iNPLACENEWS Blog Has MOVED

September 14, 2008

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Jackson Browne Suing John McCain for Using Lyrics in Campaign Ad

August 15, 2008


Jackson Browne doesn’t want John McCain running on anything fueled by his lyrics. The singer-songwriter sued McCain and the Ohio and national Republican committees in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday, accusing them of using his song “Running on Empty” without his permission.

The lawsuit claims the song’s use was an infringement of his copyright and will lead people to conclude he endorses McCain. The suit says Browne is a lifelong liberal who is as well-known for his music as for being “an advocate for social and environmental justice.”

The advertisement mocks Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s contention that if U.S. drivers got regular tuneups and drove on properly inflated tires, they could save the same amount of oil that would be gained by offshore drilling. According to the suit, “Running on Empty” plays in the background of the ad criticizing the remarks.

Robert Bennett, chairman of the Ohio party, said the ad was pulled when Browne objected. He called the lawsuit a “big to-do about nothing.”

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers disavowed the ad, saying it wasn’t a product of the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign.

Browne’s lawsuit contends the Ohio Republican party released the ad on behalf of McCain and the RNC. The RNC did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The suit notes that other musicians, including ABBA and John Cougar Mellencamp, have asked McCain to stop using their work.

Browne’s attorney, Lawrence Iser, called the ad’s use of the song “reprehensible.”

The 59-year-old singer claims his reputation has already been damaged and is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

Browne released “Running on Empty” – the song and an album by the same name – in 1977. According to the lawsuit, the album has sold more than 7 million copies.

Browne’s financial success has aided Democratic candidates over the years. Campaign finance records show he contributed $2,300 to Obama’s presidential campaign last year and $2,000 to the Illinois senator’s campaign coffers in 2004.

Article by Anthony McCartney

Andre Jetmir iNPLACENEWS

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.


John McCain Is Not Internet Savvy Compared to 106 Year Old

July 21, 2008

If Sen. John McCain is really serious about becoming a Web-savvy citizen, perhaps Kathryn Robinson can help.

Robinson is now 106 – that’s 35 years older than McCain – and she began using the Internet at 98, at the Barclay Friends home in West Chester, Pa., where she lives. “I started to learn because I wanted to e-mail my family,” she says – in an e-mail message, naturally.

Blogs have been buzzing recently over McCain’s admission that when it comes to the Internet, “I’m an illiterate who has to rely on his wife for any assistance he can get.” And the 71-year-old presumptive Republican nominee, asked about his Web use last week by the New York Times, said that aides “go on for me. I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself.”

How unusual is it for a 71-year-old American to be unplugged?

That depends how you look at the statistics. Only 35 percent of Americans over age 65 are online, according to data from April and May compiled by the Pew Internet Project at the Pew Research Center.

But when you account for factors like race, wealth and education, the picture changes dramatically. “About three-quarters of white, college-educated men age over 65 use the Internet,” says Susannah Fox, director of the project.

“John McCain is an outlier when you compare him to his peers,” Fox says. “On one hand, a U.S. senator has access to information sources and staff assistance that most people do not. On the other, the Internet has become such a go-to resource that it’s a curiosity to hear that someone doesn’t rely on it the way most Americans do.”

McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan presented a somewhat updated picture when contacted by The Associated Press on Friday: “He’s fully capable of browsing the Internet and checking Web sites,” Buchanan said. “He has a Mac and uses it several times a week. He’s working on becoming more familiar with the Internet.”

That’s a good thing, says Tobey Dichter, CEO of Generations on Line, a group that helps bring seniors – including the 106-year-old Robinson – into the digital age.

“He needs the self-empowerment” of going online himself, says Dichter. “There are too many people surrounding John McCain who are willing to print an e-mail for him” -or do a search on his behalf, like the aides who, he says, show him the Drudge Report.

“But that cheats him of an opportunity to let his own mind take him to the next link,” says Dichter. “If he doesn’t know what links are available, he will only get exactly what he’s asking for, and nothing more.”

Why do most of us – 73 percent of Americans – use the Internet? The top three reasons are, in order, e-mail, informational searches, and finding a map or driving directions.

But there are dozens of other conveniences: Online banking, shopping, travel or restaurant reservations, job searches, real estate listings, and of course, the news (McCain, like many people over 30 or so, prefers his newspapers the old-fashioned way.) “The Internet is the ultimate convenience appliance,” says Fox.

McCain may be in “digital denial,” as Dichter calls it, but his family sure isn’t: His wife, Cindy, has been seen scrolling away on her Blackberry, and daughter Meghan, one of his seven children, blogs from the campaign trail on McCain Blogette.

As for McCain’s Democratic rival, Barack Obama is 46, and thus in an age group where fully 85 percent of Americans are plugged in. A CNN clip available on YouTube shows him so engrossed with his Blackberry while crossing a street that he bumps into the curb.

McCain’s frank admissions of his offline state have led to discussion of whether being wired is a qualification for leading the free world. One aide, Mark Soohoo, defended the senator’s lack of wiredness at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York in June by assuring the panel: “John McCain is aware of the Internet.”

One blogger opined last week that all the fuss is silly. McCain, wrote Newsweek’s Andrew Romano, hasn’t become computer literate because he hasn’t needed to. “When aides are responding to your messages and briefing you on every imaginable subject, the incentive to get online sort of disappears,” he wrote.

McCain is hardly the only prominent, wealthy, powerful man in the country to lack an affinity with computers. To take one, Sumner Redstone, the 85-year-old chairman of Viacom, “is not an avid user,” says a spokesman, Carl Falto. “He’s capable of going on but doesn’t do it frequently.”

On the other hand, famed Broadway director Arthur Laurents, 91, whose “Gypsy” is now a hit on Broadway, is known to respond faster to e-mails than to phone calls.

Among fellow senators, aides to Sen. Robert Byrd, 90, say he has a computer but prefers to speak directly to his staff and doesn’t carry a Blackberry.

What keeps some American seniors unwired? Some lack immediate access to a computer, Dichter says. But intimidation, she says, is the greatest problem.

“One has to be compassionate with a person who hasn’t gotten onto the information highway early, because the cumulative vocabulary is so intimidating,” she says. Also, many older people “feel they have a perfectly happy life without it. They feel that the world is overrun with electronic devices already.”

But, Dichter says, such people often change their minds when they realize they can get family pictures via e-mail – not to mention health information, support groups, and local community news. And Fox, of Pew, notes that seniors outpace other age groups in tracing their family’s genealogy online (a third of them say they do so, compared to a quarter of all Internet users.)

Robinson credits her computer with helping her withstand the effects of a stroke she suffered in 2003. “In my case I had a stroke and as a result could not talk,” she says in her e-mail. “The computer has been a lifesaver for me.”

Article by Jocelyn Novec

Andre Jetmir iNPLACENEWS

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


College Student Tries To Auction His Vote on Ebay

July 4, 2008


A college student claimed it was all a joke when he put his vote in this fall’s presidential election up for sale on the Web auction site eBay. But prosecutors didn’t see the humor.

University of Minnesota student Max P. Sanders, 19, was charged with a felony Thursday in Hennepin County District Court after allegedly asking for a minimum of $10 in exchange for voting for the bidder’s preferred candidate.

“Good luck!” Sanders wrote under the eBay handle zepdrummer612. “You’re (sic) country depends on You!”

Sanders was charged with one count of bribery, treating and soliciting under an 1893 state law that makes it a crime to offer to buy or sell a vote.

According to a criminal complaint, the Minnesota secretary of state’s office learned about the offering on the Web site and told prosecutors. Investigators sent a subpoena to eBay and got information that led to Sanders.

The student told investigators he made the eBay posting, adding, “That was a joke. It’s no longer listed,” according to the complaint.

“We take it very seriously. Fundamentally, we believe it is wrong to sell your vote,” said John Aiken, a spokesman for the office. “There are people that have died for this country for our right to vote, and to take something that lightly, to say, ‘I can be bought.’

“It’s a real shame,” he said. “I can imagine the conversations being held in American Legion Clubs and VFWs about whether this is a joke or not.”

The scarcely used law had its heyday in the 1920s, when many people sold their votes in exchange for liquor, Assistant County Attorney Pat Diamond said.

“There are two things going on here in terms of why it’s a crime,” he said. “One is the notion that elections should be a contest of ideas and not of pocketbooks – at least not in the sense of straight-out ‘I can buy your vote.’ The second notion is that everybody gets one vote, and you don’t get to buy another one.”

Sanders and his attorney, Steven Levine, declined to comment Thursday. The charge carries up to five years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

As for the offer on eBay? It got no bids.

Originally provided by the Associated Press

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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Michelle Obama Cool and Cindy McCain Unknown According to Polls

July 2, 2008


The public hasn’t taken to Michelle Obama yet, especially whites. And it’s got a question about Cindy McCain: Who is she?

People are divided over whether they like the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, with 30 percent seeing her favorably and 35 percent unfavorably, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll released Wednesday.

They tilt positively toward the spouse of Republican hopeful John McCain, by 27 percent to 17 percent.

In other words: While the two women are about equally liked, Michelle Obama is twice as disliked as Cindy McCain.

“Cindy seems like she’s laid back and not trying to run her husband,” said Linda Kaiser, 60, a Republican and church secretary from Clairton, Pa. “It’s nice to have a brain, but they should let their husband be president.”

Whites have an unfavorable view of Michelle Obama by 18 percentage points, while eight in 10 blacks like her. That is reminiscent of how Barack Obama fared in the Democratic primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In the AP-Yahoo News poll, whites saw Cindy McCain positively by 17 points, while one in eight blacks like her.

Michelle Obama does better with unmarried people and college graduates but is viewed poorly by people age 65 and up. Cindy McCain is seen more favorably by older people, those who are married and the more affluent, but she is less well-received by singles.

Cindy McCain is also more of a mystery. Nearly six in 10, or 56 percent, said they know too little to say much about her – exceeding the 34 percent clueless about Michelle Obama. Half of Republicans say they don’t know Cindy McCain, while three in 10 Democrats say that about Michelle Obama.

Barack Obama’s wife seems to incite stronger feelings. One in five had very negative views of her, triple the number who said so about John McCain’s wife. One in 10 had very favorable views of Michelle Obama, double Cindy McCain’s number.

“She’s African-American, she’s highly articulate, she’s young and she seems highly devoted to her husband and her family,” said Edythe Friley, 61, a retired teacher from Detroit. “She serves as a role model. There’s not a parent on planet Earth who wouldn’t want a daughter like this.”

Michelle Obama has been in the spotlight more than Cindy McCain, including stories on whether she was trying to reshape her image.

Michelle Obama, 44, a lawyer and hospital administrator, took flak in February when she said she was proud of her country “for the first time in my adult life.” Cindy McCain, 54, heiress to an Arizona beer distributorship, revealed in May that she earned more than $6 million in 2006 after saying she would never release her income tax returns.

The AP-Yahoo News survey of 1,759 adults was conducted from June 13-23 and had an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. Included were interviews with 844 Democrats and 637 Republicans, for whom the margins of sampling error were plus or minus 3.4 points and 3.9 points, respectively.

The poll was conducted over the Internet by Knowledge Networks, which initially contacted people using traditional telephone polling methods and followed with online interviews. People chosen for the study who had no Internet access were given it for free.

AP Director of Surveys Trevor Tompson and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report

The original story was found on AssociatedPress.com

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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Polls Show Republican Support and Enthusiasm Dying

June 13, 2008


The Republican party may face tough times at the polls come November, according to results of a new national survey.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Survey out Friday indicates that 2008 may not be a good year for Republicans up and down the ticket, even though most national surveys indicate the race for the White House between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama is quite close right now.

Sixty-three percent of Democrats questioned say they are either extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this year. Only 37 percent of Republicans feel the same way, and 36 percent of Republicans say they are not enthusiastic about voting.

“Republicans are far less enthusiastic about voting than Democrats are, and enthusiasm has plummeted among GOPers since the start of the year,” said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. “There was already an ‘enthusiasm gap’ in January, when Democrats were 11 points higher than GOPers on this measure. Now, that gap has grown to 26 points.”

“Bottom line: After eight years of the Bush presidency, Republicans are demoralized,” said Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst.

Fifty-three percent of registered voters questioned in the poll say they think that Obama, D-Illinois, will win the election, with 43 percent saying that McCain, R-Arizona, will win.

“In recent elections, the public has a good track record at predicting the outcome of presidential elections. Most polls which asked this same question in 2000 and 2004 showed more Americans predicting a victory by George W. Bush over John Kerry or Al Gore. The public also correctly forecast that Bill Clinton would beat Bob Dole in 1996,” Holland said.

In the battle for Congress, 54 percent of those questioned say they would vote for the Democrat in their congressional district, with 44 percent saying they’d vote for the Republican candidate.

“Democrats lead Republicans by 10 points in the congressional vote. At this point in 2006, the Democratic lead was seven points. Democrats went on to win a landslide in 2006,” Schneider said.

Another question hovering over this year’s campaign: Race. Forty-two percent say Obama’s race will make it more difficult for him to get elected, with 57 percent disagreeing.

“That concern is higher among Democrats, at 48 percent, than Republicans, at 36 percent,” Schneider said.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone on June 4 and 5, with 1,035 adult Americans questioned. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall sample and 5 percentage points for the answers of just Democrats or Republicans.

This story was originally found on CNN.COM

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Neo-Con Limbaugh Hates McCain

June 9, 2008

One of the best indicators of John McCain’s weakness in the general election is the questioning of his manhood by right-wing pundits.

Rush Limbaugh — who likes to dress up as a general and command his listener’s to foment political violence — took time out this week to besmirch McCain’s maleness, wondering on air if the Republican candidate could really count as “a man” in the wake of his speech in New Orleans (link).

What prompted Limbaugh to make a negative ruling on McCain’s manhood was not that McCain bashed Bush, but that McCain dared to criticize ‘government’ in his New Orleans speech earlier this week. What did McCain actually say in New Orleans that made Limbaugh slap down his dress-up-general riding crop beyond his normal paroxysms? This paragraph gives the main thrust of the McCain speech (emphasis mine):

“The right change recognizes that many of the policies and institutions of our government have failed. They have failed to keep up with the challenges of our time because many of these policies were designed for the problems and opportunities of the mid to late 20th Century, before the end of the Cold War; before the revolution in information technology and rise of the global economy. The right kind of change will initiate widespread and innovative reforms in almost every area of government policy — health care, energy, the environment, the tax code, our public schools, our transportation system, disaster relief, government spending and regulation, diplomacy, the military and intelligence services. Serious and far-reaching reforms are needed in so many areas of government to meet our own challenges in our own time.”

For playground-soldier Rush Limbaugh, when a Republican gives a speech that questions the effectiveness of government, that forfeits said Republican’s status as “a man.” What would have earned McCain his “I’m a man” badge? Blaming the destruction of New Orleans on liberals, of course (as if you had to ask).

But after reading that New Orleans speech by McCain — the one that has been widely ridiculed in the media since he delivered it on Tuesday — I noticed that McCain was actually trying to do something astounding. He was trying to use that speech (1) to bring Reagan-esque themes into the election and (2) to reframe this election as a referendum on “government,” not a referendum on “Bush” (e.g., to undercut the Obama campaign’s framing strategy).

11 times in his New Orleans speech John McCain used the word “government.” 11 times! It was a sure-fire sign that he was trying to set a frame — and that nobody in the media actually noticed he was doing it, nor did they bother to ask why he was doing it.

The reason is simple: McCain is afraid to bash Bush; so he is trying to make this election a referendum on “government.”

If, for example, I swap the words”‘George W. Bush” for the phrase “of our government” in the above paragraph from McCain’s speech, this is what we get:

“The right change recognizes that many of the policies and institutions of George W. Bush have failed. They have failed to keep up with the challenges of our time because many of these policies were designed for the problems and opportunities of the mid to late 20th Century, before the end of the Cold War; before the revolution in information technology and rise of the global economy. The right kind of change will initiate widespread and innovative reforms in almost every area of government policy — health care, energy, the environment, the tax code, our public schools, our transportation system, disaster relief, government spending and regulation, diplomacy, the military and intelligence services. Serious and far-reaching reforms are needed in so many areas of government to meet our own challenges in our own time.”

Yep. That is really what this election is about, but McCain is just too scared to say it. Instead, he will try to reframe debate in terms of “government.”

More importantly, perhaps, by critiquing “government” instead of ‘George W. Bush,’ McCain is going back to the old hobby horse of Ronald Reagan — patron saint of conservative framing and archetypal Republican manly man’s man.

The model for McCain’s speech must have been Reagan’s oft-cited “Time for Choosing” speech (1964) in which Reagan railed against government, against the liberal “elite” who supposedly ran government, and in so doing set a conservative framing strategy that held the debate up to this very year.

In that 1964 election between Barry Goldwater and the incumbent Lyndon Johnson, Reagan set the frame with phrases like this one:

“This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

Yep — that is the idea that McCain is trying to dig up and toss into this election almost 45 years later. Interestingly, it is the idea that gets his manhood castigated by the likes of Limbaugh, who no doubt thinks he embodies the true manliness of Reagan.

In reality, the Reaganism that McCain is trying to reclaim is no longer the core idea the guides the voice of American conservatism. Steered by right-wing pundits and fueled by hateful, violent rhetoric, contemporary conservatives no longer say that government is wasteful and inefficient. Instead, they say that liberalism kills, liberalism supports terrorism, liberalism will lead to the destruction of America.

No wonder McCain gets called a sissy by Limbaugh when he tries to channel Reagan rather than bash Bush — because Limbaugh has long since left the Reagan legacy behind in favor of the new violent rhetoric of the right.

And the irony does not stop there, because in all likelihood, Limbaugh’s bashing of McCain will bully him into conformity — will goad him into retooling his campaign into some kind of “liberals will kill you” message. The paradox, of course, is that this will mean that an actual war veteran – -who survived torture and still bears the scars of that experience on his body — will likely allow his manhood to be questioned by a drug addict who cross-dresses as a general and equates salivating on cigars with public service.

Rush Limbaugh, the quintessential military-dodging conservative coward, in other words, will humiliate the war veteran in this election.

This was originally blogged @ The Huffington Post

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