Monday, December 11, 2006

And so it begins

Obama-mania reaches New Hampshire:

The political phenomenon known as Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) descended Sunday on the state with the nation's first presidential primary, drawing enthusiastic crowds and trailed by a huge media horde as he continued to stoke interest in a possible bid for the White House in 2008.

It was standing-room-only at a book signing Sunday morning in the seacoast town of Portsmouth, where the 750 available tickets were snapped up within hours of being made available to the public early last week. Here in Manchester, 1,500 people paid $25 apiece to hear him speak at a celebration of the New Hampshire Democratic Party's historic victories in last month's midterm elections.

On all the press attention he's receiving, Obama said he's "baffled."

“It is flattering to get a lot of attention, although I must say it is baffling.”

Yea, I can see your confusion Senator. You plan a book signing in New Hampshire after announcing you may run for president. I can't imagine why the press was there.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Never Forget

Monday, November 27, 2006

They said it...

UN Ambassador John Bolton on the crisis in the Middle East:

"The future of the Middle East, certainly the future of Lebanon may well be decided in the next several days. A successful re-emergence of democracy there is being directly challenged by the terrorist Hizbullah and those who support them, Syria, Iran and others."

Agreed. However, the mishandling of Iraq has only given strength to Syria and Iran...another unfortunate byproduct of the Bush war.

What took them so long?

It should be clear to everyone (but why isn't it?) that the current mess in Iraq is a civil war. And now the media is going to start referring to it as such, so says Editor & Publisher:

Matt Lauer on the Today show this morning revealed that NBC had studied and perhaps debated the issue anew, and then decided that it will now use "civil war" freely. "For months the White House rejected claims that the situation in Iraq has deteriorated into civil war," he said. "For the most part news organizations like NBC hesitated to characterize it as such. After careful consideration, NBC News has decided the change in terminology is warranted and what is going on in Iraq can now be characterized as civil war."

Of course the White House doesn't like the use of the phrase "civil war" to describe what is happening over there...good. I've lost count of the reasons we went into Iraq in the first place, and I've grown tired of hearing things are getting better, or that it's the media's fault for not showing the positive things happening over there.

Is an AK-47 a WMD?

I came across this story by Larry Kahaner in Sunday's Washington Post and it really made me stop and think.

The AK-47 has become the world's most prolific and effective combat weapon, a device so cheap and simple that it can be bought in many countries for less than the cost of a live chicken. Depicted on the flag and currency of several countries, waved by guerrillas and rebels everywhere, the AK is responsible for about a quarter-million deaths every year. It is the firearm of choice for at least 50 legitimate standing armies and countless fighting forces from Africa and the Middle East to Central America and Los Angeles. It has become a cultural icon, its signature form -- that banana-shaped magazine -- defining in our consciousness the contours of a deadly weapon.

We here all this talk about the dangers of WMDs and what terror they can bring if used. Yet we don't miss a beat when someone is killed by a gun, a weapon that has ended the life of millions of people in our world. Why is this? Why are those who supported our invasion of Iraq not also leading the charge to get these guns out of America's inner-cities and out of third world nations?

Obama lays the groundwork

Well it's back to work after the long, and much needed, Thanksgiving holiday. And it's also back to work for those running for office in 2008.

The Des Moines Register notes today that Sen. Barack Obama has "has sought the advice of top campaign workers in Iowa and has established a seedling support network in this state as he prepares to decide whether to seek the 2008 presidential nomination."

The Iowa connections of Obama's campaign advisers and the senator's behind-the-scenes inquiry into the Iowa caucuses are hardly an announcement that he is running for president. But they show he is visualizing the presidential campaign process, in the event he decides to run.

Keep in mind that this is usually the lip service we hear this early out, that candidates are just getting things pulled together "in case they decide to run." One interesting note in this story was who Obama contacted after the just completed 2006 election.
Shortly after the Nov. 7 election, Obama telephoned John Norris, the Des Moines Democrat who ran John Kerry's winning campaign in the 2004 Iowa caucuses.

"He basically called to talk about the lay of the land in Iowa," said Norris, who described Obama's inquiries as "earnest" and reflecting genuine uncertainty about his future.

If you remember 2004, Howard Dean had all the momentum heading into Iowa and lost, big (remember the rant?). Iowa is where Kerry turned his campaign around.