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Tags: Wolfe | Powell | Bush | Clark

Tom Wolfe's Critique; Colin Powell; Jeb Bush; Wesley Clark

By    |   Sunday, 22 June 2008 10:57 PM EDT

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Wesley Clark Eyeing Obama's VP Spot — and Attacking McCain
2. Law School Wants to Hang Bush — Literally
3. Bush Biographer Writes Pro-Obama Book
4. Tom Wolfe Calls '60 Minutes,' Dan Rather 'Idiots'
5. Children's Book Parody Bashes Bush
6. We Heard: Colin Powell, Jeb Bush, Whoopi Goldberg, More

1. Wesley Clark Eyeing Obama's VP Slot — and Attacking McCain

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark is said to be one of the "former top military leaders" that Sen. Kent Conrad of Barack Obama's vice presidential vetting team mentioned as a possible Democratic running mate.

To get the nod, however, he will have to overcome one problem: He was a staunch supporter of Obama's rival for the party's nomination.

"Having strongly supported Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, retired General Wesley Clark now appears to be vying for a VP spot with Barack Obama," Tod Robberson wrote in an opinion piece for The Dallas Morning News.

"Obama needs someone with strong national security credentials, and few can match the expertise of General Clark. I wonder, though, whether Clark will be able to explain his earlier criticisms of Obama . . . as someone too green and untested to qualify for the presidency."

Now Clark, the former supreme allied commander Europe for NATO, may be seeking to counter his earlier criticism of Obama by asserting that his Republican counterpart is also "untested and untried" on national security.

"I know he's trying to get traction by seeking to play to what he thinks is his strong suit of national security," Clark said of McCain in an interview with The Huffington Post.

"The truth is that, in national security terms, he's largely untested and untried. He's never been responsible for policy formulation. He's never had leadership in a crisis, or in anything larger than his own element on an aircraft carrier or [in managing] his own congressional staff. It's not clear that this is going to be the strong suit that he thinks it is.

"McCain's weakness is that he's always been for the use of force, force, and more force. In my experience, the only time to use force is as a last resort . . . When he talks about throwing Russia out of the G8 and makes ditties about bombing Iran, he betrays a disrespect for the office of the presidency."

Clark campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and won one primary before dropping out of the race.

Editor's Note:

2. Law School Wants to Hang Bush — Literally

The Massachusetts School of Law at Andover is holding a conference in September to plan the prosecution of President Bush and other administration officials for war crimes.

"This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred," Lawrence Velvel, dean of the school, said in remarks reported by the OpEdNews Web site.

"It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the earth."

Velvel goes on to say, even more outrageously, "We must try to hold Bush administration leaders accountable in courts of justice. And we must insist on appropriate punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war criminals in the 1940s."

He asserted that following the prosecution of German and Japanese leaders after World War II, those nation's leaders changed their countries' "aggressor cultures," and said: "For Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Yoo to spend years in jail or go to the gallows for their crimes would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders."

Yoo served from 2001 to 2003 in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. He contributed to the Patriot Act and wrote memos in which he advocated the possible legality of torture.

The conference will explore such issues as which high-level officials are chargeable with war crimes, and which foreign and domestic tribunals can prosecute them, according to OpEdNews.

The Massachusetts School of Law at Andover was established in 1988 to provide a legal education to minorities, immigrants and students from low-income families.

Editor's Note:

3. Bush Biographer Writes Pro-Obama Book

Stephen Mansfield's 2004 best-seller "The Faith of George W. Bush" was supportive of the president's conservative values, so the subject of his latest sympathetic biography might come as a surprise to other evangelicals.

His latest biography is on Barack Obama.

In "The Faith of Barack Obama," due out this summer, Mansfield ranges from "gently critical to gushing, and the author defends Obama . . . from conservative critics, and portrays him as a compelling figure for Christian voters," Politico reports.

Mansfield told Politico that young evangelicals disagree with Obama on abortion, "but they agree with him on poverty, the war."

In his book, Mansfield writes that "for Obama, faith is not simply political garb, something a focus group told him he ought to try. Instead, religion to him is transforming, lifelong, and real."

He notes that unlike Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Christian Democratic presidents who erected a "wall of separation" between their religion and their governance, "Obama's faith infuses his public policy, so that his faith is not just limited to the personal realms of his life, it also informs his leadership."

He calls Obama "unapologetically Christian and unapologetically liberal."

Mansfield's book raises some questions about Obama's own faith, according to Politico, "including his willingness to see contradictions in the Bible, his belief that religions other than Protestant Christianity provide other 'paths' to a 'higher power,' and his doubts about the afterlife."

Mansfield also co-authored former House Republican Tom DeLay's 2007 book "No Retreat, No Surrender."

He said that despite the positive view he takes of Obama in his new book, he will vote against him in November "because I'm pro-life."

Editor's Note:

4. Tom Wolfe Calls '60 Minutes,' Dan Rather 'Idiots'

Best-selling author Tom Wolfe ripped CBS' "60 Minutes" and its former host Dan Rather — and TV news in general — saying television has "never initiated a successful story."

In an interview with PBS's Charlie Rose, the author of "The Right Stuff" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities" was asked what he would say if he gave a lecture on journalism.

"I think what I would say is today . . . newspapers are declining rapidly, they're losing money. I would just point out that all news today comes from the newspapers. All of it. Television has never initiated a successful story in its life.

"When they have a big story it's always wrong. They had something about Israelis and atomic bombs. Absolutely wrong. They have George Bush being criticized in some letter — the so-called Dan Rather . . .

Rose cut in: "About George Bush, how he got into the National Guard."

Wolfe said: "Right. Idiots."

In September 2004, shortly before the presidential election, Rather and "60 Minutes" aired a report based on six documents critical of Bush's service in the Air National Guard in 1972 and 1973.

Experts charged that the formatting shown in the documents, which were dated in the 1970s and said to be written on a typewriter, used computer fonts that did not come into common use until the 1990s.

CBS and Rather initially defended the documents and the report, but CBS eventually admitted that using the documents was a "mistake" and issued an apology to viewers.

Wolfe told Rose: "They should have looked at the piece of paper. Obviously not written by a typewriter."

Editor's Note:

5. Children's Book Parody Bashes Bush

An unauthorized parody of the 1947 children's bedtime classic "Goodnight Moon," titled "Goodnight Bush," is a grown-up attack on the president and his administration.

Authors Erich Origen and Gan Golan set their story in a "situation room." Instead of a bunny snuggling into bed, as in the original, the book depicts George Bush grinning and wearing a "Mission Accomplished" flight suit.

In place of three little bears sitting on chairs, there are "war profiteers giving three cheers."

Instead of the original's quiet old lady who whispers "hush," the parody pictures Dick Cheney sitting in a rocking with a shotgun on his lap and reads: "A grand old party to war in a rush/And a quiet Dick Cheney whispering hush."

While a mouse is seen on the pages of "Goodnight Moon," in "Goodnight Bush" there's a tiny scurrying Osama bin Laden. A U.S. Constitution shown hanging on a wall at the beginning of the book is seen at the end full of crayoned redactions.

"I thought it was brilliant," Geoff Shandler, editor in chief at the book's publisher Little, Brown, told The New York Times.

The publisher is reportedly counting on the fair use doctrine, which permits limited amounts of copyrighted material to be used in another publication without permission, to avoid a copyright infringement suit from HarperCollins, publisher of "Goodnight Moon."

"Parody as fair use is a developing area of the law," Pamela Golinski, an entertainment lawyer in New York, told the Times.

"As a result, whether a given parody merits the shield of the fair use doctrine is a complex question."

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell has not ruled out voting for Democrat Barack Obama in the November election.

He said at a press conference in Vancouver, Canada, that although he and Obama are both African-Americans, he would not vote for him on the basis of race, Canada's Globe & Mail reported.

Powell stated: "I will vote for the individual I think that brings the best set of tools to the problems of 21st-century America and the 21st-century world regardless of party, regardless of anything else other than the most qualified candidate."

THAT former Bill Clinton confidante Lanny Davis is joining Fox News Channel as a political analyst.

Davis, who supported Hillary Clinton's White House run, was special counsel to Bill from 1996 to 1998. In 2005, President Bush appointed him to serve as the only Democrat on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight board.

Davis said in a statement, "I consider Fox News to be a network that genuinely tries to be balanced, offering political perspectives from all sides, and I look forward to providing political analysis and information to its audience at a time of great and historic national importance."

THAT President Bush hinted that his brother Jeb could well become the third Bush to occupy the White House.

Asked by SkyNews if the end of his term marked the end of the Bush presidential dynasty that began with his father, the president replied: "Well, we've got another one out there who did a fabulous job as governor of Florida and that's Jeb . . . He'd be a great president."

During the SkyNews interview, first lady Laura Bush said, "One of the reasons George and his brother Jeb served in office is because they admired their father so much."

Asked if that meant her husband might not be the last Bush to serve as president, Laura answered: "Well, who knows. We'll see."

THAT if Florida decides the presidential election in November as it did in 2000, John McCain's new stance on offshore oil drilling may have cost him the White House.

Taegan Goddard writes on the Congressional Quarterly's Web site: "The conventional wisdom has been that Sen. John McCain holds a solid advantage in Florida over Sen. Barack Obama due to favorable demographics — especially the large number of older voters and those affiliated with the military.

"Perhaps that's why McCain felt it was acceptable to reverse himself this week and back lifting the ban on offshore oil drilling — something Floridians have long fought."

But in doing so, the Republican has become vulnerable to charges that he has flip-flopped on the issue and is bowing to the desires of big oil companies, Goddard points out, concluding: "At best for McCain, Florida is going to be competitive and oil drilling will be a key issue in the campaign. At worst, McCain just seriously hurt his chances in a critical swing state."

THAT Whoopi Goldberg took a swipe at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with a quip suggesting that the African-American judge isn't really black.

Goldberg hosted the Tony Awards in New York last week and introduced actor Laurence Fishburne, who is starring on Broadway in the one-man play "Thurgood," about the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Whoopi told the audience, "And here's a man who found out just how fantastic it is when he picked up a Tony in 'Two Trains Running,' currently on Broadway as the first African-American Supreme Court justice, actually the only African-American Supreme — no, that's not true."

After laughter and applause from the show-biz crowd, Goldberg said: "I forgot! I forgot!"

Editor's Note:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Wesley Clark Eyeing Obama's VP Spot and Attacking McCain2. Law School Wants to Hang Bush Literally3. Bush Biographer Writes Pro-Obama Book4. Tom Wolfe Calls '60 Minutes,' Dan Rather 'Idiots'5. Children's Book Parody Bashes...
Sunday, 22 June 2008 10:57 PM
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