What Wesley Clark didn’t say about John McCain

Tongues are wagging about what retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, said yesterday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” about presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain‘s military record.

Here’s what he didn’t say: that McCain’s service was anything less than honorable and heroic. Therefore, let us put all “swiftboating” comparisons aside right here and now.

BOB SCHIEFFER: How can you say that John McCain is untested and untried, General?

CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policy making, it’s a matter of understanding risk. It’s a matter of gauging your opponents and it’s a matter of being held accountable.

John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world.

But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn’t a wartime squadron. He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle this publicly? He hasn’t made that calls, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: Well, General, maybe — could I just interrupt you?

CLARK: Sure.

SCHIEFFER: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences, either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean…

CLARK: Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.

See it here:


Jerry Brown’s 2010 campaign raises serious cash

That soft “whump” you might’ve heard if you were listening reallllllly hard yesterday was the sound of $205,000 being reported into Attorney General Jerry Brown’s “Jerry Brown 2010” campaign committee. All of it was raised in the second half of June, in increments of $12,000 or less, from an assortment of labor unions, attorneys and FOJs (Friends of Jerry).

The former Oakland mayor, elected to his current job in 2006, has been saying for a while that he might make a run for governor in 2010. (He can do so because the two terms he already served as governor, from 1975 to 1983, were before California’s term-limit law was enacted in 1990.) It’ll be a crowded Democratic primary field — among those confirmed or suspected to be interested in a 2010 gubernatorial run are, in no particular order, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, Treasurer Bill Lockyer, former state Controller Steve Westly, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez — but many say Brown is the man to beat, given his enormous name recognition and fundraising capabilities. This sudden burst of cash could be evidence that’s true.

See a list of all the donations reported Sunday by Jerry Brown 2010, after the jump… Continue Reading


Barbara Lee helps get Mandela off terrorist list

Didja know Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress were still on the United States’ list of organizations considered to be terrorists?

But not for long. Congress has sent a bill, H.R. 5690, to President Bush’s desk that would take them off the list. Among the bill’s co-sponsors is Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, whose office says she’s been working hard with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, D-North Hollywood, to get it passed. Inclusion on the list has meant that Mandela and members of the ANC have had to obtain a visa waiver under the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to enter the United States.

“Despite his legacy as a hero of the anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Mandela’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and his election as President of South Africa in 1994, Nelson Mandela continues to be included on the United States terrorist watch list due to his leadership and participation with the African National Congress,” Lee said on the House floor last night.


This week in campaign contributions

State Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, received $40,000 from card-room owners Wednesday for his campaign for lieutenant governor: $12,000 from El Dorado Enterprises Inc., which operates the Hustler Casino in Gardena; $6,000 from Robert Carter of Vista, managing partner of the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens; $6,000 from Bicycle Casino co-owner Haig Kelegian of Newport Coast; and $6,000 from Daniel Dreger of Carlsbad, manager of the Ocean’s Eleven Casino in Oceanside, in which Kelegian is a partner as well. That’s atop at least $168,000 he’d already pulled down from card-room- and racetrack-related donors in 2008. Florez chairs the state Senate Governmental Organization Committee, which oversees gaming.

((UPDATE @ 4:00 FRIDAY: Just got some card-room licensing info from the state, so I thought I should clarify: Robert Carter is a partner in Carter LCP Partership Ltd., which is a shareholder in the Bicycle Casino; he and Daniel Dreger also are parnters in North County Gaming Inc., which shares Ocean’s Eleven Casino’s license. Haig Kelegian is listed as a managing general partner and shareholder of Bicycle, too; both a Haig Kelegian Sr. and a Haig Kelegian Jr. are listed as partners in Ocean’s 11 Casino Inc., which shares that casnio’s license with North County Gaming. El Dorado/Hustler Casino’s sole shareholder is Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.))

Big money continues to roll in for the campaign against the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, Proposition 2 on this November’s ballot, which “requires that an enclosure or tether confining specified farm animals allow the animals for the majority of every day to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up, and turn around.” Farm companies gave almost $566,000 on Tuesday: $216,287.50 from egg producer Gemperle Enterprises of Turlock; $185,006.10 from egg producer Demler Enterprises of Wasco; and $164,484 from livestock feed manufacturer J.S. West Milling Co. of Modesto.


Cal’s John Yoo grilled by Judiciary Committee

University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law Professor John Yoo — a former Justice Department attorney and torture-memo author who seems to have painted a bulls-eye on the Fourth Amendment — testified today before the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing on interrogation rules applied by the Bush Administration in the war on terrorism.

And it wasn’t pretty.

From Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich.:

From Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who has been chairing the interrogation-technique hearings:

From Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Nadler:

I’d guess there’ll be lots of talk about this at the “No To Torture! John Yoo Must Go!” town-hall meeting tomorrow (Friday, June 27) night in Berkeley.