Friday, March 30, 2007

Recent 2008 Poll Recap

Zogby Poll finds Rudy making a big gain in Iowa and Newt disappearing.
A March 28 poll of 404 "likely" GOP caucus-goers showed 25% support for Giuliani, folllowed by MCain at 19%, Romney at 17%, and Fred Thompson at 7%. The last poll, in January, had Rudy over McCain 19 to 17%. Since then Rudy has picked up 6 points to McCain's two. More interesting, Newt polled 13% in January and doesn't show any measurable support now. Oh, Newt, we hardly knew ye. . . .

New Poll Puts Edwards, Hillary, and Obama in Iowa Horserace.
Zogby's latest survey of Democratic caucus goers makes it a three-way, with Edwards maintaining his lead and the same 27% he had in the January Poll. But Hillary has "surged" up 9 points from her January showing to land at 25%. Obama, who took second place in January by one-point, comes in third this time at 23% support from the 506 caucus-goers interviewed on March 26. Everyone else is in single digits, althoug Bill Richardson tripled his showing -- moving up to 3% from the one point he polled in January.

Hillary Widens Pennsylvania Primary Lead Over Obama.
Yesterday's Quinnipiac release gives Hillary 36% support over Obama's 17% among Pennsylvania Democrats. A few weeks ago, Hillary polled 29% to Obama's 18 points in the same poll.

Quinnipiac Poll Shows Republicans Besting Dem Candidates in General Election Matchups.
In general election matchups, Rudy Giuliani beats the Dems:
  • 46 - 42 percent over Clinton
  • 46 - 39 percent over Obama
  • 48 - 39 percent over Edwards
In other PA matchups:
  • Clinton gets 44 percent for 43 percent for McCain
  • Clinton tops Romney 49 - 35 percent
  • McCain ties Obama 42 - 42 percent
  • McCain gets 42 percent to Edwards 41 percent
  • Obama beats Romney 48 - 29 percent
  • Edwards beats Romney 50 - 28 percent
Rudy Leads Pack of GOP Candidates in Pennsylvania
A Quinnipiac University March 29 poll of Republicans in Pennsylvania finds Rudy way out in front of McCain 33 to 18%. No one else is out of single digits.

In Ohio, Hillary Leads Dems, Rudy Leads Republicans, and Dems Beat the GOP.
Quinnipiac's March 22 poll in Ohio gives Hillary the lead in the Democratic primary contest, 32% to 22% over second-place Obama. Dennis Kucinich polls at 3% in his home state.
Among Republicans, Rudy bests McCain 31 to 20%.
In general election matchups, the Hillary and Obama either tie or beat each of the potential GOP nominees.

National Poll Puts Hillary and Rudy Ahead in The Nomination Race.
A national survey of 432 Democrats and 376 Republicans, taken earlier this week by Zogby, gives Hillary a ten-point edge over Obama, 32 to 22%, with John Edwards the only other Dem pulling double digits at 13.%
Over on the GOP side, Rudy is a 14-point favorite over McCain, 27 to 13%.

Strategic Vision PA Poll -- Hillary and Rudy at Top 'o their Heaps.
The latest SV poll of 1200 likely Pennsylvania voters shows Hillary atop the Democratic list with 35% support, Obama next at 25%, and Edwards in third with 13%.
Among Pennsylvania Republicans, the poll shows Rudy over McCain 45 to 20%.

Rasmussen's Latest GOP Survey: Rudy over McCain 35 to 15%.

Rasmussen Dem Poll: Hillary 37%; Obama 25%; Edwards 17%.

Pew Poll, Hillary & Rudy With Narrow Leads.
In a recent national poll of 1246 registered voters, Hillary maintained a slight lead over Obama, 24 to 23%, with John Edwards and Al Gore showing up in double digits as well.
On the Republican side, the Pew poll put Rudy over McCain 28 to 25%.

FOX Noise Polls.
Released today, R v D:
  • Rudy over Hillary, 45-44%
  • Obama ties Rudy, 43-43%
  • McCain>Hillary, 47-43%
In the GOP Primary, Rudy trouncing McCain nationally, 36 to 20%.
On the Democratic side, they have Hillary at 36%, Obama 18%, Edwards 14%, Gore 13%

Gallup National Surveys Give Rudy & Hillary Strong Leads.
In a recent national poll of Republicans and R-leaning independents, Rudy tops McCain 54 to 39%; among Dems and lefty independents, Hillary beats Obama 56 to 39%.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

MLB's Token Female Umpire Knocking on the Glass

Major League Baseball proudly sent out a press release announcing that a woman will work a major league spring training game for the first time in two decades. I am not sure of what they are proud.

Women should be players in major league baseball -- I have little doubt that there are women out there right now who are more talented than many of the players on major league rosters. Twenty years I ago I fought my local little league organization and won the right of my daughter to play in the hardball league with the boys. I am certain that there are many other girls who have started their ball careers the same way over the last couple of decades. (Just a few years later, when my son began playing, it was common for most teams to have a girl or two.)

I have coached women's softball and boy's baseball at the high school level. The best players on the women's teams were better than most of the players in the boy's league. I have seen great college shortstops and pitchers on college teams who outperformed many on the bench on today's major league teams. So why aren't we seeing women on the field in pro ball?

When it comes to umpiring, I find it astounding that Major League baseball thinks it a proud moment that a 9-year minor league veteran will finally be tapped to crew in an exhibition game during the last week of spring training. The umpire is assigned to Double-A ball. Unless she is not very good at her job (which the assignment to the Major League spring training game would refute), then it would appear that she may have been held back artificially.

Umpires, like ballplayers, advance through the minor league ranks. Umpires start at the Single-A level, which itself has four levels. Generally, Umpires move up a level or so a year, with most getting to the Double-A leagues by their third or fourth year. They typically stay there about three years before being considered for advancement to AAA. By their sixth or seventh year, they should expect to be moving up to the AAA level.

At the AAA level they are eligible to be evaluated for openings at the Major League. AA umpires can only gaze with longing over that fence. The top-ranked AAA umpires are generally assigned to the Arizona league for spring training, where they work closely with Major League umpires.

The woman umpire touted by MLB spent four years at the Single-A level and is in her fifth year at Double-A. MLB reports that she is in line for the next AAA opening.

About time. But, why is she the only female umpire in all of pro ball?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

PA House Bill Would Cost PA Drivers about $7.3 Billion

Here's an idea -- if our law enforcement DUI efforts are insufficient, if our public education efforts fail, if our children are not properly sensitized to drunk driving issues, and we run out of ideas to fix a problem, why not make all of the other other drivers who aren't a problem pay about $5.7 $7.3 BILLION to fix it?

Yeah, that's the ticket. From the Wilkesberry Times Leader:

A bill sent to the state House Committee on Transportation Friday would require a breathalyzer ignition system be installed in new cars sold within the state and retrofitted into existing cars.

House Bill 875, sponsored by Bucks County Democrat [Republican] Paul Clymer, would require an ignition interlock system in every motor vehicle manufactured for use in Pennsylvania on or after Dec. 31, 2008. The law would also require vehicle owners to retrofit their cars with the system by Dec. 31, 2009.

There are about 6 7.7+ million passenger cars registered in the Commonwealth. The devices cost between $700 and $1200 -- an average of $950. At the average expense, the bill for fitting the devices on all registered passenger vehicles in the state would be about $5.7 $7.3 Billion. At the uppermost estimate of $1200, this indirect tax would exceed $7.9 $9 Billion.


{UPDATE: My figures on PA passenger vehicle registrations were a little dated. As of 2005 there were over 7.7 million passenger vehicles registered in the Commonwealth. So the headline should read $7.3 Billion.}

{Photo Credit: Pile of Cash, Collections with Causes}

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I'll believe it . . .

Pa. vows crackdown on aggressive drivers

. . . when I see a State Trooper patrolling the last 10 miles before the DWG bridge between 6 and 8 am on a weekday. Most of that stretch is a 50 MPH zone; most drivers take that to mean 85.

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I'm Ready for My Close-up, Mr. Santorum

He'll show them . . . .
Less than three months removed from his congressional career, the former Pennsylvania senator said in an interview last week that he is planning two film projects in part to counter what he characterized as the stream of left-wing documentaries coming from Hollywood and independent filmmakers.

The first project, Santorum said, would explore the relationship between radical Islam and the radical leftists in various countries around the world, including Latin America. It would be about an hour in length.

The second would be a longer, broader documentary that he said would aim to ''change the culture of America.'' He declined to go into specifics about the proposal.
Spare me. Fortunately, the Call also reports that the fired Senator from Virginia hasn't raised enough money to fund the two ideomentary projects.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Presidential Foot Stomping -- Bush Reacts to House Dem Smackdown

Bush, unwilling to stand up for his policies by himself, appears from the White House with veterans, soldiers, and children and wives. Calls the Democrats' bill "an act of political theater". Promises to veto the bill, which he calls an "abdication of responsibility".

He accused the "Democratic majority" [NB: he got spanked the last time he called them 'the Democrat majority'] of delaying "vital" aide to the military in order to score "political points".

In the media:

AP: Bush slams Democrats over Iraq timetable
Reuters: Bush vows veto of House Iraq deadline bill

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House Dems Pass Iraq Bill

Chris Carney, who has given conflicting signals over whether he would vote for a spending bill containing a timeline, ended up voting with the Democrats in favor of passage. Fourteen Democrats (including Dennis Kucinich) voted against the bill and two Republicans voted in favor of the bill (Role Call here). All Pennsylvania representatives voted with the majority of their respective parties.

Patrick Murphy, an Iraq vet, was given the honor of being the Democrats' penultimate speaker. Choking up slightly during his emotional appeal, especially when recalling his fallen comrades, he called the bill "our chance to lead". His speech was several times interrupted with applause and the House gave him a standing ovation when he finished.

In the media:

The Hill: Democrats win Iraq vote
CNN: House passes spending bill with Iraq deadline
WaPo: House OKs Timetable for Troops in Iraq
SF Chronicle: House sets deadline for troop withdrawal
Chicago Trib: House approves Iraq withdrawal bill
NYTimes: House Approves Timetable to Bring Troops Home from Iraq
AP: House OKs Timetable for Troops in Iraq
Reuters: House approves deadline for ending Iraq war
BBC News: US House votes for Iraq deadline

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Edwards Staying In It.

John Edwards announced today that, despite the reappearance of Mrs. Edwards' cancer, their campaign for the Democratic nomination will continue.

Scary line from the Times coverage: "Mr. Edwards said because the cancer had moved from her breast to bone, it was no longer curable, but treatable".

Couldn't have been easy hearing that or making the decision. Tough couple.

In the media:

NY Times: Edwards: ‘The Campaign Goes On’
ITV: Edwards Pulls Presidential Campaign (that's an "oops")
NPR: Wife's Illness Won't Halt Edwards Campaign
WaPo: Edwards Says Wife's Cancer Has Recurred

(Photo Credit: NYTimes, Ellen Ozier/Reuters)

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What More Do You Need to Know?

"Ku Klux Klan group supports Barletta"


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2008 Campaign Fantasy Game

Could be fun, we'll play along for a while: Sign up HERE for the Fantasy Politics Game.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Don't Make Me Stop This Car . . . .

Gotta love it . . . .

John McCain, who has spent the last 18 months flipping back to the Conservative side of social policy issues in order to prime the wingnutz pump, found himself in a little scratch and claw with wingnutz pinup Pat Toomey and his ideogroup, Club for Growth.

It all began when Toomey's group issued a fairly fawning, if self-importantly-titled, "Presidential White Paper" on Senator Sam Brownback. It praised Brownback generally, but criticized him several times for supporting the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill. It wasn't long after that that Senator McCain announced that he would be camping (or, something) and wouldn't be able to attend the Toomey wingnutz fest in late March.

Just a few days later, the Conservative Political Action Conference -- which McCain also skipped -- issued the results of its straw poll. McCain came in fifth, with 12% support. Popular at the conference were anti "Rudy McRomney" buttons -- demonstrating the wingnutz determination to rip the Repubs apart in 2008 by skewering their top three contenders. The GOP version of the Democrat's patented circular firing squad was in full operation.

Within a week or so, Toomey's ideogroup issued its third Presidential White Paper, this one on John McCain. The subtitle set the tone and the stage for another volley of shots: "Arizona Senator John McCain's Tenuous Record as an Economic Conservative".

McCain responded by slamming Club for Growth and blaming them for the GOP losing control of the Senate. On Tuesday, the wingnutz ideogroup (which has never been deterred by reality) issued its own You Tube cut and paste on McCain. In surreply, yesterday, the McCain camp posted video of Club for Growth founder, Steve Moore, giving McCain a BJ. Of course, that was a long time ago -- January, 2007.

Listen, kids, if you don't stop back there, I will turn this car around . . . .

The Blogroll

I've cleaned up the PA Poliblog roll. Weeded out those on "hiatus". If your PA Poliblog isn't on the list, let me know. I tried to leave comments or send emails to those that were deleted, asking them to let me know if/when they reactivate. But, some of you have turned off comments and don't list an email.

I never ask anyone that I put on my blogroll to reciprocate -- I figure that if they want to, fine, if not, so be it.

I've only asked two bloggers to put me on their blogrolls -- one because THEY asked readers to submit their blogs, the other because I am a big fan, fellow traveller, and we seem to overlap coverages. Both turned me down -- the first because they were fronting for a candidate I was bashing and they were too weak to take the hits. The other gave me an explanation that didn't really fit the facts, but that was their right and I just slunk away.

So, my rejection rate is about the same as it was in high school . . . . Having rejection issues, I don't ask. I'd say at least 75% of the blogs I keep on the roll don't list me. I'd love it if they did . . . . But the PA blogroll is intended to be a resource, not an endorsement. With one exception (the spineless blog), every PA poliblog I have come across is on the list. So I don't really see it as a quid pro quo thing.

Should I ask? Do you? Do you expect reciprocation?


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Monday, March 19, 2007

Hillary's Problem and the Problem with Hillary

Some thoughts which have been rattling around in my aged head for several weeks and probably not ready for prime time . . . .

If History is any indication, 2008 should be a banner year for the Democrats on the National level. Granting that History may be as irrelevant to the outcome of Presidential elections as to Baseball's All-Star game, the same History which bodes well for the Democrats might have an asterisk named Hillary.

When public opinion of a sitting President falls to the miserable failure level, one often sees a switch of the political Party in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania. Some examples include when FDR (D) wasted Hoover (R), in the early 30s; twenty years later when Ike (R) spanked Stevenson following Truman's second term (when, as the Dubya gang likes to point out, Truman's job-approval were Bushian low-20s); in the 70s it happened twice, first when Carter (D) took over from Ford/Nixon and then four years later, when Reagan sent Carter to early retirement.

But, looking at the men who occupied the White House on Election Day and the men who replaced them on Inauguration Day suggests that the electorate might have been looking for more than a change of Party.

By '32, Hoover was seen as weak-minded and incompetent, FDR as strong, capable, dependable. Truman was perceived as stubborn and irascible, hard to get along with -- taking over the steel mills, recalling MacArthur. Ike, well, EVERYone Liked Ike. Carter was the nuclear-engineer-smart, calm, trustworthy gentleman from the South, taking over from the decidedly untrustworthy, ungentlemently, Nixon regime, with his unelected Veep, Ford, viewed as less than smart and perhaps a little untrustworthy himself. And, finally, the in-control, clear-eyed Reagan taking over for a Carter Administration adept at fumbling domestic policy and international relations.

These caricatures of the day suggest that, in response to what is largely perceived as a "failure presidency", the voters may have been looking as much for someone perceived as offering an opposite set of characteristics, as for an opposite party.

There need be little breath spent on arguing that the Bush Administration is widely-perceived as a decidedly failed Presidency. While the ultimate historical judgment might, as it did with Truman, change given time and distance (yeah, right), today Bush struggles to avoid setting new lows in approval and performance.

So, looking to 2008, what are the popular-perceptions about why Bush is such a miserable failure?

Seems too easy, but a list of some of the problems that most would probably say contribute to the failure of this Administration would have to include the Iraq Invasion, Bush's seemingly endless ability to create divisions and generate impassioned detractors, and his, if not dishonesty, then at least the lack of candor, or political posturing, informing all he does or says.

Recognizing that the deck becomes stacked by which elements one lists, but the Hillary Problem, and the problem WITH Hillary, is that she might not be stacking up very well on the electorate's unconscious lists of the "problems with George" -- she might not offer the great unwashed enough of a change in character to lead to a change in Party in the White House. She was a supporter of the war then, and is insufficiently repentant. Is she divisive? If you have to ask, you haven't been paying attention. Is she perceived to lack candor, as being political and calculating? Did you see her in Selma? Does she root for the Mets or the Yankees?

Just looking at it this way, if it is even close to something real, doesn't it help explain Obama's popularity? Hillary may not be enough the un-Bush to give the Democrats what History suggests may be theirs in 2008 as long as they don't screw it up.

Obama's big negative in all of this -- experience. Another biggie on the unconscious list of Bush problems is the lack of relevant experience the guy had coming into the job. (And, that is Hillary's big, very big, plus.) But, and this is at a just wondering stage right now, but what would a Democratic ticket with Obama and Bill Richarson be able to do?


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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Barletta: My Ass The Source of All Truth

Hazleton's Bigot-in-Chief testified in defense of the Hazleton anti-Hispanic ordinance in federal court in Scran'en yesterday. His testimony confirmed that all of the findings and purposes of the act came not from reasoned study of objective evidence, but from his fat, hairy ass.

When the home office of NEPA bigotry (a/k/a Hazleton) passed the anti-Hispanic ordinance, it did so after declaring certain findings, including the following:
The People of the City of Hazleton find and declare:

. . . . C. That unlawful employment, the harboring of illegal aliens in dwelling units in the City of Hazleton, and crime committed by illegal aliens harm the health, safety and welfare of authorized US workers and legal residents in the City of Hazleton. Illegal immigration leads to higher crime rates, subjects our hospitals to fiscal hardship and legal residents to substandard quality of care, contributes to other burdens on public services, increasing their cost and diminishing their availability to legal residents, and diminishes our overall quality of life.

D. That the City of Hazleton is authorized to abate public nuisances and empowered and mandated by the people of Hazleton to abate the nuisance of illegal immigration by diligently prohibiting the acts and policies that facilitate illegal immigration in a manner consistent with federal law and the objectives of Congress. . . .

F. This ordinance seeks to secure . . . the right to live in peace free of the threat crime, to enjoy the public services provided by this city without being burdened by the cost of providing goods, support and services to aliens unlawfully present in the United States, and to be free of the debilitating effects on their economic and social well being imposed by the influx of illegal aliens . . . .
So, the act claims, Hazleton didn't just enact this ordinance after a bull session around the city kitchen table. They carefully examined the facts and reached certain findings which compelled the ordinance and justified it as an exercise of the state power.

Except that,
Barletta admitted he did not contact the school district to ask about alleged overcrowding, call the hospital for statistics on the treatment of illegal immigrants or seek any data to back up any of the claims. . . . ''So you had no data on hospital treatments or other health care?'' asked Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. ''No,'' Barletta said. He had no data on any other city services, from sanitation to fire calls, that could prove his contention that illegal immigrants were draining city services and the budget, Barletta said. But he claimed he didn't need statistics to point out what was obvious to him and other longtime Hazleton residents.
Oh, but he doesn't need troublesome things like facts when he has eyes that can see and ears that can hear and a fat hairy ass from which he can pull his facts:
Barletta said he assumed schools were overcrowded because classes were being held in trailers, and he read in the local newspaper that test scores had fallen. Barletta also said he relied on conversations with hospital personnel to determine that ''uninsured people'' were trying to use the emergency room . . . . Barletta, who was born and raised in Hazleton, said the city now suffers from increased crime and violence, and that street gangs have established a foothold. He said several murders involving illegal immigrants . . . cemented his belief that Hazleton had a problem. ''Our city is crumbling under the strain of illegal immigration,'' Barletta said. ''Most people in Hazleton didn't need numbers".
Well, of course they don't. All they need to know if that their Bigot-in-Chief is gonna help rid their turf of the Sharks.

You see, the "numbers" can be inconvenient, as the trial will show soon:
Not discussed (by Barletta) were crime statistics supplied by the Hazleton Police Department that were sought by the plaintiffs and obtained under a court order Monday.

Barletta said he had not seen the statistics, which covered five years beginning in 2001, and U.S. District Judge James Munley barred Walczak from questioning Barletta about them until Friday, when Barletta will return to the witness stand.

Outside court, Walczak said the statistics revealed that crime in Hazleton has not increased out of proportion to the rise in population, and that illegal immigrants were not committing a lot of crimes. Walczak said the city identified only 20 to 30 serious crimes that involved illegal immigrants out of more than 8,000 crimes.
So, Barletta admitted not only did the facts and findings come fresh out of his fat hairy ass, but the he refused to even look at the actual crime statistics gathered by his own police force.

But, apart from the false and baseless crime and health care "findings", there's the economic impact on the city of all these illegals that justify the city smacking down Hispanics. Except, those pesky facts again:
Earlier in court, Barletta and Walczak went over Hazleton's economic troubles and drop in population from 38,000 after World War II to 22,000 in 2000. By the end of the 1990s, the city was nearly $1 million in debt. Part of its resurgence, Walczak argued, had to do with the arrival of thousands of Hispanics after 2000.

The new arrivals propelled Hazleton's population and ushered in a renaissance, as Hispanics bought and rehabilitated shuttered buildings and opened roughly 60 businesses. Assessed property values rose three years in a row.
Oh well, at least the law was carefully written. Except, this week it was announced that, "[f]or the fifth time Hazleton is rewriting the Illegal Immigration Relief Act. "

Good thing I subscribe to the Morning Call, because the people in Hazleton get an entirely different picture of the trial than those in Allentown.

UPDATE: The Hazleton pretend newspaper, the Standardless Speakeasy, didn't update its website until late in the day. When it did, it became clear that the local fish wrap is continuing its blow job pieces for the City's Bigot-in-Chief. As they did yesterday, the so-called report misrepresented what really happened at the trial.

(Photo Credit: Barletta's Source, Thanks to Planet Kornerson)


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Yeah, well


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hazleton CAN Just Make This Stuff Up

As reported in this morning's Morning Call:

"Hazleton's City Council approved its ordinance on illegal immigration without any police data supporting the conclusion that a surge in violent crime was caused by illegal immigrants, the council president testified Tuesday. Joe Yanuzzi, who has served as council president since 2003, also said that council didn't obtain any data from Hazleton Hospital supporting the assertion, included in the ordinance, that illegal immigrants also created a fiscal hardship for the city's health services."

Even the Scran'en paper saw it the same way as the Call: "Hazleton City Council President Joseph Yanuzzi testified Tuesday neither he nor council — nor anyone in the city to his knowledge — conducted any research, thought to commission any study or received any training on immigration documentation before passing the controversial ordinance."

Nice. What a bunch of yahoos up there. They basically just sat around the table and decided that it was 'all them god damned spics' causing all their problems, so they wrote a law. So, if the Scran'en and Allentown papers were that hard on Hazleton, you can bet that the local Wilkesberry and Hazleton rags must have slammed them, right? Oh, sweetie, you are so innocent. You forget that we are dealing with NEPA and ethics, even journalistic ethics, remain merely a punch line up there.

One of the local rags pretending to be a newspaper calls this "the full flowering of democracy in action". "Full flowering of democracy"? Who are they trying to kid? Oh, yeah, their readers.

The Hazleton government acted like a street gang looking to rid their territory of the Sharks, and not only do the local newspapers ignore the testimony, they praise what they are witnessing as the "full flowering of democracy". Hey, one guess on which county in Pennsylvania is the fasted shrinking county in the state. (And if Luzerne isn't number one, it is damned near close to the top -- no one wants to stay there.)

Worse yet, the Hazleton paper didn't even bother to mention that the stated predicate for the entire law was just pulled out of Lou Barletta's ass. To the contrary, that birdcage liner reports, as fact, that the "council adopted [the act] in response to crime". This isn't even attributed to anyone. Reporting on the same trial, on the same day, that the Morning Call reported that the city council's head thug admitted that they just made up the claim that "illegals" were causing their "crime surge", the incompetent Hazleton paper reports to their readers -- as fact so clear that it doesn't need attribution -- that the anti-Hispanic legislation was "adopted in response to crime".

Ignorant bastards, incompetent bigots. You decide who is what. You won't be wrong.

(Photo Credit: WSS Movie Still, Allociné)


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Why the Republicans are Screwed

Just an example.

Take this quote from one of their leading candidates:

"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

Rudy Giuliani, while Mayor of New York. (Also reported in the WaPo.)

Oh, Rudy, PLEASE run.

(Photo Credit: Chris Hondros, Getty Images, via USA Today)


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Carl Romanelli, The Movie?


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Lookit What I Did

From the Slob's shameless tales of self-promotion:

I resisted the self-congratulatory tout for being selected as one of the dozen or so Political Grind Network bloggers (in part because I wasn't too sure it wasn't some kind of Wayne's World for poliblogs). But, considering the list of fellow-grind members, I've decided that it is pretty cool to be included.

Cooler still, and proving that when the PGN editors get together, alcohol must play a heavy role, one of my recent ramblings has been tagged with an attaboy by the fellas drinking in Uncle Simon's basement.

Hey, thanks for noticing.


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General Pace's Judgemental Intolerance

In a display of what has become the all too typical intolerance of the Bush regime, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff proclaimed homosexuality "immoral". General Pace told the Chicago Tribune that his verdict was rendered by his upbringing which taught him what was moral and what was not. The General, the progressive guy he is, appears to be in favor of throwing all the 'god damn faggots' in jail:
"As an individual, I would not want [acceptance of gay behavior] to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior," Pace said.
Hey, General, wake up. No one is prosecuted for adultery today. Unless, of course, you want to bravely lead us into an era of honor killings and stonings. I mean, as long as it is consistent with your upbringing, I'm sure everyone will be happy to go along.

Well, I guess we should be thankful that he left out bestiality and pedophilia as moral equivalents. Too bad he isn't spending less time protecting us from gays and more time protecting us from, ohh, i dunno, bin Laden?

(Photo Credit: Gen. Pace & Friends, White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

UPDATE: Gary, at Declarations of Pride, quite effectively rips Pace a new one (helpful, since the General's orignal isn't working -- it is too tightly clenched right now).

Media Lizzy, a conservative blogger, takes the General, and his apologists on the right, to task for the bigotry:
He's a four star general. He's a Marine. He has served our nation honorably for nearly FORTY years. Yesterday, he opened his mouth and flushed his reputation for ideological fairness down the toilet. . . . Since I am a straight girl, I can't possibly imagine how his irresponsible and bigoted remarks strike at the heart of gay folks serving in uniform. However, as a Christian, it upsets me that he feels compelled to mete out judgement on the private lives of men & women serving honorably in uniform. . . .

Why my fellow Republicans fail to see the problems with such commentary escapes me. Such behavior is part and parcel of why the GOP lost its majority in the US House and US Senate in last year's midterm elections. . . . Republicans attacked the Kerry-Edwards campaign for bigotry & intolerance. Today, they are defending General Pace's offensive comments.It is embarrassing. . . .

Not to mention the effect this type of comment has on our foreign policy.... and our ability to properly defend our reputation as champions of Human Rights. You can't defend only kids in Africa, or poor immigrants flooding across our Southern border, but ostracize gay Americans or the folks in New Orleans' Ninth Ward... it is hypocrisy. Which is the political problem Republicans refuse to face....
There's much more . . .


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Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Delusions of the Right


The Bush Administration has so destroyed the coalition of the extreme -- the wingnutz, christianistas, anti-choice, and pro-gun single issue voters -- on which the Republican Party, and in particular their neo-conservative conservators, have relied of late, that their apologists are routinely adopting the same kind of self-delusion which was so common among real liberals who tried to defend the Clintonistas.

A prime example was front and center in the, aptly named, "gang" segment of Fox Noise Sunday. In pressing for a pardon of Scooter Libby -- the top White House operative accused of lying under oath to the grand jury investigating the smearing and outing of Valarie Plame as retaliation for her husband speaking truth to power and calling out "liar" to the Bush regime -- the Republican operatives posing as journalists on Fox Noise struggled to differentiate their calls for impeachment of President Clinton for lying under oath about an extramarital affair, from their call for a pardon for Libby for lying under oath about the abuse of the power of the American government to cover-up the lies perpetrated by the Bush regime to fan the flames of war.

Hume insisted that it was different, after all, he said, people went to jail over the Whitewater scandal. Reminded that Whitewater was not pertinent to impeachment, Hume recovered and pointed out that Clinton deserved impeachment because he had, after all, lied to the American people (about extramarital sex). Of course, the milquetoast journalist pretender who hosts Fox Noise Sunday let that slide, not bothering to point out the lies Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell told to the country, on their own show, and to the World from the podium of the United Nations.

All that was deluded enough, but the real self delusion was yet to come -- when Hume insisted that a pardon of Libby would only get short and passing news coverage, and wouldn't play a significant role in the 2008 elections.

He, and the other Bush apologists, are either crazy or think the rest of us are. Anyone who believes that the incompetence, deception, and arrogance of the Bush administration is not going to be front and center in the next elections are themselves demonstrating the same startling levels of those qualities which have destroyed the great coalition of the extreme which has propped up the Bush regime and republican party, until now. To the contrary, if past trends are any indication, and if the 2006 results are relevant, and if the public polling are informative, the winner of the 2008 contest will be the candidate who appears to present the strongest opposite qualities from those which resulted in the abject failure of the Bush regime.

Hume, Kristol, and their ilk can whistle past the graveyard all they want. But, Brit, it won't change the fact that that is exactly where you're headed.


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Global Warming Already Affecting Daily Life

The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people will not have enough water, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium.

Int'l Herald Tribune, 3/11/2007.


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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Heh, heh.

Man, the Republicans are so screwed, they are starting to act like Democrats.


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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Feds Probe Proth -- Where Was the DA?

It was revealed recently that, in 2006, Luzerne County Prothonotary Jill Moran altered her office's records to protect her law partner. Moran is a partner with linked-in local lawyer Robert Powell.

When the IRS filed a large tax lien against Powell, Moran sprang into action. When the lien was indexed in the County records, she had it indexed to "John Doe". That way, anyone searching for liens on Powell wouldn't find it. Powell said that she "knew" the lien was a mistake and wasn't giving her partner any special treatment. The IRS subsequently filed papers showing the lien had been satisfied. (If the IRS had filed the papers against the wrong guy, they would have filed a withdrawal of the lien, not a satisfaction.)

The story broke last week. Luzerne County DA, and judge wannabe, David Lupas didn't lift a finger to investigate, inquire, or otherwise perform his job (something which some up there say isn't a surprise).

Fortunately, despite Luzerne County's absentee justice system, Moran will have to face an investigation -- by the Feds.

Another case of Lupas being asleep at the wheel -- or was it that he wasn't going to challenge fellow-Democratic row officer Moran and her donation-wielding, linked-in partner, Powell?

We report, you decide. All I know is that Luzerne County is screwed, again, as this guy is set to become the next judge up there. What they don't need is yet another judge like this one.


Having further thoughts. Not only does the DA need to be accountable for his hands off approach (he is now using the Federal probe as his excuse for not doing his job), but where is the President Judge in all of this? Silent. Where is the local county bar association? What about the Commissioners? Good Democrats all, they are not going to cross mega-Dem money man Powell and his henchlady on the inside; good NEPAers all, they are not going to do the right thing when doing the easy, get along, or profitable thing is available.

See the local bloggers up there on the topic: Gort42 and The Lu Lac Political Letter.


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Obama Bests Hillary vs Republicans in New Hampshire Poll

From Political Grind:

BOSTON – A telephone poll of likely New Hampshire voters, conducted by Suffolk University students from February 24-28, 2007, revealed top Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are statistically tied for the lead among Democratic voters in the Granite State. Republican candidate Rudolph Giuliani had a 10-point lead over John McCain, his nearest rival. The results of the poll were officially announced today.

The poll revealed thatDemocrat Obama would defeat Republican Mitt Romney in a head-to-head match up and tie McCain and Giuliani, while Clinton would only defeat Romney. Republican front-runner Giuliani defeated Democrats Clinton and John Edwards in a head-to-head match up and tied Obama.

The survey of 500 Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters likely to vote in the 2008 presidential election found that Hillary Clinton’s unfavorability rating of 48% was the highest unfavorability rating of any candidate.
There's more.

The poll was conducted by Suffolk University. Crosstabs here.


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