Stories by Mark Kilmer
Posted at 10:38am on Jul. 11, 2008 Barry at the Gate. He's not wanted.
Angie Merkel: "Nein!"
By Mark Kilmer
German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not want Obama to speak at the Brandenburg Gate.
Earlier, I had whined, as is my recurrent wont, about Barack Obama's strangely arrogant desire to speak at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate when he visits Europe later this year. That Gate, when it was metaphorically closed, was the scene of one of the modern world's historic speeches, when Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to open the gate and to "tear down this wall!" Now, Barry wants to invite the requisite Reagan-comparisons by talking HopeChangeHope at a place where the world's reality changed. What a lightweight!
Well, this is apparently getting some bad air in Germany these days.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she opposes the idea, referring to the highly symbolic landmark as an “inappropriate” setting for a speech linked to a domestic American political campaign.
And, as Politico.com reports in the same peace, an anonymous "American in Berlin with high-ranking diplomatic experience" describes:
“If he comes here, and does something like [speak at Brandenburg] against the wishes of the head of Germany’s government, he could be seen as somewhat arrogant, as presumptuous, that he disregarded her wishes and went ahead to do this anyway,” said another American in Berlin advising the German government on the matter.
Barry says he wants his foreign policy to be based on folding to the whims of foreign governments, though he phrases it differently. His politics of personal appeasement would be on shaky ground if he were to try to play Reagan in a TV event at the scene of one of Reagan's greatest symbolic triumphs.
Posted in 2008 | Brandenburg Gate | Merkel | Obama — Comments (46)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 9:58am on Jul. 9, 2008 Lefties get angry as Obama exposes his confused self
The pied piper of Chicago is losing his musical pipe.
By Mark Kilmer
Amid criticism from the left that he has eased toward the center on a number of issues in recent weeks, the presumptive Democratic nominee has angered some of his most ardent supporters while triggering something of an online mutiny. Thousands are using MyBarackObama.com to angrily organize against him because of a changed position on terrorist wiretap legislation that awaits Senate action as early as Wednesday.
I took a look, and it is almost wholly dross, but this bit from a commenter calling himself Enrique seemed to strike a rational version of the prevailing tone in Obama-ville:
Posted in 2008 | Obama — Comments (21)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 1:03pm on Jul. 8, 2008 Obama seeks to speak at the Brandenburg Gate
Move over, Reagan. Barry's here!
By Mark Kilmer
Barry's going to run around Europe and the Middle East later this year, and Germany's Spiegel Online offers this crass bit:
No location [for the Obama speech in Germany] has been announced, but the Berlin state government has reportedly been asked whether Obama can speak in front of the Brandenburg Gate, where former US President Ronald Reagan gave a famous speech in 1987. Reagan made a show of asking then-Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down" the Berlin Wall.
Yeah, we can hear it without his mouth having to move:
[more or what escapes from Barry's pie hole beneath the fold]
Posted in 2008 | Berlin | Brandenburg Gate | Gorbachev | Reagan — Comments (40)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 11:19am on Jul. 6, 2008 The Sunday Morning Talk Shows: The Review
By Mark Kilmer
Sunday, July 6, 2008
On ABC's This Week, Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) asserted that the Iraqis were passing laws to make it seem like they were doing something but not enforcing them. (Actually, on oil revenue sharing, they've not passed a law but are enforcing the sharing anyway.) Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) noted that there has been a significant change in Obama's position over the past week, with Obama now expressing concern for the "stability of Iraq" when discussing troop withdrawal. That, Lieberman argued, is the McCain position.
Next on TW, Libertarian Bob Barr spouted a few agreeable platitudes regarding the Nanny State then posited that George Bush was worse for our civil liberties than was Bill Clinton.
On FOX News Sunday, Brit Hume hosted an entertaining panel discussion.
On NBC, Meet the Press was preempted by a tennis match.
On CBS' Face the Nation John Kerry ("reporting for duty") posited that John McCain has flip-flopped more often than he has, and that we should try to partner with the People's Republic of China. Gitmo should never have been opened, Kerry offered, maintaining that we should have tried the enemy combatants right there on the battlefield.
For his part, Lindsey Graham said that the biggest loser now in Iraq is al Qaeda, and the biggest loser longer will be Iran. He said that the only way we could lose this war is to do an Obama retreat.
On CNN's Late Edition, Wolf Blitzer did a 10th anniversary best-of show.
Read on for the show-by-show review.
Posted in Face the Nation | FOX News Sunday | Late Edition | Meet the Press | Special Features | This Week — Comments (16)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 8:16am on Jul. 5, 2008 The Sunday Morning Talk Shows: a preview
By Mark Kilmer
For Sunday, July 6, 2008
FOX News Sunday (FNS): Host Chris Wallace has an "All Star Power Panel," including Superman, the Flash, Captain American, the Incredible Hulk… no, it is going to be Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard with Mara Liasson and Juan Williams of NPR. They will discuss… stuff that's important.
This Week (ABC): Host George Stephanopoulos talks to Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) about the election. The hen talks to Bob Barr.
Meet the Press (NBC): There is no host and there is no program. Look for Federer and Nadal to go at in on British grass for our amusement.
Face the Nation (CBS): Host Bob Schieffer has two surrogates: Lindsey Graham vs. John Kerry.
Late Edition (CNN): Host Wolf Blitzer celebrates his ten year anniversary of LE with a sort of Best Of show of interviews with such as Yasser Arafat and Nelson Mandela, Rudy post 9-11 and Al Gore in 1999.
Jack Reed (TW) and John Kerry (FTN) have never said anything interesting or stimulating in their lengthy spans on this Earth. Lindsey Graham has been very clever of late, I've noticed, mainly because Obama offers ideal opportunities, and Joe Lieberman is Joe Lieberman. The lefties must be galled by a man who favors abortion and the welfare state yet is so stubborn about defending our ally Israel from our shared enemies and seeking victory in Iraq.
Kerry will wax indignant about hot he would have won if the election had not been stolen by lies about his service record. He always makes these things about him and offers as a KNOWN FACT™ that he served honorably and was the victim of smears by the SBVT.
I'll have the review up tomorrow after the shows.
Posted in Face the Nation | Late Edition | Meet the Press | Special Features | Talk Shows, | This Week — Comments (2)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 12:47pm on Jul. 3, 2008 New boss Steve Schmidt set to tighten McCain's campaign
He'll keep but transform McCain's "regional managers"
By Mark Kilmer
Yesterday, John McCain put Steve Schmidt in charge of his campaign, while former campaign jefe Rick Davis was moved into heading the veep search, fundraising, etc. We had some questions, and we've now some answers, thanks in part to a McCain memo reported in a blog entry from Chris Cillizza, who seems to be having as much fun as Jake Tapper, albeit perhaps in a more Obama-centric manner.
Schmidt is strengthening the McCain national HQ in Virginia, which should mean a more focused, message-driven national campaign, although he evidently will not scrap the regional manager concept crafted by Davis, wherein eleven managers ran the campaign in specific geographic areas. But though the basic structure of the strange scheme will be intact, the more dangerous parts of the notion will be transformed:
Under the Schmidt regime, it seems as though these regional campaign managers will be far more like field operatives than managers of a specific geographic region.
Schmidt will also hire national political director and a field director. Of this, Schmidt writes in the memo obtained by Cillizza:
"These individuals will work with all of you and with [deputy campaign manager] Christian Ferry to increase our capacity to reach out to voters, build coalitions, identify supporters, and ultimately turn them out to the polls on November 4. We will be enhancing our headquarters political capacity to provide additional resources to you and your regions."
This sounds as if it could be similar to what Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman did for President Bush in 2004, which is a good sign. Some appeal, some GOTV, is more important now than it was in 2004, when Bush faced a political dud in JF Kerry.
Hopefully, Schmidt will have his operation ready to work full capacity by the time of the conventions, for though neither candidate has emerged as a clear front-runner as yet, one suspects that an energetic, precise, and talented organization such as Obama is believed to have will be on the top of its game when the campaign begins in earnest. McCain has to be ready to emphasize his strengths and to exploit Obama's weaknesses as the fly from out the woodwork.
Posted in Archived | campaign | McCain | Steve Schmidt — Comments (8)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 1:51pm on Jul. 2, 2008 Steve Schmidt takes over the McCain campaign
A new direction?
By Mark Kilmer
Steve Schmidt has assumed "full operational control" of the McCain campaign, the Washington Post tells us, with McCain reducing the role of current campaign manager Rick Davis, who will now concentrate on finding a veep. (This lays to rest the "Romney is leading" and "Palin is leading" and "Jindal is out" garbage from the media. How can one have a leader for a position if the process has not yet begun?)
Schmidt will take over just about everything else, according to two senior sources in the campaign. The political, coalitions, volunteer and communications departments will report to him, as will the regional campaign managers.
Several McCain advisers said they believed Schmidt intends to scrap Davis' plan to give the regional managers wide lattitude to run the operations in their states. Instead, the sources said they expect Schmidt to hire a political director and a field director -- two positions that are traditional elements of a presidential campaign.
What changes? Dunno. After his June 3rd speech, my thought was that McCain could us the late, great Mike Deaver. He's not available.
We'll see what magic the supposedly virtually unfettered Schmidt can work. What the almost comical tone of the Obama campaign so far, he should have plenty with which to work.
(And there is more from Jonathan Martin at Politico.com.)
Posted in 2008 | campaign | McCain | Steve Schmidt — Comments (19)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 9:11am on Jul. 2, 2008 Louisiana Dems: Jindal has lost all credibility!
He didn't keep his word. >>pout<<
By Mark Kilmer
Lawmakers in Louisiana wanted to lift their base salaries from $16,800 to $37,500, pegged to the salaries of the U.S. Congress. Governor Bobby Jindal had indicated that for the sake of comity and getting things done, he would not interfere with the legislature's money grab, least of all with a gubernatorial veto.
On Sunday, when CNN's Candy Crowley guest-hosted Late Edition, she asked Governor Jindal about this, indicating that his refusal to veto was not very conservative. The governor answered that he hoped that there were ways to talk to Louisiana legislature out of their pay hike, but if it came to it, the veto was not off the table. It was only 24-hours later that Governor Jindal vetoed the grab. And the affronted Louisiana legislators feel they've been affronted. It is, to them, a question of trust.
Senate President Joel Chaisson II, D-Destrehan, and House Speaker Pro Tem Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, said Jindal's sudden about-face on the pay raise will make it hard for some lawmakers to believe him in the future.
"He needs to rebuild trust and do a better job of articulating his position," said Chaisson, who promised he will continue to work with the governor on key issues for the state. "Just be honest with us."
So much whining.
Posted in Archived | Democrats | jindal | Louisina | pay grab | Veto — Comments (8)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 8:45pm on Jul. 1, 2008 Turn off the giant Obamatron
We've paid to see this movie, and now we won't pay again.
By Mark Kilmer
There you go again. Reagan said it to
Fritz Jimmy, and I repeat it in the same spirit addressed to the media.
Meanwhile, as Obama Fiercely Defends His Patriotism, they've talked to a few people and discovered that McCain game plan worries insiders. (In early July? What kind if idiot "insiders" are these, if their opinions are accurately portrayed? Sorry, but lefty bloggers do not count. For much. Interested, yes. Worried? Hardly.)
Notice how Barack the August soars above the pagan rhetoric of the GOP and of his lesser-endowed fans, while John McCain is unleashing the flea-bitten hordes, bitterly clinging to the stale demons of the yesterday's politics.
They have their meme, do Barry and his pals o' the press, but I am hereby raising my hand and shouting: ENOUGH! Stop idealizing an unreconstructed leftist whose greatest feature is his willingness to play nifty tricks on the ditzy masses waiting for a guide to come and take them by the hand, leading them to the magical land of HOPECHANGEHOPE. For all of our faults, the American voters deserve much better from all of you than this hysterical swoon. Our nation faces important problems on which our government is Constitutionally empowered and entrusted to lead. To promise us the moon and the stars when they are only models created in some left-leaning Hollywood studio is to distract us from the business at hand.
We, the American people, want to win this war and leave Iraq for the Iraqis. We, the American people, want to sweat our way out of these economic doldrums. We, the American people, at long last realize that we have the energy under our own land to solve our current energy problems AND the ingenuity which, if unfettered by trite regulations, can create and transition to the next sources of energy.
This country, to paraphrase someone of whom most of us haven't heard, has paid to see the Carter Administration, and now we won't pay again. The cost is too high, even if its face is prettier.
The giant Obamatron be damned.
Posted in 2008 | Media | Obama — Comments (9)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 3:02pm on Jul. 1, 2008 McCain: Obama would nominate bad justices.
Is it time to throw the Supreme Court under the bus?
By Mark Kilmer
We remember Kennedy v. Louisiana, in which the 5 in the 5-4 split Supreme Court ruled that the State of Louisiana lacks the discretion to apply the death penalty to those who rape very, very young girls. The same ruling applies to the five other States who deemed that such crime was so heinous to their communities as to warrant "the ultimate punishment."
Barack Obama felt the wind on his finger and told his audience that he disagreed with the Court's majority, but in a speech to the National Sheriffs Association in Indianapolis, John McCain pointed out that if elected, Obama would nominate justices like those who ruled in favor of the child rapists:
McCain acknowledged that Democrat Barack Obama had also disagreed with the decision that struck down a Louisiana law allowing capital punishment for people who rape children under 12. Obama said he believed carefully crafted state laws permitting execution of child rapists do not violate the Constitution.
Nevertheless, McCain asked: "Why is it that the majority includes the same justices he usually holds out as the models for future nominations?"
"My opponent may not care for this particular decision, but it was exactly the kind of opinion we could expect from an Obama court," the Arizona senator said.
Indeed, when asked by CNN in May what kind of justices he would nominate, Barry answered: Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and David Souter. Throw in the tremulous Anthony Kennedy and the antique and rusty John Paul Stevens, and there is your Court majority who sided with monsters.
I think that time has come for Obama to toss these justices under the bus; after all, they are not the Breyer, Ginsburg, and Souter he's known. Right?