Steven Jonas (211)
As Mitt Romney pursues his Presidential bid, much is being made, sotto voce, of his Mormonism. The whispering campaign goes on: "Mormonism is pretty weird, you know." "Mormonism is a cult, you know." Or, as a Huckabee operative in a Midwestern state said in an e-mail to putative Huckabee supporters, "his Jesus is not your Jesus" (and there I didn't know there were more than one).
On Jan. 4, 2008, Kelly Tilghman, a commentator on the Golf Channel, said ("When an Apology is Not Enough," R. Sandomir, The New York Times, 1/11/08): "one way for young golfers to stop Tiger Woods is to lynch him in a back alley." Page Thompson, president of the Golf Channel responded by saying that Tilghman would be suspended for two weeks without pay. This after last spring, when Don Imus was fired by CBS radio for making a racial slur that has nothing to do with murder, a slur commonly made by black rapsters.
On December 24, 2007, Ed Brayton posted the following quote from the "oh so genial, oh so nice, oh so down-to-earth" Mike Huckabee: "The Ten Commandments form the basis of most of our laws and therefore, you know if you look through them does anybody find anything there that would be all that objectionable?"
Senator John McCain celebrated his surprising 4th place finish in Iowa by announcing the next in a series of surprising endorsements he has been receiving since November. The first was that of Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), the self-described "Faith Candidate" representing Christian fundamentalism. Before endorsing Sen. McCain, Sen. Brownback had recently dropped out of the contest for the Republican Presidential nomination (and now, given the performance so far of the other frank Christian fundamentalist in the race, Gov. Huckabee, probably wishes he hadn't).
In the Democratic primaries, there are two concerns: policy (if the nominee gets to be President) and electability. As they have done in the past, the center-right Democratic Leadership Council is running what in Standard-Breed (trotters and pacers) horse racing terminology is known as an "entry." In these races, one owner can enter two horses and bettors can bet on the "entry," so that if either one wins, places, or shows, the bettor collects. In 2004 their "entry" was John Edwards and Joe Lieberman.
Some weeks ago, Gov. Sonny (all the time?) Purdue, Republican of Georgia (U.S., not former USSR) actually lead what he hoped was a statewide prayer for rain for his drought-stricken state. (It attracted a few hundred people in the Capitol at Atlanta.) Of course, heaven help him he should introduce some regulations for the control of water use, one of his super-wealthy presumed supporters using something like 400,000 gallons (!!!) per month for his residence. But nah. That would be socialist/ collectivist, as Sean Hannity would say.
As noted on BuzzFlash yesterday, Joe Lieberman has endorsed John McCain for the presidency. "Oh gosh," one might say, "there he goes again, right off the reservation." But just which reservation might that be? If this fundraiser for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in her campaign against a viable Democratic candidate wants to be part of any Presidential campaign with any kind of a chance, he really had no other choices. Consider.
Jose J. Rodriguez Jr. was the head of the CIA's "clandestine service" who ordered the destruction of those CIA tapes of torture of al-Qaeda operatives. According to The New York Times, "Mr. Rodriguez remains confident that he acted lawfully and had the authority to destroy the tapes." The questions of legality under both domestic and international law; just when the tapes were destroyed; and how far up the chain of command did the authority to do the torture and tape the acts as well as destroy the tapes go, are all receiving a great deal of attention and a variety of investigations are getting underway. A most interesting question not receiving too much attention is: why were they destroyed in the first place?