Daily Archives: September 28, 2008

Latest addition: Congressional Indicted Caucus

Heaven forfend Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) should be the face of the Congressional Indicted Caucus all by himself.  No longer.  It’s official: Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), currently facing trial for bribery and 15 other corruption-related charges, will be on the ballot for a tenth term as congressman for Louisiana’s 2nd District.

Jefferson was under suspicion (though not indictment) two years ago when he won another term due in large part to a great number of Katrina-displaced voters not participating.  Now freshly indicted, his status in Congress greatly diminished, and suffering bad publicity from family members also under indictment, many are doubting he can pull off another miracle.

Details and analysis below the break.

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Obama wears bracelet AGAINST family wishes?? UPDATE: Whew! Tension…fading…

(UPDATE: Reader mycowardice directs my attention to a Washington Times article quoting Tracy Jopek as saying she’s “ecstatic” about the appearance of her son’s memorial bracelet on the debate last night.  Well, that’s certainly a relief…if Sen. Obama actually had been wearing it despite her having directly asked him not to, I’d have thought he was some kind of sociopath.  Now all I’m left to puzzle over is, what’s changed since the radio interview with Brian Jopek, whose account of Tracy having been “upset” by the use of the bracelet last spring is wholly incompatible with Mrs. Jopek’s professed “ecstasy?”  [Thanks to mycowardice for the heads-up!]  Now on to the original post…)

Well, here’s a “WTF??” moment to end all “WTF??” moments.

Friday night at the debate John McCain raised his wrist and revealed a memorial bracelet bearing the name of Cpl. Matthew Stanley, a soldier killed in Iraq.  The bracelet was given to McCain by Cpl. Stanley’s grieving mother, asking the senator to make sure her son did not die in vain.

Barack Obama quickly and gamely countered this display by drawing attention to a similar bracelet of his own (though he did have to remind himself of the name on it).  His was given to him by the mother of Sgt. Ryan David Jopek (also killed in Iraq); Obama said Mrs. Jopek asked him to make sure no mother had to go through what she went through.

What Obama didn’t mention was that Sgt. Jopek’s parents, according to his father Staff Sgt. Brian Jopek in a radio interview on Wisconsin Public Radio last March, asked him months ago to stop wearing their son’s bracelet.

As told to WPR’s “Route 51” (audio link here, scroll down to March 20) by Brian Jopek, the bracelet had been intended as something between his wife Tracy and Sen. Obama alone, not as a campaign prop.  Tracy Jopek simply wanted Obama to know her son’s name.  When Obama started using that name at campaign rallies, she wrote to him asking him explicitly not to use the bracelet or her son’s name anymore.  As evidenced by Obama’s use of both Friday night, he has ignored them entirely, instead escalating the bracelet’s use to the national primetime level.  More at NewsBusters.

Ryan Jopek’s mother Tracy refused to give interviews on the subject of Obama and her son, as she is an Obama supporter and did not wish to undermine his campaign.  As she suffered in silence, Brian Jopek, an Iraq veteran himself who has served in Mosul and at Guantánamo, had apparently had enough.

I’ve never run for public office, but if I were to do so, and a fallen soldier’s parents made a request of me regarding their child, I like to think I’d cut them a little slack.  Or at least not pretend the conversation never happened.

Captain Ed weighs in.

R.I.P Paul Newman, 1925 – 2008

Paul Newman is gone.

Wonderful epitaph from John Nolte at PajamasMedia: “It‘s the rare circumstance where we mourn the loss of the man more than the star.” The countless beneficiaries of the Newman’s Own Foundation, past and to come, will doubtless agree.

You a world-shaker, that’s what you are.

The Congress who cried “wolf” UPDATE: Pork and earmarks slashed

“Lawmakers Reach Accord on Huge Financial Rescue”

That’s the banner headline on the Washington Post website.  Looks so happy!  Woohoooo!  Done before the Asian markets open!  No crash on Monday!  Yippee skippee!

My first impression?  I’ll believe it when I see it.  The people trumpeting a “deal” are the same people who were trumpeting a “deal” just after John McCain decided to come back to the Senate to be part of the bailout negotiations.  Except there never had been any deal, and they knew there wouldn’t be by Friday night’s debate; the whole point was to put up a public front of apparent progress in order to make sure things appeared to be in worse shape after McCain left.

That first impression was firmly buttressed when I read the WaPo article.  See why below the break.

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Astroturf copycat/Blogger Neologism Watch

The Jawa Report (via Jim Treacher’s blog) reports yet another viral video along the lines of Ethan Winner’s smear video of Sarah Palin, using “creatively edited” video clips to give the same, tired, utterly fabricated impression that Palin is an Alaskan secessionist, or at least an Alaskan Independence Party supporter (if not a member).

The controversy hovers around five words from a video statement Gov. Palin submitted upon request to the AIP for viewing at their party convention a while back.  The entirety of the quote from Palin says, “I share your party’s vision…” (The video even includes the ellipsis; at least they retain some vestige of honesty.)

A firm debunking of this rumor (can’t believe it’s still alive), and a bonus Blogger Neologism Watch entry, below the break.

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“And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch…”

Nancy Pelosi is calling Republicans “unpatriotic.

It’s because the Republican bailout negotiators failed to show up to a meeting the Democrats had scheduled yesterday.  So Pelosi called a press conference to tell the world they’re “unpatriotic.”

Except the Republicans never knew about the meeting, because the Democrats — wait for it — forgot to invite them. (Video from MSNBC; meeting commentary starts at 2:05.)  More at Hot Air.

And they tell us McCain is the one losing his grip…

Nor is that the only thing Speaker Pelosi is losing her grip on; her party is slipping away from her as well.  Or so it would seem in light of her announcement that despite the majority she is supposed to lead, she’s failed to muster the votes to pass Congress’s version of Treasury’s bailout bill without the backing of the House Republicans demanding checks on the plan.  Will she be the last to realize how unpopular this bill is as it stands?  She’d better hop to it, seeing that she now demands a plan by tonight.