a care in the world. Plenty of outrage was expressed, by the American people and even some in the Congress. At one point even their overlords at the State Department said they'd do something about the problem. Of course that was just a bunch of hot air.

Now we have discovered that Blackwater "accidentally" gassed our own troops. You want outrage? You got it. Accusations? They're coming. You want something to actually be done about it? We'll see.

From The NY Times:

Suddenly, on that May day in 2005, the copter dropped CS gas, a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders. An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint.

“This was decidedly uncool and very, very dangerous,” Capt. Kincy Clark of the Army, the senior officer at the scene, wrote later that day. “It’s not a good thing to cause soldiers who are standing guard against car bombs, snipers and suicide bombers to cover their faces, choke, cough and otherwise degrade our awareness.”

Gassing our own troops with a chemical that has been banned by international treaty is a war crime. Forget "uncool," these mercenaries should be tried in the Hague. So should the people that give them political cover from the Bush Administration. Blackwater's PR machine was quick to react of course, saying “It seems a CS gas canister was mistaken for a smoke canister and released near an intersection and checkpoint.”

Excuse me? They mistook them for smoke canisters? Are you f*%ing joking? What about the armored vehicle on the ground? Looks like that press release forgot to address ALL of the facts.

I'm sure there will be a modification to that statement, so that they can escape blame and "earn" some more of those billion dollar contracts. Where the hell is the accountability here? Congressman Waxman, these killers need to be stopped, the privatization of our military is going to destroy the institution. Put Blackwater, CACI, Halliburton and the rest out of business and let the military do its job.

It Isn't A Sexist Thing

The misogynists out there are really starting to make me sick. People like Matthews gives sympathy to Hillary for being attacked because she is a woman. For the progressives out there (including myself) we are sick of seeing the personal attacks on her. This race should be about issues and who can lead our country out of the dark days of the Bush Administration. Hillary is obsessed with winning, Edwards (and possibly Obama) care about the bigger picture, not just themselves.

Glenn Beck Gets It Up The Ass In More Ways Than One

After Glenn Beck posted that slightly disturbing video of himself last week on YouTube, he finally gave us the full story about his terrible ordeal at the hospital. Glenn had to have hemorrhoid surgery, removing what must be an extremely painful piece from where we most often confuse for his mouth. He said his doctors were initially great, but complications from the medications helped to show him and his wife Tania the callousness of our nation's Emergency Rooms.

From ABC News:

"When we got to the ER there was such a lack of compassion. I've never seen anything like it," Beck said. "

Tania carried her husband and held him up as they waited for help, Beck said. Two nurses briefly came out and spoke to the couple. Then an exacerbated triage nurse greeted the two, Beck added.

"He never even made eye contact with me," Beck said.

Finally another nurse, who noticed Tania carrying her spouse, rushed to the couple and asked them whether they needed help.

While my heart goes out to them for seeing that life in the ER isn't the same as on NBC's show. For the longest time this conservative commentator would mock and lambast anyone that talked ill of the nation's health care system. Being Glenn Beck, he always did it in the most annoying fashion (probably why hardly anyone watches the show in the first place). Now that he is making some headlines over this, perhaps he has learned that things aren't going as well as his neo-con buddies says it is. Time will tell, but I'd still rather CNN pull his ass (no pun intended) off the air before having to find out.

Oh and by the way, I hope that diaper comes off soon ;-)

Nine Eleven Nine Eleven Nine Eleven

I could write that headline over and over again in the body of this text and it would say the same exact material Rudy used in his latest Op-Ed featured in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. He certainly picked the write editorial section for his ramblings, since the regular staff isn't much better, in fact they are probably even worse when it comes to competence and talking about the reality of current events. The blueprint for homeland security in the resilient society is a pathetic attempt to stay relevant while he has accrued a 5th and 4th place finish so far in the respective Iowa and New Hampshire elections.

The Gothamist picks a choice quote from his writing and offers a reminder:

His poor showing in the first two political showdowns makes his Wall Street Journal opinion column all the more interesting. Today, Giuliani outlines
"A blueprint for homeland security" in "The Resilient Society". And yes, September 11 gets name-checked a number of time in the 3500+ word essay. Here's part of it:
One reason New York City was able to withstand the 9/11 attack was that we were prepared to meet 21st-century security threats. As mayor of New York, in the spring of 1996, I established the Office of Emergency Management. We drilled and planned for various threats--anthrax, chemical weapons, hurricanes and airplane crashes. And while we didn't anticipate the specific scenario of 9/11, the constant practice, and the relentless follow-up from actual emergencies, certainly helped in its aftermath.
Huh. Let's review our interview with FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches, who emphasized, "[There were n]o drills at WTC from 1993 to 9/11/01. Radios failed in 1993 and again in 2001. Command center at 7 WTC. No unified command, No interoperable radios FD and PD. 911 operators telling people in South Tower to stay put even before plane hit South Tower, yet FD commanders at scene were calling for its evacuation."

Yeah there are at least a few people out there that can and will contradict Rudy's interpretation of reality. Unfortunately getting the truth through to Rudy looks impossible with that massive ego protecting him 24/7. Thankfully we don't have to do that anymore, since the voters are already doing enough damage to his campaign.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

One Order Of Crow Coming Up For Dick Morris

Dick Morris, a one-time consultant turned full time pundit (generally appearing on the network shown below said one thing before New Hampshire and another as the returns came in:

King Bush Visits The Holy Land

Our ever-so popular President has began his last year as promised, as a traveling man. He knows we don't like seeing his sorry ass here in America so he has decided to become a world traveler. He says he wishes to bring goodwill wherever he goes, but this seems like a chance for him to take a lot of free trips around the planet before we are finally rid of him in a year and eleven days from now.

His first visit is to the only democracy in the Middle East, our favorite country in the region. Israel is welcoming him with open arms and doing whatever he wishes to make the stay more comfortable. If I got over $3 billion in aid every year from the U.S. I'd lay out the red carpet too.

So what is the cost to the average Israeli citizen for this? Basically a lot of headaches. The only route from the airport to Jerusalem will be shut down for an hour so he can have a free and clear ride to the capital. Based on personal experience, I know that road can be hellish to drive and the traffic is nuts. If you think L.A. or N.Y.C. is bad to drive in, you haven't seen anything until you've been on that highway, or tried driving the streets of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv (much worse due to the bigger size).

Once he gets there he'll be staying at the King David hotel (where else?) in the $2,600 a night suite. Not only will he get all the complimentary snacks in the suite like Israeli pistachoes and date nuts (yum) they also hand out quite a few bottles of booze for those that stay in the suites. Of course that hotel bill is nothing compared to what a few seconds in Iraq costs, so I really don't mind the gold-embroidered terry cloth robe he'll be getting from the concierge. Oh and to top it off, Jerusalem will be shutting off the lights that illuminate the western exterior walls of the Old City so that he can watch the sunrise.

Must be nice!

The Nevada Gold Rush Of 2008

Miners found the Comstock Lode back in the 1860s and the rush to settle parts of Nevada went forth from there, but in 2008 the rush will be made by candidates looking for voters and delegates instead of the precious silver found near Virginia City. Nevada will be holding their caucus next Saturday and it is considered the next crucial test for the Democrats since Michigan was stripped of their delegates last year for moving too far up the primary schedule.

In response the candidates are moving en masse to the state to beef up their statewide organization, from Reno in the north to Las Vegas in the south. One of the big battles for union endorsements was won by Obama today from the Culinary Workers and the local S.E.I.U. That means he'll have crucial support from the union boots on the ground for the next ten days. The Service Employees International had a lot of internal dispute on whether to go with Obama or Edwards, but the momentum of Obama had to be a clear cut reason on why to not go with the most pro-labor candidate. Picking Obama shows they want to be rid of Hillary, a strictly political move in my mind instead of one based on principle.

Obama needed that boost in the press today after last night's let down. The spark from Clinton last night could be a dangerous one looking down the road of the primary calendar, so he'll need to get another victory soon if he wants to get the press of his back. It is insane that there is so much focus on these individual races since we do have 48 states to go, but unfortunately we live in a society that the press dictates a horse race mentality. Hopefully we can stop them soon, but for now we just need to get the best candidate nominated for the Democrats. I'm not saying it's Obama (actually I believe it is Edwards) but it definitely isn't Hillary.

The Non-Concession Concession Speech

This has already been talked about, but it was truly an inspirational speech given to Obama's supporters. It was a turn off to some Clinton supporters, but by and large, this was well received:

A Price Tag For Katrina?

Nearly two and a half years ago a medium grade Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the surrounding area wreaking havoc. Even with all of the wind and water damage, it was nothing compared to what was about to happen the next day when the levees broke. Sixteen hundred Americans perished in the most horrific natural calamity to hit the United States, ever. At this point the government has hardly done anything to help the victims of the storm. Now they want to claim their damages. Certainly the monetary cost is in the billions or hundreds of billions, but could we be talking quadrillions?


The total number — $3,014,170,389,176,410 — is the dollar figure so far sought from some 489,000 claims filed against the federal government over damage from the failure of levees and flood walls following the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane.

Of the total number of claims, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it has received 247 for at least $1 billion apiece, including the one for $3 quadrillion.

"That's the mother of all high numbers," said Loren Scott, a Baton Rouge-based economist.

The mother of all storms helped cause that number, but we know there will never be a payout that comes close to that figure. Of course you can't even put a dollar amount on the absolute human tragedy that occurred after the storm passed. The poverty, the desperation, the lack of empathy from the President and the funds that he indirectly held back from the victims, it all needs to be made up for.

Three quadrillion is merely a high number that is to be bargained down, but if the cases are determined by the conservative courts that the President has helped shape, the victims shouldn't expect much.

Bloomberg, Do What I Say, Not What I Eat

The Mayor wants us all to be health-conscious, so much so that he instituted a ban on trans-fats in New York City. He pissed off plenty of bakers and anti-health nuts in that campaign and now, against our will, we might live a little longer thanks to healthier hearts. You would think that Bloomie might follow his own advice, but then you'd be wrong.

From Newsday:

After gaining national media attention for spearheading an almost total ban on trans fats in city restaurants starting last July, Bloomberg was photographed in this month's issue of Wired magazine munching on those very same dangerous fats.

The photo, which accompanies a short Q&A about technology and politics, features Bloomberg at his City Hall desk, looking thoughtful and serious. Meanwhile, his right hand is seen almost absent-mindedly pulling a Cheez-It out of a single-serving bag of the crackers.

The reader can only assume that the baked snack cracker is headed for the mayor's mouth, and along with it some of the half-gram of trans fat found in every serving of Cheez-Its.

I've got nothing against Cheez-Its, once in a while that fatty yet crisp cracker is a great little treat. Apparently Bloomberg is a fan too, and thats all good, but don't try to tell the rest of the city how to eat unless you are ready to swallow the deal yourself.

Seven Delegates Down, Forty-Eight States To Go

Edwards has a second and third place finish so far with forty-eight races to be determined. The media has wanted him out for the longest time (since their Hillary-Obama narrative began) but he refuses to give up. There is too much at stake and this man has too much passion for our country and progressive values to ever give up the fight before it's finished.

Demolishing The Deutsche Bank Bldg. Once And For All?

Before you know it six and a half years will have gone by since the tragedy of 9/11. While the foundations are being poured for the new towers on the site, the crippled Deutsche Bank building still stands, at least twenty-six stories of it anyways. It is a toxic mess that proved its danger in the fire last August that killed two firefighters. Soon after the fire the LMDC fired the subcontractor doing the demolition. Now the famed Las Vegas imploder LVI Environmental Services will be stepping up.

From The Daily News:

LVI is joining the on-again, off-again effort to raze the building - originally 40 stories and deconstructed to the 26th floor at the time of the fire - as a subcontractor to Bovis Lend Lease, which has overall charge of the project. The bank building was damaged by the 9/11 terror attacks and then left exposed to the elements.

"Bovis is pleased that the deconstruction will recommence shortly in a time and manner that is responsible and safe," Bovis spokeswoman Mary Costello said.

LVI is best known for the spectacular implosions of such outmoded Las Vegas Strip stalwarts as the Sands, Aladdin, Castaways, El Rancho and Desert Inn. In March last year, it leveled the 32-story Stardust Casino.

Of course they will not be imploding the building, Lower Manhattan is a bit more dense than the towers that are laid far apart from each other on the Las Vegas strip. I think we have had enough of that type of stuff in the area to last many, many lifetimes.

The Real Losers In New Hampshire

Plenty of candidates ran last night up in the Granite state, but there were only two true losers in that race. None of them were Democrats. All the front runners including Edwards had tremendous support and overall Democrats had a 55-45 advantage in total votes. That leads us to the first loser, the Republican party. The GOP is out of step with America and its candidates can't even lead the followers that are left over. The change in New Hampshire is evident across the country, as many states are turning "purple" like Colorado, Virginia and even Goldwater Country Arizona.

People are realizing that when push comes to shove, the Republican party has shifted far to the right and after a while, many are seeing that when they look inward, they see the Democrat within.

Now for those that are already Democrats and have seen the light in a previous election cycle, we saw the pundits and pollsters try (and fail) to predict the outcome last night. I went along with the hype (pushed by the wind in my sails not to see Hillary get the nomination) that Obama was going to cruise to a landslide victory and then collect delegates by the hundreds before the convention was even close to happening. I'm still an Edwards supporter and stick with him to this very moment, but I'm still aware of what is going on at the present time.

Anyways, this brings me to our second loser from last night, the press. We all know they suck and the New Hampshire primary coverage proves it. They tried to guess at what the voters would do instead of actually reported on the process and it was abysmal failure. Tom Brokaw saw the truth of the situation, and promptly excoriated one of the ringleaders of the punditry in excellent fashion. And of course don't forget the pollsters in all of this, but still remember that their information is reported by those pundits and "journalists."

So congrats to the Democratic Party last night, and pooh pooh to the Republicans and the media. I'd love to see a concession speech from both, but I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Big Girls Don't Cry.....Or Do They?

Cenk Uyugr examines when it is and is not ok to cry. Hillary got slammed by the media, being compared to Ed Muskie, while George Bush can shed a tear for a fallen soldier (that he sent to the spot where he died), wtf?

Coming Down To The Wire

Damn, this race continues to surprise me. I would never have thought that Clinton would have held a lead let alone a prayer tonight in New Hampshire. Many people thought that Independents would come out enforce for Obama and route Hillary, which in the semi-open primary state, subsequently draw from McCain making him vulnerable to the likes of Mitt Romney.

Well that didn't happen. McCain crushed Romney (by seven points as of now) but Democrats are still drawing much larger numbers, by around 25 percent. Also by the link above, we can see a tightening of the race between Hillary and Obama. She was up by as many as six points, but as the results from the larger cities like Manchester come in, Obama is inching closer and is within four points (or 4000 votes).

A friend of mine who happens to be a BHO supporter asked me for words of wisdom while he waits until the full count is in. Well I'll tell him and myself to sit tight, because you never know what can happen until an election is officially declared over.

Hillary Confronts Tweety's Obsession

Hillary is definitely a remarkable politician, though not necessarily the best one for the job of being our 44th President. Of course the voters will (and are) deciding that on their own but forget all that voting stuff for a moment. For many months now, Chris Matthews has a had an odd thing for Hillary. Some call it an obsession and by the looks of it, that is certainly what it is. Matthews plays dumb when Hillary calls him on his shit, but when you take a look at the exchange, Hillary clearly gets Tweety good.

From Crooks and Liars:

video_wmv Download (309) | Play (558) video_wmv Download (200) | Play (249) (h/t Bill)

If you were bemoaning the fact there just wasn’t enough sex in the presidential race to make it interesting there was this bit of absurdity from a press conference at Nashua North High School in New Hampshire as Hillary called out Chris Matthews of MSNBC over his obsession with her. It all began innocently enough as Matthews pressed her on the plan to bring U.S troops home from Iraq and the difference from her competitors. Mrs Clinton said she’d be “responsible about it”, which didn’t satisfy the dogged Mr Matthews:

Matthews: “No, you tell us the difference!”

Clinton: “I’m not on your show, I’m just answering your question.”

Matthews: “Please come on the show.”

Clinton: “Yeah, right.”

Matthews: “Is that an answer?”

Clinton: “You know, I don’t know what to do with men who are obsessed with me. Honestly, I’ve never understood it.”

h/t Mediabistro:

Later, Sen. Clinton walked over to Matthews. He pinched her cheek. She grazed his with her hand and said in a mother-to-child tone, “oh, Christopher. Baby.” Matthews mumbled, “it’s not an obsession.”

Looks like Christopher is in denial. Maybe if he'd try to be fair to all the candidates on his show he wouldn't have been caught the way he did.

Sans Writers, A Daily Show Is Back

It feels like it has been an eternity, but I am glad to see Jon Stewart return to the late night lineup. He may not have writers but he's still got it, and surely needs to deliver us from the ridiculousness of the traditional media, especially with all this politickin' going on.

Of course, to show that he cares about his writing staff, he made a couple of changes:

Calling A Buffoon A Buffoon

Forget spades, when addressing Bill O'Reilly, you better come to the table ready to name call. Sure we have tons of them, Falafel boy, Loofah man, moron, loud mouth, idiot, tool, liar, scumbag, I could go on and on. Rarely though do you hear the media talking about him save for Keith Olbermann or whoever gets in his path of ridiculous ire. Well David Shuster changed that this morning while on Scarborough's show over on MSNBC.

From RawStory:

In the middle of a discussion of the Democratic primaries on MSNBC's Morning Joe, correspondent David Shuster burst out, "I don't know if this is the time to talk about Bill O'Reilly, but I've got a lot of things I want to say."

When encouraged to "get it out," Shuster stated emphatically, "Bill O'Reilly is a jerk."

"There's Bill O'Reilly at a Barack Obama event," Shuster explained. "Bill O'Reilly shoved a guy -- shoved a guy who was working for Barack Obama, because the guy happened to be standing in a certain spot. And there's Bill O'Reilly saying, 'Nobody gets in the way of the Factor's cameras.' ... Obama comes up, and what does Bill O'Reilly do? Does he ask some tough penetrating question? ... No. 'Will you come on my show?'"

"Give me a break," said Shuster. "What a jerk. What a jerk. Fox News ought to be so embarrassed with this guy."

"He's a cartoon character," agreed Mika Brzezinski.

"He's a buffoon," amplified Shuster. "He's such a buffoon, and everybody knows it."

All Shuster had to do was crack open the door on Bill and the flood came out. Everyone knows that Bill O is jerk, buffoon and all those names I listed above, but rarely does the media talk trash about him. Perhaps a lot of his 'peers' were afraid of him for whatever reason. Yet after watching him act the way he did in New Hampshire at the Obama rally, reporters got the message that O'Reilly is fair game.

Hear that, hunting season is open CNN, MSNBC and any other press outfit out there!

The Simpsons Goes To Town On 2008 Primaries

Unfortunately I missed the Simpsons this past weekend (partly on account of the fact that I do not have a television) but I would have loved to see them rag on the current primary season. According to the article from the Boston Globe, the half-hour show made fun of the system and the candidates without pulling any punches. Basically due to Homer being Homer, the town decides to hold their primary before New Hampshire, and then all hell breaks loose.

From The Boston Globe:

Highlight: An animated Bill Clinton character is pounding a "Hillary" sign into a yard and complains to a screaming voice on his cellphone about how many more he has to do. "What did I ever do to you?" he implores. More screeching from the cellphone, apparently including the words Monica Lewinsky. He says something along the lines of, "You're never going to let me forget that are you?"

The people of Springfield quickly grow weary of all the attention, and in rebellion decide to support the most ridiculous candidate they can envision. At Moe's tavern, someone suggests Dennis Kucinich. Ouch, since he's actually a real candidate in the Democratic race. A pint-size Kucinich character happens to be in the bar and complains that he's being dissed.

Finally, they settle on 8-year-old Ralph Wiggum, the not-too-bright son of the police chief. Lisa, of course, is mortified. "Oh, dear God," she exclaims. But eventually she comes around, after Ralph talks about helping people and making sure the US plays nice and doesn't fight anymore with foreign countries.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties also decide to support Ralph, who at show's end is sitting on the knee of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington like he's Santa Claus, telling Honest Abe, "I've been a good boy."

Twenty years after starting this cartoon and it still rocks!

Hannity Flees Chanting Ron Paulites

There's nothing quite like watching Sean Hannity on the run. I've met the man before at a radio industry convention and I must say he was as disgusting in person as he is on television. He had nothing but insults for my employer at the time (I'm sure you can guess what radio station I'm talking about). Now that his network tried to throw out Ron Paul from the debate, while Giuliani can't even match his numbers, they are getting their due. Watch out cliff, here comes Sean!

Clinton Campaign Has Money Woes?

It is almost hard to imagine, but Hillary is pushing her supporters to donate even more money to her campaign. After raising more than $100 million dollars, she has a "paltry" $15-25 million remaining, seemingly blowing it all in Iowa. Of course, she isn't the first candidate to do this in the Hawkeye state and probably will not be the last. And like those other candidates (e.g. Dean) who also happened to lose in Iowa, the lack of momentum hurts even more when you consider that upcoming primary states that have big media markets are going to cost major bucks to run advertising. Basically, it isn't looking good for Mrs. Clinton.

From Time:

With momentum against her and a battle plan that appears to be staking everything on the big and expensive states like New York and California that hold their primaries on February 5, Clinton's campaign is putting new pressure on its fundraisers to come up with the cash she will need to carry her through. "Clearly, by every measure, I hear they are in a real financial crunch," says one prominent fundraiser. "Here's the dilemma: You have a situation where there clearly is a full court press to raise more money, but considering the state of decline of the campaign, there's a real question of whether people are going to want to give. It's more than just raising money; you've got to give people a sense of potential."[...]

Clinton fundraisers say there is also a new emphasis in the appeals they are getting from the campaign. Where they previously focused on bringing in $4,600 donations — pressing donors to "max out" by giving the legal limit of $2,300 for the primary election and $2,300 for the general — they are now being asked to drum up $2,300 contributions. "They started out running a general election campaign," says one. "Now there's a real fixation on the primary." The day after the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, the campaign staged a "callathon" to encourage smaller contributions.

Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson notes that fundraising has always been a high priority for her operation, which he says continues on sound financial footing. "We have considerable resources," he says, adding that the campaign is flush enough to be buying large amounts of air time for television ads in New Hampshire, as well as in South Carolina and Nevada, where the next two contests will be held.

Now I understand the need to keep the war chest flush with cash, but why cut holes in the bottom of it when it isn't necessary? South Carolina is all but a foregone conclusion and although she does have a shot in Nevada, why waste that money on all that airtime. Lavish spending on commericials may work for campaigns that are flying high and mighty, but this is a time for her to buckle down and concentrate on winning some primaries. Let go of the "inevitability" persona Hillary.

Obama, McCain Cruise To Early NH Victory

Yes folks, its a little past one in the morning here on the East Coast and we have two victors from the Granite State. It appears that Barack Obama has crushed his rivals and John McCain has won a decent margin of the votes in.........Dixville Notch, NH. Oh my, sorry to burst your bubble like that. As New Hampshire observers may recall, the small town of Dixville Notch goes to the polling location at midnight on primary day to be the first precinct to cast their votes in the state.

Here are the results:

Democratic Primary: (10 voters)

Republican Primary: (7 voters)

Is this indicative of what is to come for the rest of the day? Would Gallup or SurveyUSA poll seventeen New Hampshirites (sp?) to get an accurate reading for the state? Probably not, but for the political junkies out there, enjoy, taste and savor the first few votes of the year. Of course, Obama will probably take the state easily and as for the Republicans....who knows, their base dislikes them all.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Loofahs And Falafels On Fox

I already posted about this today, but words do not do this video justice:

Allen Raymond Tells All: How To Jam The Phones And Steal An Election

The name Allen Raymond is a bit vague to most people, but if you paid attention to politics in the last five years, you will remember how the Republican party had Democratic offices' phones jammed and subsequently winning the New Hampshire Senatorial election for John Sununu. Now that Raymond has served a long, hard prison term of three months for his crime, he is looking to capitalize on his anti-democratic (small d, as in "democracy," not "Democratic") efforts with a brand new book.

From ABC News:

Raymond blames the Republican Party for making him the fall guy and claims that his scheme was approved by a top state GOP official and the Republican National Committee's northeast regional director.

Raymond says that the RNC's former New England chairman, James Tobin, called him Oct. 18, 2002, asking, "If I had a couple of phone numbers that I wanted to shut down on Election Day, could you do that?"

Tobin and state official Chuck McGee were later convicted of charges related to the ploy, which helped John Sunnunu win a 19,000-vote victory to the Senate over Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.

What a shocker, he blames someone else for the crime. Escaping blame and being a Republican operative seem to go hand in hand these days. Though to be fair, he does know how to jam phone lines and perpetrate other dirty tricks if you ask him. Some pointers include making phony press releases, pointing to crimes the other candidate may have committed even if they only share a last name with the real criminal and be sure to call your opponent's supporters in the middle of the Super Bowl and say you are from the opposing candidate.

Wow, what an interesting read that must be. I'm sure Karl Rove and Ed Rollins are desperate to pick that up for some weekend entertainment....and to compare notes as well.

What Will The GOP Throw At Barack?

For what seems like almost years now, Republican candidates have been gearing up, trying to prove to their base that they are the best person to go head to head against Hillary Clinton. Forget health care and jobs, the important question is who can vilify Hillary most effectively.

On the left, Hillary plays into it by suggesting she is the best candidate to go up against the GOP attack machine and the daunting VRWC. In what seems like these last desperate moments of her campaign (we'll reassess after the NH primary tomorrow) she is telling voters that she is the most battle-tested candidate out there. Of course it doesn't seem to be working, and a new dynamic is forming. The Republicans are grasping at straws on how to go after him and haven't found anything good yet, so what do you suppose the GOP will do?

From Pandagon:

Back home from Colorado and still reeling from Glenn Greenwald’s post where he demonstrated that conservative writers are leaping into race-baiting motion at the sign of Barack Obama’s awe-inspiring performance in Iowa, with claims that the youthful, multi-racial supporters of Obama’s will riot if he doesn’t win, an assertion that requires the audience to believe that young liberals who go knocking on doors to garner support for wonkish lawyers are just one bad day away from looting and raping. If you haven’t (I’m sure you have, if you’re a thinking sort) read Glenn’s post, just go do it. He argues in his unnervingly perfect way that this racist assertion is not only crazy, but another form of wingnut projection, because they’re the ones who have cultivated gangs of fascist thugs ready to use violence to swing an election.

Thats right, they'll use fear and as heap it on a' plenty. If they can't hate on Hillary, why not play on racial themes. If God, Gays and Guns won't work, do not be surprised if we see this thing get as ugly as the days of the Civil Rights era and even earlier than that. Whatever it takes to win, the Republicans will stoop as low as they think they have to go.

What Did The Republican Say To The Democrat?

Red State Update gives us an exclusive on what the candidates said to each other on stage when ABC/ Charles Gibson brought everybody out:

Where Will All The New Yorkers Go?

No this isn't a story about I Am Legend, the eight million plus people here aren't going to disappear or turn into zombies. The problem here is more financial than Hollywood sci-fi. With all of the gentrification going on here in the city and out in the boroughs, New Yorkers are finding it harder to find decent places to live as the rents and real estate prices keep rising. We're not even talking about those in the lower income brackets, these are "middle class" families that are making $80 to $150K a year.

From Crain's New York:

Living in the city is becoming more unaffordable for the middle class, and not just in trendy Manhattan neighborhoods, where a two-bedroom apartment can cost about $1.5 million or rent for $3,500. Gentrification in parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem and upper Manhattan is putting former middle- and working-class neighborhoods out of reach for many people.

Add a city and state tax burden that can approach 12% of income, and New Yorkers are being priced out of the city, which they don't want to leave.

"For middle- and working-class families, [the city] is unaffordable—increasingly unaffordable," says Vicki Been, director of NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

Living in New York City has always been expensive, and that's the price people pay for its opportunities and vibrancy. But over the past decade, the cost of housing—the largest budget item for most middle- and working-class households—has been rising more steeply than ever. New developments are targeted primarily at the high end of the market, and the mayor's affordable housing program doesn't include a large segment of middle-income households. At the same time, rezoning has limited development in many middle-class neighborhoods.

So while the Mayor isn't doing much in the way of assistance, people are looking towards 2009 and the next Mayor who could possibly solve the real estate woes. Rent stabilization is being eroded by landlords desperately looking to cash in on the real estate boom. Those coveted apartments below market rate are disappearing at a rate that is higher than ever. So Comptroller William Thompson and Congressman Anthony Weiner are already using this issue as their central theme. What they'll do about it once in office, is yet to be seen though.

What To Say When You Are On FOX News

Now I highly doubt that I will get myself on the Fox News channel anytime soon, but if I did I would know what to say. Perhaps not the exact same thing as Roy Sekoff of the Huffington Post, but along similar lines. He was invited to talk about O'Reilly's scuffle with an Obama staffer this weekend and things got out of hand for the pretty face news anchor.

From Crooks and Liars:

video_wmv Download (1739) | Play (3219) video_mov Download (881) | Play (1742) (thanks to The Huffington Post for vids)

By now many of you have heard about Bill O’Reilly’s meltdown at a Barack Obama event in New Hampshire Saturday and on Sunday, The Huffington Post’s Roy Sekoff went on FOXNews to discuss the blogs’ coverage of the primaries — as the topic turned to BillO, Sekoff gave a textbook example of how all liberals should act when on they appear on FOX. Brilliant!

Sekoff: “…and I give him (O’Reilly) credit, cause he didn’t hit him with a loofah or a falafel.

MacCallum: “Alllllright!”

Sekoff: “Oh yeah. You know, Martha, maybe the thing was that he was surprised that when he showed up at an Obama event, it was just like any other event and no one was yelling for their iced tea.”

Since Fox News is a joke, why not make some of your own while on the network?

The People That Rudy Doesn't Care About

Even though he is just about finished in the Presidential race, we should not forget how he treated 9/11 workers and especially how he exploited the tragedy for his own gain. Tell Rudy to meet with these heroes now!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Campaign Stories

While the media covers a lot of bullshit about the candidates in their horse race narratives, there are softer stories out there that do not deal with $400 haircuts, Madrassas and the obsession of some that one of the candidates is a woman. Being a veteran of field operations for candidates, I could tell a lot of different tales that probably wouldn't be displayed on a nightly news segment, but would definitely catch the ears of other people that have volunteered or worked on GOTV operations before. But enough about me, there are hundreds if not thousands of dedicated staffers and volunteers on the ground this weekend braving the cold weather of New Hampshire so that their candidate may have a shot at the political "gold."

From Blue Hampshire:

Bill Richardson will be in town today, speaking in the town square, which is a small park area in the middle of town on a large rotary.

Normally the square can accommodate hundreds of people -- it's the place where during the summer bands play. If you want to go hear a concert on the square you get a blanket, bring a lunch and sit or stand right there on the grass.

Problem is it's January 6, and there's a foot and a half of snow on the square. So I got curious as to how they were going to deal with this conundrum.

The answer is that they came enmasse and dug the square out. It's pretty inspiring.

Watch the video via the link above. Blue Hampshire is right, this is inspiring, especially knowing the fact that their candidate has absolutely no chance other than to hopefully become Hillary's VP candidate. Good for his supporters to sacrifice a Saturday night to shovel a ton of snow. That is just the kind of stuff you do when working the ground game. Thankfully I did most of my ground work in Arizona, so ya know, cold was 30 degrees on a bad night, not wind chills of 30 below.

The Beginning Of The End For Hillary?

Iowa delivered a third place finish to Ms. Inevitable Thursday night, but could that really start a chain of events that could unhinge one of the most impressive campaigns ever built? Hillary has plenty of money, dozens of super-delegates and an amazing ground operation in many states along with the polls to back it all up. Yet those super-delegates can disappear in a moment's notice and it could all be from getting one less delegate in tiny little Iowa. Of course, there's much more to it, and that "more" is exactly why she is at the bottom of my list of choices for the nomination.

From Time:

There are senior officials within the campaign — notably, outside advisers say, media consultant Mandy Grunwald and adviser Harold Ickes — who have been worried for months that Clinton was missing the fundamental shift in the electorate. However, their entreaties have gone nowhere. Bill and Hillary Clinton have put enormous faith in Penn, and given him veto power, aides say, over every word that goes into her television ads and every line in her mailers. "He had her and the President's trust very deeply," says one adviser who is close to the campaign. Adds another: "He's a one-man shop."

If Clinton also loses New Hampshire to Obama, Penn's future with the campaign may well be in jeopardy, strategists say. But that may be wishful thinking on their part. For one thing, there is no obvious candidate to replace him. Hillary's advisers and Bill's have never gotten along — and she has been particularly suspicious of his team. "Who they both trust — that's a very small group," says one former Clinton aide. "She is going to be very, very resistant to all of the white boys coming back."

Another problem is that some of those who might potentially be brought in have already been sidelined. Former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, for instance, is running a 527 organization called the Fund for America and is forbidden by law to even consult with the campaign.

Basically she built a very strong house with a foundation that was set in a swamp. The house may look mighty from the outside, but if there is a tremendous groundswell in the electorate, the money, the strategists and the hype all means nothing when a message of change can sweep people into another candidate's lap. If Obama takes New Hampshire on Tuesday, this thing might just be game, set and match.

How Dumb Is Mike Huckabee?

Raising your hand to announce your belief in creationism and denounce evolution is a terrible thing to see from a man running for President of the United States. Yet back when he was Governor of Arkansas, that wasn't the only thing he used to make a fool out of himself:

A Revolutionary Automobile

For a hundred and fifty years cars have run on gasoline to drive a combustible engine, turning the oiled pistons and making the automobile move. Many changes have been made over the years and recently the drive for cleaner technology has made the ecological performance improve. Yet until now, there has been nothing like an air car.

From RawStory:

BBC News is reporting that a French company has developed a pollution-free car which runs on compressed air. India's Tata Motors has the car under production and it may be on sale in Europe and India by the end of the year.

The air car, also known as the Mini-CAT or City Cat, can be refueled in minutes from an air compressor at specially equipped gas stations and can go 200 km on a 1.5 euro fill-up -- roughly 125 miles for $3. The top speed will be almost 70 mph and the cost of the vehicle as low as $7000.

The car features a fibreglass body and a revolutionary electrical system and is completely computer-controlled. It is powered by the expansion of compressed air, using no combustion at all, and the exhaust is entirely clean and cool enough for use in the internal air conditioning system.

It is cheap, well built and emits no carbon whatsoever into the atmosphere. What are the chances that this air car will be sold in the U.S. praytell? There is nothing about a model for the states, but if you travel to Europe or India, be sure to look out for the cars that run on air.