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 All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Getting Your Plane Shot Down Does Not Make You Qualified

June 29, 2008

Gen. Wesley Clark, acting as a surrogate for Barack Obama’s campaign, invoked John McCain’s military service against him in one of the more personal attacks on the Republican presidential nominee this election cycle.

Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be president, calling him “untested and untried” on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” And in saying so, he took a few swipes at McCain’s military service.

“He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn’t a wartime squadron,” Clark said.

“I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.”

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), also on CBS, was equally uncharitable towards Obama’s record on foreign policy as he continued to distance himself from his former party.

“Sen. Obama, unfortunately, like a lot of the Democratic leadership, continues to take a position that we ought to withdraw … even though the new policy is working,” said Lieberman. “If we had done what Sen. Obama asked us to do for the last couple of years, today Iran and Al Qaeda would be in control of Iraq. It would be a terrible defeat for us and our allies in the Middle East and throughout the world.”

Meanwhile, the opposition narratives for the fall election campaign appeared to be in full force on ABC’s “This Week,” with Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) calling McCain a flip-flopper, while Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty accused Obama of not working in a bipartisan fashion.

Emanuel attacked McCain for changing his position on offshore oil drilling, President Bush’s tax cuts and his relationship with the evangelical community.

Quipped Emanuel: “If flip-flop was an Olympic sport, John McCain would be the first to win a gold medal.”

But Pawlenty cited McCain’s record on immigration and his support of increasing U.S. troop presence in Iraq as ample evidence that he bucks his party on account of principle — and then challenged Emanuel to name one piece of legislation where Obama has worked across party lines.

“The question really remains, when has Barack Obama stood up and taken on his party
on anything of national significance?” Pawlenty asked. “It’s not leadership to jump in front of a parade. And I think Barack Obama’s book ‘The Audacity of Hope’ perhaps should be retitled ‘The Audacity of Hypocrisy.’”

VP watch

A pair of prospective running mates for Obama and McCain downplayed their interest in serving on the presidential tickets on “Fox News Sunday” — and one even said he wasn’t interested in an immediate Cabinet appointment.

Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.), said he was committed to finishing out his four-year term as governor before accepting any Cabinet position within a potential Obama administration.

“In 2011, it’s my intention to walk out the door of the [Pennsylvania] capitol … in January of 2011. I know that disappoints some people in the capitol, but that’s my intention,” Rendell said. “And if there was a position open that I was interested in, like energy or transportation, I’d be honored to serve in an Obama administration, but not at the beginning, not until my time is finished.”

Rendell, one of Sen. Clinton’s leading surrogates during the Democratic primaries, said that President Clinton was “disappointed” that his wife came up short in the Democratic primary, but “is going to do every single thing that Barack Obama asks him to do … and make a great case for Sen. Obama as our next president.”

Meanwhile, former Ohio Rep. Rob Portman also disavowed interest in serving as McCain’s running mate, saying he preferred to remain with his family in Ohio instead of returning to Washington, where he most recently served as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“I don’t expect to be asked, honestly,” said Portman. “I’m also, as you know, Chris, home after 15 years of commuting when I was in Congress and in the administration, and I’ve got three teenagers. It’s time to be home. I love being home.”

Portman, for his part, reiterated McCain’s unequivocal support for NAFTA despite the fact that the free trade agreement is viewed skeptically in the Rust Belt, including the electorally critical states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“It’s created an enormous number of jobs, including to Canada, which is our biggest trading partner,” said Portman. “And when that message gets out there, it makes it look a little silly that you have someone going around the state of Pennsylvania and Ohio blaming NAFTA for anything from high energy prices to the common cold. “

Third party

Both third-party presidential candidates appeared on the Sunday talk show circuit, with each offering an ample helping of criticism towards the major-party nominees.

Ralph Nader, who said Obama was “talking white” to appeal to voters earlier in the week, continued to attack the Democratic nominee on ABC’s “This Week,” accusing him of being too cozy with an assortment of corporate interests.

“Look at the positions he’s taken on that corporate America is very congenial to. If you want to cover everybody on health insurance … go to single payer. He’s opposed to single payer,” said Nader.

Meanwhile, former Republican Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s nominee, had harsh words for both McCain and his former party.

“What’s wrong with John McCain is symptomatic of what’s wrong with the Republican party in these first years of the 21st century. They talk one thing but do something different and that’s become very obvious to the American people,” Barr said on Fox.

Barr said he is the only candidate offering the combination of a crackdown on excessive government spending along with concern for civil liberties.

But he had to distance himself from past congressional votes in support of the Patriot Act and for legislation authorizing the war in Iraq — positions anathema to much of the Libertarian Party base.

“I certainly was wrong, along with a lot of others in Congress, and now realize that the vote in support of military operations in Iraq was not what the administration intended. They intended to occupy the country even though they didn’t tell us or the American people that at the time,” said Barr.

The governator

And a Sunday show wrapup wouldn’t be complete without mention of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s appearance on “Meet the Press,” where he advocated for McCain’s candidacy but acknowledged their difference on offshore drilling, a proposal that Schwarzenegger opposes.

“I’m 100 percent behind him. That we don’t agree on everything, that’s clear; nor do I with my wife. I mean, it doesn’t mean that we should split, it just means that we don’t agree on certain things.”
He also announced his opposition to a statewide referendum that would amend the state’s constitution to ban gay marriage, while not sounding too opposed to the California Supreme Court’s recent controversial ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.

“I think it’s good that California is leading in this way,” said Schwarzenegger. “I personally believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. But at the same time I think that my belief, I don’t want to force on anyone else, so I think we should stay with the decision of the Supreme Court and move forward.”

Originally found @ Politico.com

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iNPLACENEWS Interview of Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello

June 23, 2008

Tom Morello, best known for his work as the founding member and guitar player for RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, AUDIOSLAVE, and Nightwatchman is interviewed by iNPLACENEWS’ Paul Stewart. In this interview, they discuss Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the war in Iraq, and the Presidential Elections. Also, he talks about his most recent tour with Nightwatchman, social responsibility of rockstars and other artists, as well his nonprofit organization Axis of Justice.

Here is what was found in Wikipedia about Tom:

Tom Morello was born in New York, New York. His mother, Mary Morello, who is part Irish and part Italian, is a founder of Parents for Rock and Rap, an anti-censorship group. She was also a teacher at Libertyville High School. His father, Ngethe Njoroge, a Kenyan, was the country’s first ambassador to the United Kingdom. Morello’s great-uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first president of Kenya.

Morello grew up in Libertyville, Illinois, at the time a virtually all-white suburb of Chicago. There he attended Libertyville High School. He sang in the school chorus and was active in speech and drama club – a prominent role was Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

He showed his political leanings early. Morello has described himself as having been “the only anarchist in a conservative high school”, but has since identified as a nonsectarian socialist. In the 1980 mock elections at LHS, he campaigned for a fictitious “candidate” named Hubie Maxwell, who came in fourth place after Jimmy Carter at the overwhelmingly Republican school. Ronald Reagan won the mock election. He also wrote a piece headlined “South Africa: Racist Fascism That We Support” for the school’s alternative paper, The Student Pulse.

At age 13, Morello joined Nebula, a Led Zeppelin cover band as lead singer. At this same age, Morello purchased his first guitar at Rigoni Music in Libertyville. He wanted a solid-body Ovation guitar, but he didn’t have the money to buy one. Instead, he purchased a Kay guitar. Wanting to learn how to play “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin, he took two guitar lessons, but instead was taught the C-major scale. He decided that playing the guitar was a waste of his time, so he placed it in his closet for the next three years.

Around 1984, Morello first started studying the guitar seriously. He had formed a band in the same year called the which featured future Tool guitarist Adam Jones on bass.

Few if any of the Sheep could really play an instrument at first, but the band was an impetus for Morello to start honing his skills. Instead of performing cover songs, the Sheep wrote original material that included politically charged lyrics. None of the songs composed by the Sheep contained solos; soloing was a skill that Morello began learning in college.

At the time, Morello’s musical tastes lay in the direction of heavy metal, particularly Kiss, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. Morello developed his own unique sound through the electric guitar. Later, his music—and musical politics—were greatly influenced by punk rock bands like The Clash, the Sex Pistols, and Devo.

Morello graduated in 1982 and began attending Harvard University. There, he made a point of practicing every day for up to eight hours without fail, no matter how much studying he had to do. He graduated in 1986 with an honors degree in political science. He moved to L.A., where he briefly worked as an aide to Senator Alan Cranston as he set about trying to join or start a band. Adam Jones moved to L.A. as well; Morello introduced Jones and Maynard James Keenan to Danny Carey, who would come to form the band Tool.

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Impossible Math, Hillary, Give Up Already

June 2, 2008


Most of the 17 Democratic senators who are uncommitted superdelegates will endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president this week, sources told CNN Monday.

The lawmakers will wait until after the South Dakota and Montana primaries Tuesday before announcing their support for Obama, two sources familiar with discussions between Obama supporters and these senators told CNN’s Gloria Borger.

Obama supporters have been “pressing” for these superdelegates to endorse early this week, but according to one source, “the senators don’t want to pound Hillary Clinton, and there is a sense she should be given a grace period.”

A series of meetings on the topic have been facilitated at different times by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. Durbin and Daschle are Obama supporters, while Harkin is uncommitted.

Obama is now 46 delegates short of the 2,118 needed to clinch the Democratic nomination, while Clinton needs 202. There are 31 pledged delegates up for grabs in the Tuesday contests, and 202 superdelegates have yet to commit to either candidate.

Obama has the support of 331 superdelegates to Clinton’s 292.

Superdelegates are party elected officials and activists who are free to vote for either candidate.

Following Sunday’s Puerto Rico primary, Obama picked up two more superdelegate nods, and Clinton received one.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will remain uncommitted until Clinton officially drops out of the race, sources told CNN’s Candy Crowley, but that isn’t stopping the two party heavyweights from using their clout to bring the primary battle to a hasty end.

Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle last week that she is prepared to intervene if the presidential race does not resolve itself by the end of June.

“I will step in,” Pelosi told the paper in an interview. “Because we cannot take this fight to the convention. … It must be over before then.”

A senior Democratic aide in Congress also told CNN on Friday that Pelosi is already calling uncommitted superdelegates and pressuring them to back either Obama or Clinton by the end of this week. Pelosi is collaborating with Reid on the effort.

In an interview with a San Francisco radio station last week, Reid said he spoke to Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. “We all are going to urge our folks next week to make a decision very quickly,” Reid said.

Throughout the process, Dean has been pressing for superdelegates to make up their minds after this week’s contests.

Facing an insurmountable lead among pledged delegates, Clinton is now counting on the remaining superdelegates to push her over the finish line, a proposition her campaign admits is a tall order.

“Is the road steeper than it was several weeks ago?,” Clinton adviser Harold Ickes remarked on CNN’s “Late Edition” on Sunday. “The answer is yes.”

Still, Clinton told reporters after her primary win in Puerto Rico on Sunday that given her support among key demographics in swing states, she has proved she will be a stronger nominee than Obama against John McCain.

“I think it’s only now that we’re finishing these contests that people are going to actually reflect,” Clinton said on her campaign plane Sunday, referring to the uncommitted superdelegates. “Who’s our stronger candidate? And I believe I am, and I’m going to make that case, and at some point it will either be accepted or it won’t be, but I feel strongly about making it.”

Clinton argued that even superdelegates who have committed to Obama are free to “change their minds” — a suggestion the Obama campaign declined to comment on.
Despite the odds against her, Clinton continues to pick up support even as Obama grows his lead among superdelegates.

Original posting was found @ CNN.com

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Hillary’s Defeat is Still a Complete Triumph

May 19, 2008

A front page story in today’s New York Times wonders whether Hillary Clinton’s flagging run for the presidency is “a historic if incomplete triumph or a depressing reminder of why few [women] pursue high office in the first place.”

Let me quickly weigh in with an unequivocal vote for “historic if incomplete triumph.” And the only thing I find depressing is that the answer is even in doubt.

I have regularly criticized Clinton over the course of her campaign (and long before it, starting with her vote to authorize the war), but there is no question that she has forever altered the way women running for president will be viewed from here on out. In the words of the Times, Clinton has established “a new marker for what a woman can accomplish in a campaign — raising over $170 million, frequently winning more favorable reviews on debate performances than her male rivals, rallying older women, and persuading white male voters who were never expected to support her.”

She has also forever demolished the question mark hovering over the issue many (wrongly, in my opinion) have felt would be a woman candidate’s biggest weakness: the ability to be seen as a plausible commander-in-chief.

It is to her great credit that very shortly into the ’08 race, when you saw Clinton on television, you didn’t think, “Oh, there’s the woman running for president.” That is no small feat for a woman trying to break into a male-dominated arena. So the next time a woman — or two or three — runs for president, it won’t be seen as a novelty act. Because Hillary certainly wasn’t.

But the greatest triumph of Clinton’s campaign — a complete triumph — is the example she has set for the next generation. And not just for young women; her dedication, perseverance, and indefatigable drive make her a role model for young men as well.

Much has been made of the generational divide in the Clinton-Obama battle, with older women rallying to Clinton and younger women drawn to Obama. But the impact of her candidacy transcends this division. I’ve seen this very clearly in the reaction of my oldest daughter.

She voted for the first time in this year’s California primary, casting her ballot for Obama. Yet hardly a day passes without her speaking with admiration, almost awe, about Hillary Clinton — how she manages to get up every morning, no matter how hard things get for her, and keep following her dream.

I’ve written a lot about fear and fearlessness, and how fearlessness is not the absence of fear — it’s the mastery of fear. It’s all about getting up one more time than we fall down. Has any public figure embodied this more powerfully and compellingly than Hillary Clinton?

The rest of this article can be read @ The Huffington Post

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Astrologers Predict Winner of Presidential Race

May 18, 2008


More than 1,500 astrologers from 45 countries gathered in Denver, coincidentally the site of the Democratic National Convention in August, for the “United Astrology Conference: Rockin’ the Universe.” The many star-chart readers spent quite some time debating the birth times of the candidates. One astrologer, Joni Patry of Dallas, Texas, said she hd received the key piece of the puzzle from a good source: Obama’s exact birthdate and time of birth. McCain’s exact time of birth required less searching as it was mentioned by his mother, Roberta, in a Mother’s Day advertisement. Interestingly enough, not unlike Hillary’s tax reports, no one could lock down an exact time of birth for Mrs. Clinton. So, between McCain and Obama, the United Astrologers picked John McCain to win based on having a “stronger chart”.

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Hillary Just Does NOT Get It

May 14, 2008

Hillary Clinton wins big in West Virgina amidst every major political expert sayiing she cannot win, even with tonight’s victory. She is now losing in the super delegates number, and iit seems like her entire motivation is to pay her growing 21-million dollar debt. During her speach after her victory, she is in the shadow of her own, biggest fan, James Carvel, who has finally come out to say she cannot win. Yes, the very man who called Governor Richardson a “Judas”, now is defecting himself. She cannot win. It is mathematically impossible. The question arises: is she a republican in disguise? Exit polls suggest, even in West Virginia, that democrats donot feel she has her same values. Is this about her ego, the American people, or the aiding in a third term for the Bush-ites?

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