The Production Room was founded in 1995 as one of the first full time digital commercial recording facilties on the central coast of California. We started with 4 stereo tracks, 16 mb of ram and a 250 mb hard drive. A lot has happened since then. Today we're focusing on ways to serve clients who are creating web based media content. This includes strategic planning to integrate the benefits of traditional media, web design and IT solutions into new programs produced especially for on-line consumers. Join in the conversation. Throw rocks at glass houses. Share your vision of the future. This is the most progressive time in the media arts since Johannes Gutenburg invented movable type!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Iran / US Situation Should be Front and Center

Hey - Look Over There! Part 2

The rhetoric has been ramping up. Iran is shifting to attack a weak US dollar. The Cold War between the US and Iran is getting hotter and the potential for disaster is greater now than it has been in months.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let's review:

From CNN.Com World Business

"The dollar has totally been removed from Iran's oil transactions," Oil Ministry official Hojjatollah Ghanimifard told state-run television Wednesday. "We have agreed with all of our crude oil customers to do our transactions in non-dollar currencies."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the depreciating dollar a "worthless piece of paper" at a rare summit last year in Saudi Arabia attended by state leaders from OPEC countries.

Gates Sends "Reminder" to Iran

MEXICO CITY — Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that sending a second U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf could serve as a "reminder" to Iran, but he said it's not an escalation of force.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with Mexican leaders, Gates said heightening U.S. criticism of Iran and its support for terror groups is not a signal that the administration is laying the groundwork for a strike against Tehran.

A senior US navy spokesman, however, told FOX News that the USS Lincoln already is in the gulf and is carrying out a normal rotation with the USS Truman, which will soon be heading home. The overlap is expected to be brief, the spokesman said, adding, "think hours, not days."

Gates said the number of ships in the gulf rises and falls continuously. He said he doesn't expect there to two carriers there for a long time.

Asked if the carrier move went hand in hand with the rising U.S. rhetoric against Iran, Gates said, "I don't see it as an escalation. I think it could be seen, though, as a reminder." - Fox News

So don't expect them to be there long. But as long as we're there...

Why isn't the media curious about the moves the White House is making? Why aren't they being pressed to explain what our policy is?

It seems to be, "Do what we say...or ELSE!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wright: No Longer Preaching to the Choir

I saw Rev. Wright on Bill Moyer's Journal.
I heard excerpts from his following remarks to the Press Club.

The man is currently a fish with no water. In his church he could howl out a fiery sermon, call for an AMEN - and get it every time. Now removed from his pulpit he stands at the national podium. And the AMENS aren't coming from mainstream Americans who aren't used to getting on their feet and shouting out in church. In the public forum, we're conditioned to watch passively as media delivers his message. Then we turn to one another and say, "Oh dear."

* * * *

Obama Checked.

The white queen is in play and Obama finds he must sacrifice his black bishop.
This isn't good. He has lost the offense and is losing on defense.

* * * *

The Conservative Double Standard

Remember Ted Haggrd?
You should remember him:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The megachurch founded by Pastor Ted Haggard said Tuesday he has prematurely ended a "spiritual restoration" process begun when he was fired for sexual misconduct.

Haggard was fired from New Life Church and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals in November 2006 after a former male prostitute alleged they had a cash-for-sex relationship. The man also said he saw Haggard use methamphetamine. (Fox News)

"President of the National Association of Evangelicals"? Can we talk about the white church?

This guy even had access to President Bush and White House Policy Decisions:

WASHINGTON - As president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Rev. Ted Haggard has advised the White House on issues ranging from judicial appointments to steel tariffs.

But he also sought to widen the agenda of Christian evangelicals into areas the Bush administration - and many of his Christian brethren - would rather avoid.

Haggard resigned as president of the association, which says it represents about 30 million evangelical church members, and took a leave as senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs amid allegations that he paid a gay former escort for sex and drugs.

Although he had been active in lobbying for conservative Christian causes before, Haggard's profile rose after he became head of the NAE early in 2003.

He made frequent visits to the White House and was included in a select group of religious leaders briefed on the administration's agenda during a weekly teleconference with White House staff, a session meant to "feel the evangelical pulse," he's said.

"We have direct access (to the White House)," Haggard told a Wall Street Journal reporter shortly before the last presidential election, adding that he could take a concern to the president through staff and get a response within 24 hours. - Rocky Mountain News

Judicial appointments and STEEL TARRIFFS? Do YOU see anything wrong with this picture?

I'm sure Haggard wore his flag lapel pin and never said, "God Damn America"
He just repeatedly hired a male prostitute and did meth.

One of these preachers ought to cost somebody an election. Kind of odd that it won't be the white guy. I guess it's because he's a good American.

* * * *

UPDATE 4/30/08

John Nichols absolutely nails it in The Nation:

Wright, Jefferson and the Wrath of God

In more ways than Republican and now Democratic critics seem prepared to admit, Wright is the embodiment of an American religious and political tradition of challenging the country's sins while calling it to the higher ground that extends from the founding of the republic. No less a figure than Thomas Jefferson -- who constructed that wall of separation between church and state but who worried a good deal about questions of the divine -- worried openly about the retribution that would befall a nation that permitted slavery.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Do it Yourself!

Yes, Corporate America's Mantra is, "Do it Yourself". We'll collect your personal data and send you the bill.

When my internet service is down, Verizon will helpfully suggest that I go on line and trouble shoot the problem.

When an airline site won't allow me to process a booking after I've spent an hour trying to find the flight I want, I'm led back to a home page that suggests that it's faster and easier to book online.

It's in that spirit that I present today's blog post, which will save you the time it takes me to read the news and comment.

Todays Headlines and Instant Analysis

Will Rev Wright Hurt Obama?

___ Yes ___ No

Is the Race Hurting the Democrats?

___ Yes ___ No

Is Race an Issue in the Race?

___ Yes ___ No

Does Rev Wright loves America as much as you do?

___ Yes ___ No

Now you can probably guess why journalists used to learn that they shouldn't ask yes or no questions. Someone please memo this over to ABC.

* * * *

When I started working in radio, we had an old AP teletype that was kept in a filthy shower stall next to a toilet. You could take a leak and watch the latest bulletins from the national wire. That was NEWS!

* * * *

Do it Yourself Blog Part 2:

Here's a link to NPR's Day to Day program that aired today. The section titled, "When Should One Retire" contains an interview with Frank Newton that was recorded via ISDN from the Production Room last week. Alex Chadwick is the host and if you want to hear how good our studio is - go listen for yourself.

* * * *

Today's Funny from Weird TV

(You'll have to click the link or get the embed code from bliptv.)

* * * *

Thanks for reading the blog. Your eyes are important to us.
If there's anything you need, don't hesitate to allow us
to encourage you to do it yourself.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

GOP Endorses Clinton

Who would Republicans rather face in November?

While Dems are wondering who will get the nod, Hillary is probably hoping that Uber Delegates won't notice that the GOP is putting it's money on her by running negative TV ads against Barack Obama.

Carl Hulse wrote the following article today for the NY Times which starts with the headline:

G.O.P. Now Sees Obama as Liability for Ticket

Clear enough but wrong.

The article states:

“There were times when Republicans reacted with just horror that he would lead the ticket,” said Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan political analyst. “Now there is not the sense of him being invulnerable, the magic bullet. I think there has been a major change.”

"The growing Republican emphasis on Mr. Obama could also help Mrs. Clinton plead her case that she is more electable, bolstering her argument to superdelegates that Republicans are poised to pounce on her relatively untested opponent. Her advisers have been frustrated that some top Democrats rate Mrs. Clinton a greater liability for the party’s candidates in conservative parts of the country — a view still held by some strategists — even though she has shown a capacity to withstand Republican attacks.

At the same time, some Democrats privately said the new Republican push could be a backdoor effort to buoy Mrs. Clinton, the candidate Republicans initially saw as the Democrat who would most rally Republicans and spur fund-raising. It has not been lost on Republican strategists that they can give pause to superdelegates leaning toward endorsing Mr. Obama."

It's a twofer. Keep Obama out of a race that will enlarge the Democratic Parrty and then defeat Clinton in November with the same strategy that won in 2000 and 2004.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Time for War with Iran!

In a case of "Hey, look over there!" - and by using the distraction of an election - the White House continues to maneuver us toward war with Iran.

John McCain approves. So does Hillary Clinton. With a vote to authorize force and a public statement about obliterating Iran she's already on record.

Check these headlines:

Top US officer warns of Iran efforts in Iraq, region

Joint Chiefs Chairman Says U.S. Preparing Military Options Against Iran

Mullen's statements and others by Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently signal a new rhetorical onslaught by the Bush administration against Iran, amid what officials say is increased Iranian provision of weapons, training, and financing to Iraqi groups that are attacking and killing Americans.

In a speech Monday at West Point, Gates said that Iran "is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons." He said a war with Iran would be "disastrous on a number of levels. But the military option must be kept on the table given the destabilizing policies of the regime and the risks inherent in a future Iranian nuclear threat."

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, who was nominated this week to head all U.S. forces in the Middle East, is preparing a briefing soon to lay out detailed evidence of increased Iranian involvement in Iraq, Mullen said. The briefing will detail, for example, the discovery in Iraq of weapons that were very recently manufactured in Iran, he said.

This just might be more important than...anything else I can think of.

Campaign Media Roundup

"The persons who have heard the entire sermon understand the communication perfectly," he told PBS' Bill Moyers in the interview to be broadcast on Friday.

Those who are airing the snippets "are communicating exactly what they want to do, which is to paint me as some sort of fanatic."

So - who IS Jeremiah Wright? As he points out - he's whoever you want him to be. I compared him to John Brown. Is he actually the Bogeyman?

"In the Moyers interview, a soft-spoken Wright expresses his horror that the media has made him a bogeyman, endlessly replaying sound bites of fiery sermons which he claims were taken out of context."
- from ABC News Olivia Stearns and David Wright

Hold on there ABC - He "claims" they were taken out of context? No, they ARE being taken out of context. Those words were not spoken as part of any presidential campaign. They were spoken in the heat of a sermon at a black church in Chicago - before Obama was a candidate. But they are today being applied to Obama during his presidential campaign. That is out of context. Unless you're Sean Hannity. See the difference?

Methinks ABC is still a bit prickly about the heat they took after the last debate.

Here's A great note from Don Frederick at "Top of the Ticket"

North Carolinians aren't biased; just ask 'em

A delicious dispatch from the "I'm perfect, you're not" view-of-the-universe department ...

As a prelude to North Carolina's May 6 Democratic presidential primary, state voters recently were asked about prejudices. As related by the Raleigh News & Observer, here's what the poll found:

* A whoppingly large number -- 91% -- said race would not affect their political decisions -- but 54% said they knew someone who would not cast a ballot for a black.

* A candidate's gender, 79% said, would make no difference to them -- but 63% said they knew someone who would not vote for a woman.

The survey by Elon University also looked ahead to the fall election that will feature Republican John McCain trying to become the oldest person elected to a first presidential term.

No problem, 66% said, age would not be a factor in their vote -- but 44% said they knew someone who would not support someone they viewed as "too old."

Nice to know there are so many open-minded folks in the Tar Heel State. Too bad about so many of their neighbors, though.

-- Don Frederick

...yes and if you're a cop in NY you can shoot a guy 50 times because you know he's guilty. We don't need no stinkin' assumption of innocence until proven guilty.

Also from Top of The Ticket and Andrew Malcolm -

Barack Obama to meet unconditionally with dreaded 'Fox News Sunday'!

The shifting political race has candidates jockeying for position and "pivoting"(the new favorite talking point word of this election) on issues.

With so many people interested in election news - the networks are "pivoting" to win ad dollars. So quien es mas macho? FOX or ABC?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jeremiah Wright is our John Brown

I'm afraid to write this post. The weight of history is heavy on this topic.

The potential for hate and evil resulting from this comparison are great. But the strong parallel Between Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright and Abraham Lincoln and John Brown struck like a thunderbolt tonight when I read that Rev. Wright had been interviewed by PBS and that his remarks were already stirring new, hostile reactions against Barack Obama in the American public.

For those educated in California public schools, here's an introduction to John Brown:

John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was a white American abolitionist who advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish all slavery. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859.

President Abraham Lincoln said he was a "misguided fanatic" and Brown has been called "the most controversial of all 19th-century Americans."[1] His attempt in 1859 to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the state of Virginia and was hanged, but his behavior at the trial seemed heroic to millions of Americans. Southerners alleged that his rebellion was the tip of the abolitionist iceberg and represented the wishes of the Republican Party, but those charges were vehemently denied by the Republicans. Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that a year later led to secession and the American Civil War.

Barack Obama is the modern embodiment of that old Republican, Abraham Lincoln. In Lincoln's time, being Republican meant standing up for the values of the Republic over the values of the special or, "peculiar" interest of capital, i.e., the slave owners. In 1860 he was referred to by hostile partisans as a "Black Republican" and you are free to read into that any extension of evil darkness and race based prejudice you'd care to mention. Today, Obama obliquely identifies himself for the values of the Republic against the "peculiar" interests of modern capitalists.

More about Brown:

"Historians agree John Brown played a major role in starting the Civil War.[4] His role and actions prior to the Civil War, as an abolitionist, and the tactics he chose still make him a controversial figure today. He is sometimes heralded as a heroic martyr and a visionary and sometimes vilified as a madman and a terrorist; black scholars have consistently held the first viewpoint while those who apologize for black slavery have held the second; those belonging to neither category have held various views. While some writers, such as Bruce Olds, describe him as a monomaniacal zealot, others, such as Stephen B. Oates, regard him as "one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation." David S. Reynolds hails the man who "killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights" and Richard Owen Boyer emphasizes that Brown was "an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans might be free." For Ken Chowder he is "at certain times, a great man", but also "the father of American terrorism."

Please - I'm not suggesting that Rev. Wright is a terrorist but I am assuming that he can be seen as a controversial figure. I'm also not defending Rev. Wright or his words. He has injured my favorite candidate and I wish he had never said anything to offend the good and decent people of this nation. But I will go on with this comparison.

John Brown saw the evil of slavery and declared himself violently opposed to it. Reverend Wright saw the injustice of America and as he wiped the blood of it on our hands we were unwillingly brought to shocking awareness of what some people believe.

No matter how hard the 1860 Republicans tried to repudiate the actions of John Brown and his words, no matter how meticulous Abraham Lincoln was in observing the Constitutional rights of slave owners, history records the clear impression that Lincoln carried forward the mission of John Brown to rid the nation of of slavery.
And make no mistake, John Brown condemned America for allowing oppression under law.

Lincoln distanced himself from Brown. Obama distances himself from Wright. But guilt by association has been assigned to both Lincoln and Obama for all time.

Now for myself, I am a Lincoln man.

I will accept Lincoln's association with the guilt of one John Brown in exchange for the redemption of millions of slaves to freedom.

And I am an Obama man. I will accept Obama's association with the guiltly words of one Jeremiah Wright in exchange for a new birth of American freedom.

Barack Obama's association with Reverend Wright is as radical as Abraham Lincoln's association with John Brown. Neither is real. Yet they scare the hell out of us. That is what challenges us to look carefully at his election.

Obama is betting that America can look beyond race and that he can win the Presidency. Others calmly declare that we are still a racist nation and that he can't possibly win.

For the sake of my country, I'd rather bet on Obama and lose than bet on racism and win.

Who Forgot America?

John McCain is talking poverty in America's forgotten places.


Maybe this is why Conservative Republicans have so much trouble with him.

First, Conservative doctrine says that poor people are responsible for being poor. McCain is blaming our government for not solving the problem - hastily adding that it isn't supposed to. McCain does say he'll help the poor without all that wasteful government spending.

Right. The best way to help the poor is to give tax breaks to the rich and extend credit to people with no money.

We've had a Republican President for 7 years who had a Republican Senate and until '06 a Republican House.

Do Conservatives really want John McCain to remind us who forgot about America? Don't we have more poor people now than we did before the two terms of this Republican administration?

Thanks for reminding us.

Somebody Should State The Obvious

Pundits and reporters like to post speculations that are framed to answer their own assumptions at the expense of the obvious truth.

The New York Times Adam Nagourney provides a great example.

"For Obama, a Struggle to Win Over Key Blocs"

It is the question that has hung over Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and it loomed large on Tuesday night after his loss to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Pennsylvania: Why has he been unable to win over enough working-class and white voters to wrap up the Democratic nomination?

Hey Adam, here's what's making Obama struggle with working class white voters: Hillary Clinton is still in the race. That's right Adam, if she had dropped out last week, he would have killed in PA.

Do you really think these voters will pick a Republican this year? And if they will does it matter who the Democrats nominate?

This has been my problem with Hillary all along. Her base is White Conservative /Independent voters. That makes her just like John McCain. She's been running to the right since she started. She failed to run for the support of her own party. Instead, she blew off partisan support and ran headlong into the minefield of no man's land.

So If she wins the Democratic nomination I have to decide whether to elect the woman who votes like John McCain, or the man who actually is John McCain.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Voice Over News And Studio Updates

Here's the latest on the good old wholesome bidness of media production and voice work here at The Production Room.

I'll share another hot tip about voice work, link you to a cool story about microphones and hook you up with our latest project news for NPR, CBC radio, Channel Islands National Park and an Animated Industrial Video for Healthcare Heat.

* * * *

But First...

How NOT to Get Into Pro Voice Work:

* * * *

NPR All things Considered had this great story about a Virginia couple who replicate classic microphones. Also includes a great introduction to the story of German microphone development. Lots of fun! Listen

* * * *

Speaking of NPR - on Monday we provided isdn service to NPR's Alex Chadwick at NPR West in Los Angeles for a segment upcoming on "Day to Day". I will try to provide the link when available.

* * * *

CBC's Anna Maria Tremonti connected with us from Toronto to interview author Brian Fagan about the historic record and the effects of climate change on human beings trough the centuries. That program aired April 22 on "The Current" from CBC Radio 1.
Listen to Segment 3

* * * *

Michael Hanrahan of the Ocean Channel has once again engaged the voice of yours truly and the studio at the Production Room to record voice tracks for a new film to be played at the Visitor Center of Channel Islands National Park.

The new film is similar to a project Ocean Channel did about the environmental restoration of Santa Cruz Island which I narrated from our farm in Canada last summer. Check out this film, "Santa Cruz Island - Crisis To Recovery" on The Ocean Channel.

* * * *

Jay Barry Colin is a youthful 68 years. He's retired. He has succeeded in building a business and prosperity that allows him to live however he likes. Mr. Colin has decided that he would like to keep working.

He arrived at my door with a remarkable project: tell the medical world about Healthcare Heat. It's a new system that uses heat sterilization in operating rooms to help stop hospital infection.

Jay told me that 99,000 people died of infection in US hospitals in 2007, and he wants to put a stop to it.

As we were preparing to finish recording the voice tracks for the video he said, "This is going to change everything. It's a nice leave behind that you and I are all part of. We're going to save lives."

You know something? That's not bad for a 90 minute session.

The End of Bon Homme Barack?

Hillary Clinton won big.

Make no mistake, this is a huge blow to Obama. He could have made miles of progress by knocking her out. And he COULD have knocked her out if he had learned what the Clinton's already know about dropping the out of context sound bite, the talking up of contradictory positions, the ability to lie with a straight face and the ready willingness to land a cheap shot to the package. Somehow this works on the very voters he's trying win over - people who know that life isn't fair and you'd better not show up with eloquent words at a knife fight.

And Hillary finally got the knife fight David Gergen mentioned months ago. She got a lot of help from Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolis who acted like drunks cheering on a bar fight. At the end Obama looked like Bad Bad Leroy Brown. In the process she made herself look like a low class roughneck. And guess what - it worked. Problem was, Obama didn't look like the kind of man who could make this loud mouth broad shut the hell up.

...and that IS the problem for Obama.

Working women LOVE Hillary - in big numbers. They'll give her a pass for hitting a man below the belt. They won't forgive him for giving her a public thrashing - even as they acknowledge that she probably has one coming. But guess what? Obama has to BEAT her - decisively. The public won't support a President who can't defend himself.

So he has two choices going forward.

He can drop the high toned, Good Guy Barack rhetoric, strip to the waist and shred her to bits in an Ultimate Fighting Championship bout (which ABC will gladly pimp for big commercial bucks) and which nobody will win. American women will then spring to Hillary's defense and declare that Barack has gone bad and that he hates women (in fact they'll say, "he's always hated women...").

Or Senator Obama can pack his bags and move on to Indiana where he has another chance to win. If I were him, I'd re-package some of his policy talk ups and hit her hard on her strongest points. Obama needs to flip the table, call her out and force her to defend her conservative politics.

As McCain sucks up to the "Forgotten America" (aparantly, when you're an old Republican it's possible to forget a lot of people in America.) Hillary currently looks like the only Republican in a three man race.

Another bit of advice for Obama:

The media is currently so partisan and is held in such low regard by the public that it will be perfectly okay to tell Charlie Gibson that he's full of crap the next time he asks you a stupid question. Bill Clinton gave a great example of how to do this yesterday even as a reporter caught him in an outright lie.

See? Experience counts!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

American Idol Politics

I didn't watch the debate.

I'm more interested in the debate watchers.
The blogs are buzzing this morning. And since perception is everything when it comes to a made for TV event like American Idol or a political debate, is it any wonder that the topics of conversation were created by and are a reaction to the media as much as the candidates.

I find the online comments interesting.

"In PA Debate The Clear Loser is ABC"

Lot's of criticism for ABC for it's handling of a potentially major event.

"The Samsonite Argument"

This one I find interesting because of what it refers to. Hillary is reduced to a direct appeal to super delegates that she can withstand a Republican attack in the Fall. It goes like this -

"I've been in this arena for a long time. I have a lot of baggage, and everybody has rummaged through it for years," she said. Therefore, she argued, "I will be able to withstand whatever the Republican sends our way."

WTF? I have a lot of bad news in my background that everyone knows about, therefore I'm more electable? What kind of argument is THAT?

Her recent position is this, "If you think the stuff people have made up about Obama is bad, imagine how awful the facts must be!"

OK, Hillary I can dig up a zillion references that "prove" you are a lesbian. This kind of campaigning stinks and it's the reason the blowback from her campaign is going to hurt her at least as much as it hurts him.

Clearly Obama's remarks last week have become a sore spot and supporters like me resent that it's still a topic of conversation. At a moment in history when failed market speculation threatens the global economy, food shortages and record high oil prices are about to spark global unrest and experts are saying that fresh water is poised to be the new oil - ABC NEWS wants to focus on the choice of one adjective in a private conversation.

Welcome to American Idol Politics, where media figures present other people's opinions as questions and then pick your next president for you.

How about if we vote on it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Label Makers

Hey kids, let's see which labels will stick:

Elitest: Slapped on Obama by Hillary Clinton and John McCain.


elite (comparative more elite, superlative most elite)

1. Of high birth or social position; aristocratic or patrician.


1. (uncountable) A special group or social class of people which have a superior intellectual, social or economic status as, the elite of society.
2. (countable) Someone who is among the best at certain task.

I'll take the elitist over my current "C Student" President any time.

But what you probably want to know is, "What Kind of Elitist Are You"
Follow the link and find out.

Warmonger: Slapped on John McCain by Ed Schultz

Defined: (Merriam Webster online) And in a bit of weird on-line humor, this page contained an ad for John McCain for President on it.

One entry found.


Main Entry:
\ˈwȯr-ˌməŋ-gər, -ˌmäŋ-\

: one who urges or attempts to stir up war

I'll add that war-monger literally means one who sells war - as in the old English term fish-monger.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Losing The Clinton Legacy

The truth is that Hillary Clinton is a good candidate.

The truth is that Hillary Clinton wouldn't be running for President if her husband had not been President.

The truth is that the latest kerfuffle isn't about small town America or what Obama meant to say about the voters of PA.

This whole skirmish is about the shot Senator Obama took at Bill Clinton.

Did you get that?

This is all about the legacy of Bill Clinton.

Barack Obama is set to cast a long shadow over President Clinton as a leader American Democrats revere. And that leaves Bill Clinton forever defined as a less important figure who was impeached for getting a blow job in the Oval office.

By saying that rural America has been skidding into despair for 25 years Senator Obama erased the Clinton Presidency.

The greatest gamble for the Clinton's isn't just losing an election. At stake here is nothing less than the Clinton legacy. It's now becoming clear how high the cost of staying in and losing the race may be for the Clintons.

Maureen Dowd makes this same point really well in an April 13 column of the NYT

UPDATE: 4/14/08 6:48 PDT

Karl Rove created the strategy of "God,Guns and Gays" he used it to bring out the evangelical vote in 2004.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Super Weekend Blog Plost

OK, I've put on the ZZ Top - Time to rack up another load 'O fun for the weekend. Let's rock.

* * * * *


We'll have a clip of Senator Obama demonstrating how many ways he can kick your ass if you try to call him out on something he said.

There are some great links from Contributor Ray McInnis

A link to the blog and their new 23 hour news channel (You have to guess which hour they are off the air.)

We'll have the poetry of Steve Connell and his video, "Mission Accomplished" which leads me to...

A few moments with the 1965 Russ Meyer flick "Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!

And Today's Funny about political pundits from National Banana!

$ $ $ $ $


Verbal sparring is one thing. A Verbal butt kicking is something else.
Both Senator Clinton and Senator McCain (funny how in concert they are)launched a shot claiming Obama's remarks at a fundraiser about PA voters was "elitest". On the same day (no time for focus groups) he nimbly returned the shot to score points in Indiana. Watch the clip below and notice that the Senator isn't reading notes or a teleprompter in his response...

height="355"> Steve Martin once said, "Hey, this guy's GOOD."

$ $ $ $ $


I hope Ray McInnis won't mind if I mention that he was a professional research librarian and has been a long time blogger and blog commenter.

So I'm flattered that he takes the time to research and forward comments and links he think might be useful.

First, I want to file what Ray found and commented on as a result of some offline chat he and I had this week about campaign financing:

Bloomberg article linked below notes that Obama is winning argument that gathering funds via internet is form of public funding.

In his quest for election of president in 2000 and 2004, George Bush amassed unbelievable amounts – from his rich supporters – and, cynically, we all knew that donors would get good returns on their investment.

In 2008, Obama will soon match that figure, but with over 2,000,000 small donors. Rightly, I think, Obama argues that using the internet in this fashion, where his donors stay well under the $2300 limit for individuals, is within the spirit of campaign finance laws.

Irony of ironies, McCain is one of the authors of the legislation. Will he sit still for this type of logic from Obama? I think that he will, because given the temper of the public today, and the parallel economic conditions – recession, mortgage meltdown, gas prices -- among liberals and conservatives alike, argues for me that public opinion, will favor this evolution of the campaign finance law.


Parallel System

He suggested this week that he may reject government money, becoming the first presidential candidate since 1976 to do so, arguing that his broad base of support is a form of public financing.

``We have created a parallel public-financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign, they can get on the Internet and finance it,'' he told supporters at an April 8 fundraiser in Washington. ``And they will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally reserved for the wealthy and the powerful.''

Should Obama opt out of the system, he will face only muted criticism, said Steve Grossman, a former Democratic National Committee national chairman who is a fundraiser for Obama's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

``I don't think you get penalized when essentially you've gone from a system that was dominated by wealthy people and entities to a system where millions of people are funding it,'' Grossman said. ``That's democracy in action.''

- couple of disconnects here, as obama ad discloses tauzin -- former congressman -- draws $2 mil annually lobbying for big pharm

bogging years ago, I was claiming the billy tauzin left congress for a $1 mil annual lobbying job for big pharm, and of course, I was in disbelief – and disgusted -- at the amount.

(Remember that tauzin chaired the committee for years that had jurisdiction over big pharm, and that – reputedly, big pharm spends $1 mil/congressman senate and house annually -- for protective legislation.)

Well, turns out I was wrong. The annual amount paid tauzin was double $2 mil.

Now, though,an obama ad shows us that he is drawing bead on this outrage. Let’s hope it gets some traction.

You know, I follow media and messaging. Ray follows his nose and digs up facts. For an opinionator like me, this stuff is gold.

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Finally from Ray, a subject near and dear to all of us who have to part with the lean green on April 15th. Where do your tax dollars go?

Check out this report for 2008 from the National Priorities Project

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Yes I do get paid for writing. And since November I've been getting paid to write content for It's web based satire with video clips, a blog and even an opportunity for you to watch the BSN news network live via a link from dirtblog page.

Check out the headlines and keep checking next week for new videos and content.

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Steve Connell was in Santa Barbara recently. His website "Tell Us The Mission" is a great place to visit (Be sure to re-write the Mission Accomplished sign behind President Bush) and a good link to this intense young urban flavored poet. Check out the video below, "Mission Accomplished" from 2003.

Mr Connell visited Teenager's High School lately and he got me hip to the link.

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When I visited "Tell us the Mission" (above) I had to write on the banner. Being the guy I am I wrote, "Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!" 'cause it was funny. From there I had to Google this weird film classic from the '60's. I found this:

What Can I Say?

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The Zucker Brothers are alive and funny. If your read the pundits, you have to see this clip from National Banana:

From Crackle: Webcam Pundits

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Have a great Weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Words Mean Things

Oh, who can forget Hillary Clinton alleging that Senator Obama had nothing to offer but words.

And I seem to remember predicting that certain Conservative radio voices would trip over their tongues and be unable to negotiate the rapids of race in the political stream of consciousness that is American talk radio.

Well, I was surprised to notice this week that the first casualty on the talk radio front wasn't one of the Conservatives, but one of the loudest voices on the Left.

Randi Rhodes has left Air America over remarks she made at an affiliate event in San Francisco. Oh, the irony. Air America - prescribed antidote to the controlled message of Corporate media did the corporate thing and gagged it's most popular talker for being offensive. And after they checked with attorneys who defined the word exposure and the word slander, they did the mental math that says: exposure plus slander plus offensive equals suspended.

So she quit.

Now, I don't know what the Clinton campaign said or did. But Hillary Clinton is a lawyer. She knows lawyers. Lawyers know how to fire off threatening letters like my kids know how to mess up the house. It comes with the job. So let's assume there were words between the campaign and Air America about the words used by Randi Rhodes.

I know I once said some things I shouldn't have about an ex-girlfriend and I said them on an afternoon radio show when I was a top 40 DJ. I didn't call her a whore...exactly...and I didn't mention her name. But I wasn't prudent or kind.

And if she ever finds this post I hereby offer my apologies and I beg her pardon.

On the day I made my remarks I found out I that I had threatened my job and my employer. Her new boyfriend showed up to defend her honor. Jim Ranger was an old school broadcaster; a Reagan Conservative who built his broadcasting business as a local owner. He sat in his private office and listened to the story he was told by the offended party and promised the man he would deal with it. The plaintiff continued hotly and at one point made a legal threat - at which point he was shown the door and loudly told to get lost.

Later I heard a few quiet words from Jim explaining that what I had done was wrong. He told me it was wrong because my career, my interests, the interests of the business he owned and the community we served were bigger than whatever I thought I needed to say about one woman. A little self control - in my own interest - was all he asked me for. And we never spoke of it again.

Aside from the fact that Air America has made a lot of rookie mistakes and has indulged itself in plenty of poor programming choices made by people who aren't career broadcasters, it has now made the huge mistake of not standing up for it's flagship talent in public. They sacrificed their credibility and the ability of other hosts to continue to speak freely. Why? Because somebody lost their nerve.
National talk radio is hardball. Trash talk is part of the game. Talk radio will continue. But Air America has again proven that it isn't ready for the major leagues.

And Randi? To quote Good Morning Viet Nam, "You're mean. And this is just radio."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Reconstruction - Est. April 9, 1865

Today is the Fifth Anniversary of the Fall of Baghdad to US troops. I just heard that on Fox News Radio. I noticed they didn't bother to cloak it either. The days of referring to "coalition forces" are long gone. Just think, we could have declared victory and left Iraq on April 10th, 2003.

Today is also the date of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, VA.

April 9th, 1865 was Palm Sunday. The Federal Government declared victory and then left all of our people to negotiate what victory meant for the next 150 years.

It's easy to forget that Federal occupation and martial law lasted until 1876 in some southern states. The war ended with no real plan for economic rebuilding of the south (although private capital "investment" from the North was seen as a solution) and there was no Federal plan for freed slaves except - KEEP 'EM IN THE SOUTH!

April 9th was not really the end of the Civil War. More accurately it was only the beginning of Re-construction and the evidence says we're not done yet. The closing military act in our Civil War was not only the first surrender of an American Army, it is an event that is connected to us by parallel lines of American ideology and culture that compete for control of the country to this day.

A huge emptiness - a vacuum - was created by the collapse of slavery and the south.

In Iraq, we've tried to launch Re-construction DURING a civil war. And when we leave, we will leave a new vacuum in a region full of conflict and violence. So how will we leave? How long will re-construction take in Iraq? How will it be accomplished?

This is a huge topic that I think bears directly on the assumptions people have about this war and this election. I hope to explore this more as time allows in future. But I'm in no hurry. This topic will be alive for another 100 years.

But let me close with these thoughts about our country. The difficulty for America isn't just race, it is culture. Obama isn't just Black, he's a Yankee. But if he is able to win the popular vote across most of the states in November it could finally be said that our Civil War is over.

The issues of race, politics and culture will be forever changed.

from ray -- something to ponder in the PA 'burbs

Contributor Ray McInnis in the Great Northwest sends some insights about the race in PA for those of us on the outside looking in...

Take it away Ray!

Folks, my google reader brought this piece (pasted below in the gray-shaded area, along with photos and a map) up on my screen this morning.

*** (Note from JQ - this didn't copy into my blog format, so follow the links)

If you are like me, the gist of the piece makes you ponder.

(I am following PA affairs, because in two weeks, we will witness an historic primary in Penn. Since I don’t know PA very well – have been there twice (once to an academic conference in down town Philly, another time on a car-trip from upstate NY to Cincinnati: we stayed over night at the idyllic town, University Park.)

This piece reveals hardship in the suburbs in PA, yes, but – as the writer, Maria Panaritis, says, “it’s duplicated across the nation”.

Here in the Pacific Northwwest, along Puget Sound, a belt of suburbs stretches up I5 from Olympia to just south of Mount Vernon, about 120 miles. (Overall, the population is around 2,000,000, I think. The geography of Puget Sound is what makes WA a “Blue State” – East of the Cascades, in land area much larger, is “Red State”, but vote-wise, is always out voted by the larger, more liberal population west of the Cascades.) While I know only a few families living in the area, the experience of my son and daughter are indicative, I think.

My son – he lives in Seattle near the University -- finally got an ideal job – in computer programming – on the water in Seattle, while my daughter commutes 30 miles each way from a little town outside MV to Bellingham everyday.

My son feels very fortunate that, finally, he can commute daily via Seattle bus to his office> No more frantic daily trips over Lake Washington’s floating bridge to Microsoft at Kirkland, etc.

My daughter’s story is more complicated – her husband just retired after 20 years in the Coast Guard and is now studying for a second career in “Emergency Management”, which he says – rightly I think – merely extends what he did in the CG.

As well as working fulltime as supervisor in a Head Start program, my daughter is in night school at WWU, getting an Master’s in Education.

However, enough personal stuff.

Reading the piece below is revealing.

Why -- if his health insurance is $9000 per year -- is the young man voting for McCain? McCain is going to give him more of the same.

(OK, I know that resolving the health crisis in America will not be a piece of cake. Health care eats up an estimated 20% of the American economy, and at best Obama or Hillary’s plan will be a patchwork job.

But the difference is “commitment”. The two Dems are committed to finding a solution; McCain is “throwing it in the pot”, because he knows “health care’s time has come”.)

A bigger issue, though, is the price of gas. The couple’s gas budget is $3,600 a year. For sure, gas prices are not going down. A drumbeat – daily – pounds into your brain that everyday when you drive. Why? You’re leaving a “carbon imprint”, doing your part to prolong “global warming”, which, some say, the future of civilization pivots on.

Is this really true? We don’t know, but – nonetheless – this thought is always there – weighing on peoples’ consciences, just something else to worry about, certainly – with the worry -- not helping you maintain personal health.

Again, with the price of gas where it is, why is the young man going for McCain. The best McCain promises is Bush III, and as we know, a better friend of a petroleum-based economy than Bush is hard to find!

(Here's the link Ray is referring to from

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hey! Get'cher Program Here!

I read somewhere recently (on somebody's blog)that a good blog should be able to surprise you.

Well, now that my 8 year old has finished playing boats on the counterpane sea and has snuggled down for some ZZZZ's with his all but depleted CPA mother (it is tax season you know!) And Teenager is in bed reading a science fiction adventure, I'm free to share a surprise I found in my never ending obsession to individually will the Obama campaign to victory through prose.

I should first add that Teenager tries to take an interest in my political musings but is far more interested at present in a girl named Jennifer and playing second base on the High School baseball team. And 2nd grader is far more interested in burning things with a magnifying glass and the collection of Tom and Jerry cartoons I bought him than he is with his weekly homework packet or anything I have to say about anything. The wife is more interested in our real life than in my imagined one.

So I'm left with you to join me in this foray.

I find the LA Times "Top of the Ticket" blogs one of those must read items for political analysis these days. Don Frederick and Andrew Malcolm are always a good read.

In the blog today they linked me to wonderful piece of journalism.

This article in the National Journal by James Barnes is like picking up a program at the ball park. "Hey - You can't tell the players without a program." barks the hawker.

This is a solid reference work that told me who the players are on the Obama team.
It's a good read no matter which way you intend to cast your vote.

It also left me feeling that the top of Obama's team thus far is a bit provincial. Mostly Chicago and Harvard based. And while there are a lot of solid people (and a load of former Clinton people) on board, the campaign is going to have to be able to expand a bit to include more local/regional voices if it wants to maintain a grasp on national politics.

Now, even suggesting that Harvard could possibly be provincial would be obscene in some places...but the fact that natural disasters and farm crises, immigration issues and veterans care, jobs and water policy,school districts and real estate collapses are fundamentally local issues in every corner of the land which may not effect a Harvard Scholar...well, you get my drift.

The campaign is going to need some local wisdom in it's national plans. Or it's prone to make the kind of mistakes that turn populists into princes. If nobody knows New Orleans BEFORE the next hurricane hits...well, you know the rest. And when the President's mother helpfully suggests, "They can eat cake!" you know the dream is over.

So that's my surprising surprise. Meanwhile, I've been fighting the flu.
I'm going to bed.

Poison Penn

Washington Post: Clinton's Chief Strategist Steps Down

When he signed up with Hillary Clinton as chief strategist, some Democrats were concerned about his relatively hawkish views on foreign policy -- he is staunchly pro-Israel and centrist -- and his tendency to keep an eye toward the general election rather than on the primaries.

Penn, a sometimes rumpled and often argumentative figure, struggled from the start with the awkward management structure of the Clinton campaign. Tensions escalated with each of her defeats: Some complained that he was too data-driven and obstinate, and he was blamed for the failure to "humanize" the candidate in the early days of the race.

"Moneyball" only works if you study the right metrics and the game remains static.

For a Moneyball campaigner like Penn, humanity is only a metric and his combative style blew out the good work Candidate Clinton did to humanize herself in debates with Obama.

The Post comment that he kept running toward the general election proves what I've believed; that Clinton has been running to the right instead of running to win the Democratic base. Penn is THE reason the party is split.

I worked in a ratings driven business for years and I learned a lot about reading surveys - the polling data of the commercial market. I also remember being pounded by consultants with numbers that "proved" things I knew were at best unprovable and at worst, dead wrong. In general terms, these statistics are impossible to argue with. So the executives smile and nod and you got automated radio stations programmed by people a thousand miles from your home.

Oh, the Humanity? I don't see any relevant numbers on that.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rush Pounds The Table

“When the law is against you, pound the facts, when the facts are against you, pound the law, and when they’re both against you, pound the table”.

Rush Limbaugh isn't working for John McCain for President.
He's working against any liberal (including John McCain) for President.

RUSH: I'll admit it. I don't know what the hell McCain is saying, other than he's spouting some liberal stuff in this speech at Annapolis today about the haves and have-nots. I agree with all that. But I will say this: If he's going to lecture the American people about who they need to be, he might be just a little bit off the mark. Let him attack the liberals (which he won't do). Let him attack the bureaucrats (which he won't do). Let him attack the judges (which he won't do). But the American people, generally, are the people who make the country work. It's sort of way off to start criticizing the American people in general. Look, I will admit I'm confused. If he can't give a speech where we can understand what he's saying, then it isn't a very good speech.

I know that emotion. I voted against George Bush.

Conservatives are stuck with a weak candidate and there's nothing to do but pound the table.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

We'll Know... When They Know

I'm not in any hurry to see the primary run end.

It's been useful for a lot of reasons. We've already had a good look at who the candidates are and the Democrats have the best chance in years to pick a winner.

I'll bet you that Obama raised 10 million dollars more than Clinton in March.

The 20 point polling gap that showed Clinton thumping Obama in PA is closing fast. I read minutes ago that she is still leading. The story is that Obama is still gaining.

That 10 point shift leaves a lot less daylight to run for in terms of delegates, in terms of fundraising and in terms popular vote margins. She currently leads in none of those categories and the polling says she's loosing momentum.

I'll bet the news that the Texas delegates are all counted and Obama got more didn't help.

I'll bet her campaign already knows what will happen.

The superdelegates won't have to make their pick if the polls keep moving at the same speed. It'll be a statistical tie by race day (you should excuse all that implies) and that won't get it done for her by any measure.

The money will dry up.

The calls to drop out will get louder

And a North Carolina stomping will end it.

If you think this has been ain't seen nothing yet.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Race in the Context of America

When I started to blog on the rhetoric of this campaign I had no idea who I might "meet" or find as an inspiration or reliable source.

I had no idea that Barrack Obama would be leading us into a national discussion on race. In fact, I could easily spend the next few minutes writing my conviction that Barack Obama is already leading this country and that the election is the formal means of confirming that we know who our leader is.

But rather than read my take, I invite you to read what contributor Ray McInnis has collected for your review:

Taken together, in the last few days we have witnessed an assemblage of statements about the wright affair that puts black religion into a historical context that -- for me at least -- is long overdue.

for example here is a link to a bacgrounder about wright et al in the latimes and, below that, another link from nyrb:

The Los Angeles Times does something many Obama supporters have been asking the media to do for weeks: put Rev. Wright in some context. "Examining the full content of Wright's sermons and delivery style yields a far more complex message, though one that some will still find objectionable. For more than 30 years, Wright walked churchgoers every Sunday along a winding road from rage to reconciliation, employing a style that validated both. 'He's voicing a reality that those people experience six days a week,' said the Rev. Dwight Hopkins, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Trinity member. 'In that sense, he's saying they're not insane. That helps them to function the other six days of the week.'"

the pasted extract below, for example, comes from a piece by elizabeth drew in nyrb:

... Right on top of the Ferraro episode came—not coincidentally, some observers think—the release on television of some particularly inflammatory statements by Obama's pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright—"No, no, no. Not God bless America. God damn America." Such preaching is not uncommon in black churches and Wright's is milder than some others. That Obama attended Wright's church—the biggest and most influential black church in Chicago, a church that had done a lot of civic good—does not at all signify that he shared these particular pastoral views. Obama has had no part in the angry-black world. The controversy over Wright was not a new issue, and Obama had dropped him from giving the convocation speech at his announcement that he was running for president....

Also, folks, Drew's piece, is the best "quick and dirty" summary of the events associated recently with the jockeying between obama and hillary throughout the campaign. Drew writes as an "inside-the-beltway" washington dc resident, but at heart she's like the rest of us, passionate about getting behind obama so that we can get some real change in DC.

This week, Obama seems to have his groove back -- in everything except bowling -- and while some calcified conservatives are determined to get traction out of the wright imbroglio, American voters have concluded that Obama is not infected by his association with what is considered wright's inflammatory rhetoric

funny how -- in life -- events taken unusual turns, often emerging in the opposite direction that was intended.

after typing out the sentence above i began searching for historical parallels,to prove my point, but one doesn't readily come to mind. examples are out there, though

however, check this out:

in the 1940s, when governor of CA, earl warren, approved the enforcement of executive order 9066, in 1942 -- the order that interned the japanese on the west coast, because it was feared that they would assist the japanese war effort against the US -- it was held that he was merely behaving like a conservative.

later, after eisenhower appointed warren chief justice, warren made it his historical destiny to have the supreme court approve "brown vs board of education" in 1954, which out-lawed segregation in schools.

consider the spectacle of, over a short decade, 1942 to 1952, someone going from predictable conservative to "over-active liberal", and thus become detested by conservatives

(historically, it is well-known that eisenhower made a deal with warren, who was himself consider a run for president: "if you don't run, I'll appoint you to the first vacant seat on the supreme court", eisenhower told warren. later, though eisenhower lamented about the appointment: "worst damn mistake i ever made in my life!".)

its is one of my unfilled intentions to check out a warren bio and find out more about this conservative's change of heart, but so far never have