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Edwards, Obama and the "Clean" Money Issue

The 2006 election showed that the Jack Abramoff scandal has done more to make "lobbyist" a dirty word in politics than any event since the House bank mess of the early 1990s. In waging the midterm election fight, Democrats clubbed their Republican rivals over their ties to the disgraced influence peddler, arguing that the majority party was more interested in protecting special interests than voters' interests.

It's not surprising then that several of the serious candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination are seeking to demonstrate their "reform" credentials by eschewing donations from lobbyists and political action committees -- hoping that the clean image such a decision projects can make up for the cash it leaves on the table.

Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) has the longest record of eschewing contributions from political action committees or lobbyists. When Edwards first ran for the Senate in 1998, he rejected "special interest" money -- a decision made easier by the millions in personal wealth he was able to donate to the campaign.

In his first run for president in 2004, Edwards again rejected PAC and lobbyist cash -- still managing to collect $33 million, thus burnishing his outsider credentials. It's not terribly surprising then that Edwards will once again forego anything other than individual contributions during the 2008 race. "John Edwards has never accepted a dime from PACs or federal lobbyists, and he never will," said spokesman Jonathan Prince.

Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) is following Edwards's lead. On his presidential exploratory committee Web site, the prohibition on PAC and lobbying contributions is explicitly stated. While Obama will take contributions from the spouses of lobbyists, he will not allow registered lobbyists to participate in his bundling program -- whereby well-connected individuals raise thousands of dollars from their friends for a candidate.

Some of Obama's critics contend he is a recent convert to "clean" fundraising, pointing out that he has accepted PAC money and lobbyist contributions. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Obama has taken $1.3 million in PAC donations over his political career and roughly $126,000 from lobbyists.

"Taking these steps is going to make fundraising more difficult and our campaign more dependent on the grassroots," said Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer. "But Senator Obama felt it was important to demonstrate that he is serious about changing the way Washington does business."

Interestingly, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) is expected to take a different course than her two main rivals -- accepting PAC and lobbyist contributions. During her 2006 Senate campaign, Clinton took in nearly $2 million from PACs although that was a small share of the $50 million she raised in total for the contest.

While Clinton is the only member of the Democratic top-tier unwilling to turn away so-called "special interest" money, she is not alone in the larger field. Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) had decided to follow her lead.

For a candidate like Dodd the decision is something of a no-brainer. He will struggle to compete with the top-tier candidates for funds and need to take the cash wherever they can get it.

But for Obama, Clinton and, to a lesser extent, Edwards, the debate over whether or not to take money from lobbyists and PACs is more about symbolism than pragmatism. Neither Obama nor Clinton will have any trouble raising tens of millions of dollars, so the question is whether to try to use lobbyists/PACs as a foil to paint yourself as an outsider from business as usual. Edwards's financial future is less secure, but given that he is running as an outsider it would be anathema for him to accept campaign contributions from the embodiment of Beltway politics.

Most voters pay little attention to the origins of a candidate's campaign cash, so there seems little risk for Clinton and Dodd on the issue. Neither Obama nor Edwards should struggle on the fundraising front, making their stand against special-interest cash more about sending a message that they will do things differently if elected to the White House.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 6, 2007; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: mmm25967 | February 10, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

And now for some interesting dirt....
Sen. Barack Obama is attempting to kick his longtime smoking habit as he gears up to run for president, a family friend told the Chicago Tribune this week. Valerie Jarrett said the 45-year-old Illinois Democrat isn't just concerned about the political implications of a role model being caught with a cigarette -- there's also the basic, old-school concern about, you know, his health.

Posted by: JohnEdwards | February 7, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

William -- you see EVERYTHING in racial terms and refuse to take into consideration any other variables. Your comments clearly imply that you think there is something INHERENT in a person's race that makes minorities violent. Finally, you're not concerned about CRIME IN GENERAL but rather only crime AGAINST WHITES. These are the reasons why I think you're racist.

Finally, what is with your obcession with crime anyway? Violent crime has been trending downwards for more than a decade now. I understand that you're probably scared of all minorities and big cities because you've never spent much time in them, but you NEED NOT BE AFRIAD William. It's ok buddy, no one is going to hurt you.

Good lord, I wonder what you were taught as a child that you're so closed minded at 19. Troubling.

Posted by: Colin | February 7, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse








Posted by: mmm25967 | February 7, 2007 6:08 AM | Report abuse

William, you are disgusting!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:12 AM | Report abuse

"It's possible to both protect US workers and have a rational pragmatic immigration policy"

How about protecting American women from being raped and sexually assaulted by Mexican savages?

Or do you not care if white people are victimized by criminals?

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"William -- Fantastic racist statements old chap, good show! Seriouslyl man, you're a flaming racist. SCARY scary stuff."

So now citing FBI statistics is racist, just because it makes minorities look bad????????

If it was the other way around, you wouldn't consider it racist to cite those stats.

And apparently now it is "racist" to question why minorities commit so many crimes??

That's absolutely rediculous! If a certain group of people are committing 800 times more crimes against another race than that race commits against them, it's not racist to ask why, its honest!

Or are we not allowed to say anything bad about poor poor minorities?

I want to know why blacks and Hispanics commit so many violent crimes against whites.

Or is it racist to point out that minorities commit crimes at all?

And if you think it is racist to point out true facts that happen to make minorities look bad, may I ask why you think it's unacceptable to bring up true facts?

Liberals always claim they are looking for the truth, with evolution, stem cells, the reasons behind terrorism, global warming, etc.

But apparently, when it comes to the sacred minorities, libs won't acknowledge the truth since it isn't politically correct.

Is that not hypocritical? I await your response (and yes, I know you'll see this post, so don't just ignore it!)

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

William -- Fantastic racist statements old chap, good show! Seriouslyl man, you're a flaming racist. SCARY scary stuff.

MikeB -- I specifically said that not everyone who wants to close down the borders is racist. I don't think that's your motivation at all. I think you're wrong in your approach to immigration, but not for those reasons. It's possible to both protect US workers and have a rational pragmatic immigration policy. The two goals are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Colin | February 6, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, heaven forbid there be a third (or fourth or fifth) option for those who do not like the protectionist, jingoist, xenophobic aspects of the Democratic party that MikeB has a flair for letting show or..well, William is pretty much all I need to say about the Republicans.

Posted by: roo | February 6, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Clinton is so money grubbing she doesn't care about where the money comes from including from Murdoch and many of her so called tormentors. She loves to play the Oh Poor Me victim but, looks the other way when it comes to money. shows this woman has zero scruples.
I say good for obama and edwards. And I hope they make an example of Hillary and her greed.

Posted by: vwcat | February 6, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

On the prospects of various potential/ actual R,D,& Ind candidates: Nader is a spoiler, for sure, even he should know that HE is the one who defeated Gore in 2000 (does he like what we all got better than Gore would have been?). Romney is the only one who sees Romney as a serious candidate. McCain could be a winner in the general, but he'll not pass muster with the R party faithful and is not likely to run as an Ind. Brownback (WHO?). When Rudi was Mayor (pre-9/11), he couldn't even keep the NYC streets clean; when he "ran" for the US Senate, I visited MOMA in NYC and begged the shopkeepers I visited near MOMA to please keep him, we didn't need him in any capacity in D.C.; they declined. No one seems to remember that with 9/11, Gov. Pataki, Pres Bush, the Congress, and virtually every state, organization, and person in America was behind any action to help NYC (moreso than D.C. re the Pentagon or PA re the Flight 68 crash site) How could he not look good? (Don't forget, the post-9/11 actions by the USG brought us the "Patriot Act", in some ways, hardly true to our (small "d")democratic principles (including the Bill of Rights), the still unsuccessful effort to catch Bin Laden and establish true democracy in all of Afghanistan, and one of the Bush&Co. excuses for invading Iraq.) H. R. Clinton is a smart woman and should aim for being a great Senator from NY and Senate Majority Leader (Better she than Reid). Edwards is my personal favorite, now, even if he does say he will raise taxes if needed, but that statement may bring him the "Mondale" (also my man) result. Obama is still too green to be President, not yet steeped in the tough subject of foreign affairs to make sound, fact based decisions (Note what we got with the present Pres who also had inadequate foreign affairs knowledge or experience to make good decisions and inadequate or predjudiced advisors on the Middle East (Sorry, Condi, I include ;you in the inadequate, Cheney and Company fit in the Predjudiced category.) (The other potential Dem. candidates (other than the former VP) are just muddying the water or looking for their 15 minutes of fame. FINALLY. Gore needs to decide which he wants more, the Nobel Peace Prize or the Democratic Party's nomination for the US Presidency.
End-note: I wish the Norwegions would stop giving the Peace Prize (former Pres. Carter excepted in recent history)to one-country heroes or to those who have only identified problems, and give it to someone like Dr. N.C. Brady who has actually ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING: As the second Director of the International Rice Research Institute, he and IRRI undertook efforts that fomented economic freedom in China which began in the agricultural sector when farmers were allowed to keep and or sell any rice they grew above set quotas. The "Green Revolution" and it's follow-on by IRRI's linkages with China's Agricultural Research institutes made possible the higher rice production and productivity in China, as well as other Asian countries. Why? Because Dr. Brady (see Who's Who in the World) for some of his credits) as the second Director of IRRI in the Philippines, followed thru on the initial development of the IRRI rice strains (the Green Revolution in rice) and the news of their failure in some countries by seeing the latter as a "challenge" or "opportunity" and then taking actions designed to forge ahead rather than "cry and die". He set up 1)a Rice Research Network of IRRI and rice-growing countries' research orgs. (including, yes, CHINA) to share and benefit from everyone's research and testing of country-adapted rice strains, and 2) a rice "gene bank" to ensure that native and "improved" rice genomes would be preserved for future use in overcoming new challenges to the world's rice production and food supply.

Willing to take on even greater "opportunities", he then became USAID's Sr. Asst. Admin. for Science and Technology and thereby took on some of the 20th Century's biggest challenges, e.g., the promotion of family planning in Africa and other parts of the developing world where religious and cultural beliefs militated against acceptance; initiation of "child survival" programs world-wide; crucial decisions in the expansion, focusing, and criminality involved in USAID's Malaria vaccine research and development program (given USG and WHO bans on the use of DDT and other methods that had been the bullwark of USAID and world Malaria disruption and reduction programs, the possibility of a successful new approach such as use of a vaccine had been identified earlier as a USAID health program priority); and boldly putting USAID in the forefront of USG and world efforts to combat the newly identified AIDS pandemic, INSOFAR AS hetero-sexual transmission of the virus was shown to be ravaging many countries in the developing world (For example, over the initial loud protests of the Pop/family planning community, he enabled the immediate provision of condoms by the United States to affected developing countries by making available thousands of condoms from USAID/S&T-funded stockpiles to the fledgling anti-HIV/AIDS efforts by WHO, the USG, and others, and by continually pressing State/USAID officials as well as African leaders to "buy into" these programs and USAID's highly regarded education/communications programs in family planning and health, INCLUDING those advocating "safe sex" as well as abstinance (despite the teachings of his Morman faith).

Would Africa be in the "fix" it is in now if country leaders in Africa and officials in State/USAID's Africa Bureaus had been more receptive to his wise counsel? I think not! Since the late Audrey Hepburn, in her role for the UN, couldn't convince these people, can it be that it takes a "Rock Star" to convince some leaders???
Sorry for the diversion.

Posted by: Norma J. Ayers (do not print) | February 6, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Blarg,You're just playing games and this is something that is important to the survival of this country. Doesn't the United States mean more to you than some silly silly game? Or, are all of you right wing jerks, just like Bush - traitors, liars, cheats, thieves, and scum.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

No, it's not a 50% salary decrease. The $41,000 number is for "tech workers", as you describe it. That's a broad category, including tech support and other fields which don't pay as well as software. The $64,000 number is for "software workers". That's a much more specific category. The two numbers are not directly related.

The comparison is like comparing the 2000 wages for restaurant workers with the 2006 wages for fast-food workers. Fast-food workers are restaurant workers, but not all restaurant workers are fast-food workers. The comparison would give bizarre results which aren't at all useful, unless you're intentionally trying to deceive people to make a political argument.

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Blarg...that's a 50% salarey decrease! That;'s the stat you wanted! You want another one:
"In the year 2006, 9 out of every 10 new job openings for computer/IT were taken by H-1Bs, and despite record unemployment [in the hi tech arena] the INS issued 485,000 visas in 2005."
That's from IEEE

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so the median salary for tech workers is $41,000, and in 2002 an American software worker made $64,000. Those aren't a direct comparison, because "software workers" are a subcategory of "tech workers". Compare apples to apples.

Go to the site I mentioned before:

Each year is in a different spreadsheet. Look at the 2005 and 1998 spreadsheets, called "National Cross-Industry Estimates". Specifically, look at the "a_mean" column, which is the mean annual income.

During that 7-year period, the general "Computer and Mathematical Occupations" numbers went up. So did the numbers for every one of its subcategories. And all of those numbers are a lot higher than the $41,000 you refer to.

I still don't see how any of that supports your claims.

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The Seattle Times is reporting today that 3 out of every ten "new" jobs being created in the U.S. go to a "temporary foreign worker". They also report that more than half of those are the highest paying jobs. This simply means that most of our professional workers are imported from India (53%) or China (35%), while American workers get to wear paper hats and flip of Bush's new "service sector" jobs....which, by the way, account for five of those ten new jobs created.

I checked the GAO site referenced by Blarg and the median salary offered to H1B tech workers is $38,000 a year. For Amercian workers it is $41,000 a year. That is today. In 2002, an American software worker *made* $64,000 on average. Not exactly overpaid by any means, especially considering the average work week of 60 hours.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Those references would be great if I'd asked for criticisms of the H-1B visa. Unfortunately, I didn't. I asked for references showing that "Engineering and software workers make about half of what they did in 2000."

I'm not going to "do my homework". I've done my homework, by posting links to information which backs my point. Now it's your turn.

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Once again, you "forget" Dennis Kucinich. He does not take any corporate donations. That may be because no corporation wants to give to him, but never the less he has had that principled stand for ages while the big names are only now making the change, likely for image's sake

Posted by: Simon | February 6, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (23 August 2006) -- Many H-1B workers have not been paid the wages their employers claimed they would pay them, but because of the Department of Labor's limited authority to investigate such claims, the extent of these violations is unknown.

"It's time to blow away the myth that the H-1B program protects foreign workers," IEEE-USA Vice President Ron Hira said. "Many H-1B holders are treated like indentured servants. So before Congress considers raising the H-1B cap, it should give the Labor Department broader enforcement authority to investigate claims of workplace and wage abuse."

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has documented numerous H-1B violations. These include:

1. "From fiscal year 2000 through fiscal year 2005, [the Department of] Labor reported an increase in the number of H-1B complaints and violations, and a corresponding increase in the number of employer penalties. In fiscal year 2000 Labor required employers to pay back wages totaling $1.2 million to 226 H-1B workers; by fiscal year 2005, back wage penalties had increased to $5.2 million for 604 workers." -- GAO report (June 2006). See (page 2).

2. "Labor is responsible for, among other things, ensuring that employers do not violate H-1B wage agreements, and continues to find instances of employers not paying H-1B workers the wages required by law; however, the extent to which such violations occur is unknown and may be due in part to Labor's limited investigative authority." -- GAO report (Sept. 2003). See (page 4).

3. "... over the last 4½ years, 83 percent of the closed H-1B investigations found violations -- compared to about 40 to 60 percent under other labor laws, according to Labor officials, and the amount of back wages owed to H-1B workers has been substantial -- over $2 million, or about $3,800 per employee found to have back wages due." -- GAO report (Sept. 2000). See (page 22).

Hira said these reports show what companies say they will pay an H-1B holder and what they actually pay are often two different things. He drew an analogy to the income tax system.

"How many people would pay taxes if they didn't fear being audited?" he said. "Because companies know their use of the H-1B program will never be scrutinized, some exploit H-1B workers with little worry of being caught. Congress should enact an auditing system for the H-1B program to improve the program's integrity and ensure foreign workers are not exploited."

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 220,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 360,000 members in 150 countries. For more information, go to

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess I wasted my time again. I went back and found the IEEE citations and some of the complaints about this that have been filed and Chris blocked everything. I'm going to try and post one citation right after these remarks and see if it gets through. Then, Blarg, you can do some basic homework, and follow the citation chain. You also might want to look for some of the tens of thousands of formal posting by ripped off Indian workers here and similar posting by Amercian's who lost their jobs.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

'And as I mentioned, blacks and hispanics commit 800 TIMES as many violent crimes against whites as whites commit against them.

Why do you think this is? I'm curious to hear.

Today in the USA, white crime victims are treated calously, whites are always presumed guilty when accused by a minority, and when applying for jobs and contracts, whites are at a disadvantage. WE are basically 2nd class citizens.'

this is the most sick, delusional, racist vomit i have seen in a long long time..

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I was talking about the dot-com boom, when venture capitalists were giving insane amounts of money to anyone who had a web-based business idea. It was a bubble. It burst. That has nothing to do with overall salary trends.

Besides that, I agree with everything you say. I'm a neocon who personally brings in millions of poor workers, as part of my goal to wreck this country beyond repair. As part of my evil scheme, I falsified years worth of labor statistics to cover up the 50% drop in software salaries. I also mind-controlled everyone but you, which is why nobody else is aware of the complete collapse of such a major industry.

Seriously, give me some numbers, ANY NUMBERS, to back up your crazy claims. Prove to me that the software engineers in the US are making half of what they were in 1999, and that most of them are out of work. And do it with numbers more reliable than those from the BLS. I'll wait.

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes - Ronald Reagan was a decent and honest man, a good father, and a moderate. How on earth can you even think of him and a complete idiot like Bush at the same time. It is fair to say, however, that if Ronald Reagan had had a say, neither Roberts and Alito would be on the bench.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats don't need lobbyists anyway when they have Hollywood.

Posted by: jojo | February 6, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

William: I agree with some of your observations about our party straying from conservative principles but in the end you have to be pragmatic to get anything accomplished so I don't share your desire for the GOP to lose in 08. If Kerry would havee won, I think its safe to say Roberts and Alito would not be on the bench and gawd knows what mess he would have made in the middle east. Remember Reagan was also a pragmatic.

Posted by: bhoomes | February 6, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

And, Blarg, if all you can do is quote invented numbers by a Bush-NeoCon control government agency, you had better think again. Everyone now knows that those numbers are purely invented, that the federal government, since 2000, has rolled into those employment statistics, jobs created at U.S. owned offshore facilities, H1B guest workers, and they "noramlize" the salary figures according to the standards of local pay. In India, that is far below what it is in the U.S. So your government takes (say) an $10 an hour local norm and claims it is equivalent to $50,000 a year in the U.S. and then turns around, when that $10 an hour rate is raised to say $15 an hour and claims the worker is now making $75,000 a year. It's all a pack of lies being sold as "economic data" and everyone knows it. So, quit trying to scam us.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, those stat's are from IEEE and are well known. As for your comment "...a lot of software people were making... far more than they deserve...", it is ridulous and flat out obscene. I suppose you would say the same thing about the meat packers at Swift that were making $18 an hour back then? Or the painters or roofers making about the same? Your "economic marketplace" is a gigantic Ponzie Scheme, where the wealthy make ever more and everyone else "is paid too much" to begin with so you and your whack job neocons, acting as God Almighty, are going to take it from them. Immigration is just a part of your schemes. You allow or bring in millions of disparately poor people, grant work permits to foreign engineers willing to sell themselves into slavery, and use these people, USE THEM!, to beat down wages and benefits, and then have the gaul to tell us that this is part of the normal market place? I don't think many American's will accept that nonsense any longer. Your economic practices are predatory, without any moral basis or common sense. Once you have beaten the Middle Class into the dirt, when you have wrecked this country beyond repair, you are the sort that will simply move on, like some bloated locust. Once upon a time, the fuzzy minded one worlders who preached your sort of globalization nonsense were called communists and they were hated and reviled. You can call yourselves neocons or Republican's or free market proponents, but we KNOW what sort of low lifes you are and we mean to stop you.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Or I'll just do my own research, at the Bureau of Labor Statistics site. ( There's a lot of interesting information there.

Specifically, I looked at occupational wage estimates, archived here:

The 1999 data says there are 287,600 workers in the category "Computer Software Engineers - Applications." Average annual wage was 65,780.

The 2005 data says there are 455,980 workers in that category. Average annual wage was 79,540.

So, MikeB, I'm really curious where you get your numbers indicating that software jobs pay half of what they did in 2000. Care to explain?

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"Engineering and software workers make about half of what they did in 2000."

I'd like to see a source on that, and the other numbers you gave. Are those salary numbers from before or after the dot-com bubble burst? Because a lot of software people were making ludicrous amounts of money in the late 90s, far more than they deserved. That's not a good yardstick to measure against.

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Bhoomes, well, aside from Gore, it doesn't look like anyone can stop Hillary.

This probably makes me a "bad Republican" but at least right now, I hope the GOP loses in 2008, because our party needs to be saved from BigGov't-loving, tyranny supporting, tax and spend, anti-freedom, pro-amnesty, globalist, interventionist, corrupt neocon slime.

If we win in 2008, the staus quo won't change, and we will keep going in the wrong direction.

But if we lose in 2008, big, Martinez will be out as RNC Chair, Slick John Boehner and Fat Cat Roy Blunt will be booted from House leadership, and we go back to being the party of freedom, and limited government.

Right now, we have one anti-freedom BigGovt liberal party, and one anti-freedom BigGovt conservative party.

The GOP needs to be renewed, and remade as the pro-freedom, limited govt, pro-state rights party it once was.

In order for that to happen, people must realize something is wrong, and the only way the GOP leadership can be shown that is if they lose again in 2008.

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, He's your responsibility; do something about him!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, 20% of U.S. engineers are OUT OF WORK right now. 40% of American citizens with engineering degrees over the age of 45 are out of work right now. American jobs like carpenters, meat cutters, painters, roofers, concrete works, all of which paid $18 an hour or more before your idiot president came into power, now pay about $10 or less an hour and are occupied by illegals. In terms of real wages, American's are making less today than they did last year and the year before and the year before. Every year, during the Bush occupation, we have seen real wage declines between 3 and 15%. Engineering and software workers make about half of what they did in 2000. All you can point to are the invented, MADE UP, Department of Labor reports that have been time and again questioned by reporters and economists of every stripe. Your president and his policies are complete and total disaster. And you now want to keep slaves? And somehow justify it? Go back to counting your empty beer can. That is all you will have for retirement savings once Bush gets done with you.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

William unless my memory betrays me, Gore couldn't even win his home southern state of Tenn. If had done so, he might be the Pres today instead of Bush. Historically, Retreads don't do that well the 2nd or 3rd time up. Maybe Gore and Al franken will cut some new Saturday Night material for the 08 election. That's about all those jokers are good for. Leave the serious business of governing to serious people.

Posted by: bhoomes | February 6, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah mikeB beacause unemployment is so high right now we need to begin a campaign of Xenophobia. Actually, it is at all time lows with jobs for just about anyone who wants one. "

Oh great, another instance of Zouk supporting liberal positions.

On what issue ARE you conservative, Zouk?

Seems to me like you're a Bloomberg Republican.

If Bloomberg gets in the race, will you endorse him?

It seems to me like you really don't have any values, and are just desperate to win the WH at all costs (kind of like the GOP ever since about 2002. That forget-our-values-screw-the-base-pander-to-moderates strategy worked real well in 2006, didn't it.)

I bet if Mark Foley was the GOP nominee you would support him.

Unlike some Republicans (cough), I look for a candidate who fits my VALUES, and not just someone who has good chances of winning.

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

William, Why is there Air?

Posted by: W. H. C. | February 6, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, good post. You're spot on!

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"There are many of us out here who don't care about Abortion, guns or gays"

Oh, so are you from the Christine Whitman wing of the GOP KOZ?

Because that's how it sounds to me. Aside from (luke warm) economic conservativism and robot-like support for Bush's Iraq policies, you don't seem to hold conservative positions on any issue.

For a self-described "libertarian-leaning conservative," I find it ironic that you favor anti-freedom politicians like McPain and Guiliani.

Maybe the Republican Party in the Parliament of Zouk doesn't care about immigration into Zoukdom or the 3 G's.

But back in the real world, those 4 issues are among the MOST important, if not THE most important, for Republicans.

1. It is not a federal issue"

Immigration affects the entire country.

As for the 3 G's, you're right, it's NOT a federal issue, but since the Dems have made it one, and are attacking us on the federal level, we have to DEFEND ourselves on the federal level. Or should we just ignore Dem attempts at the federal level to restrict guns (the Clinton AWB affected every state) legalize gay marriage (get ready for another Loving v. VA type decision) and abortion (do you think the Dems will agree to make it a state issue?)

"2. It is not going anywhere in congress"

It was the federal level that got DOMA passed, remember?

On the opposite sidem the Clinton AWB went pretty far in Congress, as I remember.

"3 the judiciary controls this today unfortunately."

Yeah, so we have to do something about that...on the FEDERAL level. In case you haven't noticed, state rights are practically dead. Until they are ressurected, which they hopefully will be, we MUST play on the federal level.

"who will you nominate is just about the best question you could ask a candidate."

And how do we know they won't lie? Bush promised not to go on foreign wars of intervention, didn't he? I can easily see Guliani nominating Steven's and Kennedy's.

" the other would be are you a mamber of the enviro-jihadist religion?"

How about this question? Do you support amnesty for illegals?

"Keep trying to fan the flames with misrepresentation."

It's hardly misrepresentation. Rather, Rudy's minions are trying to pretend his long, liberal and sleazy record doesn't exist. You are misrepresenting Slick Rudy.

Terry Nelson wishes you good luck.

" we are going to vote on war and money this time."

And 88% of Americans oppose the McCain/Bush/Guliani view on the war.

"Rudy has stellar credentials on both."

Oh really? What war credentials does Rudy have? Standing near the WTC on 9/11 was heroic, but hardly qualifies as "war credentials."

The only thing Rudy has "stellar credentials" on is his adeptness at cheating on women.

"Mccain likes big G and tyranny of speech so he is out with many, many conservatives."

And how is Rudy different? Rudy likes tyranny of Big Brother.

Would you care to tell me WHY YOU like Rudy, aside from that he has an R next to his name and you think he can win?

Who cares if we win, if we get a Boxer "Republican" in the White House?

Hillary is MORE conservative than Guliani.

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah mikeB beacause unemployment is so high right now we need to begin a campaign of Xenophobia. Actually, it is at all time lows with jobs for just about anyone who wants one. but feel free to ignore the facts, you Libs need to to exist in your fantasy world.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 6, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

re: Immigration and the KKK. How nice. Now, if we object to having guest workers steal American jobs we are racists? Give me a break! Illegals cost the American taxpayer well over one trillion dollars a year. Indian and Chinese hi tech guest workers, on H1B and similar visas, sell themselves as indentured servants working 12 hour days 6 days a week and permit themselves to be used as slaves. As an American worker, calling this wrong and calling for it to end, isn't racism, it's common sense. It takes a pretty weird and twisted logic to require our giving away our jobs and country's future to prove that we aren't racists. End H1B and other guest worker visa's, ship every "legal" guest worker home that is taking a job from an American, and round up and deport every illegal! This is the United States. We owe our own citizens jobs and health care and schools and food and housing before we owe the rest of the world anything.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

There are many of us out here who don't care about Abortion, guns or gays because
1. It is not a federal issue
2. It is not going anywhere in congress
3 the judiciary controls this today unfortunately. who will you nominate is just about the best question you could ask a candidate. the other would be are you a mamber of the enviro-jihadist religion?

Keep trying to fan the flames with misrepresentation. we are going to vote on war and money this time. Rudy has stellar credentials on both. Mccain likes big G and tyranny of speech so he is out with many, many conservatives. I am not saying this from watching TV or reading polls or speculating based on my own desires. I have directly spoken with many of the power brokers in town and they simply don't like McCain. not sure what they think of rudy yet.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 6, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's tough being white. I envy the blacks, the Hispanics, and especially the Arabs. They have it so easy!

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

" For example, Rudy is quite conservative on law-and-order issues, including national defense, the GWOT,"

he favors a Bush-style, interventionist foreign policy (remember, the type we criticized Clintoon for?)

He will prevent terrorism by turning the USA into a police state. Have you ever been to NYC? I have. You'll know what I mean if you've ever been there.

"and immigration,"

Umm, both McCain and Rudy are strongly pro-amnesty, except that Slick Rudy uses the word "regulation" instead of amnesty.

"while McCain is liberal with his 'government controlling political speech' position."

Well you're right there.

"Depending on how desperate GOP is for a win this time next year,"

Then why don't we ask Evan Bayh to switch parties and nominate him? Or, better yet, Lincol Chafee? There is NOTHING about Rudy that makes him a Republican, aside from his voting registry. So what, he's strong on defense. So are a lot of others.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see a McCain-Rudy ticket (in that order)."

The ticket would NEVER have two moderates. If one of those two (Heaven forbid) gets the nom, then they will pick a hardcore conservative like Hayley Barbour.

Only problem is, Barbour is up in 2008 for reelection, and anyway, he knows we won't win in 2008, and he wants to wait until 2012 to run.

So McCain would probably pick Sanford or Pawlenty, since they supported him.

Guiliani, if he somehow got the nom, would probably pick some conservative senator.

Why no mention of Rudy's positions on abortion, guns, gay marriage?

Rudy's supporters are trying to brush aside questions about his scandals and liberal beliefs, and it won't work.

If Rudy gets the GOP nom, there WILL be a 3rd party challenge, that may even win a few Southern and Western states.

That would cancel out any gains in the NE Rudy might make.

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"My hunch is Al Gore will jump in at the last moment and easily take away the nomination for Hillary, then lose the general election to Mitt."

The SOuth would vote for Gore (Baptist) before they vote for a Mormon.

Believe me, I know the South, and I'm not even in the deepest South.

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The last 4 are by me (William.)

For some reason, it tried to stop me from posting.

Are you into censorship CC?

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Until this dangerous trend is reversed, I advise young white women to carry concealed handguns when venturing into minority area for protection.

Posted by: Wilaa | February 6, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, anyone who votes for Obama is voting themselves a seat at the back of the bus.

As I was saying, why do you think minorities commit so many violent crimes (esp. sexual crimes) against whites?

Posted by: Willaa | February 6, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

And as I mentioned, blacks and hispanics commit 800 TIMES as many violent crimes against whites as whites commit against them.

Why do you think this is? I'm curious to hear.

Today in the USA, white crime victims are treated calously, whites are always presumed guilty when accused by a minority, and when applying for jobs and contracts, whites are at a disadvantage. WE are basically 2nd class citizens.

Posted by: the fix is censored | February 6, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Colin, it seems the roles are reversed these days.

Did you know blacks commit violent crimes against whites 800 TIMES more than whites commit violent crimes against blacks?


Posted by: WIli | February 6, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

If California moves up their Primary to Feb, then only candidates with name recognition and money will have a chance. That means McCain,Rudy and Mitt for the R's and Hillary and Obama for the D's. My hunch is Al Gore will jump in at the last moment and easily take away the nomination for Hillary, then lose the general election to Mitt. It is somewhat sad watching Nader trying to stay revelant. He's a non factor, enjoy your retirement Ralph.

Posted by: bhoomes | February 6, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Why wont my comments post

Posted by: the fix is agy | February 6, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

More on Obama's ethics can be found here:

Posted by: mjm | February 6, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Trying to pidgeonhole Rudy or McCain into a 'liberal' or 'conservative' tag is foolish. The truth is, they are both conservative on some issues and liberal on others. For example, Rudy is quite conservative on law-and-order issues, including national defense, the GWOT, and immigration, while McCain is liberal with his 'government controlling political speech' position.

The way these issues are being simplified belies a misunderstanding of the dynamics at work here.

Depending on how desperate GOP is for a win this time next year, I wouldn't be surprised to see a McCain-Rudy ticket (in that order).

As for the, tell me again what are his qualifications for President? At least Ross Perot was a hugely successful business leader.

Posted by: JD | February 6, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"Any liberal who would vote for Nader over the Democratic nominee is a complete idiot. The Naderites whine about Bush's 8 years, but are perfectly willing to be a spoiler for the Democratic candidate."

I agree, William. And I think a lot of Nader supporters learned their lesson. In 2000, there were a lot of people who thought Gore was too conservative, and that Bush and Gore were politically the same. At the time I spent a lot of time arguing that they were wrong. I think history proved me right. Whatever you think about Gore, there's no way he would have done the things Bush has done. But Nader's share of the vote was a lot lower in 2004, which is why I think his supporters changed their minds.

It would be great if our electoral system didn't allow for spoiler candidates. But that's not likely to change, since the current system is good for both major parties.

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

In states with open primaries Dem voters can vote for Rudi
Make the American Taliban stay home in November

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Off-Topic, but here's a fun little snippet on the relationship between today's anti-immigration rhetoric and the KKK. Now, to be clear I don't think that people who want to tighten are borders are Klan members. But I do think it's important to remember where heated rhetoric predicated on sweeping stereotypes can take use:

"Historically, the Klan's focus had been to terrorize African-Americans -- through race riots, lynchings and other killings -- but it reached peak membership at more than 4 million in the 1920s by focusing on immigration.

Newcomers from Ireland and Germany were portrayed as Catholic usurpers invading the United States, taking jobs from native-born Americans and undermining national fabric, Levin said.

Said Potok: "It's remarkable to look back at the nativist sentiments toward Catholics -- it's very similar to what we're seeing with Mexicans now.""

Posted by: Colin | February 6, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, I know he's the Republican frontrunner in some polls, but Howard Dean was the frontrunner for a while in the last contested presidential primary season."

That analogy is innacurate.

Howard Dean was very popular in 2004 leading into the primaries, because he shared the values of the liberal base, and was good at speaking about liberal values and exciting the base.

He was the ideal candidate to them, and they all knew from the get-go what his beliefs were.

Guiliani, on the other hand, holds the opposite views of almost all Republicans on practically every important issue except national security.

Also, he has a lot of name recognition, which is why he is doing so well in the polls. But most people don't yet know his stand on the issues. Even on his website it doesn't list his views. Nor do most people know about all his scandals.

As someone else mentioned, as frontrunner, Rudy has nowhere to go but down.

And that's exactly where he will go, once everyone finds out more about him.

Also, just wait for Terry Nelson to start laying into Rudy.

Rudy will be completely ruined, and in typical Rudy fashion, he will blow his stack and say or do something that looks mean and immature.

The moderate wing of the GOP will embrace McCain, since Guliani isn't even a RINO, he's a liberal NY Dem with an R next to his name.

The only thing that remains to be seen is who will win the support of the right wing of the GOP, which is most of it.

Who will the rightwingers and evangelicals support?

Mitt? Doubtful. He's a Mormon with a very liberal record?

Huckabee? Well, he's pro-amnesty, and believes to atone for past racism the USA must let in as many Hispanics as we can.

Also, Huckabee is a tax and spend, big government supporter, and the Club For Growth hates him.

Brownback? Possibly, but he's Catholic, and again, he's pro-amnesty (and anti-death penalty.)

Duncan Hunter? He would be very appealing to the base, but he has zero name recognition. Will that change?

Will Gingrich jump in? Doubtful. He keeps mentioning a run, probably to get attention.

Also I don't see Paul, Tancredo, or Gilmore as being dedicated to running. They are in it not to try to win, but to raise their name recognition.

So basically the only two realistic options are:

1. McCain wins the moderate GOP vote, and enough conservatives who just want someone electable. He gets the nomination, while the right wing vote splinters between several candidates.

2. The right wing comes up with a consensus candidate, possibly whichever conservative does the best in Iowa. Then, the unite and he wins the nomination.

Which will it be?

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

William, all, here's another example of what the Naderite's are up to. In Washington, they formed a group named the Defense of Marriage Alliance. They have placed a referendum on the ballot (957) that would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled. Sounds like great fun, because the far right Defense of Marriage group ran a referendum that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman for the procreation of children. The effect, up there and down here in Oregon, however, has been to stir up a hornets nest. About the time we are starting to make inroads with the Fundamentalists, these twits give the twist meisters of the far right an issue to drive them away from the DNC. That makes these whack jobs worse than idiots.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Any liberal who would vote for Nader over the Democratic nominee is a complete idiot.

The Naderites whine about Bush's 8 years, but are perfectly willing to be a spoiler for the Democratic candidate.

The Dems should act now to destroy Nader's support, torpedo his candidacy, and keep him from getting on the ballot.

It's certainly not that I think voting 3rd party is stupid, or wrong. If your party has sold you out, nominating someone who is terrible, then voting 3rd party is a good way to punish your party for doing so.

Or, if your views aren't represented by one of the main parties, then yeah, go ahead and vote 3rd party.

But people who do vote 3rd party, shouldn't whine about the opposite candidate winning.

Gore would have won Florida if Nader wasn't on the ballot. That alone should be reason for Dems to never forgive Nader.

Personally, if Slick Rudy gets the GOP nomination I will be voting for the Constitution Party, because I will not want Guiliani to win, since even Hillary is more conservative than Rudy.

But anyone who thinks Rudy will get the nomination is delusional.

Posted by: William | February 6, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Rudy Giuliani's presidential candidacy is the best thing that will happen for the Democratic candidates this year. He's going to lose. Yes, I know he's the Republican frontrunner in some polls, but Howard Dean was the frontrunner for a while in the last contested presidential primary season.

On his way to losing, Giuliani is going to divert a lot of money away from the inevitable Republican nominee, John McCain.

Giuliani's losing campaign is also going to pull a lot of pro-choice, independent voters away from McCain in the general election. McCain has had very strong appeal among those voters for years because, among other things, they don't quite realize how hard-core his anti-abortion position actually is. When Republican primary voters discover how liberal Giuliani has been on social issues--along with how many wives he's had and how many gay men he has lived with while waiting for a divorce to come through--they are going to abandon him faster than Democratic voters fled from Howard Dean. But the only way they are going to "discover" Giuliani's record on social issues is for John McCain to tell them about it. McCain's campaign has the most vicious attackers in politics today, including Bush campaign graduates and the Swift Boat attack team. They are going to make Giuliani look very bad to conservative voters, but, in the process, they are going to make McCain look bad to moderates he will need in the general election.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

'"What people don't know is that Rudy's a very, very romantic guy. We love watching 'Sleepless in Seattle.' Can you imagine my big testosterone-factor husband doing that?"
Describing Rudy, a former federal prosecutor, as "the Energizer Bunny with no rechargeable batteries," Judi said, "One of the most remarkable things about my husband, who sleeps three or four hours a night, is his energy level and stamina.'

Posted by: ewwww--rudy's wife talks about sex | February 6, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

To a certain extent, I admire both Clinton and Obama/Edwards decisions on accepting or not accepting PAC money. On one hand Edwards and Obama have both previously been dedicated to campaign finance reform, and are making a statement, while Clinton has never apologized for her ties to lobbyists or PACs. They're sticking to their respective guns.

By the way, neither PAC money nor money from lobbyists are the problem with campaign finance. It's the amounts of money these people are allowed to give, and whether or not you allow their donations to truly effect your judgement. As the old saying goes, "If you can't take someone's money and then vote against them, you don't belong in this business."

Posted by: JamesCH | February 6, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"While Clinton is the only member of the Democratic top-tier unwilling to turn away so-called "special interest" money, she is not alone in the larger field. Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) had decided to follow her lead." This should be no surprise, Dodd is a charter member of the DLC, and has been pushing special business interest at the expense of workers (like trade deals) his whole career.

Posted by: workingman5 | February 6, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

No, Nader supporters aren't Democrats, pretty much by definition. But they are, in general, liberals. I don't think it's fair to insult Nader supporters. A lot of them don't feel that the two major parties support their opinions. And I'd rather see people like that vote for a third party than just sit at home complaining on Election Day.

But what I'd really like to see is a third party that's realistic. You can't just run a presidential candidate with absolutely no political experience and expect him to get any significant portion of the vote. I like some of the Green Party platform, but I'd never vote for Nader, because he's so unqualified. The minor parties need to focus on candidates for state and local offices, maybe a Representative candidate here and there. That's what they would do if they were really interested in changing the country, instead of just in showing off with stupid presidential runs.

Posted by: Blarg | February 6, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Alex -
Nader and Naderite leftist twits aren't Democrats, they aren't liberals, and everyone I know wishes they would either go away or go join the neocons, with whom they appear to share so much. When these creeps show up at our local caucus' in Oregon, they threaten and play their weird, paranoid little games, until everyone gets fed up with them and gives them the boot. Ralph Nader and the troubled people who support him have no place in mainstream politics.

Posted by: MikeB | February 6, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

nader is a joke

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Do people here think that Nader's threat that he said on Wolf Blitzer and Amy Goodman's show. That he will run in 08 if Clinton gets the nomination is going to effect the primaries?

Posted by: Alex | February 6, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

'David Broder, the most insider of Washington insiders, perpetuates a lie and smears the Democratic party in "reporting" on this past weekend's meeting of the DNC.

One of the losers in the weekend oratorical marathon was retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who repeatedly invoked the West Point motto of "Duty, Honor, Country," forgetting that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military.

That's just a boldfaced lie by Broder, no two ways about it. I happened to be in attendance at the speech in question, just a stone's throw away from General Clark when he gave it. What David Broder is saying here is an absolute lie. The crowd in attendance stood on their feet, clapped their hands loudly and strongly time and time again when speakers - including Gen. Clark - invoked the service and sacrifice of America's fighting men and women.

In fact, in the very speech Broder cites as his reasoning for Democrats not supporting the military, Gen. Clark asked for a moment of silence (see the video here) to reflect on the sacrifices being made by the troops currently serving. The auditorium was silent, and many bowed their heads in prayer.

David Broder is a filthy liar, and the Washington Post ought to correct the slander he's published in their pages. For too long the Republican party and the conservative movement has smeared Democrats and liberals as not supportive of the troops, when time and time again it is the right who does not look out for their interests as Democrats and liberals time and time again fight for good foreign policy, veterans benefits, and the basics of body armor for our troops.'

Posted by: david broder is a filthy liar | February 6, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

'BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A man sentenced to death in Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies now sits in Iraq's parliament as a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ruling coalition, according to U.S. military intelligence.

Jamal Jafaar Mohammed's seat in parliament gives him immunity from prosecution. Washington says he supports Shiite insurgents.'

Would you send your child to die protecting this government?

Posted by: drindl | February 6, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

'The NYT quotes from an internal GOP party strategy memo that says the budget process gives them the opportunity to "stay on the offensive" by challenging Democrats to come up with a way "to rein in federal spending and balance the budget without raising taxes on the American people." Besides, more time spent discussing details of a budget process most people don't understand means less time dedicated to the failures in Iraq, right?'

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

CC states
"Most voters pay little attention to the origins of a candidate's campaign cash"

This might explain why our current situation is so screwed up right now. I for one DO care where a candidates money comes from, and I applaud Edwards and everyone else who doesn't sell out as easily. Also does anyone know if Richardson has said anything about this stuff?

Posted by: Andy R | February 6, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

In case you wondered whether social cons had a problem with rudy--ain't gonna fly:

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said Monday if Rudy Giuliani wins the GOP presidential nomination Democrats will take back the White House in 2008.

"If by some chance Giuliani were to gain the Republican nomination it would set up a very similar scenario that we had last November," Perkins said in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network. "A unenthusiastic Republican base which will suppress turnout and set up a Democratic victory."

Perkins comments come just as the former New York City mayor filed a formal statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Committee -- another step towards his likely run for the White House.

"Americans do not yet realize how far outside of the mainstream of conservative thought that Mayor Giuliani social views really are," Perkins told CBN. "Once people focus on this election and the candidates, Giuliani's lead will diminish."

Posted by: drindl | February 6, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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