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In case you missed it, here is last night’s debate…

The whole video is below:

Feel free to post your comments.

 

Maybe this is the debate you REALLY want to see…

 

 

 

The event will run 90 minutes and will be live streamed online on moderated by CNN’s E.D. Hill.  This is going to be good!

Huffington Post is now reporting the debate will be on October 6 at 8 pm ET. There will be a fee ($4.95) for the livestream, with half the proceeds going to charity. HuffPo has a video of O’Reilly announcing the debate, and Stewart has also made an announcement.

 

Second Day Summary of the RNC from TPM:

 

Here it is in 100 seconds:

Amazing… it’s all there!

 

Racism raises its ugly head at the RNC…

 

“This is how we feed animals,” were the words shouted at an African-American CNN camera woman while throwing nuts at her at yesterday’s RNC session.

Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention by security and police. Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and the convention released a statement saying:

“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”

A CNN representative said:

“CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

No information has been released as to who the two offenders were nor what has happened to them

 

When Does Journalism on the Net change a disturbing image into very poor humor?

 

I’d like to thank Mashable for posting this article which defines communication symbolism on both the left and the right. What are we…Tasteless, stupid, apathetic? Is that what the editors at HuffPo and Newsweek think in their campaigns to promote readership?

Here’s part of the proof:

Both The Huffington Post and Newsweek are battling backlash for their use of coat-hanger symbols to protest a call for a Constitutional ban on abortions without exceptions for victims of rape and incest. The call for the ban appears in a draft of the GOP’s official 2012 platform, according to CNN.

The front page of The Huffington Post was taken up by a large image of a coat hanger late Tuesday morning to illustrate two stories — first this, then this one — related to the proposed ban.

We thought it was powerful,” founding editor Roy Sekoff said of the decision to use the stock image. “It’s saying that this is the inevitable consequence of this kind of policy.” “We knew it went right up to the line of offensiveness,” he added.

 

Not long after, Newsweek posted a screenshot of The Huffington Post‘s front page with the caption, “Whoa there, Huffington Post!” The post attracted more than 700 notes, most of them supportive of HuffPo. Some, including comedian Rob Delaney, interpreted Newsweek‘s caption as critical.

An hour after the initial post, Newsweek changed the cursor image on its Tumblr page to a coat hanger. The reaction was overwhelmingly negative.

“I hope this guy gets fired,” one follower wrote. “Tasteless,” wrote another. “Congratulations: you’ve insulted, offended, and devalued half the human population with your pathetic attempt to be clever,” chimed a third.

What it looks like the problem lies in Newsweek‘s attempt to transform the coat-hanger from a disturbing image (HuffPo‘s use) to a humorous one (Newsweek‘s). Do they succeed with readers? Gee, I hope not.

Good journalism used to be reporting without preferred point of view… or at least without making that point of view funny in a serious context. Then again, with a cover article entitled ‘Obama’s Gotta Go,’ Newsweek has officially removed itself from good journalism.

 

Moderators for Presidential Debates Announced Today:

 

And here they are:

PBS’ Jim Lehrer will moderate the first presidential debate on Oct. 3 at the University of Denver.

Candy Crowley, host of CNN’s “State of the Union,” will host the second—a town-hall format—on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

CBS NewsBob Schieffer—who snagged the first joint interview with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on Sunday—will moderate the third presidential debate, Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.

Martha Raddatz, ABC News’ chief foreign correspondent, will host the lone vice presidential debate on Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky.

Lehrer and Schieffer were both moderators in 2008.

 

Two Quotes: What do Republicans think of Romney’s tax release stance?

“There is no whining in politics. Stop demanding an apology, release your tax returns.”

GOP strategist John Weaver, calling on Mitt Romney to disclose his tax returns.

 

“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong. I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.”

– Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), calling on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.

Hey, Mitt… how about the returns for 2000, 2001 and 2002? Do they show your income from Bain Capital?

(Thanks to Taegan Goddard.)

Quote of the Day – I agree with this one…

“I don’t think it would have made the difference. But it’s kind of like Thanksgiving at your in-laws. If you go, it doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be fun, but if you don’t go there’s going to be hell to pay.”

Paul Begala, quoted by CNN, saying it was a mistake for President Obama to skip campaigning in Wisconsin.

Of course, I find myself often agreeing with Paul Begala… and I wish more Democrats would listen to him.

How do we deal with American illiteracy?

Perhaps you are disturbed, as I am, that there are large numbers of Americans appearing in this political season who cannot interpret either the needs of the nation or the words of various experts in how to fill those needs. It is very apparent in the repetition by average Americans of things they hear from sources like Fox News, or even CNN and MSNBC, without evaluating whether they are true.

This has a lot to do with literacy, defined by ProLiteracy.org as “the ability to read, write, compute, and use technology at a level that enables an individual to reach his or her full potential as a parent, employee, and community member.” The statistics?

  • 63 million adults — 29 percent of the country’s adult population —over age 16 don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level.
  • An additional 30 million 14 percent of the country’s adult population — can only read at a fifth grade level or lower.
  • Forty-three percent of adults with the lowest literacy rates in the United States live in poverty.
  • The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations.
  • In the U.S., 63 million adults — 29 percent of the country’s adult population —over age 16 don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level.
  • An additional 30 million 14 percent of the country’s adult population — can only read at a fifth grade level or lower.
  • Forty-three percent of adults with the lowest literacy rates in the United States live in poverty.
  • The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations.
  • Adult low literacy can be connected to almost every socio-economic issue in the United States.
  • Low health literacy costs between $106 billion and $236 billion each year in the U.S.
  • Seventy-seven million Americans have only a 2-in-3 chance of correctly reading an over-the-counter drug label or understanding their child’s vaccination chart.
  • Low literacy’s effects cost the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.

Got the idea? How do you think the result of these statistics show up during the election season? Take a look:

This is not something that can be corrected in the short term… mores the pity. It requires long-term support of education and the increased employment of teachers. It mandates aiming the majority of our youth to college education as opposed to the military. It means encouraging reading and writing on continuing upgraded levels.

It also requires a massive reduction in the influence of current television programming, something that is the least likely to happen anytime soon.

 

 

Newt’s dropping out on May 1st…

…according to CNN. It’s expected he will formally endorse Romney on that day as well.

Having come up very low in the five primaries yesterday, Mitt is looking at no more money to survive with and no viable reason to stay in the race (even though he promised not to pull out before the convention.

According to CNN, Gingrich is likely to hold his final campaign event Tuesday in Washington, D.C., where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters.

Pathetic Quote for the Afternoon

So whose fault is it that Newt isn’t on top of the Republican pack? Fox News?

“I assume it’s because Murdoch at some point said, ‘I want Romney,’ and so ‘fair and balanced’ became ‘Romney.’ And there’s no question that Fox had a lot to do with stopping my campaign because such a high percentage of our base watches Fox.”

- Newt Gingrich

Newt’s assumption, of course, is that Fox controls the Republican campaign.

A Fox News representative said Newt was just saying this because he is angling for a post-primary broadcast position at CNN. (Gingrich has already stated that he’ll be attending the White House Correspondent‘s Dinner at the CNN table… how about that?)

Did you hear this one from Santorum?

Source: Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:

“You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future.”

Rick Santorum, quoted by NBC News, suggesting Republicans may be better off with President Obama than Mitt Romney.

This reference to Romney as the “Etch A Sketch candidate” is showing up everywhere today… on public radio as I drove to my morning meeting, in my search for political cartoons for Sunday, on all the TV news shows today.

Here’s my favorite political cartoonist, Mike Luckovich’s view of the Etch A Sketch attack (and a pretty accurate view of the results):

So let’s be clear. The Repiglicants get closer and closer to nominating Romney, but clearly he is a candidate they wish was not there.

I wonder what toy you would compare Santorum to?

Quote of the Day – The Value of Donald Trump’s Endorsement

After Santorum won all three primaries/caucuses yesterday and Mitt came in really far behind, Donald Trump, who had claimed credit for Mitt’s Nevada win, told CNN he was puzzled:

Rick Santorum was a sitting senator who in re-election lost by 19 points, to my knowledge the most in the history of this country for a sitting senator to lose by 19 points. It’s unheard of. Then he goes out and says oh ‘okay’ I just lost by the biggest margin in history and now I’m going to run for president. Tell me, how does that work? … That’s like me saying I just failed a test. Now I’m going to apply for admission to the Wharton School of Finance. Okay? He just failed a test…. And now he’s going to run for president. So, I don’t get Rick Santorum. I don’t get that whole thing.”

Looks like The Donald’s political expertise is somewhat questionable. Do you think Mitt won Nevada for some other reason than Trump’s endorsement?

Wow… an unexpected Quote of the Day…

I assume this was said in error… but there are many who say that such accidents let out the true beliefs of torchbearers.

“By the way, I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor…”

-Mitt Romney, February 1st, 2012, while talking on the air to Soledad O’Brien of CNN.

You know, I believe his true beliefs actually came out here.

Tonight is Obama’s State of the Union Address…

President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union speech tonight at 9 p.m. EST. It is expected to last at least an hour, after which Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana will deliver the Republican response (there will be a Tea Party response from Herman Cain… don’t miss it. All speeches like this should end with humor.)

Obama is expected to use the State of the Union to pitch new initiatives on jobs, taxes and housing, in what will be billed as his opening salvo in a long 2012 election race. He will probably push tax breaks for bringing manufacturing jobs home from overseas, give ideas to help the troubled home-mortgage market and create incentives for alternative energy development. Expect him to call again for higher taxes on the wealthy – despite consistent Republican opposition – and to speak of further pressure on China over currency and trade practices.

There are a number of ways you can watch and follow the speech online. The official White House website, which will not only be streaming the speech live, but will be accompany it with charts, stats, and data that reinforce the address. On television, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC will all air the speech live. The Huffington Post will also run liveblog coverage of the event, accompanied by an embedded live video feed.

Some items based on recent Obama remarks leading up to the address:

“Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.”

The President has promised to let the Bush tax cuts for millionaires expire at the end of 2012.

_____

“[The Affordable Care Act] is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage.”

At least 2.5 million young Americans now have health insurance through their parents’ health care plans until 26 years of age. As of November, more than 2.2 million people with Medicare had saved more than $1.2 billion on prescriptions (I’m one of them. I support this whole heartedly. - Bill)

_____

Expect the Republicans to make it clear that they will continue to oppose Obama’s positions… but also expect Obama to say that he will be seeking bi-partisan progress even though it is an election year.

It should be noted, however, that State of the Union messages have historically not effected increases in a President’s poll ratings (an exception being Bill Clinton’s 2nd address which increased his numbers by 3%.)

A quote for the evening…

Bernie Sanders in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN:

“If you look at the ideology of these right wing Republicans, more tax breaks for rich, cut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, deregulate Wall Street after Wall Street caused this horrendous recession we’re in, more unfettered free trade so we can lose more jobs to China. Do you know how many people believe in that ideology? Maybe, 15, 20 percent max.

“The real issue is why Democrats aren’t winning by 30 or 40 percent.”

Yep. That’s the real issue. Looks like the media (as represented by Blitzer and buddies) are spending a lot of time pushing the Republican agenda.

Some thoughts while listening to the Republican “debate” in New Hampshire.

CNN

I thought I’d watch this tonight for the potential humor in the situation, but I began to realize as I watched it and started yelling at the television, that all seven of these people would be disastrous in ANY elected office.

First point: How did CNN manage to put together so many puffballs to ask these people? On top of that, why are there no followup questions when these folks tell obvious lies (or at the very least show that they are extremely misinformed)? When Romney shot down the success Obama had in saving GM and Chrysler he said that they had to go through bankruptcy anyway… did you know that? I didn’t. You would think it would have been in the news. Yet John King and the other reporters didn’t challenge the view that was brought up.

Second point: What was the point of wasting time with questions like “flat pizza or deepdish?” or “Spicy or mild wings?” Very entertaining, I guess. Not news. Not important to those seeking a President. Worse than the other softball questions.

Third point: Which one of these idiots is going to create a government where all sides work together? These folks… even Romney who changes positions from week to week… are putting themselves in as far a right wing extreme as possible. Whether it is religion, abortion, Social Security, Medicare or any other major thing which we have learned over decades that we have a right to, these “debaters” are totally blind to opposing views,

Fourth point: Are there nothing but white people in New Hampshire? As I view the, I guess, all-Republican audience, I see rows and rows of one group of Americans.

Fifth point: I don’t see anyone here that can stand up to Obama. Maybe it’s just me, but the problems these people create by cutting programs and imposing their religious and social beliefs on others are frightening.

Here’s something for Memorial Day: Dance at the Jefferson Memorial and get arrested!

This happened last week. Did you know you can’t dance in a public place? Can’t kiss your girlfriend either.

Welcome to America.

I don’t usually give such coverage to Libertarians… but this is something that really bothers me. I don’t care if there are demonstrators doing what we really saw as demonstrating in the 60s and 70s… public spaces like National Monuments should be open for such demonstrations as long as there is no violence, no interference with others getting to go to or pass through the area, and no profanity or pornography, etc. This little police action… plus the shutting off of a Press camera (freedom of the press should extend to public places)… is more than irritating. It is frightening.

Adam Kokesh is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War and former US Congressional candidate from New Mexico. Adam has testified before Congress and has been interviewed on CNN, Fox, and ABC. As a Marine, Adam was sent to Fallujah in 2004 and received the Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Commendation medal as a sergeant. Kokesh attended graduate studies in political management at George Washington University and holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Claremont McKenna College.

On the appropriateness of celebration…

There has now been a day to ponder the responses of the killing of bin Laden which, let me assure you, I think was an important and rightful act.

I am bothered, however, by the New Year’s Eve-style celebrations which went on for hours after the announcement: delerious street dancing, people wrapping themselves in flags, yelling and screaming… I would have expected something much more somber. I would have expected candles, thoughtful silence, remembrance of so many lost in the name of getting this one man.

I’ve been reading blogs, watching television, flipping through the newspapers and listening to radio for 24 hours or so (about half of which I was disconnected from the internet thanks to my friends at Frontier… boy, these guys are driving me to the Hughes Network) and finding there were a lot of people who also thought the party-like atmosphere made us seem as bad as Al Qaida, who did the same kind of thing after the twin towers went down. I had hoped we would be better than that, but I should know from experience that we, as a people, are easily tipped into emotional release.

Having had the day to think about everything I hope folks will be a little more reflective today. This, of course, means different things to different people. I spent five minutes switching from CSPAN‘s Morning Edition, Morning Joe, Fox News and CNN and each had their own perspective. CSPAN was taking calls from the public… at least two who were pushing the idea that 1.) bin Laden was not dead, but we really had scooted him off for secret interrogation without the rest of the world knowing about it, and  2.) that he has been dead for a couple of years and we have been keeping him on ice so Obama could stage this event in order to get reelected. In their usual reluctance to comment or get in the way of the craziest responses, CSPAN just let it go by with a “Thank You.”

Fox seemed to be devoting the morning to making sure there was plenty of focus on George W. Bush whose plans were in place to be carried out by Obama… plus repeated videos of Bush with megaphone at the 9/11 site, Bush doing the “Dead or Alive” speech, etc. Damned little focus on Obama.

My favorite was public radio which found part of the Seth Myers’ speech at the Correspondent’s Dinner the night before the attack and the one bin Laden joke he made… which the President did a deep laugh at… we know now that he knew what was about to go on in Pakistan and he kept it in unleaked control.

Morning Joe had the usual mix of conservatives and liberals and CNN was more concerned with a troop of missing boy scouts and massive flooding in Cairo, IL. Their Obama thoughts ran as a tickertape stream at the bottom of the screen.

Frankly, I’m going to start reviewing the “what do we do next” scenarios… with a certain amount of hope that we MAY no longer need to be in Afghanistan – that it becomes the new Iraq, the war that we have no reason to be in. I don’t really believe it will happen… after all we still have thousands of folks still in Iraq. If we could only get away from the need to be an empire!

I’ll comment on what I find later. Have a nice day.

A Quote for the Morning from Chris Hedges:

“The systems of information, owned or dominated by corporations, keep the public entranced with celebrity meltdowns, gossip, trivia and entertainment. There are no national news or intellectual forums for genuine political discussion and debate. The talking heads on Fox or MSNBC or CNN spin and riff on the same inane statements by Sarah Palin or Donald Trump. They give us lavish updates on the foibles of a Mel Gibson or Charlie Sheen. And they provide venues for the powerful to speak directly to the masses. It is burlesque.”

Read the rest of the article, The Corporate State Wins Again, on Truthdig.

In Case You are Gearing Yourself Up for Michelle Bachmann’s Personal Response to Obama’s State of the Union Message, Maybe you should take a look at her grasp on history…

We started learning about the Civil War and the ending of slavery around the fourth grade or so, and certainly we knew about Lincoln freeing the slaves by the time we entered high school. I thank Anderson Cooper for presenting this astounding look at Bachmann’s understanding of our history on CNN last night:

Are there conservatives out there who still support this dindong for the Presidency? She claims to be a leader of the Tea Party Movement and, frankly, I believe her.

“You Lie” Rifle Part No Longer Available…

Here’s some more good news…

Joe Wilson

As you may know, it was revealed after the Saturday shootings that a gun store in South Carolina was selling an assault rifle part with the etched words “You Lie” referring to Representative Joe Wilson’s (R – SC) shouted words during Obama‘s State of the Union Address in 2009.

The dealer, Palmetto State Armory, put an ad for the item on their web site with the words “Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new ‘You Lie’ AR-15 lower receiver.”

Yesterday this report of the products withdrawal from the market was broadcast on CNN:

CNN reports that Rep. Joe Wilson has been told by a South Carolina gun company that it is discontinuing the sale of a rifle part engraved with the words “you lie.”

Wilson, R-S.C., attracted national attention for screaming out “you lie” during a speech by President Obama in 2009.

CNN quotes a letter from Wilson, forwarded to the network by the congressman’s staff, thanking Palmetto State Armory for discontinuing sales of the rifle part.

“I thank you for quickly suspending sales of the product that uses my words,

It’s good to see something like this taken off the market, but it begs the question of why it had been put there anyway (wasn’t South Carolina the first state to secede from the Union causing the Civil War?).

Most Americans want it, the Administration wants it, McCain doesn’t want it. Who’s right?

Looks like this will come up this week and we may get a decision on DADT:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

The Pentagon study that argues that gay troops could serve openly without hurting the military’s ability to fight is expected to re-ignite debate this month on Capitol Hill over repealing the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Officials familiar with the 10-month study’s results have said a clear majority of respondents don’t care if gays serve openly, with 70 percent predicting that lifting the ban would have positive, mixed or no results. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings hadn’t been released.

Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have mostly opposed repealing the law because they say efforts to do so are politically driven and dangerous at a time of two wars.

“This was a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States,” McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union” last weekend.

blog it

Taking the Rap: Iranians Arrest Teenagers Across Country For Playing Rap Music and Using “Western Musical Instruments”

Jeez… don’t tell Lindsey Graham… he’ll have us using nukes on ‘em. 

This from Jonathan Turley:

clipped from jonathanturley.org

Taking the Rap: Iranians Arrest Teenagers Across Country For Playing Rap Music and Using “Western Musical Instruments

The Iranian police has found another threat to the Islamic faith: rap music. The morals police has raided parties across Iran to nab kids who just want to play rap music. These teenagers have been meeting in abandoned buildings to listen to the music and dance.

The courageous Iranian police arrested the teens and seized “Western musical instruments” as well as alcohol. They were declared participants in a “morally deviant” practice, including music that “portray[ed] a bleak picture of society and presenting unhealthy relationships between boys and girls as normal.” I am not sure that you need rap music to portray a bleak picture of the Iranian society under control of the mullahs.

blog it

Polls in the East will be closing in a couple of hours…

…and then the television chatter will begin, especially on CNN, MSNBC and FOXnews. All of these stations started blabbering early today, pushing the polls and debating possible upsets and surprises. I’m not sure there will be any surprises, but that’s me. It would sure be nice if there WAS a surprise… like the Dems kept control of both the House and Senate, the Tea Party Crazies get voted down, or voter turnout meets no one’s expectations.

I’ll tell you one thing, this election season has made me much more of a Liberal (and I didn’t say “Progressive”.) But that’s me… I usually side with people who seem to be meeting a real challenge. Tomorrow I’ll be posting to this blog results and comments and guesses as to the future… then we can start working on 2012.

As of now, I’m taking the night off. See you all tomorrow.

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