Let Me Get This Straight

Talking Talk

When Barack Obama said he was open to talking to adversaries - like Kennedy to Khrushchev, Reagan to Gorbachev - Hillary's sky came off the hooks. Somebody needs to inform Hillary that Barack Obama is running for President of the United States. He is not running for armchair intellectual. As in, ah, today, for coffee, I'd like to invite over brother Fidel. Next week, if I am open, if I have time after my leisurely evening walk, check for me if brother Kim is around. Would he like to have some spaghetti with me? We could catch a game together.

For a President of the United States to say he wants to talk is for the entire machinery of the US federal government to say the machine wants to talk. That is intimidating thought signal sent to any world leader, Third World dictator and otherwise. You don't think Sarkozy's blood starts pumping a little when his aide tells him he has a phone call from the President of the United States?

It is deliberate distortion on Hillary's part to suggest Obama is irresponsible in suggesting Obama would want to talk. She instead would first get lower level people to do homework. As if President Obama would first send his entire State Department on vacation for a few weeks before he meets up with someone like the Saudi king, who also, by the way, is a dictator.

Not Old Enough To Walk The Walk

I don't blame Chris Dodd for suggesting Barack Obama is not old enough for the White House. Heck, if I had as many white strands of hair as Dodd, I'd be saying the same thing, only more elaborately. I'd be saying Barack Obama is not old enough for skydiving, he is not old enough to be allowed a haircut. He is not old enough to sing. He is not old. He is too young and dynamic.

Turning A Cave Into Rubble Is Not Invading A Country

There are a few small countries out there. I hear the Vatican is pretty small, though I have never been there, so I don't know exactly how big or small. But I don't know of any country that is one small hill, or a small cave somewhere.

Bin Laden is in some kind of an underground enclave in the Northwest province of Pakistan. Look at the map above. There is a province called the Northwest Frontier Province. The state called Pakistan does not exist there. The Pakistan government signed a "peace deal" with the tribals in charge of that part of that country. It is not exactly Arizona. Bin Laden is somewhere in there. He is underground. Literally underground.

"If we have actionable intelligence on al-Qaida operatives, including [Osama] bin Laden, and President Musharraf can not act, then we should."

This is just one sentence. How can you distort it? Really?

"Actionable intelligence" means Bin Laden's precise location has been found. President Obama would of course inform Musharraf, and he would give Musharraf the option to strike the location immediately. If Musharraf does not have that kind of a precise missile that would take the target out, President Obama would seek his permission to launch a US precise strike which noone expects Musharraf to not give. But should Musharraf take more than a few minutes to decide, which would be enough time to let the information go from Musharraf's office to the ISI to Bin Laden, then President Obama would go ahead and strike. He would not wait. He will not invade Pakistan. He will just take out this one cave.

Would President Hillary Rodham act any differently? Would President Dodd change the script the slightest? If they would, the American people have a right to know how.

Who is being naive? Who is being irresponsible?

What will likely happen is this. Whichever country between the US and Pakistan first finds out where Bin Laden is will share the information with the other and both will take less than three minutes to make a coordinated attack on the target. They will hit together.

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In The News

Iowa will alter law to keep 2008 contest Politico
Rupert Cornwell: Clinton's girl-power master stroke
New Zealand Herald Each of them has provided its "Hillary moment". .... once again, Hillary Clinton stole the show. .... "I'm your girl." ... neatly upstaged the competing claims of her millionaire male rivals and it threw down a not-so-subtle sexist gauntlet. ..... Male candidates love to depict themselves as one of the guys. What's wrong with being one of the girls - especially when this girl looks more like a winner every day? ...... Barack Obama may raise more money, and in Iowa and New Hampshire he and John Edwards are running her very close. But ..... If one thing has come out of the debates, it is that Clinton looks the part. ..... Everything she says sounds deliberately cautious, programmed and calculated. Unlike her husband, she hasn't mastered the art of faking authenticity. Again and again you wish there was a spontaneous show of emotion. ...... you cannot but admire the professional skills of team Clinton ...... Above all, she dominates the debates. Alone of the candidates, she seems to have launched into the general election campaign. She has taken flak from the left by expounding some centrist realities - for instance that lobbyists are a fact of life. She has also conspicuously refused to join Edwards in admitting her 2002 Senate vote authorising the Iraq war was a mistake. ...... she floats above the fray .... she knows her stuff. .... Americans are now bitterly learning the consequences of entrusting the White House to an ignorant and untested president. It is surely no coincidence her rise in the polls is happening when Obama is tying himself in knots; first declaring that, if elected, he would hold talks with Iran, Cuba and other American foes, then saying he was ready to bomb terrorist bases in Pakistan without Islamabad's permission.
Poll: Clinton firmly positioned as Democratic front-runner CNN Clinton only has a 3-point lead over Obama among college graduates ..... Turnout is much higher among college graduates, particularly in the primary season .... Iowa ... Obama led with 27 percent, while Clinton and Edwards both had 26 percent. ... Since June, no candidate's support has changed by more than one point.
Obama relates to being 'on the outside MSNBC
Clinton camp emulates Bush tactics?
MSNBC "[T]he Clinton and Bush recipes for political success share unusual overlap, starting with their basic ingredients: a highly disciplined candidate running an equally well-disciplined operation, surrounded by extremely loyal staffers who take care not to undercut their candidate with leaks to the press." ...... similarities between the operations: effectively using the straw man, aggressively pushing back against the media, projecting the aura of inevitability, and adopting a you're-with-us-or-against-us mentality.
Clinton on NAFTA MSNBC she didn't vote for CAFTA. But she didn't mention her husband's role, saying only that NAFTA's implementation "has hurt American workers."
"Actionable intelligence" MSNBC Does that mean she largely agreed with Obama -- just didn't like that he actually said it out loud?
Makeup's too much work for Michelle Chicago Sun-Times In photographs, she appears rather ordinary. On the stump, she comes across as down-to-earth. But in person, the wife of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is stunning. ..... you should have been in the pressroom after Michelle went on "60 Minutes" earlier this year wearing very little makeup. Gray-haired journalists were aghast. ...... Given the discouraging statistics regarding black women and marriage (black women are the least likely of any group to get married and the most likely to get divorced, according to a recent study), Michelle and Barack have defied the odds. ....... before you start worrying about, 'I don't have a man,' where are you in your own space, in your own head? ...... "What do I need to be as healthy and happy on my own with or without? And the minute you get that in order, it seems like things fall into place." ...... making sure the family spends Sundays together, and planning her travel around the social schedule of her two daughters, Malia, 9, and Sasha, 6. ..... "Every woman I know -- and this crosses race, political affiliation and religion -- is that we, as women in this day and age, are trying to do it all. Many of us work because we have to. Many of us don't have the flexible hours. Many of us don't have a job that pays a living wage or health care for our kids. When your family is not right and your children aren't right, you aren't right," she said. "Women have taken on all this burden with fewer support from society and the government, and we are all just struggling through because nobody wants to look like they're not handling it," Michelle added.


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