Friday, October 31, 2008


"We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but felt this was the only way to ensure fairness to the complete electorial process." 1. America deserves better than this. 2. Electorial process? Check your grammar if you are going to fake an announcement when trying to rig an election.

Click here for the back story. And show up on November 4th.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Week to Go

One week from today, we go to the polls in what may very well be the most important election in which we will ever cast a ballot.

Many of you received an e-mail I wrote a year and a half ago from my dorm room in Dublin asking you to support Sen. Barack Obama as he took his first steps towards the presidency. I wrote about my belief in Obama's ability to be a transformative leader: someone who has the courage to restore America's image throughout the world, promote transparency and accountability in government, and tackle the challenges of our time with creative strategies and ingenuity.

Now, as Mr. Obama nears the finish line of a race that he began in February 2007, I ask you once again to support him - this time in the voting booth. As the senator has said throughout his campaign - this election is not about him - not about the yard signs, the bumper stickers, or the t-shirts - it's about an opportunity for us to reach our full potential as Americans and global citizens. It's about giving the middle class a fair chance, providing health care for all, and promoting American military and diplomatic influence with responsibility and respect for the rest of the world.

I hope you feel the same way and cast your ballot for Obama/Biden on November 4th.

Monday, October 27, 2008

From the State Department to Candlestick Park?

While I'm sure many big-shots in the Bush administration will have corner offices waiting for them at the American Enterprise Institute come January 2009, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might have a different option: president of the San Francisco 49ers.

A top ranking official with the team was quoted by Adam Schefter of the NFL Network as saying, "If she's interested in talking to us, I'm interested in talking to her." Today, though, the State Department tried to squash the rumors by saying that Rice was planning on returning to Stanford University where she was provost from 1993-1999.

So who knows what lies in store for Condi? On the surface, going from trying to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict to running the 49ers should be a piece of cake. But then again, the 49ers are such a mess this season, too. With a 2-6 record, a fired coach, a disruptive player, and press conferences like this, she would have a lot on her hands in San Fran:

Coach Singletary wants winners!!! And given Condi's record over the past few years in the failed Bush administration, she doesn't quite fit that job description.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Must See Election Night TV

On November 4th, I plan on tuning into CNN for my election night coverage. You can't mess with the "best political team on TV," right? (Even if Wolf Blitzer reminds us of that every 5 minutes). And that "magic map" is so...magical. Still, viewers tuning into the other major news networks are in store for some special coverage, as well. This morning, Variety reported:

ABC will be broadcasting its proceedings in Times Square on its 43rd Street JumboTron, while just across the street, Fox News will be beaming down from the Square’s gargantuan Astro Vision monitor. NBC, meanwhile, plans to superimpose a gigantic national map on the Rockefeller Center skating rink and project Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s escalating electoral vote counts on the facade of its 30 Rock HQ.

Given the political fever gripping the country (and the world), I'm sure the ratings will be through the roof - and I'm sure local pizzerias will be making a killing delivering to Election night parties.

Still, my biggest hope for that night is that the skaters at Rockefeller Center will be whizzing by on a predominantly blue ice rink if you know what I mean...

To read the full Variety article, click here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Real McCainiac

Country First? Um, not so much. As a recent article by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone reveals, Sen. John McCain is "a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather."

Dickinson continues the fine (and in-your-face) political reporting that Rolling Stone has produced over the course of the campaign season (did you read Matt Taibbi's "Mad Dog Palin" yet?). After finishing Dickinson's "Make-Believe Maverick" you'll be hard-pressed to find a reason why this man and his wife belong in the White House. Check out the article online here and see why former Republican senator Lincoln Chafee said "McCain is putting himself first. He's putting himself first in blinking neon lights."

Choosing Sarah Palin as a running mate is merely the most recent calculated move in a lifetime of self-promotion and looking out for #1 at any cost. America, let's not reward this man with the most important job in the world. Turns out, he's not as qualified as he would like you to think. And a pretty poor pilot to boot.

To read the article, click here (and get a printer ready, it's a long - but necessary - read).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

When the General Speaks... should listen. Today, Sen. Barack Obama received perhaps his most important endorsement to date during his campaign for the presidency. On "Meet the Press," Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Tom Browkaw that he was going to vote for Obama on November 4:

"So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world--onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama."

Powell said he didn't plan on campaigning for Obama with two weeks to go, but this very public endorsement of the senator is better than twenty stump speeches. Undecideds and independents, take note - Powell has been through the trenches and back when it comes to foreign policy. Sure, he's made mistakes (remember this?), but in terms of an awareness and understanding of how to promote and improve America's role in the world, Powell knows what he's talking about. So while many people tomorrow morning at work might be talking about this video clip from another NBC show, this is the one that really has significance (though it is arguably not as funny):

Click here for the entire transcript and more video from Powell's appearance on Meet the Press.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Time to Make Up Your Mind

During the last three debates I haven't been able to take my eyes off the rising and falling lines at the bottom of the screen during CNN's broadcasts. The graphics supposedly show the instant reactions of a handful of undecided Ohio voters who turn a dial depending on their feelings about the candidate's responses. For some reason, I have paid more attention to those spikes and dips than the candidates themselves.

But with all due respect, why should I care what those people think? Yes, I know about the importance of undecided voters, independent voters, swing state voters, etc. But honestly, with 3 weeks until Election Day what are these people waiting for to make a decision? This has been the longest election season in history. What could Obama or McCain possibly say or do at this point besides personally finding a cure for cancer that would better help these "not sure yet" voters to finally make up their minds?

Still, there's one more chance for those who still don't feel they fully know the candidates to get a better look. On Tuesday night, PBS's FRONTLINE will air "The Choice 2008," a two-hour in-depth look at the candidates, their policies, and their worldviews. It kicks off the fall season of FRONTLINE, perhaps the best current issues programming on television. From the press release:

It has been called one of the most historic presidential elections in our nation’s history--Barack Obama versus John McCain. It is a race that pits the iconoclast against the newcomer, the heroic prisoner of war against the first African American nominated by a major party. FRONTLINE's critically acclaimed series The Choice returns this election season to examine the rich personal and political biographies of these two men in The Choice 2008, airing Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008, from 9 to 11 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings).

The Choice 2008, part of "PBS Vote 2008" election coverage, draws on in-depth interviews with the advisers, friends and those closest to these unlikely candidates, as well as with seasoned observers of American politics, who together tell the definitive story of these men and their ascent to their party's nominations.

FRONTLINE has an online archive of almost all of their programs from the past few years, available free and on demand. The videos are accompanied by a website with extended interviews, in-depth analysis, and commentary on the issues from each program. Here are a few of my favorites worth checking out:

News War (2007)
The Insurgency (2006)
The Storm (2005)
A Company of Soldiers (2005)
The Man Who Knew (2002)

For more on "The Choice 2008" click here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Philadelphia = Obama Country

Philadelphia made me proud and brought their "A" game Saturday night. Notice the Obama/Biden posters at 44+ seconds:

Way to bring it, Philly.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Make Me Proud Philadelphia...

...and do not give Sarah Palin a "brotherly" welcome this weekend when she drops the first puck at the Flyers' home opener Saturday night.

Philadelphia sports fans aren't known for being, well, diplomatic (after all, this is a city that threw snowballs at Santa Claus) and I hope they send a message loud and clear to Palin to hit the road and get back to Wasilla.

“We are very excited she has accepted our offer and we are very proud of the publicity she is generating for hockey moms and the sport of hockey," said Ed Snider, the owner of the Flyers. Wait, did I miss something? Is Palin now running for the commissioner of the NHL? On second thought, that may not be a bad idea after all. I'd trust her more with Zamboni machines than our nuclear codes.

[Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News weighs in here, calling for fans "to stand up Saturday night and turn their back on Sarah Palin and especially turn their back on Ed Snider," who is apparently a major funder of the ultra right-wing organization Freedom's Watch.]

***UPDATE***: This post was featured on the DC Blogs Noted page today. Thanks, again!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

John McCain Hates Space

Add planetariums to McCain's growing list of things he wants to cut spending money on. From tonight's debate:

He [Senator Obama] voted for nearly $1 billion in pork barrel earmark projects including, by the way, $3 million for an overhead projector at a planetarium in Chicago, Illinois.

What's wrong with planetariums, Senator? They give us an opportunity to expand our knowledge of the universe around us, give kids a chance to have a day out of school at the science museum, and have also provided the backdrop for one of best knife fight scenes in movie history:

You would thing someone who calls himself a "maverick" would be down with James Dean. Apparently not.

***UPDATE*** Here's the inside scoop on the projector situation from the Chicago Tribune's The Swamp.

W. Is Coming!

Though George W. Bush will thankfully not be running for office this year, director Oliver Stone is hoping that the president will bring in big numbers in a different sort of race: box office returns. Stone's latest biopic "W." will hit screens on October 17 across the country right in the middle of the campaign fever that is gripping this nation. While many Americans and people throughout the world might feel that the past 8 years of the Bush presidency have been like a horror film, many are curious to see what Stone's cinematic portrayal will be like. With over a week until its release, I can honestly say I have no idea. Fortunately, Variety (E's paper of choice on Entourage) released a review this morning to provide a glimpse into what we may expect from W. Here are a few of the highlights:

[The Setting]
Opening with a post-9/11 cabinet meeting in the Oval Office in which the phrase “axis of evil” was concocted, then jumping back in time to begin a procession of key events in the life of a privileged party boy with something to prove, Stone and his “Wall Street” scenarist Stanley Weiser position the film, above all, as a father-son story.

[The Man]
Most scenes are devoted to illuminating particular aspects of George W. -- examined in pithy interludes are his recklessness, people skills, insecurities, reliance upon Laura, impatience, belief that good will prevail and unwillingness to deviate once he’s made up his mind.

[The Performances]
One can’t say Brolin is George W. Bush -- the real one is still all too noticeably with us -- but the actor offers a more than reasonable physical approximation and an interpretation that’s convincingly boisterous and determined...
Along with Brolin, top performances/impersonations are provided by Banks, whose Laura Bush goes a long way toward clarifying the close marital bond; Cromwell, who may not be a dead ringer for George H. W. Bush but delivers the full intended force of his character in several key scenes; Toby Jones as the ever-present Karl Rove; and, despite hints at editorializing, Dreyfuss, who may only present a caricature of Cheney but seems so physically and attitudinally on the money that he’s instantly recognizable and acceptable.

[The Verdict]
Oliver Stone’s unusual and inescapably interesting “W.” feels like a rough draft of a film it might behoove him to remake in 10 or 15 years...
For a film that could have been either a scorching satire or an outright tragedy, “W.” is, if anything, overly conventional, especially stylistically. The picture possesses dramatic and entertainment value, but beyond serious filmgoers curious about how Stone deals with all this president’s men and women, it’s questionable how wide a public will pony up to immerse itself in a story that still lacks an ending.

So we'll have to wait until the 17th to find out for ourselves. Until then, take a look at W.'s trailer or visit the official website here.

To read Variety's full review, click here.

***UPDATE***: This post has been linked to under the "From the Blogs" section.