Tuesday Open Thread

Filed in National by on December 1, 2009

It’s Tuesday and it’s December! Can you believe how fast this year went by? It’s time for an open thread to tell us what’s on your mind. Post away.

Here’s a follow-up from yesterday’s story on Huckabee and his granting of clemency for (now deceased) alleged cop-killer Maurice Clemmons:

In most cases, he followed the recommendation of the parole board, but in several cases he overrode the objections of prosecutors, judges and victims’ families. And in several, he followed recommendations for clemency from Baptist preachers who had been longtime supporters.

Prosecutors told him he was ignoring his responsibility to explain to citizens why he was setting free convicted murderers and rapists. His response, some of them say, was to blame others and strike out against his critics — an off-note from a man they consider a gifted politician.

“Victims groups were pretty well ignored, along with boots-on-the-streets law enforcement and good citizens who sit on these juries,” said Larry Jegley, who objected to Mr. Clemmons’s clemency request as the prosecuting attorney for Pulaski County, where he was convicted.

Stick a fork in Huckabee, he’s done.

Politico, for some unknown reason, had an interview with Dick Cheney about Afghanistan. I’m not sure why Cheney is considered a credible voice on Afghanistan, but the MSM hangs on his every chest thump. Afghanistan, you know, is the war Bush & Cheney ignored to chase after phantom WMDs in Iraq.

On the eve of the unveiling of the nation’s new Afghanistan policy, former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed President Barack Obama for projecting “weakness” to adversaries and warned that more workaday Afghans will side with the Taliban if they think the United States is heading for the exits.

Yes, we mustn’t think about things, that’s just bad. I’ll bet you’re also surprised to learn that the problems in Afghanistan weren’t Bush’s fault. Just like the deficit and the financial crisis, all the problems began on January 20, 2009 (after 12 PM of course):

But Cheney rejected any suggestion that Obama had to decide on a new strategy for Afghanistan because the one employed by the previous administration failed.

Cheney was asked if he thinks the Bush administration bears any responsibility for the disintegration of Afghanistan because of the attention and resources that were diverted to Iraq. “I basically don’t,” he replied without elaborating.

He’s basically wrong.


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Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (13)

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  1. anon says:

    Came across this nugget while looking for something else. First thing, did you know Pat Robertson was the son of a US Senator?

    Second – LBJ knew how to smack down his Conservadems:

    When President Lyndon Johnson sent his wife, Lady Bird, on a train trip through the South to encourage support for the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, Robertson was one of four Southern Senators who refused to meet with her on the whistle stop trip. In retaliation, President Johnson personally recruited State Senator William B. Spong, Jr., a considerably more liberal Democrat, to run against him in the 1966 Democratic primary. By this time, even some Byrd Democrats were moving away from obstinate resistance to integration as espoused by Robertson and the Organization’s patriarch, Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Spong defeated Robertson in the primary in one of the biggest upsets in Virginia political history—an event that is considered the beginning of the end of the Byrd Organization’s long dominance of Virginia state politics.

  2. a.price says:

    already put this in the other thread but it seems important http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/01/maurice-clemmons-killed-s_n_374951.html

  3. MJ says:

    The District of Columbia City Council voted 11-2 to legalize same-sex marriage. The no votes were from Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) and Marion Barry (D- Ward Crackpipe).

  4. cassandra_m says:

    In today’s health care news — the current debate is about introducing amendments and voting on those amendments, but one introduced yesterday was really interesting. Senator Blanche Lincoln introduced a bill that would require that all amendments to the bill be posted online before it gets considered. Keep in mind that repubs have been demanding all kinds of transparency and new transparency from Dems on this bill (including posting amendments online), so imagine my surprise when it turns out that they voted against the thing they’ve been whinging about for months.

  5. cassandra_m says:

    Yay for DC! Now I suppose we watch for Congress to try to interfere with this, right?

    And how Marion Barry continues to get elected is beyond me.

  6. xstryker says:

    Amazing GOP insensitivity on the Clemons/Huckabee matter:

    Michael Goldfarb, a former aide to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign and currently a blogger for the Weekly Standard, said Huckabee has suffered through a “brutal 24 hours” since the shooting

    Oh, Huckabee has “suffered” a “brutal” 24 hours? How about the families of the officers who were killed?

    “It was the worst week Huck’s had since he lost South Carolina in ’08,” Goldfarb said.

    In Goldfarb’s mind, finding out the man you released from prison killed four cops is apparently of equal or lesser emotional impact than failing to win the Republican nomination for president. I don’t know how Huck feels, but I’m pretty sure this comparison is wholly inappropriate.

  7. MJ says:

    Marion Barry gets re-elected for 2 reasons – nobody of stature in that Ward ever runs against him and his constituents are stupid.

  8. My heart bleeds at the thought of Huckabee’s suffering. Huckabee, of course, blamed everyone else but himself for the problems.

    Speaking of classless, Tim Pawlenty was the first presidential contender out of the gate with attacks on Huckabee:

    Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty became the first likely GOP presidential candidate to criticize Mike Huckabee’s pardon of a suspected killer during his time as Arkansas’s governor.

    Pawlenty said that he would not have granted clemency to Maurice Clemmons, who was suspected of fatally shooting four police officers in Washington state on Sunday before being shot and killed by police in Seattle Tuesday morning.

    Asked by conservative radio host Laura Ingraham if he would have granted clemency under the same circumstances, Pawlenty replied, “No. On those facts, no, Laura, I would not.”

    He continued, “In Minnesota, I don’t think I’ve ever voted for clemency. We’ve given out pardons for things after everybody has served out their term, but again, usually for more minor offenses. But clemency, certainly not. Commutation of sentence, certainly not.”

  9. Brooke says:

    Well, I’m glad Huckabee’s sleep wasn’t particularly disturbed when Wayne DuMond raped and murdered only TWO people, due to his pardon. Maybe 4 was the magic number.

  10. anon says:

    Comment rescue from dkos on getting out of Afghanistan:

    No! We MUST Stay!

    We must stay to fight the people who want us to leave until they no longer want us to leave.

    Once they want us to stay, we can leave.

    Is that clear?

  11. cassandra_m says:

    Conservative blog LGF breaks with the wingnuts. Or maybe the winguts deserted him.

  12. No HR Nuts 2010 says:

    Fred Cullis, man of Vision.
    If this is all the Republicans can dish out for the 2010 House Race, we have nothing to fear.
    What amazing strategies is he hatching?

    Well, he posted out a ‘press release’ to delawarepolitics.net – get this “Candidate Endorses Mammograms” — what else, Fred? Apple Pie, Chevrolet, Goodness, Kindness and Mercy? I’ll bet. Blusty, gusty over-reaction to the AHRQA Mammogram thing. Political slug-slime.

    AND – big surprise, he is going to be a ‘guest speaker’ – or should we say, ‘guest-ranter’ at one of the high minded 9-12 things in Sussex county. The choir and the preacher.

    And, finally, another nifty night with Mr. Cullis, if all that is not enough – in the DE Business Ledger “Candidate Seeks Opionions of Small Business Owners”. Cullis will be appearing at a small business and (apparently) promoting their products while … well, doing what?

    I guess, Fred, Home Shopping Network might have a job for you once you get immolated in the primary …

  13. JUDSON Bennett says:

    Popular journalist Celia Cohen and insider Republicans both think Senator Colon Bonini is really running for a state wide office this time (STATE TREASURER). In Bonini’s 15 years as a Delaware Legislator he has never voted to approve a budget. Scroll down to read Celia Cohen’s interesting article.

    “Colin Bonini was at the point where he was fooling none of the people none of the time.
    Almost as soon as he was elected in 1994 as a Republican state senator, a never-say-die conservative bursting with pie-in-the-sky enthusiasm, he talked about running statewide.

    U.S. Senate, treasurer, lieutenant governor, whatever, Bonini ogled higher office for 15 years while nothing came of it. He was a political window-shopper, that was all.

    By the time Bonini made noises last year about lieutenant governor, people were not fooled, not even when he passed around please-vote-Colin-Bonini-lt.-governor emery boards. True to form, he never filed for office. At least he filed some fingernails.

    With another election year lurking, so is Bonini. No surprise there. Instead, the surprise is he really is acting like a candidate and quacking like a candidate.

    Bonini, now 44 years old, would like to be the next state treasurer. It makes some sense. He is in the middle of a term from his Dover-area legislative district and does not have to resign to run.

    Furthermore, Bonini would be seeking the next best thing to an open seat. The current treasurer is Velda Jones-Potter, a Democrat who was appointed by Gov. Jack Markell to replace himself. She is running for the office but faces a primary for the nomination against Chip Flowers, a lawyer.

    About two weeks ago, Bonini put a bunch of Republicans in a room to discuss his intentions and raise some seed money for his campaign, with tickets priced at $250 a couple. It was not just any room, and they were not just any Republicans.

    The room was part of the Chateau Country home of Michele Rollins, the businesswoman behind Dover Downs and a Jamaican luxury resort. The Republicans talking up Bonini in front of 150 people or so were former Gov. Pete du Pont and Congressman Mike Castle.

    Now this was certainly serious. Bonini had better not fool any of these people any of the time, or the only running he will be fit for is running away. Preferably to the federal witness protection program.

    “Colin is a wonderful candidate. He’s fiscally conservative, and Delaware needs that. I think he’s going [to run] this time,” du Pont said.

    The crowd included the party leaders — state Chair Tom Ross, National Committeewoman Priscilla Rakestraw and National Committeeman Laird Stabler — and all the Republican senators but Joe Booth, who went instead to a fund-raiser Bonini held downstate two days later. Charlie Copeland, the former Senate minority leader who is being urged to run for the Congress, was there, too.

    Bonini, who is big and gregarious and often seems more off-the-cuff than on it, was all business that evening. He gave a little speech extolling less government and taxes, just the right pitch for his listeners. The room was full of people who knew President Obama’s promise not to raise taxes except at the upper reaches came with the message this-means-you.

    “In a horrible hot summer in Philadelphia, they put together the most just, the most moral and the most successful experiment in history. Fundamental to that experiment was the belief that when you get up in the morning and you toil all day, you get to keep the rewards of that toil. Quite frankly, we have forgotten that lesson. If I can be blunt, our state government is out of control,” Bonini said.

    “Someone in Delaware needs to remind the government that it’s not their money, it’s yours. . . .

    “I know many people say, who really cares who the state treasurer is? With your help, I will make them care.”

    If there were any doubts left about Bonini, he went beyond acting and quacking like a candidate to setting up a PAC like a candidate. Charlie Copeland announced it for him. It will be called the “Responsible Delaware PAC.”

    Copeland was the right choice to talk about it, because he took PACs to a new level when he ran for lieutenant governor last year. Matt Denn, the Democrat who won, countered with one of his own.

    PACs, or political action committees, have more leeway than candidates. Under state law, candidates are limited to collecting a maximum of $1,200 from an individual contributor, while PACs have no limits on contribution size.

    PACs are free to spend on anything that candidates can, except for “express advocacy.” This means PACs are barred by law from broadcasting political spots or sending mailers expressly on behalf of a candidate. In other words, Bonini’s PAC could not call for him to be elected treasurer, but it could call for fiscal conservatism in state government, his key issue.

    Never mind that voters still would come away with the idea they are supposed to vote for Bonini.

    PACs are the crack cocaine of campaign money. Bonini is welcome to one, but it does seem strange that the opening act of a fiscal conservative is to create a mechanism for extracting swollen heaps of dollars so he can spend, spend, spend.”