ElectionTarget.com: Tracking Democracy One Vote At A Time

October 19, 2009

et-thepolitic

I wanted to bring a site to everyone’s attention that just started up and which I’ve already been spending a bit of time on.  It’s called Election Target and what they do is they allow people to predict the results of each riding in Canada.  The best part?  They’re giving away prizes for doing it too!

Also, I have it on good authority that the site won’t just be limited to Canada next year, but it’ll also be doing something for the US midterm elections and even the national elections in the UK too.  I highly recommend this to anyone who’s even mildly interested in election predicting and results so, present readers aside, please spread the word to all of your political friends! 


Whitehouse to Fox News: This is war!

October 12, 2009

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, shown in this file photo, left, told CNNs Reliable Sources on Sunday that Fox News operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, shown in this file photo, left, told CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday that Fox News operates "almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."

(AFP) WASHINGTON — The White House has gone on the offensive against its critics in the press, singling out Fox News and going so far as to accuse the News Corp.-owned network of waging a “war against Barack Obama.”

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn has led the charge, appearing on CNN television and conducting interviews with Time magazine and The New York Times in recent days to make her case.

The unusual White House campaign comes as President Obama faces mounting opposition to his health care reforms, growing concern over the situation in Afghanistan and a continuing general economic malaise.

The president also suffered a setback recently when his personal effort to win approval for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics was rejected and his Nobel Peace Prize has met with more barbs than bouquets.

Speaking of media magnate Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, Dunn told the Times in an interview published Monday: “We?re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent.

“As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don?t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave,” she said.

In comments just days earlier to Time magazine, Dunn, a veteran Democratic Party communications strategist who joined the White House in May, denounced Fox as “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”

“They are boosting their audience. But that doesn’t mean we are going to sit back,” she said.

Appearing on CNN on Sunday, Dunn said “the reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.”

Dunn said the White House would not be a “passive bystander” as opponents try to “tear down the president and his presidency.”

“We will push back,” she said.

The push back has included a blog post on WhiteHouse.gov in which the White House denounced what it called “Fox lies” and “an attempt to smear the administration’s efforts to win the Olympics for the United States.”

The White House blog singled out Glenn Beck, a conservative talk show host on Fox, for criticism, saying his program “has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings.”

Beck has been a relentless critic of the Obama administration and labelled the president a “racist” in a July appearance on another Fox program.

“This guy is, I believe, a racist,” Beck said, adding that Obama, America’s first black president, has a “deep-seated hatred for white people.”

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said the White House may be lashing out at Fox “because the Democratic base is starting to be more critical of Obama.

“The world was expected to be transformed in approximately a month and it just didn’t quite happen that way,” Sabato said. “So if you’re in that position and you need to rally your base, you need to find a common enemy.

“They’re going on the offensive to rally the base and the base will rally to them because they hate the ‘right-wing noise machine’ too,” he said. “Everyone needs an enemy in politics. Everyone needs a devil figure.”

The White House offensive against Fox comes despite a reported meeting last month between senior Obama adviser David Axelrod and Fox News chairman and chief executive officer Roger Ailes.

Political news website Politico said Axelrod and Ailes met to discuss news coverage and the relationship between the White House and the network.

Fox, asked by AFP for a reaction to the White House criticisms, pointed to statements made by senior Fox executives to the Times and CNN.

“Instead of governing, the White House continues to be in campaign mode, and Fox News is the target of their attack mentality,” said Michael Clemente, senior vice president for news at the Fox News Channel.

“Perhaps the energy would be better spent on the critical issues that voters are worried about,” he said.

Clemente also noted that Fox programming is a mixture of news and opinion.

“So, with all due respect to anyone who still might be confused about the difference between news reporting and vibrant opinion, my suggestion would be to talk about the stories and the facts rather than attack the messenger … which over time, has never worked,” he said.

What do I think about this? 

Anita Dunn, or whoever approved her going public with this ‘declaration of war’, they need their head checked and should get their priorities straight.  It is not the Whitehouse’s job to go after the media simply because they say something negative about the President!  If that was the case, there would have been a separate office created within the communications department to deal with the entire backlash towards former president Bush from the mainstream media in the United States. 

Do I agree with Fox news all the time?  Nope.  Just the same way I won’t always agree with CTV, CNN, NBC, CBC or various other news outlets too! 

The Whitehouse and Mr. Obama need to grow a thicker skin. 

To President Obama,

Not everyone is going to like you, sir.  And that’s OK – because in western society, we are all entitled to our opinions.  Right OR wrong.  And as the president, well, you may as well have a giant ‘kick me’ sign on your back.

There is going to be opposition, and although the Obama staffers enjoyed riding that wave of Obamamania, they need to get used to this. 

Fox didn’t hurt at all in the wake of this communication from Ms. Dunn.  In fact, I’m sure their television ratings spiked and their web audience doubled!  Opps! …


Better keep pullin’ on them reins Igster!

October 8, 2009

I wonder what Mr. Ignatieff will do now that Liberal senators have stomped on the most recent piece of crime legislation?

Legislation that had already passed the House of Commons — and that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff had supported.

OK, so he’ll probably do nothing.  But I’d give the guy credit if he came out in support of the original legislation, and at least offered an opinion that Liberal members in the Senate were mistaken.  That he thought the legislation was good as is.  I mean, he did vote in favour of it originally, right?  To change gears now well, that’d be a flip-flop!  Oh wait a second!

Seriously though, if Ruby Dhalla is expected (and is willing) to swear allegiance to her party, why would Iggy not tell the senators  in his caucus to toe the line as well?

I think already know the answer.  Maybe I’m just getting sick of being right about Iggy all the time? …


Get Back – The Iggy Song

October 4, 2009

Iggy was a man who thought he was a leader

But he knew it wouldn’t last.

Iggy [only] left his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts

For some Liberal Party brass.

Get back, get back!

Get back to where you once belonged

Get back, get back.

Get back to where you once belonged.

Get back Iggy. Go home!

Get back, get back.

Back to where you once belonged

Get back, get back.

Back to where you once belonged.

Get back Ig!


Stephen Harper: Live and Uncensored!

October 3, 2009

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, sings as he plays The Beatles song With a Little Help From My Friends at the National Arts Centre Gala in Ottawa, Ont., Saturday Oct. 3, 2009. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

CTV: Stephen Harper makes a surprise appearance at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre and sings Beatles hit ‘With a Little Help from My Friends.’

All I can say is wow!

Stephen Harper has always been criticized for not being overly charismatic or personable.  This is something I have tried to dispel.  I have met the man many times, heard him speak in person, and always been impressed with the prime minister’s personality, demeanour and overall presence.

The great thing about this preformance alongside Yo-Yo Ma is that it  just really helps to show that softer side of the PM that I have seen in the past and that so many across Canada probably haven’t been able to.