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Wag the Blog Redux: Richardson's Slip of the Tongue

During a recent Democratic presidential candidate forum in Los Angeles, Bill Richardson was asked whether homosexuality was a lifestyle choice or a biological predisposition and chose the former option -- a big mistake when courting the gay community.

Last week, we asked whether you believe Richardson's gaffe was nothing more than a slip of the tongue that will be immediately forgotten, or an issue reflective of a longer term problem -- perhaps one of message discipline?

More than 170 comments were posted. Here is a sampling of the comments posted thus far. The discussion continues here.

If YouTube Doesn't Dwell on it, Who Will?
I don't think this will be a major issue unless someone makes a YouTube video stringing together all of his "foot-in-mouth" moments ... His remarks seem to offend certain groups within the democratic base: environmentalists with his unapologetic oil investments, civil rights groups because of his DOE nuclear secrets investigations, and now gay-rights groups. But those groups don't necessarily talk to each other.
Posted by: chicago

Time's on Richardson's Side
Richardson still has lots of time to polish his image. And although this will somewhat hurt him in the LGBT community it will have very little effect on the Democratic party nomination or the general electorate as a whole ...
Posted by: Andy R

Symptom of a Much Larger Problem
This particular remark will not long resonate outside of the LGBT community. However, it is emblematic of some of Richardson's larger problems. It has been mentioned, for example, that Richardson does not communicate well in the spotlight.
Posted by: Peter in OH

Dead Meat Doesn't Tempt Everyone
Since Richardson failed the Gay Political Litmus Test, he's dead meat with the GayLibCartel in the National Democratic Party, but nobody really cares otherwise. Mainstream America observes, bemused, with eyebrows raised, at these antics, wondering which is more ridiculous--the Question, or Richardson's bowing and scraping after the vicious GayLib attack!
Posted by: Tommy

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Sure, what Bill Richardson said was wrong, and he quickly moved to rectify that. But let's not judge a candidate on what he/she says, because grand statements aren't enough to get the job done. Let's look instead at Bill Richardson's record as Governor of New Mexio. [Among them]:
- Expanded anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation. [Senate Bill SB 28, 2003 Legislature]
- Signed into law the state's first hate crimes legislation for acts including those based on sexual orientation. [SB 38, 2003 Legislature]
- Provided state health insurance for domestic partnerships. [Executive Order 03 010]
- Promised that he'd repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".
Given his record of action on behalf of the LGBT community, I believe that's a promise Bill Richardson will deliver on.
Posted by: Ken Camp

Unstable Relationships Lose Their Appeal
As a gay Hispanic American, leaning toward Richardson and who watched the debate on Logo ... I was not impressed with his performance ... was hoping that with the ever increasing debates he would become more polished. Unfortunately, that is not happening and I am starting to rethink if I should vote for him in the primaries.
Posted by: SouthFl

Motivated but Unprepared
At every debate, Richardson can be counted on to be un-prepared and off-key, and certainly to say something completely nonsensical for which he must later apologize. At some point, one must conclude that Richardson's string of errors, while perhaps evidence that he's "authentic" or "not blow-dried," must also be taken as evidence of what a future Richardson presidency would look like.
Posted by: dry_fish

Presidents Perfect Public Speaking - Could Richardson?
Until the LOGO debate, I was planning on voting and contributing to Richardson. Now it's clear to me that he doesn't have the temperament to be President. He seems to have great success with one-on-one or small meetings and in managing. He'd be a great addition to any Democratic administration if he could take on a managing, less public role. I think I'm moving towards Obama now.
Posted by: Greg from MD

At Least 'Foot-in-Mouth Disease' is Entertaining
Having a president with foot in mouth disease is important for the late night comedians. Politics is so much more fun when there are lots of opportunities to see the human side of a politician.
Posted by: mattr

By Washington Post editors  |  August 21, 2007; 4:57 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Posted by: nkyjdg halq | September 12, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"Bill Richardson and anyone else should have the right to an opinion. Now, he (Richardson) has not proven that his opinion hurts anyone. He just see's it that what was the slip??"

The guy's running for President, his opinion means more than your or mine because if he's elected his opinion does have the potential to hurt people through the policies of his administration.

Posted by: Michael | August 23, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Bill Richardson and anyone else should have the right to an opinion. Now, he (Richardson) has not proven that his opinion hurts anyone. He just see's it that what was the slip?? Why would he even try to cover it up? Its not like there is scientific proof that being homosexual is NOT A CHOICE. As a matter of fact, quite the contrary. If we have "feelings" of one preference or another, is it still not "OUR CHOICE" as to whether we choose a whole lifestyle to SUPPORT those feelings or not???

Posted by: Christy | August 23, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Born that way, or genetically pre-disposed??

So you argue about this slip up but if a republican said it was because they were possessed by demons, a good part of your electorate would lap that up.

Posted by: GT | August 22, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

With the sub-prime mortgage issues, Chris Dodd has a shot now to make a splash from an economic standpoint. He's been there a while himself. It should be interesting to see if he can capitalize on this.

Posted by: reason | August 22, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"Last week, the shipment of new armored vehicles, necessary to protect U.S. soldiers from deadly Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), was postponed for lack of funding.

don't let this make you think we don't care about the troops - we do, as long as they can deliver the election for us, otherwise - screw them."

Ollie, Zouk, et al., maybe you should look at the real reason for the delay: overly rosy estimates (sounds familiar), corporate America's delays, and DoD bureaucracy. It's odd that your answer seems to be to just throw money at the problem:

Posted by: Michael | August 22, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Michael | August 22, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Proud, didn't he know what he was talking about back in 2004 also?

No, just another partisan cheerleader who happens to have stars, I wonder how he got them (meanwhile, soldiers who are doing the grunt work get derided by Tucker Carlson becuase their critiques are inappropriate for servicemembers, apparently...)

Posted by: Michael | August 22, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Dona Dunsmore -- I agree with your analysis of the Iraq situation, and have thought that from the beginning. This country needs a good, rational, reasonable man, like Bill Richardson, to stabilize the Mideast at the conference table, and to recover our public image to the world that Bush has demolished. He has the only sensible redeployment plan, combined with diplomacy. of all the candidates.

The gay gaffe was unfortunate as he has done so many positive things in N. Mex. to support their rights as Americans. And it is most unfortunate that many of you bloggers haven't done your homework.

I believe that Bill Richardson is the only person who can bring unity, stability, safety, and honor to This Great Nation of ours.

Posted by: gurtc | August 22, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

"The war in Vietnam wasn't lost during "Tet '68" no matter what Walter Cronkite said. Rather, it was lost in the pages of America's newspapers, on our televisions, our college campuses - and eventually in the corridors of power in Washington.

We need to pray that this war isn't lost the same way."

The War in Vietnam was lost in Europe in 1945, when we chose to back French imperialism over national sovereignty. We won every battle we fought in that war, and it didn't matter because war is all about achieving a political objective, and forming a democratic society is not an objective that can be achieved by military force. Just like Iraq, an occupation can only give our allies time, but if the political will isn't there, no amount of time will matter. We gave the S Vietnamese government 10 years and did our best to wipe out all of the VC, but in the end it didn't metter. The S Vietnamese government was an illusion and folded the minute the North invaded.

Likewise, the current Iraqi government is a shell, unable to come together on fundamental issues that divide the people. The longer we stay and the more we work to successfully route out AQIZ, the more the Iraqi government divides and the more strength the various factions gain, and the more resentful of our occupation the people of the region become, undermining our longer term strategic objectives. Prolonging this disasterous strategy is not winning, it is only extending this farce so you republicans can try to blame someone else. And you think just because more people today are buying your lies about Vietnam you can get away with it.

Posted by: Michael | August 22, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Richardson's slip of the tongue or gaffes whatever one wants to call them are pretty much majoring on the minors, at the end of the day its the actions we hold accountable. So far much of Richardson's passed political actions have all been reasonable and in the best interest of the people of his state and country. If we had a nickle for every U.S. President that made a slip or gaffe, we all be rich like Romneys, McCains, Clintons and Bushes. Lastly, if Richardson going to make it, his campaign will need to kick in high gear now, preparing position statements on every possible issue, orchestrating communications, and giving him the time to rest and prepare to perform for televised events (he still a Gov. of a State). Richardson also needs to just to project a relax style while on television - and keep it personal, keep it to the point and most of all get aggressive with the facts.

Posted by: threeriverscrossing | August 22, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

That was the single most painful interview I have ever watched. Richardson has had a series of painful episodes throughout this campaign and he just doesn't look or sound presidential. God bless him for his long history of public service in many different positions, but I would never vote for him to be president. Never.

Posted by: clawrence | August 22, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Dona - Here's an idea -read the truth from someone who actually knows what he's talking about.



Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 22, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

but I can go all day. I just have to resort to insults or double postings. I won't let that zouk beat me. does content count? I sure hope not if I am to regain my position.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"now I need to get back to my frantic postings. I am falling behind my quota for the day of one post every four minutes. I can't possibly do this if I have to make sense."

Once every 4 minutes? You'll have to do better than that! Within the 21-minute period starting 12:04 and ending 12:25, Zouk (or someone with exactly his opinions and style) made 9 posts which were copied and pasted from conservative news and blog sites. That's one post every 2.3 minutes!

Posted by: Blarg | August 22, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I have sent Gov. Richardson money. I desperately want a competent person that wants to represent the whole country. I hope he will drag every skeleton out of his closet soon and discuss it to death so we can get on with the most important thing. Would he be a good president? Gene Weingarten said in his chat the other day that being a flawed person doesn't mean one is unable to make the right decision at the right time. I didn't like President Clinton's personal life and didn't vote for him but he knew how to govern.

BTW, we didn't lose the war in Iraq. We won. We haven't been able to force them into the kind of government we want them to have because we haven't tried to do that. If that is what we are there for--start killing them until they do what we want.

Posted by: Dona Dunsmore | August 22, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Last week, the shipment of new armored vehicles, necessary to protect U.S. soldiers from deadly Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), was postponed for lack of funding.

don't let this make you think we don't care about the troops - we do, as long as they can deliver the election for us, otherwise - screw them.

Dirty harry and San Fran Nan

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I am so bothered by the invasion of Ollie and zouk (have you ever seen them together?) that I can no longer edit my cuttings before posting. I am increasingly finding myself as a Che clone and circling irrelevance. how do you cons manage to think through everything before you post? how can you keep up all day and night if you bother to read anything? Please excuse my news clippings about inance subjects. to comprehend and process would mean abandoning the Lib positions I so dearly hold.

now I need to get back to my frantic postings. I am falling behind my quota for the day of one post every four minutes. I can't possibly do this if I have to make sense.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

And most importantly -- as President Reagan's assistant secretary of state, Lawrence Korb, said on this newscast Friday -- we were only in a position to win the Cold War because we quit in Vietnam.

We went home. And instead it was the Russians who learned nothing from Vietnam, and who repeated every one of our mistakes when they went into Afghanistan. And alienated their own people, and killed their own children, and bankrupted their own economy and allowed us to win the Cold War.

We awakened so late, but we did awaken.

Finally, in Vietnam, we learned the lesson. We stopped endlessly squandering lives and treasure and the focus of a nation on an impossible and irrelevant dream, but you are still doing exactly that, tonight, in Iraq.

And these lessons from Vietnam, Mr. Bush, these priceless, transparent lessons, writ large as if across the very sky, are still a mystery to you.

"We'll succeed unless we quit."

No, sir.

We will succeed against terrorism, for our country's needs, toward binding up the nation's wounds when you quit, quit the monumental lie that is our presence in Iraq.

And in the interim, Mr. Bush, an American kid will be killed there, probably tonight or tomorrow.

And here, sir, endeth the lesson.

Posted by: OLIVER SOUTH | August 22, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

'Last week, the shipment of new armored vehicles, necessary to protect U.S. soldiers from deadly Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), was postponed for lack of funding.'


Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

This president has his fictitious Iraqi WMD, and his lies -- disguised as subtle hints -- linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and his reason-of-the-week for keeping us there when all the evidence for at least three years has told us we need to get as many of our kids out as quickly as possible.

That president had his fictitious attacks on Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, and the next thing any of us knew, the Senate had voted 88-2 to approve the blank check with which Lyndon Johnson paid for our trip into hell.

And yet President Bush just saw the grim reminders of that trip into hell: the 58,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese killed; the 10,000 civilians who've been blown up by landmines since we pulled out; the genocide in the neighboring country of Cambodia, which we triggered.

Yet these parallels -- and these lessons -- eluded President Bush entirely.

And, in particular, the one over-arching lesson about Iraq that should've been written everywhere he looked in Vietnam went unseen.

"We'll succeed unless we quit"?

Mr. Bush, we did quit in Vietnam!

A decade later than we should have, 58,000 dead later than we should have, but we finally came to our senses.

The stable, burgeoning, vivid country you just saw there, is there because we finally had the good sense to declare victory and get out!

The domino theory was nonsense, sir.

Our departure from Vietnam emboldened no one.

Communism did not spread like a contagion around the world.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the media and politicians who are so outraged that the Iraqi legislature is on vacation should learn a bit of history.

The British Parliament recessed for all but one holiday -- the summer of 1940 -- throughout World War II.

In keeping with this democratic tradition, the U.S. Congress has done the same thing during every war we have fought, including our own Revolution.

Rather than firing barbs at the Iraqi legislature, critics should focus their ire on Capitol Hill. The 110th Congress, led by Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is setting new records for irresponsible behavior.

Though they have found time to launch more than 600 investigatory hearings, our good senators and congressmen fled Washington this week for a month in the sun without passing any of a dozen appropriations bills, including those needed to support our troops in the field.

Last week, the shipment of new armored vehicles, necessary to protect U.S. soldiers from deadly Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), was postponed for lack of funding.

Posted by: Oliver North | August 22, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Consider your fellow Texan, sir.

He had lofty goals and tried to reshape society for the better. And he is remembered for Vietnam, and for the lies he and his government told to get us there and keep us there, and for the Americans who needlessly died there.

As you will be remembered for Iraq, and for the lies you and your government told to get us there and keep us there, and for the Americans who have needlessly died there and who will needlessly die there tomorrow.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The fourth pivotal lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: If the same idiots who told Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon to stay there for the sake of "peace With honor" are now telling you to stay in Iraq, they're probably just as wrong now, as they were then ... Dr. Kissinger.

And the fifth crucial lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush -- which somebody should've told you about long before you plunged this country into Iraq -- is that if you lie your country into a war, your war, your presidency will be consigned to the scrap heap of history.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

It is a shame and it is embarrassing to us all when President Bush travels 8,000 miles only to wind up avoiding reality again.

And it is pathetic to listen to a man talk unrealistically about Vietnam, who permitted the "Swift-Boating" of not one but two American heroes of that war, in consecutive presidential campaigns.

But most importantly -- important beyond measure -- his avoidance of reality is going to wind up killing more Americans.

And that is indefensible and fatal.

Asked if there were lessons about Iraq to be found in our experience in Vietnam, Mr. Bush said that there were, and he immediately proved he had no clue what they were.

"One lesson is," he said, "that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while."

"We'll succeed," the president concluded, "unless we quit."

If that's the lesson about Iraq that Mr. Bush sees in Vietnam, then he needs a tutor.

Or we need somebody else making the decisions about Iraq.

Mr. Bush, there are a dozen central, essential lessons to be derived from our nightmare in Vietnam, but "we'll succeed unless we quit," is not one of them.

The primary one -- which should be as obvious to you as the latest opinion poll showing that only 31 percent of this country agrees with your tragic Iraq policy -- is that if you try to pursue a war for which the nation has lost its stomach, you and it are finished. Ask Lyndon Johnson.

Click for related content
Bush draws parallels with Iraq in Vietnam
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The second most important lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: If you don't have a stable local government to work with, you can keep sending in Americans until hell freezes over and it will not matter. Ask Vietnamese Presidents Diem or Thieu.

The third vital lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: Don't pretend it's something it's not. For decades we were warned that if we didn't stop "communist aggression" in Vietnam, communist agitators would infiltrate and devour the small nations of the world, and make their insidious way, stealthily, to our doorstep.

The war machine of 1968 had this "domino theory."

Your war machine of 2006 has this nonsense about Iraq as "the central front in the war on terror."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, Aug. 22 -- A U.S. Army helicopter crashed north of Baghdad early Wednesday morning, killing all 14 soldiers onboard, the military said.

Meanwhile, a suicide truck bomber in the northern city of Baiji killed at least 20 people at a police station Wednesday morning, police said.

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A statement from the U.S. military said initial evidence indicates the UH-60 Black Hawk experienced mechanical failure and did not come under enemy fire. However, the cause of the crash is under investigation, the military said.

According to the military statement, two helicopters were conducting a night operation when one went down. The aircraft had been carrying four crewmembers and 10 passengers from Task Force Lightning, an American operation whose area of command includes the cities of Tikrit, Kirkuk, Samarra and Mosul.

Military travel in Iraq is often conducted on helicopters to avoid threats from roadside bombs.

Since the conflict began, 63 helicopters have gone down, including 36 struck by enemy fire. Over January and February of this year, seven military helicopters and one carrying private security contractors were taken down by insurgent fire, killing a total of 28 people. The incidents prompted the military to reevaluate flight plans and tactics used to prevent anti-aircraft fire.

Wednesday's incident was the deadliest U.S. helicopter crash in Iraq since 31 troops were killed when their CH-53E Super Stallion went down in January 2005.

In Baiji, a fuel tanker rammed into a newly opened police station, killing at least 20 police officers and civilians, police said. The police department had recently moved into the new office after a truck bombing at its previous headquarters killed 27 people in June.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"He volunteered to go to Vietnam."

-- Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot, yesterday [2/23/04], on National Public Radio

"No, I didn't."

-- President Bush, Feb. 8, responding to a question on NBC's "Meet the Press" about whether he volunteered to go to Vietnam


Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

who let that zouk in here to ruin my lies and propoganda. I will now have to post every two minutes to make up for it. you will understand if my content leans toward the personal and insulting and ignores any actual substance or issues. but you all know me already.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Socialized Medicine: If Hillary Clinton gets her way and we have socialized medicine in this country, taxes will soar, the quality of medical care will decrease, and the wait times to get surgeries will grow enormously.

Posted by: empty your pockets | August 22, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Disaster In The War On Terror: When Bill Clinton was in power, the 2nd Intifada started, Al-Qaeda launched terrorist attacks at America practically with impunity, he turned down an offer of Sudan to hand over Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan and India built nuclear programs right under our noses -- and we believe North Korea built nuclear weapons.

If Hillary were to become President, expect North Korea to become a permanent nuclear power, Iran to start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and Al-Qaeda to get a breather to rebuild their forces because Hillary will be more concerned with whether Europe likes us or not than stopping another 9/11.

Additionally, she would certainly curtail the wiretapping of terrorists and would treat them as mere criminals instead of unlawful combatants, which would significantly hurt our intelligence gathering and make another 9/11 much more likely.

Posted by: bend over and say intern | August 22, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Losing Iraq: In 1975, Democrats deliberately delivered South Vietnam into the hands of the Communists by cutting off the aid and air support that we had promised them because the Dems believed it would benefit them politically. The result was a Communist takeover of Vietnam, genocide, an enormous loss of American prestige, and a crisis of confidence in our military that wasn't truly reversed until George Bush won the Gulf War.

If Hillary Clinton becomes President and we are still in Iraq, she will deliberately lose the war early on in her presidency because she will believe that she can blame it on George Bush. That will allow her to avoid taking on a politically unpopular war. The result of her actions would likely be a huge victory for Al-Qaeda, genocide, an enormous loss of American prestige, and a crisis of confidence in our military.

Posted by: lose now or else | August 22, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Amnesty and Open Borders: Hillary is a big supporter of comprehensive immigration reform for illegal aliens and with a Democratic Congress to help her, it's entirely possible she'll be able to succeed where George W. Bush failed with amnesty.

Posted by: open wide and so OOOOhhhh | August 22, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush - AWOL from the National Guard 1972-'73

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the Bushies start to "distance themselves" from the Iraqi PM just after he reaches out to Iran and Syria, to help stabilize the region. Any connection? You bet. This throws off the Cheney/Lieberman drum beat to hit Iran on behalf of AIPAC, et al. I also wonder why the posting under "Oliver North" continues to spew the old MAC V spin on control of the VC by the NVA, (which didn't happen, although they did "coordinate" operations, including TET which was largely a VC, not an NVA op). Viet Nam is not like Iraq, in terms of force, motivation, and reasoned struggle, but NOT for the reasons in "Ollie's" post. I also find it interesting that the question of the "Richardon gaffe" is such a bogus issue, that 90% of the posters blow it off, and get down to more serious concerns. CC you are out of your element on this one........................

Posted by: L. Sterlilng. | August 22, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Tax Hikes: Hillary is a diehard socialist and will certainly slow the economy down and take more money out of the American people's pockets with a tax hike. She has even voted against ending the marriage penalty and the child tax credit.

Posted by: taxes - loved by Libs | August 22, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Corruption: Her brother was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to help get pardons from her husband. During Hillary's previous stay in this White House, trips to the Lincoln bedroom were handed out for campaign contributions. She actually drew up legal documents that were used in the Whitewater land scheme and she got away with being bribed through a crooked cattle futures deal. Hillary Clinton would be one of the most corrupt Presidents ever to sit in the White House.

Posted by: the award goes to... | August 22, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Kyoto: Clinton is a supporter of the Kyoto Protocol, which would cause energy prices to soar and would seriously damage the American economy even though most environmentalists will admit that it won't significantly cut the amount of greenhouse gasses being produced by mankind.

wouldn't want you Libs to concern yourselves with any actual issues. for thinking people only.

Posted by: yiikkkeees | August 22, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

My fingers are getting tired from all this cutting and pasting from Kos and friends. I am taking a four minute break. I'll be right back.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

It really wasn't fair that the Army kicked me out. I was a good potato peeler. Plus I never had to decide what to wear every morning.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey bill, good for you, I never got a hummer from an intern -- i just didn't care about Ossama because I'm a moron.

Posted by: george w. | August 22, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Can't you see I have an intern under my desk? didn't you see the sock on the doorknob? that means come back later. I don't care about some Ay-rab named Ossoma. I have other things I'm doing.

Posted by: bill | August 22, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani controlled access to the site as if it were his backyard. Yet, when the scope of the health disaster was clear on the fifth anniversary in 2006, he told ABC: "Everybody's responsible." Throwing federal, state, and city agencies into the mix, he diffused the blame. On the Today show the same morning, however, he was more accusatory: "EPA put out statements very, very prominent that you have on tape, that the air was safe, and kept repeating that and kept repeating that."

The city had its own test results, of course, and when 17 of 87 outdoor tests showed hazardous levels of asbestos up to seven blocks away, they decided not to make the results public. An EPA chief, Bruce Sprague, sent an October 5 letter to the city complaining about "very inconsistent compliance" with respiratory protection. Sprague, who wrote the letter only after unsuccessful conversations with Giuliani aides, likened the indifference in a subsequent court deposition to sticking one's head "over a barbecue grill for hours" and expecting no consequences. An internal legal memo to a deputy mayor estimated early in the cleanup that there could be 35,000 potential plaintiffs against the city, partly because rescue workers were "provided with faulty or no equipment (i.e. respirators)." Bechtel, the major construction firm retained by the city as its health and safety consultant, urged it to cut the exit-entry points from 20 to two so they could enforce the use of respirators and other precautions, just as was done at the Pentagon, but the recommendation was ignored.

A Times editorial concluded in May that the Giuliani administration "failed in its duty to protect the workers at Ground Zero," faulting its "emphasis on a speedy cleanup" and its unwillingness "to insist that all emergency personnel and construction workers wear respirators'

Posted by: THE FAILURE THAT IS RUDY | August 22, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

JimD in FL writes
"Furthermore, the outrageous cost of health care is seriously undermining the competitiveness of our industries. Health care costs are the largest single cost element in a GM or Ford car."

No doubt. The Dems are really missing the boat on this issue. They could win over the pro-business vote (really the business campaign donations), by promoting a plan that decouples health insurance from employment. Having insurance tied to employment is bad for employers AND bad for employees.

Posted by: bsimon | August 22, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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Rudy Giuliani's Five Big Lies About 9/11

August 7th, 2007 9:44 PM
Illustration by John Kascht
Additional research assistance by Benjamin Bright, Ben Greenberg, Jan Ransom, Ethan Strauss, and Tom Wiedeman.
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Continued from page 6

5. 'Every effort was made by Mayor Giuliani and his staff to ensure the safety of all workers at Ground Zero.' So read a Giuliani campaign statement in June, responding to a chorus of questions about the mayor's responsibility for the respiratory plague that threatens the health of tens of thousands of workers at the World Trade Center site, apparently already having killed some.

The statement pointed a finger at then-EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, issuing a list of the many times that "Whitman assured New Yorkers the air was safe." Instead of also detailing the many times Giuliani echoed Whitman--for example, "the air is safe and acceptable," he said on September 28--the campaign cited several Fire Department "briefings" about "incident action plans" for the use of respirators, suggesting that the city had tried to get responders to protect themselves from the toxins at Ground Zero. The press release did not make a case that any of these "plans" had ever resulted in any real "action"; nor did it dispute the fact that as late as the end of October, only 29 percent of the workers at the site were wearing respirators.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Oliver North - SCUMBAG.

It is all part of a devoutly partisan exploitation of his 9/11 legend. Though Giuliani volunteered to execute bin Laden himself after 9/11, he's never criticized Bush for the administration's failure to capture him or the other two top culprits in the attack, Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahiri, a silence more revealing than anything he actually says about terrorism. The old evidence that Bush relied on Afghan proxies to capture bin Laden at Tora Bora, and the new evidence that he outsourced him to Pakistani proxies in Waziristan, evokes no Giuliani bark. Imagine if a Democratic president had done that--or had said, as Bush did, that "I just don't spend that much time" on bin Laden.

At the Republican National Convention in 2004, Giuliani began his celebrated speech by fusing 9/11 and the Iraq War as only he could do, reminding everyone of Bush's bullhorn declaration at Ground Zero that the people who brought down these towers "will hear from us," and declaring that they "heard from us in Iraq"--a far more invidious connection on this question than Dick Cheney has ever made. Giuliani even went so far, in his 2004 testimony before the 9/11 Commission, to claim that if he'd been told about the presidential daily briefing headlined "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.," which mentioned New York three times, "I can't honestly tell you we would have done anything differently." Pressed about whether the city would have benefited from knowing about a spike in warnings so vivid that the CIA director's "hair was on fire," Giuliani just shrugged.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Oliver North? Why are you on tv and not in jail? Why are you a gop "hero" after what you did? Using money from your boy's in iran to fund anti-marzists "terrorists" in south america. how are you not in jail? Didn't you lie to congress?

Posted by: Jkrish | August 22, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

'Operating in small independent "cells" instead of organized, disciplined military units, the enemy in Mesopotamia has no ability to mount any kind of protracted offensive against U.S. or even lightly-armed Iraqi government forces.'

Oh really? Then why have we spent half a trillion dollarss there?

All you are really proving is that what the right chants, 'if we leave, they'll follow us here' -- IS A BIG LIE.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

If you are Oliver North, you should be in prison, you lying traitorous Iran Contra criminal.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

'Even the fiercely anti-Clinton Freeh credited the former president," saying his administration did go after bin Laden "with a salvo of Tomahawk missiles in 1998 in retaliation for the embassy bombings in East Africa."

The best example of Giuliani's partisan twist is the USS Cole, which was attacked on October 12, 2000, three weeks before the 2000 election. The 9/11 Commission report found that in the final Clinton months, neither the FBI, then headed by Freeh, nor the CIA had a "definitive answer on the crucial question of outside direction of the attack," which Clinton said he needed to go to war against bin Laden or the Taliban. All Clinton got was a December 21 "preliminary judgment" from the CIA that Al Qaeda "supported the attack." A month later, when the Bush team took office, the CIA delivered the same "preliminary" findings to the new president. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told the commission "there was never a formal, recorded decision not to retaliate for the Cole" by the Bush administration, just "a consensus that 'tit-for-tat' responses were likely to be counterproductive." Rice thought that was the case "with the cruise missile strikes of 1998," meaning that the new administration was deriding the one response that Freeh praised.'

Posted by: lying repugs | August 22, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

And one more thing, I had eagles on my Marine uniform, not stars.

Posted by: Col North | August 22, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hillary - my car got a flat. can you fix it for me?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

bokonon "-to which I ask, how the hell do you know?"

- I fought in Vietnam, did you? Here's the distincton son...

In the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, enemy combatants are a combination of disparate Sunni Jihadi-terrorists, disenfranchised Ba'athists, Shia militias aligned with Iran, fanatical foreign Wahhabi Mujahadeen, Muslim Brotherhood-supported radicals and well-armed, hyper-violent criminal gangs, often with tribal connections that are stronger than any ideological, religious or political affiliations.

Though many Jihadis receive indoctrination, munitions and refuge from a network of mosques and sectarian Islamic groups, centralized command, control and logistics support is virtually non-existent.

Operating in small independent "cells" instead of organized, disciplined military units, the enemy in Mesopotamia has no ability to mount any kind of protracted offensive against U.S. or even lightly-armed Iraqi government forces.

Increasingly dependent on improvised explosive devices and suicide-bomb attacks to inflict casualties, the opposition in Iraq is more "anarchy" than "insurgency."

The second great fable about the war in Iraq is the horrific casualty rate. This is always the most difficult aspect of any war to address for all comparisons seem cynical. For those of us who have held dying soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines in our arms it is particularly painful.

Yet, it is one of the oft-cited reasons for why we were "forced" to get out of Vietnam - and why we are once again being urged by the media to "end the bloodshed" in Iraq. Here's a reality check.

Over the course of the entire Vietnam War, the "average" rate at which Americans died as a consequence of armed combat was about 15 per day. In 1968-69, when my brother and I served as Rifle Platoon and Infantry Company Commanders - he in the Army and I in the Marines - 39 Americans died every day in the war zone. In Iraq, the "kill rate" for U.S. troops is 2.06 per day.

During the 1968 "Tet Offensive" in Vietnam there were more than 2,100 U.S. casualties per week. In Iraq, the U.S. casualty rate from all causes has never exceeded 490 troops in a month.

None of this is to say, "my war was tougher than your war." As of this writing 3,000+ young Americans have been killed during three and one half years of war in Iraq. That's roughly the same number killed at Iwo Jima during the first three and one half days of fighting against the Japanese.

Every life lost was precious and every loss grievous to those who loved them. Unfortunately, our media intends to use every one of those killed to make their point. It's a lesson they learned in Vietnam.

On 27 February 1968, after a month of brutal fighting and daily images of U.S. casualties on American television, Walter Cronkite, then the host of the CBS Evening News, proclaimed that the Tet Offensive had proven to him that the Vietnam War was no longer winnable.

Four weeks later, Lyndon Johnson told the nation that "I shall not seek, and I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your President." It didn't matter that Tet had been a decisive victory for the U.S. and South Vietnamese.

Posted by: Oliver North | August 22, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

As the presidential debates heat up and tensions increase, the candidates need to be reminded of the critical issues that still trouble our society today. Issue such as global poverty needs to be address by our candidates to each and to the general public. As one of the nation that has pledge to fulfill the goals of Millennium Development Project, whose goal is the elimination of world hunger and poverty, the Bush Administration has not shown any substantial action to bring this fundamental problem to a stop. According to the Borgen Project, dedicated to fighting and ending Poverty around the world, only $19 billion dollars are needed annually to stop world wide poverty, hunger and malnutrition. However, more than $340 billion dollars has been poured into this "war on terror." And each year, our country has a military budge of $522 billion dollars. It's time for a new leader who will be addressing an issue that affects 1.2 billion people everyday worldwide.

Posted by: Mstessyrue | August 22, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the consequences of putting the center there were predictable. The terrorist who engineered the 1993 bombing told the FBI they were coming back to the trade center. Opposing the site at a meeting with the mayor, Police Commissioner Howard Safir called it "Ground Zero" because of the earlier attack. Lou Anemone, the highest-ranking uniformed officer in the NYPD, wrote memos slamming the site.

"I've never seen in my life 'walking distance' as some kind of a standard for crisis management," Anemone said later. "But you don't want to confuse Giuliani with the facts." Anemone had done a detailed vulnerability study of the city for Giuliani, pinpointing terrorist targets. "In terms of targets, the WTC was number one," he says. "I guess you had to be there in 1993 to know how strongly we felt it was the wrong place."

Posted by: guiliani an incompetent liar | August 22, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

zouk is a fascist

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The US does have the best quality health care - for those who can afford it. For those with no insurance or limited insurance coverage, it doesn't do them a lot of good. I am not in favor of socialized medicine but it is disingenous to offer that as an answer to the question fo what to do about the under-insured and the uninsured.

Furthermore, the outrageous cost of health care is seriously undermining the competitiveness of our industries. Health care costs are the largest single cost element in a GM or Ford car.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 22, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse


3. Don't blame me for 7 WTC, Rudy says. In response to his critics' most damning sound bite, Giuliani is attempting to blame a once-valued aide for the decision to put his prized, $61 million emergency-command center in the World Trade Center, an obvious terrorist target. The 1997 decision had dire consequences on 9/11, when the city had to mobilize a response without any operational center.

"My director of emergency management recommended 7 WTC" as "the site that would make the most sense," Giuliani told Chris Wallace's Fox News Channel show in May, pinpointing Jerry Hauer as the culprit.

Wallace confronted Giuliani, however, with a 1996 Hauer memo recommending that the bunker be sited at MetroTech in Brooklyn, close to where the Bloomberg administration eventually built one. The mayor brushed the memo aside, continuing to insist that Hauer had picked it as "the prime site."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

why wouldn't the Army keep me? what is wrong with me? why aren't I an elected official? I am so smart yet no one seems to know.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Anon, if the draft were reinstated, do you really think the "loudmouth chickenhawks" would not find, like Dick Cheney in the '60s, that they had "priorities other than national service"?

they should bring back tar and feathers for folks like that.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Anon, if the draft were reinstated, do you really think the "loudmouth chickenhawks" would not find, like Dick Cheney in the '60s, that they had "priorities other than national service"?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 22, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The mayor had also done nothing to make the radios interoperable--which would have enabled the police and firefighters to communicate across departmental lines--despite having received a 1995 federal waiver granting the city the additional radio frequencies to make that possible. That meant the fire chiefs had no idea that police helicopters had anticipated the partial collapse of both towers long before they fell.

It's not just the radios and the OEM: Giuliani never forced the police and fire departments to abide by clear command-and-control protocols that squarely put one service in charge of the other during specified emergencies. Though he collected $250 million in tax surcharges on phone use to improve the 911 system, he diverted this emergency funding for other uses, and the 911 dispatchers were an utter disaster that day, telling victims to stay where they were long after the fire chiefs had ordered an evacuation, which sealed the fates of hundreds.

Posted by: 'leadership' | August 22, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

i'm just an ignorant rightwingnut coward.

watch this: Libs, socialism, Hillary, blah, blah, blah

Posted by: hi, i'll just use a new name for every post | August 22, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

In the end, firefighters had to rely exclusively on their radios, and the inability of the Giuliani administration to find a replacement for the radios that malfunctioned in 1993 left them unable to talk to each other, even about getting out of a tower on the verge of collapse. And so they died.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

'zouk' and 'truth' are two words which have nothing in common and don't belong in a sentence, except in 'zouk wouldn't recognize the truth if it bit him' -- which eventually, it will.

here's hoping for reinstatement of the draft, so that all the loudmouth chickenhawks will actually get to fight the war they love so much.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I remember very clearly the daily fearmongering led by FOX as they cheered for war with Iraq. The 24/7 images, sound effects, yelling and threatening were an ever-present drumbeat for war. We had to invade, and we had to invade now.. anyone who didn't see that was a traitor. They viciously attacked those of us who worked to get out the truth.

You'd think that with the complete failure in Iraq, those days would be behind us. Sadly, you'd be wrong.

FOX wants war with Iran.

It's almost too ridiculous to believe, but it's shockingly real. We've already compiled over 4 hours of FOX footage just in the last few months... the same images, sound effects, yelling and threatening that led the U.S. to invade Iraq is happening right now to sell a war with Iran. They are saying the exact same things!!

Here is the video evidence, side-by-side with what they said about Iraq.

This time is different though. We're prepared, and we have the means to alert people to what FOX is doing. Everyone has seen the terrible tragedy and the awful price paid by so many Iraqis and Americans. We know this is coming, and we can stop it.

It was about this time in the lead-up to the Iraq war when the other TV networks started following FOX's lead. As CNN's Christiane Amanpour says in the video, they were intimidated by FOX into cheerleading for the Iraq war.


This is a critical moment, and we must send a message to the major television networks urging them to ask tough questions, be skeptical, and tell us what is really happening. They must not follow FOX down the road to another war.

We've put together an open letter to the networks. Will you sign it?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"This hurt comes from the honest word"

"Do not speak to fools they scron the wisdom of your words"

"Who's to be praised? The mighty dollar, or the mighty GOD"


Peace to you all. This site is a waste of time

Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

oN Point diagnosys jimd. Finally, something I agree with you on. Without political progress, there is no progress. How long are you gop'ers willing to wait for that. I know it may be easier waiting here, than my brothers and sisters waiting over there. How long are you gop'ers willing to keep up the status quote, until there is political progress? 5 more years? 10? How are we goign to keep sastained troops over there, a draft?

Time to come ut of fantasy island. What do you gope'rs want. What more can WE as americans give you gop'ers? HAven't we given you enough?

Posted by: RUFUS | August 22, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

zouk, keep your truth to yourself. this is my blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

the 45 million figure is misleading. Thirty-seven percent of that group live in households making more than $50,000 a year, says the U.S. Census Bureau. Nineteen percent are in households making more than $75,000 a year; 20 percent are not citizens, and 33 percent are eligible for existing government programs but are not enrolled.

For all its problems, the U.S. ranks at the top for quality of care and innovation, including development of life-saving drugs. It "falters" only when the criterion is proximity to socialized medicine.

Posted by: we want socialism | August 22, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Another reason the U.S. didn't score high in the WHO rankings is that we are less socialistic than other nations. What has that got to do with the quality of health care? For the authors of the study, it's crucial. The WHO judged countries not on the absolute quality of health care, but on how "fairly" health care of any quality is "distributed." The problem here is obvious. By that criterion, a country with high-quality care overall but "unequal distribution" would rank below a country with lower quality care but equal distribution.

Posted by: rig the results, we're Libs | August 22, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, you seriously need to work on your reading comprehension. When I said that we were winning in Iraq, I was being sarcastic; it was an imitation of the way Republicans trumpet minor advances as signs of victory. That was very clear from the sentences preceding the ones you quoted. If you're going to quote someone, maybe you should actually read their post and attempt to understand it first.

Posted by: Blarg | August 22, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons exploited traditional notions of fair play with regard to candidates' wives in 1992 and 1996. Hillary revolutionized the art of spousal politics by implementing a simple strategy: Make the woman the emissary; have her slam her husband's political opponents; play the victim when political opponents respond.

Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards have learned Hillary's lessons well. Obama's comments are surely the first of many. Edwards has already led the charge against President Bush, Sen. Obama, Ann Coulter and Hillary.

Hillary is the frontrunner and will certainly become the main target of her challengers' wives' ire. And she is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If she responds to Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards directly, she will be seen as a bully. If she allows President Clinton to counter their remarks, she will be seen as a weakling, sending her husband out to defend her against the other ladies. Ah, the irony.

Hillary changed the rules of the game in 1992 with her passive-aggressive victim routine. Now, Hillary will have to lie in the bed she made a decade and a half ago. It won't be comfortable.

Posted by: ben | August 22, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The surge is working tactically but the strategy behind the surge is to give the Iraqi government time to arrive at a political settlement that Shia, Sunni and Kurd can accept. There has been no discernible progress towards that end. The surge is unsustainable - the Pentagon has made that clear. Furthermore, a great deal of the success of the surge is a result of some militias lying low and other groups of bad actors acting out in non-surge areas.

The Iraq study group (Baker-Hamilton) estimated that there were around 1300 foreign fighters. A report prepared for Congress using government figures estimated foreign fighters at around 1500 to 3500 with 25000 Sunni insurgents and 80000 Shiite militia members. So the bulk of the problem is groups of Shia militias fighting Sunnis and each other, Sunni militias fighting Shias and mostly Sunni insurgents resisting our occupation of Iraq. The only solution to that situation is a political solution.

The situation is a lot more complicated than just us against "the terrorists". I don't expect a political solution to resolve all the indigenous violence but it should go a long way towards that end. It will make the remaining pacification far more manageable, hopefully by Iraqi forces. Of course, the Iraqi forces are often unreliable. The Iraqi police, in particular, have shown themselves more loyal to their tribal militia than the central government. But again, a political settlement that the major factions agree to could result in an end to most of the fighting.

do not support a withdrawal - as I have posted here on many occasions. I do support a re-deployment and something of a drawdown where our forces concentrate on protecting Iraq's territorial integrity, training, and conducting Special Forces strikes against al Qaeda in Iraq. But, unless the main Iraqi groups reach a workable settlement, I cannot see continuing indefinitely to try to referee a civil war.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 22, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

On Tuesday, Michelle Obama, wife of floundering presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, got aggressive. "One of the things, the important aspects of this race, is role modeling what good families should look like," Mrs. Obama told a crowd in Illinois. "And my view is that if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House."

This was an oblique slap at Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who has famously failed to keep her house in order. Michelle Obama's statements made her the second Democratic candidate's wife to act as attack dog during this election cycle. The first attack dog wife, Elizabeth Edwards, rapped Hillary across the knuckles in July for failing to adequately represent women's issues. "[S]ometimes," Mrs. Edwards stated, "you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues."

The 2008 presidential race is producing the most bellicose crop of first lady candidates in American history. First lady candidates used to be of the Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Rosalynn Carter sort -- helpful, caring, sympathetic. Even the most controversial first ladies -- women like Eleanor Roosevelt -- were controversial for their personal political activities, not for their shock-troop status. Now our first lady candidates are fire-breathing stump orators.

What happened? Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: we hate, therefer we're Libs | August 22, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama gore 08 :)

Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Oliver North" says:

"Both the NVA and VC responded to centralized command and control directed by authorities in Hanoi. None of that is true of Iraq."

-to which I ask, how the hell do you know? If I remember correctly, the US was convinced that Iraq had nukes... well, but they tried to buy enriched uranium... OK, but maybe biological or chemical weapons... no? They must be hiding them... can't find them? Well, but they attacked us on September elev- what? "Al" who? But all Muslims are the same anyway... not in Iraq? Just wait. They will be.

And of course, now they (al Qaeda) are (in Iraq), albeit not in large numbers. This should not surprise us, as we invited them in.

I would also ask "General North" - in what way(s) is it better to have a decentralized enemy, all of whom do not answer to the same authority? It complicates negotiation (as if that were ever to cross Bush's mind!), intelligence, surveillance, security - especially in an age when one person can hide in his clothes enough ordnance to take down a building. Yes, those attacking the US forces are less organized, and can't fight the US in the same way as could the NVA. The better analogy is to the Vietcong, and it's the Vietcong that the US forces were never really able to get a handle on.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 22, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

As to Mr. Obama being the candidate for change, this idea seems to have originated with -- Mr. Obama. His home page has a big map at the top titled "Road to Change." And he wrote an audacious book claiming the novel audacity of a politician offering the change of hope to the voters. Of course, politicians since the beginning of time have peddled either fear or hope -- with the better ones offering both simultaneously.

Moreover, his policy thinking appears to be politically safe and routine left-of-center Washington think tank ideas -- nothing terribly innovative.

Nor is offering to end partisan bickering much of an innovation -- although accomplishing it would be. And that is where a shrewd assessment of Mr. Obama would suggest his is an unlikely personality to end partisan bickering. He has already, in his short Washington career, displayed a haughty pride in his own high intelligence, a definite instinct for sarcastically toned comments about his opponents (even in his own party), a refusal to admit any errors and an undisciplined and flippant manner.

Imagine a President Obama -- with all those traits -- reaching out, working with and compromising with the full menagerie of Capitol Hill creatures. He couldn't possibly hold his tongue for eight weeks, let alone eight years, working in harness with congressmen, senators and interest-group representatives he judged to be knuckle-dragging nincompoops. This is a guy destined to be the Godzilla of skunks at any Washington bipartisan picnic.

Which is not to say that he wouldn't be a prince of a president. It's just that it will not be based on changing the way Washington does business.

The media should not be so willing to parrot each of Mrs. Clinton's and Mr. Obama's campaign themes. They are able work-a-day politicians trying to get themselves elected president. Nothing is wrong with that. But Hillary Clinton is one of the least-experienced major candidates for president in the last hundred years, and Barack Obama is neither stylistically nor substantively offering any more change than have most candidates over the generations.

Posted by: keep repeating the lies | August 22, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

But this season's premier political cliche is already both hackneyed and trite, while having no obvious truth to it. I am referring to the claim that Sen. Barack Obama would bring real change to America, while Sen. Hillary Clinton would bring extensive experience to the office.

First, it is interesting to note where this cliche came from. As far as I can tell, its origins are nothing more than the campaign claims of the two candidates. Sen. Hillary Milhous Clinton has been lumbering around the political landscape talking about herself as commander in chief. She joined the Senate Armed Services Committee as a freshman seven short years ago and has managed to pick up enough military jargon to sound like an Army major on his third tour of duty in the Pentagon's administrative office. She has taken on the world-weary sound of a veteran European diplomat -- although she has not carried out even one day's duty as a diplomat.

In fact, prior to being elected to the Senate in 2000, her only recent professional employment had been as a lawyer in Little Rock, Arkansas while her husband, coincidentally, was governor of that state. She represented clients who sometimes had an interest in getting to know her husband better.

She has never managed anything larger than a Senate office, although she did exercise the traditional first lady's prerogative of trying to get various of her husband's staff fired.

Her international activities while first lady were more in line with the ceremonial responsibilities of a Pat Nixon or Laura Bush, than with the actual interventions of Eleanor Roosevelt -- who she does claim to have spoken to via seance.

In other words, she doesn't have the government management experience of a Reagan, Carter or Bill Clinton. Nor does she have the international, military or naval experience of an Eisenhower, Hoover or a Franklin Roosevelt. Now, this doesn't mean she would not make a jim-dandy president (although I would prefer about 295 million other Americans in that job before her). But it does mean that the cliche that she is the experienced candidate is just hooey.

Posted by: tony | August 22, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Progress? After how many years? 4? You gop'ers are happy about SOME progress after four years? Is SOME progress in a country half way across the world worth 4000 americans and a large portion of american tax dollars, or does the money come from china? Either way, how much are we spending there? Hwo many deaths on both sides? Where is bin laden? Why have the sunni's pulled out of the government?

Don't believe these gop spinsters, independant thinkers. They have been lying to you ever since they found out 9/11 was an inside job. Why? Because they really believe what they say? No. You can't tell me O'REilly believes half the things he says. No. They are fascists. The gop are lying propogating faascsits. Why?


Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Wag the Blog Redux: OK, so an exhausted presidential candidate slips and says he thinks being gay is a choice. Minutes later he steps back and says that the bottom line is all people are equal under the law and should be so treated.

I ponder the importance of the question, the answer and reality.

Here are some simple facts:

As Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson has enacted and fought for an historic expansion of laws to recognize and protect LGBT citizens of New Mexico.

Bill Richardson regularly talks about his LGBT record and plans in presidential forums, big and small, gay and not.

Bill Richardson is not running to be arbiter-in-chief of how people become lesbian or gay. He is running to be a President of the United States for every American. Period. Regardless of sexual orientation or other characteristic.

Having said all of that, it is high time we focus not on trivial slips-of-the-tongue and minor policy differences, but rather on the fact that seven years of GOP dominance in Washington has created an America so divided, so frustrated, so angry that the winds of change are blowing at category five.

I have not personally decided who I will support, but let me assure you, I'll take Bill Richardson over any of the lightweights running on the other side.

At a time of chaos at home and abroad, any one of the Democratic candidates go a long way towards bridging the divides among us, restoring our standing in the world, bringing our troops home, restoring our economy, providing healthcare for every American, facing the challenge of climate change, and yes, expanding the rights, responsibilites and protections for LGBT Americans.

Eric C. Bauman
Chair, Los Angeles County Democratic Party

Posted by: Eric C. Bauman | August 22, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

A candidate who thinks touching his heart is an answer of substance is just not right. A candidate who takes his posin' shovel down to New Orleans to announce his candidacy and care for the residents while investing about $16 million in a subprime lender (Fortress Investment Group) that's foreclosing on homeowners there is just not right. And what about working as a consultant for that group and investing in its tax-free Cayman Island hedge funds after having spoken publicly against subprime lenders and offshore tax shelters?

Posted by: Why can't I be president | August 22, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Both of these polls are far more interesting than the current topic of this blog:

The R 'base' hates Romney as much as the D 'base' hates Clinton. Are Clinton's unfavorables decreasing?

SC voters split in interesting ways in their support for Clinton versus Obama.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 22, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

But any evolution in mainstream Democratic Party thinking must not blind us to the reality that many of these same politicians have shamelessly demagogued the issue -- poormouthing the war effort in order to score some cheap political points against President. Bush at the expense of our troops. In that vein, Mr. Durbin told The Washington Post that if Mr. Maliki were to leave office, the Democratic leadership might feel compelled to stop criticizing the war in order to give a new Iraqi government a fighting chance to perform.

Perish the thought that a new, functioning Iraqi government and political system might somehow get in the way of the Senate majority whip's antiwar political agenda.

Posted by: we're Dems, everything is about the election | August 22, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

A small town called new orleans was flooded two years ago, IN AMERICA. Where is fema to fix the damage.

Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

After months of heaping scorn on the very idea that a new military strategy could achieve results in Iraq, a growing number of antiwar critics now acknowledge that the very idea they contemptuously dismissed is achieving results after all. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said Monday after visiting Iraq that he saw "credible and positive results" from the troop reinforcements. He added that visits to bases in Baghdad and Mosul showed that the military aspects of the troop "surge" have made progress in reducing violence and giving Iraqi political leaders time to work for political reconciliation.

Mr. Levin and the ranking Republican on the Armed Services panel, Sen. John Warner (another critic of the troop "surge") issued a statement that said they were "also encouraged by continuing positive results -- in al Anbar Province, from the recent decisions of some of the Sunni tribes to turn against al Qaeda and cooperate with coalition force efforts to kill or capture its adherents." Democratic Rep. Brian Baird of Washington, who just returned from Iraq, now says he believes U.S. forces should remain in the country as long as necessary to ensure stability and that he will no longer vote for binding deadlines to withdraw troops. Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin and Bob Casey, who also just returned, have conceded that U.S. forces are making progress militarily.

Posted by: can we rewind and switch our votes now | August 22, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I broke a fingernail over an hour ago. where is FEMA? why isn't the government here to fix the damage?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Some Sunni militants are fighting Al-Qaeda instead of us! We've achieved partial progress on nearly half of our goals! We're winning!"

No blarg. The sunni's pulled out of the government. how can their be unity without one block of the government? You can't. It is impossible to win if their is no political progress. Impossible to win without that no matter how much gop'ers propogate. Independant thinkers know this

Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

'Rather, it was lost in the pages of America's newspapers, on our televisions, our college campuses - and eventually in the corridors of power in Washington.'

oliver/zouk -- THE USUAL BS. it was lost after 16 years and almost 60,000 dead -- and just like then, people like you cheerlead the deaths, but won't serve. people got sick of death. but not people like you, because you are a vulture.


Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

So what exactly then is this Â'new war' that Mrs. Clinton says we ought to be preparing to fight? And how does she think we will win it if we just allow our current allies in Iraq to be slaughtered by the enemies we will have to fight elsewhere if they drive us from Iraq? And how are the Democrats going to lead in a new war after beating the drums so avidly for retreat in the current fight? The truth is Mrs. Clinton doesn't believe all the clap trap she's been spooling to her party's base. We hear that in private conversations with military brass, she pointedly says she will not run the war, if elected, as she promises to during the campaign Â-- which is one of the most astounding things we've heard of late.

Once the primaries are done and the general election approaches and as we rack up more success in Iraq, Mrs. Clinton's handlers will bend over backwards to emphasize these hawkish qualifications she placed in the speeches when she was trying to woo those Americans who believe the president and his top advisers are war criminals. At some point, Mrs. Clinton will have to take on the left wing of her party. And that is going to be some donnybrook. It's conceivable that it will turn out to be the new war about which the senator is suddenly talking. She will certainly need to win it if she is going to abandon her commitment to retreat and seek to lead our troops to victory in Iraq and beyond.

Posted by: i was for it before I was against it | August 22, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"Among those who had read at least one book, conservatives "typically read 3" books in the past year."

Do fantasy and sci-fi count? I don't think so. That's all these gop'ers read. Wecolme to reality gop. This is the real world. We are not living in wizards and witches time. It is not 1748. The year is not 1954. John wayne and elvis are dead.

The year is 2007. Welcome to reality. Don't shoot the messanger. I'm trying to help bring you gop'ers out of fantasy land and into the real world. Take the blue pill. :)

Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

get lost, zouk -- everyone here can see through your lies and propaganda.

'Is there anybody out there that DOESN't think the gop is in bed with the terrorsits and the saudi's (the people who attacked us on 9/11)'

well we know bush is in bed with the saudis -- we've seen him holding their hands and kissing their lips.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

blarg writes "In the average person's mind, Vietnam is associated with a brutal, unwinnable conflict"

Purveyors of the "news" in our so-called mainstream media picked up the beat - describing Iraq as a "quagmire"-
though many of them are too young to know anything more about Vietnam than what they learned from a movie. The "Vietnam déjà vu" howl is now in full cry. But it's a myth.

Most importantly, the adversaries confronted in both wars are radically dissimilar. In Vietnam, U.S. troops faced nearly a quarter of a million conscripted but well trained, disciplined and equipped North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars and upwards of 100,000 highly organized Viet Cong (VC) insurgents on a constant basis from 1966 onward. Both the NVA and the VC "irregulars" were well indoctrinated in communist ideology, received direct aid from the Soviet Union, Communist China and the Warsaw Pact and benefited from logistics and politico-military support networks in neighboring countries. During major campaigns against U.S. and South Vietnamese forces - of which there were many each year - both the NVA and VC responded to centralized command and control directed by authorities in Hanoi. None of that is true of Iraq.

Today's potentates of the press are trying to deliver the same message: that Iraq, like Vietnam, is un-winnable. One television network has gone so far as to broadcast images of U.S. troops being killed by terrorists - making Iraq the first war where Americans get their news from the enemy.

The war in Vietnam wasn't lost during "Tet '68" no matter what Walter Cronkite said. Rather, it was lost in the pages of America's newspapers, on our televisions, our college campuses - and eventually in the corridors of power in Washington.

We need to pray that this war isn't lost the same way.

Posted by: Oliver North | August 22, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Look for Democratic leaders -- maybe including Mrs. Clinton herself -- to start to redefine victory."

So now it's the Democrats who are redefining victory in Iraq? I thought that was the Republicans' job. The slightest accomplishment in Iraq is hailed as a sign of impending victory: A few less people were killed this month than last month! Some Sunni militants are fighting Al-Qaeda instead of us! We've achieved partial progress on nearly half of our goals! We're winning!

Posted by: Blarg | August 22, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

AGHDAD -- Despite U.S. claims that violence is down in the Iraqi capital, U.S. military officers are offering a bleak picture of Iraq's future, saying they've yet to see any signs of reconciliation between Sunni and Shiite Muslims despite the drop in violence.

Without reconciliation, the military officers say, any decline in violence will be temporary and bloodshed could return to previous levels as soon as the U.S. military cuts back its campaign against insurgent attacks.

That downbeat assessment comes despite a buildup of U.S. troops that began five months ago Wednesday and has seen U.S. casualties reach the highest sustained levels since the United States invaded Iraq nearly four and a half years ago.

Violence remains endemic, with truck bombs in two northern Iraqi villages claiming the largest single death toll of the war -- more than 300 confirmed dead and counting. North of Baghdad, another truck bomb destroyed a key bridge on the road linking the capital to Mosul.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I am very busy today cutting and pasting all my ideas over from Kos, the nation and moveon. I am so filled with hate and bile I have little time for you today zouk. On this site we prefer to remain in our own little liberal bubble, devoid of facts and reason, so if you have any notions about trying to stop the lies and propoganda, we users of the fix don't need you. we are happy in our ignorance.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

A new AP-Ipsos poll finds that liberals read more books than conservatives. Some highlights from the poll:

- 34 percent of conservatives have not read a book within the past year, compared with 21 percent of liberals and moderates.

- Among those who had read at least one book, conservatives "typically read 3" books in the past year. Liberals read nine, moderates five.

- "By wider margins, Democrats tended to read more books than Republicans and independents."

Pat Schroeder, president of the American Association of Publishers, attempted to explain the results: "The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a couple slogans: 'No, don't raise my taxes, no new taxes. It's pretty hard to write a book saying, 'No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes' on every page."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Yet another ad warns, "We've already had one 9/11, we don't need another."

that's right. but I thought the right was saying the country needed another 9/11. I thought we "needed" more americans to die to come together. Fricking republicans these days.

Is there anybody out there that DOESN't think the gop is in bed with the terrorsits and the saudi's (the people who attacked us on 9/11)

Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

On MSNBC's Tucker yesterday, host Tucker Carlson attempted to refute a recent New York Times op-ed, entitled "The War As We Saw It," authored by members of the 82nd Airborne Division finishing up a 15 month deployment to Iraq. They wrote that "recent press coverage" of Iraq has "neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day."

Speaking with retired Col. Jack Jacobs, Carlson said he was "a little bit uncomfortable with" the op-ed because he says "weighing in on a political question such as this" may "squander the awesome moral authority that these guys have." "I think there is some detriment to the moral authority," agreed Jacobs.

While saying he "instinctively" respects "people who are serving in a war zone," Carlson went on to attack the op-ed, saying that he also "instinctively distrust[s]" some of the assertions made by the soldiers, such as their argument that "a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force."

Watch it:

While Carlson claims to have respect for people serving in a war zone, he appears to have no hesitations in calling out the credibility of soldiers when they present a viewpoint that doesn't confirm his own. On MSNBC's Countdown last night, Paul Rieckhoff -- executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) -- said soldiers are the "subject matter experts" when it comes to Iraq. "That's why this op-ed is so important," he explained. He added:

The soldiers who wrote this piece just completed a 15-month tour. One of them was actually shot in the head before this piece was published, and he's recovering in the U.S. now. These guys know what they are talking about and they present a very nuanced understanding of the battlefield that the politicians and the policy wonks haven't been able to provide.

Posted by: TUCKER'S A CHICKENHAWK COWARD | August 22, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Stop interfering with our lib mutual admiration society. We only have a few months left to bash bush before the realization that we have nominated a clinton sets in.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Stop watch fox and listen to rush, ken. They are rotting your brain. The whole "the dem's are invested in defeat" argument is garbage. Much like everything that has come out of the right the last 6 years. Lie's spin discrediting. We are not winning in iraq. There can be no military solution without a political one. If you don't know, the sunni's pulled out of the iraq gov. There will be no political solution any time soon. Where is bin laden and the rest of AQ leadership.

Incompetance or purposful gop sabotage? YOu be the judge. But without political progress, there is no progress.

Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Beginning today, Freedom's Watch, a new right-wing front group for the White House, "will unveil a month-long, $15 million television, radio and grass-roots campaign" to pressure Congress to continue supporting President Bush's disastrous Iraq strategy. The group, which is "funded by high-profile Republicans who were aides and supporters of President Bush," is headed by a familiar face from the Bush war effort: former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.

The four ads produced so far by Fleischer's Freedom's Watch group contain little more than fear-mongering about an Iraq pullout. "They attacked us and they will again. They won't stop in Iraq," one ad says. "It will mean more attacks in America," says another. Yet another ad warns, "We've already had one 9/11, we don't need another."


Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

ken/zouk-- on right at noon, just like usual.



Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

'For the past several months, House and Senate committees have been investigating David Schwartz, the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which is a branch of NIH. They are examining whether Schwartz "disregarded conflict-of-interest guidelines," broke government spending rules, and violated ethics rules. Since Schwartz's arrival in 2005, three top institute officials have left. One NIEHS official stated, "Morale is just horrible" at the agency.

Under Schwartz, the agency is now requiring all of its employees to fill out a form to document all their contacts with Congress. The form, obtained by ThinkProgress, appears to be an attempt to discourage employees from cooperating with congressional investigators.

Yesterday, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) wrote to NIH head Dr. Elias Zerhouni and asked him to explain who approved the form's distribution, which employees received it, and the rationale behind "having this type of form at all." He also expressed concern at the chilling effect the interference may have on whistleblowers:'

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

American progress in Iraq has painted Democrats into a corner. House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid have unequivocally said the war is lost, and that we must withdraw troops now. They say that President Bush and Republicans have lost, and all we can do now is admit defeat and leave. Doing so, though, would turn a young country over to terrorists or Iran and Syria.

The Democrats realize the problem they face with Iraq is the fact that it is improving. The House Majority Whip, James Clyburn, said that if General Petraeus brings positive news from Iraq it would, "be a real big problem for us." That's just awful for a politician to say that military victory is bad news.

This is especially dangerous for Senator Clinton. The far Left of her party is now ferociously anti-war. If middle America is again willing to see this through, she runs the risk of either pandering to her base and losing swing voters, or supporting the troops and alienating her base. Neither is good.

Look for Democratic leaders -- maybe including Mrs. Clinton herself -- to start to redefine victory. They will cease to measure military progress and start demanding Iraqi political unity.

Our troops will win while their politicians bicker. This would enable Democrats and their presidential candidate to continue ranting that we're losing the war, beating Republicans over the head with it, even if it's not true.

Such a strategy would be so shameful as to be disgusting, but when you tie your hopes for victory to the defeat of your own countrymen you have little choice when they actually start winning.

It used to be said that politics stopped at the water's edge. No matter how much we argue over policy, our country used to come together during wartime to rally for victory.

It's a profound shame that our politics have gotten to this point. It's a shame that the Democrats are likely to nominate one of the most divisive and polarizing candidates in American political history as their leader. Hillary Clinton will likely continue the politics of division and distrust that has so degraded our national discourse. If Republicans nominate someone who can unify the country and bring us back together as one on matters of war and peace, they might just win this election.

More importantly, we might just win this war.

Posted by: ken | August 22, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department said Tuesday that records about missing White House e-mails are not subject to public disclosure, the latest effort by the Bush administration to expand the boundaries of government secrecy.

Administration lawyers detailed the legal position in a lawsuit trying to force the White House Office of Administration to reveal what it knows about the disappearance of White House e-mails.

The Office of Administration provides administrative services, including information technology support, to the Executive Office of the President.

The office has prepared estimates that there are at least 5 million missing White House e-mails from March 2003 to October 2005, according to the lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a private advocacy group.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money...'"

But we all have job's though. Unemployment is low. The r's love to say that. Slave's. People have to work. Our kids have to eat. That doesn't mean the economy is good. My boss's wife's car payment is three of my house payments. Waste not want not.

Posted by: rufus | August 22, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Ignorant cowards little playground

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Stone's in trouble with the law again...

Big time Republican political strategist Roger Stone and his wife Nikki: The former Bob Dole adviser and his wife were swingers and The Vault was a favorite haunt.

"Roger and Nikki were our customers for a long time," Marini says. "They were heavy duty swingers and ran ads on the Internet and in many sex publications. They were heavy players."

Roger was one of the top advisers who urged Dole and other Republican politicians to emphasize family values and integrity.

"Regardless of his status in politics, Roger never came to the club in disguise," Marini recalls. "He looked like a Ken doll. He was tall, blond, handsome and muscular and his wife was curvaceous and very sexy. She would wear leather bras and tantalizing outfits and he would wear collars, chaps and a leather vest with no shirt underneath."

Then in 1996, an ENQUIRER investigation revealed that Roger and his wife frequented group sex clubs and engaged in group sex orgies. In two blockbuster articles, we published evidence, including a shocking ad the couple had placed in a swingers' magazine soliciting lovers for group sex, a handwritten note arranging a sexual encounter, and revealing photos from sex magazines of Roger and Nikki barechested.

Hours after The ENQUIRER story hit the stands, it was picked up by dailies around the country -- and Dole's campaign ended its association with Roger Stone.

Posted by: the R 'party' | August 22, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

'ROCHESTER, N.H. - Rudy Giuliani leapt into the health care debate Tuesday with a plan like one that's already been declared dead-on-arrival on Capitol Hill -- a version of a $15,000 tax break for insurance that President George W. Bush floated earlier this year without success.

Giuliani's plan also sidesteps the issue dominating the Democratic debate over health care -- how to cover all or nearly all of the 47 million uninsured Americans.'

In other words, a giveaway to the rich. Explain to me again how he is different in any way from Bush?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

One quarter of one percent of the country's population took in half the wealth last year. This is the legacy of Bush.

'[Earners of over $1 million/year,] who constitute less than a quarter of 1 percent of all taxpayers, reaped almost 47 percent of the total income gains in 2005, compared with 2000.
People with incomes of more than a million dollars also received 62 percent of the savings from the reduced tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends that President Bush signed into law in 2003...

So less than one-quarter of one percent of all taxpayers took in almost 50 percent of the nation's revenues. And what about the little guy? Screwed, as you would suspect.

Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money...'

Posted by: the new gilded age | August 22, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The nascent fight over whether to raise taxes on Wall Street hot shots has become one of the year's biggest lobbying bonanzas.

In order to defeat what amounts to two pieces of tax legislation, those new high rollers of finance -- private equity firms and hedge funds -- have been flooding Washington with money. Even though legislation was introduced just this spring, the buyout firms have already distributed at least $5.5 million in lobbying fees, quadruple what they spent in all of 2006, according to Bloomberg News.

Posted by: sickening | August 22, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Well if Iraq is like Vietnam, then we better be prepared to institute a draft and stay there 12 more years.

Hey gopers, especially you chickenhawks out there, you think that's a good idea? Surely you must, if you agree that this occupation must continue. We are running short of troops, we can't continue at this level.

So you think there should be a draft, right?

Posted by: Cassandra | August 22, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Mark, I have to admit, I have never been comfortable with the term "lawful war." Decided by whom? domestically or internationally? It would seem that it would have to be the latter in order for it to be seen as "lawful" in the eyes of the world and on the basis of what evidence, and that evidence comes from - ?"

Right. HAs anybody seen the documentary called" the fog of war" with Macnamara. I could believe it. Before we dropped the bomb. We were bombing japan WITH NAPAM. Hundred's for thousands of innocent civilans were killed. Mac said on camera, "We're going to jail. We commited war crimes we're going to jail for a long time." Whoever he was talking to said, "We better win the war then."

Think about that for a second.

Posted by: rufus1133 | August 22, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Cockerham was an Army contracting officer in Kuwait who, a criminal complaint alleges, is at the center of the largest corruption case yet to emerge from the Iraq war. It's a picaresque story involving crooked Kuwaiti and Emirati businessmen with codenames like "Mr. and Mrs. Pastry." In 2004 and 2005, according to the complaint, Cockerham, his wife and his sister, took $9.6 million in bribes, kept in safe-deposit boxes in a number of Persian-Gulf cities, in exchange for contracts for things like drinking water.

Posted by: where your tax money goes | August 22, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The only "legitimate debate" about the President trying to compare Iraq favorably to Vietnam involves finding an answer to the question,

Just exactly how stupid does he think we are?

Not surprisingly, Stanley Karnow, whose seminal work, Vietnam: A History, offers one of the best summaries of the country and its conflicts, takes issue with the crank-smoking wackos:

"They're clutching at some sort of way to justify hanging on in Iraq," said Karnow, whose "Vietnam: A History" is considered by many to be the definitive account of the conflict. "The war in Vietnam, in my estimation, was unwinnable for the simple, basic reason that we were up against an enemy that was prepared to take on unlimited losses. They would have gone on fighting endlessly.'

[I]t's sickening. These people just don't get it - and never did get it.

We were in Vietnam for 16 years, from 1959 through 1975. We spent about $541 billion there (for the period 1964-72, in 2005 dollars); our defense budget represented 9.6 percent of GDP (compared to about 4 percent currently).

We dropped more than 7 million tons of bombs in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

And what did we get for it? Thousands and thousands of dead americans and vietnamese.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"The right frequently seems genuinely mystified as to why so many Americans tell pollsters how unsatisfied they are with the economy. Bush and his allies frequently say, "Look at GDP and unemployment rates! You guys should be thrilled! What kind of idiots are you people?" Maybe news like this will help conservatives better understand the widespread discontent.

Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money than at the peak of the last economic expansion, new government data shows. [...]

The combined income of all Americans in 2005 was slightly larger than it was in 2000, but because more people were dividing up the national income pie, the average remained smaller. [...]

Total income listed on tax returns grew every year after World War II, with a single one-year exception, until 2001, making the five-year period of lower average incomes and four years of lower total incomes a new experience for the majority of Americans born since 1945.

Got that? Income growth not only stopped after Bush took office, but the last five years are unprecedented in the post WWII-era.

Posted by: | August 22, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I have to admit, I have never been comfortable with the term "lawful war." Decided by whom? domestically or internationally? It would seem that it would have to be the latter in order for it to be seen as "lawful" in the eyes of the world and on the basis of what evidence, and that evidence comes from - ?
I'm not sure Vietnam was a lawful war - were there ever any UN resolutions with regard to Vietnam? - technically, it wasn't even a 'war,' which must be declared by Congress. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution was based on a claimed attack by North Vietnamese gunboats which never actually happened (; meaning that Johnson was able to win support for military action in Congress based on information he knew was false. (Sound familiar?) Of course, Ho Chi Minh was no saint, but he - and Fidel Castro, for that matter - became much more hostile, and much bigger problems, than they had to be, due to the US' readiness to use military force.
Of course, I was born during the Tet offensive, so I can't really comment the same way someone who lived through it could...

Posted by: Bokonon | August 22, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

'The White House revealed Monday that General David Petraeus' testimony before Congress re the Iraq War "surge" has now been set for September 11th.

Everything the General will talk about will naturally have the tragic deaths of 3,000 of our fellow citizens hanging in the air.

This may also work to temper the critical tone of questions.

And you can bet on this: His "opening statement" to the committee will reference 9/11. And the talking points given to the Republicans on the committee no doubt direct that their questions to the General should be prefaced by things like, "General Petraeus, as we look back on our military response to that tragic day in our nation's history....'

There truly is no limit to the cynicism of this administration. There really is depth they will not stoop to, to use the deaths of 3000 americans to achieve their oil agenda. Monsters.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Without naming names, Huckabee is using his second-place finish at the Iowa GOP's straw poll Aug. 11 to take aim at Mitt Romney, the winner at Ames.

In media appearances and on the stump, the normally sunny Huckabee is using barbed language to portray Romney as a politically expedient and wealthy spendthrift who can't relate to the day-to-day problems of average Americans.

"Here's a guy who didn't just become pro-life to run for president," Huckabee said of himself at a dinner of 100 Republicans gathered here last week for spaghetti and meatballs and political rhetoric. "Here's a guy who didn't just read the latest issue of NRA magazine and decide he's going to be for the Second Amendment."

Posted by: he's right | August 22, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is bliss.
Up is down.
Black is white.
God is dead."

wORD IS BORN. We were warned this day would come.,,2064157,00.html

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy(terrorist, The dem's are terrorist, liberals, gays, brown people,socialism, so on and so forth)

2. Create a gulag( cuba, secret cia prisons)

3. Develop a thug caste (cow folf, dittoheads, SOME military and ex-military)

4. Set up an internal surveillance system( patriot act, cell phone camera's, google earth, emails call's listened into, big brother is watching you)

5. Harass citizens' groups(all non gopers)

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. Target key individuals

8. Control the press( right wing domination of media, silence any and all non-gop voices, per o'reilly hannity rush)

9. Dissent equals treason( "you either with us or the terrorists")

10. Suspend the rule of law(executive privledge, I don't recall)

Posted by: rufus1133 | August 22, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration violated U.S. law by failing to produce a study on the impact of global warming and must issue a summary by March, a federal judge ruled.


District Judge Saundra Armstrong in Oakland, California, said the U.S. government ``unlawfully withheld action'' required under the Global Change Research Act of 1990 to update a research plan and scientific assessment of climate change.

The law mandates the research plan should be revised every three years and the assessment every four years. The last research plan was in 2003 and the last assessment was published in 2000. Greenpeace International and two other environmental groups who say the U.S. government suppresses science on climate change sued in November seeking a court order to produce the reports.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Former Senator Fred D. Thompson is not only testing the waters for a run for president - he's stirring the pot. He took a not-very-veiled swipe at the Republican frontrunner, Rudolph W. Giuliani, for supporting gun control.

Mr. Thompson, who starred in "Law & Order," wrote on his Web site today: "When I was working in television, I spent quite a bit of time in New York City. There are lots of things about the place I like, but New York gun laws don't fall in that category.''

Then he decried a recent court ruling on a gun case, writing that "the same activist federal judge from Brooklyn who provided Mayor Giuliani's administration with the legal ruling it sought to sue gun makers, has done it again.''

The Giuliani campaign, er, returned fire. "Those who live in New York in the real world -- not on TV -- know that Rudy Giuliani's record of making the city safe for families speaks for itself,'' said Katie Levinson, the Giuliani campaign's communications director. "No amount of political theater will change that."

Posted by: WHEN DEMAGOGUES COLLIDE | August 22, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

""Countdown With Keith Olbermann" the highly rated cable news program, will be shown on network television on Sunday before a preseason NBC football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since Mr. Olbermann, right, will have a regular role in NBC's football coverage once the season begins -- appearing as a co-host on the pregame show "Football Night in America" on Sundays -- this weekend's appearance of his cable show will give a wider audience a look at what he has been up for the last four years. " 'Countdown' is rocketing right now over at MSNBC -- its ratings are going through the roof," said Phil Griffin, senior vice president of NBC News. (In July Mr. Olbermann's show averaged 721,000 viewers, an increase of 88 percent over last July, according to MSNBC.) Mr. Griffin added, "The world has changed, and I think people have come in line with the smart, focused approach he has on the show." No immediate plans for additional network appearances of "Countdown" have been made, but Mr. Griffen did not rule them out. "It may be the first of several times you see Olbermann on the network," he said.

As Taylor puts it: "This will drive Bill-O berzerk. As for Rush Limbaugh, he'll be pea green with envy."

This is a big opportunity for Keith to be given a true nation-wide, prime time audience and it's long overdue. Just think of all the people who will tune in early to watch football and find honest and hard hitting journalism! Bravo, NBC, bravo..."

Posted by: RUFUS | August 22, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Blarg is right. I was alive at the time, as were you, Mark in Austin. The Vietnam War tore the country apart, turned families against each other. I'm from a working class family and every able-boded man was sent -- I had a number of college friends killed or wounded and one of my cousins got his leg blown off, another died. The whole country -- except the well-off, like GW Bush, had their lives on hold for years, with fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, and daughters at risk. It was a nightmare.

But of course, not for folks like Bush, who skated through it here at home, too drunk or high on coke to be much concerned.

Posted by: drindl | August 22, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

anon writes
"bsimon, far more americans have been killed in iraq than were killed on 9/11 -- and for what, when iraq had NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11?"

Not sure why you addressed me. Though I think you overstate the case - if I'm not mistaken, about as many Americans have been killed in Iraq as were killed here on 9/11. The death toll for soldiers has not quite met that threshold, but if contractors are included I think we're there. Anyone have the definitive answer?

Regarding your conclusion, you don't have to tell me that - its an established fact.

Posted by: bsimon | August 22, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Richardson just has too many little personality problems to be a serious contender. He seems to rub people the wrong way during personal appearances. He looks good on paper, but that just isn't enough.

There is room in the field for a serious, experienced hand to step in and gain support near the end of the primary campaign in the event that voters get sick of all 3 top candidates. But Richardson isn't going to be that guy. He should face the facts and step out.

Chris Dodd is probably the only second tier candidate who really has a chance of moving up in the event of one or more of the top candidates making a major blunder. He's been willing to be bold and make daring statements about major issues that the other candidates have shied away from. Like calling for a total ban on imports of Chinese food, toys and pet food. You see him doing things like this every few weeks to keep himself out there nationally. But Richardson has done no such thing. Nor has Biden. Both of them just sort of sit there at the bottom of the pack making zero effort to improve their situations.

If the top tier implodes somehow, you won't see an improvement in Richardson's fortunes.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | August 22, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Blarg makes a great point. The Viet Nam War was also "lawful" - but unwise.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 22, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the Iraq/Vietnam comparisons don't help Bush. I'll admit that I'm no expert on Vietnam, as I wasn't even alive at the time. But wasn't the Vietnam War extremely unpopular in the 70s? I know that protesters were a vocal minority, but Nixon was elected partially because of his "secret plan" to get us out of Vietnam. There were high death tolls for US troops, and no major progress was ever made. After the war, the conventional wisdom was that it was a big mistake and that we were right to leave.

Now Bush and the right-wing media say that Iraq is like Vietnam, and that's why we should stay. This is backed by the belief that we should have stayed in Vietnam also. But whether or not that's true (again, I'm no expert), it's not a popular opinion. Most people still believe that we were right to leave Vietnam, and that Vietnam was a mistake. In the average person's mind, Vietnam is associated with a brutal, unwinnable conflict. So when Bush says Iraq is like Vietnam, that actually helps the war's critics, by helping to turn public opinion further against the war.

Posted by: Blarg | August 22, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I always wonder what posters mean when they call the Iraq invasion

In terms of international law, I contend, having read them, that the Gulf War I Resolutions of the Security Council essentially left the USA and the UK a free hand to take necessary steps to defend Iraq's neighbors from Iraq - on a continuing basis. Thus followed the 11 year enforcement of "no-fly" zones policed by the USAF and the RAF after Gulf War I.

It has been said by many that the breakdown of both UN sanctions in the late 90s coupled with the expulsion of inspectors would have led to an invasion in '98, if it had not been for the Lewinsky affair and its aftermath crippling the American Presidency.

I do not think an argument for "ilegality" under international law can be sustained.

The Constitution places the war power in the Congress, but if Congress defers to the President, then no one can seriously maintain that a hypothetical Supreme Court would mandamus Congress to act, or failing that, appoint a special master to oversee the President, as if he were a defective and bankrupt District of Columbia.

Having said all of that, just because a war is "lawful" doesn't make it good policy.


If someone with qualifications as an international lawyer reads this and disagrees, I will cheerfully accept the invitation to debate.
But if a constitutional lawyer raises the internal issue, I will probably withdraw from the field - discretion is the better part of valor.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 22, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

'KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- President Bush wants a nation running short on patience with the Iraq war to take a long view, comparing it to U.S. involvements in Asia that lost popular backing but eventually proved their worth and led to lasting peace.'

Vietnam was worth it? Vietnam led to a lasting peace? Than why did Bush go AWOL? Why then did he desert during wartime? Why did he hide from combat like a baby, hiding in his Mom's skirts and peeing his pants?

"The Vietnam War was the longest military conflict in U.S. history. The hostilities in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. Another 304,000 were wounded.'

Not just wounded -- shattered, maimed, devastated, ruined, forever destroyed.

Posted by: How many thousands will die? | August 22, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Bush to compare Iraq to Vietnam today--how many died in Vietnam?

Quick answer: Approximately 5.4 million total.

Regarding American casualties, see :

The official number is 58,148 killed during service. An additional 114 were captured and died in captivity.

In the 5 years following the war, the suicide rate of veterans was 3 times the non-Veteran population, yielding an estimate of 9,000 suicides as a direct result of the war.

(Testimony by Dr. Houk, Oversight on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,14 July 1988 page 17, Hearing before the Committee on Veterans'Affairs United States Senate one hundredth Congress second session.
Also "Estimating the Number of Suicides Among Vietnam Veterans" (Am J
Psychiatry 147, 6 June 1990 pages 772-776)

A total of approximately 67,000 Americans.

Also on the American "side" were 223,748 South Vietnamese soldiers
killed, as well as 5,282 of other nationalities. (See for the breakdown)

A total of approximately 300,000 so far...

Vietnamese casualties are far less specific, and they were
deliberately falsified prior to 1995, leading to some of the
confusion. According to the Agence France Presse (French Press Agency)
as reported on , "...the true civilian casualties of the Vietnam War were 2,000,000 in the north,and 2,000,000 in the south. Military casualties were 1.1 million killed and 600,000 wounded in 21 years of war. These figures were deliberately falsified during the war by the North Vietnamese Communists to avoid demoralizing the population."

So approximately 5.1 million total Vietnamese casualites.

And a grand total of approximately 5.4 million.

Posted by: so this is the future? | August 22, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is bliss.
Up is down.
Black is white.
God is dead.

Posted by: 1984 | August 22, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

well, bsimon, far more americans have been killed in iraq than were killed on 9/11 -- and for what, when iraq had NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

'DAMASCUS, Syria -- Iraq's prime minister lashed out Wednesday at U.S. criticism, saying no one has the right to impose timetables on his elected government and that his country "can find friends elsewhere."

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed the U.S. presidential campaign for the recent tough words about his government, from President Bush and from other U.S. politicians.'

glad to see he's so grateful for all we've done for him. american kids are dying over there for nothing--well, except profits for oil companies.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

x writes
"more than 500 people died and 1,500 were injured in last week's bombings. If these figures are accurate, the paper notes the attack was the deadliest since the invasion "by a factor of three.""

That attack was the deadliest terrorist attack, worldwide, since Sept 11, 2001.

Posted by: bsimon | August 22, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Do the lessons of the Vietnam war support President Bush's argument against pulling out of Iraq?
Yes 28% 7227
No 72% 18784

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I know this is taking the discussion on a tangent, but Russell commented that Richardson lost any chance he had with him based on the Meet the Press interview and liking both the Red Sox and Yankees. I have to wonder about a person who bases their vote on baseball. We are facing a protracted illegal war in Iraq, a showdown with Iran, the collapse of the housing market and record foreclosures, our schools are falling apart and our health care is so abyssmal that moving to France seems like a viable option. We cannot continue on this reckless course that the republican party has set us on. Bill Richardson IS a splendid leader, with integrity, intelligence, and committment to achievement. I am very proud to be supporting my governor. Oh and PS...if you are not from New York or from Boston you CAN like both teams.

Posted by: Cara Valente-Compton | August 22, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

'A recent congressional report estimated that federal spending on contracts awarded without "full and open" competition has tripled, to $207 billion, since 2000, with a $60 billion increase last year alone. The category includes deals in which officials take advantage of provisions allowing them to sidestep competition for speed and convenience and cases in which the government sharply limits the number of bidders or expands work under open-ended contracts.

Government auditors say the result is often higher prices for taxpayers and an undue reliance on a limited number of contractors.

"The rapid growth in no-bid and limited-competition contracts has made full and open competition the exception, not the rule," according to the report, by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.'

so much for the joke of the 'free market' and 'competition' -- what we have now is just 3rd world cronyism and nepotism.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The NYT reefers word that, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, more than 500 people died and 1,500 were injured in last week's bombings. If these figures are accurate, the paper notes the attack was the deadliest since the invasion "by a factor of three."

Posted by: x | August 22, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Bush has repeatedly warned that a withdrawal from Iraq would create a terrorist haven in that country. According to the excerpts, he will expand that argument to hark back to "a complex and painful subject," the Vietnam War.

Regardless of how one feels about U.S. involvement in that war, Bush says, the U.S. withdrawal in the mid-1970s did not end the killing in Vietnam or in neighboring Cambodia.

"One unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps,' and 'killing fields,' " Bush's speech says.

Vietnam historian Stanley Karnow said Bush is reaching for historical analogies that don't track. "Vietnam was not a bunch of sectarian groups fighting each other," as in Iraq, Karnow said. In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge toppled a U.S.-backed government.

"Does he think we should have stayed in Vietnam?" Karnow asked.'

Yeah, maybe we should bring back the draft and go back to Vietnam.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

'With Congress in recess for the summer, the debate over Iraq policy has moved from the Capitol to the airwaves with direct appeals to the public through multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns.

Freedom's Watch, a conservative group, plans to launch a $15 million advertising campaign in 20 states today. The group's spokesman, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, says the goal is to tell people that the buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq is working.'

Expensive propaganda won't change the fact that Iraq is failling apart, suckers.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

'The full report by the CIA's inspector general report remains classified but Congress forced the agency to release a redacted version of the 19-page executive summary. CIA Director Michael Hayden said he didn't want to release the report because it would be distracting and rehash old issues. It's true that much of what is in the executive summary was already known, but it did reveal some key new details, and, perhaps more importantly, brought back to the forefront the fact that no one has been held accountable for intelligence mistakes.'

yes, wouldn't want to 'rehash old issues' -- like finding out how it happened. somebody in the bush adminitration might be held accountable -- and that would just be so awful. republicans don't do 'accountable'.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

'USA Today leads with a look at how several state and local officials are questioning whether the hefty tax breaks often given to businesses are truly worth the cost. According to several academics, the financial incentives--totaling about $50 billion--handed out by state and local governments don't provide a long-term benefit for the economy. '

It's all a joke on you, taxpayers. It's all payback to campaign contributors.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

'MONTEBELLO, Quebec, Aug. 21 -- President Bush pointedly declined Tuesday to offer a public endorsement of embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, expressing his disappointment at the lack of political progress in Iraq and saying that widespread popular frustration could lead Iraqis to replace their government.'

Well, another one bites the dust. How many puppet governmemts are we going to set up and take down in Iraq? How many years will we be there? How many of our people will die? Is democracy electing someone, then throwing them out if you don't like them? Then why can't we do the same with Bush? I don't know many who would offer a 'public endorsement' of him -- maybe a quarter of the country, if that.

and it's all about the oil legislation, 'legalizing' american companies to take all the iraqi oil. maliki can't make the iraqis sign it -- because they want to keep their own oil. selfish, selfish.

Posted by: Mara | August 22, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

'The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal's world-wide newsbox lead with, and everyone else fronts, the release of an internal CIA investigation completed in 2005 that says the agency failed to use its available resources to create a grand strategy to target al-Qaida before the 9/11 attacks. The agency's inspector general called for more investigations to determine whether former CIA Director George Tenet, along with other top officials, should be held accountable.'

How about all of them? How about Dick Cheney, who was supposed to be head of the Counter Terrorism Task Force, only he never bothered to actually form one? How about George Bush, who was asleep at the wheel while we were attacked on his watch?

And of course, there is Tenet... who got a Medal of Honor from Bushy, which I guess is now awarded for complete failure.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The 'GayLib cartel' -- you think that's a good comment, CC? You are as simple minded as the rest of your mouthbreathing Beltway Bubble compatriots, like the tiny joke that is Tucker Carlson.

Posted by: Rae | August 22, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I agree with Blarg on the quality of the 'best' comments. They often aren't the most 'thoughtful' responses at all and this blog entry contains several good examples.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 22, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The incident below with Romney was a bit interesting.

I happen to agree with Romney on this one, BTW. He can't possibly vet every lunatic who shows up at his rallies so why should he take responsibility for whatever garbage they choose to write on their signs? On the other hand, if the shoe had been on a D foot things would be strangely different.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 22, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

The comment about the "GayLib cartel" in the "National Democratic" party was one of the best comments?

If that's actually one of the best comments on your site, then you might as well shut it down, because there's no intelligent life there.

Posted by: Blarg | August 22, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Why make a mountain out of a molehill, CC? It's just like John Edwards haircuts -- so what? You make a big deal out of that, you brought it up 4 FREAKING TIMES without ever bringing up Mitt's $400 makeup jobs. Why is it that you only report on the 'gaffes' of DEM presidential candidates?

Why didn't you report how Guiliani said he was going to make his mistress [oops, I'm sorry, now wife] a member of his cabinet?

Posted by: Jane | August 22, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I do not see it as a big deal, Richardson is so far behind and a long shot, just about any attention he gets has to be good for him. The gay & lesbian community will not decide this nomination. Their numbers are to small and just like every other american, they care about more than just one issue when deciding who to vote for.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 22, 2007 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Too bad Chris selected only negative comments about Richardson...looks like I need to repeat my point:

Look, a 'gaffe' is a gaffe, and judging by the large books full of gaffes by Reagan & GWB, only our side -- Dems -- really give a damn about such things. Just like the Dean howl & the Edwards haircut, you people have stampeded yourselves into the hands of the right-wing noise machine.

This gaffe changes nothing. I'd still take Gov Richardson over Rudy, McCain, Romney, et al, in a heartbeat. You can be sure every one of these GOP cromags would be adamant that gay is a disgusting and immoral lifestyle choice -- regardless of their positions when they were mayor of NY, governor of MA, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Richardson promptly recanted his statement after the debate. You overlooking that Richardson emphasized regardless of the process of how one reaches his or her sexual identity all persons should be treated equally. Richardson has the best record of the candidates on LGBT issues - everyone else has a great record of talking about LGBT issues.

Here is what one New Mexican stated after the debate on the Democracy for New Mexico website: "The Governor was tired, and probably uncomfortably so. That said after 14 years of trying in NM to pass Non discrimination in the workplace, he helped us get it, and kept Gender Identity in the bill when many legislators were backing away from that language! The same with Hate Crimes. Executive Order granting DP benefits to state employees, and working hard to keep a DOMA off the books here. The biggest thing to know about our Governor, that has been my experience is that in the GLBT community he has never made a promise he didn't keep, or bust his ass trying!"

Campaigns have their ups and down. Richardson had a very strong performance in the debate in Iowa on Saturday. He is leading the Democratic Presidential candidates on the number one issue for Democrats - the path the U.S. should take out of Iraq. Richardson is rising in NV, IA and NH, and will continue to gain momentum heading into the Fall.

Posted by: Stephen Cassidy | August 22, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Gay people are gay because that's who they are.
If you are not gay, there is zero chance that interacting with a gay person will make you gay.
Similarly, there is zero chance that two gay individuals in a committed relationship will magically cause heterosexual couples to fail.
Nor will they magically convert children. More than anything, like everyone else, they probably just want to be left alone.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Remember, a lot of people liked Bush's unpolishedness. The whole "which candidate would you rather have a beer with" is actually a factor in people's voting. Not everybody is so interested in politics that they take the time to troll a national paper's blog. Richardson may seem refreshing to somebody who finds somebody heavily scripted, like Clinton, to be a negative.

Posted by: Anon | August 21, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I think it's cute that he still thinks he's running for President...

"I PERSONALLY know a number of straight women who decided to try homosexuality because it seemed "kinky" and "exotic". "Its different between girls" they say. And they are quite right. But they are NOT born lesbians."

Most would argue they're not lesbians at all, that a kinky sexual experience is different from homosexuality, which is a overrideing sexual attraction to the same sex.

I do think this issue is something that needs to be discussed more and frankly with both sides participating and open to the debate. Too often both the religious right and the homosexual lobby will give biased data supporting just their positions which only serves to confuse the issue more.

I personally think there are a fair number of people who are truly homosexual, who are born that way, and cannot change that no matter what they do. I do also think there are a percentage of people, maybe only 5-10% of the homosexual population, who may have suffered from abuse early on, never developed a sexual sense of self and, finding acceptance in the gay community, thought they were gay when in fact they might not be- these people accounting for those who have been "cured" by the right (plus another small faction of self-hating gays who train themselves to live in denial, but that's another matter). The gay community doesn't want to accept this logic because the implication is there that all homosexuality might have some other explanation, while the right won't like it becuase it does concede some homosexuals are born that way, and I don't think science wants to touch it because the topic is radioactive.

I still simply cannot understand why someone would voluntarily choose to live that life (or develop it as an acquired taste...).

Posted by: Michael | August 21, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

It's discouraging to me that so many comments dismiss Richardon's statement as being only important to the gay community. Not knowing that being homosexual is not a choice is inexcusably ignorant. It's time for our leaders to stand up to all bigotry.

Posted by: Don | August 21, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Richardson and the fix are both lightweights.

Posted by: Bajsa | August 21, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Although I would not doom him with this one "mistake", Richardson despite the golden resume, is not up to the job of running for president. I have met him twice, and he is worse in person, comes across as slick and oily. This is kiss of death in New Hampshire and Iowa. Too bad about Bloomberg, just goes to show how the best people will not run, it is simply too demeaning.

Posted by: vox populi | August 21, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh he's wrong... just not completely. Yes I said it because I PERSONALLY know a number of straight women who decided to try homosexuality because it seemed "kinky"
and "exotic". "Its different between girls" they say. And they are quite right. But they are NOT born lesbians.

They ARE in fact, making a CHOICE.

Now, as for the 10 percent of humans who were BORN gay, well they obviously DO NOT
"choose" to be born that way. (Ok go ahead and correct/bash me on the percentage of born gay people - I don't think science will ever bother to actually find out the true figure).

I'm telling the straight story (and lots of you who choose gay sex know it) so bash away as you please. It won't change the reality that some people choose to have gay sex, and other people are born gay and do not choose. Their genes do.

Posted by: JBE | August 21, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

This may very well be Richardson's undoing. I believe that if voters sour on Richardson's poor debating skills and overall presence, they may be inclined to give Joe Biden a second look simply because he is the only other candidate that could fill the veteran statesman's role. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards obviously do not fit that role. Dodd is coming across as poorly in the debates as Richardson in that he's not a compelling speaker, so Richardson's undoing may be to Biden's benefit.

Here's what Biden and Richardson need to do to bring down the "Top 3":

Posted by: The 7-10 | August 21, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

'There have been many clueless pols with splendid resumes - take bush 1 for example.'

Ten times the man his son is -- a poor, pathetic weak sob sister who's failed to everything he's tried to do -- most spectaccularly in his last job.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

'How does memorizing the tight talking points and never getting off message constitute communication skills? how does delivering in vain, bad jokes rate?'

and yet, that's all republican cadididates ever do, so why do you love them so much, simple mind?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

How does memorizing the tight talking points and never getting off message constitute communication skills? how does delivering in vain, bad jokes rate? how can you overlook the atrocious speaking style of the shrill Hill?

and your analysis is clearly academic since malaprop won twice. but your point does have some validity, especially the anger part and the senate speak - on and on without ever saying a thing. It's a special talent all right.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I like Richardson, but he won't get my vote. An important but rarely noted qualification for the highest office in the U.S. is the ability to communicate effectively. The Bushes (41 & 43) are equally poor communicators, albeit for different reasons. At least the former wasn't guilty of malapropisms. Contrast that with Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton - both of whom were brilliant communicators.

A president must be an effective communicator ALL THE TIME -- during memorized speeches as well as off-the-cuff, e.g., during debates and press conferences. Richardson's gaffe and his debate performances are testament to his poor communication skills. For different reasons, Obama fares not much better. In my opinion, he hasn't demonstrated the ability to think on his feet or communicate succinctly. Dodd and Biden have been in the Senate too long and thus suffer from Senate Speak. Giuliani and Edwards sound too angry -- who wants an angry president? I miss the McCain of 2000 - he's joined Edwards and Giuliani on the anger scale and has become a less effective communicator. Of the lot, Hillary, Mitt, Huckabee, Paul, and Kucinich are so far the ones who display communication skills needed to become president.

Posted by: femalenick | August 21, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Two months after giving Iraqis "two more months" to pass oil bill, O'Reilly silent on their failure to do so
On his radio show on June 20, Bill O'Reilly asserted, "I'm gonna tell you that the big picture is, the Iraqis have two more months. They've got two more months. And if they don't step up and help more than they're helping" on oil legislation and security, "in two months, it's over. Come September and October, we're pulling back, and that's the truth." August 20 marks the end of the two-month period, but O'Reilly is yet to mention the Iraqi government's failure to reach an agreement or his claims about the need for improvements by the Iraqi Security Forces."

Posted by: lie spin and discredit. the gop way | August 21, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

All I could think is that Richardson showed himself unable or unwilling to learn even the first thing about the people he was going to meet. The significant medical and psychological professional associations have been telling us FOR YEARS that homosexuality isn't "chosen" -- but Richardson didn't even bother to learn this before the debate? This is not a good sign.

Posted by: Rebecca | August 21, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Richardson has bumbled through this entire campaign. Will anyone take him to task for his huge Iraq war flip-flop?

Posted by: mpp | August 21, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

There have been many clueless pols with splendid resumes - take bush 1 for example.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Richardson lost any chance at my support during his awful Meet The Press performance a few months ago. Watching him explain and bungle how he is BOTH a Red Sox fan and a Yankee fan was painful...VERY painful. Then it became painfully funny and I was laughing at him, not with him. He'd become a national joke as the nominee, I am afraid. Too bad though because his resume is golden.

Posted by: Russell | August 21, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I have wanted to like Richardson since before he announced. His resume is perfect and he *ought* to be both very electable and very competent as president. So far in the debates (I've watched them all) I have been very disappointed.

Posted by: amy_e | August 21, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

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