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Friday, February 29, 2008

Did Hillary plagiarize McCain's ad?

Spots are nearly identical:

Since tonight's running theme seems to be plagiarism, I just had to run with a story brought to me by Human of Carbon Paper - which he found on Daily Kos. I think that about covers the credits due! =) . . .Earlier this evening, I posted the "3 AM" ad by the Hillary Clinton campaign, as well as Obama's video response to it. Since then I have gained some new information. First, watch "3 AM" again:

The Clinton ad

Next, watch this video from the John McCain campaign, which was released back in January:


Hmmm. . .What say YOU? ? ?

And did McCain, in turn, borrow HIS ad idea from Fritz?

Or is this all just a popular theme for attacking a less experienced rival. . .

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Friday Nite Retro

Thank God it's F R I D A Y ! ! !

Welcome once again to Friday Nite Retro. Tonight's journey takes us back to the late 1970's and early 80's for some groovin' sounds from Ray Parker! Although he's primarily know for singing the theme song from Ghostbusters, which Huey Lewis and Lyndsay Buckingham both turned down, Parker had several other hit singles as well as working with Barry White in the early 70's and writing and performing session work for The Carpenters, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Leon Haywood, Temptations, The Spinners, Boz Scaggs, Rhythm Heritage, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Honey Cone, and Diana Ross.

Parker created Raydio in 1977, with Vincent Bohnam, Jerry Knight, and Arnell Carmichael. The group scored their first big hit, "Jack and Jill", off of their self-titled album in 1978. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and earned the band a gold record.

Jack and Jill

The next year saw their follow-up hit, "You Can't Change That" from the Rock On album, hit #9 on the Billboard charts.

You Can't Change That

In 1980, their name morphed into Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio, and they released two final albums: Two Places at the Same Time(1980) and A Woman Needs Love(1981).

A Woman Needs Love

After Raydio broke up in 1981, Parker continued on to a successful solo career, scoring six Top 40 hits, including the hit single "The Other Woman" in 1982 "I Sill Can't Get Over Loving You in 1983, and "Ghostbusters" in 1984.

The Other Woman

I Still Can't Get Over Loving You

Parker was accused of plagiarizing the melody for Ghostbusters from Huey Lewis & the News' song "I Want a New Drug". This ended with Lewis suing Parker, and the pair settled out of court in 1985.


From his 1984 album Chartbusters:


And, from 1987's After Dark:

I Don't Think That Man Should Sleep Alone

Stop by and visit Ray at his official site.

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Tim Goeglein: In my own words

Local Bush insider nailed for plagiarism:

I was going to write a post about Tim Goeglein last year. I either just never got around to it, or was sub-consciously avoiding the subject altogether. It would not have been a very nice column. Tim's a nice guy and all, but. . .our world views are as different as night and day.

You see, Tim and I were classmates. And having alphabetically close names, even shared several home rooms over the years. Back in those days, I thought little about politics. Tim was always on student council; I was already working. Perhaps our separate paths had already been set at that young age.

I can't tell you much about Tim after high school; I never thought about him again until we both attended our 20-year high school reunion in 2002. I recall being disgusted by his position as an aide to Bush, but remained civil. That early on, he was already projecting that cheesy Washington insider persona, dripping with false interest in everyone who's hand he shook. He seemed even more fake to me at our 25th reunion last summer. I watched, amazed, as others appeared awestruck by his stories and canned witticisms.

I started doing some Google-searching of my own, just to see what he was all about these days. What I found only lessened my opinion of what he had become - and who he associated with:

Goeglein is such a solid "ambassador" to the Christian Right that when Ted Haggard, the head of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE - website), made his first post-election visit to the White House he stopped by and congratulated Goeglein for his effective work of bringing Christian voters to the polls.

"He is the key person that actually produced the evangelical vote in America," Haggard told the Indianapolis Star. "It was Karl Rove's initiative, but it was Tim that actually did it. When we call Tim, his office responds. He's the one evangelical leaders across America have a relationship with."

In addition to giving Goeglein his props, Haggard was at the White House to "talk about proposed legislation and encourage the White House to hire evangelicals as interns," the Star reported.

In short, Tim was the "go to" guy when Bush and Rove needed someone to pat the heads of the religious right. . .to assure them that Bush and company were on their side and to get out the vote for him. He likely was a huge force in turning them out to elect the great national disaster that we have endured for the last 7 years. And for that, I cannot forgive him.

Olbermann on Goeglein

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Obama responds to Clinton's "3 AM" ad

The Clinton ad

The Obama response

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Do as I SAY, not as I DO

Oopsie! I forgot MY flag pin. .

Rep. Jack Kingston lambasted Barack Obama for not wearing a flag pin, proclaiming that we ALL proudly wear our flag pins. Problem is, he wasn't wearing one at the time. . . in fact, I didn't see a flag pin on his lapel in any of the pictures I viewed while google searching him a few minutes ago. Clueless ,fucking hypocrite . . .

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House votes to repeal "big oil" tax breaks

Enough is enough!

After the U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to repeal $18 billion in tax breaks for big oil companies to help pay for developing renewable energy sources, Bush threatened to veto the bill, saying that it "unfairly targets the oil industry". Read that last line again, and recall that Exxon Mobil, by itself, recorded record profits of $40.6 BILLION last year. These bastards have gotten fat (particularly the fat bastard pictured) off us, reaping windfall profits while George Bush hands them back billions of our tax money!

Even you conservative, pro-business, common market folks must find fault with subsidizing an industry that requires no help in the first place! "Nothing wrong with making a profit" is the talking point that I keep hearing from these people. I agree, to a point. But I take exception at obscene profits that are made merely to make obscene profits - big oil has had no unexpected increased expenses, no shock waves. They are directly fucking the American people, while their enabling lackey in the White House not only protects them, but hands them more of our money via tax breaks.

In 2007, the price for a barrel of oil jumped from $50 to $100. I don't recall hearing that the supply fell by 50%, nor did I receive any information regarding a huge increase in expenses for the oil companies. What I HAVE heard is that big oil was given billions to offset THEIR usual and customary expenses, while those of us in the transportation industry not only got screwed at the pump, but received no in-kind government assistance to help us like the oil companies got. My annual fuel costs have increased from $3.5k in 2001 to $10.5k last year - where's MY big tax break? Somewhere on Exxon Mobil's tax return, apparently. . .

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Obama "schools" John McCain

Correctly places blame where it belongs:

John McCain got his first taste of what it'll be like going toe-to-toe with Barack Obama...and it wasn't pretty. Obama pretty much took him to school when it came to al Qaeda in Iraq:

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An oldie but a baddie

John McCain's chart-topping new single:

He has served his country in the military, the Congress, and the Senate. Now he serves America in song:

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Bloomberg officially not running

Editorial puts rumors to rest:

After two years of playing coy about his presidential ambitions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared in a newspaper editorial Wednesday that he will not run for president but might support the candidate who "takes an independent, nonpartisan approach." Unlike Ralph, umm, what's his name again? Bloomberg would have been a credible and formidable candidate.

The 66-year-old billionaire businessman, who aides had said was prepared to spend $1 billion to run as an independent, wrote in an editorial on The New York Times' Web site that he will work to "steer the national conversation away from partisanship and toward unity; away from ideology and toward common sense; away from sound bites and toward substance."

"I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to run, but I am not _ and will not be _ a candidate for president," he wrote.

In the Times editorial, Bloomberg wrote that while he is not running, the race is too important for him to stay completely out.

"And so I have changed my mind in one area," he said. "If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach _ and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy _ I'll join others in helping that candidate win the White House."

Putting his endorsement _ and wealth _ behind one of the candidates could make a significant difference. And Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, has ties to Obama, Clinton and Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

John Lewis endorses Obama

"Something is happening in America"

Civil rights leader John Lewis dropped his support for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid Wednesday in favor of Barack Obama. The Atlanta Democratic congressman, also a superdelegate, is the most prominent black leader to defect from the Clinton camp in the face of nearly unanimous black support for Obama in recent voting.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell interviewed Lewis about his decision to switch his endorsement from Clinton to Obama. Lewis told Mitchell that the decision was extremely difficult, "much tougher" than when he helped lead the famous march on Selma, Alabama in 1965. Lewis had his head smashed in during that particular incident. Watch the video of Mitchell's interview with Lewis below:

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Bush takes aim at Yellowstone wolves

Seeks removal from endangered species list:

Remember this ad from Bush/Cheney in 2004:

Now Bush is turning on the stars of his little terror invoking ad:


Dear Activist,

The Bush administration has just eliminated federal protections for hundreds of endangered wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

Please protest this decision now - it will only take a minute to send your message in support of protecting these wolves!

This decision leaves wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies at the mercy of outrageous state management plans that allow for the killing of as many as 1,200 wolves - 70% of all the region's wild wolves!

Idaho officials want to use aerial gunning to kill wolves in their state. Wyoming agencies have left the door open to the use of traps and poison to eliminate wolves. And officials in both states - and Montana - have proposed wolf hunts.

That's not responsible wildlife management. It's a recipe for disaster.

Please make your voice heard today and demand continued protections for wolves!

Thank you for your urgent action today,

Rebecca Young,
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Let the Bush administration know you strongly oppose its decision to remove Greater Yellowstone wolves from the list of federally protected threatened and endangered species.

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Mayor ousted for My Space pics

THIS is scandal?

Carmen Kontur-Gronquist, now former mayor of Arlington, Oregon, has been removed from office for having racy photos of herself on her My Space page. In a Monday referendum, the residents of Arlington voted 142- 139 to remove her from office.

The photos, taken for a fitness contest that she had entered before becoming Mayor of Arlington, were not publicly available. (Apparently they were- see left) I don't see what the big deal is - you see more skin in prime time television than you do in this pic. . .

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William F. Buckley has died at 82

William F. Buckley, a leading contributor to the conservative movement, scourge of American liberalism, and founder of the National Review succombed to emphysema today at his home in Stamford, Connecticut.

Buckley was often sarcastic and cruel in defense of his beliefs. His gladiatorial contests on air reached a climax in this infamous row with Gore Vidal in 1968. When Vidal persisted in suggesting that Buckley's views made him something close to a fascist, Buckley burst out: "Now, listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, or I'll sock you in the face!":

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Obama opens double-digit national lead

Respondents find him caring - inspiring - diplomatic

A new CBS News/New York Times poll finds Barack Obama with a 16-point lead over rival Hillary Clinton among Democratic primary voters nationwide. Obama, coming off 11 straight primary and caucus victories, had the support of 54% of Democratic primary voters nationally to Clinton's 38%. In a similar poll taken three weeks ago,Obama and Clinton were tied at 41%; Clinton led by 15 points nationally in January.

  • Clinton has lost her advantage among women, according to the poll: The two leading Democrats now have even levels of support among female primary voters.

  • Men, meanwhile, disproportionately favor Obama. He leads Clinton among male Democratic primary voters 67% to 28%, and leads among white men 61% to 33%.

  • 59% of Democratic primary voters said Obama has the best chance of beating likely Republican nominee John McCain in the general election. 28% said Clinton is most likely to win in November.

  • Obama is now seen as the likely Democratic nominee: More than two-thirds of Democratic primary voters said they expect the Illinois senator to win the nomination.

  • When all registered voters were asked who they favored in a head-to-head general election match up between Obama and McCain, Obama led by 12 percentage points, 50 to 38 percent.

  • In a Clinton-McCain match up, registered voters were evenly split, with 46% backing each candidate.

  • Obama beats McCain by 10 points among independents, while McCain beats Clinton by 17 points among that group.


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Larry Craig wants YOU!

Senator seeks fresh meat:

Senator Larry Craig is looking for a few good men boys. It's bad enough that he lied about his transgressions in the first place, STILL claims to have no sexual interest in other men, and refuses to resign for the good of his state. This disgraced, shameless, seeker of secretive bathroom stall sex with strangers actually had the audacity to release the following press release today:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Idaho Senator Larry Craig is currently seeking intern applications for the summer term, which runs from May to August. The application deadline is March 15, however if more time is needed for the application process, please contact Senator Craig's office for an extension. Craig offers paid internships within the Washington, D.C., office. Preference is given to Idaho applicants attending Idaho schools who are in their junior or senior years of college (including graduating seniors).

'"Interns have the chance to be an essential part of a working congressional office," said Craig. "They participate in the legislative process as well as ensure that constituent services run smoothly. For those interested in politics, it is an incredible opportunity to get an in-the-behind-the-scenes look at how our government functions while serving the people of Idaho."

Interns are paired with staffs members based on experience and interests, in order to best utilize their talents. They are also expected to fulfill some administrative duties such as answering phones, sorting mail and greeting constituents.

Who in their right mind would apply for a position under this man?

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Chris Dodd endorses Obama

Senator seeks party unity.

Senator Chris Dodd, a former rival, superdelegate, and longtime friend of the Clintons, endorsed Barack Obama today. At a Cleveland press conference with Obama, Dodd denied he was implying that Hillary Clinton should drop out, and was merely suggesting that both campaigns watch their tone over the next week leading up to the critical Ohio and Texas contests. Dodd had informed Clinton of his decision last evening, calling it "not a comfortable" discussion.

"It is now the hour to come together," he told reporters in Cleveland. "I believe the hour has come now for us to make that choice - to stand up and say we're going to get behind this candidacy."

"I don't want a campaign that is only divisive here, and there's a danger of it becoming that," he said. "Not because the candidates want that, but too often the advisors the consultants others are seeking for that divisiveness."

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Dear friend - Please forward this!

If you DON'T, then you don't love Jesus:

Vic DeMize, of The Pragmatist's Corner, has taken the time to investigate and debunk an "alarming" e-mail that he received today concerning the "true facts" of the social security system. In this particular gem, Democrats are blamed for every ill that has ever befallen the system - In others, the pachyderms across the aisle are laid waste to. Either way, our spam mailboxes are in need of constant cleaning!

Vic has some advice for those who send out these annoying, and generally factless, e-mails:

"So to those who delight in passing on misinformation without taking the time to do their own research, let me assure you: I will do your research for you and if your facts are found to be lacking I will not hesitate to present the truth, not only to you, but to everyone you sent your bullshit (it's called "Reply to All"), ensuring your social embarrassment and destroying your credibility in the eyes of your online friends."

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Hillary mocks Obama during campaign rally

Resorts to Karl Rove style attacks:

Hillary Clinton, with her campaign on its last legs after suffering a string of defeats to Obama, has made the decision to go negative in an attempt to halt his momentum. On Saturday, she also accused Obama's campaign of using negative tactics "right out of Karl Rove's playbook" in mailers that misrepresent her positions on NAFTA and healthcare. The Obama mailings have been in ciculation since Super Tuesday, and she just NOW suddenly has an issue with them?

In their debate last week, Hillary Clinton proclaimed "how proud she was to be standing on the same stage with Barack Obama". Apparently that love fest has ended, and the wounded Clinton is resorting to the same Rovian style tactics that she's accused Obama of - in this case, attacking your opponent's strengths.

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Jimmy Kimmel - "I'm fucking Ben Affleck"

Jimmy Kimmel gets his revenge!

Three weeks ago I posted the video "I'm fucking Matt Damon"- a joke on Jimmy Kimmel by his girlfriend, Sarah Silverman where she claimed to be, well, fucking Matt Damon. Jimmy vowed revenge, and how sweet it is! Enjoy this star-studded video response:

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You Tell Me

Dead snowman walking!

Welcome to another "Frosty" Monday morning and yet another opportunity to amaze us with your photo captioning skills! Grow some (snow)balls and caption this sucker already!


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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chuck Buckley is alive and well!

Just posted on Divided States of Bu$hmerica:

For those of you reading this who don't know Chuck, he vanished without a trace last November. We've all been greatly concerned about him, and had even feared the worst. When I saw his blog showing "updated" in my blogroll this evening, I thought it was likely a glitch. But I clicked over anyway, and was greatly relieved to read the following:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

We're home and OK

I abandoned this blog without a word and for that I'm VERY SORRY to my readers and net-friends, but I had good reason. Our grandaughter was born in November with many complications. She was admitted into Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Columbus, OH and that's where we have been "living" this past couple of months- literally ceasing our daily lives. We just returned home with her in January. She is doing better, but will require a lot of continuous care. We've had a few trips back to Columbus since then and many local doctor appointments- 2 to 3 per week. She and her parents (our son and his fiance) will be living with us. All of our lives have been changed by this.

Right now, I don't know if I'll be able to get back into this blog and this is the first time I've even had the mental opportunity to make this post. Please understand that our nerves are not in the best condition and we're far behind on everything at home.

I hope to be able to start visiting your blogs again soon. I honestly haven't even read any comments here yet, but I intend to in the next few days. I have been (slowly) catching up on the political scene. Its nice to see bush nearly unmentioned by the media these days...must be tough on an ego like that.

May the cosmic forces bless you. Thank you all for your net friendships.


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Go Ahead And Die! (Pirates Of The Health Care-ibean)

The health care crisis as depicted by pirates:

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Nader announces candidacy for President

I'll take "people who just don't get it" for $1,000, Alex!

Ralph Nader, a candidate who is unsafe at any speed, announced his third-party run for the presidency today on NBC's "Meet the Press." Nader pledged to "shift the power from the few to the many." Unfortunately for him, that slot
has already been filled in this election cycle.

Nader, at 73, is two years older than John McCave and almost as batshit crazy. He's also directly responsible for the initial election of George Bush in 2000. His candidacy that year cost Democrats the election by siphoning votes away from Al Gore in the razor-thin contest in Florida, that was decided by the Supreme Court anyway.

Though he won 2.7 percent of the national vote as the Green Party candidate in 2000, his percentage dropped to just 0.3 percent as an independent in 2004, when he appeared on the ballot in only 34 states. I'll take "people who just don't get it" for $1,000, Alex!

Nader claims that most people are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties due to a prolonged Iraq war and a shaky economy, and blamed tax and other corporate-friendly policies under the Bush administration that he said have left many lower- and middle-class people in debt. So he gets it HALF right. . .and, again, we already have a candidate who is the exact opposite of all of those things, Barack Obama.

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Saturday Night Live has found it's Fauxbama

Armisen has also portrayed Ahmadinejad and Prince:

Saturday Night Live has tapped regular cast member Fred Armisen to play its Obama , which he did with his brow furrowed the whole time, doing a nice rendering of Obama's from-30,000 feet speechifying and penchant for scribbling during debates.

The CNN debate spoof greedily hit on it all around the central conceit that the media was "totally in the tank" with Obama. Kristen Wiig was a smitten Campbell Brown, Jason Sudeikis a drooling John King, and Will Forte a dashingly handsome Jorge Ramos, whose question to Obama was "Are you comfortable? Can we get you anything?" while all three panelists ignored and insulted Amy Poehler's Clinton (by far the best example of that was when Wiig's Brown smacked down Clinton for interrupting the "randomly selected" audience questioner, Obama Girl. "I think you owe Obama Girl and .all the people of this nation an Obam-apology," she deadpanned.

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Waxing Nostalgic at the Roller Dome

My daughter's future memories invoked my old ones:

My oldest daughter, Samantha, turned 8 yesterday. This year she wanted to have a skating party for the occasion, so my wife reserved a birthday party at Roller Dome South (pictured at left). Sam's been to RDS a few times for school parties and such; I hadn't been there since, to the best of my recollection, 1978 or so. That would have made me 14 years old at the time. I really don't recall being a roller skating fan - I think it was more along the lines if "that's where the girls hang out". . .

Walking in tonight, I was still amazed at the familiarity of the place after three decades and the handful of times that I had actually been there back in those days. I'm sure that the walls have been painted different colors and pinball games have morphed into video games, but it was still sort of nostalgic.

While the physical atmosphere seemed little different to my old eyes, the actual atmosphere of the place was quite changed. Although this may just be a generational thing. . . the music was 95% hip-hop or along those lines. As I don't normally hang out at roller rinks, I can't say with any certainty whether or not that is the current trend in such places. When last I had set foot into one, disco was the music du jour and, as skating, much like dancing, is all about what you can groove to, I was likely just the old guy out of his comfortable little pond. Still, I kept waiting for the DJ (Who I later discovered to also be the janitor) to play "Le Freak"!

Sam had a great time, and that's what matters. She was enthralled by my tales of skating in this very same rink so very long ago, in the way that only kids of a certain age can be before they grow old enough to find you boring, old-fashioned, and embarrassing. I'm sure it's a memory I will cherish before long. . .

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Toni Basil at 64

26 years after "Mickey", Basil defies time:

Toni Basil, left, is now 64 years. . .I was gonna say old, but somehow that word doesn't seem to apply to her. We should all look so good at retirement age. Thing is, most people probably don't realize that she was 39 years old when she made the video for her "fifteen minutes of fame" called Mickey - she only appeared to be half of her age way back then! The video is available below for your perusal. . .

Although she's primarily know for her popular video, Basil was actually involved in a number of projects over the last 40 years. She played the part of the brunette prostitute Mary in Easy Rider, as well as appearing in TV shows such as Laverne & Shirley and Baywatch), and worked as a choreographer for movies such as American Graffiti, The Rose, and Legally Blonde.

Basil's recording career began in 1966 with a rare one-off single for A&M Records, the title song from the film Breakaway. Although she appeared three times as musical guest during the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975–76, it wasn't until 1982 that she released a follow-up, the international smash "Mickey". This song is, in fact, a cover of "Kitty", a 1979 release by UK band Racey, written by British hitmakers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Furthermore, "Mickey" was actually recorded in 1979, and when her record label wanted to release the song in 1982, Basil was reluctant, believing the song already sounded "dated". But the label persevered, and pop-music history was made.

The music video for "Mickey" was one of the most popular of the early MTV videos. In t video, Basil wore her head cheerleader uniform from Las Vegas High School, the school from which she had graduated from in 20 years prior. She has a special fondness for the song today and its enduring popularity. Basil has said on more than one occasion that she would gladly put on the cheerleader uniform she wore in the video again if she washe asked to. In 2003, VH1 ranked "Mickey" Number 5 on its list of the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders:

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Lionel Show - Now on YouTube!

Regular morning listeners of Air America Radio are no doubt familiar with Lionel, who hosts the 9AM-Noon slot on the network. The Lionel Show is now taking baby steps into the world of new media by adding their own YouTube channel, and you get to see what Dermott, Juice-tan, and Al B. Damned look like too:

Lionel - Web Intro

Listen in as Lionel dispatches an unsuspecting printer salesman calls the wrong number and gets more than she can handle:

Lionel vs. The Telemarketer

Lionel discusses the dark side of plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery gone bad

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The Politics of Fear

The fear card has been all played out.

GOP's FISA Thriller: 3, .. 2, .. 1 .. We're All Going to Die. And it will be all the House Democrats' fault, or so this video attempting to scare the crap out of you posted over at GOP.gov portends, although it is the fault of the Republicans refusing to negotiate on their insistence on covering up Bush's crimes by protecting the telecoms who enabled him.

All the GOP has left is the fear card, and that sucker is wore slam out. Bush's trusty Supreme Court has already seen fit to throw up a firewall for the telecoms, so why is it the Republicans are still insisting on holding up the FISA bill? It's because the Republican Party will do anything they can to keep whatever secrets are hidden in those NSA spy rooms from ever incriminating their President, even if it does mean putting our country at more risk to do so. That's why.

Here's a parody video that rebukes the fearmongering video that the House GOP just put out about the "destruction of the world" because the Telecoms didn't get immunity.

And finally,In case you missed it, on Thursday night's "Countdown" Keith Olbermann presented an impressively detailed timeline he called "The Nexus of Politics and Terror," in which he chronicled the Bush administration's exploitation of terror threats for political gain. Olbermann's exhaustive account weaves from each revelation of an intelligence failure or a Democratic political victory to an almost immediate orange alert or "new threat" from al Qaeda.

The clip is 17 minutes long and entirely worth it, and its conclusion — "what we were told about terror, and not told, for security reasons, has overlapped considerably with what we were told about terror, and not told, for political reasons" — is a dutiful summary of the past six years:

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The Marching Storm of Democracy

Democracy is alive and well in Texas!

Texas Republicans have worked overtime to make it harder for key Democratic voting groups to vote and be represented fairly. The whole state was gerrymandered out the yin-yang (if you recall, back in 2003, statehouse Democrats were forced to flee to Oklahoma in a futile attempt to block the GOP's redistricting plan) back in 2003 - the redistricting games they’ve played are infamous. And for the Prairie View A&M University precincts, they put the early-polling place more than seven miles from the school.

The historically black university is home to about eight thousand students, who study in a range of fields - most notably engineering, nursing and agriculture - and they have a famous marching band called the Marching Storm (which, as you'll soon see, is pretty appropriate):

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Ted Kennedy Serenades Crowd

¡Voto para Obama el 5 de marzo!

Ted Kennedy belted out a popular Mexican song to a cheering crowd during a Barack Obama event in Laredo, Texas:

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Nite Retro

Welcome once again to that weekly excursion into obscurity that I call Friday Nite Retro! Tonight I'm featuring the work of members of Buffalo Springfield, The Eagles, Loggins & Messina, and several other obscure bands. In other words, they had alot of turnover during the tenure!

When Buffalo Springfield split up in 1968, Richie Furay and Jim Messina decided to form a new band called Pogo. Cartoonist Walt Kelly had issues with the use of that name, so they switched it to Poco. The original lineup was Furay (vocals, rhythm guitar), Messina (lead guitar, vocals, producer), Rusty Young (pedal steel guitar, banjo, dobro, guitar, and vocals), George Grantham (drums and vocals) and Randy Meisner (bass and vocals).

Their first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces (1969) is considered one of the best and most important albums of a new musical genre that united country with rock music. However, the album was not a commercial success, falling short of the top 50 on the Billboard album charts. Prior to its release, Meisner left the group as a result of conflict with Messina over the group's direction. After a stint playing with Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, he later became a founding member of The Eagles. Timothy B. Schmit subsequently replaced Meisner on both bass and vocals.

Guided by the vision of Furay and Messina, Poco's unique blending of the Bakersfield sound with energetic rock translated well to live performances, and the band developed a loyal following on the road. Their next two albums each produced a moderate hit, Messina's "You Better Think Twice" and Furay's "C'mon". Critical acclaim did not yield commercial success, however, and Messina finally chose to leave the band. He went on to become half of Loggins and Messina. Paul Cotton replaced Messina.


The realigned Poco, now working on its third lineup on just its fourth album, hired Steve Cropper as producer and released From The Inside (1971), featuring Cotton's "Bad Weather", which became a signature song for the band.

Bad Weather

Furay became increasingly discouraged with Poco's prospects, especially since ex-bandmates Meisner and Messina were so successful with their new acts. The next album, Crazy Eyes (1973), was another strong effort that ultimately proved to be Furay's last as a member of the group. The title track was a Furay song written about fellow country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons of Flying Burrito Brothers fame, who had died of a drug overdose just prior to the recording of the album. Furay left Poco and joined with J. D. Souther and Chris Hillman to create the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Poco decided not to replace Furay and continued as a quartet.

Crazy Eyes

Furay's departure provided an opportunity for Rusty Young. Previously known largely for his multi-instrumental talents, especially on pedal steel guitar, Young stepped up to become one of the band's primary songwriters and singers on subsequent albums. Seven (1974) and Cantamos (1974), their last two albums for Epic Records, established the group as a strong quartet without Furay. They moved to ABC Records, although Epic still had the rights to a live album (Live (1976)). Head Over Heels (1975), Rose Of Cimarron (1976), and Indian Summer (1977) found the group augmenting their country rock sound with a more mainstream approach. Head Over Heels featured Schmit's acoustic "Keep On Tryin'", which became an AOR favorite and the group's most successful single to date.

Keep on Tryin'

At that point, Schmit quit to join the Eagles, coincidentally replacing former Poco member Meisner yet again. Undaunted, Young and Cotton redoubled their efforts, selecting Brits Steve Chapman (drums) and Charlie Harrison (bass) to round out their new quartet. The band's 1978 album,Legend, with cover art by comedian Phil Hartman, subsequently became the group's most commercially successful album, yielding a gold album and two Top Twenty hits, Young's "Crazy Love" (which also had a seven-week run at Number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1979, the biggest hit on the AC chart that year) and Cotton's "Heart of the Night".

Crazy Love

In the Heart of the Night

Despite creating music that often lived up to the quality of the band's earlier efforts, this lineup ultimately failed to sustain the success achieved by "Legend." In the wake of changing musical tastes and a fickle marketplace in the early 1980s, Poco increasingly faded from the forefront of the popular music scene. After a lengthy recording hiatus, Poco reemerged with the successful Legacy (1989), reuniting original members Young, Furay, Messina, Grantham, and Meisner twenty years after Poco's debut. The album featured two top forty hits, 'Call it Love' and 'Nothing to Hide', and earned a gold album. Just like the early days, though, internal conflict disrupted the continuing success of this lineup, and it splintered and then disbanded in 1991.

Call it Love

Nothing to Hide

Poco is still writing and recording a substantial volume of music, touring festivals and top rock venues in the United States, Canada and Europe, and doing solo projects. Young, Cotton, Sundrud, and veteran drummer George Lawrence comprise the current lineup. Check out their official website!

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John McCain's "Friends"

Since the traditional media has obsessively focused on McCain's alleged liaison with Vicki Iseman and smearing The NY Times, the folks at Brave New Films felt compelled to take action. Jason, Phillip, and Dallas raced to the editing room, turned off the phones, locked the door, and focused on the real issue about McCain's lobbyist ties:

Sign the petition demanding McCain return the millions of dollars raised by lobbyists.

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McCain's Scandal Du Jour

Latest scandal involves embezzlement:

GOP Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi, co-chair of Sen. John McCain's campaign in Arizona, has been indicted this morning:

Republican Rep. Rick Renzi has been indicted for extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to a land deal in Arizona. A 26-page federal indictment unsealed in Arizona accuses Renzi and two former business partners of conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government. The sale netted one of Renzi's former partners $4.5 million.Renzi is a three-term member of the House. He announced in August that he would not seek re-election.Today's indictment comes after a lengthy federal investigation into the land developing and insurance businesses owned by Renzi's family. In April 2007, federal agents raided a Sonoita, Arizona business owned by Renzi's wife, Roberta.

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Secret Service endangers Obama

Our good friend Human broke this last night:

Dallas police officers are complaining about the decision to stop weapons screening at an Obama rally of 17,000 people:
Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena. The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department's homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order -- apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service -- was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena's vacant seats before Obama came on.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Few of Obama's Positions

The "short" list

Stan Matuska just published a short piece regarding a few of Barack Obama's ideas and stands on the issues. It is my great pleasure to re-post it here:

Opposed the Iraq war from the start.Voted to end the war in Iraq.Supports capturing and killing Osama Bin Laden.Favors a $1000 tax cut for every working American family. Will implement tax form simplification to reduce filing time.Provide tax credit for all middle class owners.Provide a tax cut for all families making less than $75,000 a year.Amend NAFTA to protect American workers.Amend NAFTA to strengthen environmental protections.Providing Flex Ed training accounts for workers.Extending Trade Adjustment assistance to service workers.Supported Patriot Employer Act of 2007 that gives tax credits to large companies that keep workers here in America.Double funds for basic federal research.Implement a long term research and development tax credit.Invest in green technologies.Reduce carbon emission gases.Tackle the challenges of global warming.Create an energy focused youth jobs program.Create Federal Renewable Portfolio Standard.Extend the Production Tax Credit.Expand Broadband into every community.Keep the Internet tax free.Expand high speed internet access in rural areas.Fight for passage of Employee Free Choice Act.Ensure freedom to unionize.Would overturn "Kentucky River" classifications of Bush's NLRBProtect rights of striking workers.Increase the mininum wage to index it to inflation.Crack down on predatory lenders.Provide a universal mortgage tax credit for homeowners who don't itemize.Sign the Stop Fraud Act to prevent lending fraud.Mandate accurate loan disclosure.Create a fund to protect people from foreclosures.Close the bankruptcy loophole for mortgage companies.Establish a credit card rating to improve disclosure.Ban utilateral credit card charges.Apply interest rate only to future debt.Prohibit credit card interest on fees.Prohibit Universal defaults.Require prompt and fair crediting of cardholder payments.Protect working people from unfair bankruptcy laws.Ban executive bonuses for bankruptcy companies.REquire disclosure of pension investments.Cap outlandandish interest rates on payday loans.Implement legislation to drive unscrupulous lenders out of businessCreate a bankruptcy exemption for people that went broke because of medical bills.Double funding for after school programs.Extend Family and Medical Leave Act.Encourage states to adopt Paid leave.Expand the Child Care Tax CreditSupports ratification of UN Convention Rights of Persons With Disabilities.Supports independent, community based living for people with disabilities.Expand educational opportunites for people with disabilities.Expand job opportunities for people with disabilities.Strengthen civil rights enforcement.Sign into law the Fair Pay Act.Sign law reversing recent SCOTUS rulings that permitted discrimination against women.Sign law reversing recent SCOTUS rulings that permitted discrimination against racial minorities.Strengthen federal hate crimes legislation.Eliminate the sentence disparities regarding crack cocaines.Establish drug courts for first time, non violent offenders.Create a prison to work incentive for those transitioning back into society.Passed a law to prohibit the practice of racial profiling.Supported reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act.Opposes all discriminatory barriers to voting.Helped reform death penalty system in Illinois to protect innocent people on death row.Voted to ban cluster bombs.Provide high quality affordable child care to families.Will quadrulple Early Head Start funding.Will increase Head Start funding.Creates early learning challenge grants.Abolish overly rigid teach to the test curriculum in schools.Improve accountability in public schools.Invest in intervention strategies to reduce dropout rates in schools.Increase funding for afterschool programs.Supports Step Up program to increase summer learning opportunities.Support English language learner programs.Expand college outreach programs.Create teacher service scholarships.Requires all public schools to be accredited.Create teacher residency programs.Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit for higher education.Streamline financial aid application.Introduced legislation to increase Pell Grant to $5,100.Reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.Confront deforestation.Promote carbon sequestration.Accelerate commercialization of plug in hybrids.Promote development of commercial scale renewable energy.Invest in low emission coal plants.Transition to new electric digit grid.Double science funding for clean energy products.Create Green Jobs Corps.Invest in programs to help manufacturers make transition to green products.Create clean technologies venture capital fund.Deploy cellulosic ethanol.Expand locally owned biofuel refineries.Increase renewable fuel standards.Establish national low carbon fuel standard.Increase fuel economy standards.Invest in solar energy.Invest in wind energy.Establish a centralized database to track lobbyist activities.Appoint an independent watchdog group to oversee congressional ethic violations.Favors campaign finance reform.Sunshine on legislation proposal.End abuse of no bid contracts.Release presidential records in a more timely fashion.Prevent political appointees from working as lobbyists within two years after employment has ended.Reform political appointment process.Sign ethics legislation that he proposed as a Senator with Russ Feingold.Obama sponsored a bi-partisan bill allowing regular people to track federal grants.Take leadership in the global fight against AIDS.Provide tax cuts to small businesses.Provide income tax cuts for all senior citizens making $50,000 a year or less.Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.Protect workers from caregiver discrimination.Increase mentoring programs for beginner teachers.Provide universal health care for all Americans within 4 years.Combat fraudulent subprime loans.Expand Nurse Family Partnership.Provide automatic workplace pensions for workers.Expand savings credit for retirement accounts.Reinstate pay as you go budget rules.Repeal Bush tax cuts for top 1% which led to lower middle class standard of living.Slash earmarks to pre 2001 levels.Abolish obsolete wasteful government programs.Voted against raising the minimum debt in 2006.Supports wiping out Al Qaeda wherever they may be.Opposed Kyl Lieberman.Supports tough attempts at diplomacy with Iran to protect America's interests.Will work to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Restrengthen NATO.Passed a bipartisan law with Senator Lugar to prevent smuggling of WMDs.Introduced a bill with Senator Hagel to reduce nuclear arsenals around the globe.Supports securing loose nuke arsenals from the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.Strengthen Non Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.Expand size of Army by 65,000.Expand size of Marines by 27,000.Provide our troops with new equipment and the tools they need.Provide National Service troops with adequate leave time.Will insulate the Director of National Intelligence from partisan politics.Guarantee that health care can never be denied because of a pre-existing condition.Introduce a health care plan similar to the one members of Congress have and give all Americans access to this plan.Simplify the paperwork in health care costs.Make premiums and co pays affordable.Require mandatory coverage of all children for health care.Expand SCHIP.Expand Medicaid.Reduce costs of catastrophic illnesses for employers and employees.Support disease management programs.Require hospitals and providers to have full transparency over costs.Promote patient safety by requiring providers to report medical errors.Establish an independent institute to guide reviews + research on comparative effectiveness in health care.Strengthen anti trust laws to prevent insurance companies from gouging medical providers.Lower medical costs by having electronic health info systems.Increase competition in prescription drug markets.Advance biomedical research field.Improve mental care coverage.Reduce mercury deposits to help prevent miscarriages.Increase funding for autism research.Cosponsored Healthy Kids Act of 2007.Cosponsored reauthorization of SCHIP in 2007.Obama introduced legislation to establish guidelines to monitor fuels from nuclear power plants.Sponsored a bill with Senator Lautenberg to protect chemical plants from possible terrorist attacks.Introduced legislation to upgrade monitoring of water supplies.Introduced legislation to protect localities from radioactive leaks.Create secure borders with additional personnel and infrastructure.Remove incentives for people to enter this country illegally.Crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.Invest in transitional jobs.Improve transportation access to jobs.Fully fund community block grants.Create an affordable housing trust fund.Establish a program called 20 Promise Neighborhoods.Invest in rural areas, especially small businesses, schools, and doctors.Implement a payment limitation program to help small farmers.Protect family farms from anti-competitive monopolies.Implement tough fines for CAFO violations.Establish country of origin labeling for all products.Support regional food systems.Encourage organic farming.Provide tax credits for young farmers.Increase capital for small farmers.Modify FCC so all rural residents have access to modern communications.Upgrade rural infrastructure.Supported legislation to reverse 2 billion dollars of agriculture cuts under Bush.Cosponsored Emergency Farm Relief Act of 2006.Sponsored a bill to combat the scourge of methamphetamines.Expand Americorps.Double the Peacecorps in 8 years.Expand Service learning in all our schools.Offer an opportunity tax credit for college students in exchange for 100 hours of community service.Promote college work study programs with public service.Expand on the YouthBuild program.Create a Social Investment Fund Network.Create a non profit entrepreneur agency.Protect Social Security.Reform corporate bankruptcy laws.Strengthen laws protecting against age discrimination in the workplace.Ensure heating assistance for senior citizens.Protect the openness of the Internet.Encourage diversity in media ownership.Protect children from Internet predators with strict law enforcement.Support transition of the internet into the digital world.Preserve artistic expression.Keep inappropriate advertising away from programs for children.Enhance safety standards for toys imported into this country.Protect the right of privacy of every law abiding American.Update surveillance laws under the rule of law.Higher salaries for teachers.Work with the FTC to cut down on cyber crimes.Eliminate teach to the test curriculum and restore true learning to the classroom.Open up government to citizens by providing transparency.Provide all our schools with broadband technology.Modernize public safety networks.Make the research and development tax credit permanent.Protect intellectual property at home and abroad.Reform the patent system to encourage innovation.Allow all veterans back into the VA.Strengthen VA care for all veterans.Fight veterans employment discrimination.Fix the benefits bureaucracy to help veterans.Expand vet centers across the country.Obama passed legilsation to slash red tape to help wounded soldiers at Walter Reed.Introduced legislation to direct the VA and Pentagon to fix its veterans record systems.Introduced legislation to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.Rebuild the roads and bridges that need to be rebuilt.Will end the genocide in Darfur.Will restore habeas corpus to America.Reject torture.Close down Gitmo.Pledges to obey the Constitution of the United States.Will fully implement and enforce the Equal Pay Act.End tax breaks for US companies sending jobs overseas.Voted to reinstate 1.15 billion to the COPS program to reduce crime.Wants to keep drinking age at 21.Supports grants to local educational agencies.Voted to protect ANWR.Voted to protect the Great Lakes from polluters.Favors labor and trade standards with trade with China.Opposed CAFTA which hurts American workers.Voting to give the District of Columbia its proper vote in Congress.Voted to expand enrollment period for Medicare Part D.Favors repealing the discriminatory don't ask don't tell policy.Provide first responders with the health care and equipment they need.Voted to implement the 9/11 commission recommendations.Voted to restore money to ports and first responders.Voted to establish a Guest Worker program.Voted to increase the minimum wage.Voted against anti-Constitution radicals Alito and Roberts.Voted against the repeal of the estate tax that only applies to 1% of the wealthiest of estates.Supports the first amendment freedom of religion clauses and establishment clauses.Introduced a bill requiring public companies to give shareholders an annual nonbinding vote on executive compensation.Protects our schools by opposing voucher schemes.Introduced Biofuels Security Act in 2007.Favors closing corporate tax loopholes.Understands that global warming is a real problem that must be addressed.Supports civil unions for LGBT couples.Favors the death penalty in the rarest but appropriate of circumstances.

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Obama racks up #11

World hands him "Democrats Abroad" primary

Obama coasted to his 11th straight win today by capturing the majority in the Democrats Abroad primary.

More than 20,000 U.S. citizens living abroad voted in the primary, which ran from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12. Obama won about 65 percent of the vote, according to the results released Thursday.

Voters living in 164 countries cast votes online, while expatriates voted in person in more than 30 countries, at hotels in Australia and Costa Rica, at a pub in Ireland and at a Starbucks in Thailand. The results took about a week to tabulate as local committees around the globe gathered ballots.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Edwards Endorses!

Who WILL it be? ? ?

DAMN! He should have shown this side of himself long before now. He would have locked up the nomination:

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Teamsters Endorse Obama

Wisconsin and Hawaii wins "sealed the deal"

The 1.4-million member Teamster's Union has officially endorsed Barack Obama. Teamster President James P. Hoffa met with Obama in Texas today to seal the deal. The endorsement should provide a huge boost to Obama in the upcoming blue-collar states of Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The three states have a combined Teamster's membership in excess of 150,000 as well as a large machine to organize and get out the vote.

"We're going to say, 'Yes, yes, we can elect Barack Obama,'" Hoffa said. " ... He's got the best chance to win in the November elections."

Obama's wins Tuesday in Wisconsin and Hawaii helped seal the endorsement, Hoffa said. Clinton has now lost 10 contests in a row to Obama.

"We see the trends and we're impressed by the momentum of the Barack Obama campaign," said Hoffa, who noted that the union's executive board voted unanimously to endorse Obama. Internal polling of the union's members also showed they preferred Obama and that they thought he would do better against presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Hoffa said.

Hoffa said he planned to call Clinton and her husband, former President Clinton, to tell them why the union made its decision. "I owe it to them," said Hoffa, who said he had been lobbied by the former president to endorse his wife.

Ohio and Pennsylvania are both strong union states; more than 15% of the work force unionized in Pennsylvania and more than 14% in Ohio. This marks the fourth union endorsement of Obama in the last week. The 65,000 member International Brotherhood of Boilermakers endorsed Obama on Wednesday, the 1.9-million member Service Employees International Union backed the Illinois senator last Friday, and the smaller United Food and Commercial Workers endorsed him last Thursday.

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Who's Zoomin' Who?

Hillary - Yes we WILL?

Hillary Clinton has claimed that reporters, not her people, brought forth the charges of plagiarism against Barack Obama, even though her campaign posted video clips on YouTube illustrating similarities in the speeches and suggesting that the shared lines amount to plagiarism.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said: "Senator Clinton knows full well that her campaign held a conference call with reporters to fan these flames and the fact that she suggested her campaign had nothing to do with it is exactly the kind of evasive tactic voters are rejecting."

Obama said on Monday that he wished he'd credited his friend, Deval Patrick, for the lines. He noted Clinton occasionally has used lines similar to his in her speeches. Like yesterday. In this pathetic effort from Ohio:

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama takes Wisconsin

Ya, you betcha! YES, we CAN!!

NBC News has just called Wisconsin for Barack Obama! Governor Jim Doyle declares: "I haven't seen such excitement in our state since Eugene McCarthy bested Lyndon Johnson in 1968". Voters were turned off by Clinton attacks on Obama; voted for candidate who spoke to their issues: jobs - change - hope! Thanks to all of our extended family members in the Badger State who supported Barack!

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The rules are "out the window"

Ready (to cheat) on Day One!

We already knew that Hillary Clinton intends to bend or break the rules as necessary to secure the Democratic nomination for president. It's old news that she wants to seat the delegates from the states of Michigan and Florida, even though she didn't follow the pledge she made (and the other candidates followed) to remove her name from the ballot and not campaign in those states. It's also old news that she wants superdelegates to vote for her despite the wishes expressed by the popular vote in their respective communities. Here's the newest twist - her campaign intends to go after PLEDGED delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries. WTF?! Pledged delegates are, well, pledged! Turns out that's not the case:

“Delegates are NOT bound to vote for the candidate they are pledged to at the convention or on the first ballot,” a recent DNC memo states. “A delegate goes to the convention with a signed pledge of support for a particular presidential candidate. At the convention, while it is assumed that the delegate will cast their vote for the candidate they are publicly pledged to, it is not required.”

So, in short, OUR vote may not count and is available to the highest bidder at the convention. Apparently, this has been an open secret in the party for years, but it has never really mattered because there has almost always been a clear victor by the time the convention convened. Delegates at this year's convention may find themselves being promised the world to switch their votes.

Hillary Clinton is willing to split the Democratic Party to further her ambitions, unless some wise sage can convince her to take one for the party. Al? Paging Al Gore! We DO NOT need any more Rovian politics of slash and burn, especially from a Democrat. This MUST be resolved before this summer's convention. Party leaders have voiced their concerns on this issue:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned against it. “I think there is a concern when the public speaks and there is a counter-decision made to that,” she said. “It would be a problem for the party if the verdict would be something different than the public has decided.”

Donna Brazile, who was Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000 and is a member of the DNC, said recently: “If 795 of my colleagues decide this election, I will quit [the DNC]. I feel very strongly about this.”

On Sunday, Doug Wilder, the mayor of Richmond and a former governor of Virginia, went even further, predicting riots in the streets if the Clinton campaign were to overturn an Obama lead through the use of superdelegates.

“There will be chaos at the convention,” Wilder told Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation.”

“If you think 1968 was bad, you watch: In 2008, it will be worse.”

I'm going to catch some grief for this one, but I don't care. While I was writing this post, I heard Hillary (In Wisconsin) telling a crowd "I love "cheese heads"! The first thing that popped into my deranged mind was that Bill was right behind her thinking "I love some cheesy head"! Do we REALLY want to return to that framing of our 2008 nominee? Of course not!

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