Tuesday, 21 August 2007

BRIAN BAIRD: AN HONEST DEMOCRAT SPEAKS

Ken Berwitz

My admiration for honesty supersedes all partisan politics. 

To me, politicians who allow events rather than poll data to dictate their positions even if it means a significant voter base may be alienated, are treasures.  There aren't many of them around.

With this in mind, I would like to introduce you to Brian Baird, a five term congressperson from Washington.  Mr. Baird voted against the authorization to invade Iraq and still considers it to be a terrible mistake.  But, having just come back from his fifth visit to that country, he understands that, whatever he thought about the initial invasion, it would be disastrous for us to simply set a date and pull out.  

Tell you what:  Let me let him explain in his own words, via the (Washington) Olympian newspaper.  The words are his, the bold print is mine:.

Published August 17, 2007

Baird sees need for longer U.S. role in Iraq

Brad Shannon

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird said Thursday that his recent trip to Iraq convinced him the military needs more time in the region, and that a hasty pullout would cause chaos that helps Iran and harms U.S. security.

"I believe that the decision to invade Iraq and the post-invasion management of that country were among the largest foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. I voted against them, and I still think they were the right votes," Baird said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.

"But we're on the ground now. We have a responsibility to the Iraqi people and a strategic interest in making this work."

Baird, a five-term Democrat, voted against President Bush ordering the Iraq invasion at a time when he was in a minority in Congress and at risk of alienating voters. He returned late Tuesday from a trip that included stops in Israel, Jordan and Iraq, where he met troops, U.S. advisers and Iraqis, whose stories have convinced him that U.S. troops must stay longer.

With Congress poised next month to look at U.S. progress in Iraq and a vote looming on U.S. funding for the war, Baird said he's inclined to seek a continued U.S. presence in Iraq beyond what many impatient Americans want. He also expects Gen. David Petraeus, who oversees U.S. troops in Iraq, to seek a redeployment of forces. "People may be upset. I wish I didn't have to say this," Baird said. He added that the United States needs to continue with its military troops surge "at least into early next year, then engage in a gradual redeployment. I know it's going to cost hundreds of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars."

It was Baird's fifth trip to the Middle East, and he conceded that what he has learned has put him again in an unpopular position with some voters. He no longer thinks partitioning Iraq into Sunni, Shiite and Kurd sections is possible, for instance; no one he spoke to in Israel, Jordan, Palestinian cities or Iraq liked the idea, he added.

Activists rallied Thursday at the state Capitol, saying they want Baird, who represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Olympia, to vote for withdrawing U.S. troops. But Baird said he believes that to the extent Iraqis think the United States would withdraw before bringing security to a functioning Iraqi government, "that might contribute to the infighting and instability of the government."

He also said the United States tore up Iraq with its invasion in 2003, dismantling civil government and industries and tossing a half-million people out of work, but that three years of U.S. help is not enough to let Iraq rebuild.

Baird said he would not say this if he didn't believe two things:

"One, I think we're making real progress."

"Secondly, I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security."

Cheryl Crist of Olympia, who lost the Democratic primary against Baird in 2004 running on an anti-war platform, said the military presence in Iraq is adding to the problem.

"We do owe them something reparations and help," Crist said of the U.S. obligation to Iraqis. "But we are not good at delivering that through the military."  .

Mr. Baird and I disagree on a lot of things, very much including whether Iraq should have been invaded in the first place.  But I respected people who made good arguments against the invasion then, and I certainly respect someone who made such arguments at that time but is openminded enough to see things as they are now.

Will this cost Baird in 2008?  There's a good chance that it will.  As the article points out, he was challenged in 2004 by an aggressively anti-war Democrat.  You can bet that either she, or someone with similar views, will challenge him again next year.  Maybe this time the challenger will win.  But, then again, maybe voters will appreciate the principled stand Baird has taken enough to proudly keep him where he is. 

Hee's another maybe for you:  Maybe by that time the troop surge will have resulted in a more stable, less terrorist-threatened Iraq and we can be pulling out troops for a logical reason - victory - instead of just turning tail and running on schedule.  That would be even better.

Standing on principle;  that does have a nice sound to it.


Oh those wonderful tax cuts! They really worked didn't they...

Barry Sinrod
 
W is the first President ever to cut taxes during a war. Republicans love to cut taxes no matter what, except of course for the wealthiest of them.
 
Well to all of you who still think that the Republicans love you and want to cut your taxes while us Democrats want to raise the taxes.
 
I am sure that many who are reading this were not at all surprised to hear today that the foreclosure rate on homes had doubled to 180,000 families because of the very smart tax cuts. Many of you will lose your homes thanks to the Republican plan of give them a tax cut.  Yep, $600 to everyone is a great idea while the millionaires and billionaires pay nothing!
 
Now many are losing their homes throughout the country because those wonderful flexible interest loans are jumping to a point where people cannot afford to live in their own homes.  Thanks to W and his boys and Mr. Greenspan's plan before he was sent out to pasture. ( Except his pasture is advising the major banks and bond companies at very high salaries).  New rules that W passed but never told you is that your insurance will now rise with the interest rates if your credit scores go down as they are doing every day.
 
No protection and they just don't care about you. Only 441 more days until the election that will reshape the US and give us some hope although the damages that they have done will take 25 years to fix.
 
 




Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.

steve schneider lets see prior to the tax cuts there was a recession. we then were attacked and went to war. yet unemployment is at record lows, as is interest rates and oh yes the stock market is at records highs. yes, those tax cuts were a failure. by the way did you send your $600 back since it was so bad? (08/22/07)


BRIAN BAIRD: AN HONEST DEMOCRAT SPEAKS

Ken Berwitz

My admiration for honesty supersedes all partisan politics. 

To me, politicians who allow events rather than poll data to dictate their positions even if it means a significant voter base may be alienated, are treasures.  There aren't many of them around.

With this in mind, I would like to introduce you to Brian Baird, a five term congressperson from Washington.  Mr. Baird voted against the authorization to invade Iraq and still considers it to be a terrible mistake.  But, having just come back from his fifth visit to that country, he understands that, whatever he thought about the initial invasion, it would be disastrous for us to simply set a date and pull out.  

Tell you what:  Let me let him explain in his own words, via the (Washington) Olympian newspaper.  The words are his, the bold print is mine:.

Published August 17, 2007

Baird sees need for longer U.S. role in Iraq

Brad Shannon

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird said Thursday that his recent trip to Iraq convinced him the military needs more time in the region, and that a hasty pullout would cause chaos that helps Iran and harms U.S. security.

"I believe that the decision to invade Iraq and the post-invasion management of that country were among the largest foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. I voted against them, and I still think they were the right votes," Baird said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.

"But we're on the ground now. We have a responsibility to the Iraqi people and a strategic interest in making this work."

Baird, a five-term Democrat, voted against President Bush ordering the Iraq invasion at a time when he was in a minority in Congress and at risk of alienating voters. He returned late Tuesday from a trip that included stops in Israel, Jordan and Iraq, where he met troops, U.S. advisers and Iraqis, whose stories have convinced him that U.S. troops must stay longer.

With Congress poised next month to look at U.S. progress in Iraq and a vote looming on U.S. funding for the war, Baird said he's inclined to seek a continued U.S. presence in Iraq beyond what many impatient Americans want. He also expects Gen. David Petraeus, who oversees U.S. troops in Iraq, to seek a redeployment of forces. "People may be upset. I wish I didn't have to say this," Baird said. He added that the United States needs to continue with its military troops surge "at least into early next year, then engage in a gradual redeployment. I know it's going to cost hundreds of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars."

It was Baird's fifth trip to the Middle East, and he conceded that what he has learned has put him again in an unpopular position with some voters. He no longer thinks partitioning Iraq into Sunni, Shiite and Kurd sections is possible, for instance; no one he spoke to in Israel, Jordan, Palestinian cities or Iraq liked the idea, he added.

Activists rallied Thursday at the state Capitol, saying they want Baird, who represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Olympia, to vote for withdrawing U.S. troops. But Baird said he believes that to the extent Iraqis think the United States would withdraw before bringing security to a functioning Iraqi government, "that might contribute to the infighting and instability of the government."

He also said the United States tore up Iraq with its invasion in 2003, dismantling civil government and industries and tossing a half-million people out of work, but that three years of U.S. help is not enough to let Iraq rebuild.

Baird said he would not say this if he didn't believe two things:

"One, I think we're making real progress."

"Secondly, I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security."

Cheryl Crist of Olympia, who lost the Democratic primary against Baird in 2004 running on an anti-war platform, said the military presence in Iraq is adding to the problem.

"We do owe them something reparations and help," Crist said of the U.S. obligation to Iraqis. "But we are not good at delivering that through the military."  .

Mr. Baird and I disagree on a lot of things, very much including whether Iraq should have been invaded in the first place.  But I respected people who made good arguments against the invasion then, and I certainly respect someone who made such arguments at that time but is openminded enough to see things as they are now.

Will this cost Baird in 2008?  There's a good chance that it will.  As the article points out, he was challenged in 2004 by an aggressively anti-war Democrat.  You can bet that either she, or someone with similar views, will challenge him again next year.  Maybe this time the challenger will win.  But, then again, maybe voters will appreciate the principled stand Baird has taken enough to proudly keep him where he is. 

Hee's another maybe for you:  Maybe by that time the troop surge will have resulted in a more stable, less terrorist-threatened Iraq and we can be pulling out troops for a logical reason - victory - instead of just turning tail and running on schedule.  That would be even better.

Standing on principle;  that does have a nice sound to it.


Oh those wonderful tax cuts! They really worked didn't they...

Barry Sinrod
 
W is the first President ever to cut taxes during a war. Republicans love to cut taxes no matter what, except of course for the wealthiest of them.
 
Well to all of you who still think that the Republicans love you and want to cut your taxes while us Democrats want to raise the taxes.
 
I am sure that many who are reading this were not at all surprised to hear today that the foreclosure rate on homes had doubled to 180,000 families because of the very smart tax cuts. Many of you will lose your homes thanks to the Republican plan of give them a tax cut.  Yep, $600 to everyone is a great idea while the millionaires and billionaires pay nothing!
 
Now many are losing their homes throughout the country because those wonderful flexible interest loans are jumping to a point where people cannot afford to live in their own homes.  Thanks to W and his boys and Mr. Greenspan's plan before he was sent out to pasture. ( Except his pasture is advising the major banks and bond companies at very high salaries).  New rules that W passed but never told you is that your insurance will now rise with the interest rates if your credit scores go down as they are doing every day.
 
No protection and they just don't care about you. Only 441 more days until the election that will reshape the US and give us some hope although the damages that they have done will take 25 years to fix.
 
 




Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.

steve schneider lets see prior to the tax cuts there was a recession. we then were attacked and went to war. yet unemployment is at record lows, as is interest rates and oh yes the stock market is at records highs. yes, those tax cuts were a failure. by the way did you send your $600 back since it was so bad? (08/22/07)


POLLSPECTIVES

Ken Berwitz

I'm no lover of politcal polling, but since most people these days consider the latest numbers to be just slightly less significant than the holy grail, I'm posting an article about congressional approval ratings.

And, as an extra added attraction I have also included all polling data from before last year's election to the present.  As usual, the bold print is mine:.

Congress Approval Rating Matches Historical Low

Just 18% approve of job Congress is doing

by Jeffrey M. Jones

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll finds Congress' approval rating the lowest it has been since Gallup first tracked public opinion of Congress with this measure in 1974. Just 18% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while 76% disapprove, according to the August 13-16, 2007, Gallup Poll.

That 18% job approval rating matches the low recorded in March 1992, when a check-bouncing scandal was one of several scandals besetting Congress, leading many states to pass term limits measures for U.S. representatives (which the Supreme Court later declared unconstitutional). Congress had a similarly low 19% approval rating during the energy crisis in the summer of 1979.

Americans' evaluations of the job Congress is doing are usually not that positive -- the vast majority of historical approval ratings have been below 50%. The high point was 84% approval one month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when Americans rallied behind the federal government. Since then, Congress' approval ratings have generally exhibited the same downward trajectory seen in those for President George W. Bush. Currently, 32% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing as president, a far cry from the record-high 90% he received in September 2001. Bush's current job approval rating is just three percentage points above his lowest.

There was a slight interruption in the downward trend in congressional approval ratings at the beginning of this year when party control changed hands from the Republicans to the Democrats following last fall's midterm elections. In January 2007, 35% of Americans approved of Congress, a significant increase from the 21% who approved of Congress in December 2006. That December rating tied the lowest in the 12 years the Republicans controlled Congress from 1995 to 2006.

But that "honeymoon" period for the new Democratically controlled Congress was brief, as its job ratings dropped below 30% in March 2007 and have now fallen below where they were just before the Democrats took over.  

Frustration with Congress spans the political spectrum. There are only minor (but not statistically meaningful) differences in the approval ratings Democrats (21%), Republicans (18%), and independents (17%) give to Congress. Typically, partisans view Congress much more positively when their party is in control of the institution, so the fact that Democrats' ratings are not materially better than Republicans' is notable.

The nine-point drop in Congress' job approval rating from last month to this month has come exclusively from Democrats and independents, with Democrats' ratings dropping 11 points (from 32% to 21%) and independents' ratings dropping 13 points (from 30% to 17%). Republicans' 18% approval rating is unchanged from last month.  

The decline in congressional job approval could merely reflect the cessation of any public good will it engendered when the new leadership arrived in January, since the current 18% rating is similar to what it was in December 2006 (21%).

But, it could also reflect disappointment with the new Congress' performance (especially among Democrats) and economic unease.

Americans elected the Democrats as the majority party in Congress in November 2006's midterm election in large part due to frustration with the Iraq war and an ineffective and scandal-plagued Republican-led Congress. But any hopes that the elections would lead to change have not been realized as Democrats' repeated attempts to force a change in Iraq war policy have been largely unsuccessful due to presidential vetoes, disagreements within their own party, and the inability to attract Republican support for their policy proposals. Also, many of the Democratic leadership's domestic agenda items have not become law even though some have passed one or both houses of Congress.     

As the trend in congressional approval makes clear, ratings of Congress usually suffer during times of economic uncertainty, as during the late 1970s and early 1990s. While Americans' ratings of current economic conditions are not near historical lows, there is a great deal of concern about the direction in which the economy is headed. The latest poll finds a record 72% of Americans saying the economy is "getting worse."   

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted August 13-16, 2007. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

Approve

Disapprove

No
opinion

%

%

%

2007

 

 

 

2007 Aug 13-16

18

76

6

2007 Jul 12-15

27

66

7

2007 Jun 11-14

24

71

5

2007 May 10-13

29

64

7

2007 Apr 2-5

33

60

7

2007 Mar 11-14

28

64

8

2007 Feb 1-4

37

55

8

2007 Jan 15-18

35

56

9

2006

 

 

 

2006 Dec 11-14

21

74

5

2006 Nov 9-12

26

67

7

2006 Nov 2-5

26

63

11

2006 Oct 20-22

26

67

6

2006 Oct 9-12

23

71

6

2006 Oct 6-8

24

68

7

.

A few days ago I pointed out that, in the last 6 major polls according to www.pollingreport.com, congress has averaged 24% positive approval ratings and President Bush has averaged 32%. 

This widens that gap.  And STILL most media aren't even talking about it.  How often do you hear references to Bush's "low", or "decreasing" or "plunging" approval without any context about the Democratic congress.

How much longer can they hold out?  How much lower can congress go before it can't be buried or minimized?  We'll see..........


THE GREENSTONE MEDIA EXPOS

Ken Berwitz

GreenStone Media is gone, and I didn't even know it was here in the first place.  Did you?

Go ahead, I dare you.  Tell me you knew what GreenStone Media was before the last couple of days.  Heck, you probably STILL don't know what it was now, even after it has gone through a couple of news cycles.  

The first I heard of GreenStone Media was from the always-ahead-of-the-curve Brian Maloney at www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com.  I'm not certain but I think it was about a week ago.  Now I've read about it in a number of other media venues as well.

Ok, ok, I'll tell you what it was:

GreenStone Media (their capital "S", not mine) was a radio "network" that purported to be for women.    Now you may be asking youself "Wasn't there radio for women before GreenStone Media came along?"  If so, congratulations;  you are explaining why it folded little over a year after its introduction.

You may also be asking yourself "what clowns thought THIS idiocy up?  It's the kind of delusional fantasy that you'd expect from career delusional fantasists like jane fonda and gloria steinem, who think their personal niche marketing successes somehow project to all of womankind".  If  so,  congratulations again. That is precisely who came up with GreenStone Media.

Here, courtesy of the New York Post, is a very well written explanation of what it was, how it started and where it went (think junkheap).  As usual, the bold print is mine:.

FEMINISTS' HOT AIR

By CARRIE LUKAS

August 20, 2007 -- TO thunderous acclaim from the liberal intelligentsia, a team of feminist icons - including Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda - last year launched a women-run radio network. The mainstream media dutifully parroted press releases describing the launch as a "breakthrough" for women in the male-dominated world of talk radio.

The Boston Globe, for example, proclaimed that "GreenStone gives women an outlet." Business Week described the venture as "Talk Radio Minus The Testosterone."

Last Friday, GreenStone Media signed off for good. Why did this effort fail? After all, the programming carefully was designed by feminist experts to appeal to female tastes. According to Steinem, "women are more and more turned off by the hostility and argumentative nature of AM talk radio." Greenstone Media was supposed to capitalize on that by offering a different tenor, more "community" and greater respect for different points of views.

GreenStone offered the typical liberal fare - boasting of interviews with Ralph Nader and Alec Baldwin - but also included programming that was downright girly. Morning show segments included "Mean Mommy," with advice for mothers, and "What's up with Guys," providing insights into the elusive male brain.

Similar business plans certainly have succeeded elsewhere. Plenty of media outlets target women - from sappy dramas on Lifetime and Oxygen to family-centered morning shows and magazines - and draw large audiences and big advertising dollars. GreenStone Media sought to imitate those successes. Its Web site explained, "Talk That Women REALLY Want . . . Only Green- stone Media gives you a lineup of personality talk that best appeals to the demo advertisers want most - women 25-54." It seemed a good sales pitch; certainly advertisers welcome the chance to reach this coveted female audience on the radio.

GreenStone's problem was it couldn't attract an audience of either gender. The programming was picked up by only eight affiliates in small to mid-sized markets. Apparently, GreenStone's programming wasn't the talk that women really want.

GreenStone's president and CEO Susan Ness laments the end of its programming as a loss for women, opining that "women need a voice on commercial radio," and "radio needs women's voices." Perhaps Ness should use her time off to tune in to other stations. She'll find there are many prominent women on the airwaves; they're just not saying what she thinks they should.

Laura Ingraham, an outspoken conservative and former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thomas, has been on the air since 2001 and is now heard on 340 stations. Ingraham draws an audience in excess of 5 million, and regularly ranks among the top-10 most influential radio hosts.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger draws an even larger audience with very different programming. It can be best described as an advice show, but is anything but touchy feely. "Dr. Laura" serves as a hard-hitting host, unabashedly lecturing her callers about their morals and values. Other women, such as Martha Zoeller, Janet Parshall and Tammy Bruce, join these two powerhouse hosts.

Of course, most significantly, women don't just listen to women radio hosts. Women tune in to men on a wide variety of topics. Rush Limbaugh's 20 million listeners include millions of women. Millions more tune in to hear Sean Hannity and the other conservative, male talk-show hosts around the country. Although Ness may not want to hear it, Limbaugh and conservative talk radio apparently is programming for women.

This doesn't mean that there isn't more room for female voices on the airwaves. Women's and men's preference for entertainment often do diverge, so a well-crafted program could catch fire with women and change the media landscape.

But it will take more than having "all-female" programming from an "all-female" network. Women want to be entertained and engaged. We don't listen to radio or (Hillary backers take note) vote out of solidarity.

GreenStone Media's brand of tepid liberalism didn't appeal to women. This isn't a tragedy for women; it's the market at work. Women will continue to listen to the radio and women talk-show hosts will continue to compete to earn their interest.

Carrie Lukas is the vice president for policy and economics at the Independent Women's Forum and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism."  .

That says it all, doesn't it?

Radio is not a male medium, it is a medium.  It is for everyone.  Half of everyone is women. 

By contrast, GreenStone separated out women, defined them by the type of  programming it offered (mostly leftward -- we're talking about fonda and steinem here), and told them that this, somehow, was their own, as opposed to the other alternatives on the dial. 

How do you characterize that?  Let's put out some adjectives here:

-Arrogant

-Presumptuous

-Partisan

-Smug

-Insulting to women's intelligence

I've probably left out a few.  But you can fill them in yourself. 

Or, maybe Ms. fonda and Ms. steinem can help - after all, they know everything there is to know about women, don't they? 

J Hauser Well something which did not work out..such is life. There are sorts of endeavors devoted to women. We have a relately new specialty in medicine called Woman's Health...is it the next to go? Why do women pay for to have a suit dry cleaned than men? Something to ponder............................ (08/21/07)


THE GREENSTONE MEDIA EXPOS

Ken Berwitz

GreenStone Media is gone, and I didn't even know it was here in the first place.  Did you?

Go ahead, I dare you.  Tell me you knew what GreenStone Media was before the last couple of days.  Heck, you probably STILL don't know what it was now, even after it has gone through a couple of news cycles.  

The first I heard of GreenStone Media was from the always-ahead-of-the-curve Brian Maloney at www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com.  I'm not certain but I think it was about a week ago.  Now I've read about it in a number of other media venues as well.

Ok, ok, I'll tell you what it was:

GreenStone Media (their capital "S", not mine) was a radio "network" that purported to be for women.    Now you may be asking youself "Wasn't there radio for women before GreenStone Media came along?"  If so, congratulations;  you are explaining why it folded little over a year after its introduction.

You may also be asking yourself "what clowns thought THIS idiocy up?  It's the kind of delusional fantasy that you'd expect from career delusional fantasists like jane fonda and gloria steinem, who think their personal niche marketing successes somehow project to all of womankind".  If  so,  congratulations again. That is precisely who came up with GreenStone Media.

Here, courtesy of the New York Post, is a very well written explanation of what it was, how it started and where it went (think junkheap).  As usual, the bold print is mine:.

FEMINISTS' HOT AIR

By CARRIE LUKAS

August 20, 2007 -- TO thunderous acclaim from the liberal intelligentsia, a team of feminist icons - including Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda - last year launched a women-run radio network. The mainstream media dutifully parroted press releases describing the launch as a "breakthrough" for women in the male-dominated world of talk radio.

The Boston Globe, for example, proclaimed that "GreenStone gives women an outlet." Business Week described the venture as "Talk Radio Minus The Testosterone."

Last Friday, GreenStone Media signed off for good. Why did this effort fail? After all, the programming carefully was designed by feminist experts to appeal to female tastes. According to Steinem, "women are more and more turned off by the hostility and argumentative nature of AM talk radio." Greenstone Media was supposed to capitalize on that by offering a different tenor, more "community" and greater respect for different points of views.

GreenStone offered the typical liberal fare - boasting of interviews with Ralph Nader and Alec Baldwin - but also included programming that was downright girly. Morning show segments included "Mean Mommy," with advice for mothers, and "What's up with Guys," providing insights into the elusive male brain.

Similar business plans certainly have succeeded elsewhere. Plenty of media outlets target women - from sappy dramas on Lifetime and Oxygen to family-centered morning shows and magazines - and draw large audiences and big advertising dollars. GreenStone Media sought to imitate those successes. Its Web site explained, "Talk That Women REALLY Want . . . Only Green- stone Media gives you a lineup of personality talk that best appeals to the demo advertisers want most - women 25-54." It seemed a good sales pitch; certainly advertisers welcome the chance to reach this coveted female audience on the radio.

GreenStone's problem was it couldn't attract an audience of either gender. The programming was picked up by only eight affiliates in small to mid-sized markets. Apparently, GreenStone's programming wasn't the talk that women really want.

GreenStone's president and CEO Susan Ness laments the end of its programming as a loss for women, opining that "women need a voice on commercial radio," and "radio needs women's voices." Perhaps Ness should use her time off to tune in to other stations. She'll find there are many prominent women on the airwaves; they're just not saying what she thinks they should.

Laura Ingraham, an outspoken conservative and former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thomas, has been on the air since 2001 and is now heard on 340 stations. Ingraham draws an audience in excess of 5 million, and regularly ranks among the top-10 most influential radio hosts.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger draws an even larger audience with very different programming. It can be best described as an advice show, but is anything but touchy feely. "Dr. Laura" serves as a hard-hitting host, unabashedly lecturing her callers about their morals and values. Other women, such as Martha Zoeller, Janet Parshall and Tammy Bruce, join these two powerhouse hosts.

Of course, most significantly, women don't just listen to women radio hosts. Women tune in to men on a wide variety of topics. Rush Limbaugh's 20 million listeners include millions of women. Millions more tune in to hear Sean Hannity and the other conservative, male talk-show hosts around the country. Although Ness may not want to hear it, Limbaugh and conservative talk radio apparently is programming for women.

This doesn't mean that there isn't more room for female voices on the airwaves. Women's and men's preference for entertainment often do diverge, so a well-crafted program could catch fire with women and change the media landscape.

But it will take more than having "all-female" programming from an "all-female" network. Women want to be entertained and engaged. We don't listen to radio or (Hillary backers take note) vote out of solidarity.

GreenStone Media's brand of tepid liberalism didn't appeal to women. This isn't a tragedy for women; it's the market at work. Women will continue to listen to the radio and women talk-show hosts will continue to compete to earn their interest.

Carrie Lukas is the vice president for policy and economics at the Independent Women's Forum and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism."  .

That says it all, doesn't it?

Radio is not a male medium, it is a medium.  It is for everyone.  Half of everyone is women. 

By contrast, GreenStone separated out women, defined them by the type of  programming it offered (mostly leftward -- we're talking about fonda and steinem here), and told them that this, somehow, was their own, as opposed to the other alternatives on the dial. 

How do you characterize that?  Let's put out some adjectives here:

-Arrogant

-Presumptuous

-Partisan

-Smug

-Insulting to women's intelligence

I've probably left out a few.  But you can fill them in yourself. 

Or, maybe Ms. fonda and Ms. steinem can help - after all, they know everything there is to know about women, don't they? 

J Hauser Well something which did not work out..such is life. There are sorts of endeavors devoted to women. We have a relately new specialty in medicine called Woman's Health...is it the next to go? Why do women pay for to have a suit dry cleaned than men? Something to ponder............................ (08/21/07)


BARACK OBAMA: DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

Ken Berwitz

What makes Barack Hussein Obama a presidential candidate?

It's true that he is highly educated, very personable and (God strike me dead for saying what some people think is racist) very articulate.

If that's what makes someone presidential material, we've got a lot of  folks running around this country who should be considered for the office.  But, of course, it doesn't.

Ok, so what are his political credentials?  Well, let's see:  He spent some time in the Illinois state legislature and he is in the middle of his first term as a US Senator - without benefit of any major legislative accomplishments (or, to my knowledge any minor ones either).  He has never held any executive position in politics (i.e. Governor) for even one day.

Hmm, that doesn't seem to qualify him either. 

Well, let's try his non-political background:  has Obama ever run anything, say a business, in which he had the final word and there was a straight line between his decisions and the success or failure of said business?  Er........nope, not that I know of.

So what, exactly, does qualify the junior senator from Illinois to be the president and commander in chief of the armed forces (no foreign policy experience either, let's not forget).

Well, this Associated Press article may shed some light on the subject.  Please pay special attention to the section I've put in bold print:.

Obama Presidency a 'Stretch' for Voters
Aug 21, 3:52 AM (ET)
By RON FOURNIER

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama knows it's a stretch to think of him as president.

Just 46 years old and three years out of the Illinois legislature, the freshman senator also understands that the clock is ticking on his chance to surmount that "certain threshold" and convince voters he's ready for the White House.

"The challenge for us is to let people know what I've accomplished at a time when the campaign schedule is getting so compressed," Obama said in a recent interview. "I just don't have much time to make that case."

He's right about that. Iowa Democrats begin winnowing the field late this year or in early January with their first-in-the nation caucuses. Then comes a few more early voting states before a multistate primary on Feb. 5 that could determine the nomination.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards are tied with Obama in polls of Iowa Democrats. The former first lady has a huge lead in national surveys of Democratic voters, and the backing of a political machine built by her husband, former President Clinton.

Obama has the broadest network of grass-roots activists, or at least that seems to be the case based on the record number of people who have donated money to his campaign - often in small amounts - and the size of crowds at his campaign events.

He's also got a message that's fit for the times: Obama promises to bring change to a political system that most voters think is broken.

But he's got that nagging problem ...

"... People have to feel comfortable that, 'You know what? This guy can handle the job,'" he said between campaign stops last weekend in Iowa.

"It's a stretch for them because I haven't been on the national scene for long and haven't gone through the conventional paths that we traditionally draw for our presidents, so they've got to stretch a little bit during a period where there's a lot of stuff going on internationally, right?" said the unusually self-aware Obama.

Obama's rivals, especially Clinton, don't want voters making that leap of faith.

They pounce on Obama's every gaffe (i.e. referring to U.S. lives lost in Iraq as "wasted"), exploit any misstatement (saying 10,000 people died in a tornado that actually killed 12) and call Obama naive for stating the obvious (nuclear arms against Afghanistan and Pakistan are not an option).

The first-term Illinois senator hasn't helped his case with a string of shaky debate appearances, a streak he ended Sunday with a strong performance in Iowa as his more experienced rivals took aim.

Asked whether Obama was ready to be president, white-haired Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut replied, "You're not going to have time in January of '09 to get ready for this job."

Obama hopes he still has time to win the job.

"I think it's fair that I've got to earn the confidence of the electorate," Obama told AP. "What we've tried to do over the course of the last six months is make the case for change, and the American people are desperately hungry for change. The next four or five or six months will involve me making the case that not only am I the most effective change agent but I'm also equipped with the experience and judgment to be the next commander in chief."

On the campaign trail, Obama gently reminds voters that Clinton and Edwards are not so experienced: She is a second-term senator who has never run a government or business. Edwards served one term in the Senate.

"I've been in public office longer than Hillary Clinton has," he said Monday, counting his seven years in the state Senate and not counting Clinton's three decades in public life with her husband. "I've been in public office longer than John Edwards has."

Obama could close the stature gap by producing more detailed plans for lowering health care costs, taming the federal debt, resolving the Iraq war and addressing other issues. Edwards, so far, has the edge on the so-called policy primary.

It would help had Obama spent more time overseas. Clinton has made several trips to Iraq and other foreign spots.

For now, Obama seems to be relying on a calm, comfortable campaign demeanor to a send the signal that he is a man in control. In a word, safe.

He has a relatively thin resume, but it's not without accomplishments - working across party lines to change ethics, death penalty and racial profiling laws in Illinois. Ethics and nuclear proliferation are his signature issues in the Senate.

"I've got a track record, not only in the state legislature but in Washington for taking on tough issues and getting something done," he said.

"I want to make sure that during the course of these next four or five months we talk about experience and judgment, not just in the ways that Washington has defined it but in the ways the people outside Washington understand it," Obama said.

That assumes he can wrestle control of the campaign narrative from Clinton and his other battle-tested rivals - quite a stretch.

"If we're able to do that," he said, "then we will win."

If he can't, he won't. .

Does this give you any confidence that Barack H. Obama is ready for political prime time?  If so, I'd love to know why.

In Arthur Miller's great classic play, "Death Of A Salesman", the main character, Willy Loman, had a distorted sense of his own importance too.  But sometimes he fought through the defense mechanisms and saw things as they really were.  In one such instance, he described his career as "riding on a smile and a shoeshine" (oh, geez, "shoeshine" is in that quote - there's another chance for someone to call me a racist).  Isn't that what Obama is doing?

Finally, since I've given the professionally aggrieved two chances to call me a racist already, here's a third one:  Can you possibly believe that anyone would be taking Obama's candidacy seriously if he were White? 

If it were not for a significant rooting interest in a Black man achieving high office on the part of many people (me included, by the way, IF the candidate were qualified), would anyone be doing anything other than laughing at such a ridiculous overreach?

In this connection, here's another quote from Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman that pertains quite well to the Obama campaign:

"... the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want. You take me for instance, I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. 'Willy Loman is here!' That's all they have to know, and I go right through"

Doesn't that pretty much nail the Obama candidacy?  Think about it.


MICHELLE OBAMA - LOOSE CANNON

Ken Berwitz

I often read Jennifer Hunter's column in the Chicago Sun-Times, because she is a classic LAMB and they're fun to look at.

Here is her squib on Michelle Obama, wife of Barack H. Obama, from today's paper (bold print is mine):.

Michelle gets stronger all the time

'I don't want my girls to live in a country based on fear'

August 21, 2007

Barack Obama often says that his wife, Michelle, is smarter than he is, stronger than he is, and gives better speeches than he does.

On a trip to Iowa last week, Michelle was a firebrand, expressing a determined passion for her husband's campaign, talking straight from the heart with eloquence and intelligence.

She told an audience in Council Bluffs that Obama was cautioned not to enter the race for president because there was so much fear: "fear that he might lose; fear that he might get hurt; fear that this might get ugly; fear that this might hurt our family."

But the family decided to say "yes" to the Democratic race partially to confront those fears, said Michelle. "I am tired of being afraid . . . I don't want my girls to live in a country that is based on fear."

No longer is Michelle Obama's rhetoric filled with funny asides about her husband's penchant to drop his socks around the house or his disastrous attempts at housekeeping -- she got criticized for that, unfortunately.

But as the campaign has moved along, her speeches have become stronger, funnier and more personable. She speaks with more emotion than her husband; you feel she is the power propelling him, that she has the psychological mettle, the tough skin, the searing ambition.

My colleague Mary Mitchell asked Michelle how she was able to "snag Barack." But Obama knows he is the lucky one. At least he should know. Michelle is an incredible asset to his campaign..

Predictably, a dyed-in-the-wool LAMB like Jennifer Hunter thinks this is sensational stuff.  Maybe you agree with Ms. Hunter.  But I know I don't.

"I am tired of being afraid....I don't want my girls to live in a country that is based on fear"?  What the HELL is she talking about? 

Oh, I'm sorry, she told us what she's worried about.  It's fear that hubby Barack might lose and that the campaign might get ugly.  In the world of Michelle Obama that's what living in fear is all about. 

Oh, dear.  Wouldn't that be terrifying?

And then there is the obvious slap in the face to Hillary Clinton:  "...if you can't run your own house you can't run the White House". 

Unbelievable.  If any other presidential candidate's wife said this there would be holy hell to pay.  But we are talking Michelle Obama here.  We are talking protected species in the media.  The rules do not apply.

Maybe that's what she really fears;  the prospect that someday media will judge Ms. Obama's from-the-hip ranting the way they would judge, say, Laura Bush or Nancy Reagan if either of them ever said anything like that. 

Don't count on it happening soon. 

J Hauser Ken my my my, You are becoming caustic way to early in this campaign. A woman is describing some of her anxieties and I find them honest and concerning. Running for the democratic nomination in this country or even the republican nomination in the country has become a process full of predominantly negative press, attacks etc etc. In my opinion, Mrs. Obama is saying that she does not want her children to grow-up with the same anxieties and learn to confront them head-on! (08/21/07)


POLLSPECTIVES

Ken Berwitz

I'm no lover of politcal polling, but since most people these days consider the latest numbers to be just slightly less significant than the holy grail, I'm posting an article about congressional approval ratings.

And, as an extra added attraction I have also included all polling data from before last year's election to the present.  As usual, the bold print is mine:.

Congress Approval Rating Matches Historical Low

Just 18% approve of job Congress is doing

by Jeffrey M. Jones

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll finds Congress' approval rating the lowest it has been since Gallup first tracked public opinion of Congress with this measure in 1974. Just 18% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while 76% disapprove, according to the August 13-16, 2007, Gallup Poll.

That 18% job approval rating matches the low recorded in March 1992, when a check-bouncing scandal was one of several scandals besetting Congress, leading many states to pass term limits measures for U.S. representatives (which the Supreme Court later declared unconstitutional). Congress had a similarly low 19% approval rating during the energy crisis in the summer of 1979.

Americans' evaluations of the job Congress is doing are usually not that positive -- the vast majority of historical approval ratings have been below 50%. The high point was 84% approval one month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when Americans rallied behind the federal government. Since then, Congress' approval ratings have generally exhibited the same downward trajectory seen in those for President George W. Bush. Currently, 32% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing as president, a far cry from the record-high 90% he received in September 2001. Bush's current job approval rating is just three percentage points above his lowest.

There was a slight interruption in the downward trend in congressional approval ratings at the beginning of this year when party control changed hands from the Republicans to the Democrats following last fall's midterm elections. In January 2007, 35% of Americans approved of Congress, a significant increase from the 21% who approved of Congress in December 2006. That December rating tied the lowest in the 12 years the Republicans controlled Congress from 1995 to 2006.

But that "honeymoon" period for the new Democratically controlled Congress was brief, as its job ratings dropped below 30% in March 2007 and have now fallen below where they were just before the Democrats took over.  

Frustration with Congress spans the political spectrum. There are only minor (but not statistically meaningful) differences in the approval ratings Democrats (21%), Republicans (18%), and independents (17%) give to Congress. Typically, partisans view Congress much more positively when their party is in control of the institution, so the fact that Democrats' ratings are not materially better than Republicans' is notable.

The nine-point drop in Congress' job approval rating from last month to this month has come exclusively from Democrats and independents, with Democrats' ratings dropping 11 points (from 32% to 21%) and independents' ratings dropping 13 points (from 30% to 17%). Republicans' 18% approval rating is unchanged from last month.  

The decline in congressional job approval could merely reflect the cessation of any public good will it engendered when the new leadership arrived in January, since the current 18% rating is similar to what it was in December 2006 (21%).

But, it could also reflect disappointment with the new Congress' performance (especially among Democrats) and economic unease.

Americans elected the Democrats as the majority party in Congress in November 2006's midterm election in large part due to frustration with the Iraq war and an ineffective and scandal-plagued Republican-led Congress. But any hopes that the elections would lead to change have not been realized as Democrats' repeated attempts to force a change in Iraq war policy have been largely unsuccessful due to presidential vetoes, disagreements within their own party, and the inability to attract Republican support for their policy proposals. Also, many of the Democratic leadership's domestic agenda items have not become law even though some have passed one or both houses of Congress.     

As the trend in congressional approval makes clear, ratings of Congress usually suffer during times of economic uncertainty, as during the late 1970s and early 1990s. While Americans' ratings of current economic conditions are not near historical lows, there is a great deal of concern about the direction in which the economy is headed. The latest poll finds a record 72% of Americans saying the economy is "getting worse."   

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted August 13-16, 2007. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

Approve

Disapprove

No
opinion

%

%

%

2007

 

 

 

2007 Aug 13-16

18

76

6

2007 Jul 12-15

27

66

7

2007 Jun 11-14

24

71

5

2007 May 10-13

29

64

7

2007 Apr 2-5

33

60

7

2007 Mar 11-14

28

64

8

2007 Feb 1-4

37

55

8

2007 Jan 15-18

35

56

9

2006

 

 

 

2006 Dec 11-14

21

74

5

2006 Nov 9-12

26

67

7

2006 Nov 2-5

26

63

11

2006 Oct 20-22

26

67

6

2006 Oct 9-12

23

71

6

2006 Oct 6-8

24

68

7

.

A few days ago I pointed out that, in the last 6 major polls according to www.pollingreport.com, congress has averaged 24% positive approval ratings and President Bush has averaged 32%. 

This widens that gap.  And STILL most media aren't even talking about it.  How often do you hear references to Bush's "low", or "decreasing" or "plunging" approval without any context about the Democratic congress.

How much longer can they hold out?  How much lower can congress go before it can't be buried or minimized?  We'll see..........


MICHELLE OBAMA - LOOSE CANNON

Ken Berwitz

I often read Jennifer Hunter's column in the Chicago Sun-Times, because she is a classic LAMB and they're fun to look at.

Here is her squib on Michelle Obama, wife of Barack H. Obama, from today's paper (bold print is mine):.

Michelle gets stronger all the time

'I don't want my girls to live in a country based on fear'

August 21, 2007

Barack Obama often says that his wife, Michelle, is smarter than he is, stronger than he is, and gives better speeches than he does.

On a trip to Iowa last week, Michelle was a firebrand, expressing a determined passion for her husband's campaign, talking straight from the heart with eloquence and intelligence.

She told an audience in Council Bluffs that Obama was cautioned not to enter the race for president because there was so much fear: "fear that he might lose; fear that he might get hurt; fear that this might get ugly; fear that this might hurt our family."

But the family decided to say "yes" to the Democratic race partially to confront those fears, said Michelle. "I am tired of being afraid . . . I don't want my girls to live in a country that is based on fear."

No longer is Michelle Obama's rhetoric filled with funny asides about her husband's penchant to drop his socks around the house or his disastrous attempts at housekeeping -- she got criticized for that, unfortunately.

But as the campaign has moved along, her speeches have become stronger, funnier and more personable. She speaks with more emotion than her husband; you feel she is the power propelling him, that she has the psychological mettle, the tough skin, the searing ambition.

My colleague Mary Mitchell asked Michelle how she was able to "snag Barack." But Obama knows he is the lucky one. At least he should know. Michelle is an incredible asset to his campaign..

Predictably, a dyed-in-the-wool LAMB like Jennifer Hunter thinks this is sensational stuff.  Maybe you agree with Ms. Hunter.  But I know I don't.

"I am tired of being afraid....I don't want my girls to live in a country that is based on fear"?  What the HELL is she talking about? 

Oh, I'm sorry, she told us what she's worried about.  It's fear that hubby Barack might lose and that the campaign might get ugly.  In the world of Michelle Obama that's what living in fear is all about. 

Oh, dear.  Wouldn't that be terrifying?

And then there is the obvious slap in the face to Hillary Clinton:  "...if you can't run your own house you can't run the White House". 

Unbelievable.  If any other presidential candidate's wife said this there would be holy hell to pay.  But we are talking Michelle Obama here.  We are talking protected species in the media.  The rules do not apply.

Maybe that's what she really fears;  the prospect that someday media will judge Ms. Obama's from-the-hip ranting the way they would judge, say, Laura Bush or Nancy Reagan if either of them ever said anything like that. 

Don't count on it happening soon. 

J Hauser Ken my my my, You are becoming caustic way to early in this campaign. A woman is describing some of her anxieties and I find them honest and concerning. Running for the democratic nomination in this country or even the republican nomination in the country has become a process full of predominantly negative press, attacks etc etc. In my opinion, Mrs. Obama is saying that she does not want her children to grow-up with the same anxieties and learn to confront them head-on! (08/21/07)


Incontrovertible evidence that 2000 election was rigged in Palm Beach County

We in Florida, will never ever forget the election of 2000. We have been ridiculed and thought to be incompetent in the way we voted.  Now 7 years later, we have absolute positive proof that the famous punch cards here in Palm Beach county were intentionally inferior so that the election would be thrown into the disgusting fight that ensued. The company that made the cards and many employees are now coming forth with the details.  This is information is incontrovertible and something must be done about it. We need to be very worried about 2008 elections. Diebold has gone out of business with the top executives selling off their own stock before going out of business. Sequoia and ESS have had their machines hacked into even now as we speak. A paper trail is imperative for every single vote in the entire US and someone has to go see that that happens.    Please let me know what Congressman Wexler is doing about it. thanks, barry sinrod
 
 
 
 
Dan Rather reveals the lack of qualify control in manufacturing ES&S
touchscreens and shocking new revelations about the Florida 2000
election.


Dan Rather talks to former workers at the Sequoia printing plant in
California. The workers explained how they were ordered to send West
Palm Beach inferior punch cards in the Summer and Fall of 2000.

These cards were printed on poor quality paper and purposely misprinted.
The cards were actually expected to fail during voting and counting,
which they did. And Sequoia's workers were subsequently ordered to
hide the evidence.

Clearly a series of conscious acts on the part of management at
Sequoia Voting Systems, who ordered the sabotage of West Palm Beach's
election, was part of a plan to sell its more profitable touchscreen
voting machines. It was a coordinated attack from a printing plant in
California on the election recount process in Florida.

The events that set the stage for our current voting system disaster.
 




Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.

Ken Berwitz Dan Rather again? SEVEN YEARS LATER?????   Where were these workers since 2000?  In a cave with bin laden in tora bora?  When do you guys stop fighting the 2000 election? When do you suck it up and accept that you lost? Time to moveon.org. (08/21/07)

steve schneider you must be joking. west palm beach is a democratic county with a democratic election board who approved the ballot. both you and dan rather seem to be insane. (08/22/07)


BARACK OBAMA: DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

Ken Berwitz

What makes Barack Hussein Obama a presidential candidate?

It's true that he is highly educated, very personable and (God strike me dead for saying what some people think is racist) very articulate.

If that's what makes someone presidential material, we've got a lot of  folks running around this country who should be considered for the office.  But, of course, it doesn't.

Ok, so what are his political credentials?  Well, let's see:  He spent some time in the Illinois state legislature and he is in the middle of his first term as a US Senator - without benefit of any major legislative accomplishments (or, to my knowledge any minor ones either).  He has never held any executive position in politics (i.e. Governor) for even one day.

Hmm, that doesn't seem to qualify him either. 

Well, let's try his non-political background:  has Obama ever run anything, say a business, in which he had the final word and there was a straight line between his decisions and the success or failure of said business?  Er........nope, not that I know of.

So what, exactly, does qualify the junior senator from Illinois to be the president and commander in chief of the armed forces (no foreign policy experience either, let's not forget).

Well, this Associated Press article may shed some light on the subject.  Please pay special attention to the section I've put in bold print:.

Obama Presidency a 'Stretch' for Voters
Aug 21, 3:52 AM (ET)
By RON FOURNIER

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama knows it's a stretch to think of him as president.

Just 46 years old and three years out of the Illinois legislature, the freshman senator also understands that the clock is ticking on his chance to surmount that "certain threshold" and convince voters he's ready for the White House.

"The challenge for us is to let people know what I've accomplished at a time when the campaign schedule is getting so compressed," Obama said in a recent interview. "I just don't have much time to make that case."

He's right about that. Iowa Democrats begin winnowing the field late this year or in early January with their first-in-the nation caucuses. Then comes a few more early voting states before a multistate primary on Feb. 5 that could determine the nomination.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards are tied with Obama in polls of Iowa Democrats. The former first lady has a huge lead in national surveys of Democratic voters, and the backing of a political machine built by her husband, former President Clinton.

Obama has the broadest network of grass-roots activists, or at least that seems to be the case based on the record number of people who have donated money to his campaign - often in small amounts - and the size of crowds at his campaign events.

He's also got a message that's fit for the times: Obama promises to bring change to a political system that most voters think is broken.

But he's got that nagging problem ...

"... People have to feel comfortable that, 'You know what? This guy can handle the job,'" he said between campaign stops last weekend in Iowa.

"It's a stretch for them because I haven't been on the national scene for long and haven't gone through the conventional paths that we traditionally draw for our presidents, so they've got to stretch a little bit during a period where there's a lot of stuff going on internationally, right?" said the unusually self-aware Obama.

Obama's rivals, especially Clinton, don't want voters making that leap of faith.

They pounce on Obama's every gaffe (i.e. referring to U.S. lives lost in Iraq as "wasted"), exploit any misstatement (saying 10,000 people died in a tornado that actually killed 12) and call Obama naive for stating the obvious (nuclear arms against Afghanistan and Pakistan are not an option).

The first-term Illinois senator hasn't helped his case with a string of shaky debate appearances, a streak he ended Sunday with a strong performance in Iowa as his more experienced rivals took aim.

Asked whether Obama was ready to be president, white-haired Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut replied, "You're not going to have time in January of '09 to get ready for this job."

Obama hopes he still has time to win the job.

"I think it's fair that I've got to earn the confidence of the electorate," Obama told AP. "What we've tried to do over the course of the last six months is make the case for change, and the American people are desperately hungry for change. The next four or five or six months will involve me making the case that not only am I the most effective change agent but I'm also equipped with the experience and judgment to be the next commander in chief."

On the campaign trail, Obama gently reminds voters that Clinton and Edwards are not so experienced: She is a second-term senator who has never run a government or business. Edwards served one term in the Senate.

"I've been in public office longer than Hillary Clinton has," he said Monday, counting his seven years in the state Senate and not counting Clinton's three decades in public life with her husband. "I've been in public office longer than John Edwards has."

Obama could close the stature gap by producing more detailed plans for lowering health care costs, taming the federal debt, resolving the Iraq war and addressing other issues. Edwards, so far, has the edge on the so-called policy primary.

It would help had Obama spent more time overseas. Clinton has made several trips to Iraq and other foreign spots.

For now, Obama seems to be relying on a calm, comfortable campaign demeanor to a send the signal that he is a man in control. In a word, safe.

He has a relatively thin resume, but it's not without accomplishments - working across party lines to change ethics, death penalty and racial profiling laws in Illinois. Ethics and nuclear proliferation are his signature issues in the Senate.

"I've got a track record, not only in the state legislature but in Washington for taking on tough issues and getting something done," he said.

"I want to make sure that during the course of these next four or five months we talk about experience and judgment, not just in the ways that Washington has defined it but in the ways the people outside Washington understand it," Obama said.

That assumes he can wrestle control of the campaign narrative from Clinton and his other battle-tested rivals - quite a stretch.

"If we're able to do that," he said, "then we will win."

If he can't, he won't. .

Does this give you any confidence that Barack H. Obama is ready for political prime time?  If so, I'd love to know why.

In Arthur Miller's great classic play, "Death Of A Salesman", the main character, Willy Loman, had a distorted sense of his own importance too.  But sometimes he fought through the defense mechanisms and saw things as they really were.  In one such instance, he described his career as "riding on a smile and a shoeshine" (oh, geez, "shoeshine" is in that quote - there's another chance for someone to call me a racist).  Isn't that what Obama is doing?

Finally, since I've given the professionally aggrieved two chances to call me a racist already, here's a third one:  Can you possibly believe that anyone would be taking Obama's candidacy seriously if he were White? 

If it were not for a significant rooting interest in a Black man achieving high office on the part of many people (me included, by the way, IF the candidate were qualified), would anyone be doing anything other than laughing at such a ridiculous overreach?

In this connection, here's another quote from Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman that pertains quite well to the Obama campaign:

"... the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want. You take me for instance, I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. 'Willy Loman is here!' That's all they have to know, and I go right through"

Doesn't that pretty much nail the Obama candidacy?  Think about it.


Incontrovertible evidence that 2000 election was rigged in Palm Beach County

We in Florida, will never ever forget the election of 2000. We have been ridiculed and thought to be incompetent in the way we voted.  Now 7 years later, we have absolute positive proof that the famous punch cards here in Palm Beach county were intentionally inferior so that the election would be thrown into the disgusting fight that ensued. The company that made the cards and many employees are now coming forth with the details.  This is information is incontrovertible and something must be done about it. We need to be very worried about 2008 elections. Diebold has gone out of business with the top executives selling off their own stock before going out of business. Sequoia and ESS have had their machines hacked into even now as we speak. A paper trail is imperative for every single vote in the entire US and someone has to go see that that happens.    Please let me know what Congressman Wexler is doing about it. thanks, barry sinrod
 
 
 
 
Dan Rather reveals the lack of qualify control in manufacturing ES&S
touchscreens and shocking new revelations about the Florida 2000
election.


Dan Rather talks to former workers at the Sequoia printing plant in
California. The workers explained how they were ordered to send West
Palm Beach inferior punch cards in the Summer and Fall of 2000.

These cards were printed on poor quality paper and purposely misprinted.
The cards were actually expected to fail during voting and counting,
which they did. And Sequoia's workers were subsequently ordered to
hide the evidence.

Clearly a series of conscious acts on the part of management at
Sequoia Voting Systems, who ordered the sabotage of West Palm Beach's
election, was part of a plan to sell its more profitable touchscreen
voting machines. It was a coordinated attack from a printing plant in
California on the election recount process in Florida.

The events that set the stage for our current voting system disaster.
 




Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.

steve schneider you must be joking. west palm beach is a democratic county with a democratic election board who approved the ballot. both you and dan rather seem to be insane. (08/22/07)

Ken Berwitz Dan Rather again? SEVEN YEARS LATER?????   Where were these workers since 2000?  In a cave with bin laden in tora bora?  When do you guys stop fighting the 2000 election? When do you suck it up and accept that you lost? Time to moveon.org. (08/21/07)


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At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!