Linda Lingle Captures Her First Reporter

Honolulu Civil beat which has heretofore been known as an even handed investigative blog has been inexplicably posting perplexing and contradictory stories.  In the first one, Lingle, Flush With Cash And On Message, writer Chad Blair gushed over Lingle’s fundraising saying:

Well before midday, Lingle’s big haul was the top breaking news on most Hawaii news outlets, including the website of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, where an ad for Lingle has been running in the top lefthand corner since she launched her campaign Oct. 11.

Well, yes, Chad, when you pay big bucks for ads, you tend to get coverage.  You never noticed that before?

He goes on:

But, while Hirono was at least able to report her fourth-quarter take — one-third of Lingle’s — Case was still adding his up.

Hello?  Linda Lingle is the great white hope of the GOP – she’s the one who they’re counting on to turn the senate red.  Of course GOP money is pouring into her coffers from all over the country.  Of course the corporations are showering her with millions of dollars.

Lingle, a Republican, said she may not be able to raise the $8-10 million she thought would be needed to win the race

TEN MILLION DOLLARS??? In 2010 there were 684,481 registered voters and only 42% of them bothered to vote.  Lingle is planning to spend $34 for every actual voter in the state?  Or figuring more realistically about $85 for every vote she’ll get! (Figuring she’ll only get 40% the vote)

Blair goes on with his puff piece to highlight Lingle’s attempt to position herself as “bipartisan”.  Given that Lingle has firmly hitched her wagon to the GOP mule train :-) this is a pathetic attempt to woo conservative Democrats and independents.  Hawai’i is a small state and people are still smarting from Lingle’s teacher furloughs that left parents in the lurch and our kids sliding further down in educational standings.

Blair leaves us with a rosy picture of Lingle, flush with dough and a certain winner….until…

John Temple writes Civil Beat Poll – Lingle Trails Both Democratic U.S. Senate Candidates.  Now this Civil Beat Poll is, in my estimation, flawed.  First and foremost because it uses Blue Dog Democrat, Ed Case’s, polling company.  Not exactly unbiased.  As you see, the poll focuses on how Republican-like Ed Case is, in order to elicit the conclusion that Ed Case is a better candidate to beat Linda Lingle.

The automated telephone survey of 1,358 likely voters found Case has a 13 percentage point margin over Lingle, 46 percent to 33 percent. Hirono has a 7 percentage point margin, 46 percent to 39 percent. In each case, roughly 20 percent of likely voters said they were either undecided or would pick another candidate.

But Temple goes on to say:

The most recent previous independent poll of this race came just days after Lingle entered the fray in October. Public Policy Polling found Hirono besting Lingle, 48 percent to 42 percent, and Lingle essentially tied with Case, with the Republican at 45 percent and the Democrat at 43 percent. The margin of error was +/- 4.1 percent. Since then, Case has had a much more visible campaign than Hirono.

Notice how Hirono (not Case) always beats Lingle in these polls and the poll not conducted by Ed Case’s polling company puts her much farther ahead.  But notice also, Temple buries that point by adding that last sentence claiming that Case has had a “much more visible campaign“.  Visible to whom???    I’ve seen zilch from the Case campaign.  Visible to his supporter Temple maybe – but not to the rest of us.

I started out writing how much I admired Honolulu Civil Beat but after reading both these articles – first the fact-free puff piece on Lingle, and then the factual yet twisted puff piece on Case, I’m disappointed.

Where’s the fawning piece on Mazie’s kickass campaign – which is being supported by the likes of the Hawaii State AFL-CIO, the National Organization for Women, the Council for a Livable World, Congressman John Lewis, and Senator Barbara Boxer?

Is Honolulu Civil Beat just the first inkling of the Karl Rove spin we’ll be seeing.  Are they trying to knock out the more viable (and progressive) candidate, Mazie Hirono, so they can go after Case who makes an easier target?  Or does Honolulu Civil Beat just have one writer who is a Lingle supporter and one who is a Case supporter and they’ve left objectivity behind?

My “Thank You” to Starbucks

Last week, Starbucks joined the long list of Washington employers endorsing Washington’s marriage equality bill. The Starbucks statement reflects their years-long commitment to equality:

Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. Starbucks strives to create a company culture that puts our partners first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion.

This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company. We are proud of our Pride Alliance Partner Network group, which is one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees in the U.S., helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities where we live and work.

Although Starbucks isn’t the first major employer to endorse the bill, National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown responded especially strongly to their announcement. In a hysteria-filled blog post, Brown ordered Starbucks to “stay out of marriage fights”, nonsensically accused Starbucks of discrimination against anti-gay customers (do they wear signs, or something?) and pledged to wage a public relations campaign against Starbucks.

CLICK HERE TO SEND A THANK-YOU EMAIL TO STARBUCKS

If NOM was going to launch an all-out attack on Starbucks, I decided that the least I could do was thank Starbucks for their support. My note was simple:

THANK YOU for supporting the marriage equality bill in Washington state. My wife and I (we’re a gay couple) recently moved from Seattle, WA to Worcester, MA, and this means a lot to us. We’re loyal Starbucks customers and visit the W Boylston St store in Worcester several times per week. 

Starbucks is listening. I got this nice note back from a Starbucks Customer Relations representative the same day.

Dear Laurel,

Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us. Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. From our very earliest days, Starbucks has strived to create a company culture that put our people first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading on and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion. Domestic partner benefits have been an important part of the work experience for our partners (employees) here in Washington State. We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law.

I sincerely appreciate your comments and hope you will continue to enjoy Starbucks coffee.

Sincerely,

Matthew L
Customer Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company
800 STARBUC (782-7282)
Monday through Friday, 5AM to 8PM (PST)

Don’t let NOM have the last word. Let Starbucks know you appreciate their standing up for equality.

CLICK HERE TO SEND A THANK-YOU EMAIL TO STARBUCKS

Update 2/2: Just learned from a barista at the local store that when they made their announcement to the media, Starbucks also sent out a company-wide email letting employees know about it’s official support for Washington’s marriage equality bill. They’re just as out and proud as we are.

How Much is That Moron in The Window? The John Kline Story

I know that Republican legislators generally aren’t picked for their brainpower — intelligence might make it harder for them to follow orders, and the idea is for the mass of them to do whatever their staffers (who often are hand-picked by their top donors or their patrons within the party) tell them to do — but really, is there a dumber member of Congress, at least in Minnesota, than John Kline?

Here’s a nice example from the town hall he held in the junior high school of Shakopee, a Twin Cities suburb in his congressional district. Now you all know how Congress is scrambling, in the wake of last Sunday’s 60 Minutes exposé, to pass the STOCK Act to outlaw insider trading by members of Congress. It’s not passed yet, but it might be by the end of the week.

According to John Kline, it’s already illegal — as he repeatedly states to an audience filled with people who know better — and he seems to imply that it’s been illegal for some time.

Even better: He claims that he never got a Congressional pay raise over the last four years, but the truth is that he got two pay raises, both pretty sizable ones. I don’t know how rich, dumb, or both one has to be not to notice when your take-home pay starts going up; I’m sure most of the folks filling that Shakopee junior-high auditorium aren’t so rich or so stupid that they wouldn’t notice a few extra bucks in their paychecks.

Just watch the video. Kline has to be seen to be believed. I almost suspect he’s really a wannabee Grecian Formula model who took a wrong turn on his way to the casting call and wound up at Republican headquarters instead; that’s the only explanation that makes sense for his career.

Nashville: Occupy the Legislature 2/1

http://youtu.be/RJ6YiegIWQQ

Wednesday, 1 February, is the day the House Judiciary sub-committee will hold a hearing on HB 2638/SB 2508, a broadly worded, vaguely inclusive bill that would make “a person’s use or assembly upon publically-owned property” a Class C Misdemeanor, subject to removal and a $50 fine.

Bill Howell of “Tennesseans for Fair Taxation” penned an op-ed in The Tennessean today, claiming the bills

would curtail the First Amendment rights of Tennesseans and deprive unhoused people of most of the few safe places where they may live.

ON has a series of actions planned, including attending the hearing, and is asking for supporters to meet in Legislative Plaza at 2:30. You can also  email Gov. Haslam and the bill’s sponsors, and call the House Judiciary Subcommittee, if you can’t be there and wish to help.

Jason and Joe from ON offer more details about the actions. (more…)

Late Night FDL: Miscellany

I am in Tucson, Arizona for the huge gem, mineral, fossil and precious stones and whatever else expos/shows, and to visit Occupy Tucson which is staging several anti-bank rallies this week. I love gems and minerals, geodes, agates, and fossils, but it kinda bums me out to see so much of Nature’s beauty churned for a buck.

Today we just visited the fossil motel. Room after room in a two story building packed with stuff: A complete pterodactyl skeleton, small to giant ammonites, ichthyosaurs, and box after box loaded with small fossils. Many were dug up in South Dakota, Morocco, China and parts of the UK. Crates of ancient shark, horse and other critter teeth, sliced mammoth bones–I mean really, like what kinds of losses to science and the environment had been done by digging and dredging these things up just so someone could hang them on a wall?

And meteorites–absolutely insane chunks from 2 millimeters to many inches in diameter, weird metals and anhydrous balls of glass from the Libyan desert formed when meteors struck.

Two older guys, a dealer and a customer, were discussing a robbery that had occurred the night before in one of the rooms. Three carved stone dealers over from China were robbed at gunpoint by “a Mexican” who took all their cash. A fourth man stepped out of the bathroom and was robbed as well. This is one of the few times in anyone’s memory a robbery has happened at one of the gem and mineral shows. Consensus: Darn lucky none of the victims were armed because it could have gotten messy fast.

I ate lunch today in a cafe with a sign posted that read: [cont’d.] (more…)

Watercooler: Go Play In The Street

Playing in the street is exactly what Bryson Andres does. Playing the violin, that is:

From Spokane’s channel KXLY:

He’s taken up musical residence around River Park Square. When Andres first arrived, Broken Mic poetry host, Mark Anderson heard him performing, loved his music so much, and texted as many friends as he could: “Street performer in front of Macy’s downtown. Violinist, some of the best performance I’ve ever heard. Get down here people, somebody Twitter it! Facebook!”

[snip]

“I love everybody here,” Andres said. He continued, “I went to Los Angeles last week. Everybody there is much more aggressive than I thought they would be. When I got back, I found everyone to be so nice.”

That was in September – evidently he hasn’t left, as the above video is from Jan 27th.

Anyhow, the use of “looping” technology is just so well done – he really know how to use it to record and then play over one layer after another.  The song above is Secrets by One Republic.

I think this young man is so talented. Definitely has a future musically as he has more than one style down pat. Can’t resist putting in one more example. Oh and he’s from Anchorage – other tunes available here.

Thanks to my friend Terri H from Spokane for turning me on to this performer.

Late Night FDL: Miscellany

 

I am in Tucson, Arizona for the huge gem, mineral, fossil and precious stones and whatever else expos/shows, and to visit Occupy Tucson which is staging several anti-bank rallies this week. I love gems and minerals, geodes, agates, and fossils, but it kinda bums me out to see so much of Nature’s beauty churned for a buck.

Today we just visited the fossil motel. Room after room in a two story building packed with stuff: A complete pterodactyl skeleton, small to giant ammonites, ichthyosaurs, and box after box loaded with small fossils. Many were dug up in South Dakota, Morocco, China and parts of the UK. Crates of ancient shark, horse and other critter teeth, sliced mammoth bones–I mean really, like what kinds of losses to science and the environment had been done by digging and dredging these things up just so someone could hang them on a wall?

And meteorites–absolutely insane chunks from 2 millimeters to many inches in diameter, weird metals and anhydrous balls of glass from the Libyan desert formed when meteors struck.

Two older guys, a dealer and a customer, were discussing a robbery that had occurred the night before in one of the rooms. Three carved stone dealers over from China were robbed at gunpoint by “a Mexican” who took all their cash. A fourth man stepped out of the bathroom and was robbed as well. This is one of the few times in anyone’s memory a robbery has happened at one of the gem and mineral shows. Consensus: Darn lucky none of the victims were armed because it could have gotten messy fast.

I ate lunch today in a cafe with a sign posted that read:

No firearms allowed inside

 

On a lighter note, here’s a quiz:

Which of these is not true:

A. Sean Penn has been named an ambassador.

B. Dehydrated, homophobic, really rich comic Tracy Morgan won’t pay $25K to save his mom’s house from foreclosure.

C. Brad Pitt has blocked his kids from Googling him and Angelina Jolie.

D. Mitt Romney was caught drinking hot coffee–but he claims it was Sanka.

 

Speaking of Mitt, according to the National Enquirer, three dozen of his extended family who live in Colonia Juarez, Mexico, have been targeted by the cartels:

Inside sources told The ENQUIRER that Romney’s advisers fear he will be scarred by a blood-soaked scandal if any of his kin are slaughtered due to their ties to the presidential candidate.

“These relatives of Mitt lived quietly until now, working hard as farmers and cattle ranchers,” a top political source told The ENQUIRER.

 

Brother Bobo’s Missionary & Temperance Expeditionary Force


To the surprise of virtually no one, Courtier to the Elitists (the elitist class lets him pretend he’s one of them because of that purty way he uses his tongue) David Brooks is quite taken with Charles Murray’s “Oh Great. Now The Fucking White Trash Is Acting Like The Coloreds” :

I’ll be shocked if there’s another book this year as important as Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart.” I’ll be shocked if there’s another book that so compellingly describes the most important trends in American society.

Murray’s basic argument is not new, that America is dividing into a two-caste society. What’s impressive is the incredible data he produces to illustrate that trend and deepen our understanding of it.

It is important that Murray’s “incredible data” excluded the duskier races because, fuck it, they’re animals anyway so what are you gonna do? Am I right?

What concerns Murray and fanboys like Brooks is that outside instigators and rabble rousers have begun to reach the poor whites and are successfully refocusing their inchoate rage at the 1% instead of their traditional enemies: brown people who affirmative action take their jobs and then impregnate their daughters with chocolate babies. This must not happen:

Murray’s story contradicts the ideologies of both parties. Republicans claim that America is threatened by a decadent cultural elite that corrupts regular Americans, who love God, country and traditional values. That story is false. The cultural elites live more conservative, traditionalist lives than the cultural masses.

Democrats claim America is threatened by the financial elite, who hog society’s resources. But that’s a distraction. The real social gap is between the top 20 percent and the lower 30 percent. The liberal members of the upper tribe latch onto this top 1 percent narrative because it excuses them from the central role they themselves are playing in driving inequality and unfairness.

It’s wrong to describe an America in which the salt of the earth common people are preyed upon by this or that nefarious elite. It’s wrong to tell the familiar underdog morality tale in which the problems of the masses are caused by the elites.

The truth is, members of the upper tribe have made themselves phenomenally productive. They may mimic bohemian manners, but they have returned to 1950s traditionalist values and practices. They have low divorce rates, arduous work ethics and strict codes to regulate their kids.

Why can’t they be like we were are? Perfect in every way. What’s the matter with kids these days? [cont’d.] (more…)

A Crazy Republican Attack That Obama Himself Agrees With

Imagine if a bunch of the craziest war-hungry Republicans in the House filmed themselves in a nutty bat-guano video packed with lies addressed to the President of the United States.  And then imagine President Barack Obama almost immediately agreeing with them.  I can think of two ways in which such a series of events could go unnoticed, as it just has.

First, it could be about something insignificant. But this was about undoing the automatic cuts to the military mandated by the failure of the Supercommittee (remember, the top news story of a few months back?).  The military, across various departments, swallows over half of federal discretionary spending, and there’s no greater obsession in the corporate media than the great Spending vs. Cuts issue.  This is NOT insignificant.

Second, it could be about something that the elites of both major parties agree on, the media therefore ignores, most Republican voters love, and Democratic voters pretend not to notice because the President is a Democrat and an election is less than a year away.

If you’re guessing the second option, you are right. (Tell them what they’ve won, Leon!)  You are now the proud owners of the most expensive military ever seen, plus coming increases that will be presented as “cuts.”

When the Supercommittee failed, automatic federal budget cuts were to kick in — half to things we need and half to the bloated military.  The military cuts would take us back to 2004 spending.  We seem to have survived 2004 and the years preceding it OK.

The Pentagon claims to be making other cuts already, but they are “cuts” to dream budgets resulting in actual budget increases — and that’s not even counting increased war spending through other departments.

House Republicans have sent President Obama this crazy video opposing military cuts and introduced legislation to slash 10% of non-military government jobs instead. In the Senate, John McCain is said to be working on a similar bill. (more…)