77 Days until Election Day
August 19, 2008
GOV. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS IN MICHIGAN…TOP VP PROSPECT…NO GRANHOLM…I think Obama and the rest of the country have heard enough…if you like what Jennifer Granholm has done for Michigan, you’ll love what Barack Obama will do to America! No Granholm…No Kwame.
McCOTTER LEADS DEMONSTRATION…in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. to condemn Russia’s brutal attack on their sovereign neighbor, the Republic of Georgia.
GEORGE WILL…SOFT POWER…Will states: McCain must convince voters that Obama’s complacent confidence in the taming abilities of soft power is the effect of liberalism’s scary sentimentalism about a dangerous thing, human nature, and a fiction, ‘the community of nations.’ More below.
TODAY…THE BIG SHOW…every Tuesday morning, Democrat State Chair Mark Brewer and I go head-to-head on WJIM with Michael Patrick Shiels discussing the issues of the day. The Big Show is heard statewide on many local stations. You can hear it online here.
MICHIGAN POLITICS…in case you missed it… every Tuesday from 10am until noon on WWJ.com, Greg McNeilly, John Truscott, Kerry Ebersole, and Todd Cook talk politics on Eye on Michigan Politics. A great show.
FOR THE LATEST NEWS, COMMENTARY & INFORMATION:
Check…out…our…online Articles of Interest………News…you…can…use………
THE REST OF THE STORY:
"[John McCain] should ask Obama to join him in a town meeting on lessons from Russia’s aggression. Both candidates favor NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, perhaps Vladimir Putin’s next victim. But does Russia’s behavior cause Obama to rethink reliance on ‘soft power’ -dialogue, disapproval, diplomacy, economic carrots and sticks-which Putin considers almost an oxymoron? Does Russia’s resort to military coercion, and its arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles, cause Obama to revise his resistance to missile defense? Obama, unlike McCain, believes Russia belongs in the G-8. Does Obama think Russia should be admitted to the World Trade Organization? Does Obama consider Putin helpful regarding Iran?… McCain must convince voters that Obama’s complacent confidence in the taming abilities of soft power is the effect of liberalism’s scary sentimentalism about a dangerous thing, human nature, and a fiction, ‘the community of nations.’ McCain is hardly the change many people have been eagerly waiting for, but Putin is part of the change we must confront. Until Russian tanks rolled into Georgia, it seemed that not even the Democratic Party could lose this election. But it might if McCain can make it turn on the question of who is ornery enough to give Putin a convincing, deterring telephone call at 3 a.m." –George Will.
TODAY’S TOP STORIES
The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.
Michigan GOP lawmakers call for action on gas prices
By TODD SPANGLER • FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF • August 18, 2008
WASHINGTON – Some Republican members of Michigan’s congressional delegation are back in Washington today calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – again – to bring Congress back to do something about high gas prices.
Rep. Candice Miller of Harrison Township is one of those who has returned to the nation’s capital in the middle of the August recess to go to the House floor and call for a special session. She says she knows Democrats in her district are "embarassed and frustrated and outraged" that Congress is on a break while gas prices remain as high as they do.
Republicans have been arguing for weeks that the House should return, taking to the floor in Washington to speak to groups of tourists, friends and their families. But the Democratic majority has said Republicans aren’t serious about an energy plan and only want to argue over additional domestic drilling for oil, a move they say will do little to ease gas prices now while helping oil companies.
Council’s bid to boot Kilpatrick doomed by vague charter
Ruling is no surprise to some members
BY BEN SCHMITT, ZACHARY GORCHOW and JOE SWICKARD • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS • August 19, 2008
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick dodged one of two efforts to remove him when a Wayne County judge ruled Monday that the City Council does not have the legal authority to oust him from office.
The ruling, which the City Council vows to appeal, dramatically shifts the mayor’s precarious professional fate to Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is set to hold her own ouster hearings on Sept. 3.
In a decision that was not entirely unexpected, Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Ziolkowski ruled Monday that Detroit’s charter provides too vague a basis for the council’s efforts to remove Kilpatrick, in a process known as forfeiture. The provision relied upon by the council, and cited by the judge, was considered problematic from the start, even by council members who most fervently want Kilpatrick gone.
Kilpatrick victory puts Granholm in control
Hearing by governor is quickest option left as decision on it nears
BY ZACHARY GORCHOW • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • August 19, 2008
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s job is now in the hands of Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Ziolkowski’s ruling Monday that the City Council lacks the power to remove Kilpatrick makes clear what has long been suspected: Granholm has clearer authority to remove Kilpatrick from office faster than any of the other methods in play.
"The ball is in the governor’s court, and she still has an opportunity to pick up that ball and do what she chooses to do with it," said City Council President Ken Cockrel Jr.
Union, pickets stage protest calling for mayor’s removal
Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News
DETROIT — Members of AFSCME Local 207 and others sponsored a protest today calling for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to step down.
The protest, which involved about 15 people, was held outside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center at around 4:30 p.m.
Demonstrators carried signs that read "Sweep Detroit Clean of Corruption," "Fire The Mayor" and "Resign Now" as they chanted "it’s time to resign."
It still pays to remove mayor
Anyone following the epic tribulations of Detroit’s Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has learned that truth trumps fiction most of the time, based on sheer power to surprise. But after revealing last week that rumors of the 38-year-old mayor’s pension trove were flat-out false, I decided to chase the dollars-and-cents truth.
That wasn’t quite as easy as it might have been a week ago — the city’s pension official is no longer commenting. But the mayor’s pension is calculated just like any city employee’s pension, based on final salary, and only vested after 10 years of service. The mayor, a seven-year city employee, won’t qualify for a pension until 2012.
But using the city’s handy online pension estimator, available to anyone who wants to simulate the benefits of being a city employee approaching retirement, it’s easy enough to approximate the mayor’s future benefits.
McCain to name VP on Aug. 29
By MIKE ALLEN | 8/18/08 7:31 PM EST
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.
Obama veep announcement expected in coming days
NEDRA PICKLER ASSOCIATED PRESS
Originally published 01:57 a.m., August 19, 2008, updated 01:55 a.m., August 19, 2008
CHICAGO (AP) – Barack Obama will publicly disclose his vice presidential choice in the coming days, though the Democrat is keeping most aides who are preparing for the announcement in the dark and giving away nothing to voters as he campaigns.
The Illinois senator has staffers in place to aid the No. 2 and his or her spouse, including more than a dozen seasoned operatives who have set up shop in a section of the campaign’s Chicago headquarters. They are running through various logistical scenarios involved in taking over the relatively normal life of a person they do not know and thrusting them into the unrelenting glare of a presidential campaign.
Obama was believed to have narrowed his list to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. While it seemed increasingly unlikely that he would choose his vanquished rival, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, some Democrats speculated Monday that he could pull a surprise and pick her.
NATO won’t let Russia succeed in Georgia: Rice
Aug 18 03:38 PM US/Eastern
By MATTHEW LEE
Associated Press Writer
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday that Russia is playing a "very dangerous game" with the U.S. and its allies and warned that NATO would not allow Moscow to win in Georgia, destabilize Europe or draw a new Iron Curtain through it.
On her way to an emergency NATO foreign ministers meeting on the crisis, Rice said the alliance would punish Russia for its invasion of the Georgia and deny its ambitions by rebuilding and fully backing Georgia and other Eastern European democracies.
"We have to deny Russian strategic objectives, which are clearly to undermine Georgia’s democracy, to use its military capability to damage and in some cases destroy Georgian infrastructure and to try and weaken the Georgian state," she said.
Who Started Cold War II?
posted by Linda
by Patrick J. Buchanan
The American people should be eternally grateful to Old Europe for having spiked the Bush-McCain plan to bring Georgia into NATO.
Had Georgia been in NATO when Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia, we would be eyeball to eyeball with Russia, facing war in the Caucasus, where Moscow’s superiority is as great as U.S. superiority in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis.
If the Russia-Georgia war proves nothing else, it is the insanity of giving erratic hotheads in volatile nations the power to drag the United States into war.
Amid Divisions, NATO Weighs
Response to Russia’s Incursion
By JOHN W. MILLER in Brussels, NEIL KING JR. in Washington and MARCUS WALKER in Berlin
August 19, 2008; Page A5
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is hoping to craft a unified response to Russia’s incursion into Georgia in an emergency meeting Tuesday — one of the group’s weightiest sessions in years — despite significant divisions within the 26-nation alliance.
The U.S. wants NATO to offer robust military assistance to Georgia and rebuff Russia’s "strategic objectives" in the region. Washington has the likely support of many of NATO’s newest members, nearly all of them former Soviet satellites. Others, such as Germany, France and Britain, are wary of antagonizing Europe’s primary supplier of energy and of being too provocative toward Moscow.
As Russian forces resisted calls to withdraw and pushed deeper into Georgia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke of the 10-day conflict in stark terms, saying the aim now was "to deny Russian strategic objectives, which are clearly to undermine Georgia’s democracy [and] to damage and in some cases destroy Georgian infrastructure."