Friday, August 31, 2007

The Cost Of College Continues To Escalate

The senior year of high school signifies a turning point in many students lives. For parents, their child's senior year can be dreadful as it comes with mounting pressure about tuition costs and if they can afford to send their beloved kid to the four-year institution of their choice.

Millions of parents are ultimately forced to apply for financial aid every year and the majority do not receive adequate support from the federal or state government. It's essential to find ways to ensure that students have the access and availability to the necessary aid they need. In my opinion, the formulas currently employed are flawed and not beneficial to the child or their parents.

Last year, the average student came short by $9,000 in meeting tuition requirements. It's a disgrace to not allow kids to attend college because of the inability to meet financial needs. The message we are projecting to them is that it's ok to take out loans and incur staggering debt at such an early age.

During the course of the next ten years, 90% of individuals will not have the qualifications for jobs without any higher education. Although a debate continues to rage on in the entrepreneurial world about the importance of attending college, it is imperative for all students to capitalize on their intellectual ability and seek the next level of education.

In order to entice more children to attend college, governments around the world need to build in an incentive to students earlier in school and especially in their wasted senior year. It took me by surprise when I read that a mere 7% of kids in India go onto higher education. Just think about how small an amount that is when India has the second largest population in the world.

According to Vermont senator Bernie Sanders (I), the average student graduate from law school in his state leaves with an insurmountable debt of $100,000. To think that after receiving an education a student is strapped with a six figure debt is plain inexcusable. The message colleges are sending is that you graduate, pay back your debt and then have no avenue for advancement. America, is this the society you want to live in?

Same-Sex Couples Can Marry In Iowa

On Thursday, an Iowa district court laid down a landmark decision when they declared that same-sex couples are permitted to marry in their state. Back in December of 2005 six couples claimed that they were being denied their constitutional right of equal protection that is afforded to them in their state's constitution.

Not only does the supreme law of the land, the constitution, apply to all Iowans, but the 14th amendment of the federal constitution states that equal opportunity under the law must be afforded to all. That statement is something I bring up in all arguments when people attempt to tell me that lesbians and gays should not be delegated the same rights that heterosexuals have.

In my opinion, denying any person the right to wed and live a fulfilling life where they are not given equal rights is reprehensible, and it only exacerbates the essential things that are inadequate in our country. First and foremost, how can the United States of America be taken seriously by other developed nations when we are disrespectful, disingenuous, hurtful, abusive and flat out rude to our own citizens.

What difference does their sexual orientation make to you? Maybe if Americans knew that the same percent of homosexuals in this country are also straight they would change their perceptions and opinions about gays and lesbians. It might be troubling to believe, but ten percent of Americans are homosexual and ten percent are heterosexual. The remaining eighty percent are bisexual.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

2008 Democratic Presidential Race - Iowa Polling Confusion

According to, two new Iowa polls show a very close race but with two different leaders. Here's what they write:

Two new polls of "likely Democratic caucus goers" conducted over the last ten days that show very different results. The American Research Group (ARG) survey (conducted 8/26-29, n=600) shows Hillary Clinton (with 28%) leading Barack Obama (23%) and John Edwards (20%). And a new survey from Time/SRBI (conducted 8/22-26, n=519, Time story, SRBI results) shows essentially the opposite, Edwards (with 29%) leading Clinton (24%) and Obama (22%).

The article goes on to complain about the lack of disclosure of methodology used in the polls, and then praises the Time poll for disclosure:

The sample source was a list of registered Democratic and Independent voters in Iowa provided by Voter Contact Services. These registered voters were screened to determine their likelihood of attending the 2008 Iowa Democratic caucuses.
Likely voters included in the sample included those who said they were
100% certain that they would attend the Iowa caucuses, OR
probably going to attend and reported that they had attended a previous Iowa caucus.
The margin of error for the entire sample is approximately +/- 5 percentage points. The margin of error is higher for subgroups. Surveys are subject to other error sources as well, including sampling coverage error, recording error, and respondent error.
Data were weighted to approximate the 2004 Iowa Democratic Caucus "Entrance Polls," conducted January 19, 2004.

Turnout in primary elections and caucuses tends to be low, with polls at this early stage generally overestimating attendance.
The sample included cell phone numbers, which, to the extent SRBI was able to identify them, were dialed manually.

I emailed Schulman to ask about the incidence and he quickly replied with a "back of the envelope" calculation: Their sample of 519 likely caucus goers represents roughly 12% of eligible adults in Iowa (details on the jump), exactly the same
percentage as obtained by the recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, but higher than the reported 2004 Democratic caucus turnout (5.5% of eligible adults). Keep in mind, however, that the ABC/Post poll used a random digit dial methodology and screened from the population of all Iowa adults.

Keep in mind that these polls make calls to landlines and not cell-phones. I decided to check on articles related to the matter of cell phones and polls, and found one by the Pew Research Center that reported only 7 percent of the population was "cell-phone only" -- but that was in 2005. A more recent study of this year now reports that estimate to be up to 16 percent, more than double the count in just two years. Thus, I argue that with such a rate of growth, the cell-phone only population will be up to about 25 percent -- one quater of the population -- by election year 2008.

The Pew report explains that the exclusion of cell phones in 2005 probably renders a poll in error by one-percent. But considering that rate and this population increase, it's reasonable to argue that the polls are inaccuate by as much as 4 percent. If you add the error term of 5 percent in the case of the Time Iowa poll, it means a whopping 9 percent error, basically making the Iowa Democratic race impossible to call.

Stay tuned for my video on this.

Embattled Idaho Senator Larry Craig Faces Opposition From Own Party

Senator Larry Craig (R) of Idaho is currently facing fierce opposition from Presidential candidates John McCain, Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans in congress over his admittance of guilt to a disorderly conduct charge steaming from an awkward encounter with a male police officer in a Minnesota airport bathroom.

The final straw was delivered Monday afternoon when he discussed his sexual orientation during an infamous news conference in Boise when he claimed ''I am not gay and, have never been gay.'' His statement has construed political backlash from his colleagues who are calling for his resignation due to the shame and negativity he has brought to the Republican party.

The senior senator from Idaho had the opportunity to declare his innocence in front of a judge, but opted to plead guilty to what is a ridiculous charge. From the audio tape there was no concise statement from him admitting to any wrong doing, and most likely if he had fought the charge he would have been victorious. The unfortunate part of this case is that the senator is extremely frightened to come out of the closet and inside he must be going through hell.

Free WiFi In San Francisco Dormant - Earthlink Deal Off The Table

According to the SF Chron,...

"Mayor Gavin Newsom's high-profile effort to blanket San Francisco with a free wireless Internet network died Wednesday when provider EarthLink backed out of a proposed contract with the city.

The contract, which was three years in the making, had run into snags with the Board of Supervisors, but ultimately it was undone when Atlanta-based EarthLink announced Tuesday that it no longer believed providing citywide Wi-Fi was economically viable for the company."

Perhaps this opens the door for Google.

Republicans Ask Larry Craig To Step Down

He's got to give up his committee assignments, according to CNN, Huff Post, and other news outlets. But as this story unfolds, I predict he'll step down before the end of the year.

Larry Craig's become the poster child for hypocritical behavior. And his poor wife's being dragged through this. That's terrible to watch.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Furious Seasons Says Owen Wilson Was On Anti-Depressants

The blog Furious Seasons Says Owen Wilson Was On Anti-Depressants at the time of his suicide attempt. Whatever the case, my prayers for this talented man who seemed to have the World on a string.

GOP Full OF Larry Craigs - Sex Scandals And Republicans

Craig just the latest politician to embarrass the GOP
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Printable Version
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(08-29) 04:00 PDT Washington --

Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, was at a dinner in Philadelphia Monday night when his cell phone and Internet pager began beeping like crazy. Only later did he learn why: His party was being rocked by a sex scandal involving a Republican U.S. senator - again.
Just when Republicans thought things couldn't get any worse, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho confirmed that he had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct after an undercover police officer accused him of soliciting sex in a Minneapolis airport bathroom in June.
On Tuesday, Craig held a press conference to defend himself, calling the guilty plea a mistake and declaring "I am not gay" - even as the Senate Republican leadership asked for an ethics committee review.
It was a bizarre spectacle, and only the latest in a string of alleged sexual foibles and alleged financial misdeeds that have landed Republicans in the political equivalent of purgatory: the realm of late-night comic TV.
Forget Mark Foley, who quit the House last year after exchanging sexually explicit e-mails with underage male pages, or Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist whose dealings with the old Republican Congress landed him in prison. They are old news, replaced by a fresh crop of scandal-plagued Republicans, men like Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, whose phone number turned up on the list of the "D.C. Madam," or Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska and Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona, both caught up in FBI corruption probes.
It's enough to make a self-respecting Republican want to tear his hair out in frustration.
"The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness," Reed, sounding exasperated, said Tuesday. "You can't make this stuff up. And the impact this is having on the grass roots around the country is devastating. Republicans think the governing class in Washington are a bunch of buffoons who have total disregard for the principles of the party, the law of the land and the future of the country."
Then again, Washington does not have a monopoly on the latest trend among Republicans. Just ask Thomas Ravenel, the state treasurer of South Carolina, who had to step down as state chairman of Ru dy Giuliani's presidential campaign after he was indicted on cocaine charges in June.
Or Bob Allen, a state representative in Florida who was jettisoned from John McCain's campaign last month after he was arrested on charges of soliciting sex in a public restroom.
Republicans, of course, do not have an exclusive hold on scandal. As Democrats accused Republicans of engaging in a culture of corruption during the 2006 mid-term elections, Republicans eagerly put the spotlight on Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who stashed $90,000 in his freezer - ill-gotten gains, the authorities said.
Still, there is sort of a "here we go again" sense among Republicans these days, especially since news of Craig's arrest broke Monday afternoon. It's tough enough being in the minority, weighed down by the burden of the war in Iraq. Now Republicans have an even more pressing task: keeping their party from being portrayed not just as hypocritical and out of touch with the values of people they represent, but also as a laughingstock - amid headlines like "Senator's Bathroom Bust," which ran all afternoon Tuesday on CNN.
Because President Bush is hobbled by his own political difficulties and the need to parry assaults on the White House by Democrats, the party can hardly look to him to lead them out of the morass.
John Feehery, who was press secretary to Rep. Dennis Hastert when Hastert was the House speaker, likened the situation to a football team having a run of bad luck during a rough game.
"If we had a coach," Feehery said, "the coach would take us in the locker room and scream at us."
Some Republicans are indeed screaming, particularly the party's social conservative wing, which places a high priority on ethics and family values.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative lobby in Washington, said the elections of November 2006, in which Republicans lost control of both the House and the Senate, proved that voters want politicians in Washington to clean up their act.
"Exit polls show that was the No. 1 factor in depressing Republican enthusiasm," Perkins said Tuesday. "There is an expectation that leaders who espouse family values will live by those values. And while the values voters don't demand perfection, I do believe they want leaders with integrity."

Hillary Clinton Backs National Smoking Ban - Cig Smoking George Burns Pissed! - NY Post

I think it's one thing to promote anti-cancer awareness, but quite another to back a national smoking ban. I mean, look. Why is it that the late commedian George Burns lived to the ripe age of 99 drinking and smoking cigars along the way?

I don't regularly smoke at all, but I have a cigar once a year to celebrate my annual trip to the NFL Draft. Ok, maybe twice or three times a year. But that's it. But I love having the choice!

Here's the story...

By GEOFF EARLE Post Correspondent

Speaks at cancer forum.

August 28, 2007 -- WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton lavished praise on New York City's tough anti-smoking laws yesterday - and said she supports smoking bans in public places across the country.
Asked at an Iowa forum on cancer whether banning smoking in public places would be good for America, Clinton replied, "Well, personally, I think so. And that's what a lot of local communities and states are starting to do."
Clinton noted that when New York's smoking ban was being considered, critics claimed, "Oh, that's the end of, you know, the bars and restaurants in New York City."
But she boasted, "We are now having more business than ever before, because a lot of people who stayed away from going out are now going out again, because they feel like they can enjoy their time outside."
Asked whether the feds should impose a nationwide ban, Clinton deferred to local governments.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tim Couch Reportedly Linked To Steriods and HGH

By David

According to Yahoo! Sports columnist Josh Peter, former first overall pick Tim Couch utilized anabolic steroids and human growth hormone to aid in his attempted return to the National Football League.

Like many pro athletes, Couch enlisted the help of banned substances, namely HGH, to assist and facilitate his recovery process from injury. He admitted to Yahoo! Sports that for a short period of time he used HGH to see how much it would help him recover from shoulder surgery.

By all indications the illegal performance enhancing drug did not do much good as Couch continues to struggle to revitalize what was once a promising career.

A confidential source told the website that he witnessed Couch being injected with steroids, but the quarterback denies ever the claim. The substances Couch supposedly used are banned by the league and any offender caught using them usually faces a one month suspension, if not more.

After a five-year stint with the Cleveland Browns, Couch signed with the Packers in 2004 and was released before the regular season began. His attempted comeback with the Jaguars did not last long as he was released earlier this month, and it now seems highly unlikely that the former Kentucky star will re-surface ever again with an NFL team.

Lance Briggs Crashes Luxary Vehicle and Faces Minor Repercussions

By David

Chicago Bears All-Pro linebacker Lance Briggs foolishly crashed his $350,000 Lamborghini Murceilago on the Edens Expressway just after 3 A.M. Monday morning. Initially Briggs called police to say that his sports car was stolen, but later confessed that he had severely damaged it himself and no one else was involved in the wreck.

Briggs posted $100 bond yesterday and was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident and was handed two traffic violations. At his October 4th court date it's very unlikely that the defensive star will be slapped with any jail time, although the charge does carry up to a maximum of one-year in prison.

This latest incident in what has been a circus of events over the past several months with the defending NFC champions got me thinking what was Briggs doing with his expensive vehicle in the wee hours of the morning? If practice begins at 8 A.M. for the team why is their premier linebacker out so late? What is even more puzzling to me is why head coach Lovie Smith did not institute a curfew for the players.

After the embarrassing events that played out in the Tank Johnson case, why has management not taken it upon themselves to restore some sense of sanity and order with the club. This incident sends a negative message to children and adults that it is permissible to crash your vehicle, leave the scene of an accident, be charged with a misdemeanor and not face any punishment from your employer.

Larry Craig - Barney Frank Attacks Republicans For Being Hypocritical On Gays

This is a classic exchange I saw over at Wonkette, and will repeat here in the form of the YouTube video that caused the post. Here it is:

This was uploaded in October of 2006, proving how much of an impact YouTube itself is having on politics because its developing into a kind of cultural archive.

Here's the story of what Larry Craig supposedly did according to

WASHINGTON (CNN) – CNN has obtained the June 11, 2007 police report detailing Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's disorderly conduct arrest in an airport bathroom.

In the report, the arresting officer alleges that Craig lingered outside a restroom stall where the officer was sitting, then entered the stall next door and blocked the stall door with his luggage. (Read the report [PDF])

According to the report, Craig tapped his right foot, which the officer said he recognized "as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct."

"Craig tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot," the report states. "I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area."

At that point, the officer said he put his police identification down by the floor so Craig could see it, and informed the senator that he was under arrest, before any sexual contact took place.

Craig, who agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct, denied to the officer he was engaging in any inappropriate activity.

According to the report, Craig told the police that "he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine [the officer's]." - ROARING Sound On J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield Monstrous Movie Website

Yep. Now, there a monstrous ROAR that plays on the website for J.J. Abrams monster movie and after about six to 15 minutes of time. Actually it took 20 minutes for me; I forgot about it by the time it happened!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ann Coulter - Devil Woman Wrecks John Edwards' Campaign

Senator Edwards was front runner in 2006 for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Campaign. Edwards polling has dropped – behind Clinton and Obama now


Ann Coulter

Coulter – The Devil Woman – has done harm by her comments about Edwards, but only because Edwards paid attention to them.

How did this start?

Her comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference where she used the F Word He responded in kind, calling her a “She Devil” which is just like being a devil woman

Liz Edwards jumps in calling Coulter while Ann’s on The Hardball Show. All of this has helped Ann’s visibility – she gets on Good Morning America and other shows talking about this and continuing the feud. She’s supposed to do this – she’s a pundit.

Now Ann’s brave and effective. She’s smart, attractive, and engaging. But she’s also skinny. Ann, you need to go to the gym, lift some free weights, and come out looking like Female Bodybuilder Christine Roth! Then you can make those pugilistic comments of yours without fear.

Now as for Edwards – or the Edwards family – they’ve hurt his chance to be president by rolling in the mud with Ann. Edwards has even used her videos making fun of him as part of his campaign fundraising strategy.

Didn’t work.

Why? Because on balance many people don’t care about what Ann says or know who she is. But they see a presidential candidate lowering himself to take her on and say “He doesn’t look Presidential” and they’re right!

You don’t see Senator Barack Obama or Senator Hillary Clinton commenting on Ann. Former President Clinto ignored her and she used the f-term to describe him.

But not the Edwards.

Indeed, John and Liz have developed a track record of arguing with pundits and making statement that don’t sound like things a presidential candidate should say. Let’s take Liz Statement about John being White and Male as a handicap in his run.

Bad form. It seemed like it was fine when he was ahead. I like Liz – she’s battling breast cancer as did my Mom, who’s won the fight! But still it wasn’t a dignified, presidential comment.

The Edwards’ have harmed themselves by forming an image that’s more in line with attacking a Devil Woman, but not one appropriate for President of The United States. Leave the Devil Woman alone – she’s gonna get you!

Commissioner Goodell -- Press Conference at Cleveland Browns Training Camp

Commissioner Goodell -- Press Conference at Cleveland Browns Training Camp
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference
Cleveland Browns Training Camp – Berea, OH
August 16, 2007

Let me just make a couple quick comments. I was in Detroit earlier this morning so this is just part of our training camp tour, getting a chance to talk to the players and coaches. I had a chance to meet with [Browns Senior Vice President, Business Operations] Mike [Keenan], [Browns General Manager/Senior Vice President] Phil [Savage] and [Browns Head Coach] Romeo [Crennel] this afternoon privately and then I met with the players just a few minutes ago. It’s been a very productive trip.

(On the message he is trying to communicate to the players)- “The primary message is that they are responsible, as NFL players, to this community as Cleveland Browns and to the organization, to their teammates and to themselves and their families. We have resources available to them, the things that we are doing to try and help them make better decisions and the things we are doing in respect to player safety. We had a particular discussion on concussions and some of the things we have done in the offseason to address that. We have been reaching out for players input and we’ll continue to do that and we encourage them to do that.”

(On whether he feels like he has the players attention going in as his ‘actions speak louder than his words’)- “Well, I think actions always speak louder than words and I think that is true for the players. Their words don’t mean as much as their actions and that is how people are going to judge them. I think they understand that and I think they are taking the appropriate precautions and taking advantage of the resources to help them make better decisions.”

(On how much time he spends monitoring the ‘health’ of each individual franchise and how ‘healthy’ of a franchise Cleveland is)- “Getting around and seeing the other franchises is helpful but having spent a great deal of time here in the mid-90’s, I know the passionate fan base they have here. I’ve never seen more passionate fans than Browns fans. I think this franchise has a great facility now, a great fan base and the team is doing all the right things to build a terrific franchise here. I think it is a very positive story for us.”

(On whether the NFL changed any of its policies in lieu of the NBA betting scandal)- “We always monitor that very closely and we have, what we think are policies and procedures that are second to none. Like anything, we look to improve them on a constant basis. If there are things that can be done better, we are certainly going to do that. The evaluation that our officials go through, the monitoring that they go through, we think that our officials are held to a very, very high standard and we are obviously very confident that is not occurring at the NFL level. You want to continue to do that because the integrity of the sport is critical and you want to be able to make sure that our officials understand that they are going to be held to that standard.”

(On how many questions the Browns players asked him during their meeting)- “Six or seven.”

(On whether that is a typical amount)- “It’s actually quite good in the sense that I think they felt comfortable enough to ask questions and they were direct questions, questions that are of great interest to them. I think that is terrific.”

(On what he told the players about concussions)- “That we did a lot of work in the offseason. That we had all of our medical teams and people outside of the NFL - some that have been critical, or some that may not have just agreed with some of the procedures that we have had – come together and try and share our learning’s on this. We made a number of changes on this in the offseason, including all players are going to be tested – neuropsychological testing to determine a baseline for each of the players. No players are going to go back into a game, or a practice, until their asymptomatic. We’re also looking at return to play, and if a player is deemed unconscious by the medical team, they won’t return into that game, which is a new twist also. We’re taking a very cautious, conservative approach. We’re continuing to study, we’re continuing to learn and we’re continuing to the lead the way in some of the things that are being determined about concussions.”

(On how hard it is to detect HGH and how widespread a problem he thinks steroid use is)- “Well, there is no test for HGH, but there is also a question of whether HGH has a performance benefit. We are working, and have worked with other leagues and other authorities to try and determine a test so that we can detect that. On steroids, I don’t think that it’s a big issue in our league. Our testing program is so comprehensive – we do over 12,000 tests – which is an extraordinary amount of tests, far more than any other league. We feel that testing program is so comprehensive, along with the education and there’s the fact that the players don’t want it in the game.”

(On whether it is surprising that guys still test positive)- “No, I think potentially that if you didn’t have any positive tests maybe your testing program wasn’t very good. You could take that side of it also. I think the fact that we have a testing program – you’re always going to have people who are going to look for an edge. And some will do it unconsciously. They think they’re taking something appropriate and then they realize there was something in there that they shouldn’t have in their bodies. That can happen and it does happen. But you’re responsible for what is in your body.”

(On whether he thinks his message has been heard by the Bengals as it relates to some of their off-field situations)- “I don’t think it is specific to any one team. I think it is all 32 clubs. All the players, coaches, owners and executives recognize that we needed to raise the standards and I think that has been accepted. I think it is being supported by all those parties, and most importantly our fans.”

(On whether he feels like he has the players support during his training camp trip tour) – “I do, because again, we have a limited number of players that get into those kinds of issues. We have 2,000 players. I’m proud of our players. I’m proud of what they do in the communities and on the field. I think more has to be discussed on that. We have always talked about the game – having the focus stay on football. We’re here now and its football time. We’re here at training camp and we can get the focus back on football.”

(On whether the players have noticed the difference in the treatment of concussions) – “I don’t know. You’d have to ask the players about that. I know our medical teams are very well educated on this. I think they are taking a very conservative approach to this and our statistics show they have been. That’s what we want to ensure – our players safety.”

(On his decision to ‘drag QB Brady Quinn out of the spotlight’ on draft day) – “It actually began the day before when a couple of players asked if I had any advice. I told them that in reality, one of the five was going to be the last one selected and it’s going to be difficult and will seem difficult for a long period of time. But when you look back at it several years later, it won’t be that big of an issue. I think the focus on that wasn’t right. It’s not why we ask players to come to the draft. I thought it was appropriate to bring him in and let him sit, and to see what happens with his family.”

(On whether he is interested to see what kind of NFL quarterback Quinn is) – “I sure am.”

(On whether the NFL pays attention to the marketing value of a player) – “We don’t look at marketing value. We recognize the players. That’s why people follow the game – the great players and great coaches and the game of football itself. When you have players that come into the franchise and lead the hope of the franchise, being the future quarterback for the next generation – it’s a great thing. I think seeing the reaction to the draft the Browns had was something that gave everyone more hope in the Browns passionate fan base.”

(On whether he is concerned by the perception the players had of him when he became commissioner) – “No, but I do think that people can get a misperception when people don’t get a chance to hear or talk to me. I reached out to a very broad spectrum of players – rookies to 15-year-veterans – to find out what was going on. We really spent a great deal of time receiving input into the personal conduct policy from players so that we were making the appropriate changes. And I think they respect that.”

(On his opinion of rookie holdouts) – “I think it does hurt the team and the player. I think it hurts the fans and that’s the unfortunate part. It’s difficult to make up time when you miss it in training camp. That’s one of the issues we’ve talked about with the union in negotiations and I think it will be clearly one of the things we talk about when we sit down to discuss changes to the system – what can be done to eliminate players, particularly rookies, from holding out of training camp.”

(On the experience of helping bring back the Browns franchise to Cleveland) – “It was a very difficult period for the fans of Cleveland and was a difficult period for the NFL. Obviously, the first several months were particularly difficult for all of us, but then we realized that we could make this happen. All of the momentum started to build and I think ultimately, we came up with a good solution. You realize how important the franchise is to that community when something like that happens and it’s devastating. We’re glad now that it’s part of history and the Browns are here now.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments regarding the Michael Vick situation:

(On the league’s position on the ongoing investigation surrounding Falcons QB Michael Vick)- “First, as it relates to dog fighting, the league finds it despicable, incomprehensible that it even happens, much less an NFL player being charged with potentially being involved in some way. We are doing our own review. There are a lot of discussion going on between Michael and his legal team. We will probably be meeting with them sometime in the next week to 10 days and be able to make some decisions from our standpoint. Part of this is to respect the legal process that he is going through and make sure that we don’t interfere with the federal authorities on this.”

(On a story that said Vick’s legal team is consulting with the league before he agreed to any plea bargain)- “That is not correct.”

(On whether they have discussed a potential suspension in advance of a plea bargain)- “No. We are going to make our decision once we have all the facts.”

(On whether Vick accepting a plea bargain is an admittance that he initially lied to the league on the matter)- “Again, that is a hypothetical to some extent because it depends what he pleads to. That is why we would like to wait and allow the plea to either happen, or not happen and then make our determination from that standpoint.”

(On how big of an issue the gambling side of the Vick situation is)- “It’s certainly an issue and that is one of the things – law enforcement may be concerned about some certain things and we may be concerned about other aspects of this. I think that is why we want to evaluate what the government has. We don’t know all of the facts on that. Michael’s team may not know all the facts at this point in time.”

(On whether he expects any sort of backlash from fans if the Vick situation turns into the ‘worst case scenario’)- “Well, that’s a hypothetical which I’m not sure what the outcomes are.”

(On how difficult it is to be commissioner with this problem on the table)- “I think it is obviously something that is resonating with the general public and with us. I think the statistics we heard from our partners at the ASPCA is that 65 percent of households have a pet. I’m a pet lover myself so it is incomprehensible that a player is being charged with that. On the other hand, they are charges at this point in time and Michael Vick is not performing in the NFL right now and we are dealing with this aggressively. I think the public understands that and I think our fans understand that in no way do we accept anyone who is involved with dog fighting. We are going to deal with this aggressively.”

(On players in other sports being allowed to continue to play while they faced serious charges and why he felt this situation was different)- “I don’t run the other leagues. I run the National Football League and that’s my job. I felt that under the current circumstances that it was best for Michael Vick to focus on his legal defense and for the Falcons to focus on getting ready for the season.”

Related Links: PDF Version

Michael Vick Pleads Guilty Today - Sad Day - ESPN

Vick to be sentenced Dec. 10 after guilty plea news services
Updated: August 27, 2007, 12:32 PM ET

RICHMOND, Va. -- Michael Vick pleaded guilty Monday to a federal dogfighting charge and awaits a Dec. 10 sentencing date that could send the NFL star to prison.

In a statement before the media, Vick said he took full responsibility for his actions. He concluded by saying: "I will redeem myself. I have to."

"First, I want to apologize for all the things that I have done and I have allowed to happen. I want to personally apologize to Commissioner Goodell, Arthur Blank, coach Bobby Petrino, and my Atlanta Falcons teammates, for I was not honest and forthright in our discussions," Vick said.

"I was ashamed and totally disappointed in myself, to say the least. I want to apologize to all the young kids out there for my immature acts. What I did was very immature, so that means I need to grow up."

Vick said he now has renounced dogfighting and has found religion as a result of the federal charges. "Dogfighting is a terrible thing. I reject it," he said.

"I totally ask for forgiveness and understanding as I move forward to better Michael Vick the person, not the football player," Vick said.

"I take full responsibility for my actions … I am totally responsible."

The plea by the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback was accepted by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, who asked: "Are you entering the plea of guilty to a conspiracy charge because you are in fact guilty?"

Vick replied, "Yes, sir."

Hudson emphasized he is not bound by sentencing guidelines and can impose the maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.

"You're taking your chances here. You'll have to live with whatever decision I make," Hudson said.

In his written plea filed in federal court Friday, Vick admitted helping kill six to eight pit bulls and supplying money for gambling on the fights. He said he did not personally place any bets or share in any winnings.

The NFL suspended him indefinitely and without pay Friday after his plea agreement was filed. Merely associating with gamblers can trigger a lifetime ban under the league's personal conduct policy.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Vick stands to lose approximately $100 million because of his conviction.

Federal prosecutors recommended 12-18 months in prison.

"A first-time offender might well receive no jail time for this offense," U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg said in a statement. "We thought, however, that the conduct in this conspiracy was heinous, cruel and inhumane" so three of the four defendants, including Vick, should receive harsher sentences.

The first defendant to plead guilty left the conspiracy in 2004 and is not as culpable, he said.

The case began in late April when authorities conducting a drug investigation of Vick's cousin raided the former Virginia Tech star's rural Surry County property and seized dozens of dogs, some injured, and equipment commonly used in dogfighting.

Vick's plea came hours before the Falcons are scheduled to play an exhibition game at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. This will be the first chance for the team to see what effect Vick's case has on attendance at the Georgia Dome. Vick wears the biggest-selling jersey in team history and is given much credit for the team's 51 consecutive sellouts.

After initially denying his involvement, Vick has said little publicly about the case. Privately, he met with Goodell and Falcons owner Arthur Blank when the investigation was just beginning, and almost certainly lied to both.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Alberto Gonsales Resigns - Power-Mad AG Let Position Go To His Head - SFGate and AP

There's an old saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I'll amend that to read that the desire for absolute power also corrupts absolutely. That was the case with AG Gonsales.

Officials Say Gonzales Has Resigned
Monday, August 27, 2007

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(08-27) 07:17 PDT Waco, Texas (AP)

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned, officials said Monday, ending a monthslong standoff with critics who questioned his honesty and competence at the helm of the Justice Department.
Republicans and Democrats alike had demanded his resignation over the botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firings of U.S. attorneys, but President Bush had defiantly stood by his Texas friend until accepting his resignation Friday, according to senior administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Justice Department planned a news conference for 10:30 a.m. EDT, in Washington. Bush planned to discuss Gonzales' departure at his Crawford, Texas, ranch shortly thereafter.
Solicitor General Paul Clement will be acting attorney general until a replacement is found, said the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the announcement.
Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff was among those mentioned as possible successors. However, a senior administration official said the matter had not been raised with Chertoff. Bush leaves Washington next Monday for Australia, and Gonzales' replacement might not be named by then, the official said.
"Better late than never," said Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, summing up the response of many in Washington to Gonzales' resignation.
Gonzales served more than two years as the nation's first Hispanic attorney general.
Bush steadfastly — and at times angrily — refused to give in to critics, even from his own GOP, who argued that Gonzales should go. Earlier this month at a news conference, the president grew irritated when asked about accountability in his administration and turned the tables on the Democratic Congress.
"Implicit in your questions is that Al Gonzales did something wrong. I haven't seen Congress say he's done anything wrong," Bush said testily.
Gonzales, 52, called Bush on Friday to inform him of his resignation, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to not pre-empt Gonzales' statement. The president had Gonzales come to lunch at his ranch on Sunday as a parting gesture.
Gonzales, whom Bush once considered for appointment to the Supreme Court, is the fourth top-ranking administration official to leave since November 2006. Donald H. Rumsfeld, an architect of the Iraq war, resigned as defense secretary one day after the November elections. Paul Wolfowitz agreed in May to step down as president of the World Bank after an ethics inquiry. And top Bush adviser Karl Rove earlier this month announced that he was stepping down.
Reacting to Monday's developments, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said that Gonzales' department had "suffered a severe crisis of leadership that allowed our justice system to be corrupted by political influence."
Gonzales could not satisfy critics who said he had lost credibility over the Justice Department's handling of warrantless wiretaps related to the threat of terrorism and the firings of several U.S. attorneys.
As attorney general and earlier as White House counsel, Gonzales pushed for expanded presidential powers, including the eavesdropping authority. He drafted controversial rules for military war tribunals and sought to limit the legal rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay — prompting lawsuits by civil libertarians who said the government was violating the Constitution in its pursuit of terrorists.
There were indications that the development came suddenly. Bush normally handles Cabinet resignations with efficiency, only allowing news of them to leak when a successor has been chosen and appearing with both the person departing and the replacement when the public announcement was made. That was not to be the case this time, the official said.
"Alberto Gonzales was never the right man for this job. He lacked independence, he lacked judgment, and he lacked the spine to say no to Karl Rove," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"This resignation is not the end of the story. Congress must get to the bottom of this mess and follow the facts where they lead, into the White House," Reid warned.
The flap over the fired prosecutors proved to be the final straw for Gonzales, whose truthfulness in testimony to Congress was drawn into question.
Lawmakers said the dismissals of the federal prosecutors appeared to be politically motivated, and some of the fired U.S. attorneys said they felt pressured to investigate Democrats before elections. Gonzales maintained that the dismissals were based the prosecutors' lackluster performance records.
Thousands of documents released by the Justice Department show a White House plot, hatched shortly after the 2004 elections, to replace U.S. attorneys. At one point, senior White House officials, including Rove, suggested replacing all 93 prosecutors. In December 2006, eight were ordered to resign.
In several House and Senate hearings into the firings, Gonzales and other Justice Department officials failed to fully explain the ousters without contradicting each other.
During his congressional testimony, Gonzales answered "I don't know" and "I can't recall" scores of times and even some Republicans said his testimony was evasive. Bush, however, praised Gonzales' performance and said the attorney general was "honest" and "honorable."
U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, and can be removed. But congressional Democrats said politics played an unusually critical role in the ouster of several prosecutors.
In 2004, Gonzales pressed to reauthorize a secret domestic spying program over the Justice Department's protests. Gonzales was White House counsel at the time and during a dramatic hospital confrontation he and then-White House chief of staff Andrew Card sought approval from then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was in intensive care. Ashcroft refused.
The White House subsequently reauthorized the program without the department's approval. Later, Bush ordered changes to the program to help the department defend its legality. The domestic surveillance program was later declared unconstitutional by a federal judge and since has been changed to require court approval before surveillance can be conducted.
Similarly, Gonzales found himself on the defensive in early March for FBI's improper and, in some cases, illegal prying into Americans' personal information during terror and spy probes. On March 9, the Justice Department's inspector general released an audit showing that FBI agents, over a three-year period, demanded telephone and Internet companies to hand over their customers' personal information without official authorization.
The damning audit also found that the FBI had improperly obtained telephone records in non-emergency circumstances, and concluded that it underreported to Congress how often it used national security letters to ask businesses to turn over customer data. The letters are administrative subpoenas that do not require a judge's approval.
Gonzales declared himself upset and frustrated over the findings. But lawmakers said they had begun to lose confidence in him.
AP White House Correspondent Terence Hunt and Associated Press Writer Lara Jakes Jordan contributed to this report from Peru, Vt.

Americans Watching TV Less Due To DVRs - Niesen and MediaPost

For Nielsen to write this, and MediaPost too, and not point to The Internet and video is myopic at best.

Nielsen Finds Drop In TV Usage Is Real, Not Methodological, Impact Greatest Among Heavy Viewers

by Joe Mandese, Monday, Aug 27, 2007 9:00 AM ET

IN AN EFFORT TO ADDRESS client concerns over declines in TV usage this year, Nielsen has issued a report concluding the drop most likely is due to real changes in TV viewing behavior and is not due to TV ratings methods, or new technologies like DVD players, video game systems or digital video recorders (DVRs). But while concluding that "no single factor played a predominant role" in the declines, the Nielsen report found that the biggest impact was felt among TV's heaviest viewing households.

The report does not offer any explicit explanations as to why TV usage has declined, and Nielsen said it did not analyze the impact of changes in programming or in weather patterns that may have been a contributing factor. However, the report includes an ominous finding suggesting that the biggest impact may be among TV's biggest users.
After drilling into data for the 12 TV markets hat have had the biggest losses in TV tuning over the past year, Nielsen found that, "that the biggest losses in tuning appear to be coming from the homes that tuned the most last year."

While the presence of DVRs in and of themselves was not deemed a contributing factor, Nielsen said that the addition of a DVR into a TV household appears to reduce overall usage levels in those households.

"The biggest losses in tuning appear to be coming from the homes that tuned the most last year," Nielsen reported. "Some homes are tuning relatively more this year, these are generally the lowest tuning homes in the panel; the heavy tuners who acquire DVRs tend to tune less, more than offsetting these increases, resulting in overall [households using television] declines."

The report added that the changes in tuning cannot be attributed solely to the acquisition of DVRs, and that Nielsen plans to conduct additional research into how the addition of DVRs impacts TV usage in those households.

Nielsen said the penetration of DVRs in its sample has grew from about 7% a year ago, to 17% this year as a result of actual increases in DVR penetration, as well as in Nielsen's ability to recruit more DVR households. Nielsen's sample is still considered to be slightly lower in DVR penetration than the actual U.S. population.

"While the inclusion of DVR homes in the sample this year has been ruled out as the driving force behind the viewing level changes, it is clear that it has introduced a different viewing dynamic in these homes," the report concludes, adding, "A full discussion of how viewing changes when a home acquires a DVR will be presented in a separate communication that will look at homes in our Local and National People Meter samples."

Joe Mandese is Editor of MediaPost.

Friday, August 24, 2007


This is from the website of and was released today, August 24th, 2007


Commissioner Roger Goodell notified Michael Vick today that he is suspended indefinitely without pay from the National Football League, effective immediately.

Following are excerpts from Commissioner Goodell’s letter to Vick:

· “Your admitted conduct was not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible. Your team, the NFL, and NFL fans have all been hurt by your actions.”

· “Your plea agreement and the plea agreements of your co-defendants also demonstrate your significant involvement in illegal gambling. Even if you personally did not place bets, as you contend, your actions in funding the betting and your association with illegal gambling both violate the terms of your NFL Player Contract and expose you to corrupting influences in derogation of one of the most fundamental responsibilities of an NFL player.”

· “You have engaged in conduct detrimental to the welfare of the NFL and have violated the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.”

· “I will review the status of your suspension following the conclusion of the legal proceedings. As part of that review, I will take into account a number of factors, including the resolution of any other charges that may be brought against you, whether in Surry County, Virginia, or other jurisdictions, your conduct going forward, the specifics of the sentence imposed by Judge Hudson and any related findings he might make, and the extent to which you are truthful and cooperative with law enforcement and league staff who are investigating these matters.”

· “I have advised the Falcons that, with my decision today, they are no longer prohibited from acting and are now free to assert any claims or remedies available to them under the Collective Bargaining Agreement or your NFL Player Contract.”

# # #

Mark Cuban Says "Internet Is Boring" But Just Trying To Move The Speed Needle For His Content

In an interview with Lloyd Grove at Portfolio, Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban said "The Internet is dead and boring" and suggested that an increase of Internet speeds to the home of up to 1 G per second would do the trick.

But the question to ask is would the cost to do this launch the creation of a two-tier Internet -- one for the rich and the other for the poor?

Stay tuned.

Hillary Clinton - NeoCon (Neo Conservative) - Video

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Video - Barack Obama With John Stewart On The Daily Show - Comedy Central

Barack Obama hit The Daily Show with John Stewart and was himself a hit. He focused on how the campaign deals with the often innaccurate perceptions issued by some media outlets like (my addition here) The Chicago Sun Times. With Barack appearance and Senator Clinton's support for the current Iraq War strategy, it's been an important week to say the least.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Michelle Obama Speaking In General Terms - Sun Times and AOL Being Evil

Someone over at CNN said to me that the media loves to make controversy of nothing. Here's an example. Michelle Obama was taking up a theme that the Senator himself started on Father's Day: the responsibility of men -- black men -- to their families. She's making a basic point that you have to have your family life in order if you're going to run the White House.

For anyone to spin that to a Clinton issue is just plain retarted. AOL's trying to do this, but then AOL's been trying to tear down Obama since he entered the race. So has the Sun Times, which has two reporters that do nothing but write stupid drivel aboout Senator Obama.

Tribune's Carl Stewart Is Wrong - Raiders Line Was Never Bad To Start

Hi Carl,

I have to correct you on your column. The Raiders Offensive Line was never so bad to be so good. It was poorly coached,
and that was why I called for Tom Walsh to be fired on August 15th of 2006.

Take note. That was preseason.


And here's what I wrote:

Fire Tom Walsh

I continued the drum beat each week, and through the season. The reasons were based on my knoweldge of technical football. In other words, I can see just one game and tell you how an offense in going to perform for the rest of the year, in general terms.

The Raiders of this year use a more contemporary run blocking scheme, one that is exactly like the Denver Broncos in execution and design. For example, Lamont Jordan's 30-year second quarter run was a classic indictment of my claim. The line stepped to the left to get the defense to move that way, then fire blocked in zone fashion.

The result is that the whole defensive front seven moves that way, even though the running back does not. Thus, the back can see the blocks develop, then move toward the cutback lane. The weakside linebacker moved into the backfield too far, and didn't stay home.

Thus: a big run.

The Broncos are the master's of this. But note that the line isn't making a whole via brut muscle, it's just coaxing the defense to move in a certain direction.

It's this, and other techniques, that the Raiders are employing this year and why their offense is better and why I believe they'll go 9-7.

In closing, I ask that all reporters improve their ability to understand the technical aspect of the game, so they can see -- in one game -- what an offense is doing and why.


Zennie Abraham, Jr.

YouTube Launches InVideo Ad Platform - Media

YouTube Launches InVideo Ad Platform

by Tameka Kee, Wednesday, Aug 22, 2007 6:00 AM ET

GOOGLE'S YOUTUBE UNVEILED A NEW ad model, offering advertisers like New Line Cinema and BMW the option to run rich media and video ads within both professional and user-generated content.
The YouTube InVideo Ads are semi-transparent overlays that appear in the bottom 20% of the video player. The rich media animations show up 15 seconds after the chosen content begins, with the overlay lasting up to 10 seconds. The overlays also have interactive functionality, allowing users to click through to an advertiser's linked URL--or to launch a new player within the original window that will run a video ad and bring the user back to the content at any time).

Advertisers have the option to target users by age, sex, geography, daypart, and video genre. YouTube is selling the InVideo Ads on an impression basis, with $20/cpm as the baseline, but YouTube also provides click-through data to ad partners. The overlay, once it appears, counts as an impression.

If users choose to engage further by watching the actual video ad, YouTube will provide advertisers with info in percentage quartiles on how much of the video is viewed. Based on tests, YouTube estimates that some 75% of the users who elect to watch the player-in-player ad will view the new video in its entirety.

With YouTube one of the most trafficked online video communities in the U.S., speculation has continued to grow as to how Google would monetize its $1.65 billion investment. According to Shashi Seth, YouTube's group product manager, the advertising team has been experimenting with a number of models, testing and gathering both marketer and user feedback.

"For the past three months, we've run millions of impressions to see how users react to the different models, and we've taken away the models that don't work," said Seth. "For example, we know that users don't want to be interrupted at the start of a video, which is why the overlay doesn't start until 15 seconds in."

Seth added that about 20 advertisers are currently running InVideo Ads, including New Line Cinema and BMW, and the model will be available to a wider base of brands in the weeks and months ahead. As to whether YouTube will become overwhelmed with InVideo Ads and overlays, Seth added: "I certainly cannot see that happening. Advertisers can reach a large number of impressions even if we are a little conservative in terms of how much content we monetize. And our users are not shy about telling us what they like and what they don't--so it behooves us to be careful."

Hillary Clinton - NeoCon: "The Surge Is Working" As 14 More Americans Die In Irag

More and more Senator Clinton's looking like a Neo-conservative. First she tries to slam Senator Barack Obama for taking a liberal stance on two foreign policy matters -- Bin Ladin and Third World Leaders -- that she herself took just earlier this year, and now, before a group of Vets, she says the Iraq surge is working!

And this as 14 more Americans pass on in Irag!

We're seeing a clear pattern emerge and it's not pretty. It's a Senator who will say anything to get a vote and so often that her real stance isn't clear. At present, Senator Clinton looks like the kind of Neo-conservative we already have in the White House.

Maybe she'll so anger Cindy Sheehan, she's run against her instead of Rep. Pelosi! Whatever the case, this latest news has caused a firestorm, and will negtively impact her California Primary plans.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

HillStars - The Detailed Playbook On Senator Clinton's California Campaign

In an effort to play catch-up with the Barack Obama For President Campaign in California, Senator Hillary Clinton's staffers have launched the "HillStar" effort. Let's take a look at this information in relevant detail.

First, the HillStar document, which you can see in full with a click here , or see the video below or here , opens with a welcome and then text on the importance of winning California stating that California's important because of its early start date and of course the size of the population. For Senator Clinton "our election will really start on January 7 and run until February 5, a 29-day-long election" as the page reads.

Senator Clinton then tickets a list of answers to the question "Why Hillary?" The answers mostly point to her experience as Senator of New York and as First Lady. But the problem here is no one can get any information on her time as First Lady; it's sealed.

Finally, the set of reasons ends with the statement "Hillary's fight for universal health coverage did not succeed while President Clinton was in office, but her commitment to health care for every American has never wavered."

That last one's a big "whoops" in my view. First, Senator Clinton's known for taking money from the health care lobbyists. Second, to offer a statement that she failed in trying to create a universal health care system as First Lady, then come under scrutiny for having health care lobbyists as donors, and finally to have volunteers saying "Well, she didn't pass universal health care, but she's committed to the idea of health care" or words to that effect, does not bring confidence to voters seeking change that she can indeed alter the U.S. Health Care system.

The 1000 x 20 x 100 system

The HillStar Campaign has an interesting bit of math called the "1000 x 20 x 100" system. This is where "an elite group of volunteers" will recruit 5 Hillary Corps members, and manage 20 HillaryCorp members over a 5 month period. They will talk to a minimum of 200 voters in their district. Out of that, they expect to gain 100 new supporters and 5 new members.

The HillStar Timeline

The HillStar Timeline works like this in basic (the details are in the photo and the links provided to the report here):

Day one is now, this week.

Within two weeks, hold house parties

Within one month, hold a Bring Your Own Phone party.

Continue training

And by November have 20 fully trained Hillary Corps volunteers.

With all of this, it still pales in comparison to the hundreds of online groups and members of who are in California. What HillStars is has been in place for a long time, but only recently honed by an effort called "Camp Obama" which is already in motion nationwide. With little effort, the Obama forces could clobber Hillary Clinton in California.

Oh and that Field Poll of "Democratic Voters most likely to vote" that reports Clinton's "lead" -- don't bet on any poll that has a sample size of just 419 people and talks to a small set folks who voted in the 2004 election. There are several problems with this step, amoung them, YouTube didn't exist in 2004. So all of these polls of "most likely to vote" Democrats -- including the rigged USA Today /Gallup Poll of June 17th -- totally miss the new netroots. If a person just turned 18 that year, and didn't vote, they're now 22 years old, ready to vote, and consume the majority of their information online.

Senator Clinton, beware!

Iraq War Vet Rep. Patrick Murphy of PA Endorses Barack Obama - NYT

August 21, 2007, 9:53 am
Iraq Vet/Congressman Endorses Obama

By Jeff Zeleny

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention here yesterday, she told the story of how she met a “bright, young captain” in the 82nd Airborne Division named Patrick Murphy in 2003 during her first trip to Baghdad.

Last year, Mr. Murphy was elected as a Congressman from Pennsylvania. This spring, he joined Senator Clinton in sponsoring legislation to create a 21st Century G.I. Bill of Rights.

Today, Mr. Murphy is announcing his support for Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential race. The endorsement, which has been in the works for a while, comes one hour before Mr. Obama speaks to hundreds of war veterans gathered here.

The well-timed announcement will be used as a reminder – which Mr. Obama hopes will work – that one can be supportive of military veterans and still be opposed to the war.

Mr. Murphy, 33, is the only member of Congress who served in combat in Iraq. He has played a prominent role in this year’s Congressional debate over the war, delivering the closing argument over whether to set a timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq.

In an emotional speech in March, he implored lawmakers to consider the 19 paratroopers from his command who died during his time in Iraq in 2003.

“’To those on the other side of the aisle who are opposed, I want to ask you the same questions that my gunner asked me when I was leading a convoy up and down Ambush Alley one day,” Mr. Murphy said. “He said, ‘Sir, what are we doing over here? What’s our mission? When are these Iraqis going to come off the sidelines and fight for their own country?’”

GEICO Cavemen Strike With

Hey. There's a party going on at 1231 Whatever Place, otherwise known as The Caveman's Crib, so we're headed over to check it out. Once inside the crib -- and the website -- one has a choice of TV or radio or computer.

What's this?

It's a cool if rather annoying vehicle for you to keep thinking about Cavemen and thus GEICO -- you know. So easy a Caveman could do it? Personally, the commercials were not only annoying, they seem to poke fun at the real-life calls by people of color for better treatment and representation on television, and thus my main issue with this ad campaign.

I think it's stupid and at a level even a Caveman could not reach.

Ok. That aside, the online media efforts a good example of what's possible. This is great branding. You do remember the Cavemen and really can get lost in the site. Nice. It also shows how online marketing can help build a brand and its exposure online.

More on this innovative use and wedding of online and offline marketing.

Huff Post's Rachel Sklar Points To ABC's Failed Debate Video Strategy and My Vloggercot

Rachel Sklar's the editor of one of my favorite destinations at the Huffington Post blog called "Eat The Press." On Monday, she took notice of my ABC Debate rant and agreed, even linking to the video I made on the matter. But what I particularly like was that she agreed with me that ABC's real missing weapon was Amanda Congdon!

I hope all of this hue-and-cry helps Amanda get better assignments. But as I write this it occurs to me ABC may be weird enough to think she put me up to this.

Sorry ABC; it's not the case. You've got a talent in Amanda! Employ her wisely!

Monday, August 20, 2007


We have the NFL's Statement -- just released -- here


This was just released by the NFL. It comes in the wake of Michael Vick's guilty plea for backing dog fighting.

Statement From An NFL Spokesman On Michael Vick



STATEMENT FROM AN NFL SPOKESMAN: “We are aware of Michael Vick’s decision to enter a guilty plea to the federal charges against him and accept responsibility for his conduct. We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons. We will conclude our own review under the league’s personal conduct policy as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have asked the Falcons to continue to refrain from taking action pending a decision by the commissioner.”

Cleveland Brady Quinn Should Start Now

After holding out for a contract based on the instruction of his agent CAA's Tom Condon, Cleveland First Round Draft pick QB and former ND standout Brady Quinn came in to guide the Browns in the 4th quarter. At the time, the Browns were not only down but even though it was a preseason game, needed a lift. Quinn gave them that. He completed 13 of 20 for 178 yards and two touchdowns. At one point he was 5-for-5.

Brady's used to that kind of pressure -- remember UCLA in 2006? -- and he did it again. Yes, it was a preseason game, and they weren't starters. But with that kind of performance and given his history, I say start him for the next game and see what happens.

Michael Vick To Plead Guilty To Dogfighting - AP

This is both sad and chocking! But it appears that he has indeed engaged in this terrible act.

Lawyer: Vick to plead guilty to dogfighting charges
By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer
August 20, 2007

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Michael Vick's lawyer said Monday the NFL star will plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges, putting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback's career in jeopardy and leaving him subject to a possible prison term.

The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although federal sentencing guidelines most likely would call for less. Vick's plea hearing is Aug. 27.

"After consulting with his family over the weekend, Michael Vick asked that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him," lead defense attorney Billy Martin said in a statement.

"Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made. Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has barred Vick from the Falcons' training camp but has withheld further action while the league conducts its own investigation.

Vick is charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. He had pleaded not guilty last month and vowed to clear his name at a November trial.

Martin's announcement came as a grand jury that could add new charges met in private. Prosecutors had said that a superseding indictment was in the works, but Vick's plea most likely means he will not face additional charges.

Three of Vick's original co-defendants already have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against him if the case went to trial. Quanis Phillips of Atlanta and Purnell Peace of Virginia Beach signed statements saying the 27-year-old quarterback participated in executing at least eight underperforming dogs by various means, including drowning and hanging.

Phillips, Peace and Tony Taylor, who pleaded guilty last month, also said Vick provided virtually all of the gambling and operating funds for his "Bad Newz Kennels" operation in rural Virginia, not far from Vick's hometown of Newport News.

The gambling allegations alone could trigger a lifetime ban under the NFL's personal conduct policy.

The case began April 25 when investigators conducting a drug search at a massive home Vick built in Surry County found 66 dogs, some of them injured, and items typically used in dogfighting. They included a "rape stand" that holds aggressive dogs in place for mating and a "breakstick" used to pry open a dog's mouth.

Vick contended he knew nothing about a dogfighting operation at the home, where one of his cousins lived, and said he rarely visited. The former Virginia Tech star also blamed friends and family members for taking advantage of his generosity and pledged to be more scrupulous.

The July 17 indictment said dogs that lost fights or fared poorly in test fights were sometimes executed by hanging, electrocution or other brutal means. The grisly details fueled public protests against Vick and cost him some of his lucrative endorsement deals.

1-18-08 - No New News On Overnight Monster Movie : J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield

The Internet's real devoid of new buzz surrounding J.J. Abrams movie to be called Overnight. But what's rather annoying is the large number of false reports, time-wasting clue-hunts, and other related crap in terms of videos and fake websites that have sprung up.

The one person really making a killing from this is Abrams, who gets the award for Buzz-Maker of the Year!

Iowa Debates - Senator Chris Dodd Has Bug Vote Lined Up Already!

Senator Chris Dodd apparently has the bug vote all lined up! Check out this video from the Iowa Debates:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Jersey Boys' Drew Gehling and My Mom @ REAF Benefit in S.F.

Tickets at

Huff Post Live Bloggers: Iowa Democratic Debate Boring

The Huffington Post hs three people on site in Iowa to blog about the debate. I participated in this as an AOL Instant Messenger user for the CNN / YouTube Debates, but not this time. It's Sunday morning and too early for one who needs his rest: me. Plus, I'm on the West Coast, where this program's going to be pre-recorded so I can see for myself when I'm awake. If I get up.

There's a pattern emerging with these debates. Barack Obama's being painted as the different candidate as much by his challengers as himself. Hillary Clinton's pressing the obvious fact she's a woman. John Edwards makes long statements of feeling, but always misses the soundbites. And the rest are, well, the rest.

I don't think the debates themselves are boring, just the way ABC does it. Remember their fake experience at videoblogging? Well, they entirely ran away from it this time, thanks to me and Newbievids. But hey, they could have improved on the video format, but that's for another blog post.

Heres' the Huffington Post Live Blog text...

Welcome to yet another installment of HuffPost's Debate Liveblog Series ™ — where we watch the debates and critique the candidates in real time. Today we're joined by nonverbal communication specialist John Neffinger, Political Brain author and language expert Drew Westen, and HuffPost/Eat The Press contributor Glynnis MacNicol (with occasional piping up by me — your moderator, ETP editor Rachel Sklar). We are instant-messaging our comments to each other in real time, except for Drew, who will add in his comments later this morning when the debate is broadcast at his local affiliate (learn to stream, ABC!). It will be a fluid and chatty session — refreshed consistently over the morning. So keep checking in — in the meantime, here are some introductory thoughts by our panel!

John: So, here we are again. Another few days, another debate.
Rachel: I know! Did you hear that Obama said he's going to stop the insanity and pull out of the debates?
John: I did -- official, mandatory debates only from here on out.
Rachel: Apparently it's in a memo by Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. (Hee hee, "Plouffe.")
Glynnis: Yes - which will either give everyone else the opportunity to do the same...or give Hillary the opportunity to have way more face time
John: Looking back over the debates so far, was this format necessarily favorable to Hillary for some reason, or did it just work out that way?
Rachel: Interesting. Well, it's certainly been favorable to her visually - the eye picks her out of the lineup instantly. That was driven home watching the GOP debate
John: She is the only candidate who can get away with wearing pink. Er, coral.
Drew: We're certainly getting a good picture of how he is or isn't being coached for the debates. It looks too much like it's from Shrum handbook and not enough from Obama's natural style.
John: That's right, very cerebral. Only in the most recent AFL-CIO debate did Obama regularly display any facial expression whatsoever.
Glynnis: I think it has to be said only a small slice of the population is getting a fuller picture of things from these debates...I can't imagine a lot of people are tuning in at 9am on a Sunday in August. Which is why soundbites are smart i.e. "I'm your girl!"
Rachel: Ha, good point. Yet bizarrely ABC claimed that they had a great audience for this last week (even though it was still beaten by "Meet Russert's Giant Head").
Glynnis: On a side note - Karl Rove is doing all the morning shows except "This Week."
Rachel: Oh! That's so interesting! A subtle undermining of the Dems even in retirement.
Glynnis: I think everyone should take a lesson from Kucinich's Chicago performance -- had any of the top three candidates played to the crowd so well, I think it could have defined them better in the mainstream media, "I'm your girl!" notwithstanding.
John: You also mentioned earlier Glynn, given how few people are watching these debates closely, memorable moments (on the upside or downside) are what matter here.
Glynnis: I think that Edwards is going to be the one under the gun tomorrow...he has some 'splaining to do regarding Katrina and mortgage foreclosures.
Rachel: What???
Glynnis: Short version: he has investments with a company that is currently foreclosing on poor people's houses in New Orleans.
Rachel: Yikes. Talk your way outta THAT one, Mr. War On Poverty!
(see the rest of our pre-debate chatter here — the debate!)


Glynnis (9:05:37 AM): Welcome to the first Democratic debate ...from Iowa. George runs through the lineup by talking about Iowa poll support Biden and Kucinich are tied at 2%. Gravel has none.
Rachel (9:06:40 AM): Which gets a rather uncalled for laugh, I think. Shame on you, George.
Glynnis (9:05:55 AM): Stephanopoulous goes straight for the jugular. The big question is does Obama have enough experience? Hillary?
Glynnis (9:06:10 AM): She's wearing a taupe suit. Not showing up so well on the background of red white and blue.
Rachel (9:06:40 AM): I know - her first fashion misstep!
Rachel (9:06:47 AM): Where is the Vogue-sanctioned Huma when you need her?
Glynnis (9:07:19 AM): Biden dodges the question a bit.
Rachel (9:07:49 AM): "Is Senator Obama ready?" George leads with a challenge, to everyone.
John (9:08:00 AM): Hillary began her morning with a nice warm smile today. Is she our girl?
Rachel (9:08:17 AM): And Obama rises to it! Great joke: "To prepare for this session, I rode in the bumper car at the Iowa State Fair" - funny.
Glynnis (9:08:18 AM): Richardson dives in with taking it back to himself: "Clinton has experience, Obama has change. I have both." First laugh from the crowd.
John (9:08:58 AM): I was wondering whether this Pakistan disagreement would be left to lie. George Stephanopoulos goes right for it.

Note that George has set up a direct confrontation between Hillary and Obama here. The disagreement on the facts you can read about in the paper — what "wins" these confrontations in this setting is body language and tone. Hillary is not only firm, but slightly angry and disapproving when her integrity is challenged — her posture stiffens and her brow furrows and she raises her voice. She is not going to stand for attacks on her or her positions.

Obama, by contrast, attempts to take the high road. His response minimizes the disagreement rather than sharpening it as Hillary does, and while he stands firm, he projects serenity instead of toughness, looking disapproving only fleetingly. This shows a form of strength, and is a valid strategy if your toughness has already been established. But next to Hillary it is not clear that he is showing quite enough toughness, enough firmness. She makes clear with her body language when she objects to something. With Obama, you often have to listen closely to what he says to know where he objects.

Why is this so important? Remember the Swift Boaters. The specific facts of the Swift Boat accusations were not the issue. The issue was that when John Kerry's was challenged personally on his integrity, he would not stand up for himself. How then could Americans trust him to stand up for them? This is a dangerous world, and voters are looking for a leader who will stand up for all of us when our enemies challenge us.

Rachel (9:09:30 AM): Wow, that is an interesting way of looking at it. Obama is on the hook to show strength today, since he's the one taking all the heat right off the bat.
Glynnis (9:09:53 AM): Does this line of questioning strike anyone else as strange? Why is everything being viewed in the light of Obama?
John (9:10:36 AM): Very strange... but now George is going after Hillary's flip-flop on the nuclear option being on the table. George is stirring the pot here.
Glynnis (9:11:07 AM): The lighting at this debate is terrible on all the candidates. Everyone looks a bit orange.
Rachel (9:11:26 AM): Wow, it's an actual debate!
Rachel (9:11:30 AM): This is a nice change.
John (9:11:40 AM): Well done George.
Rachel (9:11:48 AM): I will add that the lineup has changed - Hillary is now stuck on the end
Rachel (9:11:55 AM): Good day to wear the bland beige suit.
Glynnis (9:11:55 AM): Hillary is off to the very right of the stage, at the podium usually reserved for Kucinich
Glynnis (9:12:22 AM): George is grinning. He knows he's stirring it up.
Glynnis (9:12:37 AM): Oh John Edwards!
John (9:13:56 AM): Edwards opens on a sunny note: "How about a little hope and optimism?" Unfortunately, we're talking about terrorism and national security, where a big sunny smile does not demonstrate the strength to handle this stuff.
Glynnis (9:14:11 AM): George is trying to turn this debate into a Obama Clinton showdown. Why aren't the other candidates reacting by pointing out they are all still in the game!
Glynnis (9:15:42 AM): Gravel is back! "I think they are all wrong" "Cheney should be committed"
John (9:16:04 AM): Oh brother. When you hear "Here's what I would do...." you know you're listening to Bill Richardson.
Glynnis (9:16:19 AM): Everyone sounds like they have a cold. Perhaps the lack of summer holiday is catching up with them.
Rachel (9:16:42 AM): There's a Bush/Iraqi parliament joke in here somewhere.
Glynnis (9:17:01 AM): George now brings it back to Karl Rove.

John (9:17:14 AM): Now George invites Obama to take a shot at Senator Clinton based on her soaring negatives in the polls. True to form, he is much too gentlemanly for that.
Glynnis (9:18:05 AM): They just did a crowd shot and there is a woman asleep in the audience.
Rachel (9:18:28 AM): I'm your guy!
John (9:18:30 AM): If they did a whole-stage shot, they might catch somebody napping up there too.
Rachel (9:18:32 AM): And nobody reacted!
Glynnis (9:18:40 AM): Obama has slipped into "hopeful" platitudes.
Rachel (9:18:41 AM): Obama is doing well today.
Glynnis (9:18:54 AM): George is trying to press him for details.
Rachel (9:18:58 AM): I'm not sure they're platitudes - and he's certainly not alone in THAT, anyway.
Rachel (9:19:09 AM): (Cf. Edwards, Richardson.)
John (9:19:28 AM): Yeah, Obama tried that at a moment when George was itching to cut him off. Wrong moment if he was trying to make that his soundbite.
Rachel (9:19:55 AM) has left the room.
Glynnis (9:19:58 AM): Edwards jumps in now : "America wants change in the most serious way"

[Technical difficulties courtesy of AIM - yay, Drew gets to fill this part in!]

Glynnis (9:29:09 AM): The questions have moved on to Iraq.
Glynnis (9:30:59 AM): Joe Biden is looking good. The fact that he isn't forcefully jumping in to the questions, however, seems to drive home that conclusion of the last debate that he is now vying for an alternate position.
Glynnis (9:33:03 AM): Hillary says getting out of Iraq is dangerous and people don't like to hear this. She says she doesn't want to oversell the evacuation.
Rachel (9:33:12 AM): She sounds strong and authoritative here. Dropping facts like a vandal.
Rachel (9:33:33 AM): (Um, not a good time for a Vanilla Ice lyric?)
Glynnis (9:33:34 AM): Gravel wants to make it clear that he disagrees with everyone!
Glynnis (9:34:24 AM): I like how Clinton and Obama are looking at him as though they are taking Gravel seriously.
John (9:34:39 AM): Yes, let's talk about the Turks. Hillary is going into the details just to show off that she can speak about them fluently.
Glynnis (9:35:22 AM): Edwards concedes that he understands that George is trying to create a fight up here. If George continues to be so aggressive I think that he is going to unite the candidates against him.
John (9:35:57 AM): Richardson now directly challenges Hillary, saying that Hillary has talked about leaving non-combat troops behind in Iraq without combat troops to protect them.
Glynnis (9:36:20 AM): Well, now Richardson is questioning Clinton and Obama. Richardson sounds good on pape, but is awkward visually.
Rachel (9:36:23 AM): We don't need no civil wa-a-ar!
Rachel (9:36:34 AM): (Um, not a good time for a Guns N' Roses lyric?)
Glynnis (9:37:43 AM): Biden may be so far down in the polls that it's safe for everyone to agree with him. The other candidates seem to be turning him into the wise old sage.
John (9:38:05 AM): He is awkward visually. When Richardson emphasizes his question: "What is the purpose of the residual force?" he holds out his hands and nods from his waist, and for a moment he looks like Bluto Blutarski.
Glynnis (9:38:14 AM): But George wants to bring it back to Obama and Clinton.

Glynnis (9:40:10 AM): Oooh. Obama starts out all friendly and then drops in the point that he wishes all the people on this stage had considered these points earlier!
Rachel (9:40:12 AM): "Nobody had more experience than Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney" - brilliant point.
Rachel (9:40:22 AM): And man does he sound authoritative.
Rachel (9:40:31 AM): Something is different about Obama today. He has it.
Glynnis (9:41:02 AM): Obama just turned his lack of experience into a positive...just as Hillary turned her "negatives" into a positive.
Glynnis (9:41:49 AM): I agree. Obama seems to be at the end of his rope with the "lack of experience" comments.
John (9:41:51 AM): He is doing pretty well today. I wonder though if any of this rises to the level of a clip that anyone not awake right now will ever see.
Glynnis (9:42:50 AM): Kucinich says the Democrats on this stage have to take responsibility for this war. The camera cuts to Hillary and she nods.
Glynnis (9:43:21 AM): George isn't even pretending that the other candidates matter.
Rachel (9:43:52 AM): I'm just a caveman, I don't understand your world...
Glynnis (9:43:59 AM): Apropos of nothing. Hillary is really good on stage. So polished.

Rachel (9:44:48 AM): Oh, gosh. John Edwards, talking about the death of his son, and Elizabeth's cancer. Wow.
Rachel (9:45:03 AM): This is a sobering reminder of what this man has been through. What his family has been through.
John (9:45:39 AM): Hillary nodded very empathetically when she had the question re-read to her. That was her answer right there.
Glynnis (9:45:42 AM): And now she manages to turn a question about a personal God into an answer about her experience. "If I wasn't a praying person before I got to the White House I would have been after a few days."
Glynnis (9:48:32 AM): Obama is owning this question. He takes it out of the personal sphere and equates prayer with the ability to effect change.
Rachel (9:48:52 AM): Nice ice-breaker from Kucinich!
Glynnis (9:49:18 AM): Kucinich is funny! "I've spent the last twenty minutes praying you were going to call on me."
Glynnis (9:49:36 AM): He is also the only candidate to refer to specific Biblical passages.
Rachel (9:50:37 AM): I think Dodd is a wonderful speaker. And there's his trademark Kelly green tie! (He favors those.)
John (9:50:41 AM): Matthew 25, every liberal's favorite Bible verse, will not impress evangelicals.
Rachel (9:51:03 AM): I rather like Genesis 38:10, but that's just me.
Glynnis (9:51:22 AM): George isn't even pretending to be representative of the larger viewing public. He is showing his colors as a Washington insider here.
Glynnis (9:54:09 AM): Somebody needs to do something sharp soon! Or John is right, this Sunday morning August debate won't even make a wave in the MSM.
Glynnis (10:00:41 AM): This debate is not furthering a whole lot in my opinion except to strengthen Obama's decision not to participate in them anymore.
Rachel (10:01:04 AM): Yikes. This ain't no snowman!
Rachel (10:01:48 AM): I'm gonna say it: This is a boring debate.
John (10:02:21 AM): Joe Biden just brought down the house with one of his trademark "I'm a big-mouthed idiot" jokes.
Glynnis (10:02:51 AM): Yes, we love Joe Biden and his self-deprecation!
Rachel (10:01:04 AM): Well, you do, Biden girl!
John (10:04:37 AM): Obama has a good response here, highlighting his speech to Detroit automakers telling them we need to raise fuel efficiency. It was a good moment that has not gotten all the attention he had hoped.
Glynnis (10:04:52 AM): Edwards is far from owning this debate, but I think if he can hang in there until Feb/March I think he could be the alternate for those independents that Hillary supposedly alienates.
John (10:06:13 AM): That's interesting: despite his stumbles, Obama has been leading the race for the not-Hillary candidate. But at this point maybe there will be room for a not-Obama not-Hillary candidate as well.
Glynnis (10:07:09 AM): Richardson says he is not the "scripted candidate" alluding perhaps to his homosexuality is a choice remark at the LOGO forum.

John (10:08:04 AM): Richardson saying he is "averaging about one mistake a week" is endearing, but not a compelling case for supporting him.
Glynnis (10:08:40 AM): Especially not when he follows it up with talk about nukes and Iran.
Glynnis (10:09:58 AM): Despite all of George's antagonism, the candidates seem to be going out of their way to point out how they agree with eachother.
John (10:10:30 AM): Everyone except Hillary.
Rachel (10:10:52 AM): What? She kicked that off from the very beginning, talking about building herself up and not tearing others down, taking it back to being a united force agains the GOP. C'mon, give our girl a little more credit.
Glynnis (10:12:52 AM): Considering this debate is being held in Iowa (some of the most privileged voters out there) they are very tame! Perhaps everyone there really is in church.
John (10:13:48 AM): Richardson is strong on education here, with a nice ringing response that does not sound canned. But the camera catches him looking sad and out of sorts for several long seconds after George cuts him off.
Rachel (10:13:57 AM): As in the GOP debate, George let's them talk, so it's telling when he does actually cut someone off. Perhaps he was doing Richardson a favor, cf. Melissa Etheridge ("I don't think you understood my question..."). God, that just never gets old.

John (10:14:07 AM): Glynnis, you were wondering if Gravel was going off the cliff..?
Glynnis (10:14:25 AM): Gravel is speaking truth to power. We are 46th in literacy in the world he points out. And then somehow makes it about nukes...
Glynnis (10:14:38 AM): ...and then goes right off the cliff
John (10:14:46 AM): Even he was chuckling at how disjointed that was after George finally brought the curtain down.
Glynnis (10:16:21 AM): Biden says regarding education: "don't tell me what you believe in, show me your budget."
Glynnis (10:17:56 AM): Richardson excessively laughs at Gravel's response before responding himself. Badly timed, and makes Richardson look like the silly one.
John (10:19:20 AM): Gravel aside, all of these people have a coherent, strong story to tell on education. I wonder what any of them could actually get done on education as President.
John (10:19:26 AM): Would any one them make it a priority? Would they have any political capital or budget left after a bruising health care fight?
Rachel (10:19:34 AM): Obama looks prescient here - this debate seems like a tipping point of non-relevance. When's Karl Rove on?
John (10:19:56 AM): Good question.
Glynnis (10:20:04 AM): Can we watch Karl Rove after this?
John (10:20:18 AM): Okay, the final question - what decisive moment shaped your character?
Rachel (10:20:30 AM): I would like to see some of Obama as an angry young man here, frankly. He doesn't move the needle much on showing emotion.
Glynnis (10:21:02 AM): With his working class ties and his radical plans...
Rachel (10:21:59 AM): Nice! This is the song-droppingest liveblog ever.

Glynnis (10:22:47 AM): Guess what? John Edwards father worked in a mill...had you heard?
Rachel (10:22:49 AM): Aw. That was a nice story about Edwards' dad. Today he's connecting with me. I think a lot of Americans would connect with that notion, the notion of self-improvement and aiming high - it taps into the upward striving element of the American Dream.
Glynnis (10:23:19 AM): Hillary on feminism: She owns this answer.
Rachel (10:23:24 AM): HILLARY IS A SISTA!!!!
John (10:23:25 AM): Wow. How is it that these people speak in public for a living, and are asked for a compelling personal story from their lives, and can't come up with anything memorable?
Rachel (10:23:35 AM): (Note how she folds in people of color.)
Glynnis (10:23:48 AM): ...and she does by alluding to the women's movement. I really think she needs to play this angle a bit more.
Rachel (10:23:54 AM): I'm sorry, I was inspired by that last interchange. John, I think these are actually quite compelling personal stories. I'm with them.
Rachel (10:23:57 AM): Which is the point, right?
Glynnis (10:23:58 AM): And then she brings it back to her mother. Nice.
Glynnis (10:25:23 AM): She says thirty years ago she could never have imagined herself as president. And then refers to the women's movement/civil rights movement
Glynnis (10:25:49 AM):...and then takes it to a personal level by saying how much she owes her mother, who never got a change to go to college.
Rachel (10:26:07 AM): Like I said: Inspiring. Look at all these candidates, running for president - something their parents could never have dreamed of doing. That, right there, is the best of America. (Says the Candian. But still.)

Glynnis (10:26:35 AM): Okay! Impressions on the whole?
John (10:26:43 AM): Thanks for that. What I could see was that she said it with a warm smile, which we are now seeing more regularly from her.
John (10:28:53 AM): Yeah, she does. And she is now showing us real warm smiles occasionally too.
Glynnis (10:29:17 AM): However, I don't think that we learned anything new from this debate. If anything, this debate seemed like a bit of an ego exercise for George Steph..perhaps a metaphor for the media in general as far at these debates are concerned
Glynnis (10:31:16 AM): I think it's interesting though what wasn't mentioned. No 9/11 mention despite yesterday's fire at ground zero. No mention of Obama opting out of futher debates.
Glynnis (10:31:28 AM): ON TO ROVE!
John (10:31:42 AM): Should we liveblog him? We can follow him from channel to channel.
Rachel (10:31:52 AM): Neat timing — to pass off gracefully to NBC.
John (10:33:34 AM): The only thing I saw new here was Hillary being warmer. George started strong, trying to start arguments, but Hillary swatted away his challenges.
John (10:33:39 AM): And no one -- not George, not her rivals -- would hold her feet to the fire either on the substance of the Iran/nukes issue or on the separate issue of why she would accuse Obama of things she had done herself.
John (10:34:35 AM): There were some good substantive responses along the way, but nothing for the highlight reel.