Monday, October 15, 2007

Barack Obama - The Journal Of Blacks In Higher Education Endorses Obama For President

The Journal Of Blacks In Higher Education Endorses Obama For President and in so doing Theodore Cross, representing The Journal, wrote an article that calls into question Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's genuine commitment to African Americans.

If you read it, it's damning of Clinton, for example..

In her campaign to lock up black support, there are no qualms about playing the race card. Senator Clinton scored with black voters when she declared in a June debate at Howard University that the country would be more worried about HIV/AIDS if the disease were disproportionately affecting whites instead of blacks. The powerful political impact of her statement was not diminished by the circumstance that her facts were incorrect. The annual federal budget for HIV research is $3 billion. This is more than the nation’s entire appropriation for research on either heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or breast cancer. But Clinton’s assertion that racism drives white-controlled government decisions on the allocations of disease research stoked anti-white anger and won her acclaim among black voters.

And if that's not enough, there's this....

Probably no one at the Howard University event, black or white, was aware of the fact that in August 2006 Hillary Clinton was the only one of 20 senators of the Republican-controlled Senate Health, Education, and Labor Committee to vote to gut a plan that would have redirected more AIDS funds to heavily black communities in the South. Her vote prompted the National Black Chamber of Commerce to publish full-page newspaper advertisements denouncing Clinton as being “two-faced” on the issue.

And Cross points to Senator Obama's more clearly defined set of urban policies:

Here in more detail are the Obama proposals as outlined in his campaign position paper:

• Increased funding for the Community Development Block Grant program which provides housing, job training, and other services to impoverished urban areas.

• A $1 billion, five-year expansion in job and career training programs for low-income Americans.

• The creation of a series of “Promise Neighborhoods” across America patterned after the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City. Low-income families in these promise neighborhoods will be offered parent counseling, childcare, job training, healthcare, financial advice, afterschool programs, technology training and other services to help them escape the cycle of poverty.

• An expansion of the Head Start program for preschool children in high-poverty areas.

• An increase in the maximum Pell Grant award for low-income college students.

• Expansion of the Nurse-Family Partnership where nurses visit low-income expectant mothers at home to ensure that they receive proper prenatal care.

• An increase in the earned income tax credit which will allow low-income working families to keep more of the money they earn.

• A proposal to increase funding for the Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program so that low-income workers can get to their jobs at a reduced cost and the children of these workers can receive free public transportation to childcare facilities.

• The establishment of an affordable housing trust fund that will produce 14,000 new units of affordable housing for low-income families each year.

• Increased access to capital for blacks and other minorities through Small Business Administration programs.

• Job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and employment opportunities for people who have been incarcerated. Since blacks are five times as likely as whites to have been in prison, these programs will disproportionately benefit African Americans.

• To further raise the minimum wage rate and the child tax credit.

Makes one wonder why Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums endorsed Clinton over Obama! Oh, I forgot, Clinton made a promise to Dellums! Excuse me!


I could go on, but you should read what Cross has put together. It's a doozy!

CNN / YouTube Debate Question - "Brownie" And The Presidential Cabinet

This is one o the more popular questions at Community Counts, to my surprise!

Bauer's SF Limo's Green Initiative - Blog Action Day

On Blog Action Day, we are all concerned about the environment. But the real heroes are those people and organizations that have actually made and effort to "Go Green."

Bauer's Transportation is one of those heroes.

On it's website, Bauer's explains...

What is Bauer's iCars division? -- As Limousine Digest "Operator of the Year", Bauer's has continually addressed the need to be an industry leader in looking to the future. Because of it's large fleet of over 120 vehicles, Bauer's takes its environmental impact very seriously and has always been conscientious in working with corporate America to provide solutions.

The Hybrid sedans are only one of many vehicles in the fleet that are environmentally friendly:
Bauer's has been in the clean air business since 1999 with its airport shuttle fleet of electric buses.
Bauer's partnered in 2005 with Google to add an additional 33 bio-diesel shuttles to the fleet to service Google employees.
Bauer's is the first limousine company to team up with community partners to address clean air issues with it's park enhancement initiative. A portion of every dollar goes back into local community park efforts to continue the Bauer's legacy of corporate responsibility.

The RX 400H SUV is the third generation of Lexus hybrids, which works by seamlessly integrating a gas engine, an electric motor and a high-powered battery. The battery provides power for the electric motor and is recharged by recapturing energy that would normally be lost when decelerating or coasting. This recapturing of energy is called regenerative braking. If needed, power from the hybrid's gas engine can be diverted to recharge the battery as well. Because of these charging strategies, hybrid cars never need to be plugged in.

But Bauer's is so serious about this initiative, it's President even owns a Lexus Hyrbid!

Nice work for the environment. To learn more, call Bauer's at 1-800-LIMO-OUT

Blog Action Day Is Today

This is the day where we're supposed to write something on the environment. Many blogger can make a big difference. I love it. Here' a look at the traffic for this effort.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Target Of Assassination Plot On Trip To Iran

From Aljazeera's english version

Putin to visit Iran despite threats

Putin is travelling to Iran for a summit of leaders from the five states around the Caspian Sea [AFP]
Russian special services have confirmed they received intelligence about a plot against President Vladimir Putin.

Citing an unnamed security service source, Interfax had reported on Sunday that Putin had been warned by his special services of a possible assassination plot during his visit to Tehran this week.

"The competent authorities are actively working with foreign partners on the information received yesterday about a terrorist threat in relation to Russia's head of state," the source was quoted on Monday as saying by RIA, Itar-Tass and Interfax news agencies in virtually identical reports.

Putin said he would not call off his trip but he acknowledged the intelligence reports, adding that the security services "must do their work".

"Of course I am going to Iran," Putin told a news conference after talks with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor.

"If you react to various threats and recommendations of the security services, then you should sit at home".

Iran denial

But Tehran has described as "totally baseless" the report, which said Russian security services had been told suicide bombers and kidnappers were training to kill or capture Vladimir Putin.

The Russian president is travelling to Tehran to attend a summit of the five states that surround the Caspian Sea, and Mohammad Ali Hosseini, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, said this would go ahead as planned.

"Reports published by some media are totally baseless and are in line with the psychological war launched by enemies who want to harm Iran and Russia's relationship," Hosseini said.

Putin is the first Kremlin leader to travel to Iran since Josef Stalin, the former Soviet leader, attended a wartime summit with Winston Churchill, former British prime minister, and Franklin Roosevelt, former US president, in 1943.

Fox Launches Business Channel Today

Rupert Murdock owns The Wall Street Journal, MySpace, and now has launched The Fox Business Channel today. It's only a matter of time before we see all three merged.

Vatican Monsignor Says He Was Pretending To Be Gay

From the Huffington Post

VATICAN CITY — A Vatican official suspended after being caught on hidden camera making advances to a young man said in an interview published Sunday that he is not gay and was only pretending to be gay as part of his work.

In an interview with La Repubblica newspaper, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico said he frequented online gay chat rooms and met with gay men as part of his work as a psychoanalyst. He said that he pretended to be gay in order to gather information about "those who damage the image of the Church with homosexual activity."

Vatican teaching holds that homosexual activity is a sin.

Vatican teaching holds that homosexual activity is a sin.

"It's all false; it was a trap. I was a victim of my own attempts to contribute to cleaning up the Church with my psychoanalyst work," La Repubblica quoted Stenico as saying.

The Vatican after acted Vatican officials recognized Stenico's office in the background of a television program on gay priests that was broadcast on Oct. 1 on La7, a private Italian TV network. Stenico was secretly filmed making advances to a young man and asserting that gay sex was not sinful.

Rudy Giuliani - Giuliani To Protect Us From Aliens

According to this article, Republican Presidential Candidate Rudy Giuliani will make sure we're prepared to defend ourselves from an attack by alien beings.


I guess that means we have a laser defense system.

The pure idea of this is interesting because 1) we have no freaking idea how we'll be attacked, and 2) it proves how we think -- some of us -- that because something's different, it's bad.


Political television advertising to reach $3 billion

Isn't this discretionary spending wasteful and unnecessary?

By Mark Preston
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A wide-open presidential race and a willingness by candidates, interest groups, unions and corporations to buy TV time will lead to historic spending for political and issue-advocacy advertising in the 2008 election cycle, an analysis shows.

The cost to try to influence the 2008 election could exceed $3 billion, according to TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on political television advertising.

This is nearly twice as much than what was spent in 2004 when political and issue-advocacy television advertising rang in at $1.7 billion. In 2006, $2.3 billion was spent on political and issue-advocacy TV commercials.

Just about every candidate running for an office from dogcatcher to president is spending the money, said Evan Tracey, CMAG's chief operating officer.

The costs to produce a TV commercial are no longer prohibitive for local and state candidates, who are turning more and more to the airwaves to reach voters. See how spending breaks down for this year »

And interest groups have spent $6.2 million on TV ads so far this year for state and local ballot measures.

On the national level, the cost of issue-advocacy television ad spending was $270 million in the first nine months of this year. Subjects ranged from the Iraq war to telecommunications reform. Television ads on health care alone total $60 million.

CMAG estimates more than $3 million of the $270 million spent to air issue-advocacy ads this year has gone for commercials in states and districts that are likely to have competitive House and Senate races in 2008.

Tracey said he thinks this is just the beginning of interest groups "pivoting from legislative advocacy mode to political mode."
"What we expect to see between now and the end of the primaries, and through the general election, is groups will take a more aggressive stance on their advertising and actually target candidates," he said.

With 17 Democratic and Republican candidates running for president, CMAG predicts that more than $800 million will be spent on TV ads in the battle for the White House.

Up to now, the political commercials have been largely focused on the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Voters in some of the 20-plus states holding nominating contests on February 5 will start seeing ads in the coming months.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads all candidates in TV spending, having aired his commercials more than 11,000 times this year at a cost of nearly $8.6 million. This is a record for the number of airings at this point in a presidential election cycle. In contrast, one of Romney's chief rivals for the GOP nomination, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has spent nothing on television ads, but Giuliani leads in the national polls and is within striking distance of the lead in several state surveys.

Giuliani enjoys widespread national name recognition, while Romney does not.

In the race for the Democratic nomination, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has spent more than $2.3 million on television commercials, while New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has spent $1 million less and leads in both national and early state polls.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has probably benefited the most in the Democratic contest from the $2 million he has invested in his television commercials.

Richardson's humorous TV ads effectively stated his experience as a lawmaker, diplomat and executive, and positioned him as a solid second-tier candidate.

Romney used his $8.6 million in television ads to introduce himself as a social and fiscal conservative to Republican voters. These voters might otherwise not know much about him other than that he was the governor of the traditionally liberal Massachusetts.

Romney is leading polls in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Further evidence of how Romney's television commercials have helped is in South Carolina.

An American Research Group poll of South Carolina Republicans in August showed Romney registering at 9 percent with these influential primary voters. A month later, and with $350,000 worth of commercials aired in the two weeks leading up to the next poll, Romney was up 17 percentage points.

Romney's latest ad began airing Friday in Iowa, and in it he vows to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, to boost the military by 100,000 people, to strengthen U.S. intelligence capabilities and to monitor calls into the U.S. from al Qaeda.

All of these issues should play well with conservatives who participate in the Iowa caucuses.

While only a handful of Democratic candidates and Romney have used the airwaves until now, Tracey said he expects this to change.

"Before the end of October, I suspect all the frontrunner candidates will be on the air," Tracey said. "As we get closer to primary day, the frontrunners will be joined by all the candidates in the race who are taking their last, best shot."

In the fight for Congress, CMAG predicts that as much as $639 million could be spent on television advertising.

Democrats control the House and Senate.

Tracey noted that CMAG's 2008 election cycle forecast does not take into account unforeseen events such as former Florida Rep. Mark Foley's House page scandal or the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"Politics is completely beholden to events," he said. "Events will ultimately determine how much is spent, where and when."
What television advertising challenges do candidates and interest groups face in the coming months?

"Chances are, just as what happened in 2006, voters will be numb after watching hundred and hundreds of ads," said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. "The sheer number of ads probably dilutes their importance. After a while, the ads just become lots of chatter and an ad will have to be really good to cut through the noise.''