What the candidates are doing

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Quibbling over whether and how often to face off in townhall type meetings.

If this report from Reuters is any indication, it’s clear what kind of reporting we can expect from major media this summer.

McCain, 71, quickly accepted and accused Obama, 46, of rejecting his offer from two weeks ago to hold 10 face-to-face encounters, one a week, throughout the summer.

Got it? McCain is old, and Obama is young. ‘Nuff said.

click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 13 JUNE 2008

Obama is mastering damage control

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He’s always had a plan, which is why Sen. Barack Obama is now the Democratic presidential nominee. Nobody beats the Clintons, and he beat the Clintons. Nobody comes into the US presidential campaign to be leader of the free world with only a few years’ experience and no well formed or known policies. But he did.

He did it with masterful organization, on the ground and across the nation. His impressive campaign staff and strategy worked like a machine (no surprise, coming out of Chicago) on every level and many fronts. Now, they’ve opened a new one.

Barack Obama’s campaign revealed a Web site [Thursday] entitled “Fight the Smears” — aimed at, you guessed it — beating back misinformation, half truths or downright lies being spread about the Democratic nominee via television, the Web, radio and, most pervasively, e-mail.

“The Obama campaign isn’t going to let dishonest smears spread across the internet unanswered,” explained… click here to read whole article and make comments



Unelected, politically unaccountable judges

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That’s the dead-on reference in the last line in this NRO Bench Memos excerpt from the dissent written today on the Supreme Court’s staggering decision on Guantanamo Bay detainees. It’s written, incisively, by Chief Justice John Roberts. Who pierces the veneer of high officiousness of this decision with sharp cricitism for what it wrought.

Today the Court strikes down as inadequate the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants. The political branches crafted these procedures amidst an ongoing military conflict, after much careful investigation and thorough debate. The Court rejects them today out of hand, without bothering to say what due process rights the detainees possess, without explaining how the statute fails to vindicate those rights, and before a single petitioner has even attempted to avail himself of the law’s operation. And to what effect? The majority merely replaces a review system designed by the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Congressional fence-sitters

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Members of Congress are familiar with that seat, actually. Especially on a range of social and economic issues.

But RealClearPolitics points to a group of them who aren’t supporting a presidential candidate yet, either. They’re worried about their own electability.

Georgia Rep. Jim Marshall, a Democrat and Vietnam veteran who won his last election by about 1,800 votes, said he admires both Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., but feels no obligation to state a preference.

“If it turns out one of them is an ax murderer or something like that I’ll make a choice,” he joked. Otherwise, “I don’t think I need to get involved.”

That’s extreme indecision. Or…decisive moderation.

For most of these fence-sitters — at least 14 as of Wednesday — it boils down to political necessity: They are vulnerable Democrats in conservative-leaning districts who take pains to avoid aligning closely with the national party.… click here to read whole article and make comments



President Bush usually says what he thinks

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But in this rare interview with the British Times Online, he’s unusually candid about thoughts we haven’t heard before.

In an exclusive interview, he expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood. “I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric.”

Phrases such as “bring them on” or “dead or alive”, he said, “indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace”. He said that he found it very painful “to put youngsters in harm’s way”. He added: “I try to meet with as many of the families as I can. And I have an obligation to comfort and console as best as I possibly can. I also have an obligation to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain.”

Bush is on… click here to read whole article and make comments



The more restrained black pastors

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They realize the nation is making history in this election. Most of them admire and support Barack Obama. But they’re exercising the virtue of prudence in speaking publicly.

These pastors understand the need for balance.

The Rev. Jeffrey Bryan has posted campaign signs for “Obama in ‘08″ and displayed snapshots of the presumed Democratic presidential nominee visiting his Newark, N.J., church. At times he wears a T-shirt emblazoned with Barack Obama’s face.

That’s as far as Bryan will go — there will be no sermons peppered with “Vote Obama!”

“It’s a historical time for black people. We cannot ignore what’s going on,” Bryan said. Yet, he added, “you can’t tell people who to vote for.”

He’s right, for multiple reasons, starting with some whip-cracking regulations.

This election year has seen an effort by the IRS and church-state separation watchdog groups to significantly step up their… click here to read whole article and make comments



Mulling over candidates, popularity and war

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There’s a common thread here, as Sen. Obama is very popular no matter what, McCain is quite unpopular no matter what, and the war can’t be called popular by any stretch.

The Weekly Standard has this piece about what the response of these two men may indicate for their potential presidency. Read the whole thing, it’s more revealing than sound-bite campaign speeches or news briefs. Here’s Frederick Kagan’s conclusion:

For any voter trying to choose between the two candidates for commander in chief, there is no better test than this: When American strategy in a critical theater was up for grabs, John McCain proposed a highly unpopular and risky path, which he accurately predicted could lead to success. Barack Obama proposed a popular and politically safe route that would have led to an unnecessary and debilitating American defeat at the hands of al Qaeda.

The two men brought different backgrounds to the test,… click here to read whole article and make comments



Will the Clinton Catholics become Obama Catholics?

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That’s actually not the right question.

The glaringly obvious question is why the media ignore the disconnect of a Catholic supporting a pro-abortion politician, no matter how much they like the candidate and their positions on anything else. The point is, unlike any other issue, abortion is about everything else.

Kathryn Jean Lopez has a good article on this over at NRO.

When the topic was recently a matter of cable talking-heads’ concern, I was asked, repeatedly, in all seriousness, if Catholics can even vote. After all, war is bad. The death penalty is bad. Abortion is bad. John McCain supports the war on terror. He supports capital punishment. He is against abortion. Obama: antiwar, pro-abortion, functionally anti-death penalty. So neither wins. Or Obama wins? “Can Catholics vote for anyone?” readers asked.

There is much confusion out there.

When I’m on the radio or at speaking… click here to read whole article and make comments



In your down time, Sen. McCain…

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….this is a good opportunity to figure out how to show Americans the clear differences between you and Sen. Barack Obama.

Neil Cavuto has some good suggestions for you, starting with just being comfortable with who you are.

Tip one: Embrace your inner fuddy duddy. Face it, you’re not hip or cool, or even a snazzy dresser. But you know what, senator? Neither was bill gates in school. And he did ok.

Tip two: Don’t make your age the issue, make his age the issue. You’re the one with the experience. Tell him he reminds you of the kid who was barely six years old when you got captured by the North Vietnamese and thrown in a prison. Oh, wait, he was! 

Tip three: Don’t hide your temper. Show it. Apparently, when you explode, it’s a beaut. I think it shows your passion. And people respect… click here to read whole article and make comments



Is he sorry for what he said?

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Or sorry that he got caught?

Fr. Michael Pfleger’s fiery sermon in Trinity church in Chicago last week was consistent with his usual style, but this time it had specific political content forbidden by the Catholic Church in endorsing a political candidate (and making vile comments about another). Which is why Cardinal Francis George stepped in and gave Pfleger some time off “to put recent events in some perspective”.

This has played often and prominently in the media, of course, since it was the final event at Trinity that caused Sen. Barack Obama to resign from the church after a lot of other controversy there didn’t. But something I heard briefly reported has disappeared from newer accounts. It was a comment Pfleger reportedly made after his apology for the tirade.

A couple of days ago, one of the cable news shows put up a block quote on the screen that was allegedly said… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.

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