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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Net Neutrality Advocates In Charge Of Obama Team Review of FCC

Source: Wired
The Obama-Biden transition team on Friday named two long-time net neutrality advocates to head up its Federal Communications Commission Review team. Werbach_kevin Crawford_4

Susan Crawford, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, and Kevin Werbach, a former FCC staffer, organizer of the annual tech conference Supernova, and a Wharton professor, will lead the Obama-Biden transition team's review of the FCC.

Both are highly-regarded outside-the-Beltway experts in telecom policy, and they've both been pretty harsh critics of the Bush administration's telecom policies in the past year.

Their jobs will be to review the agency and arm the president, vice president and prospective agency leader with all the information needed to make key decisions as they prepare to take over.

The choice of the duo strongly signals an entirely different approach to the incumbent-friendly telecom policymaking that's characterized most of the past eight-years at the FCC.

Barack Obama links Israel peace plan to 1967 borders deal

Source: The Sunday Times
Barack Obama is to pursue an ambitious peace plan in the Middle East involving the recognition of Israel by the Arab world in exchange for its withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, according to sources close to America’s president-elect.

Obama intends to throw his support behind a 2002 Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League and backed by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister and leader of the ruling Kadima party.

The proposal gives Israel an effective veto on the return of Arab refugees expelled in 1948 while requiring it to restore the Golan Heights to Syria and allow the Palestinians to establish a state capital in east Jerusalem.

On a visit to the Middle East last July, the president-elect said privately it would be “crazy” for Israel to refuse a deal that could “give them peace with the Muslim world”, according to a senior Obama adviser.

New Blackwater Iraq Scandal: Guns, Silencers and Dog Food

Source: ABC News
Ex-employees Tell ABC News the Firm Used Dog Food Sacks to Smuggle Unauthorized Weapons to Iraq
A federal grand jury in North Carolina is investigating allegations the controversial private security firm Blackwater illegally shipped assault weapons and silencers to Iraq, hidden in large sacks of dog food, ABCNews.com has learned.

Under State Department rules, Blackwater is prohibited from using certain assault weapons and silencers in Iraq because they are considered "offensive" weapons inappropriate for Blackwater's role as a private security firm protecting US diplomatic missions.

"The only reason you need a silencer is if you want to assassinate someone," said former CIA intelligence officer John Kiriakou, an ABC News consultant.

Six Blackwater employees are under investigation by another federal grand jury, in Washington, D.C., in connection with the shooting deaths of at least 17 civilians in September, 2007 at a Baghdad traffic circle. Prosecutors are expected to return indictments in the next few weeks, according to people familiar with the case.

10,000 opponents of Prop. 8 march on NYC Mormon Church

Source: Associated Press
Carrying signs reading "Love not H8" and "Did you cast a ballot or a stone?", a large crowd of gay-marriage supporters gathered outside a Mormon temple to protest the church's endorsement of a same-sex marriage ban in California.
The rally Wednesday night outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple came hours after gay couples exchanged vows for the first time in Connecticut amid cheers and tears of joy.
The milestone did not ease the sting of a major loss for gay-marriage supporters last week. Gay activists planned protests across the country over the vote that took away their right to wed in California.

Mormons Tipped Scale In Gay Marriage Ban With Millions Of Dollars, Dedicated Volunteers

SACRAMENTO — Less than two weeks before Election Day, the chief strategist behind a ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California called an emergency meeting here.
“We’re going to lose this campaign if we don’t get more money,” the strategist, Frank Schubert, recalled telling leaders of Protect Marriage, the main group behind the ban.
The campaign issued an urgent appeal, and in a matter of days, it raised more than $5 million, including a $1 million donation from Alan C. Ashton, the grandson of a former president of the Mormon Church. The money allowed the drive to intensify a sharp-elbowed advertising campaign, and support for the measure was catapulted ahead; it ultimately won with 52 percent of the vote.
As proponents of same-sex marriage across the country planned protests on Saturday against the ban, interviews with the main forces behind the ballot measure showed how close its backers believe it came to defeat — and the extraordinary role Mormons played in helping to pass it with money, institutional support and dedicated volunteer

U.S. helicopter down in Mosul, two dead

Source: Reuters
Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:45pm ESTBAGHDAD (Reuters) -
Two U.S. soldiers were killedin a helicopter accident in the northern Iraqi cityof Mosul on Saturday, a military spokeswoman said.The helicopter involved was an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior,a small scout helicopter fitted with weapons. It hitoverhead cables as it was attempting to land."There has been a helicopter incident in Mosul.They're classifying it now as a hard landing whenit came in contact with wires," Captain CharlesCalio said earlier on Saturday.

Exclusive: Gregory Craig to be White House counsel

Source: Politico
Gregory B. Craig, a well-known Washington lawyer who quarterbacked President Bill Clinton’s impeachment defense, has been chosen White House counsel by President-elect Obama, according to Democratic officials.

Craig is intimately familiar with the president-elect’s record because he played the role of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in debate preparations.

The officials said Obama has settled on Craig, but were not sure when it would be announced.

The choice gives the president-elect both experience and loyalty. During the primaries, Craig was an early Clinton alumni defector to Obama. Columnist Robert D. Novak reported back in the winter of 2007 that Craig had told him he “was impressed with Obama when he first met him at the home of investment banker Vernon Jordan, an intimate friend and supporter of the Clintons.”

Craig was an Obama foreign policy adviser during the campaign. At the start of the Clinton administration, he had been the State Department’s Director of Policy Planning, the head of State’s in-house think tank. He also was senior adviser on defense, foreign policy and national security to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Dennis Kucinich Investigates Treasury's Blank Check

Congress is seeking answers on Henry Paulson's bailout "bait-and-switch." —By Nick Baumann
Called onto the congressional carpet, top hedge fund managers signal they're finally ready to deal on regulation. —By Nick Baumann
By Mary DejevskyThe US and UK left the impression that Russia was the guilty party. Continue
By Scott Ritter
Barack Obama has until the 20th of January to get his policies in order, because at one minute past noon on that day, he becomes the most powerful man in a volatile world. While the problems he will face are many, I will focus on what I believe are the four most critical issues that will need to be addressed in the first weeks and months of the Obama administration: Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Russia. Continue
Wall Street's Bailout is a Trillion-Dollar Crime Scene
Why Aren't the Dems Doing Something About It?
By Naomi Klein
The more details emerge, the clearer it becomes that Washington's handling of the Wall Street bailout is not merely incompetent. It is borderline criminal. Continue

"Louisiana Briefs: "

Source: Shreveport Times

COVINGTON — Initial court hearings have been held for all eight suspects arrested in connection with the death of an Oklahoma woman who allegedly was killed after a disagreement at a Ku Klux Klan initiation.

Shane Foster, 20, and Frank Stafford, 21, went before a judge Friday. They and five other suspects, whose hearings were held Tuesday, are charged with obstruction of justice in the case. All five are being held on bonds of $500,000 each.

An eighth man, Raymond "Chuck" Foster, is being held without bond. The alleged leader of a Washington Parish KKK group is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Cynthia Lynch, 43, of Tulsa. Authorities say she was recruited to join the group but was killed when she decided to leave the ritual Sunday ...

Celtics PR director says White House dog bit her

Source: 7 News Boston
BOSTON -- President Bush's dog Barney apparently bit another White House visitor.

Boston Celtics public relations director Heather Walker acknowledged a published report Friday that Barney bit her wrist and drew blood as she tried to pat the dog after a White House ceremony honoring the team's 17th NBA championship.

Walker said she had wanted to keep the Sept. 19 incident under wraps, but her hometown newspaper, The Salem (Mass.) News, reported it on Friday.

Walker says White House staff offered help, but a Celtics' team physician applied an adhesive bandage to her wound. LinkHere

2 Staten Island Men Charged With Election Night Hate Crime

Source: New York Times
Two white Staten Island men face hate crimes charges after they were arrested on Friday in the beating of a black teenager on the night that Barack Obama was elected president, the police said on Saturday.

The teenager, Alie Kamara, 17, was walking home on Pine Place in the Staten Island neighborhood of Stapleton when several men hit him on the head with a baseball bat and yelled “Obama,” said Aliya Latif, the civil rights director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who was in contact with Alie’s family since the attack and spoke to his mother on Saturday after the arrests were announced.

A law enforcement official said on Saturday that an independent witness had helped them to identify two suspects, both from Staten Island, in the attack. Ralph Nicoletti, 18, of 35 Wadsworth Avenue, and Bryan Garaventa, 18, of 169 Maryland Avenue, were arrested on Friday, the police said.

They face charges of hate-crime assault and criminal possession of a weapon, the police said.

The police said that the teenager was walking home late on Nov. 4 when a black sedan pulled up alongside him. Several white men jumped out, struck him on the head with a blunt object, and then fled in the car, the police said.

Alie was taken to Richmond University Medical Center in stable condition that night where he was treated and released.... LinkHere
Security officials cite no specific intel, but warn of coming 'assault'.

Obama Faces More Personal Threats Than Other Presidents-Elect

WASHINGTON — Threats against a new president historically spike right after an election, but from Maine to Idaho law enforcement officials are seeing more against Barack Obama than ever before. The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president's security is so sensitive.
Earlier this week, the Secret Service looked into the case of a sign posted on a tree in Vay, Idaho, with Obama's name and the offer of a "free public hanging." In North Carolina, civil rights officials complained of threatening racist graffiti targeting Obama found in a tunnel near the North Carolina State University campus.
And in a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into "The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool," saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to when Obama was attacked. "Let's hope we have a winner," said the sign, since taken down.

Obama Offers Clinton Secretary Of State

President-elect Barack Obama offered Sen. Hillary Clinton the position of Secretary of State during their meeting Thursday in Chicago, according to two senior Democratic officials. She requested time to consider the offer, the officials said.
Multiple reports have indicated that Clinton was under serious consideration for the nation's top diplomatic post, in addition to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, the Republican Senator from Nebraska.
A longtime aide to the New York Senator argued to the Huffington Post that there are strong reasons why Obama would be inclined to make the post worth Clinton's time.

Obama Urges Congress To Move On Economic Plan (VIDEO)

CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday urged Congress to get moving next week on an economic rescue plan that would extend jobless benefits among other actions.
"If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as president," Obama said in his Democratic Party's weekly radio address.
The radio address was also videotaped and being posted online through a YouTube link to Obama's transition Web site, . The president-elect plans to continue to record online videos of the addresses after he takes the oath of office Jan. 20. http://www.change.gov/ LinkHere

Your Weekly Address from the President-Elect

The lame duck economic summit

Bush hosts the G-20 but world leaders would rather talk to Obama.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Barack Obama gives campaign staffers extra cash, BlackBerrys, laptops

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama ended his campaign so flush with cash he's telling staffers to keep the change - and then some.
Long-suffering political footsoldiers who toiled tirelessly, at least since September, to put Obama in the White House recently learned they will be getting extra paychecks worth a month's salary, the Daily News has learned.
And boy, are they grateful.
"I think it's a very nice gesture for people who slaved away and sacrificed for the past year," said one pleased ex-staffer. LinkHere

Obama Names Valerie Jarrett Senior White House Advisor

President-elect Barack Obama has formally named his friend Valerie Jarrett to be a senior adviser in the White House. Her official title will be "senior advisor and assistant to the President for Inter-government relations and Public Liaison in the Obama White House," according to the Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet.
Jarrett is a co-chair of Obama's transition team and was a top advisor to him during the presidential campaign.
From Lynn Sweet's report:
Jarrett, 51, a Hyde Park resident, is a veteran of Chicago's City Hall who went on to become the CEO of The Habitat Company, a major Chicago real estate firm as well as serving on a variety of civic and corporate boards. [...] Joining the campaign while still juggling her Habitat duties, Jarrett functioned as a friend--dining with Obama and other pals before a debate--as a top surrogate for the fund-raising drive--and as an advisor, often with Obama on the campaign plane.

Obama Wins Nebraska Electoral Vote

OMAHA, Neb. — President-elect Barack Obama won one of Nebraska's electoral votes, the first time in history that the state has split its votes and the first time in 44 years that it had given a vote to a Democrat.
After remaining ballots were counted Friday, Obama had a 3,325-vote lead over Republican John McCain in unofficial results for the 2nd Congressional District. Nebraska and Maine are the two states that divide their electoral votes by congressional districts.
Obama, who won the White House last week, has 365 electoral votes to McCain's 162. Missouri, with 11 electoral votes, is still too close to call. Election officials in that state have until Tuesday to finish counting.
The last Democrat to win Nebraska was Lyndon B. Johnson, who carried the state in 1964.


ANN DUNWOODY becomes first woman ever promoted to four star general.

The female descendant of a long line of US military officers was promoted to four star general Thursday, the first woman ever to reach the top rung of the US military.
Ann Dunwoody accepted the promotion and command of the army's materiel command with humor and humility at a Pentagon ceremony so packed with well wishers that three star generals were standing in the aisles.
"When people ask me, Ann, did you ever think you were going to be a general officer, say nothing about a four-star, I say not in my wildest dreams," she said.
"There is no one more surprised than I, except, of course, my husband.
And you know what they say, behind every successful woman there's an astonished man."

More Allegations of Misconduct in Alabama Governor Case

Source: TIME Magazine
More Allegations of Misconduct in Alabama Governor Case
By Adam Zagorin/Washington Friday, Nov. 14, 2008
Don Siegelman
Butch Dill / AP
Next month in Atlanta, a federal court will hear the high-profile appeal of former Alabama governor Don E. Siegelman, whose conviction on corruption charges in 2006 became one of the most publicly debated cases to emerge from eight years of controversy at the Bush Justice Department. Now new documents highlight alleged misconduct by the Bush-appointed U.S. attorney and other prosecutors in the case, including what appears to be extensive and unusual contact between the prosecution and the jury.

The documents, obtained by TIME, include internal prosecution e-mails given to the Justice Department and Congress by a whistle-blower during the last 18 months. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which investigated the Siegelman case as part of a broader inquiry into alleged political interference in the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys by the Bush Justice Department, last week sent an eight-page letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey citing the new material.

Conyers says the evidence raises "serious questions" about the U.S. Attorney in the Siegelman case, who, documents show, continued to involve herself in the politically charged prosecution long after she had publicly withdrawn to avoid an alleged conflict of interest relating to her husband, a top GOP operative and close associate of Bush adviser Karl Rove. Conyers' letter also cites evidence of numerous contacts between jurors and members of the Siegelman prosecution team that were never disclosed to the trial judge or defense counsel.

The letter to Mukasey is a signal that Democrats intend to probe what critics call the "dark side" of the Bush Administration even after it leaves office, according to congressional sources. Besides the Siegelman prosecution, such investigations could focus on the authorization of harsh interrogation methods, and the role of the former White House aides Karl Rove and Harriet E. Miers in the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Krugman: Bailout 'pulled us back from the brink'

Source: Investment News
Since the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was passed on Oct. 3, the economic picture remains “spectacularly murky,” but financial services indicators are looking “better than they did one month ago,” according to Paul Krugman, the winner of the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.

“We've had a 107 degree fever and it’s down to 103,” he said Friday at a press conference in New York. “ pulled us back from the brink." Now, Mr. Krugman said, the focus is shifting toward supporting the real economy and creating a fiscal stimulus plan.

The Department of the Treasury’s decision not to use part of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to repurchase bad mortgage assets is an improvement on the original plan, he said, noting that it is “extremely hard” to find a mechanism that would work.

“They started off on the wrong foot and changed,” said Mr. Krugman, who is also a columnist for The New York Times and a professor of economics and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton (N.J.) University. “They should have had a well-thought-out plan. is better.”

Obama to YouTube weekly address

US president-elect Barack Obama is to make the first YouTube address to the nation on Saturday, recording a talk not just on radio but also on video, a spokesman said Friday.
"President-elect Obama will record the Weekly Democratic Radio Address on video and radio," spokesman Nick Shapiro said.
"The address will be turned into a YouTube video which we will post on www.change.gov," the official website of the Obama transition team, he said.
"No president-elect or president has ever turned the radio address into a multi-media opportunity before," Shapiro added.
"This is just one of many ways that president-elect Obama will communicate directly with the American people and make the White House and the political process more transparent," he said.
US presidents have made weekly addresses to the nation by radio for years with the party in opposition delivering a response afterwards.
Shapiro said Obama will continue to use video for the weekly addresses after he takes office on January 20.

Capable Is A Broad Term

Anderson Cooper: Sarah Palin Is "Very Ambitious, Very Capable... Capable Is A Broad Term"
Anderson Cooper visited Jay Leno Thursday night, where he talked about post-election life and paid Sarah Palin a backhanded compliment.
"I've seen more of Sarah Palin now than I saw while she was running," the CNN host told Leno. "It's up to the American people what's gonna happen to her. She's very ambitious, she's very capable, if she wants it there's a career there for her," he said.
When Leno pressed him on whether he actually thought Palin was "capable," Cooper backtracked: "She's capable of what she's done thus far. Capable is a broad term."

Bill O'Reilly On "Daily Show": Obama Fears, The Secular Revolution And A Teddy Bear

Fox news blowhard Bill O'Reilly stopped by "The Daily Show" Thursday for the first time since the election and stayed two segments. In the first Jon Stewart comforted him about his pre-election fears over Barack Obama, even giving him a stuffed animal to snuggle.
Later, talking about the secular revolution in America, O'Reilly told Stewart, "If you go to Alabama, you're going to be killed... they'll stone you to death." The argument turned to the traditions of America, with Stewart arguing the next step is gay marriage, which O'Reilly called, "your Greenwich Village opinion." O'Reilly then denied there was diversity in the Village to a jaw-dropped Stewart and insisted America is a center-right country. LinkHere

Turley: Blanket pardons would be 'final nail in Bush's coffin'

President Bush has consistently claimed executive privilege in response to attempts to investigate potentially illegal actions by his administration, and it now seems that he could continue to make that claim even after leaving office. There is also speculation that Bush could issue blanket pardons for anyone who might have engaged in torture or other criminal activities under his orders.On Wednesday, an article in the New York Times noted that President Truman had invoked executive privilege in 1953, when he was no longer president, to avoid having to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Congress did not challenge that unprecedented claim, and legal cases involving Watergate and Iran-Contra have given it some tentative support."Can they really do that?" MSNBC's Rachel Maddow asked constitutional lawexpert Jonathan Turley on Thursday. Link Here

Mark Begich Discusses AK Race With Maddow: 'Cautiously Optimistic'

Mark Begich came on The Rachel Maddow Show last night ("It's an honor to be here," he said, TOTALLY crushing!) to discuss the state of the Alaska vote, as thousands of ballots are slowly piling up against Ted Stevens. Asked to gauge the likelihood of him prevailing, Begich told Maddow, "The line we have been using is we're cautiously optimistic." Whereas the line Senator Ted Stevens has been using is, "I have no idea where that gigantic statue of a fish on my front porch came from!" Begich said that his then-current lead of 824 votes constituted a "super landslide" in Alaska politics, but not an "avalanche," because that would be tacky. LinkHere

Ayers On GMA: GOP Used "Dishonest Narrative ... To Demonize Me"

ABC News' "Good Morning America" featured an interview with "campaign boogeyman" William Ayers Friday, his first since the election:
Ayers remained militant in his defense of his bomb-throwing past and repeated a statement that has infuriated his critics: "I don't think we did enough."
Ayers became a bogeyman for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, who demanded to know more about Obama's relationship with his Chicago neighbor. Palin accused Obama of "palling around ... with a terrorist."
Breaking his silence, Ayers told "Good Morning America" today that the GOP attack was a "dishonest narrative...to demonize me." LinkHere

Thursday, November 13, 2008

WANKER. ************

S. Carolina priest refuses communion to Obama voters until they repent.

Iraq vet possible Senate replacement for Obama

Honolulu AdvertiserPosted : Thursday Nov 13, 2008 15:41:22 EST
Tammy Duckworth, who earned the Purple Heart for her service in Iraq, may be moving up with President-elect Barack Obama.
Duckworth, now the Illinois Veterans Affairs director, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Obama in the U.S. Senate or as Veterans Affairs secretary in an Obama administration.
She accompanied Obama yesterday as the Illinois senator marked Veterans Day by placing a wreath at the bronze soldiers memorial between the Field Museum and Soldier Field in Chicago.
Duckworth, then a pilot with the Illinois Army National Guard, lost both her legs in Iraq in 2004 when her Black Hawk helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
She has said she would be interested in either the Senate seat or a post in Obama’s administration.
“I would be honored to be able to do that on a national level,” Duckworth told The Associated Press recently about the prospect of helping veterans.

Crowd of 1 million could attend Obama inauguration

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration is expected to draw 1 million-plus to the capital, and already some lawmakers have stopped taking ticket requests and hotels have booked up.

Biden, Cheney meet at Vice President's manor

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Vice President Dick Cheney welcomed his successor, vice president-elect Joseph Biden, to his official residence Thursday, shrugging off his visitor's stinging campaign trail attacks.

Biden arrived at the vice president's official Naval Observatory residence in northwest Washington with his wife Jill, and posed for photographs with Cheney and his wife Lynne.

During the 50-minute visit, the couples held a private meeting and the Cheneys gave their guests a tour of the ornate residence, said the vice president's spokeswoman, Megan Mitchell.

"It was a good visit. The Cheneys enjoyed giving the Bidens a tour of the residence and wished them well as they make it their home in January," she said in a statement.

The Bidens in turn thanked their hosts "for welcoming them into their home and for their gracious hospitality," said Elizabeth Alexander, a spokeswoman for the vice president-elect.

Biden was a fierce critic of Cheney, possibly the most powerful vice president ever, during the presidential campaign which ended with Democrat Barack Obama's historic victory last week.


Late Bush move 'almost sign of contempt' for election results

Turley: Late Bush move 'almost sign of contempt' for vote results

Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley describes George Bush's intention to finalize 90 last-minute federal regulations, many of them on particularly sensitive issues, as "akin to fouling a water-well ... almost a sign of contempt for the results of the election."

In an appearance Wednesday on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Turley explained, "This is the ultimate dead-hand control. ... What a president can do is, by finalizing a regulation, he can force his successor to go through an entirely new regulatory process that can take years."

"What the means in real terms," Turley noted, "is that you can have an Obama administration that continues to carry out George Bush's directives. And for people who elected Obama for change, that's a particularly obnoxious reality to accept."

County Treasurer-elect Vanessa Sievers, 20, a Dartmouth College junior from Big Sky, Mont., poses in front of one her campaign signs on campus Wednesday Oct. 22, 2008 in Hanover, N.H. Sievers beat out Grafton County Treasurer Carol Elliott, 66, a Republican, who called Sievers a "teenybopper" and blamed the loss on "brainwashed college kids." (AP Photo/The Dartmouth, Jennifer Argote)

Gore Rejects "Climate Czar" Post In Obama Administration

The Washington Times reports:
President-elect Barack Obama's transition team is flirting with creating a White House "Climate Czar," but climate change crusader Al Gore says he doesn't want the job.
The Obama team declined to comment on such a post, even as environmentalists and power industry executives say it's being widely discussed inside the transition offices as a way to spur a clean energy industry, which Mr. Obama has promised will ween the U.S. from foreign oil and create millions of "green jobs."
VP Elect Joe Biden Names Chief of Staff
Erin Medlicott, 11.13.2008
New VP Chief-of-Staff Klain had previously been close to Biden through his service as counsel to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary Committee, when Sen. Biden was its Chairman.

GOP Ponders Gloomy, Dark Forecast

MIAMI, Nov. 12 -- Republican governors were the brightest spot in an otherwise dispiriting election last week for the GOP, but the chief executives gathered here Wednesday provided a gloomy assessment of their party's failures and a dark forecast for the future.
The Republican Party is ill situated to serve a changing America, they said. Members make excuses for corruption. The Bush administration and congressional leaders are fiscally irresponsible and have ceded the tax issue -- of all issues -- to the Democrats. Large swaths of the country are off limits to GOP candidates. Republicans have lost the technology advantage, and if they were part of a corporation, "heads would roll." It's going to be worse in 2010.
The Republican Governors Association, meeting at a sleek hotel on Biscayne Bay to survey the damage, itself is a thinned version of what it was in the heyday of GOP dominance of national politics. There will be 21 GOP governors come January, a loss of one, and only 16 of them made the trip.

Stevens Pollster: Race Is Over, Begich Will Win

Alaska-based GOP pollster David Dittman, who worked for Sen. Ted Stevens during this year's primary race, believes Democratic challenger Mark Begich is all but certain to expand his current razor-thin lead and snatch the seat.
"I don't think Stevens can come back," Dittman said, noting that he thinks the remaining trove of uncounted ballots will help Begich "increase his lead."
Even if Begich's advantage grows, however, Dittman believes it's highly unlikely that Stevens will concede the race until every last ballot is counted. "He's probably waiting in Washington," Dittman said. "I haven't talked to him since the evening of the election, when I called and just told him I was sorry for the way it turned out."
Dittman believes early and absentee ballots, which compromise the approximately 40,000 votes left to count, will likely reflect Begichs' overall advantage so far among those who took advantage of either process. Heavy early voting occurred in the period that directly followed Stevens' conviction on seven felony counts of making false statements on his Senate financial disclosure forms.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Sticks Up For Bloggers, Pajamas

Last night, on her eponymous show on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow took up the cause for a nation of bloggers who are tired of being stereotyped in the sad, stupid, and tired way that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin did whilst shooting her moosemeat infomercial with Fox's Greta Van Susteren: "...sitting there in their parent's basement wearing their pajamas." Le sigh! Suffice it to say, I know bloggers who have written books, bloggers who wear body armor in war zones, bloggers who are immersed in scholarship, and bloggers who can take their experience of driving a taxicab and turn it into a transporting read. I also know a bunch of bloggers who can cook WAY BETTER than Sarah Palin! But more to the point: what the heck is wrong with wearing pajamas? Especially footie pajamas! Especially footie pajamas that you buy yourself, with your own money, instead of the RNC's! This is Rachel Maddow's cause. LinkHere

FOX And Hannity Push Voter Fraud Without Evidence

Sarah Palin Baffles Reporters By Rehashing Stump Speech At RGA Conference

Sarah Palin said today that she doesn't want to comment on the strategy behind the McCain/Palin campaign now that it's over, which is too bad, because that's basically the only thing (besides her aspirations for 2012, and snow machines) that anyone wants to talk to her about. BUT! That doesn't mean she's ready to give up on the stock stump speech she gave over and over again on the trail, though, apparently to the utter bafflement of reporters who are, by now, really bored to tears with the travails of Tito The Builder.
Jonathan Capehart told MSNBC's David Shuster, "I watched her entire speech, and I had to remind myself that the election was a week ago, and this was not a McCain/Palin rally." Is that crazy white-haired lady who thought Obama was "an Arab" a Republican Governor? Probably! "Everything you heard at a McCain/Palin rally since she was selected as the Vice Presidential nominee since September, and even down to the same rhetoric was in that speech," said Capehart.
Jonathan Martin added that Palin's speech was "perplexing" and "jarring," which are the two nicest things ever said about a Palin speech. He added that he wasn't "sure if she wanted to, you know, re-litigate the past campaign or look forward and diagnose where the party should go from here. And it was sort of a little bit of both, but also neither."
Capehart added, "She needs to stop." And, according to David Shuster, 52% of people polled agree that it's time for Sarah Palin to go home. By contrast, 45% say they can't get enough of her. Funny how those numbers seem to correspond with another large accounting of the American electorate that was recently taken! LinkHere

"Disgraceful" DSCC Ad For Martin in GA (against Chambliss)


Cleland ad causes trouble for Chambliss

With Sen. John McCain returning to the campaign trail on Thursday on stump for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss in his runoff race in Georgia, Democrats are reminding voters and donors of a controversial ad aired by Chambliss in the heated final weeks of the 2002 campaign that shows pictures of Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, a triple-amputee from wounds suffered during his service in Vietnam, just after shots of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

The ad — which has a voice-over warning that, "As Americans face terrorists and extremist dictators, Max Cleland runs television ads saying he has the courage to lead," then lists votes where the Democrat opposed President Bush before concluding that "the record proves Max Cleland is just misleading" — helped propel Chambliss to an unexpected victory.

"I'd never seen anything like that ad," McCain said at the time of the spot, which was widely condemned by Democrats. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield is "worse than disgraceful," said McCain. "It's reprehensible.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a Web ad ahead of the Arizona senator’s visit titled “Disgraceful,” reminding voters of McCain’s 2002 response, and also issued a fundraising letter from Cleland where he writes, “In 2002, Saxby Chambliss won his Senate seat in the final days by putting my picture next to Osama bin Laden and lying about me,” Cleland wrote. “It was despicable, but it worked. This year, we can’t let Chambliss use the same vile tactics to defeat Democratic challenger Jim Martin.

Alaska Senate Race just got updated
Source: Alaska Elections OfficeBegich,

Mark DEM 132196 47.41%

Bird, Bob AI 11315 4.06%

Gianoutsos, Ted NA 1140 0.41%

Haase, Fredrick D. LIB 2086 0.75%

Stevens, Ted REP 131382 47.12%

Write-in Votes 718 0.26%

Read more: http://soaelections.gci.net/data/results.htm

Iraq contractor didn't get proper permits; weapons now on black market.

Shepard Smith: What media bias?

Lieberman Should Apologize For Obama Attacks

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Poll finds most Americans welcome Dem control
WASHINGTON (CNN) — It was one of John McCain's closing arguments: "We're getting a glimpse of what one-party rule would look like under Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. Apparently it starts with lowering our defenses and raising our taxes," the Republican presidential nominee said repeatedly on the campaign trail in the final weeks leading up to Election Day.
But a new national poll suggests why a majority of voters didn't seem to buy that argument, as Barack Obama beat McCain in the presidential election and the Democrats made major gains in both the House, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate, under Majority Leader Harry Reid.
In the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday, 59 percent of those questioned said Democratic control of both the executive and legislative branches will be good for the country, compared with 38 percent saying such one-party control will be bad.
"That much good will from the public opens a window of opportunity for the Democrats," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But the public expects results, and may not listen to excuses for very long if a Democratic Congress and a Democratic White House can't get their act together in time."
The poll also indicates that the public has a positive view of the Democratic Party, with 62 percent saying they have a favorable opinion and 31 percent an unfavorable opinion of the party. For the Republicans, a majority, 54 percent, said they have an unfavorable view of the GOP while 38 percent hold a positive view.

I Frinking Hope So, Can't Be To Soon For Me.

Are the Dems Plotting to Hush Rush?
Washington Dispatch: Right wingers are claiming Democrats intend to knock Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity off the airwaves by reviving the Fairness Doctrine.
Here's why that's hot air.

Analyst: Obama fears punishing Lieberman would make him a GOP hero

In the wake of the presidential election, one of the most vexing problems for Senate Democrats is how to deal with Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who not only supported the candidacy of John McCain but broke earlier promises by engaging in negative campaigning against Barack Obama.Obama himself reportedly has told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he would like to see Lieberman remain within the Democratic caucus. Political analyst Howard Fineman explained to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Monday why he believes Obama's position makes sense."It's clear to me that Barack Obama's going to operate as the good cop, surrounded by a whole squad car of bad cops," Fineman began. "He's going to be the one saying -- no-drama Obama -- 'Let's save our fight and our fire for the tough battles. After all, Joe Lieberman votes with the Democrats on domestic policy 90% of the time. And let's not make a hero of him by trying to kick him out of the party.'" LinkHere

Pennsylvania teacher's aide said Obama would be shot

The mother of a sixteen-year-old student in the Allison Park suburb of Pittsburgh was shocked when her daughter repeated disparaging remarks made about Barack Obama by a teacher's aide at her vocational high school.

"One of the teacher's aides ... said that Obama was going to be shot and killed," Mara Gilligan told KDKA News. "And that our flag is going to be the KFC [Kentucky Fried Chicken] flag and that the new national anthem will be 'Moving On Up' -- and that all my daughter's beliefs were wrong and her children's lives were going to be ruined because Obama was elected."

Gilligan, who is white, said that her biracial daughter took the comments personally. "Being biracial, she was overjoyed that someone of color was elected, and she was so happy and excited to come to school. And for this teacher to yell these things at her and her fellow classmates was just unbelievable."

A teacher at the A.W. Beattie Career Center who overheard the comments filed a complaint with the principal, and Gilligan has since received an email from the administrative director saying the aide would be suspended and disciplined. However, the school would not comment to KDKA on the story. LinkHere

Tammy Duckworth Pushed For Obama's Veterans Affairs Secretary

A grassroots effort is underway for Barack Obama to appoint Tammy Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq War and onetime congressional candidate, as Secretary of Veterans' Affairs in his incoming administration.
Democratic-leaning veterans groups are pushing the appointment among activists and reporters, even launching a petition drive to get Duckworth into the administration.
"If Tammy was offered the Secretary of the VA, she'd excel at it," said Jon Soltz, the head of the veterans group VoteVets.org and one of the leading advocates for a Duckworth appointment. "She uniquely understands the issues facing not just older generations of veterans, but our newest veterans as well."
Indeed, Duckworth would be well situated to take on the post. Not just because she has served in Iraq (where she lost both her legs) and currently heads the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, but also because she has strong ties to Obama's inner circle.

First-family-to-be gets code names

Tribune staff report
November 10, 2008
The Secret Service traditionally has given pithy, private names to those whose lives they protect. The monikers are a throwback to a time when electronic communications were not encrypted, and they no longer serve a security function. Still, they give an occasional peek at the players' personalities, in addition to serving as great trivia questions.

Unpopular Bush plumbs new depths: poll

President George W. Bush, already facing scant public support, saw his approval rating slump to a new record low, according to a new survey released Monday.
The CNN television/Opinion Research survey found that just 24 percent of respondents believe Bush is doing a good job, against 76 percent who said that was not the case. One percent had no opinion.
Bush's troubling popularity number was down from 28 percent in a CNN poll taken between October 31 and November 1.
It was the lowest approval rating since Harry Truman's 67 percent in January 1952. The poll of 1,246 adult Americans was taken November 6-9.
The poll comes as the US president met Monday with his successor, president-elect Barack Obama, at the White House.

Chris Wallace And Jon Stewart Have An Awkward Chat

Game On: Obama Dispatches Aides To Georgia Senate Race

Democratic officials confirm that Barack Obama is sending aides to help with the runoff senatorial campaign in Georgia, putting his post-election coattails to an immediate test.
Organizers who worked on behalf of the Illinois Democrat are heading to the Peach State to offer similar assistance to Jim Martin, the Democratic challenger who is facing a second-round contest against incumbent Saxby Chambliss after neither candidate received 50 percent of the initial vote.
The investment by Obama, confirmed by an official working on behalf of the Senate campaign, apparently includes "ground team" members as well as "online specialists and bloggers," and represents one of the earliest tests of the influence he can wield on the political landscape. A Daily Kos diarist first heard about the move from the Martin team.
It remains unclear whether Obama himself will appear in the state. His campaign put limited paid resources into Georgia during the general election, mainly during the waning weeks of the campaign, though Obama's registration efforts there were lauded for making the presidential contest in that state much closer than the historical norm.

Senator Pleads With Websites: Stop Selling Obama Inauguration Tickets

WASHINGTON — The senator overseeing Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony said Monday she's writing to Internet sites like eBay asking them not to sell scalped inauguration tickets. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., also said she's crafting a bill that would make a federal crime of selling tickets to the historic event Jan. 20.
Feinstein, who chairs the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said she foresees overwhelming demand for the 240,000 available tickets and has heard reports they may be sold for as much as $40,000 online.
The tickets are supposed to be free to the public and distributed through congressional offices.
Lawmakers' offices won't get the tickets until shortly before the inauguration, to try to prevent scalping. In-person pickup will be required.
"These tickets are given for free to people. This is a major civic event of the time, and no one pays for their tickets, and we believe no one should be required to pay for their tickets," Feinstein said in an interview.
Besides eBay, Feinstein aides said they are looking at writing to Craig's List and possibly other sites. An eBay spokeswoman, Nichola Sharpe, said the company was in discussions with the Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies but couldn't comment until an outcome was reached.
Feinstein said she was readying legislation for Congress' lame duck session, which begins next week, to make scalping the tickets a misdemeanor punishable by a yet-to-be-determined fine.
She said her own Senate office received 8,000 ticket requests the first day after the election.

The world is barren enough.

Keith Olbermann delivered a rousing, emotional, 6-minute special comment on Prop 8 Monday night. Olbermann, who has never married, vehemently disagrees with its passage and the ban on gay marriage.
"I am not personal vested this," he said, "yet this vote is horrible. Horrible... This is about the human heart." After going through the history of marriage in the United States, and reminding viewers not only that marriage between black and white people used to be illegal in 1/3 of the country, but illegal between slaves, he made a plea for love and the spread of happiness.
"The world is barren enough... with so much hate in the world, so much meaningless division... this is what your religion tells you to do?... this is what your heart tells you to do?... You are asked to stand now on a question of love."

He efficiently matched man, message, money, and machine

David Corn, 11.10.2008
As the manager of Obama's campaign, Plouffe steered the best-run presidential campaign in years. He efficiently matched man, message, money, and machine.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Documents linking Iran to nuclear weapons push may have been fabricated

Gareth PorterPublished: Monday November 10, 2008
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has obtained evidence suggesting that documents which have been described as technical studies for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons-related research program may have been fabricated. The documents in question were acquired by U.S. intelligence in 2004 from a still unknown source -- most of them in the form of electronic files allegedly stolen from a laptop computer belonging to an Iranian researcher. The US has based much of its push for sanctions against Iran on these documents.The new evidence of possible fraud has increased pressure within the IAEA secretariat to distance the agency from the laptop documents, according to a Vienna-based diplomatic source close to the IAEA, who spoke to RAW STORY on condition of anonymity.
The laptop documents include what the IAEA has described in a published report as technical drawings of efforts to redesign the nosecone of the Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile “to accommodate a nuclear warhead.” The documents are also said to include studies on the use of a high explosive detonation system, drawings of a shaft apparently to be used for nuclear tests, and studies on a bench-scale uranium conversion facility.These technical papers, along with some correspondence related to the alleged secret Iranian program -- referred to by the IAEA as “alleged studies” -- have been the primary basis during 2008 for the insistence by the US-led international coalition pushing for sanctions against Iran that the Iranian case must be kept going in the United Nations Security Council.
Handwritten Notes

Alaska Update: Thousands of Ballots 'Found', One-Third Remain Uncounted in the State's Still-Fishy '08 Election

One-third of votes not counted in AK

This just in from Alaska, where thousands of new ballots continue to be found each day, since it was first reported that turnout in 2008 was 11% lower than in 2004. Thousands of ballots, nearly a third of them, remain uncounted nearly a week after the election. Their numbers could explain the strange results so far in races --- such as those of the felonious Sen. Ted Stevens (R) and the under-investigation Rep. Don Young (R) --- for which pollsters had predicted decisive losses for the Republicans.
Even with the newly acknowledged ballots and even with Alaska's once-popular Gov. Sarah Palin and popular Sen. Barack Obama both on the Presidential ballot this year, turnout numbers still remain slightly below those from 2004. The Anchorage Daily News, with numbers somewhat out of date from those now posted below, called it all "puzzling" over the weekend, and pointed out much of what we've detailed here in previous posts.
The following updated numbers come from the DNC's Alaska Communications Director, Kay Brown late this afternoon [emphasis in the original]...

Straight-Party Ticket Votes Failed to Allow Voters to Review Names of Presidential Candidates Before Casting 'Ballot'
Same Flawed, Hackable, Unverifiable Machines Being Used in GA Senate Race, Elsewhere...
All 185 of the completely unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting machines used in Northumberland County, PA's election were ordered impounded by a judge Tuesday night after complaints from both the Republican and Democratic parties. Officials from both parties had filed requested action following reports from voters that straight-party ticket votes were not showing voters the names of their selection for President on the summary screen near the end of the 100% faith-based touch-screen voting process.
Problems with straight-party voting, particularly on touch-screen voting systems, were reported in a number of states that allow the practice, during the early voting period in the days leading up to Election Day.
While one Diebold AccuVote touch-screen machine was impounded by an official in Colorado following reports of votes flipping on the screen from Democratic to Republican candidates in early voting --- and even with hundreds of similar startling problems reported directly to the Obama campaign as The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively on Monday --- no other action was taken on or before Election Day to remove these wholly unverifiable systems from use until Tuesday night's court-ordered quarantine of the Northumberland County machines.
The same unverifiable machines made by Diebold were used in a number of states, including the entirety of Georgia where a run-off has been scheduled following a tight race for the U.S. Senate there. The same models were also found, by a landmark Princeton study in 2006, to be easily susceptible to malicious viruses that could result in a flipped election which would be difficult, if not impossible, to discover...
Kim Zetter, over at WIRED's "Threat Level" blog has been doing tremendous work on this beat of late, so we're happy to associate again with her fine reporting on this news out of PA...

Obama Plans Guantanamo Closing

WASHINGTON — President-elect Obama's advisers are crafting plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and prosecute terrorism suspects in the U.S., a plan the Bush administration said Monday was easier said than done.
Under the plan being crafted inside Obama's camp, some detainees would be released and others would be charged in U.S. courts, where they would receive constitutional rights and open trials. But, underscoring the difficult decisions Obama must make to fulfill his pledge of shutting down Guantanamo, the plan could require the creation of a new legal system to handle the classified information inherent in some of the most sensitive cases.
Many of the about 250 Guantanamo detainees are cleared for release, but the Bush administration has not able been to find a country willing to take them.
Advisers participating directly in the planning spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans aren't final.
The plan being developed by Obama's team has been championed by legal scholars from both political parties. But as details surfaced Monday, it drew criticism from Democrats who oppose creating a new legal system and from Republicans who oppose bringing terrorism suspects to the U.S. mainland.

It's A New Day - will.i.am - Dipdive.com

BusinessFed Refuses To Identify Recipients Of $2 Trillion In Emergency Taxpayer Loans

Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose (Update2)
By Mark Pittman, Bob Ivry and Alison Fitzgerald
Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.
``The collateral is not being adequately disclosed, and that's a big problem,'' said Dan Fuss, vice chairman of Boston- based Loomis Sayles & Co., where he co-manages $17 billion in bonds. ``In a liquid market, this wouldn't matter, but we're not. The market is very nervous and very thin.''
Bloomberg News has requested details of the Fed lending under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and filed a federal lawsuit Nov. 7 seeking to force disclosure.
The Fed made the loans under terms of 11 programs, eight of them created in the past 15 months, in the midst of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
``It's your money; it's not the Fed's money,'' said billionaire Ted Forstmann, senior partner of Forstmann Little & Co. in New York. ``Of course there should be transparency.''
Treasury, Fed, Obama
Federal Reserve spokeswoman Michelle Smith declined to comment on the loans or the Bloomberg lawsuit. Treasury spokeswoman Michele Davis didn't respond to a phone call and an e-mail seeking comment.
President-elect Barack Obama's economic adviser, Jason Furman, also didn't respond to an e-mail and a phone call seeking comment from Obama. In a Sept. 22 campaign speech, Obama promised to ``make our government open and transparent so that anyone can ensure that our business is the people's business.''

Keith Olbermann Does The View: Explains Why He Doesn't Vote, Says Sarah Palin Has TV Future

Shame on you, not voting Kieth Olberman

Keith Olbermann, who just signed a 4-year contract extension with MSNBC, visited the ladies of "The View" Monday morning, where he discussed, among other things, Sarah Palin's future and why he doesn't vote.


Obama To Harness Email List And Website In "Wired" Presidency

Under Obama, Web Would Be the Way
Unprecedented Online Outreach Expected

By Shailagh Murray and Matthew MoskWashington Post Staff Writers Monday, November 10, 2008; Page A02
CHICAGO -- Armed with millions of e-mail addresses and a political operation that harnessed the Internet like no campaign before it, Barack Obama will enter the White House with the opportunity to create the first truly "wired" presidency.
Obama aides and allies are preparing a major expansion of the White House communications operation, enabling them to reach out directly to the supporters they have collected over 21 months without having to go through the mainstream media.
Just as John F. Kennedy mastered television as a medium for taking his message to the public, Obama is poised to transform the art of political communication once again, said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who first helped integrate the Internet into campaigning four years ago.
"He's going to be the first president to be connected in this way, directly, with millions of Americans," Trippi said.
The nucleus of that effort is an e-mail database of more than 10 million supporters. The list is considered so valuable that the Obama camp briefly offered it as collateral during a cash-flow crunch late in the campaign, though it wound up never needing the loan, senior aides said. At least 3.1 million people on the list donated money to Obama.
Millions more made up the volunteer corps that organized his enormous rallies, registered millions of voters and held countless gatherings to plug the senator to friends and neighbors. On Election Day, they served as the backbone of Obama's get-out-the-vote operation, reaching voters by phone and at the front door, serving coffee at polling stations and babysitting so parents could stand in line at voting precincts.
After Obama declared victory, his campaign sent a text message announcing that his supporters hadn't heard the last from the president-elect. Obama conveyed a similar message to his staff in a campaignwide conference call Wednesday, signaling that his election was the beginning, and not the culmination, of a political movement.
Reports: Obama Wants Valerie Jarrett To Replace Him In Senate Al Gore Offers Obama Climate Change Plan

About Friking Time I Say. Unbelievable It Took So Long.

An interesting subtext to John McCain’s defeat last week is what it means for the future of the Republican Party with respect to veterans and military voters. With McCain facing a diminished role in the GOP, and Chuck Hagel retiring from the Senate, there are few prominent Republican leaders left with military bona fides. This is in stark contrast to the Democratic Party, which has seen the emergence of a new generation of veteran leaders.
In the past two election cycles, Democrats have added ten new Democratic veterans to Congress. Last week, President-elect Barack Obama helped close the gap among military voters, winning 44 percent of veterans as opposed to John F. Kerry’s 41 percent in 2004.
To anyone who survived the bruising campaigns of the 1990’s, the thought that the Republican Party would surrender its stranglehold on military voters seems unbelievable. But the reality is that this image was never more than surface deep. All those political operatives who seemed to care so deeply about the heroic service of Republican nominees in 1992 and 1996 thought nothing of denigrating and attacking the service of Al Gore and John Kerry when it was the Republican candidate who had avoided serving in Vietnam.
Republicans did not always have a lock on military voters. Prior to Vietnam, military service was seen as an obligation of all Americans – regardless of political affiliation or wealth. George H.W. Bush and John F. Kennedy were both sons of privileged, politically-connected families who served heroically in the military during World War II. Back then, this was seen as your duty as an American – and no political party could lay an exclusive claim to the flag.

Keith Olbermann Signs Deal For Four More Years

Keith Olbermann is at the core of MSNBC's current success," said Griffin. "'Countdown' is our signature program and I'm thrilled that we're going to be able to bring it to Keith's loyal viewers for another four year term."
"I'm delighted that we can continue to lock Countdown into the nation's political dialogue through at least the next election," said Olbermann. "Personally, I noticed that as of about six weeks ago, I'd been doing this show longer than I did SportsCenter, so it's delightful to have a true home."
In October 2008, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" had its best month ever in the key Adults 25-54 demographic, and is up a tremendous 170 percent in A25-54 from Oct. 2007 and up 180 percent in total viewers. "Countdown" continued its dominance over CNN at 8 p.m., out-rating "Campbell Brown" by 35 percent in A25-54 and 41 percent in total viewers. Excluding coverage of the presidential debates, "Countdown" is the #3 top-rated show in cable news in A25-54. "Countdown" is also the #1 cable news show among young viewers, Adults 18-34.
Since the last presidential election in 2004, "Countdown" has seen dramatic ratings increases, up a huge 238 percent among Adults 25-54 and 206 percent in total viewers.
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