Patterico's Pontifications

8/18/2008

Politico: McCain Will Name VP August 29th

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In an exclusive, the Politico reports the time and place for McCain’s VP announcement looks certain. The unknown is the name:

“Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to celebrate his 72nd birthday on Aug. 29 by naming his running mate at a huge rally in the battleground state of Ohio, Republican sources said.

That’s a week from Friday, and the day after his rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, accepts the Democratic nomination at a 70,000-person spectacular in a Denver stadium.

The campaign has begun building a crowd of 10,000 for Dayton, Ohio, according to an organizer. McCain is scheduled to appear with his running mate at a large-scale event in Pennsylvania shortly thereafter.”

Pawlenty? Romney? No one knows but McCain, and he may not have decided yet:

“Friends say he has yet to make a final decision, and is not expected to do so until after Sen. Barack Obama announces his choice.

McCain friends emphasized that he talks about the decision with almost no one, and could even change the announcement plans and go sooner.

“McCain views this as the one decision that he has total, utter, nonnegotiable control over,” one campaign official said.”

The conventional wisdom is that VP picks don’t matter but they interest me. My impression is that both candidates would like to select someone different than their “safe” picks. (I think Obama wants Tim Kaine and McCain prefers Joe Lieberman or Lindsey Graham.)

Ace notes the New York Times and Bill Kristol say Obama has picked his VP, too, although their lists vary slightly:

“The final three, according to the NYT: Tim Kaine of Virginia, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Joe Biden of Delaware.

Bill Kristol hears a different three: Kaine, Biden, and Sebelius.”

It will be interesting to see who they each select.

— DRJ

First FLDS Child Custody Trial Begins

Filed under: Civil Liberties,General — DRJ @ 10:48 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The San Angelo Standard-Times reports that trial has begun in San Angelo in a child custody case involving two children of FLDS members’ Merrill and Barbara Jessop. The Texas CPS asked the court to remove an 11-year-old boy as well as a 14-year-old girl that FLDS documents show was married to sect leader Warren Jeffs when she was 12.

The State’s witnesses included a Texas CPS worker, Merrill Jessop’s former wife Carolyn Jessop, an anti-FLDS advocate and author; and Barbara Jessop. Barbara Jessop reportedly took the 5th over 50 times. In addition, her attorney strenuously objected to the admission of documents gathered in what he claims were illegal searches arising from the initial FLDS proceedings:

“The documents – bishop’s records, marriage certificates and pictures recovered from the sect’s temple annex at the Schleicher County compound – were obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protections against illegal search and seizure, [San Angelo attorney Gonzalo] Rios said.

“This evidence was gained illegally,” he said. “At best, there’s a question about whether a legal search warrant was issued.”

The warrant authorizing law enforcement and CPS to raid the ranch starting on April 3 was based on phone calls now believed to be a hoax.

Walther overruled the objection, questioning how Jessop could have standing to dispute the seizing of documents not contained in her home.

Rios again objected to the documents, saying he has the right to review all the documents from which the individual pieces were excerpted, under a rule designed to protect defendants from cherry-picked evidence.

Walther responded by noting the rule allows for the admission of other documents, not just the review, and asked Rios whether he wanted all the documents seized during the weeklong raid of the ranch introduced into the public record.

She then dismissed the court for lunch, telling Rios he could have the recess to think about what he wishes to do.”

Rios may face a difficult decision.

— DRJ

The Saddleback Forum Unofficial Transcript

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Did John McCain know beforehand the questions Rick Warren planned to ask? I don’t know but we can identify which questions are involved.

The Saddleback Church Civil Forum unofficial transcript has been posted in MS Word and text formats. Each Q&A period lasted 1 hour and there are 6 links — 3 for Obama and 3 for McCain. Thus, it’s likely that each transcript link covers approximately 1/3 of an hour or 20 minutes.

According to ABC News, Rick Warren’s spokesman, the McCain campaign, and other sources indicate John McCain arrived at the Forum at 5:20-5:30 PM PST. Rick Warren would have been about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through his Q&A session with Barack Obama. Here’s a link to a transcript of the first 1/3 of Obama’s Q&A session, and the following are the questions (in order) from the transcript:

Question No. 1.
(5:04 PM PST/7:04 PM CST per Ann Althouse)

“THESE FIRST SET OF QUESTIONS DEAL WITH YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AS A LEADER AND I’M NOT GOING TO DO THIS WITH ANY OTHER SEGMENT, BUT AS PASTOR I’VE GOT SOME VERSES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH LEADERSHIP. THE FIRST ISSUE IS THE AREA OF LISTENING. THERE IS A VERSUS IN PROVERBS THAT SAYS FOOLS THINK THEY NEED NO ADVICE BUT WISE LISTEN TO OTHER PEOPLE. WHO ARE THE THREE WISEST PEOPLE YOU KNOW IN YOUR LIFE AND WHO ARE YOU GOING TO RELY ON HEAVILY IN YOUR ADMINISTRATION?”

Question No. 2.
(5:07 PM PST/7:07 PM CST per Ann Althouse)

“LET’S TALK ABOUT PERSONAL LIFE. THE BIBLE SAYS THAT INTEGRITY AND LOVE ARE THE BASIS FOR LEADERSHIP. THIS IS A TOUGH QUESTION, WHAT WOULD BE LOOKING OVER YOUR LIFE, EVERYBODY’S GOT WINGS, NOBODY’S PERFECT, WOULD BE THE GREATEST MORAL FAILURE IN YOUR LIFE AND WHAT WOULD BE THE GREATEST MORAL FAILURE OF AMERICA?”

ABC News reported Rick Warren’s spokesman said both candidates were given questions 1 and 2 in advance. Based on the transcript, it appears the introduction and first 2 questions-and-answers lasted 10 minutes according to the live-blog posted by Ann Althouse, so it’s possible that the most McCain could have heard regarding the questions and answers were the first 2 questions he had already been given by Rick Warren.

The following questions asked between 5:10 PM PST and 5:30 PM PST are – in theory – questions Obama did not know in advance but McCain could have heard from someone who heard the broadcast.

(more…)

Cone-of-Silence-Gate

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 5:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I’m somewhat surprised the “McCain cheated at Saddleback” story is gaining traction but it seems to be with the mainstream media. ABC News’ Political Punch blog is now calling it Cone-of-Silence-Gate, although that may be tongue-in-cheek, and has already run two stories on the topic here and here.

Ironically, it now turns out that both candidates were told the general topics of Warren’s questions in advance and were given the following 2 questions in advance:

What is your greatest moral failure and the greatest moral failure of the United States?

Who are the three wisest people you know?

It’s ironic because Obama has been especially criticized for his answer to the latter question, in which he included his wife Michelle and his Grandmother as 2 of the 3 wisest people he knows. Now we know he had time to think about the question and ponder a response, which puts it in a different light for me.

In the short term, Obama’s answer was politically savvy because it helps him at the upcoming Democratic Convention. Obama’s focus on the women in his life – women he says are the wisest people he knows – will help convince Hillary supporters he’s a strong supporter of women. I expect Obama to remind Democrats of this answer and even use clips of it at the Convention.

In the long term, Obama’s answer was not wise because it was so political. I don’t think Obama really wants Americans to believe that, if he is elected President, the first people he will turn to for answers to the most pressing problems are his wife and Grandmother. Not only is it a poor message for a potential President to send, I doubt it’s even true. But it is PC.

UPDATE: ABC apparently abbreviated the question. Perhaps it was an oversight or perhaps it was to make Obama’s answer sound better, but here’s the full text of the “wisest people” question [emphasis supplied]:

“WHO ARE THE THREE WISEST PEOPLE YOU KNOW IN YOUR LIFE AND WHO ARE YOU GOING TO RELY ON HEAVILY IN YOUR ADMINISTRATION?”

— DRJ

Daily Kos and McCain’s Cheating Cross

Filed under: 2008 Election,Terrorism — DRJ @ 2:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Obama supporters were divided in their criticism after the Saddleback civil forum:

Some like NBC’s Andrea Mitchell (who may have gotten it from jbalazs at Daily Kos) wondered if McCain cheated and heard the questions beforehand.

Others like rickrocket at Daily Kos speculated that McCain’s story about the Vietnamese guard who drew a cross in the ground was ripped off from Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Regarding the cross story, Byron York of National Review Online contacted Orson Swindle, a POW with John McCain and a McCain supporter, who verified that he heard John McCain tell the cross story as early as 1971. Confederate Yankee points out a similar story told by Jeremiah Denton about his Vietnamese captors. Denton was also a POW in Vietnam.

Regarding the allegations that McCain cheated, Ann Althouse’s readers have overwhelmingly voted that Obama’s campaign started the rumor that McCain cheated at Saddleback “to distract us from Obama’s bad performance.”

It seems like these stories may be rebounding in McCain’s favor just as the New York Times’ story on Mccain-Iseman ultimately seemed to help McCain.

— DRJ

Pellicano: Sometimes Bloggers Just Need a Good Beating

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:12 pm

Private eye Paul Barresi, who worked with Anthony Pellicano, is interviewed by Fishbowl L.A. (FBLA). One of the topics: their shared, uh, disdain for bloggers:

FBLA: Did you [and Pellicano] share any of the same common beliefs or opinions?

BARRESI: Oh, yes, several.

FBLA: What’s the first that comes to mind?

BARRESI: Well, we both loath cyber stalkers. You know who I’m talking about. Those malicious psychopaths who take pleasure in harming others. They harass and attack people with mean spirited blog postings. They hide behind various screen names, being the cowards that they are. It gives them a false sense of safety, hiding in the shadows, like a frightened rat.

FBLA: Did you ever take action against any of them?

BARRESI: I remember one guy in particular. Tony [Pellicano] and me had a long conversation about him. Tony said he deserved a good beating. But in the end, he was dealt with the legal way — in the courts.

No wonder they were so fond of Pellicano over at the L.A. Times . . .

Musharraf Resigns; Candidates Respond

Filed under: 2008 Election,International — DRJ @ 11:54 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf resigned today to avoid imminent impeachment proceedings. The Washington Post reported the Presidential candidates’ reactions. From Barack Obama:

“President Musharraf has made the right decision to step down as President of Pakistan. It is in the interests of his country and the Pakistani people to end the political crisis that has immobilized the coalition government for too long. I have long said that the central terrorist threat to the United States lies in northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan, and not Iraq. US policy must focus on assuring that all elements of Pakistan’s government are resolute in shutting down the safe havens for al Qaeda and the Taliban. There can be no safe haven for terrorists who threaten the American people.

“A year ago, I advocated that the US move from a ‘Musharraf policy’ to a ‘Pakistan policy.’ I hope all of Pakistan’s friends will now seize the opportunity created by Musharraf’s exit to focus on the urgent issues of today: confronting the threat of extremist violence, dealing with food and energy shortages, and helping the Pakistani people build a stable, secure, democratic future.”

From the McCain campaign:

“The resignation of President Pervez Musharraf is a step toward moving Pakistan onto a more stable political footing. Pakistan is a critical theater in countering the threat of al Qaeda and violent Islamic extremism, and I look forward to the government increasing its future cooperation.

There are serious problems that must be addressed. The situation in Pakistan’s frontier regions requires immediate and continued attention, and I hope that the elections for President Musharraf’s successor will serve to reconcile the Pakistani people behind a leader who can solidify their government internally. It is critical that the United States continue to work in partnership with the Pakistani people and their democratically elected government to tackle the many challenges we both face.”

It’s amazing to me that Musharraf survived, let alone lasted for 9 years as Pakistan’s President, given the pressures exerted on him from extremists in the region and Western nations after 9/11. I doubt he feels lucky but Musharraf is a fortunate man to survive such a turbulent decade.

— DRJ

WSJ: Obama and Clarence Thomas

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:04 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Wall Street Journal was not impressed with Barack Obama’s answer when Rick Warren asked which Supreme Court justices he would not have nominated. Obama replied “that’s a good one” and added:

“I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think that he, I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution.”

The Journal compared Obama’s and Thomas’ experience and background and found Obama lacking:

“So let’s see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General’s office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation’s second most prominent court. Since his “elevation” to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.

Meanwhile, as he bids to be America’s Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn’t yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a “community organizer” and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas’s judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama’s Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas’s rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama’s story look like easy street.”

The Journal notes that Obama “instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court’s black conservative isn’t up to the job” and failed to deliver on his promise of civility and “bringing people together.” No wonder, the editorial concludes, Obama doesn’t speak at open forums. He might “let slip what he really believes.”

Here’s something the Journal didn’t say it but I will: Obama found a way to throw Clarence Thomas under the bus. Maybe his idea of uniting people means we all end up together under the bus.

— DRJ


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