Friday, February 29, 2008

Jessica Alba Speaks Out...

...and I can think of someone who may be happy to hear some of the things she has to say...

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No Main Topic

  1. Beware of bad wedding advice.

  2. Of course China is trying to use the Olympics to their advantage.

  3. Israel is keeping an eye on Gaza.

  4. Is Sen. McCain a victim of his own push to for campaign finance reform?

  5. You know the economy's getting crappy when CEOs start losing money.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Texas Republicans For Obama?

Strange but true.

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Sam Cassell was released by the Clippers. Sure he was injury-prone, but his grit is renowned. There's no doubt that if you can get at least ten minutes a game from him, your team would benefit.

And that's where the Celtics come in.


On the Front Lines

From "9 And 20" To "Wait Til Next Year."

It's not exactly the Curse. The Curse would have had Ernie Grundfeld trade Caron Butler for Vince Carter or Gilbert Arenas for Antione Walker. No, this is just another stage in the Wizard's quest to be taken as a threat in the Eastern Conference (lets not even talk NBA Finals now).

News of Butler's injury pretty much sealed the deal on this season. Yes, I talked about how good they were...and I mean alot...but that was assuming that Arenas, Butler and Antwan Jamison were going to be in the playoffs together. That's not gonna happen. for all intents and purposes, they are the proverbial Team With One Good/Great Player, the type of team that can make the Playoffs, but rarely gets past the First Round. And considering that Jamison is reaching his apex, you can't expect him to average 30-and-12 in a best-of-seven (although he came awfully close last time).

The team sounds positive despite their position but I can't help but think they're wondering if they're ever going to break this cycle of having a key person (or persons) out for the Playoffs. This group was not built to survive these types of loses long term.

If coach Eddie Jordan thinks they have a Playoff spot locked up, maybe it's time to extend minutes to the younger guys. There's really no point in fighting like hell when you risk in injury to Jamison, and further injury to DeShawn Stevenson and Antonio Daniels.

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Around the Internets

  1. Charley Rosen: The Cavs didn't get any better with their trade (thank you, Charley!)

  2. Oliver Willis on Sen. Clinton's hypocrisy.

  3. JP: Bill Clinton is stuck in the past.

  4. Jennifer Love Hewitt has advice for men.

  5. C&L: Anyone who doesn't agree with Bill O'Reilly is apparently KKKish.

  6. Just like the cranky old man shaking his cane from his porch, Sen. McCain ain't a fan of the kids.

  7. Gilbert Arenas gives a fairly detailed breakdown of the recent trades and his take on trade loopholes.

  8. From DailyKos: the Abu Ghraib story isn't done yet.


No Main Topic

  1. Two R.I.P.s: William F. Buckley and Buddy Miles.

  2. Crowded cribs = dead baby.

  3. Mike Bloomberg decides not to be another Ralph Nader.

  4. Finally; someone Reese Witherspoon can work with.

  5. Drunk Drivers in MD may have their license plates labeled (cool!).

  6. LaBron James gets the accolades, but not the victory against Boston.

  7. The cold weather isn't keeping the insects from DC.

  8. What the hell is a CD?

  9. Gay Marriage is now on deck in the MD legislature.
  10. President Bush is preparing another "Be Afraid!" speech this morning.

  11. Obama and McCain ignore Clinton and Huckabee; focus on each other.
  12. Blind Man uses a tooth to see again.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Next Time, She Should Bring Her Kyptonite.

As I noted, Sen. Clinton's attempt to upset Sen. Obama's momentum failed. John Dickerson gives us an idea as to why:

Obama was an elusive target all night, diffusing each of Clinton's attempts to make pointed contrasts. When she repeated her claim about the limited power of his oratory, Obama went beyond his standard retort that words are important because they can inspire, and he added his own anti-rhetoric riff. He described talking with four Ohio women who struggle to find adequate health care and got indignant on their behalf. "I am not interested in talk," he said, promising to enact policies that will help them. "I am not interested in speeches." The answer touched a lot of bases. He pandered to the local crowd by talking about some of their own, showed his empathy for women, a group he consistently loses to Clinton, and demonstrated he would fight for regular folk on issues that matter to them, something he wants to show low-income voters who have preferred his opponent in some contests...


...When Obama couldn't flip an answer back on his opponent, he just gave in. Asked about Louis Farrakhan's support, Obama said that he had denounced Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic views in the past, but he wouldn't answer Tim Russert's question about whether he would renounce Farrakhan's endorsement now. Clinton tried to make something of the distinction, pointing out that when an anti-Semitic group supported her 2000 campaign, she renounced it. Obama gave in. "If the word reject Sen. Clinton feels is stronger than the word denounce, then I'm happy to concede the point," he said. "I would reject and denounce."

Nothing Clinton threw at Obama would stick; her chance at creating a "Where's the Beef" Moment has for all intents and purposes passed her by (at least that's the impression I get from this Texas poll). Her campaign's strategy was to play it safe, concentrate on just the key states and endoresments, and hope that Obama would trip over himself.

Meanwhile: Obama has endured the Latino Voter Myth, critical members of the Old Civil Rights Guard (and their apparent heirs), racist snipes both subtle and overt, and the argument that he's substance-free.

Remember when Rachel Maddow broke down the three variations of "change" that John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were advocating? Well, the polls seem to indicate that people are making their choice on what type of change they want...and unless Clinton has Kryptonite, she's going to have a rough day on 3/4/08.

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No Main Topic

  1. The deportation of immigrant criminals is on the rise.

  2. New-look Cavs lose to the old-look Bucks.

  3. Sen. Clinton pulled out the big guns last night, but to little avail.

  4. Pam Anderson's latest marriage lasted a whole two months!

  5. Oh yeah: gas prices are getting (even more) ridiculously high.

  6. Maybe the first, I'm not sure...but this LA Times/Bloomberg poll has John McCain beating either Democratic challengers.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Republicans Don't Have a Lock on Religious Voters...And Democrats Should Take Note of That.

Jacques Berlinerblau explains why Barack Obama has a chance of getting moderate evangelicals and moderate Catholics to support and vote for him. The story is here, but I'll (re)list the main points.

  1. When it comes to religion in the public square Barack Obama is no John Kerry (no Michael Dukakis either).
  2. More than a few Evangelicals are Obama-Curious.
  3. Conservative Evangelicals do not necessarily equate Obama with the anti-Christ.
  4. Evangelicals have issues with McCain.

I think anyone who has supported the Democratic Party would agree that Dukakis and Kerry shied away from trying to connect with religious people who are moderate or liberal politically. I think any religious person who follows politics at least moderately isn't swayed by the not-to-subtle falsehood (perpetrated by the fringe Right) that Sen. Obama is a militant Muslim bent on converting America into a fundamentalist Islamic state.

If I'm interpreting Berlinerblau correctly, it sounds like he's saying that religious voters are not drones. It's good to see that message getting out in a medium like the WashPost, even if it is online.

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Barack Obama: "I Am (Kinda) Legend"

The Democratic candidate says that actor Will Smith would be an ideal choice to play him in any potential movie: "Will and I have talked about this because he has the ears!"

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No Absolutes

Looky here:

Gen. George Casey said the Army hopes to move from 15-month to 12-month deployments once the U.S. military completes a planned drawdown to 15 combat brigades in Iraq in July.

Now the layperson would say, "Oh No! General Petraeus (actually it was Sec. Def. Gates) said there's a 'pause!' We can't do that!"

Ah, but we can:

Casey said shorter tours should be possible even if Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, recommends a pause in drawdowns, as is widely expected, after the current series of planned withdrawals is complete.

"If Gen. Petraeus is able to execute the announced plan of getting to 15 brigades by July, it would be our goal at that point to return to 12 months," Casey, the Army chief of staff, told the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Nice to see that the military isn't completely buying into the Bush Doctrine of absolutism.

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Florida Shutdown

I'm not a big fan of nuclear power, and these kind of stories add to my dislike of them. Not to say that it wouldn't have happened in another type of plant, but it goes without saying that few people are afraid of a solar plant explosion.

MIAMI (AP) -- Florida's largest utility shut down a nuclear reactor south of Miami Tuesday, causing sporadic power outages affecting more than 3 million people across the southern end of the state.

Authorities did not specify the cause of the shutdown but say there were no safety concerns.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the two Florida Power & Light nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point plant 30 miles south of Miami automatically shut down.

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Wash, Rinse, Delete

Someone check the "Recycle Bin:"

Democrats and Republicans were warring Tuesday over reports that the White House has "lost"--or simply failed to keep--archives of e-mails belonging to the president and his advisers.

Since last spring, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been investigating reports that an estimated 5 million messages from 473 days between 2003 and 2005 allegedly vanished from e-mail servers housed within the president's office.

And on that note:

A separate issue under scrutiny revolves around charges that Karl Rove and some 50 other presidential advisers were using Republican National Committee accounts to conduct official business and thus subvert federal record-keeping laws. The RNC has said it had virtually no records of e-mails sent on its servers by Rove and others before November 2003, which Democrats argue is troubling because those messages may contain important official information about the president's decision to go to war in Iraq.

Waxman said he heard from RNC officials as recently as Monday that the White House had made no effort to request backup tapes from the committee that may contain those files. He scolded White House officials for their inaction. Both Payton and her boss, White House Office of Administration director Alan Swendiman, said they wouldn't be responsible for making such requests but would look into who is.

Good luck finding any missing emails, guys. Karl Rove doesn't strike me as someone dumb enough to keep a trace of what he did around...and if he did, I'm sure he's working on a way to make sure no one finds anything in his lifetime.

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Around the Internets

  1. Nice to know that I'm not alone: jurassicpork also sees the stupidity over the "Obama in African garb" thing.

  2. Oliver Willis on the clairvoyant George W. Bush.

  3. Steve Benen from Crook & Liars breaks down Mark Halperin's "Here How McCain can beat Obama" article.

  4. The story of the guy who made scandalous claims toward Obama gets worse.

  5. Think Progress finds Karl Rove in a very uncomfortable position.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton Should Stay in the Race

This guy makes a good argument for Sen. Clinton to leave, but I have a better one for her staying: in fighting to win the Democratic nomination, her campaign is doing the very vetting of Sen. Obama that she claims the media and the voters aren't doing.

How is that beneficial? Well, as Thom Hartmann has mentioned, the more issues Camp Clinton bring up for Team Obama to address, the less fodder the Republicans will have in the primary.

For example: this "John McCain in bed with a Lobbyist" story (taken with whatever context you prefer) won't mean as much in August as it does now because the media and political punditry will consider it "old news." Same with Obama and Resko; same with Clinton and her "crying" and "laughing."

The earlier these things come out, the sooner a campaign can work on either debunking them (if they are false) or spinning/embracing them (if they are true). In the case of the Democrats we've just been so used to a having a nominee so early in elections past, we think that this "delay" is a big problem. It's not; if we let the primary continue until either one reaches their magic number (or whatever means is used should there be a virtual tie) they will be that much stronger, that much vetted most of what the Republicans will throw at them. Also, the media and the voters won't be shocked into making stupid proclamations.

So as weird as it sounds, as long as Obama and Clinton are tough on each other (without becoming blatantly dishonest) the better it is for the victor when the general election comes.

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Photo Fetish

I know people are caught up on the Sen. Obama photo-flap, but the real deal here is the media-themed result: pundits and the like questioning Obama's patriotism.

Here's my question: why didn't the media call George W. Bush a traitor when this photo came out? Why wasn't his patriotism challenged?

Maybe it's because it stupid to say that an American office-holder wearing the garb of another country/culture is a traitor. Maybe it's because being in the executive and legislative branches includes visits to other countries, and in the spirit of creating and maintaining good will, those people see fit to dress in the appropriate outfits of that country.

The more people try to turn Obama into "The Angry Black Man" (or Sen. Clinton into "The Divisive Shrew") the more foolish they look.

P.S. Laura Bush was no different. Not different at all.

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Around the Internets

  1. Think Progress: Lee Camp works Fox News like a part-time job.

  2. Crooks & Liars: CNN decides to question Sen. Barack Obama's patriotism.

  3. Oliver Willis: the Kennedy who did support Sen. Clinton does a 180.

  4. Flu shots could be/should be done differently.

  5. Tom Tomorrow/ In a galaxy far, far away, another election is going on.

  6. (again): The reason the surge hasn't worked? Simple; the number of troops in Iraq before the surge has not gone down.

  7. Michael Moore: Clinton and Obama need to alter their respective health care proposals - like to what Rep. Conyers has.

  8. Glenn Greenwald: Obama is fighting dirty politics by doing something rare: being a class act.


No Main Topic

  1. The Oscars sent a not-to-subtle message to Sen. John McCain (and Ralph Nader).

  2. If you think Maxim is about writing favorable movie reviews and not pictures of attractive women, then you're like these guys.

  3. As his popularity rises, people are becoming more worried that Sen. Obama will be shot.

  4. The Texas Primary may be time for Katrina victims to have their voices heard.


Friday, February 22, 2008

The Clinton Rules

They're like the "Jordan Rules," but for media covering politicians. Media Matters has the details, but here are the basics:

  1. If any part of an alleged scandal turns out to be true, the media behaves as though the entire story is true.
  2. Media parse every statement by progressives in response to controversy, looking for something to ridicule -- whether the ridicule is fair or not.
  3. Allegations that turn out to be unproven, or even false, are used by the media as evidence in support of future allegations.

Keep an eye on the next few months; I'm sure they'll be tailored for Sen. Obama or Hillary Clinton, just like they were for Al Gore and John Kerry.

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Some Advice for Hillary Clinton

Please, Sen. Clinton, stop trying to portray Sen. Obama as a speech-happy empty suit. It's not working. Also:

In the end, the attack on Obama as a substance-free orator may backfire. It lowers the bar for him, so that when he offers detailed plans and speaks of his accomplishments, he sounds commanding. The attack also gives him an opening to take umbrage on behalf of his supporters, one of the easiest and most effective political postures to take. Obama flamboyantly exploited this opportunity. Noting that Clinton lately had been urging voters to turn from him by saying, "Let's get real," Obama said, "The implication is that the people who've been voting for me or are involved in my campaign are somehow delusional."

Also, don't sling mud; it makes you look desperate. So what can you do? How about instead of trying to tear Obama down, you lift yourself up. Talk about your accomplishments. Tell stories on how you fought the Republicans on important issues. Stop doing everything from the Obama Prism, because as long as you do, it means he's winning.

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No Main Topic

  1. "Turkish troops launched a ground incursion across the border into Iraq in pursuit of separatist Kurdish rebels, the military said Friday — a move that dramatically escalates Turkey's conflict with the militants."

  2. "There will be no game of tag between the Patriots and Randy Moss, as the club declined to place the franchise label on the receiver by yesterday's 4 p.m. deadline."

  3. "Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins early Friday, making the singer and husband Marc Anthony the parents of a boy and a girl after one of pop music's most closely watched pregnancies."

  4. "The nation's top federal election official told Sen. John McCain yesterday that he cannot immediately withdraw from the presidential public financing system as he had requested, a decision that threatens to dramatically restrict his spending until the general election campaign begins in the fall."

  5. "Pauly Shore is suing neighbor Wes Craven for creating a nightmare on his property in a dispute between the two that began last year."

  6. "Prodded in part by some of the nation’s biggest banks, the Bush administration and Congress are considering costly new proposals for the government to rescue hundreds of thousands of homeowners whose mortgages are higher than the value of their houses."


Thursday, February 21, 2008

John Locke Raw (sorta)

Or rather, Terry O'Quinn, the actor who plays the "LOST" character; he gave a mini-interview. He seems to like where Locke is headed now, but the fact that he didn't agree with Locke killing Naomi and the revelation that he doesn't always look forward to working with every other cast member is telling. Maybe it's just the "unique" way this show is done which makes it hard for the actors to bond with their characters (as O'Quinn suggests) as well as get involved in other projects (I've only seen Matthew Fox in movie roles bigger than a traditional bit part).

Or maybe O'Quinn is feeling the "itch" cast members feel when they've been on a show for a certain amount of time. It isn't exactly being caught DUI, but if Locke bites it between this season and the next, we'll all know why.


This Way, "The Maverick" Doesn't Have to Say Anything...

It light of Sen. John McCain's recent...image problems, I think he needs a new campaign song that not only addresses his stance for his detractors, but is also catchy.

In fact, let's up the techincal ante; make it a video.

Biz Markie, take it!

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The Rich Don't Need Fences (and Other Stuff)

Think Progress highlights a story from the Texas Observer that, I believe, exemplifies the "all talk/little walk" policy of current Republicans. Basically, the blog and the newspaper shows how the essentially anti-Mexican fence is being forced upon the poor and lawyer-less, yet those who have wealth and connections to influencial Republicans literally get skipped over.

Now if the Republicans in Congress can explain how building a fence in certain areas and not in others will deter illegal immigration, I'm sure there are plenty of people on both sides of the issue who would interested in hearing it.

Otherwise, it won't be long before someone starts making maps leading past Ray L. Hunt's house.

One more thing: anyone ever ask why people aren't sneaking in here from Canada? Obviously something is going on up there that's keeping those guys from hopping the proverbial fence.

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Winning Abroad...

Sen. Obama makes it 11 in a row with the Democrats Abroad victory. Sen. Clinton has tonight to make her case in their umpteenth debate.

UPDATE: More info on stuff Obama has done.

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No Main Topic

  1. Team Clinton mulls on the best way to stop the Obama Movement.

  2. Teen tries to put a hit on mom and dad for $260.00.

  3. Jason Kidd's debut on his new team didn't go as planned.

  4. "The Supreme Court handed workers a major victory yesterday by allowing them to sue over mismanagement of their 401(k) retirement accounts, in which more than 50 million employees have invested nearly $3 trillion."

  5. Golden State joins the Wizards in the "Beat Boston Back-To-Back Club."

  6. Maybe Sen. Obama's victories in the South weren't because of the black vote, but because race isn't as big a factor in politics as it once was.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why I Don't Hop On Every Political Sex Scandal So Quickly

And by "quickly," I mean "until the lawyers are brought in." I know that people like Oliver Willis and diarists on Dialy Kos see this as a big thing that may bring down John McCain, and all I can say is that they must either not be aware of this story (#5) or are purposely ignoring it.

Every campaign has some kind of tryst story that creeps up. I'm waiting for the lawyers.

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Here We Go Again..

First is was Hillary Clinton; now there's a story that John McCain will be getting all the Latino voters. While I'm tempted to agree, there's two points that need to be made: (1) Sen. Clinton didn't completely sweep Latino support from Sen. Obama, and even the WashPost story admits that there's a good number of Latino voters who aren't really happy with the company Sen. McCain keeps (read: xenophobic Republicans).

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President Bush Again Reveals His Ignorance of Foriegn Affairs

And he does it in the most ironic sense. While still in Africa, he was asked why he did not have US troops intervene in Darfur, he uses Rwanda as an example:

A clear lesson I learned in the museum was that outside forces that tend to divide people up inside their country are unbelievably counterproductive. In other words, people came from other countries — I guess you’d call them colonialists — and they pitted one group of people against another.

To which I say: IRAQ!!!

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I'm Sure They'll Blame 9/11

Suicides of the middle-aged, between 1999 and 2004, went way up. This will be spun every which way possible, from the Clinton Impeachment to the Iraq War to Health Care Costs to School Shootings to Untreated Mental Illness. Take your pick.

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Obama Looks Ahead, Clinton Gets Tougher

After last night's primary, there's a feeling amongst progressive-minded Democrats that it's Sen. Obama's to loose. The fact that he's been spending most of his time sparring with Sen. John McCain as opposed to Sen. Clinton is proof of that.

The question for the Obama Camp is: should they ignore Camp Clinton, or focus on the inevitable McCain Campaign? True, Obama has been taking away some of Clinton's thunder, but Clinton has invested too much to just call it quits. In other words, she's going to fight til the bitter end. In that sense, it would be unwise for Obama and his people to pretend that Clinton has a four-pronged eating utensil protruding out of her back.

On the flip side, the hard-core Republicans and their conservative allies are finally beginning to rally around McCain...which makes it easier for him to concentrate on the Democratic frontrunner. In addition, the "media" is doing their best to help, from psuedo-racist comments to mistaken graphics during broadcasts. To put it another way, the GOP won't be saying things like "Barack plagerized" or "He wrote a letter during pre-school saying he wanted to be president" or "a guy who helps his campaign but isn't emersed in it can't name a single legislative accomplishment!" Nah, it's be more like, "He's a lying Muslim who wants to give the country over to terrorists." See the difference?

Now's the time to see how long if Obama's famed political good "luck" will last, as well as his message and his seemingly overwhelming support.

UPDATE: By the way, Obama has legislative accomplishments...and he's put them on his senate site.

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One Big Reason: Bush May Do Another Surge

The reason: on Saturday, the Iraqi militias will have a "should we go back to fighting" meeting:

If Muqtada al-Sadr doesn't issue a statement by Saturday extending the cease-fire, the freeze will be over Sunday, said Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for the cleric.

Speaking from Najaf, the Shiite holy city in southern Iraq, al-Obeidi said the message has been conveyed to Mehdi Army members across the war-ravaged nation.

Although the U.S. military has not had contact with al-Sadr, it is encouraging the cleric to continue the cease-fire, saying it would be "a productive and positive step" in rebuilding Iraq, said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad.

News of al-Sadr's impending directive came as Smith expressed concern that Shiite militants from the Iranian-backed Special Groups had staged deadly attacks in Baghdad this week.

It's things like this, not the hoopla over FISA, that make America less safe. But don't expect anyone to say much until the bodies start piling up again.

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Wizards Management: Dance With the Girl What Brought Ya


Standing Pat
Wizards likely will not make any moves before the NBA's trade deadline, which is tomorrow at 3 p.m. "I like this team," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said. "We just have to get healthy and see what we can do here in these final 30 games."

Yeah, I like a team with: two injured All-Stars (currrent and previous) who might not play for the next six-to-seven games, one true point guard, one true center and a logjam at the forward spot. Look, I love the effort that all of the guys are putting in, but if Ernie thinks this squad doesn't need to improve to get past Cleveland, Detroit or Boston (yeah, I know we beat them twice) in the Playoffs, he's smoking something strong. Is he saying that if someone like Jermaine O'Neal or Shaun Livingston became available and he could get a Gasol-for-Kwame type deal, he'd balk? Is he serious?

Don't let the 3 playoff appearances fool you: this team needs a little more than a healthy roster to make it to (and past) the Eastern Conference Finals. And no: I wouldn't accept any deal that involves Arenas, Butler, Jamison and/or (surprise) Brendan Haywood.

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No Main Topic

  1. Sen. Barack Obama wins again.

  2. President Bush clarifies his position on Africa and having bases there: "The whole purpose of Africom is to help African leaders deal with African problems." Too bad there isn't an "Iraqicom."

  3. A pastor in Florida challeneges the married members of his church to have sex (with their spouses) for 30 days straight.

  4. Jenny Craig looses a member and gains competition.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

No Main Topic

  1. Secret weapons for silent wars.

  2. For celebrity rehab, there's always room for one more.

  3. Fidel Castro finally folds to the power of the mighty...oh wait; he's just retiring.

  4. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf also looses some power.

  5. Feminists feel Sen. Clinton's pain.


"your resource for protecting senior citizens."

The American Federation of Senior Citizens seems to be running a (very slick) scam:

Beware of a large brown envelope, like the one received recently by reader Robert W. of North Merrick, from the American Federation of Senior Citizens. It's intended to scare the hell out of you and take your money. And it could be a violation of the law.

The envelope proclaims, in large black lettering, "Your Social Security Preservation Card Must Be Signed And Dated Within The Next Ten Days. Influence Congress." The letter inside urges you to sign the "Social Security Preservation Card" if "you want your Social Security benefits to continue."

The letter asks: "Do you want your Social Security check to be guaranteed - without a threat that it could bounce because of insufficient funds?"

This twist on the Social Security fright mail that's been coming for years from right-wing networks is preposterous on its face, but some people will be frightened into responding. The so-called Social Security Preservation Card, of course, has no connection with Social Security. Social Security is safe for at least 40 years, its trustees say. It's no longer an issue before Congress, and even the president has abandoned his effort to privatize the system.

As you might suspect, the mailing had little to do with saving Social Security. Its bottom line is an appeal for "your generous donation of $25 or $50 or whatever you can manage to help AFSC work with conservative leadership in Congress to preserve and protect your Social Security."

Keep an eye out for these types of tricks; they'll only increase as the general election draws near...

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Tavis Smiley Joins The Civil Rights Old Guard

Apparently, there's a shortage of prominent and successful black people tsk-tsking Barack Obama (like he doesn't get enough heat from the Clinton campaign, the McCain campaign, and the hard right). Now Tavis Smiley piles on. Like Prof. Harris-Lacewell, I'm trying to understand his motives.

The last thing Sen. Obama needs is to be worried about passing the Black Enough Checklist. Maybe is he makes Samuel L. Jackson his VP, people will shut the hell up.

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Around the Internets

  1. From ThinkProgress: Bill Kristol is shocked...shocked I tells ya, that Congress doesn't have blind trust in President Bush with FISA. Because, you know, when Bush has been given (or taken) more powers he's been oh-so careful.

  2. From Oliver Willis: Is the fact that Howard Dean is doing his job instead of schmoozing on the political bobblehead shows really a bad thing? Of course not.

  3. From C&L: Bush goes to Africa, gets asked questions about Barack Obama. Ha!!

  4. Charley Rosen give out the NBA mid-season grades as only he can.

  5. The Smoking gun: Crazy guy who's trying to slander Barack Obama now claims to be a victim of Barack Obama. The Big Red Flag here: the guy is serving as his own lawyer. Smooth.

No Main Topic

  1. The Jason Kidd Trade has been revived.

  2. 143 million pounds of beef has been recalled.

  3. Recession = cheap fast food.

  4. Couples that have (so far) stood the test of time.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Read His Lips

John McCain says no new taxes is he's elected president. Ignoring the fact that even as president he would have marginal impact on the economy (assuming he doesn't either end the Iraqi occupation or start a war with Iran), this declaration is as crippling for his campaign as Nancy Pelosi taking impeachment off of the table. He has no idea what's going to happen between now and the next four years; nobody really does. Even for the best economists, it's about gathering data, looking at trends and validating possible scenarios.

Of course McCain also addressed spending, but he's hesistant to point out that this massive spending happened with a Congress he's been apart of and a President who he's only recently tried to emulate. Why weren't there any press conferences to protest? Why does he wait until a reporter asks him before he laments about the irresponsible governement?

This is just more instance of McCain's uber-pandering...his sad mission to get a faction of the Republican Party -a faction that hates him, by the way- to like him, support him and vote for him in the general election.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

"It reflects poorly on my service to the community."


Longtime Maryland Del. Robert A. McKee (R-Washington) resigned today after authorities searched his Hagerstown home and seized his personal computer and images from the Internet.

"Another day, another scandal," right? Well:

McKee, 58, has served in the House of Delegates since 1995. For 29 years, he has served with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Washington County, a children's mentorship program, most recently as the group's executive director. He announced he also would resign from that post.

Now, just because this guy was in one child-related program, and he's in trouble with the law for child porn, doesn't mean there's a whole lot of hypocrisy, is it?

McKee, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is a sponsor this year of several bills dealing with minors, including the "Child Protection from Predators Act" as well as a bill to collect DNA samples from sexual predators.

McKee has a long history with youth athletics, according to his official biography. He has served as officers in two Little League groups and as secretary of a parent and child center advisory committee. He also has held officer positions at First Christian Church.

Oh, there we's the hypocrisy. it a surprise that the guy was backing Mitt Romney?

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Belated Valetine's Day Advice

For the guys who are single (recently or not) here's an interesting online article about looking at the tell-tale signs that a woman may be interested in you.

To boil it down, it's:
  1. She tilts her head
  2. She mirrors/mimics your actions
  3. She plays with her hair
  4. She blushes
  5. Her pupils dilate
And on the flip side, some signs that she's not into you include:
  1. Arms are crossed
  2. Physical barriers are placed (pocketbooks, bags)
  3. The conversation is quick-paced
  4. Her smile is generic
  5. She strokes her neck

Can't say I agree with everything, but a good chunk of communication is non-verbal, so there may be some truth to some of this stuff.


Thursday, February 14, 2008



Bill Belichick has been illegally taping opponents’ defensive signals since he became the New England Patriots’ coach in 2000, according to Sen. Arlen Specter, who said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told him that during a meeting Wednesday.

Certainly puts some rust on those rings.

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Pray the WNBA Keeps Going...

Because you'll want to see 6'8", 16-yr-old Brittney Griner in action a few years from now. And if not, there's always college (Brenda Frese, I'm looking at you)! She's averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds this season, for Pete's Sake!

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No Main Topic

  1. "Iraq’s parliamentary leaders on Wednesday pushed through three far-reaching measures that had been delayed for weeks by bitter political maneuvering that became so acrimonious that some lawmakers threatened to try to dissolve the legislative body." In other words: Mr. Bush's surge was useless, because even with the "breathing room" it was supposed to provide it still didn't stop Iraqi politicians from acting petty.

  2. Introducing some superdelegates.

  3. New. Star Wars. Animated. Movie.

  4. Jason Kidd almost went to the Dallas Mavs.

  5. "One in every 10 patients admitted to six Massachusetts community hospitals suffered serious and avoidable medication mistakes, according to a report being released today by two nonprofit groups that are urging all hospitals in the state to install a computerized prescription ordering system." Could the chokehold the insurance companies have over the doctors have anything to do with this?
  6. DC Mayor Fenty proposes a much-deserved stadium for the 5-time champion DC United.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Economic Indicators Indicate That Indications Are Coming to The Indicator..."

...or not. (H/T: Think Progress).

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Other MD Election Results

The WashPost sums it up here. Interesting how a progressive like Donna Edwards and a conservative like Andrew P. Harris ended up winning their perspective seats. The common thread seemed to be their ability to convince the voters that their opponents had lost touch.

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No Main Topic

  1. National Guard and Reserve troops are among the vets who are committing suicide.

  2. Katt Williams hands out the cash.

  3. Buckle up, Hannah Montanna.

  4. The Detriot Pistons keep on rolling.

  5. Congrats, Donna Edwards.

  6. Obama sweeps the DMV.

  7. "Jesus" cosmetics are no more.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Busting Democratic Voting Myths

The two biggest myths for Democrats are "Hillary will bring out the conservative Republicans" and "Obama can't get support from Latinos."

Well, Page Three of this CNN Democratic VA exit poll says otherwise (VA voters have the ability to vote for someone who isn't in their party), and if that's not confusing, try making sense of Page Three of this CNN GOP VA Exit Poll which has the conservative Baptist Mike Huckabee winning more independent votes while the semi-conservative John McCain won more Republican votes. If anything, with these unappealing GOP candidates and a current president who hasn't really delivered, it's really a coin flip as to whether Sen. Clinton will draw a large, enraged amount of conservative Republicans.

As for the Obama myth: Page Three of this CNN Democratic MD Exit Poll shows 53% of Latino voters picking Obama. Which leads me to think that whoever's spreading this "Latinos don't like Blacks" myth is either completely ignorant of the relationships between various minority groups or has been watching too many "hood movies" of the 90's.

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CNN VA Exit Polls In One Word:

100 the Easy Way

CHICAGO -- Living to 100 is easier than you might think. Surprising new research suggests that even people who develop heart disease or diabetes late in life have a decent shot at reaching the century mark.

"It has been generally assumed that living to 100 years of age was limited to those who had not developed chronic illness," said Dr. William Hall of the University of Rochester.

Hall has a theory for how these people could live to that age. In an editorial in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine, where the study was published, he writes that it might be thanks to doctors who aggressively treat these older folks' health problems, rather than taking an "ageist" approach that assumes they wouldn't benefit.


Around the Internets

  1. Gilbert Arenas talks about the Shaq trade, the Gasol trade and shaving.

  2. Oliver Willis on Mark Penn's political acrobatics.

  3. Ivan Carter has a funny story that explains how far rookies like Nick young have to go:

As for Nick, the biggest mistake he's made recently was touting his status as USC's second all-time leading scorer. (According to the Wiz media guide, Nick is the school's sixth all-time leading scorer so maybe I miss heard him or he was just messing with the boys. Either way, it made for a funny exchange.) He let that go before the game in Philly the other night in front of Arenas, Jamison and Butler. Big mistake.

Jamison: "Second all-time scorer? That would mean something if the top guy was Michael Jordan or something but USC? I mean, who is the leading scorer?"

Nick (already in trouble): "Harold Miner."

The reaction was fast and furious.

Arenas: laughter.

Jamison: "Harold Miner? What's he doing now?"

Butler, with a very straight face: "I can't believe those words just came out of your mouth. Let me give you some advice: don't ever say that (stuff) again."

As this was going on, I made eye contact with Young's ace, McGuire, who just shook his head and kept his mouth shut. "I just leaves those dudes alone," McGuire said. "You can't win."


The MD/VA/DC Primaries Are Here!

Before I get into some of the local stories, let me say that I love voting. It's the only chance average Americans get to have their voices heard without having to donate money or time to vitural strangers.

I had a chance to change my political affiliation but decided against it. I really wish Maryland allowed you to vote for anyone in the primaries (just once, of course) because I think with that option, you'd get a real sense of whether or not voters are crossing political lines. Of course, there's always the chance undesirables will try to muck things up, but you don't get anywhere without some risk.

This rule is one reason I am not voting Republican. Another is the atrocious candidates.

Mike Huckabee says nice things during debates, but in his stump speeches he acts like a guy who wants to convert everyone to his own brand of Christianity. I don't believe people who aren't Christians or aren't religious should be forced to adopt Christianity; this isn't the 18th Century anymore. I also think that there are so many forms of Christianity; who's to say that a Baptist is better than a Protestant, or that a Catholic is closer to God than someone's who is AME? So Huckabee's out.

Ron Paul's style is more subtle; you either believe that he wrote those things in that magizine or you don't. The only real issue I agree with him is his stance on Iraq, but his motives our different. He says he's Libertarian, but it's that isolationist brand; the "don't bother me and I won't bother you type." I've lived in neighborhoods that had that philosophy and it isn't healthy for communities; when something like a robbery or fire happens, everyone's just looking out for themselves. I believe in a "we're all in this together" mentality, so Paul's out.

Then there's John McCain. He's a decorated war vet. The media calls him a "maverick," but that's really because he was one of the few Republicans who didn't kiss George W. Bush ass five times a day during his first term in office. The conservatives hate him, but that's only because he thinks that you should be bi-partisan every once in a while. But over the last few years, he tried everything possible to win the favor of people who never really like him. I get this nagging feeling that should he wins the Republican nomination (and it sure looks that way) he'll try to hide his "conservative" credentials and make a play for the middle. But what's he going to promise that middle? They don't want to stay in Iraq. He hardly ever talks about jobs. He freely admits that economic isn't his strong suit. His environment talk is just that. Other than the military, he has next to nothing to offer Middle America. So McCain is out.

So that leaves the Democrats, and since Mike Gravel has yet to win a state I'm narrowing it down to Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama. I haven't made my final decision yet, and I've check their sites again and again whenever an issue popped into my head.

Other than my own pet issues (Iraq/foriegn policy, health care, education, civil rights, jobs) I'm looking to find out which candidate is reaching out more. Not just to people of their own party, or states they think they can sweep. President Bush showed that governing to your base is a sure way to damage the country, as well as the people's faith in good government.

Now for some stories/links:

  1. For VA, the young are coming out to vote.

  2. Obama and Clinton do local interviews.

  3. Bill Clinton sticks his foot in his mouth again.

  4. Sen. Clinton has Obama by about $1.5 million...

  5. ...but Obama does better against McCain.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

No Main Topic

  1. Zorn to be Wild (about time, Dan Synder)!

  2. We'll always need a bigger boat: R.I.P., Roy Scheider.

  3. Allow me to re-contradict myself: Sec. Def. Gates does 180, says troop withdrawal may be delayed because "Iraq continues to remain fragile." Ya think?

  4. What's the point: With Arenas, Daniels and now Butler, the Wiz fizz against the new Suns (sans Shaq).

  5. Sad an tragic: 'Nuff Said.


Friday, February 08, 2008

As The Presidential Campaign Comes My Way...

...I just wanted to share some news & thoughts:

  1. MD Gov and DC Latina PAC backs Clinton; DC Mayor and VA Gov backs Obama.
  2. VA is still in play with Clinton running new ads and Obama leading in the polls.
  3. President Bush tries, "help" John McCain:
"Listen, the stakes in November are high," Bush said. "This is an important election. Prosperity and peace are in the balance. So with confidence in our vision and faith in our values, let us go forward, fight for victory, and keep the White House in 2008."

OK, I'll bite: when did prosperity and peace get "balanced?" Wasn't Bush talking about a stimulus package just days ago? Aren't we still at war? And when did Bush ever present a vision for the entire American populace (as opposed to just his base)?

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Around the Internets

  1. Atrios: a little annoyed at the "who I'm voting for" declarations.

  2. Think Progress: Blackwater offers bribes so families of dead Iraqis will shut up.

  3. kid oakland: supporting Obama and talking Super Tuesday.

  4. Sadly, No!: Jonah Golberg is an idiot, Version 8.3

  5. Oliver Willis: If MD Democrats know what's good for them, they'll vote for Donna Edwards.

  6. Daily Kos: Frontpager Hunter ponders a McCain/Huckabee ticket.


Clint Eastwood Has Some Advice for Ann Coulter

The Director of "Flags of Our Fathers" weighs in on the conservative banshee.

Clint Eastwood, actor, film director and producer and himself a smalltown mayor, sees a sense of masochism in the Republicans -- like Ann Coulter -- who say they cannot support John McCain's bid for the White House...

In an interview with FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto live from Pebble Beach, Calif., at the site of the AT&T National Pro-Am Golf Tournament aired this evening, Eastwood talks politics.

Eastwood has this to say about Ann Coulter’s claim thatshe would vote for Hillary Clinton over John McCain: "Conservatives, often times, are very masochistic. They say, 'I’d rather not show up than have so-and-so. If it’s not my guy then I won’t show up’. You can’t be that way.”

Couldn't agree more. If your guy/gal didn't make it, don't blame the one that did; maybe you didn't do enough to get the candidate you wanted.

On a side note: the fact that Fox Business Network asked Eastwood election questions (as opposed to business questions or having him on the FoxNews channel) is just another example of how crappy the Fox Business Network is.

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Bush Endorses Cheney

Calls him the "best Vice President" ever, and manages to insult his own father in doing it. His own father. What a jerk.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Question for FoxNews

Do you ever edit your video-related material?

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Care Bears Back Obama

Not only does this help balance out the "Hillary = Tracy Flick" thing, but the scene of a Care Bear shooting rainbows at a Congressman is too funny.

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No Main Topic

  1. "The striking Writers Guild of America is anticipating that lawyers could complete a draft copy of a proposed deal with Hollywood studios by Friday."

  2. "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama raised almost $6 million after the Feb. 5 voting contests, all of which came from online donations."

  3. "For decades, researchers believed that if people with diabetes lowered their blood sugar to normal levels, they would no longer be at high risk of dying from heart disease. But a major federal study of more than 10,000 middle-aged and older people with Type 2 diabetes has found that lowering blood sugar actually increased their risk of death, researchers reported Wednesday."

  4. Which businesses will actually benefit from the Great Bush Bribe?


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

CheneyCare, DoggyStyle

The Vice President pulled out all of the stops to get his pet to the vet for a routine checkup. Now despite the obvious distractions (a motorcade that disrupts traffic, agents taking up space in the waiting room) it's worth noting that at least they didn't close the place off to regular customers.

Nevertheless: Cheney's dog gets better medical attentiont than millions of American people.

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Chew On This...


ATLANTA - For the first time, health officials report that the AIDS virus can be spread by a mother pre-chewing her infant's food, a practice mainly seen in poor, developing countries.

Three such cases were reported in the United States from 1993-2004, government scientists said Wednesday in a presentation in Boston at a scientific conference.

Now before people completely freak out, note that:

It's blood, not saliva, that carried the virus because in at least two of the cases the infected mothers had bleeding gums or mouth sores, according to investigators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC officials say more study is needed. But they are asking parents and caregivers with HIV not to pre-chew infants' food, and are trying to educate doctors about this kind of transmission.

Health officials believe chewed-food transmission is rare in the United States, where such behavior is considered unusual. In some countries, mothers do it because they have no access to baby food or a means of pulverizing food for toothless infants.

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George W. Bush is No Ronald Reagan


The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'


This is a bad storm that affected a lot of people in a variety of states. Our administration is reaching out to state officials. I just called the governors of the affected states. I wanted them to know that this government will help them; but more importantly, I wanted them to be able to tell the people in their states that the American people hold them up and -- hold those who suffer up in prayer. Loss of life, a lot of loss of property -- prayers can help and so can the government. And so today before we begin this important ceremony, I do want the people in those states to know the American people are standing with them.

Just a friendly reminder that (1) most politicians will say anything to get elected, and (2) politicians who make absolutes (like Mr. No-Nation-Building) sooner or later come to regret it.

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Desperate Times...

The John McCain haters are in full swing. I heard on Thom Hartmann's (who supports the guy as much as I do) radio program that some site is trying to say that because McCain was born on a base he is technically disqualified to be president. Fortunately, someone with a brain called the show and explained to the listening audience that if your officer/parent is present/stationed at the base, you are American. If they are somewhere else, you have to take the classes.

Just one example of how nasty it's gotten for the GOP. But something tells me that we aren't far off from someone trying to use this against Barack Obama (should he make it).

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Meet Robin Morgan

Well, if your never heard of her before that is. She's famous for writing this, and now she wrote a sequel here (just in time to help the Clinton campaign).

Powerful stuff. Can't say I agree with every angle, but noetheless powerful.

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Around the Internets

  1. Oliver Willis thinks that Clinton and Obama need to get a lock on McCain.
  2. Think Progress: If you want a third George W. Bush term, vote Republican in 2008.
  3. Daily Kos: On second thought, a third Bush term isn't what the voters want.
  4. Jurassicpork liveblogged SuperTuesday.
  5. Crooks & Liars: a look at the book "The Bush Tragedy," which has more daddy issues than a Steven Speilberg movie.
  6. Perrspectives: Wolf Blizter is a dope, and an enabler of entertainment politics.
  7. A sneak peek at Fred Kaplan's new book.

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: For those who don't know, for "ATI" I use computer/internet-themed pics. Don't be foolish and think the pic has anything to do with the persons/pages I've linked to.)


Just Sayin': Barack Obama

People say the guy is another Kennedy; others are now trying to invoke Dr. King. I'll say that he seems to inspire JFK, but he doesn't have the guy's political background. I'll also say that he gives speeches in the MLK, Jr. mold, but he's not as grassroots.

So if anyone wants to call him "Martin Luther Kennedy, Jr." I don't think that's too far off. He just has a ways to go before you can make Michael-Jordan-to-Kobe-Bryant like comparisons.


No Main Topic

  1. McCain gets a clear (but not commanding) lead; Clinton and Obama are still essentially neck-and-neck.
  2. The 76ers come from behind to 86 the Wizards.
  3. Violent storms sweep through the South.
  5. At least we have Conan, Stewart and Colbert to entertain us:


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Polls: Where the Voters Heads Are At...

If you're confused as to why Democrats and Republicans aren't stereotypically mirroring each other, you need look no further than their respective bases.

From the latest MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason-Dixon polls, it shows that the Top Three Concerns for Republican voters (in Missouri, New Jersey and California) were "has the strength and leadership to keep America safe," shares my values and views on issues," and "has the right experience." The "strength" and "experience" concerns may explain why McCain is defying the conservative media to take the lead in the Republican primary, as well as why Huckabee (who hasn't been in the public spotlight until the primary) and Romney (who doesn't have the military background) are behind him.

For Democratic voters (in Arizona, California, Georgia and Missouri) things are a little more mixed with them having Four Top Concerns: "cares about the issues I care about," "is honest and trustworthy," "represents change and a new approach," and "has the right experience." What comes first, second, third or fourth depends on the state, which may explain why Clinton and Obama have been neck-and-neck (expecially with the likes of Edwards, Richardson and Kucinich out). Then you have New Jersey, which inexplicably had a different set of options, and therefore had different responses: "The Economy and Jobs," "Iraq," "Health Care," and "The Environment, Energy and Climate Change," in that order.

I think the results goes into the mindset of the Republican voter vs the Democratic voter. For Republicans, security is more a national issue; they want the government to protect them from the foreign moreso than the domestic. For Democrats, the less the candidate is like Bush (whom Democrats obviously don't trust) the better. Both seem to place some value on experience (in public service, I'm assuming), but considering who's left on both sides, I'd say that desire was stronger for the GOP (or we'd be seeing Joe Biden or Richardson still in this race).

The most striking thing is that the Repbulican voters don't seem to think too much has gone wrong in the Bush Era. In the polls, "represents a different approach from President Bush" got low percentages, as if Bush wasn't even president and we've been on autopilot since 2000. I can only imagine how that poll would have read if the incumbent was a Democrat.

Truly, finding the slim commonality in these kind of voters will be key in the general election.

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The Beginning of the End?

This is how it starts:

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - New England Patriots defensive back Willie Andrews pleaded not guilty to drug possession Tuesday, hours after authorities said they found him with a half-pound of marijuana.

Andrews was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and driving an unregistered motor vehicle, a black Crown Victoria. Prosecutors said he had $6,800 in cash, three bags of marijuana, and no means to smoke the drugs.

According to authorities, Lowell police responded to an anonymous caller who reported possible drug activity in a black motor vehicle. Police later pulled over the car, and when they approached it, detectives smelled a strong odor they believed to be marijuana, District Attorney Gerry Leone said.

'95 Cowboys, anyone?

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If a Lame Duck Quacks, Does the Media Hear It?

In a week where the sitting president was telling us how the country is doing, and a former president was campaigning for his wife/candidate, who do you think the press paid more attention to?

If you said "George W. Bush," you don't watch enough news. But Media Matters' Eric Boehlert nails it:

When it comes to Bush's two-year decline, the press has remained oddly detached. By contrast, the recent coverage of Clinton has been dripping with emotion; with disdain and contempt that bordered on vitriol.

Bush literally drives the country into a ditch while erecting new standards for secrecy and incompetence (Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Walter Reed Hospital, Hurricane Katrina, staggering national debt, etc.), and the press yawns. But Clinton makes ill-advised and insensitive unscripted comments on the campaign trail, and that's what really gets the Beltway press upset -- enrages them, really, as they scramble to find just the right adjective to describe Clinton's allegedly deceitful, abhorrent behavior...

...For the media, it's simple: The suggestion that Bill Clinton has an oversized ego is far more upsetting and newsworthy than George Bush's proven track record of incompetence.

Read his post here. My guess is ten years from now, Clinton will continue to get more coverage than Bush.

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No Main Topic

  1. John McCain gets another old guy to vouch for his conservative credentials.

  2. For the 'Skins, the coaching search continues.

  3. Even though he was joking at the time, Chris Rock was right about us "living" with AIDS.

  4. Super Tuesday voting hasn't gotten off on the right foot.


Monday, February 04, 2008

For Edwards Supporters, the Next Best Thing

"Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America who was a top supporter of Democrat John Edwards, endorsed Obama."

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Superbowl Surprise: How It Went Down

The following is super-top secret, so don't go spreading it around too far!

[Scene: Pats Locker Room, halftime]

Ring! Ring!

Coach Belichick: Hello? Who's this?

Voice On Phone: It's me.

Belichick: Who's "me?"

VOP: ME, "me." You know...

Belichick: Oh, yeah. What do you want?

VOP: You're not winning this one, Bill.


VOP: Bill, calm down and listen, things are too hot right now and...

Belichick: Bullsh@t!

VOP: ...things are too hot right now with that Senator dregging up the video tape thing again.

Belichick: That punk-ass piece of slime can do whatever he wants! I'm not...

VOP: I'm not asking you to throw the game, Bill. I'm saying that you can't win. Do you really want to go before Congress and end up like the baseball players in that steriod thing?

Belichick: No, of course not!, but...

VOP: ...then you need to listen. With everything that's going on in politics; the war, the economy, the elections, those guys need to feel like they have control of something. That "somthing" right now is the NFL.

Belichick: (sigh) So how does this play out?

VOP: We'll do it like the NBA did to the LA Lakers in 2004. Remember when they had that nigh-unbeatable team of Bryant, O'Neal, Payton and Malone? Pretty much unstoppable. Then Bryant got caught up in that Colorado thing.

Belichick: So?

VOP: No way were they going to win with that stigma; teams just win with that type of stigma hovering over them. Not in today's sports world. You have an unbeaten regualr season; that'll have to do.

Belichick: What about Tom?

VOP: He doesn't have to know. Let him just blame the offensive line. People will believe it. Besides, the guys will be motivated for next year.

Belichick: Uh...damnit. I'll....I'll let you know.

VOP: Nice talking to you, Bill.

Of course, what do I know?

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Grad Students Of Maryland: Unite!

Proof positive that just cause I run with UMCP, doesn't mean I know everything that goes on there:

A Montgomery County lawmaker will introduce legislation tomorrow to allow graduate students and adjunct professors at Maryland's public universities to form unions, setting up a legislative battle over an issue that has hit a nerve at campuses across the nation.

Graduate students at the University of Maryland's flagship campus in College Park, many of whom hold campus jobs teaching undergraduates or conducting research for faculty, have partnered with national labor unions and hired an Annapolis lobbyist in the campaign to unionize.

The legislation, proposed by Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery), would give graduate students collective bargaining rights to negotiate stipend pay, benefits and workloads with university administrators. Raskin said the students should be able to form a union, just like the university's clerical workers, mechanics, janitors and campus police.

"Graduate students are treated like the migrant laborers of higher education," said Raskin, a professor of constitutional law at American University.

It will be very interesting to see how this pans out. Where I work doesn't have a whole lot of grad staff, but I know a department or two who depend heavily on them.

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Bill Kristol Shows Why He Can't Get a Date.

Gotta love the warped mindset of the proverbial right-wing misogynist (H/T: C&L).

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Around The Internets

  1. C&L: The Right-Wing media heads are going crazy because their chosen sucessor isn't in the running for POTUS.

  2. Think Progress: so much for Bill O'Reilly helping out homeless vets.

  3. Welcome to Pottersville: for a college, Washington University is pretty dumb.

  4. Good thing I wasn't the only one to see the Hillary Clinton/Tracy Flick connection.

  5. Kwame Brown and Darko Milicic on the same team (Memphis Grizzlies). HA!

  6. Glenn Greenwald: Neoconservatives see more enemies than allies, and that's their problem.


The Obama Boom

Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama wasn't such a shock. Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Obama, while unexpected at the time, was important more because of her tendency to stay out of politics than her family name. But when the granddaughter of Dwight Eisenhower endorsed Obama today, well, now we have a story.

Why? For starters, before Reagan, there was Ike. Secondly, this is the man who made the term "military-industrial-complex" a household name. And yeah, Obama's a Democrat. This is like a Carter endorsing Mitt Romney.

But it's better to just let Ms. Susan Eisenhower explain for herself:

Today we are engaged in a debate about these very issues. Deep in America's heart, I believe, is the nagging fear that our best years as a nation may be over. We are disliked overseas and feel insecure at home. We watch as our federal budget hemorrhages red ink and our civil liberties are eroded. Crises in energy, health care and education threaten our way of life and our ability to compete internationally. There are also the issues of a costly, unpopular war; a long-neglected infrastructure; and an aging and increasingly needy population.

I am not alone in worrying that my generation will fail to do what my grandfather's did so well: Leave America a better, stronger place than the one it found.

Given the magnitude of these issues and the cost of addressing them, our next president must be able to bring about a sense of national unity and change. As we no longer have the financial resources to address all these problems comprehensively and simultaneously, setting priorities will be essential. With hard work, much can be done.

The biggest barrier to rolling up our sleeves and preparing for a better future is our own apathy, fear or immobility. We have been living in a zero-sum political environment where all heads have been lowered to avert being lopped off by angry, noisy extremists. I am convinced that Barack Obama is the one presidential candidate today who can encourage ordinary Americans to stand straight again; he is a man who can salve our national wounds and both inspire and pursue genuine bipartisan cooperation. Just as important, Obama can assure the world and Americans that this great nation's impulses are still free, open, fair and broad-minded.

Major endorsements? Check. Grassroots support? Check. Now what Obama could use is some more media love. Too bad Obama isn't looking to the press for favors.

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