Friday, May 24, 2013

MA Senate Candidates – Gomez released tax returns, Markey to Release today – Does Anyone Really Care and Why?

MassLive is reporting that ”Democratic Senate candidate Ed Markey will release tax information on Friday”(meaning today). Markey, has worked for the U.S. taxpayer since memory serves, therefore, what his tax returns will reveal will include any investments, as well as Congressional salary, and his spouses investments and salary.

The Republican challenger, Gabriel Gomez, had previously released his tax returns, and Markey’s campaign and company were quick to jump on the fact that Gomez took a deduction for his historical home. (Regardless of the fact that the cost of maintaining these types of structures far outweighs any tax breaks given.

Markey’s returns are most likely as exciting as Gomez’s returns, or watching paint dry. The fact that successful individuals make an income, and have investments and afford themselves of tax breaks, regardless of party, distract from the real issues.

The two candidates are perfect for Massachusetts – one is apparently a moderate – young, veteran, family man, first generation American, the other, a “lifer” in the U.S. Congress, old, Al Gore wannabe.

Seriously, the election should be a no-brainer, but polls show it close, as this is Massachusetts, with Markey (permanent congressional fixture looking for a permanent Senate Seat), leading by 4 to 7 points in national polls and, leading in double digits in local college polls (nuff said). The fact that Scott Brown, the most moderate GOP senator to grace DC coming out of MA in – can’t recall – got booted by a progressive Professor, who had zip for experience, say a great deal about the Massachusetts electorate.

That said, this could be a touchy feely issue, and with Markey taking credit for everything Al Gore did, plus more – anyone with an ounce of brains, should be seeing a difference between the two that simply does not call for a vote for Markey – but this is Massachusetts, and anything can happen. That’s the key, Gomez, who is, for all intents and purposes, a fiscal conservative, who is pro-growth, and experienced in that matter, should do well enough, even with the dead voting. Hopefully, as the national GOP has an interest in this race (See John McCain on campaign trail with Gomez), they may flood the state with poll watchers, lawyers and the like – keeping an eye on those that would pad an election. In the meantime, since the weather will keep most voters indoors this weekend, watching paint dry (reading Markey’s tax returns) might be worth it – of course, that’s if anyone is paying attention at all to this particular election.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

MA Special Senate Election - Markey-Gomez Sparing Ads, Gomez Agrees to Debate, Markey Polling Single Digits – Electoral Dysfunction Weighs on Race

The Candidates - Race is not a given for Markey - image ABCNews

Gabriel Gomez, the MA Senate GOP candidate has begun to run adscountering rival, Ed Markey’s (D-MA) somewhat misleading advertisements. ( Markey’s ads suggest that the ex-Navy Seal, Gomez, is over the top for not supporting certain aspects of a gun bill, which, since Markey is vying for a Senate seat he should be aware that any gun legislation died in the Senate.

In viewing the two ads, the difference is in the delivery: Markey’s dark and foreboding ad suggests that Gomez is the root cause of the Newton School Shoot(Video – Ed, while the Gomez Advertisement calls out Markey for being over-the-top in his advertising, makes a few digs regarding Markey’s 37 year career in politics, and goes to upbeat in a heartbeat(Video via YouTube).

Looking at these particular two ads, one can see a stark difference between the two candidates – and in State that has over 50% of the electorate as “unenrolled”, the upbeat plays better, and has in past elections, regardless of political affiliation.

However, Markey maintains a slight lead over Gomez in the race, according to Mass Live, the Springfield Republican’s website the last national poll, from Public Policy Polling, has Markey leading by 7 points, and somehow pulling Republican’s, which sounds like a stretch, even in Massachusetts. The Poll data heresuggests all is not smooth sailing for the Democrat, regardless of the local polls showing double digit leads, and the boost the media tends to give any Democrat in MA (or elsewhere, for the most part). In the marginals one finds that the race is tight, with Markey leading 48 to 41, with 11% undecided. Additionally, the favorability rankings are telling, Markey has a rating of 48 positive, 40 negative and 11% unsure, while Gomez has the a ranking of 42 positive, 34 negative, with a whopping 24% to convince. The poll was taken May 13th, and has a plus or minus 3.3% margin of error. (PPP document via Scribd)

Those numbers aside, the problem will be the general malaise that surrounds the special – there simply isn’t much enthusiasm – period. Unless both campaigns go on a major media blitz soon, one might suggest that over half of the electorate has no clue there is a race, and as avoiding the news, right, left, or center, has become an art form, only those who are even halfheartedly interested in the state politics, will hit the voting booths. That leaves little room for error, even with the dead voting.

Then there is the whole mess in Washington DC, with the IRS hearings taking place, Benghazi still on the burner, and the harassment of journalist by the Administration (Fox, AP, CBS)- and the public can’t help but be aware of what’s going on, regardless of party. The latest Jay Leno Monologue(here), is a scathing rebuke of the Administration. and Leno is not alone. Jon Stewart ”unloaded” on the President over the IRS Scandal. - Finally, Bi-partisanship.

Using tactics that would make Nixon blush, and bungling right and left through the maze of simple questions posed by Congress, (and both parties are asking), the risk of the President remaining unscathed through he Memorial Day Weekend, even in Massachusetts are less than average.

Markey on the Campaign Trail - (image Huffington post) compare to

Martha Coakley on the campaign trail against Brown -image Huffington Post

That helps Gomez as he recently had a visit from John McCain, who is popular with a few Republican’s in the Bay State, but not as popular as say, Marco Rubio would fare. (That’s among the Republican base – which is limited.) Gomez has the opportunity from now until the election to answer attacks with fact ads, going to upbeat – with an opportunity to pull those 11% undecided’s in to his fold. The results, if the polling stands, and the environment continues, should show a 2 to3 point victory. One thing about Massachusetts Democrats – in recalling the 2010 race between Coakley and Brown, Democrats bailed on Coakley – either staying home and/or voting for Brown. It was basically a personality problem, and Martha is charismatic compared to Ed Markey (see photos above). Union membership, as well, does not indicate how one will vote when push comes to shove.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Obama Administration - Pounding the Press Into Submission – First the AP, then Fox, now CBS - Taped, Hacked, and Watched – Abuse Of Power

First, the AP announced that its journalist had been compromised by the Administration as it grabbed data from a multitude of journalist which jeopardized the news organizations ability to work with sources. (digitriad) Next up , a Fox News Journalist received a bit of phone tapping from “Big Brother”, (Washington Times) and now Politico is reporting that CBS, Emmy-award winning investigative reporter, Sharyl Attkinssons computers have been compromised at several points since 2011. Apparently, Attkinssons was looking into Fast and Furious at the time, and lately Benghazi, the latest is a slew of questionable Constitutional abuse by the Administration.

When at first it was the AP, it was pooh-poohed away by the White House as it was in the interest of finding the source of leaks to news organizations regarding sensitive information. Fox is understood, although the actions were still wrong in any way, shape or form, but the White House regards Fox News as, bluntly, the enemy. CBS? That’s a horse of a different color – as CBS is mainly viewed as one of the major mouthpieces of the Administration. Therefore, who else is being pushed and shoved into compliance with the party line?

The Press in other nations around the world are fighting for and losing their lives in order to report. In Mexico the death rate of journalists is extremely high as it is in a so many third world nations. See: where one finds a list of 984 journalist killed since 1992, right next to a photo of Attorney General, Eric Holder, over an article on the loss of freedom of the Press in the U.S.

One wonders when those talking heads that bow meekly to the powers that think they are empirical will finally get the fact that they are shilling for an Administration that may turn on them at any moment. As of this morning it is being reported that the Government went so far as to to seize the phone records of a targeted Fox News Reporters Parents! (Breitbart) That begs the question, how far is his Administration prepared to go to shut up the obvious dissension of the press – or more to the point, anyone who questions anything that remotely “stinks” about the Administration. There are no other words but abuse of power that apply to this situation.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Obama Scandal Tanks MSNBC Ratings - Quality versus Politics – the Decline of MSNBC and Lack of Substance

The jury is out - boring, one-dimensional programming is only sustainable for a short period of time - image
A theory that the problems dogging the Obama Administration is the root cause of MSNBC’sdismal rankings this past week – the networked pulled only 83,000 in the coveted 25-54 demographics, placing last behind CNN’s Headline News Network. ( The fact that the content has not changed over the past seven years, regardless of which commentator is on-air, is the main problem this network faces. In the grand scheme of cable news programming, the word “news” is an integral part of the programming, which, MSNBC does not offer in any great measures. The competition, Fox and CNN, placing first and second respectively, although considered politically leaning news programs, the fact that they have dedicated newscasts, gives these networks the edge. Talking heads aplenty, as well as programming that features both sides of the political spectrum can be found on these networks as well. Unfortunately, MSNBC’s format of talk, talk, talk and one-dimensional political rhetoric is only sustainable for a short period of time.

Generally the network does best in a general election year, however, at this stage one could easily look at multi-year rankers and get the gist – the other guys must be doing something other than three to four recognizable “commentators” who spend more time ranting that their competitive network counterparts.

One would think that after having thrown good money after bad for an extended period of time, somebody might get the hint – it’s time to change the format. There is certainly a market for the counter-culture that is MSNBC – college students should be enamored, as well as those who lean left politically – yet it’s those individuals in the middle, neither right nor left, that make up the bulk of those who are watching cable news. Although the argument can (and has) been made that both CNN and FOX are politically “biased”, they at least offer other segments that are more in gear with the major networks rather than a cable basic.
Personalities are key as well, considering those whose successes are both on and off screen at the “other networks” should apply as a key hiring or firing point for anyone who has any sense left at the network that can’t quite get out off the ground. Aging old white men, with little to no sense of humor, who are not anchors, should have something to recommend them – besides being comic fodder for other networks and talk radio hosts.

The fact that the Administration is under the gun, is not at issue, regardless of how far the crew at MSNBC either avoids or dismisses or outright defends, the IRS Scandal, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Wire-tapping the AP, etc.. Perhaps if someone got the bright idea of reporting, then discussing issues (find one), rather than spending far too much time tearing down the “other guy” or an entire political party, they might just attract a broader audience, or at least hold onto those who had watched during the general.

Regardless the content and the delivery have made MSNBC the cable network equivalent of Air America. Dissent and discussion are worthy of programming but changing it up, on occasion, is what continues to draw numbers for the competition.

Monday, May 20, 2013

IRS, The Administration, and the Half-Hearted Press - What can the Press do to Save Itself rather than the Administration?

Unsolved Mysteries Piling Up - President Obama will insure a full internal investigation of the IRS - image:

The IRS, being in the spotlight these past few weeks, has now been pinned by the Washington Post as a recent report noted that one anonymous IRS agent, for fear of retaliation, suggested that the orders to target political groups came from the “top down”. Those that understand that the targeting of specific groups for political gain by the Obama Administration makes Watergate and Richard Nixon pale by comparison.

To date the White House has suggested that they will get to the bottom of this issue, along with a host of other issues, which have been piling up with some rapidity.

Over at CNN, however, a story on Senator Rand Paul, who suggested that he had heard there as a revealing memo regarding the IRS scandal, is being made more than light of – especially if one views the photo of Paul, as well as the context of the article. It is as if Paul is deluded by either political partisanship and/or by some weird conspiracy theory. One has to recall that the man who could articulate and rebuff the concept of drones in the Senate, is one who may have the wherewithal to know if he had “heard” there as a memo that would cause further problems for the administration hanging about or not. The fact of the matter is that given the inability of the Administration to handle or control the mounting scandals make it entirely possible that a memo was leaked and that the Congress/Senate has a copy. CNN-Deflect, Deflect, Deflect.

Paul, for his part is a Libertarian Leaning Republican and nothing that has come to light in the last few days would be simpatico with any Libertarian, nor should it be with anyone who has a gasp on the constitution – abuse of power on multiple levels is being investigated by the House.

However, the love affair between the Press and the Administration is beginning to show some cracks – after insisting that they were not aware of the situation – CBS is reporting that evidence has emerged that the Obama administration did, indeed, know of the IRS targeting during the 2012 camping.

One has to wonder, have the blinders come off, or is this story so big, that the press stands to lose any credibility it has left, and must run it – no administration lasts forever, that has to be weighing on those that look to the future of media.

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