Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Saturday he has scaled back plans for a straw poll in Iowa next month that two chief rivals are bypassing.
He said he hopes to do well, but "we're not trying to overshoot dramatically." That means reducing the budget for the straw poll Aug. 11 in Ames and the number of supporters his campaign plans to bus in to the event.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 1:08 PM
Thursday, July 19, 2007
WASHINGTON - Former CIA operative Valerie Plame lost a lawsuit Thursday that demanded money from Bush administration officials whom she blamed for leaking her agency identity.
Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had accused Vice President Dick Cheney and others of conspiring to disclose her identity in 2003. Plame said that violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband's criticism of the administration.
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds and said he would not express an opinion on the constitutional arguments.
Bates dismissed the case against all defendants: Cheney, White House political adviser Karl Rove, former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Plame's lawyers said from the beginning the suit would be a difficult case to make. Public officials normally are immune from such suits filed in connection with their jobs.
Plame's identity was revealed in a syndicated newspaper column in 2003, shortly after Wilson began criticizing the administration's march to war in Iraq.
Armitage and Rove were the sources for that article, which touched off a lengthy leak investigation. Nobody was charged with leaking but Libby was convicted of lying and obstruction the investigation. Bush commuted Libby's 2 1/2-year prison term before the former aide served any time.
"This just dragged on the character assassination that had gone on for years," said Alex Bourelly, one of Libby's lawyers. "To have the case dismissed is a big relief."
Plame and Wilson pledged to appeal.
"This case is not just about what top government officials did to Valerie and me." Wilson said in a statement. "We brought this suit because we strongly believe that politicizing intelligence ultimately serves only to undermine the security of our nation."
Though Bates said the case raised "important questions relating to the propriety of actions undertaken by our highest government officials," he said there was no legal basis for the suit.
Lawyers have said courts traditionally are reluctant to wade into these types of cases, particularly when Congress has established other resolutions.
In this case, Bates said, Congress passed the Privacy Act to cover many of Plame's claims. Courts have held that the Privacy Act cannot be used to hold government officials personally liable for damages in court.
Bates also sided with administration officials who said they were acting within their job duties. Plame had argued that what they did was illegal and outside the scope of their government jobs.
"The alleged means by which defendants chose to rebut Mr. Wilson's comments and attack his credibility may have been highly unsavory," Bates wrote.
"But there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials," Bates said.
Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, said Rove was pleased to have the case behind him.
"The risk of being liable for personal damages is not something anybody takes lightly," Luskin said.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 4:00 PM
July 19, 2007
In South Africa battling the AIDS crisis, former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the battle that's consumed the Senate this week: whether President Bush should pull U.S. troops out of Iraq.
"The point is that there is no military victory here," he said exclusively to "Good Morning America." "I believe that Gen. Petraeus is a very able man. And I don't have any doubt that they'll win some battles. And I hope this works. I think every American hopes this works. But it can't work beyond winning a few battles. … It has to be accompanied by progress on the political front."
"The president has weathered the challenge in the Senate because of the filibuster. As long as he can hold more than 40 senators, he can stop the Senate from voting for a change in course," Clinton said. "But in the end, September will come and it won't be long."
Backing Up His Wife
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 3:29 PM
posted at 9:38 am on July 18, 2007 by Allahpundit
So after all the pants-wetting over a promised blowhard blowout all-nighter, Reid let them go home. Most of them, anyway:
No sooner had Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that there would be no procedural votes between midnight and 5 a.m., then a mass exodus of senators started as many legislators headed to their cars to go home for some much needed sleep. As the senators streamed towards their cars in the Capitol parking lot, TV cameras spotted a rowdy group of Code Pink protesters greeting them with jeers and cheers, depending on the senators’ stances on the Iraq war…
The office of Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) dispatched interns to buy toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant for delivery to GOP leadership offices, with a note offering the “supplies for your sleepless night.” It added: “Help us bring an end to this war.”
Update: Most of them — Reid, Durbin, Ike Skelton, etc. — won’t speculate on the consequences of withdrawal. A few of them — Murtha, Biden, Lynn Woolsey — think it won’t be that bad.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s horrendous,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.), who has helped spearhead efforts against the war. “The only hope for the Iraqis is their own damned government, and there’s slim hope for that.”…
[W]earied by U.S. casualties and pessimistic about the chances that American troops could stop a full-blown civil war, many lawmakers are resigned to letting Iraq’s communities fight it out.
“It will grow,” predicted Oregon Sen. Gordon H. Smith, one of three Senate Republicans backing the Democratic withdrawal plan. “But it will burn itself out. That’s how civil wars are fought. That’s just the brutal truth.”
Update: Confirmed — the sleepover was a complete waste of time. 52-47 on cloture.
Update: Fourteen percent. Adjusting for the usual leftward tilt of most Zogby polls, that means the actual favorable rating is about -11%.
Update: Our crap politics — having failed to get his up or down vote, Reid throws a tantrum by yanking the entire defense policy bill from the floor.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 3:27 PM
If McCain leaves a hole, can Giuliani fill it?
Surely all the Republican candidates will try to capitalize on the misfortunes of Senator John McCain's presidential campaign, which some pundits argue is on life support after two underwhelming fund-raising quarters. But Rudy Giuliani seems to be aggressively filling the void, or trying to, by announcing a slew of hires, endorsements, and field organization improvements.
One interesting aspect of all this is that Giuliani is making a big show of his efforts to woo some pretty conservative parts of the country, which gets to the heart of the question surrounding his candidacy: Can a pro-choice, pro-gay rights guy from Brooklyn win a Republican primary? Look for reports from Giuliani's visit today to conservative northwest Iowa.
Mitt Romney, meanwhile, returns to South Carolina tomorrow for another "Ask Mitt Anything" event in Spartanburg and a barbecue in West Columbia. And Fred Thompson is reportedly hosting a fund-raiser on the Cape this Saturday.
Oh-eight (R): Shifting CW
Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:07 AM by Mark MurrayCategories: Republicans, 2008
The New York Times’ Nagourney writes a conventional wisdom shifting analysis of the GOP field, noting how Romney and Giuliani are changing their strategies in the aftermath of McCain’s downfall and the rise of Thompson. Of note, Nagourney reports that Thompson will announce just after Labor Day. "Anticipating Mr. Thompson’s entry into the race, Mr. Romney’s advisers said they had begun examining Mr. Thompson’s record and plan to highlight his work as a trial lawyer and Washington lobbyist." Meanwhile Thompson aides confirmed that "Thompson intended to present himself as the most conservative candidate in the race and would go to South Carolina as part of his announcement swing."
In Iowa yesterday, Giuliani renewed his pledge to appoint "strict constructionist" judges, which are important code words to social conservatives. He also promised NOT to have an abortion litmus test. In addition, conservative mag Human Events interviewed Giuliani's chief legal advisers, Ted Olson and Steven Calabresi, on Rudy's judicial philosophy.
The Des Moines register previews Giuliani’s trek through N.E. Iowa today. While the New York Daily News curtain-raises his energy speech, noting that he “is unapologetic about his support for boosting the nation's nuclear power capacity… In so doing, Giuliani has positioned himself, along with GOP rival John McCain, as the most ardent advocates of nuclear power in the 2008 field."
George Will adds his byline to the McCain obit section, and he relishes the fact that McCain may have to file for matching funds so the campaign finance system he helped revamp hurts him. Meanwhile, the McCain camp sent out a fundraising email from manager Rick Davis, which tries to pit McCain against Hillary Clinton. The email notes that McCain's speech on Iraq during the all-night session was followed by Clinton. "Do we have the courage to stand up and fight for victory? Or will we settle for Hillary Clinton's vision of retreat and defeat? John McCain has reminded us time and again that the consequences of withdrawal from Iraq are catastrophic, which is why we must stand strong for victory."
And while many have attributed McCain’s downfall to his ties to Bush (on Iraq and immigration), the Politico’s Wilner makes this point: Unlike Bush, McCain has showed a “willingness to cut loose top advisers during a time of real trouble.”
The former governor heads to Spartanburg, SC today, and to help preview his trip, Romney did a little Q&A with the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, focusing on the issue of school choice. USA Today runs a very flattering profile of Ann Romney today.
University of Maryland professor Tom Schaller looks at the national polls and wonders if Romney is simply too unelectable for the GOP. His theory -- evangelicals are not yet ready to tell pollsters they'll vote for him, even in a match-up against Clinton.
As if Thompson had left any doubt himself with his bizarre lawyer defense, the New York Times confirms via billing records that he indeed lobbied on behalf of an abortion-rights group in the early '90s. “According to records from Arent Fox, the law firm based in Washington where Mr. Thompson worked part-time from 1991 to 1994, he charged the organization, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, about $5,000 for work he did in 1991 and 1992.”
“Yesterday, [Thompson spokesman Mark] Corallo said the family planning group was an Arent Fox client. ‘The firm consulted with Fred Thompson,’ he said. ‘It is not unusual for a lawyer to give counsel at the request of colleagues, even when they personally disagree with the issue.’”
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 3:40 AM
Sunday, July 15, 2007
By Gloria Borger
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 9:29 PM
Sheldon Alberts, CanWest News ServicePublished: Saturday, July 14, 2007
But never did the 21-year-old brunette imagine she'd get her big break performing a song in lusty praise of Hillary Clinton.
The former first lady, long the target of rumours about her sexuality, has pointedly refused to comment on the enormous popularity of the "Hillary chick" video, despite recently inviting supporters to upload "creative" online clips explaining why they want her to be president.
Southern, a contestant on American Idol in 2004, wrote and produced Hott4Hill to spoof an online video known simply as "Obama Girl." The Obama video features model/actress Amber Lee Ettinger, in various states of undress, lip syncing a song that expresses love for Obama. It has generated more than two million YouTube hits since its debut in June.
Since the Hott4Hill video debuted earlier this month, it has been praised as cute political parody and denounced as immoral garbage.
Southern insists she had no idea Clinton's sexuality has been questioned, primarily by political opponents and unfriendly biographers.
"I was a little concerned about what they might say, because here was their little daughter dancing around in a bikini for a lesbian video for Hillary Clinton," she says. "But they got that it was a parody."
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 1:50 AM
By Jonathan D. Salant and Kristin Jensen
He raised $15 million for the primaries and the rest for the general election campaign if he wins the nomination.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 1:45 AM
Politico: Fred Thompson Going after NYC Firefighters
Jonathan Martin over at Politico writes about Republican Fred Thompson courting New York City firefighters who may have problems with their former mayor, Rudy Giuliani.
Martin notes that Thompson had breakfast in New York this week with former senator Al D'Amato, who has endorsed him, and Steve Cassidy, head of New York City's Uniformed Firefighters Association. The meal was Thursday, the day after the International Association of Fire Fighters released a video highly critical of Giuliani, and was documented by a crew from WCBS-TV. (The UAF and IAFF are affiliated.)
We reported earlier on the IAFF accusations against Giuliani, which stem from equipment failures on 9/11 and a Giuliani decision to speed up the Ground Zero site cleanup before remains of many firefighters were found. Giuliani says he has a long record of support for "New York's bravest."
Posted by Jill Lawrence at 11:56 AM/ET, July 13, 2007 in Presidential race, 2008, Republicans Permalink
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 1:42 AM
Saturday, July 14, 2007
July 14, 2007
BY TODD SPANGLER
FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF
The director of Republican John McCain's presidential campaign office in Michigan said Thursday that three staff people will work in the state. That's down from the seven or so who had been staffing the campaign, but better than the one some had predicted.
Earlier this week, McCain's national campaign went through a shake-up after its top leaders resigned following bad news on the fund-raising front. That raised doubts about what the fallout would be in Michigan, a key state McCain won in 2000 before losing the presidential nomination to George W. Bush.
John Yob, who's running the Arizona senator's bid for the Republican presidential nomination in Michigan, isn't saying whether the Grand Rapids campaign office is open or not, but he did say Thursday that McCain's state camp has a new phone number.
In a news release, Yob acknowledged the "major changes" the campaign is going through and likened them to "what Ronald Reagan went through in 1979, when he didn't reach fund-raising expectations."
Contact TODD SPANGLER at 202-906-8203 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 4:02 AM
Friday, July 13, 2007
Giuliani: U.S. must have bigger role in global marketplace
7/12/2007, 9:54 p.m. EDT
By DAVID EGGERT The Associated Press
NOVI, Mich. (AP) — Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani pledged Thursday to give the United States a bigger role in the global marketplace, especially in the Middle East.
"The global economy is a wonderful thing for America," Giuliani said, adding later: "America is a brand after all — a great brand."
The former New York mayor described his trade and economic goals Thursday at a campaign stop in Novi, a suburb about 21 miles west of Detroit, where he addressed about 500 Republicans at a fundraising dinner. The Michigan Republican Party and state House Republican Campaign Committee will share $1 million raised at the event.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:42 AM
If McCain can survive, he could win
Thursday, July 12, 2007
ISSUE: John McCain presidential campaignOUR VIEW: South Carolina becomes more crucial than ever amid problemsSen. John McCain again has taken to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues not to press for a pullout from Iraq. He stands with President Bush on the need to allow the "surge" of U.S. forces to continue.The McCain plea comes amid increasing American public opposition to the war and ahead of a pending report on the status of the U.S. effort. The findings are not expected to be encouraging.McCain's stand also comes as he continues his campaign to become Bush's successor. The effort is struggling.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:38 AM
Behind McCain Adviser's Exit
By Jackie Calmes
WASHINGTON -- For 11 years, John Weaver has worked for one thing: to make John McCain president. As difficult as it was for the chief strategist to be a casualty of the senator's shake-up of his faltering campaign, Mr. Weaver felt worse for his 14-year-old daughter, Jordan. For her, like him, the McCains had been family.
"I didn't get home in time to tell her before she saw the news on TV, and she was crying," Mr. Weaver, a single father, recalls of Tuesday's events. His association with the Republican senator was all she's known since she was a baby. ...
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:36 AM
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Last Updated: 2:17am BST 12/07/2007
John McCain is said to have hurt his campaign with his staunch support for the Iraq war
Although Mr McCain insists that he will fight on despite the resignations this week of his two top aides, a cash crisis and falling polls numbers, senior Republicans believe his White House bid is doomed and all that remains is for the spoils to be divided.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 8:37 AM
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
By: Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence
USAT/Gallup Poll: Steady leads for Giuliani & Clinton
Fresh results from the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, parts of which are being released this hour:
• In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has a 10 percentage point lead nationally over former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., maintains his place in third.
• In the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a 16-point lead over second-place Sen. Barack Obama. Former vice president Al Gore, who has repeatedly said he has no plans to run for the White House in 2008, comes in third.
Giuliani has the support of 30% of "Republicans and Republican leaners," vs. 28% a month ago; Thompson comes in with 20%, vs. 19% in June; McCain has 16%, vs. 18% a month earlier.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney remains in fourth, at 9% vs. 7% in June.
The current numbers for the rest of the Republicans included in the survey: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, 6%; former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, 2%; Rep. Duncan Hunter, 2%; Rep. Tom Tancredo, 2%; Sen. Sam Brownback, 1%; Sen. Chuck Hagel, 1%; former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, 1%. Neither former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore nor Rep. Ron Paul registered any support.
None of the Republican numbers change significantly if Gingrich is removed from the poll.
The survey of 394 Republicans and voters who "lean" Republican has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.
Clinton has the support of 37% of the "Democrats and Democratic leaners" surveyed, vs. 33% a month earlier. Obama's support is unchanged at 21%. Gore is the choice of 16%, vs. 18% in June.
Former North Carolina senator John Edwards remains in fourth, with 13% support vs. 11% in June.
The current numbers for the rest of the Democrats included in the survey: Sen. Joseph Biden, 3%; Rep. Dennis Kucinich, 2%; Gov. Bill Richardson, 2%; former senator Mike Gravel, 1%. Sen. Christopher Dodd drew no support.
If Gore is removed from the survey: Clinton gains 5 percentage points (to 42%); Obama picks up 5 percentage points (to 26%); Edwards picks up 3 percentage points (to 16%); Richardson picks up 2 percentage points (to 4%); and Biden picks up 1 percentage point (to 3%).
The survey of 516 Democrats and voters who "lean" Democratic has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.
The latest numbers are all based on a national telephone survey conducted Friday through Sunday (July 6-8).
There will be more from the poll later at USATODAY.com and in Tuesday's editions of USA TODAY.
Update at 1:45 p.m. ET:
Clinton's pollster and political strategist, Mark Penn, has written a memo on why he thinks polls and other indicators signal that the senator "is better positioned today than ever before" to be the next president.
Posted by Mark Memmott at 12:40 PM/ET, July 09, 2007 in Democrats, Polls, Presidential race, 2008, Republicans Permalink
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 2:13 AM
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Political Blogger Jessie Harris proposes to stop political free speech.
A local Utah Political blogger plans on getting an elected official to run his proposed legislation. http://www.coolestfamilyever.com/2007/07/07/spam-wars-making-spam-illegal-in-utah/
I recently had an encounter with Mr. Harris and his attempt to intimidate several computer companies and elected officials who are personal friends or whose services I use to ban the Political Spyglass. Jesse Blogsite is http://www.coolestfamilyever.com/
And you can see from his many posts that his views on free speech are twisted.
Below is a copy of his different personalities and ways to contact him. If you agree with his position then contact him and say so. If you do not agree, contact him and tell him so. I think he needs some perspective.
Jesse: Born in Alabama and then transplanted to California, Jesse spent 14 years in Las Vegas before moving to the Salt Lake City area. He's a professional computer nerd by trade (any more detail than that would bore most of you to tears) and a political junkie by hobby. Jesse's also into cooking, old-school video games and semi-obsessive Linux puttering.
I thought I had settled my prior issue with Mr. Harris, but it appears not to be from his continued attacks and comments. I will continue to send out The Political Spyglass every day to anyone who I please. It’s my Constitutional right Mr. Harris, or do you see the First Amendment to the constitution like many liberal democrats see the Second amendment as well?
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 3:37 PM
07 Jul 2007 09:03 pm
The Young Republican National Federation's annual convention ends tonight in Ft. Lauderdale with the announcement of its straw poll results -- a poll that, in all likelihood, Mitt Romney will win, and then use to tout as an example of how Young Republicans are enthusiastic about his campaign.
But Romney had a few legs up. For one thing, the Young Republican's executive director, Jon Woodward, is the St. John's County chair for Romney. The convention's chief organizer is Brian
Graham, who is also a Romney backer. Romney's campaign helped to sponsor tonight's dinner. And the YRNF convention corporation, according to Erick Erickson at RedState, decided for some reason to allow non YRers to vote in the straw poll. That allows organized and well-monied campaigns to bring in supporters, so they should choose.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 1:06 PM
By MATT STEARNS
As of June 10, Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney had used his fundraising haul to buy 4,549 television ads.
WASHINGTON There were two object lessons last week in why money matters so much to political campaigns, in the persons of Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, outpaced all Republican rivals in amassing campaign cash so far this year, a total of $44 million. That includes nearly $9 million of his own money. McCain raised $24.8 million over the same period.
The disparity allowed Romney — a little-known one-term governor of a state considered outside the political mainstream — to vault to front-running status in key early voting states. And it’s why McCain — an American hero and best-selling author — struggles to keep his campaign afloat.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:41 PM
Giuliani faces minefield for GOP nomination
By Tony Quinn Updated: 07/08/07 7:32 AM
Rudy Giuliani’s lead in the race for the GOP presidential nomination is driven by two words: Hillary Clinton. Republicans see in Giuliani the candidate most likely to defeat Clinton in 2008, assuming, as seems more likely all the time, she emerges as the Democratic nominee for president.
Giuliani actually is not the only GOP candidate who runs well against Clinton; Sen. John McCain runs as strongly as he does. In the most recent CNN poll, Giuliani trailed Clinton by a single point, 48 percent to 49 percent; but McCain is behind by only two points, 47 percent to 49 percent. All other GOP candidates did worse.
But winning a presidential nomination is also a matter of luck, and Giuliani has been very lucky thus far. Eight months ago, McCain was the Republican establishment choice and ahead in most polls. But he is also the most closely aligned with the unpopular Bush administration, and the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq.
McCain also suffers from being both the insider choice and an outsider. His stands on many issues, most recently immigration reform, have grated upon grass-roots Republican voters. As McCain’s prospects have declined, Giuliani’s have risen and he is now replacing McCain as the choice of much of the establishment, especially the business wing of the party.
Giuliani also is lucky in that the candidacy of the third top-tier candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has blocked the rise of any of the second-tier candidates. Former
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:31 PM
The Associated Press•
Think of it as the calm before the political storm.This sweltering Southwest Florida summer is just a breather before the blizzard of television ads and mail, as presidential candidates compete in the state’s newly advanced Jan. 29 primary.But if you’re expecting an endless series of candidates marching through Southwest Florida, similar to what’s going on in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina — still following tradition as the first states in the primary race — you may be surprised.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:07 PM
Dems blast Sen. Clinton for using strategist who's also CEO of PR firm
July 8, 2007
BY ROBERT NOVAK Sun-Times ColumnistSen. Hillary Clinton is facing increasing Democratic criticism for using Mark Penn as her presidential campaign's chief strategist while he also serves as CEO of Burson-Marsteller, the public relations giant with corporate clients whose policies run opposite to Clinton's.
Clients include Royal Dutch Shell (attacked by Clinton for ''windfall profits''), as well as tobacco and pharmaceutical firms with records she has deplored. Penn was a key operative in President Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign and continued as a second-term adviser.
A footnote: Penn criticized Bloomberg News, which has reported on conflicts between Burson-Marsteller and the Clinton campaign, for obtaining ''several months'' of Penn's internal blogs. On June 29, a former employee who started a rival firm filed suit in New York City against Penn for monitoring his personal e-mails.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:02 PM
It's a potent new tool, but no one's sure how to use it
By Kenneth T. Walsh
As Barack Obama made clear last week, candidates have discovered ways to raise millions of dollars in contributions from the Internet. The question is what they do with this potentially powerful tool beyond raking in cash.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 11:59 AM
Imagine coming in on final to Salt Lake International and suddenly your back molar screams with pain. Every foot of descent is more and more agony. After grabbing your luggage you feel every heart beat in your jaw that is simply on fire. When you get home you find some left over pain med’s that you never used and swallow them like candy. The next day you beeline for your dentist, open the door of his office, and beg to have some relief.
Now the tooth in question has had a gold crown on it for nearly 35 years (my teeth suck because I was born in Japan and didn’t get the right food for good teeth) and the dentist took me into his exam room and had an assistant take an x-ray of the area. All you could see from the x-ray was a solid light spot where the gold crown was.
After shooting me not one, not twice, but four times to get numb, he then broke three drill bits trying to get through the gold crown on the tooth. Finally he broke through and the pressure that had built up on the plane trip was relived There was infection under the crown, and this needed to be overcome before any further dental work could proceed. He packed the tooth with cotton so the stuff underneath could seep out and not build up pressure.
He prescribed antibiotics and pain med’s until I could see someone about a root canal. I was fine as long as I was on the pain pills, and continued working. I then was promoted to our Park City Store, and drove up Parleys. On return I experienced the same shooting pain as before. After double doses of pain meds I was able to sleep for few hours. The next day I worked up in Park City and coming back down to Salt Lake the pain was unbearable.
Going into my garage I selected a pair of needle nose vice grips and locked onto the tooth. On the count of three I used all my strength and the crown and tooth broke off at the gum line. Remarkably the pain diminished and looking into the Gold crown was black icky gook. Several salt water mouth washes later I actually felt normal again. I called my dentist the next morning and told him what I had done. There was total silence on his end, and he finally said in all my years of dental work, I have never had a patient extract their own tooth with vice grips.
He said the tooth was infected and would either need a root canal or extracted. However because the tooth was broken off at the gum line, I would need to seek a specialist. Numerous calls to five different surgeons I found one that would at least see me, but I might have to wait hours for a break. I drove down to South Jordan and waited nearly three hours. The doctor finally had a break, and examined my tooth. He said the tooth could not be saved, and needed to come out before additional infection or problems occurred. I said great lets get it out right now. He asked if I had come alone and I said yes. He said that he would normally perform the surgery under IV, but since I drove myself, the only thing he could offer me was local and gas.
Once I was numb he started the procedure forgetting about the gas, but I didn’t care. I wanted the tooth out at all costs. Several tools were required to get the tooth out and because it was in such bad condition it came out in three pieces.
He sutured up the area, and we are making plans on inserting a titanium screw and bone graft, along with an implant tooth to fill the obvious gap.
So this has been my past month. A month of pure hell, and I have a bone graft and screw to look forward too.
Keep in mind during this period I was heavily medicated and not fully normal. So I ask for some consideration, about some of the things I may have said or posted.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:58 AM
Friday, July 06, 2007
(The New Republic) This column was written by John B. Judis.
The release of the second-quarter fundraising totals spells trouble for two presidential candidates: Democrat John Edwards and Republican John McCain. Edwards has always been a long shot for the nomination, but McCain was once the Republican frontrunner and expected (by me, among others) to have an easy path to the nomination. His candidacy is in now a shambles — and for more reasons than money. When former Senator Phil Gramm was running for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, he used to cite "Huckaby's Law," named after political consultant and fundraising expert Stan Huckaby. Huckaby's Law said that the presidential candidate who raised the most money by January 1 of election year would inevitably win the nomination. John Connally had defied the law in 1976, but that was before public financing kicked in.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:42 PM
THE RACE: Support for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Hillary Clinton in a theoretical general election matchup in New Jersey, with and without an independent candidacy by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
THE NUMBERS - WITHOUT BLOOMBERG
Rudy Giuliani, 47 percent
Hillary Clinton, 44 percent
THE NUMBERS - WITH BLOOMBERG
Rudy Giuliani, 36 percent
Hillary Clinton, 36 percent
Michael Bloomberg, 18 percent
If Giuliani were to become the GOP nominee for president, he might look to New Jersey as a place to pick up electoral votes that have gone to Democrats in recent elections. A Bloomberg candidacy, however, might siphon off more support from Giuliani than Clinton. New Jersey hasn't supported a Republican for president since 1988. But the new poll has 61 percent of the state's voters holding a favorable view of Giuliani, higher than any other presidential contender.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:40 PM
By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press Writer
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. Support in early voting states such as South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire is important, but Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani explained Friday that he has to follow the money."You have to raise an enormous amount of money to do this. Everybody knows that. We'd all like it to be different, but that's the reality of it. That drives a lot of the scheduling," the former New York mayor said after he greeted about 250 people at a pancake house here.Giuliani, who raised $15 million for the primaries during the last three months, has made more visits to Florida and California than to other early voting states. He said he considers South Carolina important to his White House bid, and that he plans to make more visits.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:35 PM
Presidential Campaign: McCain in flux
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
Brother, can you spare a million?
Expect that to be Sen. John McCain's campaign slogan now that The Associated Press has reported that his campaign is "trailing top Republican rivals in money and polls, is undergoing a significant reorganization with staff cuts in every department."
With $2 million in the coffers, about 50 staffers will be let go while others face pay cuts.
So, what happened to the guy who was in third place, cash-wise? Perhaps it was backing the president on the troop surge in Iraq, joking about bombing Iran and making comments to the press that made it clear he had no idea of how bad things are in Iraq that made him seem like a poor choice for a campaign donation.
And if money talks, then we're liking what people are saying these days.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:34 PM
Money Needs Take Giuliani to Big States
Friday July 6, 2007 6:16 PM
By SEANNA ADCOX
Associated Press Writer
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani knows where the money is - that's why he's been campaigning more in California and Florida and less in early voting states like South Carolina.
``You have to raise an enormous amount of money to do this. Everybody knows that. We'd all like it to be different, but that's the reality of it. That drives a lot of the scheduling,'' the former New York mayor said after he greeted about 250 people at a pancake house here.
Giuliani, who raised $15 million for the primaries during the last three months, has made more visits to Florida and California than to other early voting states. He said he considers South Carolina important to his White House bid, and that he plans to make more visits.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:31 PM
Jack Kelly Thu Jul 5, 12:30 AM ET
"Scooter" Libby will serve as much time in prison for lying under oath to a federal grand jury as Bill Clinton served for lying under oath to a federal grand jury.
Mr. Libby, who was chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted in March of lying about from whom he learned that Valerie Plame Wilson worked at the CIA. Last month Judge Reggie Walton sentenced him to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine.
On Monday, President Bush commuted the prison sentence. His conviction still stands, and Mr. Libby still must pay the fine.
Democrats were outraged. "As Independence Day nears, we are reminded that one of the principles our forefathers fought for was equal justice under law," said Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. "This commutation completely tramples on that principle."
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:30 PM
By Andrea Hopkins 1 hour, 17 minutes ago
CINCINNATI (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday a lawsuit challenging the domestic spying program created by President George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks must be dismissed, in a decision based on narrow technical grounds.
The appeals court panel ruled by a 2-1 vote that the groups and individuals who brought the lawsuit, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, did not have the legal right to bring the challenge in the first place.
The surveillance program was authorized by Bush to monitor the international phone calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens, without first obtaining a court warrant. A lower court had ruled in August 2006 that the program was unconstitutional.
The Bush administration appealed, and the appeals court in Cincinnati set aside the decision.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:27 PM
Thursday, July 05, 2007
By GLEN JOHNSONThe Associated PressThursday, July 5, 2007; 5:01 PM
BOSTON -- Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, who rails against the "cesspool" of pornography, is being criticized by social conservatives who argue that he should have tried to halt hardcore hotel movie offerings during his near-decade on the Marriott board.
Two anti-pornography crusaders, as well as two conservative activists of the type Romney is courting, say the distribution of such graphic adult movies runs counter to the family image cultivated by Romney, the Marriotts and their shared Mormon faith.
Republican presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to supporters during a Fourth of July parade Wednesday, July 4, 2007, in Clear Lake, Iowa.
"Marriott is a major pornographer. And even though he may have fought it, everyone on that board is a hypocrite for presenting themselves as family values when their hotels offer 70 different types of hardcore pornography," said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values, an anti-pornography group based on Ohio.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 10:39 PM
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Posted by Mark E. Towner at 10:20 PM
Former NYC Mayor Tops GOP Money Race With $17 Million In Second-Quarter Donations
Campaign 2008A glimpse at presidential hopefuls and a fund-raising overview as the campaign gears up.
2008 Presidential HopefulsA glimpse at the Democrats and Republicans who have an eye on the White House.
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Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks at a Republican fundraiser in Newport Beach, Calif., on March 24, 2007. Giuliani reported raising $17 million from donors in the second quarter of 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
Two weeks ago, there was buzz that Romney would break George W. Bush’s $37 million record for an off-year fundraising quarter, but now it appears that if anyone is going to break it, it’s going to be a Democrat.
(CBS) Rudy Giuliani has led the national polls of Republican presidential candidates for months, and now he has a position in the money race to match: His campaign announced today that the former New York mayor raised $17 million and had $18 million on hand as of the end of the second quarter of 2007. That makes him the only one of the top three declared GOP candidates to see his receipts rise from one quarter to the next. Technically, Mitt Romney can still claim raising the most money this quarter, with $20.5 million. But $6.5 million of that comes in the form of a loan from Romney himself. When it comes to the number that really matters — money raised from donors — Romney's haul falls to $14 million. That’s $9 million less than Romney raised in the first quarter of the year. Two weeks ago, there was buzz that Romney would break George W. Bush's $37 million record for an off-year fundraising quarter, but now it appears that if anyone is going to break that mark, it's going to be a Democrat. The decline in Romney's fundraising is troubling for him not only when it comes to money received, but also because it also appears the campaign is spending quite a bit of cash on TV ads (see below). Giuliani has been displaced at the top of the polls by Romney in early primary states and has seen Romney and Fred Thompson's imminent candidacy cut into his lead in national polls. Leading the way in Republican fundraising — even if his numbers pale in comparison to Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — could give him a boost at just the right time, especially since Romney and Thompson are expected to begin a pitched battle for the title of the race's "true conservative." Who else is happy about Giuliani's numbers? Probably Democrats, particularly Obama and Clinton. The money gap between the two parties' top candidates only grew in the second quarter, indicating that Republicans may have more important gaps to worry about: energy and enthusiasm. — David Miller
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:52 AM
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The Erosion of Anonymous Internet Speech
New Federal Law To Prohibit "Cyberstalking"
By ERIC J. SINROD ----
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution safeguards freedom of speech in this country. The right to speak freely generally includes the right to speak anonymously. And the developing case law holds that the right to speak freely embraces the liberty to speak anonymously on the Internet. All well and good, right? Wrong! Why?
A law designed to thwart telephone harassment has been updated and signed into effect by President Bush in a troublesome way. The newly updated law in part prohibits annoying Web postings or emails that do not disclose the true identities of the authors of this speech.
Let's drill down a bit.
As mentioned our Constitution places an extremely high value on and provides protection for free speech. Such speech, however, is not completely unbridled. That is why our nation, for example, has a developed body of law pertaining to defamation. In a nutshell, if someone says something false about someone else to others that causes harm to that someone else, there can be liability and monetary damages awarded.
In the context of the Internet, it is not uncommon for people to communicate using pseudonyms - so that they can speak freely and openly without revealing who they really are. Once in a while, other persons or companies want to find out the identities of anonymous people who have communicated on the Internet. This is especially the case if they feel that they have been defamed to their detriment.
To find out the identities of these anonymous Internet speakers, they at times must go to the ISP conduits of the speech at issue. To do that, a "John Doe" lawsuit usually is filed against the anonymous speaker at the heart of the matter, and from that case a subpoena is served on the ISP seeking the identity of the speaker. The anonymous speaker then has an opportunity to file what is called a motion to quash, which seeks to bar revelation of his or her identity.
The court then is called upon to rule whether the anonymous speaker's identity should be disclosed. Because of First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, which the cases hold includes the right to speak anonymously on the Internet, the court normally will err on the side of protecting the identity of the speaker unless the party seeking disclosure can make a "prima facie" showing up front in the case that the speech at issue truly creates liability and that true harm and damage has ensued.
Against this backdrop of protection of anonymous Internet speech comes the newly updated law.
The Communications Act, at 47 U.S.C. Section 223(a)(1)(C) has prohibited the making of telephone calls or the utilization of telecommunications devices "without disclosing [one's] identity to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number or who receives the communications."
The same law, at 47 U.S.C. Section 223(h)(1)(B), has been clear that the term "telecommunications device . . . does not include an interactive computer service." Thus, this law has not been aimed at Internet communications. BUT . . .
A small but important provision buried deep in the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, H.R. 3402, titled "Preventing Cyberstalking" and numbered as Section 113, which was just signed into law, now brings the reach of Section 223(a)(1)(C), quoted above, home to the Internet.
Specifically, Section 113(a)(3) provides that Section 223(a)(1)(C) applies to "any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet." Hello!
What does this mean? The Communications Act provides for fines and imprisonment of up to two years for violations. Thus, taken to a logical extreme conclusion, it is possible that a person who makes a Web posting or who sends an email that is intended simply to "annoy" someone else while not disclosing his or her true identity, could be subject to fines and jail time.
So much for freedom of speech - so much for appropriate Internet anonymity. There is no requirement of harm to trigger the impact of this new law, and the annoyance standard raises a number of concerns.
For example, certain speech could be true, but still annoying. Should such speech be stifled? Some "annoying speech" can lead to very positive change - whether the speech is directed at government, companies or individuals.
Plus, an annoyance standard is quite amorphous and subject to a multitude of interpretations.
While Cyberstaking certainly should be prevented, as the heading of Section 113 suggests, we should be careful not to erode our constitutionally protected rights.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 1:18 AM
Romney outpaces all candidates on TV ads
Boston Business Journal - 1:32 PM EDT Monday, July 2, 2007
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney placed more local TV advertisements than all other candidates combined, with 4,549 ads mostly on local broadcast television through June 10, said The Nielsen Company on Monday.
Nielsen Monitor Plus in New York, which tracks advertising spending, reported that traditional media started early this presidential campaign and that the local TV ad trend is anticipated to increase.
Romney's TV spots ran in seven markets including Iowa and New Hampshire.
Since the two weeks beginning June 11, both Chris Dodd and John Edwards have run half of their reported TV advertisements to date and Barack Obama began running TV ads in Iowa on June 27.
The presidential campaigns are using different combinations of new and traditional media to generate exposure during the early stages of the 2008 presidential race.
Democrats have so far dominated new media with the online "buzz" tipping to Democrats 64.3 percent of the time, according to Nielsen BuzzMetrics.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama's Web site generated the greatest number of unique visitors of any candidate Website in April, according to Nielsen.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 12:32 AM
Monday, July 02, 2007
Republicans 2008: Giuliani 34%, F. Thompson 22%
July 3, 2007
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Rudy Giuliani is the top contender in a four-person race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in the United States, according to a poll by CBS News. 34 per cent of respondents would like to see the former New York City mayor as their candidate, down two points in a month.
Actor and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson is second with 22 per cent, followed by Arizona senator John McCain with 21 per cent, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney with six per cent.
Yesterday, Giuliani discussed security issues, saying, "It’s my first commitment of the 12 that I’ve made to the American people. We have to be on offence in the terrorist war against us. What that means is we have to anticipate. (...) We’ve got to be on offence in the Islamic terrorist war against us."
In American elections, candidates require 270 votes in the Electoral College to win the White House. In November 2004, Republican George W. Bush earned a second term after securing 286 electoral votes from 31 states. Democratic nominee John Kerry received 252 electoral votes from 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Posted by Mark E. Towner at 11:22 PM