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commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Afghanistan Update……

Stanley McChrystal

Hamid Karzai flew into Washington today with US ambassador Karl Elkenberry and General Stanley McChrystal…

When they got into Washington…they statred the ball rolling on reporting the progress in that countries fight to regain its independence from

The Taliban…..

And trying to make Karzai look like a player…not a hindrance to the process…

McChrystal is giving himself and his boss …….

President Obama plenty of wiggle room…..

In a White House briefing, neither McChrystal nor retired Gen. Karl Eikenberry, now the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, would say whether they believe enough military progress and political reform will take place by next summer to enable U.S. troops to “begin to transfer” back home from Afghanistan, as President Obama has promised.

“Much work lies ahead” before that can happen, said McChrystal, who commands all U.S. and allied troops fighting the Taliban and other extremists in Afghanistan. The months ahead “will demand courage and resilience,” he said, adding that violence against Americans will continue to increase.

Karzai’s visit comes at a time of increasing pessimism about the war in Afghanistan, now in its eighth year. A new Washington Post-ABC News pollthis week showed that a majority of Americans, 52 percent of those surveyed, believe the war is not worth the costs.The poll came on the heels of a new Pentagon assessment that held little good news. It reported that violence in Afghanistan is up 87 percent over a year ago, and that there are still too few U.S. and allied advisers to accelerate the training of Afghan soldiers and police – the heart of Obama’s strategy.Currently there are 87,000 American troops in Afghanistan, with roughly 13,000 more slated to arrive over the next few months. Since 2001, when U.S. forces struck back in retaliation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 1,044 Americans have been killed in action in Afghanistan, and 5,730 wounded, according to the Pentagon……

More……

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May 10, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Twitter loses it count feature for a few …….

Did you notice your twitter’s count disappear  for w while today ?(May 11th )……

Twitter users might have felt a little devalued earlier this afternoon when their “following” and “follower” counts mysteriously reset to zero. As the latter number is the primary way people on the popular status-update-sharing site keep score — it indicates how many other Twitter users see your updates when they log on — seeing that vanish could have been distressing. (The former number indicates how many other people’s updates you follow, and most people pay far less attention to it.)

Thumbnail image for twitter_logo_outline.png

The root cause of the hiccup was the discovery by some sneaky users of the San Francisco-based site of an old bug that let them force other users to follow them. That could allow for a fair amount of mischief, so Twitter management shut off its follow functions to close that vulnerability and posted a brief note on the site’s status blog to that effect:

We identified and resolved a bug that permitted a user to “force” other users to follow them. We’re now working to rollback all abuse of the bug that took place. Follower/following numbers are currently at 0; we’re aware and this too should shortly be resolved.

Within an hour or so, the site was back to normal……

More……..……. from Rob Pegoraro over @ Faster Forward as the Washington Post……

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Other Things, Updates | , , , , | 1 Comment

Florida's legal attack on the New Healthcare Bill…..

[ Attorney General Bill McCollum of Florida, center, is the lead plaintiff in a challenge to the health care law. Mr. McCollum, a candidate for governor, campaigned recently in Pensacola. ]

Lead by Florida’s Attorney general Bill McCollum ( and former Senator….Who is running for Florida Governor )……

The State is challenging the notion that you can be penalized ( a tax penalty ) if you DON’T have Health Insurance, as the new Bill requires……

In the seven weeks since the legislation passed, at least a dozen lawsuits have been filed in federal courts to challenge it, according to the Justice Department. But the case that could carry the most weight, and may be on the fastest track in the most advantageous venue, is the one filed in Pensacola, Fla., by state officials, just minutes after President Obamasigned the bill.

Some legal scholars, including some who normally lean to the left, believe the states have identified the law’s weak spot and devised a credible theory for eviscerating it.

The power of their argument lies in questioning whether Congress can regulate inactivity — in this case by levying a tax penalty on those who do not obtain health insurance. If so, they ask, what would theoretically prevent the government from mandating all manner of acts in the national interest, say regular exercise or buying an American car?

Other experts, however, dismiss the Florida lawsuit as a politically motivated lark at taxpayer expense, and argue that the insurance mandate falls comfortably within Supreme Court precedents. The states, they say, may not even withstand a challenge to their standing to bring the suit, since they are only indirectly affected by the mandate.

The focus of the litigation is the 16-word clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution that allows Congress to regulate interstate commerce, a provision the court has interpreted broadly but not without boundaries. The lead plaintiff, Attorney General Bill McCollum of Florida, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, argues that the new law’s historic reach presents the courts with fresh circumstances.

“In the last 50 years or so,” Mr. McCollum said, “other than Brown v. Board, I think the constitutional precedents here will have a greater impact on more people than maybe anything else the court has decided.”

Jonathan Turley, who teaches at George Washington University Law School, said that if forced to bet, he would predict that the courts would uphold the health care law. But Mr. Turley said that the federal government’s case was far from open-and-shut, and that he found the arguments against the mandate compelling. …….

More……..

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Florida’s legal attack on the New Healthcare Bill…..

[ Attorney General Bill McCollum of Florida, center, is the lead plaintiff in a challenge to the health care law. Mr. McCollum, a candidate for governor, campaigned recently in Pensacola. ]

Lead by Florida’s Attorney general Bill McCollum ( and former Senator….Who is running for Florida Governor )……

The State is challenging the notion that you can be penalized ( a tax penalty ) if you DON’T have Health Insurance, as the new Bill requires……

In the seven weeks since the legislation passed, at least a dozen lawsuits have been filed in federal courts to challenge it, according to the Justice Department. But the case that could carry the most weight, and may be on the fastest track in the most advantageous venue, is the one filed in Pensacola, Fla., by state officials, just minutes after President Obamasigned the bill.

Some legal scholars, including some who normally lean to the left, believe the states have identified the law’s weak spot and devised a credible theory for eviscerating it.

The power of their argument lies in questioning whether Congress can regulate inactivity — in this case by levying a tax penalty on those who do not obtain health insurance. If so, they ask, what would theoretically prevent the government from mandating all manner of acts in the national interest, say regular exercise or buying an American car?

Other experts, however, dismiss the Florida lawsuit as a politically motivated lark at taxpayer expense, and argue that the insurance mandate falls comfortably within Supreme Court precedents. The states, they say, may not even withstand a challenge to their standing to bring the suit, since they are only indirectly affected by the mandate.

The focus of the litigation is the 16-word clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution that allows Congress to regulate interstate commerce, a provision the court has interpreted broadly but not without boundaries. The lead plaintiff, Attorney General Bill McCollum of Florida, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, argues that the new law’s historic reach presents the courts with fresh circumstances.

“In the last 50 years or so,” Mr. McCollum said, “other than Brown v. Board, I think the constitutional precedents here will have a greater impact on more people than maybe anything else the court has decided.”

Jonathan Turley, who teaches at George Washington University Law School, said that if forced to bet, he would predict that the courts would uphold the health care law. But Mr. Turley said that the federal government’s case was far from open-and-shut, and that he found the arguments against the mandate compelling. …….

More……..

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Mike Bloomberg for ….President???

Yea …I can scratch my head on this one….

But Leonard Levitt, the guy that rides the NYPD hard, has this analysis,  that may no be far off the mark when you step back and look at it……..


The Times Square bomb scare has revealed a new Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

He’s now a terrorism shtarker. That’s Yiddish for tough guy.

In the days following the botched plot, the new Mayor Mike has:

Publicly criticized Immigration and Customs Enforcement for not immediately flagging bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad when he boarded a United Emirates plane after paying for his ticket in cash.

Called on Congress to ban the sale of explosives and firearms to people on the Terrorist Watch List.

Rescinded the planned cuts of 900 police officer jobs.

Presided with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly over a Memorial Day ceremony honoring 12 fallen officers, 11 of whom died of illnesses they developed at Ground Zero following the September 11, 2001 attacks. In the past, Bloomberg was criticized for his lack of support for Det. James Zadroga, the first NYPD officer to die of respiratory disease attributed to his work in the rubble.

So why is Bloomberg — who in his two terms as mayor ceded virtually all law enforcement authority to Kelly — now becoming a Terrorism Tough Guy?

Even to a political amateur like Your Humble Servant, the answer seems obvious. He wants to be President.

Talking Tough on Terror is good politics for a presidential candidate.

Talking Tough on Terror also allows Bloomberg to carve out positions that separate him from President Obama and the Washington establishment.

That, too, is important for Bloomberg’s presidential plan.

Although his chances may seem ridiculously slim to those of us lacking the illusions that billions of dollars can buy, Bloomberg may be imagining a repeat of his somewhat quixotic mayoral run in 2001.

Virtually unknown, he won a Republican primary against a longtime city politician, Herman Badillo, then defeated the favored, but flawed, Democratic candidate, Mark Greene, in the general election.

For lightning to strike twice……

More……..

This the same guy who spend $130 million to just bearly win his third term as NYC Mayor…..

He’ll never make it to the white House …even if he spends a BILLION dollars!

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Projections, Updates | , | 5 Comments

Daniel…..PM Polling Summary for Monday May 10th, 2010

Hello Folks!

Here is my evening PM Polling Summary:

CA-GOV GOP Primary:


Whitman  39 %  ;  Poizner  37 %  (Survey USA)

CA-GOV Dem. Primary:

Brown  66 %  ;  Aguirre  4 %  ;  Pineda  3 %  ;  Symmon  3 %  (Survey USA)

CA-SEN GOP Primary:

Campbell  35 %  ;  Fiorina  24 %  ;  DeVore  15 %  ;  Kalemkarian  3 %  (Survey USA)

More in-depth look at those fascinating California Races tomorrow including Write-Ups from Survey USA. Campbell still in the lead in Republican Senate Primary makes me pretty happy.

Pennsylvania Senate:

Toomey (R)  42 %  ;  Sestak  40 %  (Rasmussen Reports Survey)
Toomey (R)  51 %  ;  Specter  38 %  (Rasmussen Reports Survey)

The first clear evidence that Sestak is the better General Election Candidate. That will certainly help him in the Final Days of the Primary Campaign as he can now make the electibility Claim.


Texas – 17:

Flores (R)  53 %  ;  Edwards (D, Incumbent)  41 %  (On Message)

Might this finally be the year where U. S. Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX 17) luck runs out?

Daniel G.

Whitman may not make it to the California Senate General…she’s fading fast…….
The Dog

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Men, Politics, Polls, Projections, Updates, Women | , , | 1 Comment

Gordon Brown will step down as British Prime Minister……

Gordon Brown

Brown made the announcement outside 10 Downing Street…….

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced today that he will ask the Labour Party to organize a leadership election so that he can be replaced. Brown said that he had no intention of staying “in position longer than is needed” and plans to step down by autumn. However he plans to try to remain as prime minster until then if possible, the Guardian notes.

Brown also said that Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, had told him of his interest in moving forward with formal talks with the Labour Party regarding forming a government.

Here’s Brown’s resignation letter in full:

Here’s the link for the video…….

An agreement for a new government is in the works……( BBC video)…

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | 7 Comments

Iron Man II Tops the Weekend Box office numbers……

I told you Iron Man II was good!

Obviously a heck of a lot people saw what my wife and I saw…

Kudos’ to John Favreau and Robert Downey Jr . for a better second picture than the first……

Go SEE IT!

Striking with an estimated $133.6 million in a blazing start to the summer movie season, Iron Man 2 shot past the debut of the first Iron Man, which kicked off with $98.6 million on the same weekend in 2008. The sequel also rocketed to fifth place among the highest-grossing opening weekends of all time, slotting behindPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest‘s $135.6 million launch. In terms of estimated attendance, though, <b>Iron Man 2</b> would chart ninth on that list.

Iron Man 2 showed on close to 10,000 screens at a record 4,380 theaters and, in three days, already ranks as the fourth highest-grossing picture from 2010. Its gross included 181 IMAX runs, which generated an estimated $10.2 million. That set the 2D IMAX opening weekend record, eclipsing Star Trek‘s $8.5 million from last year.

While Iron Man 2 didn’t receive as much of a second movie bump as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestThe Matrix ReloadedThe Dark Knight or even X2: X-Men United among others, it’s important to note that the norm is audience erosion for pictures performing at this level, making Iron Man 2‘s 35 percent increase over the first movie’s opening a success.

Iron Man 2 capitalized on the good will produced by the first movie, which was a rare happy superhero movie and propelled by Robert Downey, Jr. However, its marketing didn’t up the ante, essentially offering more of the same and lacking a strong villain or new conflict. A “hail the conquering hero” effect was assumed, but, as pictures like Dark Knight and Dead Man’s Chest have shown, the advertising still has to do more than simply announce a sequel if records are going to fall. What’s more, the first Iron Man was a broadly-appealing spectacle, not just something for young fans, so the sequel likely didn’t have the opening weekend urgency for an all time best.

According to distributor Paramount Pictures’ exit polling, 60 percent of Iron Man 2‘s audience was male and 60 percent was over 25 years old, skewing more female but older than the first Iron Man‘s opening. These demographics also partially explain why Iron Man 2 wasn’t poised to break any records out of the gate. The previous benchmarks, The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3, had younger and more female pull than Iron ManDark Knight‘s opening stats were 52 percent male and 50 percent under 25, whileSpider-Man 3 was 54 percent male and 63 percent under 25.

As is usually the case with summer openings, there was a huge gulf between the top movie and everything else……

More……..

And thanks John for the ‘shout outs’ to Queens and Flushing Meadows Park!

Both Faverau and Downey Jr. are native New Yorkers……

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Fiction, Media, Men, Movies, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Projections, Updates | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CD……..NBA Playoff's Update……


Western Conf. Semi-Finals
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah (Lakers lead 3-0)
Game 4 tonight in SLC.

Phoenix wins series vs. San Antonio (4-0) winning Game 4 at San Antonio, 107-101.

Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals
Orlando vs. Atlanta (Magic lead 3-0)
Game 4 at Atlanta tonight.

Cleveland vs. Boston (Series tied 2-2) Game 5 on Tuesday night in Cleveland

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, CD @ PolitcalDog, Entertainment, Family, Other Things, Sports, Updates | , , , | 3 Comments

CD……..NBA Playoff’s Update……


Western Conf. Semi-Finals
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah (Lakers lead 3-0)
Game 4 tonight in SLC.

Phoenix wins series vs. San Antonio (4-0) winning Game 4 at San Antonio, 107-101.

Eastern Conf. Semi-Finals
Orlando vs. Atlanta (Magic lead 3-0)
Game 4 at Atlanta tonight.

Cleveland vs. Boston (Series tied 2-2) Game 5 on Tuesday night in Cleveland

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, CD @ PolitcalDog, Entertainment, Family, Other Things, Sports, Updates | , , , | 3 Comments