Monday, December 31, 2007

McCain Surges To Lead In A New National Poll

A brand new Rasmussen poll just released this morning finds John McCain surging to a slight overall lead nationally. The Rasmussen Poll seems to reflect the growing support after some strong newspaper endorsements and that of Senator Joe lieberman. Not that long ago, the McCain effort looked all but doomed to certain failure, but the endorsements have resulted in a few voters taking a second look at McCain. McCain is highly unlikely to win in Iowa, so he must regain momentum in New Hampshire. However, this could possiby happen if this late surge continues.

Hillary Clinton continues with nearly the same level of lead that she has held for months over both Barack Obmama and John Edwards. Unless either gains a huge double momentum bounce out of both Iowa and New Hampshire, the Hillary Clinton machine will be difficult to stop towards her drive for the Democratic nomination.

Signs are that the Republican race may continue for a few weeks while Hillary Clinton may quickly be able to gain a hold on the Democratic nomination. Romney will need victories in both Iowa and New Hampshire to drive on to victory with any real momentum. And Huckabeee is unlikely to back up any possible narrow Iowa win over Romney with one in New Hampshire, suggesting that his campaign really has nowhere to go. Guiliani continues to fade as does Thompson, with both more and more unlikely to capture the GOP nomination with every new poll released.

If McCain should win the nomination and actually be elected, he'd be the oldest president ever elected. At some point this age factor could become an issue.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"Don We Now Our Gay Apparel"----Merry Christmas From Rudolph Giuliani

(Limited use of this copyrighted image from Saturday Night Live for the one-time purpose of comedy and satire is allowed under the provisions of Fair Use)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

You Might Expect 2008 To Play Out Like This...

There are some patterns to look for in the rapidly upcoming 2008 political season. Here's what is likely at this point. While Mike Huckabee has seen something of a recent surge among many of the more socially conservative voters of Iowa, the millions of dollars of Mitt Romney as well as his organizational advantage should give still give him wins in both Iowa and New Hampshire. And this is despite a small surge by John McCain due to some newspaper endorsements and that of Senator Joe Lieberman. Even if Mike Huckabee manages a narrow win in Iowa, his lack of money and organization probably gives him nowhere to go after the Iowa caucas. He is unlikely to win in New Hampshire. And unless he can hang on to the Southern primaries such as South Carolina, then his campaign probably is only a flash in the pan. Corporate America will look to see whether Mitt Romney or Rudolph Giuliani is the candidate to back, but at this point Romney looks the most likely of the two candidates to emerge after expected dual wins in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Huckabee is also started to wilt somewhat under the attacks by Romney.

With the Democrats, the smart money is still with Hillary Clinton. Her appeal to big corporate donors still gives her the big advantage over challengers Barack Obama and John Edwards.

Unfortunately American politics has become a sort of oligarchy system where competing corporate interests run their candidates to seek advantages under their government. The nation only gives the illusion of being a democracy, but instead this oligarchy system of corporate rule has become a system where competing corporate interests run candidates against one another and form a government. Of all the candidates of both parties, likely Romney and Clinton represent the most corporate of both parties and therefore have to be assumed to be the most likely ultimate winners. The most powerful of these corporate interests will eventually win. Spending enough money on enough ads will be all that is required for one of these corporate backed candidates to win the election and to form a government. Corporate America may lean Republican, but is nearly as likely to accept someone like a Clinton if it means good business or advantages.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Extended Auto Warranty Scams: The New look in Fraud

Scammers go from one scheme to another as state attorney general's close down one type of scam. The latest scam that has been especially targeting senior citizens recently are phone calls for extended vehicle warranties. These calls appear to come from the auto manufacturer and are somewhat official sounding, usually claiming that their auto warranty is about to expire, but almost always come from some fly by night boiler room phonebank that has little real intent to actually cover any repair costs for victim of the scam.

Without any real information in their hand, victims of these scams pay for expensive warranty plans that actually cover little or nothing of the normal repairs that many car owners will experience during the life cycle of an automobile. Since these scam warranties do not originate from the manufacturer, little quality service will actually be covered as well. The reality is that victims of this scam give out sensitive credit card, bank account or social security number information over the phone to some unknown source and only open themselves up to massive fraud or theft.

Criminals always seek new ways to steal from honest folks. And senior citizens are often their most common targets. Unfortunately, law enforcement is usually involved in a game of catch-up with the latest criminal scam to rob the public and is always one step behind the thieves.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Claws & Nails Beginning To Turn Tide Back To Hillary And Romney

The late highwater tide that buoyed the challenger efforts of both Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama are beginning to roll back somewhat as counterattacks by both Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton are working enough to improve some of their latest poll numbers. Fresh attacks on both Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama who are both seen as somewhat unknown quantities by many voters and more generic of challengers are beginning to wilt under the fresh attacks from Romney and Clinton. Both campaigns have huge war chests, and are banking on spending millions on early victories in Iowa and New Hampshire to propel both to the their party nominations.

This was always the problem for both Huckabee and Obama. Much of their support was weak to begin with, with only a stronger core of far smaller numbers. With more information on both candidates, both would wilt somewhat under the closer examination with many of the newer convert supporters.

For Obama, his weaker record of little experience would be his most serious drawback. For Huckabee, any Christian sense of compassion that figured into his role as Governor, would be misrepresented by Romney as some sign of "liberalism" to conservative voters, despite all of Romney's own issue hypocrisy.

In the end, it may appear that whoever ends up with the nominations of both parties is whoever really wants it more. And that could be both Romney and Clinton. With early wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, both could prove unstoppable. With early losses in both states, neither is likely to get off the ground, and they both know it and are fighting with all the claws and nails to win their respective nominations.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'll Take Heart Trouble For A Hundred, Alex

Unfortunately, popular long time JEOPARDY host, Alex Trebek, 67, has suffered a mild heart attack and is now in the hospital, but is expected to be just fine. We all wish him the very best and a speedy recovery. It may be some time before he can return to work, though.

I've had my own serious past problems with painful angina, and the past medical help I received and heart medications including nitroglycerine tablets and the eventual all vegan diet and use of grape juice helped to reverse most of the problems I've had. Heart trouble is no fun. And I even had severe problems being able to swallow solid food for six months, which the nitrglycerine also helped as well. So I offer Alex Trebek my best wishes. My heart trouble was serious enough that it could have been fatal without the medical help I received at the time. Even one small pat of butter would result in serious chest pains and heart problems at the worst point of these problems. The vegan diet was the most important improvement in the condition for me.

Hucksters For Huckabee: Border Fence Scam Artists Embrace Huckabee

Yesterday, Mike Huckabee accepted the support of the Minuteman organization border fence scam artists who raised millions of dollars for a border fence project that they never intended to build in the first place. The Minutemen used examples of the "security fence" built in Israel with dual layers of fence as well as camera security as an illustration of what the border fence along the U.S./Mexico border would look like and made an appeal across America for millions of dollars in donations for the border fence fund. One wealthy farmer donated $150,000 to the border fence fund.

The problem was that the Minuteman organization knew full well that they never had the permission to build any border security fence across hundreds of miles of aatchwork of both public and private land along the U.S./ Mexico border. And there isn't even any good proof that the leadership of the Minuteman organization even attempted to ask for permission from the federal government, state governments, local or county governments, or private landowners for the fence project in all but two examples either. So far for the millions of dollars raised for the border security fence fund, only a few cows were penned in on one farmer's land, and a few inexpensive wood fence posts were put into the ground on another small piece of private land. At most these two projects cost no more than a few thousand dollars, nothing near the millions of dollars raised by the Minutemen for the border fence project that they never honestly intended to build in the first place.

Mike Huckabee is a former staffer to a televangelist. Many of these televangelists are experts at raising millions of dollars for projects, of which very little of the money actually goes to the claimed project, and much ends up in personal fund use or other projects totally unrelated to claimed fundraiser project. As Governor, Huckabee used the Governor's Mansion Fund to purchase clothes for his wife. And now Huckabee embraces the Minuteman organization which scammed millions of dollars for a border fence project that they never intended to build in the first place. It seems like you can take Mike Huckabee out of the televangelist ministry, but you can't take the televangelist values out of Mike Huckabee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

U.S. Gives France It's Blessing For $15 Billion Dollar Nuclear Plant And Aircraft Deal For Libya

Despite the former terrorism record of Liyba, and the continued rule by the eratic and colorful figure, Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, the U.S. has given France it's blessing to selling Libya $15 billion worth of civilian aircraft and nuclear reactors. This stands in sharp contrast to the continued tough stand of the Bush White House towards Iran and a nuclear program also claimed by that nation for solely civilian and not military use.

Once again any consistent standards of foreign policy are missing from the Bush Administration. Libya was once directly implicated in specific terrorist incidents such as the bombing of a passenger airliner over Scotland and other incidents, whereas Iran has not been directly implicated in as open of terrorist incidents, although they have certainly helped to both train and arm Hezbollah in Lebanon for rocket attacks into Israel, as well as have paramilitary elements smuggling IEDs into Iraq to attack U.S. troops. Yet, the U.S. only opposes the nuclear ambitions of Iran, while Libya remains questionable under the leadership of Gaddafi.

The fact of the matter is that the nuclear ambitions of any questionable regime, especially one with a clear former terrorist history is still some risk for the world community. France needs to have some really tight safeguards on the entire Libyian nuclear projects and make absolutely sure that no spent nuclear fuel can be used for any nuclear weapons research.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Alienation Of Hispanic Voters May Prove Critical In 2008

The continued alienation of any goodwill that George Bush created among Hispanic voters could prove critical to the GOP losing the presidency in 2008. George Bush managed to capture a record 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, however new polls put the possible 2008 Hispanic vote as low as just 23%. It is the continued overbearing anti-immigrant sentiments of many in the GOP that is backfiring and alienating many Hispanic voters to vote against GOP candidates. In four critical states, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida, all won by Bush in 2004, large Hispanic voter populations could turn the tide to the Democrats in all four states, dooming any GOP hopes of hanging onto the presidency.

Republicans have not tactfully fully dealt with the immigration issue. Instead, they have often handled this issue in a manner that seems more smacking with racism, than actual orderly border security concerns. Hispanic voters are keenly aware of this, and are turning off to the GOP in droves as a result. Maybe losing elections is the only way for a party to wake up to fostering bad positions on issues.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mike Huckabee's "Final Solution" To The Gay Community

Former staffer for televangelist, James Robison, Mike Huckabee was discovered by the AP to have signed a 1992 political questionaire that favored a quarantine for AIDS victims and opposed any further funding to find a cure for this terrible disease. Unfortunately this type of thinking was a symptom of the "final solution" thinking among the Christian right and televangelist community in those days, who so bitterly opposed the lifestyle of homosexuals that they viewed it as a judgement from God and believed that persons who caught this disease deserved the death judgement of God. It was a form of modern "final solution" thinking, that favored genocide for homosexuals philosophy that was widely shared in the Christian right community. Many such as the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, often promotted this death for homosexuals view from their pulpit on Sunday and on their televangelist radio and TV programs.

Long before Huckabee ran for president, he made the rounds on televangelist programs, and his friend, James Robison attempted to promote his former staffer as the televangelist's own choice as an alternative to the Clinton's for president.

Huckabee's thinking has always been right in the mainstream of the televangelist extremist fundamentalist political thinking. He believes the Bible is the literal word of God, which doesn't even square with the parables of Jesus used as story examples meant to teach. He believes in the Southern Baptist version of the Earth creation, despite all scientific evidence that the planet is indeed far older than any 6,000 years.

Part of the problem of backward nations, such as those in the MidEast or Afghanistan is the dominating power of fundamentalist religious political figures. And even the Bible points to a rise in false religions in the late days of the world. The rise of far right religious candidates such as Huckabee are yet another dangerous sign of the decline and fall of the U.S. as a major world power. Other world governments, including Europe, Japan, South Korea and China continue to grow economically and politically under the leadership of strong secular government figures, while the U.S. continues to slip back into a "dark ages" under the influence of religious fundamentalist candidates almost like the backward nations of the MidEast or Afghanistan.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Barilla Pasta Heir Voices Concerns About Wheat Use For Energy

Guido Barilla, the 4th generation heir to the 130 year old Italian pasta manufacturing company has expressed some concerns about the recent use of more and more wheat use for alternative fuel production instead of use for food. Barilla's website offers excellent nutritional information about the importance of wheat as a major foodstuff.

Guido Barilla seems to feel that only so much land in the world can used to grow vital foodstuffs such as wheat, and it should become a serious moral question whether wheat production for fuel should compete with the use as food. Currently, like corn, wheat prices are increasing as more and more of it is used as a food product. All of this raises serious moral questions as well, whether former excess wheat supplies from major nations will begin to dry up and emergency food exports to the hungry of the world will decrease as more and more of the wheat is burned up as a form of fuel and not the life-saving substance for mankind's survival from starvation.

THE GOLDEN COMPASS Gets Mostly Bad Reviews

The controversial new film that some in the Christian community claim has been promoting an atheist message, THE GOLDEN COMPASS, has been getting mostly bad reviews from critics according to the poll of 138 critics over at ROTTEN TOMATOES, an excellent film review website. So far 79 of the reviews for the film have been labeled as "rotten" by ROTTEN TOMATOES, and just 59 positive.

In addition some film critics continue to complain about how movie promoters will misuse their quotes to make it seem as though they are giving good reviews to films that they clearly are not. Larry King, for example, complained that one time he found a film so confusing, that he claimed that you would have to see it twice in order to make any sense of it. One film promotion company misused the Larry King quote, printing, "See it twice"---Larry King, as a misleading promotion for the film, while Larry King obviously did not like the film or want moviegoers to waste their money seeing the film.

My Namesake Gets Himself Into Trouble

This is the real me who writes this blog, however someone with my same own unique name living in Vancouver, B.C. has gotten himself in a bit of a pickle recently.

My sister called to my attention yesterday that therapeutic hospital clown entertainer, Paul Hooson, of Vancouver, B.C., no relation to myself at all, got himself arrested in Canada, apparently over some dispute about whether he paid for a ferry ticket or not. He claims that he did, and things are all just some misunderstanding. And some of his friends and supporters are beginning to rally around his cause.

It seems that the Vancouver Paul Hooson is offering thanks to his many supporters who are helping him with his legal costs and demanding to "Free Paul Hooson". And although this is hardly another Rodney King type police beating incident, his supporters are decrying the force that was required as police claim that he was very uncooperative about leaving the ferry after confronted about the ticket situation. In Canada both GLOBAL TV and YouTube are carrying video of the Paul Hooson arrest incident.

The Vancouver Paul Hooson has built up a loyal number of fans with his volunteer work cheering up the sick in Canadian hospitals, and by all appearances is a very good person. I can only respect this spirit of caring for others and wish him the very best and hope that his current legal problems will resolve themselves well. By all appearances he appears to be a decent fellow, and how all of this happened in the first place is a good question.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

U.S. And Russian Military Counterparts Sign Secret Document

In a visit by Russian Deputy Defense Minister, Yury Baluyevsky to the U.S. this week, the Russian official signed a little known defense cooperation agreement with U.S. Admiral Michael Mullen. Not all the details are known due the nature of the agreement, but it likely signals some small step to paper over the worsening relations between Russia and the U.S. which continue to become rivals on many issues.

The military cooperation document could also signal some attempt to quell down any concerns over proposed U.S. defensive missile sites in Eastern European nations or other areas that have raised Russian concerns as well. Russia continues to be concerned with any American military plans to deploy missile interceptor systems in both Poland and in the Czech Republic. But at the same time, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister expressed concerns that the U.S. is still determined to deploy the new defense systems and signaled that there is little to really discuss if the U.S. continues with the program.

Dick Morris Still Expects Faltering Clinton And Giuliani To Win Their Nominations

During a New York city dinner conversation, former Clinton Administration friend turned foe, Dick Morris offered a few opinions that were overheard. Among these were his belief that both Clinton and Giuliani will falter in the early primary contests, but will recover to win their respective party nominations.

Morris could be right. Both the Clinton and Giuliani campaigns have established enough of a national campaign network organization from coast to coast, while their surging challengers may have invested too much energy into the early contests. However, it is also possible that the challengers, Mike Huckabee and Obama may also receive such a serious bounce in the early contests as voters are in a rejection mood against establishment candidates like Clinton and Giuliani, that they will win their nominations. John Kerry proved this before. Coming from far back in the pack to best Howard Dean.

Morris has an interesting take on the presidential sweepstakes. However, there is such a strong rejection current running against both Giuliani and Clinton right now, that they may be unable to recover their footing, and could well be declining and lost causes if this new trend continues.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What the Huck? Mike Huckabee's Darker Arkansas Record

Mike Huckabee may be the current flavor of the moment with the far right of the GOP, but behind this "aw shucks" Gomer Pyle small-town persona is little more than just another self-righteous Baptist preacher Bible thumper. There should be immediate concerns about the seperation of church and state and how Huckabee would impact civil liberties of the average American including censorship of entertainment to conform to his rigid right wing religious values.

Huckabee is not always the nice "Mayberry" type guy that many people think. He has been described as both "petty" and thinskinned" by people who know him. And he has not always been the poster boy of highest ethics either. Huckabee accepted a $70,000 gift of high furnishings from a wealthy cotton grower, and threatened a staffer for being critical of it. He destroted computer hard drives after leaving the Governor's office, preventing any future investigations into other gifts or conduct in office. The ARKANSAS TIMES claimed that Huckabee turned the Governor's mansion operating expense budget into his own personal expense accout. Inauguration funds were used to provide clothing for his wife.

Instead of following a real Christlike example, Huckabee has been known as a real moralistic stone-thrower at times. When Huckabee first ran for statewide office against Senator Dale Bumpers 16 years ago, he virtually smeared Bumpers as a "pornographer" for his support for the arts funding. This gives more than a clue into his views on popular culture and the serious threat that this religious right zealot represents to freedom of expression.

In addition, those concerned with fairness for Gay Americans against discrimination or other wrongs will find Huckabee's record alarming as will those who favor continued legalized abortion. Huckabee is firmly on the opposite side of both of these issues. Voters will have to examine their own values to see whether they really agree with these values or not.

Huckabee did present some fairness and compassion in some drug sentencing though, with a view to reward prisoners for better conduct in prison with the hope of early release in order to encourage better prison order. And with regards to illegal immigrants, Huckabee has taken a little more compassionate and moderate line than many in his party. However many of these views are likely inspired by his Baptist faith, and indicate just how mich it will guide his policies. Whatever Huckabee believes to be "immoral" or contrary to his religious views will only inspire his wrath for sure.

Unlike other GOP candidates, like Romney or Giuliani, whose records have been examined in the press, and serious contradictions are beginning to drag down their numbers, Huckabee has yet to examined. And unfortunately not all of it is good. The more you look at Huckabee, the less you really like the guy.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

TIN MAN Is The Absolute Worst Version of THE WIZARD OF OZ Ever Made

Normally the SCI FI Channel airs some very good programs, but their 6 hour long, drawn-out and wholly boring piece of crap, TIN MAN, is easily the worst program that I've ever viewed on this cable channel bar none. After only a few minutes of this dark and poorly executed trash, I nearly lost the will to live and fell asleep from sheer boredom.

Nothing of the great wonder or magic of THE WIZARD OF OZ book or classic film is really left in this simply terrible new version. TIN MAN is a complete vandalization of this great classic children's book and movie. This TIN MAN crap only gives me a new reason to hate VERIZON WIRELESS and even less likely to ever become their customer for sponsoring this awful new version of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

In the second two-hour installment, scenes looked like they were filmed in some abandoned machinery business to save lots money. In fact, even the characters costumes proved little real effort as well. The filmed looked bad and is bad, with little redeeming qualities.

If someone wants to make a film, then let them take the effort to write a script. Don't vandalize one of the greatest classic books and films of all time with a drawn-out piece of trash not worth viewing. The SCI FI Channel owes it's fans a big apology for this huge lump of coal right before Christmas.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mike Huckabee Capturing A Lock On Social Conservatives And Those Seeking "Authenticity" In A Candidate

Mike Huckabee's low key and low budget quest for the presidency continues to gain new ground in the Republican presidential sweepstakes. New polls now have him now strengthening into a slender lead in Iowa over the massive money machine of corporate candidate, Mitt Romney.

Several factors are at work that strengthening Mike Huckabee into the ultimate GOP dark horse. One is the continued support and poll number collapse of fellow social conservative Fred Thompson, which is now forcing these voters to rally around a single conservative candidate. Another factor is the big strength of social conservative voters among the GOP voters of Iowa, which could help to give Huckabee a huge bounce into the later New Hampshire contest in which Romney has also spent a great a deal of money, although New Hampshire GOP voters tend to me more centrist and moderate than the more conservative Iowa voters.

But perhaps the largest advantage of Mike Huckabee is a real sense of "authenticity" that surrounds him. He gives you the sense that he honestly represents himself to voters, unlike both Romney and Giuliani who both continue to represent phony new versions of themselves to the voters which sharply contrast with their past records or past personal conduct.

Even Democrat Hillary Clinton could be hurt by many voters seeking authenticity in a candidate, and are turned off from a candidate who carefully tailors their persona and issues to voters in a patently phony manner just to get elected. One reporter who left from Cuba recently stated that the Hillary Clinton campaign reminds him of the party aparatus in his former Communist country, where careful statements from the bureaucracy are the only ones released to the public, and the leadership is shielded from any reporters or critics.

Mike Huckabee's personal politics may have little appeal to progressive voters. But he is inspiring something not seen in major league politics for some time, a real return to authenticity. Both parties could do well to be inspired by this excellent trait that seems like a long lost notion in American politics.

Way Cool Biker Dude, Evel Knievel Dead At 69

Evel Knievel was a way cool biker dude. He inspired a whole generation of kids to build a ramp in their backyard for bicycle jumps and helped to inspire all sorts of new extreme sports. Even skateboarders were likely influenced by his daredevil antics, not just your bike or motorcycle kids. He will be greatly missed as the granddaddy of extreme sports and stunts.

In recent years, Knievel bagan to suffer from many health issues. But this past year he also became greatly influenced with a new found faith in Christ. Earlier this year, he gave a moving testimony of faith over Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California that was aired twice that helped to inspire many towards a renewed or strengthened relationship with Christ. It was the most powerful moving of the Holy Spirit that this church had ever witnessed, and moved the young pastor, Robert Schuller, to cancel his sermon for that Sunday as nothing was more moving than a such a powerful example of the movement of the Holy Spirit in a church that had at sometimes been seen as light in spiritual depth by some religious critics.

Evel Knieval has inspired two strong personas. One as the bad boy biker daredevil dude, but also to many others as someone who came to a geniune move of faith late in his own life. He leaves behind a powerful legacy of inspiration to many for both of these great achievements in his life. God rest his biker soul.