Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Dodd talk clock ...

Thanks go out to the Chris Dodd for President campaign for putting together another Dodd clock:

Once again, it says a lot. Once again, the host got more time than the majority of candidates. Once again, what now could be considered the second tier - Biden, Dodd, and Richardson - got a fraction of time the frontrunners received. Kucinich, all alone alone in the third tier, now that Grandpa Gravel has been taken off the stage, got a fraction of the frontrunners. I didn't see the debate because I had to work. But it is sad that Sen. Gravel was kept out of the debate. Not once was he asked about his sales tax proposal, probably one of the most interesting legislative initiatives Americans could look at and take seriously.

Over at Daily Kos, with more than 2,600 votes cast, 35 percent think Edwards won the debate, with Obama coming in at 18, Hillary at 17, Dodd at 10, Kucinich and Biden at 9, and Richardson at 3.

Apparently Kucinich admitted to seeing an unidentified flying object during the debate: ["UFOs and Alien Life"]. Note to the mainstream press, lots of folks have seen things in the sky they can't explain or don't understand and that doesn't make them crazy or weird. In fact, it probably makes them even more qualified to be president.

Go Ralph Go, Go Ralph Go: ["Ralph Nader Sues Democratic Party"]. Again, biased media alert here: "Consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party on Tuesday, contending officials conspired to keep him from taking votes away from nominee John Kerry." Hello, it isn't about "taking votes away" it's about giving voters more than two options and EARNING their votes. Ugh, I hate the mainstream press sometimes.

Tonight on Leno!

What a show:
Ron Paul
Sex Pistols
Tom Cruise
OK, Tom Cruise isn't that impressive. But Ron Paul and the Sex Pistols on the same night? Wow!!

Bush and "World War III"

Guest Perspective/Ralph Nader

Mired in the disastrous Iraq quagmire, opposed by a majority of Americans, George W. Bush has reached new depths of reckless, belligerent bellowing. At a recent news conference, he volunteered that he told our allies that if they’re “interested in avoiding World War III,” Iran must be prevented from both developing a nuclear weapon or having “the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

To what level of political insanity has this Washington Caesar descended? Only two countries can start World War III—Russia and the United States. Is Bush saying that if Russia, presently opposed to military action against Iran, persists with its position, Bush may risk World War III? If not, why is this law-breaking warmonger, looking for another war for American GIs to fight, while his military-age daughters bask in the celebrity lime light?

Why is he using such catastrophic language?

Surely he does not think Iran could start World War III. His own intelligence agencies say that, even assuming that the international inspectors are wrong and Iran is moving toward developing the “knowledge” of such weapons, it can’t build its first such weapon before 3 to 5 years at the earliest.

Why would a regime ruling an impoverished country risk suicide, surrounded as it is by countries armed to the nuclear teeth, such as Israel and the United States? This nation of nearly 80 million people hardly needs to be reminded that the U.S. overthrew its popular premier in 1953, installing for the next 27 years the brutal regime of the Shah.

They recall that President Reagan and his Vice President, George Herbert Walker Bush urged, funded and equipped Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran—a nation that has not invaded any country in over 250 years—which took around 700,000 Iranian lives.

Moreover, the undeniable historical record shows that U.S. companies received licenses from the Department of Commerce, under Reagan, to ship Saddam the raw materials necessary to make chemical and biological weapons. Saddam used such lethal chemical weapons, with the tolerance of Reagan and Rumsfeld, on Iranians to devastating effect in terms of lives lost.

Then George W. Bush labels Iran a member of the “axis of evil” along with Iraq, ignoring a serious proposal by Iran in 2003 for negotiations, and shows what his language means by invading Iraq.

The authoritarian Iranian government is frightened enough to hurl some defiant rhetoric back at Washington and widen its perimeter defense. Seymour Hersh, the topflight investigative reporter for the New Yorker magazine has written numerous articles on how the crowding of Iran, including infiltrating its interior, has become an obsession of the messianic militarist in the White House.

The Pentagon is more cautious, worrying about our already drained Army and the absence of any military strategy and readiness for many consequences that would follow Bush’s “bombs away” mentality.

Then there is the matter of the Democrats in Congress. After their costly fumble on Iraq, the opposition Party should make it very constitutionally clear, as recommended by former New York Governor, Mario Cuomo in a recent op-ed, that there can be no funded attacks on any country without a Congressional declaration of war, as explicitly required by the framers of our Constitution.

But the Democrats are too busy surrendering to other Bush demands, whether unconstitutional, above the law or just plain marinated in corporate greed. Some of this obeisance was all too clear in the Democrats questioning of Bush’s nominee for Attorney General, Michael B. Mukasey.

After the two days of hearings, no Democrat has yet announced a vote against Mukasey, even after he evaded questions on torture and argued for the inherent power of the President to act contrary to the laws of the land if he unilaterally believes he has the inherent constitutional authority to do so.

This position aligns Mukasey with the imperial views of Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft and Gonzales on the “unitary Executive.” In short, reminiscent of the divine right of Kings, the forthcoming Attorney General believes Bush can say that ‘he is the law’ regardless of Congress and the judiciary.

After two recent lead editorials demonstrating its specific exasperation over the Democrats’ kowtowing to the White House, the New York Times added a third on October 20, 2007 titled “With Democrats Like These…” The editorial recounted the ways Democrats, especially in the Senate, have caved on critical constitutional and statutory safeguards regarding the Bush-Cheney policies and practices of spying on Americans without judicial approval and accountability.

Accusing the Democrats of “the politics of fear,” the Times concluded: “It was bad enough having a one-party government when the Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.”

There is more grist coming for the Times’ editorial mill. Last week, the first African-American chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel (D-NY), declared that Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, Jr., fresh from Wall Street, had persuaded him, during a decade of increasing record profits, to lower the porous corporate income tax rate from 35% to 25%.

“We can live with that,” Chairman Rangel declared.

Would the working families in his District, who would be paying a higher tax rate on their modest income, agree?

Monday, October 29, 2007

UL: Gregg to endorse Romney

The Union Leader just sent out an email saying Sen. Gregg is going to endorse Mitt Romney. Gregg continues to show that he really doesn't know anything.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

'I Am Legend ...'

I've been watching the World Series and one of the sponsors is the new Will Smith film, "I Am Legend." I said to my wife, Damn, that looks like "Omega Man." Well, sure enough, a quick Google reveals that "Omega Man" is based on the book, "I Am Legend." I never knew that but "Omega Man" is one of my favorite films. I can hardly wait to see this one:

A racial slur ...

Now I kinda know what a black person feels like.
Tonight, while driving around Penacook and West Concord, dropping off the last round of OurConcord.com newspapers to stores and other locations on Fisherville Road, two guys in a dark colored subcompact sedan yelled at me, "Hey N*gger!" as they drove up the road before I got into my car. I couldn't believe it.
Now, maybe this was someone thinking they were being funny or something. But, I doubt it. In this day and age, and me being clearly white, why would anyone use such language? It just makes them look like fools. And, if I was a cop or was with it enough to write down their license plate, I could have made a citizen's arrest for a hate crime. So much for New Hampshire becoming a bit more enlightening with age.

Nice cover ...

I'm always on the lookout for bands or musicians who do covers of songs I like. This one was sent out on the Bunnymen LIST-SERV earlier today. It's pretty good:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

[More] sports radio coming to town

Concord and the Lakes Region will soon get full-time sports radio stations on FM at the beginning of the year.
Concord's WWHK 102.3, formerly known as WKXL FM, and WWHQ out of Meredith, will start broadcasting WEEI's sports talk programming in January 2008. The stations, both owned by Nassau Broadcasting, will have a lock on the sports talk market in the region, since the only other sports talk stations in the immediate listening area, WGAM 1250 out of Manchester and 900 AM out of Nashua, are not heard in most of the Concord/Lakes Region market.
There will be some competition from advertising against WTPL 107.7 FM, which broadcasts political talk and live sports games, and to a lesser extent, WKXL 1450, which broadcasts high school sports games.
Nassau will also be shifting formats over at Hillsboro's WNNH 99.1 and Wolfeboro's WLKZ 104.9. They will be losing their "oldies" format and will be "rebranded" as Frank FMs, playing both oldies and classic rock. Of course, WNNH long abandoned real oldies like Elvis and AM Gold for the light classic format.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The most amazing thing I have ever seen

At the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Baily circus:

It should be noted that after this stunt, they continued to add more and more motorcycles into the sphere. I believe the maximum was 12 at one point. Amazing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Obama campaign doorknocking

The Obama for President campaign was doorknocking through West Concord today, looking for votes. This is the second or third time they have been through the neighborhood, with Edwards coming by three or four times and Hillary twice [Interestingly, the Hillary guy had me down as a supporter ... NOT!]. That doesn't include the phone calls.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dodd's jump ...

Following up the earlier post about Dodd's jump, it looks like I was off a bit. From the September poll, it looks like Dodd is pulling away votes from Edwards (8), Obama (5), and Clinton (2), and not Richardson. Richardson went up from 1 to 2 percent, from a high of 6 to 13 percent over the summer. The larger point is that a good chunk of the 13,000 people who voted online today gave Dodd a huge boost.

Is Dodd making his move?

... or are firefighters starting to blog at Daily Kos?
I thought I would take a quick spin around the Web to look at some headlines and get my mind out of work for a few minutes.
Over at Daily Kos, there is a new preference poll up. With almost 11,000 voting, CT Sen. Chris Dodd has broken out of single digits for the first time and leaped into second place: Edwards 31, Dodd 22, Obama 16, Clinton 9, Other 6, Kucinich 5, No freakin' clue 5, Richardson 2, Biden 2, and Gravel 1.
I don't have all the previous results in front of me but it looks like Dodd is sucking up a lot of Richardson and Clinton support. I don't know if the IAFF all started becoming Daily Kos members or maybe they are Freepin' the poll. Who knows. However, this is a huge jump for Dodd and it will be interesting to see if this burst will last.

NH radio news
According to NERW, Libertarian talker Gardner Goldsmith, who does the lunchtime show on WTPL, will now be syndicated on the company's sister station, WMXR, 93.9, in Woodstock. They will also have on the putrid Glenn Beck and news simulcast from WMUR-TV, Channel 9.

Sox win!

What a game! What a game! What a game! How about those rookies. Too much. Onto to Colorado!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Quote of the night

I didn't see the GOP debate on FoxNews but I have seen some of the press reports, including this one: ["Cat Fight Hisses in Republican Presidential Primary Debate"].
It is hilarious to read about the frontfunners attacking one another, trying to one up each other. And there is Mike Huckabee, kinda moseying along, trying to get some traction by being civil and focusing on the bigger picture:
"[I'm] content to let you let them fight all they want tonight, shed each other's blood and then I'll be ready to run for president because I'm not interested in fighting these guys. What I'm interested in is fighting for the American people, and I think they're looking for a presidential candidate who's not so interested in a demolition derby against the other people in his own party."
Does that sound presidential or what? Compare that to the bickering between the frontrunners and you really have to wonder about GOP voters.

Politizine.com's 1,000th blog post

Amazingly, this blog has reached its 1,000th post. Shocking, isn't it? With more than 60,000 hits and 100,000-plus page views, I am so surprised that it has lasted this long. Of course, it would probably be at 2,000 posts at this point if I did what other bloggers do and blogged each entry separately. But whatever. I have a habit of throwing a bunch of stuff into one entry, just to make sure I get all the small stuff in.
In celebration of this blog's milestone, I have a small announcement: On Friday, my wife and I launched a brand new hybrid online/print newspaper called OurConcord.com. The first edition is at drop locations across Concord and most of the content is online. The rest will be updated later tonight while I'm watching the Red Sox game.
For those of you interested in this new publication, please read the "Why Publish?" entry on the site for a rather lengthy explanation of what we're trying to do. On Friday afternoon, I picked up the print edition, 2,500 in all, and was amazed at how great it looks for a first edition. It is pretty impressive, if I say so myself, when you consider it was put together pretty quickly.
Because of this new endeavor and my family and work responsibilities, I will be curbing posts to Politizine.com and concentrating on producing more local content for OurConcord.com. Politizine.com will still exist but I really want to put what limited time and energy I have into publishing the other site. I will get into this a bit more in the very near future.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dodging Impeachment

Guest Perspective/Ralph Nader

The meeting at the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts on July 5, 2007 was anything but routine. Seated before Cong. John Olver (D-MA) were twenty seasoned citizens from over a dozen municipalities in this First Congressional District which embraces the lovely Berkshire Hills.

The subject—impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney.

The request—that Cong. Olver join the impeachment drive in Congress.

More than just opinion was being conveyed to Cong. Olver, a then 70 year old Massachusetts liberal with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These Americans voted overwhelmingly during formal annual town meetings in 14 towns and two cities in the First District endorsing resolutions to impeach the President and Vice President.

Presented in the form of petitions to be sent to the Congress, the approving citizenry cited at least four “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

They included the initiation of the Iraq war based on defrauding the public and intentionally misleading the Congress, spying on Americans without judicial authorization, committing the torture of prisoners in violation of both federal law and the U.N. Torture Convention and the Geneva Convention, and stripping American citizens of their Constitutional rights by jailing them indefinitely without charges and without access to legal counsel or even an opportunity to challenge their imprisonment in a court of law.

Forty towns in Vermont and the State Senate had already presented their Congressional delegation with similar petitions.

Impeachment advocates reported the results to Cong. Olver from each town meeting. Leverett’s vote was 339-1; Great Barrington was 100-3. No vote in any of the towns or cities was less than a two-third majority “yes” in favor of impeachment, according to long-time activist, Atty. Robert Feuer of Stockbridge, Mass.

With three fourths of reports completed Cong. Olver, who voted against the war, raised his hand and said, “Spare me, I know full well the overwhelming majority of my constituency is in favor of impeachment.” He then told them he would not sign on to any impeachment resolution whether against Bush or against Cheney (H.Res. 333 introduced by Cong. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)). He was quite adamant.

In taking this unrepresentative position, Rep. Olver’s position was identical to that of the House Democratic leadership and many of his Democratic colleagues.

The Democratic Party line on impeachment is that Bush and Cheney are the most impeachable White House duo in American history (they believe this privately). The Democrats do not want to distract attention from their legislative agenda, and need Republican votes for passage. Moreover, they do not have the votes to obtain the requisite two-thirds of the members present for conviction in the Senate.

Strangely, none of these excuses bothered Republicans when they impeached Bill Clinton in the House for lying under oath about sex and proceeded to a full trial in the Senate where they failed to get the required votes. Can Clinton’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” begin to compare with this White House crime wave?

The last question to Cong. Olver was from a young veteran back from Iraq and Afghanistan. “What could we possibly do to bring you around to our way of thinking,” he asked?

Cong. Olver’s response, after several seconds of silence, was “You have to prove to me that impeachment will not be counterproductive.”

Members of Congress should apply the same standard to themselves that they like to apply to members of the Executive and Judicial branches—namely to honor their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. That Oath is supposed to transcend political calculations.

Maybe the Democrats think that Bush and Cheney are such wild and crazy guys that a serious impeachment drive in Congress would provoke the two draft-dodgers to launch a military emergency, strike Iran or otherwise generate a crisis, based on their continual fulminations about the “war on terror,” that would engulf the Democrats and throw them on the defensive for 2008.

In short, the Democrats may be viewing Bush and Cheney as being so defiantly, aggressively impeachable on so many counts as to be unimpeachable. That is, with the White House harboring so much political nitroglycerine, don’t even try to remove it.

Such a cowardly position would make quite a precedent for future Presidents who want to illegally elbow out the other two branches of government and our Constitution.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Veterans deserve better than party politics

Guest Perspective/Shawn Girard

A year ago today, my father passed away.

An uneducated, unskilled man who loved people, he complained about, but never lost faith in the country he had served with pride in the U.S. Navy. He was well liked, active in his community and in service to the disabled and elderly.

He died in a VA hospital, the same hospital system he had visited many times during the years of his declining health. There was a wonderful hospital a few miles from his home, but he had to ask friends and relatives to drive him, time and time again, an hour to Boston.

You see, elderly veterans in America who require care and are scraping by on a fixed and inadequate income cannot afford long-term treatment in a real hospital.

We didn’t know until a week before he died what was actually wrong with him. Years of treatment by different doctors investigated one problem after another, but never discovered the fatal lung disease which took his life. Overburdened case workers never had the time to advocate for better treatment.

I will never forget his last days: The empty corridors, darkened and unused spaces and unstaffed reception desks of a dingy hospital long past its prime. My terminally ill father waited in one of those empty halls for an hour, on a stretcher, outside over-crowded rooms. We searched in vain to locate someone, anyone, to take responsibility for his care. Our requests, and later, our days of phone calls led only to conflicting reports of his health and treatment, ever-shifting cycles of blame, voicemail or silence.

Later, among his belongings, we would find hundreds of pages of documents related to his health which he had requested. Perhaps he hoped to understand his illness or to be better equipped to communicate his problems to new specialists who seemed oblivious to his history. Maybe he was just hoping one of his friends or family members could help him write the correct person to expedite his case. We will never know. The documents arrived only a few days before his last hospitalization.

Four months later, when the story of the failures at Walter Reed Army Medical Center became news, I was disgusted. The inadequacies of our Veteran’s Health Care System were no secret to anyone in Washington and to have the liars come forward, the President and Congress alike, to speak out about the grave injustice done to those who have served us, was the height of hypocrisy and the final straw for me.

These men and women, who we trusted to represent us, had robbed our nation’s coffers for years, of the funds needed to support our veterans. They had stolen that money and funneled it to special interest projects in their states to shore up support for reelection and line the pockets of their large donors. Few among them were innocent of this abuse and none of them were ignorant.

Nearly a year later, the tragic story of the VA has passed into memory for most. General Weightman has been fired, Francis Harvey has stepped down, but nothing has changed. These men were not responsible for the failures of Walter Reed or the hospital in which my father died. When you go to the polls in 2008, I hope you will think about who was.

Whether we elect a Democrat or a Republican as president, whether we send one, or the other, to Congress, we all lose if we continue to support the system, and the parties, that lie to us with a smile and protect the liars from accountability and justice.

Right now, hundreds of soldiers are returning from abroad with life altering injuries, trauma and a promise from a nation to repay their bravery and patriotism with our support. This obligation will cost billions upon billions of dollars and will not be a priority for Washington except during election cycles, or times of crisis.

I do not pretend to understand fully the reasons for our current unconstitutionally waged war. If anyone besides the President and his close advisors claim to understand, they are fools or liars. What I do understand is the enormous cost and obligation we have undertaken on behalf of hundreds of thousands of military personnel and their families.

Their children, their grandchildren will inherit these obligations. It won’t be the multinational corporations, defense contractors or politicians who pay. I hope history judges the reward equal to the expense of our foolish war.

Shawn Girard is a Loudon resident running as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. For more information about his campaign, go to www.shawngirard.com.

Howie to appeal

["Howie to appeal; WRKO responds"]

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sad news: Jimmy Tingle's comedy club to close

I received the email about four hours ago and was a bit shocked by it. A quick Google News search revealed two stories: ["Tingle's to close at the end of the month"] and here: ["Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway to Close"]. I really feel for the guy, especially not having the time to write and everything.

Howie gets nailed

The court rules in WRKO's favor: ["Judge blocks Carr from jumping to WTKK"] and ["Judge rules against Carr in WRKO case"]. Oh, this is going to get interesting.

From the mouths of babes ...

Rudy Giuliani gets asked what is probably the most important question of the 2008 presidential cycle: What will you do if we get attacked by aliens from another planet!:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh man: This has to be burning Howie Carr ...

This "Virutal Howie" feature on the WRKO Web site is burning up the New England media landscape today: ["WRKO"] ... while the Boston radio gabber headed into court today to plead his case: ["Howie: Let me be heard on... 'TKK"].
Is anyone taking odds on what the outcome of the case will be? If you are, I want in on the action!
But, if you think about this for a second, WRKO must think they are going to lose. Otherwise, why would they put the Virtual Howie feature up AS A HAND PUPPET!?! If it were just another feature, it would be downloadable tracks, maybe a cute cartoon. But a HAND PUPPET? I know what that tells me. It's humiliating ... and it has to be burning Howie right now.
Question: Do they really think Howie is going to go back and work for those people after that? Well, I guess, if the price is right, he would probably go back. But, maybe not. He doesn't seem to be budging - even with a $7M matching contract offer.
A Google News search on the court case led to this story posted by the Boston Globe about 45 minutes ago: ["Carr awaits ruling on return to the airwaves"].

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Granny D on 'The View'

According to an email I received earlier this week [yeah, I'm just getting to about 200 emails I have to read], Granny D and the director of the documentary about her, "Run Granny Run," will be on "The View" tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where are the lawyers of America?

Guest Perspective/Ralph Nader

The rogue regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney—so widely condemned for its unconstitutional, criminal Iraq war, its spying on Americans illegally, its repeated illegal torture practices, its arrests and imprisonment of thousands in this country without charges and its pathological secrecy and corporate corruption—still has not felt the heat of the 800,000 practicing lawyers and their many bar organizations.

Lawyer jokes aside, the first defense outside of government against the rejection of due process, probable cause and habeas corpus should come from the officers of the courts—the attorneys of America. With few exceptions, they have flunked, asleep at the switch or loaded with excuses.

The exceptions are a number of law professors such as David Cole (Georgetown University) and Jonathan Turley (George Washington University) and the magnificent one-year presidency of Michael Greco at the conservative American Bar Association.

Mr. Greco, appalled at the outlaw nature of the Bush White House, now wallowing in the pits of the public opinion polls, organized former counsel to the CIA, the National Security Agency and the FBI, among others, to produce detailed reports and resolutions assailing the Bush government for repeatedly violating the constitution in numerous ways. (http://www.abanet.org/)

Reports were sent to Mr. Bush personally. He did not even bother to acknowledge receipt. The ABA has over 400,000 members and is the largest bar association in the world. Not even a courtesy reply from George Bush, the American Caesar.

Unfortunately, the courage of Greco and his colleagues has not been contagious with hundreds of thousands of lawyers throughout America or the 50 state bar associations who might have taken some action or position to stand after the ABA stood tall in 2005-2006.

Mind you, the climate for lawyers defending the rule of law is quite enabling. Seventy percent of the American people want out of Iraq and nearly as many would like to see this Presidency end. A poll of soldiers in Iraq back in January 2006 registered 72% of them wanting the U.S. out of Iraq within six to twelve months.

In addition, scores of former Generals and high military officers, retired intelligence officials and diplomats have openly criticized the intransigence, incompetence and harm to the U.S. national security. These leaders include the national security advisers to Bush’s father, Brent Snowcroft, the anti-terrorism advisor to George W. Bush, Richard Clark, and many others who served in high government office.

With all this in mind, I have been asking lawyers why they do not become directly active in challenging what they themselves believe is a reckless above-the-law Presidency and its enormous concentration of unlawful power. Here are some examples of their replies.

--real estate attorney with a sterling civil liberties background says “I am just too busy.”

--numerous retired lawyers of considerable accomplishment simply say they are retired.

--mid-career business attorneys say they have too many clients who might object (too much wheeling and dealing to uphold the rule of law in Washington, D.C.).

--public interest lawyers say it is not within their declared mission—eg. environmental, consumer, poverty or law reform work.

--“Too controversial,” and “I’m not up to it,” announced a prominent trial lawyer.

--“I wouldn’t know where to start and I just need my leisure time,” replied a highly specialized estate and trusts attorney.

And so it goes. Too preoccupied, too many deals in the works, too controversial, too retired…

The Democratic leadership in the Congress has given Bush/Cheney a giant nod by taking a pass on holding them accountable through impeachment, through conditions in budget bills, through making them answer subpoenas by playing hardball on Bush’s nominees, such as his new choice for Attorney General.

It is up to the lawyers to rally for the Republic. This is deep patriotism, for without upholding our constitution, and the laws of the land, what will become of our country?

What will our children and their grandchildren inherit—a bankrupt government that contracts out more and more of its core functions to staggeringly expensive giant corporations seeking limitless profits, while they finance and corrupt politicians to turn their back on the peoples’ needs?

Lawyers are supposed to know how to apply law to raw power. They know how to use the courts, lobby (there are hundreds or thousands of attorneys in each of most Congressional Districts). They can cut through the arcane camouflage of legalese. They know when the laws are being violated and what the remedies are for the violators. They know how to draft legislation. They have contacts and money and are not supposed to be frightened of conflict. The super-lawyers invariably get their calls returned.

Where are the lawyers of America?

Two major terrorist strikes, with a messianic, compulsively-obsessed President, can do to America what 9 months of nightly bombing by the Nazis could not do to England—move us much closer to a police state.

Where are the stand-up lawyers of America?

Red River Theatres!

Red River Theatres, the indie cinema recently constructed in downtown Concord, is slated to open next week. The 2008 Leadership Greater Concord class took a tour of the facility earlier today [I was the facilitator for the class this month]. So, I took some pictures. Enjoy. It will be open next week:

Welcome! Here is the lobby of Concord's new indie theatre.

Here is the 48-seat theatre which will host local films, events, and meetings.

During the tour, projectionists were testing the projectors in the 106-seat theatre.

Here is the large 165-seat theatre.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Well, my car brakes work ...

Late last night, on my way home, I took the more residential ride home from the highway and almost struck a deer. It was fairly large with no antlers so it was probably female. However, it was pretty big, at least three-plus feet high.
I saw it out of the corner of my eye and thought I wasn't seeing what I was seeing until it was right in front of my windshield looking at me. Deer in the headlines is a literal term, BTW. I hit the brakes, everything in the car went flying around, but the sound scared the deer enough to move to the side where I just missed her by inches. Thankfully, I was only going about 5 miles an hour above the speed limit and was wearing my safety belt. Otherwise, my brand new Honda Civic would probably be junk scrap and I'd be in the hospital.
Hilariously, my first instinct was to reach for my digital camera to get a picture of the deer but it was tucked away in my computer bag which was lodged beneath the passenger seat. Ah, always the reporter.
Since I know what it is like being in a car which has hit a deer before - my father-in-law and I hit one in upstate New York in September 2005 - you can imagine that I was a bit freaked out. It shook me up, you know, life flashing before your eyes stuff. But I was glad to get in the house, a little less than a half a mile later, to sit down for a few minutes. That was a close one.
So, a warning to everyone in New Hampshire, the deer are out there, especially at night. Be a bit more cautious in your driving and you won't hit them ... and hopefully, they won't hit you either.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Barlett & Steele Awards

I received this email earlier today about these awards. Barlett & Steele are two of the best investigative journalists in the country. Check out their new piece in Vanity Fair about the $12 billion in Iraq which just vanished.


TEMPE, Ariz. -- Reporters at The New York Times and The Sun in Baltimore have been awarded the inaugural Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism, the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism announced today.

“A Toxic Pipeline” by Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker of The Times received the first-place $5,000 award. Their stories documented China’s role in supplying a counterfeit drug ingredient that killed at least 100 people in Panama and is suspected of killing thousands of others around the world.

Their use of first-person interviews and public records to spotlight the issue of Chinese exports of drugs and food has had dramatic international impact, the judges said.

“On Shaky Ground” by Fred Schulte and June Arney of The Sun received the second-place $2,000 award. Their series in December 2006 tracked how Baltimore’s arcane system of property fees initiated in colonial times had evolved into a system of greed and lax oversight that preyed on the poor and elderly.

They assembled a customized electronic database to track hundreds of lawsuits, cases and files. An original, well-presented series focused on the paper’s own back yard and made a difference, said judges.

Receiving honorable mention (listed alphabetically) were:

--Bloomberg Markets, “The Secret World of Modern Slavery” by Michael Smith and David Voreacos.

--The Charlotte Observer, “Sold a Nightmare” by Binyamin Appelbaum, Lisa Hammersley Munn and Ted Mellnik.

--The Toledo Blade, “Business as Usual” by Joshua Boak and Jim Tankersley.

“Response to the inaugural Barlett & Steele Awards was dramatic, with the quality and number of entries a tribute to the dedication of U.S. journalists and publications during a difficult time for the media,” said Andrew Leckey, Director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. “Our panel of respected judges commended the entries and said the selection process required extremely hard choices.”
Biographies of judges and links to the articles are on the BusinessJournalism.org website.
The awards to encourage investigative business journalism are named for the team of Don Barlett and Jim Steele, who won two Pulitzers with The Philadelphia Inquirer and two National Magazine Awards at Time. They have worked together more than three decades and are currently contributing editors to Vanity Fair.
"Don Barlett and I are deeply honored that the Reynolds Center has established this award in our name," said Steele. "But, more importantly, we are gratified that it is providing leadership to recognize and encourage in-depth reporting of business."
The Reynolds Center is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, named in honor of the longtime CBS news anchor, is a leading professional journalism school with 1,700 undergraduate and master's students.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

NH Primary Day should be set for Saturday, Dec. 28, 2007

With all the talk about shifting primary dates, I urge Secretary of State Bill Gardner to make two bold moves: Set the date in 2007 and make Election Day a Saturday. There really are not many options. So, let's go with this one: Saturday, Dec. 28, 2007. This way, the voters can think about things right after the holiday and the campaigns can crash all the great holiday parties. What a way to celebrate. Also, most folks have Saturdays off. So it will be a great opportunity to build community and increase turnout. While we don't want to upset Iowa, the choice is clear. If they want to be before us, let them have their caucus before Christmas, either on Dec. 15 or 22.

Interesting update on toll increase or D*mn them, Part 2

Tom Fahey's column in the New Hampshire Union Leader this morning revealed an interesting part of the new tax increase: The change buckets are going to go. And, guess what will replace them? Yup, 200 new part-time tolltakers. So, let's say, on average that the part-timers make $15,000 per year. That would be another $3 million in expenses. This doesn't include workman's comp expenses or anything else. So, it is safe to estimate that more than 1/5th of the new revenue from the $14 million toll increase will go to new employees, not road repair. What a joke.

It looks like Howie means business

It looks like Howie Carr means business: ["Howie Carr 969"]

Another bumpersticker

Saturday, October 6, 2007

So, was Nader right or wrong?

An interesting little give and take is going on over at the National Association of Manufacturers' blog, ShopFloor.org, which I think it worthy of reposting here, since I'm involved in it.
Earlier this week, Ralph Nader sent me his latest column about an advertising supplement for the NAM published in the WSJ. Since I read the WSJ, I noticed it too, and posted Nader's column happily.
However, over at the NAM, they weren't too happy about the column and they posted this note on their blog: ["How Embarrassing: To Get Basic Facts Wrong"].
Nader's mistakes? It was a four page supplement, not two. And, the NAM claims they didn't "buy" the ad, "It was paid for by ads." There was barely a mention about Nader's main points of the column or the fact that alleged free trade is clobbering the American economy.
I didn't see the blog's post until five days later, after they posted this, upset that I published the Nader column: ["Before Truth Can Get Out of Bed in the Morning"]. Thankfully, a reader from overseas posted a comment taking me to this blog entry. I would not have even noticed it otherwise.
Since my blog was noted on their blog, I responded with some questions of my own:

Hi Carter,

Thanks for the plug about the blog. A few quick questions:

1) "... the NAM did not buy it. It was paid for by the ads" can you clarify please? Did the WSJ invite you to put together a four page supplement in which they would get ads for it, or did you reserve the space and then sell ads for it? If it is the latter, than Ralph would technically be correct: You reserved [bought] the space and then got some other entities to help you pay for it. If it is something else, please explain. Thanks.

2) As we all know, "freedom isn't free" and when it comes to alleged free trade and alleged free markets, there is years and years with of statistical evidence showing that it has been a costly, harmful and expensive for the United States to have as policy. I could go into a bunch of the data, but you already know it.

3) I would contend having been a watcher of the WSJ editorial pages for a bit of time that while they may think their philosophy is "free people, free markets" it is more like "freedom for certain people and certain markets if you can afford it."

The response from Carter was even more enlightening in its curt, short response:
Our advertising practices are the business of the association and its members. Which does not mean free rein to make stuff up about them.
Hmm. Well, OK, he's correct. But he doesn't answer the question. So, I wrote this:
Hi Carter,

Not to be argumentative, but you didn't really answer the question. Of course it is your business but that doesn't mean Mr. Nader made anything up or was inaccurate, as you claim. In fact, knowing a bit about marketing and having worked in media in some way, shape or form now for almost two decades, I would bet that his conclusions were quite accurate and you're just a tad defensive because he called your org on it. Since you won't answer my question - for obvious, understandable reasons - you can't really back up what your saying. At the same time, simply answering the question would really enlighten people to how such supplements come together. Personally, whether I agree with the information or not, they are a great marketing tool for getting your company's [or association's] points across.

I think in the future, before you tarnish someone like Ralph Nader, a hero to many and, frankly, a champion of American manufacturing and workers, with accusations on your blog, maybe you should either be prepared to back them up, or just let it go.

Thanks for the convo and I look forward to continuing to read your blog ... since I too care about American manufacturing and workers.
They haven't cleared the post yet for publication but I will be interested to see what the response is.
The NAM blog is actually a pretty interesting read, with all kinds of details about American manufacturing. So, I'm glad to have discovered it even if it was this way. But it would be nice to see the NAM start to worry about some of their political positions and how they are harming American manufacturing and American workers. The two, as well as the health of the overall country, are tied hand in hand.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Browns have been arrested

WCVB-TV is reporting that Ed and Elaine Brown have been taken into custody without incident.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ron Paul: The $5M Man

GOP Texas Rep. Ron Paul is the story tonight. In third quarter fund-raising, he raised more than $5 million - double what he did last quarter and more than the more "serious" candidates. Paul is getting a lot of respectful press today. But there is still some of the disrespect directed at him, despite the fact that he is raising pretty big money: ["Too many talkers"]

Here are some fund-raising numbers:

Clinton: $22 million
Obama: $19 million
Edwards: $7 million
Richardson: $5.2 million
Biden: $2 million
Dodd: $1.5 million

Giuliani: $11 million
Romney: $10 million [est.]
Thompson: $9.3 million
McCain: $6 million
Paul: $5.1 million
Huckabee: $1 million

Romney also kicked another $8.5 million in personal funds into his coffers. He now has $9 million on hand, which means he is blowing through almost as much money as he is raising.

The Best Editorials Money Can Buy

Guest Perspective/Ralph Nader

On September 26, 2007, the powerful National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) bought two pages in the Wall Street Journal to tout a prosperous, expanding group of member-companies producing products.

It occurred to me as I began the copy, that the NAM rarely bought expensive space like this in the Journal. Then after going through NAM’s introductory message, I realized why they purchased the ad. Month after month in hundreds of loyal editorials, the Journal’s editorial writers already have been conveying the cravings and demands of this trade association.

The parallels between this revenue-producing two page spread and the Journal’s opinion scribes, in contrast to its often sterling news pages, are the stuff of the corporate state.

The editorials argue for more “clean” coal and nuclear power and emphasize expanding production of U.S. oil and natural gas with a token tip to renewables (with plenty of taxpayer subsidies).

So does the NAM.

NAM wants more so-called “free trade” agreements without recognizing, at the very least, that there can be no “free trade” with dictatorships like China. Dictatorial, oligarchic regimes determine wages, prevent free trade unions, and otherwise through grease and no-rule-of-law or access to justice, obstruct market-based costs and pricing.

So do the Journal’s editorial writers.

In scores of frenzied editorials, the Journal assails tort law, tort attorneys and “unreasonable awards.” Having read just about all these advertiser-friendly diatribes, I have yet to discern any data to back up their flood of declamations about “frivolous” litigation and “wild” awards.

Neither did the NAM produce any evidence about “lawsuit abuse” because the evidence points to declining product defect and malpractice suits, notwithstanding that 90% of these injured people suffer without any legal claims filed on their behalf. (See: http://www.centerjd.org/ and http://www.citizen.org/)

The Journal’s rigid ideologues demand less regulation (read less law and order for corporations) and the weakening of the Sarbanes-Oxley law enacted to modestly deal with part of the corporate crime wave of the past decade.

So does the NAM.

The NAM wants further reduction of the already reduced corporate tax rate and more taxpayer pay-out to corporations, including super-profitable ones like Intel, GE, Cisco and Pfizer. These latter windfalls are called research and development tax credits. How many Americans know that they are paying these and other super-profitable companies more money to make still more profits? Cisco does not even pay dividends.

So also demands the big business echo chamber on the Journal’s editorial pages.

The Journal has been campaigning for years to end the estate tax which is so diluted that less than 2 percent of all estates have to pay anything to Uncle Sam. Conservative Republican wordsmith, Frank Luntz, in a moment of abandon, called lobbying an effort to end “the billionaires tax.”

The NAM wants an end to the estate tax, even though none of its corporate-members ever has to pay an estate tax. For good measure, NAM wants to keep the maximum tax rates on investment income and capital gains at a level half of a worker’s maximum tax rate. Far lower taxes on capital than on labor suits the NAM three-piece-suits just fine.

The Journal is for brain-draining the Third World. Drain those critical doctors, nurses, scientists, engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs from Asia, Africa and South America. Give them permanent visas and then wonder why those countries are having trouble fielding the skilled leaders needed to develop their own economies. It is easier than training talented minority youths in our country.

The NAM ad calls for “reform of the visa system to attract and retain global talent.”

And so it goes. Such a symbiotic relationship! Big business members of NAM pour millions of dollars in ads daily into the Wall Street Journal. In return, the dutiful and gleeful editorial writers deliver the screeds that caress the brows and deepen the pockets of the CEOs.

There is another recurrent message in the insistent materials of NAM and its comrade-in-greed, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Enough is never enough.

For over a quarter century, there has been more and more de-regulation (electricity, motor vehicles, coal, drugs, nuclear, occupational safety, pollution, aviation, rail, truck antitrust and more) with detriment to the health, safety and economic well-being of the American people. Still not enough, they say!

In the same period, you the taxpayer have been forced to have your tax dollars pour out of Washington and into the coffers of Big Business in a myriad of ways. Hundreds of billions of your dollars. Not enough, they say! They roar for more coddling.

You want chapter and verse, evidence and data? Get ready to read Free Lunch, a riveting new book by the Pulitzer-prize winning tax reporter for The New York Times, David Cay Johnston. It will be out in about two months. Just in time for your gift-giving season.

D*mn them!

The New Hampshire Union Leader is reporting that the tolls are going to be raised on state turnpikes. Pathetic.
Update: Deb Pignatelli, D-Nashua, was the only EC member to vote against the toll hikes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yeah, but I had it first!!

The Web was all abuzz yesterday and today about Duncan Hunter's Web site being hacked. Apparently, the hacker is a big deal in Turkey, since I've seen a burst of traffic from that country during the past 24 hours. As I previously reported, I had it on the Web first so hah, hah. :-) Some bloggers got it around 10 a.m. and ABC News had something up at 11 a.m. Yeah, I know. I just happened to be up at that hour looking at sites. But still - I got the news on the Web first. Yeah baby!

Monday, October 1, 2007

EXCLUSIVE: Duncan Hunter Web site hacked?!

While perusing presidential campaign Web sites this morning, looking for end of third quarter financing statements, I came upon Rep. Duncan Hunter's Web site and it looks like it has been hacked. The following came up on the screen, below the site's masthead:
"HACKED BY ADANALI f0r TurkStorm[dot]Org" and then below that it stated "No WAR!" Below that, there pictures of two Middle Eastern children with what looked like war wounds, stating "Savasa Hayr! no war!"
I tried to figure out how to save the page but I couldn't make it work. I will have to teach myself how to do this in the future. It is doubtful that this was approved of by the Hunter campaign considering his gung-ho support for the alleged War on Terror.

Update: I'm putting "EXCLUSIVE" in the headline because it looks like I'm the only one who has spotted this, according to a number of searches I've attempted.