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Mitt Romney's Inner Circle

No Republican presidential candidate has been the subject of such intense media scrutiny in the past few weeks than former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.). Whether it's good news (his $23 million first-quarter haul) or bad (his hunting credentials), Romney has been the story.

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney speaks during an "Ask Mitt Anything" question-and-answer session last week in Derry, N.H. (Getty Images)

That makes it a good time to look at the men and women charged with introducing Romney to a national audience. Here is a snapshot of Romney's Inner Circle:

* Beth Myers: The first among equals, Myers is Romney's campaign manager and closest aide. She was Romney's chief of staff during much of his term as governor, after having served a stint as a top adviser to Massachusetts Treasurer Joe Malone. Myers -- like many top GOP operatives in the '08 campaigns -- is an acolyte of Karl Rove, having served under him in the 1986 campaign of former Texas Gov. Bill Clements (R).

* Peter Flaherty: As director of Romney's outreach to conservatives, Flaherty may well hold the key to the governor's chances of winning the nomination. Prior to joining the campaign, Flaherty was Romney's deputy chief of staff in Boston. His background is in law, but Flaherty also served a stint at the movie production company Walden Media, which is run by his two brothers.

* Alex Castellanos: A well-regarded Republican media consultant, Castellanos has already been hard at work crafting Romney's image with a series of television ads aimed at introducing the governor to voters in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Castellanos comes to the campaign with a reputation for pointed (and effective) ad-making on behalf of a bevy of candidates, including President George W. Bush, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) and former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.).

* Jan van Lohuizen: If you don't know who van Lohuizen is, that's just how he likes it. One of the lowest-profile pollsters in politics, van Lohuizen is also one of the most highly regarded. He was a key member of the Bush polling team in 2004 and has had a hand in any number of major GOP victories, including Gov. Charlie Crist's election (R-Fla.) last November.

* Alex Gage: Microtargeting -- the process of collecting vast amounts of information on potential voters and then using the gathered data to tailor messages to them -- became all the rage in 2004 after President Bush found thousands of new supporters using it. And Gage, the founder of TargetPoint Consulting, is widely seen as a microtargeting guru. Bush paid $3 million to Gage's firm in 2004 and reaped huge rewards; Romney hopes to follow that blueprint in '08.

* Spencer Zwick: No one (besides Romney) deserves more credit for the candidate's $21 million first-quarter fundraising haul than Zwick. A wunderkind in his late 20s, Zwick is Romney's national finance director and a past deputy chief of staff in Romney gubernatorial office. Zwick, who met Romney while he was a student at Brigham Young University, enjoys such a close personal relationship with the candidate that he is often referred to as Romney's sixth son, according to the New York Times. (If you're a subscriber to National Journal, check out Shira Toeplitz's recent profile of Zwick.)

* Carl Forti: Forti, the campaign's political director, is a newcomer to Romney's universe, having spent the last several cycles as communications director at the National Republican Congressional Committee. Forti also headed up the NRCC's independent expenditure program -- directing tens of millions of dollars in television and radio ads as well as direct mail into districts across the country.

* Matt Rhoades: Rhoades isn't as well-known to the wider world as some of his counterparts on other campaigns, but he is regarded very highly by political professionals. Rhoades served as research director and deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee in the 2006 cycle and research director for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004. Rhoades also enjoys a friendly relationship with Matt Drudge -- founder of the Drudge Report -- an indispensable connection in the modern "freak show" world of politics.

* Kevin Madden: The telegenic Madden was a staple of Capitol Hill in recent years as the public face for former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and current Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). Madden has brought his friendly demeanor to Romney's operation, sending out a daily rundown of key clips and appearances by the former governor. Don't let the smile fool you though -- Madden is a New York native not unfamiliar with the rough and tumble of politics.

* Barbara Comstock: Comstock is a household name inside the Beltway as a former head of the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs and research director at the Republican National Committee. Comstock rose to prominence as a master of the art of opposition research; in a 2001 profile of Comstock, Post reporter John Mintz wrote that Comstock had "done more than any other GOP operative to skewer Bill Clinton, Al Gore and their congressional allies."

* Eric Fehrnstrom: Fehrnstrom, as Romney's traveling press secretary, probably spends more time with the candidate than any other member of the Inner Circle. Prior to joining the campaign, Fehrnstrom was Romney's gubernatorial spokesman and deputy campaign manager for Romney's 2002 governor's race. Fehrnstrom, like Myers, has ties to former state Treasurer Joe Malone, for whom he served as a press flack.

Read The Fix's Inner Circle archive.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 9, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Inner Circle  
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Next: Marius Penczner Is Back With Edwards

Comments

That all being said, I am still learning more about Mitt Romney, and it would be wrong of me to vote for him simply because he is a fellow Mormon.

I am fairly progressive in my politics, and have been most impressed, so far, by Bill Richardson.

Posted by: Eric | April 25, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I know this is an outdated blog, but I need to comment.

As a Mormon, who served a mission, married in the temple, and is raising children in the church, I feel like I have to say a few things.

I do not know a single Mormon who feels any kind of undue loyalty to our leaders. Following their counsel has never been compulsory. Our leaders are trusted because their exemplary lives have earned that trust.

For example, the membership of the church, the every-day members, have been watching Gordon B. Hinckley's (our current prophet) life for the last 50+ years. Over that period of time, millions have met him personally, and listened to his loving sermons. All will attest to him being an honorable, decent, loving man who, in all he does, strives to exemplify what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

As far as all the Mormon "secrets," it is understandable that those who are not members of the church would be frustrated when members choose to not talk about certain things in casual conversation. Hoewever, please understand that for some thoughtful, introspective, honest people who seek spirituality, there will be things they hold so sacred that they cannot speak of them in a worldly situation without offending that sacred thing. In a Mormon's case, it would also be a matter of offending the God that offered the sacred to them.

Posted by: Eric | April 25, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Lowest Level of Nicotine in Any Major Brand Tim Kalemkarian, Nu Sugar-Free Tim Kalemkarian, With Added Fiber Tim Kalemkarian: healthiest convenience store product.

Posted by: anonymous | April 10, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

A Mormon President?
I am an evangelical Christian who has no problem with Mitt Romney being President of the United States. I would also have no problem with a Catholic or Jewish President so long as they were truly people of faith.

For me, the candidates with no faith cause the most trouble. They tend to be relativists, humanists, and are invariably liberals. From defense to energy to education they tend to be wrong about everything. Far from solving problems, they are the problem.

We are not electing a religious leader but a secular/political one. I care very much about what candidates stand for, and their desire to promote a moral center in American life. For various reasons, I like all the Republican candidates, but may well like Romney the best, not in spite of his religious affiliation, but because of his strong faith in the God who created us all.

Posted by: jmikednc | April 10, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

A Mormon President?
I am an evangelical Christian who has no problem with Mitt Romney being President of the United States. I would also have no problem with a Catholic or Jewish President so long as they were truly people of faith.

For me, the candidates with no faith cause the most trouble. They tend to be relativists, humanists, and are invariably liberals. From defense to energy to education they tend to be wrong about everything. Far from solving problems, they are the problem.

We are not electing a religious leader but a secular/political one. I care very much about what candidates stand for, and their desire to promote a moral center in American life. For various reasons, I like all the Republican candidates, but may well like Romney the best, not in spite of his religious affiliation, but because of his strong faith in the God who created us all.

Posted by: jmikednc | April 10, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

A Mormon President?
I am an evangelical Christian who has no problem with Mitt Romney being President of the United States. I would also have no problem with a Catholic or Jewish President so long as they were truly people of faith.

For me, the candidates with no faith cause the most trouble. They tend to be relativists, humanists, and are invariably liberals. From defense to energy to education they tend to be wrong about everything. Far from solving problems, they are the problem.

We are not electing a religious leader but a secular/political one. I care very much about what candidates stand for, and their desire to promote a moral center in American life. For various reasons, I like all the Republican candidates, but may well like Romney the best, not in spite of his religious affiliation, but because of his strong faith in the God who created us all.

Posted by: jmikednc | April 10, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Go Mitt Go!?

Is that from his cheeleading days at Cranbrook Academy? No wonder Bush likes his so much.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

A Mormon President?
I am an evangelical Christian who has no problem with Mitt Romney being President of the United States. I would also have no problem with a Catholic or Jewish President so long as they were truly people of faith.

For me, the candidates with no faith cause the most trouble. They tend to be relativists, humanists, and are invariably liberals. From defense to energy to education they tend to be wrong about everything. Far from solving problems, they are the problem.

We are not electing a religious leader but a secular/political one. I care very much about what candidates stand for, and their desire to promote a moral center in American life. For various reasons, I like all the Republican candidates, but may well like Romney the best, not in spite of his religious affiliation, but because of his strong faith in the God who created us all.

Posted by: jmikednc | April 10, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

A Mormon President?
I am an evangelical Christian who has no problem with Mitt Romney being President of the United States. I would also have no problem with a Catholic or Jewish President so long as they were truly people of faith.

For me, the candidates with no faith cause the most trouble. They tend to be relativists, humanists, and are invariably liberals. From defense to energy to education they tend to be wrong about everything. Far from solving problems, they are the problem.

We are not electing a religious leader but a secular/political one. I care very much about what candidates stand for, and their desire to promote a moral center in American life. For various reasons, I like all the Republican candidates, but may well like Romney the best, not in spite of his religious affiliation, but because of his strong faith in the God who created us all.

Posted by: jmikednc | April 10, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romeny has the skills, wit, wisdom, vision, plans and determination to fix America's major problems and challenges. No other candidate brings all this AND good looks to the table like Mitt Romney does.

Go Mitt Go!

Posted by: Denny | April 10, 2007 3:14 AM | Report abuse

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

Posted by: anonymous | April 9, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Romney certainly has many from Bush 43's inner circle, which adds to the perception that he's Bush's favourite for the nomination (tho he'd never publicly say it).

Whether that helps him remains to be seen, but winning teams in politics are good to have!

Posted by: JayPe | April 9, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Problem with William's messages is that they, on several occasions, directly advocate violence against a certain group. WaPo is likely to want to know about those types of messages. I do not recall seeing such posts from anyone else on either side.


Ignorant nonsense such as "99.9% of muslims are terrorists or sympathisers" as statistically given by the bigoted and all-around reprehensible excuse of a human being that William is can mostly be ignored. The incitement of violence is a different animal.

Posted by: roo | April 9, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Aussie - He's deadly serious.

He goes into far too much detail on so many different things with consistency, that somebody who was just playing a joke would get tired of.

He's probably seeking attention of some type. Notice how he puts so many different themes into a post. Somebody is bound to "bite" on one of them.

Through that trawling, he gets the attention which he seeks. It doesn't bother him that the attention may not be positive. it's the attention which is the goal.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Do you think he doesn't believe what he writes and just does it for a bit of a laugh or attention?

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - A couple of weeks ago one of the posters did a brief "analysis" of William.

I don't know if they were a professional, but it had all of the earmarks of somebody who knows what they are talking about; such as the correct clinical terminology. It wasn't just barroom or Pop psychology.

You're right that William is wasting his life on bigotry and hatred, but there is probably little he can do about it. You've seen his continued defensiveness on topics that 99% of this country oppose.

There won't be any change unless somebody somehow manages to break through that wall he lives behind and so fiercely wants to defend.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

William, you're a sophmoric idiot!

I say that quite calmly as an observation, not because you have upset me. You haven't.

The continued genuine references to obscure politicians and arcane policies and puerile beliefs has you about 150 years behind the rest of the United States.

You need help kid! Serious help.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

William, thank you. I do appreciate it. You are an intelligent kid; only a couple years older than my daughter. Please don't waste the potential you have by by squandering your life on bigotry and hatred.

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Additional thought:

Don't you ever get really mad and say something you don't mean, like "I hate you" or "Go to hell" or whatever?

My posts above were basically an instance of that.

I got angry and posted some mean comments, which I did not mean, and which I sincerely apologize for.

Sometimes I lose my temper and write/say things I don't mean.

Once again, I wholeheartedly apologize.

William

Posted by: William | April 9, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Apology for my previous comments:

I apologize for the comments I made above about Muslims. My intent was not to advocate mass murder or genocide, and if you look at what happened during the Cronulla riots, you will see that many of the people whom the rioters attacked were Muslim gangs who fought with the rioters.

In any case, I did not mean for my comments to come off the way they did and I regret making them.

When I read about Muslims raping women and things like that it makes me really mad, and I sometimes say things I don't mean.

By NO MEANS did I mean to advocate genocide or mass murder of anyone.

I guess I posted in anger and didnt think about what I wrote.

I retract my previous comments and offer an apology to anyone who was offended by them. I did not mean to advocate violence.

I hope you will accept this apology.

Sincerely,

William

Posted by: William | April 9, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: First I was wrong, this is not a public forum, its a private forum so it can actually be censored by the owners.

Now to the question: Yes, one can advocate genocide in a public forum. Being in support of genocide is not the same thing as going to gather a mob to enact said genocide. People have the right to put forth political ideas. Extermination of all muslims is a political idea and has the right to be aired. That being said, your Hitler analogy is spot on and william needs to read a few hundred books on the holocaust.

Posted by: Dan W | April 9, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Having a friendly relationship" with Matt Drudge or "Skewering Clinton, Gore and congressional allies" on a resune is something to be proud of? Reference Drudge, I get creepy feelings and want to shower. Comstock reminds me of Lucianne Goldberg. Comstock doesn't have a kid still hanging on her apron strings named Jonah does she?

Posted by: nellieh | April 9, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse


'Back to ignoring cowards.'

Does that include yourself, chickenhawk?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, Dan, does one have the 'right' to advocate genocide on a public forum? I mean, we do have the guarantee of free speech, but do we have the right to advocate murder? We don't have the right to yell 'fire' in a crowded theatre, do we?

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

you really have very little to offer don't you? Is the extent of your ability comprised of cutting and pasting from anywhere else.

Back to ignoring cowards.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

'It is interesting that the people who offend the most are the first to find it in others.

Zouk truism.'

yup, that's you all the way.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that the people who offend the most are the first to find it in others.

Zouk truism.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse


Controversial radio host Don Imus -- facing a storm of criticism after referring to members of a women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" -- appeared on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show Monday. Sharpton called the comments "abominable" and "racist" and repeated his demand that Imus be fired. Imus told Sharpton: "Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far."

Posted by: imus crawls - LOL | April 9, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: People aren't saying they agree with william, they are saying he has a right to express his opinion in a public forum.

Posted by: Dan W | April 9, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

How different is what Hitler espoused than what William says? It's exactly the same thing.

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

As for me believing a Dem will win the WH, if Al Gore gets into the race, he wins. Same with Bill Richardson and even John Edwards. I have my doubts about HRC, and a few small doubts about Obama but still think he can win if he's the nominee. If Iraq is still the number 1 issue then I think that it doesn't matter who is the dem or repub candidate, the dems have it won.

However William I am sure that you have written here quite a few times that you think the Dems can/will win the WH in 2008.

All betting agencies favour a Democratic win at this stage so it's not such a crazy thought really.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse


'William's comments are offensive, drindl????

And what are yours, exactly?

I am writing to WaPo to ask for your comments to be deleted. They make me nauseous'

Please do. I don't fantasize and drool about the mass murder of entire non-white populations/ genocide. I'm sure William spends a lot of time at Stormfront, where he belongs. His white supremacist eilimationist rantings should not be forced on the rest of us. This is not political, it's mentially ill.

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I see ignorant noname coward tries to attack my motivations while ignoring the message of an MIT scientist. Still the same old losing methods? you are not fooling anyone anymore. what about the content? I don't expect you will have much to say about the facts - you never do.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON POST EDITORS/CHRIS CILIZZA:

I would like to lodge a complaint about the comments offered by 'William'. They are grossly offensive. I would appreciate if you would offer an email address for such complaints. I will go to the ombudsman, but it would be better if you had a separate complaint mechanism yourself. Most reputable boards do.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - most polls have reflected the numbers in the source below. If the election was held tomorrow Howard would be out the door. He has about 6 months to invent some crisis to put fear into the minds of the Aussie voters, something he is very adept at.

"Rudd's approval and the Labor Party's vote surged in independent polling, with Newspoll showing Labor leading the Coalition by 61-39 in two-party-preferred terms and Rudd leading Howard as preferred Prime Minister by 49-36"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Rudd

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you are nauseous, I agree completely.

drindl, if you have such problems with williams views , demonstrate how wrong they are. I don't agree with most of them either but the two of you demonstrate the shallowness and untenability of your views everytime you post. It is most instructive.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: Why would the WaPo remove williams post? While I nearly always disagree with everything he says, he still has as much right to spout his nonsense as you have to spout your views.

Posted by: Dan W | April 9, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

'the evidence for global warming thus far doesn't warrant any action unless it is justifiable on grounds that have nothing to do with climate.'

so who is it you work for again, koz? exxon mobil? you know, i worked for an ad agency a year or so ago who were doing what they called a 'guerilla campaign' -- paying ringers who went on inflluential websites to discredit global warming, among other things.

Myguess is you're one of thsse.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, please compare the number of people killed by guns intentionally or accidentally with the number of crimes thwarted by guns. then compare the states crime levels that allow guns and concealed carry with those that restrict them. Once this exercise is complete, you will find the reason that gun control and 2nd amendment attacks are no longer in vogue. your FEELINGS based approach does not comport with the facts. this is pretty typical of Dem/Lib issues when examined under the science or fact approach instead of the hysterical media shouting methods applied.

Just for fun, try to guess which is more dangerous to have at your home - a gun or a swimming pool? One is ten times more dangerous, I bet you can guess which. Pesky facts keep interfering with Lib arguments.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

William's comments are offensive, drindl????

And what are yours, exactly?

I am writing to WaPo to ask for your comments to be deleted. They make me nauseous.

Posted by: Pot calling kettle | April 9, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, when are the approval ratings for congress ever higher than the president's ratings? It hardly ever happens, even with an incompetent moron like Bush in the WH. I bet you the republican congress during Clinton's years were never more popular than Bubba.

What do you have to say about the following poll? http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2007/March/partyAffliationMarch2007.htm
Certainly does not show that Dems are on the nose, quite the contrary.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

'By the way William, that is seriously sick. Thank God the white supremicists didn't have guns due to our tight gun control laws.'

Unfortunately, here they do. It leads to a lot of schoolchildren getting shot up by lunatics.

And Willaim IS a seriously sick individual -- I don't complain, but I have written to the WaPo to ask to have his posts deleted. They are turly offensive and really make me nauseous.

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Aussie, You are looking at some severe dissappointment with your hopes for a dem victory. I suspect that aussies aren't ready to give up either since you have such a large population of muslims right off your coast. what can you tell me about poll results on howard?

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"Thank God the white supremicists didn't have guns due to our tight gun control laws."

The Muslims DID have guns though...thanks to your "tight" gun laws?

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Posted by: William | April 9, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"But how many liberal positions does Santorum take?"

OK, maybe Brownback would have been a better example.

"So William, you don't think it's sad that the rioters took their anger out on innocent people?"

99.9% of Muslims are either terrorists or terrorist sympathizers. As for the other .1%, I guess that's just too bad. Maybe they should convert or something. I have no sympathy for Muslims. There is such a thing as collective guilt.

My ony regret is that the Muslims didnt suffer more from Cronulla.

"I agree that those who committed the rapes etc should be locked up and punished for what they did."

Not locked up, executed.

"You cannot justify a bunch of white supremicists beating up people who look vaguely middle eastern (even people of Greek, Jewish and Italian descent were targeted because they 'looked like them' - which clearly proves it was race related)."

I didnt hear about the Jews, Greeks, Italians, etc getting beaten up. That is sad.

But most of the Cronulla rioters were not white supremacists. They were just average people who got fed up and said "enough!"

The riot wouldn't have happened in the first place if there were no Muslims in Australia.

"It's up to the government and the police to deal with this particular crime problem amongst a minority of middle eastern youths. "

When the government won't, people have to take matters into their own hands.


"I am hoping that the alliance will bear fruit once again when a Democrat gets elected in 2008 and Kevin Rudd boots John Howard out of office later this year."

Neither is very likely to happen, especially the former.

What Democrat do you think will be elected?

Hussein Osama? Please. Even John Howard knows Osama can't be elected.

As for John Howard, the silent majority of Aussies support him from what I have read (in British newspapers like TimesOnline and DailyMail and Telegraph.)

How can you be OK with Muslims in your country, honestly??

Posted by: Williakm | April 9, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"No Muslims died at Cronulla because not enough Australians had guns.

I mean the semi-automatic type, with Muslim-piercing jacketted-hollowpoint rounds."

By the way William, that is seriously sick. Thank God the white supremicists didn't have guns due to our tight gun control laws.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I never said that Rudy doesn't take liberal positions on some issues, he clearly does. But how many liberal positions does Santorum take? I don't claim to be an American politics expert BTW, though I'd know more than the average Australian, I'm just interested in it and that's why I come here. I'd love to be able to vote in the US but alas....

"thousands of Australian women are raped each day by Muslim animals"
Now now, William, let's not exaggerate.

So William, you don't think it's sad that the rioters took their anger out on innocent people?

I agree that those who committed the rapes etc should be locked up and punished for what they did. It's unfair of you to say I don't care about the rapes and the treatment of women by these people, I clearly do. But rioting against innocent people is not the way to go about it.

You cannot justify a bunch of white supremicists beating up people who look vaguely middle eastern (even people of Greek, Jewish and Italian descent were targeted because they 'looked like them' - which clearly proves it was race related). These people didn't commit those horrible crimes. It's up to the government and the police to deal with this particular crime problem amongst a minority of middle eastern youths. And it is a problem. Just like there are plenty of whites who want to take out their aggression on innocent minorities. That's a problem too.

Just to note I am glad Australia is an ally of the US, I like your country a great deal, it's only in the past 6 years that aspects of this alliance has caused me pain. I am hoping that the alliance will bear fruit once again when a Democrat gets elected in 2008 and Kevin Rudd boots John Howard out of office later this year.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I do not find it irrelevant that the GOP has seemingly learned its lesson from the last election and is moving forward with the business they were elected to do. On the contrary, the Dems have overreached and not learned anything. they continue to slide downward and will be largly irrelevant soon. you think bush's numbers are bad - look at the results for the congress, which happens to be Dem majority now:

Republican Presidential Nomination

RCP Average
Giuliani 31.7%
McCain 19.0%
Thompson 10.8%
Romney 7.3%
Giuliani +12.7%


Democratic Presidential Nomination

RCP Average
Clinton 34.9%
Obama 22.6%
Edwards 15.1%
Gore 14.5%
Clinton +12.3%

President Bush Job Approval

RCP Average
Approve 36.5%
Disapprove 60.0%
Spread -23.5%


Congressional Job Approval

RCP Average
Approve 35.7%
Disapprove 54.3%
Spread -18.6%

If you think Repubs are haters, take a look at the NR article abouit Dem haters. Instead of making up facts, I actually find them and supply them. I know this is anathema to the party of santa claus, where you get everything you wish for if you're good and those bad rich folks pay for it. except (spoiler alert) it was your parents, or to follow the metaphor - the republicans who were providing all the goodies with hard work and saving. now you are about to get a lump of coal (hillary) in your stocking next christmas. (Feb 5th actually).

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

KOZ: are you so bereft of good things to say about the current crop of GOP candidates for president that you have to post irrelevant nonsense about state issues in Virginia?

Come on, son, stay on topic or shut your piehole.

Posted by: Lo | April 9, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are so hateful.

Now that they can't hate African-Americans anymore, at least openly, they take their hate out on other people, like Muslims and Hispanics.

Just wait, haters, eventually minorities will be the MAJORITY and then you won't be able to elect hateful candidates anymore.

Posted by: A night already devoid of stars | April 9, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

william - australia has historically been the US's greatest ally. they continue to be. It is such a great country that they are able to tolerate wacked out liberals, just as we are. now you see they have their share of them too.

What is amazing is that all the most wacked out liberals throughout the world are able to find and congregate on this website, yet they are still incapable of finding any long-term morals or coming up with logical, reasonable, persuasive arguments. they are good at insults though ( in an elementarey school kind of way), as you can clearly see.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I never said politicians don't CARE about polls, of course they DO.

I said that polls don't matter in the end, since they can change from day to day. Rudy's numbers almost a year before the primaries don't really matter.


"It's just blatantly untrue that Rudy has as much in common with Repubs as Santorum does with the Dems. Yes Rudy is liberal on social issues, but in terms of the economy (he is a fan of supply side economics), the war on terror, defence, crime and many other issues, the guy is as right wing as they come."

A couple of corrections:

- Rudy CLAIMS to favor supply-side economics, and cites as evidence insignificant things like cutting taxes in NYC.

-War on Terror: Umm, I think most Democrats at least publically advocate an aggressive War on Terror, since that is what the American people want.

However, Rudy does take the Bush position on Iraq, which is unpopular with the majority of Americans.

-Defence: EVERY politician except Obama and Dennis Kucinich favor a strong national defense.

-Crime: Yeah, Rudy "reduced" crime in NYC by violating the COnstitution and banning handguns. That's hardly conservative.

Now, let's look at the list of issues Rudy is LIBERAL on:

-Immigration
-handgun control
-Gay marriage
-Abortion
-Stem Cells
-Assault Weapons Ban
-registration of firearms (being from statist Australia you should love that)


Seems those outnumber the issues he is conservative on.

Though I do admit, Rudy is a better choice than McS--t or Romney.


"Don't call me Crocodile Dundee either."

I meant that as a compliment :)

Crocodile Dundee is hot, gets lots of girls, has a big knife, and is a manly-man.

Crocodile Dundee would certainly not let Australia get taken over by Muslims.


As for Cronulla, several points:

1. No, Cronulla was not "racist", "a disgrace", and "extremely sad".

It WAS an ebullition of outrage at Muslim rapes and sexual assaults against Australian women.

Wow, real men actually standing up for their women. How very rare these days.

Not something liberals would understand.

The Muslims deserved what they got. Although your media tries to gloss over or conceal the stories of how thousands of Australian women are raped each day by Muslim animals, I am sure you know it goes on.

That you don't care is the disgrace, not Cronulla.

2. Howard is loyal to Australia, and cares about the well being of his people and of Australian women. Unlike you.

Howard is a true Australian patriot.

Presumably, you would prefer he just sat back and let the Muslims take over your country like the European leaders are doing.

You really need to wake up. Do you think your "progressive" views will be tolerated under the Caliphate?

Liberals are so short-sighted and stupid.


"No one died at Cronulla by the way. "

There is always next time, inshallah.

And maybe next time, America should send Australians some Beecher's Bibles, if you know what I mean.

No Muslims died at Cronulla because not enough Australians had guns.

I mean the semi-automatic type, with Muslim-piercing jacketted-hollowpoint rounds.

Posted by: William | April 9, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

So Loudon, you deny that those issues passed or failed in the VA legislature? Interesting that you have no grasp of reality. but I bet you beleive with all your heart in global warming caused by man only, the easter bunny, santa claus, Frugal Dems, honest Libs,winning by retreat, etc.

"the dumbest and the sleaziest" - better stick with your area of expertise.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The invaluable Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe (he of the "signing statements" reportage) has a new blockbuster (the same that emptywheel pointed to earlier) on the role played by Pat Robertson's Regent University in the politicization of the federal government bureaucracy, and specifically the Department of Justice.

Emptywheel then draws a bead on Monica Goodling's activities:

I hate to keep harping on this point. But it seems pretty damn likely that Monica Goodling was right at the center of the inappropriate politicization of career DOJ employees. You see, I think it highly likely that one of the reasons Goodling is pleading the Fifth is because she caused Paul McNulty to commit perjury. But another reason--a much bigger one, given the centrality of the politicization of DOJ hiring to the scandal surrounding the USA purge, is because she committed regular violations of the laws in place to prevent the politicization of our career employees.

And to complete the tag-team, Atrios:

[The next] president is not only going to have to deal with this disaster in Iraq, but also a federal government which has been staffed from top to bottom with career ideological Bushies who will fully understand that their job in a Democratic administration is to take it down.

I wrote earlier about this unfolding scandal that Bush, Rove and Gonzales have now done for the prosecution of public corruption what they've done for impeachment. That is, just as they've made it conventional wisdom to immediately reject the idea of impeachment out of hand as "partisan revenge for Clinton," or "political tit for tat," now so too will the investigation of public corruption cases be subject to such summary dismissal.

The long term effects of this scandal are incalculable. At a time when Republicans are accused of engaging in rampant and systematic public corruption, Rove, Bush and Gonzales have succeeded in making corruption investigations into the same sort of partisan joke that Republicans made impeachment. And as their crimes come to light in the closing days of their "administration" and into the next, they may well have made it impossible for a Democratic successor to actually pursue justice on behalf of the American people, since any such effort will undoubtedly -- and with a lack of shame that shocks the conscience -- be labeled as "partisan revenge."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

As sad as the Democratic field is right now, the GOP field is laughably pathetic.

Now, no one expects the best and the brightest to run for president these days, but can't we do better than the dumbest and the sleaziest?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 9, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

KOZ: "Ignore the content and try to slur the origination. I would expect no more from you whiny babies. those pesky facts just keep getting out. and this was not opinion, it was legislative facts. I know you have such trouble making the distinction."

Nice try, you sniveling twit, but not even the Moonie Times dared run that drivel as news. It was an EDITORIAL. That means it's OPINION, which you seem too ignorant to understand.

Now move along sonny, you seem to have third-grade vocabulary lesson to catch.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 9, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Ok fine, let's forget the polls then (even though I don't agree with you at all when you say that people who know politics don't care about polls, then why does every political campaign employ a pollster?)

It's just blatantly untrue that Rudy has as much in common with Repubs as Santorum does with the Dems. Yes Rudy is liberal on social issues, but in terms of the economy (he is a fan of supply side economics), the war on terror, defence, crime and many other issues, the guy is as right wing as they come. I can't think of anything Santorum would have in common with Democrats.

That I am Australian has nothing to do with my knowledge of American politics and I find your comments very patronising. Don't call me Crocodile Dundee either.

The fact that you find the scenes at Cronulla exhilarating shows what a racist you are. What happened at Cronulla was a disgrace and an extremely sad day for our country. It was a reflection of the jingoistic, flag waving, nationalistic PM we have in John Howard. Muslims are not taking over my country and they pose a far lesser threat than warmongering George Bush butt-kissing climate change denying John Howard.

No one died at Cronulla by the way. And Australia is not a republic. Maybe seeing as though you are from the Great Republic of the United States of America you don't have much understanding of Australia.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

'Where's the Tolerance?
Hateful reactions from the Left.'

LOL -- extremely amusing reaction from the Bag of Bile himself.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Where's the Tolerance?
Hateful reactions from the Left.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZDY3N2IwMDBjZDM4Nzc3NzdhMjg1YWRhOTVjYzQxZjc=

the intelligence and tolerance of the left. Maybe you need to hang upside down a little longer each day.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously William, that has to be close to the most stupid thing you've ever said. Rudy is easily leading the GOP polls right now. Can you imagine Santorum doing the same for the dems?"

Um, maybe being from the Great Republic of Australia you don't have much of an understanding of US politics.

The point I was making was not about polls, which matter very little in the end. Going into the Iowa caucuses, Ark. Governor Bill Clinton was polling at 2% and he went on to win the nomination.

Right now, the GOP polls are a contest of "who do you hate least?"

Everyone hates McCain since he is a traitor to the conservative cause, a shameless elf-promoter and a flip-flopper. So they are not going to vote for him in the polls.

Most people don't trust Romney, since he has done 180 degree flipflops with a straight face on every issue in the last few months. Also, he's a Mormon from MA.

And since the MSM has been ignoring all the other candidates running, as if they don't even exist, most people only know about the Top 3.

So, the only choice left, with ROmney and McPain out, is Rudy.

That's why his polling numbers are artificially high.

Also, many people (you know, average people who don't follow politics) aren't aware of his moral and ethical scandals or liberal views. Yet.

As the primaries get closer, and people actually have to vote, Guiliani's support will start to disappear.

Anyone who knows even a little about politics isnt impressed by polls. They don't matter in the end.

So your statement was ignorant and stupid.

And my analogy is quite valid. Guiliani's positions on the issues are just as estranged from those held by most Republicans and Santorum's are from those held by most Dems.


And anyway, instead of worrying about American politics, you have bigger fish to fry, as the saying goes.

Why don't you worry about the Muslim barbarians who are taking over your country and gang raping Australian women on a massive scale?

Maybe you should worry more about that, Crocodile Dundee!

Is Australia ready for Cronulla Reloaded?

I must admit, it was quite exhilarating to watch the footage on TV.

I wish I could have been there to help the Australian patriots beat up on the Muslims.

Unfortunately, though, not many were killed.

Posted by: William | April 9, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Ignore the content and try to slur the origination. I would expect no more from you whiny babies. those pesky facts just keep getting out. and this was not opinion, it was legislative facts. I know you have such trouble making the distinction.

not much talk of pusilanimous pelosi today. Had enough surrendering for this month? will you fund the troops or not - dirty harry says no, Schmuck says yes. the coming implosion in the Dem caucus. more egos and personalities than ignorant noname coward. should be good sport.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Guiliani being nominated by the GOP would be like Rick Santorum being nominated by the Democrats."

Seriously William, that has to be close to the most stupid thing you've ever said. Rudy is easily leading the GOP polls right now. Can you imagine Santorum doing the same for the dems?

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

wow, KOZ, an editorial from the Moonie Times. Very impressive.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 9, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Not ready to turn Blue yet. Dems are thwarted on lib agenda in Old dom.


During the session that ended Wednesday, conservatives and Republicans won a number of significant victories, including passage of a transportation package that did not include statewide tax increases and eminent domain reforms that will make it much harder for the government to condemn private property. Lawmakers passed over Gov. Tim Kaine's veto legislation making people convicted of killing judges or witnesses eligible for capital punishment, and thwarted the governor's effort to enact a ban on smoking in restaurants.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Chichester -- a Republican politician who has long been the Old Dominion's most vociferous advocate of higher taxes -- announced he would not seek re-election as the Senate's Republican high-tax caucus collapsed. Meanwhile, Democrats in the House of Delegates (who in recent years have delighted in taunting conservative Republican delegates for feuding with the Senate's moderate/liberal Republican bloc) unceremoniously dumped Minority Leader Frank Hall in midsession. "

Its the taxes stoopid.

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20070408-101851-2382r.htm

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

IS BELIEF ALONE SUFFICIENT?

Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, p.5

"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel."

In other words, we do not believe that the mere confession of faith, when a man is dying, is going to save him. I remember as a youngster, working in a bank, seeing some cartoons that illustrated the absurdity of that belief. They were in Puck magazine. A very villainous-looking man came into a room, stabbed a man, and stole some money that he was counting. In the next picture he was in jail and a priest said: "Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved." The criminal thought: "A mighty easy bargain! I believe." In the next picture he was tried and convicted; in the next, he was on his way to the gallows, with sentimental ladies throwing flowers in his path "a soul going to Jesus." The next showed him hanging at the end of a rope by his neck; and in the next he was soaring up to heaven, escorted by angels.

The final picture showed the good and benevolent man whose money had been stolen and who had been stabbed, down in hell being pitched from one fire to another. He said he did not have time to say he believed. He had been stabbed.--CS, September 3, 1938: 7.

Posted by: certaincurtain@yahoo.com | April 9, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

We need a leader to be our next President. Leaders lead in the face of adversity, not change their positions to be pleasing to ears. Much like Romney, Clinton and Edwards. Guiliani and Obama do have some tendancies of leadership, sticking with positions that brought them to the dance. Guiliani known for his toughness and Obama the anti-war stances.

What John McCain is doing right now, though, may be the most gutsy thing a politician can do. In the face of being a moderate-pro environmental stance and a lower than expected fundraising total for 1st quarter. He is standing by his position on the troop escalation in the face of the war growing more and more unpopular. Very courageous, in my view.

Posted by: reason | April 9, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

With all the weirdness going on in the GOP lately, such as Guiliani and Romney running for president, Romney may get the nomination but I doubt it.

For all his ability to raise millions from his rich Mormon buddies, he would actually be a rather weak candidate.

I think he would still beat Obama (just as any R running, including Tancredo, would), but I think any of the other serious Dems running (Kucinich need not apply) could beat Romney.

I can even see HRC beating Romney. He's flipflopped so far to the right and been such an unpopular governor of MA that he has absolutely no appeal in blue states, except maybe MI since his dad is from there.

I think HRC would take OH and thus win. Edwards, Biden, Dodd and Richardson would also likely beat Romney.

He's just not a strong candidate at all. His deceptiveness, lies, Mormonism, flip-flops, liberal record, and overall Kerry-esque snobbishness and elitism will turn people off.

I can't see him beating anyone but Obama.


If I had to guess, here is what will happen:

Thompson will run, and will receive massive grassroots support. He will win the primaries, and is moderate enough to put a lot of blue states in play in the general.

I can't see any Dem beating him.

If Guiliani becomes the Republican nominee, I think that would tear the party apart, even though he is highly electable.

Guiliani being nominated by the GOP would be like Rick Santorum being nominated by the Democrats.

McCain is hated by so many conservatives (practically everyone) that GOTV would be a tremendous problem. No one likes him, and now he has alienated moderates too.

Brownback and Huckabee are similar to Bush: Extremely conservative on social issues, liberal on illegal immigration. I doubt they are electable. Certainly Brownback isnt, except maybe against Obama. And why should the GOP nominate someone who is pro-amnesty?

I doubt Tancredo is running seriously, but if he was, he would get a lot of votes. People from both parties are fed up with illegals and the crime, etc that they bring.

Ron Paul is too extreme to be nominated.


Re: Tommy Thompson and James Gilmore, I suppose they could theoretically be nominated, and at least Thompson would be relatively strong in a general election, being from a moderate state, WI.

But he has little name recognition and is connected to the unpopular Bush administration. He also has no notable accomplishments.

James Gilmore is not as conservative as he pretends to be. He is opposed to a border wall with Mexico, and compared it to the Berlin wall in a recent interview. And apparently, he is somewhat pro-abortion as well.

Aside from that, he was not all that popular as governor of VA, though he does seem like an intelligent guy with a lot of ideas.

Gingrich: More baggage than Continental Airlines. I doubt he'll even run. He's unelectable against anyone but Obama.

Posted by: William | April 9, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, p.3

SOME FUNDAMENTALS OF MORMONISM.

In many places I have met people who have studied our faith. Some of them would say: "I could accept everything that you people teach were it not for this man Joseph Smith. If you would only eliminate him!"

The day can never come when we will do that. As well might we undertake to leave out Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Either Joseph Smith did see God and did converse with Him, and God Himself did introduce Jesus Christ to the boy Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ did tell Joseph Smith that he would be the instrument in the hands of God of establishing again upon the earth the true gospel of Jesus Christ--or Mormonism, so-called, is a myth. And Mormonism is not a myth! It is the power of God unto salvation. It is the Church of Jesus Christ, established under His direction, and all the disbelief of the world cannot change the fundamental facts connected with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Posted by: certaincurtain@yahoo.com | April 9, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting info, peggy...I'd heard a little somethinng bout that.. also that Mitty was seriously considering Jebby as his Vice. Looks like they'd make beautiful profits together. Got links?

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Result of Persecution

Discourses of Brigham Young, p.351

Every time you kick "Mormonism" you kick it upstairs; you never kick it downstairs. The Lord Almighty so orders it. 7:145.

Posted by: certaincurtain@yahoo.com | April 9, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

'this blog has clearly gone off the deep end.'

no, that would be you

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Romney has more to worry about that his campaign staff can't save him on. I AM a Mormon. Dont think all mormons vote Mormon.

Ask Romney what he has in common with Jeb Bush's friends from Florida supporting him, and they will say VALUES. Actually, Romey shoved a SUEZ subsidiary plant (Distrigas) down Massachusetts ' throat before he left. And the Democrat(ic) Governor is trying to undo it with the legislature.
There is a Suez Dsitrigas LNG plant in Trinidad, and it seems our whole gas market was manipulated to allow Exxon, El Paso, and Suez the big bucks off American people. this Distrigas experimment with LNG ended with Distrigas defaulting on over $1 BILLION in the 1980's.

The Easter egg political hunt for the reports I did will lead you to all major Democrats fighting FERC LNG dockets, as well as a Director David Walker from the GAO. Ask for the Gas report, and the Caricom report I sent their press director, as well as David Walker's personal assistant last week.

Romney and Jeb Bush equal inflated gas prices for LNG SUEZ ' subsidiary. Jeb Bush took our Castille , DEP director for three years around the Caribbean to promote Caricom, and the Bahamas' LNG tanker deals for AES corp. El Paso and Tractebel-another SUEZ subsidiary. Even had our Mayor Manny Diaz in miami host a convention. Funy thing, Florida doesnt need the gas. We have enough from the Fla Gas co. and Gulfstream.

Posted by: peggy | April 9, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

D&C 115:4
For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Posted by: certaincurtain@yahoo.com | April 9, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"Be vewy qwiet, Mitty is hunting wabbits...

he's the dukakis of this cycle..."

I thought McCain is the Dukakis of this cycle, following his stroll through the Baghdad market, wearing a bulletproof vest, surrounded by a cordon of 100 heavily armed soldiers, with two Cobras flying cover overhead.

Romney is just the George Romney of this cycle. He's becoming a joke like his "brainwashed" father.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 9, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

this blog has clearly gone off the deep end.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian state television aired video Sunday of 15 British sailors and marines watching football on television, eating, laughing and playing ping-pong and chess during nearly two weeks in Iranian custody.

The images, aired on Iran's Arabic-language network al-Alam, appeared to refute the former captives' account of psychological pressure. The images showed they were held "in comfort" and that they enjoyed "complete freedom" during their captivity, the network said.

Posted by: this is so odd | April 9, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

lol

Posted by: certaincurtain@yahoo.com | April 9, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

'Handsome men are not apt to be wise and strong-minded men; '

Especially if they spend half their day blow-drying their hair and putting on makeup...

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I will now give you the Mormon position on tolerance. It was given by Jesus to the MDS Saints in his say. It is given again to Mormons LDS in this day.


Matthew 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:45
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:46
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Matthew 5:47
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Matthew 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 7:12
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

D&C 1:31
For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;


Notice how the Bible dovetails with Mormon doctrines?

certaincurtain@yahoo.com

Posted by: certaincurtain@yahoo.com | April 9, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"It would be nice if the supposed party of tolerance and inclusion started extending that attitude a bit toward religious practice."

Can you be more specific, TG? Which party is this and are you stating that the other party has problems with "tolerance and inclusion?"

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 9, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The Value of Aged Men in Counsel. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44, p.299
The way to get along in any important matter is to gather unto yourselves wise men, experienced and aged men, to assist in council in all times of trouble. Handsome men are not apt to be wise and strong-minded men; but the strength of a strong-minded man will generally create course features, like the rough, strong bough of the oak. You will always discover in the first glance of a man, in the outlines of his features something of his mind.

certaincurtain@yahoo.com

Posted by: certaincurtain@yahoo.com | April 9, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Romney also claim he was drafted by the Kansas City A's to play professional baseball .... No wait, that was Richardson.

On the Mormon thing ... every mormon I have ever met has been a family oriented, ethical, and decent person. A reflection, no doubt, on what are some core principles of the faith. Is it a bit odd, sure, but are these people generally a force for good in this world ... absolutely. It would be nice if the supposed party of tolerance and inclusion started extending that attitude a bit toward religious practice.

Posted by: TG | April 9, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Please don't tell me anymore about Mormons, guy. You're scaring me.

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Seriously certaincurtain, give it a rest...and I thought che's posts were boring and irrelevant...

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Mother in Heaven - continued.

Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.516 MOTHER IN HEAVEN. See ETERNAL LIVES, EXALTATION, FATHER IN HEAVEN, MOTHERS IN ISRAEL, PRE-EXISTENCE. Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother. An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother.

Moses 6:57
Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.

The begetting of children makes a man a father and a woman a mother whether we are dealing with man in his mortal or immortal state.

This doctrine that there is a Mother in Heaven was affirmed in plainness by the First Presidency of the Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund) when, in speaking of pre-existence and the origin of man, they said that "man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father," that man is the "offspring of celestial parentage," and that "all men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity." (Man: Origin and Destiny, pp. 348-355.)

This glorious truth of celestial parentage, including specifically both a Father and a Mother, is heralded forth by song in one of the greatest of Latter-day Saint hymns. O My Father by Eliza R. Snow, written in 1843, during the lifetime of the Prophet, includes this teaching:

In the heavens are parents single? No; the thought makes reason stare! Truth is reason, truth eternal, Tells me I've a Mother there.

When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by, Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high?

Then, at length, when I've completed All you sent me forth to do, With your mutual approbation, Let me come and dwell with you.

Mortal persons who overcome all things and gain an ultimate exaltation will live eternally in the family unit and have spirit children, thus becoming Eternal Fathers and Eternal Mothers. (D. & C. 132:19-32.) Indeed, the formal pronouncement of the Church, issued by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, states: "So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been made known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring." (Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 129.)

D&C 132:19
And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them--Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths--then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

D&C 132:20
Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

D&C 132:21
Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.

D&C 132:22
For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

D&C 132:23
But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

D&C 132:24
This is eternal lives--to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

D&C 132:25
Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.

D&C 132:26
Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.

D&C 132:27
The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.

D&C 132:28
I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was.

D&C 132:29
Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.

D&C 132:30
Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins--from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph--which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.

D&C 132:31
This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.

D&C 132:32
Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.

certaincurtain@yahoo.com

Posted by: certaincurtain@yahoo.com | April 9, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi's attire - which was appropriate to the locale - was ridiculed, her gender laughed at, all the while no one bothered to demand an answer to any number of extremely pressing and urgent questions regarding the so called "war on terror" product line. Investor's Business Daily, most recently responsible for pressuring Target to get rid of CDs with a Che Guevara image because it showed support for totalitarianism (although not pressuring Target to stop using Chinese labor), had issues with Pelosi's head scarf. But not, apparently with the ones that Laura Bush, Condi and Karen Hughes wore when they were in the middle east.

Why? Where in reality do these people - from the editorial boards, to the talking heads, all of them - think they are, in comparison to the rest of us, that would excuse their behavior as anything but unethical, dishonest, and brutishly cynical?

Perhaps they are in a place where conscience is so easily bought and sold that they can pretend at decency and fool themselves convincingly. But they are not in a place from which the truth will ever venture out, not on purpose anyway. Truth may escape on occasion, and usually in broken parts, seemingly unrelated to a larger narrative, but by and large, this place of so called mainstream journalism is a wasteland, decadent and collapsing under its own Faustian deal. '

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

'The national media continues to self destruct under the weight of its politically purchased editorial pages. Not content to simply slink away quietly after leading the nation into a disastrous war of choice through negligent and even highly corrupt reporting practices, the editorial boards of all of the major newspapers - still apparently strapped collectively into a mission accomplished payola flight suit - continue to play political attack dog for their paymasters.

After all, what is a little feigned concern for national security, a little faux patriotism between friends and corporate shills?
On the same day that the Defense Department's Inspector General releases a report showing that high ranking Defense officials lied about Saddam Hussein's non-existent connection to Al Qaeda, the entire press wh*re was busy contorting itself into Easter treats over a diplomatic trip taken by Speaker Pelosi to Syria.

Terms of derision and evocative editorial smears were everywhere, but not aimed at Dick Cheney, who continued to lie with impunity about the IG's report, rather, aimed at Nancy Pelosi for visiting with Syrian officials. Oh, did I mention that Republican members of Congress had just made the same exact trip very recently? Apparently no one told the New York Post that. Nor were the Washington Post or CNN even attempting to get their facts straight before they went on the editorial hit, like mobsters, only with less integrity.

Instead of editorial pages demanding to know why Cheney's friends, handpicked to serve in top positions at the Pentagon, would have lied to their dear chum about something as serious as a war (they likely lied to the President), the major papers were busy making fun of Nancy Pelosi's state - California - as though it were some strange evil appendage without any right to have representation or the ability to produce a savvy diplomat. Let's not forget, that the famous Republican actor who played a fearless Cold War President on TV was from that very same state.

The Washington Times, a paper owned by a cult leader who made his fortune off fraud, arms and drug running, and human trafficking and finally declared himself the Messiah to his Christian conservative base, apparently has issues with California. Just how freakish is this thing called beltway journalism going to get?''

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I sure hope he gets the nomination. Even Mickey Mouse can beat him.

Posted by: Adrienne Najjar | April 9, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Be vewy qwiet, Mitty is hunting wabbits...

he's the dukakis of this cycle...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

'I think it's weird that I'm defending Romney, but let's face facts. All religions are full of nonsense.'

Exactly, Greg, and that's why they shouldn't be running this country...

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

'The right has exploited the mainstream press's ignorance about Robertson to avoid weathering the blowback from his most embarassing gaffes. Case in point: Two years ago, after Robertson called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, Fox News' Brit Hume introduced what would become a central talking point for spinning the controversy. On the August 23, 2005 episode of Fox News' Special Report, Hume declared, "The televangelist Pat Robertson's political influence may have been declining since he came in second in the Iowa Republican caucuses 17 years ago. And he may have no clout with the Bush administration."

Morton Kondracke echoed Hume, exclaiming that "Pat Robertson's day has long since passed."

Predictably, the right's spin seeped into the mainstream press. The day after Hume and Kondracke's exchange, Knight Ridder asserted that Robertson's influence "has waned." As evidence, the news service quoted one "leader" of the "evangelical movement" claiming, "He's an old man and there's a group of old women and old men who watch him." Old men can't be influential, don't you know

But in the wake of Goodling's hotly publicized resignation, the mainstream press suddenly -- and correctly -- decided to judge Robertson by the fruits he has borne. In the Washington Post-owned Slate Magazine, Dahlia Lithwick published a penetrating look at "How Pat Robertson's law school is changing America." Lithwick notes that as early as 1997, when Goodling was enrolled at Regent and working as a spokesperson for the school's Office of Government, she was ducking pointed questions from reporters.

The Boston Globe also ran a insightful look at Regent Law's impact on public policy. The Globe cited (as I did days earlier right here) Kay Coles James as the key link between Regent and the Bush White House. The Globe's Charlie Savage wrote, "In 2001, the Bush administration picked the dean of Regent's government school, Kay Coles James, to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management -- essentially the head of human resources for the executive branch. The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni."

The Christian right is far more than a pantheon of charismatic backlashers with automatonic followers of "old men and women." It is also a sophicated political operation with a coherent long-term strategy. Goodling may be out of a job, but thousands of capable Christian right cadres remain, waging the culture war from inside the White House, federal agencies and Republican congressional offices. Together they will continue to inflame conflicts that were previously unimaginable.

Anyone insisting in spite of continuously mounting evidence that the Christian right is going to simply shrink into oblivion because the Democrats control Congress, or because evangelical leaders are prone to scandal, should learn from Goodling's example and take the fifth.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Surprise! Pat Robertson runs the Justice Department!

'When Monica Goodling's name erupted into the news last week, the mainstream press discovered suddenly that Pat Robertson's Regent University exists. Not only that, the press learned that it has made a deep footprint in George W. Bush's Washington.

Since Robertson's failed presidential campaign, coverage of him has largely focused on his mercurial and bizarre personality. He seemed only to appear in the news when one of his many entertainingly outrageous gaffes or false prophecies earned publicity. While Robertson's hysterical episodes deserved all the coverage they generated, with a few notable exceptions, the mainstream press habitually ignored his political machinations. Robertson and his cadres exploited this lack of scrutiny to quietly erect a sophisticated and far-reaching political network that today propells the Christian right's ongoing march through the institutions.

The mainstream press could not have made its recent discovery of Robertson's influence on its own, of course. As is so often the case, they needed a little push from the blogosphere and independent media. I am confident enough to claim at least a small portion of credit for moving this story forward when I reported here and on my blog that Goodling was among 150 Regent grads currently working in the Bush administration.

Days after the Goodling-Regent connection was introduced by the liberal blogosphere, the New York Times noted that Goodling "is a 1995 graduate of Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and received her law degree at Regent University in Virginia Beach.'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/the-press-discovers-pat-r_b_45322.html

Posted by: Jane | April 9, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

'If Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin was speaking for most Democratic leaders on ABC's "This Week" yesterday, President Bush will win his showdown with Congress over funding the Iraq War without an exit deadline.

"We're not going to vote to cut funding," Levin said, predicting the congressional response if Bush vetoes the exit timetables recently passed by the House and Senate. While that would be a victory for the president, it sets up a series of post-veto votes that will firmly put Republicans lawmakers on record in favor of the Bush plan for what seems to be an unending commitment in Iraq with unlimited resources -- what most Americans do not want, according to polls. And it prevents Democrats from having to take co-ownership for what happens in Iraq.

If Bush wins this political battle without winning the war in Iraq, his party could pay dearly in the next election.'

Posted by: congressional quarterly | April 9, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

thanks, certaincurtain. ... it just keeps getting better.

Posted by: Jane | April 9, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Mormonism is quite odd, but I haven't really seen anything that is more bizarre than what the other major religions are peddling. The fact that some Christians and Jews actually believe that God created the Earth in 7 days, or that an old man really built an ark and gathered two of every kind of animal, strikes me as equally weird. So what the Mormonism says you need a password? Catholics say you need special water trickled on your head--is that any less ridiculous?

A co-worker of mine is an orthodox Jew, and believes that he cannot touch another woman besides his wife. While we were working on a house for Habitat for Humanity at a corporate retreat, a woman next to him nearly fell off the roof they were working on, yet he did nothing to help her. So he was going to let this woman (who just had a baby, mind you) fall off a roof due to his religious (i.e. sexist) beliefs.

I think it's weird that I'm defending Romney, but let's face facts. All religions are full of nonsense.

Posted by: Greg-G | April 9, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Grrrrrr..... grrrrrr.... grr.... grrr......

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 9, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Mormons are weird. You know who's not a Mormon? Hillary! No, she's just a mouthwatering hunk of woman.

Posted by: lylepink | April 9, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

And what is more, it is written in The Book of Mormon that there will be a password required for entrance into Heaven. Try though they might, non-Mormons will never learn it. First it is necessary to pass through all of the intricate intitiation ceremonies associated with membership, including the surrender of your credit information and voluntary submission to an intensive re-education session, designed to clear your mind of all the pesky details of modern society which make it difficult to believe that American Indians are Jewish and that God came to Earth in upstate New York in the 19th century. Then it is necessary to be shipped to a foreign country dressed as a red state simpleton, and promise to bother people as politely, yet incessantly, as possible for a prescribed period of 2-3 years. After that, we will allow you to enjoy moderate to indulgent levels of prosperity, provided you are willing to drop everything at a moment's notice to come scratch the Dear Leader's a$$ when it itches. Then, after a long drab yet bizarre life, during which all rules have been followed, we will tell you the password to paradise. Be warned: it is case-sensitive, and paradise will reset if an incorrect password is entered more than twice in a row.

Posted by: certaincurtain | April 9, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The more I learn about mormonism the more I say, run, mitt, run. Whew...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Mother in Heaven

Hebrews 12:9.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

A Mother in Heaven.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 3, p.142
QUESTION: Will you please give us the background of the 'theory' advanced of 'a Mother in Heaven'? Some feel that God is great enough to create spirits without any assistance, and if not, why then was not a Mother mentioned among the Godhead?"
ANSWER:answer to your question about a mother in heaven, let us use reason. It may be true that the Bible does not speak of a mother in heaven, nor does the D&C when speaking of the revelations of the Lord to the Church. Permit me to call attention to the fact that mothers and wives are seldom mentioned in the Bible, although they are on certain occasions. The fact that there is no reference to a mother in heaven either in the Bible, Book of Mormon or D&C, is not sufficient proof that no such thing as a mother did exist there. If we had a Father, which we did, for all of these records speak of him, then does not good common sense tell us that we must have had a mother there also?
When we stop to think of it, there are passages which strongly imply that we did have a mother there. Let me call your attention to some passages of scripture. First, Paul speaking to the Greeks on Mars Hill had this to say:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.1
JESUS HAD A FATHER AND A MOTHER
If we are his offspring, then how did we become such, if we had no mother to give us spirit birth? We know that Jesus had a Father and that he had a mother, for the scriptures tell us so. Have you thought this passage through?
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
It is my turn to ask a question. How can we be the offspring of God, how can he be the Father of our spirits, unless we had a mother and were born? The D&C states that we are all begotten sons and daughters unto God.
For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.
Moreover, the D&C definitely teaches the eternity of the marriage covenant and that those so married who are faithful will have claim on each other in eternity. Their children will belong to them, and they will have the gift of "a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end." This great honor gives them the blessing of "eternal lives," but to those who have to remain separately they partake of "the deaths," because they do not "continue," that is, have no posterity in eternity. Now they will be blessed with the same blessings as those held by our Eternal Father--eternal increase. (See Moses 1:39.)
In Genesis we read:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: . . .
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Is it not feasible to believe that female spirits were created in the image of a "Mother in Heaven"?

Posted by: certaincurtain | April 9, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON, April 8 -- House Democratic leaders are preparing legislation that would permanently shield most middle-class households from the alternative minimum tax, which is likely to affect tens of millions of families as early as next year if it is left unchanged.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

On this Easter Sunday, Jesus is apparently not the only one who is risen. Tom Delay, the Prince of Darkness, is back from political exile with a fiery new book of right-wing rage. In it, the Hammer hammers friend (he described Texas GOP colleague Dick Armey as "drunk with ambition") and foe alike "(liberals have finally joined the ranks of scoundrels like Hitler").

As you enjoy this Easter Sunday with your respective faith, family and favorite chocolate bunny, take a moment to contemplate the demented words of the indicted former House Majority Leader on the day of his booking last year: "let people see Christ through me."

------------------
Tom Delay has never been shy about comparing himself to Jesus Christ. In 2001, Delay defended his none-too-subtle campaign to bring his fundamentalism to the United States Congress, "People hate the messenger. That's why they killed Christ." At last weekend's "War on Christians" conference, Delay's American Taliban allies elevated his Christ complex to the level of a crusade.

Vision America founder and conference host Pastor Rick Scarborough led the way in the deification of Delay. Scarborough, whose latest book is titled "Liberalism Kills Kids," attributed Delay's fall from grace not to his corruption and ethics woes, but to his Christian faith:

"I believe the most damaging thing that Tom DeLay has done in his life is take his faith seriously into public office, which made him a target for all those who despise the cause of Christ."
Scarborough continued in his praise of Delay, telling his audience and radical right luminaries such as Alan Keyes, Phyllis Schalfly and Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, "This is a man, I believe, God has appointed...to represent righteousness in government."

Posted by: ROFLOL | April 9, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Interesting stuff about Romney's hunting exaggerations. Not that I really give a stuff whether he hunts or not, but it just goes to show that this A-grade phony will do ANYTHING to get elected. He'd run with Nader as VP if it got him elected.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

No Name Poster: Your pointing out Gonzales not being ready has been the one consistant thing in this Administration from the very start, no one is up to the job.

Posted by: lylepink | April 9, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Blackwater has repeatedly cited Rumsfeld's statement that contractors are part of the *"Total Force"* as evidence that it is a legitimate part of the nation's "warfighting capability and capacity." Invoking Rumsfeld's designation, the company has in effect declared its forces above the law-entitled to the immunity from civilian lawsuits enjoyed by the military, but also not bound by the military's court martial system. While the initial inquiries into Blackwater have focused on the complex labyrinth of secretive subcontracts under which it operates in Iraq, a thorough investigation into the company reveals a frightening picture of a politically connected private army that has become the Bush Administration's Praetorian Guard.


Blackwater was founded in 1996 by conservative Christian multimillionaire and ex-Navy SEAL Erik Prince-the scion of a wealthy Michigan family whose generous political donations helped fuel the rise of the religious right and the Republican revolution of 1994. At its founding, the company largely consisted of Prince's private fortune and a vast 5,000-acre plot of land located near the Great Dismal Swamp in Moyock, North Carolina. Its vision was "to fulfill the anticipated demand for government outsourcing of firearms and related security training." In the following years, Prince, his family and his political allies poured money into Republican campaign coffers, supporting the party's takeover of Congress and the ascension of George W. Bush to the presidency.

It was not until the "war on terror" that the company's glory moment arrived. Almost overnight, following September 11, the company would become a central player in a global war. "I've been operating in the training business now for four years and was starting to get a little cynical on how seriously people took security," Prince told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly shortly after 9/11. "The phone is ringing off the hook now."

Among those calls was one from the CIA, which contracted Blackwater to work in Afghanistan in the early stages of US operations there. In the ensuing years the company has become one of the greatest beneficiaries of the "war on terror," winning nearly $1 billion in noncovert government contracts, many of them no-bid arrangements. In just a decade Prince has expanded the Moyock headquarters to 7,000 acres, making it the world's largest private military base.

Blackwater currently has 2,300 personnel deployed in nine countries, with 20,000 other contractors at the ready. It has a fleet of more than twenty aircraft, including helicopter gunships and a private intelligence division, and it is manufacturing surveillance blimps and target systems.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Sounds innocent enough, and everyone here knows that no one in our government attacked us on 9/11. But the bone-chilling coincidence is enough to make anyone sit-up and take notice, and ask intelligent questions about the Rumsfeld Doctrine. So why a mercenary army, Mister Bush?
The plot thickens:

"The often overlooked subplot of the wars of the post-9/11 period is their unprecedented scale of outsourcing and privatization. From the moment the US troop buildup began in advance of the invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon made private contractors an integral part of the operations. Even as the government gave the public appearance of attempting diplomacy, Halliburton was prepping for a massive operation. When US tanks rolled into Baghdad in March 2003, they brought with them the largest army of private contractors ever deployed in modern war. By the end of Rumsfeld's tenure in late 2006, there were an estimated 100,000 private contractors on the ground in Iraq-an almost one-to-one ratio with active-duty American soldiers.

To the great satisfaction of the war industry, before Rumsfeld resigned he took the extraordinary step of classifying private contractors as an official part of the US war machine. In the Pentagon's 2006 Quadrennial Review, Rumsfeld outlined what he called a "road map for change" at the DoD, which he said had begun to be implemented in 2001. It defined the "Department's Total Force" as "its active and reserve military components, its civil servants, and its contractors-constitut[ing] its warfighting capability and capacity. Members of the Total Force serve in thousands of locations around the world, performing a vast array of duties to accomplish critical missions." This formal designation represented a major triumph for war contractors-conferring on them a legitimacy they had never before enjoyed.

Contractors have provided the Bush Administration with political cover, allowing the government to deploy private forces in a war zone free of public scrutiny, with the deaths, injuries and crimes of those forces shrouded in secrecy. The Administration and the GOP-controlled Congress in turn have shielded the contractors from accountability, oversight and legal constraints. Despite the presence of more than 100,000 private contractors on the ground in Iraq, only one has been indicted for crimes or violations. "We have over 200,000 troops in Iraq and half of them aren't being counted, and the danger is that there's zero accountability," says Democrat Dennis Kucinich, one of the leading Congressional critics of war contracting.

While the past years of Republican monopoly on government have marked a golden era for the industry, those days appear to be ending. Just a month into the new Congressional term, leading Democrats were announcing investigations of runaway war contractors. Representative John Murtha, chair of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Defense, after returning from a trip to Iraq in late January, said, "We're going to have extensive hearings to find out exactly what's going on with contractors. They don't have a clear mission and they're falling all over each other." Two days later, during confirmation hearings for Gen. George Casey as Army chief of staff, Senator Jim Webb declared, "This is a rent-an-army out there." Webb asked Casey, "Wouldn't it be better for this country if those tasks, particularly the quasi-military gunfighting tasks, were being performed by active-duty military soldiers in terms of cost and accountability?" Casey defended the contracting system but said armed contractors "are the ones that we have to watch very carefully."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Reason: "His job was to travel the country and help gubernatorial candidates raise money and campaign."

That's funny, I thought his job was meant to be Massachusetts governor? God help America if these corporatist sleazeball gets elected.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 9, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

No one knows for sure, but it's believed that as much as 40% of the military budget goes to private contractors including private armies.

There are thousands of private mercenaries operating on behalf of the US in Iraq and elsewhere around the world. Nearly 1,000 have been killed in Iraq alone, but their casualties are not counted. Nor has Congress been able to discover exactly how many mercenaries the US employs there.

One of these firms, Blackwater USA, a big supporter of George Bush, is now deploying in the US. They were present in New Orleans after the levee collapses.

http://www.brasschecktv.com/...

Who are these Blackwater mercenaries, and from where did they come? A little precursory history lesson is required:

"On September 10, 2001, before most Americans had heard of Al Qaeda or imagined the possibility of a "war on terror," Donald Rumsfeld stepped to the podium at the Pentagon to deliver one of his first major addresses as Defense Secretary under President George W. Bush. Standing before the former corporate executives he had tapped as his top deputies overseeing the high-stakes business of military contracting-many of them from firms like Enron, General Dynamics and Aerospace Corporation-Rumsfeld issued a declaration of war.

"The topic today is an adversary that poses a threat, a serious threat, to the security of the United States of America," Rumsfeld thundered. "It disrupts the defense of the United States and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk." He told his new staff, "You may think I'm describing one of the last decrepit dictators of the world.... [But] the adversary's closer to home," he said. "It's the Pentagon bureaucracy." Rumsfeld called for a wholesale shift in the running of the Pentagon, supplanting the old DoD bureaucracy with a new model, one based on the private sector. Announcing this major overhaul, Rumsfeld told his audience, "I have no desire to attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from itself."

The next morning, the Pentagon would be attacked, literally, as a Boeing 757-American Airlines Flight 77-smashed into its western wall. Rumsfeld would famously assist rescue workers in pulling bodies from the rubble. But it didn't take long for Rumsfeld to seize the almost unthinkable opportunity presented by 9/11 to put his personal war-laid out just a day before-on the fast track. The new Pentagon policy would emphasize covert actions, sophisticated weapons systems and greater reliance on private contractors. It became known as the Rumsfeld Doctrine. "We must promote a more entrepreneurial approach: one that encourages people to be proactive, not reactive, and to behave less like bureaucrats and more like venture capitalists," Rumsfeld wrote in the summer of 2002 in an article for Foreign Affairs titled "Transforming the Military."

Although Rumsfeld was later thrown overboard by the Administration in an attempt to placate critics of the Iraq War, his military revolution was here to stay. Bidding farewell to Rumsfeld in November 2006, Bush credited him with overseeing the "most sweeping transformation of America's global force posture since the end of World War II." Indeed, Rumsfeld's trademark approach ushered in one of the most significant developments in modern warfare-the widespread use of private contractors in every aspect of war, including in combat.

Posted by: you see? war for profit! | April 9, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The blurb posted by "some info" above is a blatant copyright violation. I read that same piece somewhere yesterday.

Posted by: Reader | April 9, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Good ol' boy Mitt, out thar on the range rustlin' up some rodents. Rodents!

Now, he could mean "possum" - could, but unlikely.

He could mean "capybara," a rodent whose meat is gaining in popularity... in the Southwest and in Mexico. So probably not that, either.

And if you're from Massachusetts (I am), you probably know that Belmont, MA, where Mitt lives, has never suffered from a huge city rat problem.

The inevitable conclusion: he's shooting mice. But he's only been hunting twice - once at 15 and once last year?

Maybe due to a lack of regulation-weight mice - has he been throwing them back?

or maybe he thought that one would need an NRA membership to hunt mice?

At least he has that now... should serve as solace to him in the long twilight of his mouse-hunting years, to begin next fall.

Posted by: Mouse Killa | April 9, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The New York Times delivers the first major report on the surge's progress this morning, a painstaking effort involving statistics and on the ground reports. The verdict?

American casualties are down in Iraq's provinces, but way up in Baghdad.Sectarian killings are down, but increased use of car bombs has kept the civilian death toll high -- and the beheadings seem to be surging again.

And as the U.S. moves to confront insurgents, the groups seem to be fracturing, making the fight increasingly confusing.

Or as an American private in the First Battalion, Fifth Cavalry puts it:

"The insurgents, they see what we're doing and we see what they're doing. Then we get ahead, then they figure out what we've done and they get ahead.

"It's like a game of cat and mouse. It's just a really, really smart mouse."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Army prosecutions of desertion and other unauthorized absences have risen sharply in the last four years, resulting in thousands more negative discharges and prison time for both junior soldiers and combat-tested veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army records show.

The increased prosecutions are meant to serve as a deterrent to a growing number of soldiers who are ambivalent about heading -- or heading back -- to Iraq and may be looking for a way out, several Army lawyers said in interviews. Using courts-martial for these violations, which before 2002 were treated mostly as unpunished nuisances, is a sign that active-duty forces are being stretched to their limits, military lawyers and mental health experts said.

"They are scraping to get people to go back, and people are worn out," said Dr. Thomas Grieger, a senior Navy psychiatrist.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Remember now; if the Mahdi Army lies low, then the Surge is working. If the Mahdi Army fights back, then the Surge is working. If the Mahdi Army has already dissolved, the Surge is working. If Sadr cooperates, the Surge is working. If he runs, the Surge is working. If he orders attacks, the Surge is working. It's magical, this Surge; no matter what happens, the evidence demonstrates that the Surge is working. It can't fail! Any behavior taken by anyone in Iraq is a positive by-product of the Surge.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

'At a March 23 testimony prep session, "Gonzales was grilled by a team of top aides and advisers -- including former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie and former White House lawyer Tim Flanigan -- about what he knew about the plan to fire seven U.S. attorneys last fall. But Gonzales kept contradicting himself and 'getting his timeline confused,' said one participant who asked not to be identified talking about a private meeting. His advisers finally got 'exasperated' with him, the source added. 'He's not ready,' Tasia Scolinos, Gonzales's public-affairs chief, told the A.G.'s top aides after the session was over."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I should have noted on the post above, that it was culled from Josh Marshall.

talkingpointsmemo.com

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Now, this is interesting. A bunch of stuff is gettig leaked about bernie kerik. Given that we now know that EVERY R candidate's staff is packed with dirty tricksters, WHO is leaking it? McCain? Mitt? Rudy himself?

'Drawing on law enforcement records of phone calls, Newsweek has interesting new details on the circumstances of Bernie Kerik's nomination as secretary of homeland security.

[A]round the time of his nomination, Kerik spoke by phone with two people with whom he had a potentially embarrassing history. According to the records, on Dec. 2, 2004, one day before President George W. Bush announced Kerik's nomination, three phone calls were logged between Kerik and New Jersey businessman Frank DiTommaso. A few weeks earlier, DiTommaso's construction firms had been described in court testimony as mob connected.

Shortly after the nomination, Kerik exchanged several phone calls with Jeannette Pinero, a New York prison guard with whom he was having an affair. . . . Similar calls were made before the Dec. 10 announcement that Kerik's nomination would be canceled. Two days before the withdrawal, Kerik and DiTommaso exchanged three calls. On the day the nomination crashed, Kerik and Pinero exchanged three calls; the last one was about an hour before the White House pulled Kerik's nomination. The records also show more than a dozen calls between DiTommaso and Kerik after the withdrawn nomination.

--Couple the Newsweek revelations with the Post story today on how the White House fast-tracked the Kerik nomination despite internal concerns about Kerik's background and you start to wonder who is leaking all this stuff. Is it Guiliani opponents trying to dent his presidential campaign, or Guiliani supporters trying to air his abundant dirty laundry sooner rather than later?

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Gov. Huckabee could prove to be a presidential candidate to watch, should one of the top 3 frontrunners self destruct. He was very apt to point out Gov. Romney's flip flop stance on his hunting experience. How has the Romney campaign explained all of these inconsistencies?

Posted by: Rick | April 9, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I have to say I was very suprised that Mitt had collected so many hitmen on his staff. Then again you don't get to where he was in the buisness community if you don't know how to take someone out at the knees.

The only problem is that Rudy, McCain and the other GOP heavyweights have these types of headhunters too. I can see the commercial now a picture of Romney on the screen as his "evolution" of issues scrolls by. Then the picture morphs into John Kerry with the final line of 'do we really want a massachusetts flip-flopper as the republican nominee?'

Posted by: Andy R | April 9, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The staff can be a reflection of the person they work for. These are some known for their "nasty" side, if you will, in that a couple of them are well know for their hard hitting ways. I am sure we will hear more from a couple of them in the very near future, when the TV spots starts running in a blitz like manner.

Posted by: lylepink | April 9, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Wow -- some interesting stuff about Mormons. I really had no idea. Having been raised as a pentecostal, I was tuaght that Mormons were a 'cult' but never any details. But I can see that many Catholics and evangelicals are going to have real problems with some of it, stuff like the Heavenly Mother -- that just ain't gonna fly.

As a generally non religious person, I don't care what anyone's beliefs are, as long as they keep it to themselves. But I'm a democrat -- and that's Mitt's problem. The peoople he wants to support him, care very much.

Posted by: drinndl | April 9, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Here's what the R's said years ago about Kerry:
"Kerry may be able to play the hunter with big city journalists who think bagging two pheasants makes one an accomplished hunter. However, in Heartland America, where hunting is a serious 12 month a year sport, Kerry's hunting credentials sound like a cheap decoy to snare the votes of unsuspecting hunters."
http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0504/05 04kerryhunter.htm

Will they say the same things about Romney? Kerry is a bloody Rambo compared to Romney. Will the same NRA members who laughed at the images of Kerry out hunting, who picked on trivialities such as his shooting stance now turn around and vote for the infinitely phonier Romney? Will "NRA member" become even more synonymous with "total hypocrite?" Time, and the primaries, will tell.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 9, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The LAT fronts Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.'s concerns about the propriety of an RNC-provided email system meant to insulate the White House from charges that it used federal resources for campaigns. As congress requests email from the system, Republicans are worried about embarrassing revelations.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

More Americans, polls show, are willing to accept a woman or an African-American as president than a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Among the reasons Americans distrust the Mormon church is Mormon clannishness. Because every worthy Mormon male is expected to be a lay priest in voluntary service to the church, the demands on his time often leave little opportunity to cultivate close friendships with non-Mormon neighbors. A good Mormon is a busy Mormon. Those -- like Mr. Romney -- who serve as bishops (pastors of congregations) often find it difficult to schedule evenings at home with their own families.

To many Americans, Mormonism is a church with the soul of a corporation. Successful Mormon males can expect to be called, at some time in their lives, to assume full-time duties in the church's missions, in its vast administrative offices in Salt Lake City or in one of many church-owned businesses. Mormons like to hire other Mormons, and those who lose their jobs can count on the church networks to find them openings elsewhere. Mr. Romney put those same networks to effective use in raising part of his $23 million in campaign contributions.

Moreover, Mormons are perceived to be unusually secretive. Temple ceremonies -- even weddings -- are closed to non-Mormons, and church members are told not to disclose what goes on inside them. This attitude has fed anti-Mormon charges of secret and unholy rites.

Mr. Romney must be sure to express himself in a way that will be properly understood. Any journalist who has covered the church knows that Mormons speak one way among themselves, another among outsiders. This is not duplicity but a consequence of the very different meanings Mormon doctrine attaches to words it shares with historic Christianity.

For example, Mormons speak of God, but they refer to a being who was once a man of "flesh and bone," like us. They speak of salvation, but to them that means admittance to a "celestial kingdom" where a worthy couple can eventually become "gods" themselves. The Heavenly Father of whom they speak is married to a Heavenly Mother. And when they emphasize the importance of the family, they may be referring to their belief that marriage in a Mormon temple binds families together for all eternity.

Finally, there is the question of authority in the Church of Latter-day Saints, and of what obligations an office holder like Mr. Romney must discharge. Like the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church has a hierarchical structure in which ultimate authority is vested in one man. But unlike the pope, the church's president is also regarded as God's own "prophet" and "revelator." Every sitting prophet is free to proclaim new revelations as God sees fit to send them -- a form of divine direction that Mormon missionaries play as a trump card against competing faiths.

At Regent University, Mr. Romney will address an audience of conservative Christians who regard the Bible alone as the ultimate authority on faith and morals. Some, like Mr. Robertson, will also be Pentecostals who claim to receive private revelations themselves from time to time. But these revelations are strictly personal, the fruit of a wildly unpredictable Holy Spirit, and their recipients have no power to demand acceptance, much less obedience, from others.

Posted by: some info | April 9, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

According to the WP, there is no immigration bill pending in the Senate because Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dropped his sponsorship of the measure derided as "amnesty" by the right. I guess it was a little heavy to carry while running.

Posted by: mccain flipflops--again | April 9, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

But Republicans' biggest problem in making this a wedge issue in 2008 is that when it comes to guns, their likely nominees are not as in-your-face as Cheney. John McCain has spent his life around guns but has worked valiantly to try to stop criminal purchases at gun shows. In 1994, Rudy Giuliani bravely spoke out in favor of the assault weapons ban. So far, he hasn't changed his story to claim it was part of a secret plan to elect a Republican Congress
.
This week, Mitt Romney may have cooked his own goose by insisting that going hunting twice in his life makes him a "lifelong hunter." If Romney believes that, there's a camouflage jacket in Ohio that John Kerry would like to sell him.

Romney's two hunting trips were 44 years apart--with cousins in Idaho at age 15, and with Republican governors last year at 59. At that pace, his aim must already be pretty bad now-- but stay away from his next outing at age 103.

His campaign made matters worse by touting Romney's NRA membership. It turns out he has been a lifelong member since he joined last year.

Like so many hunting stories, Romney's keeps getting better. Yesterday, he told Republicans in Indianapolis that he has gone hunting on other occasions, just not for big game. "I'm not a big-game hunter," the Indianapolis Star quoted him saying. "I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. ... Small animals and varmints."

No wonder conservatives feel bagged and plucked. Suddenly, conservatism has lost its mojo, and its license.
A year ago, Dick Cheney didn't let a few quail stop him from hunting the biggest game possible, a 78-year-old lawyer. Ronald Reagan wasn't elected because America was haunted by the portrayal of its impotence in a movie called The Rabbit Hunter.

In the old days, Republican presidents lived to go after big game, not ground squirrels. Reagan had the Soviet bear. Both Bushes had Saddam Hussein. America fell in love with teddy bears because a cub was the first big game Teddy Roosevelt didn't kill.

Those days are gone. The United States may face great challenges ahead, from energy independence to competing with India and China to winning the war on terror. But if Romney is any indication, the future of conservatism is limited to shooting BBs at varmints.

For years, the NRA has told its members to vote Republican, or the Democrat will take their guns away. Twice-in-a-lifetime Romney gives Democrats a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fire back: At least our nominee will never brag about hunting rodents. ...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

"I am posting the below with the permission of Professor Walter F. Murphy, emeritus of Princeton University. For those who do not know, Professor Murphy is easily the most distinguished scholar of public law in political science. His works on both constitutional theory and judicial behavior are classics in the field. While he holds some opinions, most notably on welfare, similar to opinions held on the political left, he is a sharp critic of ROE V. WADE, and supported the Alito nomination. Apparently these credentials and others noted below are no longer sufficient to prevent one from becoming an enemy of the people.

"On 1 March 07, I was scheduled to fly on American Airlines to Newark, NJ, to attend an academic conference at Princeton University, designed to focus on my latest scholarly book, Constitutional Democracy, published by Johns Hopkins University Press this past Thanksgiving."

"When I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list. I was instructed to go inside and talk to a clerk. At this point, I should note that I am not only the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel. I fought in the Korean War as a young lieutenant, was wounded, and decorated for heroism. I remained a professional soldier for more than five years and then accepted a commission as a reserve office, serving for an additional 19 years."

"I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. "That'll do it," the man said. "

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

What is the appeal of Romney, exactly? Why does the GOP want a flip-flopping pretty boy from Mass, ie Kerry redux?

Does anyone 'trust' his positions are the actual ones this time? To a lesser extent, you could say some of the same things about McCain (and HRC). At least that's how it looks to me.

You can disagree with their positions all you want, but at least guys like Rudy, Thompson, and yes even George W all take positions that they believe and stick with them, defend them, and either win or lose with them. I suspect Obama is also in this last list, but I don't know enough about his pre-senate positions.

Posted by: JD | April 9, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I think Romney made a major strategic mistake by deciding to run to the right of McCain. His record belies that and he has left himself open to being painted as a "Kerry-like Massachusetts flip-flopper". Now he can also be called a "Gore-like exaggerator" over his hunting history.

Posted by: JimD in FL | April 9, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Romney's inner circle - what, no little wee pals/toadies from Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills Michigan? Guess the older sychophants have more staying power or assets to bring along. Don't recall any hunting/gun smithing on the prep school's curriculum....

Posted by: scott | April 9, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

From http://www.solidpolitics.com

For the fifth time in a week, the New York Times reminds us that Mitt Romney is a Mormon.... Romney's campaign for city council has managed to turn a 1-day story into a weeklong feeding frenzy.... Mike Huckabee is the latest to pile on Romney for 1) claiming that he's hunted all his life, 2) admitting that he'd only hunted twice, 3) claiming that he often hunted "rodents" and 4) admitting that he never had a hunting license to kill all those ferocious rodents....

Posted by: William | April 9, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran is ready for serious negotiations with the West to seek a deal that would end a row over its atomic plans, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said on Monday.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

BEIRUT, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - Iraq has oil reserves that are estimated at over 300 billion barrels, making the country the world leader in this sphere, the Iraqi oil minister said Saturday.

According to official data, Iraq's confirmed oil reserves total about 112 billion barrels and the country has another 200 bln barrels in undiscovered reserves.

Saudi Arabia is considered the current global leader in confirmed oil reserves with 262 bln barrels, followed by Iraq (112 bln barrels) and Venezuela (about 80.8 bln barrels).'

And after that is Iran. Our 'policy' is so easy to understand when you know this simple equation.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

BEIRUT, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in one of Shiite Islam's holy cities in Iraq to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad and to denounce the presence of U.S.-led coalition forces in the country, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Monday.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Romney has a very impressive political team. No doubt his stint as head of the Republican Governor's Association over the past 2 years helped him out in this dept.His job was to travel the country and help gubernatorial candidates raise money and campaign. Perfect job for someone forming a Presidential campaign.

Posted by: reason | April 9, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

An empty-headed empty suit backed by a gang of hit men. We can all look forward to the nastiest, lowest, slimiest presidential campaign in history.

Posted by: drindl | April 9, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Nerdy loser CC fawns on Drudge again today -- pathetic. The closeted freak is the scum of the earth -- what is wrong with you, CC? There's a sickness in DC, a moral rot.

And Mitt really has scraped the bottom of the barrel, character wise, too -- 'acolytes' of Karl Rove' -- just what we need now. Another 4 years of disastrous and divisive Rove policies. Not to mention the rest of the motlley collection of swiftboaters and character assasins mitt's assembled. You won't find more repulsive and evil people anywhere on earth. Good going, Slick Mitty. I can see what kind of a campaign you're going to run. I don't think I can stomach it.

Posted by: Jane | April 9, 2007 7:43 AM | Report abuse

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Six American soldiers were killed in attacks in Iraq, the military said, as Shiites gathered to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad amid calls for more attacks on U.S. forces.

Thousands of Shiites headed for the city of Najaf today for an anti-American rally to mark the fall of Saddam Hussein, responding to a call from the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who urged Iraq's army to unite with his militias against the U.S. military, the New York Times reported today. The U.S. force build-up in Iraq has shown little sign of success, the Times reported in a separate article.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse


Gingrich joins call for Gonzales to step down

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Romney is a corporatist with no core. And his slashing of funds for mental health clinics while governor was callous and helped contribute to the criminalization of the mentally ill in Massachusetts. But he has photogenic family and nice hair, so that makes it OK.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | April 9, 2007 7:20 AM | Report abuse

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