Dodd Endorses Obama; McCain Apologizes for Talk-Radio Host

Today Senator Chris Dodd became the first former Democratic presidential candidate to make an endorsement. He threw his support behind the candidacy of Barack Obama:

Meanwhile, John McCain had to apologize for remarks made by talk-radio host Bill Cunningham after he introduced McCain at an Ohio event:

Hopefully this is a sign that a general election battle will focus on the issues rather than personal attacks. Ha, I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Murdoch’s New Fox: Rove

Karl RoveMurdoch

From smh.com:

Karl Rove, the strategist behind President George W Bush’s ascendancy to the White House, will join Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel as a contributor starting with Super Tuesday.

Rove was chief strategist for Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and joined him in the White House in several capacities, including deputy chief of staff. He left the White House in August.

Rove has been contributing opinion pieces to The Wall Street Journal, which also belongs to Murdoch’s News Corp, and will debut on the television network with live coverage on the biggest day of the presidential primary election season, Fox said today.

Fox News Channel was the top-rated US cable news network in 2007 in terms of viewership, ahead of rival CNN, according to Broadcasting & Cable magazine.

Fair & Balanced…as usual.

Primary Bits

The Nevada Caucus is set for tomorrow night, as well as the South Carolina Republican primary. Polls are showing Clinton and Romney with a slight edge in Nevada, while Obama and McCain are polling ahead in South Carolina. To keep you up to date, here are a few primary news and video clips from the past several days:

Barack Obama picked up an endorsement from the 60,000-member Culinary Workers Union in Nevada. Days after the endorsement, the Nevada State Teachers Association and Hillary Clinton supporters filed a lawsuit against the Democratic party’s plans to use nine large Las Vegas casinos as caucus sites. But on Thursday a Nevada judge rejected the case and said the casino caucus sites can proceed as planned. The ruling is seen as a boost to the Obama campaign, as many of the caucus-attendees at casino sites will be members of the Culinary Workers Union. Here is Bill Clinton responding to an ABC reporter about the casino sites:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno was interrupted during an interview with Bill Maher this week. There were two separate outbursts during the interview; the first was “Let Dennis debate! Stop the Censorship! Help save democracy!” and later with “GE, NBC, Put Impeachment on TV!” Here is the video:

During a Nevada flight with journalists on board, Hillary Clinton pretended to be a flight attendant in a spoof you can see here:

On the Republican side, John McCain is now leading in national polls while Giuliani’s campaign is still banking on the larger states to gain some momentum.

Mike Huckabee refused to say whether he finds it offensive that South Carolina displays the Confederate flag on its state Capitol grounds. Huckabee also responded to questions concerning his desire to amend the Constitution ‘in God’s standards’, replying that “The radical view is to say we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, one man and three women, a man and a child, a man and an animal.”

Mitt Romney got into a brief argument with an AP reporter concerning the role of lobbyists in his campaign:

And for a laugh, here are a couple comics:

rep-comic.jpg Rudy Campaign

I’ll be back again tomorrow with news from Nevada and the South Carolina Republican contest.

This Week in Primaries

Another week has passed in the race for president of the United States.

Hillary McCain

The New Hampshire Primary results have altered the landscape of the presidential field. Hillary Clinton upset the Democratic polls by edging out a 39-36.4% win over Barack Obama (victory speech here), though some are questioning the authenticity of Clinton’s victory. Bill Richardson has since pulled out of the race, while Barack Obama has picked up the endorsement of former presidential candidate John Kerry.

Meanwhile, John McCain bested Mitt Romney by a 37-31.5% margin in the Republican contest. Check here for his victory speech.

Ron Paul made an appearance on Leno the night before the NH primary to discuss his exclusion from the Republican debate hosted by Fox News.

With the primary season in full-swing, it’s quite simple to find examples of the media attempting to control the outcome of the election before it occurs. Check here for a good article on the corporate media’s incentive in the primary contests, written by Amy Goodman.

Up next in the primary contest is Michigan, which happens tonight (the 15th). Michigan is one of the few states that has been penalized by the Democratic and Republican National Committees for moving its primary to an earlier date. The DNC will award zero delegates from the state of Michigan, while the RNC will only award half of the original sixty.

The DNC pressured the Democratic candidates to ignore the state, and Obama, Edwards, and Richardson even removed their names from the ballot. The contest is expected to result in a landslide victory for Clinton, whose name will be on the ballot along with Kucinich, Gravel, and Dodd. However, the Obama and Edwards campaigns have reminded Michigan voters that they “have a choice” and are urging them to “vote uncommitted“.

While it seem like there may be nothing to lose in a battle against no one, a strong ‘uncommitted’ showing in Michigan could appear quite damaging to the Clinton campaign.

On deck beyond Michigan is the state of Nevada, set to caucus on January 19th. MSNBC is hosting a debate tonight for the Democratic candidates. Although Congressman Dennis Kucinich met the criteria initially required to participate in the debate (a Nevada judge even ordered MSNBC to include Kucinich), MSNBC has now changed the qualifying criteria and has disinvited Kucinich from the debate. So tonight’s “debate” will surely consist of a wide spectrum of viewpoints: John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

The Fight Continues…

The primary season is underway. With one state under their belt, the Republican candidates squared off in another debate Saturday night on ABC. Each of the candidates still failed to grasp Ron Paul’s view of American foreign policy:

It makes you wonder if they really believe what they say. To quote Giuliani: “It has nothing to do with our foreign policy. It has to do with their ideas, their theories, the things that they have done, and the way they have perverted their religion to a hatred of us. And what’s at stake are the things that our best about us: our freedom of religion, our freedom for women, our right to vote, our free economic system. Our foreign policy is irrelevant, totally irrelevant. If you read what they write, if you bother to listen to what they say, this comes out of their own perverted thinking.”

This is a battle of good vs. evil, freedom vs. terror, Christians vs. Muslims…thanks for clearing it all up for us, Mr. Mayor. Looks like Rudy might be sipping a bit too much of his own Kool-aid, just check out his recent fearmongering commercial:

At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire (backed by “Droopy” Joe Lieberman), John McCain upped the ante on our commitment in Iraq. When asked about Bush’s talk of staying in Iraq for fifty years, McCain replied, “Make it a hundred.”

Four of the Democratic candidates also had a ‘debate’ in NH, Kucinich and Gravel once again excluded from the process. Fresh from his Iowa victory, Obama tried to stay positive. Edwards seemed to be setting himself up for a vice-presidential bid on an Obama ticket, as he continued his aggressive attack of Clinton and the ‘status quo’.

Kucinich has filed a complaint about his debate exclusion, mentioning that Disney (ABC’s parent company) has made contributions to all four of the Democratic candidates involved in the debate.

Over the Holidays…

My apologies for the lack of posts the last couple weeks.  It’s been a hectic holiday season of returning home, battling sickness, and seeing friends and family.  I’ll try to post more often.

In case you missed them, here are a couple stories that occurred over the holidays:

  • Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27th. Riots have erupted across the country as Pakistan’s political future remains unclear. President Pervez Musharraf has blamed Islamic militants for carrying out the assassination, but Bhutto associates have accused Musharraf of having a role, claiming his government did not do enough to provide for her security.
  • Violence has erupted in Kenya after a disputed election that gave Kenyan president Kibaki a second term. Over 300 civilians have been killed by police in what is said to be the worst outbreak of violence in Kenya since 1982.
  • The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) last week voted three-to-two to approve a measure that would increase media consolidation. The new rule lifts a 30-year-old ban on companies seeking to own both a newspaper and television or radio station in the same city.
  • The New Orleans City Council voted unanimously to demolish of 4,500 units of public housing. Under the plan, the city’s four largest public housing developments will be replaced with mixed-income housing. Hundreds of people were turned away from the City Council meeting as police shot protesters with pepper spray and tasers.
  • And of course, the Iowa Caucus happens tonight, January 3rd. Tomorrow, a few choice candidates in the 2008 election will gain some new momentum.

Happy New Year everyone! 2008 is sure going to be an interesting one.

Romney’s Equity Firm to Buy Clear Channel

From LewRockwell:

What would it cost to buy the support of just about every nationally syndicated neocon talk show host in America? About $19.5 billion, which is what Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, and Thomas H. Lee Partners have agreed to pay in a leveraged buyout agreement with Clear Channel Communications, the largest radio station owner in the country. This is part of a negotiation that has been pending for over a year.

Clear Channel owns more than 1,100 full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations, twelve radio channels on XM Satellite Radio, and more than 30 television stations in the United States. Premiere Radio Networks, which is the largest syndication company in the United States, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Clear Channel and is home to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and many others. Sean Hannity recently signed a large multi-market contract with Clear Channel, as well.

Romney is the former CEO and current silent partner of the firm.