When the sky smiles

Sweet, very sweet.

Caption: A rare positioning of planets Venus (top left) and Jupiter (top right) and the crescent moon of the Earth provides a ‘smiley’ effect that captivated Asia Monday night Dec. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

See similar photos of this once-in-a-lifetime event here.

The NYT versus Charlie Rangel

Things are heating up between Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and the NYT. The NYT has done some surprisingly good reporting on Rangel’s penchant for quid pro quo. Rangel responded to a recent article by writing a letter to the editor trying to debunk what reporter David Kocieniewski. Here’s what Rangel wrote – but it gets really interesting as the NYT included Kocieniewski’s response to Rangel’s letter on the same page.

Now, if the NYT had devoted this much time to investigating Barack Obama’s background, we might just be looking at President McCain right now … or Clinton, depending on whether or not they would have started their investigations early on in Obama’s candidacy.

Anyway, a rare tip of the hat to the NYT for a job well done on this one.

Update – 9:57 PM: More trouble for Rangel, via The Politico: Rangel son got campaign cash

Chris Matthews sets example other partisan journalists should follow

You’re probably thinking, “what is she – crazy?” But hear me out on this one. The Politico reports that Matthews is in talks with advisors as to whether or not to leave the MSDNC network in order to pursue his Senate dream:

Chris Matthews is dead serious about running for the Senate in Pennsylvania — and is shopping for a house in the state and privately discussing quitting MSNBC as proof of his intense interest, according to NBC colleagues, political operatives and friends.

Even so, some NBC insiders think it’s all simply a negotiating ploy to jack up his contract.

The garrulous host of the show “Hardball with Chris Matthews” has already picked out a home in Philadelphia to establish residency in the state, according to a Democratic operative in discussions with him about a potential candidacy. Over Thanksgiving weekend, at his vacation house in Nantucket, Matthews’ family members gave him their full backing.

As speculation surrounding his potential candidacy heats up, Matthews has also been asking advisers whether to step down from his MSNBC post well before his contract expires in June. At one recent meeting, he was advised that if he truly intends to run, he should resign from the network as soon as possible.

“We talked about the value of doing this now and six months from now. I advocated that he do this as soon as possible” the operative said. “It’s the MSNBC stuff that’s going to jam him up. I said, ‘If you want to be a U.S. senator, step up and get into the race.'”

I applaud Matthews for taking into serious consideration the possibility he’d need to leave the network in order to run for Senate (of course, he should have left it much, much earlier – but then again he wouldn’t have been able to help his fellow mediots with getting Obama elected, would he?). In fact, I encourage every other journalist out there who has a strong bias for one party or the other – who thinks it’s their “job” to help that party – to please follow Matthews’ example, retire from your profession and start pursuing your dream of officially working to advance that party’s principles – whether it be as a politico, an advisor or aide, or working for an advocacy group, or starting your own. Make your biases known upfront instead of continuing to hide behind a phony banner of “objectivity.” You know the real you is desperate to “come out of the closet.” I encourage you to do so, and to do so immediately. And in your places, we’d like to see journalists that really are objective instead of putting on pretenses.

Ok, my dear readers – still think I’m crazy? :>

Related to all this, the polling has started on the potential match up between Matthews and Specter. Rasmussen has the latest on that. Don Surber has more thoughts on the poll numbers. And at least one prominent liberal – columnist David Sirota – thinks Matthews is insulting the intelligence of Pennsylvanians with his desire to represent them in the Senate. He actually makes a somewhat decent argument in a couple of the paragraphs he wrote. On the other hand, he supports Al Franken’s Senate candidacy in MN. Go figure …

(Via Memeo)

And here I thought Cuba was supposed to be paradise?

Well, maybe it is, unless you’re someone who lives there who dares to openly criticize your government.

No comment yet from the CNN (aka the Cuba News Network), Castro-loving Hollyweirdos and other assorted far left Cuba fanatics. Nor do I suspect there will be comment from these fruitcakes, come to think of it. They’ll ignore it like they always do, and will instead probably start rambling off something about how Cuba has such a “great healthcare system.” 8-|