Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Georgia Senate Race: Saxby Chambiss Defeats Jim Martin - So What!

This just in: incumbent Georgia Senator Saxby Chambiss defeated Democratic Challenger Jim Martin in the runoff for the seat that, if Martin won, would have placed the Democrats just one-more seat win from a 60-seat fillibuster-proof majority.

So what.  

So much has been made of a race in a state that (was stupid enough) to vote for Senator John McCain over now-President Elect Barack Obama that what was forgotten is that technically, with Independent Senator Joe Liberman having made a deal with the Democrats in the Senate and saved by Obama, the Dems are really just one seat from such power, not two.   If Norm Coleman loses to Al Franken in Minnesota, it's just one away from full power.  

But that written, Obama already has his Senate power in place. With Senators Clinton and Biden at Secretary of State and Vice President, Obama has smartly moved to set in place people who have had great relationships and cultivated power in the Senate to move legislation.   Moreover, Biden is a great friend to Senator John McCain, and Obama has planned to keep Republicans like Bob Gates in place as Defense Secretary.

So my question is, on what vote will such a Republican Democratic split come into play?  The Economy? Even the most conservative economists agree America needs a large stimulus package, so the normal liberal / conservative economic argument has been jettisoned by a plainly terrible American economy.   

What's the magic issue?  I can't see it.   It's not there.  

Obama was right not to make a trip to Georgia.  Let's face it, given that states seemingly intractable conservatism, it would have taken a "Barack Obama-esque" candidate to pull voters in the runoff election and Jim Martin was just not that compelling person.  That's not a knock against the man, but more of a blunt read on what kind of political formula was needed to win.  

Obama doesn't lose a thing and Chambiss may find this new Senate tougher sledding than the old one if he tries to pull a minority challenge to the Obama plan.    

Uh, did I write "may" -- change that to "will."  

FISA Needed To Counter American Hate Groups

In his video "Obama = The Black Bush " YouTuber Phil De Franco showed that he does not understand what The Foreign Intelligence Surveilence Act is or why then-Senator Obama backed it. The new FISA has a court that determines the use of wiretaps, and not a chief executive. FISA is needed to counter and monitor the American hate groups currently active and in some cases growing in numbers of members. They are the main doers of domestic terrorism.

Obama To Introduce Gov. Bill Richardson As Commerce Secretary Wednesday

According to Politico.com, President-Elect Barack Obama will introduce New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as his Commerce Secretary Wednesday at 11:40 PM  EST.

"Meet The Press" Mean-Sprited David Gregory Not In Sprit of Tim Russert

I just saw the headline reporting that MSNBC's David Gregory was selected to be the next host of "Meet The Press ". Congratulations to Mr. Gregory, but he's not a person in the sprit of the late Tim Russert.

Every time I see Gregory I think of this Jossip headline:

"David Gregory Mouthed Off To A Waitress, Got Scolded by Tim Russert"

If you don't know that story, Gregory scolded a waitress while he and Russert were having dinner in Washington D.C., and in turn, Russert hollered at Gregory for his behavior. Jossip reports that MSNBC asked Gregory to work on changing his behavior, but it's fair to ask in the wake of Russert's untimely passing, has Gregory really changed?  (What about Chris Matthews, for that matter?  He was also featured as ill-tempered in the Jossip post.  But he's got his own show, Hardball and was not considered for "Meet The Press".) 

Russert was known far and wide as a caring, nice person who did not try to demonize people, even as he was asking his guests tough questions. But contrast, Gregory can still come off a bit rough. I can't see him as doing well in this role. Gregory is not in the modl of either Russert or the legendary Tom Brokaw who I've had the pleasure of meeting at the Democratic National Convention.

I can't help but wonder what Russert is thinking, but my guess is he has more faith in Gregory than I do.

Chevron Wins Bowoto v. Chevron Case of Nigeria Crime

After over a month of court legal battles in the case of Larry Bowoto v. Chevron Corporation, the jury only took three days to find the oil company not guilty of 58 counts of assault, torture, and other alledged violations.

The lawyer for Bowoto said they would pursue an appeal, but I have to ask who's backrolling their legal bill -- it's certainly not Bowoto.

At any rate, I talked to Chevron spokesperson Don Campbell about today's outcome. Campbell said that it was a victory for American companies doing business around the World who need to protect their employees from harm.

Indeed, Royal Dutch Shell faces a similar case in New York City next week and again involving Nigeria.

Thus,it seems the real organization that should be on trial is the government of Nigeria, which has a poor record of providing good economic development to the people who need it the most.

Highest Paid Presidents/PM's around the World

Politicians in Singapore are amongst the most highly paid government officials in the world. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore earns five times more than the American President. Lee Hsien Loong takes an annual salary of $2.46 million.

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1 In 5 Young Adults Has Personality Disorder

Almost one in five young American adults has a personality disorder that interferes with everyday life, and even more abuse alcohol or drugs, researchers reported Monday in the most extensive study of its kind.

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Lance Armstrong will ride the Tour de France

Lance Armstrong will ride in the 2009 Tour de France, marking the first time he will compete in that race and the Giro d'Italia in the same year.

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Boeing Airborne Laser Weapon Fires for the First Time

Boeing and the US Air Force keep advancing in their airborne high-energy laser weapon, the modified 747-400F that is designed to shoot down missiles as they fly to their targets. Last week they fired the entire laser system for the first time ever at the Edwards Air Force Base in California.

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Google Chrome Browser To Support Customization

Google has launched an effort to make it possible for developers to offer ad-blocking and other extensions for Chrome, a move that would give the Google Web browser the same level of customization as Mozilla Firefox.

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Derek Anderson of the Browns ruled out for season

Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee ligament injury in Sunday's defeat by the Indianapolis Colts. Anderson will not require surgery, however, and should be fit in four-six weeks. Cleveland are 4-8 after Sunday's loss and Ken Dorsey will step up to be starting quarterback.

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Tom Cruise Is A Midget

So sad, but so true.

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Safari Tops 7% Of Browser Market Share, Mac OS X On The Rise

Apple's Safari web browser has crested 7% of worldwide browser market share according to online research firm Net Applications.While Safari's accomplishment is significant the biggest winner is clearly Mozilla's Firefox which crested 20% market share and climbed nearly an entire percentage point in one month.

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Change.gov Set Free

"Consistent with the values of any "open government," and with his strong leadership on "free debates" from the very start, the Obama team has modified the copyright notice on change.gov to embrace the freest CC license."

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Bush FCC chairman considering 'porn-free Internet'

Bush Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is still considering a proposal to create a free, porn-free Internet, according to today's Wall Street Journal. Martin was Deputy General Counsel for the Bush-Cheney 2000 recount.

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Pownce to be Shut Down by Six Apart

Pownce, the media-rich Twitter competitor that was co-founded by Digg’s Kevin Rose along with Leah Culver and Daniel Burka, has been acquired by Six Apart and will be closing its doors on December 15.

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