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The Line: Senate Playing Field Still Favors Dems

There is no better time to watch Senate races than right now, still 18 months away from Election Day. At this still-early point, incumbents are making decisions about their political futures, aspiring candidates are weighing potential runs and the party committees are cajoling and coddling candidates to best position themselves for next November.

Needless to say, The Fix has been looking forward to writing this Line for weeks now. Our No. 1 race stays the same as last month's, as former Rep. Scott McInnis's (R) decision not to run for the open Colorado seat leaves the GOP without an announced candidate. But change is rampant elsewhere on The Line, as Democrats' recruiting prospects in New Hampshire and Oregon are looking up.

Remember: The No. 1 ranked race is the one most likely to switch parties in the 2008 election. The Line is meant as a conversation starter, so please keep the discussion going in the comments section below.

To the Line!

10. (tie) North Carolina: Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) is a favorite punching bag for Democratic activists who believe she is ripe for the picking in November 2008 -- pointing out her less-than-stellar performance as chairwoman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2006 cycle as evidence that her time has passed. We remain skeptical. But Rep. Brad Miller's (D) decision to float his name as a potential candidate at least gives Democrats a possible candidate with credibility and a political base; that alone earns the race a place on the Line. (Not to mention this new poll that shows Miller at least in the game against Dole.) While Dole may be somewhat lightly regarded in Washington, she remains a significant political force in North Carolina. And she is prepping for a serious race -- as the $1.7 million she raised in the first three months of the year demonstrate. This race is worth keeping an eye on, but Dole doesn't look likely to be caught by surprise. (Previous ranking: n/a)

10. (tie) Iowa: Yes, we saw Iowa political guru David Yepsen's column in which he declared that Republicans aren't likely to field a serious candidates against Sen. Tom Harkin (D). But Republicans are going to need to play offense in at least a few places nationwide, and Iowa represents as good a place as any. Harkin has never won reelection with more than 54 percent of the vote, and the state should be a prime battleground on the presidential level. Now all Republicans need is a candidate. Rep. Tom Latham is their first choice. If he doesn't run, expect either Rep. Steve King or former Rep. Jim Nussle to jump in. (Previous ranking: 10)

9. South Dakota: Sen. Tim Johnson (D) is making preparations to return to work, and thanks to the devotion of his colleagues his reelection committee collected more than $660,000 in the first three months of the year. And no Republicans are even murmuring about challenging him -- largely because of his near-death experience and slow recovery. If Johnson decides he is up for a race for a third term, it's not likely Republicans will contest it. But if Johnson decides his medical condition precludes him from running for reelection, then this race is perhaps Republicans best pickup opportunity, as Gov. Mike Rounds (R) would likely run. Due to the unpredictability of Johnson's political future, we are leaving this race on the Line. (Previous ranking: 8)

8. New Mexico: No senator has insisted more times that he is running for reelection in 2008 than Pete Domenici (R). But we weren't terribly impressed with the $394,000 he raised over the first three months of the year (despite how much his campaign touted the number). And there seems little indication that the hubbub over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys will die down anytime soon -- meaning that Domenici will continue to face questions over the dismissal of federal prosecutor David Iglesias. That means stories like this one will continue to crop up. And it means that Domenici has won himself a spot on the Line for the foreseeable future. (Previous ranking: 9)

7. Virginia: Former Gov. Mark Warner (D) continues to stir the pot about a potential 2008 race against Sen. John Warner (R). Our guess? If Warner (John) decides to run for a 6th term, then Warner (Mark) won't challenge him, preferring to wait until 2009 for another run for governor. If Sen. Warner retires -- and the paltry $500 (that is not a typo) that he raised in the first quarter certainly will ramp up that speculation -- then expect Mark Warner to jump in the race immediately. If the seat comes open, it would move quickly up the Line, as Mark Warner remains very popular and Republicans would likely have a primary between some combination of Rep. Tom Davis, former Sen. George Allen and state Attorney general Bob McDonnell. (Previous ranking: 7)

6. Maine: Sen. Susan Collins (R) got a taste of what the coming campaign will look like when a Democrat-aligned group -- Americans United for Change -- funded a television ad campaign knocking her for a vote against a Senate bill that included a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Collins responded with a message on YouTube, although we wonder about the strategic soundness of engaging in a debate over Iraq as a Republican in Democratic-leaning Maine. Rep. Tom Allen will report $400,000 raised in the first three months of the year, a not-overwhelming total, but more than an incumbent congressman in a safe district would be expected to raise in a quarter. That alone should erase any lingering questions about whether or not he is fully committed to the Senate race. Still, Collins remains popular and Democrats have yet to make a convincing case as to why voters should fire her. (Previous ranking: 5)

5. Oregon: Recruiting Senate candidates is a funny business. A few weeks ago, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D) pronounced himself uninterested in a challenge to Sen. Gordon Smith (R). One poll later and DeFazio has not only opened the door a crack but is quoted attacking Smith as a "flip-flopper" in the local press. Hmmm. We don't pretend to know what DeFazio is thinking, but it sure seems like the idea of a Senate race is intriguing him more and more by the day. Democrats acknowledge that DeFazio is their preferred candidate, but believe if he doesn't run either Rep. Earl Blumenauer or state Treasurer Randall Edwards will get in. If DeFazio is the candidate, this race will almost assuredly move up the Line. (Previous ranking: 6)

4. Louisiana: The lone Democrat senator in the top five, Mary Landrieu has run a solid campaign to this point. She reported raising $1 million in the first quarter of 2007 and ended the period with nearly $2 million in the bank. We can't get a fix on whether or not Rep. Richard Baker (R) is truly interested in challenging her. Democrats pooh-pooh the idea while Republicans insist there remains a chance that he will launch a bid. Independent polling continues to show Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) with a wide lead over Landrieu, but the problem for the GOP is that Jindal is running for governor this year and has showed no interest in switching races. Like Iowa, Louisiana is a state Republicans must contest if they hope to keep 2008 from being a total Democratic wave. President Bush carried the state by 15 points in 2004. (Previous ranking: 4)

3. Minnesota: Al Franken is no joke. The comedian-turned-politician opened a lot of eyes by raising $1.3 million in the first fundraising quarter -- a total that nearly equaled that raised by Sen. Norm Coleman (R). While Franken is off to an impressive start, he'll face a real challenge from wealthy attorney Mike Ciresi, who did not raise money in the first three months of the year but is clearly intent on running. Lucky for Democrats, both Franken and Ciresi have pledged to abide by the decision of the state party's endorsement convention next year -- avoiding a messy September primary fight. Coleman is one of the most politically savvy members of the Senate and is bracing for a tough race. But even if he is ready for the storm, he might not be able to escape it given his state's Democratic tilt. It remains to be seen whether it will be to Coleman's advantage or detriment that the Republican National Convention will be held in the Twin Cities next year. (Previous ranking: 2)

2. New Hampshire: Recruitment will make all the difference in this race. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) is putting the full-court press on former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen to take on Sen. John Sununu (R) for the second time in the last six years. Shaheen appears to be listening. If Shaheen decides to run, Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand has said he will step aside, and it's likely former congressional candidate Katrina Swett would also come under considerable pressure to step aside. Democrats see Sununu as the single most vulnerable incumbent seeking reelection in 2008. Already, outside groups have begun hammering the incumbent on his ties to President Bush's Iraq war policies. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Colorado: McInnis's no-go decision surprised many Republicans, since he has long pined for the chance to serve in the Senate. With McInnis out, it seems as though the establishment will coalesce around former Rep. Bob Schaffer, who ran and lost the 2004 Republican Senate primary to beer magnate Pete Coors. Schaffer has said little publicly about his future plans since McInnis dropped from the contest. Rep. Mark Udall (D) continues to lay low and collect cash. It's tough to handicap this race until the Republican field shakes out a bit more, but regardless of the eventual GOP nominee, Udall will enter the general election as the favorite. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 13, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Campaign Money Chase: Grading the 2008 Field

Comments

Good pick-up Howard. It should have been a gimmee.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I want to leave an irrelevant comment too.

Posted by: Intrepid Troll | April 16, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

JSpencer is wrong. If there's a tie for No. 10, the previous race is No. 9; however, the next one would be No. 12 rather than No. 11. Even though the races are being counted down, numbers are counted from No. 1 and proceed greater. Otherwise, there could be a tie at No. 2 and no No. 1.

Posted by: Howard | April 16, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Journalistic license. This isn't the PGA.

And, it gives us at least one more race to discuss.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Chris. Two points. If there's a tie for #10, the next one should be #8. or don't you watch golf?? As for Iowa, any chance that Jim Leach might run? He's a good liberal Republican (and a fellow Princetonian.) It might make for a good contest with Harkin. (But my sense is that he's pretty tuckered out after his unmpteen years in Congress and might want to take a breather.)

Posted by: JSpencer | April 16, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I live in Maine and I voted for Senator Collins in 2002. I will not do so again.

Senator Collins has a nasty habit of saying what the folks in Maine want to hear but voting with the President and the Republicans on all crucial votes. She talks the talk, but does not walk the walk.

I predict Mainers will show her the door in 2008.

Posted by: carollt | April 16, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

With regard to the Wisconsin U.S. attorney who was spared the axe, this is another HUGE shoe in the scandal that's about to drop. Let's hope the national media gives it its due.

To the poster who compared the Duke scandal to Guantanamo, a better comparison would be to Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen of Syrian birth who was sent to Syria by U.S. authorities, where he was tortured, when it turns out that he had no ties to terrorism. One of the Duke players remarked that it's scary to think about what police and prosecutors can do to people who don't have the resources to defend themselves. I'm glad he said that and he's certainly correct, but, unfortunately, I highly doubt it's a "what if" situation. It has happened before and will happen again.

Posted by: Howard | April 16, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Blumenauer is wacky left wing?? Compared to Peter DeFazio?? Please explain. That sounds bizarre.

None of the US senators is poor, but a bunch are no more than middle class. Senators like Patty Murray and Russ Feingold, or freshmen Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders, don't come from money and have never earned super high salaries other than what they make as members of Congress. Members of Congress have to file documents annually listing their assets; their incomes are already public domain. According to CNN, in the 2003 reports 40 senators were millionaires while 60 weren't.

Denny Rehberg is not running against Max Baucus again. Nor is any substantive challenger to Kerry going to emerge. If William Weld couldn't beat him, it's unlikely anyone else is going to. Carl Levin and Frank Lautenberg are completely safe, but keep dreaming. Maybe Ken Blackwell can still be elected Governor of Ohio...

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | April 15, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have great chances to win in La. and South Dakota. Montana could also become very competitive if Sec. of state Brad Johnson or US rep. Dennis Rehberg runs. According to recent polls (over the past 4 months) US senator John Kerry's approval ratings are in the negative. Does Mass. have a Rep. candidate that could make him vulnerable? I doubt it seriously. I know of none if there are. Does anyone have an answer for that? Also, Michigan and New Jersey have the potential to get interesting, as both state's have credible Republicans that could run. In New Jersey, Estabrook would be a fine candidate. She has the money to run her own campaign and could write big checks in order to beat Lautenberg. The question is, will the national climate be too much for her? In Michigan, AG Mike Cox or US reps.Candice Miller or Mike Rogers is likely to run and either one would be a great statewide candidate.

For the dems., they must look at Colorodo as their #1 pick-up chance. With Allard retiring, they have a good shot there to pick one up. Although, the Democratic convention being held there will tie Udall to the ultra-liberal left...which Colorodo is not. But that's still their best shot. IN Minn., Coleman is going to be hard to beat. He won a tough election in 02', and he's tested and seasoned. He doesn't mind going negative, so it will be a tough election there. Oregon is a pick up chance, especially if a pro gun guy like DeFazio runs. If not, then Smith is pretty liked in Ore. and has the ability to write big checks to help himself win. But Oregon is a product of the ntl. environment, which really helps the dems. b/c nationally it's very anti-rep. In NH, John Sununu will be a big target.

We have an interesting political season.

Posted by: reason | April 15, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh Roger, these new pajamas are so soft and luxurious! You spoil me.

Posted by: William | April 15, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

i almost forgot to remind you: http://dont-vote-plutocrat.blogspot.com

Posted by: meuphys | April 15, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

This guy has no idea how Maine politics works. Tom Allen will loose big time..By 20 percent or more..

Collins is the best Senator Maine has to offer..

Posted by: JL | April 15, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Attention, VA Patriot. There will be a quiz later.

- The Democrats tried to raise minimum wage, to account for all that inflation that's been happening since they last raised it 20 years ago. If this does "actually increase unemployment," it goes against economics as I understand it; namely, as a symbiotic relationship between buyers and sellers in which each is able to gain what he / she wants / needs.
- The Democrats tried to force the president to acknowledge that his poorly justified / poorly planned / poorly executed five year adventure in a country which had no weapons of mass destruction has become an unsustainable and undesirable use of US forces, money, and international good will, with no apparent end in sight. Typically, he and his allies characterize this position (wrongly) as "surrender in Iraq."
- As have congresses since the beginning of time, yes, the Democrats added domestic spending to a critical war bill. I feel neither one way nor the other about this. Are you suggesting that the GOP has not recently been guilty of this, too? Where did that bridge go, do you remember?
- The Democrats tried to eliminate a voting system used in union votes which led to many employees being coerced or connived into opposing unionization. (note that I'm not saying unions are always good / appropriate, but in some cases they are, and they should always be an option. They should also be an option for employees of DHS.)
- The Democrats appointed William Jefferson to a Homeland Security panel, which was granted not the best decision, but still leaves this congress far more competently staffed than the one it succeeds
- The Democrats attacked Bush, appropriately exercising the oversight authority granted Congress by the Constitution (yet sadly unexercised for the past 6 years), on a series of issues about which many or most members and their constituents had grave concerns.
- The Democrats attacked Gonzales for abusing his role as Attorney General to hire and fire for purely political reasons... granted not a crime (although it should be), but remember that lying about it to the Senate is perjury. And there's more out now, involving the White House and Rove, so we may not have heard the whole story yet.
- Speaker Pelosi took the initiative to visit Syria, a major and well-armed regional player, on her tour of the Middle East. This is in contrast to Bush's childish refusal to talk to anyone mean.
- The Democrats appropriately elevated the issue of global warming to a major political focus. This is rapidly becoming the most important and relevant scientific news story ever, and the Democrats are treating it with the seriousness it deserves. It's about time we stopped listening to the preachers and starting paying attention to the scientists, at least on matters involving science. Somehow, the GOP doesn't see this.

What's coming soon:
- a realistic reassessment of our illegal immigration policy, designed to adapt it to our current economic and social conditions
- a limited repeal of the most irresponsible tax cut in US history, especially that portion provided as an additional benefit to those who neither asked for it nor needed it.
- universal health coverage, whether through the current system or some modification thereof.
- a continued refusal to divert the public investments contained in the Social Security system to the vagaries and conniving of the market.

Doesn't it sound nicer that way? More realistic, too.

Posted by: meuphys | April 15, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Karl Rove: *The dog ate my hard drive.*

Posted by: oldhonky | April 15, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Mark Udall is very popular in his super-liberal Boulder district. But that district is a different world compared to most Coloradans who lean to the right. Bob Schaffer is a conservative through and through and he's not ashamed by it. He's popular--hardly scary--and very electable. In Colorado conservatism wins--which puts liberal Mark Udall behind the eight ball.

Oregon:

DeFazio wins easily in liberal Oregon. Blumenauer is whacky left-wing and will have a tougher time against fairly popular Gordon Smith (approval #s above 50%). My guess is that DeFazio will announce his candidacy and the GOP has to scrap to stay close in this race.

Posted by: Chris | April 15, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the Washington Post is predicting the Democrats will pickup seats in the Senate? What a surprise!! The WP already has personally impacted the VA Senate race last year, handing it to the incompetant Jim Webb. Now they have outlined their attack strategy.

Yet look at the RECORDS of the Democrats these days. Look at the issues they champion. Look at the LACK of success in accomplishing their agenda this year. What have the Democrat Congress accomplished to date?

- Tried to raise minimum wage, which will actually increase unemployment (stuck in conference)
- Tried to force the US surrender in Iraq
- Added $25B in domestic pork to a critical war bill
- Tried to eliminate secret ballots in union votes - a payback of the $500 million in union donations to the Dem Party
- Appointed William (cash in the fridge) Jefferson to a Homeland Security panel
- Attacked Bush on a series of issues
- Attacked Gonzales for something which is not illegal or immoral
- Failed attempt at International Diplomacy, negotiating with terrorists and screwing up Israeli - Arab issues
- Elevated screwball Al Gore's issue into a major political drama

And what's coming soon:
- Illegal immigration amnesty
- Largest tax increase in US history
- Socialized healthcare
- Another year negleting social security, Medicaid, and Medicare crisis

Can you tell me why you guys continue to believe the Democrats are here to help America?

This is why I http://dont-vote-democrat.blogspot.com

Posted by: VA Patriot | April 15, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter: I know there are no poor Senators, poor choice of a word. What I was wondering was about how the bottom 10 Rich Senators voted on the bill, as well as the total nay and yea.

Posted by: lylepink | April 15, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Not with a bang, my friends, but with a whimper:

Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England.

The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".

Posted by: check this out | April 15, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but it looks as if the public just might rather have "General Pelosi" and other Dem Congressional leaders calling the shots on troop levels than the Commander in Chief himself. Or so this number in the CBS poll suggests:

Currently, President Bush and Congress disagree about what to do about U.S. troop levels in Iraq. Who do you think should have the final say about troop levels in Iraq, the President or Congress?

President: 44%
Congress: 49%

The poll also finds that an astonishing 67 percent of respondents think Congress should either allow funding only with a withdrawal timeline (58%) or cut off funding completely (9%).

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

'In a sort of reverse "Nixon's secret plan to end the war" scenario, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tells the NYT point blank that he has no "Plan B" for Iraq, should President Bush's "surge" strategy fail. McCain tells the paper that if it became clear the surge was not working, then he would try to think of another idea, but at present "I cannot give you a good alternative because if I had a good alternative, maybe we could consider it now."

Posted by: well it's honest at least | April 15, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. military has brought charges against dozens of soldiers and Marines in Iraq, including 64 servicemen linked to murders. Not a single case has been brought against a security contractor, and confusion is widespread among contractors and the military over what laws, if any, apply to their conduct.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

'On the afternoon of July 8, 2006, four private security guards rolled out of Baghdad's Green Zone in an armored SUV. The team leader, Jacob C. Washbourne, rode in the front passenger seat. He seemed in a good mood. His vacation started the next day.

"I want to kill somebody today," Washbourne said, according to the three other men in the vehicle, who later recalled it as an offhand remark. Before the day was over, however, the guards had been involved in three shooting incidents. In one, Washbourne allegedly fired into the windshield of a taxi for amusement, according to interviews and statements from the three other guards.'

Posted by: rumsfeld's legacy | April 15, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. military now confirms that Marines fired on civilians during an incident in Afghanistan last month, killing or injuring more than 40 people.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This is one of the most interestng things I've ssen in a while. The military implications of climate change. Makes sense.

'WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming poses a "serious threat to America's national security" and the U.S. likely will be dragged into fights over water and other shortages, top retired military leaders warn in a new report.

The report says that in the next 30 to 40 years there will be wars over water, increased hunger instability from worsening disease and rising sea levels and global warming-induced refugees. "The chaos that results can be an incubator of civil strife, genocide and the growth of terrorism," the 35-page report predicts.

"Climate change exacerbates already unstable situations," former U.S. Army chief of staff Gordon Sullivan told Associated Press Radio. "Everybody needs to start paying attention to what's going on. I don't think this is a particularly hard sell in the Pentagon. ... We're paying attention to what those security implications are."

Gen. Anthony "Tony" Zinni, President Bush's former Middle East envoy, says in the report: "It's not hard to make the connection between climate change and instability, or climate change and terrorism."

The report was issued by the Alexandria, Virginia-based, national security think-tank The CNA Corporation and was written by six retired admirals and five retired generals. They warn of a future of rampant disease, water shortages and flooding that will make already dicey areas -- such as the Middle East, Asia and Africa -- even worse.

"Weakened and failing governments, with an already thin margin for survival, foster the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism and movement toward increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies," the report says. "The U.S. will be drawn more frequently into these situations."

Joining calls already made by scientists and environmental activists, the retired U.S. military leaders call on the U.S. government to make major cuts in emissions of gases that cause global warming.

"We will pay for this one way or another," writes Zinni, former commander of U.S. Central Command. "We will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today, and we'll have to take an economic hit of some kind. Or we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll."

Posted by: drndl | April 15, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

'Which seat is that magic Ninth Seat which would roll the Senate over to filibuster-proof Democratic control?'

Interesting question. A lot of sane comentary this morning -- how refreshing. Max Cleland I would love to see running agian. What happened to him was one of the most egregious dirty tricks I've ever seen in politics--Ann Coulter mocking a man because he had his limbs blown off serving his country. I guess that's supporting the troops, R-style.

Coleman, too. The things he said about Wellstone, a truly decent man, were despicable. And toward the end, the race was not that close. Wellstone was going to win. That was why there was a lot of whispering about what a strange coincidence, just 3 days before the election, he days in a small plane crash -- just like John Ashcroft's opponent did, who was pulling ahead, just 3 days before the election. I'm not saying, but some people did. All I know is, if I were a dem in a close race, there's certain things I'd avoid.

It's pouring, pouring here, getting floodier and floodier. Time for either an ark or a NorEaster bonnet.

Posted by: drindl | April 15, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich - It's; Rain, rain, Go Away!

Miserable Marathon tomorrow; Sox Patriot's Day game probably rained out. (Patriot's Day is really the 19th anyway.)

Lylepink - There are no poor Senators. You can rank the richest Senators from 1 to 100.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 15, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The 09:27 AM was mine. lylepink, sorry for the mistake in spelling.

Posted by: lylepink | April 15, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

More importantly, what does Hillary think of the bill? She's so cute.

Posted by: lylepink | April 15, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Old Atlantic: How did the 10 poorest vote on the bill??

Posted by: ylepink | April 15, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

7 of the top 8 wealthiest Senators voted for S. 2611, amnesty, affirmative action, non-deportable crime, and a pathway for the top 1 percent of households to continue to enjoy 20 percent of each year's income, compared to 10 percent before Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Act. The only 1 of the top 8 who didn't vote for S. 2611 didn't vote, Jay Rockefeller. McCain is 7th and Kennedy 8th in wealth.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/overview.asp?type=W&cycle=2005&filter=S

Rank Name Minimum Net Worth Maximum Net Worth

1 Herb Kohl (D-Wis) $219,098,029 to $234,549,004 Voted Yes S. 2611

2 John Kerry (D-Mass) $165,741,511 to $235,262,100

Voted Yes S. 2611

3 Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) $78,150,023 to $101,579,003 Not Voting S. 2611

4 Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) $43,343,464 to $98,660,021 Voted Yes S. 2611

5 Lincoln D. Chafee (R-RI) $41,153,105 to $64,096,019 Voted Yes S. 2611

6 Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) $38,198,170 to $90,733,019 Voted Yes S. 2611

7 John McCain (R-Ariz) $25,071,142 to $38,043,014

Voted Yes S. 2611

8 Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass) $19,189,049 to $93,043,004 Voted Yes S. 2611

Senators understand: immigration goes up, wages go down. Wages go down Senators' stocks go up. Senators understand, if emissions go up, their stocks go up. So they vote for emission, they vote for legal immigration.

Posted by: Old Atlantic | April 15, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Max Cleland would appear to stand a good chance in Ga. since Saxby has been a consistant supporter of GW. The races that would have been fairly close now are shaping up as a referendum on this Administration and the extent of their following, or support, of GW. As of now, I think the change to February by a lot of states has close to 70% of the votes and this could all be just about over by then. Texas could go dem if they select a hispanic as their candidate, for they make up a pretty big block and I think, don't know for sure, they vote for the dems by a good margin, but have been turned off and not voting because the dems have ignored them, as someone said earlier.

Posted by: lylepink | April 15, 2007 2:09 AM | Report abuse

MikeB, do you think DeFazio would be a stronger candidate than Blumenauer? Why or why not? I'm curious.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | April 15, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Chris, Here in Oregon it is being reported that Peter Defazio is seriously thinking of running against Gordon Smith. If Mr. Defazio does, that seat goes Democratic almost automatically. In Oregon, Peter DeFazio has name recognition, sky high approval ratings, and is loved by just about everyone. On top of that, he is honest, extremely hard working for his constituents, and just a nice man. He'll win in a walk. So, depending upon Peter's decision, that Senate seat might just be the top of your list.

Posted by: MikeB | April 15, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Any chance of Max Cleland running for his old seat in GA? I'd really like to see that.

Why is DeFazio considered a stronger candidate than Blumenauer in OR? Blumenauer is from the state's biggest media market and perceived to be more moderate?

"Yes, Colemanwas elected after the death of Paul Wellstone, but he was also giving Wellstone a strong challenge prior to his sad death."

True, but go back and look at the 2002 MN polls, and you'll see Wellstone narrowly leading in almost all of them. Look at those taken after his October 3 speech opposing the Iraq war, and you see the race breaking in Wellstone's favor--he was 11 points ahead of Coleman in one, and I don't think he tied with or trailed Coleman once after that. The race was trending our way until the plane crash, even in a Republican year. Furthermore, Wellstone's numerous dedicated supporters nationwide have not forgotten Coleman's behavior in 2002 and 2003 ("I'm a 99 percent improvement"), and will pull out all the stops to turn him out of office.

William: Was John Sununu's willingness to hold up renewal of the Patriot Act an example of his lockstep marching with Bush?

Chris: Dick Wadhams will be so strong for the GOP nominee in CO--you mean like he helped George Allen get reelected in VA in 2006? And George Nethercutt unseat Patty Murray in WA in 2004? Oh, wait. Neither of those things happened. Allen lost a safe seat, and Murray was reelected by 16 points. Hm, maybe Wadhams is as unbeatable as Bob Shrum.

Nor'easter: I thought you were busy snowstorming this weekend? ;)

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | April 14, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I recognize Chris commenting on the Colorado Senate race. He's one of the robot followers of the Independence Institute (former president, guy by name of Tancredo) who are leaving a smokin' hole where my Colorado Republican Party used to be.

Bob Schaffer is a principled true believer (he kept his term limits pledge, unlike the aforementioned Tancredo) but isn't the brightest guy and, in his right-wing obsessiveness, is scary to all but the other true believers (who truly, deeply believe the intensity of their belief outweighs their limited numbers).

Dick Wadhams is a talented political op in the Rovian mold. He was the difference in getting a nice-guy, small town veterinarian elected to the Senate--but let's see how he does with a candidate who's more extreme than George Allen, but without Allen's subtlety of expression.

Udall is an attractive candidate who will get the nomination without opposition. He's a centrist Democrat in the Colorado tradition whose moderate views match up well with the large body of independents who decide Colorado state-wide elections. The best Chris and his Indy robots can come up with is the fact that Boulder is in Udall's district (even though the equally left-wing true believers in Boulder don't much like him).

If the Colorado Republicans do end up letting Shaffer get the nomination, it will be the equivalent of conceding the race. that is, unfortunately however, what I expect.

Posted by: malis | April 14, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Some of you people are so weird. Why can't you keep a conversion on topic?

Anyway, Colorado is staying red. Udall is just too liberal for conservative Colorado. It might be close but barring a massive blue wave like we saw in '06 Schaffer is winning that race.

Posted by: Chris | April 14, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering: This list shows the 8 Republican senate seats most likey to switch to the Democrats.
Who would be the ninth most likely to switch?

The math on this is obvious: If the 2008 mood is as favorable as possible to the Democrats, a pick-up of nine seats in the Senate gives them a filibuster-proof majority.
To that end, the Democrats would be targeting these 8 seats (Colorado, Mew Hampshire, Minnesota, Oregon, Maine, Virginia, New Mexico, and North Carolina) plus . . . ?

Which seat is that magic Ninth Seat which would roll the Senate over to filibuster-proof Democratic control?

Posted by: QualityPie | April 14, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I say that you are a dirty, uneducated inbred hillbilly. And a fake phoney christian. Not to mention that you support a president who lied to start a war. You hillbillies need to be kept on a short leash incase you become uppity again.

Posted by: Larry | April 14, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

'people that come to the south to change the culture should be treated as criminals and the state should be able to execute them.''

I say you're William the racist and you should be executed -- just like you would a rabid dog.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey southerners: States' rights to do what? States rights give states the authority to allow communities to make decisions, not the federal gov't. It says that the federal gov't's. constitution may not be good for all communities at all times. The same things aren't good for San Francisco Cali. and Savannah Ga. The people just live in different cultures and shouldn't be under the exact same rules. States rights allows states to enact values that represent their cultures. If people come there that don't like their laws and cultures Ronald Reagan said it best..."You can vote with your feet." That's what I suggest all these damn people here in NC do that don't like our sweet southern culture. Stopping for funerals, say yes sir n yes ma'am, holding the door for folks and respecting God & country. If ya don't like it, get the Hell out is my advice. In my view, people that come to the south to change the culture should be treated as criminals and the state should be able to execute them. This is my viewpoint...what say you?

Posted by: States rights! | April 14, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

'about power for special interest groups '

Really what mysterious 'special interest groups' would those be? Care to be more specific? Cause that kind of sounds like tinfoil hat time.

I agree that Imus had every right to say it. I miscommunicated that. But his bosses also had every right to fire him after his sponsors dropped out. That's what the free market is about. If you offend a large group of people, they will not buy your sponsor's products. Christians have been using this technique for some time now. Is that the 'special interest group' you're talking about?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"get over it. the central fact remains -- Imus had no right to say what he did about those young women. you're an idiot."

Wrong! Imus had every right to say it. Unless you do not believe in the Constitution, and you are one of the Thought Police facists.

The hypocrisy of the "we can say things, but you can't" philosophy overwhelms me.

You may think me an idiot, but I'm not so stupid as to realize that there's been rampant hypocrisy in this whole Imus thing.

Those offended young women managed to accept his apology, but you Nazis are still out there trying to control what anybody you don't agree with says.

I'll get over it, when you PC people finally admit that it's about power for special interest groups (make that pressure groups, not decency in how we communicate.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

CASABLANCA, Morocco, April 14 (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside U.S. diplomatic offices in Morocco's commercial hub Casablanca on Saturday in the first such attack in Morocco in four years, witnesses said.
The bloodshed coincided with a U.S. embassy warning in neighbouring Algeria that armed groups might strike in Algiers again, less than a week after suicide bombs there revived fears of a return to the full-scale Algerian conflict of the 1990s.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- Money woes and Pentagon neglect are to blame for shoddy outpatient conditions and bureaucratic delays at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, an independent review has concluded.

The blistering report called for major changes in troop care and cautioned that problems probably extend to Army hospitals around the country.

"The American ethic is that America always takes care of its wounded," said John O. "Jack" Marsh, Army secretary during the Reagan administration and co-chairman of the review. "We must make certain that America continues that ethic."

Co-chairman Togo D. West, secretary of the Army and Veterans Affairs under President Clinton, blasted the Pentagon's "virtually incomprehensible" inattention to maintenance at Walter Reed as well as an "almost palpable disdain" for troop care.

"Although Walter Reed's rich tradition remains to this day unchallenged, its high reputation has not been maintained," he said.

The investigation, ordered two months ago by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, is the first Pentagon review since the disclosure of problems at Walter Reed, one of the premier facilities for treating those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Citing lapses in leadership and oversight as main reasons for the problems, the nine-member independent group concluded that the Defense Department was, or should have been, aware of the widespread problems but neglected them..

In addition, the Pentagon made problems worse by ordering a hold-down on costs and expenses -- dubbed "efficiency wedges" -- even as Walter Reed began experiencing an influx of thousands of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report said the Pentagon was ill-prepared to deal with growing numbers of troops suffering from traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The fate of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz overshadowed meetings of global finance chiefs on Saturday, as Britain said his actions had damaged the bank and critics stepped up calls for him to quit.

As the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank kicked off, Bank staff and anti-poverty activists prepared to stage a protest calling for the resignation of Wolfowitz over his role in the promotion of his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, for which he has apologized.

Britain, the bank's second largest shareholder after the United States, said that the scandal had damaged the institution and that a decision on his fate should now lie with the bank's board.

"While this whole business has damaged the bank and should not have happened, we should respect the board's process," British development minister Hilary Benn said in a statement.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Muleman -- yeah we got some pretty egregious and shameless crooks right now. But unlike other times in our past, news of this corruption is not getting through to a lot of people.

The rightwing think tanks and Big Money that supports the network of reliably con pundits and commentators has created a parallel universe with an entirely different set of 'facts' and 'realities'. Like Fox. They simply aren't reporting all the scandals come out of the Justice Department -- it simply does not exist for them or their viewers. See no evil....And when they do hear about such things -- they just decide to ignore them. All a liberal plot, you know all bad things that hurt them are all liberal plots.

Dems are the new jews. It's all our fault. Yesterday Rush Limbaugh was telling his audience, as he often does, that they should stop reading newspapers and watching news on TV, becuase it all had a 'liberal agenda'. Donn't listen to what they say about republican candidates, don't listen to what they say about iraq, or what our government is doing.

Just listen to Rush, he says, I'm the only one with no agenda, the only one who has your, the little guy's, interesting at heart.

Unbelievable, really. But even more so the response from his callers. People phoning in, like dogs, like zombies, like trained seals, saying, 'I only listen to you Rush. I've been listening since I was 15... you changed my life. '

I really thought I was going to vomit.

Posted by: drindl | April 14, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Now we've learned that Wolfowitz dictated the terms of the pay raise for his sweetie. He has used his "anti-corruption" mantra at the World Bank to further the Administration's "my way or the highway mantra. Of course, he's never been held to account for his promise that Iraqi oil revenues would pay all but $50B of the Iraq War costs.
Candidates in 2008 should use him as a poster child of all that's wrong with the current bunch in power. If Susan Collins can't wrap her arms around this, hit her and hit her again with this. Same with John Cornyn and Saxby Chambliss.
American history is replete with examples of voters smelling real corruption and voting the scum out. Muleman suggests that a lot of these creeps are ripe for the picking.

Posted by: Muleman | April 14, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

ALL of the rightwing radio jocks make those kind of remarks -- like every day. That's what their audience wants to hear.

Posted by: Jane | April 14, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"And it gets ruined by this disgusting -- and I'll use the word 'disgusting' -- comment which doesn't belong in any polite company and certainly doesn't belong on any radio station that I would listen to," Rice told talk show host Michael Medved.

Posted by: GO CONDI. And she'll repeat the same on the Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity, shows, since those three bobbleheads are such paragons of good manners and moderate discourse...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

*** The Line: Senate Playing Field Still Favors Dems *** Note the use of *still* by Chris the Bushie. He is STILL hoping against hope that the Republicans won't get their clock cleaned in 2008.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the highest-ranking black woman in government history, said the racist, sexist comments that got radio shock jock Don Imus fired were "disgusting."

In her first public remarks on the controversy, Rice said Friday that Imus had insulted not only female athletes but all young black women by referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy headed hos."

"They're 18- and 19-year-old women," she said. "And what were they doing except showing that they're really fine athletes, playing under extraordinary pressure in which for them was a dream season.

"And it gets ruined by this disgusting -- and I'll use the word 'disgusting' -- comment which doesn't belong in any polite company and certainly doesn't belong on any radio station that I would listen to," Rice told talk show host Michael Medved.

Posted by: GO CONDI | April 14, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to be distracted, even slightly amused, by the banal office shenanigans that make up the day-to-day coverage of the scandal. Increasingly, the Justice Department is revealed in all its wacky Dunder Mifflin glory. Alberto Gonzales is unmasked as The Office's Michael Scott--in so far over his head that he has no idea what his youthful employees are up to. With our daily focus on who was e-mailing whom and who was spending what on their fancy investitures, it's tempting to dismiss senior Justice Department staff ranking U.S. attorneys for their "loyalty" to the president as sophomoric. The Duke case is a useful reminder that the little plastic game cards being shuffled around and swapped by Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling were, in fact, loaded weapons.

Federal prosecutors, like state district attorneys, have tremendous power and almost limitless discretion to launch investigations, to subpoena, to file charges, to question witnesses, and to drop charges when the facts don't bear them out. And if the Duke case reminds us of anything, it's that the innocent targets of such investigations and indictments have only one power: to wait it all out and hope for the best.
When politics are injected into these individual prosecutions--when officials have one eye on the law and the other on mollifying either the party bosses or local voters--it's a certainty that justice will be lost in the shuffle.

In Durham, the politics that drove Mike Nifong were complicated: Race and class and his need to pander to voters in an election year may have motivated him, in the words of Attorney General Cooper, to "push forward unchecked." But if these subtle pressures can twist a district attorney in Durham, imagine the damage to justice when a U.S. attorney is pressed by the White House, or his congressman, to haul in more death penalties, at whatever cost, or to hand down an indictment by November.

Senate Democrats have begun to scrutinize the prosecutions undertaken by some of the U.S. attorneys who kept their jobs last year, beginning with the case of a Wisconsin state worker who got an 18-month jail sentence for a corruption case. When a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals dramatically overturned Georgia Thompson's conviction after oral argument last week and ordered her released immediately from prison, one of the judges opined that the prosecution's evidence against her was "beyond thin."

On the basis of that thin evidence, however, Thompson served four months in prison, lost her job, and sold her home in order to pay more than $250,000 in legal bills.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Iraq. The Defense Department announces a surprise minisurge: Active-duty soldiers will have their tours extended from a year to 15 months. Elsewhere, a suicide bomb rips through the cafeteria of Iraq's parliament building, killing eight and wounding many more. It's the worst attack yet on the Green Zone, but balding Sen. John McCain says it is not part of the "larger picture." Muqtada Sadr, meanwhile, encourages Shiite militias and Iraqi security forces to stop fighting one another--a touching call for solidarity amid so much sectarianism. Now they can focus on blowing up Americans.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The proposed revisions to FISA would also allow the government to keep information obtained "unintentionally," unrelated to the purpose of the surveillance. Currently such information is destroyed unless it indicates threat of death or serious bodily harm.

And they provide for compelling telecommunications companies and e-mail providers to cooperate with investigations while protecting them from being sued by their subscribers. The legal protection would be applied retroactively to those companies that cooperated with the government after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.'

Posted by: big brother getting bigger, less brotherly | April 14, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

'The woman at the center of the storm surrounding World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz has spent the past few months trying to get one of the signature efforts of President Bush's Middle East 'democracy' campaign off the ground.

The Foundation for the Future, as the effort is called, has made no grants and held only two board meetings since its creation 1 1/2 years ago. Though Shaha Riza, who is romantically linked to Wolfowitz, is not listed as part of the staff on the organization's Web site, she is the only person working in the group's offices, located within the Henry L. Stimson Center, a think tank. The Washington office is listed as a "branch," according to the site, which promises that soon a main office will be established in Beirut.

"It is basically just her running this thing," said Tamara Cofman Wittes, research fellow at the Brookings Institution Saban Center for Middle East Policy, who closely tracks democracy programs in the region. She said the board members had no experience in grant-making and thus had "started from zero," with no bylaws or grant-making guidelines. She said the board has had a goal of trying to make its first grant by summer, nearly two years after the organization was formed.'

The United States contributed almost two-thirds of the foundation's $56 million budget, according to the State Department, which said last night that the foundation plans to hire a chief operating officer and chief financial officer next month.

Since September 2005, the World Bank has paid Riza's salary -- which under the terms of a contract dictated by Wolfowitz included automatic raises that has brought it to $193,590 tax-free -- while she was seconded to the State Department to assist on Middle East 'democracy' issues. There, she worked under Elizabeth Cheney, who was then principal deputy assistant secretary; Wolfowitz worked for Cheney's father as an undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration.

Posted by: your tax dollars at work, or not | April 14, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

How scared is the White House? The White House News Network, otherwise known as the scumbuckets at Fox have totally erased all references to the exploding USA/Missing Email/Voter Fraud/Contempt of Congress/Violation of a bunch of federal laws scandals in favor of:

STRANGULATION, MURDER and MUTILATION! SEX!! BETRAYAL!!'

And Drudge happily reports on Sharpton death threats...

See William, it works! Death wishes become death threats... and eventually become death itself.

Al Sharpton may be a jerk, but you all believe he should be murdered for that, don't you? You believe in Free speech but only for people you agree with.

Why do 'conservatives' hate america so much?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I am from MN, and among most Minnesotans, it is common knowledge that Coleman got his job on a fluke. I believe that many Minnesotans always believed that he would serve his term and lose to whomever the Dems nominate. The National press gives Coleman a lot of credit because of the way the GOP has pinned quite a bit of their hopes and dreams on him. I think he just doesn't have the votes, especially not with the way the presidential race is turning out. Minnesota won't go republican, so there just won't be enough republicans out to topple the DLF presence.

Posted by: matt | April 14, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

'It was convenient for Sharpton and Kilpatrick to take that non-slip of the tongue and make it something other than what it actually was.'

get over it. the central fact remains -- Imus had no right to say what he did about those young women. you're an idiot. They did nothing to deserve it -- all they did was work their hearts out to achieve their dreams.

He is a cheap clown.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

So what's the response of the regime to all this corruption and depravity? Here's Michael Leavitt, the secretary of HHS in his own sick words:

Medicare: 'No Need for Negotiations'

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Director Leslie Norwalk held a briefing for reporters this morning in which they said the current program -- in which private drug plans set prices -- is working.'

Sure it is -- for them.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

'The unorthodox roll call on one of the most expensive bills ever placed before the House of Representatives began in the middle of the night, long after most people in Washington had switched off C-SPAN and gone to sleep.

The only witnesses were congressional staffers, hundreds of lobbyists, and U.S. Representatives like Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Walter Jones, R-N.C.

"The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the bill," says Jones. "The bill was over 1,000 pages. And it got to the members of the House that morning, and we voted for it at about 3 a.m. in the morning."

Why did the vote finally take place at 3 a.m.?

"Well, I think a lot of the shenanigans that were going on that night, they didn't want on national television in primetime," according to Burton.

"I've been in politics for 22 years," says Jones, "and it was the ugliest night I have ever seen in 22 years."

http://www.cbsnews.com/...

--and that is from a republican, my friends..

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON, March 6 PRNewswire-USNewswire -- Brand name prescription drug prices continue to rise at about three times the rate of inflation, according to the latest AARP Watchdog Report.

AARP's Watchdog Report found that ten of the brand name drugs it tracks increased at least four times the rate of general inflation during 2006. Ambien led the pack with a 29.7 percentage increase in manufacturer price, followed by Combivent at 18.3 percent and Atrovent Inhaler at 16.9 percent.'

And remember, you're paying twice -- once in taxpayer money, from pharmaceutical subsides, and then again, at the counter -- and at higher prices than anywhere else in the entire world.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

here are literally hundreds of magazines that cater to the healthcare industry. Are you surprised? Healthcare in the United States accounts for something like a 3 trillion annually.

There's a magazine called Managed Healthcare Executive. It's sub-head is For Decision Makers in Healthcare. Managed Heathcare Executive exists to enable health insurance CEOs and executives squeeze out higher profits, hence it has articles like this.

'How to effectively manage Medicare enrollments

Most Medicare Advantage and Part D sponsors share a common goal: make Medicare a more profitable line of business. To help alleviate some of the challenges associated with enrollment practices, consider the following tips:

http://www.managedhealthcareexecutiv...'

The Congressional Budget Office has reported that current reimbursement levels for Medicare Advantage are already about 12 percent higher than traditional Medicare. Bringing them in line with Medicare costs could save the federal government $160-billion over 10 years, the budget office said.

Okay, so much for the truth about Medicare Advantage.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"I can't win with you people" "What's wrong with you people" "What's the matter with you people" are phrases used by Imus all of the time, especially his on-air staff.

It was convenient for Sharpton and Kilpatrick to take that non-slip of the tongue and make it something other than what it actually was. And all of those critics pontificating from Ivory Towers who have no idea what Imus was all about, just picked up the bones thrown to them and started beating on him with them.

Including some columnists here at the Washington Post. I guess you don't have to research, verify and fact check when you write an opinion column.

The Washington Post - second only to Fox News!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Pat Robertson didn't have to run for President after being embasrassed the first time.

He found the perfect vehicle for hijacking the government. Get a dupe and let him plant accolytes throughout the government.

Sounds like what the Viet Cong did in the those "freely elected" governments which we supported for so long.

The Ho Chi Minh of American politics, Pat Robertson.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse


'The storm's combination of snow, rain and high wind was extremely unusual for this time of year, said Brian Korty, a National Weather Service forecaster in Camp Springs, Md.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

However, columnist Sylvester Brown, who often writes about race for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, bristles at the credit Sharpton might receive for bringing down Imus.

"Al Sharpton is a convenient diversion from what really happened to Imus," Brown said. "This was so egregious, so over the line, it would have happened anyway, with or without Sharpton."

Sharpton's involvement, along with the involvement of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Brown said, created "an easy excuse for those who didn't want to grapple with the complicated layers of this issue, to just point at Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and say, 'It's their fault.'"

Media critic Susan Douglas, a professor of communications at the University of Michigan, agreed that Sharpton may have gotten more attention than his role merited.

"The public face of this story might look like it was Al Sharpton," she said, and at least for a few days that might have been true, due in large part to Imus' Monday appearance on Sharpton's radio show. But even there, she said it was Imus' own words, not Sharpton, that inflamed the story.

"When he said, 'I can't win with you people,' he was finished," Douglas said.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"I work the for the fed gov, in a manner of speaking" = Beltway Bandit.

Feed at the Federal trough and then complain about the ranch hand that provides the food.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The recent scandal surrounding the Justice Department's firing of several US attorneys has inadvertently revealed the dangerous influence the religious right wields over the current administration. While the media is focused on the political firings of these attorneys, the connection between the administration and Pat Robertson's Regent University -- which has seen over 150 graduates hired by the Bush administration in recent years -- is a more worrisome reality.

These extremists have long sought to merge their ideology with government policy, a reality that we understand all too well. And this serious threat to democracy has received little attention from mainstream media.

The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda -- which is very different from simply being people of faith -- is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It's also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists. But this conspiracy is no theory. Think of it -- 150 graduates from a single school, new, and best known for mediocricy.

Imagine if 150 Jews or Muslims from a single religious school were installed at Justice. What would you think then?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse


'There is a great debate in the 2008 campaign.

On one side stands the John McCain of the New Hampshire primary of 2000 advocating integrity in politics, religious tolerance, and mutual respect across the aisles in Congress.

His opponent in this debate, is John McCain running for President in 2008, as the friend of Falwell, and the partisan heir to Republicans Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy.

McCain is Bush 43.5.

It is not enough to disagree with opponents, he must accuse them of surrender, defeat, and helping our enemies.

It is not enough to offer a different point of view, McCain makes fun of the facial expressions of his opponents, mocking them with the lie that they laugh and smile to help our enemies.

Sadly for America, and for McCain, the McCain of McCarthyism has defeated the McCain of the Straight Talk Express. The McCain who said American politics should be lifted to causes greater than our own, lost to the McCain who sinks our politics, because he will do anything to win.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Read the right wing commentary today and it's all about the absurdity of firing Don Imus positioned against the poor Duke lacrosse players who were slandered and had their lives ruined (ruined is probably too strong a word here, but let's say they had a bad time of it) by the media, Al Sharpton, and an overzealous prosecutor.

But the links between the Imus furor and the Duke rape case are as thin as the thread in Al Sharpton's finely tailored suit. The real comparison is what happened at Duke and what continues to happen in Guantanamo Bay. What was wrong in North Carolina is a prosecutor and a public media (see Nancy Grace) declared several men guilty before they were found guilty in a court of law and the accused suffered. People have been in Guantanamo for years now without being accused of anything, on little or no evidence. People get all excited when rich white people are falsely accused of crimes, but many of these people also support extraordinary rendition, torture, and detaining non-combatants without trials. What happened at Duke sucks. Innocent until proven guilty is part of our constitution for a reason. It should be continually present when thinking about law and justice. It's something we've left behind in the ever accelerating race to be tough on crime and the non-winnable "War On Terror!!!". Now we have an example the privileged class can relate to. Let's look closely at the case of these wrongly accused white people from Duke University and apply the lessons we learn to the law of the land, especially the land that we occupy in Cuba.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Continuing to excavate a political mine that I thought had long been exhausted, George Bush and John McCain both repeatedly evoked 9/11 in delusional, peace-through-escalation speeches on Iraq this week.

Speaking in front of American Legionnaires in Fairfax, Virginia, the president brought to mind a played-out nostalgia band, dragging out the moldy-oldie hits from days long past.

There were the four mentions of September 11, the nod to the heroism of the passengers on United Flight 93, and the reminders of his tough-talking, dead-or-alive glory days: "I vowed that day that we would go on the offensive against an enemy... I vowed that if you harbor a terrorist you're equally as guilty as the terrorist. That's a doctrine." He even threw in a "It's hard work." I half-expected one of the Legionnaires to toss the president a megaphone so he could recreate his Ground Zero "I hear you" smash.

And, remarkably, he offered four different versions of his classic Flypaper rationale for continuing the war (c'mon, everyone, sing along, you know the words):

"We want to defeat them there, so we don't have to face them there."

"The best way to defeat the enemy is to find them overseas and bring them to justice so they will not hurt the folks here at home."

"What's interesting and different about this war is that the enemy would follow us here."

"It's in our interests....to pursue the enemy overseas so we don't have to face them here."

If the news ticker at the bottom of the TV screen hadn't been filled with stories about Imus, Gonzales' subpoena, and Anna Nicole's baby, I would have thought I was watching a presidential speech from 2002.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse


'A U.S. attorney in Wisconsin who prosecuted a state Democratic official on corruption charges during last year's heated governor's race was once targeted for firing by the Department of Justice, but given a reprieve for reasons that remain unclear. A federal appeals court last week threw out the conviction of Wisconsin state worker Georgia Thompson, saying the evidence was "beyond thin."

Congressional investigators looking into the firings of eight U.S. attorneys saw Wisconsin prosecutor Steven M. Biskupic's name on a list of lawyers targeted for removal when they were inspecting a Justice Department document not yet made public, according to an attorney for a lawmaker involved in the investigation. The attorney asked for anonymity because of the political sensitivity of the investigation.

Posted by: well, well | April 14, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

erhaps most interestingly, the later e-mails give a rare window into how a modern White House spins a scandal, with aides discussing ever evolving rationales for the firings.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post leads with reports that American troops responded to a suicide bombing with excessive force, killing 12 civilians, including 2 children.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Even if the congressional investigation of the U.S. attorney firings yields no more evidence that the dismissals were nefarious, it will have been more than worthwhile for the window that's been opened into the internal workings of the Bush administration. The latest revelation, of course, is that top White House aides, including Karl Rove, used e-mail accounts set up by the Republican National Committee--and that some of the messages they sent--as many as five million--are missing, including e-mails that relate to the U.S. attorney firings.

This looks fishy when viewed in the bright light of the 1978 Presidential Records Act, which requires record-keeping as opposed to record-hiding-and-losing, and the 1939 Hatch Act, which limits the partisan political activity of government officials. "It's a mistake we are trying to fix," says a senior administration official. "I know the conspiracy theories will be running wild."

You don't have to wear a tinfoil hat to get conspiratorial about these e-mails, though. None other than disgraced superlobbyist Jack Abramoff explains why. In 2003, he accidentally wrote an indiscreet e-mail to Rove aide Susan Ralston (Abramoff's former assistant) on her White House e-mail account. After a White House official alerted his office that doing so would limit the political help he could get, Abramoff fired off this message: "Dammit. It was sent to Susan on her rnc pager and was not supposed to go into the WH system." That makes it seem pretty clear that at least in some cases, RNC e-mail accounts were used to stay outside the law.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The spiritual ministry department of the National Institutes of Health, which serves patients being treated in the nation's premier research hospital, is in disarray and battling a lawsuit and discrimination complaints that allege bias against Jewish and Catholic chaplains.

In February, a federal panel ordered the hospital to reinstate a Catholic priest who was wrongfully fired in 2004. In January, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had found that he was the target of "discriminatory and retaliatory animus." Three other former chaplains have said that they also were wrongfully terminated.

They have accused O. Ray Fitzgerald, a Methodist minister and the former head of the spiritual ministry department, of anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism. They say that NIH retaliated against them when they spoke up and invented reasons for terminating them.'

pity the poor christians. always whining about how they're being picked on. boohoo.

Posted by: christian fascists | April 14, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

'Bombers target Iraq bridges, shrine

Attackers blew up a car bomb on a bridge in Baghdad Saturday -- the second attack on a major crossing point in the Iraq capital in three days. Police said at least 10 people were killed. Earlier, a blast hit a crowded market near the Imam Ali shrine in the holy city of Karbala. At least 43 people died and 55 more were hurt, a hospital official said.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse


'States rule. Feds should do very specific things (and I work the for the fed gov, in a manner of speaking) and nothing else.

GTFO of our lives, please.'

And that would include abortion and gay marriage, right?

Posted by: Sal | April 14, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

'Liberals, having destroyed CA, NJ, NY, MA'

Yes, destroyed them by making them the most prosperous states with the highest per capita incomes in the country...

'liberals are like a virus or cancer,' eh? you are really sick. that's the republican party of today. blinded with rage and hate.

you are the ugly face of communism, fascism, conservatism... the sound just like Adolph Hitler... he used those kinds of words too -- and about liberals and intelectuals and jews too.

that's what you people want -- a dictator. a murderous dictator to get rid of your boogeymen, your scapegoats, the ones you blame everything on because you can't face your own miserable failure.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 14, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The barrage of TV ads from "Americans United for Change" provided a lot of free publicity for Senator Collins - she wasn't that well known by many southern Maine voters. By the election the specifics of the ads will be long forgotten - the ads were barely intelligible anyway - but certainly the name recognition will stick.

Posted by: Chris Baker (Maine) | April 13, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, sorry that we have this base disagreement. I think my thinking is more in line with what the founders intended, but, whatever.

States rule. Feds should do very specific things (and I work the for the fed gov, in a manner of speaking) and nothing else.

GTFO of our lives, please.

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comments today. Dole in NC is one I cannot figure, after the Meet The Press fiasco, I just can't get it out of my mind every time I read or hear something about her. I have a hunch that she will not run again. La., I just can't see this guy Jindal getting very far against any dem. that gets on the ticket. I think he has been mentioned before because he has ran several times and not fared very well.

Posted by: lylepink | April 13, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Colorado is nowhere near as conservative as Texas. Colorado went 52-47 for Bush. That is not even close to Texas. That's purple.

Schaffer is nowhere near Udall's caliber as a candidate. The guy got crushed by Pete Coors, a bad campaigner, in a primary. Udall will easily defeat him. The GOP's only chance to hold that seat is with state AG John Suthers.

Posted by: Rex G. | April 13, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Baker raised only $94K to Landrieu's million-plus. He might be interested, but right now, he doesn't look like he's got the resources.

I also think the line should consider dipping its toe below #10. Some interesting stuff going on in the cheap seats. (See Sparks, Ron.)

Posted by: DavidNYC | April 13, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

On Udall, ya'll should do your research. Guess who had a higher rating from the Gun Owners of America in 2005: Salazar, or Udall? Udall, by about 50 percentage points.
And a 25% rating from the National Right to Life Committee is hardly pro-life (Salazar). As for Ritter, he's hardly the NRA's best ally.
He's open to the "Boulder Liberal" rating, but his positions on guns and abortion aren't that different from Salazar. It's merely the fact that he's not from rural Colorado that will hurt him. The race shouldn't be number one on the list, but whoever's facing Udall will have a race.

And Warner would crush Tom Davis in an open seat VA Senate match-up. NoVA might like Davis, but they like Warner a whole lot more. Add that to the fact that he already has his bona fides in rural VA (cutting into the margins there) and Mark Warner would be the favorite. Not unbeatable, but the favorite.

Posted by: Mike | April 13, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Mark of Austin

sorry if I missed you - old people take naps -

No I believe Austin sees the LRGV as loyal and can be dismissed - hopefully it is not too late to get us back

I am a big Richardson fan for several reasons - [1] hands down he is the most qualified; [2] he is loved in West Texas and could put Texas into play - if TExas goes Dem in 2008 the election is over we win

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Davis - Warner a tossup? No way! In his re-election for the VA 11th CD, Davis got only 55% of the vote to his opponent's 44%, and, here's the biggie, Davis spent $3,000,000 and his opponent spent only $300,000.
Davis is not a moderate, although he plays one on TV, has a lot of baggage with his marital situation, and is not well known in the rest of Virginia. Mark Warner, on the other hand, is not only well-known throughout Virginia, he is well-liked, having a 70% approval rating.

Posted by: NoVA | April 13, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals, having destroyed CA, NJ, NY, MA, etc, are now too irresponsible and immature to live with the mess they created, so they are jumping ship, and like the AIDS virus or cancer..."

Oh, so it's time for this again! You're starting to repeat yourself, William. Go on, tell everyone how the liberals destroyed those states. Be specific, and back it up with numbers. If you instead choose to continue comparing the majority of the country's voters to a deadly virus, I'll just accept that as your admission that you're just a bloviating moron.

Posted by: Blarg | April 13, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"The issue is, should the Federal Gummint be able to dictate to the states where the flags should fly."

Didn't know that Federal involvement had become an "issue." It's all been local from what I've seen over the past 15 years.

As usual William is incorrect on some of his history. The Georgia State flag incorporated the Confederate Battle flag in 1956 after Brown v. Topeka Board of Ed. and a little before Eisenhower had to send the 101st Airborne into Little Rock to allow Blacks kids to attend the public High School there.

That was right around the time that Christian academies began popping-up all over the South. Christian academies? Maybe they taught the New Testament? I wonder how; but maybe they did.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I heard you on with Hugh Hewitt the other day and you sound like a great guy. But your assessement of Colorado is so typically Beltway. You don't get it. You've bought the idea that a few key centrist Democratic wins in Colorado means the state is hereby irrevocably blue.

It's not. It's still a fairly conservative state with a well-known and well-liked conservative, in Bob Schaffer, running. Conservatism in Colorado doesn't guarantee you a win--but it sure as heck doesn't put you behind!

Dick Wadhams is a tough cookie and on his homefield I wouldn't bet against him. It's gonna be a nail-biter, but I think Schaffer wins. Udall is just too liberal for the suburban and rural voters that have gone for Salazar and Ritter.

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I heard you on with Hugh Hewitt the other day and you sound like a great guy. But your assessement of Colorado is so typically Beltway. You don't get it. You've bought the idea that a few key centrist Democratic wins in Colorado means the state is hereby irrevocably blue.

It's not. It's still a fairly conservative state with a well-known and well-liked conservative, in Bob Schaffer, running. Conservatism in Colorado doesn't guarantee you a win--but it sure as heck doesn't put you behind!

Dick Wadhams is a tough cookie and on his homefield I wouldn't be against him. It's gonna be a nail-biter, but I think Schaffer wins. Udall is just too liberal for the suburban and rural voters that have gone for Salazar and Ritter.

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hello Mountain Man -

Thank you for your take on Udall. I suspect that "Boulder liberal" is the Colorado equivalent of Texas' "Austin liberal".

University towns do that, don't they?

Are you pleased with Ken Salazar? He looks like the kind of western Democrat who could be elected in
Texas, from here.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 13, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hello, Bobby Wightman-Cervantes -

Do you have someone in mind as a strong candidate against Sen. Cornyn?

I have said elsewhere that my Democratic friends in Austin believe that only Bill Richardson can help the down-ticket Democrats, among the Presidential candidates. Do you think that Austin perception is borne out by your sense of what is going on in the Valley?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 13, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey southerners: States' rights to do what?

No one ever seems to finish the sentence. Wonder why that is.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 13, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

JD, that might be your issue, but it isn't mine.

William, my point is that the South has a lot more political power than any other part of the country. Particularly more power than the Northeast. So it's pretty hard to believe that you're being oppressed by us. It's just like how conservative Christians complain that they're being oppressed, even though this is an overwhelmingly Christian country. You just like playing the victim.

And it's a hell of a coincidence that all the states' rights defended by the South involve the oppression of blacks. The Confederacy was about defending the right to hold other people as property. And then Southerners became upset that the government was taking away their states' rights, at the same time that the government was passing and enforcing civil rights legislation. But you insist that Southern pride is in no way related to racism.

Posted by: Blarg | April 13, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Muleman suggests that we lock Wolfowitz and Sharpton in the same room and, you know, see what happens.

Posted by: muleman | April 13, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

JD, that might be your issue, but it isn't mine.

William, my point is that the South has a lot more political power than any other part of the country. Particularly more power than the Northeast. So it's pretty hard to believe that you're being oppressed by us. It's just like how conservative Christians complain that they're being oppressed, even though this is an overwhelmingly Christian country. You just like playing the victim.

And it's a hell of a coincidence that all the states' rights defended by the South involve the oppression of blacks. The Confederacy was about defending the right to hold other people as property. And then Southerners became upset that the government was taking away their states' rights, at the same time that the government was passing and enforcing civil rights legislation. But you insist that Southern pride is in no way related to racism.

Posted by: Blarg | April 13, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"she remains a significant political force in North Carolina."

Is this a joke? Seriously.

Posted by: Pat | April 13, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

JD, unfortunately, states' rights no longer exist in this country.

The federal government is in complete control of everything. States rights are only a facade.

States no longer even control their own land. The FedGov can go in and steal it to make it a "national park" or whatever.

Pieces of dubious legislation such as the "general welfare clause", the "necessary and proper clause" and the "interstate commerce clause" have been grossly and despicably misinterpreted to give the Federal government control over everything.

Even on issues like gun rights, the fedgov can override the states and pass "assault weapon bans".

What really needs to happen is we go back to an Articles of Confederation type system.

Then, meddling leftists won't be able to force their weird ideas on our states.

Let them destroy their own states, and don't allow them to move to our states.

Unfortunately, that is what is happening now.

Liberals, having destroyed CA, NJ, NY, MA, etc, are now too irresponsible and immature to live with the mess they created, so they are jumping ship, and like the AIDS virus or cancer, moving to conservative states like NH, PA, MO, MT, VA, NC, etc to destroy them too.

And after they do so, they will move on to other states.

Posted by: William | April 13, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, please don't get sidetracked. The issue isn't whether the flag represents racism, sexism, or a favorite sports team.

The issue is, should the Federal Gummint be able to dictate to the states where the flags should fly. Obviously, there's no compelling (and defined in the constitution) interest for the Feds to do that. The FBI isn't the 'feelings police', nor should they be worried if someone's sensibilities are offended (which would clearly happen in some cases).

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, I can certainly see why you might assume that the flag was a "racist" reaction to the civil rights movement but that is not the case.

Some states (including MS I think) adopted the Battle Flag as part of their state flags in the late 1800s, far before the Civil Rights movement.

In GA, the Confederate Flag was added to the state flag in 1951 or 1953, before Brown vs. Board.

The Confederate Flag may have increased in popularity during the civil rights movement but that was because the Southerners felt their state rights were being violated, and wanted to show their support for states' rights and Southern pride, not racism.

And yes, the civil rights era involved a LOT of violations of states' rights, regardless of whether the ends justified the means.

According to the law, the states' rights of southern states were violated then (especially under LBJ), and these violations continue to this day.

Again, that was an example of liberals unable to restrain themselves from forcing their beliefs on other states.

One example of how the states' rights of the South are still violated is that Southern states have to submit plans for redistricting to the Justice Department, while other states do not.

That is a clear violation of states' rights.

Liberals just don't care because black majority districts mean Democratic congresspeople (like Cynthia McKinney.)

And the comment you made about how Southern states cannot be oppressed and violated by Southern presidents was borderline retarded, no offense.

So, according to your logic, an Arab dictator cannot really oppress his people since he is Arab, too?

Louis XVIII of France was really not oppressing his people since he was also French?

Your reasoning doesn't even make sense, and is completely rediculous.

Everyone, including you, knows that once Carter, Clinton, LBJ, etc got into office, they were do longer loyal to the South, or to conservative values.

Posted by: William | April 13, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I note that the Senate's most ardent lackey of our history's worst president isn't mentioned: Mitch McConnell. I hope this parasitic barnacle stays glued to Bush as both sink into ignominious obscurity. But, I have full faith that the rubes of the Bluegrass state will return Mitch for another 6-year term so he can hype the cause on everyone's front burner: tort reform.

Posted by: cody mccall | April 13, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I can see how presidents like Bush (Texas), Clinton (Arkansas), Reagan (California), Carter (Georgia), Ford (somewhere in the Midwest), Nixon (California), and LBJ (Texas) would oppress Southerners. With the possible exception of Bush Senior, there hasn't been a Northern president since JFK. In every census, the South gets more House seats and electoral votes. How exactly are you being oppressed, considering that you're the ones with the power?

From what I've heard, the Confederate flag wasn't a popular decoration in the decades after the Civil War, or the first half of the 20th Century. It didn't become fashionable in the South to display the Confederate flag until the 1960s. But I'm sure that's just a coincidence, and has nothing to do with racism as a response to the civil rights movement.

Posted by: Blarg | April 13, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Chris, thank you for the honest assessment that Dole is the clear fav. here in NC. Thank you! I agree that Iowa is also very safe for Harkin. I'm convinced that Iowa likes the combo of Grassley/Harkin. Not gonna change it. Lantham may have a chance to win, but won't run. So Harkin wins. I would move South La. up to #2 and South Dakota up to #6. Leindreau and Johnson's seat is very, very vulnerable for Republican takeovers.

You folks who are criticizing Imus, I got news for ya: he's a talk show host! It goes back to the aged old question: can America handle freedom of speech or not? Republicans would like rap music and sexual promescuity banned. Democrats want want to ban Christian groups from spending their own money to run commercials, racially insensitive comments and gay jokes banned. What's the difference...censorship is censorship!

Posted by: reason | April 13, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, we ARE oppressed by the big, bad, yankees.

Posted by: William | April 13, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Re: The other races


NH: Sununu seems to be detached from reality. Despite the fact that his reelection chances are in severe jeopardy, he still continues to march in lockstep with Bush and Co.

Unlike Collins, Gordon, Coleman, etc who are at least trying to act more moderate as Nov 2008 gets closer, Sununu has thus far refused to do this, and even on Iraq, is solidly in line with Bush.

Either he has been living under a rock the past few years and still thinks its 2002, or his loyalty to Bush trumps even his desire to be reelected.

If this guy loses, it will be partially his own fault.


MN: Franken is a joke. I know you liberals like him, and that's fine, but he will be a VERY weak candidate.

It would be wise to play it safe and go with a less polarizing, more moderate candidate like Ciresi.

Why would you want to risk an almost certain pickup?


LA: Chris Cillizza, do you honestly think Jindal is going to run against Landrieu if he loses the governor race to Breaux or whomever?

That will be what, his third or fourth unsuccessful race for statewide office?

People are getting tired of Jindal running for every office in the state and never winning.

Seriously, give it up already!

Jindal is turing into some mutant combination of Doug Forrester and John Edwards: someone who's professional job is campaigning all the time for higher office, but never wins.

Landrieu is from an old LA family and would be harder to beat than Blanco.

Unlike Blanco, she can't be tied to the Katrina mess, and has a pretty moderate Senate record.


VA: I find it unlikely that George Allen will run for Senate again, and if he does, he will not be nominated since even his fans know he is unelectable.

Allen would likely try to run as a remade man, a convert to political correctness. Maybe he will write a book about his gaffe like Lott did.

That is not a winning formula for Allen since that will alienate the Southern VA voters who like him, while liberal NoVA voters will always hate him no matter what.

Allen is not a viable candidate.

In a year that will likely trend at least somewhat, if not considerably, blue, Republicans will want to go with a candidate who would likely win, even if it is a RINO like Davis.

And Warner would back Davis, not Allen. Davis is sort of Warner's protege.

John Warner vs. Mark Warner would be a hard race to call. I'll bet on John, though in an anti-GOp year, a Mark win wouldn't be impossible. Especially if people are looking for someone young and energetic to represent them.

A Mark Warner vs. Tom Davis would be one for the ages. Moderate Democrat against Moderate Republican. A tossup.


IA: Chris, Steve King is NOT going to run. He is too conservative to beat Tom Harkin, especially in a likely blue year, when Harkin will probably defeat ANY Republican.

Even in 2004, a red year, Bush won by less than .5%

King is not going to risk his safe house seat for nothing.


SD: Chris, you seem obsessed with the idea that Rounds WILL run for Senate, if Johnson doesn't.

How do you know this? Do you have access to some secret information?

Because as far as I know, Rounds has shown absolutely ZERO interest in running. If he wants to run for president in 2012, he would be better off remaining a governor, though if he is aiming for 2016, he should run for Senate in order to remain in elected office.

But just because he is the ONLY high profile Republican in SD who isn't already in the Senate doesn't mean he will run.

Remember, Stephanie Herseth, as at large rep, represents the entire state, so she has just as much name recognition as Rounds.

She is rated A+ by the NRA and would make a strong candidate.

Posted by: William | April 13, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Colin; ah, you're right. I missed that irony.

FWIW, I agree that the feds need to stay out of all those issues. These are all intrinsically states issues. Has nobody read the constitution?

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted: |April 13, 2007 04:01 PM: You obviously have never lived in the South. The Battle Flag of the confederacy is a symbol of states rights to southerners.

Posted by: Dan W | April 13, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't anyone ever wave the Union flag in the North? Plenty of people up North have pride in their heritage, and their ancestors sacrificed too. But nobody north of the Mason-Dixon line seems to be nostalgic for the period before the Civil War. Is it just that Southerners like to pretend that they're oppressed by the big bad Yankees?

Posted by: Blarg | April 13, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

'The Battle Flag represents Southern heritage, the sacrifice of ancestors, etc and not racism.'

bull crap.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

JD -- the point "pander" is making is that it's interesting that Rudy thought it was OK to call for federal intervention RE Schiavo (helping him with social conservatives) while characterizing all the hot button social issues that might damage him in a GOP primary as "states rights" issues.

Posted by: Colin | April 13, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

JD - You are right, the Confederate flag is a state issue.

Liberals like Hillary Clinton are incapable of understanding this concept, and feel compelled to force their far-out values on everyone else.

The Battle Flag represents Southern heritage, the sacrifice of ancestors, etc and not racism.

In fact, a few years ago when they had a referendum in MS whether or not to keep the Battle Flag on their state flag, it passed by a huge margin, even in a lot of black areas.

Non-southerner carpetbaggers like Clinton really need to keep their big noses out of our business. Why should it matter to her if the Confederate Flag flies in SC or MS, etc?

Seriously, what a busybody!


Lylepink - Here in NC, people are a little annoyed that Dole hasn't spent a lot of time in the state, but that is not going to make them vote for a Democrat.

Dole will almost certainly win reelection. Only Easley could possibly give her a run for her seat, and he would still likely lose.

The Democrats are suffering from the fallout of huge scandals here, and that will severely harm their chances of unseating Dole.

And don't get over-confident, Dems. Allen in VA only lost after HUGE stumbles, in an extremely anti-GOP year with colossal NoVA turnout. And he only lost by 8000 votes out of 2.5 million cast against a conservative, "good ole boy" opponent.

And still, he barely lost.


And NC is more conservative than VA. Dole will win reelection. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign COmmittee would be wiser to spend their cash on lower-hanging fruit like Coleman, Sununu, Smith, Collins, CO open, etc.

Posted by: William | April 13, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Mark, the anger of the Latino community in south Texas is very deep - Cameron County - the second poorest in the County voted for Bush twice - in the last election nearly every Lower Rio Grand valley Mayor endorsed Republican Perry - Democratic State Senator Lucio Endorsed Stryhorn - Cameron County elected a Republican For County Judge

Mark I know facts do not play well in reality but they still matter

These DINO Democrats who use their Latino name to win have damaged the reputation of the Democratic Party in the LRGV - we will now call them Pochos- Mexican Americans who distance themselves from their own heritage

http://balancingtheissues.com/texas_democrats.htm

Austin better wake up and give us a reason to vote or forever remain out of power

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Mark - Sanchez ran for governor - he ran on his money - - the Dems could not overcome his money - the Latino community in the valley did not turn out for him because his excuse for laundering drug money was - "at the time it was not illegal" We take the drug issue seriously - he was a bad candidate

as I have said before - it is not about a latino on the ballot - it is about giving us a fair chance - Sanchez won the nomination because he had the money

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Pander, what's your problem with Rudy? Do you think the almight Feds ought to impose their vision of good taste onto the people of a given state?

While I don't find the Confed flag all that great or exciting, I really don't see the problem of allowing the states to make that decision. And here I thought the left was 'pro-choice' and for tolerance - I guess that's only if you choose to think the way they think.

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"4. Louisiana: The lone Democrat senator in the top five, Mary Landrieu has run a solid campaign to this point."

Democratic. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR, Cillizza. Boy, I used to think you weren't a Stepford boy like the rest of 'em. Well, shows what I know.

Posted by: Hotspur | April 13, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes, I seem to remember a certain Laredo banker who ran for governor at the head of a "dream ticket", that was nevertheless crushed by the pretty boy toll road builder.

Josh, thanks for the insight about Udall - from this distance [900mi], I thought he was solid on western issues like both the Salazars seem to be.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 13, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Another Bush scoundrel is Debra Wong Yang, another US Attorney who was not fired, and did not stay...no, she resigned. Did she do so out of a deep sense of outrage over the Bush Administration's treatment of the Judiciary Branch? Did she resign to go to Peace Corps or to work pro bono at the local Los Angeles legal assistance program? No. She is a Republican. And, her case is rather a hybrid version. She did not get fired as Lam was fired: because Lam was getting to close to the inner-sanctum of the Bush Crime Family; no, Yang took the easier out--a path lined with millions of dollars, and a path that would have gone completely under the radar had Gonzogate not exploded. Poor Ms Yang... May you receive a subpoena as well!

Here is her tangled story, an iceberg-tip view of the Rep. Jerry Lewis scandals which she was investigating as a US Attorney, and the treacherous firm of Bush family consigliere in Los Angeles who serve as Defense Council for Rep. Lewis, the same firm where Yang currently receives her blood-money.

We will soon enough get to her official bio from the firm that paid her $1.5 million, Gibson Dunn in Los Angeles--the same firm that, coincidentally enough, was defending Rep. Jerry Lewis of California. Let me say that again so there is no confusion:

She was in charge of the case against Rep. Jerry Lewis. He is being defended against these charges by Gibson Dunn in Los Angelese. Ms Yang received $1.5 million from the firm defending Rep. Lewis, Gibson Dunn, to leave the Justice Department where she was prosecuting Rep. Lewis. And, remarkably, this is the second time that Jerry Lewis has hired a former US Attorney to handle his defense.

Thanks to the fine work of TPMuckracker from June 2006, we find that Lewis did the same thing with Robert Bonner, a member in good-standing of the Bush Family since Daddy Bush made Bonner his Drug Czar in the 1990s through the present!

His lead lawyer is Robert Bonner, a man with a long, impressive CV -- featuring one clincher: Bonner used to run the U.S. Attorney's Office that's now investigating Lewis.

Who better to handle an investigation concerning the revolving door between Lewis' office and that of his lobbyist pal Bill Lowery than a man who's switched sides himself?

Bonner headed up the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California from 1984 through 1989 before he went on to serve as a judge in that district. That same office is conducting the investigation of Lewis.

Posted by: funny, huh | April 13, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter - "...an email is forever..." Not true! I'm an engineer and a security expert and you CAN erase emails. You can count on Rove's emails being gone for good. Cheney and Bush and ROve hired the best expertise available and cleaned up the crime scene. Count on it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"Rudy Giuliani, who recently said that he would have backed efforts to keep Terri Schiavo 'alive,' has now declared, before a swooning crowd at the Alabama state capitol, that he believes that the decision to fly the Confederate flag on state property ought be 'left to the states.'

"The Confederacy was, should Giuliani need any reminder, from the firing on Fort Sumter, an act of treason against the United States. Never mind the crime against humanity that the Confederacy was formed to protect or the lives that were lost in order to defeat that treason. Of course, an individual who wants to fly the Confederate flag or put its likeness on the back of his pick-up truck is perfectly permitted to do so, just as one can legally fly a Nazi flag outside his house or goose-step around his neighborhood wearing a swastika. But the same freedom of expression should not apply to government institutions (in this case, state legislators and the public property in which they conduct their legislative business).

"John McCain had the honesty to admit that his back-and-forth on the issue during the 2000 Republican presidential primary was 'worse than waffling' . . . Perhaps Giuliani will take a cue from his primary opponent and realize it's best to be unambiguously opposed to state governments expressing nostalgia for a symbol that represents human bondage and historic treason."

Posted by: Pander Rudy | April 13, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

For those people getting all upset about the Rove e-mails disappearing. I'm not a techie, but I have heard them say that "an e-mail is forever." That user "deleting" an e-mail, doesn't destroy it. It's still sitting on a server somewhere.

The last lines of Michael Abramowitz's story today pretty much comfirms that: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/12/AR2007041202408_pf.html

"Trashing a message only means that the mail program clears its records of where it had filed that e-mail in its own database.

"Paul Robichaux, a principal with the Redmond, Wash., technology services firm 3Sharp and the author of three books about Microsoft's e-mail software, compared it to a library that removes the entry for a book from its card catalogue: 'The book is still on the shelf.' "

Those e-mails are probably sitting on a server somewhere. It would be just a matter of finding where.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 13, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

CC, dear, I appreciate very much the uncensored nature of this forum, so don't take it personally, but do something about your photo on the political page. Don't use a straight-on shot, nobody should, unless they look like angelina. Terribly unflattering -- you look like an attack chipmunk.

Posted by: mom | April 13, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

'The most dangerous consequences of the Washington power vacuum may be in Iraq itself. The president's pleas for bipartisan support, coming late in the game, seem to be falling on deaf ears. He has lost the Democrats -- and even the Republicans seem willing to give Bush's surge only provisional support, through this fall.'

Maybe he shouldn't have spend 4 years trashing every democrat in the country, calling us traitors and making us feel like pariahs in our own country. No presdient I can recall has ever so actively hated half the country before.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Colin - I've seen the Gwen Ifill quote which I took as a shot at the New York Times, not necessarily Gwen Ifill. But, I can see how it can be read that way.

I also remember the Clarence Page pledge. Actually, Imus and the crew pretty much followed that pledge, in spite of what Mr. Page and Michael Wilbon are saying. After reading Wilbon's column the other day I had to wonder how often he listened to the show or if he was just using the ideas and comments of others.

I also saw in Paul Farhi's front page article today that Sid Rosenberg did say inexcusable things about Palestinians, so I stand corrected on Sid limiting his comments to Jews.

I don't argue that the Imus crew did push the envelope. If you do it enough, it comes back to haunt you.

The irony could be that Imus goes to satellite radio, gets to say whatever he wants to say and will make even more money doing it.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 13, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Wondering what people think about this by Ignatius today..

'What else is there to worry about? "A key question in assessing the risks to the outlook is whether the global economy would be able to 'decouple' from the United States were the latter to slow down more sharply than projected." This is from the latest World Economic Outlook report, prepared by the International Monetary Fund before this weekend's gathering of global bankers and finance ministers.

Rather than deferring to U.S. economic leadership, in other words, the global financiers are worrying about how to get out of the way if our pyramid of debt-financed consumer spending should topple. The IMF projects U.S. economic growth this year to be just 2.2 percent, below the average for advanced economies and less than half the projected growth for the world as a whole.'

Posted by: Sam | April 13, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

'As political power ebbs from the Bush presidency, a number of changes are becoming visible around the world -- most of them unwelcome. Simply put, the White House is losing its ability to shape events.

President Bush's relentless focus on Iraq magnifies this problem. His almost daily comments on the war underscore just how much he has ransomed his presidency and the nation's security to the unlikely prospect of success in Iraq. And the monomania about Iraq distracts Bush and his advisers from other big issues that need attention.'

Posted by: he's mellllltiiiiiing | April 13, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

'RNC is missing at least four years' worth of e-mail from White House senior adviser Karl Rove that is being sought as part of investigations into the Bush administration.'

Sure is quiet out there. Where's the outrage? Karl Rove destroys FOUR YEARS of emails to cover up his crimes and none of you folks on the right utter a word. Gee, let me guess what would have happened if Bill Clinton would have deleted 4 freaking years of emails WHILE HE WAS UNDER INVESTIGATON.

But a repug, hey -- no prob. What incredible hypocrites.

Posted by: cheetah | April 13, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

A quick check of stories today reveals the same thing that has been going on these past weeks. The political news is about the same, only a little more added as the cover-up continues in the attorneys firing case, e-mails, executive privy, and others. Only crime, fires, and accidents are a little different, since they are different. Nothing that was not expected.

Posted by: lylepink | April 13, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht publically endorsed Harriet Myers for the SUpreme Court - this is a clear violation of the rules of professional conduct-

The case was assigned to his former peers on the Dallas Court of Appeals - they found that because he had no control over the press disseminating his views on Myers he was not accountable - please - it is a joke

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Colin: I don't reject that ethical complaint mechanisms exist. I feel that is not sufficient to repair the damage that is done by prosecutors who wanton abuse their positions and make such callous statements about cases before them.

Posted by: Dan W | April 13, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Actually Colin if the DA's office initiates the investigation and conducts the investigation and you can show it was a malicious prosecution you can sue the office of the DA - we need to make it also possible to sue the DA if he/she pursues claims which he/she know are false - although the investigation was done by another agency

You are aware federal judges review themselves for unethical conduct which is why no one is every held accountable

Bobby WC

Read the Declaration of Independence - it is about holding the King accountable - accountability is how you stop abuse

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Bobby W & Dan W -- Prosecutors and Judges can both be held criminally responsible for misconduct. You just can't get monetary damages from them and you have to prove willful misconduct. There's caselaw out there on this one. Also, you absolutely CAN pursue ethical complaints against individuals in both positions -- so I'm not sure why you both seem to reject that possibility.

Nor'Easter -- I understand your perspective on Imus, but I personally think he crossed the line too many times for a "second chance" to be appropriate. Both he and his crew have referred to african americans as animals in the past. He called Gwen Ifel a clearning lady. He promised Clarence Page, a Chicago Tribune columnist, that he'd stop this stuff 5 or 6 years ago. At some point, I think enough is enough. I'm not saying on a personal level the guy is unredeamable, but I think he got what was warranted. Just my opinion

Posted by: Colin | April 13, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Udall may be a bit too Boulder for comfort, but he will destroy Bob Schaffer, that's for sure. The guy is a total right-winger who lost big time to Pete Coors in a GOP primary. If the GOP has to settle for him they are screwed.

Posted by: Rex G. | April 13, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

PBS has announced that it will air a documentary on WWII veterans - during the course of filming PBS could not manage to find one Latino to interview - PBS could not manage one Native American to interview - key players in decoding Japanese codes

This is real deep seated racism - it is not discussed because it requires that we think - so we absolve ourselves of our sins by punishing one man for the sins of a nation

Everything is not okay - making Imus the bad guy for the nation does not change anything - it only serves to allow the guilty to feel a little bit better about themselves while they continue to turn a blind eye to the reality of racism in America

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
http://balancingtheissues.com/donimus.htm

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Thompson dissed Jordan for arming hajjis? I wish I had seen that live. Remember how Hannity ripped into the Dem Congressman for not knowing what sect of Islam AQ was?
http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: mpp | April 13, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

'Damascus -- While Republicans and Democrats in Washington trade blows over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Syria last week, officials and pundits in this ancient capital describe the political feuding as a distraction from a more important truth. From their viewpoint, Pelosi's visit was not a freelance bid for American-Syrian thaw but rather the latest step in a larger Syrian-Western rapprochement that has been under way for months.

Sources here acknowledge that the substance of Pelosi's talks with President Bashar al-Assad hardly deviated from American policy: demands that Syria stop supporting Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups, help secure the release of Israeli soldiers, refrain from meddling in Lebanon's politics, and prevent arms and militants from crossing into neighboring Iraq.

Coming on the heels of a slew of visits since last summer by Western European officials and by legislators of the United States, the Pelosi junket was interpreted here as evidence that the growing chorus of calls in Washington and Jerusalem to engage Syria was making inroads despite the reluctance of the Bush administration.

Syrians point to two hardly known recent diplomatic events as evidence of their eagerness to join the pro-Western fold. Damascus played a key role in pushing Hamas and Fatah to reach an agreement earlier this year on a Palestinian national unity government, which Syrians view as a Hamas concession toward Israel. Even though the deal was signed in Mecca under the auspices of Saudi King Abdullah, a Western diplomat confirmed Syrian claims that most of the heavy lifting was done by Damascus, where Hamas leader Khaled Meshal resides.

In addition, Syrian foreign minister Walid Mouallem told Arab media that Damascus had helped, at Britain's request, to mediate the release of the 15 British sailors captured last month by Iran for allegedly entering its territorial waters.'

http://www.forward.com/articles/detente-is-the-talk-of-town-in-damascus/

From the respected Jewish newspaper, The Forward.

Posted by: TIME TO CUT THE BS | April 13, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Another example of the double standard promoted by the bias white media is how women are treated - Nancy Pelosi may have miscommunicated a message from the Israeli's to Syria - teh news media declares this a nuclear explosure - Pelosi is a women.

Fred Thompson on the Sean Hannity show blames Jordon for arming our enemies in Iraq and the press gives him a 100% pass

The press judging Imus is a lot more than the pot calling the kettle black

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's a new one: The Family Research Council is accusing the FDA of "politicizing women's health." Because before Plan B came around a woman's body was her own business? Right.

Yesterday a coalition of groups including the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America filed a lawsuit against the FDA for its decision to approve the nonprescription sales of Plan B, Barr Laboratories' emergency contraceptive.

Posted by: HILARIOUS | April 13, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

In June 2004, journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker that Israelis operating in northern Iraq under the guise of businessmen were in fact cultivating Kurdish proxies to gather intelligence in preparation for possible future action against Iran. About the same time, I too was hearing about Israelis operating in Kurdish northern Iraq. First, from a former senior American diplomat who was invited by an Israeli American businessman to advise the Kurds on how to get billions of dollars they believed they were owed from the Saddam Hussein-era United Nations Oil-for-Food program. The diplomat gave me the Israeli's name--Shlomi Michaels--and phone numbers for Michaels in Beverly Hills, Turkey, and Israel. The diplomat had walked away from the project, put off by Michaels' temper, and also, he said, by doubts about what Michaels was really up to, and who he might really be working for.

So I was intrigued when, last summer, I read in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that Shlomi Michaels had become the subject of an Israeli government investigation for allegedly operating in Iraq without the required authorization from the Israeli authorities. Not only had I known about Michaels for two years, I had spent about as long trying to understand if the Bush administration would embrace the regime-change policy of its Iran hawks, who believe that the solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions is to promote mass uprisings of ethnic minority and dissident groups such as the Kurds.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I've seen a lot more degradinng remarks about blackss and/or women on MSNBC too -- mostly by Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Corzine wasn't wearing a seat belt. Duh. He's lucky to have survived without a head injury.

Posted by: Progressive | April 13, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse


In the letter, Fielding says that the White House's offer of March 20th stands. It's a great offer, he says. And carping from Democrats and some Republicans like Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about it fails "to credit fully the extraordinary nature of the disclosure we are prepared to provide."

The offer, remember, was 1) to turn over records of all relevant communications from a White House official to a party outside the White House (but no internal communications are to be turned over) and 2) Karl Rove and other White House officials would meet with Congress privately, but there would be no transcript and no oath. The offer also restricts the range of questioning.

But it gets better. Those RNC-issued email accounts belonging to White House staff are also to be covered under the deal. And Fieldings says "it was and remains our intention to collect e-mails and documents from those [RNC-controlled] accounts."

In other words, whatever emails Congress gets, they'll have to get through the White House -- and they won't get anything unless they get it as part of Fielding's "unified offer," his "carefully and thoughtfully considered package of accommodations."

Democrats had asked if Fielding couldn't separately provide the White House's "external" communications, since he was offering them as part of the deal anyway.

But if they want those emails, they'll have to agree to the White House's terms for interviewing Rove and others. And they'll have to resign themselves to not receiving any "internal" White House communications, even if those communications occurred via RNC-issued email addresses. The executive privilege claim with regard to all internal White House correspondence is questionable, but it's even more questionable with regard to the RNC-issued email communications.

As House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) put it: "The White House position seems to be that executive privilege not only applies in the Oval Office, but to the R.N.C. as well. There is absolutely no basis in law or fact for such a claim."

That's why Conyers is trying to get the emails straight from the RNC. In his letter to the RNC chairman yesterday, he demanded that the RNC provide the emails "directly" to Congress -- instead of giving them to the White House. Not providing the emails directly to Congress, Conyers wrote, would be "an unjustified delay" and "potentially... an obstruction of our investigation."

So it looks like things are about to get even nastier.


Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had his own summary of Fielding's offer: "'We are stonewalling.'"

Posted by: WH obstructing justice | April 13, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Colin - I see firing Imus as an opportunity missed. Imus' "shock jock" days are mostly past.

The offensive things on his show which would pop-up, were mostly from Catholic Bernie McGuirk on Catholics (Cardinals O'Connor and Eagan) and Jewish Sid Rosenberg on Jews. There's been no hue and cry about that. Even Bill Donahue is silent.

I have to wonder, if it had been a black person who made the Rutgers comment would the resulting tumult have ever happened?

After the remark and before he was fired, Imus was openly thinking of ways to get the infamous "race dialogue" worked into the format of the show. If anybody could do it, he could. Some posters have also said that he was working to add blacks to the on-air crew.

Unfortunately, this brouhaha has not been a dialogue at all.

If Imus had followed through, and Sharpton was in a position to see that he did (and maybe even have participated), maybe there would have been at least one national forum where the "race dialogue" was actually taking place.

Sharpton kept saying that it wasn't about Imus, but he threw the baby out with the bath water.

For now, the only thing which we learned is what can't be said. We're no closer to knowing how to actually communicate with each other.

A classic "Missed Opportunity."

It's ironic that on my cable system MSNBC is one stop away from BET. I've seen far more degrading comments about Black women (and men) from stand-up comics on BET, that I ever saw on Imus. Maybe the Reverend Sharpton could have a dialogue with Debra Lee and Robert L. Johnson.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 13, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Fred Hiatt is breaking his own rules as a favor to Vice, doesn't it?

'Okay, this is pretty interesting. I think I've found something which reasonably suggests that Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt may have broken his own stated Op-ed policies by publishing a piece yesterday by Liz Cheney attacking Nancy Pelosi without identifying Ms. Cheney as Veep Cheney's daughter.

When I asked Hiatt about this yesterday, he justified it with an email to me (again, I appreciate his willingness to answer) saying that she'd been selected to write the piece based on her professional qualifications alone and that there was thus no need to disclose her relationship with dad.

But now take a look at this column unearthed by commenter Drew below that Hiatt wrote in January of 2005. The column was called "The Rules of Punditry." Though it was in the context of a different conflict of interest pundit situation, Hiatt appeared to lay out his general rules on these questions. Here's Hiatt's key graf:

'We are trying to learn from this episode here. When we publish a letter to the editor, we formally ask writers whether they have any conflict of interest that should be disclosed. By that we mean any relationship -- financial, family, employment or otherwise -- that a reasonable reader might consider relevant. We try to ascertain the same from op-ed writers, though the question has not been part of our official acceptance process. From now on it will be.'

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/horsesmouth/2007/04/did_fred_hiatt.php

Posted by: DD | April 13, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse


'In this edition, we breathlessly await Jay Carney's thoughts on Fred Thompson's incurable cancer, his likely entrance into the presidential race, and its impact on Thompson's two young children.'


--yeah, where is all the outrage about how Fred Thompson is being so 'ambitious' and 'selfish' -- you know, like John Edwards? I haven't heard a peep. Where is the outrage?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

As far as I can remember, there hasn't been a single plea for people to enlist in the armed services from a prominent figure since this began. It isn't simply that Operation Yellow Elephant was a failure, it's that they didn't try. We're paying record amounts in retention bonuses (not something I have a problem with), and now extending troop deployment times from one year to 15 months.

But, no patriotic call to service. Not even from St. McCain of Arabia.

Why? Are they afraid losing republican voters?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Colin there are no remedies against Judges and Prosecutors - you do not understand the system - only when there is public outrage

no one is saying mere negligence should be a basis for civil liability - but if you can prove the DA new the prosecutio was baseless then it is not negligence -

I agree suing for mere negligence would create problems - but giving a judge civil immunity even if you can prove he/she conspired to destroy you and used the bench to destroy you - that is not law and order

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The editoral page of most newspapers have been in support of GW from the start. Very few have been against the war in Iraq, no matter how it is going, since they supported it, and were promoteing it, from the beginning. Keep in mind that newspapers are big business themselves and it is only natural they would support themselves.

Posted by: lylepink | April 13, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Ra*e it. It's yours.'"---Hannity & Colmes, 6/20/01

The "backbone of the Democratic Party" is a "typical fat, implacable welfare recipient"---syndicated column 10/29/99

To a disabled Vietnam vet: "People like you caused us to lose that war."---MSNBC

Posted by: Ann Coulter | April 13, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Colin, the national money behind the Democratic Party, not the party, needs to come to Texas and help fund a highly qualified Latino Candidate for the US Senate - with 2 million up front he/she could plaster South and West Texas with Bill Boards from day one - this will shut down Radnofsky and send the Republicans into a tail spin -

John Cornyn has angered everyone for being in bed with BUSH

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
defending imus

http://balancingtheissues.com/donimus.htm

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

FYI I'm ignoring questions from anon posters. If you want me to answer, put something in the name field, and/or grow a sack, please.

As for Warner vs Davis:

The only way a Democrat wins in Va is:

1) The Republican really stumbles (Allen)
2) Northern Va shows up like crazy and makes up for general GOP slant throughout rest of state

Davis has enough NoVa bonafides to get a near split with Warner. He is mostly a moderate (DC voting rights, smart growth) who avoids championing social issues and can raise a ton of money.

Warner's strategy to win would be unbelievable turnout in Alexandria (Moran territory) and HR (Scott territory), along with a hurricane throughout the south valley.

Do-able, but I'd put the odds at 50-50 at best, pending any huge mistake by the Davis camp.

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Colin: I disagree, when a DA makes reprehensible comments to the press that are prejudicial to a case and are patenetly illegal, the people damaged by those statements should have a right to damages.

There is a concept is this country of innocent until proven guilty. When a DA makes a statement that is clearly contrary to this assumption, they should not only be immediately fired, but they also lose immunity for that behavior.

Prosecutorial Immunity should only be for statements made during the legal discourse of their duties. They should have no protection when they wantonly violate someones rights.

Posted by: Dan W | April 13, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The TExas Democratic Party has never run a Latino ticket - and they should not - all we are asking for is for the Texas Democratic Party to stop endorsing the non-latino candidate before the primaries - just give us a fair chance

Barbara Radnofsky has her campaign still going and has the full support of Austin -

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Mike B said:

"Fox is merely a tool to redirect that anger at something, anything!, other than the actual cause of their misery. This collection of sociopaths, exercising power in this country, are not conservatives, but genuine conservatives have tied their wagons to this train wreck and is going to suffer for it."

This is create creative thought - cool -

The real sad part is instead of CNN taking to task they hire Glenn Beck to try and compete with loonsey.

Before CNN Glenn Beck was able to spin some interesting satire - but since CNN he has lost his skills at satire and just become a mouth piece for whatever silly idea comes into his head before air time

Good post Mike

time for CNN to take Fox head on and make them out for what they are - stop trying to be FOX CNN

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Bobby -- didn't the Democratic party run a slate of latino candidates a few cycles ago? If memory serves, that didn't work out very well either.

For what it's worth, I think Texas statewide is probably still a tough nut to crack. However, I agree with you that Barbara R. was a HORRIBLE choice for Senate. Anyone who gave money to her -- and she raised quite a bit -- would have been better off flushing it down the toilet. Yikes.

Posted by: Colin | April 13, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Bobby -- I fully support free speech, including private citizens right to say hugely offensive things. I'm still not sure why that means Imus should have kept his job. That would have been REWARDING bad behavior as opposed to allowing it to continue. He can still say whatever he wants -- and I suspect he will in some venue. But his forum got taken away through others speech. That's the way things are supposed to work, isn't it?

Anyway, I suspect we largely agree on the issue of free speech. As to prosecutorial and judicial immunity, I must say I think you're more than a little off-base. Think about the policy implications involved if Judges and Prosecutors could be sued for negligence, etc. You would be creating a huge disincentive for those individuals to take on tough, unpopular issues.

Besides, there already are checks against abuse. Anyone can bring ethics charges against a Judge or Prosecutor. Although the result of such a proceeding may or may not always be correct, the procedure exists and is used to good effect in many instances. Moreover, Judges can be impeached if their conduct is sufficiently egregious. As someone who has worked in the Judicial system, I think that's more than enough.

Posted by: Colin | April 13, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Back to topic:

The proof that Howard Dean and the Democratic Party is run by anti-latino forces is seen in how they are managing Texas

in the last election cycle the Latino community was given a reason to get out and vote in Dallas County - as a consequence every elected Republican up for reelection was voted out of office - over 40 of them

Texas has a lot of electoral votes - with the exception of Richardson - no Democrat has a guaranteed win in Texas - but if you have a latino heading the ticket in Texas for US Senate then you give the Latino voter a reason to turn out

This will translate into votes for the Democratic Presidential candidate - this will force the Republicans to spend money in Texas to hold it - this is good.

But no - the National Democratic Party and Austin would rather loose than allow a Latino to head the ticket -

It is about strategy - running a Latino against John Cornyn will send the Republican Party of Texas into a tail spin

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
in defense of IMUS

http://balancingtheissues.com/donimus.htm

http://balancingtheissues.com/texas_democrats.htm

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

anon. 11:38 - This time Warner will loose. Wanna bet? The Republican Party has been taken over/bought by corporations. One of their own is in the White House and their people occupy the Presidency In Charge Of Vice and every other position of power. Yesterday's discussion of Fox News brought up the point, repeatedly, that it not news, Fox is all about the purposeful distortion of facts, feeding the anger of those in this country that have lost it to these same swine. Fox is merely a tool to redirect that anger at something, anything!, other than the actual cause of their misery. This collection of sociopaths, exercising power in this country, are not conservatives, but genuine conservatives have tied their wagons to this train wreck and is going to suffer for it. Take a good and honest look at Iraq. The Iraqi greeted us by dancing in the streets. They did so becasue they had seen Schwartzkauf's Army utterly wreck their army and they expected him back. They wanted to be on the winning side, to court favor, as it were. What they got istead was Dick Cheney's buddies, armed with briefcases, setting up shop to loot their country of everything that wasn't tied down. Right this minute there are nearly twice as many U.S. private corporate employees as soldiers in Iraq. They bill the U.S. government an average of $100 an hour, every hour, per employee. Halliburton and its various subsidiaries has been accussed of outright fraud, of overcharging the U.S. government for billions of dollars. This is, may I note, the same corporation that was supposed to be overseeing Walter Reed hospital and our other military hospitals. This is the same corporation that served our children spoil food in Iraq, reportedly operated torture cells, and regularly engages in bribes and all sorts of criminal activity, whose CEO moved himself and the corporate offices to Dubai so as to avoid prosecution in this country. And this is the same corporation that pays our sitting Vice President more than $2,000,000 a year! Boeing, Microsoft, Dell, General Electric, American Express, SUN, ITT, IBM, all have either been convicted of our are under active investigation for, similar illicit activities. This isn't about actual social or fiscal conservatives, this is about the wholesale hijacking, of an entire political party and the dimwits who still somehow buy it. Wake up. You have been defrauded. Bush and Cheney and Rice and the rest of them are no more conservatives that Al Sharpton. They are parasites, blood sucking ticks, that are sucking this country dry. And Mr. Warner and every other Republican, candidates and dimwits like you, that is associated with them is going to loose.

Posted by: MikeB | April 13, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse


'JD did not advocate murder. He made a comment that reflected the level of dislike for those two individuals.'


BS. Rationalize it all you like. You'd like to lynch them, that's all.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

JD did not advocate murder. He made a comment that reflected the level of dislike for those two individuals.

Posted by: Dan W | April 13, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Chris - You may be right about Harkin. He is way left, and Iowa is definitely at the very least in the center. The issue that may trip him up is illegal immigration. He's not where the voters are on this. And, many see him as no longer a vital voice in the Senate. It'll be interesting.

BTW, Imus said it, and it was an enough-is-enough utterance. You can thank the far right conservative movement for insult as entertainment... Limbaugh, Coulter, Savage, O'Reilly and Beck to name a few.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 13, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton: an angry, impotent white man.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

When did laughing become such a terrible thing - if these speech Nazi's win the community of ideas will die and so too will our nation.

Get a grip April and laugh

Bobby WC

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

You didn't answer, JD. You think it's ok to advocate murder?


'CC,

I think you mean "the lone Democratic senator" when referring to Sen. Landrieu, unless you are pulling a Bush and mangling the language "accidentally."

Democrat is not an adjective.'

CC is a repug, dude. Have you not figured that out?


Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

JD - Warner vs. Davis = Warner in a walk.

There's too much waffling by Davis that can be used to make him look like John Kerry. Start with the Tyson's Tunnel flip-flop.

Davis has little name recognition outside of the District of Columbia. Sorry, I meant DC and VA-11.

Rosemary and Bobb W-C - JD said essentially the same thing that Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seales and many others said. They were hardly impotent white men.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Rosemary said:

"Republicans. the party of angry, impotent white men."

Ahem... Wrong on 3 counts here.

You might try thinking before posting next time.

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey April, soon to change his/her name to May - is this the same judiciary that found there was no way Judge Lanier could have known raping women violated their civil rights and allowed Judge Lanier to walk after being convicted of violating the rights of these women in exchange for positive rulings?

For the record in a 9-0 opinion the Supreme Court later upheld his conviction on the idea of that which is obvious is obvious.

See US v. Lanier

Are you aware April that although there is no mention in the constitution of immunity for judges the US Supreme Court has found that even if you can prove the judge engaged in a criminal conspiracy to destroy you you cannot sue them for damages

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

CC,

I think you mean "the lone Democratic senator" when referring to Sen. Landrieu, unless you are pulling a Bush and mangling the language "accidentally."

Democrat is not an adjective.

Posted by: Mack | April 13, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Bob notes "Every time I hear Mike Ciresi mentioned in Chris' blog, it's "wealthy trial attorney Mike Ciresi". Perhaps he should change his name?"

Bob, that's how he's described here too, in the local rags. The description is not limited, in usage, to Chris.

Posted by: bsimon | April 13, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

In the last 4 US Sentate races during the course of the primaries the Democratic Party openly opposed the Latino candidate - in the first race four cycles ago - Morales could have beaten Phil Gramm - but Austin went psycho when Morales won the nomination and the party has been divided ever since -

In the last cycle when the latino community yelled foul after the Democratic Party Chair endorsed radnofsky before the primary the latino leadership was attacked openly by the Austin Democrats - Radnofsky called us a bunch of Republican plants

you can read below for a piece I published all over Texas - it got a lot of publicity - I received wonderful e-mails from latino leaders all over the US for having had the cajones to finally speak out

http://balancingtheissues.com/texas_democrats.htm

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Uh, excuse me, when will it be time for me to fawn on Hillary?

Posted by: lylepink | April 13, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

' I agree with you 100% - hopefully Congress will override the judicial activism of the federal judges and pass a law to make it easier to both civilly and criminally prosecute DA's such as in the Duke case -'

Further attempts to destroy the judiciary, the criminal justice system and the rule of law.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Chris -- here's one thing to keep track of as the races get closer. My NC Republican friends aren't wowed by Elizabeth Dole; the main criticism is that she's almost never to be found actually in North Carolina. Sen. Burr is here all the time, and as a result is pretty well-liked. But even Republicans are kind of disillusioned with "DC Dole".

Policy-wise, they are probably fine with her and will end up voting for her. But North Carolinians feel that she's neglecting the folks back home, and that could make her support here pretty tepid.

Posted by: AC | April 13, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Every time I hear Mike Ciresi mentioned in Chris' blog, it's "wealthy trial attorney Mike Ciresi". Perhaps he should change his name?

Posted by: Bob | April 13, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

excuse me I meant to type that CO has been electing pro-life democrats and Udall clearly is not.

Posted by: mountain man | April 13, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Josh. Udall is a Boulder liberal and does NOT have statewide appeal. He has a long liberal voting record and with the DNC being in Denver Udall will have a hard time seperating himself from his liberal elitist presidential contenders. Yes, CO has elected a lot of democrats lately but these are pro-choice pro gun democrats. Udall is clearly not in this camp and will face an uphill battle as voters get to know him. Chris if you have any polling data to suggest Udall is winnin I'd love to see it, if not then do a little more homework next time.

Posted by: mountain man | April 13, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Bobby W.C. - what is the evidence that Democrats in Texas are racist? just because they nominated an anglo candidate? You have to do better than that.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Republicans. the party of angry, impotent white men.

Go Rosemary - Now this is a billboard

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to eat Dennis Kucinich. Grrr....

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 13, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

'Sharpton and Jackson are race pimps, and will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes'.

I know you righties are full of nothing but hate, JD -- but there are laws against advocating murder, did you know that? It's not funny. You really hate black people, don't you? REally, really hate them.

Republicans. the party of angry, impotent white men.

Posted by: Rosemary | April 13, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

OK back on topic

Shaun, how can you be so sure that Warner will win? I think Tom Davis would be a tremendous opponent, and in fact I'd bet on him barring some tidal wave of Democratic sentiment and no macaca moments(which is why Allen lost, let's be fair here).

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Today it is being reported that "mysteriously" all of Rove's emails are missing. Sounds a lot like that gap on Nixon's tape. Worse yet, Cheney's emails are missing, too. I wonder of the Republican's are going to continue to support Rove, Cheney, and Bush or if they intend to crah in flames with the dirtbags in the Bush Administration? Bush's involvement is not yet clear, but at the very least is trust in Rove and Cheney, Wolfowitz and their criinal behavior is going to do more damage to Republican candidates that any single issue. I'd bet that every targetted Republican (and quite a few other, too) is going to out of work in the near future. It's simply too late to avoid the fallout from six years of being misled, incometence, and criminal behavior. This is what you can expect when you allow corporate CEO's and businessmen to run things. Our corporaions are run by a pack of sociopaths, we educate them in our business schools, they worship money and have no sense of decency, patriotism, nor morality.

Posted by: MikeB | April 13, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

FIRST, Republican officials should be ordered to immediately cease and desist from conducting further computer forensics on their computers. They've already acknowledged that they had to take actions specifically to prevent Rove, and Rove alone, from deleting his e-mails from the RNC server.

SECOND, get a warrant to seize Rove's computer. There's abundant probable cause that he was deliberately obstructing justice. It's a tacit admission that the RNC undertook its own Karl Purge Prevention Plan in 2005.

THIRD, obtain a warrant to search all the e-mail accounts Rove used: the one with the RNC, the one with the White House, and the one registered to his old political consulting company.

FOURTH, the Senate Judiciary Committee should subpoena the hard drives of the 22 White House officials--and a total of about 50 over the course of the Administration--who have used the political acccounts set up by the RNC. These accounts were being used specifically to conduct government business but avoid Congressional (and now media) scrutiny. As spelled out in detail yesterday, most of this material is not really "lost." As many of you pointed out, one would have to go to extraordinary lengths to destroy e-mail beyond all hope of retrieval. So if some of the sharper knives in the drawer deliberately gave their hard drives a magnet massage or rubbed down each drive platter with sand-paper, that is just as, if not more, damning than whatever their e-mails said.

FIFTH, Congress should officially order that all Justice Department, White House and RNC e-mail be preserved so that hitting the "delete" button will be a crime. The Executive Office of the President has "lost" over FIVE MILLION emails generated between March 2003 and October 2005. The RNC has "lost" countless e-mails pre-2005. Good news, guys! They're not really lost. You just don't know how to recover them.

SIXTH, Cngress should get a warrant to seize the servers from Smartech, Coptix and and Govtech, which are in the basement of the Capital Mark Bank & Trust building (formerly Pioneer Building) at 801 Broad Street in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.

SEVENTH, Congress needs to appoint an independent data-recovery engineer to examine the hard drives. Its the proverbial fox guarding the chicken coop to leave this task to the RNC.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

JD - I agree with you 100% - hopefully Congress will override the judicial activism of the federal judges and pass a law to make it easier to both civilly and criminally prosecute DA's such as in the Duke case -

but dude - the fact paying strippers to strip is common and legal does not mean you are of clean character - some in the news media are trying to depict these young men as clean as Beaver Cleaver - please - they were college boys out for a rise - maybe typical college boys but not clean as Beaver Cleaver

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The conventional wisdom is that the federal government deserves failing grades for computer security. After all, the big VA breach of a year ago has been followed by many more stories of agencies losing computers, suffering data breaches and failing to encrypt sensitive data. Today a House committee handed out security report cards for all federal agencies, The Washington Post reports.

The good news is that, overall, the feds aren't failing: The average grade is C-minus. The bad news is that many agencies with critical systems have indeed earned Fs: the departments of Defense, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Interior, State and Treasury, as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Not much better: the Department of Homeland Security earned a D, an improvement since 2005.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Senator Dole is my pick for #1. I mentioned this before about her appearance on Meet The Press a few weeks back. When I read or hear her name, the image and actions come to me immediately of just how bad it really was. The WaPo editoral about the Pelosi trip was a hit job "Big Time". "Accuse your opponent of doing what you are doing so that you will know what you are doing.", does't seem to be picked up by most. A quick check about the very thing the repubs are doing shows they are accusing the dems of doing. This appears in almost every piece, print and electronic, that is out for the general to see or hear.

Posted by: lylepink | April 13, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Mark Warner will be the next senator from Virginia if he runs. Period.

Posted by: Shaun | April 13, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

good question Colin - with the exception of the 13th Amendment - none of the rights amendments apply between the people -

It is not about his First Amendment rights in the context of being violated by the government - this has clearly not happened.

The idea behind the First Amendment has been injured - a free market place of ideas - look at what his statements did for us - we are talking about this offensive language which by no means is new - we are now challenging the statements and the producers of these statements - this is all good.

Without Imus none of this would be happening - let the market place do its job - as to profits - the 2 million dollars CBS makes on Imus is chump change - please -

his tasteless words were descripts for the concept tough and not racist - it is about substance - Buz Bizzinger says there are no real role models among black women and this is not racist - it is based on clear ignorance - again it is about substance

over 20 years ago I worked at a company where every one of my coworkers and supervisors were black female engineers - are they not accomplished? Buz is ignorant of these facts and that is real racisism

silencing speech in hopes of changing attitudes changes nothing - calling Buz to the mat over his clear ignorance forces people to examine the foundation of their beliefs - this changes everything

again colin, substance

Bobby WIghtman-Cervnates
www.balancingtheissues.com
http://balancingtheissues.com/donimus.htm
defending Imus and substance over form

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I hear what you're saying Bobby WC. I'm not going to condemn the kids though, that's a little bit too much for me, like blaming some rape victim because she wore nice clothes, was jogging at 3am in the park, got drunk at a party, etc...

They were doing something legal (I heard Anderson Cooper, a lefty if there ever was one, saying that if paying naked women to dance were a crime, then half of America would be in jail). A scumbag DA used it to ensure election in a predominantly black district. And Sharpton/Jackson decided to stick their noses into it because they are evil, evil people.

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Bobby -- Help me out again as to how Imus's first amendment rights were violated here? There's no constitutional right to be a radio personality. He said some bad stuff in this instance that caught the public's attention after saying racist and sexist things for a looooong time. The corporate folks decided he wasn't a good investment anymore and fired him. Really, that's just the market working. He's still free to say whatever he wants and will probably get hired by someone to say something somewhere. It just won't be to the same sized audience.

Also, not sure I understand why it should help Imus that others have and do say things that are just as bad or worse. I agree that's true, but why does that excuse his remarks? Racism and Sexism is alive and well, and I'm all for addressing it accross the board. But I'm still glad that this guy is gone, even if that only represents a start.

Posted by: Colin | April 13, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

JD - My big problem with the Duke case is - no one is talking about the fact these boys put themselves into the situation by believing it is okay to hire women desperate for money to entertain them sexually- they did not deserve what happened to them, but they did show poor character in hiring this women in the first place or going to a party where women are hired to provide sexual entertainment - these boys while innocent of a crime were clearly dirty in character

Bobby WC

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

At this time nothing is predetermined or shut up all of you pundit speculators!!!

http://www.enewsreference.com

Posted by: eNews Reference | April 13, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

the very fact he is popular is why he has no need to raise money - also - the fact he is not raising money for the sake of raising money speaks to his character.

Texas can be put in play if we can remove the white supremacists running the Democratic Party in Austin - the Latino community wants to run a candidate but Austin has already annointed Barbara Radnofsky as their candidate - she is the same women who lost to Kay Bailey on her wonderful campaign of "If I win I will bring mediation to our schools" yes the campaign of a US Senator.

It is so sad that Texas has been abandoned to the white supremacists KKK members of the Democratic Party - It is so sad the Dean does not see why it is important to the Democratic Party to give the Latino community a fair shot at running a candidate

John Cornyn has been Bush's biggest lapdog - he can be defeated

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com
http://balancingtheissues.com/donimus.htm

someone must defend speech and Don Imus

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Josh notes
"I would move Colorado down to #3 and move Minnesota up to #1...
[T]he decisive win in the '06 Senate race in Minnesota, coupled with the unusal circumstances that elected Norm Coleman in the first place and Mr. Coleman's decision to remain loyal to the far right make this the most vulnerable race in the country"

A lot will have to do with the caliber of the DFL (local nomenclature for Democrats) nominee. Senator Coleman has advertised himself as a moderate Republican, and some voters are buying the story. If the DFL nominates Franken, its quite possible that the race will be more competitive than expected. The really interesting aspect is whether two mediocre major-party candidates (i.e. Franken and Coleman) open the door for a 3rd party candidate. If nothing else, a 3rd party candidate will almost certainly act as a spoiler, the mystery is which candidate they will take votes from.

Posted by: bsimon | April 13, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey Bobby W-C, do you think that now the Duke boys have been exonerated, that Sharpton and Jackson will fly down to Raleigh to offer their apologies?

Sharpton and Jackson are race pimps, and will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with the comment that Minnesota should be #1. Yes, Colemanwas elected after the death of Paul Wellstone, but he was also giving Wellstone a strong challenge prior to his sad death. Sure, the landscape was very beneficial to Republicans that year, but don't simply write off Coleman. The Minnesota DFL needs to find the right candidate before that race deserves to be moved up. It took a while to talk Klobuchar into the race last cycle.

Iowa shouldn't be on this list. Yes their are three top tier Republican possibilities, but none have declared. Tom Latham is an empty suit and has only survived because the Dems haven't put a serious effort into taking his swing district. Iowa voters just rejected Jim Nussle and Steve King is far too conservative for the state. The Dem wave in Iowa has been building for some time (the Bush 2004 vote being the major exception)--they had made major gains in the state house and had won the governor's office within recent years before dominating the 06 elections.

Posted by: Andy | April 13, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. How on earth as a popular sitting senator do you manage to collect 500 dollars in the first quarter and not a penny more? What talent does it take to convince people NOT to donate...

As to a Davis-Warner fight. Warner will probably win. He's very popular. But if davis runs, then the GOP stands not only to be on the verge of losing a senate seat, Davis' house seat in NoVA might be gone to the dems as well.

Posted by: Frederik | April 13, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The entirefiring of Imus had to do with CBS and NBC feeling better and playing to the speech Nazi's - shame shame shame

here is the problem in a nut shell

To the racist Buzz Bizzinger the millions of black women who are successfully raising their children without a man in the house are not role models in how to overcome adversity. Or is it that Buzz Bizzinger does not believe that millions of black women are successfully overcoming the adversity caused by the failed leadership of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in addressing the real issues destroying black America?

Buzz makes a very clear statement based on racially motivated ignorance and he is given a pass - Imus uses racially and sexist insensitive words as a substitute for the word tough and he is destroyed.

There is no substance here - just game playing

The Imus affair could have been used to open the door to a discussion of substance about the accomplishment of black women in America - this is how you overcome the ignorance of Buzz Bizzinger - but no - the white media actually agrees with Buzz - because they all live in a box under the bridge of wealthy white America

They are the racists not Imus

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

http://balancingtheissues.com/donimus.htm

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"Moderate Republican" is an oxymoron. We wouldn't be in the mess we're in right now if there were any. Just look at their votes when it comes to Iraq. They are no better than robots when it comes to the party line. They can't even vote for their own bill if it means going against the party, for heavens sake.

"Moderate Republican" is an oxymoron. Dems would do well to repeat that as often as they can.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The Executive Office of the President (EOP) has lost over FIVE MILLION emails generated between March 2003 and October 2005. The White House counsel's office was advised of these problems in 2005 and Congress was told that the White House was given a plan of action to recover these emails, but to date nothing has been done to rectify this significant loss of records.

Posted by: 5 million | April 13, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

On April 11, NBC News announced that it was dropping MSNBC's simulcast of Imus in the Morning in the wake of the controversy that erupted over host Don Imus' reference to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." The following day, CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves announced that CBS -- which owns both the radio station that broadcast Imus' program and Westwood One, which syndicated the program -- has fired Imus and would cease broadcasting his radio show. But as Media Matters for America has extensively documented, bigotry and hate speech targeting, among other characteristics, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity continue to permeate the airwaves through personalities such as Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Michael Smerconish, and John Gibson.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200704120010

Posted by: link for quotes | April 13, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Did you learn from the Karl Rove School of English?

"The lone Democrat senator in the top five"

Dude, Democrat is not the preferred nomenclature. Democratic, please.

Posted by: tp | April 13, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Things I Learn From MSNBC

All black people are responsible for the behavior of every black person.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

'Imus firing had nothing to do with what he said - '

That's totally incoherent.

Posted by: Jane | April 13, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Why were responses to the previous Wag the Blog http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2007/03/wag_the_blog_is_hope_enough.html never posted?

Posted by: Golgi | April 13, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous guy, would it kill you to put a little effort into your posts? I can't figure out what you're talking about. It looks like you're quoting someone's letter to Fred Hiatt, but you don't say whose. It also looks like you cut out paragraphs from the post you're quoting. And since you don't give your source, there's no way to read the original. Even on the rare occasions when you post something that might be interesting, it's practically incomprehensible.

Posted by: Blarg | April 13, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh look! Somebody should send this info to George Allen:

'THURSDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have sequenced the genome of the rhesus macaque, providing more precise data on how humans are genetically different from primates.'

Posted by: drindl | April 13, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I keep hearing about how awful it will be in Iraq if the US leaves. How will it be worse than this? And of course, this is from a British paper. How much you wanna bet no US media touches it. because they're too cowed by cheney?

'Chilling accounts of hundreds of fatal encounters between the US military and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing a rare glimpse of the confusion and chaos of daily life in the conflict zones, were released by the Pentagon yesterday under the freedom of information act.

Four hundred and ninety-six files deal with Iraqi claims for compensation for family members killed by US forces between 2003 and 2006 and 17 from Afghanistan. The files, including handwritten notes from some of the soldiers involved, record the deaths of civilians killed mainly at checkpoints, or in their homes, or when US forces sprayed roads with gunfire to protect convoys.

Many of the deaths result from a failure of communication between US forces, most of whom do not speak Arabic, and civilians. Among the files is one relating to a mother shot dead and her two children wounded when the taxi they were in went through a checkpoint at Baqubah, north of Baghdad, in February last year.'

Posted by: Jane | April 13, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

'Amid mounting tensions along Turkey's border with the Kurdish region of northern Iraq the US has appealed for Ankara to show restraint. It comes after Turkey's top general called for a military operation in northern Iraq to quash Turkish Kurdish rebels hiding there.'

One of the other things that everyone with a brain knew would happen if we invaded iraq... war spreads to Turkey.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

drindle - Imus firing had nothing to do with what he said - it had to do with giving into the self-promoting p**ps Jackson and Sharpton - they used these accomplished women for their own agendas -

this is why no one and I mean no one is speaking to the accomplishments of black women in America - you overcome ignorance by speaking the truth - now you have Buz Bizzinger spreading even more ignorance while attacking Imus

there is no substance - and stop the indigation - there is nothing new here - except CBS and NBC giving into threats by Jackson and Sharpton -speech is a major victim here - even tasteless speech deserves a defense.

The following are the words from a Dean Martin song - "Open up the Dog House"

"There is just one way to handle a woman"
"Dean we just got to treat'em rough"
"Got to slap'em"
"that's right"
"we got to show'em who wears the pants"
"cut out that sisssy sissy stuff"
"now it ain't no use to take abuse"
"when ever they are crank or cross"
"let's put them in their place and show them who is the boss."

http://balancingtheissues.com/donimus.htm

The market place of ideas should decide who is and is not on the air - I find such language distasteful so I would never listen to it - but that does not mean it does not have value in the greater market place of ideas -

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

'Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, has just responded to my email to him about Liz Cheney's Post Op-ed today slamming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He explained why he thinks it's okay that the paper didn't identify her as the Veep's daughter in the description of her at the bottom of the piece.

Liz Cheney's Op ed is here. Though the piece is called "The Truth About Syria," the main hook for the article is an attack on Pelosi for traveling to Damascus. Ms. Cheney hammers Pelosi as "especially naive" for making the trip, and concludes: "Conducting diplomacy with the regime in Damascus while they kill Lebanese democrats is not only irresponsible, it is shameful."

Ms. Cheney is identified at the end of the piece as follows:

No mention that her pop's the Veep. Here's why this is highly questionable, in my view. Ms. Cheney's attack on Pelosi is eerily similar to the one launched on Pelosi recently by her father. So this Op ed looks like a clear effort to help him politically, by reiterating the attack, in however limited a way it does this in actual practice. What's more, this line of attack has a larger context: It is arguably designed to weaken Pelosi at a time when the House Dems she leads are locked in a critical political battle over Iraq with her dad's administration. And the WaPo editorial page has been one of the leading backers of the Bush-Cheney Iraq war.

Finally, this is not the first, but the second, piece by Ms. Cheney in the WaPo attacking one of her dad's leading political opponents in terms similar to those used by Veep Cheney himself (she wasn't fully identified at the end of the first one, either). This is on its way to becoming a pattern. And while many D.C. types know who Liz Cheney is, there's no way of knowing whether many of the Post's readers know this. So why not err on the side of full disclosure?''

this is the 'liberal media' right? come on, righties.. get over your delusions.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

'Mr. Giuliani has criticized some aspects of the American performance in Iraq, but has basically supported the President's plan without addressing its specific shortcomings. Asked about his day-to-day Iraq advisor, his campaign would only say that he speaks with many individuals, including former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.'

Oh my...Rudy had already lost me on foreign policy when I saw a piece he co-wrote with Newt Gingrich in the WSJ a while back comparing Iraq War strategy to his welfare reform/crime-fighting initiatives in New York. Baghdad ain't Bed-Sty, Mr. Mayor, I thought then. Seeing that his campaign thinks it a confidence-builder to note that Bolton is advising him on Iraq policy isn't exactly heartening either...With McCain hail-marying on the Iraq Surge, and Romney's, shall we say, confusing diversity of views on social issues (not to mention Mormon baggage), it's no wonder B actors are thinking of throwing themselves into the Republican presidential field. '

rudy = bush retread, maybe even worse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

'The virulent and growing anti-Wolfowitz movement at the World Bank--which may or may not result in his resignation--was a long time in coming. And according to observers inside and outside the bank, it has a lot more to do with a pattern of behavior than specifically what Riza was paid--a reported $193,590 annually, considerably more than the $183,500 paid to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice--or the fact that Wolfowitz's personal press rep, Kevin Kellems, reportedly had a whopping $240,000 salary (nearly what a World Bank vice president with 25 years experience might command). Instead, the discontent over Wolfowitz is a personality issue that dates back to his days as a single-minded Iraq hawk at the Pentagon. Then and now, Wolfowitz's problem has always been what many see as his monomania, his obsessive focus on the One Big Issue That Would Solve All--after 9/11, it was democracy in the Arab world; at the World Bank, it was Third World corruption--and his deep mistrust of the very institution whose support he needed and whose sympathies he is now calling for.'

I love wolfie talking about 'third-world' corruption. Guess the US is the third world now. Pretty much...

Posted by: Jane | April 13, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse


'Bobby: Be sure to read Snoops senitive remarks on the subject. Does this mean that Advertisers will also refuse to sponsor programs that have rap music?'

They should. Imus was wrong and they are wrong. But a lot of people apparently like that kind of stuff. Imus is popular, so is rap. Too bad for our country, folks, racism and sexism are very popular and commercially successful. Too bad people eat it up, too bad corporations then are willing to shovel it to us. We seem to have sunk to the lowest common denominator, which is appealing to our basest instincts.

Look at the crap on TV. I can't even watch it anymore. It's all humiliation. Sick.

Posted by: drindl | April 13, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Bobby: Be sure to read Snoops senitive remarks on the subject. Does this mean that Advertisers will also refuse to sponsor programs that have rap music?

http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=63d1efb3-e595-40c8-8cd6-cd7d2d6bf4f6&page=2

Posted by: Dan W | April 13, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

If Texas can find a real candidate to run -John Cornyn may be open to a real challenge - he has been 100% Bush's lapdog - which is a shame because he was known as one of the most fair Justices on the Texas Supreme Court - such as Dick he went south and contemptable of the people the second he got in bed with Bush.

I do not get America - Don Imus uses some tasteless words in the context of saying tough and that is racist - Buz Bizzinger says that there are almost no black women in America as roll models and he is not a racist - the millions of black women who are struggling and making it through the crisis of family in the black community are not roll models according to Buz - idiot

have we died as a nation when it comes to substantive meaning? - we can certainly see that in the way some of the blogging occurs

What kind of nation sacrifices one man for the sins of a nation as a whole? A nation lost in the wilderness and without a soul.

http://balancingtheissues.com/donimus.htm

Anyway - watch Texas - Cornyn may be the ultimate payback by the people for Bush

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 13, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Just to start a new trend and actually make a posting on topic...

Tom Davis and Mark Warner for Va. And it'll be a very close dogfight.

Posted by: JD | April 13, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

RE: NH-Sen:

Absolutely is recruitment essential in the race against Sununu. I mean, look what a fantastic job the DCCC did sticking themselves in the NH-01 Congressional race by endorsing Jim Craig pre-primary. I wonder how current Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter feels about that.

You link to Shaheen's bio, but not to Marchand's and Swett's campaign web sites, two fine people who, unlike Shaheen, are actually running and raising money and support:

Steve Marchand:
http://stevemarchand.com/

Katrina Swett:
http://swettforsenate.com/

Posted by: Dean | April 13, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I would move Colorado down to #3 and move Minnesota up to #1. Mark Udall is popular in Democratic circles but he doesn't have the same broad appeal Ken Salazar or Bill Ritter had. Many feel Mark Udall is owed this chance because he backed out in '02 and '04. Dems have a great chance here, but to achieve that #1 status on The Line, John Hickenlooper or someone with a more centrist appeal would have to enter the race.
On the other hand, the decisive win in the '06 Senate race in Minnesota, coupled with the unusal circumstances that elected Norm Coleman in the first place and Mr. Coleman's decision to remain loyal to the far right make this the most vulnerable race in the country.

Posted by: Josh | April 13, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

'The NYT and WP front a look at the scandal that has engulfed World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. Yesterday, Wolfowitz made a public apology for getting involved in arranging a pay raise and guaranteed promotion for his longtime companion, Shaha Riza. When Wolfowitz tried to address staff members gathered in the bank building's atrium, he was met with boos, hissing, and chants calling for his resignation. The bank's staff association has called for Wolfowitz's resignation.'

American corruption becomes the world's laughingstock.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove is the guiltiest man on the planet... well except dick cheney. 100% evil.

'A lawyer for the Republican National Committee told congressional staff members yesterday that the RNC is missing at least four years' worth of e-mail from White House senior adviser Karl Rove that is being sought as part of investigations into the Bush administration, according to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Earlier in the day, a truck bomb destroyed the Sarafiya bridge, which was built more than 50 years ago and was a powerful symbol as it connected the mostly Shiite eastern side of the city with the predominantly Sunni west. In a separate piece inside, the NYT explores the significance of the bridge, and says that after the explosion people gathered on either side of the river and wept, "as if they had lost someone they loved."

This made me feel so ashamed. What have we done?

Posted by: Jane | April 13, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

The bombing inside the Green Zone is particularly symbolic because it shows how even the most fortified area of the country is not safe from attacks. As the NYT notes up high, citizens might start wondering how a government that can't even keep itself safe could protect them. The LAT gets word from an Iraqi security official who said there are suspicions that the suicide bomber was a woman. Meanwhile, many suspect this was all an inside job.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

There's a history of American policy czars--grey eminences solemnly appointed by presidents to untangle the day's knottiest problems (drug czar, energy czar, inflation czar, etc.)--and each chapter has been a tale of frustration and woe.
The reasons for failure have been the same in each instance.
First, the sources of the problem are beyond any one person's grasp.

Second, the president names a czar because the normal government agencies have failed or don't know what to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The alleged "D.C. madam" dropped a name in court documents filed Thursday, but the man named bristled at being accused of hiring the high-end escort service run by Deborah Jean Palfrey.

Government prosecutors say Pamela Martin and Associates was actually a prostitution ring that Palfrey operated in the Washington area for 13 years. Palfrey denies that her business provided sexual services to its customers.

In her motion to reconsider appointment of counsel, Palfrey named Harlan K. Ullman as "one of the regular customers" of the business.

Ullman is one of the leading theorists behind the "shock and awe" military strategy that was associated with the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"The allegations do not dignify a response," Ullman told CNN. "I'm a private, not a public, citizen. Any further questions are referred to my attorneys."

Ullman -- a former Navy commander and "a highly respected and widely recognized expert in national security whose advice is sought by governments and businesses," according to his Web site -- also said he is considering "some sort of legal action."

His attorney, Marc Mukasey of Bracewell & Giuliani in New York, declined to add to his client's comment.'

Mr. Shock and Awe himself -- Rudy's got a finger in every pie in DC -- knows all the big warmongers and wh*remongers and privatizers and corporate profiteers. Exactly the right guy if you're looking to keep going just exactly as we are now far into the forseeable future -- spending everything we've got on unwinnable unnecessary wars, secret no-bid contracts and a giant, bloated defense department buying every shiny toy it sees.

Course it will be a very short future, because none of that money actually goes to protecting our ports and borders.

Posted by: drindl | April 13, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I hope so called GOP moderates like Susan Collins gets her clocked cleaned in November '08. She's as responsible for the mess this country is in as any right wing nut job.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | April 13, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

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