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Can Gore Stop Hillary-Obama War?

By    |   Sunday, 09 March 2008 02:55 PM EDT

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Cubans Are 'Fed Up' — and Saying So Openly
2. Can Gore Stop Hillary-Obama War?
3. RNC Snaps Up Clinton, Obama Domain Names
4. Ratings and Profits Surge at CNN
5. Media Research Center Holding Gala in April
6. Melanie Morgan Off the Air in San Francisco
7. We Heard: Rupert Murdoch, Tammy Bruce, Tom McClintock

1. Cubans Are 'Fed Up' — and Saying So Openly

Now that Fidel Castro has officially stepped aside, Cubans are complaining more than ever before on conditions in their island nation — but the new government has given little hint that significant change is imminent.

That's the report from Mark Potter, an NBC correspondent who has traveled to Cuba many times over the last two decades.

"I have never heard so many everyday Cubans openly criticizing life on the island as I did during this last trip to cover Raul Castro's officially taking over the presidency from his ailing brother Fidel," Potter writes in a blog.

"In past years, such public complaining would have been punished and was rarely heard."

The impetus for much of the new Cuban carping is Raul Castro himself, who after becoming interim president more than a year ago urged Cubans to openly express their grievances, Potter notes, adding that the Cubans are "fed up with low wages that can't even cover basic necessities, overcrowded buses, meager supplies in government-run stores and long waits and too few workers in Cuba's vaunted health care system."

Among the other major gripes of Cubans — especially younger ones — are:

  • Not having open access to the Internet and satellite television.
  • Being barred from buying or selling a home or car.
  • The lack of citizen access to Cuba's luxury hotels, where only foreign tourists are allowed.
  • Inability to travel outside the country without prior government approval.

Many Cubans had rising expectations of change following Raul's call for criticism and Fidel's departure — but they were dashed on the day Raul formally became president, Potter reported.

That's when the government announced that the new first vice-president was not a younger reformer, as widely hoped, but a hardliner — 77-year-old Communist Party ideologue Jose Ramon Machado Ventura.

One Cuban woman told Potter she was going to sit down and cry.

Editor's Note:

2. Can Gore Stop Hillary-Obama War?

With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama bloodying each other in their battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, their party is out to "destroy itself" — but there's one possible savior.

"If Al Gore can pull himself away from saving the planet long enough, he might want to consider rescuing the Democratic Party from the clutches of utter self-destruction," declares New York Post D.C. bureau chief Charles Hurt.

Current polls in states that are yet to hold their primary indicate that neither Clinton nor Obama will get the 2,025 delegates required to win the nomination before the party's convention in August, according to a published report.

That means the two rivals will continue on the path to the convention viciously attacking each other while Republican nominee John McCain consolidates his support.

"Forget the red phone for a national security crisis. Where is the red phone for a political party trying to destroy itself?" Hurt writes.

"And where is the party leader with the respect, stature, wisdom and influence to answer the crisis phone?"

Hurt eliminates Bill Clinton ("slight conflict of interest"), Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean ("virtually powerless"), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ("in a political pickle"), and several other prominent Democrats, and concludes:

"That leaves Al Gore as the only person with the experience to answer the red phone and force a peaceful end to this civil war.

"The inconvenient truth is that the red phone is now ringing and Al Gore hears it. The only question is whether he has the guts to pick it up."

Editor's Note:

3. RNC Snaps Up Clinton, Obama Domain Names

The Republican National Committee has been linked to dozens of Internet domain names with derogatory references to Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The names were either registered by the RNC or showed up on servers the committee uses, according to the New York Times blog The Caucus.

Among the names related to Hillary are,,,,, and, a reference to a possible running mate, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The names related to Obama include,,,, and

The GOP has also registered domains that could be used to attack nominee John McCain, including and

In all, more than 1,000 Clinton domain names have been registered, along with 635 related to Obama and 269 for McCain.

Editor's Note:

4. Ratings and Profits Surge at CNN

After years in the doldrums battling Fox News, CNN is enjoying a surge in ratings and has seen its profits double in the past four years.

For the first time since 2001, CNN in February topped Fox News in prime-time ratings for a single month in the 25 to 54 age category, the demographic most prized by advertisers.

CNN last month attracted an average of 750,000 prime-time viewers in that category, besting Fox's 550,000 and MSNBC's 363,000, according to Nielsen — although Fox News remained No. 1 overall with an average of 2.2 million prime-time viewers compared to 2 million for CNN.

CNN's ratings in February were no doubt boosted by its telecast of the Feb. 21 Democratic debate, which drew 7.6 million viewers.

But the February rise is part of a broader resurgence of the cable network since Jim Walton took over as president of the CNN news group five years ago.

When Walton assumed his post in January 2003, CNN was "in a deep funk," having been surpassed in the ratings by Fox News, and profits were flat or slightly down, the New York Times reported.

Morale was low at CNN at the time due to "a combination of things," Walton told the Times. "CNN had gone for 15 years without competition. Profits of the company were not where they should have been. There were management changes. It was like the perfect storm."

Walton streamlined management, lowered costs, boosted morale, and encouraged cooperation between the various arms of the CNN news group. He also presided over last year's overhaul of, which in 2007 became the most-visited news Web site, beating out Yahoo News and

In the last four years, CNN — which includes not only its flagship American network but also Headline News, CNN International and the Web site — doubled its profits, from about $200 million to nearly $400 million, according to the Times.

Said Walton: "There are not a lot of 27-year-old companies in America that can make that claim."

Editor's Note:

5. Media Research Center Holding Gala in April

The conservative Media Research Center is hosting its 2008 Gala on April 10 at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel in the nation's capital.

Festivities will include presentation of The DisHonors Awards, roasting the most outrageously biased liberal reporting of the year, and the William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence, which this year honors former Bush White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.

Master of Ceremonies will be syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, a panelist on "Fox News Watch." Presenters are conservative pundit Ann Coulter, CNBC economist Larry Kudlow, and talk radio host Mark Levin.

Judges for the DisHonors Awards include Rush Limbaugh — last year's recipient of the William F. Buckley Jr. Award — Neal Boortz, Sean Hannity, Mary Matalin, Steve Forbes and Robert Novak.

A general reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program at 7 p.m.

Founded in 1987 by L. Brent Bozell III, the Media Research Center is America's largest media watchdog group.

To attend, sponsor, or for more information about the event, contact Sara Bell at [email protected], call (800) 672-1423, or visit

Editor's Note:

6. Melanie Morgan Off the Air in San Francisco

Talk radio host and conservative activist Melanie Morgan's popular morning show has been taken off the air in San Francisco after a 14-year run.

In addition to hosting the "Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan Show" on station KSFO 560, Morgan is the chairman of Move America Forward, a non-profit organization that supports American armed forces in the war on terrorism and has been called the conservative answer to

In a message to Move America Forward supporters, Morgan said:

"Citadel Broadcasting, which recently acquired the ABC Radio Group - including KSFO radio — is undergoing some major financial problems, and is involved in a company-wide cost-cutting campaign. Sadly, the decision not to renew my contract is part of their cost-cutting effort. Monday, March 3, 2008, marked my last day on the airwaves at KSFO.

"It has been my honor to speak to so many of you every morning for the past 14 years on KSFO as we built a conservative movement to take on radical liberals and their attacks on our brave men and women who serve this country in the U.S. military.

"I want you to know something very important, and please pay close to attention to this: Our very important work supporting our troops is not done, and don't think for a minute that I will give up the work we do here at Move America Forward. We've only just begun, folks!"

In addition to her work supporting American troops, Morgan was one of the lead organizers of the April 2005 "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" effort in Washington, D.C., a grassroots campaign against illegal immigration.

Editor's Note:

7. We Heard . . .

THAT while Rupert Murdoch and the company he runs, News Corp. which also owns Fox News, may have a decided tilt to the right, the firm's employees have contributed far more money to Democratic presidential candidates than to Republicans., which tracks campaign donations, found that of 27 contributions from people who identified themselves as employees of News Corp., 25 went to Democrats.

The majority of contributors, 19, gave to Hillary Clinton's campaign, donating $32,100 in all. Five gave to Barack Obama, totaling $3,600.

Only two employees gave donations to Republicans — one each to John McCain ($2,300) and Fred Thompson ($1,000), Broadcasting & Cable magazine reported.

News Corp. president/CEO Peter Chernin gave $2,100 to Democrat Chris Dodd and also gave to Clinton and Obama.

And News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch made one contribution, giving $2,300 to Hillary's campaign.

THAT Tammy Bruce's radio show is now the most listened-to talk radio program on the Internet.

"The Tammy Bruce Show" garnered a 10.2 percent share of Internet listeners during the three-month period ending February 29, according to

Rush Limbaugh is in second with an 8 percent share — although he is still No. 1 among over-the-air listeners — followed by Michael Savage (7.1 percent), Laura Ingraham (6.3 percent), and Glenn Beck (4.5 percent).

"I'm convinced [my success] is due to the emerging independent conservative attitude in the nation that has developed during this presidential primary season," Bruce said in a statement.

"People want change in everything, change that truly represents their interests separate and away from the status quo but rooted in Classical Liberal/Authentic Conservative values. This is what 'The Tammy Bruce Show' has always offered."

THAT state Sen. Tom McClintock is running for a Northern California congressional seat hundreds of miles from the Southern California district he currently represents.

McClintock — who unsuccessfully challenged Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor in California's 2003 recall election — is being forced from the state senate this year by term limits.

He seeks the U.S. House seat being vacated by Republican John Doolittle, who is stepping down amid a federal corruption investigation involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In a speech announcing his candidacy for the House in Doolittle's 4th Congressional District — which stretches from Lake Tahoe to the Oregon border — McClintock said he would seek to lower taxes and spending, work for the protection of property rights and the "right to self defense," and secure the borders.

McClintock currently represents a district that includes Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley.

Editor's Note:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Cubans Are 'Fed Up' — and Saying So Openly2. Can Gore Stop Hillary-Obama War?3. RNC Snaps Up Clinton, Obama Domain Names4. Ratings and Profits Surge at CNN5. Media Research Center Holding Gala in April6. Melanie Morgan Off the...
Sunday, 09 March 2008 02:55 PM
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