Friday, December 21, 2007

Tancredo drops out, endorses Romney

I'm not sure if Romney would even want this guy's endorsement. However, who remembers this priceless moment? Anyway, Tancredo will be remembered (briefly) by his ridiculous and offensive ad campaign.

ABC News...

Rep. Tom Tancredo announced Thursday he is dropping out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination and endorsing rival Mitt Romney.

Tancredo, a five-term congressman from Colorado, has consistently polled at the bottom of the nine-person Republican field. He based his campaign on fighting illegal immigration and has run television ads that link lax border control to terrorist attacks, rape and other crimes.

He announced his withdrawal in downtown Des Moines two weeks before Iowa begins the presidential nominating process with the state's precinct caucuses.
LINK: Tancredo Drops Bid for White House


LINK: Washington Post: Transcripts: Tancredo Announces Decision to Exit Presidential Race

Well, with Tommy Thompson, Brownback, Gilmore, and now Tancredo all out, this only leaves the five "frontrunners" (Guiliani, McCain, Romney, Fred Thompson, and Huckabee) and Ron Paul. And of course, Tancredo clone / Ann Coulter's pick: Duncan Hunter. Oh yeah, and resident crazy, Alan Keyes... But whatever happened to Michael Savage's run? His poll is still up on his website.

Ah, Tancredo dropped out before it was too late.

-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Coulter's latest book is a flop

I knew her time was up. She peaked with the Godless controversy. So I guess now she has nothing to do, but worry about the criminal case against her.

The auction for Karl Rove's memoir drags on a month after the Republican strategist made the rounds of publishers with Washington power lawyer Robert Barnett at his side.

“It's very, very slow,” says an executive at one of the few houses left in the bidding. Early reports had predicted a $3 million sale, but some insiders are wondering if Mr. Barnett has had trouble getting to that number. He declined to comment.

Mr. Rove isn't the only conservative meeting a backlash. The latest tome by right-wing scribe Ann Coulter, If Democrats Had Any Brains They'd Be Republicans, hasn't caught fire with book buyers.

The title spent just four weeks on The New York Times' best-seller list—compared with 12 for her previous book—and has sold 97,000 copies in the last 10 weeks, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70% of the market.

Ms. Coulter's last effort, Godless, sold 233,000 copies over the same time span, according to BookScan.
LINK: Slow going for Rove memoir auction

Well, this puts me in a good mood.

-Mr. Joseph

Monday, December 10, 2007

Howard Dean at UWM!

As I noted a few weeks ago, Democratic Party Chairman, Howard Dean came to visit UW-Milwaukee, which is where I attend classes. He came to speak on various subjects relating to the Democratic Party. He spoke very well and took some questions at the end.

He spoke on why the Democrats have not been able to accomplish much, why more Democrats must be elected, and why he needs the youth to get out and support the Democratic Party. The speech was a lot of fun and Dean was very interesting.

I videotaped the entire speech, and much like my promise on the John Edwards speech, I promise to get that online -- as soon as I have time to get it on my computer. My videocamera tapes onto Hi-8, so it will take some time. Hopefully, I will get all this online over winter break. I also took some photos...

Of course, some of my fellow Peace Action WI members showed up, as did someone with an "Impeach Bush" sign. That, I think, is always a damper. Although I believe Bush should be impeached, it should not be a priority at this point. And when people bring such a sign, it gives the local media a chance to paint any mainstream Democratic or Left-leaning event as a extreme and irrational.

All in all, seeing a prominent political figure (who was my choice in the 2004 Presidential election) give a speech is a definitely something to remember, and I was quite happy to be there.

One more thing, although I did not get a picture with Mr. Dean, something surprising did happen. Before he came on stage, cards to write questions on were passed out. I wrote "What is your plan for victory in 2008?". I figured it would be a question he was likely to answer -- and I was right! He answered my question! When the question was read, I got to stand up and he looked me in the eye as he answered. For me, that's pretty cool. You can watch what happens on the video... as soon as I upload it.

Here's how the local media covered it...

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel...
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Tuesday urged University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students to start knocking on doors in preparation for the 2008 election, while he also blasted Republicans on issues such as health care and the war.

"Democracy, like every other invention of mankind, dies if you don't nurture it," Dean told an audience of about 250. "We need you in politics to win elections for your generation."

Dean zeroed in on Wisconsin's record of getting out the young vote. The state had the second highest turnout among young voters in 2004 and 2006, behind Minnesota. But voting alone is not enough; he wants young people to engage voters personally by knocking on 40 doors, four times, before the election.

"What happens in Wisconsin is going to make a big difference," he said.

The students asked questions, such as: How will Democrats make college more affordable?

Dean recommended a voluntary national service program in which students would serve two years and then reap cash for college.

Carthage College student Steve Horn asked for Dean's plan for getting out of Iraq.

Get the National Guard and reserves home now, Dean said. Divert some troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. Keep Special Operations troops in the Middle East. Bring home up to 60,000 other troops within a year and a half.

"It wasn't the response I wanted to hear," said Horn, who wants the troops home sooner.

UWM student Nicole Morales, 20, said Dean's Iraq plan was the best part of his speech. "I thought it was really good," Morales said. "The only thing I have a problem with is beating up the Republicans so much."

Dean criticized what he described as an "obstructionist Republican minority" in the U.S. Senate that has prevented the country from getting out of Iraq. He disparaged President Bush's October veto of legislation that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP.

"We need to restore the moral leadership and moral authority in this country and the world," he said. "The Republicans have squandered our moral currency."

Republican National Committee spokesman Chris Taylor disputed Democrats' moral authority.

"This is the party that advocates cutting funding from our troops in harm's way. I wouldn't say that screams morality," he said.

Dean ended with a charge to students to get involved in a campaign. "There has been a tendency to be pessimistic about the future of America," he said. "I am not pessimistic about the future because of you."

LINK: Dean blasts GOP: DNC chairman also urges students to get involved, vote

The UWM Post...

Former Vermont Governor and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean implored young voters to make an impact on the 2008 election races, while criticizing Republicans on several key campaign issues during a speech at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus Tuesday.

Dean, who unsuccessfully ran for President in 2004, called the Republicans “the party of the past” and identified Democrats as the only party that can unite the country.

He also spoke proudly of the diversity evident in the Democratic presidential primary race, noting that an African-American, female, and Hispanic candidate are among the party front-runners, adding that the candidate pool reflects the diversity of the country.

“You see your generation in our candidates when they get on the stage. The Republican Party is like the 1950s, where if you were of color, or a different religion, or gay, you were an invisible person,” said Dean. “We are not going back, we are moving forward.”

Dean’s criticism was met with staunch opposition from the Republican Party.

“Howard Dean's insinuation that the Republican Party lacks diversity is completely false. President Bush has surrounded himself with a very diverse group of people from Colin Powell, Elaine Chao, Alberto Gonzales, Condoleezza Rice and numerous others,” said Kirsten Kukowski, Communications Director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

In order to move forward as Dean hopes, he asked students to get involved in campaigns and contribute more than just their votes in the upcoming election year, introducing a Neighborhood Leadership Program as a way to build positive relationships with voters.

The program focuses on supporters pledging to knock on doors across the state and the country three to four times between now and November in an attempt to build a relationship that will result in party loyalty and votes.

“What happens in Wisconsin is going to make a big difference,” said Dean. “It is a big deal that you get out and vote and knocking on those doors is going to do the trick.”

Dean asked members of the crowd to “help all over the state” by electing three more Democratic state representatives in 2008, which would give the state senate, house and governorship to the democrats.

“That will put Wisconsin back on the path away from the financial problems that were left to us by Republicans, and away from the right-wing social agenda that has been foisted upon us,” said Dean.

Kukowski stated that, “Democrats have passed more bills naming post offices and highways than important legislation affecting the American people,” noting the 11% approval rating currently carried by the Democrat-led Congress.

Shifting focus toward the primary race thus far, Dean has been pleased with the decorum of the Democratic candidates heading into Iowa, feeling that much of the supposed conflict between the candidates has been overblown by the media.

“A lot of what you read about is really a hyped-up version of what people are saying. But remember, journalists fan the flames,” said Dean, who unsuccessfully ran for the nomination in 2004.

“The level of ugliness is really not what you think, and is nothing that alarms me,” he added.

Wisconsin primary elections are slated for Feb. 19. Chairman Dean’s appearance was sponsored by UWM’s College Democrats.

LINK: Former Presidential candidate Howard Dean visits UWM: Calls Republicans ‘party of the past’

Here's some video via YouTube (you can see the whole speech there broken up into parts, but I will post the entire here thing soon!)...


LINK: Howard Dean Urges Student Involvement During UWM Visit

(Click the link to watch the video!)
LINK: Howard Dean Speaks to College Students

Also, that night I saw Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping perform, it was quite amazing!
Howard Dean, John Edwards, Michael J. Fox, and Dennis Kucinich (more to come on him), and this is only the beginning. I plan to attend many political events, given I am able to go. Thanks to Chris and Chad, the two who accompanied to both the Dean event, as well as the National Day to End the War, which I also reported on...

-Mr. Joseph

Sunday, December 09, 2007

FOXSports' Howie Long rips Al Gore while discussing football

This is absolutely absurd. So the business channel, the humor show, and now, the sports section of the FOX empire are all blindingly partisan?

Crooks and Liars...

This morning on Fox NFL Sunday’s pregame show, co-host and former NFL player, Howie Long, decided it would be a good idea to insult Al Gore to make a point about sports. Not only is this moron’s statement wrong, it’s unprofessional and he should be called out for it. Why do people like Howie and Al Michaels feel the need to mix politics with sports? You can write to FOXSports and tell them what you think about Howie’s hackery.

Long:”…Mike Martz suffers from a rare form of the Al Gore syndrome, where Al still thinks he’s the president and Mike Martz still thinks he’s the head coach…”

*Note to Keith Olbermann - If you’re looking for someone for your Worst Person In The NFL segment tonight, I think Howie is your man…

LINK: FOXSports Turns into FOXNews - Howie Long Insults Al Gore

Here's the video from YouTube...

LINK: Howie Long pokes Al Gore

So this "buckethead" has the nerve to insult Gore about wanting to "still" wanting to be the President even though Gore was never President and he is not currently running (although, he did win once...)?

Now granted, Howie was a spectacular football player, and I am proud to own this football card of him...
...but, it ridiculous of him to attempt to insert a *very* poor politically charged joke into the world of football.

So, all this means is that his political career is the same as his movie career: lame.

Also, check out this video of Howie losing it on air at commentator Joe Buck.

LINK: Howie Long Goes NUTZ on pregame

-Mr. Joseph

Typical FOX Caption: "All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?"

Keeping with their legacy of baffling and partisan promos and captions, FOX adds another one for the records...

Media Matters notes this story...
Fox News featured two onscreen captions during a segment on escalating violence in Iraq that read: " 'Upside' To Civil War?" and "All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?"

LINK: Only on FOX: "All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?"


LINK: C&L: FOX NEWS Captions

"FOX News is partisan and misleading: Could It Be a Good Thing?"

-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Rev. Robertson to step down!

Well, this is good news, I suppose...

USA Today reports...
Evangelist and political activist Pat Robertson is stepping down as chief executive officer of Christian Broadcasting Network and will be replaced by his son Gordon, the elder Robertson announced today.

Pat Robertson, 77, founded the network in 1960 and grew it into a national powerhouse, with cable and broadcast outlets across the country. He'll stay on as chairman.

"I thought that some of this day-to-day operation was important to pass down the line, especially to somebody a little more adept at figuring out the new technologies coming at such a bewildering speed to all of us," Pat Robertson said in his announcement on The 700 Club, which Gordon Robertson produces.
LINK: Pat Robertson stepping down as network CEO

The question is, will Gordon be as quite insane?

-Mr. Joseph

Murdoch expands his empire

The Empire Strikes Again...

After purchasing the Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch has now acquired MediaBistro reports...
Steve Waldman's belief paid off today when News Corp. purchased, the spirituality-based Web site Waldman founded in 1999 and has run as editor-in-chief since.

In response to an anonymous tip we received, a call to Waldman resulted in a return call from a Fox spokeswoman requesting that this item be held until tomorrow morning to be supplemented by further information. When offered the opportunity to deny the story, the response was "Okay, we're not going to comment.", which boasts over 3.1 million unique visitors a month, won the General Excellence Online Ellie in 2007 this past May, beating out Slate and On November 12, they launched a beta social networking portal aimed at religious devotees, spiritual leaders, and faith-based groups.

Specifics on the deal to follow...
LINK: News Corp. Buys

Beliefnet, Dow Jones, Myspace, and FOX? That's only the beginning: NewsCorp is a monster. This, of course, begs the question: Will Murdoch attempt to manipulate faith, too?

-Mr. Joseph

Olbermann reads Tom Tomorrow on air!


YouTube video...

LINK: Bill O'Reilly's Advice To Teens - Comic Strip


LINK: The comic: "Bill O'Reilly's very useful advice for young people, as channeled by vile left-wing smear merchant Tom Tomorrow."

LINK: C&L: Keith Olbermann Reads Tom Tomorrow

-Mr. Joseph

Imus Returns! brings the story of Imus's return...
Don Imus returned to the airwaves Monday eight months after he was fired for a racially charged remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team, and introduced a new cast that included two black comedians.

As he did several times in the days after his comments, Imus condemned his remarks and said he had learned his lesson.

"I didn't see any point in going on some sort of `Larry King' tour to offer a bunch of lame excuses for making an essentially reprehensible remark about innocent people who did not deserve to be made fun of," he said Monday during his debut on WABC-AM.

Again, Imus apologized to the basketball players and called the ensuing furor a "life-changing experience."

"I will never say anything in my lifetime that will make any of these young women at Rutgers regret or feel foolish that they accepted my apology and forgave me," he said. "And no one else will say anything else on my program that will make anyone think that I didn't deserve a second chance."

His debut Monday completed a comeback that seemed improbable at the height of the uproar last spring over his calling the players "nappy- headed hos." CBS Radio fired him on April 12, pulling the plug on his "Imus In the Morning" program that had aired on more than 70 stations and the MSNBC cable network.

Imus' lineup of guests Monday featured two presidential hopefuls, Democrat Chris Dodd and Republican John McCain.

McCain, who called into the show, answered questions about gays in the military (he said he would continue the "don't ask, don't tell" policy unless military leaders said it wasn't working), the recent surge in Iraq (he said it was doing the job), and the 2008 presidential election.

"Thanks for having me on," McCain said upon signing off. "Welcome back, old friend."

An hour before the 6 a.m. show began, more than a dozen fans—all of them white—waited outside the Town Hall theater for the sold-out show. The $100 tickets benefited the Imus Ranch for Kids With Cancer.

Shortly after the program began, Imus introduced his new cast, including two black comedians, Karith Foster and Tony Powell. Returning was Bernard McGuirk, the producer who instigated the Rutgers comment and was fired as well.

On the air, Imus said that every time he would get upset about getting fired, "I would remind myself that if I hadn't said what I said, then we wouldn't be having this discussion."

He talked about when he and his wife, Deirdre, met with the team, their coach and some of the players' parents and grandparents, for four hours the night he was fired from CBS Radio. The team members accepted Imus' apology that evening.

"I was there to save my life. I had already lost my job," he said. "They said they would never forget and I said I would never forget."

He talked about his experience over the past 20 years as a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and said that participating in recovery programs had given him the opportunity to be "a better person ... to have a better life."

While saying he had learned his lesson, he added—to applause from the live audience—"The program is not going to change."

His guests also included historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and political analysts James Carville and Mary Matalin.

While Imus pledged to use his new show to talk about race relations, he added: Other than that, not much has changed. Dick Cheney is still a war criminal, Hillary Clinton is still Satan and I'm back on the radio."

Imus' resurrection is just the latest in his four-decade career. The veteran shock jock has emerged intact in the past after assorted firings, bad publicity and a disastrous appearance at a Washington dinner before President Clinton.

Just three months after he was fired, the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the strongest voices calling for his firing, said Imus had a right to make a living and could return to radio. Sharpton planned a news conference later Monday.

The prospect of Imus' return had outraged critics including the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Organization for Women.

Just before his dismissal, Imus signed a five-year, $40 million contract with CBS. He threatened a $120 million lawsuit after he was fired, but he settled in August for an undisclosed amount of money.
LINK: Don Imus Back on the Air


LINK: Imus Is Back! : Highlights...

LINK: Sharpton Encouraged By Changes To Imus Show (with video)


LINK: Don Imus Returns To TV/Radio

He's back!
-Mr. Joseph

Savage to sue Muslim group that quoted him
A conservative radio talk show host sued an Islamic civil rights group on Monday for copyright infringement over the organization's use of a portion of his show in which he called the Quran a "book of hate."

Michael Savage said the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American- Islamic Relations, or CAIR, violated his rights by wrongfully using a 4-minute segment of his Oct. 29 "The Savage Nation" show in a letter- writing campaign directed against talk radio advertisers. Audio from the show remained on CAIR's Web site Monday.

In the broadcast, Savage called the Muslim holy book "a throwback document" and a "book of hate."

"What kind of religion is this? What kind of world are you living in when you let them in here with that throwback document in their hand, which is a book of hate," Savage said during the portion of the broadcast highlighted by CAIR. "Don't tell me I need reeducation. They need deportation."

In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Savage said he was talking about Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his dangerous and violent brand of Islamic extremism, not about the religion in general.

Savage said he strongly supports freedom of speech, but "it's another thing to take away a man's millstone and try to put him out of business."

A CAIR spokeswoman, who said the audio was not a four-minute segment, but a series of clips separated by beeps, called the suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, "bizarre, sloppy and baseless."

"We expect to prevail based on the facts, the law and the Constitution," Amina Rubin said.

The group's "repackaging" of Savage's comments was "deliberately designed to obscure the specific message conveyed by Michael Savage," according to the suit. "The actual message, while highly provocative and strongly worded, was not intended as an attack on people of faith."

CAIR claims advertisers have stopped airing or refuse to air commercials during Savage's show.

Bill Crawford, a spokesman for Talk Radio Network, which syndicates the Savage show, said "there have been advertisers who've canceled Michael's show because of the CAIR situation." He refused to identify the companies or reveal the amount of lost revenue. Savage said he's lost at least $1 million in revenue.

The suit alleges CAIR is not a civil rights group, but a political organization funded by foreigners with ties to Hamas and other terrorist groups. CAIR denies those claims, saying it opposes terrorism and religious extremism.
LINK: Radio Host Sues Group That Quoted Him

If Don Imus got fired for "nappy headed hos", then why hasn't Savage?

-Mr. Joseph

Monday, December 03, 2007

Link of the Day: "Greg from the Left"

In the interest in gaining alliances in the blogging world, I present "Greg from the Left", a fellow blogger who is out of Nashville, TN. It is styled in a way very similar to mine; so if you like this blog, then "Greg" should be something you may want to look into.

He states...
This is the G-Funk from Nashville, Tennessee. Instead of mass emails, I decided to post my criticism of the fascist Right on this blog. You'll find my favorite people here...Marsha Blackburn (my Congressman...yes, she prefers to be called CongressMAN Blackburn), Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and others! If you aren't already there with me, greetings from the Left!
LINK: Greg from the Left

Check it out! There is some good stuff on it!

-Mr. Joseph

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It is no fun if you are not in the majority...

It looks like Sen. Lott is not the only one...
Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott's resignation announcement on Monday was the latest in a wave of retirements to hit congressional Republicans, making an already difficult 2008 electoral landscape even more complicated for the minority party.

Party officials insist that the retirements -- 17 members of the House and six senators -- are simply the result of individual decisions and not indicative of a broader negative sentiment within the party. "I don't hear a drumbeat that 'We're not effective and I don't like it here anymore,' " said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla).

But with so many lawmakers -- including a large number from competitive states and districts -- heading for the exits, it's hard not to point to the GOP's newfound minority status in Washington, the turnover in party leadership and the perilous political environment heading into 2008 to explain the exodus.

Another surprise yesterday came from Rep. J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who was toppled from the speaker's chair by Republican losses in 2006 and had said in August that he would not run for reelection. Hastert revealed that he is leaving immediately, allowing Illinois to hold a special primary election for his seat Feb. 5.

"The one thing the open seats have in common is that there is no one who can squeeze [an incumbent] into an uncomfortable place to convince them to stay," said Dan Hazelwood, a Republican direct-mail consultant who has worked on dozens of House campaigns. "There was always a cogent and powerful person to say: 'The team needs you.' There is less of that, but it's also unclear that the team needs them."

Regardless of the reasons for the retirements, Republicans find themselves in serious danger of falling deeper into the minority in both the House and Senate in 2008.

Many retirements have come in seats and states that are competitive between the parties. Republican senators' retirements in Virginia, Colorado and New Mexico have created races in which Democrats are favored to win next November. The same holds true in the House, where open GOP districts in Ohio, Arizona and Illinois are primed to go to Democrats.

Emboldened by the House and Senate majorities they won last year, Democrats have had almost no retirements. Five members of the House are stepping down or running for higher office in 2008, but none of the vacated seats is expected to be competitive. No Senate Democrat up for reelection this cycle has announced plans to retire.

Republicans also face a daunting financial gap at the congressional level, the likes of which they have not seen in decades. At the end of October, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had $29 million in the bank to spend on House races -- roughly 14 times the $2.56 million its Republican counterpart had at that time.

The disparity on the Senate side is smaller but no less significant. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee showed $23.4 million on hand at the end of October, compared with $9.5 million for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

"The challenge is that [open seats] spread thin resources even more thinly," said Glen Bolger, a prominent Republican pollster. "Places you'd like to play offense, you might not play because you have to play defense" elsewhere.

Pointing to millions spent on open-seat contests in recent years, one senior Republican strategist was blunt. "Open seats are bought, not won," the source said.


LINK: GOP Comeback Climb Is Increasingly Steep

The more that resign, the merrier. That's what I say!

-Mr. Joseph

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gore meets Bush, declares it 'cordial... substantive'

From The Swamp...

Al Gore slipped out the side door of the West Wing.

In his private Oval Office meeting with President Bush, the former vice president insisted that they had spoken about global warming "the whole time.'' It wasn't clear if the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who shared the honor for his work on climtate change, was serious.

"Of course,'' they had spoken about global warming, Gore said, strolling down a rain-slick Pennsylvania Avenue with wife Tipper Gore after a private session with the president. For Gore, who had gone into the White House for a reception for the American winners of the 2007 Nobel Prizes, this was his first return to the Oval Office since leaving office.

But Gore, calling the meeting with Bush "very cordial'' and "substantive,'' declined to elaborate on their meeting. "I'm not going to do an interview here,'' Gore said in his walk down the streets outside the White House. "I don't want to comment more.''

This was the first private meeting of Gore and Bush since the Tennessee Democrat won more of the popular vote than Bush in the presidential election of 2000 but lost in the Electoral College – following a 36-day court fight over Bush’s disputed 537-vote margin in Florida.

This may have been a cordial reunion of erstwhile adversaries from a contested election, but it was kept discreetly private, within the confines of the Oval Office – where only photographers arrived near the end for “a photo-opportunity.’’

Gore had come, along with the other American winners of the 2007 Nobel Prize, for an official reception by the president.

The president, who had personally telephoned Gore to invite him and arranged the date of the Nobel recognitions to fit Gore’s own travel schedule, also received the Democrat and wife Tipper Gore for a private session before the “photo-op’’ with Gore’s fellow Nobel laureates.

Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize this year for his work fighting global warming, a cause that Bush has only reluctantly embraced – with the Bush administration lately acknowledging the role that humans play in global warming, but still opposing mandatory caps on polluting emissions.

Gore also has been outspoken in his criticism for other administration policies, most notably the war in Iraq.

The White House insists the president holds no ill will toward Gore, who carried his challenge of the outcome of the 2000 election to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t believe so,’’ Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino said of any “bad blood’’ between the two. “I know this president does not harbor any resentments. He never has.’’

The two had met one another publicly at the dedication of the Clinton presidential library in Arkansas, and both had attended the funeral of President Gerald Ford, but the White House said Monday’s meeting was the first opportunity they had to meet privately.

“The president didn’t make a calculated decision to invite Al Gore to the White House... He invited him because he’s one of the Nobel winners,’’ said Perino, pressed about the purpose of the additional private meeting. “I didn’t psychoanalyze the president to find out why… It was a presidential, gentlemanly thing to do.’’
LINK: Gore meets Bush, declares it 'cordial... substantive'

I imagine the meeting, perhaps, was a bit tense.

-Mr. Joseph

Lott to Resign!

After realizing that it is no fun to be in Congress without a majority, yet another prominent Republican is stepping down. This week, it is heavyweight Senator Trent Lott.

Think Progress
covers the story...
Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) is reportedly informing close allies that he plans to resign his Senate seat before the end of the year. NBC reports, “It’s possible a formal announcement of his plans could take place as early as today.” Politico adds, “If he resigns, Lott would become the sixth Republican senator to announce they were stepping down this election cycle.”

UPDATE: Lott was forced from his Senate Majority Leader seat in disgrace in late 2002 after hailing the segregationist platform of former Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC). Speaking at a 100th birthday party celebration for Thurmond, Lott said, “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.” He regained a leadership post after the 2006 midterm elections.

UPDATE II: Lott has “scheduled two news conferences in his home state later in the day.” AP reports, “No reason for Lott’s resignation was given, but according to a congressional official, there is nothing amiss with Lott’s health. The senator has ‘other opportunities’ he plans to pursue, the official said, without elaborating.”

UPDATE III: Lott’s term expires in 2012, therefore a resignation would trigger a special election for a replacement to serve the remainder of his term.

UPDATE IV: “While the exact reason Lott is stepping down before he finishes his term is unknown, the general speculation is that a quick departure immunizes Lott against tougher restrictions in a new lobbying law that takes effect at the end of the year. That law would require Senators to wait two-years before entering the lucrative world of lobbying Congress.”

UPDATE V: Politico reports that Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) plans to run for Senate Minority Whip.

UPDATE VI:Speculation on who Barbour might pick includes Rep. Charles W. “Chip” Pickering Jr. (R-MS) and Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS). For Democrats, former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore (D) is the most prominent Democrat mentioned as a possible candidate for the seat in 2008.”

LINK: Breaking: Trent Lott To Resign Before End Of The Year

Think Progress also covers what Senator Lott will be going into after he reigns. You guesses it -- lobbying...
Earlier today, news broke that Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS) intends “to resign his seat before the end of the year.” Lott will explain his plans in two news conferences in his home state of Mississippi later today.

Though the reasons for Lott’s resignation are still unknown, a “congressional official” told the AP that “there is nothing amiss with Lott’s health” and that “the senator has ‘other opportunities‘ he plans to pursue.” NBC News reports that Lott’s “other opportunities” involve joining the “lucrative world of lobbying Congress” before “tougher restrictions in a new lobbying law” take effect:

While the exactly reason Lott is stepping down before he finishes his term is unknown, the general speculation is that a quick departure immunizes Lott against tougher restrictions in a new lobbying law that takes effect at the end of the year. That law would require Senators to wait two-years before entering the lucrative world of lobbying Congress.

“A Lott friend” confirmed to the Politico that the new lobbying law is “a factor in the timing” of his resignation.

Lott, whose son is a lobbyist, was part of a small bloc of conservatives who voted against the ethics reform bill in August that included the two-year revolving door ban. His vote reflected his longtime position as an opponent of lobbying reform. Here are a few more examples of Lott’s defense of his potential, soon-to-be job:

- In Jan. 2006, Lott praised “the practice of secretly inserting special projects into spending bills at the behest of lobbyists,” calling it “an effective way for Congress to address a problem or need back home.”

- In Feb. 2006, Lott derided the effort to fix lobbying loopholes after the Jack Abramoff scandal as “the usual over reaction that we see happen quite often in Washington.”

- In March 2006, Lott voted against establishing a Senate Office of Public Integrity.

- In March 2006, when Congress sought to ban free meals from lobbyists, Lott defended the free meals, saying a ban would imply “that we can be had for the price of a lunch or dinner.”

Lott’s defense of lobbyists should come as no surprise considering how well they treated him while in office. Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that Lott topped “the list of current lawmakers who have most frequently been jetted around the country aboard the luxurious private jets of Corporate America.”

Now, with tougher restrictions looming, Lott appears likely to pass through the revolving door to take the type of “lucrative” lobbying job that he fought so hard in the Senate to protect.

UPDATE: In a press conference today, Lott denied that the upcoming ban played “a big role” in his decision.

LINK: Lott Resigns To Enter ‘Lucrative’ World Of Lobbying That He Worked In The Senate To Protect

Enjoy the private sector, Senator. And please, try not to be racist... again...

-Mr. Joseph

Friday, November 23, 2007

What do conservatives spend their time thinking about?

From the Agonist...

One answer is provided by Conservapedia's most viewed list:

1. Main Page‎ [1,897,388]
2. Homosexuality‎ [1,488,013]
3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis‎ [516,193]
4. Homosexuality and Promiscuity‎ [416,767]
5. Homosexuality and Parasites‎ [387,438]
6. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea‎ [328,045]
7. Homosexuality and Domestic Violence‎ [325,547]
8. Gay Bowel Syndrome‎ [314,076]
9. Homosexuality and Syphilis‎ [262,015]
10. Homosexuality and Mental Health‎ [249,14]

I'd like to add something witty, but really, what is there to say after that? Especially since I can barely stop laughing.

LINK: What Do Conservatives Spend Their Time Thinking About?

This probably explains Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, Larry Craig, and Fred Phelps...

-Mr. Joseph

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Huckabee lines up some awesome endorsements...

First Chuck Norris...

Then Ted Nugent (yes, that Ted Nugent)...
GLENN: ...Ted, one more thing. Let me ask you, have you made a decision on if you had a gun to your head today -- and I just want to make it very clear, you don't have one. But if you had a gun to your head today, who would you vote for?

NUGENT: Do I really have to answer that question?

GLENN: Yeah.

NUGENT: It's tough. My favorite man or individual running for the presidency of the United States of America right now today, since you're holding that gun to my head.

GLENN: Yeah.

NUGENT: Is a man who covers all the bases for we the people, the U.S. constitution, the Bill of Rights, decency and that's Mike Huckabee.

GLENN: Mike Huckabee, I would have thought you were a Ron Paul guy.

NUGENT: Ron's a good man, Fred Thompson's a good man, I like Mitt Romney and Mr. Giuliani on many levels. But no one in my estimation today -- and I'm not voting today.

GLENN: No, no, if you had a gun to my head. We're the same way. I would never draw a gun on you because I'd lose.

NUGENT: But Mike Huckabee, I'm telling you I've spent time with the man, I've watched how he conducts his personal life, his family life as governor of the State of Arkansas.

GLENN: Oh, Ted, personal life doesn't -- personal life, personal life doesn't matter. You know that. You learned that.

NUGENT: Well, a person's moral compass, I believe.

GLENN: What did you say?

NUGENT: It's an indicator of a person's moral compass, I believe.

More from the interview with Glenn Beck here...
And now WWF star, Ric Flair, are all agreeing with me on the best Republican candidate: Governor Mike Huckabee.
CNN reports...
In the race for presidential endorsements, Mike Huckabee has the kitschy pop culture celebrity vote on lockdown.

First it was martial arts hero and "Walker, Texas Ranger" star Chuck Norris, who appears with Huckabee in his first TV ad.

Then hard-rocking hunting enthusiast Ted Nugent jumped on the Huckabee bandwagon, citing the Republican's support for second amendment rights.

Now, Huckabee is getting ready to rumble: wrestler Ric Flair, a.k.a. The Nature Boy, is supporting the former Arkansas governor in his bid for the White House.

CNN has learned the WWE wrestler is on board with Huckabee, and will co-host a campaign tailgate with the candidate at the South Carolina vs. Clemson football game on Saturday afternoon in Columbia, South Carolina. More details are forthcoming.

LINK: Wrestler Ric Flair supporting Mike Huckabee

Can Huckabee's candidacy get any funnier?

-Mr. Joseph

PS Crooks and Liars found a great retro video of Ric Flair from 1988. Note the racism and craziness.

LINK: Ric Flair 1988 wrestling interview

DeLay: "I'd like to bitch-slap" Paul Krugman

Oh Really?

From The Examiner...
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay may not be in a leadership position on Capitol Hill anymore, but that doesn't mean he can't weigh in on the current GOP leadership.

DeLay told Yeas & Nays that Republicans in Congress are "looking for something to believe in" and "they're not getting it out of this Republican leadership. … The leadership just isn't getting it."

"They're looking for some backbone," said DeLay, who also chimed in on the 2008 election. He said the Republican party is "going to get our clocks cleaned in 2008" and unequivocally said that "Hillary [Clinton] will be the next president." Which ought to give DeLay’s newest projects, the Coalition for a Conservative Majority and a consulting firm called First Principles, LLC, plenty to do.

DeLay gave us is his dour assessment at a book party for former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, which was held at the Georgetown home of former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman. The party was a virtual "who's who" of the conservative movement: Lynne Cheney, Liz Cheney Perry, Scooter Libby, David Keene, Vin Weber, Grover Norquist, Barbara Comstock, Armstrong Williams, Mary Matalin, Ramesh Ponnuru, John Fund, Byron York and Kate O'Beirne.

But, lest you think that The Hammer is about to start playing for the other team, he did poke fun at New York Times columnist -- and favorite conservative punching bag -- Paul Krugman: "I'd like to bitch-slap him." DeLay also ruled out another stab at politics, even if GOP fortunes reverse: "I'm 60 years old, I'm through."

Elsewhere around the party: Mehlman called Bolton "the Atticus Finch of the United Nations." Mehlman said he sees similarities between the Finch character in "To Kill A Mockingbird" and the famously pugnacious Bolton, praising Bolton for always "earnestly making his case." Bolton kept his remarks brief, but did end with a rallying call for conservatives: "I sure hope we win next year."
LINK: DeLay Knocks GOP: ‘The leadership just isn’t getting it’

Where does he get the audacity? Well, he's just mad because he got bitch-slapped out of Congress.
-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Imus to Return to Television as well...

It looks like Imus is reclaiming some of that lost territory...

Yahoo! Finance...
Imus to Hang Cowboy Hat at New TV Home

Don Imus is hanging his familiar cowboy hat in a new television home: RFD-TV.

The radio personality, who returns to the airwaves Dec. 3 on WABC-AM, will debut the same day on the seven-year-old cable and satellite television station that caters to viewers with homes on the range, the Rural Media Group, Inc., announced Wednesday

The radio show will be simulcast on weekdays from 6-9 a.m., and will be rebroadcast from 6-9 p.m. each evening, said Patrick Gottsch, founder and president of the Rural Media Group. The program will also be available to RFD's nearly 30 million homes through on-demand services, Gottsch said.

Imus signed a five-year agreement with RFD, Gottsch said. An e-mail sent to Imus' lawyer for comment was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, Citadel Broadcasting Corp. announced it was bringing Imus back to host a New York-based morning drive time show. The cranky Hall of Fame broadcaster was fired eight months earlier after his "nappy-headed hos" crack regarding the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

RFD, with studios in Nashville, has a mostly rural audience that receives programming like "The Cattle Show," "National Tractor Pulling" and the "Largent and Sons Hereford Cattle Auction."

"Don's passion and understanding of rural America fits in so well with our ongoing effort to bridge city and country folks with this channel," Gottsch said. His station launched in December 2000, billed as the first 24/7 television network dedicated to rural America.

The previous incarnation of "Imus in the Morning" was simulcast on MSNBC, which dumped the show shortly after Imus' ill-conceived comment.

LINK: Imus Returns to TV, Too

-Mr. Joseph

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sean Hannity is made the fool

While I was surfing YouTube today, and it did not take me very long to spot a few videos of Sean Hannity that quite entertaining.

First, WeAreChange (a pro-Ron Paul / 9/11 Conspiracy Theory group) confronts him at a book signing...

LINK: Sean Hannity meets CHANGE
...Wow, I was so happy to see him called that to his face...

Next, Howard Dean (who is coming to UWM in about two weeks!) "outfoxes" Sean by mentioning one of my favorite documentaries, Outfoxed.

LINK: Howard Dean outfoxing Sean Hannity


This next one is particularly interesting -- I agree with Hannity in this argument. An obnoxious Catholic priest of some Right-to-Life group criticizes Hannity's position on birth control. I cheered for Hannity on this one (something which hasn't happened since this...)

LINK: Hannity Bullies Clergyman

Although it was rewarding to see Hannity be called a "heretic", I was quite disturbed when the priest said, "good!" when Hannity accused him of driving people away from the Catholic faith.

And finally, a little bit of humor at Sean's expense. A clip of a terrible rendition of "Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the "heretic" himself.

LINK: Sean Hannity singing "Devil Went Down To Georgia"

I actually laughed when I saw Colmes with his hands over his ears.

Watch Outfoxed,

-Mr. Joseph

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bounty Hunter "Dog" is a racist

I don't pay a lot of attention to unintelligent television shows, but on occasion, I have seen "Dog: The Bounty Hunter" on A&E. This show is beyond stupid. And back in September of 2006, I was only too happy to find out that he had been arrested in Hawaii. I blogged about it on my old blog. I also blogged about the ridiculous attempt of 29 Congressmen to get Secretary of State Rice to prevent him from being transferred over to the Mexican authorities. Video of his testimony here...

Anyway, I was even more delighted to hear that just recently, 'Dog' had been caught up in a controversy after a very racist rant of his was caught on tape.

I will link to where I originally read the story, of all places, the National Enquirer.


You can listen to the rant there.

Now, of course, like Don Imus and Michael Richards, Dog is making the rounds and apologizing. But the most pathetic aspect of all this controversy was Sean Hannity's "exclusive" hour-long interview with Dog. Like always, if there is a conservative in trouble (for instance, Mel Gibson), Hannity proves to be the biggest apologist.

Disgusting. Both of them.

-Mr. Joseph

Here Comes Huckabee! (and Edwards)

My apologies for the lack of postings around here. I know there is plenty of news out there, but I have been terribly distracted. Anyway, I had to note this because my favorite Republican candidate is doing very well in the polls. This is good news for me, because like I have stated before, I believe that (aside from Ron Paul) Huckabee is the only honorable Republican of the bunch. However, more importantly, the candidate I officially endorse, John Edwards, in neck and neck (and neck) with Hillary and Obama. In fact, according to a CBS / NYT poll...
Democrats and Republicans are both headed toward heated showdowns in Iowa, where, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, Hillary Clinton holds a statistically insignificant lead over John Edwards and Barack Obama, and GOP hopeful Mitt Romney finds his long-held position as the state's front-runner challenged by a surging Mike Huckabee.

The situation in Iowa, where nominating caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 3, is in stark contrast to New Hampshire, where Clinton and Romney continue to hold large leads among those likely to vote in the state's first-in-the-nation primary, which could come only days after Iowa's contests.

But in both states, large chunks of voters have yet to make up their minds, meaning the results of the contests that will kick off the 2008 nominating season are still difficult to predict.

In Iowa, the Democratic contest is knotted up. Among likely caucus-goers, Clinton came out on top with 25 percent support, but she was trailed closely by Edwards at 23 percent, and Obama at 22 percent. With a margin of error of 4 percentage points, there is no clear leader. Trailing behind was Bill Richardson, at 12 percent, with all other candidates in single digits.


While the Democratic contest in Iowa has been a three-way battle for some time, most polls have shown Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, with a strong lead in the Hawkeye State, dominating the GOP field. Recent surveys, however, have shown Huckabee picking up steam, and he is well within striking distance in the CBS News/New York Times poll, where he trails Romney, 27 percent to 21 percent, with a 5 percent margin of error.

Rudy Giuliani was in third at 15 percent. All other candidates were in single digits, including Fred Thompson, who had 9 percent support among likely caucus-goers.

While Romney still leads in Iowa, his support base is far softer than that of Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor whose campaign has gained momentum in recent weeks. Half of Huckabee supporters said they had made up their mind, compared to two-thirds of Romney supporters who said they could change their mind before caucus night. Overall, 57 percent of GOP caucus-goers said they haven't settled on one candidate.

Huckabee could run into trouble if immigration is as important an issue as the poll indicates. When asked what issue candidates should discuss, illegal immigration topped the list at 20 percent, and 44 percent of caucus-goers said illegal immigrants should lose their jobs and leave the country. Huckabee has been criticized for supporting pre-natal care for immigrants and educational opportunities for the children of immigrants, and only 13 percent said Huckabee agreed with them on this issue, compared to 26 percent for Romney.

More on page 1, page 2...
LINK: Poll: Top Democrats Deadlocked In Iowa

So, there is some good news out of Iowa for this blog. Now, I will be gone this weekend: off to Ft. Benning, GA for the annual School of the Americas Protest, something that was almost successfully closed this past Summer. I will blog about my experience when I return.

-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chuck Norris Endores Huckabee

Well, Chuck and I agree on the best Republican candidate. We certainly did not agree on the last.

It could be the latest so-called Chuck Norris fact: The American people don't choose presidents, Chuck Norris does.

The cult hero of “Walker Texas Ranger” fame said Monday he’s backing Republican Mike Huckabee for president.

“Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,” Norris wrote on the conservative Web site World Net Daily.

“Mike is also a respected and fearless leader, and he does not cower to the cries of any majority or minority,” Norris added. “He doesn't abandon his values for what's expedient. Like our Founding Fathers, he's not afraid to stand up for a Creator and against secularist beliefs.”

Huckabee’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment.

LINK: Martial arts TV star picks presidential candidate

The Indecision 2008 blog had a great "Mike Huckabee Facts" parody...

You may be wondering why Chuck Norris has decided to throw his massive support behind Mike Huckabee for president. Turns out there's a bunch of reasons...
  • When Mike Huckabee participated in the Iowa Straw Poll, they had to re-name it the Iowa Iron Pole.

  • Mike Huckabee can cut taxes... with his penis.

  • Stephen Hawking told Mike Huckabee the universe was 12 billion years old once. Once.

  • Mike Huckabee lost 100 pounds of body fat by eating it.

  • Jesus asked Mike Huckabee for career advice, but Huckabee was too busy body-slamming Satan.

  • Mike Huckabee flosses his teeth with the bones of abortion doctors at least twice a day.

  • Mike Huckabee is forbidden to interfere with human history.

  • Top scientists believe global warming is a direct consequence of Mike Huckabee getting angry.

  • Mike Huckabee opposes gay marriage because every man on earth wants to marry him.

  • Mike Huckabee won't repeal the Estate Tax out of sympathy for the families of his victims.

  • Mike Huckabee has completed six marathons, two of which aren't until next year.

  • Fred Thomspon, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani all got cancer because Mike Huckabee looked at them too hard.

  • If Mike Huckabee is elected, he'll bring all the troops home--he can handle this himself.

  • If Mike Huckabee had been around in Biblical times, the symbol of Christianity would be Pontius Pilate with a cross up his ass.

  • Mike Huckabee would've stopped the attack of 9/11, but there was an asteroid hurtling toward Earth that day.

  • Mike Huckabee doesn't talk in sound bites; he speaks in decibel munches.

  • Charles Darwin was actually born the same year as Mike Huckabee, but Huckabee punched him back to the 1800s.

  • If Mike Huckabee had been President, the levees in New Orleans never would've broke, because Katrina would've known better.

  • Mike Huckabee's philosophy on showing mercy is "abstinence-only."

  • Atheism can be cured by Mike Huckabee's farts.

  • Mike Huckabee is so powerful, even the ugly, unwanted, weight he discarded is running for president: Dennis Kucinich.

  • Most bass players tune to a low E; Mike Huckabee tunes to F U.

  • The 1976 Tangshan earthquake killed over 250,000 people. Nine months later, the Huckabees welcomed their first son.

  • Mike Huckabee spelled backwards is "Jesus Loves You." It's not? I dare you to tell that to Mike Huckabee.

  • Mike Huckabee is only running for President because he's reached his term limit as Grand Master of Space and Time

  • Mike Huckabee opposes the right to die... painlessly.

  • Mike Huckabee is running the greenest campaign transporting his entire staff from state to state on his c*ck and huge rolling balls.

  • In Soviet Russia, President runs for Mike Huckabee!

  • Fifteen years ago Mike Huckabee cured "Andrew" Coulter of his vestigial male genitalia.

  • If elected, Mike Huckabee will replace the Justice Department with his fists.
LINK: Propaganza: Mike Huckabee Facts

Go Huckabee?
-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (11/19/07):

LINK: Mike Huckabee Ad: "Chuck Norris Approved"

You really can't make this stuff up.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

9/11 Truthers Interrupt Bill Maher

I don't know how I feel about these "Truth about 9/11" people. I saw 9/11 in Plane Sight, I've been meaning to watch Loose Change, I interview a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and I've had questions before. But when they pull stunts like these, it is ridiculous...

All videos via Youtube...


This was all probably in response to these comments...


LINK: Bill Maher brushes off 9/11 truth

LINK: Bill Maher attacks Charlie Sheen 9/8/06

Well, the "Truthers" got back at him...

LINK: 9/11 Truthers Respond to Bill Maher

Lame, huh?

Well -- they also struck at FOX News' Alan Colmes...

LINK: Change Confronts Alan Colmes

I really think these guys shoot themselves in the foot when they come off as such jackasses. Maher and Colmes are critical of the Bush Administration's response to 9/11, and that should be the focal point. What happened after 9/11, not if it were some inside job.

-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (10/25/07):
Now they're going after Clinton...

LINK: Bill Clinton Takes On 9/11 Conspiracy Protesters

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fred Phelps endorses Fred Thompson!

The Westboro Baptist Church is disgusting. I, actually, feel bad for Thompson. Who would want their support? But then again, why would he work for them in the first place? Well, I certainly don't support Fred Thompson.

The Associated Press...
Members of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church are urging Fred Thompson to support their stance on homosexuality — a position on which they say the Republican presidential candidate once "saw eye to eye" with them.

Thompson was hired for a mid-1980s legal case in Kansas on the recommendation of Margie Phelps, daughter of Westboro founder Fred Phelps.

The Topeka, Kan.-based church is now best known for protesting at soldiers' funerals, claiming their deaths are retribution for the nation's acceptance of homosexuality.

Thompson campaign spokeswoman Karen Hanretty on Wednesday dismissed the church as "a radical fringe group, looking to draw attention to themselves."

"Their behavior at the funerals of fallen soldiers is disgraceful and reprehensible," she said. "In no way do these people share Fred's values."

Church members released an open letter to Thompson this week, saying he had discussed his views on homosexuality with them while handling the case of a woman who had sued the state's Republican attorney general for sexual harassment.

"We know what your position used to be on the homosexual question — and it was wonderful, and we saw eye to eye," church members said in the letter to Thompson.

That statement appears to conflict with comments made by Margie Phelps to the Journal-World of Lawrence, Kan., in June about her interaction with Thompson.

"I'm quite confident he would've completely disagreed with everything about my faith," she told the paper.

Phelps' sister, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said in a phone interview Wednesday that while Thompson might disagree with the church today, he didn't disagree then.

And yet, Phelps-Roper said, "He wouldn't dare stand up and say that when he's running for president."

Thompson, a former Tennessee senator, has said he favors a constitutional amendment that bars judges from legalizing gay marriage but would leave the door open for state legislatures to act.

Thompson was hired in 1985 to represent Marcia Tomson Stingley, who sued Kansas Attorney General Bob Stephan, accusing him of violating a confidentially agreement on a sexual harassment case she had filed against him.

Margie Phelps, the original attorney on the harassment case, could no longer represent Stingley because she was now a witness. She recommended Thompson because she had just read a book about his representation of Marie Ragghianti, a Tennessee official fired by the state's governor because she refused to go along with a cash-for-clemency scheme.

Thompson won a $200,000 judgment against Stephan, who abandoned plans to run for governor because of the controversy. Stephan avoided paying by declaring bankruptcy.

A campaign spokesman this summer said that Thompson's firm did not make any money off the case.

LINK: Anti-Gay Church Says Thompson Agreed


-Mr. Joseph

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brownback to drop out

Following Jim Gilmore, Tommy Thompson, and Newt Gingrich, my least favorite 2008 Presidential candidate, Sam Brownback, is dropping out.

Yahoo! News covers the story...
Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, the Kansas conservative who struggled to raise money and gain recognition in the 2008 presidential campaign, will drop out on Friday, people close to him said Thursday.

Money was a main reason for his decision, said one person close to Brownback who requested anonymity because the candidate had not yet announced his plans. Brownback is expected to announce his withdrawal in Topeka, Kan.

It's widely anticipated Brownback will run for Kansas governor in 2010, when his term — his second — expires. He had promised in his first Senate campaign to serve no more than two terms.

"He also mentioned he is really looking forward to spending more time in Kansas," the person said.

As recently as last week, Brownback indicated he would keep campaigning through Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in January, saying he would exit the race if he finished worse than fourth there.

But his fundraising has sagged. Reports released Monday showed that of the nine Republican candidates who filed reports, Brownback was seventh in fundraising from July through September and had a mere $94,000 cash on hand, less than any of his rivals. Brownback raised nearly $4 million overall and was eligible for $2 million in federal matching funds.

He spent a good chunk of his money on the Iowa straw poll, an early test of strength whose significance diminished after Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani decided not to compete. He finished third in the August contest behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

The straw poll gave a boost to Huckabee, said Chuck Hurley, an influential Iowa conservative who is friend and adviser to Brownback.

"Brownback's campaign didn't catch fire," Hurley said. "It's just the field is still so full, and the pool of voters he was most fishing from was almost perfectly split between him and Mike Huckabee."

Hurley said Brownback called him Thursday morning to say he was dropping out.

Nationally, Brownback had the support of 1 percent of Republicans in this month's Associated Press-Ipsos poll, after peaking at 3 percent in June.

Besides money, Brownback was hurt because he supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, an issue that angers conservatives who influence voting in Iowa and other states that are struggling to provide education, medical care and other services to an influx of immigrants in recent years.

People close to Brownback said it was unlikely he would endorse another candidate on Friday.

It's uncertain how much weight a Brownback endorsement would carry. While the anti-abortion senator is a favorite of religious conservatives, he failed to become their consensus candidate and ranks low in national polls and state surveys.

Still, a nod from Brownback could bolster the conservative credentials of a candidate such as McCain or Huckabee, the rivals who appear most likely to receive his support.

Brownback and McCain are close Senate comrades and have refrained from criticizing one another, instead assailing Romney.

While McCain has a voting record similar to Brownback's on cultural issues, McCain prompts skepticism on the right flank of the party because he isn't a high-profile crusader against abortion rights and gay marriage. Brownback's backing could signal to Christian conservatives that they can trust McCain.

Campaigning in Spartanburg, S.C., on Thursday, McCain said of Brownback, "I'll miss him in this debate. He's a voice for family. He's a voice for the pro-life movement and community in America."

Huckabee, a Southern Baptist preacher, is another favorite of religious conservatives. But like Brownback, he has struggled to rally that voting bloc around his candidacy. He, too, could benefit from Brownback's backing.

Huckabee, campaigning in Rindge, N.H., declined to comment on Brownback's withdrawal because he hadn't heard it officially.

It's harder to imagine any other Republican in the field getting a Brownback nod, although former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson is a possibility. The Kansas senator has bitterly criticized Romney, and Giuliani is disliked by many religious conservatives because of his abortion rights and gay rights positions.

LINK: Brownback to withdraw from GOP race


LINK: Report: Brownback dropping White House bid

Well, I wasn't worried -- he wouldn't have won my home state, anyways.

-Mr. Joseph