Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Rudy makes tracks below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Just last week America's Mayor endorsed Republican Rick Perry for governor of Texas. Rudy is a partner in a Houston-based law firm known for its Bush and energy ties.
He also managed to beat McCain for the nod in a Georgia poll. In a poll of 230 conservative bloggers Rudy came in 2nd behing Condolezza Rice for GOP hopefuls in 2008.
It appears the flyover states have no problem supporting a socially moderate Republican yankee.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Free Market Victory in FL
Consumers will be able to choose betweeen incumbent Bright-House networks and Verizon who just made a deal with officials in Hillsborough County. Verizon offers more for less and the Tampa Tribune predicts a price war between the two cable operators.

VP to visit Alabama next week.
Cheney will be helping Rep. Robert Aderholdt raise money in Morgan County.

One Step Closer to Confirmation.

The Senate voted 72-25 to end debate on Judge Alito' s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
The actual vote (finally) will be tomorrow morning and is expected to be 57 in favor with the possibility of 60 if Snowe, Dorgan, and Landrieu vote aye.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Yale supplies handsoap for dormroom bathrooms, finally.
Where the expression, "filthy Yalies" originated.
Not bad for a school with a 15billion dollar endowment.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

First Charter School run by a Teachers Union

Good news except if the union decides to unionize charter schools. See it here. Alabama is still one of the last 10 states to not have a charter school law. Wonder why.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Polling for Pennsylania Senate and Gov. Races.
(1200 likely voters) I will continue to follow the 2006 races in PA as they are heating up. An incumbent Rep. Senator and a Dem. Gov. have the potential to be upset next fall. PA went for Kerry in 2004 and these mid-terms will show us which direction the state is headed in 2008.

Pres. Bush's job approval/disapprove. 39/55

Nomination of Sam. Alito to the SC. 55/34

If the election for Governor was held today, and the choice was between Ed Rendell, (D) and Lynn Swann,(R) whom would you vote for?
Lynn Swann 46%
Ed Rendell 44%

15. If the election for United States Senate were held today, and the choice was between Robert Casey, Jr.,(D) and Rick Santorum,(R), whom would you vote for?
Robert Casey 50%
Rick Santorum 40%

21. Who is your choice for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2008? (Republicans only) Rudy Guliani 40%
John McCain 31%
Newt Gingrich 8%

23. Who is your choice for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2008 with Condoleezza Rice included? (Republicans only)
Rudy Guliani 36%
John McCain 22%
Condoleezza Rice 13%
Newt Gingrich 7%

From National Review's This Week:
So Jon Stewart's hosting the Oscars? Why don't they just skip the middlemen and go straight to Howard Dean.

Moore calls for constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

Moore joined 16 ministers of the Alabama Coalition Against Same Sex Marriage in calling for a vote on the ban the day of the Republican primary (June 6). Moore is the honorary chairman of the Coalition and he is stumping for a high voter turnout.

"Christians across the state have an obligation to turn out on something as important than this."

Moore obviously supports the ban but the amendment is strategic as well. The base of Moore's support is more likely to show up to vote for the ban and that helps him get his voters to the polls if the vote is held on the same day as the primary.

The ban, which Riley supports too, will probably pass as it already has in Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas. Maybe the amendment vote will bring out just as many anti-Moore voters as well.

Debate over Alito starts today

As of 10:30, Central Time, the vote is 16-16; along party lines with the exception of Dem. Nelson who voted for. Kennedy is bloviating about separation of powers and how Justice Hugo Black did not make law.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

KY governor chooses KFC bust over ex-Playmate

Ex-Playmate Pam Anderson recently wrote the government of Kentucky to implore him to remove a bust of Col. Sanders from the capitol. Anderson, along with PETA, is protesting what they call the abuse of chickens used at KFC locations.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher refused to remove the bust, claiming that ""Colonel Sanders remains a Kentucky icon," Fletcher wrote last week. "His success story has been an inspiration to many. The industry he began has employed hundreds of thousands of workers over the years. His business and his legacy have been good for Kentucky."

Tell Us How You Really Feel.

Kanye West poses as Jesus on the upcoming cover of Rolling Stone. He is also posed as Muhammed Ali. The photos are meant to demonstrate Wests' confident demeanor.

"In America, they want you to accomplish these great feats, to pull off these David Copperfield-type stunts," he says. "You want me to be great, but you don't ever want me to say I'm great?"

Inside the issue West also says his hit song "Gold Digger" was the best song last year and that it should have been nominated for the Grammy's best rap song category: "That's a gimme Grammy."

West also reveals his pornography addiction and when it started.....at age 5!

Right then," West says, laughing, "it was like, `Houston, we have a problem.'"

That's also the same time that he realized that George Bush doesn't care about black people.

Hillary Clinton blasts Bush Administration during MLK speech.

"We have a culture of corruption, we have cronyism, we have incompetence. I predict to you that this administration will go down on history as one of the worst that has ever governed out country." Hillary is of course referring to the 1 indictment of Scooter Libby (Abramoff who peddled his wares to both parties.)
Let's see if these facts from Gateway Pundit via here will refresh her memory.
* Number close to the Clinton machine who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes: 44
* Number of convictions during his administration: 33
* Number of indictments/misdemeanor charges: 61
* Number of imprisonments: 14
* Number of presidential impeachments: 1
* Number of independent counsel investigations: 7
* Number of congressional witnesses pleading the 5th Amendment: 72
* Number of witnesses fleeing the country to avoid testifying: 17
* Number of foreign witnesses who have declined interviews by investigative bodies: 19

Bush asked about "Brokeback Mountain"

During a Q&A session at Kansas State University today, a student asked Bush: "I was just wanting to get your opinion on BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN if you'd seen it yet." The crowd laughed softly before the student said loudly: "You would love it! You should check it out."
"I haven't seen it," Bush said flatly. "I'd be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie," he said to laughter. "I've heard about it."
The president waited a second or two, then said, according to a transcript: "I hope you go -- (laughter) -- you know -- (laughter) -- I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm, is what I was about to say. I haven't seen it. (Laughter, applause.)"

Can you believe the balls on that guy?

Kerry enters the Blogosphere.

John Kerry made a strange post on DailyKos the other day. He has opened up a diary no doubt in order to keep his base energized for a 2008 run.I understand the Kos crowd loved it and there were over 1,200 comments. Here is a portion:
There's something that doesn't sit right with me when, on the day Osama Bin Laden resurfaced in a disturbing audio tape, cable television ends up in a game of name calling as a war protester is compared to Osama Bin Laden. (Matthews compared Micheal Moore to OBL)
That's reason to be outraged - but even more outrageous is the fact that in a flurry of sound bites what was lost was a real discussion of the fact that more than four years after the devastating attacks of 9/11, more than four years after George Bush boasted we wanted Osama "dead or alive," more than a year after Osama Bin Laden showed his hateful face in yet another video, this barbarian is still very much alive and boasting of additional attacks against the United States.
P.S. I want you all to know that I’m reading your many comments. My wife Teresa reads blogs passionately, and I follow blogs too, and I’m glad I can be a part of this – and frankly I’m not worried about taking some slings and arrows along the way. I’ve faced worse! So keep the comments coming -- good, bad, hopefully not indifferent.

Swann's primary opponent strikes back.

Bill Scranton fired the first shot at the former ALL-Pro. "Lynn's candidacy is 18 days old," Scranton said yesterday. "Eighteen days and he's asking Republican leaders for unqualified support as an unknown, untested, first-time candidate for public office."
Scranton is frustrated at Swann's success in winning endorsements from state leaders and his refusal to participate in an debate later this week.
Party leaders will endorse a candidate on Feb. 11.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Senate Jud. Comm. vote on Alito
The Senate Judiciary Committee reconvenes again Tuesday at 8:30 to vote on whether or not to recommend Judge Sam Alito to the full Senate for approval. The vote is expected to run along party lines. The Republicans share a 10-8 advantage over the Democrats.

Conservatives win big in Canada

With a few races still uncalled, news outlets are calling the election in favor of the Conservative Party. As I am writing this, the Conservative Party has picked up 125 seats, a gain of 27. The ruling Liberal party lost 31 seats to finish with 102. The New Democrats who in November joined the Conservatives to support a no-confidence vote over members of the Liberal party mispending tens of millions of government money and taking kickbacks.

Many Canadians had grown weary of the corruption scandals and voted for Stephen Harper despite fears the 46-year-old economist was too extreme in his views opposing abortion and gay marriage. During the campaign, Harper pledged to cut the red tape in social welfare programs, lower the national sales tax from 7 percent to 5 percent and grant more autonomy and federal funding to Canada's 13 provinces and territories. (sounds like a man after my own political heart) He also wants to improve relations between Canada and the United States, which comprise the world's largest trading bloc and conduct $1.5 billion in business daily.

The Liberals have angered Washington in recent years, condemning the war in Iraq, refusing to join the continental anti-ballistic missile plan and criticizing President Bush for rejecting the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions and enacting punitive Canadian lumber tariffs.
Harper also wants to spend more on the Canadian military, expand its peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Haiti and tighten security along the border with the United States in an effort to prevent terrorists and guns from crossing the frontier.

It is important to note that minority governments in Canada usually only last a year or two. They are usually unable to maintain a consistent coalition for any period longer than that.

Iraq War Veteran runs for Senate after being defeated in House Race.

Paul Hackett-D of Ohio, whose anti-war rhetoric caught the nation's attention is challenging veteran representative Sherrod Brown for a chance to take on current Sen. Mike Dewine-R. Hackett challenged and lost to the heavily favored Republican Jean Schmidt in 2004. National operatives are keeping a close watch on Ohio in 2006 in order to predict which whether it will finally fall for the Democrats in 2008. President Bush won Ohio in 2004.
Hackett rhetoric reached greater proportions when he made the following statment to the Columbus Dispatch;"The Republican party has been hijacked by religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren't a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of other religious nuts around the world." Hackett's statment immediately prompted the state GOP to ask for an apology. "I said it," Hackett replied. "I meant it. I stand by it." He has taken to repeating it at every stop along the campaign trail.
Well, I guess the Republican party is a lot like OBL except for the constant plans of world domination and mass killings of the infidels. I haven't noticed any members of the Republican party kidnapping and beheading journalists lately. Nor have I seen Ken Mehlman masterminding the bombings of U.S. military installations.
I don't think this Hackett guy will win the primary but I think the DNCs' urging of him to run is indicative of a party that wants to see if the flame-throwing Howard Dean model will work again.

RNC rakes in over $100 million last year.

The RNC brought in $102 million and had $34 million in the bank. The DNC raised $51 million and had 5.5 million in the bank. The difference is the largest lead the RNC has had in over a decade.
RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman commented, "There's no question it's an advantage," he said. "We are in a position to be able to maintain majorities in the House and Senate by providing campaigns with the resources they need to be successful." Under campaign finance laws, the RNC can make unlimited transfers of campaign cash to other Republican national committees.
The DNC spent considerably last year on state parties and installing operatives on the ground in every state. They also worked to elect Democrat Timothy Kaine as Mark Warner's succesor in Virginia.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Canadian polls predict win for Conservative Party .

Polls show the Conservative party in Canada leading by a margin of 7 -12 pts. That will not be enough for a majority in the legislature but will remove the Liberals after 12 years in office. Conservative leader Stephen Harper promises to lower taxes, clamp down on crime, clean up government, cut waiting times for health care and return some power from the federal government to Canada's 10 provinces. He also wants to ease tensions with Washington.

The End of an Administration.

No, not the current one but the Bartlett Administration. NBC's "The West Wing" is officially cancelled. The current plotline pits Democrat Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) against Republican Arnie Vinick (Alan Alda). John Spencer, who went from being Bartlett's Chief of Staff to Santos VP passed away last month. The network says the campaign will be decided before the last episode in May.
I don't know what I will watch for my political fix, I could try Commander-in-Chief but Geena Davis just doesn't seem presidential. The website for the show is set up as a political blog. Also, if we are going to have a woman president on television, she should at least be hot. At least on The West Wing, we had Donna.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Town Hall Meeting with Senator Shelby

This evening I had the chance to listen to our senior senator. The meeting was held at an old high school gym that is being turned into a drug rehabilitation center for women. Sen. Shelby helped bring in some money to get the center started. Here is a brief synopsis: The Senator kicked the meeting off with a promise to vote "Yea" for Sam Alito. He also reiterated his support for judges such as Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts. He brought up the examples of Souter, Stevens, and Kennedy who were appointed to the bench by Republican presidents and then the justices took a hard left turn. Shelby seemed confident that these two judges were not going to follow that same path, that they would interpret the Constitution as it is written.

The meat of the Q&A concerned national security. I agree with him that terrorism, espically from Muslim extremists is going to be a 100yr battle. The Middle East has been the center of conflict in the world for thousands of years. Shelby remarked that he has visited every country in the M.E. except for Iran. The State Dept. said it was too dangerous for him but his wife was allowed to travel there. He stressed the need for us to finish the job militarily and then get out on our own timetable.

When asked about the wiretapping controversy, Shelby pulled out a copy of the Constitution from his inside jacket pocket. He turned to the Fourth Amendment to the part where it says that we are protected from "unreasonable searches and seizures", not all searches and seizures. He then acknowledged that even though Congress can hold hearings it will probably take a Supreme Court decision to resolve the matter, particularly in an election year. Shelby, a former member of the Intelligence Comm., treaded lightly around this subject. Shelby accidentally leaked classified information concerning the 9/11 attacks. Last November, the Senate Ethics Committee dismissed its probe into the alleged leak of classified information regarding National Security Agency intercepts.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Good news for the GOP.

  1. McCain crushes Hillary in 2008 matchup. McCain bests the senator from NY. 52-36 in a new poll. The veteran senator from Arizona has done much to drive away the GOP base. There is only one advantage that McCain can hope for and that is Clinton being the Democratic front-runner. "ABC"or "Anybody But Clinton" will galvanize Republicans the way Dems chose Kerry as the best candidate to attempt to defeat Bush but with a different result. (McCain on Conan O'Brien)
  2. Karl Rove is back. "The Architect",Rove is back providing the RNC with campaign issues for the fall. The economy, national security, and thank God it includes reining in spending. Svengali Dick Morris's latest column makes the case that Bush still owns the national security issue and that polls show the people support what he has done.
  3. Peggy Noonan. Today is the 25th anniversary of the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. Noonan, a former White House speechwriter who is responsible for Reagan's "Challenger" and " Pointe du Hoc" speeches.A book about her tenure can be found here. She uses this special occasion to take stock in the year so far and discuss the future of the GOP. I will leave you with the last few lines:
"Republicans in Washington struggle with scandal and speak of reform, and
reformation. They would better think of words like regain, refresh, rebuild. If
they don't, if Republicans don't choose to lead well, and seriously, and with
principle, they should ask themselves: Who will? Seriously: Who will?"

Swann takes early lead in PA governor race.

A recent poll from Rasmussen shows the former All-Pro receiver leading incumbent Democrat Ed Rendell 45% to 43%. Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters view Swann favorably; 47% view Rendell favorably.
-Both men currently win about two thirds of the members of their respective parties. Each also wins about two thirds of self-identified liberals (Rendell) or conservatives (Swann).
-Swann attracts more votes from Democrats than Rendell does from Republican, but unaffiliated voters side with Rendell 44% to 38%. Rendell also leads among moderates 48% to 40%.
-In a poll taken in November, before Swann announced, Rendell held a 14 pt lead over Swann.
Rendell is an immensely popular governor who helped stump for John Kerry on several occassions last fall. Kerry eventually won Pennsylvania and Rendell is still mentioned as a future presidential candidate. A victory for Swann would be a huge blow but would probably be offset by a defeat of incumbent Rep. Sen. Rick Santorum.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Clinton Administration's Use of Warrantless Wiretaps
There has been some discussion here and on other blogs about the position of the Clinton Whitehouse on wiretaps. Most of these refute the inflated claims that Al Bore made the other day. I think the following links will add more clarity to the issue.

Warrantless "National Security" Searches
The Clinton administration claims that it can bypass the warrant clause for "national security" purposes. In July 1994 Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick told the House Select Committee on Intelligence that the president "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes." According to Gorelick, the president (or his attorney general) need only satisfy himself that an American is working in conjunction with a foreign power before a search can take place.

John Schmidtt, former Assc. Atty. Gen. in Clinton DOJ.
" President Bush's post- Sept. 11, 2001, authorization to the National Security Agency to carry out electronic surveillance into private phone calls and e-mails is consistent with court decisions and with the positions of the Justice Department under prior presidents.".....
"We cannot eliminate the need for extraordinary action in the kind of unforeseen circumstances presented by Sept. 11," Schmidt continues. "I do not believe the Constitution allows Congress to take away from the president the inherent authority to act in response to a foreign attack. That inherent power is reason to be careful about who we elect as president, but it is authority we have needed in the past and, in the light of history, could well need again."

The Bush administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill say terrorist cells in this country are precisely what those FISA loopholes were intended for, even if they don't represent a traditional enemy state. .....In an interview yesterday, Miss Gorelick acknowledged her testimony before Congress but said it pertained to presidential authority prior to 1994, when Congress expanded FISA laws. Left unanswered, she said, is whether that congressional action trumped the president's "inherent authority." "The Clinton administration did not take a position on that," she said.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The end underage drinking in Alabama as we know it??

I saw a story of the news tonight about the legislatures idea to ban keg sales except for establishments that serve alcohol. Over at Bamacrat they seem to have sentimentalized the way most of would feel should that happen:
Times have changed. Keg parties are a rite of passage. There's nothing like
a cool October Friday night before a game at some random house near campus in
Tuscaloosa drinking disgusting Miller Lite keg beer out of a used red Dixie cup
while standing around with a couple of buddies and about 20 people you don't
know. Those times are special. What about the camaraderie of the people around
the keg? The overweight guy with a beard and constant smile and cigarette burned
North Face fleece vest pumping the keg with all his heart? What is he going to
do now?If you take away the keg, you take away the soul of the campus party.
What will these parties be like without the shouts of "Dude, get me a cup," or
"We totally floated this one?"
Will the next generation grow up without knowing how to tap a keg or,
importantly, do a keg stand? Will my son grow up not knowing the anticipation
and promise of a keg party where there are guaranteed to be thirsty freshmen and
sophmore girls in attendance, cups at the ready? Eager to use a wild keg parties
as a scapegoat for youthful indescretions? Gone will be the days of waking up
with that special blistering hangover that only keg beer can give you next to
some half-naked girl that you think is in your math class.

Underage drinking may be wrong, but Keg parties are so right.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Al Gore comes out of hibernation.

Yes, that is Al Gore or at least it is somebody who swallowed him . Gore spoke out against the administration's use of wiretaps w/out court order. Gore claims that W has "repeatedly and persistently" broken the law. Evidently, the man who invented the Internet forgot the Clinton administration's similar stance on the use of warrantless searches.
"The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes," Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994, "and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General."

Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said it best: "Al Gore's incessant need to insert himself in the headline of the day is almost as glaring as his lack of understanding of the threats facing America. While the president works to protect Americans from terrorists, Democrats deliver no solutions of their own, only diatribes laden with inaccuracies and anger."

Swann captures another GOP endorsement.

Former Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Lynn Swann racked up another caucus victory over his opponent, former Lt.Gov. William Scranton this weekend in the race for governor. Swann received 22/29 votes from the NW caucus. Swann previously defeated Scranton 77-32 on January 7th in the Central caucus which covers 28 counties. Following the Central Caucus, a NW Caucus chairman issued a statment that a "clear majority" of its members were voting for Scranton. Swann turned the tables and captured the 2/6 primary caucuses b/f a Feb 11 endorsement.
Both candidates are expected to report funds of over a million dollars at the end of the month. The winner faces popular governor Ed Rendell, the former mayor of Philadelphia. Rendell, whose war chest is supposedly up in the double-digits, raised $40 mil four years ago against Bob Casey Jr and Republican Mike Fischer.
Swann won four Super Bowls with Pittsburgh in the 70s. Up until the end of the year, he was a sideline announcer for ABC Sports. He is expected to run as a pro-life, pro-gun, low tax Republican candidate.

Last-minute notes from the Republican Party meeting

Some of those who attended last weekend said there was a measurable difference between the applause Riley received and the applause for Moore.
Chess Bledsole (Auditor candidate from Bham) apparently said he has been involved in GOP politics since the 70s which is funny b/c he was born in 1971.
The House District 31 race is starting to heat up as Barry Mask has been doing a lot a mailing lately(apparently he has a formidable war chest). A few weeks ago his opponent,Don Whorton was shown to have a sizeable lead. The favorable/unfavorable ratings for both candidates are high. For a detailed description of the poll click here.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Alabama Republican Party support for Moore?

This weekend's Alabama Republican Party meeting in Mobile provided Roy Moore with a temporary victory but nothing else. Crossover voting will be allowed in the party's June 27 runoff providing a small victory for Moore. Moore seems to think crossover voting will help him defeat Riley but I think that that line of thought works both ways. I know plenty of fervent Dems who would like nothing more than to take out Moore ASAP. Other than that there were few victories for the former Etowah County judge over the weekend.
Every speaker over the weekend applauded the leadership of Gov. Riley w/out mentioning his opponent. Those speaking included; Sens. Shelby and Sessions and keynote speaker Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.
Riley's campaign was in full force over the weekend posting signs around the hotel and passing out gift bags for those who checked into the hotel. Riley campaign materials and bumper stickers were available outside meeting rooms and 1/2 dozen KrispyKreme doughnuts were placed outside each attendees hotel room on Saturday morning. Moore campaign materials were nowhere to be found. info found here.

2008 Republican Hopeful to be in Birmingham:
Former supermayor of New York Rudy Giuliani will be in Birmingham on Monday, February 27 along with Steve Forbes as part of a motivational conference at the BJCC. Rudy consistently polls higher than any prospective Republicans in the 2008 field which is suprising given his pro-choice, pro-gay stances. Rudy declined to support his good friend John McCain in the 2000 election and has been a fundraiser for W in the red states. He certaintly should win the debate on the war on terror if that is still an issue in 2008. I think Rudy makes an interesting candidate considering all he accomplished as a Republican in a Democrat-dominated state. Read about it here.
Despite his exemplary leadership following 9/11, Rudy's failed relationship with wife/broadcaster Donna Hannover would make many of the Religious Right shudder. His relationship with Judith Nathan as well as a former press secretary will be fair game for 2008. Read about it here.
I am not sure I completely buy the hype that the Republican Party is leaning too far to the right but even the possibility of a Giuliani/ McCain would silence the pundits. With the last few
presidents coming from the governor ranks maybe it is time for a Yankee mayor to break the cycle.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I am testing out pics to add to my blog. These can be found here.