- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2008

“As congressional Republicans contemplate the prospect of an electoral disaster this November, much is being written about the supposed soul-searching in the Republican Party. A more accurate description of our state is paralysis and denial,” , Oklahoma Republican, writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“Many Republicans are waiting for a consultant or party elder to come down from the mountain and, in Moses-like fashion, deliver an agenda and talking points on stone tablets. But the burning bush, so to speak, is delivering a blindingly simple message: Behave like Republicans,” Mr. Coburn said.

“Unfortunately, too many in our party are not yet ready to return to the path of limited government. Instead, we are being told our message must be deficient because, after all, we should be winning in certain areas just by being Republicans. Yet being a Republican isn’t good enough anymore. Voters are tired of buying a GOP package and finding a big-government liberal agenda inside. What we need is not new advertising, but truth in advertising.

“Becoming Republicans again will require us to come to grips with what has ailed our party - namely, the triumph of big-government Republicanism and failed experiments like the K Street Project and ‘compassionate conservatism.’ If the goal of the K Street Project was to earmark and fundraise our way to a filibuster-proof ‘governing’ majority, the goal of ‘compassionate conservatism’ was to spend our way to a governing majority.

“The fruit of these efforts is not the hoped-for Republican governing majority, but the real prospect of a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in 2009. While the K Street Project decimated our brand as the party of reform and limited government, compassionate conservatism convinced the American people to elect the party that was truly skilled at activist government: the Democrats.”

Puerto Rico won’t be a swing state in November,” Time magazine’s writes at www.time.com.

“It’s not even a state, and its 4 million residents aren’t allowed to vote in the general election. Its partisan politics have little in common with the mainland’s; the main competitors are not Democrats and Republicans, but ‘commonwealthers’ and ‘statehooders,’ and while they are divided into reds and blues, the reds of the commonwealth party are more likely to favor Democrats, while the blues of the statehood party skew more Republican,” Mr. Grunwald said.

“Puerto Rico residents do serve in the U.S. military, but they do not pay U.S. income taxes, and many of them will not root for the U.S. Olympic team this summer, because they’ve got their own.

“In other words, Puerto Rico’s June 1 Democratic primary is the kind of contest that ‘s campaign would dismiss as meaningless if were favored to win it. But Clinton is favored to win it easily, so she’s casting it as an important test of strength among Hispanic voters, and she campaigned there this past holiday weekend.

“There will actually be 55 delegates at stake, more than in most state primaries, so it won’t be meaningless. And it will be unique, because Puerto Rican politics always are. ‘Politics is our national pastime,’ says , a commonwealther power broker who ran ‘s Puerto Rico primary campaign in 1980, and now supports Clinton. ‘One thing you have to say about Puerto Ricans, we love to vote.’ ”

The federal court jury in Chicago deliberating charges against political fundraiser has told the judge it plans to work late two nights this week “to help conclude our decision.”

The jury handed a note last week saying it wanted to break off deliberations at noon yesterday but work until 5:50 p.m. today and tomorrow.

The jurors said that would “help conclude our decision.” Judge St. Eve brought lawyers in the case into court yesterday to put the note on the record, the Associated Press reports.

The lawyers said the phrase “conclude our decision” did not necessarily mean the jurors were promising to come up with a verdict tomorrow and that the note could be read various ways.

Mr. Rezko, 52, a major fundraiser for, Illinois Democrat, and Illinois Democratic, is charged with fraud, attempted extortion, money laundering and aiding and abetting bribery. Neither politician is charged with any wrongdoing.

, who blogs for WBZ-TV Boston at Keller@Large, noticed an odd omission in ‘s speech at the Wesleyan commencement Sunday.

Mr. Obama’s topic was service to country, “So I guess it’s just me wondering - how on earth do you give a speech on that topic and not mention our country’s most widespread and important form of public service and sacrifice, military service?” Mr. Keller said.

“Maybe Obama didn’t want to go there because of the unfortunate political contrast between himself and when it comes to military service and knowledge, an unflattering comparison that left Obama on the short end of a recent political exchange over veterans’ benefits.

“Or maybe the senator - for reasons I can’t fathom - didn’t think of Wesleyan students as the type who might consider serving their country this way. Or maybe military service simply doesn’t spring to mind for Obama or his handlers when they think of laudable sacrifice and contribution to the public good. And maybe that’s what a justifiably war-weary electorate wants come November, a commander-in-chief who doesn’t have the military on his cultural radar.”

MoveOn.org wants voters to link presumptive Republican presidential nominee with .

The liberal activist group today will host the “Bush-McCain Challenge” across the country. Locally, MoveOn members will host challenges at the Dupont Circle Metro station in Northwest Washington, at the Greenbelt Metro station in College Park and in downtown Bethesda, reports of The Washington Times.

“The Bush-McCain Challenge works like the old Pepsi-Coke Challenge - we’ll ask passersby to guess whether a quote or position is Bush’s or McCain‘s. It’ll be lots of fun,” the group tells members in its invitation.

The group has been targeting Mr. McCain of Arizona for months and has endorsed his potential rival, Democratic of Illinois.

In e-mails to members, MoveOn posts photos of Mr. McCain hugging the unpopular president.

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