Entries in Election (13)
Rockets are now being fired on Jerusalem, setting off air raid sirens in the holy city. This coming off the heels of incoming attacks in Tel Aviv while Egypt's PM Hishal Kandil visits with Hamas in Gaza (apparently breaking a truce in doing so). If so, very bad call on Hamas' part (although, I never took them as thoughful planners).
There have now been close to 350 rockets fired into Israel since the attacks began on Wednesday.
As a response, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved an IDF to increase the number of reservists being called up, beyond the 30,000 already approved.
It's only getting uglier.
- - - - - -
previously on the BL Rag:
I will say I do feel better today, not being all hung over... Keg beer will kill ya'.
Now comes the time Washington wakes up from the same hangover and works on something they've failed to do for far too long... getting things done.
No more Bush's fault, no more "obstruction" cries... hone in on the problems and focus on fixing them. As voters it is our responsibility to hold our leaders accountable. If you can't do the work that needs to be done, we throw you all out. If you can't work together, we can't just throw out one party, we need to start throwing out everybody that is unwilling to change Washington's financial bottom-line for the better.
We say this as if that's the way things are supposed to work, but given our recent history... I don't think either side truly means it. Please, TELL ME I'm wrong. I actaully want you to steer me away from this thinking and out of this funk of negativitiy. Deep down inside I'm really a positive person.
However we have a problem in our nation. We have establishment GOP-types and Democrats that are unwilling to do what really needs to be done because they want everything done their way or not at all. They feel that finding a middle ground means that only the other guy/gal defies their will and does everything THEY want instead. They assume their desires are the only thing that is best and that finding the best solution only means convincing (or forcing, or bribing, etc) the other side into doing things their way. Reid won't acknowledge Republican bills on the Senate floor (he even admitted prior to the election he would not work with Republicans). Mitch McConnell isn't much better. John Boehner has been ineffective as a leader in the House while Nancy Pelosi has been... well, it's Nancy Pelosi... you get the idea.
This doesn't just happen between parties, it happens amongst the parties as well. There are great Republicans and there are great Democrats that see our country's failures for what they are, but neither of the parties are willing to tackle the true issues that are destined to destroy this country, so the problems remain unchanged. Even the most powerful man America admits an inability to change Washington, and that's perfectly acceptable.
"We understand, it's hard... you have my vote." ::pat on the back::
When we win, everything is great, life is awesome. When we lose, it's miserable... awful... we're screwed! Then we go about our business as if nothing has changed, primarily because nothing HAS changed.
Change begins at the local levels, not at the national level. We see great candidates snubbed out before their political careers even get a start because they are the ones willing to pull off those loose strings fraying the party and that scares the living crap out both parties. They are passed over for "more ideal" candidates that will enforce the positions of those who got them there. Those politicians then cater to those who feed them their orders. All the way up the food chain until there is only the most powerful in those two parties calling every shot and then we sit back and choose between the lesser of two evils (as those "evils" flatten out and remain unchanged in their principals time and time again).
The biggest thing Washington has lacked however is accountability. We vote straight down the party ticket because we're unwilling to consider the other argument or intellect. We hold nobody in power to blame if they bear the same (R) or (D) after their names as ours. We vote only for our needs and now apparently our wants too. Parties can now win an entire election with passing a budget while our spending is completely out of control. Our children can owe a debt they don't even fathom and we can look them right in the eyes and tell them how great our leadership is. Some of them can't even count the number of 0's behind the 16... some of their parents can't either.
It's like I tell my kids when they've been playing all day but there's chores that need to be done.... it's time to put the toys away, time to quit playing games, time to stop acting like fools... we need to get some work done. It is then my responsibility as a parent to check in on them from time to time to see if they're REALLY cleaning up, or if they're still just screwing off again, only quieter or behind closed doors. Washington has been doing nothing but screwing off and we have failed as its parents.
We as a nation have been playing political games for years now and if we can't stop long enough to get this country on the right track NOW (not in 2 years, or after the next presidential election) everyone who wasn't out there fighting for real change needs to be held accountable and then thrown out of office, no matter what party they represent. Obama needs to somehow learn how to "change Washington from the inside" or we are dead as a nation. Washington has been broken for some time now, if he can't fix it he'd better find somebody with a bigger wrench.. and he'd better find ithem fast.
To me Obama's never really come off as great leader, not even of his own party, so I don't expect much change to occur if at all (and if it does, that's not to say it will be for the better). That may be what makes it so hard to distinguish him as the leader of the free world. To do so he needs to really lead, not just be dragged behind the Democrat heads and base then shoved in front of a camera and mic (and teleprompter) to promote their agenda; Strategized moves based on data drummed up by dorks behind desks looking out for only what's best for their next election and favorability ratings, not the country. We also need a media that's willing to scrutinize this president the same way they did Bush at every turn. Nobody's perfect, but if you asked a Democrat loving media figure, they'll try to convince you Obama really is... perfect.
We’ve done nothing for 4 years to better our economy. In fact many of the things we have done to "improve" it have actually worsened it. Small businesses have suffered, but what's scared them most is the coming year and the Obama policies that await us.
(Speaking of small business... I have one to run and really need to get back to work... So we'll follow this up with another thread next week... to be continued...)
Don't forget to roll your clocks back on Sunday, making this final weekend push for the campaigns that much longer on all of us. I don't know about all of you (since I'm in Iowa), but I am definitely looking forward to the days of not having a mailbox filled with campaign flyers, minimal campagin e-mail spam, a voicemail box void of robo-calls and the daily arguments amongst my staff about who'd be the worst choice for president.
I'm ready for the longest 4 days in the 2012 election to be over already. Do we really need to make it worse by adding an extra hour to it?
We're almost certain to see plenty of last ditch attempts of campaign-killing low blows from both sides.... so why waste any more time?
As the campaigns prepare their final wimpy punches going into the weekend, it sould be an interesting final 4 days, for both the campaigns and the media. In fact, we may actually see major networks cover the Benghazi fiasco this Sunday, as it is now being reported on by other major networks besides Fox.
Even the Red Cross mid-Hurricane Sandy clean-up is being politicized. One one end you have Mitt Romney using the case for charity as a backdrop for his campaign. On the other end you see MSNBC going nuts over Romney's promoting of the Red Cross "pretty offensive", even attacking the Red Cross for their efforts:
Andrea Mitchell adds:
On top of that we see an excellent opportunity for Obama to show us how he can "cut through the red tape" with Hurricane Sandy efforts ... but I don't think he'll want to go there. Not BEFORE an election.
That aside, Sandy's destruction is impressive, even considering the storm's power wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Some of the photos have me dropping my jaw. There's photos up all over the place. Definitely check some of them out.
You know what else had me drop my jaw? All the fake photos of Sandy, leading people like CNN host Torre to actually think some of them were real (nice job, genius):
I'd boycott by not watching the NY Marathon, however I never watch the NY Marathon, or any marathon for that matter. I'm just not that desperate for entertainment.
Have yourselves a great weekend everybody...
Get rested up for a long night Tuesday...
Post whatever you want to...
Thread is officially Open.
OH, and p.s...
I'll be working for Ace of Spades this Tuesday for election coverage. Make note of this webpage for future reference. You can follow me on Twitter where I'll be posting throughout the day (and probably late into the night) from my Twitter account and AoSHQ Decision Desk account for Iowa. I'll update you with hashtags and more this Tuesday. Iowa could play a very important role in the outcome this year.
Ben Gozzi? Who's that? Is he a Republican? No? Well, then who really cares? Right?
Oh, and here's a real shocker: The NY Times also endorsed Obama... enthuastically at that.
I know, didn't see that coming... did you?
In fact many left-leaning news outlets considered Plame-gate one of the greatest scandals in American history, even worse than Watergate. After all "nobody got killed in Watergate" (their words, not mine). So going by that comparison, why does the MSM and the same Democrats that made Scooter Libby a household name by screaming it weekly seem so unwilling to even mention Benghazi now? Is it really just a complete double-standard or is it simply to close to the election to be fair and act like real journalists, especially since it could hinder the re-elecion of the current administration they so "secretly" support?
I tell you what... the only reason I get up before 8 am on Sundays is to see what the talking heads are saying, or in today's case not saying... and today they weren't saying anything about Benghazi. I didn't catch McCain bring it up on CBS (off topic of course), but I was flipping around most of the morning expecting every one of them to at least mention what's been going on, but once again it was only the "biased, non-news network" Fox that brought it to the table as an actual topic.
However the tide does seem to be turning on media bias (well, at least it is here in the Midwest). Just this past week multiple papers that have not only displayed a left lean in their past reporting/editorials and went for Obama in the last election (not to mention every other Democrat since Nixon too) made a surprising turn to the right and endorsed Mitt Romney, even writing scathing criticisms of Obama and the performance of he and his administration over the last 4 years. There really isn't any great way to spin it for Obama (but that doesn't mean Stephanie Cutter won't try... desperately)
Even this rag formerly known as the QC Times-Democrat endorsed Romney.
One that could land the charity of his choice a check for $5,000,000.00
The news has led to a very new, unique Twitter trend though... I always like that.
Previously on the BL Rag:
7:22 am - What Will the "Big" Donald Trump Announcement Be?
So he's got an announcement scheduled for this morning... "October Surprise".... "Game Changer"... Blah blah. All I'm saying for now is if it's THIS, I'm going to be pretty "dissappointed" (code for incredibly irate), considering he hasn't any room to be criticizing anybody over divorce(s).
Only thing he's said is that it isn't related to the newest cocaine dealing accusations. I figured that was the case originally, considering the idiot claiming it was holding out for a book deal, but sees it as too late in the political season to score one now... the next "logical" choice seemed like running to Donald Trump.
If it's news worth updating this thread over, I will... if it's not, we'll just spend all day making fun of Donald Trump. I see that as a "win-win".
FINAL UPDATE: click here to skip to last page (for commentors)
Enjoy the live stream courtesy of ABC News:
If the stream starts to become clogged with ads and talking heads... go to C-Span
Thread is open... so have at it.
UPDATE (8/27/12): Apparently it's live but not on just one single live stream so I'll have to update accordingly and place the feed histories here so you can go back and recap what happened earlier in the day / week.
UPDATE (8/28/12): Yet more links added (at least enough to get through Thursday)
Monday - Gavel In: http://youtu.be/NwLo6i7ZnBc
Monday - Evening: http://youtu.be/b4NGPLoVNsA
Tuesday (8/28/12) http://youtu.be/3XqR3WG8yZQ
Wednesday (8/29) http://youtu.be/XFnT3Yvh4fg
Because obviously you need an instructional video if you haven't already done so:
Figure he's just a month or so away from holding up a cardboard sign at the end of a highway offramp that reads "Homeless and Desperate - Will Work for Food Campaign Donations."
In 2009, the President said,
“If I don’t have this [economic improvement] done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
Could that have been prophetic? One could only hope.
As the President hits full campaign mode, it's obvious that he doesn't want to focus on his actual record. Why? Because it perhaps speaks for itself.
It's like a bad heavyweight boxing saga... Al Franken vs Norm Coleman XXIV.
As we discussed a little over a year ago, Al Franken was declared the winner in the Minnesota Senate race, sending him to Washington and proving to the country that he was indeed good enough, smart enough and that people liked him.
Now it's being reported that after an 18 month review of their findings, conservative watchdog group Minnesota Majority found that at least 341 convicted felons in largely Democratic Minneapolis-St. Paul voted illegally in the 2008 Senate race, possibly sending Norm Coleman packing.
The final recount vote in the race, determined six months after Election Day, showed Franken beat Coleman by 312 votes -- fewer votes than the number of felons whose illegal ballots were counted, according to Minnesota Majority's newly released study, which matched publicly available conviction lists with voting records.
Furthermore, the report charges that efforts to get state and federal authorities to act on its findings have been "stonewalled."
"We aren't trying to change the result of the last election. That legally can't be done," said Dan McGrath, Minnesota Majority's executive director. "We are just trying to make sure the integrity of the next election isn't compromised."
So they aren't disputing the fact that Franken is their Senator now and that there is no way legally to reverse that, only that felons were allowed to cast a vote illegally then putting him over the top in the 2008 election.
The story continues:
He said his group was largely ignored when it turned over a list of hundreds of names to prosecutors in two of the state's largest counties, Ramsey and Hennepin, where fraud seemed to be the greatest.
A spokesman for both county attorneys' offices belittled the information, saying it was "just plain wrong" and full of errors, which prompted the group to go back and start an in-depth look at the records.
"What we did this time is irrefutable," McGrath said. "We took the voting lists and matched them with conviction lists and then went back to the records and found the roster lists, where voters sign in before walking to the voting booth, and matched them by hand.
"The only way we can be wrong is if someone with the same first, middle and last names, same year of birth as the felon, and living in the same community, has voted. And that isn't very likely."
So this information was provided before, when it would have made a difference and their findings could have been actually changed the outcome of the race legally, but it fell upon deaf ears at the state and federal level? Now you can debate the validity of the source if you want, but if actual evidence was presented only to then be ignored by the Department of Justice based strictly on the source and their partisanship then you have a far more serious problem aside from the obvious: that so many felons were able to vote and get away with it for months while a supposed thorough investigation was being conducted.
Minnesota Majority put an exclamation point at the end of their data late last week via this post on their website, in which they stated...
We’ve witnessed reluctance on the part of Minnesota law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute election crimes and now there’s evidence that indicates the federal government is deliberately fostering an environment favorable to voter fraud, nationwide, by refusing to enforce the anti-fraud provisions of the Help America Vote Act. It's become apparent that Minnesota's 2008 election problems are not isolated.
... and only a little more than a year after we thought is was finally over.
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai bowed to Western pressure Tuesday, agreeing to take part in a presidential runoff vote in two weeks.
Karzai, who will face his main challenger Abdullah Abdullah in the November 7 second round, said he was putting his country's interests over his own.
"It was not important who the winner is, and we need to leave this to the people of Afghanistan to judge who the winner was," Karzai said at a news conference through an interpreter.
"Whether I am the winner or not, it's probably in my interest, but I prefer the national interest of Afghanistan over my personal interests."
Karzai's latter comment strikes me as disingenuous, especially since the international election observers cited significant instances of obvious fraud and wiped out 1/3 of his votes in the first round of the election.
Here, I think, is a very interesting comment:
Western powers, particularly the United States, had been pushing Karzai to accept the final election results in order to ensure Afghanistan has a legitimate government, particularly as Washington considers beefing up its military presence there.
I think that the problems around this election have been a significant sticking point in Washington's discussion of increased troop levels. We've been burned before by propping up less-than-legitimate rulers, and I'm guessing that "get on with the runoff" has been a very clear back-channel signal from Washington to Kabul. Indeed, the President was quick to endorse Karzai's decision:
"While this election could have remained unresolved to the detriment of the country, President Karzai's constructive actions established an important precedent for Afghanistan's new democracy," Obama said.
If we're going to build democracy, we can't bolster politicians who deny it. Let's hope that Karzai's acceptance of a runoff leads to a timely decision on, and implementation of, a new US strategy for our efforts in Afghanistan.
Courtesy McClatchy - emphasis added:
TEHRAN, Iran — Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main rival in the disputed presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, massed in competing rallies Tuesday as the country's most senior Islamic cleric threw his weight behind opposition charges that Ahmadinejad's re-election was rigged.
"No one in their right mind can believe" the official results from Friday's contest, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said of the landslide victory claimed by Ahmadinejad. Montazeri accused the regime of handling Mousavi's charges of fraud and the massive protests of his backers "in the worst way possible."
"A government not respecting people's vote has no religious or political legitimacy," he declared in comments on his official Web site. "I ask the police and army personals (personnel) not to 'sell their religion,' and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God."
Um...wow. Sure, I expected some jockeying to take place within Iran's ruling elite, but I never expected a senior cleric--much less the Grand Ayatollah--to make a statement so clearly provocative.
This is BIG. Note that Montazeri put the question in both political and religious terms, and he effectively staked the legitimacy of their government on their handling of this election. Politically speaking, this is not something from which a rapproachment can be achieved with any ease; it's closer to a line-in-the-sand statement as far as the division among the mullahs is concerned. Montazeri even went so far as to preemptively strike the "following orders" excuse from consideration by individuals within the police and army, invoking direct holy judgment upon their actions.
This is almost "win or go home" stuff. If Ahmadinejad is declared the winner, I don't see how Montazeri can remain in power; if Mousavi is declared the winner, Khameini will be significantly weakened after his open support for Ahmadinejad. This might even be the opening salvo in an not-so-secret struggle between the two ayatollahs; it would seem that they have feuded for years.
More commentary as events warrant...
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