Friday, August 28, 2009

Alley Twat

Please tell me this is a joke...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Terrorism hitting the Homeland?

Explosion, Bomb Scare Force Salem Evacuation

Last Update: 5:03 pm
Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
SALEM, Ore. - Last night, a Salem resident reportedly blew his hand apart after a home-made device exploded.
Today, police found another device in a car parked at the same home. Wednesday afternoon, they evacuated homes on both sides of Norway, between Capitol and the railroad tracks, and on McCoy between Shipping and Jefferson streets.

A police robot detonated that "improvised explosive device", but the evacuation continued - required, say officers, during the removal of "extremely dangerous explosive chemicals" in the vicinity. [More...]

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You're fired!

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Carrie Prejean has been dethroned as Miss California USA for "contract violations," including missing official pageant events, state pageant spokesman Roger Neal said Wednesday.

Prejean, 22, retained her title last month despite a controversy over topless photos and her statements against same-sex marriage.

Miss USA pageant owner Donald Trump was involved in the decision to fire Prejean, Neal said. [More...]

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When trees strike back

(Portland) "A tree being cut down in the 3800 block of Southeast 114th Avenue fell onto a power meter, driving a live wire into the ground. That electrified plumbing, melting solder in household pipes and flooding a home." [Oh, there's gotta be more...]

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wall-Mart employee not laid off, kills self

Wal-Mart worker burns self to death in parking lot

(Chicago Tribune) - A 58-year-old Wal-Mart employee who said he "couldn't take it anymore" lit himself on fire outside the Bloomingdale store where he worked late Thursday night and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said this morning. The Carol Stream man, who worked the overnight shift, was in a parking lot of an adjacent sporting goods store in the west suburban strip mall when he set himself on fire with lighter fluid around 10 p.m., said Randy Sater, a watch commander with the Bloomingdale Police Department. [...] A store manager, who identified himself only as Erwin, had no explanation for the suicide. he said the man had not been laid off. [More...]

You can't put a price on love

But I'll sell you these two kids for $2000.

Woman answers ad for bird by offering kids as payment

(CNN) -- Trading two children for a bird landed three people in jail in Louisiana, authorities say. [...] Greenwell proposed selling two of the couple's children to the Romeros for $2,000, saying that her job as a truck driver made it hard to take care of the children, said Capt. Keith Dupre of the Evangeline Parrish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana. The parties allegedly negotiated a trade involving the two kids, the bird and $175. [More...]

Friday, February 20, 2009

Celsi Dinner 2009

Carl Wolfson waits in the wings

The "Celsi Dinner" is an annual benefit in support for the Multnomah County Democrats which recognizes citizen activist and very active Democrat Dick Celsi as well this year's award recipient in his honor, John Vandermosten.

3rd District Congressman, Earl Blumenauer took the stage of the Melody Ballroom to welcome the roomful of who's whos and who's thats. Reveling in recent Democratic victories, he also spoke of the challenges to come.

Progressive activist/writer Karol Collymore gave a rousing call for Democrats to complete decades of unfinished business.

Former US Senate candidate Steve Novick demonstrated his wonkish wit as he played auctioneer. Offsetting high carbon footprint auction items with large contributions seemed like a good idea. Just what is an endangered species worth to you?

Aside from the live auction, a silent auction was held which included loads of political memorabilia.

Oregon's US Sentors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley addressed the gathering.

State senator Jackie Dingfelder was also recognized with the McCoy Award.

The keynote speech was delivered by KPOJ's Carl Wolfson. On the radio he combines his comedy shtick with his political acumen giving the audience (which reaches far beyond Portland) some of the best progressive talk radio currently on the dial. Tonight though, apart from his mirthful warm-up with but a few familial anecdotes, we saw Carl's serious side and i began to understand the political journey of this comedian. One of the high points of the evening for me was the tale of Rep. Carl Elliott (D-AL), the father of the bookmobile. Unlike so many Dems in the Old South, Elliott was at home in a Democratic party which promoted racial justice.

He was defeated in a 1964 special election required to reduce the size of Alabama's Congressional delegation. He would later cash in his Congressional pension to run for Governor, losing to the wife of George C. Wallace who himself was term-limited. After his defeat, he resumed practicing law and writing and was vindicated only later in life when he became the first recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 1990.

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger was also a featured speaker. For giggles, I'm giving the silver to Steve Novick. But when it comes to comedy gold, the Oscar goes to John Kroger. Who knew the AG could be so funny? But soon enough Kroger got to the serious topic of supporting the Party. It's not only boots on the ground which keeps Oregon blue, it's hands on the wallet.

The Celsi dinner is the most significant fundraiser for the Multnomah County Democrats. Thanks to all who gave their support.

John Vandermosten, House District 50 leader, and one of the founding members of East Suburban Democrats was honored by the Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee with the Dick Celsi award.

"MC" (Carla) Hanson
I got to sit at the "cool kids' table" (at least for local political wonkery) thanks to my friend Stephanie (seated across from me). She's about the sweetest Greek-American (who doesn't eat eggplant) you'll ever want to meet, and one of the most generous folks i know. Efcharisto!

Her hubby Mike shares a passion for political buttons with our keynote speaker. Although seated elsewhere (or perhaps standing?), the Wolf man eventually made his way to ours. I suspect he was trying to trace down the high bidder of some button collections he had his eye on. (ok, i scored one of those myself, but i did give the first bid on it!) I was actually seated next to AG Kroger. I had met him first at the 2008 Rebooting Democracy conference. Except for a few pleasantries, i let him eat. When he wasn't on the stage, he was for the most part on the floor and was one of the more sought out personalities of the evening. He was also pretty successful getting several donors for a new HQ for the MultCo D's. Good work, John! (But the next time i see you, i'd like to bend your ear about these pesky phone solicitations i keep getting. I think it's a credit scam...)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kamberg discovers his Jew-Tile

Question: Would it surprise you to learn that I am 1/8 mighty Choctaw?


I guess Preemptive's Kevin had to come up with some explanation why he intermittently claims to be Jewish presumably in an attempt to lend authority to his auspicious comments when he waxes on Israel or Palestine

Willamette Week
I am an American Jew and I am a long-time harsh critic of Likud and the IDF's strategy with all of Israel's neighbors. I've been called an anti-semite by more Jews than I cared to keep track of for daring to point out the self-evident fact that BOTH sides have very bloody hands.

Blue Oregon
1. Josh Marshall is spot on - the ongoing expansion of Jewish settlements is a core issue that's not going to go away no matter how many Palestinians the IDF kills.
2. Not that it should matter but... I am Jewish.

Oregonian, Mapes Blog
I'm a liberal Jewish American who also gave more financial support to Merkley than to any other candidate (ever, in fact). I have also written copiously and very critically of Israel's recent micro-war against Gaza and against it's race-based policies towards Palestinians in general, both inside and outside of Israel, on my blog.

I just thought it odd since he didn't grow up Jewish and describes himself as "Christian" on his blog Preemptive Karma and "Theist" on Facebook. When i inquired, Kevin got all nasty (probably since he misses posting as navvoter).

But now, woven into an artful narrative is Kevin's story of being an "American Jew."

The Gentile, the Jew and the Astronomer
I've mentioned before that I am Jewish. But it wasn't always so. Which is to say that I didn't know about my Jewish heritage when I was growing up. And since 2009 is also the International Year of Astronomy I thought I'd address my connection to both issues in one post.

I don't remember the exact year but I think it was either 1998 or 1999 when I received a phone call from my mother informing me that she'd just been informed by my maternal grandmother that her mother (my maternal great-grandmother) was a Jew. [Ed. Major snippage of how Great-gramma met Great-grampa...]

So, I am a Jew who once thought he was a Gentile. And as you can see I have the all-important maternal line which is how Jews recon these things.
Posted by Kevin at February 18, 2009 11:10 AM

It was a touching story, especially Gramma Jessie's "psychic breakdown." I cried. I laughed.

Kevin, please don't describe yourself as a "Jewish American" in order to boost your credibility. It's Meshugana.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why media sucks

I like to keep my pulse on what passes for "news" for the masses who even follow the news, so i have bookmarked on my computer and frequently follow the inner links (and often link to its stories from this forum). Sometimes i swear reporters don't watch or read the news.

In the aftermath of the Connecticut chimpanzee attack, this headline on CNN's front page caught my eye:

It was a bit of a bait and switch. This was the actual headline on the target page:

Why the Stamford Chimp Attacked
By Bryan Walsh

I thought we already knew what made the chimp go ape, but i read on for any late breaking details.

"The ferocious attack by a chimpanzee of a woman in Stamford, Conn., on Feb. 16 wasn't a question of if, but when," begins the article.

The 200-lb. chimp named Travis, whose owner, Sandra Herold, 70, raised as part of her own family, had no history of violence — aside from one incident in 2003 when he escaped and stopped traffic in Stamford for hours. But when Charla Nash, 55, a friend of Herold's, came to visit on Monday afternoon, Travis suddenly lashed out at her. The 14-year-old chimpanzee latched onto Nash's face and tore it apart.

Maybe i'm picking nits, but Ms. Nash wasn't dropping in to visit. She was called by the pet's owner because "Travis" had escaped and she was unable to control him by herself. (We also learned later that Travis had been given Xanax, the side effects of which can include "decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger (increased risk taking behavior), rage and hostility.")

Herold had called Nash over to her house to help get Travis back inside after he used a key to free himself from the house. [CNN: Feb. 16]

After delving into the gruesome details, the Time/CNN article by Bryan Walsh gets back to its premise as to why this particular attack occurred.

But even as investigators try to figure out exactly what triggered Travis's attack (he had been suffering from Lyme disease, which in rare cases is linked to psychotic behavior), the reality is that a chimpanzee living among people is simply a ticking time bomb. No matter how many years it has lived peacefully as a pet, a chimpanzee is not a domesticated animal and can snap without warning.

Walsh may in fact be correct in his assertion that every chimpanzee is a "ticking time bomb" but he chose a poor example. Travis didn't "snap" because of his inherently aggressive ape nature. He was schizo and on drugs. I wouldn't be surprised to see the same situation in the greatest of apes given similar circumstances.

I also thought the article's embedded links rather odd and perhaps computer generated:

  • The 14-year-old chimpanzee latched onto Nash's face and tore it apart. (See pictures of animals facing extinction.)
  • "They are not pets. This is tragic, but it's not surprising." (See pictures of animals in space.)
  • "An adult male chimpanzee is a formidable animal. I would not want to be standing next to one." (See pictures of animals with prosthetic limbs.)
  • The former NASCAR driver St. James Davis, who raised a chimpanzee as a pet, was attacked by escaped chimps at an animal sanctuary in 2005; he was left with injuries and disfigurement so severe that doctors kept him in a medically induced coma for three months. (See pictures of the 50th running of the Daytona 500.)
  • In Travis's case, his owner was forced to call 911, then attack and repeatedly stab him — a cherished pet she had reared for years — with a butcher knife in a desperate attempt to save her friend.
See TIME's Pictures of the Week.
See the Cartoons of the Week.

Now this was an example the so-called main stream media simple being sloppy.

When the cartoon below appeared in the New York Post today, we witnessed the Fourth Estate being racist, bordering on sedition.
The Post is owned by Australian born, media oligarch billionaire, Rupert Murdoch.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jobs created and "saved"

Jeff Mapes of the Oregonian zeroes in on some interesting wiggle room in the language being used to measure to success anticipated with the passage of the President's stimulus package.

This just out from the White House: a state-by-state listing of the jobs the Obama administration expects to "create or save" as a result of the $787 billion economic stimulus package. [...] Of course, "created or saved" is kind of a nebulous term. How do you define a "saved" job?

Mapes identifies one reason the debate will never end as to whether the stimulus "worked" or not, as if it existed in a vacuum, and as if the answer were a simple binary "yes" or "no."

Part of the argument is so obvious as to be academic. If Project X doesn't get funded but for the stimulus package and it requires Y number of positions over the course of a year and costs Z dollars, one can rightfully add Y to the total number of jobs created.

Where it gets more abstract is to calculate how many jobs were created (or might well have been cut) on account of the tax cuts. This, if you believe in the trickle down theory that if you give rich people more money, they hire more people, (presumably even more than would be hired spending the money on some infrastructure project).

Slightly less intangible is the real trickle down effect present when the people [Y above] sink their wages back into the economy. How does one calculate the number of jobs created or saved in other sectors (eateries and other merchants) because these road builders, educators, etc have disposable income as opposed to being unemployed.

Fun math. Speaking of which. I am curious how they arrived at the number 44,000 jobs for Oregon, other than simply using a calculator. Which is what I did. 3.5 million total jobs X 1.25%* (Oregon population relative to US proper)

= 43,982 jobs for Oregon

So we know from the get go that depending on what the stimulus is being spent on, Project X costing Z will yield Y jobs (see above). But not every outlay in the stimulus package will be equally effective.

I know that Mapes was asking about a definition, and I swerved into mathematics. But once we get a real breakdown of how much money is going for what in Oregon, we won't even begin to be able to speculate on how many jobs will be created (or saved!)

*I used 2008 population estimates from Wikipedia.

: US + territories

3,954,037 : Puerto Rico

173,456 : Guam

108,448 : US Virgin Islands

84,546 : Northern Marian Is.
Oregon pop.
57,291 : American Samoa
3,790,060 301,608,597
: TOTAL US proper

% Oregon

Monday, February 16, 2009

Phelps walks (swims?) for lack of evidence

I'm assuming said evidence has long since gone up in smoke. Move along! Nothing to see, smell or smoke here...

CNN - Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps will not face criminal charges in connection with a party at which he was photographed using a bong, a South Carolina sheriff said today. "We do not believe we have enough evidence to prosecute anyone" who was at the party, Sheriff Leon Lott said, adding that authorities are ending their investigation into Phelps. full story

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Oregon

Oregon's top pols surround a wax figure of state senate President Peter Courtney and a 400 pound, 7-tier birthday cake in celebration of Oregon's sesquicentennial.

(Photo h/t Jeff Mapes blog)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Judd Gregg Dropss

Praise god and pass the stimulus... the President's Right Wing nominee for Commerce Secretary, Judd Gregg (who once supported abolishing the Department of Commerce) prefers being an obstructionist Senator to serving in the Obama administration. And i couldn't be more pleased.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican Sen. Judd Gregg withdrew his nomination as President Barack Obama's commerce secretary Thursday, citing "irresolvable conflicts" over the administration's stimulus bill and the upcoming 2010 census.[More...]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'll have what he's having

I think this is hysterical. Whether or not it is ethical is another question, but leave it to the Christian Science Monitor to harsh the buzz.

‘David After Dentist’ is viral video gold, but at what price?
By Andrew Heining, Christian Science Monitor

Could that stack of camcorder videos contain the next YouTube hit waiting to happen?
A few recent clips have raised the question – and eyebrows. Take “David After Dentist.” The video of a 7 year-old reacting to the effects of a dental procedure has been viewed just under 6.5 million times since it was posted a little over a week ago. [More...]

Reincarnation of Bat Boy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is it "Assassination" if they're out of office?

Call it the first trial of George the II, South Africa temporarily declared war criminal George W. Bush dead. 'Twas not the case though.

BBC - For three seconds ETV News ran a moving banner headline across the screen saying "George Bush is dead".[More...]

Just a case of turn about and fair play and what not...

From the time capsule:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bush kills Mandela

Just when you thought Bush had done everything possible to demonstrate the depths of his stupidity, the Decider held a press conference today and declared that anti-apartheid activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela (who currently lives in Johannesburg) was dead! [More...]

Intimidation is bad karma

When i started this blog it wasn't with the intent on manufacturing a persona or for that matter, being anyone. It simply was to be a forum representing the nexus between my former occupation and my main avocation, language. I have always liked to write. I just hated having to write.

This began as and remains a hobby. A hobby for which i have all too much time since leaving my last paying job. Thom's Word is a pleasant diversion from the battles of the day. (I've been "working" as an activist, ya know.)

There's a difference between being anonymous and writing a pseudonymical blog. That said, the identities behind pseudonyms are can be common knowledge. Some M.bots (e.g. lestatdelc / "Mitch Gore") routinely connect their real name to his nom de keypad.

There was the curious case of Bradley Dunn who in the same cluster of forums morphed his nickname from bradley dunn to bradley to bradleydiscofeet to bdunn (and then complained when people would refer to him as "Brad" or "Bradley"... goofy).

I recall Taoiseach who intended to keep his real ID on the QT but loose lips sank that shit when it turned out that this goto blog for anti-Novick hackery was run by a legislative aide to one of Novick's vocal accusers. Given the paid relationships involved between Tom Powers and Rep. Mitch Greenlick and Kari Chisholm and then Rep. Jeff Merkley (Novick's primary challenger) it was both righteous and newsworthy to expose the troll behind the throne.

Others seem to have interchangeable, known semi-pseudos such as Kevin Kamberg of Preemptive Karma who goes by kevin kamberg, preemptive karma, kevin, karmaman (and some say, when he's sockpuppeting, navvoter).

So when it comes to the "outing" bloggers or commenters or otherwise naming names online, the ethics of the act really depend on who and why. When i connected the dolts between karmaman and navvoter, i found that he was using dual handles to tag team comment, classic sockpuppetry.

Kamberg doesn't use pseudonyms to protect his privacy. Rather, his multiple noms de plume serve to perpetrate a sort of intelectual fraud. Whether he's freeping the results on reddit or klaiming kweer kred, Kamberg is a consumate suck up. Like his patron, Senator Merkley, Kevin betrayed his shallow peace roots with his Blue0 exclusive, A Marching We Will Go..., the heartwarming tale of his first peace demonstration.

He's like a modern day Saint Paul. This self described SDA-raised Christian, is a gentile to Gentiles and jew-ish to Jews. He is also a loathsome putz. No, not because he down-rates and deletes my comments. Not because he (like several other M.bots) refers to me by my real name as opposed to my blogging nic. But what's the point of dragging my family into thier flame wars?

Posted by karmaman on 02/06/09 at 2:01PM
[...] I'm a liberal Jewish American who also gave more financial support to Merkley than to any other candidate (ever, in fact). I have also written copiously and very critically of Israel's recent micro-war against Gaza and against it's race-based policies towards Palestinians in general, both inside and outside of Israel, on my blog.
Posted by EastBankThom on 02/06/09 at 3:30PM
K-man, I thought you were raised Christian? No matter... Have we seen the last of "Navvoter"? His reddit karma just tanked.
Posted by karmaman on 02/08/09 at 12:09PM
I dunno, Hans. Maybe you should ask Rob...

Face it Kev. You're busted (again). I suppose you and yours think it's intimidating. And to a certain degree it is. I'll take what lumps come to me, but Rob's got nothing to do with this.

That is all.

See also: Carla breaks out the claws!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Obama Presser

Merkley: "We're gonna have a dificult couple years" ... "maybe a difficult decade"

Teen terrorist?

CNN asks the bold question:
Teenage terrorist or confused kid?
-- Gitmo's youngest prisoner [More at]

Several facts seem to be in dispute. Here is what is known.

  • Omar Khadr is a Canadian.
  • He had nothing to to do with 9/11.
  • In the Spring of 2002 after having fled the UN invasion to take down the Taliban government, then 15 year old Omar returned to Afghanistan with his father's blessing to work as a translator.
  • In July of 2002, Omar was severely wounded and an American soldier was mortally wounded after a firefight broke out between Omar's employers and US troops.
  • Omar is being held as a war criminal.
  • A month after his 16th birthday, Omar was transferred to Guantanamo where he remains 6 and a half years later.

Turning the corner, an American soldier shot the lone surviving gunman and then spied the young Canadian teenager with his back to the noise, kneeling in pain against a shrub. Raising his rifle, he fired two shots into Omar's back. [More...]

It is quite possible that Omar was a terrorist in training. It's even more probable he was just a pawn. It's certain that the United States looks more like the old Soviet Union with its present gulag in Guantanamo.

A teenage Omar Khadr sobs uncontrollably as Canadian spy agents question him at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a brief video excerpt released via the internet

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Star Trek

One of the best... episodes... evar!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Going Bale-istic!

Listen to this rant from the former titleholder of Hollywood's "Hottest men under 30."

British born Christian Charles Philip Bale seems a little limited in his English.

I'm beginning to think that his portrayal in American Psycho wasn't so much an exercise in acting as it was selectively edited outtakes. What a f***ing a**hole.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


If you're just on broadcast TV like our household, you've seen these commercials ad vomitum.

I was already skeptical about sending valuables to strangers per the USPS. After reading these accounts, I wouldn't send Cash4Gold my wooden nickels...

Cash4Gold Will Offer One-Third of the Actual Value for your Gold

Cash4Gold operates in a manner similar to GoldKit. They send you an envelope, you send your gold to them in it. They determine the value and cut a check for that amount. If the amount meets your expectations, you cash it. If not, you have 15 days to return the check and get your gold back. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

He also noticed that Cash4Gold offers a "fast cash" scheme to forego the paper check and deposit their payment directly into your checking account within 24 hours. This setup would be faster, but gold sellers would give up their chance to examine and renegotiate their offer. And that, it turns out, would be a huge mistake for anyone selling gold to Cash4Gold. [More...]

Former employee exposing the scams of Cash4Gold

I am a former employee of Cash 4 Gold. I did not know much about the company before being hired. On my first day of being hired, I was taught the "Cash 4 Gold Scam" from beginning to end.

1. The "refiner's pack" that is used for you to put your jewelry is "insured for UP TO 100 dollars, " according to how much they determine from a description from you, the worth of your items to be, NOT an actual fully researched appraisal.

2. We receive your "Refiner's Pack" within 3-4 days, BUT we are instructed to tell you that it takes "7-10 business days, for us to receive your pack, ALTHOUGH many times, your package has already arrived. [More...]

Cash 4 Gold would like to melt down and recast their reputation
by Citizen

On October 6th, [my] article was featured on ( Consumerist is so popular that thousands of people read the article, and the high Consumerist pagerank meant that the Cockeyed article would take its place at the tippy-top of Google results on searches for "Cash 4 Gold". Anyone searching for "Cash4Gold" had a very good chance at this new insight: Their cash offers for gold are measly.

I guess someone at Cash 4 Gold noticed, because a week later, I got an email from Joe Laratro: [...] How about that? A polite letter, with a clear goal: Bury the "Cash 4 Gold" name in my article so that it doesn't scare off every would-be gold seller with an internet connection. [More...]

Update: And it seems millions of us tomorrow will be watching Ed McMahon, who has one foot in the grave and the other precariously perched between a bar of soap and bankruptcy, as his pimps the bling of Cash4Gold during the Super Bowl.

I wonder if he's going to get paid as much as this gal? (Well, i suppose even a blogger's got to make a living. But do you have to work for such creeps?)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sockpuppetry is Bad Karma II

Definitions: sock puppet

  1. A simple puppet made from a sock placed over the hand of the puppeteer.
  2. (internet) In an online community, a second account created by a user who already has an account, this second account being set up by that user so as to seem to be for a different user.
I have noted previously Mandate Media's online echo chamber and their seemingly successful staff of sock puppets. By all appearances, the king of the trolls is "navvoter" who has been previously identified as Preemptive Karma's Kevin Kamberg.

Posted by steveforsen on 02/27/08 at 12:29AM

I believe "navvoter" is the same user as karmaman, Kevin Kamberg of Preemptive Karma, who has used the stiff left hook and effusive phraseology the same way in other places to refer to Novick's endorsement. He is on a crusade to counteract the positive reaction to Novick's statement on Obama, particularly at Daily Kos and Huffington Post, where--beyond Kamberg and two or three other regular Merkley supporters appearing in such places to douse enthusiasm for Novick--literally hundreds of completely uninvolved readers from around the country gave it their approval.

See for yourself here:

and here

Sockpuppetry to present the illusion of broader support is a tactic betraying weakness, IMO.

It's no big deal that Kevin has chosen a cute new handle midstream. What does cross the line however for this budding blogger cum journalist is that he continues to comment on OregonLive as "karmaman," indeed sometimes in the same post. Such use of multiple personalities is classic sock puppetry.

Upon further search, it turns out that karmaman/navvoter have been busy gaming the reddit website too. (Both personas have a penchant for recommending posts on Kamberg's Preemptive Karma.)

Update: A request for comment from "navvoter" remains unanswered as both his and "karmaman's" reddit karma seems to be tanking.

Feb. 3 / Feb. 5

Dammit, Daschle!

Why is it so hard to find rich folk who haven't cheated on their taxes!

Daschle's tax records under fire

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate Finance committee will meet Monday to review the tax records of former Sen. Tom Daschle, President Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services who, according to sources, didn't pay taxes on a car and driver he had been loaned. [More...]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Opinions are like... pcolfan

Gawd, it's getting so that a brother can't get an opinion in edgewise these days without some blog hog getting his knickers in a twist. Such was it today when i ventured to make (an admittedly ill-postulated) point on Jeff Mapes' politics blog regarding spoilers and Oregon's recent race for the US Senate.

Posted by jeffmapes on 01/27/09 at 1:56PM

You raise an interesting point, harneycounty. Dave Brownlow of the Constitution Party did indeed receive more votes - 92,565 - than Jeff Merkley's victory margin of about 59,000 votes. Moore, however, doubts that Brownlow's candidacy cost Smith the race.

To which i responded:

Posted by EastBankThom on 01/27/09 at 3:36PM

Whereas i by no mean fault her for her candidacy (I gave her money, but Steve Novick earned my vote) i think that Candy Neville played the greater roll in unseating Senator Smith.

[Editor's note: what i should have said, and indeed intended to convey, was that Candy Neville's presence in the primary arguably affected its outcome, where as i agree with Moore that there was no Brownlow effect.]

If Merkley had been an honest broker for Neville's constituency, i would begin to accept the consolation of "no harm, no foul." But even she recognized that Merkley's anti-war cred was supported by a hollow army and she quit his campaign after her highlt publicized recruitment.

I wouldn't be mentioning this again now, but the facts were deleted last weekend from a forum run by Merkley surrogates. Jeff Merkley lied about his "anti-war" cred during the campaign.
You can stamp your feet all you want, Ms. Axtman, Senator Merkley did lie (on various occasions) when he claimed he gave an "anti-war speech" on the floor of the house two days into the invasion which spoke "against the use of force" calling it a "terrible way to approach this."

Just compare these quotes/lies to the "floor speach" [sic] he actually gave in an attempt to explain his vote

A vote to "acknowledge the courage of George W. Bush."

Which drew a long response from one "pcolfan":

Posted by pcolfan on 01/27/09 at 8:30PM

EBT, I know both Steve and Jeff--actually have known Steve longer.

Steve lost my vote by making an obscure 2003 vote a central point of his campaign--someone who never had to cast a tough vote as an elected official criticizing a tough vote by an elected official. As the campaign wore on, it sounded more and more as if Steve only wanted the votes of those who said "Jeff should be ashamed of himself and his speech on that 2003 resolution, and if you don't agree with that, Steve does not want your vote".

I saw (via Internet video) the Sunriver speech where Steve first brought up that issue. Other parts of the speech got applause but not that section. Are you saying Steve only wanted the votes of those who thought that part of the speech was good---and not the votes of those who thought it would have been a better speech without that section?

I did not volunteer in the US Senate race this year, and was not on a political payroll for anyone. I was working in child care in the spring of 2008 when most of this debate was going on. I thought much of the debate on Blue Oregon was childish---there were 5 Democrats who voted against the resolution, Jeff should have been the 6th, and because he wasn't, no one should vote for him for US Senate? There were no other issues???

The reason Gordon Smith was in the US Senate in the first place was because of the large 3rd party vote in 1996. Steve worked for the Democratic nominee that year, but didn't brag about that much in 2008. Perhaps because of comments like those of a friend who decided to vote for the 1996 Dem. nominee and said to when I mentioned supporting Brent Thompson, "Oh, you're saying you refuse to choose between the slick one and the chinless one?".

Bruggere ran a clueless campaign in 1996, but all good Democrats were supposed to vote for him? Why, because money is all that matters and only professionals know how the game is played?

Apparently Steve took that attitude with him (he worked for Bruggere's campaign) and thought he could win a 2008 primary by telling people what to think. It didn't work. Merkley was more appealing to downstate voters, partly because they actually saw him without having to go to the home of a supporter--Merkley had a good ground organization and appeared in public venues.

Steve is very bright, but he has a lot to learn about elective politics. I have he runs for office in Multnomah County and wins--that was a county he carried. Then he would learn about being an elected official. Some of his most vociferous supporters thought an Oregon legislator can abstain---which is not how the legislature runs. A person must vote yes or no --or if off the floor will be marked either excused, excused for legislative business or whatever. And had Steve Novick made as much of a stink about that vote in 2003 as he made in 2008, he might have been more believeable.

There are 33 counties in Oregon not named Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington. Voters in those counties also matter, but Steve didn't have ground operations or many public appearances in those downstate counties.

I saw Steve after the primary and he was just absolutely sure he'd have won had there been more money. But with enough money, ground organization and what people say to their friends and neighbors doesn't matter? Elections are decided in Portland anyway, so downstate voters don't matter?

If Jeff had released his entire floor speech to the public, and said publicly in one of the debates, "Yes, Steve, I said everything you say I said", but then asked about any of Steve's public stands or why the "beer commercial" was supposed to win over Oregon voters, would you have been happier, EBT?

Do you really think having the "pants on fire" video on the front page of the Novick website but hiding the excellent poverty video on an inside issues page really helped the Novick campaign?

My next door neighbor said she didn't see what opening a beer bottle had to do with running for US Senate. My friend who used to work in a substance abuse program was offended by the beer commercial. But that wouldn't have mattered if only Jeff had satisfied people like you over the obscure 2003 resolution?

Were there people who voted Obama/Smith ? Or would looking into that take too much work?

Steve and I had email exchanges about this. I think he made rookie mistakes in his statewide campaign. In the end I voted legislators over non-office holders for US Senate and AG because I decided experience was important. In a free country I do have that right to decide my vote using my own criteria, even though some Novick supporters thought they were helping the Novick campaign by attacking anyone on a blog who disagreed with them.

I heard Merkley in a Marion County town hall meeting answer specific questions in a public venue (not just someone's home). I never saw Steve do that.

I understand how angry some people were about this issue, esp. TJ and Stephanie and Miles on Blue Oregon. But did that anger help or hurt the Novick for Senate campaign?

EBT, there is a whole wide state of Oregon which doesn't live in Portland and might just put issues aside from how the Iraq War started at the top of their priority list when deciding how to vote for US Senate. And there are people who value good manners and what they see as common sense when they decide how to vote.

I'd love to see Bob Moore put every comment on this topic on his liberal-->conservative political spectrum.

There was a lot there, and to be honest, my eyes glazed over a wee bit. But there seemed some room for discourse. So i posted back:

Posted by EastBankThom on 01/28/09 at 10:00AM

your response was long and considered. Where our opinions differ, i think thoughtful people can indeed disagree. But just to correct the record...

Steve lost my vote by making an obscure 2003 vote a central point of his campaign--someone who never had to cast a tough vote as an elected official criticizing a tough vote by an elected official.

I don't think it ever was a central part of the campaign. As for when Merkley's vote in support of Bush and the invasion first surfaced as a campaign issue, it happened a while before the Sun River event you allude to.

Posted by: Jake Weigler - Novick for Senate | Aug 3, 2007 11:56:36 AM

I just wanted to clarify Steve's comments on this Iraq War resolution as it appears there may have been some confusion.

The state GOP put out this attack and a reporter asked Steve - who had never heard of the resolution before - how he would have voted. Steve provided an honest answer:

"It's a resolution that quote 'acknowledges the courage of President George W Bush.' You would not have found me saying that the war in Iraq is a reflection of the courage of President George W Bush."

The Novick campaign did not introduce this argument or attempt to "use" it

I submit that it was the Merkley campaign who then went into overdrive and using its main internet media surrogate (BlueOregon), initiated and sustained the "negative Novick" meme, a characterization of the former candidate with which i disagree.

there were 5 Democrats who voted against the resolution, Jeff should have been the 6th, and because he wasn't, no one should vote for him for US Senate? There were no other issues???

Ending the costly Occupation of Iraq and holding the Bush administration accountable were my top issues. It's not that Merkley was AWOL when it came to what mattered to me the most... It's that he went on to lie about it.

He claimed he gave an "anti-war speech" on the floor of the house two days into the invasion which spoke "against the use of force" calling it a "terrible way to approach this."

Your main argument seems to be against the truth. Sen. Merkley didn't say in his HRes2 floor speech what he later (on multiple occasions) claimed he said. The links are above, including Merkley being busted on the claim of having "published" an anti-war article before the invasion.

I heard Merkley in a Marion County town hall meeting answer specific questions in a public venue (not just someone's home). I never saw Steve do that.

I first heard Steve at the WashCo Dems (open to the public). Later, I saw him at EastSide Dems (open to the public). You seem to be quibbling here, and again your experience doesn't seem to fit the facts.

I really don't understand why you got so riled up. The conversation (including Mapes, the post author) touched on the topic of "spoilers." I merely offered my opinion that Neville more likely affected the outcome as opposed to Brownlow.

Oregon's peace and justice votes (which come from all across the State) were split between Novick and Neville. You give seeming anecdotal evidence that Democrats for whom Iraq was not a major issue were more likely to support Merkley.

Update: Ugh... Here come the M.bots. It seems that Jeff Merkley remains a delicate flower. Do not criticize him or else be faced with the wrath of his surrogates.

Posted by verasoie on 01/27/09 at 8:33PM

Poor EBT, still searching for some solace and significance in the face of an election that rendered him irrelevant.

So how exactly did Bonbon Chamberlain play a more significant role than Brownlow? Yeah, you didn't exactly elaborate that, did you, preferring to hijack the thread with more of your pitiful rants.

Yikes! And it looks like "pcolfan" is going off the deep end now:

Posted by pcolfan on 01/28/09 at 10:57AM

EBT, you make my point. YOU see things from your point of view. Had the voters of Oregon seen things from your point of view, Novick might have been the nominee. Apparently there were voters who thought other issues were important.

I see things from the point of view of this Jeff Mapes blog item.

I also didn't see why the beer ad made Novick the more qualified candidate. And why it wasn't wise to support the primary candidate with the best developed statewide grass roots effort.

"Oregon's peace and justice votes (which come from all across the State) were split between Novick and Neville. "

How involved in the campaign were you, EBT, to know that ?

In a variety of downstate counties, Novick +Neville did not = Merkley's vote.

There was an attitude among some Novickians that they had the revealed truth and all good people would support their guy, after all, he has a hard left hook--what else do we need to know?
As I said before, had Steve been outspoken on the 2003 speech in 2003, that would have been a different matter.

EBT, you are angry that Jeff gave a speech you didn't like. Did you express your outrage in 2003?
Or was it just when Steve was running for office that you became outraged at the speech?

In 3 decades as a political volunteer, "Vote for my candidate because the opponent made a speech years ago I find offensive" was never a reason I voted for anyone.

Certainly there are better topics to discuss in Jan. 2009.

Obviously "pcolfan" was an ardent support of Jeff Merkley for Senate. Seriously, at this point it's like arguing with a Fundamentalist.

Posted by EastBankThom on 01/28/09 at 11:14AM

pcolfan, if you're going to willfully ignore my responses, then there really is no point. It's not the speech that irks me so, it's the lies he told after it. (Links in my first comment.)

As a matter of fact, my initial response when i heard about his vote to "acknowledge the courage of George W. Bush" was to give him a break.

Posted by: East Bank Thom | Aug 4, 2007 12:44:20 PM

... I'm with those right now saying let this pass.

And speaking of fundamentalists, ist looks like Merkely surrogate Kevin Kamberg of Preemptive Karma (and one time extra in a Merkley for Senate campaign ad) wants to pile on too. Sheesh... And as it turns out, "pcolfan is just a sock puppet for "LT" - one of the most curmudgeony of Blue0's devotees. And for good measure, Mitch Gore - the spooky "lestatdelc" who also trolls BO also piped in. The rest of the chatter, for your bemusement.

Posted by navvoter on 01/28/09 at 2:22PM

EBT's claim that he was merely offering Ms. Neville as a "spoiler" relevant to Jeff's post is belied by the fact that EBT squandered less pixels on that offering then he did on trying to reargue the merits of a thoroughly beaten-to-death issue.

Posted by pcolfan on 01/28/09 at 8:54PM

Thank you for your comments NAV voter--if Democrats are all supposed to think like EBT, I should become NAV---all I ever did was 3 decades as a volunteer, once a member of State Central Comm., once a national convention delegate. But I am one of those "radicals" who thinks for myself, therefore some people see me as subversive.

If that means I'm not real Democrat (not the first time I've been told that) because we were all supposed to be good little boys and girls and view the world through the eyes of Novick and Neville and shun Merkley, the Portland Democrats (Does DPO stand for Democratic Portland Organization) can have their party--they don't want me.

I also wonder how many campaigns EBT worked on (staff or volunteer) prior to the 2008 primary.

I looked up the counties Merkley won in Nov. other than Lane and Mult.
Here they are, with the margins. Only about a third of the margin between Gordon and Jeff..
6978 Benton
856 Clatsop
487 Columbia
975 Hood River
2633 Lincoln
5253 Washington

But as people have been saying for years, Mult., Clackamas, and Washington are major counties one needs to win. And for a Democrat to win 2 coastal counties and Hood River county is doing pretty well.

I suspect I know what the problem is----EBT wanted a candidate who sounded like Bernie Sanders, but that is not who the voters chose in the primary. They chose someone who sounds a lot more like Hatfield. Gordon wanted to be seen as Hatfield's successor, but he wasn't even close.

And I suspect many Oregonians see the fight over whether Merkley lied or was merely "not always on message with the truth" (wonderful line from former college student body president who later became a political consultant), who gave what speech when, who was polite or rude about the whole issue, why people were more publicly outraged about a 2003 speech in 2008 than in 2003, and other such debates as just so much inside baseball.

Steve is a very bright guy who should have a future in politics if he learns lessons from the 2008 primary. But if he thinks enough money to run the beer ad every day when some people were offended by it, or making fun of an opponent, or demanding that people agree with him is more helpful in winning votes than speaking out on poverty, or that ads which create buzz can substitute for a ground operation, he is likely to lose if he tries again.

I'm old enough to have had friends fight in the Vietnam War--one was a casualty. I never saw statements like "he was wrong on the war" to be helpful. When a friend worked as a young man in Wayne Morse's office his last year in the US Senate, I think that did more to advance the anti-war cause than attending rallies or speaking out the way Steve spoke out.

How long after the invasion was the HR 2 vote--less than 72 hours? Or was it weeks afterwards? What good would it have done with the great middle of the population to say that soon after an invasion that W was an SOB? Because Steve's friends wanted that? I don't recall Steve being that outspoken in 2003.
And a search of Blue Oregon showed some Novick supporters understanding Merkley's reason for his vote.

There was a quote in Jeff's speech,

"Today I rise to praise our young men and women serving our nation at great personal risk. Today we are not Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal; we are Americans concerned about the safety and support of our troops. "

There were people in the middle of the political spectrum who were going to decide the Nov. election. They included friends/family of those serving in Iraq. Did those folks really object to such language, or would they have found it comforting?

I know an Iraq vet who is an active Democrat. He spoke to a local Democratic audience in maybe 2004. Some people in that audience lambasted him for not coming back from Iraq and immediately joining an anti-war group. I thought that was bad manners and told a friend so--leading to a debate.

Friends, "Thank you for your service but if you come back from combat and join a political movement we don't agree with, you're not worthy of being treated with courtesy and good manners because all the good people agree with us" is what extremists do. It is what some people did to WWI veterans, much less any vet in an subsequent war. It is what the Bushies did to Gore, Cleland, Kerry. Democrats doing that to their own who were Guard, Reserve, or regular military because they didn't think like certain local Democrats is unbecoming behavior IMO.

I noticed Steve wasn't outspoken on veterans issues---for too long the subject of veterans was just a short paragraph on his website under the topic Defense.

Merkley had active support from veterans. But good people were not supposed to support him because EBT or TJ, Miles, Steph. V. on Blue Oregon supported Novick?

I spent too much of my life crusading as a volunteer for better treatment of veterans to say Merkley was a bad person because of what he said in that speech.
EBT doesn't like that, but then I would think twice in the future about supporting a primary candidate EBT supports unless there were other reasons to do so.

And if you don't like that, EBT, that is the way the Oreo disintigrates.

A friend of mine who had been involved in Oregon politics since the early 1970s (but wasn't big on using computers or blogging) called me up last spring. He said the Novick supporters on BO had no clue how to win statewide elections.

Turned out he was right--his % was wrong but he was correct in the geographic distribution of votes.


Posted by EastBankThom on 01/29/09 at 8:08AM

I get it, pcolfan. You really, really like Merkley. Were you in his campaign commercials too like "Navvoter?

Pcol, Merkley gave a nice floor speech in defense of his vote to "acknowledge the courage of George W. Bush." It's a shame he went on to lie about the content of that speech.


Posted by
pcolfan on 01/29/09 at 1:27PM

You don't get it, do you EBT?

Even if every Merkley supporter and Jeff Merkley himself had said "You're right, that was a lie about the 2003 speech", Steve lost my vote in so many other ways that I would have left the ballot line blank before I would have voted for Steve. In a free country, voters do have that right.

I WAS genuinely undecided at the beginning of the primary. But because that meant I wasn't a devoted Novickian, Novick supporters attacked me for saying things as bland as "I like both Novick and Merkley, but on this issue, I think Merkley makes more sense when he says...".

No, I was not in any ad. Some of my friends were, like the one who read BO and said the bloggers for Steve had no clue how to win statewide elections. Were you in any Novick ad? Were you a volunteer or a staffer?

Once too often Novick supporters were really condescending or sarcastic---if I didn't think the beer ad helped the campaign, therefore I was a "Merkleyite". So I decided to get a Merkley bumper sticker. If that means that for the rest of your life you will look down on me, not my problem.

Politicians have to EARN votes. I registered NAV in 1996 because I was offended by Bruggere, but I was supposed to vote for Bruggere employee Novick that many years later because some people were preoccupied by a 2003 vote and later statements about it, so nothing else mattered? What world do you live in? A world where you wish I had remained NAV and could thus not have voted for Obama in the presidential primary and would have been excluded from the US Senate primary?

You keep dredging up old arguments as if peer pressure is an effective political tool. Steve should have learned from the Bruggere campaign that peer pressure alone doesn't win elections.

But right now I am more interested in state and national stimulus packages

If you are more interested in refighting the 2008 primary, not my problem.


Posted by
EastBankThom on 01/29/09 at 1:46PM

OMG! It is you, LT!

Now i understand why it doesn't matter to you that Merkley lied about his anti-war cred.


Posted by
lestatdelc on 01/30/09 at 2:24PM

The problem with this polling is that it relies on self-labeling and identification as opposed wot what their views are on the issues.

If you look at polling on major issues, the overwhelming majority consistently favors positions which are labeled "liberal" even when those same voted self-identity as moderate, or even conservative.

Given the decades long PR campaign by the GOP and movement conservatives to make "liberal" the scarlet letter in politics, and akin to calling someone a commie back in the day, of course you will get voters rejecting that label even though their views on issues remains (and in some cases such as Universal Health Care, etc. become more) "liberal".

I see Hans (aka EBT) is still his whacked out, howling at the moon, self even after the election. Seek help.


Posted by
EastBankThom on 01/30/09 at 7:13PM

Lestat, are you like stalking me?

On the other hand, LOL.