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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't let Knollenberg buy his seat

Knollenberg has more cash than Peters Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg has a huge money lead over his Democratic opponent Gary Peters, a former state Lottery Commissioner, going into the final weeks of one of the most watched congressional races in Michigan. Based on reports filed Wednesday, Knollenberg of Bloomfield Township had $1.9 million on hand to Bloomfield Hills resident Peters' $472,108. The reports also showed that for the election cycle, Knollenberg has raised $3.1 million to Peters' $1.9 million. The 9th Congressional District covers a large portion of Oakland County. In Michigan's other hotly contested congressional race, Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, has come up short in money raised against challenger state Sen. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek. Schauer has raised $1.8 million and has $856,158 cash available, while Walberg raised $1.5 million with $691,635 left. By Kathleen Gray

Auditor to get Kilpatrick's office credit card records

Auditor to get Kilpatrick's office credit card recordsBY ZACHARY GORCHOWFREE PRESS STAFF WRITER Credit card records requested as part of an audit of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's administration were deliberately withheld from auditors while Kilpatrick was still in office, the city's new chief financial officer said Wednesday. Joseph Harris, named chief financial officer by Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., said the Finance Department has the records sought by auditors and will make them available. "I was told by my staff for political reasons, they were told not to respond," he said. The Detroit City Council ordered an audit of spending in the Mayor's Office after the text message scandal broke earlier this year, but just before Kilpatrick resigned on Sept. 18, the Office of the Auditor General reported it could not complete the audit because it had not received all the information requested. Kilpatrick's staff has insisted it cooperated with the auditor general and made its staff available, but said auditors kept coming back with excessive follow-up requests. Norm White, who was chief financial officer this year until Cockrel took office and reassigned him to be director of the Detroit Department of Transportation, could not immediately be reached Wednesday. One of the areas in question was credit card records, according to an Oct. 6 letter from Auditor General Loren Monroe to the council. Kilpatrick came under scrutiny in his first term after the Free Press reported he used his taxpayer-funded credit card to pay for swanky meals, spa visits and chauffeured sedans, purchases the former mayor said were made while he was traveling on city business. Under the city's Finance Directive 137, the chief financial officer must maintain a list of all city credit cards, gasoline cards, purchasing cards and telephone cards. The list must include the authorized user and credit limit. Without the records, auditors could not complete an audit, Monroe said. Monroe also said the Finance Department had failed to turn over records regarding travel expenses for the mayor's Executive Protection Unit. Finance Directive 150 requires the Mayor's Office to provide the Finance Department with travel expense records each month related to the Executive Protection Unit. But Harris said the Finance Department has no such records in its possession.

Obama moves in on GOP ground

Obama moves into GOP states after final debate By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 49 minutes ago Leading in polls and exuding confidence after last night's debate, Democrat Barack Obama is edging into traditionally GOP states — now including West Virginia — as Republican John McCain looks to protect his turf less than three weeks before the election. On the heels of the campaign's final debate, the Democrat is launching TV ads in West Virginia, which George W. Bush won four years ago and hadn't been on the list of target states until recently, according to two Democrats with knowledge of the strategy. Obama lost West Virginia's Democratic primary to Hillary Rodham Clinton by 41 percent last May as he struggled to win over working-class whites. But Democrats say the economic turmoil in the hard-hit state and TV ads Obama has been running in its neighbors have made West Virginia competitive. These Democrats spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering the campaign. They say Obama's campaign also is considering pouring money into reliably Republican Kentucky and may yet return to the airwaves in North Dakota and Georgia. Those are two states Obama had tried to put in play over the summer, but he pulled out when they appeared out of reach. The Illinois senator sounded increasingly optimistic at a breakfast fundraiser at the New York City Metropolitan Club. "We now have 19 days," Obama said. "We are now 19 days not from the end but from the beginning. The amount of work that is going to be involved for the next president is going to be extraordinary." But, he said, for anyone getting cocky or giddy, "two words for you: New Hampshire. I've been in these positions before where we were favored and the press starts getting carried away, and we end up getting spanked." Obama won the Iowa caucuses, only to lose to Clinton in New Hampshire in the primary. McCain, for his part, was returning to the argument that Obama's credentials are too thin for the White House, his campaign and the Republican National Committee releasing ads focusing on experience and judgment. McCain planned to visit swing state Pennsylvania, but he also was being forced to go to Republican territory as polls show Obama with the edge in such places as Virginia, Colorado and Florida. Obama was heading in the next few days to Virginia and Missouri, states often out of reach for Democrats but up for grabs in a year with Republicans under fire. Wednesday night, McCain tried to blunt a familiar line of attack when he asserted, "Sen. Obama, I am not President Bush." But Obama quickly turned that argument against his rival in a new TV spot. "True," the ad's announcer responds, "but you did vote with Bush 90 percent of the time." One unique debate watcher was "Joe the Plumber" — Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, whose exchange with Obama about taxes and small businesses a few days earlier elicited dozens of references from the candidates during the debate. "It floored me. It's not something I expected, ever," Wurzelbacher told "Good Morning America" on ABC. Though he wouldn't say for whom he was voting, Wurzelbacher said Obama had a "very socialist view" of taxes "and that's incredibly wrong." The 90-minute debate at Hofstra University marked the beginning of a sprint to Election Day. Obama leads in the national polls and in surveys in many battleground states, an advantage built in the weeks since the nation stumbled into the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Looking to shake up the race, McCain questioned Obama's character and his policies. He linked Obama to a 1960s radical, accused him of planning tax increases that would cripple the economy and said he was dishonest about a promise to accept public campaign financing. "You didn't tell the American people the truth," the Arizona senator said. Obama ignored that charge and remained calm throughout the debate. He often turned the accusations against McCain, calling them examples of the petty politics harming the country. "The important point here is, though, the American people have become so cynical about our politics, because all they see is a tit-for-tat and back-and-forth," the Illinois senator said. "And what they want is the ability to just focus on some really big challenges that we face right now." McCain went on offense from the opening moments, accusing Obama of waging class warfare by seeking tax increases that would "spread the wealth around." He also demanded to know the full extent of Obama's relationship with college professor William Ayers, once a Vietnam War protester and part of a group that bombed government buildings, and the Democrat's ties with ACORN, a liberal group accused of violating federal law as it seeks to register voters. McCain said the group could be on the verge of "destroying the fabric of democracy." Obama condemned Ayers' violent activities and denied any significant ties to ACORN, mocking McCain for bringing them up. "I think the fact that this has become such an important part of your campaign, Sen. McCain, says more about your campaign than it says about me," he said.

Michigan GOP: McCain threw us under the bus

Michigan Republicans: McCain 'threw us under the bus' RAW STORY While John McCain seems to have recognized his inability to win Michigan's electoral votes, his decision to give up on the state has angered some local Republicans who fear the decision will prevent GOP voters from turning out to vote in local races."He's a general who left the battlefield in the middle of the fight," said L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County executive and a GOP leader, tells the Washington Post's Al Kamen. "I'm disappointed in his behavior; he's thrown a lot of good Republican candidates under the bus."Vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin says she still wants to go to Michigan, despite her campaign's nearly nonexistent chances of victory there. If anything, the McCain campaign's decision to abandon the state has left some fertile ground for Republicans who might be gearing up for another shot at the party's presidential nomination in four years. It's not unlikely that Palin counts herself among their numbers.Kamen reports on some of the other big names who have stopped by the Wolverine state. But not to worry. Big-name Republicans have stepped into the breach, coming to the rescue, as one recent state party e-mail put it, to "fire up the troops and raise money for our party." Native son and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was there recently for a two-day tour doing events for the state organization, various Republican candidates and Rep. Tim Walberg (R), who's in a tough race.Romney even came by the state headquarters in Lansing after an event for Walberg, the e-mail said, and "thanked everyone for their efforts, encouraged folks to never give up and left us with a surprise check for $50,000 towards our statewide efforts!" There was chatter that Minnesota governor and former vice presidential wannabe Tim Pawlenty (R) might come by to help. President Bush is headed there today for a meeting in Grand Rapids with business leaders and then off to nearby Ada for a closed-door fundraiser to help GOP congressional candidates.And don't forget that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) is heading to Michigan next Wednesday for a luncheon fundraiser for Hoogendyk in Farmington Hills -- $500 for a photo op. Huckabee is also going to be at the other end of the state that day for a speech at the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan, in Benton Harbor.Whether it reflects a lack of optimism for McCain's chances, or simply a hope that he'd only serve one term if elected, it seems the race for the 2012 GOP nomination has already begun.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

An American Carol: EPIC FAIL

By Frank Scheck Tue Oct 7, 9:19 AM ET NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Arriving at least one election cycle too late, David Zucker's "An American Carol" uses the less-than-original tack of using Dickens' Yuletide classic to spoof left-wing politics and provocateur filmmaker Michael Moore in particular. Although it's refreshing to encounter a parody that doesn't use tired movie genres for inspiration, "Carol" squanders its comedic potential with a near-total absence of laughs. Audiences will be mostly stone-faced, though it's a pretty good bet that Moore will be laughing his ass off. The film opened Friday without advance press screenings, and earned just $3.6 million for the weekend, good enough for No. 9. Zucker, whose credits include such major successes in the genre as "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun," apparently felt that combining right-wing political arguments with cheap gags about Moore's slovenliness was a surefire recipe for laughs. Actually, even those who find Moore's politics anathema will have some sympathy for the main character, none too imaginatively dubbed "Michael Malone" and played appealingly by Kevin Farley. A framing device featuring Leslie Nielsen relating the story to kids at a Fourth of July barbecue adds little comedic value to the proceedings, which involve the portly filmmaker -- whose latest effort is "Die, You American Pigs" -- being visited by the ghosts of JFK, Gen. George Patton (Kelsey Grammer), George Washington (Jon Voight) and the Angel of Death (country singer Trace Adkins). The ensuing episodes -- including Neville Chamberlain shining Hitler's shoes, the happy slaves at Malone's plantation (there was no Civil War thanks to Lincoln's pacifism) and ACLU zombies being gunned down by a trigger-happy judge (Dennis Hopper) -- are meant to depict how leftist ideas inevitably lead to ruination. Unfortunately, the seriousness of the arguments -- Zucker even brings the charred ruins of the World Trade Center towers into the mix -- work against the gags, few of which are remotely funny anyway. The sole laughs are scored by Robert Davi, amusingly playing it straight as a Muslim terrorist who wants to hire Malone to make a suicide bomber recruitment film. Besides the presence of such Hollywood Republicans as Grammer, Voight and James Woods, there also are cameos by Kevin Sorbo, David Alan Grier and Gary Coleman. Bill O'Reilly shows up as himself, somehow managing to be more dignified and restrained among these farcical proceedings than he is on his own TV show. Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
How in the world did this right wing dog turd make 3.6 million dollars? I saw a preview for this movie on Larry King few weeks ago and I expected the movie would make couple thousand to a million because right wingers have a odd habit of bulk buying to help boast sells of something. It seems conservatives have the strange idea of patriotism Democratic president: Free speech Republican President: STFU or you're terrorist, commie or whatever the new boogie man the right has created.

Note from me

I consider myself a strong Clinton supporter and I actually did thought about sitting this election out but with McCain picking Sarah Palin as his vice president got me to come out of whatever I was thinking.. What makes Sarah Palin dangerous is she's cut from the same cloth as George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan air head Republicans who let the guys in the smoke filled rooms run the government at our expense. Granted if McCain wins she's only the vice president McCain is old and he's health isn't up to par so in his case the role of the vice president has increase. While I'm not fully in the Obama camp rather have four years of him then risk a single month of McCain and Palin.

Joe B. says McCain is a "sidekick" not maverick

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer 45 minutes ago TAMPA, Fla. - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says Republican John McCain isn't a maverick, but President Bush's sidekick. Barack Obama's running mate ridiculed McCain during an appearance at the University of South Florida on Wednesday. He said McCain is "an angry man, lurching from one position to another" and making ugly attacks against Obama instead of offering solutions to a troubled country. The Delaware senator said McCain is trying to distract voters from his support for President Bush's policies. He repeated Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey's line, "You can't call yourself a maverick when all you've ever been is a sidekick." MCL note: I hope we can retire the term Maverick after this election... From Palin, McCain and the hordes of GOP zombie pundits on cable news you would thought McCain first name is Maverick.. If this was McCain from 2000 ok but McCain has been Bush butt buddy since 2004.

McCain's ties to abortion doctor shooter

McCain connections coming back to haunt him Nick Juliano
Shared stage with abortion doc shooter sympathizerJohn McCain, who along with his running mate has been attacking Obama over decade-old associations with unseemly figures, is not without his own nefarious associations.One association, which seems to have gone unreported until now, involves a delegate who represented McCain at this year's Republican convention and previously expressed sympathy for an activist accused of shooting a doctor who performed abortions. Applying the same logic as Sarah Palin, one could argue that the members of the GOP ticket are "palling around" with abortion clinic attack sympathizers, supporters of right-wing militants, perpetrators of political espionage and revolutionaries seeking to secede from the United States.More attention is falling on the Arizona senator's own past since his attacks on Obama and former radical Bill Ayers. The Obama campaign's disquisition on Charles Keating just scratches the surface of what's out there, as reporters and liberal activists dig into McCain's web of connections. Blogger Jed Lewison highlighted McCain's opposition to a 1994 law that made it a federal crime to bomb or blockade abortion clinics or to attack abortion doctors. McCain's vote against the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act put him in league with the Senate's most radical anti-abortion advocates, who split with more than two dozen anti-abortion senators who voted to crack down on clinic bombers as a matter of preserving law & order.What's received less notice is where McCain was a few months before casting that vote. In August 1993, McCain traveled to the Pacific Northwest where he earned the illustrious distinction of becoming the first major politician to address the ultra-far-right Oregon Citizens Alliance. He was apparently making good on a promise he had made to the group the year before as he and other GOP leaders negotiated to prevent the Christian conservatives from running a third-party candidate against Sen. Bob Packwood, who would resign a few years later amid a sex scandal. The OCA attracted national attention in 1992 for sponsoring an anti-gay ballot initiative in Oregon, and McCain ignored advice to steer clear of the gathering. At the Portland fundraiser, McCain gently admonished the group to observe the "essence of tolerance," according to contemporaneous news reports.His speech was preceded by some kind words for an anti-abortion activist accused of shooting a doctor. McCain quickly got a first-hand flavor for the OCA. Marylin Shannon, the vice chairwoman of the Oregon GOP, had a spot on the program to give an opening prayer. In short order, she praised the Grants Pass woman accused of shooting an abortion doctor in Wichita and thanked the Lord ``for Lon Mabon and the vision you put in his heart.''Shannon, the GOP chairwoman, referred to the accused shooter of the abortion doctor as a "fine lady," who shouldn't be judged solely based on the single act of violence, according to a letter she wrote to The Oregonian, which was accessed via Lexis Nexis. While she did not endorse violence against abortion providers, she wrote, she recognized the "debate stirring within the anti-abortion movement" over whether killing abortion providers was a "just cause." My kind comments about Shelley Shannon, the Grants Pass woman accused of wounding abortion provider George Tiller, (``I'm not related to Shelley Shannon, but I think she's a fine lady,'') reflected what I had learned about her from people who have known her for many years. They say she has led a responsible life as a wife, mother and concerned citizen and don't want her judged by this one action. Acknowledging this side of her does not meant that I approve of others doing what she did. I do not. However, since that night I have learned much about the current debate stirring within the anti-abortion movement: Is killing abortion providers a ``just cause''? There's no indication that McCain took issue with Shannon's comments, and it's unclear whether any group members lobbied him regarding the abortion clinic protection bill. A search of the Congressional Record in 1993 and 1994 indicates McCain did not speak during debate over the bill, and McCain's campaign did not immediately return RAW STORY's request for comment.Shannon traveled to the Republican convention as a McCain delegate, and she proclaimed herself a huge fan of Palin as McCain's VP pick. She could not be reached for comment.To be sure, there is nothing to suggest that McCain supports bombing abortion clinics. But there's also nothing to suggest Obama supports the Weather Underground bombings, which by the way were carried out when he was 8 years old. McCain at least was a sitting member of Congress who took a legislative position on clinic bombings when they were a current issue. Other ties McCain might prefer to forget include his membership on the board of the US Council for World Freedom, which The Associated Press describes as "part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America." McCain was something of a de facto member of the group as he launched his political career in the early 1980s, just one of several prominent "names on a letterhead," as the council's founder told AP. But, that membership at least seemed to indicate a tacit endorsement of its goals in Central America, supporting the contras. Elected to the House in 1982 and at a time when he was on the board of Singlaub's council, McCain was among Republicans on Capitol Hill expressing support for the Contras, a CIA-organized guerrilla force in Central America. In 1984, Congress cut off CIA funds for the Contras.Months before the cutoff, top Reagan administration officials ramped up the secret White House-directed supply network and put National Security Council aide Oliver North in charge of running it. The goal was to keep the Contras operational until Congress could be persuaded to resume CIA funding.[Retired Army Maj. Gen. John] Singlaub's private group became the public cover for the White House operation.McCain says he was unaware of the full extent of the group's activities and claims to have resigned from the council in 1984 and asked to have his name removed from its letterhead two years later. According to AP, that's all news to founder Singlaub."I don't ever remember hearing about his resigning, but I really wasn't worried about that part of our activities, a housekeeping thing," Singlaub said. "If he didn't want to be on the board that's OK. It wasn't as if he had been active participant and we were going to miss his help. He had no active interest. He certainly supported us." Earlier this year, when Obama's past connection to Ayers first crept into national headlines, some observers began to remember McCain's "own Bill Ayers -- in the form of G. Gordon Liddy." The Watergate break-in mastermind, who spent more than four years in prison for his crimes, has called McCain an "old friend" and hosted the candidate on his conservative talk radio show. Palin, McCain's running mate whose "gloves off" approach has aided Ayers return to the headlines is not without her own questionable connections. Her husband is a past member of the Alaska Independence Party, and she has addressed the group on several occasions. The party's goal is Alaska's secession from the United States and its founder has said "the fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government." Beyond a 13-minute documentary on Keating, who was a key player in the savings & loan crisis of the late 1980s, the Obama campaign doesn't seem too concerned about publicly digging for dirt in McCain's past. Economic concerns have spurred a spectacular rise in Obama's poll numbers, and a struggling McCain campaign seems to be doing all it can to stop the election from slipping away. window.google_render_ad();