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A repository of random thoughts, odds and ends, and not-quite-fully-formed ideas.

Archive for October, 2007

Hillary hits back

October
31

Hillary Clinton is calling it the politics of pile-on.

A “video”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk16oxb4Ck4&eurl=http://www.hillaryhub.com/ on YouTube and her HillaryHub Web site shows a quick succession of Clinton’s Democratic rivals Barack Obama, John Edwards, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd repeating her name as they take her on.

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“Senator Clinton.”

“Hillary Clinton.”

“Hillary.”

“The first lady.”

The video cuts to her saying, “I seem to be the topic of great conversation and consternation and that’s for a reason.” No matter that at the time, she was speaking about Republicans, the Associated Press notes.

Further, AP says: “Clinton had her own target. She uttered President Bush’s name 25 times during the debate.

PHOTO: Clinton and her rivals. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 at 5:32 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

Riches await you (via the Internet)

October
31

An intriguing offer to a colleague arrived in his emails today.

Major General David Kofi, the comptroller general of the GHANA CUSTOMS EXCISE AND PREVENTIVE SERVICES in Accra, Ghana was writing to inform him of three truck boxes of his consignments which were presently in a warehouse.

The Honourable President of the Republic of Ghana, President John A. Kufuor, had given Kofi “the directive to delivery all consignments to their respective rightful owners, i deem it necessary to inform you that your consignments which is due and ready for delivery to you at your provided delivery road mapped address.”

Got that?

President Kufuor had apparently further instructed that all consignees register their consignments with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What did he need to do?, my colleague inquired.

Well, delivery was free, again according to the instructions of President Kufuor, but he needed to forward his “detains” (translation please) and a utility bill and submit a form that would cost $150.

Plus, “You have to booked for hotel accormodation for one Night and you have to give them good recieption.”

You can be sure of one thing: These boxes won’t be arriving any time soon.

By the way, the president of Ghana is certainly named John Agyekum Kufuor. But my search for Major General David Kofi, the comptroller general of the GHANA CUSTOMS EXCISE AND PREVENTIVE SERVICES yielded nothing. Hmmm.

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 at 4:40 pm |
| | 5 Comments »

Is that a yes or a no?

October
31

The knives are out for Hillary Clinton.

Just what was her answer to giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants?

Asked about it at the Democratic presidential debate last night at Drexel University and she gave a long response in support of Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

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“You told the Nashua, New Hampshire, editorial board, ‘It makes a lot of sense.’ Why does it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a drivers license?” NBC’s Tim Russert asked her.

“What Gov. Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform,” she said. “We know in New York we have several million at any one time who are in New York illegally. They are undocumented workers. They are driving on our roads. The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds….?”

So did that mean she agreed with Spitzer? Not exactly.

“I just want to add: I did not say it should be done,” she interjected when U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd said he opposed Spitzer’s plan.

So what was her position? Russert asked.

“You know Tim this is where everybody plays gotcha,” she said. “It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do?….”

And you can hear the rest “here.”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0uHybfmmY

A conservative group of 9/11 relatives, “9/11 Families for a Secure America,”:http://www.911fsa.org/ quickly offered a $1,000 award to “any American who can get a straight answer out of Senator Hillary Clinton.” The group was already against Spitzer’s plan.

And former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani had some fun with her answer on the Glenn Beck show on CNN.

BECK: “OK. Tell me the answer to this issue.”

MAYOR GIULIANI: “The answer is no. Or if you believe the opposite the answer is yes. Obama gave the answer yes. Ok. I disagree with that. I think it’s a big mistake. I respect the man for having a position. My answer to it is no. Of course you don’t give out driver’s licenses to illegals. Among other things, it’ll make it even more difficult to deal with all the fraud, all the forgery that’s going on.”

And further on during the interview:

“(T)his is not one of those difficult issues of war and peace and diplomacy that she usually often hides behind to have two or three different positions. This one you either know the answer to this, it’s yes or no, and then we can debate it.”

She’s the frontrunner, but all of this can’t have done her much good.

PHOTO: Clinton and Obama pass each other during a break in a debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 at 4:02 pm |
| | 3 Comments »

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Woodstock nay, Jackass Museum, yay

October
31

In case you missed it, CNN’s “Anderson Cooper”:http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2007/10/now-whos-jackass.html reported that the town of Bishop, Calif., wanted to spend $50,000 in federal funds to study the possibility of a mule museum.

You read that right: a memorial to jackasses.

Bishop, by the way, is the Mule Capital of the World. Who knew?

So lawmakers mock the notion of federal money to going to a museum to Woodstock, a seminal if psychedelic moment in history. But here’s a Republican congressman, U.S. Republican Buck McKeon, who thinks a mule museum deserves the money.

Which one do you think will be the bigger draw?

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PHOTOS: A mulemanship clinic in Medina, Ohio, in September. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Lonnie Timmons III)

Veteran American explorer Gene Savoy stands beside his mule during an expedition to Peru’s northern highland jungle in 1985. (AP Photo)

Two girls ride on a mule at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo., over the summer. (AP Photo/Sedalia Democrat, Sydney Brink)

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 at 2:33 pm |
| | 5 Comments »

Dining with Rudy

October
29

Former U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly and others are raising money for Rudy Giuliani’s presidential bid.

There’s a reception planned for next month at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville.

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For $2,300, you may attend a private dinner and photo opportunity; $1,000 gets you the reception and photo op; $300, just the reception, no dinner, no photo.

The date is Nov. 10.

PHOTO: Giuliani and his wife pose with a pumpkin painted to look like him during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Monday, October 29th, 2007 at 2:17 pm |
| | Comments Off on Dining with Rudy

The price of war

October
29

Whatever your position on the Iraq War, you might want to know how much it is costing you.

“The National Priorities Project”:http://www.nationalpriorities.org keeps track of how much is being spent.

So far, the figure is $456 billion. For the 2008 fiscal year, Congress has requested nearly $200 billion in war-related spending. If the request is approved, the National Priorities Project estimates that the total cost would rise to $611 billion.

What’s really interesting is that the group breaks taxpayer costs down by state: $41 billion so far for New York. And by counties: $2.9 billion for Westchester and $344 million for Putnam. And by cities, towns and villages.

Here are some other ways it calculates the cost:
— $4,100 for every American household;
— $1,500 for every American;
— $3,400 for every taxpayer;
— $11 million per hour and;
— $275 million per day.

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Monday, October 29th, 2007 at 11:34 am |
| | 18 Comments »

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Shhh! Be vewy vewy quiet. I’m hunting….

October
25

Duck.

Dick Cheney is going hunting in Dutchess County on Monday.

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No joke. According our sister paper, “The Poughkeepsie Journal”:http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071025/NEWS01/71025016, Cheney will be heading to the Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club in LaGrangeville.

No word on what the vice president will be aiming at.

PHOTO: Cheney shown hunting quail in South Dakota in 2002 from AP.

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Thursday, October 25th, 2007 at 3:07 pm |
| | 20 Comments »

Remembering Woodstock

October
25

John McCain got off some of the best lines of the presidential campaign the other night when he mocked Hillary Clinton for trying to spend $1 million on a Woodstock museum.

“Now my friends, I wasn’t there,” the Arizona senator said during Sunday’s Republican debate on Fox News. “I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time.”

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It was so well done that his performance is now a campaign “ad.”:http://www.johnmccain.com/tvads/ One moment, there’s the crowd at the August 1969 rock festival, the next, a young McCain, a North Vietnamese prisoner of war for 5 1/2 years, lying on a bed.

A hippy museum to the drug steeped Woodstock festival, what could be an easier target? Opponents succeeded in cutting the federal funds from the proposal.

CNN reports that the museum will open next year and here’s my prediction: It will be a tremendous success. Flower-power pilgrims have been visiting the farm in Bethel practically since the festival ended.

And here’s something you might not know. What’s left of the Hoa Lo Prison, the so-called Hanoi Hilton where McCain was held, has been turned into…what else? A museum.

“For sheer gruesome atmosphere alone, this ranks near the top of the must-see list,” according to the Frommer’s.

PHOTO: U.S. Sen. John McCain at Sunday’s Republican presidential debate. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Thursday, October 25th, 2007 at 12:54 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

Oh and what a mix-up

October
23

Republican Mitt Romney got a little tongue-twisted today and the result was embarrassing.
Speaking in Greenwood, South Carolina, Romney said, according to the Associated Press: “Actually, just look at what Osam — Barack Obama — said just yesterday. Barack Obama, calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq.”
Actually that would be Osama bin Laden.
Romney’s spokesman, Kevin Madden, said, “He was referring to the audiotape of Osama bin Laden and misspoke. It was just a mix-up.”

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007 at 10:45 pm |
| | 413 Comments »

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Hydrogen-powered cars

October
22

General Motors delivered a hydrogen-powered SUV to White Plains today to show it off to reporters and tout its environmental benefits.
It’s a Chevrolet Equinox and it is one of 100 that will be test-driven by families beginning early next year.
One of those test drivers was at today’s press conference at White Plains City Hall. Eric Rotbard, 38, is a lawyer in White Plains who lives in West Nyack.

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He drives a Chevy Camaro now.
He got interested in alternate energy first as a way to cut his gas costs. Global warming became a concern after he saw Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”
“The fact of the matter is this is a win/win,” he said. “Bill O’Reilly and Bill Maher can both agree on supporting this technology.”
I’ll write more about the Equinox later in the week after I get a chance to drive one. There will be an article about it in tomorrow’s edition of The Journal News and on LoHud.com.

PHOTO: From Chevrolet Equinox Web site.

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Monday, October 22nd, 2007 at 4:38 pm |
| | 2 Comments »

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About the author
Noreen O'DonnellNoreen O'Donnell For the last 20 years, Noreen O'Donnell has written about Hillary Clinton's run for the Senate, rebuilding Ground Zero, the Korean immigrants who travel north each day from Queens to work in nail salons, deadly runaway fire trucks and other stories in Westchester and Putnam counties. Now she's a columnist.



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