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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Freaky Billboards

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2nd Ft.Wayne Mayoral Debate

My observations:

Opening Statements -

Tom Henry, although still nervous on camera, was much more focused - in his opening comments he addressed this issue, comparing his speaking style to "watching paint dry" and offering up substance rather than style.

Matt Kelty attempted to blame property tax increases on local government. He then apologized for not recognizing his wife earlier.

Job Qualifications -

Tom Henry refused to attack Kelty, and claimed that Kelty would be a good mayor. Kelty returned the favor by praising Tom. In rebuttal, Tom got laughs by professing that "Matt would be a GOOD mayor, but he would be a GREAT mayor if he made ME deputy mayor". They then shook hands on that offer.

Kelty's Indictments -

Kelty professed his innocence (SHOCKING!), and Henry stated that Kelty was innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Harrison Square -

Tom reported on entrepreneurs who are flocking to inquire about investing in the project; including coffee shops, retail, and even a pharmacy downtown.

Matt derided government role in downtown revitalization and declared HS as landlocked.

Tom rebutted with the financial investment in HS by the private sector, and described other local public/private partnerships around it.

Riverfront Development -

Kelty complained alot, but provided no details or solid plans.

Henry explained how the feds dumped the cost of cleanup on us, explained why our rivers appear the way they do, and offered up plans to tie in riverfront development with the rivergreenways.

Local Employment -

Henry talked about holding a summit between local schools and businesses.

Kelty claimed that HS would only transfer jobs for hot-dog vendors from Coliseum Blvd to downtown.

What 20th century leader would you most like to emulate? -

Kelty cited, in order, the pope, JFK, and Ronald Reagan.

Henry cited JFK & RFK, followed by his father. He then described his father's long involvement in local social and political issues.

City Services -

Henry cited the improvements made under Graham Richard's watch, and promised to continue to improve upon those efforts.

Kelty claimed that those city services should be outsourced to the private sector.

Southeast Fort Wayne -

Henry cited the improvements made under Graham Richard's watch. Southtown Centre, Safety Academy, etc.

Kelty blew off the geographics, claiming that SE residents were undeserving of local government assistance due to their poor work ethic.

Henry rebutted and defended SE residents; vowed to be their voice.

In closing -

Tom Henry compared this election to a job interview, and asked for us to employ him; citing his record of local activism.

Matt Kelty ran on and on about the private sector replacing local government.

Overall - Tom Henry was MUCH more on his game tonight. He's not the best public speaker; but tonight he started out by highlighting that fact and poking fun at it. He then continued on to do an impressive job, despite that handicap. He offered up exactly what he promised at the start of this debate: substance over style, while also getting several laughs at his own expense.

Matt Kelty rambled on, in the same manner as last week's face-off. Nothing new to offer: Government BAD, private sector GOOD. In his closing comments he laid claim to Ronnie Ray-gun's "shining city on the hill" statement, claiming that it was directed at the Summit City.

Matt, that comment MAY have been directed at our fair city; Ronnie DID visit us during one of our worst moments, and under the watch of one of our best mayors, Win Moses. YOU are no Win Moses. . .

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Quote of the Day

Cenk Ugyr, of The Young Turks, on the election of Cristina Fernandez in Argentina:

"Congratulations to Cristina Fernandez on becoming the first PILF in the history of the world. That's 'President that I'd Like to. . . ' "

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The State of Liberalism Today

This sounds like a great read. I will likely purchase it this week:

You can get this book, The Conscience of a Liberal here.


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Monday, October 29, 2007

Is our Long Local Nightmare Almost Over?

If the mayoral election had been held two weeks ago, the answer would be a resounding yes. Tom Henry's 14% lead, while not insurmountable, is encouraging. However, that being said, DO NOT write this one off as a done deal. If you are a Tom Henry supporter, then it is absolutely IMPERATIVE that show up at the polls and cast your vote for him on November 6th!

I can think of at least four people who can tell you about the price of assumptions and overconfidence going into an election, and two of them are in the graphic to the left. Ask Nelson Peters or Win Moses about their experiences in this matter:

Kelty took 50.3% of the vote compared with 49.7% for Allen County Commissioner, F. Nelson Peters IV, in the primary, defeating Peters by 661 votes, according to unofficial results.

Moses narrowly averted defeat by Matt Kelty in the 2002 general election for state representative. Moses won the election by 63 votes, which was verified by a recount. Moses was the only Democrat to win in the 81st House District that year. His usual victory percentage in elections for State Representative is approximately 60 percent.

Tom Henry represented the Third District for five terms on the Fort Wayne City Council between 1984 and 2004. He narrowly won re-election in 1995 by only 5 votes after the outcome was determined by a recount.

Lazy and apathetic voters of Fort Wayne, now more than ever, your city needs you!!

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You Tell Me

Saturday. . .Sunday. . .Mudvein. .err. .Monday! Sorry - this picture threw me off crack, err. .track, for a second there. . .I'm wondering what the charges were and who was behind this incident! But, on Mondays, YOU, faithful reader, get to play judge and juror, so. . .CAPTION THIS PHOTO:


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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chicago Mobilization - October 27,2007

Robert Rouse filmed the following videos from the mobilization in Chicago yesterday.

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Stewart stumps while Harper's hush hush

On October 12, I posed the question "Who's Your Man, Mitch?", in reference to Mitch Harper's exceedingly quiet position on which mayoral candidate he supports. It turns out that Chris Stewart also would like to have that question answered:

From today's Political Notebook:

Chris Stewart, the Democrat seeking the 4th District Fort Wayne City Council seat, last week sent out a statement touting the fact Democratic mayoral candidate Tom Henry and sitting Councilman Tom Hayhurst, D-4th, are endorsing his candidacy.

A Democrat getting endorsements from other Democrats in a general election is almost never a big deal, but what was more interesting was that Stewart questions where his opponent stands in the mayor’s race. While Stewart says he supports Henry – again, no surprise – he said Republican Mitch Harper has been exceedingly quiet when it comes to which mayoral candidate he supports.

“Right now it’s unclear where Mitch stands, and that calls into question his willingness to work with the next mayor,” Stewart said in a statement.

Only in this year’s election would this become an issue. With the local Republican Party split over whether to support embattled nominee Matt Kelty, it is apparently a campaign issue whether Republican council candidates support their mayoral nominee.

Harper could not be reached for comment, but when addressing the Republican Lunch Club this month, the slate of council candidates spoke about the importance to work for the party and to elect a strong council majority. What wasn’t mentioned by any candidate? The need to elect Kelty.

Chris Stewart and Karen Goldner have both run strong grass roots campaigns that have involved lots of time and shoe leather. Neither one of them needs to hope for a ride on Tom Henry's coat-tails. But, with Republican opponents who are afraid to even announce their support for Matt Kelty, they may get that added boost anyway.

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Jumbo Got Jets

Rap to the tune of Sir-mix-alot's Baby Got Back, in honor of the A380's first commercial flight:

I like big jets and I can not lie
You other flyers can't deny
When a plane flys in with two itty bitty props
And sixteen seats...no more...
You get scared, don' wanna try your luck
'Cause you know that the flight will suck
Bouncing, diving, shearin'
Got me sweating, shaking, fearin'

Hey Airbus, I wanna fly yer
Brand new double-decker
Frankly I'm not buyin'
Two's enough for flyin'--water's what I'm spyin'
But your four big engines
Will have me boardin' with a grin
So tease me, tease me...
With beds, champagne, and T.V.
I've seen planes aplenty
To hell with A320's
Jumbo's a big...rig
Like the 7-4-7, I dig!

I'm tired of the FAA
Sayin' 2's enough to stay
Up in the air when there ain't no spot
to land for a-half-a-day.
So...Airbus (Yeah!) Airbus (Yeah!)
Has your jumbo got four jets? (Hell yeah!)
Then book it! (Book it!) book it! (Book it!)
Book it to Japan!

Jumbo got jets!

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Any Questions?

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10 Most Dangerous American Associations

Right Wing bloggers comically came up with the 10 most dangerous American organizations. Pay particular attention to who they placed in the #2 slot:

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Perfected: The Ann Coulter Song

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Carlin on Countdown

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Spawn of AWB's Aboite Center Road Prank

This apple definitely didn't fall far from duh tree:


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Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Nite Retro

Welcome to Friday Nite Retro - LOL Edition! Ladies and gents, I present:

Classic Weird Al!

Another One Rides the Bus

I Lost on Jeopardy

I Love Rocky Road

Like a Surgeon


Living With a Hernia

Beverly Hillbillies

One More Minute

Amish Paradise

Bedrock Anthem

The Saga Begins

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

World's Biggest Jet Takes Flight

The world's largest jetliner made aviation history Thursday, completing its first commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney with 455 passengers, some of them ensconced in luxury suites and double beds.

The Airbus superjumbo lifted off from Singapore's Changi Airport and landed about seven hours later in Sydney. Also aboard Flight SQ380 was a crew of about 30, including four pilots.

Flight attendants handed out champagne and certificates to passengers, some of whom paid tens of thousands of dollars in an online auction for seats.

"I have never been in anything like this in the air before in my life," said Australian Tony Elwood, reclining with his wife, Julie, on the double bed in their private first-class suite.

The Boeing 747 jumbo jet generally carries about 400 passengers. The A380 — as tall as a seven-story building with each wing big enough to hold 70 cars — is capable of carrying 853 passengers in an all-economy class configuration.

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Chris Stewart for Fourth District City Council

As a Fourth District resident and the editor of Left in Aboite, I am heartily endorsing Chris Stewart for City Council. Most of you are already aware of my support for Chris, and I was going to present you with a long list of my reasons for that support. But, as it turns out, most of my thoughts regarding the man have already been publicly expressed by people who carry far more clout than I ever will. So I decided to share their endorsements with you:

"Chris Stewart is truly passionate about Fort Wayne and the potential it has to offer. He brings energy, trust, vision, and honesty to the political arena. Having Chris on the city council will ensure our city moving forward."

—Tom Henry, Democratic Mayoral Candidate

“Chris Stewart is a bright, energetic, and motivated young man. He is a family man and a businessman who knows Fort Wayne. Chris will do a great job representing the citizens of the fourth district.”

—Dr. Tom Hayhurst, Fort Wayne City Council

"Chris Stewart will bring energy and independent thinking to City Council. He'll demand that city services are delivered in a timely and efficient manner without raising taxes."

—State Representative Phil GiaQuinta

"Chris Stewart's energy, work ethic, knowledge of business and commitment to our community will be a great addition to City Council. He will listen to the people of the 4th District and be their advocate."

—Karen Goldner, 2nd District City Council candidate

Chris is endorsed by the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association

"Chris will represent the residents and business owners of our community exceptionally well. I have known Chris since childhood, and I can't think of anyone I would trust more to lead this community in to the future. You won't find anyone more committed to making a difference."

—Kirk Ray, CEO, St. Joseph Hospital

"Chris, a life-long resident of Fort Wayne, chose this community in which to raise his family. He has made a substantial investment in this community by owning and operating his local businesses, Frickers Restaurant and ISM. As a city councilman, Chris will use his knowledge of the community and his business experience to help Fort Wayne grow and prosper."

—Robert Eherenman, local attorney

"Chris Stewart will bring a no-nonsense attitude to City Council. He is fair, honest and hard working. His business experience and family values will guide Chris's ability to make Fort Wayne a better place to work and live...and we need it!"

—Todd Stewart, President, One Resource Group

"Chris Stewart is the complete package for the position of City Councilman... business owner, father, husband, and local volunteer. It is refreshing to see someone involved in politics so passionate about issues!"

—Andrea S. Baumer, Co-Owner, One Resource Group

"I have been a business partner with Chris's company for the past five years. During that time, Chris has impressed me with his energy, vision and ability to own and manage a business outside of his regular job. Chris has a passion to be successful and better the communities that he and his restaurants are involved with."

—Eric Morman, Senior Vice President, First Federal Bank

“We have very much respected Chris Stewart and his visionary efforts since we met him years ago. In 2002, He was instrumental of putting together a partnership between the Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Club and Fricker’s Restaurants at a time when many others in the community had doubts about the future success of the new downtown ballpark. Chris’ foresight has helped as Fricker’s continues to be a proud sponsor, and the Toledo Mud Hens have re-energized downtown Toledo and have shattered our old attendance records, nearly getting 600,000 fans this past season, with the support of those like Chris and Fricker’s. Chris’ contagious enthusiastic attitude is the equivalent of shaking up a can of soda pop for a minute and then pulling open the tab!”

—Scott S. Jeffer, Asst. General Manager/Marketing, Advertising & Sales, Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Club, Inc.

"Chris Stewart is an energetic young businessman with a mature passion for the future of Fort Wayne."

—James W. Fisher, DDS, MSD, President and Founder, Endodontic Associates, Inc.

I am a business owner with Chris Stewart, and have been a working partner with him for over 16 years. I can attest to his character, his ethics, and his loyalty. An extremely dedicated, hard working individual, Chris would be a refreshing addition to government in Fort Wayne . I know of no one with more enthusiasm and energy for whatever the task or challenge. He is a very involved and dedicated family man who manages an extremely active business, and also oversees a well established restaurant in Toledo , Ohio , and another one in Fort Wayne.I would enjoy seeing his enthusiasm and common sense approach at work within the Fort Wayne City Council."

—Mike Keller, President, International Sales and Marketing

"My husband and I have known Chris Stewart for 15 years. He has proven
himself to be an astute professional businessman. Chris has a great
respect for his family and community. A person with integrity,
determination and dedication of such magnitude deserves our support."

—Tamara Braun, Realtor/Broker, Remax Results

The preceding endorsements from leaders in our community carry far more weight to myself and most other voters than the negative muckraking employed by "right wing attack white dogs". It would be very easy to go negative against the opponent in this campaign - there's lots of material to work with. And that's all I will say on that matter.

If you reside in the fourth district, I encourage you to learn more about Chris Stewart. Visit his website, e-mail him with your questions, or ask to meet with him personally. He's open and accessible, and willing to talk about whatever is on your mind.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"What the heck is that?", I asked myself.

As I drove to the office today, I noticed a weird looking sign in a front yard. I had never seen one like it before, so I had to take a closer look. Turns out it's a 'Kelty for Mayor' sign. Huh. I guess not everyone is a Henry supporter; as I am very familiar with with his signs. I have been seeing them on vehicles and front yards for quite a while now! Well, now I know what a Kelty sign looks like. I wonder if this is his house?

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Time Corners Contract Approved

Benjamin Lanka from the Journal Gazette reports:

A long-awaited project on Fort Wayne’s southwest side took another step toward reality Wednesday morning.

The Fort Wayne Board of Public Works approved a contract between the city and state regarding the road project to realign the intersections at West Jefferson Boulevard, Covington Road and Getz Road, known as Time Corners.

The contract outlines that the city will pay $567,174 of the $3.4 million project. The rest of the money will come from state and federal sources.

The project will expand the short section of Covington Road between Getz Road and Jefferson Boulevard to allow for traffic in both directions. It currently allows only for westbound traffic. It will also change Covington and Jefferson to a four-way signal. The project also removes the current signal into the Time Corners shopping center and installs a new one farther north.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s editions of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 7 a.m. Thursday

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October 27th Mobilization To End The War

On Saturday, October 27th there will be 11 massive demonstrations for peace throughout the United States. In Boston, Chicago, Jonesborough, Tennessee, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle, people from all walks of life will join together to express their anti-war sentiments and to call for an immediate end to the conflict in Iraq.

With each passing day the human and financial cost of this unnecessary war grows more and more painful. It’s time for the American people to speak out; to collectively let our government know that it’s time for this war to end. October 27th provides just that opportunity and the world will be watching.

Take a look at the mobilization web site to get details on the marches October 27th and join your family, friends and neighbors in making sure that your voice is heard. It’s time.

Working together with our partners at United For Peace And Justice, Brave New Films has demonstrated again just how effective an advocacy tool video can be. As this video spreads throughout cyberspace, help it on its essential journey by spreading the word to friends and family. The power is in your hands, please use it and help the cause of peace now.

The video is presented by Robert Greenwald and the entire team at Brave New Foundation. It was produced by John Ehrenfeld and Chris Gordon, who also edited the piece.

The original song “People” was written by Alex Dickson and produced and mixed by Alex Elena. Featured musicians were Alex Elena on drums, Alex Dicksonon bass and guitar, Riley Geare on the Wurlitzer organ and Milena Mepris, Darren Geare and Alex Dickson on vocals.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why 2008 Will be a Perfect Storm for Republicans

By Mark Green:

In hindsight, we can see why incumbent parties have been blamed and creamed in federal elections, like Republicans in 1974 after Watergate and Democrats in 1994 after the failure of health care. Looking ahead, with 13 months to go, a perfect storm is gathering force that will likely decimate Republican strength in federal and state races.

There is no one earthquake producing a political tsunami but rather four separate seismic events that together—short of another terrorist attack or a new war against Iran—will alter the electoral terrain of America.

Iraq: Consider the numbers: when asked who can best end the Iraq war, only 5 percent of Americans in a recent poll said President Bush; consistent majorities of 70 percent want the war to end soon and 60 percent believe Bush misled us into this conflict. Claims of progress may momentarily quell public anger over this monumental blunder—say, General Petraeus's putting a happy face on the war. But such optimism is now as convincing as General Westmoreland's expecting "light at the end of the tunnel" in Vietnam or Baghdad Bob's denying American troops were anywhere near the Baghdad airport while those troops were seizing it.

What exactly can GOP candidates say next fall in the face of no WMD, no link between Saddam and 9/11, no ties between Saddam and al Qaeda, no flowers for "liberators," 5 million refugees both out of and within Iraq, Administration approval of torture, over 30,000 American dead and wounded as well as over 100,000 Iraqis killed -- not to mention an increase in terrorism world-wide? "Give us more time" for a war that's lasted longer than World War II?

None of this worked in 2006 and will be even less pervasive in 2008. As Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) recently acknowledged after a Senate vote on the war, the public knows this is Bush's and the Republican's war and will reward or punish candidates accordingly.

Economy: Most economic forecasters are predicting a one in two chance of a recession due to the foreclosure crisis leading to a credit crisis. Nor can Republican candidates convincingly cite Bush's eight-year record if '08 goes flat. Average monthly job creation and economic growth under Clinton was 237,000 and 3.6 percent; under Bush, it's 53,000 and 2.6 percent. Even if there's no recession but merely a slowdown, incumbent parties historically still lose seats and the White House if economic growth falls below 3 percent in the election year, as now seems inevitable.

At the same time, this Administration's record on spending and deficits—turning a projected $5.6 trillion surplus into $3 trillion in deficits—is dividing its own business base, according to Wall Street Journal last week. Now when asked which party would better maintain prosperity, it's Democrats by 54-34 percent according to Gallup.

And for the first time in several generations, the economic debate may include not only growth but also distribution. Static median income over the Bush years combined with winner-take-all increases in wealth by the top 1 percent have not gone unnoticed. A Pew Poll in 1988 found that by 71 to 25 percent, Americans thought themselves “haves” rather than “have nots”; by 2001, it was 48 to 48 percent. Any such data or arguments provoke Republicans to shout, “class warfare.” But this is blaming the mirror for the image. Can conservatives explain how ExxonMobil's Lee Raymond earned more per hour in 2005 than his average employee earned per year?

Intolerance: The GOP claiming to the "party of Lincoln" is a pretense long beyond its expiration date. During the Cold War, Republicans could successfully run against Reds and Blacks. Yet with the decline of Communism and the Southern Strategy, GOP strategists have instead turned to targeting terrorists, immigrants and gays. Hence all those terror alerts and anti-gay referenda in 2004, and strident anti-immigrant rhetoric in 2007. But can the GOP rely simply on white men to win, blowing off racial and other minorities in a country increasingly minority? Bush's small gain in the black vote from 8% in 2000 to 11% in 2004, including a pivotal 16% in Ohio, helped cement his narrow victory.

The recent refusal of leading Republican presidential candidates to attend key black, Latino and gay debates prodded former vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp to complain, “We sound like we don't want immigration; we sound like we don't want black people to vote for us. What are we going to do—meet in a country club in the suburbs one day?” It won't suffice any longer for 2008 convention organizers to put every minority delegate on the stage, hoping pictures will substitute for policy.

Children: President Bush made good on his threat to veto the expansion of the SCHIP program to extend health insurance to another 4 million children, notwithstanding the bi-partisan support of 43 governors and an 84 percent majority in a CBS-New York Times poll. He complains that such a move would federalize, even socialize, health care. So will he now end Medicare and Medicaid?

Yes, it would cost another $35 billion annually, but that would be entirely covered by a proposed increase in the tobacco tax. It's revealing that an administration which didn't veto any spending bills for six years and didn't sweat $50 billion in oil subsidies and $10 billion a month for Iraq now draws the line against providing health care to children at no-cost to the federal budget. It approaches political suicide for the Bush Administration and four top GOP presidential candidates to elevate the rhetoric of free-market fundamentalism over the reality of millions of children lacking health insurance.

Pro-war and anti-growth, anti-minorities, anti-children. Not a good way to run for election.

Beyond these four problems, a variety of other realities combine to dig Republicans into an even deeper hole. Recent polls show Democrats are more trusted on every domestic and foreign policy issue: education, health care, environment, economic growth, fiscal discipline, even terrorism. The number of Americans who self-identify as Republican is at a seven year low. While Americans believing the country is "on the wrong tack" was 50 percent in 2002 and 2004, it's now 67 percent. National Democratic committees and presidential candidates are outraising their Republican counterparts better than 2 to 1. And then there's the fact that Republicans are defending 22 Senate seats in 2008 compared to 12 for the Democrats. Nine Republican Senate seats are now considered vulnerable (Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon and Virginia).

Adding it all up: look for Democrats to end up with a near filibuster-proof 58 Senate seats (up from 51) and 260 House seats (up from 213 in 2005 and 233 in 2007). The 2006 and 2008 elections would then be the equivalent of a rolling realignment, comparable to the 51, 49 and 53 House seats that switched hands in 1958, 1974 and 1994 respectively. For when there's a tidal wave of sentiment, it doesn't tip some close contests but nearly all close contests. What John Kenneth Galbraith said of Black Monday 1933 is true for the GOP today: "The end had come, but it was not yet in sight."

Green, former New York City public advocate, is president of Air America Radio and author of the coming paperback "Losing Our Democracy."

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Viral Links

Below is a matrix of 120 stars, I have already added a link to my blog onto one of the stars, all you need to do is copy and paste the grid into your blog and add your own link to one of the other spare stars, and tell others to do the same!



When I receive a ping back once you have added the Viralink to your site I will add your link to this grid, and each person who copies the grid from here will also link to your site!

No Porn Sites
Only 1 link per person (i.e don't hog the viralink!)
Please don't tamper with other peoples url's

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GOP Minority Debate Avoiders Raked in Cash From Firms Accused Of Racism

While the four top GOP presidential posers missed the Sept 27 debate at Morgan State University in Baltimore that was organized to address minority issues, that didn't preclude them from raking in the dough from dozens of business and professional elites, including a top Wall Street banking firm that was sued that same week for racial discrimination.

Overall, it was a grand and enriching week for the four white males most likely to represent the Republicans in the 2008 presidential race. Among them, they amassed over $9 million while they were too "busy" to attend the debate at Morgan State.

The most egregious case is that of Morgan Stanley, who gave money to three of the four during the week of the minority debate they chose to miss. The NCRC filed a civil rights complaint against Morgan Stanley and its mortgage lender subsidiary Saxon Capital just three days before the debate, in one of the first challenge against a Wall Street mortgage bundler to allege redlining in minority communities throughout the United States under the Federal Fair Housing Act.

But Romney, McCain, Thompson and Giuliani weren't a bit inhibited from passing the hat at a company that saddled the gullible with sure-fail housing loans while bypassing qualified minority borrowers. While they didn't feel up to engaging black and Latino questioners at the debate, all but McCain eagerly vacuumed up a total of at least $40,000 that week from Morgan Stanley employees, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC (Morgan Stanley executives have given to McCain on other occasions.)

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Rudy on Gay Marriage: Then and Now


From the New York Times, 8/4/01:

For the past two months Rudolph Giuliani has been coming home at night to one of the happiest marriages in New York.

That's how long the mayor, in flight from his own marital wreckage at Gracie Mansion, has been a frequent sleepover guest at the home of Howard Koeppel and his partner, Mark Hsiao. Mr. Koeppel, who is 64, is a Queens car dealer who has been both a close friend and prodigious fund-raiser of Mr. Giuliani's since 1989. The 41-year-old Mr. Hsiao is a Juilliard-trained pianist who works at the city's Department of Cultural Affairs. They've been together almost 10 years -- are registered with the city as domestic partners -- and in happier times for the Giuliani marriage, double-dated with the mayor and Donna Hanover on New Year's Eve. Now they are doting hosts to Mr. Giuliani as he juggles his raucous divorce, his recovery from prostate cancer treatments, his waning months in office, his romance with Judith Nathan, his post-public-life future and, last but hardly least, his search for an affordable Manhattan apartment rental of his own.

The mayor's progressive record on gay civil rights notwithstanding, he has not endorsed same-sex marriage. But, says Mr. Koeppel, ''He did tell us that if they ever legalized gay marriages, we would be the first one he would do.'' Mr. Koeppel and Mr. Hsiao are in favor of the right to marry -- which, among other things, would give gay couples the same protections as heterosexual couples in legal and fiscal matters ranging from immigration and adoption rights to veterans' and Social Security benefits.


October 20, 2007

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, told The Hill Saturday that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) would support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.Perkins said Giuliani told him in a private meeting that if the Defense of Marriage Act appeared to be failing or if multiple states began to legalize same-sex marriages, then he would support the constitutional amendment.

Giuliani did not mention the amendment or the issue of gay marriage during his address to the Values Voters Summit, but that position could win him favor with some social conservatives who view the former mayor warily.


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You Tell Me

I hope YOU woke up in your own bed this morning! Since it IS Monday morning, and this gal's still sleeping, I need YOU to caption this photo:


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Sunday, October 21, 2007

The GOP is KILLING My Buzz, Man!

Hippies used to say "If you remember Woodstock, you weren't really there". Republicans say Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer can forget about getting $1 million in taxpayer funds for a Woodstock museum. The Democratic senators from New York want to earmark the federal money for a museum that would commemorate the 1969 music festival in their state.

"Woodstock Museum is a shining example of what's wrong with Washington on pork-barrel, out-of-control spending," said John McCain, adding "do NOT look at the bill for the Iraq war, which is NOT out of control or unjustified - and that's why I'M behind it 100%".

The Woodstock museum, officially called the Museum at Bethel Woods, is due to open next year. Bethel was the upstate New York village where organizers eventually put on the three-day Woodstock Music and Art Fair, featuring Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Band and others. The museum is part of a larger development that includes a 16,800-seat amphitheater and is called the Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts. It was opened in 2006.

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Old Enough Now to Ask How Dad Died at War

From: The New York Times

CamerynLee Orlowski was only 3 when her father, a Marine Corps reservist, was killed in Iraq.

In a grim marker of the longevity of the war, children who were infants or toddlers when they lost a parent in action are growing up. In the process, they are coming to grips with death in new, more mature and at times more painful ways — pondering a parent they barely knew, asking pointed questions about the circumstances of the death and experiencing a kind of delayed grief.

Families and bereavement counselors say that media coverage of the war, dedication ceremonies and even school events — in which most classmates have both parents in attendance — can all heighten yearning for the missing parent. For young children, the flood of prickly feelings and questions often arises just as the surviving parent is moving beyond his or her own intense grief, sometimes with a new spouse or partner in the picture.

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Comic's Round Up

"President Bush met with the Dalai Lama yesterday. It was a good meeting. The Dalai Lama taught President Bush how to meditate, and President Bush taught the Dalai Lama how to just nod off at meetings." - Jay Leno

"The Dalai Lama had a private meeting with President Bush...Believe it or not, they actually have a lot in common. One of the goals of Zen Buddhism is to completely empty your mind. The president did that years ago."
- Jimmy Kimmel

"Condoleezza Rice, bless her heart, is trying to work out a peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis. That's about as doable as she is" - David Letterman

"Did you hear that Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are cousins? It's strange, isn't it? In a related story, 20 years ago, it turns out Rudy Giuliani was briefly married to himself."
- David Letterman

"Experts were worried about China's reaction to President Bush's meeting with the Dalai Lama, but Bush says he doesn't think the meeting will damage our relationship with China. Then Bush said, 'But this might,' and took a huge bite out of a panda bear sandwich." - Conan O'Brien

"Obama and Cheney are actually cousins, but Barack did not inherit the family sneer." - David Letterman

"Isn't that amazing, Obama and Cheney related? Dick Cheney now has more blacks and gays in his own family than in the entire Republican Party." - Jay Leno

"A baker in Austria is in trouble for making his employees pay for the time they spend in the bathroom. This guy will record their bathroom breaks and then deduct the money from their pay. Can you imagine that? That's got to be Senator Craig's worst nightmare." - Jay Leno

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rudy in Disguise

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Republicans For Henry

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Friday Nite Retro

Good Evening and welcome once again to Friday Nite Retro! Tonight we're going to get the blues, but in a good way! Let's jump right in with Lonesome George and his Delaware Destroyers!

George Thorogood was born in Wilmington, Delaware on New Year's Eve, 1950 - No wonder the guy likes to party and rock out!

Thorogood cut his debut album, titled Better Than the Rest in 1974, and released it that same year. In 1976 he recorded his second album, the eponymous George Thorogood & The Destroyers with his band, and issued the album in 1977. Thorogood released his next album titled Move It On Over in 1978 with The Destroyers, which included the hit "Move It On Over".

Move it on Over

"Please Set A Date" and "Who Do You Love" both followed in 1979. Before devoting himself exclusively to music, Thorogood played semi-pro baseball.[1]In the late 1970s, Thorogood played on a team in Delaware in the Roberto Clemente League which was created in 1976. He was the second baseman and was chosen rookie of the year in the league. Soon after this achievement, The Destroyers forced him to quit playing the sport. In the 1970s, George and the band were based in Boston.

Who Do You Love

George and the band were friends with Jimmy Thackery and the Nighthawks. While touring in the 1970s, the Destroyers and the Nighthawks happened to be playing shows in Georgetown (DC) at venues across the street from each other. The Destroyers were engaged at The Cellar Door, the Nighthawks at Desperados. At midnight, by prior arrangement, while both bands played the same song ("Madison Blues") in the same key (E), George and Jimmy left their clubs, met in the middle of M street, exchanged guitar cables and went on to play with the opposing band.

I Drink Alone

George and the Destroyers are also notable for undertaking a rigorous touring schedule after appearing throughout the Rolling Stones tour in 1981. After two shows in Boulder, Colorado, George and his band flew to Hawaii and played for only one night. The next night they appeared in Alaska for one show. The following day the band flew to Washington State, met their roadies who had their Checker car and a truck, and continued a one show per state tour for all fifty states in exactly fifty nights. In addition, they played Washington, DC on the same day that they performed a show in Maryland.

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

Hello Little Girl

During the 1980s and 1990s, Thorogood recorded some of his most well known works. "Bad to the Bone" was used frequently in television and the big screen. Several appearances include Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the comedy Problem Child, John Carpenter's Christine, and during many episodes of the television sitcom Married with Children. This track also was used during the intro to the movie "Major Payne". The same song is also featured in the game Rock 'n Roll Racing. It is also played during football pregame festivities at Mississippi State University. Quincy Jones once said to Thorogood, "The three things important in a record is the tune, tune, and the tune".

Bad to the Bone

Get a Haircut

Check out the official George Thorogood website HERE.

That's a wrap for tonight's FNR! Rock on, dudes!

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Pete Stark Tells it Like it is!

Update! Robert Rouse has chimed in on this one:

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Can The Mainstream Media Survive?

This is a column by Jaffer Ali of EVTV1.com. Enjoy this great read:

"...the American press failed the Constitution. We were jingoistic. And that was a terrible failing. I'm asked the question all the time: What happened to my old paper, the New York Times? And I now say, they stink. They missed it. They missed the biggest story of the time and they're going to have to live with it."

--Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize winner on Iraq War Coverage

In 1992, James Carville ran the Clinton campaign and put up a sign in their "war room" that proclaimed; It's The Economy, Stupid. In one cryptic phrase, Carville encapsulated upon what their campaign needed to focus.

Carville knew what was important. Lack of focus is a common problem and in today's media environment, an incredible amount of information abounds. There is so much distraction that we are sorely in need of another cryptic phrase to bring clarity to the chaos. Let me propose; It's The Content, Stupid.

Information is delivered through mulitple platforms that include consuming media on your phone, iPod, computer at work and of course the old standby – television. But main- stream media companies (MSM) are confused as they lose audience share. They cannot understand what is happening to them, therefore are looking for love in all the wrong places.

They have misdiagnosed the problem. It is not the technology platform that is making audience shares shrink. It is the nature of the content and new competition from media outlets that are not part of the exclusive corporate club.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the news media. Newspapers, radio, television and cable are all losing audience. If you believe this is because of new technology platforms as many of the cognoscenti remain convinced, the sickness cannot be cured because It's The Content, Stupid.

In the opening quote by Seymour Hersh, he was not speaking about technology. He was speaking about the content that the NY Times prints. And he is right. Is it any wonder that the Times is losing readership? There are hundreds of alternative information sources that got the Iraq story right. These alternative outlets didn’t fail. And these online sites are growing, taking audience share away from the MSM.

The news media in the US serves a function that is really not discussed in polite conversation. It serves corporate interests of those who advertise with them. We easily recognize that the Iranian News Agency is serving interests other than the public good. When the Soviet Union had TASS, everybody understood that this was a news agency dedicated to serving the interests of the Soviet Union.

Having for a time personally lived under a monarchy with my aunt, who was charged with reading the daily news on radio and then television, everybody in the Kingdom understood that the news reflected the interests of the monarchy. For us in America, we can easily spot how media reflects other interests when it is someone else’s country and another country's media.

But it was more difficult to see how the media delivered news designed to go to war with Iraq…and most likely with Iran soon. The news served corporate interests and certainly not the public good. Ross Perot once said that "you have to commit the nation first before you commit the troops." The media is needed to achieve this function. It is bought and paid for to achieve this goal.

But a growing number seem to understand even if they cannot articulate it. Audiences are fleeing the MSM to seek information outside the mainstream. It is not the new technology that is captivating them. It's The Content, Stupid.

With alternative sources of information available online, the MSM has lost its collective stranglehold on information and people are seeking other sources because they sense something is not quite right.

When the MSM became drones for WMDs in Iraq as a casusbelli against Iraq, there were plenty of alternative voices suggesting that the proof did not exist. And of course these alternative news sources were proven correct. Similarly today, we have the mainstream press repeating the falsehood that the Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that "Israel must be wiped off the map" with the alternative media correcting the record.*

The mainstream news media is functioning as a quasi state-run organization reminiscent of TASS and others mentioned earlier. If alternate media sources can find the exact translation of the Ahmadinejad's phrase, or insist on
proof of the existence of WMDs before billions of dollars are spent and hundreds of thousands of lives lost, it is not the technology that is at fault for declining audience shares at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox. It's The Content, Stupid.

When Rosie O'Donnell turned The View toward discussing issues ranging from the 9-11 Truth movement to critiquing the Iraq War, audience share increased 7%, yet she left the show under questionable circumstances.** Audience share most likely increased because of the content. But that content conflicted with the prevailing corporate interests.

If MSM wants to reverse the slide of audience share, they would be wise to reward Rosie instead of banishing her. It must also be understood that technology is not the solution for eroding audiences; It's The Content, Stupid.

- Jaffer Ali


* The exact words Ahmadinejad spoke in Farsi quoted the deceased Imam Khomeini "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."

He was quoting the late Ayatollah Khomeini and the above translation is literally: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time". [emphasis added]

** According to Wikipedia, "This season the show [was] averaging 3.5 million total viewers, a 7% increase from [previous] season." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_View

Jaffer Ali is the CEO of the video portal EVTV1.COM. He
has been involved with online media since 1997 and can be
reached at j.ali (at) EVTV1.COM

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There's Something Happening Here. . .

When Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, and many other bands played their "No Nukes" concerts in 1979 to 100,000 people, they never dreamed they'd have to come back almost 30 years later to fight the same fight all over again.

But it's 2007, and here we go again. The nuclear industry just slipped a clause into the energy bill that will provide up to $50 billion in tax subsidies for to build new reactors—enough to launch a whole new generation of nukes! We've already got the safe, viable alternatives to replace the dirty energy we're using now. Building new atomic reactors in an age of terror threats is not only scary, but the toxic waste from nuclear power threatens our health and our planet.

The nuclear option is not the way to go.

So these old friends got together and recorded a music video to spread the word:

They've also launched a petition, and are asking you to sign it. Here's what it says:

"America's new energy policy needs to focus on safe and economic fuel sources. Congress must strip the nuclear tax subsidies from the energy bill before they pass it."

Clicking HERE will add your signature to the petition. When you're done, please take a minute to pass it along to your friends.

$50 billion in loan guarantees is a lot of money—enough to cover financial risk for the big banks who want to get involved. In other words, if something goes wrong, it will be the American taxpayers who foot the bill, not Wall Street.

It makes no sense. We know nuclear facilities are a target for terrorists. We know nuclear energy is toxic to our health and environment. And we know solar and wind power are safer, cheaper, and getting easier to use every day. This should equal a big "no" on nuclear energy, and a big "yes" to investing in clean energy. But the nuclear industry and their friends in Congress don't want to take no for an answer.

Everyone worked hard to pass this energy bill and most of it is great — we'll get more solar and wind with this bill, and even more fuel efficient cars. We just need to ask Congress to take the nuclear subsidies out.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Barry Welsh Campaign Moves Forward

CONNERSVILLE, IN – Barry Welsh, Democratic candidate for Indiana's sixth Congressional District, has stepped up his grassroots campaign. Over the past month, the Barry Welsh campaign team has moved to it's spacious new headquarters in Connersville, Indiana and has hired an Indy- based media relations firm, LevelSix Marketing & Public Relations. In addition, the position of finance director has been filled by Betsy Decillis.

LevelSix Marketing & Public Relations is a forward thinking firm. Founder and CEO, Andrea Simon, is thrilled about working on the campaign and believes that Barry Welsh is just the man to create a more powerful workforce and economy subsequently elevating the citizens of Indiana's Sixth District.

Betsy Decillis is a Columbus, Ohio native who previously worked on Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s campaign last year. She's a graduate of Ashland College where she founded and served as the president of the Young Democrats. "I'm very happy to join the great team Barry has assembled", said Decillis. " I look forward to the challenges ahead and will work hard to ensure this campaign is well financed for the 2008 General Election."

There will be an opportunity to visit the campaign's new headquarters and meet the staff at a "meet and greet" open house in the near future. A date and time will be announced soon.

The campaign is also pleased to announce that Q3 fundraising goals were not only met, but far exceeded earnings of the entire primary campaign in the previous election with over 200 individual donors. With this amount of early support, Barry Welsh will definitely give Mike Pence a run for his money and a clear choice to the people of Indiana's Sixth District.

For more information, please contact Andrea Simon at andrea@levelsixpr.com at 317-863-2291.

Or stop by our website and blog below:




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Night of the Living Republicans!

Personalized fun from the people at Jib Jab:


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Church and State

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries."

- James Madison (1751-1836)


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Abizaid on Iraq as a War About Oil

Gen. John Abizaid was until recently the commander of CENTCOM, the U.S. military's central command in Florida. At a roundtable this weekend, Abizaid said this about the Iraq war: "of course it's about oil, we can't really deny that." Cenk and Wes Clark Jr.explore the general's comments:

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ann Coulter has been "violated"

After typing that post title. . .I may never have sex again!! (shudder) Seriously though, the following post appeared on Man's website today:

Dear Readers,

I've been participating in a charade for nearly eleven years, now. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it. You have all been a part of a sick joke that I began considering shortly after first getting on the air. At first, it was quite interesting to see how people would react when I would use twisted logic and poorly masked bigotry.

But eleven years is a long time to be living a fake life, and I can no longer tolerate this falsity. Even someone as fake as I tires out eventually.

Here's the truth, I don't care what people believe. Jews don't need to be "made perfect" as I so arrogantly proclaimed to Editor & Publisher not a half week ago. I don't even care if people are Muslim. Granted, I don't know much about the religion or the people, but they are people. This is something that we cannot forget, they are in an abhorrent situation. These people are in need of education. Perhaps if we did not participate in causing them misery, they would not hate us so.

In fact, does it really matter whether we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or even Pagan? We are one nation. One. We should not let petty differences separate us, we are all American, and should act in that manner.

And with that, my precious viewers, I bid you adieu. My career as a media figurehead is over.


Ann Coulter

While these hackers were in there (AGAIN I shudder!!), they should have also admitted to Andy Coulter's sex-change operation, her Jewish heritage, and her unrequited love for Hilary Rodham Clinton. I'm just sayin'. . .

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Who's the Black Sheep in the Family?

I'M guessing it's the fat, pasty, old white man with the shotgun and threatening tones:

Go back far enough, the saying goes, and everyone's related. But could it be possible that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Vice President Dick Cheney share a common ancestor? Lynne Cheney says yes.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Henry-Stewart Open House Recap

On Sunday we held an open house for Democratic mayoral candidate Tom Henry and 4th district city council candidate Chris Stewart. A nice mix of neighbors and local bloggers were in attendance for the event, which ran from 2-4:30 PM. Tom and Chris gave a very nice presentation to the group and answered questions ranging from the Harrison Square project downtown to issues with the local water utility, Aqua Indiana, here in Aboite. All questions were thoroughly answered, and participants in our "mini town hall meeting" left satisfied and more fully informed than when they arrived.

The information on TIF Districts and how they apply to Harrison Square were most enlightening to myself and several others. One often hears how the mainstream media doesn't really provide enough information to the public due to schedules and time constraints - I can now vouch for that personally! I learned more about this project in a 30 minute Q&A session with knowledgeable persons than I have from months of local media coverage.

I was so wrapped up in the discussion that I even failed to take any pictures. Fortunately enough, Stan the Man Ham had his trusty digital camera ready and waiting:

Left to Right: Chris Stewart, Stan Matuska, Tom Henry

Tom Henry fields questions from participants

I'd like to thank Tom Henry and Chris Stewart for sharing an afternoon with us during their busy campaign schedule! In addition, I must acknowledge the local bloggers who were in attendance as well, in no particular order:

Rachel, Parson, Robert, Sheri, Roger, and Stan.


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The REAL Rudy: Radios

Rudy Giuliani is running for office on how he handled 9/11 and here we have proof positive that firemen were killed because his administration did not fix the long-standing (since 1993!) problems with the radios.

This Brave New Films investigative report calls attention to four key questions about Rudy's handling of the broken radios from firemen's families and experts:

  • Why was nothing done to improve FDNY radio performance for seven years after a clear need was demonstrated in the 1993 World Trade Center attack?
  • When new radios were finally ordered, why did the city block other companies besides Motorola from bidding on the contract?
  • Once Motorola was given the contract, why did its cost jump from $1.4 million to $14 million?
  • Why were these new radios never tested?

The families of the firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11 deserve answers to these questions. We call on a full, public investigation to uncover the facts behind the Giuliani administration’s pre-9/11 emergency preparation. Please go HERE to sign this petition.

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Bethany or One Week in Iraq

Do you suppose Michelle Malkin will go to Bethany's house, too?


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You Tell Me

Monday? MONDAY?? What in the hell happened to Saturday and Sunday??? Oh well, since we're all already here anyway, let's have a few laughs as we caption this photo:


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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cake-Gate - Redux

Because who doesn't have room for more cake! Here are two local media takes on the story:



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The Great Underground Obama Smear Campaign

Apparently the Nigerian money laundering scheme has some new competition for your attention. While that old ploy attempts to speak to your greed, these newer ones want a dialogue with your inner racism and speak directly to your inner fears about those who are "different":

“Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background,” warns an e-mail titled “Who Is Barack Obama”. “The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the U.S. from the inside out; what better way to start than at the highest level?” “Please forward to everyone you know,” it ended.

Another widely forwarded e-mail is titled “Can a good Muslim become a good American” and answers that question negatively, before concluding: “And Barack Hussein Obama, a Muslim, wants to be our president!!!”

The misinformation is further expanded thanks to the likes of conservative pundits like Ed Rogers, who referred to the candidate as “Barack Hussein Obama”, radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, who regularly includes the senator's otherwise little-used middle name, and Michael Savage, who called him “Hussein Barack Obama.”

Not that it matters to any to these folks, but Obama, in fact, is not a Muslim. They dislike him not for his faith but for the pigmentation of his skin. It’s hard to measure how these chain e-mail "swift-boat attacks"can effect a campaign, but there are definite indications that they are being heard:

First, “barack obama muslim” is the third most popular Google search for the presidential candidate's name, behind “barack obama” and “barack obama biography,” according to Google Suggest, which tracks the frequency of word searches. I have included these in the tags for this post - we'll see what sort of traffic it pulls in.

Second, a CBS News poll in August found that, in response to an open-ended question about Obama’s faith, 7 percent of Americans identified him as a Muslim — more than any other response. The right answer, Protestant, was second at 6 percent. Which leaves a whopping 87% who didn't know or just didn't care about the issue.

The racists behind these annonymous e-mails are scoundrels of the worst kind with a need to feed their hatred for someone, anyone, in whatever manner they can. While it’s no longer “socially acceptable" to hate black people, it's still okay to hate Muslims. And that gives these bastards a way to attack a black man in a roundabout sorta way. But it still has the same smell. . .

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