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Hillary Rodham Walton Clinton?

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008 4:02 AM


Among the barbs traded during the latest Democratic candidate debate was Barack Obama citing Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure on the board of Wal-Mart, to which Clinton responded with an allegation that Barack Obama had represented a known slumlord.

Obama is correct; Clinton did serve on the Wal-Mart board of directors from 1986-1992, a fact she often neglects to mention while soliciting the union vote.

On the other hand, Clinton's accusation isn't quite accurate - Obama was a junior associate for the firm representing said slumlord, with the sum total of his work being 'five or six hours' helping a senior partner.


However, a note to the Obama campaign - make your materials accessible to the public instead of hiding it behind a spam gateway (that is, you must enter your e-mail address to access the site). It's a good bet Clinton isn't going to stop attacking your record, so it's to your advantage to make positive material easily accessible.

Next, a note to Hillary - stop imitating George W. Bush's mannerisms. The head bobble as you make your sales points is undercutting their validity. The posing-in-front-of-flags trend is also another bad sign. You don't speak for this country yet.

Finally, for President Bush - when you make a statement talking about the can-do American spirit and how our economy is fundamentally strong, try to keep that bewildered look off your face. And don't say, "Um ..."


Following in the wake of H.R. 847 (recognizing the importance of Christmas and Christianity), we now have H.R. 888, which offers up a mish-mash of vague religious references in order to promote 'American Religious History Week' at the start of May. In addition, the resolution calls for Congress to acknowledge religion as part of the 'critical underpinnings' and an inseparable part of the country's foundations, as well as objecting to any attempts to remove, obscure, or purposely omit such references from the Nation's buildings and educational resources.

The language is in direct counter to Thomas Jefferson's 'wall of separation' quote (Letter to the Danbury Baptists), and possibly a foot-in-the-door for teaching Creationist claptrap in public schools.

The resolution notes that the Liberty Bell is inscribed with a quote from Leviticus, so therefore, we're all about Christianity. Likewise, Benjamin Franklin once referred to God and 'His concurring aid,' therefore, he was a Christian, or at least espousing Christian ideals. Or that Constitutional Convention meetings were often held in churches, and so on.

It's rather insulting, both to our intelligence and to the Christian faith, that this cobbled-together collection of misconstrued facts is being used to push a religious agenda that sails dangerously close to the Establishment Clause. (Though I'm sure it will be argued that it's not 'establishing' anything, just 'acknowledging' or 'observing' 'Historical Fact.')

Perhaps the measure's sponsors need to remember that religious liberty was one of the reasons for emigrating to the colonies and ultimately the founding of our country. It was not to substitute one form of religious tyrrany for another.


General David "Surge" Petraeus is now of the opinion that we need another Friedman Unit (six months) to tell whether or not the surge has been effective, despite telling us last September that all was well and gushing to Congress about how much progress we've made.

Like we didn't see that one coming.

Even the most generous oversight needs something more than an endless chain of 'six more months.' We're pursuing a strategy that continues to be ineffective, but we keep telling ourselves 'six more months' or that the real reason it's not working is something the Iraqis aren't doing this week/this month.

If this were a substance abuse problem, this would be what counselors call an 'external' - focusing on others or external circumstances as an excuse for why we're continuing our behavior instead of correcting it. And those in a position of oversight who avert their gaze are our codependents.


Actor Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain, and the upcoming Batman: The Dark Knight) is dead at age 25. His family is calling the death, 'accidental,' though police will be conducting a routine autopsy to determine the exact cause.


One More Thing:Okay, I understand that a necessary component of diplomacy is dialogue. That being said, why the hell is CBS giving air time to Osama bin Laden's son, Omar, including a day's worth of promotion? Said son wants the U.S. to talk to his father, wants peace, etc.

Yet Omar seems not to be aware of his father's rhetoric, believing instead that Osama would listen to him. (He certainly hasn't been paying attention to the Bush Adminstration's policy of slam-the-door diplomacy.)

I'm all for strong diplomatic efforts, but this seems to me to be little more than weakness/desperation - that we're reduced to grasping at straws to open a dialogue.




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