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The Line: Settling the '08 Field's Quarterly Accounts

What quickly became clear as the leading presidential candidates released their fundraising totals for the first three months of the year was that the conventional wisdom was -- once again -- wrong.

It was Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), not Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), who raised the most money for the Democratic primary fight to come. And it was former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) who led the Republican field -- nearly doubling the fundraising total of one-time frontrunner Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

Those results make The Fix very wary of making any sort of hard-and-fast predictions about how the 2008 nomination fights will ultimately play out. But then again, that's what The Line is all about. Remember, the rankings below are a snapshot in time, an attempt to capture where the candidates stand in relation to one another at the moment.

With my conscience sufficiently clean, I have just three words for you.

To... The... Line!

DEMOCRATS

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton: There's no doubt that Obama's ability to surpass Clinton in raising money for the primary disputes one of the major arguments for the inevitability of Clinton's march to the nomination. But look at it this way: The surprising competitiveness of the money chase also takes some of the pressure off of Clinton to blow away her opponents in every facet of the campaign, and it will ensure that the media spotlight will also be bearing down on Obama. Make no mistake: Clinton is still the frontrunner and must deal with all the slings and arrows that go with it. Expectations may be slightly lower for her campaign going forward, but she continues to build the best cumulative organization in early-voting states -- New Hampshire especially. (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Barack Obama: WOW. That was The Fix's first reaction when it became clear that Obama would eclipse Clinton in the primary money chase. Take a second and think about that: A man who has spent just two years in the Senate bested a woman who is a second term senator from New York and spent the previous eight years in the White House. Stunning. So why not move Obama to No. 1 on The Line? Because Obama is still relatively untested on the national stage, and it remains to be seen how he will endure the wear and tear of a national campaign. Obama has underwhelmed at a few joint forums with Clinton and Edwards but will have a major shot to turn that around next Thursday in South Carolina at the first Democratic debate of the primary race. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. John Edwards: To our mind, Edwards is running the most interesting campaign. He knows most of the attention will focus on Clinton and Obama for the foreseeable future but is making sure he distinguishes himself too. Take his tour through rural America to introduce his "Rural Recovery Act" or his decision to be the first presidential candidate to participate in the Service Employees International Union's "Work a Day in My Shoes" program. Add Edwards's continued strength in Iowa and his solid (if not overwhelming) first-quarter fundraising and he appears nicely positioned to make a real run at the top two. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Bill Richardson: We were pleasantly surprised by the New Mexico governor's fundraising and his willingness to spend his money on early ads in New Hampshire and Iowa. Richardson has a good story to tell, and the ads should help boost his numbers in these two critical early states. To vault himself into the top tier, Richardson needs to take advantage of the fact that he is the only one left in the field with experience as a chief executive, i.e. someone who gets things done. He did just that in the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech on Monday, creating a task force to study how such a tragedy can be avoided in New Mexico. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Chris Dodd: The Connecticut senator clearly understands that he needs to take a few risks if he hopes to have a realistic chance at the nomination. Witness his decision to sign on to legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Sen. Russ Feingold (Wisc.) that sets a firm date of March 31, 2008, for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and an end to financing for the war. Neither Obama nor Clinton has followed Dodd's lead. It's still hard to see what Dodd's niche is in the field, but we like his aggressiveness. (Previous ranking: 5)

REPUBLICANS

1. Rudy Giuliani: The precarious position of the GOP frontrunner hit home for us this week. First, the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a ban on partial-birth abortions highlighted Giuliani's decidedly confusing past with the issue. Second, the new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Giuliani still in the lead but dropping from 44 percent to 33 percent -- the likely result of the survey's inclusion of former Sen. Fred Thompson, who received nine percent. That said, Giuliani probably had the best month of any of the top three GOP candidates. (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Vacant: See Below.

3. (Tie) John McCain: The last month was the worst so far of the Arizona senator's second presidential run. He was roundly pilloried for his comments about the safety of a Baghdad market and admitted later he misspoke. Then came the release of McCain's full fundraising report, which showed that not only had he raised less than Giuliani and Romney but that he had a paltry $5 million left in the bank. McCain insiders insist the fundraising numbers were a wake up call and that changes have already been made. One sign of a reinvigorated campaign is McCain's Iraq speech at the Virginia Military Institute, which was well-delivered and well-argued. But for a campaign that began the year as the frontrunner, McCain still has much to prove. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. (Tie) Mitt Romney: It's impossible to get a handle on Romney. On the one hand, he led the field in fundraising despite poll numbers still lagging in the single digits in most state and national surveys. On the other hand, he turned a simple comment about hunting into a multi-day national news story. Romney is the most talented candidate on the Republican side but sometimes his penchant for showing just how much he knows about a subject can get him into trouble. We leave him at No. 3 in this week's Line simply because we don't know what else to do with him. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Fred Thompson: Thompson's decision to preemptively announce that he had been treated for cancer seemed the clearest sign yet that he is likely to enter the race. Thompson's trip to Capitol Hill on Wednesday seemed like a pro forma move for a candidate who has already all but made up his mind. When (and if) Thompson formally enters the race, some of the shine will wear off of him relatively quickly since voters always want what they can't have. Can Thompson withstand that dip and remain a legitimate challenger to the big three? (Previous ranking: 5)

5. Sam Brownback: It's hard to find any neutral Republican observer who doesn't think Brownback will run stronger than expected in next year's Iowa caucuses. It's equally difficult to find an unaffiliated GOP strategist who thinks the Kansas senator has any real chance at winning the Republican nomination. It's hard to argue with either point. (Previous ranking: 4)

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 20, 2007; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
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Comments

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Posted by: 0yn1ccqvlz | April 30, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

On Edwards, it's morally wrong to get a $400 haircut and indicates poor judgment on his part. Not on the scale of his vote for the Iraq War Resolution but it will be tricky for this populist candidacy to get around either. Populist/progressive and vulgar ostentation don't go together very well, and progressives don't typically support imperialism. That's bad news for Hillary, not just because she voted for the war, but because she needs a strong Edwards candidacy to water down Obama's support.

As a Democrat, I fear a Fred Thompson candidacy much more than any other Republican in the field. He's obviously good on TV, looks presidential, and has solid conservative credentials. I still think it will be hard for any pro war candidate to win the general though.

Posted by: bradb | April 24, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Razorback: "Why not let energy companies invest their own money in search of a solution? Whoever finds the solution is going to make a ton of money. Let the energy companies take the risk."

Sure, ultimately the private sector is probably going to provide most of the solutions to this problem, but why not add motivation by slowly ramping up carbon taxes and funding the search for a solution? The real problem is getting over the hump where carbon-neutral technologies cost more. It's reasonable to spend several billion a year to try to make it faster, in my judgment. Should give us a nice leg up on other countries if we do, too.

There's also a good reason to invest in the early pilot stages of tech. Working in science, I see it all the time; all of the successes of the pharma companies are built on the back of basic research, which does not provide a good return on investment.

"That is all good and fine, but why can't they be HONEST about the fact that the ultimate bill is paid for by consumers, not the energy companies?"

Sure, the talk is of a "manhattan project" for energy. This is an election year. Republicans, from my point of view, have been dishonest about where global warming is taking us and what our current oil/gas subsidies are buying - and that's worse.

"If company A gets a subsidy and discovers the anwer, when company A gets rich of it, those silly liberals will be asking why did we subsidize company A, look how rich they are."

Liberals really aren't a pack, I think the oil company questioning is silly. I'm sure someone will go after any successful companies as well. I'll be rolling my eyes. I'd like to think I'm a bit more pragmatic on this issue.

Here's the problem with the conservative approach: it does nothing to stop the increasing rate of carbon emissions. It lets companies quickly tap valuable reserves that might be better held for the future when we start running through our oil (which many other countries are doing.) And it hasn't resulted in cheap transportation, nor would the tiny additions from ANWR/near shore drilling offer more than a tiny reprieve (maybe a couple mbd in a market of 85 mbd).

"You invest 1,500 more in the car, and you save 750 in reduced gas expenses. How is that for a great investment? Consumers are concerned about higher prices, and the liberal "solution" winds up costing consumers more, because CAFE standards save money for gas, but make the car cost more."

Or you could just, you know, drive a smaller car. Corollas and Civics are cheap. That's mostly what CAFE would do for now.

It is true, though, that the current generation of hybrids isn't worth it until gas hits something like $4 a gallon (saw that calculation a few years ago... getting close now, eh!) Looking forward to the plug-in hybrids coming out soon, might actually be able to save money driving one of them.

Anyway, I think we're back to the core liberal/conservative split: how much you expect the market to accomplish, and how wasteful you expect the government to be in prodding it one direction or another.

Posted by: Nissl | April 23, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Can anybody clarify this point?: Did Sen. Clinton hold a fundraiser at Timbaland's home before or after the Rutgers/Imus controversy? Has she made any comments on his music in this context? I don't know his music, but a columnist in the Post described it as very negative toward black women. Should she give back the money?

Posted by: WesfromGA | April 23, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to believe you're somehow related to Sam Brownback to continue to give his campaign any kind of credibility whatsoever. He's No. 5 on your list because some GOP politico thinks he might, might have a bunch of church people on the ground for him in Iowa? This isn't 1988 fellows and Sam Brownback is certainly no Pat Robertson.

Posted by: Sean Scallon | April 23, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The EU set voluntary targets for companies to meet and research into. They ignored them, so know the EU are setting compulsory targets.

Companies are there to make money, not save the environment, so sometimes they don't do as much as they could.

Posted by: JayPe | April 23, 2007 12:55 AM | Report abuse

"Why not let energy companies invest their own money in search of a solution?"

Who's stopping them from doing that? Nobody!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

americans, ha, ha, ha....

Posted by: jwh | April 22, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Fatigue is likely to set in, which I think Edwards understands. Dems in partiuclar like someone new to pop up (Clinton, Carter) rather than the tried and tested (Gephardt, Lieberman).

Clinton & Obama as the frontrunners suits the other candidates, as the pressure is off them until Iowa. If they can get a strong showing there, all bets are off. Richardson & Edwards are playing this very well, and on the Repub side Brownback understands he needs to play that way too.

Posted by: JayPe | April 22, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

The elite liberal media is in the process of coronating America's first queen-Hillary Clinton. They will decide the next president-not the American people. As for me. I will happily vote the republican line in protest of a rigged game. Thank you

Posted by: Rory | April 22, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Razorback,

|||! |, || |||| ||| || |||||. ||, ||| |||||! || | ||||, "||, ||| |||||?" ||, ||| ||||||!

|||| ||||,

|||||

Posted by: ||||| | April 21, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The approach of liberals and conservatives to gas prices is different, although most agree that the source of the problem is a supply/demand issue.

Liberals propose to reduce demand by CAFE standards, which set the standards for gas mileage of vehicles.

Conservatives propose increasing supply by permitting more drilling and relaxing rules that are so strict that no refineries have been built in the US for decades.

Imagine the price of a house if no houses had been built since 1980.

The problem with the liberal approach is that while it does reduce demand, which would over time reduce gas prices, it does NOT reduce the total cost of transportation, because you must also include the price of the car.

When you mandate higher mileage, you increase the cost of the car by an ammount that exceeds the gas price savings. You invest 1,500 more in the car, and you save 750 in reduced gas expenses. How is that for a great investment? Consumers are concerned about higher prices, and the liberal "solution" winds up costing consumers more, because CAFE standards save money for gas, but make the car cost more.

So what about improvements in cars that do not exceed gas price saving? The car companies do that anyway, because that is what consumers want.

Refrigerators, for example, use much less energy than they did 30 years ago, but you dont hear liberals harping about that. Consumers want efficiency, and the market provides it up to the limits of technology, providing the cost of the energy savings is not exceeded by the increase of the product.

Technology is the ultimate answer. I say let the private sector, which will make the money from the new technology, invest the research money.

Some silly liberals thing that we should subsidize those energy companies. If Company A gets a subsidy, and discovers nothing, we just wasted our money. If company A gets a subsidy and discovers the anwer, when company A gets rich of it, those silly liberals will be asking why did we subsidize company A, look how rich they are.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Nissl:

Why not let energy companies invest their own money in search of a solution? Whoever finds the solution is going to make a ton of money. Let the energy companies take the risk.

Global warming carbon taxes add to the cost of gasoline and electricity. You still havn't answered the question. Most liberals resolve this question by stating that they will force the energy companies to clean up.

That is all good and fine, but why can't they be HONEST about the fact that the ultimate bill is paid for by consumers, not the energy companies? Especially when they are so vocal with the false promise that they are going to "get" the oil companies so gas prices will be lower.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Gasoline over four dollars a gallon in Californis.

Posted by: lylepink | April 21, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@Razorback

(random spew deleted)

"Liberals rail against big oil subsidies, price gouging on gasoline and utilities, and promise LOWER prices at the pump and LOWER utility bills. FLIP

Liberals also rail about global warming, environmentalism and energy independence, ALL OF WHICH IMPOSE COSTS on gasoline and utilities which are paid for by the consumer in the form of higher prices. FLOP

"Energy independence" is a canard invented by BIG OIL when asking for subsidies, suggesting that the government should force consumers to buy oil from the high cost provider (THEM) instead of the low cost overseas provider. Buying from a higher cost provider necessarily INCREASES prices.

Global warming and carbon mitigation INCREASES utility bills. The Supreme Court of the United States says that regulated utilities have a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to pass costs on to consumers if those costs are mandated by the government. This is well settled law and has been so for decades. It is also the law in all 50 states."

I don't think anyone's got a magic bullet for cheap prices. Obviously both left and right would like cheap prices. However, right now we are giving out money hand over fist for subsidies, and it isn't producing affordable oil/gas, let alone the global warming problem. The solution is to stop handing money to oil producers and spend more money developing practical alternatives.

"Liberals say they are against subsidies for energy providers on one hand, and on the other hand, propose energy subsidies?"

Um, energy subsidies for carbon neutral technologies, paid for by ending energy subsidies for non-renewable, carbon spewing technologies?

That's a totally consistent position as well.

At least try to make a little sense.

Posted by: Nissl | April 21, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The problem with your primary source is that is a "SPAM or VIRUS" cite, everyone stay away from it.

Posted by: lylepink | April 21, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"|" i don't remember who lambasted Jimmy Carter, I was wearing diapers then.

Do you really think Jay Leno is the right? Tell me you arn't that stupid.

John Edwards problem isn't that he is acting rich. His problem is he is pretending to be a populist and acting rich. Read what Dee Dee Myers said about that. You might not think its a problem for Edwards, but Dee Dee understands and so do the people hanging out in the Quad Cities barber shop.

Dee Dee, Leno, and Quad Cities barbers now have to be added as conspirators in your idiotic conspiracy theory. The plot thickens.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

So I wonder who is telling the truth about Clinton's infamous Christophe haircut?

Is Dee Dee Myers telling the truth or is "|"?

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"|" this is Clinton flack DEE DEE MYERS version of the haircut story in a frontline interview:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/clinton/interviews/myers2.html

The president is here in Los Angeles and he gets a haircut from Christophe in May [1993]. And the press finds out about it. Did you know you had a PR disaster in the making?

No. God, I sound like a complete idiot, all the things that I didn't see coming. The president was here in Los Angeles. Christophe had cut his hair a few times during the campaign. He was friend through Harry and Linda Thomason, [a] delightful guy, really nice person. Of course he'd be happy to cut the president's hair. So he jumps on the plane -- the plane is sitting on the tarmac. And he gets his haircut. He's really kind of jolly. You know, hi, he's had a good trip to L.A. He loves California. He's out here.

And for the first time, maybe the second time of his entire presidency, he decides to take a trip back to visit the press, sitting in the press cabin on Air Force One, which he never does. So, he goes back there and says hello. Five minutes, you know. Wasn't it great to be here in California? He leaves. I believe it was John King who was then with the AP. He said "Did he just get his hair cut?" And, you know, what am I going to say? I said, "Yeah, he did." "And was that the guy we saw going down the back stairs of the plane, the long hair, that guy that used to be around the campaign sometimes?" "Yeah."

So, you know, he's like "This is funny. Oh, this is great." So I think John puts something on the AP that said that Clinton had gotten his hair cut. Well somebody called the FAA or something. Some unnamed source at the FAA said, "Yeah, delayed aircraft," which became "delayed aircraft all over the country" which never was really true. And so did I think I had a big problem? The president got his hair cut on Air Force One. What's the problem with that? Okay. It's not a great idea maybe to have this sort of high priced Beverly Hills coiffure. We just won a populist campaign, not a great idea. But it's not the end of the world. I mean who cares?

For $200.

As if the president paid $200 for his haircut, but, yes, he charges $200 a haircut and probably more. Then when it was married to this notion that air traffic was delayed and here was this, you know, populist, putting-people-first president just basking in the perks of his new power sitting on the runway, air travelers be damned. This is the story that got out there and by the time I realized that this was a serious problem it was off to the races. And that thing dominated the news for at least three days. I think it led ABC's broadcast on day two. Because it becomes such a symbolic thing. You have to be careful of these things that become metaphors.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The hardcopy of Politico.com is available at my Metro stop.

They way they placed the dispenser in such a way as to block the trash can.

In three issues I've only seen two articles which told me something I didn't know already. Unfortunately, those articles were about the arcane procedures of how certain specific legislation was crafted. The type of story which puts most people to sleep.

In the trashcan, would have been a better placement of the Politico.com dispenser.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - Jimmy Carter acted like a common person and the Right lambasted him for it.

John Edwards acts like a rich person and the Right lambasts him for it.

One of the basic principles of logic is consistency. See a problem here?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"|" the $400 haircut is a story because of the reaction of the voters in Iowa.

Now I have to watch Leno and Letterman the next few days.

Leno nailed Edwards on the house too:

"Well, I think we know which America he's living in," Jay Leno quipped on NBC's "Tonight Show," a riff of Edwards' frequent mention of the "two Americas" -- one for the wealthy and one for the poor.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"|" why don't you go to the primary source on the $400 hair cut? It was not The Politico, it was Bill Wundram of the Quad City Times.

http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2007/04/19/news/local/doc4626f3bd6f2f2920813459.txt

Primary sources, that is what it is all about. So much for your nutty little conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Pssstt! Hey, Razorback.

That $400 haircut is a non-story. Don't tell your friends but it is as relevant as that Clinton "haircut on the plane at LAX" story that they're till telling innaccurately 13 years later.

It's best to just keep it to yourself, or Grover may begin to question your committment to the cause.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - Why not just go to the primary source? In any research it is the most authoritative!

see: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06slipopinion.html

Click on Gonzales v. Carhart

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

You missed a STEP in your conspiracy of stupidity "|". The final step is for an idiot like you to keep on talking about the $400 haircut, when all of the real flacks for Edwards are just trying to make the story go away.

You can cut and paste articles on here all day long, and I will not utter a peep,"|", but when you say something stupid, I am going to spank you.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - just make it the eight year of the Third Millenium. 992 to go!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

BTW: The century I was refering to is the 21st.

Posted by: lylepink | April 21, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

STEP 1: Lecture America about unequal consumption.

STEP 2: By a 29,000 square foot house.

STEP 3: Continute to lecture America about unequal consumption, and pretent to be a humble working class American.

STEP 4: Get multiple $400 haircuts and have your campaign pay for them, a violation of law.

STEP 5: Figure out that having a campaing pay for $400 haircuts is a violation of law, and reimburse the campaing for the haircuts.

STEP 6: Become a laughingstock, because real people have heard your rhetoric about being a common American, and then hear that you got a $400 haircut.

STEP 7: A newspaper person in quad city Iowa goes the the barbershop, pricing haircuts and asking the regular people who happen to be there about the incident.

http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2007/04/19/news/local/doc4626f3bd6f2f2920813459.txt

STEP 8: Realize that you have made a serious error, and try to use humor to difuse the situation and to make the story go away.

STEP 9: Find an idiot flack like "|" so that you can pretend the problem is the Drudge Report, even though the real problem is how the outside the beltway voters at the barbershop in Quad Cities reacted to the $400 haircut.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

But none of this is substantive criticism. It is just petty, cheap personality-based mockery of the strain that dominates (and degrades and destroys) our political discourse -- it is Al Gore inventing the Internet and claiming to be the inspiration for Love Story, and John Kerry wind-surfing and speaking French. It is all just mindless gossipy shorthand intended to fuel right-wing caricatures and platitudes that have nothing to do with substance and everything to do with demonizing the personality of these political figures in order to render them ugly and embarrassing -- hence, Edwards is a girlish fop and Obama is an intellectual lightweight who relies on empty fancy-sounding buzzphrases in lieu of substance.

What is notable here is not so much the specific petty attacks, but the method of how they are disseminated and engrained as conventional wisdom among our Really Smart Political Insiders. This is the process that occurred here, and it is the process that repeats itself endlessly:

STEP 1: A new right-wing gossip (Ben Smith) at a new substance-free political rag (The Politico) seizes on some petty, manufactured incident to fuel personality caricatures of Democratic candidates.

STEP 2: The old right-wing gossip (Drudge) uses his old substance-free political rag (The Drudge Report) to amplify the inane personality caricatures.

STEP 3: Right-wing hacks with pretenses of respectability -- like Mickey Kaus and others -- follow the script by "analyzing" the gossip and embracing it.

STEP 4: National media outlets -- such as AP and CNN -- whose world is ruled by Drudge, turn the gossip into "news stories."

STEP 5: Our Serious Beltway Political Analysts -- in this case, the very somber and smart Substantive Journalists at The New Republic -- mindlessly repeat all of it, thereby solidifying it as conventional wisdom, showing that "even Democrats and liberals are embarrassed by their candidates."

One should note here that Step 5, the Final Stage, is almost always sponsored by those who endlessly proclaim how irresponsible and substance-free and unserious political bloggers are, and who thereafter write pieces which do nothing other than repeat the latest Drudge gossip.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

We have been treated in the last 48 hours to an extremely vivid illustration of how conventional political Beltway wisdom is created. It all began with The Politico's in-house gossip, Ben Smith, who on consecutive days published a gossipy, petty article designed to fuel right-wing caricatures of the personality traits of John Edwards and Barack Obama, respectively.

First was a story on Monday about the costs of Edwards' haircuts and visits to a spa, plainly intended to fuel the principal right-wing anti-Edwards caricature -- his effeminate obsession with his hair.

That was followed by another Smith story yesterday ripping out of context a small part of Obama's speech -- in which he spoke of various types of "violence" (beyond physical violence) that create divisions in America. Attaching himself to the prevailing anti-Obama cliche, Smith asserts that these excerpts illustrate Obama's "instinct for abstraction and large themes, and his sense that America's problems have at their root solutions that have as much to do with hope and process as with any specific course of action."

Obama's crime? Instead of proposing specific policies to "solve" the problem of school shootings (as though such problems can be "solved"), Obama "moves quickly to the abstract: Violence, and the general place of violence in American life." In the rotted world of Beltway media cynicism, any talk of "root solutions" or "ideas" or "abstract concepts" is automatically insincere, irrelevant and merely a tactic for avoiding "real substance."

Predictably, both Politico items were immediately trumpeted by Drudge, almost certainly the real goal of Smith's stories. Thereafter, the standard right-wing hacks then dutifully followed along, reciting the exact storyline manufactured by Smith and Drudge. The conventional wisdom-spewing internet gossip Mickey Kaus then joined in with an item entitled "Barack the Hack," which claims -- in an act of extreme projection -- that the speech reflects "a mindset that tries to fit every event into a familiar, comforting framework he can spoon-feed his audience without disturbing them." Kaus says the Obama excerpts are "not exactly evidence of a fresh intelligence, or even basic common sense" -- but that "Democratic primary campaigns will do that to you."

The Associated Press then does its part, churning out a story, published by CNN (among others), that begins with this sentence: "Looking pretty is costing John Edwards' presidential campaign a lot of pennies." The Associated Press then interviewed Edwards' hair stylist, and reported that he admitted this: "'I do cut his hair and I have cut it for quite a while,' Torrenueva said. 'We've been friends a long time.'"

All of that leads The New Republic, a day late but right on script, to lament the effeminate and vain Edwards and the shallow and empty Obama. Eve Fairbanks posts an item she headlines "He Feels Pretty and Witty and . . . ." in which she let's us know that she (of course) is far too sophisticated and serious to "give a damn that Edwards went to the Pink Sapphire." It is striking how they all use the word "pretty" to describe how John Edwards wants to look. She then links to the three-year-old You Tube clip of Edwards brushing his hair.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Melanie Phillips is a British neoconservative who has devoted herself to warning England that Muslims are taking over and destroying its culture. Her book, oh-so-cleverly titled Londonistan, warns of "the collapse of traditional British identity and accommodation of a particularly virulent form of multiculturalism."
She has described James Baker and Jimmy Carter as "the kept creatures of the Arab world" who "are intent on smoothing the path to Israel's destruction." She thinks global warming is a "con-trick" because everything is "well within the normal cyclical fluctuations in temperature from century to century." And on and on and on. Needless to say, she is a deeply admired figure in the world of Fox News and right-wing blogs.
But all of that is rendered moderate, restrained, sober and even sane by a new article she wrote for the British magazine, The Spectator (headline: I Found Saddam's WMD Bunkers), which claims that: (a) WMDs really were found in Iraq after the invasion, (b) they were located in vast underground bunkers (c) which contained "nuclear, chemical and biological materials", but (d) the U.S., through negligence, failed to secure those sites and, as a result, (e) the WMDs were stolen by The Terrorists and/or Syrian agents, who now have them and are actively plotting (along with China, Russia and North Korea) to use them against the West, but --
(f) because the Bush administration is so embarrassed by their failure to prevent the theft of all these dastardly weapons, and because Democrats are embarrassed by this discovery because it proves that Saddam really did have WMDs all along, they have all jointly created a vast conspiracy where they conceal the discovery of WMDs in order to cover up for their negligence.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

'And you, "|", have finally learned that if you mess with the bull, you get the horn.'

i don't feel a thing, impotent one.. must be a very very small horn...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The Justice Department is conducting a probe of a $6 billion reading initiative at the center of President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, another blow to a program besieged by allegations of financial conflicts of interest and cronyism, people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

The disclosure came as a congressional hearing revealed how people implementing the $1 billion-a-year Reading First program made at least $1 million off textbooks and tests toward which the federal government steered states.

"That sounds like a criminal enterprise to me," said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House education committee, which held a five-hour investigative hearing. "You don't get to override the law," he angrily told a panel of Reading First officials. "But the fact of the matter is that you did."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

And you, "|", have finally learned that if you mess with the bull, you get the horn.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

sure are sensitive about your identity, ain't you boy. trolls so hate to be outed. must be sad and lonely for you when there's nobody around to bamboozle with your prefab talking points.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Just to correct something someone typed earlier. As of 1 January 2007 we started on the 8th [EIGHTth] year of the new centuary.

Posted by: lylepink | April 21, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Opps, cutting and pasting "|" so that other posters will know who the moron I refer to is cause me to accidently post under "|". The last post was from Razorback, not "|"

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Basement? What basement? Try the pool capitalism provided, with the high speed laptop capitalism provided and the high speed internet that capitalism provided, watching the babes that God provided.

Ain't life grand.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yo "|" you petulent mental midget, if I was in the Senate, I would have voted FOR Reid's Iraq bill, if I was in the House, I would have voted FOR Pelosi's Iraq bill.

We have tried to help Iraq, but its becoming obvious that they don't want our help. I think we should withdraw from Iraq, and let them get on with the genocide that so many of them seem so anxious to get on with. They don't want our values, and they don't want our help. I think we should give them what they want.

How is that for RNC talking points you complete and total idiot.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

If "|" didn't use all of he/she/it's limited mental energy trying to figure out who RAZORBACK is he/she/it might actually come up with something substantive to say.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

it's a nice day razorback -- come up out of the basement...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"|" are you one of those hypocrites that believe the US should use military force to stop genocide in Darfur, but think the US should leave Iraq, accelerating genocide there?

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse


'It looks as if Zouk is suffering from burnout. I think he recruited Razorback.'

nah, the RNC rotates them. notice how razorback came in exactly the same day 'zouk' went out? they're here push their Club for Growth tqlking pointd

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"|" gives him/her/it self way too much credit. It doesn't take that much time or effort to refute your stupidity. It takes even less time when you don't state what your positions are, because you would rather cherish your false idiological notions in private that submit them to scrutiny.

So, "|" are you a global warming activist that wants gas and electricity prices to go up? Or are you a consumer advocate that thinks utilities and oil companies gouge consumers by overcharging them, and you want prices to go down?

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

FYI: The abortion decision can be found at "FindLaw".

Posted by: lylepink | April 21, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Criticism mounted Saturday over a wall U.S. troops are building around a Sunni enclave surrounded by Shiite areas in Baghdad, with residents calling it "collective punishment" and the local council leader saying the community did not approve the project before construction began.

Violence continued Saturday, with at least three people killed when a bomb left on a bus exploded in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, police said. The minibus was gutted by flames and its windows shattered.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It looks as if Zouk is suffering from burnout. I think he recruited Razorback.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

'Libs' are to blame for all my problems... oh, those bad bad boogiemen.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

wow--razorback has apparently no life at all... no job, no family, no friends. he's on here 24 hours a day, desparately trying to prove he's right about something...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - You need to spend less time at the Club for Growth website.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I heard a rumor yesterday that Al Gore had hired a personal trainer.... a sure sign of announcements to come. Whether true or not, I think Gore should be ranked at least #5 (since you also have non-announcer Fred Thompson on the GOP list).

Romney is in the process of proving that it will take more than money to win this election. When he opens his mouth all the voters hear is the rushing sound of an empty suit.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 21, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Nissl says:

"The issues are the big picture problems the market doesn't address as readily as producing jobs and developing new technology: global warming, pollution, health insurance, energy management, education, etc."

The reason you do not like what the market does on energy/energy management/global warming is because the market is focused on PRICE.

There is no public policy issue that reveals the contradictions and dishonesty of the american left more than the energy issue.

Liberals rail against big oil subsidies, price gouging on gasoline and utilities, and promise LOWER prices at the pump and LOWER utility bills. FLIP

Liberals also rail about global warming, environmentalism and energy independence, ALL OF WHICH IMPOSE COSTS on gasoline and utilities which are paid for by the consumer in the form of higher prices. FLOP

"Energy independence" is a canard invented by BIG OIL when asking for subsidies, suggesting that the government should force consumers to buy oil from the high cost provider (THEM) instead of the low cost overseas provider. Buying from a higher cost provider necessarily INCREASES prices.

Global warming and carbon mitigation INCREASES utility bills. The Supreme Court of the United States says that regulated utilities have a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to pass costs on to consumers if those costs are mandated by the government. This is well settled law and has been so for decades. It is also the law in all 50 states.

The CEO of General Electric wants to use global warming "costs" to justify massive public subidies of nuclear power, which cannot beat the cost of coal power. Regulatory commissions that set electric rates insist on the low cost provider. Nuclear becomes the low cost provider only when massive carbon taxes are imposed on coal. WHO PAYS? Consumers. All of the nuclear plants built by GENERAL ELECTRIC will be paid for by ratepayers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/magazine/15green.t.html?em&ex=1177041600&en=bee4ce13af3acd1a&ei=5070 (Thomas Friedman article where GE CEO talks about subsidies is on page 8)

Liberals say they are against subsidies for energy providers on one hand, and on the other hand, propose energy subsidies?

Who is going to get thrown under the bus???
Global warming activists that want HIhGER prices, or consumer advocates that want LOWER prices?

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Dodd up there at #5. Anything can happen during a campaign and if it does having someone decent and reliable in the wings might turn out to be a real blessing. I have a better feeling about Dodd than Richardson, Biden, and certainly than Hillary or Edwards. For some reason Biden and Dodd are always mentioned in the same breath but they are actually two different people. I'm pleased that Dodd is the one up here.

Posted by: Golgi | April 21, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

ROO says:

"The reason Germany has a higher rate of unemployment has nothing to do with any socialist elements--it directly has to do with the single capitalist tenet of maximising profits."

So it should rationally follow that those most insistant on maximizing profits should have the HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT? In the goofy world of ROO, Germany, less capitalistic than the US, should have the LOWEST unemployment.

Goofy ROO, in response to my statement about the comparative income levels in the US and France, responds as follows:

"Truly assessing the value of these meek forays is extremely difficult because societally our value seems so directly tied to wealth. Interestingly on an individual level wealth (past a reasonable comfort level) is completely secondary to so many other things."

Goofy ROO, are the feminists that complain about income disparity between women and men as a result of the misplaced societal value placed on weath? And African Americans talk of income disparity?

The LEFT focuses on US income disparity, but wants to ignore that African Americans in the US do about as well as French people in France. Comparisons of income of various countries provides unmistakable evidence of the superiority of market based economies.

Goofy ROO says "I am not even going to go into the imaginary existence of 'financial and investment services' which are in their entirety a parasite on the productivity of humankind with zero value added."

He forgets the role of stable transparant financial markets play in the provision of basic utility services. All those third worlders without electricity would love to have those kinds of markets in their contries.


Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Roo: "Social Darwinism" is not my choice of words. That is what OBAMA said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17818562/

As I stated in the post when I first brought this up, I don't know what OBAMA means when HE says "social darwinism" but I do know that OBAMA raised the most money on WALL STREET. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/17/AR2007041701688.html

Most Liberals associate "social darwinism" with what they see as the negative influences of competition in the society and see WALL STREET as the prime example.

My original point was that OBAMA didn't really mean what he said about Social Darwinism because at the end of the day what he told WALL STREET to raise all that money really matters.

Posted by: Razorback | April 21, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Razorback--"With respect to Barack Obama and "social darwinism", he was doing what ALL liberals do."

Darwinism is the survival of the fittest. Social darwinism is the projection of darwinism to society, in particular the structure of society as determined by competition among its members and the role of this in the success and evolution of the society itself (which, in turn, is a part of the next order of magnitude in darwinist competition.)

So your statement makes no sense to me. You will need to be clearer unless you were simply mistaken in your original choice of words.


Razorback--"They use rhetoric about reducing the influence of market/competitive forces in the economy, but actual policy proposals are those things that unions/liberals have "achieved" in Old Europe, but not in the US."

Can you tell me where New Europe is on the map? Is it anywhere near the continent that is maneuvering to relegate the U.S. to third place in its own game only behind China?


Razorback--"Germany has 10 % unemployment and the French in France earn so much less than US workers that if those French were in the US, liberals would say they were being discriminated against. There is a greater degree of income disparity between Americans and French than there is between women and men in the US."

And you know, oddly, they manage to be overall pretty happy.

That inconvenience to your argument aside (it reveals the rather typical quantification of quality in currency and, naturally, the love of hating the French), those comparisons are meaningless because fundamentally the current global economy is and has been a capitalist one.

Operating in such a harsh adverse climate--remember, the 'socialist' elements are merely staving off the worst parts exploitative industrial feudalism that we see in the current cheap-labour countries--will absolutely produce sub-standard results.

Truly assessing the value of these meek forays is extremely difficult because societally our value seems so directly tied to wealth. Interestingly on an individual level wealth (past a reasonable comfort level) is completely secondary to so many other things.

The reason Germany has a higher rate of unemployment has nothing to do with any socialist elements--it directly has to do with the single capitalist tenet of maximising profits. We will naturally assume that for any given capitalist society there is always a segment of the population that will be unemployed for various reasons. However, those able and willing to work may not find jobs because of their outlandish demands of a living wage and refusal of reduction to servitude.

I am not even going to go into the imaginary existence of 'financial and investment services' which are in their entirety a parasite on the productivity of humankind with zero value added.

Anyway. See if you can comprehend a worldview as outlandish as mine. Step away from the thought that capitalism is necessary for a moment and see where you end up.


That concludes this week's Commie Pinko Hippie Hour. Next week, tune in for an exclusive interview of Elvis.

Posted by: roo | April 21, 2007 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Razorback,

The thing is, current liberal plans are *not* the same as those in place in Europe. For example, a basic, low-level universal insurance plan that uses market incentives to keep costs down is a benefit. As of now, more and more people opt out and freeload off the system, which drives prices up, which drives more people out. It's a vicious cycle. There's a reason we spend far and away the world's highest percentage on our gdp but see no benefits in increased life expectency.

Nobody's talking about making it easy to live off welfare eternally, like in Germany, or force people to only work 35 hours a week and make them impossible to fire, as in France. That kind of stuff distorts the market, which the left now respects as the best way to organize labor and resources. The issues are the big picture problems the market doesn't address as readily as producing jobs and developing new technology: global warming, pollution, health insurance, energy management, education, etc.

Posted by: Nissl | April 21, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Roo, my posistion on capitalism is not based on circular logic. It is based on the fact that in recent history there are very few examples of improvement in the standard of living in any nation that wasn't preceded by a shift to more market based allocation of resources as opposed to government allocation.

South Korea, Japan, Israel since the early 80s, recent growth in China and India, come to mind.

With respect to Barack Obama and "social darwinism", he was doing what ALL liberals do.

They use rhetoric about reducing the influence of market/competitive forces in the economy, but actual policy proposals are those things that unions/liberals have "achieved" in Old Europe, but not in the US. Germany has 10 % unemployment and the French in France earn so much less than US workers that if those French were in the US, liberals would say they were being discriminated against. There is a greater degree of income disparity between Americans and French than there is between women and men in the US.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

This is a current snapshot. Obama should be number one right now too. How can you spin Obama's huge fundraising as a Hillary win? Chris, I defended you before, but that's pretty biased. Obama and Hillary have been previously called the co-frontrunners by Chris, but on the line Hillary's number one, despite being beaten by a newbie in fundraising. FUNDRAISING WAS HILLARY'S ACE IN THE HOLE, ALL SHE HAD BESIDES NAME RECOGNITION. OBAMA BEAT HER. ACCEPT IT. Chris took the extra step of omitting a number 2 from the GOP slot, and placed both McCain and Romney in the #3 spot, but neglected to put Obama and Hillary tied for first place. Ok, Romney should probably be above McCain in the first place. Romney has as good of an organization as McCain, and he's outraised and underspent him. Chris justified putting Hillary at the top by saying she will benefit long-term from this setback, by putting the spotlight on Obama. However, Rudy's position as #1 is considered only temporary, and is expected to be surpassed by almost any other candidate in the long-run, but is the frontrunner in the short-run. Those are conflicting and biased ranking theories. If using the method of who's the frontrunner at this point (which is the whole point of the Line, to be a snapshot, not a prediction), I'd put Hillary and Obama tied at #1, with Edwards at 3, and Richardson 4th, Dodd 5th. On the GOP side, I'd put nobody first, with Giuliani and Romney tied at 2nd, and McCain in 3rd. Using the long-term method would mean you'd have to travel into the future on Febuary 5th, 2008, and come back to do the line. Since that method cant be achieved, use the snapshot method.

Posted by: J Perez | April 20, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Razorback--"Barack likes to have it both ways. He raises the most money on Wall Street, yet makes vieled references to social darwinism. Which is it Barack? Andy?"

I hope you do not think "social darwinism" means what you intended to say here.

Posted by: roo | April 20, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I find this patronising talk about "understanding economics" extremely amusing. What the writers in fact mean is "acceptance of the capitalist economic model, its requirements and consequences."

They circulatorily try to prove that capitalism is necessary because--lo and behold--their proof model that is built on the foundation of capitalism clearly shows this is the case.

The two things--the ONLY two things--that have an intrinsic value are

A) Raw materials
B) Labour

Anything else on top of that is simply an archaic remnant of a society where fair sharing and trade of the two is not guaranteed.

Posted by: roo | April 20, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

The polls seem to indicate that a Thompson entry would hurt Giuliani the most. This leads me to believe that social conservatives were supporting Giuliani before rumors of a Thompson bid affected the field. Even though Giuliani has previously expressed liberal views on social positions, the other two of the Big Three have changed their minds on the issues, especially Mitt Romney. With no strong candidate backing up their beliefs, the social conservatives gravitate towards Giuliani and the image of his strong post-9/11 leadership.

I think this further contributes to the idea that Giuliani can indeed capture the Republican nomination if Thompson doesn't enter the race.

However, to weaken that point, a Washington Post poll shows that Giuliani has dipped among white evangelical Protestants over the last two months. Perhaps as people learn more about his positions, they switch over to other candidates.

stateoftheunion.wordpress.com

Posted by: Patrick | April 20, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Jane--"Everyone believes in capitalism -- clown."

Not everyone.

Capitalism is to communism as tyranny is to democracy.

Clown :)

Posted by: roo | April 20, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

A good laugh can be had by listening to "THE Chicken Plucker" speech.

Posted by: lylepink | April 20, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

This is a good blog, it's too bad that its commenters generally call someone names rather than scrutinizing their ideas, and are too cowardly to submit their ideas to scrutiny, even to those they deride as "screwballs."

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

This is a good blog; it's too bad its commenters are generally screwballs.

Posted by: Keith | April 20, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

You know you are dealing with a troll when he makes up stuff that isnt true because he cannot refute what you actually post.

I go after Edwards because even among liberals his hypocrisy is appalling.

What ever happened to the old time liberals who would tell you that inequality is NOT justified by "earning it" rather than these hacks that just defend Edwards because they have the same party ID?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

You know you are dealing with a troll when he makes up stuff that isnt true because he cannot refute what you actually post.

I go after Edwards because even among liberals his hypocrisy is appalling.

What ever happened to the old time liberals who would tell you that inequality is NOT justified by "earning it" rather than these hacks that just defend Edwards because they have the same party ID?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

How to spot an R troll:

Posts every 2-4 minutes all day long. Okay, you don't have a job if you are doing this.

Attacks you personally rather than responding to facts. Says things like, 'oh, you silly Libs [which means any democrat who isn't zell miller or joe lieberman], and your silly ideas about [the economy, defense, business, fill in the blanks]. Demonize, discredit, slime and devalue. All without basis.

Keeps repeating and reinforcing the same American Enterprise and NRA think tank talking points..

Blames the evil 'liberals' for all the ills of the world.

And keeps repeating the same talkig points about Dem candidates, like Edwards, focusing on his hair and his house, because they can't attack his record. It's cheap and it's sleazy but there's is nothing they won't stoop too.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Did ya ever notice how a liberal will see some lines in a song and try to say someone is a hypocrite, yet when John Edwards lectures about equality even though he owns an obviously UNequal 29,000 square foot house, lectures about environmentalism, even though he has a huge carbon footprint, and lectures about a war he voted for?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

No name, its always name calling, never specifics. That is what makes you a dope.

The US Chamber of Commerce, the most significant lobby group funded by business is pro free trade. Numerous other special interest groups funded by business lobby in Congress for free trade.

Dopey liberals defend themselves against challenges to their anti-consumer trade policies by saying since someone doesn't meet their definition of 100% free trade, that they are against free trade.

Dopey liberals try to justify their psuedo socialist policies by saying there are no capitalists by using a pointy headed liberal definition of capitalist.

Again, liberals do this to justify their dihonest and ineffective economic policies

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey Hog - Did 'ya ever notice that problem in Merel Haggard's song? Marijuana isn't okay, but illegal liquor is!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - Boy are you delusional thinking that business in this country is free trade.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr/Ms. no name:

First, I only attack those who attack me.

Second, I don't use "special interest" as a derogatory term, only as a contrast to the public interest. The chamber of commerce, free trade advocates, any group of corporation or an individual corporation is also obviously a special interest. I believe that since consumers are a broader group than labor unions, that
the public interest lies closer to consumers than it does labor unions.

With respect to corporations, it needs to be clear that if a company chooses to invest overseas must live with the consequences. When a quack like Hugo Chavez takes their property, that is there problem. They chose to invest in a country that isnt serious about property rights, so its their risk.

The challenge of globalization, which has been gradually happening since the times of the Phonecians, is not caused by the divergence in the interests of American and corporations.

The challenge of globalization is that for years, America had it easy because we were competeing with dopey socialists and dopier communists. While capitalism, socialism and communism all come in varying degrees, it was easy for America so succeed when we were the MOST capitalist in the world, even though we were not pure capitalist.

The challenge of globalization is that other nations are discovering for themselves the free market principles which have served the United States so well.

For years we have competed sucessfully against Europe by having a capitalistic system that had freer markets than whatever was being used in Europe.

Now Asian nations are seeking to do to us what we have been doing to Europe for the last 150 years. India, whose post colonial socialist leadership made it an economic basket case, is now seek as a competitive threat, just because they embraced capitalism.

Incorporating China into the world economy and creating an interdependent relationship makes the world more stable, not less so.

The US will do just fine competing, unless dopey liberals cause us to reject the market concepts that work and go the failed way of socialism.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

yes, respond to my comments by attacking me. because that's your strategy.

demonic 'special interests' are the root of all evil. of course, it's not like corporations are 'special interests' are they? rather powerful 'special interests.'

the only purpose of a corporation is to make money. which is fine and good. when they were mostly american, rather than global, they provided jobs and services and goods. That was well and good. But with globalization, their interests and the interests of the public good of americans diverged.

now, the activities of transnations often present a security risk to the US -- presenting a challange to our stattus as a soveriegn nation. Do you care more about foreign corporations than the ability of the US to defend itself?

Selling our ports to Dubai, who hires mostly undocumented workers, is a prime example of this.

tell me, who's really a patriot?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Ok dope, the Chinese government has us over the barrel to do anything EXCEPT that which devalues what you describe as a very very large investment.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your statement about Romney. He is the most talented person out there in the Republican party. I think he is in the wrong party though (as a Mormon). Though he is trying to court the Robertson and Fallwell, I am not sure conservatives will vote for him. I would love to see Obama vs Romney. I think that one would be once in a life time match up. I will be voting for Obama though.

Posted by: Anderson | April 20, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Ok Dope, all liberals are consumer, but not all consumers are liberals. Ok Dope, all dems are consumers, but not all consumers are dems. Ok Dope, all labor uniion members are consumers, but all consumers are not labor unions.

Ok dope, appealing to a broader interest (consumers) as opposed to special interests (liberals, labor unions) is usually good politics.

Ok dope, the Dems pander to unions by promising higher wages, which results in higher prices for consumers. THey have chosen the special interest over the public interest. That labor unino members are also consumer does not change that.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe the reason that there is reluctance to invest in America is that the liberals have set the taxes so high that investors choose to invest elsewhere?"

Umm, the fact that foreign governments are keeping us afloat because of their very very large investment in our debt, that just escapes you somehow?

We are borrowing billions of dollars a day from foreign government -- mostly to run this very expensive and not particularly rewarding war, but also just to keep our government from going under, it doesn't look to me like they are choosing to invest elsewhere. And of course, it's mostly the Chinese government. they have us over a barrel in so many ways it isn't funny.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

'Liberals chose to pander to their labor union special interest allies and throw consumers under the bus.'

Because neither union folks or dems are consumers?

Again, incoherent.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

BSimon:

The basis of my statement that there is a reluctance to invest in America is that practically every governor, regardless of party, and every mayor in almost every city is talking about what they will do to attract investment and create jobs.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

BSimon asks:

What reluctance to invest in America? Seriously, do you just make this up?

I am referring to all of the American investment in China, creating all of those jobs in China.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Business, when not pandering for subsidies and corporate welfare, is free trade.

Labor unions, when not pandering for subsidies or plain ole' welfare, is against free trade.

Repubs could do alot better on this issue, but labor has the Dems so hogtied that Hillary has distanced herself from Bill's trade position.

An anti-corporate welfare pro free trade platform would capture the center and reform the rotten lobbyist culture in Washington in a way that McCain/Fiengold cannot even come close to.

Let the consumer, not the government, pick the economic winners and losers, and corporate giving would dry up, because corporations want a return on their investment.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe the reason that there is reluctance to invest in America is that the liberals have set the taxes so high that investors choose to invest elsewhere?"

What reluctance to invest in America? Seriously, do you just make this up?

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"No BSimon, the party of choice for those consumers who find value in what you describe as cheap crappy imports."

So, are the Republicans the party of elimintating tarrifs on Brazillian sugar cane and ethanol? No, actually, they're not. Of course, neither are the Dems. I would suggest that, in fact, neither party wears the mantle 'the pro-consumer party.' Certainly neither party is promoting free trade - just different versions of semi-free trade, depending on which constituents they're addressing.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

BLARG askss: "Do you care about anything besides getting the cheapest possible prices right now?"

What I care about is preserving the right of CONSUMERS to buy the products which they find VALUE in. The best VALUE is the best combination of high quality and low price.

When you use the law to ban or limit price competition, you get what we got in the 1970s. This is why Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy and now Justice Stephen Breyer started the whole move towards deregulation in the late 1970s. They decided that market forces were better than the government at holding down prices.

See: http://www.aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=308

Even though the policy makers of the American left abandoned the old notions about goverment being a better protecter of consumers than markets, the LANGUAGE of the left has not changed.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

BLARG, you may be right about what consumers and investors want. All I suggest is let the MARKET decide.

Maybe the reason that there is reluctance to invest in America is that the liberals have set the taxes so high that investors choose to invest elsewhere?

Investment flows to the point of greatest return, and the ONLY thing that creates new private sector jobs is private sector investment.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Investment FLOCKS to a business which investors think will be the low cost provider, because they know that consumers want low prices most of all.

If the Chinese cut us off from tube socks, some enterprising young capitalist will fill the void, because consumers like tube socks. And if that young enterprising capitalist sets his prices too high, another young enterprising capitalist will enter the market and gain market share by selling at a lower price. Because he gains market share by selling at a lower price, CUTTING prices MAXIMIZES his profits. That is what makes capitalism work.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

americans, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...

Posted by: jwh | April 20, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Taxpayers should invest in American businesses because of the many benefits of making things here, instead of importing them from China. You probably didn't notice my post explaining those benefits, because there's no evidence that you actually read anything anyone says.

In the long term, these benefits greatly outweigh the savings on that 12-pack of tube socks. Do you care about anything besides getting the cheapest possible prices right now?

Posted by: Blarg | April 20, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

No BSimon, the party of choice for those consumers who find value in what you describe as cheap crappy imports.

Each consumer is a little different, that is why the system works so well. Different niches for different companies to suceed in.

With vigorous FTC competition regulation, which I support, Capitalism isnt like the NCAA tournament-One winner.

There are many winners in Capitalism, and the CONSUMER should be in charge.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

razorback says
"The party that used to be pro-consumer has left the pro consumer mantle to the Republicans."

So the Republicans are the party of cheap, crappy imports? "hey, it may fall apart in a week - but remember: It didn't cost you much!"

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Blarg:

Incentives? You mean corporate welfare? I thought liberals were against corporate welfare?

What is wrong with the PROFIT incentive? If a business cannot make money, why should TAXPAYERS be force to invest in that business? Talk about a brother in law deal. Taxpayers would get only the crappy investments.

Also, higher tariffs increase consumer prices, higher labor costs increase consumer prices, higher taxes increase consumer prices. BLARG, do you really want to increase the price of everything everyone buys?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Blarg writes
"JD, I disagree that we have to just deal with the current economic system instead of changing it. You're being defeatist again, just like on the issue of global warming. If you think the current system is good, then defend it."

I'm not JD, but one possible defense is: do we like free markets or not? The beauty of our system is the free markets. What that means is we have to adapt faster & better than businesses/countries with controlled markets. The downside is that when times change, some people / industries get hurt. But the upside is much higher - compare the growth in the US over the last 150 years compared to any other country in the world. Yes, there sure have been some rough patches along the way - but over that period, we've done better with our system than any other countries have with theirs.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

spartan, bluntly..."nope". There are some good candidates, some very good ones, but none have the name recognition nor universal respect that Defazio has. That doesn't mean there are not some very good Democrats who will run and, I think should win, I just don't honestly think they stand a chance.


And, lylepink, spartan, william - Rather than playuing around, I sat down today (with a spellchecker!) and wrote letters to Obama, Edwards, and Clinton with regardsa to their stance on gun conrol. I explained, I think respectfully, where I stand and what I think shooting sports mean to me. If they so permit, I will publish their responses when I get them.

Posted by: MikeB | April 20, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Incoherent to a DOPE maybe.

Liberals talk about holding business accountable, but they want something different from business than what the typical consumer wants.

Liberals want to hold business accountable and make them pay higher wages, expensive regulation, etc.

When you make a business pay higher wages, you INCREASE the cost of that businesses products.

You CANNOT favor both higher wages, and lower prices because wages are 70% of the economy.

Liberals chose to pander to their labor union special interest allies and throw consumers under the bus.

The party that used to be pro-consumer has left the pro consumer mantle to the Republicans. Bad policy, bad politics.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Razorback, of course I agree that Chinese products shouldn't be banned. That doesn't make me a hypocrite, because I never said anything about banning anything. I explained reasons why Chinese goods are bad for America's economy and future. But a ban would be ridiculous, which is why nobody has called for that. Lesser measures, such as tariffs on Chinese goods, taxes on American companies that overuse offshore labor, and incentives to revitalize American industry, would be more reasonable and effective.

JD, I disagree that we have to just deal with the current economic system instead of changing it. You're being defeatist again, just like on the issue of global warming. If you think the current system is good, then defend it. But don't say that we shouldn't even talk about this because nothing's ever going to change.

Posted by: Blarg | April 20, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Anon asks
"Where will we get clothing, machinery, armanents, etc if we get into a war with China [not unlikely?"

Take note of the silver lining: at least we'll be able to write off a large part of the nat'l debt.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

We longer even have a manufacturing sector. Where will we get clothing, machinery, armanents, etc if we get into a war with China [not unlikely?

And tube socks -- where will we get tube socks?

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

Why is Duncan Hunter making China his main campaign platform? Is he the Kucinich of the GOP?

Chuck Todd and Jonathan Allen on Political Buzz Radio today aat 6:30 p.m. EDT.
http://blogtalkradio.com/hostpage.aspx?show_id=19873

Call and join us at (646) 652-2660

Posted by: m | April 20, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"what is insighful is that you bloviate about how bad Chinese imports are, but then you don't propose to ban them. "

Actually, I never said anything about Chinese imports. I've bought Chinese imports here. I've bought Chinese products there & imported them myself. But I've also bought American-made, more expensive, more durable goods here.

The argument is not that Chinese goods are bad, but that when competition is run out of town, consumers and economies suffer.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

'Liberals want business held accountable for what THEY want, but not for what the consumer wants, '

..because 'liberals' are not consumers, we have the abiliity to make things we want out of thin air...

incoherent.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

jd-thanks for giving the less shrill version of what razor is trying to say. long story short, change or die. but there has to be some protectionism for some of our industries. razor is probably a shill for some out sourcing think tank or zouk again. ill just probably ignore him too since he wants to be the supercaptialist.

*a disclaimer, i support some protecionism for some industries and regulation,if you want examples just look at the pet recalls and dubai ports fiasco from a few years back.

later all

Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

'OUK? Who is ZOUK? Have you lost your mind?

'Zouk would never say something like this:'

He says he doesn't know zouk, and then he says he would never say something like him...

funny. I do honestly think that there getting paid. During the last election, there were a number of R trolls posting on various leftie boards, and it being easy for the webmaster to trace the URLS, it was discovered that they were coming from RNC accounta. just so you know...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"The CONSUMER wants low prices, and holds business accountable for what they want."

No, consumers want choice. Price is often a factor, but not always.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Capitalism works because the CONSUMER is in charge. The CONSUMER wants low prices, and holds business accountable for what they want.

Liberals want business held accountable for what THEY want, but not for what the consumer wants, but they do not have the guts to admit it, because no one will campaign on HIGHER CONSUMER PRICES.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I see how it works. You run your mouth about how bad Chinese imports, but when it comes right down to it, you agree with me that they shouldnt be banned.

This is what the phoney John Edwards does. He rails the same way about outsourcing and Chinese imports, and then does not propose to ban them.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon, what is insighful is that you bloviate about how bad Chinese imports are, but then you don't propose to ban them.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

You'll have to help me out here, Razorback. What suggestion are you asking about?

If it's banning imports from China, think again. I never said that imports from China should be banned. Neither did anyone else on this thread that I recall. Maybe you could focus on replying to what people actually say, instead on what you imagine they said. Or is that too much effort?

Posted by: Blarg | April 20, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, Spartan, Razor,

the argument is mostly moot. Globalization is a fact of the 21st Century, and we Americans better start dealing with it. You cannot reverse this trend without doing harm to multiple parties, the poor included.

I've seen studies that show that Wal Mart's value to the poor, by lowering the price of staples, have helped more than all government programs combined in terms of quality of life. Wal Mart sources largely from overseas, where China's (and others') low labor cost drives prices down. Read this for a primer on the concept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage .

There's nothing wrong with outsourcing per se. (Of course, unless you work in a dinosaur industry with an uncompetitive labor structure...) The key is, Americans need to adapt and move upstream in terms of products and services that make sense for us to produce. Does this mean the uneducated/unskilled get priced out of the market for ultra-low-end manufacturing? Yep, mostly. But the country *as a whole* benefits, even if there is individual pain out there.

Posted by: JD | April 20, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Blarg wrote: There used to be an American textile industry...

There used to be an English textile industry. They invented the textile industry. Because the folks in New England could make textiles cheaper, and the consumer wanted to purchase from the low cost provider, the English textile industry moved to New Englang.

There used to be a New England textile industry. Because the folks in the South could make textiles cheaper, and the consumer wanted to purchase from the low cost provider, the New England textile industry moved to the South.

There used to be a Southern Textile Industry. Because the folks in Mexico could make textiles cheaper, and the consumer wanted to purchase from the low cost provider, the Southern textile industry moved to Mexico.

There used to be a Mexican textile industry. Because the folks in China could make textiles cheaper, and the consumer wanted to purchase from the low cost provider, the Mexican textile industry moved to China.

There is currently a Chinese textile industry, and because the people in Vietnam can make textiles cheaper, and the consumer wants to buy from the low cost provider....

BLARG, when you purchase an airline ticket on Expedia.com or a similar travel site, do YOU pick the HIGH COST PROVIDER? Or the LOW COST provider?

Do you actually believe that the government should prohibit price competition? The last time we tried that, inflation went up to 20%.


Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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

Posted by: anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Class dismissed."

Wow, that was insightful. When's the next class?

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

JD - If you understand econ, then why do you just shill Chamber of Commerce propaganda? You only present one side of the economic picture in your posts, when there are multiple variables; i.e., taxes are raised to redistribute wealth. As if that is the only reason taxes are raised.

Are they raised to pay for the goods which the government uses, services which it provides, infrastructure which it puts into place and maintains -oops, bad examples given the past six years. Are they raised to take the steam out of an overheated economy?

Tell us, how how are you going to prevent a revolution when the wealth gap becomes sufficiently wide for the masses to finally get fed up?

Posted by: | April 20, 2007 04:21 PM


ahem...to whom am I speaking please?

Posted by: JD | April 20, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, if you are right, why hasn't a single member of Congress proposed what you suggest?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

So you agree with me that exports from China should not be banned? Thanks for that. Class dismissed.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

A mental midget says
"Are you so far outside the mainstream that not a single person in the entire Congress has even proposed what you suggest the rule should be?"

I have not proposed any such rule. I merely commented that if you don't understand the difference between making 50 cents/hr in China and making 50 cents/hr in the US, you are beyond educating & certainly shouldn't expect to learn the answer here.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

ZOUK? Who is ZOUK? Have you lost your mind?

Zouk would never say something like this:

The first shot in the cultural war was fired when Merle Haggard sang...

We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee;
We don't take our trips on LSD
We don't burn our draft cards down on Main Street;
We like livin' right, and bein' free.

I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all

We don't make a party out of lovin';
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo;
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy,
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do.

And I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball.
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all.

Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear;
Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen.
Football's still the roughest thing on campus,
And the kids here still respect the college dean.

We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
In Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, consumer goods made in the US are more expensive than those made in China. But that additional cost would be outweighed by all the gains. They include:

1. More American jobs. There used to be an American textile industry. Now there isn't. A lot of other American industries have been decimated by decades of sending jobs to China and various third-world countries. Bring back those industries and we bring back a lot of jobs that pay decent wages. The middle class was built on industry.
2. Better for the environment. A lot of oil is used shipping finished goods across the Pacific, when we could easily make them here. And we're buying that oil from the Middle East, which brings me to...
3. China is not our ally. They aren't explicitly our enemy, but they're a dictatorship with a big military. And every year that we buy everything from China, we're funding that military. There's a similar situation in the Middle East, where we get the oil we use to ship those socks from China. We're funding corrupt dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, etc., by buying all that oil. American-made goods allow us to stop funding countries that hate us.

But you're willing to give all that up for cheaper socks. That's not only sad, but extremely short-sighted.

Posted by: Blarg | April 20, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"If its unfair that not everyone has a 29,000 foot square house."

It is not unfair that not everyone has a big house. For one thing, not everyone wants a big house.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon:

Can you name a single presidential candidate or a single member of congress that has proposed banning imports from China?

Why not? Are you so far outside the mainstream that not a single person in the entire Congress has even proposed what you suggest the rule should be?

And if imports from china shouldn't be banned, then you agree with me.

Which is it BSimon?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

gtown hoya says
"Romney keeps coming off as fake and I wonder if he really will be able to make it happen."

Bush made it happen...

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Mystery Liberal said:

Razorback - where do you come up with your logic? "John Edwards to claim the mantle of champion for the poor and equality, while at the same time purchasing a 29,000 square foot house, and when presented with the apparant contradiction, his only defense was "I earned it."

I am typing real slow hoping that you can follow along.

1. Equality is "The state or quality of being equal."

2. If John Edwards really believed in equality, then everyone would have to have a 29,000 square foot house to be equal.

3. If its unfair that not everyone has a 29,000 foot square house, then how can it be fair for John Edwards to have one?

4. In response, John Edwards said "I earned it", therefore, is someone "earns it" inequality is ok. Dick Cheney earned his too.

Another liberal morphs into Dick Cheney. Cheney and Edwards have the same view: Inequality is OK if someone "earns it".

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

How is spending billions going to improve parenting?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 04:19 PM

last time i checked displing your child didnt cost 5 billion.

nice debating with you razor but i suspect either your zouk with a new handle or someone who just sits online and continuously throw out talking points and stawmen. trying to get thru to you is getting pointless.

Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

razorback asks
"If paying someone 50 cents and hour makes the United States poor, how does paying someone 50 cents an hour make the Chinese rich?"

If you need that explained to you in a blog, you are beyond help.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Someone said"

"Yes, let's make China rich, so they can buy lots more weapons to use on us."

If paying someone 50 cents and hour makes the United States poor, how does paying someone 50 cents an hour make the Chinese rich?

Why don't liberals tell the truth about how what they want RAISES THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING? Because they don't want to lose the next election.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - where do you come up with your logic? "John Edwards to claim the mantle of champion for the poor and equality, while at the same time purchasing a 29,000 square foot house, and when presented with the apparant contradiction, his only defense was "I earned it.""

Where is is written that the champion of the poor has to be poor, of the oppressed has to be oppressed, of the veteran has to be a veteran, etc.?

Maybe it's more effective for the poor to have a leader who earned his way out of being poor, so he knows how to do it; for the oppressed to have a leader who was oppressed and knows how to combat it; for the veteran to have a champion who knows how to you even though they may never have "been there."

If you see "contradictions" in what you posted then you're not looking honestly. You are as somebody else noted, "just looking for gocthas."

The least you could do is nail the opposition with things which the general electorate may actually consider gotchas themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

This razor character is apparently the new zouk... he now spends the entire day here, posting R propaganda and talkng points every two minutes. Wonder how much the RNC pays these guys?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Remember they want to make Edwards look like a hypocrite."

I cannot make Edwards look like a hypocrite.

Only EDWARDS can do that, and he sure did.

What is the carbon footprint of that 29,000 square foot house?

How many poor kids in Darfur can you feed with the $400 you spend on a haircut?

Even EDWARDS is embarrassed by the haircut.

http://www.quadcitytimes.com/articles/2007/04/20/news/local/doc46290d0d1b6a0302149596.txt

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I personally am torn between Romney's huge fund raising success but his seeming inability to actually work for people. While Giuliani has admitted his differences, and McCain has stood by his unpopular opinion on the war, Romney keeps coming off as fake and I wonder if he really will be able to make it happen. Then again, who is more likely than him to do it (other than Giuliani)? At this point I'd say it's almost a three-way tie for second place between Romney, McCain, and Thompson. No one else has yet to truly break the mold, and while all three of them have serious goods and bads, none seems at this point to really have a better chance than the other. (I know that Thompson hasn't even declared, but the voters know McCain and they're getting to know Romney and often don't like what they see, so maybe 'new' is more likely to make it than 'visible but unpopular.')

Posted by: Gtown Hoya | April 20, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, let's make China rich, so they can buy lots more weapons to use on us.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I remember when Liberals were pro-consumer. Now they just want to screw the consumer by making the consumer pay more for everything they buy.

Consider the idiotic congresslady from East Los Angeles. She sure showed everyone when she ran Wal-Mart of of East LA.

Now the ritch suburbanites, who already have more money than the people of East LA, also have the additional financial advantage of paying less for toothpaste and toilet paper than the people in East LA.

Thanks Maxine Waters, for mandating that everything the poor folks in East LA costs more than in the suburbs with WalMart.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

JD - If you understand econ, then why do you just shill Chamber of Commerce propaganda? You only present one side of the economic picture in your posts, when there are multiple variables; i.e., taxes are raised to redistribute wealth. As if that is the only reason taxes are raised.

Are they raised to pay for the goods which the government uses, services which it provides, infrastructure which it puts into place and maintains -oops, bad examples given the past six years. Are they raised to take the steam out of an overheated economy?

Tell us, how how are you going to prevent a revolution when the wealth gap becomes sufficiently wide for the masses to finally get fed up?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

So you don't have a problem with basing our entire economy on sending money to a hostile totalitarian country? I guess it's worth mortgaging our nation's future for cheap socks at Wal-Mart.

Posted by: Blarg | April 20, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Remember they want to make Edwards look like a hypocrite. They hate his antipoverty agenda, are fearful of losing power, and are looking for ways to weaken the Democratic brand. Who do they need to not believe John Edwards? The working guy. So make John look like a snob who couldn't possibly care. Talk about his house and haircuts. The campaign listed expenses honestly but someone was digging for the gotcha.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Spartan, I don't like spending for jails either, but it is a last resort because the billions we spend on all the alternatives for jail do not work on everyone. If, after all of the attempts that we make to give them a chance at a better life, there comes a time when you have to lock them up to protect the innocent from being victimized again.

How is spending billions going to improve parenting?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse


once again i refer you to my post about PARENTING. spending billions on jails only makes them better criminals.what your describing is something out of "a clockwork orange"

and what you said about outsourcing is simplistic. using a hair cut as a example dosent fly. im no expert on it but outsourcing someine's job to someone for pennies on the dollar and comparing it to a hair cut is cold comfort. maybe some one can come in and explain why outsourcing is bad for everyone(you included razor). sure were guilty of buying cheap knick knacks from wal-mart but when industrial jobs and now white collar jobs are being shipped out it becomes a problem.

unfettered captialism only favors the few and screws the rest.read up on the gilded age and tell me america isnt on its way to that.

Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

National Journal's Congress Daily:

Pentagon lawyers abruptly blocked mid-level active-duty military officers from speaking Thursday during a closed-door House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee briefing about their personal experiences working with Iraqi security forces.

The Pentagon's last-minute refusal to allow the officers' presentations surprised panel members and congressional aides, who are in the middle of an investigation into the effort to train and organize Iraqi forces.

Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Martin Meehan, D-Mass., called the Pentagon's move "outrageous" and left open the possibility of issuing subpoenas.

One correspondent suggests: "My guess: the training is not going well, there are some big gaps, and a bunch of horror stories that the Pentagon doesn't want aired. ... That said, this will backfire."

Posted by: hmmm... | April 20, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Blarg:

If you require Americans to purchase their goods from someone who charges more to make them, you INCREASE the price that all people, including the poor, pay for the products that they buy.

VOTE BLARG 2008 if you want to pay more for everything that you buy.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Some IDIOT that CANNOT READ said:

'I say LOCK THEM UP, and if you don't say LOCK THEM UP, you should be first in line to welcome them to YOUR neighborhood.'

You mean all children, or just the ones that aren't rich?

We should lock up the ones that screw up regular school, screw up and victimize on their way to alternative school, then still screw up and victimize and get sent to the juvenile justice system, and still screw up and victimize yet again and wind up in the penitentiary.

The multiple time screw ups who are by this time ADULT victimizers are the ones I said we should lock up, regardless of income.

Which repeat felons, rapists and murderers do you not want to lock up?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I think that when most people complain about outsourcing, they only refer to the situation in which the job is sent to another country. (That's sometimes called offshoring, but it doesn't seem to be a very common term.) The issue is that this behavior costs Americans jobs and sends our money overseas, mostly to China.

Posted by: Blarg | April 20, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

In another sign of Republican unease with the president's Iraq policies, a third GOP senator expressed support Thursday for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq under certain conditions.

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe announced she would sponsor a bill to require American commanders to plan a withdrawal within 120 days of the bill's enactment, unless the Iraqi government meets a series of benchmarks.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The Bush White House called embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales "our No. 1 crime fighter" Friday, a day after Gonzales' often halting explanations for the firings of eight federal prosecutors brought additional demands for his resignation.

"He has done a fantastic job in the Department of Justice," deputy press secretary Dana Perino told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One as President Bush headed for a speech in Michigan.

Posted by: Heck of a job gonzo | April 20, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

'I say LOCK THEM UP, and if you don't say LOCK THEM UP, you should be first in line to welcome them to YOUR neighborhood.'

You mean all children, or just the ones that aren't rich?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse


USA Today poll, March 5:

Which comes closer to your view about the war in Iraq?
Definitely win: 11%.
Probably win: 17%.
Can win, but don't think will win: 20%
Do not think it can win: 46%

CNN poll, March 13:

Do you think the U.S. can win or cannot win the war in Iraq?
Can win: 46%
Cannot win: 46%

Washington Post/ABC News poll, April 16:

Will U.S. win or lose the war?
Lose: 51%
Win: 35%

Rasmussen poll, April 16:

Thirty-three percent (33%) of American voters believe that history will ultimately judge the U.S. mission in Iraq a success. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 55% of Likely Voters believe the mission will be deemed a failure.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Some intellectual giant said:

'We tried and tried to send you to college. We gave you second, third, fourth fifth chances, all drawn from the same pool of funds used for the first chance of the ones that dont screw up. '

Total bullsh*t.

We do spend billions for head start, billions for public schools, billions for alternative schools, billions for juvenille justice systems, billions for alternative sentencing programs, and by the time someone fails after all that intervention and still wants to victimize others, I say LOCK THEM UP, and if you don't say LOCK THEM UP, you should be first in line to welcome them to YOUR neighborhood.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse


"The war in Iraq isn't over yet, but -- surge or no surge -- the United States has already lost. That's the grim consensus of a panel of experts assembled to assess the future of Iraq. "Even if we had a million men to go in, it's too late now," says retired four-star Gen. Tony McPeak, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War. "Humpty Dumpty can't be put back together again."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Several commenters have mentioned "outsourcing" as if it were evil, even though they do it every day.

Say you regular barber charges $25. You find someone that you determine to be of equal quality that charges $20.

Sorry dude who charged $25, you have been outsourced.

Opposing outsoursing is opposing price competition.

Saying you oppose outsourcing to help the middle class or poor is a BIG LIE.

This is because middle class and poor people are BOTH buyers and sellers.

The act of helping someone who sells their labor to a hamburger maker by definition hurts the person who buys the hamburger.

70% of the economy is wages. 70% of what you buy on average is therefore dependent on the level of the wages. When you increase wages, you increase the cost of product.

By requiring the pay of a poor person who makes hair brushes to be increased, you increase the cost of a hair brush to a poor person that buys one.

This is because of an obvious fact: A business that does not recover the cost of its product in the price of its product goes out of business.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

'everyone on here would agree if she just disappear and never come back.'

hear, hear, she and that trash Britney. Now even eight year old girls dress like sl*ts--it's really depressing.

Posted by: drndl | April 20, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

'We tried and tried to send you to college. We gave you second, third, fourth fifth chances, all drawn from the same pool of funds used for the first chance of the ones that dont screw up. '

Total bullsh*t.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, thank you, bsimon. I grew up poor and I will not whine about it, because I worked my a** off and got into the middle class and sent my kid to a good school.

But the obstacles --christ. My parents threw me out and I worked nights at factory so I could afford to support myself and attend college. I took pills to stay awake. I don't know why it didn't kill me. And when you classmates are kids like Dub-- who threw it all away, who had everything and appreciated nothing, who flaunted it, it is just demoralizing.

I can see why a lot of poor kids are angry and frustrated. I know I was. But the only way to survive is to get past it and accept where you are and try to change it. Education is the only hope for kids like that, and our only hope for a middle class.

That's why I think finding ways to help kids pay for college [or trade school or technical training] should be one of our most important priorities.


Posted by: drindl | April 20, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

razor-my point about deregulation is at some point it hurts the consumer. google the phrase silverado savings and loan to get a good ideal why it was a bad ideal. also define lunatic fringe. if anything blaming strawmen is not a good debate point.

and what you described as billions wasted on young people either unwilling to learn, much less behave. well thats the parents fault that they send unruly children to class. personally if it was my kid acting up or failing, i would personally see to it he "changes" his or her attitude. a parent should never have the schools or tv do the parenting for them.

Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Spartan:

My point about deregulation is that there was such a huge concensus on the issue that Ted Kennedy and Jesse Helms agreed on it, and the only people that didn't agree with it are the lunatic fringe.

We already invest billions and billions and billions on the young people you speak of. The cost savings in terms of prison space has yet to occur.

We provide free public school education, and some don't show up or act out and deprive others of an orderly classroom. Then we provide alternative school, to give the trouble maker more individualized attention, and they screw that up and don't show up. Then we provide juvinile court, community based/alternative punishment and some screw that up and still victimize others.

Each step up the latter cost more than the one before, until finally you get to the hard core penitentiary, the most expensive of all. And what does the victimizer say? You are spending this much money on this jail, why didn't you send me to college?

We tried and tried to send you to college. We gave you second, third, fourth fifth chances, all drawn from the same pool of funds used for the first chance of the ones that dont screw up. We tried to send you to college, but as John Edwards should say, you got what you got because YOU EARNED IT.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I did mean RFK, Jr., and referred to him only because he testified a few days ago in support of a new trial for Skakel, whom I believe is as guilty as homemade sin.

(ok fine, fair enough, i had to google his name to find out if its true or not. personally, i dont think he's getting a new trial.)

The suggestion that the middle class is shrinking is false, and if Paris Hilton voted at all, she probably voted for Kerry like all of the other rich spoiled Hollyweird floozys that she runs around with.
(well i have to disagree with you about the middle class but thats a discussion for another time. how ever she did not vote in 2004. "In November 2004, Hilton participated in Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' Vote or Die campaign, to encourage youths to vote in the Presidential election. She drew criticism when it was revealed she did not vote, nor had she even registered to do so." personall im glad she didnt, she might have wrote in mickey mouse or tinkerbell for president)

I won't like the floozy, but at the end of the day I would say it was worth it
-given the choice,everyone on here would agree if she just disappear and never come back.

Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

bsimon-well said. thanks

Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I did mean RFK, Jr., and referred to him only because he testified a few days ago in support of a new trial for Skakel, whom I believe is as guilty as homemade sin.

The suggestion that the middle class is shrinking is false, and if Paris Hilton voted at all, she probably voted for Kerry like all of the other rich spoiled Hollyweird floozys that she runs around with.

The people who believe in capitalism believe in it not because of Paris Hilton, but Conrad Hilton, who started with nothing and had the opportunity to build a business that provides a service that consumers find value in and provides alot of jobs.

Some day there will be another floozy just like Paris, who doesn't have to work and who jet sets around making a fool out of herself because of vast wealth inherited from her mother or father who cured cancer. Capitalism drives technology, which improves the lives of all.

I won't like the floozy, but at the end of the day I would say it was worth it.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

spartan says
"if anything, there should be multiple ways to at least achive middle class than just have the ultra rich and the desperate poor"

If I may, I'd like to build on this idea. The flaw in our society today - in terms of rich vs. poor - is not that there are rich, but that the children of the poor have such a hard time breaking the cycle of poverty. The series of hurdles faced by children in poverty is long and difficult to surmount. Whether these kids live in an urban center or rural backwater, if they don't get enough to eat, they don't do well in school. If their parents - or parent - aren't setting a good example, or aren't even there, how can we expect the kid to pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Time and time again, the evidence has shown that kids growing up in these situations turn to gangs, drugs and crime rather than to the books. This is a failure of society, that we continue to overlook the conditions of so many of our youngest citizens. We don't make up for it until they're older, and we pay their room and board in prisons and penitientiaries. Perhaps if we invest more in these people when they're young they won't cost us so much when they're old.

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, come on - I thought Paris was wealthy because of her patenting of the slogan "that's hot" or something.

:-)

Posted by: JD | April 20, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

ok i caught your last post razor.

ok i can see your point about deregulation, what are you doing about it? call your congressman or senator. and get friends to do it. sure its one thing to talk about it on a blog but you gotta get involved. if anything deregulation does nothing but hurts the consumer. case in point:the pet food recall,the concentration of media outlets and outsourcing.

and the skakel thing, he's been convicted by his peers. he's sitting in i hope a max security prison for the rest of his life,with no hope for parole. he cant set policy or run for office. sure its a good arugement for having the same rules for the rich as well for the rest of us but its better not to focus on just him when there are other children of the rich who flout the laws repeatedly.

Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"He sits in jail for bashing in the scull of a teenage girl with a golf club, unless RFJ Jr. can get him out."
-um razorback, do you think Skakel is innocent? do you have any evidence? and who the hell is rfj? unless you mean rfk jr. i dont think he has that kind of imagined power you think he has.

personally, here's my take on the rich vs poor arugument. i dont dispute making your own money. it shows that you followed the rules(or bucked the system) and you have something to show for it. and if your poor, you dont have the resources but if you work hard you can at least make middle class or better. what i have a problem with rich people is the paris hiltons of the world who think that rules dont apply to them, and always have things given to them.plus the way things is going, the middle class is shrinking to the point where, you get sick or lose your job and before you know it your in the poor house, up to your eyeballs in debt. if anything, there should be multiple ways to at least achive middle class than just have the ultra rich and the desperate poor

Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The only 2 things I have blamed Kennedys for are as follows:

One is helping start the deregulation movement continued by President Reagan.

See: http://www.aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=308

The other is to blame Skakel, born to every advantage in life, for bashing in the head of a teenage girl with a golf club. Even after the best defense that money can buy, the jury and appeals courts have agreed with me.

The real con is to have positions that you are too afraid to post because you would rather hide in the comfort of your ideological delusions than participate in a rational discussion.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

And JD what about that Skakel guy, he was born to great wealth, no fair.

He sits in jail for bashing in the scull of a teenage girl with a golf club, unless RFJ Jr. can get him out.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 02:33 PM

typical con, blame the kennedys.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

And JD what about that Skakel guy, he was born to great wealth, no fair.

He sits in jail for bashing in the scull of a teenage girl with a golf club, unless RFJ Jr. can get him out.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

DeFazio will not run for Senate
Posted by The Oregonian April 20, 2007 09:51AM
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said in an interview today that he has decided not to challenge Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore.

DeFazio had been the top choice of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, after a DSCC-commissioned poll showed him ahead of Smith. But the 11-term Congressman chairs a powerful House Transportation subcommittee responsible for doling out hundreds of billions of dollars of highway funding.

DeFazio had initially said in January he would not run, but in the past month he agreed to reconsider. Today's announcement, he said, came after speaking with many people, including colleagues who moved from the House to the Senate.

"I just did not feel that becoming a junior member of the Senate was going to allow me to serve as well and as effectively, particularly in the short term, as my current position," DeFazio said.

"This was not an easy decision," DeFazio said. "You don't get a poll that shows you're ahead of an incumbent senator and generous offers of support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and just blow it off. It was a long and serious deliberation on my part."
http://blog.oregonlive.com/politics/2007/04/defazio_will_not_run_for_senat.html

mikeb if your still around, is there any canidates that can step up to challenge smith?


Posted by: spartan | April 20, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

JD, if people generally end up at the economic level they deserve, what about heirs? There are a lot of people in the world who are rich because of great things their fathers or grandfathers did. Paris Hilton is so rich because of, essentially, luck. Same with relatives of Sam Walton, who are some of the richest people in the world. How do they deserve their wealth?

Posted by: Blarg | April 20, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Josh, I made no assumptions about the poor. All that I have said is that if you accept Edward's notion that his unequal position is morally justified because he "earned it", then you MUST also accept as a matter of logical consistency, the argument that the unequal status of someone that made bad decisions is morally acceptable.

I present no dichotomy at all. I do not equate sucess with money. I did not suggest that the right decisions lead to wealth.

All I have done is question the state of the debate that allows John Edwards to claim the mantle of champion for the poor and equality, while at the same time purchasing a 29,000 square foot house, and when presented with the apparant contradiction, his only defense was "I earned it."

So far, no one posting to the blog has suggested that "I earned it" is not an acceptable justification for inequality. I find this suprising, given all of the drivel about the left being the champion of the unfortunate and the right protecting the wealth of the greedy that appears on this blog.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Better get Hair Force One ready if Edwards is elected."

I hear Unity 08 is pushing for an Edwards-Romney ticket...

Posted by: bsimon | April 20, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Josh, the point is, at the macro level (the ONLY level that should be examined when discussing the implications of federal policy on the economy; ie, do we raise tax rates to redistribute wealth or lower them to spur growth), in general people end up where they deserve to, economically. And we should make the economic shaking-out as merit-based as possible, if you want truly equitably deliver the spoils of war.

Sure there are variances; you find someone who gets sabotaged by bad luck again and again, despite hard work... or you find someone who had nothing, a 4th grade education who ends up founding a multi-billion dollar company ( http://www.hersheypa.com/town_of_hershey/history/ )

Posted by: JD | April 20, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Edwards is a fairly intelligent individual, which gives him a leg up; not everyone is born with the same gifts,"

Better get Hair Force One ready if Edwards is elected.

Posted by: he feels pretty | April 20, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

HoHoHo Dubya out the do', bic mack and fries, cheney tells lies, McCain has gas, this too will pass, send me to Muskogee, where they don't do marijuana, dip my wick in Brazil, and Im not talking about Donna.

I want some juice, will Romney slip the noose? Florida here I come, to find me an orchard, because i am completely incoherent, just like poor richard.

Posted by: DrPhil | April 20, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Razor, you're making interesting assumptions about the poor. Quote:
"He says that his own superior choices and talent justifies his superior status, but never acknowledges that inferior choices, like substance abuse and refusing to stay in school, can also be used to justify inequality."

You present a false dichotomy. Either you make the right decisions, and become rich, or you make the wrong decisions and end up poor. What about people who never made "inferior" choices? People born into wretchedly poor families, who never had an opportunity to *make* decisions, because they were always one step away from starving? Edwards is a fairly intelligent individual, which gives him a leg up; not everyone is born with the same gifts, given the same education from an early age. Does this justify dismissing them?

Posted by: Josh | April 20, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Amazing interplay of off-topic conversation and on topic responses to Chris.

Off topic: Bush and Rove doing the rounds in Alliance Ohio (Look it up on a map. It is amazing how far Dubya has to go for a friendly audience) and Tipp City (bet no one even knew that existed).

President tries to show he did not sleep through 1974. Rove trots out the "Domino Theory" updated for the War on Whatever now that the British have determined (like most of us already knew)that the use of "War on Terror" is a malapropism (Koz will need to look that up-just keep in mind that Wikpedia has a high error rate)

Retropolitics: Beat the Domino Theory Drum anytime someone says Viet Nam is "lost". Anyone out there old enough to remember John Foster Dulles, Barry Goldwater....How about Curtis "Let's bomb 'em back to the Stone Age" Lemay.

That tells me that Dubya maybe had an enlightenment about Iraq. ('Holy S...-I mean-Cow, we might be on the short end of this)

Battle royal for the Dems. The last vestiges of the Clinton Dynasty against a new face and background guy who is amazingly effective (The yang to the current Bush/Cheney yin of incompetence). Think Obama/Richardson. The Clintons and Bushes are so 90's.

Repbublicans. They will feast on each other. We'll still be in Iraq in '08. Attitude

Maybe Dubya suspends the election in '08. Too dangerous to change leaders during the War on Whatever (formerly known as Terror).

Interesting Tipp City reference for suspicious minds. Dubya says at the end of his term he will got home, saying htat is Crawford Texas "for today". Guess he hasn't closed on that ranch in Parguay yet.

Posted by: poor richard | April 20, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

muse, remember that McCain hasn't even officially declared for president. He is "exploring" a run. If he continues to implode then he could easily bow out and move all his cash into his senate account or his PAC. Not saying it will happen but stranger things...

Posted by: Andy R | April 20, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Enough highfalutin talk about campaign finances already. The real story is John McCain, who's gone from straight talker to straight shooter!

New dish on EWM:

Operation Karaoke: McCain to Croon More Policy Tunes
http://www.eyewitnessmuse.com/musings.php?p=263

EWM- (April 20, 2007, Washington, DC) -Buoyed by the extensive coverage of his "bomb Iran" parody of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann," Senator John McCain has ordered his staff to launch what he's calling "Operation Karaoke," a multi-media road show that he hopes will revive his sagging campaign by crooning more foreign policy tunes.

A top aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, expressed concern. "We've gone from the 'straight-talk express' to claiming it's safe to walk around in Baghdad to singing about carpet-bombing countries. So if you're asking me if he's lost his freaking mind, I'd have to say 'absolutely.'"...

Posted by: The Eyewitness Muse | April 20, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

(Not bothering to defend myself against anonymous postings...)

Posted by: JD | April 20, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Liberals just don't like economists. Even Robert Riech defends Wal-Mart.

reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart/reich_dont_blame.php

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - A lot of JD's "understanding of economics" seems to come from the Chamber of Commerce, more so than the multiple degrees which he has.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

drindl: Sometime back, I think it was you, that I put in my "Envy/Jealous" catagory, not sure. I have this thing about how I think most folks feel and think, This is in no way a study of how people feel or think, it is my own opinion based on many years of expierence. Anyone can dispute these opinions, but it does not make them any more or less accurate. This brings me to a quote that goes something like "Theres no fool like an an old fool-You can't beat expierence."

Posted by: lylepink | April 20, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's problem is she concentrate on big donors only. Once they max out, they cannot give more. Obama is courting smaller donors through $25 fundraising events. The crowds tend to be larger and he can use this database to call on the donors to give more in the future.

Posted by: Angela | April 20, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't disagree with anything up there... if the election were today Hillary would be likely to pull it out. She can't take another 3 months like the last 3 though. She can't afford to have Obama pull ahead of her in cash on hand. At that point her poor fav/unfavs and performance in general election matchups would sink her.

William is incorrect in stating that she's maintained her huge lead except among independents. Looking at RCP the polls with either likely primary voters or registered dems run +21 (Fox News), 5, 4, 12, 2, 10, 7. The non-screened poll runs +17, clearly on the high end of the scale.

Really, though, it's anyone's game right now and that includes Richardson and Edwards. Looking forward to the debates next week...

Posted by: Nissl | April 20, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't have decrees in econ, but I have a job that requires me to cross examine persons who do have degrees in econ.

If you ever want to make a liberal's head explode, just explain to them how Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Stephen Breyer (yes, now Justice Breyer) started the deregulation revolution that was continued by President Reagan.
See: http://www.aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=308

The left still uses the rhetoric of socialism and egalitarianism when speaking to the "Democratic base", but many of their policy makers know better. Markets 101 from Dick and Jane prevails.

This is why so many liberal bloggers complain about a lack of "real" Democrats and Democrats not corrupted by corporate America.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Still way too early to determine anything from these fundraising figures, except John Edwards could have given every underprivileged kid in North Carolina a free haircut for the price he payed for just two for himeself. Whoever heard of paying $400.00 for a haircut?! And he did it twice on his campaigns expense. How about calling his bus: The hair cut express.

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel | April 20, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink says:

"I do not expect the polls to change much over the next months, but you can sure count on the opponents of Hillary to use them and distort what they actually are."

The biggest distorter will be Hillary, who will attempt to run on the so called "Clinton economy" but will NOT support free trade like Bill did and will not support the kind of tax cuts that Bill was forced to accept by Newt.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Razor.

(I better understand econ. I have 2 degrees in it...)

Posted by: JD | April 20, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Jane, I don't have to ask if JD is a capitalist.

He is an informed entrepenerial capitalist who understands that the right's belief in capitalism does not come from a desire to favor wealthy interests over others, but rather it is a belief in a system and the understanding of basic economics.

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

RCD said: "Edwards believes no one should be wealthy unless everyone can be wealthy..."

and "...Edwards believes that we do America a disservice by mortgaging its future through tax cuts to wealthy and corporate welfare which helps American employers outsource American jobs."

The latter part of this is reasonable, there should be no 'corporate welfare' (are you referring to tax breaks to incentivize behaviors? If so, you're taking away a major Dem social engineering weapon...)

The first statement is indefensible. Of course there will be economic winners and losers in any reasonable economic system. There better be, otherwise nobody has incentive to work hard, take risks, and produce more (and be rewarded for it).

Posted by: JD | April 20, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Edwards represents the capitalist American dream and I think that is great.

What I detest about Edwards is that he calls inequality a moral issue, but he obviously believes that he own unequal status is morally justified. He says that his own superior choices and talent justifies his superior status, but never acknowledges that inferior choices, like substance abuse and refusing to stay in school, can also be used to justify inequality.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

William; We disagree on most things but your 10;46 AM post is rite on target. Hillary is by far the favorite of serious voters. The things she has in her favor way out number the opposition will bring up. I am beginning to think she has a good chance in Iowa and NH simply for the thought of another repub gaining The White House in 08. I do not expect the polls to change much over the next months, but you can sure count on the opponents of Hillary to use them and distort what they actually are. "Push Polling" comes to mind, and it will, IMO, be used as well.

Posted by: lylepink | April 20, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Jane, RCD is a capitalist. I am amazed about how right you were. Too bad Hugo Chavez doesn't blog.

RCD says: "Edwards believes no one should be wealthy unless everyone can be wealthy"

Edwards is wealthy, so apparently John and RC have determined that everyone can be weathly.

RCD complains about the outsourcing of jobs. Why doesn't Edwards prohibit Toyotas not built in the US if he is serious about American jobs?

What RCD and the other leftist pretend capitalists always say is they want to make capitalism a little better, then offer Europe as an exaple.

Germany has 10% unemployment. The French in France earn about 70% of what Americans do. The model that you want to copy doesn't work.

Finally, RCD says that Edwards is opposed to the outsourcing of US jobs. Why doesn't he just ban Toyotas not made in the US? Why doesn't he propose to ban Chinese imports?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks RCD. I don't know why the repubs don't love Edwards. He's a prime example of how you can work your way up through capitalism. The american dream.

but apparently you have to be born wealthy and lazy like their president in order to be worthy in their eyes. That's why they despise the rest of us -- and often themsleves.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

capitalism itself does not equal global corporations. you have allowed propaganda to get it all tangled in your mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Well Razorback, thanks for that kindergarten analysis of income inequality. Your oversimplification belittles both Edwards and Dick Cheney's positions. When Dems speak of income inequality, we are speaking of the public policies which exacerbates market forces which benefit the wealthy, such as tax cuts for the wealthy, corporate welfare and tax loop holes for outsourcing. There are many forms of capitalism and many different ways to allow market forces to control distribution of wealth. Capitalism is a government program, it can not exist on any productive scale without regulation by government, whether it is availability of currency or police protection for assets. Tinkering with these policies to mitigate or eliminate those forces which benefit those with more money does not mean that we believe everyone should have the same thing. Dems decry expanding wealth inequality, not simple weatlh inequality. Dick Cheney believes that those who have accumulated wealth should be favored because they are the most productive members of society, and their decisions will benefit those who do not have the wherewithal to accumulate wealth through employment and charitable works. This is why Edwards and Cheney do not agree, not that Edwards believes no one should be wealthy unless everyone can be wealthy, Edwards believes that we do America a disservice by mortgaging its future through tax cuts to wealthy and corporate welfare which helps American employers outsource American jobs. Why any American could question this, I do not know, but at least I know Dick Cheney just thinks he and his rich buddies are better than the rest of us, so that explains their position, what explains yours, Razorback?

Posted by: RCD | April 20, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

AndyR: I read you loud and clear in your thinking. This is something I have seen in almost 60 years of being involved in politics, The "Fear Factor" in politics is to actually state and support the ones you "Fear" the least. Hillary is the one the repubs "Fear" most. This is ny honest opinion and in no way can I be cerain, however, the expierence over the years leads me to this opinion.

Posted by: lylepink | April 20, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Andy. Jane says everyone believes in capitalism. Do you? Does Barack?

Barack likes to have it both ways. He raises the most money on Wall Street, yet makes vieled references to social darwinism. Which is it Barack? Andy?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Yes, but if one choice is financially privileged over another to an exorbitant degree, that choice is no longer made on the basis of what one WANTS to do, but rather what one HAS to do in order to get ahead. I am not advocating income equality, but I AM advocating for other policies to make both options equally viable.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Yo check yo'self, Hawg...

Jane says everyone believes in capitalism.

Do you?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Obama has not been "underwhelming", instead he has taken a methodical approach in coming up with his plans and policies. While developing his plans he is also trying to gain the support of congressional colleagues for his plan. At a recent Health Care forum he stated he is working on a plan while at the same time trying to gain support for it from members of Congress because in the past others have presented their plans only to see them fail when they became President because there was no support for it in Congress. This is the sign of a true LEADER. He doesn't want to waste time trying to get Congressional support for his plans after the election. This is a person who is bringing a thoughtful, intelligent approach to the Whitehouse - not someone who shoots from the mouth and gut that sparks long partisan stand offs in which nothing gets accomplished.

Clinton can mouth off about her Health Care Plan because she's had 16 years of trying to develop one. If her plan were so great, why hasn't she been able to gain support for her ideas in the 8 years she's been in the Senate. Edwards can pull his plan out of his back pocket because it's the same as the plan he presented in his last bid to be President.

Look at the leadership skills. Someone may have substantive plans and policies but it doesn't do them any good if as a leader they can't get Congress to legislate their plans. We need someone who can work with both parties in Congress. We need someone who can keep Congress focused on passing substantive legislation without long debates and fighting. We need someone who has a clean record and character so that Congress will spend more time on the issues that matter and not waste time assasinating the President's character and integrity.

We need Obama as our next President.

Posted by: andy | April 20, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Someone asked: "Razorback - would you agree that greed is good? Would you agree that everything worthwhile in life has a monetary value? Would you agree that only those who provide a good or service with a price tag attached are making contributions to society?"

I think that greed is morally neutral, like a hammer. A hammer is good for fixing a roof, but not good for fixing teeth.

I think freedom is good, and people should be free to do what they want unless victimizing others. I think a teacher that teaches the poor in an urban area because they want to and an engineer who is trying to invent technology so that they will become rich are morally equivilant. Both are doing that which, in their heart and mind, they WANT to do.

People who do what they WANT to do produce and create more than people who are not free. This is one of the key reasons why our nation produces and creates so much more than others. This is why capitalism works. It drives technolgy and creativity.

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Global corporations control my mind. I am their slave. Give them all your money -- they are going to take it anyway."

Admitting that you have a problem and are powerless before it is the first step on the road to recovery, Mr. Zouk.

Posted by: Bill W | April 20, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Global corporations control my mind. I am their slave. Give them all your money -- they are going to take it anyway.

Posted by: Hawg | April 20, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer taking rank hypocrisy to new lows
In his column today, Charles Krauthammer delivers a solemn lecture on how terribly inappropriate it is to exploit tragedies like the Virginia Tech shootings to make a political point.... On Wednesday -- less than 48 hours after the shootings -- the same Krauthammer went on Fox News to explain why the Virginia Tech shootings and the killer's "manifesto" are connected to Al Jazeera, the Palestinians and other Muslim Enemies who dominate Krauthammer's political agenda.

Posted by: krauthmmer is scum | April 20, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

We won't be 'past Iraq' for quite some time:

'Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.

. . . Pentagon officials said they know of no new training resources that have been included in U.S. plans to dispatch 28,000 additional troops to Iraq. . . .

. . . U.S. officials don't say that the training formula - championed by Gen. John Abizaid when he was the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and by Gen. George Casey when he was the top U.S. general in Iraq - was doomed from the start. But they said that rising sectarian violence and the inability of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to unite the country changed the conditions.

. . . President Bush first announced the training strategy in the summer of 2005.

"Our strategy can be summed up this way," Bush said. "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down."

Military leaders in Baghdad planned to train 325,000 Iraqi security forces. Once that was accomplished, those forces were to take control. Casey created military transition teams that would live side by side with their Iraqi counterparts to help them apply their training to real-world situations.

Throughout 2006, Casey and top Bush administration leaders touted the training as a success, asserting that eight of Iraq's 10 divisions had taken the lead in confronting insurgents.
In a way, though, the problem wasn't that the Iraqis didn't "stand up" -- it was the nature of those who did:
. . . insurgents and militiamen had infiltrated the forces, using their power to carry out sectarian attacks.

In nearly every area where Iraqi forces were given control, the security situation rapidly deteriorated. The exceptions were areas dominated largely by one sect and policed by members of that sect.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Razorback - would you agree that greed is good? Would you agree that everything worthwhile in life has a monetary value? Would you agree that only those who provide a good or service with a price tag attached are making contributions to society? A great many teachers, artists, social workers, etc. would disagree. Do you consider such people less valuable than Trump or Boesky? or Cheney's fat a$$?

check yo'self, Hawg...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Ok, even to me, this sounds like arguing about who should be batting 8th for the Nationals, but....shouldn't Biden be 5th on the list over Dodd? I think his national stature is much higher than Dodd's.

Posted by: Patrick in Baltimore | April 20, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Dick and Jane believe in capitalism. Thats good do know. EVERYONE? You are so optimistic, Jane.

So what is it that makes one "a slave to global corporations". Or is that just more rhetorical red meat for the base during the day, while the progressive capitalists get together at night on Wall Street for another fundraiser?

Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

April 19, 2007 | Editor's note: The National Rifle Association has stayed largely silent about Monday's shooting at Virginia Tech, but silence is not its usual strategy. In fact, as a leaked advance copy of its graphic novel "Freedom in Peril" shows, the new NRA strategy is to play offense when school shootings occur, making sure to flog Second Amendment rights in the aftermath.

Previously excerpted on Washington political gossip blog Wonkette and other sites, the graphic novel shows guns and gun owners under attack from all sorts of different enemies -- "illegal alien gangs," celebrities and the stern visage of financier George Soros -- but in the case of school shootings the enemy is clearly the press. On this page, the novel discusses how the media, in the NRA's view, uses these kinds of shootings; on the next, a reporter is depicted as a vulture holding a microphone./

http://www.salon.com/news/primary_sources/2007/04/19/nra_comic/

Posted by: nutcases | April 20, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse


'Once past Iraq, the capitalist center will re-emerge and the Repubs will be back.'

Dream on.

Everyone believes in capitalism -- clown. It's just a matter of whether our government is a slave to global corporatiions, or represents its citizens. And I think most 'moderates' want the latter.

Posted by: Jane | April 20, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The underwhelming with Obama comes from the game plan of not having policy roll out until now. They wanted the first part to be an introduction. Now they are starting to roll out the policies.
I just read on the Times on Line that some New York biggies are saying Clinton's support is ebbing there. Many New Yorkers are feeling like the rest of the country. They want change. They see Obama as being where the world is now and Clinton is where the world was in the past.
If this holds true, look for more weakening of the Clinton campaign.
Even Bill is beginning to wear thin in some areas.

Posted by: vwcat | April 20, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The problem with Edwards is that if there is a car crash, his sole criteria for determining which driver had the green light is which driver hired Edwards first. He is a convictionless mouthpiece, a hired gun who used to say whatever the person paying him needed him to say. He used to pander for money, now he panders for votes.

His "2 Americas" bit is so phoney. We all know which America Edwards is in. Must we all live in a 28,000 square foot house before we can declare that EQUALITY has been achieved? What has to happen to have one America?

As soon as the mansion became news, Elizabeth Edwards said: "Did it (criticism about the house) come from the right? Did it come from another campaign? I don't know. What I do know is that it is no news bulletin that John and I have money. It is no news bulletin that he earned every cent."

He earned it, so that makes inequality ok. That is his argument. And what of a young man who did dope and dropped out of school, and now struggles to get by? Did he earn what he got too? "He/she EARNED it" is the classic capitalist defense of inequality. That is Dick Cheney's argument.

Edwards has been described by Mark Shields as the only candidate other than Jesse Jackson to seriously discuss the poverty issue since Robert Kennedy. Yet Edwards is so phoney that when it comes to his own unequal status, he morphs into Dick Cheney.

Just do a google search on the terms "equal opportunity" and "equal results".

I personally think its great that Edwards made a bunch of money and is spending it exaclty as he sees fit. I am a capitalist. He did earn it, and since different people earn different things, their different status (inequality) is morally justified. John, Dick and I all agree on this point.

That the newly crowned champion of the poor agrees with Dick Cheney and I on the moral justification of inequality shows just how lost and out of touch the left is. The garbage they will buy from this paid mouth piece is astonishings. Just google "John Edwards" and "earned it" if you want to see the Daily Kos types ape into Dick Cheney.

Capitalism has captured the center in American politics. The rhetoric of the left is still the same, but Obama's Wall Street fundraising shows that the people who really count know what the score is. No DEMOCRAT will challenge the "he earned it" proposition, although they will use the word EQUALITY the way that RFK did, when it comes to policy, Cheney's view of equality will prevail.

You Democrats can celebrate for now. The economic issues that put Republicans in charge have been pushed aside and will remain on the back burner until the neocons figure out that genocide in Iraq should be handled the same was as genocide in Darfur is being handled.

Once past Iraq, the capitalist center will re-emerge and the Repubs will be back.


Posted by: Razorback | April 20, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

From http://www.solidpolitics.com

Here's the biggest problem Obama faces: He trails Hillary by 27 points among registered or self-identified Democrats... What makes the polling close right now is the inclusion of "independents" who lean Democrat... Only one problem.... In many primary and caucus states, independents can't vote.... This means that Obama and Edwards have a huge mountain to climb, regardless of what their fund-raising reports show.

Posted by: William | April 20, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Lylepink,
I am definitly NOT a republican and I completely disagree that things are going 'fine' for the Clinton camp. She was outraised by Obama in the primaries. She is down to Edwards in Iowa, she is almost even with Edwards and Obama in one poll in NH, and is behind Obama in SC. And this idea that Hillary is who the republicans fear the most is wrong. If you look at the head to head math-ups Edwards does the best.

Posted by: Andy R | April 20, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

yes, hard to believe, but the terminator is one of the most appealing politicians in the nation. i might even vote for him if he were to run for president. yes, i know he can't, at least not now.

i think someone else put it just right - #1 slot in each party should be vacant. i can't see giuliani winning it, but then i can't see any of the others winning it either (on the gop side.)

on the democratic side, i could see each of the top 4 winning, yes including richardson. i really like obama, but his honeymoon with the press has been over for some time and they are starting to snipe at him. we'll see how he holds up.

edwards could go either way. and richardson, well, he has to get some more press... he's actually been doing real-life diplomacy while the others have been talking about it, and his response to va tech was right on the money. who knows where he would be now if he had hillary's money, or obama's? let's see how the debates play out.

Posted by: meuphys | April 20, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The Hillary camp is doing just fine. For those that oppose her will use any, and I do mean ANY, thing that is even perceived to go against her, will be used. A few weeks ago a repub stated he/she had given to Obama. This is a tactic that will be used in the future, as it is now, by repubs that will state they favor another dem in case they are polled. Hillary is the one the repubs fear most and we, supporters, do not rule anything out as far as the attacks are coming from and they will be answered very quickly.

Posted by: lylepink | April 20, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

One other thing about Romney is that he raised alot of money but spent a ton of it too.

Drindl, I don't know if you can't say that Hillary is a legitimate #1, right now. She does have 30 million on hand and is one of the most recognizable political faces in the world. But like I said I think her slide has begun. I have said a long time that for a woman to be elected President she would have to be the obvious choice for the office (ie sitting VP).

And your point about the hostility between the parties in this country I completely agree. I saw Arnold Swarchenegger on Charlie Rose the other day and he was saying the same thing. Everytime I see him speak I like him more and more. He might be the only Republican in the country I would vote for. And as a side-note the constitution should be changed to allow naturalized citizens to run for president, IMHO.

Posted by: Andy R | April 20, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I agree... #1 on R side should be blank. There just isn't a frontrunner yet... and I think #1 should be blank on the D side too--I've just seen way too much opposition to Hillary.

Strange dynamics this time around.. we are a nation at war with ourselves.

Posted by: drindl | April 20, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

How can the MSM and yourself keep treating Mitt Romney as an upper tier candidate. Other than knowing a lot of people with money, he continues to trail unannounced candidates Gingrich and Thompson, and never gets out of single digits. It seems like he is a pure media creation, like McCain in 2000. Doesn't he run the risk of being the John Connally of 2008 ($12 million spent, one delgate)

Posted by: Sid F. | April 20, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

First off, I think the order for the democrats is right on, but I do disagree with this statement
"[hillary] continues to build the best cumulative organization in early-voting states -- New Hampshire especially"

But she has no orginization in Iowa, and SC. Also if she has this great organization then why is she virtually tied with Edwards and Obama in NH? Last week when Obama showed that he raised more money then HRC was the beginning of the end for her campaign. IMO, she will continue her slide in the polls and in three months when Obama and Edwards both beat her in the money race her poll numbers will be in the low 20's high teens. Remember you heard it here first.

The democrats are going to become alot clearer after thursday.

The Republican line I think is a bit skewed. Although I agree that McCain is imploding I don't think Rudy is a true #1 yet. He has almost universal name recognition but still can't get out of the mid 30s in polls. I think the space you should have left blank is #1.
Romney isn't up for the national stage. The democrats would love, just love to have him to beat on for 6 months before the general.

Posted by: Andy R | April 20, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Hillary struggling to fend off Obama is a good thing for her? Come on. It doesn't take pressure off, it just turns it up even more. But she appears to be weathering it well, for she's increasing her lead in the latest polls.

Sorry for the plug...

Chuck Todd on Political Buzz Radio tonight at 6:30PM. Chat with Chuck live!
http://political-buzz.com/?p=152

Posted by: matthew | April 20, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse


BERLIN -- U.S. diplomatic facilities have increased their security due to a "heightened threat," the U.S. Embassy in Berlin said Friday.

Robert Wood, a U.S. embassy spokesman, noted that German authorities had said Germany faces an increased threat of terrorism because its military takes part in missions in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

"U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities in Germany are increasing their security posture," the embassy said in a statement. "We are taking these steps in response to a heightened threat situation."

Posted by: ummm--what about us? | April 20, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

'General Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, asked last month to overturn the decades-long policy that separates the military's "public affairs" branch from its "information operations" branch.

Public affairs communicates with the U.S. media and the public.

Information operations uses "deception, psychological operations and electronic warfare" to sway the attitudes of populations in other countries.'

In other words, get ready for lots of 'good news' coming out of Iraq.. 'electronic warfare' coming your way soon...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Obama outraised Hillary significantly this quarter, despite the fact that fundraising was supposed to be Hillary's big advantage.

The fact that you can spin Hillary's loss as a victory shows that you're about half a step away from working for the Clinton campaign. The loss takes some of the pressure off, because now she isn't expected to win? Well, then put Chris Dodd in the top slot, because there's no pressure on him at all!

Posted by: Blarg | April 20, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

your president:

"There are jobs Americans aren't doing. ... If you've got a chicken factory, a chicken-plucking factory, or whatever you call them, you know what I'm talking about."

_"There are some similarities, of course" between
Iraq and Vietnam. "Death is terrible."

_"I've been in politics long enough to know that polls just go poof at times."

As he has before, Bush told the story about how his first presidential decision was to pick a rug for the Oval Office, a task he quickly cast to his wife. He told her to make sure the rug reflected optimism "because you can't make decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a better tomorrow."

Later, when he talked about his hope for succeeding in Iraq, Bush said, "Remember the rug?"

Posted by: scared yet? | April 20, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the republicker field makes you wonder if Haley Barbour is kicking himself for choosing to stay out of the race. He might be the only candidate that could really rally his party.

Posted by: windserf | April 20, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Joseph P. Nacchio, the telecommunications entrepreneur whose fortune swelled with the Internet boom, was convicted yesterday of 19 counts of insider trading for selling more than $50 million of Qwest Communications International stock when he knew the company's prospects were dwindling in 2001.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

In a second blow to House Republicans this week, the FBI raided a business tied to the family of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation into the three-term lawmaker.

Details of the raid on Patriot Insurance Agency in Sonoita, Ariz., were not immediately available. Renzi's most recent financial disclosure form lists the business as an asset belonging to his wife, Roberta, and valued at $1 million to $5 million.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Gonzales "In Trouble"

CNN reporting quotes from White House senior aides.

"Going down in flames."

"Not doing himself any favors."

"Watching clubbing a baby seal." (watching testimony)

"Very troubling."

"Don't understand that tactic Gonzales used."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Looks like it'll be HRC/Obama vs Rudy/McCain or Rudy/Brownback. Richardson gets another cab position, if Hill wins.

Fun to predict this stuff so far out!

Posted by: JD | April 20, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

You sound really silly constantly referring to yourself as "The Fix." Why don't you just say "I"?

Posted by: New York, NY | April 20, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

'April 19, 2007 -- A court-ordered mental health evaluation of Virginia Tech mass-murderer Seung-Hui Cho in December 2005 found him "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization" and "an imminent danger to self and others." But that never showed up in computer records when he went to buy his gun.'

The NRA -- and the republican party have succeeded into turning the US into a Third World country, created anarchy, and enabled terrorists and murderers.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates held talks with his top generals and Iraqi leaders in Baghdad on Friday amid new signs that American patience with its Iraqi allies is wearing thin.

The secretary's third visit to Iraq came on a week that saw the bloodiest Al-Qaeda car bomb attack yet, killing 140 civilians as part of a wave of insurgent violence designed to thwart a joint US and Iraqi security plan.

Before his arrival in Iraq on Thursday, Gates warned Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government that US support was "not an open-ended commitment" and on Friday he was expected to urge faster work on political reconciliation.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

'simply because we don't know what else to do with him'

--no kidding. the republican lineup is not ready for prime time.

they have the bush curse. everytime one of them opens their mouths, it's gaffarama.

Posted by: Kate | April 20, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

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