Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do you know Caroline Kennedy?

Do you know know Caroline Kennedy? She thinks we know about whatever she is talking about. Could you please enlighten us, Caroline? What the hell in the you know are you talking about?!

From what I've heard, Caroline Kennedy is a well educated woman. But from listening to her in interviews, it makes me wonder. What's wrong with her? Why can't she speak intelligently? How many times can someone say "Ya know" in a 2 minute conversation? Geeze!

The "ya know" is more annoying than Barack Obama's uhhs and umms. Even with all of Obama's umms and uhhs, he sounds more intelligent than Caroline. Someone commented that she sounded like some low class druggie. I think I have to agree with that. She does not sound like someone with an advanced education.

As for appointing her to the senate, I think we've got enough Kennedy's in Washington as it is. And I've said it before, and I will say it again: I am tired of this appointment bullshit. The American people should be able to choose their representatives to congress, even if a sitting senator steps down.

Poll: Obama leadership rates high as Bush's after 9/11

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A national poll suggests that three-quarters of the public thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a strong and decisive leader, the highest marks for a president-elect on that characteristic in nearly three decades.

Seventy-six percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday said Obama is a strong and decisive leader.

"That's the best number an incoming president has gotten on that dimension since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The public's rating of his leadership skills is already as high as George W. Bush's was after 9/11 and easily beats the numbers that both Bush and Bill Clinton got at the start of their first terms in office."

Just six in 10 felt that Bush was a strong leader when he took office in 2001. After the attacks of September 11, that number rose to three in four. Sixty-seven percent thought Bill Clinton was a strong leader when he took office in January 1993.

Eight in ten Americans said Obama inspires confidence, can get things done and is tough enough to be president, three characteristics Americans look for in a leader and the three qualities on which Obama got his highest scores.

He also gets higher marks than Bush did in 2001 on honesty, values, issues, management abilities and compassion.

The 67 percent of those polled who say they admire Obama -- his worst score -- is roughly the same as the highest that Bush got on a similar battery of questions just after he took office in 2001.

"But it is Obama's ability to inspire confidence and the perception that he is tough enough for the job that may be most important for him as the country faces fresh challenges abroad and a historically harsh economic downturn," Holland said.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey was conducted December 19-21, with 1,013 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

But while Bush enjoyed high approval ratings in his first term, things dramatically changed over his eight years in office.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released December 26 showed that 75 percent of those surveyed were happy to see Bush leave office.

"Earlier this year, Bush scored some of the lowest presidential approval ratings we've seen in half a century, so it's understandable that the public is eager for a new president to step in," Holland said.

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider added, "As President Bush prepares to leave office, the American public has a parting thought: Good riddance. At least that's the way three-quarters feel." Video Watch how Bush's farewell polls compare »

The portion who say they won't miss Bush is 24 percentage points higher than the 51 percent who said they wouldn't miss Bill Clinton when he left office in January 2001. Forty-five percent of those questioned at that time said they would miss Clinton.

The poll indicated that Bush compares poorly with his presidential predecessors, with 28 percent saying he's the worst ever. Forty percent rate Bush's presidency as poor, and 31 percent say he's been a good president.

Only a third of those polled said they want Bush to remain active in public life after he leaves the White House. That 33 percent figure is 22 points lower than those in 2001 who wanted Clinton to retain a public role.

"It's been like a failed marriage," Schneider said.

The December 26 poll was conducted December 19-21, with 1,013 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


I guess Obama's off to a great start. Here's hoping that it continues this way for a long time.

Heh, and the last part regarding Bush, it seems the American people want him to go back to Texas and stay there - out of public view. They don't want him doing any more damage, and I don't blame them. I feel bad for Texas, though.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blagojevich snubs Senate, taps Burris for seat

In defiance of U.S. senators who said they would not seat his pick, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today selected former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to succeed President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate.

Blagojevich praised Burris for his "unquestioned integrity" and "extensive experience," calling him a senior statesman.

"Please don't allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man," Blagojevich said.

Burris, who accepted the appointment, said he would next deal with the U.S. Senate's statement that it would not seat him.

"Faced with these challenges and challenged with these crises, it is incomprehensible that the people of the great state of Illinois will enter the 111th Congress short handed," Burris said. "We need leadership in Washington."

Burris said he spoke with Blagojevich Sunday night.

"I was asked if he would appoint me would I accept and the answer is yes," said Burris, who offered no comment on the governor's legal situation.

Blagojevich said he moved to appoint Burris after the General Assembly declined to approve legislation for a special election to find a new U.S. senator.

"To not fill the vacancy would be to deprive the people of Illinois of their appropriate voice" in the U.S. Senate, Blagojevich said.

Burris said he accepted the appointment because the nation is at a crossroads.

"Faced with these challenges and challenged with these crises, it is incomprehensible that the people of the great state of Illinois will enter the 111th Congress short handed. "We need leadership in Washington."

"I have faith in the record that I have forged over the last four decades. I accept this appointment," Burris said.


Is Burris out of his mind? I wouldn't want to be involved in this scandal and I sure as hell wouldn't want anything to do with nutcase Blagojevich. If I wanted a seat in the senate, I'd run for the office like everyone else and be elected, or not, in an election. No more of this appointment bullshit. Hold a special election and let the people choose their representative for congress. Its the right thing to do. The fair thing.
Who's with me?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Survey

Where did you begin 2008?
In my new apartment in Phoenix AZ after spending the last four months of 2007 in California.

What was your status by Valentines Day?
Single and a year older.

Were you in school anytime this year?

Did you have to go to the hospital?

Did you have any encounters with the police?

Where did you go on vacation?
I went to RI to see family, but I wouldn't call it a vacation.

What did you purchase that was over $100?
A plane ticket.

Did you know anybody who got married?
Yes, my aunt.

Did you know anybody who passed away?
Yes, my dog =(

Did you move anywhere?

What sporting events did you attend?
None. I'm not a sportsman.

What concerts/shows did you go to?
A Rat Pack show.

Describe your birthday:
Dinner out and a drink to celebrate.

What is the ONE thing you thought you would not do, but did, in 2008?
Go home to see my family.

What has been your favorite moments?
Talking to good friends, I guess.

Any new additions to your family?

What was your best month?
Probably May.

Made new friends?
I sure did :)

Favorite Night out?
Don't have one.

Have you lost any friends this year?
Nope, but I re-established a relationship with an old friend.

Change your hairstyle?

Have any car accidents?

How old did you turn this year?

Did you have a New Years resolution?
Not that I can remember.

Do anything embarrassing?
Probably, don't remember now.

Buy anything new from eBay?
Yep. I bought an external hard drive for my computer.

Get married or divorced?
Ha! No.

Get in trouble?
Always :P

Been snowboarding?

Did you get sick this year?
Not that I can recall.

Are you happy to see 2008 go?
I'm still wondering where 2008 went and reluctant to find out what 2009 will bring.

Been naughty or nice?
Always naughty, always nice :P

What are you looking forward to most in 2009?
2009 is supposed to be a year of opportunity for me, so yeah, I'm looking foward to the opportunities.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Uproar in Australia Over Plan to Block Web Sites

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- A proposed Internet filter dubbed the ''Great Aussie Firewall'' is promising to make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries.

Consumers, civil-rights activists, engineers, Internet providers and politicians from opposition parties are among the critics of a mandatory Internet filter that would block at least 1,300 Web sites prohibited by the government -- mostly child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use and advocacy of terrorism.

Hundreds protested in state capitals earlier this month.

''This is obviously censorship,'' said Justin Pearson Smith, 29, organizer of protests in Melbourne and an officer of one of a dozen Facebook groups against the filter.

The list of prohibited sites, which the government isn't making public, is arbitrary and not subject to legal scrutiny, Smith said, leaving it to the government or lawmakers to pursue their own online agendas.

''I think the money would be better spent in investing in law enforcement and targeting producers of child porn,'' he said.

Internet providers say a filter could slow browsing speeds, and many question whether it would achieve its intended goals. Illegal material such as child pornography is often traded on peer-to-peer networks or chats, which would not be covered by the filter.

''People don't openly post child porn, the same way you can't walk into a store in Sydney and buy a machine gun,'' said Geordie Guy, spokesman for Electronic Frontiers Australia, an Internet advocacy organization. ''A filter of this nature only blocks material on public Web sites. But illicit material ... is traded on the black market, through secret channels.''

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy proposed the filter earlier this year, following up on a promise of the year-old Labor Party government to make the Internet cleaner and safer.

''This is not an argument about free speech,'' he said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. ''We have laws about the sort of material that is acceptable across all mediums and the Internet is no different. Currently, some material is banned and we are simply seeking to use technology to ensure those bans are working.''

Jim Wallace, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, welcomed the proposed filter as ''an important safeguard for families worried about their children inadvertently coming across this material on the Net.''

Conroy's office said a peer-to-peer filter could be considered. Most of today's filters are unable to do that, though companies are developing the technology.

The plan, which would have to be approved by Parliament, has two tiers. A mandatory filter would block sites on an existing blacklist determined by the Australian Communications Media Authority. An optional filter would block adult content.

The latter could use keywords to determine which sites to block, a technology that critics say is problematic.

''Filtering technology is not capable of realizing that when we say breasts we're talking about breast cancer, or when we type in sex we may be looking for sexual education,'' Guy said. ''The filter will accidentally block things it's not meant to block.''

A laboratory test of six filters for the Australian Communications Media Authority found they missed 3 percent to 12 percent of material they should have barred and wrongly blocked access to 1 percent to 8 percent of Web sites. The most accurate filters slowed browsing speeds up to 86 percent.

The government has invited Internet providers to participate in a live test expected to be completed by the end of June.

The country's largest Internet provider, Telstra BigPond, has declined, but others will take part. Provider iiNet signed on to prove the filter won't work. Managing director Michael Malone said he would collect data to show the government ''how stupid it is.''

The government has allocated 45 million Australian dollars ($30.7 million) for the filter, the largest part of a four-year, AU$128.5 million ($89 million) cybersafety plan, which also includes funding for investigating online child abuse, education and research.

One of the world's largest child-advocacy groups questions such an allocation of money.

''The filter may not be able to in fact protect children from the core elements of the Internet that they are actually experiencing danger in,'' said Holly Doel-Mackaway, an adviser with Save the Children. ''The filter should be one small part of an overall comprehensive program to educate children and families about using the Internet.''

Australia's proposal is less severe than controls in Egypt and Iran, where bloggers have been imprisoned; in North Korea, where there is virtually no Internet access; or in China, which has a pervasive filtering system.

Internet providers in the West have blocked content at times. In early December, several British providers blocked a Wikipedia entry about heavy metal band Scorpion. The entry included its 1976 ''Virgin Killer'' album cover, which has an image of a naked underage girl. The Internet Watch Foundation warned providers the image might be illegal.

Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom have filters, but they are voluntary.

In the United States, Pennsylvania briefly imposed requirements for service providers to block child-pornography sites, but a federal court struck down the law because the filters also blocked legitimate sites.

In Australia, a political party named the Australian Sex Party was launched last month in large part to fight the filter, which it believes could block legal pornography, sex education, abortion information and off-color language.

But ethics professor Clive Hamilton, in a column on the popular Australian Web site, scoffed at what he called ''Net libertarians,'' who believe freedom of speech is more important than limiting what children can access online.

''The Internet has dramatically changed what children can see,'' said the professor at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, noting that ''a few extra clicks of a mouse'' could open sites with photos or videos of extreme or violent sex. ''Opponents of ISP filters simply refuse to acknowledge or trivialize the extent of the social problem.''


No more filtering. None. I think people should be able to view what they want on the internet. There shouldn't be any restrictions on people's access to the internet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Day

My good friend, Alex Bird, sings Harry Connick Jr's "Christmas Day."

I hope you enjoy! And please, stop by Alex's youtube page and let him know what you think!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ill. Gov. Blagojevich pledges to fight on

CHICAGO – A combative Gov. Rod Blagojevich served notice Friday that he has no intention of quitting over his corruption arrest, declaring: "I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong." The forceful three-minute speech marked the first time the former amateur boxer directly addressed the allegations since his arrest 10 days earlier.

With it, he made it clear that removing him could be uglier and more drawn-out than anyone imagined just a week ago, when the governor's career appeared to be in its final hours and nearly the entire political establishment seemed to be holding a death watch.

"I'm not going to quit a job the people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob," a composed and deliberate-sounding Blagojevich said at his downtown Chicago office building. He took no questions from reporters and immediately left the room after wishing his listeners, "Merry Christmas, happy holidays."

Isn't this amusing. "Fight till my last breath" ? This blubbering idiot sounds like he's just been diagnosed with cancer or something. He claims he did nothing wrong? For someone that claims he is innocent sure is eager to try and prove his innocence. If he really is innocent, then what is he worried about?

Lizard people? or Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Isn't this ridiculous? I can not believe the amount of TIME they are wasting disputing these ballots. I went through about fifteen or so of the ballots in less than ten minutes. It took them more than ten minutes to come to a conclusion on one ballot. And they are getting paid for this. I guess that explains it. Waste tax payer dollars bullshitting about Lizard People and Spaghetti Monsters. Real nice. I should be on the board. I'd have it all straightened out within an hour. I guess I wouldn't be making much money, but eh, at least I'm honest.

To Bail or Not To Bail

To Bail or Not To Bail? That is the question.

I've been on the fence about bailing out the "Big Three." On one hand, I feel that if a company doesn't know how to run a business effectively, then they don't deserve to have that business, and that they should fail. But on the other hand, I think about all of their employees. What will happen to them? And what this will mean to our country's economy overall if they do fail. I'd hate to see our country inching closer to a depression because of companies that don't know how to take care of business. And equally scary, is the closer to socialism this country is getting.

So, do we bail out the big three, and possibly save a lot of jobs and avert a depression, or do we let them fail and hope for the best? I don't know. Its a terrible predicament. What do you think?

With all of these bail outs, the financial industry, the automotive industry, individual states requesting money, etc. I wonder, who is going to bail this country out? This country is in a mess of its own. Can we afford to bail everyone out? Eventually, we are going to be the ones who will need bailing out. Who will bail us out when the time comes?

Schwarzenegger Vows To Veto Democrats' Budget Plan

SACRAMENTO (AP) --Democratic lawmakers on Thursday pushed through an $18 billion package of cuts and tax increases to reduce California's burgeoning budget deficit, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it didn't go far enough and immediately said he would not sign it.

He said lawmakers sent him a "terrible budget" that didn't make deep enough cuts or include the kind of economic stimulus he wanted to boost California's ailing economy.

"This proposal that they've sent and this package that they are sending down does really only do one thing, and this is punish the people of California," he said at a news conference shortly after the vote.

Democrats and Republicans have been unable to compromise on a way to address a deficit that is expected to hit $42 billion in the next 18 months. Schwarzenegger first called them into a special session to tackle the problem on Nov. 5.

In a sign that the impasse was taking a toll, a state panel on Wednesday voted to stop lending money for an estimated 2,000 infrastructure projects statewide through June, an unprecedented move that the board said was necessary because California can no longer afford the work.

California has not been able to borrow money for months and faces a cash shortage in February.

The package passed Thursday would have generated another $9.3 billion in general fund revenue by replacing gasoline taxes with a variety of fees.

It would have raised the taxes Californians pay on gas by about 13 cents, replacing an 18-cent-a-gallon excise tax and a fluctuating sales tax with a 39-cent-per-gallon fee; raised the state sales tax by ¾ of a cent; tax oil produced in California; boosted personal income taxes by a 2.5 percent; and collected taxes from independent contractors upfront.

The shortfall for the fiscal year that ends in June is nearly $14 billion, about 10 percent of the state's $144.5 billion budget. But that hole is expected to grow in the next fiscal year unless lawmakers cut spending, raise revenue or do a combination of the two.

What? Are these Californian Democrats nuts? They want to raise taxes in this faltering economy? The state has the highest taxes in the country and apparently that is not enough to keep a balanced budget!?! What is this bullshit? Cut the fucking spending! You're the largest state in the country. Get your act together. You have an 18 billion dollar deficit. Then cut 18 billion dollars worth of spending! Its that simple.

What are they spending all this money on?

Raising taxes in this faltering economy will NOT fix California's problems, it will only make them worse. The only logical solution is to drastically cut spending.

Coleman's Lead Dwindles to 2 Votes in Minnesota Senate Race

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Sen. Norm Coleman saw his lead over Al Franken in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race dwindle to just two votes Thursday. Meanwhile, a key court ruling put hundreds of improperly rejected ballots in play and promised the recount would drag into the new year.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that improperly rejected absentee ballots be included in the state's recount. It ordered the candidates to work with the Secretary of State and election officials to set up a process to identify ballots that were rejected in error. Counties must make a report by Dec. 31.

The ruling came as the state Canvassing Board nearly erased what had been a 360-vote lead for Coleman before the panel began its third day of reviewing disputed ballots Thursday. The Republican incumbent had a 215-vote lead over the Democrat Franken after the initial count of the Nov. 4 election.

There are hundreds of challenges yet to decide, thousands of withdrawn challenges that have yet to be tallied and now the improperly rejected absentee ballots, estimated to number around 1,600. Franken supported and Coleman opposed counting those absentees.

The Supreme Court said the candidates will have a chance to challenge the absentees as they are unsealed and counted, just as they did during the earlier hand recount.

Justice Alan Page dissented. He warned that giving the candidates a say in identifying the ballots was a mistake.

Coleman's lead eroded all day Thursday as the Canvassing Board considered a pile of challenges brought entirely by the Coleman campaign. The pile included a big chunk of withdrawn challenges, many of which went quickly to Franken's column.


Why don't they just quit this legal wrangling and hold a special election like they did in Georgia? We won't know who really won because of all this wrangling. The winner of this election will be determined by the Minnesota supreme court. I say let the Minnesotan people have their say, and vote again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Some Mexicans leaving US, planning never to return

After going months without a full-time job, Daniel Ramirez has decided it's time to return to family in Mexico.

Vicenta Rodriguez Lopez says she can't afford to live in Colorado any more because her husband was deported.

Roberto Espinoza is going back, too. After 18 years as a mechanic for a General Motors dealership in Denver, his work permit wasn't renewed and he didn't want to remain in the country illegally


I guess this economic downturn does have some positives. Its working some things out. Like lower gas prices and making the illegals leave the country. Less illegals mean more jobs for American citizens. Lower gas prices help out those who are hurting in these rough economic times.

Maybe things won't be so bad after all. Or am I naive for thinking so?

NY governor: Caroline Kennedy wants Senate seat

Caroline Kennedy told New York's governor on Monday that she's interested in the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her the highest-profile candidate to express a desire for the job. Democratic Gov. David Paterson will choose the replacement. "She told me she was interested in the position," Paterson said. "It's not a campaign. She'd like at some point to sit down."

Caroline Kennedy's spokesman, Stefan Friedman, declined to comment.

Clinton is expected to be confirmed as President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of state.

At an afternoon news conference to discuss last week's paralyzing ice storm, New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer, said he has also talked to Caroline Kennedy about the job.

"And she's clearly interested," he said.

Over the past week, Kennedy, who lives in Manhattan, has reached out to several prominent New York Democrats to tell them of her interest in the Senate seat. They included Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Kennedy worked closely with Klein as executive of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education, where she raised about $65 million for the city's schools.

"I think she's thought about it a long time," Klein said of a conversation he had with Kennedy on Monday. He said the campaigning she did for Obama this year helped acquaint her with the gritty rituals of retail politics.

"She's a highly determined woman and she's clearly been thinking about her life and how to make an effective contribution," Klein said. "Everyone knows Caroline, and everyone has a great historical respect for the Kennedy family."

Other Democrats who appear to be on Paterson's short list include New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who won't say publicly whether he's interested.

One of the early front-runners, Rep. Nydia Velazquez of Brooklyn, took herself out of the running Friday.

Paterson will appoint someone to fill Clinton's seat for two years if she is confirmed as secretary of state.

Republicans wasted no time in criticizing Kennedy as unqualified for the job and unfamiliar with the state.

"If anything, it makes me more determined to run," said Rep. Peter King, a Long Island Republican who has already expressed his interest in the seat.

"As far as record of achievement, I strongly believe that I'm much more qualified, much more experienced, and have an independent record," King said. "Nothing against Caroline Kennedy, but I don't think anyone has a right to a seat."


I don't know why we allow governors to appoint senators. An outgoing senator should be replaced by way of a special election, among a field of candidates. The candidate with the most votes wins. This seems to be the fair solution to me. It allows the people's voice to be heard. I think it might even eliminate some fraud, in light of the Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich scandal.

What are your thoughts on this? Please leave them in the comments.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Frank Sinatra

Francis Albert Sinatra (1915-1998)

Happy 93rd Birthday to the greatest singer of all time!

Check out my friend, Alex Bird's tribute to Frank Sinatra made in honor of the 10th anniversary of his death, May 2008.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rasmussen Reports 12.5.08

46% Say Congress Should Be Able To Override Presidential Pardons

Forty-six percent (46%) of U.S. voters say Congress should be able to overturn
presidential pardons it thinks are unjustified, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Thirty-seven percent (37%) believe Congress should not have that power, and 18% are undecided.

I agree with this. If congress can override vetoes, why can't they override Presidential pardons? Whatever happened to there being justice in the system? There should be a limited amount of pardons from the President. People need to realize that there are consequences for their actions.
Seventy-four percent (74%) of U.S. voters continue to believe the federal government is not doing enough to secure the country's borders, even as President-elect Obama has named a new secretary of Homeland Security who is opposed to a border fence.
I agree with this, too. Why are our politicians so afraid to do anything about illegal immigration? They seem to care more about some shithole in the middle east than what is going on in our own backyards. Something needs to be done about border security but no one wants to do anything. I assume its only gonna get worse with Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security Secretary. She hasn't done anything to curb illegal immigration here in Arizona. She even criticized Sheriff Joe Arpaio for doing his job of rounding up the illegals. We need more people like him in the system. If these illegal fucks don't want to immigrate to this country legally, then they shouldn't come at all. And if they do come, they should be deported A.S.A.P. Screw amnesty. I am sick of this country catering to everyone. Illegal immigrants have NO rights and they should be treated as such. Don't give me none of this human rights bullshit. If they want to come here, they should do it legally or face the consequences. I'm tired of this country giving the illegals a free ride.
Pennsylvania Senate: Specter 46% Matthews 43%

Republican Senator Arlen Specter is potentially vulnerable in his 2010 bid for re-election. A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Pennsylvania voters finds Specter leading MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews by just three percentage points, 46% to 43%, in a match-up that may foreshadow one of the nation's most closely-watched Senate races.
I personally think Matthews should stick to his MSNBC show and leave the politics for the big boys. He does fine as a political commentator, so why the change?
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Minnesota voters now expect incumbent Republican Norm Coleman to beat Democrat Al Franken in the state’s U.S. Senate race, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Minnesota taken Thursday night.
I dont' really care who wins this one. Democrats have 58 seats in congress now? I think that's plenty. Who's to say they can't pick up a few moderate Republicans?

Obama raised nearly 750 million

President-elect Barack Obama brought in nearly $750 million for his presidential campaign, a record amount that exceeds what all of the candidates combined collected in private donations in the previous race for the White House, according to a report filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission.

Underscoring the success of his fund-raising, Obama reported that he had nearly $30 million in the bank as of Nov. 24, despite spending furiously at the end of his campaign. Obama spent more than $136 million from Oct. 16 to Nov. 24, the period covered in the finance report. He also took in $104 million in contributions during that time.

By comparison, his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, who was limited to the $84 million allotted to him from the Treasury under public financing, spent $26.5 million during that period, according to his latest campaign finance report. Although McCain had $4 million left over, he had $4.9 million in debt, the report said.

Assuming that most of that money came in before Election Day, Nov. 4, it appears Obama's fund-raising stepped up significantly as the campaign drew to a close. In the first half of October, he raised just $36 million.

An exact figure is difficult to calculate because of vagaries in the way fund-raising numbers are reported. But it appears that Obama, who became the first major-party nominee to bypass public financing in the general election since the system began in the 1970s, raised more than $300 million for the general election alone.

When Obama decided after he clinched the Democratic nomination to bypass public financing, campaign officials said they needed to raise at least twice as much as they would receive in public money, with a goal of raising three times as much, to make it worth the added time away from campaigning that he needed to devote to fund-raising.

Obama's fund-raising total - fueled by both small donors giving incremental amounts online and large donors who were given the chance to mingle with him - appeared to more than validate his campaign's gamble.

Indeed, it could very well mark the epitaph to the public financing system, which critics have long declared is badly in need of updating.

At a minimum, it sets an imposing bar for any Republican challenger to Obama in 2012.

"Assuming Obama runs again and his fund-raising prowess is sustained, then it will be a daunting undertaking for any opponent," said Kenneth Gross, a campaign finance lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

In one illustration of the scope of Obama's fund-raising haul, all the candidates running for president in 2004, including President Bush and Senator John F. Kerry, the Democratic nominee, together collected less than $650 million, not counting the money received under public financing during the primary and the general elections, FEC figures show.

What an amazing haul. I guess this reaffirms the ol' phrase "money talks and bullshit walks."

They say, now that Obama broke all fundraising records, the current campaign finance system is broken. No candidate will ever accept public financing seeing the colossal amount of funds that Obama raised in his primary and general election campaigns. Why wouldn't they? He who has the most money, wins. So of course they want to win, and certainly don't want to risk sharing the same fate as John McCain, who ironically, was the victim of his own campaign finance reform.

I was reading an article by Karl Rove, McCain Couldn't Compete With Obama's Money, and he wrote something that I agreed with, "It is time to trust the American people and remove limits on how much an individual can donate to a campaign. By doing that, we can design a system that will be much more open by requiring candidates to frequently report donations in an online database. Technology makes this possible. Such a system would be easier for journalists to use and would therefore make it more likely that fund raising would be included in news coverage. That would give voters the tools they need to determine if a candidate is getting too much from unattractive people. "

I, too, think that it is time we remove limits on how much an individual can donate to a campaign. Maybe it will reduce the amount of funds that come in in result of campaign finance fraud.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Christmas Song

My good friend, Alex Bird, recently recorded the holiday classic, "The Christmas Song."

I think its the best version of the song that I've ever heard.

Take a listen and tell me know what you think. Please stop by Alex's YouTube page and let him know, too.

Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Barack Obama Day

MARION, Ala. – In central Alabama's Perry County, government workers already get a day off for President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Veterans Day. In 2009, they'll get one more: "Barack Obama Day."

The rural county, which overwhelmingly supported Obama in last month's presidential election, has approved the second Monday in November as "The Barack Obama Day." Commissioners passed a measure that would close county offices for the new annual holiday and its roughly 40 workers will get a paid day off.

Sponsoring commissioner Albert Turner Jr. said the holiday is meant to highlight the Democratic president-elect's victory as a way to give people faith that difficult goals can be achieved.

Perry County has 12,000 residents, most of them black. Voters there backed Obama by over 70 percent in a state that gave 60 percent of the overall vote to Republican John McCain based largely on strong support from white voters.

At the state level, Alabama observes the standard federal holidays as well as a handful of its own that include Confederate Memorial Day in April and the June birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. It observes Martin Luther King's birthday in January but the holiday is twinned with commemoration of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.

The Perry County Commission's three black members and one of its two white members voted for the Obama holiday.

Commissioner Brett Harrison said Wednesday he voted against the resolution because of the costs to the county, which has a $2.2 million annual payroll and is one of the poorest in the state. He said closing the courthouse would also idle some state employees.

"I'm a Democrat, but just in these financial times, it's not using the county's money wisely," Harrison told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday. "The recognition is certainly well-founded."

Turner said copies of the resolution, adopted at a Nov. 25 meeting, have been mailed to Obama and his transition team.


This is ridiculous. The man is not even President yet. He hasn't even served a day in office yet. and they're already honoring him. Isn't it customary to honor the Presidents AFTER they leave office, not BEFORE they arrive in office?

And this isn't the first time someone has chosen to honor Obama. They're already naming streets after him and schools after him. I mean, when is the madness going to end?

I guess people think Obama's the messiah or something. Well I hope he is. He's got a big mess to clean up and he's gonna need all the luck he can get. A lot of lives need saving. He's sure gonna have his hands full on January 20th.

Jeb Bush considering senate run

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — the younger brother of the president — is weighing a run for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Mel Martinez.

Martinez announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2010. Asked whether he was interested in running for the seat then, Bush told Politico by e-mail Tuesday night: “I am considering it.”

A source close to Bush said he'll be thoughtful and methodical about the decision-making process. He will consider the impact a race would have on his family and his business and whether or not the U.S. Senate is the best forum from which to continue his advocacy for issues such as education, immigration and GOP solutions to health care reform.

In an interview with Politico immediately after November’s election, the former governor said the Republican Party should take four primary steps to regain favor with voters: Show no tolerance for corruption, practice what it preaches about limiting the scope of government (“There should not be such a thing as a Big Government Republican”), stand for working families and small business, and embrace reform.

Bush said conservatives should “do the math of the new demographics of the United States,” explaining that the Republican Party “can’t be anti-Hispanic, anti-young person — anti many things — and be surprised when we don’t win elections.”

Since Martinez's announcement Tuesday, Bush has received many phone calls and emails from Floridians and national Republicans urging him to run, the source close to him said Tuesday night.

Bush has kept a low-profile since leaving office in 2007, but he retains a strong following among Florida Republicans and would almost certainly clear the Republican field should he decide to run.

But he's in no hurry to decide, said a top adviser, and won't make a decision until after the new year.

Should Bush decide against a run, the field is wide open for Republicans who would consider bids for the seat.

Outgoing state House Speaker Marco Rubio – a close Bush ally and Republican rising star in the Sunshine state – told Politico in an interview that he’d almost certainly run for the seat.

"If he doesn’t run, I’d find it very difficult not to run," Rubio said of the former governor.

But Rubio, like other Republicans, is respectful of the place Bush holds within the Florida GOP.

"I think Jeb Bush should run and if he does I think he’ll win," he said.

Rubio, 37, hails from Miami’s powerful Cuban-American community and would command strong support from that influential bloc in a Republican primary. He has already set up a YouTube page and will be launching his own website soon in anticipation of a potential run.


Hasn't the Bush family done ENOUGH damage to this country? I wish these Bushes would go away and stay the fuck out of politics. What's next for Jeb? President run in 2016? Please. America has had enough with the Bushes. Don't vote them in for any office. Remember what the Bushes gave us the last eight years. I might be talking to the wall here, though, because America seems to have a short memory.