Sunday, September 30, 2007

More than $1M in seven days

Rep. Ron Paul's campaign raised about $1.2 million in the last seven days before the third quarter fundraising deadline, according to the candidate's Web site.
As of 3 p.m. this afternoon, Edwards was close to raising $1 million over 10 days. The candidate reportedly has about $9 million on hand and has also enrolled in the public financing program.
Tonight, Bill Richardson reported raising $5.2 million.
Biden's Web site doesn't have fundraising information on it and press reports stated over the weekend that he was pulling staff out of every state but Iowa. The site is still targeting voters in three states - Iowa, New Hampshire, an South Carolina.
Dodd has no information about his numbers but his site does add Nevada to his list of "Around the States" and also has a link for Connecticut, his home state. Is that a future sign there?
Gravel sent out two mailers over the last week asking for small donations from key states in order to receive about $200,000 in public financing. According to the email, he is seven states from reaching the goal. He needs four $250 donations from people in Arizona, Connecticut, DC, and Maryland, eight from people in Michigan, five from Wisconsin and three from NH. After being in the race for about 15 months, Gravel finally has a somewhat irregular [instead of nonexistent] communication response to media and voters.

Quick links: The Rush Limbaugh hates the troops edition

Here are some things I've saved over the past couple of weeks which are worth looking at:
First, here is that idiot Rush Limbaugh going off on the troops again: ["Limbaugh: Service members who support U.S. withdrawal are 'phony soldiers'"]. I guess the only "real" soldiers are the ones who take joy in killing, right Rush? Some Christian you are. And more evidence and reasoning for why we need a fairness doctrine for all licensed media organizations.
Here is the response from a veteran's group:

Here is another vet responding, with photos, of him, as a "phony "soldier": ["The Real Deal"].
Here is an AP story about vets coming home to face financial problems: ["Wounded vets also suffer financial woes"].
I don't like the fact that this article kinda laughs at people who are worried about meteorites: ["Meteorite Crash Breeds Mass Hysteria"]
The Boston Herald has an update on the status of Howie Carr's contract dilemma: ["Stalled Carr urges judge to rethink radio ruling"].
Boston news hottie Bianca de la Garza has landed at Channel 5: ["Bianca de la Garza"]. I was wondering where she went to because there were rumors she was leaving FOX25. And then, poof, she was back on TV, co-anchoring the 11 p.m. WCVB-TV newscast. While Googling for some news about Bianca, I came across this site, which is pretty amusing: ["Ogle Boston's Hottest News Woman, Feel Creepy"].
For all you Halo 3 junkies out there, here are some tips: ["Halo 3: First Tips"].
I was wondering when this was going to happen: ["FCC proposes 'fake news' fine"].
They're at it again!: ["Clinton campaign kills negative story"].

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Guess where Rudy was?

Well, well, well ... now we know why Rudy wasn't at the All-American Forum: He was hanging out at a fundraiser in California, getting the endorsement of former Gov. Pete Wilson. Via video from Robert Greenwald:

Gringrich is definitely out

AP has the story here: ["Gingrich Says No to White House Bid"]. I guess the money was too important to him than some of his ideas. Interesting.

WFEA celebrates 75 years

WFEA 1370 AM out of Manchester celebrates 75 years in radio. From Ed Brouder earlier today:

For those within earshot of Manchester, WFEA's hour-long anniversary special airs today (Saturday) at noon, and repeats Sunday night at 7:00.
It's cram full of as many WFEA airchecks as I could find dating back to 1937.
Ed Brouder (AM 1370 WFEA news editor)
Man From Mars Productions
Manchester, NH

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Paul, Huckabee shine in debate

It's not like I have to say this again but I will: The GOP frontrunners missed a great opportunity to shine tonight in the All American Forums Debate. But, at the same time, it was nice to have fewer candidates on the stage. With only six candidates, they all got a chance to answer a bunch of questions. Many of the questions were similar to the ones asked of the Democrats at the previous debate. I'm also pretty shocked that some of the Republican answers were similar to the answers forwarded by the Democrats.
If audience response was a measure of who won the debate, Ron Paul would get the award. It was clearly his crowd but he didn't seem as sharp as in previous debates.
Mike Huckabee came across well, answering all the questions thoughtfully. And, frankly, he looked the most presidential of all of them on the stage. Huckabee shouldn't be so low in the polls.
Host Tavis Smiley did a fine job moderating. He had to keep telling Alan Keyes his time was up. No surprise there. Keyes is a great debater; but he is a Johnny one note. And he won't win. Duncan Hunter got the one reprimand of the debate, when Smiley interrupted him and told him to answer the question which he then did.
Lastly, the panelists and participants all asked quality questions about serious issues which are a concern of both white and black folks. It was a quality debate all around.

Pretty big men

I will be blogging about the Republican All-American Forums Debate tonight on PBS.
Right out of the box, I must say that I'm pretty proud of the six candidates who showed up: Brownback, Huckabee, Hunter, Keyes, Paul, and Tancredo. Nice job. When a candidate is invited to a forum which is broadcast nationally on television, they should show up, whether they think they will earn the votes of the attendees or not. You have an obligation - to all voters in America - to talk to them and to listen to them. Shame on those candidates who didn't show up.
I called into "Finneran's Forum" last week when he was complaining about Romney not going to this debate. I gave him two examples about why this was a stupid move, including the fact that blacks do vote for Republicans. Not in huge amounts. But they do vote for Republicans. I noted that during the 2002 campaign, I was shocked one night when I was walking down Centre Street in Jamaica Plain and I saw a bunch of black folks pounding the phones in a small storefront with Romney/Healey signs. Later, after the election, I went back and looked at the returns in Roxbury and was shocked to see how high the numbers were for Romney there. The point? Blacks don't just vote for Democrats. There are conservative blacks. In a tight race in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas, how many of those votes are the difference between winning and losing? The frontrunners - Romney, Giuliani, McCain and Thompson - were stupid to not show up for this debate.
Second, during the introductions, Rep. Ron Paul got the loudest cheers, easily twice as loud as the other candidates. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee also received loud cheers. Rep. Tom Tancredo gets a jab in during the first question, noting that he was the only Republican to show up NAACP debate.

Here is an update on the Daily Kos debate poll, with more than 8,600 votes cast: Edwards 31, Obama 20, Clinton 13, Kucinich 7, None of the above 6, Dodd 5, Biden 4, More than one of the above 4, Gravel 3, and Richardson 3.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dodd clock!

Once again, here it is:

If this is accurate - and I have no reason to doubt it isn't - doesn't it say a lot? Russert, not unlike the other hosts, dominated a good chunk of time in the debate. Hillary, again, was given much more time than everyone else, almost twice as much as Dodd and almost three times as much as Biden and Kucinich. Gravel was limited, again, and didn't talk about his sales tax proposal, again!

Silly ending

A pretty good debate overall. But why, why must they ask those silly questions about baseball. What a waste of the last three minutes.

Who won?
OK, so who won. Well, I don't know. I think Biden, Dodd, Edwards, and Kucinich did the best. Clinton and Richardson did OK. No huge pitfalls but they weren't that impressive. Obama started slow and spotty but he improved later. Gravel was better than previous debates. I personally like the man but I'm sick of his yelling and screaming from the debate floor. There is no need for that. I can hardly wait for the Dodd time meter picture. I will have to go and find it and post it later.

Well, Drudge doesn't have one up but DailyKos does. Here are the results, with 295 votes: Edwards 30, Obama 16, Clinton 16, Kucinich 10, Dodd 8, None of the above 5, More than one of the above 5, Biden 4, Gravel 3, Richardson 2. MSNBC doesn't have a poll but they have a ratings survey. Interesting.

Another nurses ad!

Wow, two in a row. I wonder if they are only on NECN or also on MSNBC. Is it also paid for by Physicians for Social Responsibility or something. Interestingly, the California Nurses Association endorsed Ralph Nader in both 2000 and 2004.

Pour me one!

Gravel and Kucinich are for lowering the drinking age to 18. Wow. Kucinich says the voting age should be lowered to 16. Hmm.

Tough questions ...

Yikes, how about that round of questions. Gravel went bankrupt twice, in a business and personally, with credit cards. And his answer? Paraphrasing, I stuck it to the credit card companies to promote a national petition or something or other. Hilarious. Sen. Gravel, with all due respect, please stop yelling at the TV!!
Kucinich gets a question about bankrupting Cleveland and being driven out of his mayoralship. Of course, Kucinich gives is right back, correcting the story. Kucinich refused to sell the municipal light company when a bank tried to pressure him to do it. Today, Cleveland ratepayers pay smaller bills than most people do. He was right then and it cost him everything.
Richardson gets the Wen Ho Lee question and kinda dances a bit and then spins it. He did a good job but didn't really answer the question.
Russert is doing a kick-ass job tonight. These questions are really, really good and the debate is actually getting some of these people to answer some questions.
On another note, Obama seems a little loopy tonight. He seems to be stammering with his answers. Edwards, Dodd, and Biden are doing pretty well.

Nurses ad ...

I just saw a single-payer health care commercial sponsored by the California Nurse's union on NECN. Here is their Web site: ["Guaranteed Healthcare"].


Guest Perspective/Ralph Nader

A society reveals its values, priorities and distribution of power in the way its rulers punish deviant behavior. Here are some examples for you to ponder:

Members of Congress were in an uproar recently over a MoveOn.Org political advertisement in the New York Times titled “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” The following copy alerted readers to their belief that he may likely testify before Congress as a political General reflecting the rosy views on the Iraq war-quagmire by his commander-in-chief, George W. Bush.

How dare MoveOn.Org criticize a General in the midst of' Bush’s war of choice, growled Republicans and some Democrats as the Senators rushed to overwhelmingly vote for a resolution condemning the ad?

How dare those many Americans who criticized Civil War Generals, World War Two Generals, Korean War Generals (remember General Douglas MacArthur) and Vietnam War Generals (remember General William Westmoreland)?

This kind of criticism inside Army, inside the Congress and among the citizenry has been as American as apple pie.

How come a similar uproar has not come forth about the many female U.S. soldiers in Iraq raped or sexually harassed by male soldiers who are often their superiors? Where are the generals to crack down on these outrages? This story was documented in a long cover story in the New York Times Magazine some months ago, citing numerous sources, including the Pentagon.

Senators demanded the resignation of Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) caught in a toilet sting operation at Minneapolis airport. Senator Craig – he now says foolishly so – pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct. For doing what? As Frank Rich described the situation in the New York Times: “He didn't have sex in a public place. He didn’t expose himself. His toe tapping, hand signals and ‘wide stance’ were at most a form of flirtation.”

Conservative columnist, George Will expressed similar views.

The penalty for Senator Craig is likely termination of his Senate career but not one required by law. Just by pressure from his “pure” Senate colleagues.

Now contrast what should be required of George W. Bush by our Constitution, laws and international treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory nation.

Plunging our nation into an unconstitutional war of massive carnage and cost, and committing numerous, repeated crimes along the way, from widespread torture in violation of U.S. law and the Geneva conventions to spying on Americans without court approval (a felony), does not agitate the Senators as did the airport toilet tapping.

Added to the Bush presidency's serial and continuing crimes are his bungling and incompetence. He has enriched crooked corporations, burned tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and most seriously, deprived soldiers of sufficient body and humvee armor year after year, which has cost the lives and limbs of thousands of American GIs.

In a US court of law, such behavior would be judged criminal negligence.

Yet, there has been no demand from Congress for his impeachment, or his resignation, or even any support for Senator Russ Feingold's modest resolution of censure (S.Res. 302 and 303).

Bush's Justice Department has thrown the book at several plaintiff lawyers for paying people to be lead plaintiffs in securities fraud cases while not pursuing well over 90% of the corporate crooks who actually stole big money from investors and shareholders while paying themselves compensation beyond their dreams of avarice.

If the Department needed a bigger budget to go after this corporate crime wave, they should have requested it from Congress. The resulting fines and restitutions alone would have paid for such an enlarged law and order drive.

I am sure you can cite many examples of public hypocrisy, double standards and inverted priorities from your knowledge and experience. There are many explanations about why and how these powerbrokers and powerholders get away with such behavior.

But let us remember Abraham Lincoln’s observation about the power of “public sentiments.” We need to inform, focus and deliver a different quality and quantity of “public sentiments” directly to our allegedly public servants.

So that they start to sweat the big stuff.

Ralph Nader is a long-term consumer advocate. He ran for president as a write-in candidate in 1992, the Green Party candidate in 1996 and 2000, and as an independent/Reform/and other party candidate in 2004.

Debate ...

I'm finally getting a chance to watch a debate. I will be blogging about it tonight.

Who has the three jet escort?

I wasn't home when this happened, but this afternoon, while my wife enjoyed the gorgeous day with our son in the backyard, a large white jet flew overhead, along with two military jets above and another behind. They were flying west, probably towards Hanover to get to the Dartmouth debate tonight.
At dinner, she mentioned this, and the fact that they were flying pretty low, and asked, Who could that be? I said, One guess: Hillary. Who else would need a three jet escort. Any thoughts anyone?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Oct. 2007 Noise Chart

Reporting stations: WAAF, WBCN, WFNX, WMBR, WMFO, WTCC, WZBC

1. Hallelujah the Hills – Collective Psychosis Begone
2. Receiving End of Sirens – Between the Heart and the Synapse
3. The Campaign for Real-Time – LA Tracks (1933-1969)
4. Buffalo Tom – Three Easy Pieces
5. The Big Disappointments – The Big Disappointments
6. Polyethylene – What Goes On Inside Houses
7. Frank Smith – Heavy Handed Peace and Love
8. Jake and the Jakes – Last Call
9. Tristan Da Cunha – Instanter

10. Cheater Pint – Cheater Pint
11. Reports – Mosquito Nets
12. Dear Leader – All I Ever Wanted Was Tonight
13. The Gobshites – Another Round
14. Johnny Irion – Ex Tempore
15. The Lights Out – EP
16. Brendan Murray & Seth Nehill – Silage
17. Trans Am – Sex Change
18. AKACOD – “Happiness”
19. Cheater Slicks – Walk Into the Sea
20. Je Suis France – Afrikan Majik
21. The Luxury – This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
22. Marissa Nadler – Song 3: Bird on the Water
23. The Glass Set – Something Unknown
24. Prime Movers – back in line
25. Willard Grant Conspiracy – Let it Roll
26. The Daily Pravda – She’s So Mature
27. Desolation Bells – What is Your Trajectory?
28. Atlantics – Atlantics (Live)
29. The Gulf – Chinatown
30. Peter C. Johnson – Yaka Yaka

When is someone going to ask Hillary about Juanita Broaddrick?

While Hillary campaigns across our state, I'm waiting for someone - anyone - to bring up the issue of Juanita Broaddrick's rape allegation against Bill Clinton.
The incident allegedly occurred in the late 1970s, surfaced during his 1992 campaign on shortwave and underground radio programs, and then later was given major media play during the impeachment controversy in 1998 and 1999.
Surprisingly, Bill Clinton has never issued a denial that I know of [If anyone has ever seen one, please do forward it so I can post it]. I don't believe that Hillary has ever commented on the allegation although we've all heard her spins about "the vast rightwing conspiracy." And, of course, if someone did bring it up now, Hillary could just spin it as another rightwing attack.
Well, I'm not a rightwinger and I want to know what she thought about the allegation when it came up. Unlike the allegations from the oval office, the heavy petting on the side, mutual experiences between two people, or even an inappropriate fondle here or there, this was a rape, according to the victim.
Men always hear that "no means no," and we all know that rape allegations should be taken very seriously - even if the allegations are false. We have all heard of examples where faked allegations have ruined lives. But we still hold the claims to almost a level of guilty until proven innocent because it is such a serious, violent crime.
And yet, for some reason, Bill and Hillary Clinton get a pass on this one, even though I also have to wonder: How do women, even liberal ones, play this down? It isn't just Lewinskies. Broaddrick's allegations seem credible to many, many people. So how about it. Someone, anyone, ask the question.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this .mov file of Lisa Myer's "Dateline" NBC report about the allegations in February 1999, located here, FYI: Clicking this link will open up a file for the video: ["Juanita Broaddrick"].

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Catching up on some reading

Here are some recent headlines I have had the chance to look over.
["CBGB Made Hilly Kristal a Millionaire—His Ex Got Nothing"]
What a PR guy. With all that money, he probably could have saved CBGBs. In addition, think about all those times he short-changed bands claiming to be barely hanging on. Wow.
["Secret US air force team to perfect plan for Iran strike"]
Why am I not surprised by that?
["NASA spacecraft finds possible Mars cave"]
Very cool. All the more reason to get that manned mission to Mars up and running already!
["Rather: Government influencing newsrooms"]
This seems a stretch as the reason for his suit but whatever. We all know that his point is pretty dead-on.
["Alan Keyes Jumps In for the 2008 GOP Nomination"]
Oh yeah, this is just what the Republicans needed. Not that Alan can't run for the third time. There have been other three-timers. Some who I've even admired. But, was there really a "calling" for Keyes to get in? No, there wasn't.
["Why is Tony Snow's 401(k) empty?"]
The key section of the article is this one:
Snow conceded that he has been very lucky to have the government fund his health care. "I've been lucky I work at the White House, I've had the use of diagnostic care. I'd like to find ways to help those who, for whatever reason, … don't get diagnostic treatment, don't take care of themselves, may not have the resources that I've had at my disposal," he said. But that hasn't made him rethink his opposition to using federal resources to expand coverage for fellow cancer sufferers. "That does not mean that I'm going to be necessarily banging the tin cup for federal funding. It may be that I'll go out, try and raise some money myself to try to help people directly."
Oh yeah. One plan for me but not for thee.

Bumperstickers, Part 1

Since I have a new car, I don't really think I want to put on any bumperstickers on it. I'm so tempted, because there are so many good ones out there. But I don't think I will. However, here is one recent one I've found which is worth posting here:

Friday, September 21, 2007

National Popular Vote campaign visits Mass.

I don't know how I feel about this bill. I think I'm probably in the minority but I like and respect the Electoral College. I think, as the Founders thought, that it prevents mob rule from occurring. I think Rep. Murphy's line is hilarious: "... That means no Presidential advertising in the general election, and no campaigning here."
Eh, first, that's not altogether true. Al Gore and Joe Lieberman campaigned in Massachusetts in 2000, as did Ralph Nader. George Bush did in 1988 even though he had no chance of winning the state. So, Charlie is a bit off base there.
And who cares if people in Massachusetts don't see any presidential advertising? Most of it is bogus, although amusing. Voters are better off if they aren't bombarded by the advertising. But they can always see it on YouTube if they really want to.


BOSTON (Sept. 19, 2007) - At a State House hearing today lawmakers considered a reform that would dramatically change the way we elect the President of the United States.
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee that the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will win the Presidency, rather than the current winner-take all in all states but Maine and Nebraska.
"The current system is arbitrary, accident-prone, and increasingly untenable," said Jamie Raskin, professor of Constitutional Law at American University and the State Senator from Maryland who successfully shepherded the same bill thought the Maryland state legislature. "It is time for the American people to elect the president the way we elect governors, senators, and every other office in the country: everyone acting together, without games and subterfuge."
"Massachusetts is like the vast majority of states-spectators in the Presidential race," said Charley Murphy (D-Burlington), one of the lead sponsors. "The outcome here, and in 3/4 of the states, is not in doubt. That means no Presidential advertising in the general election, and no campaigning here. We want to make all votes equal- regardless of whether a voter lives in Massachusetts or in Ohio or in Florida."
The National Popular Vote legislation, if enacted, would not become effective immediately. Only when states with 270 Presidential electors, a majority in the electoral college, and roughly half of the U.S. population, have passed identical legislation would it be implemented. Proponents are aiming for it to take full effect for the 2012 Presidential election.
The National Popular Vote bill has been signed into law in Maryland passed both chambers in Illinois and is expected to become law there later this fall there. It was also enacted by the California and Hawaii legislatures, but vetoed by their governors, and may still become law this year in New Jersey. The bill has 350 cosponsors across the country.
"The National Popular Vote Campaign is taking off," said Barry Fadem, President of the non-partisan non-profit steering the campaign. "We have had a excellent response around the country. Voters dislike the current system. It doesn't make sense to them. What they want is two very basic things; first, that the candidate with the most votes wins. Second, they want to see their vote and how it affects the outcome of the election. The current system does neither."
Fadem cited on-going public opinion research by Gallop that has shown over 70% of the public wants a popular vote. This research he says has been conducted every year for over 50 years.
Civil rights and good government groups, including MASSPIRG, MassVOTE, Common Cause, the NAACP, and the Black Political Task Force, said that the reform would dramatically increased voter participation and would be more democratic than the current system.
"Enacting this legislation will do more than any other reform to increase voter participation in Presidential elections," said Pam Wilmot Common Cause Massachusetts executive director. "The vast majority of votes just don't count under the current system."
"All votes counting and counting equally, what a concept," added Roscoe Morris of the New England Area conference of the NAACP. "It's about time."
The Massachusetts National Popular Vote legislation (H. 678, H. 710, S. 445, and Senate 452) has been filed by Representative Charley Murphy, Rep. Martin Walsh, Rep. Lewis Evangelidis, Senator Joan Menard, and Senator Robert Creedon along with 25 other cosponsors.

NECN to launch new show

Beginning on Monday, Sept. 24, NECN will bring New Englanders "News Day Live,'' a distinctive mix of breaking news, weather reports, frequent traffic updates, sports coverage, live field reports from across New England, and in-depth analysis with newsmakers and key NECN journalists.
The new show, which will air from 4 to 6 p.m., will be co-anchored by Beth Shelburne and Leslie Gaydos Monday through Thursday, and by Shelburne and Ally Donnelly on Fridays.
"NewsNight" host Jim Braude will be a regular contributor, offering his unique brand of opinion and analysis on the most important stories of the day.
"In a real sense, this is what makes NECN distinctive - a timely combination of up-to-the-minute news with a dedication to depth and analysis,'' said NECN Vice President of News and Station Manager Charles J. Kravetz.
"We're putting new resources to work in this important time period so that our viewers will get an unmatched level of news and analysis,'' Kravetz said, "not just news of New England but news for New England, wherever it happens -- locally, nationally or globally.''
NECN is the largest, most honored 24-hour regional news network in the country, with 3.7 million subscribers in more than 1,050 cities and towns in all six New England states. It is a partnership of Comcast and the Hearst Corporation.
For more information go to

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Update on NH tolls

Well, my toll bill isn't going up as high as I previously thought. EZPass users will continue to get a 30 percent discount which means that we will essentially be paying what everyone else is paying now. That rate will increase from 52 cents to 70 cents. So, I will see an increase of about $188 not $260. Obviously, this isn't as bad as previously thought. But, that's not really the point. The larger point is that the Legislature needs to control its spending. The money raised from current gas taxes and tolls should all be put towards road improvement costs and not spent on other things.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Job opening

Check out this job opening ad for the Hippo, New Hampshire's largest weekly newspaper, posted earlier today on
The Hippo, New Hampshire’s largest weekly with more than 175,000 readers, seeks an aggressive, innovative reporter who knows how to cover a beat and wants to write magazine-style feature stories.
This is NOT a job for a green reporter. This is a job for a reporter looking to jump from a smaller paper or magazine to the big time — the features section of a big city daily, a top position at a big city alt or even a staff job at a national entertainment magazine. This is also a perfect job for a reporter who’d like one day to be the editor or publisher of his or her own free newspaper or magazine. Looking for something to get you from planning board coverage to rock star interviews? We can help you get the clips you need to make the leap.
For reporters in northern New England, The Hippo offers a unique opportunity to get big city clips without the Boston commute or real estate prices. If you are a self-starter with drive who is able to enterprise never-before-reported stories and work your beat, we want you to work for us. Cover the ever-changing southern New Hampshire area — from the people and politics to the entertainment scene. Check out our mix of stories — music, food, nightlife, the arts, politics, news and more — on
We offer competitive pay and health and dental benefits in a market where $600-per-month one-bedroom apartments are common. Applicants must have at least three years of post-collegiate newspaper experience.

For almost a year now, I've been watching the Hippo try to fill this - and other - positions. I think this is the fifth or sixth ad they have put out featuring this opening. This ad, however, has a different take then previous ones. I really like the pitch for "big city clips" and even suggesting it was a good job for someone who would want to start their own newspaper some time.
But, I have to wonder about the $600 apartments. Where are those?
At least they didn't include the lines - you're an hour from the mountains, an hour from the ocean, and an hour from Boston. That is a clear sign that the employer doesn't want a New Hampshire resident to apply because, well, we already friggin' know that the job is an hour from the mountains, an hour from Boston, and an hour from the ocean! There is no need to put that in the ad ... unless New Hampshire residents need not apply.
Howie Carr off the air, for now
Jessica Henslam over at the Boston Herald has all the details: ["Ruling leaves Howie Carr in limbo"]. Here is the Globe's report: ["Ruling issued in Howie Carr case"]. His PR firm released this statement which was sent to the Boston Radio Archives email list:

While we would like to have achieved a complete victory in court, we are gratified that the decision leaves open the opportunity for Howie to work at the place of his choosing. Not only did the Court find unlawful a portion of Entercom's employment agreement, but the Court adopted our argument that Howie cannot be forced to work for a particular radio station.

Howie looks forward to taking some well-deserved time off from one of his three careers and to joining WTKK in the very near future.

This entire thing has been pretty interesting to watch but I can't honestly see how it will all turn out. In the end, I think Entercom is going to lose this one and, knowing that, they probably should starting thinking about a future without Howie and start making the necessary changes to the station lineup.
Matching an agreement isn't just about money. In the case of radio, it is also about signal strength and time slot. While Entercom could match the monetary offer Greater Media made to Carr, WRKO is AM, not FM. The signal isn't as strong. They can't match that. They also can't match putting Carr on mornings without a total restructuring of the entire line up, something I doubt they would do. They could move former Speaker of the House Tom Finneran to another time slot. But, they are reportedly paying him a lot of money. They could give Howie mornings and Finneran afternoons, but I doubt that they would do that. The publicity buy alone to let everyone know of the change would be extremely expensive.
I just saw Howie on WBZ-TV 4 and boy, as he would say, he is one fat bastahd. Note to Howie: Like Tony Soprano once said to Big Pussy: "I have one word for you: Salads!" Come on, Howie. Get back on the treadmill, man.
More tolls in NH?
It isn't just Massachusetts that is considering higher taxes to repair roads. The head of DOT has requested a hike in the tolls on the state's turnpikes: ["Tolls Would Rise 25 Cents Under DOT Plan"]. Great, thanks DOT. You're basically hiking my taxes another $260 per year. Why don't you just use the money you collect now for highway repairs instead of allowing the Legislature to use the money on other things? State tolls and gas taxes should only be used for road repairs. And what repairs are needed on the Everett Turnpike? I ride the thing every day and there is nothing wrong with that road. What is this guy talking about?

Channel 9 News Updates
I'm now subscribed to these pretty cool news updates from Channel 9, WMUR-TV. As many times per day as you like, they will email their news headlines to you. I've picked the 7 a.m., Noon, and 8 p.m. updates. I also receive news updates from the New Hampshire Union Leader and the WSJ.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Model Trains!
I meant to edit and post this last weekend but just didn't have time. So, I'm doing it now:

GraniteRoots for John Edwards

This afternoon, two young women [probably in college] canvassed my neighborhood handing out "GraniteRoots for John Edwards" packets, complete with a white spruce sapling, instructions on how to plant the baby tree, and a note from the state campaign director, Beth Leonard.
In the note, she requests assistance for the campaign:
Change often starts with just one person. Growing a forest can start in a very similar way - with a single tree. With this gift of a seedling, I want to ask for your help in bringing about the change our country needs. Our campaign is planting the seeds of change in New Hampshire one neighborhood at a time.
Leonard calls on voters to plant the tree and "watch it grow strong and tall" and help the campaign create the change needed to build One America.
This is a very clever campaign promotion, especially in my relatively politically liberal city neighborhood. I've lost the exact count, but I think this is the fourth time the Edwards campaign has been by the house doorknocking or leafleting. Obama has been by twice and Clinton has been by once. None of the other candidates have been by ... and there are Republicans in my neighborhood, too!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Roadblock set up around Brown's house

According to the Keene Free Press, an independent libertarian newspaper, police have set up a roadblock around the house of Ed and Elaine Brown, tax protesters who live in Plainfield, N.H., and are not allowing people to visit the couple: [" Roadblock at the Browns: Brown Supporter Lauren Canario Arrested"]. Could this be New Hampshire's Waco?
I'm listening to some of the radio folks who are following the case and reporting on the activities there, including Randy Weaver, whose family members were killed by federal agents during a standoff in Ruby Ridge, Idaho: ["We The People Radio Network"].

Sept. 14

There were rumors around the Web that there would be another Sept. 11-like attack on Sept. 14. Well, it didn't happen. We're all here, thankfully.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Morse returns to airwaves too ... on WEIM

Author and conservative pundit Chuck Morse will not be on WBIX 1060 after all. He has actually just started a new afternoon drive program on WEIM 1280, The Blend.
Chuck's new show, entitled "Two-Way Talk," will air weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. According to a post on his Web site, "The program will focus on breaking news, pop culture, health, and money." The station isn't streaming currently but the Web site suggests it will be soon: ["WEIM AM 1280 The Blend"].
WEIM is based out of Fitchburg, Mass. and runs at 5,000 watts during the day and drops to 1,000 watts at night. The daytime signal runs from Worcester to Framingham to Lowell up to Nashua and then back around, in a circle, through the boonies south of Keene.
It will be interesting to hear what Chuck does with this show. He has been on six or seven area stations at this point, with not a lot of longevity. Over the years, I have found his shows to a mixed bag, both interesting and not. But if you've ever had to book a radio program, you know that it is difficult to hit a home run for every show. I will check it out on my drive home and report back about it at a later date.

Here is a "fun" radio fact from NHPR's "Extra" email:
Did you know that it costs NHPR $162 for every hour of Morning Edition and All Things Considered every day of the year? That's $345,968 a year. It costs even more to produce local programming.
I'm kinda shocked by this. With $350,000, I could easily create 10 hours worth of New Hampshire-based daily programming which would be on par with NHPR's current programming. In fact, when I was running another local radio station, we were able to create more than 12 hours a day of localized programming for less than $200k annually and we won almost as many broadcasting awards as NHPR and more broadcasting awards than any other commercial radio station in New Hampshire during the time period! Had we entered all the same contests as NHPR, who knows how many more awards we would have won.
You know, I could go on a total blistering rant here but I will keep it to the finer points. I honestly do enjoy a lot of NHPR's weekend programming. I also think Xenia Piaseckyj, the afternoon news reader, is a top notch broadcaster and decent person. I also have other acquaintances who work at the network.
But, at the same time, I'm so disappointed in them and there is a good chance that I will never give them another dime again. For $350k - or even the $3 million budget they have - NHPR should easily be producing a lot more in-house content which would be more relevant to the listeners of New Hampshire then they currently are producing. It can be done ... I've proven it can be done on the local level, with one dinky AM radio station and a fraction of the resources. You just have to have the wherewithal to do it.

How Inevitable is Hillary?

Guest Perspective/Former state Sen. Burt Cohen
The campaign was pumped. Between 4,000 and 5,000 people jammed a campaign rally in Portsmouth, featuring the undisputed Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton. And oh yes, her husband, former President Bill Clinton was also there.
The important political question is: what percentage of the crowd came to see Bill Clinton, and how many of the crowd are supporting Hillary Clinton?
I've spoken to many people who were there. My unscientific, yet surprisingly consistent sample revealed that they all went to see the former president, and also, sure, also take a look at Hillary. Each came away either still undecided or still supporting their candidate. For most I spoke to, that was Sen. Barack Obama.
At a well attended fund-raiser for John Lynch, the governor asked for a show of hands, who had chosen a candidate. Three hands in a crowd of about 70 opinion leaders went up.
Very revealing.
The Labor Day corner has been turned. As the summer ends, the limited universe of activists has pretty much settled into one camp or another. Now the real campaign, the effort to win the life-beyond-politics primary voter begins. For most of us, the New Hampshire priimary has just barely begun.
The road to the White House is littered with summer front-runners. As fall approaches, there is the inevitability factor for Sen. Clinton, but deeper than that, who knows.
One thing Granite State voters, both Democrat and Republican, always look for is authenticity. Many at the rally got the sense that every word was poll tested. I asked a thoughtful Hillary supporter her reason for that support. She said it's because Sen. Clinton knows how to "walk the fine line." That's exactly the point. Merely offending the fewest just doesn't cut it. That's not leadership and people sense it.
Caution sometimes works, but not usually. Former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, with an acknowledged reputation for consistently hewing the middle of the middle, obviously got elected governor three times. But on the other hand, when she served as national co-chairwoman for the Kerry campaign, the general election strategy became balancing on the microscopic center of the proverbial fence.
But being not-George Bush was just not enough. Who exactly was John Kerry? By November, no one knew. Again, authenticity was missing in action and he lost because of it (well, GOP shenanigans in Ohio were also a factor, as was his distancing from running mate Edwards).
Primary voters are hungry to have faith in their leaders restored. We can sense insincerity a mile away. Kerry's handlers did not get this, and it appears Clinton's handlers may be of the same mindset.
All things to all people may still occasionally work, but as 2006 showed, the strategy is less and less effective. What worked last November for people like U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes was that, after taking a measure of them, voters had no doubt they were for real. This unmistakable authenticity will work for them again in 2008. People respect, and vote for, candidates whom they trust to mean what they say, even if they may not agree on every issue. Trust me, from my own electoral history, I know what I'm talking about.
There is a large degree of theater in politics. If your story line climaxes too early, like in the summer, where are you at the dramatic moment in January when the votes are actually cast? Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Chris Dodd, and Sen. Joe Biden have not peaked too early. There's a lot of drama left in this play.
The presidential primary is wide open. At this point, in September 2003, then-Vt. Gov. Howard Dean looked inevitable. But as that great sage Yogi Berra put it, "It ain't over 'til it's over." It's just beginning.

Former state Sen. Burt Cohen served seven terms in the state Senate from 1990-2004. He now hosts "Portside," a twice weekly interview program on WSCA-LPFM, streaming live Tuesdays and Thursday, from noon to 1 p.m. at He also serves as a political analyst for WNTK in New London. More columns and audio samples are available at his Web site,

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The view from Capital Commons

A.G. Edwards & Sons, the financial firm with a slew of local offices worldwide, held an open house at their new Concord office on the top floor of the new multi-million dollar Capital Commons office complex. It was an all day affair, complete with munchies, soda and friendly conversation from those who bothered to stop by and check the place out. I took the opportunity to drop in and see my tax dollars at work, since tax increment financing, or TIF, helped fund the $14 million parking garage as well as the property tax waivers, set asides, and bargain basement price for the lot, which were given to the developer to construct the project.
Three quick things on the positive side: The building is beautiful, the views are spectacular [see more pictures and video online at], and it is great to see the old hole that was there for years finally filled. It is also great to see the new movie theatre coming along.
The bad news? Well, according to the entrance ledger, at least two floors are empty. The restaurant space, a major component of the project, is also empty. The Concord Monitor has a story about the restaurant space here: ["At Commons, eatery still vacant"].

There were rumors that Tio Juan's Margarita's, currently housed on Warren Street in the old city jail, was going to move into the space.
This reportedly irked the owners of Hermano's, another Mexican restaurant. The restaurant has had to bear the brunt of the construction project – dealing with the constant noise, having most of its parking lot consumed by construction equipment, etc. Hermano's has reportedly been barely hanging on, thanks mostly to the loyal clientele who have supported it through the inconvenience. A new Mexican restaurant just a block away would surely be the end of the long-time, local-owned and operated establishment.
When the rumors began flying about Margarita's, it also ticked off taxpayers who were told that they would be getting a new food choice at the location - not an old one that would abandon an already shaky Bicentennial Square. Now they're talking about a food court? We're losing millions in set aside tax revenue for this? Hello, Eagle Square anyone? There used to be this fancy food court with small shops down at the Eagle Square plaza. During the recession of the late 1970s, early 1980s, the federal government pumped millions and millions into reconstructing old buildings like the Eagle Square plaza, in an effort to preserve all the old buildings. Everyone raved about how the project was going to be the salvation of downtown. Well, it wasn't. They did a great job on the construction and it was well-worth the money to preserve the buildings. But in typical Concord fashion, its eyes were bigger than its stomach. The downtown food court/mall concept was a complete disaster. The businesses quickly went under after the Legislative session ended in 1984. The spaces were quickly converted into a historical museum, a law firm, and a cluster of small offices and non-profits. So much for saving the downtown.

Speaking of TIFs for a moment, it is interesting to note that if one were to add up all the lost property tax revenue due to the current TIF bonds which are outstanding, they would find that it comes pretty close to the amount of a budget deficit the city had last year. Gee, I wonder why?
Now, we have the Capital Commons project. Is this all going to turn out like one of those other failed promises of the past? As developer Michael Simchik

said in the Concord Monitor article, it took him 16 months to fill up his last project. With a plummeting real estate and construction market, who knows what will happen now.
We should probably all be patient and hope for the best. But, at the same time, the building might actually have been built too large for its size. It is a disappointment, for example, that the building blocks the gorgeous state Capital building, gateway to the city, while approaching the city from I-93 north. At night, it is unnerving. This is also, as Alan Hershlag noted before the building was constructed, a zoning violation. Scoff, who cares about the zoning laws.
Whatever happens, our community really needs to learn to take those small steps first, instead of always taking the big grand ones. We might find that we will be more financially secure and just as happy.
Here are the video and pictures:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post has been corrected.
Arnie's back on the air
Arnie Arnesen is back on the radio down at Lawrence's WCCM 1110 AM from 6 to 9 a.m.: ["ARNIE"]. The signal runs from Lawrence to Lowell up to Nashua up to Manch and then down to Salem in a funny, slanted snow cone-like shape. It has taken awhile for her to get back on the air. Here's hoping she lasts a bit longer than previous gigs. I will check out the show on my way into work and see if it is worth listening to on a regular basis.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

GOP, out of the gate: Obstructionists
Guest Perspective/State Sen. Peter Burling

You don’t have to look hard to see Republican Statehouse leaders, in their new minority role, attacking majority efforts to pass responsible laws. Senate Minority Leader Ted Gatsas has poured out a small river of disparaging misinformation about a number of bills regarding health insurance for dependents, civil unions for same gender couples, and even a plan to lower acceptable lead levels in the blood of New Hampshire’s children. The venom continues about the budget, the first honest and comprehensive budget in years. Such criticism is expected regarding partisan issues and is treated with the appropriate skepticism.

What falls out of tradition is this week’s effort by the Republican minority to take advantage of a clerical error. On Sept. 5, the minority caucus refused to cooperate to fix a simple mistake in the legislative process. By obstructing our efforts to correct an inaccuracy, they have set the state on what will be an expensive and chaotic path towards the premature implementation of a bill. The facts are as follows:

The Senate passed a bill raising the compulsory age for school attendance from 16 to 18, to which the House agreed. The effective date in the original bill was set for 2009 so that school districts have time to arrange alternative programs for students who do not excel in regular classrooms.

Another bill, dealing with a different subject, also passed in both chambers. Due to a clerical error in the drafting process, this other bill appeared to change the effective date of the school age bill.

Such mistakes are not abnormal. In fact, each previous year in memory, at least one similar mistake has been are made. The difference is, in the past, the Democrats always helped to fix the problem by supporting a vote to clarify legislative intent. Unfortunately, on Sept. 5, Republican leadership refused to cooperate by acknowledging the clear legislative intent of the bill and voted to leave the error on the books.

Well, so what? The “so what” is this: the 17 senators who originally voted for the school age bill with a 2009 effective date have been denied the power of their votes. Early implementation of the bill will make it harder for good people to make a good law work. This will only cost our school districts additional money and aggravation. Perhaps worse, an important legislative tradition that we fight over policy but unite for the sake of good process, has been diminished.

One can only wonder why Republicans are putting political posturing ahead of their school districts.

State Sen. Peter Burling is a Democrat from Cornish.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Equal time
Add this linked editorial to the list of reasons why the editorial page editors of the Wall Street Journal have no clue when it comes to reality, with or without Rupert Murdoch owning the newspaper.
This morning, they suggested that equal time requirements and provisions on television and radio stations for political candidates be eliminated: ["Mr. Thompson in Repeat"].
While the Web is grand and exciting, it doesn't make up for television and to a lesser extent, radio, especially when trying to connect with voters. Especially good voters - older ones who tend to still watch television and listen to radio.
Since television and radio licenses are still regulated by the federal government and are exempt from entrepreneurial competition, fairness standards need to be reimplemented and equal time provisions need to remain in place. In fact, having seen and experienced this form of political discrimination myself, I would suggest that the FCC needs to vigorously investigate whether or not licensed television and radio stations are adhering to the equal time provision now, not eliminate the provisions. They should also fine or even deny license renewals to broadcasters who refuse to adhere to the rules. This would seem to weigh heavier on talk radio stations and television stations, which actually perform debates. But so be it. Instead, the FCC seems completely preoccupied with things like Janet Jackson's bare breasts flipping out by accident during the Super Bowl halftime show instead of real and true violations of the public trust. That should change.
The WSJ is correct about cable. Cable is not a broadcast frequency or license. And, technically, anyone can start a cable station to compete against the others, if they have the money. So, they can do what they want. If they are a cable news station then they obviously would want to adhere to standard journalistic practices and fairness. That isn't always the case but one can hope.
If the provision were to be eliminated, there would be no rule. That would mean that television and radio stations can make their own rules. Viewers/listeners and candidates would have no way of objecting to their biased or uneven coverage. For example, elimination of this rule would allow a station to have a debate and then not allow all the candidates who are on the ballot a seat at the debate, for whatever reason. This goes against the public trust and responsibility of owning those licenses. Again, as I've said before, you can't just go out and create a television or radio station. Well, you can but you will quickly find yourself in jail. You can create new newspapers, magazines, or Web sites if you don't like the coverage of the ones who serve you. But the public owns the airwaves and the government regulates them - or supposedly regulates them. The public should not be denied the opportunity to see every candidate who is on the ballot in whatever race. This change would allow that to take place.
It should be noted that even with the protections which are currently the law, television and radio stations have kept candidates who are on the ballot off the air and denied them fair access to the airwaves, over and over again. I have a litany of examples which I could rattle off but won't at this time. So, the current system isn't perfect. But strengthening the rules, not weakening them, is the answer.

Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, however, has this pretty good column about the recent Republican debate at UNH, in her weekly "Declarations" column: ["Off to the Races"]. I don't normally agree with her on most things but I read her every week [well, when I actually get the WSJ delivered]. And this week, she has dead ringer after dead ringer. See if you don't disagree.

On Paul being against the war:
"After Mr. Paul spoke, it seemed half the room booed, but the other applauded. When a thousand Republicans are in a room and one man of eight on the stage takes a sharply minority viewpoint on a dramatic issue and half the room seems to cheer him, something's going on."

On why Huckabee isn't considered in the top tier:
"Maybe he is and we don't know it."

On Rudy and the dredging up of 9-11 and leading NYC:
"Enough already, we heard you, move on."

On Romney:
"Mitt Romney is -- well, he continues to seem like someone who's stepped from the shower and been handed a dress shirt by his manservant George. ... he should get shirt-sleeved, dig deeper, get to his purpose."

That's the great thing about New Hampshire. We have the ability to really take a look at these people and get to know them. We wouldn't really have that if they had a national primary or probably even a regional primary scheme.

Friday, September 7, 2007

But, is NAB really that great?
Personally, I liked going to the NAB and RAB radio conventions. I learned a lot from the seminars and information, and a lot about the business, both good and bad. However, this guy makes some really good points, especially about the state of the industry: ["NAB: It's Your Party"]. I found this link quite by accident. It happened to be in the body of a Google email news alert about John Cox, which is weird if you think about it.

Reported bin Ladin transcript released
Here it is: ["New OBL Tape: Iraq, Democratic Control"]. I don't know how to take this. I'm really confused. Is he just hunkered down in a bunker somewhere, spewing out Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh talking points about the Democrats for the hell of it? Does he even really exist at this point? Can any of this be trusted? Why is he blathering about taxes?
Maybe this is a super-double-secret-distraction tactic on his part. He must be thinking, 'Hey, I will agree with the neo-cons' enemies on some things and this will create a reverse opinion shift in the minds of the American people to keep their war going so I can keep jihad going. This way, I can continue to perform chaotic hell on the unbelievers ... [add evil laugh here].'
Or, maybe he is putting out this tape after seeing the Saturday Night Live skit with Horatio Sanz playing Saddam and Jimmy Fallon playing Osama, where Saddam keeps saying, 'Shut up, Osama,' Because he doesn't want to be bombed into oblivion and Osama keeps talking about all the things they did together. Hilarious. Maybe bin Ladin saw that skit and thought, 'Hmm, this is a good idea, I will keep blathering about the economic collapse of the United States and then they have to accept Islam. Yeah, yeah, then I will prevail!! [add evil laugh here].'
Does anyone else have an explanation? I can't think of anything else. Can you? All I can say is that this whole thing is ridiculous.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Canceled elections
I want to offer some quick comments and links and then get back to some other stuff.
First, another city cancels an election: ["Patrick allows city to waive preliminary election"]. I don't really know if it is such a good idea to make a habit of this. Surely, the 5th Congressional District race could have been lined up to be held on the preliminary election for Lowell, since Marty Meehan left plenty of time after his resignation to hold a special election. I'm surprised Secretary of State Bill Galvin didn't line it up to jibe with elections already being held in some cities, like Lowell and Lawrence. Then, it would not have needed to have been canceled.
Speaking of canceling elections, here is a preview in the Phoenix of the Boston City Council race: ["The rumor mill"] . Note the bit about the potential sixth place finishers. Some folks are always a day late and a dollar short.

The earth
Two stories about the planet worth looking at. First, this one, about a monstrous asteroid which could come very close to hitting the planet in 29 years: ["Civilization Threatening Asteroid Now Viewed by NASA, Others"]. and this one, about the earth's axis being off: ["Earth's Axis Tilts"]. Could this be the cause of "global warming" and not humans? It would make sense.

R.I.P. Hilly Kristal
The guy who opened CBGB's which pretty much created the alternative music phenomenon died recently: ["Hilly Kristal; His CBGB Nurtured N.Y. Punk Scene"]. I never met the man but would often walk by him at the club when I would go to shows. He would be up on a stoop, chain-smoking, and looking down at everyone.

TWA 800
I've always wondered about this one, considering what has been going on in this country over the last 15 years. But now, there is more evidence available and it's beginning to look like this was a terrorist attack: ["TWA 800 FOIA Suit Yields Smoking Gun"].

The NAB Radio Show is happening in a few weeks. I won't be going this year, even though it is in North Carolina and not that far away. But here is the site: ["NAB Radio Show"].

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Brain damage?
Nightline is doing a report now on the death of wrestler Chris Benoit, who also killed his entire family. Scientists who have examined Benoit's brain believe brain damage - and not steroids - may be the cause of Benoits depression and subsequent murder-suicide actions. They have also been looking at football players who have undergone similar depression and suicide and conclude that they have similar brain damage. Their brains look like the brains of Alzheimer patients. Yikes.
The Real Rudy
Oh wow, Greenwald does it again. Check this out:

Boy, does this guy have time on his hands or what? BTW, guess which one is leading? Yeah, the emergency command center at the #1 terrorist target, at 38 percent. Faulty radios for firefighters was second, at 32 percent.
Project Censored 2008
Wow, wow, wow. I'm amazed I got this press release. Although, these days, I'm getting a lot of interesting stuff. So, I shouldn't be that surprised. Check out Number 16, about the lack of evidence connecting Osama bin Ladin to Sept. 11:


Sonoma State University

1801 E. Cotati Avenue

Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609

(707) 664-2500

e-mail: censored


September 5, 2007

Contact: Project Censored 707-664-2500

Project Censored Releases Censored 2008 and its pick of the 25 most important under-covered news stories of 2006-07

Project Censored announces its selection of the Top Censored News Stories of the 2006-2007 cycle. Each year since 1976, hundreds of student researchers, faculty, and volunteer members come together to select the most important news stories that were under-covered, glossed over or ignored by the country’s major media outlets.

The 25 stories make up the first chapter of the Censored 2008 yearbook published by Seven Stories press. Following chapters provide updates on previous stories, review the growth of grass roots Media Democracy, the year’s Junk Food News, and Ten Signs of Hope that corporate media ignored. Censored 2008 also offers real news about internet freedom, images of the war, and the impact of Big Media on children.

With an introduction by Dennis Loo and the political cartoon commentary of John Jonik throughout, this year’s book covers some of the most critical issues facing the American people today. The Top 25 stories focus on issues such as civil rights, politics, economics, foreign policy, food and health, the environment, energy, domestic policy, and the military.

“Corporate media in the United States are interested primarily in entertainment news to feed their bottom-line priorities,” states Peter Phillips, Director of the Project. “Some of the most important news stories that should reach the American public falls on the cutting room floor to be replaced by sex-scandals and celebrity updates.”

The Sonoma State University research group is composed of over 200 faculty, students and community experts who review hundreds of story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources and national significance. The top 25 stories are submitted to a panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. Current and former judges include Michael Parenti, Cynthia McKinney, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and 20 other national journalists, scholars and writers.

Censored 2008, now available in bookstores nationwide, can also be purchased on the project’s website at

Project Censored will host the award winning authors of the Censored 2008 stories at the second annual Media Accountability Conference October 26-27 at Sonoma State University. Conference Information on line at:

Censored 2008 was edited by Peter Phillips and Andrew Roth professors of Sociology at Sonoma State University.

For on-air interviews contact publicist interns:

Margo Tyack:

Gabrielle Robinson:

A statement on contemporary censorship in the US written by Peter Phillips follows below:

Top Censored Stories of 2006-2007

#1 No Habeas Corpus for “Any Person”

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) ushered in military commission law for US citizens and non-citizens alike. Text in the MCA allows for the institution of a military alternative to the constitutional justice system for “any person” arbitrarily deemed to be an enemy of the state, regardless of American citizenship.

“Who Is 'Any Person' in Tribunal Law?” Robert Parry, Consortium, 10/19/2006

“Still No Habeas Rights for You” Robert Parry, Consortium, 2/3/2007

“Repeal the Military Commissions Act and Restore the Most American Human Right” Thom Hartmann, Commondreams, 2/12/2007

#2 Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 allows the president to deploy military troops anywhere in the United States and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities in order to "suppress public disorder.”

“Bush Moves Toward Martial Law” Frank Morales, Uruknet, 10/ 26/2006

#3 AFRICOM: US Military Control of Africa’s Resources

In February 2007 the White House announced the formation of the US African Command (AFRICOM), a unified Pentagon command center in Africa. Presented as a humanitarian guard in the Global War on Terror, the real objective is procurement and control of Africa’s oil and its global delivery systems.

“Understanding AFRICOM” Parts 1-3, b real, 2/21/2007

#4 Frenzy of Increasingly Destructive Trade Agreements

The US and European Union (EU) are vigorously pursuing increasingly destructive trade and investment agreements outside the auspices of the WTO, resulting in unprecedented exploitation, loss of livelihood, displacement, and degradation of human rights and environments.

“Signing Away The Future” Emily Jones, Oxfam, 3/2007

“Free Trade Enslaving Poor Countries” Sanjay Suri, IPS coverage of Oxfam Report, 3/20/2007

#5 Human Traffic Builds US Embassy in Iraq

The enduring monument to US liberation and democracy in Iraq is being built by forced labor. Contractors subcontracting to the US State Department are using bait-and-switch recruiting practices to smuggle Asian workers into brutal and inhumane labor camps—in the middle of the US-controlled Green Zone.

“A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad: Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World's Largest Embassy” David Phinney, CorpWatch, 10/17/2006

#6 Operation FALCON Raids

Under Operation FALCON—Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally—more than 30,000 “fugitives” were arrested in the largest dragnets in the nation's history. Over 960 state, local and federal agencies were directly involved. Only promotional coverage supplied by the DOJ was ever aired. We have yet to be told who these fugitives were and what became of them.

“Operation Falcon and the Looming Police State” Mike Whitney, Ukernet, 2/26/2007

“Operation Falcon” SourceWatch, Updated 11/18/2006

#7 Behind Blackwater Inc.

Blackwater, the most powerful mercenary firm in the world, is the company that most embodies the privatization of the military industrial complex. Bush’s contracts with Blackwater have allowed the creation of a private army of more than 20,000 soldiers, operating with almost no oversight or effective legal constraints, to deploy in nine countries and aggressively expand its presence inside US borders.

“Our Mercenaries in Iraq: Blackwater Inc and Bush's Undeclared Surge” Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! 1/26/07

#8 KIA: The US Neoliberal Invasion of India

The Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture, quietly signed by Bush and India’s Prime Minister Singh, trades India’s agricultural sector for US nuclear technology. The KIA allows for the grab of India’s seed sector by Monsanto, its trade sector by giant agribusiness ADM and Cargill, and its retail sector by Wal-Mart.

“Vandana Shiva on Farmer Suicides, the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal, Wal-Mart in India” Democracy Now! 12/13/2006

“Genetically Modified Seeds: Women in India take on Monsanto” Arun Shrivastava, Global Research, 10/9/06

“Sowing Trouble: India's ‘Second Green Revolution’” Suman Sahai, SciDev.Net, 5/9/06

#9 Privatization of America’s Infrastructure

More than 20 states have enacted legislation allowing public-private partnerships to build and run highways. We will soon be paying Wall Street investors, Australian bankers, and Spanish contractors for the privilege of driving on American roads.

“The Highwaymen” Daniel Schulman with James Ridgeway. Mother Jones, 2/2007

“Bush Administration Quietly Plans NAFTA Super Highway” Jerome R. Corsi, Human Events, 6/12/2006

#10 Vulture Funds Threaten Debt Relief for Poor Nations

Vulture funds, as defined by the IMF, are companies that buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply, when it is about to be written off, and then sue for the full value of the debt plus interest—which might be ten times what they paid for it. Otherwise known as “distressed-debt investors,” these companies profit off plunging impoverished nations into crippling debt.

“Vulture Fund Threat to Third World” Greg Palast with Meirion Jones for BBC Newsnight, 02/14/2007

#11 The Scam of “Reconstruction” in Afghanistan

Much of the US tax money earmarked to rebuild Afghanistan actually ends up going no further than the pockets of wealthy US corporations. Paychecks for overpriced, and often incompetent, American “experts” under contract to USAID go directly from the Agency to American bank accounts. Seventy percent of the aid that does make it to a recipient country is carefully “tied” to the donor nation for further fraud and exploitation.

“Why It's Not Working in Afghanistan” Ann Jones,, 8/27/06

“Afghanistan Inc: a CorpWatch Investigative Report” Fariba Nawa, CorpWatch, 10/6/06

#12 Another Massacre in Haiti by UN Troops

On December 22, 2006 more than 30 unarmed Haitian civilians, including women and children, were killed by extensive and indiscriminate gunfire from UN “peacekeeping” forces, reportedly as collective punishment for a massive demonstration days earlier calling for the return of President Aristide.

“UN in Haiti: Accused of Second Massacre” Haiti Information Project, Haiti Action, 1/21/2007

“Haiti: Poor Residents of Capital Describe a State of Siege” Wadner Pierre and Jeb Sprague, IPS, 2/28/07

#13 Immigrant Roundups to Gain Cheap Labor for US Corporate Giants

In the wake of 9/11, Immigration Customs Enforcement has conducted raids and roundups of “illegal” immigrants under the rubric of preventing terrorism and keeping our homeland safe. The real goal, however, is to replace the immigrant work force in the US with a tightly regulated, exploitive guest-worker program.

“Migrants: Globalization’s Junk Mail?” Laura Carlsen, Foreign Policy in Focus, 2/23/07

“Which Side are You on?” David Bacon, Truthout, 1/29/07

“Workers, Not Guests” David Bacon, The Nation, 2/6/07

#14 Impunity for US War Criminals

A last minute adjustment to the Military Commission Act of 2006 redefined torture, removed the harshest definition of war crimes, and exempts the perpetrators from prosecution for such offences dating back to November 1997. The source of this provision is, however, a mystery. The White House denies any involvement or knowledge regarding the insertion of such language into the MCA.

“A Senate mystery keeps torture alive, and its practitioners free” Jeff Stein, Congressional Quarterly, 11/ 22/06

#15 Toxic Exposure Can Be Genetically Transmitted to Future Generations

Research suggests that our behavior and our environmental conditions may program sections of our children’s DNA. New evidence about how genes interact with the environment suggests that many industrial chemicals may be more ominously dangerous than previously thought. One researcher points to a revolution in medicine: “You aren't eating and exercising just for yourself, but for your lineage.”

“Some Chemicals are More Harmful Than Anyone Ever Suspected” Peter Montague, Rachel's Democracy & Health News #876, 10/12/06

#16 No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11

Osama bin Ladin’s role in the events of September 11, 2001 is not mentioned on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” notice. Six years later the FBI spokesperson explains, “The reason 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden's Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11…”

“FBI says, ‘No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11’” Ed Haas, Muckraker Report, 6/6/06

#17 Drinking Water Contaminated by Military and Corporations

Corporations, municipalities, and the US military are using America’s waters as their dumping ground —often with little or no accountability. The average major facility discharges pollutants in excess of its permitted limit by over 275 percent, nearly four times the legal limit, while more than 40 percent of US waterways are already unsafe for swimming and fishing,

“Factories, Cities Across USA Exceed Water Pollution Limits” Sunny Lewis, Environment News Service 3/24/2006

“Military Waste In Our Drinking Water” Sunaura Taylor and Astra Taylor,

AlterNet, 8/4/2006

#18 Mexico’s Stolen Election

US interests were significantly invested in the outcome of Mexico’s 2006 presidential election in which overwhelming evidence reveals massive fraud.

“Evidence of Election Fraud Grows in México,” Chuck Collins and Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 8/2/2006

“Mexico: The Political Volcano Rumbles” Revolution, 9/10/06

#19 People’s Movement Challenges Neo-Liberal Agenda

In Latin America, massive opposition to US economic domination has demanded that populist leaders and parties take control of national governments, building powerful alternatives to neo-liberal exploitation.

“Is the US Free Trade Model Losing Steam?” American Friends Service Committee, Trade Matters, 5/3/06

“Economic Policy Changes With New Latin American Leaders” Mark Weisbrot, International Herold Tribune, 12/28/06

“Is Hugo Chaves a Threat to Stability? No.” Mark Weisbrot, International Affairs Forum, 3/31/07

#20 Terror Act Against Animal Activists

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act of 2006 expanded the definition of “terrorism” to include acts that interfere, or promote interference, with the operation of an animal enterprise. Over 160 groups opposed this Act on grounds that its terminology is dangerously vague and poses major conflict to the US Constitution.

“The AETA is Invidiously Detrimental to the Animal Rights Movement (and Unconstitutional as Well)” David Hoch and Odette Wilkens, Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, 3/9/07

“US House Passes Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act With Little Discussion or Dissent” Will Potter, Green is the New Red, 11/14/06

“22 Years for Free-Speech Advocates: Six Animal Rights Activists Given Lengthy Prison Sentences for Running Website” Budgerigar, Earth First! Journal, 11/06

#21 US Seeks WTO Immunity for Illegal Farm Payments

The July 2006 Doha round of WTO negotiations broke down over the contentious issue of farm trade and the unrestricted opening of markets to agricultural products. In a last-minute proposal, one not included on the original agenda, the US insisted that all trade agreements include a special “Peace Clause” that would make its use of illegal farm subsidies immune from prosecution by the countries affected.

“Canada launches WTO case on US subsidies” Eoin Callan, Financial Times, 1/9/2007

“US seeks “get-out clause” for illegal farm payments” Oxfam, 6/29/2006

#22 North Invades Mexico

The number of North Americans living in Mexico has soared from 200,000 to 1 million (one-quarter of all US expatriates) in the past decade. With more than 70 million American baby-boomers expected to retire in the next two decades, experts predict “a tidal wave” of migration. The land rush is sending up property values to the detriment of locals whose children are consequently driven into slums or forced to emigrate north.

“Border Invaders: The Perfect Swarm Heads South” Mike Davis,, 9/19/2006

#23 Feinstein’s Conflict of Interest in Iraq

Dianne Feinstein is involved in monumental conflicts of interest as she promotes and exploits the Global War on Terror. As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Senator Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions of dollars to her husband's military construction firms, while consistently voting to fund US military proliferation.

“Senator Feinstein’s Iraq Conflict” Peter Byrne, Bohemian, 1/24/2007

#24 Media Misquotes Threat From Iran’s President

A mistranslated quotation attributed to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, which threatened that, “Israel must be wiped off the map,” has been spread around the world. Ahmadinejad’s actual statements, however, were significantly less threatening.

“‘Wiped Off The Map’ - The Rumor of the Century” Arash Norouzi,, Global Research, 1/20/2007

“Full Text: The President of Iran's Letter To President Bush” Translated by Le Monde, Information Clearing House, 05/09/06

#25 Who Will Profit From Native Energy?

The US government and energy industry intend to market a shift away from dependence on foreign energy by deregulating and stepping up their exploitation (“development”) of wind and solar resources located on Native American reservations.

“Native Energy Futures” Brian Awehali, Lip Magazine, 6/5/06

Statement by Project Censored Director Peter Phillips Regarding the Importance of the 2008 Censored Stories and the Nature of Censorship Today.

We need to broaden our understanding of censorship in the US. No longer is the dictionary definition of direct government control of news adequate. The private corporate media in the US significantly undercover and/or deliberately censor numerous important news stories every year.

The systemic erosion of human rights and civil liberties, in the US, is the common theme of many of the most censored stories of 2006-07.

The corporate media last year ignored that habeas corpus can now be suspended for anyone by order of the President. With the approval of Congress, the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006, signed by Bush on October 17, 2006, allows for the suspension of habeas corpus for US citizens and non-citizens alike. While media, including a lead editorial in the New York Times October 19, 2006, have given false comfort that American citizens will not be the victims of the measures legalized by this Act, the law is quite clear that ‘any person’ can be targeted. The text in the MCA allows for the institution of a military alternative to the constitutional justice system for “any person” regardless of American citizenship. The MCA effectively does away with habeas corpus rights for all people living in the US deemed by the President to be enemy combatants.

Laws enacted last year allowing the government to more easily institute martial law is another civil liberties story ignored by the corporate media in 2006-07. The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 allows the president to station military troops anywhere in the United States and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder." The law in effect repealed the Posse Comitatus Act, which had placed strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement in the US since just after the Civil War.

Additionally, under the code-name Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally) three federally coordinated mass arrests occurred between April 2005 and October 2006. In an unprecedented move, more than 30,000 “fugitives” were arrested in the largest dragnets in the nation's history. The operations, coordinated by the Justice Department and Homeland Security, directly involved over 960 agencies (state, local and federal) and are the first time in US history that all of the domestic police agencies have been put under the direct control of the federal government.

Finally, the term “terrorism” has been dangerously expanded to include any acts that interfere, or promote interference with the operations of animal enterprises. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), signed into law on November 27, 2006 expands the definition of an “animal enterprise” to any business that “uses or sells animals or animal products.” The law essentially makes many protesters, boycotters or picketers of businesses in the US potential terrorists.

Most people in the US believe in our Bill of Rights and value personal freedoms. Yet, our corporate media in the past year failed to inform us about serious changes in our civil rights and liberties. Despite our busy lives we want to be informed about serious decisions made by the powerful and rely on the corporate media to keep us abreast of important changes. When a media fails to cover these issues, what else can we call it but censorship?

A broader definition of censorship in America today needs to include any interference, deliberate or not, with the free flow of vital news information to the American people. With the size of the major media giants in the US, there is no excuse for consistently missing major news stories that affect all our lives.