Who Didn’t See This One Coming?

From Lender Sees Mortgage Woes for ‘Good’ Risks – New York Times.

Countrywide Financial, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, said yesterday that more borrowers with good credit were falling behind on their loans and that the housing market might not begin recovering until 2009 because of a decline in house prices that goes beyond anything experienced in decades.

The news from Countrywide, widely seen as a bellwether for the
mortgage market, initiated a sell-off in the stock market, which is at
its most volatile in more than a year. The Standard & Poor’s
500-stock index fell 30.53 points, or 2 percent, to 1,511.04, its
biggest one-day drop in nearly five months. The dollar dropped to a new
low against the euro, edging closer to $1.40 to 1 euro. Stocks opened
sharply lower in Japan this morning.

The slumping housing
market has become the biggest worry for the stock market, which just
four days ago set records, because of its potential impact on the
broader economy and financial system.

Can we please cut the crap?

Our economy has been running on fumes since 1981, when the right wing took over, and started cutting taxes and the government by and large started abandoning its constitutional duty to "regulate commerce."

Everything about American business now is about short-term profits; nothing else matters one little bit. You know why health insurance companies are able to screw the American people? Because they only view their profits through a quarterly or annual prism. See, when they refuse to cover someone, and that person gets care anyway, hospitals have to raise their prices to cover that loss. So, what does the insurance company do? Why, it raises premiums, of course, to cover the increase in hospital rates because they refuse to cover people who actually need health care. It looks great on the bottom line each quarter and per annum, but it creates a huge problem for the system over the long haul.

That’s how almost all of our economy works these days, and the housing market is no different. (Coincidentally, I’m writing a large piece that will go up in the next day or so about this very thing.)

I often walk past the house I grew up in, and marvel at the fact that the house is now 56 years old, we moved out 30 years ago, and the place looks the same, except for the huge cherry tree in the back yard, which we planted when I was 9; it’s huge now. What has changed, however, is the price. We sold it in 1977 for $42,900. When I moved back to the area in 1998, the house could be gotten for about $120,000, and as late as 2004, it could still be had for about $135,000. Then, suddenly, lenders developed "creative financing" schemes, in order to get people into homes who really couldn’t afford to own a home, and the house sold in January 2005 for $225,000, and the house next door sold two months later for $275,000.

The problem is, many of these homes were purchased with paper money. Selling someone who makes $25,000 a home priced at $250,000 with no money down is a recipe for disaster, for two reasons. First of all, they’re a foreclosure waiting to happen; it’s almost inevitable. But worse, they cause home prices for everyone to become overinflated. The originators of these loan programs love it, because they own other properties, which they buy and sell for the inflated profits, and when the time comes to foreclose, it becomes someone else’s problem.

But at some point, and that point came about a year ago, the bubble bursts, and suddenly, all of these foreclosures cause the market to be glutted, and there isn’t enough money left for legitimate mortgage lenders like Countrywide to help out the folks who actually make enough money to own a decent house, because they’ve been forced to mortgage all of these overpriced and overvalued homes.

Folks, the whole ARM market was built upon Enron-style accounting. and the wingnut government loved the idea, because their patrons made billions in short-term profits, by screwing people.

Expect a recession starting about six months ago, folks.

Impeachment is the Only Option!

by Milt Shook


There is something I don’t understand about the current crop of Democrats in
Congress. Why are they so reticent to discuss impeachment? And honestly, I think
we’re way past the point where discussion of impeachment would be useful. It’s
time someone put forth serious articles of impeachment against George W. Bush
and Dick Cheney, and brought them to a vote.

 


Under normal circumstances, their reticence would make some sense, because
impeachment trials reduce the effectiveness of the Senate for the time of the
trial. But at this point, does it matter? Senate Republicans have made it
crystal clear that they will refuse to allow anything important through to the
floor for a vote, anyway; if the Senate is going to be relatively ineffective
for a while, why not put the time to good use? Let’s use the opportunity to
demonstrate just WHY the Founding Fathers put impeachment into the Constitution
six times. 

 


Honest to God, what does someone have to
do to be impeached by these Democrats? The Republicans made up something out of
whole cloth in order to bring charges against Bill Clinton, and continued with
it, even though three-quarters of the country sided with Clinton. Yet, with a
list of potential charges at least a mile long against the two current occupants
of the White House, are we supposed to believe there isn’t a political will to
salvage our democracy and preserve what’s left of the Constitution?

 


And don’t give me that "we don’t have the time" crap, either. I keep hearing
that argument, too. It doesn’t have to tale that long. I know the impeachment of
Bill Clinton seemed to take forever, the
fact of the matter is, the articles of impeachment were passed on December 19,
1998, and he was acquitted on February 12, 1999. That’s less than two months
from the impeachment vote to the end of the trial. Think back over the last two
months; did anything happen, legislatively speaking, that we couldn’t have done
without? They can’t even pass bills dealing with the Iraq occupation or
immigration. We’re in the middle of a so-called "war on terror," and we can’t
even pass a bill to try to identify 12 million people who are here illegally.

 


But I digress.

 


This is not about right and left, although the right wing wants you to think it
is. This is about right and wrong. We
need an impeachment trial for no other reason than to expose the Bush
Administration’s sins to the entire country, and the world, and to show to the
rest of the world how a truly great country does to get rid of scumbags when
they occupy the most powerful positions in the government.

 

Do
we have the votes to convict? Not at the moment. But I have a sneaking suspicion
that if you manage to lay the evidence before the people and show them
everything the Bushies have done for the last seven years, many Republican
Senators — especially the 22 up for reelection next year and the 19 up for
reelection in 2010, will sit up and take notice.

 


The purpose of impeachment, of course, is to remove anyone in the government who
is committing a crime, or who is found to be corrupt. That part is obvious;
corruption cannot and should not be tolerated in the government, and the
Founders knew and understood this. But just as important to the people who
created the Constitution, was the desire for a mechanism for getting rid of
people who were incompetent, and incapable of acting in a way beneficial to the
nation as a whole.

 


Let’s face it, folks; with the Bushies, we’ve hit the jackpot with regard to
impeachable offenses. I mean, it’s like the world’s largest dartboard; two blind
people could make it a game with everything the Keystone Kops in the White House
have been up to.

 


You want corruption? How about their collusion with the oil companies to keep
energy supplies low and prices high? How about their conflicts of interest with
Enron?

 


What? You mean you can’t prove they did that? Well, of course, you can’t,
because they’ve kept everything they do secret, even when it’s illegal for them
to do so. You see, another impeachable offense. They do have quite a bit of
latitude with regard to secrecy regarding national security, but domestic energy
policy rarely falls under the "national security" umbrella.

 


And how about those signing statements? Are Congressional Democrats going to sit
there on their corpulent asses and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong
with a president who signs the bills that come across his desk, but adds signing
statements to almost all of them, many of which indicate his intention to carve
out an exception for himself under the law he’s signing?

 


Here are a few examples of Bush signing statements:

 

March 9, 2006: Justice Department
officials must give reports to Congress by certain dates on how the FBI is using
the USA Patriot Act to search homes and secretly seize papers.

Bush’s signing statement: The president
can order Justice Department officials to withhold any information from Congress
if he decides it could impair national security or executive branch operations.

Dec. 30, 2005: US interrogators cannot
torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading
treatment.

Bush’s signing statement: The president,
as commander in chief, can waive the torture ban if he decides that harsh
interrogation techniques will assist in preventing terrorist attacks.

Dec. 30, 2005: When requested, scientific
information ”prepared by government researchers and scientists shall be
transmitted [to Congress] uncensored and without delay."

Bush’s signing statement: The president
can tell researchers to withhold any information from Congress if he decides its
disclosure could impair foreign relations, national security, or the workings of
the executive branch.

Aug. 8: The Department of Energy, the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its contractors may not fire or otherwise
punish an employee whistle-blower who tells Congress about possible wrongdoing.

Bush’s signing statement: The president
or his appointees will determine whether employees of the Department of Energy
and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can give information to Congress.

Dec. 23, 2004: Forbids US troops in
Colombia from participating in any combat against rebels, except in cases of
self-defense. Caps the number of US troops allowed in Colombia at 800.

Bush’s signing statement: Only the
president, as commander in chief, can place restrictions on the use of US armed
forces, so the executive branch will construe the law ”as advisory in nature."

Dec. 17: The new national intelligence
director shall recruit and train women and minorities to be spies, analysts, and
translators in order to ensure diversity in the intelligence community.

Bush’s signing statement: The executive
branch shall construe the law in a manner consistent with a constitutional
clause guaranteeing ”equal protection" for all. (In 2003, the Bush
administration argued against race-conscious affirmative-action programs in a
Supreme Court case. The court rejected Bush’s view.)

Oct. 29: Defense Department personnel are
prohibited from interfering with the ability of military lawyers to give
independent legal advice to their commanders.

Bush’s signing statement: All military
attorneys are bound to follow legal conclusions reached by the administration’s
lawyers in the Justice Department and the Pentagon when giving advice to their
commanders.

Aug. 5: The military cannot add to its
files any illegally gathered intelligence, including information obtained about
Americans in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable
searches.

Bush’s signing statement: Only the
president, as commander in chief, can tell the military whether or not it can
use any specific piece of intelligence.

Nov. 6, 2003: US officials in Iraq cannot
prevent an inspector general for the Coalition Provisional Authority from
carrying out any investigation. The inspector general must tell Congress if
officials refuse to cooperate with his inquiries.

Bush’s signing statement: The inspector
general ”shall refrain" from investigating anything involving sensitive plans,
intelligence, national security, or anything already being investigated by the
Pentagon. The inspector cannot tell Congress anything if the president decides
that disclosing the information would impair foreign relations, national
security, or executive branch operations.

Nov. 5, 2002: Creates an Institute of
Education Sciences whose director may conduct and publish research ”without the
approval of the secretary [of education] or any other office of the department."

Bush’s signing statement: The president
has the power to control the actions of all executive branch officials, so ”the
director of the Institute of Education Sciences shall [be] subject to the
supervision and direction of the secretary of education."

 


Pasted from                                                       <http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/examples_of_the_presidents_signing_statements/>

 


You see, anyone who’s read these could have predicted his actions last week,
when Congress asked for information from his Administration, and Bush decided
that he didn’t have to comply, because the law doesn’t apply to him. Every
single one of the signing statements above demonstrates a functional
misunderstanding of the role of the president in the federal government. In our
government, the Legislative Branch makes laws, or "legislates," and the
Executive Branch (wait for it…) executes those laws.

 


Now, I know a lot of wingnuts will see the word "executes" and get all excited,
but it does not mean "kills" in this case. It means that the purpose of the
Executive Branch is to put laws into action.

 


The Bush Administration thinks it’s a dictatorship, and Democrats in Congress,
by not holding them to account, is perpetuating the myth. Presidents are under
obligation to follow any law the Supreme Court doesn’t find to be
unconstitutional; the concept that a president can simply carve out an exception
that a deliberative body has debated and worked on for months or even years, is
just wrong.

 


Think about the corrupt, and possibly even criminal, practices that we can
prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, during an impeachment trial. We can prove,
for example, that our president — the President of the United States; our
country, our "land of the free and the home of the brave," actually gathered
people from rural Afghanistan, put them into secret prisons and had them
tortured for information. He has given himself the power to declare anyone he
wishes an "enemy combatant," despite the fact that we are not at war with any
nation at the moment. He continues to assert his claimed power to hold anyone he
wishes, for as long as he wishes, without benefit of counsel or trial, despite
court orders demanding that he stop.

 


Seriously, where do these people get the idea that the President has so much
power? They sure as hell didn’t get it from the Constitution. Here’s a little
quiz for you; can you guess who has the following powers, according to the
Constitution:

 


To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and
Offences against the Law of Nations;

 


To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning
Captures on Land and Water;

 


To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be
for a longer Term than two Years;

 


To provide and maintain a Navy;

 


To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

 


To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,
suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

 


To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for
governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United
States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers,
and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed
by Congress;

 


Pasted from                                                                                                    <http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution_transcript.html>

 

If
you said the Executive Branch go back to school. Congressional Democrats, pay
attention; YOU have the above powers, and NOT George W. Bush. This is all the
Constitution says about the president’s powers with regard to the military
and/or defense:

 


The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United
States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual
Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the
principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject
relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to
grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in
Cases of Impeachment.

 


He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make
Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall
nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court,
and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein
otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress
may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper,
in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

 


Pasted from                                                       <http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution_transcript.html>

 


Hmmm… I don’t see anything in there about carving out exceptions for himself
because he’s some sort of arbiter of all things "national security." That duty
falls on the CONGRESS, not the president. The president does have some special
powers during national emergencies, but only those granted to him by Congress.
And those powers can also be taken away by Congress at any time.

 


You see, signing statements have been used before, but never like this.
Traditionally, they have been used for clarification, not exception. In the
past, presidents have used signing statements to instruct Cabinet departments on
how to implement a law they have signed, not to tell Congress what they think
the law should be.

 


The signing statements are just the gargantuan tip of the iceberg, however. This
administration has continually, throughout its reign, seen the law not as a path
to be followed, but an obstacle to be jumped over or sidestepped.

 


Just this past week, Bush issued an Executive Order which declared that we are
apparently in a state of emergency of some sort, "due to the unusual and
extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United
States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and
undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in
Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people…"

 


Huh?

 


Were you aware of an extraordinary threat here
due to anything that’s going on in Iraq? I mean, I have seen no color coded
threat level changes, no extra police on the streets, and they’ve even loosened
the rules and allowed cigarette lighters on domestic flights, even though you
can’t smoke on any. And since when does a president have the power to just
declare an emergency out of thin air? But that’s not the most amazing thing
about this Executive Order. The most remarkable thing is that he has ordered the seizure, upon order of his Administration, without judge, jury or due process, of all
assets of anyone he doesn’t like, and who he decides is "threatening the peace
and stability of Iraq." No kidding. Can we at least have a definition? On second
thought, no; the president has no power to declare anything like that, without
Congress’ express permission. And there’s a new sheriff in town, so that’s not
likely.

 


Coincidentally, when Senator Clinton dared to submit a letter to the
Administration, and asked whether they had some sort of inkling as to when they
might be thinking of withdrawing troops, a snotty undersecretary at the
Department of Defense, Eric Edelman, sent her a return missive suggesting that
her "propaganda" was "boosting" the enemy somehow. Was this a preliminary step
by the Bush Administration to attempt to seize everything Senator Clinton has,
to keep her from winning election next year?

 


Who knows if it is or not? And that’s the point, folks. We live in an open,
democratic society, and everyone is expected to play by the same rules. The
biggest boy in the yard doesn’t get to remake all of the rules just because he’s
the biggest; everyone gets to pitch in, and we make the rules together.

 


And that is especially true when said "big boy" is just flat incompetent. Forget
the obvious deer-in-the-headlights look on Bush’s face every time he’s asked a
pointed question. Forget the obvious sense one gets just by looking at the man
that he really doesn’t know why he’s there, and that he wouldn’t even
be there if ventriloquist Cheney’s hand
wasn’t all of the way up his ass. Forget the fact that he’s quite obviously the
most ignorant boob in the history of the American presidency. Look at the
record. We’re not talking about a 20-minute lapse in judgment in which the
president allowed a female White House employee to get a little too close. We’re
talking about gross incompetence at pretty much every turn. Seriously; has this
administration done anything right in 6 1/2 years? Let’s list a few of the
biggest screw-ups in Bush Administration history, shall we?

 

o He
hadn’t been in office six months when he took a two-month vacation, and despite
the repeated warnings about terrorist plots which were contained in his
Presidential Daily Briefing, which were read to him as he finished his Lucky
Charms each morning, he stayed on vacation, and passed on none of these
warnings to airport security authorities. No one in his administration
"could ever have imagined" that anyone could possibly attack the
United States, despite the fact that the president received at least one
briefing, entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack US" weeks before
he did just that, and at least one other describing a plot to fly planes into
buildings.

o When
the country was attacked on 9/11, rather than scramble fighters to bring down
the remaining hijacked airliners, Bush stayed in a kindergarten classroom and
tried with all of his might to NOT pee his pants. Then, when he finally left
the school, he flew away from  Washington,
to hide from the bad men, and to relieve his full bladder. He subsequently
promised first responders on 9/11 all sorts of things, and has yet to fulfill
any promise made at that time.
 

o After
the terrorist attacks, Bush promised to bring in Osama bin Laden, and rout al
Qaeda, to prevent another attack from happening again, sent troops into
Afghanistan, and then turned around and sent
them to Iraq.
He then outsourced the job of catching bin Laden to people who were actually
more sympathetic to bin Laden than the
United States.

o Then
there’s Iraq.
Forget the faked pre-war intelligence; that’s obvious. And forget the conduct
of the actual war itself, which was over in less than two months. President and
Vice President Chickenhawk ignored — and I mean absolutely, positively ignored
— the recommendations of every military expert with regard to troop
levels and strategy. They failed in the most essential responsibility a
Commander in Chief has when planning to go to war, and that is to plan for what
to do when you win. The only plan for this war, obviously, was to bomb the hell
out of the country until the government just ran off, screaming, into the
desert. They didn’t have enough troops to secure the oil fields and the border,
so Bush secured the oil fields. They dismissed the Iraqi army — the only
people in the country actually trained to secure the country, outlawed
the Baath Party, and, um, forgot to secure a major weapons depot in
Southern Iraq, which means the explosives that killed
many of our soldiers during the first couple of years came from us. This
occupation (it’s not a war) has been all about money — hundreds of billions of
dollars in contracts to Bush supporters and the oil industry. Iraq
used to
have a competent infrastructure — plenty of competent engineers and
professionals capable of running the country, and the facilities to do so —
but that has gone by the wayside, in favor of
private contractors
hand-picked by the Administration, and sanctioned by the now-defunct
Republican-led Congress.
 

o And
we would be remiss in our duties as citizens if we did not mention the most
galling incompetence in the history of this Administration, which is Hurricane
Katrina. The entire Administration was on vacation that week, as Katrina
approached the Gulf Coast,
and they stayed on vacation, despite the
multitude of warnings that serious devastation might occur in New Orleans, as well as parts of Alabama, Mississippi and the Gulf Coast.
Now, when
they created the Department of Homeland Security, the Bushies got the states to
agree that, in natural emergencies such as hurricanes, the federal government
would take the lead. As soon as the president signed the order, state officials
were to step aside. So they did. And the Bush Administration did nothing. Well,
okay, that’s not fair; they didn’t do nothing. Bush stayed on vacation, for a
couple of extra days. Then, he went to Arizona

to play air guitar and eat cake with John McCain.  Then, he held a
fundraiser in California, where he made a brief mention of the
tragedy that people were watching live on television. For FIVE DAYS, Bush puttered around and did nothing, Cheney was
nowhere to be seen, Condi was seeing Spamalot and buying really nice shoes, and
Michaels Brown and Chertoff were screwing up the disaster, and making things
worse. I could continue recounting this, but let’s be serious here — if the
fact that the President of the United States did NOTHING for FIVE DAYS, while
thousands of citizens of the United States were drowning, and being forced to
live in a football stadium with no water isn’t grounds for impeachment in and
of itself, then we have given up on standards in this country.
 

I
know Nancy Pelosi took impeachment "off the table" when the Democrats were
trying to take back the majority next year, but it’s time for someone to put it back on the
table. What I’ve mentioned here is little more than the tip of an iceberg that
threatens to sink the ship of state.

 


The purpose of the presidency is to provide leadership in putting into action
those laws which Congress passes. It’s not his choice as to which ones he wants
to put into action, and which he wants to put out to pasture. There is no
leadership in this government right now. Though everyone in the current
administration took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, they have
repeatedly and continually attempted to undermine the Constitution, by
unilaterally declaring extraordinary powers not outlined in the Constitution.

 


But worse than this, they have treated the government as their own personal
honey pot. They have populated the government with cronies carrying personal
agendas not in line with the needs of the American people, putting them in key
positions. And they have also hired an incredible number of people who are
unqualified for the positions they hold. No, I’m not just talking about Condi.
In the White House alone, there are at least 150 lawyers, all under the age of
35, with little or no legal experience, let alone government experience, whose
sole qualifications seem to be their graduation from Pat Robertson’s Regent
University law school (The un-Harvard), and their declared loyalty to George W.
Bush. Not the country, or the Constitution, mind you; but Dubya himself.

 

In
one of the most notorious examples, Monica Goodling made her way through the
ranks at the Justice Department based on her willingness to fire anyone who
showed less than stellar loyalty to Bush. Those she couldn’t fire, she simply
drove out of the job, including many career Justice Department lawyers. Think
about this; not only is the Attorney General of the United States; essentially
our country’s lawyer, a demonstrated liar and  moron, but his second-in-command
is a arrogant little turd, who graduated from a third-rate law school in 1999,
and who achieved her lofty status through her willingness to fire career Justice
Department lawyers who upheld the rule of law, rather than Dubya’s view of it.

 


She’s just one example, folks; not two weeks ago, Sara Taylor, Bush’s Deputy
Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs until a couple of
months ago, testified that she swore an oath to George W. Bush, and had to be
reminded that the oath was actually to the Constitution.

 


Right now, we have a government full of Federalist Society types whose image of
government is that it’s incompetent at everything it does, and are doing their
best to prove their point. And if Democrats aren’t willing to do anything about
it, then who is, exactly? Who the hell is speaking for the people of this
country, when the body charged with getting rid of incompetent and/or dangerous
boobs like Bush and Cheney won’t do its Constitutional duty. And make no
mistake, Democrats; this is a duty. When something is wrong with our government,
it is your duty to fix the problem.

 


This is not about "getting" Bush and Cheney. It’s not about revenge on the
Republicans for what they did to Bill Clinton. This is about simple right and
wrong, and making sure our government serves its people, and not the other way
around. This is about establishing the rule of law once again, and returning
standards to our government; standards that force the government to again serve
the people, and not the other way around. Standards that preserve the democracy
that we so often take for granted, but which is both precious and fragile, for
future generations.

 


George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney must be impeached, and the process must start
now. There are no excuses left. It doesn’t matter if the process gets dragged
out until we’re into the next election cycle; it doesn’t matter if Bush and
Cheney are thrown out on their asses on January 19, 2009, and Nancy Pelosi only
has one day as a caretaker president. This is no longer about process, and it’s
no longer about political expediency. This is about our Founding Fathers’ most
precious gift to us; it’s about the rule of law, and justice for all.

Someone get the limbo stick!

How LOW can he go??

Link: Political Wire: Bush Hits 25% Approval.

According to a new American Research Group poll, just 25% of Americans approve of the way President Bush is handling his job as president and 71% disapprove. These are record lows for the survey.

When it comes to Bush’s handling of the economy, 23% approve and 73% disapprove.

But… but… the economy is so… um… strong…

(I have a huge article coming on that later… stay tuned…)

 

At Least One Republican is in Deep Mitt…

Does this one even need comment?

Link: Mitt Catches S**t Over Hillary-Bashing Sign – TMZ.com.

Not everyone is a fan of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but comparing them to one of the most dastardly pieces of human excrement of all time — that might be bit much. Especially for a presidential candidate.
Mitt

0720_brookshire_obama

TMZ obtained photos of presidential candidate Mitt Romney trying to win over grammatically challenged South Carolinians Thursday by holding a sign that said, "No to Obama, Osama and Chelsea’s Moma."

But his Head Was in Too Deep to…

Head_up_ass
From the AP: 5 Polyps Removed From Bush’s Colon

Doctors removed five small growths from President Bush ‘s colon Saturday after he temporarily transferred the powers of his office to Vice President Dick Cheney under the rarely invoked 25th Amendment.

The polyps, extra tissue growing inside the large intestine, were found during a routine colon cancer scan performed at the Camp David presidential retreat.

"All were less than 1 centimeter (about four-tenths of an inch) and none appeared worrisome," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said. Outside medical experts agreed.

The polyps were sent to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to be microscopically examined for signs of cancer. Results were expected in 48 to 72 hours. Polyps can turn cancerous, so finding them early is one of the best ways to prevent the disease and improve the odds of surviving it.

Feel free to post any bad jokes you can think of… they’re multiplying in my brain as I read this…

McConnell Inadvertently Confirms Bushies’ Torture Regimen

Mikemcconnell
Seriously, is everyone in the Bush Administration just the dumbest form of human ever created? This is what Bush’s National "Intelligence" Director (an ironic title if there ever was one!) said about the Bushies’ approach to torture:

This is from an AP story, Spy Chief McConnell Defends Tactics:.

The nation’s spy chief on Sunday would not identify what CIA interrogators are allowed to do in getting information from terror suspects, but tried to assure critics that torture is not condoned or used.

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, in a rare broadcast interview, defended a new order from President Bush that broadly outlines the limits of how suspects may be questioned in the CIA’s terror interrogation program.

The executive order bans torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, sexual abuse, acts intended to denigrate a religion or other degradation "beyond the bounds of human decency." It pledges that detainees will receive adequate food, water and medical care and be protected from extreme heat and cold.

It does not, however, say what techniques are permitted during harsh questioning of suspects _ a matter of debate in the U.S. and elsewhere.

McConnell would not elaborate.

"If I announce what the specific measures are, it would aid those
who want to resist those measures," McConnell said. "So I won’t be too
specific."

When asked if the permissible techniques would be troubling to the
American people if the enemy used them against a U.S. citizen,
McConnell said: "I would not want a U.S. citizen to go through the
process. But it is not torture, and there would be no permanent damage
to that citizen."

Which means, they use torture, just not the kind that causes permanent damage. maybe. Of course, they intend to keep the techniques secret, so who knows?

Here’s what’s stupid about this, folks.

First, torture doesn’t work. Want proof? Well, the Bushies have been using it for at least five years now, and we’re still bogged down in Iraq, we’ve lost most of Afghanistan, and terrorists are still plying their trade. In fact, not only have we not caught any al Qaeda using torture, but the numbers of al Qaeda are increasing, in part because of the use of torture.

Think a little. If someone is in extreme discomfort, or pain, or under severe emotional distress, he  will say anything to get it to stop.  Which means that he’ll tell you anything he thinks you want to hear. The torture on the show "24" is a fantasy, folks; it simply doesn’t happen that way, and especially not that fast.

I’ll put it this way; ask John McCain how well it works.

But check out the double-speak from this jackass. Think of the immorality inherent in the statement that, while they will torture the hell out of people who aren’t citizens, they would never, ever use the same techniques on American citizens.

I want you to think about that statement for a while, and then tell me why the terrorists want to kill us. And if you say it’s "for our freedoms," I’ll have to clock you.

Then, think about what they do to prisoners in federal prisons who are American citizens, and think about the fact that it’s far worse than that.

They’re torturing people, folks. The largest free country in the world is torturing people it doesn’t like. And they’re doing it in your name…

 

Capitol Police Have a Double Standard…

Capitol Hill Police and the Fraternal Order of Police have demonstrated a double standard when it comes to how they treat Congresspeople who show them disrespect.

See, Rep. Chris Shays — one of those chickenshit Republicans who has taken a stand against the Iraq occupation (it’s NOT a war!), but who won’t vote against Bush in any way, was involved in an altercation with a Capitol Police on Thursday. This is according to CNN.com – CNN Political Ticker Congressman clashes with police «.

Republican Rep. Christopher Shays apologized Friday for a loud and angry altercation he had a day earlier with a Capitol Police officer, saying he behaved “in a way I know was not appropriate.”

Shays spokesman John Cardarelli said the incident took place at the West Front entrance to the Capitol during a rainstorm when the congressman was trying to locate a group of his Connecticut constituents who were coming for a Capitol tour.

An intern had gotten lost with the group and had difficulty describing where they were to Shays, who asked to speak to the police officer. The officer refused, saying it was against policy to accept phone calls while on duty.

Shays eventually found the group and went to them, but the police officer refused to allow them to enter the building through the West Front entrance, which is off-limits to tourists. Shays, Cardarelli said, grabbed the officer’s lapel “to look at his name badge” and shouted at him.

“I know Chris swore, and he probably did use the f-bomb,” Cardarelli told
CNN.

Okay. So we have a physical altercation between a Congressman and a police officer. He apologized the next day, saying he regretted doing it. Does this remind you of anyone?

From: Report: McKinney Punches Cop:

According to sources on Capitol Hill, U.S. Representative Cynthia
McKinney (D-GA) punched a Capitol police officer on Wednesday afternoon
after he mistakenly pursued her for failing to pass through a metal
detector.

Members of Congress are not required to pass through metal detectors.

Sources
say that the officer was at a position in the Longworth House Office
Building, and neither recognized McKinney, nor saw her credentials as
she went around the metal detector.

The officer called out,
“Ma’am, Ma’am,” and walked after her in an attempt to stop her. When he
caught McKinney, he grabbed her by the arm.

Witnesses say McKinney pulled her arm away, and with her cell phone in hand, punched the officer in the chest.

Cynthia McKinney was then lambasted throughout the entire news media for weeks over this. She was called a whore and a tramp and all manner of other things by the scum over at Fox Noise, and all over the radio talk shows.

Now, some of the attention was caused by McKinney herself, as she suggested the officer was racist. The police, however, also made a big deal out of it, threatening to sue her.

Now, let’s go back to the first article, about white Republican Rep. Shays once again, shall we?

Earlier Lou Cannon, head of Washington’s chapter of the Fraternal
Order of Police, also said the incident had been blown out of
proportion.

“Everyone’s trying to make this sound like another Cynthia McKinney
situation, but it’s no where close to that,” Cannon said. “Words were
exchanged, but there was no striking, no hitting, no grabbing. There
was no touching.”

Oh, really?

In the Shays incident, HE grabbed the officer, after the officer didn’t let the might Congressman have his way. You know how Republicans are; they think they’re the shit, and everyone else works for them. But SHAYS made the first move, and grabbed the officer FIRST.

Compare that to the McKinney incident. The OFFICER grabbed HER first. Now, imagine you’re a woman, in Congress, and someone grabs your arm from behind. Your first instinct is probably not going to be much different than hers. She was entitled to be there, just as Shays felt he was entitled to be there. Get it?

So, here’s the question for the FOP. Where do you derive your double standard?

Is the dividing line Democrat or Republican?
Is it male or female?
Is it black or white?

It must be something. McKinney was in the wrong, and Shays was in the wrong. Why the disparate treatment?

And to the news media; where is this story? Why was McKinney all over the media, while Shays barely got a mention, until he apologized the next day?

Senate Prudes Take Action Against…. Bad words?

So,let’s get this straight.

These schmucks can’t pass a bill to stop the massive killing of our troops and innocent Iraqi citizens. They can’t pass a bill to address the 12 million immigrants who are here illegally. They can’t find the political will to fix a health care system that’s killing people daily. But goddammit, they sure as shit can pass a worthless bill, so that your kids wont hear words like "fuck" or "shit."

Link: FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!.

As expected, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has voted in favor of the Protecting Children From Indecent Programming Act, which allows the FCC to fine television and radio broadcasters for airing profanities, even if they are fleeting, unscripted words or images. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA), came in response to a recent federal appellate court decision that struck down the FCC’s attempt to issue indecency violations for broadcasts that inadvertently aired fleeting expletives. If the bill is passed by the full Senate and ultimately signed into law, it would put the blame on broadcasters for unscripted or unexpected indecency.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin commented on the Commerce Committee’s passing of the Rockefeller bill, saying in a statement that it "affirmed the commission’s ability to protect our children from indecent language and images on television and radio. Significantly, members of Congress stated once again what we on the commission and every parent already knows; even a single word or image can indeed be indecent."

You know what, you worthless idiots? A single word or image CAN be indecent. No doubt about it. But no one can stop a kid from hearing it, no matter what sorts of safeguards you put up. We have a president who flips people off in public, and a vice president who tells people to "fuck off" on the Senate floor, and then claims he "feels good about it." You think that, somehow, if they don’t hear it on television, they don’t ever hear it?

And while you focus on "cuss words," hate speech rules the goddamn airwaves on a daily basis. Keep watching this blog; you’ll see stuff that is REALLY dangerous for kids to hear. Seriously; which words are more damaging to children; the word "fuck" shouted as an expletive, or a scumbag like Michael Weiner-Savage telling your kids that all gays who have kids are child abusers? You think hearing certain words is bad, how about a failed transsexual experiment like Ann Coulter calling everyone she doesn’t like a "faggot," as a synonym for "weak"? How about Comedian Rush Limbaugh referring to Barack Obama and Halle Berry as "Halfrican American" because they happen to be the product of a loving couple who didn’t let their racism cloud their love for each other?

No one has ever been killed by any of the words the Senate Commerce Committee now wants to waste more tax money on, in  a lame attempt to ban them from the airwaves. No one has ever been maimed by words, no one’s ever been actually, physically hurt by words.

On the other hand, if you’re going to make the claim that certain words are "indecent" and somehow hurt our children, then the handful of expletives the idiots in the Senate and the FCC want to ban are the least of them.

I think it’s time we started making complaints to the FCC, every time we hear something that is actually indecent from our radios and televisions.

Every time you hear something that’s actually offensive coming over your airwaves, go to the FCC’s Electronic Comment filing system, and lodge a complaint. In all of these years, the FCC has never really fashioned a definition for "indecent"; perhaps we can guide them in the right direction…

 

You Call Glenn Beck’s Crap CNN Headline NEWS?

On his Thursday night
CNN Headline News crapfest, Glenn Beck (ironically, during a segment called
"Real Story") brought on some guy whose seeming purpose in life is to
Glennbeck1
shill for the nuclear power industry. (He’s not, which we’ll get to a bit later
on…) He started off with the basic Beck idiocy; actually, I think right wing
talk show hosts have this sort of crap patented somewhere, because they all use
it. They simply state something as if it’s fact, and since there is no one
available to rebut them, it simply lays there, like the steaming turd that it
is. IN introducing this guy, he let off a few stinkers;

 

Now,
let`s move into another hot topic: $9-a-gallon gasoline in Norway is
ridiculous. How about the $3 a gallon that we`re paying here in the U.S. now?
It`s no day at the beach. And the "Real Story" is, gas prices are
getting so high, most people aren`t even going to be able to afford to go to
the beach soon. According to a new poll, nearly half of all Americans would
rather reduce their driving, retail and entertainment spending if gas goes to
$3.50 a gallon — and trust me, it ain`t a matter of if, it`s a matter of when
— so what do you do?

 

One newspaper in Norway claims that taxes cause a gallon of gas to cost $9 per gallon, but there is no evidence that it’s a fact. According to almost every source EXCEPT that one article, including AA Roadwatch, the price is about $6.50 currently. 

 

About 15 seconds
later, Beck begins to get philosophical.

 

The
bottom line is that we`re all going to have to keep driving, because it`s a
reality. We`re all going to all have to heat our houses, and we`re all going to
go on living our lives. So we can`t afford literally, or figuratively, to
dismiss any energy option.

 

Okay, so shitting into
a large box and burning it in our living rooms to keep warm is still on the
table? Putting millions of orphaned dogs and cats onto treadmills to generate
electricity is still being considered? Can we burn corpses for fuel? We really can’t dismiss ANY energy option?

 

We ALL can’t keep
driving, to the extent we do now. I mean, for Chrissakes, folks, look at
traffic now, and compare it to traffic 20 years ago. The reality is, we must
change our lifestyles in significant ways, and part of that is to demand more
public transportation, such as electric rail lines, monorails, or whatever we
can manage, and we have to stop moving farther and farther out of town. And we
have to work toward electric cars.

 

You see, one of the
reasons Europeans, like the Norwegians, pay so much more for gasoline is
because they tax it and use that money to build transportation infrastructure.
Compare that to the United States, where our genius lawmakers reduced the gas
tax by almost a nickel a few years back, because that nickel was such an
incredible burden on taxpayers (how’s that working out for you?), and who keep
trying to cut funding for public transportation. Norwegians have a smaller
country, so they don’t have to drive very far in the first place, but they also
have far higher mileage standards than we have, and they have an excellent
public transportation system.

 

We need some sort of
truth detector when it comes to news. The news channels seem to strive for
balance between right and left, but there seems to be little attempt to correct
the record, for the record.

 

It used to be that all
news outfits had several layers between the reporter and the audience, be it
print or electronic media. Woodward and Bernstein weren’t allowed to print
anything about Richard Nixon, unless there was corroborating evidence that it was
true. Fact checkers used to comb over every work, to make sure the story was
accurate. Yes there were papers that engaged in "yellow journalism,"
which were less concerned about the facts, but everyone knew which those were.
Nowadays, the line is blurring between The National Enquirer and CBS News. And
with more and more radio blithering heads moving their bullshit to the
ever-more-aptly-named "boob tube," well, why can they continue to
call the channel CNN Headline "News"? Seriously, what does an idiot
like Glenn Beck offer in the way of news?

 

This is the kind of
garbage that was thrown out there:

 

Dennis
Avery is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of
"Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years." Dennis, is there a
shortage of three-eyed babies in Russia? Why are they thinking about 26 nuclear
reactors when they`re really not good at it?

 

DENNIS
AVERY, HUDSON INSTITUTE: Well, the death toll from Chernobyl is only about 50
people, and they think it`s been overstated. And the rest of the world thinks
they can build nuclear reactors with safety shields. And the French have done
it. They`re getting two-thirds of their electricity from nuclear plants. And
we`ve been backed into a nuclear corner by the environmental movement.

 

BECK:
Well, I tell you, you know, it is amazing. I mean, Dennis, let`s not kid around
here. Chernobyl was a bad thing. But…

 

AVERY:
Yes, it was.

 

BECK:
… you see on the news about Tokyo, it`s my understanding that the nuclear
spill that has happened is one one-billionth of the legal level. Is that even
possibly true? Because I sure don`t hear that on TV.

 

AVERY:
How many people die in coal mining accidents every year?

 

BECK:
I don`t know. A lot.

 

AVERY:
A lot. The total safety profile of nuclear is very safe.

 

Pasted from <http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0707/19/gb.01.html>

 

First of all, don’t
you love how these guys just throw the names of their organizations out there,
as if every "Institute" or "Foundation" was automatically
legitimate. The "Hudson Institute" isn’t exactly a purely scholarly,
non-partisan group. Its focus these days is on foreign policy and national
security issues, and their web site features a smattering of moderate pieces,
mixed among a huge number of poorly researched opinion pieces written by former
Reagan and Bush 41 appointees. I mean, the Trustees include Al "I’m in
charge!" Haig, Pete DuPont and Dan Quayle, although in Quayle’s case, the
designation (honorary) appears next to his name, so to their credit, they do
understand he’s not exactly a scholar. But if you read the articles on the Hudson Institute’s web site, you find a
hodgepodge of articles that do not reveal a tremendous amount of actual
research.

 

But let’s do some fact
checking, shall we?

 

First of all, let’s
start with Avery himself. Dennis Avery is NOT a nuclear expert. His specialty
is food production. He has written
about nuclear power before,
in which he attempted to discount the ill
effects, should the United States nuclear industry proliferate and there were
suddenly hundreds of plants all over the country, and even seems to suggest
that increased radiation levels decreases the incidents of cander. The article
was written in 2004, and to his credit, he did at least acknowledge that the
globe was warming, although he included the obligatory right wing
anti-conservative non-argument that we’re not sure if humans are the cause. He
also demonstrated that he is either extremely lazy, intellectually speaking, or
just knows he’s full of shit, because he mentions study after study in the
article, but gives no details about the study. Sorry, Dennis, but I don’t buy
anyone’s interpretation of a study until I can read the whole thing in context.
I’m funny that way.

 

So, after reading
Dennis’s previous writing on nuclear power, I’m not surprised by the enormous
number of half-truths and outright bullshit he hands the audience, and village
idiot Glenn Beck just lets lay there like so many radioactive turds.

 

The direct, immediate
death toll from Chernobyl around the reactor itself was 56. But what Avery
leaves out of his instant analysis is the estimated 9000 cases of thyroid
cancer among children, and many others who may still contract cancer throughout
the area most heavily affected. Sixty percent of the fallout, for example, fell
on Belarus. In fact, radiation from the explosion was carried through most of
the world, including North America. He also fails to note that more than
336,000 people were evacuated.

 

Avery also failed to
note, that the reactor that blew up was being shut down for testing, and was
not even close to full capacity. The problem was, the nuclear technicians
brought in to test, made a mistake, and shut down the reactor too fast. In
other words, human error. He also failed to note that, under the circumstances,
what ended up coming from that particular reactor was a cloud of radioactive
dust, not water vapor, which meant the radioactivity was more highly
concentrated over a smaller area. Still, the highest concentration covered more
than 155,000 sq. km, and affected 7 million people. In Belarus, the worst-hit
country in the region, more than 6,000 sq km of farm land is unusable, and more
than 100,000 people had to be resettled. Throughout the region, they are still
finding cancer clusters, and the affected seem to be mostly children. In the nuclear industry article cited above,
Avery dismisses cancer as "overwhelmingly a disease of old age." So,
how does he explain so many children with thyroid cancer?

 

He is right, that the
nuclear industry’s safety profile is very good, by traditional standards, but
the fact of the matter is, the potential for major damage is unlike anything
we’ve seen before, and the question we have to ask ourselves is, if there are
many other ways to generate the energy we need, why put any of our eggs in the
nuclear basket? If one small nuclear reactor explosion in the boonies in the
middle of the night can displace hundreds of thousands of people and make so
much farmland unusable, the only question that matters to us should be, are we
willing to take the risk for a few measly megawatts of electricity?

 

See, if the only
choices available were oil and nuclear, we’d have to choose oil, because an
oil-fired power plant isn’t likely to create a plume of radioactivity that
could affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. Yes, the French
get three-quarters of their energy from nuclear power right now, but the fact
that one country does something doesn’t mean there isn’t a better alternative.
They also spent more than a half TRILLION dollars building that infrastructure,
for a country that is about the size of Colorado and Wyoming, and with a
population roughly one-fifth the size of ours.

 

BECK:
It seems to me that the environmental movement has been very, very good at
marrying the word "nuclear energy" right to "nuclear bomb."
The word "nuclear" scares people. And there is — you know, you
should think of the energy of the sun, not the energy of the atom bomb. There`s
a difference. I don`t want to live on the sun, but as long as we use the sun
appropriately, it`s a good thing, right?

 

AVERY:
They`re suing to stop two geothermal plants in Northern California, which have
no emissions of any kind, just two nine-acre sites in the middle of the
boondocks. And the environmentalists say, "Well, that was really pretty,
and we don`t want to mess it up." It`s 18 acres with no emissions, two
power plants.

 

BECK:
Yes. The problem is — and this is what I tried to say to, you know, RFK Jr., I
mean, we`ve got to come together. There are no perfect solutions, but it
doesn`t seem like they want any solutions. You know, one of the founders of
Greenpeace who was on who said, you know, the answer is clean nuclear energy.
You`ve got to have energy. This is clean. And when Greenpeace said, "No,
no, no," he realized this is all about politics. It`s not really actually
about keeping things clean and green. Isn`t it true that nuclear energy has
zero CO2 emissions?

 

AVERY:
Zero C02. And then we contrast it with corn ethanol, which produces 50 gallons
worth of gasoline per acre per year, against an annual demand of 135 billion
gallons. How much of America`s forest are we going to destroy to grow low-grade
auto fuel at 50 gallons per acre per year?

 

BECK:
I`ve got to tell you, the ethanol thing, I`m sorry, heartland, I know you love
it. It`s good for the farmers. It is bad, bad news for the environment and bad
news for the country and bad news for our energy needs in the future.

 

Pasted from <http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0707/19/gb.01.html>

 

Okay, let’s start with
the "environmental movement." By implication, Beck means
"liberals." But here’s the funny thing; the far right has done far
more "marrying" of "nuclear energy" with "nuclear
bomb" than any liberal. Iran’s trying to build a nuclear plant to generate
power, but the Bushies (perhaps rightfully) refer to it as a "nuclear
program," and imply that Iran wants to build a bomb. Ditto North Korea.

 

As for ethanol, I’m
not aware of anyone who is proposing ethanol as a permanent solution to our
energy needs. Ethanol should be an interim solution, to break our dependence on
oil, but our ultimate goal simply has to be natural energy production, such as
solar, wind, tide and geothermal power. And we have to make everything far more
efficient, so that the same amount of energy stretches twice as far.

 

They did get one thing
right; there are no CO2 emissions from nuclear plants. But do you know what
they forgot to mention?

 

The waste.

 

You see, you don’t
have smoke coming from a nuclear plant, but there is an awful lot of
radioactive waste to dispose of somehow. And right now, we have tons and tons
of waste just waiting for someplace to dispose of it, and more nuclear plants
would mean more of that.

 

Another aspect of
nuclear power Avery just kind of blew off include the immense cost. He throws
around the French model as an example, but fails to mention that France has
spent more than $600 billion on their nuclear infrastructure over the years,
for a country that’s about the size of Colorado and New Mexico, and has a
population roughly one-fifth the size of ours. If you like $1000 a month
electric bills, you’ll love nuclear power.

 

The bottom line on all
of this is, if the idiots in the news media want more
viewers/listeners/readers, they’re going to have to start supplying the market
with a product that it doesn’t already have; the facts, unvarnished and
certified as facts. In other words, real journalism we can trust. We can all hear blowhards’ opinions anytime
we want; we all work with people like that, we all have a relative like that;
we can overhear that sort of thing out on the street, if we just keep our eyes
and ears open.

 

What we need from the
news is, well… the news. Unvarnished facts, parading before our eyes and ears
without the spin of the person presenting them.

 

If you want to make
money hand over fist, just give us the facts. That’s all we ask. Glenn Beck
doesn’t deal in facts, and has no place on CNN Headline NEWS.

And CBS Wonders Why It’s in Last Place??

Here is an interesting item, courtesy of media Matters, that is the quintessential example of why journalists throughout the mainstream media absolutely MUST go back to fact reporting, and stop injecting their own analysis into every report.

Look at this report from CBSNews.com through  Media Matters :

At one point, Obama seemed to take aim at Edwards, who has tried to make poverty the main issue of his candidacy.

"This kind of poverty is not an issue I just discovered for the purposes of a campaign," Obama stressed just nine minutes into his comments. "It is the cause that led me to a life of public service almost twenty-five years ago."

The timing of Obama’s speech — scheduled on the same day that Edwards scheduled his tour’s finale in Kentucky — suggests that Obama plans on fighting Edwards for title of defender of the poor. In fact, Obama pointed out he turned down lucrative offers at major law firms to return to the south side of Chicago as a community organizer, while Edwards went on to make millions as a trial lawyer before beginning his career in public service.

Jonathan Prince, Edwards’ campaign manager, told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that while Obama had "been working hard throughout his life to make a difference," Edwards was "committed to the issue of poverty long before he was in public life."

Asked about Obama’s comment, Prince responded by emphasizing Edwards’ record on the issue, adding, "I have no reason to think that Senator Obama was talking about Senator Edwards at all."

You know, one of the things I have found striking about the 2008 campaign so far, is that the near-complete respect the tope-tier candidates have for each other (Clinton and Edwards’ overheard discussion notwithstanding, of course.), and Prince’s reaction to this absolutely absurd question was right on the mark. Here is an excerpt of Obama’s speech, including context, and it is clear to anyone who actually listened to it exactly what Obama is talking about.

 

OBAMA:
But poverty is not just a function of simple economics. It’s also a matter of
where you live. There are vast swaths of rural America
and block after block in our cities where poverty is not just a crisis that hits
pocketbooks, but a disease that infects every corner of the community. I’ll be
outlining my rural agenda in the coming weeks, but today I want to talk about
what we can do as a nation to combat the poverty that persists in our
cities.

 

This
kind of poverty is not an issue I just discovered for the purposes of a
campaign, it’s the cause that led me to a life of public service almost 25 years
ago.

 

I was
just two years out of college when I first moved to the South Side of Chicago to
become a community organizer. I was hired by a group of churches that were
trying to deal with steel plant closures that had devastated the surrounding
neighborhoods. Everywhere you looked, businesses were boarded up, schools were
crumbling, teenagers were standing aimlessly on street corners, without jobs,
without hope, without prospects for the future.

 

He’s not talking about John Edwards; he’s talking about HIMSELF. He is saying that he didn’t just discover poverty for the purposes of HIS campaign. He’s not casting aspersions on anyone else, and Prince’s response was right on.

How about a  quick journalism lesson; who, what, where, why and how.  If you can’t answer any or all of these questions, you don’t report it. Edwards’ name was not mentioned in the speech, so what sort of journalist would report that he was talking about Edwards without asking first. And no, you didn’t ask, Whitney Smith, CBS News intern. You asked Prince to comment on what Obama said, and even he said that he didn’t think Obama was talking about him. And yet, you STILL wrote that Obama "seemed to" be talking about Edwards.  Given that Edwards’ spokesperson didn’t think that was the case, don’t you think you should have re-read and re-evaluated what you thought you heard?

And I refuse to blow this off, because Ms. Smith is "just an intern." As an intern, it’s pretty much a guarantee that someone above her approved this sloppy piece of writing, and did not hold her up to the journalistic standards that CBS News used to be known for.

Again; if you want to know why people don’t pay attention to the mainstream press, this is why. if people want personal news analysis, there are a million blogs out there, including this one, to provide that; why in God’s name would they go to CBS News to get some intern’s take on what she thought Obama might have meant.

Stick to the facts. There is more of a market for them, anyway. The opinion market is saturated.