Barack Speaks to Hillary After the Speech. (Bill Too!)

There were a few comments questioning Barack's attendance at the speech.  Tradition holds that the candidate does not attend the convention until he has been formally nominated.  Of course he watched and was appreciative.  

After leaving the house party, Senator Obama called and talked for several minutes with Senator Hillary Clinton saying how grateful he was for her support, that she gave a terrific speech and that all those he watched with in Billings, MT were moved by her video and introduction from Chelsea.  Also said he loved her line "No way, no how, no McCain."

Senator Obama also called and spoke with President Bill Clinton for several minutes saying Senator Clinton could not have been better and made the case for change.  Obama said he knew how proud he must have been watching as he was last night watching Michelle speak and how grateful he was for their support.

Several minutes is not just cursory lip-service.  The chat with Bill kinda belies the "bad blood" drama the press are trying to stir.

This has been a very good night.

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Bush Foreign Policy Rolling Smoothly Along - Pakistan Edition

While we've been celebrating a terrific start to the convention, it's good to know that the Bush administration are working hard - behind the scenes - to create stability the world's most troubled spots. Of course it would be much better to know that they were doing half-assed decent job if it. Looks like they have a wee little problem with Zalmay Khalilzad freelancing in Pakistan.

From the Times http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/26/washin gton/26diplo.html?hp

WASHINGTON -- Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador to the United Nations, is facing angry questions from other senior Bush administration officials over what they describe as unauthorized contacts with Asif Ali Zardari, a contender to succeed Pervez Musharraf as president of Pakistan.

Mr. Khalilzad had spoken by telephone with Mr. Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, several times a week for the past month until he was confronted about the unauthorized contacts, a senior United States official said. Other officials said Mr. Khalilzad had planned to meet with Mr. Zardari privately next Tuesday while on vacation in Dubai, in a session that was canceled only after Richard A. Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia, learned from Mr. Zardari himself that the ambassador was providing "advice and help."

"Can I ask what sort of `advice and help' you are providing?" Mr. Boucher wrote in an angry e-mail message to Mr. Khalilzad. "What sort of channel is this? Governmental, private, personnel?" Copies of the message were sent to others at the highest levels of the State Department; the message was provided to The New York Times by an administration official who had received a copy.

This is a particularly interesting little twist (after the bump):

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EVERY Aspect of this Profile in Courage is Inaccurate or Defunct

There's not much in the way of analysis that I can add to Frank Rich's blistering, fact-filled and essential column in today's Times.  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/opinio n/17rich.html?ref=opinion

THE CANDIDATE WE STILL DON'T KNOW goes a long way in taking down many of the cris de coeur favored in so many recurring concern diaries & comments.  Even better, Rich strikes right to heart of the, ahem, REAL McCain.  

Here are a few highlights but please go to the source & read the whole thing - it's long, tough, and detailed  Forward it & the evidentiary links that back up his points.  The column compiles & packages a lot of hard ammo on the real McCain.

On concern,:

The poor guy should be winning in a landslide against the despised party of Bush-Cheney, and he's not. He should be passing the 50 percent mark in polls, and he's not. He's been done in by that ad with Britney and Paris and by a new international crisis that allows McCain to again flex his Manchurian Candidate military cred. Let the neocons identify a new battleground for igniting World War III, whether Baghdad or Tehran or Moscow, and McCain gets with the program as if Angela Lansbury has just dealt him the Queen of Hearts.

Obama has also been defeated by racism (again). He can't connect and "close the deal" with ordinary Americans too doltish to comprehend a multicultural biography that includes what Cokie Roberts of ABC News has damned as the "foreign, exotic place" of Hawaii. As The Economist sums up the received wisdom, "lunch-pail Ohio Democrats" find Obama's ideas of change "airy-fairy" and are all asking, "Who on earth is this guy?"

It seems almost churlish to look at some actual facts. No presidential candidate was breaking the 50 percent mark in mid-August polls in 2004 or 2000. Obama's average lead of three to four points is marginally larger than both John Kerry's and Al Gore's leads then (each was winning by one point in Gallup surveys). Obama is also ahead of Ronald Reagan in mid-August 1980 (40 percent to Jimmy Carter's 46). At Pollster.com, which aggregates polls and gauges the electoral count, Obama as of Friday stood at 284 electoral votes, McCain at 169. That means McCain could win all 85 electoral votes in current toss-up states and still lose the election.

Yet surely, we keep hearing, Obama should be running away with the thing. Even Michael Dukakis was beating the first George Bush by 17 percentage points in the summer of 1988. Of course, were Obama ahead by 17 points today, the same prognosticators now fussing over his narrow lead would be predicting that the arrogant and presumptuous Obama was destined to squander that landslide on vacation and tank just like his hapless predecessor.

The rest after the bump, but I'd rather you jump right to the Times & read the whole thing.

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Barack's Baby Deception: The Sequel!

I'm becoming a one-trick-pony here, but I can't resist this follow-up to yesterday's expose on Barack's ingenious plans to dominate the world from the womb! (Okay pre-womb, but who's paying attention?)

Today, Reason's own delightful Dave Weigel digs in with his column, More Fun With the Dumbest People on the Internethttp://www.reason.com/blog/show/128025.h tml

It's been a while since I suited up and dumpster-dived in the Obama conspiracyverse. In my absence, I reckon that the average IQ there has dipped by 20-25 points. Take this latest revelation from Larry "Whitey Tape" Johnson.

   Republican operatives, with help from their own island backers, have unearthed critical information on Obama and are just biding their time until after the convention to drop it on him. Such as? Having a birth certificate that lists you as Barry Soetoro.

Incredible! Ann Dunham met her second husband, Lolo Soetoro in 1966, in Hawaii. "Barry" Obama was, at this time, five years old. The only reasonable explanation is that Dunham and Soetoro built (or purchased) a Genesis Device to clone a new son, using DNA from Barack Obama Sr. that Dunham had pulled off one of his combs.

Seriously. The "evidence" for Johnson's claim is the now-familiar murmurings of "sources" and GOP "operatives" (who appear in these things quicker than agents of H.Y.D.R.A.) and the fact--not reported in too many places, but never disputed--that when Lolo Soetoro became his adoptive father, the young Barack was enrolled in school as "Barack Soetoro."

Dave does us the favor of contextualizing this outrage within the political sphere - after the bump:

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Barack Escaping Scrutiny in 1960!

After all the emotion over the Edwards issue, I figure it's time for some laughs again on MyDD.  For this morning's smile I want to thank our friends at NoSense who desperately warn us of Barack's impending "Pearl Harbor".  I'm not going to bother with that nonsense, I'm just cutting straight to the most entertaining nonsense in Flowbee's latest ramble:

Barack aka Barry Soetoro might have escaped scrutiny back in 1960 when there was no internet. Controlling information back then was so much easier. Not today. It is there for the taking and the Democrats foolishly chose to trust this clown just as they trusted John Edwards.

If I follow Larry's line of thought (thought??) correctly, he's covering a period when Barack was only a glint in his father's eye.  
Well then here's yet another reason to be excited about our candidate - he really plans ahead! 

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So Barack, Are You Just Gonna Take It?

Over the past few days there have been a few diaries, and a lot of comments, about Obama's lack of retort to McCain's amped up attacks.  The general line was why the hell are we taking this shit? There were the expected (and fairly reasonable) questions about whither Obama's Rapid Response apparatus? Where are the rebuttal ads?  And where are the pit-bull surrogates? (Hillary, we're looking fondly at you here.)  

Yes, looking at this stage of the campaign as a series of battles does seem to indicate that we're in need of a... surge.  To be entirely fair, a well-timed surge can surely save your bacon - in the short run.  

I'm going to tread on dangerous ground here, and suggest that we can all agree on something: whether you like the guy personally or not, whether you like (all) his policies or not, most of you should probably agree that he's run a strong, disciplined, and strategic campaign. Stripping away my feelings for Obama (I like the guy!) I still figure this operation does know what it's doing.  Now we're starting to see the results of this soft-walk approach.  

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Dangerous ground after the fold.

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