29 August 2010

Talk about Inspiration...

Lewis Pugh swam in the Arctic and also on Mt. Everest. His testimonial is worth listening to.

WOW, simply wow.

26 August 2010

What to think of all this ginned up...

Obama is a secret muslim operative stuff. All this astro-turfed anger about illegal immigrants, about a terrorist waiting at every turn, about those radical lib'ruls.

I thought and I thought and I thought.

One word:

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Respected christian leaders defend Obama's christian faith

This is a fascinating development, but I doubt it will fall on the ears that need to hear it.
The Eleison Group has put out a letter decrying the smear campaign going on about President Obama's faith.

Here is the article/letter:

Wed, 08/25/2010
Washington, DC (August 25, 2010)—Over 70 prominent Christian leaders and denominational heads from across the ideological spectrum joined together today to call for a stop to the misrepresentation of President Obama’s Christian faith.   In an open letter, these Christian leaders called on the media, public officials, and their fellow Christians to stand with them in opposing those who continue to insinuate that the President is a Muslim, not a Christian.

The full text of the letter and a list of signatories is below.

As Christian leaders— whose primary responsibility is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our congregations, our communities, and our world— we are deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama’s faith. We understand that these are contentious times, but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate.

President Obama has been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord and has spoken often about the importance of his Christian faith.  Many of the signees on this letter have prayed and worshipped with this President.  We believe that questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far.

This is not a political issue. The signers of this letter come from different political and ideological backgrounds, but we are unified in our belief in Jesus Christ.  As Christian pastors and leaders, we believe that fellow Christians need to be an encouragement to those who call Christ their savior, not question the veracity of their faith.

Therefore, we urge public officials, faith leaders, and the media to offer no further support or airtime to those who misrepresent and call into question the President’s Christian faith.  And we join with the President in praying that God will continue to bless the United States of America.


Bishop T.D. Jakes
Pastor and CEO
Potters House

Ronald J. Sider
Evangelicals for Social Action

Rev. Sam Rodriguez
National Hispanic Leadership Conference

Dr. Joel Hunter

Senior Pastor, Northland: A Church Distributed

Jim Wallis
President and CEO

Luis Cortes

Stephen Monsma
Paul Henry
Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics
Calvin College

Miroslav Volf
Center for Faith and Culture, Yale Divinity School

Donald Miller

Brian McLaren


Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie

Thirteenth Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church

Kirbyjon Caldwell
Senior Pastor
Windsor Village United Methodist Church

Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
General Secretary
Reformed Church in America

Rev. Peg Chemberlin
National Council of Churches

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Dr. David P. Gushee
Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics
Director, Center for Theology and Public Life
Mercer University

Dr. William Shaw
National Baptist Convention USA

Dr. Richard Hamm

Executive Director
Christian Churches Together in the USA

Cynthia Bolbach
Moderator, 219th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk

Office of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Linda Valentine
Executive Director
General Assembly Mission Council
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Dr. James C. Perkins
First Vice President
The Progressive National Baptist Convention

Rev. Gabriel A. Salguero
Lead Pastor, The Lamb’s Church of the Nazarene
Executive, The Latino Leadership Circle

Noel Castellanos
CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Vincent J. Miller
Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture
Department of Religious Studies
University of Dayton

Terrence W. Tilley
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Professor of Catholic Theology
Chair, Theology Department
Fordham University, Bronx NY

Nicholas P. Cafardi
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law
Duquesne University School of Law

T. Michael McNulty, SJ
Justice and Peace Director
Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM)

Steve Schneck
Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies
The Catholic University of America

David Baak
United Church of Wayland, MI

George B. Telford
Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Stephen J. Thurston
Sr Pastor, New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church
President, National Baptisst Convention of America, Inc. International

Daniel Vestal
Executive Coordinator
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Rev. Chuck Currie
Rev. Tyler C. Millner
Rev. Jeff Johnston
Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson

Dr. Brian T. Kaylor

Rev. Allison Jackson
Rev. Susan L. Gabbard

Karen Puckett
School Media Specialist
Salisbury, NC

Rev. Mary Andreolli
Minister for Outreach and Communications
Alliance of Baptists

Laura Minnick
Portland, Oregon

Jim Hopkins
Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, CA

David Daniels
Heritage Baptist Church, Cartersville, GA

Harry Ballsac

Rev. Dr. Chris Lieberman
Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church, Louisville, KY

Rev. Joyce Lieberman

John Savage
Tobias Winright
Associate Professor of Theological Ethics
Saint Louis University

Ken Bogan
Greater Restoration Church

Andrew Foster Connors
Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, MD

Johanna Johnson
Candidate for Ordination
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Delilah Winstead

David O'Brien
University Professor of Faith and Culture
University of Dayton

The Brody file has listed an extension to this, including words of a number of evangelical leaders:

Leith Anderson, president of the NAE:
"One of the verses I memorized at church when I was a child was Romans 10:9, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Ever since then I have been asking people if they believe in Jesus.
When someone says they are Atheist, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or Christian, I let them identify their own faith or lack of faith. Only God can see inside a human heart. We listen to human words.
I've never heard President Obama describe himself as anything other than a Christian. He should know better than anyone else.”

And a spokesman for Dr. Rick Warren, Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church:

Dr. Warren has not made any comment, nor has he signed any group letters or statements.
The only identifiable reference would be his question to then-candidate Obama at the Saddleback Civil Forum in August 2008, when he asked "What does faith in Jesus Christ and Christianity mean to you on a daily basis?"

Ed Gillespie and Ken Mehlman are still good friends.

Touching. How very touching.

"A boozed up bigot"

Ongoing in the case of the guy who attacked the muslim cabbie in NYC and injured him severely. He is up on attempted murder charges.

Whose gay? Why Ken is gay.... a republican? (GASP) NO WAY, I SAY!!!

IN 2008 and again in 2009 and yet again in 2010, I kept writing that the GOP should simply have a coming-out day for all its closeted politicians. I think that Ken Mehlman could probably help to get this going.

Mehlman was the RNC chair and also Bush43's campaign chief.
Uh, John McCain's campaign chief was also gay.
Must be a campaign chief type of thing....

Preliminary Primary wrap-up from August 24, 2010 - ARIZONA

In ARIZONA, some preliminary statistics:

US Senate, GOP:

McCain, John: 281,347 (56.04%)
Hayworth, J.D.: 160,858 (32.04%)
Deakin, Jim: 58,705 (11.69%)
write-ins: 1,155 (0.23%)

preliminary Total: 502,065
Margin: McCain +120,489 (+24.00%) - a blowout landslide.

In 2004, John McCain got 331,720 votes in the primary. In 2004, he ran unopposed.

In 2006, John Kyl got 297,636 votes in the primary. His write-in opponent, Michael Aloisi, got 155 votes, making for a total of  297,791 votes in the republican primary in 2006.

US Senate, DEM:

Glassman, Randy: 85,140 (34.15%)
Eden, Cathy: 65,721 (26.36%)
Dougherty, John: 59,375 (23.81%)
Parraz, Randy: 35,891 (14.40%)
write-ins: 3,202 (1.28%)

Preliminary Total DEM: 249,329
Margin: Glassman +19,419 (+7.79%) - moderate win.

In 2004, DEM candidate Stuart Starky got 173,540 votes in the primary.

In 2006, DEM candidate Jim Pederson got 214,455 votes in the primary.

Total RV in AZ as of August 24, 2010: 3,102,876
GOP SEN % of RV, current: 16.18%
DEM SEN % of RV, current: 8.04%

Statistically, the GOP primary vote spiked in extreme over 2006 and 2004. The DEM primary vote was also more than either 2006 or 2004, but in relation to the entire vote-take, is probably a percentage reduction. When the final canvas is in, I will then analyse this.

Incidentally, there is also a green candidate (Jerry Joslyn) and a  libertarian candidate (David Nolen) on the ballot in. Together, those two parties got a smacking 4,673 votes, or 0.15% of all RV in AZ.

Brewer won with 87.1%, Goddard ran unopposed. In this political climate, with Brewer having signed her son Frankenstein SB-1070 into law, Brewer will win. This will be a non-story on election night. But the real story will be the power a governor has in redistricting, for AZ is expected to gain 1, possibly 2 electors based on the results of the 2010 census.

House of  Representatives:

AZ-01: it will be first-term incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick (D) against Paul Gosar (R) , who won out of a field of 8 candidate with 30.99%. AZ-01 has a PVI of R+6 and went for both George W. Bush Jr. and John McCain with 54%. This is a pick-up target for the GOP. That being said, Kirkpatrick landslided here in 2008 with 56% - she did better in AZ-01 than McCain did. This will be a race to watch.

AZ-02: it will be "also-ran" John Thrasher (D) against 4-term incumbent Trent Franks (R). This district has a PVI of R+13: John McCain won here with 60%, GWB43 won here with 62%. Trent Franks won the last three elections with 59% and the last two of them were against John Thrasher. This is a SAFE GOP seat.

WARNING: to avoid confusion, there is another John Thrasher out there on the political scene: he is running for FL STATE SEN-08.

AZ-03: it will be Jon Hulburd (D) against Ben Quayle, son of the former Vice President Dan Quayle. Fellow republican candidate Steve Moak put out a scathing video about Quayle's adventures on a sleaze and sex website and now the GOP is concerned that with Quayle as the candidate, Hulburd may just pick up this seat for the DEMS since 8-term incumbent John Shadegg decided to retire. This CD has a PVI of R+9: McCain and Bush won here in 2008 and 2004 with 56% and 58%, respectively. So, we would think of this as a SAFE GOP seat, but the controversy brewing over Quayle will probably move this seat into one of the rare DEM pick-up opportunities in 2010. BTW, Shadegg won with 80% in 2004 (unopposed), 58% in 2006 and 54% in 2008. This may have contributed to his decision to not run again. There is also a strong libertarian vein in this district: the Libertarian candidate gets around 4% of the vote, which, in a close race, could spoil it for a GOP candidate. I expect the DNC to pour money into this race starting today.

In AZ-04, it is 4-term incumbent Ed Pastor (D) against challenger Janet Contreras (R). This race will be a sleeper, AZ-04, which encompasses Phoenix, ist a strongly democratic district: ithas a PVI of D+13; Obama won here with 65%, Kerry won with 63%. Pastor won the last 4 elections with between 67%-72% of the vote. A republican in this CD has not come over 28% in the last 4 cycles. And this CD has both a libertarian and a green contingent that can take up as much as 9% of the vote. AZ-04 is FIREWALL DEM.

In AZ-05, it is 2- term incumbent Harry Mitchell (D) against David Schweikert, who won with 37.54% out of a field of  6 GOP contenders. Mitchell ran unopposed. There was a much higher turnout on the GOP side in CD-05 in this year. CD-05 has a PVI of R+5, but is a swing district in presidential elections: McCain carried CD-05 with 51% in 2008, Bush carried it with 54% in 2004. Mitchell best Schweikert in 2008, 54%-44%, a much better showing than his 50%-46% win over J.D. Hayworth in 2006. The GOP will be targeting this seat, but the DEMS will fight to keep it. TOSSUP-TILT GOP.

In AZ-06, it is Rebecca Schneider (D) is going up for a rematch from 2008 against 5-term incumbent Jeff Flake (R). Flake did not run unopposed this time; he got primaried by Jeff Miller, and landslided over the young upstart with 64.57%. More than 3 times as many republicans turned out for the primary than the democrats. CD-06 has a PVI of R+15; McCain won here with 61% in 2008, GWB43 won here with 64% in 2004. Flake won in 2008 with 63%. He will cruise to re-election. FIREWALL GOP.

In AZ-07, it is 4-term incumbent Raúl Grijalva (D) against challenger Ruth McClung (R). The CD has a PVI of D+6; both Obama and Kerry won this CD in 2008 and 2004 with 57% apeice. Grijalva won the last three cycles with 61%, 63% and 62%. No republican has come over 37% in this district in the last 10 years. There is also a faithful libertarian tendency in this CD, alway squarely at 4%. This latino majority district will be a non-story on election day. FIREWALL DEM.

In AZ-08, 2-term incumbent Gabrielle Giffords will face off against challenger Jesse Kelly (R-Tea Party). This CD (Tuscon) has a PVI of R+4; McCain won it with 52%, GWB won it with 53%, but Gifford won here with 56.2% in 2008 and 54% in 2006, so it is a swing-time of district. The GOP is targeting this CD, but this may be more wind than substance. Giffords has bankrolled 2 million for the race. She is the only member of congress who is the wife of an active duty member of the military. In this GOP wave year, I suspect that Giffords will come out over 57% in this election. Forget the crazy polling at the curent time: SOLID DEM.

FACIT: AZ-01, 03 and 05 will be the races to watch.

25 August 2010

Biden reminds Boehner who is in the drivers seat.

Now that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Teabagger-Suntanner-Happyhourer, OH) is licking his chops for the job of Speaker of the House, Vice President Biden had some words for him:

Bill Burton also put his 2 cents in on the picture...

Well, that clears that all up..... (wink, wink)

Is Barack Obama a secret muslim? I think this guy has a good answer...


24 August 2010

Prophetic, prophetic, prophetic

IN 1947, the US War Department put out a 17 minute film called "Don't be a sucker". This film was presumably for US servicemen to watch and is a classic lesson in how to recognize and reject hatred and bigotry. Thanks to Sarah Lawrence Scott from DEMCONWATCH for the good movie tip.

Sarah wrote:

This video was... made only a few years after the interment of Japanese-Americans, during the continuing segregation and oppression of African-Americans, and a few years before the McCarthy hearings. It is a clear reminder that the arguments we hear today are nothing new, and that the principle of the rights of minorities was as clear then as is it is now.

Though I am opposed to CORDOBA for reasons I have already very clearly enunciated on my blog, I am just as opposed to the nasty machinations happening on the right in order to fan the flames of hatred and bigotry, at this time aimed at muslims and hispanics on two different subjects: CORDOBA and Immigration. What we are seeing in those ugly anti-demos in NYC and what we are reading on right-wing extremist blogs is not America, not the America that our founding fathers envisioned!

Watch the film. It is worth investing 17:21 of your life for.


8:10 into the film: "There were jews to be beaten and killed. The jews were not powerful, but they were a convenient excuse for all the nation's ills."

9:10 into the film: "The Nazis found that the truth does not die easily. And so they decided to abolish truth."

11:38 into the film: "We must judge each man as an individual, and not by the color of his skin or by his eyes or by the length of his nose." (In the film, the professor who says this is taken away by the Gestapo)

12:24 into the film: "And so, for all practical purposes, truth had been abolished in Germany."

But the real kicker comes at 12:26: "A lot of my germans friends wondered, what had hit then, how did it happen, where did it start? It started right here. And this was where it could have been stopped. If those people had stood together, if they had protected each other, they could have resisted the nazi threat. Together they would have been strong. But once they allowed themselves to be split apart, they were helpless. When that first minority lost out, they all lost out. They made the mistake of gambling with other peoples freedom."

15:34 into the film: "We must never let that happen to us or to our country. We must never let ourselves be divided by race or color or religion, because in this country, we ALL belong to minority groups. I was born in Hungary, you are a mason. These are minorities.... your right to belong to these minorities is a precious thing. The right to be what you are and say what you think, because here we have personal freedom. We have liberty. And these are not just fancy words. This is a practical and priceless way of living. But we must work at it. We must guard everyones liberties, or we can lose our own. If we allow any minority to lose its freedom by persecution or by prejudice, we are threatening our own freedom. And this is not simply an idea. This is good, hard common sense. You see, here in America it is not a question of whether we tolerate minorities. America IS minorities. And that means you and me."


You can also download the film in various formats here.

Oh, yes, the secret Obama muslim thing...

worth the watching:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

AK, AZ, FL and VT Primaries TODAY

Primaries, August 24, 2010:

Here are links to websites for results:



FLORIDA. This is the main elections page with the disclaimer: "Election results will be posted after 8pm EDT on August 24th."

VERMONT. There is not yet a results link, I emailed the SOS there to ask for the http.


23 August 2010

TEABAGGERS: Ahmadinejad Vas her BOYFRIEND!

Mattie Fein (R) is going up against Jane Harmon (D) in California's 36th district.

Fein has put out a FRANKENSTEIN-like attack ad against incumbent Harmon. Surely this as will come close to 1st place in the "Tea Bagger Crazy as a Loon" category. And yes, that is Mattie Fein herself in the commercial.


Cloris Leachman says: "Vote for Jane Harman and ask Mattie Fein to leave the acting to professionals -- like me." (with thanks to Fritz :) )

Great HICKLENLOOPER commercial!!

John Hickenlooper (D-GOV-CO) put this ad on his website. Funny.

The guy is doing so well in the polls through the Maes / Tancredo cannibalism fest, he can afford such a commercial.


Reason.com is not necessarily noted for being Obama friendly, but the site is known for intelligent use of reason and debate. The site, which I respect, also sticks to the facts and can back them up.

Which brings me to RLUIPA: Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), Pub. L 106-274, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1 et seq.

It is a federal statute that was passed in 2000 to provide stronger protection for religious freedom in the land-use and prison contexts. You can read the full text of the law here.

Reason.com just did an excellent write up on this law in an Article called: Republicans for Religious Freedom.

Excerpts from the article:

"The law, called the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), was aimed at a common problem often ignored by the courts: local government bodies using zoning authority to prevent religious institutions from moving in or expanding their operations.

It had the support of such groups as the Christian Legal Society and the Family Research Council. Rep. Charles Canady (R-Fla.), said it was aimed at "the well-documented and abusive treatment suffered by religious individuals and organizations in the land use context." Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), pushed it because, he said, "At the core of religious freedom is the ability for assemblies to gather and worship together."

Today, of course, that statute is a problem for anyone hoping that the city, state, or federal government would take action to block an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, commonly referred to as the Ground Zero mosque. Many of those opponents are happy to disregard both the law and the Constitution in their effort."

The act was passed on September 22, 2000 in both the House of Representatives and the Senate by unanimous consent in voice votes, meaning that no objection was raised to its passage, so no vote was taken. At that time, Dennis Hastert (R-IL), was Speaker of the House of Representatives and Trent Lott (R-MS) was majority leader in the senate, where the GOP had 55 seats.

Here is the text of the law as applies to zoning and private land use:

§ 2000cc. Protection of land use as religious exercise

(a) Substantial burdens
         (1) General rule
No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly, or institution—
(A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
(2) Scope of application
This subsection applies in any case in which—
(A) the substantial burden is imposed in a program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability;
(B) the substantial burden affects, or removal of that substantial burden would affect, commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, or with Indian tribes, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability; or
(C) the substantial burden is imposed in the implementation of a land use regulation or system of land use regulations, under which a government makes, or has in place formal or informal procedures or practices that permit the government to make, individualized assessments of the proposed uses for the property involved.
(b) Discrimination and exclusion
(1) Equal terms
No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that treats a religious assembly or institution on less than equal terms with a nonreligious assembly or institution.
(2) Nondiscrimination
No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that discriminates against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion or religious denomination.
(3) Exclusions and limits
No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that—
(A) totally excludes religious assemblies from a jurisdiction; or
(B) unreasonably limits religious assemblies, institutions, or structures within a jurisdiction.

The WIKIPEDIA entry on this law is very, very good.

Back to the reason.com article:

Excerpt II:

"In passing the measure, Congress sided with unpopular minority sects that often found themselves blocked at every turn by local governments. So even if the opposition to the Cordoba plan were cloaked as an impartial effort to preserve the character of the neighborhood, it would run smack up against this law.

This case, though, is even simpler. Most of the time, when local authorities throw up roadblocks before unwanted religious groups, they do so in a way designed to conceal their real motive. Here, though, the critics object to the center precisely because it involves Muslims doing nothing more than practicing their religion.

There is nothing covert or subtle about the opponents' motives. To stop the building on the grounds that Islam has no place near Ground Zero would clearly defy the law's ban on religious discrimination.
That prohibition is a credit largely to conservatives who understood the dangers of putting religion at the mercy of government. The law was an effort by Republicans (and many Democrats) to protect the rights of believers—especially despised minorities.

The law recognized the importance of assuring the same freedom for them as for everyone else. That objective made sense 10 years ago, and it still does."

So, as I have already written, I am personally opposed to CORDOBA, but it is protected under the constitution and under US-Statute.

Thug Mentality....

I suspected this was going to happen:

at the anti-mosque rally in NYC in 22.08.2010, the crowd turned on and almost attacked a black man because they thought he was a muslim. He was wearing a headband like thing that looks something like the headcoverings of muslim men. They never asked him if he was a muslim. The scene got pretty ugly. Near the end he states clearly that he is not a muslim.

It turns it his name is Kenny and he is a union carpenter who works at ground zero.

I am against CORDOBA, but I am also vehemently against something like this. This is ugly stuff and not the America I know and cherish. Quite apparently, a lot of tea partiers (and a great number of those protesters, are - I will lay 1000 dollars on the table about this - I am sure, Tea Partiers) think that the only real patriots are white. This disgusts me to no end. WATCH

The video was made by "lefthandedart" on youtube.

21 August 2010

Cook predicts that the GOP will take the House in November

These 20 minutes are worth watching in their entirety. Cook is an experienced, possibly the most experienced, prognosticator in US politics. WATCH:

Well, at least this Quayle didn't misspell "Potato"...


Ben Quayle, son of the former Vice President under George H.W. Bush, Sr. from 1989-1993,  loves to go to sex and trash websites (like TheDirty.com), where he can surf like a shark and write things like:

"My moral compass is so broken, I can barely find the parking lot."

One of his opponents has put out a blistering ad over this. OUCH!!!

Now, I bet someone had a lot of fun digging this stuff up on Quayle.

20 August 2010

Gallup - Obama - Polling numbers in 2010 - looking toward 2012

This is a good, solid interpretation of presidential poll numbers before a mid-term and their effect, or better put, lack of effect on the next Presidential Election. WATCH:

Ezra Klein did a similar write-up about this topic.

"Six Degrees of Separation from Bacon"

These are two of the best John Stewart segments I have ever seen. I am still against the Cordoba Project, but what the right is now doing is just plain old nuts. Why does this not surprise me?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Homeland Edition
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Team Mohammed vs. Team Jesus
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

19 August 2010

Now, this is refreshing...

In Australia, there is now the "SEX Party", an actual political party. No kidding. They are so whacked out (no pun intended), they just may have some success. ROFL ROFL ROFL.

Now, imagine a party like this on the ballot in the USA.

First VIDEO reporting of the End of the IRAQ WAR

And out of Germany:

"Mission Accomplished"

The Iraq War: March 19, 2003 (March 20, 2003, Iraq time) - August 18, 2010 (March 19, 2010, Iraq time). Exactly 7 years and 5 months, or 89 months. To this point, no one in the media is picking up on the date itself. Begun by a republican administration under intense and ongoing controversy. Ended under a democratic administration in keeping with an oft spoken campaign promise.

The last US-combat brigade in Iraq crossed the border into Kuwait this morning (GMT +1, that would have been circa 20:00 the evening before in the USA, EST). At first, the reporting was scarce, but MSNBC was on-site to record the moment. About 30 minutes after MSNBC reported, others picked it up. I have taken screenshots of all the major news outlets that I could find; it is fascinating to see how this is being reported - you are going to like this:


The MSNBC headline is one of the most succinct and also one of the most accurate. It simply states what just happened. Without qualifications. And took up the bulk of the website first page. But I do not find it good that MSNBC quotes NYT already with it's first major picture associated with the article. There is just not enough neutrality between these two news outlets, and this bothers me.


That CNN finds a story about cops' road crosses more important than the end of the most expensive war in US history baffles me. Anyone else baffled?


ABC uses the java script where major story lines are in the middle and by clicking, then an associated photo appears. I find the system distracting. Also, "Goodbye Iraq" is too romantic. There is no need to report like this, the target audience is not a bunch of 3rd graders. CBS does something similar, equally distracting.


And CBS notes a conflicting inner story under the headline: "Pentagon disputes Report that All Combat Troops Out, Spokesman Says  "Plenty Trigger Pullers" Remain. (why in the world do they capitalize each word? CBS needs better proofreaders!)


FOX takes, as usual, the hardline military stance. It was the ONLY news outlet to say that the civilian "force" is to be doubled. This is FOX's way of insinuating that we are not really out of Iraq. Just watch as the day progresses, I am sure talking heads will be saying all sorts of looney tunes stuff about this, especially on FOX. Now, were this to have happened on Bush 43's watch, FOX would have had a headline like this: "Pres. Bush: "Mission Accomplished" now a reality" - or some such drivel.


WAPO has an interesting angle, but it is also a little too romantic for my taste. Unless it has polled every single soldier in Iraq (which is NOT why we were there in the first place), then it is statistically impossible to really give this under-headline a solid I-Beam to rest upon.

New York Times:

NYT is succinct as MSNBC. I find it not good that MSNBC quoted NYT on it's headline picture. This links the two outlets too much with each other, and that is not the way it is supposed to be.

CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network):

I included CBN because as the Iraq war broke in 2003, CBN was all over it, day in, day out. And yet, in spite of having a good idea as to when we were leaving, CBN is suddenly silent. Fascinating. But negative publicity of islam abounds here. And CBN has a 24/7 crew, just like the major outlets.

The Jerusalem Post - a source I much admire and read every day, did much the same thing:

However, as we can see, the final drawdown did not make the way to the front page. And JPOST operates 24/7, like any other major news outlet. Very disappointing. What in the hell are they thinking today?

In Germany, the coverage is large and front an center:

ARD (National News 1):

"US Kampftruppen verlassen den Irak"
"US Combat Troops leave Iraq"

"Das meldetet gegen 20:00 Uhr US-Ostküstenzeit übereinstimmend Amerikas Nachrichtensender. Die letzte Kampftruppen hätten das Land früher als geplant verlassen. 56.000 Soldaten bleiben vorerst dort - zur Ausbildung der irakischen Armee, wie es offiziell heißt."

"At 8 PM EST, US news outlets reported (the event) concurrently. The last combat troops are supposed to have left the country earlier than planned. 56,000 troops will remain for the time being - to train the iraqi army, as is officially the word."

ARD has one of the best news websites I have ever encountered. It also helps that the national news does not allow advertisements and all the extra baggage. This website also provided (imo) the most balanced and fair reporting of both the Israel-Hisballah conflict summer 2006 and the Gaza conflict 2009.

ZDF (National News 2):

Same Headline as with ARD:

"US Kampftruppen verlassen den Irak"
"US Combat Troops leave Iraq"

"Der Kampfeinsatz ist vorbei: Siebeneinhalb Jahren nach dem Stürz von Saddam Hussein hast die US-Armee ihre letzte Kampfbrigade aus dem Irak abgezogen. Das bestätigte das US-Militär."

"Their battle-committment is ended: seven and one half years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the US has withdrawn its last combat troop-brigade  out of Iraq. The US military confirmed this."


"Historischer Moment"
"Historical Moment"

"US Kampfoperationen im Irak beendet"
"US Combat Operations in Iraq are ended"

"Die Kampfoperationen der USA im Irak sind nach US-Medienberichten offiziell beendet. US-Außenamtssprecher Philip Crowley spach nach sieben Jahren von einem "historischen Moment."

"The USA's battle operations in Iraq are, according to the US-media, ended. US State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley spoke of a "historic moment" after seven years."

Die Welt:

The headline in "Die Welt" is most interesting:
"US-Armee plante Truppenabzug wie Geheimmission"
"US-Army planned Troop withdrawal like a secret mission"

BTW, "Die Welt" is one of the most US-friendly newspapers in Germany.

And surprisingly, REUTERS has nothing to say this morning:

Remember Reuters, with the many doctored photos during the Israel-Hisballah war 2006? Reuters was on that like a fly on honey. But the end of the longest war since Vietnam? Silence. Shame on you, Reuters.

Le Monde:

"Irak : fin "officielle" de la mission de combat pour l'armée américaine"
"Iraq: offical end of the combat mission of the american army"

RAI 24 (Italian national news):

"7 anni di Iraqi Freedom"
"7 years of "Iraqi Freedom"

"Via i combattenti, la guerra in Iraq è finita"
"Means of combat, the war in Iraq is finished"

Al Jazeera:

I note that, interestingly enough, Al Jazeera is the only news outlet to write that "Iraq's Army not ready". Drivel.

Times London:

ITAR-TASS: (Russian)

Nothing, not a word over the troop withdrawal. Here is the same side in English:

NADA. Wow. And ITAR-TASS is THE official news agency for the Russian Federation.

PRAVDA (Russian):

In the russian side, there is a picture of an american soldier, but the article is not about the withdrawal. It is about the CIA's involvement in Iraq.

Pravda (English):

On english side of Pravda, we don't see these pics, but rather a weird section with "Bush's War, Obama's War....and the War on War", next to "Give Obama a Chance", next to "Aliens land in Russia".
So, reality check: PRAVDA (which means "Truth" in Russian) was an official newspaper that was crushed by the communists in 1981 and reappeared as a quasi-newspaper/half-tabloid in 1999, but only online.


So, that should give an impression of how the media, both at home and abroad, has begun to report this historic moment.

A note of mine: Thank you, Mr. President. Once again, President Obama made a campaign promise and now he has kept it.

18 August 2010


                                                                    August 17, 2010

                                                               Patty Murray (D-Inc)

                                                            Dino Rossi (R-Challenger)

As expected, Democratic incumbent Patty Murray and presumed Republican nominee Dino Rossi (who lost twice to Christine Gregoire in the gubernatorial, in 2004 and 2008) came out on top. Here are the current standings, according to Politico:

Murray, Patti (D-Inc): 440,034 (46.49%)
Rossi, Dino (R): 323,803 (34.21%)
Didier, Clint (R-Tea): 113,882 (12.03%)
Akers, Paul (R-Tea): 25,125 (2.65%)
Allen, Charles (D): 8,031
Burr, Bob (D): 7,450
Gruber, Norma (R): 7,028
Latimer, Mike (R): 4,619
"Mike the Mover" (D): 4,398
"Goodspaceguy" (D): 3,363
Baker, Will (Reform): 3,302
Mohammed Said (Centrist): 2,200
Shalk, Leonard (unafil): 1,861
Chovil, William (R): 1,436

TOTAL: 946,563 (100.00%)

Current Margin: Murray +116,231 (+12.28%)

The election results page for Washington is here. The politico numbers are just slightly more updated than those from the Washington state website. Note that the current result is very, very close to the last PPP poll taken of WA for the primary:

PPP (pdf) (7/27-8/1, thanks, Swing State Report):

Patty Murray (D-inc): 47
Dino Rossi (R): 33
Clint Didier (R): 10
Paul Akers (R): 4
Undecided: 6

Patty Murray (D-inc): 49
Dino Rossi (R): 46
Undecided: 5

Patty Murray (D-inc): 50
Clint Didier (R): 39
Undecided: 12
(MoE: ±2.8%)
 Now, if one were to add up all the votes for all democratic candidates and all the votes for republican candidates together, the republican candidates as a group would come out slightly ahead, but history has taught us that most of the people who voted for one of those "0.7%" candidates do not end up voting for one of the primary winners at the general. So, it looks like a tight race, but Murray is still demonstrably ahead, by 3-4 points, as is often the case in both WA and OR.

                                                           WASHINGTON CD-02:

                                                          Rick Larsen (D-Inc, WA-02)

                                                       John Koster (R-Challenger, WA-02)

In WA-02, four-term Democratic incumbent Rick Larsen, who put out an anti-tea-party-video, won by about 2% against John Koster and the two will now face off against each other in the mid-term elections.. I wrote about Rick Larsen on August 8th, you can see the posting here. WA-02 tends democratic in presidential elections, but has a mixed history as a congressional district: as of January 2011, the district will have had a democratic representative for 60 years and a republican representative for 40 years. It has a Cook Political Report PVI ofD+3 and is being targeted by the GOP for a pick-up in November. This will be one of the CD's to watch in November and I bet it will be polled.

I will post another update when 100% of all precincts have reported.