Thursday, January 31, 2008

Alex Sink vs Charlie Crist

It is no secret that the Florida budget is in a deficit. CFO Alex Sink blasts Charlie Crist for using the Workers’ Compensation Administration Trust Fund as an ATM machine.

"While I understand the current challenge to find resources in this year’s budget, I am concerned about the recommendation to sweep $129.5 million from the Workers’ Compensation Administration Trust Fund. Through efficient management and reform of the Workers’ Compensation system, our state has been able to reduce Workers’ Compensation Administrative Trust Fund assessments from 2.75 percent to 0.25 percent, which is a 91 percent reduction over an eight-year period. A trust fund sweep of this magnitude will require the state to raise Workers’ Compensation assessments—taxes—on Florida businesses as early as January 2009. I look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to prevent assessment increases on Florida’s business owners.

Crist will rob Peter to pay Paul, before he will raise taxes. Crist can't run for President in 2012 as a tax-raising Republican. Crist as pulled $1.1 billion from the state's reserves. Where does Crist plan on pulling money from next year? The housing market isn't about to improve soon.

I expect Crist to travel around Florida telling people that things are great. Florida is screwed if the economy gets worse. Crist does not have the political courage to make the hard choices needed.

Labels: , ,

Immigration Killed Romney In Florida

A key exit poll is how well John McCain did with Hispanic voters.

McCain won the Cuban vote 50-10 over Romney. And the non-Cuban Hispanic vote by 51-21. Those are gigantic differences, and can easily swing a close election like Florida. Since only 10% of the Republican voters were Latino, I'm not sure that Latinos were the decisive factor on Tuesday (but only because I have no idea how to do the math on that). But it's obvious that McCain's surge with Hispanic voters helped him substantially in winning Florida.

Mitt Romney has waged a hypocritically demogogued the immigration issue. Community Lawn Service mowed the lawn of Romney's home. It is no secret the lawn service used illegal immigrants.

The Florida primary was close. If Romney didn't attempt to cope Tom Tancredo's message, he could have beaten McCain. I doubt a pro-business Romney is actually going to do anything against corporations that use illegal immigrants. His record as Governor is all hot air. Andrew Sullivan summed up Romney's problems.

The exit polls show the critical distinction between Romney and McCain supporters. Romney's are still pro-Bush. McCain's aren't. If you're fighting a general election this fall, you'll need those who disapprove of Bush's record - not the kool-aid drinkers. McCain also won Hispanics by a big margin - another key advantage for November.

Running as a less tolerant George W. Bush is a recipe for disaster.

Update: Fox News exit polling shows John McCain beating Mitt Romney 54 percent to 14 percent with Hispanics.

Labels: , , , ,

Xenophobia Watch: Ginny Brown-Waite

If you ever wondered if your elected representatives are stupid - the answer is yes. Ginny Brown-Waite is under the impression that Puerto Rico is not United States territory.

“Second, the bill sends hundreds of millions of dollars to people who do not pay federal income taxes, including residents of Puerto Rico and territories like Guam. I do not believe American taxpayer funds should be sent to foreign citizens who do not pay taxes. Americans want an economic stimulus for Dunnellon, Brooksville and Clermont, not for San Juan or Hagatna. As the legislation moves forward, it must be changed to ensure that only federal taxpaying American citizens receive rebate checks.

I don't know if Brown-Waite doesn't comprehend geography or is playing to the xenophobic base of the Republican Party. Puerto Rico is part of the United States. The fact that Brown-Waite would issue a press release suggesting otherwise, does not speak well of her leadership skills.

Luis De Rosa of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce of the United States was angered my Brown-Waite's statement. He sent a letter to Governor Charlie Crist's office.

Congresswoman Brown-Waite’s misinformed statement about the citizenship status of Puerto Ricans – referring to us as “foreign citizens” – underscores the lack of knowledge and interest in this vital and growing segment of our state’s population by our elected representatives and officials. As you are doubtless aware, the growing population of Puerto Ricans in Florida is estimated as 600,000 in the central part of our state, plus 300,000 in other parts of the state. As past elections and voter registration records show, this community has substantial registration in both national political parties.

In 2003, anti-French sentiment ran strong because of France's opposition to invading Iraq. Brown-Waite sponsored the American Heroes Repatriation Act. The bill called for the removal of deceased American WWII soldiers buried in France and Belgium. The bill went nowhere and Brown-Waite was tagged with the nick name the Undertaker. Brown-Waite's reasoning was to hurt France's tourism industry.

"Millions of dollars a year are collected by the French government and businesses from patriotic Americans visiting their loved ones who gave everything in defense of the French during WWII. It is not right that American citizens are compelled out of respect for the fallen to support the economy of a country who has turned it's back on us and on their memory."

Brown-Waite uses the power of her Congressional seat to punish ethnic groups whom she deems as not American enough. She told a crowd that the United States giving money to the Palestinians makes her want to "throw up." She attacked a WMNF news reporter during the same townhall meeting. The verbal assaults on Palestinians and the media was Brown-Waite's attempt to avoid answering questions about President Bush's Social Security privatization plan.

It is unrealistic to expect an unserious Congresswoman to answer serious questions. Brown-Waite latches on to attacking ethnic groups with the same passion an alcoholic holds on to a quart bottle. It's her crutch. Voters would realize there is no wizard behind the curtain, if Brown-Waite was forced to discuss the economy or health care.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

:: She Keeps Bees ::

Often, on my way home from work, in the 9-ish hour, I listen to PRI's Fair Game with Faith Salie (who cracks me up) and who has excellent musical taste, in my opinion. Tonight was no exception, and particularly inspiring! She Keep Bees are hot little duo and Jessica Laribee has a honey of a voice. Check on their live performance tonight at the link above for Fair Game and then their website below for more tunes and videos. The first song sung on Fair Game is unrecorded and is it fantastic!
She Keeps Bees are Jessica Laribee and Andy LaPlant , two Brooklyn musicians who have drawn comparisons to Cat Power and PJ Harvey. They perform songs from their latest EP, "Shhhh."
Jessica Laribee and Andy LaPlant are She Keeps Bees, a duo from Brooklyn whose stark, minimalist blues songs have been frequently compared to those of PJ Harvey, Cat Power, and Patti Smith. They're here on Fair Game tonight to play some songs from their brand new EP, "Shhhh."
I like them so much I just bought both albums.


Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl

This is one of my favorite songs. Rust Never Sleeps was a concert movie that got me into rock and roll. I saw it as a kid and dug the Jawa roadies.

Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl

Labels: ,

Florida Progressive Radio: Florida Primary Edition

Kenneth Quinnell and Alison Morano give their take on the Florida primary.

Labels: , ,

The Bush Family On Civil Rights

Via Pam Spaulding: only a hypocrite like Bush would say something as shocking as this to Barney Frank.

Before the State of the Union, Frank was talking to his boyfriend on the phone. Bush grabbed the phone to say hello.

After the speech, Frank said, he felt he had to tell Bush what he had done. After all, the president opposes gay marriage, and gay rights groups do not see the president as an ally.

Frank sought out the president, who put his hand on the back of the congressman's head to hear him more clearly in the noisy, crowded room.

"Mr. President, by the way, the person I was talking to when you said to say hello was my boyfriend,'' Frank said he told the commander-in-chief.

"Well. I hope you said how open-minded I am,'' Frank said the president replied.

The Decider refuses to listen to people with dissenting opinions. His definition of "open-minded" is rather bizarre.

Bush attempted to constitutionally ban gay marriage. Bush used gay marriage as a wedge issue to bring out Christian conservative voters.

"The union of a man and a woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith," Bush said.

"Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society."

Bush's grandfather Prescott was a pro-civil rights Republican. Prescott Bush voted for the Peace Corps and to censure Joseph McCarthy. The Bush family political history follows the downward spiral of the conscious of the GOP.

Labels: , , , ,

Bush's Latest Signing Statement Fiasco

Constitution Article I Section 8

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

President Bush either hasn't read the Constitution or doesn't care. Congress has prohibited the construction of permanent military bases in Iraq. Bush issued a signing statement to override the Congress's wishes.

Bush made the assertion in a signing statement that he issued late Monday after signing the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008. In the signing statement, Bush asserted that four sections of the bill unconstitutionally infringe on his powers, and so the executive branch is not bound to obey them.

"Provisions of the act . . . purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the president's ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as commander in chief," Bush said. "The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President."

One section Bush targeted created a statute that forbids spending taxpayer money "to establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq" or "to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq."

The Bush administration is negotiating a long-term agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The agreement is to include the basing of US troops in Iraq after 2008, as well as security guarantees and other economic and political ties between the United States and Iraq.

Signing statements were intended to be nothing more than proclamations. A President can comment on a law he signed. Signing statements legally can not override a law. If Bush doesn't like a bill, he doesn't have to approve it. Instead, he uses the same legal nonsense that declares the Vice-President isn't part of the executive branch.

Make no mistake: Bush uses signing statements to break the law. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power of the purse and a constitutional role in governing the armed forces.

Labels: , , ,

Stephen Colbert On Giuliani's Florida Strategy

Check out the make up job on Rudy. He looks like a raccoon.

Labels: , ,

John Edwards Drops Out

John Edwards gives his withdrawal speech in New Orleans.

This journey of ours began right here in New Orleans. It was a December morning in the Lower Ninth Ward when people went to work, not just me, but lots of others went to work with shovels and hammers to help restore a house that had been destroyed by the storm.

We joined together in a city that had been abandoned by our government and had been forgotten, but not by us. We knew that they still mourned the dead, that they were still stunned by the destruction, and that they wondered when all those cement steps in all those vacant lots would once again lead to a door, to a home, and to a dream.

We came here to the Lower Ninth Ward to rebuild. And we're going to rebuild today and work today, and we will continue to come back. We will never forget the heartache and we'll always be here to bring them hope, so that someday, one day, the trumpets will sound in Musicians' Village, where we are today, play loud across Lake Ponchartrain, so that working people can come marching in and those steps once again can lead to a family living out the dream in America.

Edwards used his farewell address to remind America how shamefully Katrina was handled. His campaign shined a spotlight on many people that were forgotten by both parties. Edwards message was not Obama's feel good mantra or Hillary's focus group driven drivel.

Edwards become the Howard Dean of 2008: the consious of the Democratic Party. Edwards was honest in admitting his Iraq vote was wrong. Politicians would rather walk on glass than admit a mistake.

Hillary and Obama took time out from getting special interest money are tripping over each other to fawn over Edwards.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day

"To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options."

George W. Bush

Signe Wilkinson political comic makes great use of Bush's comment.

Labels: ,

Silly Irrational Voter

Jim Johnson left a comment in Wayne Garcia's blog post. Johnson's rationale for voting for Giuliani is mind-numbing in it's stupidity. Johnson admitted he found Giuliani uninspiring. He voted for Giuliani because of his crash and burn Florida strategy. The Florida prmary relevance matters more than Giuliani's ability to govern properly.

A win by Giuliani, as I noted on my blog, would show future candidates that it is possible to skip Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and still do well.

Giuliani would still be behind in delegates and broke going into Super Tuesday. Johnson's obsessed with Florida. The other states, that are not Iowa and New Hampshire, have just as much right to bitch about not being first. Jim the guy that backed moving up the primary against the DNC and RNC wishes. Once again Florida elections became a national punchline. This is about what Jim Johnson wants. He gave no consideration to moving up the primary before paper ballot machines were ready.

Let's discuss Giuliani the candidate. Shaggate and Bernard Kerik showed corruption is how Giuliani governs. A pro-choice philanderer will drive away the Christian Right base. Giuliani believes in the Laffer Curve.

In response to questions, the candidates said they would not support raising the gasoline tax to finance spending on the nation’s roads and bridges in response to the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis last week. Mr. Giuliani got into a terse exchange with his questioner, David Yepsen, the political columnist for The Des Moines Register, when Mr. Yepsen tried to ask him the question.

“David, there’s an assumption in your question that is not necessarily correct, sort of the Democratic, liberal assumption, ‘I need money; I raise taxes,’ ” Mr. Giuliani said.

“Then what are you going to cut, sir?” Mr. Yepsen responded. Mr. Giuliani said that as mayor of New York, he had increased revenues to pay for bridge and road repair by cutting taxes, thereby jolting the economy, and that he would do the same thing as president. The city’s treasury in that period was flush largely with revenues produced by the stock-market boom of the late 1990s.

Giuliani's ghost written Foreign Affairs's piece declares the United States lost Vietnam because we didn't stay in long enough. A corrupt South Vietnamese government and 12 years of military involvement was not enough was not enough for Giuliani. America's Mayor once said, "I disagreed with it," when asked about Vietnam. It's amazing how time with neoconservatives can change one's perspective.

America must remember one of the lessons of the Vietnam War. Then, as now, we fought a war with the wrong strategy for several years. And then, as now, we corrected course and began to show real progress. Many historians today believe that by about 1972 we and our South Vietnamese partners had succeeded in defeating the Vietcong insurgency and in setting South Vietnam on a path to political self-sufficiency. But America then withdrew its support, allowing the communist North to conquer the South. The consequences were dire, and not only in Vietnam: numerous deaths in places such as the killing fields of Cambodia, a newly energized and expansionist Soviet Union, and a weaker America. The consequences of abandoning Iraq would be worse.

Giuliani wants to destroy Medicare and create an entirely market driven program. Many people would be turned down for coverage. Medical expenses would increase from emergency room walk-ins. Giuliani told CPAC society sharing responsibility for each other is a bad thing. The people screwed out of health care might say different.

"It's a no-risk society," Giuliani went on. "If we continue with this idea of collective responsibility, we'll become a society that deteriorates. And it's a battle that has to be fought now."

He offers health care as an example. "Democrats want universal health care, collective responsibility--honestly, it's their version of socialized medicine." Even the recent health care reform in Massachusetts, designed by the Republican governor Mitt Romney, was tainted with collectivity, because it required every citizen to get health insurance.

"I don't like mandates," Giuliani says. "I don't like mandating health care. I don't like it because it erodes what makes health care work in this country--the free market, the profit motive. A mandate takes choice away from people. We've got to let people make choices. We've got to let them take the risk--do they want to be covered? Do they want health insurance? Because ultimately, if they don't, well, then, they may not be taken care of. I suppose that's difficult." He lets the idea sink in, though it seems to bother his audience not at all. "The minute you start mandating, you always end up with more expensive government programs."

The panderer-in-chief is a prostate cancer survivor. Giuliani told voters, "I had prostate cancer five, six years ago. (Editor's note: He's not sure?) My chance of surviving cancer -- and thank God I was cured of it -- in the United States: 82 percent. My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England: only 44 percent under socialized medicine." The problem is the numbers came from Dr. David Gratzer, of the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute. Gratzer used an old study from the Commonwealth Fund. THE CWF told The New York Times, "Five-year survival rates cannot be calculated from incidence and mortality rates, as any good epidemiologist knows."

None of these factors matter to Jim Johnson. It's all about Jim wanting the Florida primary moved up.

Irrational voter, indeed.

Update: Johnson evokes a Florida strategy Giuliani never had. America's Mayor outspent all Republicans in New Hampshire. Giuliani spent a great deal of time and money in Iowa and South Carolina.

Florida was the firewall. Giuliani was an undisciplined candidate. He would pull stakes, in a state, at the first sign of trouble. The former GOP frontrunner couldn't fundraise and not say embarrassing statements on the stump. The man that vowed not to run from terrorists ran a campaign of retreat.

Giuliani had the intention of winning the early states. His only problem voters found him less appealing than Ron Paul.

Labels: , ,

Pushing Rope Mystery Blogger

Can someone tell me who Terrence O’Brien is and why he is credited with writing my blog post?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Arcade Fire - Intervention & Wake Up

The Arcade Fire performance is from T in the Park 2007.

Labels: , ,

Rush Limbaugh's Voting Double Standards

Rush Limbaugh told his listeners his Sequoia voting machine had problems.

“I hit ‘Next’ and it didn’t go there,” said Limbaugh, who lives in Palm Beach and often recounts the county’s electoral foibles on his show.

Then he hit the “Back” button and “got my candidate page again with the vote already recorded there. So I said ‘hmmmmm, I wonder if this is going to count twice.”

So he unclicked his favored candidate, clicked that candidate again and hit “Next” a second time - and it worked.

“I don’t know if I voted twice,” he said. “Probably not.”

Limbaugh would never back voting machine reform. That is such a Democratic issue. Let us cue back the the 2000 recount.

Limbaugh: Now, these [the undervotes and overvotes studied in the media consortium recount] are illegal votes! An undervote and an overvote, they're called that because they're illegal! So Al Gore wins if all the fraudulent votes were counted.

Limbaugh isn't sure if he voted twice. If he did that would be illegal. Not that I expect intellectual consistency. Limbaugh has double standards about how drug abusers should be treated by the by the judicial system.

Labels: ,

Hillary Clinton On LGBT Teens

Hillary Clinton is showing a spine and talks about what she will do of LGBT teenagers. Where is Barack Obama and John Edwards on this issue?

Hat tip to Jill.

Labels: , ,

McCain & Clinton Win Florida

The New York Times calls the Florida primary for John McCain and Hillary Clinton. McCain won 36 percent of the vote. Clinton promises to seat Florida delegates at the Democratic National convention.

In an energetic victory speech, Mrs. Clinton appealed to Florida voters who may have felt disenfranchised by the cloud cast over their primary. “I promise you I will do everything I can to make sure not only are Florida’s Democratic delegates seated, but that Florida is in the winning column for the Democrats in 2008,” she told supporters in Davie, Fla., where she flew on Tuesday for an appearance.

The entire Hillary victory speech is on her web site.

Rudy Giuliani's concession speech left clues about his intention to drop out of the race.

Speaking in the past tense about his bid, but not offering yet that he would exit, Giuliani said "winners dream of a better future and then they help to bring it into reality." But added, "the responsibility of leadership doesn't end in a single campaign, if you believe in a cause it goes on, and you continue to fight for it and we will."

Giuliani said he is proud that his campaign stayed "positive" and ran "a campaign of ideas."

"We ran a campaign that was uplifting," he said. "You don't always win, but you can always try to do it right and you did. That's what the American people deserve."

Reports are that Giuliani will endorse McCain.

Labels: , ,

The John McCain Platform

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan explain John McCain's exciting platform of less jobs and more war. Now that should excite the voters.

Labels: , ,

Giuliani to Endorse McCain

The Page reports that Rudy Giuliani will endorse John McCain. So much for Rudy's Florida strategy.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Problem With Surrogates

There really is no purpose in quoting the surrogates of political candidates. They add nothing to the discourse and reek of hypocrisy. Case in point is Allan Bense attacking Charlie Crist for endorsing John McCain. Bense told The Miami Herald that Crist's endorsement will hurt McCain in the conservative Panhandle.

''I think we're conservative in this part of the world,'' Bense said in a conference call. ``Since the endorsement last night, I got 47 phone calls to my cellphone and home cell, either wanting to get [Romney] campaign signs or how to get to the rally that Gov. Romney will attend.''

Bense's candidate Mitt Romney courted Charlie Crist for his endorsement. The media or politically astute people know that Bense will not say a Crist endorsement hurts Romney in the Panhandle. Everyone knows the Bense attack is bogus and Bense would be praising Crist if he endorsed Romney. How does quoting Bense better educate voters about the candidates.

A third tier Florida politician gabs to the press. The media get their instant controversy. The general public ignores the Bense story because it's boring. Political surrogates feed the worst aspects of elections and political coverage. My fantasy is to make every surrogate testify under oath about the truthiness of their statements. These clowns would sweat.

The media should pound the surrogates and force them to stand by their statements. The Washington Post and New York Times should ask Andrew Cuomo if he still feels as passionately that Barack Obama was attempting to "chuck and jive." The surrogates would be less inclined to tar and feather a candidate if they faced consequences.

Labels: ,

Go! Team - Huddle Formation

The performance is from the 2006 Coachella Music Festival. Go! Team is one of the few trip hop bands that sound better live.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day

"The winner of Florida will win the nomination."

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani's Florida strategy will be cited in political science classes on how not to run a presidential campaign.

Labels: ,

Write A Caption: Mitt Romney in Florida

"I challenge my Republican opponents to best me in dopey photo-ops."

Labels: ,

The Maverick's Secret

John McCain has a secret plan for capturing Osama bin Laden. It's so secret the Maverick won't even share it with the White House. If that doesn't tell you how unserious McCain is on national security then nothing will.

So Washington Wire was wondering, what does McCain know that President Bush and the Pentagon don’t about how to sweep up America’s most elusive enemy.

“One thing I will not do is telegraph my punches. Osama bin Laden will be the last to know,” he said today while riding on the back of his bus between Florida events. In other words: he’s not telling. Why not share his strategy with the current occupant of the White House? “Because I have my own ideas and it would require implementation of certain policies and procedures that only as the president of the United States can be taken.”

Apparently, McCain's plan is so secret, McCain may not even know how he plans to capture bin Laden.

Labels: , ,

Identity Politics Continued

The Hillary Clinton campaign are saying that Bill Clinton was tricked by reporters into saying that Barack Obama, like Jesse Jackson, won South Carolina because he is black. Watch the video below.

Political Punch has the entire transcript.

Reporter: That said, some of the folks in your own party have accused you of race baiting here.

BC: Yeah, well I would refer them to what John Lewis and Andrew Young – two people left who were with Martin Luther King every step of the way – said. I don’t have to defend myself on civil rights, and John Lewis and Andrew Young said what needed to be said about that. There’s nothing left for me to say.

Reporter: Mr. President, Senator Kerry that – had some critical comments too about some of the things that have gone on this week. He said being a former president doesn’t give you a license to abuse the truth. Just wanted your reaction to that.

BC: Yes, but did you notice he didn’t specify anything? You notice that? They never do. They hurl these charges, but nothing is specified. I’m not taking the bait today. I did what I could to help Senator Kerry every time he needed me, and every time he asked me, and I have no -- he can support whomever he wants, for whatever reason he wants, but there’s nothing for me to respond to because I don’t believe in labeling, I think he should have specifics, so today we just want everybody to vote.

David Wright: What does it say about Barack Obama that it takes two of you to beat him?

BC: [Laughs] That’s just bait, too. Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice, in ‘84 and ‘88. And he ran a good campaign, and Senator Obama's run a good campaign here. He’s run a good campaign everywhere, he’s got a, he is a good candidate, with a good organization.

Clinton denies race baiting and then proceeds to engage in race baiting. The sooner the Clintons get off the political stage the better.

Tas has a great rundown of the Clinton's Southern Strategy. The Clintons ran ugly campaigns in Iowa and South Carolina. Both times they lost. Hillary went positive in New Hampshire and made a historic comeback.

The message is voters are tired of mudslinging. That is why Obama's unity message has great appeal. Obama utters the word "unity" and Andrew Sullivan declares the Senator presidential.

Obama is not going to come into Washington and woo the Bush and Gingrich Republicans. I can't stand Hillary, but I take comfort in knowing that she will tear the Beltway GOP a new asshole. The Republican Party is made of fiscal and religious radicals. Republican John McCain tried reasoning with his colleagues on immigration. The Crooked Talker ending up yelling "fuck you" at John Cornyn. I'm curious as to how Obama is going to unite Republicans that can't stand Democrats or each other.

Labels: , ,

Ted Kennedy Endorses Barack Obama

In his endorsement of Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy takes several shots at Hillary and Bill Clinton.

We know the true record of Barack Obama," Kennedy told the crowd. "There is the courage. When so many others were silent or simply went along. From the beginning he opposed the war in Iraq. And let no one deny that truth.

"With Barack Obama we will turn the page on the old politics of representation and distortion," Kennedy added. The Senator asked Bill Clinton to tone down his attacks on Obama. Clinton refused. The Clinton campaign will slime Obama until they either lose or get the nomination.

Personally, I am becoming less impressed with Obama. An Obama presidency will Jimmy Carter without the policy wonkery. How does he plan to deal with Republicans, if he can't get the Clintons to play nice with him. Hope is a campaign slogan. Not a plan.

Labels: ,

Rudy's Plea Deal For Florida

Über-productive videomaster Lee Stranahan strikes again. Come on, Florida, Rudy luuurves you!

Also at litbrit.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Taking Sex Back

Nina Hartley gives a fantastic spiel about the moral values crowd wishing to control women's bodies.

"As someone who has achieved the ages of 18 years, plus one minute. That is the age of consent," Hartley told an Ohio State University audience. "Consent to join the army, consent to vote, consent to go get killed in Iraq for our stupid war."

The audience roared when Hartley empressed her displeasure about the current war. The Iraq war isn't promoting democracy or the next generation of young Republicans.

"And somehow, we can consent to marry. We can consent to have an abortion. We can consent to become mothers. But somehow, I have a right to my uterus and what happens to it, but they get a say about what I do with my vagina. What is wrong with this picture?"

Hartley is looking at the issue from the standpoint of a porn star and free speech advocate. Christian fundamentalists want to legislate what women can do with their uteruses. The core issue is sexuality. Christian conservatives would rather have the federal government teach children that the AIDS virus can be spread through tears than discuss safe sex. 16 states have rejected federal money for abstinence-only sex(less) education. The policy has become an official failure. Getting James Dobson or the the late Jerry Falwell to admit the obvious would never happen. Men whom obsessively looked for the non-existent homosexual agenda in children television characters lack the maturity to discuss condoms and birth control.

"What's wrong with this picture, is the ultimate in patriarchal belief system thinks they can tell us what to do with our bodies," Hartley said. "I don't agree with that."

Hartley told the audience she was a feminist before most of them were born. She went into the porn because she is an exhibitionist and bisexual. As a porn star, she grew weary of listening to moral crusaders telling her how to express her sexuality. It was her body and her choice. It's creepy that religious conservatives tremble in fear about Hartley experiencing orgasms.

Labels: , , , ,

Identity politics? Welcome to the Dark Side.

[Crossposted from Sugar Land is Dreaming]

Here's a snippet of data from last night's exit polls in South Carolina:

And would you look at that -- John Edwards is the candidate for whitey crackers! In fact, if that other white person weren't in the race, Edwards might have taken more than 70% of the white vote!

Of course, this isn't the narrative I heard last night after Obama's crushing victory in South Carolina. I heard it was a black thing. I was at work last night, then I went to a friends house for some beers and viewing of late night nutty shit on History channel afterwards. The first news reports I observed about Obama's victory was rudimentary, mainstream stuff -- the stuff that any normal American is subjected to. And with today's busy lifestyles, many Americans don't get to see beyond the mainstream narrative.

So as I drove home around 1am, I had the radio on and the news anchor was quick to point out that, while Obama achieved a resounding victory, half of the SC primary voters were black and Obama netted most of them. And when I woke up (late) this morning, the Sunday paper of my local rag had this AP story on its front page, which described Obama's SC victory as such:
"The choice in this election is not about regions or religions or genders," Obama said at a boisterous victory rally. "It's not about rich versus poor, young versus old and it's not about black versus white. It's about the past versus the future."

The audience chanted "Race doesn't matter" as it awaited Obama to make his appearance after rolling up 55 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

But it did, in a primary that shattered turnout records.

About half the voters were black, according to polling place interviews, and four out of five of them supported Obama. Black women turned out in particularly large numbers. Obama, the first-term Illinois senator, got about a quarter of the white vote while Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina split the rest.
And so it goes. For the national media, the narrative is in: Obama rode a black wave to victory. But when I look at the same raw exit poll numbers that the reporters have, I see that white voters in SC gave the white candidates 76% of their vote. If Obama getting 78% of the black vote is a big story, then why isn't this pale 76% for Clinton and Edwards just as big? Why is the national narrative a black thing? I mean, as we all know, nobody is trying to inject race into this election by claiming that only black people can win in SC.


Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 26, 2008

John Aravosis and the Strangely Missing Post

[Crossposted from Sugar Land is Dreaming]

An unintended subplot to my previous post on the economy detailed the actions of John Aravosis removing a post from his blog. That subplot has now expanded, and even though this is mainly an inter-blog pissing match that is of no real importance to the outside world, I think it still garners its own post.

Here's the story so far: On 1/24/08, Johnny A-List published an idiotic pro-rich/screw the poor rant against the stimulus package that was widely linked and criticized in the blogosphere, and it also amassed a thread of 500+ comments from angry AMERICAblog readers.

The first time Johnny published this post, it was at this URL. It has since been removed.

During the time period when the link to the post died, I'm unsure if Johnny had outright deleted the post or renamed it, but either way I searched AMERICAblog's archives and found out it existed at this new URL. It has since been removed from that URL, and from AMERICAblog's archives entirely as far as I can tell. For the post's brief existence on that new URL, though, Johnny had wiped out the previous 500+ angry comments* and started a new thread -- where the angry comments continued to pour in. Johnny handled these comments by either outright deleting them or editing the comments to add his replies.

Johnny has also removed other comments that question his actions in this matter. For example, I know for a fact that he deleted one of my comments in this thread where I questioned him on his actions.

Johnny has not made a note of any of these administrative actions on AMERICAblog.

You know, I'm pretty sure this breaks a bunch of unspoken ethics rules about blogging. Editing comments, deleting comments simply because they point out your bullshit, changing the URL of a post and then outright removing it when the flame war didn't die down... These are all despicable actions that a respectable blogger would never partake in. I can see instituting censorship if you have some crazy assholes coming to your site, but there's a huge difference between that and not handling the heat generated from one of your own posts. Performing unethical actions like this calls a bloggers honesty into question, and I won't believe that anything coming out of Johnny's mouth is honest until he comes clean about his actions regarding this strangely missing post.

* - Unfortunately for Johnny, the first comment thread still exists on Haloscan's server.

Labels: ,

Friday, January 25, 2008

Oscars Open Thread

The Oscars have been announced.

Best Motion Picture



Michael Clayton

No Country for Old Men

There Will Be Blood

Best Director

Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Jason Reitman - Juno

Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men

Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood

Best Actor

George Clooney - Michael Clayton

Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood

Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tommy Lee Jones -In the Valley of Elah

Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Julie Christie - Away from Her

Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose

Laura Linney -The Savages

Ellen Page - Juno

I'm happy to see Viggo Mortensen and Ellen Page nominated. The best movie nominees a strong this year. Daniel Day-Lewis and Johnny Depp both up for best actor. Now that's a match up.

I'm grateful Ben Affleck didn't get any nominations for Gone Baby Gone. It's bad enough he has an Oscar for the ABC After School Special known as Good Will Hunting.

Readers, who do you want to see win and who should have been nominated.

Labels: ,

A Moment In Fred

I made fun of Adam Putnam becoming co-Chairman of Fred Thompson's Florida campaign. Thompson dropped out before Florida. Putnam is very disappointed.

"I am disappointed," Putnam said. "His campaign never caught on and there was a sense that his moment had passed him by. I supported him because I knew that he had the character, the credentials and the ability to be president."

Adam, Thompson is so lazy, he didn't even bother holding a press conference to announce dropping out. Thompson sent out an email. There is a difference between the moment passing by and taking a long nap.

Labels: ,

Quote of the Day

"But honestly, I have a hard time remembering an election where we had more qualified candidates on the Republican side. Really, if you think about it, we have a line up of heroes. Whether it be 9/11, Vietnam, faith, Conservatism, they've all got good qualities. Even Ron Paul is a hero those few Republicans who have difficulty understanding the world around them. Good for him."

Mr. G, on the outstanding caliber of Republican presidential candidates.

John McCain is a certified hero. What have the other candidates sacrificed to be worthy of such praise. Peer Review is veering into Power Line level of absurdity.

It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can't get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.

I love Peer Review. The chuckles never cease.

The difference between the progressive and conservative blogosphere is lefty bloggers constantly criticize our side and candidates. Conservative bloggers grab their pom poms and start cheerleading.

I’ll say it right now, Katherine Harris is going to be Florida’s next US Senator.

Comedy gold.

Labels: ,

Dave Weldon Retires

Republicans have another open seat in the House to defend. Dave Weldon has announced his retirement. Republicans have one more headache they don't need going into a presidential election year.

The timing is odd, considering Weldon's daughter Katie was recently arrested and videotaped in a bar fight. Conservatives know that brawls outside of bars are the moral bedrock of family values.

The DCCC was targeting the seat before Weldon's annoucement. CBS News reports Democrat Nancy Higgs will announce her candidacy.

Update: Sinfonian is going against the convention wisdom. He predicts Republican Mike Haridopolos will run.

Haridopolos will not provide citizens his positions on issues. Haridopolos failed the Vote Smart political courage test. Transparency is not his forte.


When Politicians Tell the Truth

Mitt Romney makes a horrible Freudian slip during the Florida Atlantic University debate.

Tim Russert: Why not tell the voters of Florida and across the country how much of your own wealth you're spending. So, they can make a judgement and factor that into their own decision.

Mitt Romney: Well, I'm not concerned about the voters. I'm much more concerned about the other guys on this stage.


Labels: , ,

Bill Kristol and the New York Times

The New York Times's hiring of Bill Kristol didn't reach the point of outrage with me. The Times Jayson Blair and Judy Miller embarrassments have shown the Paper of Record is not infallible. The op-ed pages have been on a painful downward spiral for years. Kristol's hiring makes perfect sense.

Gabriel Sherman's New Republic article provides insights into Arthur Sulzberger Jr. hiring Kristol. The short version is he is scared to death of The Wall Street Journal. What Sulzberger fails to understand is the least successful section of the WSJ is the op-ed page. The Wall Street Journal is one of the few newspapers that makes money off of paid subscriptions. The op-ed pages are free on Opinion Journal. Peggy Noonan's prose about magical dolphins saving Elian Gonzales is one of the worst op-eds ever written. Sulzberger should be more concerned about competing with the WSJ's reporting. Conservatives will always hate The New York Times.

It is widely known that Kristol wrongly attributed a Michael Medved quote to Michelle Malkin. That is a hell of a way to make a debut on Murderers' Row.

"He doesn't know what it's like to write for The New York Times," one staffer said. "So, welcome to the NFL."

Kristol is William Safire's replacement. John Tierney wisely abandoned The Times op-ed pages after producing many comedy masterpieces. Sulzberger brought Kristol in to make a splash. Unfortunately, the result was a splat. Safire agreed with public editor Clark Hoyt's harsh assessment of Kristol.

The Times' public editor, Clark Hoyt, acknowledged the Kristol kerfuffle in his column on Sunday, January 13, writing of Kristol's hiring: "This is a decision I would not have made." When reached by phone, Safire told me: "I saw the excellent piece that the public editor wrote the other day, and that pretty much tells the story."


At least Kristol has Judy Miller publicly backing him.

Eventually, The Times will fire Kristol either because of a scandal or the neoconservative pundit can not meet the increasingly lowering standards of the op-eds pages. The Times should have gone after George Will. I suspect Will is smart enough not to get near Murderers; Row.

Labels: , ,

Is there a currency bubble? (Updates below)

[Crossposted from Sugar Land is Dreaming]

While some people on the left don't like it because they're assholes, others on the left have better reasons to be leery about the bipartisan stimuluis package that Bush, Reid, and Pelosi just gave to us. Jon Stewart summed up part of my thoughts perfect on last night's Daily Show. Here's a video clip of it -- forward it to the 2:00 mark to see Jon's description:

For me, there's also the matter of how the government giving us some table scraps of money is going to jump start our economy. While I love money as much as the next person, especially since I'm having trouble paying rent right now, when I get this stimulus check I'm not exactly going to spend it on needless widgets in fancy colors. It's going into my savings account, where it won't have an immediate effect on our economy -- therefore I'm not helping the country out of a recession. I imagine a lot more people will be stashing away their stimulus check, too. So Bush, Reid, and Pelosi: How is this package supposed to help the country avoid a recession?

Between this stimulus package and the Fed lowering the interest rate, what the government has done this past week is pumped yet more currency into an economy that's so flooded with currency already that the US dollar is now weaker than its Canadian counterpart. And what prompted the government to do this? The spread and increasing amounts of currency in the first part of this decade -- there was so much goddamn money around that banks couldn't make enough loans, thus leading to the subprime crisis. Increased amounts of currency create economic bubbles, and bubbles pop.

But has anyone considered a currency bubble? If such exists, then our government reached a bipartisan consensus this week to inflate it some more. Ironically, using these exact same methods of inflation, they have already punished the economy to the brink of recession. No politician can let a recession happen over the fear of being blamed for it, but... You know, if this economic stimulus package backfires, the recession we fall into will be longer, and more desperate. The government is making a huge gamble here. One has to wonder if the alternative -- letting a recession happen now and riding it out -- would be the wisest move.

Nobody's going to discuss that issue though. After all, it's an election year -- who let's issues out then?

[Update] Less stimulus and more blogging issue here: the AMERICAblog post that I referenced in the first sentence of this post has been deleted by Johnny A-List. I guess the 500+ comments against him that post received, as well as the widespread condemnation around the blogosphere he subjected himself to, was just too much for Johnny to handle. So instead of acting like he has some stones and defending his position, or even just letting the original post be and ignoring it, he deleted his own post because it made him look bad. What a coward. I called Johnny out on his hypocritical bullshit in 2006 and I see nothing has changed -- but what else can you expect from a spoiled brat who thinks he's entitled to money. Why the fuck does he still have thousands of readers?

[Update 2] Turns out the post isn't deleted. Somehow, the URL for it was changed and the 500+ previous comments, in a thread very critical of Johnny A-List, were deleted. The post has a new comments thread going where Johnny is actively editing many of the comments that are critical of him.

I'm not sure what makes Johnny more of a wanker: changing the URL of a widely linked post to make it look like it was removed, then removing all the previous comments; or outright deleting the post which is what I first thought he did.

Either way, Johnny's in the wrong here because his actions go far beyond normal administrative tasks bloggers must undergo. Removing a huge comment thread and changing the permalink of one of your widely linked posts -- then actively editing comments in that thread -- are the actions of a gutless weasel.

[h/t: Cernig]

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Leave Dubya Alone

Henry Kissenger gives an impassioned plea for President George W. Bush. I was so moved, I might read Instapundit again.


Charlie Crist on Hardball

Charlie Crist appeared on Hardball to pitch for a national catastrophe fund. My favorite moment was when Chris Matthews asked Crist if Rudy Giuliani was pandering to Florida voter by backing a national cat fund. Crist said he didn't think so. I'm still laughing at Crist's response.

A national cat fund will never get pass the House. States less at risk don't want to pay and there is not enough money in the current budget for funding.

Update: the video no longer works.

Labels: ,

Paul Wolfowitz Back In Government

Paul Wolfowitz keeps coming back like a bad penny. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed Wolfowitz chairman of the International Security Advisory Board. The board deals with arms control, something Wolfowitz does not favor.

Wolfowitz is the architect of the Iraq war. That is why President Bush needed to get Wolfowitz out of the Pentagon. Having the architect of one of the most badly planned wars in U.S. history is not an asset.

Wolfowitz was appointed President of the World Bank. Wolfowitz gave girlfriend Shaha Riza a tax free raise. He was unpopular with his employees. Wolfowitz was pushed out of the World Bank and eventually resigned in disgraced.

Any other administration would treat Wolfowitz like the second coming of Dick Morris. The Bushies are beyond the point of caring about image. They're mandate was gone in 2005. Bush is going to reward the cronies for their loyalty. Governing properly is secondary to the Bushies self-interests. If you haven't figured that out then you either think Katrina disaster relief was well-executed or you're an idiot.


Compassionate Conservatism: Hillsborough County Commission Edition

Ronda Storms and Brian Blair convinced fellow Hillsborough County Commissioners to vote against funding for the Family Justice Center. The mission of the FJC is "to provide comprehensive services to Hillsborough County domestic violence victims and their families in a centralized location, or ‘one-stop-shop.’" The FJC is now endanger of closing down.

Modeled after a U.S. Department of Justice program and initially funded by a $1.1 million startup grant, the center never could attract local dollars, executive director Nikki Daniels said.

She is making a final plea to the community this week, but Daniels said Wednesday she knows it's a long shot. The center needs $360,000 to remain open through September. Without it, the doors close Feb. 8.

'That Center Probably Saved Lives'

"I believe that that center has probably saved lives," said state Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, who serves on the center's board. "And I will guarantee you that it saved some people from really being battered. Funding this center is crucial. We may not save some lives in the future if we don't keep it open."

Blair and Storms voted against the Center under the faulty logic that it duplicates the The Spring of Tampa Bay. The Spring can not handle all the abused women in Tampa. Blair and Storms have no problems throwing tax dollars at Championship Park and Raymond James Stadium. (Blair later backed down.)

The duplicate services meme is a politically correct way of saying that conservatives blame these women for the predicament they're in. Republicans aren't going to tell voters they are more passionate about corporate welfare for local sports teams than a woman with three children getting the shit beat out of her every night. That wouldn't be politically correct. Cutting funding for a women's domestic violence shelter is deemed the politically decent thing to do. Welcome to the world of compassionate conservatism.

Labels: , , , ,

John Edwards Against FISA Bill

John Edwards has come out publicly against the FISA bill.

In Washington today, telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press to win retroactive immunity for their illegal eavesdropping on American citizens. Granting retroactive immunity will let corporate law-breakers off the hook and hamstring efforts to learn the truth about Bush's illegal spying program.

"It's time for Senate Democrats to show a little backbone and stand up to George W. Bush and the corporate lobbyists. They should do everything in their power -- including joining Senator Dodd's efforts to filibuster this legislation -- to stop retroactive immunity. The Constitution should not be for sale at any price."

I received an Edwards campaign asking Floridians to voice their disapproval of the Bush administration-backed FISA bill to Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez.

Mel Martinez, (R): (202) 224-3041
Bill Nelson, (D): (202) 224-5274

Edwards has come out against the bill. Are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama going to show leadership and use their pulpits to sway colleagues. Their silence have spoke volumes about their political courage.

The lobbying power of the telecommunication companies can not be underestimated. The telecom industry has contributed $2,834,423 this election cycle. The Senate voted 76 to 10 to vote on the bill. The bill would have easily passed if not for Christopher Dodd placing a hold on the bill.

The issue is that the bill violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court secretly presides over federal requests for wiretaps. The FISA court rarely turns down requests. The first appeal was filed by the Bush administration. Judge James Robinson resigned in protest. The Justice Department incompetently improperly filed 75 applications. FISA historically rubber stamps wire tap requests. The Bush administration went beyond the court's legal tolerance. The Bushies decided they would still wiretap.

The White House refused to allow Congress to see documents pertaining to the warrantless wiretapping program. The administration relented, to convince Congress to grant retroactive immunity to telecom companies. Which begs the question: if the program is legal then why is legal immunity needed.

Labels: , , ,

Shout Out to Mustang Bobby

Go over to Bark Bark Woof Woof and congratulate Mustang Bobby. His play Can't Live Without You was performed Manhattan Repertory Theatre in New York City.

Labels: , ,

Pushing Rope On Reuters

Reuters has published my blog post "Petraeus: Six More Months." Now if Alternet would run my posts...


George Loves Vladimir


I haven't been posting much lately. The idea to put out a collection of my comix in print form (ya know, one of those book thingies) has been in the back of my mind for some time. I've been trying to gear up for it, but procrastinating a bit. These posts by Steve Lafler got me a little motivated.Then this Zippy The Pinhead by Bill Griffith put the icing on this little cupcake of an idea.

On my studio floor, I've laid out about 80 Grill Rats strips. I haven't counted the stand alone political toons, like this "Putin-Tang" one, but I think there are hundreds. There's enough material for 2 books, so that's what I'm going to do.A Grill Rats collection, and one for political toons

Hopefully, I'll have something available before the Vernal Equinox, but I want to redraw some panels and rescan everything, so it might be longer.

, ,, , , , , , , , , , , ,



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Sexy Media Stories

Bill Clinton has another dust up with a CNN reporter over the racial remarks between the Hillary and Barack Obama campaign.

Clinton: And the final thing I like to say is you're asking me about this. You sat through this whole meeting. Not one single salutary soul asked me about this. And they never do.

Clinton: They're feeding you this because they know this is what you want to cover. This is what you live for, but this hurts the people of South Carolina. Because the people of South Carolina are coming to these meetings and asking questions about what they care about. And what they care about is not going to be in the news coverage tonight because you don't care about it. What you care about is this.

Clinton loses me when he blames the Obama campaign for the racial tension. It takes two to have a food fight. Hillary surrogates used the term "chuck and jive." The Hillary campaign sent out an email accusing Obama of being a Muslim terrorist. Bill Clinton does not convincingly play the victim.

Clinton brings up a valid point of how the press prefers conflict stories over wonkish policy wring. The John Edwards haircut madness was a silly low point of the campaign.

Wayne Garcia sums up the problem.

You see — as you could read about ad infinitum in graduate school if you took, say, media theory last semester, like I did — much of what we in the media do is driven by forces outside of the rational and outside of that which we explain as the mission of journalism: to provide the information people need to make good decisions in a democratic society. Newspapers are businesses in a capitalistic society, and therefore they need to make a profit. That profit motives colors what we do, but more importantly, colors how we do it. We don’t have enough money to hire either the best thinkers and writers, and we don’t have enough money to hire enough people to truly write informed stories. Those who stand up against Wall Street or other owners who demand 25 percent margins in journalism get shitcanned.

Los Angeles Times editor Jim O'Shea was fired for not backing budget cuts. The horrible tbt* with gavel to gavel Britney Spears coverage is now the media economic model. Magazines such as The American Prospect has been financially strapped since it's inception.

Voters will be less informed if the media is more focused on infotainment. Media conglomeration has led to The Tampa Tribune layoffs. O'Shea stressed that journalist and not accountants should run newspaper. At the rate newspapers are losing money, it is worth a try.


Pushing Rope Endorses Alan Keyes For the Republican Nomination

The Florida Progressive Coalition
has endorsed John Edwards. Pushing Rope will not endorse any Democratic candidate during the primary. We will endorse a Republican.

No Republican candidate better espouses conservative values better than Alan Keyes. Where George W. Bush failed, Keyes will be able to privatize Social Security with the political collateral gained from the Illinois Senagte race. Keyes shrewdly made Mary Cheney's sexuality a campaign issue. Keyes was wise enough to know that the best way to defeat the popular Barack Obama is going after the Republican Vice-President's daughter.

Alan Keyes: "And they are adopting the paradigm of family life. But the essence of that family life remains procreation. If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it is possible to have a marriage state that in principle excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism. This is unacceptable."

Keyes worries that gay adoptive children would have sex with their biological brother and sisters. The ignonant dummies in the audience laugh Keyes logic. Great minds like Keyes were scorned during their lives.

Keyes may not be able to talk in short and coherentsentences. He will woo voters with his golden singing voice.

If Keyes wins the nomination and Obama is his opponent, Keyes already has a big endorsement lined up.

"Christ would not stand idly by while an infant child in that situation died," said Keyes. Sadly, Jesus was one of the few people that voted for Keyes in 2004. Keyes was running even with Ron Paul in the USA Today/Gallup Poll. Lady luck has turned for Keyes.

Pushing Rope proudly endorses Alan Keyes. There is no other GOP candidate we would rather see get the nomination.


The Right gears up to kick some Straight Talk ass

[Crossposted from Sugar Land is Dreaming]

All the GOP frontrunners (or onetime frontrunners, in some cases) have weaknesses in the type of voters they can attract, which could spell disaster in the general election. Social conservatives turn their nose at Romney's religion; Huckabee wouldn't be able to attract any non-religious conservatives; Giuliani seemingly can't attract anybody -- even xenophobes! And McCain? He might be the best at courting independents, but the right just plain hates this guy.

It was just over a year ago where McCain was too afraid to show his face at CPAC. The rest of the candidates spoke, but McCain wouldn't dare step foot inside the conference because he knew the backlash against him would generate too much bad press. Here was a Republican who couldn't even communicate with members of his own party at their largest gathering -- how the hell did he think he could win the GOP nomination for president?

Over the past 12 months, McCain has gone from frontrunner to shitheel back to frontrunner again, riding some momentum from his victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina. But a key fact to remember is that both of those states, independents play a huge role in the primaries. And since McCain is great at courting independents, he was able to score a couple victories.

And they have noticed. GOPUSA (the folks who brought you Jeff Gannon) has a daily email newsletter that reaches around 500,000, called "GOPUSA Eagle." Today's Eagle had this for it's subject line: "John McCain: The Geraldo Rivera Republican." This is a reference to the screaming match that Geraldo had with Bill O'Reilly when they discussed immigration. For the right at large, Geraldo's views on immigration are just too... too... spic-y.

Opening the email, I find it's main story is a Michelle Malkin column deriding McCain's stance on immigration:
Not all of us have forgotten how the short-fused Arizona senator cursed good-faith opponents in his own party ("F**k you!" and "Chickensh*t" were the choice words he had for Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn during a spat over enforcement provisions). Not all of us have forgotten that he voted against barring felons from receiving amnesty benefits under his plan. Not all of us have forgotten the underhanded, debate-sabotaging manner in which McCain/Kennedy/Lindsey Graham/Harry Reid conspired to ram their package down voters' throats.

His admission of the shamnesty failure is grudging and bitter. While he now tells conservative voters what they want to hear about the need to build the southern border fence, he takes a contemptuous tone toward physical barriers when talking to businessmen. "By the way, I think the fence is least effective," he told executives in Milwaukee, according to a recent Vanity Fair profile. "But I'll build the goddamned fence if they want it." Straight talk? Try hate talk.
And if anyone knows hate talk, it's a woman who writes a book defending Japanese internment camps. And while we're on the topic of "hate talk," let's bring Ann Coulter into the picture. She sent me an email today too. It links to her latest column in Human Events, a weekly newspaper that's hugely popular among conservatives. From her anti-McCain diatribe titled "'Straight Talk' Express Takes Scenic Route to Truth":
John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism and youth. Like McCain, pollsters assured us that Dole was the most "electable" Republican. Unlike McCain, Dole didn't lie all the time while claiming to engage in Straight Talk.

Of course, I might lie constantly too, if I were seeking the Republican presidential nomination after enthusiastically promoting amnesty for illegal aliens, Social Security credit for illegal aliens, criminal trials for terrorists, stem-cell research on human embryos, crackpot global warming legislation and free speech-crushing campaign-finance laws.

I might lie too, if I had opposed the Bush tax cuts, a marriage amendment to the Constitution, waterboarding terrorists and drilling in Alaska.
Hell, with that description, Ann's making me kinda like the guy.

Now that McCain is the popular pick for expected GOP nominee, expect the right to step up their attacks against him in the days to come. Also, you may want to wish for McCain victories in the primaries because if there's any candidate you want the Democrats to run against, it's one who would keep his own party home come November.

Labels: , , , , ,

Petraeus: Six More Months

Thomas Friedman, the Bush administration and neoconservatives kept telling the American public to wait another six month. This is when Iraq will turn itself around. General David Petraeus is the latest to use this talking point.

We think we won't know that we've reached a turning point until we're six months past it. We have repeatedly said that there is no lights at the end of the tunnel that we're seeing. We're certainly not dancing in the end zone or anything like that.

The war supporters set up deadline after deadline and repeatly break it. Apparently, it is working in the short-term. A Sacred Heart University poll found 49.1 percent believe the war is going better than reported by the media. A CNN poll reports 46 percent of those polled believe the surge can be won. Petraeus have been the gift that keeps on giving to the White House.

The current troop levels will decrease. The Iraqi goverment is no closer to political reconciliation agong the sectarian groups. The government often blows off the foreign dipolomats.

Inside, almost like a hostage, Jaafari was being harangued by secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw. The two had decided only one day earlier to make the trip to Baghdad, exasperated that the prime minister was continuing to resist a steady flow of hints from the US ambassador that it was time to go. All kinds of arguments were trotted out. Iraq needed a leader who could unify the country. The government must clamp down on Shia militias. The cabinet had to be led by a man who could command support across the spectrum, including from Kurds and Sunni Arabs.

Jaafari did not listen, or at least he did not obey. Not even a phone call from Bush in the White House had done the trick. Now he was being given his marching orders by Rice and Straw in person.

The U.S. negotiated a cease fire with Moqtada al-Sadr. The religious leader is losing control over his people.

Many of Sadr's militia has claimed Sadr is not in control of most of the criminals who abducted and murdered Sunni civilians in the sectarian violence provoked by the bombing of the golden-domed shrine in Samarra. With the Sadr militia "ceasefire" mostly holding, it's hard to say exactly how much influence the militia still retains within Iraqi police and army units.

The Iraqi police and military is filled with insurgents, corruption is rampamt and Westerners still can't travel alone in Baghdad. Six months aren't going to fix these problems.

Labels: ,

The Shag Monster

Ladies, Rudy Giuliani has been officially cleared for shagging.

Labels: , ,

The Maverick's Fundraising Woes

John McCain is holding several fundraisers going into the Florida primary. The Straight talker doesn't have enough money to compete with Mitt Romney. According to Open Secrets: McCain has $3,488,628 on hand. Romney has $9,216,517.

McCain needs to take time off the campaign trail and fundraise. I fail to see how McCain can more more television ads than Romney.

“We’re going to be able to fully fund a Florida campaign with a multi-million dollar television advertising buy,” said a McCain adviser.

Perhaps by borrowing more money. McCain has already accumulated $1,730,691 in debt. McCain's campaign may accept public matching funds. If the Maverick does that he is toast. The McCain campaign told The Hill they won't accept matching funds if there is a shot at the nomination. Then why leave the option open?

If I'm a Republican, I would worry about McCain getting the nomination. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama can out fundraise the daylight out of McCain. The GOP establishment and Christian fundamentalists can't stand McCain. Many will get onboard for a McCain nomination. They wouldn't have the same enthusiasm for say Jeb Bush.

Update: Public Policy Polling has Romney ahead of McCain by 3 percent.

Labels: ,

DNC To Florida Democrats: Piss Off

The Democratic National Committee told Florida Democrats they can not release candidates from the no campaign pledge, since Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina made the candidate sing the pledge. That is a correct reading from the DNC's part. Alex Sink, Ted Deutch and Dan Gelber made a valient attempt to end the boycott.

Florida's Democratic leadership needs to convince the early states to release Clinton, Obama and Edwards. (Gravel and Kucinich do not matter.) There are only six days left until the primary. The Florida Democratic Party and Bill Nelson's blame game and refusal to compromise pissed off national Democrats. The Sunshine State's Democrats are now resorting to begging. Great strategy, gang.

The pathetic part is Nelson and state Democrats won't admit that they fucked up. Despite repeated warnings from Howard Dean and the early states, Democrats voting to move up the primary, then blame Republicans for this madness. The reason the Democrats are the Florida minority is because of a lack of political courageousness.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day

"We need to tell readers more about Barack Obama and less about Britney Spears."

Jim O'Shea, fired Los Angeles Times editor.

Labels: ,

John Edwards on Letterman

John Edwards makes a stellar appearance on Letterman. Hotline on Call has the transcript.

Labels: ,

Blog for Choice Day

Blog For Choice was yesterday. I thought I post my old abortion articles.

New Dumbass of the Day Winner

Pay Attention Huckabee's Ethics and Not His Likability

Mitt's Abortion Flip Flops

Stupid Anti-Abortion Ballot Measure

Olga Reyes Victim of Nicaraguan Anti-Abortion Policy


Mitt Romney vs Mitt Romney

Maternal Mortality and Abortion

Who Is Karen Malec

Nicaragua's Dangerous Anti-Abortion Law

Support Choice

USF Progressives

Partial Birth Abortion Banned

Meet Rebecca Porter

Ronda Storms Strikes Again

Senator Storm's Latest Bluster Threatens Florida's Girls And Health Care Providers (Litbrit post)

Just How Bad Is SB 2546

South Dakota Rejects Abortion Ban

Terrorism Does Not Equal Abortion Rights

Blog For Choice: Late Term Abortions