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The Line: A Tale of Two Nomination Fights

To date, the storylines of the two presidential primary contests have been totally divergent.

The Democratic contest has been noteworthy for its stability. The field went through something of a shockwave early this year after it became clear that Barack Obama was indeed going to run, but since the start of the summer almost nothing has changed.

Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to lead in national polling and has even widened her margins in surveys conducted over the past few months. In Iowa, Clinton, Obama and John Edwards are running roughly even, while -- if a new independent poll is to be believed -- Clinton has moved into a commanding spot in New Hampshire. South Carolina, at the moment, appears to be a two-way race between Clinton and Obama.

The Republican nomination race, where fluidity is the name of the game, couldn't be more different. An argument can be made for either Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney as the frontrunner, while Fred Thompson remains a major factor in the contest.

So fluid is the Republican contest that writing off any of the candidates -- including Mike Huckabee and John McCain -- may well be premature. Make no mistake: The Fix believes the GOP nominee will come from the current top tier of Giuliani, Romney and Thompson. But this race has been so unpredictable (who could have imagined McCain would have fallen from the first tier so rapidly) that we hesitate to make hard and fast predictions.

As always, the candidate ranked No. 1 on The Line is considered the most likely as of today to be his or her party's nominee. Much will certainly change between now and early January. So if your favorite candidate isn't in the pole position, don't despair. The comments section awaits your insight.

To the Line!

THE REPUBLICANS

1. Rudy Giuliani: It's been a very good last month for the former mayor of New York City. His decision to take on the "unholy trinity" -- as one Republican strategist put it -- of Moveon.org, Hillary Clinton and the New York Times was a brilliant tactical maneuver that caught his rivals flatfooted. His decision to speak before the National Rifle Association may not have won him many converts but almost certainly defused some of the anger from gun owners toward Giuliani. And he continues to lead in virtually every national poll conducted since the start of the race, a stat that should continue to help him raise money from donors looking to be with a winner. Giuliani's nomination strategy -- hang on in the early states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and then clean up on Feb. 5 -- is totally unorthodox, but we're hesitant to dismiss it just yet given Hizzoner's ability to prove us wrong in the campaign so far. (Previous ranking: Tie for 1st)

2. Mitt Romney: Romney hasn't done anything wrong over the last month, but there seems to be a feeling at least among inside the Beltway types that his campaign has stalled a bit. A CNN/WMUR poll of New Hampshire voters that came out this week didn't help that case, as it showed Romney and Giuliani in a dead heat -- a stark contrast from a July poll that had Romney with a double-digit margin over the former Mayor. The Romney campaign quickly responded with a memo arguing that the internals of the survey were actually good news for their candidate, but the fact they had to send out a memo shows there is a level of concern on their part. Still, Romney has several major advantages in this race. As best we can tell, the top tier of candidates is largely ceding an Iowa victory to him, a win that if it happens could well give Romney a significant boost in New Hampshire. If he wins those two early states, it may be tough for Giuliani or anyone else to stop his momentum. And don't forget that Romney is extremely wealthy and has already shown a willingness to dig deep into his own pockets for the campaign. (Previous ranking: Tied for 1st)

3. Fred Thompson: There are two distinct opinions when it comes to Thompson's chances at the nomination. Inside the Beltway, the conventional wisdom is that Thompson hasn't met any of the admittedly high expectations for him. He hasn't raised as much money as his campaign said he would, his speeches are less impressive than many had hoped and he has committed a number of blunders on the stump. But outside of Washington there still seems to be an opening for Thompson; polling -- both nationally and in places like South Carolina and Florida -- shows Thompson running first or second. What to believe? The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. And, for now, that's good enough for the third slot. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. John McCain: Give McCain credit: He's not giving up. Despite the loss of most of his senior staff, a tumble in state and national polling and continued fundraising struggles, McCain has made something of a comeback. He has arrested his polling slide and remains a force to be reckoned with in New Hampshire where he is now up with his first ads of the campaign. Does this mean McCain is back? Not exactly. He is really running a single-state strategy in New Hampshire in hopes that Granite State voters give him a boost similar to the one he got there in 2000 when he defeated George W. Bush. But without money or real organization in place, it might be hard to recreate that magic. (Previous ranking: 5)

5. Mike Huckabee: The good news for Huckabee is that a scenario is shaping up where he could sneak into a third-place showing in Iowa, which could catapult him into relevance in New Hampshire and beyond. With Romney seemingly running away with Iowa and Thompson, Giuliani and McCain looking elsewhere for wins, Huckabee could fill the vacuum. Will he? He showed some organizational muscle by finishing a surprising second at the Ames straw poll in August, and that "win" should have given his Hawkeye State supporters a shot in the arm. The bad news is that Huckabee still can't seem to break out nationally. It may take a surprise showing (again) in Iowa early next year for the former governor to finally move up The Line. (Previous ranking: 4)

THE DEMOCRATS

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Clinton is doing a lot of things right lately, but the one we've noticed the most is the use of her husband as a campaign tool. He has become not just a validator of what kind of president she would be but a foil of sorts for her when she needs one. Take Wednesday night's Democratic debate. Confronted by moderator Tim Russert with the fact that she and her husband disagree on torture as a means of extracting information, Clinton deadpanned: "Well, he's not standing here right now." That moment effectively established Clinton as her own woman. Later, asked whether it was a good thing for someone with the last name of "Clinton" or "Bush" to be on every presidential ticket since 1980, Clinton quickly praised her husband's administration, daring any of the other candidates on stage to raise the less savory aspects of the Clinton years on their own. None did. (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Barack Obama: Obama's campaign hit a rough patch over the past month, a development exacerbated by the fact that Clinton seems to be soaring at the same time. But the fundamentals of the race still look promising for Obama; he continues to raise scads of cash and has built huge organizations in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Plus, he doesn't need to peak right now; his campaign would prefer an Obama surge in late December when it really matters. Still, a listless debate performance on Wednesday night didn't help Obama's cause, and the fact that he has spent $3 million on television ads in Iowa without moving his poll numbers in any significant way is somewhat worrisome. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. John Edwards: Edwards has his populist pitch down pat and seems more willing and able to draw distinctions with Clinton than Obama. We continue to be surprised about the staying power of Edwards's support in Iowa, and it now looks like it will be a three-way horse race in the caucuses. Just when momentum seemed to be building for Edwards, he announced late yesterday that he would accept public financing for both the primary and the general election -- a potentially self-defeating move. Not only will Edwards face spending caps in early states, he will also be unable to begin spending general election money until he officially became the party's nominee at the national convention. Assuming the identity of the party nominees is decided by mid-February (at the latest), Edwards would have to endure seven months with little to no money to spend. His campaign is casting it as a proactive decision -- he truly believes in reforming the campaign system. But no matter the reasoning, it complicates the electability argument Edwards has been trying to make for months. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Bill Richardson: Richardson is betting heavily that his plan to remove all American troops from Iraq will be the silver bullet that turns the Big 3 to the Big 4. It's as good a bet as any for a candidate who, while he continues to raise solid sums of money and run a competent national campaign, just can't find a way to break through. Richardson's new ad in New Hampshire is a blatant appeal to the netroots in hopes that this influential constituency will adopt Richardson and his Iraq proposal in the closing months of the campaign. The big question for Richardson is if he does find a way into the top tier, can he possibly withstand the press scrutiny that comes with it? He's shown a penchant for malapropisms and misstatements during the campaign that might have disqualified him if he was already considered a top tier candidate. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Chris Dodd: We (again) thought about putting Joe Biden in this spot -- due in large part to his continued ability to win endorsements from Iowa state legislators and his decision to make a major commitment to winning the caucuses. But we're still not convinced that Biden will have enough money to be in position to take advantage of a slip from one of the leading Democratic candidates. That's where Dodd comes in; he continues to cast himself as the candidate in the field who doesn't just talk the talk but has walked the walk in the Senate over the past three decades. It also can't hurt Dodd's cause among the netroots to know that Markos Moulitsas (founder of the DailyKos blog) voted for the Connecticut senator in the most recent monthly poll on the site. Plus, Dodd should have enough money to play seriously in Iowa. That's good enough for the fifth spot on The Line this month. (Previous ranking: 5)

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 28, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: MySpace/MTV Presidential Town Hall: John Edwards
Next: FixCam: Week in Preview

Comments

Ron Paul is ahead of Huckabee at least, he broke away from the pack way back in the first debate, and has more money than Huck. So really if you want a real choice, you have Ron Paul, and if you want the media to vote for you again as usual you have Rudy McRomneyson.

Posted by: brody | October 1, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with some of the above comments that Ron Paul is a serious candidate. Driving around my home state of NH I've been astounded the last two weeks with the number of Ron Paul signs that have appeared out of nowhere. (Outnumbered only by the signs for the Nashua election for Mayor.) Folks up here are still very open-minded and I think you'll start to see Ron Paul gain strongly in the polls.

Posted by: Skip Morris | October 1, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Peaking - HRC hasn't peaked yet, I think that she has already begun to run her general election strategy. In the debate she didn't go after her opponents and limited the material R's could use in the General. But moving to the middle, she will lose some support in the early contests.
Obama is still biding his time. I dont think there is a sense of urgency from his campaign. The organization is in place and the money continues to flow, which means he has the legs to go the distance. He will take the high ground and allow the other D's attack HRC, until the last month before Iowa&NH.
Richardson's poor showing is truly disappointing. I agree, he really isn't ready for the spot light.
I am pulling for Biden, has a nice balance. He will hold on till Iowa and hope to pick up a 3place finish or he is done like dinner.
On the other side of the docket, it is so unpredictable. Anything can shift the field from a cell phone call to skipping a debate.

Posted by: boucher, the other washington | October 1, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

On the Senate floor today, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) made an impassioned appeal to his fellow senators, declaring that the Lieberman-Kyl amendment on Iran should be "withdrawn" because the "proposal is Dick Cheney's fondest pipe dream." Webb cautioned that the "cleverly-worded sense of the Congress" could be "interpreted" to "declare war" on Iran. He continued:


Those who regret their vote five years ago to authorize military action in Iraq should think hard before supporting this approach. Because, in my view, it has the same potential to do harm where many are seeking to do good.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a principal author of the bill, implored Bush to change his mind.

"He can bring health coverage to 3.8 million low-income uninsured children who have no insurance today," Baucus said. "Or he can cut it with his hatchet, cutting coverage for at least a million children who would otherwise get the doctor's visits and medicines they need."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse


Photo: Nik Wheeler
Current focus: Southern Iraq


"Regionalism" and "federalism" are terms of increasing significance in southern Iraq. This website provides historical background analysis on the decentralisation debate currently unfolding in areas between Basra and Baghdad.

Present and planned coverage includes the referendum on the Iraqi constitution, the December 2005 parliamentary elections, the constitutional revision process, and any subsequent plebiscites for the formation of new federal entities in southern Iraq - a process scheduled to begin in April 2008 at the earliest.

http://www.historiae.org/

Posted by: background on iraq partition eg JB | October 1, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse


So where does SCHIP fit in?

The State Children's Health Insurance Program, or S-chip, was denigrated by one Republican congressman this week as "a government-run socialized wolf masquerading in the sheep skin of children's health." It might better be thought of as a "double-payer system" in which the states and the federal government put up the money, the states take the lead in defining the program and the actual care is typically delivered through private health plans by private doctors and hospitals.

Government-supported health systems are widespread and widely accepted in America. And the President and his family (and Congress) take advantage of a highly socialized health system run by the government. Purely private systems, in which individuals pay directly for heath care provided by private doctors/nurses, in purely private care facilities are not the general rule, let alone the preferred choice of those who govern us.

So when the President and his Republican supporters try to frighten Americans about the evils of "government-sponsored" health care, let alone "socialized medicine," while he and his family personally benefit from excellent care from one of the most socialized systems in the country, they're talking through their well cared for, government-provided hats.

Posted by: bush uses socialized medical care | October 1, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

;The various investigations into security contractors working for the U.S. government in Iraq and related legislation points to the failures of the so-called [Donald] Rumsfeld doctrine, which promotes a greatly privatised military based on an "entrepreneurial approach" and raises questions about rampant war-profiteering. ;

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON, Sep 28 (IPS) - A U.S.-based private security firm received a contract worth up to 92 million dollars from the Department of Defence amid hard questions about its involvement in two separate violent incidents in Iraq.

"Blackwater has been a contractor in the past with the department and could certainly be in the future," said the U.S.'s top-ranking military officer, General Peter Pace, at an afternoon press conference here.

The future arrived just two hours later when the Pentagon released a new list of contracts -- Presidential Airways, the aviation unit of parent company Blackwater, was awarded the contract to fly Department of Defence passengers and cargo between locations around central Asia.

The announcement comes as a cloud of suspicion is gathering around the "professional military" firm for its actions as a State Department security contractor in Iraq in which at least eight Iraqis and possibly as many as 28 were killed, including a woman and child.

Last week, the Iraqi government announced that it had revoked Blackwater's license to operate in the country.

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39458

Family members of the four employees slain in Fallujah have since sued Blackwater, alleging that the firm failed to provide necessary equipment and manpower that could have saved the employees' lives.

A separate report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee faulted Blackwater's conduct in the Fallujah incident, in which Blackwater was transporting flatbed trucks when its team was ambushed.

"Blackwater embarked on this mission without sufficient preparation, resources and support for its personnel," concluded the report, saying that the firm had ignored warnings by another security company, cut the staff for the mission by putting rear gunners for both involved security vehicles on administrative duties, and went out with insufficiently armoured vehicles.

"Management in North Carolina made the decision to go with soft skin due to the cost" despite the fact that the contract paid for armoured vehicles, said a Blackwater employee quoted in the report, referring to Blackwater's headquarters in Moyock, North Carolina.

The Congressional report noted that the Blackwater men had been sent on their mission without maps and ended up at the wrong military base, where they had to spend the night because of fighting nearby.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"What Are You Paying for the War?
State-by-State Cost Breakdowns

CA, TX & FL footing the bill"

I consider that Penance for Texas and Florida. You get what you vote for. California would be owed apologies.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

| 09:43 a.m. "every govt agency is stocked with R morons put in place by cowtowing to radical bushies"

Just wait until those "anti-government" political appointees start squirelling away the lackies in their agencies by converting them to "Career" status. It's probably already started.

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

While waiting to be confirmed by the White House for a top civilian post at the Air Force last year, Charles D. Riechers was out of work and wanted a paycheck. So the Air Force helped arrange a job through an intelligence contractor that required him to do no work for the company, according to documents and interviews.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/30/AR2007093001402.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/09/war_cost.html

What Are You Paying for the War?
State-by-State Cost Breakdowns

CA, TX & FL footing the bill

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

When Rush Limbaugh attempted to do damage control on his attack on veterans who oppose the war in Iraq, he posted a transcript on his website. The transcript omits more than a minute of content in an attempt to make Limbaugh look like he is referring to an individual person, rather than anti-war veterans in general. Limbaugh also read the edited version of the transcript on his show in an attempt to exonerate himself, even while assuring his listeners it was "the full transcript". That's what normal people would call "lying".
10/1/2007

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

BTW - the comment above about not providing sources or cites was not meant to disparage most of the posts to The Fix. There are lots of good ones. It's just that those posts become even more solid when sources are provided.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

While waiting to be confirmed by the White House for a top civilian post at the Air Force last year, Charles D. Riechers was out of work and wanted a paycheck. So the Air Force helped arrange a job through an intelligence contractor that required him to do no work for the company, according to documents and interviews.

For two months, Riechers held the title of senior technical adviser and received about $13,400 a month at Commonwealth Research Institute, or CRI, a nonprofit firm in Johnstown, Pa., according to his résumé. But during that time he actually worked for Sue C. Payton, assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, on projects that had nothing to do with CRI, he said. ...

Commonwealth Research and its parent company, Concurrent Technologies, are registered with the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt charities, even though their primary work is for the Pentagon and other government agencies. In a recent report Concurrent, also based in Johnstown, Pa., said it was among the Defense Department's top 200 contractors, with a focus on intelligence, surveillance, force readiness and advanced materials.

The defense and intel contractor with the "charity" tax code is getting some faith-based work too.

Posted by: R gov't at work--or not | October 1, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"But we should be careful about spreading pure rumor - it is one of the evils of the otherwise usually amazing internet." Mark in Austin

Mark, an admirable goal, but most of the posters on here appear never to have been required to provide citations or sources.

"spreading pure rumor" - The Tool of the Troll

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"I don't think Hillary will have me."
-- Former Republican presidential candidate Tommy Thompson, in response to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's question about whether he would want to serve in the next president's cabinet.

Posted by: teehee | October 1, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

re |'s quote at 9:43A:
"I really can't believe the reference to the 'public soap opera', come on, are you supposed to be taken seriously."

I do take my wife seriously.

Two of our daughters bracketed Ms. Lewinsky in age, at the time, and both of us had visceral emotional reactions to that matter.

Nevertheless, my wife concedes that he was a far better Prez than GWB. My wife says she would vote for him again. But we are aware that infidelity, like other personal betrayals, is emotionally draining. Public humiliation can be crippling to public performance.

|, you may be quite sophisticated, but I respectfully submit that you would be well served to understand that most of us would choose an emotionally stable and healthy leader of the free world, without marital baggage, if we could find one with the appropriate leadership skills, experience, integrity, and empathy to serve.

What could be simpler, if admittedly unsophisticated, than that?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 1, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Former Rudy Aide Jerry Hauer Supporting Hillary
By Eric Kleefeld - October 1, 2007, 9:28AM
There's certainly no ambiguity between Rudy Giuliani and his first director of emergency management, Jerry Hauer -- they hate each other. After harshly criticizing Rudy's decision to locate the city's emergency command center in the World Trade Center complex, Hauer is now supporting Hillary Clinton for president.

"I would like to see Hillary Clinton win. She'd be a great president," Hauer said. And as for Rudy? "We need someone to reach out and bring the country together. Reaching out has never been Rudy's forte. He's a confrontational person. He's a bully."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney's campaign has turned into something unusual: A hybrid between self-financing and individual donations. The Washington Post reports that with the end of the third quarter, Romney will have raised a total $40 million to date from outside donors plus $15 million from his own personal fortune.

Interestingly, the infusion of $15 million has been done in the form of loans, not direct contributions. If they had been contributions, this would have triggered the "Millionaires Amendment" in McCain-Feingold, which would increase the maximum amount that individuals would be allowed to donated to any of Romney's Republican opponents.

Which does invite the question: Will these loans ever be repaid?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"To the degree that we narrow our focus solely on those two pieces of the overall global puzzle, we lose sight of other state and non-state threats in the region and around the world," he said in remarks to a conference on national security last week. He mentioned North Korea as a missile threat.

Mullen's concerns about the impact of the prolonged war on troops and their families is in line with Gates' thinking. Together, they might be expected to push for a quicker drawdown of U.S. troops in the second half of next year than Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, would like.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is troubled by the Iraq war. He thinks it has become such a consuming focus of U.S. attention that it may well be overstretching the military and distracting the nation from other threats.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, with President Bush in June, becomes the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Monday.

When he steps into his new office in Room 2E676 at the Pentagon on Monday, replacing Marine Gen. Peter Pace as the senior military adviser to the president and the defense secretary, Mullen already will be on record expressing his war worries with an unusual degree of candor.

"I understand the frustration over the war. I share it," he told his Senate confirmation hearing July 31. It weighs heavily on the minds of people in the United States, he said, and "it weighs heavily on mine."

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/01/mullen.joint.chiefs.ap/index.html

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"There is nothing to be learned from history anymore. We're in science fiction now." - Allen Ginsburg

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- Even as security contractor Blackwater USA faces scrutiny over its actions in Iraq, the U.S. government is deepening ties to its parent company by awarding an aviation affiliate a contract valued at as much as $92 million to operate a fleet of airplanes on missions throughout Central Asia.

The four-year contract with Presidential Airways Inc. calls for the company to supply specialized airplanes, crews and equipment for flight operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Presidential Airways is owned by Blackwater's corporate parent, Prince Group LLC.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119120219033644320.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Posted by: unf*ckingbeleivable | October 1, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I really can't believe the reference to the "public soap opera", come on, are you supposed to be taken seriously. I live inside the beltway and you can smell the incompetance and cronism in the air in the morning and every govt agency is stocked with R morons put in place by cowtowing to radical bushies. This race is too important to focus on anything but good govt. not petty crap like-America is due for some actual analyical thought-the world is sick and tired of our intellectual laziness that allows bush to be "elected" or put in office by the Supreme Court and have the audacity to criticize other dictators.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

In theory, political parties, whose function is to win first and govern later, are constantly evolving and adapting to changing demographics, issues and culture shifts.

But in practice in 2007, the Republican Party is diving for bottom. George Bush, the party's presidential candidates, and Republicans in Congress have set about destroying virtually everything they built.

They are defying all theories of rational self-interest, with behavior comparable to that of the Mets, that have in just 18 games thrown away a seemingly insurmountable advantage. Or, in the world of poker, behavior comparable to Mike "Full Tilt" Matusow, who has blown millions in stunning displays of ineptitude.

In fact, it is hard to find a match for the GOP's hodge-podge of manic stupidity:

The Supreme Court nomination of Harriett Miers; the mangling of New Orleans; the perseverating support of Rumsfeld and Gonzales; the insulation of Tom DeLay from ethics inquiries; the shunning of a presidential debate at Morgan State, a historically black college; the meticulous cultivation of corruption on Capitol Hill; the derisive treatment of such appointees as Paul O'Neil and Christine Todd Whitman turning them into attention-getting critics of the administration.

Nothing however, better exemplifies the compulsive irrationality that has taken over the Republican Party than its handling of the Hispanic electorate.

Latino voters, as Bush demonstrated in 2004, are by no means locked into the Democratic fold. On top of that, Republican strategists have been pounding for a decade the theme that Hispanics are crucial to the GOP future.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/09/30/is-the-gop-committing-sui_n_66528.html

Posted by: thomas Edsall | October 1, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Hillary does not inspire that kind of confidence. Obama is not ready. Edwards has no foreign policy experience, which leaves Biden only man standing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blake-fleetwood/exclusive-the-white-male_b_40054.html

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

'At a White House meeting with Cheney this summer, according to a former senior intelligence official, it was agreed that, if limited strikes on Iran were carried out, the Administration could fend off criticism by arguing that they were a defensive action to save soldiers in Iraq. If Democrats objected, the Administration could say, "Bill Clinton did the same thing; he conducted limited strikes in Afghanistan, the Sudan, and in Baghdad to protect American lives." The former intelligence official added, "There is a desperate effort by Cheney et al. to bring military action to Iran as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the politicians are saying, 'You can't do it, because every Republican is going to be defeated, and we're only one fact from going over the cliff in Iraq.' But Cheney doesn't give a rat's ass about the Republican worries, and neither does the President."

What congressional R's may not realize yet is that bush and cheney will sell them and the whole national party out for oil... these are, after all, lifelong oilmen to the bone who could live the lives of princes in dubai, a very modern and luxurious country, without a problem...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/08/071008fa_fact_hersh

'In a series of public statements i recent months, President Bus and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to a increasing degree, as a strategi battle between the United States and Iran. "Shia extremists, backed b Iran, are training Iraqis to carry ou attacks on our forces and the Iraq people," Bush told the nationa convention of the American Legio in August. "The attacks on our base and our troops by Iranian-supplie munitions have increased. . . . Th Iranian regime must halt thes actions. And, until it does, I wil take actions necessary to protect ou troops." He then concluded, t applause, "I have authorized ou military commanders in Iraq t confront Tehran's murderous activities.'

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Feeding | cut-and-pasters quotes into Google turns up blogs quoting other blogs. Checking the London Times as a source on Google comes up with articles about sanctions and an article criticizing Sy Hersch's Iran talk from April 2006.

I understand that I may have fed the wrong "words" into Google. For example, I tried to find the name of the commentator who said Biden was the "adult" so I would not be guilty of an unattributed call to an authoritative source and I could not find it.

But we should be careful about spreading pure rumor - it is one of the evils of the otherwise usually amazing internet.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 1, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, the Post's Walter Pincus takes a look at how complicated (and expensive) war-time contracting can be. In a contract to provide a 34-person security team, Blackwater was actually a subcontractor to a subcontractor of another subcontractor. Of course, each company has to make some sort of profit so the costs kept getting inflated. Although it could be considered a simplistic way to look at things, it is still interesting to note that Gen. David Petraeus' daily salary "comes out to less than half the fee charged by Blackwater for its senior manager of a 34-man security team."

Posted by: the problem | October 1, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The Post fronts the story of Charles Riechers, a man who was hired by an intelligence contractor while the Air Force waited for the White House to confirm him for a post as a senior acquisition official. Nothing out of the ordinary there, until you consider that Riechers wasn't required to do any actual work for the company, Commonwealth Research Institute, and reported directly to the Air Force during that time. The Post also notes CRI has a strange status as a contractor since it's officially a charity, even though it has received millions in contracts and does much of the same work as regular companies.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

| cut-and-paster, You find the most alarming unsubstantiated stuff and you do not cite your sources.

About your 8:49A:

If the senior military are watching it unfold "in horror", some will resign their commissions and tell us, if they think the plans are merely gross stupidity. Some will speak out in uniform, to Congress, perhaps in closed door hearings, if they think it is illegal. They have a duty to not follow illegal orders and their oath is to the Constitution, not to the Prez.

On point: HRC's vote to call a unit of the Iranian military "terrorists" plays into the fears that your anonymous cut-and-paste raises. What is that woman thinking?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 1, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

In 2002, Bush illegally diverted billions of dollars Congress appropriated for the war in Afghanistan to a covert build-up of troops and weapons in the Middle East for an attack on Iraq. Now the president is asking Congress for another $50 billion for the War in Iraq, which he will almost certainly be diverting to the attack on Iran.

The pathetic Democrats in Congress, who already handed Bush $120 billion a few months ago for continuing and escalating his epic disaster in Iraq, are likely to grant him this new king's ransom to finance an even worse disaster in Iran. If they do, the blood of Iranians and Americans will be equally on all their hands.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Numerous reports, including most credibly one in The Times in London (owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.), suggest that a plan has already been laid out for a three-day massive bombardment on over 1200 targets in Iran, which would attempt to destroy not just that country's nascent nuclear processing capability, but also its government, communications, and military facilities, essentially leaving the country of 70 million a smoking ruin.

Such an attack, with no international support, no UN sanction, no threat, imminent or otherwise, and no provocation, would be, pure and simple, a war crime of the first order. It would also put the US at war, not just with Iran, but also with virtually the entire Islamic world.

...

The shocking thing is that even though all the signs of a Bush attack on Iran are there, including the build-up of an unprecedented Naval armada, armed to the teeth, in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, nobody in Congress or the American media is talking about this looming crime and imminent disaster. Most Americans are blissfully unaware, even though people in the military are watching it all unfold in horror.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

UPDATED: Sy Hersh joined CNN's Late Edition and discussed his new article out in the NewYorker: "Shifting Targets," which says that the WH has a new talking point which it will sell attacking Iran and as usual, our media will lap it up.

The CIA has created an Iran Study Group with dozens of new members with the goal of launching a strike against Iran, including ground forces. Bush feels that using the nuclear threat as the reason to bomb Iran has failed miserably, so they switched talking points and are going to say they are defending themselves against Iranian meddling in Iraq. We told you so....

Hersh: You can also sell counter-terror, it's much more logical. You can say to the American people, we're only hitting these people that are trying to kill our boys and the coalition forces and so that seems to be more sensible, The White House think s they can actually pitch this, this would actually work...

Now you understand why the Lieberman/Kyl amendment was just put through. If BushCo. wants to heighten the sense of nationalism in Iran, just attack them and keep on this course of immorality. It's another disaster coming from Bush/Cheney and the Neocons in a long line of them and I know Bush and Cheney thank our media for doing what they always do...Nothing, except Sy.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Some commentator this weekend called Biden the "adult" in the race and said that was a position he shared with other losing candidates of the past:
John Anderson, Paul Tsongas, and Dick Lugar.

That would make me 4 for 4. 'Horns lost, too.

But I have an on-point thought: If the pundit class thinks Biden is the "adult" in the race, he cannot be on the ticket with anyone else as VP and he will probably not be SOS. He would overshadow the Prez candidate the way Lloyd Bentsen overshadowed
the short fellow in the tank.

I think: he will remain the Chair of the Senate FR Committee.
----------------------
FemaleNick, tell us about the HRC reception.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 1, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

he same day Warner announced his intention to run for Senate on YouTube, the NRSC launched a sleek new Web site called "Don'tMarkWarner," attacking Warner's signature moment as governor: his $1.4 billion tax increase, passed in 2004 with the help of the Republican-dominated Legislature to shore up a budget shortfall.

"There's going to be all kinds of stuff said out there to see what sticks," said Jerome Armstrong, Warner's top Web consultant. "The Internet takes the shape of the campaign at a much earlier stage than would happen traditionally in a campaign. That happens so much earlier now, if you're not out there taking part of that battle you're being framed by your opponents and losing the debate. We can't just sit back."

Democrats have two advantages online in Virginia. First, Democratic bloggers are organized and ascendant after two straight wins with Kaine and Webb.

Allen's "macaca" blunder, while important, overshadowed a crucial factor in that race: Democrats ran a grassroots campaign that capitalized on Internet fundraising and a cohesive network of state bloggers and netroots activists. Without YouTube, Webb may not have won. But without bloggers, who lobbied him to run and lined up $40,000 in campaign pledges to nudge him along, Webb may never have entered the race in the first place. That same army is now ready to go to bat for Warner.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

(CNN) -- Recently, on George Allen's new Web site, GeorgeAllen.com, the former Republican senator from Virginia listed some words of wisdom from legendary college football coaches like Knut Rockne and Woody Hayes.


From left, Gov. Tim Kaine, then-Senate candidate Jim Webb and former Gov. Mark Warner watch results come in for Webb's race.

1 of 2


Coming from Allen's keyboard, one quote stands out, from Ralph "Shug" Jordan of Auburn: "Always remember ... Goliath was a 40 point favorite over David."

In the summer of 2006, Allen held a monster lead over Jim Webb in the Virginia Senate race. One famous YouTube video and several campaign slip-ups later, Webb is now in the Senate wrangling over Iraq spending bills while Allen is at home in Virginia, blogging about football.

The irony of Allen's newfound Internet hobby isn't lost on anyone, but his Web dabbling reflects the growing realization among Republicans that the Web is crucial to modern campaigning. And the one Senate race where Republicans are hoping to overcome their reputation as a bunch of dial-up users takes place again in Virginia. It's there where former Democratic Gov. Mark Warner will take on an as-of-yet determined Republican, most likely former Gov. Jim Gilmore or Rep. Tom Davis.

"This Senate race will be the premiere battleground in the modern world," Republican Internet strategist David All said. "The good news is that George Allen's loss was a wake-up call for not only the state party and the National Republican Senatorial Committee but also the rightosphere of conservative activists who are hungry for a rematch."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, you will never hear this from the mainstream press since the radical clerics of the CNP are members in good standing of the Village. They don't have long hair and they don't take drugs and they aren't the crazed anti-war Move-On hippies who are destroying American society. Of course, those hippies are a figment of the fevered imaginations of the Villagers, but that hasn't stopped their dutiful stenographers from writing the narrative of this election as if the activist base of the Democratic party were all dropping acid in the Haight like it was the Summer of Love.

Meanwhile, they ignore the crazed radical religious right which is threatening a third party run against the most conservative Republican party in history and blandly portray a bunch of bloodthirsty billionaire war profiteers as "outsiders" and "activists."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

The decision has also been reported in an unsigned article by WorldNetDaily, a conservative online news service. "Not only was there a consensus among activists to withhold support for the Republican nominee, there was even discussion about supporting the entry of a new candidate to challenge the frontrunners," the article said. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, WorldNetDaily's editor, Joseph Farah, attended the larger CNP gathering.

I'm certainly looking forward to all the stories about the Republicans being held hostage by their far right "activists" who stupidly refuse to compromise and are ruining their party's chance for victory. I'm especially looking forward to the insightful piece in the NY Times that posits that the 60's narrative that so animates the whole political establishment is now turned on its head: the war is unpopular with a vast (somewhat) silent majority, but the social radicalism and upheaval that fueled the Republican rise back in the day is now all on the conservative side.

You tell me which party should have more to fear that its base is alienating the American people? Which party really needs to be running from the "crazies" of its base and which one's "crazies" are actually average Americans from all walks of life whose most radical proposal is to ensure that all Americans have access to a doctor?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

A powerful group of conservative Christian leaders decided Saturday at a private meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if a pro-choice nominee like Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination.

The meeting of about 50 leaders, including Focus on the Family's James Dobson, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who called in by phone, took place at the Grand America Hotel during a gathering of the Council for National Policy, a powerful shadow group of mostly religious conservatives. James Clymer, the chairman of the U.S. Constitution Party, was also present at the meeting, according to a person familiar with the proceedings.

"The conclusion was that if there is a pro-abortion nominee they will consider working with a third party," said the person, who spoke to Salon on the condition of anonymity. The private meeting was not a part of the official CNP schedule, which is itself a closely held secret. "Dobson came in just for this meeting," the person said.

The decision confirms the fears of many Republican Party officials, who have worried that a Giuliani nomination would irrevocably split the GOP in advance of the 2008 general election, given Giuliani's relatively liberal stands on gay unions and abortion, as well as his rocky marital history. The private meeting was held Saturday afternoon, during a lull in the official CNP schedule. Earlier in the day, Vice President Dick Cheney had traveled to Utah to deliver a brief address to the larger CNP gathering. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also addressed the larger group.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad disavowed a Senate resolution calling for dividing Iraq into federal regions, a move Iraqi leaders condemned Sunday as a violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

"As we have said in the past, attempts to partition or divide Iraq by intimidation, force or other means into three separate states would produce extraordinary suffering and bloodshed," the embassy said in a written statement. "The United States has made clear our strong opposition to such attempts."

"Partition is not on the table," the embassy statement read.

The resolution, which the Senate approved Thursday on a 75-23 vote, called for Washington to support "a political settlement among Iraq's major factions based upon the provisions of the Constitution of Iraq that create a federal system of government and allow for the creation of federal regions."

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told CNN the resolution has caused "a great deal of confusion" in Baghdad. And Iraqi political parties representing a majority of the country's parliament blasted the proposal as "a threat to Iraq sovereignty and unity."

Posted by: no go | October 1, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Rudy Guiliani - This guy is a fascist, and was not a very good mayor of NYC (let alone America). Fortunately, he will self-destruct. I just can't foresee the G.O.P. nominating an Italian Roman Catholic with such moderate social positions. Consider the last names of the Republicans' previous nominees: Bush, Reagan, Ford, nixon, Eisenhower, Dewey, Goldwater, Hoover, Guiliani? I don't see it happening. Republicans nominate W.A.S.P.s If this guy is elected, I'm moving to Canada. A mayor? Let's raise the bar, guys. Oh by the way, I forgot that you have to say 9/11 when you bring up Guiliani so, 9/11.

Mitt Romney - I read in an article in The Times that while campaigning in N.H. some guy at a diner told Romney that he "was one of those people that won't vote for you {Romney} 'cause you're a Mormon." Romney responded by asking this man if he could still shake his hand, and the guy refused. This made me feel bad for him. This guy can pander. He is to the right-wing what John Edwards is to the left-wing. Apparently Mitt Romney is a conservative, babe. Whatever. Oh yeah, "we oughta double guantanamo" is the second funniest thing I've heard a politician say this campaign. (See Mike Gravel for funniest line.) I think Mitt will be the nominee.

Fred Thompson - This guy doesn't even want to be president, so who cares.

Mike Huckabee - I like the whole weight loss story. He's good for the Republican Party. I predict he'll be the VP nominee.

John McCain - He's a senator, and an influential one at that, but nothing more. Unfortunately he didn't yell at enough hispanics last spring to secure the G.O.P. nomination. He and Ron Paul are the smartest Republicans in the race.

Sam Brownback - I don't really get excited about people from Kansas. Look up Darwin, Sam.

Duncan Hunter - This guy would be doing better if he was not just a congressman. Oh well, that's good news for America.

Ron Paul - I am the opposite of this cat on every issue but foreign policy. Most intelligent Republican in the race. He's an OB/GYN and against abortion. Hates taxes and immigration. Sounds like the closest thing to a Republican, right? Ahhh, but he doesn't like war enough. Sorry Ron, Republicans want to play war right now.

This just in: "Islamo-fascism"? Sorry guys. lol Fascism and Islamic fundamentalism have nothing to do with one another. Wouldn't the Republicans love it if al Qaeda were communists, too? Same Cold War argument 20 years later. "There are communists in Nicaragua, we've got to get them...There are terrorists in Iraq, we've got to go get them" No, you have to get them. I have things to do tomorrow. Like drinking excessively.

Advice: The Democrats should push for the draft. If Republicans believe that this is an ideological struggle, which America must win, then it's going to necessitate more troops. Float the draft as an option and when the Republicans eat their own words, call them on it. If this is a fight we must win, prove that it must be won by sending me there against my will. The Democrats need to get tough. Clearly Democrats don't want the draft, but it re-frames the argument, so that Republicans have to explain why this is a life-or-death struggle, which we must win, while at the same time explaining why we don't need more troops to do it.

Posted by: Bleeding Kansas | October 1, 2007 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Here's my take:

Hillary Clinton - As I've said for the past several months, this election is sold (figuratively and literally). She has the primary sewn up, as well as the general election. As a constituent of hers here in NYC, I'm about 18 miles South of being impressed by Hillary Clinton. She's not bad. I voted to re-elect her to the Senate and will vote for her in a general election, I suppose. I wish she desrrved my vote. She will definitely not receive my vote in the primary. I'm afraid she'll cave to the Republicans and Joe Lieberman when they demand the military take action against Iran. Hope I'm wrong.

Barack Obama - Honestly, I'm not all that impressed. He says things that everyone on the left already knows or has said. It's all platitudes with him. Don't get me wrong, I'd vote for him. Not in the primary, however. He needs to start lobbing some grenades come Thanksgiving if he wants to win this thing.

John Edwards - Sort of have a soft spot for John. I know he's only pretending to be as liberal as me, but it's fun to be humored. Moreover, he makes being a liberal seem more acceptable to the public at large. Always a good thing! Unfortunately he's basically running for Governor of Iowa. Even with the win, I don't think it will translate to other victories in other states. I have no intention of voting for him in the primary, but I appreciate populists; they make socialism seem folksy.

Bill Richardson - I like Bill Richardson. He's a smart guy and I trust him with the job more than anyone else. He'll probably pick up the VP nomination. I hope so. I don't think I'm voting for him in the primary, though.

Chris Dodd - I like Chriss Dodd a lot, too. Honestly, the second-tier is much more impressive than the top-tier. They actually deserve the job. I doubt that I'll vote for Dodd, but he's the most practical candidate.

Joe Biden - I like Joe Biden a lot, too. He's really smart. It's unfortunate that substance isn't important in this election, because if it was, any of the three candidates I've just mentioned would actually be the front-runners. Keep 'em honest, Joe. Sorry, I can't vote for you in the primary, though.

Dennis Kucinich - It's comforting to know that guys like Kucinich are still out there in elective office. He's easily the most principled. Whether you agree or disagree with his positions, he's pandering to no one. Tim Russert should have been told that Kucinich's decision not to sell the Cleveland-owned electric company actually saved the city a large amount of money, even though he was initially blamed for not selling. The city awarded him in the 1990s for saving them money. History absolved him. He's a socialist, babe, he's not selling any public-owned firms. Furthermore, The Democratic Party hijacked Kucinich's rhetoric to win back the House & the Senate and he doesn't get the credit he deserves. This is why I don't lose my sh#t over Obama. Kucinich warned everyone about the Iraq War on the floor of the House in 2002. Plus, he doesn't vote to fund it. Dennis gets my vote in the primary. Probably too liberal for all you bourgeois babyboomers, but he's easily the most consistent, principled candidate in this field.

Mike Gravel - The best line delivered by any candidate in the past 15 years: "Ask me something tough!!!!" -Mike Gravel to Chris Matthews on MSNBC post-Debate in S.C.
Stay in it, Mike.

Posted by: Bleeding Kansas | October 1, 2007 5:12 AM | Report abuse

"bsimon - read the article, you will be very much better informed afterwards. It is not a propoganda piece. It is well informed and expertly crafted.

www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=9804 "

It is also a bit pollyannish, on one hand, and raises some of the concerns I raised upthread, on the other. Perhaps the author is correct, perhaps not. One question that occurred to me, in reading his piece - which he did not address - is, why do we need to be there, given his conclusion?

Posted by: bsimon | September 30, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

We want you to end the war now and bring all our troops home. How many troops would you leave there? For how long? Why?

Posted by: Mel | September 30, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Austin, TX (09/29/07), Kitty Cats Lick Cows!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

We can imagine how busy Rudy is. Running for president while distorting your record on 9/11 takes a lot of time and energy. So I can't say we were surprised to learn that Rudy (plus Romney, Thompson and McCain) was too busy to attend Thursday night's debate on minority issues hosted by Tavis Smiley.

But where was Rudy going? John Ehrenfeld, a BNF field producer, volunteered to track him down. Turned out he would be right here in Southern California, accepting an endorsement from widely discredited Pete Wilson, who's known for exploiting racial division for votes, and pushing the horrible proposition 187. Then off to a $2300-a-plate fundraiser at the Biltmore Four Seasons in Santa Barbara with Bo Derek.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

'KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- President Hamid Karzai's office said Sunday that there is "serious debate" among some Taliban fighters about laying down arms, while a spokesman for the militants said they will "never" negotiate with Afghan authorities until foreign troops leave.

Clashes and airstrikes, meanwhile, killed 16 people, capping a week that saw more than 270 people die in insurgency-related violence.

Karzai said Saturday he would be willing to meet personally with Taliban leader Mullah Omar and give militants a position in government in exchange for peace. Karzai spokesman Humayun Hamidzada on Sunday stressed that the militants would have to accept Afghanistan's constitution.'

tell me again how we're 'winning' in Afghanistan

Posted by: negotiating with the Taliban | September 30, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol on Fox News, critiquing the president's opposition to a bipartisan bill expanding access to healthcare for children:

"[W]henever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it's a good idea. I'm happy that the President's willing to do something bad to the kids."

What a prince.

Posted by: it's all about the compassion | September 30, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

About a year ago, I was working on a Washington Monthly piece about the historical oddity of admitted adulterers running for president as Republicans. I ended up speaking with about a half-dozen prominent conservative leaders affiliated with the religious right movement -- include representatives of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council -- most of whom told me that Rudy Giuliani, if he won the GOP nomination, would cause an unprecedented rift in the party.

With the former NYC mayor still leading in national polls, some of these same conservative groups have reportedly started making preparations to support a third-party campaign. Salon's Michael Scherer has the story.

A powerful group of conservative Christian leaders decided Saturday at a private meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if a pro-choice nominee like Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination. [...]

"The conclusion was that if there is a pro-abortion nominee they will consider working with a third party," said the person, who spoke to Salon on the condition of anonymity. The private meeting was not a part of the official CNP schedule, which is itself a closely held secret. "Dobson came in just for this meeting," the person said.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

An extensive evidence file assembled by the Iraqi National Police after the controversial Blackwater shooting suggests that the private contractors opened fire unprovoked from the ground and the sky.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21064094/site/newsweek/?nav=slate?from=rss

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho is a tough guy to run out of town.

Not that his Republican colleagues aren't trying. Worried that the disgraced lawmaker intends to remain in the Senate indefinitely, they are threatening to notch up the public humiliation by seeking an open ethics hearing on the restroom scandal that enveloped Craig last month.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 -- Senator John McCain said in an interview posted on the Internet on Saturday that the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation and that his faith is probably of better spiritual guidance than that of a Muslim candidate for president.

Posted by: Panderer in Chief | September 30, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

This may come as a shock, but the Post says that the war planners gave "little thought ... to roadside bombs as a serious obstacle" in Iraq. Moreover, there were no plans for securing the thousands of munitions caches that have kept the bombmakers stocked with explosives.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

'The Los Angeles Times leads with Gen. David Petraeus saying that the Iraqi government has secured a pledge from Iran to cut off support for the insurgency in Iraq. '

Since the insurgency is primarily SUNNi, where is the pledge from Saudi Arabia [now the largest provider of foreign fighters in Iraq]?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

'Our generals in both the Army and Marine Corps have cared more about their precious careers and reputations than their soldiers and Marines under them.

We should be putting these generals on trial, first for going along with Rummy and just as important for not trusting their soldiers.

These poor excuse for officers do not deserve the soldiers they dare claim they lead.'

From Fox News. Where's the outrage, JD? Where's the outrage, CC? Where are all the front-page articles expressing disgust with FOX NEWS? Where is the Senate condemnation? Where is all the hand-wringing and high-minded moralizing over a Republican commentator saying, during WARTIME as we are continually reminded, saying that OUR GENERALS FIGHTING THIS WAR SHOULD BE PUT ON TRIAL?

CALLING THEM TRAITORS? I want someone to explain to me why this is not much worse than MoveOn.

Posted by: Sam | September 30, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"If Hitler's warnings were heeded when he wrote 'Mein Kampf,' he could have been stopped," said Bradley Blakeman, 49, the president of Freedom's Watch and a former deputy assistant to Mr. Bush. "Ahmadinejad is giving all the same kind of warning signs"

Watch out -- a new boogeyman. And he's always Hitler. Amazing how many Hitlers there are. When it was useful for us to hate bin Ladin, he was Hitler. Now that bin Ladin is no longer of interest to the rightwingers, he doesn't get called Hitler anymore.

But Saddam was Hitler, remember? Now, amazingly, this farily powerless but useful idiot Admadinejad has morphed into Hitler. I'm sure the 'smoking gun' and the 'mushroom cloud' and the WMDs will make an encore appearance at some point. And so, amazingly, like a nation of bobble-head dolls, we will once again rush into a war that we can't win, which will leave us beyond bankrupt, with our military so crippled [literally, we have more than 60,000 maimed, some beyond recognition] we couldn't defend ourselves from an attack by Lithuania.

Are we really this STUPID?

Posted by: Sam | September 30, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

'The idea for Freedom's Watch was hatched in March at the winter meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Manalapan, Fla., where Vice President Dick Cheney was the keynote speaker, according to participants. Next week, the group is moving into a 10,000-square-foot office in the Chinatown section of Washington, with plans to employ as many as 50 people by early next year.

One benefactor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the group was hoping to raise as much as $200 million by November 2008. Raising big money "will be easy," the benefactor said, adding that several of the founders each wrote a check for $1 million. Mr. Blakeman would not confirm or deny whether any donor gave $1 million, or more, to the organization.'

Israel wants the US to get rid of pesky Iran.. just call Dick Cheney and a few billionaires -- and bingo -- done d eal. America will pour all its blood and treasure into, and all the terrorists attacks in retaliation will be on our soil and on our people.

I kind of doubt if Israelis worry as much about our safety if we do about theirs. It's time to realize that criticizing what the current government in Israel does is not anti-semitism, not critizing Jews, but rather criticizing a foreign goverment which spies on us, and puts its own interests first.

But where is the discussion about that? Everyyone is so quick to demonized MoveOn -- where is the outrage about a foreign goverment hijacking American foreign policy?

Face it -- Anmerican foreign policy is decided in Tel Aviv. We have nothing to say about it.

Posted by: Sam | September 30, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Founded this summer by a dozen wealthy conservatives, the nonprofit group is set apart from most advocacy groups by the immense wealth of its core group of benefactors, its intention to far outspend its rivals and its ambition to pursue a wide-ranging agenda. Its next target: Iran policy.

Last week, a Freedom's Watch newspaper advertisement called President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran "a terrorist." The group is considering a national advertising campaign focused on Iran, a senior benefactor said, though Matt S. David, a spokesman for the group, declined to comment on those plans.

"If Hitler's warnings were heeded when he wrote 'Mein Kampf,' he could have been stopped," said Bradley Blakeman, 49, the president of Freedom's Watch and a former deputy assistant to Mr. Bush. "Ahmadinejad is giving all the same kind of warning signs to us, and the region -- he wants the destruction of the United States and the destruction of Israel."

Posted by: Pay attention | September 30, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

'Freedom's Watch, a deep-pocketed conservative group led by two former senior White House officials, made an audacious debut in late August when it began a $15 million advertising campaign designed to maintain Congressional support for President Bush's troop increase in Iraq.'

Where is the article on this, CC? Where is the outrage about this? Here is a small group [15 Republican billionaires] trying to influence US policy. Trying to keep our soldiers dying in Iraq.

Why is there no outrage about this? Everyone got SO upset because a grassrooots groups takes out an ad, which ASK if the general, who has been extremely partisan in the past, is telling the whole truth. But this group takes out an ad questioning the patriotism of 2/3 of the citizens of this country -- who want out of Iraq. But nary a peep is utter.

Posted by: Sam | September 30, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Good night to all, and so much good discussion that I am too tired to answer, and to the wily skeet, a worthy opponent!

Posted by: drindl | September 29, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Mark and FemaleNick, thank you for your long and thoughtful responses to my questions. I got a lot out of what you both had to say... unfortunately, I don't have a lot for you at the moment... long busy 2 days and night (so far) and I am tired.

FemaleNick, my school like yours covered Marxism in the econ department as well. the class I took was team taught by profs from philosophy and political science, mostly poli sci. And I certainly don't want to pretend that I saw Vietnam first hand... I was born during the Tet Offensive. I did have two uncles who served, but I haven't spoken much with them about it. Mostly what I know comes from books, classes, popular culture - although I have spoken with a few friends and friends' parents who were either there (in the jungle) or here (on the streets.)
in re: what you say about the Internet, I agree and think you say it well... "The Internet has simply made it easier for the loudest and angriest voices to be heard. The radicalism is magnified by anonymity."

I too think that probably the proportional representation of various viewpoints is about the same. As far as the modern GOP, you go back to Gingrich... I think I would date it back to Reagan. I did not agree with Reagan and his policies more than about 20-30%, but he was a master salesman of them, and was able to inspire trust - and summon the Fear of Communism, in almost biblical language - far more effectively than any other president of my lifetime. (I was born at the tail end of the Johnson Administration.)

I think the power of his personality, combined with the (in my view, mis-)perception of Carter as a weakling (who had followed Ford, another relatively ineffectual figure, who followed Nixon and Watergate) had made the public so ready for a strong and confident leader, and Reagan's performance as president resurrected the GOP from Watergate and set up Bush Sr. Then the Cold War ended, and everything seemed to change, and Clinton was a new fresh figure - the 1st Baby Boomer president, which seemed appropriate for a country no longer at "war" - but of course his human failings are a recent memory, and the modern GOP (Newt-led, as you mention) was only too willing to jump on those and play them for all they were worth.

Whew. That was a windy way of saying, "I agree" and adding my thoughts. in re: Hillary, I'm still not sold on her vs. Obama, but if/when I have to pull the lever for her next November, you have helped me to feel better about doing so, so thanks.

Mark, you are quite right - the "disconnect" is more like a scattering. All of the scenes you describe are familiar to me to a greater or lesser extent. however I still know and know of strong, caring famillies - who may not eat together often, or go to church together, or even live in the same home - but are still sources of strength for each other. My own family is spread across half the country at the moment, but we keep in touch and try to get together a few times a year. And you said your daughter is in the UK, right? but it sounds like you have a strong relationship nevertheless.

You're right though to identify that as a strain on the family that was not nearly so common in years past, but let me assure you that I see plenty of kids still who play pickup basketball and baseball, both in Boston and the suburbs where I now live. They do not hunt the wily skeet so much, but no, I am not so urbanized that I don't know what that is. (In Western MA, where I grew up, deer and turkey seasons were a really big deal... about half my friends came from families where most of the members liked to hunt, although not so much for skeet...)

I would agree with what you say regarding the anonymity of the computer, although when my friends "scattered" after college, we have been successful for the past nearly 20 years in using the Internet to keep up with each others' lives, with the result that many of the friends I made in college are like family now.

a few final things - interesting about military kids and their performance on testing. I think you're right about the influence of community, in whatever form it takes... I would note however the example of my friend Boris, who came over from Moscow in the mid-90's on an academic visa. Without any friends or family in the area (although he quickly made many friends), he was able to motivate himself to do A-level work in a language he was still learning, graduated magna cum laude, gained US citizenship, and is now involved in starting his own company. I think that his experience growing up in Soviet schools - which, from what he has told me, were excellent in almost everything but modern history (although he would say that they merely reflected an alternative side to the bias found in US textbooks) - may have prepared him for a more challenging experience than he actually encountered once his English was good enough to follow everything quickly. I think maybe "context" is as important as "community"? or maybe "community" is a type of "context"? Anyway -

You ask about 'road fiction' - I have to tell you, the first thing that came to mind was Hunter Thompson's "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas," but that's not really the same thing, and not really contemporary at this point anyway. I think that 'road fiction' as a genre may have peaked with Kerouac... maybe we are too compartmentalized as a society to appreciate the variety of people and cultures visible on a road odyssey, or maybe we are too jaded by the fast and easy travel to London, or Tokyo, or Australia, to appreciate the value of what I would guess to be an 18-20 hour drive from Austin to Nashville (am I right? not looking at a map...) But I am tired now, and I will think more on this - I'll let you know if I think of a book that would fit that description... I'm sure there must be one that's more contemporary.

Thank you, both of you (and also Drindl) for a good discussion.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 29, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

If you take the trouble to read the background comments of the Framers of the 14th Amendment, you'll find that that they discussed the possibility of a remote western state called California, being subject to future Over-run by people committed to a different culture, nation, etc. They went so far as to say even the State of California should have the right to close the borders to these "unwelcome settlers." Here's a quote from a Pennsylvania Senator, one of the key "FRAMERS".

Many have made a reference to the legal rationale of the "jurisdiction issue" in the 14th Amendment: This quote from Pennsylvania Senator Cowan , speaks volumes, even mentioning California might be someday "over-run by illegal MIGRANTS "!

Taken from debate, and discussion, during drafting that Amendment:

"It is perfectly clear that the mere fact that a man is born in the country has not heretofore entitled him to the right to exercise political power. ... I have supposed ... that it was essential to the existence of society itself, and particularly essential to the existence of a free State, that it should have the power, not only of declaring who should exercise political power within its boundaries, but that if it were overrun by another and a different race, it would have the right to absolutely expel them."

"I do not know that there is any danger to many of the States in this Union; but is it proposed that the people of California are to remain quiescent while they are overrun by a flood of immigration...? Are they to be immigrated out of house and home by Chinese? I should think not. It is not supposed that the people of California, in a broad and general sense, have any higher rights than the people of China; but they are in possession of the Country of California, and if another people, of different religion, of different manners, of different traditions, different tastes and sympathies are to come there and have the free right to locate there and settle among them, and if they have an opportunity of pouring in such an immigration as in a short time will double or treble the population of California, I ask, are the people of California powerless to protect themselves? ... As I understand the rights of the States under the Constitution at present, California has the right, if she deems it proper, to forbid the entrance into her territory of any person she choose who is not a citizen of some one of the United States."
It sure looks like "political correctness"
has managed to totally pervert the intent.
Why not make the courts, into Princes,Dukes, Counts, and Barons?..there is no constitution or real democracy if it can be changed so absolutely by "inclusiveness" and warm feelings, alone.

Posted by: Allan S. | September 29, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

If you take the trouble to read the background comments of the Framers of the 14th Amendment, you'll find that that they discussed the possibility of a remote western state called California, being subject to future Over-run by people committed to a different culture, nation, etc. They went so far as to say even the State of California should have the right to close the borders to these "unwelcome settlers." Here's a quote from a Pennsylvania Senator, one of the key "FRAMERS".

Many have made a reference to the legal rationale of the "jurisdiction issue" in the 14th Amendment: This quote from Pennsylvania Senator Cowan , speaks volumes, even mentioning California might be someday "over-run by illegal MIGRANTS "!

Taken from debate, and discussion, during drafting that Amendment:

"It is perfectly clear that the mere fact that a man is born in the country has not heretofore entitled him to the right to exercise political power. ... I have supposed ... that it was essential to the existence of society itself, and particularly essential to the existence of a free State, that it should have the power, not only of declaring who should exercise political power within its boundaries, but that if it were overrun by another and a different race, it would have the right to absolutely expel them."

"I do not know that there is any danger to many of the States in this Union; but is it proposed that the people of California are to remain quiescent while they are overrun by a flood of immigration...? Are they to be immigrated out of house and home by Chinese? I should think not. It is not supposed that the people of California, in a broad and general sense, have any higher rights than the people of China; but they are in possession of the Country of California, and if another people, of different religion, of different manners, of different traditions, different tastes and sympathies are to come there and have the free right to locate there and settle among them, and if they have an opportunity of pouring in such an immigration as in a short time will double or treble the population of California, I ask, are the people of California powerless to protect themselves? ... As I understand the rights of the States under the Constitution at present, California has the right, if she deems it proper, to forbid the entrance into her territory of any person she choose who is not a citizen of some one of the United States."
It sure looks like "political correctness"
has managed to totally pervert the intent.
Why not make the courts, into Princes,Dukes, Counts, and Barons?..there is no constitution or real democracy if it can be changed so absolutely by "inclusiveness" and warm feelings, alone.

Posted by: Allan S. | September 29, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

JD--I, as apparently others, have a hard time parsing Rush's words the way you are. Perhaps we are oversensitive--or perhaps you should consider whether you are rationalising away hate speech.

Either way, let me know as soon as Rush clarifies that one can in fact be a good soldier and still advocate withdrawal at the same time and that Stolz et al. are not "phony soldiers." I am sure this will be any day now since--according to you--this is what he actually thinks. Surely he would not want anyone thinking otherwise?

Posted by: roo | September 29, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand CC's rationale for Dodd.

Both Dodd and Biden have "walked the walk and talked the talk" in the Senate for the past three decades.

Everyone I talk with likes Biden and dismisses Dodd, especially if they have seen them in person.

I think Biden should be ranked as a tie with Dodd for 5th at the very least. Especially since his Iraq plan is considered the best even by his opponents.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 29, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree that on the Republican side the candidate to watch is Huckabee. I still haven't figured out why religious conservatives haven't rallied around him more than they have, but I think they will if they get a chance to know him. And (I say this as a Democrat) he's a nice guy who thinks on his feet well, and those aren't bad qualities to have. I'd rank Huckabee 4th for the GOP and maybe even third; I think Thompson has already peaked, and Romney is slipping.

On the Democrat side, I think 3rd for Richardson is too high. It seems like everytime I see him he says something stupid; it's too bad, because he certainly has the best résumé of the bunch.

I was skeptical of Clinton's ability to win the nomination a few months ago, but I'm gradually thinking it's more and more likely. Obama has been a disappointment in the debates. Dodd and Biden seem to be the most knowledgeable candidates on the Iraq war, but I have a hard time imagining a scenario where either one will finish higher than third in the early contests, and third isn't good enough.

Posted by: Montanan | September 29, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, drindl for the tips. I will see preview from here on.

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 29, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Female Nick -- I do like your posts. Really cogent, as I said before, and lucid. A well-reasoned point of view. I don't mind long posts at all, but am mindful [being a technical writer] of the difficulty of reading them online.

I suggest you go to 'preview' before 'submit' so you can see how copy is breaking, so you will have a sense of how readable it is... more space is better. When faced with a long unbroken string of words, most of us turn our minds off and skip.

I mean, how many people read Faulkner for pleasure?

Posted by: drindl | September 29, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what happened with my last post - why the par. breaks didn't occur.

Sorry.

And Blue Pencil, I don't see the point in posting one liners -- unless they're super clever, but I don't much see many of these on this blog or anywhere else for that matter, so I guess you'll just scroll through my posts.

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 29, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness - I just saw your post to Bokonon, Mark in Austin! The one re: community. So you, too, noted the role that anonymity on the Net in fueling nastiness and preventing rational discourse.
I was using email for work as far back as the late 1980s and have been involved in the Internet industry since 1997. While I love many things about the Internet, I've also lamented the possible long-term ramifications.
But back to your comments on community - I so relate to the concept of the military being an extended family. The members of my alumni group refer to the group as "family." We exist online to stay connected in between the reunions we hold every 5-7 years. Our community is defined by shared experiences from childhood: having had to change schools every two years on average (I went to 3 different high schools), all of us having lived overseas where we met, being exposed to other cultures, being integrated from day one and thus becoming "color blind" and being introduced to racism only when we returned to certain parts of the the U.S., each of us remembering fathers who had to go to Vietnam and some classmates losing theirs, meeting some of the POWs face-to-face, seeing firsthand in the Vietnamese orphans the collateral damage caused by war, and so much more. Only another member of our group could understand the experiences; while similarities exist, even our military parents' experiences were different - at least they were grownups. We were mere kids who had no choice but to go where they went.
That sense of community of being around people like us was lost when we each reached 18. Not a surprise then that 31% joined the military, 16% married someone in the military, and 12% became government employees. The Net has provided for us a way to reconnect and stay connected.
To add to your point about Black military kids in base schools outperforming their civilian counterparts, I offer the following: "DOD schools' student population have had a 35 percent annual mobility rate, and minority students have comprised 40 percent...Approximately 10 percent are special education students. Eighty percent of the students are children of enlisted personnel; 94 percent of those parents have only a high school diploma...Yet, the schools have a 97 percent high school graduation rate, and the majority of students go on to higher education." (Source: Education World)
A survey we conducted of the members of my DODDS (Department of Defense Dependent Schools) found the following: 98.52% of us went on to college after high school, 70% went on to get at least an undergraduate degree, 24% have a graduate degree, and 4% a post-graduate degree.
I spent three of the first 12 years of school in DODDS overseas. I spent three years in U.S. public schools (8th, 10th, and 12th grades). My public school years were so inferior to those in DODDS. DODDS teachers were of a higher caliber - I learned later that no one was hired out of college. They were paid well and were afforded roughly the same benefits as those serving in the military. They were encouraged to continue their education, so many of my teachers had advanced degrees. Politics were restricted to school administrations - just the standard stuff. Curriculums weren't politicized, bad behavior from children wasn't tolerated, so they could instead focus on providing the children with what they needed. By the time I was in the 4th grade, kids were being grouped by their abilities in the different subject matter, allowing the teachers to keep the children challenged accordingly or to help those who needed more help. As one former teacher now calls it, it was a "little college." I don't know how DODDS has changed since 1977, but I do know that 75% of my alumni group believes that the DODDS school where we met was superior to the public schools we attended.
Parental involvement in DODDS was limited. Certainly they weren't included in determining curriculum, which explains why we began getting sex education in the 5th grade! In contrast, a former DODDS classmate who now lives in Alabama told me that he had to sign a permission slip for his 15 year old son to get sex education. No wonder the pregnancy rate was so high, he told me.
My point is that parental involvement in school is not always a good thing.
Now regarding the 24/7 news cycle...the "unvetted news and infotainment" is a problem on so many different levels. The blurring of news and entertainment should trouble all Americans. Opinions are reported as facts, facts as opinions, media outlets reporting each others' stories. The proliferation of media is making it harder and harder for average Americans to learn the truth. As you say, all voices are now equal - credibility is out the window. A substandard educational system and media where credibility no longer seems to matter pose the biggest threats to our democracy for it is a system whose survival and legitimacy depends on an educated populace.
But I remain optimistic and believe that there are enough of us out there who can figure out the solutions to some of these problems. And this, in part, is why I'm here. Who knows? There may be a kernel of an idea that will spark possible solutions within these posts!

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 29, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

FemaleNick: Your posts are too long.

Che (not here very much any more) Rufus have conditioned us to scroll through anything which is longer than a single screen.

Posted by: Blue Pencil | September 29, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Nice coverage on the Line and I am sorry to say you are probably right. However, there is one possible BIG pot hole in Hillary's way, though I don't know how this would happen at this time one can dream. Suppose Obama decided to withdraw from the race for whatever reasons? He's a good man but frankly a little early I believe. Where would the Obama supporters go? There is a very real and strong possibility that a large majority would flock to the Edwards campaign. Obama and Edwards are the two outsiders, with the message of hope and change. Both are more focused on domestic problems (like spending a few weeks of the Iraqi 10billion wkly price tag) here at home. The major factor that may push this possibility is the Democratic Senate/House which so far has accomplished nothing except furthering Bush's shredding of the Constitution. Despite Hillary's "late" votes her unwillingness to depart from the mainstream could hamstring her. Go back in history, though part of the "in power crowd" Truman was more of an outsider then Dewey, and people remembered those so called "happy days". There is always that possibility here as well.

Posted by: Utopia | September 29, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, JimD for the additional info on the ayatollahs. I get it now. I am a little more literal, referring to the same as the Pharisees of modern times.

Mark in Austin, thanks for clarifying my communist comment for Bokono. I'm two hours behind you, and depending on my workload, it can take me several hours to respond.

And Bokono, my handle comes from my nickname being Nick combined with my gender. I have never been a member of the CP, though my grandfather would have been considered one by the U.S. government because of his political beliefs. I also read "Das Kapital" during college. What I find interesting is that it was "a class in political philosophy" for you whereas it was an economics class for me. I'm guessing it was a reflection of the times - if you witnessed the political reactions to Vietnam, then you are several years older than I am. I took the Marxism course in 1981, by which time UT-Austin had categorized it an economic rather than political theory. That's when I realized that communism is a bastardization of Marx's theories. They are two very different ideas.

You posed the question regarding the "Berkeley of Texas" to Mark in Austin, but I'm going to chime in on the subject as I have my own theories about the increased visibility of the "radical elements." It began, I think, when Newt Gingrich made his "contract with America." There was a messianic quality to it. That it ended decades of Democratic control literally overnight emboldened the fundamentalists (religious, conservatism). The subsequent events - the shutdown in Congress, the string of Clinton investigations (no perceived sin too small), etc. - are testament to the R's "drunkenness" with their newfound power. I liken what happened to a child raised in a very strict environment who goes wild when s/he's finally set free.

So I believe that Gingrich's "contract with America" gave birth to extremism. Suddenly the airwaves were filled with their party's loudest and most obnoxious voters, seemingly with the goal to paint the other side, then headed by Bill, as a bunch of immoral, atheistic socialists. They focused on morality because Bill, the womanizer, made it easy for them.

Most Democrats, meanwhile, just rolled their eyes. My Democrat friends simply laughed at the stuff they'd read and hear, chalking up the Republican antics to "nutcases." That is - until they impeached Bill Clinton. They were no happier than the Rs about Monica, but an impeachment for a sex act? Even I, who was still a Republican, was mortified. It was clear that it was a "gotcha" moment - a way to justify the $35+ million that was spent investigating the Clintons. The whole thing came to a head when the Supreme Court stepped in to stop the recount in Florida. Democrats were furious - and rightfully so. Imagine if Team A wins the Super Bowl because the referees call a touchdown which can't be overturned though the "instant replay" clearly says otherwise. By the way, I voted for Bush in 2000 (for which I quickly began doing penance), and even I was mortified when the Supreme Court stepped in. It seemed so counter to everything our founding fathers envisioned.

The Rs cheered, the D's fumed. It just so happened that the Internet was by then on its way to ubiquity, so both now had a forum where they could have their voices heard. G.W. governing as if he'd been given a mandate didn't help.

So in a long winded way, I don't think we have more radical elements in this country. The Internet has simply made it easier for the loudest and angriest voices to be heard. The radicalism is magnified by anonymity. Look at all of us here, for example. Would some of these people really feel comfortable posting their thoughts if they had to attach their real names to the comments? I use a handle here only for security reasons. Were so much information not readily accessible online, I would think nothing of posting my real name.

On a different subject - regarding your issue with Hillary's candidacy...I think my world view is in part informed by my literal use of words. Bill Clinton was voted to office twice. The Clinton presidency was democratic, the current Bush's s election in 2000 questionable to 50% of Americans. As long as an individual is duly elected, I don't think we should care whether they're from the same family or not. John Adams and John Quincy Adams were from the same family. FDR and Teddy were cousins.

We get our values from our parents, but it is our experiences that inform our world views. Some - the Bushes and the Kennedys, for example - are immersed in politics from the day they're born. How can you not expect some of the children to follow in their parents' footsteps? Others - like both Clintons and Obama - who come from more meager beginnings were inspired to public service by other reasons.

Hillary Clinton's time in the White House can count as experience as it relates to health care. Remember - she was given an office in the West Wing, and she was vilified by the right for using it. Beyond that, she is now on her second term in the Senate to which she was duly elected and re-elected by an overwhelming majority.

I don't think Hillary is scripted. To the contrary, her ability to quickly formulate cogent thoughts has been displayed time and again during the Democratic forums, which led to the current poll numbers. As far as my take on her personality and character - I can only go by what I've read and seen, but she strikes me as reserved, dogged, tough, a fighter, introspective, kind, once idealistic-now pragmatic, thorough, protective (I do not suggest secretive), loyal, and very, very curious. As far as her character is concerned, she strikes me as genuinely caring for her fellow man and places a value on doing something for him during her time here. Her long history in support of women and children and minorities suggest to me that she has always cared and looked out for the underdog, and in my book, it's a quality that is of utmost importance.

Hillary's detractors like to diminish her character and accomplishments. What they would admire in someone else they hate in her. But I've followed her doings closely since she made the cookies comment (I applauded her), and I believe that if elected president, she will raise the standards for what it means to be in that office. I say this because I believe she understands the gravity of what her presidency will mean. She knows that she will be scrutinized like no other, that what she does will be judged more harshly by history, and that she will be responsible for another woman being elected in the future. I do not think she will take this lightly.

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 29, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse


Our favorite neo-Christian neo-fascist Praetorian Guard wannabees, Blackwater, have been in the news quite a bit lately because of, among other things, their rather quick trigger fingers when it comes to Iraqi civilians. But Blackwater doesn't just operate overseas: They prowled the streets of post-Katrina New Orleans, as I've been reminded recently. And they are one of five companies in the running for $15 billion of taxpayer loot in the War on Some Drugs.

In fact, according to some of the scuttlebutt going around town, it looks like that they might be the security force of choice for the GOP during next summer's Republican National Convention in Saint Paul.

The really interesting thing about this is that for some time now, various right-wing bloggers and their favorite meme transmitters in the "respectable" broadcast and print media (transmitters such as StarTribune columnist Katherine Kersten, who claimed that violence at a recent Critical Mass bicyclist event was a harbinger of things to come) have been trying to stir up their followers with lurid tales of the horrible, hideous violence that will be inflicted by Evil Scurvy Lefty Protesters at the sacred RNC Convention next year -- unless Something Is Done To Stop Them.

Could it be that the groundwork is being laid for outfits like Blackwater to pre-emptively attack anyone who dares harsh the GOP's collective mellow next summer in Saint Paul? One does wonder.

Posted by: Phoenix Woman | September 29, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

FemaleNick,

Yes. Biden can put his foot in his mouth. So can Richardson. I wanted to support Richardson early on, but the more I saw of him the less impressed I was. He has very little substance, SURPRISINGLY. With his long resume, I assumed I would be drawn to him the way I have been with Biden.

I'm actually not enamored with Biden, but he's the only one I really like.

I tend to agree on Huckabee--at least at this point.

Jon

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Mark A. I agree with your thoughtful post. The computer, like most technologies -- and even more so than many -- is a double-edged sword that has brought tremendous change, both as a positive and negative. I can tll you as a writer not the research assistance of google is awesome--I can learn more in about 5 minutes than in a whole day in the library. But then there is lost the community and experiental value of the library.

And I really do enjoy talking on the Internet to total strangers, who are interesting characters, as many are on here. But I do spend less time with people I know. Plus in my community there's not a lot of diversity -- the one thing I miss about living in Manhattan. It's a lovely quiet little town on the Hudson, but I've been here a long time and could pretty much predict what most of the folks I know here will think about any given thing -- hardly any Repubs in the whole village.

But I do worry about the amout of time my daughter spends on the computer drawing animations and talking to kids around the world. She knows a young woman artist in the Israeli military, a young Japanese woman is a professional animator, some kids in Denmark, Italy,Spain, etc. Fascinating experience for a 16 year old but she doesn' spend enough time with her school friends.

Well, it's always something with teeenagers, ain't it?

But I too wonder where the world is going. Do you know about Second Life?

Posted by: drindl | September 29, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

'Jon, I like Biden a lot - always have. He's smart, but he has a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth. '

Female Nick -- you can say that again. Yeah, that's the problem, and the senatorial windbag thing. But I still like him, overall. And Huckabee too, and agree he's a good man, but boy is he radical... would ban ALL abortion, even if it's a 14 year old girl raped by her father. And that does happen, unfortunately.. but if you are against all abortion, my apologies, because I do see that as a principled position. I just don't think the government should be empowered to make private medical decisions.

.Glad to have you in this conversation. and thank you for saying I am reasonable. Disclosure: regulars will tell you, however, that I have been guilty of both intemperance and invectice.

Boko, I think the country is quite radicalized. I grew up in Southern Cal in the 50's and 60's and remember the John Birch Society -- very big there. But in those days, they were considered radically rightwing, and now their policies are central to the Republican party.

And I can't tell you how much this reminds me of Vietnam... the same arguments, the same words. But history always repeats itself with a different twist. Rather than the draft, we have fighting this war a wildly expensive private army of mercernaies accountable to no one... just like a South Amercan banana republic.

Posted by: drindl | September 29, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Hi Bokonon -

I do not pretend to understand cumulative effects of changes we have lived through!

10 yr. old boys no longer crowd the parks for softball, touch football, and pickup basketball. Where did all the kids go?
Electronic games?

Computers interfere with real community life by creating virtual communities like this one. I do not know how that plays out.

My mens' group has been meeting for 16 years, every week, and it is a successful attempt by us to keep from feeling isolated on the various islands of our lives. It works better than the internet. Eventually all 6 of us will be skeet shooters. I was going to joke "hunters of the wily skeet" but, then, I do not know how urbanized you have become - I only know a small window into the person who cleverly signs as Bokonon. But I know everything about the 5 other guys in my mens' group.

Computers provide an anonymity that allow one [not you] to not grease the gears of civilization with manners. Thus we get
an angry young father who is reduced to calling all of his real and imagined debate opponents "fascists", and a Republican operative who reads and who is bright enough to debate his points but would rather call others "moonbats". We would know who these people are in our real lives and could ignore them, or shame them into rational discourse. The anonymity reduces
the visceral impact of shame or guilt.

The extended family no longer exists because everyone scatters after college.

Family dinner discourse is unusual in a time when kids are in activities after school on an irregular schedule and parents are no longer either farmers, ranchers, or employed within ten minutes from home. That was once the norm.

I think church and synagogue have become the usually healthy way for folks to reestablish the community that once was a "given". They may not be the same people one worshipped with in the past, but they are also looking for constructive community. They are peers.

The military is "extended family" and continues to evoke traditions of both community and self reliance. You know that
Minnesota and Connecticut have the highest performing school kids. Did you know that black military kids in base schools outperform white kids in Conn. and Minn.?
The power of real community, I think.

Head Start works on a model of parental involvement. The worst thing that could happen to Head Start would be to fund it for every income eligible kid! That is because HS would have to take kids whose parents refused to be involved. The program works best when it can select kids whose parents really care.

The 24/7 news cycle brings unreliable unvetted news and a lot of infotainment - and the newspapers and magazines must compete - in what looks like a downward spiral.

So every opinion is counted but nobody's opinion seems to be weighted for reason or accuracy. In the last 5 years of my trial practice, 2002-2006, I thought I saw jurors' attention spans wane. It is the common perception of trial lawyers now that they must entertain with audio-videos.

My guess is that the "disconnect" you have identified is not just with government, and
many feel lonely, powerless, and anxious.

Bokonon, go back and read "Grapes of Wrath"
and then "On the Road". Two very different books, separated in their stories by a mere 15 years! Is there an American oddysey novel of this post internet time? If there is a good one, tell me, I'll read it, and I will be prepared for further discussion!

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 29, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Well drindl, Bush HAS done quite a bit... it's just that none of it has had a positive effect on the country. Most of what he has done has been to dismantle civil rights and regulations, establish new and lower standards for civil discourse, and basically at every turn attempted to spin a situation so that the policy decision with regard to it can be shaped to serve a) conservative Christians, b) big business and investors, c) the military, or d) the Republican Party.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 29, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

'reason' I do not consider anything you mention an 'accomplishment.' Far from it.

''President Bush has did many things in his Presidency. '

He has lowered taxes,
--for the wealthy who don't need it, not for the rest of us

boosted the GDP
--you must be joking

enacted the "No Child Left Behind Act" to help restructure education,
-- unfunded mandate which made schools more mediocre

passed the Medicare Prescription Drug Act
--a vastly overexpensive, privatized bastardization that provides mor in profits to drug companies than benefit to seniors

appointed countless conservative appealeate judges,
--you mean packed the courts with hacks and cronys and idealogues

helped to build a stronger defense system for this nation through the dept. of Homeland Security,
--again, you're joking, right? there was this little incident called Hurrican Katrina, you hear about that?

appointed 2 very strong conservative supreme court judges,
--who have destroyed the credibility of the Court

defended our Israeli partners against the enemies they face everyday,
--armed them to the nuclear teeth with billions of US taxpayer money--in any case, every admin does this

took on the UN and called them out for their failures in many instances,
--you mean, tried to destroy the only international institution

lead the charge in Iraq to pursue democracy and partnership in the Middle East,
--again, you're joking, right?

banned partial birth abortion and many other policies that have made an impact on this nation.
--oh, have they ever

'Drindl, you can suggest President Bush has did alot of things that you disagree with and distain.

I do.

However, the charge that he is a do nothing President is utterly false. Either your uneducated on the world in the past 7 years or you yourself is running a smear campaign against W.'

This is the funny thing about you -- you call yourself 'reason'... and then you presnt your opnion, which is not a fact. Because I disagree with everything you say, you call me 'uneducated on the world.'

I would answer, that to me, you live in a completely alternate reality, which bears no resemblance to the one I live in.

Posted by: drindl | September 29, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall seeing as vicious and personal an attack on the honor and integrity of the members of the United States Armed Forces -- perhaps ever, but certainly during a time when America is at War. As the great American patriot and defender of military honor Senator Mitch McConnell said when urging his colleagues to condemn the attacks on the honor and integrity of the Supreme General, David Petraeus:

It's been more than a week since the Junior Senator from Texas offered an amendment condemning an ad by MoveOn.Org that appeared last Monday in The New York Times.

'The ad was, by any standard, abhorrent.

It accused a four star general who has the trust and respect of 160,000 men and women in Iraq of betraying that mission and those troops, of lying to them and to us.

Who would have ever expected anybody to go after a general in the field at a time of war, launch a smear campaign against a man we've entrusted with our mission in Iraq.

Any group that does this sort of thing ought to be condemned.
What a monumental day for the United States that was, when the U.S Senate set a new standard that "[a]ny group that does this sort of thing ought to be condemned." This Despicable attack on the honor and integrity of our military commanders by Fox News and former Col. Hunt -- like the similar one from Rush Limbaugh, which may be the topic of a critically important Congressional vote on Monday -- must not go unanswered by the Congress.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/09/29/hunt/index.html

Posted by: greenwald | September 29, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

As we learned from both our Senate and House last week, in the United States we must never "attack the honor and integrity . . . of members of the United States Armed Forces." All good patriots from both parties agree on this.
That is why I was so shocked and outraged -- and more than a little upset -- when I went to FoxNews.com this morning and saw this:

I naturally assumed that the "disgraceful military leaders" attacked by the Fox headline must be those of another country, not those of the United States leading our Nation, putting themselves in harm's way, during a Time of War. Yet when I clicked on the item, I this anti-US military filth.

And the text of the article -- by Fox News Contributor and frequent O'Reilly guest David Hunt -- is even more Despicable, as it repeatedly attacks the honor and integrity of members of the United States Armed Forces in one smearing paragraph after the next, beginning with this first sentence:

Our generals are betraying our soldiers . . . again.

To accuse a general of "betrayal" is, in military parlance, the equivalent of accusing him of treason to his country. Yet that is what this Fox News article does in the very first paragraph with regard to many of our brave Generals risking their lives for our country in a Time of War -- and it not only accuses Our Military Commanders of "betrayal," but betrayal of their own troops. It continues in this same Despicable vein:

Our generals in both the Army and Marine Corps have cared more about their precious careers and reputations than their soldiers and Marines under them. The Marines have actually prosecuted a Marine for shooting a terrorist too many times . . . .
We should be putting these generals on trial, first for going along with Rummy and just as important for not trusting their soldiers. . . .
These poor excuse for officers do not deserve the soldiers they dare claim they lead.

So to recap the Hunt/Fox argument: our Generals and other military commanders currently leading our Nation at War are "betraying our troops." They put their own selfish desire to advance their reputations and careers ahead of the welfare and lives of the soldiers they lead. The corruption and betrayal of these brave American Generals are preventing us from winning. These "poor excuses for officers" should be put on trial.

Posted by: greenwald | September 29, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse


Top Military Officials are a Disgrace to Those They Lead


Our generals are betraying our soldiers ... again

Sorry, but I have to get your attention on this one. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States Army -- not the much maligned "LIBERAL PRESS" or BILL CLINTON or the LIBERALS IN CONGRESS -- NO, the UNITED STATES MILITARY is prosecuting its soldiers for doing their jobs.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298203,00.html

Posted by: but... you can't critcize the generals, fox! | September 29, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Mark, just looked again at what I wrote and I think it might have been misleading. Of course I recognize that we in the modern day are not sharply radicalized as the country was during the Vietnam years... I guess what I was referring to is a sense of disconnect from the government, popular culture etc. which has been facilitated by the explosion of IT technology over the past 15 or so years. It seems that nowadays, with such technology, broader consensus in matters of opinion is harder to reach because there are so many different options that people are unwilling to settle for less than exactly what they want... in a movie, a band, a restaurant, housing, employment, a candidate, etc. Put that together with the average person's need/desire to express his/her likes and dislikes, and you move from a collective society of 300 million to thousands of societies with a few to a few thousand members each, louder and better funded/equipped than were the Weathermen, SDS, Panthers etc. - although at the time those groups emerged, they had the advantage both of being a new phenomenon (I think?) which was frightening to and interesting for the average American, and therefore of being a focus of the news and common knowledge to many. Now, on the other hand, there are popular movements and media sensations in some cities / states / cultural/ethnic communities which are unknown to outiders. That's more what I was trying to say - hope it's a little clearer.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 29, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Biden's campaign to promote his plan in Iraq has already worked, to a degree, as it has gotten a lot more attention. This shows he is clearly taken more seriously as a leader and man of ideas. Still not likely to win, but infinitely better than Dodd. Chris, stop this superficial ranking of making Dodd higher simply because he has more $

Posted by: freeDom | September 29, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Mark - please rest assured that I did not suspect FemaleNick of subversive activity. As I mentioned, I was wondering about the "Nick" ending of her name cuz she said sth earlier about her "Communist" nickname, and I thought she was referring to her handle on this site. maybe not? but not that important in any case.
Further thinking along those lines, I remember reading Marx (the Manifesto, "Das Kapital," and others) in college for a class in political philosophy, and thinking that while some of his observations were specifically rooted in the European scene of the 19th century, some others made a lot of sense. I feel weird even writing that, not in the sense that I am not sure of what I wrote but in the sense that the labels of "Marx" and "Marxism" have this knee-jerk, negative, 'anti-American,' subversive connotation for so many people today, and I do not feel that I am any of those. That got me thinking of the distinction between surface level political and cultural convictions and more substantial ones, and I'm curious as to the opinion of someone living in the "Berkeley of Texas" - do you think we are becoming more radicalized as a nation, or do you think the radical elements are just more visible (with the Internet etc.) than they were in earlier times? It is my sense that a sense of community has been lost that I remember growing up, but I was also (obviously) not as exposed to protest and dissidence growing up in the rural and suburban Northeast... so maybe there is the same proportional amount of opposition, on either side of the issues, but it is bigger and louder because we as a nation/population are that much bigger and louder than we were 40 years ago - ?
As someone who witnessed the popular reaction to Vietnam and the other issues of that time, how would you compare today's America? do you think it's useful, or just provocative to compare Bush with Nixon circa 1972-73? (I have to ask - I really am fascinated by politics on a sociological as well as historical level, although the practical level can be kind of grim.) Sorry to ramble a little...

Posted by: Bokonon | September 29, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Boko - If you do not get a reply soon from Femalenick, the 'communist' label was reserved by her for her current hometown of Berkeley, CA. She is a 'horn and we were joking about how Austin is regularly called the "Berkeley of Texas" by Texans, but would appear positively right leaning to someone in Berkeley CA.

Joke reference to Berkeley, I assure you!

She was a moderate R who was moved to become a moderate Independent largely because of the "social conservative" and sharp rightward shift of the recent Rs. Like me and JimD, she supported McCain in 2000.

She is not now, nor has she ever been, a member of the CP [as far as we can tell].

When I started reading this blog in mid 2006, I never thought I would become a "poster", as I did in Spring 2007. She too, read this for a long time before posting.

A welcome addition.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 29, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

FemaleNick, thanks for some thoughtful discussion. I am not a Hillary supporter, at least not in the primary, but your presentation made me feel a little better about those who are. I don't remember if you addressed this above, cuz I didn't read all this until this morning, but - one of my main, if not my only, issue with her candidacy is the controlling of the White House by two families for 24-28 years. It doesn't seem democratic to me, and it has also seemed to me that she is deliberately using her 'experience' as Bill's wife as a resume item for her current run, rather than laying out her ideas for the future in comparison with Obama's, Edwards', Biden's et al. I would also be interested in your impression of her character/personality, and whether you get a sense that there is more to her than the scripted on-message persona we always see. (I have no doubt of that with Obama; with Edwards I'm not sure.) I did take the test on the link posted by drindl (I think on this thread?) and was matched with Obama, Dodd, Edwards, AND Clinton - all within 5 or so percentage points... so there does not seem to be a great deal of difference in the policies they propose (although Obama's health care is slightly different, and his recent tax proposals, but anyway...) - the difference is to be found in the candidates themselves, although that gets harder in a shortened primary season.

also, out of curiosity - I think you at one point implied that your nickname on this site has "communist" origins -? Interesting, but I can't figure it out - is the "Nick" like the diminutive Russian ending "-nik"? Full disclosure - I am a foreign language editor who has worked on and off with Russian and Russians for 10+ years...

Posted by: Bokonon | September 29, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Femalelick

I referred to the James Dobson-Pat Robertson-Jerry Falwell wing of the Repubican party as ayatollahs. I think I have also referred to the ideological police of right and left as ayatollahs. I am a church goer myself, sing in the choir actually. I am an Episcopalian, which is one of the more liberal denominations

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 29, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Sigh, if it were up to me, it would be Richardson v. Huckabee. I am tired of the "rock stars" at the top getting early nods merely because they have more name recognition.
Whatever happened to voting for someone because of their policies. Whatever happened to voting for an individual with executive experience? I am more inclined to support someone who has already had to deal with a legislature, rather than someone who was part of one.

Posted by: Anndeegh | September 29, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Latest in the Race Card is Edwardstalking as if all African American men are destin for jail or an early death, while totally disconting the large number (more then are in jail) that are in college. But then if an african american suceeds without being a Democrat then he/she is torn down. See Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, the Maryland Govenor or Senate candidate (can't remember which). The list goes on and on. The Dems message seems to be "Stay down so that we can talk about how we want to lift you up!!"

Posted by: Zonker | September 29, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

"The right needs to start playing by the rules. Stop the hypocricy."

By hypocricy do you mean Edwards 30,000 square foot home? Do you mean Chelsea Clinton being installed in some big New York firm when she was less qualified then anyone who ever got a job there? Or her quiting that job to take a job in Hedge Funds so she could build up a fortune? This versus Jenna Bush who worked as a school teacher in the istrict and wrote a thoughtful book on HIV. There is plenty of hypocricy to go around and it is time to stop letting the Democrats use it as a club against republicans while they do just as bad or worse. While they are at it they can stop playing the race card too.

Posted by: Zonker | September 29, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

>>>Rather than doing what these propogandists are doing here, defending the un-defensable, this is what should happen. The right needs to start playing by the rules. Stop the hypocricy. And let's work together. there is no rush o'reilly or hannity for the left, nor should their be. People lying and pretending it's news doesn't go far with the left. We need real valid news, not talking points.<<

What do you think the DNC cheerleaders in the NYTimes, CBS, NBC, and the like have been doing all of these years?

Are you out of your mind? Given the coverage of the 2004 elections, the 2006 elections, how can you even rationally make that argument?

There was the UCLA study that revealed the media bias. The admissions by ABC. Mary Mapes and CBS. The list goes on and on.

Sorry (actually, not at all), I have no intentions of following the rules set by leftists.

There is a reason that the confidence in the media has tanked, and the move from "Just the facts, thank you," is playing no small part.

Posted by: CheyennePress | September 29, 2007 2:48 AM | Report abuse

The Day After The Election: 2008

President: Democrat

Senate: 61 Democrats, 39 Republicans, 2 Indepdents

House: 255 Democrats, 192 Republicans

USA: Grateful!

-----------

Economic & Societal Future: Dismal

Posted by: CMartel2 | September 29, 2007 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Joe Biden!!! Read PV posts and others above. I think that if he somehow gets the nomination, it would be a cakewalk. Dodd? Above Biden? Please.

Posted by: claire | September 29, 2007 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, thanks for the clarification re: JimD. As I'd noted earlier, he generally seems reasoned. And I recall reading a post - before I decided to start posting - that he is a former military man. Having grown up an Air Force brat, I know an inordinate number of people in the military, and I have several relatives and friends who are either active or retired.

I know exactly where Round Rock is but I don't know who John Carter is. By my calculation, you are 15-17 years older than I am. The first president for whom I could vote was Ronald Reagan. Come to think of it, I don't think that anyone I knew at UT was a Carter supporter. My friends, nearly all of whom I made while living in Jester, were all Reagan supporters. A couple are now heavily involved in the Republican Party, with one having held elected office for three terms. Both by the way concede that all of the Republican candidates will have a tough time in the general election, esp. if Hillary is the nominee.

I started engaging on this blog rather than just reading the posts in part because I wanted to look for patterns. Who's engaged? Are there others who take presidential elections as seriously as I do? What are others, outside of friends and family, thinking? Do they care?

The tough part about these blogs -- and the reason I appreciate you, Judge, bsimon, JimD, drindl, and a handful of others is that most of the posts are clearly pure emotion or propaganda. Some are just down right stupid and childish - very rah rah. I decided to begin posting in hopes that perhaps our attempts at thoughtful discussions might prompt others to think - especially those, who like me for a time, read the posts but never comment.

So thanks to you & Drindl for engaging in real conversation - rather than spewing invectives and spreading propaganda.


Posted by: FemaleNick | September 29, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Jon, I like Biden a lot - always have. He's smart, but he has a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth. That's why he doesn't have the support that others have.

And Lcs210, I agree re: Huckabee. I can't see myself voting for him, but I do like the guy. I think that he could be the wild card for the Republicans. In my opinion, Huckabee embodies the "compassionate conservatism" that G.W. claimed to espouse. If an R had to win the general election, he's the only one I can see myself not being depressed about - even if I disagree with him on most issues. From everything I've read and seen of him, he's the only Republican candidate that I think seems like a genuinely good man - one that will respect people who are different. Okay, Ron Paul, too, but he hasn't got a prayer, so it makes no sense to discuss him.

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 28, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Dodd vs. Biden for #5... Dodd has no presence. Of all the Democrats in the race, Biden is the most underrated. If he starts to get attention he could catch fire. If Dodd ever got a surge of attention he'd fizzle. He's not memorable. Biden is. I think he has the ability to appeal to a wide range of people. He's also unlike most politicians in that he's not a multi-millionaire.

I came out in support of Kerry when he was down in the doldrums prior to Iowa. He was highly underrated at that time. I think Biden has tougher competition this time, but I think he's very similarly underrated.

I don't think there's any way he could pull off a #1 win in Iowa, but I do think #2 or #3 are possible.

Posted by: Jon | September 28, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

When dealing with KOZ, remember this one thing. Right after the last election he plainly admitted that he had just been cheering his team on even though it was clear to him that they were losing.

He does not care about facts, just about his team winning--and to add insult to injury, he probably already knows that they are going to lose this time too but is proceeding to sow as much division and seeds of hate as he possibly can until reckoning comes again.

Ignore him and ignore all the other trolls.

Rufus has been participating fairly nicely of late so his status may be upgraded later.

Posted by: Zookeepress | September 28, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee has been quite impressive thus far. He performed much better than any of the other candidates in the debates, I think. I would have placed him ahead of McCain.

Posted by: Lcs210 | September 28, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Probably not the right place to post, as this blog entry is about the horserace.

But has anyone noticed that not one of the Democrats is qualified to run anything bigger than a dog pound?

Or that the presumptive Democratic nominee will probably have to have a criminal defense attorney on retainer before the '08 election (assuming she doesn't have one already)?

Posted by: J Baustian | September 28, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Drindl wrote:
"So Rudy, heir apparent to Gestapo chief is doing just that. And watch, he and the other R's will do nothing else from now on, but smear, slime and demonize--because they have no other message. They're all tired retreads of Bush and will deliver nothing more but the same failed policies which are killing this country."

President Bush has did many things in his Presidency. He has lowered taxes, boosted the GDP, enacted the "No Child Left Behind Act" to help restructure education, passed the Medicare Prescription Drug Act (a mistake in my view, but he has done it none the less), appointed countless conservative appealeate judges, helped to build a stronger defense system for this nation through the dept. of Homeland Security, appointed 2 very strong conservative supreme court judges, defended our Israeli partners against the enemies they face everyday, took on the UN and called them out for their failures in many instances, lead the charge in Iraq to pursue democracy and partnership in the Middle East, banned partial birth abortion and many other policies that have made an impact on this nation. Drindl, you can suggest President Bush has did alot of things that you disagree with and distain. However, the charge that he is a do nothing President is utterly false. Either your uneducated on the world in the past 7 years or you yourself is running a smear campaign against W.

Rudy is not "heir apparent." Not even close. Romney, Guiliani, Thompson and McCain are all grouped together vying for that nomination. I'm not really sure there is a clear front-runner. If I had to give it to someone, I'd give the advantage to Romney, but only a slight advantage right now. Clinton clearly the Democratic nomination locked in, she's the picked nominee no doubt to represent the Democrats. It looks like Romney is headed for a win in Iowa. New Hampshire looks to be anyone's guess. With all of the momentum Romney will have in New Hampshire, he may take advantage and win there as well. Not to mention his early advertising, dating back to 06' "touting his accomplishments" as Mass. governor. He did it in Mass. markets, and some of them transfered over into New Hampshire counties. Romney also has a money advantage that helps win elections. His orangization is good, too. Rudy will likely really try to compete in New Hampshire to try and slow Romney down a bit. Thompson will cede it, and New Hampshire is a state McCain must win to even continue his campaign. It won't be impossible for him to pull out a win there, but he knows he must do it. It will be very competitive. South Carolina is a must win for Thompson. Romney has US sen. Jim Demint and McCain has US Senator Graham. If McCain can pull out New Hampshire, SC gov. Sanford will likely publically and privately help McCain and he could really work his way back into the race. If F. Thompson loses in SC, he's done for. Rudy is polling high right now in SC. It's a really open state. Nevada is really being won by Romney organizationally and with his early spending advantages. Romney likely wins Iowa and Nevada, but the 2 states in between, New Hampshire and SC, will tell us if this primary will be Romney vs. Guiliani, or if McCain and/or F. Thompson will pull one out in New Hampshire and SC. If McCain wins New Hampshire, I'm betting he wins SC too. If Guiliani or Romney wins NH, McCain will likely be forced to drop the race and F. Thompson then has to win SC or drop out as well. It's going to get very, very interesting come New Hampshire and South Carolina to define the race...whether it be 2,3 or 4 person race.

Posted by: reason | September 28, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

JD said:

"The country works best when the States handle stuff like this. If they want to fund their own SCHIP, fine; and the residents of those states can vote out the bums if they want, and/or think they're getting overtaxed so they can provide healthcare to middle class families."

I, and likely some others here, COULD tend to agree with that sentiment. If SCHIP is treated like the "block grants" of the Nixon era, it will tend to separate the joy of spending from the pain of taxing - the Feds get the pain, the states get the pleasure. A recipe for irresponsibility.

So if someone here knows the mechanics of SCHIP, which I do not, please enlighten me.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

See? Even when you check your spelling, there are still errors. Oh well - our hearts and minds are in the right place. G'night, New York.

Posted by: sheridan1 | September 28, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Rufus - I am on the left coast and so don't get to read these posts until you guys are eating dinner. But I just want to say - your intentions are A+. I am an Obama supporter and there is NO WAY he has peaked. In fact, as someomne said much earler on this thread, if everyone who shows up to see him(especially if they have contributed to him) votes. there will be a "shockwave."

But Rufus - the problem is, well, spellcheck. It's hard to be taken seriously by political junkies (just as you and I are now) when your posts are so full of errors. But your heart is NOT. You're mad as hell and you're not going to take it any more! As am I!

I talk to people in lines at supermakerts and drug stores. I chat with folks who are Hillary supporters to find out why. People want Bill back in the WHite House and believe that if they support her, he will be pulling the strings. Two for one, as they say. Black people seem to be the ones who believe a black person cannot win. This comes from their own life expereince; I am Jewish and do not believe a Jewish person could be elected. And yet...if Obama were both black AND Jewish, I would still be campaigning for him.

It's all quite simple; he's the real thing. The only one out there. He did not do well in the debate the other night - but for someone as sick and overtired as he was, he held up just fine.

I would love to know why the Right supports Guliani. I can find NO ONE who does, but this is California. He is obviously blowing whichever way political wind blows. Pro life or Pro abortion? Pro gun or anti gun? Hmmm - depends on the crowd. Married his cousin, cross-dresser, on and on. I don't get it. Among my friends, more are supporters of Edwards than Clinton. Of my family, all support Obama.

And before I post this, I will check it for error. Keep it up, Rufus, and I mean that with truth and compassion. You are obviously angry and many of us are, but we can keep our cool for a while. Once we thought we could change the world, but they killed our leaders. Now, we have a second chance!
OBAMA 08!

Posted by: sheridan1 | September 28, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

FemaleNick, I am UT Law, '67. John Carter [R]
Congressman from Round Rock was my last roommate in Law School. I still count him as a friend.

I did not want to leave you with the wrong impression. JimD never described Austin Rs as ayatollah christians; it was his cute phrase for the fundamentalist right generally and I was trying to say that virtually none of my R friends are in that category.

Thanks for the clarification on Obama. I will be interested in your personal take on HRC.

Hook 'em.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Drindl.

First, I'm meeting HRC at a private reception at Sen. Feinstein's home; she's fundraising in Northern California this weekend. She is only the third political candidate to whom I've contributed money; the first two were Wesley Clark and John Kerry. I'll try to remember to post my impressions of HRC after the fact.

Second, I agree with your assessment that "the business community's biggest concern" is "not changing things drastically." I should have noted in my first post today that all the HRC supporters I know in the Bay Area are also business people, several of whom are registered Republicans. They're worried about the deficits and concerned about the rising cost of health care affecting the bottom line as well as the quality of education which makes it more difficult to find qualified workers.

Finally, I want to note that I was a big John McCain supporter during the 2000 presidential primary and was extremely disappointed that the Rs chose to nominate GW instead. This election season began with me thinking that I would struggle were he and HRC be the nominees. But like you, I found his sudden turnabout on the Christian right also disturbing. It's good to be open minded enough to be able to switch your views with new pieces of information, but his readiness to kowtow to them after everything he's publicly did indeed seem like pandering. Further, while I mostly appreciate his sense of humor, I think he stepped over the line with his "bomb bomb Iran" bit. I don't think you should ever joke about war; I do not want another trigger happy president.

The irony of John McCain is that had he run as John Kerry's VP, Bush would never have been re-elected, and we wouldn't be having these conversations today. In 2004, McCain had so many Republican and Independent supporters that I imagine a Kerry/McCain ticket would have won by a landslide, given Bush's unpopularity. Now, McCain will end up being a mere footnote in presidential history. Sad, really.

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 28, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Last post of the day for me. I can't say this enough times. If you hear nothing else I blog about hear this.

Many moderates are standing idolly by. Letting the destruction of teh coutnry continue. for all our back and forth, nobody here would say this country is not in deep water.

I consider myself an indy liberal. When i look at clinton and the moderates I get angry. Especailly when they side with the republcains over the far left a la clinton and lieberman. I agree she probably will get the nom. though I am fighting agaisnt that daily.

But if you hear nothing hear this. You cannot stand on the sidelines. Our country has to take a stand. No one can refuse to pick a side. Bush told us their are only two sides in this conflict, amounst americans. Only two sides. So, to me, the moderates are refusing to pick a side. As a result our country is getting gutted. Shoudl we pick a change candidate? Should we pick a candidate of more of the same?

I think we need cahnge. We need change so what has happened the last 30 years, NEVER EVER happens again. I just had a baby. I want his world to be better than ours. Not worse or the same. BEtter. So pick a side moderates. If clinton gets the nom then elected I will pray I'm wrong. Like many lib's we will give her the benefit of the doubt, and hope she means what she says.

But you people can't stand on the sidelines forever. The results have been and will continue to be drastic. It's not abou tme or fox or anyone forcing you to be on one side or another. I think my posts should wake people up. I'm hoping it people will say "that's not really happening. LEt me check it out". In learning the truth maybe they will pick a side. Either side is fine. Both sides have their values and morales. But what the gop is doing to minimize the other side is criminal to me.

People should get all the facts, make a decision based on facts and reason. The gop is running on fear lies and propoganda. I am merly trying to even the playing feild. My goal is to get Fox Rush O'REIlly and hannity off the air. Doing this will make millions of americans think for themselves. Is that a bad thing? What is a dittohead? I am sick of the gop forcing the hand. I'm sick of them making all the rules and telling everyone what THEY should think. Why not report facts and let everyone make up their own mind? Why no? Because if the gop does that they are no longer a poltical party in america in 2008. Good. But it should be the will of the people. Majority rule. But to me the gop is the fascsit thought police. they are the fascsits for 1984. They are murderers. They are propogandists.

I say report facts, let us all decide. Without propogandaist telling people what and how to think. But I'm the bad guy. I can take the blame FOR YOU GOP. I am a chrsitian, I can handle it. Just know I don't take your balme and pain lightly. You must know that this is happening and why gop.

Time to leave the cave.

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

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I'd say girliani is too liberal. All he can do is run a campain full of cell phone gimmicks and 9/11 references. However, it's still funny as h*ll how bad girliani flip flopped on gun control. *Maybe I could have voted for girliani if he didn't flip flop on gun control! *Maybe I could have voted for girliani if he didn't say that illegal immigration should not be a crime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *Maybe I could have voted for him if he hadn't significantly added to our illegal immigration problem by keeping New York a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants while he was mayor!!! *Maybe I could have voted for him if he didn't now take credit for tax cuts that he tried to stop while he was mayor! *Maybe I could have voted for him if he wasn't pro-choice! *Maybe I could have voted for him if he didn't marry his cousin! *Maybe I could have voted for him if he didn't dump his wives every few years! *Maybe I could have voted for him if his wife didn't kill dogs by demonstrating surgical staplers on them to boost sales of the stapler! *Maybe I could have voted for him if he didn't dress in drag! *Maybe I could have voted for him if he didn't look so much like elmer fudd! *Maybe I could have voted for him if he didn't talk with such a bad lisp! And ***Maybe I could have voted for him if he would have done his job that mayors are suppose to do; "take care of illegal immigration". That is a Mayors job not Govenors job!!!

Posted by: rudy | September 28, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

'Those of us in the middle aren't as loud and as vocal as those on the extreme left or right. We are the ones that cannot be blinded by rhetoric. I know that we constitute the largest percentage of the electorate, and that's why I'm convinced that short of some major event like a terrorist attack or a war with Iran which can scramble this whole race, Americans will vote for the most moderate candidate. For now, that looks like Hillary Clinton - whom, by the way, I'm getting to meet face-to-face in San Francisco on Sunday.'

FemaleNick -- really like your posts. Very lucid. Curious -- under what circumstances are you meeting Hillary Clinton? I agree with you that she is probably the most 'moderate' in the sense of not changing things drastically, which is the business community's biggest concern... she's not a wild card, which many of the rest of the candidates are. Which is, of course, the reason that a lot of further lefties than me don't like her. But I can live with her, because I think she will be at least marginally better than any of the R's running [I like McCain but the way he panders to the people he used to loathe is disturbing.]

Anyway, tell us what you think after your meeting.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"'Anti-MoveOn' claims first successes
By: RYAN GRIM | 09/28/2007 02:55 PM
New conservative group backed by big GOP funders takes credit for "victories" over MoveOn and NY Times."

you see. The street runs one way. this is why I blog. to do my small part to level the playing feild. To bring truth in the face of lies and propoganda. I am not the bad guy. Just as Lennon and Martin Luther King were not the problem in nixons time. Christians merely point to the probelm. And we take the heat and pain as a result. Why? Because we can. We are chrsitians. A chrsitian with God behind him is invincalbe.

"If God is with me, who can be against me."

"this hurt comes from the honest word"

NAs

Posted by: Rufus | September 28, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

i just can't this this right today. i need more sleep


the only power they have is the power WE give them.

There. I got it :)

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Too quick on the keyboard.

Last week a fully functioning WMD blew up in Syria on its launch pad. wonder where that came from? - Zouk

We didn't invade Syria! (Yet) You lost your other half point.

Posted by: Hippo | September 28, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Last week a fully functioning WMD blew up in Syria on its launch pad. wonder where that came from? - Zouk

We didn't invade Iraq! (Yet) You lost your other half point.

but the measures i posted were much more in tune with modern times - Zouk

Those specific criteria are current, that's about as modern as you can get.

Posted by: Hippo | September 28, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

" The only people thye have is the power the elctorate gives them."

the only power they have is the people we give them. they are old men. they are powerless wihtout me and you. We should not be slaves to the congress and president. The president and congress should be slaves to us.

ALL POWER BACK TO THE PEOPLE

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"they all sound good, but as an educated person knows, one person cannot singlehandedly effect change.
"

That's what people like me are here for. Obama is a moveoment. He is pushing a movement of change. He is not alone, as long as he stays true. No one can do anythign in politics alone. Nor should they have to.

We need to be one nation again. Who started this war agaisnt americans? I say teh impeachment over a bj, then 9/11, then the last 6 yers, caused this division. If anyone has info on how the "liberals" started this war agaisnt amercians I should would like to hear it.

From the red scare in teh fifties, mccartyism, nixon, bush 41 bush 43, fox and their "liberal " hating nonstop commentary.

So the right started this war agisnst america. What is the left to do. Stnd here and let the right's will be done. The right is extreamly heartless and goes for the throht. The democrats are for the most part cowardly. So if a lefties movement is putting some teeth behind our ideals, why are we the problem? wHO HAS BEEN SYSTIMATICALLY DESTOYING THE COUNTRY FOR 50 YEARS?

With all that said. I agree wiht much of what you said nick. Everyone is scared of the gop. I don't get why. The only people thye have is the power the elctorate gives them. It's not about swaying anybody. It's about trying to leval the playing feild. You cannot stand by idolly in this new american battle. The gop is tying their hardest to destroy the country. They have some democrats with them. eith eryou are enabling the destruction, or doing something to fix the country.

How does Rush/hannity/o'reilly/fox help this country? Do they do more harm than good? But I know, I'm the horrible person. But the gop and their followers have the blood of thousands on their hands. I hope God will not let you sleep at night. I hope your childrens eye's burn a hold through your fascist black hearts.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

hippo, it is pointless to argue with someone who is in possession of their own set of private facts.

1. there were 22 reasons given for going to war with Iraq (Kerry even made fun of this). WMDs were but one of these reasons. and it was not precisely that he already had them, it was plainly stated he wanted them and was after them and that we couldn't wait until he had fully functioning ones ready to go to act. you must remember that, the line about the mushroom cloud being too late? Last week a fully functioning WMD blew up in Syria on its launch pad. wonder where that came from?

2. the UN and the congress continues to support this effort as late as August for the UN and last week for the congress.

3. 22 reasons look them up.

you 11%ers can whine about the start of the war for the rest of history. that phase is over. If you read the article I suggested you would understand much more than your "No WMDs" and "Bush Lied" chants allow you.

moveon

Overall it seems that this was an entirely just war, even according to your own criteria and despite most of the twisted facts you selectively choose.

but the measures i posted were much more in tune with modern times and you didn't bother to refute them, instead trying to demonstrate some sort of compliance with overall philosophical goals in some pedantic fashion. but that has clearly backfired on you as your skills in logic and debate seem to be as wanting as your acumen and overall honesty.

If you so choose, I will humiliate and embarass you again next week. Until then, have a nice weekend.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, I take it you're a Longhorn as well? Hook 'em, if so.

I was at UT from 78-82, and I distinctly remember a friend telling me that I should take what little money I had and buy Whole Foods stock. I could neither part with my money nor understand the market WF was trying to reach. I knew nothing about business in those days!

I moved to San Francisco in 1984 and frequently used the "Berkeley of Texas" analogy when asked to describe Austin. You can imagine how shocked I was when I moved to Berkeley a year later. Austin seems RIGHT WING compared to Berkeley -- and the cities surrounding Berkeley seem moderate - hence, my "communist" nickname. I like the food and the Bay views!

I missed JimD's comment about Ayatollah Christians in Austin. With a few exceptions, all my friends in Texas are churchgoers, but bible beaters? (I'm assuming this is what he meant.) I think that's an unfair characterization.

While there are those whose votes are determined by a candidate's stance on abortion, nearly all the Texas Republicans I know are affiliated with the party because of national security and taxes. They are every bit as upset as I am about the Christian right hijacking of the party, and they now see what the consequences of this can be. Most have told me they think the Rs have gone too far but can't bring themselves to switch parties. I get this. I was a Republican until Newt Gingrich. I, too, couldn't bring myself to switch to the other side so I declared myself an Independent. The only reason I made the final switch was to make sure I could be part of the nominating process in California.

Those of us in the middle aren't as loud and as vocal as those on the extreme left or right. We are the ones that cannot be blinded by rhetoric. I know that we constitute the largest percentage of the electorate, and that's why I'm convinced that short of some major event like a terrorist attack or a war with Iran which can scramble this whole race, Americans will vote for the most moderate candidate. For now, that looks like Hillary Clinton - whom, by the way, I'm getting to meet face-to-face in San Francisco on Sunday.

Finally, regarding my "practical" comment on Obama - it was a quick post - and I was being global rather than specific. When I hear him speak in general about changing the ways of Washington, pushing this or that -- they all sound good, but as an educated person knows, one person cannot singlehandedly effect change.

That's what I meant by Obama not being practical -- the fact that the country is now so divided that for a while still, it would take something as horrible as 9/11 to unite us again in the way he likes us to imagine. And since we don't want anything bad to happen, the practical approach is to allow for compromises so that both sides can get a little bit of what they want.

I like Obama a lot. I expect to be one of his biggest supporters in 2016 - but he practically first needs to learn the ways of Washington, because like it or not, you can't change that overnight.

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 28, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

you listening pink and simon. The gop is playing you for fools. What have I been telling you people?

either you are fighting the gop ( and some d's) fascists, or you are enabling them. there is no "moderate" middle ground. Bush said it not me.

"You are with us or agaisnt us."


Think on that pink and simon. Are you gop or not?

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"This is why the eagerness of Congressional Democrats -- first in the Senate and then even more overwhelmingly in the House -- to vote for Republican proposals to condemn MoveOn.org is so significant. The resolution itself is obviously meaningless. It has no binding or legal effect. But the point of it, the only point, is to subject the Democrats to what Digby this week called a "ritual humiliation" where Democrats turn on their own side and denounce and demonize them in a way that Republicans never would do with regard to their allies. Democrats thus look weak and pitiful for complying, and on top of it, they essentially denounce a major organization on their own side as McCarthyite, unpatriotic and evil."

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/09/28/estrich/

Posted by: greenwald | September 28, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

wOW HIPPO/GHOST WRITER. gET EM.

I don't like that many facts when combatting fascsits. Makes there head spin. Good strong arguments like that belong onn college campuses. To much truth for lying fascist propogandists. Your going to give them a heart attack hippo:)

On point post. It's not for not. As much as these cowards lie and spin. They cone here everyday for a reason. If I,a nd others like me, where lying or crazy would they feel the need to come here and silence us? No.

Great post. The gop loves to play games like what they have done the last 15 years is legal. Choosing party over country is treason. Is was and always will be. Call the gop for what it is. 30 years fed time for traitors. Zouk, it's better than the old laws for traitors, right?

Posted by: RUFUS | September 28, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

By any normal ethical standard, the coalition's current project in Iraq is a just one. - Zouk

We can play by your rules easily enough - Zouk

Not my rules, Zouk. These are acknowledged to be criteria for a Just War by the military, diplomats, and philosphers. The concept goes back to the Greeks.

Criteria for a morally justifiable war (Saint Augustin, & other Theologans):

1 - Just Cause: Must confront an unquestioned danger, i.e., self-defense (such as the desire, ability and willingness to kill on a massive scale)
- The unquestioned danger for Iraq was supposed to be Weapons of Mass Destruction by somebody who would use them.
Zouk loses point.

2 - Competent Authority: The leader who commits to war must be acting on behalf of the people. (for example soliciting the votes of congress and the UN)
- The votes in support were not direct (in this country, authority to take action v. Act of War) and they were based on false information (see Colin Powell at the UN among other things)
Zouk loses point.

3 - Right Intention: The reasons given, must be the actual objectives. (to establish a democracy in a nasty region)
- Not the reason given. Rationalization after WMD not found.
Zouk loses point.

4 - Last Resort: All peaceful alternatives must have been exhausted. (there was that long warning from the UN prior to the war and a broken peace treaty for some ten years)
- The alternatives were not exhausted. The opportunity for diplomacy was there. But, it would have gone on forever, because how do you find WMD that are not there?
Zouk loses half-point, although it should be a full point.

5 - Probability of Success: The chances of achieving the war's purpose must be reasonably assured of success. (Saddam is gone - probability of success 100%, constitution signed, voters to polls, - 100%)
- The Probability of Success was great. Constitution signed, voters to polls are immaterial. The reason for war was WMD.
- This was never questioned.
Point halved, but Zouk loses half point for overreaching in rationalizing.

6 - Proportionality: The good which will be achieved cannot be outweighed by the harm done. ( not sure how to measure this exactly but maybe ask the Iraqis if they think so. so far, according to US congress votes, it is still worth it)
- The use of force has been proportional. This was never questioned.
Point halved.

The Rest of the World: 4 points

Zouk and the NeoConolgians: 1 point

Posted by: Hippo | September 28, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

What a waste of time. Like the fascist will ever take accountability for what thye do. All the repug's do is point at clinton or liberals. ZERO accountability. your party is done. Without your propoganda avatars what will you people do. How will you consolidate your lies talking points and newspeak? I'm sure another fascist will pop up. Have a uber-drudge site. I'm not sure if possible to stop THE MACHINE. But we can at least try.

No Fox is a big step. I can't wait to here the crying and whining when the shoe is on the other foot. you little cry babies are going to give me comic releif for 30 straight years aren't you. Just don't kill americans. Don't tim mccveigh us. Take it easy. Majority rule. Sit there with no representation with you rmouths shut. Remember how the republcians wasted their time.

Where else do you get rewarded the worse you do? What has the gop done right in 30 years?

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

ONE WOLRD ONE PEOPLE ONE GOD

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Limbaugh selectively edited "phony soldiers" clip, claimed it was "the entire transcript"
Friday, September 28, 2007 4:40PM "

And why would he do that? Huh, rush/o'reilly/bush lawyers. And why is o'reilly not playing the tape if it exonerates him?

HAHAHHAHA. Your avatars are done.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone who has not quit the thread yet: I was sure, judging from the history of Paula Jones' representation, that its primary object became to depose Bill Clinton about Ms. Lewinsky. I can explain the legal tactics that provide the clues to anyone still interested in that case."

Paula jones? your messing with me right? How about news form this decade old man

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"O'Reilly claimed Media Matters "distorted" his "discussion on race," but never aired the discussion on his TV show
Bill O'Reilly asserted that "the far-left smear website Media Matters distorted a very positive discussion on race and accused me of racism." During three segments discussing the controversy, however, O'Reilly aired no audio from the September 19 edition of his radio show. In its original item documenting O'Reilly's comments, Media Matters provided the transcript and audio of his remarks. Read more


O'Reilly: "[I]f I could strangle these people and not go to hell and get executed ... I would -- but I can't."

"

I'll give you some truth. time goes by faster when blogging. don't want to waste the forum.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

And good for John McCain. Bye.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

since everybody has a comment aboutme today. Since everyone here wants to be the peanut gallery. I'll give you something to comment on.

zouk is a fascist.

http://www.mediamatters.org/

"Members of Congress denounced Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" smear
Summary: Sen. Jim Webb and Reps. Frank Pallone, Jan Schakowsky, Chris Van Hollen, and Patrick Murphy denounced Rush Limbaugh for calling service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers," which Media Matters for America documented.


On September 27, several members of Congress denounced Rush Limbaugh for, as Media Matters for America documented, calling service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers" on the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) made speeches on the House floor responding to Limbaugh; Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) made his comments on the September 27 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann; and Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Patrick J. Murphy (D-PA) issued statements denouncing Limbaugh's comments.

On the House floor, Pallone stated: "Yesterday, Limbaugh called service members who support a withdrawal from Iraq 'phony soldiers.' " Pallone added: "Last month, seven soldiers from the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division wrote an op-ed in The New York Times questioning our continued war efforts, but also stating, and I quote: 'We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.' Now, since publication of that op-ed, two of the soldiers have died. As this op-ed shows, soldiers may question the war, but that does not mean that they are any less committed to their mission."

Schakowsky stated: "How dare Rush Limbaugh label anyone who has served in the military as a quote, 'phony soldier,' unquote? How dare he say that his views on Iraq formed in the comfort of his radio studio are legitimate while the views of those whose opinions were forged on the battlefield are not?" She added: "These are soldiers like Brandon Friedman, a former rifle platoon leader in the Army's 101st Airborne Division who fought in Afghanistan in 2002 and commanded troops in Iraq. He says quote, 'The escalation of the war is failing and now the mission must change.' 'The fact is,' he says, 'the Iraq war has kept us from devoting assets we need to fight terrorists worldwide as evidenced by the fact that Osama bin Laden is still on the loose and Al Qaeda has been able to rebuild.' " Schakowsky asked: "Is Brandon Friedman a phony?"

On Countdown, Webb said: "I really regret Mr. Limbaugh saying things like that. You know, we have a political diversity inside the military just like we do in the country." He later added: "I really react strongly when people politicize the service of our military people. They have a wide variety of political viewpoints, from all the way for this to all the way against it, and we need to respect that."

Murphy, an Iraq war veteran, said in a statement posted on Huffington Post:

When someone like Rush Limbaugh says that soldiers who disagree with the failed strategies of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are "phony soldiers," you have to consider the source.

Rush Limbaugh, who, in January, called Vietnam veteran Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) "Senator Betrayus" for disagreeing with President Bush, has made no secret of his disdain for those who serve and speak out. Where was Rush Limbaugh when it came time to serve his country?

What's more, where was Limbaugh's outrage when Max Cleland, a Senator who left three of his limbs in Vietnam was smeared on television? Where was Limbaugh when Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) service was called into question in the form of millions of dollars in campaign ads?

My service was questioned last year during my campaign for Congress. Fortunately, the swift-boat attack on me didn't stick because people in my district in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and across America know that if someone wears the uniform and serves their country they've earned our respect regardless of political party.

Sadly, the political debate in this country has devolved into who can be more outraged at the latest smear attempt on those who should be thanked and praised for devoted service. Rush Limbaugh's phony outrage and derisive words call into contrast that which we all must honor: our Armed Forces currently fighting for their lives and our freedom all across the world. We need to be vigilant and speak out against those who question the value of that service -- and that goes for people on the right and the left.

Van Hollen said in a statement: "Rush Limbaugh's personal attack on our men and women in uniform is reprehensible. It minimizes the sacrifice our troops in Iraq and their families are making and has no place in the public discourse. Rush Limbaugh owes our military and their families an apology for his hurtful comments that minimize their service to our country"

--A.H.S. & A.I.
"

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, the op-ed you cited was interesting; we should hope that it is not overly optimistic.

Everyone who has not quit the thread yet: I was sure, judging from the history of Paula Jones' representation, that its primary object became to depose Bill Clinton about Ms. Lewinsky. I can explain the legal tactics that provide the clues to anyone still interested in that case.

Does it not seem possible that Dan Rather, who does not need a settlement with CBS for his retirement, is primarily interested in deposing GWB? Probably to ask him about his Air National Guard duty status 30+ years ago?

If so, I think we will have seen the ratification of a class of "vanity" lawsuits, in which attorneys can boast that they embarrassed sitting presidents.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

You telling people how to blog is like Bill O'Reilly policing the internet and media. It just doesn't work zouk. Credibility. Get some. Get out of the crazy lunatic murderous right-wing fringe.

Get back to reality.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

And now for some frantic cutting and pasting.

Ignorant coward - you really need a life. rufas, maybe you two could hook up.

Has one original thought ever entered into your pea brain? If so you have never demonstrated it on this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"pro-american "


I resent that.The gop is pro gop, not pro american. You people turned you back on this country, in favor of party long ago. You aree the traitors. The gop are the anti-americans. You fascist you

But continue.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Gop. From the "Law and Order party"

To

The "I DOn't recall"

"they're taking me out of context," party

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't expect any of you moonbats to read the article, digest its contents or consider the implications. this just further demonstrates your inability and unwillingness to open your minds to any pro-american considerations or anything outside of your Bush derangement syndrome. you retort to logical, orderly, persuasive points with childish zingers. you accomplish nothing on a daily basis.

you prefer to remain ignorant and cowardly. I expected as much, although there is always hope. this blog functions much better with a shared set of facts and less name-calling. some of you are incorrigible and beyond hope. you demonstrate your petulance every time you post your angry and spiteful one-liners. does this convey anything meaningful or just serve to alleviate your internal angst? think about your purpose here. this is not an ego site. go build your own blog, as many do.

My posts are not intended for you. It is the reasonable thinking bloggers I hope to reach.

I look forward to engaging the thinking members of this website. The 11%ers will continue to be ignored by most of us.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"NO mention, zip, zero, zilch, of Rush Limbaugh "phony soldiers" remark
Reported by Chrish - Fri 1:03 PMI normally refrain from using extreme modifiers like "never" or "always" because we don't monitor FOX 24/7 and they have a habit of covering their butts on unflattering news, "blipping" rather than "dripping" the item via the newsticker or a bottom-of-the-hour "headline" mention. But in two hours of FOX and Friends this morning I didn't hear one word about Rush Limbaugh's insult to soldiers who speak out againt the war in Iraq. The documentarians at the media watchdog site Media Matters for America, led by former Republican hatchet-man David Brock (who scares the living crap out of Bill O'Reilly) reports Limbaugh's comments, in full and with audio (as usual, professionals that they are):
"


d

Posted by: http://www.newshounds.us/ | September 28, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

We were taliig about the rush satements. More on that story

"Limbaugh Outrage Amplified! Limbaugh's response is to name Jack Murtha!
By: John Amato @ 10:17 AM - PDT He not only doesn't deny, or apologize ... but names Jack Murtha!

Download (1249) | Play (1631)

UPDATED: He also attacked Paul Hackett: "Limbaugh Calls Iraq Vet "Staff Puke," Claims He Volunteered For War "To Pad [His] Resume"

Rush Limbaugh's anti-troop remarks has set off a ton of responses so far. Send a message to Rush via Wesley Clark: "Is Jon Soltz a phony soldier?"

Rep. Jan Schakowsky:

Does Rush Limbaugh really want to look General Odom in the eye and call him a phony? ... And while we're at it, let's pay attention to the 72% of american troops serving in iraq who also think the US should exit the country within the next year and more than one in four who say the troops should leave immediately according to the Zogby poll. I guess they're all a bunch of phonies according to Rush Limbaugh."

Howard Dean via Press release:

"Rush Limbaugh should immediately apologize to our brave men and women in uniform for undermining the sacrifices they make every day serving our country. Limbaugh's comments were un-American, have no place in the public discourse, and show just how far he'll go to defend President Bush's failed policy in Iraq. America's troops deserve better, and Limbaugh owes them an apology."

DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen:

Rush Limbaugh's personal attack on our men and women in uniform is reprehensible. It minimizes the sacrifice our troops in Iraq and their families are making and has no place in the public discourse. Rush Limbaugh owes our military and their families an apology for his hurtful comments that minimize their service to our country

Iraq Vet And Dem Congressman Patrick Murphy Blasts Rush

"Someone should tell chicken-hawk Rush Limbaugh that the only phonies are those who choose not to serve and then criticize those who do.

Steve Soto: ....when can we expect GOP senator John Cornyn of Texas to sponsor the resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh? You see, Omar Mora, one of the seven soldiers who wrote the New York Times op-ed opposing the war last month, and who was killed later, was Cornyn's constituent from Texas City.

Think Progress: A Challenge For Lawmakers: Will They Now Condemn Limbaugh?
"

www.crooksandliars.com

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

If you don't know, it looks like rather is goign to depose bush in his lawsuit. Like nixon, rather is saying the government supression of the press goes to the top. I hope he can prove it.

"Couric faced 'corporate pressure'
By: Steve Benen @ 12:15 PM - PDT Katie Couric admitted this week that she felt "corporate pressure" when she was at NBC to ease off of Condi Rice and the Bush Administration after a "tough interview."

After the interview, Couric said she received an email from an NBC exec "forwarded without explanation" from a viewer who wrote that she had been "unnecessarily confrontational."

"I think there was a lot of undercurrent of pressure not to rock the boat for a variety of reasons, where it was corporate reasons or other considerations," she said in an interview with former journalist and author Marvin Kalb during "The Kalb Report" forum at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Here's my follow-up: an NBC exec takes a single email from a viewer that seriously? Should we start writing more emails to NBC to get them to lean on their on-air talent to be more confrontational with administration officials?
"

Posted by: government supression of the news | September 28, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

New JErsey? WOW. What a rebuke. I thought those NJ rockers were republcian song birds much like country music. Bad for the gop, good for the country/world

"Bruce Springsteen calls out Bush Administration: "This is a song about things that shouldn't happen here...happening here."
By: John Amato @ 2:45 PM - PDT Scarce sent in this video and rough transcript of Bruce Springsteen's appearance on NBC this morning. He slammed the Bush administraion over the way they have attacked our core US values. He sums it up nicely, wouldn't you say?

Download (6) | Play (11) (25 mgs)

"This is a song called Livin' In the Future. But it's really about what's happening now. Right now. It's kind of about how the things we love about America, cheeseburgers, French fries, the Yankees battlin' Boston... the Bill of Rights [holds up microphone, urging crowd to cheer] ... v-twin motorcycles... Tim Russert's haircut, trans-fats and the Jersey Shore... we love those things the way womenfolk love Matt Lauer.

But over the past six years we've had to add to the American picture: rendition, illegal wiretapping, voter suppression, no habeus corpus, the neglect of our great city New Orleans and its people, an attack on the Constitution. And the loss of our young best men and women in a tragic war.

This is a song about things that shouldn't happen here--happening here."

"

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

According to "Pentagon insiders" who spoke to the Boston Globe, "Casey's apparent alarm about the Army heightened when he returned from nearly three years of duty in Iraq." Casey also said that "Army support systems...are straining under the pressures from six years of war."

Casey is not alone in his assessment. Several current and former Bush administration officials have publicly warned for several months that current troop levels cannot be sustained past next summer due to strain:

Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace: Pace "is expected to advise President Bush to reduce the U.S. force in Iraq next year by almost half" and "is likely to convey concerns by the Joint Chiefs that keeping well in excess of 100,000 troops in Iraq through 2008 will severely strain the military." [8/24/07]

Commanding General Odierno: "We know that the surge of forces will come at least through April at the latest, April of '08, and then we'll have to start to reduce...we know that they will start to reduce in April of '08 at the latest." [8/26/07]

Army Secretary Peter Geren: "[T]he service's top official, recently said he sees 'no possibility' of extending the duty tours of US troops beyond 15 months." [8/30/07]

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell: "[T]hey probably can't keep this up at this level past the middle of next year, I would guess. This is a tremendous burden on our troops." [7/18/07]

Casey, who was formally the top military commander in Iraq, appears to be hoping his blunt assessment will push the Bush administration to change its military policy. In a "highly unusual move," Casey requested the public hearing, apparently hoping to attract more attention to the issue of the depleted armed forces.'

Posted by: sign up zouk--they need you | September 28, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Casey: Army 'Out Of Balance,' 'Current Demand' On Troops 'Exceeds The Sustainable Supply'

In testimony before the House Armed Forces Committee yesterday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said that that the Army is "out of balance" due to the war in Iraq and that it cannot respond adequately to another conflict. Casey said that the "current demand" on the military was not "sustainable":
'
The current demand for our forces exceeds the sustainable supply. We are consumed with meeting the demands of the current fight and are unable to provide ready forces for other potential contingencies.'

Asked by if the military is prepared to meet an unexpected challenge, Casey responded "I am not comfortable."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The Fox News network is now in full drumbeat mode, trying to promote a war against Iran.

Last night, armchair General Sean Hannity did his part to beat the Iran war drums. On Hannity and Colmes, the bellicose host devoted half the show to previewing "what a U.S. strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would look like":

HANNITY: Mission: Iran Showdown. The objective: destroy and disable Iran's top nuclear facilities, impact its ability to process and enrich uranium, delay its ability to manufacture and deploy nuclear weapons, all while crippling the ruling regime.

The network also announced that this Saturday at 9 pm, it will air a "Fox News investigative piece" entitled Iran: Ticking Bomb. The show will be hosted by Dan Senor, the former spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

' Ethically, causes do not come much clearer than this one.'

LOL - every time the village idiot opens his mouth, the most amazing stupidity falls out.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

FemaleNick - very interesting post - thanks for it, the compliment it contained, and the welcome news that you are a [Lady] 'Horn.

You said that you thought that Obama was not "practical" the other night, did you not? I went back and read the transcript and did not see anything that jumped out at me. If you remember what struck you, I would still be interested.

Your R friends in TX are very much like mine in that they tend to be mil/smalbiz conservatives, not what JimD has labeled ayatollah Christians. And I have visited Berkeley often enough to realize that while Austin may be called the "Berkeley of Texas" it pales in politically correct shade of pinkness next to the Berkeley of CA. Berkeley is a whole city that smells like America's original "Whole Foods" at Tenth and Lamar did, in 1968. Does that bring back any memories for you?

Hook 'em.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - the first brigade starts shipping out today. another in nov and one more in Dec. we can be proud of the work we have done to free this long suffering people, despite the hardship and the disgusting politics.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - read the article, you will be very much better informed afterwards. It is not a propoganda piece. It is well informed and expertly crafted.

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=9804

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

We can play by your rules easily enough

Criteria for a morally justifiable war (Saint Augustin, & other Theologans):

1 - Just Cause: Must confront an unquestioned danger, i.e., self-defense (such as the desire, ability and willingness to kill on a massive scale)

2 - Competent Authority: The leader who commits to war must be acting on behalf of the people. (for example soliciting the votes of congress and the UN)

3 - Right Intention: The reasons given, must be the actual objectives. (to establish a democracy in a nasty region)

4 - Last Resort: All peaceful alternatives must have been exhausted. (there was that long warning from the UN prior to the war and a broken peace treaty for some ten years)

5 - Probability of Success: The chances of achieving the war's purpose must be reasonably assured of success. (Saddam is gone - probability of success 100%, constitution signed, voters to polls, - 100%)

6 - Proportionality: The good which will be achieved cannot be outweighed by the harm done. ( not sure how to measure this exactly but maybe ask the Iraqis if they think so. so far, according to US congress votes, it is still worth it)


Very interesting that your own measures backfire on you when considered properly.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"[T]he other side in this war are among the worst people in global politics: Baathists, the Nazis of the middle east; Sunni fundamentalists, the chief opponents of progress in Islam's struggle with modernity; and the government of Iran."


Geez, who's going to run the country when we eventually leave? We do plan to eventually leave, right?

According to Anonymous Coward, the Sunnis are either baathists or fundamentalists [presumably supported by the Waahabists]. The Shia are just puppets for extremists in Iran, which leaves the Kurds - but the Kurds don't want to have anything to do with anything outside of Kurdistan, they just want to remain autonomous and possibly take over parts of Turkey and Iran.

So, again, who's going to cobble together a government out of that motley assortment?

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"The UN approved the coalition's role in May 2003, and the mandate has been renewed annually since then, most recently this August. Meanwhile, the other side in this war are among the worst people in global politics: Baathists, the Nazis of the middle east; Sunni fundamentalists, the chief opponents of progress in Islam's struggle with modernity; and the government of Iran. Ethically, causes do not come much clearer than this one.
"

It's funny how you talk about the arab "nazi sunni's. After america allied with sadamm and armed him. We also arm iran. we also arm the saudi's. We also arm isreal. We also arm

And your peop[le got that approval by lying throug htheir teeth. Giving false information and having a propoganda station here at home to do their dirty work.

I wouldn't bring attention to that zouk. I got pictures of Rumsfeild shaking Saddam's hand buddy.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=9804

warning, you may lose some ignorance about Iraq if you read this. Very interesting and informative.

Very long and past the attention span of most, but well worth the effort.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"By any normal ethical standard, the coalition's current project in Iraq is a just one." - Zouk

Criteria for a morally justifiable war (Saint Augustin, & other Theologans):

1 - Just Cause: Must confront an unquestioned danger, i.e., self-defense.

2 - Competent Authority: The leader who commits to war must be acting on behalf of the people.

3 - Right Intention: The reasons given, must be the actual objectives.

4 - Last Resort: All peaceful alternatives must have been exhausted.

5 - Probability of Success: The chances of achieving the war's purpose must be reasonably assured of success.

6 - Proportionality: The good which will be achieved cannot be outweighed by the harm done.

Judge for yourself. I already see problems with three of the tests, just from what we know publicly.

Posted by: Hippo | September 28, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The great question in deciding whether to keep fighting in Iraq is not about the morality and self-interest of supporting a struggling democracy that is also one of the most important countries in the world. The question is whether the war is winnable and whether we can help the winning of it. The answer is made much easier by the fact that three and a half years after the start of the insurgency, most of the big questions in Iraq have been resolved. Moreover, they have been resolved in ways that are mostly towards the positive end of the range of outcomes imagined at the start of the project. The country is whole. It has embraced the ballot box. It has created a fair and popular constitution. It has avoided all-out civil war. It has not been taken over by Iran. It has put an end to Kurdish and marsh Arab genocide, and anti-Shia apartheid. It has rejected mass revenge against the Sunnis. As shown in the great national votes of 2005 and the noisy celebrations of the Iraq football team's success in July, Iraq survived the Saddam Hussein era with a sense of national unity; even the Kurds--whose reluctant commitment to autonomy rather than full independence is in no danger of changing--celebrated. Iraq's condition has not caused a sectarian apocalypse across the region. The country has ceased to be a threat to the world or its region. The only neighbours threatened by its status today are the leaders in Damascus, Riyadh and Tehran.

Posted by: reason<>Dems | September 28, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The question of what to do in Iraq today must be separated from the decision to topple Saddam Hussein four and a half years ago. That decision is a matter for historians. By any normal ethical standard, the coalition's current project in Iraq is a just one. Britain, America and Iraq's other allies are there as the guests of an elected government given a huge mandate by Iraqi voters under a legitimate constitution. The UN approved the coalition's role in May 2003, and the mandate has been renewed annually since then, most recently this August. Meanwhile, the other side in this war are among the worst people in global politics: Baathists, the Nazis of the middle east; Sunni fundamentalists, the chief opponents of progress in Islam's struggle with modernity; and the government of Iran. Ethically, causes do not come much clearer than this one.

Posted by: no morals - surrender now | September 28, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Forget this topic simon. So o'reilly yesterday. no rush today. i spite on cc's topics. Republcain talking point garbage. Screw his topics. If you are a slave to cc's topics he is your avatar and you are his puppet. Better to talk about the RELEVANT political news of the day. To me the biggest news is o'reilly and rush.

You know I'm after them everyday. For me to not talk about this hypocricy would be a waste of my day. I can't do that when this is dropped in my lap. Christmas came early.

I still haven't heard any valid explanations on how Dan Rather, ROsie, Opie and anthoney, ward churchhill and so can get silenced by the right wing propogandist but the same rules don't apply. I hear a lot of blame on media matters, but no valid defense. It's a big joke. hahaha

Real funny. I'm not laughing. I want the same rules to allpy to these guys as it does for rosie. The same rules as the democrats IMus.

Only the left should not be silenced. Espiecally when the gop OWNS all media as it is. We already have a one party system. It can't get anmore uneven than it already is.

"Just give me some truth"

John Lennon.

I recommend two documentaries for the weekend for you people.

1. fog of war (macnamara) Watch for the stament when he talks about someone telling him they need to win the war so they are no charged with war crimes agaisnt humanity after napaming several Japanesse cities and killing thousands of civilans

2. the us vs john lennon. Same tricks nixon used on MLk and lennon and many others, the current neo-CONS are using agaisnt us today. Was John lennon the problem? Was mlk the problem with race in america?

Think about what you are supporting. You goper's are nixonites. He had a rogue CRIMINAL presidency. History repeats itself. The only differance is the elft has more power today than then. The red scare of the fifites was used then, 9/11 now. Same tricks differant time.

I've said my peace. Everything I've said to you people is truth.

Since you want to run your mouths all day I'm locking this site down. JD says most attacks come from the left and the right doesn't do that stuff. We'll see about that. I got a long list. i've checked it twice. Here it is

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 03:54 PM

This post (I won't repeat it since it's long) is much of the reason why I think we should be out of Iraq.

Not that HRC (when she wins, which she will) will be able to do much about it during her term. It's going to be interesting how the Kos'ers will feel after she tacks to the center so fast once she gets the nom. They'll feel as betrayed as they did with Pelosi, x100.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, once again I agree with you. This time, wrt the images around the world of Americans and arabs. It's too bad too, since I understand we're doing a lot of good over there (just saw a story about some American hometown of a soldier coughing up the money to get some Iraqi girl a cornea transplant, giving her sight for the first time).

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

When a pig is concerned, one will have to enter the swine's pen to understand the situation.

In hillary's case the facts are often construed to be smear and slime, but you got to work with the hand you are dealt. when all you have is corruption, lies, stealing and treachery, a documentary is going to have to reveal this if it is to be factual.

Libs won't like the truth getting out.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is even with Huckabee in the polls, and is raising money much faster. Paul has more volunteers than the rest of the Republican candidates combined -- now over 45,000 in local Meetup groups.

Ron Paul is in 5th place at least, 4th place if McCain is as broke as is rumored.

Posted by: Doug | September 28, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

FemaleNick-
Its late in the day for a lengthy, on-topic post. Thanks for making the effort.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

you and jd are so cool simon. Where can I bury me head in the sand so I can be just like you?

I want to not know what's going on. MAybe I wouldn't be so angry if I didn't know what was happening. Where is your cave?

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Well, good for McCain."

I second that. That is the only way to save our country. Rather than doing what these propogandists are doing here, defending the un-defensable, this is what should happen. The right needs to start playing by the rules. Stop the hypocricy. And let's work together. there is no rush o'reilly or hannity for the left, nor should their be. People lying and pretending it's news doesn't go far with the left. We need real valid news, not talking points.

So in order to get back to one nation we need the people seperating us for profit to stop the divisive tactics. Fox news to off the air to fix OUR problems. Rush malkin hannity and O'Reilly need to retire, notice no mention of gop luara ingram.

We can continue to have a one sided govrnment or not. But the problems will persist until the gop and their followers change.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh jeeez, look at this folks. We're months away from the primaries and already the Swiftboaters are attacking. Man, I think I'll move to Canada.

'Right Wingers Organizing To Attack Hillary

A Republican group called Stop Her now is vowing to raise and spend between $500,000 and $600,000 in an all-out effort to derail Hillary's Presidential candidacy between now and February.

"We expect we'll be much more intense in our efforts between now and Feb. 28," said Texas businessman Richard Collins, a leading organizer of the group.

In addition, another group called Citizens United is producing an anti-Hillary documentary, which backers intend to serve the same role as the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry in 2004.'

Smear and slime, that's all they've got.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"I thought you were saying "Sounds like what the terrorists are saying to drindl's post. my bad. Ignor eme the rest of the day."

An innocent mistake, easily made.

Request granted, henceforth.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

compare McCain to hillary:

McCain - soldiers deserve praise

Hillary - soldiers deserve to work for me, no matter what I have to do, including calling them liars to their face for the votes, stupid. for the votes.

Posted by: no morals | September 28, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, I always enjoy reading your posts, btw -- yours, the Judge's, bsimon's, JimD's in FL because even when I don't agree with your conclusions, you are all consistently reasoned. What a concept!

In answer to your question regarding possible contradiction in polls vis a vis our own experiences, I'm not sure. I live in Berkeley, CA with friends living throughout the entire Bay Area. I am a UT alumnus who is also a very active member of a DODDS school alumni group. So keeping that in mind, here are my experiences:

1. We recently polled the 500+ members of my DODDS school alumni group in which the members range in age from 45-50. We all grew up on military bases and met at an overseas school during our teens. 57% declared themselves Republicans, 24% Democrats, 14% independents.

Of the group, 16% are currently supporting Giuliani, 16% for Thompson, 17% Obama, 15% McCain, and 19% for Hillary. This suggests that the majority of the Democrats who took our survey support Hillary, albeit by a small margin over Obama and others.

If this alumni group were solely responsible for electing the president, John McCain would win with 68% of the vote vs. Hillary's 32%; Giuliani with 66% - 34% Hillary; and Romney 63% vs. 37%. Giuliani and McCain would beat Edwards with 70% of the vote, Romney by 60%. McCain would beat Obama with 68%, Giuliani by 58%.

Once they set aside their personal preferences, however, 30% believe that Hillary will win the election, suggesting that she will get the Democratic vote regardless of whom they currently support as well as a percentage of the Independents. This from a group of people who were raised in military families. The percentage of Independents who will vote for Hillary in a general election I expect will be considerably higher.

2. In the communist city of Berkeley, CA -- I suspect that Kucinich, Obama, and Edwards have the majority support. Hillary probably fares the worst. Those I know in San Francisco, however, seem to be split between Obama and Hillary - yet all Obama supporters I know would vote for Hillary were she to get the nomination.

3. Elsewhere in California, my Democrat friends like Obama but are supporting Hillary - not because they like her as much as I do but because they believe that only a moderate has a prayer of winning the general election and that only she has the team in place and the toughness to stomach the nasty election season ahead. They do not see this as an election during which we can take chances with an unknown. At least they know the baggage that Hillary carries.

3. My friends in Texas - Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas -- are predominantly die-hard Republicans, albeit with few exceptions, of the moderate ilk. They continue to struggle with their choices. Interestingly, they're all predicting a Hillary win. Three have said they will, for the first time, vote for a Democrat in 2008 if Hillary is on the ticket. Why? They see her as the more moderate of the Democratic candidates. And despite having hated Bill Clinton take comfort in Hillary being married to someone with 8 years of experience and during whose presidency they were financially better off. As one close friend who is a politician and business owner in Texas told me, "When I told my parents you are supporting Hillary, they said, 'We are Republicans, but you should know that in the last 40 years, business has always been best for us when a Democrat is in the White House.'"

I predict that once the nominees are selected, Americans will become practical.

The poll results we're seeing now -- whether they be about a candidate's negatives, popularity among select groups, etc. is currently all about emotion. Democrats can seem unorganized and insane during the primary season, but when it comes to pulling the lever, the majority vote for the nominee that is the most moderate.

And when the general election finally arrives, I think people will set aside their personal feelings and think about the issues facing the country and vote for the most moderate candidate. I think that's why Hillary will get the Democratic nomination, and why ultimately, she will beat the Republican nominee.

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 28, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

anon says
"Also, it is a war against Islam in that it is mostly a war against Radical Islamisists. People looking to fan flames conveniently drop Radical."


While technically accurate, it is a poor argument to make. I've seen the argument made that we shouldn't even say we're fighting the 'jihadists' because a 'jihadist' is a religious warrior and by using that term, we're conceding their claim to be fighting a religious battle.

The point between the lines is that we need to drive a wedge between moderate muslims and the criminals who use terrorism as a tactic to further their megalomanic goals.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

O the embarrassment :)

I guess that means everything I say is incorrect or a lie, based on gop imaginary rules.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The first Republican member of Congress -- and first GOP Presidential candidate -- has now stepped forward to condemn Rush's "phony soldier" remark.

Time.com's Ana Marie Cox asked John McCain for a response to Rush's comments, and she received this blistering statement from the veteran and torture victim:

Any American who risks his or her life to defend us has earned the respect and gratitude of every American citizen, irrespective of their views on this war. If Mr. Limbaugh made the remark he is reported to have made, it reflects very poorly on him and not the objects of his offensive comment. I expect most Americans, whatever their political views, will have the same reaction. He would be well advised to retract it and apologize.'

Well, good for McCain.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"It looks like exactly what the terrorists say it is."


Sorry simon. I'm a little angry today, as you could imagine. Misread.

I thought you were saying "Sounds like what the terrorists are saying to drindl's post. my bad. Ignor eme the rest of the day. O wait :)

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will about newtie, but he's sure not predictable --'cheap and nasty' indeed.

'Gingrich, speaking about Hillary, says:

"The most effective candidate in the race is Hillary Clinton. She has done exactly what you asked. It's just that her answers are wrong. Senator Clinton is a serious, competent, formidable person who works hard every day. She's for too much government, she's for too liberal a policy, she would appoint judges who are way too liberal. But she is a formidable person. No one on our side is going to beat her by the kind of cheap and nasty campaign that beat John Kerry."

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

A small group of Republicans facing election fights next year have rallied around war legislation they think could unite the GOP: call for an end to U.S. combat in Iraq, but wait until President Bush is out of office.
...

The proposal, by Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, would require that Bush change the mission of U.S. troops from combat to primarily support roles, such as training Iraqi security forces and protecting U.S. infrastructure in Iraq. His legislation would set a goal of completing such a mission transition within 15 months.

If enacted immediately, that timeline would not kick in until Bush's last couple weeks in office.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Norm Coleman of Minnesota. Of the sponsors, only Voinovich is not up for re-election in 2008.

Posted by: caving | September 28, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

rufus wrote
"Wow simon. Wow. Now drindl is a teorrist. Wow. No I don't feel so bad about ripping you to shreds."

Dearest rufus, before you make yourself look sillier than you already do, go back and reread what I wrote. Once again you have misread and jumped too quickly to the wrong conclusion.

hint: I did not call drindl a terrorist.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"Wow simon. Wow. Now drindl is a teorrist."

Posted by: huh? | September 28, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

JD, time to wake up to the real world, bad things do happen in war. It's not all lies.

Also, it is a war against Islam in that it is mostly a war against Radical Islamisists. People looking to fan flames conveniently drop Radical.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Calm down, ruf. Bsimon didn't call me a terrist.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Frommaine | September 28, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

moonbat hunter writes
"As long as our standing and credibility is all that matters"

While you think you're being clever, the problem you fail to acknowledge is that our standing and credibility are extremely important. Secretary Rumsfeld asked during the heydey of his Pentagon career whether we're capturing or killing terrorists faster than they're creating new ones. The question was posed 4 years ago and, as it turns out, the answer is no. No we are not capturing or killing terrorists faster than new ones are being recruited and trained. The reason is the one you ridicule - our standing and credibility are shot. The moderates in the Mideast and other Muslim parts of the world find the terrorists more credible than they find us. Until that changes, we are not going to win.

So, yes, its fun to make fun of the goofy moonbat liberals that get all touchy-feely and want to know what the other guys are thinking all the time. The problem is there's a method to their madness. Killing all the bad guys and letting God sort them out works in Hollywood movies, to make an ironic comparison, but rarely does that method work in the real world.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

she took questions from reporters, and found herself being grilled about whether she was moderating her own pro-choice position. And suddenly it happened: Mrs. Clinton let loose a hearty belly laugh that lasted a few seconds. Reporters glanced at one another as if we'd missed the joke.

This was my first close encounter with Senator Clinton, and with The Cackle.

And then, less often but more notably, she copes with the pressure by using The Cackle. At Wednesday's Democratic debate, for instance, former Senator Mike Gravel complained about her vote on an Iran resolution and said he was "ashamed" of her. Asked to respond, Mrs. Clinton laughed before responding, as if to minimize the matter.

Last Sunday, meanwhile, she appeared on all five of the major morning talk shows. I don't know what she had for breakfast, but her laughter was heavily caffeinated at times. Chris Wallace, of Fox News, first pressed Mrs. Clinton about why she was so "hyper-partisan," and that drew a huge cackle. (Coming from Fox, that question is pretty funny, her aides said.) But at another point Mr. Wallace switched gears and said, "let me ask you about health care," and she responded, "Yeah, I'd love you to ask me about health care" -- and then let it rip, again, a bit quizzically.


The weirdest moment was with Bob Schieffer on the CBS News program "Face the Nation" when he said to Mrs. Clinton, "you rolled out your new health care plan, something Republicans immediately said is going to lead to socialized medicine." She giggled, giggled some more, and then couldn't seem to stop giggling -- "Sorry, Bob," she said -- and finally unleashed the full Cackle.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/28/us/politics/28web-healy.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

she now has a personna - the cackler. I can't wait for 11:30 this Saturday on NBC.

Posted by: cackler | September 28, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I told Hillary not to use my thousand dollars for every man woman and child because it was a loser in 1972 but she thought I meant to offer more $$$.

Posted by: George McG | September 28, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

All the recent terrorist attacks arund the world have cme from Pakistan.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow simon. Wow. Now drindl is a teorrist. Wow. No I don't feel so bad about ripping you to shreds. That sounds like what the republcians say.

"obama is a terrorist"

The democrats are in with teh terrorists"

Wow. Now I know where your coming from. Sorry for posting truths. "Truth has a well known liberal bias".

go ahead simon and jd/zouk. post you rlies discredits and defenses of the undefensable. Sorry to have interjected with reality. Simon, you are now in with zouk to me. you word is garbage now, to me.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse


"how many times has an occupying force been looked on with favor by the world? "

Every time it is the americans, in which case it is improper and ignorant to call them occupying.'

another humorous post from the village idiot.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"I haven't heard rudy say anything about rush or O"Reilly yet." - Zouk

We're still waiting for Rudy to tell his supporters that he disapproves of the "Contribute $9.11 to Rudy" push going on among his supporters.

Posted by: No Rudy! | September 28, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home. Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

Posted by: free money - vote for me | September 28, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I did not have financial relations with that man, Mr Hsu.

Cackle and wag finger.

Posted by: guess who? | September 28, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told supporters on Thursday that if they pledge at least $30 million to his campaign over a three-week period starting Monday, he will compete for the GOP 2008 presidential nomination."


I'm considering sending a pledge if he will promise not to run. The Newt will be far more effective once the Republican party actually shatters & requires rebuilding. For him to make the move now is premature.

.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"how many times has an occupying force been looked on with favor by the world? "

from the moonbat brigade:

Every time it is the americans, in which case it is improper and ignorant to call them occupying.

Even battier still:

"This war is doing inestimable damage to our standing and credibility, and doing absolutely nothing to stop the spread of groups like al-queda thriving in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and severla other areas around the globe."

As long as our standing and credibility is all that matters just like in the lib schools. doesn't matter if you can read or write... or if you get killed on the subway...as long as you have esteem and are well liked as you get blown up.

And fighting a war in Iraq, surprise to all you kooks out there, doesn't kill any terrorists in australia or Japan. I wonder what it does to the terrorists in Iraq? I am also very concerned with terrorists in Okinowa and suggest we move our entire force there. by the time we're done, it will be time to return to Iraq and start all over again.

howl, howl moonbat!

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"I will say that the comments have been blown totally out of proportion. Colin's right. This crap isn't news-worthy. IT's pointless partisan bickering.

"

Just trying to force the hypocrites to play by the same rules they enforce. Hypocrites. Did you say the same thing when the republcians were going after moveon for weeks. I don't remember anyone here (republcians) denouncing goin gafter them. I sure have seen a lot of gop defending oreilly and rush the last couple days.

But i know. Liberals and mediamatters, it's all theri fault.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

bsimon... the problem too, is that some people here DO think it's a war on Islam and that's what they want. The ugly stuff on some of the blogs, the hatred and slander against ALL Muslims, that stuff gets read all over the world--that doesn't help us either.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

drindl writes, to JD
"People all over the world see images of our soldiers occupying a country and shooting, civilians, and yes, some of them are children. Ever day. I'm sure it's accidental, but what does it look like."


It looks like exactly what the terrorists say it is. While you and I and most Americans know it is not a war on Islam, to the people in that part of the world it certainly looks like one. And that, really, is the crux of the problem.

.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Half of his posts blast unelected folks like Daily Kos, moveon.org, and media matters, while the other half blasts other posters for blasting unelected folks like Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh."


AWWW. Poor baby. go elsewhere or do something aboutyour propogandsits. Get fox and rush off the air, I'll be gone. I know you people like you relementary school games. I know you like to whine and cry if everythign doesn't go you rway. But who are you whining to? Who are you trying to effect? I've watched o'reilly for 5 years now. an ex-employee at an old job would listen to rush and hannity daily. So fogive me if I don't take your propogandist fascist feelings into account. i care about you rfeeling like you care about mine. Not very much at all :)

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Check this folks -- apprently newtie's gonna try to give rudy a run for his money:

MARIETTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told supporters on Thursday that if they pledge at least $30 million to his campaign over a three-week period starting Monday, he will compete for the GOP 2008 presidential nomination.

Gingrich chose Thursday, the 13th anniversary of the signing of his "Contract With America," to launch his "Solutions Day" campaign, which he said is a search for bipartisan answers to the country's major challenges.

He said "very bold" proposals are needed to bring the U.S. government into the 21st century.

"I think, as a general rule, that levees should not break, that bridges should not fall, that students should actually learn," Gingrich said.

I'm not going to be on the phone and I'm not begging," Gingrich told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity, who attended the event. Instead, Gingrich's lawyer, J. Randolph Evans, will head an Internet-based fundraising effort, set to launch on Monday.

TGingrich, 64, has hinted for months that he would join the GOP presidential race if he determined no other candidate appeared able to take on the Democrats in 2008.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"the last time I checked, MOVEON.org isn't made up of elected democrats. "

the point you misfits want to ignore is that your elected candidates came out with positions on this. I haven't heard rudy say anything about rush or O"Reilly yet. when he does, it might be interesting to discuss. Can I help it if the crafty Repubs in congress are able to put a face and voice to your nitwit ideas in an official vote. what is wrong with Hairy Reed and Pelosi Galore?

Until then, let's concentrate on what your candidates have in mind for our impending doom.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

'drindl, come on - even if you live in a cave ;-) you must agree that spreading lies about American soldiers hosing down innocents on the streets of Iraq has a negative effect on our standing.'

JD, People all over the world see images of our soldiers occupying a country and shooting, civilians, and yes, some of them are children. Ever day. I'm sure it's accidental, but what does it look like. And what the mercs do -- someone has been posting that all over -- is incredible. I had no idea how many civilians had been killed by them until I read an article this morning. And I have even seen footage on the Internet of them chasing down cars full of people, families, and just blowing them all away.

There was a bombing someone posted earlier, at night while people inside were sleeping. The Iraqi government claims everyone who was killed were innocent civilians. Many were childen.What one guys isn't going to make a difference. What the world sees with their own eyes all the time is a different thing.

If you think abou it, JD, how many times has an occupying force been looked on with favor by the world? This war is doing inestimable damage to our standing and credibility, and doing absolutely nothing to stop the spread of groups like al-queda thriving in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and severla other areas around the globe.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Audio has surfaced of Rush Limbaugh viciously attacking another Iraq war veteran who was critical of President Bush's war policy.
Here's another quote for you, JD

'Paul Hackett served in the 1st Marine Division in Ramadi and Fallujah during 2004 and 2005. When he returned home, Hackett was a vocal war critic and ended up running for Congress in a special election against Republican Jean Schmidt.

The Huffington Post obtained audio of Limbaugh smearing Hackett on his radio show in 2005. Limbaugh calls Hackett a "staff puke," claims he went to Iraq "to pad [his] resume," and attacks him as "a liberal hiding behind a military uniform."

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I saw somewhere about O'really being committed, for he has lost touch with everything. Funny how Keith could have missed this.

Posted by: lylepink | September 28, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

'(Note that both the Media Matters transcript and the rushlimbaugh.com transcript are identical.) '

I did listen, JD and I still don't understand how you can read it that way. In any case, I also HEARD limbo saying calling members of that vet's antiwar org -- there's a couple, I can't remember which one -- treasonous. and he said, someone should do to them what they used to do to traitors during wartime.' Which of course, would be shooting or hanging.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

JD -- The defense of Rush I've read tries to tie his "Phony Soldier" comment to the separate story mentioned several paragraphs later, where he's discussing the guy who washed out of basic training. Now you're arguing it was in reference to the caller? Not sure I follow your logic on that one, since there was ZERO basis for saying that caller was a "phony soldier." Heck, the AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE article I linked to earlier rather clearly shows that plenty of conservatives are against continuing our military presence in Iraq. If that's his best rationalization, I think he deserves whatever criticism he gets.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

JasonL, please re-read Colin's post. It is illuminating, if you read between the lines.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I really can do this all dy. Really I can. Can you?

wow rufas can cut and paste from uber lefty websites all day. that is a talant that will serve you well in your war on reason.

all the better to avoid the truth and your choice of candidates.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

drindl, come on - even if you live in a cave ;-) you must agree that spreading lies about American soldiers hosing down innocents on the streets of Iraq has a negative effect on our standing.

I believe we still have allies among many of the major governments of the world; Britian, Australia, a few others. These kinds of stories don't help things.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

JD, I don't think that the "background" article you gave us was really much help. The blogger is clearly partisan. Rush did not talk about the actual phony soldier "almost immediately." He talked to the caller for a bit. He didn't reference the story he was about to report, he said "phony soldiers" in the context of a caller who had claimed, perhaps truthfully, to have served. That's wrong.

I will say that the comments have been blown totally out of proportion. Colin's right. This crap isn't news-worthy. IT's pointless partisan bickering.

Posted by: JasonL | September 28, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Laura Bush for prez in 2012, at least 8 years experience!

Posted by: Nate | September 28, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Colin, did you read what you posted?

OMG, it's obvious to me that Rush didn't believe that the previous caller was a repub, was a soldier, etc. Hence, 'phony soldier' term bandied about with the next caller.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Half of his posts blast unelected folks like Daily Kos, moveon.org, and media matters, while the other half blasts other posters for blasting unelected folks like Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh.

Zouk is funny.

Posted by: Classic zouk puke | September 28, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Without a major outside development, it's looking like the only way Clinton can lose the nomination is a repeat of 2004. The guy who has to win Iowa (Edwards now, Gephardt then) gets desperate and launches a do or die attack at the front runner. The Iowans get disgusted by it and look for an alternative. Obama and/or Richardson do better than expected or win and get a boost in NH, SC and NV and make Clinton look vulnerable. The Feb 5 states, no matter how much money someone spends, will do the American thing and vote for whomever looks like they'll win ending it all then and there.

Posted by: muD | September 28, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Conservative MoveOn moving on

By: Ryan Grim
Sep 28, 2007 02:55 PM EST


Matzzie explained that Fleischer's involvement in the group made it easy for people to see a connection between it and the White House.
Photo: AP


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The day after the Senate voted to condemn MoveOn.org for its full-page New York Times ad attacking General David Petraeus, a coalition of conservative organizations met to plot their next move.

Brad Blakeman, head of the new group Freedom's Watch, proposed another full page ad in the paper of record. But he suggested taking on a slightly less risky target than an active four-star general: the Iranian president.

"Ahmadinejad Is a Terrorist," blared the resulting creation.

It was turned around quickly, landing in reporters' in-boxes the evening of Friday, Sept. 21--a good way to get it ignored. Still, it got play on FOX News, CNN, and other cable outlets, and was a topic of discussion on conservative talk radio, which remains a powerful medium. Not bad for $64,575.

As part of a $15 million campaign, the group also produced several 30-second videos, including one that features a disabled Iraq War veteran speaking out against troop withdrawals.

Freedom's Watch was founded in July with MoveOn in mind. "Quite frankly, Moveon.org promised an Iraqi summer," said Blakeman, a former aide to President Bush., explaining that the group was the brainchild of a collection of conservatives seeking to counter the liberal group.

Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer; Matt Brooks, head of the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Jewish Policy Center; and Mel Sembler, a generous Florida-based donor and former ambassador to Italy, were among the intellectual founders of Freedom's Watch.

Its list of benefactors reads like a Who's Who of the Republican Party. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson was listed by Forbes magazine in 2006 as the third richest man in America, with an estimated fortune of $20.5 billion. He hosted a fundraiser with Vice President Dick Cheney in Las Vegas on Thursday and has given heavily to GOP House candidates as well as to President Bush and the party.

The $15 million ad campaign largely targeted moderate Republicans in swing districts. The same donors also contributed individually to some of those same members--an interesting carrot-and-stick approach that combines pressure as well as support for would-be deserters from Bush's war policy.

Blakeman, a GOP donor himself, said the activists saw an opportunity. "There was a void in the conservative movement, in that the movement would rise and fall with the election cycle," he said.

Freedom's Watch is using the Iraq war as an issue to rally around, but has longer-term goals. "Why don't we form a never-ending campaign that's run like a business, but managed like a campaign? We'll take on generational issues that are unsolvable in any one election cycle, but we'll seek to influence those issues over time," said Blakeman. To emphasize the business-nature of the organization, Blakeman's title is "President and CEO" on a recent letter to Congress.

"

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0907/6078.html

Week three of the moveon ad. Which is worse? Without Rush/Fox/Hannity/O'Reilly we would not be in iraq right now. They have the blood of hundreds of thousands on their hands. But you can condemn and ad for speaking the truth. That makes me slightly angry. I don't know what is up with everyone else.

Posted by: screw the fascist war profitters | September 28, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

zoukie and the other pinheads, i completely understand why you want to concentrate on what Moveon.org and Cindy Sheehan said.

It really helps you ignore what your candidate says. why don't you ever consider what elected Dems say and compare that to what elected Repubs say. that would take all the wind out of your sails wouldn't it?

Posted by: Grand Ole Pair | September 28, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

KOZ -- the last time I checked, MOVEON.org isn't made up of elected democrats. Yet somehow that was newsworthy. Interesting standard.

Oh, I don't know why I'm even wasting my time writing this...it's pointless.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I feel like I'm the meida matters of this blog. With all your people's lies and attacks. Why? do you get paid like rush/o'reilly get paid? I doubt it, not for propogating daily. so why are you a slave to them, gop?

I will continue

this is the boogy man the right is trying to frame. this is what these people said. It has nothing to do with the messanger.

"Beck said he "enjoy[s] watching" Taser videos; O'Reilly rolled out "Don't Taze me, bro!" bumper stickers
Thursday, September 20, 2007 2:10PM "

"Wash. Post media critic Kurtz said Fox News is "entitled" to be a Bush "cheerleader" and "misinform[] our society"
Thursday, September 13, 2007 2:55PM "

"On radio show, Beck read "ad" for refinery that turns Mexicans into fuel; posted it on website
Friday, June 29, 2007 7:18PM "

"CNN Headline News aired Beck program with Graham's "whack" the Clintons comment four times in two days
Monday, June 25, 2007 2:47PM "

"Beck on suicide bomber graduation: "Maybe Jimmy Carter was booked and that's why he didn't speak"
Friday, June 22, 2007 1:06PM "

"Fox graphics falsely asserted Castro "wants" Clinton-Obama as "dream team"
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 6:54PM "

"O'Reilly wouldn't call Penn "anti-American" minutes after Factor referred to Penn as "anti-American"
Wednesday, January 31, 2007 6:24PM "

"O'Reilly challenged Rather to "put up or shut up" for claiming that Fox News echoes White House
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 4:33PM "

"Attacking "crackpot" Media Matters, Morgan now accuses "hypocritical cockroach" Soltz of violating "spirit" of Army rules
Friday, August 17, 2007 5:27PM "

That's my boy jon soltz the iraq war vet.


"On Fox, Morgan blamed Media Matters for apparent PBS ban
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 7:46PM "

"KSFO's Morgan: Media Matters like Virginia Tech gunman
Friday, April 20, 2007 7:14PM "

Drudge falsely claimed Soros funds Media Matters
Friday, April 13, 2007 5:05PM "

BREAKING: Drudge links to Politico 45 times during its two-month existence
Wednesday, March 28, 2007 8:51PM "

"On Fox News Sunday, Hume falsely asserted that Al Qaeda in Iraq "was there before we got there"
Sunday, September 9, 2007 3:03PM "

"Hannity is Olbermann's "Worst Person" for defending Nugent's comments
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2:31PM "

"Hume claimed "spear-chucker" Glenn "buffaloed" Thompson's campaign finance probe, ignored GOP role
Monday, June 4, 2007 6:08PM "

the right doesn't attack. Hmm. I could do this all day, everyday jd. I don't know if you people are just ignorant or if you are propogandist. I'm going with the latter. You have been shone so many times. Yet you people continue to try and live in willful ignorance. Live in a dream land. And you wonder why the gop is about to be gone for 30 years. You people are a lost casue. hypocrites. doublethink. your time us over. You used it poorly.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

JD said, at one point
"inner, you make some valid points, but don't ignore the greatest advantage of a cheap dollar: this should help stimulate Ameican exports, which means more jobs in this country. Everytime you hear someone decry the trade deficit w/China et al, they always worry about reducing imports (ie, tariffs and protectionism). Well, this should help by increasing exports, including computers, airplanes, services, cars, and a bunch of other durables.

Yeah, it sucks for the American tourist abroad, but that's a small price to pay"


As noted, there a lot of positives and negatives with a low dollar. Not to be Mr Negative, but the price of oil is something that climbs as the dollar weakens. This also has positives, to my way of thinking, in forcing us to wake up and start considering alternatives to imported energy. Though it is also one of the larger drivers of our trade deficit.

All of which makes me wonder, to shoot off on another tangent, is the dollar 'falling' per se, or is it merely reverting to a more sane level, with reference to other currencies? i.e. Have we merely been enjoying a decades-long overvaluing of the dollar & now just have to get reaccustomed to where it should be? Perhaps I need to consult the Big Mac Index...

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

rufas and the other moonbats, i completely understand why you want to concentrate on what O"reilly and rush said.

It really helps you ignore what your candidate says. why don't you ever consider what elected Repubs say and compare that to what elected Dems say. that would take all the wind out of your sails wouldn't it?

Let's talk about hillary's views. too much pertinent substance for you Libs I suppose. makes you look bad when your positions are brought to light.

Better stick with the pundits and yellow media.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Savage called Media Matters "the homosexual mafia"
Friday, July 6, 2007 1:05PM"

"UPDATED: Savage on the "progressive movement": "the brownshirts of today ... the same rabble that brought Hitler to power"
Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:19PM "

"Savage continued to label supporters of the Fairness Doctrine "Nazis"

Friday, May 18, 2007 6:09PM "

"Savage compared Rep. Wexler to Nazis over questioning of Gonzales during hearing
Tuesday, May 15, 2007 11:56AM
Savage accused Rep. Hinchey of being "in cahoots with Al Qaeda"
Friday, May 11, 2007 5:57PM "

Should I continue JD. Or do you want to recant your lie?

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Savage on "gay, fascist website" Media Matters, a "bunch of punk coward psychotics"
Friday, September 28, 2007 12:29PM "

"Savage said Imus was "lynched," compared his firing to "what was done in Nazi Germany to Jews"
Monday, July 23, 2007 6:22PM "

"Savage: Rep. Ellison, atheists share "hatred of Christianity and hatred of Jews"
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:08PM"

"Savage: "[O]f all of the dictators in the past," Al Gore is "closest" to Mussolini
Tuesday, July 10, 2007 4:59PM "

"Savage said he sees women who wear burqas as "hateful Nazi[s]" who want to "kill your children"
Tuesday, July 3, 2007 2:04PM"


Right. The right doesn't do this stuff. What is the differance, independant thinkers. The left is speaking truths. mediamatters merely reports these type of things back to them. I have a suggestion. STOPING ATTACKING PEOPLE DAILY, gop. Or get off teh air. You don't want people to read your words back to you, that is your only options.

But switching the argument around to mediamatters is a cop out. At least americans see you people for what you are. About time

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

'The righties would say that the lefties hate America, and these incidents are proof. I wouldn't go that far...but stuff like this always seems to come from liberal sites like MediaMatters and thinkprogress; never from righty sites.'

'these incidents' -- this is one incident. one guy who lied. in the meantime, there's a whole huge org of guys who served in iraq, who are now against the occupation. And why would a rightwing site have an antiwar soldier? That's against their agenda, which is endless war.

As for damaging america's reputation abraod, hon, that one left me reeling. How on earth could it be any worse than it already is?

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

JD -- I understand your point and am fine with agreeing to disagree. I will reiterate, however, that I personally find much of Rush's speel at least as offensive as the Moveon ad, which was admittedly tasteless and uncalled for. Significantly, the United States Senate should not be spending any time debating EITHER statement. Last time I checked, we had a few important problems to deal with in this country that trump what either Rush or Moveon have to say.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Limbaugh "Worst Person" for claiming VA Tech shooter was a "liberal"
Monday, April 23, 2007 1:01PM "

Limbaugh said Virginia Tech shooter "had to be a liberal"
Thursday, April 19, 2007 7:29PM
Limbaugh compared Sharpton's NAN to "David Duke's ... whatever organization"
Thursday, April 19, 2007 2:32PM"

"Limbaugh: "[M]inorities never do anything for which they have to apologize"
Friday, April 13, 2007 6:01PM "

"Olbermann awarded Limbaugh "Worst Person" for "claiming criticism of Attorney General Gonzales is racism"
Friday, March 30, 2007 12:26PM "

"Myths and falsehoods about global warming
Friday, March 23, 2007 4:13PM "

"Latching onto L.A. Times op-ed, Limbaugh sings "Barack, The Magic Negro"
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:41PM "

sAY WHAT YOU WILL JD. this racist is going down. regards. your defense show independants more about you people. I LOVE it. Defending the un-defensable is a losing effort,s o you know

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's latest campaign commercial!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIoMsqEYyUU

You better vote for her....or else!

Posted by: Frommaine | September 28, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

JD -- I posted the ENTIRE transcript, from Rush's web site, above. I also noted that there is a paragraph, AFTER the cited exchange, where Rush brings up a specific example of a soldier that never made it out of basic training. Reading the entire thing, I don't think the representation about phony soldiers is wrong at all.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Colin, I appreciate your actually checking this stuff out, as opposed to the kneejerk reaction of many 'on your side of the aisle'.

Again, I'm not defending Rush, although I do find his show entertaining. From his addressing the issue today, on the radio, he made it extremely clear that he was talking about this one nimrod as the phony one, not any soldier who is anti-war.

Of course, maybe he's changing his tune due to the heat, and I'm willing to accept that that's a possibility. However, I'm also very willing to accept that MM, Kerry, and the rest of that gang is anxious to go to cry foul just to score political points.

I notice that the rufii has not defended the action of Jesse.... at least, not yet...

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

JD, explain what's wrong with the transcript. Did Media Matters leave out a paragraph? Did Limbaugh's own site make a transcription mistake? (Note that both the Media Matters transcript and the rushlimbaugh.com transcript are identical.) Was there something in tone of voice to indicate that he was being sarcastic? Tell us what information is only available by listening to the show.

Posted by: Blarg | September 28, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Limbaugh gave baseless interpretation of Clinton speech to claim she was "demeaning" blacks
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:53PM "

Limbaugh claimed Media Matters "fell for" his "liberal" gunman "joke" "hook, line, and sinker"
Monday, April 23, 2007 7:25PM "

"Limbaugh falsely accused Media Matters of not providing context for his "Obama Osama" comment
Monday, April 23, 2007 5:08PM"

I really can do this all dy. Really I can. Can you? Wher eis your proof jd? I can go on all day. What do you have? Show the independants what you people are about.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

For those who'd want a complete picture of this Phony Soldier controversy, here's more background

http://blackandright.mensnewsdaily.com/2007/09/28/rush-and-the-phony-soldiers/

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

drindl, Colin; please listen to the entire recording. Do not trust the website transcript. Then we can talk.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

| at 1:48P - just to clear the record, JB is not rich by any American standard. You could look it up, as they say.

Colin, I still think you are a reliable reporter.

JD, I understand you to be saying that at some point in the broadcast there was reference made to a liar who later was ap. reputedly lionized by some lefty site.
Was any of that true? The quoted sections by Blarg do seem to stand on their own as a heap of marron. Did you see my post to you last night about SCHIP and the Constitution?

drindl, you listen to Limbaugh and say he talks hate. I believe you. I have read that he is innaccurate and takes great licnese with facts. I am not going to be suckered into listening to him. Did MH ever say what he would do about Darfur?

Scott in PACNW, what is your take from up there? Is our guy Kevin Durant going to love Seattle? Will they love him?
[I also meant how do you sense your own acquaintances and friends and associates on politics - are any of them watching the forums, or are the campaigns non-events as they are for the circles of so many of us?]

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"liberal sites like MediaMatters and thinkprogress; never from righty sites."

wow. Thank you for teh opening

1. Show me one lie from mediamatters. they merely report what these liars say. They don't like to be called on their racism and lies at all. Show your proof, jd. It's as easy as this


2."O'Reilly: "[I]f I could strangle these people and not go to hell and get executed ... I would -- but I can't."
Thursday, September 27, 2007 6:04PM "

"Fox's Gibson claimed "George Soros is after Bill O'Reilly ... over some benign remarks"
Thursday, September 27, 2007 3:53PM "

"On her blog, Bruce attacked "the Soros Media Gestapo, Media Matters"
Thursday, September 27, 2007 12:16PM "

"CNN's Sanchez: O'Reilly "screamed at the top of his lungs for a very long period of time"
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 11:45AM "

"Coulter: "I do think anyone named B. Hussein Obama should avoid using 'hijack' and 'religion' in the same sentence"
Tuesday, June 26, 2007 1:55PM "

"Sixth and seventh newspapers drop Coulter -- editor of NC paper calls her CPAC comments "the last straw"
Friday, March 9, 2007 3:15PM "

"Limbaugh claims Dems' interest in Darfur is securing black "voting bloc"
Thursday, August 23, 2007 4:33PM "

Limbaugh: Democrats are "PR spokespeople for Al Qaeda"
Wednesday, August 1, 2007 2:17PM "

should I go one? I can do this all day?

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's the transcript from Rush's own site, just to be clear about sourcing. The entire conversation cited above occurs before, several paragraphs later, Rush gets around to talking about a specific story on one person who did apparently wash out of basic training. Again, that came AFTER the phony soldiers comment -- which was directed towards anyone against the war.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_092607/content/01125113.guest.html

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/09/28/estrich/

"This is what you get when you have a Rush Limbaugh Nation -- a country filled with war cheerleaders whose insatiable appetite for new military conflicts is matched only by their steadfast refusal to volunteer to fight. It results in an army so weak and depleted that, according to the Army's top officer, it is incapable of fighting in any other conflicts (and therefore posing a meaningful deterrent threat). Casey's specific warning that they are incapable of "respond[ing] to another conflict" was obviously issued with Iran at least partially in mind."

Posted by: greenwald | September 28, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

drindl, I concur. War is hell.

That doesn't change the fact, though, that the guy (Jesse MacBeth) was a liar, and stories like his are jumped upon to score political points (even damaging America's reputation abroad).

The righties would say that the lefties hate America, and these incidents are proof. I wouldn't go that far...but stuff like this always seems to come from liberal sites like MediaMatters and thinkprogress; never from righty sites.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"who is unelected and not responsible for anything he says...."

That is the reason for the disconnect. HE IS RESPONSILBE FOR WHAT HE SAYS.

HELLO. I know you people think this game is real funny. It's funny for me two. I'm gald Number 1 and number 2 are done, for all intensive purposes. Looks like I will be leaving this site soon. once rush hannity o'reilly and fox are done. It looks that the process is starting. With the defences of O'REIlly rush and those here, I see they don't have much time left. Finally we can start to re-buiold this great nation. Without people dividing us for profit. Just shows what the gop is about. I LOVE IT

Christmas came early this year :)

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Re: "Joe Biden is just another rich politician with nothing new to say"

Please take another look at Joe Biden's Net Worth -- it speaks for itself. Instead of using the system to increase his personal wealth over over a period of 30+ years in the Senate -- he's used his time to work for the benefit of the American People e.g. The violence Against Women Act.

As far as being a candidate with nothing new to say or add to the political discourse --- I'd be intereted in learning what other candidates are announcing on the subject of Iraq for an example.

Posted by: PV | September 28, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I see the identification of the eventual nominee as irrelevant. Clinton can't win in November because she's (a) associated with Bill, (b) a woman, (c) from New York (barely), and (d) despised by half of the democratic voters and all of the GOP voters; Obama can't win because (a) he's African American, (b) has a Muslim-sounding name, and (c)went to school, albeit if briefly, in an Islamic country; and Edwards can't win because (a) he's a trial lawyer who (b), according to the GOP, is responsible for the rising cost of your medical insurance because he sued hospitals and doctors, and (c) will be seen as a hyprocrite because he gets $400 haircuts, has two SUVs, and is building an enormous mansion. So, the GOP nominee wins in November.

Posted by: Jeff | September 28, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

JD & Mark -- I haven't heard the call but I've re-read the transcript and still think it's a pretty atrocious thing to say. We can parse this if you want to, and I'm not going to say my reading is the only acceptable one, but I don't appreciate the insinuation that I was somehow shilling for anyone.

Remember, in the same conversation Rush implies that ANYONE who doesn't support the Iraq war can't be a republican. He then discusses dissent with the war and "Phony soldiers" in the same conversation. Given Rush's history and past comments, I think the reading I put out there is quite legitimate.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Nothing is sewn up though I like to think Hillary's peaked.

Yes, Obama was rather lackluster at Dartmouth. His bigger mistake was not cancelling the rally to cast a vote against Kyl-Lieberman. I'd wish more people would pay attention to that. Edwards is right - Hillary gave the Bush, Cheney & Co. leave to attack Iran.

In my circle of friends/family - all Dems, all politically active to various degrees - only three are pro-Hillary: one Asian financier, one gay schoolteacher and one 50-something HR executive. They all support her for one reason - they want Bill Clinton back in the White House. All the other are still uncommitted except that they're Anyone-But-Hillary. Biggest problems: Clinton fatigue, untrustworthiness, arrogance and, most especially, the sense that she will wrap herself in the Cloak of Executive Privilege in a manner that will make Bush/Cheney look transparent. (The GQ flap is only a taste of what would come.)

As for Obama, I just jumped on the bus. Judging by my admittedly-limited knowledge, the roll-out's just begun. Oprah could easily have held her glitzy fundraiser last Spring. Surely the wait until right after Labor Day was long organized with the campaign. Fall will probably be all about getting the product out.

Add my name to the list of those who cannot vote for Clinton, especially after her vote for Kyl-Lieberman.

My dream ticket? Gore/Obama.

Posted by: GordonsGirl | September 28, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if you will the idea that the Libs on this site care more that a radio entertainer, whose job it is to talk non-stop for hours on end and be amusing the whole time, who is unelected and not responsible for anything he says....

Be compared in word and deed to an elected official, one who resides in the US Senate, who is running for President and Commander in chief. this person claimed that the general in charge of winning the war in Iraq was a liar. she wants to be his boss next year. when challenged on the personal attack in the NYTimes, she voted to condone the slander.

all the Libs on this site would rather investigate Rush Limbaugh and ignore hillary clinton. sort of tells you their agenda doesn't it. the Liberal Gestapo can't deal in words and deeds that matter. they must obfuscate their actual agenda to fool the voters.

who cares what rush Limbaugh said or bill O'Reilly. Liberals do if it helps them with their attacks.

Who cares what hillary clinton says? Liberals don't because it is indefensible. Call in the attack dogs to confuse the message - Media matters, mooooveon, CNN, NBC, Olbermann, whoever is dishonest enough to advance the deceptive message. As long as it detracts from the actual message the candidate might have. that would be suicide for them.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Blarg. I just don't see how you could interpret it any other way.

Media Matters is continually attacks by folks like Limbaugh and OReilly, and called liars, but when asked where or how they have lied, or editied, not one of the wingers has ever responded.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

'They were talking about how the liberal media (and yes, even my lefty friends agree that it's mostly liberal)'

I don't think you actually have any left friends, because that is laughable.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

you people are a joke JD. "dittoheads". Who would ever willing take that title? It puts you at the feet of a master. does that makeyou a slave to rush?

what a crock. They tried to get ratings off this garbage. I'll post the "contect again, if you so choose. It's on this blog. People can read for themselves what he said, jd. Who reported it means nothing. For them to smear or attack, don't they have to say their own words (mediamatters)? How can you attack someone by putting their words ,with context, out there? Explain you doublethink for once.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

'seen all these atrocities, our soldiers willingly slaughtering Iraqi kids,'

There proabably are atrocities, JD. Always are, in war. Look, I had friends who came back from Vietnam and told me things they had seen and done, things that haunted them and probably still do.

Wwhen you're a scared kid [military or not] in a situtation where you know people are out to get you and you don't even know who they are, you start losing it.

I remembe one guy told me he'd just watched his best buddy get blown up by a grenade tossed from a crowd of Vietnamese civs--women, children, old people, etc. So he turned his weapon on them and started shooting. He was crying when he told me. He hit several. And I didn't really blame him, under the circumstances.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I have to hear it in context? I'm reading it in context! The whole transcript of that section was already posted here. Are you saying that there was something in Limbaugh's tone of voice indicating that he meant only one soldier? Or that Media Matters lied when they transcribed it?

The caller specifically said that "If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve." He was contrasting the real soldiers and the phony soldiers, who complain about the war. Limbaugh and the caller agreed that real soldiers support the war, and soldiers who don't support the war are "phony". That's the only reasonable interpretation of the transcript.

Posted by: Blarg | September 28, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"'The Iraqi government meanwhile Friday firmly rejected a Bosnia-style plan approved by the US Senate to divide Iraq on ethnic and religious lines, saying Iraqis will themselves decide their future.'"

i saw it. I guess that hunt oil deal from a couple weeks ago makes sense now. When he made a deal with the kurds to cut out both others. The question is which came first? Was hunt in the know and made a business risk, if so bush has been lying to us and waiting to partitan the coutnry. As a result many soldiers are dead as a result of this lie. Now if they are partition BECAUSE of the hunt oil deal, that should prompt legal action, no?

Not until a new president. Current gop has zero accountability

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Name one thing that i have ever lied about, zouk. Just one. If you can't, STFU.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

To much truth blarg. Didn't we learn we cannot question these gods. These gods are above reprouch. they can say and do whatever they want. They lie to defend. If we call them on it we are , "taking them out of context"

this is a test for the gop. there's is no way rush and o'liely are this dumb. This is a test to see if the gop will practice what they preach. This is a test to see who is an AMERICAN and who is a PARTY LOYALIST to the gop sell-outs. Ship them to austrialia. That's my fix. Not very practical. But I can dream, can't I:)

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, I'm telling you, you need to hear it in context. Maybe you can download today's program off some website, I don't know.

They were talking about how the liberal media (and yes, even my lefty friends agree that it's mostly liberal) tends to find guys like this and trumpet their story.

Those people who make those claims, those were the 'phony soldiers' being referred to. Upon hearing it today (and this was the first time I'd heard of the controversy; I had no preconceived notions), I did not for one second think that Rush or his caller were referring to any soldier, who was against the Iraq war, was actually a phony.

That was trumped up by Media matters, Kerry, etc., to score political points (imagine that)

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see that 'fubar' post above? This part I mean:

'The Iraqi government meanwhile Friday firmly rejected a Bosnia-style plan approved by the US Senate to divide Iraq on ethnic and religious lines, saying Iraqis will themselves decide their future.'

There's no link, but it says it's from AFP -- I guess that's Agence France Presse, french source -- I haven't seen that in US news. Can anyone else confirm it? So much for JB's plan, looks like Iraqis ain't buying it.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

you make me smile, rufus. Passion and caring about issues are nice things to see.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"y'all have inspired me. I just donated to Obama!"

:)

Obama-gore 08 is an unbeatable ticket. Peace

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

the O'Liely and Rush incidents provide a unique oppurtunity for this nation to re-unite. this is a chance for the gop to show they are not as bad, and hypocrites, as most of the country thinks.

If they hold these two to the same standards they hold Rosie and the left, then they show something. if they are above the rules, as they have shone the last 6 years, they it only digs them deeper.

so it is a choice for the gop. Which is more important. Credibility. Praticing what you preach. Holding your own accountable for once.

Or not. Realize it is a lose lose for you.


for all you rpeople's high and mighty act jd, you rparty is now only at 15-30 %. The peopel WILL get out and vote. The more people that vote the worse for the gop. Your party is about to be rendered irrelevant for 30 years. After the election you will be begging me to listn to your people's garbage and propoganda.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

y'all have inspired me. I just donated to Obama!

Posted by: JL | September 28, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"In other words, he was a 'Phony Soldier'."

Thank you for showing your and your parties face. Hypocrites. Now you know why your party is in the tank. Because it is fille dwith people like yo and rush jd

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

JD, how do you get that from the quote?

"CALLER 2: No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country."

The caller refers to "all these soldiers" who talk to the media. Limbaugh agrees, and calls them "the phony soldiers". Note the plural. There's no reason to believe that they're talking about one specific person. In fact, the caller specifically says that all "real" soldiers want to be in Iraq, meaning that anyone who speaks out against being in Iraq is one of the phony soldiers. Why do you interpret that as talking about one specific person, when both Limbaugh and the caller use plurals?

Posted by: Blarg | September 28, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

hello drindl and Mark, thanks for responding (since I couldn't respond to rufus and violate my ignore-him policy....)"
Like anyone cares about your opinion. As if said, your elementary school kid games don't effect me. You are doing anything to me at all. Post your post. Any games you play are with yourself. Do what you will. respond to who you will. Your fear and hypocritcy, as well as childish games, show all independant thinkers wher ethe gop is mentally.

You must have a huge ego JD. your posts do not justify your ego

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

inner, you make some valid points, but don't ignore the greatest advantage of a cheap dollar: this should help stimulate Ameican exports, which means more jobs in this country. Everytime you hear someone decry the trade deficit w/China et al, they always worry about reducing imports (ie, tariffs and protectionism). Well, this should help by increasing exports, including computers, airplanes, services, cars, and a bunch of other durables.

Yeah, it sucks for the American tourist abroad, but that's a small price to pay

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Nor are they eager to tar the vast array of government hospitals and clinics that serve our nation's veterans. For one thing, the veterans' hospitals, once considered a second-rate backwater, now lead their private sector competitors in adopting electronic medical records and score well for delivering high quality care at relatively low cost. Even when the veterans' hospitals were rightly criticized this year for their part in the disgraceful failure to care adequately for soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, there was no clamor to junk or privatize the system, only demands to make it better.

Meanwhile, the two current butts of the "s-word" are such hybrids of public and private elements that it is hard to know how to characterize them. The State Children's Health Insurance Program, or S-chip, was denigrated by one Republican congressman this week as "a government-run socialized wolf masquerading in the sheep skin of children's health."

It might better be thought of as a "double-payer system" in which the states and the federal government put up the money, the states take the lead in defining the program and the actual care is typically delivered through private health plans by private doctors and hospitals.

The "s-word" seems even less appropriate for Senator Clinton's proposed universal health care plan, which seeks to bolster employer-provided health benefits and create new purchasing pools to help individuals buy private policies at low group rates.

True, her plan would expand government regulation, and she wants to make a Medicare-like option available to compete with private policies. But that would only lead to a socialized, single-payer system if everybody were to choose the Medicare-like option.

Posted by: fyi | September 28, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The epithet of choice these days for Republicans who oppose any expansion of government's role in health care programs is "socialized" medicine.

Rudy Giuliani has used the "s-word" to denounce legislation that would enlarge a children's health insurance program and to besmirch Hillary Clinton's health plan. Mitt Romney has added a xenophobic twist, calling the Clinton plan "European-style socialized medicine," while ignoring its similarities to a much-touted health care reform he championed as governor of Massachusetts. Other conservative critics have wielded the "s-word" to deplore efforts to expand government health care programs or regulation over the private health care markets.

Our political discourse is so debased that the term is typically applied where it is least appropriate and never applied where it most fits the case.

No one has the nerve to brand this country's purest systems of "socialized medicine" -- the military and veterans hospitals -- for what they are. In both systems, care is not only paid for by the government but delivered in government facilities by doctors who are government employees. Even so, a parade of Washington's political dignitaries, including President Bush, has turned to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for checkups and treatment, without ideological complaint. Politicians who deplore government-run health care for average Americans are only too happy to use it themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Pod, Florida is holding their primary before the starting point set by the RNC. So the RNC is punishing them by only allowing them to send half the normal number of delegates to the convention. So Giuliani might be able to win all of Florida's delegates, but that's not as significant this year as it was in the past.

Posted by: Blarg | September 28, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

hello drindl and Mark, thanks for responding (since I couldn't respond to rufus and violate my ignore-him policy....)

Again, I'm not defending the Rush for his outlandish history. However, he played the quotes today on the radio, which I heard on my way out for lunch. From the clips, it seemed very clear to me that the 'phony soldiers' line was referring to the guy who claimed to: a) have served in Iraq and Afghanastan, b) gotten a purple heart, c) been an Army Ranger (corporal if I remember, and d) seen all these atrocities, our soldiers willingly slaughtering Iraqi kids, etc. Turns out he went to boot camp, got drummed out, and became an icon of the left wing after making all these claims.

In other words, he was a 'Phony Soldier'.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

On the political front, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Iraq would have nothing to do with the US Senate plan to divide the country up.

"The government and its prime minister (Nuri al-Maliki) reject this vote," said .

"It is the Iraqis who decide these sorts of issues, no one else," Dabbagh said on state-run Al-Iraqiya television.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD (AFP) - American forces were accused of killing 10 people, including women and children, in a Baghdad raid on Friday,

The Iraqi government meanwhile Friday firmly rejected a Bosnia-style plan approved by the US Senate to divide Iraq on ethnic and religious lines, saying Iraqis will themselves decide their future.

Iraqi officials said the early-morning US air raid targeted a building in the majority Sunni Al-Saha neighbourhood in southwestern Baghdad where families were sleeping.

Bodies were pulled out of the rubble of the building, which was destroyed.

"Ten people were killed and seven wounded when American helicopters attacked Building No 139 at 2.00 am. We have no idea of the reason for the attack," said an interior ministry official.

There was no immediate comment from the US military.

An official at Baghdad's Al-Yarmuk hospital said 13 people -- seven men, two women and four children -- were killed and 10 men and a woman were wounded. He said all the casualties were civilians.

Posted by: fubar, just fubar | September 28, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Stewie from family guy is the modern gop HAHAHHA.

"I know you are but what am I"

elementary school is over zouk. Tell Kim I'll be over there at 8 o'clock. :)

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON - A small group of Republicans facing election fights next year have rallied around war legislation they think could unite the GOP: a call for an end to U.S. combat in Iraq, but not until President Bush is out of office.'

Posted by: teehee | September 28, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Regarding drindl:
It's not just the lies -- it's the extreme nastiness, as bad or worse than coulter. she'sone of the reasons the discourse in this country has become so divisive and bitter. she reallly, really, hates Republicans and trashes them constanlly in the most vile ways.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

because, PV, Biden is another rich, white, male politician with nothing new to say.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Part of the secret is this: Giuliani's stronghold of Florida holds the only January primary where the winner gets all the delegates. Every other January state - New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina - parcels out delegates to candidates piecemeal. (It's based either on the size of their victory or on who wins which congressional district.)

So Giuliani will leave each of those states with at least some delegates before he wins every single delegate in Florida on Jan. 29. At that point he takes the lead, with only a week to go before Super-Duper Tuesday.

The only way his rivals can take him down is for Giuliani to lose big in Iowa and New Hampshire. This, in theory, might cause a gigantic momentum shift toward someone else who could then obliterate Rudy's leads in the big states, maybe take Florida away from him and then change the plotline on Feb. 5.

So if Rudy wins in New Hampshire, then it's very, very difficult - absent the unforeseen event - to see how anyone stops him.

Rudy could win without the Granite State. But it's hard to see how he loses if the big story on the evening of Jan. 8 is Giuliani toppling Romney in New Hampshire.

And then? Ten months of Hillary vs. Rudy - the race of a tabloid journalist's dreams . . .

Posted by: Pod | September 28, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

For the life of me I can't understand why the democrats are not giving full support to Joe Biden as President. Undoubtedly, in my view, he is the best and most qualified of all the democratic candidates. We are mired in a war that has cost thousands of American and Iraqi lives, at a cost of almost a trillion dollars; and,after four and a half years, has created a severe rift among the American people.

Joe Biden is the only candidate who has taken time to think through a plan to get us out of Iraq without creating mass destruction in Iraq and the Middle East. Instead of embracing this man as our candidate we ignore him. I don't get it. Instead we want to put our arms around a former president's wife whose administration caused continual turmoil for this country. Yes, Bill Clinton was a good president, but his years in office were painful for the Clinton's and for the electorate who had to live through his presidency. In my humble opinion, knowing what we know about the past -- I doubt very much if nominated Hilliary Clinton can win a general election. Yet, the major newspapers e.g., New York Times, has declared her not oly the nominee but winner in 2008! Barack Obama is a great guy and will make a good president in 2012 or 2016, but not 2008. We need someone with proven experience in office. Someone like Joe Biden who knows not only all the players, but the right policies to pursue. As president, I am confident that once Biden creates an exit strategy out of Iraq he will do all in his power to rehabilitate our diminished reputation around the world and start to fix all the areas on our domestic front that have been subject to beneign neglect by our current administration.

Please take a look at Joe Biden -- he makes sense for our country in 2008.

Posted by: PV | September 28, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Mark, did you see what I wrote about limbaugh? I have listened to him many times [not for long, because it really makes me quite physically ill]. It's not just the lies -- it's the extreme nastiness, as bad or worse than coulter. He'sone of the reasons the discourse in this country has become so divisive and bitter. He reallly, really, hates Democrats and trashes them constanlly in the most vile ways. And he really does try to incite people to violence.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

(Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 08:30 AM)

Great post! Thanks for sharing that -- very interesting!

Posted by: Scott in PacNW | September 28, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

(Fortune Magazine) -- Housing price declines. Slowing job creation. Profit warnings from the country's biggest retailers. To an Econ 101 student, those are telltale signs of an imminent recession. Not surprisingly, the R-word has dominated talk among bankers for weeks.

"We're very close to stall speed in the economy," says Paul Kasriel, director of economic research at Northern Trust. And it's not just the usual Chicken Littles talking about it: Everyone from top auto executives to normally ebullient tech venture capitalists are making noises about the slowing economy. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, now at hedge fund D. E. Shaw, is adamant that there's a greater than 50% chance of a recession.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Peaks, valleys, bottomed-out, floundering, front-runner, etc.


108 days until somebody actually votes for any of these people.


It can't come soon enough.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 28, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

the O'Liely and Rush incidents provide a unique oppurtunity for this nation to re-unite. this is a chance for the gop to show they are not as bad, and hypocrites, as most of the country thinks.

If they hold these two to the same stands they hold Rosie and the left, then they show something. if they are above the rules, as they have shone the last 6 years, they it only digs them deeper.

so it is a choice for the gop. Which is more important. Credibility. Particing what you preach. Holding your own accountable for once.

Or not. Realize it is a lose lose for you. "You have only bad choices and worse."

Obama.

So there it is. Stick by your guns, or pratice what you preach. The country/world is watching to see how you play it. I most of all. do the right thing gop. Pull FOx Hannity o'reilly rush and malkin yourselves. Help us start the reconsiliation without these people who lie and divide the nation for profit.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

However, if you look at the financial markets' overall reaction to the Fed move - not at just the stock market's reaction - you realize that as a result of the cut, those of us who keep score in dollars and didn't need to be bailed out are less wealthy than we were in terms of anything other than our home currency.

Why? Because the rate cut contributed heavily to the dollar's recent sharp drop in the currency markets - parity with the Canadian dollar, for God's sake! - and to the price spike in hard assets like gold, silver, copper, and oil. So our wealth, relative to these other things, has diminished.

And wait, there's more. Even though the Fed has cut short-term rates, long-term rates, which it doesn't control, have risen in reaction to the cut. So whatever economic benefits may flow from lower shortterm rates will be partly offset by the rise in long rates, which are at least as important to the economy as short rates.

Finally, consider this. Even though Bernanke's cut may mean that some junk mortgages will reset at lower rates, the cost of large, high-quality fixed-rate mortgages, which are tied to long rates, will be higher than they'd otherwise be. (Yeah, penalize the people who are prudent - way to go!)

http://money.cnn.com/2007/09/28/news/economy/sloan_bernanke.fortune/index.htm?cnn=yes

Posted by: inneresting | September 28, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, JD, for the take on the Rush matter. I should not have commented about something I never heard. I was responding to Colin, who I assumed was reporting accurately. He is usually quite reliable!

I have read that Rush, on the other hand, is completely unreliable and that he chooses convenient fiction over inconvenient fact. If you listen to him regularly, you would know whether the reports I have read are true or not.
----------------------------------
Did you see my reply to you about SCHIP and the Constitution?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

'(CNN) -- President Bush told a global climate change conference Friday that the United States will do its part to improve the environment by taking on greenhouse gas emissions.

President Bush tells a global climate change conference Friday that "we take this issue seriously."

"We take this issue seriously," he said at the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change, which the White House sponsored.

In his address, Bush called on "all the world's largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions, including developed and developing nations," to come together and "set a long-term goal for reducing" greenhouse emissions.

"By setting this goal, we acknowledge there is a problem, and by setting this goal, we commit ourselves to doing something about it," he said'

Folks, we have just entered Bizarro World.

Posted by: for zouk | September 28, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani compared the scrutiny of his personal life marked by three marriages to the biblical story of how Jesus dealt with an adulterous woman.

Posted by: LOL some more | September 28, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

'Sorry. It's all but over for the Democrats.'

Utterly. Delusional. Moron.

Posted by: LOL that's for sure | September 28, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Check out Campaign Diaries for full analysis of the presidential race:
www.campaigndiaries.com

Posted by: Daniel | September 28, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"He's nothing but a filthy hate-monger and I am really astonished that anyone could defend his digusting indefensible remarks. He, like Ann Coulter, actively tries to incite people to kill Democrats, saying stuff like"

Thank you drindl. Thank you. They are inciting violence argaisnt americans. Right right wing in this country are the terrosrist. What is a terrorist?

"Terrorism in the modern sense[1] is violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians for political or other ideological goals.[2] Most definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear or "terror", are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or utterly disregard the safety of non-combatants. Many definitions also include only acts of unlawful violence."

sounds like the gop platform, if you sprinkle in racism and sexism of course.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Some me one lie zouk on that site. "

Show me one lie zouk. your reputation on this blog counts on it. Wait. Everybody already knows you jsut come here to attempt to silence me. You already have zero credibility for making real substansive truthful posts. So I guess a liar doesn't really care if he is shone for what he is.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

'turns out he was only in the service for 40 something days.'

He's still volunteered for the service, didn't he, JD? He's still in Iraq, isn't he? And anyway, I have heard limbaugh criticize antiwar soldiers, in plural, with my own ears.I listen sometimes when I'm in the car and wonder what the Office Winger Meme of the Day is. He's said it more than once. And it's not just soldiers. He regularly attacks women, gays, black people, brown people, Democrats, you name it.

He's nothing but a filthy hate-monger and I am really astonished that anyone could defend his digusting indefensible remarks. He, like Ann Coulter, actively tries to incite people to kill Democrats, saying stuff like, would be a shame if something happened to so and so. A hunting accident, or something. Oh btw, after a very public affair with a young black journalist [which broke up his 3rd marriage] he startd bragging about all the 'black mistresses' he had around the country.

For the record, Media Matters is not an 'anti-rush' site. It was founded by David Brock, a former rightwing hit man [leader of the smear squad against Anita Hilll] who got religion and decided to expose the lies of his former comrades.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"but I guess what disturbs me even more, we have not even addressed the genocide that's going on and the infanticide in our own country with the slaughter of millions of unborn children."

drindl, I think you picked well. Yet, I knew he was anti-abortion. Did he go on to explain what role we should play in Darfur?

I suspect not, because as JB said the other night, McCain is the only R who understands foreign policy. If RG is actually the candidate most ignorant of foreign policy, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo, and MH cannot be far ahead of him.
-------------------------------------
Someday America will have a black Prez. Someday we wil have a female Prez. Someday we will have a Latino Prez. Someday we will have a Jewish Prez. I once thought that the late great Barbara Jordan would kill two birds with one stone. Then I was sure I would be voting for Colin Powell and that he would be elected.

Because this morning's discussion has convinced me that the polls are not yet meaningful outside of IA and NH, and maybe SC, I see the D race as fluid. I do not think Biden will be the nominee because he is too centrist for the base. Of course, I will continue to support him.

I begin to think that Obama will convert his wide fundraising base into the nomination. If McCain is not the R candidate, despite my support, no D will have an experience deficit. In that case, I may be voting for America's first black Prez. I did not expect that possibility for 2008, until today. I probably would only consider other Rs if Biden, Dodd, or Obama are not heading the D ticket.

I reserve the right to change my mind, again and again, until Election Day.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

LIMBAUGH: Mike, you can't possibly be a Republican.

CALLER 1: I am.

LIMBAUGH: You are -- you are --

CALLER 1: I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You can't be a Republican. You are --

CALLER 1: Oh, I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You are tarnishing the reputation, 'cause you sound just like a Democrat.

"CALLER 1: See, I -- I've used to be military, OK? And I am a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: Yeah. Yeah
"


"CALLER 2: No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country.

LIMBAUGH: They joined to be in Iraq. They joined --

CALLER 2: A lot of them -- the new kids, yeah.

LIMBAUGH: Well, you know where you're going these days, the last four years, if you signed up. The odds are you're going there or Afghanistan or somewhere.

CALLER 2: Exactly, sir.

"

maybe you need to read so you knwo what you are talking about. Mm doesn't smaer or lie. They are a watchdog group. I have been working with them for years. They are doing the fcc's job for them. Some me one lie zouk on that site. Your lack of response will show all independant thinkers you and your party are nothing but lying propogandists. Good week for me. Bad week for the people I hate that are lying to the elderly and waging wars for profit

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

At this point, a little more than three months before voters show up in Iowa and New Hampshire, it's clear that none of Hillary's foes has the stomach to fight with her. Any that did would have been making a major issue on Wednesday out of her campaign's relationship with indicted mystery multimillionaire donor Norman Hsu.

Since none of them did, it's fair to speculate that they're all playing for second place already. Or that they're hoping she'll respond catastrophically in the wake of some unforeseeable event (as with President Bush and Hurricane Katrina), handing them an opening.

The importance of unforeseeable events is the subject of this year's hot pop social-science book, "The Black Swan." But the political consultants and campaign managers working for Hillary's rivals shouldn't take much comfort in that.

Such an event might strike before Feb. 5, the day the nomination will effectively be decided. But the anti-Hillary scenario requires more: She has to fumble, too. That's an astonishingly slender reed on which to hang hopes of an upset.

Sorry. It's all but over for the Democrats.

Posted by: Pod | September 28, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It would appear, based upon what we have experienced over the past 2 decades, that whomever emerges as victor in either party, the country will still be in for the same kind of rancor, vitriol and factionalism that was experienced over its most recent past.

One could say the same thing about party and national elections as could be said about our state lotteries, there is customarily only one or two winners, and afterwards nothing else seems to change!

Posted by: The Recv | September 28, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

For the lying propogandist appologists. Stop being hypocrites and practice what you preach

"From the September 26 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Mike in Chicago, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER 1: Hi Rush, how you doing today?

LIMBAUGH: I'm fine sir, thank you.

CALLER 1: Good. Why is it that you always just accuse the Democrats of being against the war and suggest that there are absolutely no Republicans that could possibly be against the war?

LIMBAUGH: Well, who are these Republicans? I can think of Chuck Hagel, and I can think of Gordon Smith, two Republican senators, but they don't want to lose the war like the Democrats do. I can't think of -- who are the Republicans in the anti-war movement?

CALLER 1: I'm just -- I'm not talking about the senators. I'm talking about the general public -- like you accuse the public of all the Democrats of being, you know, wanting to lose, but --

LIMBAUGH: Oh, come on! Here we go again. I uttered a truth, and you can't handle it, so you gotta call here and change the subject. How come I'm not also hitting Republicans? I don't know a single Republican or conservative, Mike, who wants to pull out of Iraq in defeat. The Democrats have made the last four years about that specifically.

CALLER 1: Well, I am a Republican, and I've listened to you for a long time, and you're right on a lot of things, but I do believe that we should pull out of Iraq. I don't think it's winnable. And I'm not a Democrat, but I just -- sometimes you've got to cut the losses.

LIMBAUGH: Well, you -- you --

CALLER 1: I mean, sometimes you really gotta know when you're wrong.

LIMBAUGH: Well, yeah, you do. I'm not wrong on this. The worst thing that can happen is losing this, flying out of there, waving the white flag. Do you have --

CALLER 1: Oh, I'm not saying that. I'm not saying anything like that, but, you know --

LIMBAUGH: Well, of course you are.

CALLER 1: No, I'm not.

LIMBAUGH: Bill, the truth is -- the truth is the truth, Mike.

CALLER 1: We did what we were supposed to do, OK. We got rid of Saddam Hussein. We got rid of a lot of the terrorists. Let them run their country --

LIMBAUGH: Oh, good lord! Good lord.

[...]

CALLER 1: How long is it gonna -- how long do you think we're going to have to be there for them to take care of that?

LIMBAUGH: Mike --

CALLER 1: How long -- you know -- what is it?

LIMBAUGH: Mike --

CALLER 1: What is it?

LIMBAUGH: Mike, you can't possibly be a Republican.

CALLER 1: I am.

LIMBAUGH: You are -- you are --

CALLER 1: I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You can't be a Republican. You are --

CALLER 1: Oh, I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You are tarnishing the reputation, 'cause you sound just like a Democrat.

CALLER 1: No, but --

LIMBAUGH: The answer to your question --

CALLER 1: -- seriously, how long do we have to stay there --

LIMBAUGH: As long as it takes!

CALLER 1: -- to win it? How long?

LIMBAUGH: As long as it takes! It is very serious.

CALLER 1: And that is what?

LIMBAUGH: This is the United States of America at war with Islamofascists. We stay as long -- just like your job. You do everything you have to do, whatever it takes to get it done, if you take it seriously.

CALLER 1: So then you say we need to stay there forever --

LIMBAUGH: I -- it won't --

CALLER 1: -- because that's what it'll take.

LIMBAUGH: No, Bill, or Mike -- I'm sorry. I'm confusing you with the guy from Texas.

CALLER 1: See, I -- I've used to be military, OK? And I am a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: Yeah. Yeah.

CALLER 1: And I do live [inaudible] but --

LIMBAUGH: Right. Right. Right, I know.

CALLER 1: -- you know, really -- I want you to be saying how long it's gonna take.

LIMBAUGH: And I, by the way, used to walk on the moon!

CALLER 1: How long do we have to stay there?

LIMBAUGH: You're not listening to what I say. You can't possibly be a Republican. I'm answering every question. That's not what you want to hear, so it's not even penetrating your little wall of armor you've got built up.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Another Mike, this one in Olympia, Washington. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER 2: Hi Rush, thanks for taking my call.

LIMBAUGH: You bet.

CALLER 2: I have a retort to Mike in Chicago, because I am a serving American military, in the Army. I've been serving for 14 years, very proudly.

LIMBAUGH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER 2: And, you know, I'm one of the few that joined the Army to serve my country, I'm proud to say, not for the money or anything like that. What I would like to retort to is that, if we pull -- what these people don't understand is if we pull out of Iraq right now, which is about impossible because of all the stuff that's over there, it'd take us at least a year to pull everything back out of Iraq, then Iraq itself would collapse, and we'd have to go right back over there within a year or so. And --

LIMBAUGH: There's a lot more than that that they don't understand. They can't even -- if -- the next guy that calls here, I'm gonna ask him: Why should we pull -- what is the imperative for pulling out? What's in it for the United States to pull out? They can't -- I don't think they have an answer for that other than, "Well, we just gotta bring the troops home."

CALLER 2: Yeah, and, you know what --

LIMBAUGH: "Save the -- keep the troops safe" or whatever. I -- it's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.

CALLER 2: No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country.

LIMBAUGH: They joined to be in Iraq. They joined --

CALLER 2: A lot of them -- the new kids, yeah.

LIMBAUGH: Well, you know where you're going these days, the last four years, if you signed up. The odds are you're going there or Afghanistan or somewhere.

CALLER 2: Exactly, sir.

--A.J.W.
"

www.mediamatters.org

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Media matters is the michael moore wing of the Liberal gestapo. they selectivly edit what they can find and then release it. It is all pure propoganda. not a shred of truth or decency comes from this sad organization.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Colin and mark, that 'phony soldiers' comment was actually taken out of context by media matters (very lefty anti-rush site); he was referring to an individual 'soldier' who was feted by the anti-war left for decrying the war; he claimed to have a purple heart, been a Ranger, etc; turns out he was only in the service for 40 something days. "

wow sounds liek I've heard that boefore. O'Reilly has been claiming for two days now mm smeared him. Maybe they should walk so close to the line they are wlalking then. Media matters prints what they say back to them. If these fascists don't want their words repeated I have a great solution. GET OFF THE AIR. Stop propogating and lying to the elderly for profit.

JD, when will your party and it's participents taje responsibility for anything they do? Didn't this happen to coulter alos. Way does Imus rather and rosie have to step down? Why does this street only run one wat. Seriously. I'm interested in how you goper;s justify you rdouble think. How do you justify silencing the left but not the right?

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

come on, Matt, Dean had it "in the bag", too. There is simply no way people can guess how the caucuses will come out

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

On Wednesday, however, her fellow candidates were all forcefully rejecting torture as an option. Perhaps fearing that she had already ducked too many questions (responding to Syria, her Iraq vote, Social Security, etc.), and not wanting to appear equivocal, she gave her full-throated rejection of torture without thinking that it contradicted her previous statements on the issue.

Her quick response to Russert's surprise seemed to go over well with both the audience and with media pundits, but it once again highlights a less flattering trait than her sense of humor. Hillary is all too quick to respond with an answer that makes her look good at the expense of the truth.

Few may recall the controversy and scandal that rocked the first years of Bill's administration and even fewer may be aware that a great deal of the problems were caused or exacerbated by Hillary. Whether it was Travelgate, Whitewater billing records, the Health Care debacle, or any other of the innumerable early stumbles, Hillary regularly shaded the truth and held back information. This tendency caused suspicion and distrust among the media and White House staff and acerbated an already shaky start for the new president.

Her memoirs are also laughably slanted even by the low standards of that genre. Quite simply her natural instinct is to withhold information and attack anyone who questions her. She may try to hide this by laughing whenever a question is raised, or by offering deadpan one-liners, but it is clear that Hillary shares her husband's seeming inability to offer a straight answer.

The question is whether she will share his remarkable ability to get away with it. For the sake of the country, let's hope not.

Posted by: richard | September 28, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"Rufus, do you not like Kucinich? NOt being snarky, it is a serious question. Is he not anti-way left?"

I like the words that come out of his mouth. let's put it that way. Interpret as you will.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid Hillary has this in the bag. And Edwards is painfully close to dropping down a tier.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | September 28, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"As for me, I have never identified myself as a "D" -- mainly because I'm not one. I usually vote that way, but that's mainly because the GOP candidates I'm presented with are almost invariably rightwingnuts"

I don't know how anyone with a brian or heart could vote republcians. I don't know how anyone with a spine could vote democrat. So what am I to do? Not vote? That is teh approuch me and most young americans take. What are our options. The gop and the red scare of the fifties is at fault. We have one party, differant sides to the same coin. the only to fix what ailes this country is another coin. If only to keep the current coin in check.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

anti-war, jeez, sorry

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, do you not like Kucinich? NOt being snarky, it is a serious question. Is he not anti-way left?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Colin and mark, that 'phony soldiers' comment was actually taken out of context by media matters (very lefty anti-rush site); he was referring to an individual 'soldier' who was feted by the anti-war left for decrying the war; he claimed to have a purple heart, been a Ranger, etc; turns out he was only in the service for 40 something days.

I'm not the biggest rush fan in the world, but you can't just take whatever John Kerry and Howard Dean say as gospel.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The cheating spouse thing comes up often and I would like for each of you to think of folks you have known 10 years or more, then think of how many you suspect or know, including yourself, of cheating at some time in their marriage, whether they are divorced or not. Betcha most of you will go over 50%.

Posted by: lylepink | September 28, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Colin: bsimon and I were talking about his smug friends, not him.

As for me, I have never identified myself as a "D" -- mainly because I'm not one. I usually vote that way, but that's mainly because the GOP candidates I'm presented with are almost invariably rightwingnuts.

And by far most of my negative posts are aimed at brain-dead conservatives, not libs or Dems.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 28, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"actually, Rufus, Obama voted against the war resolution."

you think I don't know that. I've said I am a obama supporter many times. Do the words that are typed on this blog ever enter your peopel's brains. If do they bounce off into the world? WOW. Dense.

The "rabid" anti-war left has no candidate. Obama is not doing what I do. Obama is not following cindy sheehan's path. THE ANTI_WAR LEFT HAS NO CANDIDATE. So bashing me and moveon and votevets does nothing. The left in this coutnry is not represented. Edwards and obama come the closest. Like someone said above, sometimes is bad and worse. When obama came out it was all good and the hope was high. He has slipped in my view. It is a calculation. The gop likes to say the left has never elected anyone. Obama is tilting right to pick up conservative voters. Nothing wrong with that, as long as he doesn't sell-out to them as clinton already has.

I'm still with obama. If he ran as an independant I would be happier. It would free him up. But the "rabid" anti-war left has no candidate, or senators. The last 4 months should have shone you all that. If the left have candidates they would be doing our will and pushing the issues we care about. I moveon and those like us are gop lightning rods. We are not running and have no candidates. So I'm not sure what zouk and the fascists are trying to say. Probably jsut propogating and lyinglike they always do

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

My beef with this post is the pictures. Where do you get them??? Most of them look cheery but Thompson looks ancient and stupid, McCain looks downright depressed and HRC looks like Cruella D'Ville. I mean, really. The Post today has a great article about the demeanor of the candidates and how that may subtly impact our perceptions. Do we really need to reinforce the subtle manipulation with the campaign pictures?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

looks like the gop is not backing away from your boy rush.

"Coming Monday: A Ninety-Minute Conversation with Justice Thomas"

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"I didn't say anything about blaming such people, I said they shouldn't complain if someone worse than Hillary gets elected."


Indeed, and likewise the Hillary supporters shouldn't complain when people don't flock to her side as the lesser of two evils. Its a pretty crappy reason to vote for someone.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Loudoun -- bsimon is decidedly NOT a liberal. He's an 'I', so it's actually rather consistent for him to refuse to support a nominee just b/c they have a 'D' next to their name. I tend to agree with you that it's better to support the lesser of two evils and will therefore vote for Hillary if she's the nominee without significant reservations. But it's worth considering that picking up folks in the CENTER like bsimon as well as more liberal folks may be difficult for Hillary.

From a policy standpoint, she's too moderate for the base. From a perception standpoint, at the very least, she's too liberal and divisive for the centrists. Tough combo to win a general election with.

Finally, if you are a 'D' why do you bash anyone that disagrees with you as a "liberal?" Sort of childish.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

the cheating spouse comment was a joke, folks. A play on the "relate to" issue. I was joking that people who'd been cheated on might feel allied with Hillary in that arena. Sheesh, people.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

actually, Rufus, Obama voted against the war resolution.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Just like the repubs had to eliminate the overpowering influence of the religious right, this direction represented in the Rudy voters, in order to recover from the sinking feeling(some fiscal responsibility would be nice too), the Dems will have to become moderate and sensible to win anything in the future. all the personality smears, the avoidance of fact, the baseless attacks, the power hungry tactics, the ignorance of economics and morality, the desire for big government, the onsluaght of regulation and the hope for more taxes; these characteristics require the Dems to chew off that "


Your a wacko zouk. Is this obama? personal attacks and smears. Whoa re you talking about. Who represents me. Rufus is not running for president zouk. Get in the real word buddy. the anti-war left doesn't have a candidate anymore. I know you hate americans liek me and freeedom. But if you hate your country, move to china.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"anon says about a FOX poll, that
"and these are FOX viewers...""

didn't I say Fox was pushing hillary? Didn't I tell you people the R's are pushign the opposition ticket? There's one way to win. Run against yourself.

do you hear me now?

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: "if you don't, be prepared to take the blame when someone worse gets elected."

The quality of your posts -- or perhaps your reading comprehension -- is dropping, sadly. I didn't say anything about blaming such people, I said they shouldn't complain if someone worse than Hillary gets elected.

And yes, sometimes elections are a choice between someone bad and someone worse. That's how it works. Tell your friends to deal with it. Life is tough, I know.

No wonder idiots like zouk have such a field day poking fun at liberals.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 28, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I am expecting the Dem party to have a "double coyote ugly" morning coming soon. they will awaken and find under one arm - hillary clinton. It may be too late by then to chew off that arm to win the election.

The other arm, the one that must be chewed off so that they don't do it again, is currently cuddling the 11%ers, the ones who watch Olbermann and CNN. the mooooveon/NYTimes wing of the party. the business sense of air America.

Unless and until the Dems can rid the evil influence of these kooks and nuts,( watch for them on this site, they love it here), they will remain the minority party for years to come.

Just like the repubs had to eliminate the overpowering influence of the religious right, this direction represented in the Rudy voters, in order to recover from the sinking feeling(some fiscal responsibility would be nice too), the Dems will have to become moderate and sensible to win anything in the future. all the personality smears, the avoidance of fact, the baseless attacks, the power hungry tactics, the ignorance of economics and morality, the desire for big government, the onsluaght of regulation and the hope for more taxes; these characteristics require the Dems to chew off that arm.

clinton represents all the worst urges and history of this. she will make Bill look like a DINO, which in many respects, he was.

it is like nominating Kerry all over again. Or McGovern, or Dukakis or.....

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 28, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

anon says about a FOX poll, that
"and these are FOX viewers..."

A small point, perhaps, but somewhat important. When FOX, or any other organization, commissions a poll, the polls are typically not only of their viewers. FOX, or CNN, or Wash Post, or your local paper, will commission a polling company to ask certain questions. These polling companies are staffed by statisticians and marketing research people who now how to properly collect 'unbiased' samples of respondents that allegedly are representative of the population at large. In other words, when Fox polls, or the NYT polls, they are trying to get a feel for what everyone thinks, not just their audience.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"Jon Soltz| BIO
So I'm a "Phony Soldier," Rush?
Posted September 27, 2007 | 03:07 PM (EST)

As Media Matters reported today, Rush Limbaugh, on his show said that those troops who come home and want to get America out of the middle of the religious civil war in Iraq are "phony soldiers." I'd love for you, Rush, to have me on your show and tell that to me to my face.

First, in what universe is a guy who never served even close to being qualified to judge those who have worn the uniform? Rush Limbaugh has never worn a uniform in his life -- not even one at Mickey D's -- and somehow he's got the moral standing to pass judgment on the men and women who risked their lives for this nation, and his right to blather smears on the airwaves?

Second, maybe Rush doesn't much care, but the majority of troops on the ground in Iraq, and those who have returned, do not back the President's failed policy. If you go to our "Did You Get the Memo" page at VoteVets.org, there's a good collection of stories, polls, and surveys, which all show American's troops believe we are on the wrong track, not the right one, in Iraq.

Does Rush believe, then, that the majority of the US Armed Forces are "phony?"

Third, the polls and stories don't even take into account the former brass who commanded in Iraq, who are incredibly critical of the Bush administration, and it's steadfast refusal to listen to those commanders on the ground who have sent up warning after warning. Major Generals John Batiste and Paul Eaton left the military and joined VoteVets.org for that very reason.

Does Rush believe that highly decorated Major Generals are "phony soldiers?"

Finally, as Media Matters notes, just recently, members of the 82nd Airborne in Iraq wrote a New York Times op-ed, very critical of the course in Iraq, and suggesting it was time to figure out the exit strategy. Two of them just died. Will Rush call up their grieving parents and tell them that they should stop crying, because they were just "phony soldiers?"

Get the point here, Rush?

You weren't just flat out wrong, you offended a majority of those of us who actually had the courage to go to Iraq and serve, while you sat back in your nice studio, coming up with crap like this.

My challenge to you, then, is to have me on the show and say all of this again, right to the face of someone who served in Iraq. I'll come on any day, any time. Not only will I once again explain why your comments were so wrong, but I will completely school you on why your refusal to seek a way out of Iraq is only aiding al Qaeda and crippling American security.

Ball's in your court.
"

www.votevets.org

Posted by: support the troops | September 28, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, That day was December 11, 2000.

We get to come out of the hole on November 4, 2008

Posted by: Andy R | September 28, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

'Maybe many of those relating to Hillary had cheating spouses.'

well zouk's here -- right on schedule. rational discussion goes out the window.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

exactly, WTF. Obama appeals to me because he goes out of his way to hear both sides. Why should "experience" be a positive when it just means the candidate has turned into a mindless drone of the party?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"Here's a prediction. Barack Obama will turn down any offers to be VP. He would not want his future to be tainted by being anyone else's water carrier. To further his ultimate ambition, he'll choose to become governor of Illinios to address his executive branch qualifications if need be. He WILL be president some day. Personally, I hope it is 2008."

Word is born. Obama Gore 08. If Obama doesn't get the nomination, I pray he drops the d. This way he will not be held down by the clinton, kerry's and liebermans. Or should I say the sell-out moderate democrats. I hope he gets with a thrid party. This gives him 3 years to build up, after the last couple, and push for a real valid thrid party in this country. That is the only way we can save this country. the gop is done. The d's are following them to oblivion. The american people used to run this country. We will again.

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Mark, this is my problem with Huckabee --it's two sides of the same coin, or a double-edged sword -- whatever. I think he is, off all the R field, the most principled. I do beleive that he says, really feels, very strongly. But it's not what I beleive...

'When asked about Darfur, Huckabee responded: "I think we have some role to play in it, but I guess what disturbs me even more, we have not even addressed the genocide that's going on and the infanticide in our own country with the slaughter of millions of unborn children."

Now, if he feels that strongly, how can not try to do something about it? He is, I think, a committed evangelical. Havig ben raised as one, I can tell you, you cannot NOT try to 'save' people or change polilcies you disagree with. You are, literally, on a mission from God, and your whole life revolves around that. You are obligated [and your salvation in heaven depends on it] to try to convert every living soul you meet to born-againism.

So while I think he's a good and decent man, I disagree with very stronglly on just about eveything.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with those who state that if Hillary is the nominee, I will stay at home and not vote.

I could care less about the "if you don't..then..." tactics political parties always attempt to trump out to dissuade people from voting. I don't believe in continuing to vote in sync with a party that is so hell bent on "beating the republicans" that they could care less about the lack of vetting the top candidates get.

If anyone is comfortable with a candidate (of either party) who only the media has annointed as the most experienced with no factual information to bolster, then you can have at the election period.

So while hillary may be able to "win" I've yet to see how her experiences helped her work with the other side.

Like it or not, the next president will have to do just that---work with the other side.

Can Hillary do that?

Are the democrats even interested in that?

Nope.

Republicans

Nope.

Time for something new.

Posted by: WTF? | September 28, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

just mean that drindl attacking Rudy and
Bush is so hackneyed, so predictable -- it may be 'smart' but geez, what else does she ever do? what else has she got?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure what "relate to" means? How is it relevant? I don't want a president who would be my best drinking buddy (hell, Bush probably would be fun. He should have stuck with the baseball gig). I want someone who can lead, consider issues carefully, listen to dissenting views, understand complex problems, care about the poor and minorities still discriminated against, be willing to learn, is not an ideologue, etc, etc. (basically, everything George Bush is not) This person is not running for "most likable". This person is running to lead our country in an awful time. No, he or she shold not be a total pill, but should I be able to relate to him or her? I don't think so. I support Obama and I know I could never feel what he felt as a Black man. My white skin protects me from that. But I think it makes him better able to lead a diverse country.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I definitely agreed more with the Bush I - Eisenhower foreign and military policy back in the day. That is why I usually voted Republican for president during the cold war. i think the current administration is delusional on those issues.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 28, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

While more people in that unscientific polls said they could relate to Hillary Clinton, more people said they could not either. Giuliani is the only one without net negatives. However, I would not put too much stock in that kind of a "poll".

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 28, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I know that this is sort of fighting for scraps here, but I think Biden deserves a spot on the line above Dodd, mainly for the reasons that you talked about.

Those Iowa endorsements are going to mean something in a caucus situation.. Biden will sign up a lot of precinct captains and have a strong showing.. If he finishes first or second, it boosts his chances significantly.

Posted by: Emceemc | September 28, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe many of those relating to Hillary had cheating spouses.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

JimD -- yeah, I thought the article was pretty solid as well. I've always been a democrat, but I miss the days when a "conservative" view on foreign policy mirrored the positions of Bush I and, further back, Eisenhower. Heck, even GWB sounded reasonable in the run up to 2000 when he advocated a more "humble" foreign policy. Boy, that sure went by the wayside.

Anyway, thanks for your input.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

even active duty Army personnel participated in uniform at a McCain campaign event this month -- in apparent violation of Defense Department rules that prohibit uniformed personnel from engaging in such political activity, today's Boston Globe reports.

A DOD spokesman appeared to confirm to the paper that the soldiers were in violation. But the key to the story is this interview with one of the participants:

In a brief interview after the event, Sergeant First Class Chad Kozdra, the commanding officer at the recruiting station, said he had been approached days earlier about participating in the event by the McCain campaign.
He said he supported McCain and had done so in 2000.

"What they were told is that this was a support-the-troops barbecue," not a campaign appearance, said Paul Boyce, a US Army public affairs officer.

In fact, the Globe reports, the rally was part of McCain's "No Surrender" tour of early-primary states, despite the soldiers having been told that this was a "support-the-troops" barbeque.

In other words, it looks as if the McCain campaign induced these soldiers into a situation where they were in violation of DOD regs. A McCain spokesperson denied to The Globe that this was intended as a political event, but an expert in military affairs told the paper that it was a clear violation.

Posted by: despicable | September 28, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

'There's a fascinating number buried in the new Fox News poll:

Would you describe [candidate name] as someone you can really relate to or not?
Hillary Clinton: Yes 45%; No 48%

Rudy Giuliani: Yes 43%; No 43%

Barack Obama: Yes 41%; No 43%

John McCain: Yes 37%; No 44%

Fred Thompson: Yes 26%; No 43%

So the candidate most voters can relate to is Hillary, who's routinely described by pundits as having a likability problem. The candidate the least voters can relate to is Fred Thompson, who's routinely described by pundits as affable. '

so much for that argument. and these are FOX viewers...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Despite its heavy Republican lean in Presidential contests, national and local Democrats are hoping to make a serious play for the district of retiring Congressman Terry Everett (R-AL).

Among those considering the race is Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, a self-described independent with ties to the state Democratic Party. Bright, who recently was re-elected with nearly 60% of the vote in a crowded field.

Posted by: new alabama seat in play | September 28, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Colin

I think Al Franken was correct - Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot. As is often the case, Rush has crossed the line of decency. Anyone who takes that fool seriously cannot have much intellectual capability.

As for the article you posted, it was a thoughtful critique of Petraeus' testimony and an intersting analysis. I do not believe military leaders should be immune from criticism. I just think that low blows like "General Betray-us" and "phony soldiers" are beneath contempt.

One sentence in that article really struck me: "The antidote to Islamic radicalism, if there is one, won't involve invading and occupying places like Iraq." And the people said AMEN

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 28, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Let me guess, Cillizza is Italian for Huckabee?

Your sad devotion to propping up his limited camapaign Chris is touching but once again shows poor perception of what's going on outside the Beltway on your part, which is the trouble with most political reporters and bloggers.

In just the last few days before the end of the quarter, Ron Paul's supporters have raised over $500,000 on the internet out of their own pockets and could raise a million by midnight Sunday. Paul's supporters pay for TV and radio commerical out of their own pockets. They post signs, man state fair booths and attend meetings in force like they did in Michigan last weekend at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference. Here you are right next to Maryland and you conviently forgot to tell you readers (just like you did with that Biden poll according to Kevin Drum) that Ron Paul won the Maryland GOP Straw Poll, a state that's bigger than Iowa and has more electoral votes? And where were all of Huckabee's supporters hmm? Someplace else? On the carosuel? Where? Why can't they be bothered to do the kind of things Ron Paul supporters are doing to help their man? For supposedly a "third tier candidate" why does Ron Paul have arguably more grassroots supporters than anyone else?

Ron Paul has more nationwide support than Huckabee, he has more money in the bank and is positioned with his views to frame the overall GOP debate. And if that's not good enough, here's some hard polling data: In the lates Gallup nationwide poll, both Paul and Huckabee are tied at 4 percent.

Me thinks the line is rigged.

Posted by: Sean Scallon | September 28, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Colin - I am hoping Rush stepped into it WITH HIS OWN AUDIENCE as much as he did with those of us who have never listened to him."

good luck with that. only democrats are held accountalbe right now. Only republcians have free speech. Welcome to my world. Haven't you people seen zouk and others use the same tactic here, on me? This is what they do. No surprise to me. No surprise either that their fascist racist dittohead listeners (including o'reilly's) will never pull them off the air. Like bush these people never have to take responsibility for anythign they do. they just point at the other side and say "I know yu are but what am I"

Or if you say" O'REIlly/rush , why did you say this this and this."

"Where did you hear that" is the answer. makes no sense to me. Dittoheads these days. Why do you hate your country so. Why have you waged war on us

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Colin... what I think too. I also think that the MSM is so accustomed to hearing outrageous and inflammatory rhetoric coming from the right that they really don't hear it anymore.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

JimD -- I largely agree with your sentement and am not going to pretend that I'm really "outraged." I do, however, think it's pretty interesting that there was a major media uproar regarding the moveon ad whereas you haven't heard anything approaching the same response regarding Rush's comment, which in my view is probably worse in that it addresses soldiers on the ground.

To be clear, I'm not arguing that's b/c of some kind of conspiracy. It's simply that the right wing noise machine is incredibly effective at this crap and the lef's version isn't nearly as good. It would be nice, however, to see the media affirmatively seek out some balance by reporting on the Rush stuff as well.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Hey CC, I have an idea that would be really interesting. You should do a line for the wives (and husband) of the candidates on their strengths and weaknesses for the campaigns."

great idea

Posted by: rufus | September 28, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, you're right, JimD. Although CC sometimes seems a little too enthused about the Rs.

But rudy especially offends me, of all of them, because he's says things that are egregiously, absolutely absurd, like that he'll pay for infrastructure like bridges with 'tax cuts.' Okay? Or for his health plan [which is basically tax cuts for people who alaready have health insurance] with ... wait for it.... tax cuts.

Even ten years ago, saying something like that would have gotten you laughed off the stage. Now, a sizable number of folks in the R base beleive this stuff.

I've been around a long time and i'm trying to figure out just exactly when my country went down the rabbit hole.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

whoowho. The republcian's attempt to give themselves a chance be CHEATING, fails. Now what are you going to do gop? How are you going to cheat now? You lost thsi is ,cali.

Maybe you can do what you did in texas. re-district the country to give yourselves more votes. Cheat, it's your only chance to win. The more people that vote the less likely for a gop win. Forever. The only chance they have is voter supperssion and games like this. Your being watched now gop. Play time with the government for your profit is over.


"We Won! BREAKING NEWS: Electoral initiative backers give up
By: John Amato @ 6:38 AM - PDT Congratulations to the Courage Campaign and everyone that joined in. I was going to fight this to the end. Remember, we have more voters than they do, so they need to cheat to win. We must always fight for our right to vote and not let the system get played by the sneaky Republican operatives.

Plagued by a lack of money, supporters of a statewide initiative drive to change the way California's 55 electoral votes are apportioned, first revealed here by Top of the Ticket in July, are pulling the plug on that effort.

In an exclusive report to appear on this website late tonight and in Friday's print editions, The Times' Dan Morain reports that the proposal to change the winner-take-all electoral vote allocation to one by congressional district is virtually dead with the resignation of key supporters, internal disputes and a lack of funds.
"

Posted by: www.crooksandliars.com | September 28, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

This is a sad commentary on the state of political discourse in this country when the news revolves around attacking politicians for not denouncing the stupidity of the more extreme groups supporting their party. Personally, I have no use for Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore, Sean Hannity or Moveon.org

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 28, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

very good point, Louis. Obama is doing well in Iowa, so he might surge there.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Everyone thought Howard Dean was going to be the nominee and that he had it locked up, yet in only 8 days things changed and we got John Kerry.

As for Hillary Clinton I think we could learn a lesson from Howard Dean. Any poll now should be taken with a grain of salt: i.e. it's doubtful we'll see Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich as the nominees, but as far as Barack Obama and John Edwards, don't rule them out.

Posted by: Louis | September 28, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

JimD -- I'd be curious what your reaction to Rush's statement is as well as the American Conservative article I linked to above.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I wonder when Rudy is going to take out a full page ad attacking Rush. Probably tomorrow, right?

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Loudon writes
"Guess they'd rather just have nothing get done for four years. Then the Repubs will have six years of a "do-nothing Congress to run against in 2012. How silly and short-sighted."

Is it more silly and shortsighted for them to vote their conscience and not support someone they view as a bad candidate, or for that candidate to be jammed down their throats in the first place? If the Dems want to win, they should nominate a candidate people will support. If they nominate someone divisive who doesn't appeal to a majority of voters, how can they then logically blame a loss on people who warned them ahead of time?


"Here, vote for someone you don't like - and if you don't, be prepared to take the blame when someone worse gets elected."

Pure idiocy.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

drindl,

Your vehemence did not offend me, I just thought you were shooting the messenger. I don't disagree with your assessment of Giuliani's statements, it is just that Chris was accurately reporting the political upside for Giuliani among Republican primary voters. The "unholy trinity" was a quote from a Republican strategist.

Posted by: JimD in Fl | September 28, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I think that Richardson is going to have a surprise second place finish in either Iowa or New Hampshire--or both. If Hillary Clinton were not running, I think he'd be the front runner. He may shoot from the hip too much, but he's the only one who can say that he brings a fresh set of eyes to Washington while having the holy political trifecta of executive, foreign policy and legislative experience. I don't see how he's NOT the Veep pick, since he'll put states like New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and even Florida into play.

Posted by: Ron | September 28, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, isn't that amazing, Blarg? On the web they show [eww] pix of celebrity gals with no underwear, but you're not allowed to talk about Vi*gra. Strange world, ain't it?

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

• The transcript of last night's Republican debate on PBS is available here.

• With the top four Republicans skipping this debate, which was dedicated to minority issues, viewers got a great chance to check out the second tier (Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback), the third tier (Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo), and -- skipping the vacant fifth and sixth tiers -- the seventh tier (Alan Keyes).

• Overall, Huckabee really shined in this environment, and was in many ways the real winner of the event.

• The six candidate who showed up all lambasted the no-shows to various degrees, with Mike Huckabee saying he was "ashamed" of the Republican Party for this, and Ron Paul quipping that he was there for the simple reason that he was invited, and he's glad to show up where people invite him. Sam Brownback offered black voters offended by the no-shows an easy way to get back at them: Register Republican, and vote in their primary for one of the six candidate who did show up.

• Right off the bat, talk-radio host Tom Joyner got in a jab at the four Republican no-shows. "And let me take a moment right here and now to say hello to those of you viewing from home," Joyner said. "Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Senator John McCain. Governor Mitt Romney. And Senator Fred Thompson. Well, you know, I had to call them out."

http://tpmelectioncentral.com/2007/09/election_central_debate_roundup_11.php#more

I guess black people are invisible, or just don't exist to the Beltway Bubbleheads.

Posted by: the debate CC ignored | September 28, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

'Murphy, an Iraq war veteran, said in a statement:

When someone like Rush Limbaugh says that soldiers who disagree with the failed strategies of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are "phony soldiers," you have to consider the source.

Rush Limbaugh, who, in January, called Vietnam veteran Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) "Senator Betrayus" for disagreeing with President Bush, has made no secret of his disdain for those who serve and speak out. Where was Rush Limbaugh when it came time to serve his country?

What's more, where was Limbaugh's outrage when Max Cleland, a Senator who left three of his limbs in Vietnam was smeared on television? Where was Limbaugh when Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) service was called into question in the form of millions of dollars in campaign ads?

My service was questioned last year during my campaign for Congress. Fortunately, the swift-boat attack on me didn't stick because people in my district in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and across America know that if someone wears the uniform and serves their country they've earned our respect regardless of political party.

Sadly, the political debate in this country has devolved into who can be more outraged at the latest smear attempt on those who should be thanked and praised for devoted service. Rush Limbaugh's phony outrage and derisive words call into contrast that which we all must honor: our Armed Forces currently fighting for their lives and our freedom all across the world. We need to be vigilant and speak out against those who question the value of that service -- and that goes for people on the right and the left.'

Rush btw, didn't serve, of course. Deferments.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

That 11:07 post was not me. Is someone else using my name? (Or, more accurately, my nonsense syllable.)

Drindl, I thought it was strange that you censored the name of that drug. I was going to make a post saying it made you sound like a spam email. But then my post got blocked. So I guess you're right.

Posted by: Blarg | September 28, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Schakowsky stated: "How dare Rush Limbaugh label anyone who has served in the military as a quote, 'phony soldier,' unquote? How dare he say that his views on Iraq formed in the comfort of his radio studio are legitimate while the views of those whose opinions were forged on the battlefield are not?" She added: "These are soldiers like Brandon Friedman, a former rifle platoon leader in the Army's 101st Airborne Division who fought in Afghanistan in 2002 and commanded troops in Iraq. He says quote, 'The escalation of the war is failing and now the mission must change.' 'The fact is,' he says, 'the Iraq war has kept us from devoting assets we need to fight terrorists worldwide as evidenced by the fact that Osama bin Laden is still on the loose and Al Qaeda has been able to rebuild.' " Schakowsky asked: "Is Brandon Friedman a phony?"

On Countdown, Webb said: "I really regret Mr. Limbaugh saying things like that. You know, we have a political diversity inside the military just like we do in the country." He later added: "I really react strongly when people politicize the service of our military people. They have a wide variety of political viewpoints, from all the way for this to all the way against it, and we need to respect that."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

'On September 27, several members of Congress denounced Rush Limbaugh for, as Media Matters for America documented, calling service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers" on the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) made speeches on the House floor responding to Limbaugh; Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) made his comments on the September 27 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann; and Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Patrick J. Murphy (D-PA) issued statements denouncing Limbaugh's comments.

On the House floor, Pallone stated: "Yesterday, Limbaugh called service members who support a withdrawal from Iraq 'phony soldiers.' " Pallone added: "Last month, seven soldiers from the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division wrote an op-ed in The New York Times questioning our continued war efforts, but also stating, and I quote: 'We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.' Now, since publication of that op-ed, two of the soldiers have died. As this op-ed shows, soldiers may question the war, but that does not mean that they are any less committed to their mission."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse


The photo hound, sycophant of the national party organization, flip-flop product of a Madison Ave imagination.

The large, imposing, polished, subservient mouthpiece to the party's fanatical (as opposed to moderate) religious sect, regurgitating the same tripe, dash of disinformation and eschewed originality of thought and mind.

The successful thorn now flip-flop to party line long-shot.

Two for further following, exploring and investigating.

As the one and only member of the American Independent Moderate (AIM) political party, 'AIM High' the motto, I have to confess - I am not impressed. Add: An albatross around the neck - a nominee must bare and bear - "Republican".

As the hopefuls now stand, AIM begs the question: Are the Republicans really intent on repeating the road they took in 2k & '04?

AIM's opinion of Democratic hopefuls to follow later.

Posted by: Euroam | September 28, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Amen, 11:20. I have given money to Obama and never have to any other candidate. I want this man to win soooooo badly. He really gives me hope.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

All those so-called liberals and Democrats who will not vote if Clinton is the nominee will be keeping their pieholes shut for four years if she loses and the GOP president blocks all meaningful Democratic initiatives from Congress -- right?

Guess they'd rather just have nothing get done for four years. Then the Repubs will have six years of a "do-nothing Congress to run against in 2012. How silly and short-sighted.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 28, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

'Richard Land | Where are the atheist leaders who are taking vows of poverty and giving themselves in sacrificial service to others?'

Front page of the WaPo. Unbeleivable. And where are the rich televangelists, like Mr. Land, who are doing that?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Here's a prediction. Barack Obama will turn down any offers to be VP. He would not want his future to be tainted by being anyone else's water carrier. To further his ultimate ambition, he'll choose to become governor of Illinios to address his executive branch qualifications if need be. He WILL be president some day. Personally, I hope it is 2008.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

oops, shoot themselves, not shot. sorry.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

USA Today leads with new figures that show sales of new homes in August "hit their lowest point in seven years," which is seen as another sign that the worst is yet to come. "Housing is nowhere near bottom; neither is its wider impact," an expert said

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

yes, many people have told me they would not vote at all if she is nomiinated, whereas many have told me they would vote Democratic if Obama is. He can pull people in who are moderate Republicans. She drives people out and will never get any Republican votes. Dems will shot themselves in the foot if they nominate her.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

he New York Times leads with, and the Washington Post fronts, new details on the Baghdad shootout that took place on Sept. 16 involving Blackwater, a private security contractor. Both papers get word that a Blackwater guard drew a weapon on a colleague who continued shooting toward civilians even as at least one other contractor called for a cease-fire.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Republicans just want money and they couldn't care less about anybody who is not white.

Posted by: mmhmm | September 28, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Just curious: did Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldier" comment come during the hour of his show that is broadcast to the troops?

Posted by: Rich Evans | September 28, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

A lot of my liberal friends are simply NOT GOING TO VOTE AT ALL if Hillary gets the nomination.


Don't say you never saw this coming.

Posted by: the truth | September 28, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Anon -- other big advertisers on rush's show are remedies for ED. Also telling. Especially funny since Rush was caught smugglling Vi*gra that wasn't prescribed to him into the Dominican Republic.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

x

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I work in a company full of political junkies and no one here talks about the presidential races.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 28, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Eventually Hillary's unwillinness to answer any tough questions will catch up to her. If Obama keeps this complacency up (because he doesn't want to get cynical), he will fall behind Edwards.

Sorry Barack, but I'm sure you'll be back, even 8 years from now.

Posted by: blarg | September 28, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Great discussion this AM!

My experience with talking to people vs. what the polls show is that most people I know aren't paying one whit of attention to the Pres race. The Packers-Vikings game on Sun gets far more attention in this part of the country than politics. And that will hold true until the rematch in Dec.

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The largest single advertiser on the Rush Limbaugh Show is "Verbal Fonics Inc"

Their Product?: Teaching Illiterate Adults How to Read!


That pretty much says it all.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

excuse me, ClubbieTim? Did you see "unless he grows an afro"? How racist is that? And NO way Guiliani beats Obama. Moderates and religious voters choose Obama 2-1 over Guiliani. Obama actually practices what he preaches. Guiliani picks a position based on the day of the week, has had three wives, one was his cousin, has more connections to corrupt people and criminals than is seemly, and is from New York. No way middle America is voting for him.

Posted by: JL | September 28, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Michael Bloomberg was sued for sexual harassment a few years ago and his company is now being accused of discrimination. Not a good choice. Hillary is not either, and I am with the Obama-ites. I truly think he is a good man, a good candidate, and someone who wants to take into account all consituencies and truly lead.

Posted by: JL | September 28, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Prediction: The candidate with the most hair (on their head - sorry Richardson) will win the presidency, but not necessarily the nomination.

I believe The Fix is right on with his assessment. For GOP voters they need to give-up the dream of anyone besides Romney or Rudy "9/11" Giuliani.

Clinton v Giuliani = President Clinton
Clinton v Romney = President Romney (Hillary's got a weave).
Obama v Giuliani - Giuliani (unless Obama grows anfro).
Edwards v Romney - They may go back to the Supreme Court because it would be too close to call...

The only way the GOP has a snowball's chance is for Mitt to win...Otherwise, its 4 more years of the Clintons (I'd take Bill over Hillary tough).

Posted by: ClubbieTim | September 28, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The Day After The Election: 2008

President: Democrat

Senate: 61 Democrats, 39 Republicans, 2 Indepdents

House: 255 Democrats, 192 Republicans

USA: Grateful!


Posted by: Bob North Smithfield | September 28, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

'I'd be curios to hear what the conservatives around hear think about Rush referring to any soldiers who oppose the war as "phony soldiers."

Colin and Mark A -- I don't think Rush's audience would care what he said, no matter how vile. Anybody who embraces the term 'ditthoead' has no self-respect or proper brain function. I'm serious -- have you ever listened to his callers? The most delusional, reality-challenged folks you could imagine -- I don't know how they manage to exist in this world, when everything they beleive in runs so counter to objective realtiy.

In their world, all Democrats are evil people--worse than Osama bin Ladin- responsible for ALL the problems of the world. We would lilve in a virtual utopia, a heaven on earth if 'real' conservatives, whatever they are, ran eveyrthing. All govenment and taxes are evil, corporations are godlike, and everyone should be forced to carry a gun. Women are nazis or slu*ts, gays are the devil. It's a tirade of hatred for several hours, followed by more of the same by Sean Hannity.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Exactly, Colin. One should always take a General's view about his own mission to be colored by his desire and duty to complete the mission, regardless of what mission was ordered.

The stronger his character and ability, the more he will desire to fulfill his duty.

The character attack in that sense
tended to defocus from the criticism of the mission itself.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm a left-of-center Dem (although I wouldn't really classify myself as 'liberal') and if/when Hillary gets the nomination I will start a letter writing campaign to Michael Bloomberg.

Posted by: TheGribbler | September 28, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

'As my kids would say "take a chill pill" laffin...

sorry if my vehemence offends, JimD. I just mean that Rudy attacking MoveOn and NYTImes is so hackneyed, so predictable -- it may be 'smart' but geez, what else do they ever do? what else has he got?

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Someone who continues to bring in the $ Obama does has not peaked, especially when you look at that recent WP article that said 70% of Hillary's donors had maxed out and only 30% of his, and he had outraised her substantially. The only way that happens is if MORE people are giving.
If all the people I know support him would vote, it would not even be a contest.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Off Topic

Here's another interesting quote regardign General Petraeus that I assume will also need the Senate to vote: The AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE has an article out titled "Sycophant Savior: General Petraeus wins a battle in Washington--if not in Baghdad."

http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_09_24/article2.html

Here's the money quote:

"David Petraeus is a political general. Yet in presenting his recent assessment of the Iraq War and in describing the "way forward," Petraeus demonstrated that he is a political general of the worst kind--one who indulges in the politics of accommodation that is Washington's bread and butter but has thereby deferred a far more urgent political imperative, namely, bringing our military policies into harmony with our political purposes."

Again, that darn "liberal media," in this case exemplified by the AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE.

NB: I still don't condone the language used by MOVEON, but I do think questioning whether Petraeus can be called a neutral purveyor of the facts on the ground is a legitimate question. Not b/c he's betraying anyone, but because there's a rather natural inclination for a competent brilliant guy to believe he CAN accomplish the mission set out for him by a delusional administration.


Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Biden deserve #5. Dodd had his chance to tell the public exactly what everyone was thinking about the downside of Hillary Clinton. He choked and sounded Senatorial (outside the Beltway its called mumble jumble) about President Bush selecting Hillary, et al.
At least Joe Biden had the guts to talk about the Clinton baggage ("policy-wise of course"). We Democrats are fooling ourselves if we don't recognize the downside of a Clinton nomination. She does bring, fairly or unfairly, a ton of baggage to the table, particularly in a general election.

I admired the Clinton Presidency. I wish he could run again. I respect Sen. Clinton and the work she has done in the US Senator -- she is an excellent Senator. But I worry that 45-50% of the American public will never vote for her. That makes it extremely difficult to win the presidential election.

I still don't understand why nobody openly talks about the challenge she presents to the Democrats. Mitt Romney and Rudy Guiliani will be tough to beat in a general election if Sen. Clinton is their foe.

A worried Dem in the Granite State

Posted by: RPinNH | September 28, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Mark -- Thanks for the explanation re a MH/JM ticket. I'll admit that as an enthusiastic Democrat Huckabee scares the heck out of me precisely b/c he's able to appeal to non-social conservatives even while attracting a devoted following among the religious right. He would be very difficult to beat in a general election if he was able to raise enough money, which is an open question.

As far as divided government goes, I would actually guess that if a 'D' wins the WH in '08 you still won't see any radical policies. I think we're actually going to get some kind of universal health care in the next four years, but I don't actually view that as a fringe position anymore. And I suspect it's going to be based upon free market principles like the plans put out by Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. Otherwise, I would anticipate a pretty centrist administration. Who knows though, I've been wrong before.

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

Obama has boatloads of cash and continues to draw massive crowds, witness the 20,000 plus that showed up last night in NYC to hear him. HRC may yet win the nomination, but anyone who predicts with confidence that Obama has 'peaked' is being foolish. No one knows how the campaign is going to play out. It hasn't even really started in earnest. Is Obama simply being smart, and waiting to really turn it on so that he peaks at just the right time? (Like when the voting actually starts?) Is HRC peaking to early, leaving herself vulnerable to the inevitable attacks that a frontrunner attracts? Or is Obama's current inability to connect with the meat-and-potatoes wing of the Democratic Party a fatal flaw that will ultimately doom him?

I don't know the answer to these questions, and I suspect that anyone who thinks they do is deluding themselves.

Posted by: PDM | September 28, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I think that Wes Clark would make a great VP for Hillary. Love her or hater her, it would be one of the strongest tickets that we've had in a long time. The debate on Wednesday night again showed her ability to think on her feet and turn an assualt on her campaign into a win. I keep telling my Republican friends (of which I have many) to be careful what they ask for. A debate between Clinton and any of the Republicans would be pure entertainment. Again, love her or hater he, but the woman knows how to run a campaign.

I think she will likely pick a VP that knows when to shut-up, and does not repeatedly stick his/her foot in his or her mouth. As a result, my early VP pick of Bill Richardson in no longer an option. Too bad, because he would have helped a lot in New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. Anyway, viva Clinton-Clark!

Posted by: Drew | September 28, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I know a few of the earlier posts declared that Dodd was finished, but I tend to disagree. I think his debate performances have been solid (even though nobody is watching). He's got a terrific resume, decades of experience, and a not-unimpressive chunk o' change.

It's conceivable (although, I admit, not entirely likely at this point) that Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire take a final look at the candidates and get a little worried that there's enough inherent sexism and racism from coast to coast to prevent Hillary or Barack from defeating a white male Republican.

That then leaves them with two choices: Edwards or Dodd.

If that's the way things shape up, I think Dodd's got a genuine shot.

Posted by: Influential Thinker | September 28, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Colin - I am hoping Rush stepped into it WITH HIS OWN AUDIENCE as much as he did with those of us who have never listened to him.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

'Giuliani is the one candidate who might make Clinton look likable - if he blows up a few times like he did on that radio show with the ferret owner.'

I agree with most of your assessment, Jim. Fyi, Guiliani as mayor, was like that pretty much every day. He's been really snippy to a lot of folks on the campaign trail, too--his only real appeal is to the red-meat cons who want to hear about how we're gonna 'win' and 'kick-as* on the terrists' but among those, the evangelicals are really split, and Catholics too. The more you see of Guiliani, the more divisive you will see he is.

It isn't even about partisanship, it's about fighting for the sake of fighting, which is what he is all about. Even more 'my way or the highway' than GWB or Darth ever has been. Beleive it.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Colin, you certainly are right to point out that MH has exactly the social views that I reject, but he maintains that he would not try to impose them, so for now I give him the benefit of the doubt that I would not to a Gary Bauer. The "fair tax" is not a political possibility in a DIVIDED government. And MH did work with Ds in Ark.
So I am only saying that faced with the prospect of a D sweep in Congress, MH-JMcC would be attractive to me.

I so much would prefer Biden or McCain or Dodd or, I am beginning to think, Obama, as Prez that I was not drawing a true one-to-one comparison. You know that I am looking at process and not ideology, so when I see Edwards as an ideological candidate and HRC as one with tendencies not to respect process I downgrade them.

Yes, if MH begins to strike me as ideologically bound, my interest in him will diminish.

My conservative R architect mens group buddy is the one who would vote for Obama against a "Godsquadder" but has no interest in any other Ds.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The other night Clinton, Obama and Edwards all refused to promise that they would have all US troops home by the end of their first term (that's January 2013!!). If Richardson is ever going to make his Big Move, it's now. He's the only one of the Top Four to promise a goal of one year for a withdrawal, and, apparently, the only one of the Top Four who is sure we won't still be in Iraq *five and a half years* from now.
If he can get that message out to IA and NH voters, he could move up fast.

Posted by: Steve | September 28, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Off Topic

I'd be curios to hear what the conservatives around hear think about Rush referring to any soldiers who oppose the war as "phony soldiers." I understand the guy is paid to be provocative, but given that the Moveon story lasted three weeks this seems pretty ridiculous.

I assume the Senate should vote to condemn this as well?

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Mark -- My anecdotal experience also tends to disagree with the poll numbers. My parents, who unsurprising for their age vote religiously, are both dyed in the wool Democrats but are dreading a Hillary nomination. And interestingly, they both still like Bill. Two relatively conservative lawyer friends of mine, who both HATE the Clintons, have said to me repeatedly that they like Obama more than anyone on the 'R' side of things but that they'll vote for any of the Republicans over Hillary. To be fair, however, my sister -- in many ways the prototypical suburban swing voter -- is a huge Hillary supporter. And I believe she voted for 'W' in 2000.

Switching gears, would you really support a Huckabee/McCain ticket? I get the urge for gridlock, but I have severe doubts about Huckabee's policy ideas. For example, his support for the "fair tax" would be an absolute nightmare for the middle class and could really injure the economy. His social views are also quite draconian and I say that as something of a social moderate. Anyway, curious about your take on him.

Posted by: Colin | September 28, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Just read JimD's 9:20A and Andy R's 9:22A and I completely agree with JimD's post and I also will be rooting for JB and sending him contribs. Both Jim and Andy point out their experience is like my earlier point #1; virtually none of our acquaintances have watched these foums [fora?].

Jim, that is why my conservative libertarian appraiser men's group buddy does not know that BR has melted in the klieg lights. He still sees the pro-business, tax cutting, NRA poster boy.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

drindl,

As my kids would say "take a chill pill". CC was referring to how the NYT, move-on.org and Hillary Clinton are viewed by the Republican base. That is certainly an accurate assessment of the Republican primary voters' opions of those three. Certainly the right has been demonizing the NYT for at least 40 years and Hillary Clinton since 1992. Giuliani is making a smart tactical move for someone seeking the GOP nomination, especially someone who holds many positions that are not in synch with the Republican base.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 28, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty simple:

Republican nomination will come down to the last man standing. This is why all of the fantastically vulnerable candidates you listed (Romney, Thompson, Rudy), have no chance. These guys are going to violate the Republican 11th Commandment and start beating each other up. I see McCain sliding through once the vulnerabilities of these three are shown to the public.

The Dem nomination will come down to who surges at the right moment and a more strategic fight. That's why you see all of them hedging their bets in Iowa (Edwards and to some extent Obama), NH (Obama and Hillary), SC, Nevada (Richardson), etc.

Posted by: ohthehugemanatee | September 28, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Mark A -- I think I would like your wife.

As far as people I know -- my father was a republican since the Reagan days, now is a fervent democrat, says he seen war all his life {he was injured during WW2 in the Normandy invasion] and is just sick to death of it, and says that's all republicans care about. He's terrified my brother's son [working class, in community college] will be drafted. He likes Hillary, strangely enough. More than I do.

Everyone in my husband's family in New Jersey, all Jewish -- all Democrats. My mother-in-law thinks Hillary is fabulous. Most will likely vote for her. My sister and brother, nurse and constuction worker, both union, solid Dems.

In the small Westhcester community I live in, upscale artsy/professional, lots of transplanted manhattanites, it's pretty much Any Dem Who Gets the Nomination, which is the way I feel. Time for a Change, already.

None of the republicans I know wants to talk about politics anymore.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Andy R.'s post and JD's post got me thinking that if McCain does drop out after NH AND if Huckabee scores fairly well in IA and NH AND if McCain likes MH way more than he likes RG - that last "if" may be the biggest "if" - then maybe Huckabee-McCain gets to be a real ticket. And it could be strong enough to send the base, the moderates, and enough conservative-leaning Is to the polls to be the R wet dream and the D nightmare.

And if the Ds are going to sweep Congress, it would be attractive to me, a social libertarian and fiscal conservative, who knows how damaging one-party govt. is to America.

In anticipation of | telling me that I favor deadlock, I do, when the alternative
is unrestrained political and budgetary recklessness.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Mark,
I would say that I see a little bit more support for Hillary then you do but then again I am living in Maryland now so it is more of a DC centered view.
The folks I know in Boston are more on the Obama bandwagon. Many of them were very interested in Richardson but have been let down by his performances.
Most of the folks I know aren't really paying attention yet. They assume that Hillary will win, but when you start talking to them about poll trends and the money race they tend to say "Yeah that may all be true, but Hillary will still win. That is what the Clintons do!"

IMO, for all the talk that the media has made about how this is the earliest the race has ever gotten started, and that the game is going to change etc.. People forget that this is the way it has always been done. Kerry was in Iowa and NH in 02 getting ready for a run at it. The difference was that nobody was covering it. It is now after labor day and the race will really get started in about a week when the campaigns have there final chance to brag about money.

Posted by: Andy R | September 28, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

"the Clintons were a public soap opera with the daily possibility of self-destructing." That is one of the best descriptions I have ever heard.

I don't think all that many people are paying attention right now. Most people I know do not really follow politics except for one guy who parrots everything Rush said that morning - to the point of claiming that there were WMD in Iraq (never mind that they were inoperable and had been for years).

I fear a Giuliani-Clinton campaign. It would hit a new low in sleaze. There are a substantial number of Hillary Haters and Giuliani's private life certainly offers plenty of opportunity for attack ads. The Clinton soap opera will be replayed in lots of attack ads. Given Giuliani's abrasiveness and Clinton's robot like demeanor - it would make an interesting situation given that there are lots of voters who do vote based on personality. Giuliani is the one candidate who might make Clinton look likable - if he blows up a few times like he did on that radio show with the ferret owner.

I think Richarson has been the biggest disappointment on the Democratic side. Can you believe one candidate is a successful, moderate Western governor, Hispanic with an Anglo surname, experienced diplomat, Cabinet secretary and congressman. He has experience within the Beltway, in diplomacy and has a good track record as governor. He hails from a part of the country where Democrats are making inroads and sound strategy says they should seek to build on those gains. He is a member of the fastest growing ethnic group in the country. He has been away from the Beltway long enough to plausibly campaign as an outsider. As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up. His extremely poor debate performance coupled with his (IMHO) irresponsible Iraq position have deeply disappointed me.

Of the leading candidates, the ones who are closest to my personal views are Giuliani and Clinton. (I am a centrist who likes moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats). However, I am concerned that if we elect Clinton it will only deepen the partisanship simply because she is so detested by the Republican base. The RNC will use her as the poster girl for all their fundraising. Giuliani has absolutely no national security experience and his statements on the subject tend to be very shallow. We do not need another national security neophyte in the Oval Office.

For the anonymous poster who said Dodd was running for VP - there is ZERO chance that Hillary Clinton would pick a Northeastern liberal as her running mate. A NY-CT ticket will never happen.

I hope Biden can pull a miracle in Iowa. He is the only candidate who has had a realistic plan for Iraq. I also believe that he will be able to work with both parties to accomplish something.

Divided government looks better and better if we have a president who will work with the other party instead of seeking to demonstrate his differences with them at every turn. Certainly McCain could work effectively with a Democratic Congress. I also think Huckabee and Romney would but, again, we don't need another national security neophyte at this time in our history.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 28, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

'1. Rudy Giuliani: It's been a very good last month for the former mayor of New York City. His decision to take on the "unholy trinity" -- as one Republican strategist put it -- of Moveon.org, Hillary Clinton and the New York Times was a brilliant tactical maneuver that caught his rivals flatfooted. '

Good one, CC. What a brilliant intellect you are, what a reliable shill for the GOP. Wow --taking on straw men like the New York Times and MoveOn! Wow! Brilliant! How did they come up with that! But why not include Michael Moore and George Soros and Al Gore! Why not 'take on' all the demons you folks created for yourself all to once? Why not include Saddam Hussein? Oops, can't use him anymore. Too bad. Let me remind you of what Tammy Bruce said on her webssite yesterday. Tammy, Winger Princess Extraodinaire, explains the winger's methodology for you:

'Bruce continued: "And the intention is the same. The intention is to smear an individual without any basis in reality, without any fairness, in an attempt to make that person demonized so that they will not be listened to." She added: "It is a very serious dynamic. Now, the issues involved are almost irrelevant because the truth of the matter is, no matter what is said, no matter what is done, the Gestapo will find a way to move in some kind of element of demonization."

So Rudy, heir apparent to Gestapo chief is doing just that. And watch, he and the other R's will do nothing else from now on, but smear, slime and demonize--because they have no other message. They're all tired retreads of Bush and will deliver nothing more but the same failed policies which are killing this country.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Edwards should be off the list for the top 5. Taking public money is the kiss of death in today's world. You have small and strict spending limits in Iowa, NH, and so on. He cannot win spending so little when Obama and Hillary are going to be spending so much.

Please note I am not a fan of any of the democrats in the field.

Posted by: George | September 28, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse


H.R. Clinton has peaked, people don't want to be told who to vote for, I don't think it helps that Bush thinks she will be the nominee.

There is a long road until when the primaries start, anything can happen, we know a day in politics is like a week in real life.

Obama surging now would be pointless, It needs to happen in December.

Obama supporters are fired up and ready to go!
How about the 24,000 in NYC yesterday, amazing!

Posted by: Hopemonger | September 28, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

When I try to understand the differences between polling and the preferences, different as they are, of all my groups of friends, family, and acquaintances, I often come up empty.

Here are some clues that I have noted.

1. Most persons I know have watched no forums. Their opinions are not set in stone, but nothing has happened to change them.

2. Almost all my R friends have military backgrounds or military family backgrounds or are still reserve officers. That may explain the "skew" toward McCain. I actually have only one R friend and one I business associate who are social conservatives. The I is a Pentecostal Minister who does not preach politics from his pulpit. I know he likes Huckabee.

3. Austin has a huge college presence; 120,000 full and part time students at the University, the giant multi-campus Community College, and two other colleges.
This may explain the oft-repeated
visibility of Obama supporters in the local media.

4. The near-dozen D operatives and many elected Ds [mainly judges]I know generally think HRC will be their nominee. One thinks Obama will. One of them, in west TX, thinks Richardson should be. The four R operatives or elected Rs I know include one US Congressman and one former County Chair. They are holding their cards so close to their vest that I cannot tell a thing.

5. The clergy I know, except for the Pentecostal male, are all Ds.
The women clergy [3] are Methodists and HRC supporters.

6. My business owner clients overlap the military-related Rs,
and the Ds and Is are by no stretch liberal. None of them whom I know well would vote for HRC. I spent 3 hours with one night-before-last, an I, hugely successful, three talented adult kids, a 40+ year great marriage, a Methodist who does 2 weeks of public service every year working in medical clinics overseas. There are no candidates he likes well enough to commit to. Thinks Bloomberg is head and shoulders over the two arrays. He and I have been discussing immigration policy
for years.

7. My mens' group. Six of us. 4 skeet shooters, one canoeist, one logbump. An appraiser, an engineer, a retired consultant, an entrepreneur trained first as a tax lawyer, a lawyer, and an architect. A small-business/military conservative Nam combat vet, a liberal Nam combat vet, a libertarian conservative like JD [but he favors Richardson on his record as Gov. and his NRA rating]. No HRC support. Two HRC "haters". Two who are going to vote D no matter what. One who will vote R except if it is Obama against a "Godsquadder" [his word].

8. My practicing lawyer friends.
About 2-1-1 D-I-R. Some Edwards donors. The Rs like McCain and Giuliani and Thompson. No Romneys.

9. My four kids. Obama.

10. My wife. moderate D, formerly a fiscal conservative, now less so since battling VA for her dad, not an HRC fan. She thought the Clinton Administration was far superior to GWB, and she asks people "Is GWB the worst president in history, or just recently?" But she also thought the Clintons were a public soap opera with the daily possibility of self-destructing.
She was adamant that Bill should have resigned so somebody could get to work in DC. No longer likes McCain because he is not as fiscally sound as he used to be and he cozied to the social conservatives.

9. My retired cousin in FL - WW2 [at 17]and Korea vet - former dental surgeon - R. Favors McCain and Giuliani. But any R. Calls me to tell me "we must STOP Hillary."

Do most of you have similar experiences that seem to often contradict these polls?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 28, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

gotta agree with Brendon, Obama has peaked. Everyone kept saying once folks got to know him he would explode, but he's turned out to be more about the audacity of hype than hope.

There just isn't enough beyond the optimism to sustain him, his policies and positions aren't divergent or innovative enough to really qualify as a whole new kind of politics. Don't get me wrong, I like him and think he has a great future, but 2 years in the Senate apparently want wasn't enough experience.

He essentially has an associates degree in national politics, and unlike Republicans, Dem's lean toward Post Grads. After he finsishes his term he'll at least have all the experience and savvy of John Edwards.

Posted by: bob | September 28, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey CC, I have an idea that would be really interesting. You should do a line for the wives (and husband) of the candidates on their strengths and weaknesses for the campaigns.

Posted by: Andy R | September 28, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Richardson is running for Vice. Everyone knows this. He's the Cheney ("gravitas") of 2008, to either HRC (likely) or Obama (longshot).

PS I would have thought McCain would have tanked long before now; I guess he's not in it only until Dec, to get his matching funds and retire campaign debt. Maybe he's running for Vice.

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Private military contractor Blackwater USA "delayed and impeded" a congressional probe into the 2004 killings of four of its employees in Falluja, Iraq, the House Oversight Committee said Thursday in a report.


Family members of the slain Blackwater employees listen during a congressional hearing earlier this year.

Blackwater contractors Jerry Zovko, Scott Helvenston, Mike Teague and Wesley Batalona were ambushed, dragged from their vehicles and killed on March 31, 2004.

The burned and mutilated remains of two of the men were hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River, an image that fueled American outrage and triggered the first of two attempts to retake the city from Sunni Arab insurgents.

The company stalled the committee's investigation into the incident by "erroneously claiming" documents related to the incident were classified, trying to get the Defense Department to make previously unclassified documents classified and "asserting questionable legal privileges," according to a report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Democratic staff.

According to Blackwater's reports on the killings, the men killed in Falluja had been sent into the area without proper crew, equipment or even maps.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Biden and Dodd are running as exercises in sheer narcissism.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Markos also characterizes his support for Dodd as "extremely shallow support." He's clearly not serious. Nobody can possibly be serious about supporting Dodd. He's not even himself serious about running for president. He hopes to be Clinton's vice-president and that's why he has defended her against Obama in the debates. You really should take him off the line. Just leave out the fifth place for the Democrats.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

As always Chris I think your list is good but not perfect. On the GOP side, I don't really have a problem with the top three, although Thompson has been the definition of Lackluster so far. My problem comes with the bottom two. Huckabee should be number four. If you watched the forum last night in Baltimore Huckabee showed that he is leaps and bounds above the other candidates on the stage with him. Also his poll numbers, especially in Iowa where he is at 10-14%, are going up and up and up. He is now above McCain in Iowa, and in one poll, even with Romney in South Carolina.
Taken with the fact that we know his fundraising numbers will be better this time around, I would think he could move up a spot or even two. Look for Huckabee to raise more money than McCain and maybe Thompson. I said it a month ago and I stand by it that Huckabee/McCain is a solid ticket (regionally and experience wise) and is looking more and more likely everyday.

The Democratic race is really shaping up as the two (maybe three) horse race that everyone predicted. Richardson is done, as much as I wanted to see him shine he has shown that he just isn't ready for primetime. And his ad with the bloggers in it is LAME!!! I don't want some penil neck computer geek telling me who to vote for, and I AM a pencil neck computer geek.
I still think Edwards has a chance but his margin of error is slowly getting smaller and smaller. He is in a perfect position to make a final surge in Iowa, but it might be too little too late.
In regards to Senators Obama and Clinton, I think the deciding factor will be if Obama can outraise her again. If so the Juggernaut that is Hillary Clinton will be stalled again and will need to start airing campaign ads. Then we'll really see where the wind is going to blow.

Posted by: Andy R | September 28, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Obama has peaked; very few people seem to realize this.

Posted by: Brendan | September 28, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"It may take a surprise showing (again) in Iowa early next year for the former governor to finally move up The Line."

Why would the same thing happening twice be a surprise?

Posted by: JD | September 28, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Question:

With Public Finance... what spending can the V.P. bring to the election? What I mean is... if Edwards upsets everyone and got the nomination, and named Obama as V.P... would Edwards be able to use the cash of Obama to sell the "ticket" before the convention? Or would the ticket be restricted to only his money?

Posted by: Tony Story | September 28, 2007 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Chris Dodd did not take advantage of the opportunity he had in the debate to attack Clinton's electability. He said "he was being facetious." In politics, you have to swing the bat if you want to hit the ball. Joe Biden is clearly better positioned in Iowa in terms of poll position. Campaign cash is meaningless if the person who has the cash is uninspiring as a candidate.

Posted by: The 7-10 | September 28, 2007 6:44 AM | Report abuse

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