Archive for April 2008

national radio

April 28, 2008

I’ll be interviewed live about the push poll call (see below) tomorrow (Tuesday) morning on XM Digital Radio’s POTUS 08 (channel 130) at 7:30AM Eastern (I could use even *more* parentheses if you’re not getting enough…).  Those of you who fit both of the criteria of being plugged into digital radio and being up at 7:30AM can check in.

More on the Push Poll

April 28, 2008

Well, it’s been an educational few days (if you haven’t read the post below about the push poll call I got from the Clinton campaign, you might want to scroll down and check it out).

My little phone call recording has gone from Huffington Post to Daily Kos to Politico to ABC news, and it looks like POTUS 08 (the XM satellite radio channel that covers the race and nothing else) is going to interview me on air Tuesday morning.

The comments have been fascinating, too, both on here and on the media sites.  I’ve been called either an idiot or a really good guy on public media sites by people from all over the US and a few from Europe.  

I was torn about whether to edit the comments here – I feel ethically OK about editing because I don’t consider this a public site, so I feel like I bear some responsibility for what’s said here. Kind of like having a rude guest at a party in your living room. It’s my place, so I feel some burden to shut them up or escort them out if they’re hurting the people around them.  In the end, though, I decided to publish all of them that didn’t contain profanity in the interest of the public discourse, though I certainly was tempted.

Here’s the thing, folks.  I know some beautiful, intelligent, inspired people who support Senator Clinton, and yes, I even know some good, bright, kind people who are Republicans.  I treasure their friendships and I respect them.  Part of why I support Obama in the first place is that he has avoided demonizing and dehumanizing people in general. He’s trying to raise the level of the general conversation. Can we avoid insulting each other and rather concentrate on holding each other accountable?  

This stuff is important, and of course we have to ask the tough questions, but there’s a difference between a tough question and an insult.

By putting this out there, I’m trying to hold the Clinton campaign accountable, not insult them. Let me be clear that if I did get a push poll from the Obama campaign I would record it and put it out to the media. That would only be fair. I’m deeply impressed by the transparency of his campaign, and that’s what justice is: everybody being subject to the same rules.  I would do that in the interest of justice, even though it would hurt the candidate I support.

I think this phone call was pretty despicable, and I think when the candidates make this kind of choice it should be made public.  I’m not willing to insult people, though.  That’s not the point.  I’m not going to ‘go negative,’ and I hope Obama won’t either. It’s one of the fundamental differences I see between the campaigns: I honestly believe that Obama would rather keep his integrity and lose the race, and sadly I don’t see the same signs coming from the Clinton campaign.

Here’s the thing — I’ve done some digging around and I can’t find *any* reference to the Obama campaign doing anything like this.  I think that’s because they’re not doing it.  The accusations are that his inspiring speeches are just empty talk.  Well, how do we check that to find out?  Against his actions, I think.  And his actions seem to speak pretty loudly.

Hang in there, people. Let’s try to inspire each other and keep to the high road, listen to each other and speak truth as we understand it, while understanding that there may be more truth out there to learn.

Oh, and while I’ve got the floor – thanks for caring enough about this stuff to chime in. Even you ranters. 😉

 

 

Traffic

April 28, 2008

Two really funny vehicular scenes from my last twenty-four hours: 

One:

Yesterday a Harley-Davidson pulled by my house and I glanced over at the biker riding a machine with all the auditory subtlety of a jack hammer on a freight train, only to do a double-take: he was talking on a cell phone. 

Can you hear me now?

Two:

I was turning left onto a busy road behind two oncoming cars – one of those split-second decisions that I got wrong:  Both of the cars in front of me stopped with an extra car length between them, so I found myself unable to pull forward, but out in the road already, with my car hanging out and blocking the lane beside me until the cars in front of me pulled forward.  Sure enough, a car came up in the blocked lane beside me and laid on the horn.  I was clearly in the wrong, and chagrined, but happily the blast from his horn made the cars in front of me pull up, I pulled forward and he was able to pass.  It was only then that I saw the car that had laid on the horn: Asheville City Police.  

Apparently he was on his way somewhere.  

from my *very* late thirties…

April 25, 2008

…I’ve got about twenty-four minutes to go, actually.  According to my birth certificate I was born at 11:06AM, forty years ago today.  Or almost forty years ago.  About twenty-three minutes short.

Had a lovely birthday party with my family last night.  I was born on my sister Margaret’s sixth birthday, and to this day Mom still insists on making two cakes so we won’t feel slighted by having to share.  

Life’s good. If I felt like these days weren’t rich and full, I might mourn the time passing, but it’s hard to imagine them being much richer. Thanks for being a part of that.

Just twenty minutes left in my thirties.  I think I’ll spend them eating breakfast on the back deck.

 

Push Polled in NC by the Clinton Campaign

April 24, 2008

This is a letter I wrote yesterday to the New Director of POTUS 08, the XM radio station that covers the presidential campaign exclusively…

Scott Walterman
Senior Director of News Programming
XM Satellite Radio

Hi Scott,

David LaMotte here.  We’ve corresponded once before about some POTUS08 programming, and I sincerely appreciated your friendly response.
I’m a POTUS08 junky and a resident of NC and I just had a fascinating experience about an hour ago – I was push polled, either by the Clinton Campaign or someone in their corner. 
A guy named Ed called from Akron, Ohio, and when I asked what polling outfit he works for he said Garin-Hart-Yang, based in DC, which I found online here: http://www.hartresearch.com/about/political.html. At first I was delighted to be polled, as I’ve been interested in the race and following the rest of the nation’s polls closely throughout the campaign.
The questions started out normal enough, but got progressively more ridiculous.  Early in the conversation Ed asked my preference among the Democratic candidates and I told him I was an Obama supporter.
Then the questions turned to long Hillary-praising and Barack bashing policy statements with the response options being “Do you consider that a very strong, strong or weak or very weak reason to support her candidacy for president?” which is kind of an unanswerable question, and clearly not the point.  At the end of the conversation they asked “Now based on everything we’ve discussed, who would you vote for?” 
The questions were often based on statements that I wouldn’t agree with in the first place. It’s classic push polling as I’ve read about it, though never experienced it before. The questions are of the “Are you still beating your wife?” variety.  No way to answer with any sense of veracity and integrity.
Toward the end of the conversation it occurred to me to record it on my old-school tape-based answering machine, so the following is a verbatim transcript of some of the content:
“Hillary Clinton knows that people are being squeezed by the rising costs of everyday items, especially the cost of a gallon of gas. People have been paying through the roof and at the pump, and she thinks it is time the oil companies payed their fair share. She wants to end their special tax breaks and use that money to invest in alternative energy that will create millions of new jobs. As president she will launch a full-scale investigation of the oil companies’ price rigging. Upon taking office as president she will lower gas prices by taxing the excess profits of the oil companies and use that money to cut gas tax. 
Do you consider that a very strong, strong or weak or very weak reason to support her candidacy for president?”
It goes on a bit later:
“I’m going to read you a few criticisms opponents might make about Barack Obama. For each one please tell me if they give you very major doubts, fairly major doubts, some doubts or no real doubts about supporting Barack Obama for president. At a time when we need leaders who are clear, strong and decisive, Obama has been inconsistent, saying he would remove all troops, but then indicating that he might not, and pledging to renegotiate NAFTA, but then sending signals that he would not actually do so as president. He supported George W. Bush’s 2005 energy bill which payed six billion dollars in subsidies to the oil and gas industry, nine billion dollars in subsidies to the coal industry and twelve billion dollars in subsidies to the nuclear power industry. It was called ‘a piñata of perks’ and ‘the best energy bill corporations could buy. Would that leave you with major doubts, some doubts or no real doubts?”
And how do I answer that question, given the fact that I dispute some of the premises laid out?  
Didn’t they already get embarrassed about push polling in the midwest early in this campaign and didn’t she repudiate the practice?  I find this kind of thing pretty shocking, and I think people should know it’s going on. It’s demeaning and disheartening, especially given the fact that my civic pride was piqued by being called in the first place, only to realize I was being manipulated.  I have the actual tape of the end of the call, and I’d be happy to talk with you about it on the phone if you want to put this out there. 
As far as disclosure goes, I have an Obama sign in my front yard and a sticker on my car, but I’m not a party operative of any kind.
Best,
David LaMotte
By the way, I just found out from Paul Loeb, who wrote a piece on this for Huffington Post, that Geoff Garin is the head of Senator Clinton’s campaign team and is one of the partners in this firm, so there’s no question that it was her campaign making the call.
I’m going to type up the whole transcript and post it here within 24 hours.

But wait — there’s more!

April 20, 2008

He did Lens Cap too.  😉

Cool Cover of an old song of mine

April 20, 2008

Chapel Hill

It’s always an honor when someone covers your song, of course, but there’s something especially cool about having it covered by a Turkish guy in Germany

He may have missed a bit of the English, but I really like his take on the guitar part — maybe a little more than mine.  😉  

Leave him some nice comments, eh?