Friday, June 20, 2008

A Little Of The Old In And Out

(image via latimes)

In: Obama-Clinton, Together Again. The glorious Webb, Sibelius, Richardson, Edwards, Schweitzer and Hagel notwithstanding (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detchment), Clinton and Obama look smashing together, watching each others' backs(see above), no? The problem with that ticket, of course, is that Hillary would polarize the Republican base, negating Obama's plan of redrawing the electoral map, thus leaving us with the same Red-Blue divisions that led to electoral losses in '02 and '08. But, yes, on the subject of a possible joint ticket emerging: There Will Be Buzz.

Senators Clinton and Obama will campaign together next week, thereby fueling a media frenzy of quite possibly intergalactic proportions. While the Senator from illinois has slowly been getting a trickle of Hillary supporters on board his campaign -- and still no word on Richard Holbrooke -- this appearance will be a help in healing those remaining rifts. From the LA Times:

"Barack Obama announced a little bit ago that he and Clinton would campaign together next Friday. No details were offered, such as where this might happen, for how long, whether it will be multiple events and days or just a quick bow-and-curtsy and off the stage. Or, for that matter, whether they plan free events or fundraisers.

"Obama has already been making a hard push for Clinton's supporters, including a targeted appeal on his campaign website. And he's got his people working on some of her big donors, hoping to merge what became two massive fundraising juggernauts during the primary-and-caucus season into a general election behemoth (we envision a massive ATM in the shape of the lower 48)."

Out: Will Israel Attack Iran? There have been sotto voce whisperings in the more conspiratorial precincts of the blogosphere about the possibility of an "October Surprise," or, at the vary least, a tacit understanding of non-interference -- a la the 2006 Lebanon War -- regarding a U.S. role in Israel wiping out Iranian nuclear facilities right before the 2008 elections. AEI's Joshua Muravchik has been particularly vocal, and Senator McCain's own corny "vocals" on the subject of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility are oft-quoted on cable news. Now, from The New York Times:

"Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

"Iran's Nuclear Program Several American officials said the Israeli exercise appeared to be an effort to develop the military’s capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran’s nuclear program.

"More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters participated in the maneuvers, which were carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and over Greece during the first week of June, American officials said.

"The exercise also included Israeli helicopters that could be used to rescue downed pilots. The helicopters and refueling tankers flew more than 900 miles, which is about the same distance between Israel and Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, American officials said."

More here.

In: But What I Really Want To Do Is Executive Produce. "EP's" are in the realm of entertainment what Mayors were in the late 90s to the world of politics. The chewy center; the creamy filling. Jim Carrey is now an Executive Producer; James Gandolfini is an Executive Producer; Courtney Cox was an Executive Producer; Matthew Perry is now an Executive Producer, and so on.

(image via schema-root)

Out: Mercenaries. Mercenaries are the cockroaches of Africa, itinerant journeymen -- often racist, former pro-Apartheid Afrikkaners -- that roam the continent in search of unstable countries with oodles of mineral wealth. Their innovations on the theme of torture would give evena Caligula pause. The latest, from IHT:

"Government lawyers displayed a contract in court Friday as proof that British ex-military officer Simon Mann played a key role in a plot to overthrow Equatorial Guinea's president four years ago.

"Mann identified his signature on the contract — also signed by the opposition leader who would allegedly be installed as president — and on financial statements and other documents as his trial entered a fourth day.

"Mann, 55, is accused of planning to topple the longtime dictator of Africa's third-biggest oil producer, President Teodoro Obiang.

"Prosecutors say Mann was the ringleader of a coup plot financed by Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The government says Mann hoped to install exiled opposition leader Severo Moto, who would give them access to the tiny nation's oil wealth."


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