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Progressive Group Goes After Baucus

They Work For Us, a group of high-profile progressive activists from the worlds of organized labor and the "netroots," has launched a flight of radio ads urging Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to oppose renewal of fast-track trade authority for President Bush.

"The Bush administration, surprisingly with Senator Max Baucus's support, wants the power to fast track these bad trade deals, costing Montana thousands of good paying jobs and undermining our state's rights," says the ad's narrator. "As chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus has the power to influence this debate about trade. So please call Senator Baucus...and ask him to reject fast track trade authority and stop trade deals that hurt Montana." (More here.)

The 60-second ad, which will air for a week in the Butte, Bozeman and Missoula media markets, is the first foray of They Work For Us (TWFU) into the political and policy debate since the group's formation earlier this year. The stated goal of TWFU is to hold wavering Democrats accountable on votes and issues regarded as critical to the liberal wing of the party. It is explicitly modeled after the Club For Growth, an organization that aims to recruit and finance conservative primary challengers to GOP incumbents who do not hue closely enough to the party line of fiscal policy.

While Club For Growth has a proven record of success in primaries -- thanks to its ability to bundle tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars to its chosen candidate -- TWFU remains entirely unproven. When The Fix first wrote about the group at the end of January, it had raised $200,000 with a planned budget of $3 million. Because it is registered as a nonprofit organizations, TWFU is not required to publicly disclose either its donors or its expenditures -- limitations that make judgments about its financial success nearly impossible.

What the radio ads will do is put Baucus in the uncomfortable position of facing pressure from the ideological left and right as he prepares for a reelection bid in 2008. Democrats have made gains in Montana over the last two elections with victories by Gov. Brian Schweitzer in 2004 and Sen. Jon Tester in 2006, but the state still favors Republicans in most federal races. President Bush carried it by 20 points in 2004 and the GOP nominee in 2008 is almost certain to carry the state as well.

An increased Republican turnout in a presidential year could spell trouble for Baucus -- especially if liberals abandon him. Baucus is a proven vote getter in the state, but the last time his reelection coincided with a presidential year -- 1996 -- he narrowly escaped with a 50 percent to 45 percent victory. His opponent in that race was then-Lt. Gov. Denny Rehberg (R) who, coincidentally, is now the state's at-large congressman and the preferred Republican nominee again in 2008. The problem for Republicans is that Rehberg seems disinclined to make the race.

TWFU is sure to draw criticism from Democratic Party insiders who would prefer to see money spent in defeating Republicans rather than holding their own incumbents' feet to the fire on a controversial issue. The question for the group is how it withstands such pressures and whether or not it can use its radio campaign (and other grassroots endeavors) to affect Baucus's position.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 15, 2007; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: The Line: Let the Senate Rankings Begin!


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Posted by: h7xht9w207 | April 6, 2007 3:37 AM | Report abuse

It puts the lotion in the pan, or else it gets the hose again!

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 16, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Gee, all these posts and hardly any of them on the subject. I guess not to many are interested in a political race in our large, but under-populated piece of God's Country.

To BigSky:
Morrison, speaking recently to Democrats in Missoula, has said he does not intend to run for any office in 2008. He feels badly burned by the primary drubbing he suffered to Tester and the revelations about his old extramarital affair and the connections it had to a securities investigation his office was doing.

The Democratic Chairman is very unlikely as a serious challenger. He's got no name recognition in the state.

Mike McGrath is a strong potential candidate, but I don't see him challenging Baucus. McGrath is not a lock step liberal. He tends more to moderation, like Baucus and for that matter, the recently elected Jon Tester.

McGrath has said nothing about his intentions after his second term as Montana AG runs out and term limits prevent a third term. But if he's inclined to seek office, I think he might be more inclined to challenge Rehberg. Rehberg isn't necessarily vulnerable, but he's never faced a reelection race with a state-wide profile.

Challenging Baucus in a primary would be an impossible task. Montana is not like Connecticutt, where the liberal wing dominates the party and they defeated Leiberman in the primary. Moderates dominate the Montana party, although the liberal wing is vocal and strong.

In the 1996 race against Rehberg, Baucus was hampered by a Green Party candidate that siphoned off some votes.

A green party candidate could cut into election margin again. And one may run, since the extreme on the Green side would not care about helping a Republican get elected, so long as their own vote was "pure." In 1996, the Green candidate took four percent of the vote, and that most assuredly took away voters who might otherwise vote for Baucus.

But most of Baucus' detractors among liberal Democrats are not likely to see a Republican elected for the sake of staying politically pure.

There really is not much obstacle to an easy realection for Baucus, at least at this stage of the game.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | March 16, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Pat Riot

I may be wasting my time but while we do have the best health care in the world we have millions with no access to it. There are many so-called socialist European countries that have healthier populations measured by outcomes, mortality rates, etc. What good is world class health care to someone who cannot afford coverage? The fact is that access to the best health care is severely limited. Many who do have insurance coverage have spotty coverage. My son went to an emergency room, on advice of his primary care physician and was billed $5000, his insurance covered about $850. Fortunately, he has a new job and decent coverage from his employer but many people are limited by restrictive coverage. That does not begin to mention the estimated 40 million uninsured. My parents were paying around 1200 per month almost 15 years ago for coverage. They were self-employed and until they qualified for Medicare were severely strapped.

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 16, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

JD, don't try to reason with Judge C. Crater, a person who doesn't think. When the Democratic state scandals were first posted he called them BS and unsubstantiated crap. Since these people are in jail, how can that be? And when, ever, has Judge said what happened with the US Attorneys was legal for all presidents and Justice Departments. He is the one constantly slamming Republicans for doing the same things Clinton did and then bristles when Clinton is mentioned as just as bad. I have no love for scoundrels in either party. The problem is those people who won't accept the reality of documented corruption in their own party, even calling it BS and unsubstantiated crap. I'm sure that's comfort to all those Democrats mentioned above who are in jail.

Posted by: BaLANCE | March 16, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The problem isn't that people are criticizing Clinton for doing something that Bush also did. The problem is that, in this case, what they did was not at all wrong! When taking office, a new president is supposed to fire all political appointees of the previous administration. That's the way the system works. It's not like Clinton and Bush both did something unsavory. They did what every president is expected to do when taking office.

I hear Clinton also fired the entire Cabinet when he came to the White House, and filled it with his friends and political allies. Organize an investigation!

Posted by: Blarg | March 16, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

JimD: don't bother to try to correct those who post over and over about what Clinton did even though Bush did exactly the same thing. They are beyond logic and reasoning. Somewhere there is a computer that logs onto blogs and posts that same comment along with a randomly-selected name. You can't reason with an object that doesn't think.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 16, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse


Sorry, Twain plaigarized Disraeli. But Twain did say there was no native criminal class in the US except for Congress.

Posted by: JimD iN FL | March 16, 2007 7:44 AM | Report abuse


Mark Twain is the source of "lies, damn lies and statistics".

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 16, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse


You have the sequence of events wrong. Clinton fired all 93 US attorneys upon taking office. Every time there is a change of administrations the new president appoints his own people to these positions. Sometimes, it is not wholesale as when the new president is of the same party as the outgoing president. However, invariably, a change of parties in the White House results in a complete turnover of political appointees. W also did this when he took over from Clinton. Reagan did it when he took over from Carter.

Posted by: JimD in FLq | March 16, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Pat Riot--OK, good luck with that.

Posted by: roo | March 16, 2007 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Pat Riot: Think up something else. The "socialist nation" bit has already been shot down.

Posted by: lylepink | March 16, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

The democrat party is the party of protectionism. If my country allows the democrat party the chance to run our economic policy, we will become a backwater like socialist europe. America is the greatest nation in history because we are a true meritocracy- literally anyone can become anything in America. If democrats get their way, we will have higher taxes and government healthcare. Our healthcare is the best in the world because of freedom. In the democrat world, the nanny state will control our lives. I would choose freedom every time. We need to oppose the democrats raising taxes so they can achieve their socialist agenda. Remember, communism is a failed idea everywhere. We must not let the dems affect our economy or we will become a socialist nation.

Posted by: Pat Riot | March 16, 2007 12:29 AM | Report abuse

roo: They usually leave once they find they cannot futher their false argument. Any chance U know what "nimrod" means?

Posted by: lylepink | March 16, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

tarheel--We are always glad to see bad guys get caught!

Can you also post a couple investigations where Republicans are involved just to your reporting, ah, fair and balanced?

Posted by: roo | March 16, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

tarhill: U R good. I don;t have the skill to look up all this stuff, but you are very effective in changing the subject when your side has lost. Any hue good to quarell with U.

Posted by: lylepink | March 15, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

New York Times. Rhode Island: Ex-Lawmaker Gets More Prison Time, by Katie Zezima, Published: February 21, 2007. Former Democratic State Senator John Celona, who was sentenced last month to two and a half years in federal prison for taking corporate payoffs, was sentenced to an additional year and a half in prison after pleading no contest to similar state charges. Celona starting serving the sentences concurrently on March 2.

Posted by: tarheel | March 15, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's pardon controversies are back in major news outlets. This from the Boston Globe on 2/28. Now, in the wake of the launch of her presidential campaign, the pardon controversy has reemerged in an obscure court case in which Senator Hillary Clinton's brother Tony is battling an order to repay more than $100,000 he received from a couple pardoned by President Clinton. Tony Rodham, who acknowledged approaching the president about a pardon for the couple, is the second of Hillary Clinton's brothers to receive money from people who were eventually pardoned by President Clinton. Hugh Rodham received $400,000 from two people, one of whom was pardoned and one whose sentence was commuted. US Bankruptcy Court Judge Marian Harrison of Nashville ordered Tony Rodham to respond by March 16.

In addition to the people who paid her brothers, those receiving pardons included commodities trader Marc Rich, a fugitive who was prosecuted for tax evasion by then-US Attorney Rudolph Giuliani and fled to Switzerland. Before Rich received the pardon in January 2001, his former wife, Denise Rich, contributed $70,000 to a fund supporting Hillary Clinton's Senate bid, and also made a large contribution to the Clinton presidential library.

Controversy over the pardons was reignited after Hollywood mogul and former Clinton supporter David Geffen criticized the Clintons for the Rich pardon.

"It is a legitimate campaign issue," said Stephen Gillers, professor of legal ethics at New York University School of Law. He said that Hillary Clinton should answer questions about her brothers' and her own involvement in the pardons because "the stench of the Marc Rich pardon still stinks and it has never been adequately explained."

Posted by: tarheel | March 15, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to "politicizing" the Justice Department, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons. Just before he was fired, Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL), and was "within 30 days" of making a decision on an indictment on 17 felony counts. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton's economic program through Congress, eventually went to a minimum security prison in Wisconsin on two minor mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton. From 17 felonies to mail fraud and a pardon. Not a bad exchange for passing the Clinton budget.

Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons' Whitewater dealings were coming to a head. By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint "Friend of Bill" Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton.

Posted by: tarheel | March 15, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

From -- Federal probe divides Trenton, Tuesday, February 13, 2007, by John P. McAlpin and Mitchel Maddux-Trenton Bureau. Democrats are refusing to release documents related to a federal probe on how millions in public funds were handed out over the last three years of the Democratic party controlled legislature. New Jersey legislative officials were hit with a volley of federal subpoenas last week, in a rapidly expanding corruption investigation into the Statehouse. The federal probe began last April with an investigation into state Sen. Wayne Bryant D-Camden, who was accused by a federal monitor of using his position to steer funding to the states medical university after he received a no-work job there. Among those who received subpoenas were Senate President Richard Codey D-Essex Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny D-Hudson Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts D-Camden and Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman D-Mercer, legislative officials confirmed. This may be the biggest state-wide scandal ever once it's done.

Posted by: tarheel | March 15, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

New York Times. Former Democratic Leader in Brooklyn Is Convicted, By Anemona Hartocollis, Published: February 24, 2007. Clarence Norman Jr., leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, the biggest Democratic organization east of Chicago, since 1990, was convicted February 23 of coercion, grand larceny by extortion and attempted grand larceny by extortion in what prosecutors said was a scheme to shake down judicial candidates in exchange for party support.

Posted by: tarheel | March 15, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Democrats Offer Up Chairmen For Donors: Party's Campaigns Had Faulted GOP For 'Selling Access' By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John Solomon, Washington Post Staff Writers, Saturday, February 24, 2007; Page A01.

Posted by: tarheel | March 15, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

roo: Good to see you. Qooo: what is a "nimrod"? These far left groups are as bad as the far right. Sad to say they do get a little support and in close races they can help or hurt, depending on what the issue is. The thing is quite simple in that a few people can get together and have/cause a big difference. I try and get folks registered to vote and then vote. Hopefully they will agree with my choices, but many of them don't, which is as it should be.

Posted by: lylepink | March 15, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

ProudToBeDem--I believe you completely missed the point of my 'thought exercise.'

Posted by: roo | March 15, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - Use the Fox News procedure, invent one! The righties do it all of the time. Wy can't we? Discourse doesn't have to polite nor honest nor factually based. Just view the world as you really really want it to be and ignore troublesome things like truth and reality. It's the American way!

Posted by: ProudToBeADem | March 15, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

How can we respond to someone when we don't know who to respond to??

Posted by: lylepink | March 15, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's claims that he was responsible for dozens of successful, foiled and imagined attacks in the past 15 years relies on a loose definition of the word "responsible." Officials say the 9/11 'mastermind' was perhaps important to some plots but a bit player in others.

The 31 on his list range from the stunningly vicious suicide hijackings of Sept. 11, 2001, to others that current and former government officials say were more talk than concrete plans, such as a plot to kill Jimmy Carter and other former U.S. presidents.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, noting Mohammed's activities are likely to be the subject of an upcoming military tribunal.

His confession, his first public statement since his March 2003 capture in Pakistan, came in a closed-door hearing in the newly established U.S. tribunal process. A 26-page, redacted transcript of the Saturday session at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was made public Wednesday night.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, things are getting hotter for Alberto: now Gordon Smith, Republican from Oregon, is calling for his resignation. Who wants to cast bets: you think the AG lasts past next week?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON, March 15 -- The White House senior adviser Karl Rove inquired about firing federal prosecutors in January 2005, prompting a Justice Department aide to respond that Alberto R. Gonzales, soon to be confirmed as attorney general, favored replacing a group of "underperforming" United States attorneys, according to e-mail messages released Thursday.

The e-mail messages, part of a larger collection that the Justice Department is preparing to turn over to Congressional investigators, indicate that Mr. Rove and Mr. Gonzales, then the White House counsel, had considered the proposal to replace prosecutors earlier than either has previously acknowledged.

The White House had previously said that Harriet E. Miers, who succeeded Mr. Gonzales as White House counsel, initiated the idea in early 2005 of replacing all 93 United States attorneys.'

Posted by: all roads lead back to rove... | March 15, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Proud to be a Dem...

thank you.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink and Hillary,
sittin' in a tree...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Okay, roo. Let's play "what if". What if the tooth fairy promised us all a comfortable retirement? Wat if the majic bunny promised to balance the federal budget? And what if George Bush decided that there had been enough heartache and pain due to his misadventure in Iraq that he went before the Amercian people and resigned? And, what if...
Playing "what if" is a waste of time. Chavez shows no signs of doing anthing to the U.S. other than twarting the greedy designs of American corporations for looting his country. And, Iran, in spite of all of the conspiracy theories, demonstrate any willingness to develope nuclear weapons with which to attack us or Israel or anyone else (and, I know what their whack job of a President says about how evil we and the Israeli's are. So what.) Grow up. We need facts, not whimsy, as a basis for our national policies.

Posted by: ProudToBeADem | March 15, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah
Hill-ary will lo-ose

Posted by: Bobby | March 15, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink, you are a nimrod!

Posted by: Quoo | March 15, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink, you are a stinker!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I notice when an argument is lost the name calling begins. Try something else.

Posted by: lylepink | March 15, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

William--What if Chavez 'tacitly' supported a coup or assassination in the U.S.? After all, we are right in their 'backyard.'

Posted by: roo | March 15, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Zach, where do you get the facts to support that $7 banana? Most of us hve watched illegals doing work, being paid under the table for construction jobs, taking meat packing jobs from Amercian's (and driving the wages down from $18 an hour in 1980 to less than $10 an hour today and forgoing medical insurance and other benefits to boot) and we haven't noticed prices going down at all. Since Apple offshored the production of the Mac's to China we haven't witnessed one dime of price decrease. So, pray tell, where do you get that $7 banana? At a GOP fund raiser?

Posted by: ProudToBeADem | March 15, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

It puts the lotion in the pan, or else it gets the hose again!

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 15, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

At times, I do regard the sky
which stretcheth overhead
A brash conservative am I
and yet, at night in bed
I cry, I weep, I blow my nose
I wonder why in fact
I never wear clean panty hose
they're always soiled. That's whacked!

Posted by: William | March 15, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Right now, Denny Rehberg is the only GOPer capable of taking out Max Baucus. But, there may be some people from Max's own party (State Auditor John Morrison, State AG Mike McGrath, MT Dem Chairman Dennis McDonald) who might take out Max in a primary challenge that would even the score for more GOPers other than Rehberg in the General.

Posted by: BigSky | March 15, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Calif.'s Presidential Primary Set for February
By Nancy Vogel and Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times
10:54 AM PDT, March 15, 2007

California today joined the national scramble to choose presidential nominees far earlier, as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation to advance the state's presidential primary election to Feb. 5.

"Moving our presidential primary election from June to February means California will have the influence it deserves in choosing America's next presidential candidate," Schwarzenegger said at a news conference this morning."

You'd think that California has enough say in the General Election with 20% of the electoral votes needed to elect a President.

Is this being greedy?

How about this for tomorrow, Chris?

Posted by: Calling Chris | March 15, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Guess what I saw, I footage of a Muslim-Catholic church next to a synagog in a Jewish neighborhood in Cordoba in Spain. These three groups lived as good citizens together for 300 years. If we want to solve the Muslim problem we should go to Cordoba in Spain. This whole war was not necessary if we listened and looked at how the Spanish delt with this problem.

Posted by: jwh | March 15, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

William, I am sorry, please come back and talk to me. I have no one else.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I am a twit. no one in the real world will talk to me so I come in here to annoy people.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

William, how do you reconcile your supposed Libertarian positions and demands for individual rights and support of the Constitution (assuming that includes Amendment I) when on The Fix you demand censorship, following "the rules" (some rules which you've demanded be followed, don't exist), staying on topic when your posts often take the discussion of topic, etc.

It would appear to me that you may be a Fascist, and don't realize it.

Time to ask for some help, buddy.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Chris, don't assume Montana and other Mountain West states are out of reach for the Democratic presidential ticket in 2008. The Clinton/Gore ticket CARRIED Montana in 1992. Voters may be hungry for change again next year.

Posted by: Progressive | March 15, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Chris, don't assume Montana and other Mountain West states are out of reach for the Democratic presidential ticket in 2008. The Clinton/Gore ticket Montana. Voters are hungry for change.

Posted by: Progressive | March 15, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Okay, everyone who is railing against free trade, who wants to pay $7 for a bannana?

William, you talk about the evils of illegal immigration, NAFTA helps the Mexican economy. If people have a job in Mexico, they are much less likely to come here. CAFTA is shoddy legislation, but the concept is good.

As for elected anti-American leaders, I have more faith in democracy than that. Pro-American despots lead to anti-American people. Voters will hold leaders responsible for their actions. I'm sure you are going to mention Venezuala and Iran, so I'll point out Chavez is all talk, he hasn't done anything that actually harms America, and Iran is still a theocracy. The ayotollah is the real power.

As for the actually substance of CC's post, it is ridiculous that our left flank is trying to purge members it doesn't find "pure" enough. We are the big-tent party.

Posted by: Zach | March 15, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Berger is a blemish on the Democratic side of the spectrum. When Republicans toss him out as an example of corruption it's not totally a red herring to deflect away from their politicians' indiscretions. We don't know why Berger did what he did, but the record is factual that it was criminal. He pled guilty to that at a hefty price.

Defending Berger is like defending William Jefferson and the $90,000 grand in the freezer. There is no defense. Jefferson may have an opportunity to create one; Berger is in the official judicial record admitting that he did something criminal.

Democrats would be better to ignore references to Mr. Berger. When they don't, it is at their own peril.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Sandy Berger is peanuts compared to the wholesale corruption and national security breaches of this administration... you're really stretching it. Bu then you people will believe naything the ayatollas of your party tell you.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"improving the discourse" would be a troll not desperately trawling for somebody to respond to his post many-topiced posts. It would be adding value to the already existing conversation.

If you need attention so badly, find a fraternity there at UVA. After a year you can get the pledges to listen to you all you want, no matter how much they may not want to.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

William, admitting that you've made mistakes is Step One in a 12-step program. Time get serious about it and figure out how to move on to Step Two.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Drindl...I am a blind squirrel. I will throw so many simple statements into a post that something is bound to make sense; even if I am loony on all the rest."

Stop posting under my name.

This site really needs registered posting and a moderator.

It would really improve the discourse.

And if I made an out of line remark, which I admit I have, then the moderator should remove my posts too.

I'm not saying I'm faultless, but at least I don't post under other people's names.

Posted by: William | March 15, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Me thinks that the defenders of the person that one regular calls Sandy Burglar, may need to look more closely at the Berger case.

The facts are that Burger did remove documents from the National Archives. All of his reasons were hokey. Berger pled guilty to a misdemeanor for unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. The U.S. Attorney recommended a fine of $10,000 and a loss of security clearance for three years. Magistrate Judge Robinson finded him $50,000 saying the recommended fine was inadequate because it didn't reflect the seriousness of the offense. In addition to the fine Berger was ordered to serve two years of probation and to perform 100 hours of community service.

Was this a hanging judge? Hardly, last week she dismissed a U.S. Attorney request for revocation of probation on Marion Barry.

Nobody knows publicly what Berger was up to. But, at 50 grand, two years probation and 100 hours of com. service, it couldn't have been any good.

Don't defend him, until he comes clean publicy.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"And what if we got into a war with China? How long would it take to ramp up our capability for producing armanents? We can't even keep up with the demands of an occupation of a tiny country like Iraq."

Yep, that is a real concern. In Europe, due to free trade, most European defense manufacturers have been acquired by multinational consortiums. For example, the firm MBDA makes virtually ALL the missiles (aircraft missiles, surface to air, everything)that European countries use. MBDA is owned by a wide variety of interests, including French, British, Italian, and even Russian (IIRC) companies.

Similarly, EADS, the European areospace giant consortium, is partially owned by Russia.

So not only do European countries no longer have the ability to make their own weapons without cooperation from others, they are giving each other and Russia their most advanced technology.

Free trade diehards would allow China to buy Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman. It's insane!

This may seem like a backwards belief, according to "expert" free trade economists, but I don't think a service economy is really that strong or stable. Service economies are much more prone to collapse, since most services are luxuries, or at least nonessential, and in times of depression, would not find much of a market.

A goods-based economy on the other hand, is based on something that exists, something tangible, something that we actually NEED and use.

So it is much more stable.

"And as for illegals, I think a lot of Dems find themselves shifting their positions, as we see how illegals are slowly replacing american citizens in every conceivable occupation."

Yep, I hear that unions are starting to get upset.

But also, there are other things to consider.

If we keep allowing unlimited numbers of immigrants from Mexico and other 3rd world countries in, don't you think in a few decades our country will look pretty much like a 3rd world country?

Most of those people don't come here to assimilate.

I don't say that out of nativism or xenophobia. It is true though.

If we don't do something to reduce immigration, the US (or much of it) will look like a carbon copy of Mexico in a few decades time.

Finally, illegal immigration (and even legal immigration from Mexico) has caused crime to skyrocket.

The pro-amnesty politicians have the blood of the victims of illegals who commit crimes on their hands.

Our country is going to be changed forever unless we do something about the immigration issue VERY soon.

That issue is my litmus test for a politician. If he/she is pro-amnesty they will not get my vote. It's as simple as that.

So far, the only major Republican candidate who opposes amnesty is Gingrich (who may run).

Hunter and Gilmore do too, but they are 3rd tier at best.

Fred Thompson says he opposed amnesty.

Posted by: William | March 15, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

no william, I do not support amnesty for illegals, whether they're from Mexico or China or the Ukraine. We need to have enforcement, a stronger border, and a path to citizenship for those already here imo.

IMO McCain should have gotten the nomination in 2000, and Bush should've listened to Colin Powell. In a perfect world we'd have a CIC that we agree with on every postition...ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 15, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Drindl...I am a blind squirrel. I will throw so many simple statements into a post that something is bound to make sense; even if I am loony on all the rest.


Posted by: William | March 15, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

William, that explanation of foreign policy makes sense. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree, but it's consistent with what I'd expect from a traditional conservative.

Posted by: Blarg | March 15, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

ProudtobeGOP, do you support amnesty for illegals?

Do you support Bush going to Mexico and promising to commit treason in order to help illegal Mexicans at the expense of his own countrymen?

Do you support the North American Union?

Bush is a traitor, and it's as simple as that.

I supported him in 2004, but the only things he has done right are Roberts, Alito and the tax cuts.

Aside from that, he has screwed up this country just as much as kerry would have, if not more.

If he was running again, I'd rather die than vote for that traitor.

And I'd never vote for his brother either.

Jeb is even more pro-amnesty than Jorge.

Posted by: William | March 15, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP - oh, I'll stand up, then, and identify myself...ProudToBeDem. How's that. Oh, oh, it feels so good to be "outed" and I feel all brave and cozy and warm being "out there". You silly, insipid, and stupid fool. Sandy Berger never destroyed those documents. He took them back. Quit spreading FOX invented garbage and do some original thinking. As for H1B and illegals...huh? The H1B visa a provided by corporations and, YOUR...government to foreign guest workers from places like China and India. All of them are high tech workers or scientists. Most of them were hired to use as replacement workers for U.S. engineers, because they work for an average of $13,000 a year less and have far less benefit costs. Further, most of them, average age 26 and single, replace American workers with an average age of 40 and having a family. So much for family values, eh? Oh, China is a dictatorship, in case you haven't noticed, and *every* person granted exit permission from that country is vetted by the government. So, the estimate is that at least one-third of the more than one million Chinese guest workers here, are...spies. Doesn't it make you feel all partriotic and stuff, knowing that your president and your party supports our enemies and even provides a means or them to bring spies into this country? Take your fake patriotism elsewhere, please! We're not all fools you know.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

INteresting: Dobson and the other mullahs want to muzzle a prominent clergyman from even talking about environemtnal issues so they can focus on their obsession for one thing: SEX. they just can't stop thinking about other people who are having sex, and wanting to stop them. All that SEX! They just can't stand it. just can't stop thinking of it...

'MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- A sharp difference of opinion over which issues ought to top the political agenda of Christian conservatives spilled out into the open at this week's meeting of the National Association of Evangelicals.

The group rebuffed complaints from some of the religious right's leading lights about the organization's newfound focus on global warming.

The group, which represents 45,000 churches and more than 60 evangelical denominations, took no action on a letter sent by 25 conservative Christian leaders demanding that the organization restrain its Washington policy director, the Rev. Richard Cizik, from putting forward his views on global warming.

"We have observed that Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time, notably the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage and the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children," said the letter, which was signed by prominent religious conservatives such as James Dobson, Don Wildmon, Paul Weyrich and Gary Bauer.

Cizik has been outspoken on the global warming issue, saying in a recent documentary that "to harm this world by environmental degradation is an offense against God."'

Posted by: dridnl | March 15, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Blarg and my above post about foreign policy now that I think about it I said some things I didn't really mean or at least explained what I meant poorly.

I CERTAINLY don't think we should pick leaders for each country or intervene in the foreign affairs of other countries.

I stated what I meant poorly but when I was writing about Chavez what I was thinking of was the attempted coup back in 2002. If I was president then, I would have given tacit support to the coup.

I AM against foreign intervention but at the same time, we shouldn't have to tolerate leaders that threaten us in our own "backyard."

I wouldn't go around picking leaders for each country. I guess it might have sounded that way when I wrote it.

If there WAS an IMMINENT threat, I wouldn't hesitate to use the CIA or whomever to take out the enemy leader (if it was OK legally...I think it violates the Posse Commitatus Act?)

For example, we would be foolish not to take out bin Laden or Kim Jong Il if we have the chance.

But I am CERTAINLY NOT for going into countries and trying to influence their elections or putting our own puppets into power.

That is a Neocon idea which I despise and strongly oppose.

Again, I realize my previous post was poorly worded.

Hopefully this one is better.

Basically, I would ONLY intervene in another country actively if there was a SERIOUS, imminent threat.

I think Iran's nukes merit a bombing, but not an occupation, which would be stupid, and which we would lose.

Similarly, I would use the CIA if I could to sabotage their nuke programs.

But I OPPOSE foreign interventionist policies, unlike the neocons.

I hope this makes my views clearer.

I would ONLY use force if there was a real threat, and it would be lightning force, like an airstrike, not an occupation.

Posted by: William | March 15, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

You bet I support the President, I voted for Bush twice.

That doesn't mean I agree with everything he's done. I'm not a social con, don't really care about legislating those issues at the federal level, and I think he's been incredibly irresponsible fiscally, for example.

But none of that really matters. What does matter is the direction of this country and who will be the next POTUS now that we are engaged in a war.

What wonderful alternatives did you dems offer up for the country to chose from in 2004? Kerry?

Posted by: proudtoeGOP | March 15, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

'culture of corruption indeed.'

i thought you were misguided-- now i can see that you're just another moronic bush worshipper.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"You are nothing more than a traitor"

Sandy Berger's the traitor, cowardly coward who won't even sign a made-up name to an anonymous post.

It was no accident that he stole classified documents and destroyed them; it was intentional and he was convicted for it!

And Berger was a presidential aide, not some illegal immigrant that you seem to think is part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

At least know when to say something is wrong. or are you too cowardly for even that?

culture of corruption indeed.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 15, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

'proud' You're so blinded by your partisanship you care more about Bush than you do your own survival. You know, in some Bible camps they have pictures of bush that they pray too -- are you one of those?
It would be funny if it were not such a serious matter, national security, terror threats and all.

Must be Bush's fault, right?'

He was the one who ignored all Clinton and Berger's warning on terrorism, wasn't he? He was the one who appointed cheney to head a 'terror task force' --which never met. He was the one who appointed Ashcroft, who cited 'pornography' as the most important issue facing the nation -- and nver mentioned terrorism on the list of things h e wanted to accomplish.

and bush was the one who got the memo 'bin ladin determined to strike in US' and then stayed on vacation for a month.

But you shold, by all means, continue to live in Lala Land, because i can see you are very happy there.

Posted by: shane | March 15, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

'In testimony on Jan. 18, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales assured the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Justice Department had no intention of avoiding Senate input on the hiring of U.S. attorneys.

Just a month earlier, D. Kyle Sampson, who was then Gonzales's chief of staff, laid out a plan to do just that. In an e-mail, he detailed a strategy for evading Arkansas Democrats in installing Tim Griffin, a former GOP operative and protege of presidential adviser Karl Rove, as the U.S. attorney in Little Rock.

"We should gum this to death," Sampson wrote to a White House aide on Dec. 19. "[A]sk the senators to give Tim a chance . . . then we can tell them we'll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, evaluate the recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All of this should be done in 'good faith,' of course."

The conflict between documents released this week and previous administration statements is quickly becoming the central issue for lawmakers who are angry about the way Gonzales and his aides handled the coordinated firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year.'

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

'Cheney's call on pro-Israel activists to oppose withdrawal from Iraq overshadowed the annual Aipac gathering. Organizers had hoped the plenum would focus on the need for tough economic measures against Iran, without having the effort portrayed publicly as advocating military action against the regime in Tehran.

But the attempts to avoid such a portrayal suffered a blow Monday, when Congressional Quarterly reported on Aipac's role in blocking a House proposal that would require the Bush administration to get congressional approval before taking military action against Iran.'

Posted by: cheney twists israili arms | March 15, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

William william, I praise you and then your very next post is loony -- we're going to choose the leaders of every country on earth? Don't you think some of them might object? Then we better institute mandatory military service for EVERYONE between 20 and 40 because from now on, we will never stop being attacked.

You go from Jekyll to HYde so fast it makes my head spin.

Posted by: drindl | March 15, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If that's your view, then you've represented it poorly in the past. You accused Ron Paul of favoring Democratic "cut and run" policies, not of voting for a meaningless symbolic resolution.

But I still don't understand your position. You just said that REAL conservatives don't support foreign wars of intervention. Then you went on to explain how you'd like to invade Venezuela and bomb Iran. Both of those would be foreign wars of intervention.

I especially don't understand your position on Venezuela. In the past, you've criticized Lincoln for invading the South during the Civil War. He didn't like the government the South had chosen, and he wanted to replace it with a more Union-friendly government. How is that worse than invading Venezuela, a sovereign nation, because you don't like Chavez?

Posted by: Blarg | March 15, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

ProudToBeGOP - Yeh, right! You would equate Sandy Berger's forgetfully taking a few documents home with the wholesale outsourcing of our most sensitive technologies. YOUR president and the corporate CEO's that support him have been bringing in millions of foreign workers on H1B visa's who have stole everything from the plans for the B2 bomber and *all* of our steal technology (which they sold to the Russians and the Iranian's who have adapted antiaircraft missiles to shoot down our stealth aircraft) to our latest shoulder fired field missile to the design for our cruise missile. Please, take you fake patriotism elsewhere! This president, the GOP, and their "free trade" policies have done grave harm to this country. The business practices of your allies have done great harm to the American worker and to the ability of this country to defend itself. You are nothing more than a traitor. Cease your blathering.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Well william, I have to say you make a lot of good points. There's a lot tht i would take issue with as a progressive, but certainly your points China and our manufacturing base are spot on. We are making a huge mistake relying on them and other countries who we have considerable issues with -- being so dependent on a foreign power weakens us a nation.

And what if we got into a war with China? How long would it take to ramp up our capability for producing armanents? We can't even keep up with the demands of an occupation of a tiny country like Iraq.

And as for illegals, I think a lot of Dems find themselves shifting their positions, as we see how illegals are slowly replacing american citizens in every conceivable occupation.

I worked in France once for a couple of months and had to go the Police Station periodically and report on my activities -- and I couldn't open a bank account. That's a bit stringent but it's a lot better than not even attempting to prosecute global corporations whose entire operations here are staffed by illegals, and who simply thumb their noses at the law.

Posted by: drindl | March 15, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

FBI conducted illegal spying on tens of thousands

By Joe Kay
12 March 2007

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has collected financial and personal information on tens of thousands of people since 2003, using a special type of subpoena that does not require judicial review, according to a report by the Justice Department's inspector general. This spying was often carried out in violation of existing laws and regulations.

The report, issued on Friday in accordance with a congressional directive included in the Patriot Act reauthorization of 2006, covers the use of "national security letters" (NSLs) during the period from 2003 to 2005. A second report is due by the end of this year, covering 2005 and 2006.

Until 2001, NSLs were infrequently used by the FBI to solicit records from companies or individuals directly suspected of engaging in espionage or terrorist actions. NSL exceptions were inserted in privacy legislation, including the Financial Privacy Act of 1978 and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986.

The Patriot Act of 2001 vastly expanded the power of the Justice Department--a department of the executive branch--to gather records without court warrant. Section 505 of the Patriot Act allows the FBI and other agencies to issues NSLs whenever the information sought is "relevant" to an investigation relating to terrorism or espionage. The act also allowed more lower-level FBI agents to approve NSLs than had been the case previously.

By removing the requirement that the target of an NSL had to be directly suspected of espionage or terrorism, Congress gave the executive branch essentially free license to spy on anyone in the US, including US citizens. This move was part of a broader expansion of government spying, including the massive and illegal warrantless wiretapping organized by the National Security Agency, and the monitoring of antiwar groups by the Defense Department.

The inspector general's report concludes that the FBI operated outside of even the broader authority granted it by the Patriot Act.

For the rest please go to:

Posted by: che | March 15, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"William, you've previously said that you support a robust foreign policy. You specifically criticized Ron Paul for being against the Iraq war. Doesn't this mean that, by your own definition, make you not a real conservative?"

Hi Blarg.

I criticized Ron Paul for siding with the Democrats on the Non-binding House resolution against the Surge, not for voting against the Iraq War.

I don't think that makes him unpatriotic, and you've read posts where I eviscerate Bush so you know I'm no Bushbot, but since the resolution wasn't even going to have any effect (it was nonbinding) it seemed like an attempt by the Dems to please their base.

That's perfectly fine, the Republicans do that too (Terry Sciavo comes to mind) but all the nonbinding resolution did was show our troops and our enemies that our country no longer has the will to fight.

If Dems had passed a BINDING resolution to bring the troops home, that would be fine, since we are not going to win there anyway in 1000 years.

A BINDING resolution would have gotten our troops out of harms way.

But a nonbinding resolution just made us look weak, and made us look like our morale is really low.

I do support an assertive foreign policy, but ONLy to defend our interests. I would rather have a pro-American dictator ruling a country than a nonaligned or anti-American elected leader.

That probably sounds very Machiavellian and heartless, but our country and our interests come first. We have to think of what benefits our own people.

And a democratically elected communist like Hugo Chavez does not. If I were president, I would have the CIA depose him and put a general or someone in power.

If the Venezuelans cannot choose a responsible leader, we will for them.

If I were president, I would also bomb Iran my first day in office. Take our their nuclear facilities, missile facilities, airforce jets, submarines, etc, and then we don't have to worry about them.

Do you see the difference between my foreign policy strategy and Bush's?

In addition to being a policy of realpolitik, my policy would be to avoid getting bogged down with troops on the ground.

Only IMMINENT threats would be attacked, and they would be dealt with harshly and decisively, to end the threat.

I would not waste American lives by invading Iran.

Just bomb their air force, nuke facilities, missile units, etc and they are no more powerful than Tunisia.

Use the CIA wherever possible.

So I would defend our interests if I was president, but in a smart way, and in a way where we would use our advantages (air power, CIA intel, missiles, navy, etc).

Posted by: William | March 15, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, look! Over there! Arabs are violent and evil! Pay no attention to the Presidential Aide behind the curtain!"

coward, you are so clever in your little aside.

You must be referring to Sandy Berger,
convicted of stealing highly classified documents from the National Archives and intentionally destroying them ..and he thought no one would see them there in his pants. ...woopsie!

It would be funny if it were not such a serious matter, national security, terror threats and all.

Must be Bush's fault, right?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 15, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"REAL conservatives don't support foreign wars of intervention...or billions of dollars being wasted in Iraq."

William, you've previously said that you support a robust foreign policy. You specifically criticized Ron Paul for being against the Iraq war. Doesn't this mean that, by your own definition, make you not a real conservative?

Posted by: Blarg | March 15, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats hadn't won the midterm elections last year there is no reason to believe that the plan to use the U.S. attorneys for political prosecutions -- as they have been used systematically under Bush -- wouldn't have gone forward completely unimpeded. Without the new Congress issuing subpoenas, there would be no exposure, no hearings, no press conferences -- no questions at all.

The replacement of the eight fired U.S. attorneys through a loophole in the Patriot Act that enables the administration to evade consultation with and confirmation by Congress is a convenient element in the well-laid scheme. But it was not ad hoc, erratic or aberrant. Rather, it was the logical outcome of a long effort to distort the constitutional framework for partisan consolidation of power into a de facto one-party state.

This effort began two generations ago with Richard Nixon's drive to forge an imperial presidency, using extralegal powers of government to aggrandize unaccountable power in the executive and destroy political opposition. Nixon was thwarted in the Watergate scandal. We will never know his full malevolent intentions, but we do know that in the aftermath of the 1972 election he wanted to remake the executive branch to create what the Bush administration now calls a "unitary executive." Nixon later explained his core doctrine: "When the president does it, that means it's not illegal."

Karl Rove is the rightful heir to Nixonian politics. His first notice in politics occurred as a witness before the Senate Watergate Committee. From Nixon to Bush, Rove is the single continuous character involved in the tactics and strategy of political subterfuge.

Posted by: it's all about rove | March 15, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

'In all, Mohammed said he was responsible for planning 29 individual attacks, including many that were never executed. The comments were included in a 26-page transcript released by the Pentagon, which also blacked out some of his remarks.

What, you mean the parts where he was screaming, "Oh, God, please make it stop! I'll say whatever you want! No more, please! AHHHH, GOD, NOOOOOO!! NOOOOOO!!"?

CNN has this particularly ghoulish new wrinkle:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told a U.S. military tribunal he personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, the Pentagon revealed Thursday.

"I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan," said a Pentagon transcript of Saturday's hearing. "For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head."

(Ooooh! How long do you suppose it's going to take KSFO Snuff Radio to dig that up and put it on their website? I should think that the countdown has already begun, chickens!)

Yes, look! Over there! Arabs are violent and evil! Pay no attention to the Presidential Aide behind the curtain!

By golly, if there's one thing the American public will drop whatever it's doing to run and see, it's a severed head. The only way this story could soak up any more air-time now would be if Anna Nicole Smith's breast implants were involved.

It's still unlcear whether Khalid had any role in the cancellation of "Arrested Development" or the soon-to-be-uncovered foiled terror plot to keep Daylight Savings Time from coming a month early. ..

Posted by: oh please | March 15, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"The activists at both ends of the political spectrum are intent on purging their parties of moderates. For the Republicans this started to backfire in the 2006 election. Will it backfire on the Democrats in 2008"

The GOP lost to 2006 elections not so much because it alienated swing voters, but because they alienated the BASE with their unconservative policies.

That crew of pseudo-conservatives deserved to lose control of Congress.

If the GOP wants to regain control, alienating the base is NOT the way to go.

Just keep it up, Jorge and Mel Martinez and crew.

REAL conservatives don't support unconstitutional, statist, Orwellian measures like the "Patriot Act" nor do they support McCarthyite tactics to stifle political debate.

REAL conservatives don't support foreign wars of intervention, out of control spending, coverups of child-molesting congressmen, amnesty for illegal aliens, or billions of dollars being wasted in Iraq.

REAL conservatives don't support "strong" presidents who love to invade weak little countries, but hide under their desk when NK or Iran growls.

REAL conservatives don't support Benedict Bush or any of his fellow Quislings.

On another note,

JimD, I am a STAUNCH supply-sider DOMESTICALLY. I favor a national sales tax (FairTax) to replace the IRS, a laissez-faire policy towards domestic business, and limited, if ANY government regulation.

I support tax cuts, including tax cuts "for the rich."

I also strongly oppose unions, and would allow corporations to break them up.

HOWEVER, unlike instransigent free trade dogmatists, I am able to see the damage that free international trade with countries like India and China is doing to the USA.

The intransigent Cato Institute types either don't care if the US gets screwed, or are scared of being Cheney'd into silence by their fellows.

The die-hard free traders come up with all kinds of numbers and stats (who knows where they get them) to show that "nearly all the goods manufactured by US companies in China stay there" and "Unemployed workers will be retrained for something else" and "free trade benefits the economy."

As Benjamin D'Israeli said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

The people who come up with these stats are the same types who claim "Illegals are necessary for the economy, otherwise it will collapse."

And the free trade robots are experts at all three. Even if they know in their hearts (which they do) that unlimited free trade is doing damage they refuse to acknowledge it, for fear of other free traders McCathy-ing them.

DOn't get me wrong, I support free trade, especially with countries that have a currency with a value relatively similar to ours.

But I oppose CAFTA, NAFTA, etc, since they allow 3rd world countries with cheap labor to undercut our manufacturing base.

When Chinese or other foreign companies have bought up all our national assets (remember Unocal?) and we have no manufacturing base here, what will we have left? We'll have NOTHING.

Our economy will collapse.

The intransigent dogmatists claim:
"But, but, but...the Chinese will buy services from us..They can't manage huge companies all by themselves! They need our integration specialists and consulting firms and Logistics experts to help them! So it doesn't matter if we have no manufacturing here!"

Yeah, an economy based on logistics consulting. That sounds like a good idea.

How dumb can these people get?

Back in the 1940s and 1950s, our country was strong because we had a strong manufacturing base, and a POSTIVE trade balance, meaning we exported more than we imported.

Now, we have trade deficits which will only increase as time goes on, if free trade with countries like China isn't regulated.

I think government regulation of free trade should be used very sparingly. But to prevent our manuf. base from being undercut, we must do it.

I favor protective tariffs against all Chinese goods and services being imported to the US, which will make it uneconomical for them to export stuff to us.

I also favor other trade barriers like increased inspections, etc.


Personally, I believe that people are beginning to realize that unlimited free trade only benefits corporations, and is severely harmful to our country and to our average citizens, as well as our national security.

People are turning away from free trade robot politicians, in favor of socially conservative populists like Jim Webb and Jon Tester and Heath Shuler, among others.

These Dems also oppose illegal immigration.

Unless the GOP wakes up and realizes that we are bleeding supporters, I think the political climate is going to wind up like it was in the early 1900s, in the sense that the GOP will be comprised of "chamber of commerce" Republicans who care only about big business and not about social issues.

Meanwhile, the Dems will revert to being a collection of liberal progressives, allied with a smaller wing of "Blue Dog" socially conservative, anti-amnesty, protectionist populists.

Turning into the Taft/Harding Party will be a HUGE mistake for the GOP.

And corporations who put their profits over loyalty to our country can go to hell.

The Chamber of Commerce, which supports illegal immigration, is going to doom to GOP to perpetual minority status as more and more people turn against these Taft Republicans.

Posted by: William | March 15, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

This confession was released simply to take the heat off other matters.

Posted by: lylepink | March 15, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"Nearly two-thirds of those online respondents who detected bias in the media (64%) said the media leans left"

Naturally, no source is provided. L. Brent Bozzell maybe?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"TWFU is sure to draw criticism from Democratic Party insiders who would prefer to see money spent in defeating Republicans rather than holding their own incumbents' feet to the fire on a controversial issue."

How refreshing that a group would actually try to promote its ideals rather than just fight for the party.

Posted by: bsimon | March 15, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

JimD -- I agree with what you wrote regarding globalization, but I think the larger point that the previous poster was making is that the label "moderate" can be very misleading.

If being moderate simply means splitting the difference -- and Democrats are the only one's who ever move -- then by definition you only pass conservative legislation. Contrary to popular belief, that's what has largely happened over the last 25 years -- as democrats have enabled GOP presidents to pass conservative policies.

Ultimately, I have little time for ideologues on either side. I agree that we should be focused on solving problems. But making sure that "wavering" democrats don't "split the difference" on certain core issues doesn't necessarily mean your placing ideology above the good of the country or attacking moderates. Depending upon the issue, you may simply be standing up for what's right.

Posted by: Colin | March 15, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The New York Times and Washington Post point out it's not clear exactly how involved Mohammed could have been in all the plots he detailed. The Sept. 11 commission at one point described Mohammed as someone with extravagant ambitions who had a vision that was "a spectacle of destruction with KSM as the self-cast star, the superterrorist." But the Los Angeles Times quotes a terrorism expert, who says most of the plots he described didn't seem to have leadership from Mohammed.

USA Today points out that the majority of the targets described by Mohammed "were not hit," such as the Panama Canal, the New York Stock Exchange, and Big Ben. The Wall Street Journal says many of the plots "never got beyond the planning stage."
The Mohammed confession managed to take away some of the spotlight from the growing controversy surrounding the Justice Department and the fired U.S. attorneys. USAT, for example, led its early edition with news that Sen. John Sununu became the first Republican lawmaker to call for the ouster of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "If I were the president, I would fire the attorney general," Sununu said. In its final edition, the paper put the story inside.

Posted by: why it happens | March 15, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

'The most important change may be the fading influence of Cheney, who for six years dominated foreign policy in a way no previous vice president ever has. Those dining on fat steaks and sipping California wine with him at the AEI dinner cannot have failed to notice that Cheney is now discredited, unwell, and facing various congressional inquisitions. He was damaged by the Libby trial, first by seeming to let his flunky take the fall, and second by the exposure of his ruthless mania to justify a war gone wrong.

But the largest factor in Cheney's demise is that his neoconservative hypotheses have been falsified by events. Invading Iraq did not catalyze a new Middle East. Isolating North Korea did not retard but advance its nuclear program. High-handed unilateralism reduced American power and prestige. At the outset of his presidency, Bush thought himself lucky to have a No. 2 who did not aspire to his job. He may now grasp the hazard of lending so much power to someone with no incentive to test his views in the political marketplace.'

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

It depends on the trade pacts, JimD and whether they serve the interests of this country, or only a privliged few...

Posted by: Leo | March 15, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse


A moderate is someone interested in practical solutions to problems and not slavish adherence to an ideology. We have certainly seen the folly of that on the right with the expectations the neo-conservatives had for theinvasion of Iraq.

The decline of the manufacturing sector was well underway long before any of these trade deals. There were a number of reasons for this, not the least of which was myopic management and hidebound union insistence on counter-productive work rules. Another factor is that for many years after WWII every other major manufacturing country was reeling from the effects of the war. Many industries developed bloated middle management bureaucracies and an inability to respond to consumer demands in a timely manner. The auto industry is the prime example.

The country will not meet the challenges presented by globalization through protectionism. I am not an apologist for the specific provisions of any of the recent treaties, but protectionism is not the answer. Many of our industries are vitally dependent on international trade and would suffer grievously under a protectionist regime. We need some creative approaches to dealing with these challenges. Reflexive oppostion to trade pacts is short sighted in my opinion.

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 15, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

'Moderates' again. What does that word mean, JimD? These sleazy trade deals benefit no one in this country except CEOs of global corporations... to the detriment and decline of our manufacturing sector, and the loss of thousands of jobs, not to mentiion expoentially increasing the trade deficit.

How is that 'moderate'?

Posted by: Leo | March 15, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It would seem that by adopting Rudy, the "extremists" are being ignored, this time around.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 15, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The activists at both ends of the political spectrum are intent on purging their parties of moderates. For the Republicans this started to backfire in the 2006 election. Will it backfire on the Democrats in 2008?

Posted by: JimD in FL | March 15, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Nearly two-thirds of those online respondents who detected bias in the media (64%) said the media leans left, while slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they see a conservative bias on their TV sets and in their column inches.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 15, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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