Worst April Fools’ joke ever?

I read yesterday about the April Fools’ joke Hillary played to the press yesterday, and after watching this video clip of it, I can tell you that reading about it made it seem much more humorous than watching and listening to her tell it:

I know she was trying to sound serious so the punchline at the end would go off (hopefully for her) go off well, but she sounded so scripted, so wooden, so removed, and not in any way personable. This is nothing new to anyone of us who have followed Hillary Clinton’s career over the years, but the video just provides a stark reminder of why her unfavorable ratings remain low. She exudes the warmth of the Antarctic Circle.

In semi-related news, did you know that just below the surface of John McCain’s campaign exists a covert racist and sexist element? I didn’t either …. but Jon Henke has the details here.

Are they being serious?

Jake Tapper reports on a claim made by Bill Clinton that his wife once tried to join the Army. Hillary’s version is that she tried to join the Marines and was told to try the Army.

Hillary and Bill were both staunchly anti-Vietnam war, and the time frame they are saying La Clinton tried to enlist was around 1975, when we the Democrat-controlled successfully managed to cut off the funding for South Vietnam, and two years after US direct military involvement in Vietnam ended. I find it incredibly difficult to believe Mrs. Clinton would have tried to join up with any branch of the military.

However, if the story can somehow be confirmed true, and considering Bill Clinton’s dodging of the draft, it would prove what a lot of us have said all along about the Clintons: That it’s Hillary who wears the pants in the family.

By the way, the campaign frustration is deepening for Team Clinton, and this report about a private meeting Bill Clinton had this past Sunday with California’s superdelegates speaks to that:

The Bill Clinton who met privately with California’s superdelegates at last weekend’s state convention was a far cry from the congenial former president who afterward publicly urged fellow Democrats to “chill out” over the race between his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Barack Obama.

In fact, before his speech Clinton had one of his famous meltdowns Sunday, blasting away at former presidential contender Bill Richardson for having endorsed Obama, the media and the entire nomination process.

“It was one of the worst political meetings I have ever attended,” one superdelegate said.

According to those at the meeting, Clinton – who flew in from Chicago with bags under his eyes – was classic old Bill at first, charming and making small talk with the 15 or so delegates who gathered in a room behind the convention stage.

But as the group moved together for the perfunctory photo, Rachel Binah, a former Richardson delegate who now supports Hillary Clinton, told Bill how “sorry” she was to have heard former Clinton campaign manager James Carville call Richardson a “Judas” for backing Obama.

It was as if someone pulled the pin from a grenade.

“Five times to my face (Richardson) said that he would never do that,” a red-faced, finger-pointing Clinton erupted.

The former president then went on a tirade that ran from the media’s unfair treatment of Hillary to questions about the fairness of the votes in state caucuses that voted for Obama. It ended with him asking delegates to imagine what the reaction would be if Obama was trailing by just 1 percent and people were telling him to drop out.

“It was very, very intense,” said one attendee. “Not at all like the Bill of earlier campaigns.”

Probably because in those “earlier campaigns” he was still the media’s number one political darling, whereas now he’s been replaced by someone more ‘godly’ than even him, and is also fighting to maintain his and his wife’s relevancy within the Dem party.

Just a guess …

South Carolina Highway Patrol under investigation

The Charleston Post and Courier reported this past weekend that the SC Highway Patrol is under state and federal investigations for allegations of widespread use of excessive force against people stopped for traffic violations:

COLUMBIA — South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. J.B. Sawyer kicked reckless driver Sergio Caridi in the head several times after he was subdued following a high-speed chase that ended on Interstate 95 in Sumter County, according to internal affairs documents reviewed Friday.

Of about 300 complaints lodged against state troopers since 2005, The Post and Courier was given access to review nearly 150 internal affairs documents from 2006 and 2007 in the wake of shakeups at the Highway Patrol and its parent agency, the state Department of Public Safety.

The newspaper learned, through the Freedom of Information Act, that the incident with Caridi in May 2006 and two others involved use of excessive force.

Caridi was hit with a stun gun and being restrained by officers when Sawyer kicked him in the head several times, investigators said. The incident was captured on tape by another officer’s dashboard camera.

Sawyer resigned from the Highway Patrol on Aug. 24, 2006, and is employed with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, according to documents.

SC state Senators are also conducting a review, and say their initial findings don’t show an indication of systemic problems with the SHP:

In all, though, state senators say the review of complaints in 2006 and 2007 doesn’t appear to show a systemic problem at the Highway Patrol. Of 237 complaints made in those two years, 51 had merit, and 101 cases are still under review by the agency. Sixty-one complaints were made against troopers in 2005.

Here’s more on the allegations:

Three other videos that show troopers mistreating black motorists also have been uncovered in the past month. In two of the tapes, troopers, one of whom is black, use their cruisers to hit fleeing suspects, and another shows a black woman handcuffed to the bumper of a cruiser for about 40 minutes and then left on the side of the road.

None of those troopers were fired.

Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, said the problems uncovered at Highway Patrol aren’t based on race.

“Nobody could call it racism — these are just some bad apples,” he said. “These are the people we have to weed out.”

Ford noted that blacks fill many high ranks at the Highway Patrol and played a hand in deciding what disciplinary actions to take in some of the cases that have been publicized.

Hopefully he’s right in that these are isolated incidents and not part of some bigger pattern of abuse on the part of the SCSHP. The public needs to have confidence in believing that law enforcement officers and officials are not abusing their authority. Those found to be in violation of the law should be punished to the fullest extent of it.

As the investigations continue, I have no doubt that we’ll see the usual suspects jump all over this story as a prime example of supposed rampant abuses of power within law enforcement all across the country, and they’ll do it in exactly the manner they do the US military: They’ll take the actions of a small percentage of bad apples and apply their venom not just to those suspected of wrongdoing, but every single person who has worn or is wearing a military uniform.

In their quests to paint everyone with the same brush, they forget that the vast majority are honorable public servants who put their lives at risk every day everytime they put on their uniform and badge, like Officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton who, a year ago yesterday, were killed in the line of duty here in Charlotte, NC. A midnight “Point in Time” service was held in their honor Monday.

Sure, there are always going to be rogue police officers and patrolmen out there who do a disservice to the profession by dishonoring their sworn commitment to obey and enforce the law, but there are many, many more like Officers Clark and Shelton, whose duty it is to respond to situations like “disturbance calls” in the middle of the night when most of us are safely tucked into our warm beds. And sometimes those officers never make it home from their shifts.

Here’s to the ones who continue to put it all on the line each and every day, and to the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. You have my respect and gratitude – and prayers, too. Thank you and God bless you for doing what you do.

Related: I second this call to send a message to the Greensboro PD for an overreaction by one of their officers, which was reported here.

It’s about time

Media outlets (scroll), political news sites, and other publications are starting to call out Barack Obama on his “McCain wants us in Iraq 100 years” lie – one of the most blatant he’s told this year.

Here’s what Fact Check had to say about the assertions being made about McCain’s “100 years in Iraq remark.” They’re taking on the DNC’s spin of McCain’s comments, but I should point out that what the DNC has been saying is what Obama has said, too:

The DNC’s message portrays McCain as bent on fighting an “endless” war in Iraq.

DNC: We can’t afford four more years with a President who fights an endless war in Iraq. … On the war, McCain scoffed at Bush’s call to leave troops in Iraq for 50 years, saying “Make it a hundred!”

That of course is a serious distortion of what McCain actually said to a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire back on Jan. 3. His actual words are posted in a video on YouTube. Far from advocating “endless war,” he said the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq would be “fine with me” provided that they’re not being killed or wounded. Here’s the full quote:

McCain, Jan. 3: “Make it a hundred. … We’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me, as long as American, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. It’s fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintained a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al Qaeda is training, recruiting and equipping and motivating people every single day.”

It should be noted that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, despite their frequent talk of withdrawing from Iraq, have said repeatedly that they would maintain at least some troops in a combat role in Iraq for some time, possibly their entire term of office.

There’s little doubt that McCain is less eager than either Clinton or Obama to bring troops home without further suppression of insurgent attacks. But it’s a rank falsehood for the DNC to accuse McCain of wanting to wage “endless war” based on his support for a presence in Iraq something like the U.S. role in South Korea.

Even Obama himself hinted here that he knows he’s not being honest:

In a back and forth at today’s press conference, Obama insisted he was not taking out of context McCain’s comments about keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years. Asked if his attack was disingenous, Obama had the following to say:

“I don’t think it’s unfair at all,” Obama said. “John McCain, I mean, we can run the YouTube spot, has said that we will stay there as long as it takes. And if it takes another 100 years, he’s up for that commitment and that implies that there is some criteria by which we would understand how long it takes.

“John McCain has not been clear about what exactly would lead him to decide it’s time to pull out. And so, you know, the problem that we’ve had both with John McCain and George Bush is that there’s no clear definition of success. There never was, and that’s why this has been such a profound strategic error. And you know, I think it is entirely fair to suggest that unless he’s got some criteria where by, at some point, we would be able to pull out our troops. For him to argue that, which he has repeatedly, that any suggestion that we withdraw troops is surrender. That implies that we will be there as long as he thinks it’s necessary for us to be there.”

Obama was told that McCain had said the presence would be similar to what the United States had done with Germany and Japan in World War II. Obama seemed to agree with that notion but pointed to the costs of the war as a reason to avoid that type of engagement.

“Well we’ve been in South Korea for for 50 years,” Obama said, “and he’s used that as an example as George Bush has. And that is decades, and we’re spending $10 billion a month in Iraq right now, which means that John McCain is willing to sign up for the prospect of spending as much as $150 billion or more each year for who knows how long. That is something that the US can’t afford, and I think that is going to be a debate we are going to have in the general election should I be the nominee.”

So when Barack Obama asserts that McCain is “… the one who wants to keep tens of thousands of United States troops in Iraq for as long as 100 years,” ” he is flat out knowingly lying. And he’s doing it because he knows the sentiment in this country doesn’t favor us staying in Iraq with a heavy troop presence long term. That fact makes his demagoguery of McCain’s comments all the more disgraceful.

Barack Obama: Politics as usual you can believe in.

BTW, let’s also not forget that Barack Obama’s chief military adviser and former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Tony McPeak said the same thing five years ago about staying in Iraq – and he was against the war. This is something I hope the mediots will eventually call Obama on. Hopefully McCain will call him on it, too.

Update: Hopefully this is changing.