You Say Vote

you-say-voteYou say vote and someone says:

“Democracy is a sham. Those people don’t speak for me. The system is rigged.”

You say vote. Someone says:

“Well, it doesn’t make a difference. This state is red. Another state is blue. This thing is already a lock.”

You say vote. Someone says:

“Hey, I’m making a statement by not voting.”

And, you say:

Well, I can’t hear it. This is not about the White House. This is about your house. If you’re not registered to vote, you can’t sit on that jury. You can’t choose your mayor. You can’t choose your city council. You can’t even choose your district attorney. You can’t decide which measures will help your family and community and which will put them at risk.

This government was designed to be changed.

You can either make that change or you can take what little they give you. Democracy is not a sham. It’s a job. Our job. And it took too goddamn long to get it to just let it slide.

You say vote because there are people who still don’t want you to.

Go to to get more information.

Enough, already, about Palin’s clothes!

I’ve got no love for Sarah Palin. I think she’s awful on many levels. But I’ve about had it with stories about how much her clothes cost. The most recent revelation appears to be that the RNC spent $165,000 on three stylists to give the Alaska governor a wardrobe makeover.

So what? Yes, it sounds like a lot of money, but that is apparently what top-notch stylists cost. (Nice work if you can get it.) The Times article explains that the aggregate amount is not out of line with what a movie studio might spend on stylists for an A-list actress.

The job of Vice President is at least as important as actress. It’s also a job where appearances count — at least in a campaign. And, like it or not, women face a double standard on their looks.

Have you ever seen pictures of Palin from her pre-veep days? She would never have survived the scrutiny of a national campaign with the clothes in her closet.

In my view this was money well spent.

Cross-posted from Facebook.

‘Race’ in Obama’s victory

In the waning days of the campaign, as I struggled to overcome my deep pessimism that this could actually happen, that Americans would actually elect a black man president, I began to let go of my anger for the noxious and dishonorable that campaign he ran against our now president-elect Barack Obama.

I have never worshiped at the Cult of John McCain, never believed him to be the truth-telling, straight-talking, national war hero. I felt that he showed himself during the campaign to be the craven, corrupt politicians that he truly is. McCain’s campaign, at times, seemed to be inviting people to kill that traitorous and treasonous character they were running against, a fictional character named Barack Hussein Obama. As the campaign wore on, I felt McCain deserved to have his name go down in infamy with Joe McCarthy and others who have besmirched our history.

I began to cope with my paralyzing anxiety about the outcome of the election by letting go of my anger at McCain.

I liked that he promptly came out and gave his concession speech, that it was somewhat gracious. Nevertheless, something about the speech stuck in my craw. I am talking about this passage:

This is an historic election, and I recognise the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I’ve always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.

But we both recognise that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our     nation’s reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.

America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.

Let there be no reason now … Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at Sen. Obama’s victory and I did not complain about what everyone was insisting was a gracious concession speech. I stumbled upon a discussion thread on Facebook that led me to believe I was not the only one to think that there’s something not quite right with McCain’s words here.

The person who started the discussion titled it: race in the Obama win, then wrote:

It was interesting to me how McCain’s concession speech, gracious though it was, seemed to dwell on the “achievement” of an African-American, while Colin Powell’s remarks noted that Obama’s win went “far beyond race”. I guess the fact of Obama’s rainbow ethnicity is not easily grasped here.

A commenter wrote:

McCain (and Gerry Ferraro) truly believe the ONLY reason Obama won – was because of his ethnicity. They     cannot and will not see him as who/what he actually is – beyond the color of his skin. That is their prism for all people of color. That is their limitation. We are leaving them behind…sadly.”

But it was another commenter who captured my (irrational?) bitterness at McCain’s choice of words:

Of course, as we all know, being black has always been a tremendous advantage in this country. Just ask Dred Scott, Rosa Parks, Emmett Till, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Homer Plessy…

President-elect Obama’s victory in the presidential election has been hailed in every corner of this nation by people of all races and celebrated all over the world, every corner of the world. This victory simply goes beyond race, although race is a significant component. It is an achievement for America to be proud of, not just African Americans. This historic event restores, for the moment at least, America’s role as a beacon of hope for the world.

McCain, of course, was not the only guilty part in this fixation on race, the entire media and our political class was guilty. Obama has willfully refused to pander to race or note the racial import of his quest, at times frustrating the media. I remember media types noting with frustration that he did not mention his race (he did not actually mention himself, crediting voters, instead) when he claimed the nomination from Sen. Hillary Clintoon in June.

I could not wait to get my New York Times but found its front page of this historic event deeply underwhelming. If any newspaper was capable of capturing such an important and historic while noting the significant racial component, it would be my beloved Times. But on this occasion, it failed:

Something about that front page did not move me. Here are some other front pages:

Or, The Wall Street Journal:

The Washington Post:

The Philadelphia Inquirer:

I don’t know why but I really like the Omaha World-Herald front page:

On health

The Central Virginia Progressive-The DAVISReport sent us Obama v. McCain on health and wellness, including bills

The article below really breaks down the health care crisis. Comparing both candidates plan, it provides a hyperlink to the non partisan Health Policy Center’s analysis of both candidates proposed plans. An important read on this important issue. click here:
Obama vs. McCain: Medical Bills, Drug Prices and Access to Health Care — Voter Guide | Health and Wellness | AlterNet
The DAVISReport

Comparing positions

The Central Virginia Progressive-The DAVISReport sent us the Obama v. McCain Tax Calculator

Let the numbers speak for themselves. Click on the program below and see how your pocketbook will fare at tax time under each candidate’s plan.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden: Change We Need | Obama Tax Calculator

From Deborah’s blog to God’s . . .

My Facebook friend Deborah White (her blog is called Deborah’s US Liberal Politics Blog) has followed the campaigns, watched all the debates, done the research, and come up with Five Reasons Why McCain Will Lose the ’08 Election, Thursday October 16, 2008

Barack Obama decisively won all three presidential debates because of his many thoughtful programs for middle-class Americans, his stance on the ending the Iraq War and bringing U.S. combat troops home… and because of his agreeable, chameleon-like ability to represent many good things for a great many people.

But John McCain also lost the debates due to many factors entirely independent of Barack Obama. And because of these factors, Sen. McCain is quite likely to lose the presidential election in 19 days.

I’ve narrowed the lengthy list of self-induced reasons that will cause McCain to lose the ’08 presidential race down to five main factors.

Take a few minutes to read Five Reasons Why McCain Will Lose the ’08 Election, and let me know if you agree or disagree.

That tool, Tavis Smiley


I  went to the 92nd Street Y two Saturday evenings ago to see Tavis Smiley interview Cornel West. I don’t care for Smiley, but I went because I was entertaining a friend’s guest from London (a sister) who wanted to go — real bad.

About halfway through the evening, I noticed she was leaning far way from me, and almost sitting in a seat two spots from me.  I was heckling, Tavis.  She was pretending not to know me.

You know all Tavis did the entire night was bash Obama and talk about how horrible the man is for the country, and how everyone voting for him was basically a “negro.” The audience was smart though . . . they didn’t eat up his rhetoric.

But I couldn’t help myself, so don’t ever take me to anything involving, Tavis . . . I don’t know how to act.

During question and answer a few people politely called him out with thoughtful questions.  And Cornel West finally said what Amiri Baraka has been saying all along to these pseudo-revolutionaries:  McCain is the enemy.  For example,  how about this, Tavis!

The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa.

Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.

The saga also spotlights a clear difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. Senator Obama supports U.N.-led efforts to promote family planning; Senator McCain stands with President Bush in opposing certain crucial efforts to help women reduce unwanted pregnancies in Africa and Asia.

This election is serious, Tavis.  Either you’re part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.

in politics . . .


A First Lady of a different kind
CNN – 50 minutes ago
By Jonathan Mann (CNN) — Take a brilliant, strong-willed, American woman. Let her marry a rising politician, start a family, build a successful legal career, and then emerge as a polished public figure in her own right.
The War Over Michelle Obama TIME
Tenn. GOP Sen. Wants Obama Ad Pulled CBS News
New York TimesReutersIndianapolis StarNational Review Online
all 212 news articles »
POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, May 23, 2008
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau

Washington Post: POW Aftereffects in McCain Unlikely
Sen. John McCain’s 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam undoubtedly changed the course of his life. But now that he is 71, that remote trauma seems unlikely to shorten his life span or to lead to mental or physical conditions that are not already apparent.

LA Times: Obama makes moves for fall election
The Democratic front-runner looks for a running mate, talks with party officials and campaigns where it counts — all while trying not to overstep while Clinton is still in the race.

The Hill: GOP says troop cuts likely to help McCain
GOP Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid could receive a boost if additional troops are withdrawn from Iraq this fall, according to his Republican colleagues. The Arizona senator’s allies said Gen. David Petraeus’s remarks Thursday that he expects to recommend more troop withdrawals this fall would validate McCain’s arguments that last year’s troop surge was needed to stabilize Iraq.

NY Times: As Race Wanes, Talk of Clinton as No. 2 Grows
While Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advisers insist that she is determined to win the Democratic nomination, friends of the couple say that former President Bill Clinton, for one, has begun privately contemplating a different outcome for her: As Senator Barack Obama’s running mate.

Read the rest of this entry »
Obama to tour key Western states
Obama is heading west next week.

(CNN) — Barack Obama will travel to three crucial swing states next week, the latest sign the Illinois senator is moving into the general election phase of his campaign.

As first reported by the Web site Talking Points Memo and confirmed by an Obama campaign aide, the Illinois senator plans to make stops in New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado next week.

Specifically, Obama will make stops in Las Cruces, New Mexico Monday, the Las Vegas area on Tuesday, and the Denver area on Wednesday.

Continue reading “in politics . . .”

in politics . . .


New York Daily News
DC meeting could bring compromise on Michigan, Florida delegates
New York Daily News – 1 hour ago
Busloads of Hillary Clinton supporters will swarm a meeting next week at a DC Marriott, where Democratic Party elders hope to forge a compromise over Florida and Michigan’s now-voided convention delegates.
Video: Victory is within reach: Obama RussiaTodayObama Says Nomination ‘Within Reach’ New York Times
Los Angeles TimesUSA TodayDetroit Free PressWashington Times
all 8,126 news articles »

As host, McCain invites speculation
Boston Globe – 4 hours ago
WASHINGTON – Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain plans to host three potential running mates this weekend at his ranch in Sedona , Ariz.
McCain Looks to Fill Ticket, and 3 Hopefuls Step Up New York Times
Joe Lieberman assails Barack Obama on foreign policy Los Angeles Times
Philadelphia InquirerSarasota Herald-TribuneWashington PostBBC News
all 1,130 news articles » (Pressemitteilung)
Obama at Square One in Florida
Wall Street Journal – 2 hours ago
By CHRISTOPHER COOPER TAMPA, Fla. — One of the most tantalizing electoral prizes this fall for Sen. Barack Obama may be Florida, where he is campaigning and holding fund-raisers this week after a self-imposed exile of more than six months.
Liberals work to change McCain’s image San Francisco Chronicle
McCain to look over possible ticket mates Seattle Times
Washington PostCNNSan Jose Mercury NewsReuters
all 313 news articles »

CBS News
Ron Paul surge collects more GOP convention delegates
Los Angeles Times – 1 hour ago
While the world of politics waits around for Sen. Barack Obama to finally get the message and give up his hopeless chase of the Democratic nomination for president because he lost yet another heartland state to Hillary Clinton, Texas Rep.
Drug industry contributing more to Democrats The Associated Press
McCain, Romney Tied in Florida NewsOXY
PoliticoWall Street JournalSeattle TimesWashington Post
all 717 news articles »

Turkish Press
Jindal to visit McCain during holiday
The Times-Picayune – – 4 hours ago
By Bruce Alpert Gov. Bobby Jindal and his wife, Supriya, are among 10 couples invited to presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s Arizona home during the Memorial Day weekend, an invitation fueling speculation that Jindal is on a short
Weekend at McCain’s just the ticket? Washington Times
Is McCain’s guest list also his VP short list? Arizona Republic
The Associated PressBoston GlobeABC NewsBaltimore Sun
all 1,710 news articles »

Theme Persists: Obama Outraises Clinton
New York Times – 6 hours ago
By LESLIE WAYNE Though Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton raised an impressive $21 million in April, her campaign ended the month $20 million in debt and with Senator Barack Obama more than $30 million ahead of her in cash on hand for the primary season,
In Money Chase, McCain Can Rely on Party Boost Wall Street Journal
Barack Obama Sets $55 Million Record NewsOXY
ReutersLos Angeles TimesCBS NewsThe Associated Press
all 445 news articles »
Women to the Barricades
San Francisco Chronicle – 7 hours ago
The following email leaked to us from a prominent supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton shows us firsthand the anger among the older women who are the mainstays of her campaign, and a necessary ingredient of a victory for rival Sen.
The ‘Not Clinton’ Excuse Washington Post
Hillary Clinton Thanks Saturday Night Live NewsOXY
Sioux Falls Argus LeaderEurweb.comHuffington PostSeattle Times
all 428 news articles »

Clinton, Obama vie for superdelegates
Boston Globe – 19 hours ago
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton split Tuesday’s primaries, and so far today they have split the superdelegates who will likely determine who gets the nomination.
Democratic superdelegate Rep. Joe Courtney backs Obama Boston Herald
Superdelegate Courtney Announces For Obama Hartford Courant
Connecticut PostMSNBCAkron Beacon JournalTheDay
all 36 news articles »
Not the ticket of dreams
Boston Globe – 5 hours ago
MANY DEMOCRATS, including former New York governor Mario Cuomo on this page, have called for a Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton ticket.
What Does Hillary Want? TIME
Barack Obama Slams Clinton Amid Mississippi Voting NewsOXY
Washington PostHuffington PostVoice of AmericaABC News
all 77 news articles »

Hartford Courant
Does the Libertarian Party Matter?
Wall Street Journal – 6 hours ago
By BRUCE BARTLETT Ron Paul’s unexpected success raising money and gaining votes in the Republican primaries – running on an explicitly libertarian platform – has made the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination something worth vying for this year.
Recent Converts Are Top Contenders for Libertarian Nod
google news commentComment by David Boaz Executive Vice President, Cato Institute
Colorado Springs GazetteWashington PostWashington TimesNolan Chart LLC
all 43 news articles »

News Talk AM 580 WDBO
Obama rocks, rolls into state
Daytona Beach News-Journal – 4 hours ago
By JAMES MILLER KISSIMMEE — Illinois Sen. Barack Obama rolled into town Wednesday, sounding like the Democratic presidential nominee and being treated like a rock star.
Obama Introduces Himself to Florida Voters CBS News
Obama suggests halving Florida delegation
all 21 news articles »

Obama inspires McCain aide to step down
Los Angeles Times – 3 hours ago
Mark McKinnon, John McCain’s media strategist and a member of the close-knit circle of five top advisors to the Republican presidential candidate, says he plans to be the Arizona senator’s “No.
Keeping Vow on Obama, McCain Adviser Resigns New York Times
McCain media consultant departs The Associated Press
FOXNewsWashington PostCBS News
all 101 news articles »

7 Ore. superdelegates mum on presidential choices
USA Today – 10 hours ago
Now it’s time for the seven superdelegates still uncommitted to say whether they are backing Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for president.
Obama doubles Clinton in Wash. delegates Seattle Post Intelligencer
Obama closes in on Democratic nomination The Associated Press
NewsOXYWashington PostKTVZWWJ
all 1,010 news articles »
Some of Sen. Clinton’s remarks about seating Mich. and Fla.
Chicago Tribune – 12 hours ago
By AP Excerpts from prepared remarks Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton made Wednesday in Florida on why the disputed Michigan and Florida primary results should count and the delegations seated at the Democratic National
Clinton Invokes 2000 in Quest for Florida Support Washington Post
Obama, Clinton signal Florida boycott over The Associated Press
Waterbury Republican AmericanPalm Beach PostRealClearPoliticsNational Review Online
all 231 news articles »

CNN Political Ticker
Lieberman Op-Ed Raises Eyebrows
Washington Post – 13 hours ago
By Shailagh Murray The Connecticut senator describes himself as an “independent Democrat,” but today on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, Lieberman called out Sen. Barack Obama by name as one of the “old voices of partisanship and peace at any price”
Top Nebraska Dem Downplays Obama-Hagel Ticket Talk Action 3 News
Hagel Assails McCain; Lieberman Assails Obama ABC News
The Carpetbagger ReportCNN Political TickerAOL News NewsbloggersTheDay
all 17 news articles »

Hackensack Chronicle
Foe launches age-old attack on Lautenberg
Philadelphia Inquirer – 3 hours ago
By Cynthia Burton With less than two weeks left in the edgy Democratic US Senate primary, US Rep. Rob Andrews has unveiled a television ad that spotlights the age issue in his race against US Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
GOP Senate debate tonight at Stockton Press of Atlantic City
Pennacchio eyes crossover voters in US Senate bid The Star-Ledger –
Asbury Park PressThe Jersey Journal – NJ.comHackensack ChronicleNew Jersey Jewish News
all 74 news articles »

OPB News
Merkley hopes to ride anti-GOP tide in Ore. Senate race
KTVZ – 7 hours ago
AP – May 21, 2008 10:45 PM ET SALEM, Ore. (AP) – A day after winning the Democratic US Senate nomination, Jeff Merkley moved quickly into general election mode, linking Republican Sen. Gordon Smith to the Bush administration.
Schumer’s guys win in Kentucky, Oregon Politico
Senate Democrats gaining power News 10 Now
The Oregonian – OregonLive.comThe Register-GuardKATUCrosscut
all 111 news articles »

The Southern Ledger
Senator challenges Lunsford on issues – 3 hours ago
By Ryan Alessi Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell charged into general election mode by moving to define his opponent and by offering an issues test to his newly minted Democratic challenger, Bruce Lunsford.
Ky., Ore. voters choose US Senate candidates The Associated Press
Schumer-backed Senate Candidate Prevails In Kentucky CBS News
Huntington Herald DispatchMSNBCLouisville Courier-JournalRealClearPolitics
all 238 news articles »

Monsters and
In photos: ‘USA Elections – Obama and Clinton May 21st’
Monsters and – 11 hours ago
By M&C News May 21, 2008, 22:44 GMT Illinois Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at the St.
Iorio endorses Obama at rally in Tampa WMNF
Obama: ‘It’s good to be back’ Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Tampa TribuneMyFox Tampa BayBradenton HeraldTampa Bay’s 10
all 19 news articles »

Hillary Clinton Charges Barack Obama
NewsOXY – 2 hours ago
Hillary Clinton has accused Barack Obama of trying to keep people from voting for her as some backers have called for her to drop out of the presidential race.
President Bill Clinton Returning To SD Sunday KSFY
Presidential Campaign: SD’s Money Trail KELOLAND TV
Sioux Falls Argus LeaderRapid City JournalKELOLAND TVKELOLAND TV
all 12 news articles »
  • Republican presidential candidate John McCain speaks during a meeting May 20 in Miami, Florida. McCain is to meet this weekend with at least three potential vice-presidential candidates, US news media reported Wednesday.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Eric Thayer)
    Candidates seek centrist answers in Iraq AP – 2 hours, 1 minute agoWASHINGTON – Hard-core advocates for and against the Iraq war are losing leverage as John McCain and Barack Obama, having virtually secured their nominations, appeal to centrist voters who will decide the fall presidential election.
  • Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., arrives at a town hall meeting in Kissimmee, Fla., Wednesday, May 21, 2008.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
    Drug industry contributing more to Democrats AP – 2 hours, 20 minutes agoWASHINGTON – In a sharp reversal, drug and medical device companies are giving more money to Democrats than Republicans this election season, one more sign of the campaign difficulties the GOP could face this November.
  • In this Wednesday, May 14, 2008 file photo, Chelsea Clinton visits the Luisa Guadalupe Center for the elderly, on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Forget placards, stoic bodyguards and formal rallies. To win Puerto Rico's presidential primary, both the Clinton and Obama camps are campaigning in the boisterous, face-to-face 'boricua style' favored on this Caribbean island. (AP Photo/Ricardo Figueroa)
    Democrats adopt boisterous Puerto Rican style AP – 2 hours, 2 minutes agoSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Forget placards, stoic bodyguards and formal rallies. To win Puerto Rico’s presidential primary, both the Clinton and Obama camps are campaigning in the boisterous, face-to-face “boricua style” favored on this Caribbean island.
  • Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks at a town hall meeting in Kissimmee, Fla., Wednesday, May 21, 2008.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
    Obama’s outreach to US foes is questionable AP – 2 hours, 5 minutes agoWASHINGTON – Barack Obama’s willingness to meet Iranian, Cuban and other hostile leaders who would not get face time from John McCain stands as a distinctive element of his foreign policy.
  • Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama delivers a speech to supporters during a town hall meeting in Kissimmee, Florida May 21, 2008. (Scott Audette/Reuters)
    Viral e-mails attack Obama’s life story Politico – Wed May 21, 8:12 PM ETThe main obstacle standing between Barack Obama and the White House was distilled into five words by a local television correspondent in South Charleston, W.Va., earlier this month.

White House News

  • President Bush makes a statement about Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., prior to signing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, Wednesday, May 21, 2008, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
    Bush signs anti-discrimination bill AP – Wed May 21, 5:54 PM ETWASHINGTON – President Bush on Wednesday signed legislation to protect people from losing their jobs or health insurance when genetic testing reveals they are susceptible to costly diseases.
  • President Bush greets Olga Alonso  left, and Yamile Labrada Llanes, relatives of Cuban political prisoners, second from right, after the president spoke about Cuba, Wednesday, May 21, 2008, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
    US to let Americans send cell phones to Cuba AP – Wed May 21, 5:43 PM ETWASHINGTON – President Bush announced Wednesday that people living in the United States soon will be allowed to send cell phones to Cubans on the island nation — a move that he hopes will push the communist regime to increase freedom of expression for Cuban citizens.
  • A farmer working on his fields in Illinois. The US Senate on Thursday passed a mammoth 290 billion dollar farm bill with a veto-proof majority, which includes subsidies for farmers and help with food bills for the needy as prices rise.(AFP/Getty Images/File)
    Bush vetoes farm bill AP – Wed May 21, 3:27 PM ETWASHINGTON – President Bush vetoed the $300 billion farm bill on Wednesday, calling it a tax increase on regular Americans at a time of high food prices in the face of a near-certain override by Congress.
  • Bush heading to Europe in June AP – Tue May 20, 4:55 PM ETWASHINGTON – President Bush, traveling abroad more this year than at any time of his presidency, plans to head to Europe in June to confer with allies on matters of war, terrorism and trade.
  • US President George W. Bush, seen here at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Congress Center on May 18, 2008, will attend an EU-US summit in Slovenia in June as part of a European tour including stops in Germany, Italy, the Vatican, France and Britain, the White House announced Tuesday.(AFP/File/Jim Watson)
    White House denies story about attacking Iran AP – Tue May 20, 4:00 PM ETWASHINGTON – The White House on Tuesday denied a published report in Israel that said President Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term in January.

U.S. Congress News

  • This combination of 3 file photos shows, from left: Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, D-Mass., Edward Kennedy Jr., and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. People in Massachusetts suddenly are thinking the unthinkable: Who possibly could succeed Sen. Edward Kennedy, patriarch of the famed political family that has dominated the state for more than four decades? (AP Photos)
    Thinking the unthinkable: Who follows Ted Kennedy? AP – 6 minutes agoWASHINGTON – People in Massachusetts suddenly are thinking the unthinkable: Who possibly could succeed Sen. Edward Kennedy, patriarch of the famed political family that has dominated the state for more than four decades?
  • Veteran US Senator Edward Kennedy (seen here earlier this year) has left hospital giving a thumbs up to waiting supporters a day after doctors announced he had a malignant brain tumor.(AFP/File/Paul J. Richards)
    Kennedy illness robs Senate of dealmaker AP – 57 minutes agoWASHINGTON – Sen. Edward Kennedy’s diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor has left Congress without its best dealmaker and boldest liberal, a politician known for his staunch positions and willingness to work with right-wing lawmakers.
  • Budget Director Jim Nussle briefs reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. President Bush vetoed the $300 billion farm bill on Wednesday, calling it a tax increase on regular Americans at a time of high food prices in the face of a near-certain override by Congress. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
    After gaffe, Democrats planning to redo farm bill AP – 1 hour, 1 minute agoWASHINGTON – Democrats are picking up the pieces after an embarrassing technical gaffe that delayed a triumphant rejection of President Bush’s veto of a massive farm bill.
  • Mix-up throws House veto override in doubt AP – 1 hour, 42 minutes agoWASHINGTON – The House overwhelmingly rejected President Bush’s veto Wednesday of a $290 billion farm bill, but what should have been a stinging defeat for the president became an embarrassment for Democrats.
  • In this Thursday, April 10, 2008 file photo, Gen. David Petraeus, left, listens to Ambassador Ryan Crocker, right, during a news conference in Washington. The position of Gen. David Petraeus, nominated to assume control of U.S. forces in the Middle East, and Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, picked to replace Petraeus as the top commander in Iraq, all but guarantees that some 140,000 troops will be committed in Iraq for the remainder of the year. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
    Top Iraq generals defend pause in troop reductions AP – 1 hour, 54 minutes agoWASHINGTON – The U.S. must be careful not to withdraw forces from Iraq too quickly because security gains could be lost, warn the nation’s top two war generals.

U.S. Government News

  • Report says more kids drowning in pools, spas AP – Wed May 21, 9:03 PM ETWASHINGTON – A month before summer begins, a government report shows an increase in the number of children who drown in pools and spas.
  • In this Jan. 19, 2007, file photo, a Motorola Razr cell phone is seen at a consumer electronics store, in Gloucester, Mass. The U.S. government is quietly negotiating to help cell phone customers avoid expensive fees when they cancel contracts with wireless companies, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File)
    Plan to trim cell phone cancellation fees draws criticism AP – Wed May 21, 6:11 PM ETWASHINGTON – A wireless industry proposal under consideration by the government that would make it easier for cell phone customers to break up with their service providers was met with withering criticism by consumer advocates on Wednesday.
  • A pedestrian passes in front of the Federal Reserve Building in Washington January 22, 2008. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
    Fed sees slower growth, higher unemployment in `08 AP – Wed May 21, 2:11 PM ETWASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday sharply lowered its projection for economic growth this year, citing blows from the housing and credit debacles along with zooming energy prices. It also expects higher unemployment and inflation.
  • Government ads to show consumers how hospitals rate AP – Wed May 21, 12:34 AM ETWASHINGTON – The federal government is spending nearly $1.9 million on newspaper ads around the country that disclose hospital satisfaction rates, part of a unique campaign to improve health care through the power of publicity.
  • Feds help ailing student loan program AP – Tue May 20, 7:48 PM ETWASHINGTON – The Bush administration is taking steps to ensure student lenders don’t walk away from the federal loan program, including offering to buy up student loans and make capital available to lenders.

World Politics News

  • A Merrill Lynch sign is seen in Toronto, April 29, 2008. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)
    Merrill restarts talks to move to WTC site: WSJ Reuters – Thu May 22, 2:14 AM ET(Reuters) – Merrill Lynch & Co has restarted talks to move its headquarters to a planned skyscraper at the World Trade Center site, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Group critices US military for child detentions AP – Wed May 21, 4:39 PM ETGENEVA – A rights group criticized the U.S. military Wednesday for holding hundreds of youths in Iraq, saying American forces aren’t living up to international standards.
  • Sri Lanka loses bid for UN human rights panel seat AP – Wed May 21, 4:06 PM ETUNITED NATIONS – Sri Lanka, which has been strongly criticized for its human rights record, lost its bid Wednesday for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, but four other countries with poor records won spots — Pakistan, Bahrain, Gabon and Zambia.
  • Report: Conflicts using child soldiers declines AP – Wed May 21, 7:32 AM ETUNITED NATIONS – The number of conflicts in which child soldiers were involved dropped sharply from 27 in 2004 to 17 at the end of last year, according to a report by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.
  • United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the High-Level Segment of the 7th session of Human Rights Council in the Assembly Hall at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva March 3, 2008. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)
    States vie for seats on disputed UN rights body Reuters – Wed May 21, 1:21 AM ETUNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Sri Lanka, Bahrain and Gabon are among states vying for 15 seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday that rights watchdogs say are unfit to be on it.

Supreme Court News

  • Ban upheld on offering child porn The Christian Science Monitor – Tue May 20, 4:00 AM ETWashington – The US Supreme Court has upheld an effort by Congress to make it illegal to offer or promote child pornography – even when the photographs being offered or promoted don’t really exist or involve real children.
  • In this Feb. 28, 2005 file photo, John Demjanjuk arrives at the federal building in Cleveland for an immigration hearing. The Justice Department said Monday May 19, 2008 that the alleged former Nazi death camp guard has exhausted all legal avenues for trying to remain in the United States and the government remains committed to deporting him.  (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, file)
    Court rejects case involving alleged Nazi guard AP – Mon May 19, 7:42 PM ETWASHINGTON – The Justice Department said Monday that an alleged former Nazi death camp guard has exhausted all legal avenues for trying to remain in the United States and the government remains committed to deporting him.
  • The US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court on Monday upheld a 2003 law banning the promotion of child pornography, saying that the law was in line with the constitutional guarantee of free speech.(AFP/File/Tim Sloan)
    Court upholds part of child pornography law AP – Mon May 19, 6:29 PM ETWASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Monday that leading someone to believe you have child pornography to show or exchange is a federal crime, brushing aside concerns that the law could apply to mainstream movies that depict adolescent sex, classic literature or even innocent e-mails that describe pictures of grandchildren.
  • Court upholds municipal bond tax exemption AP – Mon May 19, 5:48 PM ETWASHINGTON – The $2.5 trillion municipal bond market skirted a land mine Monday when the Supreme Court ruled that states could continue to give special tax breaks on the bonds that fund hospitals, roads, schools and other services.
  • Justices rule against man in terrorism case AP – Mon May 19, 1:11 PM ETWASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against an Algerian convicted of conspiring to detonate explosives at Los Angeles International Airport during the millenium holiday travel rush.

Most Popular Politics News

  • US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida. Obama declared he was already on the cusp of the nomination, as he traded blows in the latest foreign policy flare-up of an evolving general election battle with Republican John McCain.(AFP/Getty Images/Robert Browman)
    Viral e-mails attack Obama’s life story Politico – Wed May 21, 8:12 PM ETThe main obstacle standing between Barack Obama and the White House was distilled into five words by a local television correspondent in South Charleston, W.Va., earlier this month.
  • Mix-up throws House veto override in doubt AP – 1 hour, 42 minutes agoWASHINGTON – The House overwhelmingly rejected President Bush’s veto Wednesday of a $290 billion farm bill, but what should have been a stinging defeat for the president became an embarrassment for Democrats.
  • Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks at her Kentucky presidential primary night rally in Louisville, Kentucky, May 20, 2008. (Frankie Steele/Reuters)
    Clinton launches new Fla., Mich. offensives Politico – Wed May 21, 2:33 PM ETBOCA RATON, Fla. – With a bit of momentum from her landslide Kentucky victory and less lopsided Oregon loss, Hillary Clinton is turning her attention to two states that have already voted, Florida and Michigan, over two states and a territory that have yet to, South Dakota, Montana and Puerto Rico.
  • In this photo released by Warner Bros. talk show host Ellen DeGeneres welcomes presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during a taping of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at the NBC lot in Burbank, Calif.  The episode is scheduled to air on Thursday, May 22.  (AP Photo/Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.)
    DeGeneres needles McCain on gay marriage AP – Wed May 21, 11:25 PM ETWASHINGTON – Republican John McCain says same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into legal agreements for insurance and other purposes, but he opposes gay marriage and believes in “the unique status of marriage between and man and a woman.”
  • Budget Director Jim Nussle briefs reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. President Bush vetoed the $300 billion farm bill on Wednesday, calling it a tax increase on regular Americans at a time of high food prices in the face of a near-certain override by Congress. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
    Senate proposal seeks $165B for war AP – 2 hours, 42 minutes agoWASHINGTON – President Bush’s GOP allies in the Senate face election-season votes Thursday on both his long-pending war funding request and tens of billions of dollars backed by Democrats for veterans education and an assortment of domestic programs.

Another case of substance abuse

I cannot explain why this New York Times story got under my skin so.

The Times basically celebrated flash over substance in choosing to focus on John King of CNN and his giant computer board that has dominated the cable news network’s coverage of the elections this year. The fact is that CNN is not using the teleprompter to deepen its coverage of the elections.

Measuring nearly seven and a half feet diagonally, the screen, along with its database, seems more suited to a commander moving troops around a battlefield, which is no accident. David Bohrman, who oversees CNN’s political coverage, fell in love with the monitor after seeing it at a military intelligence trade show last year. (Mr. Bohrman refused to say how much CNN had paid for the device, which is made by a company called Perceptive Pixel.)

Asked about his new toy on a recent morning at CNN’s New York City headquarters as his fingers darted from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Erie in a dry run of the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday night, Mr. King said the technology enabled him to turn back the clock as much as move it forward. For more than a decade before joining CNN in 1997, Mr. King was a reporter for The Associated Press, and election nights usually found him systematically telephoning precincts to collect their tallies.

“I’m in TV 10 years, but in my head and heart, I’m still an old wire guy, a grunt,” Mr. King said. “You can use this new technology to look at politics the old-fashioned way, which is: who’s finding their people and turning them out?”

And yet Mr. King said that his touch screen allows him to present data in ways far more dazzling and compelling than in his days tapping out election results in A.P. bureaus in Providence, R.I., and later Washington, or even in his early years at CNN. The technology has also helped him solve a problem with which he has occasionally wrestled in his career at CNN: adapting his just-the-facts-ma’am approach to a visual medium.

This is ridiculous. CNN does not have more reporters out in the field to deepen its coverage of the elections. Its staff is not out talking to people in Erie, PA, for instance. Most of the staff, as a matter of fact, are sitting behind desks in the studio, either as analysts, or as producers. The CNN coverage is a lot of lips flapping, adding up to a vapid picture of what is taking place.

No matter how fast Mr. King talks into the camera, or snaps his finger across a screen to enlarge a map, what this new highfalutin machine masks too often in primary after primary and caucus after caucus is the lack of real news to report by CNN, especially in the early hours after the polls close.

Then the Times allowed King to say this without challenge:

“Nothing against white guys, but I’m a white guy talking in a box,” he said, stripping his broadcast performance to its essence. “If all I’m doing is saying, ‘6 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent,’ there’s that glaze-over factor at home. You’ve lost them.”

“The wonder of this,” he said a moment later, gesturing toward what is essentially a giant Etch-a-Sketch, “is that you can show it. You can make the math accessible.”

Since when has being a “white guy” disadvantaged anyone in any way from working in broadcast journalism? This was a ridiculous, stupid, vacuous statement that was just dropped in there and the Times just let it go without challenging its validity.

The Times compounded this ridiculousness by bringing in some story about Mr. King’s wedding to a CNN colleague. Why did the Times spend such valuable news space enhancing Mr. King’s celebrity?