McCain’s Miraculous Speech

John McCain performed a miracle tonight.

He made Bob Dole’s 1996 Republican presidential acceptance speech look downright eloquent.

Shizam, McCain’s performance – at least for the first 40 minutes of the speech – made Bob Dole sound like the combination of Daniel Webster, John F. Kennedy, and Cicero thrown in for good measure.

McCain seemed to be reciting lame lines – until he got to near the end, when he immersed himself and his groveling audience with the real reason why he is entitled to rule America and the world.

And his riff on Georgia? I hope the media and commentators focus on his falsehood that Russia initiated the conflict. How many American mothers and fathers are willing to sacrifice their sons and daughters to move a boundary line a few miles in the Caucasus? And what do McCain or his top aides expect to receive in return for risking American security for Georgia?

Drop Charges Against Amy Goodman!

Most of you have seen the video of Amy Goodman’s outrageous arrest at the Republican convention protests.

You may be surprised to learn that charges against her and two of her producers are still pending. Charges against producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar include felony riot charges.

The public information officer of the St. Paul police department can be contacted at: 651-266-5735.

Here is the video of Goodman’s arrest and the subsequent news conference by the police.

Palin at AIPAC: That Didn’t Take Long

MSNBC and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) are reporting that Gov. Palin met this afternoon with the board of directors of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Sen. Joe Lieberman to, in the words of one McCain campaign official cited by MSNBC, put “the American Jewish community at ease over her understanding of US-Middle East relations.” It’s worth noting that Palin, who has obviously been completely off-limits to reporters since she was rolled out as McCain’s running-mate in Dayton Friday, stiffed a reception in her honor sponsored by none other than Phyllis Schlafly a couple hours later. (One wonders what other lobbies have tried to arrange a meeting with Palin in the last 96 hours and with what success.)

“We had a good productive discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased that Gov. Palin expressed her deep, personal, and lifelong commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel,” AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said after the meeting. “Like Sen. McCain, the vice presidential nominee understands and believes in the special friendship between the two democracies and would work to expand and deepen the strategic partnership in a McCain/Palin Administration.”

“She was extremely well received,” McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb said, noting that Palin was interrupted by applause twice,” according to the JTA account. He added that Palin spoke about “the relationship between Israel and American national security, and the threats to Israel from Iran and others.”

Evidence of nervousness in the McCain campaign about Palin’s impact on Jewish voters and donors was made clear when the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition circulated a video of her Alaska office in which it found a small Israeli flag, in the words of Politico, “poking out from behind a drape.”

“I think it speaks volumes that she keeps an Israeli flag on the wall of her office,” RJC’s executive director, Matt Brooks, told Politico in an e-mail. “It clearly shows what’s in her heart.” Politico’s analysis is well worth reading. As I noted Friday, a Nexis search of the two years previous to her selection as McCain’s running-mate failed to find a single published article in which Palin ever mentioned Israel. I suspect it may make it into her acceptance speech Wednesday night.

Palin: ‘Pray That’ Our Leaders Are Sending Our Troops to Iraq ‘On a Task From God’

It hasn’t been easy to find anything about Sarah Palin’s positions on foreign policy issues, but this clip from a speech to her church gives a clue:

“Pray for our military. He [Palin’s son] is going to be deployed in September to Iraq – pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right for this country – that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that’s what he have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan and that it is God’s plan.” (about 6 min into the clip)

U.S. Military Presence Worldwide

When someone from Mother Jones wrote me a few weeks ago with a minor question about one of my articles on overseas U.S. troops I had no idea what the magazine was up to. You must check out interactive map that Mother Jones has prepared on U.S. military presence worldwide. This is the most exhaustive piece of work on this subject that I have ever seen.

Will McCain or Obama do anything to reduce the number of U.S. troops overseas? I am not holding my breath.

Charley Reese Writes for the Last Time

Charley Reese’s columns have been a staple at since the early days. Back in the 90’s, we carried Charley’s columns from the Orlando Sentinel where he wrote and edited for 30 years.

Since 2001, we have featured his insightful columns regularly. Charley has had some medical problems and has decided to go into full retirement. We wish him well.

This weekend we feature his farewell column. Of course, we will continue to offer his past columns on his archive page. For those who have asked for contact information for Charley, we only have this address: Charley Reese, P.O. Box 2446, Orlando, FL 32802.

Goodbye Charley.