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The Line: Debate Provides '08 Wake-up Call

For anyone not paying attention, the 2008 pre-season is over.

If anyone had any doubt about whether the presidential campaign was ramped up, the still-spurting volcano of rhetoric between Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton over who is better equipped to handle foreign policy should clear that right up.

It's the first extended back and forth between the two frontrunners, and neither seems ready to back down just yet. Why? Because they each think they can "win" on the issue.

For Obama, the fight represents a chance to paint Clinton as a creature of the past -- a past defined by her vote in favor of the 2002 use of force resolution against Iraq. Obama's argument is also centered on the idea that experience and judgement are two entirely different things. Clinton's political experience, Obama argues subtly, didn't help her make the right vote in 2002, while his political inexperience didn't hamper his ability to argue against it.

For Clinton, the controversy shows why Obama is a risky vote for Democratic primary voters. Yes, he has charisma, but is he ready for the job he is auditioning for? Clinton's campaign believes her experience dealing at the highest levels of government as both first lady and as senator is the strongest counter to the energy surrounding Obama. Your heart might be with Obama, the argument goes, but your head is with Clinton.

It's a fascinating dynamic and one that will play out in any number of iterations between now and January. We'll be watching.

To the Line!

REPUBLICANS

1. Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor holds onto his top spot on The Line for a second month thanks to two main factors -- his continued strong polling numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire and his demonstrated willingness to use his personal wealth to help fund his campaign. If Romney does give $40 million to $60 million (or even more) to his campaign, it gives him a major leg up over his opponents, who will have to continue to scrounge for $2,300 checks all the way through the Iowa caucuses. Hurdles remain for Romney, however. He is far weaker in South Carolina than in either New Hampshire or Iowa, a fact that could provide a nice opening for former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.). And then there's the Mormon question. Romney's campaign is contemplating whether he should give some sort of speech in which the governor would further explain his religion and how he sees it influencing a Romney administration. He will not, they insist, ever engage in a discussion of the specific tenets of the faith. But will that be enough for GOP voters? (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Rudy Giuliani: The former New York City Mayor put together the best month of any of the top-tier candidate. He raised the most money (subtracting Romney's personal donation) in the second quarter of 2007 and ended June with the most money in the bank. His campaign has also picked up its organizational pace -- especially in Iowa, where Giuliani has been signing on supporters at a rapid rate lately. The main challenge for Giuliani over the coming months is to use the national good will he built up in the immediate wake of the Sept. 11 attacks to highlight his conservative positions on taxes and crime. That effort will be complicated by his rivals, who will try to make sure Republican voters in the early states are well aware of Giuliani's positions on abortion, gay rights and gun control. (Previous ranking: Tied for 2nd)

3. Fred Thompson: In a week dominated by news and speculation about staff changes in Thompson's organization, it's important to keep the big picture in mind. Without yet officially declaring that he is in the race, Thompson is pulling double digits in every national and state poll we have seen. That's a powerful testament to the desire within the Republican Party -- especially among social conservatives -- for an alternative to the current field. Growing pains are nothing new within a presidential campaign, and it's better to get the kinks worked out before anyone is officially keeping score. The danger for Thompson is if the staff departures speak to a larger structural problem within the campaign that continues to dog him even after he is a candidate. As we saw with John McCain's campaign collapse, not having a single person in charge can lead to devastating consequences. (Previous ranking: Tied for 2nd)

4. John McCain: Wow! We knew there were problems in McCain's campaign, but we never suspected that in the month since the last edition of the presidential Line that nearly all of his senior staff -- including longtime associate John Weaver -- would quit. Or that McCain would end June with less money in the bank than Rep. Ron Paul. Yeeesh. With less than 200 days until the Iowa caucuses, McCain is now in the process of starting over. As a result, the nature of McCain's campaign has totally changed: No longer the frontrunner, he must now campaign as an insurgent. Insurgency always seemed to suit McCain better, but can he find enough money and skilled staffers in the early states to make a serious run at the nomination? It's hard -- but not impossible -- to see. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Mike Huckabee: The upcoming Ames Straw poll is a do or die moment for Huckabee. If he is able to come in second (behind Romney), it will be a sign that despite his stunning lack of money, Huckabee does have some level of organizational heft. A second-place showing might also shake loose some of the money that a number of GOP donors are currently sitting on as they wait to see what the field will ultimately look like. Thompson's campaign-in-waiting complicates that equation for Huckabee, but there should be enough money to go around. An increase in fundraising is absolutely essential for Huckabee to have any chance at winning the nomination. One side note: It's too bad for Huckabee that there isn't a GOP debate every week. (Previous ranking: 5)

DEMOCRATS

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton: The expectations that greeted Clinton's entrance into the presidential race seemed impossibly high. And yet, six months in, it's hard to knock Clinton's performance. She has been flawless on the stump and on stage during the debates. By any historical comparison, her fundraising has been off the charts; unfortunately, she has run into the fundraising buzzsaw that is Barack Obama. Even so, Clinton will have plenty of money to do what she wants and needs to do in the four early voting states and beyond. National polling continues to show her with a commanding lead over Obama and every other candidate, even among those who support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq -- a group that theoretically would be most strongly opposed to Clinton. In sum, she is in as strong a position as her campaign could have hoped for. And yet, doubts remain. Can she be both the "experience" candidate and the "change agent?" Can she highlight the successes of her husband's administration and also argue that she is the future-focused candidate? (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Barack Obama: Say this for Obama and his campaign: They continue to stick to their plan to amass massive amounts of cash, quietly build broad grassroots organizations in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and make sure the candidate is clearly defined as someone who wants to move politics beyond the partisan divide. To borrow a phrase, "Mission Accomplished." But there seems to be a sense among the chattering classes that Obama has lost some of his momentum. The Fix isn't one of those chatterers. Obama is primed to make his run at Clinton between Labor Day and the Iowa caucuses. To beat Clinton is a harder task than some connected to Obama seem to believe, but it's hardly unimaginable. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. John Edwards: There are two lines of thinking when it comes to how the Clinton-Obama spat impacts Edwards's campaign. The first is that it reinforces the idea that Edwards is a bit player in this campaign, which is fundamentally about Clinton and Obama. The second is that as Clinton and Obama battle over who said (or would say) what to whom, Edwards benefits as he continues to focus on rolling out big ideas. We tend to agree with the latter analysis. During this week's debate, Edwards portrayed himself as the lone candidate capable of creating truly bold change, pointing to his proposals on Iraq, health care and poverty. It's a sound argument, well delivered. But, as always, political reality intrudes. While Edwards's campaign insists that their candidate doesn't have to win in Iowa to remain viable in the race, it's hard to imagine the Democratic nomination fight remaining a three-way affair if the former North Carolina senator doesn't end up on top in the Hawkeye State. The good news for Edwards is that a win in Iowa remains a real possibility. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Bill Richardson: We wrote recently that Richardson was slowly but surely making his move. His fundraising has been surprisingly good and his early round of ads in Iowa and New Hampshire has bumped up his polling numbers nicely. Even so, Richardson has been almost entirely ignored by the Big Three candidates, a sign that none of those campaigns sees him as a serious threat. If Richardson continues to grow his support, it's likely one or more of the frontrunners will turn a bit of their fire to him. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Chris Dodd: The Connecticut senator stays on The Line by default. He is still very much a longshot for the nomination, but it's hard to make a convincing argument about who should replace him in the fifth spot. Sen. Joe Biden (Del.) has the most compelling case thanks to his strong debate performances, but his fundraising woes are public knowledge and it's hard to imagine him running a deep voter contact program in Iowa or New Hampshire. Dodd, who ended June with $6.4 million in the bank, should be able to fund a more serious campaign in the early states. Still, we have the same problem with Dodd's campaign that we had on the day he announced: What's his niche in the Democratic field? (Previous ranking: 5)

The comments section is open for discussion!

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 27, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matalin Sticking With Fred Thompson
Next: Obama vs Clinton: Day 5

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Posted by: wourorcoubret | July 31, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Chris: Can't argue with your analysis, which is always sound.

Why don't you consider expanding your franchise a bit and do The Line for key issues? Who's first, second, third, fourth and fifth in each party in addressing what to do in Iraq, the fight against terrorism, the widening income gap, global warming and the environment, improving the schools, fixing the health care system, fixing the tax code.

Here's a post I wrote about it:

http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2007/06/15/idea_race08.html

Jay Rosen (www.pressthink.org)

Posted by: Jay Rosen | July 30, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Edwards doesn't have a hope. It's between Clinton, Obama and Richardson, and really, have the Clinton's ever lost anything?!

Posted by: Nathan | July 30, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

WE WANT GRANNY D

Posted by: you heard me | July 30, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

JimD.

Per your response to my original post. I served as well. Here's a clue:

- most in the military serve for reasons other than patriotism

- people enter and leave the military all the time for personal, financial and ideological reasons. quit obfuscating things with your glib universals

- it is immensely appropriate for those serving (unless they are total fools) in an age such as the present where the command structure itself has been thoroughly politicized; in which those who do not participate in the common defense break out not only along income/class lines (as has been well documented) but along ideological lines as well (which has not received sufficeint analysis); in the which the base for many of the current prospective Presidents hold positions at variance with the intersts of those serving

whether or not it is in their interest and their families to continue serving. the depsicable charade that is going on in Washington right now by a certain party - independent of the wisdom of current administration policy - has raised the bar for everyone when it comes to the personal calaculus of whose intersts are being served and where loyalties really lie.

please do not have the temerity to mask what is obvious to anyone with a mind to listen to the spectacle and long experience - like yours - in what service used to mean.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

JimD...

"I held several positions in the Navy dealing with high level financial planning from 89 to 93"

It is unfortunate that you labeled yourself with the "high level financial planning" tag. That immediately associates you with the Beltway crowd many others with warfighter and acquisition experience align with being disassociated form the problem space.

" There is altogether too much juvenile name calling on both sides of the debate here. Another annoying, juvenile feature is the tendency of some posters to attribute exreme and nonsensical positions to those who disagree with them."

- Comically, you then go on to demonstrate the very same qualities in your lengthy diatribe.

Please hit the books again. Your analysis/argument, which is quite receptive to what actually needs to be proven, is limited to the degree that it neglects the influence of external forces engaged in this conflict.

Fox 2...btw...were you there when Clinton was yuking his way among the assembled at the Cole ceremony in Norfolk?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

anonymous poster at 1:27

Your comments are an insult to those of us who have served and are serving. I served under Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I and Clinton. The men and women of our armed forces serve the country not the politicians. Many of us did not like certain things about various presidents but we served faithfully and with honor.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 30, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

What makes anyone think that those in the Armed Services will want to serve Hillary or Barak?

What makes anyone think that those who have served aren't already discussing in the professional "underground" ways of organizing to discourage service by others?

it's not actually about Hillary or Barak. It's about who they represent - the base. That base has nothing in common with the folks in the Armed Services.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

5. Chris Cillizza: The upcoming Ames Straw poll is a do or die moment for Cillizza. If he is able to come in second (behind Romney), it will be a sign that despite his stunning lack of money, Cillizza does have some level of organizational heft. A second-place showing might also shake loose some of the money that a number of GOP donors are currently sitting on as they wait to see what the field will ultimately look like. Thompson's campaign-in-waiting complicates that equation for Cillizza, but there should be enough money to go around. An increase in fundraising is absolutely essential for Cillizza to have any chance at winning the nomination.


One side note: It's too bad for Cillizza that there isn't a GOP debate every week (!!!!!!!).

Posted by: hardy har har | July 30, 2007 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, lylepink

Congratulations on your triathalon, proud

There is altogether too much juvenile name calling on both sides of the debate here. Another annoying, juvenile feature is the tendency of some posters to attribute exreme and nonsensical positions to those who disagree with them.

I am a retired naval officer and I believe it is possible to support the troops and oppose the misguided policies of this administration. As as student of history, I would point out that one of the most strident opponents of the Mexican War was a first term Illinois congressman by the name of Lincoln. Many retired flag and general officers have been extremely critical of the Bush administraion's blunders in Iraq. Who will be the first to accuse Lincoln and these retired admirals and generals of undermining our troops?

The only thing worse than a continuation of current policy in Iraq would be a precipitious withdrawal. However, we do need to rethink our strategy. Except for the publications that have been consistent cheerleaders for the war, most reports on progress from the surge are mixed at best. The Shiite militia appear to mostly be hunkering down to wait the situation out. One of the motivations of the Sunni sheiks in cooperating with our military against the Al Qaeda in Iraq group is to gain access to US weaponry to be in better position in the ongoing Sunni-Shia civil war.

The "follow us home if we leave" argument is simplistic and ignores the reality of who are the elements fighting in Iraq. The Sunni and Shia fighting for supremacy in Iraq will not follow us home - that is not their aim, they want to kill each other. The largely Sunni insurgency against our occupation will not follow us home - our leaving is their goal. The al Qaeda in Iraq group is a small part of the problem and is a mixture of radicalized Iraqi Sunnis and itinerant jihadists who went to Iraq after the invasion to take potshots at our troops. The one group that actually mounted a successful attack on our soil is not in Iraq but they are hiding in our alleged ally Pakistan after getting away when Rumsfeld called off our military in hot purtsuit of bin Laden and company at Tora Bora.

Having said all that, a sudden pullout will exacerbate the chaos in Iraq and could lead to neighboring countries intervening directly - especially Turkey and Iran. The Saudis, who have been surreptitiously helping the Sunni insurgency, would become more active as well. The ONLY solution to the situation is a political settlement among the main groups in Iraq. There certainly appears to be no movement on that front. Should such a settlement be found, the actual jihadist threat would be containable.

The only presidential candidate with a realistic plan for Iraq is Joe Biden. I do not see a more feasible solution for the ethnic tension in Iraq than giving each main group a highly autonomous province. US troops will need to remain at a reduced level to guarantee the territorial integrity of Iraq, train Iraqis and conduct strikes against the al Qaeda in Iraq group. However, I believe that policing the civil war is not working. There is a lot of evidence that many of the armed groups, especially al Sadr's militia, are simply lying low to wait the surge out. Absent a political settlement, we have nowhere near enough troops to pacify this country. Remember when the Army Chief of Staff told Congress that we would need several hundred thousand troops to successfully occupy Iraq? Rumsfeld and the neo-con crew ridiculed him, some had the sheer audacity to question his courage. Who was more accurate in his assessment of the requirement? Of course, leading the chorus ridiculing General Shineski was the chief cheerleader for the war, William (it's a myth that Shia and Sunni hate each other) Kristol of the Weekly Standard.

I would also provide a little historical perspective to the poster claiming that the military was gutted in the 90's. I held several positions in the Navy dealing with high level financial planning from 89 to 93. Our military was designed to, above all else, deal with the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed, a lot of our military force structure was obsolete. We were also dealing with massive budget deficits left over from Reagonomics. The Bush I administration planned huge cuts in military spending and my office, among many others, was tasked with planning how to take these cuts. However, we were told that the actual amount of the cuts would not be announced until after the 1992 election because the administration did not want any leaks. This was particularly the case since the administration thought they could use "strong on defense" as a selling point in the campaign. What unfolded under Clinton was not much different from what Bush I was planning. A lot of the problems in the later 90's with parts shortages had more to do with a declining defense industrial base and the inclination of the military to keep high tech procurement programs at the expense of operations and maintenance accounts.

I would also like to endorse Josh's points that there is a tendency to conflate all Muslim groups using terror tactics with al Qaeda. The reality is quite different and needs to be dealt with realistically not ideologically. Neither Romney nor Giuliani have any foreign policy experience or credentials. Their comments betray either great ignorance or extreme cynicism in pandering to the base.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 29, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee at #5?

I think Ames will immediately decide who of the 2nd tier still has a shot. Huckabee, Brownback, Paul & TThompson all need at least a top 3 and probably a top 2 to remain in the race.

At least one of those will drop out in a fortnights time. The winner of the fight for 2nd (my pick is Brownback) will take the #5 slot, and look to start replacing McCain at #4.

Posted by: JayPe | July 29, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - You say that you have picked every Presidential winner since Truman in '48. What method did you use as an 8-year old?

Do you still use that today?

Happy Birthday!


proudtobeGOP - Congratulations on your Triathlon championship!

Now let's put the same amount of effort into looking at the world realistically and not through endorphin-clouded glasses.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Happy Bitthday To Me, Happy Birthday To Me. Feels good to be 68. Now I need to find a little drink to celebrate.

Posted by: lylepink | July 29, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

ash: No. As much as I support Hillary, I have not and will not contribute to her campaign simply because I cannot afford to do so. A lot of folks think money is the most important thing, where this is true to an extent, the serious voters spend a lot of time studying each of the parties choices and cast their vote mainly on the individual. When we have a majority of folks thinking all, or most, of the pols are crooks, this is very hard to determine how the voters, and this is important, perceive each of the candidates.

Posted by: lylepink | July 29, 2007 2:25 AM | Report abuse

LOL @ lylepink... Hillary campaign volunteer?

Posted by: ash | July 29, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

When Ron Paul is raising more money, drawing bigger crowds and winning or placing 2nd straw polls in NH and SC, I have no idea where the author ranks Huckabee in 5th when he is accomplishing..well nothing

Posted by: Stan | July 28, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree pretty much with the assessment on the GOP side, except I'd be tempted to put Gingrich in the mix. If he runs, he's instantly in at least the No. 3 spot.

On the Dem side, I don't think the assessment is all that far off. But Richardson's performances in the debates have (unfortunately) been awful, so I'd drop him down to No. 5. Dodd has been doing very well on the TV interview circuit and in the debates, but I haven't seen that translating into votes yet.

Posted by: Eric | July 28, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

CC -

Don't blow off Ron Pau.
I think he will finish 1st in Iowa.

Posted by: granny miller | July 28, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Lauren: Don't be fooled by these clever, edited videos you see on YouTube. These folks are very good at this sort of thing and they can make you think you are seeing and hearing something, when the opposite is true. They are fun to watch, but don't take them seriously.

Posted by: lylepink | July 28, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Two MUST WATCH videos on the "talking to your enemies" question.

Watch this one to see how inconsistent HIllary Clinton has been on the "will you meet with your enemies" question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyqAR4lJCmw

Watch this one to see how consistent Barack Obama has been on Iraq: http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/newleadership&source=SEM-register-blogads-judgment-site-national

When the dust settles, it will be plain that Barack Obama had the right approach, took the high road, and stands apart from the others on the most difficult questions of war and diplomacy.

Posted by: Lauren | July 28, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

hey mikeB - How ya doin buddy?? I just wanted to say THANK YOU to you. See, you really pissed me off yesterday with those personal attacks; the ones where you said I "presume to hide behind those who DO", I'm "stuffed and fake", "cheap",an "empty bag of air", "a nothing" , oh and my personal favorite - a "snivelling coward."

I just finished winning (WINNING) a triathlon today on the military base where I live. Having that extra energy from our discussion yesterday made all the difference!

And about your negative attitude toward everything and everyone who doesn't agree with you....keep telling yourself whatever you need to be able to sleep at night.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 28, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

In reviewing Ian Shapiro's new book, Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror, Samantha Powers emphasizes a point that has been completely lost on Republican presidential candidates (and the man they hope to replace):

Shapiro is at his most persuasive when he argues against lumping Islamic radical threats together. He points out that at the time of the cold war, George Kennan, the formulator of the containment policy, warned against treating Communism as a monolith. Policy makers, Kennan said, ought to emphasize the differences among and within Communist groups and "contribute to the widening of these rifts without assuming responsibility." The Bush administration, by contrast, has grouped together a hugely diverse band of violent actors as terrorists, failing to employ divide-and-conquer tactics.

Although it is tempting to feel overwhelmed by the diversity of the threats aligned against the United States, Shapiro says that very diversity presents us with opportunities, since it "creates tensions among our adversaries' agendas, as well as openings for competition among them." To pry apart violent Islamic radicals, the United States has to become knowledgeable about internal cleavages and be patient in exploiting them. Arguably, this is what American forces in Iraq are doing belatedly -- and perilously -- as they undertake the high-risk approach of turning Sunni ex-Baathists against Qaeda forces.

Kevin Drum notes that this is "the serious side of dumb gaffes from people like Rudy Giuliani, who seem unable to distinguish between even simple divisions like Sunni and Shia." That's absolutely true, but it's not just Giuliani who's confused about the basics.

For example, in the first Republican presidential candidates' debate in May, Mitt Romney tried to explain how he perceives threats to the U.S. from the Middle East: "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. They also probably want to bring down the United States of America."

It seemed to impress the Republican faithful, but it didn't make a lot of sense. Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, for example, have nothing to do with one another. The latter is a terrorist organization; the prior has renounced violent jihad and, in some countries, participated in elections.

At a subsequent debate, Wolf Blitzer asked Mike Huckabee whether he has confidence in Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Huckabee responded with a semi-coherent argument about the Taliban in Afghanistan. The connection to Maliki was unclear.

Giuliani, running on a foreign-policy platform, has been more confused than anyone, conflating every possible rival in the Middle East as one dangerous entity. At a recent debate, he connected Iran to the Fort Dix plot for no apparent reason. Around the same time, he gave up appreciating the nuances of Middle East politics altogether, concluding that the region is filled with those who "have a similar objective, in their anger at the modern world."

Posted by: josh | July 28, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter: Thanks for the update. You may have a typo error on your cite, I keep getting reports of temps in the 120 F range. Anywhow with the gear, it must seem a lot worse.

Posted by: lylepink | July 28, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Before bush the belligerent started bellowing about axis of evil, the Iranians were being quite helpful to us in afghanistan. But you have to understand that Cheney at least, WANTS all-out war in the Middle East, to overthrow any government that won't allow the exploitation of their oil resources.

They don't want to negogiate, it might actually solve problems and tamp down the violence. Obviously, with the intentional supplying of advanced weapons to warring states, their goal is instead escation of violence.

Posted by: Walter | July 28, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

ooh. Obama is going one up on the diplomacy front. Double or nothing! It's a nice response, and in my opinion, wholly appropriate.

Here is the article by Mike Glover http://www.miamiherald.com/692/story/185662.html

Here are clips from the Mike Glover article:
...

'We need a president who'll have the strength and courage to go toe to toe with the leaders of rogue nations, because that's what it takes to protect our security," the Illinois senator told Democrats at a rally. "That's what I'll do as your next commander in chief."

...

Defending his position, Obama cited Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address saying that the nation must never negotiate out of fear, but also never fear to negotiate.

"I was called irresponsible and naive because I believe that there is nobody we can't talk to," said Obama, drawing loud cheers. "We've got nothing to fear as long as know who we are and what we stand for and our values."

...

When dealing with renegade nations, Obama said, the Bush administration has mistakenly been led by a "guiding diplomatic principle" that it can punish a nation by refusing to talk.

"I am confident we can go before the world and talk to the worst dictators and tell them we don't believe in your values, we don't believe in your human rights violations, we don't believe in you exporting terrorism, but if you are willing to work with us in a better direction then we're willing to talk," Obama said. "We shouldn't be afraid."

Posted by: Golgi | July 28, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama had a valid point, we've been following a policy of refusing to talk to our adversaries for fear of "empowering" bad players (though we don't seem at all hesitant to talk about them, just not too them) and it hasn't yeilded a usable result.
It seems to be the same sterling logic one finds applied at most high schools among social cliques and with Charles Krauthammer endorsing it without reservation, I can't help but suspect it's an ineffective and wrong headed approach to world affairs. After all, that guy has a perfect track record, he's wrong every time.

Posted by: Dijetlo | July 28, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

REDSTATE (Pejman Yousefzadeh)
Euphemism: Time To Take Fredo Out Fishing
No, Alberto Gonzales should not be offed. But the man President Bush calls "Fredo"--was a Presidential nickname ever more apt?--should at long last be invited to spend more time with his family. Much more time.... Especially if he suddenly gets a hankering to serve his country once again. In which case, the legions upon legions of intelligent adults accompanying him in a supervisory capacity should move Heaven and Earth to convince Alberto Gonzales that "his country" is Kazakhstan.

Posted by: cons turn on fredo | July 28, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Before he's even explained himself, before Larry Flynt has found all his hookers, Senator David Vitter (R-Pampers) wants to turn to the next chapter: [Vitter] told his colleagues that Senate conservatives should "rebrand" themselves "by reclaiming the fiscal conservative mantle."

Is there anything more hilarious, hypocritcal and transparent than a modern-day 'conservative'?

Posted by: Cassandra | July 28, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Everything that this administration does -- everything -- is for the sole purpose of profit for multinational corporations. Especially for the two biggest profit makers -- oil companies and arms dealers.

Even if it undermines our country's economy. Even if it undermines our national security. Even if it kills thousands of our young people and destroys any hope of a future.

It's all about money, it's all about profits, it's all about soulless and bottomless greed. This entire administratioin is the most morally bereft in this nation's history. Every member should be tried for treason and hung.

Posted by: Jane | July 28, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Who is this Mike poster? Christ, what a neanderthal--one of the fringe lunatics [the core 18%] who still support this occupation for oil. Here's acouple pices of news for you, simple one:

'An overwhelming bipartisan coalition voted 399-24 to support the Democratic Leaderships H.R. 2929 to limit the use of funds for establishing permanent US Military bases in Iraq or to exercise US economic control over the oil resources in Iraq.  I hope this veto-proof vote will be the first in a series that move us toward redeployment from this ill-conceived and mismanaged war.'
-----------------------------

'Iraq's national government is refusing to take possession of thousands of American-financed reconstruction projects, forcing the United States either to hand them over to local Iraqis, who often lack the proper training and resources to keep the projects running, or commit new money to an effort that has already consumed billions of taxpayer dollars.

The conclusions, detailed in a report released Friday by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, a federal oversight agency, include the finding that of 2,797 completed projects costing $5.8 billion, Iraq's national government had, by the spring of this year, accepted only 435 projects valued at $501 million. Few transfers to Iraqi national government control have taken place since the current Iraqi government, which is frequently criticized for inaction on matters relating to the American intervention, took office in 2006.

The United States often promotes the number of rebuilding projects, like power plants and hospitals, that have been completed in Iraq, citing them as signs of progress in a nation otherwise fraught with violence and political stalemate. But closer examination by the inspector general's office, headed by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., has found that a number of individual projects are crumbling, abandoned or otherwise inoperative only months after the United States declared that they had been successfully completed.'

But of course you won't listen to any facts, because they might collide with your sick, warped and twisted world view.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"As an actual member of the military who doesn't need to call on my relatives or neighbors for an opinion, I disagree with you."

You weren't in the marine's mike. Your lying. Stop using your military service to justify your political views :)

Posted by: rufus | July 28, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon... Agreed. But it does fit with the Bush/Cheney ideology... turning everything over to the industrial/military complex.

Meanwhile, Russia is laying claim to the Arctic seabed beneath the North Pole... an area of more than 460,000 sq. miles of the Arctic shelf where estimates are it contains 10 billion tons of oil and gas deposits. WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/27/AR2007072701426.html

The "oil kings" Bush and Cheney can't even get this right... while we are bogged down on the other side of the world in a bloody, endless struggle for Middle East oil, Russia is stealing the oil in our backyard. Figures.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 28, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The GWB and HRC cults of personality are indeed interesting to compare. Thanks for the response Anticlimacus.

Posted by: Golgi | July 28, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice the front page article describing the Bushie plan to sell MORE weaponry to Arab states, including Saudi (home of bin Laden) and Egypt (home of al Zawahiri)-? Yes, I know that both countries are currently run by totalitarian governments who are nominal allies of the US. Remember, the same was true of the Shah of Iran in 1979. This strikes me as a notably bad idea, even for the current masters of notably bad ideas.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 28, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Beyond the primary elections.
People elect their nominee during the primary election to win the general election.When I look carefully at the new polls' ,B. obama is the favorite for the general election. He is the only democrate who is able to beat all the republican candiates. H.Clinton, unlike, B. obama is beatten by most of republican candidates.Then the question is to know whether the democrates want to win the 08 election or loose it. If they want to win the 08 election , the game is very easy and clear ,just :present(elect Obama during the primary election) obama as their nominee and the White House is guaranteed.
We can say that the so- called experience of H. clinton lacks many factors. First her experience didn't help her to forcast the right decisions about going to Iraq, so she will make the same mistakes as actual administration if she is elected President of US.
Secondly, she returns to old advisers of her husband to deal with the problems of news generations.
In sum ,although Clinton leads in the democratic polls, she can't win the 08 election ,that will be the big loss for the democratic party .
On the other hand, Obama is the candidate of 2008. If the demcratic party wants to win the 2008 election , they have or must present obama as their nominee.

Posted by: Kossi Sevon | July 28, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Brendan, I agree with your assessment. Biden is the best of the field.... he may have much more support than the pundits want to believe.

Headline in today's Des Moines Register... "Obama's attacks on Clinton seen as undermining message of hope."

A survey taken for KCCI-TV this week indicated that both Clinton and Obama are losing ground in Iowa... Edwards 27 percent, Clinton 22 percent, Obama 16 percent... which leaves 35% for the rest of the field and uncommitteds.

In May, the same survey showed Clinton 28 percent, Edwards 26 percent,and Obama 22 percent.

Another headline said "Romney picks up backing during two-day visit," to 10 cities, working to build momentum for the Aug. 11 straw poll.

The same KCCI-TV poll found Romney leading with 16 percent (was in 3rd place in May), Fred Thompson at 14 percent (up from 9% and 4th place in May), Giuliani 13 percent and McCain 10 percent (McCain had led in May).

This leaves a whopping 47 percent for the rest of the field and uncommitteds.

It was also reported that Romney continued at attract support from state lawmakers.

Those compaigning heavily this weekend in Iowa.... Brownback, Cox, Dodd, Tancredo, Tommy Thompson.... with one appearance by Obama in Des Moines.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 28, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Now, Bush administration officials are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been Saudi Arabia's counterproductive role in the Iraq war. They say that beyond regarding Mr. Maliki as an Iranian agent, the Saudis have offered financial support to Sunni groups in Iraq. Of an estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters who enter Iraq each month, American military and intelligence officials say that nearly half are coming from Saudi Arabia and that the Saudis have not done enough to stem the flow.

One senior administration official says he has seen evidence that Saudi Arabia is providing financial support to opponents of Mr. Maliki. He declined to say whether that support was going to Sunni insurgents because, he said, "That would get into disagreements over who is an insurgent and who is not."

Posted by: supporting our enemies | July 28, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are likely to receive equipment and weaponry from the arms sales under consideration, officials said. In general, the United States is interested in upgrading the countries' air and missile defense systems, improving their navies and making modest improvements in their air forces, administration officials said, though not all the packages would be the same.

Posted by: creating an arms race -- why? | July 28, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A senior administration official confirmed to CNN on Saturday that the United States is developing a proposed $20 billion, 10-year arms sales package for Saudi Arabia aimed at giving the Saudi military an upgraded capability to counter Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf region.

The proposed sale was first reported in the New York Times.

The official spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity because discussions remain ongoing with the Saudis. And, none of the terms of the package have been finalized.

The future of the package is expected to reverberate in Israel, which has been concerned about Saudi arms deals in the past.

"This is all about Iran," said the official, who noted that the Bush administration is mindful at the same time that Israel must maintain its "qualitative edge" in the region.

One of the most potentially controversial portions of the proposed sale will be the first sale to the Saudis of satellite-guided bombs known as JDAMs. The sale may include both a 500-pound and 2,000 pound version of the aerial bomb.

The Israelis are said to be very concerned about the Saudis having that precision-strike capability. so the United States will discuss basing the weapons as far away from Israel as possible, the official said.

Other elements of the sale include new naval vessels, an advanced version of air-to-air missiles already used by the United States and advanced Patriot missiles.

This entire matter is expected to be a major portion of a meeting next week between Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Saudi officials.


Posted by: arming the 9/11 attackers | July 28, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Recent U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia have dramatically raised the level of military technology in the region, spurring arms races with other Persian Gulf states and with Israel. Having denied Egypt's request for the sale of Apache helicopters equipped with Longbow radar, the U.S. government has approved the possible sale of this technology to Saudi Arabia. This move opens the way for a further shift in the balance of power and technology in this region.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

bush's lovers, the saudis, finance terrorism:

'The Saudi government has been unwilling to tackle the financial infrastructure essential to terrorism. U.S. intelligence reports state that Saudi banks, while mostly doing ordinary commerce, also are institutions that extremism relies upon in its global spread.

As a result, the Bush administration repeatedly debated proposals for taking strong action itself against Al Rajhi Bank, in particular, according to former U.S. officials and previously undisclosed government documents. Ultimately, the U.S. always chose instead to lobby Saudi officialdom quietly about its concerns.

The U.S. intelligence reports, heretofore secret, describe how Al Rajhi Bank has maintained accounts and accepted donations for Saudi charities that the U.S. and other nations have formally designated as fronts for al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.

Posted by: soft on saudi terrorism | July 28, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The fun part now is trying to figure out what these Republican presidential hopefuls are so afraid of. There are a variety of competing theories.

* The Bubble must be protected -- Josh wondered if "the current Bush Republican party is so beholden to a worldview based on denial and suppression of evidence that exposure to unpredictable questions presents too great a danger."

* The GOP base is scary, even to the GOP -- Tim F. noted that the Dems' debate featured questions from the liberal base, but the far-right base is much scarier. "The idea of stringing up liberals, war critics, apostate Republicans as traitors seeps into every forum. They love torture, they hate civil rights and long ago the right's mainstream leaders declared the entire religion of Islam a free-fire zone. Better still, six years of holding government in a headlock has left these guys with a sense that they're entitled to say all this without apology or self-consciousness." If they're asking the questions, maybe the candidates don't want to be there to hear them.

* Democracy, schmocracy -- Andrew Sullivan suggested that the GOP is "a party uncomfortable with the culture and uncomfortable with democracy," so a debate with questions from regular people doesn't suit the party's worldview.

* Shameless elitism -- Steve M. argued that the GOP wants to avoid the riff-raff. "The questioners in the Democratic YouTube debate were sometimes a bit insolent and not always properly groomed. A true modern Republican leader can't tolerate being sassed at by a person like that; it would be like the Generalissimo of a banana republic allowing a peasant to mock his epaulets and riding crop. Giuliani and Romney, in particular, are trying to project an aura of contempt for the scum who disagree with them."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

It's looking like there might not be a GOP CNN/Youtube debate. Rudy appears to be opting out and Mitt Romney doesn't seem far behind. And GOP party functionary Hugh Hewitt is already laying down a line of covering fire for the retreat, arguing that CNN and Youtube are biased against Republicans.

"Liberal Bias", whatever else it once was, now appears to be the new Republican code word for any venue or events not controlled by Republican commisars like Hugh Hewitt along the lines of President Bush's notorious Social Security townhalls in which only certified flunkies who swore to a Bush loyalty oath were let into the room.

As I said here on the night of the debate, the CNN/Youtube debate wasn't perfect. And there were for my tastes a bit too many questions based on a rather cliched sort of viral video silliness. All told though I found it surprisingly successful in getting fresh questions into the mix and edging at least somewhat more candor out of the candidates than the usual fare.

I'm not sure whether the resistance is rooted is the profound feebleness of the current GOP field or the fact that the current Bush Republican party is so beholden to a worldview based on denial and suppression of evidence that exposure to unpredictable questions presents too great a danger. But if they can't face Youtube how can they defeat the terrorists?

Posted by: josh | July 28, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Watch Romney...Pledge not to impose his moral beliefs on others. Praise his mother's 1970 Senate campaign in Michigan as a pro-choice candidate. Discuss the experience of an in-law who died from a botched illegal abortion. Say the Boy Scouts of America ought to allow gays to participate. Completely distance himself from Ronald Reagan. And much, much more!

http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral/2007/jul/27/do_romneys_youtube_greatest_hits_explain_why_hes_skipping_debate

Posted by: for pretty mitty fans | July 28, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

This whole Hillary Vs. Obama thing is a media fabrication.
When you come right down to it their positions are that far apart.

Posted by: Mysterious Traveler | July 28, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Well obviously, Hillary is ahead. She's being funded by Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. Surely, WaPo got the memo too - as did the entire media.

Posted by: annefrank | July 28, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Rufus - I did not vote for GWB for Prez, although I did vote for him for Gov. in 1998.

My appreciation of Laura Bush's advocacy for education in Texas in the '90s is independent of my doubts about GWB.

I thought it was an amusing response to a previous poster.

Of course(unlike David Brooks),
I do not credit "First Lady" as a powerful resume filler, absent other achievements during that elapsed time.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 28, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"I want to make it absolutely clear that I will be sending high-level presidential envoys, including my husband, all over the world, to send a message to not only leaders but countries, 'We are back and we want to be working to find common interests and common ground with all of you,"' she said.

The clearest indication so far that the Clintons see this as an extention of Bill's term. This type of thinking will be instrumental in Hillary losing votes.

Posted by: Zonker | July 28, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm not one of his loyalists (I'm for Mitt), but I think that Ron Paul's fundraising and dedicated constituency have earned him the number 5 spot. Huckabee's not raking in the dough or setting the Internet on fire.

Posted by: T. Claudius | July 28, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

For MikeB: "Courtesy demands that you use something approaching your name." - sorry MikeB, I'm not engineer obsessive compulsive. I choose to use ____________ as my posting name; as discomforting as that is for you.

"He has more courage than 99.9% of the people I have ever heard of." - Look around you. You're so hermetically sealed in your engineer world mind that you probably don't realize that many of the 20 to 90 year olds you see every day showed uncommon valor under pressure at some time in their life, but are not so insecure that they have to tell everybody about it over and over, if ever.

"I am sick and tired of clodhoppers from the right USING him as an excuse to prolong this catastrophy" - Yet you USE him for your purposes to oppose the catastrophy!

You've ranted about how "My son's been screwed by the Army, the VA, and the world" before and ranted about how it is all documented on CNN. You not only won't provide a link to the story, but you insult people who do ask for it. Maybe it doesn't exist or just doesn't support your rants here.

"parasitical foreign guest" - so now that your family is established here, immigrants seeking the "American Dream" are parasites. That kind of belies why your son volunteered to serve this country doesn't it. Or does your American Dream limit this "nation of immigrants" to those who are already here?

"They DO NOT deserve to be treated as we did the veterans of Vietnam" - Maybe you treated them that way. But, actually most Vietnam veterans were not treated poorly, they just weren't treated as heroes. Vietnam vets raised their voices, were heard and listened to by many. But most simply went back to being the ordinary citizens which they were before they served; and have led productive lives. The vets who were treated poorly were the Korea vets. Their older brothers the WWII vets ignored their efforts, pain and suffering. Ignoring the Korea vets was far worse than how Vietnam vets were treated.

"Step up and show your support for our troops with actions, not empty platitudes or debate points, or just shut up!" - Pointing out your hypocrisy for calling out proudtobeGOP while you rant on doing exactly what you demand she and others do not do is not a debate point, it's pointing out a lack of ethics. Your response to that is simply more ranting and use of your sons to support YOUR points.

MikeB, most of the rest of us are not engineers and do not have the absolute certainty that we know better than everybody else and that everybody else is a fool if they do not agree with us. Most of us do live in the real world and do understand that there are more opinions than just our own. I'm sorry that you're trapped in that Black/White world of your's. It's a shame that you miss all of the tones and hues and shades of gray which the rest of us bring to the world.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Chris Dodd is the only unnecessary candidate in the GOP field.

Clinton and Obama are what they are.

Gravel is the true sideshow ... Kucinich represents the radical left.

Richardson is the "experience candidate" who is pandering to the left.

Edwards doesn't have the experience, and is pandering to the left.

Biden is the only one who is willling to speak the truth, politics be damned. Little money, sure, but his wide-ranging experience and passionate arguments in favor of intervention in Darfur and his honesty when it comes to Iraq makes him the best candidate on either side.

Alas, he is not making a dent in the pundits' predictions. Nonetheless, I think he has a bigger natural base than people believe.

I believe in miracles! Biden for President in '08!

Posted by: Brendan | July 27, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Chris Dodd is the only unnecessary candidate in the GOP field.

Clinton and Obama are what they are.

Gravel is the true sideshow ... Kucinich represents the radical left.

Richardson is the "experience candidate" who is pandering to the left.

Edwards doesn't have the experience, and is pandering to the left.

Biden is the only one who is willling to speak the truth, politics be damned. Little money, sure, but his wide-ranging experience and passionate arguments in favor of intervention in Darfur and his honesty when it comes to Iraq makes him the best candidate on either side.

Alas, he is not making a dent in the pundits' predictions. Nonetheless, I think he has a bigger natural base than people believe.

I believe in miracles! Biden for President in '08!

Posted by: Brendan | July 27, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

On July 27, 2007 04:56 PM, proudtobeGOP said: "It is disingenous to say that one is anti-war, yet supports the troops"

Only the weak minded believe that baloney. The politicians set the mission, not the troops. Why would anybody hold the implementers responsible for a failed policy?

Let's put it in another context: You're a shareholder of a company. The board makes some bad decisions costs the value of your stock to drop precipitously. Do you blame the secretaries & the factory workers for the board's bad decisions?

If you're weak minded like proudtobeGOP, you bet you do.

Posted by: Scott in PacNW | July 27, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

On July 27, 2007 04:56 PM, proudtobeGOP said: "It is disingenous to say that one is anti-war, yet supports the troops"

Only the weak minded believe that baloney. The politicians set the mission, not the troops. Why would anybody hold the implementers responsible for a failed policy?

Let's put it in another context: You're a shareholder of a company. The board makes some bad decisions costs the value of your stock to drop precipitously. Do you blame the secretaries & the factory workers for the board's bad decisions?

If you're weak minded like proudtobeGOP, you bet you do.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

The Army that marched into Iraq was by all standards the most technically advanced, equipped, and trained army and Marine Corps the United States ever placed on a field of Battle. That statement can not be made today. It was not Clinton, Carter, Kennedy, or any other Democratic President that marched that army into Iraq and broke it. It was conservative G. W. Bush and his conservative chicken
hawk lemmings, such as Mike. But Mike will continue to blabber "it was Clinton" just as he's programmed to say. We now have over 900 convicted felons serving, qualifications have been dropped, and recruiting goals still can't be met. We have granny's instead of gunny's on the front line while 22 year old frat boys attend Young Republican meetings back home calling for us to continue the War in Iraq. Liberalism at its worst could not have screwed as bad as conservatism at its best did in Iraq.

Hey, but thanks for bringing up the Iraq fiasco and please continue to do so, especially in the general election next year.

Posted by: Mike

Not blaming Clinton per se,
but blaming the liberals who ALWAYS want to keep the military weak.
Who ALWAYS seem to support prosecuting the military, while granting due process rights to terrorists.
Who ALWAYS are distrustful of the military, and who think a "strong military" is a "waste of money".
So, no, not just blaming Clinton, but Liberalism at its best.

Posted by: DC in TN | July 27, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon, did you know that there really is an Ice9? Not quite as advertised in "Cat's Cradle", but you probably do not play footsie, either.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 27, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Anticlimacus, as long as we can get Bushcheney out of office before it unleashes the IceNine...

Posted by: Bokonon | July 27, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Bokomon: You summed up the stupidity of those that keep with the support the troops line, when in fact the opposite is true. MikeB was also direct and to the point on that little catch phrase. Let me remind you of the "Lawnmower" story, those that have served know it well. I have stated from day 1 my opposition to this war and am convinced it was for oil/money. This Administration has in fact killed and wounded tens of thousands of our military people for no other reason. That is a FACT.

Posted by: lylepink | July 27, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

response to Golgi -

there was an article in the post a few weeks (months?) back about hillary clinton's inner circle. i am in no position to judge how much of a bubble they keep her in. however, it seems quite a few of them have been on her 'team' for 10 or 15 years. from that one article, it seems they have similar loyalty principles as bush's. which is to say, something approaching cult of personality.

comment to bokonon-

nice, nice, very nice
nice, nice, very nice (moniker)

Posted by: anticlimacus | July 27, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Mike, do you remember how this argument started? You said that liberals don't support the troops, because we want the war to end. Now you say that if we invaded Britain, you'd agree that the mission was bad and we should end it, but that wouldn't have anything to do with your support for the troops.

You're the one that made the false claim that opposing the war means not supporting the troops. And that's ridiculous, as you've now admitted. So I'll agree to not say that we should withdraw from Iraq for the troops' sake, if you'll agree not to whine about your opponents not supporting the troops. Of course, that would require you to be something besides a Republican partisan troll, so I don't expect it from you.

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, I have no children, but my cousin and several friends are over there as we speak. Everyone who has friends and/or relatives in the service has all the right in the world to protest the policies of this stupid, stupid man and his self-interested Administration.

(other) Mike, the fact that soldiers enlist voluntarily is irrelevant. It is not "supporting" them, and it is NOT "supporting" the country for which they supposedly fight, to continue with a policy which is counterproductive to the cause it supposedly serves. Our war in Iraq has STRENGTHENED al Qaeda, according to the recent National Intelligence Estimate, which goes on to say that al Qaeda in Pakistan (with Osama - remember him? the one who was and is a REAL threat?) almost back to pre-09.11 levels. This has happened because Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld took their eye off the ball in Afghanistan - when Osama was cornered - to shift the focus to what they thought would be an easily winnable war. They wanted to build support for neocon policies AND show off US military hardware to the rest of the world. Both objectives have failed badly, and we now find ourselves with an overstretched, demoralized army at precisely the time that international pressures are mounting to levels not seen for many years.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 27, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Well I'm kind of in a hurry and a lot of people have written a lot of things that I don't have time to respond to.

MikeB -- I have enjoyed talking to you, but one of the things you said just bothers me: "None of this is due to Clinton."

Fact: Clinton had multiple opportunities to get bin laden and failed

Fact: Clinton oversaw the greatest downsizing of our military in a long time

Fact: Clinton opposed spending on military training, research, equipment

Fact: A huge percent of our F-18s and other aircraft could not fly, for lack of parts

YES - The president has made mistakes. I'm not defending him.

And Blarg, no- don't invade Britain. But don't argue against it in terms of "I care about the troops so lets bring them home". Argue against it because it is a bad mission.

I know plenty of you think this is a bad mission. Fine. Argue on the MERITS.

But don't claim to support the troops because you don't want to see them in harms way.

I don't want to see fire fighters in harms way, or police officers, or medical response teams.

But if there's a fire, that fire fighter better be there

And if there's a war, our military better be there.

Argue the merits of your case, but don't be disingenuous.

All for now.

MikeB -- thankyou for your family's service to the country. I understand your concern for your sons safety. I think about my men, and the future men under my command, and it keeps me up at night. But I'm also a realist - people, including myself, are going to pay the ultimate sacrafice in war. It's a terrible thing, but a necessary thing. And it's a thing that they, and I, have signed up for. I wish them well, and will keep them in my prayers -- but a Marine never backs down from a fight. And if our President tells us to fight, we will fight.

To quote a famous Marine, "When this Marine recieves an order from his commander-in-chief, this Marine follows it" -Oliver North

Support the troops by wishing them VICTORY, not DEFEAT.

Peace be with all of you.

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

anon - Courtesy demands that you use something approaching your name. And what parent wouldn't point out how brave their son was, when they were shown resuing people? You bet I bragged about my son! He has more courage than 99.9% of the people I have ever heard of. And, believe you me, HIS OPINION counts with me and I am sick and tired of clodhoppers from the right USING him as an excuse to prolong this catastrophy that is our foreign policy. He and the other young men like him are brave and we owe them much. They deserve brass bands and a hero's welcome. They deserve the best medical care. They deserve a VA that can actually find their records and provide them the GI Bill benefits for college. They deserve a country that can provide jobs FOR THEM instead of compitition from a bunch of parasitical foreign guest workers or a bankrupt future where government and corporations have offshored their jobs and wrecked the economy. They deserve the Amercian dream. They DO NOT deserve to be treated as we did the veterans of Vietnam. Step up and show your support for our troops with actions, not empty platitudes or debate points, or just shut up!

Posted by: MikeB | July 27, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

"Nice try lamebrain. Don't YOU use my sons to support your bankrupt President, your idiotic and failed Iraq and Afghanistan policies,"

MikeB, I was just pointing out a significant inconsistency in your posts. You will notice that I said nothing about the President, or Iraq or Afghanistan.

I think that it is hypocritical for you to go off on proudtobe GOP, when you have used your sons to support your positions for over a year; even to the extent that you provided links to CNN's website when your medic son was in a picture on CNN's home page.

What's sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.

Either drop using your sons, or accept that if you do, others can comment on your using them.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Mike - You cannot blame the CLinton's for the horrible equipment failures I just posted about. Every single one of them is due to the present Pentagon and to the Bush Administration. That anti_RPG system? The Israeli developed one and it works nearly 100% of the time AND will retrofit our present Bradley's and Humvees. Insrtead of buying it, some armchair general at the Pentagon issued a no bid contract to a defense buddy to "research" amking one. How many U.S. soldiers have DIED becasue some swine used this war to make money off that one problem? The same, the exact same thing applies to the 9mm hanguns U.S. troops carry, to the .223 ammunition that we knew going into Iraq wouldn't penetrate the walls that the bad guys hide behind, to the defective body armour, to a wehole lot of things. The fact is, our troops are under equipped AND THEY ARE WORN OUT due to poor planning and people at the top using them as nothing more than canon fodder! My younger son is on his FOURTH tour of duty. He has been in Iraq since day 1, except for three wslightly less than 30 day leaves home. The other son was WOUNDED. The military hospital never did provide the care he needed and those same swine at the Pentagon just bounced him off into the reserves. We, his mother and I, WE PAID for his medical care. Then, becasue the VA had his records screwed up, we paid his way through nearly two years of college. When the Pentagon found out he was physcially well, they called him up in the middle of last spring quarter, they rectivated him and shipped him off to Iraq to serve his THIRD tour of duty. The same cowards at the Pentagon that screwed everything else up, put him in the exact same situation that nearly got him killed to begin with - he runs ahead of convoys looks for ambushes and IED's in an unarmoured Humvee. None of this is due to Clinton. Every bit of it is due to Bush **AND** the incompitent, uncaring, swine that run our Pentagon and Defense Department.

And, to anon coward, posting at 06:14 . Nice try lamebrain. Don't YOU use my sons to support your bankrupt President, your idiotic and failed Iraq and Afghanistan policies, nor the human rubbish that occupies the Pentagon. And, most certainly don't use them to support the lunatic ideas you and the rest of the twisted scum spout from the right.

Posted by: MikeB | July 27, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary is offended by being called "Bush lite" then perhaps she should request that Bill not give keynotes at conferences with Bush Sr. They spoke together at the CTIA conference on March 30,2007. If past speaking fees are any indication, they both recieved between $150,000 and $400,000 for the appearance.

The CTIA is a lobby group for the telecommunications industry. It is worth noting that Mrs. Hillary Clinton has proposed bills that advocate spending tens of millions of dollars in telecommunications improvements (http://www.senate.gov/~clinton/news/statements/record.cfm?id=271662).

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2109950,00.asp

Posted by: George | July 27, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Blarg - I agree with you on how our military is used. My point was the individual soldier has a sense that they are serving the country's philosophical interests, not it's economic or geo-political interests.

That the G.I. actually has a sense of patriotism; at least for the first enlistment or two.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Mike - please explain how complaining about the Pentagon lying is anti-military. Institutionally the response of any DOD public relations officer is to deny that anything negative ever happened.

That, plain and simple is lying.

When the facts begin to come out, the first DOD response is to attack the people presenting the facts. When the facts are corroborated and the Truth begins to be known for what it is, the DOD response is to find a scapegoat (usually, though not always, low-ranking Enlisted personnel - sometimes Junior officers are sacrificed). Finally, when the Truth is finally out, the DOD response usually is to simply shut-up. They recognize a losing cause.

Going after DOD for lying shouldn't be considered anti-military. Challenging people who knowingly lie should be considered anti-military; just challenging people who are institutionally unethical.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Mike, what if we decided to invade England tomorrow? Practically everyone would oppose that invasion. Does that mean they aren't supporting the troops? Is the only way to support the troops to support any mission those troops are given, even if the mission is pointless or unjust?

6:07 anonymous, of course soldiers believe they're doing something for their country. And in general, they're right. But not by protecting our "freedoms", because our freedom isn't threatened. The general mission of our military is to protect American interests. We protect our allies, we defeat dictators, we fight for democracy and justice in the world. Those are all laudable goals. But they aren't protecting our freedoms, in any but the vaguest and most convoluted sense. In their constant slavish worship of our military, Republicans ignore what the role of our military actually is.

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

A couple things:

1) Osama bin Laden is not stupid. Anyone who thinks otherwise has no idea what they're talking about. He knows that the destruction of the West, of America, will not be attained through brute force. His goal is to disrupt governments, including ours. Force us into a position where we are willing to abandon freedoms in exchange for security, or at least the feeling of security. He believes us to be an abomination before God, because we accept the concept of individual liberty in all aspects of life. When we allow the government to restrict those freedoms, terrorists know that they have effectively terrorized us.

2) Yes, if a soldier breaks the law, be it civilian or military law, they should be punished. That's why we have laws. Was it wrong to punish Calley for the massacre at My Lai?

3) Yes, terrorist suspects should receive due process. If we're going to roam the Earth dragging other nations kicking and screaming into the espousing of American-style democracy, then we're going to have to treat the criminals we apprehend over there the same way we treat them over here. Otherwise, we're nothing but hypocrites, aren't we?

Posted by: JamesCH | July 27, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Mike - food for thought: when the Soviet Empire fell, there was no clear and present enemy. Would you have kept the U. S. Armed Forces at their Cold War levels?

Would you have done anything other than downsize somewhat, until a threat, real or fabricated (politicians do that you know) emreged?

The military should have been downsized naturally, and then adjustments made as the New World Order took shape (we still may not even know what that is). The military is costly. The money used for that should have either been returned to the people as a "peace dividend" of some type or put into other programs most of which are social, which Liberals tend to support.

It's quite possible that the Liberals may not have been so much anti-military as pro-social knowing that money was available to fund what they naturally support.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad tht Huckabee doesn't et more attention. He seems to be pretty genuine and certainly competent. If Cilizza is even remotely right and Huckabee shows well in Iowa, then maybe he can hold on for a bit longer.

Posted by: Ollie | July 27, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The only entity that can eliminate our freedom of speech is the US Government. Unless you can clearly explain how anyone we're fighting in Iraq is trying to take away our rights, stop using those tired lines about the military fighting for our freedoms.

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 05:58 PM

Let's eliminate all of the military and see how long it takes for some other country to come over and conquer us. It's a lesson that Thomas Jefforson learned the hard way. He had great reservations about the military, but ended up increasing its size more than any other president.

Reality is a tough thing Blarg, try dealing with it on occasion.

Posted by: FH | July 27, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The answer is simple folks.

"Supporting the Military" does not mean bringing them home.

If your son was a racecar driver, "support" wouldn't mean telling him not to drive.

If your daughter was a vet, "support" wouldn't mean telling her not to handle dangerous animals.

So, Blarg, and the rest of you confused liberal bloggers out there -- "supporting the military" does not mean sitting them out of the fight.

We signed up to fight. That's our job. Support us DOING our job.

How about that?

When's the last pro-military foundation you gave aid to?

When's the last time you send a post-card or an x-mas gift to our boys overseas?

That's "support"

Sitting here from your arm-chair, demanding a RETREAT is not "supporting the military" -- it's supporting the Liberal agenda - to always lose wars.

http://conservativestandards.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Not blaming Clinton per se,

but blaming the liberals who ALWAYS want to keep the military weak.

Who ALWAYS seem to support prosecuting the military, while granting due process rights to terrorists.

Who ALWAYS are distrustful of the military, and who think a "strong military" is a "waste of money".

So, no, not just blaming Clinton, but Liberalism at its best.

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

MikeB - in your last post you used your sons again to support your position. In CAPS even.

How can you complain about somebodyelse referencing that?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Mike - isn't it getting cold on there on the wing? Still blaming the Clintons 6 1/2 years later. Yeesh!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Blarg - there is validity to the tired lines about the military fighting for our freedom.

It gets warped all too often, but most of those who join, even those drafted when there was a draft, believe that they are doing something "for their country."

Even when we're not involved in a war, their presence makes a difference, simply because of the role of the U.S. as the World's only superpower. We represent freedom to the rest of the World. Our military theoretically protects that freedom. It's been difficult to believe that of late, but that should be the case, and it shouldn't seem "tired" to us to hear that.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Blarg -- that's moronic. Al-Qaeda would gladly do so in a heartbeat. Trust me, I know.

Hell, even the ACLU would take away our bill of rights if they could (of course taht's another topic).

MikeB -- thank you for your son's service. But how do you think our military got the way it was? How do you think we had no spare parts, no equipment, no planes that could fly?

Could it be.... the Clintons? Because I'll tell you, things were different under Reagan. The military was prepared to fight and WIN a war.

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Just curious FH, do you also believe that the flag just a piece of cloth?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

FH, there is no external force that has the power to eliminate the Bill of Rights. (More accurately, there's no entity who has the desire to do so.) The only entity that can eliminate our freedom of speech is the US Government. Unless you can clearly explain how anyone we're fighting in Iraq is trying to take away our rights, stop using those tired lines about the military fighting for our freedoms.

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I really don't give a rats behind what "prouds" husband is doing or not. I do care about these swine USING the young men in the military to to beat anyone over the head that disagrees with them. I'm also sick and tired of annonymous posters, like KOZ or maybe someone just as lame, claiming that I am somehow using my sons when I merely point out THEIR view, and the view of their fellow soldiers, about this ill advised invasion. Their entire position is bankrupt and mindless and I, for one, am sick of it! THEY, Bush and the fat armchair generals at the Pentagon, the corporate swine that make money off this mess, all blather about "supporting the troops" as an excuse to continue this nightmare. Well, I am OPPOSED to this misadventure and am pointing out that these swine put MY SONS in harms way for no good reason. Not just for no good reason, but ill equipped, with unarmored Humvee's, with tanks and Bradley's and other vehicles that were either unarmored or had and HAVE such a lack of armor that hundreds of young men have died and thousands have been wounded and maimed. They equipped these soldiers with rifles and pistols that they knew and KNOW full well will jam when dirty, are wreced by sand. They subcontracted out food services that fed them spoled food. They put them in horrible hospitals when they were wounded or simply shoved them into the reserves and left them to fend for themselves. They have called up these tired young men to serve three and four and five tours of duty. They have lied to them, telling some that they would not have to go back to that nightmare if they would re-inlist, but sent them back again nce the papers were signed. They have taken their right to communicate openly and honestly with their parents by censoring their email, their letters, their telephone conversations home. They treat these brave soldiers like garbage and then have the unmittigated gaul to talk about "spporting them". These people, people like "proud" are nothing more than snivelling cowards that use the sacrifice of these soldiers to prop up their failure. How ANYONE can put up with them or not see their cowardess and phony talk is beyond me. BUT I will not stand for it any longer.

Posted by: MikeB | July 27, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"Quit hiding behind MY sons!!!! "

Quite hiding behind your own sons.

As an actual member of the military who doesn't need to call on my relatives or neighbors for an opinion, I disagree with you.

So what do you think of that? Am I a swine too because I disagree with you?

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"They do not decide for themselves, nor do we." - proudtobeGOP

Actually Proud, we do. We vote. We made the mistake of voting in people who had flawed agenda which they had been wating to implement for 20 years. We let them do it. We can also stop it. It may take another year and one-half, but you better believe that it's going to stop.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"I happen to agree with what FH wrote above: "If we leave Iraq in its current state we will lose any control over the situation in the middle east, and that is unacceptable." Even if it is damn hard."

How does having forces in Iraq give us any control over the situation in the middle east that we didn't have before or would have with our forces based in allied countries instead?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 27, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"Try to remember that the American military is at war, even if the rest of the country is not." - proudtobeGOP

That's one of the problems, the rest of us haven't been asked to sacrifice a damn thing (that we can see; the hidden $ cost is another matter).

The only investment the President asked the rest of us to make in this War was to support him. When he shows flashes of leadership they quickly vanish as he fails to recognize conditions change around him. He gets credit for being steadfast in his beliefs; the reality is that actually has been his downfall.

He may still believe the wolf is there, but most of the rest of us know that it was, is and has been in Afghanistan.

You want support for the War, then let's get back to where the enemy is.

I'd suggest that the people who continue to support those who send troops to fight their own ill-advised war, and do so without providing the proper logistical support are the ones failing to support the troops.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

mikeB- You are not the only one with family in active duty. My husband recently spent 2 years overseas which included a lengthy deployment to Iraq. I know about the emotional toll and the worry, and the loneliness and the constant fear - so don't you dare and try to claim a sole right to those feelings.

Having spent 22+ years in active duty as a family, I can tell you that we know what sacrifice is. There will be more to come.

Nobody wants to send their loved ones to war. Nobody wants to say goodbye over and over again and watch as they carry their green duffel bag away, maybe for the last time. Nobody wants to see their loved one come home with legs blown off. But that is the deal- They are in the military. They do not decide for themselves, nor do we.

I happen to agree with what FH wrote above: "If we leave Iraq in its current state we will lose any control over the situation in the middle east, and that is unacceptable." Even if it is damn hard.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 27, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The constitution is a piece of paper Blarg, it gives you nothing without those that are willing to defend it.

MikeB: I'm pretty sure Proud's husband is in the Service and has done time in the warzone, so you might want to keep your chest thumping to yourself. By the way, did your sons get drafted or did they volunteer...just wondering, because as a grunt myself...I don't remember being asked about policy decisions. Do what your told, do what your told by all means do what your told if I remember correctly.

Posted by: FH | July 27, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

McCain better, but can he find enough money and skilled staffers in the early states to make a serious run at the nomination?

The problem is not the staff, it is the candidate.

McCain has the attention span of a gnat. During the Abu Gharib hearings, he was good for four questions and then ran out of steam way before he ran out of time.

McCain simply lacks the intellect to push through the issues in an intelligent manner.

His Senate legislative career is littered with half-baked, ineffective initiatives like McCain-Feingold.

McCain is living proof of the validity of the Peter Principle, that one rises to the level of one's incompetence.

Posted by: robert chapman | July 27, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Hate to have to point it out to you MikeB, but you've been using your sons to support your position for over a year.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

proud - one of these days the rats in Washington who still support the Iraq War are going to jump ship so fast you'll get dizzy trying to keep up with them.

Election polls is what will cause them to have their epiphanies.

The War was lost politically in the U.S. some time ago. Abu Grahib may have been to this what Tet 1968 was to Vietnam.

You can rationalize all you want. It took 7 years after Tet for us to get out of Vietnam - 4 years to get out of the day-to-day combat. More than half of the deaths occurred after Tet 1968 was over.

This year the Iraqi Parliament may as well have put up a bright neon sign that said , "We don't care!" when they decided to adjourn for the Summer.

If they don't care, why should we have troops dying for them?

Face it, you're looking into a bottomless pit politically, and the people you look to lead us (excepting the President) are going to run from this in droves when they decide it will affect their chances at re-election.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP - Uh...excuse me? You HAVE NO RIGHT IN THIS DEBATE. Quit hiding behind MY sons!!!! I am opposed to any continued presence in Iraq. My sons are opposed to any continued presence in Iraq. The parents of roughly 30 friends who have sons in the military in Iraq are opposed to any presence in Iraq. We want out and we want out RIGHT NOW! How DARE YOU *use* my sons and the sons of my friends to jusify your dispicable and morally bankrupt and cheap politics. If you support this swine of a President's foreign policy, his adventure, then say so. But DO NOT hide behind the sacrifice, the bravery, and the decency of those soldiers that have been used and misused by Bush and the dogs that lay at his feat. These utter swine sent those boys off with no plan, with second rate vehicles that were nothing short of rolling tin cans and targets for the insurgents, they sent the with defective body armour, they sent them with no anti-RPG system even though a perfectly good one has already been developed and is in use by Israel, they sent them with rifles and pistols that jam and do not have enough velocity and mass to penetrate the building walls the insurgents ide behind, this WHitehuse and this Pentagon have used this war and traded our sons lives so that private contractors and the very same utter scum that outsouces jobs can make money. Go right ahead proudtobeGOP, be very proud and support these degenerate scum. But, DO NOT even pretend to support "the troops". The troops neither want nor will accept your "support" and I sure as H*ll don't want it from some stuffed and fake and sunshne patriot ofd the likes of you. Now, shut up and crawl under the rock from whence you were born. You are a cheap fake, an empty bag of air, a nothing, and you would presume to hide behind those of us that actually *DO*.

Posted by: MikeB | July 27, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Golgi, I made that post before reading yours; it wasn't a response to you. But I don't think your analogy works. The relationship between a parent and child is nothing like the relationship between a nation and its military.

Proud, your stance is absolutely ridiculous. There's no way to be against a war but not against the troops who are fighting that war? If we decided to invade England tomorrow, I hope that you'd be against that war. Would that mean that you'd be anti-military or that you'd hate the troops? No, it would mean that you disagree with the mission assigned to those troops, and want that mission to end. It has nothing to do with your opinion of the soldiers themselves.

FH, our country's military does not give us any rights. Our country's Constitution gives us rights. Sometimes, on very rare occasions, the military is called upon to protect those Constitutional rights. But we are not a military dictatorship, and the source of our rights is not the military.

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Hillary should surely not talk about being naive. She was the last person in America to believe Bill Clinton changed and finally became faithful. And she voted for a war than even now she cann't muster the guts to call a mistake. We already have one president whose pride outways their judgement, do we need another? I have mixed feelings about not having pre conditions for visiting adversaries such as say Fidel Castro releasing political prisoners because the opportunity to be seen with the American president appeals to their vanity. But we have now altered preceptions that rightly or wrongly America is viewed as an obstacle to peace.
When Nixon visited China, a brutal dictatorship still, there were no pre conditions apparent and it was a remarkable strategic diplomantic success
offsetting Soviet power while America regrouped.
But largely this squabble has a tempest in a teapot quality because the first order of the day is get elected. Seen in that prism, Edwards seems the most electable if he wins Iowa and perhaps New Hampshire too, he starts to be taken seriously, and people start hedging their bets.
How do Obama or Clinton turn states that voted for Bush to the Democratic ticket? I'm not a die hard Edwards fan, I think Obama has a centerness to him that even friends who are Republicans are drawn to him. Edwards has the overly calculated "I feel your pain" empathy with not quite the charm and at least not the adultery as far as we know.
Hillary carries much of the package of the Clinton era with none of the people skills.

Posted by: Franco | July 27, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the whole problem of sending them into a country without a plan to get them back out.

Probably around a year ago I wrote an analogy over at a blog on the Star Tribune website. The analogy is particularly suited to President Bush, our so-called MBA President, because it compares the Iraq conflict to a business investment.

One important thing they talk about in Business School, particularly for Entrepreneurs, is to have an appropriate business plan. When your starting a new business, or invading a country, it is important to have an exit plan. Now, an exit plan isn't necessarily 'how do we get out'; in business terms, its 'how we get a return on our investment.' So, if we're investing in a new business, or invading a country, we have to have a plan, so we have something to which we can compare progress. Periodically we can say - are we meeting projected milestones? These could be sales in dollars, growth in customers, provinces in which we no longer provide security, oil laws, whatever. As anyone who's been in business knows, sometimes things don't go according to plan - particularly in startups. The same clearly holds true for invasions. A particularly good plan will account for some of these problems. Other times, you just have to go back to your investors and ask for more money. They're going to ask for a change in the plan; they might say, 'ok, we'll give you XX more dollars, but if you don't accomplish YY by ZZ, that's it.' So, the question becomes, when do we stop throwing money into a bad investment? How long do we let current management run this operation before demanding real change? Maybe there's still a real opportunity here - one that's so good that we'd be fools to pull out now. But is current management up to the task? My feeling is that after 4 long years, its clear they aren't. But we keep giving them money, we keep let them pursuing one failed strategy after another. If we're going to get any return from this investment, its going to come from new management.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

proud - it is disingenuous to move our troops from the place where those who attacked the U.S. were located, to fight the War on Terror in a place where there were essentially no terrorists, and then invite the terrorists to come and fight us there.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Now that you're done with that, maybe you can explain how the liberal position on this war (bring the troops home so they aren't being killed in the desert) doesn't count as support. In your own words, if you're capable.

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 04:42 PM

Because the liberal position is a fantasy, like most liberal positions, that does not deal with consequences. If we leave Iraq in its current state we will lose any control over the situation in the middle east, and that is unacceptable.

It became unacceptable to let world events unfold without trying to mold them to our benefit after WWI, where we lost over 100,000 troops in a war that had nothing to do with us. Unfortunately we did not learn our lesson until after WWII, where we lost over 400,000 troops and over 50 million people died worldwide.

And as a direct answer to your question...having an opinion does not in any way support the troops, it is only a right given to you by those troops.

Posted by: FH | July 27, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP
"Lamenting the fate of troops as victims in Bush's war is not support."

Neither is sending them into battle without the proper body armor or armored vehicles.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

It is disingenous to say that one is anti-war, yet supports the troops - what they really mean is they feel sorry for the troops. Lamenting the fate of troops as victims in Bush's war is not support.

We all wish things were better in Iraq, and some wish that we didn't go there to begin with. But how can you say with a straight face that you support the troops while supporting the advancement of legislation that would undercut their mission and strengthen their enemies?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 27, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Well Blarg, you know how kids don't feel particularly supported when the parents make them stop doing something but the kid thinks it is important to do? To a kid, that kind of parental "support" doesn't count as real support. To the kid, real support would help the kid do what it is s/he is trying to do, even though it is dangerous.

I'm sure you can fill the analogy in.

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that fascinating marketing materials. Now that you're done with that, maybe you can explain how the liberal position on this war (bring the troops home so they aren't being killed in the desert) doesn't count as support. In your own words, if you're capable.

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, here is a serious answer to your question. (I am sympathetic to your big-picture point.)

The analogy is that supporting your kid doesn't always mean telling your kid to stop when he is doing something dangerous. Sometimes the best way to support your kid is to give him support WHILE he is doing the dangerous thing, not to tell him to stop.

Of course, sometimes the right way to support your kid IS to tell him to stop. It depends on the situation, on whether the dangerous thing is worth doing.

Similarly, sometimes the best way to support the troops is to give them support WHILE they are doing something dangerous, not to tell them to stop. Not always, but sometimes. That's the kind of support people are talking about.

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"What does it mean to "support the troops"?"

Try to remember that the American military is at war, even if the rest of the country is not.

Anyone can support the military; political affiliation is not required. Not slandering them would be a good start.


America Supports You connects Americans supportive of our troops with organizations
that are devoted to helping the troops and their families, while also providing a one stop location on the internet at

www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil

where our military and their families can find hundreds of support organizations eager to help our heroes when they need it most.

Across America, thousands of citizens, businesses, and homefront groups - from local schools and establishments to nationally-known corporations and organizations - undertake projects to support our military men and women.

America Supports You spotlights their work, encourages others to join the team, and allows everyone to tell their stories by giving voice and visibility to their efforts.

More than 250 homefront groups, representing communities from coast to coast, have joined the America Supports You team to support the troops in many ways including writing letters and e-mails,
sending care packages, and assisting military families or helping the wounded when they return home.

America Supports You homefront groups have:
Provided more than $4,600,000 in direct financial support to military members and their families

Provided more than 9,000 free airline tickets worth more than $11 million to hospitalized service members and their families, helping to keep them connected during recovery

Provided assistance to more than 100,000 military families

Built or adapted dozens of homes for wounded service members

Provided more than 1,600 computers to military families to help keep them cnnected with their deployed loved ones

Sent more than 3 million care packages to deployed service members

Sent more than half a million books to deployed service members

Greeted more than 75,000 troops at the airport as they return home from deployment

To find out how you can help, or to find help from one of more than 250 non-profit
organizations, please visit

www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 27, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

What does it mean to "support the troops"? It's a great bumper sticker, but what does it actually mean? I want the troops to come home. I'd rather that the troops were home with their families, not patrolling Iraq in 120-degree heat, being shot at and blown up by IEDs. I find it horrible that we've allowed 3500+ American soldiers to die, and thousands more to be injured, in the colossal waste that is the Iraq War. How am I not supporting the troops?

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Well pacman, you've finally shown your liberal colors haven't you.

It was only a matter of time, and I think we've reached the breaking point, where the anti-war liberals can't keep up this "support the troops" act any long.

As ProudToBeGOP allueded above, we are starting to see more and more mainstream hatred for the Military, not just Bush and the war.

You liberals are determined to lose every war, and you have consistently been (and will always be) the most valuable ally of our enemies (Vietnam, Iran, and now the Jihadists).

I am proud to serve in the United States Marine Corps to protect your right to be an absolute ignorant loser.

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

pacman
"Does it take any imagination to wonder what Gen. Petraeus's report will sound like in September?"

Odds are it will say exactly what the boss wants it to say: "The surge is working, but not yet complete. Now go away and don't ask again for another 3 to 6 months."

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Mike, I used to be a Christian. Thanks to the examples shown me by folks like you, I am now an agnotic"

I hear you Cochise. I'm having a hard time convining my girlfreind to be a christian for the same reason. She says she was treated so poorly by people who "claimed christianity as their religon she will never be.

It's important to note. YOu are a christian by your actions not your words. I would agrue anybody not following the teachings of jesus christ they are not christians. No matter how much thye claim to be. "If you Love ME follow my teahings"

Jesus

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Both the Lynch/Tillman lies help explain that the military is as politicized as the Department of Justice.

But it took the strenuous efforts of the Tillman family to bring any of the facts to light. Yes, that's the kind of military command we have today, propagandists all.

Does it take any imagination to wonder what Gen. Petraeus's report will sound like in September? It'll take a generation or two before we can restore credibility in any branch of our government.

Posted by: pacman | July 27, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

From today's AP news story:

"The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

"Among other information contained in the documents:

"- In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."

"- Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.

"- The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.

"- No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck....

"The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman's body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army's Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army's Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case.

"He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no," the doctor testified."

End of excerpt. Maybe what this sad incident tells us is that people are pressured by the Bush administration to toe the agenda line and they lose their moral bearings trying to do so.

A case in point, Gonzales, the nighttime sickbed enforcer of White House illegal surveillence who is now our "There are no rules" AG. [Quote is Gonzo's testimony for his rationale for his nighttime visit to Ashcroft's hospital room.]

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 27, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I used to be a Christian. Thanks to the examples shown me by folks like you, I am now an agnotic, or what you would call a secular humanist.
I believe that while religious people can be good people who do good things, the same is true of those who are not religious. It is within each person, whether a person of faith or not, to act in ways which we characterize as "good" and "evil."
Religion itself is not inherently "good" - it is a group who gather to share in superstition invented by man, and as such can just as easily be a cause of "evil."

Posted by: Cochise | July 27, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Mike..If you actually think that Wikipedia is a good reference source, then I must tell you all about a swell land deal I have for you in Florida...As I am sure you know, but will certainly refuse to acknowledge, we are not currently in a war, we are attempting to enforce an illegal occupation of a foreign country, following the equally illegal invasion. "The War on Terror" is of course, just so much verbal garbage..terror is a tactic, and only a willfully blind ex-military person such as yourself could ever characterize what is obviously a police action as a war. And only Bushies take such obvious pleasure from the distortion of the truth. Common sense seems to indicate that ex-service men such as yourself should be the last to support an unneccessary and illegal conflict costing thousands of American troops lives...but common sense, and the truth, seem strangers to the average Bushie, sadly.

Posted by: David | July 27, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Mike, dude, relax. You're so angry that you're not making sense. For example, you say:

"And since the Almighty State hasn't declared this a 'war,' then it must not be."

-I would remind you that the Constitution - perhaps you've heard of it? - reserves for Congress the power to declare war.

"Hence, as good ditto-head Liberals, we cannot possibly support this war."

-What does "ditto-head" mean, anyway? Never mind - here, there are two problems. 2nd one 1st - you say that liberals 'cannot possibly support this war.' I would remind you that at least THIS liberal doesn't believe it IS a war - as you acknowledge in your first statement. But the main problem here is your use of the word "hence," meaning "therefore." Put together with your first statement, you seem to be saying that liberals do not support the Iraqle because it does not meet the Constitutional definition of "war." You are incorrect, sir! I can't speak for liberals in general, but I do not support it because 1)it was justified by a set of lies, 2)it has so far cost an equivalent of 6% of the ENTIRE NATIONAL DEBT - not to mention the lives of almost 4000 of your fellow service men and women, 3)it distracted the US and its people from the pursuit of bin Laden and al Qaeda - back before they were in Iraq, 4) it is serving as a recruiting poster/training ground for the same al Qaeda and other extremist groups, and 5)it has caused the US to be both less respected and less liked AROUND THE WORLD. THAT is why I don't support the Iraqle. See, if Bush HAD attempted to get a declaration of war from Congress, there would have been debate, and questions would have been asked then that are only being asked now. Anyway...

"Never mind the troops on the ground."

-Now you're starting to pi$$ me off. I have friends and family on the ground in Iraq, and it is because I care what happens to them that I have the opinions I have. And apparently my cousin, a major in the Rangers, didn't get your memo about 'not criticizing the war.' In fact, I've asked him about this, and he told me that he committed to obeying orders, not to suspending his judgment, and he thinks Bush, from the decision to invade on, has (or his delegates have) demonstrated a lack of experience, competence, and familiarity with the necessary historical background.

"Never mind the President or our Allies."

-I would love to ignore the President, but he causes trouble if he isn't carefully supervised. And what allies do we have left?

"Never mind Freedom for the oppressed."

-As you say this, remember that Iraqis today are in far greater danger on a daily basis than during Saddam's admittedly brutal regime. However, we do seem to have provided various Pakistani, Afghan, Jordanian, Syrian, Iranian, Palestinian, and Saudi individuals much greater freedom of movement into and out of Iraq than was the case when Saddam was in power. But I would imagine that's probably not what you meant, right?

Posted by: Bokonon | July 27, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Well said James. Because they know I speak truth they attack. That is the game of the GOP. SPin lie discredit. Baseless labels.

Teling you what "liberals are really thinking". Telling you who "Is really a liberal" so you can discredit them. What a joke. Only people that are in the CULT are with it. they have a year. The GOP's time in this country are done. They have sqandered the good failth WE,as americans have given then. Then they blame us for their downfall. What a crock.

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if in either Clinton or Obama's foreign policy strategy involves fighting global poverty. Estimated by the Borgen Project, 78% of Americans believe that fighting terrorism would be to also fight poverty. Terrorists are less likely to gain popularity in countries that are more stable.

Posted by: Erica | July 27, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The church of liberalism isn't a worshipping of the State. The state is a creation of humankind. People who worship that which is built by humans are cultists. I am a liberal, and you will have to deal with me from now until the day you draw your last breath.

I recognize the State for what it is. Effective, but flawed. I recognize it for its ability to provide for those in need, and allowing us the opportunity to achieve so that we can become more than we are today. I also recognize it for its weaknesses. Nothing created by human beings is perfect. We live in a land where 20% of children live in poverty. Where education is being found too often on the streets, with gun in hand, rather than our schools. As a nation, we are only as prosperous as those with the least among us. We're only as educated as those who struggle to find their way in school. As Americans, we are only as strong as our weakest citizens.

We the People stand on the shoulders of giants, men and women of all faiths, from any and every walk of life who have dedicated themselves to the proposition that all people have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I am proud and privileged to be an American, and it is an honor that I wear as badge on my chest, right next to my badge that identifies me as a liberal. You may disagree with what I say, but no measure of insult, no denigration or attempt to shame me, will ever remove that badge I wear with pride

Posted by: JamesCH | July 27, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The church of liberalism isn't a worshipping of the State. The state is a creation of humankind. People who worship that which is built by humans are cultists. I am a liberal, and you will have to deal with me from now until the day you draw your last breath.

I recognize the State for what it is. Effective, but flawed. I recognize it for its ability to provide for those in need, and allowing us the opportunity to achieve so that we can become more than we are today. I also recognize it for its weaknesses. Nothing created by human beings is perfect. We live in a land where 20% of children live in poverty. Where education is being found too often on the streets, with gun in hand, rather than our schools. As a nation, we are only as prosperous as those with the least among us. We're only as educated as those who struggle to find their way in school. As Americans, we are only as strong as our weakest citizens.

We the People stand on the shoulders of giants, men and women of all faiths, from any and every walk of life who have dedicated themselves to the proposition that all people have the rights to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.

I am proud and privileged to be an American, and it is an honor that I wear as badge on my chest, right next to my badge that identifies me as a liberal. You may disagree with what I say, but no measure of insult, no denigration or attempt to shame me, will ever remove that badge I wear with pride

Posted by: JamesCH | July 27, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

A miniflap recently broke out over a Politico item about a July 9 memo to "Interested Parties" from Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton's chief strategist.

In Penn's memo, there is a total of 36 references to "Hillary" or its possessive form loaded into a memo of about 1,800 words.

Number of times the name "Clinton" appears in the memo: zero.

The drift is clear. The brand is "Hillary." The brand is not "Clinton."

The real problem is the impression of dependence.

Mrs. Clinton is where she is today not incidentally because she married Bill Clinton, but for that reason essentially.

He merely opened the doors; she had to walk through them. But open them he did. The Clinton campaign has every reason to avoid reminding people of the extent to which her political career and prospects derive from his.

The decision to adopt "Hillary" and drop "Clinton" has nothing whatsoever casual to it. It is part of a solution to, or at least an attempt to ameliorate, a genuine problem.

Before her, the last person to face a problem along these lines was none other than the current occupant of the White House. The family nickname of the son of George Herbert Walker Bush was not "W" but, ahem, "Junior." That would not do.

It took the political skill of Karl Rove to insinuate "Dubya" into public consciousness. (That's what the real insiders call him, don't you know.) People bought it. Penn is betting that they will buy "Hillary," and my guess is that everybody will be calling her that (and nothing else) in colloquial speech by November 2008.

Hillary Who?
Is there a Clinton in the 2008 race?
by Tod Lindberg
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/907tlyip.asp?pg=2

Posted by: mark penn ala karl rove | July 27, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

rufus/REMF - you may have been in the Army, but you weren't a soldier!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Feel sympathy for Mrs. Tillman and her family. Feel sympathy for Cindy Sheehan. Feel sympathy for the 3,600 +Families who lost a family member. Feel bad for the innocent people getting killed (whatever their nationality).

Instead we feel bad about the dead dog's of mike vick. You feel bad about a students delicate sensibilities. You feel bad Paris Hilton has to spend a couple weeks in jail. You feel bad anna nicole took to many pills and killed herself.

Get your priorities staright. Please.

Posted by: RUFUS | July 27, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

rufus1133: Our sensors picked you up tooling around Silver Spring yesterday. Walter Reed is just a mile down the street. You should have stopped in.

We're here to help!

Posted by: Elias | July 27, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Liberals support an all-out war on Christianity? I hope nobody tells Martin Luther King, a relatively important liberal who was also a reverend. Or Al Sharpton, one of the most liberal Democrats in the 2004 presidential campaign, who's also a reverend. Or the millions of self-identified liberals who are active members of various religious denominations.

Still claim you're not a partisan troll, Mike?

Posted by: Blarg | July 27, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. Has anyone seen this one yet? A Wash Post article covers former Sen Thompson's latest position papers, in preparation to establish is conservative 'bona fides'. An excerpt from the article, which summarizes Thompson:

"Scientists who insist that global warming is ruining nature, he said, are like those true believers four centuries ago who insisted that the Earth is flat. "Ask Galileo," he said."

Uh, no. The scientists would be like Galileo - himself a scientist. The anti- global warming set are the 'true believers' who metaphorically insist the Earth is flat.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/26/AR2007072602247.html

Some of his other brilliant theories apparently include the idea that the VA Tech students should have armed themselves in preparation for class in order to properly defend themselves.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Mike said "Never mind the troops on the ground." No, the Bush/Cheney cabal is doing that by keeping them in the middle of a bloody tribal war.

"Never mind the president or our allies." What allies? Not in Iraq, even Great Britian has come to its senses.

"Never mind freedom for the oppressed." You mean like the African Muslims in Darfur being slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands by Arab Muslims with Sudan's blessing while we do nothing. You mean that kind of freedom for the oppressed?

Really, Mike, get a grip.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 27, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"But, as always, political reality intrudes." - CC

You mean, you and the corporate media fueled by the military-industrial complex????

Posted by: hardey har har | July 27, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

No rufus, I'm not worried about blogs. I was feeling a moment of human sympathy for the poor graduate student slogging through this. Come on rufus, you're not so bad, I'm sure you get that.

OK, enough human sympathy for now. Back to work, student! Your parents want to know when you will get your dissertation turned in!

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about PhD dissertations anyway WHEN THE REVOLUTION BEGINS?

Posted by: hahaha | July 27, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

So I'm talking about tillamn and your telling me seperate politics that "liberals" support or don't. Misdirection.

I may support war. I was a army infantry soldier after all. I don't support this war. I don't support what got us in this war. You know that. As far as supporting the troops. I don't even have to give your response credance. I'm here talking abou the murder of a soldier, your defending it. I'm talking about his family/most the generals coming back/and a high numner of iraq vets being labeled as lairs and partisans when WE try and speak out. Then you claim WE are un-patriotic and anit-american. What a croke. Any independant thinker knows the truth. I had hoped once fox "news" was exposed as liars and propogandists who were getting paid by big oil, you people would stop.

I used to blame the ruhs's and fox's of the world. They are now exposed. Anyone still parroting this charade has no one to blame but themselves. Treason, traitors, sell-outs.

America must unite against the fascist. As the last year has shone us they won't do what's best of the country on their own. Looks like we need to force them to. Looks like we must play by their rules. I can do that.

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article, anticlimacus.

Question. Do Hillary's staff members keep her in a bubble?

If so... then she really IS like Bush. If not, let's give her a shred of respect.

So what's the answer? Bubble? No bubble?

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

dbl06@pldi.net asks
"When will the MSM address the policies of each of the candidates in more than well rehearsed 30 second sound bites?"

Policy pieces don't sell papers, my friend. Though I hear the 'select a candidate' application at mpr.org is pretty cool. The 2006 version certainly was; I haven't yet checked out the 2008 Pres version.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"You know what's depressing? 5 years from now somebody is going to be writing their PhD dissertation based on this and other blogs. God. What a miserable load of dreck to be exposed to. Best wishes to you, poor soul. I guess it is better than a PhD on sewage with lots of field work."

Your worried about blogs. Your worried about the future people thinking aout blogs? What about the history books looking back at the last 15 year of gop rule. I think they will be writing about the lack of a justice department. I think they will be writing about bush's worse than nixon moves.

Your really worried about blogs? Why? What are you scared of. i garuntee you more people will be writing about the murder of cover-up of pat tillman, rather than blogs. Get your priorities straight, please

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think I've figured it out (Bokanon and Rufus) Tell me if I'm right.

Liberals support secular society, which requires all-out war on Christianity (and indeed, spirituality as a whole).

But this so-called "secularism" is somewhat of an illusion.

Liberalism isn't without faith.

What is that faith?

The Church of Liberalism -- the worship of the State.

And since the Almighty State hasn't declared this a "war", then it must not be.

Hence, as good ditto-head Liberals, we cannot possibly support this war.

Never mind the troops on the ground.

Never mind the President or our Allies.

Never mind Freedom for the oppressed.

http://ConservativeStandards.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is a magician.

She is a talented actress breathing life into a committee-written script. I remember when the Senator announced that she was "in it to win it," that I thought 'What a clever line- very memorable.' Of course, that was only minutes before I thought- 'Wait a minute, that's not clever! That's just a simple rhyme. And it has nothing to do with her campaign! Couldn't Dennis Kucinich have said the same thing?'


How do you feel about her famous statement regarding whether a woman can be the president- "We'll never know unless we try!" In all likelihood, you have a positive reaction to it. It's sassy, confident, and once again tastes like the Diet Pepsi of cleverness. More to the point, we all know that this phrase has been focus grouped and insta-responded and, in general, has been the subject of more scientific study that our recent NASA missions.

--And yet, for all of that, what does it say? It says that we're still not sure whether a woman could be the president! Many of us already believe a woman can be the president- obviously, Mrs Clinton refuses to be the candidate to speak for us. Could you imagine if Mr Obama responded to whether a black man can be president by saying "We'll never know until we try?"


Or how she laughingly brushed off Obama's likening of her to Bush and Cheney. Hello! The debate brought up a meaningfully difference between the two candidates, and Hillary's position was identical to Bush and Cheney's. How is it "silly" to compare her to them then?

Hillary Clinton has had her spontaneity surgically removed. After what she went through in the 90's, I don't blame her. What's really scary, though, is that she reads her script with such emotion, she seems to believe it. Let me be clear: what's scary about that is that there's nothing to believe. Modern political speech is not an attempt to articulate conviction. It is triangulation pure and simple, for the purpose of obtaining power. The justification for it is that it is necessary to prevent the other party from gaining power. Hillary Clinton is so convinced of her own decency, that she believes whatever she says, if it helps her beat the Republicans, is good and true.

Of course, this is exactly the political genius of George W Bush. After having his logical faculties destroyed chemically, Bush's only political assets were his Kim Jong-Il'ian self-confidence, coupled with a total lack of integrity. This combination led him to say things, or try to say things, he didn't understand. It even him made him think he believed those things, when he really only believed in his own infallibility.

And this was the formula that these days wins you the White House!
And this is the formula that Hillary is using!

God save America. Americans don't seem to be capable of it themselves.

Posted by: anticlimacus | July 27, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

rufus="You may call it love or give it some other names; what name you give is of no consequence."

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The YouTube Questioners were EBT Card Carriers that shop and/or work at Wall Mart. The MSM (The Chris Matthews ilk and Media Guests) have morphed into a "Jerry Springer" debacle. Just as the MSM failed in its coverage of the lead up to the Iraq War it is now failing in its coverage of the campaign. Where is the coverage of the positions of candidates on the issues on which the voters must decide in '08? MSM covers cat fights (Ms Edwards and Coulter) and dog and cat fights (Obama and Clinton) and dog fights (Michael Vick). When will the MSM address the policies of each of the candidates in more than well rehearsed 30 second sound bites? The 4th Estate should be the creation of a venue where citizens can make an informed judgement as to the best qualified to lead the nation in this the most critical election in a generation. Regrettably the MSM is more interested in creating an Estate based on ratings and in meeting Wall Street expectatations.

Posted by: dbl06@pldi.net | July 27, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

You know what's depressing? 5 years from now somebody is going to be writing their PhD dissertation based on this and other blogs. God. What a miserable load of dreck to be exposed to. Best wishes to you, poor soul. I guess it is better than a PhD on sewage with lots of field work.

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

What about Congressman Ron Paul and former Congressman Mike Gravel? How come they are not on the list of candidates for presidency.

This article is flawed!

Posted by: J | July 27, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Rufus for the info. Three bullet holes close together in his forehead at a range of about 10 yards... he was facing whoever killed him. And, it appears the neocon's poster boy didn't believe in the war, or at least in how it was being conducted, and was going to say so.

If we had a real Justice Department there could be an investigation, but....

Here is the Seattle Times link to the Tillman stonewalling by invoking executive privilege:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003788310_webtillman13.html

BREAKING NEWS: Cheney is going into the hospital tomorrow to have the batteries changed on his defib.

I wonder if he'll temporarily transfer his presidential powers to Bush?

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 27, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiddu_Krishnamurti

"Experience nearly always forms a hardened centre in the mind, as the self, which is a deteriorating factor. Most of us are seeking experience. We may be tired of the worldly experiences of fame, notoriety, wealth, sex, and so on, but we all want greater, wider experience of some kind, especially those of us who are attempting to reach a so-called spiritual state. Being tired of worldly things, we want a more extensive, a wider, deeper experience; and to arrive at such an experience, we suppress, we control, we dominate ourselves, hoping thereby to achieve a full realization of God, or what you will. We think the pursuit of experience is the right way of life in order to attain greater vision, and I question whether that is so. Does this search for experience, which is really a demand for greater, fuller sensation, lead to reality? Or is it a factor which cripples the mind?"

"We do not have to seek truth. Truth is not something far away. It is the truth of the mind, truth of its activities from moment to moment. If we are aware of this moment-to-moment truth, of this whole process of time, this awareness releases consciousness or that energy to be. As long as the mind uses consciousness as the self-activity, time comes into being with all its miseries, with all its conflicts, with all its mischiefs, its purposive deceptions; and it is only when the mind, understanding this total process, ceases, that love will be. You may call it love or give it some other names; what name you give is of no consequence."

Krishnamurti

Posted by: Since you people are scared of truth | July 27, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Stuff happens on mars. You just need to MAKE IT HAPPEN

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmen

Posted by: WHO WATCHES THE WATCHEMEN | July 27, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

So the 2008 presason is over and nothing has changed?

BORING
BORING
BORING
BORING
BORING

Nothing ever happens on Mars.

Posted by: hahaha | July 27, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"Still, the liberals who falsely claim to support the troops while seeking to undermine their mission, those on the cutting edge of progressive opinion, are beginning to give up on even pretending to support the troops. Instead, they now slander the troops.

Having turned against a war that some of them supported, the left is now turning against the troops they claim still to support."

All independant thinkers out there. Make up your own mind. don't beleive Bush's lawyers. They will never turn. no matter what he does. Who supports the troops and who is using them as ploys. Independant thinkers (and liberals) know what's going on .Everybody else. You are part of the cover-up. Get your heads out of the sand. These people are fascsits.

"White House Invokes Executive Privilege on.... Pat Tillman Records
Submitted by Mathew Gross on July 15, 2007 - 11:10pm. Bush Administration | Congress | Dictatorial Executive
At long last, have they no shame? (Er, that's obviously rhetorical):

The White House has refused to give Congress documents about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman, with White House counsel Fred Fielding saying that certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting "implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests."

Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis R-Va., the leading members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, objected to the refusal Friday in letters to the White House and the Defense Department.

White House and Pentagon officials have turned over about 10,000 pages of material, but Waxman and Davis said those papers lack critical documents that would show communications between senior administration officials and top military officers shortly after Tillman was killed in Afghanistan in 2004.

Forget for a moment how specious the legal argument or how craven the implications, and ask yourself: at what point (and over whom) will the Congress stand up to this administration's continuous flaunting of legislative oversight? Taylor? Miers? Tillman? Gonzales? And what more will it take than an administration claiming executive privilege over the release of a soldier's records before the Congress finally stands up and says, Enough?

Maybe those questions are rhetorical, too."

"""From the AP:

SAN FRANCISCO -
Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

In other words, Pat Tillman was most likely murdered in the field. In cold blood. By other US soldiers.

This must be what the Bush Administration was trying so desperately to hide behind their all purpose "Executive Privilege" shield. Read more...

I don't have the words. Rage would be an understatement. To think that our f*#king president is using executive privilege to cover this up defies all sense of human decency. I can only hope that the nightmare the Tillman family has been put through will come to an end someday. Heads need to roll at the highest levels of both the military and the government..."


That's the AP, for you propogandist out there, like the old man. the ap is not some rinky dink news organization, like fox.

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I see Richardson as continuing to gain strength as he has the clearest position of the candidates on the number one issue in the campaign: what the U.S. should do in Iraq.

Richardson understands our troops are the targets of all sides in civil war and advocates a complete withdrawal.

Until the U.S. President directs that our troops to leave there will be no fundamental progress among the Iraqis toward national reconciliation. By keeping our troops in Iraq we've permitted a dangerous dependency to develop. Americans are dying in attempting to provide security that should be the sole responsibilities of the Iraqis.

Think Richardson is out on his own advocating for a complete withdrawal simply to pander to the anti-war vote and his plan doesn't make any sense? This is what Sandy Berger, Clinton's National Security Advisor, stated recently:

"A clear US commitment to a complete, irreversible withdrawal from Iraq may now be the only way to develop a regional concert of powers that could work with Iraqis to try to stabilise the country and cauterise the conflict.

The continuing US and British occupation is a roadblock to that co-operation. The galvanising impact of a decision to depart unequivocally can be the last best chance at preventing the conflict from boiling over beyond Iraq to the whole region. How we design and implement our departure is our last significant remaining leverage.

There is no guarantee that this will work, but geopolitical self-interest may encourage wary co-operation from Iraq's neighbours. Iran does not need to invade Iraq to have influence there. The Saudis and Jordanians do not have the military capability to invade. The Syrians are not interested and, in spite of some sabre-rattling, the Turks do not need more Kurds to try to pacify. Focusing on ending the occupation and bringing order in its wake may be the best chance left to end our involvement while keeping the civil war contained to Iraq."

You can read the full commentary at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/9e27ded6-38b4-11dc-bca9-0000779fd2ac.html

Posted by: Stephen Cassidy | July 27, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Looks like texas will never turn on bush. They HAVE turned on this country though. Laura bush for the republican ticker in 2012. I hope so. What about Jeb? A bush will NEVEr be in the white house again.

That was a good one mark in austin. I pray you are joking. The really must be brainwashing you people down there. What are they putting in the water down there in texas? Jim Jones kool-aid? Man.

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

rufus(ignoramus) - For the record, none of us here have ever said anything negative about Pat Tillman or his family. Not one thing.

I support the sentiment of John McCain, who knows what he's talking about when it comes to war-fighting:

Calling those mistakes part of an "inexcusable cover-up," McCain praised Tillman's mother, Mary, for challenging the official military report on her son's death.

"Had it not been for Pat Tillman's mother, Mary, persistently challenging the information she and her family received, we would not have the complete information we received today," McCain said.

"It was a travesty that the events surrounding his death were covered up, {and} distorted,".

Still, the liberals who falsely claim to support the troops while seeking to undermine their mission, those on the cutting edge of progressive opinion, are beginning to give up on even pretending to support the troops. Instead, they now slander the troops.

Two progressive magazines have taken complementary approaches in this effort. "In its July 30 issue, the Nation has a 24-page article based on interviews with 50 Iraq veterans.

The piece allegedly reveals "disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops in Iraq"--indeed, it claims that the war has "led many troops to declare an open war on all Iraqis."

Needless to say, the anecdotal evidence in the article comes nowhere close to supporting this claim.

The New Republic, in its July 23 issue, has an article where its slander of American soldiers appears to be fiction presented as fact, behind a convenient screen of anonymity."

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/901rhkhq.asp?pg=2

Having turned against a war that some of them supported, the left is now turning against the troops they claim still to support.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 27, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

that's they're problem bsimon. You can't combat truths with lies. It's not possible. That's why they must resort to discrediting and spinning. The GOP is done.

Bush is claim executive privledge on this folks. Don't know if you heard. They are trying to get more info on this and Bush is claiming exectutive privledge on what he knew and when. It goes to the top.

"White House Invokes Executive Privilege on.... Pat Tillman Records"

http://www.mathewgross.com/node/1426

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

lunch break in Santa Fe:

Laura Bush was an effective advocate for education and early childhood education before the Texas Legislature when her husband was Gov. Do not discount her political talent. Really.

Gotta go.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 27, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The people who oppose the war in Iraq and want an immediate pull out likely do not know that Clinton voted for the war in order to appear tough and aggresive on military matters, while Obama had the guts and good judgment to speak out against Bush's free ticket to invade Iraq. The American people are the least focused and informed people in the world. I doubt if many can name all the Democratic candidates at this point in the middle of the summer. Only a slick Willie would think Hillary's debates were "flawless". She dodged questions in the first debate, had only a sound bite to offer in the "forum" at Howard that pandered to the audience, and was outshined by Obama and Biden in the You Tube debate.
The Clinton machine think they can fool people into believing that her 8 years as First Lady is equal to the experience of being president for 8 years, but they have not fooled intellegent Americans. Since when is the First Lady an elected government official? Does this mean Laura Bush has experience to run in 2012?

Posted by: Janet | July 27, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"unfiltered news"

As opposed to filtered news? Filtered by who?

You goper's are funny. I love to expose you. You show your face mike. What will you do without your avatars?

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Mike writes
"CLAIM != PROOF.

Pat Tillman was not murdered."


Dare I ask for proof? I tend to agree that it was likely a friendly fire incident which the military and white house stupidly tried to coverup to avoid the bad press. However, I find it ironic that you are outraged at someone's unsubstantiated claim of fact, then make one of your own.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Well of course murder is murder (to all you dim-wits out there).

The problem is,

And that which NO ONE (rufus, bokanon, anyone) replied to,

Is no one has proven this was murder.

CLAIM != PROOF.

I know how to Copy + Paste as well.

That doesn't mean what I Paste is true.

Pat Tillman was not murdered. It was friendly fire. And it was covered up. And it was inappropriate.

But just because you Liberal-Bloggers are so hell-bent on finding ANYTHING wrong with Bush, Iraq, the Military, et. al, you read your "unfiltered news" as the gospel.

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. Read again bsimon. The " " marks mean that is someone esle saying that. You know I would never say that :)

That's crazy pink. I posted for you without know you were here and right befor eit came up I saw your post sorry. Onething had nothing to do with the other.

As far as the tillman issue. I don't get these people at all. Mike asks "What mor edo you want?" OOHHH. A retired general loses a little money from his pension. OOOOOOOOOO, how bad that is. Scotter libby gets months, "What more do you want"

The jsutice system has been gutted by these people. It's liek the immagration issue. Or should I say immagration "Problem". We have laws. The laws aren't the problem. The problem is nobody is choosing to enforce the laws. I sincerly hope all the people in the bush administratin who have destroyed our government get real jail time. That's the only way this treason never happens again.

30-40 years. BAM. Problem solved. Those lawbreakers gone. never will happen again. Now if we continue to give demotions and 30 month sentances, you can bet this keeps happening for eternity. Let's nip it in the bud now. Think abou tthe future. Think about america for our children. The time of you hypocriful gop is done.

The future is now.

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Gore has a better chance than Biden or Dodd, and that is without even being declared.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

lylepint, if your listening. I did some research on Hillary today. I thought I'd dig a little deeper, maybe I wasn't giving her her just due. Nothing I've learned the last coouple days, after research has changed that. Just thought I'd say I did that. I thought it was a little hypocritial,of myself, to condem and talk about her negatives before FULLY researching. Nothing has changed. FYI

If she is elected I will hope for the best and stick with her. Right now I'm working to make sure she doesn't win the nomination though. If she does so be it. Just remember what I've said about her, so when it happens you will know how to proceed (politically) in the future.

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was smart for Obama to call Hillary Bush-cheany -like. That was on point. finally soemone on the dems comes out and says it. So much for the gop wet dream of hillary obama 08.

Obama gore 08 will not be denied.

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

rufus: Your 12:33PM Post was the one I was going to reference about the bullets being fired from a mere 10 yards or so away. From reports I've seen this was no accident and the penalty of the seven mentioned is nothing Mike. Prison time also should/would be more appropriate.

Posted by: lylepink | July 27, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

rufus writes, July 27, 2007 12:57 PM:
"When did I say that bsimon?"

after writing, July 27, 2007 12:33 PM
"I don't have the words."

though perhaps I am misinterpreting the quotation marks in the 12:33 post. Its not at all clear which words are yours and which come from another article.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

All Praise to the One True God. :)

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 27, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The republicans have to be dreaming of the Obama campaign now. I can see the ads with Obama & Kim Jung IL, Castero and Chaves all buddy buddy.

Posted by: mountain man | July 27, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

In case no one has notice, Hillay CLinton is a well funded diaster in the making. Todays headline has the Senator From India supporting the sharing of our nuclear secrets with that rogue nation. Beyond noting that India is not signitory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Indian firms are actively aiding countries like Argentina, Brazil and Burma/Mymar (!!!!!) with their nuclear programs. Now, beyonf worrying about the Falkland war being refought with atomic bombs, you've got to wonder why on earth India is selling Burma, one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world, attack helicopters (from a stolen U.S. design), building a missile fuel plant, and helping that country estalish a nuclear program. Isn't it bad enough that the Senator from India lobbies to outsource American jobs and technology to India, is part owner of two different firms that bring in Indian indentured servants (on H1-B visas) to take Amerian jobs, and shamelessly chases after money without any moral qualms whatsoever. Look, Ms. Clinton may well be elected President but I have a pretty strong hunch that she would be a worse disaster than Bush and the very idiots touting this lout right now will be screaming for her head within 12 months of her taking office. Right now, this campaign is all about one thing, stop Hilary. Almost any candidate running from weither party is preferable to this rat.

Posted by: MikeB | July 27, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Right. That's what you do gop. You can't debate so resort to you spin lies and discredit methods. Doesn't make you any smarter, or make your points any MORE correct. You are done GOP, you have a matter of months. You better start kissing the dmes but*'s because they will hold your future in their palms. Not that I am a democrat. I'm an independant. I'm just telling you. You need to be a little more humble at this time gop. You have gutting and destroyed this country the last 15 years. It's reaping time. Time to reap what you sow.

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

LONDON -- Using marijuana seems to increase the chance of becoming psychotic, researchers report in an analysis of past research.

The new review suggests that even infrequent use could raise the small but real risk of this serious mental illness by 40 percent.

Posted by: rufus, time to put down the doobie | July 27, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

When did I say that bsimon? I don't remember that. Must have been in a larger context. I always have the words. That's what I do. I'm be gone soon. I'm anti-bush and his movement that's for sure, but his fascist movement is done shortly. Then we can back to being ONE COUNTRY again. I didn't start this war against the american people. That is an important distinction to make. I adidn't start this verbal war. But I was thrust in the middle of it for various reasons. You want me off this site you people need to stop burying your heads in the stand and get with the program. Standing idly by is what got the german peopel in so much trouble in the early 30's. Have some backbone people to stand up against fascist, of pete's sake (and your children's)

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your always insightful commentary. Just wondering where you get the pictures of the presidential candidates from. All the candidates are smiling (some very broadly), except Hillary who seems to be smirking. I'm sure this is unintentional, but it seems to reinforce unfair stereotypes of her.

Posted by: Evan | July 27, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Barack understands that religions DO have a right to their beliefs. However, Barack also understands that SOME religions accept gay marriage. Barack also says in his youtube debate that as a president he is not using his religous beliefs to deterimine law.

THE following are HRC statements the top three gave a few months ago:

Clinton says

""I would like to see federal benefits extended to
same sex couples that meet certain standards.""

""I support repealing the provision of DOMA that may
prohibit the federal government from providing
benefits to people in states that recognize same sex
marriage. ""

""I strongly support ensuring people in stable,
long-term same sex relationships have full equality of
benefits, rights, and responsibilities.""

Clintons above three statements have me concerned
she is side stepping in what she says as not
to commit to anything officially.

she would amend the provisions of DOMA in certain
standards. Her husband and her were the ones who got
us DOMA which Barack has wanted to erase ever since
the clintons had it installed as law. Barack obama
and john edwards want to repeal DOMA which is good for
us.


"Obama is the only candidate who supports long-term,
same-sex relationships regardless of length of time
those couples have been together.
Edwards
""I believe that couples in committed, long‐term
relationships should have the same rights,
benefits, and responsibilities, whether they are
straight couples or same‐Sex couples.""

Edwards above statement, is the only one in the area of
civil unions i am concerned about. Because straight
people don't have to be in long term committed
relationships to get married / civil unions.
However, edwards does want to repeal the DOMA bill
that the clintons levied on us in the 90's, which is a
good thing for edwards.


JOHN EDWARDS
http://a4.g.akamai.net/f/4/19675/0/newmill.download.akamai.com/19677/anon.newmediamill/pdfs/edwards.pdf
HILLARY CLINTON
http://a4.g.akamai.net/f/4/19675/0/newmill.download.akamai.com/19677/anon.newmediamill/pdfs/clinton.pdf
BARACK OBAMA
http://a4.g.akamai.net/f/4/19675/0/newmill.download.akamai.com/19677/anon.newmediamill/pdfs/obama.pdf

Posted by: DanielleClarke | July 27, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"7 Officers are recieving career-ending sanctions. Including a 3-star General who will be stripped of his stars.

What more do you want?"

I want jail time. Real jail time for murder and the cover-up. How is that un-justified. I sure you can justify murder mike right? "The end justifies the means" is your parties motto.

I just want the law enforced. In all cases thats's all. Mainly at the DOJ and supreame court, where the law comes out of. Is that so bad? If a new AG comes in Bush and all his treasonous buddies are going to jail. Not my fault. You want to blame something BLAME THE LAW

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

rufus says
"I don't have the words."

I'll believe that when I see it.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Pat Tillman's death was ruled by the medical examiners who did the autoposy to be an accidental friendly fire shooting.

The problem is that generals (and someone in the administration it seems) covered that up and told everyone that it was enemy fire. They even wrote emails to each other congratulating themselves on pulling the wool over our eyes.

I agree that whoever was responsible for this type of cover-up should be found and put in irons in Phoenix so that everyone in the city can come up and kick them in the nuts.

Posted by: Andy R | July 27, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

and then again. The breaking news from yesterday.

""From the AP:

SAN FRANCISCO -
Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

In other words, Pat Tillman was most likely murdered in the field. In cold blood. By other US soldiers.

This must be what the Bush Administration was trying so desperately to hide behind their all purpose "Executive Privilege" shield. Read more...

I don't have the words. Rage would be an understatement. To think that our f*#king president is using executive privilege to cover this up defies all sense of human decency. I can only hope that the nightmare the Tillman family has been put through will come to an end someday. Heads need to roll at the highest levels of both the military and the government..."

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

What gets my goat is the treatment of his family. After all this. his family is attacked as partisan and anti-american. That's what infuriates me the most. Same with Cindy sheehan. It's the labels and attack against the soldiers by people who "claim" to be patriot's. People like mike zouk and proud, sitting in here talking negative about me and people like the tillman;'s. That's what gets me. Maybe that's why I come in here and do verbal battle so much

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter -- I don't think anyone has really established that the shooting was intentional. Your questions are all predicated on that assumption, which I don't think it fair to simply assert and go from there.

There is no doubt that Pat Tillman was hit by friendly fire, and there was some kind of cover up.

But I hardly think we should create a conspiracy, assert it to be true, then ask the "why" questions.

My theory is that, given Pat Tillman's brother was in the same battalion, a low-ranking officer probably wanted to shield him from the truth, for some amount of time (maybe forever, maybe not). Things went from there, and sadly a lot of misinformation mixed with truth and needs to be sorted out.

But I do think it's entirely possible that the desire to shield Pat's family (and brother) from this kind of news, an innocent enough, though probably wrong desire, is the cause.

7 Officers are recieving career-ending sanctions. Including a 3-star General who will be stripped of his stars.

What more do you want?

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"War is a violent clash of interests between or among organized
groups characterized by the use of military force. These groups have traditionally been established nation-states, but
they may also include any nonstate group--such as an international
coalition or a faction within or outside of an existing state--with its own political interests and the ability to generate
organized violence on a scale sufficient to have significant political consequences."

-Read what I said. "Political entities" = "any nonstate group--such as an international coalition or a faction within or outside of an existing state--with its own political interests"


"I guess the military defines war differently from an anti-Bush liberal blogger."

-No, I guess the Marine understands English different from the holder of an English degree.

"How can that be?

Isn't the liberal blogger right?"

-Why, yes I am.

"Let's check another source."

-Let's.

"From Wikipedia:

War is a prolonged state of violent, large-scale conflict involving two or more groups of people.

Still no mention of nations."

-"Groups of people" (who have organized to fight a war) = "political entities" - although be careful... by this definition the Bloods and Crips are also "at war." For that matter, so were the Weathermen and Patty Hearst's kidnappers (the SLA.) Gee, I guess this definition is a little simplistic. what else you got?

"Maybe I'll find a better definition from the philosophers."

-Because everyone knows that "the philosophers" are largely in agreement...

"From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

'War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities.'"

-Gee, "political communities" sounds an awful lot like "political entities." The thing is, how organized do you have to be to qualify as a political community? Because, news flash, GI Joe: there are a LOT of DIFFERENT groups and individuals in Iraq unhappy with the American presence. Not all are connected with al Qaeda, or with al Qaeda in Iraq, or with Sadr, or with the Baath Party, or Iran, or Syria, or Jordan, or Pakistan, or the Saudis. Some of them, I'm guessing, are just sick of being shot at/frisked/detained and worse. And before you get all stick-up-your-a$$, yes, I know that the majority of American soldiers are decent people. You probably are one yourself. You just need to learn to be more respectful when responding to views different from your own. And if you have a minute, look up the word "entities." It's a useful word to know.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 27, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I do Truthhunter I have heard every story about this. I will detail. Ignore the supressers of truth. Better yet I give you a credible source so these fascsits can't say I'm lying:

"He enlisted, along with his brother Kevin, who gave up the chance of a career in professional baseball. The two brothers completed the Ranger Indoctrination Program in late 2002 and were assigned to the second battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington.[citation needed] Both Pat and Kevin were deployed to the Middle East as part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq."

He went to afganistan to hunt for the real terrorists.

"Tillman was subsequently redeployed to Afghanistan. On April 22, 2004, he was killed in action by friendly fire while on patrol.

The Army initially claimed that Tillman and his unit were attacked in an apparent ambush on a road outside of the village of Sperah about twenty-five miles (forty km) southwest of Khost, near the Pakistan border. An Afghan militia soldier was killed, and two other Rangers were injured as well.

The Army Special Operations Command initially claimed that there was an exchange with hostile forces. After a lengthy investigation conducted by Brigadier General Jones, the U.S. Department of Defense concluded that Pat Tillman's death was due to friendly fire aggravated by the intensity of the firefight.

A more thorough investigation concluded that no hostile forces were involved in the firefight and that two allied groups fired on each other in confusion over an exploded mine or remote controlled bomb.

On July 26, 2007, AP received official documents stating that the investigating doctors performing the autopsy suspected that Tilman was deliberately murdered. [6"

"A report described in The Washington Post on May 4, 2005 (prepared upon the request of Tillman's family) by Brig. Gen. Gary M. Jones revealed that in the days immediately following Tillman's death, U.S. Army investigators were aware that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, shot three times to the head.[7] Jones reported that senior Army commanders, including Gen. John Abizaid, knew of this fact within days of the shooting but nevertheless approved the awarding of the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and a posthumous promotion. The citation report accompanying these awards said that Tillman was killed by enemy forces and contained a detailed account of the supposed battle--which Army leadership knew had never taken place.

Jones reported that members of Tillman's unit burned his body armor and uniform in an apparent attempt to hide the fact that he was killed by friendly fire. Several soldiers were subsequently punished for their actions by being removed from the United States Army Rangers.[8] Jones believed that Tillman should retain his medals and promotion, since, according to Jones, he intended to engage the enemy and, in Jones's opinion, behaved heroically.[8]

Tillman's family was not informed of the finding that he was killed by friendly fire until weeks after his memorial service, although at least some senior Army officers knew of that fact prior to the service.[8] Tillman's parents have sharply criticized the Army's handling of the incident; they charge that the Army was more concerned about protecting its image and its recruiting efforts than about telling the truth.[citation needed]

His mother Mary Tillman told The Washington Post, "The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting." Tillman's father, Patrick Tillman, Sr., was incensed by the coverup of the cause of his son's death, which he attributed to a conscious decision by the leadership of the U.S. Army to protect the Army's image.

"After it happened, all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this. They purposely interfered with the investigation; they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy."[9]
He also blamed high-ranking Army officers for presenting "outright lies" to the family and to the public.[10]

Later, Tillman's father suggested in a letter to The Washington Post that the Army hierarchy's purported mistakes were part of a pattern of conscious misconduct:

With respect to the Army's reference to 'mistakes in reporting the circumstances of [my son's] death': those 'mistakes' were deliberate, calculated, ordered (repeatedly), and disgraceful--conduct well beneath the standard to which every soldier in the field is held.[11]
These complaints and allegations led the Pentagon's Inspector General to open a further inquiry into Tillman's death in August 2005.[12]

On March 4, 2006, the U.S. Defense Department Inspector General directed the Army to open a criminal investigation of Tillman's death. The Army's Criminal Investigative Division will determine if Tillman's death was the result of negligent homicide.[13]

On March 26, 2007, the Pentagon released their report on the events surrounding Tillman's death and coverup.

On April 24, 2007, his brother Kevin Tillman, testifying at a congressional hearing, stated, "The deception surrounding this case was an insult to the family: but more importantly, its primary purpose was to deceive a whole nation. We say these things with disappointment and sadness for our country. Once again, we have been used as props in a Pentagon public relations exercise."[14]

After Kevin's testimony Pete Geren, acting secretary of the Army stated to reporters, "We as an Army failed in our duty to the Tillman family, the duty we owe to all the families of our fallen soldiers: Give them the truth, the best we know it, as fast as we can."[14]

On July 26, 2007, Chris Matthews reported on Hardball that Tillman's death may have been a case of fragging - specifically that the bullet holes were tight and neat, suggesting a shot at close range.[4]

The September 25, 2005 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported that Tillman held views which were critical of the Iraq war and did not support President Bush's re-election. According to Tillman's mother, a friend of Tillman had arranged a meeting with Noam Chomsky, to take place after his return from Afghanistan. Chomsky has confirmed this. [15] The article also reported that Tillman urged a soldier in his platoon to vote for John Kerry in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election.[12]

According to speakers at his funeral, he was very well-read, having read a number of religious texts including the Bible, Quran and Book of Mormon as well as transcendentalist authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau; his younger brother Rich stated that he "isn't with God... He wasn't religious."[16] Another article quotes him as having told then-general manager of the Seattle Seahawks Bob Ferguson in December 2003 that "you know I'm not religious".[17]

On April 24, 2007 Spc. Bryan O'Neal, the last soldier to see Pat Tillman alive, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he was warned by superiors not to divulge information that a fellow soldier killed Tillman, especially to the Tillman family. Later, Pat Tillman's brother Kevin Tillman, who was also in the convoy traveling behind his brother at the time of the 2004 incident in Afghanistan but did not witness it, testified that the military tried to spin his brother's death to deflect attention from emerging failings in the Afghan war. [8]

Later in the hearing Jessica Lynch testified about misinformation and hype relating to the battlefield and how the military lied about her capture and injuries as they had lied about Tillman's death reality, to create a palatable myth for public consumption. She also met with the Tillman family and compared her incident in Iraq to Pat Tillman's in Afghanistan saying that "Our stories are similar". [9]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Tillman

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

???????????


ok. Get off your high horse. As you gop'ers say "Your talking theory".

Iam talking real world situation. How I'm I anti-freedom? You are a joke Mike. get off your high horse. I WILL mess with Texas. The cowboy is no longer relevant in America. You People and your party are done for a generation. I just hope they get seriousjail time for their offenses against the country I love AND REAL PATRIOT'S, like Pat TIllman and myself

Posted by: rufus1133 | July 27, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who follow the Tillman matter, WHY would U.S. soldiers shoot him?

Was he a problem? Did you see something he shouldn't have? Was he disliked (seems unlikely but one never knows.) Does anyone have information or an idea about this?

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 27, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

That anyone would embrace Krauthammer's analysis as a means for justifying support of their candidate only speaks to how gullible some of us can be. Chuck wants the most vulnerable Democratic come the general election of 2008. Trust Me. Frankly speaking, I could care less who wins the Democratic nomination, so long as they win the whole deal. But if we claim that the Bush Doctrine isn't what we want/need, how can anyone fairly articulate that Obama's position is not the winner in this argument? Please. Stop insulting us by ramming this Hilary, Hilary, Hilary by any means position down our throats. It only hurts the overall Democratic position in the long run.

Posted by: Gharza | July 27, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Dodd and Biden have both made statements scolding O&H for squabbling.

But I support Obama's return on Hillary. When someone is attacked unfairly, it is honorable to fight. Even a child knows that.

The flip side: Hillary is making a tactical error when she makes an unfair attack and then says "Whoops, looks like you're fighting! Bad boy!" Even a child knows such conduct is dishonorable. And in this election, dishonorable candidates pay.

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Bokomon: The link provided by Kathy to YouTube is by a "Hillary Hater". I have seen it before and if you watch closely, you can see how the "Editing" is so clever. These folks know what they are doing and are very good, it is simply an Obama attack add distorting FACTS. Obama is surely aware of it. Hillary is visting my state today and I am looking forward to how the event is covered by the state media.

Posted by: lylepink | July 27, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Rufus -- though I have already (and quickly) learned to seldomly, if ever, reply to you, I will.

If you ARE in the military, no. You cannot speak out against the war or the President. Those rules are necessary for our military to function, and everyone who voluntarily joins submits to those rules.

If you WERE in the military, you can be as anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-freedom as you want to.

Regarding Pat Tillman, just because you're both from San Jose doesn't mean you can speak for him, and I'm sure many of us would prefer that you didn't.

If I were about to sign an NFL contract, and I turned that down to fight the terrorists (which is EXACTLY what we're doing in Iraq), I doubt you could extrapolate from my actions that I "Don't Support the War".

Of course, if you're a Liberal-Blogger, you can make whatever assertions you want (see above).

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

so let me get this right Mike. If I am/was an Army Infantry soldier 11B, Then could I speak out?

Because I was. I am from San Jose(same as Pat TIllman. Patt tillman was agaisnt the Iraq war, but was going after the Terrorist. I guess that can get a soldier killed. Sad day for america

Posted by: rufus | July 27, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Edwards analysis was on point, and I agree with Chris's conclusion that staying on message while the two front-runners skirmish will help Edwards. Any concern that Edwards is becoming an also-ran is refuted by his solid CNN/YouTube debate performance and a new poll showing him still in the lead in Iowa.

Posted by: HoyaPol | July 27, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Another day, another board littered with Mike and his strawmen.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 27, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

It is not necessary to comment on whether or not you believe a certain armed conflict constitutes a war for you to support it, or not.

If you oppose this war, state your reasons for it.

But don't sit there, from the safety of your own home or work, that this "isn't a war" while we have thousands of men and women risking their lives every minute of every day.

And regarding the actual conversation, I don't think we should fall in to the "either/or" trap. It's not always an "either" we are at war "or" we aren't.

There are degrees of war -- and right now, we are more than definitely at war. Bush is a wartime President.

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"From the AP:

SAN FRANCISCO -
Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

In other words, Pat Tillman was most likely murdered in the field. In cold blood. By other US soldiers.

This must be what the Bush Administration was trying so desperately to hide behind their all purpose "Executive Privilege" shield. Read more...

I don't have the words. Rage would be an understatement. To think that our f*#king president is using executive privilege to cover this up defies all sense of human decency. I can only hope that the nightmare the Tillman family has been put through will come to an end someday. Heads need to roll at the highest levels of both the military and the government..."


http://www.crooksandliars.com/

Pat Tillman. I told you to remember that name.

Support the Troops

Posted by: The MURDER and Cover-up from the highest levels | July 27, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I would love to know more about how many people each campaign has on the ground and where each campaign is placing its people. I think that would give us a better sense of who will win what.

I suspect that some candidates are focusing on NH and IA (11 electoral votes combined) while others are planning long term and focusing on the big 7 (NY, PA, OH, IL, FL, TX, CA = 209 electoral votes of 272 needed to win).

Posted by: organization | July 27, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

If this were the first time I've read Bokanon claim that this isn't a "war", and use that line of reasoning to justify his anti-"war"/anti-Bush reasoning, you would be right.

I just get tired of hearing bloggers say this isn't a war.

Let's round them up and send them to Iraq and then ask them if they think this is a war or not.

I'm sure you can understand how such an outrageous claim might cause a military guy some consternation.

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Mike, in your zeal to attack all liberals, all the time, you missed the initial point. That being: what kind of 'war' makes for a 'wartime president'? If all it takes is some kind of armed conflict between organized groups, every President we've ever had has been a wartime President. Is that the argument you're trying to make?

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Bokanon Writes: "A "war" is armed conflict between two nations or political entities"


From USMC MCDP-1 "Warfighting":

"War is a violent clash of interests between or among organized
groups characterized by the use of military force. These
groups have traditionally been established nation-states, but
they may also include any nonstate group--such as an international
coalition or a faction within or outside of an existing
state--with its own political interests and the ability to generate
organized violence on a scale sufficient to have significant
political consequences."

I guess the military defines war differently from an anti-Bush liberal blogger.

But I thought war was against a nation?

How can that be?

Isn't the liberal blogger right?

Let's check another source.

From Wikipedia:

"War is a prolonged state of violent, large-scale conflict involving two or more groups of people."

Still no mention of nations.

Maybe I'll find a better definition from the philosophers.

From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

"War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities"

But I thought the Liberal Blogger was allowed to just make assertions to justify his opinion about this war.

So, the government must be wrong.

The collective internet community must be wrong.

And our Universities and thinkers must also be wrong.

You're right, Bokanon -- this isn't a war.

Further proof that Liberals are living in the past. And that they don't understand fully the threats we face as a nation, and indeed, as a common humanity.

http://ConservativeStandards.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Someone needs to take Hillary down a notch on the whole matter of "experience" in the next debate. If we're measuring experience by the amount of time spent in meaningful public service and, more specifically, serving in elected office, everyone on that stage except Edwards and whoever moderates will have more of it than HRC. Biden has more. So does Dodd. And Richardson. And Kucinich. And yes, Obama, who was making his bones in the Illinois state lege while Hillary hosted tea parties in the White House. Hell, Gravel was elected to his first term in the US Senate when Hillary was still at Wellesley, no?

The kind of experience that matters here can't be gained through osmosis. Being groomed for the presidency doesn't equate to possessing the vision and good judgment the office deserves.

Posted by: Chico's Bail Bonds | July 27, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Chris great analysis as always...how about updating your '08 Endorsement Elite section???

Posted by: NicNDC | July 27, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Of course I am going to win the election- I am a spitfire and psycho maniac! Gravel for President!

Posted by: Mike Gravel | July 27, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Let's see, Ron Paul has raised more money than Mike Huckabee has, has more of it in the bank than Mike Huckabee, has more youtube.com subscribers than Mike Huckabee, has more meetup.com members than Mike Huckabee, has won several online polls and has done well in several local straw polls than Mike Huckabee. One would think if you add all this up then Ron Paul should be rated ahead of Mike Huckabee. But I guess Chris must be using some sort of "new math" to rate the candidates."

I know that if I were a candidate I would certainly rather have the YouTube community behind me. *cough*

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't know where any Dodd phenomenon comes from. He hasn't registered with anybody outside of Ct./eastern NY. Why is he in the race? He wants out as a Senator and into a cabinet position. Same with Biden. Neither one has a chance in h*** to approach, much less get, the nomination. They're in it for the table scraps... Clinton/Obama "contretemps" over experience is another media created ant hill. It only gets traction because the MSM pundicrats blow on the embers. It was a small part of a larger (so-called) debate, and will fade when the next news cycle morphs into something else. Krauthammer is the last of the pundits that I would read for an "analysis" of anything rationally related to dealing with the world as it is, and not as the neocons would have us believe it is.

Posted by: L. Sterlilng. | July 27, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Vast Majority In Online Poll Support Gonzales Perjury Probe

Some 81 percent of the respondents in an online online AOL poll support a probe of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for perjury related to the scandal over the firing of federal prosecutors.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/vast-majority-in-online-poll-support.html

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Golgi writes, about Gov Richardson
"When he said in the recent SC debate that he thought all the candidates onstage would be a great VP for himself, it came off like a ha-ha not-serious joke. Bad Sign."

Richardson sealed his fate when he called for complete withdrawl of US troops from Iraq by the end of this year. Before he said that, I wanted to hear more about him, thinking surely that a person with a resume like his could be exactly the kind of President this country needs right now. Instead, suggesting an immediate withdrawl indicates poor foresight.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Just a comment on Richardson. When he said in the recent SC debate that he thought all the candidates onstage would be a great VP for himself, it came off like a ha-ha not-serious joke. Bad sign.

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The Honor of the President Office that all are vying for was hurt, damaged, and downgraded by that Corrupt Crook Bill Clinton, then completely destroyed by that Demented Moron George W. Bush Jr. Both have proven beyond any doubt in different ways that Honesty, Ethics, Ability, Intelligence, Dedication, Obedience to the Rule of Law & our Constitution are not necessary to be elected President! In fact, in the era of 30 second Attack ads and the 100,s of millions required to be raised from the Special interest necessary to be elected the above traits hinder & probably prelude anyone that has 3 or more of the above traits from ever being elected President! The only candidate for President that has more than 3 of the above traits is Ron Paul and he is not even ranked in your poll, so I rest my case!

Posted by: bl | July 27, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

First I think that if you are going to put Huckabee as 5 then there should be a tie with Ron Paul. He has looked strong in most of the debates and raising the type of money he has on the internet alone is pretty impressive. Also I know that the folks in DC don't like it but the isolationist attitude that Ron Paul supports is a strong selling point in the center of this country. Take that with him being the only real anti-war republican and he might have a shot to make some noise (and maybe just maybe pull a McGovern and win the nomination)

I still don't see how Romney is #1. Guiliani has more money on hand and is leading in every national poll.

I still think that Edwards and Richardson are going to both benefit from this clinton obama spat. This isn't really that big of a deal and they both sound nit-picky IMO. Edwards and Richardson need to "rise above the fray". This is a perfect opurtunity for Richardson since he has actually negociated with some of these tyrants.

Posted by: Andy R | July 27, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Jake, number 1, the whole "wartime president" thing is so Bushie. The last real "wartime president" was Nixon, and the last president who oversaw a war that had actually been DECLARED was Truman. A "war" is armed conflict between two nations or political entities, and the Constitution gives the Congress the SOLE power to declare war. Since the Korean War, of course, presidents have found ways around that... but we didn't even declare war against the Iraqi state at the time of "shock'n'awe."
By saying this, do I mean to diminish the sacrifice and work of the US armed forces? no, I do not. I do however feel that a "wartime president" is not one who directs an ongoing - over the course of years and years - low-level counterinsurgency operation, which should have as much if not more to do with intelligence information as with military action.
Number 2, check out Kathy's link. There is no way that Hillary's dishonesty/hypocrisy constitutes a "smack-down." Obama gave an intelligent answer, and based on what I have seen, many many people are seeing right through Hillary's attempt to mischaracterize it.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 27, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

THe situation with Thompson is alot like watching Chicago Bears'quarterbacks.

We have a saying, "The best quarterback we have is the next guy sitting on the bench"

Usually, they are just like the guy on the field. Made to look great on paper, enthusiastically supported until they actually get playing time....and usually mediocre.

Sounds alot the the Republicans seven dwarves........with Thompson as the next guy sitting on the bench.

Posted by: chi town hustler | July 27, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Jake - Hillary's "gut instincts" would be to take a poll, find out what the American people think she should do, then utter with great conviction whatever that opinion was. For that reason, I will support whomever her principal challenger is when it is time to vote in the primary. HRC believes in almost nothing... just her own survival. That is the reason she has taken no bold policy initiatives as a senator... don't want to upset potential presidential voters.

Posted by: Chris | July 27, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Jake -

No, I don't agree. The Krauthammer examples create a false dichotomy.

Both of the Krauthammer examples feature 30-second answers to deep, complex questions. In both cases, it happened that Obama spoke first, Clinton spoke second. In both cases, the answer from each one is necessarily incomplete due to time limits. In both cases, it would have come off as Obama scoring a point if Obama and Clinton had said what they said but in the reverse order. So I don't agree with Charles Krauthammer's analysis of these examples.

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

jake asks
"bsimon, was bill on the stage giving Hillary the answers on Monday night when she put the smack down on Obama?"

Much to her chagrin, no. She tried to score a point on Obama, but opened herself up to counter-attack. I found her attack to be clumsy and counterproductive.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Kathy, thank you for the link... sth everyone should see. lylepink, I would be especially interested in your reaction.

in re: the line - Obama, baby... I think he is once again on the move. Whether or not he is able to capitalize on that will depend on how wisely he spends his $$ this fall, also on how the next debates go.
Look for Hillary to spring something, anything, and have her campaign call it 'dropping a bomb,' whether or not it actually is. I think she's starting to get nervous - although with her polling numbers, probably not "scared" yet - and "nervous" is unattractive on the most telegenic and personable of candidates, let alone Shrillary.
I don't think Edwards has legs, and I don't think Biden will pick up due to lack of funds. That's too bad - I think he should be right at the top of the field due to experience and foreign policy smarts.
Richardson might pick up some more support, but it's hard to imagine him really making it a race.
as far as the GOP - I can't believe you have the Mittster #1 again... despite his numbers nationally. There really is no "there" there, and I am continually amazed at his - and others' - belief that he can parlay his meager political resume into a serious campaign. Maybe his Hair would care to comment?
If Freddy T gets in - if - Romney can no longer count on Iowa, although he will still be a favorite in NH.
But then once February 5 comes around, all the balls are up in the air again. McCain will get at least some delegates, Romney a few, Thompson more, and Giuliani probably a plurality but maybe not enough to win outright. I think there is a very real possibility that both parties' nominees will be determined at the conventions.

Posted by: Bokonon | July 27, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is 1st in YouTube, Meetup, MySpace, Facebook, Technorati, Alexa, Google, etc. The old media is just too slow to realize what is happening.

Ron Paul places 1st or 2nd in every straw poll, debate, and active participation survey.

Ron Paul has the most contributions from U.S. military personnel & veterans above all other candidates. So support the troops and vote Ron Paul!

Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were doing about the same in the 'Scientific Polls' at this stage in their elections. 'Scientific Polls' at this stage only measure name recognition. Over the next six months Ron Paul will gain name recognition. Most people who learn about Ron Paul become major supporters.

Ron Paul is the man of integrity and courage that America needs at this time.

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." John Quincy Adams

We are making history - Vote Ron Paul!

Visit YouTube and search Ron Paul to learn more...

Posted by: Bill O. Rights | July 27, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, Ron Paul has raised more money than Mike Huckabee has, has more of it in the bank than Mike Huckabee, has more youtube.com subscribers than Mike Huckabee, has more meetup.com members than Mike Huckabee, has won several online polls and has done well in several local straw polls than Mike Huckabee. One would think if you add all this up then Ron Paul should be rated ahead of Mike Huckabee. But I guess Chris must be using some sort of "new math" to rate the candidates.

Posted by: Sean Scallon | July 27, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama is playing a deeper game than he is being given credit for here. This is his first real chance to try to inject his own spin the onto the *Hillary has the experience* part of the Official MSM Narrative. Specifially, he's trying to get the media asking whether the kind of experience Hillary has is necessarily all a good thing and, incidentally, also asking what, exactly is all this so-called experience, she supposedly has, anyway? It was not a perfect opportunity, but the window of time before the undecideds start paying attention is closing and he has to get it far enough out from the first primaries for the memory of the ugly little squabble that changed the narrative to fade.

Posted by: steve in NC | July 27, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, was bill on the stage giving Hillary the answers on Monday night when she put the smack down on Obama?

Posted by: jake | July 27, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark;

www.wsws.org
www.takingaimradio.info
www.onlinejournal.com
otherside123.blogspot.com
www.globalresearch.ca

Cheney determined to strike in US with WMD this summer; only impeachment and removal, or a general strike, can stop him

By Webster G. Tarpley
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jul 23, 2007, 01:04

The greatest threat now is "a 9/11 occurring with a group of terrorists armed not with airline tickets and box cutters, but with a nuclear weapon in the middle of one of our own cities." --Dick Cheney on Face the Nation, CBS, April 15, 2007

A few days ago, a group of lawyers from western Massachusetts met with the local congressman, Democrat John Olver. Their request was that Olver take part in the urgent effort to impeach Bush and Cheney. Olver responded by saying that he had no intention of doing anything to support impeachment. He went further, offering the information that the United States would soon attack Iran, and that these hostilities would be followed by the imposition of a martial law regime here.

According to reports in the British press, the Cheney war party has gained the upper hand in the secret councils of the Bush White House, pushing aside the purported hesitations of Miss Rice, Secretary Gates, and the NATO allies to chart a direct course towards war with Iran:

'The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned. The shift follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although the Bush administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A well-placed source in Washington said: "Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo." . . . at a meeting of the White House, Pentagon and state department last month, Mr Cheney expressed frustration at the lack of progress and Mr Bush sided with him. "The balance has tilted. There is cause for concern," the source said this week. . . ."Cheney has limited capital left, but if he wanted to use all his capital on this one issue, he could still have an impact," said Patrick Cronin, the director of studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.' ("Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran; Military solution back in favour as Rice loses out; President 'not prepared to leave conflict unresolved'," Guardian, July 16, 2007.)

For the rest please go to;

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_2220.shtml

Posted by: che | July 27, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. The ending of his piece is on point.

"Do the Democrats want to risk [with Obama] strike three, another national security question blown, but this time perhaps in a final presidential debate before the '08 election, rather than a midseason intraparty cattle call? The country might decide that it prefers, yes, a Republican -- say, Sept. 11 veteran Rudy Giuliani-- to a freshman senator who does not instinctively understand why an American president does not share the honor of his office with a malevolent clown like Hugo Chávez."

Posted by: Michael | July 27, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

retnep says
"It is hard to see how Barack doesn't win this argument. When Clinton says experience, she means that she knows the 'right' thing to do."


When Clinton says 'experience' she means "wait a sec, I'll ask Bill".

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I very rarely find myself agreeing with Krauthammer. However, his article in today's Washington Post is sums up why I (and many others according to the polls) will vote for Hillary Clinton. Obama is a great guy, has a nice smile, an awesome wife, and would be a nice change in the White House. However, he is simply not ready to be a wartime President. We live in tough times, and we've already seen with Bush what on the job training does to the country. Clinton's answers on dealing with leaders of rogue states and responding to a terrorist attack show that she has the experience and gut instincts to be a wartime president. If Obama continues with debate answers like the one he gave on Monday night on this issue, the Republicans will eat him alive in November 08.

Posted by: Jake | July 27, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, The reception on the ground in Iowa for Rudy seems lukewarm at best. He has a hard time gathering a crowd.

Biden is well received, and many times wins over those who didn't think they would be impressed. He has conquered his tendancy to be long-winded yet still dazzles with his grasp of the issues.

I could be wrong, but I think Brownback has much more momentum than Huckabee in Iowa and expect he'll make a better showing than the MSM predicts.

We'll soon see the first indicators for the GOP...

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 27, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The heart/head analogy is interesting, but isn't perfect because less-educated voters favor Clinton.

Doesn't education have at least something to do with head? You would think that the educated voters would be going for Clinton if she is the "head" candidate, but they are the ones who like Obama.

Also, judgment and experience both belong in the head, so Obama and Clinton are both "head" candidates.

Could other body parts be a better analogy? Obama supporters might say that falling back on seniority against your better judgement is "lily-livered," and taking the plunge on judgement with a younger candidate takes "cojones" or "guts."

Clinton supporters, given their typical modus operandi, would probably just repeat that Clinton is the "head" candidate and Obama is not.

Posted by: Golgi | July 27, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

mountain man: I think most of us that support Hillary was expecting this to happen, as it does in most campaigns. The problem I have with Obama is primarily how he was created by the media, and his apparent claim that he was above all this sort of thing, as you so correctly pointed out. Truth Hunter: Leno had about three comments/jokes about Oscar the cat and Pat borrowed one of them.

Posted by: lylepink | July 27, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama is accurate. She does sound Bush and Chaney like. I did not realize how much until I saw this video. Wow!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyqAR4lJCmw&eurl=http%3A%20...

Posted by: Kathy | July 27, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

DTM: Your prior post about Krauthammer and Kristol confirms exactly what I said. You also seem to be trying to twist what I actually said about what some repubs are doing, and have said as much on this blog, not in any way did I mean ALL repubs.

Posted by: lylepink | July 27, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

It is hard to see how Barack doesn't win this argument. When Clinton says experience, she means that she knows the 'right' thing to do. It just so happens that the right thing to do is the status quo. She cannot be for the status quo and for change. Her positions aren't that far away from GWB. The main difference between her and GWB is that she thinks she can do a better job at what he is currently doing. She isn't oppposed to the war in Iraq (which is why she never apologizes for it) she is opposed to how it was fought. That is basically the same position of John McCain and most of the Republicans.

Posted by: Retnep | July 27, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Obama is totally desperate why else would he be attacking and distorting Clinton's answer. I thought he was above the politics of old but all he's shown us is more of the same.

Posted by: mountain man | July 27, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

1990's NAFTA and CAFTA equaled DLC politics bye bye rustbelt jobs. Monica, white water, Elian Gonzales, Branch Davidians nothing got done. Hillarycare DOA. She has no healthcare plan today... Do you want that? I wonder since Laura Bush traveled all over the world as first lady does that mean she will run for president too? I know Bill Clinton and Hillary you are no Bill.

Posted by: TNN Gurl | July 27, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

CC, could you tell us more about the energy within campaigns? McCain, for example, was a very strong campaigner on the ground in 2000. We hear about Richardson as a strong campaigner now, and Obama drawing great crowds. How is Biden received by people he speaks to in these early states? Giuliani?
Romney? Is anyone starting a fire the way Bill Clinton did, or is it too early to know? Do any of you have a sense of this in IA, NH, NV, and SC?

Must go to my seminar now. There is a radio station in Santa Fe so liberal it makes Kucinich look, well, tall [no, my conservative friends,it is NOT
an NPR affiliate]. All impeachment, all day. And they aren't talking about Gonzales, at all.


Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 27, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

lylepink,

As some point I think you are going to need to accept that there are many Democrats who do not necessarily hate Clinton, but who are deeply skeptical about whether she would be the best nominee for their party (both practically and ideologically). As a Clinton supporter, you could help her by trying to persuade such peopl that Clinton is in fact the best nominee. But it only hurts her chances to suggest that anyone who opposes her or who favors another candidate is probably a Republican pretending to be a Democrat, because that is exactly the kind of negative campaigning that makes them think she is probably the wrong choice.

Posted by: DTM | July 27, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

It's obvious that the MSM isn't going to give Biden a break, and use as their excuse his lagging financial position.

On a recent trip to Des Moines Biden admitted that he had not thought as much about how ($$$) to secure the presidency as what he wanted to accomplish as president. Should that really disqualify him? He vows to fix the financing, and says he can win on $25 million.

The lack of funds doesn't seem to hurt the CC's opinion on McCain, ranking him at #4 even though he is broke, and worse, doesn't seem to have a base.

Pat Buchanan had a great comment on McCain this mornng.... said he heard that Oscar the nursing home cat had visited McCain's campaign headquarters.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | July 27, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, these recent events seriously undermine Chris's spin about Clinton's supposedly "flawless" campaigning. It was a terrible mistake for her to use the word "naive" in describing Obama's answer (there were plenty of ways her to imply that his answer was naive without actually saying it), since it opened the door to a similar attack on her war vote. And she is compounding that mistake by now calling Obama's comparisons between her foreign policies and Bush's foreign policies "silly" and by complaining about Obama not following the "politics of hope", because as I have seen many people arguing in various places, she is the one who started this exchange and set the tone.

By the way, an endorsement of Clinton's foreign policy in contrast to Obama's offered by Krauthammer is about the worst possible thing that could happen to Clinton when the issue of the day is whether she is "Bush light"--if Kristol endorses her next, she is really going to be in trouble.

Posted by: DTM | July 27, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

ebabin: Your post reflects what I have been saying for months. Hillary is the one repubs fear most, and they will do ANYTHING to keep her from getting the nomination, including, but not limited to, changing their voter registration, giving money to the Obama campaign, telling pollsters they support anyone but Hillary, using blogs like this to spread falsehoods, the list is endless. Look for the "Smear Merchants" later in the day/weekend, they surely will be out in force, but since I've said they will be, just maybe they won't, just to prove me wrong.

Posted by: lylepink | July 27, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

One of the more telling things about Chris Dodd is that he doesn't make a dent, in any poll. Forget national polls, when sites like DKos or MyDD, or liberal membership organizations like MoveOn.org, conduct straw polls of their members, even fringe candidates like Kucinich and Gravel move up because their message resonates with voters. Yet Dodd *still* remains in last place. He doesn't resonate with the average voter. He doesn't resonate with the base. He is entirely inconsequential to the field. Chris, YOU could run for the Democratic nomination and do as well as or better than Chris Dodd.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree with ARC that Brownback is more likely to come in 2nd in Ames than Huckabee. Brownback's practically been living in Iowa since the campaign started...

Agreed that Obama doesn't have to make his move against Clinton directly until after Labor Day, but if Clinton wins Iowa, she definitely win NH (where she's been running strong), and the race is over.

Same goes on the R-side. If Romney wins IA and NH, I think SC is irrelevant (as it was in 04, which Edwards won). Romney would have the momentum at that point and be pretty tough to stop.

Posted by: Greg-G | July 27, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I respectfully submit that Brownback, not Huckabee, deserves the #5 ranking, and maybe even a tie for 4th with McCain (and I am not a huge Brownback fan). Go see what he's doing in Iowa - he might be the big surprise in Ames. MSNBC did a story on him recently, take a look at it. Little money and lots of shoe leather, just the way Iowans like it, and the purest conservative in the GOP race (though certainly not the most exciting).

Posted by: ARC | July 27, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I respectfully submit that Brownback, not Huckabee, deserves the #5 ranking, and maybe even a tie for 4th with McCain (and I am not a huge Brownback fan). Go see what he's doing in Iowa - he might be the big surprise in Ames. MSNBC did a story on him recently, take a look at it. Little money and lots of shoe leather, just the way Iowans like it, and the purest conservative in the GOP race (though certainly not the most exciting).

Posted by: ARC | July 27, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The Obama/Clinton fight is getting out of hand.
http://political-buzz.com/?p=272

There's a huge chance that it will cause serious damage for whomever becomes the nominee heading into the general. I can see it now: A dramatic anti-Hillary GOP ad flashing "naive and irresponsible" on the screen, courtesy of Barack Obama.

Posted by: paul | July 27, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

As I've noted before, McCain is just playing out the string here, as he needs to be an 'official' candidate in the eyes of the FEC to qualify for matching monies in December, so he can retire his campaign debt. He knows he's dead. What a sad coda for a man who had so much potential.

As for Obama, read Krauthammer's article in today's WaPo; a real indictment of Barack's naivete in the foreign policy space. (And yes, I know Kraut is a right-of-center writer, but if you read the article, it comes off as somewhat complimentary to HRC, so I doubt there's bias there.)

Posted by: JD | July 27, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Is that the best that the Obama clan can come up with -- Bush-Lite?? The Rove-sters are salivating at the possiblity of him becoming the nominee...and despite the claim that they are eager to face Hillary to inspire the base...the fact is they are scared sh**less about facing anyone by the name of Clinton. Obama is just a liberal fantasy waiting for yet another post-election hangover loss.

Posted by: ebabin | July 27, 2007 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the preseason is exactly over. In fact, the increased back-and-forth right now between various candidates in both parties could be analogized to preseason games, in that the score doesn't really count yet.

That is because history says that primary voters will make up their minds at most weeks, and perhaps only days, before they vote. So all this is still just about fund-raising, organizing, and brand-building, and the real action (trying to persuade people to actually vote a certain way) will not start until the late fall at the earliest. And I might note that it seems entirely possible to me that the real action will continue well into the primary season, provided that the early results are at all mixed.

Posted by: DTM | July 27, 2007 6:59 AM | Report abuse

I think as the summer turns to fall you will see Barack Obama show that even a street fighter can be hopeful that this fight will be the last one. I think by Decemeber Barack will overtake Hillary in the polls and will crush her on national primary day.

Posted by: Howard Bison | July 27, 2007 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Are you saying that Dodd has a better chance at the nomination than Biden does? I strongly disagree with that. Biden has had the strongest debate performances collectively, in my opinion. He speaks with a level of force about foreign policy that Obama and Edwards can only think of. Iraq is his opening. Dodd doesn't have any such opening because nobody knows who he is.

Also, I would rank Edwards and Richardson as tied with the momentum in Richardson's favor.

Posted by: The 7-10 | July 27, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

So basically your analysis is that Dodd has a better chance than Biden because he has more money? That's a sad commentary on the state of our democracy. Biden has been one of the few candidates willing to talk honestly on Iraq, and has articulated a clear reason why he wants to be president. That seems like it should count a bit more than you credit.

Posted by: freeDom | July 27, 2007 6:00 AM | Report abuse

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