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Franken's not running

Not until 2008, at least

All that watercooler blah blah was for nothing. As it turns out, Al Franken announced today on his radio show that he will not run for Senate in 2006. He did say he would consider a run in 2008, but that he'd first have to move back to Minnessota, where he grew up.

Read the Reuters report here: [link]

Remembering Matt Brewer

Matt Brewer, the chef and owner of Café Bodega, passed away on Tuesday. A passionate chef who was committed to using local ingredients, Brewer was also an avid supporter of independent restaurants. His death is a terrible blow to the restaurant community and he will be deeply, sorely missed.

The Albuquerque Tribune's web site has a kind story about him posted here:

[link]

Enron Schmenron

The implosion of Parmalat, Italy's largest food company dwarfs the scandals of Enron and WorldCom

It's the saddest story you never heard. As usual, something that's brewed up a storm of news coverage in Europe has barely been a blip on American newsmedia's radar. But as far as stories of greed, treachery, theft and mind-boggling chutzpah go, this one's unmatched. There's a very good explanation of the whole thing here [link].

All Hell Has Broken Loose

Tsunami Death Toll Rushes Past 75,000

The New York Times ([link]) has the best collection of tsunami news and information, including a great page that lists some of the organizations that are accepting donations for disaster relief. From the American Jewish World Service to Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children, there are dozens of charities to choose from. Give early and give often.

Cell phones are safe from telemarketers

For now at least ...

We get those e-mails too. “This morning on NPR, Nina Totenberg said blah blah blah,” and “Stop Dr. David Hager's appointment to the FDA yadda yadda.” Both of those e-mails were once accurate, but are so far out of date that they now qualify as spam.

We got a new one today, about the national do-not-call list, which allows people with home phones to prevent most unwanted calls. The e-mail warns that staring in 2005, telemarketers will be able to call cell phones—unless you register your number with the do-not-call list ([link]). The e-mail is total crap.

According to the Netlore archive on [link]:

While it's true that the major wireless phone providers (with the exception of Verizon) have announced their intention to establish a 411 directory of customers' cell phone numbers beginning in late 2005, it is not true that they plan to "publish" said directory for any and all to read. Participating companies say the numbers will be made available only with customer consent and only via telephone to users who dial directory assistance and pay a fee.

The companies swear the numbers will never be available to telemarketers.

Not everyone believes that, however, as evidenced by a privacy protection bill already introduced in Congress which would modify the plan to allow 411 callers to be directly connected to requested parties without the latter's phone numbers being given out.

Per FCC regulations, telemarketers are already prohibited from calling cell phone numbers using automated dialers, which are standard in the industry.

In any case, the Federal Trade Commission does allow cell phone users to add their numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry — the same one already in force for landlines — either on the Web or by calling (888) 382-1222.

Contrary to what some variants of the email rumor claim, there is no December 15, 2004 deadline for adding cell phone numbers to the list — indeed, there is no deadline whatsoever.

Riblet a No-go for Shop and Stroll

Riblet regretfully informs you that he will not be able to join the rest of the Alibi staff at Monte Vista on Wednesday night. Blah blah blah health code blah blah blah.

What's the Matter with America?

Maybe it's related to What's the Matter with Kansas

If you're shocked, confused and bewildered about the results of the election, perhaps you should be reading Thomas Franks' What's the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives won the Heart of America. Here are some excerpts from a customer review by Robert W. Moore, posted this morning on Amazon.com ([link]):

“This is one of the most insightful analyses of the contemporary political scene in the United States that I have read. I am writing this on the morning following a presidential election whose outcome is probably going to baffle a host of well informed, issue-oriented Americans for sometime. Thomas Frank, however, provides marvelous keys for understanding what has transpired, and also should provide some warnings to Democrats concerning how the political landscape has been transformed in recent decades.”

“Frank wants to explain a dilemma. On the one hand, the Republican Party has embraced a set of policies and enacted a wide range of legislation that hurts most Americans economically and provides a benefit to only a very small segment of the American population. ... And yet Americans continue to vote for members of a party that seems to be dedicated to intensifying that trend ... . How is this possible?”

“By examining the political scene in his home state of Kansas, Frank is able to show how Republicans have managed to attract a vast segment of the American population by fomenting culture wars, by fixating millions on issues that resonate deeply such as abortion, gun rights, gay rights, defense of marriage amendments, nonexistent religious persecution (as seen in the absurd GOP letters mailed in Arkansas, West Virginia, and elsewhere that if Kerry were elected the Bible would be banned), and similar issues. Despite the fact that the GOP actually passes no legislation related to any of these cultural concerns, and despite the fact that what the party actually does is pass a great deal of legislation that continues the concentration of the national wealth in the hands of a conservative economic elite, these cultural wedge issues have been deployed repeatedly to get people across America to vote against their own best interests.”

Heather Claims Victory

Romero Camp Wants to Wait for Full Count

As we watch the TV news, Heather Wilson is gloating over her projected win in the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, Kenna Hudson, Richard Romero's Communications Director, is saying something along the lines of "The people will decide this election, not pundits. We're going to wait for results to come in." KOB TV Channel 4 still says the race is too close to call.

Waiting for Results at the Dem Victory Party

Looking for results in New Mexico races? Follow along on the web site of the Bernalillo County Clerk ([link] ). You'll be looking at the same numbers being shown here at the Old Town Sheraton, where the Democratic Party is having their victory celebration. The Democratic Party has taken over the big ballroom on the ground floor and is the nexus of action in the hotel.

There are so many groups, candidates, unions and political organizations with rooms and suites upstairs that there's a huge wait for a space in one of the two elevators in the lobby. And people keep streaming in.

To follow along with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, go to ([link])

Early Exit Polls Show Lead for Kerry in Swing States

From Salon.com ([link]):

As of 2pm Eastern, exit polls show Kerry winning in Florida (51-48), Pennsylvania (60-40), Ohio (52-48), Michigan (51-47), New Mexico (50-48), Minnesota (58-40), Wisconsin (52-43), and New Hampshire (57-41).

The president leads in Arizona (55-45), Colorado (51-48), and Louisiana (57-42). Iowa is a tie (49-49).