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Gaming the Money Game

Ask Bill Burton, a spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama, how much money the Illinois Democrat will raise for his presidential race in the first three months of this year and he'll tell you $8 to $10 million.

Peruse an invite for Obama's fundraising event in New York City tomorrow night, however, and you get an entirely different picture of the Illinois Senator's financial ceiling. Fourteen individuals or couples are listed as "chairs" meaning, according to the invitation obtained by The Fix, that they have committed to raise $100,000 for Obama. Another 13 individuals and/or couples are listed as "hosts" -- a designation that requires raising $50,000. Sixteen are "co-hosts", which means they are committed to raise $25,000 each for Obama.

Add just those numbers up and Obama's take from the event tomorrow night is nearly $2.5 million. Of course overhead costs and other expenses mean he won't net that amount, but he is likely to walk away from the fundraiser with $2 million or more. (It's worth noting, and The Fix should have done so in our original post,that the "chairs," "hosts," and "co-hosts" have a year to raise the money. But still.)

By Burton's calculation that means Obama -- in one night -- has collected between 20 and 25 percent of what he will raise for the entire quarter.

Welcome to the expectations game where each of the competing Democratic presidential campaigns seeks to pump up their rival's fundraising potential while downplaying their own ability to collect cash. All of this behind-the-scenes spinning is aimed at ensuring that when the first quarter fundraising numbers do become public (sometime between March 31 and April 15) it's your candidate who surprises and your rivals who disappoint.

Obama is not alone in this game. Aides to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton say their goal is to raise $15 million between Jan. 1 and March 31. Why $15 million? Because that would be double what then Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) collected in the first quarter of 2003. With giving limits doubled, they argue, it stands to reason that $15 million would be a worthy fundraising quarter.

Except that no one -- including Clinton's confidantes -- believe that she will raise just $15 million or that if she did it would lead the field. Informed speculation pegs Clinton's final number at somewhere between $20 and $30 million.

An aide to a rival candidate who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the money chase offered this gem when asked about Clinton's fundraising potential in the first three months of the year: "It's kind of like obscenity -- you know it when you see it, which to me means 40 to 50 million."

Of course, that quote typifies the expectations game.

So, what to make of Edwards in all of this? He was the clear winner of the expectations game in 2003, wowing observes by collecting nearly $7.5 million. This time around, as Jeanne Cummings wrote recently in the Politico, Edwards' campaign has been the least willing to openly discuss its fundraising target or the men and women tasked with reaching it.

Edwards is also the candidate with the most riding on his financial performance in the first quarter. If Edwards can stay within $5 million of Obama or Clinton (or both) it solidifies his presence in the first tier of Democratic challengers. If, on the other hand, Ewards' finds himself in a distant third in the fundraising chase, it raises the likelihood that the race for the Democratic nomination will be cast as a two-person affair.

So what's the straight dope on what to expect at the end of this month? If anyone other than Clinton is at the top when the books close on March 31, it is a huge story. Early reports suggest Obama's money machine is purring despite the fact that his campaign has had to build it on the fly. If Obama comes close or eclipses Clinton, it will be the first major puncture in the bubble of inevitability that has surrounded her for much of the last two years.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 8, 2007; 9:57 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

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

Posted by: anonymous | March 16, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

What does Hillary Clinton do with all her money? Who would be influenced to vote for her because of TV ads? I would never vote for her; there is nothing she could say that would make me vote for her. She and her husband are as bloodthirsty and warmongering as Bush. Its such a relief to me that McCain is collapsing in the polls. He's the only one on the Republican side that I worried about him being president. The others are not hardened to killing innocents like McCain (who dropped bombs on innocent people in Vietnam) and Clinton are.

Posted by: Erin | March 11, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Hillary will likely have the most money, but she has a great deal more than money going for her:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Traits-Poll-Glance.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

"OVERALL: The most important qualities looked for in a presidential candidate are honesty and integrity; these were named by more than half of those in the AP-Ipsos poll. The leading Democratic candidate, according to Democrats and those who lean Democratic, is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York at 38 percent followed by Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois at 21 percent, former Vice President Al Gore at 14 percent and former Sen. John Edwards at 10 percent."

Posted by: Sean Davidson | March 11, 2007 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Money, lots and lots of money will be reported by all. What it means: none of the front-runners will be intiminated by the size of their opponent's bank-roll. That's a good thing.

Posted by: Paul Servelle | March 9, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Aussie: Don't let it get you too down.

In a column on Sunday, George Will pointed out that Americans spend about twice as much on Easter candy in one year, as this two-year camapign will cost.

Plus, you have a population of 20 million, we have 300 million; different campaign laws, etc.

It's all relative.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | March 9, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I love following American politics but the amount of money involved (and the lobbying that comes with it) and the amount of money needed to run for president, well it gets me down a bit. So much for the American dream.

Posted by: Aussie view | March 9, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

JD--Where is New Europe located? I blame the communist hippie pinko socialist public education I was subjected to but I cannot find it on the map.

Posted by: roo | March 8, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I would ask all who support continuing the occupation ad infinitum, where the money will come from? The Chinese gov't is currently the main buyer of US debt, what if we get into a scrape with them [very possible, since they demonstrated their ability to take out an orbiting satellite] and they decide to stop? What if Russia becomes problematic [starting to look very likely with their threats to take out the propsed missile defense sites to be built in Poland].

the problem is, this administration has always been focused on one thing -- iraq and it's oil. Ask Halliburton. so they are ignoring a gathering storm.

Tell me, if your taxes had to be raised by 10% or 20% to fund it, would you still support an indefinite deployment?

Posted by: drindl | March 8, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Accoridng to the Army Times, a majority of active duty service people think we should be getting out of Iraq...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about Iran yet... once abenawhoji is gone, I think they might be convinced by heavy economic sanctions. Iran is, after all, a modern and wealthy republic, [with a large Jewish population, btw] unlike Pakistan. I think there are still possiblities there -- so does General Petreus. Same with Syria.

Yes, we might have to invade Pakistan, if it's the only way to stop al queda from striking us again. If we were willing to invade Iraq to get Saddam, who had never attacked us and had no WMD, why not? Why not go after the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 and are activiely planning to [and saying so] again? And knowing that there are loose nukes in Pakistan that they might ALREADY have, is what makes me feel it's a much more serious threat. But agian, as long as we are tied up in Iraq, we can do nothing about other threats.

Posted by: drindl | March 8, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP wants a Hearts and Minds war. Zouk wants a war of attrition.

My kind of guys!

Say, you two wouldn't mind signing-up and helping out, would you?

Posted by: Billy Westmoreland | March 8, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

cause it's boring talking about donors...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Why do all these threads wind up about Iraq eventually?

I understand that is a big issue, but if a thread has a different topic, why start veering off into Iraq debates that end the same way each thread?

Posted by: William | March 8, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I refer you again to the Iraq statistics we discussed yesterday. According to those, the US Department of State estimates that there were around 30,000 insurgents, as of October 2006. The number of foreign fighters was estimated at 800-2,000. The people we are fighting in Iraq are almost all locals.

I didn't realize that 93% of our military wasn't deployed in Iraq. That makes me wonder why we keep extending deployments, sending soldiers on multiple tours of duty, lowering recruiting standards, and issuing stop-loss orders to stop people from leaving the military. And why do the generals keep complaining they don't have enough soldiers to surge in an additional 20,000 troops?

Posted by: Blarg | March 8, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

ME TOO

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 8, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

the people (I use the term liberally) we are fighting are not mostly from Iraq. they come from Iran, syria and all sorts of other places. If the inhabitants are sitting at home peacefully or going off to work, then they are not our enemy.

where do you think the majority of our active duty force (other than CONUS of course) was between 1945 and 1955? Germany and Japan. how about after 1955 - south Korea. this is how it works. this is not Grenada or Panama.

BTW, the majority of our soldiers are in the US. the armed forces including civilian support is almost 2M. of that about 150K are in Iraq - about 7%. is that what you mean by majority? Must be that Kruggman math.

drindl - answer the consequences question if you want to talk about value - NOT price. everything has a price, only some things are valuable. the guys dying think its worth it. I take their view over yours any day.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 8, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

drindl, if you're right and we're due to be nuked this year, then...what?

Close the border: the left cries for the poor Mexicans, who after all are just looking for work

Bomb the uranium factories: gotta use nuclear bunker busters to get underground - is the Dem part OK with that?

Invade Pakistan to get Al Quaida where they are hiding? You do that and we doom Musharraf at the hands of his extremist enemies.

Try to bring democracy to the region, hope that it spreads throughout the region, and make America 1000x safer. Oh wait, we tried that.

Ignore the problem? As you have alluded, then within 5 years Tel Aviv becomes a sea of fire.

No easy answers, is there? I think we'll pull out. Otherwise, the Democratic party will have to answer in 08 to their nutjob blogosphere as to why they didn't pull the funding.

Posted by: JD | March 8, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so we can leave Iraq once the insurgency is so strong that we run out of soldiers. So if nothing else changes, you'd be perfectly willing to leave the majority of our active-duty forces in Iraq for the next 20 or 30 years? And you think that's reasonable?

By the way, we're fighting in their country. They can't leave the fighting and go home; they're already there.

Posted by: Blarg | March 8, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Fantasy -- pure fantasy. the sunni and shia join together to fight al queda? anyway, al queda is in Pakistan, remember? Our own military estimates that only about 3% of the fighters in iraq are al queda. And we don't have any 'force' to strike them.

How can it churn on 'relatively unnoticed'? I think the families of troops who get killed will 'notice'... and so should the rest of us.I hope that every time a valuable life is lost it gets on the front page so people understand what the price of this is.

Posted by: drindl | March 8, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

blarg, how about something like this:

'In Baghdad, there's a good chance General Petraeus will quell the ethnic cleansing, while the murderous bombings of the Sunni extremists continue. In Anbar, the tribes will join the Marines in fighting the Qaeda extremists. In 2008, substantial withdrawal of U.S. troops. In 2009, regardless of who is the new president, a U.S. advisory corps continues, together with a force to strike al Qaeda. Lacking a sanctuary, the insurgents will be ground down. The U.S. press no longer puts Iraq on the front page, and it churns on relatively unnoticed, like Afghanistan. There will be no easy or quick exit.'

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/iraq/20070308-0303-iraq-war-scenarios.html

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 8, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

'As for you not thinking that terrorists from Iran, Iraq, or Syria won't be coming for us within 10 years with a nuke...you're kidding, right?'

I0 years? I think the bin ladin and the rest of al queda who is regrouping in Pakistan will be coming for us with a nuke THIS year. They are the ONLY ones who have attacked us.

And what do Syrians and Iran have to do with Iraq? And what do they care about us? They may certianly go after Israel, but why would they come here? What do the Syrians have to do with it? They've got their own regional issues. Iran was one of our biggest allies in the beginning of the invasion... even General Petreus says we need to negogiate with them. I didn't say it. But it worked with Libya, didn't it?

We don't have any troops anyway. The military is dangerously depleted and we don't have enough to fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan where the real threats to this country are developing.

Posted by: drindl | March 8, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

'we are killing 30 of them for every one we lose. and the killing is "over there". and our deaths are soldiers, not civilians.'

30 'of them' who is them? sunnis, shia, children? you think civilians are not getting killed? you drink more of hte koolaid than i have ever seen. it';s amazing what you will swallow. 100% gullibe.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I am willing to stay as long as we are killing more of them than they are us. this is a proxy war with Iran whcih has been festering since 1979. If we can take out syria as well, that would be a total victory. If we can only get Iran to fall then it is a moderate win. If all we do is get iraq standing on its own two feet, it is a tactical victory.

how long would we fight the germans in 1944 - until they're all dead or give up and go home. same answer here.

you know this has been explained over and over by many more capable than I. why is it so hard to figure out? we are killing 30 of them for every one we lose. and the killing is "over there". and our deaths are soldiers, not civilians.

the consequences you lefties refuse to discuss are the opposite of all these points - we lose civilians, over here, and the ratio flips, 3000 of us for 20 of them. and we hide in our basements instead of strolling in the open air.

Ack/

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 8, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Blarg: You may get an honest answer from him; but it won't be practical.

He's into that Ugly American mindset. He thinks that everybody else in the world wants exactly what we want. And they damned better well take and be grateful for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

drindl, I appreciate your view. My thoughts are, though, that Bush will be forced to withdraw once the Dems pull the funds for the occupation. If the Dems don't go ahead and do that, then they'll be pummelled by their own kind in Nov 08, and rightfully so since that's what they ran on this last time.

Bush may get overruled (convinced?) that keeping a large US presence in Iraq is suicide for the GOP in late 08; he may decide that he doesn't want his legacy to be that he killed the party for 10 years.

Also, remember that Bush isn't running again - either McCain or Rudy get some 'fresh start' points in dealing with the conflict on the campaign trail. This is also applicable to patching up things with old Europe, etc.

As for you not thinking that terrorists from Iran, Iraq, or Syria won't be coming for us within 10 years with a nuke...you're kidding, right?

Posted by: JD | March 8, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The Crusades went on for 400 years...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, if we're talking about Iraq, I have a question for you. (And anyone else who's against withdrawing troops from Iraq.)

Under what circumstances should we withdraw our troops and give up Iraq as a lost cause? Clearly you think that there's still hope for victory if we stay the course. But for how long? Should we stay indefinitely without achieving victory? Is there anything that could happen to make you decide that it's time to pull out of Iraq?

Posted by: Blarg | March 8, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

JD, Bush has said repeatedly that the issue of Iraq will be for the next president to decide. He has no intention of leaving

And this makes no sense whatsoever '(and the winner to come for us, eventually' WHY? It's al queda in Pakistan that we have to worry about. Iraqi Sunni and Shia had no beef with us before we invaded theri country. Anyway, what's to stop them from buying a plane ticket now?

If you're going to have a talking point, please let it make sense. I'm really not trying to be rude, but I have never understood why people think this.

I agree haivng some columns which talk about policy issues would be infintely more informative than just talking about which of the wealthy/corporations are buying which candidates. Although I guess that's helpful in figuring out why politicians do what they do after the election.

Posted by: drindl | March 8, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I hear what you're saying, Dan:

"Because Hills money is a non issue. If we buy into the system that money is the election then we might as well give the office to whoever raises the most money and lease it to them. At least then we would be able to make productive use of the money."

I don't think we're (or Chris, since he owns this) saying that money is the only issue or 'money is the election' - I think that he's saying that whoever gets the most gets his/her message out the best. Certainly that's a topic worth discussing, right?

Or maybe you're right, he has to fill 2 columns a day for 500 days, so of course there's going to be tangential things discussed.

Posted by: JD | March 8, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Zookie: When do we get an "honest answer" from you on why you change history to suit your purposes?

Still waiting.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, anonymous poster (nice courage btw), if the upcoming election really is all about Iraq, then the GOP might as well not show up.

However, I doubt that will be the case - even moreso because Bush ain't running again. I think we'll either be withdrawing or withdrawn by then, either because we succeeded in pacifying the warring factions or we decided that enough was enough and the Malaki government is hopeless, and we leave them to kill each other (and the winner to come for us, eventually).

Posted by: JD | March 8, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Why does every CC post always degenerate into a discussion about Iraq?

This topic is about Hillary's money and inevitability, folks"

Because Hills money is a non issue. If we buy into the system that money is the election then we might as well give the office to whoever raises the most money and lease it to them. At least then we would be able to make productive use of the money.

Some people here like to talk about political subjects in a political forum. While we respect peoples desire to stay on topic, there is only so much that can be said about raising 50 million in 3 months.

Notice that we tend to do a better job of staying on topic when the topic actually has real meaning to society as a whole rather than just an issue the WashPressCorps loves to drool over.

Chris, Can you give us some topics about which candidate supports various topics of national interest. This would help us learn to compare and contrast them and perhaps make an educated informed decision.

We don't need to know how much money they collected, we need to know how they plan to deal with our country's problems.

Posted by: Dan W | March 8, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I've stopped counting how many toes the Justice Department stepped on when they purged eight prosecutors last December.

But one set of toes belongs to Sen. John Ensign (R-NV). Not only did the Justice Department go over Ensign's head to fire Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden, but they apparently "misled" him as to why they were doing it.

From The Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Ensign was particularly irate over the firing of Bogden, an independent who Ensign picked in 2001 to oversee federal crime prosecutions in Nevada. Bogden, a prosecutor in the Northern Nevada office of the U.S. attorney, was nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate in October 2001.
In December, the Justice Department fired Bogden over Ensign's objections. Ensign said last month he was told the dismissal was for "performance reasons."

Justice officials initially told Congress that was the reason. But Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General William Moschella told a House subcommittee "no particular deficiencies" in Bogden's performance existed....

Ensign said Wednesday he was decidedly unhappy.

Posted by: looks like another bad week for WH | March 8, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

why Iraq? - Because america has definitively decided against the loony left on just about every topic under the sun. there is one issue remaining that still holds some hope for america's defeat and humiliation. Hence the concentration on Iraq in the press, in the congress and on this blog. a good cold does of reality will eventually cure this ill. Only one question on surrender and retreat in Iraq - consequences???

I don't really expect an honest answer from any of the committed losers here. Blarg and roo have been surprisingly honest and fair. mayeb you others can learn some manners and a lesson in rationality.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 8, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

If you know who Michael Baron is, this is eye-popping..


Even Michael Barone goes off the reservation?

From his US News blog from yesterday ...

The emerging scandal surrounding the dismissals of eight former U.S. attorneys should signify to American voters the depth, breadth, and permeation of corruption in the Bush administration.

When a U.S. senator (to wit, Pete Domenici, a New Mexico Republican) feels free to call a prosecutor at home and hang up on him for resisting political pressure in the course of executing his prosecutorial duties, the line between politics and law enforcement has been so thoroughly violated that it no longer exists.

Posted by: Sarabeth | March 8, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Because the upcoming election is going to be ALL ABOUT IRAQ.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Why does every CC post always degenerate into a discussion about Iraq?

This topic is about Hillary's money and inevitability, folks

Posted by: JD | March 8, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

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

http://www.democrats.com/

The DNC's callin' it a video note, my security software is blocking the akamai server the DNC's using so I snagged it from someone kind enuff to upload it to YouTube...

http://www.democrats.com/

Posted by: che | March 8, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

An Israeli human rights group has accused Israel's army of using two young Palestinians as human shields during a recent raid in the West Bank.

The B'Tselem group said it had testimony from a 15-year-old boy, his 24-year-old cousin and also an 11-year-old boy.

They said soldiers had forced them at gunpoint to enter houses ahead of the troops during the raid in Nablus.

The use of human shields is illegal under Israeli and international law.

Posted by: eveetrybody sinks to the same level | March 8, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

where are the flowers we were going to be greeted with?

"Gone to graveyards every one"

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Zookie: when are you going to explain why you revised history the other day. You conveniently ignored being called on it.

You still haven't answered us!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

proud: So it's the Win the Hearts and Minds strategy all over again?

Which village should we destroy to save it?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse


AMT: Middle-class more at risk than millionaires
Tax experts spell out for House panel the perils of the 'wealth tax' for the non-wealthy.

'NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Middle-income taxpayers have become more vulnerable than millionaires to the alternative minimum tax, which was originally designed to prevent tax avoidance by the rich, according to testimony given Wednesday before a House panel.

"Because of poor design, millionaires are actually less likely to owe AMT than middle-income people with kids," said Tax Policy Center director Len Burman told the House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee.'

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Over at Moonbat Lala Land....

Screen grab of Faux News with crawl that reads 'Scooter Libby Not Guilty'

I'm sure tomorrow they'll run something like:

'Sun Rises in West'

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

where are the flowers we were going to be greeted with? where is the oil that was going to pay for this $500 billion dollars debacle? How deep in debt are we going to sink to pay for this?

By therway, it's interesting you have so much sympathy for Shia, considering that they're slaughtering the Sunnis as efficiently as sunnis are slaughtering them. Of course the sunnis were responsible for 9/11, but it's the shia that bush wants to go after... go figure.

it's also the sunnis that are our 'allies' and that bush regular holds hands with and kisses. maybe you ought to write him a letter.

Posted by: drindl | March 8, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

i thought it was a cakewalk...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

no drindl, he didn't say "this can't be solved with a military solution"

What Gen. Petraeus said was military force alone is not sufficient to end the violence in Iraq and political talks must eventually include some militant groups now opposing the U.S.-backed government.

"Military action is necessary to help improve security ... but it is not sufficient," Petraeus said. "A political resolution of various differences ... of various senses that people do not have a stake in the successes of Iraq and so forth that is crucial. That is what will determine, in the long run, the success of this effort.

In other words this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 8, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Edwards won't debate on Fox news. I wonder if President edwards will debate with Amajornutjob. doesn't he know by now that he needs to cover all venues? It is possible he could be the first woman president but I doubt anyone is falling for him. still can't forgive his slimeball tactics with cheney's daughter. he lives up to the "trial lawyer" reputation. going to be a three time loser.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 8, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

L.Sterling: Thank you. Whooppee.

Posted by: lylepink | March 8, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

'proud'

".. when Sunni suicide bombers murdered 118 Shia pilgrims (and wounded almost 200 more) on Tuesday, Sunnis around the globe looked away: Shias only count as Muslims when America can be blamed for their suffering. "...
Where was the outcry?'

I don't really know what you're talking about--incidents like this only remind me of all the reasons why we shouldn't be there, why our soliders shouldn't be in the middle of a 200o year-old religious war.

In any case, isn't Bush blaming Shia from Iran [many who are Iraqi Shia expatriates for much of the violence. Will you pople try to keep your stories straight?

General Petreus himself said this can't be solved with a military solution--so do you disagree with the man who's actually there and in charge?

Posted by: drindl | March 8, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

William: I know the site well that you reference and it only one more of the so called "Smear Merchants" that exist from both sides. There is a prior post about how rotten politics has become and I completely agree. The media will pick this up for it is about the almighty dollar. Gossip sells almost as well as you know what.

Posted by: lylepink | March 8, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Really Chris, Hillary hasn't looked inevitable since late last year. The most tightly filtered polls (asking only people who voted in the last primary, not those who "are likely to vote") in Iowa and New Hampshire showed her in a dead heat with Edwards and Obama, respectively. Given that Obama has more than cut the gap in half in the general polls, I'd hate to think what a poll of true primary voters would look like for her now.

I also think that $20 million one way or the other isn't going to mean a lot at the finish line. That would be a reasonable extrapolation from 2004, but the internet is a far more powerful tool for directly reaching voters than it was then. An awful lot of voters may ignore the TV ads entirely and visit each candidate's site, maybe watch a few speeches to get a feel for them.

Posted by: Nissl | March 8, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure this will break the hearts of the resident chickenhawks"

Grace - just like the killing of innocent Shias broke the hearts of all you left wingers? not.

".. when Sunni suicide bombers murdered 118 Shia pilgrims (and wounded almost 200 more) on Tuesday, Sunnis around the globe looked away: Shias only count as Muslims when America can be blamed for their suffering. "...
Where was the outcry?

http://www.nypost.com/seven/03082007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/killing_muslims_opedcolumnists_ralph_peters.htm

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 8, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

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

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20070308/ts_csm/aattorneys

The battle over fired US attorneys

By Gail Russell Chaddock, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor Thu Mar 8, 3:00 AM ET

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's controversial firing of eight US attorneys sets up a major clash between the White House and the new Congress, as Democrats step up efforts to rein in new presidential powers.


At issue is whether the Justice Department's decision to replace these top federal prosecutors was a political purge and, if so, what Congress can do about it.

As a start, lawmakers are revisiting a last-minute provision added to last year's reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act at the request of the Justice Department. It gives the president authority to replace a US attorney without going back to the Senate for confirmation. At the time, no lawmaker noticed. But dramatic testimony Tuesday from fired attorneys, who appeared only after Congress began issuing subpoenas, is fueling a push to strike the provision.

The back-to-back Senate and House hearings also raised questions about whether three Republican lawmakers tried to influence public corruption investigations, in violation of congressional ethics rules.

"This week, the House and Senate have launched hearings into two scandals - the neglect of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the firing of several US attorneys by the Bush administration - that profoundly demonstrate just how important it is that Democrats have restored broad and vigorous oversight," said House majority leader Steny Hoyer (news, bio, voting record), in a statement on Wednesday.

A first move is to revoke the single sentence in the USA Patriot Act that allows the president to replace a US attorney without Senate confirmation.

"For over 150 years, the process of appointing interim US attorneys has worked with virtually no problems. Now, just one year after receiving unchecked authority in a little-known section added to the Patriot Act last spring, the administration has significantly abused its discretion," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (news, bio, voting record) (D) of California at Tuesday's Senate hearing.

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill sponsored by Senator Feinstein that limits the term for an interim appointment to 120 days - returning the law to what it was prior to the reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

"That's to create an incentive to go to the Senate for confirmation," says Feinstein. If a nominee is not confirmed by the Senate in 120 days, the appointment would be made by the district court.

So far, Senate Republicans have blocked moves to take the bill to the floor for debate. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle predict that this week's hearings will give the bill more traction.

What emerged from the hearings are two starkly different versions of events.

No one disputes that the president has the right to remove political appointees.

"Each of us was fully aware that we served at the pleasure of the president and that we could be removed for any, or no, reason," said Carol Lam of San Diego, in a joint statement for herself and other fired US attorneys who appeared before Senate and House Judiciary panels. "In most of our cases, we were given little or no information about the reason for the request for our resignations. This hearing is not a forum to engage in speculation, and we decline to speculate about the reasons."

But in a full day of questioning, lawmakers pressed witnesses on whether they felt pressured to lay off corruption cases against Republicans - or step up prosecutions of Democrats.

Ms. Lam, who served as US attorney from 2002 until this year, declined to speculate on whether she had been fired because of her prosecution of former GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham for corruption.

In response to the same questions, US Attorney David Iglesias told lawmakers he had been contacted by Rep. Heather Wilson (news, bio, voting record) and Sen. Pete Domenici (news, bio, voting record), both New Mexico Republicans, who wanted to know whether he planned to indict a local Democrat for corruption before last November's elections. "I suspect they believed that I was not a help to them during the campaign, and I just started to kind of put the dots together," he told the Senate panel.

Both lawmakers acknowledge the phone calls to Mr. Iglesias but deny that they tried to influence an ongoing investigation - a violation of ethics rules. Another witness, former US Attorney John McKay in Seattle, said a former aide to Rep. Doc Hastings (news, bio, voting record) (R) of Washington called to ask whether he would convene a grand jury to investigate voter fraud in the 2004 governor's race. Congressman Hastings chaired the House ethics committee in the 109th Congress.

In testimony before the House panel, Justice Department official William Moschella told lawmakers that no US attorneys were "removed [or] asked or encouraged to resign in an effort to retaliate against them." He also testified that the Justice Department never intended to use interim appointments to "circumvent the Senate confirmation process."

The sharp questioning was to be expected, observers say.

"Many of those US attorneys had very strong evaluations from the Justice Department, so it shouldn't be surprising that they're questioning why they were fired," says Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

Republicans on both panels say they are troubled by the way the Justice Department handled the firings, especially its decision to inform seven US attorneys on the same day without citing a reason for the firings.

"To replace seven United States attorneys all at once is not exactly a discreet thing to do," said Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) (R) of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On Tuesday, Sen. Jon Kyl (news, bio, voting record) (R) of Arizona, who has been opposing moves to rewrite the rules on interim appointments of prosecutors, said he would have no objection to the bill proceeding if federal district courts were removed from the nomination process.

Posted by: che | March 8, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I expect the Clintons to run the early primaries with saturation money bombs and then run the latter ones on the cuff, if they've built up enough momentum. It's not Hillary who is running but the CLINTONS, and I think everyone should remain cognizant of that. She tipped her hand in trying to upstage Obama in Alabama last weekend, and there will be more of these "tells" in the coming months. She's not going to be able to carry this off on her own..., and by the way lylepink, it's VOILA, not "walah"... Keep your languages straight.....

Posted by: L.Sterling | March 8, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Fake William... stop posting.
If you want to post your ridiculous posts do it under your own handle. I disagree with William, but I despise the dishonesty of people like you.

Posted by: TheLastStraw | March 8, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

hey 'hmmm....' before you hammer Rudy's positions as making him un-nominatable, read G Will today.

As for HRC, she's cooked. She's running for Obama's Vice. Too bad their both from Ill.

Posted by: JD | March 8, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

lylepink: I apologize, but that wasn't down to my normal standard of fabrication, was it?

Posted by: William | March 8, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

William: Hillary did not slime Obama. What you are refering to is a hit job on both, Hillary and Obama, started by "Insight" magazine and picked up on by the Wash. Times and Fox. Then other media ran with the made up story as well. Don't forget I have said this was to be expected and sure enough, Walah. The reasoning for it was quite clear to me that it was intended to help Edwards because he is the weaker candidate. That is where the "Fear Factor" comes into play.

Posted by: lylepink | March 8, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

This is the kind of thing which could be a huge story--inside the beltway and in the minds of political junkies. Otherwise, I get the sense few people care enough to pay much attention.

Posted by: DTM | March 8, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Mountain man I dont' think they are high at all. Howard Dean raised over forty million in about six months. Most of which was from small donors. If Hillary who has been raising money behind the scenes for over a year can't crank out 40+ million then she isn't meeting her own expectations.
Think about this way, Mitt Romney was promised 9 million in one day (he only got like 5 million but still). Richardson raised 2 million in one night. If you figure that I guy like Richardson is averaging say 100 grand a day. then he should be around 10 million. If Hillary averages 500 grand a day (not a stretch if you ask me) then she will be around 50. Thats alot of coin yo.

Posted by: Andy R | March 8, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

AMT: Middle-class more at risk than millionaires
Tax experts spell out for House panel the perils of the 'wealth tax' for the non-wealthy.
By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer
March 8 2007: 10:19 AM EST

'NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Middle-income taxpayers have become more vulnerable than millionaires to the alternative minimum tax, which was originally designed to prevent tax avoidance by the rich, according to testimony given Wednesday before a House panel.

"Because of poor design, millionaires are actually less likely to owe AMT than middle-income people with kids," said Tax Policy Center director Len Burman told the House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee.'

Posted by: for the financial idiots out there | March 8, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The 'bubble of inevitablity' around Hillary was created by the media (and obvious name recognition).

The organizers of the Selma march invited Obama to keynote, Hillary invited herself. The SC Black Caucus invited Obama to keynote major fundraiser, Hillary said she was invited to speak but wasn't. Thousands asked Obama to run for president, Hillary acts like its her entitlement.

Obama is drawing the largest and most excited crowds at this stage in political history. A movement is afoot, even if the media chooses not to cover it.

Posted by: era | March 8, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Only if Libby and Cheney appeared could Fitzgerald cross-examine them about their discussions with Rove, which presumably Rove had already testified about before the grand jury. Rove was the hostile witness against Cheney whom the prosecution had waiting in the wings, the witness who was never called. If Libby had come to the stand in his own defense, and summoned Cheney as well, Fitzgerald might have been prompted to call Rove from the deep to impeach Libby's and Cheney's credibility and reveal new incriminating information about them. Instead, Libby remained silent, Cheney flew off to Afghanistan and Rove never appeared. Rove was the missing witness for the prosecution.

Posted by: rover | March 8, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

'Congressional Quarterly confirms today that senior House conservatives, including the chairmen of the appropriations and oversight committees, knew about the neglect and deplorable conditions at Walter Reed years before they were exposed by the Washington Post.

Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL), former chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, said he stopped short of going public with the hospital's problems "to avoid embarrassing the Army while it was fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan":

Posted by: figures | March 8, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how much of a $$$ impact the defection of former top Clinton fund raiser David Geffen will have on how much Hillary will raise, and how much Obama and others will benefit by such defections.

Geffen and mover-doers like Oprah, who encouraged Obama to run, have very deep pockets and friends with deep pockets. I think Hillary is running scared and that her money machine will go off course.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | March 8, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Andy in principle but I think your numbers are high. I'd look for hillary to take in 25, Obama 20, Edwards 13 and Richardson 7. If Richardson can survive the bad press from his lackluster numbers and just stick around while the top two kill each other he will emerge as the next best choice.

Posted by: mountain man | March 8, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I remember something similar happening in 2004 around the debates. Bush and Kerry's spokesmen each praised the other candidate's awesome debating skills. That way, if their candidate looked bad, they had a good excuse.

This intentional lowering of expectations is transparent and ridiculous.

Posted by: Blarg | March 8, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Anything under 50 million is going to be below expectation for the Clinton in my opinion. I think Obama is shooting for 25 million, and Edwards is trying to break 20. Anything below those amounts will be not meeting expectations. If Hillary goes under 35 million then she is in real trouble.
Now on the other hand I think the real suprise will be Richardson. I think he will definitly crack the 10 million mark and if he can get within say 5 million of Edwards then he has a real chance of catching steam.

Posted by: Andy R | March 8, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

One quick item on Giuliani.....Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report, points out helpfully today that while former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads in the polls, according to the good folks at Gallup, three-quarters of respondents were unaware of his liberals views on gays and abortion.

"His backers are mostly conservatives and evangelicals drawn by his 9/11 strong leadership," Cook says. "That support will melt like an ice cream cone in August once abortion, guns, gay rights, Vietnam draft, marriage to his second cousin, and infidelities come out." This quote comes from the esteemed FINANCIAL TIMES which, like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ON CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING, mis-characterizes Giuliani's views on same sex marriage, saying that he supports it when, in fact, he backs only civil unions.

Posted by: hmm... | March 8, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure this will break the hearts of the resident chickenhawks:

'BAGHDAD, Iraq Mar 8, 2007 (AP)-- Military force alone is "not sufficient" to end the violence in Iraq and political talks must eventually include some militant groups now opposing the U.S.-backed government, the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said Thursday.

"This is critical," U.S. Gen. David Petraeus said in his first news conference since taking over command last month. He noted that such political negotiations "will determine in the long run the success of this effort."

Posted by: Grace | March 8, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

chris says: "If Obama comes close or eclipses Clinton, it will be the first major puncture in the bubble of inevitability that has surrounded her for much of the last two years."

but i remember similar things being said about a poll in february that showed obama winning new hampshire (i think they're tied now), the now infamous geffen etc. hollywood fundraiser for obama, about the thousands who came to hear him in the rain in texas, the race for internet support (which obama is currently winning), the selma event (to which hillary invited herself, then had to bring bill in order to be competitive), and most recently, the invitation to obama to speak in south carolina. hillary has not looked inevitable since the new year. thankfully.

Posted by: meuphys | March 8, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Over at Moonbat Lala Land....

Screen grab of Faux News with crawl that reads 'Scooter Libby Not Guilty'

I'm sure tomorrow they'll run something like:

'Sun Rises in West'

http://www.smirkblog.com/node/14

They don't even pretend to be real anymore... the wingnuts have all just gone over the edge... their world is collapsing around them.

Posted by: check this out | March 8, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

She was never 'inevitable' to the voters -- just to the DC press.

Here's the Politco quote [hint: not worth bothering to go there]
'Is John Edwards playing possum to hide the strength of his fundraising operation?'

Another non-story and attempted smear of a Democrat.

Just reading this stuff makes me realize how rotten and tainted politics in this country has become.

Posted by: drindl | March 8, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is starting to take heat for sliming Obama: http://www.solidpolitics.com

Posted by: William | March 8, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

'Timothy Griffin, Karl Rove's assistant, the President's pick as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Griffin, according to BBC Television, was the hidden hand behind a scheme to wipe out the voting rights of 70,000 citizens prior to the 2004 election.

Key voters on Griffin's hit list: Black soldiers and homeless men and women. Nice guy, eh? Naughty or nice, however, is not the issue. Targeting voters where race is a factor is a felony crime under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.'

Posted by: How about a story on a real crime? | March 8, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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