Posted: 28 Jul 2008 11:46 AM CDT
In early June a Wisconsin Democratic delegate, Debra Bartoshevich, that was to be seated at the Democratic convention in August, stunned her party by announcing that she would vote for John McCain rather than cast her vote for Barack Obama.
She cited Obama's lack of experience and his judgment and says, "I will not be voting for Obama. I will cast my vote for John McCain." She continues on to say, "I just feel you need to have somebody who has experience with foreign matters."
Bartoshevich stated examples of what she considers Barack Obama's bad judgment to include but says it is not limited to Jeremiah Wright, who was Barack Obama's pastor of over 16 years that has come under fire recently for his controversial statements that some categorize as racists as well as his "God Damn America" rant that went viral as a YouTube video.
She also named Tony Rezko, a close associate of Barack Obama who was just convicted on several counts of fraud and bribery.
Bartoshevich says she has been a devoted Democrat that has never before voted for a Republican for president and she quotes Susan B Anthony, saying, "No self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her — that's by Susan B. Anthony."
She concluded by stating, ""The Democrats jumped on this wagon of Barack Obama, and nobody really knows him."
When first presented with the news, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Joe Wineke, expressed disbelief but stated that after checking the rules, he "assumed" Bartoshevich would remain a delegate.
He changed his tune soon enough though when Wisconsin Democratic Party convention members offered a resolution to make sure that Bartoshevich will not be seated at the convention.
They then filed a formal credentials challenge against Bartoshevich, which accused her of the following:
• Violated party rules in expressing support for the other party's presumptive nominee.
• Violated party rules requiring that delegates be "bona fide Democrats who are faithful to the interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party of the United States."
• Failed to honor a pledge that delegates sign stating their intent to vote for the party's presidential ticket in the fall.
The challenge also states that the "Democratic Party of Wisconsin and its members have been embarrassed in the local and national media by the decision of Ms. Bartoshevich to endorse Senator McCain."
Today we see, via LA Times' Top of the Ticket that the state state party voted to dump Bartoshevich, in a vote of 23-0 and to bar her from attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Before the committee took the vote, Bartoshevich participated in a teleconference with them where she asked to be allowed to attend the convention and cast her vote for Clinton, whom she has supported throughout the campaign,
She informed them that she has donated her time and her money to Clinton and she still believed that Clinton was the best candidate. She then told them that she hadn't officially decided whom to support and that she wanted to attend the convention and listen, that perhaps Obama could win her over.
The discussion also included Bartoshevich telling the committee that her sister, a McCain supporter, had signed her up for the Citizens For McCain website, to which one committee member, Dottie LeClaire, responded "You reached right back and hugged them. I have a problem with that."
Posted: 28 Jul 2008 11:07 AM CDT
60 year-old Greg McKendry died after confronting the gunman when he entered the church and 61 year-old Linda Kraeger died last night at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Two dead and seven injured at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Sunday after a gunman walked in with a shotgun and opened fire on the attendees.
Seven other people were injured, two released after treatment and five remain in the hospital in critical or serious condition.
The police have arrested Jim D. Adkisson, 58 years old and charged him with first-degree murder in the death of McKendry with further charges expected.
The attack occurred while those gathered in the church were watching children sing on stage as they put on a production of "Annie" for the congregation.
WBIR has a time line of events.
Elrod from the Moderate Voice is a member of the church who was not in attendance but he says, "I don't understand why anybody would do this. All we know right now is that the suspect was not connected to the church in any way. I have no idea if the man had some sort of political or cultural agenda (TVUUC had just put up a sign welcoming gays to the congregation), or if it's just some lunatic acting for no reason at all.
Please keep the members our church community in your thoughts and prayers today. This is such a shock to our congregation and our community as a whole."According to Out and About Newspaper, the police found a multi-page, handwritten letter in the suspect's vehicle, but no motive has been publicly announced as of yet.
Posted: 28 Jul 2008 10:16 AM CDT
The s*** is hitting the fan about an email posted all over the blogosphere about the veracity of a GI who gave a 'first person' account of part of Barak Obama's "fact finding" tour last week. I chose to post the GI's words here after I came across it on another milblog. My first inkling that all was not as it appeared - gasp! - came in the form of a comment to me from a Vietnam veteran friend.
I went back to my original source, and find that, in fact, the GI is recanting some of his words. Curiouser and curiouser, even though some of the information in the original email was retracted, there appears to some interesting choice of photo images. From Blackfive:
There is more - of course - and you really should read that here.
And yes, the Army Times DID weigh in, and go directly to the source in the sandbox.
I have removed this original post as per this soldier's request. Yes, of course, this whole incident does raise questions about the integrity of us bloggers who rushed to print. In this instance, I am as guilty as much of the msm who I have always been quick to accuse of apparent bias. BUT - as anyone who knows me will tell - if the main player in this whole trip had been McCain, or anyone else, with the same email sent out, I would have printed it. I like to think that my political opinions do not get in the way of even-handed presentation of the facts. In this case, I did print something that the source later retracted. And yes, unlike the msm, I am printing MY apology on the "front page," not page G36.
I am guessing that this GI has now learned what many of us have been aware of for a loooooong time. Once anything goes out on the internet, the original author loses control of it.
It is often said that in times of war, truth is the first victim. This episode has reminded me of the need for vigilance in the pursuit of that truth.
No excuses from me though - mea maximus culpa.
Posted: 28 Jul 2008 01:48 AM CDT
Over the years our military expertise has contributed much to civilian society.
Since the massacre in 1918 of Nicholas II and his family in Russia, many mysteries has continued as to who - exactly - was murdered then. Courtesy of the Defence Dept DNA identification lab, comes the following:
Posted: 27 Jul 2008 07:57 PM CDT
Google Street View can be accessed by going to www.google.com, clicking the "maps" tab, then clicking the "street view" tab and you can drag the little man to anywhere on the map highlighted in blue and get an up close and personal view of the images.
Google Street View offers an up close and personal view of anyplace their cameras, mounted on cars, photographs, but some are becoming concerned after noticing that Google entered private property to obtain images, then put them on the Internet.
As one can see from the video above , Google has overstepped by driving their camera mounted car onto private property that was clearly marked as such with a sign, and filming private homes.
This is causing concern for privacy proponents about how many other times Google has done this.
After dealing with prior criticisms over their Street View, Google did implement technology that would blur faces and license plate numbers but as shown in the video, the other concerns are still being spoken about.
The Press Democrat spoke to one woman, who lives on the private property that Google invaded for their images, Ms. Janet Tobin and she states, "I like my privacy, and this feels like an invasion of that. My friends already know how to get here. I don't need the whole world coming to my door."
This is not the first time this has happened as evidenced by Aaron and Christine Boring, who initiated a lawsuit against Google last April after having done the same thing and posting their home's photos to which they claimed was an invasion of privacy, devalued their property and caused them mental suffering.
Google removed them, but once online, the proverbial genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back as other sites download, then publish those images on other websites..
At the time Google claimed that there were tools on their site that the Borings could have utilized to have those images removed but the Boring's attorney, Dennis Moskal, said that wasn't the point. The point according to Moskal was that the Google team had driven onto private property therefore invading their privacy.
Now Google is in the news again for the same problem, but this does only mark the second time that has been discovered and according to Kurt Opsahl who is the senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, if these two incidents are isolated events it is not overly troublesome. He goes on to state, "But if this is only the tip of the iceberg, then with each additional incident it becomes more troubling."
According to Google, their policy is to gather photos of public roads and they assert they will take down images that were taken on private property.
This begs the question of whether those images taken on private property should have been taken in the first place?
Posted: 27 Jul 2008 01:10 PM CDT
Gas prices have soared over the last year and as the totals at the pump become apparent to the voting public, their opinion about offshore drilling has shown that the majority, in a variety of recent polls, want Congress to lift their ban on offshore drilling.
As gas prices rise, the topic of offshore drilling is rapidly becoming an issue going into the November elections. John McCain has recently come out in support of offshore drilling and Barack Obama is against it. Public opinion is favoring McCain's stance
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and the Senate Majority leader Harry Reid have been refusing to allow bills that pertain to the issue to come up, which has caused gridlock in the Senate as Republicans fight to have amendments dealing with the issue, be heard.
Republicans, for the most part, have united behind McCain regarding offshore drilling and some blue dog democrats, have indicated that will vote for it as well, which spawned reports that Pelosi was facing a "rank and file" threat.
This forces Pelosi and Reid to use procedural maneuvers to stop the issue from coming to a vote.
This puts them smack dab against the rising numbers and the majority of Americans that are ready for the ban against offshore drilling that has been in place since 1981, to be lifted.
Starting with the June 19, 2008 Rasmussen poll, it shows that 62 percent of Americans agree that offshore drilling should be allowed, with only 27 percent not agreeing.
Zogby International's numbers, taken seven days later, show an even larger majority (74 percent) support offshore drilling.
That includes 90 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of Independents and among Democrats, the majority with 58 percent support offshore drilling.
A vast majority of likely voters, across the political spectrum are in support of offshore drilling, which pits the Democratic leadership against the will of the people.
In a recent CNN poll a plurality (49 percent) said that the environment was more important than the economy, yet in that same poll 73 percent of those surveyed said they favor increased offshore drilling for oil and natural gas.
A polling organization that have done the numbers for Florida states have also come up with a majority showing a preference for offshore drilling, even in their own state.
The InsiderAdvantage/Poll Position asked Florida voters, "Do you favor or oppose increased exploration and production of oil and natural gas off the coasts of Florida?"
61 percent were in favor of exploring the coast of Florida for oil and natural gas.
President George Bush has stepped up the pressure on Congress by lifting the presidential ban on offshore drilling and called on Congress to lift theirs.
John McCain and many Republicans, seeing the concern of citizens and a politically winning issue, have done half of a flip flop on the issue. I say half because McCain is against the majority that believe that ANWAR should also be explored, but with the rising costs of gas, food and inflation in all areas connected with the cost of gas, rank and file Republicans united behind McCain on this issue.
Blue dog Democrats aka Democratic Blue Dog Coalition are Democratic politicians who do not always vote according to party line, but instead try for a more centrist position and they are the threat to the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate because they are increasingly starting to support offshore drilling.
This not only pits Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid against the the will of the people, but also is causing tension within the Democratic party.
To overcome the Democratic leaderships refusal to bring the offshore drilling bills up for a vote, the Republicans are countering that by using their own procedural motions to see to it that no bill will come up until Congress and the Senate allow debate and vote on their amendments for offshore drilling.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) states, "We think there is nothing more important that we can do right now than to deal with the Number One issue of the country. This is the biggest issue since terrorism right after 9/11. People are pounding on their desks, saying, Why don't these people get together and do something about this problem?"
The battle in the House has been intense as Pelosi has failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass Democratic bills under a suspension of the rules, which limits debate on the issue and prevents Republicans from offering drilling amendments.
Republicans blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from bringing up the bill under regular order, where a simple majority would have been required to pass the bills, but Republicans would have been able to offer amendments calling for increased domestic drilling.
Boehner says of the Democrats, "They're hiding from a vote. They're scared to death to allow us to ... force their members to vote on drilling."
On the other side of the aisle Democratic Representative Ed Markey says, "Republicans are holding the SPRO hostage. They are not going to allow [any oil] to be released until they get everything they want. And that is a very sad state of affairs."
The tensions are also rising in the Senate and it was reported last week that Harry Reid lashed out at the media saying the medias reports on the state of the Senate's energy fight had been improperly relayed to the public and accused them of only reporting what the Republicans were saying and suggested to the reporters gathered that they should start watching the Senate proceedings.
When a reporter pointed out that she had been watching the Senate proceedings and still could not fathom what Reid was offering Republicans by way of amendments, Reid replied, "Turn up your hearing aid. It was clear for those of us who understand English."
The Politico reports that even Democratic aides are admitting that Harry Reid is "bitter".
Reid has also taken to asking liberal bloggers to help him get his message out.
With the November presidential election just months away, politically the Republicans see this as a winning issue with House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R-OH.) stating, "I've never seen the American people as energized about an issue in my 18 years in Congress."
With the recent polling data showing that an overwhelming majority of Americans are stepping up and stating they are in support of offshore drilling, this seems to be putting the Democratic leadership in the minority by blocking amendments and votes regarding this issue.
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