Thursday, October 30, 2008

Odd Similarities Between the Obama Logo and FEMA Symbol
By Mike Bayham

If Barack Obama wins the presidency, his election would be precedent setting on numerous levels, one of those being that we would have our first president known for a symbol…kind of like Minnesota native “the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince”.
Too bad for Joe Biden he didn’t get his own abstract rendition…perhaps a foot halfway insert in a mouth or two giant letter “B’s”, one is his own handwriting, the other in Neil Kinnock’s.
As someone who has designed a number of campaign logos, yard signs and other campaign paraphernalia, I will confess an admiration for the intricacies of the Obama logo.
The large circle, representing the O-man’s last name (to my disappointment, the logo was not also “sponsored” by the letter “H”) with another circle within it that one can infer represents the sun over rows of a farm plain, that is delineated by red and white stripes. Just to give you an idea of how much detail has been put into this logo, if you look closely at the rows, you’ll notice that the red stripes are “enlightened” closest to the white “O” (the sun, the light, our divine leader!).
Now it’s apparent Obama is quite taken with his logo. A popular window sticker mentions neither Obama nor Biden’s name but just has the logo. Obama, perhaps in one of my acts of hubris, even developed his own campaign presidential seal incorporating elements of the ubiquitous campaign symbol.
One day while looking at a rather obscure government document, something jumped out at me. There it was, something that looked awfully like the Obama logo, but it wasn’t. It could not have been, since the document with the image on it was from 2004, before he OFFICIALLY began his presidential campaign.
Pictured on this page is artwork that appeared on a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Flow Chart showing a fictitious state seal that bears a very strong resemblance.
Now why do I bring this up? Why not? If his allies can mock Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for clothes that were acquired for her that she did not personally buy in a store and will be sold to charity after the election, then why not insert this admittedly trivial item into the public discourse.
McCain’s running on mostly the same stuff he has been for the past 9 years while Obama’s tax plan’s effect consistently changes in impact by the day, pending on whether the Democratic nominee or his running mate is discussing it.

If the FEMA artwork were heavily borrowed without permission or attribution, then it would not mark something unprecedented for a campaign that Joe Biden has been associated with.
Mike Bayham is a political consultant in south Louisiana. He can be reached at

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Voting for the First Amendment and Against the Media

I’d be lying if I said at some point I was tempted to not vote for John McCain. Not that I would dare cast a ballot for Barack Hussein Obama. Oops, I said it! There goes my Ambassadorship to Denmark for me no matter who wins.
McCain has proven to be as awful of a candidate as I said he would be back in 2007, between the bad decisions on strategy to pulling punches in debates to foolishly accepting the federal matching funds while thinking the American public would care about Obama breaking his word on that subject. The Democratic nominee has changed his mind on so many things during his brief sojourn in the US Senate you’d need a hurricane tracking chart to pin down his ever evolving positions.
I thought long and hard about kicking my lone vote for either the Constitutional Party candidate, Chuck Baldwin, with whom I agree far more than my own party’s nominee- not that this presidential election is any exception- or the drafted Ron Paul-Barry Goldwater, Jr. tandem, which was placed on the Louisiana ballot without either individual’s consent.
I could cite yet another reason how the McCain campaign has insulted me personally, but I’ll save that and other airing of grievances for the post-mortem.
I am going to vote for John McCain and not just because he is a Republican nor will I do it under the justification that I would be voting for Sarah Palin for vice-president, even if it marked the one act of good political judgment the Arizonan has exercised throughout this whole process. That some of McCain’s people are expending valuable time and energy trying to throw her under the Straight Talk Express while we are yet a week away from election day is not helpful to his cause or that of the party…or America.
In lieu of registering my vote for a minor party candidate as a protest against a mangled Republican effort, I will vote for McCain as a protest against what has been the most rigged and biased process any candidate has ever had to endure in the history of this country.
Though McCain liked to joke on the stump how the media was his base, not even the vilified Dubya had it so bad. While the mainstream media showers the masses with ubiquitous magazine covers with Obama’s smiling face and “inspiring” photographs of the Democratic nominee addressing tens of thousands of people voting with virtually any other anatomical part aside from their brain, I see how McCain is being ignored, disregarded and even, according to the Politico, shut out of crossword puzzles!
I see a lovely image of two old women riding on scooters into an empty stadium where Governor Palin is about to speak without adding to the caption that they were the first people allowed to enter so they would not have to struggle traversing the tens of thousands of people who have consistently flocked to the Alaskan’s rallies.
Many conservatives view the media’s derisive and unbalanced coverage of the cash-strapped McCain as poetic justice (and I am counted in that crowd) but I also find it repugnant and an insult to the journalistic profession.
I wasn’t surprised by their bias; the treatment Hillary Clinton received by the media was a veritable “Bat Signal” of what to expect come the general election.
Talk by Democratic congressional leaders about the revival of the so-called Fairness Doctrine should send a shiver down the spines of all who truly value the First Amendment as talk radio, the leading conservative/free-market alternative to mainstream media, would be subjected to additional regulation and restrictions. This is straight out of Hugo Chavez’s playbook and scares me more than any tax proposal could ever.
Before it was removed with the rest of the drywall thanks to Katrina, I had a bumpersticker on my childhood bedroom wall that I had affixed in 1992 that read, “Annoy the Media, Re-elect Bush”.
Don’t just annoy the media by casting your one vote for John McCain; piss them off big time by working towards Obama’s defeat.
If you have vacation days that you don’t know what to do with, invest them in Virginia, Colorado or Nevada. Putting deed to word, I’m going to New Hampshire this weekend to lend a hand.
Also, thanks to free long distance and unlimited cell phone minutes becoming the norm these days, you have the capacity to reach out to voters in all of the swing states from the comfort of your home. After calling your friends and family about the election, go to or your state GOP headquarters to request a call list. We have a week to do our part to preserve liberties that the liberals are aiming to curtail for no other reason than to stifle the opposition and cement their control on government.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Reality of Bill Jefferson's Renomination and the Prospect of the Flanagan Effect

The Reality of Bill Jefferson’s Renomination and the Prospect of the Flanagan Effect

It wasn’t the stuff of Babe Ruth’s famous called shot to center field in the 1932 World Series, but the voters of predominantly-New Orleans Second Congressional district in their infinitely infamous wisdom once again proved me right in the recent Democratic Primary.
On October 1st, I predicted that a segment of the Louisiana electorate would giddily vote against their own interests by embarrassing this state, keeping Congressman Bill Jefferson’s political career on life-support.
By a resounding 25%, the registered Democrats, Independents and unaffiliated voters in the Second gave Jefferson a plurality of the vote and a 5 point lead on former WDSU television reporter Helena Moreno.
As we approach the runoff between Moreno and Jefferson on the national election day when black turnout is expected to be through the roof for Barack Obama, the Democratic nomination battle in the Second District is more of a fait acompli than the supposedly already decided presidential race.
Proof of this? None of the four other major candidates, who all apparently had a problem with Jefferson occupying the seat around qualifying time, have yet to endorse Ms. Moreno, including State Representative and third-place finisher Cedric Richmond who called the incumbent an embarrassment in radio advertisements.
If you ever want to know why Louisiana and New Orleans is a political morass, you only have to look to your elected officials who refuse to stand up against corruption out of fear of potential retaliation from voters who tolerate such behavior for reasons that defy logic and reason.
The deciding factor in the election won’t be the sack of marked bills found in the congressman’s freezer or his lack of effectiveness on Capitol Hill despite this being a time when the New Orleans area desperately needs a strong advocate but racial loyalty.
Just as near solid black support largely paved the way for Ray Nagin’s re-election as mayor, the congressional primary’s second round will also pivot on black support. The big difference between the mayoral runoff and the Jefferson-Moreno runoff is that a significant portion of the white vote (registered Republicans) is excluded from participating because of the closed primary.
Though many whites view Jefferson as the latest machine politician to get his comeuppance, many blacks believe that the congressman is just another victim of the white political establishment.
Ironically, President George W. Bush, a figure particularly loathed in the black community, has shown no reluctance to appearing with the indicted congressman on trips to the region, unlike the Democratic house leadership which has tried to maintain a balancing act of shunning Jefferson while not rankling members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Jefferson’s sole pocket of political support in the Beltway.
Assuming he survives November 4th, and I will happily take bets with those who don’t think he will, the last obstacle to Jefferson’s re-election will be in December when he faces Republican attorney Anh Cao.
If the Democrats expand their current House majority by over a dozen seats, don’t look for Nancy Pelosi to come to Jefferson’s rescue in December. If Moreno keeps the margin close (no less than ten points), Jefferson could fall victim to the “Flanagan Effect”.
Though Illinois Congressman Dan Rostenkowski was in a safe Democratic district and chaired the powerful Ways and Means Committee, not even the patronage gravy-train he steered to his home turf could erase the taint of the House Post Office scandal.
Before being sent to prison, the Chicago politician suffered perhaps an even greater indignity when Republican challenger Michael Patrick Flanagan upset Rostenkowski. To nobody’s surprise, Flanagan’s stay in Washington was brief as he was soundly defeated for re-election by 28-points only two years later. In something that probably says a lot about that district, the man who ousted Flanagan would later find himself immersed with his own legal problems, Tony Rezko beneficiary and future governor Rod Blagojevich.
Just as many regular Chicago Democrats could better stomach a one-term Republican than continue living with the shame of giving their blessing towards the re-election of the corrupt Democratic incumbent, maybe enough New Orleans area Democrats opposed to the incumbent’s re-election would be willing to vote for a one-term Republican in order to take Jefferson out before the Feds do.
Mike Bayham is a political consultant in south Louisiana and posts his weekly political column at He can be contacted at Mike

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell Finally Comes a Liberal

Colin Powell Finally Comes Out…as a Liberal
By Mike Bayham

San Diego, August 1996.
As a 22 year old delegate attending his first Republican National Convention, I was on the floor of the convention center listening to what was supposed to be the highlight of the convention. And no I am not talking about Bob Dole’s acceptance speech.
As Colin Powell spoke, I stood beside the concrete pillar blocking the Louisiana delegation’s view of the stage neither enthralled nor captivated but actually wondering why this guy was speaking at the GOP convention and not the Democratic Party’s in Chicago as the retired four-star general boasted about his support for abortion and affirmative action.
Twelve years later the former Secretary of State would finally match his personal ideology with a fitting presidential candidate by endorsing Barack Obama.
In his explanation why he decided to publicly support Obama, the self-described Republican worried about the consequences of a Supreme Court further stacked by an administration of his own party. Generally people with such strong reservations about a political party no longer affiliate themselves with that particular entity.
I’ve always felt that the main reason why Powell was a Republican had to do not because he agreed with the GOP but because of his loyalty to the Republican administrations he served in and advanced through (Nixon, Reagan, Bush 41).
Powell played coy about his affiliation until after leaving government service when he finally announced that he was indeed a Republican. Over night, a draft-Powell movement formed with popular historian and Eisenhower biographer Stephen Ambrose dedicating himself to the cause until the former general took a pass, but not after frenzied media speculation had the nation guessing and Dole reaching for a bottle of Maalox.
Though Powell is closely identified in a more positive light with the first Gulf War, most people are unaware that Powell was one of the most ardent opponents within President George H.W. Bush’s inner-circle of using military force to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Yet ironically nobody has benefited more from the association with the liberation of the emirate than Powell.
There have been many theories why Powell went with Obama. Rush Limbaugh has argued that it has to do with race. Others in DC contend that his endorsement of Obama was a form of penance for his role in making the case for the invasion of Iraq.
I take the general at his word and think a sincere resentment towards a party he secretly loathes for a variety of reasons combined with an attempt to legacy-build by helping elect the country’s first black president are probable motivations.
Though they come from very different backgrounds, both Powell and Obama owe their political superstar status to the media. Can anyone else name a single state legislator you think can be elected president in the next four years or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff other than the aforementioned? Didn’t think so.
There wasn’t much difference between the early stages of both Powell’s speculated presidential bid and Obama’s, except that the Chicago community organizer had the chutzpah (or arrogance) to strike while the iron was hot.
Republicans disappointed by Powell’s supposed “defection” (how can you defect if you were really never there?) should take some solace in that while the former general has a distinguished record of military advancement, his public blessing of Obama would not be his first instance of affixing his name and all of the glamour that comes with it to an undeserving individual.
Just two weeks ago while testifying in the corruption trial of Alaskan US Senator Ted Stevens, Powell described the Dean of the Republican Senate Caucus/Alaskan political kleptocracy as a “trusted individual” of “sterling” reputation.
With friends like Senator Stevens, no wonder Powell had very few nice things to say about Alaska’s reform governor and McCain running mate Sarah Palin.

Assessing the Potency of the Powell Endorsement

Is it a game changer? Not necessarily. Powell gets more out of it than Obama, as the former will gain more acceptance with blacks than the latter will with whites. In other words, the Powell’s endorsement had more to do with himself than Obama. While I don’t think the former Secretary of State’s backing will bring over many new voters or undecideds, I do think it will further solidify for Obama those who were leaning towards the Democratic candidate but had lingering doubts that kept them from totally committing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

McCain Wins the Final Debate...But Is It Enough?

McCain Wins the Final Debate…But Is It Enough?

Anyone who has read my columns since 1999 knows that I am not a fan of John McCain’s politics nor do I have much confident in his abilities as a politician. From what I understand even low-level members of the McCain campaign are not happy about some of my commentary from the early days of the 2008 primary season (I’ll go into that further in the election postmortem).
The point is, despite my Republican registration, long service on various GOP committees, etc., I am not inclined to shower praise on the Arizona maverick just because of his party affiliation, even if only to contrast him with the ticket of the other party advocating a loathsome agenda.
That preamble dispensed with, I thought John McCain hands down won the first 60 minutes of the debate. In fact, like a true Saints fan still struggling with mental scars from the Mora-era Forty-Niners games, I found myself hoping that somehow McCain could then run out the clock before making any gaffes. That didn’t happen.
As the debate wore on, McCain started to stumble, mumble and bumble through a health care answer that seemed to offer nothing more than not fining business owners, stressing PE in schools and subsidized gym memberships to wrestle with America’s (and my own) weight problem. He bragged about being part of the nefarious Gang of 14 and then got the name of a Supreme Court justice wrong on the pro-life question, which he bobbled before finally tucking it in on the rebound.
McCain’s closer was not lofty (i.e. presidential) and sounded like something a war vet running for county commissioner would deliver, missing his final opportunity to really establish the differences between the two candidates in preparation for the most important job in the world.
Yet I still think McCain won, if only for the way he put Barack Obama on the defensive throughout the debate, exposed the Democratic nominee’s haughtiness and hypersensitivity to criticism and putting Obama in the uncomfortable position of having to repudiate the demagoguery of Georgia Congressman John Lewis, the massive voter fraud campaign by ACORN and retired domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.
Obama punted on the first two and classified the latter with a euphemism that would have also fit the likes of Timothy McVeigh.
McCain also got in good lines about Obama’s relentless attempts to make President George W. Bush his opponent and even worked in a mention about the Cardinals upset of the Cowboys (America’s most hated team).
Perhaps most importantly, McCain managed to limit Obama’s opportunities to employ his trademark soaring rhetoric that summons forth euphoria, tears, etc.
With the polling, money and Bush presidency advantages giving Obama the upper hand as the last three weeks of the election wind down, John McCain is not without hope or prospect of victory, though as I mentioned in my previous column, the McCain team does not have the Obama campaign where they want them…unless the Arizonan hired a bunch of masochists.
Here’s the good news: though McCain in losing in the six critical states he MUST win to hit the magic electoral vote number, the current poll margins are not insurmountable. Furthermore, they have been fairly fluid since the convention meaning that the current Obama lead in Ohio is not as hard as the Democratic nominee’s margin in traditional Blue states.
McCain has enough time to make the case why the financial crash should not be laid at his doorstep and establish the culpability of the Democrats in addition to some of Obama’s closest allies. While not going there was by far the biggest mistake of the night for McCain (the second was not touching Jeremiah Wright- is Obama lying about not knowing about the preacher’s mad rants or simply not telling the truth about being a practicing Christian?), one would think that trying to shift some of the economic stink from himself to Obama is the primary message objective if McCain is to sweep the critical six states.
While the talking heads have cast their lot to Obama for winning the debate by virtue of not falling victim to a knockout punch that would instantaneously change the election landscape, I maintain that McCain won tonight by not allowing Obama to seal the deal. Whether the last debate marks the beginning of a McCain-Palin counter-offensive or a weak holding pattern remains to be seen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bidding Adieu to BayouBuzz; New Location Forthcoming

Dear Friends:

After a long affiliation with the website BayouBuzz, I have decided to conclude my affiliation with the site. Until I finalize the details for a new venue for my polemics, I will post them on this site and on my networking websites.

How John McCain Can Make It a Fight, Again

How John McCain Can Make It a Fight, Again

John McCain operative Steve Schmidt’s claim “we have ‘em just where we want ‘em” is delusional.
Now unless Mr. Schmidt is an Obama double-agent, trailing the national polls by no less than 8 points and tanking in many states McCain cannot win the White House without carrying is not encouraging.
Let me paint a picture…or rather, draw you a map of where things stand at this point of the race.
The Arizonan is not leading in ANY…that’s ZERO…of the states that either Al Gore or John Kerry won in their campaigns. The most promising as of late was Minnesota, the site of the Republican National Convention and a state that has not gone to the GOP in a presidential race since Richard M. Nixon buried George McGovern in 1972. But the Land of a Gazillion Lakes is not looking too promising at the moment, but then again neither do THE critical six states George W. Bush carried in 2000 and 2004.
McCain is trailing Obama in Virginia (13), Florida (27), Missouri (11), Ohio (20), Nevada (5) and Colorado (9). Recent polls also show Obama with a slight lead in North Carolina (15), but I don’t buy that state moving to the Democratic presidential side even if they simultaneously eject Liddy Dole as US Senator. Besides, if North Carolina can’t be won, then the election is already lost.
Going back to the aforementioned critical six, though McCain won’t do any worse than lose half, just losing one of them without replacing it with a combination of New Mexico (5), New Hampshire (4) and/or Maine’s Second congressional district (pending on which one of the six goes “Blue”) means it’s over.
So as of right now, John McCain has a margin of error of practically zilch and thus needs to run the tables to just score the minimum of electoral votes to win, which is like counting on recovering three consecutive on-sides kicks in football to rally from a 21-0 deficit in the 4th quarter with less than 5 minutes remaining.
Some conservatives have cried about cooked polling samples that don’t measure the probable electorate on November 4th; I say, barring the Wilder-Bradley factor, the public opinion surveys are probably accurate.
Turnout is going to be through the roof election day and it is possible that black voters will match or exceed their actual registration proportions (for example, if 20% of the registered voters in a state are black, the surge in actual participation could mean that segment will count for over 20% of ballots cast there).
There will be other factors in play for the Democratic ticket but I’ll delve into those at a later date.
So after once leading Obama after the convention, why are things so bad for McCain right now?
1) It’s the stupid economy.
2) Failure by the McCain campaign to fully utilize Sarah Palin’s potential as the game changer.
3) McCain’s histrionics preceding the first debate, implying his incapacity to multi-task.
4) McCain’s horrible performance in the last presidential debate, perhaps the worst by a Republican presidential nominee since Gerry Ford denied the existence of Soviet domination in eastern Europe.
5) Obama’s decision to eschew from accepting matching-funds and the spending limits it imposes while McCain made what could be the fatal decision to “stand on principle” by allowing his Democratic opponent to amass a 2 -3 to 1 financial advantage over him.
Wednesday night, McCain will have his last chance to speak directly to the
American people, though thanks to his bursting campaign treasury Obama will have another right before the election thanks to a 30-minute television time bloc he purchased.
McCain must use this opportunity to frame the next three weeks of the election by hitting the following points:
1) Go after Obama’s Posse: The cast of characters that the Illinois senator has associated with, from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to Bill Ayers to James Johnson, a former CEO of Fannie Mae that served on Obama’s running-mate advisory committee. McCain needs to target those figures on the other side of the TelePrompTer that were with Obama on his way up and who will be major players in his administration.
2) Throw Dubya Under the Bus: McCain was so good at doing it during the good times, why not now? The president’s dismal approval ratings are not helping the GOP cause in the race for the White House or any other federal election for that matter. Highlight how a McCain-Palin Administration will be different from the current Bush-Cheney regime without undercutting the party base. It’s possible though it must be accomplished with a scalpel and not a chainsaw.
3) Talk about Stuff That Actually Matters: McCain lost the nomination in 2000 in part by trying to make people care about campaign finance reform. Now he seems to be going in the same direction about earmarks. Obama deftly put the earmarks matter in perspective by comparing them to the size of the overall budget. The hoi polloi aren’t interested in which candidate cuts more coupons than they are with big picture stuff.
4) The 3 AM Wake Up Call: It almost worked for Hillary aside from the fact that Democratic primary voters don’t put much stock in such things as ability and experience , but McCain must not only make the case why he is most prepared but why Obama would be a disaster as a war time leader.
5) Sound Like a Conservative for Once: McCain could help remind the party base the consequences of an Obama Administration on right-to-life and his opposition to banning partial birth abortion. It should be recalled Obama flubbed his answer on this issue at the Saddleback Church forum. McCain must make Obama talk about things he either doesn't want to or lacks a prepared answered for. Ditto on guns.
6) Demonstrate Democratic Culpability for the Bad Economy: Right now the voters are blaming the GOP alone for the current sad state of economic affairs when the fingerprints of Democratic congressmen and big dollar donors are all over the Fannie Mae and the housing market crash. Also rather than simply poking at how the mechanics of Obama's proposals are constantly shifting, show how his numbers simply don't work and how it's all blue smoke and mirrors to bluff the public en route to the presidency.
If McCain does a repeat of the abysmal so-called “Town Hall” debate, Barack
and Michelle can start thumbing through brochures for Washington’s most elite exclusive, private schools for their two daughters.

Mike Bayham is a political consultant in south Louisiana. He can be reached at