Monday, December 21, 2009

When will there be a Fox Counterbalance from the Mainstream?

In 2008 the Left was active and engaged. We spent our time, our money, and our hearts to get Obama elected. In 2009 we left him twisting in the wind.

Fox has done an outstanding job in 2009 in thwarting any initiative President Obama has attempted to undertake. It really wasn't Fox itself and its' shameless promotion of anything that could damage the president (over the weekend I saw boxed images of Homer Simpson over top of the President). Part of this credit needs to go to the media.

The MSNBC guys were happy to show their disdain for Fox News all the way through the year. They would enjoy laughing it up about these silly teabaggers. But they really did nothing with their bully pulpits. And the same goes for the blogosphere. What did any of these outlets do to take back the streets?

Obama as a politician is smart enough to see what winds are blowing. There is a symbiotic relationship between Obama and the media. He knows the kind of political coverage he gets will allow him to move more freely. I am not talking about coverage of a speech or an appearance somewhere. I am talking about political cover. Fox provided the GOP all it needed and then some.

Where was Obama's? This is what is so disgusting. (Obama is not blameless here, he needs to step up a little, but, it is his rookie season and I expect things to get better.)

What did the Left do to protect the political cover we granted to Obama? What did the media do to counter-act the real live activism that Fox has brought to the table? The Mainstream Media really did nothing for the Left in 2009. The fact I made news for challenging the President if his knees were getting weak should not have been news. It should never have gotten to that point.

If a media outlet endorsed or came out for the President in 2008 they needed to back it up in 2009. I saw Stewart and Colbert doing it with the same intensity in 2009 as 2008, but not a lot of others.

The media for the 2009 Left became a pointer.
  • "Hey look - Fox is creating its' own storm and covering it."
  • "Hey look at all those angry people at the town halls!"
  • "Hey look at all the big rallies that Fox is self promoting."
  • "Hey, I wonder why the poll numbers for the President are dropping."

Fox practiced yellow journalism on steroids. Over a hundred years ago we got into the Spanish-American War on the back of this type of journalism. The Right has seen what the Left did in 2008 and determined to stop it in 2009. They did it - kudos to them.

The media on the Left was focusing on real policies that make peoples' eyes glaze over - the Right gave them eye candy. No matter how ridiculous or goofy - the message was there. The messengers were fighting for their side.

I you really believe in what you did in 2008 was a worthy endeavor in 2008 and you worked hard in 2009 to help the President, I am happy to be shoulder to shoulder with you. If you took a vacation in 2009 and expected Obama to wave a magic wand to make it all better - here's a news flash - nothing will happen without your continued involvement.

Here is something YOU can do to start 2010 out properly. This is from a Facebook Group looking for members. It is one guy who needs YOUR help. Yeah, I know I have spammed this around a little bit.



I still think there are enough people on the Left who will do something.

  • It is time for the so called Mainstream Media to help our country.
  • It is time for the so called Mainstream Media to get its' hands dirty and allow the United States to become strong again.
  • It is time for the so called Mainstream Media to stand up to the bullies who are beating down Obama and taking away the dreams of our nation.
  • It is time for the so called Mainstream Media to get off the sidelines and help fix what they have allowed Fox News to destroy.

We need the same amount of oxygen in the room as Fox granted the teabagging loons.
We need a fair crack at getting the steering wheel back.

It is good for the reader to do some work sometimes.

I think we are all up to it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vote Against the Weasels Today

I call in to the Smerconish Show enough for TC, the producer, to know my voice on pickup. When today’s poll (please go there and vote after reading this ) was announced I could not resist calling. The original poll was a 2 choice poll as to who is more in the wrong between two politicians, the Senators from New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

The Politico back story is related by this link. The upshot is Senator Schumer used a nasty word when told by a flight attendant to act properly on an airplane. He had a childish reaction to being corrected by someone doing their job. Senator Gillibrand was sitting next to the Senator.

A GOP aide overhears what goes down and decides – great story, “I am going to be a good little flunkie and run to the press with this.” The aide becomes an unnamed source for the tempest in a teapot. It becomes a story on Politico, the New York Post, Smerconish and who knows where else. They ask Schumer for confirmation, he owns up to calling the flight attendant a nasty name. They ask Gillibrand for her reaction and she does not dime out her collogue.

The binary reaction of who is more morally wrong and should be rung up ensues. Hey, here’s a news story, if you are in the Senate you are probably a prima donna. Senators may on occasion, like the rest of us, exhibit bad behavior.

On today’s Smerconish show the poll was about chewing out these two pols. Childish behavior or covering it up – there are great choices. I heard the poll and dialed in with a third. What about the weasel in the seat behind the two Senators who was eavesdropping. Running around telling tales out of school to the press could be one of the offenses. If we are going to go thru the morality play, let’s make sure we have enough players to fill the stage.

The cool thing about this “Right Wing” Radio show is the flexibility of the host. Michael immediately got it, had John the Webman change the poll on the site. When I checked before writing this note over 20% of the respondents are tired of the weasels. I knew I nailed it when they were still talking about my cal 20 minutes later.

I am writing this for a couple of reasons:
• You can call out weaselly behavior.
• You can call talk radio if you bring something to the table.
• You can affect change everyday.

Please help affect change in a small way and make a vote on his web site today.

Epilogue - This vote ended up with over 25% of the respondents agreeing that the bad actor was the snitch who dimed out the situation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I am tired of leaving the field to the Teabaggers and other assorted lunatics. I see the anger at Obama being met with a lot of silence and hand-wringing.

You want to do something?

This is from a Facebook group looking for members.

Host: Countdown to JANUARY 15, 2010

Type: Meetings - Club/Group Meeting

Network: Global
Start Time: Friday, January 15, 2010 at 9:00am
End Time: Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 12:00am
Location: WASHINGTON DC - 1600 Pennsylvania Ave to the Mall



We need to show our numbers, our vigor, and our commitment to REAL, SUBSTANTIVE, AND FUNDAMENTAL (not incremental) CHANGE in a way that will capture the national media's attention and call attention to our discontent. This astroturf, right-wing, TeaBag movement has been successful in creating the misperception that "Millions" of Americans are fed up with Gov't (specifically Obama).

THE REALITY, however, is that many more of us voted for our President because we hoped for more from our government. More compassion, more diplomacy, more honesty, more protection, and more equality.


This is a worthy group to join. Please re-post this on threads you think may want to see this.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's not the Climate Warming - It's the Frozen R & D

Global Warming.


Sarah Palin will/won't Debate Al Gore

Climate Scientist Harassed At UN Press Conference By Deniers

Copenhagen - a hundred stories.

Gore Tackles Palin, Fights Back On ClimateGate: 'What In The Hell Do They Think Is Causing It?'

I wish it were this easy. It ain't.
Whether there are temperature variations or not...
Whether some scientists went rogue or not...

I don't give a rat's you know what.

Climate change is a symptom and not the direct problem.
None of it explains how we are going thru resources at an alarming rate.
We are squeezing the earth like squeezing a zit.

It doesn't matter about doctored science or Al Gore or Sarah Palin or Deniers or Alarmists.

  • It matters about the 6+ billion of us wanting to eat.
  • It matters about the 6+ billion of us wanting to drive.
  • It matters about the 6+ billion of us wanting to have light.
  • It matters about the 6+ billion of us wanting to be warm.
How do we as a human race rectify the waste we generate and justify the resources we use?
That is what this is about.

How are we going to be sustainable
  • as a human race?
  • as a country?
  • as a community?

It is about the Green Economy. It is about our country falling behind on Research and Development.

As we are playing into and watching these soap operas unfold like a warped WWF storyline, every other country is getting their act together.

Back in June I attended a conference by the Solar Energy Industries Assn. (SEIA). The information available was astounding. Real products you can put on your house today with the tax credits were on display with the contractors to do the work. Fantastic !!!

I started to walk around the area that held the abstracts, the scientific papers and research driving this new Green Economy. It was looking at the UN without a lot of USA representation.

I walked away saddened that we are now floating behind the curve. We are dependent upon the Middle East for Oil, we are quickly becoming dependent upon the Pacific Rim and the EU for our technology.

It gets me angrier and angrier that our country, that is supposed to be the best on the planet, is mired in a debate whether we are destroying a part of the planet. We are killing ourselves by proving how utterly stupid we are.

If scaring the hell out of us with a Global Warming issue real or not, doesn't get us to move to a Green Economy then we are dead in the water.

We need to ramp up our engineering and tech fields. Part of the President's job is to put a goal before that is reachable. When Sputnik launched, Ike scared us to learn. Kennedy inspired us to get to the moon, applying that technology to drive a large part of our economy. The germs of the Green movement started under Nixon, gained credibility under Carter and were wiped away under Reagan. The Clinton years saw us use technology thru the Internet as an economic engine. Bush saw tech as a way to surveille.

Obama sees the Green economy as the engine to get us away from big oil and other interests. It will never get off the ground if this race to be stupid is allowed to continue. We will be owned by other interests than Middle East Sheiks.

The argument gets couched as
  • Some people want to actually act responsibly thru governments
  • Others wanting a free ride for everything all the time.

Listen up teabaggers...

It is time to pony up,
or really be subservient to foreign powers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The President Visits Allentown !!! ( and I'm out in the cold)

Got an email the day before the President is starting a listening tour asking for human wallpaper. “We need you to be pasted at the Lehigh Carbon Community College up in Schnecksville.”

I actually like this type of stuff because it gives me a chance to listen. On the way in I saw some folks I wrote about a few blogs ago from Berks County. The Prothonitary candidate lost his race down there, but his spirits were high since he learned a lot about the process and was happy to be in a crowd to welcome the President. With him was a spark-plug’s spark plug, Beatrice H. who better be working for somebody and delivering (some people just jump out at you).

I had more than a chance to stay with the Obama supporters on the access road into the complex - with the signs and cooler chants and music. Yeahh!!! Hooray for our side!!! It is cool in a campaign, but I am at a different point right now.

There was a small group of teabaggers about 50 yards down the road. I grabbed a Healthcare sign and took the regular jawing as I walked by and stood about 20 yards past them. I held a sign and gave a big smile and thumbs-up to and anyone driving by. You can tell from the faces and thumbs who is with you. I noticed there may be a genetic link between people who drive German luxury vehicles and the inability to give a thumbs-up. Yes, they would smile and wave, but no thumbs-up. Did get a couple one-finger salutes, but they were very few. It gives me a sense of the crowd.

Soon the teabaggers left for another spot on the campus, where the President was actually going to drive past. I followed a short time later. Part of me doesn’t like giving the opposition too much open space. At the new spot I saw people in blue shirts asking Obama to save our jobs. TV cameras from news organizations and student projects filtered in and out to record the crowd. My favorite was a day-care provider who brought all her pre-school charges to see the President. Kids with flags is as American as it gets.

Each side had a Megaphone Point Person (MPP). It appeared the job of this person was to irritate the other side. I will need healthcare passed soon as the Obama MPP nearly blew out my eardrums.

The most interesting place for me is at the point these two forces meet. It is actually about a 10 foot corridor from the last Obama supporter to the first Teabagger. It is almost, ‘we want to get close to you, but we won’t mingle with you’. That is the space I enjoy the most.

I thought it was a hoot when the old GOP lady stated calling me a Communist. I let her know that I was an American, born here, raised here, working here, raising my kids here. But to her I am still a Communist. People from both sides got in between the shouting. A Teabagger came up to me and asked if Van Jones should be where he is. We both agreed he may be too far to the left, he walked away without complaint.

Miguel, who I have seen elsewhere (I asked him what he was running for and he said, “Not yet”), basically was trying to be peaceable about things while looking for the common ground with the teabaggers without giving up core values that he holds. We talked for a few minutes and he moved on.

The Blue team was yelling “O-bam-a, O-bam-a, O-bam-a”. The Teabagger’s MPP tried to sing “God Bless America”, don’t worry the talent scouts won’t be calling.

I started talking to a teabagger with a sign and a Glenn Beck hat, Dave. Dave is getting his info from Glenn Beck and that is that. Obama bad. SEIU bad. Beck does a great job with his expose pieces and Glenn has made the case. I asked Dave about conservative values (I know there are liberals who would call that an oxymoron), where he got them from and the like. Dave is a small business guy who pays close to $500 a month in Health Insurance Premiums. He knows all the stuff for his family is on him. He is worried about the economy, just like everyone else. I asked Dave about the Invisible Hand. He never heard of it. I told him about Adam Smith and how he was really the Philosophical Father of Conservative thought. We talked for a bit more and while I didn’t get him to change anything – he is thinking. While he didn’t get me to change – I am thinking.

As Dave and I broke off, I moved to the front of the rope line, about 50 yards from the road the President would traverse. Still in between the groups the yelling back and forth intensified. “O-bam-a, O-bam-a, O-bam-a” met “Obama Must Go” to create white noise that no one can think thru. The MPP’s for both sides changed their batteries.

There was more of the undercurrent trash talk going on when I finally said to a teabagger with a flag, “When are you guys going to start your own Party?”

“We’re taking over the Republican Party”, and he was proud of it.

“That’s great. Where do the moderates go?”, I responded.

“I’ll tell them where to go”, a voice jumped out.

“There will never be a third party here. The moderates will stay with us.”, from another voice.

“Why?”, throwing the ball back to them.

“Because the state is a two party state”, another said.

“What if I told you that you could freeze the Democratic Party out?”…

They really perked up.

After I explained some of the nuances of precinct politics, they said, “Why should we listen to you? You want to see us go down.”

“You don’t have to listen to me, fine. Think it out for yourselves”.

It was cool watching the wind drop from their sails. I could almost see the wheels turning, “Do we yell at this guy? Do we engage him further? Is this a Democratic plant?”

The MPP’s picked up again. One would say something and the other would have to respond. It just got annoying after a while.

Finally, one of the about 7 people standing there decided to see what my starting point of view was. “Do you believe in the Consitution as it was written?”

“It is a living document.” (Conservatives hate this answer. A good rejoinder is, “It wasn’t written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John”.)

“Who wrote it?”

“Madison, but the selling of it was really the Federalist Papers.” (Conservatives love the Federalist Papers, so if you are going to debate these guys, take some time to understand their playing field.)

Once my street cred was established, Kevin, the inquisitor and I starting talking. I asked him about the Invisible Hand. He got his street cred as a real conservative.

We started talking. For real talking. We both had our signs in hand, we both see the same sets of problems before the country. We are both scared as hell as to what is happening. Both our spouses work in the Healthcare field. We have kids at roughly the same stations in life. We are the same guy (he’s a little older, I’m a little heftier).

After a few minutes we were both getting ticked at the MPP’s. We weren’t Liberal guy vs. Teabagger. We are a couple of Americans who know we are sitting under a pile of bricks about to come crashing down around us.

The funniest thing was as we were solving all these ills, a reporter from the local East Penn newspaper came up to us, said he took our picture without us knowing it because we were just talking. He took our names and towns and went on.

There is something really wrong when it is news that a couple of Americans are talking TO each other instead of AT each other.

An MPP announced that the President’s motorcade was close. Kevin and I broke off. We went up to the line and cheered and jeered or whatever. I was surprised at the small size of the motorcade, but I guess Obama is cutting costs.

The last thing I remember yelling today was a rejoinder to the Teabaggers, “Obamas got to go!”.

“He’ll be ok, there’s a men’s room inside.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dithering... Not So Fast! (or a jammed Roller Derby Queen)

President Obama’s West Point speech was met with anticipation by all those concerned about the wars currently being waged. Some “Americans” has so much anticipation that they couldn’t wait for the speech to start their cheap shots.

Dick Cheney has been circling around the political discourse like the GOP’s version of the Roller Derby Queen ( I’ve had the Jim Croce song in my head for days where he sings about the “Meanest hunk o’ woman that anybody ever seen down in the arena.” He circles with the “dithering” charge, the next pass around the track is the old “he’s inexperienced” shot to the back of the head, tries to take out the Presidents knees with a “weakness” charge.

I am taking a step back for a moment on the “dithering” charge. I don’t know the exact timeline of how Obama put his decision together, frankly, I don’t care. He has done his due diligence. But Obama has done this right. I am not saying that because I like the feel of my Obama Pom-Poms in my hand. The more I see of the President, the more I like.

I really think he had the skeleton of this plan worked out at least 4 months ago. These 90+ days were the machinations of marshalling his resources. He took the advice of military council, whether it was Secretary Gate or General McChrystal or the General Petraeus or Secretary Powell. I think a lot of phone calls were made and a lot of people asked. He also took a lot of input from the political class. I don’t think for a moment there will be a problem getting the votes for the funding of this, because it has already been done behind closed doors. No Drama.

Look at the last month. Obama wasn’t going to a Far East Trip to check out Sushi and Won-Ton. I am sure he enjoyed the Forbidden City, but I am sure those conversations behind closed doors were something along the lines of, “This is what we are doing. Can you offer any tips, since this is your neighborhood over here?”

The nicest touch was the first state dinner. Who was the honored guest? India is the largest democracy on the planet !!! These people have probably the next most to lose in the region if this thing goes haywire. It cannot be underestimated the stakes India has in this game. It was a Mumbai massacre that is making this region even more flammable.

If you are going to get your ducks inline, it is cool to have about a billion of them on the other side of Pakistan. I wonder if there is a firewall strategy going on here if things get out of hand with Pakistan?

Back on the domestic front, I would not be surprised at all if the McChrystal comments about 40,000 troops were a trial balloon requested by the administration of the military. The military is really doing its job because it knows this project has to be sold to the American public.

Speaking of selling things to the American Public, will it be easier or more difficult to get health care reformed if all the oxygen in the room is being taken up by these military issues? The healthcare debate now has a counter-balance in the public discourse.

The logistics for these things takes months to plan.

What you are hearing is only the sound of a Roller Derby Queen being jammed by a Power Forward.