Whatever else is happening, Hillary Clinton seems to have a clear lead in Rhode Island. Crucially, only heavily Catholic northeastern states that hold primaries count, so she’s in good shape.
Kevin Drum shows us a slice of farcical congressional involvement in the defense procurement process. Basically, everyone agrees that it’s absolutely vital to the nation’s defense that the Air Force’s next generation of aerial tankers be made by whichever company has production facilities in the senator in question’s state. To say something nice about John McCain, he may be soft on bigotry and the apocalypse but my impression is that he’s done more than most to try to precent procurement from becoming a complete and total sham.
Yesterday, a federal judge withdrew his Feb. 15 order disabling Wikileaks.org, “a Web site that allows the anonymous posting of documents to discourage unethical behavior in governments and corporations.” The judge acknowledged that his earlier ruling “posed serious First Amendment questions and might constitute unjustified prior restraint.”
“It’s going to be a national security election,” Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol told a group of Oregon Republicans last night. “It’s going to be an election about our next commander in chief. History suggests that when we’re fighting a war, Americans tend to favor the more hawkish candidate.” (Perhaps Kristol forgot about the outcome of the 2006 midterm elections, in which Iraq war critics overwhelming swept the congressional races.)
Kriston Capps, University of Texas alumn, takes the student newspaper to task for its petty decision to endorse Hillary Clinton on the apparent grounds that Barack Obama wouldn’t get them extra debate tickets. What Capps isn’t telling you is his own shameful record of Texas ticket shenanigans when, as a member of the Liberal Arts Council, he sold his fellow students down the river and supported enhanced science requirements in exchange for access to the Dean’s box at Texas football games. Shocking stuff, but true. Or at least truthy.
It seems to me that Bill Clinton must have concluded that Hillary Clinton can’t possibly win the nomination at this point, or else it’s hard to see why he would be holding a high-profile event with Frank Giustra at this time. Giustra, the Times reported, is a businessman who Clinton helped get a lucrative contract in Kazakhstan in exchange for a large donation to the Clinton Foundation.
Initially, John McCain had an admirably straight-talking like on John Hagee — he was proud to be supported by the anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, “pro-Israel” Christian leader who hopes to see the Middle East plunged into massive war that will result in the end of the world. Now he’s getting flip-floppety:
“Yesterday, Pastor John Hagee endorsed my candidacy for president in San Antonio, Texas. However, in no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee’s views, which I obviously do not.
“I am hopeful that Catholics, Protestants and all people of faith who share my vision for the future of America will respond to our message of defending innocent life, traditional marriage, and compassion for the most vulnerable in our society.”
That’s some weak tea. When Byron Dorgan endorses Barack Obama, we take it for granted that Obama doesn’t agree with Dorgan about every single issue out there. Similarly when Rudy Giuliani endorses McCain that doesn’t mean they agree about everything. The issue here has to do with the role of extremists in public life. Barack Obama never sought support from Louis Farrakhan, never appeared on stage with Farrakhan, never pronounced himself proud to be backed by Farrakhan, but was nonetheless asked on national television to specifically disavow the man. People don’t want to put a political coalition that includes Farrakhan in office.
McCain and his staff actively sought out Hagee’s endorsement, he appeared and campaigned with Hagee, he said he was proud to be backed by Hagee. Hagee is, in short, part of McCain’s political strategy. Now he tells us he doesn’t agree with Hagee about everything. Well, which things? Are we supposed to believe that McCain’s not into the bigotry, or the foreign policy aimed at apocalypse, but just likes Hagee because of their shared opposition to gay marriage? Is McCain going to be courting Osama bin Laden’s endorsement? It’s reminiscent of McCain’s on-again, off-again quest for the support of “agents of intolerance” like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. McCain’s trying to wink with one eye to a segment of the electorate, wink with his other eye at his fans in the media, and somehow maintain a reputation for straight talk throughout all this.
I saw the amusing Definitely, Maybe last night and was eager to proclaim it our world’s first nineties period film. Obviously, we have a lot of movies set in the nineties, but I thought this was the first movie made in a distinctly post-nineties time about the nineties. This morning, though, I’m remembering Primary Colors as an earlier example. Are there others? Any that don’t involve Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign? I can’t remember if the film version of About a Boy follow the book in using Kurt Cobain’s death as a plot point?
“Violent civilian deaths in Iraq rose 36 percent in February from the previous month,” according to Iraqi government figures. The rise from 466 violent civilian deaths in January to 633 in February “was the first increase after six consecutive months of falling casualty tolls.” “February’s casualty figures spiked after female bombers killed 99 people at two pet markets in Baghdad on February 2 and a suicide bomber killed 63 people returning from a Shi’ite religious ritual south of Baghdad on February 24.”
Climate Plans by New York, Florida Prod U.S. on Global Accord – Bloomberg.com. “Twenty-two U.S. states with about 145 million people are exploring mandatory carbon-dioxide caps and emission-credit markets similar to one in the European Union. The proposals are pressuring Congress to pass legislation that would supersede the state and regional programs with a single national plan.”
Colorado’s place in the sun – Rocky Mountain News “Abengoa Solar, with U.S. headquarters in Lakewood, plans to triple its size in the next year. London-based Camco International wants to work on local projects to develop and aggregate carbon credits. And Danish company Vestas is putting the finishing touches on its first U.S. wind turbine plant in Windsor.”
Gregoire urges fast action on climate change measure – Seattle Post-Intelligencer “On the first day of the 2008 legislative session, Gov. Chris Gregoire announced a multifaceted climate change bill that could dramatically reshape the state’s economy. The legislation proposed Monday would lay the groundwork for concrete limits on greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2012. It would give the state Department of Ecology the authority to regulate those emissions.”
Pawlenty joins global-warming radio ad – Star Tribune (Minnesota). “Deepening his involvement in the global warming debate and in national affairs, Gov. Tim Pawlenty is lending his voice to a nationwide radio ad sponsored by the activist Environmental Defense Action Fund. In the ad, Pawlenty teams up with Arizona’s Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano to scold Congress for not doing more to combat climate change.” This won’t further endear him to conservatives….