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On McCain's Money (or Lack Thereof)

Even in The Fix's remote vacation location, news of Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) lackluster fundraising and broad staff cuts has reached us.

In truth, for at least the last month we've known McCain was headed for serious trouble at the end of the second quarter. Aides were working to lower expectations and acknowledging privately that fundraising just wasn't going as planned.

So, the fact that McCain raised $11.2 million over the past three months and laid off a large number of staffers both nationally and in early states, isn't all that surprising. The question now is whether McCain and his team can weather the perception problems over the next few months, regroup and find a way to compete again.

What's clear is that McCain has gone from a candidate -- like former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- who is running a national campaign to a candidate only able to run a state-by-state effort. No longer will McCain be able to finance large operations in states like Florida, set to vote Jan. 29, or California, which will vote Feb. 5.

Instead, McCain must put all his hope in Iowa -- the state he skipped in his last run for president. For McCain to have a serious chance he must surprise in the Hawkeye State and hope that performance slingshots him through New Hampshire, where his political base from seven years ago remains strongest, and into South Carolina and beyond.

If Iowa is the fulcrum for McCain's chances, how bad is it that he reportedly cut his in-state staff in half there and lost his state director yesterday? Not great but far from determinative. Signaling the import of the state, McCain has sent his national field director -- Jon Seaton -- to run Iowa for him. And, it's likely McCain campaign manager Terry Nelson, an Iowa native, will take a larger role in organizing the campaign in the state. The campaign also still has former state Sen. Chuck Larson, social conservative leader Maryls Popma as well as operative Karen Slifka.

McCain's campaign plans to put the candidate in the state (as well as in New Hampshire and South Carolina) extensively over the coming months, believing that McCain is at his best when he is on the ground stumping. In truth, it's probably the only option they have. McCain doesn't have the money -- just $2 million in the bank at the end of last month -- to run any sort of extended television campaign in early states.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 3, 2007; 1:38 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: gcsqolnxp cmkxseir | July 10, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

John McCain has been one of our more interesting & dynamic senators over the past few decades .I would not vote for him but I do have tremendous respect for him.I think that his troubles began when he made the decision to court the Pat Robertson crowd earlier this year.He went back on several of his previous positions in an attempt to win over the conservative Republican primary voters.I wonder though what his political future will be .Arizona, New Mexico , Nevada and Colorado are trending Democratic.It will be interesting to see if McCain runs for re-election or whether the citizens of Arizona will vote him out of office. When a senator or congressman runs for national office they will miss a lot of votes. Usually if they havent ticked off the voters they stand a good chance of retaining thier seat if they do not win the party primary for national office. Arizona's governor had to sign legislation that deals with the border problem since Washington was unable to do so. The good people of Arizona may decide that this may be a good enough reason to retire their favorite son. I think that Senator Pete Domenici will announce that he is not going to seek re-election to another term.This is my hunch given the trend towards in NM towards the Dems and if Governor Richardson is still popular Senator Domenici may decide to head home. About the NM governors popularity with the voters-if they are satisfied with his performance they will be open to retiring a senior senator and send a freshman Dem to Washington.If enough are not satisfied they may decide to send a message by retaining Senator Domenici if he decides to run.There are three other senior senators readers should keep in mind, Lautenberg, Bryd and Stevens.Senator Lautenberg is doing a good job but if for health reasons he cannot run watch for the Republican party to make a concentrated effort for his seat.In fact I bet the national Republicans will target him anyway .Senator Bryd -bless him I wonder if he will be able to run for re-election and Senator Stevens as reported in the Fix is another question mark. In fact I think that a number of long term senators will retire between the 2008 and 2012 elections. When the Senate mets for the first time in 2013 you will see a number of new faces maybe even a current California governor. If he could run for president I bet that he would get the nomination and possibly win the election.

I would to point this fact concerning the border situation.There was an article in the NY Times that drug dealers are controlling the traffic of these people.The 'illegals' are being used by these dealers and if they do not co-operate they are killed or raped. This is a serious problem.Governor Henry of OK mentioned on the news that the mom & pop meth labs in his state are being closed in part because of the new laws but that tons of meth was crossing over the border from Mexico into his state. The gang in Mexico are cutting off policemans heads and sticking them on fence posts. It doesnt take a genius to see that if the US cracks down on illegal immigration the drug cartels are going to hit back hard.I am not saying that we should not do anything about this. Organized crime is increasing their involvement and they fight anyone or any government. The issue of how to control the traffic between the US & Mexico unfortunately evolved from treating these people with some dignity while maintaining the border to an issue of national security.Look at Colombia and if you do not think that what happened there could not happen here I think that you are mistaken. If this situation continues to go south look for the military to back up law enforcement.I am not talking about the National Guard I refer to the Army, Marines etc.I know that there are laws regarding the involvement of the miltary in civillian affairs but if organized crime feels that a US government crackdown is cutting into their bottom line we could have a nasty border war on our hands.New laws can be passed and placed into action. The sad part of this is that a lot of innocent people are caught in the crossfire and could end being caught in a border war. Many border communities have long term relationships. Many of these 'illegals' are just trying to survive and it looks like they will end up becoming caught in the continuing struggle between the drug cartels and the government. Both Washington & Mexico City seem to be unable to deal with this .In Washington its is politics in Mexico City it is corruption. I think that if this situation continues to deteriorate within a few years this will become the major national security isue.Dealing with illegals will be the least of our problems because the main one will dealing with violent drug cartels who have unlimited funds to buy anyone and anything and can match the US military in fire power.In the movie Chisum the character played by Forrest Tucker says the problem with Chisum is that Chisum follows the law and that he owns the law. Our next 9/11 may come over from over the border and we lack the leadership to deal with it

Posted by: New Jersey | July 9, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter, Patrick Fitzgerald because a US attorney in New York City in 1988. Libby worked for Marc Rich until 2000 in that case. Libby vs. Fitzgerald did happen and that was the whole issue in the Libby obstruction of justice/perjury cases. Fitzgerald worked on that case and so did Libby. Read it for yourself. Let's look at the facts. Libby and Fitzgerald were both in New York from 1988 on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Fitzgerald
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Rich

The argument that both were not in NYC at the same time is completely and utterly false. During this time, Fitzgerald did some work on the Rich case and that began a rough fued with Libby. These websites are proof they were both in NYC in 1988. The case continued until 2000, and Libby represented Rich until 2000. Fitzgerald didn't leave NY until 2001. He had a part in this case and hated Libby b/c of it, that's why he went after him now.

Posted by: reason | July 8, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Lying under oath - about a BJ. Not a very convincing fact. At least his veep knew which branch of government he was in.

Posted by: Crtr | July 7, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

"If you care to discuss facts, Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. Perjury. Get the facts straight rufus. Or don't you know what the meaning of "is" is?"

Ok so "trapping" a government officail to tell the truth is un-just or fishing. But a man's personal life is not? did they already know if he did it or not? What differance would it make either way? If he did or didn't how does that effect you GOP. Of course he lied about his personal relationship. He has a wife :). Libby. That effects me directly. That effects you. Hypocrites. You people shut the government down over this. Are the democarts shutting the government down? No. After all the laws bush has breaked they still will not. Why? They care more about the country than their party. The gop has shone you face. Hypocrites, fascsits, only care about money, traittors. The american people reject fascsim. We fought the Nazi's and defeated them. You people are done. YOu just don't knwo it yet.

THIS IS REALITY CALLING GOP

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

rufus - That's still not an answer to the CIB question.

Ever wonder why you keep avoding answering it?

Or, did you just land on your head falling off one of those jump towers?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Did any of you notice that Sen. McCain is the only candidate from either party who currently sits on Capitol Hill who simply does NOT ask for earmarks?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 6, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

donny j - OK.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 6, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I mean, I'll support Hillary over any GOP anyway, I just think she'd have the easiest time trumping the sorry man named Mitt.

Posted by: donny jeffcoat | July 6, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, I love you, but I have a right to strategically root for a candidate from a party I'm not a member of in hopes of dealing with a likely scenario, hyeah?

Posted by: donny jeffcoat | July 6, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Impeachment for a BJ?"

If you care to discuss facts, Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. Perjury. Get the facts straight rufus. Or don't you know what the meaning of "is" is?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

my goal is to get Rush/HAnnity/O'reilly off the air. Not for liberals, for you GOP. My grandpa has been lied to for DECADES. How many other elderly out of touch amreicans are being fed a false reality to line Rush's/Hannity pockets?

I'm not here here for the Dems/liberals. I'm here to help save your soul. think about the future. How will the history books record the last 20 years? Impeachment for a BJ? WOW. Think about the future.

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

my goal is to get Rush/HAnnity/O'reilly off the air. Not for liberals, for you GOP. My grandpa has been lied to for DECADES. How many other elderly out of touch amreicans are being fed a false reality to line Rush's/Hannity pockets?

I'm here here for the Dems/liberals. I'm here to help save your soul. think about the future. How will the history books record the last 20 years? Impeachment for a BJ? WOW. Think about the future.

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

You show your face GOP. Guilt is GOd. Remember that.

Try and conversate like a big boy. Better. Does that help you GOP? I know it's hard to think for yourself and put it together. You know I only misspell to give you fascsits something OTHER than the facts to talk about. Without me misspeeling wht would you say? How could you enter the convo? I don't blog for liberals GOP. I blog for you. Guilt is God. Hope is God. Fear? Fear doesn't really exist. PAin?

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"Trying to conversate like a big boy" -rufus

Try to use correct English instead of making up words like your boy West or Sharpton. Try to stop repeating yourself in every post, day after day. Basically what we're all begging you to do is...get a life, dude.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 6, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

You say I lie. Where. You say I'm a headcase. You are the headcase. I come here to proclaim truths. I come here to make others aware of links they many not see. Why do you come here? To TRY and discredit. To try to get people to question said links. With zero proof, in fact the facts are not on you side.

There is a web site. It's called http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

It's an on-line encycopedia. Read up. Rather than the elementary school kid arguement of "I know you are but what am I."

I know you learn from the worst. Rush/Hannity/O'Reilly are done for a reason. You cnanot do what they do. We have courts in this counrty for a reason. Being part of the GOP mafia does not intitle you to free lawyers working for Fox. Maybe it does BUT THEY ARE NOT LAWYERS. They are propogandists and liars, as you are. Rther than talking about "clinton did the same thing" Ot in 1795 Blah blah blah". Why not talk about what is. If Bush and his cronies SHOULDN"T BE CAHRGED FOR TREASON, tell me why. Rather than attacking credibility or bringing up the past. John Wayne is dead. The year is 2007. The old rules no longer apply. We have the intrnet now. You cannot lie and propogate blindly without it cacthing up to you.

This is why the GOP gameof divide and coquer is over, and hence the GOP. At this time america needs to come together. You and your AVATARS are doing the opposite. Why? So they can get the bigger yacht. So they can get that privete jet. Their BMW;s aren't enough for these pigs. They need the rolls royce. The 30 foot yacht isn't big enough. They need the 200 footer. They are playing you like a fiddle zouk. They are laughing at you.

Trying to conversate like a big boy. you got prove bring it forward. I know you mother WAS a fascist and lead you down the wrong path. Not my fault. Trying to help you and those like you.

This way many years from now when your at the pearly gates, YOU CAN'T SAY NOBODY TOLD YOU. YOu can't say I didn't know I was doing wrong. Heed. Guilt is God buddy. Listen to God. Your movement is over for my lifetime, and rightfully so. Don't go down kicking and screaming. Don't go down unibomber style. we are americans. Remember TRUTH JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY. YOu remember that. What have you and your people done to this country

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"many Christian right leaders have been saying that people should not vote against someone because he/she is Mormon."

What they should be saying is that people should not vote for someone who is a serial flip-flopper regardless of their faith.

Hello??? R primary voters!! Why give the dems an easy target in the general? We must nominate a moderate R who can attract Indies and blue-dogs, otherwise we'll get President Clinton again.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 6, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

(none poster)

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I see brave( one poster) zouk comes out of the woodworks when I say I'm done for the day. What a coward. Keep attacking people for proclaiming truths. It shows eveybody here what you and your movement are about.

Army Infantry 11B Fort Benning GA. Recognize you fascsit.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 6, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"What if we were on camera all day everywhere," - rufus

We are and have been for quite a while. Look around

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Sam (08:51 PM) somebody asked the other day if I had what I was asking rufus to provide a simple Yes or No answer to. I told them.

If you don't like me challening the headcase rufus1133 to put up or shut up on something he's trying to squeeze some credibility out of - Tough!

Either scroll past it, or just MYOFB.

BTW, Sam - you do a good job of cutting ansd pasting without providing a source for the information.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Word is born, Rufus! Tell it like it is...

Posted by: ||| x ||||||| = ||||||||||||||||||||| | July 6, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Romney is problematic for the Republicans. There are a lot of evangelicals who simply will not vote for a Mormon. I heard some interviews with Republican evangelicals attending a large evangelical gathering. It was scary - one woman said that she did not consider Mormons and Catholics Christians and she could never ever vote for a non-Christian. Several others reiterated the 'Mormons are not Christians and I only vote for Christians' line. A significant number of the Republican base will never vote for a Mormon and as closely divided as the country is, that could be the difference. Add to that the evangelicals who are suspicious of Romney's recent conversion to conservative social positions and he could lose quite a few Republican base voters.

Now if Senator Clinton - who by every account is a devout Methodist - runs against Romney, the evangelicals will have an interesting dilemna. She has been so demonized in those circles that some of these evangelicals might hold their noses and vote for Romney. Especially since many Christian right leaders have been saying that people should not vote against someone because he/she is Mormon.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 6, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

To hot for me today. CAn't blog. I might be a little to venomous due to the heat.

Peace in the middle east. Everyone have a good weekend.

OOHHH. And zouk is a fascist

Posted by: RUFUS | July 6, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

So McCain is pinning his hopes on state he ignored eight years ago was ignoring now until he realized he couldn't ignore it anymore. He'll have to be one hell of a vote getting to make people in Iowa forget he didn't like them enough to ask for their votes before.

I think Chris you may want to put Ron Paul ahead of McCain on the next line. After all he drew 1,000 people in a rally at Des Moines last weekend. Take a guess what McCain will pull in?

Posted by: Sean Scallon | July 6, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

donny j., unless you believe MR will be a competent Prez, please do not wish for his nomination. IF you think HRC will not be a competent Prez, support a D you trust, as hard as you can. Send money. Volunteer. Talk to your D friends.

We have seen the results of picking candidates who are not the best and the most competent and those results are unpredictable as to which party will win, but very predictable for the harm it will do to the USA.

Posted by: Mark in Ausitn | July 6, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Please please please may mitt romney win the nomination. He's the only GOP (excepting the trancedo/hunter/paul types) who can lose to Hillary, who sadly may very well coast to the november ballot.

Posted by: donny jeffcoat | July 6, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Please please please may mitt romney win the nomination. He's the only GOP (excepting the trancedo/hunter/paul types) who can lose to Hillary, who sadly may very well coast to the november ballot.

Posted by: donny jeffcoat | July 6, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

To believe in America's political values and to observe the importance of its role in the world is not "American exceptionalism." Like all countries, America has erred many times and has been capable of evil. Other countries have critically important virtues that America lacks. As I detail in my book, America has been far too quick to use war as a foreign policy option and has become increasingly imperialistic in precisely the way the Founders so stridently warned against.

But those who focus on America's flaws to the exclusion of its virtues are but the opposite side of the same Manichean coin from the American exceptionalists who believe that we can do no wrong, that America is inherently Good independent of our conduct in the world. What the Pew poll demonstrates is that the face America has shown to the world during the Bush presidency -- at least insofar as the world perceives it, a vitally important metric -- is a fundamentally different one than they saw previously.

In the last six years, America's brutality, unrestrained aggression, and violation of our own professed values have been transformed from destructive aberration into our defining attributes. And the world's population sees that transformation quite clearly and, as a result, their view of America has transformed along with it.

Posted by: greenwald | July 6, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"America had become, in the eyes of the world, un-American.

The America we loved - the America which, if it did not always match words to ideals, still seemed to move more in jerks and starts towards those ideals, died, choking, gasping, in front of our very eyes.

"

Posted by: Ian Welsh | July 6, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: read up | July 6, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I hear you Colin. I currently live in nevada. Gov Gibbons is under investigation for selling defense contractors to his freinds then getting kick-backs. The company makes software. I don't know if you've heard of this. You wanna talk about big brother.

This software scans everybody's face via a camera. There is facisl recognition that can tell you the name and legal histroy. The propirties of this are very scary. What if we were on camera all day everywhere, as Lieberman wants. Then those cameras facial recognize who everyone is on camera. What does that mean?

The goverment whould know who eveybody is and where everybody is at all times. A free soceity? Is that america? Scary time. I'm fleing to the jungles of south America and living like the white hairy gorrilla:) Swiss family robinson style

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Colin -

I actually thought that was already how the "secret searches" operated. I was opposed to that aspect of FISA warrants needlessly, until now, apparently.

Posted by: Mark in Ausitn | July 6, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Note sure if anyone's noticed this, but your civil liberties just eroded a bit more thanks to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals:

http://howappealing.law.com/070607.html#026723

Basic gist? You don't have standing to challenge the NSA's warrantless surveillance program unless you can show that you were under surveillance. However, the government has no obligation to let anyone know if they've been under survellance. In fact, the government need not even claim exuctive privilege (where they'd have to justify the claim), but can simply allege application of the state secrets privilege, which essentially means they don't have to say anything.

Final result? It's essentially impossible to challenge the program, which -- on the merits -- clearly violated FISA and probably separation of powers.

Posted by: Colin | July 6, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

JimD - again we seem to share the same hopes and fears.

Thanks for the direct reply.

Posted by: Mark in Ausitn | July 6, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"A British financial magazine reported today that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. had agreed on terms for its $5 billion bid for Dow Jones & Co. Inc.. But Dow Jones now denies that deal, while confirming talks go on.

A Dow Jones spokesperson told E&P at 10:30 this morning that the report was "incorrect" and said a full statement was coming.

"The only agreement is on editorial independence," said Andrea Grinbaum, a spokeswoman.

Reuters reported at 10 a.m. ET that News Corp. "has not yet reached a deal to buy Dow Jones & Co. Inc. as discussions continue over such issues as price, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday"


See what I mean? Whcih is it. Did he buy it or not. Fricking republicans. Frickin drudgereport.

POO. He bought the dow Jones. China bought the dow jones everybody. POO. Not good for REAL AMericans

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"By criticizing Domenici for changing his mind, you're saying that Republicans should continue to support the war. You'd rather see more of our soldiers die than see a Republican do what's right. Now who's being selfish?"

Your missing my point blarg. The only reason he changes his position is because he's up for re-elcetion. I wish they ALL would change their stance. NOT BECAUSE THIEIR UP FOR RE-ELECTION. But because we have thousands of people dying. Not because they're up for re-election but becasue it's the right thing to do.

If all politicains make decisions based on if they run again of not, what kind of decsisions would thye make? You missing the point. I wish they would all switch. Are the repus NOT up for re-election cahging their tune? No. That is my point.

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

Senator Clinton also worked with Newt Gingrich on an effort to find bipartisan solutions to health care problems. Trent Lott has been quoted as saying she was nothing like he expected in terms of reasonableness and willingness to really work with Republicans. Where I doubt her ability to forge bipartisan consensus as president is her demonization by the right. Will especially the more conservative House Republicans be willing to be seen as cooperating with the Wicked Witch of the Eastern Liberal Establishment. It would be somewhat less problematic for Senators. Should she be elected, the conservative fund raising machine will be sending out mailings every few weeks denouncing the socialist in the White House and please send money so we can thwar her. The right wing noise machine will use her to ratchet up their ratings.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 6, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Rufus, pay attention. Domenici is now in favor of withdrawing the troops. I don't care if he wants to pull out of Iraq because he's honestly concerned, or to make sure that he keeps his job. The end result is the same, and that's what matters.

By criticizing Domenici for changing his mind, you're saying that Republicans should continue to support the war. You'd rather see more of our soldiers die than see a Republican do what's right. Now who's being selfish?

Posted by: Blarg | July 6, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"How disgusting that the WaPo, once a serious paper, sinks to the bottom of the gutter. Today there's an interview with John Edwards hairstylist, with a link to Drudge. "

I emailed that stroy to (Agent) Ben SMith. He is the guy who "broke" the $400 haircut story. I've been destroying his blog since and emailing him. Asking him why he doesn't work for us weekly or something.

So I emailed him that story and told him, "I know this is big breacking news to your viewers."

He didn't report it. What a joke the media is

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"I disagree, person who refuses to sign their posts for some idiotic reason. The Republican senators want to keep their jobs. Domenici is up for re-election in 2008. He knows that the war is going to be a big issue in the 2008 election, and he knows that it's unpopular. A vote to bring the troops home might get him re-elected; a vote to continue the war will definitely make him unemployed."

wHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT. tHSI GUY KEEPING HIS JOB, Or the blood ofthe troops. The hoe hum attitude of you people is remarkable. over 3500 troops are dead, nearly 27000 injured. That's not counting other countries, Iraq UK. But this guy changes hi smind because he want's to stay in office? And that's good politics. PArty over country. Self over country. He must be a republcian. Sell-outs, traitors.

Where are their morales? They chance if they are up for re-election? Wow. What about the blood of our troops?

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

drindl and Bokonon, thanks for your comments on RG. I had read the FT article. I have long thought that Sen. McCain was the best possible R for the nation, but I am moving more rapidly than I thought I would, considering how early this is, toward believing he is the only R who would be a competent President.

Matthew, at 9:58p last night, said that HRC was the most bipartisan Sen. after McCain, I think in response to a post in which I had said I did not know about her ability to reach across the aisle. Then he cited a blog that did not amplify his assertion for me. I do believe that working across the aisle will continue to be important in America, so if any of you have cites to articles about HRC's Senate work with Rs, I am interested.

I know Biden and Dodd, I know Richardson, and I "sense" in Obama a skilled negotiator, but I am not from NY, and HRC makes the news in Texas when she launches verbal assaults in the Senate. I do know that she worked with DeLay on foster care funding. So, again, whatever you know about HRC as "bipartisan", as Matthew put it, I am all eyes.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 6, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

To concentrate this barrage of media attention on a haircut -for months -- is simply an indicator of how trivial and destructive politics in this country has become and how far the media will go to ridicule democrats.

Laura Bush spends $700 on a haircut every 3 weeks. Ever hear about that?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Television gasbags gleefully recycled this Edwards nonsense all day, based upon the latest Soloman story and treating it like it's news. Matthews said "sometimes small stories can reveal big things." He pretends he's cleverly pointing out that Edwards is a phony populist for getting expensive haircuts but what he's really doing is pushing GOP propaganda that Edwards is effeminate and soft. Like all Democrats.

Fox's Major Garrett just did a huge piece on this "controversy" ending with this:

"The stylist said 'I try to make the man handsome, strong, more mature and these are the things, as an expert, that's what we do.' For sheer irony, that Edwards seems to believe he needs all three, might be the sharpest cut of all."

They've played the "I Feel pretty" video three times in the last half hour. '

the country's entire media network, in the bag for republicans. watching the smear machine winding up ... the media swiftboaters get ready to destroy whoever the dem candidate is --with ridicule, as they have since Mondale. whether's it's 'earth tones' or 'breck girl' or discrediting a war hero they will do everything in their power to bring the dems down.

Posted by: media wh*res | July 6, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Final note -

The only thing funnier than the haircut is Edwards supporters who self-righteously lambast people who find the haircut funny. As Bloomberg said, "Get a life."

Posted by: Golgi | July 6, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"how things work" is that the haircut is genuinely funny. It was Edwards' tone-deafness not to realize that he had a rep for primping. He should have actively counterbalanced his rep by grooming simply. Instead he fed into it in a very, very humorous and catchy way. What else can he expect besides lots of media coverage? Anything funny gets eaten up. It is the way of the world. Edwards is a want-to-be, but fortunately too tone-deaf to pull the stunt off.

Posted by: Golgi | July 6, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Abusing the pardon/commuting privilege to cover up your own criminal tracks is a Bush family tradition:

But in a single stroke, Mr. Bush swept away one conviction, three guilty pleas and two pending cases, virtually decapitating what was left of Mr. Walsh's effort, which began in 1986. Mr. Bush's decision was announced by the White House in a printed statement after the President left for Camp David, where he will spend the Christmas holiday.

Mr. Walsh bitterly condemned the President's action, charging that 'the Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed.'

Mr. Walsh directed his heaviest fire at Mr. Bush over the pardon of Mr. Weinberger, whose trial would have given the prosecutor a last chance to explore the role in the affair of senior Reagan officials, including Mr. Bush's actions as Vice President.

What can you say. Like father, like son.

Posted by: the R's coverups go back to nixon | July 6, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Many Beltway reporters at the nation's three biggest newspapers are now taking up St. David's call to help the pundits take back control of American politics and refocus the political discourse back where it belongs: Away from serious issues that affect actual people, and towards the issues that the D.C. cocktail party goers care about. In the same Washington Post that prints his Common Sense-echoing call to arms, John Solomon pens a 1,200 word investigative expose on the pressing crisis of John Edwards hair - a Watergate-style dispatch that brings up memories of the great muckraking journalists throughout history. Deftly pretending that reporters like himself have nothing to do with the exposure this story has gotten and nothing to do with trying to make this story drown out pressing economic and national security issues, Solomon states that "it is some kind of commentary on the state of American politics that as Edwards has campaigned for president, vice president and now president again, his hair seems to have attracted as much attention as, say, his position on health care." That came on the same day the New York Times' Patrick Healy breathlessly works to drive the 2008 presidential debate into a focus on how critical Hillary Clinton's jokes about Bill Clinton's onion ring eating habits are.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

St. David Broder has taken to the pages of the Washington Post to declare that "a particularly virulent strain of populism" has emerged. And, says St. David, the consequences threaten America, and perhaps the entire Planet because this populism "has made official Washington altogether too responsive to public opinion." He makes this powerful assertion with compelling fury - fearlessly ignoring the fact that Congress still refuses to create a universal health care system, expand environmental regulations, rescind the Bush tax cuts or end the war in Iraq - all things national opinion polls show the public is demanding.

St. David instead "proves" his manifesto by specifically attacking Congress's recent moves to respond to the 2006 election mandate and try to change America's lobbyist-written and pundit backed trade policies that have thrown millions of workers out of their jobs, driven wages down, torn apart health care and pension benefits - all while inflating profit margins on Wall Street and K Street.

That the Secret Trade Deal of 2007 was delayed and that fast-track will be terminated with the strong support of millions of Americans but over the objections of the Washington pundit class - this, above all else, he says, is the most frightening form of "mob rule."

to the rightwing pundit class, democracy = mob rule. let them eat cocktail weinies.

Posted by: hilarious! | July 6, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the article made you so sick that you passed out for 24 hours. That article is from yesterday. And it contains no link to Drudge, except maybe in the "Who's Blogging" section, which is generated by Technorati.

Posted by: Blarg | July 6, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

--another one cuts and runs...

ALBUQUERQUE Rep. John Doolittle [R], a conservative California congressman, today joined others in his party rapidly deserting the president on the Iraq war.

At a town hall meeting in Rocklin and then in a meeting with the editorial board of the Sacramento Bee he questioned whether the conflict was worth the loss of more American lives. He said U.S. troops should be pulled back from the front lines "as soon as possible" and the fighting turned over to Iraqi forces.

A longtime supporter of the war, Doolittle called the situation in Iraq a "quagmire" on Thursday. "We've got to get off the front lines as soon as possible," Doolittle said at Rocklin City Hall, the Bee reported. "And in my mind that means something like the end of the year. We just can't continue to tolerate these kinds of losses.

"I don't want to keep having our people dying on the front lines. I am increasingly convinced that we never are going to succeed in actually ending people dying (in Iraq). I think it's going to be a constant conflict ... and if that is going to happen ... it needs to be the Iraqis dying and not the Americans."

Later he told the Bee's editorial board: "My belief is that the majority of my colleagues on the Republican side have become skeptical of all of this. And that's a big change."

Doolittle said colleagues in Congress -- including an increasing number of Republicans -- believe the war "is something different than we believed it to be. And we're gravely at risk by constantly having our troops exposed."

Posted by: Sam | July 6, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Mark -- here's somethng you might want to know about Fred Thompson:

WASHINGTON -- The day before Senate Watergate Committee minority counsel Fred Thompson made the inquiry that launched him into the national spotlight -- asking an aide to President Nixon whether there was a White House taping system -- he telephoned Nixon's lawyer.

Thompson tipped off the White House that the committee knew about the taping system and would be making the information public. In his all-but-forgotten Watergate memoir, "At That Point in Time," Thompson said he acted with "no authority" in divulging the committee's knowledge of the tapes, which provided the evidence that led to Nixon's resignation. It was one of many Thompson leaks to the Nixon team, according to a former investigator for Democrats on the committee, Scott Armstrong , who remains upset at Thompson's actions.

"Thompson was a mole for the White House," Armstrong said in an interview. "Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was."

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/07/04/not_all_would_put_a_heroic_sheen_on_thompsons_watergate_role/

Posted by: drindl | July 6, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

How disgusting that the WaPo, once a serious paper, sinks to the bottom of the gutter. Today there's an interview with John Edwards hairstylist, with a link to Drudge.

It literally makes me sick to my stomach. The rest of the world can't stop laughing at us --how pathetic.

Make you realize just how far and just how desperately the media will fight for the republican party.

Posted by: how things work | July 6, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Jerry Bowyer from National Review Online went on Fox today and chatted with Neil Cavuto about how having a single payer health care system will make us more vulnerable to terrorism.

How do they come up with this sh*t? And how on earth is anyone stupid enough to believe it?

Posted by: Josh | July 6, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Mark -- Rudy is the most ill-tempered and egotistical politician in the country. He makes Bush look cooperative. He is vain, overreaching and inflammatory and was a terrible mayor -- antagonized literally everyone - police department, fire department, city council. His tax cuts for wealthy new yorkers left the city wihtout proper safety equipment [remembers the radios which didn't work on 9/11?] likely costing many lives on that day.

He is a ruthless, shameless opportunist and demagogue -- see golgi's comment above.

I can understand why you might like Thompson, but he too is very dangerous --tied in to the Cheney/Libby bunch since Iran/Contra and Nixon. He too, will simply be a continuation of the endless war /bottomless debt policies oof this administration.

McCain I could live with, although his pandering is distrubing, but I don't think the republican party is capable at this point of nominating anyone sane.

Posted by: drindl | July 6, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

F&B - Re your post about the baseball game, spite is never attractive. This isn't a bad time to recall that some respect for the presidential officeholder is basic good manners.

Restrain Bush's harmful actions, yes, absolutely, that is vital for America and for many other global communities. But, spitefully crow over any little personal issues that might occur and you are just cutting off your noise to spite your face.

Democrats will be the winners if we can rise above spite. Every individual Democrat who decides that he or she will personally rise above anti-Bush spite is actually contributing something positive to the Democratic party.

Posted by: Golgi | July 6, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I disagree, person who refuses to sign their posts for some idiotic reason. The Republican senators want to keep their jobs. Domenici is up for re-election in 2008. He knows that the war is going to be a big issue in the 2008 election, and he knows that it's unpopular. A vote to bring the troops home might get him re-elected; a vote to continue the war will definitely make him unemployed.

I don't think he's pretending. I think he's changing his mind. And whether it's because of a real change of heart or just a political calculation, I think it's good news. Unless Republicans stop supporting this pointless waste of money and lives, the war isn't going to end until at least 2009. I'd rather Domenici help end the war now than his Democratic replacement end it in 2 years.

Posted by: Blarg | July 6, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Put down the name of Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) as the latest Republican to break with the Bush Administration's policies on Iraq, after a long history of backing their positions in Congress. In a speech earlier today in Albuquerque, Domenici announced his support for legislation currently championed by Senators Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to make the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group into the official U.S. policy -- in other words, Domenici now supports a gradual pulldown of the American presence in Iraq, and a renewed effort at reaching out to other regional players in the Middle East like Iran and Syria.

"I have carefully studied the Iraq situation, and believe we cannot continue asking our troops to sacrifice indefinitely while the Iraqi government is not making measurable progress to move its country forward," Domenici said. "I do not support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq or a reduction in funding for our troops. But I do support a new strategy that will move our troops out of combat operations and on the path to coming home."

--this is how the repugs will play it out in 2008. pretend they're for getting out of iraq... but they will never vote to force bush's hand, and hence we will not be getting out because they have the votes to overrule dems.

don't beleive their lies. the only way we will EVER be getting out of iraq is a veto-prooof dem majority. work for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Page A1 in W.P. today has Giuliani vs. Bloomberg comparison. Good reading! Here is an excerpt.

"... the contrast [between Bloomberg and Giuliani] surfaced again last month in the two men's reactions to the foiling of an alleged plot to explode fuel tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Giuliani seized on it to bolster his campaign's theme, saying, 'Today's arrests remind us that we are at war.' Bloomberg offered a noticeably milder response: 'You can't sit there and worry about everything. You have a much greater danger of being hit by lightning than being struck by a terrorist. Get a life.'"

What do you notice about those two comments? What I notice is that Bloomberg's comment just isn't something that someone really intending to run for president would say... but it is darn good advice. Isn't there any more effective place than a fake presidential campaign for Bloomberg to have a public forum? We all need to hear more comments like that one.

Posted by: Golgi | July 6, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

On the July 5 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, while discussing President Bush's commutation of former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's jail sentence, Neal Boortz falsely claimed that "Scooter Libby and Bill Clinton got sentenced and convicted for exactly the same crime." As Media Matters for America has previously noted, Clinton was not indicted on criminal charges of perjury by independent counsel Robert Ray or his predecessor, Kenneth Starr. By contrast, a federal jury convicted Libby on four counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton subsequently sentenced him to 30 months in federal prison.

After Boortz made his false statement, a caller responded, "I don't remember Bill Clinton actually being convicted for perjury." Boortz told the caller: "I'm sorry, he was." When the caller stated that the Senate had acquitted Clinton on impeachment charges, Boortz repeated the falsehood a third time, saying: "We're talking about a criminal trial, sir. The verdict was guilty."

Posted by: rightwing media lies | July 6, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Triple-digit temperatures are forecast to set records in parts of the West today. Forecasters predict a high of 107 in Boise -- six degrees higher than the 101 record for that date set in 1985.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"He has given numerous speeches and participated in business ventures with the Carlyle Group, a private equity fund with close ties to the government of Saudi Arabia. Additionally, he held the position of Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Group's Asia Advisory Board from April 1998 to October 2003. In January 2006, Bush wrote a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the People's Republic of China on behalf of the Carlyle Group. In the letter, Bush urged the Chinese government to approve an impending deal in which the Chinese government would sell 85% share ownership of the troubled Guangdong Development Bank to a consortium led by Citibank. In addition to praising Citibank and the other foreign member of the consortium, the Carlyle Group, Bush also intimated that a successful acquisition would be "beneficial to the comprehensive development of Sino-US relations."


On January 3, 2005, Bush and Bill Clinton were named by the current President Bush to lead a nationwide campaign to help the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Bush and Clinton both appeared on the Super Bowl XXXIX pre-game show on Fox in support of their bipartisan effort to raise money for relief of the disaster through the USA Freedom Corps, an action which Bush described as "transcending politics." Thirteen days later, they both traveled to the affected areas to see how the relief efforts are going.

In August 31, 2005, following the devastation of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, Bush again teamed with Clinton to coordinate private relief donations. Reports were common that Bush and Clinton had developed a friendship by now, despite the latter having defeated the former in the 1992 election (such friendships were not unknown, as Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had developed one despite a similar history). Almost a year later, on May 13, 2006, they received Honorary Diplomas from Tulane University at the school's commencement ceremony."

But I'm the bad man, right zouk

Posted by: bush's daddy | July 6, 2007 2:46 AM | Report abuse

??????

"George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara caught up with Woods' group at the 16th fairway during Wednesday's pro-am at the AT&T National. Bush walked the final holes with Woods in front of a huge gallery and even hit a couple of tee shots at the 18th.

``If anybody laughs when I hit it, they're dead,'' Bush said with a chuckle. ``We've got Secret Service here.''

Wow. Frickin republicans. Funny joke. He should join a comedy club rather than his current job (research on your own. If I tell you it's propgating or I'm lying. If you look it up on your own it's fact somehow.) In bed with the saudi's. Yes those saudi's. Bin laden. 9/11 hijackers. You want current zouk. Those london bombers. The bomb that set ONE guy on fire that has been reported all day everyday. Yeah those saudi's. "vote democrat and die" Now we know that's a threat. I'm not scared to die for my country. How about the rest of you. Better than living under the thumbs of fascists (nazi's 2.0, again research on your own)

bush's grand daddy:

"Harriman Bank was the main Wall Street connection for German companies and the varied U.S. financial interests of Fritz Thyssen, who had been an early financial backer of the Nazi party until 1938, but who by 1939 had fled Germany and was bitterly denouncing Hitler. Business transactions for profit with Nazi Germany were not illegal when Hitler declared war on the US, but, six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Trading With the Enemy Act after it had been made public that U.S. companies were doing business with the declared enemy of the United States. On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City. President Franklin Roosevelt's Alien Property Custodian, Leo T. Crowley, signed Vesting Order Number 248 seizing the property of Prescott Bush under the Trading with the Enemy Act. The order, published in obscure government record books and kept out of the news, cited only the Union Banking Corporation (UBC) connections with Von Thyssen. Fox News has reported that recently declassified material "The 4,000 Union Banking shares owned by the Dutch bank were registered in the names of the seven U.S. directors, according a document signed by Homer Jones, chief of the division of investigation and research of the Office of Alien Property Custodian, a World War II-era agency that no longer exists"[2].

E. Roland Harriman--3991 shares (managed and under voting control of Prescott Bush)"

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 2:43 AM | Report abuse

HAIL TO THE CHIEF!!!

George W. Bush turned out Thursday night to catch the last-place Washington Nationals play the Chicago Cubs.

...

Most fans probably did not know Bush was present. There was no advance word of his visit and no announcement over the stadium's public-address system.

At the top of the ninth, when the scoreboard lit up with "Hail to the Chief," it wasn't a reference to Bush but to Nationals relief pitcher Chad Cordero, whose nickname is "Chief." He had just come into the game.

Posted by: F&B | July 6, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"All U.S. presidents since 1989 have been Yale graduates, namely George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton (who attended the University's Law School along with his wife, New York Senator Hillary Clinton), and George W. Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney, (although he did not graduate). Many of the 2004 presidential candidates attended Yale: Bush, John Kerry, Howard Dean, and Joe Lieberman.

Other Yale-educated presidents were William Howard Taft (B.A.) and Gerald Ford (LL.B). Alumni also include several Supreme Court justices, including current Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito."

Even if Kerry would have won, we would be in the same position. Much Like Hillary. She is indebted tot eh same people. She is getting money from the same people. Beware of the Yale plan. They lie. Conveint mistakes at just the right time for the gop

Posted by: rufus | July 6, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I appreciate what you are saying, but Kerry was so annoying and condescending that I voted for Bush simply to vote against Kerry, not necessarily because I liked what Bush was doing. Now that the country is falling apart, I'm not so sure that was a good idea, but what's done is done. I do think that Obama is a vast improvement over Kerry and even H. Clinton doesn't bother me as much as Kerry, although she comes across as quite shrill. Edwards strikes me as phony but he doesn't come across as arrogant like Kerry did. Maybe I just have a problem with East Coast elitists and their way of dealing with people, because I don't really see what it is that they think makes themselves so sophisticated. My point is that the Democratic Party has some very bright people to offer to the country, but it seems like every so often they cannot help themselves and they nominate the worst kind of out-of-touch arrogant people and then they wonder why the Republican Party keeps winning.

Posted by: Sandy | July 5, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

In regards to the ism comment. What was america founded for? Was it founded for capitailsim? I think it was founded because a group of people wanted to be free, to escape religous persecution. When did capitalism come into play. I would agrue that the GOP's arguement is that CAPITALISM IS America, rather than the ideals this country was founded on. When did this happen? When did the love of paper superside what this country was founded for. I would agrue that current capitalism REPLACED what thsi country was founded on. It would be hard. Very hard to change that. WE MUST. The results of NOT does so will be disasterous.

So muc so that zouk asks the question, "Show me where treason is illegal?" You know what I'm saying? "Show me where treason is illegal."

That is the mentallity of these people. "If I'm making money, it must be right." Capitalism=slavery.

"In a free soceity no man/woman is subserviant to another. The worker and owner exists with mutual cooperation."

We no longer have a free soceuty. It has been replaced by corporate slavery. The blood fo our troops is labeled "free market". Meaning the blood for money is a trade. Fascism is not cool. Socialism cannot truly exist without democracy. It has never happened in the world's existance. Governments have claimed marxism or socialism but it was a lie. ploy to take control and use fear to turn the people into fascists. True socialism combined with democracy could be utopia. After the industrail revolution we now have the power to ednd hunger. We can put food and water in every house. We can get EVERYBODY electricty. We can build houses for all americans. This is not against american values. This IS american values.

We have the power to change. The only thing stopping us is a few greedy me-first fascists who what to divide and conquer. Why? So thye can feel supirior. So the lines are a little shorter. So a few less people are on the lake or the beach, rather than workling all day for pennies.


1962 is over. The future is now

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 5, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

." you are with us or agisnt us."

I mean "You are with us or against us"

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"You're young, rufus, but some of the stuff you say I agree with, just think you need a little more time and seasoning"

Your %100 correct drindl. I don't claim to be a professor of economics or political science. I have my beleifs for my own reasons. I could be wrong. I'm not a know it all. I am angry. I have only been involvede in politcs since 9/11. I'll admit that. I do that I care more than the average person. I also think I have done more work than the nxet guy.

What's makes me so angry is I watched O'REilly/Hannity for YEARS before ever coming out and blogging. I had to listen to tehm FOR years saying anybody that thinks we shouldn't go to iraq are crazy. To long I say them attack everybody Everybody. Media lawyers judges comedians actors anybody not gop." you are with us or agisnt us." I felt I was in an alternate universe. "Why can't everybody else see what I see."

Thanks for that oppurtunity drindl. I'm no genius. I do research. I read deep. I could be wrong about one thing or another. One thing I DON"T do is lie.

When I post you can believe that I think what I'm saying is truth. Now, whether I was lied to or not is a differant stroy. In this climate it is very hard to know what is real and what is propoganda. I blam fox/rush/orelly/hannity.

Sorry for so many posts.

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"The Truth is that you lie, rufus!"

Your free to point it out. THAT HASN"T HAPPENED HERE once that I can remember. What has happed is a series of "I know you are but what am I." Or "clinton did teh same thing."

If I'm lying point it out so the other poseters can see. Since this hasn't been done once WE'LL assume I'm not lying.

Gop=elementary school children

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"The Truth is that you lie, rufus!"

Your free to point it out. THAT HASN"T HAPPENED HERE once that I can remember. What has happed is a series of "I know you are but what am I." Or "clinton did teh same thing."

If I'm lying so the other poseters. Since this hasn't been done opnce WE'LL assume I'm not lying.

Gop=elementary school children

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Sandy, nothing in what you say about Kerry is new to me, although I would not call him a buffoon. But he does come across as condescending and entitled... yet I still voted for him in '04, because I knew, as did almost exactly 1/2 of the rest of the electorate, how much worse the alternative had been and would be.
How right we were.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 5, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Why must we be subjected to all these people apologizing for Kerry. I don't have a problem with his war record or whatever. It's just that Kerry is a buffoon, and one of the worst people the Democratic Party has ever nominated. He is just condescending and arrogant toward people

Posted by: Sandy | July 5, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Old story.

1972. The "McGovern Rules", written by Austin lawyer and one of my mentors, Will Davis, change the D Party for a generation.
Another one of my mentors, Sam Houston Clinton, is State D Chair. Briscoe [D] is Gov. and Bentsen and Yarborough,[Ds] are Senators.

August. The McGovern Campaign wants a meeting with Sam Houston Clinton to try to figure out how to carry Texas. Sam arranges the meeting in my law office with my partner and me present. The McGovern Campaign is represented by Taylor Branch, now a well known author and journalist, and a black woman whose name I do not remember.

We meet. Branch asks Sam how McGovern can carry Texas. Sam says the rural papers have not endorsed Nixon yet, out of respect for Gov. Briscoe. Sam says that McGovern must run ads in the rural papers stressing four points:
1] that he was a decorated bombardier in WWW2;
2] that his dad was a Methodist Minister;
3] that he had always opposed gun control in the Senate; and most important, as President
4] he will support Briscoe's screw-worm eradication program.


They laugh. "Screw-worms?" and "We can't run on that in L.A."

Sam says coldly - "You already lost California; you asked me how to carry Texas."

End of meeting.

It's tough for a national D when the national party has no sensitivity to local politics.
The Ds did better this last Congressional race about recognizing that conservative Ds, moderates by national standards, are the Ds in the South and Mountain West and farm belt, and that LA - NYC - Bos is not representative of very much of this country. But there is still room for more acceptance of the center.

From what I have seen, the Rs have mirror image problems; they have bought into their "social conservatism" to the point of embarrassment for many Rs.

If any of you in DC know Branch, ask him if he remembers the night his McGovern Campaign wrote off Texas for a generation.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 5, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Mark, from what I have heard in re: Giuliani from my NY friends, he has a hard time working with ANYONE, Republican or Democrat, who does not agree without question to whatever he proposes. He's an egomaniac, apparently. Also, I have heard that a lot of the "cleanup" of NYC that he gets credit for was begun under Dinkins (previous mayor), and RG took credit when it began to pay off in his term...?

Also, if Fred Thompson is elected, it will be because Republicans were looking for a "real" conservative, i.e. neither an NY divorcee nor a Mormon. (Nor McCain, but he's heading for second tier status.)

If that is the case, I would imagine that he would not be as free to pursue a bipartisan agenda as he would have otherwise... as the GOP Great WASP Hope, he will have certain policy expectations to fulfill. Jury's still out on how conservative he is though - I have heard both that he is (or was at one time) pro-choice - ?

Posted by: Bokonon | July 5, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Believe it or not, but Hillary is the most bipartisan candidate out there (save for McCain). Just take a peek at her Senate record and you'll see plenty of across the aisle handshakes. And can't forget the Iraq war.

Mark Mellman, pollster for Kerry '04, and liberal activist Robert Borosage on PBR tomorrow at 6 PM.
http://political-buzz.com/?p=249

Posted by: matthew | July 5, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon - thanks. I agree with you that this Administration is aberrant.

This was my Governor - I voted for him in '98 because he was good at working across the aisle. The religious right froze him and Kay Bailey Hutchison out of the state Republican Convention, because they did not tow the line.

So imagine my surprise...

My sense is that Obama, Biden, Richardson, or Dodd; and McCain, and maybe FThompson on past performance, can work across the aisle. I am not dismissing Sen. Clinton, but I would have to be convinced. I also am not dismissing RG, yet. Rufus' dream of no GOP and KOZ's dream of no Ds just is not in the near future of this country, as most of us know. We have too much history. And the next Administration has some holes to climb out of. I am going to post separately an old story of partisanship.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 5, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

thank you, bokonon, for your eloquence...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Mark, you make a good point. Thing is, divided governmental control worked for Reagan (2nd term) and George the First, but that was a different era... there were partisan differences, but enough in each party recognized the need to work together that bipartisan coalitions could usually form on most of the big issues.

I think the modern era began in '94, with Gingrich and the contract with America. That was when a lot of the most partisan of the lawmakers we have today came in, as I remember, without much to worry about but scoring points on Clinton. But for all his other weaknesses, Clinton has at least as much political skill as Reagan, and easily more than George I... and the economy improved throughout his term in office, to the extent that - as we all remember - he left office with a hefty surplus.

And a reminder to everyone - he was starting to use it to pay down the national debt! It was the GOP, NOT the supposedly spendthrift Democrats, who decided that it was NOT bad, in fact preferable, to carry a little debt. Conveniently, this decision was reached right around the time that Bush II took office promising to cut taxes... mainly for those who did not need a tax cut, as it turned out.

Then came 09.11, and the tax cut became a good idea because it would supposedly kick start the economy. But it didn't. Then we had to KEEP the tax cuts in place so US companies would not go overseas. But they did. Now we're at the point where repealing these stupid giveaways to the rich is "unfair," and promises serious damage to the economy... I would guess that would be wrong, too.

Unfortunately, not many, and even fewer in leadership, have the cojones to say so. In any case, we now have divided government once again, with the difference that Bush has decided that any laws he doesn't like, he doesn't have to obey. Is divided government a good idea normally? Maybe. Is it working now? No - because we have 09.11 hangover still, and a president who thinks he's a king.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 5, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Whoever the irritating poster is who claims Rufus lies about his military service, tell us about yours or STFU. I notice you don't use a name either, ignorant coward.

Posted by: Sam | July 5, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon, mark in austin and JimD in Florida -- thank you as always for your sensible contributions.

You're young, rufus, but some of the stuff you say I agree with, just think you need a little more time and seasoning... socialism is not the answer, nor is captialism, communism, fascism, christianity, islam, juadaism, or what is called today conservatism... none of the 'isms' -- it's just too much ideology and too much faith in one school of thought.

And JD, your total belief in the 'magic of the markets' is just as simplistic as a cult religion. Capitalism has its faults too. And we don't have 'free market' capitallism anyway -- it's crony, third-world banana republic feudal nepotism. It serves only to enrich the few and allow them to consolidate control of all resources, leaving the great majority of us powerless.

What we need is a sensible combination of schools of thought-- none of them is perfect and to depend on any one is like depending on a one-legged stool.

We need to tear ourselves away from purist ideologies and think of broader answers to the complex issues we face in the 21st century.

Posted by: drindl | July 5, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The Truth is that you lie, rufus!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

As a christian man. Imagine my dismay. I wish you dittoheads where half as smart as you claim. Sad day. I wish you COULD think for yourselves. I wish you were individuals. Better yet I wish Jesus or God Him/herself were you avatars,like I picture myself. Imagine God having to bring him/herslef down to combat such a little NAT like Rush or Sean Hannity. You put these fascsists on the same level. Not cool. All the while claiming to be christians? NOt cool. You time is almost up. You have created a monster GOP. Now you have to stop it.

"In Hindu philosophy, an avatar (also spelt as avatara) (Sanskrit: अवतार, avatāra), most commonly refers to the incarnation (bodily manifestation) of a higher being (deva), or the Supreme Being (God) onto planet Earth. The Sanskrit word avatāra- literally means "descent" (avatarati) and usually implies a deliberate descent into lower realms of existence for special purposes. The term is used primarily in Hinduism, for incarnations of Vishnu whom many Hindus worship as God. Shiva and Ganesha are also described as descending in the form of avatars, with the Ganesha Purana and the Mudgala Purana detailing Ganesha's avatars specifically.

The word has also been used by extension to refer to the incarnations of God or highly influential teachers in other religions, especially by adherents to dharmic traditions when explaining figures such as Jesus or Mohammed."

Posted by: What is an avatar | July 5, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Not without your avatars D. Not without Fox "news"/ Rush/hannity/O'REilly/Savage/Ingram/Malkin

Give me them I'll leave. I'll get the one "liberal" off the air for you (olberman). Until that day you can't stop me. What are you afraid of.

You can only combat lies with truth.
You can only combat hate with love.
You can only combat intolerance with understanding.

Which side am I on? how about the GOP/zouk?

If you are right why do you NEED lyin gpropogandists to get your message out? The answer speaks for itself.

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"I wish someone WOULD try and shut me down."

Be a self-starter! Do it yourself!

Posted by: D. Carnegie | July 5, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon - Your 5:56P post made its points.

I'll look at this again very late tonight.

If you see this, tell me what you think of the theory that split government [WH and Capitol in different Party hands] works better than one party government.

I thought Clinton with Rs and Bush 41 with Ds actually worked better than any single party rule I can remember.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 5, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

somebody has to shut these fascsits down. If not cindy who. The conservative media? The DOJ? the crooked supreame court?

If not cindy who? Conress. They're cowards

Cindy Sheehan is a beacon of light. Anyone bad mouthing her shows their face. Anyone bad-mouthing Mrs tillman show their face.

Rather than look at the facts it's " do you have a cid" or "the clinton's did that" or "in 1897 a dem blah blah blah."

Anything to take away from the facts. These people choose party over country and continue. That is treason. You show you face zouk. Keep talking :)

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"Cindy -Call me old-fashioned, but a grief-stricken war mother shouldn't have her own full-time PR flack. After your third profile on "Entertainment Tonight," you're no longer a grieving mom; you're a C-list celebrity trolling for a book deal or a reality show. "

Tell me more about Sheehan. Tell me more about what she can and CAN'T do. Tell me more. THis is your american, right? What can she do and not do. I was under teh assumption she was free to voice her consciance.

you people. Have you lost a son? Let's bring it closer to home zouk.

You send your son to work as a contractor building a house/road. His company runs their operation on the cheap. No only that but the road or house doesn't really need fixing. They are just trying to get the insurance/tax money. While fixing said road/house your son dies. Are you going to sue? Are you gong to be a little angry. What if the owner of said comapany was super rich, didn't need the money and was just doing it cause he was a greedy pig. Your telling me you would keep your mouth shut. Would your son be dead in vein?

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

" the least we can do is to limit blatantly political messages in the last days of a campaign"

Ie the new verb "swift-boating"

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

" the least we can do is to limit blatantly political messages in the last days of a campaign"

Ie the new verb "sift-boating"

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Cindy -Call me old-fashioned, but a grief-stricken war mother shouldn't have her own full-time PR flack. After your third profile on "Entertainment Tonight," you're no longer a grieving mom; you're a C-list celebrity trolling for a book deal or a reality show.

If one dead son means no one can win an argument with you, how about two dead sons? What if the person arguing with you is a mother who also lost a son in Iraq and she's pro-war? Do we decide the winner with a coin toss?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Must have shone to much of himself and his movement for one day.

Posted by: JKrish | July 5, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Zouk,

"Why are you Libs always so big brother regulation happy.. just to stop a few hucksters from misleading some idiots?"

-It's more than "a few hucksters" and "some idiots." Many - most? - people ("idiots") do not have the time or the motivation to follow politics closely, and rely on a cursory viewing of TV for their info. Some channels are full of deliberate hucksters - Fox comes to mind - who, with flashy graphics and a slanted, simplistic story, can easily influence those who either can't or won't put any deeper thought into their vote. And those are the "news" stations. Political consultants and advertisers, while still unregulated, do not feel compelled at all to ascertain that what they present is true, as long as it is effective. As we can neither require voters to demonstrate that they know what they are deciding nor hold network and ESPECIALLY cable news programs to particularly high standards of objectivity, the least we can do is to limit blatantly political messages in the last days of a campaign. If the voters have not decided by then, they may be even more vulnerable to last-minute slickly packaged half-truths designed to take the need for thinking out of the voting decision. And "some idiots" represents a large portion of the voting public - they may not all be "idiots," but for whatever reason have chosen not to keep up with the candidates and issues, and thus are less prepared to cast an intelligent vote.

"Is this why you would take away all citizens rights to firearms because a few criminals misuse the privelege? should beer be banned because in some cases it causes mishaps?"

-no one NEEDS a gun. The more guns in the hands of the public, the more accidental and impulse shootings there are... not to mention that many are taken from their owners by criminals and used against them. But that's another topic. The difference between guns and beer is that guns, when used properly, kill. Beer, when used properly, gets you drunk.

"Honestly, my main gripe with Libs is thier pretension to know what's best for everyone and claiming they can manage it properly. Like they managed Katrina, schools, SS, energy policy, etc."

-WHO mismanaged Katrina?
Who refused to spend the money to fix the levees before the storm? Who was unwilling to reconfigure the budget - as in, say, taking money from the war we're losing to invest in the reconstruction and recovery of an American city?

and schools?
Who mandated that faith-based organizations get their grubby paws on federal dollars? Who spoke out publicly in favor of teaching intelligent design? Who mandated but did not fund the "No Child" curriculum, which has tied the hands of creative teachers and forced a mechanistic approach, "teaching the test"? (This is based on teachers and educators with whom I have spoken...)

and Social Security? and energy policy?
Whose Vice President dismissed conservation as a "virtue," rather than an urgent need? Who steadfastly refused to raise CAFE standards until compelled to? Who scoffed at climate change until a growing consensus of public opinion forced him to act? Who has listed the fewest number of endangered and threatened species of any president in history? Who famously portrayed a Northwest giveaway of old-growth timber to lumber companies as - incredibly - "good" for the forests?

Who's been running the country for 7 years? Earth to Zouk...

Posted by: Bokonon | July 5, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I scared him off. Told you he was a coward, blank poster :)

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Report: Justice Dept. Fails To Act As States Ignore Voting Law

The federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) published its biennial report to Congress on the impact of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). The report includes data on various aspects of voter registrationin the past two years. These most recent numbers strongly indicate that many states continue to ignore the requirement (Section 7 of the NVRA) that public assistance agencies offer voter registration to clients, while enforcement of the law by the Department of Justice has been virtually non-existent, according to voting rights groups.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/report-justice-dept-fails-to-act-as.html

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Summer of Love '07On a Journey for HumanityCindy Sheehan The other day I came out of my short retirement due toyet another Bush flagrant abuse of power. We decidedthat we would walk from Atlanta to DC to gather apeople's movement for humanity. The longer BushCo arein office the less chance we have of recovering theheart and soul of our nation, saving our soldiers andthe people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and saving theplanet from corporate and individual waste andpollution. Impeachment, removal from office, and in aperfect world: incarceration for the criminals againsthumanity, are urgent and necessary steps that need tobe taken today.Since the announcement of the Walk, circumstances havechanged. Rev. Lennox Yearwood is not going to have hishearing for Conduct Unbecoming until the end ofAugust, and we were going to begin our walk after hishearing on July 12th in Macon, GA. So consequently, weare going to begin our Journey on July 10th inCrawford, Texas.Our Journey will take us through places such as Ft.Benning, GA, and New Orleans where Bush Crimes havehad such a deeply detrimental affect on people.Torture and the continued criminal lack of help forthe people of the Gulf States are two of BushCo's moreheinous crimes. Our Journey will also take us to House Judiciarycommittee members' offices where we will sit-in anddemand that they institute Articles of Impeachmentagainst Bush and Cheney immediately. On July 23rd, wewill be in Congressman John Conyers' office toencourage him to take the lead on impeachment. Asit-in in his office is possible and likely.The US part of our Journey will end in New York Citywhere on July 27th we will stage a demonstration infront of the UN to highlight the refugee crisis in theMiddle East caused by the Bush High Crime Cabal. Thereare millions of people displaced by the atrocity inIraq and, no matter what former US Ambassador andleading neo-con war criminal, John Bolton says: the USdoes owe the people of Iraq more than we can everrepay. The very least we owe them, though, is arelatively safe country to live in and basic humanrights like: homes, food, clean water and medicalcare.

Posted by: Cindy | July 5, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"Despite being too stupid to avoid the Infantry and get sent off to war"

YOU HAVE NOT AND WOULD NOT EVER HEAR ME ASYING ANYTING LIKE THIS. tHIS IS from your people. The attacks on the troops are not from the dems. The dems are trying to minimize MORE senseless deaths. The assult on the troops is from the right. In EVERY case.

What pisses me off is how Gen. Batiste, quits the army so he can speak out. AS all REAL soldiers know you cannot do that while serving. You WILL get court-martialed. So he resigns to speak out. Then he gets FIRED as an analyst. Free speech? do you think he or Gen. Pace know what they're talking about? I think thye might. So who really supports the troops. Have you heard the venom directed at Mrs. Sheehan and Mrs. Tillman. Is that supporting the troops?

You time is up GOP. for my lifetime. In two years you will think to yourself, Rufus was right.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 5, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

The year is 2007. John wayne is dead gop. The year is not 1962. Elvis has gone too. you cannot relive those times. You are behind the times. don't be scared of progress. Embrace it. Change is not only good it is necessary. Stop holding up process. Freedom is not forced conservatism. Freedom is being free to make you own choices free from Rush/Reagan/Newt/Bush.

The cowboy is no longer viable in 2007 america. That's ok. It was good while it last, for you. Now it's time to move on. Don't be scared. WE are here to help you :)

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"Be careful, Gates, Jobs and Dell actually colluded to place tiny cameras in those PCs and Apples that you use."

Like I care. I wish someone WOULD try and shut me down. It would only help me get Fox News/Rush/Hannity/O'rEIlly off the air that much sooner. That's all I want anyway

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

'Sen. Pete Domenici (N.M.), a 36-year Republican veteran of the Senate, abandoned President Bush's Iraq war policy today by publicly endorsing legislation designed to withdraw nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq by March 2008.

I would take this to mean that Domenici's looking to run for re-election. Put this seat in the Republican column, unless they can convict him with something in the Iglesias mess.'

I take it to mean that he's scared sh*tless and there's a good chance he will be losing his seat, because there's no question they got the goods on him re: Iglesias.

It also shows just how fast repubs are going to be jumping ship on Iraq in 2008.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

rufus - You're 50 years behind the times.

Posted by: Dick Tracy | July 5, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

'Most members of the media came away with thinking that Ann Coulter had launched a vicious attack against both Edwards.'

since that's what she does every day, little melanie dittohead, I fail to see why anyone would think anything different. there's something on the TV that allows you to c hange the channel from fox -- i urge you to use it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Should I tell the story of MRs Sheehan or Mrs. tillman, or are you going to? Are they patriots or traitors, zouk? How about ALL the generals coming back from Iraq?

If you are patriots tell their story, rather than burying it.

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I like your arguments, Mark... and mostly agree. What I meant was 'qualified' candidates in the sense that they had a certain number of qualified names on a petition, say, that they had evidence of a certain level of support. then they could be alloted air time, much in the way we choose which candidates are allowed to debate now. Just expand that to include a certain amount of free time for their ads-- and no paid ads for candidates allowed.

'Issues ads' could be sold, but with certain guidelines. Like say, if they make a claim, it must be documented, same as we do in advertising. But it must be vetted prior to airing. The most important aspect of all this to me is to sunlight -- I want to know exactly who is paying for what, so I can know what the agenda is... and I want to know whether what I am hearing is factual. There's far too much grossly misleading political advertising out there.

Posted by: drindl | July 5, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Portraits in Courage:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -Radical cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, arrested while fleeing his government-besieged mosque in a burqa and high heels said today that the nearly 1,000 followers still inside should flee or surrender.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 5, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I am from San Jose ca, as Pat tillamn. Do you want to tell the story or should I?

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

If you want you can sat the dems are socialists. I would disagree, but you can say that. The writer of that book you are quoting WAS a socialist, warning us of fascsim. Warning us of you people. To say the dems are big brother is the opposite of that arguement right?

It's like the repubs going on the debates and saying universal health coverage is a socialist ideal AND a fascist ideal. How is that possible? Complete opposites. Don't you fascsits ever sit down and think about the allegories and methophors you are using. Any independant thinker can look and se you face, through the screen.

I sure am glad the GOP is done for my lifetime

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Domenici Breaks with Bush War Policy
By Paul Kane
Washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Thursday, July 5, 2007; 3:23 PM

Sen. Pete Domenici (N.M.), a 36-year Republican veteran of the Senate, abandoned President Bush's Iraq war policy today by publicly endorsing legislation designed to withdraw nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq by March 2008.


I would take this to mean that Domenici's looking to run for re-election. Put this seat in the Republican column, unless they can convict him with something in the Iglesias mess.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"There based on getting you angry FOR THEIR WHIME"

What is a "whime"? Is that the sound of an eonophile after sipping an egregious merlot?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

:)

Don't be scared. Who has been in charge the last ten years?

Don't come out here and say the dems are big brother. Look at the facts. Camera on a cell-phone? Strange combo don't you think?

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"Thsi coming from a former 11B ARmy Infantry soldier. Regardless if Zouk tries to convince anybody otherwise. The proof is in the puddin"

You're a fraud, you sh_ _bird!

Your assinine posts reflect negatively on all of those who actually served their country honorably in the infantry.

You're just as despicable as Zouk!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

rufus - Don't they ever let you out of that basement at the Daily Worker?

Be careful, Gates, Jobs and Dell actually colluded to place tiny cameras in those PCs and Apples that you use.

Just so you know, your image is tagged to your input and goes directly to servers at the NSA.

What's worse is that Gates has access to that on his iPhone.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is behind cell phone cameras and Google Earth? Wow, you learn something new every day.

Posted by: Blarg | July 5, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Thsi coming from a former 11B ARmy Infantry soldier. Regardless if Zouk tries to convince anybody otherwise. The proof is in the puddin

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Support the troops IS a bumper sticker slogan. Not for the dems but for the republicans. The proof is in the puddin". Do they support the troops? MAke up your own mind. Look at the facts, from top to bottom. Not the least of which is them trading the soldiers blood to line their pockets.

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"Why are you Libs always so big brother regulation happy. that is not liberty, that is oppression. Just to stop a few hucksters from misleading some idiots? Is this why you would take away all citizens rights to firearms because a few criminals misuse the privelege? should beer be banned because in some cases it causes mishaps? Ignore all the times it doesn't."

Wow. For all to see right trotsky/zouk. Big brother? What like spying on people's emails. Putting americans who dissagree with fascism on the trreor list.going through mail. Holding people without detention. Putting cameras on cell phones EVERYWHERE so you have snithces on every corner. Using google earth and other servialiance on americans. Implamenting visual facisl scans so you know where everybody is all times.

At least you put yourslef out there as a propogandist. That's funny. You amke yourself look like a clown with these arguments zouky.

YOur mother was a fascsit. I know. It's ok/ It's not your fault. I'll help you. Once Fox/Rush is off the air you will be able to join humanity/reality. Untill then keep listening/watching faithfully. Just know their arguements are not based on fact. There based on getting you angry FOR THEIR WHIME. ALL the while making a fortune off you. Slave.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 5, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"do you think Allen would have lost his Senate seat without the contribution of the WaPo" -Zouk

Absolutely, with you and the Tom Davis Propeller Beanie Brigade it was bound to happen. You pulled him down in Northen Virginia.

Put the blame where it belongs; on you!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse


'I have said for years that American liberals live in a bubble, an exalted state of megalomania that does not allow them access to the world as it is or to people who disagree with them'

what a fantastical argument coming from a con -- i mean, it staggers the imagination that those living in the parallel universe of fox news, where saddam caused 9/11, could even say something like this with a straight face. especially considering the hysterical shreiking harpy voices that dominate the rightwing, calling for the virtual extermination of 'liberals'... amazing pathology, really.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"Despite being too stupid to avoid the Infantry and get sent off to war"

Once again, our RNC GOPatriot demeans those who actually give service to their country; instead of looking to take from it.

Your respect for our military is despicable, Zouk.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/07/04/not_all_would_put_a_heroic_sheen_on_thompsons_watergate_role/"

sTOONIE. sNITcH. jUST LIKE REAGAN AND HIS ROLE AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE SREEN ACTORS GUILDE. Snitches sell-outs. Cowards. Sneaking behind people's backs

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

There is a BIG difference between an editorial and an attack ad.

Please list them.

do you think Allen would have lost his Senate seat without the contribution of the WaPo with daily negative editorials. How will you compensate for that in your perfect world? What is the tables were turned (talk radio for example).

how do you deal with the movie review that includes references to political policy - a regular thing at the NYT.

"not the same as an editorial or "opinion" show (Rush et al) broadcast by a network" - but this is what the Fairness doctrine is trying to "correct". you are not on the same page as your fellow Libs. they seem to be willing to patrol all the speech out there, looking for unfair structure. no mention of the press in the unfair structure debate.

Why are you Libs always so big brother regulation happy. that is not liberty, that is oppression. Just to stop a few hucksters from misleading some idiots? Is this why you would take away all citizens rights to firearms because a few criminals misuse the privelege? should beer be banned because in some cases it causes mishaps? Ignore all the times it doesn't.

Honestly, my main gripe with Libs is thier pretension to know what's best for everyone and claiming they can manage it properly. Like they managed Katrina, schools, SS, energy policy, etc.

Posted by: Trotsky | July 5, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon, KOZ is correct about the viciousness of our early public debates. Jefferson's campaign was abetted by horrid lies, as was his opponent's, and with two week time delays between responses.

I am making one last attempt to focus the discussion. I propose that:

1] campaign contributions from individuals can be limited if the limits are not so restrictive as to effectively shut down the money stream to run a campaign.
2] issue orgs must disclose their members.
3] labor unions cannot use dues money for issue ads or to help campaigns.
4] corporate contributions to campaigns can be prohibited.
5] pacs must disclose their members.
6] radio and tv spot time can be bought by campaigns and issue groups on a first-come, first-served basis. Remember that in many places the ballot is very, very, long and local candidates need to fight for their air time, too.
7] print media and internet remain unregulated because supply can be almost infinitely expanded.
8] Defamation of a politician remains almost impossible to prove, under NYT v. Sullivan.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 5, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: About Fred Thompson... | July 5, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Zouk: "Quite wrong factually speaking. there was an established method of 'yellow journalism' in Philadelphia which freely published lies and slander."

-Interesting - I had never heard about this. Are you defending the right of modern day candidates to use 'lies and slander'?

You also ask "who among you will decide for the rest of us stooges what is equal time, where it belongs (print, vid, blog, etc.), what is political? will the NYT be included?"

-Time and media attention are not that hard to measure - minutes of airtime and column inches. Blogs are usually maintained by private individuals as forums in which any opinion can be expressed, so not the same as an editorial or "opinion" show (Rush et al) broadcast by a network. For similar reasons, the Times - AND WSJ, Fox etc., don't worry - are exempt. They're the equivalent of editorials in a newspaper. What must be controlled is media purchased by or for the candidates or parties, or someone acting on their behalf. There is a BIG difference between an editorial and an attack ad.

Another possible answer - Moe. He almost always told the other two stooges what to do.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 5, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Interesting phenomenon. no one ever takes IC or Rufas seriously and that inattention is finally taking its toll. the two imbeciles have turned on each other, like hungry dinosaurs.

Despite being too stupid to avoid the Infantry and get sent off to war (ha ha Kerry) they both sound like the extreme contingent of the loony left at all times, chanting the same nonsense over and over.

clear evidence that the main motivation for these two clowns is simply to pick fights with whoever will engage ( just call them all zouk). the topic or background is irrelevant.

It can be further extrapolated that the loony left will likewise implode ( a la Screamin' Dean) as a "moderate" and electable candidate is chosen.
Ultimately, when an R wins the next Presidency, you can expect Bush derangement syndrome to be replaced by 'X Republican President' derangement syndrome.

the facts and situations are unimportant. the screaming and ugliness is the essential characteristic employed by these misfits.

Back to ignoring moonbats. Its working.

Now you can both turn your venom on me.

Posted by: Trotsky | July 5, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Note that even a plurality of Israelis believe that our Middle East policies have excessively favored Israel.

If it were true that the U.S. has been a force for Evil in the world for decades, as some believe; or if it were true that people around the world inherently hate the U.S. due to some combination of anti-freedom hostility or jealousy or some other similar ignoble motives, then it really would not matter what we have done over the last six years in terms of our moral standing. But all of those premises are plainly false.

The role that the U.S. has played in the world for decades is critically important. The ideals and political principles which this country for decades has symbolized have been -- even when we have deviated from those principles -- a critical anchor for our security and standing in the world as well as a vital source of inspiration for people on every continent. As the world's sole superpower, the face that we choose to show to the world, the principles which guide our actions, are incomparably important.

When we adhere to those values and exemplify those principles, people around the world see that and judge our country accordingly. When we repudiate those values and violate those principles, our moral standing and credibility collapses. There is a direct link between how we conduct ourselves and how we are perceived in the world.

Our standing in the world has changed profoundly over the last six years -- it has collapsed almost completely -- for only one reason: because we have fundamentally changed how we conduct ourselves, the principles that guide us, the values we embody. The world was not "anti-American" before the Bush presidency, but -- at least in terms of how the world perceives our country -- it is now. That is one of the key aspects of the Bush legacy that is "tragic."

Plainly, America's standing in the world can be changed again, the collapse reversed, our credibility restored. But that can happen only if we repudiate the radicalism and brutality and complete disregard for civilized norms that have defined us at our core since the 9/11 attacks. This comprehensive Pew poll provides the definitive refutation for those who claim that the U.S. has been hated for decades, as well as for those who claim that the U.S. will be hated no matter what it does.

Posted by: greenwald | July 5, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Note that even a plurality of Israelis believe that our Middle East policies have excessively favored Israel.

If it were true that the U.S. has been a force for Evil in the world for decades, as some believe; or if it were true that people around the world inherently hate the U.S. due to some combination of anti-freedom hostility or jealousy or some other similar ignoble motives, then it really would not matter what we have done over the last six years in terms of our moral standing. But all of those premises are plainly false.

The role that the U.S. has played in the world for decades is critically important. The ideals and political principles which this country for decades has symbolized have been -- even when we have deviated from those principles -- a critical anchor for our security and standing in the world as well as a vital source of inspiration for people on every continent. As the world's sole superpower, the face that we choose to show to the world, the principles which guide our actions, are incomparably important.

When we adhere to those values and exemplify those principles, people around the world see that and judge our country accordingly. When we repudiate those values and violate those principles, our moral standing and credibility collapses. There is a direct link between how we conduct ourselves and how we are perceived in the world.

Our standing in the world has changed profoundly over the last six years -- it has collapsed almost completely -- for only one reason: because we have fundamentally changed how we conduct ourselves, the principles that guide us, the values we embody. The world was not "anti-American" before the Bush presidency, but -- at least in terms of how the world perceives our country -- it is now. That is one of the key aspects of the Bush legacy that is "tragic."

Plainly, America's standing in the world can be changed again, the collapse reversed, our credibility restored. But that can happen only if we repudiate the radicalism and brutality and complete disregard for civilized norms that have defined us at our core since the 9/11 attacks. This comprehensive Pew poll provides the definitive refutation for those who claim that the U.S. has been hated for decades, as well as for those who claim that the U.S. will be hated no matter what it does.

Posted by: greenwald | July 5, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

boko - "but I would guess that those who wrote it never envisioned a day in which "speech" would include lavishly produced attacks on opposing candidates or positions - without the attackee (or someone advocating a different position) having the ability to respond in kind.""

Word is born. The founders couldn't ahve envisoned that this treason woul dbe the politcal conversation of 2007. How could thye. They though Americans would CARE about their own freedom. They would come together as a nation rather than try and divide ITSELF

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The reason your posts appear is only because almost nothing is prevented from being posted on this blog, not because there's an audience for them.

sounds like Air America

Posted by: Trotsky | July 5, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

you are so tough blank poster. So very tough

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The reason your posts appear is only because almost nothing is prevented from being posted on this blog, not because there's an audience for them.

Posted by: oh the irony | July 5, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

boko - "but I would guess that those who wrote it never envisioned a day in which "speech" would include lavishly produced attacks on opposing candidates or positions - without the attackee (or someone advocating a different position) having the ability to respond in kind."

Quite wrong factually speaking. there was an established method of "yellow journalism" in Philadelphia which freely published lies and slander.

American Aurora : A Democratic-Republican Returns : The Suppressed History of Our Nation's Beginnings and the Heroic Newspaper That Tried to Report It (Paperback)


who among you will decide for the rest of us stooges what is equal time, where it belongs (print, vid, blog, etc.), what is political? will the NYT be included?

Since ignorant coward eats up so much space here, how will you masters of fairness balance that out?

Posted by: Trotsky | July 5, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Again. CLino is a republican. She has no chance, despite what Fox tells you EVERYDAY. Fox is paying her. Don't believe the hype. If hil is a repup then what do you got?

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"Say what you want. how many people come here to read my posts?" - rufus1133

It has to be zero, because it's evident that you don't even read your own; and certainly nobody else is coming here to read your tripe.

The reason your posts appear is only because almost nothing is prevented from being posted on this blog, not because there's an audience for them.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on Thursday made fun of former President Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, for criticizing President Bush's decision to erase the prison sentence of former aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
"I don't know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it," presidential spokesman Tony Snow said.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has scheduled hearings on Bush's commutation of Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence.

"Well, fine, knock himself out," Snow said of Conyers. "I mean, perfectly happy. And while he's at it, why doesn't he look at January 20th, 2001?"

In the closing hours of his presidency, Clinton pardoned 140 people, including fugitive financier Marc Rich.

The former president tried to draw a distinction between the pardons he granted, and Bush's decision to commute Libby's 30-month sentence in the CIA leak case.

"We got paid for ours, Why would anyone do this sort of thing on principle?" the former President said.

Posted by: OMG | July 5, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The collapse of America's moral standing in the world -- the intense and widespread contempt in which we are held -- is, without question, a direct by-product of our behavior over the last six years. While America, like every country, has made mistakes and engaged in wrongful behavior prior to that, it was viewed by an overwhelming majority of people in the world as a net force for good. Far from the claim by neoconservatives and their allies that the "international community" is intrinsically anti-American no matter what we do -- and we should therefore ignore it and express our contempt for it -- the widespread respect America commanded and the admiration for our values was, prior to George W. Bush, a vital ingredient of our national security and ability to protect our interests.

Initially, simply compare the percentages of people around the world, on every continent, who held favorable views of the United States in 1999-2000, versus the staggeringly small percentages who hold such views a mere seven years later:

Posted by: greenwald | July 5, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

JD, thanks for your answer. I agree that the 1st amendment advocates that there be no restrictions on speech, but I would guess that those who wrote it never envisioned a day in which "speech" would include lavishly produced attacks on opposing candidates or positions - without the attackee (or someone advocating a different position) having the ability to respond in kind.

I agree with you when you say "competing messages are very good ... more debate is better" - the problem is, when there is an imbalance in the funding to get a message out, there IS no debate... just an attempt at indoctrination.

You might not agree, but I sincerely think that the candidates should have equal access to the voters AND be restricted from attacking opponents or positions without providing proof. It would be much better for all concerned if ads concentrated on "here's my idea, and here are the reasons why it's a good one" rather than "My opponent has the WRONG ideas and is WRONG for America." I understand that a comparison of policy proposals is inevitable, but it's something the voters should be encouraged to do themselves, rather than sitting back and being told how to think.

IF all of those criteria were met, I would have no problem with repealing McCain/Feingold, but if candidates were financially out of balance and still felt free to push emotional attack ads that dealt primarily in emotion rather than fact, I think it should remain in place. As those in crowded theaters everywhere know, freedom of speech is not absolute...

and there are also laws which prevent false advertising and slander. (I know, difficult to prove, especially in re: campaigns... I'm just saying that there is somewhat of a legal precedent, or maybe I'm wrong?)

Posted by: Bokonon | July 5, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/07/05/american_credibility/

The tragic collapse of America's standing in the world
One of the very few arguments one can make which will prompt virtually identical objections from both standard right-wing neoconservative fanatics as well as a small, unrepresentative cluster on the Left concerns the question of America's moral credibility in the world and the esteem in which our country is held.

If one argues -- as I frequently do, including as a central argument in A Tragic Legacy -- that America's hard-earned moral credibility in the world has collapsed as a result of the Bush presidency, one can hear similar objections from each side -- namely, that while America is despised in much of the world, that has little or nothing to do with events over the last six years.

Instead, this line of reasoning goes, America was disliked well prior to the advent of Bush radicalism, either because (in the view of neoconservatives as illustrated by Hugh Hewitt here), those who dislike America are intrinsically hateful of America and our values no matter what we do. Or (in the view of a small group on the Left), America is hated not because of what we have done in the last six years, but because America has been a bullying force of Evil in the world for the last several decades (at least) and our behavior under Bush is nothing new for America; it is but a natural extension of the country's foundational or long-embraced values.

The new comprehensive worldwide Pew poll of public opinion conclusively disproves both of those views. The polling data demonstrates that while America's standing in the world is dangerously low on every continent in the world (the sole exception being Christian nations in Africa), pervasive anti-American sentiment has emerged only in the last six years. Prior to the Bush administration, America was respected and admired in most of the world, its values a source of inspiration, the ideals it espoused a source of widespread respect. Those are just facts.

Posted by: greenwald | July 5, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Periodically Mark in Austin asks if there is a lawyer on the blog with knowledge of special areas of law particular to the thread.

It's past time for a variation on the theme -

Is there a psychiatrist or psychologist on the blog who can help rufus1133 or Zouk?

Posted by: Is There a Doctor in the House? | July 5, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want. how many people come here to read my posts? And yours zouk. If anybody what's to hear you they can just turn on Rush. Dittohead. I am not a slave to you. You are may slave. In a couple years. your goin got be locked in a closet. I can't wait until the conservatives are back where you belong. I can't wait to see you people crying, like Bohner

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

West has made plain his opposition to the current war in Iraq. He asserts that the Bush Administration is peopled with "hawks" who "are not simply conservative elites and right-wing ideologues," but rather are "evangelical nihilists -- drunk with power and driven by grand delusions of American domination of the world." "We are experiencing the sad gangsterization of America," he adds, "an unbridled grasp at power, wealth and status." Viewing capitalism as the root cause of these alleged American lusts, West warns, "Free-market fundamentalism trivializes the concern for public interest. It puts fear and insecurity in the hearts of anxiety-ridden workers. It also makes money-driven, poll-obsessed elected officials deferential to corporate goals of profit -- often at the cost of the common good."

Posted by: west | July 5, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

rufus1133 - I guess that it has finally come down to this.

In being unable to answer a simple Yes or No question, you have proven yourself either to be a liar or a nut.

Your choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Should I put individual quotes from your people Proud gop. Do you want to defend the statemetns of O'REIlly/hannity/rush/coulter. I'm sure I can find one or two. Ae you going to defend the last 10 years of lies and propoganda, line by line?

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

JD, yes - the statute in question did not cover either print media or the internet -
so the point of the case was the dealing with the allocation of the ad minutes on tv and radio, which are limited [the stations do try to sell it all and here they come pretty close - e.g., in Austin, radio spots are sometimes only 20 sec long so more "spots" can be sold. I do not know how it is elsewhere].

I am way more interested in this than anyone else here, I fear...

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 5, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to JD. The man is standing on there soil. JD is over here telling him what it's REALLY like. Only in America would people believe these lies. Do you thing Mike B

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's all starting to make sense. You must be taking lessons in obscurity from 'your boy', rufus. "

Obscurity. To a dittohead. This man teaches at all the elite colleges. He is a genius. Can the same be said of rush .This man has sacraficed. This man his seen things. What has rush every done. Hannity O'REIlly. What pain have they ever been through. What have they ever sacraficed? Nothing. As opposed to sacrafice they are making fortunes off what they do. "the worse things I saw the more money I make"

Their time is up

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Your so hard blank poster, and brave too. Again, i can say anything. what differance does it make? Would that make my words any truer or less true.

Divide and conquer. Zouk is a fascist. why do you need Fx/Rush/Hannity/O'Reilly? Without them your have no movment. If you were for the peopel you wouldn't need lying treasonous sell-out traitors propogating all day would you. You DO need them. without them you have nothing. WHat wil you do without your avatars? Their time is almost up

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

You almost can't help but grudgingly admire the absolute and total shamelessness of Hillary and Bill Clinton, the former and possibly future first lady. Given Mrs. Clinton's lesser half's troubled history with the pardon power, one would have expected it to be an awkward moment for her when President Bush spared Scooter Libby prison time in the Valerie Plame kerfuffle. How would she finesse this one?

By being completely brazen, as it turns out. The Associated Press reports from Keokuk, Iowa, that Mrs. Clinton "drew a distinction" between the Libby commutation--"which she has harshly criticized--and her husband's 140 pardons in his closing hours in office":

Her husband's pardons, issued in the closing hours of his presidency, were simply routine exercise in the use of the pardon power, and none were aimed at protecting the Clinton presidency or legacy, she said.

Earlier, Mrs. Clinton issued a statement saying, "This commutation sends the clear signal that in this Administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice."

But let's go back and review some of Mr. Clinton's pardons. The one everyone remembers is that of Marc Rich, the fugitive tax evader who renounced his citizenship and whose wife was a big Clinton donor. (Coincidentally, Rich was a client of Scooter Libby, then a lawyer in private practice.) But from CNN, here's a contemporaneous list of other 11th-hour pardons:

Roger Clinton, who was convicted of drug-related charges in the 1980s. He was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1985 to conspiring to distribute cocaine. He cooperated with authorities and testified against other drug defendants.


Susan McDougal, a former real estate business partner of the Clintons. She was sentenced in 1996 and released from prison in 1998. She was convicted of four felonies related to a fraudulent $300,000 federally backed loan that she and her husband, James McDougal, never repaid. One tenth of the loan amount was placed briefly in the name of Whitewater Development, the Arkansas real estate venture of the Clintons and the McDougals. . . .


Henry Cisneros, who served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development during Clinton's first term in office. He was convicted of making false statements to FBI agents conducting a background investigation of him when he was nominated to the Cabinet post in 1993. They included misleading investigators about cash payments he made to a former mistress.


Former CIA Director John Deutch. The one-time spy chief and top Pentagon official was facing criminal charges in connection with his mishandling of national secrets on a home computer.
Among the beneficiaries of Mr. Clinton's pardons, then, were his own brother, a central figure in the Whitewater scandal, and two members of his own cabinet, one of whom, unlike Libby, actually faced charges of mishandling national secrets. Yet Mrs. Clinton can keep a straight face while throwing around charges of "cronyism"? This borders on sociopathy.

Posted by: lyin' clinton | July 5, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

MikeB

I did a little checking because Western European unemployment rates have generally been considerably higher than US rates. I do not know where you get your statistics but the 2006 stats I quoted were from the UN's Commission on Economic Development in Europe. I also found a site with the European Union's statistics for May 2007 and they have Germany's unemployment rate at 6.6% versus 4.5% US (per Bureau of Labor Statistics). Unemployment for young people (under 25) is far worse - over 15% through the European Union. Cannot compare with US since BLS quotes 16 to 19 year olds.

Here is the link to the EU's statistics:

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/PGP_PRD_CAT_PREREL/PGE_CAT_PREREL_YEAR_2007/PGE_CAT_PREREL_YEAR_2007_MONTH_07/3-03072007-EN-AP.PDF

The economy where you live might be doing bad, but overall US economy is in good shape and I certainly do not see the situation in the malls here Florida anywhere close to what you claim to be the case in the US.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 5, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

BTW rufus1133 - The "quoted" information on the CIB in your post above was incorrect. [Quoted without a source I note.]

It's amazing how something so simple is bringing out all these things out about your lack of credibility and your psyche.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Last week, these views collided when the Supreme Court limited the reach of the McCain-Feingold regulations. The Court ruled that corporations, organizations and individuals can run television ads letting voters know the positions of members of Congress on issues of the day.

Most Americans, 58%, agree with the Court. The Rasmussen Reports survey found that 35% disagree.

Conservatives, by a 3-to-1 margin, agreed with the Court on this issue. However, self-identified liberals disagreed by a 53% to 34% margin.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of political moderates agreed with the ruling while 37% disagreed.

Posted by: Libs always know better | July 5, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

What's Worse than a $400 Haircut? How About a $1,250 One?

The good news for John Edwards' campaign: People will no longer be making jokes and asking questions about $400 haircuts.

The bad news for John Edwards' campaign: People will be making jokes and asking questions about $1,250 haircuts.

At first, the haircuts were free. But because Torrenueva often had to fly somewhere on the campaign trail to meet his client, he began charging $300 to $500 for each cut, plus the cost of airfare and hotels when he had to travel outside California.

Torrenueva said one haircut during the 2004 presidential race cost $1,250 because he traveled to Atlanta and lost two days of work.

To quote that noted ultra-conservative Edwards critic Markos Moulitsas, "I'm willing to bet that most of the small dollar donors Edwards has solicited don't have that much. For them, that $20 or $50 or even $100 contribution is a big sacrifice. Yet given the choice between taking out his own checkbook or having his campaign pay for the $400 the haircut cost, someone made the choice to put this on the contributors... People expect their money to be well spent by campaigns, not used as personal slush funds for whatever luxuries they may want."

Posted by: breck girl | July 5, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"I wish they had a real candidate. I would love for them to run my boy Cornell West"

Well, it's all starting to make sense. You must be taking lessons in obscurity from 'your boy', rufus.

Perhaps you can explain this quote for us, when West calls on Americans to "forge a mature hope that fortifies us on the slippery tightrope of Socratic questioning and prophetic witness in imperial America."

frickin genius.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 5, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

rufus1133: Still spouting hot air I see.

You should be in Congress with the other bloviators.

You were asked a simple Yes or No question and you seem constitutionally incapable of answering it.

Do you have a C I B ? Yes, or No?

It's that simple. Y e s, or N o !

Wikipedia level definitions don't answer the question.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not really represented in this country I love. THe corporations sure are. Conservatives sure are represented. The people are no longer represented. We have been sold out. Obviously, I don't blame ONLY republicans. The dems are to blame also. The differance is at least the dems have some morales. Some form of accountability to the people. The republcians are only accountable to money. When money is calling the shots no one is. Money's only goal is to grow itself, like war.

Money is nothing but little pieces of paper

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 5, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

1. wouldn't want that

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I wish they had a real candidate. I would love for them to run my boy Cornell West

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornel_West

Would never happen. 1. he would wnat that kind of attention. 2. He would probably get assaisinated by racist fascists greedy little pigs. Who care about sel fover country.

With what I got I'm with Obama. Waiting for a Gore Obama ticket. Either as an independant I'm for. Hillary is a republican in disguise. Nor sure WE can trust Edwards, but the moreI hear him the more I like him. Not sure if anybody can get elected in this coutnry after someone publiclly calls his a fa---. Don't knwo if it's possible.

Posted by: RUFUS | July 5, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

rufus - Will you be attending the Socialist Party USA national convention this fall? We're all waiting to see who your preferred candidate is (at least I am).

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 5, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me. one day it WAS run with rules and laws. Not since, when gop. Nixon or before?

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Politcis and math follow differant rules.

MAth is governed by RULES and mathematical LAWS. Rules and laws. That's RULES AND LAWS. Both of which mean nothing in CURRENT politics. Maybe one day they didn't

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Who said money buys an election? I don't see that here.

Money buys the influence of politicans. Rather than you or me having full influence over OUR ELECTED OFFICALS the influence goes to the highest bidder. I would think corporations care more about guidlines or rules for their personal business than a pirticular man or woman getting elected. You people. I know all words/ideas have to filter through the rush/hannity prism but damn. think for yourselves for once. I can't believe I'm hearing this.

"Treason is good. Corrpution is necessary. Traitors attacking people of uniform because they don't agreed with the conservative ideals,a good thing. attacking woman like cindy sheehan (peopel who lost family) so they can keep making millions."

I don't get it at all. Treason is treason. Propoganda is propoganda. I don't even know why I waste my time. I should just wait for the elections. Talking to dittoheads is a waste of time.

We have the internet now. It opens the world to the closed minded. Rasing greedy selfish racist homo-phobic athiests isn't as easy as it used to be, right GOP. You kids will not stand for the treason you have stood for your whole live. They will rebel. The future is now. The year is not 1962. John wayne is dead. The cowboy is not viable in 2007 america. You time is up. don't be scared. Move to china. Move to austrial. Rupert murdock will create a dreamm fascsit regime for you. You can live in imaginary world forever. Where up is down and black is white

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

In mathematics, one need only find a single instance to prove a theory wrong:

Ross Perot. If money buys elections why isn't he president? answer, money may guarantee you will be heard, but it does not assure acceptance.

Posted by: Trotsky | July 5, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

12:46, 12:28 here. Your question about why conservatives fear intelligent conversation and analysis doesn't apply to me. I'm not a conservative and I don't fear intelligent conversation or intelligent analysis. The original post did not strike me as particularly developed. It struck me as overthought and unrealistic. In other words -- a bunch of blah.

I am unimpressed by your assumption that I am conservative. Pretty dull of you. Also it's dishonest to imply that a poster FEARS anything because they BERATED something. Simply dishonest. Unimpressive.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Emmit another point. "This effort by liberals to limit free speech by imposing government control over radio and presumably over television reveals just how out of touch the liberals are "

Were you saying the same thing when Bill O'rEilly and Hannity were trying to get Rosie off the view? I think not. Where's the first ammendment in that respect. I got something for you. Are we a democray or a fascist totalitarian government, and don't say "we're a republic". I'm sick of hearing that all the time. Much like I'm sick of you conservatives claiming to be christians by staing "render to ceaser". Mislead arguments. Propganda. Get your heads out of Rush/Hannity/O'Reilly's world. they are liars. They are laughing at you. ALl the way to the bank. Their time is up. they had their chance. Are we better off with them than before 1984 (when regan removed the fairness doctrine)

That was 1984 he removed it for you Orwell fans out there. The next year rush came on the scene to combat a fmous "liberal" radio host. Soon after she was shot down by neo-nazis. Rush has reigned supreame ever since. Fascists. Traitors. Sell-outs.

You got destroyed in the last election. Uphill or downhill since? You are done in this country for my lifetime. You had your chance. You failed in eveyting you untook. OO. Other than making money. YOu cna do that. By selling out the country that is. Good luck toiling in obscurity GOP. Good bye.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 5, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Ruf, make some sense and we'll talk. For one, address my questions.

Mark, reasonable discussion, not sure if I follow you; are you saying there's a scarcity of political advertising spots out there? Somehow I doubt that, especially when all distro channels are considered (internet, print, radio, cable/sat/over-the-air TV)

Boko, as another person I find very reasonable on this site, my thought is this:

when you say, "Do you really believe that a better-funded candidate should have the right to drown out - rather than compete with on the playing field of facts and logic - a competing message?"

My answer is: what I believe is irrelevent. It happens to be what the 1st amendment advocates. Competing messages are very good (and very american). More debate is better. If a candidate or an issue group wants to fund the dispersion of their ideas, it's not the federal government's place to stop them.

Again, I can't understand why people automatically assume that infinite (or near so) $ = votes/power. This is not the case. How do you jibe Bloomberg being able to spend a $500m, overwhelming HRC and Rudy or Fred, yet basically not having a chance? He can move the debate through such a spend, and that's how it should be. Let him use his $ to make his case to the American people, and the people will judge accordingly.

Posted by: JD | July 5, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Let's limit the discussion to those few advertising slots that all the candidates and many political organizations will bid for. IT is relatively easy to allocate scarce time among candidates but allocating to issue orgs is difficult, in large part because of the spectrum of issues, and in no small part because of the potential censorship issues."

I hear your argument. One thing I would liek to see is who is paying these people to make these staments. As you fox lovers may not know they are paid by petro companies.That might be a conflict of interest. Boeing and lockheed. Conflict of interest, if your talking news

As to emmit. Obviusly you know knowing of the issue. No disrespect. The only reason I say that is because you are parroting Rush/Hannity/COulter. That leads me to believe you are a dittohead. I know you are scared emmitt. I know Rush and hannity are talking about this issue everyday. Why is that? Is it because it has no chance of passing? If so they would spend so much time would they.

How was the fairness doctrine elimintaed. Reagan got rid of it. Thje next year on came Rush. These people are not newspeople. They are propogandist. They should have the same rights as the national enquier, not giving press creditials. THEY ARE DONE. REgards of what you say SHOULD happen. THey are done when bush is out and you know it. ALl the top dogs are for getting rid of these traitors, even your boy trent lott.

We are a self-government. In a self-government we need all the REAL news we can get and none of the fake propoganda. Why are they propogating again? To line their pockets. I think good politcal dialoue is more important than Rush getting a 50 foot longer boat. Treason is not free speech. Treason is:

"In law, treason is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor. Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aided or involved by such an endeavour."

"Murder is now generally considered the worst of crimes, but in the past, treason was thought of as worse. In English law high treason was punishable by being hanged, drawn and quartered (men) or burnt at the stake (women), the only crime which attracted those penalties (until the Treason Act 1814). In fact the punishment was devised by King Edward I to punish the leaders of resistance to his invasions of Wales and Scotland. In both cases the charge of treason was questionable because Wales and Scotland were separate countries prior to the English invasions. The treason charge was especially controversial in the case of William Wallace of Scotland.[citation needed] The penalty was used by later monarchs against people who could reasonably be called traitors, although most modern jurists would call it excessive. Many of them would now just be considered dissidents."

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 5, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

12:28 pm Blah, Blah, Blah.

Your casual rejection of the poster's developed argument is why the US is in danger of no longer being a flourishing nation which respects learning and culture. American voters are conditioned to reject any arguments they can't quickly and easily understand as "blah blah."

Why do conservatives fear intelligent conversation and analysis?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has held the national poll lead in all but the Rasmussen survey for a few months (in that one Thompson now has a slight lead of 3%), and runs the strongest against all the leading Democratic candidates in head to head surveys. Rudy also raised the most money in the GOP field in the second quarter, and has the most cash on hand. The Rudy skeptics, such as Charles Cook, look more and more out of touch, as Rudy hangs in there month after month, despite constant media bashing by the New York Times, anxious to eliminate the GOP candidate who may have the greatest crossover appeal in a national election. Now that Thompson looks like a more serious contender for the nomination, the Times wasted no time doing a hit piece on the lobbying activities of his sons.

The Times has become in effect a daily talking points memo of the DNC, in both news stories and opinion pages, so none of this is surprising. The fact that nothing has been directed at John McCain recently, may indicate that the Times is not concerned about his winning the nomination (or that Times writers are intimidated by a genuine war hero, a class of human being largely unknown to its legions of political writers).

Posted by: Richard | July 5, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"The worst things I say the more money I make"

Posted by: Ann COulter | July 5, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with Emmitt - when we are talking about programming, and not advertisng slots. I think it is only theoretically possible to impose "fair and balanced" on FOX, for example. In reality, it would be the imposition of a censor's view of reality, changing with each whim of each overseer. Lest we forget, what was conservative for Barry Goldwater is in many respects liberal today, and what was liberal for Thomas Jefferson is in many respects, conservative today.

Let's limit the discussion to those few advertising slots that all the candidates and many political organizations will bid for. IT is relatively easy to allocate scarce time among candidates but allocating to issue orgs is difficult, in large part because of the spectrum of issues, and in no small part because of the potential censorship issues.

|, I hear this is boring for you.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 5, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Ronald Reagan often used the line that political candidates claim when they look at Washington, all they see is a cesspool. But once they get elected on the promise of changing Washington, Big Government seduces them, and suddenly, it feels more like a hot tub.

People laughed at funny jokes back then. Unfortunately, liberals have lost their sense of humor and want to lynch conservative columnist Ann Coulter for being downright funny at their expense.

An example: Ann Coulter's comments about presidential candidate John Edwards at this year's CPAC convention.

Most members of the media came away with thinking that Ann Coulter had launched a vicious attack against both Edwards.

In fact, the target of Ms. Coulter's biting sarcasm was actually the Hollywood elite and liberal media.

Following intense pressure by liberals against "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington, the ABC television network decided to send Washington off to a rehab clinic to be re-programmed and 'cured' of his homophobia.

Ann thought the whole incident was preposterous, and she's dead on right. Allowing the liberal thought police to force people into rehab to alter how they think and what they say is a twisted Orwellian fate that she rightly mocked.

However, the liberals in the media and in Hollywood were so dense that they didn't realize the joke was actually on them!

Ann smartly got out of that no-win question by noting that she has been roundly criticized for sarcastic remarks made at the expense of liberals that are nothing more than jokes, but that liberal pundits routinely make deadly serious remarks that truly deserve scorn, ridicule and condemnation. (Yes, I'm referring to Bill Maher's recent discussion about Dick Cheney when he said if Cheney did die in an assassination attempt, "more people would live.")


http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=21414

Posted by: Melanie | July 5, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

JD, the market does not decide what is fair, but rather what is profitable. And say what you want about the relative merits of capitalism, I don't think "profitable" can be equated to "worthwhile" when measured according to anything other than stock prices. Do you really believe that a better-funded candidate should have the right to drown out - rather than compete with on the playing field of facts and logic - a competing message? i.e. because a candidate is able to raise and spend more $$, does that really mean that his ideas are "better" (more effective, fairer, whatever) than those of the other candidates?
The whole point of advertising - and I get this from a relative who used to work relatively high up on Madison Ave. - is to convince the viewer/reader to set aside logic, and instead make the purchase (in this case, "cast the vote") based on emotional reactions. But consider this - "Harry and Louise" was an emotional argument, and now we have an unprecedented number in this country without health insurance because voters were frightened away from supporting universal coverage. The invasion of Iraq was sold to the public on emotional grounds, with Bush linking it to fears of nuclear war - remember "smoking gun as a mushroom cloud"? - and Saddam's supposed links to Al Qaeda... both arguments that those who read the 2002 NIE would have known were not supportable, or at least not enough so to justify war... and now we have spent $1.5 trillion and lost over 3500 American lives, with no end in sight.
I would hope that we as a nation will make our next voting decisions based on facts and logic, rather than emotion (advertising), and that is why I support the McCain/Feingold restrictions.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 5, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

This effort by liberals to limit free speech by imposing government control over radio and presumably over television reveals just how out of touch the liberals are -- and how impatient they are with a free society. They would use the so-called Fairness Doctrine to order talk radio to balance conservative talkers whom listeners have voted for by tuning them in with presumed liberal talkers, whom listeners have usually voted against by tuning them out. Air America, the liberal alternative to conservative talkers, endowed by millions of dollars from liberal investors, went belly up last fall because not enough listeners wanted to listen. Now Durbin and his ilk will force listeners to listen, or at least they will force talk radio to carry these money-losing talkers.

So our liberal bullies are going to coerce free speech and free markets. Now who doubts that they are the enemies of freedom in America?

Posted by: Emmitt | July 5, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

9:25 am Blah, Blah, Blah.

This sort of thing is why there is no flourishing nation ruled by academics. American voters rightfully filter this kind of blah blah out.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I would beg everyone who is interested in this First Amendment issue including JD to not focus on JD's preferred economic model because neither M-F nor the WisRTL case were based on that model. They are based on a current reality in which any organization or person can publish any opinion it can afford to publish, in writing, by mail, by newsletter, etc., except where the time, place, and manner of limited ad slots interferes. Statute excerpt below:
-------------------------------
BCRA §201 defines "electioneering communications" as any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that refers to a candidate for federal office and that is broad-cast within 30 days of a federal primary election or 60 days of a federal general election in the jurisdiction in
which that candidate is running for office.
-------------------------------
In the actual model we are working with, all slots will have been bid for and purchased well before election day. Candidates generally get as much air time as they like - and the Court now will let issue organizations say they can get in line to purchase time, although the water is muddied by language that says this can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In other words, I think the WisRTL decision has GUARANTEED more litigation.

So lets try to stay within the current model. Drindl wants full disclosure on group ads, and I suspect that would be constitutional [any con lawyers out there?]
She also wants "free" air time to "qualified" candidates - implying paid air time for "non-qualified" candidates - drindl, I do not think that passes muster
[con lawyers help me!] Who determines qualifications? Why is not being on the ballot the only qualification? The 2 party system is not in the Constitution, at all.

JD, instead of trying to figure out how to allocate the time slots in the case of privately owned frequencies, help figure out how to do it on licensed airwaves, which is what we have. I think your argument applied might be to auction the available time slots to the highest bidders, but I think that will not pass muster if it is seen as limiting free speech by forcing some speakers out of the marketplace of ideas. I think it suffers from the same vice, constitutionally, as drindl's "qualified" limitation. I would agree with you that the media should not have to give away time it could sell for coca cola ads; I cannot see partisan slots as a "public service", myself.

I hope this was not too long.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 5, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I have said for years that American liberals live in a bubble, an exalted state of megalomania that does not allow them access to the world as it is or to people who disagree with them. The consequence has been a historic slide in liberalism's place in America. It has been losing the political battle for four decades. Now it is slowly losing the cultural battle. The cultural losses have been slower because the culture is under the control of mandarins, not the people as a whole. Wherever democracy -- or the economic equivalent of democracy, markets -- holds sway, liberalism usually loses.

http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=11677

Posted by: quite so | July 5, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

??????

If BIll Gates wanted to put is considerable fortune into BUYING politicans Abramoff sytle he could. The reason he was ripped off in the fake monopoly issue was because the politicans were scared he would dominate the computer industry due to him not making his product compatible with others. What happened to the free market, in this case? Free market only applies when certain people want it to. Otherwise dominating the market you are in is called monopoly. Denpends on if and how much money you are using to BRIBE. The cost it would have took him to bribe would have been so huge it would be impossible to hide.

And he would have a huge impact on American politicans, if he choose to. Not all americans think like that. Soem people think about what's best for teh country/market. As opposed to MYSELF. And making as much money as humanly possible. That's why the right is dead in thsi country. YOu can only think about yourself. You can only think about money. Money is nothing ifyou think about it.

Money is worthless unless there is a market. The blood of our citizens is not worthless, on the other hand. Feeding the world is worth more to humanity than little pieces of paper with pictures of dead people on it, if you look at it objectivly.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 5, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Ruf, I had a real hard time following your diatribe. Care to translate into English?

BTW, there's nothing stopping you from forming a 3rd or 4th party (except the fact that someone already did, I'm sure there's hundreds of political parties out there registered).

Ruf, when you say he who gets the time makes the rules, you're very very misguided. You can try to pitch the masses all you want, to 'buy' your 'product' (to use lyle's apt metaphor), and if they don't buy it, you lose. Otherwise, following your logic, Bloomberg (or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett for that matter) would be the pre-emptive favorite to win the presidency, rather than a 1000-1 shot.

Posted by: JD | July 5, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Your advocating, he who has the money gets the time and ear of politicaians. He who gets the time makes the rules. How can you (an individual) get your voice heard compeating with big business? You can't. And why should you have to. A country by the people. Or by the corporations. Corporations ,wrongly, were given all the same rights as individuals. Twisting the system. LEad us down the path of destruction. The mark of the beast. I know I don't want to be a slave to corporations, any more than I already am. Now thye should make ALL the political desicions as well. Not if the people have anything say about it. What would stop us from forming a third or fourth party, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE. That would change your tune real quick. The only power the republicans (or the dems) have is the power WE give them. It can turn on them very fast. Faster than the politicans think. Their control of this country is very fragile, as it should be. I would argue they should have less control. Who has the right to run this country?

1. the corporations
2.the democrats
3 the repubs.
4. the people.

1,2, and 3 used to be 4. IF you can hear that. Sell-outs. Greedy sell-out traitors.

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Lol, | jumped from 'market forces' to international corporations pretty quick. If you suggest that the evil, unnamed, faceless conglomerates are going to suddenly dominate American politics ...um... OK then. Your evidence? Or logical reason for being so paranoid? Or is this just a talking point off of tinfoilhats.com?

Truth, if you don't want to auction off spectrum for TV (and I assume you have no problem with doing that for 3G cell spectrum, which is happening now and putting billions into the federal treas), then how do you allocate? Anything else invites favoritism, corruption, backdoor, smoke filled room deals, etc. Who decides what's 'fair'? The market, that's who.

Ruf, not sure how you get that I'm in favor of corruption from my argument. Just the opposite, in fact. Read the previous paragraph to illuminate yourself.

Posted by: JD | July 5, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benidict_Arnold

Read up. George Bush and his cronies aren't the first traitors in this country. They are the first people have been proved traitors and nothing happened to them, YET.

The first president who choose outside influences (oil,party, the saudi's) over his own country

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The politicans, and the military for that matter, repesent THE PEOPLE not the CORPORATIONS. Corporations were just a glimmer in George Washington's eye back then.

Fascist agrument. When $$$$ makes our political decisions, rather than people, who do we hold responsibile when it fails? Money is a monster that's only goal is to feed itself, like war. When money's calling the shots, NO ONE IS.

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"This means if RTL or the Earth Liberation Front wants to purchase ad time 1 day before the election and claim their enemy candidate kills puppies and eats babies, they should have the right to do so (in fact, as americans we should celebrate the fact that they participate in the process, at the cost of their own $). The government has no right, as envisioned by the FFs, to constrain such speech (and for those of you who say it isn't speech - OK then, what is it? One side's speech is another side's propoganda; don't wear your partisan hats for this discussion please)"

Your going to sit here, the day after independance day, and say the founding fathers wanted corruption in our political process? Zouk say , "show me where treason is illegal?" The founding fathers were AGAINST BOTH. Benidecit Arnold?

Posted by: rufus | July 5, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

JD - I don't see the leap from "auction off" to "populist" viewpoints being represented.

Bloomberg can buy lots of time, but who does he represent besides himself.

A nation's "finite" resources awarded to the highest bidder isn't the answer.... just look at the sorry state of our national parks and forests that Bush put on the auction block.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 5, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

All the food from the old guard camp -- a collection of tents -- had been carted to the new facility, in the expectation that the 1,200 guards would begin moving in the next day. But according to the cable, the electrical meltdown was just the first problem in a series of construction mistakes that soon left the base uninhabitable, including wiring problems, fuel leaks and noxious fumes in the sleeping trailers.

"Poor quality construction . . . life safety issues . . . left [the embassy] with no recourse but to shut the camp down, in spite of the blistering heat in Baghdad," the May 29 cable informed Washington.

Posted by: remember the keystone cops? | July 5, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

U.S. diplomats in Iraq, increasingly fearful over their personal safety after recent mortar attacks inside the Green Zone, are pointing to new delays and mistakes in the U.S. Embassy construction project in Baghdad as signs that their vulnerability could grow in the months ahead.

A toughly worded cable sent from the embassy to State Department headquarters on May 29 highlights a cascade of building and safety blunders in a new facility to house the security guards protecting the embassy. The guards' base, which remains unopened today, is just a small part of a $592 million project to build the largest U.S. embassy in the world.

The main builder of the sprawling, 21-building embassy is First Kuwaiti General Trade and Contracting Co., a Middle Eastern firm that is already under Justice Department scrutiny over alleged labor abuses. First Kuwaiti also erected the guard base, prompting some State Department officials in Washington and Baghdad to worry that the problems exposed in the camp suggest trouble lurking ahead for the rest of the embassy complex.

Posted by: your taxpayer dollars at work | July 5, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, July 4 -- Nearly five months into a security strategy that involves thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi troops patrolling Baghdad, the number of unidentified bodies found on the streets of the capital was 41 percent higher in June than in January, according to Health Ministry statistics.

During the month of June, 453 unidentified corpses, some bound, blindfolded, and bearing signs of torture, were found in Baghdad, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official.

The number of unidentified bodies found in Baghdad was significantly higher in June than in January, the month before the deployment of additional U.S. and Iraqi forces began in the capital.

In January, 321 corpses were discovered in the capital, a total that fell until April but then rose sharply over the last two months, the statistics show.

Posted by: more 'good news' from iraq | July 5, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

'I believe that market forces ought to dictate messages, channels, and drive demand for whatever 'product is being sold'

Yes, you believe that 'market forces' -- by which you mean global corporations -- ought to dictate everything. why have a border? why have a country? you don't even pretend to beleive in the idea of the public good, or the public interst -- everything is cheapened, coarsened, commercialized, packaged and sold like a bottle of snake oil.

We honestly used to have a real political process, with issues and debates. Now we have a bunch of carnies and a freak show.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

why are so many americans too stupid or braindead to figure this out?

'Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson has admitted that securing oil supplies is a key factor behind the presence of Australian troops in Iraq.

He said maintaining "resource security" in the Middle East was a priority.

The remarks are causing heated debate as the US-led Iraq coalition has avoided linking the war and oil.

Australia was involved in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and has about 1,500 military personnel still deployed in the region.

There are no immediate plans to bring them home.

In comments to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Nelson admitted that the supply of oil had influenced America's and Australia's strategic planning in the region.

"Obviously the Middle East itself, not only Iraq but the entire region, is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world," he said.

Posted by: well, duh | July 5, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

'I am going to assume here that you agree with the notion that the FCC licensing of the airwaves for no substantial monetary consideration justifies the licensee carrying a burden of public service'

Mark -- as you say, the broadcast spectrum belongs to the public, yet we receive no benefit from it, as we once did. Broadcasters should allot a certain amount of time to each qualified canddiate, without comment. Just let them speak. Interest groups should only be allowed to buy time IF they fully and completely divulge the name of every single donor in a public place, like a website.

Say a group called Americans for Safer Homes runs an ad, and they are funded by the NRA. They should be required to give the URL of the donor base in the ad.

The problem with these 'issue ads' is that it is often very difficult to know who paid for them and their true agenda.

If say, an ad says, Paid for by Friends of Romney, we should immediately be able to find out who those friends are -- individual names and institutional affiliations. It matters.

Posted by: drindl | July 5, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

well Mark and lyle, my take is this (and those who read my comments closely can guess what I'm going to say):

The political process is not unlike every other market in the country, or indeed the world. I believe that market forces ought to dictate messages, channels, and drive demand for whatever 'product is being sold', as lyle poetically put it (and I agree with that take, FWIW).

This means if RTL or the Earth Liberation Front wants to purchase ad time 1 day before the election and claim their enemy candidate kills puppies and eats babies, they should have the right to do so (in fact, as americans we should celebrate the fact that they participate in the process, at the cost of their own $). The government has no right, as envisioned by the FFs, to constrain such speech (and for those of you who say it isn't speech - OK then, what is it? One side's speech is another side's propoganda; don't wear your partisan hats for this discussion please)

Mark, if I had my choice we'd auction off TV spectrum the same way we do for other spectrums; indeed, the same way we allocate any finite resource. Now I can already hear drindl and other anti-capitalists screaming this will result in the corporate takeover of the country, etc. Save your breath. All that would happen is that majority (or should I say populist?) viewpoints would get the most representation; and isn't that how it should be?

Posted by: JD | July 5, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

And what of al queda in Pakistan? In Afghanistan? I mean, where al-queda actually IS, hmm? that's where the training camps are. Everybody knows that. Well, everybody in countries where they have actual news, rather than the fruit-flavored 'infotainment' we have here.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

JD -

Have you thought through how to allocate time on tv to every political candidate and then, secondarily, to every political group that is willing to pay for it? I ask, because JimD and I were having a discussion about this yesterday and we both think it is a difficult problem in practicality.

Content restrictions on political and religious speech are, of course, unwanted and suspect from the gitgo. But reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions are permissible. I saw the Roberts opinion as saying that the time, place and manner restrictions in M-F, as imposed on WisRTL, were unreasonable.

I am going to assume here that you agree with the notion that the FCC licensing of the airwaves for no substantial monetary consideration justifies the licensee carrying a burden of public service - including not discriminating among potential political buyers of ad time based on their message. At that point, would you be happy with simple "first come, first served?"

If there are any practicing constitutional lawyers out there, please join in and help us raise the level of this discussion.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 5, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"If we were to quit Iraq before the job is done, the terrorists we are fighting would not declare victory and lay down their arms - they would follow us here, home," Bush said.'

You mean like in London? Oh wait, they said they doing that because we were IN iraq, not OUT of iraq...confusing, isn't it? Not really, unless you believe the BS.

And the shia and sunni won't lay down their arms when we leave, they will continue to use them on each other. only our people won't be getting killed in the middle of it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I appreciate the update. Please get back to your vacation!

Posted by: arlington | July 5, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

JimD - I'm not sure what you're reading, but it is in direct conflict with the published figures over here...and what anyone can see with the old Mark I eyeball. Europe's economies, at least in Holland, Germany and Austria, are thriving and anything that contradics that is an outright lie, crap, corporate-Bush-Clinton progaganda. I just returned from a shopping trip in downtown Vienna with my wife and the amount of monye being spent, the bags and boxes being carried around by people who just made purchases is frankly astonishing to an American used to seeing a few empty handed people looking lost at the local mall.

Posted by: MikeB | July 5, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse


Romney says the Libby commutation was "reasonable" but ...

As governor, Romney twice rejected a pardon for Anthony Circosta, who at age 13 was convicted of assault for shooting another boy in the arm with a BB gun - a shot that didn't break the skin. Circosta worked his way through college, joined the Army National Guard and led a platoon of 20 soldiers in Iraq's deadly Sunni triangle.
In 2005, as he was serving in Iraq, he sought a pardon to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer.

In his presidential bid, Romney often proudly points out that he was the first governor in modern Massachusetts history to deny every request for a pardon or commutation during his four years in office. He says he refused pardons because he didn't want to overturn a jury.

During the four years Romney was in office, 100 requests for commutations and 172 requests for pardons were filed in the state. All were denied.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

JD: Several have commented about "Money=Speech". I think what most are saying is that by buying time and space, to get whatever you want to reach the folks, does meet this test. My reasoning is without money you would not be able to tell folks about what you think or a product you are trying to sell, and politics is a product.

Posted by: lylepink | July 5, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Make no Mistake -- Fred is the DC insider's boy. He's the one. He will be the nominee, because he's tied closer to Dick Cheney and the whole rotten neocon movement all the way back to Iran Contra and Nixon. It's the same crew, through and through, the same dirty gang. Fred will be just like bush, only more so, because he actually has a brain. An evil brain, but a brain. You want more borrowing and spending, more crony contractors, more government failure and incompetence,and most of all, more war, endless war fought with wildly expensive mercernaries and bottomless, black hole reconstruction projects?

Fred's your boy. Watch the pundits swoon when he enters the race. He's already got the Cheney family as 'advisors'.

'Fred Thompson: Nixon's Mole On The Watergate Committee
The Boston Globe dug up Fred Thompson's long-forgotten 1975 memoir, in which the presidential hopeful made a startling admission: As an investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee, he leaked information directly to the White House. One glaring example was that Thompson tipped off the White House that the committee had found out about the secret White House taping system, giving the Nixon Administration time to prepare for the public revealing of it. "Thompson was a mole for the White House," said Scott Armstrong, who served as a Democratic investigator on the committee. "Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

People who knew one of the Iraqi doctors who drove a Jeep into the Glasgow Airport and is suspected of being a leader of the plots, described him as a quiet man who was growing increasingly angry at the situation in Iraq,

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"McCain is looking for a way out to stop the really bad stuff about him from being made public." That is close to a comment I have made several times, and now with Thompson not officialy announced as was exected yesterday, the guessing continues. For the anom poster: Give us a name to reply to, since you seem pretty well informed.

Posted by: lylepink | July 5, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"Yesterday on MSNBC's Hardball, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) defended Ann Coulter's attacks on John Edwards, including that she wishes he "had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

He said that Elizabeth Edwards's calls to stop making "personal attacks" against her family were attempts to "silence conservative voices." He added that Coulter "is a very articulate spokeswoman for the conservative view" and "closely approaching that level of being a great American.

See, this is where we are today: someone who is taken seriously as a presidential canddiate by the press, is quoted as saying that a woman who advocates the murder of other presidential canddiates is a 'great american'. And asking that you stop attacks on someone's family is an 'attempt to silence'. We live in a very sick country, in a very sick time.

How is the way 'conservatives' talk about 'liberals' any different than the way nazis talked about Jews? And how long before we get the same consequences?

Do you really think the hard core 'conservatives' would have any problem at all with a 'final solution' to 'liberalism?' You know they wouldn't. Listen to their words.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Describing this attention to the candidates' cosmetic characteristics is easy. Understanding it is much trickier. If all the candidates received about equal amount of praise I might assume that the pundits are simply satisfying their audience's perceived need for some fluff commentary, in between the more serious (and perhaps boring) bits about platforms and policy proposals. But that theory fails when it becomes apparent that the Republican candidates appear to get a disproportionate share of praise. Note that my informal survey deliberately excluded the comments by right-wing pundits Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. If these were added the picture would look even more skewed towards benefiting the Republican candidates.

There are some alternative explanations. Perhaps certain commentators would like to see a Republican president in 2008 and are thus more willing to promote them on emotional grounds. Or maybe what we're observing here is yet another battle in the so-called "war of the sexes" -- another attempt to define the Republicans as the "Daddy Party" (strong and protective), as compared to the "weak" "Mommy Party" of the Democrats. Glenn Greenwald certainly thinks so, writing, "Republicans have long tried to exploit masculinity images and depict Democrats and liberals as effeminate and therefore weak. This is not new."

What is new, of course, is the entry of a female candidate into the presidential race. This may be the reason why Greenwald notes that the attacks against the Democratic party have become more explicit and upfront. The battles are more urgent, and not only for Chris Matthews, who recently ran a poll about whether the next First Lady should resemble Laura Bush or Hillary Clinton. Doing this when the race includes a female candidate smelled a little panicky to me, but Matthews topped that in a later program when he delved into the question of women's ability to be war leaders. When a discussant noted that Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir had both performed in that role, Matthews stated: "But we've got Patton and John Wayne on our side." Our side? Perhaps Chris Matthews should be treated as a separate category in this evaluation of pundit opinions.

Even ignoring Matthews, many pundits do seem to equate "presidential" with "masculine." How would this explain the recent focus on the good looks and fatherly demeanor of the three Republican candidates most often praised by the pundits? Are the approving comments aimed at the female voters in the audience, intended to draw their gaze to the attractive features of Giuliani, Romney or Thompson? Or are the pundits expressing their own emotional satisfaction with these candidates' manly aspects?

I'm not sure. But I found it curious that the Republican columnist Peggy Noonan chose to enter the debate by telling us that Hillary Clinton does not have to prove her manly attributes but her womanly ones. Funny how "masculine" qualities are deemed absolutely necessary to be president -- until the candidate is a woman. Then those same qualities are a liability.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

How do you decide who gets your vote in the presidential elections? Is it determined by the candidates' physical appearance, by the charisma they radiate or by the emotional strings they manage to tug deep inside you, conjuring childhood yearnings for security and a night-light after dark?

Well, no matter what your answer, several political commentators have decided that their impressions on these issues are important. Take Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC's Hardball. Matthews has asked whether Giuliani would win a late-night street fight in Queens against the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and has shared with us that Giuliani's personality makes him remember the ominous sentence: "Just wait until Daddy comes home".

Fred Thompson makes Matthews even more giddy. On a recent episode of Hardball, he wanted to know if his female guest found Thompson sexually attractive. This must be the case, given that Thompson looks "seasoned and in charge of himself" and smells of English Leather, Aqua Velva or cigar smoke.

Even Mitt Romney gets nods of approval from Matthews, who thinks he has a perfect chin and perfect hair, both apparently attributes of importance for a president.

And Chris Matthews isn't the only pundit who's apparently enamored of these three Republican candidates. Roger Simon, The Politico's chief columnist, has written that Mitt Romney is "strong, clear and gives good soundbite, and has shoulders you could land a 737 on." Earlier Simon was enraptured by Romney's "chiseled-out-of-granite features, a full dark head of hair going a distinguished gray at the temples, and a barrel chest." Bill O'Reilly of Fox News agreed, announcing that Romney appears "presidential," a sentiment that was echoed by NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert. An article in Newsweek described Romney as "buff and handsome in middle age."

A New York Times profile called Rudy Giuliani "a commanding daddy of a candidate," Mark Halperin of Time praised Fred Thompson's "magnetism". And on and on.

Who doesn't receive this kind of adulation? The Democratic candidates. Pundits don't laud John Edwards' perfect hair, they're still focused on a $400 haircut. Barack Obama, according to Maureen Dowd, is "afraid of looking like a pretty boy," and yet is "drawing attention for his more superficial charms." And Hillary Clinton, according to Chris Matthews, has a voice which reminds "some men" of "fingernails on a blackboard."

The republican media fix is in -- as always. They're out to get every Dem candidate -- as always. Watch -- In the end, CC too swoon over whoever is the announted repug == probably Fred Thompson.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

And Cassy, the comment you cited about money 'buying speech' was later refuted. Might want to read the whole blog next time.

Money doesn't 'buy' speech - it enables it in today's reality; through ads, travel budgets, town hall get togethers, even bumpter stickers and signs. All are exactly the kind of free speech the founding fathers had in mind, and all require money.

If you have a problem with the appearance of a conflict of interest, fine, do something about it (I recommend more internet disclosures), but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. That's like saying, hey we can eliminate drunk driving tomorrow - make cars illegal.

Posted by: JD | July 5, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Ok Cassandra, #1, calm down. That anger wasn't directed at you, it was at the anonymous chick or dude.

#2, you say that M-F doesn't abridge free speech? Come on - it proscribes commercials run within certain # of days before an election, commercials that focus on POLITICAL SPEECH. If that isn't 180 degrees from the first amendment, I don't know what is. And THAT is the part I have a problem with.

Seriously, Cass, please read the law. I'm begging you. Then decide whether it's a good idea to prevent Moveon.org or EMILY's list or Sierra club or whoever from being able to get their views out to the public.

Does Exxon or others have access to lawmakers? Yes, they do. Pay for play sucks, but it's in the constitution to some extent ("people have the right to redress their grievances"...it's actually part of the 1st amendment...which you've read I assume?)

Anyway, if you want to have a discussion with adults, please know what you're talking about.

Posted by: JD | July 5, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

MikEB

I did a quick google and found a UN web site giving 2006 unemployment rates for European countries - 9.4% France, 8.4% Germany, 8.2% Belgium, 6.8% Italy and 4.8% Austria. The recent French presidential election was all about shaking up France's economy to deal with unemployment and underemployment.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 5, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Damn. There laughing at us out there. That's messed up. George bush.

If we didn't have so many people over here holding up progress we might bre able to get some stuff done. This is not a game. Divide and conquer. That's messed up. Vote em out. I don't know what else we can do. Other than come up with as many new parties as it takes. If there was only coke and pepsi what would push them to improve their product?

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 5, 2007 2:54 AM | Report abuse

McCain? Clinton? Obama? Dualing ideas? Give me a break! They are Dweedledee and Dweedledum; so much alike, so berift on genuine leadership skills and ideas for change that it is silly to even acknowledge your question. Right this minute I'm writing from Europe - Vienna, Austria to be precise. I have been on vacation here for the past three weeks, traveling through Germany, down the Rhine, up the Main to the new canal and down it to the Danube, eventuall ending up here. What I have witnessed first hand is NOT being reported in the U.S.! Unemployment in Austria is under 2%. In Germany, even with absorbing Eastern Germany, it is under 5%. Unemployment is essentially unheard of everywhere in Western Europe...except for the U.K.. Barges full of newly built cars and other goods and raw materials travel the canals and rivers; miles upon miles of new construction and rebuilding old infrastrucure, medical care that is so far superior to what we have at home as to make a mockery of our private insurance schemes, safe cities, no homeless people or drunks laying around whatsoever. And vigorous programs to protect jobs for each countries citizens, to round up illegals and deport them, the use of tax laws to punish companies for outsourcing jobs and technology. Over here, European's are planning and working to disengage themselves from the U.S., which they predict is doomed. I'm frankly embarrased. It doesn't have to be the way it is in the U.S. Why do we tolerate second rate leaders and corporate fraud and theft and, bluntly, treason? We shuldn't even be talking about McCain's lack of money? The only reason it is even discussed here is because our candidates, all of them, eiter dance to the tune of the wealthy and corporate interests, or they cease to be viable. McCain and Clinton and Obama are as much a part of the problem as is Bush and Cheney, and are as much in the pocket of our out-of-control coporate interests. Come to Europe. Keep your eyes open and learn.

Posted by: MikeB | July 5, 2007 2:27 AM | Report abuse

He's done, but he's been done for a long time. Ever since his stroll to a boutique proclaiming how safe Iraq is his credibility had been zero.

Posted by: Greg in LA | July 4, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

He's done, but he's been done for a long time. Ever since his stroll to a botique proclaiming how safe Iraq is his credibility had been zero.

Posted by: Greg in LA | July 4, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Proudgrunt - I am a retired naval officer and I have actually written citations (not combat related though). The reason I said that Kerry's citation tracks the official record is based on some investigative reporting that compared official after action reports (which can be heavily sanitized) and Kerry's crew's eyewitness accounts to the citation.

As for the Bristol parade, I grew up in Tiverton and still have family in the area. So maybe I will make it someday.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 4, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Hope everyone has a god 4th.

Posted by: lylepink | July 4, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

""He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation."
"

Anything to defend treason. The stakes were much higher back then. I don't think it's as dire as today. WE are a little stronger today than we were back then ,I think.

Traitors. YOu are not patriots GOP. I can say I can fly with the birds all day. That doesn't make it so. You are a patriot by your actions. What is gop doing now here in america. Are you suffering or prospering off the war. I hear a lot of you talking about how great the economy is. MAybe in your america not mine.

The blood of ONE troop is not worth 100 million, it's worth much more. But, hey. If it's not your kids, right?

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 4, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

"You free traders don't give a damn about this country, just about your stock market profits."

Trading the blood of patriots for $$$$$=

Treason.

Your time is almost up GOP. Your done. DONE. I really hope you don't kill more Americans here to scare teh populance into voting Rep. It looks like that's the plan watching fox.

I'm telling everyone what you people are up to. Hopefully the AMerican people, as a whole, are not as stupid as the dittoheads.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 4, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Snipped from our own Declaration of Independence, grievances against another George in another time:

"He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation."

The more things change...

Happy Independence Day.

Posted by: Brady | July 4, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

STFU yourself, JD -- you rude as*hole. If you really are ignorant enough not to know that corporations like Enron and Exxon Mobil regularly submit wishlists to Congress, which are lifted almost verbatim and written as laws, I won't waste my time on you. Try to educate yourself about what's happen9ng in your country, it's every citizen's responsibility.

And why do you think Rep. Cunningham and Jack Abramoff are serving prison time, fool? And why are a number of other Republicans either in jail or being indicted and investigated, by the bush justice department, hardly a left-leaning establishment?

Don't insult me, ignorant trash. And don't tell me about the first amendment -- as someone here said-- if money can buy speech, it's not free, and it's not a democracy. I feel sorry for you that you want to let wealthy foreign corporations [who have no stake in the interests of the citizens of this country] write our laws, but greed makes us do funny things.

You free traders don't give a damn about this country, just about your stock market profits.

Posted by: Cassandra | July 4, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, if you don't think free speech is abridged under McCain Feingold, you haven't read the law. I won't waste my time explaining it to you.

|, as for transnationals writing our laws....whaa? Your proof, please. Otherwise, STFU.

Posted by: JD | July 4, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.
- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781

Posted by: Anonymous | July 4, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

--it all goes back and back...these folks have a long, long, history together:

" ... In April 1989, the first president Bush nominated Armitage to be secretary of the Army, but the nomination hit trouble -- in part due to his role in the Iran-contra affair -- and Armitage hired a lawyer to help. That attorney was Scooter Libby. Armitage headed off a potentially nasty confirmation fight by withdrawing. ..."

Posted by: drindl | July 4, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Why you can't fathom american politics right now, charles in berlin, is because they make no sense. Rational discouse has been replaced by emotional and illogical and self-destructive mythology. Nearly half the people in this country beleive in a parallel universe where they believe that saddam hussein was responsible for 9/11, foreign corporations have US citizens best interests at heart, and 'free markets' will solve all the world's problems. And oh, yes, all Muslims are evil-- and everyne but fundamentalist christians are going to hell.

As a middle-aged woman who grew up in the age of Eisenhower and Kennedy, when we had presidents who were sane and intelligent, and rational domestic and foreign polilcies, [albeit the occasional madman like Joe McCarthy -- but back then 'conservatives' were considered an aberration and far out of the mainstream, as they are] it's hard to beleive what's happened to my country, although easy to see HOW it happened. Propaganda works--everywhere.

Read Al Gore's new book -- it will help you understand.

Raining in Austin, Mark? It's been the wettest spring ever here in the Northeast, my end of it anyway. Rains and floods and storms like we've never seen. A new kind of storm called a 'microburst' that snaps the tops off trees and flings them. We have tornados now too -- never did before. It's getting wild out there.

Posted by: drindl | July 4, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

But now Libby is in no imminent danger: problem solved. Bush has neatly and in one action removed any impetus for Libby -- or anyone else -- to cooperate with government investigators. There is no leverage a prosecutor can use against Libby, in order to gain a plea deal in exchange for information that he has so far refused to provide. Conservative backers have contributed more than five million dollars in a slush fund for Libby's defense, and are eager to help him in his hour of need; it seems hard to believe that Libby himself will ever have to contribute even one thin dime towards his own fine. He will be, presuming his appeal runs its course in the next year and a half without still more intervention, a convicted felon, but one whose sole substantive punishment will be the well-financed adulation of his supporters as a true martyr.

We should note here, for the record, the magnificent-if-selective cowardice of Scooter Libby. He allowed Judith Miller to go to jail for three months on his behalf, keeping his silence until the pressure had built to intolerable levels. His willingness to sacrifice others -- at least in direct proportion to their access to power -- for his own freedom has at this point been well established. He relied on the sacrifices of others for his own self-preservation, sacrificing himself in turn only to one thin premise: that lying to investigators was an acceptable thing, in exchange for... what? He lied to investigators, repeatedly and provably, rather than cooperate in a case that threatened to implicate his own more powerful friends. Seldom is justice in a single case so transparently stratified, each layer of establishment Washington valiantly wounding itself in obsequious service to the one above it.

But after it all, the consequences of the law were considered too much. Nobody expects a mere Scooter Libby to have the ruggedness of a Martha Stewart, the toughened pastry chef and craftsperson who somehow managed to soldier through jail time on her own without requiring the intervention of two of the four known branches of constitutional government. Amidst dire pleas from conservatives, President Bush cited the excessiveness of Libby's 30-month sentence, and substituted not 15 months, or even one, or even one lazy afternoon, but instead deemed even a single hour to be excessive, for the crime of obstructing justice in an investigation into his own White House, and the office of his own Vice President. No clearer signal to future prosecutors could possibly be given, short of simply Xeroxing up clemencies on cardstock to be distributed as Christmas gifts -- and we may yet see that.

Posted by: ** | July 4, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

t should be noted, for future record, that the President of the United States has just used his power of clemency to sabotage an active criminal investigation into the office of his own Vice President. In some parallel universes, I have heard tell that such a thing was once itself considered corruption, or obstruction. It seems at minimum useful to put a footnote in the history books, somewhere, that such a remarkable thing could happen and still receive not merely praise, but unsheepish celebration among people who pretend nightly to be serious about such things.


I think almost everyone involved sees this as what it almost certainly is: Scooter Libby, loyal to the last, is getting his pardon on the installment plan. There is little advantage -- and distinct disadvantage -- for Bush to pardon the charges entirely, at the moment, but Bush indeed came through with an impeccably timed effort to ensure Libby faced no actual material consequences from his actions. Facing immediate jail time? Then kill the jail time. All of it, from day one onward. If Libby was in any actual danger of having to pay his $250,000 fine, there seems little doubt he would have seen that part of his sentence commuted as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 4, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse


CNN front page headline: "Giuliani tops '08 race fundraising."

Guess they missed the Obama and HRC numbers.


All 3 top dem candidates hammer all 3 top con candidates in fundraising. sorry, gopies... the con 'revolution' is dead in america. try moving to china or russia or north korea. they love authoritarianism.

Posted by: our sorry rightwing media | July 4, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Only in america would people who've never been in comabt be called patriots (Bush/Cheaney/Rove/Hannity/O'Reilly/Rush)

While attacking real people that did have combat experiance (Kerry/Mccain/Gen batiste/gen pace)

hypocrites. It's not the message it's the people/fraternity. Party over country. PArty over country. Traitors to the flag.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 4, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

what the much-touted iraqi oil agreement is all about:

'Wajeeh said the Sunni and Shia blocs also worried that the law would infringe on Iraq's sovereignty by opening the oil industry to foreign investment. "It will make it easy for these companies, especially American companies, to control it," he said of Iraq's oil.'

Posted by: Anonymous | July 4, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The Los Angeles Times leads with new figures that reveal there are more than 180,000 U.S.-paid private contractors in Iraq. This new number is larger than previous estimates and shows there are more private contractors in Iraq than U.S. troops and civilian government employees. Military contracting guru Peter Singer gives the quote of the day: "This is not the coalition of the willing. It's the coalition of the billing."

The real number of private employees currently being paid by U.S. tax dollars in Iraq is probably even higher than the new figures indicate, as security contractors "were not fully counted in the survey," says the LAT. It is still unclear exactly how many people have been hired to protect government officials and buildings, with estimates ranging from 6,000 to as many as 30,000. Military experts are particularly troubled by the lack of information on how many hired guns there are in Iraq. But the truth is that the overall contracting picture remains hazy at best as no one agency is tasked with keeping track of the numbers.

Posted by: why we have the biggest deficit in history | July 4, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

JimD and Truth, Happy 4th.

JimD, Thanks for your reply; I am always hopeful about campaign finance reforms, but on this one I think we must go back to the drawing board.

Truth; I thought from memory the timing did not work; thanks for saving me from googling it, which I might never have done, for the sake of actually having a life.

We have had the wettest year in Austin's relatively dry history and it is unheard of to have real rain in summer. But it is raining today and I cannot get in the pool and I did not want to get wet at the neighborhood parade. So here I am.

Wimpy and whining about summer rain, I remain

Yours truly,

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 4, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

McCain will be out before the primaries, probably. When that happens, either Romney will crash and burn and Giuliani will be nominated and probably lose, unless Hillary is the Democrat... or Giuliani will crash and burn and Romney will be nominated and lose, both because the country is suspicious of Mormons and because he has no real political experience... not to mention he ties his dog to the roof of the car.

Posted by: Seamus Romney | July 4, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm not at all convinced McCain is out of contention. In fact, this all reminds me of Kerry in 2004 and Dole in 1996 (both of whom struggled badly at one point or another before their parties decided to come back to them).

Posted by: DTM | July 4, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Following up on JimD, the only people who know what really happened on Kerry's boat are his crew. They stand behind him.

That's all anybody needs to know.

I've spoken with conservative Republican cpmbat veterans about that aspect and they agree completely, not because of Kerry, they didn't vote for him; but because of what happens in combat.

The Swift Boat people had one mission. It was character assassination. It was not to get the truth out; otherwise they would have had to include Kerry's crew in their ads, etc.

JimD - I don't accept the citations for combat awards as being historically accurate. Most Awards and Decorations clerks write what is needed to earn a particular award. They are great examples of creative wrriting. That's not meant to diminish the accomplishments of the recipients, but there is a process which calls for certain things - writing citations is among them. The clerks' mission is to meet the requrements to earn the award, not to present an accurate historical record of what took place.

JimD - Hope you have a Have a Happy Fourth; and that you can make the parade in Bristol some year.

Posted by: ProudGrunt | July 4, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

I was opining more on the equity of the matter. I do have a hard time figuring out a workable remedy. Since for many(though not all issues), the monied interests tned to be mostly on one side, there is a basic imbalance. Of course, we are not talking about just issue advocacy, we are talking about attempts to influence an election disguised as issue advocacy. I hold to the basic philosophy that if money equals speech and more money equals more speech it is just as logical to allow more money to equal more votes.

____________________________

Incidentally, someone in one of these threads the other day claimed that the Swift Boat group were not proven liars because Kerry has not released his service record. That is an irrelevancy. The official Navy version of events can be found in his medal citation. Also, all the surviving crew members of Kerry's swift boat (except one who eschews publicity) have publicly supported the offical version. Most significantly, the soldier Kerry rescued from the river emphatically supports that version.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 4, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Reason, That's a nice spin about Fitzgerald and Libby.... but facts don't seem to support it.

Libby was a lawyer for Marc Rich.

Rich fled to Switzerland in 1983, just ahead of his indictment and conviction for tax evasion by U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of NY.

Fitzgerald joined the Southern District of New York in 1988.

Clinton pardoned Rich in 2001.

In September of 2001 Fitzgerald began serving as U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois.

I guess you can string these facts together any way you want to spin a story. But the dates don't quite match up do they. The vendetta angle doesn't work for me.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 4, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Happy Independence Day!!! God Bless America. IMPEACH BUSH AND CHENEY NOW.

on raw story:

Federal District Judge Reggie Walton, who sentenced Libby to 30 months in jail for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in the investigation of the outing of Plame, raised concerns about the President's commutation of Libby in a Tuesday filing. *****He suggested that the commutation cannot be used without Libby first serving time in jail*****.

"It has been brought to the Court's attention that the United States Probation Office for the District Court of the District of Columbia intends to contact [Scooter Libby] imminently to require him to begin his term of supervised release. Strictly construed, the statute authorizing the imposition of supervised release indicates that such release should occur only after the defendant has already served a term of imprisonment," Walton wrote in the filing, which was posted at the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog on Tuesday.

He added, "[Section 3583, the law in question] does not appear to contemplate a situation in which a defendant may be placed under supervised release without first completing a term of incarceration."

Posted by: F&B | July 4, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

reason, happy 4th.

That is an interesting spin. Do you have a source? It is so interesting that I will attempt to google it, but if you read this first you could save me some effort.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 4, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The only frontrunner with any proven integrity. History shows that McCain is the only one with a moral and ethical backbone. Compromise is the name of the game folks. Without it we are locked in an endless left and right battle every two years. Being a good man and having a lot of time left in the election will see McCain prevail.

Posted by: Bigbubbles | July 4, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Justin Perez, there is another story between Libby & Fitzgerald, the prosecuter in the Libby case, that isn't discussed in public. Here is the truth of why Fitzgerald went after Libby.

Some years ago, when Bill Clinton was President, Peter Fitzgerald was a county prosecuter in NY. Libby was a defense attorney in NY. At this time, there was a tax evading "businessman" named Marc Rich. Rich hired Libby to be his leading defense attorney in this case. What happened was, Rich hadn't paid taxes on his business for years and he skipped the country to evade the IRS when things caught up with him. Well, the attorneys took this battle personally: Libby to defend Mr. Rich and Fitzgerald to put Rich away. It turned out that Fitzgerald won the case and Rich was convicted...only to later be pardoned and set free by then President Bill Clinton. Since that time, Fitzgerald has carried a distain for Libby over all of these years. He couldn't believe that a man he worked so hard to convict could just be let off the hook via Presidential pardon. So when this investigation began and it had gotten very difficult to get the info. to convict people at the top, he went for Libby hard. Now, again, Fitzgerald has won the case in court and convicted Libby...only to see Libby receive a Presidential pardon and do no hard time. Fitzgerald is probably being talked down off of a roof somewhere right now. But you see, this was a battle between Libby and Fitzgerald...and it was a personal battle brought into the court of law. I guess it's true that the more things change, the more things stay the same. Fitzgerald has his day in court only to see the convicted pardoned and walk away free.

That is the story in a nutshell of Libby vs. Fitzgerald. That's why Rove wasn't even indicted, because Fitzgerald had a beef with Libby personally so he went for revenge.

Posted by: reason | July 4, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't feel in the least sorry for Libby Scooter. He chose to obstruct the course of justice and is guilty of perjury. He's covering his bosses' treasonous acts.

Of course, there are yet more guilty people in this matter out there. More or less the "Who's Who?" of the White House, I gather.

But why haven't they (yet) been prosecuted?

Well, because Libby's refusing to talk and coverning their backs, clearly upon the understanding that he'll "be taken care of".

So he has been found guilty as charged and his prison sentence is perhaps the one leverage the court has over him, possibly compelling him finally to "sing".

Bush, Cheney & Co. cannot risk that, since they might themselves be under direct fire and had to at least commute the sentence before Libby moved into his prison cell. They're commuting the sentence to cover their own backs.

Conveniently, the July 4th holiday popped up at the right time so at to minimize the public fallout.

All this is what you might expect in a Banana Republic. The administration is putting itself effectively above the law. Department of Justice pardon procedure? Pshaw... Those are for normal folks.

The Emperor has finally shed his last clothes and what we get to see is very ugly indeed.

Yet once more the sophistry of political hacks even seeks to portray Scooter Libby as somehow wrong, persecuted for political motives (yeah, by Republican nominees...).

But that is to be expected. What I find worrisome that some ordinary people actually buy their wild spin on the matter.

Americans must feel incensed, helpless and impotent in face of an out-of-control administration. I find this has Nixonian dimensions and hope Americans wake up to that.

I can't believe you had an impeachment trial because of a president lying about being caught with his pants down. A severe censure or voluntary resignation would have been the way to go.

But this insiduous treason by the Bush administration - all part of the fabricated case for war - has difficulties in getting Americans' attention?!?

If so, perhaps Americans deserve no better.

Okay, after getting that off my chest, I feel better now. :)

Posted by: Charles from Berlin | July 4, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Damn Chris you never quit....even on vacation. I guess the withdrawals from the political addiction were too much and you gave in. Can't blame ya.

I'm unsure if Chris mentioned this, but also note that McCain has only $2 million on hand, of which $850,000 cannot be spent in the primary. That leaves him with $1.15 million. Terry Nelson's workin for free too, by the way. If he were only running for reelection to the Senate that wouldn't be enough to win. Can a modern campaign be run off of that kinda $? He may be the next Tom Vilsack-dropping out because he couldn't pay ffor it. If he has any hopes on Iowa, he might have to run in the Ames straw poll. I think the anger the Iowans would have on anybody skipping their straw poll would kill anybody's candidacy. Many think he could pull a John Kerry by coming back, winning Iowa, and locking up the nomination. I doubt it. GOP Iowans don't like him not only because he skipped their caucus in 2000, is against ethanol, agrees with Ted Kennedy on immigration, and his Iraq stance. Meet The Press, I believe it was, showed a poll on Sunday of Republicans in Iowa. 58% believed we should pull out of Iraq within 6 months, with only 38% disagreeing. It seems only Tim Russert knows these facts, as the rest of the media has largely ignored it, even though he showed a similar poll in March. They all say it's foolish to write off McCain, but I'm writing him off. Let's see how foolish I really am.

By the way, I'm not surprised or angered that Scooter Libby's sentence was commuted. Bush is going to pardon him on January 19th or 20th of 2009 as well. Bush owes it to him. This guy was loyal enough to take the rap for what was Bush and Cheney's fault as Bush and Cheney sat idley by. Prosecuters tend to go for perjury when they don't feel like doing their job. These prosecutors should have gone deeper and gotten more people. This guy I really do feel bad for, and I consider my ideology "liberaltarian." He was caught between a rock and a hard place. He knew if he told the truth about everything the Administration would do all they can to ruin his life (and the list of ways is too long (like this post)). If not, at least they'd have his back. Chris Matthews made a great point about inconsistency today...Go Chris!!! I'm not inconsistent like that, but I am not very partisan either. I think the Monica Lewinsky thing was blown way out of proportion, and Bill Clinton has cheated on Hillary all of his life (in 1974, in a failed bid for the U.S. House, an aide was paid solely to shoo Bill's girlfriends out the back door when Hillary was coming in the front). Yes, he lied under oath, and deserved what he got. They took his law license (for 5 years), fined him, impeached him but did not remove him from office. Perhaps the law license should have been permanently revoked, but oh well. Libby was thrown under the bus for the WH, and THEY OWE HIM!!! Scott Fitzgerald should have had the balls to go further and deeper anyway. Had Libby had the balls to tell the full truth, he'd have the administration make his life a living hell until he eventually killed himself. We all know Bush is a cronyist, incompetent, corrupt man, but he'd be yet another step lower had he bailed on the guy who saved his ass.

Posted by: Justin Perez | July 4, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Zouk says, "your bizarre obsession with zouk is disturbing though. do you have any actual hobbies or personal relationships you could fall back on?"

And I answer: Yes, I read the Communist Manifesto and touch myself.

(Not really, but it's what he wants to hear.)

Posted by: ignorant coward | July 4, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

"Law and order Republicans" is like "military intelligence."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 4, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Can someone explain to me how conservatives who can't wait to classify all undocumented individuals as lawbreakers, celebrate the commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence?

In one case, we have people who have left all they know behind in the hopes of building a brighter future for their families. On the other hand we have someone who was convicted in a court of law, by a jury of his peers, of not telling the truth to those who were investigating the "outing" of an undercover CIA agent. Only one of these actually had a harmful effect on national security.

Where did all the "law and order" Republicans go?

Posted by: I am confused | July 3, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Zouk says "There are only two left."

Uh, buddy, most men only ever HAVE two. Any more than that, you're talking tumor. See a urologist pronto.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

>>> Exactly, JimD. If more money entitles you to more speech, how is it a democracy then? How can speech be 'free' if you have to pay for it?

How succinctly put, drindl.

I find this whole opposition to McCain-Feingold utterly baffling.

Posted by: Charles from Berlin | July 3, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

"The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) is an award of the United States Army which is presented to those officers, warrant officers and enlisted soldiers, in the grade of Colonel and below, who participate in active ground combat while assigned as a member of an infantry or special forces unit, brigade or smaller size, during any period subsequent to December 6, 1941. It, and the simultaneously created Expert Infantryman Badge were created with the primary goal of recognizing the sacrifices of the infantrymen who were disproportionately likely to be killed or wounded during World War II."


expert infantry.

Now what does that prove? That I'm not lying or I am. I could train a monkey to look at up. How does your question advace the conversation?

What good are you? Why not have people look at my words and determine if it is truth or not? Zouk can't do that. If turth wins his people are locked in the closet for eternity

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 3, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

rufus1133 - still haven't answered whether or not you have a C I B .

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

You can debate Free Speeech and money the samwe way philosphers debated Angels Dancing on the Heads of Pins.

It all boils down to: I have more money, I have more speech!

Advocates from the Right and the Left know that that is what it is all about.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

'revel in your liberty paid for by the blood of patriots.'

Thsi coming from the guy that said "It's a great time to be an american."

Which is it. Are you a patriot. Your a traitor? Seems to be inconsistant.

That's like you and the repubs first call the current dems socialist then they were fascsits. I big differance. It may work on dittoheads, confusing them and all.

Does work on smart people. doesn't work on individual thinkers.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 3, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"bombarding the airwaves with attack ads..."

JimD, let me pose this in a legal context and see if we can agree, or figure out a remedy.

While content of political and religious speech are protected by the 1stA, reasonable restrictions on time, place, and manner can be imposed. Thus, one cannot stump in a Public Library reading room, or during class at a public university; the city may set aside a location in a park for free speech and/or for rotating religious displays and no one speaker or group can monopolize the area.

So to, I am sure that it would be permissible to limit ad time purchased by or for each candidate on broadcast media and to cap campaign contributions to or for candidates.

I do not understand who would enforce the time, place, and manner restrictions on an issue group, assuming there were minutes of media time left to sell. If my group opposes abortion completely but yours thinks its ok in the case of the health of the mother are we to split our allocation of air time? If my group wants ethanol and yours wants methanol are we the same issue time? Aside from tying to candidates, it seems very difficult to achieve time, place, and manner restrictions without censoring actual content.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 3, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

'revel in your liberty paid for by the blood of patriots.'

like you, chickenhawk?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your Independence day gang. revel in your liberty paid for by the blood of patriots.

There are only two left. Hillary has proclaimed that after she is elected she will convert this holiday to government appreciation day with mandatory slide shows about what your good government does for you and how you can advance the cause of liberalism/nannyism at home. Dangerous and costly fireworks will be banned.

TTFN

Posted by: kingofzouk | July 3, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

not sure why all my posts are being double. I suspect CC the propogandist is behind it. Sorry. Even though I am no at fault

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 3, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. -George Washington "

What does that mean. Corruption is fine and should not be punished. Frekin conservatives.

Those few men are the ones who founded this country. Virtue. Integrity. Selflessness, like washington.

The above are called patriots. The current are called traitors, sell-outs. They should not be rewarded. We should FORCE them to act right. Sell to teh highest bidder, go to jail for DECADES. Problem solved

Posted by: rufus | July 3, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. -George Washington "

What does that mean. Corruption is fine and should not be punished. Frekin conservatives.

Those few men are the ones who founded this country. Virtue. Integrity. Selflessness, like washington.

The above are called patriots. The current are called traitors, sell-outs. They should not be rewarded. We should FORCE them to act right. Sell to teh highest bidder, go to jail for DECADES. Problem solved

Posted by: rufus | July 3, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Conspiracy theorists, listen up! On Monday's "Rush Limbaugh Show," the conservative talk show host implored President Bush to pardon Scooter Libby. "Everything in this case is just senseless," Limbaugh said. "There was never any crime. We knew who made the original leak about what's-her-name. It's unbelievable." Then Limbaugh rendered his verdict: "It's time for this pardon. It just really is. ... I don't see how it could lower his standing in the polls."

Mere hours later, Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence. Was he tuned into Rush's EIB Network up in Kennebunkport? You be the judge."

Posted by: ruler of the conservative world | July 3, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"Conspiracy theorists, listen up! On Monday's "Rush Limbaugh Show," the conservative talk show host implored President Bush to pardon Scooter Libby. "Everything in this case is just senseless," Limbaugh said. "There was never any crime. We knew who made the original leak about what's-her-name. It's unbelievable." Then Limbaugh rendered his verdict: "It's time for this pardon. It just really is. ... I don't see how it could lower his standing in the polls."

Mere hours later, Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence. Was he tuned into Rush's EIB Network up in Kennebunkport? You be the judge."

Posted by: ruler of the conservative world | July 3, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse


This McCain - Feingold law assumes the worst in our elected officals, the worst in our corporations and lobbyists.

yes, and with good reason. read the news much?

Posted by: drindl | July 3, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. -George Washington

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

All dittoheads are the same to me. Zouk/razor/whatever.

The Borg. Rush limbaugh and sean hannity share your brain :)

I'll call all attackers zouk. Out of respect for the time put in by the great king of all fascists :)

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 3, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

You got a mouse in your pocket. Or are you just refering to your countless post names

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 3, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

drindl, although your quip is cute it is totally inaccurate. Free speech entitles any individual to say anything political they want without fear of reprisal from the government. free as in 'at liberty', not 'no charge'.

the money we are discussing is more in line with access. the assumption is that contributors buy access and influence from elected officials. the court ruled that there is a danger that this looked bad, despite no evidence whatsoever that actual corruption was rampant.

If corruption can be shown, prosecute. Otherwise, it is an essential american ability to petition your elected official and enlighten them as to your views on policy.

Do you expect that congressmen know enough about everything to vote intelligently on it? they too need to be educated by interested parties as to the consequences of certain actions. thier time is not unlimited and they need to prioritize their contacts.

I have found in my dealings with many members over several years that they intend to do what they think is best, with limited evil exceptions. I am not prepared to assume the worst in every elected offical.

This McCain - Feingold law assumes the worst in our elected officals, the worst in our corporations and lobbyists and muzzles the entire electorate to accomodate a perceived difficulty, not an actual one.

No fair.

Posted by: kingofzouk | July 3, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

your old schtick is useless. We are all bored of your vacuous mud slinging.

Posted by: The Morror | July 3, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"Was there a quid pro quo at work? Was Libby being repaid for falling on his sword and protecting his bosses from further scrutiny? "

Bush was scared libby was goin gto rol over and take them down. That's what happened.

Posted by: rufus | July 3, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Was there a quid pro quo at work? Was Libby being repaid for falling on his sword and protecting his bosses from further scrutiny? "

Bush was scared libby was goin gto rol over and take them down. That's what happened.

Posted by: rufus | July 3, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

His immagration was bad. Real bad. But as he said, a very high number of illegals come through arizona. A lot of native-americans (like myself).

His answer in the debate was telling, about english as an officail language. He said something to the effect of, the native americans where speacking their language before english was ever indroduced. Good point.

They did sell america out in regards to slave/cheap labor though. That's undeniable. Do we have a minimum wage? If so why would anyone care about illegal labor? What would paying below the minimum wage penalty be? Anyone know?

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 3, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse


All of this means that Bush's decision yesterday to commute Libby's prison sentence isn't just a matter of unequal justice. It is also a potentially self-serving and corrupt act.

Was there a quid pro quo at work? Was Libby being repaid for falling on his sword and protecting his bosses from further scrutiny? Alternately, was he being repaid for his defense team's abrupt decision in mid-trial not to drag Cheney into court, where he would have faced cross-examination by Fitzgerald?

Bush and Press Secretary Tony Snow this morning continued to stonewall when it comes to any of the important questions about this case, Cheney and Bush's involvement, and the commutation itself. Bush said he wouldn't rule out a future pardon for Libby -- but didn't have much else new to say. Snow was simply ducking questions.

Posted by: froomkin | July 3, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

British officials are concerned over sensationalized reporting by the media on the recent car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow. According to Nev Johnson, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office press officer with responsibility for security and intelligence, media reports of Prime Minister Brown's comments regarding Al Qaeda have been grossly misrepresented.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"not something that will upset Joe Sixpack." So, he argued that Bush had no downside for commuting Libby's sentence. He couldn't be more wrong.

Today, on our show we had Republicans and moderates calling in all day to say how angry they were. And we're still getting e-mails on our site. Here's one quick example. Kevin Greenhalgh wrote in:

"This is the last straw. I was hAPPY to see Bush and Cheney come into power in 2000. However, I have been driven by one scandal, no bid contract, crony appointment, lie, and military blunder after another to despise this administration and the other republicans that empowered them...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Editor and Publisher's Greg Mitchell isn't buying it either:

As if he hadn't done enough damage already, helping to promote the American invasion of Iraq with deeply flawed articles in The New York Times, Michael R. Gordon is now writing scare stories that offer ammunition for the growing chorus of neo-cons calling for a U.S. strike against Iran - his most recent effort appearing just this morning.

What's most lamentable is that editors at The New York Times, who should have learned their lessons four years ago, are once again serving as enablers.... Perhaps even his editors were concerned or embarrassed. The same story suddenly gained a couple of qualifiers, though not nearly enough, later yesterday (first spotted by Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald), and then got enlarged somewhat today, and with the byline of Burns added to Gordon's.

The story even has a lead character reminiscent of "Curveball" and "Baseball Cap Guy" from Judy Miller's reporting on Iraq in 2003. Our new star informer is a Lebanese citizen named Ali Musa Daqdug aka "Hamid the Mute" who supposedly (this is all coming from Gen. Bergner) has a "24-year history in Hezbollah....The general said Mr. Daqdug had been sent by Hezbollah to Iran in 2005 with orders to work with the Quds Force, an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, to train 'Iraqi extremists.'"
....
[I]n explaining that "Hamid the Mute" had suddenly started talking: "The official said the shift had been achieved without harming Mr. Daqduq. 'We don't torture,' the official said. 'We follow scrupulously the interrogation techniques in the Army's new field manual, which forbids torture, and has the force of law.'"

Right. No torture in our army. I'm sure Hamid the Mute is an unimpeachable source.

I hope that Gordon's editors are concerned. They can't have forgotten Gordon's "aluminum tubes" and "mushroom clouds" contribution with his colleague Judy Miller in 2002. Any self-respecting foreign desk editor would have had Gordon pulled off of the beat in the wake of that fiasco. That he is still allowed onto the front page of the "paper of record" with his questionable and anonymous, and often single, sources should be a profound embarrassment.

Posted by: The NYT up to its old tricks | July 3, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

It's funny cc topics the irrelevant mccain but no mention of libby. That is the story. Not mccain. Mccain's been done.

I wanna talk about fascsits darn it :)

Not a patriot like mccain. Mccain may be A vp nominee. Other than the war he's not that bad. This from what O'REilly/Rush/hannity would characterize as a liberal

Posted by: rufus | July 3, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

'I do not accept the money equals speech argument. If more money entitles an entity to more speech, why shouldn't more money entitle a person to extra votes? I really do not see any difference.'

Exactly, JimD. If more money entitles you to more speech, how is it a democracy then? How can speech be 'free' if you have to pay for it?

Posted by: drindl | July 3, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

So if I own a corporation which manufactures widgets and a candidate runs for my state Senator who proclaims "We need to eliminate this ridiculous obsession with widgets" I shouldn't be allowed to donate money to his opponent?

Why is it you Libs always think you know what is best for everyone else?

According to McCain Feingold a rich millionaire could run an ad on TV but a poor group of two couldn't. how is that eliminating money from campaigns? It seems to ensure that money and nothing else, including message and facts, rule.

Now that the MSM has been shown to be mostly liars, I don't see how we couldn't allow a wild west attitude where you can print/broadcast anything (much like the NYT does) regardless of fact or content. no one with any intelligence really believes that stuff anyway. Of course the "no one with any intelligence" is clearly the problem Dems have. their constituency is so gullible as to believe that the Dems will eliminate corruption, balance the budget, pass laws, etc. the intelligence requirement stacks the deck against Libs. that is why we have a law eliminating free speech right before an election - when it matters most.

If the truth about Dem policies was actually broadcast by a motivated player, Libs would never win another election. Let's call it the "Keep a Lib in office law".

Posted by: kingofzouk | July 3, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

the most unintentionally hilarious remark of the day, coming from the troll/clown/village idiot:

'get a grip and advance something intelligent'

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

By the way, | , wtf are you talking about, regarding foreign nationals and traitors? Did you forget to take your medicine today?''

Transnational corporations write our laws. {See: energy legislaton. Pharmaceutical legislation. Financial legislation]. The are allowed to do this because they own, through their massive contributions, our Congress.

Get it now?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, Illegals Go Home, the person who blew everyone away with how much money he raised - Barack Obama - voted for the McCain-Kennedy bill.

I think money seriously distorts our political system. I wholeheartedly agree with limits on shadowy issue groups bombarding the airwaves with attack ads bearing - at best - flimsy relationships to the truth. I do not accept the money equals speech argument. If more money entitles an entity to more speech, why shouldn't more money entitle a person to extra votes? I really do not see any difference.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 3, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

'Otherwise, keep up your juvenile wisecracks and empty delusions.'

you too, zouk, Lonely Guy. You're not fooling anyone. you have no life.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

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

The secret government of Dick Cheney: US vice president claims to be outside the law

By Patrick Martin
23 June 2007

The office of Vice President Dick Cheney has refused to comply with an executive order issued by President George Bush four years ago, requiring all executive branch offices to cooperate in regular reviews of their security procedures for handling documents.

After the security office of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), charged with conducting the review, pressed the issue, Cheney and his aides tried to have the office abolished and sought to gag officials of the National Archives by barring them from appealing the dispute to the Department of Justice.

Even more extraordinary than the fact of this conflict within the executive branch--made public Thursday with the release of documents by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform--is the constitutional rationale advanced by the vice president.

According to Cheney, the office of the vice president is not "an entity within the executive branch," as specified in the language of the executive order, because the vice president serves constitutionally as the presiding officer of the US Senate, with a tie-breaking vote, and therefore has legislative power as well.

The sophistry of this argument is plain: in case after case over the past seven years, Cheney has invoked "executive privilege" or similar doctrines to shield his office from congressional investigations and Freedom of Information Act requests from the media and liberal pressure groups.

The most famous case involved the energy task force, formed in the initial weeks of the administration, and engaged, among other activities, in poring over maps of the oil fields in Iraq and the concessions awarded to non-US oil companies--all subsequently canceled after the US invasion.

Cheney refused to release any information about his energy task force after a request was filed by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, citing the necessity for complete confidentiality in internal executive branch deliberations. He rejected similar requests from the media and environmental groups, filed under the Freedom of Information Act, and this position was upheld by a right-wing judicial panel.

But after rebuffing Congress's request for information, on the grounds his office is part of the executive branch, Cheney in now refusing to comply with a similar request for information from an executive branch agency, on the grounds that he is really part of Congress!

What underlies this apparent Catch 22 is a sinister political logic: Vice President Cheney is not to be held accountable to anyone--not Congress, not the executive branch--a position so unprecedented in US political history that reporters at a White House press briefing Friday were compelled to ask whether Cheney had now set himself up as a "fourth branch of government."

The vice president's office has long been the focal point of the Bush administration's drive to utilize the 9/11 terrorist attacks as the pretext for establishing the framework for a police state in America. In the weeks after 9/11, Cheney virtually disappeared from public view, conducting his activities at an "undisclosed secure location," which turned out to be the headquarters of what became know as the "shadow government."

Under the program, officially described as an exercise in "continuity of government," supposedly a precaution against a terrorist nuclear strike on Washington DC, dozens of top executive branch officials were designated for redeployment to bunkers in the Appalachian Mountains from which they would direct government operations without reference to the legislative or judicial branch, which were excluded from the effort. (See the WSWS editorial board statement, "The shadow of dictatorship: Bush established secret government after September 11".)

For the rest please go to:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jun2007/chen-j23.shtml

Posted by: che | July 3, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

'When the country can allow pornography on the basis of the 1st amend, yet bans *political* speech under some circumstances, I just don't get it'

I have never heard of a single republican whose 'free speech' was banned -- who was not allowed to say anythhing they want. provide an example.

Posted by: Cassandra | July 3, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

'I am a 1stA proponent. I believe that corporate contributions to campaigns can be limited on the theory that corporations are not voters or natural persons and do not represent a unified constitutency'

Thanks for the rationality, Mark.

Posted by: drindl | July 3, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain's 'money' problems should send a clear message to all other presidential hopefuls regardless of party affiliation. The message being, you're either with us or against us. If you're an anti-illegal you're with us. Us as in LEGAL US residents. But if you're an anti-USA, pro-illegal you're against us. And we sure as heck won't support you!

Posted by: Illegals Go Home | July 3, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I am pretty much through for the day! Happy Independence Day y'all.

I am a 1stA proponent. I believe that corporate contributions to campaigns can be limited on the theory that corporations are not voters or natural persons and do not represent a unified constitutency. I think the same is true of Unions with regard to dues money. I think the one-issue organizations are in a grey area: all their contributors surely know what they are for, even if the orgs. are not natural persons. I buy Roberts "tie goes to free speech" analogy about the grey areas.

So I thought McCain - Feingold was too broad, but I thought it was neither hateful nor a move in the wrong direction - just a reform that had to be scaled back a bit in practice.

I continue to hold Sen. McCain in high regard; wrong though he may often be. He was most recently the 57th most liberal [or the 44th most conservative] Senator because of his ability to try to make coalitions to get stuff done. In 2006, he exposed Abramoff, he fought for prisoner's rights,
and he took conservation seriously.

He was right to criticize the status quo on illegal immigration, but the bill he proposed was fatally flawed and tried to do too much.

He is right that Petraeus is the best we've got and the desire to give him a chance is understandable. McCain is wrong to think the Iraqi government will actually make progress during a small "surge" of American forces, and in that he should come to terms with Dick Lugar, who is far more of a realist. If anything, McCain is a bit of a romantic, although not an ideologue.

So I can still hope that he is the R nominee. No other R candidate seems worthy to me to be considered as leader of the free world at this time, but I try to keep an open mind.

bsimon, this is like Friday. Where are you?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 3, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Excellent work ignorant coward. I see you have corrected your creative shortcomings. that is superior to all your previous efforts. You pretended to be two different people and supplied voice to them. the way you understand male baldness and ED is uncanny. and assuming even a single identity is an improvement for you, even if it is a queen.

Now if you could find anything intelligent to say, we may consider engaging you. Otherwise, keep up your juvenile wisecracks and empty delusions. We all know you can do no better. just try to prove us wrong.

your bizarre obsession with zouk is disturbing though. do you have any actual hobbies or personal relationships you could fall back on?

Posted by: the bloggers | July 3, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

He could always take out a loan on his Beacon hill house to get him through. Or beg his rich wife for some allowance. It works.

Posted by: John Kerry | July 3, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

And now, class, we turn to 'stupidity.' On page 34, you will see a classic example:

"Boo hoo. since the poorest of us all don't own the NYT, everyone everywhere should be silenced so that there is no advantage to any. sounds like the usual Lib policy - drag everyone down to the lowest level so no envy can be produced."

What can you tell me about this paragraph? Yes, Matt?

-Well, we're not talking about owning the Times. We're talking about people and groups with money being able to promote their message when no one else can.

Very good, Matt. Who can add to that? Jen?

-The author speaks as if it's inevitable that someone should have an advantage, and even preferable, but that's not democracy.

No, it's not. Anyone else? Dan?

-He forgot to capitalize the first two sentences.

Yes, he did, Dan, but what about the substance?

-Well, he's presenting equality of opinion as 'dragging everyone down to the lowest level.' That would seem to imply that he thinks some people SHOULD be valued more than others.

Excellent, Dan. Anything else? Sergei?

-He begins by saying 'boo hoo,' which sets a childish tone for the piece. It almost tells the reader not to take it seriously. Also, he can't spell "liberal."

He mocks what he fears, Sergei, he mocks what he fears... OK, for tomorrow's class, I want everyone to read the anthropological study of culture on the island of Zouk by Margaret Mead. It's a very quick read.

Posted by: Professor | July 3, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

get a grip and advance something intelligent

no can do

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Now Romney is reporting poor cash numbers, with his report out today showing he raised $6mil less than last quarter.
http://political-buzz.com/?p=246

Posted by: mpp | July 3, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

JD - in re: "I wonder if Obama's financial successes (perhaps from numerous small-time givers) argues against your point."

-it doesn't. All that means is that a large group of people agree on Obama. However, not everyone shares every opinion with a large group - in fact, I would guess that those whose opinions are the most thought-out have specificities that are important to them which are not shared with a large, well-funded group, and for that reason are not able to be heard.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 3, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

JD: For example, if you had the constitutional right to fly to California, but were forbidden from ever boarding an airplane, blimp, balloon, or helicopter, I've pretty much legislated that right into oblivion
Melvin Udall (As Good As it Gets): "People who talk in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch."

Posted by: Kevin | July 3, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Boo hoo. since the poorest of us all don't own the NYT, everyone everywhere should be silenced so that there is no advantage to any. sounds like the usual Lib policy - drag everyone down to the lowest level so no envy can be produced.

boko - why don't you and your fellow uber_libs start up a grass roots organization. you could call it moveoff.org and raise money for your causes. If anyone actually believes in your cause, you may get some donations to effect policy. If not, guess what? you can host Air America. no one is listening over there and money is no object.

Posted by: kingofzouk | July 3, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

McClain sold us out for illegal immigrants and CHEAP LABOR for American business while taxpayers paid the bills for the public education of children of illegal aliens.

McClain has been in office long enough to stop the invasion by illegal aliens and he did noting to stop that flow!

Posted by: McClain is a loser | July 3, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Honey, you're not answering your phone, but I know you're usually reading this blog all afternoon. On your way home, can you swing by the drugstore and pick me up some Gas-X, also some pads? And your adult acne medicine prescription needs to be refilled.
And when you park the Kia, please be careful of my herb garden this time!
I won't be home when you get home, because Marge wants me to come to her massage class with her - she says there's a new teacher there who I just have to meet who has very strong, sensitive hands.
Billy will be staying at the fantasy role-playing club after school, and Jenny is going to a graduation party with the football team - I think it's at a swimmming pool or something, because she brought her bikini. She says not to wait up for her.
There are leftover Spamburgers in the fridge, and I got you some more prune juice - that helped didn't it? Oh, and you got a letter from the Hair Club for Men, and something about Natural Male Enhancement. I put it in the bathroom, behind the suppositories.

See you tonight!

Love, Phyllis

Posted by: queenofzouk | July 3, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Boko, I wonder if Obama's financial successes (perhaps from numerous small-time givers) argues against your point. And Howard Dean before him; many many donors, grass roots types, 'skinny cats' as Orin Hatch used to call them.

I don't have a problem in banning corporate contributions (and union contributions), as there is a clearer potential for corruption there. But running issue ads (yes, even ones you hate like the swift boaters) is pretty much what the 1st amendment was drafted for.

Getting a candidate's message out should be what we strive for in a campaign. Or espousing your views or issues. It's the American way.

Or think of it this way; people that back, say Richardson from the left or Duncan Hunter from the right will complain that they can't get any support because they don't have the money. I would argue that that's backwards; they don't have the money because not enough people believe in their candidacy, for whatever reason. The lack of money becomes an easy scapegoat (see: Vilsack, Tom).

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

"if ignorance were Cheerios, you'd be General Mills."

so true. clever and original too.

hence the name ignorant coward. throw rocks and run away. never confront a truth you don't like. post any snippet of negativity you can find to detract from your utter lack of any vision or policy. that is the Lib MO.

Take note Lib losers. the war of ideas is on and you are working with a deficit of talent. your leaders are sheep and your minions are fools. It seems all you know is to insult and froth. bush derangement syndrome is ruling your side. get a grip and advance something intelligent. If you can. bush is not running again. this means your old schtick is useless. We are all bored of your vacuous mud slinging.

Posted by: kingofzouk | July 3, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

JD, I am not the vertical line to whom your comment was addressed, but what gets me about the money=speech argument is that just as - as you say - money enables speech, the LACK of money DISABLES speech, with the result that only companies, wealthy individuals, and well-funded interest groups can be heard. Please note that I am not saying that there is nothing worthy in their opinions, just nothing worth drowning out the opinions of those who can't afford to "speak" as loudly, if at all.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 3, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I do not support Mccain because of his assult on the first amendment with the Mc Cain-Feingold stupification. But I do believe he and Rudy are the least of the panderers. they do not tailor their views according to how it will sound and how many votes it will garner. this is to be admired in a candidate. the fickle winds of politics are not a way to create and manage policy.

If you want to take a poll every time a difficult decision is in order, you should vote for a Democrat. hillary even polls for vacation advice. not to mention her war stance.

too bad for McCain, he deserved better, but he made up his mind, did what he thought was right and it disagreed with many. Same thing for immigration. the primary voters are not interested in compromise and advancing legislation, they want blood!

Posted by: kingofzouk | July 3, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

By the way, | , wtf are you talking about, regarding foreign nationals and traitors? Did you forget to take your medicine today?

I swear, if ignorance were Cheerios, you'd be General Mills.

Posted by: JD | July 3, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, | , I guess being called a moron from the likes of you should be considered a high honor.

You say that money doesn't equal speech, and while that's technically true, money enables speech, and that's close enough for me. For example, if you had the constitutional right to fly to California, but were forbidden from ever boarding an airplane, blimp, balloon, or helicopter, I've pretty much legislated that right into oblivion. Same concept.

When the country can allow pornography on the basis of the 1st amend, yet bans *political* speech under some circumstances, I just don't get it. It's a good bet that the founding fathers would never have allowed for the licensing of printing presses, or forbidden flyer and leaflet distribution close to elections. Quite the contrary.

Now, do you have an intelligent argument to make (we're all listening), or do you just name-call?

Posted by: JD | July 3, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Scooter is going to be an albatross around the wattles of the GOP's great white hope, Fred Thompson, who is a big Libby butt-sniffer.

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

May old acquaintances be forgot....

McCain is the third-arm of the Bush adminsitration. The voters in the US of A are against the Iraq war, thus McCain, and his pro-war positions are dismissed by many voters.

Its over.

Posted by: Guy Lombardo | July 3, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

'The Democratic presidential candidates have erased and reversed Republicans' historic edge in raising money for campaigns, reflecting growing enthusiasm among Democrats and adding to the GOP's already considerable burdens going into 2008.

Two Democratic candidates -- Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton -- shattered previous quarterly fundraising records in the three-month period that ended Saturday. Obama raised $31 million for his primary campaign, while Clinton raised $21 million; both figures broke the previous record for a Democrat's best fundraising quarter this early in an election cycle.'

Posted by: americans are sick of the gop | July 3, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Will Bush just walk? Will he be able to leave the White House and never account for all of his law breaking and imperial acts? The man thinks he is above the law. Is he?

Do we hold our presidents accountable in this country? Are we truly a democracy? Or have we become like any third rate society that bows down to their leaders no matter what they do?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

n the [Constitutional] convention George Mason argued that the President might use his pardoning power to "pardon crimes which were advised by himself" or, before indictment or conviction, "to stop inquiry and prevent detection." James Madison responded:

[I]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty...

Madison went on to [say] contrary to his position in the Philadelphia convention, that the President could be suspended when suspected, and his powers would devolve on the Vice President, who could likewise be suspended until impeached and convicted, if he were also suspected.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"He thought any jail time was excessive. He did not see fit to have Scooter Libby taken to jail," Snow said.'

He did not see fit... to obey the law. How very imperial.

Posted by: Liars. Scum. Criminals. | July 3, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

On June 9, 2003, just one day after his national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, got beaten up on the Sunday shows for claiming no one in the administration knew that the Niger intelligence was bunk, George Bush expressed concern about the allegations. Scooter Libby passed on that concern to vice president Cheney. Bush's concern set off a chain of events that ended up in the outing of a CIA spy, Valerie Plame, and the indictment and conviction of Scooter Libby.

Yesterday, George Bush attempted to prevent that chain of events from continuing any further. He commuted Scooter Libby's 30-month sentence. Rather than serving time in jail, Libby will remain free, with a fine and probation as the only remaining punishments for lying and obstructing a criminal investigation. But the real effect of Bush's actions is to prevent Libby from revealing the truth about Bush's - and vice president Cheney's - own actions in the leak. By commuting Libby's sentence, Bush protected himself and his vice president from potential criminal exposure for their actions in the CIA Leak. As such, Libby's commutation is nothing short of another obstruction of justice.

Cheney's involvement in the CIA leak case is central. He personally undertook research on Joe Wilson and his trip; while doing that research, Cheney learned that Wilson's wife worked in the counter-proliferation division of the CIA, the part of the clandestine services that fights the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Cheney then passed on the news of Plame's CIA identity to Libby....

Posted by: WE are so much less safe now | July 3, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

' and he's chief mover against the 1st Amendment through campaign finance reform,'

Laughable, this absurdity. Money does not equal speech, moron. Money only enables you to buy candidates. This whole country sold to the highest bidder by saps like you. I really don't understand why citizens in this country want to sell us out to foreign nationals.

Traitors, every one, in addition to being liars, theives and hypocrites.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Overlooked in the commentary I've seen is that Judge Reggie B. Walton, whose sentence of Scooter Libby was just obliterated by George W. Bush, was appointed to the bench three times by Republican presidents. According to his website, Judge Walton was nominated to the Federal District Court by...George W. Bush. His previous judicial experience, in D. C. courts, came as a result of nominations by...Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. During the interim two years between the latter appointments, he served in White House advisory positions, including that of Bush I's Senior White House Advisor for Crime.

Overruling Judge Walton's sentence is not (as some of this morning's articles have suggested) an exceptional act of hypocrisy, a peculiar moment when the president finds it useful to shovel red meat into the maw of the base. It's a representative act of what, in the old Communist bloc, they called "politics takes command," or choosing "redness over expertise."

Posted by: why repugs are today's commies | July 3, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Given the opponents McCain is facing, he may not need much $ to win votes in the primaries and caucuses. Everyone already knows his name, and he is a pretty decent fellow, though his age is a concern. Bottom line, it's not over till it's over.

Posted by: Golgi | July 3, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

McCain forgot that he's not running for the Independent Party nomination.

What's his constituency, really? He's soft on illegal immigration, so the cons hate him, he's a hawk on Iraq, so the dems hate him, and he's chief mover against the 1st Amendment through campaign finance reform, so everyone (ought to) hate him.

Primaries, as we all know, bring out the hardcores - what the left would call wingnuts and the right would call moonbats. He aligns with neither.

Posted by: JD | July 3, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who earlier announced his support for President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence, had a notably different attitude towards the justice system when he was governor of Massachusetts. From the AP:

In his presidential bid, Romney often proudly points out that he was the first governor in modern Massachusetts history to deny every request for a pardon or commutation during his four years in office. He says he refused pardons because he didn't want to overturn a jury.

During the four years Romney was in office, 100 requests for commutations and 172 requests for pardons were filed in the state. All were denied.

The article includes the story of Anthony Circosta, an Iraq War veteran who asked to be pardoned for an assault conviction involving no injuries and a BB gun at age 13 in order to join the police. Gov. Romney rejected his request.

Posted by: more gop hypocrisy | July 3, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe McCain can take some solace from a Mason-Dixon poll taken in Montana and published yesterday in several of the state's dailies. Lee's Montana newspapers commissioned the poll. Respondents were asked to name their favorites for president.

McCain came in first. Mind you, the poll did not ask one-on-one hypothetical election questions, it just had respondents pick from 14 announced presidential candidates. The top three were Republicans, with McCain in the lead with Obama coming in first among Democrats. Hillary Clinton scored lowest among the major Democratic candidates. Suprisingly, though Montana has a significant Morman population, with one of the faith's temples located in Billings and nearly all towns of any size having a local congregation, Mitt Romney finished well behind the top three Republicans.

Since Montana has rejected plans to join other regional states in a Western "super primary," we vote long after the nomination is all but officially decided. Our presidential primary runs concurrent with our state primary on the first Tuesday in June.

For those interested in the major state races of 2008, the three top incumbents up for reelection, Senator Max Baucus, Governor Brian Schweitzer and at-large Congressman Denny Rehberg each scored well in the 60s in job approval rating.

Baucus has one announced opponent, State Representative Mike Lange. Lange is noted for his profanity-laced denonciation of Governor Brian Schweitzer, shouting at a televised GOP caucus that "The governor can take his budget and shove it up his ass." The session ended for the first time in state history with out a budget being passed.

But Schweitzer got most of what he wanted by calling a special session after making a deal with a group of Moderate Republicans. Lange was ousted as the GOP majority leader in the House.

So, despite, Lange's pronouncement, in the end, (I'm sorry, the cheap pun is too tempting) it was the GOP who took the anal penetration on the budget.

As may be expected, no one now considers Lange a threat to Baucus, and his profanity-laced tirade, which made not only Youtube, but the national news networks, has propably ended his political career.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | July 3, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Amen, rufus. The GOP base has a long memory for things like illegal immigration. Adding that to the already long list of grievances they have against McCain and he's clearly swimming against the tide. I predict he'll stick it out and give up right before the first primaries.

It's sad, really. A textbook case of what went wrong with the GOP. Future historians take note.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | July 3, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Stick a fork in him. He's done. Illegal immagration killed his chances.

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 3, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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