Congressman Steve King (R-IA) is refusing to apologize for saying last week that terrorists will root for Barack Obama in November. This was after Obama, yesterday, joked about the remarks King made:
???‚¬?“I think that Mr. King has it backwards. The fact that the continuationof a presence in Iraq as Sen. McCain has suggested is exactly what, Ithink, will fan the flames of anti-American sentiment and make it moredifficult for us to create a long-term and sustainable peace in theworld,???‚¬?? Obama said today at a campaign stop at The Little Dooey, abarbeque restaurant in Columbus, Miss.
Late last night, King fired back, and told the Associated Press that terrorists still want Obama to win:
"(Obama will) certainly be viewed as a savior for them," Rep. Steve King told The Associated Press. "That's why you will see them supporting him, encouraging him."
This kind of partisanship on the part of King underscores almost perfectly why Obama SHOULD be elected. Washington is so polarized. So sadly, in order to survive politically, King needs to talk that way in order to get money from his right-wing faithful. But if we had a uniter as president who supports publicly financed elections, people like King won't need to worry about getting money from the loony right-wing, and could afford to utter words that have substance.
This was a smart move because it might win him more conservative votes:
Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposedincreased federal funding in the search for a cure and saidhomosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."
As a candidate for a U.S. Senateseat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by TheAssociated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested thatHollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, ratherthan federal health agencies.
Huckabee said Saturday that his comments came at a time when thepublic was still learning about HIV and AIDS and promised to do"everything possible to transform the promise of a vaccine and a cureinto reality."
So when you're learning, are you supposed to jump to conclusions like that?
Imagine a version of John Edwards that believes we didn't evolve from primates. That's Mike Huckabee. Matt Taibbi put it into context:
But all the attention on his salesmanship skills obscures the realsignificance of his rise within the Republican Party. Mike Huckabeerepresents something that is either tremendously encouraging or deeplydisturbing, depending on your point of view: a marriage of Christianfundamentalism with economic populism. Rather than employing thepatented Bush-Rove tactic of using abortion and gay rights to hoodwinklow-income Christians into supporting patrician, pro-corporatepolicies, Huckabee is a bigger-government Republican who emphasizesprison reform and poverty relief. In the world of GOP politics, herepresents something entirely new -- a cross between John Edwards andJerry Falwell, an ordained Southern Baptist preacher who actually seemsto give a shit about the working poor.
But Huckabee is alsosomething else: full-blown nuts, a Christian goofball of the highestorder. He believes the Earth may be only 6,000 years old, angrilyrejects the evidence that human beings evolved from "primates" andthinks America wouldn't need so much Mexican labor if we allowed everyaborted fetus to grow up and enter the workforce. To top it off,Huckabee also left behind a record of ethical missteps in the swamp ofArkansas politics that make Whitewater seem like a jaywalking ticket.
If it's Huckabee versus Clinton in the general election, you will see both Democratic and Republican voters switch parties based on their educational background.
Not only did Prime Minister John Howard's party lose the election last night, and not only will there be a new Australian chief executive, but Howard may even lose his seat in parliament:
Mr Howard, who had been bidding for a fifth term inoffice, conceded the national election and accepted it was "verylikely" he would also be defeated in his Bennelong constituency.
If unseated, the 68-year-old would be only the second prime minister in Australia's history to suffer such a fate.
If you recall, Howard was the one who said earlier this year that a victory for Barack Obama and the Democrats in 2008 would be a victory for al Qaeda:
"If I were running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only forObama, but also for the Democrats," Howard said, speaking on "Sunday,"a TV show on Australia's Nine Network.
Hopefully this marks the beginning of the end of right-wing ethnic fear-mongering in Australia. They still have a long way to go though.
Vice President Dick Cheney went hunting on Monday for eight hours just about 70 miles north of New York City. What caused a commotion was not the fact that Cheney was hunting again. Instead, it was of a photo taken by the New York Daily News:
Although a heavy police presence kept the media and curious localresidents at a distance, Cheney's visit did stir up a bit ofcontroversy when a New York Daily News photographer snapped a pictureof a small Confederate flag hanging inside a garage on the hunt clubproperty.
The photo was shown to New York City civil rights activist, the Rev. Al Sharpton,who issued a statement demanding that the vice president "leaveimmediately, denounce the club and apologize for going to a club thatrepresents lynching, hate and murder to black people."
Your artificial compassion might cause you to be bored during a cabinet meeting about all the families that lost their homes in California. But at least, if only for fifteen minutes, muster up enough energy to stay awake:
Someone should have said 'bomb Iran,' and he would have gone flying out of his seat.
In an interview earlier this week about religion and politics, John McCain hinted that Muslims should reconsider their religion before running for president:
"I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it," he said."But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation wasfounded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someonewho I know who has a solid grounding in my faith."
In other words, John McCain does not want someone that is different than him to become president. Maybe a question worth asking is whether someone who believes that fear will triumph over tolerance is really qualified to be president?
If Rudolph Giuliani had been able to deny that his campaign was based on fear, his ability to do just that ran out today. Yes, this was a supporter, not the campaign that did this. Still -- Giuliani and his supporters have succeeded in reminding people about 9/11 every chance they get:
A spokeswoman for Rudy Giuliani says it is unfortunate that a supporterthrowing a party that aims to raise $9.11 per person for theRepublican's presidential campaign is asking for that amount.
Abraham Sofaer is having a fundraiser at his Palo Alto, California,home on Wednesday, when Giuliani backers across the country areparticipating in the campaign's national house party night.
But Sofaer said he had nothing to do with the "$9.11 for Rudy" theme.
Then who did?
It just shows that the only messages the Republican Party has going for it today are filtered down to the public in the form of themes and slogans -- not ideas. Justin, a contributor to this site, put it well during a column last month:
The Right packages up talking point slogans and bores them into theheads of the American people. "Terrorists hate our Freedom. Iraq ismaking Progress. Democrats want to 'cut and run.' We fight them thereso we don't have to fight them here."
Without context, these slogans mean nothing. But through the miracle of incessant repetition, people start to buy into it.
Giuliani, 9/11, New York Mayor, 9/11, fought the mafia, 9/11, cleaned up New York, 9/11. Oh, and before I forget -- 9/11, 9/11, 9/11.
It's disturbing that a mayor who failed to prepare for an event like 9/11 is now making a presidential campaign out of it.
It's his way or the highway. Rudolph Giuliani's security credentials have already been thrown into question after ignoring calls from city officials before 9/11 to move the emergency response command center outside the World Trade Center. As a result, on 9/11 Giuliani had to conduct emergency management from a trailer.
Giuliani's people skills are being thrown into question as well. An article this morning in the Los Angeles Times cites his record on education as just one example of the former New York mayor's inability to compromise:
New York City schools went through eight years of political chaosduring Giuliani's terms, which ended in 2002. His bare-knuckle tacticscontributed to the departure of three chancellors, according tointerviews with former school administrators, Board of Educationmembers, teachers, parents, union officials and outside experts.
He left behind an expired union contract, an army of angryteachers and a school system that by his own admission was stilldelivering inferior educations to hundreds of thousands of students.
How Giuliani handled education provides a window into his potentialpolitical skills as a U.S. president, especially in terms of the way hemanaged people and his refusal to compromise on issues big and small.
"I don't think he achieved anywhere near what he wanted toachieve," said Joseph P. Viteritti, an early Giuliani administrationadvisor and now a professor of public policy at Hunter College, part ofthe City University of New York. "There were no significant changes inthe system while he was there. He tended to make enemies. He was verytough and abrupt. I think his instincts were right, but sometimes heoverplayed it and caused a reaction against himself."
Giuliani fought with administrators, board members and statelegislators over budgets, union contracts, vouchers, gay toleranceeducation, lunchroom supervision, curriculum, testing, social promotionand summer school, among much else.
As far as funding was concerned:
"While Giuliani was the mayor, things did not improve," said CarolGresser, a former city education board president who was the swing votebetween liberals and conservatives. "The system was denied the money itneeded. I was on the board for eight years and it was constantly,'Let's cut back on the school system.' "
She added: "He demonized the school system."
Yet, this is the same former mayor that the traditional media already painted as reformist, heroic and decisive.