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1. Could Bob Barr’s Run as Libertarian Doom McCain?
Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr is seen as the Libertarian Party’s most likely presidential candidate — and he could wind up torpedoing John McCain’s White House hopes.
“Given the recent fundraising prowess of a kindred spirit — Ron Paul’s campaign for the Republican nomination siphoned up $35 million, mostly off the Internet — libertarians are feeling their oats,” political analyst George F. Will writes in Newsweek.
“Come November, Barr conceivably could be to John McCain what Ralph Nader was to Al Gore in 2000 — ruinous.”
Nader was a weak third-party candidate and won only 2,882,955 popular votes nationwide, but 97,488 of them were in Florida — where, because of Nader, George W. Bush won by 537 votes, Will notes.
Shane Cory, the Libertarian Party’s executive director, “thinks his party is upwardly mobile,” Will writes.
“In 2004, its presidential candidate received just 397,265 votes, a mere .32 percent of the national popular vote…
“But in no state was the Libertarian vote larger than the winning candidate’s margin of victory. This year, however, Cory thinks the party can far surpass its best national performance — 921,299 votes in 1980.”
Cory and Barr say the party almost certainly will be on the ballot in at least 48 states.
Republican consultant Craig Shirley recently wrote: “This Libertarian thing may be bigger than anyone is foreseeing right now.”
Barr left the GOP in 2006 over what he called bloated spending and civil liberties intrusions by the Bush administration.
A former U.S. attorney in Atlanta, Barr served eight years as a Republican congressman from Georgia before losing his seat in 2002 after a redistricting.
A Barr run for the White House would be handicapped by “John McCain’s handiwork,” Will added.
“One wealthy libertarian would give $1 million if the McCain-Feingold law regulating political participation did not ban contributions of more than $28,500 to national parties.
But Will concludes: “If libertarian voters cost McCain the presidency, that will be condign punishment.”
2. Swiss Journalists Miffed by Al Gore Secrecy
Al Gore raised the ire of journalists in Switzerland by barring most of them from attending a ceremony conferring an honorary degree on Gore for his efforts in publicizing the climate change issue.
The few journalists who were allowed to be present when Gore received the degree from the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne were forbidden to reveal what was said, to film the event or take photographs.
The blackout “went down like a lead balloon with local news organizations,” the Swiss newspaper 24 Heures reported.
Thierry Meyer, editor-in-chief of 24 Heures, wrote a commentary piece decrying the secrecy. He stated that his readers should have the right to an account of the exchange between Gore and the students who came to hear him speak – and not just carefully selected extracts selected for a press release.
The newspaper noted: “The irony of the situation is that Gore has become a media guru and commentator, famous for his role as narrator in the documentary film ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ In this case, his message at EPFL [the Federal Institute of Technology] got lost in the hubbub over the media blackout, apparently ordered by Gore’s staff.”
Gore later demonstrated the extent of his financial reach when he spoke to employees of the private bank Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch in Geneva. That bank, 24 Heures disclosed, “is the European representative of an investment fund specializing in sustainable development that was co-founded by Gore … The bank earlier announced it was financing an EPFL research chair for sustainable development in the Lake Geneva area.”
3. Hurricane Expert Reconsiders Global Warming Link
Prominent MIT hurricane scientist Kerry Emanuel has publicly reversed his view regarding global warming’s alleged impact on hurricanes.
“The [computer] models are telling us something quite different from what nature seems to be telling us,” said Emanuel, whose views on hurricanes and global warming have been prominently cited by Al Gore and other promoters of climate change fear.
He told the New York Times. “There are various interpretations possible: The big increase in hurricane power over the past 30 years or so may not have much to do with global warming, or the models are simply not faithfully reproducing what nature is doing. Hard to know which to believe yet.”
In 2005, a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Emmanuel asserted in a paper that he had found statistical evidence linking rising hurricane energy and global warming.
His conversion is a very important new development in the climate debate, said Marc Morano, a top aide to climate change skeptic Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.
“First, 2007 turned out to be the ‘tipping point’ for global warming fears, and 2008 appears to be the year of vindication for skeptics as many prominent scientists reverse their climate views, more and more skeptical scientists speak out, and new data debunks man-made climate fears.
“Now another major scientist reconsiders his views on a significant aspect of man-made climate fears.”
4. Lieberman May Speak at GOP Convention
Former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman says he might speak at the Republican National Convention that will assuredly nominate John McCain for the White House.
The senator from Connecticut told The Hill.com that he is willing to deliver an address at the September convention if McCain asks him to, and a Lieberman aide said that is a likely possibility.
Asked if there are pros and cons to McCain inviting Lieberman to speak, Newsweek’s senior White House correspondent Howard Fineman told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s “Countdown”:
“I don’t think there are that many cons for [McCain]. Probably if he had a big choice to make, it would be for somebody who could help him more in the Bible Belt, perhaps, but Lieberman can help him there too. So, I think it’s something he’ll probably end up doing. I think it will infuriate the Democrats, but I don’t think it will help McCain all that much.”
Lieberman lost the Democratic primary in Connecticut in 2006 and won re-election to the Senate as an independent.
Fineman also noted: “If Lieberman wanted to, he could turn the majority over to the Republicans by switching parties. That’s why Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders haven’t been attacking him frontally for this.”
5. Huckabee Blames Evangelical Leaders for Failed Bid
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee criticized conservative religious leaders who did not support him, saying their help could have kept him in the race.
“There were leaders of the conservative movement that, had they stood with me early, I think the outcome would have been different,” Huckabee said on a telephone conference call with supporters sponsored by Charisma magazine.
The Southern Baptist minister surprised observers by winning eight GOP primaries, but dropped out of the race a month ago, leaving John McCain as the sole Republican candidate.
“Some people really worshipped at the altar of electability rather than to be faithful and loyal to the principles they were supposed to be committed to,” Huckabee said.
“When it gets to their own political realm, they think more secularly than even the secular people. That was very troubling.”
Huckabee also suggested he would consider another run for the presidency in 2012, the Fort Smith (Ark.) Times Record reported.
“Let’s dust ourselves off, let’s get back on our feet, let’s learn from everything we’ve been through and let’s live to fight another day,” he told supporters.
Huckabee said he would campaign for McCain, but added that he has had no discussions about the possibility he could be McCain’s running mate.
6. Parody Pokes Fun at Murdoch, Wall Street Journal
News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch and his recent purchase, the Wall Street Journal, are the targets of a joke publication that features a full-page spread depicting conservative pundit Ann Coulter topless.
The 24-page tabloid that recently hit newsstands includes a gossip section called Page Sex — a takeoff on the Page Six column in another Murdoch property, the New York Post — and stories with headlines including “Cleaning Lady Sees Virgin in Merrill-Lynch Q4 Loss” and “What Would Jesus’s Dog Do.”
The publication, My Wall Street Journal, was put out by a team of comedy writers including Richard Belzer, Andy Borowitz and editor-in-chief Tony Hendra, according to Canada’s Financial Post.
Murdoch’s $5 billion purchase of the Journal and the rest of Dow Jones & Co. last year sparked concerns about editorial interference by the new owner.
The New York Times reported that a representative of the journal bought up all copies of the tabloid at a newsstand in Los Angeles.
7. We Heard . . .
THAT Hillary Clinton is set for a BIG win in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary.
The latest Newsmax/Zogby poll, conducted April 16-17, showed Clinton with a 47 percent to 43 percent advantage over Barack Obama.
But a source close to Hillary Clinton’s campaign predicted that she will “win by double digits in Pennsylvania.”
The aide told Newsmax that momentum from Hillary’s strong performance in Wednesday’s ABC News debate — and Obama’s disastrous performance — has iced the cake for the former first lady.
THAT Associated Press Chairman Dean Singleton made a major gaffe when questioning presidential hopeful Barack Obama at a Washington, D.C., gathering of newspaper editors.
Singleton asked Obama if he would send more troops to Afghanistan, where “Obama bin Laden is still at large.”
“I think that was Osama bin Laden,” the candidate answered, drawing laughs from the crowd.
Said Singleton: “If I did that, I’m so sorry.”
THAT George Clooney admits he was “furious” over his inclusion in an item familiar to readers of Newsmax — the Deck of Weasels playing cards.
The liberal actor was included in the Newsmax deck after he spoke against the invasion and liberation of Iraq in 2003.
“I was really angry when I made it,” he told The New Yorker magazine in a recent interview.
“I was out of my mind, I was so furious. Being called a traitor to your country?”
The Deck of Weasels, created by Newsmax, made national headlines and was featured in many publications including People magazine. It depicts 54 leaders and celebrities who opposed America and Iraq’s liberation in a satirical way, with evidence in the form of their own quotes.
Not everyone featured was as uptight about the cards as Clooney. In fact, Hans Blix, the UN weapons inspector overseeing Iraq, told NewsMax’s UN bureau chief Stew Stogel that the cards “were funny” and that he “was honored to be included with people such as Kofi Annan and Chirac.”
Blix added that his family enjoyed them immensely, especially one of his sons.
In the Deck of Weasels, Blix was portrayed Blix as “the Inspector Clouseau of the United Nations.”
It’s clear to us that though Clooney plays the regular guy and folks like UN bureaucrat Blix appear as the stuffed shirt, Blix is the real regular guy, one who you could knock back a brewski or two talking about world politics, Swedish sport fishing, or weapons of mass destruction.
Among the other “Weasels” are Michael Moore, Jimmy Carter, Tim Robbins, Barbra Streisand, three U.S. senators and eight members of the U.S. House.
THAT the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota has reversed an earlier decision and will now allow pro-life speaker Star Parker to appear on campus.
University officials had earlier said they were not “comfortable” with having Parker speak at the school because the Young America’s Foundation — which had underwritten conservative pundit Ann Coulter’s visit in 2005 — was paying half her fee, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.
But St. Thomas announced on April 15 that Parker will be allowed to speak on April 21 after all. The reversal came after the decision was made to use St. Thomas funds to pay her speaker’s fee and expenses, giving university officials more involvement in managing the event, the Star Tribune reported.
In an e-mail to supporters, Parker — who promotes the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) — said St. Thomas was “inundated with calls” after it refused her permission to speak at the school.
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