Monday, September 28, 2009

Obama Health Care Reform Hits Speed Bump

Rasmussen Reports polling shows, Health Care Reform - Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low. The most likely health reform plan at this time is the Baucus plan, yet what health care reform means is still largely unknown as numerous amendments to this bill are under review including whether a public option will be part of the bill. Many basic factors regarding cost and effectiveness have not been fully addressed, and a new CBO report states that Social Security benefits will likely be cut eventually even though supporters of the bill have stated the opposite. The Rasmussen poll and accompanying article is an interesting read as it shows how the American people are viewing health reform and its effects.
Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.




If the plan passes, 24% of voters say the quality of care will get better, and 55% say it will get worse. In August, the numbers were 23% better and 50% worse.

Fifty-four percent (54%) say passage of the plan will make the cost of health care go up while 23% say it will make costs go down. In August, 52% thought the plan would lead to higher costs, and just 17% thought it would achieve the stated goal of lowering costs.

While many credit or blame the town hall protests for building opposition to the plan, it appears they were simply a reflection of public opinion rather than a creator of it. This sense is confirmed by the fact that Obama’s approval ratings fell more in June and July before stabilizing in August.

One thing that did change during the month of August is that public perception of the protesters improved. Most voters came to believe that the purpose of the town hall meetings was for members of Congress to listen rather than speak. That’s partly because just 22% believe Congress has a good understanding of the legislation.

While some Democrats have charged that opposition to the president’s plan is based upon racism, just 12% of voters agree.

Voters overwhelmingly believe that every American should be able to buy the same health insurance plan that Congress has. Most favor limits on jury awards for medical malpractice claims and think that tort reform will significantly reduce the cost of health care. Forty-eight percent (48%) want a prohibition on abortion in any government subsidized program while 13% want a mandate requiring abortion coverage.

Support For Obama Health Care Reform Continues to Drop
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Monday, September 21, 2009

ACORN Lawsuits?

ACORN, upset about unflattering media attention from Fox news due to recent videos showing ACORN workers giving tax cheat advice to a couple dressed as a pimp and prostitute, is threatening lawsuits. However, as Ken Blackwell of TownHall.com points out, that could backfire in a big way...
If ACORN sues, it would have to sue alleging some variation of defamation or fraud. The problem is that for either allegation, truth is an absolute defense. Nothing could be more relevant to Fox establishing its defense of truth in the lawsuit than having access to ACORN’s office memos, emails, phone records, and bank statements. All of these would have a reasonable chance of providing evidence as to whether ACORN workers had knowledge of any of the topics seen on the videotapes.

In short, it would blow the doors off ACORN’s vault of secrets. Fox would learn which organizations collaborate with ACORN, how they spend taxpayer money and what ACORN’s leaders say to each other behind closed doors. It would be a treasure trove for a media organization.



ACORN’s Threat of Lawsuits Could Backfire

ACORN PA

An interesting article on BigGovernment.com shows that the problem with ACORN is not just that they receive federal funding, but many states fund them as well. Pennsylvania, even after the recent video tapes showed the depth of ACORN's corruption, are not resisting calls to de-fund the organization.

http://biggovernment.com/2009/09/21/acorn-got-over-200k-of-pa-taxpayer-money-probably-getting-more/

Despite receiving a “cease and desist” notice from the Department of State to stop soliciting contributions, Pennsylvania taxpayers have given ACORN over $200,000 in state grants since November 2007. Yet none of the mainstream media in the Commonwealth is bothering to cover this issue. Nor has it reported on recent efforts to defend this rogue organization.

Jeff Lord, writing in The American Spectator, noted how Rep. Steve Barrar’s efforts to investigate ACORN’s activities in Pennsylvania are being stymied by Rep. Babette Josephs—a self-identified member of ACORN. Josephs is the Chair of the House State Government Committee—the committee where good government legislation goes to die.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ACORN News

ACORN has become another example of blatant media bias. Can anyone think of a reason why a news sources wouldn't cover a story where an organization that receives tax payer money is caught red-handed giving advice on how to cheat on taxes, hide/import underage prostitutes, defraud the government, and is now being sanctioned by the United States Congress? Everyone who knows anything about ACORN knows exactly why the media isn't covering this story; it would embarrass President Obama as he has long-standing ties with ACORN. I in no way blame President Obama for these inept media sycophants, there are few politicians in this world who would turn away such glowing positive coverage. Yet the media has reached a point, as evidenced by this latest ACORN story, where they can't even defend themselves. The media by ignoring this story with multiple sources of proof is essentially conceding that they are an unofficial Obama PR machine. While the internet leaves much to be desired in many respects, thank goodness there is an unfiltered source that actively uses the first amendment, as the media has forfeited its role as a part of the government's checks and balances system.

From Fox News ACORN Story Grows But Mainstream Media Refuse to Cover It

Bruce Springsteen once wrote: “From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come).” I doubt he expected that story of love gone wrong would become ideal political commentary for the group known as ACORN.

The small scandal showing an embarrassing video of Baltimore ACORN staffers looking like they were giving tax advice on how to set up a brothel, is now national news. -- This story has everything you could ever want – corruption, sleazy actions at tax-funded organizations, firings, government ties, sex, hookers. It is a network news director’s dream. Imagine the ratings!

Only almost no one is covering it.

This is the news media in the era of Van Jones and President Obama. The major outlets cover what they want and create the themes they want. When they find something inconvenient, they let it pass. They didn’t like the Van Jones story, so they ignored it. The network news media liked the financial entity known as Fannie Mae, so they ignored that scandalous organization for years. ACORN is getting the same treatment.

But it isn’t working any more. The ACORN fiasco has now impacted three offices – Baltimore, Washington and New York – with laugh-out-loud videos reminiscent of the hookers and pimps from the 1970s “Starsky and Hutch” show. Huggy Bear returns! Four employees have been fired, with more likely to come. And the controversy was so laughably bad that the Census Bureau cut off all ties to the group known formally as the "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now." -- They called it the “tipping point” to shed themselves of ACORN. More nuts for someone else, I guess.

And yet. And yet it’s still been ignored by the network news. Nothing on ABC, CBS or NBC. The only thing any one of the three broadcast networks has done appeared in a blog post by ABC’s Jake Tapper. It's hardly worth noting except to show that the networks know about what’s going on. They just don’t care to report it. Only FOX News has bothered to report on the controversy.


The Media - Ridiculous or Retarded?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ACORN Another Day Another Tape

If there is any question that ACORN supplying tax cheat info, and overlooking human trafficking was a fluke or a couple isolated instances, here's a third tape from ACORN's New York office.


ACORN New York - Third Corruption Tape

Monday, September 14, 2009

ACORN Community Organizing

The Baltimore office of ACORN gives tax advice to two people posing as a pimp and a prostitute who say they want to import underage teenagers from El Salvidor to work in the States as prostitutes. ACORN receives federal funding and has had numerous run-ins with the law usually regarding voter fraud. This however is a new low, at best these ACORN employees are condoning the human trafficking of underage girls, and in reality are likely breaking numerous laws.



Note: Except for when ACORN received government funding, I've posted very little about ACORN post-election. The public had their chance to learn about ACORN if they wished, they made their decision, voted, done deal, the race is over. However, this is insane. Democrats have to step to the plate, and renounce this. I in no way think that candidates aided by ACORN or any rationale human with any semblance of a moral compass thinks that human trafficking is acceptable. However, this is an example of an organization not just acting questionably, but this is evidence that ACORN has completely gone of the rails. Any politician to weak to stand up against ACORN will now be tying themselves to an organization that condoned prostitution and indirectly promoted human trafficking.

ACORN Condones Prostitution

Friday, August 21, 2009

Whole Foods Protesters

Whole Foods is facing a boycott because its CEO John Mackey wrote an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal opposing government run health care. Mackey's thoughtful article gave eight ideas for health care reform, and is not anywhere near what most rationale people consider provocative or radical. On the contrary, he is one of few public figures to put together a clear, concise, well-reasoned approach to health care reform. For his trouble he's being boycotted by those on the far left who can not accept that not everyone shares their point of view. The WSJ article is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in health care reform...

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare - Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit.

The following excerpt Food Fight Over Health Care, from a transcript of On the Record with Greta Vansusteren, also illustrates that Mackey is good person who does right by his employees, and is absurdly being targeted for vocalizing his opinion on health care reform. Hopefully those who see the injustice in this will counter the boycott by stopping by a Whole Foods store and picking up some groceries.

BRIAN SULLIVAN, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: The irony of this story, Greta, is that if John Mackey, who is the CEO of Whole Food who has been running the company, started the company in Austin Texas about 30 years ago, if he had positioned what he positioned in "The Journal" when we were not considering health care, this would have been considered radical reform. He said here are eight ideas as a successful CEO that I have, including tort reform, allowing insurers cross state lines, self-directed ideas. And yet he is vilified by some of the more liberal followers out there of the president's plan. They are, as you said, waging war against Whole Foods, 18,000 on Facebook in a boycott. There is Web page set up. And they are calling him, get this, Greta, a right-wing zealot. VAN SUSTEREN: This CEO of Whole Foods, in 2007, he said he had enough money to live comfortably, so in 2007 he cut his salary down to $1 a year, and he donated all of the proceeds from his stock option to charity. This does not sound like a guy who wants to stick it to the poor when it comes to health care. He had a different idea, and that was what was in the "Wall Street Journal." SULLIVAN: He is a self-described libertarian. And I do not know if that was angered some people. Not only was he taking $1, but he pushed this through, Greta, a $100,000 need-based fund for Whole Foods workers. They offer domestic partners same sex benefits at Whole Foods. Heretofore this has been considered a relatively progressive company. Now he comes out and says the government-run plan is not the way to go. And he is absolutely being slaughtered on the left side of the blogosphere.

A Misguided Boycott Of Whole Foods

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Health Care Debate Is Missing An Explation

The health care debate has become one of the most confusing and highly charged debates in recent memory. One main reason for this is that the administration has repeatedly left unanswered the basic question of how this plan will work. There is some good reason for this as there is no real concrete plan as of yet, just a bill that is in process which has been criticized as lengthy but not clear. However, the President has spoken about health care repeatedly in town halls, in press conferences, and has directly addressed the country, but has not once has he given a basic explanation on how his plan will work. Again today in a op-ed in the New York Times President Obama talks about why health care is needed. Yet no one is at a loss for why health reform is needed, they are at a loss for how health reform will work.

Cost is a major issue. The administration says that the plan will be funded approximately 1/3 by eliminating waste and inefficiencies. Yet CNN ran an article stating that little has been done in the current bill to address fraud. Tort reform has also been excluded, which means the waste that occurs through doctors practicing defensive medicine, and the underlying cost of malpractice insurance will not be dealt with. Digitizing medical records has been cited as a way to reduce costs. This would likely reduce costs down the road, but wouldn't there be an initial cost of moving records to a database, setting up a database (or other system) with the appropriate security and protocols? How will this happen? Who will establish this system and oversee its management and especially its security?

The reason so many people are nervous is that if the system is squeezed for savings it makes sense that care might suffer. Without the 'how' people are likely to jump to conclusions, and while proponents can complain that people 'are playing the politics of fear,' the reality is that some people are honestly afraid of what might happen to Medicare and Medicaid if reform means cuts. Granted some have come to ridiculous conclusions like Governor Palin's over-the-top remark about 'death panels.' However, the irony is that remark actually effected the debate because there was no other explanation out there about what 'end of life counseling' means. The administration is adamant that health reform pass, and pass quickly, but they don't appear to know what reforms they want or how they will work. How can the President expect the public to support reform when no one can explain it?

From Purple People Vote Independent Political Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Indepedent Call - From New Hampshire On - At Amazon.com

My latest book, An Independent Call, is now available at Amazon.com. An Indpendent Call - From New Hampshire On recounts the experience of a wary Independent slowly being won over by the McCain campaign during the primary process, and eventually becoming a campaign volunteer and credentialed blogger. This book relates stories of political craziness from the primaries through the general election, shedding light on the opportunities and experiences provided to those who volunteer. A mix of good humor and political opinion from the middle.

Rockingham NH County Commissioner, Maureen Barrows, recommends An Independent Call stating that it is, "A must read for anyone interested in the day to day life of a volunteer in a political campaign...attention to detail is brilliant." --Maureen Barrows

-Katherine Morrison

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Won't Be Silenced - Iran

A 19 year old, Sohrab Arabi, disappeared more than 3 weeks ago after he participated in post election protests in Iran. His mother was told he was being held in Evin prison, and she routinely visited the prison trying to find information about her son. Sohrab was dead, reportedly killed as a result of torture. At Sohrab Arabi's funeral his mother called out the cowards who murdered him and proclaimed, "I won't be Silenced."



sohrab

Mother Of 19 Year Old Sohrab Arabi At Son’s Funeral – “I won’t be Silenced”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ABC Reports Iran’s Election Protests

ABC is reporting that protests in Iran, while smaller, are continuing despite brutal crackdowns. Methods of protest have changed to reduce some of the risk of personal harm, but none-the-less persist despite the government's oppression and appear to be causing stress and turmoil within the government structures.

Iran Protests Continue Despite Crackdown

The government is lashing out, in what some see as a sign of political panic.

Despite the tough government crackdown, Iran's opposition appears to be operating on the premise that the time is now to reform Iran's theocratic system. Its nominal leadership – Mir Hossein Mousavi, former president Mohamed Khatami, and reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi – met this week in a broadened push for greater democracy and continued resistance against the Ahmadinejad's government.

Demonstrations continued through Wednesday, though more localized and limited than the early days of June's mass rallies.

In Tehran's Grand Bazaar there are some signs of a three-day strike called in protest of the government, timed with the religious holiday of Etekaf. For years Iran's government encouraged the three-day observance for the birth of Imam Ali. This year the holiday is being used for political cover so that people can go on strike without punishment.

Other forms of protest designed to evade the government crackdown involve green graffiti on neighborhood walls, often "V" signs for "victory," and writing opposition slogans on paper money that circulates through the country. "This is a second protest level. They want to try to keep the momentum going. Every opportunity that they get they want to show that the struggle continues," said Shahriar Shahabi, an Iranian analyst in Dubai who says protests continued in Shiraz, Mashad, and other cities. He says that if successful, Mousavi's plan to create a new political party would be a pivotal boost to opposition efforts.

Nightly rooftop chants of Allahu Akbar, held between 9 and 11 p.m. around the country, have continued since the June 12 election. Security forces have raided homes and attacked rooftop protesters, ending in at least two reported shooting deaths. This week, with severe sandstorms clouding the air of Tehran, protesters took advantage of the low visibility. "It is going crazy here…it is very very loud, and there is a lot of emotion," Ehsan, 34, wrote in an email to ABC News during Tuesday night's protest.




ABC Reports Iran’s Election Protests Continue But Move To A Second Phase

Friday, June 26, 2009

Free Iran Recap - Freedom Via Internet

Since the election in Iran on the 12th of June, information about the protests and brutal government crackdowns has flowed in via the internet, particularly social media sites, and specifically Twitter. Twitter was the first place to provide information about the protests as the media largely missed the story in the beginning. Now the flow of information out of Iran has slowed due to massive arrests and violent government oppression. Along with the slowing of information, the main stream media's attention has been diverted. Yet this remains a topic that deserves continued public attention. People are fighting for their freedom under unimaginable conditions.

Here is a recap of some of the videos, stories, and information that has come out of Iran along with the role technology has played...

Total Oppression Versus Open Communication in Iran
In an early show of force students were beaten in their dorm rooms, and their rooms were trashed, computers and the like destroyed. Angered by the brutal beat downs, many professors at Tehran University protested by resigning. Hospital workers who treated the students, also disgusted by the government’s brutality, went on strike the following day to protest the students’ treatment.

Foreign media was banned, journalists have been jailed. Due to the crackdown, citizen journalism virtually the only way the story is getting to the rest of the world.

Iranian government claims that death of Neda was staged by the opposition. They prevent any form of public mourning for both Neda and the many others killed in the protests.

Soccer Team Members who wore green armbands during a game are permanently banned from the sport.

British representatives expelled from the country.

Special courts established for trying arrested protesters.

Mass show of force and violent suppression of peaceful protests continue.

Videos: The first video shows the death of Neda a young Iranian woman who has come to symbolize the Free Iran movement. She was shot while simply watching the protests, and reportedly died by her father's side. Be warned that the first two videos are very graphic and disturbing. The third video, while somewhat less graphic, but is also quite disturbing.

*VERY GRAPHIC* Young Lady Dies on Streets of Iran

*Very Graphic* Video of Iran Protests and Man Badly Beaten

Shooting of Iranian Students Caught on Camera

Massive Show of Force on Streets of Iran

Video of voter fraud in Iranian Election

June 20 Iran Protesters Face Off with Police

Crowds During June 20th Protests

Riot Police Attack Protesters in Iran

Video Showing Scope of Iranian Protests

This Week's Articles:

This week a violent beat down of protesters was under reported as the flow of information slows. CNN and the AP both had reports on this brutality...

AP Reports Iran Security Forces Again Beat Down the Opposition Protesters

Distraught woman describes the brutality to CNN, Reports of Brutal Crackdown In Iran

Article's Prior to the June 20th Protests

Concern About Khamenei’s Statements

Arrests and Protests Continue in Iran

American’s Practical Support of A Free Iran

Articles About the Role of the Internet in post-Election Iran

Twitter Changing the Playing Field In Iran and For Totalitarianism
One of my first thoughts on seeing Twitter being used by Iranians following their elections was, ‘Imagine if they had Twitter during Tienanmen Square.’ Totalitarian regimes historically thrive, in large measure, by controlling the media and modes of communication. Would be protesters become isolated. Government propaganda simply spins any protest or event into something that reflects well on the regime in power.

Following Iran Elections on Twitter – A Lesson in Freedom and Technology
Google Farsi - English Traslator: Google launches Farsi - English translator Thursday night/Friday morning. A hugely helpful tool that aids communication, and understanding of news directly from Iran.

Cable and Network News relying on Twitter: Saturday the 20th, with a government imposed blackout of foreign media CNN and others have to rely on citizen journalists along with Twitter and other social media sites to gather news. Protests are scheduled even though Ayatola Khamenei has made statements that suggest a possibly violent crackdown on protesters. Reports of tear gas used and armed police barricades used to disperse crowds.

Students Shot on Camera: A tweet linked to this video of Iranian students being shot

A graphic YouTube video of a woman's death (Neda) becomes a symbol of the movement. Trending topic on Twitter is #Neda as references to the video, and her life show how moved people were by her tragic death.

Mousavi Facebook post:
Through a post on Facebook it has been reported that Mir-Hossein Mousavi has stated that he is "ready for martyrdom."

Embassies Take Wounded Iranians: Word spreads quickly on June 20th that many European embassies are taking care of wounded Iranians. These embassies along with their address/directions were also diseminated through Twitter. The safety of the hospitals is in question, and the Canadian embassy is pressured (via use of Twitter) to open its embassy too, yet embassy remained closed on Saturday.

Iran Elections and the Internet
An interesting subplot to the Iranian elections is that the internet is providing people more information than major news networks...Dear CNN, Please Check Twitter for News About Iran


Since writing about the Twitter Effect in Iran, and the role of the Internet as a whole, I have also been interviewed on radio and TV. For more info on appearances, please visit the Broad Side of the Barn.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twitter, Iran, and Cracking the Totalitarian Model

One of my first thoughts on seeing Twitter being used by Iranians following their elections was, 'Imagine if they had Twitter during Tienanmen Square.' Totalitarian regimes historically thrive, in large measure, by controlling the media and modes of communication. Would be protesters become isolated. Government propaganda simply spins any protest or event into something that reflects well on the regime in power.

Yet now there is Twitter, other social networks, and the internet at large. It's wise for Tweeters and others to understand that the deck is still stacked against those protesting the election. The Iranian government still controls the media, and in a textbook totalitarian move they have banned foreign press. While members of the Twitter community have set up proxy servers for people in Iran to use, the government has shut down known internet connections, which means that in all likelihood a large majority of Iranians are only hearing the official government version of events.

Yet protests continue and news spreads in large part due to Twitter and the internet. This is not something past totalitarian regimes have had to deal with. There are enough Iranians using Twitter (or other forms of communication) to organize that protests continue. The government has not been able to implement complete control. Hopefully those watching, participating, and following #iranelection on Twitter recognize that there is a definite possibility that this ends very badly as totalitarian regimes are also brutal. The reality is that what results from this is wholly a guess, but it changes the playing field and gives voice to those who previously had none. Person to person communication tools change the dynamic shifting, at least some of the power to the people, and puts a crack in structure of totalitarianism.

tienneman

ter copy

Twitter Changing the Playing Field In Iran and For Totalitarianism

Friday, June 12, 2009

Obama Idea or McCain Idea

As a staunch McCain supporter I'm over the defeat; that is except when the Obama administration attempts to use parts of the McCain platform that they previously criticized. When the Obama administration followed the McCain plan in their Iraq and Afghanistan I was relieved. They weren't as reckless as their campaign statements made them appear. Also, I have to give them a gamesmanship points (even if they lose honesty points) for completely sticking it to the far left without making them angry. Yet the annoyance started when Obama used the McCain rhetoric about the economy without including all that pesky fiscal discipline. The statements post stimulus about strong economic fundamentals were practically verbatim what Senator McCain said during the election. Now health care is on the table and so is taxing employer based health insurance. Remember Obama campaign ads revolved around the idea that this was a terrible plan for Senator McCain to propose. Now it apparently is not such a bad idea. What makes it worse is that in the McCain plan there was a $5000 tax credit that would have off-set the tax. There will be no tax credit with the Democrat's plan, so any tax assessed is coming right out of your pocket. I'll get over the annoyance, but if the Obama administration keeps adapting McCain ideas the least they could do is adopt his fiscal discipline (and math skills) too.


Obama Using McCain Ideas

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Palin Letterman Feud Starting

While the Palin Letterman feud heats up, lets look at why David Letterman's bad joke appears to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

1. Letterman likely jumped on the Palins' last nerve when he made a crude joke at their daughter's expense. Governor Palin hasn't just been criticized, she and her her family have been attacked in a particularly hateful way, and at some point that has to wear thin particularly when ones children are targetted.

2. The Palin's reaction conqsequently was a little overreaching. It seems unlikely that Letterman was referring to the Palin's 14 year old daughter as the Palins thought. Circumstances pointed to the fourteen year old, but Letterman accurately pointed out that he doesn't have a history of making crude remarks referencing children. However, making vulgar remarks about any of the candidates/politician's kids is inexcusable, they didn't choose the public life and should be left alone (and 18 is still pretty young). The Palin's anger is completely justified and understandable.

3. Lots of people are fed up with jokes about female politicians always going 'there.' This can be seen in the HillBuzz blog (a Clinton supporters blog) requesting a boycott of Letterman sponsors. The lead in to the joke about the Palin girl was a crack about Palin looking like a "slutty stewardess." Like Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin has been the brunt of jokes and criticism that directly critique her appearance and sexuality. As hated as Bush and Cheney were in the last eight years, no one criticized their appearance or made explicit comments and jokes about them the way they have about Clinton and Palin. Again Letterman stomped on a raw nerve.

4. Some will be angry at the remark, others will be angry at anything referencing Governor Palin. Therefor this is is going to be big. Palin supporters can be quite intense (and oddly similar to the fervent Obama supporters). They're not likely to let it go, and the left's kooky raging Palin hatred means they won't let it go either.

So there you have it, we're in for a broohaha. Letterman's apology was weak because he was starky towards the Palins, and didn't recognize the fact that all of their kids should be off-limits particularly when making off-color jokes. Michael Steele has addressed the Palin Letterman matter by saying,
"Letterman's joke about Sarah and Todd Palin's daughter was thoughtless and tacky," Steele said in a statement to The Hill. "I saw his explanation for the joke, but sometimes the easiest thing to do is simply say 'I'm sorry.'"

"When Letterman starts making tasteless jokes about kids, it's time to turn the channel,"

Senator McCain defended the Palins saying,
"I don't understand why Letterman would say that about a young woman," McCain said during a telephone interview on Thursday. "They (the Palins) deserve some kind of protection from being the butt of late-night hosts."

As Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune sums up the situation in his article Palin is Right About Letterman by stating...
It's hard to see what Bristol has done to deserve the ridicule. It's not her fault her mother is a national political figure. Dealing with her situation is hard enough without being under a media spotlight.

Instead of acting as though he's the victim of someone else's misunderstanding, as he did last night, Letterman ought to simply admit he blew it, big time, and personally apologize to the Palins and his viewers.

He also should to keep in mind that if you're going to ridicule someone's sex life, you might pick on someone your own size. And make very sure you have the right person.

CBS's Feedback Form
Palin Letterman Politics

Monday, June 8, 2009

What is the Cost of Obama's Health Care Plans

The Wall Street Journal is calling the Obama administration on its claims that its health care program will save money in the long-run. While Congressional Democrats work on drafting a health care bill (which includes taxing employer health insurance something highly criticized by the Democrats when presented in Senator McCain's health care plan) the Obama administration is starting to promote the plan. Yet they are doing so with some highly questionable numbers...

Excerpt from Obama's Health Cost Illusion
The main White House argument for health-care reform goes something like this: If we spend now on a hugely expensive new insurance program for the middle class, we can save later by reducing overall U.S. health spending. This "tastes great, less filling" theory could stand some scrutiny, not least because it is being used to rush through the greatest social spending program in American history.

What if this particular theory turns out to be a political illusion? What if the speculative cost savings never report for duty, while the federal balance sheet is still swamped with new social obligations that will be impossible to repeal? The only possible outcome will be the nationalization of U.S. health markets, which will mean that almost all care will be rationed by politics.

* * *
Since Medicare was created in 1965, U.S. health spending has risen about 2.7% faster than the economy and on current trend would hit 20% of GDP within a decade. Every public or private attempt to arrest this climb has failed: wage and price controls in the 1970s, the insurance industry's "voluntary effort" in the '80s, managed care in the '90s.

Now the White House -- especially budget chief Peter Orszag -- claims there is new cause for hope. The magic key is the dramatic variations in per patient health spending among U.S. regions. Often there is no relationship between spending and the quality of care, according to a vast body of academic research, most of it coming out of Dartmouth College. If the highest spending areas could be sanded down to the lowest spending areas, about 30% in "waste," or $700 billion each year, would be saved. More than enough to pay for ObamaCare. Or so the theory goes.


Obama Health Care

Friday, June 5, 2009

Senator Brownback on Gitmo

Senator Brownback talked to bloggers today laying out the problems with closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. The most pressing of these problems is what to do with the detainees. Senator Brownback explains that one commonly overlooked risk of bringing prisoners to U.S. prisons is that the surrounding prison communities may be subject to violent acts by groups making political statements about the prisoners' detention. He also explains that the Geneva Convention says that prisoners of war will not be held along with a general prison population. Senator Brownback lays out numerous reasons why closing Guantanamo is poorly thought out, and is decisively lacking a realistic and safe plan. The propsal also lacks support both in Congress and among the American people. A new Gallup poll shows that by a 2 to 1 margin Americans Oppose Closing Gitmo and Moving Prisoners to U.S.

This call is worth listening to as one may be surprised at the number of solid reasons the Senator gives for opposing the Obama adminstration's call to close Guantanamo.
Blogger Call with Senator Brownback
Brownback Talks Guantanamo and Foreign Policy « Purple People Vote

Sunday, May 24, 2009

White House Memo - Some Obama Enemies Are Made Totally of Straw - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — Democrats often complained about President George W. Bush’s frequent use of a rhetorical device as old as rhetoric itself: creating the illusion of refuting an opponent’s argument by mischaracterizing it and then knocking down that mischaracterization.

There was much outrage in 2006, for example, when Mr. Bush said that when it came to battling terrorists, “I need members of Congress who understand that you can’t negotiate with these folks,” implying that Democrats backed talks with Al Qaeda. That assertion was promptly, and angrily, disputed by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

Now that there is a new team at the White House, guess who is knocking down straw men left and right? To listen to President Obama, a veritable army of naysayers has invaded Washington, urging him to sit on his hands at the White House and do nothing to address any of the economic or national security problems facing the country.

“There are those who say these plans are too ambitious, that we should be trying to do less, not more,” Mr. Obama told a town-hall-style meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., on March 18. “Well, I say our challenges are too large to ignore.”

Mr. Obama did not specify who, exactly, was saying America should ignore its challenges.

Similarly, the next day in Los Angeles, Mr. Obama took on Wall Street and Washington, two of his favorite straw men. “I know some folks in Washington and on Wall Street are saying we should just focus on their problems,” Mr. Obama said. “It would be nice if I could just pick and choose what problems to face, when to face them. So I could say, well, no, I don’t want to deal with the war in Afghanistan right now; I’d prefer not having to deal with climate change right now. And if you could just hold on, even though you don’t have health care, just please wait, because I’ve got other things to do.”

Mr. Obama continued on the offensive against straw men that day in Los Angeles, pointing out that critics told him not to go on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on NBC because “I can’t handle that and the economy at the same time.” Then, his audience primed, he delivered his standard kill line: “Listen, here’s what I say. I say our challenges are too big to ignore.”
White House Memo - Some Obama Enemies Are Made Totally of Straw - NYTimes.com

Saturday, May 23, 2009

RealClearPolitics - The Coming California Bailout

Its voters, at last sensible, rejected, by an average of 65 percent, five of six propositions. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the "post-partisan" Republican, and the partisan Democrats who control the Legislature, promoted the propositions as efficient for and essential to eliminating the state's budget deficit, which will now be $21 billion. So California may become the next target for the Obama administration, whose dependency agenda involves seizing every opportunity to break things -- banks, insurance and automobile companies, etc. -- to the saddle of its supervision.

The Orange County Register -- if but one newspaper survives today's leveling winds, may it be this one -- made the case for rejecting all six propositions: 1A would have created an illusory spending cap that could be "easily circumvented by raising taxes" -- and the ballot language did not mention that 1A would have meant a $16 billion two-year extension of some of February's huge tax increases. Proposition 1B promised the public school lobby $9 billion, effectively bribing them to support 1A, which the California Teachers Association did. Proposition 1C combined "two of the worst practices responsible for" the state's dysfunction, "rosy revenue projections and borrowing": It would have authorized borrowing from (hypothetical) increases in state lottery revenues. Proposition 1D, "one more hide-the-pea fiscal deception," would have transferred to the general fund -- and much of it on to public employees -- revenues raised for children's programs. Proposition 1E would have done the same for revenues raised for mental health services.
RealClearPolitics - The Coming California Bailout

Obama Signs Credit-Card Consumers’ ‘Bill of Rights’ (Update2) - Bloomberg.com

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama signed into law a credit-card consumers’ “Bill of Rights” that limits fees and curbs contract changes, saying it will give Americans “the strong and reliable protections they deserve.”

“We’re putting in place some common sense reforms, designed to protect consumers,” Obama said at a White House Rose Garden ceremony. “We’re not going to give people a free pass, we expect consumers to live within their means and pay what they owe, but we also expect financial institutions to act with the same sense of responsibility.”

The legislation would make card companies apply payments to balances with the highest interest rates first. Increasing a consumer’s rate on existing balances based on late payments to another lender, a practice known as “universal default” would be prohibited.

The administration considers the legislation part of its efforts to restore the U.S. economy by creating a “fair, transparent and simple consumer credit market,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said May 19.
Obama Signs Credit-Card Consumers’ ‘Bill of Rights’ (Update2) - Bloomberg.com

Barack Obama: Supreme Court pick coming soon - Mike Allen - POLITICO.com

President Barack Obama told C-SPAN on Friday that he’s “going to have an announcement soon” on his pick for the Supreme Court, and said he is looking for “not just ivory tower learning.”

“I want somebody who has the intellectual fire power, but also a little bit of a common touch and has a practical sense of how the world,” Obama told C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully.

Obama repeated his hope that Congress will hold hearings in July so that they can be completed before Congress breaks for the summer.“One of the things I would prefer not to see happen is that these confirmation hearings drag on and somebody has to hit the ground running and then take their seat in October without having the time to wrap their mind around the fact that they are going to be a Supreme Court Justice,” he said. “I'd like to given them a little bit of lead time so that they can get prepared.”
Barack Obama: Supreme Court pick coming soon - Mike Allen - POLITICO.com

Friday, May 22, 2009

Senator Evan Bayh — Senator for Indiana: About - Biography

U.S. Senator Evan Bayh is focused on providing hardworking Hoosier families with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed today. From his work to help stimulate the economy by creating jobs and growing small businesses to his fight to keep a college education within the reach of all Hoosiers, Senator Bayh continues to break through the partisan gridlock of Washington to help more Hoosiers make a better life for themselves and their children. His commitment to making real progress instead of participating in political showdowns has set Bayh apart as a leader on a wide range of important issues facing the nation.

Elected to his second term in November 2004, Senator Bayh has proven he is "more concerned with reflecting what he believes is right for Indiana citizens than with playing to the Beltway crowd," says the Indianapolis Star. His signature legislative efforts are aimed at strengthening our national security, creating more jobs through the growth of small businesses, protecting American workers from unfair trade practices, encouraging responsible fatherhood and providing tax-relief for families struggling with the rising costs of college, retirement and the long-term care of a loved one. Bayh has taken the lead in providing our troops with the armored vehicles they need and has visited Iraq and Afghanistan several times for a first-hand look at the progress on-the-ground. He has also led the fight to cut through the mire of bureaucracy to ensure our nation's wounded soldiers receive the high quality care they need and deserve.
Senator Evan Bayh — Senator for Indiana: About - Biography

Collins Cash for Clunkers Proposal



HT Maine Politics

Home | Charlie Crist for United States Senate 2010

Standing on my record of service, I humbly ask for your support as we begin this great endeavor. Throughout my career in public service, protecting Floridians has been my top priority. I have fought to keep criminals off the streets and away from our children. In the State Senate, I fought for legislation that requires criminals to serve 85 percent of their sentences, as Attorney General I pushed through the Jessica Lunsford Act and successfully defended Megan’s Law, and then in my first months as Governor, I signed legislation that requires brutal felony offenders who violate probation to return to jail.

We’ve made great strides in protecting Floridians’ safety, but we’ve also worked to protect their health and well-being. I signed into law a nationally recognized, market-based health care program to provide low cost health insurance for nearly four million uninsured Floridians. We took historic measures to reform property taxes and property insurance, keeping more Floridians in their homes. We’ve seen Florida’s excellence in education continue to increase, with Florida earning a top-ten ranking in education last year, and coming closer than ever to closing the achievement gap with more students graduating from high school and attending our state’s excellent colleges and universities. We’ve safeguarded our environment by working to preserve Florida’s Everglades, reduce dependence on foreign oil and mitigate the effects of global climate change, putting Florida at the forefront of movement towards green energy. Finally, we’ve safeguarded Florida’s business climate, standing on conservative values to keeping taxes low for families and business, and as a result we’ve maintained a business climate that encourages companies to locate and expand in the Sunshine State.
Home | Charlie Crist for United States Senate 2010

RealClearPolitics - Politics Nation - FL Poll: Half Would Consider Crist For Senate

A new Mason Dixon poll conducted for the SayfieReview shows that Gov. Charlie Crist (R) would be a formidable candidate if he were to seek Florida's open U.S. Senate seat in 2010.Half of Florida voters said they would consider voting for the first-term incumbent, should he seek the seat, with another 17 percent saying he would definitely have their vote. But 26 percent said they definitely would not vote for Crist, while 7 percent were undecided. Notably, 12 percent of Democrats said they would definitely vote for Crist, though the poll did not provide any matchups with potential candidates.
RealClearPolitics - Politics Nation - FL Poll: Half Would Consider Crist For Senate

Crist Senate Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 12) -- Popular GOP Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday he will run for U.S. Senate instead of re-election next year, a possible stepping stone to a presidential bid and a welcome jolt for a struggling Republican Party desperate to keep Florida in its column.

"Here in Florida, we've shown that when we put people first and work together much can be accomplished, and I intend to bring that same approach to Washington," Crist said in a statement announcing his bid.

Crist, 52, instantly becomes the front-runner in the Senate race. He has maintained approval ratings in the high 60-percent range despite the state's gloomy economy, budget cuts, a high foreclosure rate and the highest unemployment level since 1975. That popularity is credited to an unwavering optimism, bipartisan attitude and the projection of a sense that he cares.

The governor, whose ability to charm people is sometimes compared to Bill Clinton's, was on the list of possible 2008 GOP vice presidential candidates.

Sen. John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, quickly endorsed Crist. Senate Republicans are looking at the likelihood that the Democrats will hold a 60-seat majority in the Senate that can overcome GOP filibusters and help pass President Barack Obama's legislative agenda.
Crist Senate Florida

Poll: Crist, Iorio Lead Packs In Senate Race

TALLAHASSEE - Florida voters want Charlie Crist to remain governor instead of going to the U.S. Senate, but he is a strong contender for either race, new poll results show.

Though no Democratic contenders for the Senate slot are obvious front-runners, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio leads the pack.

Crist told reporters this month that he will decide after the spring legislative session whether to run for governor in 2010 or for the Senate seat now held by Mel Martinez, who is not running for re-election. Crist likely would dominate either race given his 67 percent job approval rating, according to poll results released Wednesday by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Forty-eight percent of voters said they would vote to re-elect Crist governor, compared with 25 percent who would vote for the Democratic candidate and 27 percent who did not know whom they would vote for.
Poll: Crist, Iorio Lead Packs In Senate Race

Crist, Obama join to promote stimulus - St. Petersburg Times

FORT MYERS — President Obama visited one of Florida's most economically ravaged communities Tuesday, where Gov. Charlie Crist showered him with the kind of bipartisan love that has eluded the president in Washington.

"We know that it's important that we pass a stimulus package,'' Florida's popular Republican governor said amid "Yes, we can!" cheers as he introduced the Democratic president. "This is not about partisan politics. This is about rising above that, helping America and reigniting our economy."

But that's a minority view among Crist's Republican colleagues. Not a single Republican U.S. House member voted for the stimulus bill, and when the $838 billion package passed the Senate on Tuesday all but three Republicans voted against it, including Florida Republican Mel Martinez.
Crist, Obama join to promote stimulus - St. Petersburg Times

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cheney: Pelosi knew of interrogations - Washington Times

Accusing President Obama of giving Americans "less than half the truth," former Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday tough interrogation tactics worked, and said the tactics had the approval of members of Congress including current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.The former vice president said the president's attempt to find a middle ground that angers the right and the left is compromising American security: "in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half-exposed."
Cheney: Pelosi knew of interrogations - Washington Times

RealClearPolitics - Secretary Clinton's Commencement Address at NYU

Secretary Clinton's Commencement Address at NYU
By Hillary Clinton

Yankee StadiumThank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. And does it get any better than this, a graduation ceremony for one of the great universities in the world in the home of New York Yankees? Nothing could be better. (Applause.) And thanks to all of you for cheering a visitor. I didn't realize that was permitted in Yankee Stadium.I am honored to receive this degree. And on behalf of the other honorees, I say thank you. Thank you for giving us this singular privilege of being part of this commencement ceremony. As I look out at this huge crowd of graduates, family, and friends, I can only reflect on what an extraordinary moment in history you are receiving your degrees, a moment in time of our country and the world where your talents and your energy, your passion and commitment is more needed than ever. There is no doubt that you are well prepared for a world that seems somewhat uncertain but which will welcome the education that you have received on behalf of not only of yourselves and your families, but your communities and your country.
RealClearPolitics - Secretary Clinton's Commencement Address at NYU

RealClearPolitics - Despite Bad Economy No Big Shift in Values

There has been no dramatic shift in Americans' view of Wall Street, big business or the role of government despite the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, according to a wide-ranging Pew Research Center study of American values released Thursday."Whether by choice or circumstance, Barack Obama is pursuing a fundamentally different path than his predecessor in terms of economic, domestic and foreign policy. Yet there is no commensurate sea-change in public values," the Pew report concludes.In Depth: 8 Things Americans Believe in 2009The 160-page non-partisan study, regularly conducted since 1987, is the most comprehensive look at Americans' outlook since Obama's inauguration.The study offered new evidence that the Great Recession has not greatly altered Americans' view on the role of government or spurred a dramatic rise in populism.
RealClearPolitics - Despite Bad Economy No Big Shift in Values

Democratic Rep. Hastings Proposes Creating Gitmo 2.0 - Presidential Politics | Political News - FOXNews.com

A Guantanamo Bay Version 2.0 may be in the works.A Democratic representative is developing a unique proposal that attempts to strike a middle path in the debate as to whether the U.S. should permanently close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay next year or keep it open indefinitely.Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) said Thursday that he is open to keeping a more transparent Guantanamo facility, complete with more aggressive third party monitors, open beyond the White House January 2010 closure deadline to hold the most dangerous inmates.
Democratic Rep. Hastings Proposes Creating Gitmo 2.0 - Presidential Politics | Political News - FOXNews.com

YouTube - JibJab.com - Time for Some Campaignin'



YouTube - JibJab.com - Time for Some Campaignin'

YouTube - Obama 100 Day News Conference Enchanted Question from New York Times???



YouTube - Obama 100 Day News Conference Enchanted Question from New York Times???

Dueling Speeches: Obama and Cheney « Free Us Now Weblog

Here is the same story as that I covered below in Yikes! Cheney kicks Obama’s ass but from the viewpoint of the totally in the tank for Obama NYT. They also included the actual speeches. Read both and make up your own minds. Please note the beautiful large graphic of Obama in a presidential setting matched to his perfectly written speech compared to a small cropped headshot of Cheney as if he appeared in an undisclosed location.
Dueling Speeches: Obama and Cheney « Free Us Now Weblog

Obama, Cheney offer competing views on national security - CNN.com

(CNN) -- President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney offered competing views on how to keep America safe in back-to-back speeches Thursday.

Obama said his administration is trying to clean up "a mess" left behind by the Bush administration. He defended his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, his ban on torture, the release of Bush-era interrogation memos and his objection to the release of prisoner photos.

Cheney stood up for the Bush administration's security record, arguing that Obama has weakened the country's ability to combat al Qaeda and other extremists. He defended the use of enhanced interrogation techniques as a success that changed thousands of lives. He called the release of the Bush-era memos a reckless distraction and belittled Obama's decision to close Guantanamo "with little deliberation and no plan."

Obama, Cheney offer competing views on national security - CNN.com

Computer Virus Strikes FBI, U.S. Marshals Service

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement computers were struck by a mystery computer virus Thursday, forcing the FBI and the U.S. Marshals to shut down part of their networks as a precaution.The U.S. Marshals confirmed it disconnected from the Justice Department's computers as a protective measure after being hit by the virus; an FBI official said only that that agency was experiencing similar issues and was working on the problem."We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that's affecting several government agencies," said FBI spokesman Mike Kortan. He did not elaborate or identify the other agencies.
Computer Virus Strikes FBI, U.S. Marshals Service - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News - FOXNews.com

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pelosi Apologize or Prove CIA Lied

While some may see the following statements by John Boehner as politically motivated, in truth he has a strong point to make. If the CIA lied to Nancy Pelosi that's illegal, and Pelosi should follow through on providing evidence so that that they will be held accountable. If the CIA did not lie then they are (at least) owed an apology.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Free Us Now Radio Featured Guest, Author Katherine Morrison

Featured Radio Presentation

Monday Night May 4th soROARity
Katherine J. Morrison
"Author of An Independent Call"

Free Us Now guest, Katherine Morrison wrote a book about the 2008 presidential election. The book entitled An Independent Call, chronicles the journey of an Independent New Hampshirite from wary observer of town hall meetings to eventual McCain supporter and volunteer. It is an amusing look at the events of a campaign. From meeting candidates from both sides of the aisle, to becoming a blogger for McCain, to being chewed out on campaign phone calls, to receiving press credentials for the Republican National Convention, this account relates the experience of being a participant at the lowest level politics from an outsider's perspective. A mix of good humor and political opinion from the middle.

Rockingham NH County Commissioner, Maureen Barrows, recommends An Independent Call stating that it is- "A must read for anyone interested in the day to day life of a volunteer in a political campaign-attention to detail is brilliant."
No radio needed The Free Us Now Radio show is online - If your computer is down no problem call on the phone and hear the entire show right on the phone- Please come! Monday 10 PM eastern/ Bring your questions.
Call-in 347 539-5420.

Event: Free Us Now Radio Show
Host: BettyJean Kling
Start Time: Monday, at 10:00pm
End Time: Monday, at 11:30pm
Where: http://www.Blogtalkradio.com/NO-WE-WONT
Call-in:  347 539-5420

Friday, April 24, 2009

Obama's Bipartisanship

The AP article 'Obama Bipartisanship Push Has Mixed Success' does a decent job at summarizing the attempts at bipartisanship in the first 100 days of the Obama presidency. This was a hallmark of the Obama campaign a deserves scutiny as it was a large part of what supporters claimed made, then candidate Obama, such an agent of change.

So as an unrepentant McCain supporter, in my view there are three categories to focus on - foreign policy, economic policy, and practicle politics.

In foreign policy, right off the bat he wins big points for keeping Robert Gates on as Secretary of Defense. Robert Gates has proven that he is a pro, and while he doesn't appear to be someone who seeks accolades, he is someone who deserves them. Also a positive, his policy on Iraq and Afghanistan seem quite reasonable. Overall he's appointed competent and not wildly political representatives to foreign policy positions, and one has to respect that. On the negative side, meeting with Hugo Chavez along with that goofy book exchange was not impressive. The rhetoric in Europe about America being arrogant could be problematic and appeared rather partisan. Yet he did win the election, and neither event is a real departure from what he campaigned on.

A hot topic right now is how to handle the 'enhanced interogation/torture' issue. While the Obama administration has fumbled this issue a bit, in the end they score big points in taking a forward looking stance. This is said as someone who believes that the U.S. should not torture, and should hold the Geneva Convention's definition of torture as the standard. The problems with investigations, along with the threat of prosecutions, are numerous. A huge one is that this has the potential to damage the CIA and its operatives. This is a vital institution, and its members do an important and often thankless job. Degrading their capabilities and membership in what is likely to be a highly partisan, endless series of hearings is not good for the CIA or the country. If the Obama adminstration chose to go after the Bush administration on this issue they would have betrayed their campaign manta of 'change.' It appears they are standing up to the left, and therefor their grade for for foreign policy bipartisanship is A-.

Economic Policy: Unfortunately, there has been virtually no attempt to be bipartisan on economic issues. Granted the Obama adminstration was likely handicapped by the leadership of their own party like Nancy Pelosi, who said about the stimulus bill, "We won the election, we wrote the bill." Comments from Harry Reid that he doesn't work for President Obama likely have made attempts at bipartisanship more difficult. Yet one particularly disappointing moment from President Obama was when he gave a highly partisan speech to Democrats about the stimulus bill. If President Obama had made more of an effort to be bipartisan on fiscal matters the Tea Party protests would likely have not been nearly as successful as they were. There is a growing concern from regular Americans that there is simply too much government spending, and too much government involvement in business an economic matters. The Obama adminstrations best defense to this is that President Bush started many of these policies. That's true but the buck stops at Obama now, and his spending is eclipsing the previous administration (who didn't do much to champion fiscal conservatism) by a long shot. The Obama administrations economic bipartisanship grade, D.

Finally, how well is the Obama administration doing in general at being bipartisan? One positive, they didn't hang Senator Lieberman out to dry for supporting Senator McCain as some feared might happen. A negative, as mentioned in the AP article, in a very partisan move they stirred the pot by announcing that Rush Limbaugh was the head of the Republican party. They appeared to enjoy the turmoil it created amonst prominent Republicans and kept the Limbaugh banter going for quite some time. They may have scored political points off of this, but they also revealed themselves players of what was often reviled in the campaign as 'old school politics.' President Obama has kept bipartisanship on the table as a goal, but the actions don't quite fit the rhetoric and he hasn't shown leadership in this area. Yet again noting that he is likely receiving pressure from members of his own party to be more partisan there is still hope for a more bipartisan tact in the White House and in Washington. His grade for general bipartisanship C.

There is room for improvement, but he should be given credit for not being either wrecklessly partisan, particularly on foreign policy, or succuming to the desires of some in his party to become angry and backward looking. There is quite some concern about how far left economic policies will go, and that Republicans have been excluded from the process. Yet all hope is not lost. President Obama is very popular, and if he choses, he still has the opportunity to be a bipartisan president. The ball is in his court.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Are You A Radical Too?

Inappropriate Humor Alert...

Tea Party protesters won a victory today as the mainstream media could not ignore their protests like they have in the past. As expected some of the media described the protesters as radicals (ever-classy and most-trusted Anderson Cooper of CNN used an obscene joke to describe the attendees) despite the pictures showing peaceful gatherings of people of all ages in attendance. Yet media logic dictates if you don't love Obama, you must be crazy.

Yet it's not just the media searching for crazy. A report was leaked by DHS on "Rightwing Extremism." To quote the report,
Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures.

Dang it, I'm a radical. There were signs, once in high school I got a detention for a overdue library book; even back then I was bad. My internet chatter about obscene government spending has all been a clever ploy to manipulate my readers to take radical action like, 'vote the bums out,' or 'tell your representatives what you think.' I tell you I'm bad, and if I didn't have a job or a cold I would have been one of those crazy tea party animals too. You need further proof that I'm a radical? How about this...
Rightwing extremist views bemoan the decline of U.S. stature and have recently focused on themes such as the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability to China and India, Russia’s control of energy resources and use of these to pressure other countries, and China’s investment in U.S. real estate and corporations as a part of subversion strategy.

Well there you have it. I'm concerned that China owns us, and all our debt, I must be a radical. Granted, I'm a centrist on guns and immigration, and lean a bit left on the social issues discussed in the report, but imagine my surprise to find out that I've been cavorting with other radicals over the past 2 years by volunteering for the McCain campaign. Pro-life, pro-second amendment, high concentration of veterans, don't let the good humor, sarcastic wit, family values, and helpful manner fool you - we were all a big bunch of radicals, just ask MSNBC.

Now I know there is a serious side to this report. Every group in every country has its nutballs, and its the governments main job to protect its citizens from radicals of all sorts. Yet this seems like a veiled attempt to blur the line between staunch conservatives and radical Klan-like groups, when in reality that is a very clear and distict line. Veterans in particular are owed an apology for their less than flattering portrayal in this report. As for me, I'm going to keep chattering about the economy, and take pride in the fact that someone out there thinks I'm radical.

You May Be A Radical Too...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

McCain Supporters Canvassing Hampton

Excerpt from An Independent Call the story a New Hampshire Independent McCain Supporter


Finally, on a more upbeat note, one trait that Senator McCain shares with a good number of his fellow veterans is a wicked sense of humor. While I’d like to say that my rationale for voting McCain was all high minded, I have to admit his sense of humor roped me in in the beginning. It’s probably part of the reason I enjoyed so many of the events with veterans; I’m sure there are veterans out there that lack a sense of humor, but overall I found them quite fun to be around.

During the general election I headed out to canvas a neighborhood with a veteran named Wes. He drove; I hopped out and knocked on the doors. We were canvassing Hampton Beach, a sort of unfortunate task in late Fall to early Winter, since not a lot of people stay at their beach house when the temperature drops. The sheets given to guide us to the appropriate address were accompanied by a brief survey asking whether the occupant was home and whom they were supporting for the different elected offices. The numbering of houses and condos on these sheets could be hard to follow, as locations were not necessarily listed in numerical order. Condo complexes could be particularly difficult to figure out. For instance, 5 Ocean Boulevard unit 16 could be a different page from 5 Ocean Boulevard unit 14, and unit 15 would simply not be on the list at all. The other problem was that you often had to be allowed or buzzed into many of these condo complexes. This basically meant looking for condos, routinely unoccupied due to the season that, even if occupied, could not be accessed. Consequently, we’d just drop a stack of literature on their doorstep, which will likely be picked up sometime this coming June.

So in the process of trying to locate a particular address on Ocean Boulevard, Wes backed his car up right into a pole. Looking down, arranging literature at the time, I was startled at the hit and said, ‘Ooo!’ and looked over at Wes. Thinking, this can’t be good we both hopped out of the car and took a look at his bumper. There was a new yellow stripe down the back side of his car and he said, “Ah, it’s just paint.” Relieved that it wasn’t too serious and that the damage didn’t trouble Wes, we hopped back into the car, and started trying to figure out where our next stop was. As we headed forward we spotted the house number of the next stop; Wes hit the brakes and his coffee flew off the dashboard, hitting me in the arm and soaking my left side. This time Wes looked stunned as I sat there looking at my sweater covered in coffee. “Well, it’s not hot,” I said. He handed me towels and clearly felt badly that I was wearing his drink. I had a t-shirt on under the sweater, so I hopped out of the car again, rung out the sweater and dried it off as best I could with some towels, put it back on, and hopped back into the car. While I smelled of coffee all day, the sweater was dark so it didn’t really matter.

We got through the rest of the doors without much incident, but had trouble finding one particular side street. Finally, we found the tiny narrow street in question; we headed down to the end where we eventually spotted the number of the home on a trashcan outside of a sliding glass door. I got out, knocked on the door, and a young guy, who apparently had just woken up, and was wearing a pair of old boxers and a t-shirt opened the door, saying nothing.

‘Hi, I’m a volunteer with the McCain campaign, and…’

‘No,’ he said and he shut the door and went back to bed.

I got back in the car and said, “Obama.”

As we started to head out of the narrow street I looked back, and Wes said, “Don’t worry, I won’t hit anything… …I saw you watching.”

“Well, I wasn’t going to say anything.”

On the way back to the office he said, “You did a good job.”

“Thanks. You too…”

“Except for the pole.”

“Well that and the coffee, but other than that you did a good job.”



Veteran's Good Humor

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In the Beginning - Curiosity

Excerpt from An Independent Call the amusing story of a New Hampshire McCain supporter.

In the beginning I just thought I’d go see the different candidates at the campaign events in New Hampshire. Four years prior, not long after I moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts, my sister was volunteering for Senator Kerry’s campaign. She’s a loyal and active Democrat; our parents are Republicans. We talked on the phone after the Iowa caucuses when Howard Dean screamed during his concession speech. She hadn’t heard it called the ‘I have a Scream Speech’ yet, and I said that I felt for him. I figured if I were in politics that would be the sort of thing that would take me out. It wouldn’t be scandal or corruption; I’d simply do something so embarrassing that no one would take me seriously again.

My sister told of a news clip she had just seen of a woman who had met Senator Kerry, then fainted. The video looked like a shot from the Wizard of Oz with Senator Kerry standing over a pair of feet. I was starting to realize that I had missed quite a show by not attending Primary events, so I simply thought this time it would be interesting to see. I certainly had no plans of picking a candidate early, and no interest in joining a campaign. I thought it might give me something to write about on my website, but basically I was just curious.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah

A bit of randomness...

Maine Tool Room located in Scarborough, Maine is featuring a line of double reed 'gouger' products. These include,
Hunt / Van Hoesen and Pfeiffer Bassoon Blades and Hunt / Van Hoesen Bassoon Profilers.


A McCain supporter has recently released a book about the 2008 election. It includes stories of McCain veterans and provides a perspective on Independent NH.



John Masiz is the founder of BioChemics, VasoActive and DoctorDog.com