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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

Friday, October 24, 2008

Closeting Palin?

Seems the idea of Sarah Palin in the klieg lights and intensity of the O'Reilly Factor puts an icy knot in the stomach of the McCain campaign. Recently, Bill O'Reilly himself had this to say on the subject:

The problem with Palin is that for some reason Palin has not been on my program, and we've invited her many, many times. They seem to be frightened of putting Sarah Palin out. That's all I know. I don't know her, I don't know what her ability is. I know that she's excellent in front of crowds, but they keep her in front of the choir. They're not bringing her out into the independent precincts. They're keeping her off programs like mine where 20 million would people would see it.

An interview with me and Palin would be as big as my interview with Barack Obama. They're keeping her away. So you tell me again, what are they doing?

From what I’ve seen of her out in public she is a tremendous performer. Whether she has enough to sway independents, which is what they have to do to win the election, I just don't know.

Now why are they are so jittery about putting her on with someone so obviously pro-Republican as O'Reilly? Could it be they are concerned that an appearance on the same show with the smart, slick O'Reilly will display -- in an incontrovertible way -- just exactly how stupid she really is?

I guess there are some things even a brand new $150,000 wardrobe from the Republican National Committee can't dress up.

Joe the Plumber

Here's the new McCain-Palin ad Dick Morris says will close the gap between McCain and Obama in the next couple of days -- or, if it doesn't take hold, Obama will blow out McCain and take 40 states.

Nonsensical tripe!

But even more to the point, notice how overwhelmingly negative it is?

It's not just again' him, it is downright caustic. Obama is not just one of those slimy "socialists" with their hand in your pocket, he is dishonest! All that in just 30 seconds!

Well, since ol' Joe has become such an important symbol these days, how about some hard facts on the guy? Well, as it happens, Hot Air has the skinny:

Wurzelbacher registered as an apprentice with the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council in November 2003, according to Dennis Evans, spokesman with the Department of Job and Family Services. Records show his training, which was sponsored by A & W Newell Co. of Toledo, should have been wrapped last year.

“We don’t have a record of completion,” Evans said. “All we know is that he registered in the program and has gone through to the point where we should have record of completion, but we don’t.”

And that’s not the only record that’s missing from Wurzelbacher’s file. He doesn’t have a plumbing license required by the city of Toledo to practice, according to a staffer with the Toledo Division of Building Inspection. Wurzelbacher, who now works for Newell Plumbing & Heating Co., said the owner, Al Newell, has a plumbing license and that “because he works for someone else, he doesn’t need a license.”

But even that’s not true, according to the Toledo Division of Building Inspection. Wurzelbacher can’t legally do plumbing work without a license, regardless of his boss’s certification.

Hotline's got the story too.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jostling for Congress -- CNMI Delegate Roundup

In January, the CNMI will be represented in the halls of the U.S. Congress for the first time. Whomever we elect November 4 will vote in committee and rub shoulders with the 435 representatives from the 50 states as well as the other nonvoting delegates from Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.

More than anyone else, our delegate will be the CNMI's face in Washington, DC. In committee, our delegate will have the opportunity to engage in the typical, or traditional, horse-trading and log-rolling that oils the political machinery -- and potentially could influence any national policy.

It is a matter of leadership ... and judgment ... wisdom ... communication ... understanding of the issues ... initiative ... creative, innovative thinking ... respect for all ... courage ... independence from conventionalism ... self-liberation from traditional island politics ... commitment to service above self.

With just 17 days to go until the election, it is time for us all to take a good, hard look at the candidates and get informed.

Here they are in ballot order (with links to their websites and other sources providing insights into their candidacies):

Ballot #1: John Oliver Gonzales (Bolis)
Ballot #2: Chong Won
Ballot #3: David M. Cing (former Tinian Senator)
Ballot #4: John T. Lizama (former Superior Court judge)
Ballot #5: Pete A. Tenorio (incumbent)
Ballot #6: Luis P. Crisostimo (incumbent Senator sitting illegally)
Ballot #7: John H. Davis
Ballot #8: Gregorio C. Sablan (Kilili)
Ballot #9: Felipe Q. Atalig

Note: Some may question why I list Washington Representative Pete A. Tenorio as an "incumbent." This is because that is precisely what he is. Unlike Senator Luis Crisostimo, Pete A's term does not expire after "the term of the office sought" begins (CNMI Constitution, art. VIII, sec. 5). U.S. Public Law 110-229 and Article V, Section 2 of the Commonwealth Constitution make this clear.

Section 711 of U.S. Public Law 110-229 provides:
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall be represented in the United States Congress by the Resident Representative to the United States authorized by section 901 of the Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America (approved by Public Law 94–241 (48 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.)). The Resident Representative shall be a nonvoting Delegate to the House of Representatives, elected as provided in this subtitle.
(emphasis added)

The Commonwealth Constitution provides:
The term of office of the resident representative shall be ... four years. In the event that the United States confers the status of member or non-voting delegate in the United States Congress on the resident representative and such status requires a different term, the term of office of the resident representative shall be that required by such status.
Section 712 of U.S. Public Law 110-229 provides:
The Delegate shall be elected— ... at the Federal general election of 2008 and at such Federal general election every 2d year thereafter ... [and] ... [t]he term of the Delegate shall commence on the 3d day of January following the date of the election.
Thus, Pete A's term as Washington Representative, nominally slated to expire in January, 2010, was, pursuant to Article V, Section 2 of the Commonwealth Constitution, truncated, by U.S. Public Law 110-229, to expire January 3, 2009. On that date, the office mandated by Article V of the Commonwealth Constitution is redenominated as CNMI Delegate (or, more precisely, Resident Representative aka CNMI Delegate), as expressly mandated by the people of the CNMI in 1985 by ratifying Constitutional Amendement No. 24.

That makes Pete A an incumbent in this delegate election.


Some other links of note:

John H. Davis: A vision for a self-sufficient CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Oct. 9, 2008)

Saipan Tribune (Oct. 11, 2008): Economy, power crisis top priorities of delegate bets

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Talking substance

Contrast this with the vacuity and "below the belt" punching of the McCain-Palin campaign of late . . . .

Slash and burn -- the domestic terrorism of the McCain campaign

In what the Huffington Post is calling "the voguish idiot question du jour," the mega-money Republican media machine (aka Fox ["Faux"] News) has been operating full bore to try to sell the American public the idea that Barack Obama is a closet terrorist -- or at least a "fellow traveler."

It seems John McCain has nothing more substantial to offer the American people than conjuring up chimeras -- a Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort) kind of pastime.

It isn't really just the Faux News disinformation and propaganda machine taking this tack but the entire Republi-Cain political apparat. Sara Palin -- whose capacity for reasoning and judgment barely aspires to attain the lowest common denominator of the 300 million residents of the United States -- is the point person, but Republican and "conservative" shills and operatives are out in force.

It is more than a bit much, and Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs finally employed turnabout to reveal the result of applying to Fox meta-propagandist Sean Hannity the same standard and "logic" he had been deploying against Obama.

Look around, you'll see what I mean. There's a rich vein of character-revealing conduct out there -- a treasure trove of indirect truth just waiting to be mined . . . in the body language of politics . . . the flow of electronic media . . . and the dew drops on the worldwide web.

Watch this fight on The View.

On the topic of domestic terrorism, it occurs to me that Timothy McVeigh was a Palin-style Republican . . . and then there is that small matter of the Alaskan Independence Party of which Sara Palin and her husband Todd were members as recently as 1994: Alaska First -- Alaska Always . . . "the fires of Hell are glaciers compared to my hate for the American government" John Vogler, AIP founder.

And don't miss this review of McCainonomics and "the people behind the curtains."

On character, Jared Bernstein asks:

Why does McCain want to be president? Those who have followed him for years don't recognize his agenda, his tactics, his positions (e.g., the great populist regulator!). How could a man of seemingly deep conviction morph into this caricature? His campaign is empty, with no spiritual or intellectual core; its tactics have devolved into a series of crass surprises and Hail Mary passes.

and then concludes:

I get Obama in this regard. To get the country back on track, to reconnect middle-class living standards and growth, to rein in market fundamentalism, to rectify a series of unjust and even fatal policy choices, to restore America's standing in the world, he seeks to implement his change agenda.

But I don't get McCain. I hope the country doesn't get him either.