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Midnight Riders

Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) continues to add to his media consulting team, recruiting two ad men who were previously aligned with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, the principals in the Stevens and Schriefer Group, have signed on to the so-called "Midnight Riders" -- the group of media consultants who have banded together behind Romney's presidential bid.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to join the team and eager to get to work," said Stevens yesterday.

Stevens and Schriefer were originally members of McCain's media team and political inner circle; Schriefer was in fact the head consultant for that effort. The duo left earlier this summer when the Arizona Senator's bid hit the skids, however. The firm was previously involved in President George W. Bush's election in 2000 and re-election in 2004.

They now join Alex Castellanos, Romney's lead media consultant, Curt Anderson, Brad Todd and Larry McCarthy on the "Midnight Riders". (The formal name of the company is Midnight Ride Media -- the existence of which was first reported by The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.)

Alex Gage, who oversees the group, said such a large number of media consultants is a necessity in the YouTube world. "This is a new environment where the demand for video content is huge," said Gage, who noted that the team is producing the equivalent of a television show every three days for "Mitt TV." Todd added that "in the old days you would run 15 or 16 advertisements over the course of the year in a presidential campaign." In this cycle "we put up that many pieces of product every month."

Gage insists the creative process is a cordial one despite the large team. Romney's latest ad -- for example -- was the brainchild of McCarthy. The spot, which features Romney running along a wooded road, was "a little fun" according to Gage who added the light-hearted nature of the ad was "not any foreshadowing" of the nature of the commercials to come.

Romney's pack of media consultants is modeled -- like many elements of the campaign infrastructure -- on the successful Bush model. In 2004, Bush used six media consultants to handle the array of television, Web and radio advertising that campaign produced.

Romney's main rival for the nomination, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has taken a similar "more is better" approach when it comes to his consulting team. As reported in The Fix, Giuliani has Heath Thompson -- a partner in Scott Howell and Company -- as his lead media strategist but John Brabender and Chris Mottola are also on board.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) who announced he will officially kick off his campaign next week, has yet to hire a media consultant for his bid. McCain retains Mark McKinnon -- the lead media man for Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

While each campaign justifies their large media teams by pointing to the volume they have to handle, the presence of so many consultants makes for a potentially potent brew. It seems like the party nominees in every recent presidential contest have struggled with infighting among their well-compensated consultants.

Make no mistake: we are hardly anti-consultant at The Fix. For the most part the people who do politics professionally have learned what to do (and, more importantly, what not to do) in campaigns thanks to years and years of hard-won experience. But, there is always an inherent danger when there are a number of egos and ideas in the mix.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 31, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Va. Senate: A Golden Opportunity for Democrats


Zouk, if you spent less time obsessed with "Libs" and more time educating yourself, you may eventually one day come up with a single original interesting thought. there is always hope.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ignorant coward, if you spent less time obsessed with me and more time educating yourself, you may eventually one day come up with a single original interesting thought. there is always hope.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Some days, this blog is lively and interesting, featuring a respectful exchange of ideas and questions.

Then again, some days - too many - 60-70% of the posts come from Zouk. He is unwilling to ever acknowledge any accuracy and/or anything of interest in any ideas which do not originate from him. He would rather belittle anyone who disagrees, using grade-school language and a corresponding level of intellect.

Posted by: Analysis | August 31, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"I thought you were advocating UL type inspections for any product? ... the typical Lib approach is to "protect" the consumer with burdonsome regulation they may not desire."

I'm not an expert in what the 'typical lib' approach is. I was merely making the argument that not all regulation is stifling to the 'unfettered' market. In addition, I was demonstrating how appropriate 'fettering' can be beneficial for the market, consumers & the economy as a whole.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I thought you were advocating UL type inspections for any product? I was simply saying that under certain conditions, the informed consumer may want to skip this any buy something cheaper. the typical Lib approach is to "protect" the consumer with burdonsome regulation they may not desire. voluntary compliance solves this problem and allows the consumer even more choice.

compare the prescriptions available under government lists with the actual number available. who should choose?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I see by your resort to bad language you have exhausted your mental ability to debate. That didn't take much. I didn't blame you - persecution complex? I understand the market - you understand insults and blame.

Last I checked the road was still there, full of cars willing to pay. Only in the Liberal world would that be considered a failure. Only in a liberal world can rising government prices (taxes) be good while rising private prices are not comparable. If they have to raise the price high enough, no one will ride on the road anymmore. I haven't seen that happening. Besides, you Libs will be happy to buy it back to provide free services at double the market price. Lib economics.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"what is this strawman nonsense[?]"

It is the manufacture of an argument not made. Who was arguing for cheap chinese crap? Wasn't me.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so I'll start on the tax code anyway.

It doesn't matter how we reform the tax code. It will get twisted beyond recognition anyway.

One of the most fun aspects of being a Congressman (from observation, not experience) is tweaking the tax code for donors. Or for buddies, or just for kicks. This is also what brings in the big bucks to their campaign accounts, though receipts don't seem to be limited to those accounts.

And this is where the biggest cost to we the taxpayers comes from. For all the publicity, the cost of earmarks can't hold a candle to tax code tweaks.

If Congress were to pass your favorite tax reform tomorrow (flat tax, sales tax, VAT, etc), they would already be distorting it the next day. Look at 1987. Real tax reform won't happen until the process is reformed.

This writer's $0.02 on what needs to be included in ANY tax reform bill if you want it to stick:
- The tax code may not be adjusted in ANY non-tax legislation. This is to prevent slipping tax code changes unnoticed in unrelated legislation.
- No changes can be inserted into a tax bill that hasn't at least had a vote in committee. The idea is to make sure that provisions see the light of day and can stand on their own.
- Similarly, NOTHING should be added in conference that has not passed at least one house. No more midnight additions that nobody knows about until after the President has already signed the thing.
- Personally, I favor a 60% threshold on tax code changes. The idea is that something that is necessary will have enough support, but somebody's pet change for a donor will have more difficult sledding. I understand that some folks would balk at this one. But I think it's just too easy to play with the tax code right now.

Posted by: J | August 31, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

zouk: hey dips**t, don't blame me because the private road went belly up, moron. Blame the incompetents who miscalculated the traffic the road would bear.

Face facts, fool: Private enterprise failed in this case. Badly.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 31, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

loud and dumb - if you don't like paying the toll - get in line on the free government roads. I notice you love to declare the opposition unreasonable when you feel the heat of debate. too much for ya? If you had an honest stance on an issue you wouldn't feel so disadvantaged.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Ah, some interesting debate on hot-button topics.

On health care, some say we should pay more to cover those without insurance. Some say the government shouldn't do that. Well, we already do. When people get "free" care in the emergency room, we pay for it in more ways than one. Given the way the costs are spread, we pay for it in higher taxes, and in higher health insurance premiums. Both! And we're paying for the more expensive emergency room care, instead of preventive or sick care at a doctor's office. This (leaving people uncovered), of course, helps drive those costs up.

On the other hand, people with great insurance coverage drive costs up as well. When I was growing up, if you got a sniffle, you figured you had a cold and went about your business. If it was bad enough, you stayed home until you were better. Now, we go (or take our kids, or whatever) to the doctor who tells us we have a cold and we proceed as before. We fall down, and demand a CT scan or MRI, or something like that even though we just have a bruise (or bump on the head, etc). Or the doctor orders one to avoid potential lawsuits. But hey, it doesn't matter! Somebody else is paying for it! By making it "free" or "cheap" we have increased the demand. The increased demand for all of these services drives up their cost, and the cost of insurance. This burns the insured and uninsured alike.

And saddling the companies with the cost of health care (mine covers 80-90% of the premium) is inefficient and makes them less competitive with foreign companies. Or more to the point, makes it less competitive to hire us versus going overseas.

The best solution probably involves some sort of combined public/private initiative. That means the purists on both sides will probably need to be willing to work together (and make concessions) to find it.

And don't get me started on the tax code!

Posted by: J | August 31, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

tim Kaine ran as a fake liberal, trying to appear as conservative as he could. He misrepresented himself in many ways.

Mattel withdrew its products from the market voluntarily. what is this strawman nonsense. You always seem to prematurely declare victory. this sounds like baghdad bob - a coward. It seems the argument is not going your way.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"meanwhile the interstates are falling down. See the difference?"

Round here, the damn 'no new taxes' republican governor keeps vetoing a gas tax increase for infrastructure and a bridge fell down. 'Small' government at work.

Last year is funding for infrastructure was what I call the 'wimpy' plan. You know, the Popeye character that says "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!" Our gov wanted the road contractors to self-fund a road project until the fed funds came through. But nobody bid on the project. So much for the 'free market'.

I'm all for minimal taxes, but I'm also smart enough to know that physical property has maintenance costs associated with it. Cheaper ain't always better.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"You are far too reasonable for zealots like zouk and JD."

Its friday afternoon, toying with zouk is an amusing diversion. JD's not in that category.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"good companies that are in it for the long run are very interested in quality control. but if you want the el cheapo chinese version, who am I to dissuade you?"

Ah, the coward's retort. When the argument isn't going your way, resort to strawmen.

UL, by the way, is a non-profit that works with regulators to establish appropriate standards. UL then test products to ensure they meet those standards. I could be mistaken, but I believe UL approval is required before products can be sold in many jurisdictions.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: VA has also elected two Dem governors in a row, the current being former Richmond Mayor Tim Kaine, who is unquestionably a liberal.

Most observers consider the state to now be purple.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 31, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - the government initiated the Internet at DARPA but then quickly got out of the way. the internet is thriving. meanwhile the interstates are falling down. See the difference?

NIH starts lots of projects but can't finish them. A good model for government. pharma must do it utilizing a profit motive. but the Libs will never let go once latched on. hence the social security boondoggle - once started for poor old people, now forced on everyone.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: You are far too reasonable for zealots like zouk and JD.

I have no idea where you live but have you heard of the Dulles Greenway? It's the first private road built in the US in well over 100 years. It runs from Dulles Airport to Leeburg VA. It's a beautiful 14-mile road -- and went bankrupt almost immediately after it opened a few years ago, forcing tolls to be jacked up again and again, with more increases on the way.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 31, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Loudon writes
"That puts the once safe seat firmly in play. The very popular Mark Warner will be the Dem nominee, while moderate Rep. Tom Davis will have to fight a conservative like Jim Gilmore for the GOP nod."

Wow. What a difference 2 short years makes. A 'solid red' state like VA goes from 2 GOP Senators to a Dem and an open seat with a strong Dem contender.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - I think UL is a private and voluntary organization. Like the good housekeeping seal used to be. I have no objection to this. It is a required participation that I disdain. I read reviews before I buy. good companies that are in it for the long run are very interested in quality control. but if you want the el cheapo chinese version, who am I to dissuade you?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

A High Hill of Hypocrisy: Thanks to diligent work by John Donnelly of Congressional Quarterly, we now have our nominees for Hypocrites of the Year. They are the 67 liberal House Democrats who, in March, voted to chop the "wasteful" defense budget by 21 percent but, come August, managed to push into that same budget $485 million worth of personal pork projects for constituents. Some offenders you might recognize are Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. The liberals' "earmarks" in the 2008 defense appropriations bill would go to fund essentials such as blimps, self-inflating mattresses, paint technology, and so forth. Obnoxious feeding at the federal trough isn't new, but it's harder to take from lawmakers who recently proposed a Department of Peace and Nonviolence and are forever whining about overspending on defense.

Posted by: al | August 31, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

how about we remove the strict state requirements and compete on the national level? how about we change the tax code to stop favoring corporations over individuals? there is much tinkering that would result in better service at lower cost and more fairness. It is not proper to obliterate a program that is serving 85% of the population effectively.

I am considering going out on my own and that requires buying my own health insurance and going out from under my giant corporation. I have compared prices and find that my company is subsidizing about 800 per month of my cost. If I make $10K per year more on the outside I break even on health benefits. this is very likely and I will have shed the yolk forever. follow me to the promised land. My company could voluntarily offer me $10K and let me find my own as well. all companies could do this if the tax code were changed slightly. then when ever I change jobs, it is a non-issue. I can assure the cost would come down over time, just like laptops and cell phones. If I don't use HIppa, the cost is about half.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

this just in: one of the few decent Republicans left in Congress, Sen. John Warner, has announced he will not run for another term.

That puts the once safe seat firmly in play. The very popular Mark Warner will be the Dem nominee, while moderate Rep. Tom Davis will have to fight a conservative like Jim Gilmore for the GOP nod.

GOP will have to spend still more $$ that it doesn't have.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 31, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

JD writes
"the government's proper role in the marketplace is to enforce contracts, safeguard property rights, control for externalities (look it up), and maybe prevent discrimination (although this is a little dubious). That's pretty much it IMHO."

Spoken like a true Ron Paul conservative.

Here's my take: The govt's job is primarily to stay the hell out of the way until people start to abuse the system. That's a libertarian/liberal take on the subject.

Here's the problem: people who are poor and/or unhealthy are a drain on the system. Prisons and emergency rooms are expensive.

There isn't enough short-term benefit to incent private enterprise to solve the problems that fill our emergency rooms & prisons. That leaves gov't to do the job. It is my position that by spending more money on children growing up in poverty now we can save money later. The 2 goals are to 1) keep these kids healthy and 2) give them a good education.

Maybe the answer lies in public-private collaboration. But that will require a government initiative & gov't spending, to incent private individuals/companies to get involved.

In short, the idea is to save money later by spending money now.

If we go back to the 50s, it wasn't private enterprise that brought us the interstate highway system, it was gov't vision & spending. Yet we've all benefitted by that system - both individuals and corporations. Costs are driven down, competition is driven up. Great stuff - but it wouldn't have happened without a 'big' government project.

The space program of the 60s did the same thing: gov't expenditures on a 'useless' program returned innovation and *profits* from new technologies that came out of a gov't program.

I certainly don't think that gov't is the answer to every problem, but likewise don't think every gov't program or expenditure is a waste. It can be used to good effect & history proves that. Of course, history also proves the inverse.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: good news for US is bad for Libs | August 31, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"how do you like the unfettered market for laptops. Seems to work pretty good. Or the mostly unfettered market for cell phones?"

Ever heard of Underwriter Laboratories? That's a 'fetter' that keeps you from being burned, mostly, by faulty electricity-powered products. Though they've missed a couple problems with certain laptops.

The cell phone market was improved by legislation that forced them to simplify the process of switching carriers & taking your phone number with you. Is that 'fettering' or 'unfettering'? Seems like it was regulation that imposed a rule on the market that improved competition - and that, my nearing-an-epiphany friend, is an example of the fine art of regulation where imposing rules can improve the market & promote competition. Good stuff!

So, back to health care. How can regulation best change the system such that the benefits of competition are retained, while lower costs & expanding coverage to include more Americans - particularly those who's only recourse for health care is the 'free' care at emergency rooms? Surely the answer lies neither in an unfettered market of anarchy, nor at the strictly regulated or rationed end where gov't makes all the decisions.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If Democrats come around to the proper way of thinking I will be glad to consider them. I vote on the issues. so far only Lieberman has made any sense and he was kicked out of the party after being the VP nominee. something wrong with that. Just as the Rs try to shed the deranged wing of their party, the Dems cry fealty to the wacky wing of theirs.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Koz and bsimon, before you get too far down a discussion of the merits and drawbacks of government regulation (or 'fettering', as you call it), keep in mind a couple thoughts from a true laissez-faire kind of guy;

the government's proper role in the marketplace is to enforce contracts, safeguard property rights, control for externalities (look it up), and maybe prevent discrimination (although this is a little dubious). That's pretty much it IMHO.

Any other interference, and you're talking about injecting unforseen consequences and costs on society. You could argue that government creation of an infrastructure to support commerce and growth (both physical, like roads, and virtual, like the Fed) is also in the public interest, and I'd agree.

However, the extent to which some would expand government control of the economy...well, it scares me. When you talk about a government takeover of healthcare, the biggest initiative I hear mentioned, I worry about all the implications and unintended consequences (and trust me, there will be many).

Posted by: JD | August 31, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, take a pill & learn something from your boy Huckabee:
"I'm so tired of thinking our goal is to beat Democrats," Huckabee says of his party. "No. Our goal is to lift up America. And if we lift up America, people will elect us. . . . If we don't lift up America and the opportunities, then we shouldn't get elected. This isn't about beating Democrats. This is about having better ideas."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I guess you Libs seem to think that two lines of insults always deals with all your issues adequetly. it would seem the voters disagree. 18% approval and falling. that does seem adequete in the liberal world. no wonder. you are a real disciple of dirty harry Reid I see.

the nut doesn't fall far from the nut.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

to koz, i mean, anon numbnuts: why waste time typing when two lines adequately deals with the moron in question?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 31, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - how do you like the unfettered market for laptops. Seems to work pretty good. Or the mostly unfettered market for cell phones?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Bloomberg will be "in" ,with Hagel, with Clinton or with Giuliani or Romney...Bloomberg is also partner of the Polls master:Rupert Murdoch and his WSJ-NYP-FoxTV machine, the biggest spin machine ever invented...another friend of Bloomberg is Seidenberg,chairman of Verizon which runs the key '08 Election lines,Verizon runs most of the Congress and White House video-lines,special-lines, etc., so Bloomberg 's got the inside track, if you know what i mean...let's be realistic:Bloomberg as leader of the neocon movement will push himself "in" no matter what , and since neocons work with military precision , they will get "it" even if it takes a fabricated hit , the gentiles won't even know what hit them... well, they will find out when Bloomberg brings in Chertoff,Gorelick,Bodman,Bolten,Bolton,Doctoroff,Sandy Berger,Summer,Robert Rubin ,the Goldman Sachs/MerrilLynch/Lazard/Blackstone/KKR/Carlyle team and Rupert Murdoch to take care of business, while the gentiles ask permission to look "in" from the poor country!

Posted by: blogger | August 31, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Loud and dumb - do you ever go beyond the two line insult in your postings?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"brilliant, articulate, well polished, Harvard-educated lawyer"

Dear god, stop. Please stop. I can't drink my coffee.

P.S. Chuck Schumer HLS '74

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 31, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"the unfettered marketplace can solve it."

An unfettered marketplace is anarchy.

The art is in fettering appropriately, which ideally produces a market that is neither a free-for-all nor a stagnant pool.

For instance, after the financial nonsense that produced the crash of 29 & resulting depression, the SEC was created that has since, mostly, fettered appropriately. Periodically there're outlying events where people discover how to escape the fetters and we see the S&L crisis, or the recent trouble in the bond markets & subprime mortgages. The Fed Reserve & SEC will fetter those markets slightly, which will benefit the markets in the future.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gonzales, being a man of integrity and character, was not willing to roll in the mud and play politics the bureaucratic animals like Schumer like to play. He was not willing to kiss the bottoms of the Senate Judiciary who liken themselves to gods. When Chuck Schumer would ask politically-motivated questions of Gonzales about sensitive, and in many cases classified, information regarding the NSA wiretap program, Mr. Gonzales would artfully dodge the question. While Mr. Schumer may not have a problem with the nation's secrets being made public for our enemies, a true American like Mr. Gonzales did.

It was wonderful to watch a brilliant, articulate, well polished, Harvard-educated lawyer go head-to-head with his holiness Chuck Schumer. He ate Schumer for lunch, and Chucky couldn't stand it. Gonzales equipped with the truth was no match for a charlatan like Chucky. And while all the left would like to paint Gonzales as a "dodger" or being "not forthright", it just isn't so. Even Arlen Specter, who accused Gonzales of not being candid, was turned around after he received a private memorandum explaining Gonzales' positions on sensitive national security issues.

Posted by: investigate everything | August 31, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Loudon - you assume that the government can fix things. a poor assumption in any case.

bsimon - it is the rigid regulation that is causing the problem. the unfettered marketplace can solve it. the system we have is very effective for the current participants. the problem is adding additional users. how do you like the auto insurance or home insurance industry? contrast and compare.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

These changing viewpoints represent the advances in climate science over the past decade. While today we are even more certain the earth is warming, we are less certain about the root causes. More importantly, research has shown us that -- whatever the cause may be -- the amount of warming is unlikely to cause any great calamity for mankind or the planet itself.

Posted by: poor al - irrelevant again | August 31, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone knows the private market can fix medical insurance"

An interesting statement, given that the private market has given us the system we have.


Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

easy pickens: "So far, the federal government has spent $127 billion (including tax relief) on post-Katrina New Orleans - that computes to $425,000 for each resident"

Problem: if the people doing the spending are complete and utter incompetents, they could spend a billion zillion dollars and it wouldn't matter.

Thanks for reminding us how incompetent the leaders of the federal government are.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 31, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Kingofzouk asks
"you that partisan and dishonest?"

Coming from you, that's a pretty bold question.

Thanks for the laugh though!


Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Survey Of Scientists: No 'Consensus On Global Warming Comprehensive survey of published climate research reveals less than 1/2 of all published researchers endorse popular theory

Posted by: take a poll - Dem science | August 31, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

So far, the federal government has spent $127 billion (including tax relief) on post-Katrina New Orleans - that computes to $425,000 for each resident

Dem solution -spend more

Posted by: easy pickens | August 31, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - it's not that they haven't fixed anything, it is that they won't. Most of these problems have been going on much longer than GOP control. Are you that partisan and dishonest?

i know you Libs like to come up with all sorts of reasons why nothing will ever work to hide your ineptitude and inaction. One thing I never see is a solution. you are the party of no - do nothing. I thought progressive and liberal meant the willingness to attempt new ideas and unproven solutions.

the typical answer, which is often enacted and never seems to fix the problem is raise taxes and spend more. poverty, education, medical, retirement, envrionment, you name it, the Libs fix every problem the same. considering how smart you all are supposed to be, I am surprised that this is all you can come up with. Meanwhile any attempt at a solution by Rs is shot down and demogouged.

Everyone knows that private markets beat the government and that poor savers could have an inheritance for once but the Libs would lose voters and power. Everyone knows the private market can fix medical insurance, but again there's that power issue. Everyone knows that spending on education doesn't translate into performance - but power again.

If you Libs were less concerned with maintaining your death grip on voters, we could get somewhere.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it, vouchers are just a way for religious schools to get public funding. Between that and the No Child Left Behind teaching-to-the-test our public schools are left to do the best they can with diminishing resources.

If you think the Bush (and Ted Kennedy)education policies are working, just look around.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 31, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"Let's consider the unmet benchmarks for the Dem congress."

In other words, in 6 months, the Dem Congress hasn't fixed all the problems created by 6 years of GOP control of the Congress and White House.


Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

KOZ... I'm now convinced you have political amnesia or else you couldn't say, "Dems must rely on yellow-dog lackeys of the press to concentrate on sex scandals to win elections..." The GOP wrote the book on this one a' la Clinton.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 31, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

anon writes
"as a conservative, I believe in school vouchers."

Do you believe that schools accepting vouchers should be held to the same requirements that public schools are held? For instance, should private schools that accept vouchers be required to accept all children in the neighborhood, regardless of ability?

Seems like what vouchers will do is take money away from public schools, while leaving public schools with the job of educating the kids that are most expensive to educate - special needs kids, or kids living in poverty who can't afford uniforms and school supplies.

If private schools want public money, they should have to follow the same rules public schools have to follow. I suspect such a requirement would limit the number of private schools clamoring for vouchers.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Let's consider the unmet benchmarks for the Dem congress.

1. fix social security - progress - zero
2. lose the war - progress - negative, we're winning
3. energy policy - progress - zero
4. eliminate corruption and earmarks - progress - negative - there is now more corruption and earmarks and they are sanctioned
5. cover uninsured for health care - progress - negative - socialist solution not pallatable to voters
6 - fix education situation - progress - zero, refusal to consider any action, even vouchers limits ability to change anything
7. cut spending - progress - negative - Dems are already spending more and more on anything BUT the military

amazing that an established Democracy can do worse than one with killers roaming the streets. Expect the Dems to avoid this report card and concentrate on others' shortcomings instead. what else can they do? the Dems must rely on the yellow-dog lackeys of the press to concentrate on sex scandals to win elections. the issues just are not friendly to them.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 31, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

As Senator Hillary Clinton intensifies and refines her spin, deception, and self-aggrandizement, she inadvertently slipped up in a big way and revealed a truth that will doom her campaign and her party's chances to reclaim the White House in 2008.

Last week, while campaigning in New Hampshire, Senator Clinton said, "It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?' But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again..."

Said comment was immediately attacked by some of her Democratic rivals for the White House. Why? Because they don't want the voters of America to be reminded that when it comes to terrorism, the Republican candidates are much more willing to do whatever it takes to protect the homeland.

But, through all of that, the intuition of most Americans still allows them to acknowledge several truths fighting to escape the cesspool. The first being that in spite their many flaws, (a number of which that have recently filled the front pages of our newspapers) the Republicans will take the fight to the terrorists where they sleep and hide. The second being that logic dictates that Vice Admiral John Scott Redd, and others who warn of an impending terrorist attack, are sadly, most likely correct. The last truth they see -- exactly because of the cesspool that Washington has become -- is that the only hope for this country will be to elect a Republican from outside of its corrupting sphere of influence.

Clearly, Hillary Clinton has come to this same conclusion. That said, the next President of the United States will either be Republican outsider Mitt Romney or Republican outsider Rudy Giuliani.

Posted by: doug | August 31, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The liberals in this country are so deranged that good news in Iraq is now considered bad news. Rather than being pleased that we might be making progress and hopeful for American success, the liberals in this country are actively -and near openly- hoping for defeat. But don't question their patriotism. They support the troops."

I don't know what the September report from General Petraeus will say, but it is already being attacked on liberal blogs and elsewhere in the media. One recent criticism was that the White House was going to write the report, not Petraeus. Even though Public Law 110-28 specifies that "the President, having consulted with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, the United States Ambassador to Iraq, and the Commander of U.S. Central Command, will prepare the report and submit the report to Congress," I expect that criticism, and many others, will continue.

If the report contains any reference to progress or any glimmer of hope for the mission in Iraq, expect it to be attacked viciously by those on the anti-war Left. Good news in Iraq is bad news for those opposed to the war and there will be an all-out effort to deny or diminish any news that does not support their demands for immediate withdrawal and no consideration will be made to the consequences of ignoring the latest reports from the region. Can I question their patriotism yet?

Posted by: those wacky libs | August 31, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The left claims to hate "moralizers." So any failure to live like Jesus while telling others to follow his example is an outrage, even the defining challenge of our lives. (In 2005, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean pledged, "I will use whatever position I have in order to root out hypocrisy.")

One solution to the hypocrisy epidemic, of course, is to have no morals at all. You can't violate your principles if you don't have any. Another solution: simply define down your principles until they are conveniently consistent with your preferred lifestyle.

But the left has another solution. Under its system, you can still be a moralizer. You can still tell people what to do and how to live. And, best of all, you can still fall short of your ideals personally while guiltlessly trying to use government to impose your moral vision on others. All you have to do is become a liberal moralizer.

Once you become a liberal, you can wax eloquent on the glories of the public schools while sending your kids to private school. You can wax prolix about the greedy rich while making a fortune on the side. You can even use the government to impose your values willy-nilly, from racial quotas and confiscatory tax rates to draconian environmental policies and sex-ed for grade-schoolers - all of which will paid for in part by people who disagree with you.

Posted by: the Dem position | August 31, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

as a conservative, I believe in school vouchers. I can't be the only person who's sick and tired of listening to liberal politicians praising public education to the heavens while, at the same time, they've got their own children safely ensconced in private schools.

Posted by: the party of hypocrisy | August 31, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Loudoun Voter.... I would guess besides bailing out the bad bettors, the government wants to prop up the economy and help their banking friends.

Actually, I think the government allowed, even enabled, the usury loans by issuing ITIN numbers to illegal immigrants that were used to secure the sub-prime loans to buy the homes... you know the American dream of being exploited by greedy capitalists.

Whenever this administration does the "right" thing... follow the money trail.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 31, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

in recent weeks, these politicians have turned their attention to the lack of political progress in Iraq.

But on Sunday, five Iraqi political leaders (Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite; President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd; Vice President Tariq Hashemi, a Sunni; Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi'ite; and Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government) announced they had reached agreement on "de-Ba'athification" -- the policy that barred many members of Saddam Hussein's overwhelmingly Sunni Ba'ath Party from holding positions in the post-Saddam government. They also agreed on provincial elections; a law to distribute oil revenue; and a law providing for the release of prisoners held without charge. All of these changes were demanded by the Iraqi Accordance Front, the major Sunni bloc in parliament, which created a political firestorm when it withdrew its six ministers from from the government Aug. 1.

Posted by: don't look now Dems, you're hope for loss is fading | August 31, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

So now Bush wants to help out people who made bad bets on their mortgages? So much for free enterprise, rugged individualism, etc.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 31, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

What a joke -- 'midnight riders'. Comparing themselves to Paul Revere.

Of course, on the other hand, when you realize that the modern conservative movement is composed of radicals conspiring to otherthrow our system of governmnt, maybe the comparison is apt.

Except of course, rather than replace it with democracy, they want us to be 'governed' or rather owned, by a cartel of multiational corporations.

Posted by: Sandy | August 31, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- Awaiting a visit Friday by President Bush to discuss the war, the Pentagon defended its efforts to rid the Iraqi national police of sectarian bias and corruption, even as an independent review found the force too tainted to continue.

In a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a secure conference room dubbed "the Tank," Bush was expected to hear deep concerns from leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines about strains that are building on the force _ and on troops' families _ as a result of lengthy and repeated tours in Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Report: Conservative Policies Failed to Rebuild the Gulf Coast

At the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina leaving a path of destruction in the Gulf Coast, the federal government has failed to rebuild devastated areas, according to a new report released today by the Democratic-leaning Campaign for America's Future.

With more than 250,000 former residents of New Orleans still scattered across the country, the report finds that the basic infrastructure of a once-great city is still in shambles. Fraud, abuse, and cronyism infect what little reconstruction has taken place, intensifying economic disparities throughout the Gulf Coast.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, the odious Alex Castellanos. The Republicans have hired a mind-bogglingly evil group collectively--except the slimest, sleasiest gutter of a campaign you can image. It will be worse than swiftboating. It will turn the stomach of the bravest.

'Imagine you are in charge of safety for those laboring in America's mines. Now imagine you don't really care whether one, ten, or a hundred of these men and women die. All you care about is saving money for the corporations which are your real master. Once you have that mindset down, you're almost ready for a spot with the Bush administration. You just have to take one more step.

You have to be willing to take the broken bodies of those who have died through your own negligence and hold them up as reasons to reward those who collaborated in their deaths. That's exactly what the Bush administration did last week.

The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, OSM, is proposing to exempt coal mining wastes from a 1983 regulation known as the Stream Buffer Zone Rule that prohibits coal mining activities from disturbing areas within 100 feet of streams.


Environmentalists who have received advance copies of the proposed regulations are outraged because the OSM proposes to exempt from the stream buffer zone rule those very mountaintop removal activities that are most destructive to streams, including "permanent excess spoil fills, and coal waste disposal facilities."

In a move that demonstrates more boundless gall than the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration used the increase in underground mine deaths that has occurred on their watch, as a reason to remove restrictions on mountaintop removal mining. It's a direct payback to the "Bush Pioneers" who schemed in Cheney's energy task force. Under the pretense of safety, they're out to expand the very kind of mining that led to the greatest coal mining diaster of the last fifty years, a disaster that killed 125 people who weren't even in the mine.

They're willing to surrender, for all time, mountains that date back half a billion years, along with streams and rivers that provide both drinking water and recreation for towns and cities in several states. And they think you'll be so upset about the men they helped to kill, that you'll let them get away with it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

'The Post fronts a look at how the Health and Human Services Department scrapped ads meant to encourage breast-feeding after the infant formula industry complained.'

corporations run every branch of this government.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The New York Times leads with, and the Los Angeles Times devotes its top nonlocal news story to, a new report that gives poor marks to the Iraqi National Police. According to the report, the national police is a cesspool of corruption that has been infiltrated by Shiite militias and suggests it should be disbanded so officials can simply start over.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

A Polk County judge on Thursday struck down Iowa's law banning gay marriage.

The ruling by Judge Robert Hanson concluded that the state's prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and he ordered the Polk County recorder to issue marriage licenses to six gay couples.

Posted by: yes, iowa | August 31, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, about 1,500 detainees will be released from Iraqi prisons during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a statement from the office of Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi said.

About 50 people per day will be set free from "American prisons," al-Hashimi adviser Omar al-Jabouri said.

The prisoner release is part of a larger initiative by al-Hashimi to clear "innocent detainees" from prisons in Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Define "being on holiday".

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | August 31, 2007 09:07 AM

The first line of the last post (about Thompson) implies that someone besides CC is posting these, and CC is actually on vacation.

Posted by: JD | August 31, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Define "being on holiday".

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | August 31, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

This is what scares me about Mitt Romney: He is such a big liar that he might be an actual contendor in the grand tradition of Republicans who lie there a** off constantly and still get mucho respect from the MSM.

Posted by: JGG | August 31, 2007 7:11 AM | Report abuse

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