Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moderates and Independents are the Political Deciders

Post election analysis often reveals itself as partisan spin. However, a WSJ/NBC poll shows the shift in voting from 2008 to 2010 came from moderate Democrats and Independents...

From the WSJ Democrats Try to Crack Mystery of the Missing Voters

A popular theory of this year's midterm election holds that Democrats took a shellacking in part because big chunks of the party's core liberal base, discouraged at the path of the Obama administration, stayed home rather than show up to vote as they did in 2008.

It's an interesting narrative. It also doesn't appear to be entirely accurate.

While it's correct that some key parts of the Democratic coalition—young voters and African-Americans among them—didn't perform as they did in 2008, evidence emerging as the dust settles from this month's election suggests the bigger hole in the side of the Democratic ship came from moderates in the political center who didn't show up. (Those absences were in addition to the wave of independent swing voters also from the center who, exit polls showed, turned out but switched their votes to the Republicans.)

The case of the missing voters is important because how it is resolved will go a long way toward determining how Democrats respond to their midterm woes. If they conclude, as some argue, that the problem was an undermotivated liberal base, then the logical reaction would be a turn to the left and a staunch resistance to compromises with the Republicans who now control the House and hold expanded power in the Senate.





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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weahterization Site

Excerpt from The Government’s Weatherization Site – Should We Laugh or Cry?

I’ve frequently griped about the way government spends money, and about some of the wasteful policies and programs it has established. However, there is one program (at least) that I believe in. Government funded home weatherization for people/families with low incomes. It makes sense on several levels. The home improvements are costly for someone living paycheck to paycheck, yet the energy savings from winterizing a home can be substantial. No one with a heart wants to see people in cold climates without heat. Also, the reduction in energy for that home is good for the individual, for the community, and even for the earth. Simply put it’s a practical useful government expenditure.

So what’s the complaint? The Weatherization & Intergovernmental Program website. First off, the name itself alludes to the problem with the site. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a person use the word ‘intergovernmental’ in a sentence before, and it is the unintelligible nature of the website that is the problem. This is the opening paragraph of the website…
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program provides grants, technical assistance, and information tools to states, local governments, community action agencies, utilities, Indian tribes, and overseas U.S. territories for their energy programs. These programs coordinate with national goals to reduce petroleum consumption and increase the energy efficiency of the U.S. economy. They aim at market transformation to reduce market barriers to the cost effective adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Well, I’m glad to hear that, “They aim at market transformation to reduce market barriers to the cost effective adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.” Seriously, they can’t say something like – we’d like more people of modest means to be able to weatherize their home?


Finish reading - The Government’s Weatherization Site – Should We Laugh or Cry?




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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stocks Down Early

Stocks open lower today...

From Yahoo/AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks retreated Tuesday following new worries about rising inflation in Asia and the possibility Ireland might need a bailout.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 73 points in morning trading. The losses piled up even as shares of two components of the index, Home Depot Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., rose more than 2 percent following improved earnings.

Asian markets fell overnight after South Korea's central bank raised interest rates to curb growing inflation. There has been speculation in recent days that China will have to take similar steps soon.

A report in the U.S. showed inflation at the wholesale level was smaller than predicted. The producer price index rose 0.4 percent last month, half of what economists' expected. The rise was due to a sharp increase in food and energy costs. Stripping out those volatile costs, prices fell 0.6 percent. The report backs up the Federal Reserve's view that inflation remains low because of sluggish growth.





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Monday, November 15, 2010

Democracy Advocate Released

Aung San Suu Kyi was freed this weekend after years of house arrest in Myanmar/Burma. This staunch advocate for democracy in Burma was asked by CNN about a way forward...

from Suu Kyi calls for dialogue with Myanmar government

"We have to work together," she said. "That is the main message. Those inside the country have to work together and also those supporters outside."

Suu Kyi had much the same message for her supporters Sunday, telling them in a speech, "I'm not going to be able to do it alone. You've got to do it with me. One person alone can't do anything as important as bringing change and democracy to a country."

"We would like to form a network of people working for democracy," she told CNN Monday, and said she would like to open a dialogue with "those who are in a position to do something, to change the situation in Burma for the better."

She said she has had no contact with Gen. Than Shwe, Myanmar's top military leader and head of state. Asked what she would say to him, she said, "I think what we are looking for is dialogue, so I'm not just thinking about what I have to say to him. I think what we have to think about is what we have to say to each other."





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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Online Giving

Below are a handful of quality charities worth looking into. These provide either a practical application for charitable work, or provide a different look on how charities can be viewed.Hire a Veteran
CGI
Online Charity
International Charity
US Education


Other Links: Voter Info State Sites Blue Collar

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Generous Spirit of the CAI

The Central Asia Intitute is a remarkable organization providing education, and specifically focusing on girls education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. On their website they list the following as just a part of what they have accomplished so far...

Education Projects
Education
145 schools fully or partially supported
1200+ fully or partially supported teachers
School library projects
824 graduates from Porter Training Program
Teacher Training Workshops
64,000 students educated, including 52,000 girls

The books written by Greg Mortenson - 'Three Cups of Tea' and 'From Stones to Schools' follow the establishment and activities of the CAI. They wonderful books that will make you feel good about the generous spirit of so many people in Asia and America alike.


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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Will Congress Come Together to Work on Energy Reform

Excerpt from Purple People Vote for Moderate and Independent Voters

The elections are over, the House is controlled by Republicans and the Democrats no longer have a super-majority in the Senate. So the question now is, ‘Can they work together?’ Only time will tell.

However, there is one issue (at least) that lends itself to bipartisan compromise – Energy. There are all sorts of good reasons to want a substantive energy policy. In fact there are so many reasons for addressing energy policy that Republicans and Democrats don’t have to be motivated by the same rationale…

The socio-political rationale: We purchase much of our oil from dangerous and volatile regions of the world that often don’t like the U.S. very much.

Environmental rationale: Energy derived from fossil fuels is not good for the environment.

Supply rationale: Some day we will run out of oil and coal.

Economic rationale: High energy costs and fluctuating energy costs negatively impact the economy in numerous ways...


Continue reading Will Congress Have the Backbone to Address Energy?


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Graham and Hatch Talk About Election

Re-posted Graham: People Don't Love Republicans - It was Obama Overreach

Greta Van Sustren did a couple post election interviews that provided forthright, honest, at times very blunt assessments of the election results. One with Senator Lindsey Graham, the other with Senator Orrin Hatch. Both these Senators have worked across the aisle in the past, and have received heat from there own party for doing so.
GretaVan Sustren: What did you think about the Presidents press conference yesterday? Were you convinced that he was properly chasten because there was a message from the American people; or not? You shake your head no.

Senator Lindsey Graham: Well, I just don’t think he understands that it was his policies that got him into this mess. You know President Obama came in with a wave of hope. The American people picked this young man, they were hopeful he could change things, and the policies, health care and the process passing health care was everything different than he said it would be. The stimulus package, the financial regulation bill, the amount of debt, the growth of government – people rejected his policies. He lost his own Senate seat. Illinois voted for a Republican, a moderate Republican, how much clearer message can you get/give to the President. People of Illinois, like him personally, saying you’re going the wrong way. We want to check and balance you, and I don’t think he understands that. It was policies not personality that got him in this mess. People don’t love Republicans. It wasn’t like people in Illinois woke one day and said ‘Boy, I’ve been a Republican all these years and didn’t know it. It’s the Obama overreach."

Senator Orrin Hatch has been very critical of the health care legislation. He provides a unique perspective because he has often worked with Democrats specifically on health care legislation like s-chip. His entire interview is worth viewing, but he provide an amusingly blunt assessment of the health care bill when he said...
"I was going to say it was a piece of crap, but that would not be fair to some people who were very sincere in trying to do what is right."

Recommend checking out these two interview at the 'On the Record' home page.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Worth a Click

The web is full of sites and pages worthy of viewing of those intended for pets, people, pols, and more. These featured sites are worth a click.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Media and Blogs Not Helping the Public's View of Islam

Islam: It's Perception in the Media and In the Public takes a look at how poor reporting and snap judgments are fanning the flames of an already sensitive issue. The following is an excerpt...

"Since the controversy about the potential for a mosque to be built at Ground Zero there has been a noticeable difference between the media's view of what Islam is, and the public's view of what Islam is. It is an odd situation where neither one is completely right or wrong. What Islam is, could never be summed up in a blog post, but that does seem to be precisely what is being missed in this debate. 100 people of the same faith could all practice and interpret their faith very differently. A significant cause of much of the friction and controversy is that people aren't accounting for this. However, the lack of a full and honest discussion on this topic may be causing the most trouble.

The media has not adequately done their job. They often either play down or ignores elements of Islam or the Muslim culture the Americans find rightfully disturbing. We have been attacked in the name of Islam, and certainly it isn't fair to connect all Muslims with that act, but it can't be ignored that the religion has been used numerous times as a justification for violence. Also, women are not only not treated as equals in many Muslim countries, but are often treated very poorly. Again, that doesn't apply to all Muslims, but ignoring and not reporting on these two glaring problems is not objective journalism. When news organizations do this they are clearly advocating and not reporting, and the American people are smart enough to know the difference..."

Continue Reading Islam: It's Perception in the Media and In the Public

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oil Spill PR

"Whenever a BP ad comes on TV my reaction is the same - ’Seriously?’ Obviously BP is in need of some serious PR repair, and of course they’re trying to improve their image after the Gulf spill. However, BP’s claims that they are going to make things right, and that they are out searching for the spilled oil, rings hollow. Saying that they are having trouble finding oil to clean up is absurd, and rather insulting to the viewer’s intelligence. The only way they could be having trouble finding oil to clean up is if Mr. Magoo is their chief ‘oil finder.’ By the way, I can’t be the only one who remembers the pre-Gulf-spill commercials about BP standing for ‘Beyond Petrolium,’ and how they billed themselves as the earth-friendly energy company. Their credibility is shot, and they ought to consider that before making any more commercials. If they want the public to believe they have cleaned up their mess, and are doing the ‘right thing,’ then they need to bring in some one or some group that is independent and impartial to report on these claims..."

Continue reading Anyone Else Find BP's Ads Insulting?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Site Launch

Dr. Dog has launched the 'Dr. Dog Certified Site' Greenum.info which which gives information on the M&C product Green-um a supplement for dogs that helps prevent lawn burn. Green-um comes both in tabs and in treats.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Summer Time Specials

Dr. Dog is featuring several warm weather seasonal products.
As the temperature rises the appearance of dog hot spots tend to increase. To treat hot spots Dr. Dog Skin Care treats and relieves the itch and infection of atopy in dogs.

Lawn care for dog owners is also becomes an issue as the seasons change Green-um for Dogs is now available in three strengths, regular, Green-um Xtra, and Green-um Giant. This is a natural safe solution for dog yellow grass problems. Lawn Spot Away is another solution for damaged lawn.

Finally, Dr. Dog is offering two specials: The Dr. Dog Trial Pack and the Dr. Dog Skin Care Pack. Both are marked 10% off.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Best Matthew Clip Ever



Video unreliable, also available at Newsbusters -> http://newsbusters.org/people/dana-loesch

Finally, someone succinctly makes the point that both sides of the political spectrum have their crazies, and that pigeonholing all the people that have problems with the health care legislation as radical or racist is intellectually dishonest. Best moment of the interview is when Chris Matthews mutters under his breath "this isn't working."


Dana Loesch Owns Chris Matthews in Debate About Tea Party Protests

Monday, March 29, 2010

McCain Letter Speaks to Reelection and Health Care

My Friend,

This weekend, I was honored to have Governor Sarah Palin join me on the campaign trail in Arizona for rallies in Tucson and Mesa. The crowds and energy were tremendous and I'm thankful Governor Palin was able to take time out of her busy schedule to support my reelection campaign.

Since President Obama's signing the health care takeover bill into law, I have continued to serve as a vocal opponent of the President, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi's flawed legislation. Governor Palin and I both support a repeal of the bill, and I know that we are not alone. Millions of citizens are angry at the Democrats for ramming through a government took over of health care.

I assure you that I am fighting each and every day to repeal this bill in order to get our country back on the right course. This is why it is more vital than ever that I continue my service to the people of Arizona and our country in the U.S. Senate. But I write to you today with an urgent request because my service to our country could be in jeopardy.

As I have told you, I am facing a tough reelection battle. My opponent has set out to raise $1 million in the month of March to defeat me. He launched his campaign with a tirade of false accusations in an attempt to distort my record of conservative action. And he's used these to raise funds to launch even more attacks.

I need your immediate support to communicate my conservative voting record to the people of Arizona. Please follow this link to make a donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more to my campaign.

My friend, this is a vicious cycle and the only way to stop it is to win reelection. I am fighting back against these attacks, and friends like Governor Palin are helping me, but I also need your support.

We have a fundraising deadline approaching on March 31st so any amount you can give in the final 72 hours is appreciated. An immediate online donation is the best way to ensure the money we raise is deposited before Wednesday at midnight, so please give right away.

I appreciate your support and pledge to continue fighting for a repeal of this disastrous health care law.

Sincerely,

John McCain

P.S. In the wake of the Democrats' passage of their health care overhaul, I have recommitted my work in the U.S. Senate to our shared values. But this work is in jeopardy as I am in the middle of the toughest reelection campaign I have ever faced. I am thankful for friends like Governor Palin who have pledged their support to me. Today, I ask you to join her and make a donation of $25 or more in advance of our March 31st deadline. Your immediate support is greatly appreciated.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Toyota Called Before Congress

CNN is reporting that the Chief Executive of Toyota, Toyoda to testify before U.S. lawmakers. This comes after an initial statement indicating that he wouldn't appear before Congress. After numerous Toyota recalls, the most serious of which dealt with an accelerator problem that resulted in the loss of life, there is a public demand for answers, and this could be Toyota's best opportunity to convince the public that they are taking responsiblity for their shortcomings and have a plan to remedy these serious problems.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Toyota president Akio Toyoda accepted on Thursday a formal invitation to testify at a hearing to be held next Wednesday.

The House Oversight Committee sent the invitation Thursday morning. Toyoda had initially said he would not appear before the committee but would instead send North America chief Yoshimi Inaba.

But late Thursday, Toyoda released a short statement: "I have received Congressman Towns' invitation to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on February 24 and I accept. I look forward to speaking directly with Congress and the American people."

The invitation sent by Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., reads: "There appears to be growing public confusion regarding which vehicles may be affected and how people should respond. In short, the public is unsure as to what exactly the problem is, whether it is safe to drive their cars, or what they should do about it."


Toyoda, President of Toyota Agrees to Testify Before Congress

McCain Challenger Makes Birther Statements

McCain primary opponent JD Hayworth got his campaign off to an odd an controversial start as he made statements questioning why President Obama hadn't produced his birth certificate. As those statements drew fire, he tried to clarify by stating that the need for President Obama to provide a birth certificate was due to the possiblity of identity theft. The conservative Red Sate blog went as far as saying that Hayworth is an Idiot if he sticks to this. ABC news also reported that J.D. Hayworth comments illicited the response, "Identity theft? I mean, come on," from a CNN reporter. Others are also noting that this challenge to McCain not only looks like a long shot, but is quickly looking very foolish.

McCain Opponent a Birther with a Twist
J.D. Hayworth is an opportunist, not a conservative

McCain Opponent Off to a Rocky Start

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Arizona Race

Dick Army head of Freedom works and former House leader is clearly unimpressed by McCain challenger Hayworth, as he cites Hayworth's political record as undistibguished.

Armey: Hayworth had 'undistinguished' House career

As former Rep. J.D. Hayworth prepares to officially enter the Republican primary race against incumbent Sen. John McCain, he probably had better not count on any support from FreedomWorks, the national conservative group closely associated with the Tea Party movement.

In a telephone interview with The Arizona Republic, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, FreedomWorks' chairman, delivered a surprisingly harsh assessment of Hayworth, with whom he served on Capitol Hill:

"We're a small organization with a limited budget. There's an awful lot of places where our presence would be needed and can really make a difference. We don't see this Arizona race as one where we need to be actively involved. It's hard for us to believe that J.D. Hayworth could mount a credible challenge to John McCain
. Obviously, we'll watch the race. But J.D. had a fairly short, undistinguished congressional career with virtually no initiative on his part. I just don't see any reason why we should be concerned about that race."


Hayworth has other problems too as Little Green Footballs points out in their article McCain Primary Opponent Hayworth: a Birther with a Twist

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

McCain's Competitor Takes Radical Position

Hayworth a (R) challenger for Senator McCain's Senate seat was called out by Chris Matthews as a 'birther' and Hayworth was unable to give an articulate reply...

"When Chris Matthews asked J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) whether he's "as far right as the birthers," the former Republican Congressman called on President Obama to produce his birth certificate for public inspection.

"Well, gosh, we all had to bring our birth certificates to show we were who we said we were, and we were the age we said we were, to play football in youth sports," said Hayworth, who is currently challenging John McCain (R-AZ) in Arizona's Senate primary. "Shouldn't we know exactly that anyone who wants to run for public office is a natural born citizen of the United States, and is who they say they are?"


J.D. Hayworth A Birther? McCain Challenger Calls For Obama's Birth Certificate

McCain Challenger Called On 'Nutty Right' Statements

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dems Worried About Illinois

Excerpt from the NYT Illinois Senate Race Worries Democrats Anew

CHICAGO — Alexi Giannoulias, the treasurer of Illinois and a basketball-playing friend of President Obama’s, won the Democratic primary here on Tuesday for the Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama. But his victory was hardly the free throw some had expected, setting off a new round of worrying among Democrats that the reliably Democratic seat might be picked off by Republicans in November.
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Related
In an Illinois Primary Race, Victory Is Self-Declared (February 4, 2010)

With four others on the ballot, Mr. Giannoulias won 39 percent of the Democratic vote, or, as Republicans preferred to describe it on Wednesday, lost 61 percent of it. A little-known former federal prosecutor who had never run for office, David Hoffman, came within six percentage points of Mr. Giannoulias.

With much on the line here, including the symbolism of the president’s home state possibly slipping away, some Democrats were concerned that the party had played into the game plan of the Republicans, who chose Representative Mark Steven Kirk, a centrist-leaning suburbanite who hopes to appeal to the state’s independent voters and even some moderate Democrats.

Already Wednesday morning, the National Republican Senatorial Committee had issued a Web video mocking Mr. Giannoulias, 33, for what it described as questionable loans made by his family’s bank, his ties to Rod R. Blagojevich, the indicted former governor of Illinois, and more.

“Is this change we can believe in?” the video asks.

Mr. Obama called Mr. Giannoulias to congratulate him on his victory, aides said, but despite the friendship, the White House indicated in the past that it had reservations about his candidacy. At one point, White House officials tried without success to recruit another Democrat, Lisa Madigan, the state attorney general, even after Mr. Giannoulias had made his aspirations clear.

Mr. Obama, who endorsed no one in the primary, has pledged to party officials to do what he can to help keep the seat in Democratic hands. But aides said the president would invest his time and efforts in races across the country and not necessarily devote more attention to the contest for his former seat.

White House Worried About Senate Race in Illinois