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Man of the People, etc.: Get a load of the Sonoma manse-ranch deluxe where John McCain on Sunday morning is kicking off a four-day, eight-event fundraising tour of my home state!

McCain may like to say "I hate Californians," but we're his breadbasket (click here for a list of his "California heavies"). Any Straight Talk Express (i.e., public) events scheduled? Nope!

For historical perspective, here's page 197 of Paul Alexander's bio, Man of the People:

On Monday, September 27, 1999, a cloudy but warm fall day, John McCain greeted a crowd of 1,000 people packed into Greeley Park in Nashua, New Hampshire, and announced his candidacy for president of the United States. In his 25-minute speech, McCain said he would "renew pride in public service" by getting the "corrupting influence" of money out of politics. America was facing a "new patriotic challenge," McCain said, "a fight to take our government back from the power brokers and special interests and return it to the people. I run for president ... so that Americans can believe once again that public service is a summons to duty and not a lifetime of privilege."
Anyway, if any of the 12 of you reading this reside in or will be visiting Sonoma, Vacaville, Modesto or Sacto, and feel like getting a beverage, drop me a line at my gmail address (mleewelch).

06/09/2007 10:58 AM  | 

Speaking of Hatin' on Saudis....: Just when you think there's nothing that can surprise you about the depth and breadth of Prince Bandar's control over Washington and London, the Guardian uncorks this.

My case for deporting Bandar here.

06/08/2007 10:17 AM  | 

In Case it's Been Too Long Since You've Gotten Your Hate on About Saudi Arabia....

06/07/2007 12:00 AM  | 

Five-Word Movie Review, Ocean's 13: Steely Dan was totally right.

06/06/2007 10:34 PM  | 

Sad Update About the Adorable Kitties: Remember the cute lil' Basart, Ali and Shira referenced and photographed below? Well, this morning Emmanuelle went out to give them their daily breakfast, but instead of seeing three adorable kittens in our driveway she was greeted by ... a coyote.

We chased him off -- he had nothing in his mouth, far as I could tell -- but there have been no playful little buddies wrestling and mewing and napping in the yard all day. Instead, Hana-macska, the mother, has been yowling outside my office and looking around for her babies. In vain, I'm afraid.

It's really kind of horrible and sad.

We're holding out hope that maybe they were scared into hiding in some tree ... but it's been nine hours now, and our neighborhood is filled with "Where's Fluffy?" fliers, including one around the corner that spoke of a cat last seen under a car surrounded by four of the buggers.

It's a drought year, and 20 percent of nearby Griffith Park was recently torched, and this isn't exactly the first time we've encountered coyotes on a cat-hunt.... But still.

06/06/2007 04:19 PM  |  Comment (14)

Just a Small Detail, But Still....: According to the Washington Post's coverage of last night's debate,

The candidates [...] all endorsed English as the nation's official language.
That's just not so. When Wolf Blitzer asked whether anyone would be opposed to making English the official language, none moved a muscle, except for John McCain, who raised his hand slightly, and then said (in part) the following:
I would like to remind you that we made treaties with Native Americans, such as the Navajos in my state, where we respect their sovereignty and they use their native language in their deliberations. It's not a big deal. But Native Americans are important to me in my state.

Everybody knows that English has to be learned if anyone ever wants to move up the economic ladder. That is obvious. And part of our legislation, by the way, is a requirement to learn English.

Wolf Blitzer then asked "Is there anyone else who stands with Senator McCain specifically on that question?" Later, McCain pointed out that in Arizona, "Spanish was spoken before English was."

McCain in fact has been an outspoken opponent to English-as-official-language for decades; I have in my possession letters back and forth between him and Barry Goldwater where he defends his position from the old man's strong desire to codify federally our one national tongue....

That wasn't the only weird error from the MSM; last night, CNN's John King said that all the candidates wanted to extend U.S. troop presence in Iraq. Aside from the obvious deal-breaker of Ron Paul (whose wording was "the sooner we come home, the better"), Tommy Thompson, Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo each sketched out scenarios for surprisingly rapid withdrawal. Here's Thompson:

The first thing the president should do is demand the al-Maliki government to vote as to whether or not they want the United States to stay in Iraq. We've been there four years. Give the government the responsibility of voting. If they vote yes, how are they going to help us win this war? And if they vote no, we should redeploy our forces outside.
Now Hunter:
You got 129 Iraq battalions; we've trained them up. We've got a lot of them in the fight. Over the next three to four months, we need to get them all in the fight, get them that combat capability. When they're combat- hardened, we rotate them in, we displace American heavy combat forces off that battlefield, and Americans come home. [...] I can tell you, as the chairman of the Armed Services Committee for the last four years, I have the credentials to leave Iraq the right way.
Peace with honor! Now Tancredo:
I'll tell you this: that if it comes to that point in time that you describe, that the surge -- is apparent that it is not working -- I did not support it. I hope to God it does work. I hope I'm wrong. I hope we pacify Iraq.

However, if it is apparent that we cannot, then we have to do and tell the Iraqis the exact same thing that Benjamin Franklin said when he came out of the convention in 1787 and somebody said to him, "Dr. Franklin, what have you given us?" And he said, "A republic, if you can keep it." It is exactly that time and it is exactly that thing that we have to say to the Iraqi government. We have given you this. We bought it with our blood and sweat. It is now up to you to keep it.

And I want the Iraqis to be in fact patrolling Baghdad. If they need vehicles, you let them have the vehicles. But I want them patrolling their city and putting their lives at risk. [...]

Then we move out.

Speaking of crazy people, did anyone catch this 2+2=bicycle bit from that Gilmore fellow (Gary I think his name is)?
The interest of the United States is in creating as much stability as possible in the Middle East. There is a very great danger to this country. Our interests in Israel, our interests in energy, and in other ways there's a giant danger of the Middle East becoming an unstable place.

Saddam Hussein was unstable, and so taking him out was good there, but we certainly didn't anticipate the further instability that was to come out.

06/06/2007 03:40 PM  |  Comment (1)

As Someone Who Is Reportedly Working on a Book About John McCain....: I can say that his post-debate interview was the first time I've seen him smile like that in the year 2007. He thinks he won the debate, and I thinks he may be right, despite a weary and dispirited opening half.

Being 1 against 9 on at least two issues seemed to put a spring in his step, and his eloquence defending the minority position certainly will help him with two key blocs who have recently turned on him -- independents, and the press. The hundred-dollar question is exactly how big the fire-breathing anti-amnesty coalition is within the GOP. Considering that they were already disinclined toward him (especially in Arizona) one could argue that he's taken all there is to take on immigration, and could only go up from there (particularly, by using it as a chance to show Straight Talk and Leadership). But what the hell do I know?

Keep in mind also that McCain was at or near the tops of the polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, despite his slippage nationally....

06/05/2007 07:11 PM  |  Comment (3)

The Flexible Constitutional Ethics of John Dowd: Monica Goodling = victim, pro ballplayers = guilty until coerced to testify ... and just don't you mess with anyone named McCain.

(Yes, it's that same John Dowd of Pete Rose infame.)

06/03/2007 08:56 PM  |  Comment (3)

Hi! What are you doing down here?

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