Thursday, April 26, 2007

Presidential candidates address the NJDC

Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra explains the 2008 election. Well, his phrases do, anyway.

Bayh and Lugar introduced the Farming Flexibility Act.

Senator Obama spoke about the two-state solution.
"We have to be very hardheaded and clear-eyed about the dangers that exist throughout the Middle East in those who seek to perpetrate terror against the United States as well as Israel," Obama (D-Ill.) said Tuesday at the National Jewish Democratic Council's Washington conference, where he appeared with every other Democratic candidate for the presidency.

"But we also have to recognize that the status quo is not inevitable, that we can aspire to something greater, and that if we can find partners on the other side who are committed to recognizing Israel and are committed to renouncing violence, that we have the need to reach out to them and that we should want to have that difficult, tough discussion, but nevertheless have that discussion about how we’re going to arrive at what I think everybody wants, which is two states living side by side in peace and security.”
Here's another story on it.

Can someone please remind me as to why exactly we still have bigots in this state?
Gov. Ernie Fletcher said he doesn't expect to call a special session of the General Assembly until after the May 22 primary election and confirmed that he's considering asking lawmakers to block public universities from offering domestic partner benefits to employees.

"It's very unlikely that it might be before the primary," he told reporters in Louisville yesterday. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. After the primary is the most appropriate time."

Fletcher said he would deliberate with administration officials and lawmakers about the issue of universities offering domestic partnership benefits in light of the University of Kentucky trustees' decision yesterday to provide health coverage to unmarried live-in companions of UK staff.

That is a stark change from the administration's position during the General Assembly session earlier this year, when Fletcher said he would leave the issue up to the universities.

Fletcher said he is receiving "push-back" from Kentuckians who voted for a constitutional amendment in 2004 banning same-sex marriage. Gay and lesbian couples would benefit from domestic partnership benefits.
Here's a look at the campaign finance reports so far.

Say it ain't so.

I wonder where he got the $1 million.

I've never heard of a university that allows co-ed roommates unless the students are married.

Democratic party donors are torn, accoring to the Forward, when it comes to "loyalty and electability."
Several participants expressed the view that at least one of the current front-runners — Clinton, Obama and former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards — was likely to stumble. This view appeared to translate into more support for Biden and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson among attendees than their sluggish single-digit poll numbers would have suggested.

Democrats want to feel that “we have nominated the best candidate to win the general election, and we are not so personally involved or interested in the personal success of one of these candidates at the expense of the party,” said Michael Adler, a Miami Democrat who was an early supporter of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential bid and is now raising money for Biden, a longtime family friend.

The candidates used the forum to reiterate their pro-Israel loyalties, attack President Bush on foreign policy and attempt to distinguish themselves in a crowded field.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, called in his speech Monday night for American talks with Iran and Syria. Biden criticized the White House for reportedly blocking Israel from talking to Damascus. Both men criticized the Bush administration’s close ties to Saudi Arabia.

Obama faced questions about his support from segments of the Muslim community and his commitment to blocking Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In response, he insisted that the United States could not ask Israel to “take risks” with its security. But, Obama added, the “status quo is not inevitable” and America should insist on some “tough” discussions “about how we’re going to arrive at what I think everybody wants, which is two states living side by side in peace and security.”

His comments drew applause.

Clinton generated a great deal of electricity in the room when she arrived Wednesday morning. And she seemed quite at ease, as she opened her remarks with general comments about Democratic Party values, rather than rushing to hammer home her support for Israel, as other speakers did.

Steve Grossman, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, identified himself as a “passionate supporter” of New York’s junior senator, and described her as “electable.”

“She’s speaks to people, and I think she will speak to a whole generation of people who never would believe that a woman could achieve” such success, he said.

Others seemed to be torn between their close personal ties to Clinton and the appeal of other candidates.

Marc Winkelman, a businessman based in Austin, Texas, who has donated to both Clinton and Obama and backed Senator Joseph Lieberman for president in 2004, attempted to explain Rapaport’s quandary.

“He looks at Barack, I think, and sees this guy who really is an inspiration to people,” Winkelman said. “But he has this history that goes way back with the Clintons. He has, I think, 100% confidence in her and because she’s running, he’s supporting her.”

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