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! 

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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! …


Is is really just a racial thing, Jimmy?

September 16, 2009

Are there people out there that dislike President Obama because he’s black? – Yes, I’m sure there are!

Are there people out there that LIKE him because he’s black? – Yes, I’m sure of that too!

However, rather than just pointing out the idiotic neo-Nazi type groups that are against Obama…  How about showing the groups, organizations and individuals that DISAGREE with the US President based on his policy or positions!

Issues such as:

– Healthcare

– Afghanistan

– Handling of the Economy

– Democrats and their move towards Protectionism

To dismiss this oppsition as just racism is not fair to those individuals (Republicans, Democrats, and Independents or non-voters) that disagree with Mr. Obama’s views and actions, and in fact could care less about his skin colour!

Will he triumph despite the fact people are racist?  No, because people have their views based on race (doesn’t matter if they are wrong) and that will always be the case!  The same can be said about his policies!  People will always disagree, rightly or wrongly!


Harper and Obama – A little chat – But What about Khadr?

January 23, 2009

Prime Minister Harper speaks with President Barack Obama on Friday January 23,2009.

Prime Minister Harper speaks with President Barack Obama on Friday January 23,2009.

 

CTV: Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the economy and the auto industry during their first telephone chat since America’s commander-in-chief was inaugurated on Tuesday.

— 

Well, gee that’s great.  I’m glad that the two leaders are talking.  That’s important.  But are they talking about the important stuff?

They discussed the agenda for Obama’s upcoming trip to Canada — his first international foray as president — as well as energy, the environment and the war in Afghanistan. 

Great topics I think – certainly they are on the minds of  most Canadians and Americans alike.  The economic situation, and the best way to survive the storm without any long lasting damage being major.

But one might think that there is another key issue right now.  Maybe President Obama’s signing an executive order on Thursday to shut down Guantanamo Bay within a yearand the implications for Canada? (re Omar Khadr).

Granted, a year is a long way off.  But still.  What’s going to happen with Omar Khadr?  Will he come back to Canada?  Will he be tried in a US court?  The questions need to be answered, and I would hope the Canadian Government is getting the answers.  

Liberal senator, ex-general Romeo Dallaire (and longtime proponent for Khadr’s return to Canada) had pushed for then-president-elect Barack Obama to stop the war crimes trial of Omar Khadr so he could return ‘home’ to Canada.

Well on his first full day in Office President Obama ordered a suspension of Khadr’s military trial – this before the order to close GITMO within at least 1 year.  So are Harper and Obama the ones to talk about this?  Or is that up to Foreign Affairs and the US State Department to work out? Granted, it is only a 12-day suspension, but I think that just means the answer is needed sooner.

But what do Canadians want?

According to a Globe and Mail Poll: Given Barack Obama’s desire to close Guantanamo, do you think it’s time for Ottawa to bring home Omar Khadr?  – 61% (11,113 of people who voted thus far) say NO versus 39% who say YES.  This is only an on line poll, but I find that most of the people that vote on line, especially on news sites are generally reflective of most Canadians opinions.  Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part?  Either way, I do not want Omar Khadr back in the country without assurances that he will go straight to jail, charged as a terrorist, and stay there!

So I hope that after Prime Minister Harper congratulated Obama on his inauguration that the two really got down to business, and talked about the Canadian traitor and terrorist sitting in a cell at Guantanamo Bay.