Can it be? Has Pennsylvania's Democratic primary day finally arrived?
We can't imagine how the good folks in Pennsylvania must feel to get this much-hyped Tuesday in April behind them. For that answer, let's turn to J.D. Mullane, whose column is published in the Bucks County Courier Times, among other places:
"On Tuesday, the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania will end. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the out-of-town press will move on to the next state. Adios, amigos.
"For six weeks, they have cruised the commonwealth, from Bucks to Beaver, examining and diagnosing us, and presenting us to the world, not always in good light. One newspaper reported that we are not people of 'big ideas.' The default description of Pennsylvania is that we are Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between.
"As I write this, a news team from the Australian Broadcasting Co. is in our newsroom, asking an editor about Obama's now famous 'bitter' Pennsylvanians. Their correspondent told me that they were having a hard time finding a shuttered mill to illustrate the desperate economic conditions that they heard prevail in Pennsylvania.
"Well, I said, why not ride down Route 13 until you find someone clinging to their gun or religion?"
Vote the rock
If Obama is offering false hope,
Miss "Experience" really can't cope,
And it's hard to explain
What we get with McCain,
Then I think I will vote for the pope.
— F.R. Duplantier
Here's a new one: the Federal Election Commission has issued a draft opinion denying homemaker Todd Goldup, an independent candidate in New York's 20th Congressional District, the ability to use campaign funds to pay himself a congressman's salary of $169,300 a year.
"Mr. Goldup is a homemaker with two minor children. Under FEC regulations, candidates who are not federal officeholders may receive salary payments from their campaigns under certain circumstances," the FEC notes. "The draft AO [advisory opinion] states that Mr. Goldup may not pay himself a salary because he did not have earned income in the previous year."
In certain cases, FEC regulations allow candidates to pay themselves as much as $169,300, or whatever they earned from employment the previous year, whichever amount is less.
The draft AO says the 30-year-old candidate and stay-at-home dad "may use campaign funds to pay for certain childcare and vehicle expenses associated with his campaign."
Jordan's King Abdullah II is back in town to meet with President Bush at the White House tomorrow, with Palestinian-Israeli negotiations among the major topics to be discussed.
"He is meeting the president to talk peace, as always working tirelessly to advance the process forward," Merissa Khurma, press attache for the Embassy of Jordan, told Inside the Beltway yesterday. "He will be in and out of town."
Get serious, Al
Good grief, is anybody in Al Gore's camp anymore?
Now it's People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals saying that although he's the face of the worldwide fight against global warming, the former vice president has resisted one "inconvenient truth": the meat industry is the leading source of greenhouse-gas emissions, and Mr. Gore's "a-steak-or-more-a-day habit isn't helping."
"Visitors to OffsetAlGore.com can undo some of the damage that Al Gore is doing to the environment every time he sits down to a steak," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "Mr. Gore's own addiction to meat is adding to the very crisis he's devoting his life to stopping."
PETA points to a recent United Nations report finding that raising animals for food generates about 40 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, ships and planes in the world combined, while a meat-based diet causes eight times more greenhouse-gas emissions than a vegetarian diet.