Friday, December 12, 2008

McCain Fire Sale Includes Personal Info

Some private info was included in the yard sale at the John McCain Presidential Campaign Headquarters.

A reporter for the local FOX affiliate in Washington, DC headed over to look for bargains and a story.

She picked up a Blackberry for twenty bucks.

And it was loaded with phone numbers and emails belonging to McCain staffers. (FOX5)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Illegal Aliens Clean Chertoff's House

The Department of Homeland Security includes the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs.

But for four years, illegal aliens have been cleaning the home belonging to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Their employer, James Reid, says he thought they were legit, because they kept clearing Secret Service background checks.

As he told the Washington Post, "Our Homeland Security can't police their own home. How can they police our borders?"

Mr. Reid has been fined $22,880 for hiring them.

If you have an extra napkin, please send it to Homeland Security. Sec Chertoff has four years worth of egg on his face. (WaPo)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

High Pitched Senate Stakes

Actress Fran Drescher of "The Nanny" has expressed interest in the US Senate seat being vacated by Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

A merciful God will not let me live long enough to hear the dreaded Drescher/Palin debates! (CNN)

Wipe That Smile Off Your Face, Citizen

As if you had any reason to smile at the DMV, the state of Indiana now bans you from smiling on your drivers license photo. From the Louisville Courier Journal:

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has imposed new restrictions on anything -- from smiling to wearing glasses and scarves and hats -- that would hamper facial recognition software from distinguishing one driver's looks from another's.

It's all to let facial recognition software identify you from your picture.

This from the state that decided the best way to fight complaints of long waits at their BMV offices was to simply remove the clocks. (Louisville Courier Journal)

Hey, We Only Lost $11 Billion

John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch is putting in for a $10 million dollar bonus.

His logic is that Merrill Lynch -- which lost $11 billion -- isn't in as bad a shape as say Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns which collapsed completely. (CNN)

5 Day Sentence for Fossella

Rep Vito Fossella (R-NY) will be serving five days in an 8 by 10 foot cell in Virginia.

The congressman was convicted of drunk driving. Just got the sentence in Alexandria. He reports to jail December 19. (NYT)

Blagojevich Accused of Trying to Sell Obama's Seat

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) has been arrested on charges of trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat. From the AP:

A 76-page FBI affidavit said the 51-year-old Democratic governor was intercepted
on court-authorized wiretaps over the last month conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti.

The charges say he tried to wrangle a hefty salary for himself and for his wife on various boards.

Didn't former Illinois Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) get in trouble for NOT paying for some seats in Congress?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What If?

The folks at have cooked up a great "What If?" machine. It lets you move markers on demographic charts to see how turnout and voting preferences to predict how the 2008 Presidential race will turn out.

Amazing thing: check out the map above. If everyone based on race, gender, and religion turned out in the same percentages and voted for the same party as in 2006, Sen Barak Obama (D-IL) wins -- 370 - 168 in the Electoral College. (

Monday, July 07, 2008

What's the Price of Rose-Colored Night Vision Goggles?

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost the Pentagon some of their wish list for new weapons.
The Government Accountability Office has found costs for new weapons spiraling out of control -- and competing for dollars with the wars. From the Washington Post:

The major weapons systems being developed and produced by the Defense Department will require $1.6 trillion to complete and $335 billion over the next five years -- money that may not be available because of the continuing cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.
The GAO found some weapons were pitched with unrealistic price tags to begin with -- sometimes 30% - 40% below what they would end up costing. (WaPo)

This Ain't Your Father's Smoke-Filled Room

Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) is promising a political convention for the people. He's breaking with the tradition of accepting the Democratic nomination in front of convention floor delegates and taking his speech to an outdoor venue open to the general public. From an Obama Campaign email:

On Thursday, August 28th, he's scheduled to formally accept the Democratic nomination in a speech at the convention hall in front of the assembled delegates.

Instead, Barack will leave the convention hall and join more than 75,000 people for a huge, free, open-air event where he will deliver his acceptance speech to the American people.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Electoral Vote Chase

CNN has a "political ticker" tracking how the Presidential candidates are doing state by state. It give you an idea where the Electoral College numbers are adding up.

As of today, Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) leads Sen John McCain (R-AZ) 231-194.

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win. (CNN)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Parking our Cars, Costing our Roads

Higher gas prices mean we're driving less -- and that means less tax revenue to repair our roads.

The federal Transportation Department says Americans drove 1.4 billion fewer highway miles in April -- than in April, 2007. It's the sixth consecutive decline in our driving habits. (CNN)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Big Inflation Bubble

Inflation shot up last month at the fastest pace in six months. Gasoline and other energy costs pushed prices higher.

Gasoline was up 5.7%, food climbed 0.3%. (AP)

Friday, June 06, 2008


The nation's unemployment rate shot up to 5.5% in May -- the biggest jump since 1986.

America lost 49,000 jobs. (AP)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Missing Cape Cod Lighthouse Located on Left Coast

How do you lose a lighthouse?

The town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts mananged back in 1925. Turns out, the lighthouse turned up on the west coast -- moved there by the US Coast Guard.

The 30-foot all metal lighthouse was taken down in the 20s and historians thought it was gone for good. But the Coasties had instead put it to good use in Yerba Buena, California. Its still used as a navigational aid. (AP)

Iraq War Leaves Medical Pilots in the Dark

The war in Iraq is creating a shortage at home -- of night vision goggles.

That's hurting pilots who fly medical helicopters on the homefront. The NTSB has encouraged the goggles' use since 2006. But most are going to the front in Iraq and only about 25% of the medical choppers in the States have them.

Since 2006, 5 medical choppers have crashed, killing 16 people, in incidents investigators blamed on not having the night vision goggles on board. (AP)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


It's an historic night.

Yet circumstances steal Sen Barack Obama's (D-IL) thunder.

He's just become the first African-American to become the presumptive nominee of a major party.

That should be a big deal.

But any great story like that needs a hero arc. That Joseph Campbell construct that takes a character from humble beginnings through a life-changing threshold event and through trials and tribulations to achieve the impossible.

It must be something of a letdown for Sen Obama.

Because beating the Republicans this year, in this political environment, is anything but impossible.

What with a Republican administration that has crippled not only the GOP, but the country as a whole. There is little for Sen Obama to overcome at this point. The 1984 "Meadow Party" nominee "Bill the Cat" -- a dead cat at that -- could beat the Republican nominee.

Not to take anything away from Sen Obama. He'd be a hard man to beat in tough times for Democrats. He's the most natural politician of his generation -- my generation.

But his detractors will be talking as soon as tomorrow that he had it easy, he had no real challenge, he won by default. Even though the election is still five months away, they'll be trying to soften the blow of defeat in November before summer even arrives. They'll breathe a sigh of relief if the election is even close.


Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

And if Sen Obama is running at a time when the GOP is weak -- it is not his fault. It is his time. It is the failure of a Republican administration after eight years to leave this country with a war that has no victory plan and an economy that has drained Americans of hope.

The general election campaign begins tonight. Sen John McCain (R-AZ) has a lot of catching up to do.

Younger than John McCain

The atom bomb, FM radio and the Golden Gate Bridge are all younger than Sen John McCain (R-AZ).

Love the song circling them new-fangled Internets -- the one about how old Sen John McCain is. I had to have some kid show me how to use the Google to find it on the YouTube.

There's actually a blog that lists things younger than Sen McCain.

In fact, do a Google search for things younger than John McCain and you'll find 415,000 links.

Hey, at least he promises to keep that young whippernsnapper, Raul Castro off our lawn! (YouTube)

Heard the One About the Congresswoman and the Astronaut?

So an Arizona Congresswoman walks into a bar at the Baltimore airport and asks to switch the TV from sports to the NASA channel.

No joke.

Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) breezed into a BWI Airport bar on her flight back from her district. She was wanting to check up on her husband's flight. Hubbie Mark Kelly is commanding the latest Space Shuttle mission -- and Rep Giffords was just in time to catch his rendezvous with the International Space Station.

Hey, the O's were losing anyway! (WaPo)

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Vice President Dick Cheney has apologized to a whole state -- only 49 to go.

Actually, he made an incest joke about West Virginia:

"I had Cheneys on both sides of the family -- and we don't even live in West Virginia. You can say those things when you're not running for re-election." -- Vice President Dick Cheney
The Veep's joke at the National Press Club triggered outrage in the West Virginia statehouse. Bovernor Joe Manchin (D-WV) demanded an apology -- and got one. This statement is from the Office of the Vice President:

The Vice President’s offhand comment was not meant to hurt anyone. On reflection, he concluded that it was an inappropriate attempt at humor that he should not have made. The Vice President apologizes to the people of West Virginia for the inappropriate remark.

The Veep's office assures us we are in the final throes of this controversy and he will be welcomed with flowers and chocolates the next time he's in Charleston. (WSAZ, NYT)

From the Government's Brilliant Idea Department

The government that gave us $800 hammers and a bridge to nowhere has cooked up an equally great plan for taking care of troops with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- put the recovering troops next to a firing range!

From the Washington Post:

Across the street from their assigned housing, about 200 yards away, are some of the Army infantry's main firing ranges, and day and night, several days each week, barrages from rifles and machine guns echo around [Army SGT Jonathan] Strickland's building. The noise makes the wounded cringe, startle in their formations, and stay awake and on edge, according to several soldiers interviewed at the barracks last month. The gunfire recently sent one soldier to the emergency room with an anxiety attack, they said.

How loud is all that shooting across the way?

Apparently loud enough to cause deafness among the brass.

Complaints from wounded warriors have fallen on so many deaf ears up the chain of command that a family member turned to the Washington Post for help. Remember the Post -- the paper that called attention to inattention at Walter Reed? (WaPo)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Another "Slam Dunk" for Our (Lack of) Intelligence Community

The SITE Intelligence Group -- a private organization that monitors terrorist propaganda -- found an image of Washington, DC as it might look after a nuclear attack (pictured right).

They billed it as the ambitions of al Qaeda. Said the picture was part of the terrorist's group's feasibility study of nuking the capital. That al Qaeda graphic artists (a key position in any terrorist organization) had concocted the scary image.


Turns out, it's a screen capture from a video game. Something called "Fallout 3."

The lesson here. Saddam hid the WMDs in his Playstation! (Telegraph)

Your Tax Rebate? Already Gone.

Every penny increase in the price of gasoline takes $1.3 billion out of the pockets of American families.

That's the math from Merrill Lynch's David Rosenberg cited in Newsweek.

Now here's some more math on those stimulus checks we're waiting on from Washington.

The package was worth $120 billion. But when it passed, gas was $3.00 a gallon. Now it's $4.00. All that stimulus is already gone before the checks arrive -- kinda like your paychecks these days! (Newsweek)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Convention Fun-draising

A good time at the political conventions this summer comes with a price. A really good time can run you a half million bucks. From the AP:

"Want a skybox perch to see John McCain speak at the Republican National Convention, passes to hot GOP parties that week, pampering from the concierge and private wheels to tool around town?

Want a chance to mingle with celebrities like Warren Beatty and Al Franken at the Democratic National Convention, and maybe even get face time with Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton?"

Both national committees are collecting big bucks in exchange for VIP treatment at their big summer parties. The top package for the GOP will run you $500,000, the DNC, about $250,000. (AP)

If You Want a Friend, Get a Dog -- Heck, It'd Probably Contribute to Obama, Too!

The wife of Sen John McCain's (R-AZ) closest friend in the Senate is sending her campaign donations to Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) this election year.

Lilibet Hagel, wife of Sen Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (pictured together, left), was a big supporter of Sen McCain back in 2000. Even gave him the maximum amount of money allowed at the time -- $1,000.

FEC records show she's shelled out two donations of $250 each to the Obama campaign this year. Sen Hagel has not donated money to any campaign -- but he's also declined to endorse his friend from Arizona. The two have very different views on the Iraq War. (WaPo)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Former Aide Bashes Bush

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has a new book out bashing President Bush -- saying the President relied on a "political propaganda campaign" to sell the Iraq War.

Mr McClellan calls Iraq a "serious strategic blunder." (AP)

Finding the Fallen

A new program using techniques from forensic science and archeology is aiding in the recovery of MIA's from foreign wars. From the Boston Globe:

"The Pentagon launched the mission of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) on Oct. 1, 2003, to recover the remains of tens of thousands of MIAs from foreign wars. The organization, which identifies six missing servicemen each month on average, utilizes the largest forensic anthropology laboratory in the world and 15 teams that travel the globe on recovery missions. This is the story of one such recovery mission in Papua New Guinea."

The Globe has a great multimedia presentation of their multi-part series on the JPAC. (Boston Globe)

Military Foreclosures

The housing crisis is beginning to hit troops close to home.

Bloomberg reports foreclosure filings in military towns -- places within 10 miles of military bases -- are up an an average 217% from January through April.

The national average was only 59% for the same period.

On top of that, military families often buy houses when transferred with plans to sell them and turn a little profit the next time they're transferred. Now, houses are going unsold for a lot longer and falling house prices could force them to sell at a loss. (Bloomberg)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Colorado Keggers

The Colorado Governor's Mansion looks more like a frat house in pictures the Denver Post got. Governor Bill Ritter 's (D) 22 year old son, August Ritter III is shown with kegs of beer and with a woman wrapped around him.

But a spokesman says First Lady Jeannie Ritter was around to chaperone the keggers. From the Denver Post:

The invitation says there were few rules.
"Mama Ritter has two rules for parties that I have at the Mansion.
1. No throwing up
2. No sexy time"
Jenna's married off, but Barbara Bush is still single. Maybe someone should hook those two kids up for some political partying! (Denver Post)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wrong Track Mindset

Americans have our worst outlook on the direction of the country since 1992.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll shows 8 in 10 of us think the country's headed in the wrong direction.

That's bad news for Republicans -- who are catching the blame for the disaffection. President Bush slipped to his worst approval numbers ever -- just 31%. And Democrats hold a 21 point lead over Republicans as the party best able to lift the country out of its latest bout of malaise and solve the nation's problems.

As far as the long, drawn out primary fight for the Democratic nomination -- 71% of Democrats think it has had no effect on or even been good for the party's prospects of regaining the White House.

The poll shows Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) leading Sen John McCain (R-AZ) 51%-44%, and Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY) leading Sen McCain 49%-46%.

Top issues: the economy (36%) and the Iraq War (21%).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Winning in the Hillary/Obama Fight

Alan Wolfe, writing in the Washington Post, argues that the real winner of the protracted Democratic primary process has been "democracy."

He points out that Vice President Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic nod in 1968 without entering a single primary. And he points out that Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) will each have weathered 55 primaries or caucuses by the time a nominee has been tapped this year.

He also points out that the Guam caucuses had more influence this year than the New York primary had in '68.

Mr Wolfe also points to the millions of new voters who registered to take part in the races that came to their states.

He suggests the long fight has actually been helpful to Democrats. (WaPo)

Clinton $20 Million in Debt

Sen Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) campaign team admits the candidate is $20 million in debt in her bid to win the Democratic nomination.

With time running out and virtually no way to beat the delegate math, Sen Clinton has reportedly called together fundraisers to round up money for the final few state primaries and caucuses as time runs out. (WaPo)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

In It to Spin It -- Hillary's Hopes Fade Fast

The math isn't there -- and the media's piling on. CBS airs Sen Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) political obituary as superdelegates begin their shift to Sen Barack Obama (D-IL).

Gibbons vs. Gibbons

Gov Jim Gibbons (R-NV) just won the Governor's Mansion a couple of years ago. But he's already lost it -- to his wife.

The home of the quickie divorce is witnessing their governor battle the missus over who gets to keep the digs -- paid for by taxpayers.

The Governor (pictured here clowning on a cruise with a whole bunch of women) filed for divorce last week. Wife, Dawn, has refused to move out. So, the Governor has gone to court to evict her.

The Five Mistakes Clinton Made

Karen Tumulty, writing in Time magazine, has a list of five things she says doomed Sen Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) Presidential campaign:

1. She misjudged the mood
2. She didn't master the rules
3. She underestimated the caucus states
4. She relied on old money
5. She never counted on the long haul

Republicans Rake Economy

Fewer than one in four Republicans believe the economy is doing well.

The Pew Research Center found only 23% of Republicans think the economy is "good" or "excellent."

Among all Americans -- only 11% rank the economy as good or better.

Just last year, 56% of Republicans said the economy was moving along just peachy. Throughout most of President Bush's tenure in office, there's been a sharp partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans on the state of the economy. (Pew Center)

Tour de Cure

Help me raise money to fight diabetes!

I'll be riding my first metric century (100 km/63 miles) at the Reston, Virginia "Tour de Cure" on June 8th. You can contribute by clicking on the Tour de Cure logo above. Donations to the American Diabetes Association are tax deductible and your support is appreciated.

You can learn more about where you can participate in the Tour de Cure in your area by clicking here.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mission Accomplished -- 5 Years Later

Happy "Mission Accomplished" Day!

It was five years ago today we won the war. It's been a bed of roses ever since.

That's what the commander in chief told us from the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003:

"In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country."
A banner day for President Bush!

By the way. USS Abraham Lincoln is currently part of a brief two carrier deployment off the coast of Iran. (CBS)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Pink Slips in a Hurricane

Roughtly 80,000 Americans lost their jobs in March. That sent the unemployment rate up to 5.1%. The housing crisis is turning into a Category 5 economic storm. From the Associated Press:

The unemployment rate was the highest since September 2005, when significant job losses followed the devastating blows of Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Blame the housing, credit and financial sectors for the bulk of the layoffs.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jackson's Photos Deleted

Hounsing Secreretary Alphonso Jackson will apparently take his elaborate photo display of himself with him when he vacates HUD.

ThinkProgress says the pictures -- some as big as 2-by-3 feet and many showing Mr Jackson posing with President Bush -- will be removed now that Sec Jackson has resigned. The cult of personality display was the first thing visitors to HUD saw when they came through the front door.

Pig Book

First Tee is an outfit that strives to help disadvantaged youths by teaching them golf.

Noble cause.

It's headed up by some heavy hitting corporate types who should be pretty good at raising money through charitible donations.

Instead, Uncle Sam is shelling out $3 million a year for golf lessons thanks to Rep James Clyburn (D-SC) who gave First Tee the cash in an earmark.

"You know, when you're at war, and you know you got a war on two fronts, the first thing you think of is golf, isn't it?" Leslie Paige, vice president of Citizens Against Government Waste.

It's just one of the examples of pork barrel spending highlighted in this year's Pig Book. Citizens Against Government Waste publishes the annual list of pork, They released the latest edition today. It came up with $17.2 billion in pork. (CBS)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Army Holds Annual 'Bring Your Daughter To War' Day

From "The Onion:"

Army Holds Annual 'Bring Your Daughter To War' Day

Housing Secretary Evicted

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson has resigned amid growing scandal at HUD.

The FBI and Justice Department have spent two years investigating claims including favoritism toward politically friendly contractors and outright cronyism.

Quite the distraction for a Housing Secretary amid the housing crisis hammering the economy. (WaPo)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bush and the Debt Counselor

President Bush visits a debt counseling agency today. Hey, at least someone in government is willing to admit we have a problem.

Unfortunately, the President's trip is just to deliver a speech -- not to get any national debt counseling. His visit is part of the housing crisis photo-op of the day sort of thing. Easy for him to empathize with people losing their homes -- since he lives in public housing.


Mr Bush won't be coming away with any advice on the national debt -- which this morning stood at $9.396 trillion. (Newsday)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

All in the Family

This is going to make Thanksgiving at the Pitt-Jolie household pretty awkward.

Researchers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society have found that Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) is related to actor Brad Pitt -- and Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is related to actress Angelina Jolie. (AP)

Monday, March 24, 2008

17 Signs That You Are Being Wiretapped

Feel like you're being watched? Or in this age of state sponsored fearmongering where being afraid in the name of patriotism, do you feel like you're being listened to?

The folks at VOIP-News have a list of 17 things to watch out for if you think your phone's tapped. Things like:

You hear strange noises, like clicking, popping, static and humming.

Your phone makes noise on its own.

Your radio has strange interference.

Who knows. Maybe somewhere in Washington, in a dark, musty warehouse, amid acres of crates containing everything from the space suit Neil Armstrong wore at Area 51 while faking the moonlanding to the Ark of the Covenant there is a simple cardboard box. It contains reams of paper. Each a typed transcript of every phone call I've made in the last seven years. And every one ends the same.

"We'll have that pizza there in 30 minutes or less, Mr. Turner." (VOIP-News)


Four US soldiers killed by an IED in Baghdad have raised the American death toll in the Iraq War to 4,000.

The four died Sunday as mortars pounded the Green Zone and at least 61 Iraqis died in violence around the country. (ABC)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spitzer Spurned

Elliot Spitzer political crap just ain't selling. From today's Reliable Source in the Washington Post:

"No love for Eliot Spitzer -- or his yearbook! Last week an enterprising high school classmate put the 1977 Horace Mann School yearbook, complete with Spitzer's senior picture and quotes, on eBay for $100. Yesterday's auction ended without a single bid; and no interest for another copy offered for $75." (WaPo)

You Still Waiting There?

The National Security Archive's fourth annual Rosemary Award goes to the US Treasury Department for bringing "a new meaning to the notion of subprime performance."

The award is named after Rose Mary Woods, Richard Nixon's infamous secretary blamed for accidentally erasing the 18.5 minute gap in the White House tapes.

Treasury wins for it's lack of handling Freedom of Information Act requests.

The Department responded in 2001, 2004, and 2007 to a 1997 FOI request on Mexico's actions in stopping drug traffickers. Lots of responses -- but each was simply to ask if the person filing the request was still interested.

The Archive found 74 "Are you still interested?" replies to 42 requests in the last seven years. (Al Kamen/WaPo)

The Govs Must be Horny

Hookers, three-way sex and extramarital affairs. Sounds like Cinemax. Actually just America's political beat. Three news stories of late from New York and New Jersey.

The Daily Show presents "The Govs Must be Horny."

Politics and Drinking

As some of you may have suspected, there's a connection between drinking and politics.

A CNN/Opinion Research Poll looks at the link between what people drink and who they vote for.

Beer drinkers prefer Sen John McCain (R-AZ) -- 53-46% -- over Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY). But beer drinkers are split right down the middle between Sen McCain and Sen Barack Obama (D-IL).

Turns out 28% of Americans prefer beer to wine. But 31% prefer wine to beer.

Pollsters believe the numbers are split along gender lines -- women prefer wine and Sen Clinton. (CNN)

Michigan Revote Possible -- Or Not

Michigan's re-vote has stalled again.

Not enough time. The state legislature would have to pass the plan for a re-vote by close of business on Thursday to make it happen June 3. (PoliticalWire)

Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

Sen John McCain (R-AZ) wrongly claimed Iran was allowing al Qaeda fighters to train in Iran before they go to fight in Iraq.

Sen Joe Lieberman (I-NJ) had to set him straight.

Iran is predominately Shiite. And al Qaeda is a Sunni outfit. They don't like each other. They have different agendas for Iraq -- which are in conflict with one another.

Sen McCain didn't let the foreign affairs flub faze him. "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" (AP)

Black and White and Shades of Gray

Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) called on Americans to break what he called "a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years."

The Senator confronted racism from both black and white perspectives during a speech in Philadelphia -- the city of brotherly love and home to the Declaration of Independence which declared "all men are created equal." Sen Obama's father is black, his mother white.

Aimed at offsetting criticism over racially charged comments from his pastor, Sen Obama expanded on the issue of racism in America. (AP)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Michigan Revote Possible

Florida's shot down a mail in re-vote in the Democratic primary, and Michigan isn't any closer either.

Michigan's 156 delegates may not be seated because the state's Democratic primary was held too early. And state party leaders are still trying to decide if they'll do a do-over.

Under the latest Michigander plan, the state party would reimburse the state government for a re-do on June 3.

Florida gave up on a do-over Monday. Florida's 211 delegates are also out in the cold for now. Their fate will be left up to national Democratic leaders. (CNN)

Hillary's Records Dump

A compelling read -- if you're a wonk.

The National Archives will release 11,000 pages of Sen Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) schedule when she was first lady. Sen Barack Obama's (D-IL) has said the records need to be made public.

From a National Archives statement quoted by CNN:

“Arranged chronologically, these records document in detail the activities of the First Lady, including meetings, trips, speaking engagements and social activities for the eight years of the Clinton administration.”
The Archives has said that other documents -- like 20,000 pages of phone logs -- won't be ready for release before the general election this fall. (CNN)

Friday, March 14, 2008

NRCC Ex-Treasurer Diverted a Cool Million?

The former treasurer for the National Republican Congressional Committee is accused of diverting as much as $1 million of the GOP's money to his own personal account.

Republican leaders say Christopher Ward had been doing it for four years. He's reportedly under an FBI investigation. GOP leaders turned him in to the feds six weeks ago. (WaPo)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


ADM William "Fox" Fallon, Commander of US Central Command, has stepped down in the wake of an Esquire magazine article saying he is the only man standing in the way of the Bush administration going to war with Iran.

From Esquire:

If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it'll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it'll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance. His name is William Fallon, although all of his friends call him "Fox," which was his fighter-pilot call sign decades ago. (Esquire)

Spitzer Jokes

"Do you think it's too soon to be hitting on Mrs. Elliot Spitzer?"

"The governor may step down to spend less time with his family."

David Letterman had plenty of material for his monologue and Top Ten list. (The PoliJAM Times Blog/CBS)

UPDATE: The Huffington Post has a roundup of all the late night jabs at Gov Spitzer

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring

A federal wiretap is reported to have linked Governor Elliot Spitzer (D-NY) to a prostitution ring.

The New York Times reports Mr. Spitzer was recorded in a telephone call confirming plans for a woman to travel from New York to Washington, DC where he'd reserved a hotel room.

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.” -- Gov Elliot Spitzer (D-NY) with his wife Silda beside him at his Manhattan office, March 10, 2008
The Governor held a brief news conference where he apologized for his behavior, described it as a private matter and refused to take any questions.

There is no word on whether he plans to resign at this point. (NYT)

The Cost of War

The Iraq War will cost us taxpayers $3 trillion dollars.

That's "trillion" with a "T."

That's $12 billion a month.

That's a lot of debt your grand kids will have to pay off.

Linda Blimes and Joseph Stiglitz did the math for an op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post. Their sum comes up a lot higher than the $60 billion the Bush administration promised before Baghdad fell.

The problem is with the hidden costs:

  • Money to help future veterans

  • Re-equipping a depleted military

  • Hidden costs in the Defense budget

Then there's the $500,000 each family receives when a service member is killed in combat. Close to 4,000 so far.

And there are hidden costs hitting our economy, like the massive debt we've run up borrowing money for the war and the family members who've had to leave the workforce to take care of a wounded relative. (WaPo)

Friday, March 07, 2008

63,000 Pink Slips

America lost 63,000 jobs last month -- the most in five years. So why did the unemployment rate dip to just 4.8%? Analysts say it's because hundreds of thousands of people are so discouraged about the job market they simply gave up looking. From the Associated Press:

"Job losses were widespread, with hefty cuts coming from construction, manufacturing, retailing, financial services and a variety of professional and business services. Those losses swamped gains elsewhere including education and health care, leisure and hospitality, and the government."
Analysts blame the housing and credit crisis for losses. (AP)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Clinton Suggests Joint Ticket

The Associated Press reports Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY) may be hinting of sharing the Democratic ticket with Sen Barack Obama (D-IL).

"That may be where this is headed, but of course we have to decide who is on the top of ticket." -- Hillary Clinton, quoted by the AP
Sen Clinton won three out of four primaries Tuesday, but still trails Sen Obama by more than 100 delegates. Some political mathematicians say she'll have to pull 6% of the vote in remaining contests to win enough delegates to get the nomination. (AP via Political

Defeating the Purpose

"You really snatched defeat out of the jaws of those who were trying to defeat us in Iraq."

-- President Bush to LTG Ray Odierno (WaPo)

Friday, February 29, 2008

What, Me Worry?

President Bush says America is not heading into a recession. I asked some people if they wanted to bet five bucks on that, and had no takers -- seemed they all needed any spare change for gas and groceries.

The President's predictions came during a White House news conference.

When asked about analysts' predictions of $4.00 a gallon gas by spring, the President said he hadn't heard any of those reports. But ThinkProgress pointed out a few minutes later he said he couldn't talk about donations to his Presidential library fund because he was "focused elsewhere, like on gasoline prices." (AP/ThinkProgress)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Boxers or Briefs

"I don't answer those humiliating questions. But whichever one it is, I look good in 'em!"

--Sen Barak Obama (D-IL) when asked the "boxers or briefs" question by Us Magazine. (Us/HT: Political Wire)