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Attorney, Private Practice 2000-present Former Senate Legal Counsel 1994-2000, Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature Chief Consultant, 1985 Northern Marianas Constitutional Convention

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bomb Iran

We've all heard of John McCain's twisted version of the old Beach Boys' song Barbara Ann. Here's the original McCain:

Here's somebody who can actually sing, and with the lyrical creativity to come up with more than two words:

And here's a fun piece, a musical skit, a McCain-Bush spoof, with another full version, done on the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war, March 19, 2008 war protest:

And here's the MoveOn ad:

Here's one truly scary version:

Finally, here again is John McCain himself, on let's "Make it 100!":


Word has it that John McCain picked Sara Palin to be his running mate after meeting with her only once. Once. Just once.

They say Maverick John goes with his gut. Tough guy, goes with his gut. So why does he really need to know someone who would be next in line to be commander in chief? Just go with the gut, pick a buddy, and rush the enemy.

Why not make all major national and international decisions the same way?

Because its reckless (and foolish), that's why.

Stay in Iraq 50 years? Make it a hundred!

We know what John McCain's gut reactions are like. Asked about how to deal with Iran, he couldn't resist launching into a twisted rendition of the old Beach Boy's song Barbara Ann.

Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb Iran.



We have had enough arrogance and recklessness in the White House.

Vote Obama-Biden.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Should McCain dump Palin?

I have written that John McCain's choice of vice presidential candidate was probably a colossal blunder. So should he dump her before the convention and irredeemable damage?

If he wants to have any shot at all at victory in November, probably not. He's already in a Catch-22.

In 1972, George McGovern chose the then junior Senator from Missouri, Thomas Eagleton, to be his vice president. This was a bad choice in that McGovern did not realize that Eagleton had been clinically depressed in the past (and successfully treated with electroshock therapy). Choosing Eagleton was a minor mistake, however. The major mistake was dumping him and picking Kennedy brother-in-law Sergeant Shriver as surrogate.

McGovern could have weathered any storm generated by Eagleton's history of "mental illness" by focusing on Eagleton's success in facing his illness and enduring treatment. At the same time he would have earned significant credit for letting reason rather than policial expediency govern his decision, and for heightening national awareness and understanding of depression.

Technically, McGovern did not "dump" Eagleton; he accepted Eagleton's offer to withdraw. Under the circumstances, however, public perception was -- justifiably -- that McGovern failed to stand by his veep choice. Thus, in a very real sense -- perhaps the truest sense -- he "dumped" him.

Some say the offer to withdraw was made at McGovern's request -- which would be a quite literal dumping. McGovern made this decision despite a Time magazine poll showing 77 percent of respondents were unconcerned about Eagleton's medical history.

For his part, though, Eagleton was eager to be the vice presidential candidate, and his failure to let McGovern (or anyone else) know of his past before he was named for veep was called, by McGovern in a 2007 interview with the New York Times after Eagleton's death, "an incredible cover up."

Eagleton died early in 2007. From his entry into politics at 27 (election as St. Louis circuit attorney) to his retirement from the Senate thirty years later in 1987, Eagleton never lost an election. During the final twenty years of his life, according to the New York Times, he "remained passionate about public affairs" and "was outraged by the Iraq war." In a 2006 letter, he pleaded with former President Bill Clinton to "forgo 'the traditional silence of an ex-president in wartime' " to oppose the war.

Incidentally, I was active in McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign.


Sarah Palin, gun-toting former beauty queen mother of five; devout Christian; ardent anti-abortionist; union member; wife of commercial fisherman, one-eighth Yu'pik Eskimo, 2,000 mile "Iron Dog" snow machine champion, and production operator (on leave) for British

Photo credit: AL GRILLO / The Associated Press
Anchorage Daily News

Petroleum (BP) Todd Palin; fiscal conservative; former mayor of Wasilla, AK (2005 pop. 8,471 est.); two years experience as governor of Alaska; supporter of arctic drilling -- has been chosen to be John McCain's running mate.

What are the Republicans thinking? What is John McCain thinking?

Palin has a 90 percent approval rating in Alaska. "Wow!" you say, "She must be great. Looks like a sure winning ticket."

Uh, slow down. Not so fast. Take a moment to think.

Personally, I think McCain just made a major blunder.

Alaskans love Palin. That means they will vote for Obama-Biden. They want Governor Palin in Alaska, not Washington, DC. McCain will lose Alaska. Guaranteed.

Alaskans are fed up with Republic an corruption in that state. The only reliable weapon they have against it is their Republican governor who has taken on her own party to clean up the corruption.

They only way McCain carries Alaska now is if Palin is found to have been culpable in the firing of her former brother-in-law, Mike Wooton, an Alaska state trooper (who allegedly threatened to kill her father). If that happens, the McCain-Palin ticket is dead in the other 49 states on account of the scandal.

A scandal for Palin will revive talk about McCain's own misuse of power crisis involving the Keating 5 and the national savings and loan crisis.

Joining McCain for the announcement last night, Palin invoked the "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling" Hillary Clinton declared in her June 7, 2008 concession speech and pompously proclaimed that she, with John McCain, will now crash through it.

Really? What is she betting on? That McCain will die soon after the inauguration? She is the vice presidential candidate. The Democrats have been there, done that. Remember Geraldine Ferraro of Mondale-Ferraro in 1984?

Crashing through the glass ceiling Hillary put 18 million cracks in? Palin did absolutely nothing to get on the ticket. She was merely anointed for the role (almost as bad as being installed by the Supreme Court like Bush-Cheney).

Does Governor Palin really think Hillary will stand quietly by while she expropriates her lines?

McCain solved one problem, and one problem only, by choosing Palin. He can stop worrying about the right wing of his party staying home on election day. They will come out for Palin.

But he has solved that problem at a huge price. He has lost what previously was seen to be his most potent weapon: his Barack is "not ready to be president" line of attack.

If McCain were to win in November, Sarah Palin would be a heartbeat away from the presidency. She has no foreign policy experience, no international relations record of any kind. She has never even faced the pressure and trials of a national campaign, let alone act on the world stage.

A vote for McCain-Palin will be a gigantic gamble for voters, a gamble that John McCain will survive his term of office.

Three a.m. phone calls anyone?

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Glorious Day

Today was a glorious day in Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidency of the United States of America in front of 84,000 people. It was an occasion of profound symbolism, sending ripples around the globe, rattling stereotypes and potentially changing the image of our country forever.

Folks stood in line for miles to get into the stadium to see and hear Obama's acceptance speech.

It is now 67 days to the election.

Yahoo's Politico says Obama mastered his moment. Here are some excepts from that report:

Obama’s speech soared many times, but it always came back to earth. And it usually came back to earth on John McCain’s head.

* * *
You can accuse Barack Obama of a lot of things — and no doubt McCain will do so next week at the Republican National Convention — but you can’t accuse Obama of being a cream puff. He is ready to get it on, high road, low road, or middle road, against the Republicans.
Their greatest sin? Well, much of what they have told us about fighting terror, Obama said, has been fiction.
The Democrats have forced the Republicans to act radically (and desperately). It looks like John McCain will pick Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. To stay in the game, the Republicans have to follow the Democrat play book. So they pick a member of the other underrepresented class in an effort to counterbalance the Democrats' pick of Obama. They pick a young woman, in hopes of appealling to youth and women, a young woman with a record of changing things in Alaska. What radical transformations in American politics Obama is achieving!

So McCain's defensive strategy is to try to occupy the same space Obama and the Democratic Party have already staked out.

But is Sarah Palin prepared to take the 3:00 am phone call? Can she go nose to nose with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail? You can bet Hillary and Bill will take her on.

Dr. King's entire "I Have A Dream" speech can be found here.

"Born in the USA" joins the Democrats' theme in proper form.

More INVESCO stadium pictures:

Photo credits: Yahoo! News

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic Convention opens

The Democratic National Convention opened at 7:00 a.m. this morning (2:00 p.m. Sunday in Denver) with an interfaith gathering. The official opening gavel will be 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, Saipan time.

Here's an outline of the schedule:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'd 've never belived it if I hadn't seen it myself

Good God! Joe Biden for VP?

Here's what I just posted on Obama's website:

No way! What a terrible choice! He brings nothing to the ticket. He dissembles like it is drinking a glass of water. He is unoriginal and inauthentic. He repeatedly says foolish things, revealing his shallow character and intellectual vacuity.

He voted for the Iraq war and the PATRIOT Act's diminishment of the very liberties that make America great (and despised by our enemies). He displayed his latent, unconscious racism when he called you "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy ... that’s a storybook, man." He treated Anita Hill abominably in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

He's an Eastern establishment liberal, the kind of guy who gives credence to right-wing intellectual arguments that liberals secretly aim to hold persons of color and the poor down through benefits and entitlements.

You, in contrast, have good solid Midwestern down-to-earth liberal credentials. You need this guy like you need an albatross around your neck in the equatorial doldrums.

UPDATE Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008, 2:39 PM: FOX has been in overdrive trying to spin Biden's selection to be vice president negatively and use it to reinforce the Republican "not experienced enough to be president" storyline. They have had talking head after talking head -- including former Democratic party pollster Pad Caddell expressing disappointment in Obama -- on saying Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice.

Let's be clear, of the serious contenders for the slot, only Hillary would have been a worse choice. If, for whatever reason, it boiled down to a choice between Senator Biden and Senator Clinton for the job, then Senator Obama clearly made the right decision.

UPDATE #2, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008, 12:06 AM: The Obama campaign sent out the text message announcing the selection of Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joseph Biden as the choice for vice president -- at 3:00 AM. The three a.m. phone call. There's pointed symbolism for you ... and karma for Hillary.