Things are heating up for the fall. We've got a bog primary election in Ohio, where Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is attempting to win the Republican nominagtion for Governor.
But this morning the real news is going to be out of Nebraska, where we hear that Sen. John McCain this morning will endorse Rep. Tom Osborne in his primary challenge of sitting Republican Gov. Dave Heineman.
Osborne, better known in his previous career as head coach of the University of Nebraska football program, is putting up a fight for this one. Why is this interesting?
Well, first Chuck Hagel has already endorsed Heineman, throwing a bit of a twist into what was thought to be a close relationship between McCain and Hagel.
And second, we're seeing political decision being made here less to do with Osboune and Heineman and more to do with the ambitions and egos of McCain and Hagel. Both men want to run for President. And some of Nebraska's media markets are shared with Iowa, where the first caucuses will beheld. This gives both men some political coverage in both states.
You may remember Marine 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal from the May 2005 TAS article entitled, "Forty Minutes in Fallujah." Kasal, who with a few of his men charged into a house in Fallujah to rescue other Marines who were pinned down, gun-fought the insurgents for almost an hour and received several wounds while saving the lives of those other Marines.
I'd speculated that Kasal's bravery wouldn't go unnoticed, and it hasn't. According to this LA Times Report, Brad Kasal has been promoted to Sergeant Major and awarded the Navy Cross, which is the next-highest award to the Medal of Honor in recognition of valor in combat.
Kasal has been assigned to recruitment duty in his native Iowa. He'll be an inspiration to all the young folks who come into his office, and in all the schools he'll visit. Congratulations, Sergeant Major. You're an inspiration to us all.
James, the morning papers are bearing out your point about the lack of impact of the illegal immigrant "economic boycott." (Ol' Howard Beale, I mean, Lou Dobbs noted how only the Washington Post is calling the protesters illegal immigrants as opposed to just immigrants.)
But when the New York Times writes of letdown in the second paragraph, you know it was a flop. "The demonstrations did not bring the nation to a halt as planned by some organizers...." The papers and wires show photos of downtown L.A. -- how impressive is it to fill Wilshire Blvd. with illegal immigrants on any given day? It makes for an easy front page shot, but what I want to know is: did they play in the streets of Peoria?
Mexico is in favor of immigration. Mexico has made drug possession legal, at least in small amounts. So it should follow that all American drug addicts would be given a one-way ticket to Mexico city. Open borders are open in both directions.
Yet were, say, I to deploy that ignominious phrase, amongst reflections on the Spanish-inflected hoohah wafting through the window of my flat, I would be doomed -- not just doomed but a doomed racist. Fortunately I won't say any such thing. The Wash Post itself reports that illegal immigrants seem rather more difficult to lead than some had predicted. The mixed baggery of the Great School & Business Walkout suggests that at least some of the poor would prefer to work and some of the uneducated to learn. How about that for an American tradition?
With regard to Dave's post immediately below, the single worst -- nay, not just bad, but flat-out offensive -- line of Ryan Lizza's in his hit piece on George Allen, the one that Dave Holman so brilliantly skewered, was this: "Whuppin' his siblings might have been a natural prelude to Confederate sympathies and noose-collecting if Allen had grown up in, say, a shack in Alabama."
This astonishing bit of cultural condescension (not to mention slander against poor people from an entire state and, by implication, an entire region of the country) has more than just a small whiff of the infamous Washington Post story by Michael Weisskopf in 1993 in which he wrote that followers of the Christian Right are "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command."
At the New Republic blog, Jason Zengerle razzes me "for painstakingly establishing that, contra the first sentence of Ryan's article, Allen is not the only person in Virginia who wears cowboy boots..." He says I should look up "hyperbole."
That might have explained Lizza failing to see my boots, just feet away in a small group, until he emailed, "I didn't see any cowboy boots at Shad Planking except Allen's."
UPDATE: Amy Ridenour is not surprised.
Awfully quiet in here this morning. We're not...no, we wouldn't do that. Besides, we already write the stuff ordinary Americans can't be bothered to write.