Nov 302007
 

giuliani001.jpgOne of the great mysteries of this century, thus far, is how Rudy Giuliani is currently leading the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. He is, after all, in favor of a woman’s right to control her own body, sensible gun control and equal rights for gay people — all of which the Republican party adamantly opposes. He is also a confessed adulterer (and accused embezzler), which in and of itself should take him off the radar of the “party of family values.” Yet, despite all this, he is the Republican front-runner. Go figure.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Please, please, Republicans… nominate this guy!

Right Wing News blogger John Hawkins doesn’t seem to agree…

Rudy Giuliani Would Be Our Bill Clinton

Perhaps the biggest oddity of the Republican primary season so far has been that GOP voters keep saying that they want another Reagan, the candidates keep comparing themselves to Reagan at every opportunity, and yet the man who is leading in the national polls, Rudy Giuliani, is about as far apart from Reagan as it’s possible to get ideologically while still remaining in the Republican Party. Rudy Giuliani is no Reagan. What he is, and what he would be if he gets the nomination, is our Bill Clinton.

Consider a few things.

Yes, Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury, not for having an affair, but conservatives relentlessly bashed Bill Clinton throughout the nineties for cheating on his wife and degrading the office. Well, morally Rudy Giuliani is every bit as sleazy as Bill Clinton.

He has been married 3 times, which could be forgivable in a President, but he also cheated on his second wife with his current wife, Judith Nathan, and announced his separation from wife number two, Donna Hanover, to her and the world at the same time at a press conference.

This has seldom been discussed during the primary season, which is rather bizarre given that the biggest knock against Newt Gingrich that I heard when he was thinking about running — from the readers on my blog and other bloggers privately — was that they were disgusted by his affairs and shabby treatment of his former wife. Yet Rudy, whose Clintonesque private behavior is every bit as appalling as Newt’s, has gotten a pass on the issue.

Folks, if you think that nominating a man as sleazy as Rudy isn’t going to come back and bite the GOP in the general election after the way we complained about Clinton during the nineties, you’re kidding yourself. Moreover, if you think it’s out of the realm of possibility that Giuliani would diddle some intern in a back office somewhere once he got out from under the watchful gaze of his wife, you’re giving him way too much credit. Any man who will cheat on his second wife will cheat on his third wife, too, if the opportunity presents itself…

Long story short, conservatives who are backing Rudy should go into it “eyes wide open” and understand exactly what they’re getting. They’re getting a Republican Bill Clinton: an ethically compromised candidate that Republicans will constantly have to apologize for and who is destined to disappoint conservatives either by losing in 2008 or by winning and then opposing us on many of the issues we care about most once he gets into office.

For the record, I’ve always rather liked Bill Clinton. Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, is a phony and dishonest blow-hard. And I sure hope the Republicans nominate him in 2008. (He has a considerable lead in our current poll (in the column to your left).)

Nov 302007
 

Once again it is Friday night, and once again we present our collection the week’s best political and editorial cartoons. Click on any image to view it full size. You may also view a slide show by clicking on a cartoon and using the controls that will appear at the bottom of your browser window. Enjoy.

ariail112707.jpg  bagley112707.jpg

combs112707.jpg  crowson12907.jpg

englehart112807.jpg  judge112807.jpg

judge112907.jpg  luckovich112507.gif

luckovich112807.gif  plante112407.jpg

powell112807.jpg  sack112807.jpg

siers112707.jpg  thompson112707.jpg

beeler113007.gif  heller113007.gif

And finally, Tom Toles takes his own newspaper to task for what has to be the worst example of yellow journalism I have seen in years…

toles113007.gif

As always, our thanks to the talented cartoonists who help us smile through the pain.

Nov 302007
 

A man armed with what he claims to be a bomb has taken hostages at the Clinton campaign offices in Rochester, New Hampshire.

Mrs. Clinton has canceled her address to the DNC meeting in Virginia this afternoon.

Updates and live video feed here.

Some comments from the right:

“Obama’s campaign office is two doors down. They released a statement saying all of their personel are safe and they have nothing to do with the bomb or the bitch.”

“For all we know Hillary walked in with bed head and they thought it was a madman.”

“You may be right, the statement from the Obama campaign originally said “nappy headed ho” but was revised for sensitivity reasons.”

“I wonder if the hostage situation will come to and end if Osamabama agrees to take a back seat to Hillary?”

“I sure hope it’s a democrat causing the fuss.”

“The bomber is now demanding to talk to Hillary or he’ll blow himself up. Wow, he is misguided. I’d have demanded she shut up.”

“Clinton campaign is now calling for all the troops to be pulled out of New Hampshire.”

“I just can’t help wondering if this isn’t another “plant”, designed to garner sympathy for Hillary. The democrats, Clintons in particular, are well known for doing anything … anything … to win.”

“I hope the hostages are OK, even if they are working for Satan.

The bomber, well he can save all of us taxpayer a big sum of dough and detonate.”

“Doesnt the nutjob realize that blowing up Hillary isnt going to make America go after him except to pin a medal to his chest?”

“Given the reputation of Conniving Calculating Cackling Clinton, odds are 80-20 that this is a staged event for publicity. Rumor has it the hostage taker is the same gay general that Conniving planted on the CNN Youtube #### debate.”

“Just trying t keep America safe from Osama Bin Barack and Hillary. Give him a break”

Then there was this bit of “humor” from revered right wing cartoonist Chris Muir…

dbd120107.jpg
(click to enlarge)

Update: Much to the chagrin, I am sure, of the commentators quoted above and those who think and believe as they do…

Hostage Situation In Rochester Ends With Man’s Arrest

A hostage situation at the Rochester headquarters of the Hillary Clinton campaign ended with a man’s arrest Friday evening.

Leeland Eisenberg, of Somersworth, N.H., was immediately arrested after exiting the office and told to kneel and then lie on the ground before police placed handcuffs on him. Moments earlier, a young man believed to be the third and final hostage was released…

“I am very grateful that this difficult day has ended so well. All of my campaign staff and volunteers are safe,” Clinton said from her Washington, D.C., home Friday night. “I was in touch during the day with the families of those who were held hostage, and I commend their extraordinary courage under difficult circumstances. This has been a difficult day for everyone in our campaign.”

Clinton said that she would travel to New Hampshire to thank the law enforcement officials who helped to bring the hostage situation to an end.

It’s a teddy bear

 Posted by at 11:06  Politics
Nov 302007
 

It’s a fricking teddy bear, people.

Calls in Sudan for Execution of Briton

bear.jpgKHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) – Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad.”

In response to the demonstration, teacher Gillian Gibbons was moved from the women’s prison near Khartoum to a secret location for her safety, her lawyer said.

The protesters streamed out of mosques after Friday sermons, as pickup trucks with loudspeakers blared messages against Gibbons, who was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in prison and deportation. She avoided the more serious punishment of 40 lashes.

They massed in central Martyrs Square outside the presidential palace, where hundreds of riot police were deployed. They did not try to stop the rally, which lasted about an hour.

“Shame, shame on the U.K.,” protesters chanted.

They called for Gibbons’ execution, saying, “No tolerance: Execution,” and “Kill her, kill her by firing squad.”

This is the kind of ignorance and extremism that exists in many parts of the world, and exactly the kind of ignorance and extremism we would be living with in the United States if the right wing of the Republican party had their way. They are undoubtedly loving every minute of this ridiculousness.

Wingers mad at CNN

 Posted by at 18:33  Election 2008, Politics
Nov 292007
 

Rabid right wing bloggers (I have linked a few you may be familiar with) appear to be upset with CNN today. They seem to think that it was CNN’s responsibility to ensure that all of the questioners at last night’s CNN/YouTube debate were dyed-in-the-wool Republicans.

You will recall that nobody was allowed anywhere near George W. Bush or Dick Cheney during the 2004 campaign unless he or she had been carefully screened in advance. And what did we end up with? We didn’t get a President of the United States; we got a President of the Republican Party.

That is not what the upcoming election is about (hopefully). We are [supposedly] searching for the one person most capable of leading our country… our entire country. We want the person who will best be able to represent the entire United States. We aren’t going to get that unless we can somehow put aside some of the partisanship, distrust and outright hatred now rampant in this country.

Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarter’s, though he does think that “CNN deserves the brickbats it will receive for its atrocious research skills,” comes closest of the wingers to realizing this…

The questions asked don’t seem particularly outrageous. Kerr asked about gays in the military and Cercone about Log Cabin Republicans. Gays in the military have been a major policy issue for almost twenty years; gay issues relate to a major Republican strategy in the past two elections. The GOP encouraged ballot initiatives opposing same-sex marriage in 2004 and 2006 to help push evangelicals to the polls. Republicans make opposition to the “gay agenda” a big fundraising point on a regular basis. Those questions seemed reasonable, and reasonably asked. Although I disagree with the candidates on their positions on Kerr’s point, they all gave reasonable and consistent answers.

The question on abortion — would opposition to abortion mean jailing the women who seek them — was hardly unusual. Fred Thompson actually gave the best answer on this, unflappable as always, which is that it doesn’t happen that way now with clearly illegal abortions. Everyone on that stage has attacked Rudy Giuliani for his pro-choice view (with good reason, in my opinion); the Republicans have clearly made abortion a big issue in this primary. Shouldn’t they expect to get precisely this question when talking about criminalizing abortion?

LeeAnn Anderson’s question about toys, and by extension trade with China, may have come from left field, pun intended, but it touched on Duncan Hunter’s biggest issue. He has been railing against free-trade agreements with China all during his presidential run. Also, it hardly needs to be said, but both Republican and Democratic parents and grandparents have concerns this Christmas about the next toy recall, and hoping their children and grandchildren don’t find it the hard way. It’s a rational question, made by someone with undisclosed interests in the answer, but the question itself is precisely the kind made in town-hall forums…

Republicans should be prepared to answer the questions the candidates received in this debate. At some point, this will cease being an intramural fight and we will have to convince all of America to vote for our nominee.

None of the current candidates on the Republican side possess, in my opinion, the qualities we need in our country’s leader. It is definitely no secret that I do not believe George W. Bush ever has. However, if one of them is to become our leader, he needs to be able to intelligently answer whatever questions come his way, from whichever side of the aisle they may originate.

FOX News has this statement from CNN. (I was unable to find it on CNN’s website.)

“The whole point of these ground-breaking CNN/YouTube debates is to focus on substantive questions of concern to real people and to throw open the process to a wider range of Americans all around the country. CNN cared about what you asked, not who you were. This was the case for both the Democratic and the Republican CNN/YouTube debates,” CNN said in a statement issued late in the day.

“The issues raised during last night’s debate were legitimate and relevant no matter who was asking the questions. The vested interests who are challenging the credibility of the questioners are trying to distract voters from the substantive issues they care most about. Americans are tired of that discredited low-road approach, and throughout this election campaign CNN will stay focused on what the candidates are saying about the pressing issues facing this country at a critical time in our history.

“Judging by the fact that last night’s event was the most-watched primary debate ever, it seems that the audience responded to our focus on plain-spoken questions about important issues,” the statement continued.

I think they pretty much nailed it.

Giuliani’s toast

 Posted by at 21:32  Election 2008, Politics
Nov 282007
 

Politico published a potentially damning story about Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani today. It’s all over the blogosphere and even some of the mainstream media is starting to pick it up. Does it mean that Rudy is toast? I doubt it. Republicans have a tendency to dwell on corruption on the other side and overlook it when it belongs to one of their own.

The story…

Giuliani billed obscure agencies for trips

giuliani_112607.jpgAs New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records.

The documents, obtained by Politico under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, show that the mayoral costs had nothing to do with the functions of the little-known city offices that defrayed his tabs, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants.

At the time, the mayor’s office refused to explain the accounting to city auditors, citing “security.”

The Hamptons visits resulted in hotel, gas and other costs for Giuliani’s New York Police Department security detail.

Giuliani’s relationship with Nathan is old news now, and Giuliani regularly asks voters on the campaign trail to forgive his “mistakes.”

Exactly how many “mistakes” are people supposed to forgive?

I sure hope the Republicans end up nominating Mr. Giuliani. It would sure make the 2008 presidential campaign a lot of fun.

Update:

Giuliani Dismisses Report

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Rudy Giuliani dismissed a report Wednesday that he expensed the cost of his security detail to obscure city offices for trips to a Long Island resort as the then-mayor began an extramarital affair with current wife Judith Nathan.

“First of all, it’s not true,” he said during a GOP debate hours after the story broke. “I had 24-hour security for the eight years that I was mayor. They followed me everyplace I went. It was because there were, you know, threats, threats that I don’t generally talk about. Some have become public recently; most of them haven’t.

“And they took care of me, and they put in their records, and they handled them in the way they handled them,” Giuliani said. “I had nothing to do with the handling of their records, and they were handled, as far as I know, perfectly appropriately.”

Please, Republicans, nominate this guy! He makes George W. Bush look like a genius… and that’s a remarkable feat.

Nov 282007
 

The eight men hoping to become the Republican candidate for President in 2008 will meet in Florida tonight for the CNN/YouTube debate.

Is anyone paying attention to these things anymore? Besides, they are not so much debates as they are media events. Compare the setting for tonight’s event with that of the first televised debate between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy in 1960 (click images to enlarge)…

debate112807.jpg

nixon-kennedy.jpg

Quite the difference.

Unpopularity contest

 Posted by at 18:30  Humor, Politics
Nov 282007
 

A favorite refrain of the right is “Yes, Bush’s approval numbers are low, but Congress’ are even lower.” Tom Tomorrow debunks that argument in this week’s This Modern World

tmw11-28-07color.jpg
(click to enlarge)

While I agree that one of the reason Mr. Bush’s approval numbers are low is his war in Iraq, I do not believe that is the only reason. He is just a crappy president in all respects. History will not be kind to George W. Bush and his supporters.

Nov 272007
 

I come from a long line of union members. I myself was a member of the Teamsters for a number of years. But it is time for this writers’ strike to be settled. As much as I empathize with the union members, when the future of our country (and The Late Show with David Letterman) comes into play it may be time to sit down and start talking turkey…

Democrats honor pickets outside “View,” debates

WASHINGTON (Hollywood Reporter) – The writers strike is threatening to put on ice the December 10 Democratic presidential debate hosted by CBS News as the party’s front-runners say that they won’t cross a picket line.

The strike also is cooling the ardor of the candidates and their spouses to appear on ABC’s “The View,” as the candidates and their spouses are refusing to cross the picket line to make appearances on the talker.

In separate statements or interviews before the Thanksgiving holiday, the three front-runners said that they will honor picket lines set up by the CBS newswriters if they go on strike. The candidates also appeared willing to honor picket lines set up by the Writers Guild of America.

The newswriters’ union has authorized a strike but has not yet called for a work stoppage. Striking WGA West members have set up picket lines in Los Angeles and could set up pickets at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, where soap operas, “The Price Is Right” and primetime shows are produced.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards all said Wednesday that they will not cross a picket line to participate in the debate.

We know which side of any labor dispute the Republicans will be on. They will always side with the corporate billionaires (their base). So, if the unions want the party that supports them to win the upcoming elections, they had better get serious about settling this thing and getting the Democratic candidates some airtime.

Besides, I’m getting tired of watching Letterman reruns.