73 Days until Election Day

 August 23, 2008

MORNING UPDATE:

OBAMA-BIDEN…Barack Obama announced that Joe Biden will be his running mate this fall. The McCain campaign issued the following statement about Obama’s selection of US Senator Joe Biden to be his running mate – "There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama’s lack of experience than Joe Biden. Biden has denounced Barack Obama’s poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing — that Barack Obama is not ready to be President."

Clearly Obama’s youth and inexperience played a big roll is his selection of Joe Biden as his running mate.

STATE CONVENTION TODAY…as we nominate candidates for the Supreme Court, University for Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University and State Board of Education.  From here, we’re off to the National Convention in Minneapolis.

FRIDAY NIGHT…hundreds of activists arrived early and took part in a number of receptions…meeting our various elected officials and candidates for office.  It was a great evening of networking and story swapping as we prepare for the fall election.

MCCAIN FEVOR…Michigan Republicans were a buzz throughout the night as we talked about McCain’s campaign and chances of winning Michigan for the first time since 1988.  We have 13 Victory Centers and another 6 Call Centers going up statewide to help make phone calls, identify voters, and prepare for the largest GOTV effort we have ever had in our state.  We need ALL of your help…we’re up and running!

DEMOCRATS NATIONAL CONVENTION…a mile high and an inch deep…is how folks are describing the Dem’s convention in Denver and Obama’s experience.  A very accurate and descriptive narrative of the Obama’s the ‘One" campaign.

HONOR OUR VETERANS… ‘America Supports Your Freedom Walks’ are being held throughout Michigan to "Remember the Victims, Honor our Veterans, and Support our Men and Women in Uniform", at the following locations: ADRIAN, BAY CITY, BENTON HARBOR, CLINTON TOWNSHIP, COLDWATER, GRANDVILLE, HOLLAND, HOWELL, JACKSON, LANSING, LIVONIA, MARQUETTE, MIDLAND, MONROE, MUSKEGON, OKEMOS, PORT HURON, ROCHESTER HILLS, TRAVERSE CITY. 

Organizations and Elected officials (or their designated representatives) wishing to be recognized, and/or participate in opening / closing ceremonies in their area should call 586-808-7445

MY COMMENTARY ON THE RUSSIAN BEAR…see my commentary on Detroit’s CBS TV as I address Russia’s savage attack on the sovereign nation of Georgia.

 

 

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TODAY’S TOP STORIES

The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.

 

A statesman known for slips of his tongue

By EAMON JAVERS & JONATHAN MARTIN | 8/23/08 1:44 AM EST Forget the idea that opposition researchers got cracking the very moment that Sen. Barack Obama announced Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his running mate-they’ve long been poring over his records and background, and those of all the most likely vice-presidential picks.

For all that, though, the likeliest attacks in Biden are all matters of public record, and often problems of his own making.

Biden, who dropped out of the 1988 Democratic primary after he was accused of lifting sections of his stump speech about his humble origins from British Labour party leader Neil Kinnock, more recently took heat in 2006, when he said, "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."

Biden pick shows lack of confidence

Ron Fournier / Associated Press

DENVER — The candidate of change went with the status quo.

In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.

He picked a 35-year veteran of the Senate — the ultimate insider — rather than a candidate from outside Washington, such as Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia or Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; or from outside his party, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; or from outside the mostly white male club of vice presidential candidates. Hillary Rodham Clinton didn’t even make his short list.

Michigan Republicans ready for state convention

8/22/2008, 4:45 p.m. EDTBy TIM MARTINThe Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan Republicans will pick their candidates for state education boards and nominate Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford Taylor to seek another term at Saturday’s convention in Novi.

Republicans have only one education board incumbent seeking re-election in November. That’s Scott Romney, a trustee at Michigan State University and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s brother.

Scott Romney has been on the Michigan State board since 2000. He’ll be joined on the Republican ticket for Michigan State University’s board by Lisa Bouchard, sister-in-law to Oakland County sheriff and former U.S. Senate candidate Mike Bouchard.

Reform group files appeal

Attorneys ask Supreme Court to restore question on government overhaul to November ballot.Gary Heinlein / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

LANSING — Supporters of a proposed dramatic overhaul of state government, as expected, filed an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court on Friday in an attempt to get the plan before voters Nov. 4.

The Reform Michigan Government Now! proposition was headed toward the ballot until the state Court of Appeals knocked it off Wednesday. Among other things, it would reduce the size of the Legislature, Supreme Court and appeals court; cut pay and fringe benefits for lawmakers, judges and top elected officials; and change the way the state sets legislative district boundaries.

Critics, lead by the Michigan State Chamber, say the plan was engineered by Democrats as a stealth attack on the constitution and is intended to bolster their party’s chances of taking over state government.

Detroit mayor rejects plea deal in assault case

8/22/2008, 3:54 p.m. EDTBy COREY WILLIAMSThe Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) – A prosecutor made a surprising offer Friday to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick: resign by Sept. 3 in exchange for the dismissal of one of two assault charges. But Kilpatrick rejected the deal.

Now that the plea question has been resolved, the next legal question confronting the mayor involves his presence at next week’s Democratic National Convention, which could boil down to whether a judge changes Kilpatrick’s bond in an assault case to allow out-of-state travel.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner is expected to hear a bond motion Monday afternoon by Kilpatrick’s legal team. But the mayor – who also is a convention superdelegate – has not publicly indicated whether he even wants to attend and be present when Barack Obama accepts the party’s nomination for president.

Mayor set to answer newspapers’ questions

Kilpatrick will reply under oath to comply with lawsuit seeking whistle-blower settlement records.Paul Egan / The Detroit News

DETROIT — Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will answer questions under oath Sept. 16 in connection with a public records lawsuit brought by Detroit’s two daily newspapers, lawyers told a judge Friday.

The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press had asked Wayne Circuit Judge Robert J. Colombo Jr. to order the deposition of Kilpatrick. But lawyers told the judge an agreement to schedule the deposition was reached with Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas moments before Friday’s hearing.

Kilpatrick’s former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, is to be deposed Tuesday under an agreement reached earlier.

Big 3 seek $50B in fed loans

McCain now backs help for carmakers; Money sought to retool plantsDavid Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Detroit’s Big Three automakers are planning an aggressive push on Capitol Hill as they seek up to $50 billion in low-cost loans to speed the development and production of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC would use the money to help pay for retooling of older assembly plants and developing advanced technologies.

The lobbying effort comes as the carmakers face dramatically higher fuel economy mandates and consumers are demanding more fuel-friendly options in an era of high gas prices. The Big Three are revamping their product lineups to include smaller, fuel-sipping models.

They’re Paying Attention Now

August 22, 2008; Page A11

Why is it a real race now, with John McCain rising in the polls and Barack Obama falling? There are many answers, but here I think is an essential one: The American people have begun paying attention.

It’s hard for our political class to remember that Mr. Obama has been famous in America only since the winter of ’08. America met him barely six months ago! The political class first interviewed him, or read the interview, in 2003 or ’04, when he was a rising star. They know him. Everyone else is still absorbing.

This is what they see:

The End of The Fairy Tale

By Ralph Peters

A specter is haunting Europe-the specter of Putinism. Confronted by a masterful Russian leader without living peer in brilliance or ruthlessness, the continent sorely lacks leadership and a sense of common purpose. In their muddled reactions to the Kremlin’s invasion of Georgia, European states revealed a gap in perceptions that threatens to deepen: Those who suffered under the Soviet yoke sense the return of an existential threat, while those who thrived under the Pax Americana are merely annoyed at being disturbed. As Russian troops and their mercenary auxiliaries savaged a free, democratic country yearning Westward, the world got another lesson in how ineffectual Europe is in a crisis without American leadership.

The United States performed no better. Scorned for his aggressive behavior in the past, President Bush spent the first crucial days of the Georgia crisis as a bewildered observer reluctant to recognize the gravity of the problem. Putin went to war and the American president went to a basketball game–reinforcing the Kremlin’s conviction that it could do as it pleased and get away with it. (Bush’s gravest flaw is that he’s a dreadful judge of character, stubbornly trusting undeserving men, from Iraqi schemer Ahmed Chalabi, through the incompetent Alberto Gonzales, to Vladimir Putin, who played Bush for a fool.)

It’s Not a Cold War

It just sounds like one.

By Frederick W. Kagan

The most grotesque aspect of Russia’s aggression in Georgia is the repeated Russian claim that Georgia poses a threat to Russia and its citizens. In language harking back to the Orwellian rhetoric of the Cold War, all Russian troops are "peacekeepers" and all Georgian forces are "diversionaries" and "terrorists." Russian troops are now openly occupying Georgian territory on the grounds that law and order in Georgia has collapsed. Of course it has. Russian tanks and airplanes crushed it underfoot. Moscow bemoans the absence of "legitimate political leadership" in Georgian territories like Gori even as its troops occupy Gori without the slightest shred of legitimacy in international law. And, yes, this is in contrast with American actions in Iraq, which took place on the legal basis of the U.N. resolutions that followed (and ended) the first Gulf War.

The Russian occupation of Georgia has no such legal basis at all – not even the legality of a declaration of war. Yet Moscow continues to portray this occupation as an unfortunate necessity imposed upon Russia by Georgian "genocide" and incapacity to govern. The poor Russian general staff officers complain that they cannot even plan properly for the pull-back (as they explained in detail, Russian forces are not "withdrawing" from Georgia) since the Georgians can’t seem to get their act together despite the assistance of Russian soldiers, tanks, and combat aircraft in their country. The most Orwellian claim of all came today, when the spokesman for the Russian general staff explained that Georgian troops were attempting to reconstitute their combat capabilities and were concentrating around Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. What an outrage! How dare the Georgians prepare to defend their capital! It is nothing less than an act of provocation, according to the Russians.