Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bush "Wanding" Down

We've heard it all before.... new drilling in Alaska will cure our energy problems while giant oil companies announce record profits and gasoline prices surge.... "President Repeats First-Term Answers to Rising Gas Prices." (WaPo)

And, we've heard it all for the nearly eight-years of the Bush administration, but this time with a fantasy twist.

The Decider said in his news conference yesterday, "If there was a magic wand to wave, I'd be waving it, of course.... But there is no magic wand to wave right now. It took us a while to get to this fix."

"... a while to get in this fix" as though The Decider wasn't around for nearly eight years to get us out of this fix.

Bush went on to blame the Democratic Congress although his energy proposals failed to gain traction in his first term when Congress was under complete GOP control.... and Bad Fairy Cheney was brewing our national energy policy behind closed doors with the connivance of his oil company cronies.

That's how we got in this fix.

Solutions. Bobsy kids John McCain and Hillary Clinton call for a "summer tax holiday" for gas and diesel.... a give-them-cake band-aid just in time for pre-election warm and fuzzies.

Not interested in this pandering approach, Barack Obama labeled this proposal for what it is.... a gimmick that would cost 300,000 highway infrastructure construction and repair jobs funded by the tax, and would save drivers $28 at most. And, it wouldn't address the serious underlying problems.

Meanwhile with high gas prices undercutting an already teetering economy tanking from tax cuts coupled with an unprecedented spending spree, The Decider is so clueless on how to formulate an energy plan that his wistful solution is a "magic wand."

Bubble Boy should be glad that there is no "magic wand".... otherwise he would have been poofed back to the Crawford ranch by the Good Fairy years ago.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama: Shed Wright

He's heavy, and he's not Barack Obama's brother, in any sense of the word. In fact, he's not even a pastor Obama can turn to.

It's obvious.... Obama and Wright are different kinds of men. Wright is unforgiving and bitter, looking for his 15 minutes of fame.... and he doesn't care if he tramples the hopes of the black community, and much of the nation, under his scrabbling feet.

Obama has tried mightily to spare Wright's legacy as the minister of a church that accomplished many good works.... to explain and even justify the reckless rants of the angry pastor he sees as a "crazy Uncle." He's turned the other cheek and shown Wright the forbearance of the true Christian that Wright only claims to be.

Wright claims a lot of things, including that he represents all black churches, and an attack on him is "an attack on the black church."

This statement gives us the lens by which to bring into focus Wright's megalomania. The reality of course is that African American churches are diverse. Yet Wright insists on being seen as something he's not: "an archetypal representative of the African American church. In fact, he represents one twig of one branch of a very large tree."

So explains Eugene Robinson today in "Where Wright Goes Wrong" (WaPo) .... "Historically and theologically, [Wright] was inflating his importance in the pride-goeth-before-the-fall kind of way. Politically, by surfacing now, he was throwing Barack Obama under the bus."

With so much at stake for the nation, Robinson sadly advises Obama, ".... it's time to return the favor."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Reverend Wrong

You would think that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Barack Obama's church, would be buoyed up, proud, downright hallelujah happy that a member of his flock was making history..... very close to being the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

Think of the good Obama could do for the African-American community, the inspiring example he would set for young people, the positive winds of change he could champion with his presidency.

But no, the Rev. Wright not only doesn't help Obama, he seems determined to grab the public megaphone to loudly broadcast his strident and divisive opinions, enabling Obama's detractors to paint Obama into a campaign-shredding by-association corner. (WaPo)

Once again, the African-American community is not well-served by a leader. If Obama succeeds, it'll be no thanks to his former pastor. It'll be because voters see the self-serving and destructive egos lined up against Obama.... Wright, Billary, the "Limbaughs" everywhere.... for what they are. Spoilers.

The Rev. Wright says he wants to bring people together. Looks like the only way he could accomplish that would be to get out of Obama's way!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clyburn: Clinton Conduct "Bizarre"

You probably remember seeing the dignified African-American during the South Carolina Democratic primary.... influential third-highest-ranking U.S. Representative, James E. Clyburn.

He remains an uncommitted superdelegate.... but, he isn't remaining quiet about the damage the Billary campaign is doing to Barack Obama, the Democratic party and Hillary's support in the black community.

In an interview with the New York Times Thursday.... "Black Leader in the House Sharply Criticizes Bill Clinton".... Clyburn said that Clinton's "conduct in this campaign has caused what might be an irreparable breach between Mr. Clinton and an African-American constituency that once revered him."

Clyburn added that "there appeared to be an almost unanimous view among African-Americans that Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were committed to doing everything they possibly could to damage Mr. Obama to a point that he could never win in the general election."

Clyburn is finally saying what many suspect, that Billary wants Obama to lose in November instead of being a two-term president so Hillary can try again in 2012.

African-Americans, along with countless bloggers, op-ed writers, political pundits and voters view the Billary "race card" kitchen-sink campaign as nothing more than a seek-and-destroy effort.

The Clinton's seem to only have wanted to use the black community to further their personal power plays.

Watch for Billary to start taking Spanish language lessons.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hillary's "Voodoo" Math

We've watched The Decider shred the Constitution.... "just a piece of paper".... and write executive orders for any parts of legislation he didn't want to follow.

Through a series of Attorney General enablers, the Bush administration has thumbed its nose at laws, and the enforcement of laws.... lying, destroying evidence, perverting justice.... an ends-justify-the-means mentality.

Now, Hillary Clinton is trying to foist the same convoluted moves on the Democratic electorate as Newsweek points out in "What's the Magic Metric?"

"Talk about playing the numbers. The morning after her Pennsylvania primary win, Hillary Clinton's aides staked out the aisle of the press plane and proclaimed that with Pennsylvania's big victory, Clinton had surged ahead of Barack Obama in the popular vote total..." if they count the Michigan and Florida votes even though the Democratic party stripped them of their delegates for violation of party rules, and if the caucus states aren't counted.

The nominating contest winner according to the agreed-upon rules is the one with the winning number of delegates, the popular vote isn't in play although this is now Clinton's metric.

Since Clinton can't overtake Barack Obama's insurmountable lead in elected delegates.... which are the measure of the winner.... she's trying to move the goal posts by disregarding the rules and with voodoo math declaring she's ahead in the popular vote.

Clinton is using this ignore-the-rules tactic in an effort to convince the superdelegates to go against the delegate outcome of the primaries and caucuses and vote for her. Anything goes as long as she wins. And, the first thing to go is playing by the rules.

Hillary's rude elbowing aside of the established Democratic party nominating process is just more my-way-or-the-highway manipulative Bush arrogance in a pants suit.

Is this what we need in the White House?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Superdelegates.... Do Your Thing!

Today after Hillary Clinton's expected win over Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primaries, the New York Times sums up this excruciating "demeaning political process" in "The Low Road to Victory."

The Times worriedly admonishes... "It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election."

Their disappointment is clear... "Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11. A Clinton television ad - torn right from Karl Rove's playbook - evoked the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war and the 9/11 attacks, complete with video of Osama bin Laden...."

They warn that with these tactics, her reckless interview on ABC where she nuke-rattled against Iran with "obliterate them" language, and for not engaging Obama on the substance of issues, "she undercut the rationale for her candidacy that led this page and others to support her: that she is more qualified, right now, to be president than Obama."

This Times loss of faith in Clinton is delivered by the mothership of endorsements.

But, perhaps Maureen Dowd said it best in her Times op-ed today "Wiltling Over Waffles."

Dowd laments, "Now that Hillary has won Pennsylvania, it will take a village to help Obama escape from the suffocating embrace of his rival.... as the Democrats grow ever more desperate about the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.....

"They also cringe as Bill continues his honey-crusted-nut-bar meltdown." Once fawning Clintonistas are dumbstruck with his lounge-lizard performance and conclude.... we never really knew you, Bill.

The Times advises, "It is getting to be time for the superdelegates to do what the Democrats had in mind when they created superdelegates: settle a bloody race that cannot be won at the ballot box."

Negative-campaign-weary Democrats would thank you.... but John McCain wouldn't. Because then he would then have to defend his many preposterous policies starting with his corporate-welfare plans, explain his many flip-flops and his joined-at-the-hip continuance of The Decider's failed "with-us-or-against-us" presidency.

Superdelegates.... vote!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Billary... the "Freddy" Factor

Today Dan Balz of the Washington Post posits "8 Questions About the Pennsylvania Primary."

Balz asks in part.... what will it take to be declared the winner in Pennsylvania today... what is the most important remaining contest after Pennsylvania.... will Democratic superdelegates coalesce, or could it go to the convention?

All good questions, but perhaps the best came from Jon Stewart on his show last night.... he asked Barack Obama if he won the primaries and then the presidency, at his inauguration will Hillary Clinton still be running?

A chuckle.... but really, it's not funny. Billary's "kitchen sink" campaign reflects their desperation and inability to accept the fact that the Democratic party isn't their private sandbox, and the contest for the White House isn't Hillary's predestined coronation.

Like annoying nonstop Freddy Krueger horror sequels, Hillary won't go away.

The answer to Balz's questions is.... it doesn't matter. Hillary will declare victory in Pennsylvania and put on her Hoosier shirt and North Carolina twang for the coming May contests and keep condescendingly telling us that only she knows what's best.

What would be best for the country and the Democratic party's chance for success in November would be for Billary to put the greater good first and their selfish ambitions second. When pigs fly!

So, how to stop Billary's bloodletting so the Democratic party can reverse the consequences of Balz's eighth question.... "Has John McCain used this period effectively to get ready for the general election?" Of course he has... he's running unopposed while Obama and Hillary are engaged in unproductive and expensive postmortem primaries.

There is no way that Hillary can overtake Obama in number of states won, number of delegates selected by the voters, or the popular vote. Unless the sky falls in Pennsylvania today.... it's over.

Superdelegates..... show us why you're super. Ratify the choice of the majority of Democratic voters. Now.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Iowa's Yepsen Floats Biden for VP

Iowa's most famous political tea-leaf reader, Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen, has peered into the Democratic presidential brew and intoned.... "Consider Biden for No. 2 Spot."

What he wisely sees is that neither Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton are likely to pick the other for Vice President. Too many reckless charges have been flung about, especially from trash-talking Hillary even though it's almost a certainty that she can't.... and won't.... win the nomination.

Trash that is costing both Obama and Clinton support, support being diverted to GOP candidate John McCain who has shifted his "More Bush" road show into high gear.... unopposed.

What are Dems to do?

Turn to Senator Joe Biden, as the "perfect running mate for either Clinton or Obama".... acceptable and respected by both sides.... and McSame's nightmare road bump.

The seasoned Biden, while charming and charismatic, has the "grit and gravitas" that would cast him as the perfect campaign "pit bull." He could get in McSame's face over the war.... as the "chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he knows the difference between the Shia and the Sunni."

Biden, an acknowledged Iraq war expert on both sides of the aisle, has a strategy for how to disengage responsibly from the deadly quagmire. He's long warned that the Middle East hot spot isn't Iraq, but the mountainous western border of Pakistan, where al-Qaeda holes up and feeds its revitalized terrorist tentacles.

'Bama and Biden '08.... the perfect blending of vision and veracity.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Reich, Nunn, Boren for Obama

The headline is a simple "Obama for President."

With that, "friend of Bill" former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, announced on his
personal blog that he is throwing his support to candidate Barack Obama.

Addressing his area of expertise, Reich calls Obama's "approaches to the housing crisis and the failures of our financial markets" sounder than Hillary Clinton's.

Reich describes Obama's ideas for improving public schools as coherent and compelling, and his foreign policy as enlightened. He is taken with Obama's ability to energize those who had given up on politics.... making them active participants rather than cynical spectators, especially among the young.

And, last but not least, Reich says Obama "offers the best possibility of restoring America's moral authority in the world."

Joining Reich with their endorsements for Obama today are "two former senators with long records on foreign policy and national security issues".... Sam Nunn of Georgia and David Boren of Oklahoma. Both will be serving as advisers on Obama's national security foreign policy team. (

When will Hillary finally admit that the dust-clouds of desertions.... especially from those who know her best.... aren't the sign of a winner and finally rein in her unrealistic and destructive ambitions. Hopefully, soon.

Bush's Legacy is a "Mess"

Nothing seems to be working for The Decider.... not clutching onto the hem of popular Pope Benedict XVI, nor holding a podium-lolling Texas-cowboy press conference with Gordon Brown, the premier of staunch ally Britain. For Bubble Boy, it's just "One Thing After Another." (Froomkin-WaPo)

Regardless of these pandering PR attempts, today public opinion experts seem to agree.... Bush "has made a mess of things."

A poll conducted by the Pentagon's top military educational institute shows the public is "profoundly" unhappy about the economy and continued U.S. involvement in Iraq, calling the war a "major debacle" whose outcome "is in doubt."

And, a government audit concludes that the Bush administration lacks a comprehensive plan to combat terrorism in the part of Pakistan where Public Enemy #1 al-Qaeda is regenerating its ability to attack the U.S. (Note to John McSame and Darth Cheney.... al-Qaeda is in Pakistan, not Iraq, nor Iran.)

Just what was Boy George's view of such a dire Iraq assessment.... "So long as I'm the president, my measure of success is victory - and success."

Well.... that clears things up. Don't you feel safer now?

Pope Could Heal by Ousting Law

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI talked and prayed with five victims of clergy sex abuse after telling a crowd at the morning Mass that "No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse.... Nor can I adequately describe the damage that has occurred within the community of the Church" (WaPo)

Meanwhile, resigned Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, who shielded child abusing priests, basks in affluent and influential ease under the Vatican's protection.... allowed to retain his Cardinal's hat.

As archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Law runs one of the Eternal City's most opulent patriarchal basilicas, enjoying the favor of the Vatican and worshiping admirers. He also is on eight policy-making committees of the Curia.... the international government of the Church.... including, ironically and outrageously, the Pontifical Council for the Family!

How can a fawning media, servile President Bush and deferential politicians forget that it is the Vatican's asylumed or honored guest Law who was aware of sexual misconduct among his subordinates but engaged in elaborate efforts to cover up incident after incident.

Let's be specific, Law "admitted in a deposition that he knew that the Rev. John Geoghan had raped at least seven boys in 1984 before he approved Geoghan's transfer to another parish where other boys were at risk.

"Further disclosures revealed that the Rev. Paul Shanley, who at one point was facing trial for 10 counts of child rape and six counts of indecent assault and battery, had been moved from ministry to ministry in what amounted to an attempt to protect him. Law himself lied to a West Coast bishop about Shanley's history and certified in writing that another rapist priest, the Rev. Redmond Raux, had 'nothing in his background' to make him 'unsuitable to work with children.' " (Lithwick-Slate)

Bad enough that after Law's resignation in disgrace as archbishop of Boston that he was one of nine honored Cardinals to conduct Pope John Paul II's funeral.... actually leading the memorial Mass.... he also participated in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict.

As it turns out, Law's move to the Vatican was actually a step up, not a punishment.... he has a palatial frescoed apartment attached to the basilica, a monthly stipend of $5,000 and regularly attends diplomatic and social events. When dining out one of his favorite spots charges $60 and up for their entrees.

Law's influence on the Curia is more profound now that he can attend meetings on a regular basis and through his role in the Congregation of Bishops is one of a handful of men in charge of choosing the hierarchy of the American church.

Law's continued preferential treatment by Popes John Paul and Benedict is the true measure of their sorrow over the disgusting crimes against children. By such preferential treatment it appears the more important part of Benedict's apology spurring his visit rests in.... "the damage that has occurred within the community of the Church."

Stripping Law of his place of privilege, power and ease within the Vatican would be a more believable, and healing, atonement.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

ABC: Ambush 'Bama Club

ABC News, Charlie "Gotcha" Gibson, and George "Step-on-neck"-opoulos delivered the worst presidential debate forum yet to news-as-entertainment-weary voters just looking for answers to the crippling Bush baggage they and the nation are dragging around after nearly 8 years of crass ineptness.

There should have been an opening bell to start the "Battle of Baggage" (Collins-NYTimes).... a bare-knuckle ambush of Barack Obama, with gleeful low blows from Hillary Clinton.

In the first 52 minutes of "the 24th debate Wednesday night, the Democratic candidates for president tossed personal baggage back and forth" with Obama being the main target of moderators Gibson and Stephanopoulos who dredged up already chewed-over campaign gaffes and by-association assaults for trip-up points.

Gibson's pushy role of bully-in-the-schoolyard.... while "I'm here too" George piled on.... was gutter spectator sport at the country's expense. Voters deserve more.

ABC News should be ashamed. A once-great news organization has proven to be just Another Big Corporation out to sensationalize, not illuminate, the national political discourse.

Collins says of the media trash-fest .... "You were all excited about this election and now you feel like someone who got all dressed up for a great event and wound up at a B-list party with a cash bar. You never want to hear the words "bitter" or "Bosnia" again."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

McCain: $ave the Corporations!

Yesterday GOP presidential nominee John McCain offered his prescription for solving the devastating economic problems facing working-class Americans.

Spur corporate growth.

Yep.... he's offering more corporate welfare.

In what McSame terms his most comprehensive economic plan to date, he proposes to slash corporate income tax rates by 10%, and offers a grab bag of other business benefits. write offs for the cost of new equipment and technology and a permanent tax credit for R&D. He would suspend the federal gasoline taxes for the summer driving season.... taxes which maintain a highway system already on life support.

And, in what McSame calls his "middle-class tax cut," a repeal of the alternative minimum tax. A tax paid by 43 million taxpayers of which 93 percent earn between $200,000 and $1 million. This is McCain's definition of the working middle-class?

And.... no surprise.... he'll make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

You can read the ugly details here, "McCain's Plan for Working Class Offers Plenty for Corporate World." (WaPo)

Just what will McSame's proposals cost in tax revenue a year.... McSame's estimate is about $200 billion, which he said would be offset by avoiding Congressional earmarks, growth in the economy and other unnamed sources.

Savings on earmarks is like turning off the night light to lower your electric bill.

Total Congressional earmarks for fiscal year 2008 numbered 11,780 worth 18.3 billion.... a 23% cut in earmarks from the FY 2005 high.

So, this leaves $181.7 billion from voodoo sources to cover the revenue shortfall.... sure. That's going to happen. This is Bush redux. Nothing more than a rehash of the Decider's failed economic policies with tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporations.

And don't forget, McSame has declared he's keeping troops in Iraq.... a monstrously costly occupation literally breaking our economic back.

One thing McSame has told us that we can take to the bank.... he doesn't know much about the economy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

McCain - Hillary '08!

There are few things more dangerous than a woman scorned.

Hillary Clinton is a woman scorned by a majority of Democrats.

She's mad and she isn't going down quietly, or alone.

Her attacks on her Democratic primary opponent, Barack Obama, are music to GOP nominee John McCain's ears as "McCain Echoes Clinton's Attacks." (WaPo)

At a gathering of newspaper editors and executives in D.C., McCain criticized Obama's "bitter" remarks with the Clintonesque characterization of their being "a contradiction from what I believe America is all about."

In her bid to sway superdelegates, Hillary has taken the gloves off to show Obama as unelectable. It's a strategy that doesn't seem to be scoring points.

Rep. Mike Doyle (D) an undecided superdelegate who represents Pittsburgh and the surrounding Monongahela Valley, said he wasn't troubled by Obama comments.

"I don't disagree with a lot of what he said. My dad was a mill worker. My grandfather was a steel mill worker, and when the steel industry collapsed, nobody's family was hurt more than mine," Doyle said. "It's not inaccurate to say a lot of politicians have come through these towns, made a lot of promises and failed to deliver. I thought he was spot-on when he said how people feel."

Doyle added that the endorsement yesterday by Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney "carries a hell of a lot more weight" than the dustup over his comments about small-town residents.

Another uncommitted Democratic superdelegate from North Carolina, Rep. David E. Price (D), is frustrated with Hillary for the potential damage she has inflicted.

"Senator Obama could have chosen better words, but it seems to me that he's stating the obvious," Price said. "People are feeling a great deal of economic stress, anxiety, and there is a certain amount of anger out there.... I think it's most unfortunate that opponents simply pounce, particularly opponents in his own party."

Of course, there could be a simple explanation for Hillary's scorched-earth campaign against Obama while she names McCain as ready to lead.... maybe this $100+ million scold is angling to be McCain's Vice President.

The thought gives new meaning John, run....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hillary... Annie or Teresa?

Hillary Clinton didn't suspend her attack on Barack Obama, even at the nationally televised forum on religious and moral values last night.... "Obama Reinforcing Stereotypes, Clinton Asserts." (WaPo)

Hillary, the first to appear in separate 45-minute sessions answering questions from journalists and the audience, was quick to label Obama's recent description of small-town America.... where voters are bitter and cling to guns and religion, disillusioned by hard economic times and politicians who promise much but deliver little.... as reinforcing the stereotype of "out of touch" Democrats.

Comparing Obama to the failed Democratic presidential nominees Al Gore and John Kerry, Hillary asserted that "large segments of the electorate concluded that they did not really understand or relate to or frankly respect their ways of life" and again charged Obama as being "elitist.... and frankly patronizing."

Speaking of patronizing.... switching from her recent persona of a duck-hunting, shot-belting Annie Oakley to Mother Teresa when queried on religious subjects, Hillary's eyes-imploring-heaven, breathy replies to religious questions sounded contrived.

Rather than appearing as a Mother Teresa, Hillary, in her flared gold jacket and enveloping gold scarf, managed a closer likeness to a Buddha bobblehead.

Obama by contrast spoke thoughtfully.... without theatrical affectation.... in measured tones emphasizing his experience as a community organizer with Chicago churches, assisting workers of a steel plant that had just closed.

He walked "the uplifting peoples lives" walk. Answering the "elitist" charge, he said: "Religion is a bulwark, a foundation when other things aren't going well.... That's true in my own life.... what I was referring to was in no way demeaning a faith that I, myself, embrace."

Responding to Hillary's jab on the failed 2000 Democratic presidential campaign Obama noted, "By the way, I have to say, I think Al Gore won."

Tired of her relentless and reckless barrage of personal attacks, Obama commented to a working-class crowd at a union hall shortly before the forum that he expected such attacks from the Republican John McCain, but not a fellow Democrat.

"Shame on her. She knows better.... She's talking like she's Annie Oakley.... Hillary Clinton is out there like she's in the duck blind every Sunday," mocked Obama who laughed "She's packing a six-shooter.... That's some politics being played."

In the forum, Clinton declined repeatedly to describe her personal faith, instead falling back on "the way I was raised," implying it's too private a matter. However, earlier in the day, the opportunely-pious Hillary seemed frustrated when asked when she had last attended church or fired a gun.

"That is not a relevant question for this debate," Clinton said. "We can answer that some other time. I went to church on Easter.... "

But she shot the Easter bunny first.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hillary: Whiskey Woman

Hillary Clinton's latest campaign persona.... "Pistol packin' mama."

Besides chambering her Annie-shoots-a-gun prowess, she's keeping Barack Obama in her campaign-spin cross hairs, determined to frame him as an elitist while she's the good time Charlie, just one of the boys.

One of the boys like Frat Boy Bush.... voters thought they would like to have a beer with him. We all know how that turned out.

Now Hillary is drawing a bead on the vote of Joe Six Pack.... this "$100 million mama" wants us to believe her usual Saturday night is belting back shots of Crown Royal with beer and pizza as she did at Bronko's Lounge in Crown Point, Indiana last night. (ABC News)

So....... this morning at 3 a.m. we know where Hillary is.... sleeping it off.

Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring......

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The "Do as I Say" Boycott....

Thanks go to Carlson at the Washington Post.

Getting to the Heart of "Bitter"

Bitter?.... watching our best and brightest secreted home from Iraq in coffins in the "dark of sight".... watching our government give tax breaks to companies shipping our jobs overseas and bailing out usurious investment banks while letting mortgage holders go under....

Watching our infrastructure crumble as we pour hundreds of billions into the oil-rich Middle East as costs for home heating fuel and at the gas pumps soar.... watching as our economy collapses under the weight of reckless government spending while pushing through tax breaks for the rich as besieged workers lose their jobs, their pensions and their health care.

You bet there's bitterness!... but Barack Obama is being tag-teamed by the "$100 million gal" Hillary Clinton and "100 years in Iraq" John McCain for stating truth to their good-ol'-boy "give them cake" mentality, a mentality they are trying to enshrine once again by killing the messenger who dares challenge their power-centric status quo.

Obama's message: "our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.

"And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

He later explained, "I didn't say it as well as I should have because the truth is that these traditions that sustain us from generation to generation are important."

The GOP rushed to pounce on the remarks as "an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking." McCain's campaign went so far as to accuse Obama of thinking "he knows your hopes and fears better than you do. You can't be more out of touch than this." (WaPo)

Obama's campaign took up the challenge, "if John McCain wants a debate about who's out of touch with the American people, we can start by talking about the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that he once said offended his conscience but now wants to make permanent."

After Obama stood his ground and defended his remarks the Clinton campaign piled on... "Instead of apologizing for offending small town America, Senator Obama chose to repeat and embrace the comments he made earlier this week. It's unfortunate that Senator Obama didn't say he was sorry for what he said." Guess raising the curtain for a peek at the Clinton administration failures upset the Billary wizard.

With complicit negative media saturation, Obama is reaping the swiftboat-whirlwind for giving voice to the frustrations of the American people, and yes, the bitterness of many.

It's not that Obama is out of touch, it's that he's touched a nerve.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A REAL Presidential Library

For the last ten years, a small group of rare book experts has sought to re-create Thomas Jefferson's library... which was the foundation for the Library of Congress, although two-thirds of the volumes were lost in a fire in 1851.

Tomorrow the recollected library, over 6,000 volumes of originals and replacements, will go on display at the LOC looking much as it would have 200 years ago.

"The leather-bound tomes on topics as varied as whist, beekeeping and philosophy were... brought to Monticello to help fulfill Jefferson's vow to amass the whole of human knowledge."

This accumulated knowledge attest to Jefferson's thirst for knowledge, and support the toast President John Kennedy made at a dinner he hosted for Nobel Prize winners in 1962 where he observed, "Never has there been so much collective intelligence in this room, since Jefferson dined here alone."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Iowa: Gateway to the White House

Where did Hillary's inevitable coronation become a donnybrook? Her stately campaign-march to Denver an anything-goes Mad Max fender-bender? Her unquestioned entitlement an increasingly impossible slog through Obama lands?.....

It's Iowa.... Iowa.... as in "Where did the tables turn?" where Roger Simon of Politico autopsies Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

As Simon dissects the remains of Hillary's once unassailable nomination, he names the main cause of the demise of her White House hopes, "Iowa is where Clinton needed to strangle the Barack Obama campaign in its crib."

Instead, she crossed the finish line in Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus a panting third after Obama and John Edwards, handicapped by her yesteryear campaign strategy of ignoring young voters "who simply don't vote".... but did vote in droves for Obama. And, with no idea going forward of what to do against the then-credible and well-funded Obama phenomena.

And, because the Obama campaign focus on Iowa wasn't a dismissive "gateway to New Hampshire," organizational-effort like Clinton's, who tried to ride to victory on her Billary-powered showboat.

As Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod said this week.... "Iowa was our gateway to the nomination."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

General Advises.... Keep Paying

Casualties of a civil war.... "Violence Kills 16 in Iraq's Sadr City." (WaPo)

"Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen clashed Wednesday in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, where attacks killed 16 people".... seven of the victims in Sadr City, including three children, died when projectiles slammed into a house in the sprawling slum stronghold of the Mahdi army militia. Twenty seven people were wounded.

"A mortar shell crashed into a nearby residential area in the district, killing seven people and wounding 36 others..... At least 12 American service members have died in Iraq since Sunday, and the shelling of the Green Zone has become almost a daily occurrence."

Wednesday.... "tribesmen who broke with al Qaeda and now work with the Americans have assassinated at least six freed prisoners in Haditha." These tribesmen are paid by the United States to form "awakening councils.... a key element of the U.S. strategy to pacify Sunni areas."

Meanwhile.... Army Gen. David Petraeus testifies before Senate and House committees on Wednesday and Thursday on the progress of the Iraq war "surge", calling security in Iraq "significantly better.... but still fragile and reversible." (WaPo)

Arguing to continue in Iraq without withdrawing forces that would jeopardize the "progress" of the past year, Petraeus said, "We've got to continue. We have our teeth into the jugular, and we need to keep it there."

What the White House, and their message-bearer general, fail to comprehend... or can't admit because of the political fallout.... is that Iraq has it's teeth in the lifeblood of our depleted and overextended military and the jugular of our hemorrhaging economy.

We can't "win" their civil war. Staying really means we just keep paying.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

McCain: Repeat After Joe Slowly....

Where is Joe Lieberman?.... calling Joe Lieberman.... bring your McCain flash cards!

Today in the hearing with General David Petraeus on the Iraq war, John McCain.... trying to sound very solemn and probing.... asked the General: "Do you still view al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?"

The General replied: "It is still a major threat, though it is certainly not as major a threat as it was say 15 months ago."


Of course, every second-grader knows that the al Qaeda are rabidly Sunni.

A moment later Lieberman's whispered lessons seemed to kick in and McCain mumbled: "Or Sunnis or anybody else."

But the mindset was there. In cement. Those rascally al Qaeda "sect of Shiites."

Campaign Portends Governance

Thought for the day.... heck, the entire campaign season! "Presidents tend to govern the way they campaigned." Great insight from Peter Beinart in "Obama at the Helm." (WaPo)

Beinart opines that Hillary Clinton goes after Barack Obama by asking of his experience "whether he's too green." If Obama is the nominee, John McSame will take up the same banner. But Obama can point to something more germane: "the way he's run his campaign."

Jimmy Carter ran as a "moralizing outsider in 1976" and governed as an outsider to the Washington establishment he distrusted. "Ronald Reagan's campaign looked harsh on paper, but warm and fuzzy on TV."

Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign was "brilliant and chaotic, with a penchant for near-death experiences. And the 2000 Bush campaign.... disciplined, hierarchical, loyal and ruthless."

OK.... Beinart makes the case.... a candidate's campaign presages how they will govern.

So we come to the current crop of presidential wanna-bes. McCain's campaign was a "top-heavy, slow-moving, money-hemorrhaging Hindenburg that eventually exploded, leaving the Arizona senator to resurrect his bankrupt candidacy through sheer force of will.

"Clinton's campaign has been marked by vicious infighting and organizational weakness, as manifested by her terrible performance in caucus states.

"Obama's, by contrast, has been an organizational wonder, the political equivalent of crossing a Lamborghini with a Hummer."

The key to Obama's successful campaign may be that it "married Web energy with professional control. It has used the Web masterfully" but unlike John Dean's 2004 manic approach, "sees it as a tool, not a philosophy of life."

And, should Obama become our next president, it will be his amazing capacity to communicate and inspire that will mobilize the energy needed to turn the country from the path of a chaotic and ruthless past, to "fuse exuberance with discipline".... toward a future with the "audacity of hope" and accomplishment.

Monday, April 07, 2008

More Hillary Hoodwinking....

You know how Hillary Clinton repeatedly said she dodged sniper fire in Bosnia at a tarmac reception.

Well.... no sniper, just a stop with Chelsea in tow where Hillary schmoozed and accepted a poem and hug from a child.

Only when video of the event surfaced showing her version was pure invention did she admit she "misspoke" (WaPo).... even though the misspeak was included in prepared, written and vetted remarks.

You've heard Hillary tell the story of the poor uninsured woman in Ohio who was refused treatment at a hospital (NYTimes) leading to the woman's miscarriage and death.

Well.... it turns out the woman was insured and wasn't refused treatment. Even after Hillary's campaign had reason to know the story was false, she continued to use it on campaign stops.

In worker-decimated Ohio Hillary touted how she did, and still does, oppose the trade agreement NAFTA. was later revealed she was a leading advocate for the agreement when Bill was president.

Hillary has also said she is against the Bush-promoted pending trade agreement with Colombia.

Well... her campaign's chief strategist and long-time Clinton insider Mark Penn "has asked to give up his role" because the Wall Street Journal surfaced last week that Penn, as president of his public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, had met with Colombia's ambassador to the United States to discuss the promotion of the free-trade agreement. (WaPo)

The Colombia government "hired Penn's lobbying firm last year under a $300,000 one-year contract to help secure passage" of the trade pact. (NYTimes)

Of course, the Clinton campaign has denied knowing about this conflict of interest, even though the agreement was a year old and in the news at least a month ago.... and, it's not the first time such a Penn conflict of interest has come to Hillary's attention.

Union leaders have long complained about Penn. The Change to Win, a federation of labor unions including the service workers SEIU and the Teamsters, have called for Hillary to fire Penn for his representation of union busting employers like Cintas.

Even old Clinton loyalist Leon Panetta complains of Penn's role in the Clinton campaign, comparing him to Bush's "Turd Blossom" saying Penn "comes from an old school, like Karl Rove...." (Observer)

So Penn's gone. Right?

Well.... while Penn ducks for cover and Clinton says she is furious with Penn, his polling firm will continue providing polling and he will continue to advise the Clinton campaign.

And, while Colombia's President Uribe is lauded as the friend of the U.S. in Latin America.... as The Decider today pushes forward the trade pact legislation.... Uribe is in truth the emblem of narco-corruption and violent repression of unions although both the Bush and Clinton administrations have turned a blind eye to his brutal dictatorship.

Bill Clinton is still chummy with Colombia's Uribe. Last June Bill was "honored" with the country's "Colombia is Passion" award.

And, last September Bill hosted Uribe as a "featured attendee" at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York although Al Gore cancelled has appearance at a Miami conference because he didn't want to share a podium with Uribe, the hemisphere's poster boy for state-sponsored terrorism. (DailyKos)

As always with the Clintons, things aren't as they want you to believe when they're telling the story. This latest Penn/Colombia-gate dustup is just another fog in the long litany of Billary winks-and-nods.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Iraq War... Check the Expiration Date!

As public opinion increasingly sours on the war in Iraq, the war itself is fast approaching it's expiration date.... it will become illegal on January 1, 2009. (WaPo)

There are two conditions which must be met to continue the war..... defense of the national security, and enforcement of relevant UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

The first condition was met when Saddam's "security threat" government was overthrown in 2003.

And, the most recent UN resolution regarding Iraq expires on December 31, and "the administration has announced that it will not seek one for 2009. Instead, it is now negotiating a bilateral agreement with the Iraqi government to replace the UN mandate."

But, the Bush administration isn't going to submit this new agreement to Congress, they are going to try to substitute the Iraqi government's consent for the Constitutionally-required consent of the U.S. Congress.

The many maneuvers the White House is employing to bypass Congress is nothing short of "lawless unilateralism".... and just the latest arrogant abuse by The Decider of what he calls "just a piece of paper".... our Constitution.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It's 3 a.m. in Billaryland

It's clear the steady drip, drip, drip of Barack Obama endorsements are driving Billary around the bend.

Bill Clinton's red-faced rants, Clintonite James Carville's "Judas" jab at Obama supporter Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, and Hillary's heartstring-thrumming rallies complete with warmed-over Ronald Reagan stories.... no tactic is too bizzare or contrived as they attempt to lure voters and superdelegates into their web, still....

Another governor and superdelegate, Wyoming's Dave Freudenthal.... a former Clinton appointee.... announced yesterday that he will support Sen. Barack Obama. Freudenthal spent time with both Clinton and Obama when they came to Wyoming, "but Obama struck him as 'incredibly smart' and someone who gives honest answers instead of scripted responses."

And, yet another Obama endorsement yesterday came from well-respected former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, the top Democrat on the September 11 Commission. This endorsement is timely as Indiana will be holding their primary in a few weeks.

Obama's delegate lead is steadily growing to unassailable numbers. It's 3 a.m. in the Hillary campaign.... when will she hang it up?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

McCain's Shadow....

Munich Security Conference of 2006. John McCain was conferring with the foreign minister of Germany when....

"McCain 'started shaking and rising out of his chair," said one participant, a former senior diplomatic official who related the anecdote on condition of anonymity. "He said something like: 'I haven't come to Munich to hear this kind of crap.' " McCain's old pal Joe Lieberman jumped in. "Lieberman, who reads him very well, put his hand on McCain's arm and said gently, 'John, I think there's been a problem in the translation.' Of course Lieberman doesn't speak German and there hadn't been any problem in the translation.... It was just John's explosive temper." (Newsweek)

Fast forward to McCain's visit two weeks ago to the Middle East when he mistakenly said Iran was training al Qaeda in Iraq. Always-there-Joe quickly whispered in McCain's ear that Iran was accused of training fellow Shiite extremists, not their archenemies the Sunni al Qaeda.

At many McCain campaign stops, Lieberman is onstage with a microphone also fielding questions, sometimes holding forth longer than McCain. The Joe-and-John show arrived at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall in matching yarmulkes, and were decked out like teeny-bopper twins in matching suit-and-red-sweater combos at a snowy New Hampshire town hall meeting.

It's obvious, Lieberman, Democratic VP candidate to Al Gore in 2000, now an Independent after being shown the door by Democrats in Connecticut.... is McCain's ever-present minder.

Like a slick mob consigliere, Lieberman is there to smooth things over and rescue McCain when he strays off the farm.... which happens quite often. Maybe a choleric 70 plus is....

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bush Damns Us All

This is especially for those of you who say words don't matter when referring to the stirring words of Barack Obama. Or, that words do matter when referring to those of his pastor Wright who damns America in a sermon.

Following are some words for you to contemplate:

November 2005.... the White House was trying to renew the controversial USA Patriot Act. GOP leaders told George Bush that his push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at him for his attempt to install Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court.

"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!" (Capitol Hill Blue)

This was reported by Doug Thompson who said "I've talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution 'a goddamned piece of paper.' " Thomson's report hasn't been discredited.

And.... these damning words weren't the words of Bush's pastor, or an advisor.... these are the unfiltered, willful beliefs of The Decider.