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FixCam Week in Preview: Gassing Up For Tuesday's Primaries

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The Fix has returned from vacation just in time for tomorrow's primaries in Indiana and North Carolina.

While Rev. Jeremiah Wright dominated the headlines in the Democratic presidential race last week, the debate has lately turned to a proposal by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) to create a summer-long gas tax holiday. Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) opposes such a move, insisting that it may sound good but would have little practical impact on the high price of gas.

Both Democratic candidates believe they have the upper hand politically on the issue. Clinton went on the attack first with a commercial that outlines her plan and says that Obama "would make you keep paying that tax rather than the oil companies."

Here's the full ad:

Obama struck back yesterday with an ad of his own, using newspaper clips to make the case that Clinton's proposal has little ultimate impact on the price of gas. "More low road attacks from Hillary Clinton," says the ad's narrator. "Now she's pushing a bogus gas tax gimmick."

Here's Obama's spot:

On its face, Clinton's position is the easier sell to voters. Gas prices are extremely high and Clinton can claim that she is trying to provide relief -- although the two campaigns have very different understandings of what that relief actually entails.

Obama's opposition is as much a stand against politics as usual as it is against the specific proposal. Obama's candidacy has always been premised on the idea that he does and will do things differently in politics, and his campaign casts his positioning on this issue as another example of his commitment to do just that.

A new poll conducted by CBS and the New York Times suggests that the issue may not be the clear winner for Clinton that it at first may have appeared. Asked about the proposal to suspend the gas tax, 45 percent of all voters in the poll said it was a "good idea" while 49 percent thought it was a "bad idea". Democratic primary voters were even less optimistic about the idea; 44 percent said it was a good idea while 52 percent called it a bad idea.

Will Indiana and North Carolina voters agree?

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 5, 2008; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  FixCam  
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Comments

Some Anonymous Troll Wrote:

If people are not voting for Obama because of race - why are they?
_____________________________________

How about the most cynical answer: even if all the BS you and people like you spew about him is 100% correct, Obama is STILL the most qualified person left in the race.

Hillary trashed a 40-year Democratic majority in the House in her first year as FIRST LADY, and still doesn't understand what she did wrong. If she had simply baked those damn'd cookies, the Republican Revolution might never have happened. MaCain has basically labeled himself an unprincipled political hack by courting the very whack-jobs he once labeled agents of evil.

Only Obama is actually suggesting we try a fundamentally new tact with our politics and our international relations - actually talking to people we disagree with - and he is the only one suggesting that we can only solve our problems by acting like one country again, instead of two armed camps. I've heard quite a lot of talk over the last 14 years about America being on the verge of a second Civil War, and if that's even remotely true isn't it time we stopped digging that particular hole?

From my point of view, anyone who says Hillary has more "experience" than Obama is a sexist, since they'd hardly allow Olympia Snowe's husband to claim his wife's experience as his own. Obama has 11 years of elected office experience, and was a community organizer in low-income Chicago while Clinton was sitting on the board of WalMart, and McCain was getting reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee.

Personally, I don't care what race Obama is: I'm a white southern male from the mountains of VA, he could be white, blue, or green so far as I care. My first choice in the race was the Mexican - who had a lot more relevant experience than anybody left in the race, including personally staring down Saddam Hussain. Who'd have known he'd turn out to be such a bad campaigner?

Whoever you are, and whatever your agenda, it doesn't help you to be making such baiting statements. And, on the off chance that you are actually an Obama supporter trying to make the other sides look bad, I really doubt Obama wants that sort of "help."

Clinton and McCain shouldn't either.

Posted by: dj333 | May 5, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

If people are not voting for Obama because of race - why are they?

He is clearly comfortable with racists and terrorists - and that is not likely to change.

He has predicated his campaign on a lie.

He is preposterously unqualified.

This is no election for the cover of the rolling stone. This is for the reins of the most powerful nation on earth in very tumultuous times.

So why? because he has bs'd people on a scale never seen since Hitler? He is selling snake oil.

He IS in a position to change. Of all groups of people in the country, the US Senate has the unique position to actually effect change.

He, has not. At all. Yet people lap up the "solutions" he offers.

I would be much more comfortable with him if he had actually drafted and introduced legislation reflecting his views.

Isn't that what he promised in his senate campaign? And isn't that exactly what he has NOT done?

People want change - fine. Thats why we have elections. But empty promises are not change. The only thing that will change will be Obama's zip code.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 10:33 AM
"Forrest my 92 year old mom can use the savings to help her pay for her monthly meds, ..."
-----------------------------
So your 92-year old mom still drives?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous wrote: "People are dropping the qualification bar way, way, down, because he is Black."
********************
OK, I'll bite. This isn't a flame, so don't run away; please stick around and discuss if that's your real intent.

Your argument is a classic strawman: Obama (like Clarence Thomas???!!!) is not Powell/Marshall, therefore is unqualified.

This is a stock argument, used to its greatest perfection by Rush Limbaugh. Sage writers going back to the ancient Greeks have rejected this as a logical fallacy predicated on a false analogy.

The reason it fails is that Colin Powell and Thurgood Marshall not in the election. They were capable able men, but I can't vote for them (or, at least one of them).

I don't need to vote for the best available black candidate. Each of us measures our choices against the simple qualifications laid out in the Constitution and our own requirements/expectations. Opposition statements to the contrary, millions of people have done exactly that, by reading candidates books, listening to speeches, evaluating their competencies and reflecting on their "souls," for lack of a better term to describe the intangibles we all assess.

Your argument assumes ("dropping the qualification bar way, way down") people have only voted for Obama because of his skin color. Some probably have, but I'm guessing no more than have voted for Clinton because of her gender. I think that's selling your fellow Americans pretty short. Just read most of the posts here, if nothing else, and you'll see most are arguing policy positions vis-à-vis the gas tax holiday.

Posted by: abqcleve | May 5, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"Obama does not have the experience, judgment or character to be President."

From someone I bet voted for Bush.

So, I presume you mean to suggest that an unqualified candidate made a bad president.

Fine - so why support another?

Is it because a lying unqualified socialist automatically is better than a lying unqualified republican?

Why support a candidate who predicated his campaign on a lie? Remember Obama pledging to finish his term?

Why support a candidate who clearly lies about his connection and support - until very recently, when it became expedient - a racist, replete with insane ideas, "pastor?"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Brendan,

To be fair to HRC, the price-gouging legislation IS before Congress: http://clinton.senate.gov/issues/environment/gas.cfm

Of course both the Petroleum Consumer Price Gouging Protection Act of 2007 and the Close the Enron Loophole Act of 2007 (she fails to mention the dates on her site) have failed to make it out of committee, (and would require 60 votes to pass the Senate) and they are about giving anti-gouging powers to the POTUS - and the current POTUS has "investigated" price fixing already and Cheney told him there wasn't any, so...

Actually, it's the gas tax bill she has yet to introduce.

This is why those of us who haven't drank the Cint-Aid find this so dishonest: she is trying to sell this as something that will help people THIS SUMMER (probably because Obama can make the point that his policies - or even the fact that there's a Democrat in the White House at all - would bring down prices for NEXT summer) but she hasn't even introduced the gas tax bill, and knows that the anti-gouging bill she says covers the gas tax shortfall would not be used by the current admin.

If she was pitching this as something for next year, that would be one thing, but pitching this for this year isn't even good pandering, since it is false on its face. Either she doesn't understand this, or she hopes voters won't, or - worse yet - she is hoping that it will provoke a reaction from the "reality-based community" and she can then fire up her base by calling us all "elitists" who have no understanding of "real American's" pain (like she does.)

Whatever the plan, it's either crooked, dumb, or both. Until she introduces a bill, or admits that it is (at best) a plan for NEXT summer, this idea cannot be considered in earnest.

And for my money, anyone who attempts to use it to attack Obama is also either a dupe or a scoundrel - there is no bill, so you don't know what it would or would not do. We can argue the merits (or lack there of) of the idea, but lets stick to facts: if Hillary actually believed in her plan, she's produce a bill for its centerpiece. Or at least pull strings to get the other parts out of committee.

The same goes for McCain, but right now he isn't pushing it like she is.

Posted by: dj333 | May 5, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's a flame...

"Obama does not have the experience, judgment or character to be President."

From someone I bet voted for Bush.

I would have voted for Powell as well, but he was told by 'powerful Republican interests' they would never support him, so he chose not to run.

That the Repubs scuttled his chance to run is unforgivable, and if I ever find out who those 'interests' were, I will never do a pennies worth of business with them, EVER.

Posted by: Fred Evil | May 5, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

FirstMouse wrote: Hillary must think Indianans are gullible rubes if she believes they are going to buy into her gas-tax holiday scheme.
*****************
Not all Indianans; just undecideds. Rather than tackle a real issue, her campaign has calculated that Obama has his staunch supporters; she her's, so they need wedges. The battleground they're fighting for are the undecideds, those constitutionally unable to make up their minds despite the vast amount of information out there to anyone willing to take the time to look and think.

It's a naked play to the electoral least common denominator: the confused. She gets enough of those, she eats into Obama's numbers.

Pretty sad, really.

Posted by: abqcleve | May 5, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

There Hilarious goes again, pretending to be doing something for you whiles she's lying to your face. Is it any wonder that her husband didn't know the definition of sex. The entire family is a pack of pathological liars.


Posted by: james - Los Angeles | May 5, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

From the April 16, 2008, Washington Post

By Michael D. Shear

Sen. John McCain today offered sweeping rhetoric about the economic plight of working-class America, even as he spelled out a tax and spending agenda whose benefits are aimed squarely at spurring business and corporate growth.

"... he said government should declare a "gasoline tax holiday" this summer by declining to collect federal gas taxes as a way to lower fuel prices -- a proposal similar to the one backed by GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I just can't help loving these posts that tries to label anyone who think lower gas price is good as morons. I hope everyone read these posts, and Hillary will win big time.

The snob wing of the dem party (mostly Obama fans) is operating at its urglest. Pity, you guys are poorer than the republican core, but you look down on your even poorer neighbors.

Posted by: Clinton Supporter | May 5, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

To see someone as poorly qualified as Barack Obama chosen repeatedly above people far more qualified than him, simply because of race, is a national disgrace.

Obama is not qualified to be President.

The people who push him seem to be under the misconception that he is a "once in a lifetime candidate"

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

It doesn't take much to find a great counter example.

Before Colin Powell sold his soul to George Bush, I and everyone I know would have jumped at the chance to vote for him for President.

He was a great American, who had proved his valor in combat, and nobody could have ever claimed that he didn't earn every bit of fame and respect that he had.

Barry Obama isn't Coin Powell.

Colin Powell had a sterling resume.

He had the experience and gravitas to be considered a serious candidate for the job.

In a question of right and wrong, it would be racist for someone to hold the fact that he was Black against him.

What's happend with Obama is the exact reverse.

He is not qualified.

People are dropping the qualification bar way, way, down, because he is Black.

That is racist, and is wrong.

The decision on who to elect as our President should be race, age, and sex neutral.

The reason so many people are so negative on Obama is that he is completely and utterly unqualified on so many levels the list is too long to print.

He himself has admitted that if he wasn't Black, he wouldn't be under consideration.

The fact that he's a casual racist himself makes it ever worse.

Dropping the bar because of race is, in itself racist, and a slap in the face to the ethnic group the person is a member of because it demeans the race or ethinic group the person comes from, implying that for some reason they can't achieve equally to people of another ethnic group or race.

Obama does not have the experience, judgment or character to be President.

Its possible he may in the future.

Most people learn from their mistakes and improve with age.

I'll close with this thought.

Both Judge Marshall and Judge Thomas are Black, but to put the great Thurgood Marshall into the same category as the perfectly horrible Clarence Thomas, simply because they are of the same race is an insult to the memory of Judge Thurgood Marshall.

I have no doubt that this argument will go right over the heads of most Obama supporters, and await the flames and personal insults of their responses.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"... the debate has lately turned to a proposal by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) to create a summer-long gas tax holiday."

Cillizza is making the same dishonest statement that other Washington journalists are making, and hoping people accept it as fact: Actually John McCain proposed the gas-tax holiday on April 15, 2008. Type it into your browser and see what comes up. The Washington Post reported on McCain's proposal. Does Cillizza even read his own paper? This is what today's Corporate Media does best: lies and distorts and covers up. This is a very obvious case. Read carefully and question everything.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I forgot to sign that pro-rail post.

I much prefer the automated blog sigs :(.

-dj333

Posted by: dj333 | May 5, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman said:

Somehow their is something bad about giving our truckers a break.
____________________________________

Actually, there is: long haul trucking is a poor use of diesel vs rail, it damages roads, it increases road congestion, which causes other drives to burn more fuel in longer commutes and stopped traffic, and it makes highways less safe, since driver shortages allow more unsuitable and unqualified drivers to keep their jobs. The increase in truckers is likely also related to the increase in larger vehicles, since drivers now feel less safe in smaller cars - even if crash tests show some of these feelings to be illusions.

The best way to bring down gas prices this summer would be to offer a "rail rebate", and give tax breaks to companies who ship by rail over truck. That would also have a positive environmental impact as well. It would reduce the highway funds, but hopefully that would be offset by reduced wear on the roads themselves.

But then, I'm an elitist who hates blue collar truckers and wants to destroy their traditional way of life, so I can make these calls ;)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Clinton's add is absurd.

"Hillary will make big oil and gas companies pay the tax."

Huh???????????????????????

This isn't even before congress. How is she going to make the big oil and gas companies do anything?

Her idea is stupid, but she couldn't deliver even if she wanted to. She is a senator. She has very little power and most of the members of congress, like most Americans, don't approve her idea.

Most of us would prefer not to fall through a bridge this summer.

Posted by: Brendan | May 5, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

After her defeat, do you think Hillary will want to stay in the Senate?

Posted by: Kev from NYC | May 5, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The 39 and 32% lead Hillary has in WV and Ky. will never hold, although from the hundreds of folks I have talked with over many months, not one has said they would vote for Obama. I can only say that by some unknown "Factor" in NC, such as the X-Over vote and the same day Registration, should the vote even be close it will show the weakness of Obama, since he has been expected to win in high double digits.

Posted by: lylepink | May 5, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

It is worth noting that both candidates dancing around this issue are sitting senators and as such, have done exactly nothing in their tenures - short as they may be.

As a matter of fact, the madam from San Francisco - the majority leader, pledged two years a go to address this issue. The leftist run senate - as individuals and as a party - have done squat.

Perhaps this will be brought to their attention, in public where they cannot dodge, but I doubt it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Hillary must think Indianans are gullible rubes if she believes they are going to buy into her gas-tax holiday scheme.

Sure, it "would have little practical impact on the high price of gas," but this is just part of the hoax. Hillary's call for a windfall profits tax would have all the chance of a snowball in May-time Indianapolis if it were to reach Bush's desk. She must know it. That means major oil corporations would be free to jack up prices once again to claim the temporarily un-taxed reduction for themselves. And the increased demand on petroleum derivatives generated during the next few months would boost the price after Labor Day even higher.

It isn't necessary to claim that Hillary is pulling another wink-nudge gambit here on behalf of her big-bucks benefactors. But a second income tax rebate of perhaps $1000 paid directly to sufferers who must burn gas in order to work and to live will be a more effective and more honest short-term amelioration.

Posted by: FirstMouse | May 5, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman has made some points in this discussion (at least while it was still on the subject of gas taxes), but his points actually back up Obama's qualifications over HRC's:

Since, as Leichtman pointed out, energy futures take into account instability in the middle east and other oil-producing areas, Obama has already pledged an action that would do more than any tax holiday to lower prices: he would talk to Iran and Venezuela, and try to lower tensions in those areas. Of course HRC has ridiculed him for that, and offered the sort of GWB saber-rattling that has given us these prices to begin with.

Personally, I think that Obama's evolving position on gas tax freezes (that he was "before it before he was against it") gives nice contrast between his and HRC's learning curves: Obama supported this sort of bill in 2000, and learned the hard way (ie, from real elected office experience) that it didn't work. He now thinks we need to find other solutions, rather than simply banging harder with the old tool.

HRC failed in 1993 to get her healthcare passed (with a very friendly congress, btw), in part because she was too secretive when writing it and refused to talk to her "enemies", such as the insurance lobby - who then used that fact to kill the bill. So now he thinks she can pass the same bill, and ridicules Obama for being willing to even talk to the insurance lobby in order to short-circuit their attacks ("when asked for their input, Big Insurance declined. They don't want your payments to go down." Makes a nice ad line, don't it?) In other words: her plan is to bang harder.

The problem that we Obama Elitists have watching HRC is that her methods are so counter-productive. Obama may have trouble being the President for everybody (who wouldn't), but HRC doesn't even seem to want to try. We call that 51 percent governance, and it was the modus operandi of GWB.

And look how it's working out for him.

Posted by: dj333 | May 5, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"Dems AND the GOP are to blame,'

I agree with you. Republicans and Democrats created the mess we are in. Maybe it is time to start voting out these lifetime political bums out of office and take back our country.

Posted by: tdl62 | May 5, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans wanted to build refinery's and drill but were stopped repeatedly by democrats. The Democrats have held both houses of Congress the past 2 years and have done nothing but complain."

Partisan hack. The GOP held Congress for more than a DECADE before our last election, and had a lock on both houses of Congress and the WH, and did NOTHING.

Dems AND the GOP are to blame, and ignorance like yours doesn't help to unravle the lies.

Posted by: Fred Evil | May 5, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The last refinery's were built in the 1970's but the population keeps growing meaning more drivers and user of oil products. Until, we are ready to build new refinery's and drill for oil, we will see prices continue to rise. Using corn in hopes it can become an alternative fuel is casing food prices to rise. Don't hold your breath for any real solutions. Democrats were in control of Congress for years and did nothing. President Carter's policies left left us waiting in gas lines for hours. Republicans wanted to build refinery's and drill but were stopped repeatedly by democrats. The Democrats have held both houses of Congress the past 2 years and have done nothing but complain. They know the best solutions are to drill and build refinery's as well as using nuclear energy but because the left wing nuts control their electability, they choose to do nothing but complain.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
"E Pluribus Unum," Out Of Many, One
Senator Barack Obama


Crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let's face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.
My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.
But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that's shown as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before him.
While studying here my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas.
Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather signed up for duty, joined Patton's army, marched across Europe. Back home my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA and later moved west, all the way to Hawaii, in search of opportunity.

And they too had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success.

They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be
rich to achieve your potential.

They're both passed away now. And yet I know that, on this night, they look down on me with great pride.

And I stand here today grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my two precious daughters.

I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy; our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...

... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the true genius of America, a faith...

... a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution; and that our votes will be counted.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents, I say to you, tonight, we have more work to do...

... more work to do, for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now they're having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay 7 bucks an hour; more to do for the father I met who was losing his job and chocking back the tears wondering how he would pay $4,500 a
months for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on; more to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her who have the rades, have the drive, have the will, but doesn't have the money to go to college.

Now, don't get me wrong, the people I meet in small towns and big cities and diners and office parks, they don't expect government to solve all of their problems. They know they have to work hard to get a head. And they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you: They don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.

Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn.

They know that parents have to teach, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

People don't expect -- people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our party will chose someone to lead us...who embodies the best this country has to offer.

Someone who understands the ideals of community, faith, and devotion to our country. Someone who will make tough choices based on good values and judgment that affirms what is best in us.

Someone who believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, I will offer them to companies creating jobs here at home.

I believe in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves.

I believe in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

I believe in the CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS that have made our country the envy of the world, and I will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And I believe that in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

A while back, I met a young man named Seamus (ph) in a VFW hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, 6'2", 6'3", clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week.

And as I listened to him explain why he had enlisted - the absolute faith he had in OUR COUNTRY and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service -- I thought, this young man was all that any of us might ever hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Seamus (ph) as well as he's serving us?

I thought of the 4,000 men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors who won't be returning to their own hometowns. I thought of the families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they are going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of the world.

Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must be defeated.

I know this and will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure.

I believe in America and know that it's not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people.

If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process that threatens my CIVIL LIBERTIES.

It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this country work.

It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: "E PLURIBUS UNUM," OUT OF MANY, ONE.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of HOPE?

I call on us to HOPE. I call on us to HOPE. I'm not talking about blind optimism here, the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't think about it, or health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.

That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about something more substantial. It' s the HOPE of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the HOPE of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the HOPE of a mill worker's son who dares to defy the odds; the HOPE of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that AMERICA has a place for him, too.

HOPE in the face of difficulty, HOPE in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of HOPE: In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs for the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across AMERICA from violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us.

AMERICA, tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, if you feel the same HOPEFULNESS that I do, if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and I will be sworn in as your president. And this country will reclaim its promise. And out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much, everybody.

God bless you.

Thank you.

Posted by: Christopheur | May 5, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse


some here think that if gas prices drop by 18.5 cents that suddenly scared motorist are going to start taking long trips. Where is your post its pure partisan speculation and nothing more.Seems like you are wanting to have it both ways. You are suggesting that a $30-$70 savings means nothing but that it means so much that drivers will suddenly ignore those fears and taking long trips. the fact that the gas holiday is temporary will make it clearthat they should not become accustomed to those prices. Truckers on the other hand might be able to weather an economic storm that is on the verge of destroying their businesses and driving up our food prices. Somehow their is something bad about giving our truckers a break. It could also be a message to OPEC that we are serious about prosecuting price gouging and have short and long term prices to change that. Curious why Obama's first Congressional Superdelegate, has tried to tell Senator Obama that he is ridiculing voters by his stance on the gas tax holiday?

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree that giving truckers a break on diesel would be a good thing. Unfortunately, the same reasons that make Clintons proposal useless also apply to diesel. We could eliminate the Federal tax on diesel, but supply and demand is a stubborn thing and the price would quickly rise to their previous levels.
What I would like to see is someone really think "out of the box" and come up with an innovative way to get prices down over the long term without resorting to impotent gimmicks.

Posted by: NM Moderate | May 5, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

WHY are the democrats so against lowering the gasoline tax??


Is it because they would have to cut the budget in other areas??

Why is the opposition to the tax holiday so strong? What is being threatened here? Why are they on the defensive? Certainly this is very curious.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 5, 2008 10:01 AM

do the math you aren't going to save much at 20 cents a gallon. The crap from her and McCain was what we heard in the crisis of "74" where is the energy policy we we promised back then. I hope the people are smarter than that and actually know what pandring is

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Just discovered - a 2005 Face the Nation interview with McCain and Clinton - BOTH agreeing to a 50 year stay in Iraq!!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/05/clinton-in-2005-i-agree-w_n_100168.html

The interview transcript:
http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/face_22005.pdf
Quote on page 2.

With Hillary insisting she has "experience and judgement" - this raises yet another question about her credibility.

Posted by: Mark, Indiana | May 5, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

To: Me in Indiana

"The savings from the tax holiday does not seem like much but it is something."

NO IT IS NOT SOMETHING. This will never pass Congress and people need to understand that. Hillary knows this too, she's just trying to make Obama seem "out of touch" for opposing it even though she knows well that it will NOT make a difference. Anyway, gas went up 25¢ in my town last week alone and is more than $1 above last year at the same time. If, for the sake of argument, the gas tax relief did pass and the price of unleaded dropped from 3.50 to 3.32, we're still looking at expensive gas. That price will continue going up too and before you know it, we'll be right back up to 3.50. I'm not buying it for a second.

Posted by: yrba77 | May 5, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Just discovered - a 2005 Face the Nation interview with McCain and Clinton - BOTH agreeing to a 50 year stay in Iraq!!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/05/clinton-in-2005-i-agree-w_n_100168.html

The interview transcript:
http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/face_22005.pdf
Quote on page 2.

With Hillary insisting she has "experience and judgement" - this raises yet another question about her credibility.

Posted by: Lynne | May 5, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman,

The problem with the tax "holiday" is that it won't provide any benefit even in the short term. The "savings" you claim your grandmother will realize will never actually acrue, because as gas gets artificially cheaper, more people will drive. Increased consumption of a product with a limited supply will inevitably cause prices to increase as well. Increased demand, coupled with dwindling summer supply will, as it always has, drive prices up. So, even if the articial reduction in the per gallon price of gas does cause an initial drop in prices, this drop will be only momentary and of no real value, because the lower prices will not be sustained. Or, put more simply, lower prices will increase demand, but not supply. Therefore, prices for a high demand/low supply product will increase and the tax holiday (a Republican idea, by the way) will produce no gain for anyone.

Posted by: alterego1 | May 5, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

If folks need that $23 so bad, maybe they should just work an extra shift at the Piggly-Wiggly.

A little OT never hurt anyone, and just may raise your work ethic.

Posted by: Fred Evil | May 5, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Dear Chris,

I read your Comment on Comments and was glad to see it.

Ultralong cut-and-paste comments that are simply repeated on story after story, applicable or not, as though by a robot (maybe done via software?) supporting one candidate or the other, are my pet peeve. I also get very tired of veiled racism (or unfunny gender jokes, for that matter).

So here is a brand-new comment just for you: Welcome back. We missed you!

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | May 5, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"My 92 year old mom told me that the $30-$70 savings can pay for one of her meds"

If it were MY mom, I'd have just given her the thirty bucks.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 5, 2008 4:08 PM
---------------------------------------
Maybe a 92 year old medicated mom should not be driving in the first place!

Posted by: Joyce | May 5, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I think the real 'dream team' would be McCain/Clinton, as the two of them seem most closely aligned on every issue these days.

Posted by: AThuronyi | May 5, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

She really is just a sleeze. That's all there is to it......

Posted by: Jason, Waltham, MA | May 5, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"2. Why did Sen Obama vote for it 3 times and then brag that he was so proud of it that every Illinois Gas Station should post his name as its promoter."

Well, he saw it didn't work. Comes as a result of the fact that he's the more experienced candidate :)

Posted by: DDAWD | May 5, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"My 92 year old mom told me that the $30-$70 savings can pay for one of her meds"

If it were MY mom, I'd have just given her the thirty bucks.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 5, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

[I have posted this elsewhere in WaPo]

Our current phantom energy plan, "soak and choke," has been brought to you, for the most part, by politicians, industry, and economists (the energy-aristocracy). To be sure, we consumers, at the bottom of the energy chain, have contributed to our situation. The primary difference between us and the energy-aristocracy, is that our buck passing is not a metaphor -- we pay at the pump.

Almost two years ago, shortly after taking impeachment off the table, Nancy Pelosi also promised and has failed to deliver a comprehensive energy plan.

Oil companies have stolen billions of dollars by taking exorbitant windfall profits, by avoiding taxes, by acquiring reductions in or ignoring penalties for foul ups, ..., by holding back fees and royalties.

Hillary Clinton has proposed all of energy, tax, ..., and health plans/policies. Barack Obama presented his weaker versions of the same, only after her plans were made public.

I am sure everyone agrees that any comprehensive policy should eventually include every element in the chain -- explorations, ..., well heads, ..., refineries, ..., distribution, ..., industrial and individual consumers, ... engines, appliances, and manufactured goods, ..., alternative sources. Further, time will be required to fully implement any plan(s). Usage habits must change. Equipment of all sorts, across the full spectrum of the chain, must be phased out and replaced.

Now, Hillary Clinton has proposed an additional short term plan directed at only a few elements of the chain. She intends to relieve the individual consumers and take the money from the suppliers who are reaping huge unearned profits and are already in arrears on old debts. I am not alone in believing that it has the potential for short term relief of the strangulation that is already affecting the bottom of the energy chain. Further, it is not difficult to see that the relief will extend beyond the individual energy consumers.

Critics (her opponents and the energy-aristocrats who have failed us) say this temporary plan rewards bad behavior and will wreak long term havoc. That might be true, if it were to become permanent, and we fail to deliver and implement long term, comprehensive policies and plans.

Who would be relieved? Individuals who must commute to work and school, who deliver goods and services, who must look for work or go for groceries, who planned for vacations, etc. The relief would extend (trickle down) to a great variety of the other 'small people' who support these activities, and even to the the price of food on the table.

As expected, Obama and the Obamaniacs jumped on this to deflect attention from his shortcomings, failings, and fear of debating.

Posted by: old91A10 | May 5, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"My 92 year old mom told me that the $30-$70 savings can pay for one of her meds"

If it were MY mom, I'd have just given her the thirty bucks.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 5, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

How about Senator Casey as Obama's VP? Might help in Pa. and Ohio. Its time to start thinking about VPs. And forget about Hillary. She has no future.

Posted by: svbreeder | May 5, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

lylepink posts:
"I read somewhere that Obama MUST win NC in an opinion by a Hillary supporter. I think he/she could be on to something that has been there for a time, since he was leading from 15 to 25 points in Polling as recent as a week ago. I think she would be in real good shape by holding the margin down to 5 or 6%. By other accounts, a loss would almost certainly give the SDs something to think about his electability."

You mean like when Clinton was leading by 25 points in PA and, despite the multiple self-inflicted wounds suffered by Obama, he ended up losing by only 9 points? After which he's had a significant increase in superdelegates, including prior Clinton SDs, versus Clinton. Is that they type of response from the SDs you're looking for?

Or is it more likely they'll see that there's absolutely no way, mathmatically, that she can exceed his pledged delegates and total popular vote and say game over? Just curious.

Posted by: jk5432 | May 5, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Or it could be Obama recognized the futility and ignorance of the plan from his previous experience.

Gosh, someone who LEARNS, and won't be fooled a second time.

I bet he could articulate it properly too.

But then you'd surely find a reason to bash him because he SPEAKS CLEARLY too.

Posted by: Fred Evil | May 5, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

What's your take on Edsall's scoop on HuffPost that Clinton will play the so-called "nuclear option" at the DNC's May 31 meeting?

I mean it is news, right? But you guys feel free to write follow-up stories, correct?

Thanks.

Posted by: Brittman1 | May 5, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I really love the Clintons but Hillary is dead wrong about this "gas tax vacation" She reminds me a little bit of Bush..doesn't care what economists and other experts think...she's not going to admit she's misguided or mistaken...sound like someone else we know? hint... B**H.

Posted by: A.Lincoln | May 5, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama's stand on the gas tax holiday resembles his stand on Rev. Wright -- he was in favor before it became politically expedient to be against. Obama appears to be the only one of the three candidates who has actually cast a vote for a gas tax holiday -- he voted for one during his Illinois senate career. Suddenly, a few days before the Indiana and N.C. primaries it became the biggest gimmick he's ever seen. Convenient.

Hillary Clinton's argument makes perfect sense -- shift the tax burden from struggling consumers to producers that are enjoying record profits because of sudden inflation in the market.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

As Hillary would say we are tired of speeches. So why doesn't she send her tax relief bill to congress and get it passed before the summer is over.... Oh, it will more likely end up like her fight for twenty years trying to get a health care plan implemented. Oh well...

Posted by: kevin | May 5, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is from a town called Hope.

Posted by: John | May 5, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Any good debater knows that there are pros and cons on any issue, and you can argue either side.

I'm sure David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist, was going to pick any subject against Hillary and/or McCain as a diversion from the Rev. Wright fiasco. I think it's quite appropriate that Axelrod chose the gas-tax issue to divert voters from that gasbag Rev. Wright.

Posted by: Pros and Cons | May 5, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Honestly I am just impressed that someone is talking about taking some action. The savibgs from the tax holdiay does not seem like much but it is something. It is someone suggesting action and not words. And for people who believe it will cost jobs and ruin infrastructure I would suggest you read and try to understand the proposal more carefully. It would not do either. No we are not stupid in Indiana just happy to have someone who seems to get it and is working actively to fix it. Hillary puts forth ideas to generate real hope. Obama only critizes them and wants to talk about hope.

Posted by: Me in indiana | May 5, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey all you guys in IN and NC. Don't forget real men vote for Hillary. And like doing it too. See for yourself. We voted for her here in TX.

Posted by: John | May 5, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey Art, is that $46 a two-car family will get for the summer going to be enough to make or break you? If so, I think you've got bigger problems than a gas-tax holiday is going to fix.

Sorry, guess I'm just too "elitest" to give you a pass for not doing better for you and your family.

Posted by: Fred Evil | May 5, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Elections 101 - None of the primaries/caucuses matter electorally."


Elections 202 - Tell that to the voters of Michigan and Florida.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP

We did, they lost their votes like we told them they would, think they'll follow the rules next time?

Big surprise, a GOPer who advocates ignoring the rules.

Posted by: Fred Evil | May 5, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Who thinks for a minute that the Memorial Day to Labor Day gas holiday wouldn't make a financial difference to "Joe Lunch-bucket"? Those are the months the kids are out of school. Those are the months that the two-parent working family have increased costs for child care, because school is out. Obama and his fellow elitist economists couldn't get that if you drew them a picture. What is needed is SOME kind of financial relief for the next few months. As the North Carolina Governor said last week, "Hillary gets it!"

Posted by: Art | May 5, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Signs of trouble:

1. Obama is falling under 50% in most NC poles

2. Obama nuts are becoming more hate monger

3. Obama's false mask is coming off. He is anti Republican, anti Tax, anti Defense.

Pandering to core Elite whites

Posted by: Seed of Change | May 5, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

It sounds all nice and pretty on thge surface, but when you look at what will actually happen, it's a sham.

At an average use of 10,000 miles per year, a 'tax holiday" three months long, will provide relief for a total of 833.33 miles of tax-free gas (except for CA). For most cars, which get an everage of even 20 mpg, this is a dicount on FORTY-ONE gallons of gas. At 18.4 cents per gallon, your total savings is $7.66 per month, for a GRAND TOTAL OF $23!!! (or $46 for a family of two with 'average' vehicles) Of course, that doesn't factor in oil companies greed, and their ability to jack the prices up 18.4 cents/gallon as soon as it goes into effect!

If you have decided to sell your vote for $23, go right ahead and call this a good deal.

It will cost us more than $23 apiece to discuss and PASS this bill, much less implement it, or realize the savings.

What a bad idea, that the American people continue to allow to be argued!

It's foolish, it's ridiculous, and the only ones to gain a significant benefit are SUV drivers, who use more than 20 mpg worth. In fact, you'd be all but punishing those who specifically bought more fuel-efficient vehicles to help wean us OFF of oil, and handing our savings to the jerks who continue to drive over-sized thirsty vehicles!

SUV at 10/mpg will get a $45 savings
Hybrid at 42/mpg will get an $11 savings

Why hasn't it been recognized how anti-American SUVs are? But we love them, and we love sending our money to the Saudis to continue to drive them!

Posted by: Fred Evil | May 5, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Zogby Poll: Obama Leads in N.C.; Indiana Tight

Sunday, May 4, 2008 9:27 PM

Article Font Size

UTICA, New York - The Democratic Party presidential contests in Indiana and North Carolina remained remarkably stable on Sunday, with Illinois' Barack Obama holding an 8-point lead in North Carolina and a statistically insignificant two-point lead in Indiana, the latest Zogby daily tracking telephone poll shows.

The survey of likely Democratic Party primary voters shows that in North Carolina, Obama leads with 48% support, compared to 40% for Clinton and 13% either undecided or preferring someone else. In Indiana, Obama is nursing a tiny lead of two points, winning 44% support, compared to 42% for Clinton and 15% unsure or wanting someone else.

Both candidates stumped for votes in Indiana Sunday, as the state's voters prepare to cast ballots in Tuesday's elections. Actually, early voting has been underway in both states for awhile (longer in North Carolina than in Indiana), and this latest Zogby polling shows one-quarter of North Carolina voters - 26% - have already voted, and 13% in Indiana have already cast ballots.

While Obama holds a small edge in Indiana, Clinton appears to hold at least a small advantage among those who are yet undecided. Among those undecided Indiana voters who said they were leaning toward one candidate or the other, Clinton held an edge. It also remains unclear what impact, if any, the new Indiana requirement that voters show identification before casting ballots will have on the contest.

Source Link:
http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/clinton_obama_zogby/2008/05/04/93355.html?s=al&promo_code=4A63-1

Posted by: charko825 | May 5, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Walks like a Republican, talks like a Republican.

___________Hillary = McCain +Sleeze

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The gas tax holiday is a gimmick.

1. The "savings" would amount to about $25-$30 for an average person. Too cheap to buy my vote!

2. This savings is illusory. The oil infrastructure would increase prices by most if not all of the amount -- at least half. There goes $15 of what Hillary paid me for my vote.

3. The savings will never actually materialize because it will not pass Congress. Hillary asked that members of Congress stand up and be counted on this issue. "Either you're for us or you're against us." (Sounds a lot like a certain President.) The response was overwhelmingly against Hillary. But she persists.

4. She'll buy a few votes from those who aren't paying attention but will alienate many superdelegates, who ARE paying attention.

This issue is a real no-brainer.

The only uncertainty is whether she's just a jerk for pushing this idiotic idea or whether she's also a fool. The latter will be determined by tomorrow's vote.

Posted by: Harry, Los Angeles, CA | May 5, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Too many people are foolishly thinking that a vote for Hillary means a vote for Bill. That somehow they're voting Bill back into office. They need to realize he'll be doing what he's been doing... selling himself to the highest bidder for speaking engagements. Hillary will be making those "finger on the button" decisions, not Bill. This woman is a Republican in Dem clothing... she was a Republican in her youth and she's never shaken those values. Voted for the Iraq war, voted with Bush regarding Iran, speaks in reckless cowboy terms of "obliterating" Iran, lies about her foreign experiences (Bosnia and Ireland), uses Repub/Rove negative campaign tactics. Just disgusting.

Posted by: DogBitez | May 5, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

A Clinton spokesman on a "conference call" early this afternoon called the Indiana and North Carolina primaries referenda on the (Summer Motor Fuel Tax Holiday of 2008).

That will surely conclude this matter once and for all, one way or another, before Memorial Day. How fortunate we are to have this convenient set of "referenda" to direct and guide our leaders and legislators.

A few weeks ago, MoreAndBetterPolls talked about the trouble with Republicans, and apologized to them for not having posted the trouble with Democrats at the same time. The Post columnist, Jim Hoagland, has pretty much nailed the trouble with Democrats.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/02/AR2008050203434.html

Democrats and Republicans, please know that I consider my obligations fulfilled.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | May 5, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

INDIANA, PLEASE DON'T BE FOOLED BY HILLARY & BILL CLINTON'S SLICK POLITICS. LET'S START CONCENTRATING ON NOVEMBER! A VOTE FOR OBAMA WILL MEAN THE END OF THIS GRUELING PRIMARY SEASON. MCCAIN KNOWS THAT THE LONGER THIS GOES ON, THE BETTER FOR HIM. VOTE OBAMA ON TUESDAY AND LET'S END IT!

Posted by: yrba77 | May 5, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

My state (California) links the state gas tax to the federal tax. If the federal tax is lowered below a certain rate, the state tax is raised to make up the difference? How, exactly, is this "holiday" going to help the 30 million Californians, who already have some of the highest gas prices in the country? Or do we not matter enough to pander to because we've already voted?

"State/Federal Rate Linkage.
The Federal government also imposes tax on various fuels. The California gasoline, diesel, and certain use fuel tax rates are tied by statute to comparable federal taxes in order to maintain a minimum level of state and federal fuel taxation. The state/federal linked rate for gasoline taxes must be maintained at a minimum of $0.27 per gallon. Therefore, if the federal gasoline tax (which currently is $0.184 per gallon) were reduced below a rate of $0.09 per gallon and federal financial allocations to California were also reduced, the state gasoline tax would automatically increase so that the total of both Federal and state taxes would equal $0.27 per gallon."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Two MD supers for Obama

PolitickerMD reports that State Democratic Party Chairman Michael Cryor and Vice Chairwoman Lauren Dugas Glover will endorse Illinois Senator Barack Obama this afternoon.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"It is the voters who have the right to nominate whomever THEY chose, not some overarching nannystate bosses."

And they do. Every state has rules controlling how one gets their name on the ballot. Typically, with enough signatures on a petition, anyone can reach the ballot. If voters don't like the silly rules of one party, or another's (i.e. GOP's preferance for winner-take-all primaries), they can vote for other candidates. The GOP has selected a candidate who didn't win a majority in any contest until all the competition dropped out. Surely that's no more 'democratic' than the Dem's 'smoky room' plan.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, there IS a cost associated with eliminating the fuel tax, a very serious one. That's why I don't support a "gas tax holiday" in general, although I agree with Clinton on most issues. My point is that the costs on eliminating the tax for truckers alone might be outweighed by the benefits.

And yes, I agree that we need to get used to gas prices going up. I'm one of those liberal tree huggers, and I DO support the idea that gas will, and should, rise in price. I think Europeans pay something like $6-7 (equivalent) for the equivalent of a gallon. On the other hand, they (generally) don't rely on private transportation as much-- I've long said that we desperately need to make a commitment to public transportation in the U.S.

The problem is that gas prices have risen too fast to allow us to make adjustments for it. It's an economic version of evolution-- we don't have the infrastructure in place to allow me to instantly hop on a bus in my neighborhood, for instance. If a forest is suddenly clear cut and turned into a housing development, what happens to the wildlife that's lived there? A few individuals from most species may survive, but most of the rest will be run over by cars, starve to death, and so forth. The fuel prices are forcing an analogous economic scenario.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | May 5, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

goddess: 2 simple questions: 1. Did Gov Ryan have access to revenues from a Windfall Profits Tax? 2. Why did Sen Obama vote for it 3 times and then brag that he was so proud of it that every Illinois Gas Station should post his name as its promoter.
Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 11:30 AM

I wanted to address this portion of your post Leicthman.
Though someone already responded for me *chuckle*..thanks go out to JamesCH..

Obama has had the experience in that this does not work..why repeat a mistake ? Isn't there a saying? Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me?
I find this refreshing...a politician who learned from his mistake and does not want to repeat such a thing... shows he learns and grows as times and events change..we need flexibility... Think of how our fore fathers framed our constitution..They did not make it a set and complete document.They understood that times would change so we could change our laws as time goes on.
So, why is Obama against it? Simple..been there... done that... bought the T'shirt.

You asked about Gov.Ryan getting windfall tax..no and neither would we..I can show you some info from the tax foundation regarding this idea from 2006..very interesting read.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/1689.html
From the link is this bit of information....

July 10, 2006
Temporary Gasoline Tax Holidays: Relief for Motorists or Poor Tax Policy?

by Jonathan Williams and Andrew Chamberlain

Fiscal Fact No. 61

As gas prices have risen in recent years, gasoline tax holidays have grown in popularity with lawmakers as a means of temporarily lowering retail gas prices for consumers. The phrase "tax holiday" generally describes any temporary repeal of a tax--in this case, any temporary repeal of local, state or federal sales or excise taxes on gasoline.

The most recent experiment with gas tax holidays was in the State of Georgia, when lawmakers temporarily repealed the state's portion of the sales and excise taxes on gas during the period of abnormally high gas prices in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since 2000, three other states have also enacted gas tax holidays (see Table 1), and 41 states and the District of Columbia have considered or enacted similar proposals to suspend, cap, or otherwise freeze gasoline taxes.

Table 1. States Enacting Temporary Gas Tax Holidays Since 2000

State

Effective Dates

Description

Georgia

September 2005

Suspended state's 7.5 cents-per-gallon excise tax and 4 percent sales tax on gasoline.

Florida

August 2004

Suspended 8 cents of the state's 14.3 cents-per-gallon excise tax on gasoline.

Illinois

July-December 2000

Suspended the state's portion of the sales tax on gasoline (5 percent).

Indiana

July-October 2000

Suspended the state's sales tax on gasoline (5 percent).

Source: State Tax Notes; Tax Foundation

While gas tax holidays are popular with lawmakers, they are generally poor economic policy. Tax holidays appear to provide a simple way to offer tax relief to consumers during times of high prices at the pump. However, not all forms of tax relief are created equal.

Some types of tax relief--including gas tax holidays--introduce costly economic distortions into the economy in the process of lowering tax burdens because they favor some industries and products over others. In contrast, broadly based and permanent tax relief does not favor particular industries or buying behavior, providing tax relief without harming the overall efficiency of the economy.1 There is a growing body of research that suggests tax holidays are a costly and inefficient way to offer tax relief to consumers compared with more broadly based and permanent types of tax relief.

I suggest you go read further, it explains the domino affect from these bad policies.
I also wanted to comment about Obama's health care program you mentioned.
I personally am enrolled in the Illinois plan.It is efficient and AFFORDABLE!
I am un-insurable being a Diabetic, I have a daughter who is also a Diabetic , we need steady medical treatment.Until this law passed in Illinois we could not find any coverage we could afford.
I am going to sound like a campaign slogan but can his health plan be implemented?
YES IT CAN!

Posted by: goddessson2001 | May 5, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"superdelgates are key parts of a political party's unfettered right to nominate whomever it chooses"

It is the voters who have the right to nominate whomever THEY chose, not some overarching nannystate bosses. The Superdelegate system takes away those rights from the voters, and gives party bosses undue influence; more than their share of votes, effectively.

This is a bad year to be trying out such flawed process anyway. Historic is putting it mildly. Leave it to the Dems to shoot themselves in the foot once again. And, I suspect that if you believed your candidate was being harmed by it, your opinion of the process would be markedly different.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"It is truly facinating how undemocratic this process is...this byzantine nominating process concocted by the Dem party bosses, for the Dem party bosses."

One could argue that our Presidential elections are fairly undemocratic as well. Electoral College? Winner take all? A true democracy would be majority rule, but we all know how well that worked for President Gore. The Framers apparently had little faith in the ability of the populous to choose their leader.

Posted by: mnteng | May 5, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"That may be true, but you and bsimon always seem to get there way before me."

Mark pointed out the lack of legislation, I merely repeated the observation a few times to make the point.

I see none of the supporters of the gas tax amnesty have yet pointed to their candidates' legislative efforts on the subject.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"I would agree with you on not making exemptions for one group alone. However, in this case I think there might be something to be said for giving truckers a break. The cost of food, clothing, even entertainment has gone up."

Who should pay to subsidize the truckers (and, in the end, ourselves)? You're arguing as though there's no cost associated with eliminating the gas tax. Yet, as we've seen here in MN, there is a need to properly maintain infrastructure. The idea of eliminating a pittance of a fuel tax on freight haulers is basically arguing that we should subsidize ourselves with more borrowed money that our children will eventually have to pay back.

I don't like inflation any more than the next guy, but I'm not going to sit here and tell myself that we can get something for nothing by subsidizing freight haulers. If costs are going up, shouldn't we just get used to paying the higher prices instead of pretending they're not really going up (which merely exacerbates the eventual hit to the pocketbook)?

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin:

"Fine minds work along similar paths."

That may be true, but you and bsimon always seem to get there way before me.

I agree that something has to be done about GI benefits. I've had a few Iraqi Freedom (and Desert Storm) vets in my classes -- the credits they get don't even cover half their tuition. And then there's the VA ...

It makes me a bit ashamed that we aren't treating these "kids" better, especially after finding out what some of them have gone through.

Posted by: mnteng | May 5, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"the reports were on kprc channel 2 news with tape recordings of disinformation being robo called and film reports of HC caucus goers being spit on, but why in the world would someone from Texas care what in the world YOU think about our caucuses or want to waste our time with your comments about our ccaucus when it is obvious you don't live in Texas or know beans about Texas and Texas politics other than to bloviate your obsessions?"

That's what I thought. Once again I have asked you politely to back up your preposterous assertions, and you crudely proffer some half-remembered local news gossip that doesn't mention anything about the Obama campaign.

Obama won Texas because of the combination of his appeal and organizatial skills and the Clinton crew doesn't have a clue how to run a campaign.

Try again.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon, normally I would agree with you on not making exemptions for one group alone. However, in this case I think there might be something to be said for giving truckers a break. The cost of food, clothing, even entertainment has gone up. We went to the zoo for my daughter's birthday, and while we are members, the cost of adult admission is now $15-- less than 10 years ago, I remember paying somewhere under $20 for my husband, two girls, and myself (OK, 2 adults, 2 kids). Why? Well, the cost of maintaining the zoo has gone up. Not only the facilities, but in particular, the cost of feeding the animals. That new baby elephant at our local zoo is gonna take some large bales of hay in the near future!

Rail transit is great, no argument. The problem is that rail lines don't cover every little town in America. Even if they did, you'd still need trucks to get the materials from the depot to the stores, and for some items (furniture, large appliances like refrigerators, etc.), you still need the items delivered to the consumer's door.

NO solution is perfect. I certainly haven't thought through the entire idea-- it was something that just came off the top of my head after considering Proud's comment. But I do think it's important to consider all sides of an issue.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | May 5, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

the reports were on kprc channel 2 news with tape recordings of disinformation being robo called and film reports of HC caucus goers being spit on, but why in the world would someone from Texas care what in the world YOU think about our caucuses or want to waste our time with your comments about our ccaucus when it is obvious you don't live in Texas or know beans about Texas and Texas politics other than to bloviate your obsessions?

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"It is truly facinating how undemocratic this process is...this byzantine nominating process concocted by the Dem party bosses, for the Dem party bosses."

Completely undemocratic. The superdelgates are key parts of a political party's unfettered right to nominate whomever it chooses, and it is relying on people who have worked hard for the party through thick-and-thin-and-Clinton to affirm the candidate who has won the most delegates, popular votes, and contests. Absolutely unfair.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

bondo trots out another Super get: "Oklahoma Democratic 'superdelegate' Kalyn Free has pledged her support to Barack Obama"

It is truly facinating how undemocratic this process is...this byzantine nominating process concocted by the Dem party bosses, for the Dem party bosses.

The Democrats wrote their own Constitution to oversee any primary election problems that the simple minded voters may unwittingly create; forthwith....

We The Party Bosses, in order to form an imperfect nominating process, do establish injustice, insure domestic infighting, provide for the common defense of our own superdelegates, promote the general welfare of our own superdelegates, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity of Party Bosses, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Democratic Primary Nominating Process.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Do I need to find his quote to convince you that that was exactly what Sen Obama has said?"

That you can cut-and-paste on demand is not an issue - I will be the first to admit that you are quite adept at that.

What I want is some evidence of the thuggery you allege in Texas. None of the usual Hillary hateblog stuff, either. Genuine, impartial, credible news accounts of bullying and thuggery.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

freight costs bsimon are also very inflationary especially when it comes to food costs.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

phantom bullying?

yea our local tv news reporting of those tactics was phantom reporting from our local District Convention and what you claim was fantasy.But once again you are obsessive compulsive about that as though that it is even relevant today.

lets see what supers say on wed. You do recall your candidate's prediction that Indiana was the tie breaker. Do I need to find his quote to convince you that that was exactly what Sen Obama has said?

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"I've read some articles that small, independent truckers have seen their costs rise so drastically lately, that some are going out of business."

I've seen that too. I suspect that freight costs will have to start rising to account for the rising cost of doing business for the freight haulers. As supply dwindles (available trucks to haul), prices rise (cost to ship by truck), which will benefit the freight haulers who survive.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Another one. From Tulsa World: "Oklahoma Democratic 'superdelegate' Kalyn Free has pledged her support to presidential candidate Barack Obama, the Obama campaign said Monday morning."

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

" she'd make Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel her chief economic adviser."


Hear that, Harry? There may be hope for you after all.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

dcgrasso writes
"This gas tax holiday WOULD make a major difference for ONE group of people: truckers. I strongly disagree with her that it would make a difference for all drivers, but perhaps it could be structured that the gas tax would be applied only for someone pumping more than, say 75 gallons at a time, or perhaps people could apply for a tax-exempt license."

My question is why we should subsidize one user group? Lately rail freight companies have been sponsoring public radio, with the message that "1 gallon of diesel fuel can move 1 ton of freight 400 miles." If freight can be moved cheaper by another means, why would we subsidize a less efficient mode?

I see Mark already made the point about damage to the roads - which is another good one. The beauty of the fuel tax is that it roughly correlates to each vehicle's relative use of the road - heavier vehicles do more damage, but also burn more fuel & thus pay higher taxes. There's nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Sen Obama's thugs bullied themselves into winning a handful more delegates. "

Oh yeah - I forgot about the phantom bullying. If you can call them bullies, what do you call the non-existent Clinton organizers? Cowards? Or were they distracted in a search for donuts and rock salt?

Anyways, even if I were to accept the most naive and optimistic projections you have produced in WV and KY, Obama still will have the majority in elected delegates, and Hillary needs to get 70% of what is left. And right now, her biggest problem isn't getting new ones - it's holding on to the ones she already has. From the LA Times:

"Two of the five superdelegates aligned with Clinton who spoke at the annual California Democratic Convention here said they would reconsider their support if rival Barack Obama maintained his lead in elected delegates and the popular vote after the last contests on June 3.

While hardly reflecting a groundswell, the superdelegates' comments underscored the concerns among some of these officials about the drawn-out Democratic race. It follows the embarrassing defection Clinton's campaign suffered Thursday when former Democratic National Committee Chairman Joe Andrew switched his support from her to Obama, and warned that the negative tone of the campaign was becoming a "catastrophe" that would help Republicans.

Christopher Stampolis of Santa Clara, a superdelegate who endorsed Clinton after the Iowa caucuses, said that he remained in the New York senator's camp but that his commitment expired with the end of the primaries.

"When it's done, all of us, whether we're committed or not, we're going to take a look" at the final eight contests, said Stampolis, who until recently worked in external relations for a Bay Area environmental firm. "Our job is to represent the constituents who trusted us to win the White House."

Garry Shay, a Los Angeles attorney, said that if Clinton remained about 150 pledged delegates behind Obama, the current estimated margin, he would have to "reassess the entirety of the situation."

"It doesn't mandate me switching," he said, "but it does mandate me reconsidering."

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the compliment, Mark. I genuinely appreciate it.

You are absolutely correct, in that the roads are torn up far more by large trucks than by average drivers. I haven't researched this, so I could be completely wrong, but I would hazard a guess that far more gas is sold to privately-owned vehicles than to truckers. (I just looked on the U.S. DoT website and couldn't find an answer.) Therefore, I would speculate that there might not be a huge percentage of money lost.

Additionally, it would have the advantage of keeping freight costs a little lower. Hopefully that would, in turn, mean that savings could be passed along to the consumer-- or at least stop rising. I've read some articles that small, independent truckers have seen their costs rise so drastically lately, that some are going out of business.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | May 5, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

some observations on Liberal leadership:

since the Dems won over congress the gas prices have doubled, the foreclosures have soared and the economy has generally soured. this is due in part to the do-nothings over in the house and Senate. Nancy has still not passed an approps bill and doesn't intend to. she has usurped more raw power than any speaker in history (herstory). the approval rating of this congress (22%) makes Bush look stellar at 36%. the Libs kept one promise by passing min wage and aborted the other ten or more. the congress now comes into session on tuesday evening and departs thursday morning - only a five day week under Lib math. the same math that considers giant spending pay-go.

but the good news is that the threat of a Dem presient is now fading and the stock market and economy is responding accordingly by reversing its downward trend that started when the true Libs looked like they might actually win an election after decades. but that silliness has been abandoned with Rev Wrong and the other loony haters.

In fact moveon, Kos, huff, drindl and LOUD and DUMB have been revealed for the powerless and vile creatures they are with the Dems pandering on fox for the votes they shunned only a few weeks ago.

Interesting.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 5, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Elections 202 - Tell that to the voters of Michigan and Florida."

Um, alright ... Michigan and Florida voters - votes that are cast in primaries and caucuses do not count towards the allocation of electors in the Electoral College. It's in the Constitution.

Republican voters - Your boy is going to get clobbered in November, in Michigan and Florida and elsewhere, even if the dems nominate Charley Manson. McShame tried to run as himself, and bankrupted himself doing so. He has garnered the Republican nom by running as McBush to what is left of the base.

These conspiracy theories featuring rogue Repubs crossing over in open primaries/caucuses to vote for Clinton/Obama because Rush told them to hold as much water as flat earth theories. The voters would have jumped ship anyways, and this dopey idea that they are doing so as the part of some master plan is clever but absurd.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

So the voters of Indiana and the nation's truckers don't matter? The epitome of elitism, no wonder Sen Obama lost 73% of Pa Catholics and 65% of blue collar voters in Pa.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 1:14 PM

Wrong again Leichtman, but you like Clinton has yet to show how they should plan to deal with gas prices once the holiday is over. The holiday ends and voters/truckers are back the same predictament, having saved virtually nothing. It is elitist to believe that handing out a free soda and a pack of gum every week is going to actually help those in need. But we have already bantered back and forth on this issue and you have never offered much of anything as a defense.
And Clinton was against the Gas Tax Holiday before she was for it. Funny how time and experience make positions change.
Have a good day.

Posted by: JNoel002 | May 5, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

ok bonjedi delude yourself into believing you can wipe away a 39 and 32% lead in W Va and Ky where Senator Obama is doing very little campaigning.We have admitted that HC won the Tx poular vote by 110,00 votes and that Sen Obama's thugs bullied themselves into winning a handful more delegates. You are obssessed with that we all know that. Who Cares and what does that have to do with Indiana, W Va and Ky? Absolutely Nothing.

and mark the moderator has informed me that unfortunately the sign in is being worked on but may still need another 1-2 weeks for it to be fixed but that they are trying to clean it up in the interim.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman, why do you keep bringing up the 2000 Illinois gas tax bill as if it mattered? Yes, in 2000, Obama was in favor of revoking the gas tax. The bill passed, and accomplished nothing. Gas prices increased to soak up much of the supposed consumer savings from the tax decrease, so consumers saw little benefit. And it cost the state a lot of money.

So Obama was in favor of decreasing gas taxes until he saw that it doesn't work. Now, realizing it's a bad policy, he opposes it. And somehow you fault him for that. Would you prefer that he continued to defend a bad policy?

Posted by: Blarg | May 5, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

From the footage I saw of Clinton defending her gas tax holiday she seemed one sentence away from promising she'd make Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel her chief economic adviser. We've had eight years of community college level education running the White House; would raising the bar really be that bad?

Sorry, I'm just an elitist.

Posted by: muD | May 5, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

And I apologize that I missed greeting "mnteng" in my 12:58P post to those attempting a civil discussion here. You also noted that no bill was in the hopper, as did bsimon and I. Fine minds work along similar paths.

Would those of you who sign in from NC and IN mention where you are from so we can get some idea how this is playing to interested folks before tomorrow? AndyR, if you see this, check in. It seems you Wolfpack folk have been so elated that the 'Heels lost you have given up public appearances to do work, or something.
--------------------------
I have never understood ACC rivals - they NEVER root for each other. I wanted A&M to beat UCLA and I cheered for KU in the Final. I think most Big 12 rivals are like that, most of the time.

Hook 'em.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 5, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Elections 101 - None of the primaries/caucuses matter electorally."


Elections 202 - Tell that to the voters of Michigan and Florida.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

actually Jnoel Sen Obama has already acknowldeged that he has flipped since 2000 or didn't you get the Axelrod memo. That is exactly what I posted last week that He was for it Before he was Against it.

Typical Leichtman. You are exactly right, this is a political campaign just in case you haven't noticed, for the highest office in the land. We could say your side is pandering and playing politics by offering a $100 billion dollar tax cut or his health care proposal,didn't quite hear that from you when he stated that, but oh yes we forget your campaign is above politics. gag.

So the voters of Indiana and the nation's truckers don't matter? The epitome of elitism, no wonder Sen Obama lost 73% of Pa Catholics and 65% of blue collar voters in Pa.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

If McCain wasn't supporting the 'gas tax holiday' as well, Clinton might have got away with it. But combine that with Clinton's various other pandering statements lately, and more and more voters are seeing a pattern.

Tom's Corollary to "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts":
Perceived patterns have a much larger effect than individual statements or positions.
(as in logarithmic, not additive)

Posted by: Tom J | May 5, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

WaPo at 12:47P: Thank you for the guidance. Our common experience was that having to register and sign in worked fairly well as a prophylactic.

When will your sign-in procedure be "Fixed"?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 5, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"minor problem with that theory. HC leads Obama by 39% in West Va, 32% in Ky, and he is likely far behind in Puerto Rico without even dealing with Fla and Michigan delegations which your campaign incorrectly assumes is just going away."

Minor problems with this delusion. Hillary had the same margins in TX, PA, and before the primaries, with the official results much closer (and as we all know but some will not admit, Obama won the majority of TX delegates).

Also, I see we're back to the bogus FL and MI arguments. Yes, they're not going away. No, Hillary is not getting her hands on those delegations as is. The likely scenario is MI is 50-50, and halfsies on the FL delegation.

I've already done the math on that scenario for you, and it means that Obama needs a hundred more supers instead of 90. At the rate he's picking off supers that have changed their mind, that shouldn't be a problem.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

As I posted last week the test will be how it plays in Indiana at $120/barrel and new polls showing 70% of voters are concerned about high gas prices lets just see who was right, Senator Obama, or the voters of Indiana.
Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 12:50 PM
Typical Leichtman, Clinton's policymaking is totally centered around getting elected. What we will see tomorrow in Indiana isn't between Indiana voters and Obama. It is whether they buy into Clinton's blantant pandering and her here today gone tomorrow solution.

And just to clarify, you were wrong about Obama flipping and about the Gas Tax holiday being a big hit with voters. In the future I will try to keep up with the goal post moving.

Posted by: JNoel002 | May 5, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"I stand corrected. Obama hasn't won anything that matters electorally since February 22nd.

Guam has no electoral vote in the general."

How many electoral votes has McCain won in the primaries? Clinton? Edwards? Paul? Kucinich?

Elections 101 - None of the primaries/caucuses matter electorally.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Look, Proud is using Clinton campaign talking points. ("Only the states which voted for Hillary matter!") It's so hard to tell the difference between Hillary and the Republicans some times.

Posted by: Blarg | May 5, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Dave!, JD, dcgrasso, proud, bsimon, - good to start my early lunch with folks having a reasonable back-and-forth.

1] I agree with JD that this kind of tax is the last to monkey with and Dave, it does maintain the IHs and should be rebuilding the god*am bridges. dcgrasso, your argument would be appealing except for the fact that the 18 wheeler semis tear up the roadbeds in a way even an F250 cannot touch. And they throw so much tread - who pays for the cleanup?

2] bsimon and I have been pointing to the fact that no bill is in the hopper. Unfortunately, this casts aspersions on the bona fides of the intent of the proponents who are powerful United States Senators, and who could do more than anyone to make this happen right now, if they really wanted to.

3] On another point: Proud, if the McC - Graham effort leads to tiered benefits with 6 yr vets getting more than 3yr vets, I can get aboard with it, and I am glad to see it in any event. To just criticize Webb-Hagel without offering a credible alternative would have been small.


Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 5, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

" If Obama takes half the delegates elected from now to the end, he needs less than ninety more supers to clinch the deal"

minor problem with that theory. HC leads Obama by 39% in West Va, 32% in Ky, and he is likely far behind in Puerto Rico without even dealing with Fla and Michigan delegations which your campaign incorrectly assumes is just going away.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

PS
Yes I would say it to Hanoi John Kerry's face. He's a traitor no different than Hanoi Jane Fonda!!!!

Posted by: sparksUSN | May 5, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that Obama MUST win NC in an opinion by a Hillary supporter. I think he/she could be on to something that has been there for a time, since he was leading from 15 to 25 points in Polling as recent as a week ago. I think she would be in real good shape by holding the margin down to 5 or 6%. By other accounts, a loss would almost certainly give the SDs something to think about his electability.

Posted by: lylepink | May 5, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

bondjedi 11:58 AM excuses the Hanoi John Kerry "Winter Soldier" books cover of an upside down American flag as just being "a signal of distress". Even you bondjedi could be so dumb as to believe Hanoi John Kerry used this picture as a 'sign of distress'. Nobody, but nobody could be THAT DUMB!

Posted by: sparksUSN | May 5, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

jnoel we will see tomorrow what Indiana has to say since Senator Obama said it was the tie breaker, but his Fort Wayne comment certainly doesn't help. As I posted last week the test will be how it plays in Indiana at $120/barrel and new polls showing 70% of voters are concerned about high gas prices lets just see who was right, Senator Obama, or the voters of Indiana.

Obama's comments at a Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he said the following: "And when people lose their jobs, when the plant closes, you don't just lose your job, you lose your healthcare. And you lose your pension. AND MORE THAN THAT YOU LOSE YOUR SENSE OF WHO YOU ARE AND YOUR PLACE IN YOUR COMMUNITY. YOUR SENSE OF DIGNITY."

Here is the video of the event:
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/obama-we-have-di...

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Blarg: If he loses Indiana, the delegate count at this point is meaningless. Obama's lost his mojo and the supers aren't going to go with a candidate who can't deliver lunch-bucket democrats.

You can do all the delegate math you want. The supers will decide this, as they should, because it's looking too close for the popular delegate count to be the deciding factor.

The superdelegate system is ensuring that a wounded candidate won't get the nomination... just as the system intended.

Obama can still "beat" Hillary by finding a high-profile Dem to throw his delegates to, since it appears that Hillary is something of a reluctant choice for many Dems voting in the late primaries. If Obama throws his delegates to a Gore or an Edwards, he could save the party from defeat and possibly emerge with the VP nomination. That's all he's got left.

The Dream Is Over, to quote John Lennon.

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Posted by: washingtonpost.com | May 5, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Clinton has advisers who know that the proposal would profit oil companies much more than consumers. (She could always say that the exess-profits tax would have takent care of that, if only it had passed.)
But she desperately needs an issue. If Obama takes half the delegates elected from now to the end, he needs less than ninety more supers to clinch the deal.

Posted by: Frank Palmer | May 5, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected. Obama hasn't won anything that matters electorally since February 22nd.

Guam has no electoral vote in the general.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Since February, Obama has won Mississippi, Wyoming, Texas, and Vermont. He's gained 285 pledged delegates since February; Hillary has gained 292. And there's no way that Obama is going to lose tomorrow; his margin in NC polls is higher than Hillary's in IN polls, and NC is worth more delegates. So it looks like Obama is going to widen his delegate lead even if he loses IN.

Posted by: Blarg | May 5, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Proud - "Since Obama hasn't won since February, if he thinks his press is bad now, wait until he's gone 0-for-7."

To be fair, I believe that Obama won Guam by 7 votes over the weekend.

Posted by: Dave! | May 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Bloomberg's Al Hunt gets his hands on an Obama strategy memo, written after Super Tuesday, and forecasting the outcomes of all of the subsequent primaries.

LINK:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=atrCbqyGfxME&refer=politics

Hunt says that chief delegate hunter Jeff Berman and his team have been "almost dead-on" in forecasting which candidate would win each state and in delegate counts. But they underestimated how much they would lose Pennsylvania, thinking Obama would lose by about 5 points.

They expected to lose Scranton and Wilkes- Barre, "by about 10 points. Instead they were defeated by better than 2-to-1."


While appearing to blame the voters, Hunt makes a strange concession about Obama's recent campaigning: "There may have been some element of racism among these culturally conservative voters, who support Democrats if they think the politician is strong and empathetic toward their struggles; Obama appeared neither."

Tomorrow could actually determine quite a bit. Since Obama hasn't won since February, if he thinks his press is bad now, wait until he's gone 0-for-7.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman, how are those polls working out on this Gas Tax holiday? Last week you were bragging that Obama would be flipping as we speak to jump on board and connect with Indiana voters. But wait, everyone realized the gas tax holiday was a complete joke and more simple pandering by Clinton. Better hit those phone lines.

Posted by: JNoel002 | May 5, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

let us just stop that nonsense period. It is ugly and destructive and lets stop those continuous comments that no one other than you believe, that the clintons are racists. It might serve your campaign to continually promote that message that no one including your candidate believes, but it is destructive and contrary to what we were led to believe was supposed to be your unifying campaign, a Campaign of New Politics, and beyond the politics as usual.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

>>> "deliberatly create racial polarization and political backlash"

Well put, Leichtman. Let's leave that to the experts, Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

flowover by your logic we should not take Senator Obama's healthcare proposals and energy proposals seriously because he has not been sworn in either so he should simply stop talking about them as well until 2009. Do you disagree that the Justice Dept should bring antitrust actions against price gouging either now or on Jan 22, 2009?

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

bonjedi I will gladly give you his full name and email address if he wants it posted here(but will not do so without his explicit permission) but he has seriously removed some of the vile posts here and will be keeping a watch over anyone making racist comments and then deliberately pasting your opponent's name in the sign in to deliberatly create racial polarization and political backlash. I presume that you agree that those kinds of practices are dispicable and should not be allowed here.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman:

I assume the "HC Justice department" taking swift action would require an amendment to the Constitution to move up the inaugural to some time next month. About as likely as HC getting enacted a bill she hasn't even bothered to introduce.

...about as practical and as likely as the rest of this proposal ever becoming anything more than a cynical pander by a desperate politician who will say or do anything to win.

Posted by: FlownOver | May 5, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

What's that e-mail address so I can go cry whenever someone trumps my arguments on a consistent basis?

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman:

I assume the "HC Justice department" taking swift action would require an amendment to the Constitution to move up the inaugural to next month.

About as practical and as likely as the rest of this proposal ever becoming anything more than a cynical pander by a desparate politician who will say or do anything to win.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

JD - "These taxes should be the last ones to be cut, not the first."

I would agree except that I tend to really really dislike hidden taxes. I would venture to say that virtually nobody could have told you how much tax there was on a gallon of gas prior to this debate. People just pay it (along with states taxes) being none the wiser. This tax, originally from the 50's, designated for Federal Highways and supposed to be gone by 1969 when the Interstate Highway was supposed to be completed has been increasingly used for other things. In particular, since the passage of the 1991 highway bill, funds raised from motorists at the pump have been diverted to bicycle paths, scenic landscape designs, pedestrian walkways, parking garages, and any number of non-highway projects. Perhaps with the gas holiday, some re-evaluation and focusing of priorities could occur.

I believe that both McCain and Clinton have looked to replace the funds from somewhere else. I know Clinton is looking at the tax on oil company "excess" profits to do it. I don't have great support for the holiday idea but I also don't think it would be the worst thing in the world.

Posted by: Dave! | May 5, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

These comments are pretty scarey. But if I could inject some thoughts into the stew ---
At the risk of being flamed as even more elitist (it's frightening that being thoughtful is considered "elite" and out of touch!)than Obama, I think the stimulus rebate is even more stupid than the gas tax holiday. We should have directed those billions of dollars into repairing and upgrading our infrastructure. Unless we're a lot smarter than these discussions suggest, a lot of people will spend all their money on things made in China instead of investing it as a nation in improving our common good --- education, mass transit, bridge, highway, and train upgrades, nibbling at the backlog of national park deterioration.... The list goes on and on. Maybe we'll oppose the go-out-and-buy-stuff fix, but I'm not holding my breath.
And second, even if the truckers get their tax holiday, the detours from crumbling roads and bridges would probably eat up whatever minescule savings accrued!

Posted by: boomer nona | May 5, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

A POLITICALLY LOW-OCTANE OBAMA THINKS "THE FACTS" WILL WIN...
WHEN VOTERS WANT SHORT-TERM RELIEF

Obama is correct on the gas tax, intellectually. Emotionally, he's all wrong.

He proposes no immediate alternative that could lower gas prices in the short-run -- like a congressional probe into price-gouging, or introducing legislation that would somehow curb market speculation that drives up prices -- at least some sort of short-term fix. Instead, he correctly analyzes Hillary's "gimmick" but offers no alternative for relief at the pumps -- what the voters NEED to hear.

This is another reason why Obama will not win the nomination. He's so out of touch that he thinks his calling the gas tax holiday a "gimmick" will win over voters. If he doesn't come up with his own short-term salve, he shows that he really doesn't feel the voters' pain. Even a call for car-pooling, or employer subsidies or tax credits for workers who use mass transit, SOMETHING...

In the voters' mind, at least Hillary is thinking the way they think: "Okay, it's not a long-term solution, but what can you do for me NOW, Barack?"

OBAMA'S ONLY HOPE: WITHDRAW AND THROW YOUR DELEGATES TO A VIABLE HILLARY CHALLENGER

After Obama loses in Indiana and, as it's looking today, loses North Carolina, too, the superdelegates will call on him to withdraw from the race. His choice: Withdraw and throw his support to Hillary; or -- the BOLD choice -- withdraw and throw his support to someone else, maybe Gore, maybe Edwards. That way, Hillary's not rewarded for her divisive, selfisih campaign, and Barack's the party power-broker.

Hillary's base of feminists, gays and older women is not substantial enough to fight off a Gore or an Edwards -- what reluctant Hillary voters would prefer over her polarizing presence on the ticket. Once again,

DEMS WANT AL ALTERNATIVE TO HILLARY WHO IS NOT OBAMA!

Even today's David Broder column alludes to the supers demanding that Obama back down.

But does he have the political kahones to withdraw AND challenge Hillary's nomination... or will he succumb to pressure to simply give in to her strong-arming of the party and hope she has to pick him as VP? (Note to Obama: at this point, she might be better off choosing a high-profile Obama supporter than Obama himself).

This is the REAL test for Obama. He's already lost the Presidential nomination. Now let's see if he can at least hold onto the veepee slot.... The way he's performing, that looks questionable, too.

Posted by: scrivener | May 5, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Hurray for Hillary. She will stick it to Big Oil. Rather have her, than have someone who looks down their nose at me and tell me how suspending the fed tax on gas won't help me at all this summer. Get over yourself Obama!

Posted by: NanFan | May 5, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"A upside down American flag and the author standing in the forground."

An upside-down flag is a symbol of distress, not disrespect.

And what's with the "Hanoi John" crap? Would you say that to his face?

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

proudtobe GOP 11:09 AM correctly pointed out that Barack Obama's friend and co-worker Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers had a picture taken with him stepping on the American flag. There is anothe similar picture of a American flag being desecrated that was on the front cover of a book a very popular Democrat once had published that once received no notice, surprise, surprise, by the Democratic Party--controlled MSM. The picture? A upside down American flag and the author standing in the forground. The book? "Winter Soldier". The guy who wrote and had the book published? Hanoi John Kerry.

Posted by: sparks USN | May 5, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

This week, Congress will debate a $178 billion supplemental-spending bill designed to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into the next president's administration. The bill is long overdue.

Democrats have signaled their intention to meddle with the bill, and there are several things we should watch out for....


"Sen. Jim Webb's proposed expansion of education benefits to veterans is a case in point. All Americans can agree that veterans should have more education benefits (the existing G.I. bill provides a significant range of benefits). But Webb's bill, cosponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, would provide the full range of benefits after only three years, thus eliminating one of the most valuable incentives to troop retention.

Under current law, the full benefits vest only after six years, which means that soldiers who have served three years and are facing a second deployment -- the most valuable soldiers in the military -- have an incentive to stay through that deployment in order to get their college tuition fully covered, in most cases. The Webb-Hagel bill would eliminate this incentive, which is one reason Defense Secretary Robert Gates opposes it.

The Democrats will try to attach the Webb-Hagel bill to the supplemental, but lawmakers wishing to expand the G.I. bill have a much better alternative.

Sens. John McCain, Richard Burr, and Lindsey Graham have put forward a bill that would increase education benefits without having a negative impact on retention."

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YWQzOTZkZDE5ZDk0YzdiMWU2ZDZlZDhkOTJiOWFjZTA=

I have communicated my support for McCain's GI Bill reform which is more in tune with advice from commanders in the field.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

One further point-- Proud to be GOP has one very strong point. This gas tax holiday WOULD make a major difference for ONE group of people: truckers. I strongly disagree with her that it would make a difference for all drivers, but perhaps it could be structured that the gas tax would be applied only for someone pumping more than, say 75 gallons at a time, or perhaps people could apply for a tax-exempt license.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | May 5, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

actually bonjedi I am glad that you have mentioned that because I just received an email from someone named Jason from the Fix just a few minutes ago who has informed me that he has removed some of these posters and will be closely monitering the site going forward. Thanks for agreeing that they were totally outrageous and beneath the dignity of this campaign.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I bet Hillary's tax plan will win votes from Kurdish terrorists and African oil thieves. Good one! How many are voting in Indiana tomorrow?

Posted by: Unity '08 | May 5, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"is that too much mobo jumbo for you or just too complex?"

What do Kurdish rebels and Nigerian pirates have to do with the Clinton/McCain tax plan?

Why don't you throw in the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Protocols of Zion, and whoever wrote Shakespeare's plays?

Leichtman - I'm laughing at your superior intellect.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If you want to give people money like the rebates then give them money. Don't try to money with prices - it just distorts the information sent into the market and gives the wrong signal on the need to conserve and to replace gas guzzlers. Suspending the tax doesn't really help in the long term and doesnt help that much in the short term as prices will rise and the suppliers will capture the price differential.

HIllary cant be bothered with economics than she cant be bothered with being president because she will have to make very macro decisions that influence the whole economy. Who will she pander to then?

Posted by: nclwtk | May 5, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Leichtman, I think that overall, Clinton is a stronger candidate than Obama. I think that the majority of her policies are more detailed and much better thought-out than his, and that is why I support her candidacy. However, I have to agree with Obama on the so-called "gas tax holiday"; I agree that it can only hurt Americans overall.

It's far too similar to the results of the idiotic tax cuts under Bush. Yeah, my family gained a little under the tax cuts, something like $25 extra per year. However, a grant to our county that supported summer jobs for disabled teens was scrapped some 5 years ago (my younger is mentally disabled and just turned 21-- she spent 3 summers looking for a job but ended up sitting around the house); money for public transportation programs disappeared (one of the BEST methods for lowering gas consumption); scientific research in every field was cut back, and European research began to blossom when some of our scientists followed the money; the economy began to worsen. These are only a FEW examples of the results of the tax cuts.

I'll grant that the tax cuts were far from the only reason money's become unavailable to the states. The waste of the war has been probably the biggest contributor to our problems (and, of course, the waste of lives is infinitely greater than the economic cost). But if an average of $10 a month means the difference between life and death for your grandmother's meds, then there is a bigger problem here. Clinton's support of a gas tax holiday will not fix this, and can only harm the infrastructure further.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | May 5, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

She's not running for the Presidency of Fantasyland.

Posted by: JamesCH | May 5, 2008 11:38 AM

On the contrary! Only in Fantasyland are economic experts who warn about stupid tax policy and revenue shortfalls "elitist" and wrong, but neocon foreign policy experts who advocate saber-rattling in the highly volatile Middle East right.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey Leichtman, how about a follow-up on your threat/tantrum from last week to report this blog to the national media, that you have proof that the Obama campaign is little more than provocateurs bent on antagonizing Hillary deadenders on the fringes of her campaign. Any nibbles?

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"More mumbo-jumbo you picked up from a Hillary blog" I have been too busy knocking on doors an phone banking to listen to your nonsene.

No actually I picked it up from Jim Cramer and the energy traders who office next to me who both know just a little bit more about energy prices then you. And James it is quite interesting that you don't understand the relationship between the dollar and oil prices and gas prices. Oil prices rose today to $120 p/barrel, is that HC's fault according to you or perhaps due to market forces that will exist with or without a gas tax holiday unless you have expert knowledge that doing absolutely nothing in the short term will reverse those overseas and dollar related mkt forces. Again mobo jumbo and jibber jabber to you b/c you would rather just repeat the Axelrod daily line.

"NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil futures have surpassed the once unthinkable price of $120 a barrel Monday as the dollar weakened against the euro.
Kurdish rebels on Monday warned they could launch suicide attacks against American interests to punish the United States for sharing intelligence with Turkey after Turkey bombed rebel bases in Iraq on Friday. Oil traders worry that any conflict in the oil-rich Middle East will cut oil shipments out of Iraq.

In Nigeria, a Royal Dutch Shell PLC spokesman said attackers hit an oil facility belonging to Shell's joint venture in southern Nigeria and that some oil production has been shut down. Nigeria is a major U.S. crude supplier?

is that too much mobo jumbo for you or just too complex?

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

proud- have you been in contact with McCain's senate office to encourage him to work for passage of this critical legislation?

You say:
"Just like the stimulus package is a short-term panacea. The idea is to rev up the economy by giving consumers (truckers are people, too) a break and to alleviate some financial stress which does, in fact, have a negative impact on the economy in genereal."

The stimulus package is a bogus plan, like this gas tax nonsense, that sticks a relatively small amount of money into people's pockets without addressing any of the underlying economic problems. The difference, is the gas tax idea is on a smaller scale than the 'stimulus' package. Borrowing more money, which will further devalue the dollar, exacerbates the economy as a whole, in an attempt to soothe individual taxpayers' concerns with one-time, short-term solutions. Short-sighted election year politics.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"goddess: 2 simple questions: 1. Did Gov Ryan have access to revenues from a Windfall Profits Tax? 2. Why did Sen Obama vote for it 3 times and then brag that he was so proud of it that every Illinois Gas Station should post his name as its promoter.

I guess he was just For the Gas Tax Holiday before he was against it."

More proof that Hillary and her supporters are big fans of the GOP electoral playbook.

Obama has the experience of seeing this exact plan fail in Illinois. Cut the gas tax, no significant savings for consumers. He supported it until he saw it fail, and now he knows well enough that it doesn't work.

And stop talking about the windfall profits tax until she has a plan for getting it through Congress this year. She's not running for the Presidency of Fantasyland.

Posted by: JamesCH | May 5, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Why did Sen Obama vote for it 3 times and then brag that he was so proud of it that every Illinois Gas Station should post his name as its promoter."

I challenge you to produce evidence that Obama voted for the gas tax plan that Hillary took from McCain. Oh, you can't, and the only reason you are producing this Clinton spin of Obama in the IL Senate is because you are a cut-and-paster with no critical skills intent on obscuring how stupid and idea it is?

Thank you for acknowledging the can of whoop-ass opened up on Hillary from the good people of Guam. Of course the Clinton spin is that the win was by seven votes, and of course it and its deadenders refuse to acknowledge that she didn't net any delegates and she lost another superdelegate. You know, every time Obama picks one of hers off, it narrows the margin by two, not just one.

If Hillary won Guam by seven votes, loons like you would be screaming that it was a mandate for her nomination, that Obama could not win the prez because he could not connect with the Guamian middle-class.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if eliminating the AMT is right or not (have no idea how much revenue will be lost if it is eliminated, or what loopholes its absence will open up)...

BUT at a minimum, Congress should reset its index to rise with inflation. While it is well intentioned, like many of the silly regulatory ideas of the 60s and 70s, it was poorly executed.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I know it's just a silly point, but is anyone considering that the federal government can suspend the 18.5 cent gas tax, but they cannot mandate that retail price at the pump drop by 18.5 cents? We don't have price controls in this country. During summer driving season, have you noticed the annual trend of gas prices rising? That's not magic. It is not coincidence. It is a matching of market forces of supply and demand. It is likely that much or all of the 18.5 cents will disappear into corporate account books before any of it provides the alleged relief targeted to the consumer.

This proposal is flat out pandering, exactly what you'd expect during this silly season.

Posted by: Optimyst | May 5, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Isn't this Gas Tax Holiday just another non-issue inflated by the press and candidates to be The Next Big Issue for the presidential campaign? Both HRC and McC (and numerous posters above) know this not-yet proposed legislation has virtually zero chance of passing both houses and getting signed by GWB in three weeks, particularly HRC's windfall profits tax.

Maybe I could see it as a debate about judgment or economic philosophy. But I think HRC made a strategic mistake in changing the press coverage from Rev. Wright to Gas Tax Holiday/Iran a few days before the IN and NC primaries. Certainly, the press (e.g., The Fix) had not yet tired of the Wright/BHO relationship.

Posted by: mnteng | May 5, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Supporters of the McCain or Clinton plans to suspend the gas tax for the summer:

Have you written your preferred candidate and asked why they haven't introduced the appropriate legislation in the Senate so it can be passed there, sent to the House & eventually the President so it can be created as a law within the next three weeks?

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

bsimon says the gas tax Holiday is "a short-term panacea"

Just like the stimulus package is a short-term panacea. The idea is to rev up the economy by giving consumers (truckers are people, too) a break and to alleviate some financial stress which does, in fact, have a negative impact on the economy in genereal.

McCain goes a lot farther in his plan to provide working Americans with tax relief, for example his plan to double the child tax credit.

He will also eliminate the AMT, which threatens to unduly burden many middle-income Americans in the near term. The Dems in Congress have failed to address that looming problem.

John McCain will repeal the onerous AMT tax, saving middle class families nearly $60 billion in a single year. Under his plan, a middle class family with children set to pay the AMT will save an average of over $2,700 -- a real tax cut for working families.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't get how every economist in the country is wrong and Leichtman is right. Maybe Leichtman is an expert on taxation and economic theory. Maybe he has complex models that can predict such things for us.

And can we retire this BS "elitist" talking point? There is nothing more elitist than the cabal of party hacks who support Clinton because they have deigned it was they who built the party and are entitled to power. The country will never vote for this calcified group of Democrats, no matter how much they pander to the neocons on foreign policy, no matter how much they sell their souls to the uneducated wing of the Democratic Party, and no matter how much they demonize the next generation of educated and engaged voters who will carry the mantle of the party long after this same calcified group is in their rocking chairs recalling the go-go 90s with rose colored glasses.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Even though I'm with Obama on this one, I take exception to the idea of one earlier poster that this is an "IQ test" for voters. Frankly, that comment does sound kind of obnoxious.

Let me put it this way instead. It's a test of common sense and gut instinct by voters across the board.

Does dropping the small tax that pays for highway improvements, with the understanding according to basic market economics that the price at the pump will immediately rise to its former total level (no savings), sound like smart economics or even a smart idea for a summer? Or does it sound like a reckless gimmick to get elected, and to heck with the highway jobs (and safety improvements) that are lost? Common sense tells me the answer.

As for the "windfall profits tax" that is supposed to magically solve everything, I don't see something that complex being proposed and implemented in the next month. So the reality is the highway fund will be stiffed, the pump price will not drop, and an irresponsible politician will go on her merry way. Ugh.

There is a reason Michael Bloomberg (selfmade billionaire, Republican mayor of New York) called this "the dumbest idea I ever heard." But I don't think it's actually dumb on her part. I think it's dishonest.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | May 5, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

goddess: 2 simple questions: 1. Did Gov Ryan have access to revenues from a Windfall Profits Tax? 2. Why did Sen Obama vote for it 3 times and then brag that he was so proud of it that every Illinois Gas Station should post his name as its promoter.

I guess he was just For the Gas Tax Holiday before he was against it.

Yea bonjedi I guess you are pretty excited about your 7 vote win. That was a really remarkable blowout considering your own campaign predicated an 11% win in Guam just like your candidate predicetd that Indiana will be the tie breaker.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

" Take away the federal gas tax, and the total price will rise through normal market forces very rapidly "

"and you know that why?"

I know that because I actually understand the basic concept of supply and demand. Lower the price artificially, and people line up to buy the product more than before (increased demand). If there is no corresponding increase in supply, the price goes up. Therefore, when the gas tax holiday is over, the price of gasoline will be even higher than it is now.

And, if Hillary isn't pandering, then why can't she be honest about the fact that her "windfall profits tax" to offset the gas tax is a fairy tale that has no chance of getting through Congress this year?

Posted by: JamesCH | May 5, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"Energy markets will move up and down based upon the value of the dollar and reformulated summer gas production."

More mumbo-jumbo you picked up from a Hillary blog and cut-and-pasted. You haven't a clue what any of this means.

Why not address the superdelegate that Hillary lost in Guam this weekend?

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"When you spend $1000 for gas each time you fill up, as truckers do, then it is not a paltry amount, and i think it sounds pretty elitist to suggest that it would have no effect on people's lives."

Proud, the price of fuel fluctuates by larger amounts on a weekly basis. Eliminating the gas tax is a short-term panacea - blatant pandering - that does absolutely nothing to address the real problems faced by truckers or anyone else. Your faux outrage at my so-called elitist view is comical.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

" Take away the federal gas tax, and the total price will rise through normal market forces very rapidly "

and you know that why? Because you are an energy futures expert or b/c that is the line being fed to you? Energy markets will move up and down based upon the value of the dollar and reformulated summer gas production. I am sure you have expert knowledge exactly what will be happening to the dollar and summer reformulated gas production this summer. If you do Bernacki can surely use your soothsaying to set national fed policies. Futures markets will move regardless and there is zero evidence that cutting the tax by 18.5 cents will have any impact on energy traders, other than what Axelrod feeds you daily. Nationally truckers could save as much as $2 billion in diesel costs in 3 months which goes into their profit margins and the cost of virtually every food product they deliver to your local grocery. And food costs effect inflation, interest rates and actions by the feds to stabilize the foreclosure mkt.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, As I argued last weeek, the truckers would save about $60.00 every time they fill up! That's enough to have a very positive impact on their bottom line, whether they can keep driving their truck profitably or not, and ultimately on the larger national economy which relies on their ability to haul the nation's freight.

When you spend $1000 for gas each time you fill up, as truckers do, then it is not a paltry amount, and i think it sounds pretty elitist to suggest that it would have no effect on people's lives.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Leichtman back after the weekend, and obviously delirious from being awake in the wee hours to call Guam caucusgoers. Looks like that didn't go too well, did it, Leichtman? What happened to your Guam strategy?

I see you're droning on about the finer points of taxation and oil companies, despite being exposed as a fraud and a poseur here last week. Go get a new talking point.

Posted by: bondjedi | May 5, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

For liberals, bad news is good news, so I can see why some are in fact hoping for a recession and bad news from Iraq in the fall.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 10:54 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dude....where you been living?
"hoping for a recession?"
Face it bud..we are already IN RECESSION.
and "Bad news from Iraq?"
Once again I ask where have you been living?
How closed off from reality are you?
Was your television set broken last week with all of the attacks that have been happening in the "Green Zone?".

EVERYONE has seen all market prices increase..From clothing to food to gas..the dollar is at it's weakest EVER and you say Democrats are HOPING? I do not believe any person would wish a recession on any society..
We all like to have money in the bank and cash in had so we feel secure, knowing we can pay our utility bills,rent/mortgage and feed our families.
What you said is pure false when one looks at the true reality of current events..

Posted by: goddesson2001 | May 5, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

dee by your uninformed comment I presume that you would be quite comfortable if Iran wiped Israel off the map with a nuclear attack. That was her response as a deterant to such an attack against Israel. By your post you obviously would feel that Iran's nuclear attack on Israel, if that should happen, should be responded with by meetings instead of a military response.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
" It is a temporary program desgined to give consumers and truckers a little relief during the summer, and to help alleviate some of the worry that has a negative impact on the economy. The positive impact on the economy from decreased financial strain on average working Americans may be intangible to economists, but it is a real phenomenon."

$30 spread over 3 months, or about $10/month. Call it $2.50/week. Not exactly a windfall. proud, you're drinking the koolaid.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The price at the pump most likely will not change a penny.

The current price is what the market will bear. Take away the federal gas tax, and the total price will rise through normal market forces very rapidly so that it's the same as before -- the price that the market will bear.

The only difference is that the amount of the old tax will then go to the companies selling the gas, instead of to the federal highway fund, as the tax now does. There is no, zero, relief for any grandmother, father, daughter or anyone else. But thousands of highway construction jobs go away.

Then, in September, the holiday ends. The tax is slapped back on the now-inflated pump price. Again, the price will come back down to the price the market will bear, but there will be a brief sticker shock due to the temporary inflation this plan creates.

When Hillary cannot name an economist who supports her plan and says that's because economists as a profession should be ignored, I no longer believe she is fit for office as president. She is simply disqualified at this point.

Posted by: Fed Up with Lies | May 5, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

A 2001 photo of William Ayers, an associate of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, shows the former terrorist stepping on an American flag.

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2001/No-Regrets/

The photo was taken to promote Ayers's book, "Fugitive Days" and published by Chicago Mag for their August 2001 issue.

Micelle Obama is a close friend and former coworker with Ayers' wife, Bernadine Dohrn aka "La Pasionaria of the Lunatic Left".

Barack Obama met Michelle at the law firm where she, Ms Dohrn and Obama all worked at the time. The friendship between Dohrn and Michelle Obama was the starting point for the close association between Barack Obama and William Ayers, a man who once tried to overthrow his country's government and now works for a state university.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Independent if you would stop screaming, you can understand that NO JOBS WILL BE LOST period under the HC plan. She will be injecting the $15 billion dollars from a Windfall Profits Tax into the trust fund. In reality there may be more road construction and more jobs created, but hey I guess just screaming like you is a substitute for actual facts and reality. My 92 year old mom told me that the $30-$70 savings can pay for one of her meds, likely no big deal to you, and believe me truckers understand this break b/c many of them are struggling to stay in business.

I have taken a short break from my law practice to work in Indianapolis as a volunteer, nothing more, nothing less.

Obama Prediction: "the Indiana primary in particular Mr. Obama, meanwhile, once suggested that it could be a 'tie-breaker' in the Democratic nominating fight,"

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Clinton's latest pandering to the lowest know-nothing levels in order to win votes is despicable. She claims that we should vote for her because of her 35 years of expertise, yet she ridicules those with real expertise in economics who say that her gas-tax holiday proposal is both stupid and dangerous.

Now she wants us to get ready to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Sen. Clinton makes the Repubs look good and that is a hard thing to do.

Are voters in Indiana and North Carolina really so ignorant as to swallow this load of tripe? I guess we will find out tomorrow, sigh.

Posted by: dee | May 5, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Most consumers would save more money by changing their behavior than by eliminating the federal gas tax."

There is NO proposal for eliminating the gas tax!! It is a temporary program desgined to give consumers and truckers a little relief during the summer, and to help alleviate some of the worry that has a negative impact on the economy. The positive impact on the economy from decreased financial strain on average working Americans may be intangible to economists, but it is a real phenomenon. Combined with the (bipartisan) stimulus package, the economy is in sound enough shape fundamentally to rebound by fall if politicians listen to voters' concerns.

For liberals, bad news is good news, so I can see why some are in fact hoping for a recession and bad news from Iraq in the fall.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 5, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

LEICHTMAN: Are you kidding? Or are you a Hillary campaign worker? You say that thirty dollars could go to lunch meat? We already have goverment programs for those people in place. So how can you justify taking jobs from people by using this kind of rationale? I am a single mother like you mentioned and although I don't use these discounted lunch programs,I know they are there and that I as a tax payer already pay for it!

Posted by: IndependantQ | May 5, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

notice goodesson you refer your numbers to the McCain gas holiday, which does not factor in $15 billion from a Windfall Profits Tax. Nice Disinformation.

Net result - less money for infrastructure investment? lets see $15 billion revenue less $9 billion equals a Net Less money?? that is some interesting math.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 10:39 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hello Leichtman...
Those numbers are not my numbers..I gave credit to Jimmy Crackcorn from Daily Kos...
Lets see...what did you MISS?...Ah..those were not the COMPLETE numbers..those were numbers for just a few states..each state would lose jobs as well as funds for their roads and bridges.
I happen to know what a tax holiday does for my pocket book.I lived in Illinois during the 2000 tax freeze.It did our state no favors. People lost jobs, our roads were in disrepair and the pocket books were not much heavier for the 3 cents we saved per gallon.

By the way..I'd like to know who your mother's insurance carrier for her medicine is? If she will be able to purchase a lot of meds for those 4 months with less then $30.00...I need a plan like that!Or were you referring to your mother being able to gas up her engine for an entire summer on that huge $30. windfall for tax payers?

Posted by: goddesson2001 | May 5, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

This race has been over for weeks. The MSM co-opts Clinton's talking points to keep the story going, keep their viewership and readership high and collect their fat paychecks. They are the true elitists. Hillary can't catch Obama in delegates, popular vote or states won. The party will not take the nomination away from Obama based solely on Hillary's talking points. To do so would alienate black voters and the new, young voters brought into this process by Obama. Obama's donor list contains 1.5 million people.

Posted by: Mark G | May 5, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I think the same can be said of the Republican Party old-timers who must be aghast at the neocons and evangelical right spending money like a bunch of drunks in a bar and butting into people's personal lives at will.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats will never cut the gas tax, or any taxes for that matter. If they had their way this country would be a Socialist Communist la-la-land with everybody paying confiscatory high taxes like 70% or so, and the government (they) handing out money to what THEY consiter worthy causes, projects, or deserving individuals. The long-gone true Democrats would turn over in their graves if they knew what had happened to the Democratic Party of today.

Posted by: sparks USN | May 5, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

But Nathan, if the candidates were being asked to discuss real issues substantively, then the page views at washingtonpost.com would plummet, ratings at CNN and Fox would tank, and circulation at the NY Times would be even more anemic than it already is. You are talking blasphemy. You must be Canadian.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of elitist economic experts telling me what to do that I'm going to listen to non-elitist, neocon foreign policy experts so I can threaten Iran with obliteration.

Accurate summation of Clinton's performance on "This Week"?

God, I'm so sick of this Clintonian double-talk. We've been putting up with it for 2 decades. It's time for it to end and for them to, appropriately, exit stage right.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Obama says that he has a middle class tax cut instead of the gas tax holiday proposed by Hillary. Hillary has her own middle class tax cut plan too. To me, both candidates are hollow in their spins. Neither the middle class tax cuts nor the gas tax holiday are likely to be put into law in the near term. So the pretense that Obama is talking on principle, and Hillary is pandering is just plain silly and dumb. I see both of them talking unreal solutions for a short time relief. So it shows that both candidates are politicians to the core. At least gas tax holiday can be enacted as a temporary measure, no matter how useless it is from a practical angle. The candidates simply keep arguing without any valid issue to discuss.

Posted by: Nathan | May 5, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

anonymous asks
"How exactly will a "windfall profits tax" be written? What does that legislation look like, and will it stand up to judicial scrutiny?"

The answer is provided by a simple lookup of the bills offered & sponsored by Senators McCain and Clinton. Surely one of their supporters will provide the information shortly.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Re: "Gassing Up", Gas Tax Holiday:


From "Head of State"
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/clinton-calls-for-bad-weather-holiday.html

Monday, May 05, 2008
Clinton Calls for "Bad Weather Holiday"

"When asked this morning by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos if she could name a single economist who backs her call for a gas tax holiday this summer, HRC said "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists."

The gas tax holiday is...so economically stupid (it would increase demand for gas and cause prices to rise, eliminating any benefit to consumers while costing the Treasury more than $9 billion, and generate more pollution) and silly (even if she won, HRC won't be president this summer) as to be worrisome. That HRC now says she doesn't care that what economists think is even more troubling."

-Robert Reich, May 4, 2008

I know we've got those "intellectual", high-falutin', elitist meteorologists, those "forecasters" with their complicated charts and their mumbo-jumbo, their high fronts and their low fronts, their Doppler radars. But I've come to say that we're going to put an end to all of that.

When my daddy and I went out in the morning in (Scranton, Indianapolis, Durham, Hagåtña, Charlotte Amalie, San Juan), and he said "It's going to be a sunny day today", well, that was good enough for me.

And that's why, if you vote for me on (May 6, May 13, June 3), I will put into effect a "Bad Weather Holiday" running from the years 2009-2012--and potentially extendable.

That's right. We shouldn't have to eat our (hot dogs, barbecue, tamales, Chicken Estufao, Stewed oxtail) under rainy skies. We've had enough of going off to work in the (streets, sands, seas) of this most beautiful (state, territory) only to face a cold, cloudy day. We know what it's like to rest our weary bones after a hard day of labor in the nearest (local watering hole, locale taberna, berlina) only to step out into a stiff, tiring wind.

The Weather issue is very real to me, as I've been meeting people across this nation who (walk, drive, sail, ride ox before stewing tail) to work, and would save precious sums if they did not have to spend their hard earned money on "umbrellas" and "rain coats" and other high priced, high class items of the upper crust. In my daddy's day, a newspaper held over the head by a worn, calloused hand was just fine.

So I say: Let the 'Umbrella Lobby' take the brunt--not our hard working citizens. Oh, sure. I know elite opinion and so called "academic experts" say that my plan would cause 12 straight years of hail, swarms of ravenous locusts, and a vortex of hurricanes ranging from the Mideast to the West Coast.

But I don't put stock in experts. And neither should you. And that's why you should vote for me on (May 6, May 13, June 3).

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/clinton-calls-for-bad-weather-holiday.html

Posted by: Robert Hewson | May 5, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Hillary cannot just "wish" a law into existence. She and John McCain act like this law can be put into effect just by their asking for it. Does anyone believe that this law can make its way through congress and Bush will sign it into effect before Memorial Day?? Sure, he is just waiting to help the Democratic party all he can. This couldn't be put into effect by Memorial Day of 2009!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Leichtman writes
"my 92 year old mom can use the savings to help her pay for her monthly meds, and single moms can use that money to buy their kid's lunch meats."

If gas is $3.50 per gallon, eliminating the federal gas tax reduces the cost to consumers by roughly 5%. That kind of savings is comparable to driving on properly inflated tires & travelling at the speed limit. Most consumers would save more money by changing their behavior than by eliminating the federal gas tax.

If your 92 yr old grandmother is still driving, she is an inspiration to the elderly everywhere. My step-grandmothers (both also in their 90s) are finally giving up the keys, which nobody really wants to see, but is the safer desicion for all involved.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

How exactly will a "windfall profits tax" be written? What does that legislation look like, and will it stand up to judicial scrutiny?

I'm seriously curious about this...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

notice goodesson you refer your numbers to the McCain gas holiday, which does not factor in $15 billion from a Windfall Profits Tax. Nice Disinformation.

Net result - less money for infrastructure investment? lets see $15 billion revenue less $9 billion euqals a Net Less money?? that is some interesting math.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

10:15 post

"Re: the John Edwards comment - Not only do I hate black people, but I hate white people that do not."

Posted by: Words of Wisdom Translator | May 5, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Forrest my 92 year old mom can use the savings to help her pay for her monthly meds, and single moms can use that money to buy their kid's lunch meats. It might not help latte drinkers much with their overpriced Starbuck purchases and that is precisely what the elites don't get.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

WHY are the democrats so against lowering the gasoline tax??


Is it because they would have to cut the budget in other areas??

Why is the opposition to the tax holiday so strong? What is being threatened here? Why are they on the defensive? Certainly this is very curious.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 5, 2008 10:01 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lowering the gasoline tax would not give any of us regular Joe & Jane Americans much of a benefit is the point.A whopping $30. dollar savings for an entire summer?
This will also hurt not only the roads and bridges infrastructure it will place even more Americans out of work as well.
They can not enforce any measure to stop the oil companies from passing the 18.3 cents back on the consumer, once again increasing the coffers of big oil and still raping Joe & Jane American...
Sometimes taxes are a necessary evil, however, this is one fund we can not freeze.
I have cut this from Daily Kos /Blogger Jimmy Crackcorn..
You really need to look at the solid numbers to see what kind of after shock this would cause........
*Begin cut & paste*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~by Jimmy Crackcorn
Sat May 03, 2008 at 07:30:40 AM PDT

Follow below the fold for a State by State breakdown of the Jobs and Federal Highway Funds lost during this 15 week "Gas Tax Holiday" proposed by John McCain and Hillary Clinton.


State Jobs Federal Highway Funds
North Carolina 7,071 Jobs $203 Million
Indiana 6,390 Jobs $183 Million
Oregon 2,881 Jobs $82 Million
Kentucky 4,298 Jobs $123 Million
Montana 2,348 Jobs $67 Million
South Dakato 1,623 Jobs $46 Million
West Virginia 2,691 Jobs $77 Million
==================================================
America 310,750 Jobs $8.9 Billion

*end cut and paste*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"It's the jobs stupid" This is what we need to look at.
Can we really afford a gas holiday? Or perhaps we should not give them subsidies to "research alternate and renewable fuels"...
What alternatives have bee given to the world in general from big oil? What has BP, Shell or Marathon given us to reduce our oil dependency? What's that? Nothing?
Less subsidy and yes tax their wind fall profits....without raping Jane & Joe this past 4 years we might still be seeing the old gas prices of a whopping 7 years ago of $1.29 a GALLON..40.00 a barrel oil..
Time to wake up America..we are going to have to sacrifice...stop driving so much and walk a bit more..we might lose the tag of the most obese nation too!
NO to the gas holiday...it will only create more debt and not much relief.
Let's start being smart with our money for a change...

Posted by: goddesson2001 | May 5, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"Net result - less money for infrastructure investment"
actually More not less money will be available.

Apparently you have not been paying attention: 1. A Windfall Profits Tax generates $15 billion, $9 Billion to replace trust fund losses 2. Price Fixing by energy traders will be dealt with swiftly under the HC Justice Dept. Your local gas station will be prohibited from collecting that 18.5 cents.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 5, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

As usual the Hillary "Haters" are trying to distort how the suspension of the Fed tax on Gas [$0.18+ a gallon] for the summer. This would amount to about one cent a mile and although this does not seem like much, it is at least something and would be paid for with a windfall profit tax on Big Oil, so it is paid for. The tax on Diesel would help truckers mainly to a greater degree.

Posted by: lylepink | May 5, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Obama - the Post Post-Racial Candidate


Obama is fishing for a campaign theme now that his post-racial notions have been discredited by his own Philadelphia speech and Rev. Wright.

Obama basically sounds like John Edwards now.


Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 5, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't the Obama campaign attempting to use this topic to change the subject last week???


You know one point of observation.

Posted by: what | May 5, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't the Obama campaign attempting to use this topic to change the subject last week???


You know one point of observation.

Posted by: what | May 5, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

WHY are the democrats so against lowering the gasoline tax??


Is it because they would have to cut the budget in other areas??

Why is the opposition to the tax holiday so strong? What is being threatened here? Why are they on the defensive? Certainly this is very curious.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 5, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Exactly what does HRC think Big Oil will do if it gets a new tax to pay? If she doesn't KNOW they'll pass it straight through to the consumers she's seriously delusional.

Net result - less money for infrastructure investment (including less pay for construction workers) and no change in prices at the pump.

To quote Billy Jeff, "Give me a break."

Posted by: FlownOver | May 5, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

These two sitting US Senators better get their bill in the hopper quickly if they want it effective by Memorial Day.

Oh, they don't have any plan to submit "Clinton-McCain Fuel tax Holiday" in May, or June, or ever?

Oh my.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 5, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Shrillary's gas tax holiday proposal is more of the Clintons' divisive and cheap political mantra, "Do anything to win." This is pandering at its worst, but I guess if you are in Shrillary's shoes, witnessing the steady erosion of your "inevitability" campaign, you stoop to the gutter, if necessary, to try and save your miserable political hide.

As an 83 year-old lifelong Demo, I give the
voters in Indiana and NC credt to see through this phony, pandering tactic and that they will vote for Obama who is above the politics as usual of Shrillary. Forrest Gerard

Posted by: Forrest Gerard | May 5, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back CC... now, you might have put on weight, but are you really too fat to join the hippest Obama fan group on Facebook?

It's called "I'm a skinny, pasty, white guy. And I love Obama." All the white nerds are joining.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17099019879&ref=mf

Posted by: James | May 5, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

This gas thing is like an IQ test for the public. It is amazing so many are just too stupid to understand it. Hillary knew that when she proposed it. She knows the public are for the most part morons who can be lead around by the nose. Obama is almost too good for these people they will vote for Hillary and get what they deserve if she is successful. Fortunately the super delegates have IQ's above 80 and they are the ones that count. So good by Hillary, it was fun.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Is it too early for McCain to announce his VP choice? If not, is P.W. Botha available?

Botha had as many elected federal black officials as the GOP currently does. It would be a perfect match for them, and would show an internationalist flavor.

Posted by: steve boyington | May 5, 2008 9:05 AM

He's close to choosing his VP, but in fairness to the others he's not going to nominate Hillary quite yet. Hence her extended audition as Republican attack dog.

Posted by: aleks | May 5, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"Will Indiana and North Carolina voters agree?"

I dunno. As they as stupid as some politicians think they are, or can they recognize blatant pandering when they see it?

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Is it too early for McCain to announce his VP choice? If not, is P.W. Botha available?

Botha had as many elected federal black officials as the GOP currently does. It would be a perfect match for them, and would show an internationalist flavor.

Posted by: steve boyington | May 5, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

So, if HRC gets her way (and McCain too), and we suspend the gas tax; what's the impact on the transportation trust fund? Which projects will be de-funded? Or did they just plan on increasing the deficit? Or perhaps they'll defund something else to pay for it?

Why are Americans so stupid (ahem.. them, not us) that they never ask the follow-up questions?

Those of you who have been on this board awhile know that I'm no fan of taxes in general, but suspending a broad-based tax whose revenue is solely dedicated to a specific purpose related to the taxing structure is about as 'pure' a tax as you will see.

These taxes should be the last ones to be cut, not the first.

Posted by: JD | May 5, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

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