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Thompson's Take

After months of anticipation, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) released a detailed report of the contributions to and expenditures by his presidential campaign-in-waiting. The report was filed with the Internal Revenue Service -- not the Federal Election Commission -- because, after all, Thompson isn't a declared candidate just yet.

The Fix spent the last hour scrolling through Excel spreadsheets so you, loyal Fix reader, don't have to. What follows are a few observations about specific donations or expenditures by Thompson and then a final thought about the impact of Thompson's fundraising on the momentum of his candidacy.

*As my Post colleague Matt Mosk noted on The Trail, roughly half of the $3.4 million Thompson raise in June came from his homestate. (We've noted before what an unusually generous state Tennessee is to Republican candidates for president.)

*Much of the Tennessee political elite gave to Thompson in the early stages including former Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.), former state party chairwoman Beth Harwell and Jim Haslam -- the CEO of Pilot Oil Co. and a Bush Ranger. The report also featured donations from former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist (R-Tenn.) and his wife Martha. Sundquist is detested in the Republican base due to his advocacy for a state income tax during his time as governor.

*While Thompson is expected to bill himself as a populist outsider once he enters the race, his report is peppered with contributions from the inside-the-Beltway crowd. Most fascinating is a $2,300 contribution from Doug Feith, the former Undersecretary of Defense and one of the most vocal advocates of the war in Iraq. He's also received a donation from Dave Bossie, the head of a Citizens United, a DC-based conservative grass roots group.

* Although Fred Malek, president of Thayer Capital Partners and a huge fundraising poobah, is one of Sen. John McCain's finance chairmen, his wife, Marlene, is listed as donating $2,300 to the Thompson effort.

* Several former Senators have contributed to Thompson including Alfonse D'Amato (N.Y.) and Mack Mattingly (Ga.). He also received donations from Demaris Miller, who ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) in 2000, and Johnnie Byrd, the former Florida House Speaker and 2004 Senate candidate.

*The Fix's favorite donation? A $2,300 contribution from Peyton Manning, a former University of Tennessee standout and now the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts.

*By our count, Thompson had just 10 staffers on payroll in June, a number that includes now-deposed campaign manager Tom Collamore who was paid $13,770 for his services last month.

*No media consultant or pollster is listed on Thompson's expenditures. His biggest consulting expense ($35,000) went to Kim Kaegi, his lead fundraiser in Tennessee. He also doled out $21,000 to New Media Strategies, an online consulting firm based in Arlington, Va.; $10,000 each to Nelson Warfield's consulting concern and Mercury Public Affairs; and $25,000 in legal consulting fees to Bryan Cave LLP where Thompson's campaign counsel -- Michael Toner -- works.

*Overall, Thompson's numbers are just fine for a first month of fundraising. Collecting $3.4 million and spending just $626,000 of that -- a burn rate of 18 percent, according to the campaign -- establishes Thompson as a player in the race and someone to be reckoned with. Unfortunately for Thompson, the fundraising numbers are less than had been publicly predicted and hit at a time when he is being barraged by a swarm of stories about staff departures and alleged flip flops on everything from abortion to taxes. In this context, his fundraising take is probably not good enough to remove him from the morass of bad publicity. But, his cash haul is also far from determinative when calculating Thompson's chances at the nomination.

We continue to believe that Thompson does himself a disservice by not formally announcing his candidacy. Aside from the organizational challenges that his waiting presents, it also -- we think -- may keep some donors' checkbooks in their pockets as they wait to see whether Thompson is the real thing or not. In the meantime, Romney, McCain and Giuliani -- you can be almost certain -- are courting those same donors, arguing that you have to be in it to win it.

Predictions that Thompson's early fundraising reveals a fatal flaw in his candidacy are, frankly, overblown. Let's see how donors react once Thompson is in the race before making any hard and fast judgments.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 31, 2007; 4:25 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Parsing the Polls: First and Lasting Impressions

Comments

I saw a good bio of Fred Malek over at http://www.afocr.org/directors/malek.htm in case anyone wants some background.

Posted by: Mark | August 23, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

F. Thompson will and cannot win this race in Tenn. alone. I'm certain that he is backed by sen. Frist and has his book of donors, which must have been huge while serving as Senate Majority Leader 4 years. It's simply amazing that Tennessee and Utah are playing such a critical role in choosing the Republican nominee for President.

Posted by: reason | August 1, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Mitt will get the nod for sure.

Posted by: Jean | August 1, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

You cannot know my aims roo. I serve a higher master than you. I respect you and your work, respect mine. My comments free other up to say what they REALLY feel. Nobody is farther left than me. This opens people up and mkaes them freer to say what they feel. I wish we didn't need a rufus, but someone's got to take the heat from the trolls you mention. Better me than you, right

Posted by: rufus | August 1, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, I watched the '06 Rose Bowl on TV, talking to friends in Austin during breaks. They seemed to think it was a California vs. Texas game! Anyway, I graduated with a journalism degree from UT but have two close friends from my days at Jester Hall that practice law in the state of Texas. And yes, we all drank too much and would have been dangerous had concealed "sidearms" been permitted during our day.

I don't doubt the intelligence or accomplishments of Mrs. Thompson; I've read similar reports, I'm sure. Men may have trouble comprehending this fact, but I promise you that "normal" women would find the pairing of a man Thompson's age with a woman young enough to be his daughter distasteful -- esp. those who have been traded for younger models -- be they Democrats or Republicans.

JimD in FL, you clearly understand the military perception of Republicans being stronger in areas of national security than Democrats. I think the perception began during the Nixon era and deepened during the Carter years. Only with age and through a study of history does one realize what a crock it is.

I, too, was a McCain supporter in 2000, and when he didn't get the nomination, I made the mistake of listening to a Republican friend who knew GW. "He's a good guy," he said. I didn't do my homework because I was too busy working and went on my friend's word and voted for Bush. I began regretting my vote the day he first addressed the country. I still cringe every time he opens his mouth. My volunteering for the Kerry campaign was my penance (tough to shed those Catholic teachings!) -- even though my singular vote in a very blue state was insignificant.

I agree with you on Biden -- I like the guy, but his tendency to open mouth, insert foot obviously doesn't sit well with the general public though I think he'd make a good president. Since there's no way in hell he'd ever get the nomination, I like to imagine him being secretary of state.

Iraq is complicated. I was opposed to the Iraq war from the start, but now that we're there, I don't think it's prudent to pull out precipitously. We've made a mess of the country, and it would be irresponsible to just walk away. As McCain once said (and I'm paraphrasing from memory), "you break it, you buy it." But I also don't believe that putting in more troops is the answer. I don't know what the right course of action is, but I'm guessing it's somewhere in the middle.

Posted by: Skeptic in CA | August 1, 2007 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Skeptic

Welcome to the blog, I have enjoyed your posts. I am not really commited to either party. I am old enough to have been a hippie in college but grew up quickly and became a career naval officer. I usually supported Republicans during the Cold War because I trusted them more on national defense. Gore was the first Democrat I voted for president since my hippie days. That was because I have never been terribly impressed (positively anyway) by GWB. Furthermore, I was originally for McCain in 2000 and I have never been able to get past the disgusting slime job that Rove and company did on McCain in South Carolina.

I am not thrilled with the position of the main Democratic candidates on Iraq (except Biden). However, I think our current administration approaches criminal negligence in its mis-management of the situation. As Admiral Mullen told Congress today, absent a political settlement among the main Iraqi groups, our efforts will have been in vain.

As for your comments on the change of the "Solid South" from Democrat to Republican, it is definitely a result of the Civil Rights Act. Nixon deliberately targeted Southern whites resentful over Civil Rights laws in a "Southern Strategy". Reagan made one of his first speeches of the 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi - site of brutal murders of civil rights workers in the '60's - and made states' rights the theme of his speech. Those of us old enough to remember the civil rights era, know that "states' rights" was the slogan of the segragationists. I voted for Anderson (3rd party moderate Republican) in 1980 and boycotted 1984 (only presidential election I missed since I became eligible).

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 31, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Regarding our resident trolls:

As someone who has ~20 years of experience in Internet Communications (a very distinct sub-topic in general communications theory) starting with UseNet, here is a bit of advice:

IGNORE THE TROLLS.

At the very most posting a general dismissal is possible. This is how we got rid of Zouk for a month or so until someone started responding to him again.

So, from now on, please do not respond to Zouk or our other anonymous trolls. Just ignore them.

Oh and rufus, buddy, you are embarrassing us liberals. Seriously.

Posted by: roo | July 31, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Regarding our resident trolls:

As someone who has ~20 years of experience in Internet Communications (a very distinct sub-topic in general communications theory) starting with UseNet, here is a bit of advice:

IGNORE THE TROLLS.

At the very most posting a general dismissal is possible. This is how we got rid of Zouk for a month or so until someone started responding to him again.

So, from now on, please do not respond to Zouk or our other anonymous trolls. Just ignore them.

Oh and rufus, buddy, you are embarrassing us liberals. Seriously.

Posted by: roo | July 31, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

While the U.S. government and media keep focusing on defense policies, campaign advertisement and the war in Iraq, 1.2 billion people in the world continue surviving on less than $1 dollar a day. I would like to see all presidential candidates and the political leaders behind them, support more international problems that affect our place in this world, such as global poverty. We should not forget the commitment made towards the U.N. Millennium Goals (a pact of ending extreme world hunger by the year 2025) in 2000. While the U.S. government and media keep focusing on defense policies and the war in Iraq, 1.2 billion people in the world continue surviving on less than $1 dollar a day. According to The Borgen Project, an annual $19 billion dollars is needed to eliminate half of the extreme poverty affecting the world by the year 2015. To my sense, it is almost unacceptable to have spent so far more than $340 billion in Iraq only, when we have more than war immunities to change the world and eliminate poverty.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Hook 'em, Skeptic.

[I claim UT Law '67]

I think of handguns as sidearms. Thanks for your attempt to stay focused on the thread.

I had mentioned earlier that I have read positive commentary about each of the candidates' spouses, save one. For example, Mrs. Thompson is supposed to be bright and accomplished. So while I can appreciate your disapproval of their marriage as an exemplar, I do not rate it as a serious negative for Fred. I do think his handguns on campus proposal is bizarre, for the reasons you suggest, and also because college folk drink too much.

But more to the point: did you attend the '06 Rose Bowl?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 31, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

As long as you folks insist on staying off topic (I guess Thompson bores most of you?)...consider this:

"Finally, the impact of the 1964 act on the American political scene was profound. Bill Moyers, a former aide to LBJ, recalled, in a statement during a 1990 symposium at the Johnson Library:

'The night that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, I found him in the bedroom, exceedingly depressed. The headline of the bulldog edition of the Washington Post said, 'Johnson Signs Civil Rights Act.' The airwaves were full of discussions about how unprecedented this was and historic, and yet he was depressed. I asked him why.

He said, 'I think we've just delivered the South to the Republican Party for the rest of my life, and yours.''"

So to those who argue about which group is racist -- Democrats or Republicans -- the fact is there are people on both sides who probably are. It is curious, however, that the segregated south left the Democratic party in droves after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. It's also curious that the moderate and Liberal Republicans hold so little sway over the extremists of the party.

I considered myself a Republican for most of my adult life, switching only in 2003, so yes, I voted for Bush in 2000. I joined the party primarily because as a college student, I hated the welfare abuses and also believed that the government shouldn't spend money it didn't have. And having grown up a military brat, I also believed that the Republicans were stronger when it came to national security. Like most people, we often follow in our parents' footsteps when it comes to political leanings.

But then Newt Gingrich came along, and I suddenly found myself at odds with what I perceived as incredible "meanness" coming from the Republicans. So I left the party, called myself an independent but continued to lean Republican. And then a good friend from college, a die-hard Republican, challenged me to examine my positions and choose one party over the other. It took almost two years of studying philosophy, religion, and reviewing U.S. history. Ultimately, I realized that while I will always vote on individual candidates, I lean Democrat, and here are some of the reasons why:

1) The Republican Party I joined no longer exists. Gerald Ford was pro-ERA and pro-choice. Richard Nixon believed in welfare reform and offered the first plan which was rejected by a Democratic congress. Nixon also believed in conservation a la Teddy Roosevelt.

2) Democrats seem to embrace the concept of civil liberties for all persons, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation - much more than the Republicans. But it would be wrong to say that all Republicans are homophobic and racist. Many embrace the same equality concepts, but it isn't easy switching allegiance. Most people are resistant to change, and I would argue that the more religious, the more fear based, and the more resistant to change. But I digress.

3) Capitalism and conservation are fundamentally at odds with each other. Democrats seem to understand this better than Republicans, albeit because of the loud voices on the left. Because business must always choose the shortest and quickest path to profit, it is naive to think that business will care for the environment or the consumers they serve unless there's effect on the bottom line. Witness their sudden support of environmental laws.

There are many other reasons I align myself more with the Democrats than the Republicans today, but I think that name calling and use of phrases like "socialized medicine" vs. "health care" are misleading and get us nowhere. I came to this website because I can't stand the venom spewed by ultra-liberal or ultra-conservative bloggers, talk show hosts, or "news" outlets. Several of you seem quite intelligent, so I thought it would be interesting to have thoughtful conversations on various issues today. But name calling is schoolyard stuff and doesn't get anywhere, and it certainly isn't the best way to get those in the middle to see things your way.

P.S. - Sweden has the happiest & healthiest population, and they have health care and child care for all.

Posted by: Skeptic in CA | July 31, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

well after waiting a half hour on mike's response ill just go ahead and post on what i stand for. since mike is unwilling to at least post on what his party stands for much less what he stands for personally.

here's what i belive:
better efficiant government
a victory in iraq politcally and millitarily. solving the political problem with the military only makes it worse. also they have to do it for them selves.
equal taxation should be everyone's rallying cry.
rebuilding infrastrure and hardening potental targets is a national security issue, not shampoo bottles and nail clippers.
all that and more.
night all

Posted by: spartan | July 31, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Why they hate it bo is this. Doctors won't be able to work two days a week and golf all day. They will actually have to work like the rest of us

Posted by: rufus | July 31, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I have to laugh when I read comments about the evils of "socialized" medicine from rrepub bloggers. You sure have drunk the koolaid. Are you aware that our entire congress has gov't sponsored health care? The premiums are, I believe, $35.00 a month with no deductibles and no co-pays. Consider, also, that Medicare is a very successful gov't. run health care system. Wouldn't it be wonderful to pay your insurance premium directly to the govt. in exchange for no inasurance premiums, no competing forms to fill out, no worries about being denied because of a pre-existing condition?

Posted by: Bo | July 31, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

The same Cheney military/industrial complex that steamrolled Bush into office will try do the same for the next GOP anointed... and with Cheney's Mary Matelin in his camp, that is likely Fred.

When you talk about the money going elsewhere because Fred hasn't announced.... where is it going? Every account I read says that the GOP fundraising is way off its usual pace.... checkbooks are staying shut until....

On the Dem side, Oprah must be Hillary's worst nightmare. Not only does she have deep pockets and scads and friends with deep pockets, but the everywoman loves her and will follow her lead.

She will bring lots of money, women's and the black vote to Obama's campaign. No wonder Bill has entered the fray earlier than expected... it was becoming an uneven match.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 31, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

ok mike, game on.

taxes-eliminating the irs is fine and good, but i much rather stream line the tax code. have you ever tried reading it? too much for mere mortals to comprehend.

univeral health care- ok fine we disagree. but i rather not go bankrupt paying thousands on health care.

war in iraq- you really didnt answer my question. now if you had this much vigor in hunting down bin ladin and terror groups in general we would be all safer.

homeland security-(ill just throw this one in) instead of scaring people half to death on gut feelings here's a ideal. fold both the cia and the fbi into homeland security. reform the cia into a international version of the fbi. focus on aspects on our infrastruction and harden those potental targets.

civil rights-sorry equating calling someone a ditto head is not the same as calling someone a N****. focus on hate crimes,and economic discrimination. plus start a discussion on race at the grassroots level. but im not joining hands with you and singing kumbya with you and im sure you wont either. who freed the slaves, from my history books it was a liberal repubican, and johnson couldnt have the civil rights act passed with out liberal repubicans. say mike what ever happened to all those liberal republicans?

environment-fine, but the 600k bridge is more about spending and stupid things. i dont know who's your us representive is but you might want to ask whats he's doing in regards to the environment.

economy-once again i differ,and i would like to see whats your source, provided its non partisan. if your against protectionism when why is it that if you import a american vehicle to china you pay a 20%import tariff? and we only pay 2%?

i just gave you rundown earlier on what dems stand for. of course you say we stand against those things. ok fine but is it so wrong say we stand against that but here's a alternative?

if you want to know what i stand for personally? ok fine, but you first.

Posted by: spartan | July 31, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Mike - I'm a firm believer in nukeular energy, but you seemed to have forgtten a little thing called Three-Mile Island.

My inspiration!

Posted by: Homer | July 31, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to stray off topic. It makes no sense to me to discuss a man who refuses to get in the race, after so long.

Even if he does get in, he has no chance. Not after being a nixon mole, after the last 6 years.

Posted by: rufus | July 31, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Tell us more about ourselves, mike.

Anything you say goes through your republican prism. Every arguement I've ever heard a dittohead make, I've heard at least three other times, by other gop'ers. Clones. Hypocrite clones. Fascists. you have a year Mike. Rather than wasting that time lying and attacking, why not spend it fixing the problems you and your party has caused the last 20 years.

Start with appologizing to me now :).

Hypocrites denoucing non-goper's for speaking about their military experiance, while doing the same thing to justify your own points. Frinkin republicans

Posted by: RUFUS | July 31, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Hook 'em Horns, Mark in Austin! (UT is my alma mater...)

I assume you meant "firearms" rather than "sidearms?" If the former, then I can't see any parent not being nervous about their kids carrying guns to college. Heck, there's a reason that auto insurance rates for people under 25 are so high! And one only needs to think back to their impulsive youth to realize that young men carrying concealed weapons is not a smart idea in a civilized society.

Posted by: Skeptic in CA | July 31, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Spartan:

"ok now i said my part. what say you???"


Taxes - Eliminate the IRS. You're right, we should all pay the same. It's called a fair tax, and it wasn't thought up by a Democrat.

Socialized Medicine - It doesn't work in France. I don't want to die waiting for treatment do you? (we can just agree to disagree on this because there is a bigger fish to fry).

Iraq - See above.

So now we get to where the Democrats "Stand for Something".

Civil Rights - Not unique. We all want rights for everyone. Anyone who calls Republicans racists are just dittoheads. Who freed the slaves again? What about LBJ?

Energy - Funny story. It's the lefts-types who consistently block Nuclear energy. There hasn't been a single injury (excluding Chernobyl - sp). I'll hand it to the French -- their Nuke facilities are safe, cheap, etc. Electricity *should* cost next to nothing. But you Democrats always stand in the way.

Environment - This is not a left-right issue. The founder of Green Peace resigned becuase the leftists hijacked the cause. No one WANTS to pollute. We just disagree on where the appropriate boundaries should be. Witness, the $600,000 bridge in Davis, CA for frog crossing.

Economy - Free Trade brings in more jobs than it flees. Look at the "insourcing" numbers. Protectionism won't solve anything. It won't keep China from cheating on trade, that's for sure.


So this is what I have surmized (so far).

Democrats claim to "stand for" things that in reality everyone stands for.

Except for the things they stand against, like free trade, nuclear power, and Iraq.

So this once again beggs the question, what exactly do you STAND FOR?


Posted by: Mike | July 31, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"I fear this blog will not recover from this cancer. too bad"

Interesting, coming from Typhoid Zoukie; the infector of the threads.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Skeptic, do you have any reason to think IA or NH Rs will find the notion of sending their kids to college with sidearms chilling?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 31, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The extreme right of the Republican Party are enamored with Thompson because:

1. He voted to impeach Bill Clinton, voted against dismissing the charges, and later voted to convict him.

2. He voted AGAINST requiring background checks for purchases at gun shows. In fact, the man thinks that the Virginia Tech shootings could have been prevented were people allowed to carry concealed weapons. In his own words: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTIwYzMyZmQ1YzQ1MDNmZTMyYzQ1Y2U3YTU4YzNmNGE=

For more on his voting record: http://www.cqpolitics.com/pdfs/2007_3_27thompson-keyvotes.pdf

Granted, a person could have been voting against one line in a bill, but there is a pattern that garners the support of conservatives of the Dick & Lynn Cheney ilk.

And then from a strictly personal, strictly female point of view, men that marry women young enough to be their daughters should be suspect to ALL WOMEN and to normal men with daughters or sisters. And I say "normal men" because, like it or not, it is primarily RICH or POWERFUL men that attract beautiful women 20+ years their junior. And though Henry Kissinger once said that power is the best aphrodisiac, women who fall for men old enough to be their fathers are also suspect in my book. I can see making exceptions for Robert Redford or Paul Newman, but Fred Thompson? C'mon...he's a character actor because he can't be a leading man! And wasn't it yesterday that there was a discussion about the role that looks play during elections? Or was that the NY Times?

The point is that the mystique surrounding Fred Thompson will blow over once people learn that his wife is young enough to be his daughter. This fact does turn off women, folks. And once America learns that Rudy's wife learned he was divorcing her during a press conference and that he's estranged from his children -- well, there go the "family values" voters. And I predict that the right wing will not get over Romney's religion. They hate McCain, so who's left? Ron Paul -- the Dennis Kucinich of the Republican party? Mike Huckabee may end up being their only HOPE, pun intended.

Posted by: Skeptic in CA | July 31, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

rufus/REMF - we can help you with your delusions about being an infantryman, lots of wannabees get over it.

Vet Center staff are available toll free during normal business hours at 1-800-905-4675 (Eastern) and 1-866-496-8838 (Pacific).

Give us a call! It won't cost you anything but your delusions.

Posted by: Elias | July 31, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"Independants don't count...I'm for an independant party." Up is down, down is up; black is white, white is black; a broken clock is right at least twice a day....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

and to zouk. You want to blame someone for the leval of political discourse and name calling. Look in the mirror. Look to Rush limbaugh. Look to Fox "News" and O'Reilly. You want someone to blame. Blame those who started this verbal war against america, no us.

You can't pass the buck and blame forever. You want someone to blame for the current downfall of this great country, look in the mirror.

I AM A FROMER ARMY INFANTRY SOLDIER 11B FORT BENNING. SUPPORT THE TROOPS. TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY FROM THE FASCSITS. iF NOT NOW WHEN?

Posted by: rufus | July 31, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Of course those simpletons will blame others for this decline. but if you return to pre-election days on this blog, you will see what I mean. we had spirited, substantial, reasoned debates. No more. the hate-filled Kos wing of the party is taking over. One can't get an idea out without substantial noise from these bufoons. count the number of idiotic postings from just those two above to see exactly what I mean."

Better to do it verbally in here than your route. The murder of innocents. blame lie spin and discredit. Sabotage. That is the game of zouk and the gop. Follow the walrus to the feeding at your own risk. Liberals didn't start this war against the american people. We are america. We have been telling you what time it is since the 60's. Eventually you will have to listen. You can't hide in your caves forever. The more your children and grandchildren are aware of the world, the more they will turn away from fascism

Posted by: rufus | July 31, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Independants don't count. I'm just firmly against the GOP'ers and their mafia. Killing and starving america. I'm for an independant party. I'm for two more. As many as it takes. But if the gop contunes, after all they've done the last 20 years, I'm down with the battle. I'm moving my family elswhere so we can live in peace. As my ancestors did in past times to flee oppression.

Posted by: rufus | July 31, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Once upon a time this blog was actually interesting and enlightening. that was before the appearance of Kos Koward and Rufas. now it has degenerated into name calling and liberal chanting. Drindl, who used to be considered quite wacky, now seems sagacious in retrospect. I fear this blog will not recover from this cancer. too bad. there were always out of touch liberals here but they were fairly polite and respectful and offered substance at times.

Of course those simpletons will blame others for this decline. but if you return to pre-election days on this blog, you will see what I mean. we had spirited, substantial, reasoned debates. No more. the hate-filled Kos wing of the party is taking over. One can't get an idea out without substantial noise from these bufoons. count the number of idiotic postings from just those two above to see exactly what I mean.

I hope you dems like the idea of losing another election because that is where they are leading you, just like they lead Dean and Lamont. normal people aren't like that and don't care for tasteless, classless, ignorant fools. especially ones that can never seem to shut up.

too bad for this blog, too bad for the Dem party, too bad for manners and too bad for America.

Posted by: kingofzouk | July 31, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Mike and Rufus: How 'bout you both flee the country, and I'll vote for Mike Bloomberg?

http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: chris | July 31, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

mike-thanks for answering, but i have to differ on what you think democrats stand for.

higher taxes-sorry when im paying at a 30%tax rate and someone one is paying less thats unfair. im sure you will agree that everyone should pay their fair share. plus if you expect higher taxes you should expect better services that come with it.

socialized medicine-i do belive its called universal health care. if it doesnt work then how come countries like canada,england and france havent dismantled theirs for privatized care. im sure they would enjoy paying thousands in health care costs.

ending the war-ok fine we differ on that. you want to stay the course, want it to end,but for much different reasons. but if you say dems want to lose iraq, how can he lose a war we already won? or was that mission accomplished bit all in my mind?

but ill add others for you.
civil rights-that means for everyone regardless of race,religion or sexual orentation.
energy policy- no more reliance on forigen oil. if it means spending money on new fuels just to flip off saudi arabia, im all for it.
environment- really dont want to get into a global warming arument but i much rather leave my grand kids clean air and water.
economy-no more outsourcing. the one thing that bill clinton did bad in my opinon was sign nafta. that opened the flood gates to free trade. im more concerned about the middle class than the top 1% here.

ok now i said my part. what say you???

Posted by: spartan | July 31, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I asked this earlier: Do IA R's want their
fine state universities to allow students to carry sidearms on campus? If not, FT's speech about the VaTech murders will not play well.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 31, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Rufus -- If you promise to flee the country, I promise to vote for Newt or Mitt.

Posted by: Mike | July 31, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Is this the all Kos Koward klown blog, all the time. can anyone else get in a word.

what a pitiful life you lead koward.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

drindl - You may have picked-up what I've been looking for - The Chosen One.

Bush was chosen by the behind the scenes GOP powers in 1998 or 1999 [McCain almost upset the apple cart}.

Bush's running mate was chosen by the ultimate behind the scenes GOP'er, Cheney recommending Dick Cheney.

If Thompson's campaign is being filled with the likes of Matalin and Liz Cheney, it would appear that Thompson has the blessing of the GOPope(s).

We know the skullduggery it took to untrack McCain in South Carolina in 2000. What will they do to the loyal GOPer's not named Thompson if it appears any of them stand a chance of getting the nomination?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Spartan -- For once, we can agree. I often wonder why Fred has such (seemingly) wide-spread support. Like he's the last hope for conservatism.

I don't often hear folks talking about what he ACTUALLY stands for. I think this is intentional (on his part - by staying out, and staying quiet).

But I must toss this question to you (or any other left-leaning friend). I admit it's hard to know what Fred Stands for.

But what do the democrats stand for?

High Taxes. I got it.
Socialized Medicine. Yeah, that will work.
End the War. We all know where I stand on that.

... and ... is there anything else? ANYTHING?

Posted by: Mike | July 31, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson has Zero Chance, as does rudy.

Newt or Mitt. Either way. If they win. I'm fleeing the country.

Posted by: rufus | July 31, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson is by no means dead in the water, but I think he may have been hurt from having to admit he actively lobbied for pro-choice groups in the 90s. There's some fallout from that. I doubt it's fatal.

Posted by: DCAustinite | July 31, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

dragging everybody kicking and screaming back on topic....

im tempted to say freddy thompson is nothing more than a paper tiger. but seeing how he may draw the socialconservative vote may make him a credible threat. here's my question on the right, how is fred thompson different than the other canidates? what are his positions? whats his record? if all you can point to is "he looks presidental" then you guys are in real trouble. i can point to my canidates and at least look at what they stand for, and be critical of them. can you???

Posted by: spartan | July 31, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

What is the link to see this report online?

Posted by: Jake | July 31, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't post for zouk. Post for the independant viewers who read, but are scared to post because they don't want to be put on some terrorist watch list. That's who you should post for. The people who are not in the know.

Don't worry about these fascists that know what time it is, but continue to spout propoganda. That is his game. don't let him suck you in. That's why I'm here. To battle the trolls ( and be the furthest left) to give you the oppurtunity to speak freely to the independants. Speak your mind. Ignore the trolls. I got this :)

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 31, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

President Bush has confidence in his Attorney General. But only one in four Americans who follow Gonzales' exploits these days would agree, according to a recent poll by SurveyUSA. The survey, which was limited to individuals who say they've followed recent news about the Justice Department, found that 68% of those polled have no confidence in Gonzales.

And if Sen. Specter (R-PA) is still on the fence about where to go next, he might consider this: 70% percent of those polled -including 49% of Republicans- think that Congress is right to investigate Gonzales.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson running as a populist? Don't make me laugh.

Posted by: Bo | July 31, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

On election day, ThinkProgress posted audio of right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham urging her listeners to obstruct efforts to protect voting rights by jamming a free voter protection hotline.

Yesterday in a Senate Judiciary Commmittee hearing, Pat Leahy (D-VT) asked Wan Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, whether his department would be investigating Ingraham's phone jamming. Kim said Ingraham's actions sounded like a "voter fraud scheme."

Transcript:

LEAHY: I hear about so many candidates and political parties trying to interfere or intimidate people so that they won't vote. According to press accounts, right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham, urged listeners of her radio show to jam a phone line set up by Democrats to investigate alleged voter irregularities. She told her listeners, everybody call that voting line all at the same time and basically mark it inoperative. Is that something that your division investigates?

KIM: Senator, that is a very good question. I share your concern about any sort of dirty trick or scheme to tell people not to vote or have people not vote because I agree with you that voting is the essence of our society and our democratic society and everyone who should vote should get out there and vote on Election Day. Historically, within the Department of Justice, we have divided responsibilities, between the civil rights division -- to enforce voter access -- and the criminal division -- to police voter fraud and voter fraud schemes, like the one you mentioned. -

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

FAIR PAY ACT PASSES HOUSE. Congress today voted 225-199 to overturn the Supreme Court's May ruling that all claims of pay discrimination must be filed within 180 days of the first pay check at a new salary. The House bill reverts to the accepted interpretation of the Civil Rights Act, in which each pay check is a separate act that can serve as the basis of a discrimination claim.

Bush has sworn to veto the bill, so stay tuned.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Somelthing that got mangled -- meant to say Thompsoon has been with the neocons since he tried to coverup Watergate -- he's their boy. And he's not as stupid as bush, so he's even more dangerous. Very, very dangerous.

Posted by: drindl | July 31, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Judge, you are absolutely right. There is no one scarier as a candiate that Thompson. He's been with the nethe neocons's/Cheney's boy -- the one who can be counted on start several more wars, which of course is what Cheney wants -- total control of Mideast oil, no matter how many have to die for it. No matter how many attacks we suffer. The neocons are truly insane.

Look at Thompson's advisers -- the evil witches Mary Matalin and Liz Cheney. He's the chosen one, and he will be the nominee.

Rudy's got far more skeletons than anyone even knows yet -=- and his wife is a PR disaster. Mitty is a weak flipflopper cultist. McCain is toast.

Fred's the one. Watch for it.

Posted by: drindl | July 31, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Cost of oil tops $78 a barrel, setting a record
Among news driving market are falling inventories, Nigerian violence"

Posted by: congrats Bush and Fox | July 31, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be on topic: "Most fascinating is a $2,300 contribution from Doug Feith, the former Undersecretary of Defense and one of the most vocal advocates of the war in Iraq."

If fascinating = damning then yes, it's fascinating. Fred would do well to avoid committing to the Iraq War one way or the other.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | July 31, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

During his Senate confirmation hearing today, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs nominee Navy Adm. Michael Mullen argued that without political and economic progress, "no amount of troops and no amount of time will make much of a difference" in the war in Iraq. "[P]rudence dictates that we plan for an eventual drawdown and the transition of responsibilities to Iraqi security forces," he said. In questioning later, he conceded, "there does not appear to be much political progress" in Iraq.

Mullen also said, "A protracted deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq...risks further emboldening Iranian hegemonic ambitions and encourages their continued support to Shia insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan."

In the end, however, Mullen qualified his skepticism over the current course in Iraq by endorsing a long-term occupation. "U.S. military forces will be needed in Iraq for 'years not months," he said.

UPDATE: Asked whether or not U.S. forces were "winning" in Iraq, Mullen said, "[b]ased on the...lack of political reconciliation...I would be concerned about whether we'd be winning or not," Tim Grieve notes.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

On Sunday, Josh Marshall pointed out that the New York Times editorial on the potential need to impeach Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that "Vice President Dick Cheney sent Mr. Gonzales and another official to Mr. Ashcroft's hospital room to get him to approve the wiretapping." As Marshall noted, before the editorial, Cheney's involvement in the incident had never been established.

Today on CNN, in a preview of his interview with the Vice President tonight, Larry King said he asked Cheney about the allegation. "I asked the Vice President about that and the story that he was the one that asked him to go," said King. "And he said he had no recollection."

"He did not want to deal with specifics, which tells me, they're looking at trouble," King added. "If you don't want to deal with specifics...I think you're looking at trouble and you're looking the other way if you're denying it."

Gonzales' late night trip to Ashcroft's hospital room is central to the perjury allegations swirling around him. When Gonzales was asked during his Senate testimony last week who sent him that night, he refused to say it was President Bush, instead asserting "we were there on behalf of the president of the United States."

That Cheney may in fact be the administration official who sent Gonzales should come as no surprise. In May 2006, the New York Times reported that in the wake of 9/11, Cheney pushed for a much more expansive version of the NSA surveillance program, but was rebuffed by NSA lawyers.'

REPUGS SURE HAVE BAD MEMORIES, HMM?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Hit number two:

"Home Depot seems to have had a change of heart. They're now unequivocally telling their customers that they will not advertise on Bill O'Reilly's show."

Posted by: rufus | July 31, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey no fair, I'm the stupidest on this blog. Keep of my turf rufas, you fake soldier.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"The Mona Lisa should hang in a museum, not a subway platform. The Statue of Liberty should stand unvarnished in New York Harbor, not draped with corporate logos.

And The Wall Street Journal should be owned by a company dedicated to maintaining its integrity, not one grasping to find content for a yet-to-be-launched cable channel."

wow.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19916213/?GT1=10150

Posted by: rufus | July 31, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

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