Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Some of the News
That may be True


Always sensitive to the age factor, McCain strategists noted the success of two visits by the candidate, one with former president George H.W. Bush and the other with the Dalai Lama. According to an inside source who declined to be named, these advisors noted that both photo ops made the candidate look good and almost vigorous, even though the Dalai Lama is just about a contemporary of Senator McCain

To take advantage of such photo opportunities, the campaign has begun to search for other older celebrities to make appearances with Senator McCain. The first approach was to Senator Harry Byrd, who, although a Democrat, readily agreed to meet with his long-time friend and colleague. Also being scheduled are newsmen Mike Wallace and Daniel Schurr, Helen Thomas, and South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Pressed by reporters, the strategists denied that they are trying to make the candidate look relatively young by comparison and insisted that the focus was on the advantages of experience and wisdom. However, this did not explain why they, noting the impact of photos of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, were diligently trying to arrange for appearances with Phyliss Diller and Elaine Stritch.



"Rising oil prices will leave the Iraqi government with a budget surplus of as much as $79 billion by year’s end..."

United States

"...the exploding federal budget deficit ... is projected to more than double in size this year to $389 billion ...".

"Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the first detainee convicted after a war crimes trial in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, could complete his punishment this year..."

Were there any war crime convictions at Nuremberg for drivers or chauffeurs of the Nazi war criminals?

U.S. Reports Drop in Homeless Population

That foreclosure crisis is more widespread than we thought.

McCain Camp Hires New Political Director
John McCain's campaign reorganization has resulted in the hiring of a new political director -- a role that was previously absent entirely from the campaign. The campaign has hired Mike DuHaime, who previously worked as Rudy Giuliani's campaign manager.

In a statement released this morning, the McCain campaign denied that this hiring meant that the Senator would do no campaigning until October and then campaign only in Florida.


I hope that the change that Barack Obama espouses does not end up being a change in Obama himself. His powerful rhetoric, his story, his vision inspired millions, with many young people becoming politically motivated for the first time.

But now Obama's inspirational speeches have been devoted to such July 4th topics as his patriotism and love of America and the importance of faith-based initiatives. As Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Dick Polman put it:
In his ongoing bid to reassure Americans that he, as an American, really truly
does love America, what will Barack Obama feel compelled to do next? Dress up
like James Cagney and sing "Yankee Doodle Dandy?"

Of course, Obama sees speeches on these themes as needed to offset opposition statements and rumors questioning his faith and patriotism. The speeches are excellent but it is galling to think that any candidate with years of honorable endeavors or public service should have to fend off such attacks.

And Obama seems to be moving toward the center. Witness his support of execution as a possible punishment for child rape, his support of individual gun rights (although subject to reasonable regulation) and, more important, his willingness to vote for FISA eavesdropping legislation despite probable immunity for telephone companies that illegally permitted invasions of privacy.

Some of Obama's moves could be seen as evidence of his drive to reduce partitsanship in politics, but they also present a danger to his brand as a new, trustworthy type of public servant. His reversal on acceptance of public financing is understandable in the face of overwhelming facts. However, the FISA support, to show his national security strength, is more problematic. He should have stood by his opposition to telephone company immunity.

So, will Obama be the inspiring new leader that brings hope and change? I think that he will and that his election and presidency will change America and will profoundly change our relationships and role in the world. But I guess politics must come before possible greatness.