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Sen. Hagel Won't Seek Reelection in 2008

The Omaha World-Herald is reporting -- and The Post's Jonathan Weisman has confirmed -- that Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will announce Monday that he will not seek a third term in 2008 nor run for any other national office.

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska
Sen. Hagel's decision creates another opportunity for Democrats. (AP photo)

The news that Hagel will leave the Senate creates a potentially competitive open seat, with former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) and former Gov. Mike Johanns (R) -- two titans of Cornhusker politics -- mentioned prominently as his replacement.

Hagel is the third Republican senator to announce he will not seek reelection next November. He follows Sens. John Warner (Va.) and Wayne Allard (Colo.) out the door.

After putting off a decision roughly six months ago, Hagel's political prospects had grown dimmer and dimmer. Once considered a potentially viable presidential candidate, he had watched as others bypassed him in money and organization. His fierce opposition to President Bush's strategy in Iraq also left him as an odd man out in the Senate Republican Conference. His willingness to buck party orthodoxy had also drawn him a primary challenger in the form of state Attorney General Jon Bruning.

With Hagel out, Johanns, currently the Secretary of Agriculture, will come under considerable pressure from national Republicans to make the race. Johanns was an all-but-announced candidate against Sen. Ben Nelson (D) last cycle but was named to his current post by Bush in January 2005. Republican sources suggest that Johanns is more likely than not to return to Nebraska and run.

If Johanns is in the race, he could well clear the primary. The X-factor in that equation is Bruning, who reported raising more than $700,000 in the last fundraising period and is unapologetically ambitious for higher office. Bruning may be urged to stand down by party leaders and wait his turn -- he is still in his 30s -- but may or may not choose to cut short a bid for Senate.

Should Johanns decide against the race, Bruning would be the early frontrunner but would not likely have the field to himself, as former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub among many others have expressed interest.

On the Democratic side, Kerrey, who served in the Senate from 1988 to 2000 and ran for president in 1992, seems to have the right of first refusal. In an e-mail exchange with The Fix on Friday, Kerrey said he didn't know what Hagel had decided and added that he would not make any decision about his own future "before spending time reflecting on [Hagel's] service."

Sources familiar with Kerrey's thinking paint him as genuinely undecided. On the one hand he is content with his life in New York City as president of the New School; on the other, he pines at times to be part of the policy debate in the country, particularly as it relates to the war in Iraq.

If Kerrey takes a pass, Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey -- a protege of the former senator and governor -- would be the obvious choice. Fahey has said he would be interested in an open-seat Senate race. If both men don't run, Scott Kleeb, who ran a stronger-than-expected race for the open 3rd District congressional seat in 2006, would likely get the call.

Democrats insist that under no circumstances will there be a primary between the three names mentioned above.

Make sure to check out The Post tomorrow for more on Hagel's decision and the race to replace him.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 8, 2007; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Good. Where was he when we needed him? He got real tough, real anti-war when it was convieant. Where was he when it mattered? He should go. Like every other gop member who has traded party/self over country

Posted by: rufus | September 10, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I personally have no way of judging the accuracy of what Petraeus will say, but the fact that his "report" is actually going to be a White House document is certainly cause for some speculation. Below is Georgetown professor and terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman, from today's Post, on the wisdom or lack thereof of our military adventure in Iraq.
It's only an excerpt, but the whole article is here

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/07/AR2007090702056.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

if you don't feel like looking for it. It's worth reading. Once again, I do not want to judge Petraeus, whom I don't know, nor his testimony, which I have not heard. I think however it is fair to judge the judgment of Bush and the Bushies in the White House - who will actually write the damn thing - based on what Hoffman says below.

"The U.S. invasion of Iraq presented al-Qaeda with the opportunity to put his arguments into practice. As long ago as the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Zawahiri had explained al-Qaeda's strategy in response to what he was already decrying as a repressive U.S.-led occupation. "We thank God," he declared in September 2003, "for appeasing us with the dilemmas in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Americans are facing a delicate situation in both countries. If they withdraw, they will lose everything, and if they stay, they will continue to bleed to death."

Sure enough, what U.S. military commanders had optimistically described four years ago as the jihadist "magnet" or "flytrap" designed to capture al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq was having precisely the opposite effect, according to Zawahiri's plan: It was enmeshing the U.S. military in a debilitating war of attrition.

The U.S. entanglement in Iraq had an even more incalculable benefit for al-Qaeda. Our preoccupation first with an escalating insurgency and more recently with an incipient civil war consumed the attention of the U.S. military and intelligence communities at a time when bin Laden, Zawahiri and other al-Qaeda commanders were in desperate straits. With the United States trapped in Iraq, bin Laden and Zawahiri were able to save their own skins. For Zawahiri, Iraq was a means of distracting U.S. attention while al-Qaeda regrouped under his his aegis."

Posted by: Bokonon | September 10, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

1) I probably disagree with JD more than I agree with him. But that MoveOn.org ad is just assinine.

2) Every sports fan is familiar with the announcer's quote "Hawk, they may be six runs down here in the bottom of the Ninth, but they don't give up. They came to play!" (see White Sox last friday night).

General Petraeus is in the same position. I'd be disappointed if Petraeus said anything other than success is possible. He has four stars because his thought process begins with "What does it take towin?" This is what he trained for, this is what he lives for - he has to believe that it is possible! As long as the President says "we're staying," his Commander has to actually think that his tactics will work.

Once the C-I-C decides that it's time to realign forces, then the Commander can start to think about how to that.

Otherwise, he's planning for defeat, politically and militarily.

I can't imagine Petraeus saying anything other than "success is possible."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Claudia. I hope you're having a wonderful day.

No, I'm not a Republican. And btw, I want the troops out of Iraq (does *that* now establish my indie bona fides? Wow, the vitriol of some is scary...)

The point behind the 'snotty comment', is, that Patreus is not some White House flak or spinmeister, and he ain't on Bush's payroll (well, not exactly). He's the senior commander in the field, a brilliant military mind, and a patriot IMHO. And Move-on doesn't even WAIT FOR THE REPORT before pulling a stunt like that.

That, miss Claudia, is why half of the country questions the patriotism of the extreme left. And when the 'mainstream left' does nothing to condemn those comments, they are (rightfully IMHO) painted with that same broad brush.

Posted by: JD | September 10, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

jd, I read Dave's ? and thought I read your name [7:41A]. Sorry.

MoveOn.org must be run by superannuated college sophomores. Operating at the level of the counter-Coulter with not-clever name calling tends to destroy their credibility, if they ever had any. I promise not to quote MoveOn as an authority for either information or opinion.

drindl, I only asked if y'all were going to listen in...I intend to. But I have been listening and reading, as you have for weeks, and I will not be hearing in a vacuum of virginity or even with the cool objectivity I would prefer to bring to the subject. I believe both of them are honorable public servants who have already given the kind of mixed reports that will tend to lead to different conclusions from different folks.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 10, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

..

Posted by: claudialong | September 10, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Here, JD, for your snotty comment about 'supporting the troops' I will let Matthew Dowd, former Republican and chief strategist for Bush in 2004, answer that:

' I share these thoughts as neither a Republican nor a Democrat. While I did serve as Chief Strategist for President Bush in the 2004 campaign, I now consider myself an independent and feel it is a good time to offer what I hope you will find is a measured, reflective and objective analysis of where Democrats and Independents and a large portion of Republican voters stand on the Iraq war today.

1. In the public's mind, the Iraq War was a mistake, and continuing the status quo is simply continuing on with a mistake. As a result, most Americans now view the situation in Iraq as a "rearview" mirror issue -- meaning that the public believes it is time to focus on the process of ending our involvement and getting out quickly. They see American troops as targets in a place we aren't wanted, and they desire a plan which achieves responsible withdrawal in the quickest and safest way.

2. The public does not see withdrawal from Iraq as a signal America doesn't support the troops. In fact, the public sees removing the troops from harm's way and having them in a place where the mission is supported, welcomed and understood as the most proper way to support our troops.'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-dowd/war-in-iraq-wisdom-of-c_b_63677.html

PS> Why do you always say you are not a Republican? You clearly are.

Posted by: claudialong | September 10, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Mark, not sure what question you think I asked; I haven't read this blog since Thurs, not counting my wise-a$$ remark about ambassadors always being donors, from this morning.

Frankly, I don't know much about Kerrey, and Hagel was too fringe anyway (from the Repub POV).

PS anyone see the Moveon.org ad in the NYT today, directed at "General Betray-us". Good thing the fringe left still supports the troops....

Posted by: JD | September 10, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the long previous post, didn't realize I was posting the whole thing. Anyway, this is the other reason that what I think we're going to hear is bogus --Iraqis:

'Poll Highlights Disconnect Between U.S. Commanders, Iraqis
BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 -- Seven out of 10 Iraqis believe that the U.S. troop buildup in Baghdad and Anbar province has made security worse in those areas, while just as many say their own lives are going badly, according to a new poll conducted by ABC News, the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), and the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The poll reveals a disconnect between U.S. commanders' view of a steadily improving situation in Iraq and a bleaker outlook among Iraqis. As Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker prepare to testify before Congress on Monday and Tuesday about the results of the troop increase, poll numbers show that ordinary Iraqis are significantly more likely to say "things are going badly" than in the early days of the increased military presence in March...

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/horsesmouth/2007/09/poll_huge_major.php

Posted by: drindl | September 10, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Another reason i doubt Petreus -- his conflation of 'al queda in Iraq' -- a new sunni insurgent group, not connected with bin ladin -- with those who attacked us.

'Attempting to drum up public support for the war in Iraq in July, President Bush referred to al Qaeda 95 times in a single speech, claiming the war in Iraq has become the central front in the fight against al Qaeda (AQI):

There's also a debate about al Qaeda's role in Iraq. Some say that Iraq is not part of the broader war on terror. They complain when I say that the al Qaeda terrorists we face in Iraq are part of the same enemy that attacked us on September the 11th. ... I say that there will be a big defeat in Iraq and it will be the defeat of al Qaeda.

Echoing Bush, Gen. David Petraeus also argued that al Qaeda is "public enemy number one" in Iraq. Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner said AQI was the "principle threat" to the Iraqi people.

But in a new report, the Congressional Research Service notes that attacks from al Qaeda are only a small percentage of the violence in Iraq, criticizing the Bush administration's statistics and noting that this false reporting on AQI has increased since Bush's "surge" began:

Increasingly in 2007, U.S. commanders have seemed to equate AQ-I with the insurgency, even though most of the daily attacks are carried out by Iraqi Sunni insurgents.

Similarly, ret. Gen. James Jones, author of a major report on Iraqi security forces, acknowledged to Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) this week that 98 percent of violence in Iraq is "Iraqis fighting amongst Iraqis":

BAYH: [T]wo percent or fewer of the adversaries that we're facing in Iraq and that the Iraqis are facing in Iraq are foreign jihadis or AQI affiliates, [and] 98 percent or more are Iraqis fighting amongst Iraqis for the future of Iraq. Is that consistent with your understanding?

JONES: I think we would agree with that. Yes.'

http://thinkprogress.org/?tag=Administration

Posted by: drindl | September 10, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"Are y'all gonna have one ear on the Petraeus-Crocker hearings today?"


I really need to bring a radio in to the office...

Sounds like Biden plans to give the General a hard time.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/09/AR2007090900334.html?hpid=sec-politics

Posted by: bsimon | September 10, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Mark, just in case you were under the impression that Crocker and Petraeus were 'non-partisan', who do you think they are giving an EXCLUSIVE interview to? Why Fox News, of course.

'On Fox News Sunday this morning, host Chris Wallace announced the interview:

WALLACE: Now a special program note. Tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on the Fox News Channel, Brit will have an exclusive interview with General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker about the state of the Iraq war and their testimony to Congress.'

Posted by: drindl | September 10, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Here's why I think listening to Crocker is a waste of time:

'In recent days, the White House has begun a public campaign to rally the American public around "a lengthy U.S. troop presence in Iraq like the one in South Korea," where U.S. troops have been stationed for 50 years.

President Bush offered the Iraq-South Korea comparison late last month, and Press Secretary Tony Snow confirmed soon afterwards that the administration envisioned a long-term occupation of Iraq. Defense Secretary Robert Gates endorsed the Korea model last week, and Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, who oversees daily operations in Iraq, called it a "great idea."

Comparing the Iraq war to a "five-reel movie," U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker this morning announced his support for the concept of a long-term U.S. occupation. He told NPR that he doesn't "see an end game in sight" in Iraq.'

Now, if you would have asked a Republican before the war, or even many now, if the US were going to permanently occupy Iraq, they would have called you a conspiracy theorist. However, this is precisely what they intend to do, and now they are starting to say it out loud.

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/06/crocker-iraq-end-game/

Posted by: drindl | September 10, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I don't think it's a matter of being a party loyalist with Kerrey -- from what I understand, he's just egotistical and contrary, so I'm not a fan.

I have respect for Petreus, but I think under the circumstances, he's going to do what he's told, and I hate to see a good man used this way. Ryan Crocker too, is an honorable man, but both are under a great deal of pressure to put a positive spin on an abominable situation. They will continue to ask for another 6 months--every 6 month, ad infinitum.

I honestly believe that as long as war profiteering remains legal and profits continue to be high, no one in power has any motivation for ever ending this war, unless it become very painful politically.

Posted by: drindl | September 10, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Kerrey is prickly and difficult to get along with [I know folks in NYC who deal with him at the New School,] but still, a marginally D pickup which could help give D's a veto-proof majority. Hagel, though, was better than most R's although the e-voting machine thing really bothered me - still does.

It's shocking that partisans own and control ANY voting machine--even going so far as to say that no one else is allowed to check the programming because it's 'proprietary.' That's insane and I doubt happens in any other country besides banana republics. Which is what cronyism and the push for privatization and profit over the public interest has made us into.

Posted by: drindl | September 10, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Kerrey endorsed Hagel in 2002 - so he might have problems with loyalist Ds in Neb.

Of course, his inability to be a party loyalist scores points for him with me, but I am not a member of any state party executive committee.

Are y'all gonna have one ear on the Petraeus-Crocker hearings today?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 10, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

JD, several years ago, Kerrey and Mario Cuomo talked about running for Prez, maybe on C-Span. Kerrey asked how Cuomo could ever get used to the idea of following a script and Cuomo said he couldn't which is why he never ran for Prez. Then Kerrey said his own inability to say the same speech four times a day marked his own 1992 run for failure. He allowed as how we was impatient and liked variety and thought he might not run again for Senate [in 2000, I think].

Not much of an answer to your question, but its "all I got".

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 10, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The Wall Street Journal leads its worldwide newsbox with news that the United States is planning to build a military base near the Iraq-Iran border to 'help keep smuggled weapons from reaching Shiite militias'

or to attack Iran?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 7:58 AM | Report abuse

A study says liberal brains "are more responsive to informational complexity." Test: You sit in front of a computer screen and wait for a letter to appear on it. You're supposed to tap your keyboard if it's an M, but not if it's a W. The experimenters mix it up but give you more M's than W's to see whether you get lulled into tapping when you shouldn't. Results: 1) On M's, liberals and conservatives responded equally well. 2) On W's, liberals were twice as likely to be among the more accurate responders. 3) On electrical measurements of the brain area that monitors conflict "between a habitual tendency ... and a more appropriate response," liberals were five times more likely to show brain activity.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

GT said, "You should see the yokel that Bush appointed as US Ambassador to my country just because he raised heaps of money for his campaign. No foreign experience or knowledge of our region at all."

And in other news, Pope found to be Catholic, and sun rises in the East.

Dude, it's always been that way, and always will.

Posted by: JD | September 10, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 -- Seven out of 10 Iraqis believe that the U.S. troop buildup in Baghdad and Anbar province has made security worse in those areas, while nearly as many say their own lives are going badly, according to a new poll conducted by ABC News, the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), and the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The poll reveals a fundamental disconnect between U.S. commanders' view of a steadily improving situation in Iraq and a much bleaker outlook among Iraqis. As Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker prepare to testify before Congress on Monday and Tuesday about the results of the troop increase, poll numbers show that ordinary Iraqis are significantly more likely to say "things are going badly" than in the early days of the increased military presence in March.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me why Bob Kerrey stood down from the Senate in the first place? seems a bit odd that he would leave and then come back for the same position?

Posted by: Dave | September 10, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

You should see the yokel that Bush appointed as US Ambassador to my country just because he raised heaps of money for his campaign. No foreign experience or knowledge of our region at all.

Posted by: GT | September 10, 2007 1:45 AM | Report abuse

For two hours, President Bush listened to contrasting visions of the U.S. future in Iraq. Gen. David H. Petraeus dominated the conversation by video link from Baghdad, making the case to keep as many troops as long as possible to cement any security progress. Adm. William J. Fallon, his superior, argued instead for accepting more risks in Iraq, officials said, in order to have enough forces available to confront other potential threats in the region.

The polite discussion in the White House Situation Room a week ago masked a sharper clash over the U.S. venture in Iraq, one that has been building since Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Middle East operations, sent a rear admiral to Baghdad this summer to gather information. Soon afterward, officials said, Fallon began developing plans to redefine the U.S. mission and radically draw down troops.

Posted by: the truth | September 10, 2007 1:32 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorneys for Sen. Larry Craig are expected to file papers Monday to withdraw his guilty plea to a Minnesota disorderly conduct charge, a source with knowledge of the case told CNN.

Craig's attorneys are expected to argue that the Idaho Republican suffered a "manifest injustice" at the hands of the police officer who arrested him in a men's room at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport in June, the source said.

Craig, 62, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge in August after his arrest on allegations that he made sexual advances to an undercover police officer in the airport restroom. He announced Sept. 1 that he would resign at the end of the month, but told Senate leaders last week that he would remain in office if he was able to get the plea overturned.''

Yes, Larry, stay in office. Let'sget it all out in the open. Let's talk about the page scandals, way back when, shortly before your precipitous marriage to a female staffer and adoption of her children. Let's talk about all the men who have come forward to volunteer their relationshsip with you.

This is the most incredible hubris. They honestly beleive that they can get away with anything,, that voters are THAT stupid. Are we there yet? I hope to God not, but the signs are not promising.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

I see Shaleigh Murray and Dan balz, the so-called political reporters of the WaPo, continue their relentless attack on the Democratic party -- same sh*t, different day.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

'ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The plane carrying former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif landed at the Islamabad airport Monday morning, marking a return to the country from which he was driven into exile for seven years.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrives at London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday.

It was not clear if the government would allow Sharif, who was ordered into exile following the 1999 coup that deposed him, to remain in the country.

Commandos entered the Pakistan International Airlines jetliner after it landed at Islamabad airport and surrounded Sharif, according to an Associated Press reporter on board the plane.

Sharif was refusing to hand over his passport to immigration officials who were also on the plane, the AP reported.

Sharif's flight departed London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday night, as crowds of Pakistanis turned out to see him depart for an uncertain future in a country in turmoil.

Workers and leaders of Sharif's party, the Muslim League, along with journalists accompanied him on the flight.

In Pakistan, ahead of his arrival, the government arrested more than 2,800 of Sharif's supporters, including members of parliament, police sources said. Most of those arrested were in Punjab province, a stronghold of support for Sharif, police sources said. Also arrested early Monday were Pakistan Muslim League Chairman Zafar ul Haq and Acting President Jawaid Hashmi.'

Houston, we have a problem. A very big, big problem.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Thanks DcAustinite for setting the record straight on Max Cleleland -- another victim of the vicious smear campaign against democratic veterans by the rightwingers.. Man, the ferociousness, the vileness of the attacks against people who have served their country with honor, who have lost limbs, even.. it's always just makes me me feel dizzy and sick that there are people in this country who are so filled with hate, like this John character--who hate Democrats far more than they could ever hate al Quedaa, or bin Ladin, or any true enemy of this country.

When you realize how much they hate YOU, as a democrat, how much they would like to see you dead, or kill you--look at the murderous hate seeping into everything they write --don't you wonder how we got here?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Osama bin Laden may be grabbing headlines with a new videotape but he is "virtually impotent," said President Bush's national security adviser.

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden appears in a videotape urging Americans to embrace Islam.

"This is a man on the run in a cave who is virtually impotent other than his ability to get these messages out," Frances Townsend said Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."

She called the tape, which surfaced last week, "propaganda."

The U.S. is taking the tape "very seriously" and is piecing through it for clues, but the al Qaeda leader is not known to have ever used a tape "to trigger any operational activity," said Townsend.

Townsend said the U.S. has "no specific or credible information right now about an imminent attack."

She added the "ongoing plots around the world" are concerning.

"And we continue to make sure that the information is being shared not only with our agencies overseas, but our investigative agencies here at home like the FBI and local police departments."

Townsend was referring to the arrests in Germany last week of suspects planning an alleged terror plot aimed at U.S. military installations and other Western targets. Also last week in Denmark, authorities arrested eight people who were planning attacks.'

"This is a man on the run in a cave who is virtually impotent other than his ability to get these messages out,"

For a 'man on the run in a cave' -- which is kind of interesting imagery in itself -- he sems to be something less than impotent, when he has the ability to get the entire world to listen to his messages --and 'ongoing plots around the world' are 'concerning'? yes they are, maam, yes they are. And she called the tape 'propaganda'? and what do you feed the world everyday yourself, lady?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

"I called you a possible "tecchie" on the previous thread. I do not know what you do - no offense was intended!"


Guilty as charged. Database work, primarily.

Posted by: bsimon | September 9, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, I did see the line:

"But the United States must act if Pakistan will not."

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 9, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, we could have used your calm skepticism.

I called you a possible "tecchie" on the previous thread. I do not know what you do - no offense was intended!

I am watching Biden on MTP on MSNBC right now. G'night, y'all.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 9, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"Many people would consider it "wrongdoing" to make somebody a trustee because they give lots of dough to the Democratic Party." - John

John, are you an imbecile? B/c that may have been the single most naive/idiotic thing I have ever read - on this forum at least.

Do you have any idea how many people Bush has appointed to positions of influence simply b/c they were campaign donors? He has appointed AMBASSADORS with NO EXPERIENCE working with foreign countries simply b/c they were "rangers" - they raised over $100,000 for his campaign. An ambassador is a much higher and much more important position than a silly New School University trustee. It's funny John, I don't think I've read you go on a rant about all of the unqualified people Bush has appointed to IMPORTANT posts simply they were donors. So, by your logic, Bush has committed quite a lot of "wrongdoing". Gee, maybe he should prosecuted and strung up in the public square for engaging in the ages-old political act of rewarding those who helped you win elections with jobs, huh?

You've got some serious chutzpah acting like Hsu was the first person ever awarded a post b/c he raised some money. Either that or you are simply just that ignorant. Neither possibility speaks very highly of you.

Posted by: Ohio guy | September 9, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

looks like I missed some good discussion this weekend.

Mark, thanks for the link. Did you notice the Obama-like call for action in Pakistan, if Pakistan doesn't act?

Posted by: bsimon | September 9, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Primer for John: University Trustees and Regents are chosen for their ability to raise money for the university, either through their pockets or through their business and political contacts.

For example, when Republicans control a state, like mine, the governor will see to it that strong R fundraisers with contacts are named to the state universities' Boards. That is a good thing for Texas and Texas A&M. Fundraising is even more challenging for private universities - one historically liberal college in Ohio, Antioch, did not play this game well and after 100+ years will now close.

Anyone who is shocked that Kerrey found D fundraisers to serve on the Board at New School who actually raised way more money for the school than any previous crew over a similar time frame has never been around any successful university's politics.

Colin and drindl, thank you for your kind words on the previous thread.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 9, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, a university president wanted to appoint someone to the board because he was a generous donor. DUH!!! A university president's main job in this day and age is to raise money. It happens all the time at universities large and small across this country. Being a generous donor is probably the single most important factor in being appointed to a university board.

As for the supposed "war crimes", I cannot improve upon Mark's post.

Kerrey has been arguing against a percipitious withdrawal from Iraq - a position shared by me and Mark in Austin among others. As I have stated many times, I more upset about the sheer incompetence in which the occupation has been handled than the invasion itself - which I believe was a mistake but I do not impugn the motives of people who supported it - other than the delusional neocon clique whose lack of realistic planning for and incompetent management of the post invasion situation borders on criminal negligence.

Posted by: JimD in FLq | September 9, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Lets see. Bob Kerrey supports the Iraq war, which you people pretend to be vehemently opposed to. Except when it's more convenient not to.

Kerrey appointed a wanted man to the board of trustees of his school, simply because that man was a generous donor to the Democratic Party.

Kerrey was accused of being a war criminal by, among others, the Vietnamese government. He gave an apology-cum-confession in which he basicaly admitted the charge was correct.

But none of these things bother you guys in the slightest, as long as you think he may help you pick up a Senate seat.

I think you will find that the voters of Nebraska are not quite post-modern enough to go along with your plans. But hey, go ahead and run Kerrey. Assuming he even is eligible after living in NY for several years.

"this entire "story" involves no allegations of wrongdoing by anyone than Mr. Hsu."

The FBI only just began their investigation. So far all the work here has been done by newspapers.

Many people would consider it "wrongdoing" to make somebody a trustee because they give lots of dough to the Democratic Party. I know this may seem shocking to some of the readers here but it's true. Or is the New School simply a branch of the Democrats? In that case its tax exemptions need to scrutinized.


Posted by: John | September 9, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I recommend this WaPo op-ed:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/07/AR2007090702050.html?hpid=opinionsbox1


lylepink, drindl, and roo, they give prominence to the views you expressed about Israel.

They also talk about the "hearts and minds" struggle and some of our notable failings and failures.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 9, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Colin, I agree. Bob Kerrey from what I have read is an intelligent and independent Democrat, and his potential return to the Senate is a good thing. In re: any connection with Hsu, I myself know and have known people who may or may not be pure as the driven snow legally - as I'm sure we all have - but I don't see it as my responsibility to keep tabs on the criminal/non-criminal status of my friends and associates. And as you say, this was a prominent public figure for many years, and so I don't think it would be a stretch to assume that this person would not represent a legal liability.
Watch, though - Zouk or one of his minions will rant on and on about "those dirty Dems." Anything to avoid discussing the actual issues, I suppose.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 9, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

John -- I'm not anxious to change the subjecdt from Hsu and Kerry at all, so why don't you respond to my points above? There is no there there my friend. This guy skipped out on a sentencing and then engaged in an extremely public life for 16 YEARS without anyone realizing what he had done. No reports have indicated that anyone he gave money to did anything wrong. There is ZERO evidence that anyone knew about his past. Indeed, if the PROSECUTORS in the case weren't able to figure out what was going on, why would Bob Kerrey?

In short, this entire "story" involves no allegations of wrongdoing by anyone than Mr. Hsu. Prove me wrong, if you can. Otherwise, get used to saying "Senator Kerrey" again, b/c even the conservative voters in Nebraska are likely to prefer the Democrat in the upcoming senate election.

Posted by: Colin | September 9, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, Ego te absolvo!

Never feel guilty about it. We were but pawns in the larger scheme of things.

The guilt rests with those at the top; such as it does again 40 years later.

Posted by: Not the Pope, Just a Vietnam Grunt | September 9, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Neal Thompson

"30 Years of Self-Loathing, and Then, Finally, the Truth."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 5 Dec. 1999

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 9, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the phrase "That's just so Gay!" originate at the RNC?

They must have known what they were talking about.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"funny how you wingers keep lock onto one or two scandals the dem party is connected to"

How many Dems were just arrested in NJ on corruption charges? Eight?

And why are you so anxious to change the topic from Kerrey and Hsu?

Posted by: John | September 9, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

funny how you wingers keep lock onto one or two scandals the dem party is connected to, and seem unable to talk about the dozens or hundreds going on in your own party--let's see, howmany R's are currently indicted, in jail, or under investigation? too many to count.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse


'Yes, yes. Poor Bob Kerrey was "swiftboated" by the New York Times and CBS, those well known arms of the reactionary right.'

yes, they are, both of them among the chief culprints of printing the adminstration's lies about WMD in the run up to the war. and now they're are doing the same thing with Iran. All the MSM is about as relilable as Pravda.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

is this sandy person with the Kerry obsession [or unrequited crush] 5 years old, or just one of the world's biggest morons?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

'Thompson's less-than-clear stance on a federal gay marriage amendment and his delay in entering the race are partly responsible for a sudden shyness among leading evangelicals.

"A month or two ago, I sensed there was some urgency for people to make a move and find a candidate," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a Washington-based conservative Christian group. "Right now, I think people are stepping back a little and watching. The field is still very fluid."

A loose network of influential evangelical leaders known as the Arlington Group met privately Wednesday and Thursday in Washington to discuss presidential politics and other issues, participants said.

Although the group does not endorse candidates, individual members have done so in the past, and one of the organization's founding principles is to get the movement's leaders on the same page when possible.

Some in the meeting shared their presidential leanings, but the consensus was that more time is needed to gauge Thompson's performance, according to a participant.

A clearer picture may develop Oct. 19-21 during a "Values Voter Summit" in Washington that will include a presidential straw poll.'

this should be humorous. since they have no candidates with 'values' or morals or ethics, who will they vote for?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, one should definintely assume that a political donor living an extremely public life style is actually a fugitive on the run.

Come on John, even someone with your overt partisan stripes should realize how strange the Hsu case is. This guy skipped a sentencing 16 years ago, but then lived a lifestyle that put him in the papers again and again? It's absolutely RIDICULOUS for you or anyone else to argue Kerrey or the other political connections Hsu cultivated should have been suspicious of him. Moreover, there is NO allegation that any of those politicians did anything wrong.

Keep trying to change the subject away from the issues of the day, which assuredly do not help your chosen party. I grant you, that approach worked in 2004. Sadly for you, voters finally seem to be fed up with the GOP doing nothing but smearing their opponents rather than standing by their miserable record of governance. Irrespective of ideology, this country doesn't like incompetence.

Posted by: Colin | September 9, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Per the NYT article mentioned by Mark;

Hsu "was a mover and shaker who was recruited by Bob Kerrey, the university's president and a former senator from Nebraska, one of several people associated with the university who are prominent in Democratic politics or political fund-raising circles. Until last week Mr. Kerrey had been one of the few people speaking out in Mr. Hsu's defense, calling him a "terrific member" of the New School's board who was being unfairly pilloried."

It requires a certain myopia which even the Times could not muster to say that this is not a scandal. But that is what we have Mark for.

Posted by: John | September 9, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"No, it's just that those who oppose him are legally prohibited from saying so publicly."

First of all, soldiers have the right to free speech. They can and do say that they oppose the Iraq war if they wish.

Second, we have a volunteer military. Anybody whose conscience is wounded by the Iraq war need not serve in it.

"There is an article in today's NYT about Hsu's connection to the New School and Kerrey's recruitment of him as a donor/trustee. It is in no way a "scandalous" tale."

Nice of you to tell us. But by definition, hiring a criminal to serve on the board of trustees in return for political campaign donations IS scandalous, even by the very low standards of the Democratic party.

Posted by: John | September 9, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

There is an article in today's NYT about Hsu's connection to the New School and Kerrey's recruitment of him as a donor/trustee. It is in no way a "scandalous" tale.

Kerrey's reflections on Viet Nam include grief and guilt, but not admissions of war crimes. Frankly, my brother-in-law has the same level of nightmarish recollections, and so does one of my half dozen closest friends.

I volunteered for Navy OCS after I flunked my Army physical because of a back injury in high school. By the time I volunteered in 1968, I no longer thought it was a good war - I just could not see everyone I knew either being sucked into it or running away from it, without choosing to be in it. That was in no way a brave choice; it was mere guilt avoidance. Bob Kerrey's choice to join Seals was a brave choice. John Kerry's choice to run a riverboat was a brave choice. I did not try to measure myself against the guys at Newport NS who took the offer of immediate command by volunteering for the river boats - I knew I was not like them - 45% casualty rate sounded like suicide to me.

I eventually was medically and honorably discharged because of the same bad back that caused me to flunk the Army physical.
I feel a bit guilty about THAT when I touch the names of 5 friends who died every time I visit the VN Memorial in DC, or when I think about the vigil I maintained at Brooke Army Hospital outside the burn unit for a good buddy who was an Army transport pilot. He died, too.

"Civilians" were indistinguishable from "enemy" at night when there was incoming.
There were war crimes - intentional slaughter of persons not in combat. Calley and Medina ordered atrocities, and a court martial followed in each case. I will accept that Kerrey responded to a perceived threat. That's what my brother-in-law did. That's what my friend Jimmy did. That is different from what Calley did.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 9, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite - What's your source for the Cleland story?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to thank Hagel for his service to the country. You is an honorable man and I hope you has a healthy and happy retirement.

Now to the man slandering Cleland with that 'beer party' crap, here's the truth. Notice, it wasn't his grenade.
"On April 8, with a month left in his tour, Cleland was ordered to set up a radio relay station on a nearby hill. A helicopter flew him and two soldiers to the treeless top of Hill 471, east of Khe Sanh. Cleland knew some of the soldiers camped there from Operation Pegasus. He told the pilot he was going to stay a while. Maybe have a few beers with friends.
When the helicopter landed, Cleland jumped out, followed by the two soldiers. They ducked beneath the rotors and turned to watch the liftoff. Cleland reached down to pick up the grenade he believed had popped off his flak jacket. The blast slammed him backward, shredding both his legs and one arm. He was 25 years old...

David Lloyd was a gung-ho, 19-year-old enlisted Marine, son of a Baltimore ship worker, who went to Vietnam because he "wanted to kill Communists."

On April 8, 1968, he was in a mortar pit on a hill near Khe Sanh when he heard an explosion. Shrapnel bounced off his flak jacket. He ran to the injured officer, a man named Max Cleland. 'Hold on there, captain,' Lloyd told Cleland. 'The chopper will be here in a minute.'

Lloyd took off his web belt and tied it around one of Cleland's shredded legs. When the medics arrived, he left to help another injured soldier -- one of the two who had gotten off a helicopter with Cleland.

That soldier was crying. 'It was mine,' he said, 'it was my grenade.'

According to Lloyd, the private had failed to take the extra precaution that experienced soldiers did when they grabbed M-26 grenades from the ammo box: bend the pins, or tape them in place, so they couldn't accidentally dislodge. This soldier had a flak jacket full of grenades with treacherously straight pins, Lloyd says. "He was a walking death trap."


See? hardly the slander Coulter says. What lies will you make up now? Are you disagreeing with the official military report? Is the US Military lying? How many honorable people and institutions do you have to slander to score points?

Think about your true motives before you post vicious, denigrating lies like that. It's shameful and you should be ashamed that you continue to propagate lies about your fellow soldiers.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 9, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday I inquired as to whether we had a consensus, here, that jihadi terrorism is bad and whether we agreed the US has a role in defusing or combatting it. Everyone who responded agreed in the affirmative.

Three of you pointed to our Israel policy as counter-productive and one of you,roo, thought that "hands off" the region for a decade might be useful. I think roo was talking about Israel and the Palestinians, mainly.

I think "hands off" will not work. In that respect, I look at JimD's post at 9:07A and agree.

I add this to the mix: as in economics, we can learn from mistakes, but we cannot make the next decision as if it were a mathematically dependent function of the previous decisions. At every moment, what is optimal must be weighed against the future costs and benefits, not the past experience.

What now will prove to be the net optimum approach in Iraq, if the primary goal is the inhibition of
people-who-blow-up-themselves-and-others around the world?

That is a different question, I think, than what makes Iraq a secure and safe place to live, or what makes Iraq a democracy, or what defines military victory in Iraq.

To me, the tactical successes of the surge argue for continued American training and support for Iraqis against Al Qaeda efforts, and our help with border integrity.

It does not follow, if our goal is to negate the "people who blow", that we must police the cities, or even that we should insist on a strong central government where one does not exist.

In other words, the overriding goal of neutralizing the pwb does not require our fine hand in tuning Bagdad. Finding Arab friends who can front my proposed reeducation campaign against wahabbism
can co-exist with this more global view of
our Iraq involvement, as well. We could cast ourselves as something better than invaders, if our troops are not policing city streets.

If any of you read the cite [yesterday] to the "Economist" article on Kurdish Iraq, it indicated that basing our troops in the north would be welcomed by the Kurds. That gives us a bit of leeway, as well, to be less visible among Arabs.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 9, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

To expound further on my views, it is not simply the decision to go to war in Iraq that bothers me. I do not swallow the blood for oil conspiracy theories of the left. I question the timing - the job in Afghanistan was unfinished and, as things turned out, the Taliban is resurgent. What really angers me is the degree of incompetence in managing the post invasion situation. Rumsfeld cavalierly dismissed the assessment of the Army Chief of Staff that several hundred thousand troops would be needed to stablilize Iraq. Rumsfeld similarly dismissed concerns about lawlessness in Baghdad in the immediate aftermath of our conquest of the city. Yet, it is blatantly obvious that the failure to restore order in the city contributed to the breakdown of civil order. It is not just terrorists, Shiite versus Sunni, and Shiite militia versus rival Shiite militia that produces the violence. A great deal of it is pure old-fashioned criminal gangs operating for profit. The breakdown of order in Baghdad provided an environment for this sort of violence to flourish.

The Pentagon civilian leadership refused to allow any other agencies outside the control of the neocon clique to be meaningfully involved in post-invasion planning. The neocon delusions about the aftermath of the invasion were ludicrous - they'll welcome us with open arms, Iraqi oil revenues will finance the war, etc. Indicative of their "thinking" is the comment by their main media cheerleader, William Kristol - "It's a myth that Sunni and Shia hate each other."

The occupation authority was staffed by ideologues instead of functional experts. Of course, their most monumental blunder was the disbanding of the Iraqi Army - creating a large pool of unemployed, armed men with a grievance.

The vaunted Iraqi elections produced a parliament dominated by militant sectarian parties uninterested in the kind of accomodations that are necessary in a functioning democracy.

I most emphatically do not favor a precipitious withdrawal. The surge has been a tactical success but not a strategic success. The surge has not achieved its strategic objective - space for a political reconciliation among Kurd, Shia and Sunni, I do believe it is time for a re-deployment and a partial drawdown. Our troops should guarantee Iraq's territorial integrity, provide some training and conduct operations against al Qaeda. It appears that Iraq will be de facto partitioned in Sunni, Kurd and Shia regions. Perhaps that arrangement will provide relative calm that will allow stability. History will judge the Bush administration very harshly on how it handled the Iraqi situation.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 9, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"And yet, the people actually IN the service continue to support this administration. As do retired military people."

Furthermore, many prominent retired officers have spoken out forcefully against the misguided policies of this administration. Retired Vice Admiral Joe Sestak, who was a battle group commander in support of the war, ran and won a race for Congress on an anti-war platform. Wesley Clark, Major General Batiste and others have been highly critical. Numerous Iraq veterans ran for office in 2006 on anti-war platforms.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 9, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

"And yet, the people actually IN the service continue to support this administration. As do retired military people."

No, it's just that those who oppose him are legally prohibited from saying so publicly.

Posted by: Michael | September 9, 2007 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Ah, more reasoned discourse from the Wrong side of the aisle.

Sandy, you now are on the level of rufus and MikeB.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I guess you all won't be supporting Bob Kerrey so. He has been a strong backer of the Iraq War. And that is the issue which all of you are so hot about, isn't it?

Posted by: John | September 9, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

(deep breath)
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What do I win?

Posted by: Sandy | September 9, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Sandy is a buffoon.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh great - the long-gone forum Moron-in-Chief "Sandy" is back. Let's see if she can break her old recored of referring to John Kerry as a "buffoon" an amazing 87 times in a single post.

Yes, Sandy and her numerous multiple names she uses to make it seem as if there is more than one person who shares her asinine views: 'Karen', 'Republican Woman', 'Tina', 'Susan', etc.......

Many months ago I noticed striking similarities in the posts of these screen names, and upon closer inspection realized it was the same person pretending to be many different people - I assume for the purpose of somehow "legitimizing" her insane rantings.

I REALLY wish this stupid blog would force people to register in order to post comments so that there was only one name allowed per IP address - this simple act would prevent stupid stunts like the one described above and the cowards who routinely post anonymously from having to defend their baseless rants and accusations.

Oh yes, and Tina's/Karen's/Susan's post usually consist of one single sentence:

"Kerry is a buffoon."

Get used to it people.

Posted by: Ohio guy | September 8, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Also, again to Sandy, I am actually from Kerry's home state of Massachusetts. Sure there are some arrogant elitists here, but there are a whole lot of normal, decent, intelligent people who deserve a lot better than to be lumped together and labeled. That would be like calling folks from other parts of the country poorly educated white supremacist sh*tkickers. (please note that I say this only for the sake of argument, and do not believe people should be judged solely on the basis of where they live.)

Posted by: Bokonon | September 8, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Sandy: so Kerry was "a total buffoon," and even though you couldn't stand Bush, you thought he'd be better? Do you still think so now?

btw, I mostly agree with you about Kerry - but I voted for HIM (Kerry) anyway, because I thought Bush a dangerously incurious and easily led man. I still think so, and whatever would have happened in a Kerry administration - which I agree would not have been the best - would still have been above the simplistic, power-hungry, head-in-the-sand, IMMATURE shenanigans of Bush II.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 8, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I like Kerrey better than Kerry. Kerrey seems like more of a normal, down-to-earth person. Perhaps this is because he is from Nebraska, where people don't act like a bunch of arrogant elitists, unlike Kerry's home state.

Kerry was just a total buffoon. I can't stand Bush, but I voted for him as a vote against Kerry and not really for Bush. Kerry is just a condescending person who talks down to people and was clueless about how to communicate with the average American. Kerrey is much better. He may say some goofy things from time to time, but at least he is not a buffoon like Kerry.

Posted by: Sandy | September 8, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

John, JimD: Here's a vote from another person IN the service against the current administration, been against it always, but fervently against it ever since the "Patriot Act." How dare they wrap the most anti-American bit of legislation in the mantle of the flag? Makes me ill. People used to be above such massive partisanship, no one would ever have dared call any bill the "a vote against this bill is a vote for the terrorists" act. Thanks Rove, Bush, Cheney, et al for making scorched-earth politics OK.

Posted by: MarineMustang | September 8, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

John,

I am a retired Naval officer. Until the 2000 election I usually voted Republican for president. I thought Bush was a lightweight and that Gore was the lesser of two evils. I think Bush has been a disaster and despite misgivings on a lot of issues, I voted for Kerry - more a vote against Bush than for Kerry.

I do not like gratuitious criticism of veterans. However, I think the Swift Boat campaign was gratuitiously vicious. Also, whatever embellishments Kerry has made to his war record, the account of the skirmish where he rescued a Special Forces operative is supported by his crew and the Special Forces operative.

As for the issue of killing civilians - I see an anonymous poster basically saying that we should not care when our troops kill civilians who may or may not be actively opposing our forces. Now, I understand that tragic mistakes can happen in the fog of war. Everything I have read about the Kerrey incident indicates that it was such a mistake. However, our own Army's counter-insurgency doctrine states that you defeat an insurgency not by killing all the insurgents but by convincing the population to withdraw support from the insurgents. Indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians is probably the worst single mistake our forces can make in a counter-insurgency battle. It is not only morally wrong but it is counter-productive. Fortunately, our military is conscientious about dealing appropriately with troops who cross the line. Unfortunately, the military is not as conscientious about pursuing such investigations far enough up the chain of command.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 8, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

When members of the GOP begin to feel threatened, they return to "Dems will raise your taxes" slogans of the past. I do not like to pay taxes either, but without government revenue, people would not get their Social Security checks, the elderly would not receive Medicare, the President could not send our Armed Forces overseas. Everything that we as Americans receive from the government is taken for granted. So, those of you who revert back to the same old tired theme, find something else new to comment on. Frankly, we are tired of it.

Posted by: Isiah | September 8, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

hope all you suckers are ready to pay more taxes to help people who came here by any means to take your place and the dems in power love them.

Posted by: dwightcollins | September 8, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Dems will take advantage of the current trends in the upcoming election but any dem that votes for a dem because they are dems are nothing but donkeys. just because does not mean they are better.

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 8, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

It appears this "odd man out" has paid his dues in the Republican camp for his pragmatic views on the direction of the war, his party, and the nation. Fate again derails a patriot who hitched his wagon to the wrong horse (ala Ron Paul-a true Libertarian). The purge of moderate Republicans (social liberals/financial conservatives) continues to the detriment of the American people and speaks volumes about this administration. Both parties are lost to the whims of the global financial elite who keep the pressure toward world government on course. This country is well on its way to being just "history."

Posted by: BillORight | September 8, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Why was my comment deleted? This post is used to call people war criminals but my post is deleted without calling anybody names. Whatever happened to free speech in this country?

Posted by: Isiah | September 8, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

And yet, the people actually IN the service continue to support this administration. As do retired military people.

Maybe the guy who wrote "Whats The Matter with Kansas" can do a follow up on "Whats the Matter with the Military".


What, no comments on Kerreys ties to Hsu?

Posted by: John | September 8, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that those who defend the Swift Boat Veterans are supporters of an administration of which many members avoided service, and in which more and more people are being revealed as having profited from the Iraq war. They lacked and lack the necessary historical/tactical/cultural information necessary for successful management of the conflict, but that never really concerned them all that much.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The Republican fascists are driving out the very best of their party, in the House and in the Senate. Pretty soon, there won't be anyone left in the GOP that wants to serve the country and preserve the Constitution.

Posted by: windrider | September 8, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It's amusing that some people find any criticism of veterans to be off limits, at the same time as they criticize the Swift Boat Veterans. FYI, the members of that group are veterans, of both political parties.

Posted by: John | September 8, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Anothe Democrat "pick up", which will bring the Senate breakdown to:

Democrats 60
Republicans 38
Independents 2

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, yes. Poor Bob Kerrey was "swiftboated" by the New York Times and CBS, those well known arms of the reactionary right.

Posted by: John | September 8, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Bob Kerrey is a self-confessed war criminal. It's odd that this fact was ommitted from this story.

I guess that depends on the definition of war criminal.

Did Kerrey kill people? I hope so - thats why he was sent to Viet Nam. Did he kill civilians? I could care less - I was more concerned with our people being killed by civilians. That is what should be important.

But to so many today, our enemies are so much more important than are Americans.

For too many today, the idea of doing more than throwing stern looks around is grounds for being called a war criminal.

One thing is for sure - Kerrey had what it took to become a SEAL. The most professional and difficult military organization we have. Do the SEALS do stuff that make others squeamish - sure do and I am glad they do. Its all part of defending Americans against what so many refuse to even recognize exists.

The Medal of Honor is not awarded lightly. Few are awarded to live recipients.

Kerrey is a good man. He did what his country asked him to do under very difficult circumstances. That deserves respect.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Kerry did embellish his war record on occasion, for example claiming he was in Cambodia when it would have been physically impossible. However, the events of the skirmish where he fished a special forces operative out of the water under fire are well documented. The guy he rescued supports Kerry's story, the crew of Kerry's boat supports it, and official Navy records support it.

The leader of the Swift Boat Veterans has been an enemy of Kerry since the Nixon administration when he received support from the administration in efforts to discredit Kerry who was a compelling anti-war spokesman.

Kerry did repeat atrocity stories given him by other Vietnam veterans in Congressional testimony. Some of those stories may or may not have been truthful. However, there were definitely atrocities commited by US forces in Vietnam - remember My Lai anyone? Was Kerry's testimony more despicable than the atrocities? The Swift Boat Veterans seem to think so.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 8, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I find it so interesting that the Republicans who claims to honor and uphold the Armed Services, turn on citizens who did the patriotic duty and fought in Vietnam over 35 years ago.
John Kerry and Bob Kerrey risked their lives when many, in both parties, hid behind deferments and found other sundry ways to avoid serving.
Using a phrase from the Civil War, "Waving the bloody shirt", seems well and fine if your a Republican, but if a future Democrat who served honorably in Iraq or Afganistan run for office in the future, will this person be "swift boated" as well?

Posted by: Isiah | September 8, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Hagel is a decent man who will be missed in the Senate. These are about the kindest words I can muster up for a member of the Grand Old Party of Bush enablers. However if all Republicans had the same moral values and common sense as Chuck Hagel we wouldn't be in this Iraq mess and the phrase "George Bush" would recall memories of Bush 41, not the architect of our worst national nightmare since Vietnam.

Posted by: jrw1 | September 8, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Bob Kerrey is a self-confessed war criminal. It's odd that this fact was ommitted from this story.

He is also joined at the hip to Norman Hsu, the Democratic fundraiser currently under arrest. Kerrey obtained a seat on the board of the New School for Hsu.

I guess if you want to know the news around here you have to read the comments and not the newspaper.

Posted by: John | September 8, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Hagel knows something we don't and don't look for the media to say what it is until the White House says it's ok. The Senators are leaving fast as the news of how the United States has a 9 TRILLION dollar debt. Yes the GOP knows where this money went and who got some of it. Crimes have been committed so it's time to take the money and get out. The scandals continue and the secrets are coming out fast. Bush/Cheney controlled the US and gave money to the GOP to go along with the crimes. Look for more names to come out or announce they are leaving.

Posted by: Jackie | September 8, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

One of the last honest repulicans without fear of the Bush mafia is leaving the government. As a life long independant I noticed several years ago that I lean just left of center with an open mind. Chuck Hagel is one of the few from the right that I have grown to respect from a judgement standpoint. His loss will be felt for a very long time inside the beltway.

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | September 8, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Bob Kerrey already has been swiftboated. I'm sure that they'll try again.

In 2001 one of his SEAL team, Gerhard Klann, claimed that a raid on a village in February 1969 resulted in a massacre and that all of the After Action Reports and citations were false.

The New York Times Magazine and 60 Minutes II reported on it.

Klann did not seem like a nut; but no other member of Kerrey's team confirmed Klann's allegations.

And you see where this went - nowhere; it had no credibility.

On the Kerry side of this issue - HE had and has no credibility. None.

All Kerry had to do was to release his military records. He refused and that added to his already astounding lack of credibility. Together with his despicable actions towards others who were still in that conflict, which he continues today - that destroyed him as a nation candidate.

Bob Kerrey is no John Kerry. The only thing they have in common is they both are democrats and they both breath oxygen.

Bob Kerrey is the real deal. I would support him in no matter what he decided to do.

We need more people like Kerrey. Americans first - party second.

If he were to be elected, we would have a total of .... one in both houses of congress. But that would be a start.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm NOT surprised about the Senate race, but the Presidential race kinda surprises me. I thought for sure he was going to attempt a run. But I suspect, he may ed up as a Democrat's Veep candidate.

BTW: I voted for Hagel in his first Senate race.

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2007/09/republican-u-s-senator-chuck-hagel-is.html#links

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | September 8, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

'You are an incoherent weasel. Find whatever rock you crawled out from under and scurry back.'

I suggest you slither back into the slime from whence you oozed.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

SAN FRANCISCO, Sep 5 (IPS) - The head of the U.S. federal government agency that doles out benefits to disabled veterans is under fire for saying Bible study is "more important than doing [my] job."

Two organisations, Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), demanded an investigation Tuesday of Daniel Cooper, President George W. Bush's undersecretary for benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Their complaint stems from an appearance Cooper made in a fundraising video for the evangelical group Christian Embassy, which carries out missionary work among the Washington elite as part of the Campus Crusade for Christ.

In the video, Cooper says of his Bible study, "it's not really about carving out time, it really is a matter of saying what is important. And since that's more important than doing the job -- the job's going to be there, whether I'm there or not."

Veterans for Common Sense and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation believe Cooper violated the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits government officials from advocating a particular religion while on the job.

"We're very concerned about this because hundreds of thousands of veterans are waiting for their benefits while Cooper himself says that promoting his religion is more important than helping the veterans," Veterans for Common Sense's Paul Sullivan told IPS.

Since Cooper was appointed the head of the Veterans Benefits Administration, the number of veterans waiting on their disability claims has increased dramatically, from 325,000 in 2002 to 600,000 today.

On average, a U.S. war veteran must wait six months for an answer to their application. If a vet decides to appeal a denial, the process often drags on as long as three years.

In addition, Veterans Administration hospitals, clinics and counseling centres report that more than 52,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But under Cooper's leadership, only 19,000 of those veterans were approved for service-connected disability compensation for PTSD, a significant discrepancy.

The groups are also upset that Cooper gave his top aid, Ronald Aument, the deputy secretary for benefits, a 33,000-dollar cash bonus while the claims backlog grew larger.

Posted by: x | September 8, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Moderate Republicans are a dying breed these days.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee later told reporters, according to The New York Times, that "If you want to believe that you and your family came from apes, I'll accept that"

A very succinct and respectful way of acknowledging diversity.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse


And, last but not least, there are these three geniuses:

Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, all expressed disbelief in evolution. Huckabee later told reporters, according to The New York Times, that "If you want to believe that you and your family came from apes, I'll accept that"

Posted by: shame about huckleberry | September 8, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

And Mr. "All those r*gheads are out to get us!" Romney:


MR. ROMNEY: ... I don't want to buy into the Democratic pitch, that this is all about one person, Osama bin Laden. Because after we get him, there's going to be another and another. This is about Shi'a and Sunni. This is about Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate.

Posted by: x | September 8, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

And then there's Mr "Dazzle 'em with bullsh*t" Giuliani:

MR. VANDEHEI: Mayor Giuliani, this question comes from Eric Taylor (sp) from California. He wants to know, what is the difference between a Sunni and a Shi'a Muslim?

MR. GIULIANI: The difference is the descendant of Mohammed. The Sunnis believe that Mohammed's -- the caliphate should be selected, and the Shi'ites believe that it should be by descent. And then, of course, there was a slaughter of Shi'ites in the early part of the history of Islam, and it has infected a lot of the history of Islam, which is really very unfortunate.

Posted by: x | September 8, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Your logic doesn't stand up, Errin. Nobody claims that rigged voting machines can stop a tidal wave like Nov 2006. Their purpose is to swing close, crucial seats where a few changed votes can make a big difference.

Given the public outcry against them, why don't Republicans stop pushing them on the public (and investing in their manufacturers)? Why adopt an unpopular position in defending them?

If they didn't help win elections, Republicans wouldn't bother.

Posted by: OD | September 8, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Freshly minted GOP White House hopeful Fred Thompson puzzled Iowans yesterday by insisting an Al Qaeda smoking ban was one reason freedom-loving Iraqis bolted to the U.S. side.

"They said, 'You gotta quit smoking,'" Thompson explained to a questioner asking about progress in Iraq during a town hall-style meeting. [...]

Thompson's tale of a smokers' revolt baffled some in the audience of about 150 who came to decide whether the former Tennessee senator is ready for prime time.

"I don't know what that was about," said Jim Moran, 72, who had driven from nearby McCook Lake, S.D.


Thompson's been getting a lot of that lately.

Posted by: x | September 8, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

'You can't offer up a REAL response to that question, can you? '

they didn't use the same machines, moron.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

o anon/zouk or whatever filthy lying slimeball you are, you only prove the points made above. lies and slander, pure filth from a gutter rigtwinger. you people really loath the military, and you really do hate Americans.

Look, douche bag. I have served my country in the military as US Marine.

I stand down for no babbling from morons like you.

Nothing I said in my post was incorrect or a lie.

You are an incoherent weasel. Find whatever rock you crawled out from under and scurry back.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

In January 2006, Hagel took issue with Karl Rove over controversial statements the White House advisor made concerning the mindset of Republicans and Democrats. Hagel said, "Well, I didn't like what Mr.
Rove said, because it frames terrorism and the issue of terrorism and everything that goes with it, whether it's the renewal of the Patriot Act or the NSA wiretapping, in a political context." He also said that
"dark clouds" are hanging over the Republican party...

Posted by: The AntiRove | September 8, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

That's BS, Errin, and I'm sure you know it. The Diebold machines have been shown to be flawed and easily hacked and reprogrammed and therefore banned in many states.

Try reading a little before you shoot off your mouth.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Hagel remarked 'I took an oath of office to the Constitution, I didn't take an oath of office to my party or my president'--seems Republicans who oppose Bush on key issues are quitting or being forced out. Perhaps ya could explain Hagel's decision.

Posted by: Glenbc | September 8, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Dean's thesis is: what do conservatives believe, and why do they believe it. He says that "While not all conservatives are authoritarians, all highly authoritarian personalities are political conservatives" and authoritarians "took control of the conservative movement in the 1980s, and then the Republican Party in the 1990s." Now, a few authoritarian leaders decide how and what the followers should believe.

The study of authoritarians began after World War II, "when social psychologists asked how so many people could compliantly follow an authoritarian leader like Adolf Hitler and tolerate the Holocaust." Studies conducted at the University of California, Berkeley resulted in the 1950 publication of The Authoritarian personality. Since then other researchers followed the Berkeley conclusions and added empirical data. Bob Altemeyer, a social psychologist based at the University of Manitoba, has published several books on "right-wing authoritarians," among them, Right-Wing Authoritarianism, and The Authoritarian Specter. Altemeyer has published a summary of his research online for general readers in The Authoritarians.

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20070905.html

Posted by: John Dean | September 8, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Gore sucked as a candidate and lost. Kerry sucked as a candidate and lost. Quit blaming e-voting machines as being the phantom menace they aren't. That's just a copout. Democratic partisans would rather make things up to be blamed for losing instead of their own leadership. If the GOP truly controlled the voting machines, they'd still be the majority party. Care to explain how the same machines that supposedly threw the 2004 election for the GOP didn't do the exact same thing in 2006? You can't offer up a REAL response to that question, can you? Than again, most conspiracy theorists don't care about real answers anyway.

Posted by: ErrinF | September 8, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

.. Most conservatives today do not believe that conservatism can or should be defined. They claim that it not an ideology, but rather merely an attitude ... there are religious conservatives, economic conservatives, social conservatives, cultural conservatives, neoconservatives, traditional conservatives, and a number of other factions.

Within these factions, there is a good amount of inconsistency and variety, but the movement has long been held together through the power of negative thinking. The glue of the movement is in its perceived enemies. Conservatives once found a common concern with respect to their excessive concern about communism (not that liberals and progressive were not concerned as well, but they were neither paranoid nor willing to mount witch hunts). When communism was no longer a threat, the dysfunctional conservative movement rallied around its members' common opposition to anything they perceived as liberal. (This was, in effect, any point of view that differed from their own, whether it was liberal or not.)

I had noticed that the word "liberal" had become the "L-word," but the Republicans are masters of framing issues and using language to support their belief system. I say "belief system" because over the past several years, I have come to realize that while my opinions are generally based on thoughts and facts, the "conservatives" I encounter have opinions based on "beliefs." You can argue about facts and thoughts, but you can't argue against "beliefs."

Posted by: x | September 8, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

... the true radicalism of the (Bush) administration and its followers has becoming unavoidably, depressingly clear, and it is equally clear that this movement has not reached anywhere near the peak of its extremism. Dean's central thesis explains why that is so ... the "conservative" movement has become, at its core, an authoritarian movement composed of those with a psychological and emotional need to follow a strong authority figure which provides them a sense of moral clarity and a feeling of individual power, the absence of which creates fear and insecurity in the individuals who crave it.

... What defines and motivates this movement are not any political ideas or strategic objectives, but instead, it is the bloodthirsty, ritualistic attacks on the Enemy de jour -- the Terrorist, the Communist, the Illegal Immigrant, the Secularist, and most of all, the "Liberal."

Posted by: x | September 8, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The only controversial thing about the Diebold machines is that the Democrats scapegoated that company to blame somebody else for losing the elections of 2002 and 2004. Now that the Democrats won in 2006, the Diebold myth has conveniently vanished from the radar. How typical of Democratic politicians... first they blamed Nader for their loss in 2000, then they blamed Diebold for their loss in 2004. The truth is that the blame lies on them, not the Diebold machines or Ralph Nader.

Posted by: ErrinF | September 8, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

'Opponents of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have assumed leadership of two of Iran's top institutions, a shakeup that reflects Western economic pressure on Iran and could lead to a less confrontational foreign policy, particularly on the nuclear issue.

On Tuesday, Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a pragmatic former president who lost to Ahmadinejad in 2005 presidential elections, was elected head of the Assembly of Experts. Under Iran's political system, the 86-member body of Shiite Muslim clerics appoints Iran's supreme leader -- a religious figure who outranks the president.

On Saturday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei replaced the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful military organization in the country.

Taken together, the steps are a setback for Ahmadinejad, said William Samii, an Iran analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses, a think tank for the U.S. Navy.

"The supreme leader has taken actions to sideline Ahmadinejad and the people associated with him," Samii said. "People are fed up with Ahmadinejad and his belligerence. The regime will try to pursue a less confrontational foreign policy."

it's a sad day for the chickenhawks, who are so longing for another war that someone else will fight.

Posted by: zouk will be so disappointed | September 8, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The whole e-voting machine thing reeks. I might have admired Hagel about his stance on the war, but the circumstances regarding his election and Republicans having control over every e-voting machine in this country --creepy.

Do you think Republicans would EVER allow any Democrat to own voting machines? Not only your life. They would suddently become advocates of govenment control over them,

Huckabee has called out Thompson to debate. I'd actually like to see that. I bet Huckabee would cream him. So far Thompson has avoided anything unscripted, and I've heard even then he is lackluster and rambling. I really don't think he wants to do it --I would bet money it's all his ambitious wife.

I would also bet Fred refuses.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

'Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., denounced his GOP critics as "weasels" Friday even as his chief of staff appeared before a federal grand jury investigating Doolittle's ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.'

Hilarious... the weasel calls the weasels... weasels.

Posted by: Cassandra | September 8, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. attorney office in Los Angeles just can't seem to muster the manpower needed to investigate senior Republican appropriator Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA). In fact, it seems that the Justice Department is handicapping itself.

The veteran prosecutor who'd been heading up the Lewis case has been forced into retirement, The Los Angeles Daily Journal reported yesterday (not available online). It knocks the investigation, already stalled, further off course.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that budget shortages and the departure of top prosecutors from the office had caused the investigation to slow down since last fall. But the Journal noted that the interim U.S. attorney George Cardona (the prior U.S.A. Debra Yang left last year under questionable circumstances) had tapped veteran prosecutor Michael Emmick in June to "jump-start" the investigation.

So much for that.

Robert Iafolla reports in the Daily Journal:

Because of civil-service rules, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. attorney's office who just recently took over the probe of Rep. Jerry Lewis must exit the office for good by the end of September, marking the third significant departure from the office's corruption unit since Lewis first came under suspicion last year.

Posted by: the stench | September 8, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

This is getting good. Unless something really nasty happens, it appears as if the Democrats are heading for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Now mind you, I wouldn't put it past the Bush League (a.k.a. the puppeteers who pull the Republican Party's strings) to arrange for something really nasty to happen. They've done it before, and I am quite certain that they are perfectly willing to do it again.

Posted by: Woody Smith | September 8, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, Richard.

Posted by: another proud Democrat | September 8, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Bob Kerrey already has been swiftboated. I'm sure that they'll try again.

In 2001 one of his SEAL team, Gerhard Klann, claimed that a raid on a village in February 1969 resulted in a massacre and that all of the After Action Reports and citations were false.

The New York Times Magazine and 60 Minutes II reported on it.

Klann did not seem like a nut; but no other member of Kerrey's team confirmed Klann's allegations.

That no member of John Kerry's crew (the most believable sources of information) confrimed the Swiftboaters' allegations, didn't stop the swifboaters from their fabricating and flatout lying.

Honor and service to this country do not stop Republican activists from distorting and lying when it comes to elections. That used to be trademarks of only the fringe elements of either party. No more.

With Lee Atwater, it became SOP in the Republican campaign manual. After all, look what they did to John McCain, as loyal a Republican as there is, in South Carolina in 2000.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

My grandparents and mother were natives of Nebraska. My grandparents were farmers, had large families, and were proud Republicans. But as Bob Dylan sang, "The Times Are A-Changin". I am a Vietnam era vet, a teacher, and a proud Democrat. Thus, I support Senator Bob Kerry, should he choose to run. However, given the current Senate stalemate, all Democrats are easy choices. Republicans have lost sight of fiscal responsibility, public education, public health, and immigration. National Security ought not to be a political slogan, since all Americans pay taxes for national defense.

Posted by: richard | September 8, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness Senator Silly Putty is retiring.

He had more than a touch of Baron Von Münchhausen in him. He would look at today's headline then think of something to outrageous to say about it to center attention on himself. He had no issues to champion other than narcissism.

Delay is gone now Hagel and hopefully Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton next. Then the whole generation of Egomaniac ultra partisans may give way to actual public servants.

Posted by: Mike Smith formerly of Millard Nebraska | September 8, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

After the attacks, Giuliani did his best work in front of a microphone, speaking simply and honestly to the city and the nation. Ground zero, on the other hand, is the site of his worst failure.

That's saying a great deal when you consider that this is the man whose crack plan for disaster response involved building the city emergency command center in one of the towers of the best-known terrorist targets in the nation.

But think about this: In the final months of his mayoralty, Giuliani went to ground zero 41 times, with whatever visiting statesman, movie star or sports hero who happened to be in town. He would walk them around the edge of the disaster zone and retell the story of 9/11. They could see ironworkers and crane operators dismantling the ruins and emergency workers looking for remains of the victims. Beneath those workers, the still-burning wreckage coughed up benzene and PCB's and asbestos. The city had received many reports about the danger of that air. Looking down, Giuliani could see that very few people -- except the health supervisors -- were wearing protective gear. And he did nothing about it.

Now, some of those workers have gotten sick. Since thousands of them have filed lawsuits, it's not likely that there will be any coming to terms with the numbers soon. The city has not even acknowledged that James Zadroga, a 34-year-old New York City police detective who died in January 2006, was killed by what his family said was more than 400 hours put in at the site. But a New Jersey coroner found that Zadroga died from a disease caused by his exposure to the ground zero dust. A widower, he left behind an orphaned 5-year-old daughter who is being raised by her grandparents.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

'So, nice try. Probably the best you can do.'

so anon/zouk or whatever filthy lying slimeball you are, you only prove the points made above. lies and slander, pure filth from a gutter rigtwinger. you people really loath the military, and you really do hate Americans.

Posted by: SAM | September 8, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

NewsS... Maybe the real story about Hagel is that because? of his role in the development and manufacture of the E-voting machines... and assuming that played a part in his historically unprecedented huge election wins... he never had to, nor did he, build a money-raising campaign machine. In fact, his official donor list looks quite anemic. And so, he didn't have in place the heft needed for a national run.

Or, maybe he is the victim of an E-smear and disdained the bankrolled-candidate route.

Either way, he is a great communicator who suddenly got very quiet. Monday will just be for the history books....

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 8, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

'I wonder how they would have tried to 'Swift Boat' him - a Medal of Honor winner.'

They would find a way -- look at what they did to McClellan. Who would ever think they would be low enough to slime a man who lost 3 limbs on a battlefield? Ann Coulter, of course ridiculed him. This is how low they can go.

I think there is some confusion here. Kerry was "swift boated" because he embellished - no lied - about his war record. About which even today, he refuses to divulge the actual truth. Not only did he do that, but even today he disgraces men who are serving honorable with no remorse.

Kerrey is no Kerry. Kerrey is an authentic, respected and decent man. A far cry from Kerry.

I assume by McClellad, you mean Max Cleland. He was trotted out as a war hero because, as you say lost three limbs on "the battlefield" but then it is revealed - by him - that he dropped his own munition in route to a beer drinking party.

No one denigrated his service - only the hype the left attempted to pawn off on America.

So, nice try. Probably the best you can do.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I would like to hear from those in Nebraska what they think of Kerrey's return should he decide to enter the fray. I think Kerrey would be a strong candidate, but I wonder if there is any ill will that he is residing in NYC for the past several years. He certainly was EXTREMELY popular in Nebraska while serving.

Posted by: Political Junkie | September 8, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I would have seriously considered voting for him, if he had run on getting us out of the whole dug by the brain-damaged guy and his handler.

Posted by: rbe1 | September 8, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I find this 'retirement' a little odd. Consider this. Senator Chuck Hagel is directly tied to the E Voting Scandal and perhaps even in the sub prime market.

Hagel sits on the Board of Directors of a holding company called McCarthy Group. They claim to be an investment firm with a diverse portfolio upwards of 1 billion dollars. Anyways, here is the kicker.

McCarthy Group owns ES & S and Diebold. Both highly controversial Evoting machines. He also I believe was one of their CEO's when they were just starting. Even more damning both those companies were created by 2 brothers who are heavy GOP supporters. Oh...all of these companies either started in or currently based out of Omaha, NE.

Stop by my blog for other interesting tidbits of News
http://newssophisticate.blogspot.com/

Posted by: NewsSophisticate | September 8, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

'I wonder how they would have tried to 'Swift Boat' him - a Medal of Honor winner.'

They would find a way -- look at what they did to McClellan. Who would ever think they would be low enough to slime a man who lost 3 limbs on a battlefield? Ann Coulter, of course ridiculed him. This is how low they can go.

OD is right about the few remaining sane Republicans, there's a few like Grassley left, but not many.

Did you know that farfar rightwing nut neoncon Norman Podhoretz was now advising Guiliani? this is a man who cheerleads the idea of nuclear war. The lunatiics have truly taken over the asylum.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

:: he would not make any decision about his own future "before spending time reflecting on [Hagel's] service."
... he pines at times to be part of the policy debate in the country, particularly as it relates to the war in Iraq. ::

Gag me with a spoon. Kerrey is a step backward on Iraq from Hagel, the worst kind of CW-spouter and triangulator. And, for those of you who admire him so much, a war criminal.


Posted by: Nell | September 8, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Kerry is too flakey. He wants to be part of the national policy debate on Iraq but all his ideas are stupid. He was not defeated for office, he just grew bored of the Senate and left. Now he is bored with New York and the New School.

Posted by: Kacoo | September 8, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

There goes the last sane Republican.

Will he take his ES&S voting machines (which counted 85% of his own votes in Nebraska) with him?

Somehow I doubt it. Other Republicans will be needing those.

Posted by: OD | September 8, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

I agree with you about Kerrey. I would have loved to see him nominated for president - I wonder how they would have tried to 'Swift Boat' him - a Medal of Honor winner.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 8, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

JimD, I suppose Hagel would also be free to
run with Biden; you will remember Biden's reply to the question of what R he could see on his ticket.

Of course, I agree with you completely. There are many combinations of major party
nominees that would have me looking to an honorable military conservative and an established businessman who has run NYC well as a breath of fresh air.

Now, as for Bob Kerrey, he was my favorite D Senator, back in the 90s. He was as outspoken as McCain back then, and his own party distrusted him much as the Rs distrusted McCain.

You may recall that he called Bill Clinton the best liar he ever met, and that he said it with a smile. It would be fun to have him back.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 8, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Bravery -- that's the branding that we would apply to Sen. Chuck Hagel's career. In being the first Republican senator to break ranks with President Bush on Iraq, he chose what he believed right for the country over the political largess of his party. For this, Sen. Hagel ought to be celebrated as a true hero, valuing his country over his own political career. Should the Democrats take the White House in 2008, Sen. Hagel might be well-positioned for a presidential run in 2012. Regardless of our political persuasions -- or our stances on myriad issues in relation to his -- America ought to thank Sen. Hagel for his service to our country in Vietnam, in the Senate, and as a part of the national discourse.

Peter S. Cohl
The Political Brandwagon
http://www.politicalbrandwagon.com

Posted by: Peter S. Cohl | September 8, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

'A Labor Department report showed that the economy lost 4,000 jobs in August, the first drop in four years, suggesting that turmoil in the financial markets could be spreading.'

The fruits of deregulation -- recession

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"Biographically and stylistically, Mr. Thompson, another former actor trying to become president, recalls the easygoing manner that Reagan used to advocate conservative solutions to the nation's challenges, as he made clear with his announcement speech in Des Moines on Thursday. He spoke of "common-sense conservative beliefs," including the notion that "we still get our basic rights from God, not government."

Another ignorant theologist. Don't Republicans attend school? Didn't they learn that this whole 'greeat American experiment' is based on the idea that we get our basic rights from the Constitution? That without the protections of the Constitution we would be living under a dictator? Of course, that's what they want, isn't it?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"It's an industry where we've seen exceptional and enormous profits at the expense of taxpayers," said Luke Swarthout, a specialist in higher education at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. "I don't know how we can treat banks as credible arbiters of what appropriate subsidies should be."

'With the law, Congress is reducing federal subsidies to lenders by roughly $20 billion and gradually halving the interest rate on need-based student loans over the next four years. Some $11.4 billion of that money will go toward increasing Pell grants.

For the first time, the government will now auction off the right to offer federally backed educational loans to parents state by state, instead of setting the rate from Washington. The two lowest bidders in each state will win the right to make subsidized college loans to parents.'

Posted by: a true free market solution | September 8, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

'Mr. Kennedy dismissed the complaints, saying, "The reality is that our bill restores the balance to this grossly unfair student loan system by directing funds to the students, not to the banks."

House Republicans, some of whom had received generous campaign contributions from lenders in the past, derided parts of the legislation -- particularly the forgiveness of loans for certain professions -- as a form of socialism.'

Oh, boohoo, the student loan industry, which contributes millions to republicans is tweaked is cries out 'socialism' for anything that contributes to the general welfaare, such as answering the need for more teachers. They really despise America.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, this was certainly not unexpected. I wonder if Bob Kerrey's popularity in the state has suffered from his tenure in New York as president of the New School.

The way the campaigns for president are shaping up, a Bloomberg-Hagel or Hagel-Bloomberg ticket is very appealing to this centrist.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 8, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Congress gave final approval to a broad overhaul of federal student loan programs Friday, sharply cutting subsidies to lenders and increasing grants to needy students.

Posted by: YES! | September 8, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Hagel, the MSM's early outspoken, even confrontational, fair-haired boy against the war in Iraq, and viable presidential candidate, literally disappeared from the political radar screen after his non-announcement announcement press conference (in March?) about his political plans for the future.

So, are there Bloomberg plans?.... or, will we ever know the rest of the story?

The ABC news account said that Bob Kerrey told reporters he would not run against Hagel, but should Hagel bow out, Kerrey would announce his own intentions the very same day. We'll know Monday.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 8, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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