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Giuliani's Widening Circle of Advisers

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has a famously loyal group of advisers -- individuals who have stood by his side not just in political campaigns but also in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the Big Apple.


Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani gestures as he speaks after receiving the Pete DuPont Individual Freedom Award last week in Wilmington, Del.(AP Photo)

But as Giuliani prepares to run for president in 2008, he appears to be reaching outside of that small cadre. His most recent move was adding former Iowa Rep. Jim Nussle to his quickly expanding team. Nussle was the GOP nominee for governor in the state last year.

One thing Giuliani's team currently lacks is a pollster or a media consultant. In past races he has used Frank Luntz as his pollster and Adam Goodman as his media consultant, but neither makes the inner circle list below. It's not clear whether Giuliani plans to retain the services of these two operatives again or hire other consultants.

Here's a look at Rudy's Inner Circle as currently comprised:

Tony Carbonetti: Carbonetti started with Giuliani as a volunteer in the unsuccessful 1989 campaign against Mayor David Dinkins (D) and has been with him ever since. Carbonetti rose to chief of staff and is perhaps the first among equals in Giuliani's political universe. Since Hizzoner left office in 2001, Carbonetti has been with Giuliani Partners.

Roy Bailey: Bailey was a leading voice urging Giuliani to run for the Senate in 2000 against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Bailey has extremely strong ties to the Texas money world and will be charged with heading a Giuliani fundraising effort that has set a goal of collecting $100 million in 2007 alone.

Sunny Mindel: Mindel joined Giuliani's mayoral administration in 1996, served as spokeswoman for his reelection campaign the following year and joined the mayor's office in 1999. Fiercely loyal, Mindel will serve in a senior advisory capacity.

Katie Levinson: Levinson is one of the newest faces on Giuliani's political team, having spent the last year in California serving as communications director for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) successful reelection bid. Prior to joining Schwarzenegger, Levinson served as director of television operations at the White House. She will be tasked with building a national communications team for Giuliani.

Mike DuHaime: DuHaime will manage Giuliani's campaign if and when the former mayor decides to make a run. Over the past several cycles DuHaime has built an impressive resume -- serving a northeastern political director for President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign and then as political director at the Republican National Committee in 2006.

Chris Henick: Henick, who will be tasked with overseeing the political department in Giuliani world, is personally close to White House senior adviser Karl Rove, for whom he worked in the 2000 Bush campaign and in the White House.

Pat Oxford: Oxford is the managing partner in the Houston-based law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani. A Texan, Oxford was a major donor to Bush and is likely to serve as the general chairman of Giuliani's campaign.

Giuliani on The Web:

* JoinRudy2008.com
* Giuliani Partners
* New York Times: Rudy Giuliani News Archive

Inner Circle Archive:

* Sam Brownback (R)
* Chris Dodd (D)
* John Edwards (D)
* Barack Obama (D)

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 17, 2007; 8:20 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Inner Circle  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Barack Obama's Impressive Team
Next: Handicapping the 2008 Battle For the House

Comments

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | January 31, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Do you really believe that you would fly on an airplane if you looked at the flight list and saw a barack HUSSEIN OBAMA name above yours ??..Just asking a question , thats all.

Posted by: llewrub | January 18, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The USA instituted an aggressive, illegal, and criminal war of aggression based upon knowingly false premises. This kind of aggressive criminal War was formally declared to be a criminal act by the Nuremberg tribunal at the end of W.W. II.
We should impeach all those major political leaders who promulgated this war which kind of war was criminalized by the Nuremberg tribunal.

Posted by: tqgrl | January 18, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Zouk, you don't think war is bad? I thought everyone agreed war was bad. So you think war is good?

Posted by: Blarg | January 18, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Rothenberg doesn't even give Rudy a chance at the nomination because of social views. Thats a lot of hurdles to overcome, not just one.

http://rothenbergpoliticalreport.blogspot.com/2007/01/is-rudy-likely-to-be-favorite-or-flop.html

Posted by: JNutting | January 17, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Judge: Thanks, you had me worried that the loonies were getting to you , Ha! The Hillary "non-likers" are out in force today. Every one of the Cable news/talk shows have been going on with the usual drival by repeating and trying to show how great a guy our buddy GW is doing. I can not keep from laughing at how really dumb most of them think folk are out here in the real world.

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Republicans answer to God and the Law of Man, NOT ROME!!!!!!!

Posted by: Virgin12 | January 17, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

You did forget some.

"MSM," whatever that is, happened to say today is Wednesday...

Another Democrat who likes a different candidate also mentioned today is Wednesday...

My calendar says today is Wednesday...

Ergo

The evil Democrat is a Repug in disguise and MSM is fiddling with my calendar through the air waves, and today is Moonday.

QED

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Proud, you are conducting an effort beyond the scale of even a regional war. It is hopeless to argue with lunatics. they bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience. I was amused that the entire motley collection seems to be here today. you must pick your battles my friend. there are a few select liberals that can conduct a conversation, but for the most part, it is name calling and silly tired old "last-election" chanting. See if you recognize any:
Bush is evil
War is bad
conservatives are Nazis
Praying is for freaks
Money is for spending, especially if it is yours
taxes are good
Did I say war is bad - war is bad.
ignore economy
ignore corrupt Dems
ignore social security failure
War is bad

that pretty much sums up the entire content of the moonbat contribution for today. did I leave anything out?

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 17, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

sspeaking to the wingnuts

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

proud: he's ragging on Jimmy Carter again on another thread. I guess he's run out of Clinton material.

Posted by: Duh! | January 17, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

why don't you just leave?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink: what I meant to say was that I agreed with her assessment of Bush's actions. And that I agree with your assessment that Afganistan is the clear and present (as well as past) danger.

proudtobe, KOZ is over at the latest post beating up on a doddering 82 year old.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 17, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Koz! Their rantings are getting extreme. need help.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 17, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Judge: Your post of 03:41pm has me a little puzzled i.e. You liked her remarks and yet they were idiotic. I think the increase of troops in Iraq is idiotic and the increase of troops in Afganistan makes more sense in that it is where Osama Bin Laden is most likely to be. Please clarify.

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Full moonbat heaven in here today. Planet Earth to Fix, are you in range?

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 17, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - "their religion" was specific to Romney and Reid as Mormons.

Does anybody ever question Bush's Episcopalianism or Methodism? No, just Bush himself, and how he talks to his Father.

Let's not muddy the water in this area any more than it already is.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | January 17, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

drindl: that's ok, go ahead and pine for Gore to run again:
The idea of Gore vs Clinton in 2008 certainly presents a wealth of delicious story lines: The former Number 2 running against his Number 1's wife. Gore taking down Hillary as payback for the pall Monicagate cast over 2000. Gore as "the new New Nixon" (Gore will be the same age in 2008 as Tricky Dick was in 1968). Automaton Al remaking himself as progressive firebrand. Passion vs. polling.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 17, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"that's the dangerous thing about religion, when God starts speaking to you directly, are you being singled out for greatness, or are you insane? In bush's case it's pretty clear."

Good stuff as usual drindl. History will look at 2004-2006 as one of the darkest times ever for our democracy. Dawn broke in November of 2006 and the sun continues to rise. CC has a new column that I look forward to your comments on.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 17, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

've never seen or heard anybody suggest that their religion dictated, or even affected, how they acted as politicians.'

What about GW Bush, Nor'easter? God talks to him all the time you know, liike when he said that 'God told me to strike Saddam, and I did.'

that's the dangerous thing about religion, when God starts speaking to you directly, are you being singled out for greatness, or are you insane? In bush's case it's pretty clear.

And all the other stuff, like trying to inject his particular brand of fundamentalist nonsense into every discussion, funneling taxpayer money to churches and wanting to allow forced prayers to Jesus in the military -- it affects everything he does.

So I think it's not unfair to ask a candidate, how will your 'faith' affect your presidency? Because depending on the nature of your beliefs, you may feel compelled to act in a certain way.

We don't need another church/state debacle like this.

Posted by: drindl | January 17, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

JEP - Let's narrow the discussion to the issue as it faces us politically between right now.

Will Mitt Romney's/Harry Reid's Mormonism direct how they act as President/Senator? [How many of us even knew Harry Reid was Mormon before a few months ago?] That appears to be a question which will inevitably be in the public debate; whether or not it is legitimate.

In both cases their political lives and records are open to the public.

I've never seen or heard anybody suggest that their religion dictated, or even affected, how they acted as politicians.

Unless somebody has some compelling information to the contrary, that's good enough for me to close the book; and move on.

[For those ready to pounce on Reid for "shady land deals;" unless you can show that they are connected to his being Mormon, don't even mention them.]

Posted by: Nor'Easter | January 17, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the clarification, Dan. The truth is, we legally are not at war. We are an occupying power. But that will not stop bush and his minions from breaking the law. As far as I can tell, nothing short of imprisonment would do that.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

'The Bush administration, in what appears to be a concession to its critics, said today it will allow an independent court to monitor its warrantless electronic-eavesdropping program.'

Isn't it funny how at first they lied about this domestic wiretapping, said it didn't exist -- and now that dems are in power and are going to find out everything, why now they admit it.

Why does the media never call them on their lies? Remember when bush got up and swore just before the election tht rumsfeld was going to definitely be SecDef for 2 more years, when he already had found a replacement? No one every called him on it.

How gullible are the people who still support him that they ever believe a word he says? He lies about EVERYTHING.

Posted by: drindl | January 17, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the statement "Attorney General Gonzales opined that judges have no jurisdiction over Presidential orders becasue we are in a state of war." Makes no sense since we are NOT currently in a state of war. Bush stood on the deck of an Aircraft Carrier and shout "Mission Accomplished". In doing so, he ended the war and began the occupation.

It can be argued that Congress declared war on Iraq in a joint declaration that doesn't use the word "War" however the Iraq mentioned in the resolution was headed by SoDamn Insane. With his Ouster (Not to mention execution), the resolution is no longer valid as a declaration of war, especially since Iraq is technically now an ally. So any statements related to "because we are at war" have no legal basis.

Posted by: Dan W | January 17, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't rule out Giuliani too soon...
Things go up and down and can be unexpected.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

'I believe the far-right will look past his perceived flaws '

never, never, never. their whole mindset is rigid; that's the never nature of it.

Gore is a dove? -- GOP, you demonstrate your ignorance. Just because he didn't want this particular war for oil [and i would be that quite a few repugs regret it at this point]doesn't mean he isn't a strong national defender. If you recall, 9/11 didn't happen on Clintn and Gore's watch. There were attempted attacked that were foiled, hoever, because they were actually paying attentiion to terrorism, unlike bush and cheney.

'The idea that the Media can make or break the chances of any person seeking political office on a State or National level holds true only as far as the person seeking office will allow them.'

well, that's only true to a certain extent, lyle. When they all turn on you and start echoing falsehoods and slander and creating stereotypes, it's such a giant echo chamber that it tends to stick in people's minds. Look at Dean and the scream -- the perfect example of death of a thousand media cuts. It was totally created -- there was no there there. He's rallying his troops late at night -- everyone was yelling and screaming. But the orighinal sound recording was altered, so you could hear only him.

Now Kerry could have responded faster to the swiftboaters -- and he should have. I'm sure he just didn'tbelieve the 'mainstream' media would pick up that slander and spread it all over doing the cons work for5 them. But that's what Dems need to understand -- the media at this point in time tilts conservative -- or rather corporate. They need to confront the con narrative and bias, as Bill Clinton did on Fox.

Posted by: drindl | January 17, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Although I did like HRC's remark that taking troops away from Afganistan (where they can definitely do some good) and sending them to Iraq (where their presence very likely won't change much) is idiotic.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 17, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

You can't judge a person by their religion.

As a Methodist with Mormon friends, all I can say is there are good Mormons and bad Mormons.

The question is how much power do they have, good or bad, and why do so many of the "bad" ones espouse such regressive political doctrines?

When any religion begins to turn into a propaganda device for politically conservative regressives, and the children are brainwashed to ignorantly accept what they should be intelligently questioning, then you have the makings of a cult, and therein lies the rub.

If the Mormon church (rlds, rcjclds or just plain Mormons) practices political brainwashing in the guise of spiritual instruction, proceeding with impunity under the umbrella of state protection, then we got trouble right here in river city. And a good case for rescinding their religious tax exemptions.

Posted by: JEP | January 17, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

MikeB,

I doubt many people around here are interested in a religious debate. Suffice it to say, I'm a mormon, and I know our theology very well. You are getting some of your facts very wrong. Just stop now.

Posted by: murphy | January 17, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you FH; the 9/11 'glow' that Guiliani will drape himself with will wear thin quickly under the constant bombardment of the salacious facts surrounding his personal life. The skeletons in his closet have skeletons of their own and I'm sure that Fox News would be delighted to dig them all up. Depravity by association will bring him down in short order. Huckabee is looking better and better as time goes by although I hope Hagel makes a run for it.

Proud I'm happy that you regard Dobson as a stain on the face of the GOP. Gives me hope. I think everyone's support is pretty fractured right now. We're all waiting to see what happens next and who falters under the weight of expectations even this early in the game. I can't tell you what D I might vote for but I won't be voting for McCain again. Bleahh!

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 17, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter,

I don't know whether to agree with you or not. There are very many on the religious right who make a hobby of skewering Mormons for their theology. And it doesn't take long in an evangelical book store to realize they spend a curious amount of time with the knives out.

However, when you listen to the big names such as Colson, Dobson, or Page, they very clearly point out that they would have no problem supporting Romney as a political candidate.

This is not a situation that they're comfortable with...Romney is potentially a frontrunner in a field absent an evangelical with dough. The political leaders of the religious right recognize that it would be unwise to tar and feather Romney in front of 5+ million American mormons who overwhelmingly vote GOP. No doubt many Democrats also realize the tremendous opportunity this would afford them to help crack the "values" coalition, with Harry Reid being your new poster boy.

What remains to be seen is whether the millions of religious GOP primary voters will GET IT and vote according to political platform. Is a year or two enough time for them realize the danger of political voting based on the last 30 years of their Sunday school lessons on Mormonism?

Posted by: murphy | January 17, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Where's Giuliani right-hand-man and ghostwriter Ken Kurson in this list?

Posted by: Washington, DC | January 17, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter - Any religion, as dos Mormonism, that claims that the Constitution of the United States is sacred scripture, that honestly believes that the President, no matter how insane he acts, is God's representartive on earth, has lost MY confidence. Couple that with some of the other just plain looney believes of this church (such as their belief that African's have the mark of Cain), that their founder was a personal buddy of Jesus Christ (and wrestled with him!), and I don't think you will find a whole lot of people who will "buy it". Beyond that, the leaders of this group all tend to be right wing extremists and preach right wing politics from the pulpit. I am, unapologetically, very much anti-Mormon. If that makes me a "bigot", then that word has lost all sense of meaning. Once it is "prejudice" to call evil "evil", nonsense "nonsense", morally bankrupt business practices "wrong", then you have stood morality and the English language on it's head.

Posted by: MikeB | January 17, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The idea that the Media can make or break the chances of any person seeking political office on a State or National level holds true only as far as the person seeking office will allow them. The difference for this is the complete opposite of what will attract viewers, listeners, and readers as in evidence from the things going on recently i.e. "The Donald/Rosie" and "The American Idol". The office seeker has in their favor the paid add. I am trying to point out what happened to McCain in 2000 and Max Cleland only a few years later, and who can forget "The Swift-Boaters" and what they did to Kerry.

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

MikeB - So be it. But I think that you're looking at "all" Mormons with blinders on. [If you were in a formal debate, you'd lose points for your method of reasoning.]

One can condemn a lot of religions based on the writings (especially if the writings are chosen selectively). And, one can condemn a lot of religious leaders; mostly because those that end up in leadership positions are human and are prone to all of the same faults as the rest of us.

I brought this issue up again because I see it surface almost every time Romney's name is mentioned. I was taken aback at first, but now believe that those who think that the "religion as an issue" in presidential matters ended when John Kennedy was elected are just flat wrong.

Mormons had better be ready to be skewered. And, I think we should be ashamed.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | January 17, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Judge, the far-right may stay home during the primaries, which would be to Guliani's advantage, but I think most of them feel there is a moral obligation to vote in the general election. Guliani has proven himself to be a strong leader in a crisis, and that is an attractive commodity for a candidate in 08.

Despite these musings, I think it will be Clinton vs. Huckabee when all is said and done.

Posted by: FH | January 17, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Judge: Dobson doesn't speak for the entire party thank God. I, for one, have emailed his organization and requested he cease and desist his public attacks on McCain, as it only gives liberals more fodder.
The dems are more fractured at this point than repubs: no one wants to admit it if they support Hillary, and the rest of the support will be split betweeen Obama and the Breck-Girl.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 17, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

" If he runs a strong campaign, I believe the far-right will look past his perceived flaws in an effort to keep a Republican in the WH."

FH, you give the far right way too much credit. Much like the far left (Nader's supporters come to mind), the far right would much rather stay home than vote for someone they regard as morally depraved. Heck, given a choice between Guiliani's very recent multiple transgressions and Obama's distant background of drug use (and his clean-as-a-whistle recent history), James Dobson might throw his support to Obama (if he supported anyone which is doubtful) and then where would the far right be?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 17, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

JimD, I disagree with your assessment. For Giuliani to win with 30%, there would need to be at least 3 other serious candidates. And I don't see that happening during the later stages of the primaries. Usually after the first couple of primaries, the field has narrowed to 2 or maybe 3 contenders. At that point, the splitting of the conservative vote is a lot less likely.

I think a variant scenario is more likely: Giuliani could get an early lead due to the fragmenting of the conservative vote. Then when the field narrows, he'd have enough endorsements and money to have a strong chance. So he'd only win with 30% in the first couple states, and get more substantial majorities later. I still don't think it's likely, though.

Posted by: Blarg | January 17, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

JEP: Funny...it only took one election cycle to turn things around after Watergate. You dems have a talent for making the GOP palatable again.

As for Guliani, I think he is running in the perfect atmosphere. If he runs a strong campaign, I believe the far-right will look past his perceived flaws in an effort to keep a Republican in the WH.

Posted by: FH | January 17, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"It will take a generation at least to remove the word "sleazy" from the word "Republican."

No way JEP; it only took 4 years for "sleazy" to be dis-associated with the word "Democrat" after Bill Clinton's two-term stint. I'd give it a max of 4 years for the repubs.
In any case, the right wing base is going to have to decide which is more powerful; the ultra-right religious faction or the NRA faction because McCain and Guiliani both have their opponents in the party. McCain is the stronger, more electable candidate, and a better choice for moderates and independent voters. Depending on who is tagged for the VP slot, it's still a winning ticket IMO, post-911...country's not going to elect total doves like Obama, Gore, or Edwards.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 17, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"It will take a generation at least to remove the word "sleazy" from the word "Republican."

No way JEP; it only took 4 years for "sleazy" to be dissasociated with the word "Democrat" after Bill Clinton's two-term stint. I'd give it a max of 4 years for the repubs.
In any case, the right wing base is going to have to decide which is more powerful; the ultra-right religious faction or the NRA faction because McCain and Guiliani both have their opponents in the party. McCain is the stronger, more electable candidate, and a better choice for moderates and independent voters. Depending on who is tagged for the VP slot, it's still a winning ticket IMO, post-911...country's not going to elect total doves like Obama, Gore, or Edwards.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 17, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"It will take a generation at least to remove the word "sleazy" from the word "Republican."

No way JEP; it only took 4 years for "sleazy" to be dissasociated with the word "Democrat" after Bill Clinton's two-term stint. I'd give it a max of 4 years for the repubs.
In any case, the right wing base is going to have to decide which is more powerful; the ultra-right religious faction or the NRA faction because McCain and Guiliani both have their opponents in the party. McCain is the stringer, more electable candidate, and a better choice for moderates and independent voters. Depending on who is tagged for the VP slot, it's still a winning ticket IMO, post-911...country's not going to elect total doves like Obama, Gore, or Edwards.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 17, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

JimD

I'll repost why I think it is futile to even discuss the Republican candidates...

"These Republican hopefuls are beating a dead elephnat. Its so dead, the carcass is beginning to rot, and the stink just keeps getting worse.

There is not a Republican in the whole country who can fix their party's image enough to get elected the the top job, after what Bush, Cheney, Rove and their minions have done to corrupt our system of government. Onemight also mentionalso mention Cunningham, Ney, Doolittle, Foley, Allen, Abramoff, Burns, etc. ad infinitum, as more examples that the Republican image has been tarnished beyond immediate repair.

They have destroyed the trust we have for our own government, and not Giulliani, not McCain, not Romney, not Jeb Bush, not Hagel or Brownback, none of them, will be able to convince the public that, as Republicans, they can ever be trusted again.

It will take a generation at least to remove the word "sleazy" from the word "Republican."

Posted by: JEP | January 17, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

MikeB,

"...or because their understanding/practice of their religion strips them of all sense of morality."

If this is what constitutes your retraction of previous blanket statements, please just stop talking. Just stop.

Posted by: murphy | January 17, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

There's a wide field of play between "paranoid" and "naive".

As for me being paranoid about an Edwards blackout, let me suggest that, if anyone thinks that Fox, Clear-Channel and Sinclair don't conspire in their editorial boardrooms to keep certain names and faces off the screen, or in a negative light, they are naive, at best.

I don't suggest for a moment that all the members of the MSM have gathered together and agreed to blackout Edwards, but all you need do to prove my theory is go back to the day after his announcement and look for coverage.

Again, I suggest that ommission is the highest form of evidence. Had Hillary announced during the Ford funeral week, it would have been headlines worldwide.

And as for Golgi, let me suggest you go back over these blog archives a bit, you will discover I've been called paranoid by a lot of Republican attack dogs, and usually I was right in my suspiscions.

So when you toss out trash and state is as fact rather than opinion, it just reminds me of those Republican attack dogs and trolls who always called me paranoid when I said we were being lied to by Bush et al.

Golgi, I get the same sense of "trash the opponent first("lightweight plaigarist") and ask questions later mentallity.

So you don't consider those words "negative?"

Maybe I misread them, words can be so ambiguous. But it just sounds like opinionated trash to me, not any sort of reasoned argument or discussion, just plain trash.

So if it looks like an attack dog, smells like and attack dog and barks like an attack dog, what do you call it?

Posted by: JEP | January 17, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Seems to be very little discussion of Giuliani's candidacy here. The Republican field is pretty fractured. I believe that most, if not all, of the Republican primaries are winner take all. Giuliani could realilstically win all a state's delegates with 30% - 35% of the vote. Romney and Brownback will be competing for the same voters. Hunter, if he catches on, will draw votes from McCain. Many in the Republican base intensely dislike McCain which will complicate his candidacy. It is possible - although not the most likely outcome by far - that Giuliani could squeak by to the nomination. Should that happen there will certainly be a minor party challenge from the religious right possibly with support from the NRA since Giuliani is pro-gun control.

Posted by: JimD in FL | January 17, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware that I sounded like a Republican attack dog. In fact, I don't think that is what I sounded like, unless the listener is paranoid. And then what they hear is a creation of their own mind. I am not responsible for that.

So in the end, I don't have to worry about JEP's concern, because most Americans aren't paranoid.

I don't know what it is about blogs that attracts the paranoid type, but that type seems overrepresented on this board. Nothing to do about it except ignore paranoid posts.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter - My "blanket condemnation of Mormons" wasn't. It was a condemnation of Mormon leaders and Mormon businessmen. I have had the misfortune of working for several of these and every single one of them was a crook and a snake. I do not know if that has to do with the fact these they are universally right wing nuts or because their understanding/practice of their religion strips them of all sense of morality. I simply wanted it pointed out, however, and if Mr. Romney is anything at all like the Mormon "leaders" I have met, then he is evil and a menace beyond any and all imagining. I have met ordinary men and women who practice Mormonism and they appear to be family oriented people, waaayyyy overboard in conservatvism, but nice nonetheless. Many of them, however, have actually been victimized by Mormon community leaders and corporate executives. Before calling anyone a "bigot" you need to do a little reading about the history (and present practice) of the movers and shakers in this "religion". They ARE NOT very nice people.

Posted by: MikeB | January 17, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Golgi;

Your "cloning" description of Edwards and Obama is a real knee-slapper, they may be more similar than, say, Obama and Hillary, but to suggest that Edwards and Obama are just two sides of the same coin is really stretching the image. It reveals an obvious exaggerated personal prejudice, it is an abandoning of personal principles; you are basically saying "I'm for Obama at any cost". A lot of Bush supporters had the same attitude.

"The biggest difference between Obama and Edwards is that Obama is a heavyweight and genuine and Edwards is a lightweight and a plagiarist."

I would bet a million bucks that Barrack Obama respects Edwards a great deal more than you do, and he would never consider for a moment that your words represent anything other than partisan hackery from someone who wants to impress somehow him.

You do him (Obama)no favors by sounding like a Republican attack ad.

But you have the right to express yourself, even if it embarrasses the people you support. Just consider, Obama's cause isn't promoted, it is damaged by this type of trash.

You would be well advised, and your candidate much better served, to find positive things to say about Obama rather than negative things about Edwards.

Edwards has a very powerful tide rising in his favor, despite a media blackout of his candidacy. Obama could be one of the top beneficiaries (VP?) of this sea-change in American politics.

But not as long as Obama's personal and professional supporters continue to sound like Republican attack dogs.

Posted by: JEP | January 17, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Read JEP's post more carefully.

"the MSM is subtly doing its dirty-work, particularly in the way they have blacked-out all John Edwards coverage and filled the daily news cycles with constant, contrived Obamaisms.

Seems to me the press is inflating Obama's rock-star status for one reason in particular, and that is to scuttle the every rising tide of powerful, spontaneous public support for John Edwards."


The expressed sentiment strikes me as sheer paranoia. I don't think all of the Obama supporters sending donations to Obama and buying his books are fake.

Sorry, JEP.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Oops, JEP was suggesting Edwards/Obama, not Obama/Edwards. Well, same argument about needing a DIFFERENT VP than the P.

The biggest difference between Obama and Edwards is that Obama is a heavyweight and genuine and Edwards is a lightweight and a plagiarist.

Robert*'s posts over the past few weeks give good examples of this.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Sure a lot of interest in guiliani, eh? Not.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Mark, that poll was in one county in Arizona where "amnesty" for illegal aliens is a big deal. I don't dispute someone will attack McCain on that issue, but using your logic, Chris Dodd could be the next president.

Posted by: Zach | January 17, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

JEP, why would Obama/Edwards be a good ticket? The VP is supposed to compensate for the perceived weaknesses of the P. Obama needs a running mate like Biden, not a lesser clone of himself like Edwards.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If you're like me, you threw up a little in your mouth when you read that Gonzales criticizes those who "apply an activist philosophy that stretches the law to suit policy preferences." And you did so because you're already too well aware that this "administration" has, if it's done nothing else (and there's an argument to be made that it hasn't), has become the nation's leading producer of such stretched law. Imaginary "inherent powers" justify everything under the sun. The "state secrets" doctrine prevents anyone with questions from making even the most basic inquiries into policy. Signing statements claim the right to nullify legislation outright. Not to mention Pentagon-sponsored intimidation of attorneys who represent Guantanamo detainees.

Gonzales goes on in his prepared remarks to outline the qualities he claims the "administration" looks for in a judicial nominee:

We want to determine whether he understands the inherent limits that make an unelected judiciary inferior to Congress or the president in making policy judgments. ...That, for example, a judge will never be in the best position to know what is in the national security interests of our country.

Just for the record, though, let's also note that Gonzales doesn't think anybody is in as good a position to know what is in the national security interests of our country, including his own Justice Department. Which explains why he didn't even blink when he told Arlen Specter's Senate Judiciary Committee last July that the president personally killed the DoJ's own internal investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility into the propriety of the process by which it advised him that the NSA's domestic spying program was both legally justified and being legally administered. As for Congress being qualified, you can forget that. Remember, the "administration" blames Congress for leaking the NSA story in the first place.

So there you have it: the Bush "administration" believes, unsurprisingly, that they -- meaning the Doomsday Bunker crowd in the White House -- are the only ones "qualified" to make decisions that effect the national security. Congress is full of leakers, and federal judges are morons.

But that's just one front on which the "administration" attacks the very notion of justice, not to mention the Department which "administers" it. The strange case of the disappearing U.S. Attorneys has recently come to light, and it's just one of many ways the DoJ has been pushing the limits of the "administration's" discretionary powers in non-national security arenas.'

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Mark, Thanks for the info on the poll, I had heard about it but was looking in the wrong places to find it.

Posted by: lylepink | January 17, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

These Republican hopefuls are beating a dead elephnat. Its so dead, the carcass is beginning to rot, and the stink just keeps getting worse.

There is not a Republican in the whole country who can fix their party's image enough to get elected the the top job, after what Bush, Cheney, Rove and their minions have done to corrupt our system of government. Onemight also mentionalso mention Cunningham, Ney, Doolittle, Foley, Allen, Abramoff, Burns, etc. ad infinitum, as more examples that the Republican image has been tarnished beyond immediate repair.

They have destroyed the trust we have for our own government, and not Giulliani, not McCain, not Romney, not Jeb Bush, not Hagel or Brownback, none of them, will be able to convince the public that, as Republicans, they can ever be trusted again.

It will take a generation at least to remove the word "sleazy" from the word "Republican."

But still, regardless of the inevitable futility, the MSM will prop up their "R" strawman candidates and knock them down over and over again, raking in the same candidates' fpolitical portunes with glee.

But the American public is growing weary of it, and will lose trust in the media right along with the Republicans who manage that media.

The Democrats have a much better chance at restoring confidence in their party, but the MSM is subtly doing its dirty-work, particularly in the way they have blacked-out all John Edwards coverage and filled the daily news cycles with constant, contrived Obamaisms.

Seems to me the press is inflating Obama's rock-star status for one reason in particular, and that is to scuttle the every rising tide of powerful, spontaneous public support for John Edwards.

The top dogs in the MSM (no, I don't mean rank and file pundits like CC and JV, I mean the movers and shakers who tell CC and his fellows what they can or can't publish) know this fact already: They don't need an anti-Hillary, they need an anti-Edwards, and Obama is being quite conspicuously boosted for that purpose alone.

Obama's big turnouts are always preceded with a very public media blitz, but Edwards depends on word-of-mouth and netroots to gather his big crowds. Edwards' support comes in spite of the MSM's fawning over Obama, who has become the only option to Edwards for the general public, the very middle class that Hillary abandoned long ago.

It is my fervent hope, and I have blogged this before, that Obama will eventually find his best course for the future, first as Edwards' VP. After 8 years of image-healing diplomatic experience, he would be one of the most qualified presidential candidates in history, worthy of his links to Lincoln.

It is hard to argue the thought that a political team of Edwards/Obama would represent one of the most attractive, dynamic tickets we have seen in many years, Democrat or Republican, both in terms of good looks and intelligent policy.

As for Edwards' vote to authorize Bush's war powers, Drindl is absolutely right, Edwards' vote and that of many others was predicated on the reasonable assumption that the leader of the free world would never stoop so low as to mislead the entire congress and the American public into a no-bid war for profit and revenge.

Those of us who sounded the warmonger alarms, raging and blogging about Bush's deviousness and deceptions back in those early days, were called traitors and idiots and fools. Now we have been proven right, beyond any shadow of doubt.

But very few who voted for the use of force authorization were aware of the deceptive intelligence subterfuge that people like Joe Wilson tried to warn us about. Clearly, it was a mistake from the befinning to attack Iraq, whatever lame excuses might be conjured up after-the-fact.

So now, Edwards is willing to admit his mistake, which is a refreshing departure from politics of the past. That alone should be one more GOOD reason to support Edwards.

Obama isn't the "anti-Hillary", the manipulators in the MSM have turned him into the "anti-Edwards."

Unfortunately for the MSM, Edwards and Obama would make a great team, and more intelligent, reasonable people every day see that falling into place, simply because it is the best political option we have seen for many decades.

And that is what the MSM and the east-coast elites fear most, that Edwards and Obama will figure this out early enough to join forces and become an unstoppable ticket, representing the future leadership team we all hope and pray for.

Posted by: JEP | January 17, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

After replacing Generals Abizaid and Casey, some in the media have likened President Bush's leadership style to that of Abraham Lincoln. Jon Stewart and John Oliver debate whether or not this is an appropriate comparison.

Oliver: Perhaps their similar speaking styles will jog your memory..

Stewart: Lincoln is perhaps the greatest orator in American history

Oliver: Correct. With a style that was pure George W. Listen to this rare wax cylider recording from 1858:

Lincoln: A house divided cannot..uhh...cannot... If you divide a house you gotta...uhh... You can't stand in a divided house.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

MikeB - Now that you're on. - I never saw a response from you to the reasoned posts that challenged your blanket condemnation of Mormons.

It didn't fit with other things I've seen you post; but there is no question that the original comment and initial response certainly looked like those of someone who harbors bigotry.

The comments were too much; they amounted to slander. Too many good Mormons I've known are the complete opposite of your description.

You should rethink those condemnations and retract them.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | January 17, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

You're sure right about that, MikeB. Bush IS a dictator. That's one of the reasons he wants to stay in a permanent state of 'war' --so he can give that justication for his crimes. He's publlicly announced several times that laws don't apply to him and he flouts them at will.

I have no doubt that if they could have foreseen the results of this election, they would have found a way to 'postpone' it, even if only to prevent the convictions that would result if their crimes were properly tried. So now they are engaged in a national campaign to fire federal prosecuters who are investigating crimes committed by high level republicans. They make a mockery of justice and the constitution.

Posted by: drindl | January 17, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

'Well, get out your flux capacitor and go back to 1990. Here is what John McCain had to say then, regarding using U.S. troops in the Gulf War: "If you get involved in a major ground war in the desert, I think support will erode significantly. Nor should it be supported. We cannot even contemplate, in my view, trading American blood for Iraqi blood." Ahh, there's nothing so refeshing as the sweet melody of straight talk.'

the media's romance with mccain apparemtly prevents them from asking him any questions tougher than 'what's your favorite color?'

Posted by: drindl | January 17, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you're changing the subject again. This morning, Attorney General Gonzales opined that judges have no jurisdiction over Presidential orders bbecasue we are in a state of war. This, of course, makes George W. Bush a dictator. Mr. GOnzale's is, of course, merely echoing the opinion of this White House. ANd, this is the same Attorney General who has publicaly advocated confiscating all privately owned firearms and postponing the 2008 Presidential elections. This is frightening stuff and rather renders your musings about the 2008 elections rather meaningless.

Posted by: MikeB | January 17, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Rightwing radio host calls civil rights a "racket" - Michael Savage says civil rights has "become a con ... to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males' birthright" -- Media Matters chronicles yet another example of the hate that pollutes America's airwaves: "On the January 15 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, in a monologue about Martin Luther King Day, Michael Savage called "civil rights" a "con" and asserted: "It's a racket that is used to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males' birthright and steal from them what is their birthright and give it to people who didn't qualify for it." Savage then said, "Take a guess out of whose hide all of these rights are coming. ... [T]here is only one group that is targeted, and that group are white, heterosexual males." He added: "They are the new witches being hunted by the illiberal left using the guise of civil rights and fairness to women and whatnot."

Posted by: RADIO NAZIS | January 17, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

One day last week a grumpy citizen of Connecticut called my talk radio show and asked, half-seriously, if we could trade our senator, Joseph I. Lieberman, straight up to Nebraska for Chuck Hagel.

The caller's point was that we want a Democrat and they want a Republican; and even though each senator wears the opposite political label, when it comes to Iraq, Hagel sounds like a blue-state Democrat, while Lieberman has proven more loyal to President Bush than many Republicans have.

Tempers are little frayed here in Connecticut because our junior senator spent last summer fighting for his political survival by insisting, among other things, that the policies he supported would result in troop withdrawals. Lieberman said some American troops would be able to leave Iraq by the end of 2006, and more than half would be out by the end of 2007. According to exit polls on Nov. 7, more than 60 percent of Connecticut voters opposed the war in Iraq and/or favored withdrawal of some or all troops, and nearly four out of 10 of those antiwar voters supported Lieberman. Lieberman had barely digested the food from his victory party before he spun 180 degrees and added his voice to the "surge" chorus.

Posted by: SCUMBAG | January 17, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Pierre -- Because McCain isn't a winner. When you see him, do you think "winner"? No. Neither do I. Neither does anyone else. You might think other good things about McCain, but not "winner". Therefore he is unlikely to win unless the Democratic candidates are all quite poor.

But the Democratic candidates aren't poor. So many Democrats are saying "How refreshing, multiple good Democrats competing in the 2008 primaries! A plethora of good choices!"

So the Republicans need a natural winner. This slot is not fillable by McCain.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Clinton walloped Guiliani at every possible opportunity -- he was way behind her in polls and intensely unpopular as mayor, partly because of his petty turf battles, his arrogance, and his public infidelity, including having his girlfriends on the city payroll. Anyone who really knows him will understand he couldn't take the pressure of a presidential run, not to measure the exposuure of the vast amount of war profiteering he's done.

Posted by: drindl | January 17, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Giuliani dropped out the campaign against Clinton to fight cancer, not due to lack of popularity. Clinton got a walkover for a replacement opponent.

Posted by: Capeman's a fool | January 17, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Giuliani... buzzbuzz... bigname advisers... McCain... buzzbuzz... Romney... buzzbuzz... deep-pocket donors... buzzbuzz"

Meanwhile, outside the beltway, where the actual voters live, Duncan Hunter has just won the Arizona straw poll. Yes, you heard right - Arizona. Don't those committeemen know that John McCain is the *front runner*? And that he's FROM there? Somebody better tell them.

http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/01/16/cq_2124.html

The poll was taken at the Jan. 13 annual meeting of elected precinct committeemen of the Arizona Republican Party in Maricopa County, which includes the metropolis of Phoenix and is home to roughly 60 percent of Arizona's population.

A total of 458 party officials voted for their preferred Republican candidates for president -- and Hunter came out on top with 96 votes. Taking second and third place were former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 82 votes and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who received 53 votes.

McCain ran fourth with 50 votes.

Posted by: Mark | January 17, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

capeman - i agree with everything you said but no need to be snarky about one of my personal heroes, Hunter Thompson. 1, he wasn't a politician, 2, he had at least as strong a grasp on reality as the current pretender, and finally 3, unlike Bushie, his job was precisely to present life as HE saw it and sell it to the reader, whereas unbeknownst to him, the Doofus-in-Chief was hired for a position the demands at least an acknowledgement of the real world. but seriously, no, Giuliani is not electable. he would have been in 04, but not now.

HAGEL for president - yes to all your critiques of Lieberman. What a shallow, self-obsessed, embarrassment to the Democratic Party. I don't know enough about Hagel to comment on him, although from what i have heard he is in the minority of the GOP that acknowledges reality. But just as there is more to my 6-year long depression than Iraq, i would need to have some questions answered in re: Hagel's views on global warming / other environmental issues, reproductive choice, the independence of the judiciary, a fairer tax policy, and the deficit, to name some of the headliners. what can you tell me about those?

in re: Al Gore, he would have my vote if he ran... i think Gore / Obama would be a strong grouping, or Obama / Gore - lead with charisma, follow through with experience. But I don't think he's going to run.

finally, in his determined support of Bush War II, McCain has hitched his wagon to a rock (or, if you prefer, "Iraq.") At one time he could have been elected, but i don't think he has the energized and motivated base that he had in 2000, and i don't think he'll get them back.

Posted by: meuphys | January 17, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Golgi said "Giuliani has half a chance if nobody else enters the race. McCain won't win".
Why do you think McCain won't win?

Posted by: Pierre | January 17, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

'Saudi Arabia believes the Iraqi government is not up to the challenge and has told the United States that it is prepared to move its own forces into Iraq should the violence there degenerate into chaos, a senior U.S. official told NBC News on Tuesday.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal made no effort to mask his skepticism Tuesday about President Bush's proposal to send 21,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq to stem sectarian fighting.'

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Giuliani has half a chance if nobody else enters the race. McCain won't win, and the one potential dark horse Romney doesn't look so great in an election where integrity is going to be central.

The one thing Giuliani does have going for him is integrity to his political goals and principles. This is different from integrity to basic human decency in his personal life, obviously, but I think he does have integrity to his public goals. I don't particularly like those goals, but if the election is all about integrity over issues, I have to acknowledge that he kind of has that. I won't vote for him but I do think he has a chance.

However, if Huckabee enters, Giuliani is toast.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

On Saturday, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is set to announce his intentions to seek the 2008 Republican nomination for president in Topeka, KS.


Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Giuliani has half a chance if nobody else enters the race. McCain won't win, and the one potential dark horse Romney doesn't look so great in an election where integrity is going to be central.

The one thing Giuliani does have going for him is integrity to his political goals and principles. This is different from integrity to basic human decency in his personal life, obviously, but I think he does have integrity to his public goals. I don't particularly like those goals, but if the election is all about integrity over issues, I have to acknowledge that he kind of has that. I won't vote for him but I do think he has a chance.

However, if Huckabee enters, Giuliani is toast.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision Monday to help Sen. John McCain pursue a possible run for the White House comes as the two Republicans have diverged in recent days on a key issue: sending more troops to Iraq," write the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Doyle and Olson. LINK

"While McCain supports an escalation of troops, Pawlenty says it's unfair that Minnesota soldiers will have their tours extended as part of the strategy."

In a Saturday must-read looking at Sen. McCain's isolation on the Iraq war, the Washington Post's Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray wrote: "As a forceful advocate for a policy that appears to fly in the face of the message voters sent in November, the politician who has long played for the center of the electorate now finds himself isolated on the right."

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if the Dems had had better Presidential candidates in the past eight years, the Obama staff could have been on a winning Presidential campaign. But unfortunately the best the Dems had to offer was Gore and Kerry. Gore might have been able to do it if it were not for election fraud, but we all should have known Kerry was a no-go from the start. D'oh. But there was nobody better. Double d'oh.

Posted by: Golgi | January 17, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh Yea DCFORGORE08.com

Posted by: FederalCity.US | January 17, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

'The passage of time has a way of putting things and people in perspective, and six-plus years after he won the national popular vote but lost the presidency by half a whisker in Florida, Gore looks good.

While other candidates boast of the international expertise they have acquired in the Senate, Gore, as Bill Clinton's number two, was actually there executing foreign policy in the White House. And unlike the other hopefuls who claim foreign policy credentials, he issued a clear and forceful warning about the dangers of rushing to war with Iraq, arguing that launching an invasion, particularly one undertaken largely on our own, would hurt our ability to win the larger war on terror.

"He has a very compelling theme: I was a guy who could see what was up ahead of us," says one national strategist. "And if ever there was a time when we needed a president who was sure-footed, it is now."

Nor is it just on Iraq that Gore can say, I told you so.

Global warming has finally arrived as an important issue for the government of seemingly every first world nation except our own. Gore has highlighted those concerns for decades -- and last year, the release of "An Inconvenient Truth" brought both his issue and his efforts into sharp national focus, helping make climate change dinner-table talk.
He is, then, a man who can rightly claim to have been prescient on two matters of international magnitude.
Short-listed for an Oscar, "An Inconvenient Truth" surely deserves one.

And with a book, "The Assault on Reason" -- an exploration of the way US political culture has grown hostile to fact-based decision-making -- due out in May, Gore will attract even more notice.'

Posted by: GORE! | January 17, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

If you were trying to show that Obama staff has been sucessful on the State level elections I got that, but did I see you write about any of them being on a winning Presidental campaign?

Posted by: FederalCity.US | January 17, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

'Ever since President Ronald Reagan painted foreign policy as a simplistic war of good versus evil, the Republican Party has been in the thrall of neocon adventurers. Yet, the national emergence of Hagel reminds us that, two decades earlier, it was Dwight D. Eisenhower, a war hero and a Republican, who was the only president to clearly challenge the simplistic and jingoistic militarism that most Democrats embraced during the Cold War. It was Eisenhower, in fact, who refused to send troops to Vietnam, and his Democratic successors who opened the gates of war -- and hell.

True conservatives, going back to George Washington, have always been wary of the "foreign entanglements" that our first general and president warned against in his farewell address. And it is in that spirit, recognizing the limits to U.S. military power, that Hagel spoke.

Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, late of an oft-opportunistic Democratic Party that saw fit to nominate him as recently as 2000 for the vice presidency, had just finished accusing those who don't support President Bush's escalation of the war of being "all about failing." In his defense of the indefensible, Lieberman baldly repeated many of Bush's lies that launched this war four years ago.

"The American people ... have been attacked on 9/11 by the same enemy that we're fighting in Iraq today, supported by a rising Islamist radical super-powered government in Iran," said the fear-monger. "Allowing Iraq to collapse would be a disaster for the Iraqis, for the Middle East, for us, that would embolden the Iranians and al-Qaida, who are our enemies. And they would follow us back here."

Never mind the ridiculous image of "super-powered" Iran invading the United States, or the fact that foreign jihadists--arriving after the overthrow of anti-fundamentalist strongman Saddam Hussein-- make up only a tiny fraction of the combatants in Iraq. The question is how the apparently intelligent Lieberman doesn't understand that the main task of our troops for most of their stay in Iraq has been, de facto, to expand the power of Shiite theocrats trained for decades in Iran. Tehran couldn't have baited a better trap.

In any case, Hagel refused to bite on Lieberman's apocalyptic vision, which somehow manages to skip the hard truth that Iraq has collapsed because of our involvement, not despite it.

"[T]he fact is, the Iraqi people will determine the fate of Iraq," Hagel responded, in what amounts to a radical opinion in paternalistic, arrogant Washington. "The people of the Middle East will determine their fate. We continue to interject ourselves in a situation that we never have understood, we've never comprehended [and] we now have to devise a way to find some political consensus with our allies [and] the regional powers, including Iran and Syria.

"To say that we are going to feed more young men and women into that grinder, put them in the middle of a tribal, sectarian civil war, is not going to fix the problem," he added.

Words of wisdom that set the standard for anyone running for president.'

Posted by: HAGEL for president | January 17, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

'To deal with the skyrocketing insurgency, the Pentagon is considering creating secret death squads in Iraq. Now, the Pentagon's brave new solution for democracy in the Middle East is to revisit the reprehensible "Salvador Option," the clandestine operation implemented by the Reagan White House in the 1980s in El Salvador. Back then, faced with losing a war against the Salvadoran rebels, the United States government funded "nationalist" forces "that allegedly included so-called death squads" which killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Today, according to an explosive new article in Newsweek, the Pentagon dusted off that model and has a proposal on the table to "advise, support and possibly train" secret Iraqi squads, "most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria."

EL SALVADOR AS A TEMPLATE: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has held El Salvador up as a model for Iraq. And during the recent Vice Presidential debates, Vice President Dick Cheney stated, "Twenty years ago we had a similar situation in El Salvador. We had a guerilla insurgency that controlled roughly a third of the country, 75,000 people dead. And we held free elections...And today El Salvador is a whale of a lot better because we held free elections." According to a 1993 U.N.-sponsored truth commission, however, up to "90 percent of the atrocities in the conflict" were committed by the U.S.-sponsored army and its surrogates, "with the rebels responsible for 5 percent and the remaining 5 percent undetermined." These death squads "abducted members of the civilian population and of rebel groups. They tortured their hostages, were responsible for their disappearance and usually executed them."

NEGROPONTE'S NEFARIOUS NEGLIGENCE: John Negroponte, the current U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad, is no stranger to death squads. In the 1980s, Negroponte served as the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras. At the time, he was "cozy" with the chief of the Honduran national police force, Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who also ran the infamous Battalion 316 death squad. Battalion 316 "kidnapped, tortured and murdered more than 100 people between 1981 and 1984." According to Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, "Negroponte publicly adopted a see-no-evil attitude to this army death squad."

ABRAMS, THE ATROCITY APOLOGIST: President Bush also appointed neocon Elliot Abrams to be his senior adviser on the Middle East. Abrams was also a staunch supporter of the Salvador Option in the 1980s: when newspapers "reported that a U.S.-trained military unit had massacred hundreds of villagers in the tiny Salvadoran hamlet of El Mozote, Abrams told Congress the story was nothing but communist propaganda." When confronted with the United Nations report that the vast majority of "atrocities in El Salvador's civil war were committed by Reagan-assisted death squads," Abrams's response: "The administration's record on El Salvador is one of fabulous achievements." Abrams was convicted of lying to Congress about Iran-Contra in 1987 - he was pardoned by George H.W. Bush in 1992.'

It's all the same people, doing all the same things.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

'Jan. 8/2006 - What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon's latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"--and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can't just go on as we are," one senior military officer told NEWSWEEK. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November's operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency--as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time--than in spreading it out.

Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration's battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success--despite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal...

Following that model, one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi death squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called "snatch" operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries, officials tell NEWSWEEK.'

--As the mutilated and headless bodies and mass graves have begun to appear --- a striking similarity to the campaign of terror waged in El Salvador in the 1980's, one can't help but wonder, did you US train and equip the shiite death squads now roaming Iraq, as we did the death squads in south america? 30,000 innocent civilians were killed.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

The abrupt acceleration of melting in Greenland has taken climate scientists by surprise. Tidewater glaciers, which discharge ice into the oceans as they break up in the process called calving, have doubled and tripled in speed all over Greenland. Ice shelves are breaking up, and summertime "glacial earthquakes" have been detected within the ice sheet.

"The general thinking until very recently was that ice sheets don't react very quickly to climate," said Martin Truffer, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. "But that thinking is changing right now, because we're seeing things that people have thought are impossible."

There is no consensus on how much Greenland's ice will melt in the near future, Dr. Alley said, and no computer model that can accurately predict the future of the ice sheet. Yet given the acceleration of tidewater-glacier melting, a sea-level rise of a foot or two in the coming decades is entirely possible, he said. That bodes ill for island nations and those who live near the coast.

"Even a foot rise is a pretty horrible scenario," said Stephen P. Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami.

On low-lying and gently sloping land like coastal river deltas, a sea-level rise of just one foot would send water thousands of feet inland. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide make their homes in such deltas; virtually all of coastal Bangladesh lies in the delta of the Ganges River. Over the long term, much larger sea-level rises would render the world's coastlines unrecognizable, creating a whole new series of islands.

"Here in Miami," Dr. Leatherman said, "we're going to have an ocean on both sides of us."

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

'All over Greenland and the Arctic, rising temperatures are not simply melting ice; they are changing the very geography of coastlines. Nunataks -- "lonely mountains" in Inuit -- that were encased in the margins of Greenland's ice sheet are being freed of their age-old bonds, exposing a new chain of islands, and a new opportunity for Arctic explorers to write their names on the landscape.

"We are already in a new era of geography," said the Arctic explorer Will Steger. "This phenomenon -- of an island all of a sudden appearing out of nowhere and the ice melting around it -- is a real common phenomenon now."

In August, Mr. Steger discovered his own new island off the coast of the Norwegian island of Svalbard, high in the polar basin. Glaciers that had surrounded it when his ship passed through only two years earlier were gone this year, leaving only a small island alone in the open ocean.

"We saw it ourselves up there, just how fast the ice is going," he said.

With 27,555 miles of coastline and thousands of fjords, inlets, bays and straits, Greenland has always been hard to map. Now its geography is becoming obsolete almost as soon as new maps are created.'

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I can't understand why anyone thinks that Giuliani can get the Republican nomination. It's the old God, gays and gun thing. He has more personal scandals in his life than anyone on the national scene since (and maybe before) Clinton, was on his way out of the Mayor's job in NY (he wasn't even popular enough in NY to challenge HRC) when 9-11 gave him some respite, and has done little since then. He's pro gay rights and gun control. Which primary, if any, can you see him winning? Even though, as a Dem, I agree with him on those issues, can you see Dobson's people voting for him? Which of the southern states can he win?
Some delusion is necessary in any campaign, but this would take a Hunter Thompson dose to think he could win.
American Street

Posted by: Capeman | January 17, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

He looks like a bald chipmunk. He looks even worse in drag. Is that what you want for a president?

Posted by: drindl | January 17, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

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