ABC News/Facebook Presidential Debates Tonight

Tonight, live from New Hampshire, at 7 p.m. Pacific, are the live back-to-back Democrat and Republican ABC/Facebook Presidential Debates — though they are incomplete.

Candidates Dennis Kucinich (D), Mike Gravel (D), and Duncan Hunter (R) have been excluded from these debates, even though they are still running for president.

Ron Paul (R) has been excluded from the Fox News GOP Debate in New Hampshire scheduled for tomorrow night. In a turn of events, the New Hampshire Republican Party has now pulled out as co-sponsor.

Bear in mind that Fox News is excluding Paul from the debate, despite the absence of any objective criteria that would shut out Paul and still include some of the other people they’re inviting. For example, Paul got 10% of the vote in Iowa, while invited candidate Rudy Giuliani took only 4% and is at about the same place as Paul in New Hampshire polls.

See an interview with Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Bill Moyers here.

TheZoo will be live blogging these beauty pageants debates this evening on this thread.

Helen says it all..

There was a great opinion piece by Helen Thomas called “Democrats Need To Take A Stand” in the Seattle PI. She is right on the money.

Here’s an excerpt:

That’s what the 2008 election is all about: answers.

All the candidates should be pinned down on how they feel about Bush’s concept of pre-emptive war; wiretapping without a warrant; waterboarding and other forms of torture; and the policy of “rendition” — sending prisoners to jails abroad where they are subject to abusive interrogation while being held in limbo.

The presidential hopefuls also should be quizzed on the lack of real oversight of CIA activities and immunity for the telecom companies that have cooperated with the administration’s wiretapping schemes.

Continue reading

Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul on Bill Moyers Journal

Last night on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Moyers interviewed Presidential Candidates Rep. Ron Paul (R) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D), along with campaign analyst Kathleen Hall Jamieson.

This weekend both Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are being excluded from their party’s presidential debates.

On TheZoo it is not our intention to endorse any one candidate, but it is clear that the mainstream media is going out of their way to ignore these two candidates who have had a big following in this country and a very strong showing in the straw polls across this nation. America deserves to hear from ALL the viable candidates.

So, here are their interviews with Bill Moyers.

First, Dennis Kucinich (or read transcript):

Second, Ron Paul (or read transcript):

You can go here to watch the interview (also VERY interesting) with campaign analyst Kathleen Hall Jamieson, or read the transcript.

Bill Moyers then asks “Do Debates Matter“:

It is a fair question to ask: Do the debates really matter? After years of declining viewership the debates are making a comeback. In 1960, over 66 million people watched the first televised debate out of a total population of 178 million. In 1980 more than 80 million watched the debate between Reagan and Carter. But then as the population swelled to more than 294 million, the numbers slipped, with only 46.6 million watching the first debate in 2000, and nearly ten million less watching the second and third debates. But in 2004 the numbers for the first debate between George Bush and John Kerry had a viewership of 62.4 million.

But now these traditional count methods can’t begin to give an accurate picture of the debates effect on the public. According to THE NEW YORK TIMES, “Experts say that most people watch debates at the same time as they watch other shows, pay the bills, surf the Internet and basically multi-task their way through the evening.” And, with the opportunity to re-watch the action online at any time — the debates have a whole new lifespan.

Read on…

NY Times Magazine Runs ‘Massive, Scary’ Cover Story on America’s E-Voting Disaster


via: Brad Blog

Cover Graphic Shows Exploding Voting Booth with ‘WARNING’ Label: ‘Your vote may be lost, destroyed, miscounted, wrongly attributed or hacked’

The entire debate over e-voting may well be just about to change. Hopefully for the better. Big time.

Editor & Publisher’s editor Greg Mitchell, has tipped off The BRAD BLOG late this afternoon, that the New York Times Magazine is set to run a “massive” cover-story this Sunday, on the entire e-voting disaster titled “The Bugs in the Machines.”

Better late than never?

Mitchell describes the story as “quite chilling” in the exclusive preview he’s just posted to his new personal blog. Here’s the first coupla grafs from his scoop…

Coming between the Iowa and New Hampshire tallies, this Sunday’s cover of The New York Times Magazine ought to strike a chord. It shows a man inside an exploding voting booth with a WARNING label over it and the words: “Your vote may be lost, destroyed, miscounted, wrongly attributed or hacked.”

The massive Clive Thompson article, titled “The Bugs in the Machines,” is quite chilling. “After the 2000 election,” it opens, “counties around the country rushed to buy new computerized voting machines. But it turns out that these machines may cause problems worse than hanging chads. Is America ready for another contested election?” One key passage: “The earliest critiques of digital voting booths came from the fringe — disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks — but the fears have now risen to the highest levels of government.”

One expert says that “about 10 percent” of the devices fail in each election.

I wonder if there is enough time to fix our voting system, to go back to paper ballots – verifiable ballots – before this next election. Investigative reporter Greg Palast has warned repeatedly that our 2008 election has already been stolen unless we do something to stop it. People in this country have got to regain their confidence in our voting integrity. If we can’t trust the voting, then we truly have lost our democracy.

I can’t wait to read this issue of The New York Times Magazine tomorrow!

Hats off to Brad Friedman for his diligence in reporting on this story as long and as in depth as he has.

UPDATE: Here is the link to the actual New York Times Magazine article. Thanks Walt!

UPDATE: You are most welcome Muse!

Antarctic Weirdness

I found this over at the Navel Academy

Scientists trekking across a little visited part of Antarctica have discovered a bizarre relic of the Soviet Union is dominating the South Pole of Inaccessibility.

In the middle of no-where – literally the point on Antarctica furthest from the sea – an imposing bust of revolutionary Bolshevik Vladimir Lenin peers out onto the polar emptiness.

A Norwegian-US Scientific Traverse met Lenin this week while nearly a thousand kilometres to the south another group were “moving” the South Pole – literally.

A barber’s pole marks the actual spot but the US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station sits on top of a moving ice-sheet – so the Pole moves.

The Inaccessibility Pole marks the point on Antarctica that is furthest from the ocean. At 3718 metres above sea-level it is in the Australian zone and seldom visited.

Apparently the bust is made of plastic.

Now that’s something you don’t see everyday.   What next?  A big plastic Jeebus…?

Looking back – and ahead – 3 days into the primaries and the last 380 days of Bush

The dust has settled over the Iowa caucuses and the media are back in anticipatory mode. The European newspapers are still chewing over Barack Obama’s win and, equally, Hillary Clinton’s loss. Again the Republican candidates are slightly less of interest, but all in all the Republican race is considered more open as the Democratic one. Serious contenders, in the eyes of Europe, are Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.

There is the one big question when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Is her campaign able to bounce back as her husband’s did in the 1992 primaries, or is her bid essentially dead? Well Hillary Clinton is not Bill and her image of a hard-working, efficient, intellectual woman does not cater to the more emotional wish for change. Moreover, she is deeply connected, in the eyes of voters, with everything that the people feel is wrong with Washington. This will be hard to overcome and she lacks the charms and openness of her husband. 

But never, even in the darkest days of the Monica Lewinsky affair, has she been tested so visibly. Unlike her husband, her connection to voters is less emotional than intellectual. It is hard to imagine Hillary Clinton in a McDonald’s, turning the race around by sheer willpower.

The odds are:

35.2% Chance of winning New Hampshire 53.7% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 32.2% Chance of winning presidency

John Edwards is marginalized, his name turns up eventually, but his campaign is clearly not “sexy” enough for the newspapers. He is expected to quit the race and the exciting question about that would be: Who is going to get his endorsement.

John Edwards former Senator and vice-presidential nominee in 2004 who has reinvented himself as an angry populist. Did well to scrape second place in Iowa but, with Obama now clearly the alternative to Clinton, he is expected to struggle in New Hampshire where union votes matter less and he will be outspent once more.

The odds are:

1.6% Chance of winning New Hampshire 2.3% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 1.3% Chance of winning presidency

The only question on Obama, will he be able to keep up the momentum? He is closing in on Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire now and if he wins there, he may well inherit the inevitability tag from Senator Clinton. The far more sober atmosphere of New Hampshire, as opposed to the more lively action at the caucuses, may mull the sound of the change drumbeat a bit. Barack Obama, however, has finally moved into the crosshairs of his opponents’ attention, be it Democratic of Republican.

Barack Obama Senator seeking to become first black president with a message of change and bringing America together again. After a stunning victory in Iowa, he now must repeat the trick in New Hampshire. Questions remain about whether he can build similar excitement nationally in big states where he cannot force himself on voters with the intensity he has shown in the early contests.

The odds are:

65.2% Chance of winning New Hampshire 43.8% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 27.5% Chance of winning presidency

The Republican race will likely see John McCain’s campaign, which was hanging by the fingernails, revive. Mike Huckabee will have a much tougher time with the less religious voters in New Hampshire. And Mitt Romney is obiously getting nervous:

“We cannot afford Barack Obama as the next president. He’s a nice fella and a very well-spoken fella, but he’s never done it,” Romney said in Derry, challenging Obama’s experience while adopting a version of the change message that worked for Obama and Huckabee in Iowa.

I have to thank my sister this time, who not only arranged for the laptop, she let me use her wireless as well. It’s good to have her for a family, too.

“Europeanview” wishes you all a healthy and safe Saturday. Take Care!

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy was cloned..

via: Common Dreams


Photo by Mike Theiler/Reuters

Get ready for a food fight over milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring. After more than six years of wrestling with the question of whether meat and milk from them are safe to eat, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to declare as early as next week that they are.

The FDA had asked producers of cloned livestock not to sell food products from such animals pending its ruling on their safety. It isn’t clear whether the FDA will lift this voluntary hold.

While many consumer groups still oppose it, the FDA declaration that cloned animal products are safe would be a milestone for a small cadre of biotech companies that want to make a business out of producing copies of prize dairy cows and other farm animals — effectively taking the selective breeding practiced on farms for centuries to the cutting edge.

Read on..

What was wrong with the good old fashioned way.. of animals just having babies the way nature intended..?

Are we next?

Music night?

I thought Friday nights were . . .

When this album came out, it was getting a little play in the Bay Area and I was able to wangle tickets to a “rising star” show because the radio station had no idea what they had in their sweaty little hands. I did have to sit through the worst opening act of all time and was definitely the oldest person in the audience (other than Paul Kantner). It was worth all the agony. Tux jacket and tights makes for a heady mix.

And then something for a slightly different audience. Uh right, skinny boys in leather!