Diary

MI Morning Update 8-16-2008

DaysUntil Election Day: 80

August 16, 2008

MORNING UPDATE:

MICHIGAN MATTERS…taped "Michigan Matters" with Carol Cain, which will air this weekend. "Michigan Matters" airs Saturday on CBS Detroit at 11 a.m. and is repeated on Sunday on CW 50 at 11:00 a.m.  We talk about McCain, Kwame and Russia.

HUGHS SULLIVAN LIVE…CANDIDATE FORUMS…CONGRESS HOEKSTRA MONDAY…on August 18th, this Monday, tune in and hear Congressman Pete Hoekstra discuss the issues of the day.  Call in questions.  WDTK-AM 1400, which is broadcast in metro Detroit every evening and streamed nationwide. Tune in Monday night from 9:00 to 10:00 pm.  Good, conservative talk radio.  

You can hear it online at:  http://wdtkam.townhall.com/  

RUSSIA v GEORGIA…here is a look at how cartoonists and politic satirists are looking at Russia’s vicious jump back to being the “mean bear” in the world.
http://migop.blogs.com/blog/2008/08/georgia-russia.html

INTERNATIONAL PEACE KEEPERS…Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus several days ago suggested “international peacekeepers” step into Georgia and “relieve” the Russian liberators. Lithuania offered up 100+ soldiers right up front and others are joining in that call…including U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice.

JACK HOOGENDYK FOR U.S. SENATE …to follow the latest on Jack’s campaign to defeat Carl Levin go to: http://www.jackformichigan.org/news/

SLATECARD…AN EASY WAY TO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR FRIENDS…Slatecard was designed to allow easy, online way to contribute and support our candidates for federal office. Please take a minute to check it out…and hopefully help.

MICHIGAN GOP STATE CONVENTION INFO…here is the information on our upcoming State Convention to take place Saturday, August 23rd.

http://www.migop.org/inner.asp?z=108

************************************************************************

FOR THE LATEST NEWS,COMMENTARY & INFORMATION:

Check…out…our…onlineArticles of Interest………News…you…can…use………

************************************************************************

THE REST OF THESTORY:

No Further Commentary

TODAY’S TOP STORIES

The following stories and more are available at myArticles of Interest online.

 

Bush hits Russia on ‘bullying and intimidation’

By TERENCE HUNT
AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush on Friday accused Russia of "bullying and intimidation" in its harsh military treatment of Georgia, saying the people in the former Soviet republic have chosen freedom and "we will not cast them aside."

Bush ratcheted up his rhetoric against Moscow as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Tbilisi, Georgia to pursue a diplomatic solution to the week-old crisis. Standing alongside Rice, pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili said he had signed a cease-fire agreement with Russia that protects Georgia’s interests despite concessions to Moscow.

Rice said all Russian troops "must leave immediately" and said she had been told that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will sign an identical pact.

The rush of events came as Bush began a two-week holiday from Washington. He left the White House after his remarks and flew to his ranch in Texas. Rice is to arrive there early Saturday to brief the president about the showdown between Moscow and Tbilisi over two separatist provinces in Georgia.

Rice Gets Georgian Approval of Cease-Fire, Demands Russians Withdraw

By Tara Bahrampour, Howard Schneider and William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writers

TBILISI, Georgia, Aug. 15 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanded Friday that Russian troops withdraw from Georgian territory "immediately" now that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has signed a cease-fire agreement.

After arriving here to discuss the deal with Saakashvili and to show U.S. support for Georgia’s embattled government, Rice told reporters, "Our most urgent task today is the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia." She said that "all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them must leave immediately." The only forces allowed to stay under the cease-fire agreement are Russian peacekeeping troops who were in two breakaway provinces of Georgia before Aug. 6, she said.

In a joint news conference with Saakashvili, Rice said international observers are needed on the scene to monitor the Russian withdrawal and that the United States is talking to European allies about getting such a force in place "in a matter of days." She said those observers should be followed eventually by "a more robust peacekeeping force."

Russian convoy moves deeper inside Georgia: witness

By James Kilner

IGOETI, Georgia (Reuters) – A Russian military convoy advanced to within 55 km (34 miles) of Tbilisi on Friday, a Reuters witness said, in the deepest incursion since conflict with Georgia erupted last week.

The advance by some 17 armored personnel carriers (APCs) and about 200 soldiers coincided with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to secure Georgia’s signature on a French-brokered peace plan to end the fighting.

Initially 10 APCs moved along the main highway from the Russian-occupied town of Gori, 25 km (15 miles) from breakaway South Ossetia, before stopping in the village of Igoeti. Several APCs headed down side roads and seven more arrived later.

Georgia crisis is a test for Obama, McCain

Nancy Kruh

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Georgia has given both John McCain and Barack Obama an opportunity to put their foreign-policy mettle on display, and pundits are now taking measure.

"It was a near-perfect laboratory test … for how the two nominees for president would respond to an international emergency," Creators Syndicate columnist Mona Charen writes. "… Sen. Obama flunked. His first response was to urge restraint upon ‘both sides’ — that is, upon the rapist and the rape victim.

"A couple of days later, Mr. Obama strengthened his condemnation of the Russians (and withdrew his admonition to the Georgians), but then betrayed the soft, weak reflexes that characterize the leftist wing of the Democratic Party to which he belongs. The answer to this blatant and brutal violation of Georgian sovereignty was to — anyone? — alert the United Nations."

McCain funding draws even with Obama

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — John McCain and the Republican National Committee started August with a hefty $96 million, financially flush and strongly positioned to compete with prolific fundraiser Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Republicans have been trying to even out the financial playing field after trailing Democrats in overall fundraising for most of the election cycle.

McCain has been a subpar fundraiser and has lagged the much more adept Obama in monthly campaign tallies. But the RNC, with big-draw President Bush helping, has trounced its Democratic counterpart in collections.

Obama Pulls Back on Social Security Plan

By Larry Rohter

With Senator John McCain increasingly trying to portray him as a traditional tax-and-spend liberal, Senator Barack Obama appears to be reducing the sweep of proposals he has made to increase government revenues by extending the Social Security payroll tax and raising the capital gains tax.

Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, has not abandoned either his support for a higher tax rate on capital gains or his proposal to subject individual wages above $250,000 to the payroll tax. But, as the result of recent statements by campaign aides, both plans have been made more modest.

On Thursday, for example, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, Jason Furman, said that the payroll tax increase Mr. Obama favors would only go into effect in a decade, after Mr. Obama had left office (were he to be elected and serve two terms). “This is a pretty standard way to do tax reforms in Social Security,” Mr. Furman said in an interview Friday.

AUDIO: DNC Chair Howard Dean Calls GOP the ‘White’ Party

"If you look at folks of color, even women, they’re more successful in the Democratic party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the [laughs] Republican party."

Witnesses: Mayor shoved, swore, made race remarks

DETROIT (AP) — Finding nothing mild about the clash, a judge ruled Friday that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will stand trial on assault charges for an incident with two investigators who claim he shoved them while trying to deliver a subpoena.

The ruling means Kilpatrick now faces trial on 10 felonies in two separate criminal cases in Wayne County Circuit Court. This week brought more calls for his resignation, but the Democratic 38-year-old mayor has steadfastly refused to quit.

Brian White, a sheriff’s detective assigned to Kilpatrick’s perjury case, said the mayor grabbed him and pushed him into his partner while they stood on a porch July 24.

Free Press files motion to force Kilpatrick to testify in FOIA suit

BY BEN SCHMITT • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A lawyer for the Detroit Free Press today filed a motion asking that a judge force Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to give a deposition in the newspaper’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit sometime before Sept. 1.

Attorney Herschel Fink says in the motion that the mayor has evaded requests to give a deposition.

Earlier this month, Fink said one of Kilpatrick’s lawyers, James Thomas, told him that the mayor might be able to give testimony Aug. 14, which was yesterday. Since then, “attorneys heard nothing from him, despite repeated follow-up contacts,” wrote Fink.

FBI probes payments to Kilpatrick’s father

Paul Egan / The Detroit News

DETROIT — An FBI bribery and corruption investigation into City Hall is focusing on payments contractors made to a consulting firm headed by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s father, persons familiar with the investigation told The Detroit News.

At least one witness has told FBI agents that the mayor gave directions to certain prospective city contractors that they should work through his father, Bernard N. Kilpatrick, two persons familiar with the investigation told The News.

Bernard Kilpatrick heads Maestro Associates, a consulting firm that has included City Hall contractors among its clients.