Monthly Archives: October 2010

Rally For Sanity Draws Celebrities and a Crowd of Thousands in Washington

As the politicians are in the home stretch for the November 2 midterm elections Comedy Central stars Steven Colbert and John Stewart held their so-called “Rally for Sanity and /or Fear” on the Capitol Mall in Washington DC on Saturday.

Celebration including singers Cheryl Crow and Kid Rock performed. Stewart and Colbert did their stick. Also there was former Saturday Night Live character Father Guido Sarducci and the hosts of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters also were there.

Democrats  advertising a get out to vote phone bank to remind demonstrators to vote on Tuesday. From AP via Yahoo News:

In the shadow of the Capitol and the election, comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert entertained a huge throng Saturday at a “sanity” rally poking fun at the nation’s ill-tempered politics, fear-mongers and doomsayers.

“We live now in hard times,” Stewart said after all the shtick. “Not end times.”

Part comedy show, part pep talk, the rally drew together tens of thousands stretched across an expanse of the National Mall, a festive congregation of the goofy and the politically disenchanted. People carried signs merrily protesting the existence of protest signs. Some dressed like bananas, wizards, Martians and Uncle Sam.

Stewart, a satirist who makes his living skewering the famous, came to play nice. He decried the “extensive effort it takes to hate” and declared “we can have animus and not be enemies.”

Organizing for America, Obama’s political operation based at Democratic National Committee headquarters, was mounting a “Phone Bank for Sanity” to urge people to vote Tuesday.

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Could Nancy Pelosi Leave Congress???

Could House Speaker Nancy Pelosi retire from Congress if the Republicans take over the House of Representatives on Tuesday? Time Magazine is speculating on that very notion:

If Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives next week, as most political observers expect, there is a good chance that the House Speaker will opt to spend time with her eight grandchildren rather than toil in the relative obscurity of the minority. Even if she wanted to stay on, it’s not at all clear that she would win the position of minority leader: seven Democratic incumbents and several candidates oppose her leadership — on Wednesday, North Carolina Representative Heath Shuler suggested he might challenge Pelosi for the spot — and another 20 have refused to say one way or another. Pelosi is more likely to leave gracefully, trading the red-eye slog for the pleasant commute between her San Francisco and Napa homes, and leaving the caucus in the hands of majority leader Steny Hoyer, who has been chafing in her shadow for decades.
Several Democrat leaders especially from California:

Other Democrats are sure to follow Pelosi out of the Capitol. After the GOP lost the House in 2006, 27 Republicans called it quits. But in the case of Pelosi’s Democratic cloakroom, the exodus could be deeper: five of the 20 current committee chairmen are her allies from California. Without their champion, some veterans such as Education and Labor Committee chairman George Miller, who has been in Congress since 1975, may be inclined to leave. Even if they don’t head for the exits, they might choose to abandon their gavels: Standards Committee chair Zoe Lofgren, also of California, is serving at Pelosi’s request and has made no secret of her distaste at being her colleagues’ ethical watchdog.

Congressional exits are nothing new; Pelosi predecessor Newt Gingrich know all to well:
A quick retirement is not an uncommon choice for the boss of the losing party; Newt Gingrich stepped down three days after losing five seats in 1998, saving his party a potentially divisive leadership election he could well have lost. And the only reason Denny Hastert (who succeeded Gingrich) lingered for more than a year after shedding his Speaker’s mantle in 2007 was to keep his Illinois seat warm for his son, who never made it past the primary.
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October Surprise:Bomb found Plane in Dubai was Headed for Chicago

Breaking News: Two packages that were heading for Chicago were bombs to detonate when it arrive at its destination were discovered by airport security in Sa’na, Yemen  and Nottingham, England on Friday. The packages were found on UPS jet and at a FedEx facility.

President Barack Obama notified overnight Friday. The president orders Pentagon US Navy Jet  escorts joined by Canadian Forces Jets planes heading for Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.

At a press conference President Obama said the threat was very credible From The Washington Post:

Two packages mailed from Yemen and addressed to synagogues in Chicago contained explosive material and represented a “credible terrorist threat,” President Obama said Friday, as authorities focused their investigation on an increasingly lethal affiliate of al-Qaeda.

It’s believed its Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula that is behind foiled attack:

U.S. counterterrorism officials suspect that the packages, which were intercepted in Britain and Dubai, were sent by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which had already demonstrated a flair for sophisticated bombmaking in an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

Obama did not specify any new security measures that would be taken or say that the nation’s terrorist alert level had been raised. But he described the threat as serious and pointed once again to Yemen as the source of a terrorist plot, saying his top terrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, had been in touch with that country’s president.

The two packages were intercepted at separate locations, one on a UPS plane at East Midlands Airport near Nottingham, England, and the other at a FedEx facility in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Officials provided no details on the kind of explosives found, but they said they were looking at the possibility that the substance used was PETN, the same explosive used in the Christmas Day plot.

A U.S. official said the search for the devices was triggered by a “tip from a very close ally of the United States.” The tip was relayed to U.S. authorities Thursday and contained “very specific information” about devices in packages being shipped to the United States from Yemen, the official said.

Brennan, in a statement, said the United States was “grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their assistance in developing information that helped underscore the imminence of the threat emanating from Yemen.”

“We were looking for packages that were of concern,” Brennan said. He said he briefed Obama before the first package was found in Britain about 3:30 a.m. Friday local time.

No bombs were found on  planes  in Newark,NJ and Philadelphia and Kennedy Airport in New York. AP via Yahoo News:

U.S. authorities conducted searches of aircraft in Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., and New York City.

Since the failed Christmas bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, Yemen has been a focus for U.S. counterterrorism officials. Before that attack, the U.S. regarded al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen as primarily a threat in the region, not to the United States.

Homeland Security ordered all packages from Yemen on a 72 hour hold.

In Chicago police and homeland Security on high alert. Security is tight at O’Hare International Airport and synagogues warned of packages from Yemen. From CBS Chicago(WBBM-AM Newsradio 780/CBS 2 News WBBM-TV/HD):

In Chicago, cargo terminals for both UPS and FedEx at O’Hare International Airport were immediately swept with bomb-sniffing dogs, and security around them was tightened as well.

There was no evidence found that any explosives reached Chicago or that they could have caused any damage if they did.

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago was notified of the situation at 10:30 a.m. Friday, and officials there are “taking proper precautions,” said associate vice president Linda Haase.

The organization is also advising local synagogues to take precautions, Haase said.

A law enforcement source tells CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine the word is out to synagogues in Chicago not to accept UPS packages from east of New York. The are asked to call Chicago Police if any delivery is attempted.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice added that while there are no identifiable or specific threats to the Chicago area, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the area are being warned to be vigilant for unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from overseas locations.

The events unfolded four days before national elections in which discussion of terrorism has played almost no role.

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Not Again Bill Clinton Accused of Try to Force Meek Out of Florida Senate; Meeks Denies

There was accusations made in Florida on Thursday the Former President Bill Clinton ask Florida Democratic Senate nominee  Rep. Kendrick Meeks to bow out of  and throw his support to Independent candidate former Florida Governor Charlie Crist as a way to beat Republican nominee Marco Rubio. From Politico:

Bill Clinton sought to persuade Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race for Senate during a trip to Florida last week — and nearly succeeded.

Meek agreed — twice — to drop out and endorse Gov. Charlie Crist’s independent bid in a last-ditch effort to stop Marco Rubio, the Republican nominee who stands on the cusp of national stardom.

Meek, a staunch Clinton ally from Miami, has failed to broaden his appeal around the state and is mired in third place in most public polls, with a survey today showing him with just 15 percent of the vote. His withdrawal, polls suggest, would throw core Democratic voters to the moderate governor, rocking a complicated three-way contest and likely throwing the election to Crist.

The former president’s top aide, Doug Band, initially served as the intermediary between Meek and Crist, and Clinton became involved only when Meek signaled that he would seriously consider the option, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna confirmed to POLITICO.

“The argument was: ‘You can be a hero here. You can stop him, you can change this race in one swoop,’” said another Democrat familiar with the conversations, who said Clinton had bluntly told Meek that he couldn’t win the race.

Crist for his part confirm the story:

Crist also confirmed the planned scenario Thursday night, telling MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann: “I had numerous phone calls with people very close to President Clinton.”


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Get Ready, Get Ready Fed Says more Stimulus

A five days before the election the Federal Reserve Bank is ready to throw more money to beef up the economy. Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Reserve is close to embarking on another round of monetary stimulus next week, against the backdrop of a weak economy and low inflation—and despite doubts about the wisdom and efficacy of the policy among economists and some of the Fed’s own decision makers.

The central bank is likely to unveil a program of U.S. Treasury bond purchases worth a few hundred billion dollars over several months, a measured approach in contrast to purchases of nearly $2 trillion it unveiled during the financial crisis. The announcement is expected to be made at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of its policy-making committee next Wednesday.

The Fed’s aim is to drive up the prices of long-term bonds, which in turn would push down long-term interest rates. It hopes that would spur more investment and spending and liven up the recovery. But officials want to avoid the “shock and awe” style used during the crisis in favor of an approach that allows them to adjust their policy, and possibly add to their purchases, over time as the recovery unfolds.

Not everyone is on board:

In the next few months, internal opposition to Mr. Bernanke’s approach could intensify as presidents of three regional Fed banks who have expressed skepticism about the plan—Narayana Kocherlakota of Minneapolis, Richard Fisher of Dallas and Charles Plosser of Philadelphia—take voting positions on the Fed’s policy-making body. There are 12 regional Fed banks, and five voting seats on the Federal Open Market Committee rotate among them every year, with New York always keeping one.

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President Obama Job Approval Fall to Lowest Point in Presidency Only 36% Job Approval

One week before the 2010 Midterm Elections and President Barack Obama’s job approval has fallen to it lowest level since he was elected 2 years. He approval is 36% by Harris Interactive  a major pollster firm. What worse 67%, two-thirds of surveyed disapprove of the job Obama is doing. From Harris Interactive:

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,084 adults surveyed online between October 11 and 18, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

It’s perhaps not surprising that nine in ten Republicans (90%) and Conservatives (89%) give the job the president is doing negative ratings. What may be surprising is that one-third of Democrats (34%) and Liberals (33%) also give him negative ratings, as do seven in ten Independents (70%) and six in ten Moderates (60%).

Americans who give the president the highest positive ratings are those with a post-graduate education (48%), a college education (47%), and those living in the West (42%). On the other end of the spectrum, almost three-quarters of those with a high school education or less (72%) and two thirds of Midwesterners (66%) and Southerners (66%) give the President negative marks on his overall job.

Congress fares worse the President :

While the president is at a low point, there is a political body with ratings much lower than his. Just one in ten Americans (11%) give Congress positive ratings on the job they are doing while nine in ten (89%) give them negative marks. While Congress may be under Democratic control, even four in five Democrats (81%) give them negative ratings.

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Rand Paul Security Guard Stomps On Head of Move On.Org Supporter

On Monday at the end of the last debate between Repubican nominee Rand Paul and Democrat nominee Jack Conway, the current Kentucky Attorney General; got out of control as a Rand Security people threw down a protester from MoveOn.org then she was stomped on the head. From Kentucky Post:

The first involved a woman who is a member of www.moveon.org and who was determined to pose in front of Rand Paul holding a sign that read “Rand Paul Republicore: Employee of the Month.”  According to police, the woman, identified by The Associated Press as Lauren Valle, said she tripped and fell on the ground after someone grabbed her blonde wig off her head.

She was then stepped on by a man wearing a Rand Paul t-shirt. Police say she refused treatment and later filed an assault report. Her identity has not yet been released.

Then a Conway supporter step on foot  of a Paul supporter who just had food surgery:

The woman was wearing a surgical boot, but after the injury, her incision was cut open. Police say she refused medical treatment and also filed an assault report.

No arrests were made at the debate broadcast on Kentucky Education Television. No other information is available at this time. Check back with WCPO.com and 9 News for updates.

WCPO-TV/HD  “9 News” has video.