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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Craig's quick condemnation shows GOP hypocrisy

Craig's quick condemnation shows hypocrisy in Senate GOP, critics say 08/30/2007 @ 1:11 pmFiled by Nick Juliano CREW wants Vitter, Stevens to be demoted as well Sen. Larry Craig had not even publicly addressed charges he tried to solicit sex in a public men's room before members of his own party began to vehemently criticize his alleged conduct. Less that 24 hours after he expressed regret for pleading guilty to disorderly conduct after an undercover cop said the Idaho Republican propositioned him, Craig was ousted from his committee posts in a decision Senate leaders said was "in the best interest" of the chamber. Meanwhile, it has been 52 days since Craig's GOP colleague David Vitter acknowledged the "serious sin" of soliciting a call girl, yet the Louisiana senator has not budged from his committee posts. Where Craig faced condemnation, Vitter received words of encouragement from colleagues -- or at the very least, silence. Sen. Ted Stevens's prominent position in the Senate also seems safe, despite the Alaska Republican's own taint of scandal. The FBI raided Stevens's home last month in connection with a political corruption scandal in his home state. Substantial renovations of the home were carried out by contractors hired by oil-services company Veco Corp., whose executives have been accused of bribing state lawmakers. "A disorderly conduct plea requires a member to give up his committee assignment, but a full-fledged bribery investigation does not," observed Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "Apparently, in the view of the Republican conference there is almost nothing more serious than a member attempting to engage in gay sex." The key distinction between Craig's case and those of Stevens and Vitter, in the eyes of Republican leaders, is that Craig has been charged with and pleaded guilty to a crime, where the others have not, a leadership source tells RAW STORY. CREW does not see things that way, and the private watchdog group has asked that Stevens and Vitter be stripped of their committee assignments. Republican leaders already have asked the ethics committee to investigate Craig's conduct, echoing an earlier call from CREW, but it is unlikely that Vitter or Craig will be demoted, the source said. In Vitter's case, the rendezvous with prostitutes he admitted to occurred before his 2004 election to the Senate and hence would fall outside the purview of the ethics committee. As for Stevens, the most senior Republican in the chamber, he has insisted he is not a "target" of the FBI's investigation and has not been accused of any crime. Salon's Glenn Greenwald outlines some other possible explanations for the different treatment of Craig's and Vitter's sexual escapades. For one thing, Craig's vacant seat would be filled by a Republican governor, whereas Vitter would be replaced by a Democrat, further tipping the balance of power in the Senate. But Greenwald goes on to observe that attacks on gay Republicans have "no political cost" because they condemn none of the "values voters" upon which the party relies. Conversely, heterosexual perversion, divorce, and out-of-wedlock childbirth are substantial problems, especially in the very regions of the country where Republican support is highest, so the party is unwilling to lead moral crusades against those sins, Greenwald argues. "The only kind of 'morality' that this movement knows or embraces is politically exploitative, cost-free morality," he says. "That is why the national Republican Party rails endlessly against homosexuality and is virtually mute about divorce and adultery: because anti-gay moralism costs virtually all of its supporters nothing (since that is a moral prohibition that does not constrain them), while heterosexual moral deviations -- from divorce to adultery to sex outside of marriage -- are rampant among the Values Voters faithful and thus removed from the realm of condemnation."

Craig arrest caught on police audio tape

An audio recording of Sen. Larry Craig's arrest has been released by the Minneapolis Police Department, MSNBC reports. In the recording, Craig discusses details of the arrest with Investigative Sgt. Dave Karsnia, saying that he may have touched the officer's foot while they were in adjacent bathroom stalls. "You said our feet bumped. I believe they did," Craig is heard to say."The next thing I knew, under the bathroom divider comes a card that says 'Police." "I tend to spread my legs when I lower my pants," the senator added. "You are sitting here lying to a police officer," Karsnia responds on the tape. "People vote for you. Unbelievable." The following video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast on August 30. Audio begins at 1:30.

Lawmakers green light Jan.15 primary

By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN, Associated Press Writer 42 minutes ago LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan legislature on Thursday approved moving the state's presidential nomination contests to Jan. 15, just days after national Democrats vowed to punish states that vote too early. Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm is expected to sign the bill, but approval of the switch is far from certain. A disagreement among state Democratic leaders over whether to hold a primary or a caucus is complicating final action. If it moves up, Michigan Democrats risk losing all their national convention delegates, while Republicans risk losing half. Seeking to impose discipline on the states, the Democratic National Committee's rules committee voted on Aug. 25 to take away Florida's 210 delegates to the party's nominating convention in Denver next summer. Florida Democrats were given 30 days to submit an alternative to its planned Jan. 29 primary. Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis said he hopes the Republican National Committee will see fit to let Michigan hold its Jan. 15 primary without taking away half the state's delegates to national convention next summer. "We understand that we're violating the rules, but it wasn't by choice," Anuzis said, noting that state Democrats were the ones pushing to move to Jan. 15. "We're going to ask for forgiveness and we think ... we will get forgiveness." The presidential primary bill passed the House 67-34, with a mix of Republicans and Democrats voting for it. The Senate approved the House version 36-0 before sending the bill to Granholm. As a state with a large number of delegates to the nominating conventions, Michigan would command considerable attention from candidates by moving to a mid-January date. Democratic National Committeewoman Debbie Dingell, who helped push the move to break Iowa and New Hampshire's lock on the earliest presidential contests, said moving Michigan to Jan. 15 will force the presidential candidates to address issues such as the loss of manufacturing jobs and other problems being faced by large industrial states and the auto industry. "We need to have the candidates talk about what's the backbone of the American economy," said Dingell, president of General Motors Foundation and the wife of Michigan Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. Michigan's vote comes less than a week after Wyoming Republicans decided to push their caucuses even earlier to Jan. 5. The primary scramble has continued unabated, and more moves are expected in the coming weeks. South Carolina Republicans moved their primary to Jan. 19, forcing Iowa and New Hampshire to reconsider their dates to maintain their early status. Iowa caucuses had been scheduled for Jan. 14 and New Hampshire's primary was tentatively set for Jan. 22. Nevada is scheduled to vote on Jan. 19.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fieger on his indictment: We are now living in a McCarthy era

Fieger on his indictment: 'We are now living in a McCarthy era' August 28, 2007 By JOHN WISELY FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER Southfield lawyer Geoffrey Fieger is free on personal bond after he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this afternoon on charges that he illegally funneled campaign contributions to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Edwards. One of Fieger’s lawyers, Thomas Cranmer, also persuaded the magistrate to allow Fieger to keep his passport, despite a request from prosecutors to have him surrender it. Fieger has a home abroad and business reasons to travel, Cranmer argued. “I see nothing to indicate that Mr. Fieger is a risk of flight,” said Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen, who told Fieger the only condition of his bond was that he must not break any laws. Fieger didn’t speak at his arraignment but at a news conference at his office this morning, he called his indictment “scurrilous” and said he was singled out for prosecution because of his political affiliations. “We are now living in a McCarthy era,” Fieger said. “I have always been the target.” At that conference, Fieger appeared surrounded by 10 lawyers, including famed defense lawyer Gerry Spence, who read a statement from Alan Dershowitz, another famous lawyer who is working on the Fieger defense. Spence wouldn’t say directly if Fieger broke the law but said he didn’t believe that reimbursing employees for political contributions was illegal under current law. Lawyers at the news conference, held in a sunlit mock courtroom in Fieger’s office complex, portrayed the U.S. Justice Department as the defendant, accusing it of rewarding officials for prosecuting Democrats and punishing and firing those who prosecuted Republicans. “This selective prosecution has been political and partisan from the very beginning,” Dershowitz said in a statement read by Spence.“There is no way a Republican who did precisely what Geoffrey Fieger is accused of doing would have been prosecuted by this Justice Department and this administration.” Spence plans to ask the judge to dismiss the case, claiming “selective and vindictive” prosecution. The Justice Department on Friday unsealed an indictment charging Fieger and his law partner, Vernon Johnson, with illegally reimbursing their employees and others for about $127,000 in political contributions to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Edwards.Fieger also is charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and causing false statements.

Paul Krugman: GOP seeking Willie Horton

So now Mitt Romney is trying to Willie Hortonize Rudy Giuliani. And thereby hangs a tale — the tale, in fact, of American politics past and future, and the ultimate reason Karl Rove’s vision of a permanent Republican majority was a foolish fantasy.Willie Horton, for those who don’t remember the 1988 election, was a convict from Massachusetts who committed armed robbery and rape after being released from prison on a weekend furlough program. He was made famous by an attack ad, featuring a menacing mugshot, that played into racial fears. Many believe that the ad played an important role in George H.W. Bush’s victory over Michael Dukakis.Now some Republicans are trying to make similar use of the recent murder of three college students in Newark, a crime in which two of the suspects are Hispanic illegal immigrants. Tom Tancredo flew into Newark to accuse the city’s leaders of inviting the crime by failing to enforce immigration laws, while Newt Gingrich declared that the “war here at home” against illegal immigrants is “even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.”And Mr. Romney, who pretends to be whatever he thinks the G.O.P. base wants him to be, is running a radio ad denouncing New York as a “sanctuary city” for illegal immigrants, an implicit attack on Mr. Giuliani.Strangely, nobody seems to be trying to make a national political issue out of other horrifying crimes, like the Connecticut home invasion in which two paroled convicts, both white, are accused of killing a mother and her two daughters. Oh, and by the way: over all, Hispanic immigrants appear to commit relatively few crimes — in fact, their incarceration rate is actually lower than that of native-born non-Hispanic whites.To appreciate what’s going on here you need to understand the difference between the goals of the modern Republican Party and the strategy it uses to win elections.The people who run the G.O.P. are concerned, above all, with making America safe for the rich. Their ultimate goal, as Grover Norquist once put it, is to get America back to the way it was “up until Teddy Roosevelt, when the socialists took over,” getting rid of “the income tax, the death tax, regulation, all that.”But right-wing economic ideology has never been a vote-winner. Instead, the party’s electoral strategy has depended largely on exploiting racial fear and animosity.Ronald Reagan didn’t become governor of California by preaching the wonders of free enterprise; he did it by attacking the state’s fair housing law, denouncing welfare cheats and associating liberals with urban riots. Reagan didn’t begin his 1980 campaign with a speech on supply-side economics, he began it — at the urging of a young Trent Lott — with a speech supporting states’ rights delivered just outside Philadelphia, Miss., where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964.And if you look at the political successes of the G.O.P. since it was taken over by movement conservatives, they had very little to do with public opposition to taxes, moral values, perceived strength on national security, or any of the other explanations usually offered. To an almost embarrassing extent, they all come down to just five words: southern whites starting voting Republican.In fact, I suspect that the underlying importance of race to the Republican base is the reason Rudy Giuliani remains the front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination, despite his serial adultery and his past record as a social liberal. Never mind moral values: what really matters to the base is that Mr. Giuliani comes across as an authoritarian, willing in particular to crack down on you-know-who.But Republicans have a problem: demographic changes are making their race-based electoral strategy decreasingly effective. Quite simply, America is becoming less white, mainly because of immigration. Hispanic and Asian voters were only 4 percent of the electorate in 1980, but they were 11 percent of voters in 2004 — and that number will keep rising for the foreseeable future.Those numbers are the reason Karl Rove was so eager to reach out to Hispanic voters. But the whites the G.O.P. has counted on to vote their color, not their economic interests, are having none of it. From their point of view, it’s us versus them — and everyone who looks different is one of them.So now we have the spectacle of Republicans competing over who can be most convincingly anti-Hispanic. I know, officially they’re not hostile to Hispanics in general, only to illegal immigrants, but that’s a distinction neither the G.O.P. base nor Hispanic voters takes seriously.Today’s G.O.P., in short, is trapped by its history of cynicism. For decades it has exploited racial animosity to win over white voters — and now, when Republican politicians need to reach out to an increasingly diverse country, the base won’t let them.

Chicken Hawks stick together: Hannity refused to disavow Nugent's slurs

Hannity refused to disavow Ted Nugent's slurs against Obama and Clinton Summary: On the August 24 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity aired video footage of musician and right-wing activist Ted Nugent at an August 21 concert calling Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) a "piece of shit" and referring to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as a "worthless bitch." In the video clip, Nugent holds up what appear to be two assault rifles and says he told Obama "to suck on my machine gun" and says he told Clinton "you might want to ride one of these into the sunset." After airing the clip, Hannity referred to Nugent as a "friend and frequent guest on the program," and then compared Nugent's comments to recent statements by Obama, which Hannity again distorted by claiming Obama "accus[ed] our troops of killing civilians." Hannity then asked Democratic strategist Bob Beckel: "What's more offensive to you? Is it Barack Obama's statement about our troops or Ted Nugent?" Beckel responded by asking Hannity if he was "prepared to disavow this lowlife," to which Hannity responded: "No, I like Ted Nugent. He's a friend of mine." When Beckel said that Nugent "ought to never come on your show again, and if you have him on, you ought to be ashamed of yourself," Hannity responded: "Not at all. We have you on." According to Nugent's biography on his personal website, he has been a member of the National Rifle Association's board of directors since 1995. In addition to his attacks on Clinton and Obama, Nugent, in a portion of the video clip not aired on Hannity & Colmes, said that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) "might want to suck on my machine gun," and called Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) a "worthless whore." Notwithstanding his defense of Nugent, Hannity has decried "hate speech" in the past -- particularly comments directed at President Bush and other conservatives. For example, as Media Matters for America previously noted, on the March 13 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Hannity denounced Clinton's claims of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" as "hate speech." On the March 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America, Hannity devoted an entire segment to a "list of the worst examples of liberal hate speech," during which he attacked Clinton, National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), comedian and Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken, actor Alec Baldwin, and others. As Media Matters documented, Hannity has repeatedly mischaracterized Obama's August 13 statement that "[w]e've got to get the job done there [in Afghanistan], and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there." Obama did not "accus[e]" American troops of anything, but instead expressed support for increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan so the U.S. military is not so reliant on airstrikes in the region. From the August 24 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes: NUGENT [video clip]: I was in Chicago. I said, "Hey, Obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk!" Obama, he's a piece of [bleep]. And I told him to suck on my machine gun. Let's hear it for it. And I was in New York. I said, "Hey, Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless [bleep]!" HANNITY: That was friend and frequent guest on the program Ted Nugent expressing his feelings towards Democratic presidential contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Joining us now, Democratic strategist Bob Beckel and Republican strategist Karen Hanretty. You know, Bob, we may actually agree here. Here is Ted Nugent. He's saying, you know, the "Wang Dang" song, "Cat Scratch Fever," wears a loincloth on stage, fires, you know, an arrow at targets on stage. I see you liberals more upset about that, but I don't hear anybody criticizing Barack Obama for accusing our troops of killing civilians, air-raiding villages, et cetera, et cetera. What's more shocking to you? What's more offensive to you? Is it Barack Obama's statement about our troops or Ted Nugent? BECKEL: You know, only you could figure out a way to ask a question like that. First of all, Nugent, this is a boy who's missing a couple dogs from under his front porch. This guy has been pimping for Republicans for years now. They want him to run for Senate against Obama. I can't believe -- when the Dixie Chicks said something about George Bush, which was mild compared to this jerk, and the religious right, the Dobsons and the Robertsons, rose up in fury. You rose up in fury. [crosstalk] HANNITY: You know, typical Bob Beckel. But you can't answer the question. I didn't ask you that. BECKEL: I want to see -- [crosstalk] BECKEL: Are you prepared now, Sean -- are you prepared to disavow this lowlife or not? HANNITY: No, I like Ted Nugent. He's a friend of mine. BECKEL: You do, after did he that? After he did that? HANNITY: But he's a rock star. Yes, here's my point. If you don't like it, don't go to the concert, don't buy his new albums. [crosstalk] BECKEL: I can't believe you're defending this lowlife. HANNITY: Here's my question again, and hopefully your liberal brain can absorb it. [crosstalk] BECKEL: The question is not even a close call. I think Nugent was far over the line and Obama was not. HANNITY: I want to know. Barack Obama accused our troops of killing civilians and air-raiding villages. What is more offensive to you, which statement? BECKEL: Because I know the context in which Obama said it. This Nugent is more offensive. This guy ought to be knocked off the air. He ought to never come on your show again, and if you have him on, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. He's a bum! HANNITY: Not at all. We have you on. MLC comment: The thing about chickenhawks like Sean Hannity and the Ted "the motor city flaming bag of monkey crap" Nugent these little bastards love war they fantasized about war but neither of them would served if they were given the chance. Let me make this clear guys like Sean Hannity don't give a flying you know what about the troops so for Hannity to get a burr in his saddle for a quote as usual he twist to fix in his sick right wing world view is a joke. As for Sean defending what Nugent said, wasn't it Hannity and his merry band of right wing media whores leading the charge to get the Dixie Chicks career ruin when the lead singer said "I'm a ashamed that Bush was from the same state we're from" I forgot I'm trying to be logical in conservative world. Let some liberal celb said something about harming Rotten Rudy, or Mitt I bet Hannity would be screaming to Colmes they should go to jail forgetting he defended Ted Nugent's comments.

Breaking News flash: Ted Nugent is a insane douche bag

From D-U's top ten 10 Conservative idiots number 305 Ted Nugent And while we're on the subject of irrelevant conservative douchebags, The Nuge was back in the news last week after going for broke at a concert in Anaheim. Nugent strode around the stage waving a machine gun in each hand and shouted: I was in Chicago last week I said, "Hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk?" Obama, he's a piece of shit and I told him to suck on one of my machine guns. Let's hear it for them. I was in New York and I said, "Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset you worthless bitch." Since I'm in California, I'm gonna find Barbara Boxer she might wanna suck on my machine guns. Hey, Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these you worthless whore. So, Ted can probably expect a visit from the Secret Service some time soon. But really, is this the best they can do? Gay marriage is the same as raping a corpse? Barrack Obama is a piece of shit, Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinsten are worthless bitches and whores, they need to suck on and/or ride Ted Nugent's machine guns? Members of the U.S military are cockroaches who need to be stomped on and neutralized?Is this the best the right-wing has to offer? Roll on 2008...

File this under looking for love in the wrong place: Idaho senator busted looking for sex in a airport restroom

Idaho senator arrested in airport By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press WriterMon Aug 27, 7:45 PM ET Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho pleaded guilty this month to misdemeanor disorderly conduct after being arrested at the Minneapolis airport. A Hennepin County court docket showed Craig pleading guilty to the disorderly conduct charge Aug. 8, with the court dismissing a charge of gross misdemeanor interference to privacy. The court docket said the Republican senator paid $575 in fines and fees. He was put on unsupervised probation for a year. A sentence of 10 days in the county workhouse was stayed. Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, which first reported the case, said on its Web site Monday that Craig was arrested June 11 by a plainclothes officer investigating complaints of lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the airport. Craig said in a statement issued by his office that he was not involved in any inappropriate conduct. "At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions," he said. "I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously." Craig, 62, is married and in his third term in the Senate. He is up for re-election next year. He was a member of the House for 10 years before winning election to the Senate in 1990. He has been one of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's top Senate supporters, serving as a Senate liaison for the campaign since February. As word spread of Craig's guilty plea, a Romney campaign spokesman, Matt Rhoades, said in a statement: "Senator Craig has stepped down from his role with the campaign. He did not want to be a distraction and we accept his decision." Sidney Smith, a Craig aide in Boise, said Monday afternoon that the senator was "in the (Boise) area" but was declining to give interviews. Minneapolis airport police declined to provide a copy of the arrest report after business hours Monday. Roll Call, citing the report, said Sgt. Dave Karsnia made the arrest after an encounter in which he was seated in a stall next to a stall occupied by Craig. Karsnia described Craig tapping his foot, which Karsnia said he "recognized as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct." Roll Call quoted the Aug. 8 police report as saying that Craig had handed the arresting officer a business card that identified him as a member of the Senate. "What do you think about that?" Craig is alleged to have said, according to the report. Last fall, Craig called allegations from a gay-rights activist that he's had homosexual relationships "completely ridiculous." Mike Rogers, who bills himself as a gay activist blogger, published the allegations on his Web site, http://www.blogactive.com, in October 2006. Craig hasn't said if he plans to run for a fourth term in 2008. An announcement was expected this fall. His spokesman, Smith, was uncertain if Craig's guilty plea would affect his re-election plans. "It's too early to talk about anything about that," Smith told The Associated Press. J. Kirk Sullivan, chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, declined to comment on the situation, saying he was unaware of the nature of the charges against Craig. MLC comment: How much you wanna bet Craig demonized homosexuals to get himself elected in Idaho? As we see it now during the past couple of years the people who scream the loudest against gay Americans are gay themselves. And their the ones who's doing the so called promiscuous activities they accused gay people of doing, either it's Rev. Ted doing meth with a male hooker or Larry Craig looking for sex in a public restroom. This is why I could never understand the Log Cabin Republicans, they belong to a party that uses who they are as a human being as a political weapon.

Dingell, Stupak look into FDA's plan to outsource 322 jobs

Michigan Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak sent a letter Friday to the FDA, requesting all documents connected with the agency's plan to consider contracting 322 jobs to private companies. In a statement, the congressmen called the plan "hasty and injudicious" and said the FDA should wait for the recommendations of an Import Safety Working Group formed last month by the White House. The group is tasked with improving the safety of U.S. imports after a string of tainted products, including toothpaste, seafood and pet food, entered the U.S. from China. "It is truly incomprehensible why the agency would again consider reducing the expertise and institutional knowledge of the FDA at a time when FDA's credibility with the American people is at an all-time low," said the statement from Dingell and Stupak. The FDA earlier this month suspended a plan to shut down seven of 13 field laboratories nationwide after the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents FDA employees, waged a campaign criticizing the shutdowns. Last week NTEU said agency officials provided the union with a list of jobs it would consider outsourcing that included lab technicians who work at FDA facilities where food and medical products are inspected for safety. However, FDA said a revised list includes only administrative jobs that aren't directly involved in safety inspections. Dingell is chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Stupak chairs its Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. In the past year, the congressmen have become some of FDA's harshest critics in Congress, launching investigations into the handling of everything from drug approvals to food inspections and government whistle-blowers. The FDA declined comment on the letter from the congressmen.

Probes won't end cuz Gonzo ran..

Gonzales departure won't end probes By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent 52 minutes ago Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation Monday after months of draining controversy drew expressions of relief from Republicans and a vow from Democrats to pursue their investigation into fired federal prosecutors. President Bush, Gonzales' most dogged defender, told reporters he had accepted the resignation reluctantly. "His good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons," Bush said. The president named Paul Clement, the solicitor general, as a temporary replacement. With less than 18 months remaining in office, there was no indication when Bush would name a successor — or how quickly or easily the Senate might confirm one. Apart from the president, there were few Republican expressions of regret following the departure of the nation's first Hispanic attorney general, a man once hailed as the embodiment of the American Dream. "Our country needs a credible, effective attorney general who can work with Congress on critical issues," said Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire, who last March was the first GOP lawmaker to call on Gonzales to step down. "Alberto Gonzales' resignation will finally allow a new attorney general to take on this task." Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, added, "Even after all the scrutiny, it doesn't appear that Attorney General Gonzales committed any crimes, but he did make management missteps and didn't handle the spotlight well when they were exposed." Democrats were less charitable. Under Gonzales and Bush, "the Department of Justice suffered a severe crisis of leadership that allowed our justice system to be corrupted by political influence," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who has presided over the investigation into the firings of eight prosecutors whom Democrats say were axed for political reasons. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the investigation would not end with Gonzales' leaving. "Congress must get to the bottom of this mess and follow the facts where they lead, into the White House," said the Nevada Democrat. Gonzales also has struggled in recent months to explain his involvement in a 2004 meeting at the hospital bedside of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, who had refused to certify the legality of Bush's no-warrant wiretapping program. Ashcroft was in intensive care at the time. More broadly, the attorney general's personal credibility has been a casualty of the multiple controversies. So much so that Sen. Arlen Specter, senior GOP member of the Judiciary Committee, told him at a hearing on the prosecutors that his testimony was "significantly if not totally at variance with the facts." The speculation about a successor began immediately, and included Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; Asa Hutchinson, former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration; former solicitor general Ted Olson; and Larry Thompson, who was the second-ranking official at the Justice Department in Bush's first term. Gonzales made a brief appearance before reporters at the Justice Department to announce his resignation. "Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days," said the son of migrants. Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee as recently as July 24 that he had decided to stay in his post despite numerous calls for his resignation. Several officials said the attorney general called Bush at his ranch last Friday to offer his resignation. Bush did not attempt to dissuade him but accepted with reluctance, they said. The president then invited Gonzales and his wife to Sunday lunch. Gonzales was one of the longest-serving members of a group of Texans who came to Washington with Bush more than six years ago at the dawn of a new administration. Karl Rove, the president's chief political strategist, announced his resignation last week. Presidential counselor Dan Bartlett and Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel who was forced to withdraw her nomination for the Supreme Court, left earlier in the year. Gonzales, too, was once considered for the high court, but conservatives never warmed to the idea and he was passed over. His appointment as attorney general more than two years ago marked the latest in a series of increasingly high-profile positions that Bush entrusted him with. A Harvard-educated lawyer, Gonzales signed on with Bush in the mid 1990s. He served as general counsel and secretary of state when his patron was governor of Texas, then won an appointment to the state Supreme Court. As counsel, Gonzales helped get Bush excused from jury duty in 1996, which kept him from having to disclose a drunken driving arrest in Maine in 1976. The episode became public in the final days of the 2000 presidential campaign. Gonzales was White House counsel during the president's first term, then replaced Ashcroft as attorney general soon after the beginning of the second. Both jobs gave him key responsibilities in the administration's global war on terror that followed the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In a legal memo in 2002, he contended that Bush had the right to waive anti-torture laws and international treaties that protected prisoners of war. The memo said some of the prisoner-of-war protections contained in the Geneva Conventions were "quaint" and that in any event, the treaty did not apply to enemy combatants in the war on terror. Human rights groups later contended his memo led directly to the abuses exposed in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq. Of greater political concern was the Democratic majority that took office in Congress earlier this year. Leahy soon began investigating the firing of federal prosecutors. Testifying on April 19 before the Judiciary Committee, Gonzales answered "I don't know" and "I can't recall" scores of times when asked about events surrounding the firings. His support among Republicans in Congress, already weak, eroded markedly, then suffered further with word of the bedside meeting in the intensive care unit of George Washington University Hospital three years earlier. Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified that Ashcroft had refused to reauthorize the wiretapping program. Appearing before the Judiciary Committee, he described a confrontation in which Gonzales — White House counsel at the time — and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card had appealed to Ashcroft to overrule his deputy. The ill Ashcroft refused, saying he had transferred power to Comey. Comey described the events as "an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general." Gonzales subsequently denied that the dispute was about the terrorist surveillance program, but his credibility was undercut when FBI Director Robert S. Mueller contradicted him. Several Democrats called for a perjury investigation, but no further action has been taken.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chertoff to replace Gonzo

Maybe Trading Up Soon at Justice August 24, 2007 06:02 PM ET Bedard, Paul Permanent Link The buzz among top Bushies is that beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally plans to depart and will be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Why Chertoff? Officials say he's got fans on Capitol Hill, is untouched by the Justice prosecutor scandal, and has more experience than Gonzales did, having served as a federal judge and assistant attorney general.

What ever happen to Dennis Miller?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Can someone tell me what happened to Dennis Miller? You know, the snarky comedian who used to crack us up on SNL and who later had his own weekly show on HBO that in many ways cleared the way for Bill Maher's show. Like Maher, Miller would lampoon politicians with a definite leftist tilt, always ringing true in his exposure of hypocrisy and basically anything stupid.But what the hell happened? It's as if he was hit by lightning and turned into what he spent years targeting in his humor. I seem to recall reading somewhere that he claimed 9-11 changed everything, transforming him into at first the host of a barely watched CNBC program and more recently into a somewhat-hip, right-wing radio talker.Have you checked out his radio gig? I sampled a bit this weekend and wow, to say he has switched sides is putting it lightly. To start, you have to check out his web site, The Dennis Miller Zone. Sound familiar? Yeah, as in The No Spin Zone. Also like Bill O'Reilly's web site, Miller has an online store where you can spend your hard-earned money on DMZ baseball caps and bumper stickers. Then go to iTunes to download his latest radio podcast, and there you'll notice that those who subscribe to Miller's podcast also subscribe to the right-wing shows of Michael Medved, Michael Savage, and yes, Bill O'Reilly. I kid you not.On his August 17th program, Miller was plugging an appearance that supports our troops, which while of course it's for a good cause, it smacked so much of Sean Hannity's "Freedom" concerts I again just couldn't believe what this guy has morphed into. Some of the wisdom spouting from his lips? Regarding global warming, Miller has become a huge skeptic, stating that for us to believe we mere humans could do anything to harm this planet's atmosphere is frankly "narcissistic" in his view. Further, he asserts, "we play a small, small part... if you really go and look at the composition of the atmosphere, see how much man-made.... it's under less than 1/2 of 1 percent is man-made CO2 emissions added to the atmosphere...." Say what? Our atmosphere is comprised of less than 0.5% of man-made CO2? OK Dennis, whatever you say. You're not a scientist and you implore your audience to go and look up the figures, admitting you don't have a clue, but we'll take your acumen to the bank. Boy, I feel better.He pokes fun at Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid when a caller brings up the low approval rating of Congress. Opting not to link the low rating with the fact that Reid/Pelosi have not gone far enough in fighting Bush and taking back our country, Miller instead wishes to focus on their lack of spine to de-fund the war and we have to fight the terrorists over there and now. Straight out of the neocon playbook.Oh, he also goes on to joke about testing a nuclear bomb in the mountains of Pakistan, that because we can't get the nightly weather report right we should therefore have little faith in any of the science backing global warming, that a prisoner should pay property tax on his cell -- need more? Look, his entire delivery is as if it's the show Jack Nicholson's McMurphy (from Cuckoo's Nest) would have had post-electro-shock, just before Chief Bromden snuffed him out. It's really sad. One can argue whether Miller truly had an epiphany post-9/11 or did he suddenly realize what a great thing the Limbaughs and O'Reillys of the world had going, making a ton of dough tossing off nutty opinions and frequent distortions and lies to a zombie-like audience. I won't venture a guess, you decide. MCL comment:Ah the great Dennis Miller debate change of mind or just plain right wing media whore, I have to admit Dennis lame excuse that 9.11 changed his view about Bush were legitimate at first but as time went by and Bush showing why he will end up with the title worst president ever should have ended whatever glowing review of the smirking chimp Dennis has, Dennis thought as long Bush was popular he's got a ticket to appear on any right wing talk cable shows, any right wing talk radio shows and probably get another chance to host another show of his own. The real root of Dennis so called changed of heart has to be trace back to the post 9.11 exploitation those few months after 9.11 where the benefits of being a xenophobic, fake patriotic, let's bomb all those rag head back to the stone age tool had while being a critic of Bush landed you with a label of siding with Bin Laden or being anti American. Dennis saw this and wanted the piece of the action so out of right field here comes the new right wing Dennis Miller pandering to people he used to make fun of. Dennis isn't a Bush supporter or a conservative because 9.11 happen, Dennis Miller wanted a paycheck and some greatly needed pub to revive his career and spouting the nonsense right wingers like to hear was his ticket. The sad thing about Dennis Miller second fall is that outside that 27% of the mentally unstable that support Bush Dennis has no audience, so Dennis has two choices either he slither back to the progressive side and say I didn't know what I was thinking or further slide into right wing obscurity so he chose to slide into the right wing obscurity. Which I respect him for that, because if I dedicated six years of my life cheerleading for the worst president in America's history I rather finished off my fading career being a right wing mouth piece than come back to the side I used to be on but demonized for the last six years with my tail between my legs.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fixed News calls off Dem debate

Fox-backed Democratic presidential debate called off 08/23/2007 @ 3:27 pmFiled by Nick Juliano Fox News has canceled a debate of Democratic presidential candidates next month after several candidates dropped out because they said the cable news network would not provide a fair forum, the Associated Press reports. Organizers hope to reschedule the debate. The top three Democrats seeking the nomination -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards -- already indicated they would not participate in the debate, which is being cosponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. A statement from the CBC cites scheduling conflicts and does not mention complaints that had been raised about Fox News serving as host. “The overwhelming number of party presidential debates has created a scheduling challenge. Revising the CBC Institute’s debate schedule will allow the time necessary to complete all debate logistics in an effective manner,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the caucus. Fox News President Roger Ailes said in a prepared statement that his network still planned to host the debate. “We look forward to working with the CBC Institute and continuing a successful relationship that affords presidential candidates the ability to reach the largest possible audience in cable news,” he said. The candidates said they did not believe Fox would provide a fair forum, and the Democratic National Committee refused to officially sanction the debate. And, earlier this year, the Nevada Democratic Party called off a Fox-sponsored debate after complaints from activists.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Liberal" media misses Mitt's YouTube moment

The media misses Mitt Romney's YouTube moment Summary: If Mitt Romney manages to capture the Republican Party's presidential nomination next year, he and his staffers might just look back to the second week in August as the crucial turning point in the campaign. And no, I'm not referring to his manufactured victory in the Iowa straw poll in Ames. I'm talking about the colossal campaign blunder Romney uncorked on the stump just days before the poll, and how, thanks to a lapdog press corps, the candidate was able to dodge what could have been a painful, self-inflicted wound. The episode highlights the clear double standard political pundits and reporters use when judging Democratic and Republican presidential candidates by their embarrassing, unscripted moments out on the stump. For Democrats, foul-ups are often portrayed as revealing moments of character. Yet when a Republican candidate like Romney lets loose with what even one conservative blogger called "the dumbest answer ever by a presidential candidate," the press turns away. Romney's gaffe occurred on August 8, while at an "Ask Mitt Anything" Town Hall meeting in Bettendorf, Iowa. That's where Rachel Griffiths got up and asked Romney if any of his five sons were serving in the military, and if not, how did they plan to support the war against terrorism? "The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that's the way we're going to keep it," Romney told the crowd, adding, "[O]ne of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I'd be a great president." You don't have to be a paid political observer to instantly recognize that Romney really stepped in it by equating his sons volunteering to help get their millionaire dad elected president with other people's sons volunteering to serve in Iraq. I mean, does elitism on the campaign trail come any more unvarnished than that? The remark, posted on YouTube, was especially offensive considering Romney campaigns as a gung-ho supporter of the Iraq war and has been urging support for President Bush's war policy. The "good news," according to Romney, was that his kids don't have to fight if they don't want to. And remember, this occurred during the dog days of summer when campaign reporters are usually desperate for fresh news material. But not desperate enough, apparently, to simply report the fact that when asked about making sacrifices to fight the war against terrorism and volunteering to serve in Iraq, one high-profile GOP hopeful announced that his Army-age sons were showing their patriotism by trying to get their dad elected president. Rachel Griffiths, who asked Romney the question, quickly posted her account at Daily Kos, one of the most widely read political websites in the world. The influential liberal site Eschaton immediately crowned Romney its "Wanker of the Day." Over at The Huffington Post, the widely read progressive news and opinion hub, the AP's article on Romney and his sons was highlighted as the top story all day long. And Jon Stewart's The Daily Show mocked Romney, as did NBC's Jay Leno. What's even more telling is that as word of Romney's gaffe ricocheted around the web, even conservative bloggers agreed the candidate's answer was just plain dumb, creating rare bipartisan ridicule: Allahpundit: "Oof. Either this came out wrong or he was caught surprisingly flat-footed by the question; as stated, it sounds awful." Outside the Beltway's James Joyner: "Mitt Romney has given what may be the dumbest answer ever by a presidential candidate. ... Now, I fully agree with Romney that we have an all-volunteer force and that his sons have every right to decide Army life isn't for them. But, sheesh, let's not pretend campaigning for dad's political ambitions is somehow equivalent to going to war." NRO's Jim Geraghty: "While participating in our democratic elections process by volunteering for a campaign is often a good thing, I don't think it ought to be compared to military service... Seems like comparing apples and oranges, to me." The Romney story garnered lots of online buzz, which meant every journalist covering the campaign knew about Romney's clumsy/offensive comments. The mainstream press, however, remained completely uninterested. In the 24 hours following his miscue, I found, using TVEyes.com, 71 mentions of Romney on network and cable television, as well as National Public Radio. Of those 71 mentions, less than six dealt with his comment about his kids helping to get him elected. In fact, three days after it occurred, I still could not find any proof in CNN's transcripts that the news outlet ever reported Romney's outrageous comment. I repeat: CNN never reported the story. The morning after Romney's blunder, The Boston Globe, Newsday, the Chicago Tribune, and the Orlando Sentinel ran brief, 100-200-word items about it. USA Today included just a couple of sentences about the gaffe at the bottom of a longer Romney campaign report. Incredibly, those were the only major American newspapers in the country to touch on the story in real time. I have a hard time imagining the same deafening silence would have met Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) or John Edwards if they had made such dismissive and condescending remarks as suggesting their children served their country not by serving in the military, but by working the rope line on their parents' campaigns. Keep in mind that Romney was crisscrossing Iowa for the entire week, which meant reporters had opportunities to ask the candidate follow-up questions about his controversial remarks prior to the Iowa straw poll. From what I can determine, no journalist did that for days. The issue, though, clearly struck a nerve with voters who, three times in three days, pressed Romney about his sons not serving in the military. Still, journalists descending into Iowa last week by the plane-load to cover the straw vote couldn't have cared less. And it wasn't just the Old Media's print and broadcast outlets that passed on the Romney story. The swarm of online websites affiliated with, or backed by, traditional media companies also ignored the Iowa whopper; sites that are dedicated to vacuuming up every conceivable campaign development. Yet in the very specific time frame of the 24 hours following Romney's comments about his sons, most of those sites were mum about the gaffe. During that 24-hour window, MSNBC's First Read posted more than one dozen campaign news updates. None of them concerned the Romney slip-up. (First Read thought the utterly irrelevant online video debut of the Romney Girls clip was newsworthy, yet Romney comparing his sons' volunteer campaign service with serving in Iraq was not.) On Aug. 9, ABC's First Look, the early morning precursor to its daily tip sheet The Note, linked to 35 must-read articles for campaign junkies that day. None of them were about the Romney story. Hours later, when The Note was posted, it reported that the Romney campaign had succeeded "in (partially) redirecting the storyline away from his thud of a joke equating military service with his sons' decision to campaign for him." [Emphasis added.] A joke? Again, here's a clip of Romney's answer. I'm hard-pressed to label it "a joke." But by characterizing the statement as such, The Note certainly helped soften the blow for the Romney camp. Meanwhile, Washingtonpost.com's The Fix posted five items in the 24 hours following Romney's comments -- none were about the candidate's misstep. Also, Washingtonpost.com's The Trail, dubbed the "daily dairy of campaign 2008," posted 15 updates during that time frame: Zero dealt with Romney's comments. Also, CBSNews.com's Pure Horserace made no mention of the Romney controversy. Time magazine's political blog, Swampland, never referred to Romney's misstep. Newsweek.com posted nothing about Romney's misstep. The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan, who blogs exclusively about the Republican candidates, failed to report the Romney blunder. RealClearPolitics.com posted 10 entries, including approximately 40 links, about every key development of the campaign. Just one link mentioned Romney's slip-up, though.* Mike Allen's daily nuts-and-bolts campaign round-up, Politico Playbook, neglected, on Aug. 9, to mention Romney's gaffe. Allen's Politico colleague, blogger Jonathan Martin got it right, though, posting almost immediately on August 8 that for Romney to draw a comparison between Iraq and Iowa was politically "dangerous." Martin wondered "[w]hether the comments have political legs" and suggested that would be determined by whether or not Romney's Republican rivals decide to make his blunder an issue, especially McCain, whose sons are currently serving in the military. Two points there: When 'news' broke about John Edwards' expensive haircuts, journalists did not wait for Edwards' political rivals to elevate the issue; they did that on their own. And they had to because none of Edwards' Democratic opponents has ever suggested his haircuts were important. Journalists loved the haircut angle because they claimed it revealed a hidden truth about the candidate, so they wrote about it incessantly. The same journalists could have made the same determination about the Romney story. (i.e. another pro-war Republican with no military connection or tradition.) Instead, they came to the opposite conclusion and determined the story was meaningless. They chose to ignore it. Second, as for McCain's response to the Romney quote, NBC's Matt Lauer had a chance the following morning on the Today show to raise the issue with McCain. And he did. But Lauer completely soft-pedaled the story by asking McCain it if was "fair criticism of Romney that none of his sons serves in the military." D'oh! Romney's comments weren't newsworthy because his sons don't serve in the military. They were newsworthy because Romney compared their volunteer duty driving a Winnebago around Iowa with serving in a war in Iraq. Lauer didn't just bury the lede, he buried the entire story. I must say, MSNBC television producers seemed to be alone in having their news antenna up and working on the Romney story. Live with Dan Abrams quickly tagged Romney as one of the day's Losers, in its Winners and Losers segment, for "pronouncing his sons were supporting the nation by pounding the pavement to help him get elected." The following day MSNBC interviewed Rachel Griffiths on the air and asked her about her question to Romney and the candidate's odd response. And even though it took him almost 36 hours, Chris Matthews, Hardball's host, finally addressed the Romney issue on August 9, saying he was "astounded" by Romney's answer to the question about his sons and the military. Also appearing on the program was Salon.com editor Joan Walsh, who agreed Romney's response was "terrible." She spelled out the possible implications: WALSH: Romney has this problem of looking like an entitled country club white guy, who just strolled off the golf course. And then to say that his sons are serving the country by getting him elected, it just feeds into this caricature almost of this entitled rich guy, who thinks the rest of us are here to serve him and serve his interests. Walsh's analysis was dead-on. But why was she virtually alone in making that point via a mainstream media news outlet? In the end, it took nearly 96 hours for a big time journalist to ask Romney about his odd response to the question about his sons not serving in Iraq. That came on Fox News Sunday, where the candidate promptly apologized ("I misspoke"), stressing that he should not have compared working on a campaign with serving in the military. How convenient for Romney that journalists allowed him to avoid the topic until after the Iowa straw poll votes had been tallied. *Correction: This paragraph previously read: "RealClearPolitics.com posted 10 entries, including 41 links, about every key development of the campaign. There was no mention of Romney's slip-up, though." We regret the error.

As the Rudy myth crumbles: He was at ground zero 7% of the time

Estimate: Giuliani spent 7 percent of time spent by first responders at Ground Zero 08/17/2007 @ 4:05 pmFiled by Nick Juliano Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has faced repeated criticism of his apparent attempts to trade on his reputation that grew out of Sept. 11 to propel his presidential campaign. A new estimate shows Giuliani spent about 7 percent as much time at Ground Zero as did the typical first responder during a three month period after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. On Friday the GOP frontrunner faced more harsh words after the New York Times revealed that Giuliani spent only 29 hours at the smoldering pile of wreckage that was the World Trade Center from mid-September to mid-December 2001. During those same three months, rescue workers were putting in 12-hour shifts digging through the World Trade Center's wreckage. And Michael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association of New York City, told the Times that officers averaged 400 hours each at the site during that time. Talking Points Memo's Election Central unearthed comments from Giuliani in 2006. "I spent as much time here as anyone ... I was here five, six times a day for four months," Giuliani said last September. "I thought of it as living here." The Times' tally was compiled from records of Giuliani's schedules form Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001 and does not take into account the first six days following the attack, during which Giuliani paid repeated visits to the site. If Giuliani had paid Ground Zero five or six daily visits for the timeframe covered by the Times, a rough estimate shows each visit would've lasted less than four minutes, on average. However the Times reports Giuliani made 41 appearances at Ground Zero, mostly to give tours to other officials and foreign dignitaries. In his 2002 book, Leadership, Giuliani recounts visiting Ground Zero on Jan. 1, 2002, just after his successor, Michael Bloomberg, was sworn in. "I wanted it to be the last place I visited before I left," Giuliani wrote. "I had been there hundreds of times in the three and a half months since the attacks." Giuliani was criticized earlier this month when he claimed he was "at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers." First responders said the remark was insensitive and untrue. Although Giuliani said a few days later that he misspoke, he still claimed to face health risks because of his exposure to toxic material at Ground Zero.

John Edwards calls Coulter "she-devil"

Edwards calls Ann Coulter 'she-devil' 08/18/2007 @ 10:49 amFiled by RAW STORY "Former Sen. John Edwards on Friday fired the latest round in his ongoing verbal feud with Ann Coulter, calling her a 'she-devil' at a public event before quickly adding that he shouldn't engage in name-calling," according to a blog post at ABC News. Excerpts: Edwards, D-N.C., was railing against the right-wing media -- including Fox News and Rush Limbaugh -- when he reminded a crowd in Burlington, Iowa, that his wife stood up to Coulter in a public spat earlier this summer. "We know these people. We know their game plan. They're going to attack us personally," Edwards said. "They attacked Elizabeth personally, because she stood up to that she-devil Ann Coulter. … I should not have name-called. But the truth is -- forget the names -- people like Ann Coulter, they engage in hateful language." In front of a Republican-leaning crowd on Chris Matthew's "Hardball" earlier this year, Coulter received an unexpected phone call from Elizabeth Edwards, asking the "journalist" to raise the level of public discourse in America above personal attacks. "In the South, when somebody does something that displeases us, we like to ask them politely to stop doing it," said Edwards. "I'd like to ask Ann Coulter too. If she'd like to debate on issues, on positions -- we certainly disagree with nearly everything she said on your show today -- but it's quite another matter for these personal attacks." The call came on the heels of a "Good Morning America" appearance where Coulter was asked about her homophobic cutdown of the former North Carolina Senator a few months ago. "So I've learned my lesson. If I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future," she replied. "I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot." Raw Story Video: Elizabeth Edwards on why she called Ann Coulter. Read the full blog post here. MCL comment: I have worst things to call Ann Coulter, but Edwards hit it on the head all this "woman" has done in her career is slime, attack and advocated death against people she doesn't like. Ann Coulter has no value other than spewing hate that fire up that blood thristy, brain dead right wing zombies that make up the new Republican base. She can't debate anyone without screaming "why are you attacking me?" Her books, Ann Coulter needs right wing groups to buy her books in bulk so she can show up on the "New York Times" list a paper the conservatives hate but love to be listed on their best seller list. Recap Ann Coulter is hateful, no talent, only debate Alan Colmes on Rigged News, media whore that need people of the same ilk to buy her books in bulk to get ahead in life. Maybe when 2008 comes and goes and the Democrats take the White House and make additional gains in both houses Coulter, Hannity, Limbaug and their clones go the way of the dinosaurs.

GOP use tax dollars to boost campaigns

WASHINGTON — Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy. Political appointees in the Treasury Department received at least 10 political briefings from July 2001 to August 2006, officials familiar with the meetings said. Their counterparts at the Commerce Department received at least four briefings — all in the election years of 2002, 2004 and 2006. The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether the White House's political briefings to at least 15 agencies, including to the Justice Department, the General Services Administration and the State Department, violated a ban on the use of government resources for campaign activities. Under the Hatch Act, Cabinet members are permitted to attend political briefings and appear with members of Congress. But Cabinet members and other political appointees aren't permitted to spend taxpayer money with the aim of benefiting candidates. During the briefings at Treasury and Commerce, then-Bush administration political director Ken Mehlman and other White House aides detailed competitive congressional districts, battleground election states and key media markets and outlined GOP strategy for getting out the vote. Commerce and Treasury political appointees later made numerous public appearances and grant announcements that often correlated with GOP interests, according to a review of the events by McClatchy Newspapers. The pattern raises the possibility that the events were arranged with the White House's political guidance in mind. The briefings are part of the legacy of White House political adviser Karl Rove, who announced this week that he's stepping down at the end of the month to spend more time with his family. Despite Rove's departure, investigations into the briefings are expected to continue. One congressional aide, who asked to remain anonymous, said the investigation was revealing "a number of remarkable coincidences" similar to how Treasury and Commerce events appeared to coincide with the strategy in the political briefings. However, it remains to be seen whether the subsequent department actions were intentional, said the aide, who asked not to be named because the investigation is ongoing. As part of the probe, committee investigators found that White House drug czar John Walters took 20 trips at taxpayers' expense in 2006 to appear with Republican congressional candidates. In a separate investigation, the independent Office of Special Counsel concluded that GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan violated the Hatch Act, which limits the political activities of government employees. Witnesses told investigators that Doan asked at the end of one political briefing in January 2007 what her agency could do to help GOP candidates. Doan has said she doesn't recall that remark. Violations of the Hatch Act are treated as administrative, not criminal, matters, and punishment for violations ranges from suspension to termination. The administration has not taken any action against Doan. Even so, the Hatch Act "is an important statute and it needs to be enforced," said James Mitchell, spokesman for the Office of Special Counsel. "One of the effects we hope our investigations will have is to deter violations during the upcoming election cycle." In the months leading up to the 2002 election, then-Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Bush's former campaign finance chairman, made eight appearances or announcements with Republican incumbents in districts deemed by White House aides either as competitive districts or battleground presidential states. During the stops, he doled out millions of dollars in grants, including in two public announcements with Rep. Heather Wilson, a New Mexico Republican in a competitive district. Republicans ultimately regained control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House of Representatives in the 2002 elections. In 2004, Evans and his aides significantly scaled back appearances with candidates, but an assistant treasury secretary returned to New Mexico to announce with Republicans Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Steve Pierce the release of $2.5 million in economic development funds. Evans, who now heads the Financial Services Forum, a trade association for financiers, declined comment, a Forum spokesman said. In 2006, Evans' successor, Carlos Gutierrez, and his aides also made public announcements with several Republican congressional incumbents, including in the battleground states of Missouri, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Weeks before the 2006 election, Gutierrez and Congresswoman Wilson announced $3.45 million in grants for Albuquerque organizations. Also in the weeks before the election, a deputy secretary and Republican Sen. Rick Santorum announced that the department would be investing $2.25 million in Philadelphia. The same year, then-Treasury Secretary John Snow and Santorum announced an award of millions in tax credits to Pennsylvania organizations. Santorum later lost his seat. Snow and his aides also made appearances in 2006 with Republican incumbents or doled out grants in Virginia, Iowa and Ohio, states seen as crucial to the GOP retaining control of Congress. Bush's first treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, stuck mainly to giving speeches praising President Bush's economic policies rather than appearing with candidates. O'Neill was unceremoniously dumped after disagreeing repeatedly with the White House. Current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. was sworn in shortly before the 2006 elections. He and his aides have made few grant announcements. Administration officials denied that any Treasury and Commerce events were orchestrated to help the Republican Party win elections. The officials said White House aides who briefed the departments were careful not to encourage the appointees to act on behalf of the Republican Party on government time. Commerce Department spokesman Dan Nelson described the meetings as merely "informational." "They were not a call to action," he said. Nelson said grants are awarded after a competitive process and aren't selected based on political considerations. Ted Kassinger, the Commerce Department's former general counsel and a deputy secretary in the Bush administration, said the department was especially careful about avoiding the appearance of political favoritism during Evans' tenure because of the former secretary's close ties to President Bush. Kassinger, who left in 2005, said the department turned down several requests from political candidates to make appearances because they seemed to be campaign events. "It was certainly a concern of mine that the work in the department be separated from campaign activities," he said. "At the top level there was never a discussion of 'What can you do to help these guys?'" One former political appointee who attended a briefing said for all the hoopla over the briefings, he wasn't impressed with them at the time. "It wasn't rocket science," said the appointee, who asked to remain anonymous because he didn't want to be publicly linked to the controversy. "It's like, 'Yeah, no kidding. We know.' But John D. "Jerry" Hawke, who served as Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance in the Clinton administration, said the campaign-style briefings for Treasury appointees were unusual. "Nothing remotely like that happened," during the Clinton administration, Hawke said. "I never experienced anything like that. The notion that the White House would be holding meetings with Treasury appointees just didn't fit."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Conyers isn't done with Rove

Conyers still wants word with Rove August 13, 2007 By TODD SPANGLER FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF With news that President George W. Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, is leaving came word today from John Conyers, the Detroit congressman who chairs the House Judiciary Committee: Not so fast. AdvertisementConyers, a Democrat, has been trying unsuccessfully to get Rove and others to discuss what, if any, White House involvement there was in the forced resignations of at least eight federal prosecutors, saying they may have damaged the independence of the nation’s U.S. attorneys. Today, Conyers said: “The need for Karl Rove to explain his role in the firing of the U.S. Attorneys does not diminish when he leaves the White House. Our investigation to date has revealed the White House’s contempt for the rule of law and its interest in the politicization of the Department

The turd flower has been flushed link round up

Media Matters - Media ignore Rove's leak, White House falsehoods, Bush's promise to fire leaker Media Matters - Media repeated Rove's assessment of 2008 election without noting he was wrong in 2006 The Raw Story Edwards on Rove: 'Goodbye, good riddance' MCL comment Alright by now everyone knows that Karl Rove has resigned as the dude that tells Bush what to do.. The media has painted this guy as a political genius or the dude behind Bush "glorious" rise to political power. Karl Rove is not a genius, in fact the man main three weapons are hate, fear and lies look back when the shrub ran against Ann Richards who started the whispered campaign about Richards being a lesbian because she had two gay staffers? Rove. Who's the guy that bug his own office so he can scream the other side is spying on us? Rove. During the primary season of 2000 who was the guy that had people doing push polls asking if they mind voting for John McCain if they knew he father an black baby out of wedlock? Rove. And if you trace the money of the Swift Boat whores for GOP lies you find it goes back to a Texas businessman that had ties with Bush but you also find that the swift boat whores also have ties with Rove. What this guy has done in his political career is pander to the worst form of human nature and steal elections nothing more nothing less. And for the media act like he done something out of the ordinary is a sad joke. The real sad part of this story is there's probably some pasty white loser college Republican thinking he's going to be the next Karl Rove.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Cons in Hollywood are very quite about their politcs

Filed by Nick Juliano The Weekly Standard tackles the issue of Hollywood's politics in a new article this week and finds that although conservative actors, writers and producers insist they aren't blacklisted from working, they tend to keep their political views private. The piece focuses of Thor Halvorssen, who founded the Moving Picture Institute to give conservative writers and actors an outlet for what they say is much-needed political diversity in Hollywood. "Halvorssen ... (is) building a community in Hollywood that does more than sit around and listen to conservative luminaries pontificate," writes the Weekly Standard's Sonny Bunch. "He is procuring funding for films--mostly documentaries--with an optimistic and freedom-loving outlook, while simultaneously creating a community of artists that will make more such pictures in the years to come. He's also hoping to introduce a little political diversity into a monocultural industry, so that those who toil in the lower echelons of Hollywood aren't afraid to show their true political stripes, be they liberal or libertarian, conservative or Communist." MPI has helped produce a number of films -- mostly documentaries. Halvorssen has most recently helped produce a film on liberal bias on university campuses, Indoctrinate U, which is expected to be released in select theaters in October. "There's a tactical aspect to Indoctrinate U," Halvorssen told Bunch. "There's never been a conservative documentary that's been put into theaters. . . . If Indoctrinate U succeeds . . . in theaters it's the first time it's been done. It'll open the floodgates." The article says Bunch interviewed conservative or libertarian actors, writers, agents and studio executives, few of whom would go on-record about politics in Hollywood. "It's just a complication I don't need. ... Why make my life more difficult?" one libertarian in Hollywood told him. Steve Schub, who described himself as a "radical Objectivist," was the only actor to speak on the record to the Weekly Standard. Schub, who played "Samir" in the latest season of 24, "insists that there is no blacklist against those who don't conform to the left consensus," Bunch writes, "though he says that 'it is just assumed that you are a liberal or that you are a leftist, or on the left on some level." MLC comment: Honestly if you're Patrica Heaton or any other right wing D-list celbs that back the thugs in the White House what can you say to defend this mess? You can't say Iraq isn't that bad, you can't say tax cuts for the 2% of America isn't that bad, and you can't say the rotting of America infrastructure isn't that bad, what happen in Katrina isn't that bad? If you're a conservative celbs what's to crow about? This president has done nothing but made the rich, richer, the poor, poorer and doing his best to get rid of the middle class. George Bush has sold this country out to its highest bidder, China is already threatening to call the US tab, while companies like Haliburton make out like bandits with billion dollar profits as the average American is holding the bag. Now really if you're a right wing celb what's to brag about?

The whitest man on tv Tucker Carlson discuss Obama's "blackness"

Tucker Carlson hosted all-white panel of journalists to discuss "Obama's blackness" On the August 8 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, an all-white group discussed an upcoming forum at a National Association of Black Journalists convention that will address, according to the convention program -- as quoted by The Washington Post -- the question Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "cannot seem to shake -- is he black enough? Is this an unfair question? What is the measure of blackness and who gets to decide?" Host Tucker Carlson asked A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter: "What exactly do people mean when they talk about Obama's quote, "blackness"? ... I'm not even sure what that question means. I know that it makes me uncomfortable and it strikes me as unfair, but what does it mean?" Carlson, who is white, devoted a full segment of his show -- more than six minutes -- to the issue of Obama's racial identity and the effect of stereotypes on his bid for the presidency with Stoddard and Alter, two white journalists. During the discussion, Stoddard said Obama "is biracial, and he's an immigrant, and he went to Harvard, and many black people in America don't see themselves in him." In fact, Obama, whose father was a native of Kenya, was born in Honolulu. Later in the discussion, Carlson asserted that Obama "could just as easily identify as white" and added that "if he made that decision, the left would jump on him." From the August 8 edition of MSNBC's Tucker: CARLSON: It's a question that no other presidential candidate has had to face ever: Is he black enough? That question continues to nag Barack Obama's quest for the Democratic nomination. This week, a meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists will confront the very topic. The conversation comes before Obama addresses that group on Friday. What exactly do people mean when they talk about Obama's quote, "blackness"? Is it a fair question? Is it an understandable reflection of American society, or is it a racist jab by its very existence? Joining us again to discuss it, associate editor of The Hill A.B. Stoddard and Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter. A.B., I'm not even sure what that question means. I know that it makes me uncomfortable and it strikes me as unfair, but what does it mean? STODDARD: I don't know that it's so offensive so much as it is unanswerable. I mean, it's -- Obama's blackness is an intangible. If he wins the nomination and wins the presidency, we will never know if he was black enough to be the first black president. It's just one of those things that -- you look at [New Mexico Gov.] Bill Richardson [D]. He's not necessarily the dream candidate of the Latino community. [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY] is not the ultimate female candidate. [Former Sen.] John Edwards [D-NC], not the ultimate Southern candidate. Barack Obama is black when [Sen.] Joe Biden [D-DE] calls him clean-cut and articulate. He's black when he throws out those lines about hailing cabs in Manhattan. At the same time, he is biracial, and he's an immigrant, and he went to Harvard, and many black people in America don't see themselves in him. It's just to me -- it's not that it can't be asked, but I don't think it can be answered. CARLSON: Yeah, I think that's a fair point. I mean, I actually think it's an academic question, Jon. I think it's a fair question. I mean, there's -- no question is really an unfair question academically, but there's an implication behind it that I guess bothers me, that he isn't -- that there's something about the culture of achievement that he's been immersed in since he was young that is somehow not authentically black. And I think that implication is really corrosive. ALTER: I agree with that. I don't like the question. It makes me uncomfortable, and I think it doesn't really contribute to the debate. CARLSON: But wait, hold on. Have you noticed that he take takes more grief from black people than from anyone else? ALTER: Well, actually that's -- CARLSON: The New York Times account of his years in the legislature, it wasn't Klansmen who were going after him, it was black legislators who were asking this exact question of him in an insulting way. ALTER: But wait a minute. Wait a minute. It's very interesting what happened here in Illinois, where I am today. Initially, a lot of African-Americans in Chicago asked that question about him. He lost a race for the House in part because he wasn't seen as black enough in that congressional district. He lost to [Rep.] Bobby Rush [D-IL]. But then over time, he has amassed more and more African-American support, where now, it's got to be up in the 90s in Chicago among those who know him. In other words, there's really nobody among people who have gotten to know him well enough who asks that question about him anymore here. Maybe there are a few people, but it's not really a pertinent question. It's mostly columnists and commentators in the rest of the country who are asking it, and some black folks who don't know him very well who are asking it. But I think the question is going to recede in importance as time goes on. And if he does go ahead and wins the nomination, which is still a distinct possibility, then the question will be, for a lot of people, an even more uncomfortable one and with much deeper roots in American history, which is, "Is he too black to be president?" And certain, you know, whites who could never in the past have imagined themselves voting for an African-American will be wrestling with that question in a general election. CARLSON: Yeah, and I bet -- my instinct is a lot -- he will get a lot of white votes if he is, in fact, the nominee. A.B. this raises the, I think, broader question of, you know, what does it mean to be a black American? I mean, there are thousands upon thousands of black immigrants from Africa to this country every year. They are black, but they share almost nothing in common with any American's culture, right? So I think the definition is changing in ways that we don't acknowledge. It's not 1967 anymore, it's 19 -- it's two-thou-- whatever. It's 40 years later. STODDARD: Right. STODDARD: Shouldn't we acknowledge that? STODDARD: Yeah, and I just don't think that burden should fall on Barack Obama. CARLSON: No! STODDARD: That he's not African-American, but he's African, but he's American but, but, but. I mean, he's married to a black woman, he goes to a black church. And, as Jonathan said, there will come a time, if he's the nominee, about whether or not he's too black to be elected president. [Revs.] Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson didn't get all the black votes when they ran. The Democratic contenders who were white who beat them did. Clearly, getting all the black votes -- which Obama, by the way, is gaining in that voting bloc on Hillary Clinton, and they're, I think, kind of neck to neck now. But, you know, does that mean that he's going to be the black candidate? It's such a strange question, too, when you look at his candidacy, people say, "Do black people just want to vote for him because that will help them later, or do black people want to vote for him because they see themselves in him?" I mean, it's diff-- you know, those are two separate questions. CARLSON: Right. It is -- STODDARD: And then when you get to, "Is he African or African-American or just American?" I mean, it's just ridiculous, really. CARLSON: Well, it is ridiculous, and it would be -- Jonathan, we're almost out of time, but very quickly. Here's a guy whose mother was white, was raised by white people, went to predominantly white schools his whole life. He could just as easily identify as white, and if he did, people would flip out. They would not allow him to identify that way, which tells you something pretty upsetting about American society, in my view. ALTER: Well, I think, as David Axelrod [Obama's senior media strategist] said, that's really about how society viewed him. He didn't have a lot of choice in that, as he wrote in his book. CARLSON: Well, he should be allowed to make that decision, but if he made that decision, the left would jump on him. ALTER: Yes, but that's not the society that we live in, Tucker. And his book is really interesting in the way he grapples with all of this. Look, the key voting bloc in these primaries that hasn't gotten enough attention: African-American women, which way will they go? CARLSON: Right. Hillary. ALTER: Will they identify more with Hillary Clinton or with Barack Obama? It's too early to tell. Many are undecided. I talked to a number before the event last night in Chicago, the debate, and many of those African-American women were torn. CARLSON: I bet that they go for Hillary, unfortunately. Coming up, we're just minutes away from the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. We'll bring it to you live when we come back. —A.J.W. MLC comment: this has to prove the right has nothing on the Democrats other than petty topics like is Obama's blackness. I believe most of the right wing pundits already know the next president of the United States will be a Dem, the only question reminds which one of the top three so the right will slime all three.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Romney sons say best way to serve the country is get dad elected not enlisting.

AP) Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended his five sons' decision not to enlist in the military, saying they're showing their support for the country by "helping me get elected." Romney, who did not serve in Vietnam due to his Mormon missionary work and a high draft lottery number, was asked the question by an anti-war activist after a speech in which he called for "a surge of support" for U.S. forces in Iraq. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, also saluted a uniformed soldier in the crowd and called for donations to military support organizations. Last week, he donated $25,000 to seven such organizations. "The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that's the way we're going to keep it," Romney told some 200 people gathered in an abbey near the Mississippi River that had been converted into a hotel. "My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard." He added: "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president." Romney's five sons range in age from 37 to 26 and have worked as real estate developers, sports marketers and advertising executives. They are now actively campaigning for their father and have a "Five Brothers" blog on Romney's campaign Web site. Romney noted that his middle son, 36-year-old Josh, was completing a recreational vehicle tour of all 99 Iowa counties on Wednesday and said, "I respect that and respect all those and the way they serve this great country." The woman who asked the question, Rachel Griffiths, 41, of Milan, Ill., identified herself as a member of Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good, as well as the sister of an Army major who had served in Iraq. "Of course not," Griffiths said when asked if she was satisfied with Romney's answer. "He told me the way his son shows support for our military and our nation is to buy a Winnebago and ride across Iowa and help him get elected." The town-hall-style meeting was the first of eight events scheduled for Romney just three days before the Iowa Straw Poll, a nonbinding beauty contest among the Republican presidential contenders. In the days leading up it, Romney is airing a new television ad in the state in which he encourages supporters to attend the event, portrays himself as an outsider to Washington and takes swipes at both Republicans and Democrats there. "Washington politicians in both parties have proven they can't control spending, and they won't control our borders," Romney says in the ad. "I will, but I need your help to do it." While former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who is considering a campaign are not participating, Romney has been actively organizing with the aim of gaining momentum into January's Iowa caucuses, which kick off the presidential nominating process. MCL take: I guess the eggs doesn't hatch too far from the chickenhawk.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Polluters fix climate info

By GILLIAN WONG (AP) Former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore, waves to the press, Tuesday Aug. 7, 2007 in Singapore during Global Warming Debate - Warming is not a crisis! Gore won't debate. Learn the truth about CO2.www.globalwarmingheartland.o Prepare to be Shocked - Millions have already taken this amazing test. What's your RealAge?www.RealAge.com p {margin:12px 0px 0px 0px;} SINGAPORE (AP) - Research aimed at disputing the scientific consensus on global warming is part of a huge public misinformation campaign funded by some of the world's largest carbon polluters, former Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday. "There has been an organized campaign, financed to the tune of about $10 million a year from some of the largest carbon polluters, to create the impression that there is disagreement in the scientific community," Gore said at a forum in Singapore. "In actuality, there is very little disagreement." Gore likened the campaign to the millions of dollars spent by U.S. tobacco companies years ago on creating the appearance of scientific debate on smoking's harmful effects. "This is one of the strongest of scientific consensus views in the history of science," Gore said. "We live in a world where what used to be called propaganda now has a major role to play in shaping public opinion." (AP) Former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore arrives to deliver his keynote address, Tuesday Aug. 7, 2007,...Full ImageAfter the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of the world's top climate scientists, released a report in February that warned that the cause of global warming is "very likely" man-made, "the deniers offered a bounty of $10,000 for each article disputing the consensus that people could crank out and get published somewhere," Gore said. "They're trying to manipulate opinion and they are taking us for fools," he said. He said Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is one of the major fuel companies involved in attempting to mislead the public about global warming. Last year, British and American science advocacy groups accused ExxonMobil of funding groups that undermine the scientific consensus on climate change. The company said the scientists' reports were just attempts to smear Exxon Mobil's name and confuse the debate. Gore said that with growing awareness of climate change, the world will see an acceleration in efforts to fight the problem, and urged businesses to recognize that reducing carbon emissions is in their long-term interest. But while Washington should lead by example, he said developing nations also have to play a part. "Countries like China, just to give an example, which will next year be the largest emitter in the world, can't be excluded just because it's technically a developing country," Gore said. "When you look at the absolute amount of CO2 each year and going forward, China will soon surpass the U.S." Gore said that as the Asian giant's economy expands, China faces an increased risk from climate change and must leapfrog old, polluting technologies while maintaining growth. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said in June that China overtook the United States in carbon dioxide emissions by about 7.5 percent in 2006. China was 2 percent below the U.S. in greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, the agency said.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

liberal blogs showing their stuff

By DEANNA BELLANDI, Associated Press WriterThu Aug 2, 6:19 PM ET Liberal bloggers can count the ways they are making their presence felt in the presidential race. More than 1,500 bloggers are expected this weekend at the second YearlyKos Convention, which has about 70 sponsors, including unions and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Credentials to cover the event total about 250. The most telling number, however, is seven — as in seven of the eight Democratic candidates were scheduled to address the convention on Saturday, including top-tier candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. Sen. Joe Biden will be in his home state promoting his recently published autobiography. "Love ya, Kos, but you ain't Delaware," he said Wednesday. The response reflects the power of the party's liberal voters who hold sway in the primaries and the emergence of the Internet blogs in daily political discourse. A meeting of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council earlier this week failed to attract any of the White House hopefuls. DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga said there's clear appeal for the candidates to attend the bloggers' convention. "We provide bodies, we provide troops on the ground," he said. "It's a more activist audience." Blogger Rebekah Martin said bloggers have a responsibility that extends beyond their computer keyboards. "You've got to push back from the keyboard, get out and do something for your candidate," said Martin, a software analyst from Austin, Texas. Harvard University's Elaine Kamarck said the candidates are drawn to the bloggers because getting high marks on the Web can translate to donations and support without a campaign ever spending money. "What they're doing is creating buzz and harvesting opinions and that turns into dollars," said Kamarck, a public policy lecturer at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government who once worked in the Clinton administration. The bloggers' reach is obvious to the candidates. "You're talking about hundreds of thousands if not millions dedicated progressive activists, people who want to make a difference and change this country for the better," said Peter Daou, Internet director for the Clinton campaign. Blogs like DailyKos also get attention in the mainstream press, which helps to elevate the importance of bloggers, said Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication. Recently, DailyKos has been part of a campaign by liberal activists to pressure advertisers to abandon the Fox News Channel. Among the grievances is Fox's Bill O'Reilly, who has been critical of left-wing bloggers. "This blog tends to make noise," said blogger Bob Carden of Phoenix, who posts to DailyKos. For New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson it's a priority to court bloggers by meeting with them on the campaign trail because they can spread the campaign's message around the country, said his spokeswoman Katie Roberts. "It's a very integral part of the campaign," she said. MCL comment: This is the area the progressive movement has caused the most damage to the right wing movement. The right has a advantage on the radio to the tune of 90% of the talk radio being conservative while liberals have only 10% of the market. Outside "Countdown" with Keith Olbermann cable news slants to the right and depending on what city you leave in either one or both newspapers slants to the right. But when it comes to the blog world lefties rule the day, almost every blog contains information, insight and ways to contact progressive together. When you look at the conservative blogs they're simply are a joke and in my point of view unnecessary what can a conservative blogger say to another conservative when that conservative has talk radio, cable news, editoral board of the major newspaper?