ThinkFast: September 3, 2008


Steve Schmidt, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) top campaign strategist, yesterday accused the media of being “on a mission to destroy” Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) by displaying “a level of viciousness and scurrilousness” in pursuing questions about her personal life. Schmidt said the McCain campaign feels “under siege” by news inquiries on Palin.

Sen. John McCain has long campaigned against Congress earmarking federal money for pet projects back home, having gone so far as publishing “pork lists” detailing these financial favors. However, “three times in recent years, McCain’s catalogs of ‘objectionable’ spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time — Sarah Palin.”

Yesterday, the state Supreme Court in Bronx County “dismissed challenges brought by a coalition of conservative activists, Republican state lawmakers and the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund to a directive by Gov. David Paterson that all state agencies recognize same-sex marriages performed outside New York.”

Although Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has vowed to distance himself from lobbyists, CQ reports that “McCain and the Republicans gathered in St. Paul are sending a more nuanced message by integrating some of K Street’s brightest stars as managers of floor activities — suggesting that lobbyists could play important roles in advancing a McCain administration agenda.”

On the trail: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will be traveling to Minnesota for the Republican National Convention today. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) will be discussing women and the economy at Kent State University in Ohio.

California lawmakers passed a bill aimed at cutting CO2 emissions by “rewarding cities and counties that prevent urban sprawl and improve public transportation.” Supporters and transportation experts say it is “the first measure in the nation to link government transportation funding with urban planning and CO2-reduction goals.”

Vice President Dick Cheney “traveled to Azerbaijan Wednesday, part of a tour of three ex-Soviet republics wary of Russia’s intentions following last month’s war between Russia and neighboring Georgia.” Azerbaijan is “home to some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the former Soviet Union.”

“The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that construction spending declined 0.6 percent in July, double the 0.3 percent decrease analysts had been expecting.” Construction activity is down 4.7 percent from last year, ” representing one of the major drags on the current economy.”

And finally: Huffington Post claims to have caught former president George H.W. Bush checking his watch last night during First Lady Laura Bush’s speech at the Republican National Convention. The site has posted the “nostalgia-inducing video” here.

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