Poll Of The Day: Horse Race in Virginia

No one could have convinced me three months ago that the Virgina Senate race would be a source of political intrigue this midterm election.  No way!

But then Senator George Allen started to implode with racist comments both on the campaign trail this summer, and ones he used with regularity in his earlier days.

All this has made the Old Dominion State a real contest with Democratic nominee Jim Webb tied in the latest MSNBC/McClatchy Poll with Allen at  43% a piece.  This must be a real feeling of deflation for Allen who thought of himself as presidential timber. 

While it is still all uphill for Webb, in my estimation, with Allen most likely still winning in November, this damages Allen for the long run.

Pedophile GOP Congressman Targets Teen Male

Congressman Mark Foley, 52, a Republican from Florida, courted a 16 year old male intern via the internet.  Today, just hours after his sexually charged emails were reported by ABC News, he resigned.  Ironic though it may seem he had been in charge of the House caucus on missing and exploited children.  He even crusaded for tough laws to protect children on the internet.

When the teenager was born, Foley would have been 36.  While the teen was hitting puberty, Foley was 49. 

So how does a 52 year old Republican Congressional sexual predator hit on a boy?  Well according to the emails, by first getting himself an alias.  In this case Foley was Maf54.

Maf54: Do I make you a little horny?

Teen Intern: A little

Maf54: Cool

Too bad Foley just didn’t call up Jeff Gannon, the male prostitute, who had a White Hose press pass, to help him blow off a little steam.

Seems that this is yet another example of the hypocrisy from the Republicans, as they love to throw stones but have so many nasty little secrets of their own.   

Poll Of The Day: The Bottom Three

After Survey USA’s polling operation ranked all the United States Senators by their approval rankings, the results showed the three at the bottom were all in very tightly contested fall campaigns.   You might notice which party all three are from.

Coming in third from the bottom was Ohio’s Senator DeWine with 42% approve-50% disapprove. 

In second place, only one more foolish comment away from the bottom, is Pennsylvana’s Senator Santorum at 39%-53%.

Drum roll please……….

….and in the cellar with no where else to crawl, Conrad Burns, the Senator from Montana at 36%-57%.

If none of these men can serve in their role Senator George Allen is ready to step in and serve as an embarrassment.

Gun Violence in Wisconsin School

This morning in Sauk County, not far from Madison, gun violence in a school erupted.  Once again guns and blood are replacing math and reading in our public schools.  In this latest episode a 15 year old boy brought a rifle and handgun to school and shot a principal three times.  As of this writing the victim is in a Madison hospital being treated. 

(Following the writing of this post the man died from the gunshots.)

How guns are so carelessly left around in the homes of Americans is a mystery to me.  How a child walks out of the house on the way to school with a loaded shotgun and a loaded handgun baffles me.  How parents are so tone deaf to the problems that their child is having BEFORE a violent act of this kind, confuses me.  Why we as citizens do not tell the NRA that we have had enough death and violence as a result of their buying politicians, and thereby stopping needed gun legislation from getting passed, is in itself a crime.

I think it is time to hold parents accountable for their children’s actions in cases like this.  For instance, if teenagers use a parent’s home for a party where alcohol plays a role in illegal activity, the parent can be liable.  When a parent has deadly weapons in a home without being locked up they should also be liable.  When a parent has no more sense of what their child is doing with their life other than planning murder with a gun, that parent must face up to their role in the disaster as well.  Being a parent is more than just having sex. 

We are hearing lots in our state in advance of an anti-marriage amendment in the fall election  about what constitutes a family.  Today this episode has brought to our attention that a family is much more than two heterosexuals with a marriage certificate who have sexual parts that work.  A family is also supposed to be a working unit that converses, cares, and watches out for each other.  It is clear that one heterosexual family did not do that in Wisconsin today, and probably had not for some time.  Hmmmm…..

A lot of things to ponder this afternoon here in Wisconsin.

F-L-U-F-F Does Not Make News

Early Thursday morning, after fasting for 12 hours, I sat in a medical clinic to take a glucose test.  After consuming a special glucose laden drink I needed to wait for two hours to have my blood drawn.  Considering I drink black coffee with no sugar on a typical morning the lemon lime drink they offered  was a rude way to start the day.  I read newspapers while waiting for the sugar high to stop nauseating me.  (In the end if didn’t, but that part we will leave off the blog.)

The first paper was the Wisconsin State Journal, which I normally read online, as I cannot fathom paying for it, given how far their journalistic standards have slipped.  The paper has now been designed to attract a younger audience that did not grow up in a newspaper reading culture. 

Thursday morning the front page had a local columnist discussing the appearance of Pakistan’s president as a guest on the “The Daily Show.”  The editor actually took up a portion of the front page with this fluffy item, which went on to lament the fact that younger people are getting more of their news from shows such as Jon Stewart’s!  I am not making this up.  I can’t be the only one to see the irony in this.

From the front page I looked at page two, and no longer will need to wonder what pop culture looks like if it puked in the paper.  People Magazine shrunk into news columns only made my nausea worse.  This is the morning paper from the Capital City!!!  While I have known for a long time that the new editor had been trying to energize the paper with new ideas and readers, I can say I am not a fan of this way of producing a paper. Adding more color and graphs for visual stimulation is not my idea of a newspaper.  Shorter stories with less meat to emulate USA Today are not a goal any paper should aspire towards.

(Madison is a rare newspaper town in that we have both a morning and afternoon paper.  If both did their job as newspapers once did this could be one incredible newspaper city!  While the State Journal has a conservative editorial page, the afternoon Capital Times has a progressive Op-Ed perspective.  The Op-Ed pages from both papers are really the best (only) portions that are daily reads online.)

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a much more weighty paper with state coverage that has depth to its reporting.  While I know there are streaks of GOP partisanship in their reporting of certain topics, I find the coverage overall to be basically fair.  I also consume enough news products that I can see what is wheat and what is chaff.  

However, the biggest example of ‘fluff’ in the news world this week happened with Newsweek Magazine.  The international version of the publication has a military pose of a fighter in Afghanistan on the cover with the powerful headline,  “Losing Afghanistan.”  The story deals with the botched military policy that is allowing Afghanistan to again become a haven for those who did harbor individuals that WERE involved with 9/11.  (That means our troops in Iraq are where the problem wasn’t located.)

But in the United States Newsweek had as their cover story Annie Leibovitz’s photos of celebs……..

Good Lord!

It is for these reasons that I subscribe to both The New York Times and the Economist magazine.  For years I have just given up on the crap that the media so often hands out as news.  The BBC and NPR/WPR provide other avenues we turn to for solid news and information.  The world is in such a predicament that FAUX News and their allies do not cut it anymore.  (Well, here at our home they never did.)

Poll Of The Day: Lamont Searching For His Way

Ned Lamont was able to knock Senator Joe Lieberman off as the Democratic nominee, but now finds the political terrain rocky and all uphill.  The new Quinnipiac Poll has Lieberman in front with 49% of the vote to Lamont’s 39%. 

The problem for Lamont is that the poll shows Lieberman leads on every issue except the Iraq War.  The trend in this U.S. Senate race has remained the same since the start of the general campaign in Connecticut. 

The poll finds undecided voters are 7% of the elecotrate, and supporters of the GOP candidate, Alan Schlesinger, at 5%. 

War Supporters Should Get Second Jobs

On a day when many newspapers across the country had a story on the rising cost of health care coverage in America, there was another story on the inside pages that should make every one angry. 

The health care story discussed the latest study showing that employee health care coverage rose 7.7percent this year.  All average workers in the nation did not need be told that the study also found the health care increase was twice the rate of inflation, and far outpacing the increase in wages.

However, it was the story inside the paper that really raised my ire, and that I linked to the front page. 

Congress is poised to pass another war appropriation of $70 billion dollars, and a defense budget bill that will be the biggest ever, at $448 billion.  Don’t choke dear reader, but Bush’s war costs taxpayers $8 billion per month!  The story gets better though as the Administration will be knocking on Congress’s door for more money next spring.

At a time when there are so many needs in this country, such as health care, it is ridiculous how this Administration has spent billions and billions and billions on the Iraq War. 

Given that the President never asked Americans to sacrifice for the war, except those who died needlessly in Iraq, I have an idea.  Every warmonger and supporter of this idiotic foreign policy should take a second job so more tax money can go to Washington and pay for the bloodshed.  Why should the only people to suffer be those who were forced by economic reasons to join the military?  Why should the Bill O’Reilly’s of the world who never served a day continue to beat the drum for more war…more war…more war, and never ante up with more money to pay for it?  For instance, given Bill ‘s background with talking naughty to women other than his wife, he could work part-time as a phone sex operator.

Get your luffa sponges ready and dial!  The President needs your money for the war. 

Poll Of The Day: Gard More Vulnerable

I noted this morning on-line the nationally respected Chuck Todd of the “Hotline” has elevated one of our ethically challenged GOP candidates in Wisconsin to a slightly more vulnerable position.

Todd keeps a “Top 30” of the most contested House seats in the country.  Moving up a slot from #26 to #25 is former Wisconsin Speaker of the State Assembly, John Gard.  As Todd has noted for weeks the volatility in the electorate right now makes the bottom 15-30 as contentious as the top 15.  Gard is seeking the open House seat from outgoing GOP Congressman Green, who happens to be another ethically challenged candidate for office this year.

Who ever wins in the 8th Congressional District would they please get some federal funds to study what in heck is in the water up there…