May 2007

Barack Obama coming to town

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

ebmug.jpgGood Tuesday morning Fellow Seekers,

obama.jpgSen. Barack Obama will be in the Twin Cities June 29 for a public rally and a fund-raiser at the Minneapolis home of noted DFL fund-raisers Sam and Sylvia Kaplan. It will be Obama’s first trip to Minnesota as a presidential candidate.

The Kaplans, whom I did not previously link to Obama in any of my who’sfor whom for prez posts, are both on Obama’s national finance committee. The fund-raiser will be $1,000 a head. the precise time and place of the public rally have not been determined yet.

Still more TPaw Veep buzz

Monday, May 28th, 2007

ebmug.jpgEsteemed colleague Pat Lopez has pawlmccain.jpga page 1 story today returning to the ever-popular topic of Gov. Pawlenty’s vice presidential prospects. She finds that his performance during the recent legislative session and his recent approval rating (55 percent, Survey USA poll) have enhanced his standing with the national GOP.

En passant, Pat says that the TPaw for Veep speculation occurs “even as Pawlenty insists he has no national ambitions and intends to finish his second term.”

To be precise, what he said on May 31, 2006, as he announced his candidacy for reelection, was:

“As to my future, if I run for governor and win, I will serve out my term for four years as governor.”

For me, that word “will” is stronger than “intend” or “expect.” It’s a tad short of Shermanesque but pretty close to a promise or a pledge. Yet, as Tice and I have previously blogged, having made such a statement apparently presents no barrier to continued speculation that he might pass up the last two years of his term to run for and possibly serve as vice president.

What think?

Do you support the troops?

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

ebmug.jpgA memorable Memorial Day to all who come in civility,

Thank you to all U.S. military personnel who have volunteered to risk their lives in defense of their country.

On this day of recognition for all who have died in past and present wars, it seems that the absurdity of intentionally confusing support for U.S. troops with support for a particular war into which their civillian leadership has sent them has lost much of its power to befuddle and intimidate. This is a welcome development.

The Goodling hearing was mostly a pretty big dud

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

ebmug.jpgGood Thursday morning Fellow You-know-what-ers
On the Minnesota front, Goodling (that’s her below left in the committee hearing room) gave the first semi-official account of how Tom Heffelfinger came to be on the list of U.S. attorneys to be considered for firing. She had heard some complaining (she didn’t say from whom or when) that Heffelfinger spent too much time on Native American issues, in his capacity as chairman of the U.S. attorneys’ group that dealt with such issues.

monica_goodlingheffelfinger.jpgHeffelfinger (that’s him on the right) who has insisted all along that he didn’t know anybody in Washington was unhappy with his job performance when he decided to resign, and who seems to have kind of thing about defending his reputation for competence, was understandably pissed off. (Esteemed colleague Pam Louwagie gets the credit for the blistering Heffelfinger reaction quote in the Strib story this a.m. Sorry Pam, you should have had a byline.) Anyway, here’s the quote:

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Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

black_and_ticeEric’s full report on the Monica Goodling testimony is up on the Star Tribune website. The headline:
Goodling: Paulose appointment partly political

Monica Goodling testifies that she never talked to Karl Rove or Harriet Miers about the U.S. attorneys

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

ebmug.jpgIn her opening statement to a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee a few minutes ago, Monica Goodling, former Justice Department liaison to the White House, said she had no contact with White House political guru Karl Rove nor then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers about the possible replacement of U.S. attorneys. (She says Rove was present at one meeting she attended after the decisions had been made.)

monica_goodlingGoodling, who had previously taken the Fifth Amendment and was granted immunity in order to get her testimony, portrays herself as much less central to the story of the fired U.S. attorneys than media accounts have suggested.

She also started by accusing former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty of providing false and incomplete testimony about her role.

The hearing will run all morning at least. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minneapolis is on the committee and plans to ask Goodling about why the department was considering firing Tom Heffelfinger as U.S. attorney for Minnesota, and how Rachel Paulose, who has been described as a close personal friend of Goodling, came to be appointed to the post after Heffelfinger resigned. But Ellison ranks near the bottom of the committee’s seniority list and will therefore be among the last to question Goodling.

Al Franken is a wealthy man

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

franken.jpgebmug.jpgAccording to a financial disclosure statement that he filed with the Senate, Al Franken has a net worth between $4.3 and $9.9 million. He earned more than $1 million last year.

Wealthy attorney Mike Ciresi, Franken’s chief rival for the DFL nomination, has receifved an extension until June 30 to file his report.

Sen. Norm Coleman lists a net worth of $564,000.

Verbatim

Al Gore: ” I am not thinking about being a candidate. I have no plans to be a candidate. But, yes, it’s true, I have not made a so-called Sherman statement and ruled it out for all time. I see no reason or necessity to do that.”

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

ebmug.jpgGood Wednesday morning Fellow Seekers,

There’s a lot of fresh buzz around the question of Al Gore getting in the ’08 race for prez. On CNN’s “Larry King Live” last night, King (whose interviewing style makes me gag, but he sure does get the big guests, doesn’t he?) tried to get Gore to confess. The transcript of the exchange is below. I suppose you could say Gore gave him the rope-a-dope strategy. And I gorelarrykingmay be a little soft on Gore (whose new book, “The Assault on Reason” is killer smart judging by the excerpt that ran in Time). But I thought Gore has figured out something rare in politics: how to give an honest answer even if he doesn’t give the interviewer what he wants. (For context, this segment flows from a discussion of what Jimmy Carter said about Pres. Bush and some other Gorean criticism of Bush’s tenure.)

And for what it’s worth, as I read the tea-leaves, Gore will not run. Here’s the excerpt:

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Who you callin’ a “puzzlewit” and by the way, what is that?

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

ebmug.jpgToday’s NYTimes has a lovely “political memo” by Mark Leibovich about the flap over the Bronx cheer former Pres. Jimmy Carter recently directed at the Bush foreign policy.

“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.”

theodoreroosevelt.jpgIt has been suggested that Carter violated an unwritten rule that former presidents don’t diss their successors this way. Leibovich found wh_taft.jpgevidence that, in addition to other previous violations of this unwritten rule was Theodore Roosevelt’s description of his successor William Howard Taft as a “puzzlewit” and a “fathead.”

Hey, didn’t Teddy personally choose Taft as his successor? Oh Well.

A better post on the Pew poll of U.S. Muslims

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

ebmug.jpgI regret going up with a post before lunch on the AP story about the Pew survey of Muslim Americans without a better understanding of what the survey says. This is an attempt to do better.

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