May 15, 2008
The California Supreme Court, as you've probably heard, ruled 4-3 today that the California Constitution provides gays the lesbians the right to marry. Full text of the opinion is here (pdf). The main question, of course, is whether the ruling is correct as a matter of law, but let's leave that aside for now (I can't claim much familiarity with the mess that is the California Constitution--more on this later).
Bush Vs. Obama
White House spokesgal Dana Perino denies that Bush's remarks at the Knesset today about those want to negotiate with "terrorists and radicals" was aimed at Obama. "I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you," Perino said. "That is not always true. And it is not true in this case." On the other hand, we have this CNN report: The president did not name Obama or any other Democrat, but White House aides privately acknowledged the remarks were aimed at the presidential candidate and others in his party. I report, you decide! P.S.
They stop referring to Democrats as "the Democrat Party" and add that long lost "ic." As in this from today's Harris and VandeHei piece in the Politico: The Republican infrastructure is crumbling. Making matters worse, Democrats are erecting a pretty impressive network of donors, think tanks and activist groups that is exploiting the GOP’s structural weakness. The GOP “needs to realize what the opposition is and how formidable it is,” said former GOP leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).
Chief Of Staff Daschle?
Yglesias mentions talk of Daschle as a possible Obama chief of staff. It's an intriguing idea. Yes, Daschle had a mixed record as Senate Democratic leader, failing to stop the Bush income tax cut and backing the 2002 Iraq war resolution. But a chief of staff doesn't make policy. And Daschle always an effective organizer and manager whose gentle, low-key style probably plays better in a behind-the-scenes role anyway.
Paint It Black
Following the resignations of two McCain campaign officials who'd lobbied for the Burma junta, there's been some increased scrutiny of campaign chairman Charlie Black, whose lobbying over the years has included work for such dictators as Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko, Nigeria's Ibrahim Babangida, and Somalia's Mohamed Siad Barre, as well as Angola's would-be dictator Jonas Savimbi. Black's response?: Black said he never took on work for foreign figures "without first talking to the State Department and the White House and clearing with them that the work would be in the interest of U.S.
Bush at the Knesset: In a particularly sharp blast from halfway around the world, President Bush suggested Thursday that Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats are in favor of "appeasement" of terrorists in the same way U.S. leaders appeased Nazis in the run-up to World War II. "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," said Bush, in what White House aides privately acknowledged was a reference to calls by Obama and other Democrats for the U.S.
May 14, 2008
WASHINGTON--Myanmar has given us one of the most admirable women alive, Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and the world's most repugnant regime. Until May 2, the military government led by army chief Than Shwe was competing for that title with Zimbabwe's racist tyrant, North Korea's lunatic autocrat and Cuba's bumbling Castro brothers.
Dept Of Friends Like These
Obama's other major endorsement today comes from the pro-choice womens' group NARAL. It's a major symbolic blow to Hillary. Later in the day, EMILY's List president Ellen Malcolm fired back: "I think it is tremendously disrespectful to Sen. Clinton - who held up the nomination of a FDA commissioner in order to force approval of Plan B and who spoke so eloquently during the Supreme Court nomination about the importance of protecting Roe vs. Wade - to not give her the courtesy to finish the final three weeks of the primary process.
Mccain And The G.i. Bill
In a speech in West Virginia earlier this week, Barack Obama attacked John McCain for opposing Jim Webb's "21st Century G.I. Bill," the original 1946 version of which paid full tuition and living costs for veterans enrolling in college. As this helpful Boston Globe piece explains, the original bill was curtailed during the relative peace of the 1980s, capping benefits at just under $10,000 per year.
Hangin' With Hezbollah
Burning tires, roadblocks, masked gunmen, Beirut in flames--sound familiar? This isn't the first time that Hezbollah has laid siege to the Lebanese capitol in order to pressure the government to share more power. Last year, we had Zvika Krieger on the ground in Beirut giving us a thrilling tour of the city as pandemonium reigned. One memorable passage: "We're also trying to stop American hegemony of Lebanon," pipes in fellow Hezbollah member Mohammad.