Ok last post before Spring Break enjoy... Hannity getting his crap stuff back in his face by Chuck Rangel
Thursday, February 22, 2007
"I think that Rumsfeld will go down as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history." -- John McCain, telling the truth, Link
"Rumsfeld deserves Americans' respect and gratitude for his many years of public service." -- John McCain, lying whore, Link
Dem Hopefuls Skewer Bush, Not Each Other, 2008 Contenders Focus Attacks At Nevada Appearance On Bush's Iraq Plan, Rather Than... Dem Hopefuls Skewer Bush, Not Each Other CARSON CITY, Nev., Feb. 21, 2007 (AP) Democratic presidential hopefuls launched serial attacks against President Bush's Iraq war policy on Wednesday and generally steered clear of criticizing one another in the first joint appearance of the young 2008 campaign for the White House. "Time has run out on what President Bush has tried to do in Iraq," said New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who touted her legislation to begin a troop withdrawal within 90 days of her bill becoming law but declined to apologize for her vote to authorize the war in 2002. Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut brushed aside a suggestion from some administration allies that the withdrawal of troops from Iraq would create chaos. "How much more chaos could there be in Baghdad than exists today?" he asked to applause from the audience at a union-sponsored event near the Nevada state capitol. Dodd said it was foolish to believe that "17,000 troops in a city of 6 million are going to sort out" the situation. Bush has announced a buildup in combat forces, with about 17,000 additional Army troops deploying to Baghdad to try and clamp down on sectarian violence. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack struck a similar note. "I want to challenge every single one of you and ask a simple question, what have you done today? What have you done today to end this war in Iraq? "It needs to be ended now. Not six days from now, not six months from now. Not six years from now. It needs to be ended now, and it is up to you," he said. Dodd was the first candidate to speak at the event, which was sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union. Eight candidates attended — only Illinois Sen. Barack Obama skipped the event — underscoring Nevada's newfound importance in the 2008 nominating campaign. The state will hold caucuses on Jan. 19, five days after the lead-off Iowa caucuses and presumably only a few days before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary. In addition to Clinton, Dodd and Vilsack, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel vied for support. The program called for each contenders to make brief opening comments, then field three questions from moderator George Stephanopoulos of ABC News — a former aide in Bill Clinton's White House. The Republican National Committee used the forum to try to put its own spin on the candidates, releasing "research documents" containing unflattering critiques of each of the Democrats hours before the event. In recent years, Democrats have sensed political opportunity in the mountain West, a fast-growing region long dominated by Republicans. Nevada, with its large Hispanic population and influential labor unions, was considered a battleground state in 2004, and President Bush won the state by just 3 percentage points. Wednesday's forum — the first major candidates forum of the election — was promoted by the state's senior senator, Majority Leader Harry Reid, to draw attention to the state's early caucus. The party's 2008 nominating convention will be in Denver, the capital of a mountain state where Democrats won the governor's office and picked up a congressional seat in 2006. By boosting Nevada's role, Democrats also hoped to add some ethnic diversity to a nominating process that for years has heavily favored Iowa and New Hampshire, both of which are overwhelmingly white. "We are really excited about Nevada playing such a big part, and it will be great to have all the candidates here," said state Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, who narrowly lost her race for governor last year. Titus was hosting several of the candidates Wednesday morning at her office in the state capitol for meet-and-greet sessions with other legislators. Reid, who helped push for Nevada's new prominence in the 2008 calendar, said he hasn't decided to endorse anyone in a field that features several of his Senate colleagues. But his son, former state Democratic Chairman Rory Reid, has signed on as Clinton's Nevada chairman. In an interview with The Associated Press, Reid acknowledged that his son's role is "not the easiest thing to say" to the other candidates. "I can't put numbers on who's No. 1, No. 2, who's going to win. I'm going to stay neutral on this," Reid said.
http://www.rawstory.com/showarticle.php?src=http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0207/2865.html Lieberman Says War Vote Could Prompt Party SwitchBy: Carrie Budoff February 22, 2007 04:47 PM EST Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut told the Politico on Thursday that he has no immediate plans to switch parties but suggested that Democratic opposition to funding the war in Iraq might change his mind. Lieberman, a self-styled independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has been among the strongest supporters of the war and President Bush’s plan to send an additional 21,500 combat troops into Iraq to help quell the violence there. "I have no desire to change parties," Lieberman said in a telephone interview. "If that ever happens, it is because I feel the majority of Democrats have gone in a direction that I don't feel comfortable with." Asked whether that hasn't already happened with Iraq, Lieberman said: "We will see how that plays out in the coming months," specifically how the party approaches the issue of continued funding for the war. He suggested, however, that the forthcoming showdown over new funding could be a deciding factor that would lure him to the Republican Party. "I hope we don't get to that point," Lieberman said. "That's about all I will say on it today. That would hurt." Republicans have long targeted Lieberman to switch – a move that would give them control of the Senate. And Time magazine is set to report Friday that there is a “remote” chance Lieberman would join the GOP. TM & © THE POLITICO & POLITICO.COM, a division of Allbritton Communications Company
Barack Obama drawing large crowds - Yahoo! News Barack Obama drawing large crowds By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press WriterThu Feb 22, 3:47 AM ET Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record)'s campaign says 9,000 people showed up for his Los Angeles rally, but it's hard to know for sure. The crowd sprawled around the stage set up in a park, a sea of upturned faces and waving campaign signs. What is clear is that Obama is sparking unusual turnout early in the presidential campaign. Massive crowds are signing up for tickets, standing in long lines and taking time out of their day for the chance to hear the freshman Illinois senator speak in person about his vision for the country. Obama is taking his campaign to large urban areas outside of the early voting states where presidential candidates typically stump for votes. It's part of a strategy to build his reputation among voters nationwide who still don't know much about him and to create an army of small-dollar donors who are invested in his success. Supporters like Los Angeles rally attendee Leah Hanes, a Canadian citizen pushing to get her U.S. citizenship in time to vote for Obama. The 52-year-old producer said Obama's challenges growing up of mixed race had given him a depth of understanding she didn't see in other candidates. "He is a combination of both sides of the country," said Hanes, wearing an Obama T-shirt that she bought at the rally. "He's been through his own struggle. (It's) given him a center." Obama is expecting huge turnout for rallies Friday in Austin, Texas, and Monday in Cleveland. More than 10,000 people have signed up on Obama's Web site for free tickets to each event, according to the campaign. That's a larger turnout than President Bush usually gets and certainly more than Obama's rivals in the 2008 campaign are pulling in. "I think the crowds are indicative of people wanting a fresh face and wanting a leader who can bring America forward," said Trav Robertson, an experienced South Carolina Democratic campaign operative who attended events for Obama and rival Hillary Rodham Clinton in the past week and hasn't settled on a candidate to support. Robertson said both Clinton and Obama brought out packed and excited crowds, although Obama held his event in a larger setting and seemed to bring out more people he hadn't seen around in politics before. Obama's challenge is twofold — to maintain his popularity for the next 11 months until primary voting gets under way and to turn the curious into devoted followers who will give money and time. Tickets to the rallies are free, but the campaign requires registering street and e-mail addresses and a phone number. "Our biggest challenge is to take this energy and focus it on building a strong, lasting organization," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. He declined to say exactly how many people have signed up with the campaign so far at the events because it's strategic information, but he said it's in the tens of thousands. Burton says the campaign is using the Internet to keep the attendees informed and organized and asks them to donate and attend campaign meetings. Obama is also routinely selling out his fundraising events. His Los Angeles rally was paired with a star-studded Hollywood fundraiser that had to be moved from a 400-seat restaurant to a hotel ballroom that fit 600 because of the demand for tickets that required a $2,300 donation. When the Obama campaign announced a $25-a-ticket fundraiser in Louisville, Ky., Sunday evening, 2,500 of the 3,000 tickets were sold in 12 hours. His draw was also strong in the early nominating states on his announcement tour earlier this month. The campaign moved a free event at Iowa State University earlier this month from a recreation hall that could hold 1,500 to a coliseum where the more than 5,000 who showed up were able to fit comfortably, although some of the curious were from out-of-state and can't vote in the Iowa caucus. All 2,300 tickets for a free town hall meeting in Durham, N.H. — the largest 2008 presidential campaign event yet in the state — were snatched up within six hours of the event being announced, Burton said. The same day, Obama tried an old-fashion campaign stroll down the street in Concord, N.H., but the crowds of well-wishers grew so thick that campaign volunteers walked alongside him, holding up yellow ropes to clear a path. The crowds are reminiscent of those that turned out across the country to hear Howard Dean in the 2004 primary race on his "Sleepless Summer" tour across the United States. Dean had been in the race for months at that point, versus the few weeks that Obama has been running, but former Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi sees similarities in how both candidates were able to motivate supporters on the Internet with a message of change. Obama needs to avoid Dean's pitfall of peaking too early, only to be brought down by his own gaffes and criticism from rivals. "You can still make a mistake and take your own candidacy down or the other candidates can start attacking you," Trippi said. "There are all kinds of things that happen in politics that blunt this advantage." ___ Associated Press writers Michael R. Blood in Los Angeles and Philip Elliott in Concord, N.H., contributed to this report. ___ On the Net: http://www.barackobama.com
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I'm still amazed that it's been a year since I started Motor City Liberal, when I think about motor city liberal and what I wanted it to be, first I wanted to be factual because how could I be critical of the media and right wing bloggers like the Michigan Republican or whatever that numb nut calls himself if I make stuff up I thought about the people that visit and I wanted those who come by to know what they're reading is factual and it's nothing that I pulled out my ass but the facts in black and white. I have to admit sometimes picking and choosing stories to post is hard work but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything because I learned so much reading and researching each story either the Scooter Libby case to George "Mecca" Allen fallout. Finally I would like to give big thanks to the readers including those right wingers that posted a comment because to me that's a sign that I'm doing something right and fellow bloggers because all of you have been a good example for me.
Monday, February 19, 2007
TPMmuckraker February 19, 2007 04:14 PM Indicted NY Biz Man Republican Player? Or Sucker?By Paul Kiel - February 19, 2007, 4:14 PM Josh, looking into Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari (aka Michael Mixon), the New York businessman indicted last week for terrorist financing and bilking investors of millions of dollars, notes that Alishtari, in addition to doling out thousands to the National Republican Congressional Committee, also claims in an online CV to be a member of the "White House Business Advisory Committee" and at having been a "National Republican Congressional Committee [New York State] Businessman of the Year" in 2002 and 2003. So was Alishtari a Republican heavy hitter? Well, if he was, these awards aren't an indication of it. As ABC's new ace investigative reporter Justin Rood reports today in his story on Alishtari, "the NRCC 'Businessperson of the Year' fundraising campaign, which gave such 'awards' to at least 1,900 GOP donors, has been derided as a telemarketing scam by political watchdogs." Here's how it works, as reported in The Washington Post back in 2003: The call starts with flattery: You have been named businessman of the year, or physician of the year, or state chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Business Advisory Council. Then comes the fundraising hook: a request for as much as $500 to help pay for a full-page Wall Street Journal advertisement, then a request for $5,000 to reserve a seat at a banquet thrown in your honor. Can't handle that? How about $1,250 for the no-frills package? Back then, the calls frequently featured a recording of ex-Majority Leader's Tom DeLay (R-TX). But the program is a long-time fixture of the NRCC's fundraising apparatus, dating back to 1998 and still going strong. And that's despite several news stories exposing the award as a sham. Apparently there are plenty of people who don't mind being hit up for thousands of dollars in order to receive an award: As NRCC spokesman told the Post back in 2003, "There are many, many happy members of the Business Advisory Council." (Note: There is no such thing as the "White House Business Advisory Committee," as Alishtari terms it. And given that the award lines up with his "Businessman of the Year" honor (and his contributions to the NRCC), it's safe to assume he's referring to the same program.)
McCain: Rumsfeld was one of the worst - Yahoo! News McCain: Rumsfeld was one of the worst By BRUCE SMITH, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 10 minutes ago Republican presidential candidate John McCain (R-religious right suck up) said Monday the war in Iraq has been mismanaged for years and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be remembered as one of the worst in history. "We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement — that's the kindest word I can give you — of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war," the Arizona senator told an overflow crowd of more than 800 at a retirement community near Hilton Head Island, S.C. "The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously." McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, complained that Rumsfeld never put enough troops on the ground to succeed in Iraq. "I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history," McCain said to applause. The comments were in sharp contrast to McCain's statement when Rumsfeld resigned in November, and failed to address the reality that President Bush is the commander in chief. "While Secretary Rumsfeld and I have had our differences, he deserves Americans' respect and gratitude for his many years of public service," McCain said last year when Rumsfeld stepped down. On a two-day campaign swing in South Carolina, McCain fielded questions from the crowd for more than an hour and said the United States can succeed in Iraq with additional troops and a new strategy. McCain has been a strong proponent of using more troops and favors Bush's increase of some 21,500 U.S. forces in the nearly four-year-old war. "I have been saying for 3 1/2 years that we would be in this sad situation and this critical situation we are in today," he said. McCain's bid for president was sidetracked in South Carolina in 2000 after a victory in New Hampshire. George W. Bush won the primary here and went on to win the nomination and White House. "In life, one of the worst things you can do is hold a grudge," he said. "I felt the important thing for me to do with my life was to move forward after we lost our race. You have seen other people who have lost who mire themselves in bitterness and self pity. That's not what my life is all about." Some in the crowd were Bush supporters who have not yet decided on a 2008 candidate. "It's too early to say," said Paul Baker, a retiree from Niagara Falls, N.Y., who has lived in South Carolina about four years. "I'm just going to wait it out and see what happens."
Thursday, February 15, 2007
ESPN.com - Retired NBA star Hardaway says he hates 'gay people' Retired NBA star Hardaway says he hates 'gay people' ESPN.com news servicesFormer Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway said on a radio show Wednesday afternoon that he would not want a gay player on his team. Hardaway "You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known," Hardaway said. "I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States." Hardaway was a guest of Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Betard on the Miami radio show Sports Talk 790 and was asked how he would deal with a gay teammate. When asked if he would accept an active player's coming out, such as that of retired NBA center John Amaechi, Hardaway replied: "First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. "And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that's right. And you know I don't think he should be in the locker room while we're in the locker room. I wouldn't even be a part of that," he said. Hardaway later apologized for the remarks during a telephone interview with Fox affiliate WSVN in Miami. "Yes, I regret it. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said I hate gay people or anything like that," he said. "That was my mistake." Hardaway, who was in Las Vegas on Tuesday at a pre-All Star Game NBA Cares outreach event, was both a coach and player for the ABA's Florida Pit Bulls in 2006. Hardaway played for five NBA teams from 1990-2003 and was a five-time All-Star. He finished with averages of 17.7 points and 8.2 assists. siderbar: I guess ole Timmy Hardaway took himself out of the GLAAD person of the year award. As I black American I'm ashamed when some elements of the black community lash out against the gay community because of all people we blacks should know what it's like being singled out for what we are. Hell it wasn't that long ago when you had people in this country saying blacks shouldn't have civil rights, and other racist things. And Timmy you should think about the whole hating gay thing because you don't know who in your life your statement could hurt.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Libby lawyers rest in CIA leak trial - Yahoo! News Libby lawyers rest in CIA leak trial By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer 12 minutes ago Attorneys for former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby rested their case in the CIA leak trial Wednesday after a day of legal wrangling over classified information and whether additional witnesses could be presented. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald called no rebuttal witnesses, ending the testimony phase of the trial. Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday. The final day of testimony in Libby's perjury and obstruction trial had been billed as a blockbuster. Attorneys said for months that Libby and his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, would testify for the defense. But Libby's attorneys reversed course Tuesday and said neither man would testify, leaving Wednesday to fight over whether NBC newsman Tim Russert could be called back to testify and how much evidence jurors would hear in Libby's absence. The change in who would testify prompted U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to reverse course, too. He told defense attorneys that if Libby didn't testify he would not allow some classified information to be presented to the jury as Libby's defense team had planned. "My absolute understanding was that Mr. Libby was going to testify," Walton said, recalling why he had agreed months ago to allow some classified information into evidence. "My ruling was based on the fact that he was going to testify." Walton's decision blocked Libby's plans to call three CIA briefers Wednesday to testify about the classified national security issues Libby faced in mid-2003, when CIA operative Valerie Plame was named in the media. Libby wanted that testimony to bolster his claim that he never lied to investigators but rather forgot details about Plame's exposure because he was consumed by his workload as Cheney's top aide. Instead of hearing the CIA witnesses, jurors heard a speech from defense attorney John Cline about Libby's briefings on terrorist threats, bomb scares, insurgent attacks and other issues. Libby's defense team also wanted to call Russert, a key prosecution witness, back to the stand to explain an apparent inconsistency in his testimony. Walton turned down the request. Russert testified last week that he never discussed Plame with Libby. Libby told investigators that Russert asked about Plame and said "all the reporters" knew she worked at the CIA. The Libby-Russert differences in testimony lie at the heart of the case. Libby is accused of making up the Russert call to cover up other conversations he had with reporters and obstruct an investigation into who leaked Plame's identity to reporters. No one has been charged with revealing that Plame was a CIA operative.
McCain courting Christian conservatives - Yahoo! News
McCain courting Christian conservatives By JENNIFER TALHELM, Associated Press WriterWed Feb 14, 8:00 AM ET To forgive is divine. To forget may be asking too much of religious conservatives when it comes to Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record). The Republican presidential hopeful is working hard to repair relations with conservative Christian activists, whose support could be critical to winning the GOP nomination. But they remain skeptical that he sincerely shares their values. While McCain has managed to pry open some of the doors that slammed shut in his rift with the right during his bid for the presidency in 2000, conservatives' list of grievances against the Arizona senator is substantial: _They are dubious about his opposition to a federal amendment to ban gay marriage. McCain opposes same-sex marriage, but says it should be regulated by the states. _They still resent passages in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which Christian broadcasters say limit what they can tell voters before elections. _And they question the sincerity of his overtures. McCain condemned evangelist leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance" during his 2000 run. Christian leaders still have "a lot of questions" about McCain, said Paul Weyrich, who founded the Moral Majority with Falwell and pioneered efforts to mobilize evangelical voters. McCain-Feingold "is a big stumbling block for all of us," Weyrich said. He and others also say McCain, a four-term Arizona senator, largely ignored a measure on the November ballot to ban gay marriage in his home state, although he did endorse it in a TV ad. Arizona was the only state where the effort failed in the last election. "It seems to me that if he were really sincere, he would have gone in with both feet and supported that amendment," Weyrich said. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson was more blunt. "I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances," Dobson said last month on KCBI, a Dallas Christian radio station. "I pray that we won't get stuck with him." McCain is trying hard to avoid a repeat of the 2000 GOP presidential primaries in which now-President Bush mobilized Christian conservative activists to ultimately sink McCain's campaign. Prominent Christian leaders, including Robertson and Falwell, opposed McCain in 2000, partly because they didn't feel he was conservative enough on their issues. "We've continued to reach out to leaders in these very important states and communicate the senator's record of advocacy for conservative causes," said Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the McCain campaign. "What we've seen is a strong response and support." Contributing to McCain's strained relations with religious conservatives was his past criticism of the fundamentalist Christian college Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., for its ban on interracial dating. Political activists associated with the university helped defeat McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary. The school has since lifted the ban. McCain now says he wouldn't turn down an opportunity to speak there. He also has hired David Rexrode, a veteran campaigner who organized evangelical voters for the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004, to help repair the damage. McCain has made amends with Falwell. He spoke at Falwell's Liberty University last spring. On Monday, Falwell and five other religious leaders will host a "meet and greet" for McCain at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando, Fla. — a big step, although Falwell has been careful to say it does not constitute an endorsement. But other efforts aren't going as smoothly. McCain has said he hopes to patch things up with Dobson, but Diaz wouldn't say whether Dobson and McCain have spoken. Dobson declined a request for an interview and a Focus on the Family spokesman said Dobson had nothing more to say about McCain. Robertson also declined to discuss McCain. McCain's seeming about-face with the Christian right also has drawn criticism from Democrats and eroded his image that appealed to swing voters in 2000. In McCain's home state, Rep. Trent Franks (news, bio, voting record) — a staunch opponent of abortion and gay marriage — has split with the rest of the Republicans in the Arizona congressional delegation, refusing to back the senator's presidential bid. Instead, he's supporting a long-shot GOP candidate, Rep. Duncan Hunter (news, bio, voting record) of California, whom he calls an "unequivocal social and fiscal conservative." But McCain has at least one thing going for him with the religious right: Christian leaders are also wary of the other leading GOP presidential hopefuls, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani supports abortion rights and gay rights. Romney has supported both in the past, although he now opposes abortion and gay marriage. With no clear social conservative among the top-tier candidates, religious right leaders like the Iowa Christian Alliance's Steve Scheffler say they are now willing to at least give McCain a chance to explain himself. That's a turnabout from last April, when Scheffler told The Associated Press, "There's no support for McCain in this constituency." Since then, McCain has "made overtures to talk about his record," Scheffler said in a recent interview. "In many cases, he has a record conservatives would feel comfortable with." Rexrode, McCain's organizer among Christian conservatives, said that's the kind of sentiment he's working for. Despite what Dobson and others have said, when McCain explains his conservative record on abortion, the war in Iraq and federal spending, "we're winning people hand over fist," Rexrode said. "Being able to deliver that message and talk about it is really opening some eyes about who the real Senator McCain is," he said
If McCain doesn't get the nod he can blame himself for it, the one thing John McCain had in 2000 was cross over appeal to voters he didn't have too far right views that turned off liberal voters and he was centrist enough sane Republicans could vote for. But he trade that in pandering to the nutty christian right and supporting a war only what 30% of the country support.
Al Franken enters Minnesota Senate race - Yahoo! News
Al Franken enters Minnesota Senate race By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer 14 minutes ago Al Franken announced Wednesday that he will run for the Senate in 2008, making it clear that the comedian and author of "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot" wants to be taken seriously as a political figure. Franken said he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Norm Coleman (news, bio, voting record) and immediately acknowledged the doubts voters may have about electing a former "Saturday Night Live" performer. "Minnesotans have a right to be skeptical about whether I'm ready for this challenge, and to wonder how seriously I would take the responsibility that I'm asking you to give me," Franken said in a video on his Web site. "I want you to know: Nothing means more to me than making government work better for the working families of this state, and over the next 20 months, I look forward to proving to you that I take these issues seriously," he said. Franken's announcement came on the final day of his show on the liberal radio network Air America. His decision instantly makes him a serious contender and brings national attention to the race. Franken announced a few weeks ago that he would leave Air America and privately told prominent Democrats about his plans to seek office. His name is well-known and Franken is likely to be well-funded, but he's expected to be challenged by several other Democrats, including wealthy trial attorney Mike Ciresi. His candidacy will test whether Minnesotans are in the mood for another celebrity-turned-politician, after the 1999-2003 governorship of former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura. Ventura's fame and occasionally outrageous behavior regularly brought national attention to the state but wore on the patience of many Minnesotans. Stephen Hess, a professor of political science at George Washington University, said Franken's bid is serious. "He's not doing this as some folks have done it to give them better gigs on the Borscht circuit." Coleman is viewed as vulnerable because of a Democratic resurgence in Minnesota and President Bush's unpopularity. But his proven skills as a campaigner and fundraiser make him a formidable opponent. Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey issued a statement saying Franken offers "nothing but polarization and vitriolic personal attacks." Franken, 55, was born in New York City but grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. He graduated from Harvard University in 1973, and in 1975 joined the writing staff of "Saturday Night Live" during its first season. He soon began appearing in sketches and remained a fixture on the show well into the 1990s. In 1996, Franken took his career in a political direction when he wrote "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations," a broadside against the conservative radio host and other figures on the right. He's since published several other books critical of Republicans. In his latest book, "The Truth (with jokes)," Franken criticized Coleman for his leadership of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, saying Coleman had not held a single hearing on Iraq war corruption. In 2005, Franken and his wife moved back to the Twin Cities, which was widely interpreted as laying the groundwork for a campaign. He planned to make his first public appearance as a candidate Thursday at a Minneapolis clinic. ___ On the Net: Al Franken's Web site: http://www.alfranken.com
It's going to suck not listening to Franken but you can't stop a dude when he get the call to do something great. The Minnesota GOP is going to have their hands filled with Franken brains and his genuine love the country Norm Coleman will be in a world of trouble. Good luck Al
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Targeted blogger quits Edwards campaign - Yahoo! News Targeted blogger quits Edwards campaign By MIKE BAKER, Associated Press WriterMon Feb 12, 10:36 PM ET One of the chief campaign bloggers for Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards quit Monday after conservative critics raised questions about her history of provocative online messages. Amanda Marcotte posted on her personal blog, Pandagon, that the criticism "was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign." Marcotte said she resigned from her position Monday, and that her resignation was accepted by the campaign. Kate Bedingfield, a spokeswoman for the Edwards campaign, confirmed that Marcotte was "no longer working for the campaign." She declined additional comment. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, demanded last week that Edwards fire Marcotte and a second blogger, Melissa McEwan, for remarks he deemed anti-Catholic. Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, called the messages personally offensive, but decided to keep Marcotte and McEwan on staff. "No matter what you think about the campaign, I signed on to be a supporter and a tireless employee for them, and if I can't do the job I was hired to do because Bill Donohue doesn't have anything better to do with his time than harass me, then I won't do it," Marcotte wrote Monday night. Earlier Monday, Marcotte wrote on her personal Web site, "The Christian version of the virgin birth is generally interpreted as super-patriarchal, where ... women are nothing but vessels." Donohue called both Marcotte and McEwan "foul-mouthed bigots." He did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday night. McEwan remains on the Edwards campaign staff. She did not return messages left Monday. siderbar: I think the whole situation stinks, this little twit Bill Donohue is whining about things that happen everyday on the conservative/right wing blog. I don't see Billy going after Free Republic or these other far out there right wing spin off blogs and Billy if you want to see real "bigorty" surf over your boys from Free Republic or your average basement dwelling conservative blogger.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Grammys bounce back in ratings - Yahoo! News Grammys bounce back in ratings By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY, AP Music WriterMon Feb 12, 12:14 PM ET Without "American Idol" to worry about, the Grammy Awards bounced back strongly in the ratings this year. An estimated 20.1 million people watched the Dixie Chicks take home every trophy they were eligible for Sunday night. That's up 18 percent over last season, according to Nielsen Media Research. Last year Grammy organizers decided to go head-to-head with "American Idol" on a Wednesday night and were clobbered; the telecast's 17 million viewers represented the smallest audience in the show's history. This year the Grammys moved back to Sunday night. The show even gave a nod of respect to "American Idol" by holding a contest where an amateur singer had a spotlight duet with Justin Timberlake. The Grammy audience was also up over 2005 (18.8 million), when it was competing against "Desperate Housewives" in that show's popular first season. The Recording Academy embraced more serious fare by veteran artists on Sunday, showering the Dixie Chicks with five awards, including the rare trifecta of record, album, and song of the year. Mary J. Blige won three for her comeback record "The Breakthrough," the biggest mainstream success in her 15-year career. And four trophies went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their hit album "Stadium Arcadium." Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake — a major focus of the show with two performances and four nominations, including for album of the year — took home two trophies in little-noticed side categories. British singer-songwriters Corinne Bailey Rae and James Blunt, both newcomers nominated for multiple awards, were shut out. And two of the year's biggest hits, "Hips Don't Lie" and "Promiscuous," didn't get any awards — both lost out to a remake of Stevie Wonder's decades-old hit "For Once In My Life," performed by Wonder and 80-year-old Tony Bennett. There were many such "Granny" moments at the 49th annual awards show. Despite flashes of youth in performances by Timberlake, John Mayer and Chris Brown, the show had a definite VH1 Classics appeal, from the kickoff by the reunited Police — who were not nominated for any awards and had no purpose except to draw audiences — to the tributes that lovingly recalled the fading music industry's golden years. Perhaps the only moment that seemed to have any cutting-edge element was the "My Grammy Moment," in which three young women vied for a spot to sing with Timberlake. The winner, 19-year-old Robyn Troup, was determined by text messages and Internet votes. The contest was an obvious nod to "American Idol," the TV talent competition which crushed the Grammys when it went head-to-head on a Wednesday night last year, prompting the Grammys to flee back to Sunday. The Dixie Chicks won all five awards they were nominated for, including album of the year for "Taking the Long Way," and record and song of the year for "Not Ready to Make Nice," their defiant anthem penned songwriter Dan Wilson. It was sweet vindication after the superstars' lives were threatened and their record sales plummeted when feisty lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush on the eve of the Iraq war in 2003. Almost overnight, one of the most successful groups of any genre was boycotted by Nashville and disappeared from country radio. With "Taking the Long Way," the women relied on renowned producer Rick Rubin's guidance for an album that was more rock and less country. (Rubin, who also produced "Stadium Arcadium," was honored as producer of the year.) The standing ovations the Chicks received Sunday illustrated how much the political climate has changed regarding the Iraq war, and even Bush. "That's interesting," Maines crowed from the podium after the country award was handed out earlier in the night. "Well, to quote the great 'Simpsons' — 'Heh-Heh.' "Just kidding," added Maines. "A lot of people just turned their TVs off right now. I'm very sorry for that." Bandmate Emily Robison noted, "We wouldn't have done this album without everything we went through, so we have no regrets." All the trophies collected by the Dixie Chicks, Blige and the Chili Peppers contributed to the evening's old-school feel. Though the show featured a medley with bright new stars such as Ray and double-winners Mayer and John Legend, it relied heavily on the classics: Lionel Richie sang his '80s hit "Hello" and Smokey Robinson sang his Motown classic "The Tracks of My Tears" in a tribute to R&B. (Both were nominees this year.) Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Police, who split in 1984, reunited to kick off the show with their rendition of "Roxanne." Even some of the more contemporary artists were relegated to singing songs that weren't their own. Christina Aguilera, a winner for female pop vocal performance, sang the late James Brown's "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" instead of her own nominated songs, while Carrie Underwood, the newcomer with one of last year's most successful albums, crooned The Eagles' "Desperado" and "San Antonio Rose" instead of her signature tune "Jesus, Take the Wheel," which was nominated for song of the year. But new artists were celebrated, a bit. The teenage Brown injected some hot-footed funk with his "Run It," while Underwood was celebrated as the best new artist. And double winners included youngsters Underwood, T.I. and Ludacris. Blige was the overall nominations leader with eight. She won best R&B album for "The Breakthrough," her double-platinum triumph, plus best female R&B performance and R&B song for "Be Without You." A tearful Blige said her album "has not only shown that I am a musician and an artist and a writer, it also shows I am growing into a better human being." "Tonight we celebrate the better human being because for so many years, I've been talked about negatively," said Blige, who during her 15-year career has often discussed her past substance and self-esteem problems. "But this time I've been talked about positively by so many people." ___ On the Net: http://www.grammys.com sidebar: Normally I could care less about country music but the Dixie Chicks is a great story, the hell they went though thanks to smirk's buddies over at Clear Channel and other chickenhawks country singers i.e. Toby Keith made their time very difficult. Congrats Dixie Chicks and I wonder will those lame ass country music station disc jockeys still ban their songs?
Armitage outs agent in Woodward tapes - Yahoo! News Armitage outs agent in Woodward tapes By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago Jurors in the CIA leak trial on Monday heard a one-minute excerpt from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward's tape recorder which revealed a top State Department official repeatedly discussing CIA operative Valerie Plame. Woodward, who famously kept the identity of his "Deep Throat" Watergate source a secret for decades, testified that in June 2003, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage disclosed that the wife of a prominent Iraq war critic worked for the CIA. Armitage mentioned several times, in sometimes explicit terms that had to be redacted, that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife was a weapons of mass destruction analyst for the CIA. "His wife is at the agency and is a WMD analyst," Armitage said on the tape. The exchange occurred at the end of a lengthy interview for one of Woodward's books on the Bush administration's war policy. Woodward did not publish an article on Plame, who was outed a month later by columnist Robert Novak. Armitage also was the source for that story. Novak's column sparked an FBI investigation that Libby is accused of obstructing. He is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters regarding Plame but is not accused of the leak itself. Woodward testified that he interviewed Libby a few weeks after talking to Armitage. "I have no doubt Mr. Libby did not say anything about Mr. Wilson's wife," Woodward said. Woodward's testimony doesn't directly undercut Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's case but it offers fodder to Libby's attorneys, who say Libby is being made a scapegoat by the administration. Woodward, who protected the identity of former FBI official Mark Felt until Felt himself came forward in 2005 as the secret source for the Watergate stories, said Monday that he was only cooperating because Armitage had encouraged it. Armitage has acknowledged being the source for Woodward and Novak but has said it was accidental. Woodward was the second defense witness to testify Monday. His Post colleague, Walter Pincus, testified that White House press secretary Ari Fleischer leaked him Plame's identity in July 2003. Pincus, a veteran national security reporter, said he was talking to Fleischer for a story about weapons of mass destruction. He said Fleischer "suddenly swerved off" topic and asked why Pincus continued to write about Wilson. "Don't you know his wife works for the CIA as an analyst?" Pincus recalled Fleischer saying. Fleischer testified that he first learned that information from Libby over lunch. Fleischer testified he leaked the information to two reporters during a presidential trip to Africa but he did not mention the Pincus conversation. In exchange for his testimony, prosecutors promised not to charge Fleischer. Libby argues that he never discussed Plame with Fleischer. Pincus' testimony helps defense attorneys make the argument that Fleischer needed someone to blame to cover up his own leaking. Novak, whose column triggered an FBI investigation into the leak, was also scheduled to testify Monday, attorneys said.
Australia's conservative prime minister slammed Barack Obama on Sunday over his opposition to the Iraq war, a day after Obama announced his intention to run for the White House in 2008. Obama said the country's first priority should be to end the war in Iraq. He has also introduced a bill to prevent President Bush from increasing American troop levels in Iraq, and to remove U.S. combat forces from the country by March 31 Howard, a staunch supporter and personal friend of Bush, has defied widespread domestic opposition to the war, keeping about 1,400 Australian troops in and around Iraq, mostly in non-combat roles. He is seeking a fifth term later this year, and recent polls suggest voters are increasingly unhappy about his refusal to set a deadline for withdrawing Australian troops. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, traveling with the senator in Iowa, said Howard's words were misguided. "The United States has sacrificed more than 3,000 brave young men and women and $400 billion, only to find ourselves mired in the middle of a sectarian civil war," he said. "Even Republicans ... know that more of the same is only going to attract more terrorists to Iraq and make our country less safe." Gibbs went on to say that Howard was not in a position to be overly critical. "If Prime Minister Howard truly believes what he says, perhaps his country should find its way to contribute more than just 1,400 troops so some American troops can come home," he said. "It's easy to talk tough when it's not your country or your troops making the sacrifices." Howard slams Obama on Iraq policy - CNN.com
The Progressive Daily Beacon: "These Are Tough Days to Be a Republican" These Are Tough Days to Be a Republican A. Alexander, February 9th, 2007 These are tough days to be a Republican. Really, who would want to be one? Their President was, according to real-life polling, considered more villainous than Lucifer...that's no joke. That's what this past December's AP/AOL News Poll found. This really is no time to be a Republican. If Republicans were to meet with a group of today's kids and share with them all the GOP's woes, the kids would say, "It sucks to be you!" And they'd be more correct than anybody had a right to be.Just look at the pathetic wankers that these Republicans have become. If they aren't being busted for money laundering or taking bribes from greed merchant defense contractors, they're trying to molest young boys. Well, to be fair some were busted with their mistresses...who just happened to be hiding in the bathroom with a cell phone dialing 911, because their Congressional Republican loverman had tried choking the life out of them. Even their jacked up on Jesus steroids and gay-hating extremist evangelical preachers, when not imploring Republicans to rip brain dead women from their deathbeds, can't resist a nice line of crank and shagging gay prostitutes. The kids would be right; it'd suck to be a Republican.These are indeed tough days to be a Republican. Aside from having a President who is about as popular as a herpes outbreak at a swinger's club, today's Republican Party is completely bankrupted of any meaningful ideas. It's true. They can't even call themselves the party of 'small government'. At least they can't say it with a straight face. How about that Party of 'fiscal responsibility' slogan that they used to like to parrot? Hmmm...$9 trillion in debt - 'nough said! They used to be the self-proclaimed Party of 'National Security', but it's hard to be the, "we'll keep you safe" folks when they've destroyed the military; lied the nation to war and then made a complete mess of it; and are in the midst of losing two wars and itching to start a third! About the only thing Republicans have left is that they are the Party of huge tax cuts...if a person happens to be a corporation or member of the upper one percent income earners club. Still, it is something. Sick, pathetic, and useless - but it is something. So, what are Republicans to do when they have no purpose for being...well, other than trying to prevent Congress from passing resolutions condemning their failed President's desire to expand his long-lost war? That's a no brainer, right? Since they have nothing substantial to offer the people, Republicans decided to con CBS' dim witted blonde bimbo pretending to be a journalist, Katie Couric, into running a factless hit-job on the Democratic Speaker of the House. That's making a political Party useful, isn't it? Now, of course, Republican Denny Hastert was given a free government plane ride back and forth from the Hill to his home in Illinois, but since the House Security Chief made the same arrangements for the Democratic Speaker, who lives exactly on the other side of the country and, therefore, requires a bigger plane - SHOCK! HORROR! OUTRAGE!It was cute, too, the way the bimbos at CBS News slipped in that shtick about how Pelosi supposedly said, "Size doesn't matter." Giggle, giggle, snort, and tee-hee! Gosh, they did their Hooter's girl backgrounds just oh-so-proud, didn't they? Maybe next time Katie can slip into her old high-school cheer uniform, panty-less of course, and give Republican Blunt a lapdance, too. You know, so they can "talk about the first thing that pops up."But seriously, that is all Republicans have left: Preventing Congress from expressing the will of the people, trying to finagle tax cuts for big oil and the upper one percent, and making an issue over the size of Nancy Pelosi's plane. These are tough days to be a Republican. And the kids would be right...it would suck to be them.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Records: NYPD held GOP protesters longer - Yahoo! News Records: NYPD held GOP protesters longer By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press WriterThu Feb 8, 10:25 AM ET Hundreds of protesters arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention were held for up to six times longer than those arrested on charges unrelated to the convention, according to city documents made public Thursday. More than 1,800 people were arrested at the four-day convention at Madison Square Garden, where President Bush accepted his party's nomination for a second term in office. The legitimacy of the arrests was challenged on civil rights grounds in lawsuits brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of some of those detained. A judge last month rejected the city's effort to keep secret most of the files and videotapes documenting the arrests, leading to their release. Christopher Dunn, associate legal director at the NYCLU, said the documents "reveal that the long detentions of the thousands of protesters arrested for minor offenses at the convention were the result of deliberate policy decisions by the NYPD." "During the convention, you got to a judge much faster if you were a bank robber than if you were charged with parading without a permit," he said. Instead of issuing summonses — similar to traffic tickets — police held everyone who was arrested for later court appearances. The concern, according to police Chief John J. Colgan, was the need to positively identify everyone arrested. Records show that arrested protesters on Aug. 31, 2004, were held an average of 32 hours before appearing in court, while those arrested on other offenses were held less than five hours. "By refusing to release demonstrators with summonses and instead holding them to be illegally fingerprinted, the department all but guaranteed that protesters would be held for extended periods of time," Dunn said. Paul Browne, an NYPD spokesman, said the arrests generally were processed in a timely manner, and the delays on Aug. 31, 2001, were caused by a high number of arrests in a short amount of time. Records in the document cache also show that many officers, sergeants and lieutenants made toxic exposure complaints about the holding pen on a Hudson River pier where arrested protesters were processed. The officers' complaints included claims of exposure to asbestos, carbon monoxide, sludge, oil, fumes and toxic materials. Browne disputed those complaints. "The fact remains that air quality and other environmental tests that were done documented the fact that the pier was safe," he said.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Dems may override Bush on kid insurance - Yahoo! News Dems may override Bush on kid insurance By BEN EVANS, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 5 minutes ago Democrats may try to override a decision by President Bush to leave stopgap children's health insurance money out of his 2007 emergency war spending proposal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the president last week to propose $745 million in supplemental spending for the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, which primarily covers children in low-income working families. Bush declined the lawmakers' request in the $93 billion emergency war spending proposal he submitted Monday to cover the remainder of 2007. But Democrats, eager to show policy differences with the White House, are saying they may add the $745 million when the bill comes up in the coming weeks. "It's certainly an option," said Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesman. "We know the states are running out of money on this. We're exploring all options." If allocated, the new money would keep 14 states with looming shortfalls from having to cut off coverage until Congress renews the program later this year. Georgia, for example, insures some 273,000 children under its PeachCare program but could be forced to end coverage in just a few weeks. Iowa's Hawk-I plan, which insures more than 30,000 children, expects to exhaust its budget by the end of June. "We are putting the health coverage of thousands of Americans in jeopardy," Reid, D-Nev., and Pelosi , D-Calif., wrote in a letter to Bush on Friday. "The cost of filling the funding shortfall is minor in comparison to your other emergency requests." The move could get significant backing from Republicans, particularly those from states with shortfalls. "That's certainly something I could support," said Sen. Johnny Isakson (news, bio, voting record), a Georgia Republican. "That would help Georgia." Dennis Smith, director of Center for Medicaid and State Operations, defended the administration's omission by saying Bush has called instead for forcing states with SCHIP surpluses to give up unspent money more quickly to help states with deficits. "We proposed a solution," Smith said. "There's plenty of money. It's just in different places." States — and their representatives in Congress — have strongly resisted giving up surplus money, arguing that they will need it as participation grows and federal budgets tighten. According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, while some states still don't spend their full individual allotments, state spending overall has outstripped federal funding in recent years. So the pool of unspent money is quickly shrinking. SCHIP insures some 6 million people nationwide and is aimed at working families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Along with Georgia and Iowa, states facing shortfalls are Alaska, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. Congress passed a temporary fix before adjourning last year, redistributing some unspent money. The federal government released the first installment of that money this week, but state officials say it buys only a few months at best.