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2008 Whale List Grows

As regular Fix readers know, we're keeping a close eye on the courtship of elite GOP fundraisers by the new crop of potential 2008 Republican presidential candidates. We're particularly interested in the wooing of Bush "Pioneers and Rangers" -- the elite fundraisers who raised wads of money for the president during his last two campaigns.

In yesterday's Washington Post, Michael Fletcher and I documented efforts by Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to win over these money men and women.

The Post did an exhaustive examination of the connections between Bush and his top campaign cash collectors back in the spring of 2004; it's an invaluable research tool that shows how a fundraising machine is built. If you haven't already, bookmark it now.

In our work on Sunday's story, we collected many more names of Pioneers and Rangers who have committed to McCain, Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The list of those who have committed to a 2008 candidate is included below. We've dubbed these 2008 big spenders "whales."

THE WHALE LIST

Rudy Giuliani (4 Rangers, 8 Pioneers)
Bruce Gelb, retired Bristol Meyers Squibb (N.Y.) PIONEER
Cathy Govan, DGM & Associates (Mich.) PIONEER
Michael Govan, Legacy Group (Va.) PIONEER
Jim Lee, James H. Lee Investments (Texas) PIONEER
Linda Maynor, Blach & Bingham (Ala.) RANGER
Terry Neese, Terry Neese Enterprises (Okla.) RANGER
Steve Payne, Payne Consulting (Texas) RANGER
J. Bryan Pickens, Pickens Investments (Texas) RANGER
Paulette Pyle, Oregonians for Food & Shelter (Ore.) PIONEER
Paul Singer, Elliott Associates (N.Y.) PIONEER
Barron Thomas, Barron Thomas Aviation (N.J.) PIONEER
Barry Wynn, Colonial Trust Group (S.C.) PIONEER

John McCain (12 Rangers, 9 Pioneers)
Lawrence Bathgate II, Bathgate Wegener (N.J.) RANGER
Wayne Berman, Berman Strategies (D.C.) RANGER
Harold Beznos, Beztaks Cos. (Mich.) PIONEER
Mark Broxmeyer, Fairfield Properties (N.Y.) PIONEER
Bill Clements, former Texas Governor (Texas) PIONEER
Patrick Durkin, Credit Suisse First Boston (Conn.) RANGER
David Girard Carlo, Blank Rome (Pa.) RANGER
Lew Eisenberg, Granite Capital International Group (N.J.) RANGER
Robert Fannin, Steptoe & Johnson (Ariz.) RANGER
Jon Hammes, retired Hammes & Co. (Wis.) RANGER
Kent Hance, former Congressman (Texas) PIONEER
Chuck Larson, Iowa state Senator (Iowa) RANGER
Tom Loeffler, lobbyist (Texas) RANGER
James Nicholson, PVS Chemicals (Mich.) RANGER
Eric Nye, TXU (Texas), PIONEER
Gerald Parsky, Aurora Capital Group (Calif.) PIONEER
Carter Pate, PricewatershouseCoopers (D.C./Texas) PIONEER
Gerry Perenchio, Univision (Calif.) PIONEER
Sergio Pino, Century Partners Group (Fla.) RANGER
Sig Rogich, Rogich Communications Group (Nev.) RANGER
Ron Weiser, former Slovakia Ambassador (Mich.) PIONEER

Mitt Romney (9 Rangers, 7 Pioneers)
Bruce Benson, Benson Mineral Group (Colo.) RANGER
Al Cardenas, Tew Cardenas (Fla.) RANGER
Christopher Collins, Collins Nickas & Company (Mass.) RANGER
Herb Collins, Boston Capital Partners (Mass.) RANGER
Bill Danhof, Miller Canfield (Mich.) PIONEER
Alan Fabian, Southwest Medical Center (Md.) PIONEER
David Fischer, The Suburban Collection (Mich.) PIONEER
John Harris, Harris Farms (Calif.) PIONEER
Ron Kaufman, Dutko Group (D.C.) PIONEER
Howard Leach, Leach Capital (Calif.) RANGER
Joe O'Donnell, Boston Concessions Group (Mass.) PIONEER
John Rakolta, Walbridge Aldinger (Mich.) RANGER
Raul Romero, S&B Infrastructure (Texas) RANGER
L.E. Simmons, SCF Partners (Texas) PIONEER
Eric Tanenblatt, McKenna Long Aldridge (Ga.) RANGER
Tom Tellefsen, Tellefsen Investments (Calif.) RANGER

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 11, 2006; 9:51 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Line: '08 Hopefuls Shift Into High Gear
Next: The Obama-Daschle Connection

Comments

I hate being a whiner about something so trivial, but for the record, Maine's 2nd Congressional District is 27,326 square miles BUT Michigan District 1 encompasses 22,763 square miles of land PLUS another 27,333 square miles of water. So, if you want to get technical (and correct) MI-1 is, by far, the largest Congressional district east of Mississippi River.

So there

Posted by: Houghton, MI | December 15, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

A chink in the armor already perhaps?...

"Barack Obama has a little real-estate scandal that raises questions about his judgment...
The Chicago Tribune broke the story back in November. It begins in 2004 with Obama's $1.9 million book advance for The Audacity of Hope. In June 2005, Obama used the money to purchase a $1.65 million Georgian revival home on Chicago's South Side--$300,000 less than the asking price. On the very same day, Rezko, a Democratic Party fund-raiser and developer, bought the adjacent empty lot at the asking price from the same owner (the house and the lot were previously owned by the same person). Rezko, who had raised money for Obama and known him since the senator attended Harvard Law School, did not develop the empty lot. In January 2006, he sold a 1,500-square-foot slice of it to Obama for $104,000, a fair sum in that market.

Here's the question: Did Rezko orchestrate his same-day purchase of the lot at full price so that the seller would give Obama a break on the price of the adjacent house? Was Obama in on the deal? And did Rezko never intend to develop the lot, giving Obama a nice roomy side yard, a favor which he'd call in later?

Obama says he did talk to Rezko before the purchase, but only because a person who had renovated it for a previous owner had once worked with Rezko, who owns other properties in the South Side. He didn't arrange the joint purchase with him. He bought the house at such a good price, Obama has told the papers, because it was being unloaded in a "fire sale."

There's no evidence that the senator is fibbing or that the indicted fund-raiser asked anything in return for his neighborly behavior (though that might have been just a matter of time). Obama hasn't tried to change his story, even though Rezko is now talking to investigators.

What about Obama's judgment? Chicago politicians with national aspirations have to think a little harder about appearances than their colleagues from other cities that don't have reputations for corruption. Shouldn't Obama have known not to get anywhere near a sketchy character like Rezko?

When Obama bought his house, Rezko was not as radioactive as he is today. Newspaper accounts contained allegations about his business practices, but he was regarded as a typical power broker who cannily cultivates politicians. But by the time that Obama bought the strip of land, Rezko was glowing. The papers were reporting that he was under investigation by federal prosecutors. In October, he was charged in a 24-count indictment with trying to obtain kickbacks from companies seeking state business.

Obama presents himself as a squeaky-clean politician, so the dubious association with Rezko has caused him more trouble that it would, say, anyone else in the history of Chicago or Illinois politics. ... "This is the first time this has happened and I don't like the feeling," Obama said at a press conference in November. "It's frustrating to me, and I'm kicking myself about it." He told the Associated Press: "Purchasing a piece of property from somebody who has been a supporter of yours I think is a bad idea. It's an example of where every once in a while you're going to make a mistake and hopefully you learn from it." He told the Chicago Sun-Times that he made a mistake and, "I regret it. ... One of the things you purchase in public life is that there are going to be a different set of standards, I'm going to make sure from this point that I don't even come close to the line."
As the scandal stands, this is not Obama's Whitewater, the Arkansas land deal that bedeviled Bill and Hillary Clinton during the early part of President Clinton's first term. It doesn't help an inexperienced national politician to have to admit a stupid rookie mistake before the cameras, but there's nothing here so far that seems politically life threatening. Of course, if Rezko tells a different story to investigators or Obama's statements turn out to be unture, that's it for him--you can't run for president on your keen judgment and then show a lack of it by lying and covering up.

If Obama decides to run for president and fails, it will be because he'll show in other ways that he lacks experience, or he can't handle the rigors of a campaign, or because he turns out to speak only in pleasing generalities. The Rezko business is also not likely to hurt him, because his principal rival will probably be Hillary Clinton, and she's not going to bring up the topic of questionable land deals."

Barackwater
For now, Obama's scandal is too small to hurt.
By John Dickerson/Slate

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 15, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

This is good stuff--Romney stronger than we might think. Is there a whale list for the Ds?

Posted by: Jonas Wells | December 13, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Kent Hance is now the Chancellor for Texas Tech University. His occupation is listed as "Fmr. Congressman"

Posted by: Yakman | December 12, 2006 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I think the whole concept of naming your most substantial contributors "Pioneers" and "Rangers" is almost cartoonish.
Do the Dems need superhero categories for their donors?
I would think the the major Republican donors would be embarassed to be catagorized into such silly sounding groups.
This the best the Repubs could think of?
Figures........


Posted by: out west | December 11, 2006 10:52 PM | Report abuse

One more thought: The U. S. Military has done about as much, if not more, in Iraq as we could expect of them. Unless a miracle happens, there is going to be a mess (Civil War) in Iraq no matter when we leave. Why jeopardize any more G.I.'s by prolonging it?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 11, 2006 7:56 PM | Report abuse

proud - Who wants us out? The general population. Otherwise the Insurgency would not be able to operate so freely.

Nobody wants an occupying force in their own country for very long anyway. It doesn't take long to go from being considered Liberators to being considered Occupiers, even if you are not.

I wouldn't give to two cents for anything coming from an Iraqi official. We're doing their dirty work for them. Naturally, they want us to stay.

Change a few of the words and you could be quoting Nguyen Cao Ky or Nguyen Van Thieu. Those in power due to the largesse of the U. S. always want the U. S. to be patient with them.

We never had unlimited resources, and we've squandered much of what we had. Urban guerilla warfare is Hell. We don't have the manpower for what it would take now; even if "force" would do it.

If we do try to secure Baghdad by force, the smart guerillas, will just lay low until we reduce the forces. And, these guys seem to be relatively smart.

I don't like to "lose" any more than you do; but to me there is more merit to the cautionary phrase "You best loss is your least loss!" when it is GI's lives, than when it's dollars.

We defeated Sadaam, we took Baghdad, and with the English the rest of the Iraq. We won.

President Bush should have heeded what Governor Bush told Vice President Gore in one of the October 2000 debates. "I'm not into 'Nation Building.'"

When it comes to doing that, we lost.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 11, 2006 7:34 PM | Report abuse

TG "And the majority of these dems you want to look into the issue of the lies and deception on Iraq voted in favor of the war. Were they duped or complicit?"

I am tired of this simplistic overstatement of the run-up to the war. While I was (and continue to be) disappointed in the legislators who voted for the authorization, there are three things to keep in mind:

1 The measure authorized a military option only after other strategies had failed. Bush did not try other methods in good faith, and we now know that he was already planning to invade.

2 Democrats appealed for a 1 month delay, so that the vote would be after the 2002 elections, but were soundly rejected. Why? because this vote was already being used as a political wedge. The old 'soft on terror' smear was aimed at anyone who raised objections.

3 The republicans did not need democrats to vote for the authorization. They had enough votes anyway. To vote against the measure would have been a meaningless stand. I wish they had taken that stand, but remember point 1. We all hoped that the authorization would not bear fruit.

Bush had the Dems over a barrel on this vote. I hope he enjoyed spending that political capital.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
Please do one of these for democrats with Kerry's vice-chairs & co-chairs

www.whitehouseforsale.org/documents/0715vice-chairs.pdf

Would be even more interesting given many more candidates.

Posted by: Terry McAuliffe | December 11, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

TG..."psuedo intellectual"?...absolutely. Blather?... I hope not. That's why I want this new congress to dig deep....did he lie?... was the congress duped?...if so who and how and throw the bums out..the depth of this Iraq situation is huge and we deserve ALL the answers. There was zero oversight with the last congress..ZERO...it's time to show total accountability and certainly ASAP. Let the cards fall where they may.... but something went horribly wrong and someone besides Iraqi citizens and American troops should pay for this travisty.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Nor, who are these folks that you say want us out of Baghdad? The bad guys surely want us out!
* Iraq's national security adviser on Sunday said that Iraq needs more "strategic patience" from Washington to defeat terrorist violence that threatens to swarm the region if the U.S. pulls out too soon.
The Iraqi national security adviser also asked the United States be patient as Iraq tries to cope with undergoing a "paradigm shift of 1,000 years to a new order."

"We in Iraq would like you to exercise some strategic patience for this paradigm shift," al-Rubaie said. "We need some time to retreat to our own quarters and develop a new identity."

Posted by: proutobeGOP | December 11, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

proud - You do realize that it is far more difficult to provide security in an urban environment, don't you?

Securing a metropolitan area the size of Baghdad is almost impossible for our troops, even with substantially more troops there (which we don't have anyway). Mogadishu taught the Pentagon a lesson in Urban Guerilla warfare. The decision at that time was that we had lost enough and the potential gains weren't worth what it would cost, so we got out.

Unless there is majority support of a generic civilian population, the edge in urban warfare goes to the locals. The controlling locals don't want us in Baghdad, because we get in the way of them settling centuries old grievances.

"I only hope that Americans now will be as patient and loyal to the cause of this country..." That we spent over 15 years in VietNam and have spent longer than WWII in Iraq already says something to the "committment" of this country.

Ironic that we commemorated Pearl Harbor in the same week that we surpassed the entire length of WWII in being in Iraq.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 11, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I glad to know that impeaching a president doesn't fall into the category of a "pseudo intellectual blather" type solution to the war in Iraq. Glad to know we're talking real solutions now. And the majority of these dems you want to look into the issue of the lies and deception on Iraq voted in favor of the war. Were they duped or complicit?

Posted by: TG | December 11, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

There are plenty of sane people on the military base where I currently reside, but I will try. (I am, after all, reading the WaPo!) If you don't think the radical Muslims have an agenda and a world vision without us in it, then you are sorely mistaken. They attacked us without provocation at our financial, military, and (thankfully unsuccessfully), legislative seats of power! What more evidence do you need that their hate has no limits toward the *evil West* and democracy as we know it.
The next president will have to deal with the threat of AlQaeda and radical fundamentalist Islamists too, no matter what you want to call them. We*d better get it right.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Data Mining Doesn't Catch Terrorists: New Cato Study Argues it Threatens Liberty
In the wake of 9/11, a jittery Washington embraced any measure intelligence and law- enforcement agencies said would help prevent further terrorist attacks. Data mining was dubbed an essential tool in the war on terror, with the agencies arguing that comprehensive monitoring of personal data would assist in catching terrorists. In "Effective Counter-Terrorism and the Limited Role of Predictive Data Mining," Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, and Jeff Jonas, a distinguished engineer and chief scientist with IBM's Entity Analytic Solutions Group, demonstrate that data mining is costly, ineffective, and a violation of fundamental liberty.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

There are 'havens for Islamofascists' [that term is childish, misleading and distorted] all over the world. Look at Pakistan -- this is where almost every terrorist in the world is based. And yet what are we doing there? Giving them money.

The whole ide4a of an Islamic emprie is a joke -- played on bedwetters by fox news and the like. You should try to get out more, meet some sane people.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I accept the basic premise of leaving Iraq only after security has been established, especially in their capital city. Unfortunately for the troops we went to war w/the SecDef we had at the time, not the SecDef we may have wanted. I agree we shouldn't have gone in there in the first place. The price is too high if we fail now. It's not like Vietnam in that regard; they couldn't hold us hostage for petroleum or create a haven for Islamofascists bent on killing Americans and creating the next Islamic empire.
Last week we commemorated Pearl Harbor day. I only hope that Americans now will be as patient and loyal to the cause of this country and their military while at war as our previous generations were.
We can vote for a new team in 08. Looks like dems are swooning for Obama; lack of experience notwithstanding.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

These psuedo intellectual blathers and solutions are ridiculous. It only shows how deeply we've sunk into the hopeless quagmire Bush and his lunatic posse dropped America into. He lied. He misled. He took advantage of a nation reeling from the horrific attack by Bin Laden to launch an unwinnable war for only God knows really why. I haven't heard a single legit solution from anyone on this. We're damned if we leave and we're damned if we stay. Nothing can be achieved until Bush is out of the equation. Impeachment of him and his partner in crime Cheney is the only start in regaining legitimacy in global eyes. Show the world that we can recognize our wrongs as a nation and our ability to correct it. We had a shot at voting them out in 2004 but blew the opportunity. We can change that. There is a changed view of the White House now and America has had it with these guys. I hope and pray that the new Democrat congress digs deep and fast to uncover whatever is necessary to put those boys where they belong....somewhere they don't have their finger on the Button.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Kristol has nice logically thought out positions - if you accept the basic premise as being valid.

So, do George Will and Antonin Scalia and even Buchanan. [But Buchanan and Scalia are products of both Jesuit high schools and University (Georgetown); they had better be logical after all of that training.]

Will has a nice little saying about how much of the American reading public approaches what they believe - "Who did I read last?" Not, "This is what I think!"

The pundits all make logical arguments, and can sound great in doing so. But, are their basic premises valid?

Sometimes I agree with their basic premises and they are geniuses; and sometimes I don't, and they are charlatans trying to pull a fast one.

There was little valid logic for being in Iraq to begin with. That all disappeared in 2003 when no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found. WMD was the reason for being going in; nothing else.

Think about the basic premise that "It would be a disservice to those who died or were wounded to leave Iraq." To validate that premise means, we have to stay and get more killed and wounded. Where's the logic in that?

Any argument supporting the war after it was evident that WMD would not be found, is simply rationalizing. Shame on us as a country for accepting that, and putting up with it so long. Certainly our troops deserved better.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 11, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP,

Lol. Civility is a rare and welcome commodity. I would not have minded McCaine in 2000, although I probably would have still voted for Al. I remember talking about how nice it would be to have a decent choice to make. The only reason that McCaine has gone down in my estimation since then is my disgust at the times that he played nice with the right. He stopped telling the straight truth. I would still pick McCaine over the crew that appears to be running for the Republicans.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Re the pixie dust solution....that's what were doing there right now.....I think Bush is waiting for the Lords terrible swift sword to do the job

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't understand why "additional troops" appears to be getting legitimacy now. Iraq became a political problem some time back. [Even before November 7th]

It's no longer a military problem, as such.

Which is not to say that there are not a lot of military consequences involved in how we handle drawdown/relocation.

Actually, wasn't Iraq always a political problem in the U. S., except during the March to Baghdad. Before and after that myopic politicians (and contributors) dictated everything which was happening.

"More troops" only to ensure an orderly relocation. The "bad" guys would be smart to lay back and let us get out without any attacks on us; but there are always bozos who don't think logically.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 11, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Good on ya, Adam! Yes it's the same Kristol...the one who sounds like the only sane person in the room compared to the interminable Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday...but you probably... um.. definitely wouldn't like that either. Well, we can still agree to disagree in this country, thank God.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

When you look at the lists of contributors and the companies they basically represent, the American electorate hasn't got a chance of seeing an honest race for public office especially for the presidency. Once again, "Them's that has the Gold makes the Rules."

Elections fueled strictly by public funds can't get here soon enough for me. Money is what's currently driving politics in Washington DC and you can see where that's getting us.

We are in deep doo-doo, folks, and there's no one stepping forward to encourage us to lift our heads out of it.

Posted by: Woe is us! | December 11, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Since you said "with all due respect", I went and did something I hadn't done in a long time, and read the recent stories in the Weekly Standard. I'm still missing it. Kristol is very critical (and misleading) of other people's ideas and presented nothing substantive. I probably missed the pertinent discussion, but my trip into right-wing puditry has not improved my opinion or my mood (I don't read left-wing pundits either). Are you talking about a different Bill Kristol?

I held on to the "We broke it - we bought it" justification for our involvement in Iraq for a long time. It is a travesty of justice for any country to declare war and not feel responsible for the resulting plight of the citizens. The problem is, that we are not helping by staying longer, and those people don't want us to. Our pride and support for our soldiers can not be used as a justifcation for continuing to do the wrong thing. If leaving is a "great disservice" to our fallen soldiers then that guilt falls on the heads of those that got us into this mess, not the people who have to try and fix it.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

irrelevant at this point

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The reference to Zinni is interesting. I would urge you all to read his book with Clancy and the discussion of the shell game Hussein was playing with regard to WMD (referring here to Saddam, not Obama.) It may change some of your perceptions.

Posted by: TG | December 11, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

When we left Vietnam, it was supposed to fall apart and the domino theory held that all of asia would fall to communism. didn't happen. Now they're our trading partner.

If we leave iraq, the iraqis will have to figure out how to survive. No matter what we do, they will choose whom they wish to govern, and how they want to live. we got rid of saddam for them, not let them figure out the rest. we did it here.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect Adam, Kristol's getting it right on Iraq... his analysis of the Shiite/Sunni conflict is exactly right. From someone who worked with Iraqis on a daily basis for months and months, I have to say that Kristol's point of view is something the president would be well advised to heed. I tend to agree w/you however, that GWB is too stubborn for that. We would, in my opinion, be doing a great disservice to all those who gave their lives and those who currently serve by making it politically palatable to leave the mess we*ve made.
If Democrats hope to regain the White House in 08, they*re gonna need some whales of thier own anyway.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

How about scattering a planeload of magic pixie dust across all of iraq?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout flooding Iraq with a million soldiers who will spread out over the entire nation creating corridors for any refugees that wish to escape. They can wait out the battle in camps spread out over the middle east as our troops retreat to the borders to seal off foreign fighters from entering the showdown between the sunnis and shiites and then let 'em pound each other into the sand until they can't take any more. It will be settled on their own terms and we can walk away claiming at least some moral victory from this sad adventure

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Kagan & Kristol have absolutely no credibility with me personally. They have lied for their own agenda many times before. I urge you to be cautious in accepting their analysis.

That said, we could have the troops. They are not available for rapid deployment to Iraq right now. An immediate increase of 50,000 would cause some serious disarray, but we could do that (it would include a lot of reservists). In the longer term, recruiting is going better than it has. The signing bonuses are working, we could increase recruitment without changing standards. It would cost a lot of money (but China is willing to loan us more).

I don't believe that the debate should be about whether we can. We could get the troops. We could get the equipment and the armor. The cost would be high, but we have paid high costs before when we thought it was worth it.

The debate needs to be about whether it would work! Saying that leaving would increase the violence is not evidence that more troops would lessen the violence. Our presence is part of the problem.

Unfortuately, we have an incompetent commander in chief. That is why we are in this mess. The way our system works means that his decisions stand. He is told the downside to every option. So ... He is not going to decide to deploy more troops. He is not going to learn diplomacy. He will repackage the status quo and play the political game just as he has all along. Our people die. Our standing in the world diminishes. We mortgage our children to the central banks of Asia. And Nero fiddles.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

'Army Maj. General Paul Eaton, who until his retirement had been in charge of building up the Iraqi Security Forces'

another guy with tremendous creditibility...cause he's done such a *fabulous* job with the iraqi forces. and the WSJ --i jut roll my eyes here. their editorial page haan't had any credibility since the days of Paul Gigot. my parakeets wouldn't even crap on it.

Posted by: proud not to be gop | December 11, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Proud, McCain doesn't have the guts anymore to make hard decisions. He did six years ago. Now he's just another flip-flopping, inconsisten GOP hack.

Posted by: Zach | December 11, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I just find it hysterically funny that the GOP thinks a guy's middle name affects whether he should be president. The people who do care are going to vote for the GOP anyway. You need to have a little more faith in the American peopple, GOPers.

Posted by: Zach | December 11, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

'Frederick along with his brother Robert Kagan, who is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, and their father Donald are all signatories to the Project for the New American Century manifesto titled Rebuilding America's Defenses.'

PNAC -- oh yeah, the brilliant neocons who want to remake the Middle East in our image. Worked really well so far, hmm? Sure oh you bet, this guy has credibility. Along with Bozo the clown and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

re *Our military is broken, our soldiers exhausted, poorly equipped,equipment missing, broken, worn out, depleted.*

No, it's not too late. And yes, the troops exist... Frederick W. Kagan, has written extensively ..on why 50,000 additional troops are needed in Iraq, what exactly they would do, and where they would come from.* But you don't have to take my word for it.

*General Jack Keane, the former Army vice chief of staff, who has traveled to Iraq frequently to meet commanders, has become an outspoken advocate for a substantial increase in American forces, especially in Baghdad. He has expressed disdain for those both inside and outside the Pentagon who claim that it is impossible to restore order there: "The notion that we can't provide protection for people in one of the capital cities of this world is just rubbish."

Keane is not alone. A few months ago, Army Maj. General Paul Eaton, who until his retirement had been in charge of building up the Iraqi Security Forces, told Senate Democrats what they didn't want to hear: that American force levels in Iraq were not nearly high enough, and that "we are, conservatively, 60,000 soldiers short." And the Wall Street Journal recently reported that "most military officers . . . seem to believe that a pullback of U.S. forces would only trigger more violence and make political compromise in the country impossible. These officers argue that 20,000 U.S. troops are needed to bring order to Baghdad. Another 10,000 U.S. soldiers would also be needed" as advisers to the Iraqi army. As the Journal reports, the officers "bristle at the idea that it is too hard or impossible."*
It's Up To Bush
The Baker group and many of Bush's advisors have failed the president. It's up to the commander in chief now.
by Robert Kagan & William Kristol
12/18/2006, Volume 012, Issue 14


re: Tell me, have you served yet?

My husband just came back from deployment, thank you. Yourself?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I too, am tired of Republicans braying about how we've got to 'win' -- just for the sake of their pathetic egos.

When are they going to stop typing and fight?

Posted by: jana | December 11, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

*Proud regardless of what the platform is? Or, proud of what they are currently doing?*
Yes, and yes. There is plenty of room in the GOP for socially-moderate, fiscally-conservative hawks like myself. While I don*t, of course, agree w/everything that GWB has done or the uncontrolled spending that has occurred in the last 6 years, I think a lot of the *greed* that previous posters refer to is a bipartisan problem.
Jefferson's frozen assets? C*mon! There's enough blame to go around. We need a guy like McCain who has the guts do make unpopular decisions. I only regret the sad fact that he didn*t get the nomination in 2000. And if y*all had offered up a better candidate that John Kerry in 2004, then maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Anyhoo, so far McCain*s the guy to beat and the dems know it.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

proud tobegop -- And where will these 'extra' troops come from? Will you force even older people out of retirement? Will you accept people who are profoundly retarded? Disabled? Will you extend the backdoor draft of stoploss? Will you accept felons? Child molesters? Retirees? Further ripple the ability of states to respond to disasters by snatching their guardsmen? Send exhausted and injured vets back for a fifth or sixth tour of duy?

And what about equipment? Our military is broken, our soldiers exhausted, poorly equipped,equipment missing, broken, worn out, depleted.

Tell me, have you served yet? I think that's the answer. There should be a national draft of war supporters. John McCain, if he is serious, should call for one. He should immediately call for anyone fit to serve [and the bar is so low they'll accept repugs] to immediately volunteer.

If you really believed the war was worth fighting you would join. How about it?

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

As Hillary Rodham Clinton starts preparing to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Republicans start pointing out that the full name of her top competitor is Barack Hussein Obama. The Zeitgeist has a feeling that even if his name were Barack Hussein Hitler Stalin Milosevic Satan Osama Obama, Republicans would still prefer to face Hillary in the general election.

Turtle Bray
United Nations. John Bolton, Bush's much-maligned ambassador to the United Nations, says he will leave the administration when his recess appointment expires. He explains that, as a longtime bully, he had expected recess to be more fun. Bush now plans to appoint someone more skilled in the diplomatic arts, such as Michael Richards.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Democrats. The incoming House leadership announces the end of the three-day congressional workweek. The last Congress produced the biggest corruption scandals since the Teapot Dome working Tuesday to Thursday; just think what they'll achieve on a full-time basis. But outraged Republicans complain that keeping politicians in Washington five days a week will strain marriages. How about keeping troops in Iraq seven days a week?


Don't Laugh or Grandpa Will Shoot
Religious conservatives express outrage at news that Mary Cheney is having a baby out of wedlock, and urge her to get married. What? They didn't urge her to get married? But the Zeitgeist thought they were religious conservatives ...

maybe they think she should get an abortion?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP,

"More troops" was a good idea 3 years ago - and two years ago. It might have worked a year ago. I am not convinced that it will help now. I know there are some credible people who say it will, but there are many others who say it won't. McCain has been playing both sides too much now. I have lost my initial impression that he is saying what he actually believes.

Proud regardless of what the platform is? Or, proud of what they are currently doing? I can see being proud to be a Chicago Cubs fan through thick and thin, but I abandon the Democrats when they deserve it. Are you sure the current Republicans are worthy of you? You don't have to be one or the other.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

This kind of recruitment prowess bodes well for all three of them, but we'll start to get an idea of how much it's really doing for them when the first quarter 2007 fundraising numbers are released in early April.

http://commenterry.blogs.com

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | December 11, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

China is the golden cow off limits by the press which is why this entire discussion is so frustrating and misleading.

If I buy a Cuban cigar in Matamoros Mexico and get caught bringing it across the bridge I will be arrested - actually I can be arrested in the US for buying a cuban in Mexico.

BUT CHINA, which manufactures most of the weapons being used to run these destablizing forces in the middle east, and Saudi which through its people are funding these forces, are off limits -

I want to know how many of these Whales make money in China and Saudi - these are the people who the American people should be tar and feathering for treason - not those of use who speak out against doing business with the people doing business with our real enemies.

The real story is investigating where these people make their money and then expose the politicians who are taking money from people who do business with the people who make the weapons killing our soldiers.

Now that would be real investigative journalism. Not going to happen in the US - the American News media is too tied financially to China and Saudi to allow for any real journalism on the issue

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | December 11, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

*John McCain, another brilliant Republican foreign policy analyst. This is your candidate? Do you really want this phony, doddering fool as your president? How is he different from Bush?*

I absoluteluy want John McCain as the next president, and I beg to differ w/your analysis of his capacity to handle the job of Commander in Chief. Many in the military affirm his unpopular belief that more troops are needed for the short term in Iraq.
*retired general Anthony C. Zinni, staunch opponent of the Iraq war, close friend of Colin Powell, and former head of the Central Command under Bill Clinton. General Zinni rejects the entire logic of both the Baker report and current administration strategy. As he recently told the New York Times, "There is a premise that the Iraqis are not doing enough now, that there is a capability that they have not employed or used. I am not so sure they are capable of stopping sectarian violence." Instead of taking troops out of Iraq, Zinni, according to the Times, believes that "it would make more sense to consider deploying additional American forces over the next six months to 'regain momentum' as part of a broader effort to stabilize Iraq that would create more jobs, foster political reconciliation and develop more effective Iraqi security forces."

Beyond these generals and other military officers, an increasing number of political leaders support an increase in force levels in Iraq. First and foremost has been Sen. John McCain, who has long called for an increase in troops to Iraq and continues to believe it is the only workable answer. He is joined by Senate Armed Services Committee members Joseph Lieberman, John Cornyn, and Lindsey Graham. A new addition to this camp is the incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Sylvestre Reyes.*
It's Up To Bush
The Baker group and many of Bush's advisors have failed the president. It's up to the commander in chief now.
by Robert Kagan & William Kristol
12/18/2006, Volume 012, Issue 14

Chris, can we see the Whale list for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama next, please?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 11, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Brownback and Chucklebee don't have any supporters? What about Hagel and Thompson and Pataki?

Looks like it is going to be down to the 3 moderates, unless Sanford or a real conservative jumps in.

Posted by: William | December 11, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

By the way CC it is insulting to Whales everywhere to group them with these guys.

I even will bet that one or two of them own a commanding interest in Japanese or Swedish Whaling companies.

Posted by: Andy R | December 11, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Adam,
The anonymous post is right they could care less about the middle east and the people that live there. If they did they would be democrats.
Look at where these people have been CEOs, all banks and investment firms. They don't make anything, and their companies make the most money when the government lets them do what they want (ie screw the future generations for an extra one percent gain on their investment).

Posted by: Andy R | December 11, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"They don't care if the entire Middle East blows up, adam, as long as they get their tax breaks. You are talking about people with utterly boundless greed."

That is the impression that I am left with, but I try to be generous with people. I am running out of ways to avoid the conclusion above. I truly don't understand these fellow citizens.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

According to many religions, along with great abundance comes great responsibility.

Most of these folks listed as whales just figure, along with great abundance comes more abundance.

Their rabid politics of greed got us into the mess we are in, apparently few of them consider it a mess, as long as their own sons and daughters don't die in Iraq, and they continue to get no-bid deals to wipe up the bloodspots.

HYPOCRITES!

That's the only name for these whales, they get all the rewards but none of the responsibility of the American Way.

And they all think they are such philanthropists, they each have a list of psuedo-charities they give much less money to, in order to defer their accumulated guilt, much like millennia of sacrificing innocent animals on a bloody altar just deferred a much greater, final sacrifice.

I hope they are happy now. The day is coming when their unbelievably bloated bank accounts won't "fix" their real problem, and happiness will be much harder for them to to pursue, let alone attain.

Posted by: JEP | December 11, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

They don't care if the entire Middle East blows up, adam, as long as they get their tax breaks. You are talking about people with utterly boundless greed.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Does the current administration understand that the rise of Hezbollah in Lebannon is their fault. Our "liberation" of the Shia in Iraq has been so badly done that we have succeded in uniting the Shia of Lebannon against us. They will hold democratic elections, and a violent group of thugs will come to power by arguing that they are better than us - just like Palestine.

Do the old white guys at the top of this article understand our shame? These Republican money men enjoy the self-image of hard-minded individualists (hence pioneers and rangers). It would be refreshing to hear them express a little realism about how badly our foreign policy has gone in the last 6 years. Is this what they wanted? Do they still think that this is the best way to fight terrorism? Why can't they be honest now? Bush has no more elections or the power to punish them. Why this unanimous aversion to simple plain-spoken criticism of a recognized failure?

These donors have immense power! They are currently in the process of choosing the next contenders. Now would be the time to influence the debate. Sure they want a conservative economic package. That package is no longer tied to Bush's foreign policy style. Why don't they insist on a better combination?

Posted by: Adam Hammond | December 11, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Missing from the list: Tom Noe, 2004 Pioneer from Ohio. He has since been convicted of laundering $45,000 to the Bush-Cheney campaign during that cycle. He'll also be serving time for stealing $1.6 million from the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Comp.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061123/SRRARECOINS/311230004

I guess the Bush-Cheney camp is happy with victory at any cost.

Posted by: GoBlue girl | December 11, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, You're spot on about McCain. That is why he's attracting supporters like "Ranger" Chuck Larson, GOP Iowa State Senator and former Chairman of the Rep Party in Iowa.

Larson founded Families United, a multi-state group that supports the Iraq War. He's retiring from the state senate in 2006 but has political aspirations.

Chuck's daddy was recruited by the Saudi Royal family as a consultant from 1979 to 1982.

McCain as president would just keep recycling these war and oil types.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com


Posted by: Truth Hunter | December 11, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It's an ugly rumor, but it's spreading like wildfire: Karl Rove has lost his touch. In an amazing betrayal within a family where top political aide Rove is royalty, Bushies have been sneering at his pre-election happy talk that the gop would keep the Senate and take a slight hit in the House, both soon to be run by Democrats. And now we learn that President Bush really believed the GOP was safe, too. On the day before the elections, he asked embattled House gop leader Dennis Hastert to run for speaker again so he could guide the White House's agenda in Congress.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, 'Stop the bullsh**.'" said Mr. McCain."

John McCain, another brilliant Republican foreign policy analyst. This is your candidate? Do you really want this phony, doddering fool as your president? How is he different from Bush? He's riding the All Talk Express.

Posted by: drndl | December 11, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse


I have often felt that most of what is wrong with modern conservatism could probably be traced to the boys and girls of the right's salad days when they stared dreamily into the dark, dark night thinking of the hottest man and sexiest woman they ever saw brought to the page: Dagny Taggert and John Galt. ***sigh*** They read "Atlas Shrugged," found their adolescent self-absorbsion and callowness affirmed by a philosophy of greed and self-interest and that was it. "If I behave like an a**hole, I will be doing the moral thing" (and hot chicks and dudes will want me!)
It is the last time many movement conservatives ever examined their beliefs again.

It turns out that the Ayn Rand Institute is busy indoctrinating another generation of 101st keyboarders, "libertarians" and wingnut welfare queens who will believe in magical thinking and politics as soap opera. They hold an Ayn Rand contest for teen-agers and college students and pay some pretty good prizes (for a contest that doesn't actually produce anything useful in the world.)

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 10:26 AM | Report abuse

GEORGE Bush is right about one thing, though, unsurprisingly, for the wrong reasons. There can be no "graceful exit" from Iraq. America faces defeat.

The eventual cost, in lost prestige and influence in the Middle East and beyond, as well as in blood and treasure in Iraq, will be immense. It may seem trivial to Iraqis.

A year ago, the bipartisan Iraq study group might have hoped to supply the architecture for a half-elegant US departure. That was always an overambitious aim. In any event, it was overtaken some time ago by the rapid escalation in Iraq of sectarian violence.

Posted by: Business Day mag | December 11, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the Post do a real story on these people, and talk about how many of them have written legislation and received fat no-bid contracts in return for their bribes, I mean 'investment'...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

So now we know who is giving, the real question is why? is the perception of influence to these people so important that they will give big bucks well in advance of the primaries to press annointed leaders of the pack? If it is the perception of influence - what does it say about these people - and what does it say about the candidates?

I know it is Monday morning - but it is never to early to think -

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

side note- "Apocalypto" - eh - not so good

http://balancingtheissues.com/apocalypto.htm

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | December 11, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

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