Apr 302008
 

Let me be the first to wish you Happy Mission Accomplished Day. Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the day that George W. Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared that major combat operations in Iraq were ended. Victory was ours.

White House admits fault on ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner

George W. Bush
George W. Bush

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House said Wednesday that President Bush has paid a price for the “Mission Accomplished” banner that was flown in triumph five years ago but later became a symbol of U.S. misjudgments and mistakes in the long and costly war in Iraq.

Thursday is the fifth anniversary of Bush’s dramatic landing in a Navy jet on an aircraft carrier homebound from the war. The USS Abraham Lincoln had launched thousands of airstrikes on Iraq.

“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” Bush said at the time. “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on.” The “Mission Accomplished” banner was prominently displayed above him – a move the White House came to regret as the display was mocked and became a source of controversy.

After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the “Mission Accomplished” phrase referred to the carrier’s crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq. Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the “Mission Accomplished” message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship’s crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.[..]

At least 49 U.S. troops died in Iraq in April, making it the deadliest month since September when 65 U.S. troops died.

Now in its sixth year, the war in Iraq has claimed the lives of at least 4,061 members of the U.S. military. Only the Vietnam War (August 1964 to January 1973), the war in Afghanistan (October 2001 to present) and the Revolutionary War (July 1776 to April 1783) have engaged America longer.

George W. Bush, May 1, 2003
George W. Bush, May 1, 2003

The rich, spoiled and ignorant frat boy has been nothing but an embarrassment since the day he stole the presidency, and now the Republicans want to give us at least four more years of the same with John S. McCain.

Not gonna happen.

(P.S. If you can afford to do so, please click here to help MoveOn.org get the above ad on the air. People need to see it.)

Apr 292008
 

In the post prior to this, I stated that I would not mention Jeremiah Wright again. I was mistaken. I will now categorically state that I will not mention Jeremiah Wright after this post. As far as I and this blog are concerned, Senator Obama has laid the matter to rest…

Obama strongly denounces former pastor

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) – Democratic Sen. Barack Obama strongly denounced his former pastor on Tuesday, saying he was outraged by assertions made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright about the U.S. government and race that have disrupted Obama’s presidential campaign.

The controversy over Wright has been a major stumbling block for the Illinois senator, who is leading New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in the state-by-state contest for the party’s nomination for the November election.

Obama was forced to address the issue after an appearance by Wright on Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, where he repeated earlier suggestions that the United States deserved some blame for the September 11 attacks and that the government had had a hand in spreading AIDS to blacks.

“I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw,” Obama told reporters as he campaigned for the North Carolina vote against Clinton next Tuesday.

“The person that I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate,” Obama said.

Wright’s comments have undercut the campaign of Obama, the son of a white mother and a black father who has based his campaign on a promise to unite the country after years of sharp political and racial divisions.

Wright had also questioned the senator’s honesty, saying he had been pandering to voters when he earlier denounced the pastor’s words. “If Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected,” Wright said.

Obama, unsmiling and choosing his words carefully, responded: “At a certain point if what somebody says contradicts what you believe so fundamentally and then he questions whether or not you believe it — in front of the National Press Club — then that’s enough.”

“That’s a show of disrespect to me. It is also, I think, an insult to what we’ve been trying to do” on the campaign, he added. “Whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this.”

Matter closed.

Jeremiah Wright

 Posted by at 11:15  Politics, Religion
Apr 292008
 

I have been asked why I have not mentioned Jeremiah Wright.

It’s just that I don’t believe he is worth mentioning. The whole thing is a bunch of brouhaha over nothing. I firmly believe that a person, particularly a presidential candidate, should be judged by his own words and actions; not those of another.

Reverend Wright is serving one purpose, however. He is keeping the right occupied while we go about the business of winning this election.

There, I mentioned Jeremiah Wright. I’ll not mention him again.

UPDATE: Senator Obama has seen fit to mention the antics of Reverend Wright… “Obama says he’s outraged by former pastor’s comments.”

Apr 272008
 

The Democratic National Committee released their second national ad against John McCain this morning.

I am well aware of the Republican argument that Senator McCain is not talking about continuing active combat in Iraq for 100 years. Rather, he is talking about permanent military bases the likes of which we have in countries like Germany and Japan. In this particular instance, I find myself in agreement with the Republicans. (You many now pick yourself up off the floor.)

The man would have to be more of a fool than I think he is if he were to advocate 100 years of warfare. To do so would be political suicide. I think most people in the United States are intelligent enough to realize this. This is perhaps not the wisest avenue of attack for the Democrats to pursue.

There are plenty of other issues over which the Democrats could attack John Sidney McCain III. For example, they could talk about his flip-flop on the Bush tax cuts for the rich – he was against them before he was for them. They could emphasize how he himself has admitted that he knows very little about the economy. They could talk about his lack of morals, ethics, or principles. Last, but certainly not least, they could talk about his complete lack of any dignity or self-respect whatsoever:

bushmccain_2.jpg

UPDATE: DNC Chairman Howard Dean had this to say on NBC’s Meet the Press this morning:

First of all, we’re not arguing that he’s going to be at war for a hundred years. We don’t think we ought to be in Iraq for a hundred years under any circumstances. Think of the hundreds of billions of dollars that are being spent in Iraq, which we need right here at home right now to preserve American jobs. That’s the first thing.

Secondly, if Senator McCain believes that you can occupy a country like Iraq for a hundred years without having a long war and violence and our troops being hurt and, and killed, I think Senator McCain is wrong.

Look, our folks don’t want, I–our folks, our country–70 percent of our country does not want to be in Iraq for a hundred years under any circumstances. Senator McCain is wrong. He is out of step with the American people, and he is wrong.[..]

Now, does anyone think, who’s watching this show, that if you keep our troops in Iraq for a hundred years, people won’t be attacking them and won’t be setting off suicide bombs and won’t be having militias go after them? I don’t think so. And most Americans don’t think so. What Senator McCain is saying doesn’t make any sense. We cannot be in Iraq for a hundred years. Those dollars belong in America. We’re in trouble in this–in, in America. And, frankly, the Bush-McCain economic program has put us in trouble in America. That money needs to be here in America.

Apr 262008
 

Hillary Clinton wants another debate. Barack Obama says no. We’ve already had 21 of the things. How many do we really need?

Clinton to Obama: Let’s debate like Lincoln

plante0423081.jpg

ANDERSON, Indiana (CNN) — Sen. Hillary Clinton called for a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate with no moderator against her rival, Sen. Barack Obama, who says no more debates are needed before the May primaries.

In a TV interview to air Sunday, Obama flat-out denied any possibility that he would take part in a debate with Clinton before the next big round of primaries.

Shortly after maintaining that he isn’t “ducking” debates with his Democratic rival, the Illinois senator admitted that the two hopefuls are “not going to have debates between now and Indiana.”

Voters in Indiana and North Carolina will head to the polls May 6.

In the interview, Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked Obama why he was ducking another one-on-one meeting.

“I’m not ducking one. We’ve had 21,” Obama said. “We want to make sure we’re talking to as many folks possible on the ground taking questions from voters.”

While I do think a one-on-one with no moderators would definitely be interesting, I also think the challenge smells just a bit like desperation on the part of Mrs. Clinton. It is as Mr. Obama says, twenty-one debates is enough.

(The cartoon is from yesterday’s collection, in case you missed it. I gotta admit it made me laugh. Remember when Mrs. Clinton compared herself to Rocky Balboa?) (Click on the cartoon to make it bigger.)

Apr 252008
 

Seems it’s Friday again already. Time once again to present what your humble editor[s] has/have determined to be the best (or at least the most entertaining) editorial and political cartoons of the week just passed. Standard disclaimer: Your mileage may vary. Click & enjoy.

bagley042508.jpg   matson042508.jpg   englehart042508.jpg

thompson042508.jpg   summers042508.jpg   ramsey042508.jpg

bagley042108.jpg   bagley042308.jpg   beattie042308.jpg

combs042308.jpg   donwright042408.gif   gorrell042408.jpg

harville041808.jpg   harville042308.jpg   heller042408.gif

keefe042408.jpg   lane042108.gif   lane042408.gif

luckovich042108.gif   markstein042308.jpg   matson042308.jpg

morin042108.jpg   morin042308.jpg   plante041808.jpg

plante042308.jpg   sherffius042408.jpg   zyglis042408.gif

As always, our gratitude goes to the observant and talented cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Apr 242008
 

John McCain is still trying to pretend that he isn’t running for George W. Bush’s third term. Today he visited New Orleans, where he told the people that had Hurricane Katrina happened on his watch he would not have bungled it like Mr. Bush did.

McCain to New Orleans: Never again

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Republican presidential candidate John McCain took stock of still-hurricane-damaged areas of New Orleans on Thursday and declared that if the disaster had happened on his watch, he would have immediately landed at the nearest Air Force base, drawing a sharp contrast to President Bush’s handling of the tragedy.

McCain called the response to Hurricane Katrina “a perfect storm” of mismanagement by federal, state and local governments.

The Arizona senator walked a few blocks of the hard-hit Lower 9th Ward, passing tidy rebuilt stucco houses standing next to abandoned structures, their facades still spray-painted with the markings of rescue workers who went door to door nearly three years ago searching for bodies. Government-issued trailers still dot the neighborhood. McCain said his teenage daughter Bridget had been there with a volunteer youth group a few weeks ago to help in the recovery.

“Never again, never again, will a disaster of this nature be handled in the disgraceful way it was handled,” McCain declared, a pledge he repeated over and over during the day.

Just for the sake of historical accuracy, and to prove what a hypocritical ass John Sidney McCain III really is, here is a photograph of what he was actually doing on August 29, 2005 (the day New Orleans was drowning):

bush_mccain2.jpg

Notice how desperately Mr. McCain is urging Mr. Bush to hightail it to the Air Force Base closest to New Orleans? Surely there must have been one closer than Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Hypocrite, thy name is Republican.

katrina-new-orleans-flooding3-2005.jpg

Apr 232008
 

John McCain
John McCain

Someone in the McCain camp has thought up a new tactic for this year’s presidential campaign. It’s almost brilliant. Even I am impressed and I am not easily impressed. I do not believe John McCain came up with this himself as he is not that smart, but he is certainly milking it for all it’s worth.

Here’s how it works:

1) Some wingnut will make a speech or write an editorial or produce an ad that is particularly nasty and/or extreme.

2) John McCain will pretend to condemn the speech, editorial or ad (or whatever it is) stating that he does not want to play that way. He wants a “clean” campaign.

3) By virtue of it’s nastiness and the fact that Mr. McCain has come out against it, the thing (whatever it is) will get free national media attention. We’ll all read about it in the papers and see it in the “newscasts.”

4) The Republicans get their speech, editorial or ad (or whatever) in the public eye without having to pay for it, John McCain gets to come off looking like the good guy and the Democrats cannot retaliate in any way. If they do, they come off looking like the bad guys to McCain’s good guy.

We’ve already seen several examples of this tactic this year and we’re going to see lots more. The latest is an ad produced by the Republican Party of North Carolina. They don’t have the money to put the ad on the air, but they don’t need it. By virtue of McCain “objecting” to their ad, it is getting plenty of play anyway.

McCain asks NC GOP not to run ad

INEZ, Ky. (AP) – Republican John McCain on Wednesday asked the North Carolina GOP not to run a television ad that brings up the controversial former pastor of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

North Carolina Republican party officials insisted the ad will run as planned despite McCain’s request.

The ad opens with a photo of Obama and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright together and a clip of Wright, whose incendiary comments about race have bedeviled Obama.

“He’s just too extreme for North Carolina,” the narrator says in the 30-second spot.

“We asked them not to run it,” McCain told reporters traveling with him in Kentucky. “I’m sending them an e-mail as we speak asking them to take it down.

“I don’t know why they do it. Obviously, I don’t control them, but I’m making it very clear, as I have a couple of times in the past, that there’s no place for that kind of campaigning, and the American people don’t want it,” McCain said.

McCain said the ad was described to him: “I didn’t see it, and I hope that I don’t see it.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan, who accompanied McCain, said he had left a voice mail message for state party chairwoman Linda Daves asking her to pull the ad.

McCain, in an e-mail to Daves, said he will draw sharp contrasts with Democrats. “But we need not engage in political tactics that only seek to divide the American people.”

If you believe that all this is not being coordinated by and through the McCain campaign, you are more naive than even I. (He hasn’t seen the ad. What a load of crap.)

In the unlikely event that you have not seen the ad in question, the North Carolina Republicans kindly and considerately posted it on YouTube.

P.S. This all begs the question: If the Republicans truly believe, as they say, that Barack Obama will be the easier candidate to beat in November, why are they fighting so hard against him winning the Democratic nomination? Why don’t they just get out of his way?

Apr 232008
 

republican-elephant.jpg

All the talk today has been about how Hillary Clinton won yesterday’s Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. I mean, it’s almost as if the outcome wasn’t expected. What nobody seems to want to talk about is how poorly the Republicans did in Pennsylvania yesterday. Yes, they too had a primary election in Pennsylvania yesterday.

2,268,935 people came out to vote in Democratic primary. 791,900 people got up off their couches to support the Republican party. Of those, only 72.7% voted for John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. 15.9% voted for Ron Paul and 11.4% voted for Mike Huckabee. (source)

If what happened in Pennsylvania yesterday portends a national trend, I’d say the Republicans have some problems to address before November. When you can only manage one third the turnout of the opposing party and when more than a quarter of those who do turn out vote against your presumptive nominee, you definitely have some issues that need to be addressed.

So, rather than gloating over the battle now being waged within the ranks of the Democratic party, perhaps it would behoove the Republicans to take care of their own house.

Just saying.

Apr 222008
 

Hillary Clinton lives to fight another day…

Clinton stays alive with Pennsylvania win

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton defeated rival Barack Obama in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, prolonging an increasingly negative Democratic presidential race and keeping alive her White House hopes.

Clinton led by 8 percent with 45 percent of the vote counted, a strong showing but probably not enough to dramatically change the race or narrow Obama’s lead in delegates who select the Democratic nominee at the August convention.

The New York senator survived a heavy advertising onslaught in the state by Obama, who outspent her 2-to-1 in the first Democratic nominating contest in six weeks.

The contest in Pennsylvania, where 158 delegates were at stake, opened the final phase of the Democratic duel for the right to face Republican John McCain in November’s presidential election. Nine more contests are scheduled before the voting ends on June 3.

The race now moves to contests on May 6 in North Carolina, where Obama is favored, and Indiana, where the race is more of a toss-up but leans slightly to Clinton. Obama already was looking beyond Pennsylvania, leaving the state in the afternoon to fly to a rally in Evansville, Indiana.

It seems the editorial board of The New York Times (the newspaper the righties love to hate) shares my enthusiasm:

The Low Road to Victory

The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.

Voters are getting tired of it; it is demeaning the political process; and it does not work. 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.

If nothing else, self interest should push her in that direction. Mrs. Clinton did not get the big win in Pennsylvania that she needed to challenge the calculus of the Democratic race. It is true that Senator Barack Obama outspent her 2-to-1. But Mrs. Clinton and her advisers should mainly blame themselves, because, as the political operatives say, they went heavily negative and ended up squandering a good part of what was once a 20-point lead.

If only I could believe that the Clintons were in this for anyone other than themselves. If only the Clintons would do something to convince me that they were in this for anyone other than themselves. I’m not going to hold my breath.

The Clinton Family
The Clinton Family