Archives for June, 2008
Here's Obama's response to the Supreme Court decision which struck down the death penalty for the rape of a child.
Democrat Barack Obama says he disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision outlawing executions of people convicted of raping a child.
Obama told reporters Wednesday that he thinks the rape of a child, ages six or eight, is a heinous crime. He said if a state makes a decision, then the death penalty is potentially applicable.
I get why he said it. Everybody's petrified of being "gotcha'd" like Dukakis on the rape question. But this one isn't hard. All he had to say was that as a father he would certainly want to kill anyone who did such a heinous thing with his bare hands, but as a public servant and legal scholar he knows that the death penalty should be reserved for people who kill...read on
It seems to me that he's running much farther to the right then he has to. I know he doesn't want to be portrayed as "soft on crime," but he could have approached it in any number of ways other than disagreeing with a wingnut Supreme Court that voted against this.
If we're going to have a death penalty, and if the death penalty is reserved for the most heinous crimes, then rape should be punishable by death. Does Obama think that the rapists who sodomized prisoners at Abu Ghraib with chemical lights should be put to death? Given his views on child rape, I should hope so. Consistency requires him to call for the executions of the American soldiers who committed these crimes. If he's not serious about putting all rapists to death, he is trivializing rape by calling for the death penalty only for those who rape children.
If you're going to support the death penalty for child rape alone, you need to explain why child rapes are so morally special compared to the rapes of adult human beings.
The only morally consistent "law and order" position for Obama would be to assert that rape should be punishable by death, across the board...read on
(image by Driftglass)
McCain's website is offering "points" to folks who cut and paste pro-McCain content onto other blogs.
Wow, what can I get with my points, a cabin upgrade for that cruise with Hugh Hewitt? SO not worth it.
On McCain's "Blog Interact" page, where the candidate's supporters can find recommended blogs of all ideological stripes, the campaign is actually awarding points for trolling.
Help spread the word about John McCain on news and blog sites. Your efforts to help get the message out about John McCain's policies and plan for the future is one of the most valuable things you can do for this campaign. You know why John McCain should be the next President of the United States and we need you to tell others why.
Select from the numerous web, blog and news sites listed here, go there, and make your opinions supporting John McCain known. Once you’ve commented on a post, video or news story, report the details of your comment by clicking the button below. After your comments are verified, you will be awarded points through the McCain Online Action Center.
The site even has "Today's Talking Points" that McCain supporters can cut and paste into the comments sections of liberal blogs.
That's right, computer-savvy Republicans! You can spend your days cutting and pasting comments from McCain.com into Daily Kos for "Online Points." It will be a race to the finish to see if the McCain techs can "verify" your comments before they are troll-rated off the site! So be careful when you visit those "recommended" blogs....
The content of these sites is not controlled by the McCain campaign and may contain offensive material.
The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on habeas corpus and suspected terrorist detainees has faded a bit on the political world’s radar, but the McCain campaign continues to believe the issue will benefit their candidate. Indeed, just this afternoon, McCain’s in-house blogger blasted Barack Obama’s campaign for “conflicting answers” on whether Osama bin Laden would be entitled to habeas. The blogger admonished Obama for trying to “have it both ways on this issue.”
That’s an interesting choice of criticisms.
John McCain initially responded to the Supreme Court ruling with mild disappointment. “[I]t is a decision that the Supreme Court has made,” McCain said. “Now we need to move forward.” A day later, McCain said the high court’s ruling was “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” It was quite a rapid reversal.
McCain spent the ensuing days bragging about his support for indefinite detention, which is odd, considering that McCain adopted Barack Obama’s position on the issue as recently as three years ago. Here’s what he told Tim Russert June 19, 2005, which as you’ll notice, is the exact opposite of his position now:
“Now, I know that some of these guys [at Guantanamo] are terrible, terrible killers and the worst kind of scum of humanity. But, one, they deserve to have some adjudication of their cases. And there’s a fear that if you release them that they’ll go back and fight again against us. And that may have already happened. But balance that against what it’s doing to our reputation throughout the world and whether it’s enhancing recruiting for people to join al-Qaeda and other organizations and want to do bad things to the United States of America. I think, on balance, the argument has got to be — the weight of evidence has got to be that we’ve got to adjudicate these people’s cases, and that means that if it means releasing some of them, you’ll have to release them.
“Look, even Adolf Eichmann got a trial.”
Imagine, just for a moment, what the right would do if Obama said, for the sake of our national reputation, that we might have release terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Indeed, if we took McCain’s quote, attributed it to Obama, and sent it to Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial page, they’d talk about little else for the rest of the year.
Perhaps Michael Goldfarb, McCain’s in-house blogger, can remind us again of which candidate is offering “conflicting answers” and trying to “have it both ways on this issue.”
At this point, I’m confused.
...previously held by himself.
The survey found public approval of the president's job performance at a new low for a Times/Bloomberg poll: 23%, compared with 73% disapproval.
Heckuva job, Bushie.
The FISA Cloture vote just passed. The Senate will now consider the motion to proceed with the bill, then they'll head to the bill itself (corrected procedural details, h/t and thanks to CBolt). Various motions will be put forward to strip immunity, odds are they will fail. Then a number of the 80 who voted to restrict debate will vote against FISA so they can say they were against the bill. However this was the real vote, and the rest is almost certainly nothing but kabuki for the rubes.
Obama and McCain were both absent, as was Clinton. Unimpressive, but unsurprising, though I suppose I'm disappointed by Clinton (Obama has made it clear he didn't intend to try and stop the bill.) Clinton and Obama will claim there was no point since it wasn't close. But, with their leadership, it might well have gone the other way.
Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz of The Young Turks interview Russ Feingold on how egregious all this FISA posturing is for Democratic values.
Pam's House Blend: McCain meets (in private) with Log Cabin Republicans
Booman Tribune: The Blue Dogs would be a whole lot more convincing in their Budget Hawkishness if they would stop handing the president hundreds of billions of dollars of supplemental funds to continue the war in Iraq.
Intrepid Liberal Journal: Renegade Justice - An interview with former US Attorney David Iglesias
The Supreme Court says Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.
The court's 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.[..]
The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for four colleagues, (.pdf) said the Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."
In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."
He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."
We regularly post segments from Countdown, and normally they deal with serious issues such as FISA, GOP hackery, McCain's flip-floppery and such, but the #1 story on Wednesday's show provided some much needed comic relief that was too good to pass up.
President Bush is always good for plenty of unintended humor, and recently he's been serving up some of his best stinkers to date. VH-1's Christian Finnegan joined Keith Olbermann to talk about Bush's recent awkward moment with Filipino President Gloria Arroyo, the initiative in San Francisco to name a sewage treatment plant after him and an absolutely hilarious video of the president stepping off of his helicopter last Friday in North Carolina, waving desperately at two men (pictured above right) trying to get their attention -- but, to no avail.
Finnegan: "What you can't hear is that the two men in the clips are actually saying -- don't look, don't look, don't look, don't -- awww, I think he saw us. How do you go from being leader of the free world to the guy who THINKS he's invited to your birthday party? You know, like hey, who invited President Bush and why is he playing a Toby Keith cd?"
We know quite a bit about the Obama campaign’s intention to “stretch” the map and compete in “red” states that a) Dems would be expected to skip; and b) the McCain campaign doesn’t want to have to fight for.
But Ben Smith went a little deeper and considers what this might mean for Dems further down on the ballot.
Barack Obama will focus his resources largely in 14 states George W. Bush won in 2004, his chief field operative said Tuesday, hoping to score upsets in places like Virginia, Indiana, and Georgia.
But winning the White House won’t be his only goal, deputy campaign manager Hildebrand told Politico: In an unusual move, Obama’s campaign will also devote some resources to states it’s unlikely to win, with the goal of influencing specific local contests in places like Texas and Wyoming.
“Texas is a great example where we might not be able to win the state, but we want to pay a lot of attention to it,” Hildebrand said. “It’s one of the most important redistricting opportunities in the country.”
That’s a good point. You may recall Tom DeLay’s painful re-redistricting scheme, the result of which was five new Republican seats in the U.S. House. After the 2010 census, it’ll be time to draw those lines again, and if the Obama campaign can help strengthen the party at the state level, the efforts will pay dividends in the long run.
It’s not just Texas. Ben also noted a competitive House race in Wyoming, where Gary Trauner is running for the state’s lone U.S. House seat. He was narrowly defeated two years ago, but hopes the rematch will turn out better.
Is Obama going to win Wyoming? Almost certainly not, but when he invests campaign resources in the state anyway, he not only raises eyebrows at McCain HQ, he also gives candidates like Trauner a better shot at victory.
“If we can register more Democrats, if we can increase the Democratic performance and turnout, maybe we can pick up a congressional seat,” Hildebrand said.