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