Thursday, January 31, 2008
By the way, TheHill.com ran a story about how Sen. McCain, bitter over his defeat by George W. Bush the year before, nearly defected to the Democratic Party in 2001! Very interesting, in light of the fact that McCain now denies these discussions with Sen. Tom Daschle ever happened.
UPDATE: Newsweek has an article about how Sen. Obama has charmed some Republicans, including the granddaughter of President Eisenhower, into supporting him.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Mark R. Levin has a few choice words to say about John McCain as presidential candidate in the article, "Speak Up!"
Buddy Bishop has some cogent observations to make in his blog, Political Truth and Fact. Here's an excerpt from his editorial, "What Are Republicans to Do?"
"In the wake of McCain’s victory in Florida, many conservatives this morning awaken wondering what they will do in this year’s presidential election.
"The answer is as clear as it is irrefutable: fight like hell for the candidate you prefer, then make sure you support the winner of the Republican nomination.
"Either Democrat candidate is totally unacceptable to normal Americans.
"Anyone who doesn’t understand that fact, needs a serious dose of reality…big time."
It seems that both major parties are preoccupied with who is "electable." Giuliani and Edwards 2.0 have thrown in the towel, but Hillary Clinton, Huckabee, Paul, & Romney are determined to fight on. Although this blog is officially neutral, there are some candidates I agree with more than others.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Electile Dysfunction: The inability to become aroused over
any of the choices for president put forth by either party
in the 2008 elections.
- It's too bad the dinosaur media created the false dichotomy of race vs. gender in the competition between Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. That is an oversimplification, and we have seen that female voters do not gravitate to Hillary just because she's a woman.
- Although I had a little fun with John Kerry's endorsement of Barack Obama, the Kennedys' endorsement today carries more weight in Democratic circles. Sen. Ted Kennedy, his son Patrick, and niece Caroline, were politically savvy enough to recognize that it's not worth alienating the Democrats' most loyal constituency, African Americans, for a little temporary advantage.
- Mere days before the Florida primary, John McCain has slimed Gov. Romney with the allegation that he did not fully support our troops in Iraq and was pushing for set dates for withdrawal of our forces. This is not true, and even the New York Times admits that McCain crossed the line. But this allegation could influence the outcome of this primary, and the ones immediately following, as Romney doesn't have time to react. Ronald Kessler describes this blunder in detail in the NewsMax article, "McCain Presidency Would Be a Disaster."
Friday, January 25, 2008
Here's how flight instructor Gene Benson explained the situation:
"This example shows how a professional airline crew failed to exercise due diligence and directly caused 49 deaths and one serious injury. The captain was among the fatalities and the first officer was the only survivor. The accident occurred in Lexington, Kentucky in 2006. The crew of a Comair CRJ-100 attempted to execute a takeoff on the wrong runway. They had been cleared to taxi to and takeoff from Runway 22 but instead lined up on Runway 26 which was not long enough. The takeoff was made in pre-dawn conditions. Runway 22 was well lit while Runway 26 was dark. Company procedures require a 'sterile cockpit,' or no conversation not directly necessary for the operation of the aircraft, below 10,000 feet. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) revealed that casual conversation about their families continued as they taxied to the runway."
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Giuliani - If he comes out ahead in Florida, he will be hailed as making brilliant use of his limited resources. Unfortunately for him, Newsmax describes a recent poll in which he trails McCain and Romney.
McCain - This is a chance for him to show how electable he is in a closed-primary state. Money is starting to flow to his campaign.
Huckabee - Expected to have increasing difficulty finding states where he can end up in the top three, a gentle way of saying he may be forced to quit soon.
Romney - Still very much in the game, and likely to inherit many Fred Thompson supporters.
Obama - Expected to dominate the South Carolina primary; Florida is his opportunity to demonstrate his appeal to whites and other ethnic minorities.
Clinton, H. - Lowered expectations in South Carolina, and concentrated her efforts on cultivating the western states and trying to hold on to her share of Florida voters.
Kucinich - Another one bites the dust.
UPDATE: It is frustrating, given the volatility of situation, to note that my prognostications were no more accurate than any other person's. I believed that Fred Thompson really had a chance in South Carolina, and while he (and Duncan Hunter) were saying the right things on the issues, they were unable to whip up enough enthusiasm - and raise enough funds - to keep up their pursuit of the Republican nomination. On the Democratic side, some conservative pundits are saying that Hillary is yielding South Carolina to Barack Obama so that she can pin the label on him of being the "black candidate" with limited appeal to whites. At this point I don't think she can afford to be so cavalier about any state, since if nominated, she will have to go back there again to gather up as many votes as possible.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Lawyer Allegedly Bills Client for 30 Hours in One Day:
CBC News reports this; the lawyer is a Mobina Jaffer, member of the Canadian Senate. Nor does this seem like a timekeeping glitch, or some unusual accounting system agreed on with the client:
Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer is under investigation by the Law Society of British Columbia for allegedly overbilling one of her legal clients, including charging for 30 hours of work in a single day, CBC News has learned....
Jaffer has been called before the law society to account for more than $6 million in legal bills charged to her former client, a Catholic missionary order known as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate....
The Oblates, whose B.C. headquarters are based in New Westminster, fired Jaffer and her son, Azool Jaffer-Jeraj, three years ago after receiving bills of $6.7 million. They had hired the Jaffers to defend them against dozens of claims of abuse in residential schools....
The Jaffers settled the lawsuit out of court in December; however, the law society said the case still requires an investigation....
The accounts obtained by the CBC also showed that Jaffer's son once billed for 32.4 hours in a day, at the end of a week in which he claimed an average of 20 hours of work a day....
[B]efore settling with the Oblates, both Jaffer and her son were examined under oath. Jaffer said then that billing for more than 24 hours a day was "an error." ...
"We all know here that the law is the most powerful of schools for the imagination. No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets the truth." - Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Strange but true: One looks in vain for the dismal collection of antiwar movies that came out in the past year.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Among the highlights of the documents released by Judicial Watch:
• A June 18, 1993 internal Memorandum entitled, “A Critique of Our Plan,” authored by someone with the initials “P.S.,” makes the startling admission that critics of Hillary’s health care reform plan were correct: “I can think of parallels in wartime, but I have trouble coming up with a precedent in our peacetime history for such broad and centralized control over a sector of the economy…Is the public really ready for this?... none of us knows whether we can make it work well or at all…”
• A “Confidential” May 26, 1993 Memorandum from Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to Hillary Clinton entitled, “Health Care Reform Communications,” which criticizes the Task Force as a “secret cabal of Washington policy ‘wonks’” that has engaged in “choking off information” from the public regarding health care reform. The memorandum suggests that Hillary Clinton “use classic opposition research” to attack those who were excluded by the Clinton Administration from Task Force deliberations and to “expose lifestyles, tactics and motives of lobbyists” in order to deflect criticism. Senator Rockefeller also suggested news organizations “are anxious and willing to receive guidance [from the Clinton Administration] on how to time and shape their [news] coverage.”
“These documents paint a disturbing picture of how Hillary Clinton and the Clinton administration approached health care reform – secrecy, smears, and the misuse of government computers to track private and political information on citizens,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “There are millions more documents that the Library has yet to release. The Clintons continue to play games and pretend they have nothing to do with this delay. The Clintons should get out of the way and authorize the release of these records now.”
NOTE: So far only 13,000 out of over 3 million records pertaining to the National Task Force on Health Care Reform alone have been released. No wonder they've been stonewalling so long!
HAT TIP: Rush Limbaugh, radio broadcast, Jan. 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
RIAA told to pay legal fees for harrassed defendant
By Austin Modine
"Tanya Andersen, a single mother and unlikely file-sharers' champion for hoisting the RIAA by its own petard, has scored another victory.
"A US District Court judge in Oregon affirmed an earlier decision to award Andersen attorneys' fees for the two-and-a-half year legal pursuit by the Recording Ass. of America, that ultimately ended in dismissal. The latest poop on Andersen was spotted by hawk-like focus of Recording Industry vs The People....
"Andersen denied the allegations and countersued the RIAA later that year for fraud and racketeering.
"Throughout the legal battle she accused the RIAA of using threats [and] underhanded tactics to find evidence. (The RIAA couldn't find proof on her computer that she shared files). Notably, she claimed RIAA agents tried to contact her then 10-year-old daughter at school by impersonating the girl's grandmother on the phone.
"In June 2007, the RIAA agreed to drop charges against Andersen, just hours before the court deadline to submit proof that she illegally downloaded the copyrighted material.
"The case was then dismissed with prejudice, meaning Andersen could attempt to recover attorneys' fees from the RIAA. Andersen also dismissed her own countersuit without prejudice in order to pursue a separate malicious prosecution lawsuit against the RIAA."
[NOTE: Ms. Andersen is seeking out other victims of RIAA to pursue a class-action lawsuit.]
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
"That murder rate is far lower than the murder rate for the general population, demonstrating that the experiences of military service – including having served in Iraq and Afghanistan – actually made it less likely for returning veterans to commit murder once they returned home, than the general population....In place of hard data to support their premise, The New York Times was instead forced to devote almost the entire portion of 6,321 word hit-piece to anecdotes of wrongdoing by individual veterans."
By all means read their entire article, which is reinforced by this Ralph Peters column in the New York Post.
- McCain - Expected to do better in South Carolina, where he faces stiff competition from Gov. Huckabee and a resurgent Sen. Thompson. Judging by the number of Democrats who crossed over to vote for him, one wonders if he's running for President under the wrong party. Except for his support of the war in Iraq, he is by far the most liberal of all the Republican candidates.
- Huckabee - This former Baptist preacher did not receive as many Protestant and especially evangelical Christian votes as many people assumed he would get, demonstrating that this major component of the Republican Party is not as monolithic as expected.
- Romney - Plans to concentrate on Nevada next, but will not ignore South Carolina.
- Democrats - This one didn't count, as the DNC refused to recognize any delegates from Michigan because it scheduled its primary too early. Nevertheless, it is fascinating to note that "Uncommitted" competed so strongly against Hillary, contradicting the line the Clinton machine would have us believe, that she is the candidate we want.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Olmsted, Andrew J.
Major Andrew J. Olmsted, age 37, died in Iraq on January 3, 2008 while serving with the US Army. He was born on February 1, 1970 in Bangor, Maine. Major Olmsted is survived by his wife, Amanda Wilson of Colorado Springs, his parents, Wesley and Nancy Littlefield Olmsted of Grafton, Wisconsin, a brother, Eric and wife, Corinne Olmsted of Watertown, Massachusetts, a sister, Catherine Olmsted of Grafton, Wisconsin, mother-in-law, Kathleen Wilson of Kingston, New Hampshire, brother-in-law, Ian D. (Gina) Wilson of Hudson, New Hampshire, niece, Elisha Wilson of Hudson, New Hampshire, grandmother-in-law, Ruth A. Wilson, North Andover, Massachusetts.
Andy received BA Degree in History and Government from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was an avid Red Sox fan; he enjoyed reading, watching movies and playing war games. He loved going to Disney World. Andy was also an Eagle Scout. Andy loved writing and was writing a blog for the Rocky Mountain News from Iraq.
Major Olmsted earned his commission through Reserve Officer Training Corps on 11 December 1992. He earned great respect from those he served with, beginning with his first assignment at the 66th Armor Battalion at Fort Hood, TX, where he served as A Company Platoon Leader, Assistant S3, and D Company Executive Officer. He then proceeded to Camp Casey, Korea, where he served as the S3 Air Officer for 72d Armor Battalion. In 1997 he returned from overseas to Fort Carson, Colorado, where for the next ten years he served in various positions and units, to include: 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division as the S3 Plans; HHC, 68th Armored Battalion, Commander; E Company, 362 Armored Battalion, Commander; 2d Brigade, 91st Division, Brigade S1; and 361st Engineer Battalion as the Battalion Executive Officer. His bravery, compassion and 'lead from the front' demeanor was displayed as the Team Leader, 1-5-1 Military Transition Team, 2/3 Armored Calvary Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, attached to 1st Infantry Division at Forward Operating Base Caldwell in Iraq.
Major Olmsted faithfully served our nation for over 15 years. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, three Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star Device, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Device, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
Funeral services will be at 2:30 PM on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at Soldiers Memorial Chapel at Ft. Carson Army Base, Ft Carson, Colorado.
The Olmsted family requests that memorials contributions be made to Captain Thomas Casey Children's Fund, PO Box 1306, Chester, CA 96020 or The Home Front Cares, PO Box 38516, Colorado Springs, CO 80937-8516.
Published in The [Colorado Springs] Gazette from 1/12/2008 - 1/13/2008.
Monday, January 14, 2008
This story seems to be more important than a report of racial tensions between the Clinton and Obama camps, and in our opinion, qualifies as a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.
FOX News reports that fake $100 bills of exceptional quality have been popping up around the world. At first currency experts suspected North Korea of being behind these bogus bills, but other counterfeiters, such as Iran or the Chinese or Russian underworld, are believe to have produced them.
"The 'supernote' appears to be made from the same cotton and linen mix that distinguishes U.S. currency from other currency. It even has watermarks visible from the other side of the bill, colored microfibers woven into the substrate of the banknote and an embedded strip, barely visible, that reads USA 100 and glows red under ultraviolet light.
"The secret operation, stumping officials worldwide, could be the 'most sophisticated counterfeiting operation in the world,' former congressman James Kolbe told McClatchy Newspapers."
Click here to read the report in The Kansas City Star.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
"Next year in California, state regulators are likely to have the emergency power to control individual thermostats, sending temperatures up or down through a radio-controlled device that will be required in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage electricity shortages."
These are the same geniuses who allowed themselves to get ripped off by Enron and other energy dealers during the manufactured energy crisis that took place under Gov. Gray Davis' not-so-benevolent reign. This article goes on to defend the proposed action by saying, "The fact that similar radio-controlled technologies have been used on a voluntary basis in irrigation systems on farm fields and golf courses and in limited programs for buildings on Long Island is seldom mentioned in Internet postings that make liberal use of references to George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984" and Big Brother, the omnipresent voice of Orwell's police state. " Typical of what the critics are writing is this article by Joseph Somsel on American Thinker.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Last Edited: Thursday, 10 Jan 2008, 7:53 PM EST
Created: Thursday, 10 Jan 2008, 7:48 PM EST
Wilfredo Reveron, like many others from the I-4 pile up, received a citation for careless driving. He and his wife are outraged. He got stuck in a mini pile up behind the larger pileup involving mainly tractor trailers.Reveron’s car got hit on both sides. After it was over, Reveron and many of the folks involved couldn't go anywhere because their cars were damaged and Florida Highway Patrol troopers wouldn't release them until they gave their accounts. In the meantime, according to Reveron, an FHP trooper was going around giving tickets. Reveron called his wife and told her what was going on. She urged him to talk to the trooper, but according to Reveron the trooper issued him a citation as well as citations to many others. Reveron said the trooper told him that everyone was getting a ticket. Reveron said he told the trooper it was foggy and smoky and it wasn't his fault that he was hit but Reveron said the trooper told him he’d have to go to court to argue his case.According to troopers, drivers involved in the non-fatal accidents were cited for careless driving. The theory being they should have slowed down as visibility deteriorated.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
McCain - Can expect an improvement in cash flow, since people like to back a winner. How ironic it is that his ability to raise the millions required to conduct a national campaign is severely limited by McCain-Feingold! Will continue to cooperate discreetly with Gov. Huckabee to get Romney out of the way, but not one second longer.
Romney - Still not finished off yet; hopes to do better in Michigan, where he was born, and the state where his father, George Romney, served as governor. He will need to revamp his campaign advertising, since negative campaigning has been so ineffectual for him.
Huckabee - Will be working hard to sway voters in Michigan as well as South Carolina. At least he has Chuck Norris covering his back.
Thompson, F. - South Carolina could be his first big break, unless he runs out of money and throws in the towel. Can expect stiff competition from Huckabee, who is busily cultivating the evangelical vote.
Giuliani - Still laying low until Super Duper Tuesday.
Paul - Can't overcome the image of being a fringe candidate, and recently-released newsletters written by him with racist sentiments could sink his already small chances of running as a Republican. He does have enough money to keep on going as an independent.
Clinton, H. - Her campaign got a boost from New Hampshire, but there are many more states to go. One thing about her that's indisputably world-class is her ambition, and she will have numerous opportunities to prove that she has only begun to fight.
Obama - South Carolina may be the place where he can exploit his victory in Iowa. His public appearances with Oprah Winfrey were very well received, and he will be sure to take advantage of the goodwill generated. Ironically, many black Democrats are inclined to vote for Hillary, because despite her negatives, she's part of an established brand, not an inexperienced and untested politician.
Edwards - South Carolina could be his last chance to score something. If he can't make it there, he can't make it anywhere.
Richardson - He is quitting the race and returning to New Mexico.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Despite what Drudge and various other pundits may claim, it's still too early to write off Sen. Clinton or Gov. Romney yet, if only because they have enough cash reserves to keep going for quite a long time. Conservative commentators everywhere sincerely want Hillary to hang in there until the Democratic convention, nay, even until the general election, since she provides so many ready-made opportunities for satire, parody, and snide remarks. The conventional wisdom has Obama and McCain (maybe Romney) leading in New Hampshire, but Fred Thompson may have a chance in South Carolina, and there's still the possibility that Rudy Giuliani will be able to harvest many delegates from the larger states still waiting for their primaries.
"Top Ten Signs Your Presidential Campaign Is in Trouble"
By Brent Baker January 7, 2008 - 02:52 ET
From the January 4 Late Show with David Letterman, the “Top Ten Signs Your Presidential Campaign is in Trouble.”
10. When asked what you'd do about Iraq, you say, "Do I Rock?"
9. You're often described as "John Kerry without Charisma"
8. Many of your supporters have been hospitalized because you ordered your campaign buttons from China
7. You've been running negative ads about yourself
6. Only Endorsement you've received was from "Burrito Afficionado" magazine
5. When reporting caucus results, media refers to you as "Other"
4. Meet the Press appearance turns ugly when you put Tim Russert in a headlock
3. Budget director blew most of your campaign funds betting on the Knicks
2. You've primarily been campaigning in Canada
1. You often ask, "What would George W. Bush do?"
One of Letterman's guests Monday night: Mike Huckabee, in his third late night appearance in less than a week. He was on NBC's Tonight Show last Wednesday evening and on CBS's Late Late Show the next night.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Here’s how I would interpret the results of yesterday's Iowa caucuses:
Huckabee – So far, so good (from his point-of-view). Expect him to gang up with McCain in New Hampshire in an attempt to finish off Gov. Romney.
Romney – Able to hold out for awhile, but needs to win a primary fast. Seems like an impressive resume is not enough; he needs to engage the public on a personal level.
Thompson, F. – A disappointing showing, but maybe his luck will change if he were working a more conservative state.
Giuliani – Not cultivating Iowa and New Hampshire may actually be disadvantageous to his cause, since the spotlight is on his competition right now.
McCain – Didn’t do too badly considering he was concentrating on New Hampshire rather than Iowa.
Obama – On a roll! He has consistently attracted the largest and most enthusiastic crowds, and his success in Iowa should enable him to raise even more money.
Clinton, H. – In a state of shock. For someone who was hailed as Ms. Inevitability only a few weeks ago, even a slight setback can be devastating.
Edwards – For all the time, money, and effort he lavished on Iowa, he should have been first. If he can’t make it in South Carolina again, he might as well pack it up and go home. He can comfort himself with the knowledge that his populist themes have been taken up by Huckabee and Obama.
Dodd & Biden – They’re history.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
By the way, former Clinton insider Dick Morris has one of the best summaries of the stakes involved in the Iowa caucuses taking place later today in "Eyes on Iowa: What They Need," published in the New York Post.
I do not take seriously the rumor circulated by Politico claiming that Fred Thompson will throw in the towel if he does poorly in Iowa; it was not confirmed by his campaign, and we will have no idea as to how effective his bus tour of the state has been until we see tonight's results.
UPDATE: Despite showing his dark side several times, Gov. Huckabee succeeded in selling himself to Iowa Republicans, Romney came in second, and Thompson and McCain are tied for 3rd place. Sen. Obama led the Democrats, followed by Edwards and Hillary Clinton. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden announced that they will end their presidential campaigns. Source: FOX News
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
The original source for this video is the Baynham & Tyers Web site (http://www.baynhamtyers.com/) in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Other interesting ChillOutZone.de videos include:
Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art/acrobatic dance
Next Generation Skateboarding
Gravity-Defying Pizza Toss
Desert Eagle Knock Out (Ouch!)
Salsa auf einem Bein - The male dancer puts on a wonderful performance, despite the fact that he has only one leg and a crutch.
Homer Simpson - A picture every day Spoof
"As technologies evolve, old media companies tend not to be the source of the innovation that allows them to survive. Even so, new technologies don't usually kill off old media: That's the good news for the recording industry, as for the TV, movie, newspaper and magazine businesses. But for those old media to survive, they must adapt, finding new business models and new, compelling content to offer.
"The RIAA's legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed. Four years of a failed strategy has only 'created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies,' Beckerman says. 'Every problem they're trying to solve is worse now than when they started.'"