A blog about Politics, Texas, and Academia

Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

CNN-YouTube Republican Debate to Air Wednesday

In Election 2008, Internet, Media, news, Politics, pop culture, Television, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq, YouTube on November 27, 2007 at 2:38 pm

CNN-YouTube Debate

Now it’s the GOP’s turn to debate via YouTube style.

Much like the Democrat Party video debate in July, candidates will face questions dealing with topics from gay rights to gun violence. The AP is reporting that a full line-up is to be expected, despite the fact that many of the candidates originally said they would have nothing to do with the “less serious” type of forum.

The AP is also listing some of the questions that will be addressed:

_Lynn Mulder, the father of a young Florida gay man who was slain, asks how candidates will “help create a climate of understanding and respect” toward gay and transgendered people.

_Actor Kirk Douglas, his speech slurred by a stroke, asks how candidates will improve education to help U.S. children compete in math and science.

_Gustavo Bitdinger of Palo Alto, Calif., plays the piano and sings about his Republican blues, asking “How do you know that you won’t lose?”

As for the the snowman who was concerned about global warming in the first debate, he will make another appearance this time around:

The snowman is back — “Hello, Mitt Romney!” he trills in a 40-second video — along with thousands of other questioners hoping to make the cut for the actual debate. Romney had expressed doubts about answering a question from a snowman.

I, personally, can’t wait to see some of the fuddy-duds answer questions from talking snowmen and singing voters. Uneasy and uncomfortable? Yup, I think we will see some eye-rolling and deep sighs, however, the Dems did the same thing. In any case, it should make for an interesting cock fight. 🙂

See the questions that were submitted HERE.

previous post on the Democratic YouTube debate here.

Can’t Afford to Drive My Car

In Are you kidding me?, Economy, Fun Stuff, Humor, Thanksgiving on November 23, 2007 at 3:09 pm

As many of us are traveling this holiday season and gas prices are well above $3.00 a gallon around the country, this video is a reflection of what we are all feeling…

Happy Thanksgiving!

In Fun Stuff, Thanksgiving on November 22, 2007 at 2:10 am

From our bird to yours…

Sesame Street Thanksgiving

Alberto Gonzales: Where’s the Love UF?

In Congress, Politics on November 20, 2007 at 12:27 pm

gonzales_passive.jpg

Amid the booing and chants of “liar” and “criminal,” former Attorney “I have no recollection of that” Alberto Gonzales defended his career in the Bush Administration before students and guests at the University of Florida.

From the AP:

Early in his speech, two people climbed on the stage in hoods. Gonzales stopped talking for a few minutes as police led them away without incident, though there were several outbursts from the crowd.

The hooded demonstrators were charged with interruption of a public event, university spokesman Steve Orlando said. Several other people were ejected for yelling, and more than a dozen people stood for most of Gonzales’ hourlong speech with their backs toward him.

Gonzales repeatedly defended the Bush administration’s treatment of foreign prisoners.

“We don’t condone torture,” he said.

Students were not allowed to ask questions directly, as they were at the Kerry event. Instead, questions were submitted and read by a university law professor. One question asked about Gonzales’ views on immigration.

“Because of 9/11, we have to get this right. We have to know who is in this country,” he said.

Gonzales also said it was perfectly appropriate to replace U.S. attorneys, because they are political appointees.

University officials said it was Gonzales’ first appearance at a university since he left office in late August. He was paid $40,000 for his speech.

A few protesters carried signs protesting the appearance.

“It is abhorrent that they would spend that amount of money. This man is a criminal,” said Glenda Allen, of Jacksonville.

Hey, he actually got off pretty easy while there at UF. The whole event could have turned very ugly, very fast. Can you just hear Gonzales screaming, “Don’t tase me bro!” 😉

Political Leanings Influence The Games You Play

In Culture, Election 2008, Fun Stuff, Humor, Politics, Technology, Television on November 16, 2007 at 11:49 am

Mario

Posted on Wired.com this week:

According to a recent Zogby poll, your political leanings are more than an indication of your likely opinion on immigration or health care, they also provide a clue as to the type of videogames you like to play.

According to the survey, Conservatives (referred to as “Reds”) make up 37% of the nation, and think a lot of programming on TV is in poor taste. Their two favorite channels are Fox and Fox News, they don’t much like contemporary music, and when they read, they prefer non-fiction. As a rule, they’re not big fans of videogames, but when they do play, “Madden NFL and Mario are their favorites.”

Liberals (called “Blues”) represent 39% of the population, and enjoy HBO, Comedy Central, and reading fiction. They’re not all that into sports, but they like football and are more likely to watch soccer than the other groups. They tend to play more videogames than the other groups, with Mario and The Sims being particular favorites.

The Moderates (“Purples”), 24% of the populace, are fond of game shows and police procedurals (like CSI), though they also tend to watch more daytime and children’s TV than the other groups. They don’t dislike nonfiction, but they’d rather read a mystery or a thriller. Their favorite videogames are Mario, Donkey Kong, and Madden.

And lo, did a common love of Mario unite the nation!

Oh, oh… You mean I may be a Moderate after all?

Extreme Super Mario Bros.

The New Generation of Journalism: Bloggers

In Constitutional Rights, Culture, Internet, Media, Politics on November 16, 2007 at 10:02 am

First Amendment

Are Bloggers this generation’s muckraker’s? I have to admit that it is much easier to sit in the comfort of my own home, on my sofa, with my laptop, blogging away about which candidate did what and to whom. It’s much easier to hide behind a computer screen than the old days of putting one’s opinion in front of someone that may strike it down and out of a publication. Blogging gives a whole new meaning to “Freedom of the Press.” 🙂

From the Politico’s Martin Tolchin’s today:

To me, it’s back to the future. The bloggers are a throwback to the early days of the Republic, when citizens published their opinions in broadsheets they handed out in public squares and nailed to community bulletin boards. Most were loaded with opinions laced with vitriol.

Fortunately, one doesn’t need a license to blog any more than journalists are licensed. The late Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black believed in absolute freedom of the press and opposed libel laws on the grounds that only those with extraordinary financial resources could sue mass-circulation newspapers.

Better to dispense with the libel laws, he believed, rather than imply that a statement must be true because the subject failed to take legal action. In any event, he believed, one must read newspapers with a grain of salt and not assume that everything one reads is gospel.

Although bloggers in particular, and the Internet in general, are part of a great tradition, they have also created a problem. They have undermined the mass-circulation media, which have cut back reporting staffs that provide the grist for the bloggers’ opinions. Not that bloggers need data.

24: The Lost 1994 Pilot

In 24, College, Fun Stuff, Humor, pop culture, Technology, Television on November 14, 2007 at 10:03 am

24

Imagine the hit TV series 24 taking place in the year 1994.

Fun stuff from the NY Times this morning. Look here. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ll remember these days of being “high tech.”

Remember Prodigy? I love the AOL’s “Good-bye!” 🙂

Toy Hall of Fame Welcomes Atari 2600

In Culture, Fun Stuff, Technology on November 8, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Atari

Now these were video games! Nothing else compares to Space Invaders, Pitfall!, PacMan, Donkey Kong, Atlantis, Centipede, Asteroids, and Kaboom! And who could forget E.T.? (Well, actually I was very disappointed in that one.) Developed in 1977, the Atari 2600 game system was so futuristic compared to the game that started it all – Pong. Manufactured until 1984, the game system had a brief comeback in the late 80’s until it was officially discontinued in 1991. Thursday the all-time favorite was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Congratulations Atari! Makes me want to get ours down off the shelf, shake the dust off, and plug it in. 🙂

For fun, be sure to click on each game above to see some old commercials!

Pitfall! Pitfall!

Have you played Atari today?

Select A Candidate Quiz

In Election 2008, Politics on November 8, 2007 at 4:55 pm

Select A Candidate Quiz by WQAD

A family friend sent me this link. Answer the 11 questions to find out which candidate better represents your concerns about our nation. My match was Joe Biden with 49% then Barack Obama at 44%. I’m not so sure about this.

Let me know how it compared you and if your comparision is accurate.

Oregon Says No To State SCHIP Program

In Congress, Economy, Election 2008, Health, Politics on November 8, 2007 at 8:31 am

Oregon State Capitol in Salem

Being from the heavy Blue State in the Pacific Northwest, this article this morning surprised me. Democrats asked the voters to vote on the same SCHIP bill that was put before Congress. By funding the SCHIP program in Oregon, the cigarette tax would increase almost a dollar a pack. The voters didn’t approve and kicked the measure to the curb.

From the Opinion Journal:

Measure 50’s defeat is being blamed on $12 million in advertising by Big Tobacco. “What happened was, the tobacco industry bought the election,” Governor Kulongoski declared yesterday.

We’re surprised the Governor thinks voters in his left-leaning state are so easily gulled–especially in a contest between “healthy kids” and cigarettes. More persuasive is the notion that voters didn’t want to pass a state tax increase to finance a health-care expansion that Congress might soon pass, along with buckets of federal dollars. But most likely, voters understood that a tax increase on cigarettes is still a tax increase, and a highly regressive one at that. Only about 20% of Oregonians smoke, and most of those are lower income.

They may also have figured that to the extent tobacco taxes reduce smoking, they will soon not yield enough revenue to pay for ever-growing health costs. An analysis by William Conerly, a member of Governor Kulongoski’s own Council of Economic Advisors, found that a straight Schip expansion funded by a tobacco tax was unsustainable, with costs exceeding revenues by $115 million by 2017.

Counting “crowd out”–the migration to public from private insurance–Mr. Conerly predicted a $638 million deficit within the decade. Oregon tried a similar universal health experiment in the 1990s, only to see it raise havoc, and voters may not have been eager for a low-budget sequel.

I think the article sums it up best by stating:

There are political lessons here, in case anyone in Washington is paying attention. Voters are rightly concerned about health care and would like everyone to have insurance, but they realize that government programs are very expensive. Americans also don’t seem to want to pay for health-care reforms directly through higher taxes.

Well, No HillaryCare for Oregon…for now.

The picture above is of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.