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AFL-CIO Debate: Winners and Losers

The Fix is on the road (again) today. This time the destination is Iowa where we'll spend the next four days following the Republican field in the runup to the Ames Straw Poll this Saturday. (We'll also be sampling the fare at the Iowa State Fair.)

But, we would be remiss if before we left we didn't offer our thoughts on the winners and losers from last night's AFL-CIO forum in Chicago. Remember these ratings are inherently subjective; if you asked 100 people who won the debate you could well get 100 different answers.

Keep it tuned to The Fix for the next few days for live reporting from Iowa.


Barack Obama: Apropos of the debate's setting at Soldier Field, Obama enjoyed a home-field advantage over his rivals last night. The crowd was looking for reasons to cheer Obama and he gave them some. The best? His retort to attacks on his foreign policy bona fides; "I find it amusing that those who helped to authorize and engineer the biggest foreign policy disaster of our generation are now criticizing me for making sure we are on the right battlefield and not the wrong battlefield in the war on terror," Obama said to huge applause. He was under attack for much of the debate from the likes of Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Joe Biden (Del.) and managed to hold his own.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: This was an interesting debate for Clinton as she experienced moments of both cheering and jeering from the crowd -- a reminder that no candidate incites emotions (both good and bad) from voters more than Clinton. When attacked by former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) about her ties to corporate America, Clinton resisted a direct push back. Instead she delivered her most effective lines of the night, urging Democrats to work together rather than fight amongst themselves and pivoting to make a pitch for electability; "If you want a winner, I am your girl," Clinton said to loud applause. Her careful scolding of Obama on foreign policy ("people running for president should not engage in hypotheticals") brought her loud boos. Also, did anyone else notice that Clinton has a fill-in-the-blank point plan for everything?

Joe Biden: After playing the nice guy for most of the campaign, Biden seemed to boil over last night -- particularly at Obama and Edwards. Biden and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd have clearly been frustrated by the rise of Obama and Edwards as well as the latter duo's willingness to attack Washington and call for a shakeup in the politics as usual. Biden hit Obama on his policy toward Pakistan and Edwards on his labor credentials. Neither attack was all that well-received by the assembled crowd but it kept Biden at the center of the debate and allowed him to draw some contrasts with his better-known opponents. Plus, if Clinton winds up as president, Biden could well wind up as Secretary of State. Of course, if Obama or Edwards is president....

Dennis Kucinich: Give Kucinich his due: he was great last night. Of course, unlike the rest of the candidates on stage, Kucinich is not bound by concerns over saying something that might make him unelectable in a primary or general election. His miniscule chance of winning frees him to speak his mind on the war in Iraq, NAFTA, health care and anything else he is asked about. Kucinich continues to play the happy warrior in this race, delivering his plans and criticisms of his rivals with a smile on his face. Also, you've gotta love a candidate who eggs the crowd on repeatedly at the end of his answers.

Alpacas: Nice ad placement by allies of the alpaca. The commercial ran during the last commercial break of the debate and surely got more attention paid to the animal in 60 seconds than it received in the last 60 days. Did you know alpaca comes in 22 natural colors? It's the "new spin on fashion," according to the ad.


John Edwards: We've never seen Edwards more on his game than he was over the weekend at the YearlyKos forum. He conveyed genuine passion and outrage while also managing to put Clinton on her heels for the first time in this campaign. Last night, Edwards seemed to be forcing it, using totally unrelated questions to try and cast himself as the candidate of change. We still like the line "we can't trade our insiders for their insiders" but it can't just come out of nowhere. Edwards' anger can work for him and against him. At his best, he matches the outrage of Democratic voters fed up with President Bush and the war; at his worst, he can seem mean-spirited. Last night was more of the latter than the former.

Lobbyists: It started over the weekend and it only got worse for influence peddlers last night. Obama and Edwards seem convinced that bashing lobbyists and Clinton's connections to lobbyists is a sure-fire way to cast themselves as outsiders. First Jack Abramoff and now this. It's been a bad few years.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 8, 2007; 1:26 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Parsing the Polls: Huckabee's Do or Die Moment
Next: Is This Heaven?


A bunch of liberals all right there soldier field, it's almost a mockery.

Posted by: reason | August 12, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

what are you talking about obama wont win the general

(unlike hillary) he pulls tons and tons of idependents and even REPUBLICANS

according to a very very large majority of polls indicate obama is more electable than hillary

and you "hillary people" keep talking about national polls. Did you forget she was first lady, married to the greatest president of this generation? In most of the Feb. 5th and later states..its all name recognition..people in Idaho, Washington, Pennsylvannia, wyoming, maine, kansas, arkansas, alabama, etc. haven't heard obama speak-they all know hillary and edwards -

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 12, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Democrats !! open your eyes,Obama(as nice as he may be)will never,never,never win the presidency,so we have to vote for Hillary,she is our girl!! to win the White House. She is extremely intelligent,strong and experienced.I think a ticket Clinton-Biden would be unbeatable .

Posted by: nathanniel | August 12, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Democrats !! open your eyes,Obama(as nice as he may be)will never,never,never win the presidency,so we have to vote for Hillary,she is our girl!! to win the White House. She is extremely intelligent,strong and experienced.I think a ticket Clinton-Biden would be unbeatable .

Posted by: nathanniel | August 12, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Kucinich is the ONLY one with the guts to stand up for what is right and isn't just talk like the rest of the dems. Was recently in DC in the gallery at the capitol when he spoke about the war... only a handful of others from congress were present that day. He is who he appears to be... not just in front of the cameras. He's the real deal and would be great for this country. If people would only see how the media controls how they think. Wake up America! Dennis Kucinich has what we need... Our whole family will be supporting him all the way!

Posted by: Cris | August 11, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

no skillset.

he has sold saurkraut as gold bricks...

how does he maintain the illusion???

how did hitler.


Posted by: what is the worst thing about bush? | August 10, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Uma, I agreed with you although I am not a middle class.

Why do people keep on pointing fingers at Hillary? A true good and confident leader should not spend the effort on making your competitors look bad in order to raise yourself, THIS MEANS INCOMPETENCY! I think Bush is the franchisee for this word?!

* She decided to move on with her husband, that's her choice. Is democrat supposed to be pro-choice? She values her family and endures all this mean comments from the insensitive people. That's a true survivor and winner. If you are woman, you should know how hard it is to keep a good family together through good time and bad time. Now, we Americans do not even know how to appreciate one's virtue and praise it, instead, we become the cheerleader for the mean spirit.

* So far, I have not heard of Hillary pointing fingers directly to any candidate. But, Obama and Edward keep on talking about the voting for war and the corporation issue. Please guys, find a solution to tackle the problems. That is what a good leader does.

Quote from 4:41pm
Any way: BARRACK Obama has less experience in Politics than Bush has had before entering the White House, that is a fact. He says he did not support the initial vote for the Iraq war...OF COURSE HE DIDN'T HE WAS NOT AROUND TO VOTE FOR IT BECAUSE HE WAS NOT IN THE SENATE YET!
Listen we have seen what happens when we trust Charisma Over Experience and Capability and the past 7 years has been a testimony to that mistake. Lets not make that mistake again!

* WE DO NEED to have our past to get to now and move forward to the progressive future. Without our Old American Value (our elderly citizens, your father, mother, grapa..ancestors who built this great country for us..there is no NOW). So NOW is a messy because we have these citizens who do not know how to reason issues and just talk about issues without reading and thinking. Only idolise candidates without knowing if they have capability and passion to bring back the Great America. We all know the past (Bill) performed better than now. It is a fact. In conclusion, Hillary has a good past performance and patriotic heart = Hillary is the best choice for us if we want a better performed government and a prosperous country.

* Why do we need to typeset libels, moderate, conservatives inside the party? I am an independent. I might not agreed with all of Hillary's political agenda, but if she can deliver 89%, I am cool with it. Hillary does have the most competent professional background and experience (global-minded)to run the country, what stops you from voting for her? Because she is a woman who does not divorce her husband like you did? she performs and she works hard? She gave up her own career for the family and now she has an opportunity to achieve her own goal and help change this mess into good standard of living...Is that what we are supposed to want a good person to do and our kids to do the right thing? "Socrates" said we need to make reasonable choices, if you do not know, then go and understand the problem and find an answer for it. Do not give your answer without knowing and reasoning. "Wrongdoing was a consequence of ignorance"

Last but not the least, why I believe Hillary will be the suitable candidate for the presidency? Hillary and Bill are very humble people, they never promote their extremely impressive educational, professional and versatile backgrounds. Lately, I borrowed the "My Life by Bill Clinton" audio tape from the library and just found out that he was a very dedicated young man in the 70's who has studied in Oxford and travelled around Europe all the way to Russia. He speaks different languages...most of all, they care about Americans (the people who lives in America) because they are one of us. They have that human element in them. Not like this administration who does not care about us...other people's lives.

Please for our own sake, be a positive voter, go and study about your candidates and come back and express yourself NOT in a stupid way.

p.s. as some people keep on talking bad about Hillary, this motivates me to learn about her up bringing and her political I think she is a wonderful human being and should be a great leader for us. I am pro-obama too, but he needs to stay in capital hill for more years to gain the hands-on experience in order to lead the country to the greater level.

Posted by: mimi | August 10, 2007 1:18 AM | Report abuse

"The French helped us, this is true. However, the inspiration for the revolution came from within. The French did not come here & tell us to revolt - keep in mind the French didn't throw out their own Monarch until 1784, if I'm not mistaken. No, it was the brave patriots who signed the Declaration of Independence and convinced enough of their brethren to join the revolution that freed us from the Crown. That is wholly different from the last 4 1/2 years in Iraq."

This coming from the "Boycott France" mob. Read up. The united states would not be here if it wasn't for France and THEIR revolution. They were supposed to be OUR sister nation. The GOP and right wingers don't want to acknoledge that. Hence "boycott france"

They would much more like to side with the empirialist empire (england). Times they have changed. Any one empire would be the vitim of much frustration. These people share the same goals. Differant countries differant times. FAscists.

Screw the red-coat beniDICK arnold traitors. Let's bring REAL treason back. For all the sell-outs siding with outsideinfluences, or choosing party over country

Posted by: rufus1133 | August 9, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Why such hostility for pink?

See what happens if I'm nnot on here, pink? All the right wing hate/frustration needs to be taken out on someone.

They can't speak on the points. If so they lose everytime. Lie Spin discredit. Dicide and conquer. That is their game

Posted by: rufus | August 9, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Please continue to ignore the trolls.

Posted by: Zookeepress | August 9, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"the corrupt Administration of Bubba, which by any measure, fails to even raise a pimple on a bulls behind compared to the current one."

Well lylepink, I offered a measure which was the number of convictions - which any objective person would agree is a fair measure of corruption.

Administration Records Set

- The only president ever impeached strictly on grounds of personal malfeasance

- Most convictions and guilty pleas

- Most Cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation

- Most witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify

- Most witnesses to die suddenly

- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions

- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad

Historical Context

- Number of independent counsel inquiries since the 1978 law was passed: 19

- Number that have produced indictments: 7

- Number that produced more convictions than the Starr investigation: 1

- Median length of investigations that have led to convictions: 44 months

- Length of Starr-Ray investigation (7/00): 67 months.

- Number of Starr-Ray investigation convictions to date (including one governor, one associate attorney general and two Clinton business partners): 15

- Median cost per Starr investigation conviction: $3.5 million as of 3/00

- Total cost of the Starr investigation (3/00) $52 million

- Total cost of the Iran-Contra investigation: $48.5 million

- Number of Clinton Cabinet members who came under criminal investigation: 5

- Number of Reagan cabinet members who came under criminal investigation: 4

- Number of top officials jailed in the Teapot Dome Scandal: 3

Crime Stats

- Number of individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes: 47

- Number of these convictions during Clinton's presidency: 33

- Number of indictments/misdemeanor charges: 61

- Number of imprisonments: 14

- Number of congressional witnesses who have pleaded the Fifth Amendment, fled the country to avoid testifying, or (in the case of foreign witnesses) refused to be interviewed: 122 (9/99)

Compare that record to Bush's any day - one conviction.

But you clinton supporters seem to be impervious to facts. And you have aptly demonstrated your inability to face the truth with your poltroonish views on her war vote. If you are to be believed, everyone in the world lies except you and hill. Yeah, right, whatever.

and as far as your education goes, it has nothing to do with you personally, it has to do with your ability to reason and come to valid conclusions. It is clear you are lacking in this ability after your comments. I simply offered a possible cause to your inability to follow a truthful and logical argument. It is not the only reason as evidenced by the overeducated Libs here who follow your same convictions. What is thier excuse?

I am amused that a single character assassination on someone gets such approbriation from all the Libs when it never bothers them when the same methods are applied to cons. An entire party of hypocrites. No surprise there.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 9, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

lylepink, "Keyser Soze" was a quasi-diabolical character in the movie "The Usual Suspects," released in 1995. It's a great film...

Posted by: Bokonon | August 9, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

JD: I am not familiar with the name "Keyser Soze", give me a clue. proudtobegop: No, I just did not like McGovern and thought he was a phoney.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse


someone thinks they can pretend to be me and say obama sucks

anyone who read a comment by me knows im a obama supporter

obama doesnt suck (maybe a tad green) but his ideas and policies are worth it...mcuh better than clinton (clintons were good for the 1990s--not for 2008)

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 9, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - I would pegged you for a Shirley Chisholm supporter in '72.

I'm interested to know why you didn't intend to vote for McGovern in Nov.; did you buy into Nixon's attack of him as the radical candidate of "acid, amnesty and abortion."?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 9, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Companies (Capital/Management) are neither ingerently good nor evil.

Unions (Labor) are neither inherently good nor evil.

The Win-Win, Win-Lose, Lose-Win and Lose-Lose scenarios are determined by the people who run them.

Generically, the two are just forces in a dynamic, it's the human factor that skews things.

Posted by: NonP | August 9, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

JD--"If corporations are being unfair, offering too little money, offering not enough bennies, whatever, then they will be starved for workers. I really don't understand why this is so difficult to comprehend."

If a single company would do this in an environment where all other companies act altruistically, you would be correct.

Reality, however, has been different and unabated development from the late 1800's would have undoubtedly left us in a situation where the "proletariat" had no bargaining power, effectively having to accept whatever alms given by the corporations to stay alive.

Unions and government regulation are the main influences in shaping the modern, marginally mutually satisfying employment relationship.

Posted by: roo | August 9, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: I could tell no dif in IKE or JFK as to my time in the AF under them. I missed the 1972 vote because of moving and could not register in time, and I was planning to vote for Nixon. That is the only vote in Nov. I have missed since my first one in 1960 for JFK. You should know politics and religion are not discussed at any of the Vet clubs, at least the one I belonged to. Only one person I know has expressed opposition to Hillary, and I have talked with more than a hundred folks from most walks of life and economic status.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

personally, I think lylepink is actually Keyser Soze.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll take some time to go back and find the citations, but that was either you or someone pretending to be you...female, minority-immigrant, business owner, nutcase.

Posted by: MikeB | August 9, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - What was it like serving in the military under President Eisenhower, domino-theory formulator vs. President Kennedy, Bay of Pigs formulator?

I'm guessing you didn't vote for Nixon.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 9, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

MikeB: That is a BALD FACE LIE and you know it. Everyone on "The Fix" knows I am a male White/caucasion, I was part owner of a bar, private home painting and plumbing work, as well as water well drilling. I also did some tax work for a few folks.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: I didn't see your post, as it was the same time. FYI, I served from Nov. 57 until Nov. 61 on Active duty as I had Volunteered to do. This was between Korea and Viet Nam, so I had little to no chance of being drafted. When I left HS to join the AF, I had 3 As and a B and was on the Honor Roll. NonP: Thanks for your support, and I don't like Wolfson and said so on "The Fix".

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

NonP, ProudToBeGOP - At one time lylepink claimed to be a minority immigrant and a small business owner. I'm not sure what she is....other than a whack job.

Posted by: MikeB | August 9, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely right, NonP - Thank you for your service to our country lylepink; I knew you were a vet from your previous discussions about VA healthcare. Question, do the other vets you know also support Hillary with such fervor?

Mark -yeah, ok - no disrespect intended, but lylepink is so stuck on repeating "Hillary did not authorize the war" for the last 6 months, that I often wonder what level of delusion exists there. I admit, it's not right to make jokes at lyle's &/or rufus' expense, but I simply cannot resist sometimes.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 9, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - I don't recall you ever mentioning your Air Force Service before.

Thanks for serving your country!

Which is more than we can say about Zouk, who avoids that topic as if it were radioactive.

Posted by: NonP | August 9, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

proud, you are usually above piling on, and I think you missed this one. Lyle has read about HRC and watched her and approves of her as a champion for education and health care and public service.

I look at HRC and remember how she froze the medical profession out of working on her health plan in exact counterpoint to Cheney's sole inclusion of the oil industry in his energy planning. My closest friend from HS was on the AMA's national committee to deal with health care delivery, and says HRC froze out the profession because 2 out of 3 doctors voted R, as he did. But the AMA would have gladly given HRC all D physicians to work with, b/c from AMA's perspective it was not a partisan issue - it was their profession, and it had expertise to offer. So I see a vindictive
partisan where Lyle sees a dedicated public servant.

And all of the discussion I just had was a fair criticism and debate point for Lyle.
Accusing him of not being intelligent enough to be engaged is just name calling.

I remember when conservatives criticized ivory tower intellectuals and academics for their woolly headed liberalism. Some of those academics, like Wolfowitz, became wooly headed conservatives. You and I do not have the credentials to argue with a Wolfowitz but we knew he was wrong when he said Iraq was ready for democracy and would welcome us with open arms. Wolfowitz had been pushing this since 1987, and he was a Yale and Johns Hopkins Professor. Brent Scowcroft called him a "crazy", but he was a Professor!

So let's not pull our intellectual rank, such as it may be, as a qualification, and continue to argue from the facts and circumstances.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

proud - Sorry I missed the quotation marks, but repeating the the remark was still tasteless.

Posted by: NonP | August 9, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

proud - That was a cheap shot at lylepink. Something I wouldn't have expected from you.

Posted by: NonP | August 9, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk: I usually don't respond to "KOOKS' like you, but in the interest of others, I quit school in my senior year and joined the AF, mainly for economic reasons. Before my class would graduate, I had taken the High School GED test and passed it. The amazing thing is you have the nerve to bring up the corrupt Administration of Bubba, which by any measure, fails to even raise a pimple on a bulls behind compared to the current one.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

" pink is a hs dropout and represents the intelligence, experience and gullibility of the average Lib voter"

Ergo - he fits the Hillary-voter demographic to a tee! The Lyle - The Hillary!

You've gotta admire Wolfson's ability to dumb down her message to that extent; it seems to be working if the national polls are to be believed.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 9, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Mark, it seems like you're trying to solve a seperate problem here (tort reform).

Colin, I don't doubt that at one point unions were a necessary evil (my definition: they did more good than harm). However I believe, now more than ever, that labor, capital, resources, etc are far more mobile. The ideal of working at one company for life is gone, and while that's unsettling for many, it's probably a good thing. You won't wring max efficiencies from an economy unless those business inputs can flow freely.

Unions hinder that, primarily through false security, stupid work regulations, and disnincentives for hiring (since they can never be fired short of murdering the president - the NEA is the poster child for this kind of ridiculousness, at the price of damage to our kids education....but I digress).

I don't see collusion as a real problem, since salaries are generally confidential and it would be too easy for a company to 'cheat' on the cartel to steal the best talent. And what you call a race to the bottom, many see a race to the top - people stabilizing at the natural level of value add to an organization.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Colin, I am eating a late lunch after a hearing - and I just saw that you discovered the Obama-the-darling-of-IA-Rs poll. I knew you would be thrilled.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Colin -

A purely economic argument that I would make to JD involves the disparity of information for the individual. A free market has "perfect information", theoretically. A union can actually know the employer's financial concerns in a way the individual cannot. A union can destroy an employer, but if it does the right thing it can use the information it has to cut a more optimal deal for its members, but one management can live with.

This is less true now than ten years ago, but it used to be that a CBA protected the employer from the myriad possible gratuitous lawsuits disgruntled former employees might file. An individual trial lawyer might try to nearly bankrupt an employer if it gave him settlement leverage, but a CBA puts rational limits on termination event damages, because the union has an interest in the continuation of the relationship that the individual employee does not.

I try to train my clients to treat their employees well in order to avoid organizing campaigns. A grievance procedure that includes a peer assessment hearing at the first level is one wonderful device.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Please note that lylepink is just a typical clinton supporter. In order to do so, you must have the ability to disregard all contrary facts and pretend everything illuminating is some sort of conspiracy.

There was an amendment presented at the time of the war vote which would have done exactly what pink says hillary wished. Hill voted against it. She was pandering and polling for her views as clintons always do.

Considering that clinton 1 was perhaps the most egotistical use of american force ever (without any congressional approval in any case), and that it was the most corrupt admin in a long time, you have to be able to put your fingers in your ears, ignore the truth and press on anyway to be a clinton supporter.

It seems fruitless to point out that pink is a hs dropout and represents the intelligence, experience and gullibility of the average Lib voter. But the easily fooled need representation too.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 9, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

As requested by "And Then There Were 17," this viewer thinks it will be an Obama-Richardson Ticket in 2008. A combination of international appeal and experience, domestic and national office, and they are not married to each other. No other ticket could make that claim.

Posted by: rcrtr | August 9, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

JD -- no leverage exists if only one person refuses to work at a certain wage, since it is far easier for companies to collude regarding salary than it is for unorganized workers to do the same. Collective bargaining is the only thing that precludes individual workers in many fields from engaging in their own sorry race to the lowest wage possible. I understand you may view that as a "distortion of the market," but it's simply one of MANY examples of where government places limitations on our generally free market. Really, ALL regulation is a restraint on the market in an absolute sense -- yet few would argue that NO regulation is optimal. Given that unionization spurred significant growth in the middle class, I would suggest collective bargaining has served and continues to serve an important societal good. Even if it "distorts" the market in some literal sense.

Posted by: Colin | August 9, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: I THINK/BELIEVE Hillary is living in the real world and knows there is no way she can do anything about this issue without the support of enough Senators to get a conviction should impeachment charges be brought and passed in the House, which is not going to happen, I only wish she and others would do so, but all of us know it will never happen.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse


I agree that no one "on earth is below, or unworthy, of the blessing of democracy". However, it is not something that spontaneously appears on the scene. It takes a certain social foundation. It cannot be imposed on a society. The deep sectarian divisions in Iraq are why the government has made no real progress on any of the political benchmarks.

Every report I have read of interviews with senior commanders or intelligence sources indicates that the foreign terrorists are a distinct minority - around 10% of the people fighting in Iraq. There are Sunnis fighting us because we are occupying their country, there are Shiite militias fighting Sunnis and each other.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 9, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Mike, we are not gods in this country, capable of bestowing the "blessing" of democracy on everyone who wants it. It is a stage of societal evolution that not every society has reached, and we cannot force it on Iraqis or anyone else before they are ready.

And when you say "the same can be said of anywhere in the world," you are wrong... the Western world, whose culture is a descendant of Greco-Roman civilization (the birthplace of at least the idea of democracy) has a 2000 year-old relationship (albeit hot and cold) with democracy. (For that matter, so did many Native American communities prior to contact with Europeans - one inspiration for the US Constitution was the Iroquois Law of Nations. But I digress...) The social history of the Middle East, on the other hand, is one of empire and authoritarian rule - it is only since the mid-20th century or so that democracy has even been on the table. Please understand that I am not saying that for this reason Middle Eastern societies are unworthy of democratic government, but at least some may not be capable of it - at least not according to the US model. In the meantime, how much further in debt to the Chinese are we willing to go before we realize this?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 9, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Colin and NonP: Please add yourselves to my 12:30 PM Post, and anyone else that disagrees with me on this subject.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

JimD in Fl says
"Incidentally, the French Revolution broke out in 1789..."

I stand corrected. 1784 didn't feel right, but that's what was in my head, so there you have it...

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Democracy needs certain societal norms to flourish. These norms are seriously lacking in Iraq."

While this may be true, I don't think that anyone on earth is below, or unworthy, of the blessing of democracy.

"There is no tradition of democracy in Iraq."

The same can be said of anywhere democracy exists in the world.

"there were no sectarian conflicts running contemporaneously with the struggle for independence"

That's becuase the most frightening thing to terrorists who are flocking to Iraq to stop this experiment is freedom. Nothing scares an islamo-fascist as much as freedom.

Posted by: Mike | August 9, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

. . . an Obama supporter.

Posted by: dpack | August 9, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

lylepink writes
"The "Conditions" I refer to are "Laws" passed by the Congress and signed by the POTUS. When "Laws" are broken by the POTUS, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" as in our Constitution, the Congress SHOULD act, in most cases they do not. Most folk that break the law are made to pay when they are found to have done so."

lylepink, if all that is true, then why hasn't your girl Hillary held the lawbreakers responsible for their actions? The way you're talking, it seems like she should be leading the charge, yet she's not.

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Uma, you were never a Obama supporter. Say hello to Hillary.

Posted by: dpack | August 9, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Mike writes
"But you're implying that there are no Iraqis who welcome democracy."

No, I'm not. I said nothing of the sort. I don't understand why you keep insisting otherwise.

There are likely a great number of Iraqis who welcome democracy. But, the fact is that there was not an internal revolution that deposed Saddam - there was an external force - mostly us - that took him out and is still responsible for the security of the country.

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon, bsimon, JD, Blarg, and ...: I have a High School GED, and I am at least able to read. The "Conditions" I refer to are "Laws" passed by the Congress and signed by the POTUS. When "Laws" are broken by the POTUS, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" as in our Constitution, the Congress SHOULD act, in most cases they do not. Most folk that break the law are made to pay when they are found to have done so.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - this is like de facto and de jure. [Mark in Austin feel free to correct if I'm wrong.]

De jure - the language she voted for was an authorization.

De facto - everybody knew that the Administration was going to War. The surprise would have been if they didn't.

Is she didn't know what the Administration was up to, then she has an even bigger problem than the semantics one which has been discussed ad finitum here.

FYI - have you noticed that you seem to be the only poster who still holds to that "it was only an authorization" defense?

Posted by: NonP | August 9, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Mike: So should we invade every non-democratic country and "help" those there who long for democracy? It's a long list, you know. Maybe we can start with Saudi Arabia?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 9, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Democracy needs certain societal norms to flourish. These norms are seriously lacking in Iraq. There is no tradition of democracy in Iraq. Lots of Iraqis voted, but they voted overwhelmingly for non-democratic groups representing narrow sectarian interests. These groups are not interested in reaching accomodations among themselves that would allow a reasonable parliamentary democracy to flourish.

The Founding Fathers were mostly well-off and educated. They were heavily influenced by the philosophers of the Enlightenment, especially John Locke. They were the heirs of the British parliamentary system. The Revolution arose out of the colonists asserting their rights as Englishmen. It was only after several years of unsuccessful efforts to redress their grievances that independence became the goal. Certainly, independence was not supported by a majority of colonists. I have read that about 1/3 supported independence, 1/3 opposed it and 1/3 were indifferent. Furthermore, there were no sectarian conflicts running contemporaneously with the struggle for independence. Colonial America was relatively homgeneous.

Incidentally, the French Revolution broke out in 1789, Louis XVII was deposed in 1792 and executed in 1793.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 9, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

But you're implying that there are no Iraqis who welcome democracy. If that were true, then we truly would be "forcing" it on them. The evidence suggests otherwise (witness, extremely high turnout of their elections). Sure, it wouldn't have happened for a long time without our help, but that doesn't mean it isn't something many, many of them wanted.

Posted by: Mike | August 9, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

lylepink, you are defending something that cannot be defended. Hillary made a big mistake in authorizing the war - and I think you are too intelligent not to recognize that that is precisely what she knew she was doing with her vote. If she is really an intelligent woman - and I believe she is - she had to have known that no matter what the precise language of the bill was, Bush was going to use it as an authorization for military action. If she is as intelligent as you and I both think she is, she had to have recognized - also - that whatever "conditions" were established in it would not prevent Bush from doing precisely what he wanted to do before taking office. I keep coming back to Bob Graham, the Senator from Florida who DID read the NIE, and as a result concluded that Saddam did NOT pose a threat which warranted military action. For whatever reason (political?), Hillary chose not to do the same. It was her right to make that choice, and to cast the vote that she cast, but it is deceptive and disrespectful of her supporters' intelligence not to take responsibility for that vote and its consequences. I would actually have far more respect for her if she did.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 9, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Mike writes
"bsimon you can't claim there are no Iraqis who long for democracy. You just can't legitimately make that claim."

I can't and I didn't. I said that in the American Revolution the revolution came from within. The Iraq war came from without.

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

lylepink justifies the unjustifiable with
"That is the plain and simple TRUTH, and you folks not wanting to accept it is no fault of mine, it is FACT period."

lylepink, the plain and simple truth is that Senator Clinton caved under GOP political pressure to vote for the bill in order to look 'tough' on foreign policy - likley in preparation for the bid she now makes for the Presidency. She's trying to dodge responsibility for that vote, and people like you are letting her do it. The FACT, to use your style, is that she did not demand that the President follow the conditions the bill set out. If you want to claim she didn't vote 'for' the war, you must admit she shirked her duty to hold the executive branch to the limits imposed by the bill she signed.

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Colin, the leverage 'labor' (using that term individually, not collectively) has is not accepting a job from a corporation. You act as though companies are doing workers a favor by giving them jobs there. In reality it's a win-win transaction; the worker gets money and bennies, the corporation gets some input that helps it make money (or in the case of non-profits and gov, accomplish some task). That's it.

If corporations are being unfair, offering too little money, offering not enough bennies, whatever, then they will be starved for workers. I really don't understand why this is so difficult to comprehend.

If a company wants to pay above-market (average) salaries as a means to attract the best and brightest, therefore getting more productivity, etc, then they certainly have that option. In some cases it would pay off, in others (commodity businesses for example) it would be foolish.

Companies will (are) forced to pay a market-driven wage/comp plan; Otherwise they will go out of business for a lack of workers. Time was, when the US was more insulated, companies could afford the Cadillac packages demanded by workers as our markets were protected. Today's globalization doesn't allow for that.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

bsimon you can't claim there are no Iraqis who long for democracy. You just can't legitimately make that claim.

If a minority of colonists wanted it and made it so, the same can be true of anywhere else in the world.

Posted by: Mike | August 9, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

lylepink -- if the conditions you mentioned were BINDING, then why didn't Hillary move to enforce them when Bush violated a piece of federal legislation? Why didn't ANYONE make the argument that the President's actions were contrary to federal legislation?

I suspect it's b/c no one else viwed or views those conditions as required. And if that's true, then I'm afriad your argument collapses.

Posted by: Colin | August 9, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I may not have paid too much attention watching the debate, but I didn't get the impression of Edwards doing badly and hence being the loser.

But then I guess my slight pro-Edwards (and greater pro-Obama feelings) may be the reason.

Anyway, the debate reinforced my views regarding the redundancy of the Dodd candidacy. What does this senator bring to the race Biden doesn't?

Biden might have had a chance in another year, but with the (for good or worse) extraordinary Obama and Clinton around, a presidential bid may not have been the wisest move. Unless it's of course merely about raising your own political stature, getting a respectable showing and championing one's political agenda.

As for Kucinich, I was amused how he day-dreamed towards the end of the debate about a Kucinich presidency's many blessings. Such a very progressive vision is what keeps him in the race.

I can understand and sympathize with such sentiment. But I don't get at all why a Senator Dodd ever decided to run.

One of the greatest things about this debate was that the overzealous politician-out-of-retirement Gravel wasn't in the mix. Sure, people may enjoy a hellraiser but he took time away from the serious candidates.

Now if only there was a Democratic Ames which would put an end to the Dodd candidacy...

The others all have a real raison d'être in this campaign:

Clinton - Clinton era legacy, establishment
Obama - change, charisma, broad appeal to independents, anti-war
Edwards - populist message
Richardson - experience, executive pragmatism
Biden - senate experience
Kucinich - left-wing agenda

That's a good field without the chaff. Though I admit I would welcome

Posted by: Charles from Berlin | August 9, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Bokonon: I don't prefer either version, both are wrong, and that is not what the discussion is about. This is about whether Hillary voted to go to war in Iraq or voted to authorize the war/use of force in Iraq. Neither is TRUE. What you folks continue to leave out is the conditions, specifically stated in the bill, btw Hilary did not sign the bill, were not met. Anon post at 09:27 AM is rather harsh but absolutely ACCURATE. Blarg: you are the one using sematic games, not me. You have to many "Ifs", where there were no "Ifs" in the bill. There were "Conditions" that were not met by GW when he ordered the invasion. That is the plain and simple TRUTH, and you folks not wanting to accept it is no fault of mine, it is FACT period.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Clinton and lobbyists:

As the great Willie Brown said, if you can't take their money and then turn around and screw 'em, you don't belong in politics.

Posted by: wordslinger, chicago | August 9, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Mike writes
"And to say it was home grown is misleading. We recieved plenty of help from an outside power - the French."

The French helped us, this is true. However, the inspiration for the revolution came from within. The French did not come here & tell us to revolt - keep in mind the French didn't throw out their own Monarch until 1784, if I'm not mistaken. No, it was the brave patriots who signed the Declaration of Independence and convinced enough of their brethren to join the revolution that freed us from the Crown. That is wholly different from the last 4 1/2 years in Iraq.

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

According to Robert Mccullough in his biography of me,our colonies were the most free place on Earth, with an unrivaled middle class.

Most of us had something to fight and die for.

After the Revolution we formed a loose confederation, a republic that gave the vote to white adult landholding males.

We knew that to stay alive during the interminable World War between the French and the British we had to become more than 13 free colonies. That meant identifying our minimum shared goals.

We did that in our Constitution, making the Federal Government supreme in all areas of mutual survival. We followed quickly with a "Bill of Rights" in 1791, and two more housekeeping amendments by 1804.

We did not again amend the Constitution in
my lifetime although I knew we would eventually abolish the pernicious evil of slavery.

We stood together against the seizing of our sailors by the French and the British in the first decade of the 19th Century. We stood together against British in 1812-14, our verification of independence.

We were not like your Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds, who did not know freedom and responsibility. We are insulted.

Posted by: John Adams | August 9, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone have any doubts, that if Congress voted to AUTHORIZE the President to go to war, that he wouldn't use that AUTHORITY and actually GO TO WAR? Everyone knew that if Bush got it, he was going to use it. Anyone who says differently are either not telling the truth or are too naive to be President.

And Obama can go anywhere and say:

I will go after Bin Laden no matter what. My opponent will only go if he/she gets permission from a military dictator". Which is more effective?

Posted by: vahawk | August 9, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

It is very interesting to read people's comment about Hillary Clinton. I was Obama supporter but more i hear about what he has to say, more i felt he is being deceptive and involving in attacking other candidates than explaining his policies and plans. What kind of change he is bringing you can see from how he is running campaign. People want to listen them to know what they are going to do and who they are not to hear what bad other candidate did.

Obama is very deceptive, and Edward is cute boy no place in politics. Due to Edward's law practice doctors have to pay big amount of money in malpractice insurance which is one of cause of getting insurance rate high. He made tons of money with unhealthy law practice while Hillary worked for women and children. You check her work if you have doubt.

Other thing, why Hillary has to take responsibility what Bill did. It's not my business to involve in their marital life. Look at most of republican candidate who have left their wives when they were sick or hire male prostitute, or cheated wife or practicing serial polygamy, or involve in corruption, but you never here about them. I do agree Bill's act is sin but Hill forgive him which is amazing.

All of us need to know t hat Hillary rises from middle class and has best qualification , experience and passion to public service than any past presidents or current president candidates: than, why both liberals and conservatives target her. I know both liberals and conservative don't like strong women, that it.

Hillary might not be the best candidate for extreme liberals or conservatives. But people like me who are middle class and care more about health care, job, energy policy, medical leave act, good school system, good road, working environment etc, Hillary is the best candidate.

Please make your heart and mind fresh and think about your mother land which is suffering from humiliating war, terrorist, poverty, corruption, job loss, etc and make a wise decision about selecting president of this country. We need some one in the White house who will bring prosperity in this country and recognition of this country, that is Hillary Clinton.

Vote for Hillary, let's make history and bring change in this county! Vote for Hillary in 2008 primary and president election.

Posted by: Uma | August 9, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

JD -- the only leverage that labor has comes from collective bargaining. Do you seriously advocate allowing companies to effectively preclude any and all organizing? B/c we tried that before, and the results were not good for workers or -- in general -- the middle class.

Honestly, I think your comment is a perfect example of why such deep distrust exists between workers and corporations. Instead of taking a short-sighted view that favors paying the absolute minimum to their employees, corporations really ought to encourage productivity (while reducing their own risk during economic down turns) by offering to significantly share profits. In turn, union members ought to accept increased risk - in the form of less guaranteed salary and benefits - provided they know they'll benefit when the entity as a whole succeeds.

Why won't either side agree to that? In part b/c a lot of folks on the right want to blow up unions completely. In my view, that's unfortunate.

Posted by: Colin | August 9, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"China is so huge that it will have tremendous influence in the 21st century." - JimD

All the more reason to not keep our heads in the sand about Globalization.

It's here, and we more than any other country are in a position to shape it as much as possible to our benefit. Ignore it and we are at the mercy of the rest of the World's ideas about trade.

Posted by: NonP | August 9, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Mike -- is that heresy, giving the French credit for something?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

And lylepink, respectfully, it's very easy for me to say that Hillary voted to go to war in Iraq. (I just did!)

It's actually much more difficult to say that she did not. The question was whether to authorize the president - one of the most trigger-happy in US history - to use military force.

Especially this president, whose father went to war in Iraq, and especially in the post 09.11 context - it is honestly very very difficult for me to believe that Hillary did not foresee what the result of the vote would be. If she did not think that Bush would take it as an authorization for war, she DOES NOT HAVE THE JUDGMENT NECESSARY TO BE PRESIDENT.

And if she did recognize what the consequences of her vote would be, she voted to go to war. Which version do you prefer?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 9, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, good story. For me, it was working as a meter reader in Northern NJ. A sucky life, I can't imagine making that my 'career'.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Alpacas! LOL!

Posted by: Ben | August 9, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"Mike, the difference between Iraq and the American Revolution - at least, one of many differences - is that the Revolutionary War was a home-grown movement which had the backing of most of the population"

I don't think this is true.

There were a SIGNIFICANT number of colonials who were still loyal to the crown - about 1/3 of the colonial population.

It was less than half the colonials who wanted Democracy.

And to say it was home grown is misleading. We recieved plenty of help from an outside power - the French.

Posted by: Mike | August 9, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Mike, the difference between Iraq and the American Revolution - at least, one of many differences - is that the Revolutionary War was a home-grown movement which had the backing of most of the population, in which we were fighting to evict an occupying power. In order for this analogy to be accurate, the British Army would have had to win every engagement with the Americans, and the Americans would have had to have been constantly killing each other for religious reasons... not to mention that the Americans would not have been able to refer to a historical example of democracy, such as ancient Greece. This analogy does not work.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 9, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, it is. But, remember, the people who work in the nice clean offices have worked to get there - they've applied themselves in school in order to get an education"

Good Comment.

Posted by: Mike | August 9, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

drindl writes
"It's reaaaaal easy for guys like you who work in nice clean offices, with nice clean desk jobs and make plenty of money to talk about how the people who work in the dangerous jobs, who make your comfortable life possible, 'whine too much'."

Yes, it is. But, remember, the people who work in the nice clean offices have worked to get there - they've applied themselves in school in order to get an education that will allow them to get a job in a nice clean office, instead of working the dangerous jobs. You know what motivated me to finish school? A summer working in a cheese factory. I'll tell you what, standing on a factory line doing the same thing day in and day out was hard enough for three months - I couldn't understand how the people standing next to me could stare at an entire career - a lifetime - standing in that one spot, watching blocks of cheese get turned into cubes of cheese get turned into shredded cheese. So now, instead, I sit in one place & stare at a screen all day, which perhaps on one level, isn't a whole lot better, except I still have all my fingers & my paycheck is significantly larger.

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I discussed the debate with my fellow employees, and our feelings were that although the candidates are making better attempts at answering the questions posed them, there is still a frustrating amount of redirection. Kucinich is the only one who took a real stance, and its only because he has no real chance of winning. His strategy seems to be speaking loudly on controversial matters. Screaming from a soap box for attention. Hiliary Clinton appeared in the debate, as she often appears, opportunistic in both her finances and her political opinions

Posted by: CADS Intern | August 9, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

ashwin patel writes
"does a football team tell you how they plan to defeat their opponents,no."

Wrong. At pre-game news conferences, football teams - at least American football teams - will often tell the press how they will defeat opponents. They don't provide exact details, but they certainly express what their strategy is - which their opponents have likely already figured out anyway, if they're at all competent. Which is a pretty reasonable way to conduct foreign policy as well.

Or would you prefer to not go after bin Laden, if Musharraff says 'no, you can't come after him in Pakistan'? Is that the foreign policy that Hillary is thinking, but not saying out loud?

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

2,3,5, 6, 8:

This is going to be an incredibly general response. Although, I think it applies to each of these points.

You just described another democracy, established in 1783, and I believe the place was Philadelphia, Pa., and I believe the democracy established was the United States of America. It took 21 years, from 1775 when the first "shot fired heard round the world" to 1796, (John Adams election) for a struggling young democracy to have a popularly elected government. Iraq has done this in a breathtakingly short amount of time. Where in that two decade process would you have given up and declared the movement "lost"? At Bunker Hill? At Valley Forge? How about in the Carolinas in 1781 when the colonials literally were routed out of the south? (Before the arrival of General Green). How about after the war when we were broke? How about after the stalemates in negotiations regarding the constitution? Even after this country was established, it had to fight literally for it's survival.

If you recall, the Europeans attempted to cut short our experiment twice in less than two decades; the French in 1803-04, and the British, who managed to burn the capital to the ground in 1812. If you had been around in those days, you most likely would have shouted out "The war is lost. Let's make peace with the British"...After all, the British were much more sophisticated than we were, why not make peace? Well it was damn hard but this country prevailed. Good things are sometimes earned through hard work, dedication, sacrifice and sometimes blood. As George Will stated, "American history is the study of a country at war, with occasional intervals of peace."

Iraq is surrounded by potential and real enemies who desperately want the democracy experiment to fail. Do we simply walk away from it's defense because it looks too hard?

I suggest that we keep things within a historical context.

Democracy is feared by many in the world, particularly by despots, villains, academics, journalists, writers, professors, and social progressives. The quicker the American electorate wakes up to the notion that internal and external forces advocate policies and strategies to destroy the world's last best hope, the sooner we can brush such advocates of aside and get on with the business of helping the rest of the world evolve to a state of freedom, liberty, and peace.

Posted by: Mike | August 9, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

drindl, from a macro economic perspective, labor is just another input and means of production for an enterprise.

I know that sounds heartless, but better to discuss things rationally, in terms of reality rather than emotion, which seems to be the liberal standard operating procedure.

Sob stories are good press, maybe that's why the media is so left-leaning, but they are a poor way to determine policy.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Mike- do you agree with Holbrooke? If so, its good to see. I don't agree with your placing of #5 on the list of things we can't fix. The only way we can succeed in Iraq is if we fix #5.

Posted by: bsimon | August 9, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Hillary was Presidential,does a football team tell you how they plan to defeat their opponents,no. Barak didnot know Canada has primeminister not President.That is also not brought up by the media espcially since Barak is blowing smoke about his foreign policy experience.

Posted by: ashwin patel | August 9, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin:

Hi Mike -

I am going to bore you but bear with me.

I see the following problems in Iraq, in no particular order.

1. Al Qaeda in Iraq.
2. Shia 3 way war in the south as the Brits leave.
3. Sunni - Shia war in and around Bagdad.
4. Turk - Kurd tension in the north.
5. Bad weak central government.
6. Sucky infrastructure.
7. Wasted money, lost weapons, and the like.
8. Mehdi Army.
9. Iran meddling, offering weapons.
10. Saudi support for Sunni insurgents.
11. Syrian support for Sunni insurgents and
pestering Kurds, too.
12. Oil is in the north and south not the middle.
13., 14., and 15. - for you to add.

I think we can deal with 1,4,7,9, 10, and 11, and that we cannot fix 2,3,5,6,and 8.

I heard Richard Holbrooke say we needed to solve the stuff we can deal with, but that as lamentable as is the prospect that Sunni - Shia wars and Bagdad will become bloodbaths, they are not threats to our
national interest. This does mean talking to Syria and Iran. There is stuff they want from us. There is stuff we want from them. And the Saudis are supposed to be our allies.

We have been the strong right arm of Iranian foreign policy for too long, having disposed of their enemies the Taliban and Saddam. Hobrooke says Iran has a very bad government and there might not be any productive negotiations.

Posted by: Mike | August 9, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

'Put another way: would you be happy if someone had a monopoly on some raw material'

People are not 'raw material'

'I think people in today's world whine way too much'

You're the hater, JD. It's reaaaaal easy for guys like you who work in nice clean offices, with nice clean desk jobs and make plenty of money to talk about how the people who work in the dangerous jobs, who make your comfortable life possible, 'whine too much'.

You just don't have a heart.

Posted by: drindl | August 9, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse


It was a short trip, came back Monday night after usual airline hassles.

There are obvious product safety issues with Chinese imports that must be addressed. We need to step up our inspection regime to protect US consumers. We should also insist on reciprocity with the Chinese. We are vulnerable to them because they own so much of our debt. However, they absolutely depend on our markets. The currency issue is critical. I think we need to engage them diplomatically and keep pushing to make this a mutually beneficial relationship.

Chinese culture is very different than ours and it will be interesting to see how their society evolves as affluence spreads. I recently saw a CNBC documentary about McDonald's that had a segment dealing with Mickey D's expansion into China. They started building restaurants with drive-throughs about 2 years ago. The Chinese were not familiar with drive-throughs, they were purchasing their food at the drive-through, parking and coming inside to eat it.

China is so huge that it will have tremendous influence in the 21st century. There are enormous gaps between rich and poor. Hopefully, prosperity will lead to the creation of a prosperous middle class. That, more than anything else, will lead to a China that plays a constructive role in the world -economically and politically. Conversely, if economic chante, particularly globalization, continues to undermine US middle class stability, we will see the rise of protectionism and more heavy handed government economic intervention.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 9, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Curiously interesting how you so called media types conveniently exclude Gov. Richardson from any discussion. Chris's review and those of others, of the debate is stark in its omission of the good Governor's presence, let alone his contribution. You folks still feel that a Hispanic's place is not at your table but rather outside the kitchen door. When will you give up your Apartheid mentality and face the realism that Hispanics, Asians and Native Indians are here to stay.

Posted by: Varsi Padayachee | August 9, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Kucinich & Edwards are both children of fathers who worked in manufacturing, so the two of them should have owned the crowd. Edwards was the biggest loser here since he used the wrong talking points at several places. Instead of pointing out the picket lines he's mugged at (the one he went to on Saturday was purely a photo op) he should have talked about the time he worked at his dad's plant and the people he knew there. That would have gone over much better. Also, his experience as a trial lawyer sticking it to corporations on behalf of the "little person" who was injured. He discussed those people in his book, Four Trials, but he's backed off from it in campaign appearances. Instead of being on the defensive for being a lawyer, he should present himself as a Perry Mason type.

This crowd was his to lose, and he lost them. He was okay but he could have been awesome. I was really disappointed. Kucinich, on the other hand, rocked the house.

Posted by: amy_e | August 9, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

JD - I agree, I think, but I do not know all the ramifications. I know that in 2005 the FTC recommended a 70% tariff on Chinese goods because of various trade violations in our trade agreements with them - and the Administration would not do it - largely on WalMart's lobbying. The WalMart laywer-lobbyist spoke to our emplyment law seminar that July.

I remember that the issue was we impose the ILO standards in all our trade agreements but the WTO does not accept ILO standards as a measure for tariffs.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin & Judge -- That is a pretty interesting poll! Whether Obama will continue to pull in voters from the center and center-right after the far-right smear offensive starts in earnest is obviously the unanswered question, but I think his very candidacy, so early in his national career, shows that the country as a whole really is ready - even yearning - for something different. And I don't think that particular desire breaks down along partisan lines, which in some ways is encouraging. We desperately need some consensus in this country, and at present I don't see any other candidate who can potentially unify the country.

Oh, and Mark -- as far as your Eisenhower reference goes, let me just add that I would gladly sign up for 8 more years of Ike right now if given the choice. Where oh where did Republicans like that go. I suspect, however, that if Eisenhower were a modern-day politician he would be a Democrat. There isn't much room for pragmatic moderates in today's GOP.

Posted by: Colin | August 9, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I never said unions should be illegal. Just that they are bad for the economy. And you're right, union shop states (well, technically 'non-right-to-work states') are at a huge disadvantage. The NJ's, the Michigan's, and the NY's wonder why industry moves south and west in this country.

drindl, I'm not sure I follow you - are you saying that people would not be paid their 'true market wage' if unions didn't exist? My take is, in fact, they'd be paid *exactly* what they're worth, by definition. Otherwise, the hospital couldn't hire the staff they need to survive. Sorry about the immigrant labor lowering the wage scale for your sister, but that's a different problem you're trying to solve.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

And now Mark, about China:

They are becoming more of a threat than an asset. Their currency sabre-rattling is just one example. Their human rights record is awful, they routinely damage the environment, and they are a slow-burn threat to Tiawan. They play games with the Yuan, hurting American producers, and they don't have much respect for American IP rights.

If it were up to me, I'd call them on their bluff. Pull their WTO, slap tariffs on half the stuff Wal Mart sells, and let them hammer the currency (thereby shooting themselves in the foot); take the pain now. Hell, Bush isn't running again, I don't understand why he's such a p*ssy about confronting them. The benefit of a cheaper dollar is that it will greatly help exports, increase American jobs, make us more competitive. Yes it will raise interest rates, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing; we can't live on cheap credit forever.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

JD, I should be working. But you as a libertarian must see that your view of labor as the same as a commodity is politically and constitutionally inapt. Freedom to assemble includes the freedom to associate and to band together. Prohibiting unions is outside our constitutional framework or the the liberties granted by all western countries.

But having said that, every state should be "right-to-work" and union shop states like NJ are at a real disadvantage to TX and NC.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Lylepink, you can play semantic games all you want, but it won't change what happened. If the Senate had voted against the war authorization bill, the war in Iraq would never have happened. Voting "no" on that bill was the best way to prevent the war. But Hillary voted "yes", enabling Bush to start the war. And she did so without reading the NIE that contained the case for war. The fact that she'd make such an important vote without reading the NIE is inexcusable.

Posted by: Blarg | August 9, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

'However, I would like to see them discussed in rational terms instead of platitudes about the market solving everything or the government solving everything.'

Agree with you here, JimD. and that globalization is here to stay. Protectionism isn't going to work. However, incentives can be given to business to say, hire American citizens over others, instead of the other way around. Right now, we are looking at a world of hurt. Every American is competing against people from countries who have a much lower standard of lving and will work for much less. We're nowhere near the bottom of this either -- it's just starting.

As far as unions -- did you ever think, JD, about people who work in dangerous occupations, whose lives are on the line every day--like nurses, police, firefighters, miners, just to name a few, how much more dangerous their working condition might be, without unions?

My sister was an ER nurse and I can tell you they don't make nearly enough for what they go through-- and that is even with the unions. Plus there is constant competition with foreign nurses, who again, will work for much less. If it weren't for unions, there would scarcely be an Engish speaking nurse in the country.

Posted by: drindl | August 9, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous, that's idiotic. Obama's opponents voted to authorize the war in Iraq to begin with. Since then, they repeatedly voted to fund and continue that war. So they share part of the blame for the war. It's just that simple.

I like how you slipped that standard anti-Obama insult in at the end, even though it was entirely unrelated to the rest of your post. You accuse Obama of slandering his opponents and being an opportunistic jerk. How is that evidence that he's "not ready for prime time"? The anti-Obama crowd will try to shoehorn everything he does into this narrative about lack of experience. It's pathetic.

Posted by: Blarg | August 9, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

JimD - Hope your trip northeast finds you in good health and good spirits. bsimon and I were discussing globalization of the economy as salutary the other day, but we thought that China might be the exception because of its denial of ILO standards, including forced involuntary labor, no collective bargaining, no local enforcement of minimum wages and maximum hours, and no local enforcement of child labor prohibitions.

Granting that globalization is good for markets, how would you deal with a China, that does not play by the rules?
And did you see the reports of an apocalyptic "End Times" game being sent to the troops in Iraq under DOD authorization?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

JD: Your arguement is the word "Authorize", which also does not pass the smell test. Any way you folks that oppose Hillary slice/dice it there is not any way you can truthfully say "Hillary Voted to go to war in Iraq." She did not and that is the plain and simple TRUTH.

Posted by: lylepink | August 9, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Obama's comment that some of his opponants helped to "engineer" Bush's war is a damnable lie. It is yet another example of what an irresposible, opportunistic jerk Obama can be. And you Cizilla, were a fool not to catch it. This guy is getting away with murde; he is not ready for prime time.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Mark: your wife is correct -- doctors think they know more than everyone else about everything. They are easy marks for tax scams.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 9, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Mark, my thought on unions is, that they tend to distort the market, causing more harm than good. Put another way: would you be happy if someone had a monopoly on some raw material that was a vital input to your business? If you made photographic film and you required silver to do it, but only one supplier of silver existed and they could charge any price they wanted.... would that be acceptable or a sound business approach?

What's the difference between that and having monopolistic control over the supply of labor (in union shops)? Plus the constant adversarial relationship does so much to damage the employer-employee relationship. In addition, systemically there are faults - restrictions on work rules, layoffs, etc., that have tended to bankrupt the heavily unionized organizations by reducing the flexibility and nimbleness required to compete in today's global marketplace.

I think people in today's world whine way too much. We are so spoiled as as country. If you don't like what you get paid, then either make your case why you should get more or LEAVE and find someone who will pay you that. Nobody owes you anything. The best job security is having skills that corporations need/want. Wrapping onesself in a union is a false security blanket, and at the end of the day, one that harms everyone (except the corrupt union bosses...)

So, this long post is my pitch for personal responsibility over one's career. Which is why many of the haters will probably slam me for it, but oh well.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

In Their Minds, They're All Soldiers

All of these people, on some level, consider themselves soldiers. The evidence is in the vocabulary they use, any form of conflict they support is a "war," from the "war on terror" to the "war on Christmas" to "the culture war". On the Right, no matter the physical circumstances, whether one fights from one's comfortable desk at the National Review or Fox News, or even your local church. Right wingers redefine every conflict into some kind of "war."

Posted by: the way they think | August 9, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Mark, drindl

Newt is a very interesting figure. Along with Jack Kemp, he is one of the few conservative leaders who talk about dealing with social problems from a conservative, market oriented perspective. Although he rose to political power as a hyper-partisan, since leaving office he has worked with a number of liberals on attempts to find common ground on dealing with these problems. For example, he has worked with Hillary Clinton and others on health care initiatives.

Globalization has meant lower consumer prices and more efficient markets. It is here to stay. It also represents the best chance at spreading prosperity over the globe - which would be the best guarantee of social stability. Along with globalization has come a widening of income disparities in the United States. Call centers and food service jobs are no substitutes for well paying manufacturing jobs. The social disruptions caused by globalization are real. The challenge becomes how to position the country to be net winner in globalization instead of a net loser. Protectionism would undermine our economy as a whole. Large sectors of our economy are dependent on exports and many others do depend on imports. The inflationary impact of protectionism would be severe. Inflation hurts the less well to do the most.

I do not pretend to have solutions to these problems. However, I would like to see them discussed in rational terms instead of platitudes about the market solving everything or the government solving everything. The cures I hear advanced by most of the politicians would be worse than the disease.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 9, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

One last post. Yesterday, several of us remarked on Newt's rational proposals for campaigns and forums and debates. Someone said that Rudy had agreed to them, for the general election [is this true?]. I hope the movement snowballs.

In short, for the general election, there would be nine 90 minute debates with agenda and rules set by the candidates, no Q & A from journalists, just spirited discussion between the candidates. The candidates would choose a moderator as "rules keeper" although they could give the moderator more authority.

You can find the whole discussion on the web at C-Span.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

In the Post's opinion pages, a wiretapping expert warns the new warrantless surveillance law "could create huge long-term security risks for the United States." Susan Landau says that in order to avoid wiretapping every single communication, "the NSA will need to build massive automatic surveillance capabilities into telephone switches." The problem is that once this new infrastructure is in place others, including foreign governments, could hack into the system and have access to all U.S. communications.

Posted by: destroyig ourselves | August 9, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

My wife, the tax specialist CPA with MS in Taxation, just heard on NPR that Ron Paul opposes the Federal Reserve Board, the IRS, and Social Security. Then she heard he is a retired obstetrician.

Her words: "Those doctors never understand finance or taxes. They get taken by every fly-by-night scheme out there. I always have to clean up after them."

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Everyone mentions word that Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf is considering imposing a state of emergency, which would restrict movement and could result in the postponing of elections. Meanwhile, the NYT emphasizes how Musharraf is suffering from a large decrease in popularity.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

The Wall Street Journal tops its world-wide newsbox with U.S. troops in Baghdad killing 32 people during a raid in Sadr City, a district largely run by Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr's militia.

The Post emphasizes that the raid in Sadr City angered many of Baghdad's Shiites because it came on the eve of a major religious festival. The WSJ cites the U.S. military saying the 32 people killed were suspected insurgents, but the WP talks to Iraqi police who claimed several women and children were also among the dead. Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minsiter Nouri al-Maliki began a three-day visit to Iran, where he is expected to discuss security issues with several leaders, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The NYT fronts a dispatch from Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province where British officers are criticizing American Special Forces for causing a large number of civilian casualties that are turning the local population against all foreign troops.

A senior British commander has reportedly even asked the Special Forces to leave the area that is under his control. The officers are particularly critical of the reliance on airstrikes, which sometimes kill civilians in large numbers.

Posted by: Utter chaos | August 9, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

But behind OSU's anodyne promises of wholesome fun for military families, the organization promotes an apocalyptic brand of evangelical Christianity to active duty US soldiers serving in Muslim-dominated regions of the Middle East. Displayed prominently on the "What We Believe" section of OSU's website is a passage from the Book of Revelations (Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15) that has become the bedrock of the Christian right's End Times theology: "The devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

With the endorsement of the Defense Department, OSU is mailing "Freedom Packages" to soldiers serving in Iraq. These are not your grandfather's care packages, however. Besides pairs of white socks and boxes of baby wipes (included at the apparent suggestion of Iran-Contra felon Oliver North, according to OSU) OSU's care packages contain the controversial Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game. The game is inspired by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' bestselling pulp fiction series about a blood-soaked Battle of Armageddon pitting born-again Christians against anybody who does not adhere to their particular theology. In LaHaye's and Jenkins' books, the non-believers are ultimately condemned to "everlasting punishment" while the evangelicals are "raptured" up to heaven.

I hope everyone remembers some of the details of the "Left Behind" game:

Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission -- both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state -- especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.

... This game immerses players in present-day New York City -- 500 square blocks, stretching from Wall Street to Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the United Nations headquarters, and Harlem. The game rewards players for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian.

Posted by: be very very afraid | August 9, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

JD, if there were no unions I would not have anyone to negotiate against.

I do think unions are useful, beyond my personal desire for confrontation. At their best, they can actually help with productivity issues and profits, while optimizing their members benefits. But it is a delicate balance, and the examples I cited would destroy that balance.

The ILO enshrines the right to collective bargaining. "Competitiveness" should include collective bargaining as the norm.
That leads to the next subject.
JD - I also wrote your name in vain, the other day. bsimon and I were agreeing that globalization is generally good - but we thought China might be the exception because it simply disregards human rights, being a Communist state. I suggested that you would point to the relatively decentralized capitalist nature of its economy in China's defense. What do you actually think?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 9, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

When you're courting Christian conservatives, though, it's a powerful attack to claim a candidate is buying support from people who would otherwise oppose his record on abortion. After receiving an anonymous e-mail from someone called "Iowa Conservative" that listed Iowa supporters Romney had put on his payroll, Kelly O'Brien, the Republican Party chairman of O'Brien county, wrote to a state senator backing Romney: "So support of Baby Killing is for sale ($1,000 per month) ... we're not as stupid as you think. Neither my vote nor my support are FOR SALE."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

lylepink, you've made your 'HRC didn't vote for war' pitch many times on these blogs. Nobody buys that argument, including most Dems. You might want to re-think your passion about that line of reasoning.

She did vote to authorize war. She had bad information (I guess) causing her to vote that way. You can believe Bush manufactured the info to generate a casus belli. Or you can listen to the quotes from your god Bill Clinton and others which talk about Saddam's nuke program in 1999; along with the intel from countries like Israel, France, and England all believing he had WMD.

But it was a vote to authorize war.

Posted by: JD | August 9, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

If you're a Republican presidential candidate in Iowa and you aren't the target of a whispering campaign, you should hang it up. As Saturday's GOP straw poll vote approaches, everyone who's anyone has someone gossiping about them. Mitt Romney, for instance, is now being accused by his rivals of buying votes. Anonymous sources are sending e-mails, making phone calls, and pointing activists to Web sites like one labeled Iowa Values Not for Sale.
Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Sam Brownback are engaged in a multiround spat over sub-rosa attacks. Both camps have questioned the other's Christian fiber. Tom Tancredo is being attacked in phone calls and e-mails for changing his position on term limits. In a Web video he accuses Brownback of telling pro-life voters Tancredo is pro-abortion. "We do expect more from people who at least call themselves Christians and have great family values," says Tancredo, demanding an apology.
With so many Christians sliming Christians to win the votes of other Christians it seems time for someone to yell, Repent!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

"Primary Season Getting Earlier
S.C. GOP's Move Could Push Votes For 2008 Into '07
By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 9, 2007; Page A01
South Carolina's Republican Party will move its 2008 presidential primary forward to Jan. 19, sources said yesterday, a decision almost certain to spark a cascade of calendar changes that could push the start of voting to New Year's Day or even to before Christmas."

Ugh. All politics all the time. Let's just have the primaries for the next election immediately after the generals of the previous one! Let's have presidential elections every 6 months! Bleah.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 9, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

SeanFoots @ 7:46AM is an impostor, of course.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Did you post at 3:27 AM, or was that an impostor?

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 9, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Herb, I take it that you do not teach either English or Civics.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Herb, will you vote in the general election, too?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

At age 64, I haven't voted since 1976. 4 debates and I have decided that not only will Dennis Kucinich get my vote, but I am donating to his campaign and actually do some campaigning for him here in Buffalo.

As a teacher, I feel I have taught, and learned, enough to know that he is needed for this country.

Posted by: Herb | August 9, 2007 3:57 AM | Report abuse

It's disappointing to see that Kucinich isn't being considered by voters as a viable possibility.

He has substantive and articulate policy stances - and I find it sad that there is no room in the national discourse for ideological introspection. He is truly the one I consider a 'last chance' for America to change course for the better. Won't people at least consider it?

Or has the country gone beyond a philosophical discourse, happy to just grind along on the deteriorating rails that take us in circles? It makes me sad, anyway.

Posted by: stephen | August 9, 2007 3:44 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe I have been backing a loser for so long.

Obama sucks!

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 9, 2007 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, neither will Obama or anyone else who supports unilateral action against another country. If Pakistan falls, my guy is in a world of hurt. We have no hope from the left.

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 9, 2007 3:08 AM | Report abuse

a guy who is a pacifist (kucinich) wont get elected in the USA

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 9, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

think AMERICA deserves to at least

hear what Dennis Kucinich is saying...

what is it Chris? are you afraid of me?


Posted by: I kinda | August 9, 2007 12:56 AM | Report abuse

We will all be winners when we elect Dennis Kucinich to be our President. Only he can save America from the mess it's in. If the MSM gave him equal time it would be a slam dunk!!

Posted by: bluesky | August 9, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

how about viewing the world from the 21st Century?

we, as in all countries, have reached the limits of our borders...

how do you retain sovereignity, if you don't maintain control "within your borders."

will companies be running the world?

how is that different than royal families running the world for their personal benefit...

what is the most important thing from any ones perspective?

thier "life experience,"

how do you maintain a good "life experience," for people "in general,"

you regulate the economic temperature of each country....

why do we have air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter in most countries??

because it makes living comfortable...

you maintain "a range of economic comfortableness," for citizens...

you don't run the country for the wealthy or the corporations.

fallout? there will be none. we set the tone...we spend and consume the most... do we need to change gradually?

no, we need to change quickly and reestablish there a grace period? perhaps.

but you need to address a system of changes.

1. regulating outsourcing, bringing products made in other countries under the mantle of foreign imports...because that is what they are.

2. arresting the employers of _ILLEGALS_ because _ILLEGALS_ are being used to depress wages, and they send $40 BILLION A YEAR OUT OF COUNTRY THAT DOESN'T COME BACK IN.

3. start working on infrastructure as a way of generating revenue incountry for the masses, and facilitating movement of products.

4. start working on refurbishing cities and improving URBAN quality of life.

5. invest in figuring out how to bring the marginalized online and get good result from them....quit spending all_that_money containing them....let go of needing to define how to do that and simply acknowledge that it is a non revenue generating part of the economy, right now.

6. bring customer service in_country, today, to allow rural people to stay rural and still make enough money w/o driving in someplace to work two retail jobs.

and so on.

how do you get it started? talk about it as a public thing.

Posted by: androgynous mythology of gorse, amberdies | August 9, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

This race is over before it even began. The latest polls in states large enough to decide the nominee are as follows:

Quinnipiac is out with new polls in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The short version: Hillary Clinton has improved her already commanding leads in all three states and is now ahead of Obama by 30 points in FL, 25 points in OH, and 16 points in PA.

Clinton 43 (+6 vs last poll July 23)
Obama 13 (-1)
Gore 11 (-3)
Edwards 8 (-1)
Undecided 15 (+1)

Clinton 41 (+6 vs last poll July 12)
Obama 16 (-1)
Edwards 11 (-2)
Gore 8 (-4)
Undecided 14 (-1)

Clinton 35 (+3 vs last poll June 27)
Obama 19 (+1)
Gore 12 (-4)
Edwards 10 (+3)
Undecided 15 (nc)

The charge of lobbyist influence isn't going to work all that well either. To many constituents in the Democratic party are members of AARP, the Jewish-American lobbies, the Human Rights Campaign or SLDN or any host of gay lobbing groups, or any number of environmental lobbing organizations, just to name a few.

If Obama continues to ridicule his colleagues in the senate, he is going to further alienate himself and solidify himself with a very angry wing of the Democratic constituency that equals less than 25% of the party's base.

Edwards is done. His populist approach will get him as far as Gephardt did in the last primary.

This is Hillary's year - like it or not. She is too smart to screw this up.

These events that are billed as debates are just a dog and pony show at this point. The candidates would be better off getting into Iowa and NH and doing retail politics. The debates are only going to harm the Dems chances of winning the general election by opening them up to positions in an attempt to win over the liberal constituency who will back the Dems in the general regardless of who the nominee is. The real battle is for the moderate and independents, and although Biden is best positioned to win the general, Hillary is doing a good job of not alienating herself so far to the moderate and independent voters she will need to win the general. Obama can't win the nomination without his negatives going through the roof and wouldn't be positioned to win a general election. He would be wise to tone things down and wait four years, build some bridges, and put some legislation under his belt.

Posted by: clawrence | August 9, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

i just wanted to point this out because its SOOOOO FUNNY

the crazy/i think im a god/my family won't vote for me ALAN KEYES(!!!!LOL!!!) is putting himself in the Republican Iowa Straw Poll

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

ill say it again


HRC will do great in the white house as long as she reports to Obama

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

President Bush said yesterday that he is considering a fresh plan to cut tax rates for U.S. corporations, an initiative that could further inflame a battle with the Democratic Congress over spending and taxes and help define the remainder of his tenure.

Advisers presented Bush with a series of ideas to restructure corporate taxes, possibly eliminating narrowly targeted breaks to pay for a broader, across-the-board rate cut. In an interview with a small group of journalists afterward, Bush said he was "inclined" to send a corporate tax package to Congress, although he expressed uncertainty about its political viability.

The president's comments came as he tried to calm volatile stock and mortgage markets and reassure the country that the economy is fundamentally strong. Despite mounting concern over the downturn in the housing market, he rejected proposals advanced by prominent Democrats to grant government-chartered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more freedom to buy mortgages and mortgage-backed securities.

In a 48-minute conversation on an array of economic issues, Bush also warned China not to start a trade war, blamed Congress for not doing more to shore up infrastructure such as the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis last week, and pushed back against Democratic presidential candidates who are promising to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.'

He blamed Congress for not doing more to shore up infrastructure -- you mean the R congress that prevailed for -- what is it, 12 years? And he 'warned China' -- talking tough, cowboy.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon: Whether or not the vote was naive ot not is not what I am saying, The FACT remains, Hillary DID NOT VOTE TO GO TO WAR IN IRAQ. There were certain conditions in the bill that were required before use of force. These conditions were not met, and IMHO, GW has committed "High crimes and Misdemeanors" many times, and some have gone so far as to say he commited "Treason" by this act, and I am among those that strongly believe he did.

Posted by: lylepink | August 8, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

According to Pearl Jam's website, portions of the band's Sunday night set at Lollapalooza were missing from the AT&T Blue Room live webcast. Fans alerted the band to the missing material after the show. Reportedly absent from the webcast were segments of the band's performance of "Daughter," including the sung lines "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush find yourself another home."

After questioning AT&T about the incident, Lollapalooza was informed that material was indeed missing from the webcast, and that it was mistakenly cut by AT&T's content monitor. Tiffany Nels of AT&T told CMJ that they are working the matter out with the band. "We regret the mistake," she explains. "This was not intended and was an unfortunate mistake made by a webcast editor." She went on to explain that AT&T has a policy for any excessive language, and that it was set up because of its all-ages audience.

"This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media," the band wrote on their website. "AT&T's actions strike at the heart of the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media." The band went on to point out that "most telecommunications companies oppose 'net neutrality' and argue that the public can trust them not to censor."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

well roo, you know that's what it's all about -- a return to feudalism. there's no way americans can compete with people in other countries who will accept about 10% of the wages we need to live here because their cost of living is so much lower.

so all workers, un-skilled, semi-skilled and skilled, will be in a race for the bottom, desperately competing for whatever they cna get, while the profits roll in for the managers and owners. just like the gilded age... not too much different from the 12th century.

the rich will get richer, the poor will be unable to educate or provide health care fo their children, and hence will get poorer... and have even less leverage for jobs -- be unable to bargain, have to accept whatever they cna get. that's the plan.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

PASADENA - A federal appeals panel yesterday wrestled with issues of secrecy, classified information and the public's right to monitor court proceedings in two separate high-profile prosecutions from San Diego.
The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made no final rulings on either case.

One case centers on the guilty plea of a co-conspirator in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal. Government lawyers have blanketed the proceedings in a thick shroud of secrecy, which The San Diego Union-Tribune has been trying to get lifted.
The judges ended up asking for more arguments in the next two weeks from prosecutors and The Copley Press Inc., publisher of the Union-Tribune.

The judges want both sides to address whether government lawyers, who are members of the executive branch, can designate records generated in a court proceedings as "classified." Court records are part of the judicial branch, so the issue concerns the separation of powers among the branches of government.

The case involves a February guilty plea entered in secret by Thomas Kontogiannis, who admitted to laundering bribes defense contractors gave to then-Rep. Cunningham, R-Rancho Santa Fe.

In trying to keep the information about the plea secret, government lawyers invoked a law dealing with the handling of classified information. At least one transcript of a hearing was stamped "classified" by the government - a move that was criticized by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns, who is presiding over the case and initially agreed to the secret proceedings.

Burns moved to lift the seal in June. Prosecutors, however, objected and took the case to the appellate court. Their reasons for secrecy are unknown because the objections were filed under seal.

After holding a 30-minute hearing yesterday with only the prosecutors present, the judges allowed about 10 minutes of open hearings so the newspaper's lawyer could speak.

Previously, the court had said the entire matter would be closed, and the day's calendar clearly noted the same. It was unclear what led to the change.

Yet it was clear at the conclusion of the open proceedings that the judges were grappling with how to handle information from court cases that government lawyers have deemed classified.

Kontogiannis, a New York developer, pleaded guilty in February to a money-laundering charge. Prosecutors said he laundered $1.1 million in bribes to Cunningham, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion for accepting a total of $2.4 million in bribes from contractors. He is serving an eight-year, four-month sentence in federal prison.

At the end of the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Forge asked the court to order that the Union-Tribune's legal filings be sealed as well.

Forge said he was neither confirming nor denying publicly that the issue in the case deals with classified information - an odd stance because Burns has said publicly that at least part of the government's reason for seeking the continued secrecy rests on a law dealing precisely with how classified information is handled.

The newspaper wants its filing to be public.

The second case the appellate court heard yesterday involves sealed documents in the guilty plea of a co-defendant in the prosecution of suspected drug kingpin Javier Arellano Félix. The panel seemed skeptical of government claims that the information had to be kept under wraps to protect the safety of some witnesses.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

PASADENA - A federal appeals court hearing, involving secret documents connected to the guilty plea of a key figure in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham case, was opened briefly to the public Monday.
The hearing was centered on sealed court transcripts of the February guilty plea of Thomas Kontogiannis, who admitted to financing the convicted congressman's properties.


Monday's hearing was supposed to be completely closed to the press and the public, at the request of the U.S. Attorney's Office.
But after listening to prosecutors for about 30 minutes behind closed doors Monday, three judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opened the hearing to allow arguments from a lawyer for The Copley Press Inc., publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune, which is fighting to have the documents unsealed.

At the end of the hearing, the judges said they wanted more arguments from the newspaper and the government on a key question: Can members of the executive branch of government - such as federal prosecutors - declare records generated by the judicial branch as "classified"?

What, precisely, the prosecutors want classified is shrouded in secrecy, but it appears to relate to one or more transcripts of hearings conducted in February that were closed to the public. The transcripts were later stamped "classified".

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

It's a great comfort to know that Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham - of the bribery scandal - and Congressman Ken Calvert, both (R-CA), didn't see fit to bring Thomas Kontogiannis, a.k.a alleged co-conspirator #3 in the Cunningham plea agreement, along with them for their classified briefings in Saudi Arabia. Reports the North County Times today in a story on Kontogiannis:

And while Kontogiannis did participate in some of the meetings that he and Cunningham had with Saudi ministers, Calvert said that Kontogiannis "wasn't involved in any classified or high-level information as far as I can recall."

"If I had known his background, I wouldn't have felt very comfortable, but I didn't know," he said.

And isn't it wonderful to know that Cunningham, who has admitted to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors working through companies affiliated with Kontogiannis, sat on the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 Attacks? I mean, Cunningham could never have been bought off by Saudi interests, could he have?
Let's revisit Cunningham's remarks about Saudi Arabia that he placed into the Congressional Record on October 4, 2004:

The Government of Saudi Arabia has implemented a number of political and economic reforms to encourage political participation, promote economic growth, increase foreign investment and expand employment opportunities. The Kingdom has been updating and modernizing its academic curricula, and monitoring its religious schools. ...

It sure sounds like it was written by a Saudi PR firm. Not likely that Cunningham's staff wrote that -- it was a staff-free trip. Couldn't be, could it, that Cunningham was so indiscriminate in his bribetaking that he let Saudi interests influence his remarks, the way he let say $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors influence his defense appropriations recommendations?

And you know, it's not like anyone from San Diego such as former Rep. Cunningham and Rep. Calvert should be concerned about Saudi connections to the two Saudi 9/11 hijackers who lived in San Diego for several months before the attacks, right? Sponsored by members of the Saudi community in San Diego? Definitely nothing to look at here, I would think.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse


i dont know why people say that she didnt

she did

she admitted to it (but wont say its was a mistake..)

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Kontogiannis Transcripts Sealed, follow up. Marcy's posted sections of the Kontogiannis docket, that explain the back and forth that led to a US court of appeal's decision late last week at the urging of the government to seal the transcripts surrounding Kontogiannis' guilty plea. The government inexplicably "invoked federal laws dealing with classified information," in filings arguing that the Kontogiannis' transcripts remain sealed. See yesterday's post for the background.

I'm speculating, but one topic that could conceivably be touched on in the transcripts that the government wants sealed to the degree that it is "invoking federal laws dealing with classified information" concerns what Kontogiannis was doing in Saudi Arabia with Cunningham, where they met with -- who was it? -- oh yeah, right -- then Crown Prince now King Abdullah, indeed when the private plane stopped in Athens to pick Kontogiannis up en route:

In another sign of their flourishing relationship, the following year, Kontogiannis accompanied Cunningham by private jet on a fact-finding mission to Saudi Arabia, Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Riverside, said Thursday.

In 2003, Cunningham made two trips to Saudi Arabia that were paid for by San Diego businessman and naturalized U.S. citizen Ziyad Abduljawad, according to congressional travel reports. Calvert said he accompanied Cunningham on one of those trips.

On their way to Saudi Arabia, they stopped in Athens and picked up Kontogiannis, Calvert said.

Calvert added that he hadn't known beforehand they would be picking up Kontogiannis, whom he had not before met. He hasn't seen Kontogiannis since, Calvert said, adding that Cunningham described the Greek native as a friend and a successful New York businessman.

And while Kontogiannis did participate in some of the meetings that he and Cunningham had with Saudi ministers, Calvert said that Kontogiannis "wasn't involved in any classified or high-level information as far as I can recall."

The whole Saudi element of the Cunningham case has never fully emerged. But considering the two San Diego-based Saudis who participated in the 9/11 attacks (the ones who rented rooms from an FBI informant), and San Diego-rep Cunningham's position at the time of the Saudi trips on the House intelligence committee which was part of a joint House/Senate Congressional committee investigating the 9/11 attacks, the issue is not irrelevant. The Saudis may have found it easy enough to buy off a congressman on the House intel committee, whose investigation they might have wanted to influence, and Cunningham was infinitely buy-offable. Or perhaps the Saudis wanted something else, just good will, some help acquiring some items on the US export control list, some friends on relevant House committees. As we know, Cunningham came back from his trip and soon thereafter issued an obviously Saudi PR firm generated statement praising Saudi Arabia's reforms, and got several campaign donations at a fundraiser organized by the sponsor of the trip. I was also told that the then chair of the House intel committee was also supposed to go on the trip but canceled at the last minute because of terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia.
Here are the remarks about Saudi Arabia Cunningham entered into the Congressional Record October 4, 2004, "Saudi Arabia and Reform in the Arab World," after his Saudi trips. As you can see, it is unlikely that Cunningham came up with this all by himself.

We don't know what exactly Cunningham "got" for putting that praise of Saudi "reforms" in the Congressional record -- but we do know that Cunningham had a literal bribe menu price list and that he in all likelihood did it for a fee, of some sort or another.

We know that Kontogiannis was a witness to Cunningham's meetings with the highest leadership of a foreign country with whom the US has the most complicated and unusual sort of arrangements, especially in the post-9/11 period. He was meeting with the guy that Cheney meets with in secrecy. We know the person who paid for the trip paid for the private plane to pick up Kontogiannis en route in Athens.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow morning, three judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will gather in a courtroom inside an elegant 104-year-old building in Pasadena for an extraordinary hearing involving one of the co-conspirators in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal.
The court hearing will be closed to everyone - the public, the news media, the defense attorneys - save for the judges and a few lawyers from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The extreme secrecy is highly unusual. Veteran lawyers could not remember another time when the appeals court held a completely closed hearing.

The subjects to be discussed are transcripts and documents related to the February guilty plea of Thomas Kontogiannis, a New York developer who admitted to a single count of money laundering in the Cunningham case. Kontogiannis' checkered past includes convictions for bribery and bid-rigging, an estimated $70 million fortune, and a knack for staying out of prison.

Prosecutors say that in this case he laundered $1.1 million in bribes to Cunningham from two defense contractors through mortgages for the disgraced former congressman's Rancho Santa Fe mansion.

Federal prosecutors in San Diego have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep nearly all information about Kontogiannis' Feb. 23 guilty plea in the Cunningham case under a nearly impenetrable seal of secrecy.

Cunningham pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion in November 2005 after he admitted accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. He is serving an eight-year, four-month sentence in federal prison.

Three hearings in February revolving around Kontogiannis' guilty plea also were kept secret, with no public notice of two of them and barely any notice of the third.

Posted by: really odd | August 8, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

JasonL--"What services, you ask? Food service is a good example. The rigors of the work tend to make it a young persons field, but that itsn't the case for many older professional servers and kitchen staff. Retail is another great example. Wal-Mart and Target supply many jobs across the country for people young and old. These companies and others like them wouldn't exist without the low cost of imported goods."

The American ideal of globalisation is essentially two-staged:

1. Shift labour- then white-collar worker's jobs abroad and concentrate on creating management (and ownership) positions.

2. Shift management jobs abroad and concentrate on ownership and investing.

Eventually the upper echelons of the American society will live a leisurely lifestyle deriving a decent income solely from investments.

This requires a servant caste to perform the services that must be local like food preparation (not necessarily growing), deliveries etc. Certainly one may assume that the servants could also live off their investment income but choose to work service jobs anyway but at that point we are deep behind utopic lines.

And, of course, I am yet to see a rational explanation from a Free Market Cultist what happens when the economy is truly global and standard-of-living differences are so small that there is no more cheap labour.

Or for the time that there is no more growth because we have run out of new goods and services and the economy has to make do with a static total amount of money and goods.

Posted by: roo | August 8, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Likely White House hopeful Fred Thompson is turning to the man who helped him win his Tennessee Senate seat 13 years ago to lead the "Law & Order" star's 2008 presidential campaign-in-waiting.

Bill Lacy, who served as Thompson's strategist and management consultant during his successful 1994 Senate bid, was officially named manager of Thompson's "testing the waters" committee Tuesday.

"It is an honor to be working with Fred again," Lacy said in a statement. "My immediate goal to provide stable, hands-on leadership and to retool the Thompson operation to implement a non-traditional, message-driven effort."

Lacy, the current director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, is also a former strategist for President Ronald Reagan, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, as well as the Republican National Committee.

Lacy's appointment follows the departure last month of campaign manager Tom Collamore, another former Reagan aide and one-time lobbyist for the tobacco industry.

Several GOP sources familiar with Collamore's decision acknowledged differences between Collamore and Thompson's wife, Jeri, on structure and staffing.'

yes -- message-driven, that's so nontraditiional --and how about that jeri, huh? she's like yoko ono...

Posted by: 3rd manager | August 8, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris gets it wrong, of course.

Dennis won hands down. That's not why Chris is wrong, for he works in Washington and is infected with the Washington insiders mentality. No votes have been taken. Period. Dennis, right now, is THE candidate who is not part of the mushy middle. He's pro-worker, pro-universal health care, pro-impeachment, pro-get us out of Iraq now, pro-green economy, pro-infrastructure, etc. If the Dems ever plan to get out of the mushy middle and stand for something, Dennis is the man to nominate for president.

Posted by: rjones2818 | August 8, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

And lylepink, in anticipation of what you might say, no, the bill did not explicitly say "I think the US should invade Iraq." But a failure to recognize that a "yes" vote would be used by Bush as an excuse for war was naive and irresponsible on Hillary's part.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 8, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Home field advantage for Obomber? Chicago (Highland Park) is also Hillary's home town. And she still got booed.

Posted by: Yonkers | August 8, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Please do not respond to trolls. You should also avoid mentioning them or acknowledging them in any way. Act as if they did not exist.

Thank you, keep your arms inside the vehicle.

Posted by: Zookeepress | August 8, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous defends Hillary's failure to read the NIE before the 2002 Iraq vote by saying "it was hundreds of pages long, blarg, and how much time did they have before a vote was forced through?"

Actually, I don't remember exactly, but I think it was 70-odd pages or so. And Senator Bob Graham of Florida (along with - I think - 15 or 16 others) made the time to read it, and he voted "no." The length of the reading in a homework assignment is no longer a good excuse, once you become a US Senator voting on whether or not to go to war.

She cast the most important vote of her short Senate career without doing the required reading. There is no excuse.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 8, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Blarg: Read the BILL. Hillary DID NOT VOTE TO GO TO WAR IN IRAQ. The NIE, I have no arguement there. Also, Hillary did not sign a bill to get us into war. Look at your 08:20 PM post and you will see how you are mixed up again. Senators do not sign Bills, That is left to the POTUS.

Posted by: lylepink | August 8, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

LONGWOOD, Fla. -- At 8 on a Saturday morning, just as the heat was permeating this sprawling Orlando suburb, Denise Kirsop donned a white plastic moon suit and began sorting through the trash produced by Northland Church.

She and several fellow parishioners picked apart the garbage to analyze exactly how much and what kind of waste their megachurch produces, looking for ways to reduce the congregation's contribution to global warming.

"I prayed about it, and God really revealed to me that I had a passion about creation," said Kirsop, who has since traded in her family's sport-utility vehicle for a hybrid Toyota Prius to help cut her greenhouse gas emissions. "Anything that draws me closer to God -- and this does -- increases my faith and helps my work for God."

Her conversion to environmentalism is the result of a years-long international campaign by British bishops and leaders of major U.S. environmental groups to bridge a long-standing divide between global-warming activists and American evangelicals.

The emerging rapprochement is regarded by some as a sign of how dramatically U.S. public sentiment has shifted on global warming in recent years. It also has begun, in modest ways, to transform how the two groups define themselves.

"I did sense this is one of these issues where the church could take leadership, like with civil rights," said Northland's senior pastor, Joel C. Hunter. "It's a matter of who speaks for evangelicals: Is it a broad range of voices on a broad range of issues, or a narrow range of voices?"

Posted by: sorry zouk and exxon | August 8, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee to GOP: Let's Stop Being the Party of Plutocrats

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The Dream Candidate
I don't want to rush anyone. But are we ready to say that Fred Thompson's proto-incipient campaign for president might not be quite ready to sweep the current crop of goofballs from the field?

Or, isn't there a serious possibility now that this guy may never actually get into the race? If for no other reason than to salvage some of the aura of dignity upon which the lucrative acting career is based?

Today Thompson tapped his third campaign manager. Which means he's now operating at a ratio of 3 managers to 0 campaigns. And I guess that means a ratio of like infinity or something like that. But let's not get distracted by that.

In any case, I need to ask you a favor. Can you send me links to quotes of glitz columnists and yakkers gushing about Fred's gravitas, Reaganosity and generally inevitable waltz to the Republican nomination?

Posted by: josh | August 8, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

people are bashing hillary because they know she isnt right for this country now

the country has moved on from the clintons

they're (we're) ready for change, they (we) dont want to go back to the past because the past is what got us to where we are today

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

'Okay, fine. Hillary signed the bill that President Bush used to get us into Iraq without reading the supporting documentation.'

iit was hundreds of pages long, blarg, and how much time did they have before a vote was forced through?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Please guys, can you stop bashing on hillary!? Just open your eyes and ears to see and hear what her view points are. Not just looking at HER or hearing what others talking about her. She is the most experienced, knowledgable and hands-on executive who can help bring back our american heritage and the living standard of middle class and move the country forward. Also, she is a strong individual who knows how to forgive and the true value of opportunity cost. Not about just talking and conceptualizing the plans! it is all about planning, implmenting and conserving the goods of our american culture. Folks, the Great America is build by hard working immigrants, innovative ideas and corporations - that is a fact! We need to fine tune the relationship between the laborforce(union) and the corporations(management and executive levels) instead of cutting off the hands which feed us -- no party can stand on her own at this time. We need transitional period. we all know major corporations sponsor our children, culture, history, recreational and humanitarian programs.

Hillary can be that suitable candidate to help bridge the gap between corporation and us (the working class) culturally and financially. I do have the concern of her being too polarized, but no one is perfect including you and me. If our VP can play a role to balance out the risk and the negative concern we have. Then, what's the problem? Well-balanced in life, budget, policy and relationship is the key to achieve a perfect (near perfect) outcome.

after all, we americans want to have a happy family (middle class), healthy kids and elderly + a multilateral foreign relationship which will help build a stronger economy to creat more jobs to bring the bacons home.

Posted by: | August 8, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Okay, fine. Hillary signed the bill that President Bush used to get us into Iraq without reading the supporting documentation. Whether or not that bill really authorized the war, Hillary definitely didn't read the NIE. That's the important part.

Posted by: Blarg | August 8, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

you spelled it right

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I know how to spell "correct." I do not know how to type.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Look People

1. Obama won, even the pro hillary pundits say Obama won

2. Hillary IS NOT LEADING IN ALLLL OF THE STATE POLLS, especially in IOWA where its A TIE

3. Obama has no less experience than Bill Clinton, JFK, RFK, or even John Edwards

4. the "right-wing machine" is terrified of Obama, thats why there trying to get a head start on attacking him now

5. You can say what you want about Obama and Pakistan, but the majority of democrats, and this was appearent last night, that MOST DEMOCRATS AGREE WITH OBAMA


7. you have not seen 100% of Obama. He's slowly getting up their. Around September/October is when he will start slugging left and right and forcing himself up. He's Right where he wants to be.

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

'On the other hand, all you had to do during clinton 1 to get a conviction was to ask any question of any admin member. '

yes, they would be asked a question and then they would actually answer it -- and of course then it would be twisted and mischaracterized b the Rs.

but the R's don't bother to answer questions -- or even show up when they receive a subpoena -- so I guess that's the reason there aren't any more convictions.

Just another case of neo-fascist goverment secrecy and repug obstructionism -- so this is the best you've got to offer -- that your party is destroying the system of checks and balances -- and the Constitution?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Should be: "he corects us." I was thinking of Hillary as I wrote.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, stop picking on lylep - he has been through this with all of us and he believes that the resolution authorizing military force was not a war resolution, which is technically correct.

If you argue "Hillary should have known that it was tantamount to a carte blanche to a President bent on war" he might argue otherwise, or not. But he will not call the military authorization resolution a war resolution. And when any of us call it a war resolution, she corrects us.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

As the competitions between presidential candidates increase and tense up, the candidates need to be reminded of the critical issues that still trouble our society today. Issue such as global poverty needs to be address by our candidates to each and to the general public. As one of the nation that has pledge to fulfill the goals of Millennium Development Project, whose goal is the elimination of world hunger and poverty, the Bush Administration has not shown any substantial action to bring this fundamental problem to a stop. According to the Borgen Project, dedicated to fighting and ending Poverty around the world, only $19 billion dollars are needed annually to stop world wide poverty, hunger and malnutrition. However, more than $340 billion dollars has been poured into this "war on terror." And each year, our country has a military budge of $522 billion dollars. It's time for a new leader who will be addressing an issue that affects 1.2 billion people everyday worldwide.

Posted by: Mstessyrue | August 8, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, unlike the rest of the candidates on stage, Kucinich is not bound by concerns over saying something that might make him unelectable in a primary or general election."

This certainly speaks volumes as to Mr. Cillizza's opinion of the other candidates' honesty.

Posted by: Mair1 | August 8, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

So we can add investigation to another in the long list of things the Dems aren't very good at. so far this term they have conducted over 300 seperate investigations with the result of zero. Same result they get when they legislate. On the other hand, all you had to do during clinton 1 to get a conviction was to ask any question of any admin member. Turns out they were all members of the soprano/clinton mob. Of course you Libs would love to conceal this fact and pretend that those trailer park heros are up to running this country on the up and up.

I can think of one conviction in both bush admins - scooter - a witch hunt if there ever was one. But the list of clinton convictions is too long to publish. Yeah, let's go back to a scandel a week for 8 years. I sure do miss all that crime. They couldn't even polish the silver without making off with a few of the large pieces.

I suppose this is what hillary meant when she said that she wouldn't tell what she was thinking - "Now I can fill out the rest of my silver pattern". Indeed.

I do have to admit that the Libs did fulfill one campaign promise - to investigate. Oh wait, they said they wouldn't. Things like executive priv and attorney firings. Now that is a good use of their time. No wonder their approval is the lowest in history. Way to go Harry and Nancy, you found a way to lose again, even to bush's approval rating. Is there anything left for you to lose now?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 8, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink, it's been widely reported that Hillary Clinton didn't read the NIE before voting to authorize the war in Iraq. When this news was first published, it wasn't denied by Hillary's spokesman, who claimed it was old news. So I'd be very interested in seeing you "debunk" this story, because I don't think you have a leg to stand on.

Posted by: Blarg | August 8, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I've been reading these blog comments for a number of months and I can't believe the bashing that occurs on both sides of the political spectrum. But, I really can't believe the bashing that occurs among the Democratic supporters. Personally, I'd be happy with a change toward any of the policies proposed by the Democratic front runners. I have to believe that we could be headed toward more open and honest government that may favor the welfare of average citizens over corporations and the super rich. I'm not so naive as to expect an overnight change in the course of American politics that have occurred over the past 6 years. However, I bought into the Nader concept that the parties were the same during Bush vs. Gore and I think this administration has proven that false.

Posted by: concerned dem voter | August 8, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

' If you long for the good old days of rampant corruption and record endictments - Vote clinton'

oh no, no corruption in the republican party -- no, not that. the whole alaskan delegation and about 10% of the R house and senate under investigation by the FBI and IRS -- no, no problem there.

Posted by: LOL hypocrites | August 8, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

No Judge, way weirder than that... it's the Rapture and Apocalyse thing. Everybody who won't convert to Christianity is murdered -- including Jews [interesting that it's set in New York], Hindus, Buddhists, whatever. Maybe Catholics, I'm not sure. It is so over the top I don't knw what to say. Just wtf-- here's a graf from Mark's link:

'The constitution has been assaulted and brutalized," Mikey 'Weinstein, former Reagan Administration White House counsel, ex-Air Force judge advocate (JAG), and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told me. "Thanks to the influence of extreme Christian fundamentalism, the wall separating church and state is nothing but smoke and debris. And OSU is the IED that exploded the wall separating church and state in the Pentagon and throughout our military." Weinstein continued: "The fact that they would even consider taking their crusade to a Muslim country shows the threat to our national security and to the constitution and everyone that loves it."

Posted by: drindl | August 8, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

rufus: The one word still applies to you. STUPID

Posted by: lylepink | August 8, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

my boy, Glen Greenwald is on one. I've seen him on tv the last couple day's ripping into people. Yeah. He needs to be out there. A former constitutional lawyer, now colunmist. His analysis is spot on. Somebody give this man some more air time.

I'm glad to see that. He needs to break away from Chck out the latest at:

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

and pink. YOu do realize that Hillary is getting a large protion of the republcian vote? You do know that right? The polls your reading aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Obama has raised the most cash, even with Hil getting money from big business and obama getting his from small individual donors.

With Hil getting money from fox and being a good freind of murdoch, they are pushing her (on the sly). I know. I watch.

Those polls are nothing but propoganda. Jsut know. The longer this goes on the mor eher lead shrinks. She can't fight off obama and edwards forever. We are getting change. Whether you gop'ers like it or not. Change is coming. Either help or hinder it. But remember what sid eyou were on in the end.

Peace pink. Not an attack, if it sounds like one. I respect you. I just think clinton is the same as bush and the monster I have been fighting for 7 years. I want to retire from this blogging. I don't wanna have to come back here a year after hil is elected. I fear I will have to. :)

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

So in response to my post, I get from the extreme hateful left like ignorant coward, jane and loud and dumb attack on me. No mention of the fact that all union jobs are in terrible danger due to inflated salaries, overpromised benefits and greedy management. No facts, no arguments,just the same old tired insults from the non-thinking wing of the moonbats.

If you are a Dem, you are certainly gullible enough to believe that the nice friendly government lead by hillary will save you and pay you all those benefits by.......wait for it.......soaking the rich. But then again you believed that Reid would fulfill his promise to clean up earmarks. The champion of which is 'bribe me later with more' Murtha.

You Libs made endless fun of voluntary enviro compliance when done by Bush but readily accept it when it is voluntary compliance and disclosure with earmarks when done by dirty harry reid. What a joke. And if you don't comply - who decides what is right? Why dirty harry reid of course. What a racket.

If you love big sepnding and high taxes vote D. If you think that we should lose all foreign engagements vote D. If you think the economy is too good - vote D. If you long for the good old days of rampant corruption and record endictments - Vote clinton. Let's get on the bridge back to the 20th century. Those terrorists will just go away if we simply ignore them, just like before. Except for that one attack which all you Libs know was orchestrated by Bush and the zionist lobby anyway. Who ever heard of steel melting anyway?

You Libs deserve the candidate you are about to get = clinton11. The beginning of the second most corrupt admin ever - or you could just say a continuation of the first.

When she said she wouldn't say what she was thinking, didn't you get the idea that we finally heard a single bit of unscripted truth from her?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 8, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I think it's sick. ( the left behind game to soldier)

I think it's to give young people THAT MAY HAVE BEEN CHRISTIANS AT ON TIME, something to lack on to. So they can still feel like christians and not mecernaries for bush's profit. No disrespect to the military here (I got love for you. former army infantry 11B). It's not your fault they GOP are using you like props. STAND UP TO THEM. There are enough of us now, to have your back. Do not fear blow-back or incarsiration. IT is a unjust war. YOu have every right to disobey orders you feel are illegal. Time will tell.

Th eleft behind game to play with the soldiers mental, NOT COOL.

Again, a christian is a christian by their actions and words, not the games they play or the company they keep.

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

JasonL, JD, et al - As I have said before, if I am right, and I am pretty sure I am, then you will start seeing some of the harm I have been speaking about in the very near future. Then, who are you going to try and convenice that globalization is such a good thing? I, and plenty of other people, think that globalization is the worst threat this country has ever faced and we believe that ANYONE propounding free trade is guilty of treason at best. It is THAT SERIOUS an issue. Now, no one else in the world practices "free trade" as we do here. Every Western country with brains has laws protection their citizens jobs, their critical technology, and exercises some controls over corporations and corporate practices. Not here!

Posted by: MikeB | August 8, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater: Rasmussen Reports are very good overall, and I get them by e-mail daily at one Eastern time. He usually favors repubs by about 3%. At least three of the latest polls show Hillary with a 20+% lead nationwide. I think CNN will be realeasing another one sometime before the end of the week. Another thing I posted sometime back was some repubs are changing their registration in an effort to derail Hillary in the primary/caucaus. Us junkies notice the small things.

Posted by: lylepink | August 8, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

judge and drindl -


its a blog, but it does sound ominous.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 8, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

" which US soliders kill anyone who isn't a Christian?"

That is awfully weird; how do they label non-Christians in the game? Or is it just Arabic versus not?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 8, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

'One other thought. Newt cannot successfully enter the R race. He now sounds like the R I imagined as the antidote to Romney [drindl, you think so too; don't be stubborn]'

Well, he SOUNDS like it, yes...I don't trust him, for precisely the reason you state... his tendency to Mr. Hydism.

As to Romney and Guiliani, funny how riproaring and gungho they are about sending other people's kids off to war, but not their own. I didn't realize Mitty had 5 sons of military age and not one of them served... wow.

Posted by: drindl | August 8, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Mark and Judge -- I like Ike. If there were an R faintly like Ike, I might even vote for him. Perhaps you recall he warned about the dangers of the military/industrial complex and permanent war?

Did you too see an earlier post about the Pentagon sending this religious crusade game, Left Behind, to the troops? A combat game [set in US cities, like New York] in which US soliders kill anyone who isn't a Christian?


Posted by: drindl | August 8, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

judge [and drindl] -

One other thought. Newt cannot successfully enter the R race. He now sounds like the R I imagined as the antidote to Romney [drindl, you think so too; don't be stubborn] but it just won't fly with the R base. The analogy to McCain that judge drew is too sad. bhoomes and proud might support this statesmanlike Newt, but they are not a cross-section of that base, I fear.

And of course, we have no reason to think Newt would not become Mr. Hyde again, if he were elected to a position of trust.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 8, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Blarg: You need a little correting also."Hillary, who voted in favor of the war despite not reading the supporting documation." That is absolutely FALSE. I have pointed this out several times and you folks that do not support Hillary keep telling this bald face lie. Try and make your arguement based on TRUTH for a change.

Posted by: lylepink | August 8, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse


Eisenhower polled well among Ds, who wanted him to run as a D. Even after he was the R candidate, he was popular among Ds, but I have no idea if any poll exists, post his announcement as a Republican.

Colin would love this poll, and if he discovers it tomorrow, independent of your effort, he will not get any work done all day while he posts to the next thread.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 8, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to add that my reference to the question asked of Obama on Gay Marriage at an earlier debate referred to the following question and answer, and it was on CNN, so I stand corrected. Anderson Cooper asked a very tricky question, when he asked what the difference was between the ban on Interracial Marriage sought before the civil rights movement succeeded, and the current ban on Gay marriage sought today. I'll admit, most of the candidates have the same position on this issue - but that's not the point. The point is how he responded to this particular question. Obama answered (and I'm paraphrasing big time) that while he did not support gay marriage, he insisted that gay couples be given the same civil rights as straight couples, and so he basically answered that the key was that gay couples would have the same rights, whether or not they could actually get "married", and so that was ok, and that was his answer to the comparison between gay and interracial marriage.

I just want all you voters to consider that position. In the context of interracial marriage, do you think Obama would EVER take that position (or any other candidate for that matter?) What would happen if it was suggested that interracial couples could have the same rights, but could not actually get married? Could you imagine that? It would be the end of that campaign, if such a position were suggested. Yet Obama coldly and disspassionately suggested it was just fine for homosexuals. His position, coldly stated in comparison with interracial marriages, is called "separate but equal", and the fact that he could not see that when the question had been framed to incorporate the civil rights movement, was truly revealing. It was a cold answer, a dismaying answer, to a very tough question.

Like I said - tune into the details. I like Obama, and he's better than Hillary. However, he's no John Edwards, and he does not represent the type of change that he purports to.

Posted by: Miami Voter | August 8, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"...sounds a lot like the way conservatives used to be, before they all went insane."

Good one, Drindl. Although conservatives still talk the talk they seemed to have totally abandoned actually walking the walk. Witness the current slate of R candidates. It used to be that someone with Rudy's history couldn't even darken the door of the GOP nomination. Ah, the good ol' days!

Obama's sabre rattling re OBL certainly may have helped him with this group as well.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 8, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Can Kucinich then now get cropped back into the picture since he got a good review in today's "Fix?"

(Okay, I'll lay off.... Wait... naw, not really.)

This premise is obnoxious: that this short vegan guy is now just talking like this because he's going to lose? News to The Fix: this guy has been talking about these issues ALL ALONG... sorry you've missed it while navel gazing and focusing on just the annointed few (cuz I guess we unwashed masses do not have the attention span to follow multiple candidates and need folks to narrow the choice for us.)

Posted by: RppPolyp | August 8, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I've heard about several R's supporting Obama -- including Rudi Guiliani's daughter -- so I believe the sample. I mean, he's a churchgoer, he's happily married and a good father, he's rational, he sounds sincere, he talks about taking responsibility -- sounds a lot like the way conservatives used to be, before they all went insane.

Posted by: drindl | August 8, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what debate this guy was watching. Edwards has taken his candidacy to a new level that has not been matched by the other candidates. Quite frankly, the chattering class and mainstream pundits see everything in terms of the "horse race", and as such, they judge all of the candidate's actions as staged gestures, or strategic maneuvers. While stategy is a key element of any campaign, anyone who has followed closely knows that John Edwards' indignation and passion are real. He is the candidate who has read Al Gore's book "The Assault on Reason", as such, he's no longer playing by the same rules that the other mainstream candidates are.

Two other observations - While Obama and Edwards are similar in many respects on the issues, Obama consistently betrays a level of calculation and hollowness in his calls for Washington change. The above commenter hit it on the head - Obama engages in double speak like Clinton does, and his solicitation of lobbyist assistance (though not their money, to his credit) belies his rhetoric. Go back and look at his answer to a question on Gay Marriage in an earlier debate on MSNBC - in which he was a very tricky question which compared Interacial Marriage to Gay Marriage, to see what I mean by Obama's coolness and calculation, in lieu of honest heartfelt passion and transparency.

Clinton meanwhile - has lost the last few debates, and the Media have decided she's their golden girl, and will cover for her until the end. -- John Stewart nailed her last night - with a brilliant insight into her hypocrisy and pure calculating and pandering nature at the Kos debate, when she engaged in total double speak on lobbyist contributions. You really have to check out the clip on the Daily Kos website. Its amazing that 100+ pundits didn't observe what he did, and comment on it. While they skewered Kerry at every turn, Clinton's double speak is far more egregious, yet she gets away with it every time.

Then again, in 2000- Al Gore was skewered mercilessly by the same pundits for his non-stop self aggrandizement (which of course, he never actually engaged in), because he had the audacity to point out one of the finest points on his resume, his large contributions to the information superhighway.

When it comes to the mainstream media, either you're tuned in, or their tuning you. John Edwards, 08.

Posted by: Miami Voter | August 8, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Mark in A: I thought it was nutty enough to ignore too but it's hard to discount a D candidate registering as even a blip in a poll of R's. Have you ever seen that before? I think only Reagan D's might have achieved that previously but I can't actually recall seeing any polling data supporting that idea.

Assuming it's real, the answer to "Why Obama versus the other 6-7 D candidates?" is pretty obvious to us junkies.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 8, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Judge, that is amazing.

Then again, while I have not dismissed Obama, all four of my adult children have embraced him. Perhaps the 22 Rs are registered 20somethings voting for the second time.

Actually, I do not believe the sample.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 8, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Gold Star Families for PEace

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

would support the Clintons,

just because they seem most able to handle themselves when surrounded by barracudas...

but I would like them to team with their fellow capable candidates....Biden, Dennis K. , Barack, Gore, others that can walk the walk and are not just


I like the idea, of the man who stood up to INSIDER WASHINGTON and held his own, Bill Clinton , backing the first lady.

Obama, nice guy... would I want him on my side in a street fight?

give me a break...


Edwards, I like his style, but he was pandering to Israel a couple of months ago...

I don't know if I trust him. I feel like Kerry took a dive and he picked Edwards because he knew he could manage him.

There will be an attempt by INSIDER WASHINGTON to have the media pick the most manageable candidates...

INSIDER WASHINGTON will be helping to pick the most


and manageble candidate.

and bad mouthing the rest.


Posted by: I | August 8, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

From that link about Iowa R voters:

"Statewide Registered Republican Voters

This subsample included 330 respondents who self-identified as Republicans. The margin of error of the subsample is +/- 5.25 percent.

The changes among Republican voters since March are dramatic. Romney is now the preferred candidate at 21.8 percent -- double his March support.

Giuliani's support, 10 percent, decreased by almost 8.5 percent. McCain's support has collapsed in Iowa. His support among registered Republicans dropped from 14.4 percent in March to 1.8 percent in July-August. UI political scientists note that McCain has been passed in popularity not only by former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., who earned 5.2 percent support, but also by a Democratic challenger, Obama, who is supported by 6.7 percent of Republicans. No other candidate received more than 3 percent support."

That means that 22 registered R's in Iowa like Obama. While I would discount 1 or 2 wackos, in my mind 22 R's provide clear evidence that his approach appeals to former Reagan voters.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 8, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"August 8, 2007

Long Line of ChickenhawksCindy SheehanAn anti-war activist at a town hall meeting in Iowarecently asked Mitt Romney why not ONE of his fivesons served the USA in the military. The woman'sbrother had been in Iraq and she understandably wouldhave liked to know if the Romney family was sosupportive of BushCo's war of terror why didn't theysupport it with their own flesh and blood.Mitt Romney said that his five privileged elitestockbroker/real estate boys are supporting our nationby helping get their father "elected." We coulddispute the allegation of how getting a pandering,war-mongering, born-again abortion foe elected is goodfor our country, but that's not the point. The pointis the ruling class elite who don't have to worryabout health-care, jobs, or how they are going to payfor their children's college tuition send our childrento fight and die in their wars that only make themricher while sending working-class families into lifetimes of despair.58,000 mothers and 58,000 fathers (many of whosechildren were drafted, but not all) found out howbeing part of the lower classes during Vietnam wasdetrimental to your family and thousands of vets fromVietnam are still fighting for physical and mentalhealth benefits from a government who sent them off toa immoral war. Almost twice as many Vietnam Vets havekilled themselves as were killed there; and thebiggest percentage of our nation's scandalous homelessproblem are Veterans. Almost 4,000 mothers are feelingthe same despair from Iraq...and already we are seeingIraq War veterans on the streets and commitingsuicide. Somehow I don't think electing Mitt Romneywill help to alleviate any of this suffering. In the true chickenhawk tradition, Mitt Romney, didnot go to Vietnam. He was doing Mormon "missionary"work: whatever that means. I guess he could have beenin a hot, steamy, jungle fighting fear, fatigue,death, and boredom while trying to score heroin, butsomehow I feel that is not the case. When I was youthminister at St. Mary's in Vacaville, I had many Mormonmissionaries bike into my office to try and save mefrom the sin of "Catholicism." Honestly, theRepublican chickenhawks should get together and form aclub and laugh about how they avoided Vietnam and howtheir children don't have to go to Iraq so theirdaddies and granddaddies can't grease the war machinewith their own flesh and blood.Romney also stated that we have an "all volunteer"Army and it was going to "stay that way"?you bet itis! Because then all the chickenhawks can absolvethemselves from the fact that they supported a nastywar where people are being killed unnecessarily byscreaming: "Your son volunteered." Also the concept ofa "professional Army" is an imperialistic trick tokeep the ordinary citizen far away from the sacrificeand keep them just anesthetized enough to not getoutraged and actually do something about it.I have talked to college Republicans and young peoplewho have come to my events to yell obscene things atme and I have asked them why, if they support Georgeand his war for profit, don't they go to the nearestrecruiter's office and enlist. Their answers are a lotlike Romney's. They are serving their country by goingto college so they can own businesses that will"employ" the returning vets. Or, they are "serving"their country by protesting me.Many of our young people, especially people of color,don't have a lot of options to get jobs, educations,or out of their dangerous communities (isn't itironic) they join the military. As for Casey, I wouldrather have him be flipping burgers in Vacaville, thendead, but he felt he had to join the Army to take thepressure off of our family for college. It is a tragictrade.If Romney's children have the option of serving ournation by riding around in RV's and writing blogs,then all of our children should have that option. Forour lower-socio economic children, working for thecandidate of their choice should come with a$20,000.00 bonus and college tuition credits.If the wealthy elite doesn't have to worry aboutsending their children to college, then all of ourchildren who want to and quality should be able to goto college for little or no tuition. They should nothave to trade their lives or physical or mental healthfor a degree. We need to bring our tax dollars homefrom Iraq and our manufacturing jobs back fromoverseas to give our young people more options.It's time to start talking about the poverty draft andhow the ruling class fascists get to protect theirchildren to the detriment of our children.I don't think military service should be a requirementto be the President?but a hypocrite is a hypocrite. Ifa candidate supports this war, or future wars, I saysend your own child. That would prove you are seriouswhen you say my son died for a "noble cause."

Posted by: cindy sheehan | August 8, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

all the money in the country is going to IRAQ...

they should be talking about IRAQ.

ending the occupation.

spend the money on infrastructure and make goods made in foreign countries subject to

import duties , like you would for anything that used foreign competition...

once people had jobs again, they would be able to pay reasonable prices....besides...

everything made in a foreign country sends the money over there, and if they are not buying AMERICAN we lose money on everything built overseas...

and there is a dependancy on foreign countries to do the manufacturing...

people out of work, business cycles ended. you have import companies

masquerading as AMERICAN COMPANIES

get it straight.


Posted by: if | August 8, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Ah, but Drindl, Newtie isn't drinking the same kool-aid, eating the same lotus flowers or smoking the same crack as the rest of the R's. Everything's really both hunky AND dory. Any one who states otherwise must be an America-hating Democrat.

I suspect that if Newt did enter he'd run into the same strong headwind of unfavorables that afflict McCain. Speaking truth to power = political death in the GOP. He'd pay the price of not sharing the same delusions. No worries, mate.

Speaking of no worries, Rasmussen also has a nice analysis of why the R field is so incredibly weak

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 8, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Notice -


Posted by: Interesting | August 8, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Matt, you're still spelling Barack Obama's name wrong.

And you're wrong about more than that. What exactly are Clinton's credentials? She's been a senator since 2000. So you criticize Obama for being a freshman senator, while praising a candidate with a big 4 more years experience. Unless you count Obama's extensive experience as a state legislator, in which case the two are even.

But if it's experience you want, why Hillary? Why not Biden or Dodd? They've been in the Senate for ages. Why not Richardson? He's got the best resume in the field. If you really wanted the candidate with the best experience, there's no way you'd pick Hillary.

And by the way, Obama opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning. True, he wasn't in the Senate, so he couldn't vote against the bill. But he made speeches at the time announcing that he was opposed to the war. Unlike Hillary, who voted in favor of the war despite not reading the supporting documentation.

I want the Democrats to win. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to support the candidate that the mainstream media declares to be the front-runner. You offer no actual reasons to support Hillary, besides the belief that she's most likely to win. And that's unacceptable.

Posted by: Blarg | August 8, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I forgot this:

"We used to be a serious country. When we got attacked at Pearl Harbor, we took on Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany," he said, referring to World War II.

"We beat all three in less than four years. We're about to enter the seventh year of this phony war against ... [terrorist groups], and we're losing."

Posted by: drindl | August 8, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The only person on the stage last night who came across as mean-spirited was Hillary Clinton.

But the media's obsession with her blinds them from that fact.

John Edwards obviously went into this debate last night planning on talking about labor issues, which the debate rarely dealt with.

They talk about Iraq EVERY DEBATE.

Can a debate before the AFL-CIO only be about labor issues? Apparently not.

Posted by: OEST | August 8, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"I suggested that you would point to the relatively decentralized capitalist nature of its economy in China's defense. What do you actually think?"
If I might throw in my own 2 cents here, I think that China as it is is fairly despicable but that situation won't last forever.

China's middle class is growing and that has always lead inevitably to sweeping change. In the next 20 years we'll see the government get less and less repressive and more and more democratic.

Jane, once we get to that point, Democratic Peace Theory will take over. Before then, the fact that they need us and out European allies to buy their stuff for just about every penny they get will prevent our trade with China to be seriously disrupted.

Posted by: JasonL: | August 8, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I have to say Newt is sounding sensible to me, too -- which I find astonishing. But as you say, he does seem to fluctuate from sensible to rather strange. But I couldn't argue with this:

'Washington -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday the Bush administration is waging a "phony war" on terrorism, warning that the country is losing ground against the kind of Islamic radicals who attacked the country on Sept. 11, 2001.

A more effective approach, said Gingrich, would begin with a national energy strategy aimed at weaning the country from its reliance on imported oil and some of the regimes that petro-dollars support.

"None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning this war," the ex-Georgian told a group of about 300 students attending a conference for collegiate conservatives.

Gingrich, who led the so-called Republican Revolution that won the GOP control of both houses of Congress in 1994 midterm elections, said more must be done to marshal national resources to combat Islamic militants at home and abroad and to prepare the country for future attack. He was unstinting in his criticism of his fellow Republicans, in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

"We were in charge for six years," he said, referring to the period between 2001 and early 2007, when the GOP controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. "I don't think you can look and say that was a great success."

Posted by: drindl | August 8, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

JD writes
"Competition does wonders for improving quality and lowering prices."

No doubt. With regards to globalization, the question to be asked is: do you believe in a free market or not? If you believe in free markets, globalization is clearly something that will benefit the US. Yes, some individuals and companies will suffer for globalization. But other individuals and companies will benefit from it. Trying to 'freeze' the way things work at one point in time is futile - change is inevitable. You can either adapt or perish. Call it Darwin's Origins of Societies.

Posted by: bsimon | August 8, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The only republcian we need to fear is Hillary Clinton. The MEN with (r)'s next to there name have zero chance. This is a one horse race, or donkey in this case.

Electing Hillary is electing Bush again. Beware of the Yale Plan

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, MikeB. It seems other (and likely better) heads than mine have tried to show you the realities of global markets. But I'll address your concerns.

What services, you ask? Food service is a good example. The rigors of the work tend to make it a young persons field, but that itsn't the case for many older professional servers and kitchen staff. Retail is another great example. Wal-Mart and Target supply many jobs across the country for people young and old. These companies and others like them wouldn't exist without the low cost of imported goods.

American companies do a lot of innovation and license and sell that innovation to make money.

Not every tech job has gone overseas, nor has every call center job. Illinois has a major AT&T call center and American Express has a call center out west (Utah maybe?), just to name two.

And what's wrong with public sector jobs? With good benefits and decent pay, the government (Federal, State, and Local) is by far the largest employer of Americans. and they get treated fairly, too.

Energy prices will rise regardless of their currency standard. That's a simple supply and demand phenomenon. Get a Prius, use Energy Star appliances and lights, and figure out a way to deal. That's an absolute inevitability.

Frankly, you're the one living in a fantasy world if you think that there is any other way to work a developed economy. Tariff the crap out of foreign goods and you'll just pay more for everything you want. Uneducated folks will get their manufacturing jobs but they won't be able to afford socks because they cost $20 EACH. The companies that are leading the way with innovative technologies will stagnate because they can't afford to keep funneling money into research. Thats a sure fire way to see the country fall into ruin.

Posted by: JasonL | August 8, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Matt- I agree with you that we will probably not survive another republican president. I'm not sure we'll survive this one.

So I will support any Dem and not knock any of the others. None of them are perfect, but all are leagues better [and less dangerous] than any of the R's running.

Posted by: Cassandra | August 8, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"HILLARY/GORE in '08 is my pick!"

hahahahha. nOW WE KNOW YOUR LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE. WIll never happen. Gore hates hillary. Not much of a differance in obama's statement. Right wing propoganda. Prime minister perz who gives a sh**. Fighting over small word inaccuracies is a waste of time

Good luck with that though. Peace

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

proud, I recommended Newt's appearance on Cspan to Judge and I remarked to bsimon that it was the "good Newt" or something like that, and he said something like Newt seemed like a statesman when he was out of office, but give him some power and Mr. Hyde appears.

He really did sound rational about campaigns and debates.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 8, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

'A 6-year-old boy is recovering after being shot Tuesday night.
Milwaukee police said a 3-year-old girl found a gun inside a home near Teutonia Avenue and Chambers Street and pulled the trigger.
Investigators said the bullet hit the 6-year-old in the stomach.'

we definitely need more guns in this country.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

When we go to the voting booths I ask that we keep in mind what is at stake in '08. Keep in mind that who ever we pick to be our nominee better damn well be able to take on the Republican nominee, because I strongly beleive that this nation , as great as it is will not survive another term of Republican rule. You know who my horse is. It is not my job to convince you to agree with me, it is the candidates job. But, we, myself included need to study the candidates hard before we vote in either a primary or the general election. We must as Al Gore put it in his new book, "Become a well-informed society once more, so that we do not allow ourselves to be fooled again." Do not let Charisma,good looks, or an expensive hair cut lead you into making a decision. Vote smart!

Posted by: Matt | August 8, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

'JasonL, good post. MikeB clearly doesn't know what he's talking about wrt globalization and an evolving economy.'

Snide and condescending as usual, JD -- I had to laugh at your naive post about how we don't need a manufacturing sector. Where are we going to get our goods if we say, get into a fight with China? They now have us over a tremendous barrell -- they can wreck our economy any time they choose. There will always be w we need then?

And as for the standard of living being higher, by which measure? 40% of the people in this country can't even afford health care.

So how do you like being shoved arond by Communists?

Posted by: Jane | August 8, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

JD, if there were no unions I would not have anyone to negotiate against.

I do think unions are useful, beyond my personal desire for confrontation. At their best, they can actually help with productivity issues and profits, while optimizing their members benefits. But it is a delicate balance, and the examples I cited would destroy that balance.
JD - I also wrote your name in vain, the other day. bsimon and I were agreeing that globalization is generally good - but we thought China might be the exception because it simply disregards human rights, being a Communist state. I suggested that you would point to the relatively decentralized capitalist nature of its economy in China's defense. What do you actually think?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 8, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama won hands down. I am surprised that HRC is even included among winners after claiming that she has had 15 years of taking on the right wing and winning. the only time she took on the right wing and won was when Bill cheated on her and rather than face the fact, she blamed the vast right wing conspiracy! That is not how you win a presidential election for democrats. Obama rocked last night.

Posted by: Peter M | August 8, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

This from Rasmussen ( ):

"Clinton's lead over Obama has declined for four straight days, ever since she made controversial comments defending lobbyists at the Yearly Kos bloggers' convention over the weekend (see daily history). Just 24% of voters believe that Clinton would not be influenced by lobbyists."

Color me incredulous. Are voters actually paying attention to something as arcane as lobbyist contributions? Rasmussen talks about statistical noise possibly being the real culprit. I'd guess other forces are at work, perhaps the free PR Obama got for his forceful comments on OBL.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 8, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree Kucinich NAILED it last night. I think we need to remember all of the Democrats whether it is Gravel and Kucinich or Clinton and Obama are all better alternatives to the current administration and what ever candidate the Right wing assylum will nominate this time.


Posted by: Matt | August 8, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, I suppose there's no convincing you of the benefits of free trade, so I guess I won't try.

For the rational among you: suffice to say, the higher standard of living we enjoy today, compared to, say, 50 years ago, can largely be attributed to the benefits of such. Competition does wonders for improving quality and lowering prices.

Posted by: JD | August 8, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Mike B, I can assure you I am not a woman, nor a feminist. And I can also assure you that I did not use the word "Sexist" In any of my posts. I can also assure you that Clinton is LEADING in EVERY POLL IN THE UNITED STATES RIGHT NOW. I am the one saying stupid things?

Listen, hate Hillary as much as you want, it is your right (Something Bush would Probly supress, but you seem to be a fan of him with the fanatic tone yo seem to have) And by all means dont vote for her if you don't think she is right for American...BUT AT LEAST GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT...SHE IS WINNING RIGHT NOW BY DOUBLE DIGITS!

Read a little, its good for ya Mike.

Posted by: MATT, not MATILDA | August 8, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Dennis Kucinich won this and all other debates. Why the main stream media keeps sidelining his candidacy with statements about his non chance of being president, just goes to show how little they care for the idea of real democracy in this country. Realize they tried to cut Dennis out of the debate. They did cut candidate Mike Gravel.

Posted by: Mike | August 8, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

In my ongoing quest to convince you that globalization is not to be feared, here's an alternate view of the impact of China's sale of T-Bills.

To summarize, if you choose not to click the link, China will hurt themselves as much as they hurt us - as the reason they hold so much US debt is because we buy so much of their crap. The author's most interesting metaphor is that, if we're headed down a mountain without brakes, its better to get in an accident sooner than later. Now that's a glass half full outlook.

Posted by: bsimon | August 8, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Biden lacks tact. Obama and Clinton won hands down. Edwards is always great in my mind. Maybe not his best day.

Let's just hope the candidates are actually serious about workers' rights. Our labor laws are broken and union busting has gotten so commonplace in the U.S. that we're exporting it to Canada. Check out this boycott of American Eagle Outfitters protesting the U.S.-style union-busting at their Canadian distribution contractor: www.AmericanVulture dot org.

Posted by: American Vulture | August 8, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Please Excuse my spelling, I am a notoriously bad speller. I rely on spell check a lot, something I am unable to do here.

Any way: BARRACK Obama (Thank you for correcting me) has less experience in Politics than Bush has had before entering the White House, that is a fact. He says he did not support the initial vote for the Iraq war...OFCOURSE HE DIDN'T HE WAS NOT AROUND TO VOTE FOR IT BECAUSE HE WAS NOT IN THE SENATE YET!
Listen we have seen what happends when we trust charisma over experience and capability and the past 7 years has been a testiment to that mistake. Lets not make that mistake again!

Clinton may be "Washington as usual" But at least she has the experience, the strength, the smarts and the credentials to be commander in cheif. Barrack does not. It would be a mistake to put a FRESHMAN SENATOR into the biggest, most important job in the world. We can not afford to take a risk in this election, that is why I am in support of Hillary Clinton, because it is not a GAMBLE like Barrack Obama.

I would with out question Support the Young Obama in 2016 after Clinton but not in 2008. He is not ready yet. Don't get me wrong, I like him a lot! And I want an African American to be President so badly, but not Obama, not yet any way. He needs more time to hone his skills, to have experience so that in 2016 he does not make the careless mistakes he is currently making.

Blarg I think Hillary said it best the other night when she said "I want the Democrats to win!" So thank you for correcting my mistakes, and I sincereley hope that like me, you vote come '08 so we can make change happen. Whether is it Clinton, or Obama, or CLINTON/OBAMA in either form. (unlikeley)

Posted by: Matt | August 8, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Please Excuse my spelling, I am a notoriously bad speller. I rely on spell check a lot, something I am unable to do here.

Any way: BARRACK Obama (Thank you for correcting me) has less experience in Politics than Bush has had before entering the White House, that is a fact. He says he did not support the initial vote for the Iraq war...OFCOURSE HE DIDN'T HE WAS NOT AROUND TO VOTE FOR IT BECAUSE HE WAS NOT IN THE SENATE YET!
Listen we have seen what happends when we trust charisma over experience and capability and the past 7 years has been a testiment to that mistake. Lets not make that mistake again!

Clinton may be "Washington as usual" But at least she has the experience, the strength, the smarts and the credentials to be commander in cheif. Barrack does not. It would be a mistake to put a FRESHMAN SENATOR into the biggest, most important job in the world. We can not afford to take a risk in this election, that is why I am in support of Hillary Clinton, because it is not a GAMBLE like Barrack Obama.

I would with out question Support the Young Obama in 2016 after Clinton but not in 2008. He is not ready yet. Don't get me wrong, I like him a lot! And I want an African American to be President so badly, but not Obama, not yet any way. He needs more time to hone his skills, to have experience so that in 2016 he does not make the careless mistakes he is currently making.

Blarg I think Hillary said it best the other night when she said "I want the Democrats to win!" So thank you for correcting my mistakes, and I sincereley hope that like me, you vote come '08 so we can make change happen. Whether is it Clinton, or Obama, or CLINTON/OBAMA in either form. (unlikeley)

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"They spend more news coverage sensationalizing reports on a presidential candidates' hair cut or lindsey lohans drug problem than informing the American people on issues like these. It's time for a change."

Right jimmy. And fox and the other dittoheads claim they are only around to balance out the "liberal media". Right. Whos eliberal Olberman? One show. Cnn msnbc local are mostly conservative parroting of celebs now. Fox has destroyed the modern media. The time to strike back is now. There is a boycott of all fox sponsers. I encourage evverybody here to research on-line, find their sponsors and email them. Booycott them. The research has been done and is out there. don't have the time today to spoon feed. But someone out there, help me get these lying fascsit propogandists off the air

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, don't put words into Matt's mouth. If you want to criticize Matt, do it based on the stupid things he said. Don't start constructing some narrative about how Matt is a "feminist nutcase".

Posted by: Blarg | August 8, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

This was my first time watching one of these way too early debates and I must say I was impressed by Obama. Biden, Dodd and Richards really got under my skin by not answering the audience members' questions and using that opportunity to address some other issue that they felt was more important. Many in the audience didn't like it either and booed loudly them. Hillary Clinton was canned and grating, as usual, but still effective. Edwards was trying too hard to be a knock down drag out fighter and it looked unnatural for him. Two thumbs up for Obama.

Posted by: C-dog | August 8, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

JD, tell you what. If I'm right, we'll know soon enough. This isn't rocket science and we aren't the "French Encylopediasts"; we can actually count the teeth in this horses mouth! Of course, the effects of what I am talking about are being felt by millions of American's right now and those troublesome headlines I refer to are all too real and anyone can read them. You, JD, are the enemy. You don't know it yet, you may never understand it, but your fellow citizens WILL regard you and people like you as treasonous, and the reason for the loss of their and their children's future.

Posted by: MikeB | August 8, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Newt Gingrich has issued a challenge: After the primaries and conventions, each party's nominee should agree to a series of nine 90-minute dialogues at the Cooper Union, each on a specific subject of national significance. "

wELL .gOO DTHING nEWT NO LONGER HAS A VOICE IN POLITICS, OTHER THAN ON FOX. goo dthing is irrelevant because he is a lying rpopogating facsits. I have agreed with him once. That is one time, it was this week. HE called the war on terror "phony".

Now lets build from that realization

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

CC thought Edwards was flat, I agree, but add to that last night's wallflower, Richardson. He showed up at the dance but sat most of it out. The stealth candidate?.... so stealthy he'll probably go away and no one will notice.

Obama seemed off to me also, avoided questions and stubbornly (shades of The Decider) kept trying to defend his invasion of an ally, Pakiston, if they didn't do things to his liking IF he were president. Don't like stubborn.

Hillary took Obama to the woodshed for a time out... I totally agree with her "you don't say everything that is on your mind" scolding.

Biden and Dodd engaged the debate and Dennis the Menace just had fun.

All in all, a pretty good rumble.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 8, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, from the use of language, I'm pretty sure "Matt" is "Matilda", another of our feminist nutcases blogging for Hillary because she is a woman. On other forums these what jobs pop out of the woodwork and claim anyone opposed to Clinton is a "sexist". Well, Hillary is a snake and will divide this country even worse than George Bush. There is flat out nothing that would make me vote for her and I am echo'd in that stance by such a significantly large part of Democratic and independent voters that they only way she will win is by having the lowest percentage of the popular vote in history and that would entail a disaster that will make people actually fond of the "Bush Years".

Posted by: MikeB | August 8, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

JasonL, good post. MikeB clearly doesn't know what he's talking about wrt globalization and an evolving economy.

M in A, reading between the lines, I'm assuming you feel that the time for unions has largely passed? There's no escaping the observation that the more unionized an organization is, the less likely they can compete in the global marketplace. Which means layoffs and a shrinking of union employment.

But hey, they get to scream about their great negotiating with the evil mgmt of a company.

Posted by: JD | August 8, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Let me tell you something, there is nothing more unfortunate than a blind man, exept for a blind man with his head up his.....
That would be Zouk. Listen If this guy really think he or the Republicans have any credibility anymore, then it is he who is in the 20th century still and not us "Libs".

Which by the way the word "Liberal" by definition means free thinker... so I guess it would make sense that anyone who alligns themselves with Fox Noise, Exxon-Mobile, or President Bush to try and give the word 'Liberal' a bad name.

I suggest you spend less time on the internet and more time praying for forigivness for supporting a party who has sent thousands of innocent men, women and children to their deaths.

It is time for a change, it is time for the return of justice and honesty, Matt has it right, it is time for Hillary '08!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

A middle class is essential for a Democracy!
Our middle class is shrinking while corporations are given tax incentives to move U.S. jobs overseas.
John Edwards thinks that wrong - I do too.

Posted by: annefrank | August 8, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore despises Hillary.
A Hillary nomination would be a boon for the Republican Party.

Posted by: Richard | August 8, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Matt, you complain about Obama being Washington as usual, then support Hillary. If you have a problem with Washington as usual, why support a Washington insider?

Also Matt Obama's first name is not BARRACK, it is BARACK...Another look at your INEXPERIENCE.

I am a Democrat and I can rip you to shreds, what do you think Zouk will do with you?

Posted by: Blarg | August 8, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

JasonL - You are living in a fantasy world if you think we can survive on your "service based economy". What kind of service? Selling hamburgers to each other...or, more likely, Indian and CHinese food to our new masters. Look, all of the decent paying technology jobs are disappearing overseas. Even call centers are moving offshore, becasue our lowest minimum wage salary is ten or 20 times higher than what an equivalent Indian or CHinese or Vietnamese worker gets. Other than public employment, there are no new living wage jobs being created in this country and the tax base to support those government workers is disappearing rapidly. Beyond this, the whole underpinning for our economy has been consumer spending. That consumer spending has now translated into consumer debt, as decreasing wages and benefits and high import costs make it ever more difficult for American's to cotninue their same "standard of living". The result of all of this has been an utflow of foreign capital, used to support our government bonds and private debt. In Vienna, RIGHT NOW, OPEC is meeting to repeg the price of oil to the Euro. That is going to mean a very rapif rise in the price of fuel here, which is going to translate into staggering increases in the cost of food and everything else transported. Also, since the bulk of our manufactured goods are made offshore, those consumers who can still afford things, will simply continue the net outflow of U.S. dollars, likely inflated dollars in the near future as prices rise in reponse to the credit squeeze, furthering foreign control over all of our policies. Like it or not, we are trapped in an economic death spiral that we cannot simply climb out of. I do not see how we can survive this. Richardson, Clinton, Guliani, McCain, Kennedy, all of the leaders of both political parties, are "globalists" who apparently are waiting for some sort of miracle. Well, miracles are few and far between and I think the party's over and your "service economy" is a fantasy.

Posted by: MikeB | August 8, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, the corporate media like WaPo, promotes the candidates most willing to keep the corporatists ruling the country - and keeping the middle class struggling and filing for bankruptcies - unable to pay medical bills.
The corporate media promotes the interests of corporations - not us. And John Edwards is for ALL the people.
Hillary could pick her nose throughout the debate - and the corporate media would claim she "won."


Posted by: annefrank | August 8, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

RUFUS And SEAN have it completley wrong:

If you think that the "Right Wing Machine" wont rip obama to shredds then you are as blind as the Republicans.

Obama defines hypocricy here is why:
When Obama said that Dodd did not read his speech correctly Obama was full of it! Here are Obama's EXACT WORDS when he first spoke about invading PAkistan:

"If there is actionable intelligence...And President Musharraf does not act, we will."

Here is how he CORRECTED IT last night:
"I said we need to work with P{akistan in capturing Al Quiada. What I said was: If Musharraf is unable to act, then the U.S. Might have to help him."

WHAT A DIFFERENCE! This comming from the guy who is saying he is going to change Washington as usual, when actually he IS WASHINGTON AS USUAL!

Also Barrack there is no PRESIDENT OF CANADA, he is a PRIME MINISTER...Another look at his INEXPERIENCE.

I am a Democrat and I can rip him to shredds, what do you think Gulliani will do with him if he wins the Nomination.

We need to do just as Hillary said which is PICK A WINNER. The only thing that the Republicans will have on her is that she is a woman and she accepts money from SOME lobbyists. And if you think Hillary can't put then in their place...YOU DONT KNOW HILL!

HILLARY/GORE in '08 is my pick!

Posted by: Matt | August 8, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

It may be a secret, but I'm spilling it. The union negotiators all know that defined benefit plans - because they assume profitability into the long range future - are silly self defeating. But it is still red meat to tell the rank and file during an organizing campaign that the union will get them "defined benefits".

Taking secret ballots out of the organizing campaign would allow for the union to unduly pressure the voter, rather than merely try to convince her/him.

If strikers cannot be replaced, the company must shut down or knuckle under. That is an extortionate lever for a union.

So what do these candidates say?
"We have to have defined benefits pension plans again." HRC

"And when it comes to organizing at Resurrection Hospital, I will be the president who signs the Employee Free Choice Act."
HRC [EFCA = no secret ballot].

"And finally, I believe in an America where if you have to go out on strike, no scab can walk through that picket line and take your job -- (cheers, applause) -- away from you." JE

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 8, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Cillizza for confirming John Edwards' remarks were well received.
Just more proof - WaPo and MSM are frightened of his plans and solutions to benefit the middle class.
Our entire family is supporting John Edwards!

Posted by: annefrank | August 8, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I hate to disappoint you CC but according to a Time's article Edwards rated a B+ together with Obama and Clinton. We shall see how he goes in the race.

Posted by: reason1 | August 8, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Zouk is the Roy Pearson of The Fix.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 8, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

MBW writes
"Bill Richardson is becoming this year's stealth candidate."

There's a joke in there somewhere.

Posted by: bsimon | August 8, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, the only ones in danger because of a global economy are manufacturing workers. The US has a service based economy and it's going to get more service based as time goes on. It is inevitable. Death always is. But it isn't really the death you describe. It's the kind of death that pushes forward evolution. Manufacturing dies out and is replaced by services the same way blacksmiths and carpenters were replaced by manufacturing.

This is such a simple economic principle that so few people seem to really understand. ECONOMIES EVOLVE. Evolve with it or get passed over by it.
Anyway, I thought that Richardson was pretty good. Not really standing out but giving solid answers and staying mostly above the fray. I'm not saying he should be the next President, but I think he'd make a solid Vice President.

Honestly, does anyone think that Obama or Clinton would be able to stomach the Vice Presidency if the other won?

Posted by: JasonL | August 8, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Bill Richardson is becoming this year's stealth candidate.

He'll let the others slug it out and then pounce when the time is right. He's managed to work himself into decent poll position in the early states. Now, as Hillary, Barack, and co. beat up on each other, Richardson will be primed to make a move.

Posted by: MBW | August 8, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that the republican party has sold out this country to the Chinese communitss? Are you all traitors? You borrow and spend R's are allowing Commies to destroy this country.

You are guilty of treason. Why aren't you in Iraq, cowardly chickenhawk zouk?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

'Here's a hint Libs - don't promise anything you can't deliver. '

Gee, you mean like how the Iraqis would greet us with flowers, and the oil would pay for the war?

Almost half of the country has no health insurance -- what a great success that is.

Who pays you? The RNC or Exxon? Do you live in your mom's basement?

As above poster asks, why aren't you in the military?

Posted by: Jane | August 8, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

It's a sad day when a communist country controls our economic fate. Where is the out cry from the MSM on this issue. They spend more news coverage sensationalizing reports on a presidential candidates' hair cut or lindsey lohans drug problem than informing the American people on issues like these. It's time for a change.

Obama 08!

Posted by: JimmieFromDayton | August 8, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

proud -- another good idea from the Professor. Just be careful when he gets to the edge of rationality.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Ignorant coward - I and many others have absolutely no interest in what your pea brain thinks. We continue to ignore you. In the meantime - get a life

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 8, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Do you sleep till 4 eveyr day now zouk? Why aren't you in Iraq?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, your presence wasn't missed. Rational discourse has occurred for the most part.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that the losers are the pandering Dems. Anyone in this day and age who still thinks that unions are a viable way to conduct business is really stuck in the 20th century. Which businesses are going broke - airlines, steel, etc. All union shops which overly promised health care, retirement and too much pay. Now they can't figure out why price fixing isn't working out.

Here's a hint Libs - don't promise anything you can't deliver. Of course this would preclude you from winning any elections because you must make false promises (just like last time).

So if you want to enroll in a health care plan which will eventually fail, a retirement program which will go broke and run the capitalists out of town - by all means Vote D.

See how many coffee shops will take the Hillary false promises as currency.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 8, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I think most Americans would agree with this statement. "Cattle calls of 10 people, offering 30-second solutions to Iraq demeans the entire process of self-governance and makes an absurdity of running for office".

Newt Gingrich has issued a challenge: After the primaries and conventions, each party's nominee should agree to a series of nine 90-minute dialogues at the Cooper Union, each on a specific subject of national significance.

Rudy Giuliani has agreed to do so if he becomes the Republican nominee.

I think this format should be applied. It would be a welcome change from what we are currently calling "debates".

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 8, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The loosers were the voting public. They lost because the media CENSORED the primary theme of this debate - jobs and outsourcing. The headline news over the rest of the world today is that China and India are threatening to dump their U.S> dollars researves and crash our entire economy if we do anything to curtail outsourcing, guest workers, imports, or presure them to float their currencies. Globalization is the greatest danger this country has ever faced in all of it's history. It's cancer and those fools who claim it is inevitable are essentially saying that we are dying of cancer and the end is inevitable - eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you will surely die.

Posted by: MikeB | August 8, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Recently, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) appeared in the news for purchasing property on the Kenai River at far below market value last year from Alaska businessman Bob Penney. It turns out, the plot is nearby one of her more notable earmarks: a three-mile stretch of road that abuts the property of about 50 residents, for which Murkowski has secured $6 million in federal funds since 2003.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Now that's how you show you're committed to fighting terrorism: by pulling out of a tribal council convened to... fight terrorism.

That's what Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan announced today. Indicating his displeasure with accusations from the U.S. that he's acquiesced to the entrenchment of al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in his country's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Musharraf cited "engagements" preventing him attending a joint Afghan-Pakistan tribal conference aimed at cracking down on jihadists. On Monday, President Bush and Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai expressed high hopes for the joint "jirga," conceived of by the three leaders in 2006.

So: jirga on preventing terrorism? No go. Deal with FATA leaders that U.S. intelligence believes led to the reconstitution of al-Qaeda in Pakistan? Still in place.

Why would anyone think Musharraf is less than 100 percent committed to fighting al-Qaeda?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

But we have to get out the right way, because unlike Vietnam, when we leave Iraq, we'll still be left with significant interests in the region. We'll still have concerns about Iranian nuclear potential, the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, our friends in the Arab Gulf, and yes, the security of the world's principal supply of oil. These interests won't go away simply by pulling U.S. troops out.

Over the next few weeks, there will much discussion over the September report on Iraq, and General Dave Petraeus will be at the center of the debate. I admire Dave Petraeus. He's doing his best to make the surge work. That's his duty, and I think you can see by the results that where you put American troops, they do their duty, and of course, they make a difference. Unfortunately, it's transitory, and at what cost?

We need to stop arguing over the troops or their tactics but raise the debate to the administration's strategies and policies in this region. Here's why. We can't succeed in Iraq with more troops, no matter how good they are, because we can't succeed in this war just by killing people or intimidating the opposition.

Dave Petraeus would be the first one to tell you that. The military is part of the solution. It's not the answer. The answer is the politics. We have to work it at the diplomatic level and that means we've got to stop isolating people we disagree with and start engaging those people.

The administration doesn't want to talk about this. They want to talk about troops. They want to say they support our troops, and if we question the numbers of troops or their effectiveness, they want to say we don't support our troops. That we're not patriotic, and if we're not patriotic, then we don't have a voice.

I need your help. I need you to hammer on the theme of the strategy and the policies. Stop isolating people we disagree with. Start engaging. We need real American leadership instead of simply leading by sending men and women in uniform into combat.

Posted by: wes clark | August 8, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

i wish all you republicans would leave your democrat bashing out of this discussion

this is supposed to be a discussion of the DEMOCRATIC FORUM

all you do is talk about dems, and that dems want to do this dems want to do that, you can do that in your columns and editorials that are ABOUT REPUBLICANS

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

'China - a Communist dictatorship - is in the position of being able to tell the American Congress what to do because we've been borrowing astronomical sums of money from them in order to fund a botched war and give a nice big tax break to the wealthy.

That's exactly right, rufus. Because this administration is so crazed with borrow and spend, we are now in deep sh*t, completely powerless to stop a communist country from destroying our economy.

We won the Cold War, and now George Bush has lost it for us. snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, like every other incomptent thing he has done.

Yeah, let's have another republican president... what a good idea.

Posted by: Jane | August 8, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"On FOX & Friends First this morning the trio of hosts made the startling announcement that China has threatened to dump US treasuries, which would precipitate a recession. According to this morning's Telegraph "The Chinese government has begun a concerted campaign of economic threats against the United States, hinting that it may liquidate its vast holding of US treasuries if Washington imposes trade sanctions to force a yuan revaluation." In layman's terms, China doesn't like the fact that a number of Congressmen have proposed legislation that would protect American businesses by forcing China to revalue the yuan"

"So let me get this straight.

China - a Communist dictatorship - is in the position of being able to tell the American Congress what to do because we've been borrowing astronomical sums of money from them in order to fund a botched war and give a nice big tax break to the wealthy.

I can't believe this is happening. China is quasi-barbaric nation that believes the best way to solve its quality control issues is to hold a show trial and execute the government official responsible for product safety.

I feel like I've gone down the rabbit hole and there's a large white bunny telling me he's late, so late, for a very important date while a smiling cat appears and disappears at will.

The sad fact is that I don't trust this Congress or this President. I'm afraid that, when the Chinese say "jump," this bunch of pantywaists will ask "how high?"

What a mess ..."

fRICKING REPUBLCIANS. 50 YEARS ago alignin gwith a foregin government AGAINST the nation was considered treason. I long for the old days. In terms of accountability for our leaders.

Posted by: RUFUS | August 8, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

A couple of weeks ago, actor/senator/lobbyist Fred Thompson, a leading GOP presidential contender despite not having launched a campaign, lost his campaign manager, research director, and spokesperson in the course of a couple of days.

Apparently, he fired his economic advisor, too. In his latest column, Thompson argues that Bush's economic policies are superior to those of Bill Clinton's.

Wow. It would be surprising enough for a presidential candidate to say such nonsense out loud, but to put it in print is rather remarkable. Thompson has already developed something of a reputation for having a limited intellect, but writing such tripe is only going to make matters worse.

I've been looking forward to the end of 2008, not just because it will mark the end of Bush's presidency, but also because it will offer a chance to compare Clinton's and Bush's records. The current Oval Office occupant still has a ways to go, but so far, Clinton is ahead in every possible category, including job creation, economic growth, deficit reduction, poverty reduction, stock market growth, narrowing the income gap, the list goes on and on.

MSNBC looked at just job creation and public confidence.

During the eight years of the Clinton Administration -- which, by the way, raised taxes -- about 23 million jobs were created, which comes out to about 240,000 jobs per month. By comparison, only a net of 5.6 million jobs have been created during the Bush years, which comes out to about 71,000 per month. Even taking away the job losses caused by a recession and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Bush years come up short: In the 47 consecutive months of job growth since the fall of 2003, the per-month average has been about 177,000 jobs.

What's more, many Americans don't feel that great about the economy right now. In the latest NBC/WSJ poll, 68% of respondents say the country is in an economic recession -- or will be in the next 12 months. And on a 1-to-10 scale, the mean grade respondents gave the economy in the poll was 5.6. By comparison, the grade they gave in June 1997 (well before the tech boom of the late 1990s) was 6.2.

That latter point matters. Thompson is not just wrong on the facts when it comes to Bush's economic record, he's also insulting the public's intelligence. Americans who've struggled for the last six years know how awful Bush's policies have been. For Thompson to tell them, "Don't believe your lying eyes" only reinforces the notion that this guy is an amateur who doesn't know what he's talking about.

Let's also not overlook the fact that Thompson's column describes a vast media conspiracy, made up of journalists who want to raise taxe

Posted by: Thompson's another loon | August 8, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? There's one loser: Edwards? Not even Gravel, they guy who didn't show up?

Please. What you see are negatives is what a lot of folks online see as positives (and I'll include there's nary a mention of the most riviting part of this debate - the question from the retired steelworker. Or of Biden's completely disrespecting the question of the woman whose husband died in the coal mine disaster last year, choosing to turn it into yet another debate point on Iraq).

It is becoming clearer that there is a disconnect between what the media "connects" with - i.e., cheap shots, debate points and personality politics - and what all of us real people think are important - i.e., respect, health care and our economic futures.

It dismays be greatly to see The Fixx following this trend - I had expected more.

Posted by: grannyhelen | August 8, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I have been surprised today at how few noticed Biden's complete dismissal of the Sago Mine widows question for a chance to respond to the Pakistan discussion (see video here: Based on that answer alone, placing Biden in the "winner" column of this debate is laughable.

In response to the other commenter's question about Bill Richardson, my only thoughts are that he continues to fade into the background of these debates. He's perhaps the worst debater in the entire presidential field, with the possible exception of Gravel and Tommy Thompson. He also looked visibly uncomfortable (not to mention wet) in the humidity.

Posted by: | August 8, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Here is my nightmare. The Cheneyites succeed in creating a situation in which Bush does decide to bomb Iran. Iran retaliates, as they openly threaten to do, with terrorist attacks against us on U.S. soil. That tilts the election. I can imagine a Karl Rove political calculation that would buttress a Cheney-Addington national security calculation, probably with Eliot Abrams' support.

Posted by: Ann-Marie | August 8, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Read this amazing piece by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker. But gird yourself. It's one of the worst things you'll ever read about your government, and that's saying something:

"The C.I.A.'s interrogation program is remarkable for its mechanistic aura. 'It's one of the most sophisticated, refined programs of torture ever,' an outside expert familiar with the protocol said. 'At every stage, there was a rigid attention to detail. Procedure was adhered to almost to the letter. There was top-down quality control, and such a set routine that you get to the point where you know what each detainee is going to say, because you've heard it before. It was almost automated. People were utterly dehumanized. People fell apart. It was the intentional and systematic infliction of great suffering masquerading as a legal process. It is just chilling.'"


"A former member of a C.I.A. transport team has described the 'takeout' of prisoners as a carefully choreographed twenty-minute routine, during which a suspect was hog-tied, stripped naked, photographed, hooded, sedated with anal suppositories, placed in diapers, and transported by plane to a secret location. A person involved in the Council of Europe inquiry, referring to cavity searches and the frequent use of suppositories during the takeout of detainees, likened the treatment to 'sodomy.' He said, 'It was used to absolutely strip the detainee of any dignity. It breaks down someone's sense of impenetrability. The interrogation became a process not just of getting information but of utterly subordinating the detainee through humiliation.' The former C.I.A. officer confirmed that the agency frequently photographed the prisoners naked, 'because it's demoralizing."

Posted by: america the beautiful | August 8, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

For those who didn't see the debate but want to read a great rundown, read Dan Balz' article in today's WaPo.

Obama did well, HRC did good enough, Kucinich is a clown (withdraw the US from the WTO? OK....)

Posted by: JD | August 8, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Simon: maybe that's because any debate in which Dennis Kucinich participates is by definition meaningless.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 8, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Here's an emerging line of attack you can expect to hear more of in the 2008 congressional campaigns -- especially if you live near a vulnerable Democratic incumbent: Democrats vote to give welfare benefits to illegal aliens.

Or, even better: Democrats vote to take benefits away from deserving senior citizens to pay for welfare for illegal aliens.

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Ugly? Absolutely. Devastating? So Republicans hope. True? No.

Bashing Democrats on immigration -- accusing them of doing everything but carrying illegals' luggage across the border -- is a GOP mainstay. But the accusations that Republicans started to peddle last week reached a new low in dishonest nativism.

The first salvo involved the House version of the measure to extend the children's health insurance plan, SCHIP.

"What we do is take, at the cost of seniors who get . . . choices of their own health-care plans, we take it away," former speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) claimed during the House debate. "We wipe it out, and we give it to people who are illegal aliens."

"That bill, if it becomes law, would take $197 billion out of the Medicare trust fund, from our seniors, to give to illegal aliens," charged Rep. Ron Lewis (R-Ky.).

Leave aside the inflated numbers. Leave aside the scare talk about "our seniors." (AARP, the seniors' lobby, supports the bill.)

The provision at issue would repeal a 2006 requirement that everyone applying for Medicaid provide proof of citizenship -- passports or original birth certificates. That might sound sensible, but it has been a cumbersome, expensive solution to a non-problem.

In 2005, when he was overseeing the Medicaid program for the Bush administration, Mark McClellan noted that an inspector general's investigation did "not find particular problems regarding false allegations of citizenship, nor are we aware of any."

Posted by: Ruth | August 8, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse


keith was a great moderator BUUTTTTT

i do somewhat agree...the questioning set up could have been better

but he was still good

im glad he gave obama multiples chances to pounce on everyone who were trying to attack him

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RUFUS | August 8, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone think that MSNBC or Keith Olbermann was partial toward Clinton?

The debate setup seemed to favor the portrayal of Clinton as above the fray. For example, Olbermann phrased the Pakistan issue as an argument between Dodd and Obama and then went to Clinton, which allowed her to appear presidential.

It seemed like Clinton, being in the middle of the stage and always allowed the last retort, was set up to win the debate.

She completely avoided the "China, adversary or ally?" question and Olbermann did not follow up but when Obama avoided the Barry Bonds White House invitation question, Olbermann pressed him again for an answer.

Am I reading too much into this?

Posted by: Ron | August 8, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Kucinich won this debate hands down

hillary was sucky, she got bood like 3 times

i personally would like a tick like..



or even obama/clinton

Posted by: Sean | August 8, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I actually agree with 2:09. The Bush analogy is appropriate:

Hillary's message can be boiled down to "All Democrats are equal and I'm the best. Anyone who says all Democrats aren't equal is a bad Democrat."

Isn't this basically the same message as "Anyone who doesn't support the president is unpatriotic"?

Posted by: Golgi | August 8, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

its very intresting to me,any time hillary is confronted,(ie) lobbist, she is so condisending, oh i dont tink we should fight amongst ourselves,its the republicans we need to take on. this woman is so fake i cant believe people dont see thru her. please people,take a good hard look ath this phony before you vote for her. she is george bush in drag.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

18 comments so far (not counting the double post), twelve of them off topic. Seriously, people. There are real forums and blogs where you can post your unrelated griping points.

This was Dennis' debate, easily, when you take the audience into account. Withdrawing from NAFTA and the WTO (no other candidate even mentioned the WTO), universal health care (not insurance), a working wage, all things labor loves. But here is the thing that makes Kucinich different: He says it everywhere he goes, not just in front of the unions. The other candidates hardly even mention working class issues when they are not directly in front of them. Kucinich has integrity and passion, he does not pander.

Also, as to question about where was Richardson? That is what I would like to know. He was practically a non-presence in this debate, between the superstars, and the superstar's attack dog, and Dennis working the crowed, Richardson might as well have not been there for all the impact he made.

Posted by: Simon | August 8, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Hillary pulled out the win, for sure.

Full debate analysis:

Posted by: chris | August 8, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton is reported as saying "If you want a winner, I'm your girl."

Can she deliver on that promise? It may make for a nice soundbite - though even that is being disputed - but more importantly, can she deliver on such a promise? As the candidate with the highest negatives, is she really the candidate that can 'win' the big one?

Posted by: bsimon | August 8, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

_Giuliani reproached the mother of a robbery suspect shot dead by police detectives: "Maybe you should ask yourself some questions about the way he was brought up and the things that happened to him. Trying to displace the responsibility for the criminal acts of your son onto these police officers is really unfair."

_Responding to a caller upset that Giuliani yanked funding for a controversial art exhibit, he said: "Anthony, you are so filled with anger and hatred at me. Take some Valium, Anthony! Anthony, calm down, baby! Take it easy!"

_He unleashed a tirade at an advocate for ferrets' rights, saying, "There is something really, really very sad about you. You need help. You need somebody to help you. I know you feel insulted by that, but I'm being honest with you. This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness."

_When a caller upset about being cut off from food stamps and Medicaid called Giuliani a bad mayor and a criminal, Giuliani said: "There's something that's really wrong with you. ... We'll send you psychiatric help, because you seriously need it." It turned out the caller, John Hynes, had Parkinson's disease.

These exchanges, among his most harsh, occurred after Giuliani came under fire for the police shooting of an unarmed West African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, in February 1999. Giuliani's approval ratings tumbled 20 percent, from 50 percent in November 1998 to 30 percent in April 1999.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

What is it with you silly guys? The debate was certainly more interesting than any so far and my take is that Keith Oberman did
a great job, better than anyone else.
To get back to my original comment...there
were NO winners last night in Chicago. It was a good discussion of issues and with time constraints they all did well. I would like to see a debate (real) on one topic i.e. universal health care. I want to see besides Kucinich, who has the courage to take on the insurance and drug companies.

Posted by: Florence Murphy | August 8, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

going to keep it," Romney told some 200 people gathered in an abbey near the Mississippi River that had been converted into a hotel. "My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard."

He added: "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

Romney's five sons range in age from 37 to 26 and have worked as real estate developers, sports marketers and advertising executives. They are now actively campaigning for their father and have a "Five Brothers" blog on Romney's campaign Web site.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that's the way we're going to keep it," Romney told some 200 people gathered in an abbey near the Mississippi River that had been converted into a hotel. "My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard."

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He added: "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

Romney's five sons range in age from 37 to 26 and have worked as real estate developers, sports marketers and advertising executives. They are now actively campaigning for their father and have a "Five Brothers" blog on Romney's campaign Web site.

Posted by: sickening and pathetic | August 8, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Last night, after the forum, Chris Matthews suggested that Clinton was booed for going after Obama ("people running for president should not engage in hypotheticals"), just as The Fix does here.

She wasn't booed for that. She was booed for saying "You shouldn't always say everything that's on your mind."

How is it possible that the pundits keep missing that?

Posted by: nctodc | August 8, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- Republican presidential hopeful Mitt 'Romney on Wednesday defended his five sons' decision not to enlist in the military, saying they're showing their support for the country by "helping me get elected."

Romney, who did not serve in Vietnam due to his Mormon missionary work and a high draft lottery number, was asked the question after a speech in which he called for "a surge of support" for U.S. forces in Iraq.'

So where's your comments on incredible piece of hypocrisy? Five adult sons and none of them in the military -- and he's calling for more troops to enlist!

Posted by: chickenhawk mitty and sons | August 8, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cilizza-What about Governor Richardson--you completely forgot him in your line up. My fellow posters please opine on Bill Richardson.

Posted by: And Then There were 17 | August 8, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Back to the point, if we may...

it seems that Obama rather craftily knew that they were going to attack him for his comments and played it right back at them. No flip-flopping, no 'nuance'. Nicely done.

Dodd did well, too.

Hillary gave too many soundbites to the right.

Don't know about Edwards. Anyway, that's just my opinion.

Posted by: DCAustinite | August 8, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

'The NYC headquarters of Fox News is completely flooded. There's a tarp hanging from the newsroom ceiling and vacuums trying to dry up the soaked rugs. Quite a mess! FNC's newsroom is in an below-street level area of the News Corp. building on 6th Ave.'

Mother Nature strikes back at Fox for denying global warming. Bizarre, violent storms all summer here. Incredible heat and humidity like i've never seen-- you hear thunder or see lightning now, you just don't know what to expect and it's getting really scary.

Posted by: drindl | August 8, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The chairman of the Clark County Republican Party -- who last month was elected president of the Young Republican National Federation -- has resigned both posts in the wake of a criminal investigation.

On Tuesday afternoon, Glenn Murphy Jr. e-mailed media outlets a letter announcing his resignation from both positions, citing an unexpected business opportunity that would prohibit him from holding a partisan political office.

However, the Clark County Sheriff's Department on Friday began investigating Murphy for criminal deviate conduct -- potentially a class B felony -- after speaking with a 22-year-old man who claimed that on July 31, Murphy performed an unwanted sex act on him while the man slept in a relative's Jeffersonville home.

Posted by: LOL hypocrites | August 8, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I liked Kusinich's digging a hole to china comment. it was right on. It this why Murduch Fox and the right wingers are selling out to china? Is it because they, and WE in turn, own them so much.

Frickin republicans. Treason. Sell-out to foreign influences.

Posted by: rufus | August 8, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

It's an especially sensitive topic this August because the administration and Congress put pressure on Iraq's parliament to work through the Baghdad summer and pass legislation aimed at promoting political unity and stabilization. Paying little heed, the parliament on July 30 left for a month off.

``It's better than taking two months off, which was their original plan,'' Vice President Dick Cheney said in a July 31 interview on CNN.

Posted by: LOL | August 8, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The Fix agrees with me for once

Obama won this debate

Kucinich did very very well

I GUESS Clinton was good but she did get jeerd one too many times for a debate


but finally the fix gives Obama the coverage he deserve and acknowledges that HE WON THE DEBATE, especially when you only look at the top tier

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 8, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

'President George W. Bush goes tomorrow to his family's seaside compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, for a long weekend before heading for his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Call it a recess, call it a break, just don't call it a vacation.'

Well, it's the anniversary of the August memo, 'bin ladin determined to strike in US' so bush is off to texas for a month.. more vacation time than any president in history -- 9.11 the result.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

On lobbyists, Hillary Clinton was hilarious. First, she refused to go along with other candidates who vowed to take no money from Washington lobbyists.

People have to understand that lobbyists represent real Americans with real concerns, she said, so she would continue to take their money.

Then she said: "Anyone who knows me would find ridiculous the suggestion that I might be influenced in my decisions by lobbyists' money."

So, in other words, she will take their money, because they're real Americans with real concerns...she just won't listen to them or help them.

Posted by: OD | August 8, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

On lobbyists, Hillary Clinton was hilarious. First, she refused to go along with other candidates who vowed to take no money from Washington lobbyists.

People have to understand that lobbyists represent real Americans with real concerns, she said, so she would continue to take their money.

Then she said: "Anyone who knows me would find ridiculous the suggestion that I might be influenced in my decisions by lobbyists' money."

So, in other words, she will take their money, because they're real Americans with real concerns...she just won't listen to them or help them.

Posted by: OD | August 8, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Evening in Erbil, Kurdistan, what passes for an oasis of peace in Iraq. It's March 2006, and I'm waiting for a ride down to Baghdad along one of the world's most dangerous roads, a six-hour drive through the Sunni Triangle. A few years ago, I would have taken a taxi, but now the insurgents run roadblocks looking for targets--soldiers, contractors, journalists. I can't rely on the Iraqi police, who are as likely to turn me over to insurgents for money as to be insurgents themselves. And then there are the improvised explosive devices, hidden in rubbish, wreckage, dead goats. I had a close encounter in 2003, when I rode with a convoy of trucks ferrying mail and supplies through the Sunni Triangle to U.S. Army bases. An ied detonated a second too early, exploding just in front of us rather than beneath us. We drove through the cloud of shrapnel, dust, and smoke before I had a chance to get scared. This time, though, I have a long trip south to consider all the possible dangers.

The only way to avoid being seized by one of the many militias that terrorize Iraq is to travel with your own militia, and so the documentary film director I am working for has paid $7,000 to a private security company to take us to Baghdad. Our convoy of four armored Ford F-350 pickup trucks, each containing four or five men apiece, is commanded by two American security contractors whose call signs are Steeler and Pirate (for security reasons, several contractors in this piece asked that I not identify them or their companies). Steeler is a taut guy from Pennsylvania; a former Army Ranger, he served in Iraq with the National Guard and then returned for a salary several times higher. He will take the lead vehicle, eyeing the road for potential threats, a task suited to his taciturn nature. Pirate is the convoy commander. A burly, bearded former Green Beret, he has worked as a private security contractor in Haiti and Africa. I ride in his truck, its window bearing evidence of a recent attack near western Baghdad's Spaghetti Junction, where heavy-caliber machine-gun fire spiderwebbed the bulletproof glass. On the bed at the back of each truck, reinforced "up-armored" housings hold rear gunners and their belt-fed Russian machine guns. Our gunners are all Kurds. The insurgents are mostly Arabs, and the company Pirate and Steeler work for believes Kurds are less likely to be infiltrated, plus Kurds have a long tradition of guerrilla fighting against heavy odds.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Delegates and Super Delegates

as many say : the trick is the Delegates and Super Delegates, where the insiders in each party will push the chosen ones, a fix and a fraud and no one will say anything ! ,
we need more Debates with precise questions about energy independence,health,immigration, jobs in the future global digital wireless economy,education, trade, foreign relations and war profiteering , etc., before selection of Delegates and Super Delegates, we need Honesty,Vision and Action!

Posted by: blogger | August 8, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to see all the candidates discuss and criticize one another and be criticized by the audience. I was disappointed that none of them addressed the issue of Global Poverty. Every 3.6 seconds, another person dies of starvation and yet the United States is lagging near last in the fight against poverty.

Posted by: Erica | August 8, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Why does anyone think about Mitty's comment that his sons are doing their part against the 'gwot' by helping with his campaign?

That's the most cowardly chickenhawk thing I think i've ever heard anyone say -- and a deep insult to anyone with kids serving in Iraq. Are his supporters too craven to call him on it?

Posted by: Linda | August 8, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

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