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Archive for May 27th, 2008

Biden Positions Himself for Secretary of State

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Biden Positions Himself for Secretary of State
Sen. Joe Biden “was going to be John Kerry’s secretary of State,” according to Newsweek.  At least that’s what his aides were led to believe before Kerry lost the election.

“Now Biden, who has been to foreign policy in the Senate what Ted Kennedy has been to domestic policy (almost anyway!), is emerging as a major consigliere to Barack Obama — perhaps with his eye on State once again.”

“Among the top items on Biden’s agenda: making sure that Obama has better luck in November than Kerry did. That means, first, relentlessly attacking and counterattacking the Republicans on the campaign trail, especially on national-security issues. And, second, relentlessly defining John McCain as ‘joined at the hip’ to Bush, as Biden put it in a speech in Washington on Tuesday.”

True to the script, Biden appeared on various talk shows over the weekend and declared, “This administration is the worst administration in American foreign policy in modern history, maybe ever.”


A Look Around News Round-Up

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

A Look Around News Round-Up
Thought I’d catch up on a bit of blog and news reading, and take everyone along for the ride: Sean Reagan dipped his toe into the flip-flopping waters of McCain. And it’s quite an interesting glimpse below the surface. Speaking of McCain, the NYTimes reports some panic among the GOP upper crusts….

Thought I’d catch up on a bit of blog and news reading, and take everyone along for the ride:

Sean Reagan dipped his toe into the flip-flopping waters of McCain. And it’s quite an interesting glimpse below the surface.

— Bush? Underwhelming. Very, very underwhelming. Sen. McCain, meet your campaign anchorman…

— Speaking of McCain, the NYTimes reports some panic among the GOP upper crusts. And lays the blame at the feet of the “lobbying labyrinth” of McCain campaign personnel. Gee, who could have seen that coming, I wonder? Is it me, or do you already sense the ground being laid for the “it’s not the GOP’s fault for all of this stinking failure, blame McCain”?

Digby calls bullshit on the “don’t blame Republicans, just blame McCain” theory, and adds fuel to the conservatism as failure fire, while tristero sounds a well-considered note of caution.

— For more on “conservatism as failure,” take a gander at the new privatizing your public transportation just as gas reaches $4 a gallon nationwide rules. And then go read “Shock Doctrine” again. Jeebus, there is nothing that cannot be cannibalized for conservative crony profit, is there?

Sommerby hits the nail on the media head when it comes to bias. And then Jamo hits it out of the park regarding CNN:

But there’s another problem with Castellanos’ appearances as a CNN contributor: Castellanos is actively advising John McCain’s presidential campaign.

On March 25, washingtonpost.com’s Chris Cillizza reported that Castellanos is a member of the “McCain Ad Council” — a “group of advisers … [who] will serve as outside thinkers and strategists to the [McCain] media effort.”

Not only has CNN hired Castellanos as a contributor despite his history of racially inflammatory ads, CNN has not disclosed the strategist’s relationship with the McCain campaign during his appearances — even when he favorably compares McCain to Obama.

“Most trusted name in news,” my ass. And for more media failure, see Timmeh.

Al Giordano has a bit of “war room” news from John Edwards — intriguing.

This on social networks is fascinating.

— Thought I’d share a link for some healthy recipes for your BBQ/picnic.

— Go read Susie.

Swopa has some Sistani news — can you say “ouch” and “failure to plan”? I thought you could.

— I’m linking Hilzoy’s fantastic piece on McCain’s veterans benefits flipflops again. Really good stuff.

(The Bangles “Hazy Shade Of Winter” — felt like a good day for kitschy, kicky tunes. Do share what you are listening to…)



Obama On Puerto Rico, Status And “Enhanced Autonomy”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Obama On Puerto Rico, Status And “Enhanced Autonomy”

Here is my translation of portions of this interview of Barack Obama by the Puerto Rico newspaper El Nuevo Dia:

Q: Hillary Clinton promised that she would work to provide Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico [those living in one of the 50 states or in DC already can vote for President since they are US citizens. If US citizens from the US moved to Puerto Rico, they would lose the right to vote for President] the right to vote for President. do you agree with this position?

OBAMA: This would need to be resolved as part of a general solution to the status problem. If we are sending Puerto Ricans to war, they need to have more representation in Washington. But of course I can not make any promises, if the status issue is not resolved. Sen. Clinton needs to explain to you how she would acquire this right for Puerto Ricans without dealing with the US Congress.

Q: Do you think Puerto Rico is a colony? . . .

OBAMA: The relationship between the US and Puerto Rico is complicated. Puerto Ricans have good reasons for feeling resentful that they have to carry out their obligations as American citizens while on some occasions not having the privileges of US citizenship. For example, the [lack of] representation in Congress. That is a very important reason why the status issue must be resolved. And I want to work with leaders from both sides and with the Congress to commence a process of self determination.

Q: What powers of autonomy could a Puerto Rican government have under an Obama Presidency [NOTE: The issue of “enhanced autonomy” is a hot subject in Puerto Rico, particularly in the PDP, the Commonwealth Party, which has long defended the current status. Recently, the consensus in the PDP has been formed that the current status is not acceptable and that “enhanced autonomy” must be achieved.]?

OBAMA: I can not answer that question until you Puerto Ricans decide. My opinion is that Puerto Ricans, as well as being proud of being American citizens are also proud of being Puerto Ricans. The government of Puerto Rico should have the autonomy to make decisions on its economy, education and health care policy. It is also true that Puerto Ricans receive aid from the United States government regarding housing, education and in other areas. The criteria to use for spending these funds in Puerto Rico should be the same as in the [50] states. The most important principle is that Puerto Rico should be respected and treated equally to any state when we are speaking of governmental powers. The states have individual powers, their governments can do many things that the federal government can not. There is much to legislate, but the decisions made in Puerto Rico must be respected as in any state.

[An aside. Interesting to see Obama such a proponent of federalism Scalia style. I wonder that the Right blogs have not picked up on this quote.]

Q: Bill Clinton granted executive clemency to 12 Puerto Rican political prisoners in 2000. Would you act similarly with three prisoners currently in US prisons (Haydeé Beltrán, Oscar López and Carlos Alberto Torres)?

OBAMA: I would have to review the different cases before making any decision or providing any answer because it is very important that when a President uses the powers of clemency that you review each case individually and not as a group.

END OF TRANSLATION.

Pretty standard fare but I was struck by two things. First, that the Commonwealth Party did not get more out of Obama in terms of a commitment towards “enhanced autonomy” – their new rallying cry ideologically. And second, I was surprised to see his embrace of the “federalism” views of the Right. I think he was trying to signal that being treated “like a state” is the equivalent of enhanced autonomy. I do not know if that sold. Or perhaps it was a pitch to statehooders. Either way, it was a bit confusing.

Other than that, pretty standard blather I thought.

By Big Tent Democrat


Late Night

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Late Night
Rock on.

Oil At $133
WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Canadian Research Challenges Coventional Wisdom on Terror; Finds ‘Expert Consensus Probably Misleading’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Canadian Research Challenges Coventional Wisdom on Terror; Finds ‘Expert Consensus Probably Misleading’
A comprehensive new study challenges the expert consensus that global terrorism is increasing.

New Mexico’s Medical Marijuana Law Is Working, But Still Has Some Kinks
Issues remain over production and distribution.


Obama Gets First Super-Dels This Morning

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Obama Gets First Super-Dels This Morning
As he inches his way closer and closer to the nomination, Barack Obama starts off the morning with the first super-delegates announced today. Obama was endorsed by three supers from Hawaii: State party chair Brian Schatz, vice chair Kari Luna,…


Rove’s Non-Denial Denial

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Rove’s Non-Denial Denial
On This Week this morning George Stephanopoulos asked Karl Rove if he denied contacting the Justice Department prosecuting former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. He responded with a textbook non-denial denial. Here’s the video … (ed.note: Special thanks to TPM Reader…


McCain’s really bad week

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

McCain’s really bad week

What an interesting and downright confusing week for John McCain’s political campaign. I’m not sure that there was any good news that came out of Senator McCain’s camp this week. As a matter of fact, this week reminded me of Rudy Giuliani’s worst week of a political campaign that I have ever seen.

  • Reverend Rod Parsley, a television evangelist, endorsed John McCain several months ago. John McCain sought out the endorsement of Reverend John Hagee. Both of these men, who they know to say some very outlandish things, were jettisoned by the McCain campaign this week. It is funny and interesting that John McCain embraced these religious leaders during the Republican primary but is now rejecting them for the general eleciton.
  • Senator McCain’s medical records were almost released. 1176 pages were given to a selected group of reporters for them to review for three hours. I don’t think that anyone should of been surprised when the verdict was John McCain is in good health. In a 71-year-old man who’s had malignant melanoma lesions removed from three portions of his body, I would need further evidence that he is truly good health.
  • In the early portion of the week John McCain painted a picture for us of what the year 2013 might look like — “By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq war has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs, but it is sporadic and much reduced.” Reporters, and everyone in the world, thought that McCain was setting a deadline. He spent the next 24 hours explaining why his speech did not really set a deadline. Let’s not be fooled, this speech was given to combat his earlier statements that we should be there or could be there for a hundred years.
  • Several lobbyists (high ranking campaign staffers) in McCain’s campaign “resigned” this week. It was almost another day and another lobbyist hits the bricks. It hard to rail against lobbyists and Washington Insiders when your campaign staff is packed with lobbyists.
  • Finally, the GI Bill easily passed the House and Senate. John McCain somehow couldn’t support this bill. McCain’s friend and chief mouth piece on Capital Hill, Lindsey Graham argued against passage of the bill stating that the bill was “too generous.”


First MLK grandchild born

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:31 am by HL

First MLK grandchild born
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — The first grandchild of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born Sunday in Atlanta. Martin Luther King III’s wife Andrea Waters King gave birth to a girl on Sunday. The girl, named Yolanda Renee King, is the daughter of Martin Luther King III and his wife, Arndrea Waters King, the family said in a statement.


McCain afraid of being seen with Bush tomorrow.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2008 4:30 am by HL

McCain afraid of being seen with Bush tomorrow.
The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler writes that President Bush and John McCain’s joint fund-raiser in Phoenix tomorrow will be the “first time in three months” the two will be seen together. But the McCain campaign is trying its hardest to ensure cameras don’t capture the moment: The pair will be seen together before TV cameras […]

The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler writes that President Bush and John McCain’s joint fund-raiser in Phoenix tomorrow will be the “first time in three months” the two will be seen together. But the McCain campaign is trying its hardest to ensure cameras don’t capture the moment:

bush2.jpgThe pair will be seen together before TV cameras only fleetingly, at the airport as Mr. Bush departs on Air Force One, and there are no plans for either to formally say anything. […]

A senior adviser to Sen. McCain said the campaign considered the risk of having the candidate appear with the president at all but concluded there was no way to avoid it given that the event was in Sen. McCain’s home state.

A McCain adviser underscored that “the time Sen. McCain spends with the president will be limited.”

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