Only in Cincinnati…

Only in Cincinnati could a mountain be made out of a molehill.  Only in Cincinnati could Buffet sell out 20 years in a row in under 15 minutes each time.  Only in Cincinnati could Cornhole be a beloved adult game.  (Most places its a child’s carnival game with a clown painted on it.)  Only in Cincinnati could Northern KY look like development geniuses, because Cincinnati can’t get a consensus on what color the sky is, much less where to build entertainment complexes.  Only in Cincinnati will they spend millions moving a fountain a few feet…more than once…and place all their revitalization hopes on it.  This list could go on and on…but I’ll end it with this story from the AP….

‘Dukes of Hazzard’ nixed in Cincinnati

By LISA CORNWELL, Associated Press WriterMon Mar 19, 1:35 PM ET

The Dukes of Hazzard are getting driven out of town over the Confederate imagery in their good ol’ TV show.

The stars of the series, John Schneider and Tom Wopat, have segued into musical careers since the show ended production in 1985. Schneider says the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra canceled a planned “Dukes”-themed appearance after contracts were signed because some in the community found the show racist and offensive.

“It’s a huge shock to me that in this day and age people could be so narrow-minded, especially professional people,” Schneider said Friday. Although he didn’t want to start a feud over the decision, “I would like for people to examine their motives, however, and their knee-jerk reactions to someone else’s prejudice and bigotry.”

The orchestra said in a statement that it has had a long artistic relationship with Schneider and Wopat, but “we decided that some of the messages conveyed in the program are not consistent with the efforts of the Pops to reach out to all members of our community.”

Edith Thrower, president of the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP, said she was contacted a few weeks ago by Pops conductor Erich Kunzel, who wanted the NAACP’s reaction to the planned July 14 show.

“I contacted our national office and was advised that it would be best if we didn’t support an effort like this,” said Thrower. “It’s very clear how we feel about the Confederate flag and the long and arduous fight we have conducted to get rid of that symbol of a very unpleasant time in our history.”

The decision prompted former Georgia Congressman Ben Jones, who played the wisecracking mechanic Cooter on the popular show, to publicize what he called a “blacklisting of these guys out of some kind of political correctness that is just plain wrongheaded.”

“These guys are great people and great singers,” Jones, who was elected as a Democrat, said in a telephone interview. “To not use them because they were part of a show that some misguided people find racist is just wrong.”

“This is a benign family show loved by people of all ages and races,” he said. “I have fought racism and bigotry my whole life and worked in the civil rights movement, and there is nothing racist about it.”

Orchestra spokeswoman Carrie Krysanick denied blacklisting the former Dukes: “We look forward to working with them in the future.”


A Brave New World

First, I want to stop and welcome all our new visitors.  We are glad to have you here!  Stop and stay a spell, and be sure to let us know what you’re thinking about these days.  We really want to know…and welcome the lively debates you bring. 

Now, to the new realities of campaigning in 2007… 

In the world of political campaigns, managers, candidates and communication directors spend months creating a finely tuned image, manipulating words, appearances and nuances so that a certain image is portrayed.  Well, in today’s world of viral videos, that is being turned on its head, giving every spin doctor nightmares.

Someone commented and asked what do we do to remove money from dominating politics?  Well, I doubt there’s much that can be done legally, but viral video and average citizen participation is the best thing we can do.  As the average American gets involved and votes, money has less of a role.  Because you can raise billions of dollars, but if people don’t vote for you, well, you still don’t get elected. 

But getting average people to care and get active is an age old battle.  Just how do you get Joe-Six-Pack off the couch and interested in the difference between Hillary and Obama or Rudy and McCain?

Anyway, will viral video make a difference in this campaign cycle?  Little Miss Know it All is betting it will.  Some candidates’ stars will rise, while others may fall, based on videos they have no control over.

So let’s take a tour of viral video in today’s races.  Let’s start with Guiliani in drag and Trump picking him up… or the morph of the famous Apple/Big Brother ad featuring Hillary as Big Brother…or this video spoof of Edwards and his perfect hair.  Youtube is Biden’s worst nightmare, as every flub or stupid thing he has said  (did he just brag about coming from a former slave state and then make a semi-racist joke about Indians to an Indian American?!?) continues on in immortality….

And for Myspace, a new, wide open forum (and also uncontrollable in some ways) for grassroots campaigning, look at Hillary’s Myspace, Obama’s Space, or John Edwards’ space.  By the way, in the ever important “friends” race on Myspace, Obama’s got a very healthy lead.  

Check these out.  Post ones you’ve made or seen.


KY races and local politics

Time for an update on what’s happening here in KY.  We have a Derby going on and its a while until the first Saturday in May.

In the Miller-Maze camp, they picked up some key endorsements in the Northern KY area.  I’ve always been a big fan of Jonathan Miller’s, the guy has heart, and more important to Little Miss Know it All, he walks the talk.  See the Miller-Maze campaign site here.

Bruce Lunsford has done a lot of name building lately, through campaign positions and advertising.  See his ads or his position on new cigarette taxes at the Lunsford Stumbo website.

Beshear still holds onto gambling as his ace in the hole.  I volunteered for his campaign for Senate in the 90’s against Senator Mitch McConnell, and I’m not sure he’s learned the lessons of that campaign yet.  Still, he’s worth a look.  Check out his campaign website at www.stevebeshear.com.

And Jody Richards and John Y Brown III are finally launching their website, Jody and John Y.  Personally, a little late guys.  Shows you don’t know much about today’s society, because first we look you up on the web, then we go see you or watch you on tv. 

Anne Northup has been flying through the state, gathering the dissatisfied GOP base under her wing, while Gov. Ernie Fletcher has been trying to re-define himself through ads and generous handfulls of pork.

 Oh, and Clinton is coming.  He’s coming to Cincinnati and Lexington for big fundraisers for Hillary.  Good to have him back in the state, too bad it will cost you an arm and a leg to get near him.


Big Fat Money Mess

So, Little Miss Know it All wants a show of hands.  How many of you think money plays too large a role in politics?  How many of you think its the ONLY thing that matters in politics?

I’m not willing to go quite that far.  I’ve been around enough to not be naive and think that it doesn’t play a large role, but I’ve also seen politicians do things just because its important to them or their voters.

But most people do think that money is the motivating factor for all politicians.  And with California’s move yesterday of their primary to early February, that will become an even bigger reality in national elections. 

Until recently, the trend has been of states moving their primaries later, in reaction to campaign fatigue.  But that seems to be dying.  With this annoyingly early primary run in the Presidential race, (does anyone even understand that the elections are NEXT YEAR?  Who cares what the poll numbers are now?) and the staggering number of voters actually paying attention this early says that we’re done with that trend.  Now a large number of states are rushing to have their primaries earlier, out of Iowa/New Hampshire envy.  They’re envious of all of the attention Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire get by having their primaries early.

What does this mean in reality though?  All these states together (or even California alone) are too big for candidates to cover in the traditional press-the-flesh type of politics enjoyed by Iowa and New Hampshire.  It means that lots of money has to be raised at the very beginning of a campaign to fund a torrent of tv and radio ads.  And by lots of money, I mean millions upon millions.  And what does that mean?  Not only more money in the political cycle, but an earlier beginning to primaries, as campaigns must front load their campaigns with money.  It also means that good candidates who may not be able to raise big money right away will be excluded from the process.  Those proponents of more citizen-candidates can kiss that wish goodbye.

It also means that California’s intent will likely backfire.  It will make small states like Iowa and New Hampshire even more important, because their primaries are still a month earlier.  And without the rolling primary system that we have now, whoever wins in Iowa and New Hampshire will have huge benefits over the other candidates.  It gives even more power into very small voter blocks.

To me, this is just another sign that this country doesn’t know what it wants!  We are experiencing wild swings in the pendulum, politically and socially.  From Clinton in the early 90’s, the champion of liberal thought, to radical republican revolution in the mid to late 90’s and through the Bush White House, and back again to Democrats in power.  I could list these all day.  When will we settle in the middle?  Or will we continue on with these wild swings?

Let me know what you think.


Gentle wave, or revolution?

Every day the stories get worse and worse for the GOP and the White House.  No longer is everything simpatico, no longer can the White House say something and everyone falls into step in the GOP.  They have their own ideas–what a novelty after the past six years!

 This was demonstrated today in the news, as Democrats and GOP alike turn to repeal the No Child Left Behind legislation.  While Little Miss Know it All would like to applaud the original intent of the legislation, like most things that come out of DC, the end product was convuluted, badly implemented and grossly underfunded.  Its ended up hurting schools, forcing them to fit into predefined molds, throwing out innovative programs that were helping children learn.  Having a son on the autism spectrum, I know what a benefit national mandates can be, when used properly.  The IDEA act has been a godsend for millions of families, allowing special needs children to receive necessary services within their school day, and allowing them to closer reach their full potential.  And No Child Left Behind had such promise, yet fell sadly flat.  I doubt there will be more than a handful of schools, if even that many, who will be sad to see it go.  In fact, we are likely to see large celebrations, large jubilees at the loss of mountains of red tape and unfunded mandates that break the back of principals and local school boards alike.

 To read more on this story, click here and read the Washington Post’s report of this new blow in the continuing battle of the White House with its new political reality. 

 And as a follow up to yesterday’s blog on Justice Department firings and prosecution of Democrats vs GOP for election fraud, take a trip over to EPluribus Media and read their findings in a study of the Justice Department’s Political Profiling in election cases.  Very enlightening.  Not surprising, but enlightening.

And thanks to Mr. Crowley for the mention on his blog.  My visitors have been many, and my regulars appreciate it.  Now comment!  I want to see some fun debates!  There’s nothing as boring as preaching to a silent choir!


Free Starbucks!

For all you coffee lovers out there, Run to your local Starbucks this morning.  Its free coffee day!  From 10-12 Starbucks will be giving away free Tall coffees at all their stores nationwide.

 You’ll find Little Miss Know it All in line today–without my caffeine I’m none too pleasant in the morning!


Shot across the bow…

Well, the rumors appear to be true.  The Evangelicals will no longer issue blank check endorsements to the President or his policies.  That’s a big deal, because the National Association of Evangelicals represent a vigorous voting block of millions.  Millions who were pivotal in re-electing this President. 

 In the past few days The National Association of Evangelicals has endorsed an anti-torture statement saying the United States has crossed “boundaries of what is legally and morally permissible” in its treatment of detainees and war prisoners in the fight against terror.  They’ve also taken stands on the environment, saying that we need to make drastic changes to be better stewards over Creation.

These are not small steps.  For years the Evangelical movement has been pigeonholed politically, focusing mainly on the issues of Abortion and Gay Rights.  They represent millions of Christians, millions who were pivotal in re-electing this President in 2005. 

These stances, publicized as they are, represent a shot across the bow of the GOP warship.  We will not be placated, they are saying.  You cannot talk out of both sides of your mouth.  What you talk, you must walk.  Good for them!

Folks, the winds of change are a-blowin….


Time for Political Fallout

Shew, since the Democrats finished their first 100 days and have begun the spring season (aka the season of hearings), its been a whirlwhind trying to keep up with all the political developments!  A fresh air is definitely blowing through Washington.  No longer are blank checks being issued, no longer are journalists afraid to stick their heads out of their holes and report damaging information to the Administration.

And its been like running a Marathon to keep up with all the innuendos, exposs and investigations.  Not long after 9-11 I told anyone who would listen that in five years we would wake up with a large hangover, and be horrified to discover what’s been done in our name. 

And that’s just what’s happening now.  Exactly five years later, we are waking up from a foggy dreamlike state.  We were easily led by rhetoric and clever wording to where they had complete power and no questions were asked.  If they were, you were a traitor, a fink, a Benedict Arnold.  Worse, you were Al Qaeda.  (I love that Cheney continues to use that rhetoric, only its not getting any traction.  Another sign of the old guard being deposed.)  In our fear and reactionism, we handed over broad powers.  No, I’m not talking about just the Patriot Act.  I’m talking about our feeling that everything is justified if it means “safety.”  They know what they’re talking about, who are we to question them?  Let’s just let them handle this, we don’t want to know the details. 

Well, the gory details are spilling out now, and we are horrified.  But before I start on a rant about our world policies…let’s look at home.  All we have to do is look at the gross abuse of power here at home to see what a blank check of power will do.

And that’s what this Justice Department scandal is all about.  Gross abuse of power.  From the White House came an order–fire ALL US Prosecutors.  Why?  Where they bad at their jobs?  No, we just want to insert our own people, who will pursue our agendas.  Can you imagine what kind of havoc that would have wreaked on the system, losing all those experienced US Prosecutors, cases already in progress?  But the White House didn’t care about that, they cared about agendas, about political power.  Thank goodness some cool heads reigned, and that wasn’t done.  But still, something had to be done, didn’t it?  I mean, they couldn’t let Republicans around the country be tried for voter fraud (which is what five of the 8 fired were doing) could they?

So, what is the Attorney General’s response?  “Mistakes were made.”  WHAT?  Where have we heard that slogan before?  And that’s what it is, a blank statement, taking no real responsibility for what happened.

Today George Stephanopolous was interviewing the Attorney General and the AG made these two incredulous statements.  First, he said that if they were firing based on those US Prosecutors who were prosecuting GOP candidates across the country for voter fraud, there’d be a mass cleaning of house.  (Um, did they just admit that the GOP has rampant campaign fraud?)  Wait, isn’t that what Harriet Miers proposed?  Second, and I quote, “The question is not whether mistakes were made, but what we do in response to those mistakes.”  I choked over the brazeness of this one, because it essentially says, we’re going to apologize for getting caught, but we aren’t sorry for what we did.  Because obviously it is the fact that mistakes were made.  Not mistakes, but that gross abuse of power happened here.  If you want to watch the interview yourself, click here to go to ABC News. 

I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceburg.  Watch out, large chunks are breaking off, whistleblowers are coming out of the woodwork now that the political climate in DC is changing.  The fallout is just beginning!


Overload!

I’ve been very silent these past few weeks, and there’s been good reason for that.  However, much of it is simple overload.  There’s just been too much that makes my blood boil, or at least my skin crawl, and I haven’t been able to sort it out of its jumble.  So here it is, in all its messiness.

1.  Just how many wounded are there?  According to Sen. Jim Webb, the military lists are, oh, about 200,000 short of the actual number.  Says the DOD lists are of 25,000 injuries (or so) and the military hospitals report over 200,000.  He suggested we go look at the number of Purple Hearts given out, that we’d have a more accurate number. 

2.  The FBI grossly underreporting their abuse of powers.  I won’t go there.  They might be listening.

3.  The administration is forbidding two of its own scientists from Alaska to talk at an international conference on greenhouse gases and global warming until they agree to spout the administration line.  Seriously, they were slapped with a gag order, forbidding them to talk about melting polar ice caps, the affects of green house gases or the endangerment of Polar Bears.

4.  The Cincinnati Enquirer (why do I still subscribe to that?) had a call out for comments on the Walter Reed Hospital story, saying that Washington has responded with quick and urgent action.  Their action according to the Enquirer?  Hearings and Congressional Investigations.  Folks, that’s not action, that’s what got us into this spot in the first place.  The guy they just fired, had six months in the job.  That’s enough time to figure out what the budgets were he was stuck with by the past Congress, who his buddies are, who his enemies are, and begin surveying what needs to be done.  He wasn’t even there long enough to begin the massive two year process (often longer) of battling for a better budget an re-organization of the funds in it.

 5.  Jenna Bush’s “makeover.”  Just because she visits a few poor people in the mountains of South America does NOT make her Mother Theresa.  Party girls can visit shelters and then still party all night. 

6.  Newt’s “Honesty.”  Please, it was one giant political maneuver.  We all knew about the affair, it was old news.  It was a traditional political ploy–neutralize your flaws before they can be used against you.  And he did it on the show of the bastion of the Evangelical world–Dr James Dobson.  He admitted his wrongs, talked about prayer and Christ, and then…not much.  I didn’t hear true repentance, I heard–let me cover my butt before I get it whupped in the presidential race.

 7.  Anne Northrup’s candidacy.  Sorry to those of you not from Ky, but you think the Presidential race is crowded, come visit our Gubernatorial race.  Okay, so this woman always reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the West.  Looks like she just sucked a lemon.  And now that her campaign against Gov. Fletcher is taking off, what’s her big rationale for her candidacy?  Vote for me, Ernie can’t win.  Well, sure, that’s an inspiring campaign slogan.  Let me jump right on that bandwagon!  Oh wait, she’s got McConnell and Bunning on there.  Nope, can’t stand to be within 100 feet of those two, or Little Miss Know it All will finally have the stroke I left politics to avoid.

8.  Hillary, Obama, Hillary, Obama, Guiliani, Obama, Hillary….give it a freaking rest already!  All of them are going to burn out at this rate!

 There’s more, there’s always more.  But I’ll stop before my blood pressure rises any further!


Stop me before I start throwing things!

It seems like we have two White Houses.  One, involving most of the administration, is beginning (and I emphasize the beginning part) to realize the political realities of their present situation.  Its superficial, but they are at least pretending to play along.  The other White House, embodied in the Vice President’s office, seems to not realize that anything has changed, the jig is up, that we’ve caught on to their games with rhetoric, the manipulation and blatant lying.  Did anyone hear his rhetoric on Iran when he was visiting Australia?  Same words, same lines on Iran that they used on Iraq. 

Someone needs to clue in Dick Cheney….”Dude, you just don’t got it anymore!”

The angry Democrat in me wants to yell at him every time I see his smug, condescending face, that supporting the soldiers doesn’t mean a blank check for whatever they want to do.  But of course he knows that, he’s just playing mind games with us.  And lets face it, if there’s anyone who would be in a nightmare closet of horrors for playing mind games, Dick Cheney would definitely be top of that list.

Updated:2007-03-12 16:19:42

Cheney Says Congress Undermines Troops

Vice President Challenges ‘Anti-War’ Lawmakers

By MATTHEW LEE

AP

WASHINGTON (March 12) – Anti-war lawmakers in Congress  are “undermining” U.S. troops in Iraq  by trying to limit President Bush ‘s spending requests for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan , Vice President Dick Cheney  said Monday.

Vice President Dick Cheney delivers a speech Monday in Washington

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Vice President Dick Cheney addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s 2007 Policy Conference in Washington.

Hitting out at lawmakers who profess to back the troops but oppose Bush’s plans in Iraq, Cheney said proof of their commitment would come as they consider legislation to provide nearly $100 billion for the rest of this year’s costs of the wars.

The House plans to begin considering a bill this week that would fully finance the administration’s request. Senate  action is expected to come later.

“When members of Congress pursue an anti-war strategy that’s been called ‘slow bleed,’ they are not supporting the troops, they are undermining them,” Cheney said in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“Anyone can say they support the troops and we should take them at their word, but the proof will come when it’s time to provide the money,” he said.

House Democratic leaders want to add provisions to the war spending measure requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by the end of August 2008 and possibly by the end of 2007. Some anti-war Democrats prefer limiting the funds so the administration would essentially be forced to remove U.S. forces, a strategy that party leaders have abandoned.

“We expect the House and Senate to meet the needs of our military and the generals leading the troops in battle on time and in full measure,” Cheney said.

“When members speak not of victory but of time limits, deadlines and other arbitrary measures, they are telling the enemy simply to watch the clock and wait us out,” he said.

Cheney said the House’s nonbinding vote against troop increases in Iraq last month was an example of “twisted logic” and “not a proud episode in the history of the United States Congress.”

Cheney added, “Very soon, both houses will have to vote on a piece of legislation that is binding, a bill to provide emergency funding to the troops, and I sincerely hope that this time, the discussion this time will be about winning in Iraq.”

He predicted “disaster” and “chaos” in the Middle East with either al-Qaida or Iran  emerging dominant from a bloody sectarian battle and compromising regional security if U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq before their mission is completed.

Of particular concern, he said, would be a powerful and possibly nuclear-armed Iran, criticizing as inconsistent some lawmakers who are pressing for tougher action on Iran but opposing Bush’s Iraq plan.

“It is simply not consistent for anyone to demand aggressive action against the menace posed by the Iranian regime while at the same time acquiescing in a retreat from Iraq that would leave our worst enemies dramatically emboldened and Israel’s best friend, the United States, dangerously weakened,” Cheney said.