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Archive for July 23rd, 2008

Another Gift for Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:42 am by HL

Another Gift for Obama
Just days in advance of Sen. Barack Obama’s stop in London, the Guardian reports that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown “today paved the way for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, promising a ‘fundamental change’ of mission in the first half of 2009.”


TedFest! — Now You Can Pick Some Winners!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:41 am by HL

TedFest! — Now You Can Pick Some Winners!
When we began the TedFest! poetry contest at firedoglake last week, Alaska’s very senior Senator Ted Stevens was ahead of his most likely November challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, by one point. Now, as we let you choose the final winners, Mark Begich is up by nine points. Way to go, gang!

When we began the TedFest! poetry contest at firedoglake last week, Alaska’s very senior Senator Ted Stevens was ahead of his most likely November challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, by one point. Now, as we let you choose the final winners, Mark Begich is up by nine points. Way to go, gang! That’s Mark in his newest TV ad at the top of the post.

It is your turn to finish judging the poems. Over 150 poems were created here about Ted Stevens. 121 of them fit the original TedFest criteria – more or less. I got three distinguished Alaskans who have been watching our Senator closely over the years, to narrow the finalists down to three in each of four categories. The categories emerged as I combed through the 121 poems. They are haiku, limerick, short verse & ephemera, and verse. No YouTubes were entered, so that category was easy to judge.

Our judges were Mike Chmielewski, former Matanuska-Susitna School Board Chairman, current Palmer City Council member and President of the activist organization, Friends of Mat-Su; Steve Aufrecht, retired University of Alaska Anchorage professor and my favorite Alaska blogger; and Shannyn Moore, Alaska’s most progressive voice on the AM and FM airwaves.

Here are the rules for the finals – pick one winner in any, or in each category, and comment about it here over the next 24 hours. That’s it. Prizes? Christy Hardin Smith had a suggestion last week – toobz! Maybe first prize can be lunch with Ted Stevens’ staff, second prize two lunches with Ted Stevens’ staff, eh? Any other ideas? I’ll reveal the authors of these gems after the contest is over.

Haikus:

Seven stars shining
On a new house in Girdwood
Oil money bought it

—– 

Ted Stevens glows at midnight.
Son already sunk.
Glaciers calving justice

—–

Midnight sun, with many tubes.
Wisdom comes to Ted
Slowly, if at all

Limericks:

Of all the congressional critters
Ted sure knows his Toobz and transmitters
His scandals are breakin
His booze, getting taken
And now there’s no wine-ing and bitters.
—–

Senator Ted’s been around a long time
Leaving a long and storied trail of slime
Now the Feds are taking a look
As they think Ted’s really a crook
So we ask, where ya been all this time?

—–

Upper House Stevens? Need proof
He let all our freedoms go poof
Our dollar is sinking
The glaciers are shrinking
Now voters are raising the roof

—–

Short Verses and ephemera:

Just
Go,
Ted

—–

Veni, vidi, Veco.

—–

Seward’s Folly, good golly
Stevens’ Fall, jolly good.

Verse:

if ever we looked far and wide
for someone whom we could describe
as a privelege taker
an opportunity maker
for his greedy band of squires;
to the edges of earth we’d ride
far up north to aurora’s skies
ted stevens would fit it
this time he can’t fix it
he’ll be going to jail for his lies.

—–

Tubes and trucks litter the Tundra
Left alone, a man bleeds on the snow
Gasping, ranting; yellowed teeth chattering,
Weary bones aching
As Valkyrie taunt and mock – Toobz!
A cry mocked by its echo – VECO!
Burns the lips with litigious icicles
That melt as blisters rise
VECO! Ice and wood and shame
No! NO! Rasp and rage
Give way to dull fingers and tongue
Sun sets, knowing
Tundra and Raven will take their own
Once again – once again

—–

There are odd things done in the midnight sun
By the men whom Oil has sold
Their fishy tales meet with hearty gales
from wise heads when they are told
The FBI’s knights have recited some rights
but the queerest they ever had read
was that night by the mouse of a Girdwood house
that belonged to Senator Ted.

—–

There you have it, firedog critters. I’ll be helping with the contest, if you have any questions. I’d like to once again thank Alaska’s Democratic Party National Convention blogger, Celtic Diva, for her help on this over the past week.

There is so much going on in Alaska politics today, even without Ted’s awesome help. The special session of the State Legislature is voting on Governor Sarah Palin’s preferred proposal for building our long overdue natural gas pipeline from Alaska’s north slope to markets (they have been either burning off or re-injecting the gas since Prudhoe Bay opened).

But our popular governor’s honeymoon with Alaskans ended last week, when her administration and family became embroiled in the emerging scandal over her abrupt firing of the popular head of the Department of Public Safety. Now it turns out that the man she has nominated to replace the former top cop, has some serious questions emerging about a sexual harassment charge brought against him by a female police officer serving under him while he was Chief of Police in the town of Kenai. Never a dull moment in the most rapidly changing political climate in the United States – Alaska.


DNC Musical Guest Update

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:40 am by HL

DNC Musical Guest Update

A few weeks ago I beat Denver Post gossip columnist Bill Husted to the punch in reporting that Bruce Springsteen was free from Aug. 24 to Aug. 30 and could be coming to the DNC. Last week, I beat him by a day in reporting Kanye West, reggae/hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean and the rap/rock fusion band N.E.R.D. were scheduled to perform at DNC events.

Today, Husted beats me with some DNC musical guest news I haven't heard about: The Temptations will be performing for three nights at a “mansion” near 1st and Humboldt in the Country Club area.

As to the Aug. 24 Red Rocks concert with Sheryl Crow and Earth, Wind & Fire, Husted says even though Dave Matthews' people told him this weekend that Matthews is not scheduled to perform, he's convinced Matthews will be there.[More…]

In non-musical news updates, Husted reports Sen. Barack Obama will be staying at the Englewood home of Level 3 CEO James Crowe and using various hotel suites for meetings. (I've heard the hotel hosting the Obama campaign is the new Ritz-Carlton.)

Finally, Husted says Bill and Hillary Clinton will be at the Brown Palace. I heard Hillary will be at the boutique-y Hotel Monaco(directly across the street from my downtown office building) but that didn't sound right, so I'm going with Husted's info on this one.

I'm mainly interested in the musical performers, but for those of you following the movie star attendees, colunist Penny Parker at the Rocky Mountain News has the latest.


Fresh Thread

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Fresh Thread
enjoy

Modern Capitalism
It’s so awesome.

July 22 (Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s rescue package for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will probably cost $25 billion, the Congressional Budget Office said.


America’s Got Water Problems, and No Plan to Fix Them

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:38 am by HL

America’s Got Water Problems, and No Plan to Fix Them
The lives and income of millions have been upended by government mismanagement of water issues.


McCain Explains Czechoslovakia Gaffe … And Explains … And Explains

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:37 am by HL

McCain Explains Czechoslovakia Gaffe … And Explains … And Explains
As you all know, McCain has repeatedly referred to “Czechoslovakia” in recent days, even though that country hasn’t existed since the beginning of the Clinton administration. Well, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire today, McCain again made the…


Bacillus Whinius Spreads

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Bacillus Whinius Spreads
It appears that the whininess virus may be spreading out from the McCain campaign to various pro-McCain journalists. You may have noticed that Robert Novak caused a stir yesterday by floating word that the McCain campaign was on the brink…


Underestimating

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Underestimating

I suspect the McCain campaign really believes Sen. Barack Obama is an inexperienced empty suit who is only good in front of a teleprompter. It’s the only explanation for their foolish strategy.

As said here before, making “experience” your main theme is a proven loser in presidential campaigns. Voters ultimately care more about where a candidate will take the country than the length of the candidate’s resume.

But the McCain campaign made an extra error: believing the conservative hype that Obama is hollow.

The McCain campaign tried to mock Obama for not knowing anything about foreign policy by offering to have McCain lead him around Iraq.

Obama essentially called the bluff:
arranging a high-stakes multi-country trip, where he can hold court on foreign policy, display his knowledge and provide assurance to undecided voters that he can command the world stage.

It’s much harder to make the charge stick that a candidate is in over his head when you just saw him navigate the currents.

Now the trip isn’t over yet, and the visits to Israel and Palestine will be the trickiest visits of all. A high-profile mistake by Obama (and even the best politicians can make a mistake in those treacherous political waters) would justify the McCain approach.

But the McCain campaign effectively ceded control
of the argument to Obama. They didn’t respect his skills and believed he would fumble.

Not smart.

Such is the risk of underestimating your opponent.
You presume he can’t handle a challenge, you sit back believing he will fail, and he ends up showing you up.

If they were paying closer attention during the primary season, objectively assessed their rival, they wouldn’t have levied such an attack.


McCain mocks Obama ‘love’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:34 am by HL

McCain mocks Obama ‘love’
McCain mocks Obama ‘love’


Robertson Advocates Israel Striking Iran Before The 2008 Election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Robertson Advocates Israel Striking Iran Before The 2008 Election
On yesterday’s edition of The 700 Club, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson sharply criticized the “moderate tone” the Bush administration has allegedly taken toward Iran and its nuclear weapons program. Robertson advocated that Israel look out for the “survival of its nation” and “make some kind of a strike” against Iranian nuclear facilities. He also predicted […]

On yesterday’s edition of The 700 Club, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson sharply criticized the “moderate tone” the Bush administration has allegedly taken toward Iran and its nuclear weapons program. Robertson advocated that Israel look out for the “survival of its nation” and “make some kind of a strike” against Iranian nuclear facilities. He also predicted that it will likely happen before the 2008 elections:

But nevertheless, I think we can look in the next few months for Israel to make a strike — possibly before the next election — because I think George Bush — to use the term an “amber light” — he’s given the amber, the yellow light, saying, “Caution, but go ahead.”

Watch it:

Robertson’s predictions often turn out to be wrong. In 2004, Robertson claimed that the Lord told him it would “be like a blowout” re-election for President Bush. (Bush ended up receiving just 51 percent of the vote.) In 2006, he incorrectly predicted that “the outcome of the war and the success of the economy will leave the Republicans in charge.”

He does, however, have an inside track into the Bush administration. Last year, Robertson’s Regent University estimated that one in six of its graduates were employed in government work. Approximately 150 served in the Bush administration.

Today, top McCain surrogate Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is also talking to controversial Pastor John Hagee’s organization. In 2006, Hagee declared:

The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.

Other members of the right wing have also been unifying around the idea of striking Iran before Bush leaves. Both John Bolton and Bill Kristol have made the same argument.

(HT: Ari’s Freedom Switch)

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