Sunday Roast, August 11, 2013: They’re Both Wrong

Just this past Thursday (remember that day; a mere three days ago) Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) had an unpleasant conversation with a constituent who insisted that Barack Obama was constitutionally ineligible to be the President of the United States. She claimed to have proof in the form of some papers supposedly gathered by Arizona Bigot-Extraordinaire Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse (which I sincerely hope didn’t use a penny of taxpayer money pursuing this non-crime), but the Congressman was not interested in looking at them. He said to her (and it sure sounds like this to my hard-of-hearing ears), “I don’t even give a shit.” She tried to claim it was “a matter of law.” For his part, the Congressman’s argument was that “We had four years to take care of that,” and that because Obama was re-elected, it was a “dead issue” and “we lost that argument.”

They’re both wrong.

No matter how many times they bring it up, Continue reading

Watering Hole: Monday, December 31, 2012 – Hillary Clinton Hospitalized Sunday with Blood Clot

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Many news organizations, including Reuters, have reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a hospital following the discovery of a small blood clot stemming from the concussion she suffered earlier this month.

Many in the right wing media have been trying to say, sometimes in a roundabout way and sometimes directly, that she was faking her concussion to get out of testifying about what happened in the Sept 11 attack on the Benghazi Consulate. Of course, there is no basis whatsoever for these accusations, but when did the truth ever stop the right wing from saying anything? Fox News hasn’t been shy about questioning the veracity of Secretary Clinton’s claims or the seriousness of her injury. While she was following doctor’s orders and getting bed rest (a smart thing to do after a concussion, especially when you were sick when you got it), some Fox News people have wondered aloud (and on camera) why she still couldn’t testify as scheduled on Benghazi. (I’m no doctor, but I’m guessing the brain damage prevalent at Fox News was not the result of concussions, but simply a prerequisite for being hired to work there as an on-air “talent.”)

Bill O’Reilly dismissively said, “If She Was In The NFL I Wouldn’t Let Her Play, But I Think She Can Make A Phone Call.” And former unconfirmed G. W. Bush UN Ambassador John “I Am The Walrus Mustache” Bolton even pushed a story about how diplomats lie to get out of meetings they don’t wish to attend.

Fox News contributor John Bolton told host Greta van Susteren that when foreign service officers “don’t want to go to a meeting or conference or event,” they have “a diplomatic illness. And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band.”

And Fox’s Laura Ingraham mocked Sec. Clinton’s condition saying, “We Are Now Calling This The Immaculate Concussion.” It’s actually pretty ignorant of them to say, “No one knows where she is.” Of course people knew – she was at home, as previously reported, where her doctor’s told her to stay. O’Reilly even said where she was later in the segment.

It’s time for Fox News to start apologizing for accusing the Secretary of State of faking her concussion so she wouldn’t have to testify regarding the Benghazi attack. And they’re not the only ones. Soon-to-be former Congressman Allen West said that she was trying to get out of testifying with a bout of the “Benghazi Flu.” To her credit, Fox’s Greta van Susteren has pushed back on these accusations saying, “I don’t agree with any of my (Fox News) colleagues or anyone else who is a tad bit sarcastic on our air about Secretary Clinton’s health.”

Given his well-documented obsession with Hillary Clinton, we can only imagine what Rush Limbaugh has said on the subject. We have to because none of us here can stomach listening to that blowhard.

Surely their apologies are imminent. Yeah, just as surely as I’ll be sworn in next month to replace Secretary Clinton.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Hillary’s concussion, Rush’s obsessions, O’Reilly’s brain damage, or any other topic you wish. And from all of us at The Zoo, please enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebrations safely and responsibly.

The Watering Hole, Saturday September 15, 2012 – Greater Love Hath No Man Than This

It was a week of tragedy. On Tuesday, an al Qaeda-trained unit breached security, overtook the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, his aide (and former Airman) Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. They were honored yesterday in a Transfer of Remains Ceremony at Andrews, AFB, in Maryland. [Full Disclosure: My first assignment out of Tech School was to Andrews, AFB, in 1983. I got to play golf on one of their championship golf courses because Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger decided to cancel his tee time, an hour and a half late.] Recent reports indicate the attack may have been in retaliation for a drone strike that killed the then-Number Two In Al Qaeda, widely agreed to be the most dangerous job in the world. It did not have anything to do with the protests going on in Egypt and Yemen over that stupid anti-Muslim movie trailer for a film that, in all likelihood, given the criminal past of one of the men involved, does not exist. Both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton made wonderful, poignant remarks in remembrance of the fallen Americans.

President Obama began by quoting Scripture, as Christian men are wont to do, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” It is, even to this Atheist, a beautiful sentiment, and one with which I wholeheartedly agree. As for me, I can think of no more honorable way to die than in an effort to save the life of others. The brave men who died in the service of their country did so knowing their jobs were dangerous ones, and that this could happen, yet they chose to do it anyway. Though much well-deserved credit is given to the armed forces who keep us safe, an insufficient amount of credit is given to the diplomatic corps who work behind the scenes to keep us safe, too. Bad things happen, more often than we would like, and some heads of countries cannot be seen to appear weak in the eyes of their people, and diplomats find a way to satisfy everyone’s interests in the name of Peace. We may not agree with some of their results from time to time, but by and large, if it weren’t for the Department of State, every able-bodied person would have to be prepared to fight in some war over some stupid shit, because we’d have no one to talk sense into those who wish us harm. And their efforts work. And they should be appreciated more. Because sometimes, even they die in the line of duty. And we owe them every measure of respect and devotion we’d give to a fallen soldier in combat. They died for the same noble cause.

UPDATE: Thanks to badmoodman, we now have a video we can post of the entire ceremony at Andrews AFB.

This is, of course, our Open Thread, so feel free to discuss the tragedy leading to four dead Americans which had nothing whatsoever to do with the ignorant, bigoted, fraudulent anti-Islam movie trailer, released on the Internets, or maybe something a little more lighthearted for a Saturday morning, such as cute little kittens:

Dawn broke, Captain Whiskers and his mysterious sidekick—known only as “the Kitten”—had triumphed, the city was safe.

[Cross-posted at Pick Wayne's Brain]

The Watering Hole: April 9 — Texts from Hillary

The coolest internet meme out there these days is “Texts from Hillary.”  i guess that’s what happens when you’re a truly awesome Secretary of State, looking elegant on your big ole airplane in your sunglasses.  :)

This is our daily open thread — How would you caption a “Text from Hillary?”

U.S. Journalist Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison In Iran

Obama, Clinton and others speak out against the prison term.

Analysts say the journalist, who grew up in North Dakota, may be seen as a political bargaining chip to use against the West.  An Iranian American journalist accused of spying for the U.S. was sentenced by an Iranian court Saturday to eight years in prison, a move likely to strain the Obama administration’s recent overtures to improve relations with Tehran.

Roxana Saberi, 31, who had reported for the BBC and National Public Radio, had faced espionage charges during a trial Monday before Iran’s Revolutionary Court.

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Afghanistan’s New Law: Limit Women’s Rights, “Legalize Rape” In Marriage, & Outraging Ministers

Afghan President Hamid Karzai landed a devastating blow to women’s right with his new law.

An effort by ministers from the United States, Canada and other members of the 42-nation coalition fighting in Afghanistan to put an optimistic face on the war’s progress came close to collapse on Tuesday when Afghan President Hamid Karzai was publicly accused of supporting a law that dramatically limits the rights of women.

Attended in total by 72 countries and organizations interested in rebuilding the country, The Hague summit was meant to be a “big tent” show of support for U.S. President Barack Obama’s new Afghanistan war plans. But by day’s end the participants had been forced to confront the reality of a government riddled with corruption and committed to legislating sexual inequality.

According to United Nations organizations that have seen it, a law backed by the Karzai government would legalize rape within marriage and would forbid women from going to the doctor or leaving their home without their husband’s protection.

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Hillary has a choice to make..

LA Times

Ted Kennedy asks Hillary Clinton to head Senate healthcare team

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y), considered a prominent contender to become secretary of State in the Obama administration, was offered an alternative Tuesday — to be a senior member of the Senate team aiming to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has announced plans to craft sweeping healthcare legislation next year, asked the former presidential contender to head a working group focused on insurance coverage.

The potential assignment comes a decade and a half after Clinton led a controversial effort to reshape the healthcare system as first lady during her husband’s first term in the White House. That campaign collapsed amid bitter opposition from many in the healthcare industry and accusations that Clinton ran a secretive process that ignored input from important stakeholders.

More…

Hillary Clinton has not responded yet to this request..

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Obama considering Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head EPA

Not only am I overjoyed to hear this, I would love to see Obama offer him the Cabinet post.  He is perfect for the job.  No one has fought harder for the environment, IMHO, than Robert Kennedy Jr. 

Truthout has more on Obama’s considerations.

Obama’s transition planners are weighing several other celebrity-level political stars for Cabinet posts, including retired Gen. Colin L. Powell for secretary of defense or education, the officials said.

Kennedy’s cousin, Caroline Kennedy, who helped Obama lead his vice presidential search, is being considered for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, although some Obama officials doubt she would take the post. Obama is indebted to the Kennedy family for a hearty endorsement at a crucial point in the Democratic primaries.

The selection of Kennedy would be a shrewd early move for the new presidential team. Obama advisers said the nomination would please both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

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Latest Polls For Ohio & Pennsylvania

Two polls released today – one from the University of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research and the Public Policy Polling for Pennsylvania. 

Barack Obama is likely to prevail over John McCain in the fierce battle for Ohio’s 20 electoral votes, according to an Ohio Poll released Monday morning,

The poll by the University of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research – billed as a final projection of Tuesday’s results by institute pollster Eric Rademacher — shows Obama with 51.5 percent to 45.7 percent for McCain.

Obama’s lead is well outside the poll’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.7 percentage points.

The Ohio Poll released this morning comes after a week in which McCain and his running mate, Alaska governor Sarah Palin, practically took up residence in the Buckeye State. Their campaigning included a rally by Palin Sunday night in Clermont County. The McCain-Palin campaigned increased its television ad buys in Ohio and other key states.

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Obama Roasts John McCain At Alfred Smith Charity Dinner

Obama was too funny.  He asked where are the greek columns he requested.  Obama said that he received his middle name from someone who never thought he would be running for office.  He needed to disclose that his middle name is actually Steve.  Obama said he was surprised that McCain kept bring up “Who Is Obama” on the campaign trail.  He said all he had to do was look at his Facebook page.  A must watch, he had me laughing through the whole video.

CNN: Hillary Clinton on Obama “Three for Three”

Hillary Clinton was speaking about how this country needs a change.  Hillary is excited to be working with Obama to make sure he gets elected.  “He is the change the country needs.”  She didn’t fall for Wolf’s line of questions, Hillary stayed with her strong answers and made sure she got out her message.    She looked great!

Will Bush Sign Bill That Prohibits Pentagon Propaganda?

In the 2009 Defense Authorization Bill, it included language in response to criticism about the promotion of propaganda that has been going on with the media military analysts, the Pentagon and the defense contractors – according to Media Matters. The bill has been sitting on President Bush’s desk since Monday, any word from the media on this important matter “crickets” or is the media saying move along – nothing to see here folks.

The Congressional Members responsible for the inclusion of this provision are Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)-which was brought to the forefront by an article in The New York Times.

A subsequent analysis by Media Matters documented more than 4,500 appearances of military analysts in the media, many of whom worked for or had clients with companies that have an interest in obtaining Pentagon contracts.

The bill includes the following provisions:

1.) Prohibits taxpayer money from being used for “publicity or propaganda purposes” by the Department of Defense.

2.) Requires the Department of Defense Inspector General to investigate the media analysts program and report the findings back to Congress 90 days after the bill is enacted.

3.) Directs the Comptroller General of the GAO to issue a legal opinion to Congress on whether the media analysts program violated the law within 120 days of enactment.

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Hillary Proclaims “McCain is no Maverick”

At a Human Rights Campaign dinner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton called Republican presidential candidate John McCain not a maverick but a “mimic” of President Bush.

Joe Biden had to cancel his weekend campaign events because his wife’s mother is ill. He called Hillary to fill in for him at this event. Sen. Clinton, who did some heavy campaigning in Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan at the end of September, spoke via satellite to the national gay rights group on Saturday.

Rather than sharing her thoughts, she said, “I want to share with you the eloquent remarks that Joe had prepared.” Clinton sought to tie McCain to Bush, saying the Arizona senator offered voters “more of the same.”

He’s not a maverick. He’s a mimic,” she said. She noted that McCain doesn’t support extending job discrimination and hate-crimes laws to cover sexual orientation and supports the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

As in her campaign address in Michigan-Hillary told the crowd that we can’t turn this country around with the same team that got us into this mess in the first place. She expanded on that speech Saturday by saying that Americans need to takes steps toward “securing equality and dignity for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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Thanks Palin! Obama Sets Fundraising Record!

Since John McCain has announced Sarah Palin as his VP choice; it had energized new and old supporters. In a 24 hour period the Obama campaign had raised a record $10 million dollars.  Palin has empowered the Obama campaign to raise more money in August than has ever been raised in history.

Sen. Barack Obama has bested his monthly fundraising record, raising roughly $66 million in August and adding more than 500,000 new donors, his campaign said today. The Democratic nominee’s previous best month had been February 2008, when he raised $55 million amid an intense nomination fight with Sen. Hillary Clinton.

The real test will be in October because of Obama’s decision to forgo public funds. He spends much of his time fundraising; now Joe Biden and Hillary are going to contribute greatly to that cause.

“The American people are looking to kick the special interests out and change Washington,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement. “We are proud of the millions of volunteers and more than 2.5 million donors to the Obama campaign who are contributing to help us deliver the change we need instead of letting John McCain just continue the same failed Bush policies while middle class Americans struggle.”

Clinton, meanwhile, is expected to be in the Chicago area today, less than a week after Obama’s campaign also brought running mate Sen. Joe Biden to Chicago to help boost September fundraising. The former first lady is expected to attend an event at the Wilmette home of Kevin Conlon, a longtime Democratic fundraiser who supported her failed presidential bid.

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Hillary Backing Obama With Gusto

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Ever since Barack Obama beat her to become the Democratic nominee, Clinton said she will do what it takes to help him win in November. I don’t think for a second Hillary is going to allow Sarah Palin to become the first female Vice-President.

Vanquished primary candidates usually go home to rest and ponder the high points and lows of their failed effort. Clinton, in contrast, raised more than $4 million for the Obama campaign and repeatedly urged her supporters to campaign for Obama and contribute to his cause. She hosted a reception in Denver for 250 of her donors and is scheduled to be in Chicago tonight for another fund-raising event. She has another fund-raising event scheduled for Sept. 22 in New York City, with the goal of raising $500,000.

In fact, Hillary’s advisors told the New York Times she would do everything she can to contribute.

Mrs. Clinton’s friends said she was galled that Ms. Palin might try to capitalize on a movement that Mrs. Clinton built among women in the primaries. Guy Cecil, the former political director of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, said it was “insulting” for Republicans to compare Ms. Palin to Mrs. Clinton.

He was very outspoken about Sarah Palin’s inexperience for Vice-President.

Mr. Cecil said he believed that the McCain-Palin ticket might initially intrigue some Clinton supporters, but that they would ultimately choose Mr. Obama. “It is insulting to compare Hillary’s lifetime of service and her commitment to progressive causes with that of a novice, right-wing governor,” Mr. Cecil said.

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World Opinion Poll: Obama Is The Winner

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CommonDreams

In a new international poll by the BBC World Service, all 22 countries, drawn from six continents, preferred Obama over his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, by an average four to one margin.

Even in June, Barack Obama’s likely Democratic Party presidential nominee had captivated many of those watching the American political contest abroad. Newspaper front pages and television newscasts throughout the world featured photographs and footage of Obama, who had clinched the Democratic nomination by winning enough delegates to edge out Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The poll confirms the conventional wisdom that, while the race is tightening in the polls at home, the world wants to see an Obama presidency — a notion that was mocked by the McCain campaign after an Obama speech in Berlin attended by 200,000 people.

‘Large numbers of people around the world clearly like what Barack Obama represents,’ said Doug Miller, the chairman of the international polling firm Globescan, who conducted the poll for the BBC with the help of University of Maryland’s Programme on International Policy Attitudes.

He is running as a unifier who wants America to transcend race and ethnicity. His record of voting and legislating has been firmly liberal on most issues. Obama would make a huge difference in how the world sees us and in our reputation.

On average, 46 percent of respondents think that relations would get better with Obama at the helm, 22 percent said they would stay the same, and 7 percent thought they would get worse. ‘Given how negative America’s international image is at present, it is quite striking that only one in five think a McCain presidency would improve on the [George W.] Bush administration’s relations with the world,’ said Miller in a statement releasing the poll results.

In a separate poll released with the results of the international poll, U.S. citizens agreed with the prevailing world opinion that Obama stood a better chance of improving relations with the world. Nearly half thought that an Obama-led U.S. would have better relations with the globe, and 26 percent expected relations to be improved under McCain.

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Sarah Palin vs. Hillary Clinton

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One of the main arguments for Sarah Palin being a clever choice for Vice President is the notion that she might be able to pick up some of the 18 million votes Hillary Clinton got during the primaries. This post is not meant to promote Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice than Joe Biden, we can always do the comparison Biden/Palin as well, but to show how ridiculous it would be to vote for Sarah Palin, while claiming to be a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

I took the quotes from http://www.ontheissues.org mentioning the number of  total quotes available. The Sarah Palin part is a bit meagre, but that comes with the fact that she is really inexperienced. The shallowness of some of her comments, however, have nothing to do with experience, but judge yourselves. If you find quotes that can be used to compare the two on the issues not covered below, please let me know in the comments section. Thank you.

Back to Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, as far as possible I give you one quote each on every specific issue.

Abortion:

Sarah Palin (1 quote ):

I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman. I am opposed to any expansion of gambling in Alaska.

Hillary Clinton (39 quotes ):

I think abortion should remain legal, but it needs to be safe and rare. And I have spent many years now, as a private citizen, as first lady, and now as senator, trying to make it rare, trying to create the conditions where women had other choices.

Civil Rights:

Sarah Palin ( 1 quote ):

I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman. I am opposed to any expansion of gambling in Alaska.

Hillary Clinton ( 47 quotes ):

[...]You know, it’s a personal position. How we get to full equality is the debate we’re having, & I am absolutely in favor of civil unions with full equality of benefits, rights, and privileges. I want to proceed with equalizing federal benefits.

And I’ve also been a very strong supporter of letting the states maintain their jurisdiction over marriage. I want to repeal Section 3 of DOMA, which stands in the way of the extension of benefits to people in committed, same-sex relationships. I will be very strongly in favor of doing that as president.

I don’t know that we could have defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment if we had not had DOMA. I mean, that is something that, you know, has provided a great protection against what was clearly the Republican strategy, to just cynically use marriage as a political tool.

Homeland Security:

Sarah Palin ( 3 quotes ):

“I heard from many Alaskans serving overseas during my trip to Kuwait in July,” said Governor Palin. “One of the most frequent questions was about the status of hunting seasons upon their return. While I can’t grant our troops the chance to hunt in closed areas or in places with species restrictions, I do want to recognize them and help them hunt this late fall or winter when they get home.”

Hillary Clinton ( 48 quotes ):

We have to do everything necessary to help returning veterans get the health care and the support that they need. This new signature wound called traumatic brain injury is something that I am really upset about, because we’ve only begun to recognize it and diagnose it. I was able to pass legislation to begin to provide the physical and mental evaluations so we could treat this. They’re now getting these exams because we’ve got to track what happens to the veterans and provide the services for them.

Gun Control:

Sarah Palin ( 3 quotes )
on ending D.C. ban on handguns:

“This decision is a victory for all Alaskans and individual Americans. The right to own guns and use them responsibly is something I and many other Alaskans cherish,” Governor Palin said. “I applaud the Court for standing up for the Constitution and the right of Americans to keep and bear arms.”

Hillary Clinton ( 21 quotes ):

I respect the Second Amendment. I respect the rights of lawful gun owners to own guns, to use their guns, but I also believe that most lawful gun owners whom I have spoken with for many years across our country also want to be sure that we keep those guns out of the wrong hands. And as president, I will work to try to bridge this divide, which I think has been polarizing and, frankly, doesn’t reflect the common sense of the American people. We will strike the right balance to protect the constitutional right but to give people the feeling & the reality that they will be protected from guns in the wrong hands.

Health Care:

Sarah Palin ( 5 quotes ):

Together, let’s provide the services that our Constitution requires, constitutional services such as education, public safety, and a solid infrastructure–and let’s do them right. Let’s commit to take responsibility for good stewardship when we’re developing our natural resources. Let’s remember that Alaskans are capable and created to work. So when government provides education and job training, every able-bodied Alaskan is expected to work and not simply rely on government to provide. Let’s take personal responsibility in all areas of life–including health. What we consume and engage in impacts not just our personal health, but our communities too.

Hillary Clinton ( 84 quotes ):

If you don’t start out trying to get universal health care, we know–and our members of Congress know–you’ll never get there. If a Democrat doesn’t stand for universal health care that includes every single American, you can see the consequences of what that will mean. It is imperative that we have plans, as both John and I do, that from the very beginning say, “You know what? Everybody has got to be covered.” There’s only three ways of doing it. You can have a single-payer system, you can require employers, or you can have individual responsibility. My plan combines employers and individual responsibility, while maintaining Medicare and Medicaid. The whole idea of universal health care is such a core Democratic principle that I am willing to go to the mat for it. I’ve been there before. I will be there again. I am not giving in; I am not giving up; and I’m not going to start out leaving 15 million Americans out of health care.

To compare the two on more issues, read on.. Continue reading

Competing agendas…

Alternet: Palin: The Stakes Just Got Higher

Maybe Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin wouldn’t have been McCain’s first choice for vice president if there weren’t lingering hard feelings about Hillary’s campaign or lack of consideration for the VP slot. But, it doesn’t matter. There were, and she is.

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Clinton moves for Obama nomination

Raw Story

Hillary Clinton moved to nominate Barack Obama by acclimation at the Democratic convention.The former presidential candidate moving to formally hand her onetime rival the party’s nomination was done “in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory,” Clinton said from the convention floor.

“Let’s declare Barack Obama our candidate,” she said, to raucous cheers and applause from thousands of assembled delegates.Clinton’s move cut short a roll call of the state delegates, which Obama was clearly slated to win. After Clinton released her delegates earlier Wednesday, many states that had backed her in the primaries cast their votes for Obama.

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