May 302008
 

Already it’s Friday again. The last Friday in May and what should be the last Friday in the Democratic presidential primary. Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? Whatever. Here’s this week’s presentation of the best editorial and political cartoons of the week just passed. Click and enjoy.

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

Sunday additions:

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May 292008
 

It will all be over in less than a week…

Top Dems to push for swift end to primary race

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) – Top Democratic leaders intend to push for a quick end to the battle for the presidential nomination when primaries are over next week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday, adding that he, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and party chairman Howard Dean will urge uncommitted delegates to choose sides.

“By this time next week, it will all be over give or take a day,” Reid said of the marathon race between the front-running Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Obama is within 44 delegates of clinching the nomination, according to The Associated Press tally, and leads Clinton by roughly 200 delegates.

Reid made his comments in an interview and a speech in San Francisco. He and numerous other Democrats have expressed concern that a protracted nominating campaign could harm the party’s chances of winning the White House in the fall. John McCain effectively wrapped up the Republican nomination in March.

Tantalizingly close to the nomination, Obama stands to gain a minimum of roughly 20 delegates in remaining primaries in Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota under party rules that distribute them proportional to the popular vote – even if he loses all three. He would need to enlist the support of uncommitted superdelegates to amass the rest.

Slightly fewer than 200 superdelegates remain uncommitted, including 64 members of Congress.

It should not have been allowed to drag on as long as it has. If it were anybody other than Hillary Clinton, it wouldn’t have.

My guess is that next Wednesday will be a busy day, with Barack Obama claiming victory and Hillary Clinton conceding defeat. The Bush/Clinton era will finally begin winding down.

Sour grapes

 Posted by at 19:37  Democrats, Election 2008, Politics
May 282008
 

No, I’m not talking about George W. Bush’s reaction to Scott McClellan’s book. I’m talking about what you can expect to hear from a lot of Clintonistas in the coming weeks. Perfect example:

Rendell: Clinton ‘Very Unlikely’ To Win

Ed Rendell
Ed Rendell

Staunch Clinton campaign supporter Gov. Ed Rendell said Wednesday that his favored candidate is “very unlikely” to capture the Democratic nomination, and said that will mean the Democratic Party will nominate the weaker candidate for the fall campaign against Sen. John McCain.

Rendell, D-Pa., told Bloomberg Television that he believes polls that suggest that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a “far better candidate” than Sen. Barack Obama in swing states. But he added that he’s a “realist” who recognizes that superdelegates are likely to continue to flock to Obama until he clinches the nomination.

“I’m a realist, and I think most likely the superdelegates will give Sen. Obama the votes he needs,” Rendell said. “I don’t think the DNC is going to fairly adjust what happened in Florida. . . . I don’t think they’re going to fairly adjust it. So I think it’s very unlikely that Senator Clinton can prevail. I think that means we’re not going to field our strongest candidate.”[..]

Rendell, who has been discussed a potential running mate for either Clinton or Obama, joked that the fact that he wears a flag pin could make him a good match for Obama.

“I kid around and say I’d be a great running mate for Senator Obama. I wear a flag pin, so [it would] be a balanced ticket,” he said.

Ha ha funny. Especially that last part about the flag pin. Hill-arious. [sic] Click on the good governor’s picture (above) and have a closer look at that pin he is wearing. It doesn’t look like the United States flag I’m familiar with.

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I hope Mrs. Clinton’s worshipers can get over their hurt feelings quickly so this kind of ridiculous babble can stop. It’s not doing anybody any good. Except perhaps Johnny McCain. (But maybe that is their intention?)

May 282008
 

Too late…

Former press secretary’s book bashes Bush

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes in a new memoir that President Bush relied on an aggressive “political propaganda campaign” instead of the truth to sell the Iraq war, and that the decision to invade pushed Bush’s presidency “terribly off course.’

The Bush White House made “a decision to turn away from candor and honesty when those qualities were most needed” – a time when the nation was on the brink of war, McClellan writes in the book entitled “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.”

The way Bush managed the Iraq issue “almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option.”

“In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president’s advantage,” McClellan writes.[..]

McClellan called the Iraq war a “serious strategic blunder,” a surprisingly harsh assessment from the man who was at that time the loyal public voice of the White House who had followed Bush to Washington from Texas.

“The Iraq war was not necessary,” he concludes. “Waging an unnecessary war is a grave mistake.”

McClellan admits that some of his own words from the podium in the White House briefing room turned out to be “badly misguided.” But he says he was sincere at the time.

“When words I uttered, believing them to be true, were exposed as false, I was constrained by my duties and loyalty to the president and unable to comment,” he said. “But I promised reporters and the public that I would someday tell the whole story of what I knew.”

The former press secretary – the second of four so far in Bush’s presidency – explained his dramatic shift from loyal defender to fierce critic as a difficult act of personal contrition, a way, he wrote, to learn from his mistakes, be true to his Christian faith and become a better person.

“I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be,” McClellan writes. He also blames the media whose questions he fielded, calling them “complicit enablers” in the White House campaign to manipulate public opinion toward the need for war.

McClellan said Bush loyalists will no doubt continue to think the administration’s decisions have been correct and its unpopularity undeserved. “I’ve become genuinely convinced otherwise,” he said.

The book is scheduled to go on sale June 1.

I’d have been impressed if he had come out with this in 2003 or even early 2004 when it might have done some good. As it is, it only appears that he is trying to save his own skin. He seems to think that, in some way, by writing this book his name will not be associated with the most corrupt and deceitful presidency and administration in American history.

Too late, Scotty. You should have spoken up sooner. What you write may come as a revelation to a few people, but most of us have been aware of the truth for quite a while now. We won’t be wasting our money on your sniveling attempt to save your own soul. Good luck with that, by the way.

P.S. Circle this date on your calendars, kids. Today I actually agreed with something Karl Rove said. That does not happen often.

“If he had these moral qualms, he should have spoken up about them.”

May 282008
 

It appears that Hillary Clinton will probably get some, though not all, of what she wants when the Democratic party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meets on Saturday…

Dem lawyers: Fla., Mich. can’t be fully restored

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers.

Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party’s legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo.

The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday at a Washington hotel. The committee is considering ways to include the two important general election battlegrounds at the nominating convention in August, and the staff analysis says seating half the delegates is “as far as it legally can” go.

Saturday’s meeting is expected to draw a large crowd, with Clinton supporters among those encouraging a protest outside demanding that all the states’ delegates be seated. Proponents of full reseating have mailed committee members Florida oranges and pairs of shoes to get their attention.

There is a lesson to be learned here, kids. You can disregard the rules and, if you scream loudly and often enough, still get most of what you want. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

The question now becomes will the Clintonites be content with what they are given Saturday? Since it’s not going to be enough to get Hillary the nomination, I doubt that they will be. They have the option of appealing the committee’s decision all the way to the convention and it would not surprise me in the least if they do exactly that.

May 272008
 

In a speech delivered yesterday, Barack Obama mistakenly identified the Nazi death camp which his great-uncle helped liberate at the end of World War II.

Obama mistaken on name of Nazi death camp.”

The Republicans are making such a big deal about it that you’d almost think he’d confused Sunni and Shi’ite. (Twice.)

Quid pro quo, [censored].

May 272008
 

Hillary Clinton is running a new ad in South Dakota, entitled “Responsibility.”

Debt is a topic with which Mrs. Clinton should be intimately familiar, having run her own campaign into debt to the tune of over $20 million. In the ad, she promises that as president she will stop spending money the country doesn’t have. Will she stop spending money her campaign doesn’t have?

One wonders if anyone in the Clinton camp understands the meaning of the word irony.

Barack Obama also has an ad airing in South Dakota:

May 262008
 

In an op-ed she penned for The New York Daily News yesterday, Hillary Clinton wrote:

I am running because I believe staying in this race will help unite the Democratic Party.

It’s not working

PONCE, Puerto Rico (CNN) – Hillary Clinton held the most raucous rally of her Puerto Rico campaign swing on Monday in front of several hundred members of the Servidores Públicos Unidos union, who shimmied to live music before the event and cheered on the senator with chants of “Si se puede!”

The union operates as an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has endorsed Clinton and spent millions on her campaign’s behalf. AFSCME President Gerald McEntee was on hand in Ponce to introduce Clinton, but he spent a good chunk of his speech soliciting boos for Barack Obama.

(Emphasis added.)

Granted that this occurred in Puerto Rico and the people there have no vote in November (just the way it is), but do not think that this is not happening all around the country. The longer Hillary Clinton remains in this race, the more divisive she and her supporters are becoming (and the bigger the smile on Johnny McCain’s face).

In fact, I am beginning to believe that it is Mrs. Clinton’s intent to help Johnny get elected.

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clinton_bill_052508.jpgSee also: “Bill Clinton: ‘Cover up’ hiding Hillary Clinton’s chances.” It is really sad to witness the downfall of this once great man. The degree of his deterioration over the space of just a few months has been amazing. The really sad part is that there are many who are believing his paranoid rants. It is not going to be easy for the Democratic party to recover from the damage which the Clintons are inflicting on it. I hope, for all our sakes, that Senator Obama has it in him.

Update: Video added.

Memorial Day 2008

 Posted by at 14:54  General
May 262008
 

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day we set aside to honor our war dead. Many of us take the opportunity to visit the cemeteries where our loved ones are interred and decorate their resting places with flowers, balloons and what not. We console, remember and renew our shared sense of loss and grief. Then we return home to enjoy a picnic in the backyard with family and friends.

It is a day for the living. I don’t think the dead really care all that much. Perhaps they do, but I don’t think they do. As Shaun says: “The only way to truly honor our fallen is to stop making more of them.”

Most bloggers are posting pictures of graveyards and headstones today. I thought I’d share a picture I took a couple of years ago of my favorite spot in the Dallas Arboretum. You can click on it to make it bigger.

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Happy Memorial Day.

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Republican spoiler?

 Posted by at 17:44  Election 2008, Politics
May 252008
 

Ex-congressman becomes Libertarian ’08 candidate

Bob Barr
Bob Barr

(CNN) — Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr was officially nominated Sunday as the Libertarian candidate for president.

“We have only 163 days to win this election — do not waste one single day,” Barr told supporters at the Libertarian National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Barr is best known for playing a prominent role in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

His candidacy has attracted more attention to the Libertarian Party, with some GOP observers watching to see whether Barr will draw votes away from the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, in the general election.

“We’re not in this race to make a point, though a very important point will be made,” Barr said.

On the sixth ballot at the convention, Barr won the nomination over research scientist Mary Ruwart. After going out on the fifth ballot, fellow candidate Wayne Allyn Root urged his supporters to back Barr and made his case to be Barr’s vice presidential running mate.

Barr, 59, left the Republican Party in 2006, and announced in April that he would form a presidential exploratory committee. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 and represented a conservative district in the Atlanta suburbs for four terms.

He just looks smarter than Johnny McCain.

I think a lot of conservatives are going to be taking a good, hard look at Bob Barr. (And well you should, after having Johnny McCain shoved down your throats.)