Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tallahassee Running Out Of Money


statecapitolb.jpg
It's not going to be very pretty when the Florida Legislature convenes next month in the state capitol. Legislators are looking at a budget shortfall that could exceed $3.5 billion.
 
By now everyone in the state should know the culprit: the burst of the housing bubbled combined with a bad national economy has badly crimped sales tax collections here.
The result is a bleak budget outlook that will feature painful program cuts. Expect lawmakers to yank at least $600 million out of the current state budget that ends on Sept. 30, and the future outlook isn't exactly rosy. the projected revenue shortfall could even be higher when the Revenue Estimating conference convenes next month and later in the summer.
 
There will be talk of trying to find more revenue by tweaking sales tax exemptions, imposing "sin" taxes or bringing back the intangibles tax. But, if this week's board meeting between the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board and Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio and House Majority Leader Adam Hasner is any indication, that's all it is -- talk.


  
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Sen. McCain May NOT Be A "natural-born citizen"

 In 1790 Congress stated that persons born outside of the United States to U.S. parents are natural born citizens. This was also addressed in the Dred Scott case, But this was struck down in 1868 in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
McCain's likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 may be in jepordy. Only "natural-born citizen" can hold the nation's highest office. --
 
 
According to the State Department:
Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.
This raises a lot of issues for the Government. If they concede that McCain is a natural born U.S. Citizen, they will have to recognize ALL the kids that were born on U.S. military installations. McCain's parents had to file a lot of paperwork to confirm his citizenship as do many military and overseas families.
It seems fairly clear that the Government has said people born on U.S. military bases overseas are not automatically citizens, which implies they are not natural born citizens. Which means John McCain is not eligible for the Presidency.
The Twelfth Amendment explicitly precluded from being Vice President those ineligible to be President: people under thirty-five years of age, those who have not inhabited the United States for at least fourteen years, and those who are not natural-born citizens.


  
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

OBAMA/MEDIA Love Fest over?


The media fluff fest on Mr. O. is ending. Dan Balz wrote yesterday that is was "time to question Obama, too." But the conversation that really needs to begin is what started here a while back, when everyone was piling on Clinton. Today Sean Wilentz goes at the heart of the Obama campaign's hypocrisy, which also just happens to be a weapon of race:
After several weeks of swooning, news reports are finally being filed about the gap between Senator Barack Obama's promises of a pure, soul-cleansing "new" politics and the calculated, deeply dishonest conduct of his actually-existing campaign. But it remains to be seen whether the latest ploy by the Obama camp--over allegations about the circulation of a photograph of Obama in ceremonial Somali dress--will be exposed by the press as the manipulative illusion that it is. ... ..
... .. To a large degree, the campaign's strategists turned the primary and caucus race to their advantage when they deliberately, falsely, and successfully portrayed Clinton and her campaign as unscrupulous race-baiters--a campaign-within-the-campaign in which the worked-up flap over the Somali costume photograph is but the latest episode. While promoting Obama as a "post-racial" figure, his campaign has purposefully polluted the contest with a new strain of what historically has been the most toxic poison in American politics.
More than any other maneuver, this one has brought Clinton into disrepute with important portions of the Democratic Party. A review of what actually happened shows that the charges that the Clintons played the "race card" were not simply false; they were deliberately manufactured by the Obama camp and trumpeted by a credulous and/or compliant press corps in order to strip away her once formidable majority among black voters and to outrage affluent, college-educated white liberals as well as college students. ... ..
 
 
Race Man
by Sean Wilentz
How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton.


  
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Message From Congressman Tim Mahoney

I am under attack by a shadowy special interest group who is practicing
the politics of division, fear and destruction. These partisan tactics are
the old ways that got us into trouble the last eight years. 

This weekend Defense of Democracies, a group of political extremists,
launched a deceitful ad attacking my opposition to Bush's
unconstitutional warrantless wiretapping program. The worst part about the ad is that it
scares people for no reason. It implies that as of last Friday, ourgovernment has been unable to "intercept Al-Qaeda communications." This is simply not true.

Our intelligence agencies can still initiate wire-taps without waiting
on red-tape to avert catastrophic risk, the only difference is they now
must obtain a 72-hour retroactive warrant, which has been the law of the
land for 30 years.

This attack-organization states that I refused to vote on the issue,
which is false, and that by refusing to vote on the issue I could go "on
vacation." In reality, I voted for the House version, which held hold
the telecoms who collaborated with this illegal activity accountable. As
for the "vacation," I spent that week working with the State Department and
FAUto resolve the Visiting Teacher Crisis, helped Florida students
interview elderly WWII veterans so their stories won¹t be lost to history, held
two tax-rebate workshops for my constituents, met with officials and
constituents, and campaigned for reelection.

Here's how to help:

1. Forward this to as many people as possible.

2. If you can, please consider making a contribution at
http://www.timmahoneyforflorida.com/contribute

My constituents sent me here to instill a new sense of purpose and to
abandon the ways of old.  My campaign and first term have been
dedicated to
providing common sense solutions to today¹s problems and reaching
across
the aisle to work with Republicans and Democrats.  I will not deviate
from that agenda no matter what the detractors may say.

Thanks,
Tim




  
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Young Voter Poll Information

Rock the Vote Young Voter Poll Information

February 25th, 2008 - Nationwide Survey of 18-29 year-olds

Another Democratic Victory: FL House 32

Tony Sasso wins House seat for Democrats by 400 votes.
Election Night Speech from Tony Sasso
Former Representative Bob Allen was arrested for soliciting sex with a male undercover officer in a restroom at a public park. He was convicted and forced to resign. The Special Election to fill his unexpired term in Tallahassee was Tuesday.
Florida House District 32 covers the area of Orange County east of the city of Orlando and a bunch of northern Brevard County including the Kennedy Space Center area.


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District 32 is plurality Republican (44%R, 35%D).

Campbell outspent Sasso by over 2 to 1, including a personal loan of $25,000 to his campaign. So, Campbell had the District registration edge, an over 2:1 money edge, and yet Tony Sasso is Florida's newest member of the State House. Tony won by 400 votes out of 22,000 cast.
Tony joins two other Central Florida Democrats who have recently won Republican seats. Scott Randolph represents District 36, and took his seat from an incumbent Republican in the 2006 election. And Darren Soto represents District 49, winning a Special Election in April of 2007.
From The FDP:

"Tony Sasso's victory proves that the quality of a candidate and the solutions that one presents are more important than money and deceptive attack politics," Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen L. Thurman said. "The voters' decision to elect Tony Sasso is another nail in the coffin of the failed policies that resulted in the Republican recession Florida faces today. The people clearly want change, and Democrats are ready to deliver a new direction for our state."
This is the ninth State House district where voters who had previously elected a Republican chose a Democrat to represent them in Tallahassee since 2006 - the biggest two-year gain in Florida Democratic Party history.

DAMN Alert

This message was sent by Simon Rose, group organizer for Florida DFA:

Please call Senator Nelson at 202-224-5274 and Senator Martinez at 202-224-3041.
Ask them to vote YES on S2633 and S2634.
S2633 will prevent the expenditure of U.S. funds for anything but a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
S2634 will require the Bush administration to report to Congress on the so-called war on terror and why it has failed to address the real problem of terrorism (former CIA agents Bin Laden and Posada Carrilles are still free, one in Pakistan, one in Miami).
Please make the calls, and forward this to your network of friends and fellow activists.
This is a message from the DAMN Alert system - Democratic Action on Martinez and Nelson.


  
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Swiftboating of Obama Begins!

 



( email from sent from M. Sliwa Public Relations.)
Obama Worked with Terrorist
Senator helped fund organization that rejects 'racist' Isreal's existence

-Aaron Klein Reports from Jerusalem
The board of a nonprofit organization on which Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a "catastrophe" and supports intense immigration reform, including providing drivers licenses and education to illegal aliens.

The co-founder of the Arab group in question, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, also has held a fundraiser for Obama. Khalidi is a harsh critic of Israel , has made statements supportive of Palestinian terror and reportedly has worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was involved in anti-Western terrorism and was labeled by the State Department as a terror group.
2008-02-25-ObamawithArab.jpgThe Obamas at an Arab fundraising dinner with Edward Said and his wife
In 2001, the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, for which Khalidi's wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to the AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.
Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund's website. According to tax filings, Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2001.

Obama served on the Wood's Fund board alongside William C. Ayers, a member of the Weathermen terrorist group which sought to overthrow of the U.S. government and took responsibility for bombing the U.S. Capitol in 1971 .
2008-02-25-ObamaAyers.jpgMugshot of William C. Ayers

Ayers, who still serves on the Woods Fund board, contributed $200 to Obama's senatorial campaign fund and has served on panels with Obama at numerous public speaking engagements. Ayers admitted to involvement in the bombings of U.S. governmental buildings in the 1970s. He is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago .

The $40,000 grant from Obama's Woods Fund to the AAAN constituted about a fifth of the Arab group's reported grants for 2001, according to tax filings obtained by WND. The $35,000 Woods Fund grant in 2002 also constituted about one-fifth of AAAN's reported grants for that year.

The AAAN, headquartered in the heart of Chicago 's Palestinian immigrant community, describes itself as working to "empower Chicago-area Arab immigrants and Arab Americans through the combined strategies of community organizing, advocacy, education and social services, leadership development, and forging productive relationships with other communities."

It reportedly has worked on projects with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which supports open boarders and education for illegal aliens.

The AAAN in 2005 sent a letter to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson in which it called a billboard opposing a North Carolina-New Mexico joint initiative to deny driver's licenses to illegal aliens a "bigoted attack on Arabs and Muslims."

Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line.

The group co-sponsored a Palestinian art exhibit, titled, "The Subject of Palestine," that featured works related to what some Palestinians call the "Nakba" or "catastrophe" of Israel 's founding in 1948.
According to the widely discredited Nakba narrative, Jews in 1948 forcibly expelled hundreds of thousands - some Palestinians claim over one million - Arabs from their homes and then took over the territory.
Historically, about 600,000 Arabs fled Israel after surrounding Arab countries warned they would destroy the Jewish state in 1948. Some Arabs also were driven out by Jewish forces while they were trying to push back invading Arab armies. At the same time, over 800,000 Jews were expelled or left Arab countries under threat after Israel was founded.
The theme of AAAN's Nakba art exhibit, held at DePaul University in 2005, was "the compelling and continuing tragedy of Palestinian life ... under [Israeli] occupation ... home demolition ... statelessness ... bereavement ... martyrdom, and ... the heroic struggle for life, for safety, and for freedom."

Another AAAN initiative, titled, "Al Nakba 1948 as experienced by Chicago Palestinians," seeks documents related to the "catastrophe" of Israel 's founding.

A post on the AAAN site asked users: "Do you have photos, letters or other memories you could share about Al-Nakba-1948?"

That posting was recently removed. The AAAN website currently states the entire site is under construction.

Pro-PLO advocate held Obama fundraiser, describes Obama as 'sympathetic'

AAAN co-founder Rashid Khalidi was reportedly a director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982, while the PLO committed scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terror group. Khalidi's wife, AAAN President Mona Khalidi, was reportedly WAFA's English translator during that period.

Rashid Khalidi at times has denied working directly for the PLO but Palestinian diplomatic sources in Ramallah told WND he indeed directed WAFA. Khalidi also advised the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991.

During documented speeches and public events, Khalidi has called Israel an "apartheid system in creation" and a destructive "racist" state.

He has multiple times expressed support for Palestinian terror, calling suicide bombings response to "Israeli aggression." He dedicated his 1986 book, "Under Siege," to "those who gave their lives ... in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon ." Critics assailed the book as excusing Palestinian terrorism.

While the Woods Fund's contribution to Khalidi's AAAN might be perceived as a one-time run in with Obama, the presidential hopeful and Khalidi evidence a deeper relationship.

According to a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years, the Democratic presidential hopeful first befriended Khalidi when the two worked together at the university. The professor spoke on condition of anonymity. Khalidi lectured at the University of Chicago until 2003 while Obama taught law there from 1993 until his election to the Senate in 2004.

Khalidi in 2000 held what was described as a successful fundraiser for Obama's failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a fact not denied by Khalidi.

Speaking in a joint interview with WND and the John Batchelor Show of New York 's WABC Radio and Los Angeles ' KFI Radio, Khalidi was asked about his 2000 fundraiser for Obama.

"I was just doing my duties as a Chicago resident to help my local politician," Khalidi stated.

Khalidi said he supports Obama for president "because he is the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause."

Khalidi also lauded Obama for "saying he supports talks with Iran . If the U.S. can talk with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, there is no reason it can't talk with the Iranians."

Asked about Obama's role funding the AAAN, Khalidi claimed he had "never heard of the Woods Fund until it popped up on a bunch of blogs a few months ago."

He terminated the call when petitioned further about his links with Obama.

Contacted by phone, Mona Khalidi refused to answer WND's questions about the AAAN's involvement with Obama.

Obama's campaign headquarters did not reply to a list of WND questions sent by e-mail to the senator's press office.

Obama, American terrorist in same circles

Obama served on the board with Ayers, who was a Weathermen leader and has written about his involvement with the group's bombings of the New York City Police headquarters in 1970, the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972.

"I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough," Ayers told the New York Times in an interview released on Sept. 11, 2001

"Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon," Ayers wrote in his memoirs, titled "Fugitive Days." He continued with a disclaimer that he didn't personally set the bombs, but his group set the explosives and planned the attack.

A $200 campaign contribution is listed on April 2, 2001 by the "Friends of Barack Obama" campaign fund. The two taught appeared speaking together at several public events, including a 1997 University of Chicago panel entitled, "Should a child ever be called a 'super predator?'" and another panel for the University of Illinois in April 2002, entitled, "Intellectuals: Who Needs Them?"

The charges against Ayers were dropped in 1974 because of prosecutorial misconduct, including illegal surveillance.

Ayers is married to another notorious Weathermen terrorist, Bernadine Dohrn, who has also served on panels with Obama. Dohrn was once on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List and was described by J. Edgar Hoover as the "most dangerous woman in America ." Ayers and Dohrn raised the son of Weathermen terrorist Kathy Boudin, who was serving a sentence for participating in a 1981 murder and robbery that left 4 people dead.

Obama advisor wants talks with terrorists

The revelations about Obama's relationship with Khalidi follows a recent WND article quoting Israeli security officials who expressed "concern" about Robert Malley, an adviser to Obama who has advocated negotiations with Hamas and providing international assistance to the terrorist group.
2008-02-25-ObamaTerrorist.jpg
Malley, a principal Obama foreign policy adviser, has penned numerous opinion articles, many of them co-written with a former adviser to the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat , petitioning for dialogue with Hamas and blasting Israel for numerous policies he says harm the Palestinian cause.
Malley also previously penned a well-circulated New York Review of Books piece largely blaming Israel for the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David in 2000 when Arafat turned down a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern sections of Jerusalem and instead returned to the Middle East to launch an intifada, or terrorist campaign, against the Jewish state.
Malley's contentions have been strongly refuted by key participants at Camp David, including President Bill Clinton, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and primary U.S. envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross , all of whom squarely blamed Arafat's refusal to make peace for the talks' failure.
2008-02-25-ObamaKlein.jpgTo interview Aaron Klein, Middle East correspondent and author of "Schmoozing with Terrorists ," contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail , or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453. email msliwa@msliwa.com
 
PLEASE NOTE* We do not agree with the Above Release in any way what so ever. We are posting this as an example of the dirt that is coming our way in about 7 Days.

Breaking: Massive power outages hit South Florida

Breaking: Massive power outages hit Central, S. Florida; cause unknown --Eight power plants are down --4+ million people are effected by power outages 26 Feb 2008 Massive power outages struck South Florida on Tuesday afternoon, with power reported out from Miami to Palm Beach County, police said. Detective Robert Williams, a Miami-Dade County police spokesman, said power was out across the entire county. The cause of the blackout was not known.

McCain May Have Covered Up Abramoff Email to Protect GOP from Investigation

 
McCain May Have Covered Up Abramoff Email to Protect GOP from Investigation  
McCain May Have Covered Up Abramoff Email to Protect GOP from Investigation

On the stump, McCain often cites his work tackling the excesses of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Texas GOP Urged to vote for Obama

E-mail to send to Texas Republicans
Attention All Texas Republicans and Independents!!
On March 4th, Texas Republicans and Independents will have an opportunity to end Hillary Clinton's (and Bill's) presidential ambitions once and for all!
Since Texas has on open primary, Republicans and Independents should sign in at their polling place and request a Democratic ballot. They should then vote for Barack Obama. Even James Carville admits that if Hillary loses Texas, "she's done!" Republicans can help make this a reality!!! Just think, no more Clintons in the White House!
 
Voting Democratic this one time will have NO effect on your ability to vote in the next Republican primary or obviously on your vote in November. Since John McCain has the Republican nomination locked up, voting for McCain or Huckabee at this point will have no effect on the outcome on the Republican side.
 
After you vote during early voting or on March 4th, you ARE NOT done! Report back to your regular polling place at 7PM on March 4th to sign the Barack Obama list for caucus delegates. In a little known Texas voting quirk, 67 delegates to the Democratic convention will be seated because of these caucuses. This is a full one-third of the total number of Texas delegates. For Hillary to lose, she has to lose the primary votes AND the caucus votes.
I urge you to vote against Hillary Clinton by voting for Barack Obama. Please forward this e-mail to all your Texas Republican and Independent friends so that we can help ensure the Clinton's defeat on March 4th!!!
 
 
Source :
 

Saturday, February 23, 2008

If the Race is Over, Why is Obama Attacking Hillary?

Hillary Slams Obama Over Deceptive Ohio Mailers

The AP and New York Times report Hillary Clinton is fighting back today.
"Shame on you, Barack Obama," Mrs. Clinton said at a news conference after a morning rally, holding the flyers and shaking them in the air as she spoke. "It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public. That's what I expect from you. Meet me in Ohio. Let's have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign."
...."Time and time again, you hear one thing in speeches and then you see a campaign that has the worst kind of tactics, reminiscent of the same sort of Republican attacks on Democrats," Mrs. Clinton said.
The backstory, about the Obama campaign wrongly claiming Hillary said NAFTA was a "boon" is below:
It was not the first time the Clinton campaign has seen the flyer, which cites an article from Newsday that says Mrs. Clinton believed Nafta was a "boon" to the economy. Mrs. Clinton said the newspaper has since corrected the article.
(Reporters from Newsday responded on its Web site last week, but stopped short of a correction. "The word was our characterization of how we best understood her position on NAFTA, based on a review of past stories and her public statements," they wrote, adding that the Obama mailer made the word 'boon" appear to be Mrs. Clinton's statement. "Obama's use of the citation in this way does strike us as misleading," they wrote.)
There are two Obama mailers Hillary alleges are deceptive. From Hillary's Fact Hub:
The Obama campaign is distributing two dishonest mailers in Ohio. The first mailer falsely claims that Hillary said NAFTA was a "boon" to the economy. Hillary never said that. The Obama campaign is basing the quote on a 2006 Newsday article that characterized her views this way without any substantiation. In fact, Newsday recently said that the Obama campaign's use of their article was "misleading." The Politico called the Obama campaign's use of the quote "bogus."
The second mailer from the Obama campaign mimics Harry and Louise ads that the health care industry used to scare people into opposing universal health care. The ad claims "Hillary's health care plan forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can't afford it."
She goes on to say:
Here are the facts:
Sen. Obama fails to mention Hillary's plan cuts costs just as aggressively as Sen. Obama, if not more so.
Hillary's plan contains more generous subsidies than the Obama plan. Noted health expert Ken Thorpe of Emory University concluded that under the Hillary plan, everyone will be able to afford coverage.
The Obama plan leaves 15 million people out, which drives up costs because everyone else ends up subsidizing their emergency care.
Paul Krugman called the mailer "ugly" and "destructive."
Hillary can't afford to let Obama mislead Ohioans about her position on NAFTA -- as in Wisconsin, it will be a big deal there. .

Double Talk Express On Video

 
 

Double Talk Express On Video

 
 

John McCain and the Clinton Rules

John McCain and the Clinton Rules
In the wake of this week's controversy surrounding John McCain's dealings with lobbyists, and his honesty about those dealings, it is impossible to avoid thinking about how differently the media would have handled the news had it been about Bill Clinton or Al Gore rather than John McCain. Three consistent rules of media coverage of purported scandals involving progressives come immediately to mind:
If any part of an alleged scandal turns out to be true, the media behaves as though the entire story is true.
Take, for example, Gennifer Flowers. In 1992, Flowers claimed that she and Clinton had a 12-year affair. In 1998, during his deposition in the Paula Jones case, Clinton acknowledged having had "sexual relations" with Flowers, one time. Under the definition of "sexual relations" at use for that deposition (at the insistence of Jones' attorneys, not Clinton) Clinton's acknowledgment didn't mean much: It could have meant that he and Flowers slept together, or it could have meant that he briefly placed his hand on her thigh in a bar. Clinton didn't explain what had happened, and -- significantly, one would assume -- the Jones attorneys didn't ask him to.
For the past 10 years, the news media have portrayed Clinton as having acknowledged that Flowers' story was true. He did nothing of the kind -- and Flowers is just about the least credible accuser you could imagine, having lied about the place her supposed affair with Clinton began, about her education, about her career as an entertainer, about having been kidnapped, and about having a twin sister.
Yet because Clinton acknowledged there to be a sliver of truth to Flowers' wild claims, the news media pretended her entire story was true.
Similarly, despite the fact that example after example of Al Gore purportedly lying or exaggerating turned out to have been made up (or, perversely, exaggerated) by the news media as part of what Bob Somerby has rightly called their "War Against Gore," the media continued to pretend that the entire line of criticism of Gore had merit simply because they could point to one example that supported their case. Gore didn't tour Texas with James Lee Witt -- so the whole years-long smear campaign against him must be true!
Media parse every statement by progressives in response to controversy, looking for something to ridicule -- whether the ridicule is fair or not.
Bill Clinton's statement about "what the meaning of the word 'is' is," Al Gore's reference to "no controlling legal authority" in response to questions about his fundraising, Hillary Clinton's explanation that she has always been a Yankees fan, John Kerry's comments about voting for Iraq funding before voting against it -- all have been the subject of literally years of media ridicule. Never mind that Bill Clinton was making the correct point that the tense of the question he was asked, and of his answer, was directly relevant to the issue of whether he was lying about something that happened in the past. Never mind that Gore's point, which was basically that he hadn't broken any laws, was right (he was never charged with, never mind convicted of, any crime). Never mind that Hillary Clinton really has always been a Yankees fan, as the comments of her childhood friends -- not to mention old photographs of her in a Yankees hat -- demonstrate. Never mind that Kerry was talking about two different versions of the bill, not about flip-flopping on one version -- and never mind that President Bush had said he would veto one version, then signed the other. To this day, the media mock them for these statements. And they don't just mock: These comments are depicted as evidence of character flaws.
Allegations that turn out to be unproven, or even false, are used by the media as evidence in support of future allegations.
Again, Flowers is a perfect example. Not long after she first sold her story to a supermarket tabloid, Flowers had been shown to be a liar. And she thoroughly failed to support her allegations against Clinton -- the audiotapes she produced were reportedly spliced, and, as Joe Conason and Gene Lyons have noted, "Flowers never produced a single paragraph, valentine, or birthday card as evidence of her twelve-year affair with Clinton; no witness ever came forward who had seen them together. Indeed, she would eventually write an entire book, Passion and Betrayal, without stating a specific time and place where she and her famous lover were together."
Perversely, Flowers' unproven (and in large part debunked) allegations against Clinton were subsequently invoked by the news media as proof that other allegations of infidelity by Clinton were true.
Such absurd standards played a role in the spread of the Gore-as-liar narrative. Examples of Gore as a liar or exaggerator were trotted out by the media, shown to be false, then later recycled as evidence of a pattern when some future bogus example was invented. Al Gore didn't actually take credit for having discovered Love Canal -- it simply didn't happen; it was made up by reporters at The New York Times and The Washington Post. It was conclusively demonstrated to be a made-up story, and the newspapers (eventually) ran corrections. Then what happened? Love Canal, alongside the equally bogus allegation that Gore had claimed to have invented the Internet, was regularly invoked by reporters to bolster subsequent depictions of Gore as a liar and exaggerator.
The media's apparent belief that it is acceptable to say any damn thing they want, true or false, as long as they say it about the Clintons, has become known as the "Clinton Rules of Journalism." Those rules, however, apply to progressives broadly, not just the Clintons. They have applied to Al Gore, as indicated above, and to John Edwards (witness the nonsense about his haircut). And there are signs Barack Obama may soon have to deal with these rules, if it hasn't started already. The New York Times' (truly bizarre) recent attempt to portray Obama as having used drugs as a teenager less than he suggested in his autobiography is one such example. As The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg observed:
The news here is -- what, exactly? That Obama, who now appears grounded, motivated, and poised, formerly appeared grounded, motivated, and poised? That his inner uncertainties, such as they were, were more apparent to himself than to others? That he was marginally less of a pothead than he has made himself out to be? ... For a candidate to stand accused of exaggerating his youthful drug use is something new indeed.
The Clinton Rules are, on their own, a clear indictment of modern political journalism. It should go without saying that making up quotes in order to depict a politician as a liar is horrible journalism. It should go without saying that repeating long-ago debunked claims is, too.
But as bad as these things are, they are made even worse by the contrasting treatment that leading Republicans have gotten from the media in recent years.
* * *
Not only have the three rules discussed above not typically been applied to the likes of George W. Bush and John McCain, the media also have often taken the opposite approach.
While Democratic "scandals" have been treated as true if any individual element has turned out to be accurate, allegations against Republicans have been deemed false if any individual element turned out to be wrong -- or even questionable.
The clearest example of this is the 2004 controversy around Bush's National Guard service, or lack thereof.
The national media spent years ignoring documentary evidence that Bush didn't fulfill the requirements of his National Guard commitment, and attacking those who raised the issue. In 2004, for example, ABC's Peter Jennings called Michael Moore's assertion that Bush was a "deserter" a "reckless charge not supported by the facts" and suggested it was an example of poor "ethical behavior" for Wesley Clark not to have contradicted Moore. In fact, there was ample evidence that Bush had not bothered to show up for required Guard duty -- evidence Jennings and ABC had been carefully ignoring for years.
Later that year, when CBS News aired a report about Bush's Guard service, conservatives seized on documents used in that report that they claimed were fake. The media immediately acted as though the entire question about whether Bush fulfilled his commitment to the National Guard came down to whether or not the CBS documents were real, ignoring voluminous other evidence. When a consensus emerged that they were not, the media treated this as vindication for Bush and his campaign -- despite the fact that, with or without the CBS documents, there is overwhelming evidence that Bush skipped out on his Guard duty. (It should be noted that though there emerged a consensus that the documents were not real, this was not proven, and former CBS anchor Dan Rather is suing the network over its handling of the matter.)
Likewise, when news broke this week that John McCain may have done legislative favors for a lobbyist with whom he may have had an affair, countless journalists quickly declared that the alleged affair was all that mattered. If there was no affair, they asserted, McCain would be vindicated. Never mind the indications that McCain may have done favors for lobbyists -- exactly the type of image-incongruous behavior the media pounce on when the subject is a Democrat.
How many times were we sanctimoniously told by journalists that the reason the Edwards haircut got so much media attention was that it supposedly conflicted with his image as an advocate for the poor and middle class? Well, no politician in recent memory has had an image as well-developed as McCain, who (thanks largely to the news media that adore him) is seen as a reformer, a man of principle, a tireless warrior against the influence of special interests. But this week brought explosive allegations that, in contrast to this image, McCain (who was, remember, one of the Keating Five) may have been doing favors for lobbyists. It also brought a reminder that he has essentially turned his presidential campaign over to some of the nation's most powerful lobbyists. Yet, rather than seizing on this tension between McCain's carefully cultivated image and his actions, many journalists swiftly moved to declare it a non-story: All that mattered was the alleged affair, and if that didn't happen, McCain must be innocent of everything, the victim of a "smear."
In contrast to their treatment of Democrats, in which they declare a "scandal" true if any element of it is true, the media have moved to declare the entire McCain story a "smear" if any element of it is false.
And rather than examine whether McCain reacted to the stories with false claims, contradictions, or absurdities, as they have done to countless Democrats in the past, much of the media simply noted his denials and behaved as though the story is all about The New York Times' behavior in breaking it. Just as they had with the Bush National Guard story, other media quickly made the Times the story, rather than McCain's actions and statements. (One notable exception: a Newsweek article by Michael Isikoff that begins: "A sworn deposition that Sen. John McCain gave in a lawsuit more than five years ago appears to contradict one part of a sweeping denial that his campaign issued this week to rebut a New York Times story about his ties to a Washington lobbyist.")
Yesterday, John McCain's presidential campaign sent out a fundraising email (from lobbyist/McCain campaign manager Rick Davis) that claimed, "Objective observers are viewing this ... as a sleazy smear attack from a liberal newspaper against the conservative Republican frontrunner." The email quoted four such "objective observers," including right-wing Fox News host Sean Hannity, former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, and "Washington attorney Bob Bennett, who was the Democrat counsel during the Keating investigation."
The description of Hannity and Scarborough as "objective observers" is funny enough, but Bob Bennett is John McCain's personal attorney in this matter. He is the exact opposite of an "objective observer" -- he is a paid advocate on McCain's behalf. When he defends McCain, he isn't doing so as an "objective observer," he is doing so in exchange for hundreds of dollars an hour.
McCain's campaign manager's portrayal of McCain's personal lawyer as an "objective observer" defending McCain isn't merely a breathtaking display of chutzpah, though it is certainly that. It is also precisely the kind of thing that, had it been done in defense of Bill Clinton or Al Gore, would have led to a cascade of ridicule from the news media. We would constantly hear about how they were hurting themselves with such transparently dishonest defense, which not only calls their character into question, it suggests that the underlying allegations must be true. Tucker Carlson would have a field day mocking the defense, and he wouldn't be alone. And, for once, he wouldn't be wrong.
Yet, when this transparently dishonest defense is made on John McCain's behalf, the media ignore it.
The hinted-at-but-not-proven (and thus, perhaps not real) affair between McCain and the lobbyist is, in many ways, the least important and least interesting aspect of this week's revelations. As Media Matters' Eric Alterman noted yesterday, "[I]t's none of our business and does not belong on the front page of The New York Times, regardless of timing. What's more, the sex gets in the way of what is really important about McCain's behavior."
But the media's reaction to this element of the story is very interesting -- particularly in contrast to their treatment of allegations of affairs by Democrats. McCain left his first wife for his current wife -- a fact that was notably absent from yesterday's cable coverage of the McCain controversy. Whenever some new allegation of an affair by Clinton popped up, the media were quick to invoke previous (unproven and in many ways provably false) claims, like those of Gennifer Flowers, as evidence of a pattern that made the new allegations likely to be true. Yet here we have the media ignoring McCain's history with women, even as they discuss the possibility of an affair between McCain and a lobbyist.
Then there's the reaction to the New York Times article. All day yesterday, a firestorm raged in the media over the Times article, as journalists from other news organizations denounced the paper for suggesting, based on unnamed sources, that McCain had an affair. It was denounced as a smear, and reckless journalism.
Some of the same people who were challenging the Times' reliance on unnamed sources, and its printing of what amounts to rumors of an affair, praised the Times for doing exactly the same thing nearly two years ago.
Well, not quite the same thing: Back then, the victim of the Times' crude innuendo was Bill Clinton, not John McCain.
When The New York Times ran a 2,000-word article about the state of the Clintons' marriage in May of 2006, the paper passed on gossip about Bill Clinton and a Canadian politician named Belinda Stronach. According to the Times, "Several prominent New York Democrats, in interviews, volunteered that they became concerned last year over a tabloid photograph" of Clinton and Stronach.
Chris Matthews, among others, loved -- loved -- the article. He discussed it again and again and again on Hardball. He -- approvingly -- described it as a warning from The New York Times to Clinton that "he better watch it" and "behave himself." Interviewing Clinton aide Ann Lewis, Matthews added, "I think it'd be great for the country if ... we were not once again distracted by what you call private life. And I think the way to avoid getting distracted is to have nothing there to distract us. ... I want to have some assurances from people that I trust and like to spread the word that he better watch it."
In short, Matthews did not criticize the Times article; he endorsed it. He didn't complain about it being based on unnamed sources, or about the paper trafficking in gossip it couldn't prove true.
Now, how did Matthews react to the Times article about McCain, a man Matthews has said "deserves" to be president? Did he repeatedly ask if McCain would "behave himself" during the campaign? Did he approvingly note that the Times had sent a warning that McCain "better watch it"? Of course not.
Instead, Matthews turned on the Times for the same type of reporting it had employed in the Clinton article. Again and again he used his perch at MSNBC to rail against the Times not only for using unnamed sources in the McCain article, but for failing to explain why it was granting the sources anonymity, which, as Matthews pointed out, is inconsistent with the Times' guidelines.
But Matthews expressed no such concern about the 2006 article about Clinton. Here's the Times' passage about Stronach again -- a passage the Times' public editor at the time said should not have appeared in the paper:
Because of Mr. Clinton's behavior in the White House, tabloid gossip sticks to him like iron filings to a magnet. Several prominent New York Democrats, in interviews, volunteered that they became concerned last year over a tabloid photograph showing Mr. Clinton leaving B.L.T. Steak in Midtown Manhattan late one night after dining with a group that included Belinda Stronach, a Canadian politician. The two were among roughly a dozen people at a dinner, but it still was enough to fuel coverage in the gossip pages.
Why had the Times granted anonymity to the "New York Democrats"? The Times didn't say -- and Chris Matthews didn't give a damn; he was just thrilled that the paper had issued its "warning." Of course, back then, the targets of the Times' article were the Clintons, and Chris Matthews very much does not like the Clintons. Now the subject of a Times article relying on unnamed sources is McCain, who Matthews thinks "deserves" to be president. And so Matthews now righteously denounces the same sourcing techniques that he didn't mind at all when the subject was Clinton.
And Matthews has repeatedly railed against the Times for running the McCain story on the front page, above the fold -- right where the Times' article about the Clintons' marriage ran.
Not that Matthews has cornered the market on blatant double standards. His MSNBC colleague Tucker Carlson kept insisting that the Times' reference to a possible affair by McCain was inappropriate because, according to Carlson, the media collectively agreed not to focus on such things post-Monica Lewinksy. To his credit, this is not the first time Carlson has been outraged by discussion of a candidate's marriage: He frequently opposes such discussion -- when Republicans are the subjects.
* * *
The point here isn't that the Times article about McCain was flawless. It wasn't. The paper could have run, as many have noted, a much stronger article that focused on McCain's actions on behalf of lobbyists, without including unnamed sources asserting that unnamed aides believed McCain to have had an affair. But I don't remember Chris Matthews or Tucker Carlson or the countless other journalists who have denounced the Times over the past two days leveling a similar complaint about unnamed sources talking about Clinton and Stronach. To the contrary; they embraced that article.
Regardless of the merits of the Times article, particularly its treatment of the affair question, it is important to recognize the blatant double standards media employ to hype stories damaging to Democrats and downplay and dismiss those damaging to Republicans.
The Clinton Rules make for lousy journalism, as we've seen over the past two decades. But the media's rush to dismiss serious questions about prominent Republicans is no better than their repeated peddling of bogus stories about Democrats.
 


  
For News And Commentary:
Broward News And Politics
 
For Florida Election News See:
 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus Winter Conference

March 7-9, 2007 in West Palm Beach
 
 
Also, don't forget to mark your calendars for the Summer Conference: July 18-20, 2008 in Gainesville/Alachua County
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Florida Blowback

 
Brought to you by Donna Brazil, Alexis Herman, Donnie And Carol Fowler Of South Carolina and Mark Brewer Of Michigan And of course Obama. 
McCain 49% Clinton 43%
McCain 53% Obama 37%.
 it's Rasmussen, but still... ...


  
A Election '08 News Site:
For News And Commentary:
 
For Florida Election News See:
 
Political Talk For And By Political Junkies
Just Rumors The Rumor Mills

Saturday, February 16, 2008

MSNBC still doesn't "get it"

A month ago, after Chris Matthews made a forced (and ridiculously inadequate) apology for one of his many sexist comments about Hillary Clinton, MSNBC colleagues Joe Scarborough, David Shuster, and Mika Brzezinski leaped to Matthews' defense.
Brzezinski and Scarborough suggested that Matthews had been taken out of context; in doing so, they falsely portrayed the controversy as being about a single Matthews comment, rather than a years-long pattern of behavior that has been exhaustively detailed by Media Matters, Bob Somerby, and others. Shuster complained: "[T]o see him have to go through this is absolutely infuriating, to see the way these groups used him for pure political gain is absolutely infuriating." Scarborough added, "This ain't about Hillary Clinton's campaign."
 
 Matthews lashed out at the Clinton campaign, saying that Clinton should "get rid of the kneecappers that work for her," referring to her communications staff who go "after the press." Matthews added, "The kneecapping hasn't worked. Her press relations are lousy. ... If all you do is intimidate and punish and claim you'll get even relentlessly, people of all kinds of politicians -- and in all fairness, the press -- human reaction to intimidation is screw you."
 
For the record, Matthews' overt hostility toward Hillary Clinton cannot honestly be described as a reaction to how her presidential campaign has treated the press: More than six years ago, Matthews said of Clinton, "I hate her. I hate her. All that she stands for." More to the point, Matthews' apparent blaming of the Clinton campaign for his own sexism is the clearest indication yet that he doesn't "get it" and that MSNBC doesn't care that he doesn't get it.
 
MSNBC apparently still doesn't understand that this controversy "ain't about Hillary Clinton's campaign." And it isn't about just one comment, or just one MSNBC reporter. It's about a steady stream of inappropriate comments by Chris Matthews ... and by Joe Scarborough and by Tucker Carlson and by David Shuster. Not just about Hillary Clinton, but about (and to) many women, including some conservative women. And the problem at MSNBC isn't limited to the cable channel's treatment of women: Remember, this is the network that hired Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, and Don Imus. All three were fired after making (predictably) disgraceful comments. Only Imus' firing had anything to do with sexism, and his controversial comments were both sexist and racist.
The controversy, in short, ain't about Hillary Clinton's campaign and never has been. It is about NBC News allowing MSNBC (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, NBC itself) to be a safe haven for hate speech and a sanctuary for sexism.
 
How else to explain MSNBC's decision to make Ann Coulter a frequent guest? As MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan (a well-known bigot in his own right) explained after a Coulter appearance on the cable channel last year: "I don't think she's peddling hate. ... MSNBC certainly doesn't ... because if they did, they would never put her on the air for an hour."
Ann Coulter peddles nothing but hate. Well, that isn't quite fair -- she typically throws in a few lies as well. But the hate is her bread and butter. MSNBC knows this; they fired her for it long ago. Yet they continue to host her.
 
Media Matters noted in October:
As Media Matters for America documented, in the weeks following the release of her last book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown Forum, June 2006), Coulter made numerous appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, and their parent network, NBC, where she unleashed a stream of attacks on the widows of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. As Media Matters also documented, while NBC continued to provide Coulter an open platform with which to spew her inflammatory and offensive rhetoric, several NBC hosts and anchors -- including Tonight Show host Jay Leno, Today co-host Matt Lauer, and Nightly News anchor Brian Williams -- expressed disapproval of Coulter's "harsh" and "nasty" statements. On June 26, 2007 -- the date Godless was released in paperback -- Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, claimed that Coulter forces him to "go to confession." Matthews, however, has a history of inviting her on his show. Following an appearance on Today in June 2006 -- during which Coulter criticized the 9-11 widows for "speak[ing] out using the fact that they're widows" and "using their grief" and "the fact that [they] lost a husband" to make "a political point while preventing anyone from responding" -- Williams devoted a segment of the Nightly News to the subject of "civility in American life," highlighting Coulter's comments. And yet NBC and its cable affiliates have continued to invite her on the air. The upcoming release of Coulter's new book gives rise once again to the question of whether NBC programs will keep hosting her.
According to a Media Matters review*, Coulter has been interviewed at least 194 times on at least 13 individual programs on MSNBC, CNBC, and NBC since April 28, 1997.
 Coulter was a guest on MSNBC Live. A day earlier, she had referred to Barack Obama as "B. Hussein Obama" five times in a span of two minutes and once described him as "President Hussein." During her appearance on MSNBC, the cable channel touted her recent statement that Obama "wouldn't be running for president if he weren't half-black," which she has described as his "big accomplishment."
On NBC programs alone, Coulter has called former Vice President Al Gore a "total fag" and has attacked former President Bill Clinton as a "latent homosexual." She has defended her claim that 9-11 widows were "enjoying their husbands' deaths." She has wished aloud that "the American military were targeting journalists." She has claimed that "John Kerry does not believe in God." And she has spoken of "perfecting Jews."
After Elizabeth Edwards responded to Coulter's description of her husband, John, as a "faggot," MSNBC Live host Chris Jansing asked Edwards, "There are people who support your opinion, I'm sure you know, who say, 'Why even dignify it with a response? Why give Ann Coulter more publicity?'"
Why give Ann Coulter more publicity? That's a question that should be directed to Steve Capus, not Elizabeth Edwards. As the president of NBC News, Capus may be more responsible than anyone else on earth for giving Ann Coulter publicity.
In August 2006, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann said of Coulter: "[W]hy she has not been banned from this network, I do not know." That's a good question, and one Capus should answer -- but it is also too narrow a question.
 
MSNBC is the channel that hired Coulter in the 1990s, only to fire her after her controversial comments to a disabled Vietnam veteran; that hired Michael Savage in 2003, then had to fire him for telling a caller to "get AIDS and die"; that hired Don Imus, then had to fire him for making sexist and racist comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team. This is a cable channel that has, for years, been a welcome home to highly questionable comments about race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.
Chris Matthews has said Republicans "have a right to fear" seeing a "majority Latino population"; when his guest defended America's "tradition" of welcoming immigrants, Matthews retorted, "Do you live in a Mexican neighborhood?" Tucker Carlson used his MSNBC show to call the NAACP a "sad joke that should be shut down" and has attacked Barack Obama's religion, saying of Obama's church, "[I]t's hard to call that Christianity." Joe Scarborough says that pollster John Zogby, an Arab-American, "may be biased" on the issue of the Iraq war and "the Middle East situation."
 
Before Don Imus was fired, his executive producer told MSNBC viewers that Obama has a "Jew-hating name"; Imus himself referred to the "Jewish management" of CBS Radio as "money-grubbing bastards." MSNBC apparently didn't have any problem with those comments; it would be months before Imus was fired. The cable channel, however, did issue public apologies for ethnic slurs on Imus' show in 2004 and for comments made on the program about the movie Brokeback Mountain in 2006 -- though the later apology whitewashed Chris Matthews' role in the matter.
 
MSNBC frequently hosts Bill Donohue, an unrepentant bigot who has said that "[p]eople don't trust the Muslims when it comes to liberty," referred to the "gay death style," demanded that the gay community "apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done," asserted that Hollywood "is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular," and claimed that Hollywood "likes anal sex" and "abortions." Not to mention his repeated use of the slur "gook." And he has said all of that on MSNBC.
 
This is a cable channel that, in the middle of a monthlong controversy over its pattern of broadcasting sexist comments, chose to host Ann Coulter, a pundit whose defining characteristic is her tendency to make utterly inappropriate comments about women and minorities. (A more tone-deaf response to such a controversy is hard to imagine, though Arkansas Democrat-Gazette political editor Bill Simmons' decision to respond to accusations that the paper's newsroom is a "good ole' boys club" filled with racist and sexist commentary by referring to "boys being boys" was indescribably bad.)
 
This is what MSNBC is. It is the cable channel of Ann Coulter and Michael Savage and Don Imus. It is the home to Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson and their deeply disturbed attitudes toward women.
 
The longer MSNBC responds to legitimate concerns about the conduct of its hosts and guests by lashing out at critics and booking Ann Coulter again, the more clear it becomes that the problems at MSNBC go much higher than Chris Matthews.
Speak out about the mess at MSNBC!
ShusterDuring the past year, three MSNBC commentators have been suspended, reprimanded, fired, or forced to apologize for their sexist and/or racist comments. Rather than address these problems by proactively moving to make certain they do not happen in the first place, MSNBC has instead decided to use these controversies as part of an advertising campaign to promote its political coverage. It's clear the management at NBC News and MSNBC has consistently failed to address what appears to be the core problem. Please take a moment to sign our petition and send a message to NBC News President Capus that the time for apologies has passed. The time for a real commitment to change is long since overdue. With your help, we can urge MSNBC to change the demeaning tone that its coverage all too often takes and truly address this disturbing pattern once and for all. Sign our petition - Send a message!
Please contact MSNBC and Chris Matthews today!
MatthewsUsing overtly sexist language, he has referred to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as a "she devil" and compared her to a "strip-teaser." He has called her "witchy" and likened her voice to "fingernails on a blackboard." He has referred to men who support her as "castratos in the eunuch chorus." His sexism is hardly limited to comments about Clinton. In November 2006, shortly after the Democrats took the majority in Congress, Matthews asked a guest if then-presumptive speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was "going to castrate Steny Hoyer" if Hoyer (D-MD) were elected House majority leader. During coverage of a presidential debate last spring, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was compelled to remind Matthews that Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) wife, Michelle, is a Harvard-educated lawyer after he focused obsessively on her physical appearance. Click Here to Take Action!
 
 
 
From Media Matters.org  
 
 

Friday, February 15, 2008

Change Is Coming....................

News jumps at us and appears right in our faces. Major news sources and Internet news sites feed us the news minute by minute. It flashes on our personal computers and Black Berry's. Something may happen in Kansas, Atlanta, Chicago, etc. and we have the details within minutes. We see it raw and there is no time to massage it or spin for political purposes. The truth is being told straight up and that is a very good thing.
 
Likewise, we can communicate to the masses at the speed of thought. We have databases, blogs and websites that everyone within earshot of our messages, views and comments.
 
What formerly would take about a year to organize can be done now within weeks if not days. It makes an organized group or campaign effective anywhere in the nation.
 
The Obama Campaign is showing this. Whether it is Idaho or Southside Chicago the team is there. As Senator Obama has recently claimed, "whether it is North, South or places in between we are there," and right he is. People who have been in political campaigns for decades find themselves lagging far behind in organization and fundraising versus this new style. Even Ron Paul,  with his fledgling group can out raise all other Republican candidates.
I haven't bought a daily newspaper in a decade. The news flashes before my computer screen free of charges and multiple times each day. Google even sends me news flashes about "my favorite poilitical topic" a few times a day. We even have some of our own writings that gets out there in the "blogosphere".
 
The current presidential campaigns are proof positive that people are insisting on "Change". The routine same 'ol, same 'ol technique is not gong to be tolerated anymore.
 
The same group of people interested in a national campaign is now being minimalized by an ever growing group of newcomers who demand excellence and improvement.
 
The Obama Campaign has inspired millions to get into this game of politics. It is changing the standards immensely and ever so quickly. His competitors have had to quickly change their themes, focus and strategies.
 
He has them off their game and he is progressively benefiting from it. His campaign is upsetting the status quo and all of a sudden we have a new populace jumping into the fray. Whether it is Georgia, Louisiana, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Washington, the campaign is gaining steam at all demographics. It is historical and the political experts are baffled.
 
Understanding the term "Change" gives one a great advantage. The Obama Campaign understands this and he, in a very cool manner, is leading the charge for "Change". He brings to the voting booths new people interested in getting into the system and changing it for good.  "It's hard to stop a movement." You can just go ask Donnie Fowler of South Carolina, a DNC Chair wannabe. The force of change stoped his driving train for the leadership of the Democratic Party. 
 
We haven't seen anything like it since the Kennedy/Nixon election in 1960. It was the energized youth that gave Kennedy that narrow victory. If Obama pulls this off it will be the new forces he encouraged to get into his camp. They are inspired, energized and working places that have never been worked before. He understands this and the others are still trying to figure it out.
 
When people ask, "What has Obama ever done?" all they will be able to say "He organized this campaign." There hasn't been anything like it in many decades. Whether he wins or not the effort is one of vision and excellence. Leaders have the ability to notice "Change" when the timing is right. Those who do not recognize it enter into the category of "out dated". "Out dated" never wins. So from the County level to the precinct level folks better be a changing, or just get out of the way,  you are going to get ran over. 

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Delegate Mess

This whole mess surrounding the state delegations from Florida and Michigan is a result of the Rules & Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee not strictly adhering to the 2008 Delegate Selection Rules for the Democratic National Convention by applying the rules equally and fairly to all states.
Rule 11.A. of the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention states the following:
11. TIMING OF THE DELEGATE SELECTION PROCESS
A. No meetings, caucuses, conventions or primaries which constitute the first determining stage in the presidential nomination process (the date of the primary in primary states, and the date of the first tier caucus in caucus states) may be held prior to the first Tuesday in February or after the second Tuesday in June in the calendar year of the national convention. Provided, however, that the Iowa precinct caucuses may be held no earlier than 22 days before the first Tuesday in February; that the Nevada first-tier caucuses may be held no earlier than 17 days before the first Tuesday in February; that the New Hampshire primary may be held no earlier than 14 days before the first Tuesday in February; and that the South Carolina primary may be held no earlier than 7 days before the first Tuesday in February. In no instance may a state which scheduled delegate selection procedures on or between the first Tuesday in February and the second Tuesday in June 1984 move out of compliance with the provisions of this rule.
We already know that Florida and Michigan violated Rule 11.A. by moving their primaries to a date before the first Tuesday in February.  There is no argument there, but what about Iowa, New Hampshire, and yes, South Carolina too.
Rule 11.A specifically set the date for the primaries & caucuses for those three states as "no earlier than 22 days before the first Tuesday in February" (Iowa), "no earlier than 14 days before the first Tuesday in February" (New Hampshire), and "no earlier than 7 days before the first Tuesday in February" (South Carolina).
Iowa held their caucuses on January 3rd.  That's more than 22 days before the first Tuesday in February.  New Hampshire held their primary on January 8th.  That's more than 17 days before the first Tuesday in February.  And South Carolina held their primary on January 26th.  That's more than 7 days before the first Tuesday in February.
Under Rule 11.A., five states were in violation of the Democratic National Committee's Delegate Selection Rules, and as such, all five states should have been punished under Rule 20.C.1.a.
Violation of timing: In the event the Delegate Selection Plan of a state party provides or permits a meeting, caucus, convention or primary which constitutes the first determining stage in the presidential nominating process to be held prior to or after the dates for the state as provided in Rule 11 of these rules, or in the event a state holds such a meeting, caucus, convention or primary prior to or after such dates, the number of pledged delegates elected in each category allocated to the state pursuant to the Call for the National Convention shall be reduced by fifty (50%) percent, and the number of alternates shall also be reduced by fifty (50%) percent. In addition, none of the members of the Democratic National Committee and no other unpledged delegate allocated pursuant to Rule 8.A. from that state shall be permitted to vote as members of the state's delegation. In determining the actual number of delegates or alternates by which the state's delegation is to be reduced, any fraction below .5 shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number, and any fraction of .5 or greater shall be rounded up to the next nearest whole number.
Under Rule 20.C.1.a., Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina would have all lost their super delegates and had their pledged delegates reduced by half since they all violated Rule 11.A.  
However, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina weren't punished fairly.  In fact, they weren't punished at all.
And what about Florida & Michigan?
Well, we all know what happened to them.
Instead of strictly adhering to Rule 20.C.1.a. and reducing their pledged delegates by 50%, the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee decided to take it a step further.  The DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee exercised the authority granted to them by Rules 20.C.5. and 20.C.6. which allowed them to "impose sanctions the Committee deems appropriate."  And what were those sanctions the Committee deemed appropriate?  Stripping two of the largest states in the union of their votes at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Ladies & Gentlemen, this is what happens when the rules aren't applied equally and fairly.  This mess is a result of the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee not applying the rules equally and fairly.