Although the article tries to make it sound like he had a chance, Evan Bayh was a dead man walking in the Democratic primaries.
"At the end of the day, I concluded that due to circumstances beyond our control the odds were longer than I felt I could responsibly pursue," Bayh told the Indianapolis Star. "This path and these long odds — would have required me to be essentially absent from the Senate for the next year instead of working to help the people of my state and the nation."
The announcement comes just three weeks after Bayh, in an appearance on a Sunday talk show, announced that he would take a first step toward a 2008 presidential campaign, forming an exploratory committee. His decision narrows a field dominated by Whites House hopefuls, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois.
Obama's not a serious candidate. If anything he makes Hillary look qualified.
The Chicago Tribune broke the story back in November. It begins in 2004 with Obama's $1.9 million book advance for The Audacity of Hope. In June 2005, Obama used the money to purchase a $1.65 million Georgian revival home on Chicago's South Side—$300,000 less than the asking price. On the very same day, Rezko, a Democratic Party fund-raiser and developer, bought the adjacent empty lot at the asking price from the same owner (the house and the lot were previously owned by the same person). Rezko, who had raised money for Obama and known him since the senator attended Harvard Law School, did not develop the empty lot. In January 2006, he sold a 1,500-square-foot slice of it to Obama for $104,000, a fair sum in that market.
Here's the question: Did Rezko orchestrate his same-day purchase of the lot at full price so that the seller would give Obama a break on the price of the adjacent house? Was Obama in on the deal? And did Rezko never intend to develop the lot, giving Obama a nice roomy side yard, a favor which he'd call in later?
The obvious thing to do here is look at that parcel of land and figure out whether the price Rezko paid is justified by comparable properties in the neighborhood. How does it compare on a per-square foot basis to what Obama paid for the small piece? That 1,500 SF parcel was almost $70 per square foot, which is an extraordinarily high amount for residential dirt; that would work out to about $3 million per acre.
Andrea Shea-King and Mark Vance express their gratitude to retiring Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. As I mentioned on the show last Friday, I thought he did the best job he could; about the only criticism that can be offered is that he underestimated the insurgency and its staying power.
One of the things I try to keep on top of is "who's getting buzz" right now. And there is little doubt that Duncan Hunter, a congressman from California, is getting quite a bit of buzz. Two months ago, when I saw his name listed as among the possible presidential contenders in 2008, my response was, "Who?" No longer. Here's a wide-ranging interview of Congressman Hunter by John Hawkins.
We are training the Iraqi military right now. We've got 470 embedded teams right now. Those are training teams within the Iraqi military itself and my recommendation to the President and to the Iraqis is that one thing they could do right now that would accelerate the maturation process for the Iraqi military is to pick the 27 battalions that are in the quiet provinces in Iraq - 9 of the 18 provinces have virtually no action taking place - take those 27 battalions and move them into the fighting in Baghdad and Anbar province in the Sunni Triangle.
Nothing matures a military force quicker than actual military operations. That develops cohesion that re-enforces the chain of command, develops combat effectiveness, and I think most importantly it validates the link between the military and the civilian government - that is, when the Ministry of Defense picks up the phone and calls a battalion commander and tells him to saddle up and move to Baghdad, if he doesn't move, they need to reach into a battalion which is doing well, pull out a field officer and replace the officer who won't move with one that will. So that is my recommendation to the President and one thing I told him is I'm sure that he's not short on recommendations right now.
While we're on the subject of interviews with potential presidential candidates, here's K-Lo with Mitt Romney. I like this:
Lopez: What did you make of the Iraq Study Group report that was released last week?
Gov. Romney: The members of the Iraq Study Group deserve credit for their hard work. But their recommendations read like the product of a flawed process — one more focused on reaching consensus for the sake of reaching consensus. There were a few recommendations that I found especially striking: Suggesting that somehow the Israel-Palestine conflict is a root of sectarian and insurgent violence in Iraq is just wrong. Sunnis are killing Shia and vice versa. Pressuring Israel won’t change that.
Proposing that we negotiate with terrorist regimes like Syria and Iran — without a rigorous analysis of how our incentives could ever be aligned — is just counter-productive. I have no quarrel with talking, especially if it yields valuable intelligence and insight about an adversary. But that’s a far cry from actually negotiating with Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah, has nuclear ambitions, and has been clear in its intention to wipe our ally Israel off the map. And Syria is systematically undermining the sovereignty of Lebanon and funding and arming terrorists. Any suggestion that we might trade something for their help or forbearance is out of the question. When considering a negotiation, one must ask what kind of leverage we have, and recognize that there are situations where we have more to lose than gain by negotiating.
Clinton issued 29 Executive orders restricting use of land in behalf of the environment. How many have been revoked by Bush? None. Yikes, a closet tree hugger! When Hillary becomes president you can be certain she will revoke the executive orders of every conservative president.
That might be a slight exaggeration, but it's not far off.
Michelle Malkin reports that Eason Jordan is currently looking for the elusive Jamil Hussein that the AP has relied on for many stories that are now in question. As she points out, the fact that Jordan hasn't been able to locate Hussein in two seconds is a pretty good sign that this "police captain" doesn't exist.
Tooting my own horn here a bit. James B and I have been included in the curriculum for a college course.
Believe it or not, this is not the first time a blog I have been involved with was included in college material; Kerry Haters was a part of a college course in 2004. And Brainster's has been featured in a book published by a university professor.
DNA testing conducted by a private lab in the Duke lacrosse rape case found genetic material from several males in the accuser's body and her underwear _ but none from any team member, including the three charged with rape, according to a defense motion filed Wednesday.
The motion, signed by attorneys for defendants Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, complained that the information was not disclosed in a report on the testing prosecutors provided earlier this year to the defense.
"This is strong evidence of innocence in a case in which the accuser denied engaging in any sexual activity in the days before the alleged assault, told police she last had consensual sexual intercourse a week before the assault, and claimed that her attackers did not use condoms and ejaculated," the motion read.
This farce has gone on far too long. I originally thought the accusations must have some merit, but the moment I started looking into the case seriously back in April, it became obvious that there was nothing to the charges.
Here's an interesting article from Jim Geraghty on the importance of Minnesocold, as Hugh Hewitt likes to call it.
In 2002, White House strategist Karl Rove referred to Minnesota as the "Holy Grail." At the time, the state seemed well within the GOP's grasp. On the heels of a funeral for Senator Wellstone, a Democrat, that many believed had turned into a tasteless pep rally, Republicans enjoyed a wildly successful year. Governor Pawlenty was elected by an eight-point margin in a three-way race; Senator Coleman beat last-minute replacement candidate Walter Mondale.
In the final week of the November election, Mr. McCain made several appearances with Mr. Pawlenty and his words of praise would suggest the Arizona senator sees in the governor a potential future vice president."I know of no one who will make a greater contribution to the future of America than this great leader," Mr. McCain said at one stop."This is the kind of leadership that I'd like to pass the torch to."
Kerry won Minnesota by 3.5 percentage points in 2004, which certainly indicates that the state is in play.
Earlier this month, National Review Online reported that Mr. Pawlenty will support Senator McCain's bid for the White House and is actively engaged in the senator's exploratory committee. Though no evidence exists that the Minnesota governor's early support represents a pitch to get on a McCain-Pawlenty ticket, it's hard to believe the thought hasn't crossed either man's mind.
2008 will be a remarkable year for presidential politics. It will be the first time in my lifetime that there won't be an incumbent president or vice president running for the Oval Office. This has created a "wide-open" atmosphere in both parties. How wide open? Well, according to Pam Meister, wide open enough that Christopher Dodd is contemplating a run.
A Christian newly-wed has filed a £3.5 million compensation claim against his employers, saying that his marriage was ruined because his sex drive spiralled out of control after he injured his head at work.
Stephen Tame, 29, from East Bergholt, Suffolk, fell from a gantry while working in a bicycle warehouse in January 2002. Although he made a full physical recovery after two years of specialist treatment, he claims that the accident led to severe sexual disinhibition, which is destroying his marriage.
His wife, Sarah, 30, has had to spend nights away from him “to get some respite”, and he has resorted to using pornography and visiting a prostitute.
Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis packed only 136 pounds into his 6-foot frame, but few have ever matched his inner strength.
McGinnis sacrificed himself in an act of supreme bravery on Dec. 4, belying his status as the youngest Soldier in Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
The 19-year-old amateur mechanic from Knox, Pa., who enjoyed poker and loud music, likely saved the lives of four Soldiers riding with him on a mission in Baghdad.
McGinnis was manning the gunner’s hatch when an insurgent tossed a grenade from above. It flew past McGinnis and down through the hatch before lodging near the radio.
His platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Thomas of Longview, Texas, recalled what happened next.
“Pfc. McGinnis yelled ‘Grenade…It’s in the truck,’” Thomas said. “I looked out of the corner of my eye as I was crouching down and I saw him pin it down.”
McGinnis did so even though he could have escaped.
“He had time to jump out of the truck,” Thomas said. “He chose not to.”
Thomas remembered McGinnis talking about how he would respond in such a situation. McGinnis said then he didn’t know how he would act, but when the time came, he delivered.
“He gave his life to save his crew and his platoon sergeant,” Thomas said. “He’s a hero. He’s a professional. He was just an awesome guy.”
Three of the Soldiers with McGinnis who were wounded that day have returned to duty, while a fourth is recovering in Germany.
For saving the lives of his friends and giving up his own in the process, McGinnis earned the Silver Star, posthumously. His unit paid their final respects in a somber ceremony here Dec. 11.
She's running advertisements on her blog now, asking people to "Join the Huffpost Hybrid Movement". Yes, she believes in reducing our reliance on foreign oil, and all that wonderful stuff. But check out the photo:
Yep, there's Arianna herself, looking smug as her Prius waits. But what's that yellow in the background? Is it possible that she has all the lights on in her house in what appears to be the late afternoon?
Our favorite "F-Troop" Indian (as John Ruberry likes to call him) delivered a nice helping of red meat to the loonies at the New School:
In a two-hour speech at the New School titled "Sterilizing History: The Fabrication of Innocent Americans," delivered without notes, Mr. Churchill traced what he called a pattern of mass murder as American foreign policy from the time of the country's inception to the events of September 11, 2001, which he said the country was essentially asking for.
Mr. Churchill also called the president of the New School, Robert Kerrey, a former senator of Nebraska, a "mass murder and serial killer to boot" for having served in Thanh Phong, Vietnam. Mr. Churchill also served in Vietnam, an act for which he said he has spent the rest of his life apologizing.
Mr. Churchill received cheers from the audience for comparing Mr. Kerrey to the serial killer Charles Manson. "That's who you've got moral equivalency in the president's chair at this institution," Mr. Churchill said. "How about a cage rather than a president's suite?"
That's disgusting. Bob Kerrey may not be my favorite person on Earth, but he's a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, and deserves more respect.
The Amazing Race Finale: The Alamo in the Village?
Teams start out in Barcelona. Find the church that's been under construction for 129 years. Of course, this is the Sagrada Familia.
There, the teams get a clue in the form of a photograph: the Eiffel Tower. At first things look good for Rob & Kimberley as they get the only seats on the first flight out. Meanwhile Team Gump is talking about an Iberia flight. As it works out they get on three different flights, with the Gumps leaving last. However, what the other teams don't know is that the Gumps are flying into Orly Airport which is closer to Paris than Charles De Gaulle. They arrive first at the cluebox to the astonishment of the other teams.
Take the train to Caen and then to the airport. My ears prick up at this. Caen was a major objective for the Allies during the Normandy invasion, and is one of the two towns in that area that come up in crossword puzzles constantly (the other is St. Lo). At the airport, they learn the roadblock is to skydive onto Omaha Beach.
Well, by this time I'd be in 7th heaven--D-Day is an obsession with me, so I'd go crazy if I didn't get to do the skydive, which of course is exactly what happens to Rob when Kimberley volunteers. Get over it!
The teams come out of this with Team Rehab in the lead, Team Gump in second and Rob & Kimberley last, but not far behind. Back to Paris and the Place de la Concorde. It's a search and the Gumps fall behind while R&K take the lead. Detour: Art or Fashion. In Art, teams must deliver a painting to an artist through the streets of Paris. In Fashion, they must assemble a jacket on a mannequin. Surprisingly (perhaps) all three teams choose the latter task, which seems reasonably hard. But Team Rehab is made up of male models who've been fitted for clothes many times.
The woman checking the work is pretty hard but Team Rehab makes it out the door just ahead of Bama, while Rob & Kim, who arrived first, leave last. Head to final destination: New York!
Team Gump hope that their knowing about Orly Airport will help get a lead. One problem: No flights from Orly to the Big Apple. They have to schlepp over to De Gaulle. Meanwhile it appears there's an 8:30 AM flight to New York but it's full. Somehow Rob & Kimberley beg their way on the plane by telling the guy it's worth a million dollars to get on the flight. Team Recovery and Team Gump are wait-listed.
Now, of course, there wouldn't be much drama if Rob & Kim were the only ones on that plane, so of course the male models get the last seats, while Lyn & Carlyn's hopes go up in smoke.
In New York, teams must make their way to the Daily News Building. Team Recovery's cabbie knows the way, while Rob & Kim's doesn't, so they follow the boys. Realizing this, they try to shake the other cab, unsuccessfully until a toll booth. Team Recovery's cabbie's got EZ Pass while Rob & Kim's does not and they are left behind.
At the Daily News Building, the teams are told to run down to the East Village and find a statue named (improbably) the Alamo. It's a big cube. The filming emphasizes that Rob & Kim are running while the Team Recovery walk, but the boys still end up getting the clue from a gal in yellow first. Drive to Garrison, New York, in Putnam County, where they must locate St. Basil's Academy.
And at the Academy, there is.... Phil and the mat. I mean, where's the puzzle? I know that prior season endings have been two hours long, but to just end it at the mat like that with nothing else was an anti-climax. Team Recovery, who are probably the guys that anybody would have picked back in the first episode, get the congratulations and the million dollars, while Rob & Kimberley and Lyn and Carlyn get the pat on the back and the assurance that they were winners for making it this far.