How hard do you think Wes Clark was spanked by Obama’s advisers after his boneheaded exchange with Bob Schieffer? IHT reports:

McCain frequently points out that he led “the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy,” but Clark said on CBS television that that was not enough to support a claim to the presidency.

“He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall” as a wartime commander, the general said on CBS. Clark is mentioned as a possible Obama running mate, although he originally supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

When the interviewer, Bob Schieffer, noted to Clark that McCain had been shot down over Hanoi, Clark replied, “I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”

When Schieffer then asked what executive responsibility Obama had held – the Democrat’s résumé includes work as a community organizer in Chicago and eight years in the Illinois legislature – Clark said that Obama was running on the strength of his character and good judgment.

Um, what?

PD regulars know I’m not a J-Mac Man, but he obviously has vastly more military experience than our two most recent presidents. (Some might argue he still has more experience than W, since Cheney’s reportedly been running the war.)

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Obama has oodles of experience from playing Halo 3 on the weekends with his kids. But I sorta kinda doubt that. This is a guy who’s probably uncomfortable carrying a loaded cap gun.

Why in the name of Community Organizers would Wes Clark want to assail McCain on this issue? Hit him where he’s weak, of course, but McCain’s service, sacrifice and back story are the things Americans like most about him.

If Obama thinks he can win by minimizing McCain’s military background, then he’s gone back to smoking more than just cigarettes.

UPDATE: Obama formally rejects Clark’s comments (and informally calls him a big fat doofus with no shot of ever being on a national ticket)

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221 years ago this September, the founding document of the United States became the Law of the Land.  Attached to main document was a list of ten amendments which came to be known as the Bill of Rights.  Since the Constitution’s ratification, and specifically since Marbury vs. Madison, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS or The Supremes) has taken it upon itself to decide the meaning of the various articles phrases, and clauses which make up this truly inspired document.

Sometimes the Supremes get it right.  Sometimes they get it dreadfully wrong.  This week’s decisions brought a little of both. In the Kennedy vs. Louisiana case, they blew it. Simply put, if raping a young child doesn’t the offender for the Death Penalty, then I question the wisdom of those who set the qualifications.  I seem to remember a scriptural reference to tying millstones around those who “offend” little ones.

But I digress.

Yesterday, for the first time in the history of the Supremes, the Court took under its magnifying glass the Second Amendment which reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. (Emphasis Added)

The issue posed by the case before the Supremes was whether or not the City of Washington, DC had violated the Constitution by enforcing a near-total ban on private gun ownership in the District.  Gun bans are supposed to reduce crime, but crime stats prove that if DC isn’t America’s Murder Capitol, its nearly always running a close second or third.
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For those who consider themselves part of the MTV generation (which is a subtle reminder that you’re only 30 years away from collecting social security), you’ll recall MTV’s “Rock the Vote” campaign in the late 90’s.

  • MTV wanted me to “Rock the Vote!”
  • MTV wanted me to “Choose or lose!” 
  • MTV wanted me to “Fight For Your Rights!” 

MTV lead the charge in the late 1990’s against the apathy of younger voters. MTV made it clear that they they wanted your vote (i.e. “Rock the Vote”), and they wanted your sex (i.e. “The Real World”). So imagine my surprise to learn that MTV, who has spoon fed the youth electorate for well over a decade, is just now allowing political ads? Huh?That’s right.

After almost 27 years years, MTV will now begin accepting political ads. Said MTV: 

“MTV Networks will accept political advertising that is national in scope, sponsored by a legally qualified candidate, a candidate’s official campaign committee, a nationally recognized political party, or the official congressional campaign committee(s) of a nationally recognized party.”

  

In other words, sorry Dennis Kucinich.

While I applaud MTV for allowing presidential candidates the opportunity to share their message with younger voters, it still amazes me that it took MTV 27 years to come to this decision.

In summary: MTV may have requested that you “Rock the Vote” when you were young. What they didn’t tell you is that this “rocking” would probably come in the form of a rocking chair.

I’ve recently taken some flack for being a single issue blogger – namely most of my posts are dedicated to taking potshots at Barack Obama.  This flack is not entirely correct.  I used to take potshots at Hillary Clinton.

Never the less, I’ve decided to broaden my horizons a bit and write about something else. 

There is a part of this nation which those who have lived there refer to as God’s Country.  Yes, it is a bit arrogant, but if you’ve ever experienced Colorado, you’ll understand why those who call that state home are so biased. [Full Disclosure – I did live in Colorado many years ago]

This summer, the Democratic National Convention will take place in the Mile High City. It is there the delegates, super-delegates, and assembled media throngs will coronate Obama as their official Presidential nominee.  I have to hand it to Howlin’ Mad Howie Dean & Company – they did pick a great site for their convention.

See! See! I did say something positive about the Democrats. And Howard Dean even!

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I have to say that James Dobson has a lot of nerve telling Barack Obama that his interpretation of the Bible is distorted.

Since when is his word on the scripture law? Silly me, I thought the Protestant movement started with moving away from what one person (the Pope) had to say about scripture.

Dobson is pushing his political beliefs as religion, and of course he can’t be wrong, could he?

Why is Mister Dobson’s interpretation of religion accurate?

This is the problem I have with the Republican party, a party I’ve been a member of for a long time. I’m of the “live and let live” group. I don’t agree with everything people want, but as long as they don’t force their beliefs on me, I’m fine with it.

Mister Dobson may as well try to introduce brainwashing to us all.

I know the Alaska Governor is a bright spot in the GOP right now, and her story is compelling, but it’s inconceivable to me that a 103-year-old candidate running on experience would pick such a political newcomer as his Veep. Palin is arguably even less experienced than the guy J-Mac is running against.

Here’s what Politico had to say:

Sarah Palin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be nationally unknown, but in her state she is nothing short of a political phenomenon.

Palin, 44, would add youth to the GOP ticket. As governor she has shown a willingness to veto some of the state’s large capital projects, no small plus for fiscal conservatives. But it’s her personal biography, which excites social conservatives, and reformist background that might most appeal to McCain.

She’s stridently anti-abortion, and recently brought to term her fifth child — who she knew would have Down syndrome. A hunter, fisher and family woman with a rapid professional rise, Palin is a natural for Republican framing. Read more

One of the many people currently occupying the underside of the Team Obama Bus just got hit in the face with the Obama “Seal”.  Not even the hip latin “Yes We Can” phrase could make up for the fact that people looked at the fruit of Obama’s graphic artist and said “What the hell was he thinking?”

Well, here’s my entry for what should replace the Obama Seal.  I hope I get royalties!

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Do you use Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button? You should. The oft neglected neighbor of the much more popular “Google Search” button can provide just as many hours of entertainment. Take for example, the presidential candidates.

I was doing research online and, with the modern journalists’ credo in mind (“If It’s On The Internet, Then It Must Be True!”), I turned to Google for answers. I was curious as to how the presidential candidates are defined by online dictionaries. You can too – try this simple experiment at home!

Enter “Barack Obama dictionary” in the Google search field, then click on “I’m Feeling Lucky.” The results?

Cool! It takes me directly to an entry about him in Urban Dictionary! Hip! Modern! Popular! Youth-vote getting! Hyperbole!

Now enter “John McCain dictionary” in the Google search field, and then click on “I’m Feeling Lucky.” The results?

Oh crap. I feel depressed now. Thanks for ruining my mood, Google.

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Flip Flop

The flip-flop is a very popular piece of footwear. I own a couple of pairs myself. One of my favorite days of the year is the first spring day it’s warm enough to bust out with the flip-flops and let my tootsies air out from a long winter hibernating under wool socks and heavy shoes.

But the term flip-flop has developed into a negative when applied to the arena of politics.

It’s most famous application to date occurred in the 2004 Presidential election, where Dubbya successfully labeled John Kerry as a “flip-flopper” and even had the entire Republican National Convention chanting it on national television.

This cycle, both John McCain and Barack Obama are trying to stick each other with the dreaded “flip-flop” label, and both sides are providing plenty of ammunition to the other.

In the last week alone, the candidates flipped on two major issues – McCain on drilling off the U.S. coast and Obama on public funding for his campaign.

This game of musical flopping will likely continue throughout the campaign, and my guess is, whoever is left wearing the feared footwear when the music stops in November, will likely find themselves on the wrong side of winning.

I once listened to a wise old man tell of his reaction to a Washington Post article in which the author spent the entire column bemoaning all that was wrong with the world. After having finished the column, the man stated he believed the article’s author had spent the week “sucking on pickles”.

The MSM, in general, is populated by Pickle Suckers. They spend their time looking for the worst of the worst to write, talk, or speak about because – in the end – the reporter’s axiom rings true: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

Yesterday, the Associated Press – obviously lacking any real news to report – saw fit to fill its bandwidth quota with a declaration that “Everything seemingly is spinning out of control”. In it, authors Alan Fram and Eileen Putnam take the reader on a whirlwind tour of Katrina ravaged New Orleans and flood soaked Iowa and Missouri. The United States is gripped in a malaise fueled despair reminiscent of the Carter years. Want to get away? Your dollar is worthless and it costs too much to fly anyway.

No, you won’t find any solace in sports or TV. Between steroids and the writer’s strike there’s nothing worth watching. What is the conclusion of Fram & Putnam? Well, its not a rosy one:

Why the vulnerability? After all, this is the 21st century, not a more primitive past when little in life was assured. Surely people know how to fix problems now.

Maybe. And maybe this is what the 21st century will be about — a great unraveling of some things long taken for granted.

Fram & Putnam aren’t alone in their love of Pickle Juice. Last week ABCNews’ Sarah Namias opened up her column with this question:

Are we living in the last century of our civilization? Is it possible that all of our technology, knowledge and wealth cannot save us from ourselves? Could our society actually be heading towards collapse?

Is there no optimism at all in today’s media? Even the predictions of 1900 were not this dire and pessimistic.

Yes, dear reader, we’re all going to die. Most of us will be pushing up daisies well before the end of this century. ABC will broadcast Earth 2100 in September – just in time to convince voters the world will literally end if they put another Republican in the Oval Office this fall.

America looks to her President for leadership in troubled times. There’s a big difference between a candidacy built on empty rhetoric and one built on tested leadership. Ronald Reagan won two terms in the Oval because he made people feel good about America after the Carter debacle. Reagan made people believe America was the shining city on the hill – the example the rest of the world could aspire to.

I don’t get that vibe from Obama. I believe, as he looks out over America’s fruited plain, he sees through much the same lens as the pickle sucking MSM correspondents. He sees a country that eats too much, drives the wrong cars, and lives in better houses than it needs. Life is too good for too few.

Obama’s answer to this problem is not to improve life for the masses, but rather to worsen the life of those for whom life is better. Rather than increase wealth he will redistribute poverty. His plan for progress is to have America take a gigantic step backwards so the rest of the world can feel better about itself.

America needs a leader, not an empty suit that looks, acts, and is lost once the teleprompter goes dark. Spare me the pickle juice cocktail, Mr. Obama. I’ll stick to Guaraná.

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I’m debuting a new piece that I want to mix in regularly, and it’s basically what the results of the election could be if it were held on a specific date.

Using a fun little site called 270towin.com, which I’ve written about before, along with the RealClearPolitics poll averages, I’m going to post an electoral map with the results as they could happen if votes were counted today.

Now obviously, this is all based on polling, which I’m sure to have several of you grumble about. But I think this could make for an interesting, week-by-week snapshot of which way the tide is flowing in the battleground states.

Using the RCP averages as of today to pick winners for the battleground states, here’s the results:

Electoral Math Map 6.20.08

In this scenario, Barack Obama defeats John McCain, 280 to 258.

Keys here are obviously Ohio and Virginia flipping to blue for Barack Obama. I personally think Virginia is more likely to go blue than Ohio, but if Hillary actually does work hard for Obama, you can’t rule out him winning there either.

The Rust Belt stays mostly blue as well in this scenario, with just Michigan going into John McCain’s column. Iowa defects to Obama, as well as Colorado.

Again, take this for what its worth – purely a fictional guess based on current RCP polling averages – but would love to hear some feedback.

“If the election were held today” will appear regularly on PD leading up to November.

A new poll released Thursday shows that Georgia may actually be in play for Barack Obama in November.

According to a new Insider Advantage Georgia poll, John McCain and Obama are statistically tied in the Peach State, with McCain leading 44% to 43% over Obama. The X-factor is the Libertarian candidate, former GOP Rep. Bob Barr, getting 6%. The poll’s results are a change from the same poll a month ago that showed McCain with a 10-point lead, 45% to 35% over Obama with Barr getting 8%. With Georgia and Virginia as statistical dead heats, and the candidates running neck and neck in North Carolina, this means that Obama can compete in usually reliable Republican southern strongholds.

Watch, all of the other political pundits will jump on this point, when some of us here at Political Derby drew this conclusion weeks ago. But hey, who’s gloating?

By the way, early polling shows that voters aren’t likely to hold Obama’s decision of opting out of public funding for his campaign against the Illinois Democrat. A new Rasmussen Reports poll reveals that most voters aren’t too wild about the idea of public financing of political campaigns anyway.