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click on each candidate to see today's news stories (caricatures by Linda Eddy)


Tuesday, April 15, 2008



Clinton, Obama battle for Catholic vote

There is widespread agreement that American Catholic voters are far more diverse than monolithic. Even so, both the Clinton and the Obama campaigns have hired Catholic outreach directors, deployed an army of prominent Catholic surrogates testifying on their behalf and created mailings that highlight their commitment to Catholic social teachings on economic justice and the common good...



Some Pennsylvania voters say Obama's 'bitter' comments turned them to Hillary

... a sense of local pride is why Barry "Scoop" Ford, editor of the weekly Columbia Ledger, says many in the town resent Obama's description.

"I think it sounded like he was up here and everybody else -- the working class, the lower class people -- were down here," Ford says.

see also: Pa. voters divided over Obama remark


Pruden: the high price of a holy sneer

The senator appears to have spent too much time in the pews at Trinity United Church, acquiring a jaundiced view of the world beyond his own. The senator concedes that his words were "poorly chosen," but a lot of voters, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, will conclude that the words he chose describe exactly what the senator actually thinks. It could be a bitter epitaph for a campaign...


Bill Kristol: the mask slips

... it’s one thing for a German thinker [Karl Marx] to assert that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” It’s another thing for an American presidential candidate [Obama] to claim that we “cling to ... religion” out of economic frustration.

... He’s disdainful of small-town America — one might say, of bourgeois America. He’s usually good at disguising this. But in San Francisco the mask slipped. And it’s not so easy to get elected by a citizenry you patronize...


Carter request to enter Gaza turned down

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter met an ex-minister in Hamas's government on Tuesday, defying Israeli leaders who shunned the Nobel Peace Prize laureate over his contacts with the Islamist movement.

Carter said he had sought to visit the Gaza Strip, which Hamas seized in June after routing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah faction. He said the request was turned down, but he did not point the finger at Israel.







John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain: Obama comments were 'elitist'

Senator John McCain threw himself into the culture war between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday. He said at a gathering of news executives that comments by Mr. Obama about working-class voters were “elitist” and a “fundamental contradiction of what I believe America’s all about.”

Mr. McCain’s remarks were his first public comments on the issue

see also: McCain echoes Clinton's attacks

McCain proposes break in gas taxes

John McCain wants the federal government to free people from paying gasoline taxes this summer and ensure that college students can secure loans this fall, a pair of proposals aimed at stemming pain from the country's troubled economy.

At the same time, the certain Republican presidential nominee says Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton would impose the single largest tax increase since World War II by allowing tax cuts pushed to passage by President Bush to expire.


McCain to propose changes in Medicare drug program

McCain is planning to call for wealthier Medicare recipients to pay higher premiums in order to qualify for the prescription drug coverage, the McCain campaign’s top economic advisers said Monday evening. He is making the call for higher premiums as he is pushing for a series of cuts in corporate and other taxes.

Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, plans to outline his proposal to change the Medicare drug benefit as part of a broad speech on the economy that he plans to deliver here on Tuesday. In the speech he will also say that as president he would try to impose a one-year freeze on all discretionary government spending – except in the military and for veterans’ benefits – while the government can conduct what his aides called a “top to bottom review” of federal spending.

McCain, military oppose expanding GI Bill

McCain indicated he would offer some sort of alternative to the legislation to address concerns that expanding the GI Bill could lead more members of the military to get out of the service.

... Officials in charge of Pentagon personnel worry that a more generous and expansive GI Bill would create an incentive for troops to get out of the military and go to college.




Rice rules out spot on McCain ticket

While praising Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, Ms. Rice said in an interview, “I don’t want to be, don’t intend to be, won’t be on the ticket.”

She said she would return to academic pursuits at Stanford University at the end of the Bush administration.




Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

New ad: Clinton airs 'out-of-touch' TV spot

In the new 30-second spot, "Pennsylvania," an announcer references Obama's comments. A woman says, "I was very insulted by Barack Obama." A man then calls him "out of touch."

Then another woman says, "I'm not clinging to my faith out of frustration and bitterness. I find that my faith is very uplifting." A second man follows with this comment: "The good people of Pennsylvania deserve a lot better than what Barack Obama said."  watch video


Hillary takes 20-point lead in Pennsylvania

Clinton 52, Obama 41...

Hillary: Dad taught me how to shoot

“You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl,” she said.

"You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter. ... As I told you, my dad taught me how to shoot behind our cottage. I have gone hunting. I am not a hunter. But I have gone hunting."




Hillary promises to reform NAFTA

Clinton says her husband is smart, but he does make mistakes. She says she would correct the mistakes related to NAFTA or pull the United States out of the agreement.

Hillary, outspent

On a conference call with reporters today, Clinton aide Howard Wolfson says Obama will is spending $3.3 million on Pennsylvania television this week, twice what Clinton's spending.

Hillary's Pennsylvania asset - Gov. Ed Rendell

Few presidential candidates have ever had the benefit of a local promoter like Mr. Rendell, who before being elected governor was the mayor of Philadelphia. He is campaigning as vigorously for Mrs. Clinton’s election as he would for his own, and constantly talking her up with remarks that, alas, sometimes go off message. (On Monday, he shrugged off the impact of Mr. Obama’s comments. “It will cost a couple of points at the margin, but it won’t be a sea-changer,” the governor said.)



Clinton would bail out General Motors...

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday said that if confronted with the prospect of a General Motors or Ford bankruptcy, she would extend the resources of the federal government to help keep the auto company afloat.

In saying a federal role would be justified, Mrs. Clinton explained: "Yes, one in eight jobs are related [to the auto industry], absolutely. You know, but I want something in return. You know, we don't want to just keep investing in the car companies unless they change their direction. But they're beginning to do that."


Chatty crowd forces Hillary to cut speech short

Hillary Clinton was forced to cut her normal stump speech short when a chatty and meddlesome crowd kept her from grasping their attention. Clinton, who was addressing the Philadelphia County Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, spoke for just over five minutes, despite having the press arrive almost two hours beforehand.

Elton John fundraiser draws formal complaint

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) related to a fundraising concert by musician Sir Elton John on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.  Elton John, a foreign national, is prohibited by federal law from making any contribution to a federal, state or local election campaign.






Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Long-lost article by Obama's dad surfaces

Obama Sr.'s journal article repeatedly asks what the Kenyan government means by "African Socialism," as distinct from Soviet-style communism, and concludes that the new phrase doesn't mean much.

Elements of Obama's argument now seem prescient, others deeply dated, but his central aim – particularly in the context of the heady early days of African independence – was moderate and conciliatory.


Poll: Pennsyl. race unchanged by Obama remarks

Barack Obama’s “bitter” comment may have had little immediate impact in the Democratic primary race in Pennsylvania, according to a poll out this morning.

The Quinnipiac University poll found that Hillary Clinton leads Obama 50 to 44 percent, a margin unchanged since the organization's last statewide poll at the beginning of the month.

The unchanged margin does not come as a great surprise. Obama’s remark was made public Friday afternoon, leaving only two days to permeate the public.

see also: Poll: Clinton holding the line in Pa.

Obama ties McCain, Bush 'failures'

"If John McCain wants to turn this election into a contest about which party is out of touch with the struggles and hopes of working America, that's a debate I'm happy to have," he said. "I may have made a mistake last week in the words that I chose, but the other party has made a much more damaging mistake in the failed policies they've chosen and the bankrupt philosophy that they've embraced for the last three decades."

Rezko trial: witness recalls seeing Obama at 2004 party for Iraqi-born investor convicted on fraud

A government witness testified on Monday at the trial of the Chicago businessman Antoin Rezko that Senator Barack Obama attended a party in 2004 that Mr. Rezko held to court a controversial Iraqi-born investor for a large real estate project.

Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign has long said that the senator does not recall meeting the investor, Nadhmi Auchi, a billionaire who has been convicted on fraud charges in Europe. Mr. Obama’s spokesman, Bill Burton, said again Monday that the senator had no recollection of attending any such event.


Obama: Clinton criticism 'toughening me up'

Barack Obama: “I’m sure that Senator Clinton feels like she’s doing me a great favor because she’s been deploying most of the arguments that the Republican Party will be using against me in November and so it’s toughening me up.”

see also: Obama sees attacks as GOP warmup

BET-TV founder says Obama would not be leading if he were white

"What I believe Geraldine Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called `Jerry Smith' and he says I'm going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote?" [Bob] Johnson said. "And the answer is, probably not... ."

"Geraldine Ferraro said it right. The problem is, Geraldine Ferraro is white. This campaign has such a hair-trigger on anything racial ... it is almost impossible for anybody to say anything."





Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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