At the Mbita Point primary school in western Kenya students click away at a handheld computer with a stylus.
They are doing exercises in their school textbooks which have been digitised.
It is a pilot project run by EduVision, which is looking at ways to use low cost computer systems to get up-to-date information to students who are currently stuck with ancient textbooks.
Matthew Herren from EduVision told the BBC programme Go Digital how the non-governmental organisation uses a combination of satellite radio and handheld computers called E-slates.
"The E-slates connect via a wireless connection to a base station in the school. This in turn is connected to a satellite radio receiver. The data is transmitted alongside audio signals."
The base station processes the information from the satellite transmission and turns it into a form that can be read by the handheld E-slates.
"It downloads from the satellite and every day processes the stream, sorts through content for the material destined for the users connected to it. It also stores this on its hard disc."
The system is cheaper than installing and maintaining an internet connection and conventional computer network. But Mr Herren says there are both pros and cons to the project.
"It's very simple to set up, just a satellite antenna on the roof of the school, but it's also a one-way connection, so getting feedback or specific requests from end users is difficult."
The project is still at the pilot stage and EduVision staff are on the ground to attend to teething problems with the Linux-based system.
This makes a lot more sense than Nick Negroponte's cheap laptops, because it uses current technology in a clever way, which renders them basically unstealable, which is no small deal. Also, since it's a handheld, the OS is less relevant. It's also easy to use and control. And a lot easier to maintain, by an order of magnitude.
By Blaine Harden Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, February 28, 2005; Page A01
HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- The nation's strongest laws against sprawl are beginning to buckle here in Oregon under pressure from an even stronger, voter-approved law that trumps growth restrictions with property rights.
In a collision between two radically different visions of how cities should grow, claims under Oregon's new law are pitting neighbor against neighbor, rattling real estate values, unnerving bankers and spooking politicians.
The property-rights law, which was approved overwhelmingly by voters last fall and is known as Measure 37, is on the brink of wrecking Oregon's best-in-the-nation record of reining in sprawl, according to state officials and national planning experts. They say the new law illustrates a nationwide paradox in public opinion: Although voters tend to favor protection of farmland and open space, they vote down these protections if they perceive them as restrictions on personal rights.
"Measure 37 blew up our land-use system," state Sen. Charlie Ringo, a Democrat from suburban Portland, declared while presiding over a tense, standing-room-only hearing on the law that was held recently here in Hood River, a resort town in the Columbia River Gorge.
The law compels the government to pay cash to longtime property owners when land-use restrictions reduce the value of their property -- or, if the government can't pay, to allow owners to develop their land as they see fit. Because there is virtually no local or state money to pay landowners, Measure 37 is starting to unravel smart-growth laws that have defined living patterns, set land prices and protected open space in this state for more than three decades.
Although the unraveling is being watched with alarm by smart-growth advocates across the country, it is exactly what local backers of the new law say they want as recompense for what they describe as years of arbitrary bossiness in the enforcement of land-use restrictions. Smart-growth laws attempt to direct development to areas served by existing roads and utilities and curtail new housing and business construction that will sprawl out to rural areas.
"If you are going to restrict what someone can do with his land, then you have to pay for it," said Dale Riddle, vice president for legal affairs at Seneca Jones Timber Co., an Oregon firm that was the largest donor to the campaign for Measure 37.
Thanks to Oregon's new law, anti-sprawl legislation has lost political momentum across the country, according to Harvey Jacobs, a professor of urban planning at the University of Wisconsin. "It has really excited the property-rights movement and suggests to its supporters that they can challenge smart-growth laws everywhere," he said.
In the Washington suburbs, where only Maryland has passed smart-growth legislation, momentum for the enforcement of those laws began to wane under Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) well before Oregon voters approved Measure 37. Ehrlich cut funds for acquiring open space, eliminated a smart-growth secretary from his Cabinet and, critics say, supported road projects that encourage sprawl
People hate sprawl but want to do what they want with their land. Selfishness in action.
Look, the real question is not if Bush loses the social security battle, but how. In the end, I think we'll get voluntary accounts, but not funded by Social Security money. Bush will save face, because there will be accounts, most Dems will support government sponsored, but not funded accounts, and Wall Street will be happy with the potential new customers. There is nothing wrong in offering an IRA-type account which is market based.
Which is, of course, vastly different than defunding social security, which is what the Bush plan entails. But since the GOP doesn't even want to touch that, Bush will probably accept his accounts without touching social security. Of course, the particpation rate in these plans, as they have been on the state level, will be so small that we will wonder what the fuss was about. And in the end, the issue will be where the money comes from, and social security will not be the place. But Bush has set it up so that he will have to accept some kind of victory, and this is the most palatable around, encourage investment, while not defunding social security.
However, the issue is not creating government-assisted investments, but stopping Joe Lieberman.
Once again, he's not listening to the party, but his own ideas.
But the fact is that ONLY Connecticut residents can stop him.
The rest of us can send letters to DNC Chair Dean and Senate Minority Leader Reid saying we will support a challenger, but that is an indirect act. ONLY Connecticut residents can hammer home the point that they expect him to oppose Social Security theft. They need to not only flood his office, but hand out flyers at Stop and Shop and Stew Leonards calling on people to ask Lieberman to save social security. You need to go to senior centers and American Legion halls and leaflet them. Catch Lottery players on pay day. Malls on weekends.
You need to organize meetups and use town meetings to hammer home the point. Get town councils to pass resolutions to save social security, and calling on Lieberman to join Reid, Dodd and the other Democrats in doing so.
It is clear that ONLY with Lieberman's help can Social Security be defunded. However, ONLY Connecticut residents can put real pressure on Lieberman. They also need to make sure that his office is flooded with in-state letters and calls. It has to be locally based and done from within the state.
This is cheap to do, maybe $20 for flyers and some time. But it only matters if the people doing the agitating are his constituents. If Santorum can get a nasty shock, Connecticut residents can do the same to Lieberman. Because he doesn't represent the rest of us.
Like this Iraqi car, your social security money will go up in smoke if Bush wins
In late 2003, the NASD surveyed 1,086 people who were known to have made at least one investment in that year. The survey was sent to investors whose portfolios ranged from as little as $10,000 up to a maximum of $500,000. Over two-thirds of the survey respondents (69%) described themselves as being at least “somewhat knowledgeable” about investing. Only 12% admitted to being “not at all knowledgeable.” With that in mind, let’s look at some of the responses.
First, there was considerable misunderstanding as to the basic types of investments. For example, 60% of respondents said they own stocks, yet 21% of survey respondents did not understand the concept of a stock. While most understood that owning a stock means that you own a piece of the company, here was the real shocker: Almost half of the respondents believed that stocks are insured against losses!
To be fair, the question was somewhat “loaded” in that the survey listed several organizations (SIPC, FDIC, etc.) and asked, “Which of the following organizations insures you against your losses in the stock market?” Again, nearly 50% of the survey respondents thought that their stock market losses were insured! The correct answer was NONE of the above. No agency insures against stock market losses.
Likewise, 70% of the survey respondents did not understand that when one buys stock on “margin,” he or she can lose ALL of the investment, even if the value of the shares does not go to zero. When investors buy stocks on margin, using loans from their brokerage firm and putting up the securities they buy as collateral, they can potentially lose all the money they paid for the stocks, but also the amount they borrowed.
Regarding mutual funds, the results weren’t any better. While 60% of respondents said they owned mutual funds, 80% did not know the definition of a “no load” mutual fund. The survey also suggested that many investors do not know the difference between loads (sales charges) and normal operating expenses of mutual funds.
So, how about bonds? 29% of respondents did not understand the concept of a bond. 60% did not understand that if interest rates rise, most bonds lose value. Only about half of the respondents knew the definition of a “junk bond.” Almost 70% of the survey respondents did not understand why municipal bonds offer lower pre-tax yields.
And these are educated, relatively well off investors.
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 26 - It was a bright, warm afternoon down by the Tigris River in central Baghdad on Saturday, the kind of day that hints at the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Then the intimidators came, quickly and murderously, and another of the city's historic institutions was left to mourn its dead and ponder the price that is being paid daily in the effort to build what American officials, and their Iraqi allies, refer to as the "new Iraq."
The killers came at 3 p.m. to the Daniel cloth market in the Naher district, a place that was central to Jewish commercial life in the centuries before the 1950's, when Baghdad was home to a large Jewish population. Entering the covered market, the armed men headed straight for the shops of Arab merchants selling a fabric used to make uniforms for the new Iraqi Army.
Four men were questioned about sales to the military and then shot to death, three of them in their shops and the fourth after being led out into the street, witnesses said. The killers fled.
About 45 minutes later, nearly a mile back from the river in eastern Baghdad, a Shiite cleric visiting the capital from the holy city of Karbala was shot to death in the street by men who leaped from a car without license plates. Again, the killers fled. The cleric was identified by Interior Ministry officials as Muhammad Abdul Razzaq al-Mussawi, secretary general of the Muslim Clerics' Association in Karbala, an influential group that was active in Iraq's assembly elections last month.
In other ways, Saturday was a typical day in Iraq at war.
About 9 a.m., a suicide bomber driving a German-made Opel drove up to an American armored column on a road in western Baghdad that runs past the Mother of All Battles mosque, built by Saddam Hussein to commemorate the Persian Gulf war in 1991.
The suicide bomber detonated his vehicle alongside an American M1 Abrams tank but succeeded in killing only himself and two Iraqi civilians, who later lay slumped in their shrapnel-punctured car at the scene.
The bomber caused "minimal damage," the American command said in a statement.
American military spokesmen say the tactics they have adopted to protect against suicide bombers, including shooting to kill drivers who ignore hand signals and warning shots to stay away from military convoys, have resulted in an increasing number of attacks that kill civilians but spare Americans.
In Anbar Province in western Iraq, a stronghold of the insurgents that accounts for about a third of the country's area, an American marine was killed in action on Friday, according to a Marine statement that, following standard practice, gave no details.
The marine's death raised the number of Americans killed in 48 hours to six, including three Army soldiers who died Friday when a patrol in the town of Tarmiya, 30 miles north of Baghdad, was struck by a roadside bomb.
Another car bomb exploded late Saturday morning in the Musayyib district about 40 miles south of Baghdad, killing an Iraqi soldier and wounding three others. An Interior Ministry spokesman said the bombing was directed toward an Iraqi Army raid against people suspected of being insurgents in the area around Musayyib. The district is one of a string of mixed Sunni and Shiite communities on a major highway south of Baghdad where insurgents have come under heavy pressure from American and Iraqi troops. The ministry said the raid captured 12 suspects, including a leader, whom it did not identify.
In northern Iraq, a major oil pipeline was ablaze for much of Saturday after saboteurs detonated a bomb on Friday night on a line connecting the Dibis oil fields with the city of Kirkuk, about 20 miles to the east. The attack was one of dozens that have disrupted Iraq's oil exports, costing billions of dollars and contributing to backups at gas stations across Iraq.
Well one thing Iraqis did besides die waa protest the influence of the Jews in their country, by demanding Thursday off instead of Saturday.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqis are complaining about their first-ever weekend break, and some high-school students even went to class Saturday to protest a decision introducing a second weekly day off that coincides with the Jewish Sabbath.
It's not that the Iraqis do not want time off - they just want the extra day moved to Thursday.
"We don't want Saturday! It's a Jewish holiday!" students chanted as they marched in protest last week to the governor's office in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.
A high-school student pulled out a hand grenade and started waving it, and police fired into the air to disperse the crowd. At least three students reportedly were injured in the ensuing scuffle.
At Baghdad's University of Mustansariyah, a statement issued by a student union believed to be allied with the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr described Saturday as "the Zionist holiday" and said the government order should not be followed.
"We declare a general strike in the University of Mustansariyah to reject this decision and any decision aimed at depriving Iraqis of their identity," the statement said.
In predominantly Sunni Muslim Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, the al-Mutawakal high school opened its doors after insurgents threatened to kill its teachers if they took the day off.
There is no clear-cut rule for weekends in the Middle East and other Muslim countries in the region.
................. "We can't be like Jews. Saturday is a Jewish holiday and I hope the government listens to us," sixth-grader Nada Alwan, said.
The influential Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, believed to be close to the insurgency, said that by making Saturday a weekend "the invaders, the occupiers are trying to impose their principles" on Iraq.
"This decision is dangerous," it said.
In Samarra, one teacher said on condition of anonymity that he had received death threats from militants warning him not to take Saturdays off.
In Ramadi, the heart of the insurgency in the so-called Sunni Triangle, the head of Anbar University decided to change the weekend on its own.
"The official weekend is Thursday and Friday," the university announced.
All kids like to protest with hand grenades.
Iraq-the news democracy, where anti-semitism and overreactive violence goes hand in hand.
I love the smiley-face version of New York City the NYC2012 people showed the International Olympic Committee this week, one that was supposed to look like outtakes from "When Harry Met Sally."
No traffic problems.
No difference of opinion over things like the Summer Olympics.
And the idea that you can order up a new stadium on-demand, like it's a Pay-Per-View movie on cable.
Of course the idea of diversity in a dog-and-pony show like that is a speech from Whoopi Goldberg, who clearly needs more to do.
This all goes on while your governor and Mayor Bloomberg and the hustler Doctoroff still want you to believe that a West Side Stadium for the Jets - which is all they're going to end up with when the 2012 Games go to Paris - is somehow joined at the hip with expansion of the Javits Center the way Bloomberg and Doctoroff have become joined at the hip on this thing.
Of all the places in town the IOC people toured this week, the most fitting was Bloomberg's apartment, actually.
One more room of rich guys, trying to decide the future of New York.
Finally, some realistic commentary on this idiotic Olympic bid and that godwaful stadium. Notice the street next to the railyards. It feeds into the Bus Terminal and Lincoln Tunnel. Anyone who's ever been to the Meadowlands after a game knows what the words traffic congestion means. And Bloomberg wants to make it worse by having the Garden move west. Traffic planning is a reality, not notional.
When MSNBC’s rabidly leftist pit bull Keith Olbermann isn’t obsessing over the phony sexual harassment charges that a CNN mole maliciously leveled against Bill O’Reilly; smearing the Swift Boat Vets; or sticking up for suspected terrorists at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, he always manages to make up a new anti-Bush diatribe to run on his actual fake news show, which mostly involves creating wildly leftist conspiracy theories that are further exaggerated by his pro-Democrat-only guests with their own leftist agendas.
So which victim is Olbermann stalking now? He’s a pro-Bush conservative and former White House reporter who’s being tarred and feathered by pro-Democrat media leftists bent on destroying his personal life because he dared to commit the ultimate press corps sin: Actually doing his job as a reporter by asking tough questions about the very Democrats that Olbermann and his leftist colleagues give free passes to on a daily basis.
Never mind that Olbermann has ignored the real media scandals: The Bush-hating “search and destroy” mission of Dan Rather’s fake memos; the ongoing treason of CNN and its former “news” chief Eason Jordan, whose network parroted Saddam Hussein’s propaganda for 12 years, while refusing to expose Uday Hussein’s assassination plot against two brothers in-law – which Jordan knew about – that was later carried out; and the government-subsidized, neo-Marxist rants of NOW-retired Bill Moyers, whose leftist sidekick, David Brancaccio, continues espousing the so-called “evils” of the Bush administration, conservative judges and Sean Hannity, whose broadcast Moyers brazenly called “a freak show of political pornography” in his final taxpayer-funded rant last fall.
As Olbermann (www.olbermannwatch.com) ignores Rathergate (www.rathergate.com) and Easongate (www.easongate.com), he milks his nonstop segment, “Gannongate.”
While Olbermann has launched endless witch-hunts of conservative columnists Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and Michael McManus, his newest obsession is former Talon News reporter Jeff Gannon (a.k.a, James Guckert, but who will be referred to here by his professional name “Gannon”). Gannon was a genuine newsman who Olbermann and other schadenfreudians (as Rush calls them), who have taken extreme pleasure in singling out Gannon for personal destruction simply because he’s a conservative Republican.
Doug Schmitz, who holds a master’s degree in journalism, is a conservative columnist and regularly contributes to Etherzone.com, Michnews.com and has been a frequent guest columnist for Accuracy in Media (www.aim.org), a watchdog group for the liberal media.
Witch hunts? And this from a person who claimed to have a journalism degree? From where? Kremlin U?
My god this guy is an idiot.
Does this man know he's defending a gay protstitute?
Guckert wasn't found out because he dated men, hell, he's hardly the only gay reporter at the White House, it was because he solicited those dates online and charged for them. This is his PUBLIC, ONLINE life.
The fact was that Guckert smeared people, not doing any reporting, by the way, and WAS A MANWHORE.
Now, maybe at Kremlin U, being sold to the highest bidder isn't a big deal, but "journalists" don't take money from the government.
If I was a conservative, I would land on Guckert with both feet, because this is going to blow up. Guckert is too stupid to avoid a court and keep his mouth shut. One day, someone is going to link him and his patrons and there's going to be a big old homos in the White House scandal.
The problem with the closet is that when the door opens up, all kind of things come to light.
Uh, Doug, Guckert's "professional" name was his MANWHORE name. Journalists use their real name because it's about credibility. But I guess if you're a conservative, credibility is a figment of the imagination. Just like the truth.
I'm not in the business of giving the opposition advice, I don't read them unless I have to and I could give a fuck about their opinions. But this blind loyalty has a familiar ring.
See, the communists used to demand this kind of blind loyalty. Whatever Stalin did was for the greater level of the Soviet Union and world revolution. Well, comes the Russo-German pact of 1939, and the commies have a choice, stay with the party or walk away over an act of conscience. The CPUSA, which had been the heart of the left's activists, died in August 1939. By the time HUAC and McCarthy came around, they were kicking the ashes in an already extinguished fire.
Loyalty has a limit. Sticking up for Manwhore Guckert is suicidal. More is going to come out about him, because he's stupid and greedy. And then the social conservatives will rise up and attack the fiscal conservatives, waving the manwhore around as a sign of their weakness.
Of course, we're dedicated to helping that along, anyway we can, but if I were a conservative, I'd toss Guckert out to the wolves.
Oven beer can basics, can, steaming liquid spice rub, chicken, cast iron pan
OK, after all this talk of beer can chicken, I decided that I hadn't had it in a while, so instead of going to Home Depot, I went food shopping instead.
Since I was making this, I decided to show people how to make it, so I simplified the process. No complex spice rub or anything like that.
I bought a 3-4 lb chicken, with Wick Fowler's 2-Alarm Chili spice mix.
This is the quickest way to get a spice rub without having to buy spices and fumble around. It has a nice mix of spices and optional heat. I tossed the spices together, which have nice, allied flavors. Instead of making my own, or toasting the spices, which I could do, these finely ground spices are designed to be cooked with for hours, so there was no need to do anything more. I also like Fowler's because you can control the salt and it doesn't have tons of MSG in it, but you can use dried salad dressing, fresh herbs, or any mix you like, but for the first go round Fowler's or another premade spice mix cuts down a lot of the effort needed for making a rub. Some of you might add sugar, but I really don't like to add it to rubs because it burns and you don't need black crusts here.
spice rub in plate
placed on lowest rack in oven
Cooking in oven. I was checking it, my oven doesn't have a glass door.:)
I cut the chicken open to get at the can, which is hot and filled with hot, smoking liquid
The barbecue sauce made from the spice mix, mustard, catchup and cider vinegar. I also added in some of the steaming liquid.
So as you can see from the shots, I coated the chicken in the spices, poured some hard cider into the can, with some spices, shoved the can in the chicken, and na hour later, you have the best chicken possible, crispy skin, tender meat, even the breast. I soaked up the greasze and used the drippings as the base of my barbecue sauce. The cast iron pan and drippings make for the base of a trememdous sauce. But you cn also cook potatoes like this, and actually serve a rather nice, fancy baked chicken meal without letting anyone know your secret. It's usually done as a barbecue or grilled dish, but there's no reason that you can't use it for a dinner party with oven roasted potatoes and asparagus. And the beat part is that it cooks really quickly.
Why is this such a great dish? Because it is simple and really hard to screw up. Really, really hard.
Ian Whittell at Old Trafford Sunday February 27, 2005 The Observer
As any playground combatant will vouch, if you engage in a name-calling contest, make sure your gang are bigger than your rival's. Wayne Rooney again demonstrated that, as long as Sir Alex Ferguson can depend upon his precocious talents, the veteran manager will always have an important weapon in his increasingly entertaining psychological conflict with Chelsea's José Mourinho.
At the end of a week of spiteful interchange between the two managers, two goals from the England centre-forward rescued a lethargic United from disaster in their attempt to overtake the London club at the top of the Premiership. The winner, nine minutes from time, was vintage Rooney, the strong teenager collecting Ruud van Nistelrooy's pass and shrugging off Dejan Stefanovic before converting from six yards.
Ferguson had pledged to 'freshen things up in a couple of places' as United sought to recover from the disappointment of the midweek home defeat against Milan. Certainly, making five changes in selection definitely constituted a thorough freshening up. Still, it was one of the survivors from the manager's cull, Rooney, who swept United into an early lead
Gee, I guess Tim Howard isn't so dodgy any more. I mean, how long do you stick with Carroll after fuckups galore?
So how much is a real starting goalie going to cost ManU?
Oh yeah, anyone still bitching about Rooney and Ronaldo now?
If it wasn't for the two of them, ManU would be sucking air with Liverpool right now, beacause they don't beat Chelsea or anyone else without them.
My favorite sign from Monday's pre-AC Milan match protest
Americans don't really get the passion most people have for soccer. Except in rare cases, do you really care who owns an American sports team if they win?
Oh yeah, the AC Milan team doctor was busted for whipping out his dick in public. So it wasn't all bad, but it's shame that it took that loss to get Carroll out of goal.
Gaby Hinsliff, political editor Sunday February 27, 2005 The Observer
Tony Blair risks becoming an electoral liability, according to government ministers as the Prime Minister faces fresh accusations that his 'presidential style' is starting to affect Labour's support.
With private Labour polling revealing that one of the most important sections of the electorate - married mothers - are deserting the Prime Minister and the Tories closing the polling gap, Blairite figures are urging a change in Labour's faltering election campaign.
Officials said the Prime Minister would now adopt a less 'presidential' style, appearing in tandem with cabinet colleagues, to head off sniping about his personal unpopularity.
Chancellor Gordon Brown will also return to centre-stage tomorrow, amid calls from senior party figures for him to take a bigger role as the party struggles to refocus its efforts on bread-and-butter economic issues like maternity leave for new mothers, skills and training.
The shift follows the identification of surprising patches of electoral resistance by Philip Gould, the party's polling adviser. MPs were warned by Alan Milburn last week that Labour has fallen by six points among married women with children - despite its commitments on child care.
The news follows concern that Blair's personal ratings are clouding the picture. One loyalist cabinet minister has told friends that Blair is no longer seen as an asset, particularly among traditional working class supporters.
Another Blairite minister admitted he had been taken aback by the hostility to the leader on the doorsteps: 'There are people shouting "if you get rid of Blair we'll vote Labour", although I think a lot of that is bluff.'
No, it isn't. The war is his burden and his support for it and Bush alienates many, many people. These people may stay home on election day, refusing to vote for the Tories or Blair.
The smart move would be for Blair to step down and let Brown run as party leader. People like Labour policies more or less, but hate Blair's war. Especially mothers.
His loyalists have been pretending for two years that this elephant is not in the room. Well, it's in the room and not going anywhere. Either Blair is forced to step down, because the numbers get worse, or he wins and loses most of his majority. Something has to give with the unpopularity of the war in the UK.
It was remarkable to see President Bush lecture Vladimir Putin on the importance of checks and balances in a democratic society.
......................... "I live in a transparent country," Mr. Bush protested to a Russian reporter who implicitly criticized the Patriot Act by noting that the private lives of American citizens "are now being monitored by the state."
Dick Cheney's secret meetings with energy lobbyists were certainly a model of transparency. As was the buildup to the Iraq war, when the Bush hawks did their best to cloak the real reasons they wanted to go to war and trumpet the trumped-up reasons.
The Bush administration wields maximum secrecy with minimal opposition. The White House press is timid. The poor, limp Democrats don't have enough power to convene Congressional hearings on any Republican outrages and are reduced to writing whining letters of protest that are tossed in the Oval Office trash.
When nearly $9 billion allotted for Iraqi reconstruction during Paul Bremer's tenure went up in smoke, Democratic lawmakers vainly pleaded with Republicans to open a Congressional investigation.
Even the near absence of checks and balances is not enough for W. Not content with controlling the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and a good chunk of the Fourth Estate, he goes to even more ludicrous lengths to avoid being challenged.
The White House wants its Republican allies in the Senate to stamp out the filibuster, one of the few weapons the handcuffed Democrats have left. They want to invoke the so-called nuclear option and get rid of the 150-year-old tradition in order to ram through more right-wing judges.
Mr. Bush and Condi Rice strut in their speeches - the secretary of state also strutted in Wiesbaden in her foxy "Matrix"-dominatrix black leather stiletto boots - but they shy away from taking questions from the public unless they get to vet the questions and audiences in advance.
Administration officials went so far as to cancel a town hall meeting during Mr. Bush's visit to Germany last week after deciding an unscripted setting would be too risky, opting for a round-table talk in Mainz with preselected Germans and Americans.
The president loves democracy - as long as democracy means he's always right.
Flyboys of Vietnam, Gray and Grounded in Iraq By KIRK SEMPLE
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DANGER, Iraq, Feb. 20 - The seasoned pilot was recalling a different war in a different place. "Every time we went in, we went in hot," he remembered. "You were fighting your way in and fighting your way out."
The pilot, Chief Warrant Officer James G. Freeman, was 23 when he began flying Huey helicopters in the Vietnam War in 1970. His missions with the 116th Assault Helicopter Company often involved dropping into a battleground to unload soldiers after helicopter gunships had "prepped" the zone with a torrent of rockets and machine-gun fire.
"There were a lot of bullets flying down there," Mr. Freeman recounted dryly during an interview. He was seated in a trailer on the airfield at Forward Operating Base Speicher, an American military base near here and his home for the next year while he is deployed with the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York National Guard, based in Troy, N.Y.
Mr. Freeman is now 58, with wry creases spraying from the corners of his eyes and a penchant for menthol cigarettes. As a member of the Guard, he has been deployed for events including the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., and relief and recovery missions after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the crash of T.W.A. Flight 800 in 1996 and the attack of Sept. 11, 2001.
Now, 34 years after his yearlong tour of duty in Vietnam, Mr. Freeman is back in another war.
He is one of five helicopter pilots from the New York National Guard who flew Hueys in the Vietnam War and who have been deployed as Black Hawk pilots in northern Iraq with the 42nd Infantry Division. The five pilots, all together, flew thousands of combat hours in Vietnam and survived being shot down several times. In this war, however, they say their responsibilities have kept them largely earthbound, as younger pilots rack up the flight hours. And they are not very happy about it.
"I'd rather be flying," grumbled Chief Warrant Officer Thomas McGurn, 57, one of the pilots who is at Base Danger helping to coordinate daily aviation schedules for the brigade. "This is kind of a bummer."
Only two of the five veteran pilots have flown since the bulk of the brigade arrived in Iraq last month.
Mr. Freeman, a retired Suffolk County police officer who lives in Stony Brook, N.Y., has flown once. Chief Warrant Officer Steven M. Derry, 53, a New York State correction officer in Wilton, N.Y., has flown twice. The others have not yet been tapped, but expect to fly sometime this year.
All five are members of a headquarters unit for the division's aviation brigade, which includes four aviation units from around the country and a maintenance battalion from Brooklyn.
For now, the five men spend their days at desk jobs or hanging out in their khaki flight suits, like caged, graying lions. Their command and control responsibilities, rather than their comparatively advanced ages, are the reason they are not flying as much as other pilots, the men say.
Mr. Freeman has taken to calling himself "a staff weenie." And Chief Warrant Officer Herbert A. Dargue, 57, of Brookhaven, N.Y., who is serving as a liaison between the division headquarters and the aviation brigade, said, "I'd rather get in the action than sit behind a desk."
About 5,570 American troops who are 50 or older have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly all of them members of the Guard and the Reserves. Although there are mandatory retirement regulations in the military that can apply anywhere from 55 to 62, depending on a soldier's length of service and other circumstances, there are no age limits on the battlefield.
Jonah, think these men have kids, you gutless piece of shit.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 - The battle over Social Security has been joined by an unusual lobbyist, a 9-year-old from Texas who has agreed to travel supporting President Bush's proposal.
The boy, Noah McCullough, made a splash with his encyclopedic command of presidential history, earning five appearances on the "Tonight" show and some unusual experiences in the presidential campaign last year. He beat Howard Dean in a trivia contest at the Democratic National Convention and wrote for his local newspaper about his trip to see the inauguration.
"He's very patriotic and very Republican," said Noah's mother, Donna McCullough, a former teacher and self-described Democrat. "It's the way he was born."
In a sign of how far groups go to carry their message on Social Security, Progress for America has signed up Noah, a fourth grader, as a volunteer spokesman. He starts on spring break from James Williams Elementary School in Katy, Tex.
Progress for America, which spent almost $45 million backing Mr. Bush last year, plans to lay out $20 million on Social Security this year. It has spent $1 million on television commercials and is working to send experts around the country. Among them are Thomas Saving, a trustee of the Social Security Trust Fund; Rosario Marin, a former United States treasurer; and one really, really young Republican. Noah will not be eligible to collect Social Security for nearly 60 years.
Noah will travel to a handful of states ahead of visits by the president and will go on radio programs, answer trivia questions and say a few words about Social Security. Though he is obviously not an expert (and not really a lobbyist, either), officials say the effort is a lighthearted way to underline Mr. Bush's message.
"What I want to tell people about Social Security is to not be afraid of the new plan," Noah said. "It may be a change, but it's a good change."
Atrios pointed this out.
A fucking 9 year old? You know I don't ask my nephew for political advice. People are not going to think this kid is cute. They will listen to him for A minute or so and then start asking him questions.The people behind this are evil and stupid. They don't get that this is people's lives here. Sticking a kid into the middle of this is wrong.
Join Tavis Smiley, Tom Joyner and thirty-five fhe o America’s Black thought leaders, educators, public policy makers, religious leaders, opinion makers and community organizers for two in-depth discussions, Road to Health™, and Defining the African American Agenda. The morning discussion, Road to Health™, is the kickoff to Tavis’ health and wellness expo and spotlights health and the health care crisis in America, its disproportionate effects on the African American community and what individual steps we can take towards better health. The afternoon discussion, Defining the African American Agenda, sets the stage to establish a new direction on how the Black community effects social and political change.
Invited speakers include (partial list):
Marian Wright Edelman, The Children’s Defense Fund Julian Bond, NAACP Theodore Shaw, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund The Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Harry Belafonte, Actor & Activist Bishop Eddie L. Long Congresswoman Maxine Waters Senator-Elect Barack Obama Marc Morial, National Urban League The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan Reverend Al Sharpton, National Action Network Dr. David Satcher, Former US Surgeon General Dr. Benjamin Carson, Johns Hopkins Hospital Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Olympic Gold Medalist and Athlete Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Cathy Hughes, Radio One Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Harvard University
OK, I tripped across this on CSPAN this afternoon and was captivated. The program is available on Real Player and will be broadcast tonight from eight o'clock on.
Bob Johnson's little sucker the negroes meeting was an attempt to forestall the work of his former employee, Tavis Smiley. Smiley decided he could make more money elsewhere and promote a black agenda not tempered by greed.
I know some of you folks are worried that the GOP might make inroads into the black community, but after watching this, the real intellectual heart of black America, you should be ready to listen and help, but worry should be off your agenda.
The people listed there aren't reformed criminals, but some of the best and brightest of America. They aren't speaking in some white think tank, but in a black church, bought, maintained and run by black people. They didn't need to beg their patrons for space and time, and white people didn't fill the tiny audience. This was a conversation between black Americans and it's one which everyone should hear. Unlike a dry symposium, the intellectuals here actually engage each other, respectfully.
The goal of the forum was to create a "Contract with Black America". The sellout ministers have created a suimilar docunment, but relies on GOP sponsorship to do things like renefenchise felons.
Of course, the irony of Kaiser and McDonald's sponsoring a discussion on black health is, of course, humorous.
Several panelists, including both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, condemned the anti-gay bigotry that some ministers have embraced. Jesse Jackson was especially derisive of those who "found more comfort with wite evangelicals than black leadership". They made the point clearly that we had other issues to deal with and that this was a distraction created to hide those issues.
What isn't widely realized is that Tavis Smiley and Tom Joyner are the leading media figures in black America. If you live in a city where Joyner is on the air, you would do well to listen to him to understand black politics.
The thing about this forum was that ideas there should cause all politically active democrats to think about what they can offer voters. The two parts of the afternoon are 4 hours long, but it is both funny and intelligent.
At one point, the pastor of the church, Bishop Eddie Long, was chided for going to the White House. While no one was disrespected, the panelists made it clear that they were not happy with him going and sticking to Bush's agenda.
While most whites have long ago written off Louis Farrakhan, in that black audience, he was accorded tremendous respect. Not because of his rantings, but because he is uncompromising in his stand in support of black people. The same applies to Sharpton as well. The lack of appreciation whites have for him only increases his stature. But of course, the main key to his success with audiences, is that he can speak very well.
A lot of ground was covered and you need to see it to get the breath and depth of it.
But let me put it this way, the range of political discussion had Farrakhan on the far left and Former Detriot mayor Dennis Archer on the right. Which is still a room full of liberals.
In the second panel, Cory Booker was included as well as AARP President Marie Smith, as well as Jesse Jackson. Jackson went after the homophobic ministers immediately, ridiculing them. The second panel, hosted by Court TV host Michael Brown, also included Keith Boykin, an openly gay man who's just written a book: Beyond the Down Low.
What is so important about this is that these statements were made, live on TV, in a large Baptist Church to refute the idea that a few bigots can speak for a diverse, educated community. And it was clear that the majority of people would not tolerate these folks being held up as role models, because they don't speak for black America.
If you want to find out who does, watch the show on C-SPAN or hit the link.
The other black billionare, former head of BET, Bob Johnson
Black Commentator came up with this, Bob Johnson's secret meeting to help rich people. Now, Johnson may be rich, but his eyes see no further than his wallet.
In a transparent bid to boost Republican fortunes among Blacks, billionaire Bob Johnson attempted earlier this year to convene a secret meeting of prominent African Americans at BET headquarters in Washington, DC. obtained a copy of the invitation to the “retreat,” scheduled for January 13 and 14 and ostensibly designed “for the purpose of brainstorming ideas as to how we as African Americans can best confront the political and demographic realities of the 21st century.” None of the invitees were told the identity of the others and the press was scrupulously kept in the dark, but we have learned enough to report that the mix was high-powered and politically diverse. (Click here to view the Johnson invitation letter to the retreat. The page may load slowly for dial up users due to the large size of the image.)
The stealth gathering was postponed for lack of a quorum, but Johnson’s intentions were made clear in his eight suggested talking-points, not one of which dealt with issues such as jobs, health care, housing, social security, civil rights or war and peace. Instead, the BET founder, who was an early backer of Social Security privatization and organized fellow wealthy Blacks in support of George Bush’s bid to repeal the Estate Tax, crafted an agenda designed to peel African Americans away from the Democratic Party – his clear assignment in Bush’s second term. “It seems to me he was suggesting more cooperation with Republicans, or at least, less friendship toward Democrats,” said one invitee, who asked for anonymity.
With great cynicism but little guile, Johnson taps into the near-universal desire among Blacks for actions that will lead to greater operational unity and effectiveness – and attempts to channel these aspirations in Republican directions. Of the eight Johnson “questions” listed below, all but three implicitly urge collaboration with the GOP or a boycott of Democrats. The remainder – on forming a Black political party, running “favorite son” candidates, and fundraising over the Internet – are window dressing to create the impression of a broader agenda.
1. Should African Americans continue to vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party?
2. Should African Americans, in concert, make overtures to the Republican Party?
3. Should African Americans seek to form an independent party and vote accordingly?
4. Should African American-elected officials be encouraged to run as favorite sons in national elections?
5. Should African Americans holding elected offices be asked to vote according to a multi-party system by using their voting power to leverage the Democrats against the Republicans and the Republicans against the Democrats in the best interest of African Americans?
6. Should African American voters be encouraged to vote for Republican or Democratic officials based upon the negotiated agreement with the respective candidates rather than based on party affiliation?
7. Should African Americans demonstrate our political cohesiveness, and therefore political power, by withholding votes from a particular candidate in a selected election?
8. Should African Americans invest in an Internet-based fundraising effort to form a totally independent source of political financing?
Bob Johnson doubtless kept the invitees in the dark as to each other’s identities, the better to control the direction of the slanted discourse by curtailing opportunities for pre-meeting discussions among invitees, such as, What is this guy up to? and, How was this list put together? or, Why aren’t there any talking points on the issues?
BC obtained, from a third party, a copy of NAACP Chairman Julian Bond’s response to Johnson’s invitation. Bond declined to attend “for scheduling reasons,” congratulated Johnson for his efforts, then offered a valuable, point-by-point critique. On the question of whether Blacks should “continue to vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party,” Bond responded:
”This strikes me as the wrong question – the correct one is ‘what party should we vote for, and what standards should we apply to choose the beneficiary of our votes?’ In every election in my lifetime from Franklin Roosevelt to George W. Bush (with one exception in 1956) we’ve chosen the Democratic Party by large majorities. That choice was rationally made between two competing and general political philosophies – one which promised an aggressive defense of civil rights and the prospect of economic growth and security, the other offering the vicissitudes of the marketplace and less vigorous federal protection of – and in many cases a retreat from – civil rights. Using that general standard, we’ve consistently voted for Democrats, and I expect that pattern to be followed for the foreseeable future. In recent elections, our choice has also been a matter of the Republican Party repulsing us rather than the Democratic Party attracting us.”
Bond agreed that Republicans should be rewarded with votes if they “adopt policies deemed favorable” to Black interests. “It would be the height of idiocy, however, to suggest that having given our votes to one party for so long we ought to give them to the other for no reason except that we could,” said Bond. “The old mantra, ‘taken for granted by one party; ignored by the other’ isn’t remedied by giving our votes to a party that doesn’t make any rational appeal for them.” .......... No wonder Bob Johnson wants to hold narrowly framed meetings about electoral strategies with Black leadership, rather than discuss bread and butter issues – he is so far to the right, he’s off the screen of the Black Political Consensus. ........... A Pioneer privatizer
"We're all on the Titanic as it relates to Social Security and people are telling us it's the safest ship afloat. But we are heading for a disaster.'' – Bob Johnson
Only hard-core GOP Rightists shrilled like that in 2002 – back then, the Republican National Committee specifically forbade its congressional candidates from campaigning on the shaky ground of Social Security privatization. But Bob Johnson was on a Bush-mission to spread hysteria and confusion in Black America, and he performed shamelessly. Johnson was picked for a slot on Bush’s supposedly bi-partisan Commission to Strengthen Social Security – as a Democratic member! Thus, Bush got an African American commissioner who cared nothing for the interests of the masses of Blacks or Democrats. And he got a mouthpiece for the evolving GOP Social Security line for Black consumption. “African Americans who contribute to the Social Security system and payroll taxes also have one of the highest mortality rates, so in the end, they may not receive the full benefits of what they put in Social Security,” said Johnson, a message that would be repeated on hundreds of Black radio stations during the 2002 congressional elections.
Yes, Bob Johnson is a true media pioneer – a veteran polluter of the Black airwaves. His original “Black” rationale for Social Security privatization is now a centerpiece of White House propaganda – the context in which his call for a meeting of Black minds must be viewed.
However, it would be wrong to assume that Johnson is simply playing at right-wing politics because the Republicans control the government. He’s been hanging with the troglodytes since 1979, when he hooked up with John C. Malone, of Tele-Communications Inc. To ease his way into cable franchises in heavily Black cities, Malone needed someone to provide African American programming. He bankrolled Johnson for $500,000 in return for a 35 percent share in their new baby, BET. (Johnson put up just $15,000 in borrowed money.) Malone and Johnson have been joined at the wallet ever since; Malone never gave up his BET stock. When Johnson sold BET to Viacom for $3 billion in 2000, Malone’s company received $800 million in Viacom stock.
Johnson’s partner Malone is on the board of the Cato Institute – in the Right’s division of labor arrangement, the point organization on Social Security privatization. This is the political company Bob Johnson keeps, when he’s not using his wealth to tease cash-starved Black leadership structures into paying him undue attention.
A disruptive bank account
Donna Brazile, head of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute, would have attended Johnson’s meeting had it come off. “Look, on questions of partisanship, I am a strong and faithful Democrat,” she told . “But, I welcome a dialogue with those on the other side to see what, if anything, they are willing to bring to the table. In the past, they have come up empty handed and with a stick to beat Democrats down. Now, if Bob wants to have a conversation with all sides, I am ready, but actions still speak louder than words.”
It’s not clear if Brazile considers Johnson to be on “the other side” or not. Indeed, it’s hard not to be at the center of attention when one comprises half of the total billionaire population of Black America. Johnson, who is leaving BET by the end of the year, will certainly enjoy a well-attended “summit” of his own choosing – whether secret or public – if he reschedules it wisely. But everyone in attendance should know what the real agenda is: to lure Blacks into a relationship with the Republican Party or, failing that, to cause splintering and confusion in the ranks.
Bob Johnson doesn't like criticism, or questions. But he loved being John Malone's bitch when he ran BET.
When he was begged, over and over, to not air all the videos of gyrating, nearly nude women, over and over in the middle of the day, on the channel, he just sneered at his critics. He even went so far as to launch a full-page screed against a young Aaron MacGruder for daring to critize the tits and ass nature of BET's programming. Johnson never liked unions or union wages either. Nor developing talent. All cost too much money. Johnson's opinion of the intellect of black people is a dim one at best. He closed Emerge, which was the only black political magazine, to start Savoy, which would be about men's fashions.
While Johnson was eager to play on blackness to get ahead, he paid the lowest wages for talent in the DC area. When he wanted to do a comedy show, he paid below union scale and when called on it, moved the show to Atlanta, most talented black comics stayed away, rather than make $300. I am hardly surprised that Johnson's assistant sneered about being called on his little sucker the negroes meeting. When BET went public, at a time companies were handing out shares like beers at a frat party, Johnson gave his loyal staff zero shares. When a black reporter for the WaPo wrote about how BET was a non-union shop, paying the worst media wages in DC, the attack was called racist.
Bob Johnson learned how the rich behaved well at Princeton. Too bad he never learned about social responsibility.
But obviously, there is more here. There is a coordinated effort by Rove to drive a wedge between blacks and the democratic party while not chamging the largely Southern-based nature of the GOP. They want blacks to doubt the Democratic Party, and then force the Dems to overreact, becoming the black party, securing the south for them. Johnson doesn't even see how he's being played as long as his wallets are fat. The GOP don't want niggers, they want to look like they want them, and then force the dems to fight for them, saying "See, that's the nigger loving party". While they lie to Hispanics and do nothing for them. They can't deliver on immigration because of the Tom Tancredos, who hate Mexicans like his forefathers did, excepot they don't use the rope and the gun any more.
But the difference is this: Johnson ain't Oprah. People hate Bob Johnson. They resent the hell out of BET, and how he's shoveled crap into people's homes. Few people were upset when he sold out to Viacom, because he had sold out the black community long ago. Think his daughter could have showed up with Petey Pablo or Chingy at a party? Hell no? They'd have shoved his black ass out that mansion at gunpoint. But it's ok for my niece and nephew to watch them after school. Well, it isn't, which is why they watch Nick or Cartoon Network or Disney.
Johnson is rich and clever, but not bright. When he sold BET to massa John Malone, he wanted to open a commuter airline. Which smacked of idiocy at the time and remains only a notion today.
Ironically, BET is most hated among the most conservative elements in the black community. It's programming is so reviled that another network, Black Family Channel, was created as an alternative. BET runs church early and hoochies the rest of the time, I guess to cover their bases. But the reason Johnson had to sneak thief this is simple: if he did it openly, he would have been called out by the community.
Responding to the Call: The New Black Vanguard Conference (The House Negro convention)
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
Has the establishment black leadership become irrelevant? Conservative black Americans say “yes,” and they're calling for the reinstitution of principled black leadership in the tradition of Booker T. Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Organizations such as the NAACP, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH, and the Congressional Black Caucus have utterly failed to provide moral leadership in the black community and have become the tools for extremist political agendas.
In response, BOND (the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny) and The Heritage Foundation are co-sponsoring an historic conference – Responding To The Call: The New Black Vanguard Conference – to address this crisis and the spiraling moral and physical decline taking place within America’s inner cities.
Conference participants will also address ways to counter the liberals’ attack on distinguished and accomplished black Americans such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Justice Clarence Thomas. Audience members will be able to participate in a Question and Answer session at the conclusion of the program.
The list of Toms and Tomettes
Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson Founder and President, Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny
Roy Innis National Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Congress of Racial Equality
Gloria Jackson President, Booker T. Washington Speakers Network
Mychal Massie Project 21
Niger Innis National Spokesman, Congress of Racial Equality
Roy Innis stood by Giuliani as called on the cops to attack City Hall when David Dinkins was mayor.
Most black New Yorkers hate him with a passion.
Look, this coon show was run by and for white people and most black people would have laughed at these people.
Of course, the people hosting this were as white as a CCC meeting. The person doing the introduction looks like she got lost at an Ayran Nation's meeting.
But I'm sick and fucking tired of these fools. They run down the people elected by millions of blacks as ignorant, when they know that their ideology holds no truck with most black people.
Run, you big talking toms. You think your ideas are so great, run for office.
Jesse Lee Peterson, you don't think Maxine Waters is doing her job, run against her. Get her on a stage in South Central and debate her and her ideas. Drop that rhetoric in a room of black people, away from your white masters.
Alan Keyes got what, four percent of the black vote in Illinois?
If you think you can do better than the currently elected officials, run for their seats.
See how far you get. Bring your house negro message to black America and see where it goes.
The sad part is that for all their talk of independence, they are the bitches of rich, white men.
I think Malcolm X had a message for these people:
To understand this, you have to go back to what [the] young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro -- back during slavery. There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes - they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good 'cause they ate his food -- what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master's house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, "We got a good house here," the house Negro would say, "Yeah, we got a good house here." Whenever the master said "we," he said "we." That's how you can tell a house Negro.
If the master's house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, "What's the matter, boss, we sick?" We sick! He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, "Let's run away, let's escape, let's separate," the house Negro would look at you and say, "Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?" That was that house Negro. In those days he was called a "house nigger." And that's what we call him today, because we've still got some house niggers running around here.
This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He'll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about "I'm the only Negro out here." "I'm the only one on my job." "I'm the only one in this school." You're nothing but a house Negro. And if someone comes to you right now and says, "Let's separate," you say the same thing that the house Negro said on the plantation. "What you mean, separate? From America? This good white man? Where you going to get a better job than you get here?" I mean, this is what you say. "I ain't left nothing in Africa," that's what you say. Why, you left your mind in Africa.
On that same plantation, there was the field Negro. The field Negro -- those were the masses. There were always more Negroes in the field than there was Negroes in the house. The Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house they ate high up on the hog. The Negro in the field didn't get nothing but what was left of the insides of the hog. They call 'em "chitt'lin'" nowadays. In those days they called them what they were: guts. That's what you were -- a gut-eater. And some of you all still gut-eaters.
The field Negro was beaten from morning to night. He lived in a shack, in a hut; He wore old, castoff clothes. He hated his master. I say he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master. But that field Negro -- remember, they were in the majority, and they hated the master. When the house caught on fire, he didn't try and put it out; that field Negro prayed for a wind, for a breeze. When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he'd die. If someone come [sic] to the field Negro and said, "Let's separate, let's run," he didn't say "Where we going?" He'd say, "Any place is better than here." You've got field Negroes in America today. I'm a field Negro. The masses are the field Negroes. When they see this man's house on fire, you don't hear these little Negroes talking about "our government is in trouble." They say, "The government is in trouble." Imagine a Negro: "Our government"! I even heard one say "our astronauts." They won't even let him near the plant -- and "our astronauts"! "Our Navy" -- that's a Negro that's out of his mind. That's a Negro that's out of his mind.
Most black people feel exactly the same way about these folks today.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fernando Ferrer, the leading Democratic challenger in this year’s mayoral race, are tied 43 – 43 percent among New York City voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
This compares to a 45 – 40 percent Ferrer lead in a November 10, 2004, poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, a lead which had been constant through months of polling.
In this latest survey, Mayor Bloomberg tops other Democratic challengers:
• 43 – 38 percent over Council Speaker Gifford Miller;
• 44 – 39 percent over Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields:
• 43 – 36 percent over U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner;
• 46 – 31 percent over Council member Charles Barron.
In the matchup with Ferrer, white voters back the Mayor 57 – 30 percent, as black voters back Ferrer 57 – 25 percent and Hispanic voters back Ferrer 57 – 29 percent.
In the last polling done on the race, before the gay marriage issue came up, Bloomberg, who lacks the racial animus which defined Giuliani's mayorality, is still fairly unpopular with minorities, who oddly enough, vote in equal numbers for Ferrer.
The fact that he polled so poorly against Charles Barron should be considered a warning sign. Barron, who's the city's leading black nationalist, and barely known outside Brooklyn and New York 1, managed to get a third of the city's vote. There is a lot of unresolved anger about the Dorismond and Diallo murders. Bloomberg is viewed warily by many, and if the black pols decide he has to go, read Sharpton, then he's got problems his money can't surmount. The old days where Herman Badillo got screwed by the Harlem pols is over.
Al Sharpton, despite his flaws, is still the kingmaker of city politics. He's got ties to the gay community and hispanics by getting arrested for their causes. He's not going to dick over Ferrer if he thinks he can be mayor. The days of Basil Patterson and Denny Farrell making backroom deals are over. Only one person makes those deals, and it's Sharpton. He strides both the Harlem and Brooklyn black power bases and is the single most popular politician among both blacks and hispanics in the streets. If he backs Ferrer, black voters will too.
The recent media talk about evangelicals and the hispanic vote should be regarded as a joke. First of all, Ruben Diaz talks out of his ass on a daily basis. He was also a Giuliani lackey and was chased off the school board for his homophobia. These people, as far as I can tell, and this comes from living in a Hispanic neighborhood, are apolitical at best. They have NEVER jumped into a local race for as much as district leader.
Look, the last two council members from the lower east side were openly gay and hispanic, and Diaz was as much a homophobe then as now. For all his bluster, he hardly represents the entire evangelical community. Many of those churches are black and Asian as well. And they are still outnumbered by the Catholics and santeria followers. No one polls them, but they have influence as well, enough to keep a lot of Botanicas in business. Puerto Rican nationalism is still a pretty strong force and the idea of having a Puerto Rican mayor is way too appealing to toss away over gay marriage. I would treat Diaz in the same regard as I treat Armstrong Williams.
Second, aliens can't vote, and the immigrants to my neighborhood are Mexican. So he can drag 5,000 people into the street, but the odds of many of them voting are minimal.
Gay marriage will upset the Hassids as well, but the fact is that it isn't going to be enough to trump the union's power. See, you can talk about this mythical, never seen evangelical vote all day long. But it's like vapor. The real vote is the union vote, and DC 37 is going to make sure Bloomberg is defeated. Why people persist in worrying about some factor which has NEVER existed in New York politics over the open hatred the city's unions have for Bloomberg is beyond me. It may be a factor, when we start election Mexican council members. Until then, it's a news story, not a political fact.
Relations between City Hall and the unions is miserable. He will not give up decent contract wage hikes while pimping the Olympics and that infernal stadium. They have the most vested interest in voting him out and getting a friendly mayor and governor. The problem is that I would bet that the unions rally around Ferrer early and loudly, especially the teachers and health care workers, which will clearly trump some ministers in the Bronx.
However, what gay marriage does is this: cuts the support for Bloomberg.
Gays are large political investors. This issue gives them every incentive to support anyone but Bloomberg, and if I had to choose, alienating upwards of a million gays is not worth the risk. Not for the money or the political organization.
Toss on opposition to the stadium, which is a key weakness for Bloomberg now, and there is a race to be run.
One other factor, with a call, Freddie Ferrer has a field operation. The unions will clearly open their doors and send their people into the streets for him. Bloomberg has to buy one and that's always a danger. Especially when he's facing a primary against Queens redneck Tom Ognibene. It would be amusing if he won, but many of the right wingers, like Mike Long, want to push him to the right and that's suicide in a citywide bid.
Remember, the demogrpahics of the city has changed since 1993. The majority of the city's voters are non-white. Which is why it's critical for Bloomberg to get black and hispanic votes, something he isn't doing now.
As always, turnout is going to be key. High turnout, especially driven by minority voting, means Bloomberg loses.
Bloomberg's biggest problem is a tone deafness towards criticism. He tends to go past it.
Also, the RNC was very unpopular here, and the trials against the city could explode during the middle of the campaign.
Bloomberg is far more likely to pay for his stand on gay marriage than Ferrer, because all it will take is a few black and Latino politicians to ridicule the idea of this being important and it dies, even with a court ruling, because given the way Albany is set up, no repeal is possible. No matter how many sexy headlines it causes, the cost of the stadium will be more important as the MTA raises fares. Bloomberg pretty much lost a block of votes with his filing the appeal and the question is how angry are the gay activists. My bet, angry enough to work against him hard.
As far as Gifford Miller goes, inconsequential joke and a weak leader. He's mangled two controveries in the City Council and is timid.
Virginia Fields will be shoved out of the race like Charles Barron was. There are serious black politicians who could have run for mayor and didn't. She is not going to make it.
Anthony Weiner is a man in search of a promotion which isn't coming. He will have to wait his turn, But he sure can campaign.
Ordinarily, revelations that a former male prostitute, using an alias (Jeff Gannon) and working for a phony news organization, was ushered into the White House -- without undergoing a full-blown security background check -- in order to pose softball questions to administration officials would qualify as news by any recent Beltway standard. Yet as of Thursday, ABC News, which produces "Good Morning America," "World News Tonight With Peter Jennings," "Nightline," "This Week," "20/20" and "Primetime Live," has not reported one word about the three-week-running scandal. Neither has CBS News ("The Early Show," "The CBS Evening News," "60 Minutes," "60 Minutes Wednesday" and "Face the Nation"). NBC and its entire family of morning, evening and weekend news programs have addressed the story only three times. Asked about the lack of coverage, spokeswomen for both ABC and CBS said executives were unavailable to discuss their networks' coverage.
Perhaps nobody is surprised that Republican-friendly Fox News has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid covering the Guckert story and the embarrassing questions it raises for the Bush White House. Since the story began to take shape earlier this month, Fox News has filled more than 500 hours of programming. During that span the name "Jeff Gannon" has been uttered just five times on the air, according to a search of the LexisNexis electronic database of television news transcripts. And at no point have the facts surrounding the story been explained to Fox's viewers. (Dependable Republican ally Matt Drudge, who in the past has gleefully trumpeted media scandals, has also been allergic to Gannongate, posting just one link to date on his Web site.)
But it is surprising that a program like MSBNC's "Hardball," which touts itself as the home of authentic Beltway chatter and which has aired 15 episodes since the Guckert story first emerged, has dedicated just one segment from one show to the Guckert controversy. MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," however, has been much more aggressive in covering the story. Only CNN has covered the story with any kind of consistency among the 24-hour news channels.
I'm watching Jake Tapper talk to celebrity publicist Ken Sunshine, who is whining about his rich clients being reported on. Evil papparazis pestering the rich is FAR more important than a manwhore too stupid to not use his hooker name in the White House Press Corps.
Fuck me, I must be retarded, because I thought journalists were in the fraud detection business. Manwhore people. You worked next to a man criminally offering his sexual services for two years and you sit there like morons wondering if this is a story.
What Bush plans to do with our social security money
Bush's bait and switch Liberal author Thomas Frank and conservative opinion maker Richard Viguerie agree that Bush roped in voters with moral issues, only to sell them out with his Social Security plan.
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He may well succeed, Frank predicts. "If Bush rams it through, and I suspect he will, it could be very costly for Republicans," he adds. "It has the potential to be a huge disaster for them politically."
The disaster could come when social conservatives, people who've been duped into voting for the GOP on the assumption that it was the party of morals (rather than of money), might finally see the truth. If, as some economists predict, Social Security privatization goes badly for working people, with traditional benefits cut and stock market gains diminutive, wouldn't family-values voters realize that the Republican Party has diminished the value of their checking accounts? Couldn't Republicans possibly lose some elections over it?
Possibly. That's why most Republicans in Congress aren't jumping for joy over the Bush plan. But when it comes to Social Security reform, Frank argues, the White House and other Republican leaders may be willing to pay any price. Social Security is, after all, the linchpin of the American welfare state, the most popular and well-regarded entitlement program. By privatizing it, Republicans will achieve a long-standing ideological goal. They'll be fundamentally altering the government's responsibility to its citizens, profoundly realigning the nation in favor of the stock-market-invested rich and against the interests of the poor. As Frank says, they'll be repealing the New Deal -- and such a grand mission, they may feel, might be worth losing a few elections over.
"The leadership and the big thinkers don't care that this is going to be an extremely disastrous issue 10 years from now," Frank says. "They think they can get out of bearing the consequences of anything with some slick talk. After all, nobody blames Reagan for budget deficits anymore. And here, you're talking about such an enormous change, it will be impossible for Democrats to put it back the way it was. It's such a huge change that it will be permanent; they can't put it back once it's done."
Josh Marshall reports that the WSJ has the Bushies talking out of their ass again
PRESSURE RISES on Social Security.
A senior Bush adviser sees "ice breaking" around opposition of some Democrats to the administration plan. Fellow Democrats, chafing at Lieberman's flirtation with Bush, circulate his criticism of "risky private accounts" in the run-up to his 2004 presidential run.
Despite White House courting, Democratic Sen. Nelson of Nebraska is unlikely to embrace Bush's private-account plan, an associate predicts. House Democratic campaign committee seeks donations to fuel "caught-on-tape" drive to weaken Republican members by publicizing alleged flip-flops on the issue.
Plan B? Republicans insist Bush could "win" without legislation by hitting "anti-reform" Democrats.
They ought to have some of that ice break around Congressional Republicans.
What Josh, who spent his formative years in corrupt as the day is long Rhode Island, doesn't realize is that Connecticut is not just Greenwich and Yale. It has some of the poorest towns in the region like Bridgeport. Social Security matters there. I think, in the end, Lieberman can be hammered into line, but only if the stakes are raised considerably, like AARP tossing ad to the state's largest newspapers demanding Lieberman stop with his Third Way politics. He keeps trying to make deals with people who idea of deals is your capitulation.
Let the Bushies go after the Dems who are against theft. They can then point out how many Republicans are also against the theft of Social Security.
I think Thomas Frank is wrong. I don't think there is enough support to make any real changes in Social Security and USA Next could be a legal nightmare. The people in their opening ad are looking to sue. If they get a lawyer, and get into USA Next's financial records, which would be part of discovery, this could blow up on Rove badly.
Rappers and Bloggers Separated at birth! By Josh Levin Posted Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005, at 3:28 PM PT
P. Diddy gargles Cristal as his yacht sails from San Tropez to Ibiza. Atrios stares at his computer screen and ponders the effect of "increased central bank diversification out of dollar holdings." Nelly takes in the NBA All-Star Game from the first row while gabbing on a cell phone made out of a giant shoe. InstaPundit digests the latest developments in the Dartmouth board of trustees race and takes note of an update to C-SPAN's early morning schedule. What, do I need to draw you a Venn diagram? Rappers and bloggers—they're the same!
Those of you obsessed with external appearances may think I'm kidding. What, you ask, could those champagne-swilling, "bitch"-shouting rappers have in common with those Jolt-pounding, "read the whole thing"-writing bloggers?
For starters, both groups share a love of loose-fitting, pajama-style apparel. Still not satisfied? Bloggers and rappers are equally obsessed with social networking. Every rapper rolls with his entourage; every blogger rolls with his blog roll. Women can't win an audience in either profession without raunching it up like Lil' Kim or Wonkette.
New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is set to put his national reputation to work on the city’s political scene by endorsing Fernando Ferrer for Mayor of New York, aides to both politicians told The Observer.
Mr. Spitzer’s public announcement of his support for Mr. Ferrer is planned for this spring, though no date has been set. But whatever the day, time and place, the Attorney General’s embrace of the former Bronx Borough President will likely be the single most important endorsement of the Mayor’s race and a centerpiece of Mr. Ferrer’s campaign. The move will put one of the most popular Democrats in the nation behind Mr. Ferrer, who already holds a solid lead in early polls over his three rivals for the Democratic nomination.
The Attorney General’s decision is unusual for an official of his stature. While Mr. Ferrer and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller have already begun to announce a steady stream of mini-endorsements from local politicians, neither of New York’s Senators is expected to play favorites in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, and no other national figures have shown any inclination to get involved in the race. Even the Reverend Al Sharpton is standing on the sidelines, at least for the moment. Mr. Spitzer’s status as an icon of reform could prove particularly helpful to Mr. Ferrer, who has long battled the perception that he’s been tarnished by the years spent rising through the ranks of the Bronx Democratic machine.
Though Mr. Spitzer’s open endorsement may come as a surprise, he has long been a quiet supporter of Mr. Ferrer. Mr. Spitzer spoke at two fund-raisers for the Bronx Democrat last year. And last fall, an Observer reporter working on a profile of Mr. Ferrer received a call from Mr. Spitzer’s Columbia County weekend home.
"Freddy has given voice to an important message about the middle class, and what can be done to maintain the middle class," Mr. Spitzer said at the time.
This week Mr. Spitzer, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment on his plans for an endorsement.
But aides to Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Ferrer said the endorsement was agreed on before the Democratic National Convention, at a meeting between the Attorney General and the Bronx politician, then the president of a small Manhattan think tank, the Drum Major Institute. And their political relationship goes back well before that. For one thing, they share pollsters and advisors, and Mr. Spitzer’s campaign office rents space in the Broadway office of the Global Strategy Group, where Mr. Ferrer has spent many recent days making fund-raising calls and plotting strategy.
The fact is that he needs a Democratic mayor to smooth the way to challenge Pataki and Ferrer is likely to win big. Giuliani is unlikely to play a serious role in this race because he's so widely hated by so many people. If he were to win, he would be the first hispanic mayor of a city over a million in the US. It would also leave Joe Bruno isolated in Albany. hwe would be the only republican of stature left in the state. Sharpton got Charles Barron out of the race, but with Virginia Fields still in, he has to wait for her campaign to falter before backing Ferrer. The other candidates have no chance, because they don't have a base of voters or name recognition . And the Stadium deal is unpopular with enough people that it hurts Bloombe
The uncertain fate of the proposed West Side stadium is not the only hurdle facing the city as it bids for the 2012 Olympics. Experts on the Games say New York has yet to satisfy the International Olympic Committee's firm demand that host cities guarantee to pay for all cost overruns and deficits, no matter how high they go.
When the committee announces the host city on July 6, it will require it to sign a contract that day agreeing to underwrite the entire cost of the Games, cover any differences between revenues and expenditures, and indemnify the committee, sponsors and broadcasters against any financial claims that arise.
It is a sizable issue, given that in Athens last year, the Games cost at least $10 billion, twice the original estimate, and the Sydney Olympics in 2000 also cost double the projection.
The other cities in the competition - London, Paris, Madrid and Moscow - have offered open-ended agreements to cover any cost overruns or deficits, in most cases underwritten by their national governments. "The chancellor of the exchequer has guaranteed that the U.K. Government will act as the ultimate financial guarantor should there be a shortfall between Olympic costs and revenues," reads the London bid, which is typical of the others.
New York's organizing committee, on the other hand, has taken a different route. Lacking such a guarantee from the federal, state or city government, it has offered to cover all excess costs up to $492 million, which organizers say should be sufficient, given that no American host city has had any overruns approaching that amount. It is far from clear, however, that that limit will be sufficient for the international committee.
"Somebody's got to step up," said Richard W. Pound, a Canadian member of the committee's unit that deals with legal issues.
"In the U.S., there's never any doubt it can be done, but they've got to produce a guarantee from someone."
Kevin B. Wamsley, director of the International Center for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, said the issue was generally considered nonnegotiable.
"They have to sign off on that issue, or the bid will not be accepted," Mr. Wamsley said.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki went out of their way on Wednesday to reassure the international committee's evaluation commission that there were sufficient contingency funds in the current budget to cover any overruns.
Jay Kriegel, executive director of NYC2012, the local organizing committee, said yesterday that New York has provided "without question the strongest guarantee that's ever been provided for an American bid."
The guarantee, he said, includes $250 million from the state and a $200 million contingency fund in the host committee's $3 billion budget for the Games. The 2001 state legislation authorizing that appropriation specifically states that "in no event" should the combined liability of the city and the state exceed $250 million. In addition, the federal government has agreed to pay for all security costs.
It is for the international committee "to decide whether the guarantee meets their needs," Mr. Kriegel said.
At a news conference yesterday, the chairwoman of the international committee's evaluation commission, Nawal el-Moutawakel, gave a noncommittal answer to the question of whether the city had met the committee's requirements, though she made it clear she appreciated the city's attempts to deal with the issue.
She added that the assurances the city provided would make it easier for the committee to prepare its report.
This was buried in the Times and it shouldn't be. Not a dime should come from government for this, especially city government. It's bad enough to build the damn stadium somewhere, now we have to cover their costs as well? Where is all this extra money supposed to come from? When we face an overrun of billions, you think Washington is going to pick that up in an election year? This should be a major issue instead of all the cheerleading.