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Is Arnie Swearing at Democrats now?

BSG
Governor Shwarzenegger (R-CA) seems to be all along in California. The typically Liberal, Democrat dominated state has a republican governor, who is having the usual problems getting bi partisan support for any of his ideas.

With Democrat majorities in both hoses of the California State Legislature Arnie has two choices – work with the Democrats or tell the Democrats what you really think of them and as a result achieve nothing until your term expires

Well it appears Arnie has now chosen the latter of the two options. In a veto letter to the congress Arnie has set out why he will not support Assembly Bill 1176.

However if you read the letter closely, the first letter of each of the middle lines, spells out f-u-c-k y-o-u.

Arnie’s spokesman says that this merely a coincidence!

Erick Pickles has done it again –

spiral
In response to Nick Clegg’s speech to conference earlier Eric Pickles MP has said

"After this muddled conference, it's now clearer than ever that if you want to get rid of Gordon Brown and his big brother state, and if you care about our schools, our quality of life and our liberties, you need to vote Conservative for a progressive, liberal government."

Surely now Eric must admit to living on another planet. The Tories are not liberal, they’ve never been liberal and they never will be liberal

Edinburgh Photos

NYC Freedom lights










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Edinburgh Fringe

Sunset
I’m currently up in Edinburgh, enjoying the fringe with a few friends from uni. The city is amazingly beautiful, and when I get home over the weekend ill post some of the photos up on here, for all to see.

I would just say though if you get the chance to come here take it. Even if it is not the time of the Fringe, there is plenty to do in this wonderful city.

That said I would just like to know which idiot in the city council decided to effectively dig up all of Princes Street during August – when the city is at its busiest? Surely it would have made more sense to do the work needed say in September when the main tourist attraction to the city isn’t taking place.

As Adam Hills said last night – “that’s quite a cluster-fuck”

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Couple of Quick Questions

Parliament
Why is it when Parliament is sitting constituents have a hard time grasping the idea that Monday to Friday MPs work in parliament?

I've worked for a MP for 10 months now and every week I have pretty the same conversation at least once. It simply is;

“can I speak to My MP?”

“Unfortunately no – He is in Parliament at the moment but you can see him at his advice bureau...”

The title is Member of Parliament; yet this simple title seems to fly straight by when constituents are involved. They expect the MP to be in the constituency office, personally dealing with every enquiry that comes into the office. I can speak for other MPs offices, but the one I’m working in does anything from 50 to 100 cases a week – ranging from the nice and simple, to long and complicated and everything in between.

So constituents expect the MP to be in the constituency all the time, especially when Parliament is sitting. Its become my experience that some people will only speak to the MP – that’s fine, that’s why MPs have advice bureau, but unfortunately part of the job of being a MP means your away from the constituency office 4 to 5 days a week (unless your a London MP) and the reason they’re away, is that they are representing you in Parliament.

Why is it everyone thinks MPs are on a 80day holiday?

So now that its recess I can have an all new conversation – mostly consisting of
“MPs are on a 80 odd day holiday”

Right first things first – ITS NOT A FUCKING HOLIDAY.

Just because Parliament is not sitting doesn’t mean that MPs stop working. Parliament does not always sit on a Friday, yet MPs work on that day in the constituencies. Yet this idea of working in constituencies seems to not have spread to when parliament is on recess.

Now I agree that 80 days is far to long, and there are simple ways of dealing with that problem (I favour the Canadian System where Parliament sits three weeks out of four – so that the MP works in the constituency for that week). However until someone has the balls to change the lengh of the summer recess were stuck with – so lets make the best of a bad situation.

I was asked today whether the MPs advice bureau will still go on as “there on recess”. I have a feeling no matter how many times I’m told this over the next few weeks the message wont get through. People will choose to believe that MPs have stopped working for the whole 80 day period and the simple reason is that despite they know better the media will always report a ‘scandalous’ break from parliament rather than what it actually is – just working in a different office

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West Midlands Expenses

BSG
The Birmingham Post has published a list off all claims for the MPs in the area

Included in the list are;

Liam Bryne (Lab - Hodegehill) & Roger Godsiff (Lab – Sparkbrook) who haven’t released his receipts yet
Caroline Spellman (Con – Meriden) who claimed £102.13 on a sat nav system - becuase she doesn't know her way around Birmingham

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BSG
we could be in for a long 4 years

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Mistakes on a Plane
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisFirst 100 Days


This is possibly the most monumental screw up and recent history.

Who exactly in the US Department of Defense thought it would be a good idea to fly a passanger airliner over downtown New York for 30mins?

Presumably it would be the same person who didnt think to tell either the President or the Mayor of New York

And it must be the same person who thought it fit to not actually tell any one else in New York or even those in the media, to try and stop any panic and evacuations of the financial district

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Something to Smile About

BSG
Only a few months to wait until;

Conference Photos

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Conference

BSG
I managed to miss both of last year’s federal conferences. In March when the party went to Liverpool, I went on a different kinda party, to New York which is an experience I will never forget and had an amazing time with the friends I went.

I missed Bournemouth for completely different reason – I was broke. And going to New York earlier in the year clearly hadn’t helped that. So whilst almost the entire party went to Bournemouth I started my new job in John Hemming’s Office, as one of his caseworkers/researchers.
So now 18 months after lasting going to conference, I’m planning on going to both this year and fortunately as a staff member, I get my pass paid for by the party.

Friday
I’ve spent the last couple of days at home, recharging my batteries and spending a little time with my family, whom I have seen since Christmas. Fortunately, for where we are right now; my parents live in Barnsley which is an hour by train away from Harrogate. Even more fortunate with a railcard, it cost the grand total of £5.30 for a single ticket to get here.

I found one important thing out about conference. Whilst the official business takes place in the hall, the more important conversations are happening elsewhere, normally in the conference bar. Everybody, well pretty much everybody ends up in the bar at some point. If your looking for someone they’re in the bar...which is something to say about the state of our party.

Saturday
I’d love to give a full and detailed report back of conference business from Saturday, but I can’t. Unfortunately I was a little under the weather (or hungover as it more accurately called). I did however make to the Howard Dean speech. Now my expectations for this were quite high, perhaps a little to high. It was a good speech, the content was perfect for the crowd – how to win and how America will change. However as good as the content was, it was let down by the performance of it. Gov. Dean sounded unsure in parts, speeding up and then stopping suddenly for no reason.

In the evening the continuing theme of lessons from America continued with the inaugural Lib Dem Voice Fringe. So popular was this fringe, that the wall in the small room had to be taken down, and a wave of twitter updates suddenly appeared reporting this to the world.

The fringe itself, once it got going was very interesting. Hearing from two people who worked on the Obama campaign was informative and insightful. And then hearing from Mark Pack, with his criticism of the campaign and Ed Davey on what we should do next, provided one of the best fringe events I have ever attended any lib dem conference.

And then it was off to Glee Club, where the continuing strange tradition, of drunk and semi drunk liberals continues to become even stranger. And yet is the thing that cant be missed. Glee club is the party we ll say were not going to, but we all go to. It is the event that ends conference, a strange idea when conference only officially started just over 24 hours earlier.

It is a shame though that with the Spring Conference there is some feeling of let down. As there is only really two days of conference (if you take Friday evening to count as half a day and Sunday am to be the other half) there is no opportunity for the real variety in the debates that are seen in the fringes at the longer federal conference in September. I know its not possible to bring this full variety to effectively one days worth of fringes, but for me the spring conference just feels like a let down.

Sunday
No I could be considered a little biased when it comes to the other main speech that I saw, but it was ten times better than Howard Dean. Kirsty Williams AM, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats spoke today about the party’s rise in Wales, as well as the failure of the Labour-Plaid coalition in the Welsh Assembly. Now as I said I am slightly biased as I worked for Kirsty for 6 weeks last summer as an intern in her constituency office but the speech was exactly what was needed. An attack on New labour (and plaid) and presenting the liberal alternative to the continuing problems faced.

So a good, all be it short conference for the party. I continued with my tradition of not attending the leaders speech – nothing personal Nick but I’d like to get to London before the food shops all close so I’ll have half a chance to do a food shop for the week. And now we can all start our countdown to Bournemouth, a mere several months away.
europe
Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP
Secretary of State for Transport,
Great Minster House,
76 Marsham Street,
London,
SW1P 4DR

Dear Rt Hon. Mr Hoon MP,

On behalf of a great-full nation, thank you....thank you for making our normal working live impossible for the last five days. Why is it the Department of Transport, which during normal weather is semi competent at best, is able to cause the entire country to shut down in one demonstration of miss-action (I’m aware I have answered my own question, but let’s keep going anyway)

Why is it that your department is in capable of watching a weather report? I mean its not difficult, BBC news and Sky news show at least two an hour. And even if you miss them the BBC news/Sky news websites provide weather reports.

Maybe I’m being too hard on you, as lets be honest the weather isn’t the only reason your department is so spectacular in its failings

So let’s look at all of your recent spectacular failings.
• Well there’s been the ‘improvements’ to the West Coast Mainline which resulted in it being shut for almost an entire week (and lets remember that was only four weeks ago)
• Then there is the spectacularly stupid decisions to build a new runway and terminal at Heathrow (completely ignoring any notion of reducing C02 out put from this country)
• And now we have your department not watching a weather report

By the way I’m sure there are more failings but these are the ones most recent in my mind
The fact that weather isn’t a science, more of an educated guess shouldn’t have been forgotten but nevertheless within a 72 hour window they are usually pretty accurate. But that should not be an excuse for not being ready for snow. I could understand not being ready for a snow storm in winter if we lived in sub-Saharan Africa, but we don’t – we live in northern Europe which has cold winters (and in our case almost always shitty summers), and cold winters mean we often have temperatures below zero Degrees Centigrade.

Now as you have all failed to watch the weather reports, I’m going to assume that you all failed even the most basic lessons of science. So he is a very quick lesson for you when the temperature gets below zero degrees centigrade water freezes. And when water freezes on roads they need gritting, to ensure they can still be driven on.

Now that is about as simple as I can make it and hopefully you are beginning to see where you have made your mistake. You see having enough grit to last a few weeks would, again would be ok if we weren’t so far away from the equator. What we need is enough grit for the roads so it doesn’t run out, or get close to running out after only a few days.

Now as for the railways – why is it Norman Baker MP can get on a train in Norway, and get all the way to the North Pole (and be there on time) yet a Virgin Train can not leave Birmingham New Street because it has been snowing for about an hour.

Please not other train operators also spectacularly failed over the last few days and it is unfair to blame this completely on Virgin Trains...although that isn’t going to stop me.

Why is, it the trains are so bad on a normal day, let alone and the slightest change in Weather? Virgin Trains have brought a new level to the word incompetent. 4 four weeks ago Sunday I was going to London. Now whilst I got to London roughly when I wanted to, the same can’t be said for the other people on the train, as you guessed it the train had been delayed.

Actually whilst were on the subject of Virgin Trains being delayed, can I just say that if by chance your train is delayed, and they get you into the station on-time...be prepared for a smug announcement for the train manager – believe me I’ve had to listen to one and it was unbearable.

Anyway Mr Hoon you are running a shameful department. To honestly expect everything to carry on as normal when the world changes so quickly, is one of the labour party’s more ridiculous notions. The fact of the matter is with no preparations at all, your department has brought the country to a complete standstill with no action, followed by no-action, followed by even less action.

Yours Sincerely,
Stephen Morgan

Someone who will never vote for you, and perhaps one of the few people in the country who didn’t blag a day off work this week to play in the snow

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Snow Pics

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News from Across the pond

Storm
Credit Crunch hits fire-fighters

Six Arizona fire fightershave been arrested for deliberately starting fires, so that they could be paid to put them out.

The six now face numerous charges, and if convicted could be in jail for up to 10 years.

Inauguration = Emergency

President Bush has declared a state of emergency in Washington D.C ahead of the inauguration of President Elect Obama. The emergency has been declared, so that the city has access to federal funds to pay for the security operation and not because the Bush administration is planning another disaster like their response to Katrina.

Illinois just got stranger

In a somewhat bizarre moment of history, later today Illinois governor Blagojevich will chair the Senate for its opening session. Blagojevich is about to be tried for impeachment in the chamber, but he could stop this from happening, if he doesn’t bring the new senate into session.
Parliament
Yes even though it is likely to end terribly, I will be getting on a Virgin Train later and attempting to use the West Coast Mainline to get to London. I say attempting, as of course we all know two things about that particular route

A) Its had a few problems over the last week, &

B) Even when there aren’t problems with the line itself, there still no guarantee that the Virgin Train will be on-time.

I like so many other people have had mixed problems with Virgin Trains, whether it be the time that I got on 3 separate trains before we even left Euston or the time where we left Birmingham 20 mins late, only to arrive in on time in Euston, and have to listen to the smugness of the train manager boasting that he and his crew had actually done their jobs correctly.

It is of course unfair to blame these problems just on Virgin Trains, when they don’t actually run the tracks; no that’s left to a far more incompetent company. The six days of travel disruption last week, were not the fault of Virgin Trains, but predominately the fault of Network Rail, who apparently when upgrading the line, forgot that very occasionally it is cold in the UK, and maybe some form of precaution for that should have been taken into account.

On the transport chaos Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Norman Baker MP said: "Natural events do occur, but Network Rail needs to build more resilience into the network. I have travelled from Stockholm to the Arctic Circle on a train that arrived five minutes early, yet Britain lapses into chaos at the first hint of snow."

So my hopes of getting to London today (as I’m working in Parliament all next week) are slim. The chance of a virgin train being on time, are slimmer and the chance of network rail doing their jobs; well that just doesn’t exist.

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Image of the Day

President Bush


Late last night President-Elect Obama visited the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Obama has frequently echoed the thoughts and ideals of Lincoln through his campaign, and plans to use the same bible as Lincoln did to be inaugurated in 9 days time.

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New BSG;

NYC Freedom lights
The first three webisodes




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mr potato
With the governemnts announcement that shops will no longer be allowed to have cigarettes on display, in a vain attempt to stop people, or more specifically teenagers from smoking.

Whilst I would rather people didn’t smoke, ultimately it is up to the individual whether they do so or not, and the government on another of its nanny state lecturers. What exactly do the government think they will achieve with this? Instead of having an open and frank discussion, they want hide the problem away.

The logic for hiding cigarettes away is right up there with the logic of “Duck and Cover”. It seems that the government think that, the only reason 11-15 year old start smoking is because they see the packets of cigarettes in the shops. This is utter crap people don’t take up smoking because they’ve seen a pack of cigarettes; they do so because they’re pressured into it.

So once this hasn’t worked, which I guess the government will work out in what 9-12 months, they’ll go onto their next stupid idea. Now unfortunately I haven’t got a TARDIS so I don’t know if this will happen, but my prediction of the next stupid idea will be this;
The government will ban smoking on TV before the watershed – because children only smoke because it ‘looks cool’

Can’t the government just realise that people are free to live their lives as they want to, and not how some stuff old men in Whitehall, who lets remember when the smoking ban went through tried to exempt themselves.

This is just typical of New Labour; hide the problem in the corner, pretend that it doesn’t exist and then clearly all is solved.

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Illinois Governor arrested

Blue


Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) has been arrested on corruption charges, for allegedly attempting to sell President Elect Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder.

He was arrested a few hours ago by the FBI, who then went onto to release a 76 page press release explaining all the charges. The most serious of these charges is soliciting bribes, from potential candidates to fill the vacant Senate Seat (which as Governor he alone has the power to fill).

The Governor has had a stormy term in office; and has held a rare distinction – he is even less popular than President Bush. He has also managed to piss off just about every politician in Illinois, and there was even talk of him facing impeachment charges, from the lower house of the Illinois State Congress. Described as Kryptonite by a fellow democrat no one will be sad to see him go, the question will simply be; will he go now, or will he have to be pushed?

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P

Parliament
I think its a shame. I think its a shame when our elected representatives demonstrate that there humanity is buried so deeply that its hard to see within them. What respect I held for Cameron and Brown was lost on Wednesday, when they took a tragic event and played political ping-pong with it, and not for a second did they think about what they were saying and how it would effect the situation. Instead the two jumped up and down to grab the attention of the press sit in the gallery above them

They jumped up and down, ignoring the issue, trying to look compassionate, but failing so spectacularly. They took there humanity and left at the door of the chamber and spend 10 vile minuets shouted across the chamber at each other, forgetting the entire issue. They spend 10 minuets playing politics, when what was really needed was for them to stop shouting and act like adults.

For 10 minuets we watched the Prime Minister and the Leader of the opposition disgrace themselves beyond belief, and quite frankly they no longer deserve to call themselves Rt.Hon Members.
And what did they achieve with this little shouting match? Very little. In fact the pair of them have achieved nothing substantial with this entire affair.

“Mr. Cameron: You accused me of party politics about this— [Interruption.] My apologies, Mr. Speaker; he accused me of— [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker: Order. I appeal to the House again: it is not good, at a time when we have heard this news about a little child who has gone before us, that we should be shouting across the Chamber. Let the Leader of the Opposition speak, and also— [Interruption.] Well, if the Leader of the House lets me do my job, she can do her job. Let the Leader of the Opposition, and also the Prime Minister, speak.

Mr. Cameron: The Prime Minister accused me of playing party politics. I did not mention who runs this council—and I did not mention who ran it when Victoria Climbié was tragically killed—and all I am asking is that the Prime Minister withdraws his accusation that I was in any way playing party politics, and not asking a perfectly reasonable question about a tragic case. I was putting to him a point made by his own Children’s Secretary, so I ask the Prime Minister one more time: please just withdraw the accusation that I was playing party politics, because he knows I was not.

The Prime Minister: I think the whole House will now want to find unity around these three things: first, this tragic incident must be investigated in every possible way; secondly, the Lord Laming review is the right inquiry to have; and thirdly, now that the full case review has arrived with the Children’s Secretary, he will take the necessary action. I hope the whole House can agree that these are the right things to do, and we are doing the right things to get the right answer.

Mr. Cameron: Obviously the Prime Minister does not feel able to withdraw what he said.”

Did David Cameron ask all those questions because it was the right thing to do, or was he just making sure that he would be in the papers the next day? I know what I think, but I’ll leave it to you to decide. I know one other thing though, Cameron didn’t look like a Prime Minsiter, he looked like a man desperate for the limelight, and desperate for attention.

And as for our illustrious Prime Minister, he too looked like he was desperate, but only desperate for media attention. He did not need to engage in a shouting match, and yet he did anyway. He did not need to anger Mr Cameron and draw him into a political discussion about this, and yet he did anyway. Yes Mr Brown you are the Prime Minister, and have been for some time but it appears no-one told you how to do the job properly, so here a few quick guidelines.
Tip number one, PMQs is when you answer questions, not ask your own ones. If you don’t want to answer the questions, resign and sit on the backbenches; but for as long as you sit by that dispatch box on a Wednesday your job is to be scrutinised by the Chamber. And the second Tip – trying acting like an adult for once.

There is so only one politician, who is making sense on this issue, and I’m not just saying this as she is a lib dem. Lynne Featherstonebrought some grounding to PMQs on Wednesday when instead of shouting and jumping up and down to get on TV, she talked about the issue at heart;

Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey and Wood Green) (LD): “I was leader of the opposition on Haringey council at the time of the Victoria Climbié tragedy, and I was told that lessons would be learned and that such a thing should never happen again. Yet it has happened again. Although I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday that Lord Laming would lead a national review of child protection services, in terms of Haringey that does not go far enough. I hear what the Prime Minister says about looking at the report, but that report will not guarantee the safety of children in my borough. I ask the Prime Minister to look at that report, but also to call for an independent public inquiry.”

Lynne asked the only sensible question during the whole proceedings and she did it without shouting and playing to the camera. She seemed to be the only person who remembered that this wasn’t an issue for party politics but a tragic and terrible event that should never has been allowed to happen in the first place.

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The US Cabinet

President Bush
With Obama’s electoral victory earlier this week, he now has to begin to think about his new administration, which will take office in approximately 70days, or to be precise at 12.00 Eastern Standard Time, on 20th January 2009.
Now unlike the Westminster system where the cabinet members start when they are appointed America’s presidential system requires that all cabinet members are confirmed by the Senate.

Now obviously this shouldn’t be too much of a problem come January but it still means that President Obama will be Cabinet less for quite some time.

There are currently 16 Cabinet Secretaries, and although within the Cabinet they are equal (in terms of power) in reality his isn’t completely true. This is because every member of the cabinet is on the Presidential Order of Succession: and as long as they qualify for the office (they have to be born in America, been a permanent resident of the United states for the last 14 years and over the age of 35) then should the worse happen they could be the next president. Of course this is incredibly unlikely, because the highest ranked member of the cabinet on the list; is behind the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro-Tempore of the United States Senate.

In fact no member of the US cabinet has ever succeeded the presidency although precautions are taken to ensure that should the worse happensome one would still be president

For the record here is the current list of Government Departments, the Secretary of State for them and the order they currently are within the order of succession;
• The State Department – Condoleezza Rice.
• The Treasury Department – Henry Paulson
• Defence Department – Robert Gates
• Justice Department – (Attorney General) Michael Mukasey
• Interior Department – Dirk Kempthorne
• Agriculture Department – Edward Schafer
• Commerce Department – Carlos Gutierrez
• Labour Department – Elaine Chao
• Health and Human Services – Michael Leavitt
• Housing and Urban Development Department – Steve Preston
• Transport Department – Mary Peters
• Energy Department – Samuel Bodman
• Education Department – Margaret Spellings
• Veterans Affairs – James Peake
• Homeland Security – Michael Chertoff

Now despite the ‘equality’ of all the members there are, like here in Britain there are more important members of the cabinet. They were for so much time known as the ‘big four’; and consisted of the Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, secretary of Defence and the Attorney general, although this list now includes another member – the Secretary of Homeland Security. These are the 5 members who garnish the most press coverage in America, and outside of the West wing staff, the President and the Vice President, these 5 people are the most well known members of the administration.

So when President Elect Obama begins to announce his Cabinet nominations, these are the 5 departments that everyone should look out for. And in typical political style names are already either being leaked to positions or just generally thrown at positions in order to make news
The below list has come from various news sites;

Secretary of Defence

Robert Gates. The current Secretary of State is popular amongst both Democrats and Republicans and when he was confirmed by the senate the vote was 95 to 2. The only people who didn’t vote for him were 2 Republicans who voted against his nomination and 3 senators abstained from the vote – they were former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and current senators Evan Bayh and Joe Biden. During his confirmation hearings Gates said that America was not winning the war in Iraq

Secretary of State

Senator Chuck Hagel. Hagel is a retiring Republican Senator from Nebraska and has been linked to the Obama campaign on previous occasions. He was mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, before Obama picked Joe Biden. And whilst he never publically campaigned for Obama, like Lieberman did for McCain, Hagel still carries much weight and respect from the new president elect. So much so he has been linked to two cabinet positions –

Secretary of State or Secretary of Defence. He has characterized the war in Iraq as one of the 5 biggest blunders in American History and that the country should learn from the mistakes of Vietnam.

Senator John Kerry – The Junior Senator from Massachusetts has been along supporter of Obama, endorsing him early in the primary election campaign.

Senator Richard Lugor (R- Indiana) – Another republican who is being linked to the position and another who thinks the war in Iraq is not working. He has also campaigned for an end to the use of Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Weapons.

Governor Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico) – Richardson is a former US Ambassador to the UN, as well as a Secretary of Energy. Both took place under President Clinton. He like Hagel was linked to the Vice Presidency position. He is very popular amongst the senate democrats and harry Reid (the majority leader in the senate) has signalled that confirmations shouldn’t be to hard - "There's no one more qualified to be part of the president's cabinet than Bill Richardson and I would hope that he's under consideration."

Secretary of treasury

Lawrence Summers– A former Secretary of Treasury under Bill Clinton and is currently serving as a member of Obama’s economic transition advisory board.

Timothy Geithner – The current head of the Federal Reserve and a former Under Secretary of State for International Affairs in the Department of Treasury from 1999 to the end of President Clinton’s term.
Paul Volcker – another economic adviser to Obama and another linked to the position of secretary of the Treasury.

Robert Rubin - The final rumored candidate is another former Treasury Secretary for President Clinton.

Attorney General
Eric Holder - he is a former Deputy Attorney General, under the Clinton Administration, and served as acting Attorney General for the first few weeks of President Bush’s term, until John Ashcroft was confirmed by the Senate. He was one of the three people Obama asked to look for his vice presidential nominee, and has also been a prominent legal advisor for the President Elect.

Governor Janet Napolitano (D – Arizona) has also been mentioned for the post. Like Senator Kerry she was an early supporter of Obama during the primary campaign, and before becoming Governor of Arizona she served as the States Attorney General for Three Years. If she doesn’t get a position in the new administration, she will likely serve out the remained of her term, and then challenge McCain for the senate seat at the 2010 elections.

Secretary of Homeland Security

Tim Roemer - a former congressmen from Indiana and a member of the 9/11 commission.
Raymond Kelly - the current commissioner of the New York Police Department, and a former Under Secretary for Enforcement, within the Treasury Department. Many of the agencies he used to supervise are now a part of homeland Security.
James Lee Witt - a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, under President Clinton.

Other Potential nominees

Governor Tom Vilsack - for Secretary of Agriculture

Senator Max Cleland - Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Former Governor Howard Dean, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and former Senator Tom Daschle are mentioned as possibilities for – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Congressmen Jay Inslee - Secretary of Interior

The news media keeps reporting that Obama will announce his decisions shortly, and whilst they may be true for the big 5, it is unlikely that we will here the names of the full cabinet before January. There are of course other matters: specifically that both Senator Obama and Biden will have to resign there senate seats, before the 20th January. One person being talked about for Biden’s seat is his sonBeau Biden who is currently serving as Delaware’s Attorney General, as well as a tour of duty in Iraq.

But all that is to be sorted out, and there is plenty of time before January
President Bush
After last weeks Vice Presidential debate,


as well as the first presidential debate, Senator Obama has opened up a commanding lead over Senator McCain. In fact if the election were held today it would come down to 10 states, and only one would need to go for Obama, in order for him to win. In fact the times are getting so bad for McCain that he has now pulled out of Michigan, effectively giving up on any hope of winning the state’s 17 electoral college votes.

As it stands Obama is predicted to be on 264 votes, to McCain’s 174. 10 states are in play, equalling 100 more votes. Below is the list of what states each candidate is predicted to win, along with the all important undecided list.

Likely Obama: CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, NY, RI, VT (157 electoral votes)
Lean Obama: IA, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NM, OR, PA, WA, WI (107 votes)
Undecided: CO, FL, IN, NV, NC, OH, VA (100 votes)
Lean McCain: MO, MT (14 votes)
Likely McCain: AL, AK, AZ, AR, GA, ID, KS, KY, LA, MS, NE, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY (160 votes)

For McCain to win, based on these predictions he needs to win every state in the undecided list, as well as all the states that he has at the min, where as Obama needs to keep his states, and win just one other.

A candidate needs 270 votes to win the presidency meaning McCain now has an uphill battle. There are 29 days till the votes are casted, two more debates will take place between now and then )the next one is tomorrow night and is a ‘town hall meeting’ meaning that anything can be asked of the candidates. McCain now has to win these debates – that’s not have a good performance but win the debates hands down and hope that a few of the likely Obama states will go back into the undecided list.
Storm
Whilst the other two presidential candidates have live website, that show there supporters, how to get involved and why you should vote for them, the same can not be said for Chandila Fernando

In an election that ends in a little over 6 weeks time, surely every second is valuable, especially when you are the unknown 3rd candidate. So why is, it that Candila’s campaign website is still not live? At time of writing there is approximately 1 day and 5 hours until the website goes live. Candila is missing out and valuable campaign time, and for what? A big reveal of... something in 29 hours?

Which is strange in itself...Why are you launching your website in the middle of the night? I know sometimes blog posts appear on the aggregator in the middle of the night, but the mass membership is most likely as sleeping at 12 midnight and not reading presidential campaign websites.

It all seems strange that when you are fighting a campaign that has been up and running for over a year; and another campaign where the candidate is a household name, that you wouldn’t be getting your message out there, and trying to persuade the membership to give you, their first or second preference votes.

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