Archive | 7:52 pm

The Media Carried Him the Whole Way

6 Nov

Will it continue now that he’s crossed the finish line? At least one ‘journalist’ intends to keep carrying him. “Tingle up my leg” Matthews intends to continue his ‘job’ being a mouthpiece for Obama propaganda. I would expect nothing less from head co-cheerleader Chris Matthews.

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Cadillac Testing Obama’s New Ride

6 Nov

I know how to drive a car, how to fill it with gas and that’s about it. Yet even I found this article interesting.

Cadillac testing new Obama limo

GM rumored to be finishing truck-based armored DTS

This armored Cadillac will likely replace the limousine President Bush has used since 2005.

This armored Cadillac will likely replace the limousine President Bush has used since 2005. (Chris Doane/Brenda Priddy & Company)

After President Obama takes the oath of office in January, he may have a new black limousine to go along with his not-so-new White House. General Motors is believed to be putting the final touches on a new First Car.

An analysis of unauthorized photographs taken while the car was being tested last summer on public roads suggests that the presidential ride will be a truck-based Cadillac. It will presumably replace the Cadillac that President Bush has used since 2005.

This new car will be a Caddy like no other. Photos by a spy photographer who hunts future models that haven’t been publicly revealed for magazines and websites, provide clues about how specialized presidential transportation has become since the first White House fleet was ordered for William Howard Taft in 1909. Taft rode in a stock White steam car or a conventional Pierce-Arrow, but the next president will travel in a fortress-like vehicle that was mostly built from scratch.

The photographer noted that the limousine was being tested with a pair of GMC Topkick medium-duty trucks. The limousine seemed to be riding on the same 19.5-inch Goodyear Regional RHS tires as the trucks, indicating that it is far heavier than a civilian Cadillac. Indeed, it is believed that the limo is based on GM’s 2500 line of trucks, which includes an extra-heavy-duty version of the Suburban.

Although the raised roof and wide windshield pillars are inherited from the ultra-armored limousines that entered presidential service in 2001, only educated guesses can be made about the technical details. Because neither the Secret Service nor General Motors will discuss the car, or even confirm that a new one has been under development, it is impossible to provide basic specifications or dimensions. Calls to Cadillac’s media relations department were not returned, and the Secret Service declined to comment.

So people who are curious about such things look for clues and make deductions. I have spent almost 30 years paying close attention to presidential vehicles as part of my interest in what are called professional cars, which also include hearses and ambulances. (I am the author of “Professional Cars: Ambulances, Hearses and Flower Cars,” Krause Publications, 2004.)

Other sources I have consulted on cars used by past presidents include “Presidential Cars and Transportation” by William D. Siuru Jr. and Andrea Stewart and “Presidents on Wheels” by Herbert Ridgeway Collins. But my interest has me looking for clues wherever I can find them.

For example, television clips showing George W. Bush entering and exiting the rear doors of his limos indicate that the windows are at least 5 inches thick, nearly twice the depth of what was used on presidential limousines in the 1980s and ’90s.

While I do not know what type of weapons such thick windows are designed to guard against, a half-inch of transparent armor is enough to stop a .44 Magnum round at point-blank range; at a thickness of 1.25 inches to 1.5 inches, the same material can withstand bullets fired from military assault rifles.

In an attack, the ballistic forces of bullets fired into the windows would be absorbed within a succession of glass and plastic layers, after which a flexible inner coating known as an antispall shield would keep glass from entering the passenger compartment.

Though the materials protecting the car’s body are also classified, they are probably intended to break up incoming projectiles with a hard substance before their energy is dissipated by a softer one. Material traditionally used for this purpose includes dual-hardness steel, aluminum, titanium, and ceramics.

Large steel overlaps are also typically added to the body openings of armored autos to deter attackers who might try shooting through the door gaps.

Denied convertible tops and sunroofs, and seated behind glass that is half as transparent and several times as sound-absorbent as that of a standard car, the president has limited interaction with the public. But he can make his presence known by turning on fluorescent interior lighting that makes him visible to bystanders, or by using the built-in public address system.

Aircraft tie-downs welded to the chassis allow the limousine to be transported aboard a military cargo jet, which also often carries the Secret Service’s Suburban escort vehicles and at least one limo used as a backup or decoy.

On television footage of a trip to Pakistan in March 2000, it appeared as though President Clinton’s motorcade used five decoy cars.

Thus, it is likely GM is building not just one new presidential limousine, but perhaps two or three that can be used as backups or decoys. There will be no way of knowing until the cars are seen together.

Presidential limos would have great appeal to collectors. But the Secret Service has shown no enthusiasm for letting recent White House cars fall into private hands. When the cars are retired, they often disappear, to be destroyed or used in Secret Service training.

The Department of State also uses specialized vehicles, and the agency’s disposal methods have been detailed in a document entitled “Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s February 2004 Armored Vehicle Program.” Methods include burial at sea, explosive demolition, burning, crushing, or burial on land controlled by the federal government.

In the same spirit, the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., was not given the keys to the 42d president’s 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood, which is displayed there.

“We can dust the outside of the car, but if we needed to get inside it, we would have to contact the regional Secret Service office,” Christine Mouw, the library curator, said in an interview. “We’ve had requests from people to exhibit it with the doors open, but we’re told we can’t do it for security reasons, which is logical.”

Matthews Swaps Journalism for Cheerleading

6 Nov

On Morning Joe today, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said, “I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new Presidency work….That’s my job. My job is to help this country, to make this work successfully, because this country needs a successful Presidency, more than anything right now.”

Joe Scarborough said: Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist!

I say hooray for Joe for calling Matthews out on this glaring departure from true journalism! A real journalist is unbiased, works on facts not tingles up the leg feelings, and must be willing to speak truth to power.

Jake Tapper sums up the distinction well:

There seems to me to be quite a difference between hoping the U.S. President succeeds in his endeavors — “Let every American hope for the success of the new president and the country we all love,” Karl Rove wrote today in the Wall Street Journal and a journalist thinking it’s his job to help a new administration.

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Obama – Oprah = Hillary Win

6 Nov

hillpresThe Oprah effect was real and it tipped the election to Obama. This video breakdown shows how without Oprah’s endorsement, Hillary would have won. I’m having trouble embedding the video here so I’ll send you over to Jake Tapper’s Political Punch to see video there.

McCain Stays Classy in Defeat, Staff Not So Much

6 Nov

New theories on why McCain lost and Obama won are coming fast and furious. Of course, as the PUMAs we are, we already know how tough it is to get ahead when the media is working on behalf of the other candidate.

The odds were against McCain even before the economy tanked in the weeks before the election.

What I admire about McCain as a person is his character. He’s a war hero, a man of honor. When he losst this election he stepped up and took full responsibility for the loss. He didn’t finger point or blame anyone else. Sadly, the staff who worked on the McCain campaign are not as classy.

From dcmediagirl over at NoQuarter:

Let’s face it: John McCain had a hard row to hoe. Conservatives never really warmed up to him. At times he appeared to be phoning it in. His staff’s “strategy”, particularly with regards to advertising and message shaping, was pathetic. The press was overwhelmingly biased in favor of his opponent. He was outspent 8-1 by the Obama people. Overall, the campaign was limp, confused and disorganized.

John McCain had the class and dignity to accept responsibility for his loss. His staff, however, is a different story. Unable to take any blame for any of the poor decisions made by overpaid and incompetent campaign aides, former staffers are feverishly trying to stay hireable and politically viable by engaging in hysterical finger-pointing. So who is REALLY to blame for McCain’s defeat?

Of course! Sarah Palin.

Never mind that McCain needed Sarah Palin more than she needed McCain. He needed her to gain much needed street cred among conservatives. She routinely outdrew him at campaign rally after campaign rally. Say what you will about her — agree with her or not, respect her or not — in a few short weeks Sarah Palin, the most popular governor in America and one of the most viciously vilified women in politics next to Hillary Clinton, became a bona fide political and pop culture icon. If McCain had been crazy enough to choose Mitt Romney instead he would have lost not only the northeast but the South as well. So let’s give the lady some credit for breathing life into a moribund campaign.

But no. It was her shopping sprees that finished McCain off.

Right.

Never mind that the clothes were paid for by the party.

Message to McCain staffers engaging in this anonymous sniping: I hope that the press suspends their practice of hiding your identities and exposes you for the cheap shot artists you are. May you never work on another campaign again, not that you deserve to – you didn’t exactly knock the country’s socks off with your mad political skillz.

On another note, a friend of mine texted me this morning bellyaching about how if John Kerry had run a campaign like Obama’s we would have been spared another 4 years of Bush. I had to remind her that Kerry couldn’t have run this sort of campaign. He didn’t have Obama’s natural advantage of a press corps that did a swan dive into the tank for him. That aside, Kerry had another major weakness – he was being advised by Bob Schrum, an overpriced hack who came to the Kerry campaign having lost every presidential campaign he ever worked on. Going back, Al Gore had Donna Brazile. Dukakis had Susan Estrich. Mondale had Bob Beckel. Not coincidentally, all these political geniuses with their strong records of failure are now employed as “contributors” by cable networks.

On the other hand, Bill Clinton had James Carville and Paul Begala. And Bill Clinton was a sensational campaigner, better than anyone I’ve seen in my lifetime. One could argue that his campaign was run with more skill than Obama’s; after all, Obama didn’t have a Gennifer Flowers holding a press conference before the New Hampshire primary. The press corps declared Clinton’s candidacy dead and buried. We all know how that turned out.

To return to the original topic of this blog…men fuck up most egregiously. A female sacrficial lamb is trotted out to take it in the neck. Enough already.

COMMENT FROM LARRY JOHNSON–Amen!! DCMediaGirl, as always, nails it. The boneheaded decision of the McCain campaign to start Palin with the likes of Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, rather than a more sympathetic forum like Sean Hannity. The chickenshit carping at Palin is now demonstrating that the McCain team could not be trusted to govern. If they are this stupid and obtuse. If they are this vicious and small minded, then fuck them. Barack outspends McCain 8 to 1 and his team refuses to use the issue of Reverend Wright and other material available to them and the fault lies with Sarah? I don’t think so.

McCain would not have come close to beating Obama without Palin. That is a fact. Deal with it.

It isn’t only McCain campaing workers complaining. Obama is having some issues too click here for story.

The Media Won This Round

6 Nov

Related reading from the Confluence: Thursday: The problem is still the media

Not a Messiah, Just a Guy Who Won an Election

6 Nov