Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama Feels Wronged by Wright

I saw a portion of Barack Obama's press conference where I think he put some distance between himself and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Obama said that Wright said nothing "constructive" during his appearance before the National Press Club yesterday and that he had shown disrespect and disregard to him and his campaign. Consequently, the relationship between him and Reverend Wright has "changed". I did find some of the things he said curious. For instance, when he said that he goes to church to pray not to posture politically. Well, judging by Wright's sermons methinks there was a lot more posturing than praying. Obama also said that Wright's remarks contradict the things that are said in his books. But it was Wright who inspired the books in the first place. Obama also said he remains a member at Trinity United Church. Nonetheless, it was the first time Obama put a significant amount of distance between himself and Reverend Wright. Did he throw off the albatross in time? The Indiana Primary in one week will tell us a great deal.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Can We Wright Off Obama?

No we cannot. The election is more than six months away. The Democratic presidential nomination is his to lose. But the more the Reverend Jeremiah Wright talks, the happier Hillary Clinton is. Should the superdelegates go with Obama, I am sure McCain will experience similar euphoria when Wright opens his mouth. Go ahead. Keep insisting that we do terrorism on other people. Keep telling us we had 9/11 coming. Can you say albatross?

McCain Flips on Wright

After chastising the North Carolina GOP for running anti-Obama ads featuring the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, McCain begun criticizing Wright during an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. He did so on the grounds that Obama said Wright's comment were a "legitimate political issue." McCain took Wright to task for equating U.S. Marines to Roman legionnaires who crucified Jesus. Well, better late than never. But it worries me that McCain didn't see fit to criticize Wright until Obama gave him permission to do so. Yet McCain criticizes his own party at the drop of a hat. I know that's old news to many conservatives. Be that as it may this is not a deal breaker for me. He's still light years ahead of Obama and Hillary. If McCain is right about the surge in Iraq and nothing else he will have accomplished something significant in the White House.

Why Is Richardson Engaging Chavez?

Why do otherwise intelligent let Hugo Chavez play them for fools? First, it was French President Sarkozy. Now it is New Mexico Governor and former Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson. He met with the Venezuelan strongman to see if he could persuade FARC to release three American contractors in Colombia. Richardson said he met with Chavez at the request of the contractors' families. I harbor no discontent towards the families. I am sure if I were in their position I might care not a wit about who could help in winning the release of a loved one. But Richardson should know better. Chavez is bankrolling FARC. He is facilitating terrorism. It would be like Richardson visiting Ahmadinejad to win the release of the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah. Or for that matter like Carter visiting Khaled Meshaal to win Gilad Shalit's release.

60 Minutes Profile of Scalia & IAF

Lesley Stahl's profile of Justice Scalia was illuminating. Much of the tone was as if, "He's a conservative and doesn't have horns coming out of his head." But it was generally a positive piece. I didn't know he was so tight with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. However, I didn't think he did all that great of job of explaining his judicial philosophy. His tone was basically, "It is because I say it is." Sure a lot of people don't like Scalia's politics but his bedside manner doesn't serve him well.

Bob Simon's piece on the Israeli Air Force was also generally positive although I found his lecturing on the killing of Palestinian civilians a bit much. He told one fighter pilot that he didn't look like he had the face of a killer. Would Simon have asked that question of a WWII veteran who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day?

Moyers Interview of Wright

I saw the interview on Sunday morning. From what I can see Reverend Wright is preaching a perverted version of the Social Gospel. He claims he wants to give his congregants hope in this life, not in the afterlife. That's a legitimate school of thought. But Reverend Wright confuses hope with hate. Trinity United can have an HIV outreach program but what good is it if he insists the government deliberately caused the disease. How are you giving your congregants hope when you insist to the high heavens that "we took this country by terror."? Moyers played extended version of his sermons of September 16, 2001 (when he said, "America's chickens are coming home to roost.") and April 13, 2003 (when he said, "Not G-d Bless America. G-d Damn America!!!). Wright can decry the "corporate owned media" repeatedly playing the clips for "nefarious purposes". But if anything the extended versions of his sermons actually make him look worse. BTW, it wasn't like he was being recorded in secret. Trinity United sold the tapes for whomever wanted to see and hear what he had to say. Granted, if Wright weren't associated with Obama he would be just another crank. But he isn't just another crank. He's a crank who will have the ear of the man who might very well be the next President of the United States. Yesterday, he spoke before the NAACP and today he's speaking before the National Press Club. He's but one 3 a.m. phone call from the White House.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

MDC Prevails in Zimbabwe Recount

Maybe there is a little bit of hope in Zimbabwe after all. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has announced that of the 23 seats that were subject to recount, the MDC retained 18 of them. So it is now official. Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF has lost control of the lower house of Parliament for the first time since independence in 1980. However, this must be tempered by the fact that the ZANU-PF and the MDC have an identical number of seats in the upper house. Under the best of circumstances, the ZANU-PF will do much to obstruct MDC initiatives. But these are not the best of circumstances. MDC offices continue to be raided and opposition activists continue to be arrested and beaten. Given that the ZEC has upheld the parliamentary result for the MDC one should not be surprised to see members of the ZEC arrested as they were when they first announced favorable results for the MDC. Of course, nearly a month has passed and the Presidential results still haven't been announced.

Inside Catholic has great article on WFB

Check it out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

State Department Backs Off Declaring Victory for Tsvangirai

At the State Department's daily press briefing, spokesman Sean McCormack backed off comments made by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer stating Morgan Tsvangirai prevailed in last month's election in Zimbabwe. Although he did seem to agree with the thrust of Frazer's comments. "I'll just say that there is clearly a vote for change and there are a lot of indications that he may well have won," said McCormack. Under the circumstances it was the best he could do. As I said yesterday I like Frazer's chutzpah. But in the real world a dignitary representing a foreign government cannot make a statement declaring someone the winner of an election. They can deflect from the issue at hand which is heavy handedness they are using to maintain power. If Frazer had focused her comments on that rather than speaking in favor of Tsvangirai I suspect she would not have made any headlines. I cannot help but think that Frazer's talents would be better served in the field of advocacy than in diplomacy.

IAEA Chief Bashes U.S. & Israel But Not Syria & North Korea

Mohamed ElBaradei, the Secretary General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, blasted the United States and Israel concerning the nuclear reactor in Syria. He blasted the United States for not sharing intelligence with him until yesterday and Israel for unilaterally taking out the reactor last September. Funny though al-Baradei never got around to chastising Syria for building the reactor and not informing the IAEA in the first place nor did he take North Korea to task for providing technical and manpower assistance to Syria. ElBaradei is a UN diplomat through and through.

Assad Says He'll Talk Peace With Israel Once Bush Is Gone

In an interview with a newspaper in Qatar, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would be prepared to talk peace with Israel once President Bush leaves office next year. Translation: Assad thinks a Democrat will win the White House and consequently will place more pressure on Israel and less on Syria. Of course, Assad might come to rue his statement should John McCain be elected in November. Careful for what you wish.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

U.S. Envoy Says Tsvangirai Won Zimbabwe Election

Jendayi Frazer, the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, told reporters in South Africa she believed Morgan Tsvangirai won last month's presidential election. "The most credible results we have today are a clear victory for Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round and maybe a total victory." Frazer also said there should be change and that she supported the international arms embargo initiated by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It should be noted though that Frazer also believes there might very well be a negotiated settlement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai. Yet here's somebody from the State Department willing to speak her mind. I'm sure State Department Sean McCormack must be losing his mind. In January, Frazer was sent to Kenya by President Bush to mediate between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga. She described the post-election violence in Kenya as "ethnic cleansing". McCormack publicly said that he agreed to disagree with Frazer's sentiments. I await McCormack daily press conference tomorrow. He must be thanking G-d it will be on Friday. Still, I like her chutzpah.

Is Bush Lowering Expectations for a Palestinian State?

President Bush received Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House today and told reporters, "I'm confident we can achieve the definition of a state." Back in January I wrote an article which argued Bush needed the creation of a Palestinian state to save the legacy of his Presidency even if done at the expense of Israel. This statement leads me believe that he has come to the realization that there will not be an agreement by the end of his term. Frankly, I'm not sure Bush should want to be remembered for playing a part in the creation of a terrorist state. As much as I am disgusted with Jimmy Carter's engagement of Hamas I really don't believe Fatah to be much better. I'm not sure what Bush saw in Abbas that he would embrace him after Arafat's death other than he was not Arafat. Bush might be dissapointed in not having an agreement achieved under his watch but it might be ulitmately be for the best. On the other hand, if a Democrat is elected in November and no agreement has been reached you can be sure Hillary or Obama will exert more pressure on Israel to make concessions so they can have a ceremony on the White House lawn.

The North Korean/Syrian Axis

The CIA briefed U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill this morning concerning videotaped evidence of a nuclear facility in Syria that would have been capable of making plutononium and that Syria got a great deal of help from the North Koreans. The facility is said to be nearly identical to one built by the North Koreans in Yonbyon. The reactor had been built without the knowledge of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This facility was destroyed by Israel last September. (www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,352382,00.html)

Last fall, North Korea agreed to provide the United States, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia a full account of its nuclear programs in exchange for carrots and no sticks. A deal Bugs Bunny would love. North Korea has been getting fuel and other aid but apparently forgot to mention this Syrian reactor. If the North Koreans didn't stick to the agreement Jimmy Carter negotiated in 1994 why would they stick to this agreement? Their word isn't worth anything. If the North Koreans didn't disclose the reactor in Syria a reasonable person can conclude there are others they haven't disclosed either. So much for trust but verify.

As for Syria, I know Olmert is prepared to return the Golan Heights but isn't this rewarding bad behavior? They build a nuclear reactor, Israel destroys it. That should be the end of it. But no!!! Olmert is prepared to compensate them for it by giving back the Golan Heights. The Syrians will probably thank Israel by building another reactor on the Golan Heights. Syria hasn't done anything to warrant any kind of discussion concerning the Golan Heights. If they were really serious about it they would have expelled Khaled Meshaal before Jimmy Carter could have a chance to talk with him.

Britain & Australia Call For Arms Embargo Against Zimbabwe

In light of the current political situation in Zimbabwe, Britain is calling for an international arms embargo against the southern African nation. Australia has also added its support for the British initiative. However, African National Congress Chair Jacob Zuma opposed the move after he met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stating the situation didn't warrant such action. Although Zimbabwe's African neighbors recently refused to allow a shipment of Chinese arms to Zimbabwe if the embargo doesn't have their support it probably won't do much good.

Will Israel Give The Golan Heights Back to Syria?

I was reading the online edition of The Jerusalem Post where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has confirmed reports that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is offering to return the Golan Heights to Syria. Evidently, Olmert and Assad have been exchanging messages through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan since the end of the Israel-Hezbollah War in 2006. In exchange for the Golan Heights, Israel wants Syria ending its support for Hamas and Hezbollah, kicking Jimmy Carter's new friend Khaled Meshaal out of Damascus and distancing themselves from Iran. Assad is about as likely to meet those conditions as Robert Mugabe voluntarily relinquishing power. Let's remember it was only last fall that Israel took out a Syrian nuclear reactor (on which they apparently had a lot of assistance from North Korea). It would not surprise me in the least if Olmert agrees to surrender the Golan Heights for a lot less. If Israel were to surrender the Golan Heights and reach an agreement on an independent Palestinian state this would meet the conditions set out by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States concerning recognition of Israel. It would be interesting to see if the Saudis and the Arab League back their word or simply make more demands for Israel to give up more land. Of course, it's possible the Saudis and others would recognize Israel and then make more demands for Israel to give up more land.

A Unity Government in Zimbabwe?

Mugabe must be feeling the heat. Neighboring African governments, following the lead of their trade unionists, have refused to ship Chinese arms to Zimbabwe and the Chinese have now recalled the shipment (although I'm sure they'll find a way to ship them more surreptitiously). Governments newspapers are now broaching the idea of forming a national unity government with the MDC and other opposition groups but with Mugabe remaining in power. However, Tsvangirai rejected the proposal out of hand arguing that any government that included Mugabe was a deal breaker. The best case scenario would be if Mugabe were to surrender power and leave Zimbabwe permanently in exchange for no charges being brought against him. Of course, Mugabe should pay for his crimes carried out under his watch. But I believe the mere loss of his office would be far more punitive against Mugabe than any investigation carried out against him while remains ensconsced in power.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Would Carter Have Heeded Rice's Advice?

Yesterday, while in Kuwait, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters that Jimmy Carter had been advised that his meeting with Hamas "was not going to help." For his part, Carter said no one in the State Department had told him any such thing. Today, the Carter Center issued a press release which began:

President Carter has the greatest respect for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and believes her to be a truthful person. However, perhaps inadvertently, she is continuing to make a statement that is not true.
Carter goes on to say that no one in the State Department nor any other branch of the United States government had told him not visit either Hamas or Syrian President Bashar Assad. He added that he contacted Rice to make her abreast of his plans before leaving for Nepal to monitor its election before heading to the Middle East. Rice's deputy returned the call and Carter claims he was not cautioned about any aspect of his trip.
Let's assume for a moment that Rice's account is correct is Carter is, inadvertently of course, incorrect. Perhaps Carter wasn't paying attention. But let's assume Carter acknowledges Rice's account. Would Carter have heeded Rice's words and not visited Hamas? That is the real question here. I believe Carter was intent on having an audience with Hamas whether or not Rice or anyone else in the U.S. government counseled him against it. So his decision to have a war with words with Rice and besmirch her character is a desperate attempt to draw attention away from his bad judgment. It is also a desperate attempt to draw attention away from the fact nothing was gained from that conversation other than to legitimize Hamas.

Kofi Annan Defends Carter on Hamas

Quel surprise!!! Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan defended Jimmy Carter's recent talks with Hamas. During a press conference in Geneva at the launch of his new organization, the Global Human Forum, Annan said, "I don't think the criticism is entirely fair. We should be cautious not to over-react but take advantage of whatever openings President Carter has been able to move the process forward." And what openings would those be? Nothing has changed between last week and this week. Hamas will no more recognize Israel as its neighbor than it did a week ago. The same will be true next week. The only thing that has changed is that Hamas is gaining credibility and respectability with the chattering classes. So long as Hamas' hooliganism is rewarded there is no reason for them to change their behavior. After all, Hamas exists to put Israel out of existence.

Hillary Wins Pennsylvania By 10 Points

Despite being outspent 2 to 1, Hillary Clinton won a convincing 55-45 victory in last night's Pennsylvania Primary. The race is still Obama's to lose. Here are the remaining contests:

May 3 - Guam Caucuses
May 6 - Indiana Primary & North Carolina Primary
May 13 - West Virginia Primary
May 20 - Oregon Primary and Kentucky Primary
May 27 - Idaho Primary
June 1 - Puerto Rico Primary
June 3 - South Dakota Primary and Montana Primary

Obama has Guam and North Carolina in the bag. Indiana is up in the air. The Hoosier state is a lot like Ohio and Pennsylvania which would favor Hillary but it is next door to Obama's political base in Illinois. The remaining contests, if they had been held on Super Tuesday, would have favored Obama. However, given there are a lot of small towns in Kentucky, West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana his comments about people being bitter and clinging to religion and guns might end up making Obama the bitter one.

All of which means that the winner is John McCain.

Smoltz Gets 3,000th Strikeout

John Smoltz became the 16th pitcher in MLB history to attain his 3,000th strikeout. He did so last night when he struck out Washington Nationals infielder Felipe Lopez in the top of the 3rd. Smoltz struck out 10 batters in the game. However, he was handed his first loss of the season as the Nationals won the game 6-0. What makes Smoltz accomplishment so amazing was that he spent four seasons as a closer thus pitching far fewer innings. He also missed the entire 2000 season when he underwent Tommy John surgery. Smoltz has 210 wins and 154 saves. Aside from Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, no other pitcher has enjoyed that level of success both as a starter and a reliever. On top of that, Smoltz has spent his entire major league career going back to 1988 with the Braves.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Carter and Redeeming Features

In an interview with FOX News, Jimmy Carter was asked if he would talk with al Qaeda. He said he would not because they did not have "redeeming features." So apparently Hamas has redeeming features. Indeed, Carter argues that Hamas was elected in Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006. Never mind that Hamas governs like a dictatorship. But by those standards, Carter would have founding "redeeming features" in Hitler.

Hillary, Obama & McCain Appear on WWE Raw

All three presidential candidates had taped statements aired on last night's World Wrestling Entertainment's RAW program. Not surprisingly much of what all three candidates said was cheesy using outdated wrestling references. Hillary promised to deliver the People's Elbow or Obama asking, "Do you smell what Barack is cooking?" (Obama actually sounds a great deal like DeWayne "The Rock" Johnson). McCain went back even further asking, "Whatcha gonna do when John McCain and all the McCainiacs run wild on you?" He also mistakenly called this weekend's Fatal Fourway match the Fatal Four. But McCain did say, "Americans watch wrestling not because we're bitter. We watch wrestling to celebrate our freedom." I am not sure how the statements went over with the crowd in Greenville, SC but I suspect none of the candidates were well received because they muted the crowd noise when they spoke. Still, millions of people watch RAW every week (myself included) and it reaches very key demographics, especially males between 18 and 34. So all three campaigns were smart to at least attempt to reach out to this audience.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Carter Buys The Brooklyn Bridge

Jimmy Carter was touting an "agreement" he had reached with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in which Hamas would recognize Israel "as a neighbor." Well, that's news to Meshaal. "We accept a state on the June 4 line with Jerusalem as capital, real sovereignty and full right of return for refugees but without recognizing Israel," said Meshaal. Congratulations Jimmy Carter!!! You just bought the Brooklyn Bridge.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Danica Patrick Wins First Race

Danica Patrick won her first race since turning pro in 2005 when she captured the checkered flag at the Indy Japan 300 today. She becomes the first woman to win a race on the Indy circuit. Ms. Patrick did not achieve this by saying, "I am woman!!! Hear me roar!!!" She let her engines do that for her.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Recount in Zimbabwe Begins. Is Tsvangirai Headed for Life in Exile?

Well, it's been three weeks since the election in Zimbabwe and no results for the Presidential election. Instead, a recount has begun in the parliamentary election for 23 districts, 22 of which were won by the opposition MDC. The MDC believes the recount will over turn at least 16 of those districts. It would be sufficient to restore ZANU-PF's majority in the Zimbabwean Parliament. In an interview with The Globe & Mail, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he is not planning to return to Zimbabwe for fear of being arrested and possibly worse. "Do you want a dead hero?", Tsvangirai asked. Tsvangirai is currently in South Africa. Should the recount overturn the election results I wonder what will happen. I thought the general strike might do it but the response to it was tepid at best. If the MDC is resigned to ZANU-PF regaining their majority I am sure the rest of the country is as well. Under those circumstances, I suspect those who can will leave the country as they have been doing and settling in South Africa and to a lesser extent Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana. If Tsvangirai ends up in exile so will many Zimbabweans.

Hamas Suicide Attack Doesn't Stop Carter From Meeting With Meshaal Again

The day after Jimmy Carter met with Khaled Meshaal, there was a suicide bombing at Kerem Shalom, a border crossing between Israel and Gaza, injured 13 IDF soldiers killing only three of the four suicide bombers. The fourth one remains at large. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said there will be more attacks to come. You would think this might give Carter pause about meeting with Hamas again. But we're talking about Carter here. You guessed it. Carter met again today with Meshaal and his deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, in Damascus. It is interesting the attack should take place at Kerem Shalom because that is where Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped in July 2006. It has been widely reported that Shalit's fate has been discussed between the two. A suicide bombing at Kerem Shalom doesn't exactly indicate much good will come of this chat.

Friday, April 18, 2008

But My Son Is Half Muslim. Can't He Go Into The Pool Up To His Waist?

I was reading a news item that a father and his ten-year-old son were prevented from going for a swim last Sunday at a recreation center in the London Borough of Hackney because they were not Muslim. (www.foxnews.com/story/0.2933,351593,oo.html) It does remind me of the old Groucho Marx story about him being turned away from a country club swimming pool because he was Jewish. Marx protested, "But my son is only half-Jewish? Can't he go in up to waist?" Of course, the managers of the recreation center said one of their employees had a made a mistake and that it was open to the public. "Muslim men and others can attend." Ah yes, Muslim men and others. And by others, we mean Dhimmis. The management at the recreation center knew what was going on and got caught. But I suspect this will not be the last time something like this happens in London. If swimming pool facilities can be segregated between Muslims and non-Muslims why not drinking fountains and restaurants? Maybe even the M6 Highway. Did you know that in Saudi Arabia there are separate highways for Muslims and non-Muslims? We always knew London was a mecca. Now it is well on its way to becoming Mecca.

Rockies-Padres Play 22 Innings

Last night, the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres played the longest game in Major League Baseball in nearly 15 years. The Rockies beat the Padres 2-1 on a double by Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the top of the 22nd inning. The last time a major league game went 22 innings was on August 31, 1993 when the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 5-4. I very nearly attended a 22 inning game. In August 1989, my family travelled to Ottawa for my maternal grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. We had planned to take a bus ride to Montreal to see a game between the Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers but things just didn't work out. As it turned out, we would have been in for a long night. On August 23rd, the Expos and Dodgers would play 22 innings with the Dodgers winning 1-0. The only run came on a homerun by Dodgers' catcher Rick Dempsey off Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez in the top of the 22nd. Interestingly, Dempsey and Martinez were teammates with the Baltimore Orioles that won an American League Championship in 1979 and the World Series in 1983. Curiously, I did attend three games at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. All three games went extra innings. In case you're wondering, the most innings ever played in a major league game was 26 during a game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves in May 1920. The game ended in a 1-1 tie as play could not be continued due to darkness. The longest game in professional baseball took place exactly 27 years ago today on April 18, 1981 between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings. The game went was tied at 1-1 and went 32 innings before the game was suspended. The 19 fans that remained in the stands at the end of 32 innings were given lifetime passes to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. The game resumed on June 23rd and it took only 18 minutes for the PawSox to score a run in the bottom of the 33rd inning. It should be noted that the man who would become baseball's Iron Man, Cal Ripken, Jr played in that game for Rochester, which was the Baltimore Orioles Triple AAA affiliate. And yes, Ripken was teammates with Dempsey and Martinez on the 1983 World Series Champion Orioles. I'll quit while the score is still tied.

Carter Is With The Terrorists, Not Us

Well, today Jimmy Carter gets to fulfill his life's work by meeting with Hamas terrorist chief Khaled Meshal in Damascus. Yesterday, Carter was in Cairo speaking at American University. Aside from accusing Israel of starving Palestinians to death in Gaza, when asked if his meeting with Hamas legitimized terrorism Carter replied, "If you live in Gaza, you know that for every Israeli killed in any kind of combat, between 30 to 40 Palestinians are killed because the extreme military capability of Israel." Any kind of combat? Does Carter mean to tell us there is no difference between an Israeli soldier whose mission it is to make every effort to preserve life and a Palestinian suicide bomber whose mission it is to kill as many people as possible? All I can say is that Carter has made his choice. He is with the terrorists. He not with us. Not anymore.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cut Federal Funding for the Carter Center

Joe Knollenberg, a Republican from Michigan's 9th Congressional District, introduced legislation yesterday that would prohibit the federal government from giving any more funds to the Carter Center. "America must speak with one voice against our terrorist enemies. It sends a fundamentally troubling message when an American dignitary is engaged in dialogue with terrorists," Knollenberg said, "My legislation will make sure that taxpayer dollars are not being used to support discussions or negotiations with terrorist groups." The bill is called the Coordinated American Response to Extreme Radicals Act or CARTER Act. But with a Democratic majority in the House don't expect the CARTER Act to become law. Still, at least Knollenberg is acting as a matter of principle.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Carter's Hamas Tour Continues

Tomorrow Jimmy Carter is scheduled to meet with Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar in Cairo before meeting with Khaled Meshaal on Friday. Zahar serves as Foreign Minister in the Palestinian government in Gaza led by Ismail Haniyeh although many believe real power lies with Zahar and Meshaal. Zahar will reportedly tell Carter of his demands that Israel open its border crossings with Gaza and stop its military incursions into Gaza. Of course, an honest broker would tell Zahar he ought to refrain from planning and calling for attacks against Israeli civilians launched from beyond those crossings in Gaza. But don't expect such candor from Carter. No doubt Carter will try to use the meeting to work for the release of Corporal Shalit. But Carter is hardly in a position to promise the release of Palestinian prisoners by Israel. That is unless he's planning to sneak a dozen suitcases of cash to Zahar and Meshal.

Ahmadinejad Calls 9/11 "A Suspicious Event"

In a speech on Iranian state television, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast aspersions on the attacks of September 11, 2001. "Four or five years ago, a suspicious event occurred in New York. A building collapsed and they said 3000 people had been killed but never published their names," said Ahmadinejad. The Iranian President went on to say that 9/11 was little more than a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. Well, I can't say that a guy who publicly declares the Holocaust "a myth" questioning the circumstances of 9/11 all that big of a stretch. Of course, 9/11 didn't happen "four or five years ago" it happened six years, seven months and five days ago. And the North and South Towers didn't just collapse. Airplanes carrying innocent people were navigated into them. And their names are read every year at the 9/11 Memorial in New York. Given that Ahmadinejad publicly discounts what happened on 9/11 I would ask Barack Obama if he still intended to reach out to Ahmadinejad if elected in November.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Carter Honors Arafat; Will Party With Another Hamas Official

Yesterday, Jimmy Carter paid his respects to PLO Chairman and former Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat by laying a wreath at his gravesite in Ramallah. Carter and Arafat were old friends. Of course, it was Carter who got Arafat back in the good graces of the Saudis after Arafat had sided with Saddam during the 1991 Gulf War. And people think Bush is cosy with the House of Saud. So his visit hardly comes as a surprise. Of course, the Bush Administration considered Arafat persona non grata after the Karine A incident. Carter never passes up an opportunity to take a swing at the Bush Administration. If this were not enough, Carter will be meeting with another Hamas official, Nasser al-Shaer, at a social function in Ramallah today. He was the Minister of Educationin the shortlived Hamas-Fatah coalition. In other words, he was in charge of the geography textbooks whose maps of the Middle East didn't include Israel. Nothing Carter does surprises me. So why isn't he visiting Ahmadinejad in Iran? A little thing called the Iran Hostage Crisis which put the final nail in the grave we call the 39th Presidency. Even Carter has some pride.

McCain Chides Carter; Obama Won't

Yesterday, John McCain took former President Jimmy Carter for his forthcoming meeting with Hamas.

"It is a grave and dangerous mistake for an American leader to meet with a terrorist organization like Hamas. Engaged in a campaign that deliberately targets innocent Israeli civilians, Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel," said McCain, "President Carter is wrong to meet with Hamas, a terrorist group that has also killed innocent Americans. The very idea that a former President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief would meet with a terrorist organization demands a clear stance from all presidential candidates."

As for Barack Obama, he said of Carter, "He's a private citizen. It's not my place to discuss who he shouldn't meet with."

Could it be that Obama doesn't want to lose Carter's vote should the Democratic nomination be determined by superdelegates? After all, even Obama himself said he would draw the line at talking with Hamas. But where it concerns Carter, Obama loses his nerve and won't stick up for his principles.

John McCain knows the difference between right and wrong and isn't afraid to say so. Barack Obama knows the difference between right and wrong but is afraid to speak up. Our choice this November couldn't be clearer.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Red Sox Jersey Excavated from Concrete at New Yankee Stadium

Yesterday, construction workers spent five hours retrieving a Boston Red Sox jersey from between the third base line and home plate at the New Yankee Stadium which will open in 2009. The New York Post reported that a construction worker loyal to Red Sox Nation had embedded a David Ortiz jersey in the cement while working there last August. Initially, the Yankees had dismissed the story as a belated April Fools joke. But they had changed their tune by the weekend and now the Yankees are threatening to take Gino Castagnoli to court. Lonn Trost, the Yankees' Chief Operating Officer, has spoken with the office of the Bronx District Attorney about criminal mischief charges. Somehow I think the Bronx DA has better things to do with its resources than prosecute Red Sox fans. Even if the Bronx DA doesn't bite at the apple, the Yankees might seek civil damages againt Castagnoli. The Yankees will look stupid if they pursue this matter through the legal system. After all, they are donating the uniform to the Red Sox to be auctioned off to raise money for the Jimmy Fund - the Sox charity that funds Boston' Dana Farber Institute which treats children with cancer. The Yankees should just leave it at that. But if the Yankees take this guy to court look for the Sox not only to pay his legal expenses but have him throw out the first pitch the next time the Yankees play at Fenway in July. If anything, the Yankees might come to regret this after all. Ortiz is currently 3 for 43 this season. Don't poke the bear, as Sox owner John Henry says.

Berlusconi Returns to Power in Italy

It appears that Silvio Berlusconi will become Italy's Prime Minister for the third time. Berlusconi served in that position from 1994-1995 and again from 2001-2006. One wonders if his third term will be more like his first than his second term. Last time around, he was in office nearly five years which is almost unheard of in Italian politics. Less than two years ago, Berlusconi was defeated by Romano Prodi. But the Prodi government collapsed in January. Italians have gone to the polls more than 60 times since the end of WWII. Berlusconi's election is certainly good where it concerns the U.S. Berlusconi supported our efforts both in Afghanistan and Iraq and having another friendly government aboard in the war against Islamic terror is welcome. But again how long he will last is anybody's guess.

Carter "Quite At Ease" With Hamas

Former President Jimmy Carter defended his forthcoming visit with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal later this week. Carter said he was "quite at ease" with the meeting. "I think there's no doubt in anyone's mind that, if Israel is ever going to find peace with justice concerning the relationship with their next door neighbors, the Palestinians, that Hamas will have to be included in the process." I remember when the Left used to say the PLO were the sole representative of the Palestinians. But what arrogance. Carter places the onus on Israel to make peace with its neighbors even though it is their neighbors that vow its destruction. How is Israel expected to negotiate with an entity whose sole purpose is to bring about Israel's demise? Well, Carter replied, "Well, you can't always get prerequisites adopted by other people before you even talk to them." Gee, you would think getting a promise your nation won't be destroyed would at least be a minimal prerequisite to talk. But not for Carter. At least when it comes to the Palestinians.

Recount To Be Held in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Elections Commission has announced recounts for 23 constituencies contested in the March 29th election. Twenty two of those seats were won by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). My guess is that nearly all of these will be overturned thus giving Mugabe's ZANU-PF their majority back. With the SADC unable to accomplish anything this past weekend and a general strike scheduled to begin tomorrow there will be bloodshed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Alternative newspaper magnate gets away with using the "n" word

Arizona will never shake its reputation as a backwards, redneck state with vestiges of racism as long as incidents like this are just swept under the rug. A week ago, the most powerful owner/publisher/editor of left wing newsweeklies in the country, Michael Lacey, made a racist remark, "my n****" at an awards dinner in Phoenix on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. The mainstream media ignored it.

Contrast this with talk show host Don Imus's racist remarks. Imus was admonished by every major network for days, until he was eventually fired.

The difference is that Lacey champions far left causes, regularly attacking conservative politicians in his newspapers. Many of the things written about them - such as (ironically) labeling Sheriff Joe Arpaio a racist - aren't true. Lacey's newspapers are filled with racist remarks, like referring to white rap artists as "wiggers." But the so-called mainstream media won't call out Lacey on racism and smears, because they're more concerned with taking down conservative politicians using any means possible, however unethical.

The blogosphere hasn't remained silent however. Nationally respected bloggers Melissa Pehle and Terresa Monroe-Hamilton have written about it. A campaign has been started by political blogs in Arizona to force Lacey to resign. A fellow newsweekly publisher, Paul Curci of the Philadelphia City Paper, wrote a letter to the editor of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies expressing his disgust. If the bloggers are able to force Lacey to step down, it will be an indication that the the mainstream media has finally lost its choke hold over the news.

Reverend Oscar Tillman, president of the Maricopa County NAACP, was upset about the remark, particularly since the NAACP was hosting a Freedom Fund dinner in Phoenix with the CEO and President of NAACP coming into town as speaker. He was infuriated considering the NAACP had ceremoniously "buried" the "n" word last year. Tillman told the Arizona Capitol Times Yellow Sheet, “I want to hear him say beyond an apology what he’s willing to do.”

It is sad that someone in this high-level position of power feels it's ok to talk so disrespectfully about African-Americans. And the liberal media's refusal to cover the story just proves what conservatives have been saying for years - the Democrat Party houses more racists than the Republican Party.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Obama Has His Howard Dean Moment

Barack Obama had his Howard Dean moment when he told Democrats in Marin County, California last Sunday, "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them...And it's not surprising they get bitter, they cling to guns and religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Obama has since ceded that the use of the word bitter was not why but otherwise he is standing by his comments. The Democratic Party doesn't get it. This is exactly like when Howard Dean said, "Sooner or later, voters in place like that (the South) are going to grow tired of voting on guns, God and gays and start voting on education, health care and jobs." Now Dean said this in July 2004, months after he left the Democratic race. Obama is saying this scarcely a fortnight before the Pennsylvania Primary. Talk about being out of touch with people. Even if he wins the Democratic nomination, talk like that will sink him against McCain in November.

Mbeki: No Crisis in Zimbabwe

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa's efforts to break the impasse in Zimbabwe were undermined when Robert Mugabe snubbed a meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) where opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai would be present. Instead, Mugabe met with South African President Thabo Mbeki. For his part, Mbeki publicly declared there is "no crisis" in Zimbabwe. He added Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should be given more time to release the results of the Presidential election. For crying out loud, it's already been two weeks. How much time does Mbeki think the Commission needs? Six months? Or until such time that the results can be manipulated to give Mugabe more than 50% of the vote? Of course, what can on expect from a man who believes poverty and not HIV causes AIDS? Well, Mbeki can go on thinking there's no crisis in Zimbabwe. But Mugabe has banned all political rallies. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is planning to launch an indefinite general strike on April 15th. If that isn't a crisis then what is?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Village Voice Executive Editor Utters Racial Slur

I thought I would share something that has come to my attention. On April 4th, the Phoenix chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists held an awards banquet. One of those honored was Michael Lacey, the Executive Editor of the Village Voice. It should be noted that the Village Voice owns many "independent" alternative weekly newspapers including the Phoenix New Times. On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Lacey paid tribute to the slain civil rights leader by referring to a deceased colleague Tom Fitzpatrick as "my n*#ger". Curiously, Fitzpatrick was white. From what I have read about Lacey this is his natural disposition. When Lacey was profiled in New York Magazine in 2005 after he assumed his new position at the Village Voice he referred to himself as "the new a*#hole in charge". (http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/media/features/14987/index1.html)

Well, a*#hole or not, Lacey's barb was out of line. So where are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?For that matter where is the media? Well, the AP did run a headline on April 8th, "New Times editor apologizes for using racial slur'. (www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/04/08/20080408editor-apology0408-ON.html) But did Lacey actually apologize? While acknowledging his remark was "inappropriate" Lacey also said, "All present have my sincere apology. It is regrettable that any phrase of mine offended those attending a First Amendment awards banquet." Not exactly overwrought with contrition. Yet one can only wonder if Lacey would have been so vigorous in defending the First Amendment had an editor of a conservative publication uttered a racial epithet at an awards banquet? Not likely. If a conservative had uttered a racial epithet at an awards dinner he or she would be a household name in every newspaper, radio and TV newscast in the country. And if a conservative had uttered a racial epithet at an awards dinner I would be the first of many conservatives to call on that person to do the honorable thing and resign. Well, fair is fair. It is in this spirit that I call on Mike Lacey to step down from his position at the Village Voice. If Lacey won't resign, the Village Voice should sack him.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mugabe, Tsvangirai to Face Off at Summit in Zambia

Both Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be in attendance at a summit of the Southern African Development Community in Zambia on Saturday. Zambia's President Levy Mwanawasa is the one African leader who has been publicly critical of Mugabe. Last year, Mwanawasa referred to Zimbabwe's economy like a "sinking Titanic". Nonetheless, at the last SADC meeting in Zambia in August 2007, Mugabe received a standing ovation. It will not be a good sign f he receives another standing ovation this weekend unless Tsvangirai receives one as well. For Tsvangirai's part, the MDC has said they would boycott a runoff election as they believe Tsvangirai received more than 50% of the vote and that this accounts for the delay in the announcement of the election results.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Will Carter Meet With Hamas Leader?

It appears that Jimmy Carter might be meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal when he travels to Syria later this month as part of a Middle East tour. While the meeting hasn't been confirmed it would be no surprise if it were to come to pass. When I reviewed Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains last fall Carter actually said Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh supported peace talks between Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas but when he visited Tehran seven months later he considered any such negotiations, past or present, as an "usurpation of Palestinian lands." Simply put, Carter takes Hamas at their word. Not surprisingly, Meshal is just as chummy with the Iranians as Haniyeh. He went as far to praise Ahmadinejad as "courageous" for denying the Holocaust. So what does Carter hope to gain by meeting Meshal? Heaps of praise? Meshal is supposedly working to get Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit released and perhaps Carter is there to help facilitate that process. If he is at what price? The further legitimization of Hamas and Islamic terrorism. Nothing good can come of it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bill Buckner Redeemed

The Boston Red Sox, after travelling to Tokyo, Los Angeles, Oakland and Toronto, finally had their home opener at Fenway where they received their 2007 World Series rings. The opening day ceremonies culminated with the first pitch which was thrown out by none other than Bill Buckner. Of course, Buckner is infamous for the squibbler off the bat of Mookie Wilson in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series that went threw his gimpy legs. Had Buckner made the play the Sox would have ended the Curse then as the Sox were an out away from winning their first World Series since 1918. But the Mets won the game on that play and went on to win Game 7 and thus began nearly two decades of heartache. Of course, much of the ire directed towards Buckner was undeserved. He was a key part of the 1986 Red Sox driving in 102 runs. He enjoyed a productive career collecting more than 2700 hits and a National League batting championship for the Chicago Cubs in 1980. But this one groundball changed his life so much he moved his family to a small farm in Idaho. Now Buckner did finish his playing career with the Sox in 1990 and was well treated by fans here. But still it lingered. Even when the Sox won in 2004 he was angry at being told he had been forgiven saying it left "a really bad taste in my mouth." As such, he refused to participate in World Series celebrations. But that was then. Today, Buckner was greeted with a wild standing ovation which visibly moved him to tears. Yet he managed to compose himself long enough to throw a perfect strike to his former teammate Dwight Evans to an even louder ovation. The ovation wasn't an act of forgiveness. It was simultaneously an act of apology and appreciation. An apology for blaming him solely for a loss that was a team effort. An appreciation for a hard working ballplayer who had a productive career despite physical limitations. I wasn't in the stands but it was a sure as cathartic a moment as I've ever seen in a major league ballpark.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Zimbabwean Election Officials Arrested

I have just read a very disheartening article in The Telegraph. It details the arrests of seven Zimbabwean election officials who will be charged with fraud for not counting enough votes for Robert Mugabe. (www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/07/wzim307.html). The article quotes a police spokesman by the name of Wayne Bvudzijena. Mr. Bvudzijena states, "We're still investigating, but we have established that there was deflation of figures in respect of one candidates....the ZANU-PF candidate." Deflation of figures? Somehow, I don't think the authorities in Zimbabwe would have conducted a similar investigation for Mr. Tsvangirai and the MDC. It has been more than a week since the election and still the results have not been announced. If that wasn't bad enough, the last remaining white owned commercial farms have been seized. Although under Zimbabwean law, a runoff must be held in the next two weeks, Mugabe will likely rule by decree for the next three months before any new vote. This, my friends, is democracy in Zimbabwe.

Iraqis Unite Against Al-Sadr

Kurdish, Sunni and even Shiite political figures in Iraq are uniting against Muqtada al-Sadr. They have called on al-Sadr to disband the Mahdi Army or be banned from competing in elections. The Sadrists currently have 30 seats in the Iraqi Parliament. I see this as a very, very good sign. It means the Iraqi Army is gaining legitimacy amongst all three groups in Iraq and that Iraq cannot be a viable state with the presence of more than one army. The fact the Shiites are uniting with the Kurds and Sunnis also demonstrates that al-Sadr is losing face amongst his fellow Shiites. It doesn't help matters he is secure in Iran while his forces are getting pummeled by the Iraqi Army. Make no mistake this won't be easy. But if the Madhi Army is disbanded and the Sadrists chose to redress their grievances in a non-violent manner this will be very big and in years to come will be viewed as a major step in achieving democratic stability.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Charlton Heston, 1923-2008. R.I.P.

Actor Charlton Heston died yesterday at the age of 84. No cause of death was announced but he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2002. Heston is best known for his starring role in the 1959 film Ben-Hur for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor. He also starred in The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes and El Cid amongst many others. But he became equally well known for conservative activism which culminated in his election as President of the National Rifle Association in 1998. He stepped down in 2003. Needless to say he earned the scorn of the Hollywood Left Michael Moore and George Clooney in particular. Of course, Heston also participated in civil rights marches at a time it could have cost him his life. Although he was admired by some contemporary actors like Mike Myers who gave him a nice cameo in Wayne's World 2. Heston also served as President of the Screen Actors Guild. Needless to say, I don't think we'll see a conservative elected to that post again in our lifetime.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

McCain on MLK

I think it took a great deal of courage for John McCain to admit that he was wrong for opposing the Martin Luther King, Jr Day as a federal holiday in the 1980s as he is speaking in front of the Lorraine Motel where King was assassinated 40 years ago. McCain got jeered for his mea culpa but at least one person in the front said, "We all make mistakes." McCain was sending a message to the African-American community. He was basically saying that he knew he probably wouldn't get their votes but that he was going to speak to them anyway and he wasn't going to sugarcoat things. In another words, straight talk. Should McCain become President one can only hope the African American community comes to respect his candor.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Forty Years Ago Today...

Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in Memphis. He was only 39 years old. In the four decades since his death, King has becomed one of the most beloved Americans to have ever lived. Outside of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, no American has ever been so admired. It is also quite evident in the four decades since his death no one has been able to fill his shoes. Not Jesse Jackson. Not Al Sharpton. Not Jeremiah Wright. They would have us believe America hasn't moved an inch since 1968 despite all evidence to the contrary. Barack Obama? A great orator but what has he actually done? The jury is still out on him. Martin Luther King, Jr wanted to live in a world where his children were judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Unfortunately, those who have succeeded him have failed to judge whites, Asians and Hispanics by the content of their character. African-Americans who deviate from left-wing orthodoxy have also been held in scorn. Still, Dr. King's work has stood the test of time and most Americans admire him for his commitment to racial equality, passionate writings, stirring oratory and non-violent protest.

Chavez Nationalizes Cement Industry

What a blockhead!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Crackdown in Zimbabwe

When one has been in power for nearly thirty years, one is not likely to just walk away into the sunset. The Presidential election results have not been released but one must believe the results aren't to Robert Mugabe's liking. The opposition headquarters of Movement for a Democratic Change have been raided and foreign journalists have been arrested who were staying at a hotel in Harare. Whether this is a last desperate gasp or a circling of the wagons around Mugabe remains to be seen. Although Bloomberg is reporting that Mugabe is meeting with ZANU-PF to mull over his options. But unless there is a major rift within ZANU-PF methinks Mugabe will not go gently into that good night. As a rule, advisers to tyrants generally behave as yes men as opposed to independent thinkers if they want to stay alive.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

China Provides IAEA Nuke Info on Iran

I have just read on foxnews.com about China having turned over information to the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning Iran's nuclear program. The information includes a 15-page document which provides instructions on how to convert uranium metal into a warhead. China, of course, has been a vigorous opponent of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. So why is China providing this information? To deflect attention away from Tibet, of course. Let's face it China has not had a good couple of weeks in the news. What better way to get in the good graces of the American (if not Western) media by providing info on Iran's nuclear program. Never mind that China helped supply Iran some of its nuclear material in the first place. Not that I object to Iran being exposed but let's be clear. China isn't doing this out of the kindness of its heart. It is doing this to deflect attention from its own misdeeds.

Mugabe Party's Loses Zimbabwean Parliament

CNN is reporting the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission has announced that Robert Mugabe's Zimabwean National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has lost its majority in Parliament. They have not announced the results of the Presidential election although speculation is that Mugabe is losing there too. Morgan Tsvangirai reportedly doesn't have 50% of the vote which will force a run off on April 19th. That is, unless, Mbeki or some other African leader offers Mugabe a place to retire. This might be the best way for him to save face. Yes, I believe he should be held to account for what he has done. On the other hand, losing absolute power might very well be punishment enough. Of course, Mugabe has been in power for 28 years and there is always a possibility he could try to quash the results but his legitimacy is beyond tatters. If Mugabe clutches to power there will be bloodshed. The best thing he could do to prevent that violence is to leave. I wonder though if Mugabe's pride has been so wounded that he won't bother to contest the run off and then run off out of Zimbabwe.

Yo, Hillary!

Yesterday, while campaigning in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton likened herself to Rocky Balboa. "When it comes to finishing fight," said the New York Senator, "Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never quit." How she will whether the left hook of Barack "Clubber Lang" Obama remains to be seen. Hillary and Rocky might have a great deal in common. Both have sustained frequent, damaging blows to the head. However, Hillary might have less in common with Sylvester Stallone. He supports John McCain.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mugabe Isn't Going Anywhere....For Now

Earlier in the day, there were reports that Robert Mugabe was making arrangements to step aside. I took it with a grain of salt. Now both the government and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai are denying such a plan is in the works. This had all the makings of a very cruel April Fool's joke. Zimbabwe's electoral commission still hasn't released full election results which leaves me with great worry. If Mugabe wins there will be riots.

Pelosi Calls on Bush to Boycott Olympic Ceremony

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on President Bush to boycott the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics in August. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has mused about not attending while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he will attend. After all, the 2012 Olympics will be in London and Brown's absence would cause a diplomatic row with Beijing. Bush has also said he will attend and I don't see him changing his mind unless China does something on a Tinnamen Square like level or if something happens to the Dalai Lama. His absence would be more disrespectful to our Olympic athletes than it would be to the Chinese. If Bush does attend it would be great if he had the Dalai Lama as his personal guest. What are the Chinese going to do? Arrest Bush? But I doubt he would do something that bold.

Hillary Bows Out of Democratic Race

With the Pennsylvania Primary only three weeks away, one-time Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton shocked the political world with her withdrawal from the race only days after she declared she was in it to stay. In a tearful statement the New York Senator said, "I found my voice in New Hampshire but lost somewhere under a bridge in Lancaster. Besides Indiana doesn't want me either." Clinton had been under pressure from key Democratic figures such as Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to withdraw from the race. She had not seen this kind of fire since Bosnia and the memories it evoked were simply too much to bear. When asked about her future plans, the Senator replied that she will embark on a lifelong dream of climbing Mount Everest. She will do so in honor of the late Sir Edmund Hillary, after whom she was named. Clinton said she would begin her ascent up Everest on February 30th.