Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: 3/2/08 - 3/9/08

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Republican Party coup threatened

Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich is facing a coup attempt from disgruntled Republicans who say corruption has hobbled the party during his tenure as leader and he needs to go.

I would comment about how long it took them, but I'm just damn glad it may happen now!

Joe Miller, Interior regional chair of the state Republican Party, is calling on Ruedrich to step down.

"If he doesn't, there will be a vote to oust him," said Miller, a Fairbanks attorney. "We believe there's a vast majority of delegates going to the state convention this week that want him to resign."

If Joe Miller is involved, this is clearly serious. There have been many Republicans who have wanted Ruedrich gone for a long time but knew he was too powerful. They must be pretty sure they've got the votes.

Ruedrich said Saturday that he has no intention of resigning. He said the political corruption scandal, in which three former Republican state legislators have been convicted on federal bribery charges, is not the fault of the state party.

"I have a commitment to Alaska Republicans to lead the party to victory in 2008 as I did in 2006," Ruedrich said.

Ruedrich said there was no opposition when he was re-elected to another four-year term as party chairman in 2006. He wouldn't comment on whether he thinks he still has enough support to keep the job.

Wow, the fact that the cocky Mr. Ruedrich wouldn't comment sounds like he smells blood in the water and realized that it's his.

Interior Republican leader Miller said it would take a two-thirds vote of the convention delegates to suspend party rules and get Ruedrich out before his term ends in 2010.

Yup, they've been polling or something because they must be pretty sure they've got the two-thirds already to do this. The Repubs are generally too afraid of failure - of looking "weak" - to try anything unless they're already pretty dang sure about the outcome.

Thanks Dan and Bill!!!!!!! Your "butt dialing" may have just accomplished what thousands of ethical Democrats and Republicans (including Gov. Palin) have been unable to do!

Amazing how some things are always relevant...

I have been a fan of Johnny Clegg since the late 80's/early 90's and this is one of my all-time favorite songs. His band, Savuka, formed during a time when apartheid and the torture and deaths of those who fought it were at the worst. Just the existence of a band with both whites and blacks was a protest against the government but also their incredible music and lyrical images told a better story of life under apartheid than any journalist.

Like many musicians at the time, they were eventually banned from playing live or having their music played in South Africa...until the release of Nelson Mandela and the rebirth of their country.

This song was written for (at that time) his newborn son, Jesse. I stumbled across this video today - I'd never seen it before. I was stunned by how relevant a 17-year-old song about South Africa is to the present situation...not in some war-torn African country but right here in the U.S. It made me very sad.

Watch the video, read the lyrics and you'll see what I mean.

Johnny Clegg - Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World

You have to wash with the crocodile in the river,
you have to swim with the sharks in the sea,
you have to live with the crooked politician,
trust those things that you can never see.
Ayeye ayeye jesse mfana ayeye ayeye

It's a cruel crazy beautiful world,
every time you wake up I hope it's under a blue sky.
It's a cruel crazy beautiful world
One day when you wake up I will have to say goodbye,
goodbye, It's your world so live in it!

Beyond the door, strange cruel beautiful years lie waiting for you.
It kills me to know you won't escape loneliness,
maybe you lose hope too.
Ayeye ayeye jesse mfana ayeye ayeye

When I feel your small body close to mine
I feel weak and strong at the same time.
So few years to give you wings to fly,
show you the stars to guide your ship by

It's your world so live in it, it's your world so live in it...

Friday, March 07, 2008

And the "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire" Award goes to...


Big shock...

A state campaign watchdog commission dropped three charges against Assemblyman Bill Starr at a hearing Friday, but fined him $315 for not reporting certain donations and expenses.
An accidently recorded tape of Starr and Assembly chairman Dan Coffey talking about political donations prompted the complaints.

The hearing ended with a surprise - when Starr filed a complaint of his own against Janet Brand, a newly emerged write-in candidate for his seat. The complaint accuses Brand of accepting contributions before she filed as a candidate, among other claims.

Last month, Starr said he was returning campaign contributions and would fund his race himself. But on Friday he said he was rethinking that pledge and may now accept donations
Man...if I'd only followed my instincts and put money on it!!!!

What a total scum bag!

I can't believe I'm about to say this...please, Eagle River, vote for ANYONE but Bill Starr!!! (Yes, Anthony, I'm even saying they should vote for you instead if they can't vote for Janet Brand.)

Spring Break is Here

And my husband was sent to Fairbanks for work at the same time.

As I'll be watching kids, I'll post when I can but there probably won't be as many. Next weekend it will be all over! (I'll also be soooo ready for them to go back to school!)

Keith Olbermann's blistering analysis of Hillary's love affair with McCain

I love Keith...I love him dearly!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Florida and Michigan want a "Get Out of Jail Free" card

Per CNN:
Political leaders from Florida and Michigan were busy Wednesday talking about plans to make sure that voters in their states are heard in picking a Democratic nominee.

Surprise, surprise...this push comes after Hillary's "whopping" wins last night (which only got her about 10 delegates closer).
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the states can either come up with a new plan to choose a slate of delegates or appeal to the party's credentials committee when the convention opens in August.

"Out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game," Dean said in a written statement Wednesday.

I hope they continue to stand firm on this.
Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan said he's not sure of the best way to resolve the dispute but that voters from Florida and Michigan should have their voters counted.

"I think the key is the voice of Michigan and Florida is heard and there's a procedure that is fair to the residents and fair to the two candidates," he said.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan suggested Wednesday that his state could hold caucuses to select its delegates

I'm thinking that there are a number of folks involved who might be talking about "fairness" but that's not really what this is about.
Crist told CNN's "Late Edition" on Sunday that he supported holding another primary to resolve the dispute. But Wednesday, he said the state would not pay for a second contest.

The Florida Democratic Party estimates that a new primary could cost as much as $18 million -- and Sen. Bill Nelson said the DNC should pick up the tab.

Uh..oh...now it's a money fight.
Party officials have said they will not pay for Florida to hold a new primary because they warned the state not to move up its primary.

"The Democratic nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules," Dean said. But he emphasized that his goal was to maintain party unity, and called the statement by Crist and Granholm "good news."

"We look forward to receiving their proposals, should they decide to submit new delegate selection plans, and will review those plans at that time," he said.

This is a game of "chicken." I wonder who will flinch first? I doubt it will be Dean.

So happy together...

You know, if Obama ended up with the nomination, I would not be surprised if Hillary immediately started negotiations to be VP on McCain's ticket.

How else do you explain her rhetoric lately?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Tesche Report...I mean "Response"

Once again, per ADN's Alaska Politics Blog:


Anchorage, March 5, 2008 - On March 3rd, on KTUU Channel 2, Dan Coffey made the following statement concerning the ongoing controversy over the taped message Coffey left on my message machine February 12th.

“What I did was shot my mouth off, what he (Tesche) did was a crime”.

Dan Coffey is attempting to deflect any responsibility for his behavior away from himself, by making baseless allegations about the appropriateness and legality of my actions. I did not choose to be put in this position, he put me in it through his negligence, and now blames me. I resent this, and feel I have no choice now but to speak out.

The message in question was left on my machine on Feb 12th. My wife and I did not listen to the message for the first time until Feb 16th. When I first heard the message, I thought it was a joke. It quickly became apparent that it was much more serious than that.

After a couple of days of consideration, I decided that the appropriate action, given the potentially unethical and illegal behavior that was being discussed in the tape, was to release the recording to both the APOC and the FBI. And I also decided, given the public nature of politics, to release the recording to the press, because I felt there is always a right for the public to know what their elected officials are saying when they are discussing public business. To have failed in either of these actions would have rendered me complicit in the inappropriateness of their behavior.

The conversation in the recording between Coffey and Starr was not private. It ceased to be private when Coffey, through his own negligence, unwittingly made it public. Any suggestion by Coffey that my actions were illegal is outrageous and potentially libelous. He either needs to pursue charges against me if he can find a lawyer to take the case, or he needs to withdraw and retract these accusations.

Dan Coffey is blaming everyone else but himself. He should note that in cases where inappropriate behavior is uncovered, those who fare best are those who accept responsibility, acknowledge their behavior and apologize to those they have harmed.

All I can say is GO ALLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want to discover where Alaska's "Deliverance" crowd hangs out, check out some of the comments over on that blog post. When I'm reading some folks posts *coughlABRADORcough* I swear that I can hear "Dueling Banjos" in the background.

The Clinton Plan

I saw these on Daily Kos:
What does this remind me of?
I can't quite put my finger on it...

I know, no Iditarod posts yet - I've been remiss!!!!

There is too much other stuff going on to keep up with that as well!!! Here is the Daily News section on Iditarod 36 or you can go to the Official Iditarod Website.

This is the first year that my family missed the ceremonial start because we just have too much going on. But here are some sled doggie pictures from the trail to make me feel better and to share with all of you!

Should we start talking about Hillary's negatives?




John Aravosis wrote an interesting post on Monday
Hillary's campaign has already said that they are throwing the kitchen sink at Obama. They will discuss, are discussing, all the bad things that the GOP will throw at Obama in the fall.

So, what will the Republicans throw at Hillary in the fall?...

...Well, come Wednesday, if Hillary doesn't win 65% of the delegates in Ohio and Texas, and still insists on staying in the race and ripping our party in two, it will be time to start treating candidate Clinton with the same golden rule she is using for candidate Obama. Why? Not for revenge, but for the sake of our party and the fall election. Hillary and her campaign are in the process of turning Obama into damaged goods in the fall. They didn't have to go there, but beating Obama became more important to them than beating John McCain. So, the first question for Hillary come Wednesday, should she decide to continue risking our chances of winning in the fall even though the math says it's over, will be the question she's asking Obama today: What negatives will the Republicans throw against you in the fall? And as I've noted repeatedly, there are some negatives out there that most of you don't even know about - but everyone in Washington knows about them, in detail. That's because even Democrats who don't love Hillary, don't go there, for the good of the party. On Wednesday, the good of the party may dictate that we do.

I think we should for several reasons:

1) Because, quite frankly, I don't want Barack Obama to go negative the way she has. Much better for the blogosphere and MSM to do it - if there is anyone in MSM who actually knows how to do the math.

2) "It's the math, stupid" - just check the chart in Open Left. If you want to have fun, play with Slate's Delegate Counter. After that, you will know what so much of the media hasn't figured out...that Hillary can't win the nomination through pledged delegates.

3) Barack is going to win Wyoming on Saturday and Mississippi on Tuesday - it's as inevitable as Hillary winning Pennsylvania. She's not going to be any closer to winning the nomination after Pennsylvania than she is now and I also don't believe she will be any closer to relinquishing her claim either. We MUST have a nominee and move on.

I believe that Americablog is staying true to their word with two of their posts this morning:

McCain is the nominee, time to wring Iraq around his neck. Oh, that's right, Hillary can't.

Why are Hillary and John McCain refusing to release their tax returns?

They are also repeatedly running this picture of McCain and Clinton together. Clearly, their (very wise) tactic is to paint Hillary as being no different than McCain.

Aravosis is an incredibly savvy and experienced politico, even having worked as an aide for Sen. Ted Stevens once-upon-a-time. He's also a Republican who jumped ship years ago. I'll happily follow his lead.

All letters are not created equal

Jim Clark's guilty plea and subsequent statement as well as Bill Starr's sudden addiction to prose (his latest to the APOC) have provided the opportunity to see the very clear contrasts between the two men and their written "explanations" of their behavior.

I've extensively reviewed Mr. Starr's past writing. What I've noticed about the statement before the APOC is that it's just more of the same, as he arrogantly demands that APOC "pick up the pace" on the investigation (that they just opened two or three days ago).

Nowhere in Mr. Starr's letters or statements do we see any type of true apology or remorse - just claims of victim-hood, denials of doing anything wrong and statements claiming that any appearances of ethical or moral lapses are a means to an end for "the public good."

Compare that with the first two paragraphs of Mr. Clark's statement:
Alaskans are right to be disappointed and upset with me. I today pled guilty to a federal offense, predicated upon what were in essence violations of Alaska campaign finance laws, which I committed by requesting pre-primary and primary campaign contributions from VECO.

It is ethically and morally wrong for a public official to violate Alaska’s laws under any circumstance. It is particularly wrong when it involves a request for campaign funds from a company such as VECO, which was supporting important legislation then before the Administration and the Legislature. No one is more aware of my inappropriate conduct than I am. For this I sincerely apologize to all Alaskans.

The third paragraph, I felt, was an unexpected mea culpa:
I specifically apologize to then candidates for governor in the 2006 Republican primary, John Binkley and Sarah Palin. Nothing can justify breaking Alaska’s campaign finance laws to unfairly benefit one candidate. Such actions hit at the heart of our democratic system by making the public cynical about government.

It's quite possible...maybe even probable that the primary reason for pleading guilty is to lessen the punishment. However, I would think it still requires some level of accepting responsibility for one's actions even from the most loathesome criminal in order to take that step.

As someone who has taken that "fearless moral inventory" of myself on a number of occasions, I know what it looks like to come face-to-face with the consequences of my own hubris, taking responsibility and making amends. It appears to me that Mr. Clark may have done the same thing. Realize that Clark is an old man like Bill Allen - any amount of jail time is a huge deal and conceivably they could die in jail. However, even if the time is shortened, they will still be pariahs when they get out...to their former friends and to the public. No one will trust them for the rest of their lives.

And honestly, as much as I detest these guys, I couldn't help but be moved a little a few months ago when it was revealed that part of Bill Allen's agreement was to protect the other members of his family. I have to give a little respect to anyone who will fall on their sword for their family.

Mr. Clark seems to have publicly fallen on his own sword by his own choice out of loyalty to Gov. Murkowski.
I apologize, too, to Governor Frank Murkowski who trusted me to follow the law while acting in his behalf. I recognize that some people will unfairly attribute what I have done to him.
Whether or not Murky deserves it we may never know.

This year we have had many of our trusted servants betray us. Some have owned up to their behavior, some have forced the hand of the law to judge them. Some have denied all and either gotten their wrists slapped or have gotten away with it.

At this time we may be angered at the length and breadth of Jim Clark's offenses. However, it is the result of that public agreement that we will get to learn about the offenses of others who are more powerful...men who think they are entitled to break the law with impunity and would remain in the shadows forever if they could.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm sorry, but it really is the delegates, stupid!


Markos at Daily Kos agrees about Hillary's distinct lack of progress in closing the delegate gap.


I was amazed by tonight's display in the media. Some of the pundits went so far as to shun the more level-headed of their brotherhood when they dared to claim that "it all comes down to the math."

However, they are right. Math is not loyal to one candidate or another and it's not wrong.

The good folks at Open Left have a table which shows exactly what the wins for Clinton mean for her delegate-wise.

Here are the delegate counts so far for the night:

Clinton = 155
Obama = 141

But there are several catches...

The 8% still left to count in Ohio is mostly in Cuyahoga County. This translates to Cleveland, the largest city/county in the state. Also, it's a county where Obama modestly dominates. So Obama will probably end up a delegate or two closer to Hillary as a result when it's all over.

However, the biggest catch - Hillary won the Texas Primary, which is 2/3 of the delegates. The Caucus awards 1/3 and is still in process (34%) and for now, Obama is leading 55% to 45%.

So while unlikely that Obama will end up winning more delegates than Hillary this evening, he could significantly shrink the already small gap.

If things remain the same in Texas and Ohio, it could be Clinton with roughly 187 and Obama with 182. If all she's gained from her "huge victory" is roughly 5 to 10 delegates over Obama, he's still winning and she's still losing. It's also looking more unlikely that she'll be able to ever pull ahead in pledged delegates.

All of this buzz is unwarranted and simply encourages the Clinton campaign to continue to damage the likely nominee, Obama.

Not-so-Super Tuesday? Mini-Super Tuesday? Ugh!

***UPDATE***CNN calls Obama and McCain the winners in Vermont.

Wow - watching CNN, you would have no idea that Barack Obama is the front runner and has won the last 11 primaries/caucuses decisively. What does Wolf Blitzer want to talk about? If Hillary wins the nomination, what are her chances against McCain.


Jack Cafferty keeps trying to inject some realism into the gaga eyes of the CNN Hillarybots...they should listen to him. By doing the math, he declared that in order for Hillary to win the popular delegates, she has to win the next 15 states by double digits.

"But that doesn't count the Superdelegates," Wolf interjects. (Duh - that's why he said "popular delegates.")

"She can win with those."

Wolf must not be paying attention to his own team of pundits. The report they did just prior to that discussion was on the exit polls. They discovered that at least 60% of those voting in ALL of the states with primaries today believed that the Superdelegates should vote the "will of the people" of their state, not their own choices.

These Supers are politicians themselves, dependent upon the voters for their jobs.
Exactly how does he think Hillary is going to get all those Superdelegates if she doesn't win those 15 states decisively?

Well the polls are about to close in Vermont. Let's get this party started...

Jim Clark, Governor Murkowski's former Chief of Staff, will plead guilty

It sure doesn't seem like the FBI Corruption Train is going to end anytime soon!
Per the ADN:
The federal corruption investigation reached into the office of former Gov. Frank Murkowski Monday when his chief of staff, Jim Clark, agreed to plead guilty to a felony conspiracy charge involving the defunct oil-field company Veco.

Clark, once the most powerful non-elected state official, admitted to joining Veco chairman Bill Allen and others to secretly spend $68,550 of the company’s money on polls and a political consultant for Murkowski’s failed re-election bid in 2006.

The payments represented an illegal campaign contribution to Murkowski by Veco and illegal expenditures by Murkowski’s failed campaign, the government charged. The payments went undisclosed on Murkowski’s campaign finance reports, a violation of Alaska law, the government said.

I'm betting that Jim Clark probably regrets riling David Dittman back in October, claiming that Dittman's testimony at Pete Kott's trial was false and they never told him to "bill it to Veco."

From Alaska Politics Blog in October:
At the end of September, Jim Clark, chief of staff to former Gov. Frank Murkowski, said, "Neither Gov. Murkowski nor I instructed David Dittman to do a poll and bill it to Veco."

That denial did not sit well with Mr. Dittman. Clark's response contradicted Dittman's sworn testimony in the federal corruption trial of former House Speaker Pete Kott. In effect, Clark is accusing Dittman of perjury.

Mr. Dittman stands by his statement. He told Daily News editorial writers Wednesday, "After that, I called Clark and told him he'd better refresh his memory. I have e-mail records. He's there."

If what Mr. Dittman says is true, Veco's poll, done at a cost of $20,000, was illegal corporate aid to Gov. Murkowski.

Dittman testified that he did more polls that he billed to Veco..."four or five" in all. According to Dittman's testimony:
Taking his turn in the witness stand, pollster Dave Dittman said Veco paid him to conduct polls for candidates, including Kott and then-Gov. Frank Murkowski. Such corporate-funded polls for candidates are illegal, according to the head of the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

Dittman indicated on the stand that he did have some concerns about the legality of the polls.

I'm curious if any other Dittman clients will be popping up with indictments?

Meanwhile, Clark's plea deal opens up a broad spectrum of possibilities:
That same year, a large field of candidates sought the governor’s office, but only the incumbent, Murkowski, supported the negotiated agreement with the producers, prosecutors said. That made him Veco’s candidate, even as his popularity was plummeting among Alaska voters.

The Veco conspiracy Clark joined was one in which Veco and Murkowski would benefit, the government charged.

And let's not forget the other "big fish."
In a document describing the facts that Clark was pleading to, the government said that it was “merely” summarizing some of Clark’s illegal conduct, “but not all.” Clark is required by his plea deal to join a growing list of cooperating government witnesses required to testify before grand juries and at trials. The government is seeking to delay his sentencing at least six months because of the complexity of the ongoing inquiry.

While the agreement protects Clark from additional related federal charges as long as he assists the government, it doesn’t block the state from pursuing its own charges.

Additional legislators, Stevens and U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, are among those being investigated.

This election in November is looking better and better.

UPDATE: More from What Do I know? and "Progressive Alaska" blogs.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bill Starr's break with reality - coming to an Assembly in-box near you!

Bill Starr sent an open letter to members of the Anchorage Assembly. Somehow, one ended up in "unfriendly territory."

From a post by Winkie on Precinct 1080 - KUDO's Forum:

The following letter was e-mailed to me yesterday. Fyi: I am not an Assembly member. I don't know why it was sent to me.

An Open Letter to my Fellow Assembly Members
From the desk of William Starr, Member

Dear fellow Assembly Member:

As many of you know, recent events have suddenly illustrated and called into question numerous aspects of our day to day work practices, procedures, campaign efforts, union and constituent interface and Executive branch communicatyions to name a few. This evolving age of transparent government policy...

Ahem - as Winkie pointed out on her Precinct 1080 post - "transparent government policy" is an evolving thing? Like it's supposed to be something new?

Back to the letter:

...and lingering reminder of recent influence peddling cases further calls Us to address our inherited systems of government to ensure the public and public processes are better served through our contributions.

This past week my member actions and work style have been very much debated by the public in the press and other forums.
Work style? You mean intimidation, vote-peddling, foul language...that kind of "work style?"

This letter is intended to accomplish several things. One purpose, to be clear, is to ulitlize this medium to get my side of the issues out for open discussion. If you feel this is a misuse of our body and only other avenues available to me should be used I apologize, but these issues, in my opinion warrant our discussions and opportunity to learn as events unfold against me and others. I'll need to use my personal assembly experiences to highlight these aspects being currently debated in the public arena's.
Translation: "I want to give you excuses mixed with smoke-and-mirrors and paint myself as a hard-working victim in a form of communication (Assembly e-mail) where I can't or won't be held accountable."

Whoops - guess that didn't work.

A second primary purpose of elevating this discussion...
Oh...you mean "elevate this discussion" above us lowly members of the public? You know...we're your constituents...the ones you are representing?
...is that as elected leaders we may very well be faced with changes in our work habits, traditional and non-traditional commmunications and procedures as a result. Some of our public, private, and personal work aspects need immediate change. This can be a good thing and one action item we need to be very proactive on to ensure public trust, protect personal rights and encourage others to follow in our path.
Personal rights...as in the right to keep information from the Public? Changes in communications...you mean that from now on, you are going to inspect every one's cell phones to make sure they are "off" before you start your "discussions"?

Honestly, this is a really long letter and commenting on all of it involved more energy than I can muster. I skipped a bunch of it and encourage you to click the link above and read it on Precinct 1080.

However, I had to comment on the last paragraph:
Each of us as elected members of this legislative body of government have our own work styles, methods, ethical standards and various levels of moral and religious groundings. How we blend these into the peoples work is challenging as you all know. How we are judged by these efforts and motivations needs to be respectful of the complexity of the tasks at hand and individual rights.
So, what he's saying is that each member of the Assembly (not each person on the planet, you see, this only goes for elected officials) has THEIR OWN set of ethics and standards and that the rest of us don't have the right to judge them based on ACCEPTED SOCIETAL CODES OF BEHAVIOR. We must only hold them accountable based on their PERSONAL MORALS AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS - NOT OUR OWN.

That is the BIGGEST bunch of ARROGANT CRAP I've heard in a long time!!!!!!

It gets better...

You, my fellow Assembly Members, have the opportunity and responsibility to judge my actions with the unique perspective of being part of the process. We also have the ultimate responsibility to evaluate our processes, formal and informal, and reinforce those that work and change those that work and change the ones that don't. I, for one, won't be shouted down nor intimated as I engage in this and all the tasks expected of me. Call that arrogance if you like, but it is truly the pride and responsibility I feel given this opportunity to serve our community.
"We the people" don't understand him properly because we're not on the Assembly...boo hoo...Yes, he's the poor victim here...all he's doing is trying to be our "champion" and we just don't understand what he has to suffer through for that to happen.

You know what's truly scary about all of this? Bill Starr wrote this arrogant treatise of personal entitlement and grandiose line of bull after only ONE TERM on the Assembly. I mean, after all, even though it's time for Ted to go, at LEAST he developed his corrupt nature and sense of entitlement after MANY YEARS in the Senate.

This letter only reinforces my belief that Mr. Starr needs to go. It's also proof positive, as if we needed more proof, that the ONLY SOLUTION for these problems is to pass Clean Elections and eventually make them 100% publicly financed.

OK...NOW I'm scared...

Per the Huffington Post:

Bush Says He Lets Red Phone Go Straight to Voicemail

President George W. Bush commented on Sen. Hillary Clinton's controversial "red phone" campaign ads at the White House today, telling reporters, "When that red phone rings, I just let it go straight to voicemail."

Mr. Bush rarely comments about the Democratic presidential contest, but he said that he had to speak up about Sen. Clinton's red phone ads because he found them "so confusing."

"If I answered the red phone every time it rang, I would never get any sleep," Mr. Bush said. "Sometimes it starts ringing at 9 PM, and I am already tucked in by then."

Mr. Bush said that "there's nothing so important that it can't wait until tomorrow, or whenever I remember to check my voicemail."

In a rebuke of Sen. Clinton, Mr. Bush added, "If she doesn't know about letting your calls go straight to voicemail, I don't think she has the experience to be president."

It's really funny, because that whole part of the article is so believable. Read the rest for a good chuckle.

The "Suicide Disease" - Chicago's Northwestern University interviews my Brother-in-law

John has been suffering from a horrible disease called "Trigeminal Neuralgia" since he was 22-years-old. It's unfortunate that anyone should suffer from that kind of pain, but especially unfortunate that someone that young has had to have their life revolve around medical treatments for that pain - treatments that have either been temporary or have only dealt with a fraction of the entire problem.

It seems that the journalism portion of Northwestern, "Medill News Service," did a story on him for their paper which goes to the entire Chicago area.

Imagine a pain so severe that it feels like your face has been struck by lightning — a pain that makes your face so sensitive to the touch you can’t even be kissed on the cheek.

This is the kind of pain that sufferers of trigeminal neuralgia, a rare nerve disorder, say they have to live with.

John Kerkemeyer, of Romeoville, was 22 when he was diagnosed with the disease 14 years ago. Kerkemeyer was having lunch when he first experienced pain he said must be worse than electric shock therapy.

“I bit into a chicken sandwich and had a shooting pain that wrapped around the side of my face,” Kerkemeyer said. “The next thing you know, I’m on the floor in my knees in tears and it wouldn’t stop.”

“For me it was just like somebody taking electric shock to your mouth and yanking your mouth sideways at the same time,” Kerkemeyer said. “I didn’t want to eat; didn’t want to open my mouth; didn’t want to talk; I didn’t want to do anything.

While they do mention the operation John had in 2003 to alleviate the pain, they don't emphasize that it doesn't get rid of all of the pain and can reverse itself at any time...something he knows and lives with.

I assume it's obvious why they call it "The Suicide Disease."

Hillary's Fear Ad - Great responses from Obama and some You-Tubers

Hillary yanked one out of the Karl Rove playbook - using the politics of fear:

The response from the Obama camp came literally at lightening speed. Those folks are on the ball!

I think we can safely say "score yet another one for Barack."

This was yet another response posted this morning on Americablog - making a very serious point with a really funny video!

So we've now discovered another campaign slogan for Obama:

Obama for President: So we don't have to wear diapers when we're 30!