Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NY 23 election results - Bill Owens beats Doug Hoffman, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh

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Glenn Beck.  Doug Hoffman's Mentor

The Right Wingnuts led by Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Malkin lost their self-selected signpost election the 23rd Congressional District in New York. The ultra-conservative Republican candidate Doug Hoffman conceded to Democrat Bill Owens just about a half-hour ago.

Owens gained 49 percent of the vote, versus 46 percent for Hoffman, and six percent for Dede Scozzafava, who's name was still on the ballot, even though she dropped out of the race.

That the 23-rd District of New York is Democratic and moderate Republican country didn't seem to phase these Couch Potato Conservatives. (While Republicans have controlled that seat for years, their politics have been centrist.)

This race saw the original Republican challenger Dede Scozzafava back out of the race under extreme pressure from within her own party and the right wingnut fringe. They - led by media pundits Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Malkin - hand picked Doug Hoffman as the man who would save them. With their withering communications drumbeat, Hoffman rose from nowhere in the polls to the point of being considered the front runner before tonight's election.

What hurt Hoffman? Theatrics aside, he was new to the area. On Topix, one commenter wrote:

Hoffman doesn't even live in district 23. He thinks that our local issues and concerns are "Parochial" and... he was not able to answer questions about these local issues and concerns.

He was set up by the media? Poor baby. My cup runneth over with sympathy for him ( sarcasam intended )

Others were turned off by the drum-beat of ultra-conservative talk show mouth involvement, as well as Hoffman's admission that Glen Beck was his "mentor."

No kidding.

While that may have helped Hoffman, it wasn't enough and I argue that if Dede Sccozafava took her name off the ballot those votes would have went to Owens and not Hoffman. She backed Owens and for all practical purposes is a conservative democrat.

In other words Owens margin of victory could have been greater than three percent, perhaps six percent or better if Scozzafava's name were off the ballot.

Now if it were Scozzafava versus Owens, she would have won with the same media help but maintaining her more liberal political positions (That would have been something!)

Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh lose

With this we can say the "RHINO" purge - where wingnut pundits like Malkin developed a "hit list" of moderate Republicans - failed. Getting Dede Scozzafava out of the race caused the party to lose an election they could have won.

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin to Host Oscars Show - 82nd Academy Awards

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The latest Oscar Buzz is big. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were selected to host the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

Steve Martin

They're an odd couple: Martin the funny, quirky star of such films as LA Story and Baldwin, the aggressive actor known for his roll as Jack Donaghy in the popular 30 Rock, traded barbs in thanking the Academy and producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman.

“I am happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin,” said Martin.

“I don’t play the banjo but I’m thrilled to be hosting the Oscars – it’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Baldwin.

Steve Martin hosted the 73rd and 75th Academy Awards shows, and landed an Emmy nomination for the first go. Steve's performances were some of Oscar's most memorable as a host.

Will this help boost ratings? Ah, no. Both actors are better known to older audiences even though Baldwin, because of 30 Rock, is presented regularly to a younger demographic. But still Martin and Baldwin are safe picks to be sure.

The Oscar show will be on Sunday, March 7, 2010, but you know that already, right? Stay tuned for more information and videos on past performances.

Judge who denied interracial couple marriage in Louisiana resigns

Keith Bardwell, the Justice-Of-The-Peace who denied an interracial couple Louisiana marriage resigns, according to a breaking news email from CNN.

Bardwell, a Tangipahoa Parish Louisiana Judge (outside New Orleans), became famous for rejecting Terence McKay and his girlfriend Beth Humphrey, who wanted to be married by Bardwell. But Keith decided to show the country what real racism was when he said "I do it to protect the children, he reportedly said. The kids are innocent and I worry about their futures" when asked why he would not marry an interracial couple.

What's even more frightening is Judge Bardwell did not think he was a racist. According to the Associated Press, Bardwell said this:

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

on the issue at the time and I'll have more information soon:

Unemployment extension delayed by GOP; 200,000 lose benefits

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This is a total outrage and what you will get if the GOP - that's the Republican Party of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh - gets its way: no unemployment insurance and no jobs to be employed at.

According to the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim, An extension of unemployment benefits is being delayed by Senate Republicans. In October, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made a motion to pass it by unanimous consent after the House approved it by an overwhelming vote of 331-83. (I'll get a list of those who opposed it.)

The Senate GOP objected to Reid's motion.

So Reid filed for "closure" to break a Republican filibuster, then a motion was issued to consider the bill which would also block a filibuster, and that passed 87 to 13. But here's the catch: the Republicans have 30 hours of allowed debate time, and they're taking it! (You can read the more detailed story at Grim's blog post.)

It's obvious they don't care about the unemployment insurance of those who applied for it and need the extention. Moreover, there are people who apply for it and are still waiting for their interview call to happen. A gentleman at Gaylords, a local Oakland cafe, said that he applied weeks ago and still have not received a phone call.

This is happening to people who are used to finding work, but can't, and it's terrible.

Meanwhile the GOP uses this misery to play political games. One would think it's more logical to help fix the economy and assist people and take some credit for that rather than acting as the vehicle to drive them out of their homes.

So for those of you in places with hot election day races, think about the GOP and how they've held up your unemployment insurance before you vote Republican. Yes, growing jobs is the ultimate answer, but causing a person to go broke while searching for a job when something can be done to help them isn't right either.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Election Day November 2009 - Bloomberg for Mayor of New York, Corzine for Gov of NJ

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Last year saw the most exciting November Election Day my personal history with America putting the first African American man into office as President of the United States: Barack Obama.

One year later, in this "off year election" and in the middle of the second worst economy in our nation's history, we have a few key races in three states. Here's my personal view - not that of any other website or publication - on who you should vote for and why.

Bloomberg for Mayor of New York City

The most important one for me is Mayor of New York, where Mike Bloomberg has spent between $86 million, or as Lou Dobbs said yesterday on CNN $100 million in an attempt to be reelected Mayor of New York City.

But he didn't have to spend that much money to retake a job he's done so well. Mike Bloomberg has proven himself to be a capable elected official and a steady, focused hand in many ways better than former mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Guiliani, who had adversarial relationships with New York's black and Latino communities. Not so with Bloomberg, who's also done well in steering New York through the recession. Mike deserves to be reelected Mayor of New York City.

Corzine for NJ Governor

Jon Corzine finds himself locked in a battle for Governor of New Jersey against Christopher Christie. But the real way to look at New Jersey is its unemployment rate, which is at 9.8 percent - while high it's not as bad as a number of states and was aided by a stimulus package that no New Jersey republican reportedly wanted.

That means a Republican in office will be less likely to want stimulus money or make sure unemployment insurance needs are well-funded. While New Jersey's economy has had its problems, that's true around America. Chris Christie's not going to fix New Jersey.

Jon Corzine is not being looked at with the right lens. He's a person who understands how to direct New Jersey through economic crisis and should be given the right to finish the job he started as Governor of New Jersey and fix that state's economy.

Creigh Deeds for Virginia

Ok, he's not exciting but he gets the job done for rural Virginians. But having the anti-choice conservative Bob McDonnell as Governor is a step backward for a state that needs to and has moved progressively forward.

What ever you do, make sure you get out and use your God-given, hard-earned right to vote today. I'll provide more election views and updates through the day.

Tom Hayes: For GOP Congress is now the opposite of Progress

It would be laughable if it wasn't such obvious partisan grand-standing. The minority party wants to have their cake, and eat it, too.  After years of exercising rock-solid legislative control with Congressional majorities they're finding the rules aren't as fun when the other guys are in charge.

The GOP leaders say they want the President to, "show some leadership," and, "get things accomplished." But along the way he'd better compromise with them.  The latest example comes from the stage of international relations. The President's supposed to represent indecision in Copenhagen, courtesy of the 7 GOP members of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.

These esteemed Senators have threatened a boycott of planned work sessions - get this - to delay the start of the committee debate.  We're not even talking about a vote, they don't even want to talk about the bill yet. Progress isn't supposed to be the opposite of Congress, is it?

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who chairs the committee, said, "We're not going to rush this through," because she hopes Republicans will, "return to the table." She's extending the deadline for Republicans to notify her of amendments they're considering, and canceled the Tuesday session so Environmental Protection Agency staff could come appear before EPW to answer technical questions, even. She's bending over backwards to craft a bi-partisan bill and get a committee vote before the Copenhagen Climate talks.

But she doesn't have to. All the posturing about costs, and how acting too quickly will surely be a burden on business, are echoes of the tired, familiar litany that the GOP always recites whenever their lobbyists haven't blessed a bill.

Even if the 7 Republicans don't show up the committee still has the necessary quorum to conduct business.  It only takes 10 votes to move the bill forward to the floor, and 12 of the 19 members are Democrats. Obviously Senator Boxer and the administration know this simple math.

Evidently the decision has been to to compromise on some of the procedures, and possibly even policies, but to set an agenda that shows American values in the court of world opinion - yet the GOP chooses to play obstructive games while complaining that Obama doesn't exhibit leadership in world affairs.

I know that sort of thing can be spun into indignant rants by extreme pundits selecting judicious sound-bites. Yet, when Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, has called on China to set a tougher target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions after 2020 as its part of the international agreement to be negotiated in Copenhagen, shouldn't the U.S. Congress step back from the rhetoric and help set the stage for U.S. participation?

The facts are stark; the U.S. can lead in Copenhagen, or we can trail along behind petulantly like a spoiled brat. If the GOP wants the President and his administration to demonstrate leadership it's logical that they facilitate -- rather than delay, decry, and obfuscate.

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, journalist, and political analyst who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Rush Limbaugh too immature and inexperienced to be NFL team owner

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Rush Limbaugh was on Fox News Sunday for a really softball-of-an-interview by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

The discussion was a platform for all things Rush and Limbaugh got so carried away running his jaw, that while he thought he was talking about - well, insulting - President Obama, Rush was actually talking about himself and why he can't be the owner of an NFL team:

He really has no experience running anything. He's very young. I think he's got an out-of-this-world ego. He's very narcissistic. And he's able to focus all attention on him all the time. That description is simply a way to cut through the noise and say he's immature, inexperienced, in over his head.

And that, folks, summed up why Rush Limbaugh was kicked off the St. Louis Rams NFL ownership group by its leader, St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts.

Rush came into the situation because Dave Checketts invited him knowing full well that his really immature and just not smart remarks about Philadelphia Eagles Donovan McNabb would come back to haunt him along with all the other statements he's made while letting his mouth run free on radio.

(Think about it. Rush said that the media "was desirous to see a black quarterback do well". But the flip side of that statement would mean that Rush was happy to see a black quarterback fail. Uh, like he wants President Obama to fail.)

Limbaugh was in over his head in dealing with the resulting criticism by NFL players and in a perfectly narcissistic fashion attacked NFL players and anyone who dared bring up his racially-divisive statements and made the issue more of what it was already: "all attention on him all the time."

Get it? Get it...

There's an old saying: careful who you chose as your enemy because you may see yourself in them. Rush Limbaugh looks at President Obama and really sees himself, he just plain can't admit it.

Virginia's Creigh Deeds is no Barack Obama , but he doesn't have to be

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This is not going to win points at the Democratic Party headquarters, but I've got to be honest. If Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell's lead in the polls becomes a victory over Democratic Challenger Creigh Deeds, don't blame President Barack Obama, blame Creigh Deeds.

Creigh Deeds

If Creigh Deeds wins, don't thank President Obama, look at Creigh Deeds, the underdog.

Look, politics, for all the computers and Internet, and target marketing, is still basically a popularity contest. And in this one, Creigh Deeds is just not the charismatic, inspiring political representative Democrats need to take the Virginia governor's race.

But he's a steady, honest, player. Deeds isn't a "top model" politician, he'a worker-bee elected official who's built a solid record representing the views of rural Virginians. Deeds isn't the guy you expect to beat former DNC-head and Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager Terry McAuliffe, but he did.

In fact, Deeds won after being in, well, the same position he's in today on Election Day: out-gunned both at the polls and in the pocket book. McDonnell has a funding lead and a poll lead of about 20 percent.

The perfect scenario for an upset.

African American voters gave President Obama the edge he needed to win Virginia last year, and for obvious reasons connected to history. If anyone expects Deeds to replicate Obama's performance they're smoking non-medicinal weed, ya know?

And sometimes that weed works.

What could put the rather plain-jane Deeds over the top and into the Virginia Governor's Office? Good question.

A turnout of women, gays, and the young in college in strong numbers could be the foundation for an upset. Whatever the outcome, it's the story of the underdog, like Creigh Deeds, that make politics fun.

Stay tuned.

Taylor Swift spooked by Ellen DeGenerese; no official apology for that thing...

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Taylor Swift was the surprised recipient of a bathroom scare by Ellen DeGeneres and is rumored to be dating Taylor Lautner of the upcoming Twightlight: New Moon movie, a report that was rejected a few days ago.

And about eight hours ago from this writing Taylor Swift tweeted that she's preparing to host Saturday Night Live:

Starting the SNL process. I kinda feel like I might have a heart attack or pass out in the pitch meeting. I'm that excited. about 8 hours ago from Echofon

Indeed, Taylor Swift's getting a lot of good pr, but it could be so much the better if she just even tweeted an apology for the whole Swastika photo episode.

What's really weird about this is how folks are willing to give her a benefit-of-the-doubt that I've not seen offered to any other celebrity who made such a mistake.

Even Mel Gibson was publicly raked over the coals for making anti-Semetic statements while he was being arrested during a DUI stop a few years back. But today, in this specific window of time, I see a pattern emerging of permissiveness in allowing anti-Jewish statements and symbols to be expressed and seen without complaint or criticism.

Deadspin pointed to this, today in the case of the really weird anti-Jewish comments of New York radio show host Mike Francesa, but that was direct and ugly. Is that how far it has to go before we say something?

Look, I don't care if I'm the only blogger out there making noise about this. It's important not to allow America to lose its moral moorings on these issues.

I also feel that Taylor Swift is being given a pass she would not receive if she were, say black and male. Now, if at this point you think I'm "playing the race card" first, I pay zero mind to such claims because people who issue them are trying to explain away what, when one drills down, more often than not are institutionally racist thoughts and ideas they have.

In other words, so ingrained that the person thinks they're harmless; not so.

Again, Taylor Swift just has to apologize, unless of course she thought the photo was cool.

In that case, I'll mourn and never be a fan at all.