Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zennie62 On The Way To Invesco Field For DNCC Walkthrough

As I write this I'm wating to board United Flight 1184 to Denver for my second media walkthrough. This time at Invesco Field, where Senator Barack Obama will give his acceptance speech for the nomination as the Democratic Nominee for President Of The United States.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Washington Post Gets What Charles Krauthammer Missed: Obama Is American Symbol

A week or so back, I got after conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer for missing the fact that Barack Obama is a symbol of America and what's possible here. I wrote:

You miss what leadership is about. Your column demonstrates that your don't get it. And it shows that you don't know or intellectually understand what kind of role the President of the United States serves. That person is considered this: LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.

Do you understand? Ok. I'll repeat it.


That means to most people, the SYMBOL of freedom. That is what Senator Obama represents to many. To ho-hum or sigh or cringe at the presentation of this mear fact is to show a true ignorance of the intense desire many people in the World have to rid ourselves of the true mentail illness that is racism.

Charles. The bell's ringing. Time to get with the program.

Now it seems the Washington Post understands. Reporting this in the form of an article, the Post explains that Obama is a person who for others have become a symbol for America.

Thank you Rep. Steve Cohen

Yesterday, the House passed H.Res 194, an apology for slavery and Jim Crow, originally introduced by Tenessee Rep. Steve Cohen. The Resolution was cosponsored by 120 House members, including members from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. The Resolution does exactly what it says: apologize to African Americans for the institution of slavery, the Jim Crow establishment, Congress' role in each, and the legacy of each. Please read the full text of the Resolution below. Click here to see who cosponsored the Resolution. And then click here to thank Rep. Steve Cohen for his efforts and, if one of the cosponsors happens to be your Rep., thank that person, too. An apology may not seem like a whole lot, but it is a critical first step. We must first officially recognize the wrong doing, harm, and lasting legacy before anything else can be done. Here is the text of the Resolution:


Apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans.

Whereas millions of Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and the 13 American colonies from 1619 through 1865;

Whereas slavery in America resembled no other form of involuntary servitude known in history, as Africans were captured and sold at auction like inanimate objects or animals;

Whereas Africans forced into slavery were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage;

Whereas enslaved families were torn apart after having been sold separately from one another;

Whereas the system of slavery and the visceral racism against persons of African descent upon which it depended became entrenched in the Nation's social fabric;

Whereas slavery was not officially abolished until the passage of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865 after the end of the Civil War, which was fought over the slavery issue;

Whereas after emancipation from 246 years of slavery, African-Americans soon saw the fleeting political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction eviscerated by virulent racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement, Black Codes, and racial segregation laws that imposed a rigid system of officially sanctioned racial segregation in virtually all areas of life;

Whereas the system of de jure racial segregation known as `Jim Crow,' which arose in certain parts of the Nation following the Civil War to create separate and unequal societies for whites and African-Americans, was a direct result of the racism against persons of African descent engendered by slavery;

Whereas the system of Jim Crow laws officially existed into the 1960's--a century after the official end of slavery in America--until Congress took action to end it, but the vestiges of Jim Crow continue to this day;

Whereas African-Americans continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow--long after both systems were formally abolished--through enormous damage and loss, both tangible and intangible, including the loss of human dignity and liberty, the frustration of careers and professional lives, and the long-term loss of income and opportunity;

Whereas the story of the enslavement and de jure segregation of African-Americans and the dehumanizing atrocities committed against them should not be purged from or minimized in the telling of American history;

Whereas on July 8, 2003, during a trip to Goree Island, Senegal, a former slave port, President George W. Bush acknowledged slavery's continuing legacy in American life and the need to confront that legacy when he stated that slavery `was . . . one of the greatest crimes of history . . . The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation. And many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times. But however long the journey, our destiny is set: liberty and justice for all.';

Whereas President Bill Clinton also acknowledged the deep-seated problems caused by the continuing legacy of racism against African-Americans that began with slavery when he initiated a national dialogue about race;

Whereas a genuine apology is an important and necessary first step in the process of racial reconciliation;

Whereas an apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot erase the past, but confession of the wrongs committed can speed racial healing and reconciliation and help Americans confront the ghosts of their past;

Whereas the legislature of the Commonwealth of Virginia has recently taken the lead in adopting a resolution officially expressing appropriate remorse for slavery and other State legislatures are considering similar resolutions; and

Whereas it is important for this country, which legally recognized slavery through its Constitution and its laws, to make a formal apology for slavery and for its successor, Jim Crow, so that it can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all of its citizens:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow;

(2) apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow; and

(3) expresses its commitment to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African-Americans under slavery and Jim Crow and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future.

Cross posted to AshPolitics.

1-Maria Ayerdi Has Pelli Clarke Pelli Design For SF Transit Center

Maria Ayerdi Has Pelli Clarke Pelli Design For SF Transit Center

Maria Ayerdi on Flickr

I have to admit I liked the Skidmore Owings and Merrill design, even if their architectural renderings imply they forgot Black folks existed. But the Pelli design focused on a "green" theme and addressed several pressing flow issues that the others did not. Now, Transbay Terminal Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Maria Ayerdi has Pelli Clarke Pelli to work with.

What will we get in San Francisco? This video series holds a clue:





Overall the design is breath-taking. Let's see how much of this design remains as the process of building the structure in a weak economy commences.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


On CNN there are extensive reports of a 5.8 Richter Scale Earthquake, centered in Chino Hills, about 29 miles south of LA. The quake wasn't large enough, fortunately, to cause major damage at least as reported thus far. A water main broke, but traffic's still moving through LA.

And now the earthquake was reduced to a 5.4 Richter Scale quake in size by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Do you have hope? New Barack Obama Video

The "funniest ad" award winner in's "Obama in 30 Seconds" contest is the quintessential counterpoint to the cynicism-mongering ads that McCain and the folks who want to maintain the status quo in Washington have been running. Plus, it was made by actor (and MoveOn member) Rider Strong.

MoveOn is ready to run this ad on MTV and Comedy Central (as their first political ad ever.) Go, watch, it's audacious. Rove may know how to divide the electorate, Republicans may know how to use fear for their political gains, but this is the antidote.

"I laughed, I cried; it became a part of me.
Much better than the videos for McCain.
I want to see it again and again."

*for the sake of comparison, see another post here at Zennie's with a McCain video.

China Discovers Poll Dancing - Video

I'd never considered that poll dancing started to pick up in China! Wow. China! Well, check this out:

It's not an easy thing to do there as it goes against the "code" for women there. "To show off in this way," someone said in the movie," is to make people jealous."


M.C Hammer and Speiser at TechCrunch Party

Speiser and Hammer, originally uploaded by drs650.

Ok. This is the first time I was in the same "house" as M.C. Hammer and missed seeing him. Yes, the TechCrunch party was that crowded. I also have not met this "Speiser" gentleman on the right. But the party was awesome and if you didn't see the video I created, you can do so with a click here.

Maria Ayerdi Is The Face Behind The New SF Transbay Terminal

Remember the San Francisco Transbay Terminal Design Competition video I created? Well, the executive director of the effort is none other than Maria Averdi. You can read more about her here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cuil Is A Cool Search Site That Launched This Week

So have you tried the website Cuil, well, it's actually a new search engine like Google. Check it out. More later.

Robert Scoble Talks About PodTech Demise At TechCrunch Party

I present my long form video documentary of the TechCrunch | August Capital Party held Friday, July 25th 2008 at
August Capital and hosed by TechCrunch Co-Founder / Editor Michael Arrington. First, let me thank Michael for the opportunity to do this at his event, as well as the time he gave me. Second, let me thank all of you who gave me your time at the party, which was the vast majority of you.

I set out to form a pattern of opinions on what the Democratic Party and Senator Obama should address on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. I also tried to give a view of what people were working on in the tech / web community. There's a lot here. But I also tried to make something fun to watch, with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The video is 41 minutes long and some of the highlights: TechCrunch's Michael Arrington explaining that he hope Barack Obama sicks to his concern for "net neutrality" as well as his hope that issues regarding H1 Visas, the FCC, and the avoidance of Internet Taxes are addressed. Technorat Founder and Chairman David Sifty introducing his new venture The great service for devices like iPhones. An iPhone App from Sara Lacy telling the Democratic Party to "get some balls." Andrew Mager talking about the party and introducing Cathy Brooks of Seesmic, who in turn introduced the Legendary Robert Scoble, and Brooks echoing (unknowingly) Lacy when she says the party should "grow a pair." And Robert talking -- at considerable length -- about what happened to PodTech and what it says, if anything, about the economics of Podcasting.

In all the message to the Democratic Party and Senator Obama was to work to achieve unity, don't fashion policies that tax the Internet or harm Net Neutrality, be courageous, and for Senator Obama to stay the course.


John McCain's San Francisco Visit To Be Met With Protests Today

Senator John McCain has a big-ticket fundraiser of 100,000 per person and held at the Fairmount Hotel to add to the public money he's already using to run for President.

I figured an anti-war protest must have been planned and I was right: there's one according to

SAN FRANCISCO -- Grassroots campaigners are planning to protest the continuation of the Iraq war Monday outside a fundraising event at a San Francisco hotel for Republican presidential nominee Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Members of No Soldier Left Behind will rally outside the campaign fundraiser and collect petition signatures calling for a responsible end to the war, according to Peace Action West, an organization that fosters civic activism. Protestors will hold signs advocating the end of the war and well being of Iraqis and Americans in the region.

"Sen. McCain is here raising money in support of an Iraq policy that will be a continuation of the president's fail strategy," Peace Action West's Executive Director Jon Rainwater said. "Americans and Iraqis can't afford four more years of mistakes, so we are insisting that the next president bring a responsible end to the war in their first year."

The protestors will assemble in front of the Fairmont hotel at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Zennie Abraham The Partying Playboy According To TangoDiva

Zennie Abraham The Partying Playboy According To TangoDiva

Wow. Ok, according to TangoDiva I'm now a "Partying Playboy" but I'm not sure if I'm right up there with Hugh Hefner or not! Here's what TangoDiva wrote (oh. Ok. I answered the questions and they put them out there!):

The Man Issue 08: Zenophon Abraham
By Tango Diva

Name: Zenophon Abraham
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Occupation: CEO of Sports Business Stimulations

1. Where do you like to flirt?
Pretty much anywhere. Bar, rapid transit, football stadium, dark part of a dive place.

2. Where's your favorite table for two?
- I like the 21 Club in New York, The Alley in Oakland, and The Balboa Cafe in San Francisco -- three different places but all have history and two are darkly romantic (the Balboa's too well-lit).

3. Where should we stay when we visit (besides your place)?
Hmm. I like the Claremont Resort in the Oakland Hills. Great views, pool, tennis, and food, too!

4. What qualities do you find irresistible in a woman?
Hmm, again. I really like intellect and good character. OK, I melt at the view of a pair of athletic legs on a woman, but if they're connected to a person of low character and cold heart, I'm easily turned off. I like women who know how to maintain relationships, even if we're just friends.

5. Where can we find you on a free Sunday afternoon? Just roll over?
At times I'm at an outdoor restaurant. Or I may work at an Internet Cafe. Maybe the gym. Depends.

6. What do you love most about your city (besides our arrival)?
I like the fact that I know everyone from the Mayor to the cab drivers. I feel connected in Oakland; I just wish my Mom was here rather than Georgia as she's my only family.

7. What should we bring when we visit your town? What should we leave with?
Bring a jacket and shorts -- ok short-shorts. It gets warm during the day, hot at times, then it cools down fast. But I've got to see those legs! :)

8. What do we absolutely have to see while we're there?
You have to see the Golden Gate Bridge. No matter how long I've been in the Bay Area, that site is enduring.

9. Any areas of town we should avoid?
Frankly it's hard to pinpoint one area anymore as it seems crime is happening all over, from Berkeley to SF, to Oakland. I'd just plain be careful period.

10. Any local secrets you want to share?
Well...Valleywag has a certain sex writer who used to have "clients" if you know what I mean. (No, I was not one of them.)

CNN's "Black In America" Does Not Represent Middle Class Blacks

CNN's Black in America is a welcome addition to TV, but it has a major problem to me in that it does not represent middle class African Americans.

Much of the telecast shows Blacks who are downtrodden, or have had something "done" to them by the "system." It's a one-sided view of Blacks that does not help in really understanding African Americans. Not every aspect of Black culture or the life of those of us who are is negative, and I feel that the general life of middle class Blacks was ignored.

Barack Obama Gets Poll Bump From Overseas Trip - Up 49 to 41 Percent Over McCain in Gallup Poll

Barack Obama Gets Poll Bump From Overseas Trip - Up 49 to 41 Percent Over McCain in Gallup Poll

Senator Barack Obama is now seeing a the poll bump he said may not happen due to his overseas trip, and particularly his historic Berlin speech drawing over 200,000 people (this equally breath-taking photo is from Portland, Oregon where 75,000 came to hear him speak). The Gallup Daily tracking poll has Senator Obama ahead 49 percent to 41 percent and according to Gallup's Frank Newport, is the largest lead to date in the poll series:

Frank Newport - This represents a continuation of Obama's front-runner position evident in the last three Gallup Poll Daily tracking updates. The margin, coincident with the extensive U.S. news coverage of Obama's foreign tour, is the largest for Obama over McCain measured since Gallup began tracking the general election horserace in March.

Chinese Government Already Arresting Dissidents Before Olympics - If you remember the video I made where I talked about how the Chinese Government could use IP address data from the Viacom / Google lawsuit to find dissidents and arrest or kill them --


Then brace yourself because the Chinese have already arrested two Internet dissidents Du Daobin and Ye Guozhu and have done so before the Bejing Olympics.

Both dissidents were arrested for "subversion" or writing against the actions of the Chinese Government. Such actions bring into focus the value of the "annoymous blogger" because the idea is that by being just that, one can explain and report in a dissident fashion without the kind of retribution these two gentleman are facing.

But the actions of some using the term annoymous have threatened the very ability to use that term. As a momentary aside, people using that term must take care not to abuse its use for mean-sprited purposes.

China is clearly concerned about its image during the Olympics and as such does not want dissidents exposed to foreign journalists, so they're locking them up. It's up to the Internet blogging and vlogging community to expose their actions and even make sure that Chinese nationals are informed of them.

Finally, President Bush should not just go to the Olympics but remind China of its human rights violations

Debra Bartoshevich Ousted From DNC Convention For Backing John McCain

Debra Bartoshevich is a Wisconsin Democratic Delegate who was just recently ou from the Democratic National Convention (DNC) for stating that she would back Republican Senator John McCain over Democratic Senator Barack Obama for President.

I say we round up every Democratic Delegate who popped off and stated they would vote for Senator McCain over Senator Obama, and kick them out of the DNC Convention. That's ridiculous, stating such a position after the Democratic Party itself has given that person the status of delegate.

Barack Obama has the leadership skills to get us this far, but this veiled racism causes the collapse of intellect, thus people infected in this way, don't listen to leaders. This problem must be and will be corrected, ASAP.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

DNC Youth Council Events At DNC Convention

I found this interesting bit of information over at DemNotes blogsite:

There will be a few events during the week hosted by the Youth Council. On the Monday of the National Convention, the Youth Council will host a press conference about youth issues.

Tuesday will feature a “Youth Voting Panel” with some key national figures discussing youth voting issues.

Wednesday evening, the Youth Council will host a Youth Watch Party in Denver for those unable to access the Pepsi Center.

Thursday, the Youth Council will host a “youth luncheon” featuring key national speakers to be announced.

These events are generally free and open to the public, but folks under age 36 (in other words, not me) can get priority reserved VIP tickets to these events and the acceptance speech at Invesco Field by donating $150 to help cover the costs of these events. If you’re interested (note that higher-level packages are also available for sponsorships), e-mail the Youth Council at:

DNC Convention: What To Do In Denver - Video

Denver dwellers have made a blogsite and this video to tell tourists what they should do in Denver while they're here for the DNC Convention. MUST Shut Down; Close

I still stand by what I wrote June 5th:

Hillary Is 44 is now a waste of time, and also may be the site behind the Democrats Against Obama effort. The site, owned by Alex Rodriguez (Yeah. Right.) didn't do the job of helping Clinton -- Obama's the nominee.

"Alex Rodriguez", it's time to shut down Hillary Is 44. Put it to bed.

Didn't you all get the memo? The war's over.

Coverage about McCain instead of Obama: 26 July 2008

Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee in the upcoming election to choose the next President of the U.S.A., is reportedly displeased by the amount of coverage that Barack Obama's overseas trip has been getting - even though he himself had suggested that Senator Obama make such a trip. I realize McCain's been in the game a long time, and he probably feels that he's entitled to a little more respect than he believes he's getting.

So I thought I'd share a video with you; a musical tribute to his campaign speeches, you might say, reminiscent of that "Yes We Can" video.

South Carolina Has 670,000 Registered Black Voters, Or One Fourth Of Total

Some people are bothered by a new poll as of this writing that has Sen. John McCain ahead of Sen. Barack Obama by 13 points or so. But given that SC has 670,000 registered Black voters out of 2.3 million voters, if you think of that group voting as a bloc, then all Democrats, it's hard to see Senator Obama not winning the state, if not being within 4 points of McCain.

Blue Stars for Obama

Blue Star Flag Blue Stars for Obama is an organizing site for military families to take action in the presidential campaign. The campaign will both seek feedback from military families and publish endorsements.

Blue Star members may have the opportunity to get invitations to Michelle Obama’s round-table discussions with military families held near bases around the country.

The Blue Star Flag was designed in the early 1900s by Robert L. Queissner of the 5th Ohio Infantry, who had two sons serving in the military. It has become a widely recognized unofficial symbol of families with a child in military service.

Started by Army and Marine Corps spouses, members believe supporting Senator Obama's candidacy exhibits and reinforces support of their loved ones serving in the military. The initiative borrows the symbolism of the blue star flag which immediate family members of active duty service members in times of war may fly, but it is not in any way affiliated with the Service Flag or the Blue Star Mothers organization. Accordingly, the group has adopted the logo below, omitting the traditional red border of the original symbol.

Even if you belong to another military family site join Blue Stars, too. Blue Stars for Obama is Pro Military, Pro Obama.” The commitment to the country made by all who join the military is echoed in Barack Obama’s unyielding personal commitment to public service. His dedication to make America safer by increasing the prestige of the US around the world is in total harmony with the decisions made by those in our military, and the families who support them.

Courage, Commitment, Honor...

Senator Obama’s candidacy parallels and reflects the values of courage, commitment, honor, loyalty and selfless service ~ values needed in the White House just as they are in the military. Now Michelle Obama is helping family members have a greater voice by becoming a “Blue Star for Obama.”

Blue Stars for Barack Obama!Blue Stars for Obama is open to any who have a family member serving in the military ~ that includes: spouse, child, parent, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc. For more information on Blue Stars for Obama and updates on Michelle Obama’s activities, check out the blog at

John Edwards' and Rielle Hunter Meetup Confirmed By Security Guard

Monday nights's report of John Edwards visit to alleged mistress Rielle Hunter's hotel room to see her and her new baby was confirmed by a security guard on the scene. It's a sad tale, with reports of "a shaken and ashen-faced Edwards" in it.

SEE John Edwards and Rielle Hunter

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dobson flip flops on McCain support, despite earlier vehement positions.

Religion kingpin, Focus on the Family head plugs his nose and prepares to back the Republican for president.

In a Friday column WorldNetDaily's John Lofton said, "You cannot do this, sir."

" cannot do this for the simple reason that you have said flatly, categorically, unqualifiedly, vehemently, repeatedly, that under no circumstances would you support McCain for president--period."

James Dobson doesn't speak for me!James Dobson, like Jesse Jackson, doesn't speak for me.That wouldn't be big news except for the fact that he also doesn't speak for Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell - you know, the guy who performed a marriage for the Bush family recently? Yeah, that Pastor Caldwell.

Caldwell's not sitting still, either, as you can tell from his new website -- so it seems that Dobson may have jumped the shark. Either that, or we have to say good bye to using "flip flop" as a means to deride people. Regardless, it seems you can't take James Dobson's word for what he believes, or will do.

More Props to Nas

About a week ago, we gave Props to Nas for a song on his new album called "Black President." There's another song on there that you should check out, "Sly Fox." Here are sample lyrics:

Watch what you're watching
Fox keeps feeding us toxins
Stop sleeping
Start thinking outside of the box
And unplugged from the Matrix stopped you
But watch what you say, Fox Fire is watching

Only fox that I loved was the red one
Only black man that Fox love is
in jail or a dead one

Can you guess at which major TV news network that song is aimed? The song drew the attention of, which has its own campaign to get Fox to stop using "racist smears" (think terrorist fist jab and Michelle Obama as baby mama, for example). contacted Nas and they joined forces against Fox, most recently protesting outside Fox News HQ in Manhattan. We think this is a great partnership. For more details on the rally at Fox, see Fox News On-Air Racism Challenged by Huge Petition Drive and Hot Rapper Nas.

"Mindess McCain" - My New Name For John McCain And His Errors

"Mindess McCain" - My New Name For John McCain And His Errors

We've seen day after day of Senator John McCain's errors, from talking about countries that don't exist to saying that Iraq's boarder is next to Afghanistan, and forgetting that we attacked Afghanistan before we attacked Iraq. What else is next?

Well, I'm calling him Mindless McCain, because at times he doesn't seem to think about what he says at all. He just talks.

West Virginia Has Double Number of Registered Democrats as Republicans So Polls Are Wrong

Ok. Here's a question for you. Why is it that Rasmussen Polling has Senator John McCain over Senator Obama 45 percent to 37 percent, but there are 665,234 Democrats, 347,760 Republicans and 156,199 who are unaffiliated, according to figures released from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office?

Think about it. That means there would be an overwhelming Democratic win in West Virginia, right? So what's Rasmussen doing with it's polling methods?

I check the site and it reads this:

Rasmussen Reports collects data for its survey research using an automated polling methodology.
Generally speaking, the automated survey process is identical to that of traditional, operator-assisted research firms such as Gallup, Harris, and Roper. However, automated polling systems use a single, digitally-recorded, voice to conduct the interview while traditional firms rely on phone banks, boiler rooms, and operator-assisted technology.
For tracking surveys such as the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll or the Rasmussen Consumer Index, the automated technology insures that every respondent hears exactly the same question, from the exact same voice, asked with the exact same inflection every single time.
All Rasmussen Reports' survey questions are digitally recorded and fed to a calling program that determines question order, branching options, and other factors. Calls are placed to randomly-selected phone numbers through a process that insures appropriate geographic representation. Typically, calls are placed from 5 pm to 9 pm local time during the week. Saturday calls are made from 11 am to 6 pm local time and Sunday calls from 1 pm to 9 pm local time.
After the calls are completed, the raw data is processed through a weighting program to insure that the sample reflects the overall population in terms of age, race, gender, political party, and other factors. The processing step is required because different segments of the population answer the phone in different ways. For example, women answer the phone more than men, older people are home more and answer more than younger people, and rural residents typically answer the phone more frequently than urban residents.
For surveys of all adults, the population targets are determined by census bureau data.
For political surveys, census bureau data provides a starting point and a series of screening questions are used to determine likely voters. The questions involve voting history, interest in the current campaign, and likely voting intentions.
Rasmussen Reports determines its partisan weighting targets through a dynamic weighting system that takes into account the state’s voting history, national trends, and recent polling in a particular state or geographic area.

So basically, Rasmussen uses an automatic calling system of "likely voters" which means they're older than the younger voters that have overwhelmingly went for Obama.

Which means they're more likely to produce a poll that favors John McCain. Consider that the Rasmussen methodogy calls listed number and many cell phones -- which young people generally use almost exclusively -- are not called.

Now I'm trying to determine if Rasmussen knows what party the people called are registered with. Rasmussen report that...

After the calls are completed, the raw data is processed through a weighting program to insure that the sample reflects the overall population in terms of age, race, gender, political party, and other factors.

"Political party" is used in the weighting? Really? So it's obvious that either Rasmussen has the wrong party registration numbers or the weighting formula itself is just plain wrong.

West Virginia has 665,234 Democrats, 347,760 Republicans and 156,199 who are unaffiliated. With those estimates, Obama should win West Virginia if all Democrats come out and vote. The polls are wrong, or Democrats are expressing a switch to vote for McCain? It's hard to tell that from the Rasmussen system. But even if that were the case, it would still not reflect what young voters are going to do, so you've got to give the advantage to Barack Obama.

Don't trust the polls in 2008.

TNR Reports No Media Love Affair With Obama; McCain Proved Wrong Again

In a revealing online article, The New Republic's Gabriel Sherman writes about the changing relationship between the press and the Obama camp, proving in the process, there's no media love for the Obama staff.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Barack Obama Before 250,000 In Berlin, Germany - Video

This is a most amazing photo of a most amazing moment of a most amazing day. Senator Barack Obama waves to an estimated 250,000 people after delivering a great and historic speech that marks a change in his campaign, forever cementing the image of Senator Obama as President of The United States.

White House puts Obama speech off limits to US government workers

Citing a little used and rarely-interpreted-this-way rule, the White House let all of its employees in the region know that they were not allowed to attend Barack Obama's speech in Germany today. In theory, US government employees serving oversees are not to engage in any partisan, political activity. I can both buy into and accept this theory. How, though, an American citizen attending a speech by a US Congressman, even one who is running for President, can be seen as overtly engaging in partisan, political activity seems a stretch to me. The chances that a German citizen would have spied an American in the over 200,000 people who attended Obama's speech today, identified that American as being an arm of the White House (I'm sure they left their, "I obey W" shirts at home), and then, from that, drawn the conclusion that W, himself, is endorsing Obama, are slim to none.

Barring a foreign service employee from brandishing Obama welcome signs, raising funds at the Democratic-voters-abroad-for-Obama bake sale, or protesting Obama's visit by wearing nothing but a wooden McCain placard, seems completely legit to me. But barring them simply from attending the speech seems slightly silly and severely undemocratic. History has shown, however, that the paranoia of this White House has no bounds.

Obama Berlin Speech Draws Over 200,000 People - Zeit Online German online news organ Zeit Online reports that over 200,000 people came out to see Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama's speech.

That's double the number that some news organizations reported, and makes me wonder if attempts are afoot to diminish the power of this historic moment.

Barack Obama | Germany | A Speech Historic - Text Of Speech

Barack Obama in Germany., originally uploaded by fotowosch.

Barack Obama | Berlin | A Speech Historic - Text Of Speech

I just finished watching what was both a moving moment and a moving speech by Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. But after this speech, I think Obama's unseated Former President Bill Clinton for the title of "President Of The World" and he hasn't even been elected yet.

The moment was amazing: over 100,000 people in Berlin, most waving American Flags on a sunny summer evening where it felt like the World stopped for an hour to see the first African American leader give a speech at a place ripe with history.

Conservative pundits wrongly observed that Obama was out of place. Indeed, he was very much in his place as the symbol of modern diversity and a one-person example of the oneness of the World itself.

After today, I can't see how any reasonable American could not vote for Barack Obama. He's one person who's assended at the right time for America and the World.

Here's the text of Senator Obama's speech below, with more content to come soon:

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama (as prepared for delivery)

"A World that Stands as One"

July 24th, 2008

Berlin, Germany

Thank you to the citizens of Berlin and to the people of Germany. Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thank you for this welcome.

I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen - a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.

I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city. The journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father - my grandfather - was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning - his dream - required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life.

That is why I'm here. And you are here because you too know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.

Ours is a partnership that truly began sixty years ago this summer, on the day when the first American plane touched down at Templehof.

On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West, America, Britain, and France took stock of their losses, and pondered how the world might be remade.

This is where the two sides met. And on the twenty-fourth of June, 1948, the Communists chose to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin.

The size of our forces was no match for the much larger Soviet Army. And yet retreat would have allowed Communism to march across Europe. Where the last war had ended, another World War could have easily begun. All that stood in the way was Berlin.

And that's when the airlift began - when the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.

The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.

But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city's mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. "There is only one possibility," he said. "For us to stand together united until this battle is won...The people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty, and we will keep on doing our duty. People of the world: now do your duty...People of the world, look at Berlin!"

People of the world - look at Berlin!

Look at Berlin, where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other less than three years after facing each other on the field of battle.

Look at Berlin, where the determination of a people met the generosity of the Marshall Plan and created a German miracle; where a victory over tyranny gave rise to NATO, the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security.

Look at Berlin, where the bullet holes in the buildings and the somber stones and pillars near the Brandenburg Gate insist that we never forget our common humanity.

People of the world - look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.

Sixty years after the airlift, we are called upon again. History has led us to a new crossroad, with new promise and new peril. When you, the German people, tore down that wall - a wall that divided East and West; freedom and tyranny; fear and hope - walls came tumbling down around the world. From Kiev to Cape Town, prison camps were closed, and the doors of democracy were opened. Markets opened too, and the spread of information and technology reduced barriers to opportunity and prosperity. While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history.

The fall of the Berlin Wall brought new hope. But that very closeness has given rise to new dangers - dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean.

The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.

Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. The genocide in Darfur shames the conscience of us all.

In this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. That is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape responsibility in meeting them. Yet, in the absence of Soviet tanks and a terrible wall, it has become easy to forget this truth. And if we're honest with each other, we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny.

In Europe, the view that America is part of what has gone wrong in our world, rather than a force to help make it right, has become all too common. In America, there are voices that deride and deny the importance of Europe's role in our security and our future. Both views miss the truth - that Europeans today are bearing new burdens and taking more responsibility in critical parts of the world; and that just as American bases built in the last century still help to defend the security of this continent, so does our country still sacrifice greatly for freedom around the globe.

Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more - not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid.

So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

That is why America cannot turn inward. That is why Europe cannot turn inward. America has no better partner than Europe. Now is the time to build new bridges across the globe as strong as the one that bound us across the Atlantic. Now is the time to join together, through constant cooperation, strong institutions, shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It was this spirit that led airlift planes to appear in the sky above our heads, and people to assemble where we stand today. And this is the moment when our nations - and all nations - must summon that spirit anew.

This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it. If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York. If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope.

This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.

This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love. With that wall gone, we need not stand idly by and watch the further spread of the deadly atom. It is time to secure all loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to reduce the arsenals from another era. This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.

This is the moment when every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday. In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad. In this century - in this city of all cities - we must reject the Cold War mind-set of the past, and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent.

This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.

This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We must support the Lebanese who have marched and bled for democracy, and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace. And despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close.

This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. Let us resolve that all nations - including my own - will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation, and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere. This is the moment to give our children back their future. This is the moment to stand as one.

And this is the moment when we must give hope to those left behind in a globalized world. We must remember that the Cold War born in this city was not a battle for land or treasure. Sixty years ago, the planes that flew over Berlin did not drop bombs; instead they delivered food, and coal, and candy to grateful children. And in that show of solidarity, those pilots won more than a military victory. They won hearts and minds; love and loyalty and trust - not just from the people in this city, but from all those who heard the story of what they did here.

Now the world will watch and remember what we do here - what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?

Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words "never again" in Darfur?

Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don't look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?

People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time.

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived - at great cost and great sacrifice - to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom - indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us - what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America's shores - is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.

These are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of these aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of these aspirations that all free people - everywhere - became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of these aspirations that a new generation - our generation - must make our mark on the world.

People of Berlin - and people of the world - the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.

Barack Obama In Berlin - Live Video Stream at Zennie's Zeitgeist

Zennie's Zeitgeist has this live video stream of Senator Barack Obama's speech in Berlin. It starts at 11 AM PST. Also go to for more information.

*Note: If you are having problems with viewing the live video or hearing the audio, refresh your browser.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finally, Impeachment will be heard on Friday - Congressman Kucinich

My respect for Congressman Kucinich has just shot through the roof. Obama/Kucinich 2008

John McCain's Fans Sleep On The Job Of Support

I've heard that Senator John McCain's fans aren't really excited about him but geez look at this photo!!

Do you think Racism still exists? Baron “Scooter” Pikes Tasered To Death


Baron “Scooter” Pikes, 21, died horribly on Jan 17th 2008. Handcuffed in police custody and pleading for mercy he was tasered 9 times by officer Scott Nugent who is white. Pikes is Black. The incident occurred between 1:28pm and 2:07pm. The official police report of what happened in those 39 minutes is starkly refuted by eyewitnesses and physical evidence.

The Police Report:

Nugent spotted Pikes walking along the street and attempted to arrest him on an outstanding warrant for drug possession, according to Police Chief Johnny Ray Carpenter. Pikes took off running, but another officer cornered him outside a nearby grocery store. Pikes resisted arrest and Nugent subdued him with a shock from a Taser.

Then on the way to the police station, Pikes fell ill and told the officers he suffered from asthma and was high on crack cocaine and PCP. The officers called for an ambulance, but Pikes later died at the hospital.

Six months later, the Winnfield police are standing by that story. Meanwhile, the Louisiana State Police are investigating the case, and no charges have been filed against Nugent or two other Winnfield police officers who assisted him in arresting Pikes, although the City Council did decide to fire Nugent from the force in May.

Contradictory Evidence:

There is plenty of contradictory evidence, including officer Nugent’s own report of the incident, the autopsy results and eyewitness accounts.

An autopsy determined there were no drugs in Pikes’ system and that he did not have asthma, according to Dr. Randolph Williams, the Winn Parish coroner. After consulting about the case with Dr. Michael Baden, a nationally prominent forensic pathologist, Williams ruled last month that Pikes’ death was a homicide. On the death certificate, he listed the cause of death as “cardiac arrest following nine 50,000-volt electroshock applications from a conductive electrical weapon.”

Moreover, Pikes did not resist arrest, and he was handcuffed while lying on the ground, according to Nugent’s police report of the incident. It was only after Pikes refused Nugent’s command to stand up that the officer applied the first Taser shock in the middle of his back, Nugent wrote.

Several more Taser shocks followed quickly, Nugent stated, because Pikes kept falling down and refusing to get back up. Grocery shoppers who witnessed the incident later told Pikes’ family that he had pleaded with Nugent: “Please, you all got me. Please don’t Tase me again.”

Williams said police records showed Nugent administered nine Taser shocks to Pikes over a 14-minute period. The last two jolts, delivered as police pulled Pikes from a patrol car at the police station, elicited no physical reaction because the suspect was unconscious, Williams said.

Only after Pikes was carried into the police station and slumped into a chair did police call for an ambulance. He was pronounced dead soon afterward at the local hospital.

“God did not just call this young man home,” said Williams, who has served as parish coroner for the past 33 years. “Fourteen minutes elapsed between the first shock and the last. If somebody can tell me anything else that killed this otherwise perfectly healthy young man in 14 minutes, I’d like to know it.”

“This case may be the most unnecessary death I have ever had to investigate,” Williams said. “[Pikes] put up no fuss, no fighting, no physical aggression. The Taser was not used to take him into custody. He just didn’t respond quickly enough to the officer’s commands.”

Winn Parish District Atty. Chris Nevils says he expects to present the case to a grand jury after he receives the results of the state police investigation.

Colorful History of Winnfield:

Winnfield is just 40 miles from Jena, La. the site of the racially explosive prosecution of six black teenagers charged with beating a white youth that last year triggered one of the largest American civil rights demonstrations in decades. In a bizarre twist of fate it turns out that Baron Pikes is the first cousin of Mychal Bell, the lead defendant in the Jena 6 case.

Winnfield is also the birthplace of two of Louisiana’s most colorful and notorious governors, Huey and Earl Long.

The police chief of Winnfield committed suicide three years ago after losing a close election marred by allegations of fraud and vote-buying. Just four months later, the district attorney killed himself after allegedly skimming $200,000 from his office budget and extorting payments from criminal defendants to make their cases go away.

The current police chief is a convicted drug offender who got a pardon from Edwin Edwards, the former Louisiana governor who is serving time in federal prison for corruption convictions.

All of that tangled history is now wrapped up in the Pikes case, because Scott Nugent, the officer who Tasered him, is the well-connected son of the former police chief who killed himself and the protégé of the current chief, who hired him onto the force.

In less than two years on Winnfield’s 20-officer police force, police records show, Nugent ranked as the department’s most aggressive Taser user. Among the recipients were a 15-year-old African-American runaway who was not charged with any crime and Pikes’ father, currently serving a prison sentence for a drug offense, who was Tasered by Nugent last year, according to Kayshon Collins.

Joe Heard said his 15-year-old son was Tasered twice by Nugent last August, after Heard reported the youth as a runaway and asked the police to help find him.

“He snuck out of the house to be with a girl,” Heard said. “I asked the police to bring him home, and they did, but in pieces–he was all scraped up and bruised. They told me the next time he runs, ‘You know we’re going to shoot him.’ “

Officer Scott Nugent, 21, declined to be interviewed for this story. But his attorney, Phillip Terrell, said that Nugent “acted within the ambit of his training and Winnfield Police Department policies”, an opinion seconded by police spokesman Lt. Charles Curry.

Taser Safety Guidelines:

The official Winnfield Police Department Taser policy appears to prohibit the weapon’s use against a nonviolent suspect who has already been handcuffed:

“The Taser shall only be deployed in circumstances where it is deemed reasonably necessary to control a dangerous or violent subject,” the policy states. It also requires that a suspect who has been Tasered should immediately be checked out at a hospital, which did not happen in Pikes’ case.

Safety guidelines issued by Taser International Inc., the manufacturer of the device that is now used by more than 12,700 law enforcement and military agencies worldwide, warn officers to “minimize repeated, continuous, and/or simultaneous exposures.”

Company officials, citing dozens of medical studies, insist Tasers are safe when used properly. But few of those studies examined the effect of multiple Taser applications over a short period of time. The U.S. Department of Justice, in a study released in June, concluded that “the medical risks of repeated or continuous [Taser] exposure are unknown.”

“We want the police officer to be prosecuted for what he done,” Pikes’ stepmother, Kayshon Collins. We got the death certificate from the funeral home in June, and it said the death was a homicide.”

The Louisiana ACLU said that police officers should be handled just as other citizens.

“Police must be accountable for their actions just as others are, and if excessive police force caused Mr. Pikes’ death, the officers must be held accountable,” Marjorie Esman, executive director, said in a prepared statement. “The Louisiana State Police are reviewing this unfortunate death and, if their review indicates that Mr. Pikes died as a result of police misconduct, we expect the District Attorney to prosecute as it would any other death that occurs in Winn Parish.”

“I cannot and will not judge a case before I have all the facts,” Nevils said in a statement provided to “But I will assure you that if any persons are found to have committed a crime, they will be prosecuted without regard to who they are. On the other hand, if no crime has been committed, I’m not going to bring charges because it might be a popular thing to do.”

Senator John McCain's Media Complaints DO Sound Like Hillary Clinton's - Stereohyped Is Right

I just saw the blog Stereohyped who has a great point: John McCain's ranting on about media bias for Senator Barack Obama does sound like Senator Hillary Clinton's crabby talk about the same thing during the primary run, and we do know how well that didn't work.

But now McCain says he's wasn't complaining! That's BS. McCain's got a commercial about the deal, for God's sake.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Senator Barack Obama Gets Ovation From Troops At U.S Embassy In Baghdad

Take a look at this video because you're not likely to see this kind of ovation for President Bush. Senator Barack Obama visited our troops at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and got a warm welcome. He then took time to thank them for their service.

John Edwards and Rielle Hunter "The Alleged Mistress" Caught In LA By Enquirer

This is a new story that is based on one I covered last fall. Former U.S. Senator John Edwards, who was also being considered for the VP slot next to Senator Barack Obama, was found at an LA hotel by two National Enquirer reporters as Edwards was visting new mom Rielle Hunter.

In January, this space reported that the Enquirer wrote that Hunter was pregnant.

This is what I added in this blog:

John Edwards' Alledged Lover Rielle Hunter Pregnant By Either "Edwards Operative" Or Edwards Himself

Friday, January 04, 2008

As John Edwards prepares to go negative on Barack Obama after Obama's big Iowa win, there's a looming spectre of a story that should be of concern to him and it seems to be.

This is a story that will not go away and it comes up again, as The National Enquirer and Sam Stein over at the Huffington Post first introduced a story asserting that former U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards had an affair in 2006.

I wrote about it a while back , but focused on the Enquirer / Clinton angle. But I'm done with that as the story has massive legs.

Now, the Enquirer is reporting that the woman of interest as the supposed lover, Rielle Hunter is pregnant, and has a photo , shown here, to prove it. Now this is where the story gets even weirder...

Here is what I wrote in the original story:

This is one of those stories you aren't sure what to do with but figure you should cover to some extent. Apparently the National Enquirer is reporting that John Edwards had been cheating on his wife. It's all the more hurtful because his wife's battling breast cancer and doesn't need any more stress, even from the mere existence of the story itself.


The person who some are pointing fingers at is named Rielle Hunter. She's a video producer who was hired to cover Edwards for a period of time during the campaign and made a special set of videos. Here's one of them..

Hunter released the following statement through a spokesperson:

"The innuendoes and lies that have appeared on the internet and in the National Enquirer concerning John Edwards are not true, completely unfounded and ridiculous.
My video production company was hired by the Edwards camp on a 6 month contract, which we completed December 31, 2006.

When working for the Edwards camp, my conduct as well as the conduct of my entire team was completely professional.

This concocted story is just dirty politics and I want no part of it."

But how in hell did this get started and generate 1,363 blog posts, according to Technorati? We'll get to that, but it appears the National Enquirer is part owned by Clinton backer and former staffer Roger Altman , according to Pat Dollard.

But A spokesman for American Media, Richard Valvo, said in an email that Altman has “no involvement in editorial, ever.” He said that Evercore owns 20% of the company through an investment fund. Altman didn’t respond to an email seeking comment or to a message left with his secretary.

American Media has also published terrible and negative stories about the Clintons since its acquisition, so that may just be coincidence.

But how did this get started?

According to Sam Stein over at the Huffington Post , the two met at a New York Bar (!) and the idea for a set of videos was hatched there. What Sam doesn't report, but does come from Rielle's own website, is that in 2004 she was flat broke. In 2006, just two years later, she scored a six-figure deal with Edwards. But how?

What appears possible is that Edwards got involved with helping a woman in her early 40s remake her life. Indeed, the production company that made the film, Midline Groove Productions, was brand new in 2006, according to its website.

"Midline Groove is a full-service production company committed to projects that reveal truth -- the authentic aspects of humanity that are right here and most often overlooked. Creating short and feature length documentaries for the web, broadcast, and big screen, the company was established in 2006 by producing partners Rielle Hunter and Mimi Hockman."

So it seems that the Edward project was Midline Groove Productions' first work, period. Thus it seems as if Edwards created a job for the new production company. It came at the right time for Hunter. Hunter's other website sends the constant message that Hunter was searching for a new self at the time. Check this out..

Back in bed the thought arises: Funny, I would ask Ramana for help and not Gangaji who is here in a body. Yes, that would be too intimate. Intimate intimate intimate. And because I have learned to move towards my fear, I have learned that under the fear is where all the great juice is hidden, it naturally occurs to me to ask her: Gangaji, PLEASE help me wake up from this dream.

There's a lot of text like that.

NYMag has a great timeline which I've reproduced here:

January 2007. John Edwards's One America campaign debuts a series of Web videos about him, made by relatively unknown documentarian Rielle Hunter. The pair met at a bar, where she sold the future candidate on the idea. Hunter subsequently followed Edwards around the country, filming. Newsweek reporter Jonathan Darman, upon watching the final cuts, notes that "in the midst of a short theme sequence that begins each Webisode, the camera lingers over the former senator's behind as he tucks a starched white shirt into his pants."

August 27, 2007. The Post's "Page Six" runs the following blind item: "WHICH political candidate enjoys visiting New York because he has a girlfriend who lives downtown? The pol tells her he'll marry her when his current wife is out of the picture." This is later reprinted by commenters on the Huffington Post blog.

September 26, 2007. Young Huffington Post blogger Sam Stein writes about his efforts to track down the Web videos, which have disappeared from Edwards's Website. Stein writes an oddly detailed account of his chase of the videos and points out that both the Edwards campaign and Hunter's production company blame one another for their vanishing act. Stein even checks with the Screen Actor's Guild to get more information and tracks down production assistants on the project, none of whom will say much. Finally, Edwards's people let him see the videos while accompanied by a campaign minder and Stein sees nothing sinister in them.

September 27, 2007. Daily Kos contributor Ben Bang links to Stein's post and viciously berates the reporter. "Are we supposed to infer something from this non-ending, douchebag?" Ben Bang asks, going on to call him a him a "no-article-finishing, character-assassinating hack fuck."

October 10, 2007. The National Enquirer reports that Edwards is having an affair with a mystery woman who had traveled with the campaign and met the candidate at a bar. An Edwards rep calls the allegations "false, absolute nonsense."

October 10, 2007. That same day, Stein posts a follow-up to his original Huffington Post piece. He questions why the filmmaker, Rielle Hunter, was paid upwards of $100,000 for her work and points out that she used to be a party girl who dated writer Jay McInerney in the eighties and inspired the main character in his book Story of My Life.

October 10, 2007. Ann Coulter, late in the day, mentions the Enquirer story on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC talk show. Daily Kos once again picks up on it and lists the reasons why Stein and the Huffington Post are irresponsible journalists for digging into it.

October 11, 2007. Mickey Kaus on Slate writes a post headlined "Emerging Edwards Scandal?" in which he notes the previous coverage, mulls what would happen to Edwards's campaign if the story were true, especially since he's been "tacitly and effectively used Elizabeth and her struggle" with cancer (the struggle with cancer no doubt being a large part of why the "mainstream media seems to be strenuously trying to not report it"), and wonders who might benefit. Obama?

October 11, 2007. doesn't mince words, with a headline that screams, "Is John Edwards Cheating on His Cancer-Stricken Wife?" "Who the fuck sleeps with a married man whose wife has terminal cancer and THE ENTIRE WORLD FUCKING KNOWS ABOUT IT?"

October 11, 2007. Washington, D.C., gossip blog picks up on the Enquirer story, too. After Ann Coulter (who once called John Edwards a gay slur) mentions it, they query: "But, um, Ann? Why would Edwards have a lady-affair when he's a 'faggot'?"

October 11, 2007. New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer dutifully compiles all of the coverage of the rumor, without adding any information or making conclusions of any kind.

The AP Picks Up The Story

The Associated Press just picked up the story as did the LA Times. In total, 70 news outlets are running with the yarn. Let's see where this takes us as it's not going away.

Back to The Present

John Edwards tried to elude the Enquirer reporters Monday night and according to the Enquirer he did call hotel security. But the overall damage was done.

In this video I talk about Edwards committment to the poor and how that should be allowed to remain in our thoughts about Edwards as he faces this tough issue.

What I call for is us to "circle the wagons" and wish Edwards and his wife the best as they go through what has to be a terrible period.

There are many questions.

For example, why were the videos that Hunter made taken down from the Edwards site last year? And who is behind making the YouTube channel "MissingVideos"? That channel has this wording:

Sometimes things go missing from the internet.

Usually they pop back up.

What Edwards will do now is anyone's guess. Also how will this impact his speaking at the DNC Convention? Stay tuned.

DNCC Giving Away Trip To Convention For Donation - DemConWatch

DemConWatch, which reports on DNC Convention News, has it that the DNCC is sponsoring a contest where the donor winner gets a trip to the DNC Convention. Here are the details from the blog:

Just make a contribution to the DCCC before August 11th and you'll receive an official entry to win flight, tickets and accommodation in Denver for the 2008 Democratic National Convention August 25th - 28th.

Click here to enter with a donation
or you can click here to enter without contributing

The Rules and Regulations are exactly what you'd expect from Congress...
Winner shall be randomly selected from all eligible entries before August 22, 2008.
The winners shall be notified by email on or before August 2, 2008
Your entry must be submitted electronically to:, and must include your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
No purchase necessary. Contributing to the DCCC will not improve your chances of winning. You may enter the contest as many times as you like without a contribution by entering here.
So they say you can enter up until August 11th and the winner will be notified "before August 2nd" I'm wondering how they can notify the winner before the contest is over?

And if there's a typo and the winner will be notified on August 22nd... they won't have much time to pack. The flight leaves on August 24th.

Another rule says you have to submit your "name, mailing address, phone number, and email address" but if you go to the page where you don't have to donate, it only asks for your name, email address and zip code.

Gallup And Rasmussen Polls Both Have Obama Ahead By A Hair

I just looked at both the Gallup and the Rasmussen daily tracking polls and Senator Barack Obama's ahead of Senator John McCain by just three percent in the first, 47 to 44 percent and one percent in the last, 45 to 44 percent. But I can't figure out why other than racism. That's the element not adressed, but I also believe that the number of young people polled is not in proportion to their numbers or turnout.

Both polls survey "likely voters" which tend to be older than 45 years of age, and that's where McCain does better. So, we're going to see these numbers -- wrong though they are -- for awhile. John McCain's making a lot of mistakes and the media's not hammering him on them, like talking about a country that does not exist, or today, saying that Iraq is on the boarder of Afghanistan when it's no where near it.

Either someone's not paying attention or they're just plain, well, it's got to be racism -- that's the only mental illness that could explain this.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Barack Obama In France; Translated Interview Reveals Desire For "Less Ideological Politics"

One possible key reason why Europeans are excited about Senator Barack Obama's tour of that part of the World is that he's advocating a politics that's less "ideologically based". I discovered this from this translated interview Senator Obama gave to The Paris Match in late January of this year:

The flight of Obama

Our correspondent in the USA Regis Le Sommier tells the fervor and enthusiasm surrounding the campaign and Barack Obama, by contrast, supporters calmer and more reflective of Hillary Clinton.

Regis Le Sommier and Laurence Haim Canal + were also able to interview Barack Obama in exclusivity. Find our interview with one of the favourites of the race for the White House below.

Barack Obama: "I want to talk directly with Iran and Syria. We do not stabiliserons the region if we are not talking to our enemies "

Regis Le Sommier interview (Paris Match) and Laurence Haim (Canal +)
(published in Paris Match No. 3063 of 31 January 2008)

Paris Match. How will you take to improve the image of the USA in the World?

Barack Obama. Priority should be given, to end the war in Iraq. Occupying this country puts us in a door at odds with the world. Likewise, we must close Guantanamo prisoners and provide a legal framework which allows them to trial. I also, once elected, hold a summit in the Muslim world, with all heads of state, to discuss frankly on how to contain the gap widens each day between Muslims and the West. I want to ask them to join our fight against terrorism. We must also listen to their concerns. I also want us to be leaders in areas such as climate change, that the Bush administration has neglected so long. And this position concern worldwide. If we show that we are a leader in fields such as development, climate change and nuclear non-proliferation, then we will have in exchange for greater cooperation in issues that concern us.

Paris Match: This is a campaign very hard ...

Barack Obama. Yes.

Paris Match: The Clinton are against you. Which of the two is the most difficult to cope?

Barack Obama. No doubt, both are formidable opponents. It is a solid team. I personally have great admiration for things they have done in the past. But I think I'll be more effective as that of lead America on a new path, and especially our foreign policy.

Paris Match: Between them and you, is it a question of generation?

Barack Obama. Not only. Especially the fact that they are associated with certain practices that date back 90 years. The political maneuvers they use for a month in this campaign demonstrated. Their attacks against me are intended solely to score points. For Clinton, there is plenty of time devoted to politics and little to govern, to bring people together to advance, doing things together. I think that voters now want results. They are no longer content to permanent political confrontation.

Paris Match: The USA are mired in Iraq. How do you leave?

Barack Obama. I want to start withdrawing our troops as soon as possible, the pace of one or two brigades per month. This would allow us to leave Iraq around 2009. Thus, we send a signal to the Iraqis to tell them that we will not be forever. At the same time, we must work with them so that Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds agree on a way to govern together. To demonstrate a real change of foreign policy USA, I want to talk directly with countries like Iran and Syria. We will not succeed in stabilizing the region if we are not talking to our enemies. When you are in deep disagreement with someone, you need to talk to him directly.

Paris Match: You have a chance to become the first black president. Have you personally suffered from racism?

Barack Obama. There is no Black American who, in one way or another, has not suffered from racism. I was lucky because it did not traumatized. I grew up in Hawaii, where racial tensions were not also present in other parts of the country. I was born in 1961. If I had been campaigning here at this time, I was asked to come in a toilet for blacks and other public places reserved for people of color. This speaks volumes about the progress we have made. It is still a lot of disparities in health, wages and living conditions among black Americans and others. There is much to be done.

Paris Match: What do you think of President Nicolas Sarkozy?

Barack Obama. He came to visit me in my office in Washington. That was before his election in France. It is an energetic man with a lot of talent. I am impressed by his way of looking at problems specific to France with a fresh eye. It is not fists and feet bound by traditions burdensome or dogmas. It is an example for many leaders. In politics, today it is necessary to look at things with a new vision. I want to travel to France and meet as soon as I won the investiture. I want to see with him how we can further strengthen Franco-American relations.

Paris Match: France will Does the first country where you want to go?

Barack Obama. It is one of my priorities. After my appointment, I want to do a tour in Europe, to meet Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. For all embody, in their own way, a new approach less ideological politics.