The knife that just keeps twisting....
"RNC staffers shouldn't throw stones from their 7 glass houses."
(Twist.) That's not going away anytime soon.
An emboldened Iraqi government has launched an aggressive campaign to disband a U.S.-funded force of Sunni Arab fighters that has been key to Iraq's fragile peace, arresting prominent members and sending others into hiding or exile as their former patrons in the American military reluctantly stand by.....
But by all accounts, Mrs. McCain is far from a forceful presence at the company, where she is chairwoman.
She crisscrosses the country on the company jet, keeps an accountant on the company payroll to mind her personal finances, drives a company Lexus with “MS BUD” plates and says she oversees the company’s “strategic planning and corporate vision.” Yet she almost never shows up in the office, is deemed an absentee owner by Anheuser-Busch and has left scarcely a mark on the company, present and former executives say.....
Another person knowledgeable about the company’s finances said Mrs. McCain’s involvement in Hensley was more limited. “Delgado will tell her how much money they made, so she can tell him how much she’ll take out,” this person said.....
How much she receives in profits is not a matter of public record. Distributions to other shareholders, who discussed them only anonymously, suggest she receives hundreds of thousands of dollars several times a year.
He also added: "This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison," referring to the prisoner of war camp that McCain was in during the Vietnam War.
“Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people “cling” to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?
“The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.
"I think - I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told us in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where - I'll have them get to you."
France's Le Monde newspaper quoted French soldiers who had survived the ambush near Kabul on Monday saying they were hit in a "friendly fire" incident..
"The negotiators have taken this very, very far," she told reporters, "but there is no reason to believe that there is an agreement yet." .......
"There are still issues concerning exactly how our forces operate," Rice said. "The agreement rests on aspirational timelines."
U.S. officials have resisted committing firmly to a specific date for a final pullout, insisting that it would be wiser to set a target linked to the attainment of certain agreed-upon goals......
Late Wednesday a second senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two sides have come up with a draft agreement that addresses the issue of the timing of future U.S. troop withdrawals, but the official would not say whether the two sides had agreed on 2011 for a final pullout. The official suggested there would be a series of timelines set, linked to conditions on the ground, and that the draft worked out by the negotiators required more talks at higher levels of the two governments.
"We are very, very close to an agreement. But it's not done," Rice said referring to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
"Undoubtedly it's true that the negotiators have taken this very, very far towards an end-agreement but there is no reason to believe that there is an agreement," Rice told reporters travelling with her.....
"We are continuing to work to make sure that any timeline, aspirational timelines, that are in the agreement really do reflect what we believe and ... what is reasonable," she said.
However, the U.S. official said there are no dates in the agreement, only general timeframes that would take into account conditions on the ground.....
The U.S. source, though, said the June 30 date is a goal, but not set in stone.
"Not a deadline, it's not a timeline," he said. "It's conditions-permitting."
A key pillar of the U.S. strategy to pacify Iraq is in danger of collapsing because the Iraqi government is failing to absorb tens of thousands of former Sunni Muslim insurgents who'd joined U.S.-allied militia groups into the country's security forces....
Iraqi and U.S. negotiators have completed a draft security agreement that would see American troops leave Iraqi cities as soon as June 30, Iraqi and American officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.....
In addition to spelling out that U.S. troops would move out of Iraqi cities by next summer, the Iraqi government has pushed for a specific date — most likely the end of 2011 — by which all U.S. forces would depart the country.
As speculation grows around who John McCain will select as his vice presidential running mate next week, Republican National Committee officials said Tuesday that McCain is no longer considering former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge.
Several sources at the RNC told FOX News that in the last 36 hours, senior McCain advisers and aides have told RNC officials that McCain “got the message” last week that choosing a running mate who supports abortion rights would not be helpful.
By the way, there are three reasons why an August 29 VP announcement for McCain could be a problem: 1) it will come as nearly every political reporter -- save those actually following McCain -- is headed on a flight from Denver to the Twin Cities; 2) it occurs at the start of the Labor Day weekend, when many Americans are probably headed to the nearest beach or lake; and 3) it’s the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina..
Still, the upsides of picking that day: 1) it immediately forces the national press corps to turn its attention away from Obama and to McCain; 2) it steps on McCain's 72nd birthday a tad; and 3) it creates a little buzz going into the weekend of what could be one of those bad press weeks for the Republican Party, as many media outlets focus on all the Republicans NOT showing up to the convention and the Bush-Cheney opening night potential dud.
“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said.
The other likely reason for the Obama campaign's burgeoning expenses is the number of field offices it has opened. The campaign reports it has 131 such offices in five potential battleground states, compared to 13 reported by the McCain campaign. In Florida, for example, the Obama campaign lists 32 local offices, compared to three for Sen. McCain. In Missouri, the ratio is 29 to 1, while in New Mexico it stands at 23 to 1.
But the Obama folks are not leaving it to chance. Plouffe said that "turnout is the big variable," and the campaign is devoting an unusually large budget to register scads of new voters and bring them to the polls. "That's how we win the Floridas and Ohios," he said, mentioning two states that went narrowly for George W. Bush. "And that's how we get competitive in the Indianas and Virginias..."
"That's why I pay more attention to the registration figures than to the polls I see at this time of year," Plouffe said. "The polls will change, but we know we need 200,000 new voters to be competitive in Georgia, and now is when we have to get them."
((WaPo) "Virginia has 235,976 more registered voters than it did in 2004...")