Thursday, February 04, 2010
Some of you might know that I've spent most of my online time on Twitter, which I believe to be a wonderful service run by lefties who have no idea what they're doing. That said, it holds a special place in my heart, which is why it's maddening to have this debate about what "spam" is or isn't, what "aggressive" is, and whether or not posted rules mean anything if you're a conservative on Twitter. Here is the thread of the conversation I'm having with Ginger, one of Twitter's spam control people.
Those of you on Twitter, am I out of line here? Reply me @radioblogger...unless, of course, they permanently suspend me. if that happens, join www.hughniverse.com
where the rules aren't so weird.
Submitted Feb 01 04:02 pm by you
possibly stuck on twitter's spam list
i am not a spam account. i produce a nationally syndicated radio program, where the show is live tweeted weekdays using the #hhrs tag. like any normal radio practice, we try to widen listenership on a daily basis. same goes with twitter. unlike @ev's philosophy of de-emphasizing amount of followers, that's exactly what we strive to gain. twitter has never put my account on a suggested follow list, so i follow others, engage, and remove those over a period of time that do not agree. i rarely if ever retweet, all tweets are originals by me, and no porn/product offers are included. can't twitter embrace capitalistic intents without playing favorites with celebrities? right now, my account won't show up in search engine apps because i dumped several thousand non-followers yesterday. let's be realistic, shall we?
Thanks for letting us know that your updates were not appearing in Twitter search results. In order to provide the best search experience for users, Twitter automatically filters search results for quality. To understand what might have caused your tweets to jeopardize search quality, please review this page:
Your account has been aggressively following users. I can also tell you that a higher-than-average percentage of these users that you proactively followed have either blocked your account from following them, or reported you as spam.
You will need to revoke access to any automated applications that are causing your account to violate the rules. The only automated following behavior that Twitter allows is auto-follow-back (following a user after they have followed you). Please note that it's not just the automation of the following that is against the rules, but the aggressive nature of the following itself, even if you are performing all the operations manually. This help page has an overview of our Following Best Practices, and more information about these rules and limits:
I've now updated your account settings so that your tweets will appear in the search results. Please note that it may take at least 24 hours for recent tweets to be indexed, and due to the dynamic nature of Twitter's search algorithm, you may not find every recent tweet in Twitter search.
Feb-03 2010 11:36 am.
That help page specifically addresses the difference between the 1,000 a day technical follow limit (in place to limit egregious behavior by spam accounts and to prevent strain on the site) and allowed following behavior for users:
Your account has followed well over 300 in less than a day and has so far been blocked by thousands of users.
Please note that it's not just the automation of the following that is against the rules, but the aggressive nature of the following itself, even if you are performing all the operations manually. Repeat violations may result in permanent suspension, so you'll want to be sure to review those documents before continuing in your current following behavior.
Feb-04 2010 03:37 pm.
ginger, again, i'm grateful for the response, which is refreshing when dealing with twitter personnel, but your response is not addressing the questions i have. i have read the forum list entry you cite. we have different views of "aggressive following". you think when i add/dump people, that's aggressive and puts a strain on the system. i would counter than when you generate thousands of followers per day with your suggested follow list for ashton and other celebs/accounts, that's more aggressive than anything i could do on my own, and that's more of a strain on the system.
i've added 300 today. which is still below the 1,000 a day rule twitter has in place. as for being blocked by thousands of users, i'm not surprised. i do politics in my tweets. i'm conservative. i criticize the obama administration a lot. that's bound to turn off lots of followers that in turn block me. i am not profane, racist, or offensive in my criticisms, and have debated many of the left on twitter, if one wanted to research my timeline. but the fact people block me does not make me spam, and i don't think twitter can show me that the people blocking me are solely because i follow them.
are you going to permanently suspend @nansen? are you going to permanently suspend @guykawasaki? i can't believe my use of twitter is being threatened with permanent suspension when i'm staying within the posted follow number rules, staying within the 10% ratio, but am being threatened under a subjective rule which is not being enforced system-wide, and one, aggressive following, that cannot even be defined finitely. you certainly have the ability to suspend me. i certainly have the ability to go on a national radio program and speculate why twitter is playing favorites when selectively applying their "rules".
Isn't a better solution to recognize that twitter is a wonderful service that has many applications for many different people, and that as long as i'm within your set follow caps, and am not trying to sell people porn, i'm not spam and should be encouraged by twitter to grow and prosper?
Feb-04 2010 04:11 pm.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
On the way home from the studio, I passed a gathering of Iranian-Americans on a street corner protesting what the Iranian regime continues to perpetrate on their own people.
Not an overwhelming crowd, about fifty or so, mostly consisting of students.
This is a very busy intersection in Southern California, and the vast amount of cars I saw pass waived, gave the thumbs-up sign, and/or honked in support of the people of Iran that are trying to tell the world enough is enough. I spoke with two women who thanked me for stopping and taking pictures.
I asked them what they would like the American response to be. The one on the right said, "It's a complicated problem because of the nuclear weapons. We can't just invade." I told her I agreed with that, but asked if she was happy with how President Obama had responded so far to the protestors in Iran. She frowned. I didn't ask her, but it seemed very apparent that she, and likely many of the other students in this crowd, had been supporters of Barack Obama. "I remain hopeful that President Obama will do the right thing," she replied, as diplomatically as she could. I asked her if she believed he had done the right thing so far. "No."
In his only public response to the growing crisis, President Obama said, "It is not productive, given the history of US and Iranian relations to be seen as meddling in Iranian elections."
Encouraging all people to embrace freedom and self-determination is not meddling. It's the right thing to do.
Supporting the people of Iran is not a hard call to make. In fact, using the bully pulpit to speak out against the Iranian theocracy and calling for small d democratic ideals like free and fair elections is the kind of hope and change one would expect from the American president.
Remaining silent in order to save the possibility of future negotiations with the Iranian regime is what's actually 'not productive', as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said on Hugh's program Monday night.
Well, what’s the point of engaging? Do we think this regime, from what we’ve known about them in the past and what’s been clarified, as you said, what’s been clarified in the last 72 hours, do we think this regime can be allowed to have nuclear weapons? Do you trust these people who are willing to beat up their own people to prevent a guy who’s not exactly a friend of ours, Mousavi, from getting elected? Do we think this kind of jihadist, thuggish, militarist regime can be trusted in the middle of the Middle East, can be trusted with nuclear weapons? And if the answer is no, we’ve got to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. I think that’s what this has clarified.
Ronald Reagan realized a pivotal moment in history with the Soviet Union and delivered the "Tear Down This Wall" speech. We are at another pivotal moment in history. Will we see a moment in which Barack Obama rises to it? Or will he continue to remain silent, essentially voting 'present'?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
After 50 consecutive rides on It's A Small World, after 37 trips around Pirates of the Caribbean, after 29 ups and downs in the Tower of Terror, after hitting every Fastpass ride in two Disney parks in three hours, after beating all comers in Toy Story Mania, finally it can be said that our friends at Disney have recognized the accomplishments in style.
Well, at least brilliant Disney marketing people with their CGI skills have.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Nancy Pelosi has been receiving most of the blame in yesterday's meltdown in Congress, and rightly so. Her disastrous day, which led to the meltdown that began on Wall Street Monday, has now spread to the Asian markets overnight. She certainly went above and beyond the call of duty in helping sabotage her own bill Monday by giving a free pass to any Democrat who wanted out
. No pressure from the Speaker was exerted to pass the legislation in her caucus, again Democratic-sponsored legislation, at all.
But she needed an ally to enable her, someone with the distinct leadership style that consists of paying just enough lip service to the issue to score with the media and hoping it reflects in poll results, but actually shrinking from view when given the opportunity to show just how convincing he needs to be in times of crisis.
From the Tuesday editions of the New York Times
Democrats had said all along that by inserting himself into negotiations, Mr. McCain had brought presidential politics to a delicate situation and could wind up hurting more than helping. After the House vote, his aides bristled at the suggestion that his involvement had in fact been a drawback, saying he had been instrumental in getting House Republicans a seat at the negotiating table and helping bring in more of their votes.
[Senior McCain advisor, Douglas] Holtz-Eakin said Mr. McCain had made “dozens of calls” on the bill, some to House Republicans who opposed it.
Aides to Mr. Obama said he had not directly reached out to try to sway any House Democrats who opposed the measure. But where Mr. McCain had accused Mr. Obama of taking a hands-off approach to the financial crisis, Democratic advisers said they believed that Mr. McCain now had a role in the legislation’s failure.
Before the suspension of the McCain campaign last week, there were four Republicans on record supporting the language in the bill as it was. Senator McCain went back to Washington, got the House Republicans a seat at the negotiating table over the weekend, and their input in the bill for Monday's vote got sixty more Republicans to commit, far more than Pelosi should have needed to get the bill passed.
Senator Obama, on the other hand, showed up to the White House only when invited, spoke in platitudes, left, got beat in the debate Friday night, spent the weekend speaking in more platitudes, and did not lift a finger to dial the phone of any of his Democratic colleagues in the House to try and persuade them to consider supporting a bill Obama was half-heartedly on board with for the good of the country.
Rudy Giuliani, a man who knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a good executive, said this on Hugh's show Monday night:
Barack Obama has done what he’s done throughout his entire career, which is vote present, not offer any leadership. We don’t even know what part of the plan he supports or doesn’t support. John McCain delivered sixty Republican votes. When he went to Washington last week, only four Republicans in the House were in favor of this. They ended up with 64. There were enough Republican votes for the Democrats to get this done, but a third of the Democrats abandoned Nancy Pelosi. I have a feeling that if Barack Obama were at the table rolling up his sleeves, taking the same risk that John McCain took, they could have gotten that other twenty or thirty Democratic votes. It might have helped get a few more Republican votes if they saw that kind of commitment on the Democratic side.
HH: Should Obama be out there right now demanding that this pass on Thursday, Mayor?
RG: Of course. He should be working the phones. That’s what a president…this is what our great presidents do. They work the phones. It just doesn’t all happen because you make a speech and say change. It just doesn’t happen because you have a catch phrase or you happen to be able to have sort of a rock star effect on people. Politicians don’t care about rock star effects on people. They care about are you negotiating with me, what you are going to do for me, how are you going to get it done. I passed a lot of legislation as Mayor of New York City. It didn’t happen because I’m a rock star. It happened because I could negotiate with people, and I could work with them to get it done. John McCain can do that. Remember, when he went to Washington, with all the Democrats attacking him, he took the Republicans from four to 64. When Barack Obama went to Washington, it looks like the Democrats disappeared.
The more you see this campaign unfold, the more you see Barack Obama's true vision of hope and change. He only seems to act, or more frequently not act, when he hopes it will positively change his standing in the polls. The problem is, we've seen this political strategy before. It was called the Clinton administration.
The media may want us to believe Barack Obama is The One, but his inaction, his hand washing of the financial mess and hiding behind the "Let Congress figure it out" rhetoric, makes him resemble someone a little more Roman governorish.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Don't panic, we're not suddenly dropping politics just as the presidential campaign heads into the final couple of months. But since it's Labor Day weekend, the dog days of August are coming to a close, and the rosters are getting ready to expand for the final stretch to the playoffs, I thought I'd share my trip to Cooperstown this week.
Visiting the Hall of Fame had long been on my own personal bucket list, and when the opportunity came earlier this year to take a trip to Cooperstown Dreams Park and take part in a week-long tournament of youth baseball as an umpire, with the perk at the end of the trip being a trip to see the Hall, I was happy to olige. Fifteen games later, Friday was getaway day, with the Hall being the first stop out of town.
The weather was great all week. Instead of upstate New York being its traditional hot and humid, it was almost perfect baseball weather the whole time, until today when the remnants of Fay finally moved in after a slow march up the Eastern half of the country. For those of you unfamiliar with this part of New York, it is mile after mile of rolling hills and farmland. It is easily the greenest part of the country I have ever seen. When you arrive into Cooperstown proper, it is remarkable how unchanged by time it is. I'm not exactly sure what I expected, but this community is really a two street community.
You know you are out in the country, but you turn a corner and walk down the main street, and you are suddenly back in time.
This bank probably has looked just like this for over 130 years.
When I first got into town a week ago, everything was green. But today...
The leaves all over the place were just starting to turn, just as the summer baseball camp here that largely drives this town, ended operations until next summer. By Saturday, this strip will be a ghost town.
A look in one of the store windows. The top picture is considered a rarity - Babe Ruth actually having to slide into home instead of trotting in after hitting one out.
Before you go down the four or five blocks to the hall, tucked behind the strip of shops is Doubleday Field.
The annual Hall of Fame game has probably come to an end in a disappointing way. This year, the exhibition game around the induction ceremony was supposed to be between the Padres and Cubs, but was rained out. The economics of the game and scheduling are such that it's probably not feasible for teams to make this commitment in the middle of the season in the future, so Doubleday may have seen its last major league game.
Wrigley Field in Chicago is known as the 'friendly confines', but this field looks positively tiny by comparison.
The dugouts are that close to the plate, currently under the tarp, and there is literally not a bad seat in the house.
This is "Doc" Gary. Doc is one heck of a good umpire who served for years over in Okinawa, and was also in Fallujah in 2004. He's a really good guy...considering he lives in Jersey.
About a three minute walk from Doubleday Field, and you're at the Hall. Again, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it seemed smaller than I imagined, considering how much history baseball has.
C-shaped building, three stories, and just like when you walk into Doubleday Field, if you are a baseball fan, regardless which team is your team, you do feel at home when you walk into the Hall.
This painting of Cy Young awaits you when you walk into the ticket room.
So do lifesize replicas of two of the greatest lefty hitters the game has ever seen, Ted Williams and George Herman Ruth.
What's this, you ask?
One of Phil Rizzuto's Holy Cows. We'll come back to the first floor a little later. You really have to start on the second floor.
I took this for Tarzana Joe's benefit, our resident poet laureate
. The first use of baseball in verse was in 1744.
In 1791, Pittsfield, Massachusetts issued this hand-written ordinance banning the playing of "base ball" near the town meeting house, the first baseball reference of American origin.
Still in the wayback room, this is a turn of the century Cincinnati jersey. I'm sure my pal Frank Pastore is glad he played for the Reds when he did, because just looking at this uniform makes you itch.
A team picture of Paterson, New Jersey from 1897, with a future legend on the team in the name of Honus Wagner.
In case you can't quite read the sign, this ball is from September, 1858, the first recorded time when a baseball game charged admission.
A fine collection of prehistoric baseball equipment, none of which you would dare to be caught with on the field today if you wanted to survive.
Honus Wagner's more familiar Pirates uniform, bats and shoes.
Chicago Cubs artifacts from the Tinkers to Evers to Chance era. Note the gold watch fob - it is Joe Tinker's World's Championship fob. Will this finally be the Cubs' return to greatness?
They call Yankee Stadium the House That Ruth Built. They could probably also say close to the same thing about Cooperstown, because the Babe was so larger than life, and left such an imprint on the game, that you see him everywhere around here. This is his silver cigar box along with his bronzed glove and shoe.
Remember the legend about Babe Ruth pointing to center field, calling his shot? There is a video you can watch just to the left of this display where you see footage of that event, with an interview with Ruth talking about it. The bat on the left is the one that did it.
The Babe's actual locker from Yankee Stadium. There are a few of these around the Hall, but these exhibits are for the most revered legends of the game.
Filling out the tour of the second floor is this 15 minute video of baseball's characters, past, present and future.
One of the travesties, if you ask me. The Black Sox scandal was a stain on the integrity of the game to be sure, and there were crooked ballplayers that for whatever motivation threw the World Series they easily should have won. Shoeless Joe Jackson was implicated and acquitted with his fellow teammates, but was banned for life by MLB's first commissioner, Kennesaw Mountain Landis for the appearance of impropriety. Jackson didn't make an error in the 1919 Series, and batted .375. If he took the money to throw the Series, he sure did a poor job laying down. He was one of the greatest pure hitters of all time, and never could clear his name.
This is for Hugh's benefit. I'm not sure who this is...some guy named Cy somebody...Young I think his name is, played for Cleveland. I guess he was a pretty good pitcher, and they give some award out every year in his name to the best pitchers of the year.
The golden era of the Indians. You know Hugh's motto, right? Just wait until 1954?
First ball is from Bob Feller's 12th career one-hitter, and the second one is from his final victory in 1955.
Another pretty decent pitcher for the Tribe, Early Wynn, who donated a ball from his 300th win in 1963.
The Ironman, Lou Gehrig. Baseball will never forget him.
The Duke of Flatbush, Duke Snider.
Stan Musial's locker was also rightfully retired to the Hall.
Another Cardinal great, Enos Slaughter's jacket.
Now we're up on the third floor, and yes, the movie A League Of Their Own wasn't complete fiction. Women did baseball for several years, and there is a fine collection of that era on display.
Ted Williams used 77 baseballs to put this display together of where he thought his hot zones were. Unless you pitched him consistently down and away, or just went ahead and walked him, he hurt you.
More Williams artifacts on display on the 3rd floor.
Roger Maris' 61st home run ball in 1961.
Joltin' Joe - The Yankee Clipper - Joe DiMaggio.
The Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays. By the way, we're about an hour into the Hall, and there are lots of different artifacts from individual events or achievements from current players, and there's no mention of Barry Bonds yet.
Probably the greatest left-hander in the modern era, Sandy Koufax.
He hasn't been inducted with the legends downstairs, but Pete Rose's accomplishments on the field are seen here and there. This is a good montage of the Big Red Machine era - Sparky and the boys, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, Rose, Joe Morgan, Davey Concepcion. I looked for Frank Pastore stuff in here, but couldn't find it. I'm sure it must have been out getting cleaned or something.
From circa 1978 - Billy Martin's pinstripes, Reggie Jackson's bat that hit the three home runs against the Dodgers in the Series that year, earning him the name Mr. October forever, and the late, great Thurman Munson's mask, helmet and mitt.
I would be remiss if I didn't include my adopted national league team's collage, since they were gracious enough to let me throw out the first pitch last year. Rose, Mike Schmidt and Lefty, Steve Carlton, plus a whole lot more.
A collection from the 1981 Series of the legendary Dodger infield that played together the most games ever - Steve Garvey at first, Davey Lopes at second, Bill Russell at short, and Ron Cey at third. Free agency has made sure you will never see a set infield for that long of a period ever again.
Since we're off to Minnesota for the GOP convention next week, here's the obligatory montage of Twins Series artifacts, including the obnoxious homer hanky.
Members of the 3,000 hit club, including the jersey of Eddie Murray when he was with the Tribe. You're welcome, Hugh.
The last room before you go downstairs and actually view the Hall of Fame Gallery. This is a fun room. It is the locker room, with every team represented. Whoever your team is, you'll find a bunch of neat stuff in there from games you will remember from long ago and recent. This is the Indians locker, so I don't care.
...especially since there is so much good stuff in here from the Angels, like Troy Glaus' MVP earning jersey from the '02 Series, the famous thunder sticks, Garrett Anderson's All-Star home run contest winning bat, and the Scott Spezio bat that jump started the epic Game 6 comeback in the Fall Classic that year. Good times.
I had to put this in for my buddy Dean Barnett's benefit, being the Sox fan that he is. In this locker is everything you need to know about the Sox, which apparently means Manny Ramirez...oh wait, he's not there anymore, is he?
The best strikeout pitchers in the game on display here.
If you've never been to a Phillies game, you owe yourself a trip to see the Phillie Phanatic in action. I turned the corner and saw him, and immediately smiled. There are also other artifacts from mascots and pieces of stadiums from days past on display here.
One of my favorite players of all time - The Express, Nolan Ryan, a genuine freak of nature. How anyone could throw that hard into his forties, especially now that I am in my forties, is beyond me. Seven no-hitters - a remarkable feat.
I don't know why this made me laugh, but it did. The Angels' rally monkey perched atop Curt Schilling's storied bloody socks and cleats.
Now it's time to go to what we've come to see, the best in baseball. Just before I left, Hugh and I got into how many Indians were inducted into the Hall versus the Angels. Obviously the Tribe has been around for a hundred years longer than the Halos, but to humor Hugh, here is what I was able to find.
A very bad start. On the first wall, Tris Speaker and Cy Young. 2-0 Hugh.
3-0 Hugh, and the oldest Angel hasn't been born yet.
Just a brief aside, there are some of these plaques you come to where you just stop goofing around and read. This is one of those times.
Some Indians pitcher named Feller. Okay, so this is going to be a route. But they still haven't won anything since what, the end of prohibition?
Sam Rice. I'm sure Hugh is beginning to well up at this point.
Lou Boudreau. I've stopped counting. I'm trying to find anyone born in Southern California in order to cheat.
Joe Sewell. Boy, look at the time - don't we have to be going soon?
Well, this one shouldn't count. He only played with the Indians for one year. I don't think he even unpacked his bags.
The good news? The Angels are finally on the board. The bad news? Hoyt Wilhelm played for the Tribe, too. Who didn't he play for?
Okay, here we go. Rod Carew. I'm so excited to find a legitimate Angel I'm shaking.
Gaylord Perry, who needed CSI to conduct testing to figure out what he used to put on baseballs to get people out.
I got to watch a lot of games around the time Reggie Jackson wrapped up his career in Anaheim.
Again, one year in Cleveland? Disqualified from the contest. He's a Phillie and everyone knows it.
Now see, this counts, because he lives in Orange County.
The strikeout king of baseball.
But while all of these people were great baseball players, these guys are the real heroes, the ones who served our country in time of war and still ended up in the Hall of Fame.
Believe it or not, I didn't capture half of what's in the Hall of Fame. I hope that you get the chance to visit it. It is well worth the trip.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Obama wasn't kidding about the "citizen of the world" stuff. Here's a pic of a billboard at the corner of Airport Road and Bill Clinton Blvd (gotta love the irony there) in Abuja, Nigeria, snapped by a listener. Click on image to enlarge.
Monday, August 11, 2008
For the swim world, the amazing men's 4 X 100 relay final earlier Sunday in Beijing may go down as being the equivalent of the Miracle On Ice
hockey game in 1980 against the Russians.
The build-up to this race helped to make it extra special for the American swimmers. The very fast French team was heavily favored and tried to psych out the American team in print by stating they were going to "smash" the Americans. But a funny thing happened to the U.S. underdogs. They swam the race of their lives, with the only thing smashed being the previous world record.
Michael Phelps has arguably the two hardest gold medals in his possession in his quest for eight in this year's Games, and he has clearly demonstrated that he is the greatest overall swimmer of our era, and perhaps ever. But the hero of the race was anchorman Jason Lezak, who closed a gap of over half a second behind the French in his last 50 meters, and was able to pass Alain Bernard, he of 'smashing Americans' fame, and touched by a fraction to claim the gold.
Congratulations to Phelps and Lezak, along with fellow team members Garrett Weber-Gale and Cullen Jones, on making another magical moment for the United States in Olympic history.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Tax cheating pornographer, Al Franken, the DFL candidate trying to unseat United States Senator Norm Coleman in Minnesota, held a roundtable discussion on Friday at a cafe in St. Cloud to discuss veterans issues. One person showed up
It resembled a Nancy Pelosi book signing. Maybe Minnesotans didn't feel like burning $4 gas to go see a tax cheating pornographer. Maybe there is record low unemployment in St. Cloud.
Or maybe this is just another small indicator that the game has changed, politically, from where it was a few short months ago.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Obama-Clooney '08: Substitute campaign slogan here. For background, click here
. But here's some ideas for the bumper stickers at the DNC.
Because it's better to look good than to sound smart.
The experience of Chicago street politics, with all the morals of Hollywood.
Our George is cuter than their George.
White House of the Stars.
This is the moment the Ocean's 11 began to rise.
Because sometimes, experience is overrated.
If you have suggestions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
, and we'll add them to the list.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Bristling at questions doesn't exactly show the American people how qualified you are to be president and commander-in-chief.
If this is how Barack Obama handles a tough questioner, how is he going to respond the first time something tough comes his way in the White House? You can't lead by teleprompter.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Courtesy of Ed Morrissey at Hot Air
, we've just learned that His Obamaness and his entourage will be spending part of the GOP Convention in early September raising money...in Geneva, Switzerland...at a $1,000 a plate dinner (dollars, not Euros)...hosted by George Clooney. Yes, that is our guy, Barack Obama, a man of the people, running a campaign funded almost entirely of Grandma's last $10.
But you know that once the news goes viral that the event is taking place, in spite of Michelle Obama's pleas to go, the PR nightmare of leaving the country again to go hobnob and fleece international elites in Switzerland right before the election is going to cause Team Obama to cancel the event. Yes, Switzerland is going under the bus. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.
Hugh thinks three days. I give it a week until we hear it's canceled. Leave your guesses in the comment section.
Switzerland? I guess this is one of the other 58 states Obama missed during his last trip to Europe, and he wanted every world citizen to be represented.
Friday, August 01, 2008
From the Women For Obama luncheon on July 28, 2008, here is more of Michelle Obama's outlook on the state of American society, from the eyes of a woman. Michelle Obama - 1
And then we have to get them to vote. That's what we have to do, because if there's one thing that I've seen out there as I've traveled around the country over this last year is that women need an advocate in the White House now more than ever before, more than ever before.Michelle Obama - 2
See like all of you in this room, I wear a whole lotta hats, lots of hats going on. I'm a working woman, I'm a daughter, I'm a sister, I'm a best friend. But the one role that I cherish the most that you've come to know is that role of mom. My girls are the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about before I go to bed. And I don't care where I am - on the campaign trail, in a fundraiser, sitting in the back of a van somewhere, I am worried about how my girls are doing, about their well-being, about their stability. So for me, policies that support working women and families, this is personal. These are the issues that I carry in my heart every single day.Michelle Obama - 3
And it's even harder if you're a single parent. Often times, they work more than one job just to keep ends together. And that doesn't include the jobs that happen when you come home from work. Those jobs, quite frankly, that still fall predominantly on the laps of women, things like getting the laundry done, making dinner, nutritious dinners, because you can't just make a dinner. It's got to be a nutritious dinner grown with good, fresh, clean food. That takes time, trust me.Michelle Obama - 4
...handing out discipline, getting the homework, paying the bills, and as you see the bills piling up, and the money running short, then you've got another job. And that's often late night worrier. There's just not enough hours in the day. And I know, like many of you, I have spent my nights wishing for that magic machine that could add more hours to the day so I could sleep a little longer, something that would clone me so that I can be in two, three places at one time at least. But I don't know about you, I haven't found that machine. It hasn't shown up. But even with that, I joke about our challenges, but I do know Barack and I know that we are lucky. We are some of the lucky ones, because we have resources.Michelle Obama - 5
I hear these stories everywhere I go, from women doing everything that's asked of them. And these women aren't asking for much. They're not asking for government to solve all their problems. They're willing to work. They're just hoping that Washington will understand what's happening to families on the ground, particularly mothers with the variety of the challenges that they face. And there just aren't enough Sister Bertas out there in the world to catch folks who don't make it, and fall through the cracks.Michelle Obama - 6
These struggles, the struggles of working women and families, are just not new to me. They're not new to many of us, and they're certainly not new to Barack. You see, Barack is the product of this kind of strong women upbringing, trying to struggle, making it together. Barack has been shaped by these stories. He grew up with a mother who was a very young, single woman who struggled to finish her education and take care of him and his sister. Now she was one of the kindest people that you'd ever meet. She was a dreamer, the kind of person that would hop on the back of a motorcycle to help women in rural credit programs all over the world. And she had this eternal optimism and commitment to fairness and justice, an unwavering belief that she could help bring about better lives for women all over the world. And a lot of her still lives in Barack. It explains a lot, if you know what I mean.Michelle Obama - 7
She was determined to show him and his sister that in America, there are no barriers to success if you're willing to work hard. But he also saw her struggle, often times, needing to rely on food stamps to pay the bills. And in her final months, stricken with cancer, he saw her worrying more about how she would pay her medical bills than getting well. He saw his grandmother, the primary bread winner in his family, work her way up through a bank from being an assistant to being a senior person in the bank. But he also saw her unable to break certain glass ceilings, watching men who were less prepared than her soar past her. And he sees me, his wife, trying to juggle it all in the midst of it, always living with the guilt that if I'm spending too much time at work, then I'm not giving enough time to my girls. And if I'm with my girls, then I'm not doing enough for work, or you name it. It's a guilt that we all live with in this room. Can I hear an Amen?Michelle Obama - 8
And trust me, Barack understands this, too, because the women he loves most in the world have gone through this. So that's why he carries our stories, the stories of women and our struggles with him every single day. And that's why as president, Barack is going to change Washington so that we're not just talking about family values, we're actually creating policies that show that we value families in this country. Michelle Obama - 9
And as many of you know in this room, when Barack first talked about running for president of the United States, what was my reaction? No. Don't do it. Please don't. You see, the truth was, is that I thought that politics was a mean, rough business. And honestly, the last thing that I wanted for my girls was to have them grow up in this, have their lives turned upside down in the midst of all this, to have them hear their parents being criticized on national TV, to have them away from their dad for weeks on end. I didn't want that for my girls. I don't think anyone would really want that for their kids.Michelle Obama - 10
But then I had to take a step back and take off my "Me" mommy hat, and put on my "Us" mommy hat. And I started thinking about the kind of world that I would want to hand over to my daughters. I had to think long and hard about wanting them to be able to dream of anything for themselves, you know, wanting them to be able to imagine any kind of future for themselves, and know that they would have the kind of support from this country that would allow them and all of our children to achieve those dreams. And then I realized that if that's the kind of world that I wanted for my girls, then I had to do everything in my power, make every sacrifice, to make it possible. So that's why I'm a woman for Obama. That is why.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
You can tell when it's a relatively slow news day. A moderate earthquake strikes a remote area of Southern California, and the news channels are going wall to wall as if Katrina struck again. What's maddening in their quest to find damage anywhere is that out of one side of their mouth, they're pleading repeatedly with people to stay off their cell phone unless it's an emergency to keep the cell system from jamming up. But the media's exaggerated over-coverage of the story is causing people all over the country to jam the cell system with calls to relatives and friends in the "Hot Zone" to make sure they're all right.
Here is what you need to know. Yes, we all felt it. As the amusement park commercials go, it was a nice 30 second ride - Six Flags - More Flags, More Fun. Yes, we are all fine, thanks for asking. No, nothing broke, unless you happen to live right above where it struck in Chino Hills. For those dairy farmers that inhabit much of Chino Hills, plates might make a fine Christmas gift. Yes, the cows are fine, too. No, we're not moving because we're suddenly terrified by earthquakes. No, it wasn't global warming's fault. No, Barack Obama won't be able to suddenly convince me this was the moment when all our buildings became retrofitted against earthquake damage. No, John McCain should probably not announce Tim Pawlenty as his Veep today. No, Hugh didn't feel it at 35,000 feet over the Atlantic.
And most importantly, no, we're not going to do three hours of earthquake talk on the program tonight. Carol Platt Liebau will fill in for Hugh and bring you all the other news that Quakestorm 2008: Chino Hills prevented you from hearing today.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
From the DNC's GLLC dinner in New York, Thursday, 6/26/08:Michelle Obama - 1
Five years ago today, the Supreme Court delivered justice with the decision in Lawrence V. Texas. That case stated that same sex couples would never again be persecuted through the use of criminal law. And on Saturday, we recognized the anniversay of the day people stood up at Stonewall and said enough. These anniversaries remind us that no matter who we are or where we come from or what we look like, we are only here because of the brave efforts of those who came before us, that we are all only here because of those who marched and bled and died, from Selma to Stonewall in a pursuit of that more perfect union. That is the promise of this country.Michelle Obama - 2
Because Barack is not new to the cause of the LGBT community. It has been a conviction of his career since he was first elected to public office. In his first year in the Illinois State Senate, Barack co-sponsored a bill amending the Illinois Human Rights Act to include protections of LGBT men and women. He worked on that bill for seven years, serving as the chief co-sponsor, and lobbying his colleagues to reject the political expedience of homophobia, and make LGBT equality a priority in our state.Michelle Obama - 3
He's led on gender-based violence with his work on the Illinois gender violence act, successfully reaching across the aisle to put in place the nation's strongest law, giving the survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence legal remedy against their attacker. He joined his colleagues in fighting to include explicit protections for the LGBT community in that act. He lost that battle, but his efforts brought gender violence in the LGBT community into the political consciousness like never before.Michelle Obama - 4
In 2004, after hearing from gay friends and supporters about the hurtful impact of DOMA, Barack went on record during his U.S. Senate race calling for its complete repeal. And as a U.S. Senator, he voted to protect our Constitution from the stain of discrimination by voting against the Federal Marriage Amendment.Michelle Obama - 5
Barack's record is clear. There is so much at stake in this election. The direction of our country hangs in the balance. And we face two clear choices in this race, sort of like what he faced in that church basement. We face the choice between the world as it is, and the world as it should be. And we have to ask ourselves in this election, are we willing to settle for the world as it is? Or are we willing to work for the world as it should be? And despite the extraordinary challenges we face today, we have one candidate who believes that the country is moving in the right direction, despite the inequalities created over eight years. And then there's Barack Obama, the other guy. Barack believes that we must fight for the world as it should be, a world where together, we work to reverse discriminatory laws like DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Michelle Obama - 6
And that's why he opposes all divisive and discriminatory constitutional amendments, whether it's a proposed amendment to the California and Florida constitutions, or the U.S. Constitution, because the world as it is should be one that rejects discrimination of all kinds. Michelle Obama - 7
It's not just about positions that you take. It's also about the leadership that you provide on these issues. Barack has the courage to talk to skeptical audiences, not just friendly ones. That's why he told a crowd at a rally in Texas that gays and lesbians deserve equality. And you can imagine in Texas that that crowd got a little quiet. But Barack said, and I quote now, he said, "I'm A Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday." And then the crowd starting cheering. And then he said, "I hear people saying things that I don't think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian." And you know what? When he said that, the crowd kept cheering. That's why he told Evangelicals at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church that we need a renewed call to action on HIV and AIDS. That's why he went to Ebeneezer Baptist Church, and he said that we need to get over homophobia in the African-American community, that if we're honest with ourselves, we'll embrace our gay brothers and sisters instead of scourning them. And that's why he stood up in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention, and he told all of America that we refuse to be divided anymore. That's the choice in this election.
From the fact-checking department, here is the video of Barack Obama in Beaumont, Texas, in March of this year, speaking to supporters at a rally, as cited by Michelle Obama.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Duane "Generalissimo" Patterson is the producer of the nationally syndicated "Hugh Hewitt Show". In a sense Duane is "the man behind the curtain" -- and this is his blog.
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