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Chasing Big Money: The Democrats

Two separate developments this month show why it's impossible to emphasize just how much the quest for campaign cash will dominate the early stages of the 2008 presidential race.

First, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) convened a gathering of several hundred affluent individuals who have committed to collect tens of thousands of dollars for her campaign. Then, Sen. Barack Obama announced he would opt out of accepting public funds in both the primary and the general election -- following the lead of Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). (To be fair, Obama is also asking the Federal Election Commission about whether he can change his mind later in the cycle.)

With neutral observers estimating that campaigns will need to raise upwards of $100 million between now and February 2008, every serious candidate is spending hours each day courting the whales who can write a $4,600 check and convince 10, 50 or 100 friends to do the same.

Steve Elmendorf, who served as a senior aide to the presidential campaigns of Rep. Dick Gephardt (Mo.) and Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) in 2004, said that most of a candidate's time at this early stage is spent wooing these financial heavy hitters. "That is time-intensive in terms of candidate travel and phone time," he said.

While the courting of these well-connected donors is somewhat easier to track on the Republican side -- thanks to the existing lists of the so-called "Pioneers" and "Rangers" developed in President Bush's two national campaigns -- there is little question that Democrats are competing just as frenetically to ink their party's high rollers.

"This is not a large community," said Alan Solomont, a Boston-based donor who was intimately involved in Kerry's fundraising and is now signed on with Obama. "There are not an unlimited number of people who do this regularly."

With that in mind, The Fix is setting out to catalogue the key financial players who have signed on with the various Democrats running for president. This list is by no means comprehensive; we will be adding to it regularly.

JOE BIDEN

* Jack Connors, former head of Hill Holiday ad agency
* Jack Gifford, founder of Maxim Integrated Circuits
* Michael Adler, National Jewish Democratic Council Chairman
* Ben Morrelli, attorney
* John Coone, attorney
* Todd Smith, attorney
* Peter Angelos, attorney
* Bill Levin, attorney

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

* S. Daniel Abraham, Slimfast founder
* Clarence Avant, music executive
* Elizabeth Bagley, former Ambassador to Portugal
* Suzy Tompkins Buell, Espirit co-founder
* Stan Chesley, attorney
* Blair Effron, former vice chairman of UBS
* Quincy Jones, musician
* Garry Mauro, attorney
* Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Committee Chair
* Hassan Nemazee, Nemazee Capital Corporation President and CEO
* Alan Patricof, venture capitalist
* Arthur Schechter, attorney
* Mark Weiner, Financial Innovations President
* Hugh Westbrook, health care executive
* Maureen White, former DNC Finance Chair

CHRIS DODD

* Ken Brody, Taconic Capital Advisor co-founder
* Joihn Cohlan, Margaritaville Enterprises CEO
* Dick Ebersol, NBC Sports and Olympic chairman
* Tom Flexner, Bear Sterns and Co. vice chairman
* Richard Friedman, Carpenter and Company CEO
* Jane Hartley, G7 Group CEO
* Ron Meyer, Universal Studios president
* Paul Montrone, Fisher Scientific CEO
* Christopher "Kip" O'Neill, Athy & Casey
* Richard Plepler, HBO executive vice president
* Tom Werner, Boston Red Sox chairman

JOHN EDWARDS

* Fred Baron, attorney
* Mitchell Berger, attorney
* Jason Flom, CEO of Virgin Records
* Tom Girardi, attorney
* Leo Hindery, founder of Yes! Network and Intermedia
* Bob Katz, Goldman Sachs
* Skip Paul, former President of MCA Enterprise
* Andy and Debbie Rappaport, venture capitalists
* Laura Ross
* Shi Shailendra, SG Contracting
* Adam Venit, Endeavor talent agency

BARACK OBAMA

* Bob Farmer, former DNC finance chair
* David Geffen, movie producer
* Mark Gorenberg, venture capitalist
* Jeffrey Katzenberg, movie producer
* Orin Kramer, hedge fund manager
* Charlie Rivkin, Wild Brain President and CEO
* John Roos, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati CEO * Alan Solomont, former DNC finance chair
* Kirk Wagar, attorney

BILL RICHARDSON

* Norm Brownstein, Brownstein Hyatt & Farber founder
* Mike Stratton, plitical consultant

TOM VILSACK

* Jerry Crawford, attorney
* Sally Pederson, former Iowa lieutenant governor

Are we missing names? Feel free to post in the comments section below or e-mail me.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 15, 2007; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clinton Wows Influential Progressives
Next: House Democrats Reveal Their "Frontline"

Comments

Both Hillary and John McCain absolutely REEK of blind, naked, desperate ambition to be President. That should instantly disqualify both of them.

Posted by: SetMeFree | February 21, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

thomas,
The Clintons have always had contempt for black voters. He belonged to a segregated golf club in Little Rock when he was Governor. Clinton saw black voters as useful if they could be taken for granted and thats why they need to fear monger his candidacy to blacks.

Posted by: Karen | February 16, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Here is an OUT OF THE BOX suggestion/question for this blog audience:

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE WOULD HAPPEN IF.....

The MAJORITY OF VOTERS proved Nader or another willing good candidate with a life track of accomplishment in the public interest could win by sending him $1.00 to $5.00...WHAT WOULD HAPPEN to this ugly greedy dominated corporate greed evidence of the ugly greedy unprincipled candidates choosing to run on money not on merits, and expecting the greed wins the public votes (?!)

Isn't it obvious the Two Parties are CORPORATE GREED MONOPOLIES and ignoring what politics and government is all about, and willfully TAKING OVER against this country and the world, and expecting to get greed consequences? Who wants nukes except the people who get money for them?

Change in policy must come from the majority proving its power to FORCE THE TRUTH OF THE MAJORITY AGAINST THE GREEDY FEW....

To me, this ARTICLE PORTRAIT OF WILLFUL ESCAPE FROM THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN OUR FACES BY SHOWING THE CORPORATE GREED AS THEIR CHOICE depicts obvious abuse of proper political campaign funding...and proper priorities in the PUBLIC INTEREST!

Independent candidates who might be CLEARLY a viable candidate who would be a GOOD PRESIDENT showing GOOD VALUES and PLATFORMS that are GOOD for this country and the world order?

Ruling THIS country with Democratic (obviously not the Democratic party, but the repreentation of the PEOPLE by the elected by a majority on principle with proper politics as properly funded....Democracy is the U.S. Constitution as written by our founding fathers...and GREED RULE was not the intent. GOOD GOVERNMENT was the intent, as the "governing principle" which means the majority of elected people would represent the RIGHT STUFF, which is NOT GREED and NOT private profit.

Public Interest at a majority level, could happen if the public send minimal funding to the BEST candidates on the horizon.

Does this audience like GREED? Or do they believe the obvious possible reality...the PEOPLE CAN FORCE a MAJORITY RULE against the GREED, by a LANDSLIDE MAJORITY!!!!

What is stopping it from happening?

Posted by: Elizabeth | February 16, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

When are we going to wake up and realize that in an election the candidates are saying whatever their audience wants to hear, and doing whatever their BIG money contributors tell them to do. It doesn't matter what side of the isle they are from, they are all beholding to the BIG money guys. The Clintons especially are offenders in going with the money gravy train and pandering shamelessly to get as much as they can.

Posted by: common sense | February 16, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

When are we going to wake up and realize that in an election the candidates are saying whatever their audience wants to hear, and doing whatever their BIG money contributors tell them to do. It doesn't matter what side of the isle they are from, they are all beholding to the BIG money guys. The Clintons especially are offenders in going with the money gravy train and pandering shamelessly to get as much as they can.

Posted by: common sense | February 16, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

When are we going to wake up and realize that in an election the candidates are saying whatever their audience wants to hear, and doing whatever their BIG money contributors tell them to do. It doesn't matter what side of the isle they are from, they are all beholding to the BIG money guys. The Clintons especially are offenders in going with the money gravy train and pandering shamelessly to get as much as they can.

Posted by: common sense | February 16, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Judge: Umm, so how many decades will we be there? And if we'd just stayed in South Vietnam it would still be a teetering dictatorship. What a great idea. Why don't we go back to South Vietnam and kick some Commie butt? And how 'bout those North Koreans, those bad guys in Lebanon that killed 284 US Marines, the khat-crazed loonies in Somalia and there's always Libya"

I'm not sure where you got the idea that I want to play the part of world policeman. I do feel that this is an important region and leaving it to chaos would be irresponsible.

Just can't get-over Vietnam, can you.

Posted by: FH | February 16, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

a few points

some of you clearly have no idea how politics works.

secondly Hillary Clinton's fundraising is absolutely awful.....yet if someones favoured candidate was able to raise that kind of money they would cheer them on. Oh please.

thirdly, Karen....you really are a biased idiot. You don't understand politics and you slander both clinton and black voters. You're quite contemptible. End of story.

Posted by: thomas | February 16, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

For real, how do we even know what Obama stands for when he votes "present" all the time?

http://rothenbergpoliticalreport.blogspot.com/2007/02/ever-present-obama.html

Posted by: M. Wilson | February 15, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

"Judge: Why don't we stay and ensure that does not happen. The only way your scenario happens is if we abandon the mission."

Umm, so how many decades will we be there? And if we'd just stayed in South Vietnam it would still be a teetering dictatorship. What a great idea. Why don't we go back to South Vietnam and kick some Commie butt? And how 'bout those North Koreans, those bad guys in Lebanon that killed 284 US Marines, the khat-crazed loonies in Somalia and there's always Libya.

We dropped the World's Policeman shtick a while ago. Just because the guy you voted for has an obsession with Iraq doesn't mean we should all feel the same way you do.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 15, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

well, fh, i think if we hadn't insisted on going in without u.n. or other international approval, we'd be in a better position to enlist outside help now. it would also have avoided setting up the u.s. as the sole bad guy in the eyes of the islamic world. maybe we could still get some help, but that would mean admitting to the rest of the region and the world that we didn't really have a clear idea of what we were and are doing and why we were and are doing it, and that is something this president will never do, committed as he is to handing off the problem to his successor.

so do you think bush (or cheney, or any of the others) really thought we couldn't wait for some international approval? as we now know, they DID NOT have the information they said they did - the information which they presented to the rest of the world as the ticking time bomb which we could not afford to wait to defuse... so they had to have gone in knowing that they wouldn't be able to justify it if asked. what then was their motivation? my suspicion was that cheney (and rumsfeld and the rest, but especially cheney) was determined to prove to the rest of the world that the u.s. was able to do as it wished, regardless of international authority. (sort of parallels his idea of the "unitary executive," but on a global scale.) could be why he (dick) continues to insist to this day that we have "improved" things in the region and the world. ???

Posted by: meuphys | February 15, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

meuphys: Agreed on the wisdom of the invasion in the first place. Perhaps we should have just made a deal with Saddam. We get the sactions off your back, you kill any Islamic militant that comes inside your country. Unfortunately, we are where we are...the question then becomes, do we give up and leave or try and get the best resolution we can? I am for the latter, but I understand why the former is so very tempting.

Posted by: FH | February 15, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

fh, when you say "The only way your scenario happens is if we abandon the mission" - do you mean that any bad idea must be seen through to its conclusion, even if more and more people acknowledge that it was a bad idea? what if "the mission" is actually making the situation worse, i.e. making more enemies, and thus making us less safe? remember, the iraq study group (remember them? the bipartisan panel which was supposed to provide bush with the political cover to withdraw?) was of the opinion that the u.s. presence in iraq is actually ATTRACTING terrorists to the region? if that is true, maybe we're just staying there because the president is stubborn? hey, maybe there was a good reason after all for the 1st bush NOT to topple saddam during gulf war I...

Posted by: meuphys | February 15, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

ok, where to begin?

saddam was a bad man, but he did - albeit brutally - keep the lid on the sunni / shiite animosity. anyone who knows anything about the region could have predicted for bush - had he asked - that civil war would be the inevitable result of removing him without immediately installing a strong authority, which would only have made us even more hated in the arab world. in the real world, there was no excuse good enough for doing what we did. yes, he no longer terrorizes his population, but others were willing to step in promptly to play that role because the u.s. did not (could not.)
don't get me wrong - i'm no fan of his, but the situation following his removal is worse for us, from a very practical point of view - far less stable and far more dangerous - than when he was in power.

important to remember that for many years, under saddam, iraq was a u.s. "ally" in the region - as is true in so many other parts of the world, we were willing to overlook almost anything in a state which lined up with us vs. "the communist threat."

now, we don't understand when a disunited, artificially cobbled together state - made up of three disparate groups who have hated each other for a thousand years - refuses to suddenly play nice and adopt the culture of a western representative democracy just because we tell them to. this is why it matters that we have an intelligent and thoughtful president who is cognizant of "nuance," rather than a folksy doofus with a good ol' boy twang who is easily manipulated by friend and foe alike.

Posted by: meuphys | February 15, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

ok, where to begin?

saddam was a bad man, but he did - albeit brutally - keep the lid on the sunni / shiite animosity. anyone who knows anything about the region could have predicted for bush - had he asked - that civil war would be the inevitable result of removing him without immediately installing a strong authority, which would only have made us even more hated in the arab world. in the real world, there was no excuse good enough for doing what we did. yes, he no longer terrorizes his population, but others were willing to step in promptly to play that role because the u.s. did not (could not.)
don't get me wrong - i'm no fan of his, but the situation following his removal is worse for us, from a very practical point of view - far less stable and far more dangerous - than when he was in power.

important to remember that for many years, under saddam, iraq was a u.s. "ally" in the region - as is true in so many other parts of the world, we were willing to overlook almost anything in a state which lined up with us vs. "the communist threat."

now, we don't understand when a disunited, artificially cobbled together state - made up of three disparate groups who have hated each other for a thousand years - refuses to suddenly play nice and adopt the culture of a western representative democracy just because we tell them to. this is why it matters that we have an intelligent and thoughtful president who is cognizant of "nuance," rather than a folksy doofus with a good ol' boy twang who is easily manipulated by friend and foe alike.

Posted by: meuphys | February 15, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: "I lump al-queda with the saudi royals because binladin and most of the original al-queda ARE Saudi royals. The bin-ladin family is still close to the Bush family, one of the whole raisons for al-queda. Osama himself, it is true, broke wit his family, but not that long ago."

You say you've read a great deal on this subject? Are you saying that Al Queda is like a Suadi Royal splinter cell? I don't get what you are saying here. Maybe you are saying that GWB knows that Saudi Arabia actually attacked us but he gave them a pass because he and the Bin Ladens are close? That is M. Moore stuff and is really kind of just ridiculous.

You say I'm projecting, but I would never say or believe that a dem. would sell out their country to protect a foreign national. The bottom line is, you think GWB wakes up every morning saying to himself, "how can I screw the American public today". I just don't believe that...not even of Ted Kennedy

Judge: Why don't we stay and ensure that does not happen. The only way your scenario happens is if we abandon the mission. Why do you dems want to lose Iraq so bad?

Posted by: FH | February 15, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Karen is definitely implying that Hillary Clinton just signed a consulting contract for $205,000 with a pastor who claims to be the key to the black vote in South Carolina. In fact, the Washington Post has implied this man is crucial to getting the black vote. I don't think the majority of blacks (or whites) can have their votes bought, but to deny that Hillary is trying to do that is funny.

Posted by: karen | February 15, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

'No use discussing with you further...you believe what you want and are apparently so ingrained with partisan hatred '

I would say that's a good example of projection, Fh, this is why I don't have too many of thes discxussions e anymore. I spend time tellingyou what I beleive and why, and I have read a great, great dela about it -- and this is what you say.

Thank you Judge, fo supplying the other pieces.

Beleive what you want to bleieve, FH, just thank god you don't have any children or grandchildreen over there.

YOu might ask yourself too, why if conservatives love the military so much, they wont provide the funds to give them the armor they need to stay alive, or the medical help they need when they come back?

Posted by: FH | February 15, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"Unlike you and most of your liberal friends, if I was younger I would be in Iraq now Drindl. Not to many liberals in the military these days, with the all volunteer military and all. As a matter of fact, the most liberal place in America right now, SF, practically despises our men and women in uniform."

This was a cheap shot, and I wish I had not written it. We were having a civil discussion about ideas and I should not have gone there. I apologize.

Posted by: FH | February 15, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Sunni's and Shia have been living in Iraq for some time with civility. The help of Iran on one side and Al Qeada on the other has pushed the two sides over the edge. Without the suicide bombings et al, we would be in a different place right now."

Removing Saddam Hussein, for NO apparent reason, had a heck of lot more to do with the current problems/terrorism than any of these other factors. Period. Al Qaeda didn't exist there, there were no suicide bombings and Iran stayed the heck out of Iraq (after the series of wars they had) when Hussein was in power. Thank you, George W. Bush.

Oh, and after we leave Iraq since it'll be a sister Shiite theocracy Iran will just give them the Bomb within 3 years. They can just hand it to them. No aluminum tubes, no reactors, no enrichment, no secret shipments hidden away in cargo ships. Would that've happened with Saddam Hussein still in power?

Amazing how gross incompetence can make us look back with considerable fondness on a head of state who also happened to be a homicidal maniac.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 15, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: No use discussing with you further...you believe what you want and are apparently so ingrained with partisan hatred for Bush and the GOP in general that you think anything they do has ulterior motives. Sunni's and Shia have been living in Iraq for some time with civility. The help of Iran on one side and Al Qeada on the other has pushed the two sides over the edge. Without the suicide bombings et al, we would be in a different place right now.

Mutually assured destruction does not work when one side has no country. Think about that when you say this is less dangerous than the cold-war.

Unlike you and most of your liberal friends, if I was younger I would be in Iraq now Drindl. Not to many liberals in the military these days, with the all volunteer military and all. As a matter of fact, the most liberal place in America right now, SF, practically despises our men and women in uniform.

Posted by: FH | February 15, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

They are all crooks. Whoever is in power abuses that power. Jim Black of North Carolina, former Democratic Speaker of the House, hopefully is going to jail. He resigned today. The scandals involving Black included behind-the-scenes deals to help a major lottery company win the right to run North Carolina's new lottery; $50,000 in cash and campaign checks given to former Rep. Michael Decker, who switched parties and backed Black for speaker; and a lobbyist, Meredith Norris, whose clients gained extraordinary access to Black's staff because she also served as his unpaid political director. He is under another investigation involving campaign finance abuses. Republican scandals, my arse. They ALL become crooks once they get into powerful positions. Wait for the Harry Reid headlines. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Posted by: DisgustedInDurham | February 15, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

FH -- what makes you think al-queda had anything to do with the sectarian violence? It was easy to predict, and many did so. The minority Sunni Ba'athists oppressed - and murdered - the Shia for years. Then there was the long brutal war between Iraq and Iran, where many Shia lost family in Iran [the Shia are originally from Iran, part of what is now Iraq was before WWI part of the Persian Empire]. There has been a lot of simmering hatred there between the groups for some time.

I lump al-queda with the saudi royals because binladin and most of the original al-queda ARE Saudi royals. The bin-ladin family is still close to the Bush family, one of the whole raisons for al-queda. Osama himself, it is true, broke wit his family, but not that long ago.

Why do you think Bush flew 150 Saudi royals out of this country on 9/12? Because he thought people in this couintry would be smart enough to connect the dots -- and the royals wold be in danger. But clearly he was wrong about that one. There is every indication that the Saudis tacitly support them, or at least tolerate them. There are still government-funded Wahhabim [the fundamentalist sect that encourage jihad] madrassas there.

You must be younger, because you say this is more dangeous than the Cold War. Wrong, and foolish. At the height of that we, and the Russians, had thousands of armed nuclear weapons aimed at our major population centers, on hair-trigger alert. This is nothing compared to that.

There ALREADY is a massive civil war -- the question is, are our people going to stay trapped in it. You know that we are borrowing billions of dollars to pay for this, in effect putting our children and grandchildren in hock for generations.

How long are we supposed to babysit these people [who don't even want us there] and at what cost to our own future?

Oh and please don't pull this pathetic trick of blaming an inevitable civil war on Democratic resolutions. Give me a break. It's just lame.

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as a realist...the surge is the last Harrah. If it does not work, the troops will be coming home within 18 months.

We underestimated the ferociousness with which Al Qeada was willing to ferment sectarian violence. You say Al Qeada is only 3 percent of the force against us? You give me 8 - 15 thousand fanatics (with regular reinforcements by the way) and a population that is a willing accomplice and I could turn this country into a war zone.

Yes, I expected we would have troops there for 20 years or more. The fact is, this is a more dangerous version of the cold-war...because they have no problem attacking the U.S. directly. It will take at least as long to resolve and I think we need troops in the region long-term, just like we left troops in Germany. If we fail to supply security for this new government to get its act together, they are doomed. The result of that failure will be a massive civil war, which you are already seeing the sides lining up. Saudis, Iran...they see the writing on the wall with these non-binding resolutions in congress. They are gearing up for the war that is sure to follow our unceremonious withdrawal. How sad that we walked into someone's house, turned it upside-down, and when things got tough afterwards, blamed the homeowner for not working hard enough to clean it up with us.

The big winner in this is Al Qeada, which is no friend to the Saudi royals by the way. I'm not sure why you seem so intent on lumping the two together.

Posted by: FH | February 15, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

' In 2 years, the Clintons managed to turn so much of the country so solidly against the Democratic Party that the Democrats likely would not have been able to recapture the House in our lifetimes were it not for GW Bush being such a total meathead.'

what complete balderdash -- except for the meathead part. it was one part hubris on the part of the dems who had held conpower so long, and two parts 24/7 R attack machine, led by Gingrich, Limbaugh and the rest...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The story the other Karen refers to above smells as bad as a Nixon dirty trick on the part of the Clintons. This guy Darrel Jackson, the SC legislator that the Clintons bought off, has been quoted widely, for several weeks, that if Obama is the nominee he will lose every state because he is black and all the down ballot Democrats will lose.

How breathtaking is that cynicism and corruption? They pay off a black man to drum up fear that a black candidate at the top will destroy other Democratic candidates.

In fact, its Rovian. The known fact is that the Clintons destroyed the Democratic Party. There were 57 Democratic Senators in '93 when Clinton took office and there was an 80 seat House majority for the Democrats. In 2 years, the Clintons managed to turn so much of the country so solidly against the Democratic Party that the Democrats likely would not have been able to recapture the House in our lifetimes were it not for GW Bush being such a total meathead.

Posted by: Karen | February 15, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

What made you think Iraq wasn't going to be a 'long term" problem -- I'm just curious. Should we plan to keepout troops there for 20 years?

Posted by: drndl | February 15, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line...you give up Iraq...they win round 1. Afgahnistan was always going to be a long term problem...ask the Soviets after about 3 years how things were going. When are you going to give up there?

Posted by: FH | February 15, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

FH --

•Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Period.

•There is only a small percentage of al-queda in Iraq. Our generals estimate 3% of the fighters are al-queda. They are overwhelmingly Sunni insurgents.

•Most of al-queda is ALREADY in Pakistan, their stronghold, plus Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan.

•Here is what is happening in Afghanistan:
'Last year was the bloodiest in Afghanistan since we toppled the the Taliban government in 2001, and opium production broke all records in 2006.

Just as importantly, Ron Hutcheson reports that while Iraq represents one crisis, "experts warn that Afghanistan could slip back into chaos."

U.S. commanders are bracing for a spring offensive by Taliban insurgents that'll test the staying power of the fragile U.S.-backed Afghan government.

In a sign of the administration's concern, President Bush will deliver a speech Thursday highlighting plans for a dramatic increase in military and economic aid, but the renewed focus on Afghanistan may be too little and too late.'

--Yes I believe we need a long term strategy to combat these problems, because we don't have one now. We are not dealing with the issues. We are delaing with Iraq and Iran becuae Saudi Arablia and other MR countries are running out of oil and Iran and Iraq have the largest untapped reservoirs in the world.

We kill Osama, we get the guy who murdered 3000 of our people. Maybe that's not a big deal to you, but it is to me. I'm no peacenik buddy, I'm just suggesting we deal with real threats instead of made up ones.

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Honestly. Just anger --at the sad state of this country, at the unnecessary death and destruction."

Did you think we would join hands and sing Kumbayah after the deaths of 3,000 people and the destruction of two American icons?

It's a dangerous world out there, Drindl. What is your plan to deal with it? O.K. we leave Iraq. Do you think leaving will free up troops for Afghanistan and viola, we crush the Taliban and go on home giving each other high-fives? Taking Afghanistan has always been easy...it's keeping it that's hard. If we leave Iraq, Al Qeada will follow us to Afghanistan in far greater numbers than we see there now. We kill Osama...so what. The genie was out of the bottle by the time 9/11 occurred. Islamic extremists had been through the training camps and dispersed long before 9/11. The fact is, we need a comprehensive long-term strategy to combat this problem. If you don't think trying to establish more moderate democracy/type countries in the region is the answer, please give us some feedback on what you do think will work...because they are coming for us. No amount of introspection is going to change that.

And please don't tell me that if we just leave the Middle East, they will just go away...tell me you're not that naive.

Posted by: FH | February 15, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

'Feb. 14, 2007 - The Republicans' first primary contest is next week, and it's not in New Hampshire. It is in Orlando, at the annual meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters. GOP presidential candidates will be there to try to generate buzz that will translate into evangelical airtime--and support in "the base" in 2008.

The Three Kingmakers
Because there is no obvious and overpowering standard bearer for the cause of the religious right, age-old fault lines and feuds are reemerging among the titans who control the Sacred Satellite Dishes. Each of them thinks that he can anoint the One.

The Three Kingmakers have familiar names and big, traditional audiences on radio, television and now, the Internet: the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Dr. Pat Robertson and Dr. James Dobson. A younger generation (or two) is coming along, but these remain big brand names in the burgeoning world of all-Christian commerce.'

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17150516/site/newsweek/

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,

Since when have you been tolerant of others views. You are one of the most intolerant slobs on this blog...I correct myself Zouk is worse.

Posted by: Spare Me | February 15, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

no worries drindl.

Blarg and meuphys, if you're insulted by 'lefty' or 'lib'...come on. If someone wanted to call me righty or 'con' (which I'm not on many issues, fwiw), I wouldnt be insulted at all.

I think part of the problem, is, the word 'liberal' has been positioned as derogatory term to middle America - sometimes I linger on the 'lefty' radio station, and they call themselves 'Progressive Talk', not 'Liberal Talk'. Also, I've heard one of your guys, Alterman, call for 'lefty protest' many times - clearly he doesn't think it a slur.

Posted by: JD | February 15, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

'You have so much hate and invective overflowing'

Hey, I admit to invective and intemperance... but not hate. Honestly. Just anger --at the sad state of this country, at the unnessary death and destruction. I have a daughter and I fear for the future, because we are being herded into a global religious conflict that no one will win -- but many will die.

We are being railroaded into it by delusional neocons, greedy war profiteers, a lazy or ideological media, and credulous people who will believe anything Fox or an authority figure tells them.

so if you weren't attacking me and you just want to talk -- my apologies.

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse


"Limbaugh claimed that this statement meant Obama didn't want to be black and should "renounce it": "If it's not something you want to be, if you didn't decide it, renounce it, become white!" He added, "If you don't like it, you can switch. Well, that's the way I see it. He's got 50-50 in there. Say, 'No, I'm white.'"

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

drindl, seriously, switch to decaf. You have so much hate and invective overflowing, it's going to shorten your lifespan.

and surely your mom tought you, two wrongs don't make a right. If the Rush's and Hannity's of the world are calling the left a bunch of names...it's not productive to return fire, is it?

PS I don't think of the 'repugs' as 'my side' as you put it, I'm more moderate than that.

Posted by: JD | February 15, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"Lib" is not merely shorthand for "liberal". It is insulting shorthand. I've never heard anyone self-identify as a "lib"; I've only heard the term used by conservatives insulting liberals. (Along with variants such as "libby".) The same goes for "lefty". If you want to have an actual discussion, don't insult your opponents with belittling terms.

Posted by: Blarg | February 15, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Big Money". You got that right. And we do need to trace the big money. Check out the primary funding for Hillary Clinton. She gets *most* of her corporate contributions from the same companies that support George W. Bush and every last one of them is big on outsourcing jobs or replacing American workers with indentured servants from India and China. Beyond that, she is as much a hawk as Cheney and Bush. She is unapologetic about Iraq and even says publicly that she would take military action against Iran if Iran could be proven to have a nuclear weapons program. Other than the noises she makes about a very few feminist issues, Clinton is a dyed in the wool neocon and would be an absolute disaster as President.

Posted by: MikeB | February 15, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

A follow-up to last fall's Nev. governor's race:

The FBI is investigating whether Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons failed to properly report gifts or payments from a software company that was awarded secret military contracts when he was in Congress, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Investigators are looking at whether federal contracting rules were violated or whether gifts or payments were offered in exchange for official acts by Gibbons, the newspaper said.

Posted by: star11 | February 15, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

kids... let's get back to the issues, and not get lost in terminology. but jd, i will say that you're not recognizing the connotations of the term "lib" is hard to believe. i will further say that i first noticed "repug" etc. as a response to the gop's term "democrat party." actually, let's look at the etymology for a second - "liberal," from the latin root which also gave us "liberate," with the implication "free, open, unrestricted." and "conservative," from "conserve," meaning "to keep, to retain, to resist change." both are potentially good and / or potentially harmful, depending on the situation in question. at present, i would rather see more freedom and open discussion in re: a way forward which is new and different than the "conserving" of approaches / opinions which have not worked thus far and show no signs of working in the future.

Posted by: meuphys | February 15, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

'WHEATON, Illinois (AP) -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's daughter was arrested this week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, officials said Wednesday.

Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, of Wheaton, was arrested Monday evening while driving away from a fast-food restaurant in the suburb 20 miles west of Chicago, police said.

Three children were inside Banaszewski's van when someone called police to report a suspected intoxicated driver, said Deputy Chief Tom Meloni.

Meloni would not release Banaszewski's blood-alcohol level. He also declined to give the children's ages or say whether Banaszewski had a previous record.'

Posted by: familly values | February 15, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse


'Six months into his second term, Giuliani's administration is marked by routine claims of First Amendment violations.

Only days after Giuliani's re-election victory last November, New York magazine identified itself in ads on city buses as "possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn't taken credit for." Giuliani banned the ads until advised by a district court that his actions violated the First Amendment.

Giuliani's anti-ad efforts earned him a "Muzzle" award from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in April.

This authoritarian image is one that Giuliani, intentionally or not, has helped to foster.

"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do and how you do it."

Posted by: what you get with Rudy... | February 15, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm just tired of being 'tolerant' JD, after years and years of smears and lies and ugly epithets thrown at Democrats. Turn on the radio -- within a nanoseond you'll hear vicious attacks on the left by the legions of radical right pundits. Or Fox... there is no similar network on the left, perhaps because your side has so long been so well larded with corporate money.

Your first response to my post was rude and inflammatory. I give back what i get.

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

No Blarg, I didn't mean for 'lib' to be a slur at all, it was merely shorthand for liberal, as I'm sure you're aware. I'm sorry if you took it that way. Next time I'll use the left's preferred term du jour, 'progressive' (whatever *that* means...)

Usually I use the term 'lefty' on this blog, actually - but what's the difference? Notice I do NOT use terms like 'repug', or wingnut, or anything truly insulting. I leave that for drindl.

Posted by: JD | February 15, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

'In his book, Graham asserts that the White House blocked investigations into Saudi Arabian government support for the 9/11 plot, in part because of the Bush family's close ties to the Saudi royal family and wealthy Saudis like the bin Ladens.

Behind the White House's insistence on classifying 27 pages detailing the Saudi links in a report issued by a joint House-Senate intelligence panel co-chaired by Graham in 2002 lay the desire to hide the administration's deficiencies and protect its Saudi allies.

Graham's allegations are supported by the Republican vice chairman of the House-Senate 9/11 investigation, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.'

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

'The American people do not understand the consequences of abandoning that effort or the extreme views, goals, and intentions of the radical Islamist movement '

I don't think it's persuasive at all -- unless you're naive. Which radical Islamist movement are you talking about? Becuase there's lots of them, I'm not denying that... but which ones are an actual threat to us?

The Sunnis, of course. The al queda Sunnis from Saudi Arabia who committed 9/11. The Sunni's from Pakistan who commited terrorist acts in Europe, and tried to in Canada.

And what are we doing about that? Kissing the Saudi princes and giving Pakistan the money to build more atomic weapons.

give over it buddy -- this is about oil. period. there is no 'war on terror'

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"The principal of an Islamic school run by the government of Saudi Arabia has admitted that they use textbooks which describe Jewish people as "apes" and Christians as "pigs," and says they will continue to use them because they are appropriate for 5-year-olds. How lucky are we that the Saudis are our allies."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

it is quaint that you divide the


world up into democrats and republicans instead of

who can do the job and who cant.


Image is not ability, and anyone with a modicum of ability can tell you the difference...

people are swayed only as long as they dont know they are being swayed by image....


IF someone is a bad speaker, but is astute about policy, if I were an advisor I would focus on helping the public to understand that... I would _never_ defend it, in fact I might acknowledge it and move on.

you all are kinda simple when it comes to working with the truth....


spin only works if everyone is _reactive_


if you can not create an effect, then you have no choice, but to react to those that do...

this little perps that post here trying to create a mood or a story or a spin that is false need to be exposed by saying what is going on... not just carping about it...


.

Posted by: I thnk that | February 15, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

the perncious things hillary is doing need to be written up. telling new york fundraisers they will be blackballed if they work for other candidates, employing afican american preachers as consultants in south carolina and even the move of big state primaries to up the ante early. is she afraid of an honest debate?

Posted by: mr t | February 15, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 15, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Drindl's posting is worth repeating, so here it is. 'Thanks to the liberal mainstream media, Americans fully understand the consequences of continuing our efforts in Iraq -- both in American lives and dollars. The American people do not understand the consequences of abandoning that effort or the extreme views, goals, and intentions of the radical Islamist movement that is fueling the war in Iraq and the attacks on westerners and unbelievers throughout the world.' Funny part is, the quote actually is quite persuasive in its support of our presence in Iraq.

Posted by: IndyWasDem | February 15, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Some news for you: I don't think so.

The WSJ, Fox, ABC and quite a few others slant unabashedly very far right, while the WaPo and the NYTImes twist themselves into pretzels trying to be 'balanced' and not 'liberal' like their rightwing critics have been bashing them for for 20 years. They got over being 'liberal' some time ago.

However, the NYTimes led the pack in the runup to war with their anonymously-sourced frontpage propaganda stories by Judith Miller, which were funneled to her directlly from Cheney by Lewis Libby and Ahmed Chalabi. Andnow their doing the same thing with the fabricated Iran stories. Liberal? BS. Corporate is what they are.

And yes, the sun rises inn the East and you are a smug a**hole.

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

JD just used the correct term for one ideology and an obnoxious slur for the other. So it's clear which way he slants as well.

Posted by: Blarg | February 15, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

truth is the


media is owned by six companies....


three of whom have relationships to each other...

never since the Soviet Unions propaganda campaigns have the media been so biased...

towards corporations, at least not since the Robber Barons were exposed at the turn of the century...

womens rights, child labor laws, labor unions, laws against monopolys

there is definitely a slant nowdays...

no one has noticed that the presidents policiy of not addressing the fact that OIL is a non_renewable Energy source, bolsters his position that we need to snag IRAQI OIL, not many people have noticed that the Saudi OIL WELLS ARE 50 YEARS OLD, they do go dry, remember?


JINSA/PNAC/AEI/CSP know whathose acronyms mean?


then you are in danger.


know Douglas Feith relationship to JINSA/Perle/Cheney? then you have no right voting on...or discussing Iraq or Iran


_you_ are a danger to your country.

Posted by: the | February 15, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey drindl, news flash for you: The journal, Fox and a few others slant conservative, and the Post, Times, and LA Times slant lib.

Some more news for you: the sun rises in the East, and the Pope found to be Catholic.

Posted by: JD | February 15, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

' Speaker of the Iraqi parliament Mahmoud al- Mashhadani on Thursday rejected the US offer to host some 7,000 Iraqi refugees, saying he hoped instead that the refugees would be hosted by Arab countries
.
The US administration announced on Wednesday that it would admit some 7,000 Iraqi refugees over this year.

Not only the Iraqi speaker rejected the notion, but also some Iraqi refugees reacted negatively towards it.

'I don't like to live in a country which has occupied my homeland and killed hundreds of thousands of its sons,' said Adnan al-Hassan.''

explain to me again why we are there?

Posted by: hearts and minds | February 15, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

A point about the 'evidence' produced on Iran weaponry -- what was shown to reporters had lettering and numbers in ENGLISH, not the Farsi-Arabic script the Iranians use.

Also the dates were written as month, day, year, as we do it, not the day, month, year, sequence the entire Arab world uses.

Those weapons were made here, in the US, fabricated, fake.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Let us not forget about so many of the little fishies who happen to support the democrats. During the past two days, I have received four solicitation letters and two telephone calls, all from some tangent of the "Democratic Party". I had naively thought this would end when the congressional elections ended. Sorry. I think I'm going to let the whales do their fair share since they will, no doubt, get a more than "fair share" of the largesse that will be forthcoming if the election proceeds as hoped. My hope of any contact with my elected democrat in this red state is extremely slim.

Posted by: Fred | February 15, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Let us not forget about so many of the little fishies who happen to support the democrats. During the past two days, I have received four solicitation letters and two telephone calls, all from some tangent of the "Democratic Party". I had naively thought this would end when the congressional elections ended. Sorry. I think I'm going to let the whales do their fair share since they will, no doubt, get a more than "fair share" of the largesse that will be forthcoming if the election proceeds as hoped. My hope of any contact with my elected democrat in this red state is extremely slim.

Posted by: Fred | February 15, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Let us not forget about so many of the little fishies who happen to support the democrats. During the past two days, I have received four solicitation letters and two telephone calls, all from some tangent of the "Democratic Party". I had naively thought this would end when the congressional elections ended. Sorry. I think I'm going to let the whales do their fair share since they will, no doubt, get a more than "fair share" of the largesse that will be forthcoming if the election proceeds as hoped. My hope of any contact with my elected democrat in this red state is extremely slim.

Posted by: Fred | February 15, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Let us not forget about so many of the little fishies who happen to support the democrats. During the past two days, I have received four solicitation letters and two telephone calls, all from some tangent of the "Democratic Party". I had naively thought this would end when the congressional elections ended. Sorry. I think I'm going to let the whales do their fair share since they will, no doubt, get a more than "fair share" of the largesse that will be forthcoming if the election proceeds as hoped. My hope of any contact with my elected democrat in this red state is extremely slim.

Posted by: Fred | February 15, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Let us not forget about so many of the little fishies who happen to support the democrats. During the past two days, I have received four solicitation letters and two telephone calls, all from some tangent of the "Democratic Party". I had naively thought this would end when the congressional elections ended. Sorry. I think I'm going to let the whales do their fair share since they will, no doubt, get a more than "fair share" of the largesse that will be forthcoming if the election proceeds as hoped. My hope of any contact with my elected democrat in this red state is extremely slim.

Posted by: Fred | February 15, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Big money often chases power. The ONLY reason some big money has followed Hillary Clinton is because some people incorrectly believe that her marriage to a former president gives her enough power to win the Democratic nomination. The people who experience Senator Obama in person are highly likely to support him. As his success in the primaries develops, any big money that is supporter Bill Clinton's wife will soon be chasing Senator Obama.

Posted by: Robert* | February 15, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse


'candidates don't change their policies to benefit their donors.'

Well, I'd say that's a questionable assumption, blarg. I mean, I've seen some of them come up with quite tortured explanations about why voted for a particular bill, if you call them on it. I called Biden's office, for instance, after he voted to pass the execrable bankruptcy bill at the behest of the powerful financial lobby, and got approximately 5 different explanations for it, none of which made any sense.

I think characterizing legitimate questions, Robert, about a candidate's independence [and I am talking about ALL of them, nt just Hillary -- is hardly 'handwringing and whining'. The campaign finance system we have may be inevitable considering the robber baron financial system we currently have [and I am not talking about capitalism, but crony-insider capitalism] but that doesn't mean it's necessarily in the general public's interests.

- "i'd only vote for her as a last resort." many, including me, would fall into that one' yeah, me too meuphys... I don't love her, she really sounds like a robot sometimes, but still --I believe she's smart, rational and capable, which is a combination none of the republicans so far possess.

As for VP, that feels so wide open right now. I think a stronger, well known VP would be an asset for any Prez candidate this time, rather than the usual semi-unknown who won't take the spotlight off the top. Obama, if he drops out for some reason would be everybody's first choice. Edwards would be fine too only he probably wouldn't do it.

I think all the others you mention would be quite good also --vilsack, clark, richardson, bayh, warner-- a western or southern state definitely best.

Then there's the new guys worth watching --Schweitzer, Testor, and Webb. Webb particularly might be good for Hillary --if they could get along. He managed to get pretty high profile pretty fast -- by outmachoing the machos. Would hate to see any sitting Dem senator go though, unless there's a strong replacement there for them.

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Robert Chapman says: Is Clinton's ability to muster money and donors inherently evil? Is it not possible that her ability is part of her enormous gifts as a political leader? xxxxxxxxxxxx What *enormous gifts* as a political leader? She has no charisma and no record of accomplishments. What she has is a marriage to a former president, a former president who has shared HIS network of fundraisers. Without her husband, Hillary Clinton would not be a candidate for the senate, much less the White House. Paying someone hundreds of thousands of dollars for an endorsement is buying the endorsement. Hillary Clinton is not popular with Black voters. Her husband is. What has Hillary Clinton ever accomplished on her own right that qualifies her to be president??

Posted by: Robert* | February 15, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for (finally) getting this list together. You're missing a lot of Hillary's big fish like Haim Saban, Ron Burkle, Eli Borad, John Catsimatidis and Hassan Nemazee and of course Penny Pritzker, George Soros, and Lou Sussman for Obama.

(1) Could Vilsack's list be any weaker? (2) Could Todd Smith, former trial lawyer president really be backing Joe Biden over John Edwards? (3) Is it that there are a lot of undecided donors who were big in 2004 or is this list nowhere near complete?

As for your comment that "the courting of these well-connected donors is somewhat easier to track on the Republican side" a two second google search will give you the democratic list. Here it is...

http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/m-news+article+storyid-592.html

Posted by: Jonah Wells | February 15, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Too bad when folks stop talking about the money primary and start looking at real issues, they'll see that Obama has some explaining to do.

"Present" on abortion, guns, and privacy?

http://www.opinionjournal.com/federation/feature/?id=110009664

Posted by: Kirk Gibson | February 15, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

'A $205,000 contract to a pastor for a consulting contract because Obama didn't offer enough, but was sure willing to pay for an endorsement/consulting contract'

but you have no problem when falwell does it, eh karen? you repugs are the ones who love 'faith-based' contracts, right? Or is it only okay to buy white votes?

ABC = the new Fox. Proof: The Path to 9/11 -- the neocon smear job blaming clinton. I will never watch the station again. More WH propaganda.

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Gary Hirschberg, New Hampshire resident and CEO and Founder of Stonyfield Yogurt, is supporting Tom Vilsack.

Posted by: Gary Hirschberg | February 15, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

That's a good point, Robert. I also think the concern about a politician being indebted to big campaign contributors is overblown. Especially since big contributors give money to the candidate they agree with more; candidates don't change their policies to benefit their donors.

But I think the main issue with too much money in politics is that it shuts out the little guy. I'm not worried that Hillary will be owned by her donors. I'm worried that she will have so much money that she can drown out more worthy candidates who have less money. Money doesn't equal victory, but it's a big advantage.

You can argue that smaller candidates have less money because they're less worthy. And that point has some validity; the ability to get donors is a useful political skill. But they also have less money because of limited name recognition and less corporate-friendly policies. And it's not fair for the system to discriminate against people like that.

Posted by: Blarg | February 15, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Weird how Chris isn't covering Hillary's buying of the black vote in South Carolina.

Karen couldn't be implying that unlike virtuous white church going conservatives that African Americans would sell their votes, could she?

If Karen were more sympathetically inclined toward African Americans she would realize that Senator Clinton is the overwhelmingly best supported candidate among them.

There are what, a million African-American voters in South Carolina?

Karen's allegation that Clinton could buy their votes comes out to what, a nickel a vote.

In addition to charging them with vote selling, Karen is also saying the African American voters in South Carolina sell cheap.

Robert Chapman
Lansing, NY

Karen, couldn't be implying that

Posted by: robert chapman | February 15, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Isn't the Stonybrook Farms guy on board with Vilsack?

Posted by: JoSkoNY | February 15, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

No wonder che doesn't have time to post original thoughts instead of links! He's too busy introducing bills to Congress!

Posted by: Blarg | February 15, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I will take the risk of personal excoriation and ask the assembled, what is the danger to democracy of expensive campaigning?

In a political system that is going to spend over one billion dollars (.00001, of the GDP), during this campaign cycle is anyone rich enough to effectively buy a campaign, let alone a candidate?

Is Clinton's ability to muster money and donors inherently evil? Is it not possible that her ability is part of her enormous gifts as a political leader?

In general, can anyone who is unable to persuade hard-headed business people to come across with a contribution really credible as a candidate in free-market commerce based democracy like this one?

Obviously, the questions about who is giving and how much they give are important, personnel is policy and in many ways, donors are part of the personnel of campaigns.

In my opinion though, the hand-wringing and whining about Clinton, or any other candidate "buying" an election is inane poppycock.

Robert Chapman
Lansing, NY

Posted by: robert chapman | February 15, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please go to:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaimradio.net

Please sign on!!!!!!!!!!!

On Tuesday, I re-introduced the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007. The bill will restore Habeas Corpus protections to detainees, bar information acquired through torture from being introduced as evidence in trials, and limit presidential authority to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions.
Become A Citizen Co-Sponsor:

Please take a moment to watch the video and read the text of the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007, sign on as a citizen co-sponsor, and forward the bill to your personal networks. While you and I are acutely aware of the damage President Bush has done to our country's national reputation, too many of our family, friends and neighbors have no idea how far this Administration has gone.

Sign On To Co-Sponsor The Bill Here:

http://restore-habeas.org/

Posted by: che | February 15, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Louis Susman has committed to Obama. I believe he was John Kerry's 04 finance chair.

Posted by: Louis Susman | February 15, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

i have to add that in saying that i in no way mean to imply that vilsack or richardson will not get the nomination, too early to tell. i just meant that they have not as yet done anything to line up voters against them, as have most or all of the frontrunners.

Posted by: meuphys | February 15, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

drindl - actually, from what i have read, the presence of u.s. troops in the region is a key factor prolonging and worsening the conflict. of course, there are no good answers now - a result predicted by many experts in international relations before we went in. but dubya hates experts, especially when they don't agree with him.

mp - kind of early to be making that call, don't you think? let's see how obama spends their money this summer. i predict that his popularity will continue to grow, whereas hillary does not have - based on polling i know you have seen too - much room for impovement, based on the "i'd never vote for her" numbers. i'd like to propose another category - "i'd only vote for her as a last resort." many, including me, would fall into that one... but it's only the bottom of the first inning, so to speak. there's still a whole baseball season to go. and in re: hillary's support, i see in today's post that gov. kaine of va. has endorsed obama. wonder how warner will come down? and i further wonder if he might be a possible vp candidate, with obama or whoever?

btw, to drindl again: who do you think the major players are for vp on the democratic side? i can only think of warner, bayh, and maybe wesley clark... and whichever of the democratic candidates do not get the nomination but have not turned off the electorate too badly. (vilsack, richardson.) what doo you think?

Posted by: meuphys | February 15, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Weird how Chris isn't covering Hillary's buying of the black vote in South Carolina. A $205,000 contract to a pastor for a consulting contract because Obama didn't offer enough, but was sure willing to pay for an endorsement/consulting contract. But, Chris just can't write anything that exposed the liberal hypocrisy. ABC right leaning? uh, george stephanopolus is just such a conservative.

Posted by: Karen | February 15, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Weird how Chris isn't covering Hillary's buying of the black vote in South Carolina. A $205,000 contract to a pastor for a consulting contract because Obama didn't offer enough, but was sure willing to pay for an endorsement/consulting contract. But, Chris just can't write anything that exposed the liberal hypocrisy. ABC right leaning? uh, george stephanopolus is just such a conservative.

Posted by: Karen | February 15, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse


'Bush backflip on Iran bomb claim
February 16, 2007

PRESIDENT George W. Bush said yesterday he was certain Iranian agents had supplied Shia militants in Iraq with weapons that had killed American troops, but retreated from earlier claims by the White House and US military commanders that Iran's highest officials had directed the attacks.'

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21234181-31477,00.html

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

GOP memo -- precious. The facts have a liberal bias...

'Thanks to the liberal mainstream media, Americans fully understand the consequences of continuing our efforts in Iraq -- both in American lives and dollars. The American people do not understand the consequences of abandoning that effort or the extreme views, goals, and intentions of the radical Islamist movement that is fueling the war in Iraq and the attacks on westerners and unbelievers throughout the world.'

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Instant poll on right-leaning ABC. Looks R's got some work to do:

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
3,918

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
2,826

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani
2,504

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
1,596

Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C
1,380

Former Vice President Al Gore
1,140

Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.
660

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

It's official -- Rudy running

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse


'Jim Wilson is an international security expert who's also a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

JIM WILSON: Do I think Iran is putting money and arms to some of its friends in Iraq? Yes. That's the way, unfortunately, nations try to win friends and influence people is by providing them cash and guns. And that's what Iran wants. They want a friendly government, lots of friends in Iraq.

But are they, as a matter of national policy, ordering the death of Americans? I doubt that very seriously. That would undermine their own national interests and frankly it's the Sunnis and al-Qaeda that are killing more Americans in Iraq, not the Shi'ite militia. '

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"CAIRO -- A Saudi Arabian terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda has urged Muslim militants to attack oil facilities worldwide, including in Canada, Mexico and Venezuela, to stop the flow of petroleum to the United States, according to an article by the group posted on the Internet.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in its monthly magazine posted on an Islamic website that "cutting oil supplies to the United States, or at least curtailing it, would contribute to the ending of the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan."

Al Queda has a monthly magazine? What do they call it, 'Terrorism Today?' -- I mean, they don't seem to exactly be hiding or 'degraded' or anything of the sort, do they? They seem to be publicly flaunting it -- and the Saudi government just doesn't much care -- perhaps they support them. No reason to think they don't, is there?

So tell me, republican folks, should we now invade Saudi Arabia and effect regiime change? I'm serious. This is, after all, who actually committed the atrocity of 9/11... or should we just send Bush over to kiss the princes on the lips and hold their hands, the way he usually does?

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 8:11 AM | Report abuse

The reviews of Fox's new 'conservative' comedy are in:

'Fox News Channel will offer a second episode at 10 p.m. March 4. If we're lucky, we'll never hear of this dreadful show again.'

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

It's hard to imagine that money will be much of a difference maker in the Dem race. Hillary has a virtual lock on the nomination with her double-digit poll leads.
http://political-buzz.com/?p=46

The big donors (like Hollywood) will probably come around to HRC from Obama vy this fall.

Posted by: mp | February 15, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

How tragic it is that our campaign finance system is so broken that our candidates have to shamelessly sell themselves to the highest bidder.There's simply no other way to get elected. It means that no matter who they are they are compromised from the beginnning.

A pity that a great democracy should have come to this.

But here's a good illustration of what has happened -- the Wall St. Journal, once a fairly credible source, now completes with FOX for twisting teh news to fit †he viewpoint of its global corporate benefactors. Ideology trumps veracity every time and the facts simply don't matter:

'The New York Times and Washington Post lead with President Bush's first news conference of the year, where he said Iranian operatives provided weapons to Iraqi militias to use against U.S. troops. But Bush backed away from claims made in a military briefing on Sunday that the "highest levels" of Iran's government have been involved.

The Los Angeles Times leads with the changing argument, and emphasizes that the chief military spokesman in Iraq also declared that the role of Iran's top leaders can't be confirmed. The Wall Street Journal tops its worldwide newsbox with Bush's statements on Iran, but plays down the contradictions, and states that "the president said there is no doubt Iran's government is providing armor-piercing IEDs to kill U.S. soldiers."

Posted by: drindl | February 15, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, Hillary's money will become even more of an advantage if New York moves their primary up to February 5th. The only answer to her institutional advantages is a labor/grass roots axisis coalescing around an alternative. The only prospective candidate capable of uniting such a movement is Al Gore. Otherwise it will remain divided.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | February 15, 2007 7:28 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please go to:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaimradio.net

(The planning of the next 911)

A political bombshell from Zbigniew Brzezinski
Ex-national security adviser warns that Bush is seeking a pretext to attack Iran

By Barry Grey in Washington DC
2 February 2007

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser in the Carter administration, delivered a scathing critique of the war in Iraq and warned that the Bush administration's policy was leading inevitably to a war with Iran, with incalculable consequences for US imperialism in the Middle East and internationally.

Brzezinski, who opposed the March 2003 invasion and has publicly denounced the war as a colossal foreign policy blunder, began his remarks on what he called the "war of choice" in Iraq by characterizing it as "a historic, strategic and moral calamity."

"Undertaken under false assumptions," he continued, "it is undermining America's global legitimacy. Its collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses are tarnishing America's moral credentials. Driven by Manichean principles and imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional instability."

Brzezinski derided Bush's talk of a "decisive ideological struggle" against radical Islam as "simplistic and demagogic," and called it a "mythical historical narrative" employed to justify a "protracted and potentially expanding war."

"To argue that America is already at war in the region with a wider Islamic threat, of which Iran is the epicenter, is to promote a self-fulfilling prophecy," he said.

Most stunning and disturbing was his description of a "plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran." It would, he suggested, involve "Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in a 'defensive' US military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Emphasis added].

This was an unmistakable warning to the US Congress, replete with quotation marks to discount the "defensive" nature of such military action, that the Bush administration is seeking a pretext for an attack on Iran. Although he did not explicitly say so, Brzezinski came close to suggesting that the White House was capable of manufacturing a provocation--including a possible terrorist attack within the US--to provide the casus belli for war.

That a man such as Brzezinski, with decades of experience in the top echelons of the US foreign policy establishment, a man who has the closest links to the military and to intelligence agencies, should issue such a warning at an open hearing of the US Senate has immense and grave significance.

Brzezinski knows whereof he speaks, having authored provocations of his own while serving as Jimmy Carter's national security adviser. In that capacity, as he has since acknowledged in published writings, he drew up the covert plan at the end of the 1970s to mobilize Islamic fundamentalist mujaheddin to topple the pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan and draw the Soviet Union into a ruinous war in that country.

Following his opening remarks, in response to questions from the senators, Brzezinski reiterated his warning of a provocation.

He called the senators' attention to a March 27, 2006 report in the New York Times on "a private meeting between the president and Prime Minister Blair, two months before the war, based on a memorandum prepared by the British official present at this meeting." In the article, Brzezinski said, "the president is cited as saying he is concerned that there may not be weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq, and that there must be some consideration given to finding a different basis for undertaking the action."

He continued: "I'll just read you what this memo allegedly says, according to the New York Times: 'The memo states that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation.'

"He described the several ways in which this could be done. I won't go into that... the ways were quite sensational, at least one of them.

"If one is of the view that one is dealing with an implacable enemy that has to be removed, that course of action may under certain circumstances be appealing. I'm afraid that if this situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, and if Iran is perceived as in some fashion involved or responsible, or a potential beneficiary, that temptation could arise."

For the rest of this article please go to:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/feb2007/brze-f02.shtml

Posted by: che | February 15, 2007 6:59 AM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | February 15, 2007 5:56 AM | Report abuse

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