The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Of course most QandO readers are smart enough to understand that no matter what our political class says or promises, not much at all changes within the DC beltway. Despite the smiling assurances of ’hope’, change’ a ’new attitude’ and ’bi-partisanship’, it is obvious that there is neither a new attitude or any desire for bi-partisanship on either side and no hope that’s going to change any time soon. I&rsquo
 
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Congratulations to Michale Steele for winning a tough race for the RNC Chair. It took several votes, but I think the RNC made a good choice:Meet the new chairman of the Republican National Committee: Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, who defeated South Carolina party chairman Katon Dawson by a 91-77 margin on the sixth ballot."As
 
Random thoughts on the "Stimlus" package
I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the MSM and among pundits concerning this seemingly counter-intuitive "stimulus" package being rushed through Congress.Thomas Oliver best sums up why I see it as "counter-intuitive":You read that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says about half the new administration’s $825 billion stimulus
 
Krugman’s Bad Faith
I promised earlier today to do a post on Paul Krugman’s latest article defending the stimulus, but I see Jon already covered most of it at The Next Right.I would add a few more points:The true cost per job of the Obama plan will probably be closer to $100,000 than $275,000 — and the net cos
 
Is It Kirsten Gillibrand?
Apparently (according to WPIX) Gov. David Patterson has made his choice to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. Her name is Kirsten Gillibrand and she’s a Congresswoman from upstate NY.Sources say Gillibrand, a blue-dog Democrat and a good fundraiser, would be an asset to Paterson in any bid for election in 2010. However, since her name ha
 
Questioning Geithner (Updated)
Treasury Secretary nominee, Timothy Geithner, faced questioning from the Senate Finance Committee yesterday, but other than the grilling from Sen. Jon Kyl it was little distinguishable from slow-pitch softball practice.Geithner came in with a carefully prepared confession of error. “These were careless mistakes,” he told the committee. “They were a
 
Post-Inaugural Thoughts
Now that the Inaugural hubbub has died down, we can take a brief look ahead...and behind.George W. Bush is an odd guy. Not odd in a mental sense, but an odd person for a president. He was publicly inarticulate. No matter how good the material of which his speeches might have been composed, he didn’t have the skill to deliver them properly. the best he could must was a workmanlike recitation. We expect presidents to be moderately good public spea
 
Fickle
Reportedly, Caroline Kennedy is begging off her nearly certain appointment:Caroline Kennedy announced early Thursday that she was withdrawing from consideration for the vacant Senate seat in New York, startling the state’s political world after weeks in which she was considered a top contender for the post.[...]Caroline Kennedy
 
Good Luck President Obama
It is a little early, I know, but I have things to do and people to see and won’t be around the tube when Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States.But I sincerely want to wish him the best. I don’t think he has any idea of what he’s stepping into, but I hope he’s able to rise to the challenge.I read a story last night that said he was cool, calm and joking the day before assuming the office of Presi
 
If I were plotting to destroy the Democratic Party...
Here’s a plan that I think might work: Get a squishy, non-conservative Republican president elected who is so inarticulate and goofy sounding that just about anyone looks good by comparison. Get the ditziest woman I could find, and put her in charge of Democrats in the House of Representatives. Have the power go to her head, and make sure a compliant media never points out how incompetent she is. Get the drabbest man I could find, and put him in
 
Money, government, the Inauguration and spin
Have you finally figured out that if government wants to use your money for pretty much whatever, it will find a way to do it? And that includes George W Bush and company. For example, here is his contribution to what is, by far, the most expensive inauguration in history:President Bush on Tuesday declared the District a federal emergency area,
 
The Role of the RNC Chair
Here’s the extended comment I left at The Next Right in response to Mindy Finn’s question of the appropriate role(s) of the RNC Chair:Private fundraising, both directly from candidates and from third-part
 
Obama’s latest jobs plan
First, per Barack Obama, it was going to be 5 million "green collar" jobs.Then he did a little subtracting - it became creating or saving 2 million jobs.Now he’s into addition again - now he’s going to create 3 million jobs - unfortunately, only 80% will be in the private sector.And that leaves? Yes, 600,000 new government j
 
And the Democratic Circus plays on
Under a cloud of suspicion, Bill Richardson withdraws his name from the Commerce Secretary nomination:New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state."Let me say unequivocally that I and
 
Can’t *anybody* in the GOP play this game?
We all know that the hypocrisy of politicans knows no bounds, but occasionally they do something that even the most severe of the rationally ignorant populace will notice as hypocritical. This week’s example: allowing themselves to get a raise not long after pontificating about how corporate executives need to make sacrifices.The opin
 
Media Alert
I have been graciously invited to speak on Rob Port’s radio program (the "Say Anything Show") tomorrow morning at 9:30 Central Time. Rob runs the Say Anything Blog out of North Dakota, and I encourage any of you who have not visited to do so (although I’m expecting that most of our readers are already familiar with Rob). For anyone within listening distance, the program is broadcast on A
 
An Alternative Vision, Part IV: The Pivot
This is the fourth in a series: see the introduction, the basics, and the specific policy proposals.Now, coming back to the political situation of the party: the GOP has begun to lose the young, minorities (those it hadn’t already los
 
An Alternative Vision, Part III: Specific Recommendations
This is the third in a series: see the introduction and the basicsSo, through what specific means can we execute the broad policies in Part II?
 
An Alternative Vision, Part II: The Basics
This is the second in a series: the introduction is here. First, let us take partial stock of the party’s political situation:
 
An Alternative Vision
Having power, and knowing what to do with it: two different things, as the Democrats are already learning. The voters who swept Republicans out of power and elected Democrats are finally starting to ask exactly what kind of Change the president-elect has in mind. Turns out, a lot of them had no idea what Obama and other Democrats really stand for; they were tired of Republican mismanagement and corruption, and they hung their Hope on the shiniest alternative.
 
"Change" not living up to expectations?
When you live by identity politics, you are likely to suffer because of them. And that’s especially true when you throw nebulous terms like "change" around and allow others to project their meaning of the word back on you. That’s admittedly what Obama did during the campaign. And he’s seeing what I’d call the expect
 
"Lightworker", version 2: Obama inspires "elevation"
The whole “lightworker” thing quickly became one of the more humorous tags in the presidential campaign. However, the folks that live by “perception is reality” have a point. Obama does make people feel things they don’t otherwise feel. He can inspire emotions that, for example, John Kerry cannot.Courtesy of geekpress.com, I see that slate.com has an article that  
Kennedy and Sharpton
You know, what they’re saying about Caroline Kennedy’s lack of experience in politics might be true. I mean, you finally publicly express interest in the Clinton Senate seat and the first person you call for an endorsement is ... Al Sharpton?I received a call this afternoon from Caroline Kennedy who expressed to me her interest in the Unit
 
All the President-Elect’s Men
Hopefully dovetailing with McQ and Billy below, I think I can explain why Obama has been dissembling regarding the Blagojevich scandal. In addition to the very likely fact that Obama’s office was co-ordinating with the Illinois Governor with respect to the Senate vacancy, the President-Elect’s connection to so-called "Ad
 
Why politicians can’t grasp "It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup"
I’m in agreement with McQ about Obama’s connections to Blago. It seems ridiculous that Obama’s staff didn’t talk to Blago about the Senate seat. They had completely above-board reasons to do so, and until the scandal blew up in their faces, no reason not to.So why the evasion? As a commenter on that thread (jjmurphy) says: These people seem to lie and cover-up even when there is ab
 
Live by the narrative, die by the narrative
I haven’t posted in a while. Besides being busy, my reaction to the presidential campaign vacillated between boredom and puzzlement that in a country of 300,000,000, our two candidates for president were both so bad. I didn’t fear Obama the way some others did (and do). I consider him a possible second term for Jimmy Carter, and I don’t think McC
 
Never Satisfied
You’d think after 8 years of whining, some on the left would be tired of it. But they’re not:Liberals are growing increasingly nervous – and some just flat-out angry – that President-elect Barack Obama seems to be stiffing them on Cabinet jobs and policy choices.Obama has reversed pledges to immediately repeal tax cuts for the wealthy and take on Big O
 
What Does the Chambliss Victory Really Mean?
After narrowly missing an outright electoral victory on Nov. 4th (garnering only 49.8%), Chambliss managed to win a runoff by a wide margin on Tuesday. Predictably, pundits around the web are now trying to decipher just what that win means.Some  
“When she walks in a room, folks just explode”
Sen. Saxby Chambliss won re-election in Georgia last night by a huge 16 point margin (at the time of this post), and heaped a great deal of credit on Sarah Palin:“I can’t overstate the impact she had down here,” Chambliss said during an interview Wednesday morni
 
Obama’s "Nixon to China" Approach To Governance
Over at Obsidian Wings, publius theorizes that Obama’s cabinet picks are designed less as a means of governing like a centrist than as a means to move the country left:But a second, more optimistic, interpretation is that Obama is planning big change, and has decided these individuals will b
 
The real meaning of "hopeychangitude"
Bush was the "decider-in-chief", and it appears the President-elect is the "changer-in-chief".For all of you out there who projected your ideas of "change" on the "changer-in-chief" forget about it - he’ll decide what change means:“Understand where the vision for change comes from, first and foremost,” [Obama] told reporters at his
 
Hugging and loving, Part II
Via New Paltz Journal, this from Victor Davis Hanson: When I hear a partisan insider like Paul Begala urging at the 11th hour that we now rally around lame-duck Bush in his last few days, I detect a sense of apprehension that no Democrats would wish conservatives to treat Obama as they did B
 
Why is the Republican "brand" in trouble?
John Hawkins provides a succinct list of categories which supposedly represent the Republican party’s ideology but instead demonstrate why the Republican "brand" is in seeming disarray:What Is The GOP Brand Promise?First off, what is the "GOP Brand Promise?" Of course, there is certainly a lot of debate about this subject, but I’d suggest that it ca
 
Sarah Palin and the future
I’ve been watching this disgusting performance concerning Palin and anonymous McCain staffers leaking unflattering information about her from a distance, not really wanting to get involved in it. While I understand that it is fairly normal for a losing campaign to evidence some of the dissonance that helped them take 2nd place, this has been both unprofessional and unseemly on the part of those doing the ’leaking’. All that to say the
 
Seconded
The Right’s proper response to Tuesday’s thumping.
 
Rahm Emanuel to be Obama Chief of Staff
Good start at cleaning up Washington, introducing "new" politics and bridging the political divide. Name a hyper-partisan Washington insider as your Chief of Staff.
 
No Lobbyists need apply! Uh, nevermind ...
Politico is reporting that the "change" that Washington purportedly needs and was promised by Obama, i.e. lobbyists would not be welcome in his administration, is apparently not quite as stringent as one might have thought:Despite campaign trail promises that special interests wouldn’t be a part of his administration, President-elect Barack Obama’s has sent signals to the lobb
 
The Republican Autopsy
Interesting stuff. From a recently completed pre-election survey:The decisive defeat Republicans suffered in Tuesday’s election came because conservative voters decided the party had lost its way, not because the electorate has shifted to the left,
 
Caption this
For some reason I find it reminds me of the "mission accomplished" banner:
 
Obama’s Secret Weapon? the ChildrenTM
I’ve raised before what I find to be the Obama campaign’s disturbing attempts to indoctrinate children. Now they are encouraging those children to go out as little Obama ambassadors to convert their grandparents to The One:Last Friday, Representative Jan Schakowsky wrote  
From My Inbox
I’m not exactly sure how I got on this email list, but here you go.Obama headed to 360+Electoral Vote Landslide WinDo you think Sarah Palin can field dress an elephant?Obama 367 to McCain 171 electoral votes* Obama likely to win Florida, Ohio, Virgina, N. Carolina.* Democrats have decent chance to get 60 US Senators, ensuring a filibuster proof Senate majority.* Al Franken likely to be US Senator from Minnesota!!* Demo House/Senate cand
 
Read ’Em and Weep
We’re still almost three weeks out, but at the moment, the electoral map looks like this:I’m not sure what it would take to turn this around for McCain. But if the polling numbers and the futures markets are anywhere near correct, this is the map we’ll be seeing on election night.That’s politics for you. This is a strong Democratic cycl
 
Presidential Debate III
The live debate coverage transcript is below the fold. Thanks to everyone who participated.
 
Thoughts about the probability of an Obama future
What’s the old saying - "it is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all". Except in politics, apparently:The nation’s economic crisis triggered Obama’s sharp rise in what had been a tight race. But Obama hasn’t tried to seize the kind of central, national leadership position for which Sen. John McCain grasped, and fell
 
Hate, smears and violence? Neither side have room to talk
I can’t tell you how glad I will be to get back to writing about the global warming hoax, or energy policy or the health care debate. I’ve had it up to here with this election.But, that said, could we all step back a bit and take a breath?The left is trying to paint the right as "hate filled and violent" and want’s the McCain/Palin ticket to take ownership of what some supporters  
Presidential Debate II
 
Liveblogging the Presidential Debate
I have been informed by the head guy at CoverItLive that last week’s unfortunate overload during the VP debate will not be an issue tomorrow. With that in mind, I plan to use CIL for liveblogging tomorrow.
 
Vice Presidential Debate Liveblog
Well, it’s time to get this thing kicked off.Cover it Live went TU. Obviously, the service can’t handle the load, so we press on.1745: Initially, Sarah Palin seemed like an impressive woman. Since then, her interviews have been...well...embarrassing. I’ve just winced, watching those clips. Joe Biden, of course, is equally wince-worthy. But, of course, when we hear Joe Biden droning on about FDR going on nationwide TV in 1929, we jus
 
VP Debate Liveblog Tonight
 
We are led by little men and women
I was not in favor of the Paulson plan if you haven’t caught that yet. Still, the pitiful display from our congress today set a recent low.First, faced with an unpopular and contentious bill which she feels for the good of the nation must be passed, we get a partisan and divisive speech from Nancy Pelosi:Pelosi had said that the $700 billio
 
Commercials John McCain should make
Instapundit points to Kenneth Anderson’s suggestions for McCain commercials. He has some reasonably good ideas, but I notice that there isn’t much attempt to point out just how liberal Obama is. Now, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe the Republicans have sullied thei
 
For the Record
From John Fund:President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times this year before Congress finally passed a bill increasing oversight of Fannie and Freddie — though by then it was too late.Indeed, the White House’s list calls for GSE reform is a long one, stretching as far back as April 2001. At that time, the administration’s first bud
 
The Bill is Online
The proposed bailout bill is now online at the House of representatives web site. But, at the moment, you can’t get to it because the site is über-slammed.UPDATE: The House site is still slammed, but I managed to finally get the docs, so I can post them here.Text of the proposed bill 
Liveblogging the Presidential Debate
We’re gonna try "Cover it Live" for this one.
 
Remember The Last Dire Warning?
From Alex Tabarrok
 
Jawa roots out astroturf campaign against Palin
Or so it appears. Long fact-filled post, all about "new politics".
 
Interesting
Bill Clinton warns Dems not to underestimate Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin (begin obvious "Bubba" jokes - it’s a "target rich environment"):Mr Clinton, acclaimed even by his enemies as one of the most consummate American politicians in recent history, said he did not agree with Republican vice presidential pick Mrs Palin on politics, but warned fello
 
Democrats try to steal a step
I mentioned this yesterday when I said that Democrats were trying to rewrite history as it applies to the failures we’re seeing among big financial institutions. Jon puts a good review of those points together at The NextRight.The key point is when Obama goes around
 
Pigs and bridges
Since it seems to have taken on a life of its own, let me be clear that I don’t think that Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a "pig" with his remark about lipstick and pigs.What is clear, however, is the crowd he was addressing did. That’s not his fault or anything he has control over. His problem, of course, was he chose
 
McCain Accepts The Nomination
Much like The Who not wanting to follow the pyrotechnics of Jimi Hendix, McCain must have felt a bit tentative after Palin’s performance last night. So did he deliver?Meh. It was fine, but not great. If Palin hit a homerun, then McCain had a solid, stand-up double. There was potential to take third if he had rounded the base properly, but he never quite
 
Hailin’ Palin
Wow. Great Speech. Not the slick oratory of Sen. Obama mind you, who, no matter your politics, is simply a phenomenal speaker. But Gov. Palin absolutely nailed a speech she had to. What impressed me most was her poise and delivery, especially given the heightened expectations of tonight’s introduction to the VP candidate. She was a little rote at first, but she slowly gathered steam and finished grandly. Throwing barbs at Obama (whom she never mentioned by name) and slath
 
You Might Be A Hypocrite ...
If you voted for John Kerry in 2004, but think that it’s positively "scary" to have someone with Sarah Palin’s experience a heartbeat away from the Presidency.Why? Well, what experience did Kerry’s VP pick have? Almost none:Or take Senator John Edwards. He was a one term Senator and . . . . well, and nothing else. Yes, he was on the Senate
 
Palin on Earmarks
During Palin’s speech tonight, we may hear some similar statements as she delivered in a response (March 5, 2008) to an Editorial in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (March 2, 2008), defending her decision to take on the earmark habit within Alaska. (Both articles at the link.) Specifically, she responded to this passage:Gov. Palin has made much of being against the wid
 
Fred!
Addressing the RNC tonight, here were some of the highlights of Fred Thompson’s address (the best lines being in bold):John McCain was preparing to take off from the USS Forrestal for his sixth mission over Vietnam, when a missile from another plane accidentally fired and
 
Palin As "EveryWoman"
As reported by Byron York at the RNC:When the day’s business was over, I drifted around the Colorado and Ohio delegations — two critical swing states — to get a feel for the delegates’ reaction. In the Colorado section, I ran into Sue Sharkey, from Windsor. When I asked what she thought, her reaction was not about Palin but herself.“For me personally, it hi
 
"Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow"
Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow?Have you had another, baby, standing in the shadow?I’m glad I opened your eyesThe have-nots would have tried to freeze you in iceThe Rolling Stones, 1966People tend to forget that roller coasters are thrilling because they’re scary and have the potential to make you puke. In that sense, Sarah Palin&
 
A Gutter-al Scream (Updated)
It’s almost as if the Dems can’t help but to resort to misogynistic antagonism in dealing with Gov. Sarah Palin. This comes courtesy of Alan Colmes, citing Rogers Cadenhead who questions Palin’s maternal abilities:One bit of weirdness associated with Palin concerns
 
More Quibbles With Barack’s Speech
I’ve already tackled the overarching theme of Obama’s speech, and McQ ably picks apart what passed for substance, but here are a few more portions that struck me as odd. First, the opening lines:Four
 
It’s Biden for VP
The LA Times is reporting that Barack Obama has chosen Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) as his Vice presidential nominee. It is not, apparently, an official announcement, yet.Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrats’ about-to-be presidential nominee, has chosen a fellow senator, Joe Biden of Delaware, as his about-to-be running mate for the Nov. 4 general election.
 
"The least of my brothers"
When asked about his own failings at the Saddleback Church forum, Barack Obama somehow turned his answer into everyone else’s failings:“Americans’ greatest moral failure in my lifetime,” he said, “has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”Hmmm ... mee
 
McCain’s Cross: Old Spin vs. New Spin
As the rumor that McCain ripped of Alexander Solzhenitsyn with his cross-in-the-dirt story continues to fall apart, it turns out that Solzhenitsyn did not ever tell the story in the first place [HT: Instapundit].
 
Obama’s VP
So who do you think it’s gonna be?
 
Is Cris Collinsworth Being Unfairly Slammed?
I think so. The buzz going around the righty blogs is that his interview of Kobe Bryant for the Olympics coverage basically called patriotism passé.Last night typical liberal tool and NBC announcer Chris Collinsworth interviewed Kobe Bryant of Team U.S.A. basketball’s "Redeem Team."Collinsworth asked Kobe about what it felt like when he first got his U.S.A. unifor
 
Edwards, Obama, politicians and lessons learned
MichaelW talked about the Edwards admission yesterday at some length, but it remains fascinating to me for a number of reasons. First, suddenly the mainstream media decides it is a story worth reporting. For instance the NY Times:Former Senator John Edwards of North Carolin
 
"O" Brother
I’m not even sure what to say about this latest in the phenomenon that is the messiah-making of Obama:George Bush had his three-fingered W salute that supporters flashed when greeting him at presidential campaign events in 2000. And now, if a Los Angeles creative agency gets its way, Sen. Barack Obama will see fans meet him with his own salute like the
 
Clinton Calls For More Monogamy
Bill Clinton. As in William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States. That Bill Clinton. Really.Bill Clinton made a plea yesterday for a new emphasis on monogamy as a key element in the battle against Aids.The former US president, not noted for his ability to keep his own marria
 
Jonah Goldberg notes postmodernism on the left
I’ve noted many times here in comments at QandO that you can understand the actions and motivations of today’s left much better if you look at how the left is infused with postmodernist thinking, and shuns traditional Enlightenment thinking. The main difference is in what the core concept of "truth" really means. Post-modernists do not embrace the same concept of truth that Enlightenment thinkers do. A good example was in this thread, which featured a video of
 
Paranoia
Delving deep into the paranoid mind. Sock Puppet alert!
 
Madness! Madness!
This election cycle is just stunning. I really am amazed at the level of sheer insanity being played out on the Left side of the political spectrum. Just scroll down on the current home page here at QandO. One idiot doesn’t want a bomber pilot as president. Another idiot wants to tax the top 50% extra to defray the costs of their global warming burden. South Central LA may have all new fast food joints banned, presumably because they’re keeping Whole
 
How big a mess are we in?
Certainly not one our Congress can’t make worse. We have a market where housing prices are in free fall, where the last thing we want shaky institutions to have more exposure to is mortgages that are almost guaranteed to be at risk.How shaky an institution? How about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which operate at stratospheric levels of leverage, 40 to 1. Think about that. The most important financial institutions in our country operate at levels above those that broug
 
Quote Of The Day
"I would say that he is well-equipped — physically, mentally and politically."- German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, responding to a question about what she thought of Barack Obama.And you thought German drunk driving tests were thorough
 
Ed Morrissey’s Being [Sort Of] Unfair To Obama (Updated)
I guess I’m pushing my luck today. Ed’s not being entirely unfair, but the shot he’s taking at Obama is, er, under-informed:Maybe now we know why Barack Obama never called a meeting of his subcommittee on European relations to discuss the NATO effort in Afghanistan. Apparently, Obama is confused about his own committee assignments. In Israel, Obama tr
 
The Smears Keeping On Rolling ... From the Left
Still wondering about where those awful rumors about Barack Obama are coming from? Once again, it’s the inestimable and completely credible No Quarter, run by Hillary supporter Larry Johnson. This smear is from co-blogger, Kirk Tofte:It is being reported today that Nicholas
 
"We’re gonna need a bigger bus ..."
At what point do Obama’s choices as to who he surrounds himself with become a debilitating factor in this race? The latest supporter summarily tossed under the Obama Express is Bernie Mac:Comedian Bernie Mac got a little too cute when he warmed up the crowd at a Barack Obama fund-raiser in Chicago Friday night.Obama’s campaign staff attached this preface to the
 
Jackson and the old guard
To me the most interesting thing about the latest Jesse Jackson Sr. kerfuffle isn’t that he has once again shot his mouth off and been caught doing so, or that he was once again taking offense where none was given, or even that he who loves to play Reverend was crude in doing so.Nope, it’s the reaction of his son to what he said that&
 
That was then. This is now.
There was a time, and not too long ago, that some criticisms were so beyond the pale, that no politician would dream of using them to denigrate a political opponent. To do so would invite such a negative backlash that voters would reject in disgust the candidate who did so.Those times, apparently, are past, at least for the candidate’s supporters.After General Wesley Clark’s dismissal of John McCain’s POW experience in Vietn
 
Around the horn
Here are a few items that caught my attention.First, Charlie Black, a McCain advisor, committed the unpardonable sin of saying something which any honest person knows is absolutely true - if there were another terrorist attack on the US, it would benefit John McCain politically (and it is also a good reason why that won’t happen).
 
Politics: What compromising principle will get you ...
An interesting column by Paul Krugman for a variety of reasons.“Owning a home lies at the heart of the American dream.” So declared President Bush in 2002, introducing his “Homeownership Challenge” — a set of policy initiatives that were supposed to sharply increase homeownership, especially for minority groups.[...]Bu
 
Tim Russert dead at 58
Wow. My sympathies to the Russert family. Totally unexpected and he was much too young.However, given the nature of politics in this era, somewhere, someone is writing up a post or comment which will at least imply that this is a good thing, given the alleged "ambushes" Russert participated in during the Democratic debates. Just wait ... and watch.
 
It’s Obama
It looks like the Clinton Campaign is finally over...theoretically anyway...and Barack Obama is claiming the nomination.In what he called a "defining moment for our nation," Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday became the first African-American to head the ticket of a major political party.Obama’s steady stream of superdelegate endorsements, combined with the delegates he rece
 
Don’t let the doorknob catch you in the ...
Bill Clinton, exit stage left:"I want to say also, that this may be the last day I’m ever involved in a campaign of this kind," the former president said at a town hall at the Milbank Visitor Center.[...]"I thought I was out of politics, ’til Hillary decided to run," he said. "But it has been, one of the greatest honors of my life
 
This Can’t be Good...
Larry Johnson seems to have the nuclear Michelle Obama video that was rumored to be floating around a few weeks ago.He says he’s going to post it tomorrow before 9:00am. All he’ll say about the actual content is:Now I know why people who have seen the videotape say it is stunning. Barack’s headaches are
 
Party Unity
The democratic party’s rules committee met today, and amid much shouting from the gallery, compromised on Michigan and Florida.The committee agreed on a compromise offered by the Michigan Democratic Party that would split the difference, allowing Clinton to take 69 delegates and Obama 59. Each delegate would get half a vote at the convention in Denver this summer, according to the deal.They also agr
 
Closing the Barn Door After the Horse has Left
Barack Obama is resigning from Trinity United Church of Christ.Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign confirmed Saturday that he has resigned from the Chicago church where controversial sermons by his former pastor and other ministers created repeated political headaches for the Democratic frontrunner...Obama has said he was not present for the controversi
 
Bob Dole blasts Scott McClellan
He also gets to the nut of the complaint by many find McClellan’s type of book distasteful regardless of whose political ox is being gored:"There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues," Dole wrote in a message sent yesterda
 
That was then. This is now.
You gotta hand it to Hillary Clinton: She’s got stones the size of Gibraltar. Obviously, she wants—needs—the florida and Michigan delegates to help out her delegate count. Speaking yesterday in Boca Raton, she compared the DNC rule forbidding the Florida’s delegates from being seated at the Democratic Convention
 
McCain Rejects Hagee Endorsement
John McCain has repudiated the endorsement of fundamentalist minister Jon Hagee. Hagee, for his part, has also withdrawn the endorsement.This withdrawal comes in response to the revelation of the following comments by Rev. Hagee—who is, by the way, a well-known and aggressive supporter of the State of Israel—in a  
GOP: How bad is it?
Bad enough that Arnold Schwarzenegger is giving the GOP advise on how to rebrand itself:"The Republican idea is a great idea, but we can’t go and get stuck with just the right wing," Schwarzenegger said. "Let’s let the party come all the way to the center. Let those people be heard as much as the right. Let it
 
The Solid South?
According to Sean Lengell and Donald Lambro at the Washington Post, the Democratic Party is starting to beleive that they can make inroads in the south for Congressional elections.Democratic leaders, emboldened by recent special House election victories in long-standing Republican districts, are gaining confidence they can retake the
 
Pwned
As we expeced, Barack Obama is getting a severe whuppin’ in West Virginia. It’s defininitely Clinton country there.As Jay Cost wrote last week:The conventional wisdom has it that Clinton did herself major damage Tuesday night by getting blown out in North Carolina. I c
 
Bobby Jindal
Intellectuals and libertarians haven’t had a lot of good things to say about many current Republican politicians (for good reasons, I think), so I’m heartened to see that Megan McArdle was impressed by Bobby Jindal...I saw Bobby Jindal talk last week at the National Press Club. He’s being widely touted as McCain’s potential running mate, though I agree with Ross tha
 
Inappropriate and unacceptable
Is showing two US soldiers being blown-up in an explosion appropriate for a political ad (which, btw, grossly distorts a McCain sound bite to begin with)? Watch at about 9 seconds into the ad and then ask the DNC why they thought it was necessary to include that scene to make their disingenuous point. 
George McGovern’s touch of "class"
This really is pretty pathetic:Let me tell you what I would say to John McCain: neither of us is an expert on national defense. It’s true that you went to one of the service academies but you were in the bottom of the class. It’s true that you were a pilot in Vietnam, that you were shot down and spent most of the war in prison and we all sympathize wit
 
Do you want a third term for George Bush or a second term for Jimmy Carter?
Ann Althouse rightly slams Obama for a very lame response to John McCain’s criticism of Obama’s friendship with Bill Ayers. McCain points out something that’s entirely true, as best as we can tell:[Obama] became friends with [William Ayers] and spent time with him while the guy was unrepentant over his activities as a member of a terrorist organization, the Wea
 
Bill Ayres: Still Self-righteous, self-absorbed, intellectually dishonest and a foul human being
And still as radical a lefty as you’ll ever find.A few snippets from Bill Ayres blog:I’m sometimes asked if I regret anything I did to oppose the war in Viet Nam, and I say “no, I don’t regret anything I did to try to stop the slaughter of millions of human beings by my own government.” Sometimes I add, “I don’t think I did
 
Are Americans Unusually Stupid?
That’s the question posed by Robert Scheer today.Assuming likely voters are not now thinking of yet another Republican president simply because John McCain is the only white guy left standing - an excuse as pathetic in its logic as the decision four years ago to return two Texas oil hustlers to the White House because they were not Massachusetts
 
Stupid and booze don’t mix
Yes, I’m assuming there was booze present without it being mentioned in the article, as that actually gives Rep. Geoff Davis an excuse he may not deserve for being this stupid:Congressman Geoff Davis, took the criticisms of Mr. Obama a few steps further, likening the change slogan to the pitch of a “snake oil salesman.” He then relayed to th
 
McCain: The Faustian Choice
Steven Bainbridge comments on John McCain’s Annapolis speech today.The speech is also a salutary reminder that McCain is a national greatness conservative rather than either a social or limited government conservative. The trouble with national greatness conservatives is that they need a crusade. Indeed, McCain’s speech admits it:
 
David Mamet, George McGovern and Free People
First, George McGovern says he has "come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society." Why do we think we are helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don’t take away cars because we don&rsquo
 
Spitzer, hypocrisy, excuses and trust
Well the Spitzer story seems to have sucked all the air out of the news cycle, so I may as well throw my 2 cents up here.I, like any libertarian, am not bothered by the "illegality" of his business transaction with a prostitute. Paying for sex isn’t, in my view of the world, something which should be a legally actionable offense. Note the word "legally". The morality of such a thing is a different subject. Be that as it may, it is legally action
 
And So It Begins...
So much for "the audacity of hope"...The Obama campaign is stepping up the rhetoric. Campaign Manager David Plouffe went so far as to call Hillary Clinton the "most secretive politician in America today."..."I think that you know Sen. Clinton has talked a lot about disclosure in the last few days,” Plouffe told reporters. “Sen. Clinton is the most secretive politician in America to
 
The Crest of the Obama Wave
Barack Obama, for most of this election cycle, has gotten a pass from the press corps, when it comes to hard questions. So much so that even the Saturday Night Live crew started to ridicule the press in their now-famous sketch from last week, which had membersof the media asking him such tough questions as, "Are you comfortable?" and "Can I get you anything?" and "Are you mad at me?"There’ve been two reasons for this, I think, both of which are und
 
This creeps me out
This video is not from the Obama campaign.  
More fun than I Thought
You know all that talk about pledged convention delegates for democratic Presidential nominees, and how Obama has more than Clinton? Well, so what?The notion that pledged delegates must vote for a certain candidate is, according to the Democratic National Committee, a "myth.""Delegates are NOT bound to vote for the candidate they are pledged to at the convention or on the first ballot,” a r
 
We have rumors ...
Harry Reid might step down? Be still my heart:There is a rumor going around that Harry Reid will step down as majority leader either at the end of this year to focus on his re-election campaign, or in three years after he retires from the Senate. While I should emphasize that I have nothing to back up this rumor, it does raise the interesting possibility of a new campaign for ma
 
Superdelegates: Now They’re a Problem
Last week, on the news, I was watching Susan Estrich talking about the superdelegates for the DNC. Estrich—who was against the idea—was on the DNC rules committee that promulgated it back in the early 80s. The whole point of the superdelegates was to intentionally put some adult supervision into the nomination process.The worry at the time was that the activist whack-jobs might take over the nominating process, and nominate some commie freak
 
More on Exxon
I also want to point out, as an addendum to McQ’s point below, that the $11 billion quarterly profits—while a large number taken by itself, isn’t the full story at all.Last year, Exxon had $404.55 billion in sales, and ended up with $40.61 billion in profits. That’
 
Republicans and McCain
Over the past few weeks (and years, really), the Right has been in near-revolt over the idea of John McCain as the Republican nominee for President. It seems to me this is a more emotional than rational calculation, for reasons for which I’ll describe in more detail below. First, let me point out that I share areas of serious disagreement with McCain - mainly, McCain-Feingold and his general tendency towards Teddy Roosevelt Republicanism - and I am as skeptical of John McCain
 
Bush: McCain a "true conservative"
Seriously, that’s what he said:John McCain is a "true conservative," President Bush says, although the presumptive Republican presidential nominee may have to work harder to convince other conservatives that he is one of their own.And, of course, Mr. Medicare part D and NCLB would know, wouldn’t he?
 
Let’s get something straight about McCain
Jonah Goldberg joins the ranks of the "McCain’s not that bad" apologists with this posting at The Corner.
 
Electoral Vote Counter Update
As an extra added service, I’ve revised the Electoral Vote Counter to show results from the 1992-2004 presidential elections. That should allow you to fool around with various scenarios from an easier starting point, and cut down on some inconvenient clicking.I’ve also added a "Reset" button to help you start from scratch.
 
NY NOW and identity politics - the perfect example of the marginal organization
Another example of how the radical feminist movement further marginalizes itself can be found in the statement from the NY chapter of the National Organization of Women (NY NOW) in which it protests the temerity of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s decision to endorse Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency:“Women have just experienced the ultimate betra
 
2008 SOTU Liveblog
It’s hard to believe that this is the last time we’ll see George W. Bush give his annual SOTU. The last time we’ll see The Big Dick sitting in the big padded chair on the apex of the podium. And, it’s hard to believe that we’ve watched this seven times before.But, GWB is now that lamest of ducks, a president with less than 12 months left to go in his tenure, facing a Congress held by the opposing party. Since this is so, t
 
Subprime bailout and moral hazards
Inevitably, when Bad Things happen to a lot of people at once, politicians show up to rescue everybody involved from the consequences of risk or bad choices. But while mercy is a virtue in an individual, a government policy of mercy for bad choices creates moral hazards that can create both immediate (to other taxpayers) and long-term (to future lenders and borrowers) negative consequences.In the event that politicians propose a subprime bailout of lenders or of homeowners, what ste
 
High water mark for Obama?
I have an XM radio, and I listen unfailingly to Opie and Anthony and Ron and Fez every day. Neither show is particularly political, but occasionally Ron and Fez do talk politics.The other day, they were discussing the South Carolina primaries, and Ron Bennington, talking about why, ultimately, he thinks Barack Obama will lose, said, "Bill Clinton is going from door to door, knocking on doors like he’s running for f*ckin’ fire marshal. That&r
 
Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan [UPDATE]
The Clinton’s (and much of the Leftosphere) recently excoriated Barack Obama for saying some nice things about Ronald Reagan, so E.J. Dionne responded with an article pointing out that Bill Clinton had also said some nice things about Reagan in 1991. Everybody involved is quite upset about the whole thing. So let’s pile on with a few more Bill Clinton quotes,  
Another foiled attempt to rewrite history
We saw a bit of nonsense laid out as some sort of definitive proof that the Bush administration "misled" us into war. The Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism claimed the Bush administration "issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks."
 
"George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party"
Peggy Noonan looks at the state of dissension in the major parties, and puts the blame on two people: Bill Clinton and George Bush.Her observations on Bill Clinton are pretty much what everyone else is saying, even many Democrats. But her points about George Bush rate a bit more focus:On the pundit civil wars, Rush Limbaugh declared on the radio this week, "I’m here to tell you, if either of
 
Speaking of Electoral Votes...
The Democratic candidate—whomever that will be—is already starting out with an advantage. Take a look at the following example from the EV Counter:As it stands, the Democrats already have an electoral vote lead of 230-205 over the Republicans. The solid blue states are still solid blue.For the Republicans, however, the number of solidly red st
 
Electoral Vote Counter
I have created an electoral vote counter hosted online here at QandO. It’s available here. It’s also permanently linked from the "Resources" section of the sidebar on the left side of the page.Bookmark it, you political junkies. You know you’re gonna use it over and over again.Oh, it requires the Flash player v9.
 
An Open Letter to the Grand Old Party
To: Republican Party officials and membersPerhaps this letter is presumptuous of me. After all, I’m not a Republican and never have been. But I am in a group of voters the GOP needs to win. I’m in that freedom-oriented, libertarian-leaning, small government, low taxes group that was part of the Reagan coalition. Granted I’m a bit more minimal government than most in that group; I’d like to see the government down to less than a quarter of its current size. Anyway, you guys are
 
Is this the signal the rest of the media has been waiting for on Fred Thompson?
The New York Times is used as a reference point for many in the mainstream media. That’s even more true of TV than of print journalism. (I recognize that despite my own distaste for them.) So that makes this article on Fred Thompson more important than it might first appear. I believe there are journalists who will regard this as a signal to cover Fred more
 
So, again, who are being accused of racism?
This gets stranger and stranger. Our first "black president" and his wife (and campaign) are being accused of being "racially divisive" in their opposition to Sen. Barack Obama:A series of comments from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband, and her supporters are spurring a racial backlash and adding a divisive edge to the presidential primary as the candidates head south
 
The Stink of a Loser
Hillary Clinton is slowly unveiling her new strategy against Barack Obama. She’s going back to an old playbook from 1984.Hillary Clinton’s campaign, anticipating probable defeat here in New Hampshire on January 8, is gearing up for an extended trench-warfare battle against Barack Obama.The former First Lady is planni
 
Forecasting New Hampshire
Tomorrow’s the big day in New Hampshire, and the last of the polls are in. According to the RCP average, Obama is up by 7.7% on the democratic side, and McCain is up 4.8% on the Republican side.Moreover, Those numbers look solid, since, Obama is ahead in every poll, and McCain is ahead in all but one.Overall, it looks
 
Rip Van McGovern wakes up and says "Bush must go"
George McGovern is convinced Bush and Cheney must go. And he’s conviced they deserve to be impeached. The reasons he outlines include these:It happened in part because the Bush-Cheney team repeatedly deceived Congress, the press and the public into believing that Saddam Hussein had nuclear arms and other horrifying banned weapons
 
Race and the Race
While things are far, far better than they were in the past, there is a race problem in America.However, a part of that problem is the race-baiters who are perfectly willing to fan the flames of racial warfare to smear their political opponents. I’ve sometimes compared allegations of racism to allegations of sexual impropriety. Both are allegations that one should be e
 
Hillary: This Can’t be Good
Time magazine’s election blog is reporting that things could have gone better for Hillary Clinton tonight at the big Club 100 dinner in New Hampshire.If the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s 100 Club dinner is any bell weather – Barack Obama will handily win here. When Obama, the dinner’s last speaker, took the stage the crowd surged
 
The Iowa Caucuses Liveblogging
The caucus attendees (Caucusers? Caucusgoers? Caucasians?) are meeting even as I write this. I’ll be liveblogging until the caucuses are over. Maybe some of the other guys will join in as well.1739: No numbers are out yet, but, based on attendance, the Obama campaign is reporting that over 200,000 voters showed up, which means that a lot of new caucusers are in attendance, which is good news for them. Huckabee is also having a
 
Rush back On the Air, Still Down on Huckabee
Rush Limbaugh came back off the holiday break today. And he picked up right where he left off two weeks ago. Explaining that Huckabee is not really a conservative, and the like.Picking a fight with Mr. Limbaugh was a bad idea.
 
You want Schadenfreude? I’ll give you Schadenfreude ...
Pasadena, CARose Bowl Parade.Cindy Sheehan:Two groups were protesting at the parade. Dozens of war protesters led by "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan staked out spots across from television cameras, hoisting signs reading "Impeachment is Patriotic." The protesters were booed by parade watchers sitting in the gra
 
Classic Quote of the Day
A black teacher in Savannah GA nails Bill Clinton with the final couple of lines:Robinson writes "Clinton’s welfare reform and crime bills were harmful to blacks. Clinton wasn’t exactly the poster child for black empowerment." She criticized him for his failure to stop genocide in Rwanda saying Bill Clinton not only re
 
Ted Rall wins "most obnoxious quote" of 2007
That per John Hawkins of RightWingNews who lists his top 40.The Rall quote?"Over time, however, the endless war in Iraq began to play a role in natural selection. Only idiots signed up; only idiots died. Back home, the average I.Q. soared." — Ted RallPart of that "honest debate" back home we hear so much about, I
 
Assessing Fred Thompson - my somewhat contrarian position
Among the political pontificators, even on the Republican side, I have seen many people count Fred Thompson out of the presidential race. (Even our own McQ and Dale Franks seem rather pessimistic.)Maybe they’re right. But I’m not nearly that pessimistic. No votes have been cast. There is nothing to go on but but polls of people wh
 
Some of my favorite 2007 quotes from the left
Some of the more interesting things found in QandO posts from the left during a review of this year. First, let’s do a little comparing and contrasting:Carl Levin in March, 1999:"Whether we like it or not, the Balkans is an important crossroads. […] This is not the time to take risks in undermining those efforts. Those who insist on a debate at this particular moment sh
 
The Myopia-based Party
Andrew Sullivan observes that the Democratic base seems tolerant of "smears and lies" and that, like "Paul Krugman, they seem to want more of the polarization of the past, more politics as revenge." Following that, he posts a disturbing and myopic reader letter...Maybe it
 
Ron Paul’s Photo op
I don’t know if it means anything. It can probably be explained away as a candidate just pressing the flesh with strangers after an event. But, it doesn’t look good for Ron Paul to be posing for pictures and giving autographs to Stormfront’s Don Black and his son.The forums at Stormfront seem happy to have the pics posted, though.
 
Unforced Errors
When you’re running for a political office, especially the office of President, one thing you want to try to do is avoid silly errors. Especially unforced errors, i.e., foolish mistakes that an ounce of thought would allow you to avoid. Don’t put in an order for a rasher of bacon at the big Jewish Community Center breakfast meeting. Don’t assume that the microphones aren’t live before launching into your favorite farmer’s daughter/tra
 
The Iowa bingo machine
As a student of probability and statistics, I’ve always been fascinated by processes that exhibit a high degree of randomness, such as those bingo and lottery machines that swirl ping-pong balls around until one is chosen. During the swirling, various balls rise and fall, but there’s no telling which one will actually get chosen until the moment the operator asks for one. For some reason, that image came to mind in looking at the news regarding the Iowa caucuses. I’ve seen so many ca
 
Impeach Pelosi?
That’s what Cindy Sheehan wants to do:Peace activist, Cindy Sheehan says that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi collaborated with the Bush administration in condoning torture because Pelosi knew about water boarding torture since 2002. “Even before becoming Speaker of the House of Representative, she said that impeachment of Bush is out of question
 
Food for Thought
The 2008 presidential race is actually turning into what appears to be a competitive run for both parties. Consider the Intrade futures markets for politics. According to the most recent trade prices, the upcoming primaries look like this:Winner of 2008 Democratic Iowa CaucusObama: 50Clinton: 30Winner of 2008 Democratic New Hampshire Primary
 
Absolutely priceless - Who says politicians aren’t arrogant bastards?
A "servant of the people", speaks his heart.Lance at A Second Hand Conjecture brings us the story of one Louisiana pol who demands his perqs and makes no bones about his belief they’re due. In this case he’s talking about extremely scarce BCS championship game tickets: State Sen. Mike Smith, D-Winnfield, was unapologetic for buying whatever tickets he
 
NIE: "Weaponizing isn’t the issue, developing fissionable materials is".
Even Dennis Ross at TNR has figured it out:I don’t question the assumptions or analysis in the NIE, or for that matter, its main conclusion. I accept that the Iranians suspended their covert nuclear weapons program in 2003. But I am afraid that misses the point. Weaponizing is not the issue, developing fissionable materials is.
 
The GOP debate in Iowa
The early consensus:Winners - This was Romney’s element, and he delivered. Though he sounded about as scripted as he usually is (especially in his first several answers), there was much less back-and-forth between candidates, so this was the ideal format in which to get away with that. The "reaction" audience at Fox overwhelmingly thought he won, although half immediately admitted that they thought his answers sounded can
 
Clinton v. Obama: how it breaks down for Democrats (update)
Very interesting Bloomberg article about the fears of Democrats concerning the party’s two front runners. The comments are from a pro-Democratic focus group consisting of 11 Democrats from Philadelphia who were gathered together by Democratic pollster Peter Hart. The basics:The participants were informed and enthusiastic about their party’
 
The Best Speech Ever!
I’m sure we’re all comforted now that we know that Mitt Romney really loves the Baby Jesus, but isn’t this from Hugh Hewitt a bit much?Mitt Romney’s "Faith in America" speech was simply magnificent, and anyone who denies it is not to be trusted as an analyst. On every level it was a masterpiece. The staging and Romney’s
 
Democrats: the party of Truman is no more
Or subtitled: "How the Liberal Elitists Won." In a December 2nd opinion piece in the LA Times, Joel Kotkin and Fred Siegel discuss exactly that point. Once the party of the middle and working class, it has been taken over by what Kotkin and Siegel call the "gentry liberals".Today’s ascendant liberalism has a much different agenda.
 
Another rationale for term limits
Don Surber makes an interesting point:Term limits would save taxpayers at least $4.3 billion in pork alone.He backs that up by analyzing how much more is spent by Congressmen and Senators who have been in office the longest.I’m sympathetic to his argument, but I can’t get excited about it. $4.3 billion is peanuts. Though I’ll take any reducti
 
The Future of the Right: in search of the viable contrast
Ross Douthat makes a compelling point about the political options available to the Right: (emphasis added)From the 1970s onward, the Republican Party built its majority by running against a politics that seemed to privilege the interests of the poor over those of working- and middle-class taxpayers. This is not a legacy that should be lightly abandoned, not least because America alrea
 
Sanchez and the Democrats
The sudden relationship can be summed up neatly by the old Arab proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”Dale has written about it and he and I have discussed it on
 
He makes me angry, too
Instapundit has the best line for this video: Don’t hate me because I’m smarter than you. 
Today must be "stuffed shirts resignation day"
I notice that two men who were both the formerly the highest ranking GOP member of their respective houses of Congress both resigned today.First, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott announced his resignation. He had five years to go on his Senate seat, and you might think someone who just got re-elected last fall and was currently Senate Whip would be serving more of his
 
The Separation of Church Marriage and State Marriage
This Stephanie Coontz piece in the New York Times makes a lot of sense. Coontz points out that people didn’t "need the state’s permission to marry" for many centuries, because "marriage was a private contract between two families", and that the legal relationship that is now called "traditional marriage" is somewhat recent, far from traditional and increasingly used by government "as a way of dist
 
A Tale of Two American parties
Can’t wait to see what John Edwards has to say about this:Democrats like to define themselves as the party of poor and middle-income Americans, but a new study says they now represent the majority of the nation’s wealthiest congressional districts."Democrats: Party of the Rich". Great bumpersticker,
 
The Virtue of Gratitude
Jake Tapper reports on an interesting phenomenon:Three recipients of controversial 11th-hour pardons issued by former President Bill Clinton in January 2001 have donated thousands of dollars to the presidential campaign of his wife, Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., according to campaign finance records examined by ABC News, in what some g
 
The Bill Problem
David Broder takes a look at Bill Clinton’s intervention in Hillary’s campaign to defend her in the aftermath of the debate fiasco. He writes that this points out the one problem her campaign has in terms of the type presidency Ms. Clinton would preside over when her husband is still vital and engaged.The former president’
 
A Uniter, not a Divider
Ron Paul’s creepy selection of campaign supporters gets a complete rundown over at The American Thinker.I haven’t seen that many Nazis come together since Nuremberg.On the other hand, as Prof. Reynolds notes, there are a number of Jews  
Gimme that old time religion ...
Addressing the "non-existent" problem of Iranian gays, an Iranian leader said:Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, The Times has learnt.Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty
 
It’s hard to be a Democrat ...
So says Nora Ephrom at HuffPo. It’s an interesting post, if for no other reason than to get a little peek inside the head of a "progressive" activist. For all that it matters, her lament is no different than that of many on the right concerning the Republican party. She says the top 5 reasons she lists for being a Democrat all say "Supreme Court". You hear the same from the right. The difference, however, is the "why" each side sees the SC as impor
 
Clinton staff planted questions? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you ... (update)
The latest misstep for the Clinton campaign occurred at an Iowa political rally/townhall meeting at Grinnell University, where, it is admitted, Clinton staffers planted questions in the audience:"On this occasion a member of our staff did discuss a possible question about Senator Clinton’s energy plan at a forum,” Elliethee said.“However, Senator Clinton did no
 
Could Ron Paul run as an independent?
I’m at the end of a long week of conferences (two back to back), and decompressing at a coffee shop in Redmond, WA. I’ve barely had time to skim the QandO entries this week, so it’s catch up time.I noticed this post on Paul’s foreign policy. As McQ says, Paul’s domestic policies look pretty good to a libertarian, but some of us think he’s pretty clueless on foreign policy. And, of
 
Bill Clinton: Designated Excuse Maker
The excuses begin in earnest:Former President Clinton said Wednesday that all the Democratic presidential candidates could be open to a "swift boat kind of ad" if they try to give quick responses to complicated issues like driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.Seems to me, given the question, the answer was "yes" or "no". Bu
 
Kerry: Finally ready to answer SBVFT
Or so he says, 3 years after the fact:"We have put together a documented portfolio that frankly puts their lies in such a total light of absurdity and indecency, that should they ever rear their ugly heads again, we have every single ’t’ crossed and ’i’ dotted, and I welcome that in a sense,’’ Kerry said after addressing Boston’s South Shore Chamber
 
Ron Paul will remember the Fifth of November
Quite a day for the Ron Paul campaign. An independent website, ThisNovember5th.com, urged Ron Paul supporters to participate in a fund-raising drive themed around Guy Fawkes Day, which was recently depicted in the movie V for Vendetta as a day of (individual, then popular) revolution against an oppressive state.
 
Still playing the "Chick card" (update)
I posted an article a few days back in which I took Hillary Clinton and her supporters to task for playing the gender card after her tough time on the Holloween eve debate. As I and many others have pointed out, that’s an unacceptable argument for a presidential candidate, and especially the front runner.The reason Hillary Clinton was singled out on that night is she holds a ve
 
Pick your battles carefully
Greg Sargent has a piece about Rudy G. going after Joe Biden on Wolf Blitzer’s show:It seems pretty clear cut. In the first interview, Rudy was asked explicitly about Joe Biden and foreign policy experience and he suggested very directly that Biden didn’t have any, summarizing Biden’s recor
 
Brutal
 
Playing The "Chick" card (update)
Anyone else notice the first reaction by some to the attack on Hillary Clinton during Tuesday’s Democratic debate was to play the "chick"  
Giuliani on Hillary and NY drivers licences
Pretty funny as well as being pretty spot on:“You know, she was being attacked all night for taking different positions in front of different audiences and then by the end of the night, she took different positions in front of the same audience. It was pretty amazing. I mean, in politics I’ve never quite seen that before. I know there are some politicians like Hillary. They say differen
 
Pogo’s revenge - poll and pander
I always enjoy reading Michael Barone because his articles are usually pretty insightful. Today’s is no exception. Barone looks at the two major political parties and concludes they have no real themes going into the ’08 election. The Democratic Party is all about, well, listen to its rhetoric. It’s all about opposing George
 
The Truth is Out There
When you’re running for political office, you gotta do what you gotta do to gather voters. But this seems like an awfully small demographic.If he wins his bid for the White House, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson may be just the man to get to the bottom of the 60-year-old Roswell UFO mystery.Answering questions at a townhall meeting Fri
 
Is Hillary’s tin ear really this bad?
Hillary thinks she might be having some trouble in Iowa, and wonders if there is some political misogyny at work:"I was shocked when I learned Iowa and Mississippi have never elected a woman governor, senator or member of Congress," she said. "There has got to be something at work here..."Until a few decades ago, the cultural norm was male politicians. By simple statistical ch
 
The "Ron Paul Voter"
I couldn’t help wondering if the entire purpose of the latest Michael Kinsley article in TIME was to describe another ’voting bloc’ ala the Soccer Mom or the Angry White Male, as a target for the two major parties.Kinsley, as he says himself, oversimplifies much of the ideology at work among the various groups he identifies, but he takes
 
Obama, Edwards and Richardson criticize Clinton
For any long-time observer of American politics this should come as absolutely no surprise, however it is contra to the mirage of unity the Dems have attempted to put forward over the months since the campaign began.Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson said Saturday that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is "acting as if she’s won" the nomination
 
Of petards and attempts to rewrite history
This SCHIP story is absolutely fascinating to watch develop. Faiz at Think Progress:This morning, CNN aired its first report on the right-wing smear campaign against 12-year old SCHIP recipient Graeme Frost. CNN pinned the blame on Democrats for assault on the Frost family.CNN’s John Roberts reported: “Some of the accusations [against the Frosts] ma
 
Could Michigan go red?
Although Democrats see this as an "internal struggle" which will have no lasting effect, I’m not so sure:Four of the Democratic presidential candidates announced today that they would not take part in the Democratic primary in Michigan, all but ceding the contest in that major battleground state to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is ahea
 
The difference between reality and rhetoric
The difference between governing and petulant, partisan political complaining: Two months after insisting that they would roll back broad eavesdropping powers won by the Bush administration, Democrats in Congress appear ready to make concessions that could extend some crucial powers given to the National Security Agency.Administration officials
 
Overreacting and overreaching
Anyone else notice how lately the Dems seem to overreact and overreach on things? I’m sure Reps do it too, but not to the extent I’ve seen Dems do it lately. That may all change if we see a Democrat in the White House. We’ll see. But right now it seems the Dems hold the lead in the field of overreaching and overreacting. It’s like they don’t know how to make a point and then, forgive me, "move on".And speakin
 
Bush giving Hillary campaign advice?
How bad is it for Congressional Dems? Well when you’ve lost the support of the leading Bush bashers, you’re in trouble. Says Helen Thomas:President Bush has no better friends than the spineless Democratic congressional leadership and the party’s leading presidential candidates when it comes to his failing Iraq policy. These Democrats seem to have forgotte
 
Eliot Spitzer - Where do you New Yorkers get these guys?
Does this hit you as a tiny bit absurd?Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer blasted Republicans for "politics of fear and selfishness" in opposing his plans to allow illegal immigrants to get New York driver’s licenses and to provide health insurance to all children."What has happened is that
 
Thank you Steny Hoyer (update)
A NY Times article by Carl Hulse gets to the bottom of the manufactured outrage over comments about "phony soldiers" (in the wake of the conviction of phony soldier Jesse MacBeth)Rush Limbaugh made:Having abandoned for now their effort to force President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq, Democr
 
GOP sends its thanks to MoveOn.org
Seems the organization was an effective fundraising tool for the GOP:Capitol Hill Republicans are getting a much-needed fundraising boost from a newspaper advertisement in which the liberal group MoveOn.org accused Iraq war commander Gen. David H. Petraeus of lying, strategists say.Republican candidates and party committees are frequently citing th
 
Hunter threatens to pull fed funds from Columbia
You know, sometimes you wonder where these guys get their understanding of what their job entails:Earlier today, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said in a statement that if Columbia University President Lee Bollinger “follows through with this hosting of the leader of Iran, I will move in Congress to cut off every single type of Federal Funding to Columbia University.”
 
The Same old same old
Do we really want to put ourselves through another Clinton presidency and repeated incidents like this?Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publ
 
If MoveOn was trying to influence moderate voters, it failed
We’ve heard from the Oliver Willis’ of the world who’ve claimed that in reality the MoveOn "General Betrayus" ad was a big success and money just poured into the organization in the aftermath.Well, if money was the object of the ad, then yes, Oliver is correct. Big success.But I suspect the ad was run to influence people, not make money. And if that is the case, and I suspect it was,  
Will the real Hillary please stand up?
Yesterday in our podcast, Dale and I discussed the multiple positions Hillary Clinton seems to have on Iraq. For instance, Cernig at Newshoggers takes her to task for this:The leadi
 
If the Hsu fits ...
I continue to watch this story about Norman Hsu and the donations to various parties and politicians among the Democrats he’s managed over the years, and it appears the story has some legs.As I’ve noted many times, corrupt politicians aren’t anything new or particularly noteworthy, but when it appears that the corruption may be more broadly based, well, its at least worth a mention.Why do I say broadly based? Well
 
Well now that that is settled
I swear:During an interview with The Advocate to be published next week, Sean Kennedy, the gay magazine’s news and features editor, asked the presidential candidate, "How do you respond to the occasional rumor that you’re a lesbian?""People say a lot of things about me, so I really don’t pa
 
MoveOn.org, the ad and the Dems
I keep watching the left publicly pooh-poohing the Petraeus ad and the right doing its level best to keep it in the forefront and understand that both doing so is a natural part of the politics played in this nation. When one side or the other gets a political bone thrown to them, they worry it to death, especially if it casts the other side in a bad light or into turmoil.And despite the fact that official line of the left seems to be "much ado about not
 
Obamarama - Above the Fray (update)
According to Ben Smith at Politico, Obama didn’t vote on the Cornyn resolution condemning the MoveOn.org ad because he wanted to be seen to be above the fray. Or as Smith explains it:The empty, symbolic fight over the MoveOn ad also appears to be testing something that was, from the beginning, a central question in the primary: Do Democrats want some
 
Webb, the Dems and "home leave"
I love this first paragraph:Senate Republicans yesterday rejected a bipartisan proposal to lengthen the home leaves of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, derailing a measure that war opponents viewed as one of the best chances to force President Bush to accelerate a redeployment of forces."Home leaves"? Doesn’t tha
 
Does *anybody* like Congress these days? (Alternate headline: Bush is almost three times as popular as Congress)
From Yahoo News (via Drudge), we’ve got the latest poll ratings on Congress and the President. You thought the new low record of 14% for Congress was bad? It’s now 11%.Only 29 percent of Americans gave Bush a positive grade for his job performance, below his worst Zogby poll mark of 30 percent in March. A paltry 11 percent rated Congress positively, beating the previous low of 14 per
 
GOP "Dirty Tricks"
Aaaaah! It’s good to have the New York Times’ opinion pages back again! They never disappoint. Like today’s Bob Herbert column. Once again America’s most boring columnist is railing at the "Dirty Tricks" the GOP is attempting in California, trying to ste
 
If you think politics here are frustrating ...
Try Belgium. Apparently one Belgian was so tired of the bickering there that he tried to sell the country on Ebay:Hidden among the porcelain fox hounds and Burberry tablecloths on sale at eBay.be this week was an unusual item: "For Sale: Belgium, a Kingdom in three parts ... free premium: the king and his court (costs not included)."
 
Richard Cohen rips Hillary Clinton
And deservedly so, in my estimation. Cohen talks about one of Clinton’s favorite phrases, but only when applied to attacks on her - "the politics of personal destruction". He talks about how she had an opportunity to put her money where her mouth is this past week and failed miserably:The MoveOn.org ad was the moment for Clinton to rise
 
Jane Hamsher: Take heed Liz
Who said "you’re either with us or against us" was exclusive to George Bush? Certainly not the authoritarians on the left known as Netroots.Remember the paragraph I featured from yesterday’s post from one of the books I’m reading (the Lee Harris book)? Here’s real world example of that mind-set within our own politic
 
Fred Thompson’s Lawrenceburg homecoming - a quick recap
As I mentioned earlier this week, Fred Thompson scheduled a campaign event in his hometown today. By sheerest coincidence, I grew up there too. So I drove down today with my mom and two sons to check it out.The town square was shoulder-to-shoulder. I did some quick sample counts of the crowd and estimated a total of six or seven thousand in my visual range. There were more folks down the various side streets of t
 
Dirt, trash, class and politics
John Herbert is predicting the "dirtiest presidential campaign ever". Unfortunately that’s like predicting sunrise tomorrow.He bases it, however, on a point that seems to be lost on many out there who didn’t find the MoveOn ad to be that big of a deal:Accusing a veteran soldier of "betrayal" is pretty much the same as applying the "N" word to an African-Ameri
 
Feels like it might be time to visit Lawrenceburg, Tennessee (with update)
Via Bill Hobbs, I see that Fred Thompson will be in his hometown of Lawrenceburg, TN on Saturday. I know a few QandO readers are not too far from there, and might want to drive over. Bill will have details on the event later, and I’ll update this post when I get them. By coincidence, I grew up Lawrenceburg, too. As you might expect, I’m going to try and be there, and Bill is encouraging othe
 
Why are so many Tennessee politicians arrogant fools?
Politicians everywhere tend towards questionable and sometimes detestable behavior. The power and privilege that come with the office is inherently corrupting (as the old "power corrupts" saying highlights), and it takes a strong person to resist the temptation to let power go to their head.But here in Tennessee, I think we have more than our share of politicians who do let it go to their head. We’ve been seeing antics by these guys, predominantly Democrats, for a long time. We
 
An old quote that applies more than ever
From Mark Twain, one of the smartest Americans who ever lived:"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."Now just try and tell me that doesn’t apply to the Petraeus hearings...{found in today’s USA TODAY}
 
Plausible Deniability and crocodile tears
The more I read about the MoveOn.org ad characterizing General Petraeus as a "Bushbot" who is "betraying" the American people, the more I think they may have been a set up (not that I have much sympathy for them since I would guess they participated willingly). Of course we see the Democrats backing away from the ad:A Democratic leadership aide on Capitol Hill told ABC News that the ad was "not helpful" because it allowed Republicans to refoc
 
More on the YouTube political wars
Several months ago, I talked about how changing technology affects political campaigns. Part of the ensuing discussion concerned the impact of video technologies on campaigns.I was reminded of that discussion when I watched this video: 
How sick has all of this become?
I mean really, this sort of crap continues to both amaze and disgust me:Are you still fans of Matt Hasselbeck and Mack Strong after they visited President Bush last week in Bellevue? Or have their political leanings turned you against them?The Seahawks quarterback and fullback gave the 43rd president a No. 43 jersey with his name on it at a $1,000-a-plate fundra
 
How can you actually avoid poverty?
Well it has nothing to do with government or government programs even if the Democrats are presently engaged in trying to expand a children’s health insurance plan for the poor to include much of the middle class. Instead, avoiding poverty can be as simple as finding and holding a job and getting and staying mar
 
An odd way to treat your political allies
Howard Dean and the DNC have told Florida Democrats to change their primary date or suffer the consequences. In fairness, the Republican National Committee has done the same thing. The difference is degree. The Republicans told Florida Republicans that if they insist on having their primary on the 29th of January, they’ll reduce the number of delegates Florida can send to the Republican Convention. Seem harsh? I mean, Florida is a critical state, no?
 
I’m with Fred?
I dunno if Fred Thompson’s campaign is living up to the initial hype. It seems that the campaign fired Communications Director Linda Rozett, and replaced her with Tom Collamore, who was the first director of Thompson’s exploratory committee...and who was fired last month from that post.I don’t get it. As far as I can tell, the Thompson campaign has more or less
 
A two-pronged attack on the Blue Dogs
They may end up being an endangered species. The other day I mentioned that Matt Stoller has started a campaign to "criticize" Blue Bush Dog Democrats in an effort to help them see the Netroots light. In fact, Stoller even talks about targeted Google ads criticizing their positions on various issues, such as FISA.I also noted at the time that Republicans
 
Adjusting the Democratic message on Iraq
As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a little message editing going on right now among Democrats in the wake of favorable reports out of Iraq concerning the effect of the Surge. No one should be surprised by this. It is as natural among politicians as sunrise for the rest of us. No politician wants to be caught on the wrong side of an issue. That said, some merely have to slightly shift their position while others like Harry
 
Clinton caught in another fabrication
You probably remember an angry Bill Clinton who appeared on Chris Wallace’s show, shook his finger at Wallace and lectured him about how hard he’d worked to kill bin Laden.Yeah, well that performance ranks right up there with "I did not have sex with that woman" apparently:The report also criticized intelligence problems when Bill Clinton
 
More of that irony stuff
If you are a political blogger, you have to love John Edwards lately:"I don’t believe you can change this country without taking on very entrenched interests in Washington, including lobbyists, that stand between us and the change that America needs. And I don’t believe you can do it by sitting at a table, negotiating with them, and trying to bring them together. These people will n
 
Romney’s sons and the military
This has got to rank right up there with the absurd "chickenhawk" meme.Apparently, among the brain dead and the news media (but I repeat myself) there’s a problem with the fact that Mitt Romney’s adult sons didn’t choose to join the military just because dear old Dad feels the war in Iraq
 
Validating the assumptions through political donations
Few if any would argue against the premise that academia in the US leans well to the left. A recent study has demonstrated how much through a look a political donations from academia to date:That many college professors and academics lean to the political left is no surprise — 76 percent of their donations went to Demo
 
Republicans: "Sure we’ll contribute!"
Heh ... I can see this playing out now. Matt Stoller has a bright idea that Blue Dog Dems should be chastised when they vote against the established Netroots position. And he’s come up with a scheme that only a Republican could love:I’ve been kicking around the idea with Chris that we should raise the costs of bad decision-making on things like FISA, or when they fo
 
An Edwards/Obama ticket? (update)
You’ve got to be kidding me. Yes, I know it isn’t likely, and yes I think it will be Hillary Clinton making such a choice (at least for the time being), but can you imagine a more dangerous and less experienced ticket than an Edwards/Obama ticket?At a stop on his "Fighting for One America" bus tour Monday, Democratic presidential candidate John Edw
 
Why Kos is better off staying with activism
Because as an analyist, eh, not so hot. From PBS’s "Charlie Rose" show:ROSE: You’re here on the same day that Karl Rove resigns. Tell me what your impression of Karl Rove is as a political tactician, as a policymaker, as a political philosopher. MOULITSAS: As a policymaker, there really isn’t very much good
 
Who in the world will the left blame now?
Yes friends, it’s true, Karl Rove is leaving the Bush administration at the end of August and many on the left are going to have to find a new bête noire with which to focus their anger and lay their conspiracy theories:"I just think it’s time," Mr. Rove said in the interview. "There’s always something that can keep you here, and as much as I’d like
 
Thompson Quits Race!
This is just comong over the wires: Thompson is quitting the 2008 presidential race!Oh...uh...wait a sec...Ah. It’s Tommy Thompson.Carry on.
 
Another bitter loser with an entitlement mentality
I’m referring to Tom Daschle. You’ll recall that he got knocked out in 2004 despite being the Democrats’ leader in the Senate at the time. His co-senator, elected in 2002, was Tim Johnson, who suffered a serious stroke a while back. Johnson’s seat is up for grabs in 2008.Now, look, I don’t have anything against Johnson, even though there were some shennanigans in his
 
Need a smile? (update)
Cat fight in SF (oh yeah, very sexist ... grow a sense of humor for heaven sake):Citing her son as inspiration, a tearful Cindy Sheehan announced her candidacy Thursday for the U.S. House of Representatives.The anti-war activist is running as an independent against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has represented San Francisco in Congress sin
 
Can you still buy glue over-the-counter? (update)
Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep ... especially if you lean a little left politically and are prone to, well, I’m not exactly sure what. Just read this beauty:But Max Sawicky’s post last week attacking what he sees as the entire American national security establishment summarized
 
They just can’t help it
Good grief - I found myself agreeing with a post written by Jen over at Feministing and thought I’d have to slit my wrists as a result. But as it turns out, I was saved by a sentence.Jen speaks about Elizabeth Edwards and her contention that poor John is getting screwed by the press. Says Elizabeth Edwards, speaking of turning to the internet to get the word out:
 
More Bush Incompetence
Markos Moulitsas is quoted in an E.J. Dionne article, describing the dark circumstances of Daily Kos’ founding.An Army veteran, a former Republican, and the son of a Salvadoran mother and a Greek father, Moulitsas, 35, created his Daily Kos Web site on May 26, 2002 — "in those dark days," as his site puts it, "when an oppressive and war-crazed
 
Edwards and Murdoch: Doh!
Do you ever get the impression that between Edwards and Obama, Clinton will sleepwalk through the primaries to a win?First we have Obama with the promise to unilaterally take action -if he has "actionable intelligence"- within the borders of an ally whether or not the ally gives permission.Then we have John "two Americas" Edwards climbing all over Hillary Clinton about donations from Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. But we learn today that Edward
 
Edwards must not have been listening yesterday
Tim Dickenson of Rolling Stone, reports on a John Edwards event he attended in San Francisco (question: does that make him a partisan hack?). After complementing Edwards performance (he’s "awesome on the stump") and noting he dished out plenty of red meat with attacks on ’big oil’, ’big pharma&
 
What Problem?
Bruce linked to Washington Post story earlier today, but didn’t comment on it in any detail. I’d like to take a second look at it.House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that a strongly positive report on progress on Iraq by Army Gen. David Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his
 
Why the despair?
Kevin Hassett asks a fair question:We found out Friday that the U.S. economy grew 3.4 percent in the second quarter. For macroeconomists, the number is a familiar one. The average annual rate of real growth in the U.S. gross domestic product from 1948 to the present was about 3.4 percent.The U.S. is indisputably a great and thriv
 
Turning to port (Update)
If this little blurb doesn’t perfectly illustrate where the Democrats are headed this election season, I’m not sure what does:The Democratic Leadership Council, criticized from its creation in 1985 by the liberal wing of the party as too cozy with Wall Street, is being snubbed this weekend by all eight Democratic presidential candidates.
 
Replacing Senators
I’m a bit late to this party, but let me state now and for the record... If Senator Vitter resigns, the Democratic Governor of Louisiana should replace him with a Republican of similar positions. That is what the people elected. If Senator Johnson resigns, the Republic
 
Novak quotes
Apparently Robert Novak’s autobiography has been recently released and is entitled "“The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington”. Well that would "endarken" anyone.But I did get a kick out of a couple of quote:On blogs: “I’m 76 years old, and pretty soon I’m going to a place where there are no blogs.”When you’re an old dog and you’ve never really had to answer for your columns or take a raft of pub
 
You wondered when all the glad-handing would end
You knew it had too, you just wondered when. The setup? On last night YouTube "reality show", a questioner asked if, during their first year of the presidency, the candidates would visit the leaders of rogue nations. Obama said yes. Clinton said no. Today Clinton said more:"I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naive," Clinton is reported to have said ( 
Sheehan has her "road to Damascus" moment - better late than never I suppose
The "conversion" of Cindy Sheehan, from Democrat and peace activist to just plain peace activist has been alternately funny and, well, something, I’m not sure yet.Sheehan, if nothing else, has shown us how the media can create a personality out of just about anyone. Given, Cindy Sheehan’s son’s death is not a l
 
Shocker in GA, but a good one in my opinion
In a special runoff election (between two Republicans, no Democrat finished in the top two) to fill a open Congressional seat in GA, the non-establishment Republican won. Jim Whitehead, a GA state Senator and the pick of the Republican establishment, went down to defeat by a very narrow margin to Dr. Paul Broun, a physician.Whitehead held a 44% - 21% edge on Broun in last month’s primary. But Whitehead managed to blow his lead with some really stu
 
Bill Richardson’s railroad
The WSJ [$] carries an op-ed today by Paul Gessing, president of the Rio Grande Foundation, in which Gessing makes the case that although Bill Richardson, governor of NM, is probably fiscally to the right of the rest of the Democratic presidential front runners, he’s hardly a fiscal conservative.Within the context of that point, Gessing tells us about something which is all too common among many politicians ... funding an attempt to make a
 
Ron Paul: Beware of government staged terrorist event
No, seriously:Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, said the country is in "great danger" of the U.S. government staging a terrorist attack or a Gulf of Tonkin style provocation, as the war in Iraq continues to deteriorate.The Texas congressman offered no specifics nor mentioned President Bush by name, but he clearly i
 
Oh, man ....
Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison, D-MN:On comparing Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany: "It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he want
 
See Cindy run. Run, Cindy, run.
"I am going to take whatever I have left, and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children, and try to regain some of what I have lost."— Cindy Sheehan, May 28, 2007 She tired of that quickly: Six weeks after announcing her departure from the peace movement, Cindy Sheehan said Sunday that she plans to
 
Impeachment: Political calculation based on polling
From Think Progress:This morning on ABC’s This Week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) highlighted the new American Research Group poll showing that nearly half of Americans want the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush, and 54 percent favor impeachment hearings for Vice President Cheney.
 
I have to agree with Rasmussen
He trots out what he calls his "first law of politics" which, whether agreed to or not, seems apropos given the outcome on the immigration bill:Scott Rasmussen’s first law of politics is that America’s politicians aren’t nearly as important as they think they are.Well, yes and no. "No" when they
 
Seizing the Initiative
I guess the democrats are serious about pulling out of Iraq. According to politico,Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are expected tomorrow to announce a new coordinated effort to force votes in July to end the Iraq war, according to Democratic insiders.Reid has already pu
 
Bob McDonnell
Howard Mortman learned today (through snail mail!) that Bob McDonnell has a good website up. That 2009 Virginia Governor’s race isn’t going to win itself. We’ll disagree over policy sometimes, but I have to admit that Bob McDonnell is one of the most blog-savvy politicians on the scene. He
 
Third party politics
With the president’s approval ratings in the tank and with Congress holding at an all time low (14%) third party talk is perking up.Yesterday the focus was on a possible Michael Bloomberg run. Today, the Naderites are cheering because Ralph is thinking about it again:"You know the two parties are still converging — they don’t even debate the milit
 
The disengenuousness of politics today
As Julie Hirchfield Davis of AP points out, the arcane procedure Harry Reid plans on using to get the "new and improved" immigration bill through the Senate has a name. And in this case it is a very descriptive name in more ways than one:Only in the arcane world of the U.S. Senate could a quirky gambit known as a ’’clay pigeon’’ make the difference between passage of an important immigration measure and its death at the hands of o
 
The Market is Speaking?
If you were to mosey on over to intrade.com, and take a look at the 2008 Election Market, you’d see that the last price on a Fred Thompson contract to win the GOP Nomination is at 31.5. He’s followed closely by Rudy Giuliani at 30. Romney is at 21, and bringing up the rear of the candidates who actually have a shot is John McCain, cruising along with a contract priced at 8.5.On the Democrati
 
Our political gentry
Next fall, some voters will go to the polls who are voting in their first election because they just became old enough. Those voters have lived their entire lives under a president named Bush or Clinton. Here in Nashville, we have a mayoral election coming up. On my bike ride today, I noticed yard signs for only two candidates – Bob Clement and David Briley. Bob Clement is son of a former governor of Tennessee, and David Briley is grandson of a former mayor of Nashville. And let’s no
 
Thompson: Let the oppo games begin
I touched on this in my post "Establishing the Fred Thompson Brand". Now it seems it is beginning in earnest:Opponents and their researchers have begun working — mostly behind the scenes — to highlight perceived soft spots in his conservative bona fides.And Thompson will have to neu
 
Oh Harry, where have ye gone?
The weekly Rasmussen popularity polls are out and are good for a grin.Who’s doing well? Uh, not Harry Reid:Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now viewed favorably by 19% of American voters and unfavorably by 45%. Just 3% have a Very Favorable opinion while 22% hold a Very Unfavorable views.I hate that but
 
Democrats trapped by "support the troops" mantra?
Kevin Drum explores a statement made by Spencer Ackerman concerning the Democrats and Iraq. Says Ackerman: Haunted by Vietnam, Democrats are determined to express support for the troops. This is admirable. The truth of the matter, however, is this: many troops in Iraq, perhaps even most of them, want to stay and fight. ....Democrats have m
 
Do these folks really know what Ron Paul stands for? (with update)
There’s a segment of the anti-war contingent that has fallen for Ron Paul. They don’t seem to be that large in numbers, based on national polls, but they certainly are vocal. I disagree with Ron Paul about the Iraq c
 
Basing national laws on “teary-eyed children”?
The front page of USA Today contains an article on the intense debate over the immigration bill before Congress. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez are the first wave of a full court press by the Bush administration in support of the bill, and those gentlemen appeared before the USA Today editorial board to make their case. The art
 
Edwards: War on Terror a bumper sticker
This man would be your president:Democrat John Edwards Wednesday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists.In a defense policy speech he planned to deliver at the Council on Foreign Relations,
 
Why is it that Democrats still want the draft?
The latest is Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards:"One of the things we ought to be thinking about is some level of mandatory service to our country, so that everybody in America — not just the poor kids who get sent to war — are serving this country," he said."We have people from all walks of life in America who are serving, includ
 
Trust and the 2008 Presidential Election
I’ve spent most of my life not trusting politicians. No surprise to most of you, and I’d wager a majority of our readers feel the same way. But it’s worse now than it’s ever been in my lifetime.Despite the "culture of corruption", which I find as disgusting as anyone, I don’t think the typical politician is a dishonest sleazebag. I think the average politician honestly believes he is doing the best he can to serve the people. But I still don’t trust t
 
Carter: I was careless. Or was I misinterpreted? (update)
And the backpedaling begins:Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday his remarks were ’’careless or misinterpreted’’ when he said the Bush administration has been the ’’worst in history’’ for its impact around the world.And in response to a charge from the White House that Carter is becoming ’’increasingly irrelevant, h
 
The worst president in US history tries to hand off his crown
From an abandoned peanut warehouse in Georgia:Former President Carter says President Bush’s administration is “the worst in history” in international relations, taking aim at the White House’s policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.The criticism from Carter, which a biographer says is unprecedented for the 39th president, also took aim at Bu
 
.... or a chicken in every pot!
OK, you decide which you want. Lance has the details.
 
A "new" reality? Poppycock!
A NY Times piece by Sheryl Gay Stolberg announces:Six months after Republicans lost control of Congress, President Bush is learning the rules of a game that, for six years, he seemed to have forgotten: the Capitol Hill edition of “Let’s Make a Deal.”Forgotten? Why would he have
 
Clinton’s waterloo
Hillary Clinton is going to have to pick a side, because all of these attempts at playing both sides of the Iraq issue is making her look weak and indecisive:Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton voted Wednesday to advance legislation cutting off money for the Iraq war, then refused to pledge to support the measure if it came to a vote, then said she would.At lunchti
 
This woman is shameless
Nancy Pelosi politicizing "Mother’s Day":Women have always been the peacekeepers of our societies. When I became the first woman Speaker of the House this year, I was honored to assume this position and humbled by the responsibility it brought. Nothing in my life will ever compare to being a mother - not being a Member of Congress; not being Speaker of
 
Wow — Here’s a surprise (update)
This is as predictable as the sunrise: Congressional Democrats are taking aim at big oil companies as U.S. gasoline prices near a record average $3.05 a gallon.Although industry experts doubt it will have any effect, half a dozen senators gathered in front of a Washington service station to push their own remedies to the sit
 
Fall in line or out of the tent with you Lanny (update)
It should come as no surprise that Atrios had declared Lanny Davis, Democratic operative, "Wanker of the Day" or that Jesus General is in full "open letter" mode over what Davis said concerning the  
The "Nappy-headed Hos" of Christendom
Al Sharpton ... whatta clown:Sharpton made the controversial remark during a debate Monday with atheist author Christopher Hitchens in New York. According to a tape of the event, Sharpton said, “As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry about that. That’s a temporary situatio
 
Kansas Guard comment politically motivated?
From the rumor mill:There are rumblings that Kansas Governor Sebelius’ remarks about how recovery efforts post the massive tornado that destroyed Greensburg were coerced by Howard Dean and the upper levels of the Democratic Party and were in direct contradiction to the facts.Several readers this morning have
 
The politics of Iraq
Today the New York Times is reporting that moderate Republicans are warning President Bush that there must be visible progress in Iraq if he wants their continued support:Moderate Republicans gave President Bush a blunt warning on his Iraq policy at a private White House meeting this week, telling the preside
 
Filling the void in the race for president
I grew up in a small county in southern Middle Tennessee called Lawrence County. Today’s Nashville Tennessean has an article talking with some folks from down there. The article is about a fellow who graduated from Lawrence County High School just before I started elementary school. A lot of people are talking about him these days. His name is Fred Thompson (though he was called “Freddie”
 
Heh ...
Rich Lowrey’s one line comment at the Corner says it best about tonight’s Republican debate:From my Democratic friend: "Thompson is winning—Fred Thompson."
 
How successful have the Netroots been in driving the political debate?
Where do you suppose this came from?So the entire Democratic caucus in the United States Senate — 50 senators — has sent a letter to the Washington Post attacking the dean of the Washington press corps, David Broder, for a column in which Mr. Broder dared to criticize their leader for his preemptive surrender to the terrorists in Iraq. "We, the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, contest t
 
Kucinich’s one man crusade
Don’t forget, this guy was elected by a congressional district in Ohio:"I do not stand alone," Dennis Kucinich said as he stood, alone, in front of a cluster of microphones yesterday evening.The Ohio congressman, a Democratic presidential candidate, was holding a news conference outside the Capitol to announce that he had just
 
Gonzales and Reid: Time for both to go?
David Broder thinks so, and, in this case I’m not willing to argue. Gonzales, whether he did anything illegal or not has demonstrated he hasn’t the stuff it takes to be the AG. And his support on the right, other than from
 
Strategic Incompetence
Via GeekPress, this article tells us why so many upper managers are clueless about fax machines. As I’ve long suspected, it’s not that they can’t do it. They simply pretend incompetence so that others will be forced to pick up their slack. That way, they can keep on doing what they’re b
 
I couldn’t agree more ...
An editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal nails the general Congressional Democratic strategy and specifically, Harry Reid’s part in it:The Democratic strategy to use the ongoing violence in Iraq to their political advantage in the run-up to the 2008 elections requires some skill and nuance. But it’s growing harder to believe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid &mdas
 
It’s Republicans! It’s liberals!
Newt Gingrich on ABC’s "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos speaking of Va Tech. As a preface, Stephanopoulos asked him if he would apply what he said to Littleton, CO shootings to the Va Tech shootings. Gringrich answered "Yes". What he said in ’99 was:“I want to say to the elite of this country - the elite news media, the liberal acade
 
If only Amanda Marcotte had been there
Found via Bill Quick, an article about the presidential candidate with the nicest hair (including Hillary):NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s rare that a presidential candidate — a Democrat, no less — tugs his glasses off and says, “Let’s pray." It’s rarer still that the candidate concludes, “In Christ’s name.”Gosh, if onl
 
You just can’t make these things up
RedState gives us Joe Biden’s "unifying theory" of all things since 1994:"I would argue, since 1994 with the Gingrich revolution, just take a look at Iraq, Venezuela, Katrina, what’s gone down at Virginia Tech, Darfur, Imus. Take a look. This didn’t happen accidentally, all these things."
 
Prepping for a loss?
Asked on Larry King Live whether his wife would be devastated by a loss in her quest for the presidency, Bill Clinton said, eh, not so much:Former President Bill Clinton told CNN Thursday his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, will have no qualms about returning to the Senate if she loses her bid for the Democratic presidentia
 
MSNBC will Host Republican Presidential debate
And not a hint of whining or claiming MSNBC is biased or threatening to pull out:Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s "Hardball," will moderate the May 3 GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library, officials announced Tuesday.The same evening, Matthews will air a "Hardball" program from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
 
Some quickie Political stories
Fund raising on the Democratic side:As Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton seeks to reassemble the Democratic money machine her husband built, some of its major fund-raisers have already signed on with Senator Barack Obama.Among the biggest fund-raisers for Mr. Obama’s campaign are as many as a half-do
 
Politics, Generals and Iraq
Over at Booman Tribune, the following is being reported:Via Think Progress, we learn that General Petraeus met privately with the Republican caucus and told them he will deliver ’real progress’ by August. According to Andrea Mitchell, who was bandying about this scoop, the Republicans are deeply skeptical and are readying to jump ship on the Pr
 
John McCain (D-AZ)?
Well, this is very interesting. According to The Hill John McCain was negotiating a party switch with Tom Daschle and Harry Reid in 2001.Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, a
 
Attitudes about Iraq and Gonzales (update)
Apparently some are, at least for the time being. Frank James, from the Chicago Trib’s "The Swamp" reports:First, the good news for President Bush. A lot of Republicans and political independents believe the Iraq surge is working. It appears the president’s political base and then some are encouraged by reports out of Iraq about the decline in violence in Baghdad.Most Republicans (53%) believe that the troop incr
 
Just freakin’ phenomenal
I’m still shaking my head. Even more amazing? There have been 10 bids.
 
Is Edwards out? (update)
This is pure speculation, obviously, but you have to wonder:Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) and his wife, Elizabeth, have scheduled a news conference for noon today in their home state of North Carolina, in what aides described as a major development in his 2008 presidential bid.Advisers declined to discuss the details of the ha
 
Obama and the experience deficit
Interesting article over at Matt Yglesias’ place about the phenomenon of Barack Obama. Most interesting is this part of his analysis:Obama is exactly the sort of politician you would expect to garner favorable press coverage. There’s a long tradition in Democratic primaries of a "fresh face" underdog candidate who’
 
Is that a rhetorical question?
Armando, at Talk Left, is musing about various things, among them why blogs on the left are unwilling to disagree "with other Lefties and Dems in Congress". He says:As folks who have been reading me have seen, I have been quite critical of House Dems AND Left blogs regarding their attitudes and prescriptions for Iraq. My views have almost universally been ignored by al
 
They’re lawyers for heaven sake
Not to intentionally PO any of the fine lawyers I call friends but many a lawyer would represent the devil if the devil would pay his fee:Rudolph Giuliani’s law firm lobbies for Citgo Petroleum Corp., a unit of the state-owned oil company controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the U.S.’s chief antagonist in the Western Hemisphere.I
 
Atrios and projection (update)
In a remark about conservatives:The conservative coalition is an odd one, but what seems to be new is that "serious" conservative candidates need to buy into the whole agenda in order to please movement conservatives. This is odd, as I think plenty of movement conservatives don’t really agree with the whole package. Aside from their anti-tax fetis
 
Quoting Dennis Kucinich
Kucinich and I agreeing on something? Yes, scarily enough.I don’t know if you’ve been following this little kerfuffle over Fox News televising a debate featuring Democratic presidential candidates in Nevada, but apparently, due to pressure from the netroots gang (or so they claim) to dump Fox, the entire debate has now been canceled. The primary reason, I gather, is because John Edwards decided to back out.The suppose
 
Hillary and the JFK factor
Are you kidding me?Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton invoked the campaign of the nation’s lone Catholic president, John Kennedy, last night as she talked about her challenge in becoming the first female commander-in-chief."He was smart, he was dynamic, he was inspiring and he was Catholi
 
It’s primary time: Bill Clinton’s "evolving" Iran strategy
Think Progress quotes former President Bill Clinton concerning Iran:During a speech Friday at Kansas State University, President Bill Clinton warned against a military strike on Iran, saying it was unclear whether “we could take out whatever incipient nuclear efforts they have,” and that even if we could, it is “not clear it would be the most effective strategy.”
 
VA Medical Care : So which is it?
If in fact the left wants to talk about government run health care and how wonderful it is, well, it’s the best thing since sliced bread:The Best Care AnywhereTen years ago, veterans hospitals were dangerous, dirty, and scandal-ridden. Today, they’re producing the highest quality care in the country. Their turnaround points the way toward so
 
The Iran position
Today’s quiz. Who said each quote?Quote 1:X said global leaders must do whatever it takes to stop Iran from enriching uranium and acquiring nuclear weapons. He called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "reckless, irresponsible and inattentive" to the day-to-day needs of the Iranian people.The Iranian "regime is
 
Delusions of Adequacy
So, Ann Coulter, speaking at CPAC, let go an anti-gay slur about John Edwards. Obviously, I condemn the publicity whore’s comments in the strongest terms, &c, &c.Still, the truly amusing thing about this episode is the Edwards’ campaign’s response.Mr
 
Ann Coulter — what was she doing speaking at CPAC?
I’ve always considered things like what happened at CPAC today to be self-inflicted wounds.In case you missed it, Ann Coulter got up in front of the CPAC audience today and made an inappropriate joke:“I’d say something about John Edwards, but if you say ‘faggot’ you have to go to rehab.”Big surprise. Ann Coulter, as anyone with the IQ of asphalt
 
Who will the world blame when Bush is gone
That’s the question Gerard Baker asks in his TimesOnline article. Now these sorts of articles are usually reduced quickly to two groups of people shouting past each other in the comment section. But I think Baker raises some interesting points. For instance:When President Bush goes into the Texas sunset, and especial
 
I must have missed this referendum
I saw the following in the grocery store parking lot yesterday:Was World War III on the last ballot? Or is it going to be on the next one? Even though I try to be informed on politics, I guess I just can’t keep up with all these referendums.And if anyone has the exact text of the referendum, I’d love to read it.
 
This is hardly sport anymore
But it is very instructive since it lets you easily separate the "principled" argument from the argument of political convenience.Carl Levin in March, 1999:"Whether we like it or not, the Balkans is an important crossroads. […] This is not the time to take risks in undermining those efforts. Those who insist on a debate at this p
 
Giuliani and judges
Rudy Giuliani is the present front runner for the Republicans. One of the things he he neatly side-steps any responsiblity for the war in Iraq since he’s never served in the Congress. And he has executive experience running a city which is larger than most states in the union. But that’s not to say Rudy isn’t without baggage. His stance on some bell-weather conservative issues, such as abortion, concern many on the right.One of the w
 
Reintroducing "fellow traveler"
If you’re too young to remember when people understood what the term "fellow traveler" meant during the Cold War, this article by George Galloway will help you do so. For those of you who’ve forgotten, it will help refresh your memory. Btw, note how contends that Mexico’
 
Will MoveOn.org now refuse Soros’ money? (update)
Lance, at A Second Hand Conjecture, cites a post by Joshua at The Conjecturer (see, Lance is living up to his blog’s name) which points out that George Soros has bought a stake in Halliburton, the corporate whipping-boy of the left: According to papers filed with the SEC, in the fourth quarter of 2006 Soros purchased nearly 2 million shares of … hold your breath
 
A Brief Hillary Roundup
A couple of weeks ago, I gave Hillary some points for not bobbling the “evil men” incident. It showed a side of her I hadn’t seen before.This week, by contrast, I’m seeing exactly what I always expected from her. And it’s not pretty.
 
The Democrat’s "Goldilocks Resolutions"
That’s how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell characterized the recent spate of Democratic resolutions in the Senate (and House) during a blogger conference call today. "Hot enough for the radical left. Cool enough for the troops and none "just right.""Pretty good summation. In reality, says Sen. McConnell, these resolutions are in reaction to the ongoing presidential campaigns aimed at the Democratic primaries. In a word, &rsquo
 
Is Going with the Murtha plan worth the Senate?
I honestly don’t think it will ever happen because I really don’t think Murtha will be successful in passing his strategy into law. And, honestly, other than the war, I’d guess the Republicans really don’t want a "Lieberman Republican" ... whatever that is. But Joe Lieberman’s answers to some questions about the war in Iraq certainly can leave you speculatin
 
Violent Politics (UPDATED)
Has it come to this?A Fredericksburg man was arrested Saturday on charges he assaulted three strangers at their home during a dispute over politics, police said.According to a Fredericksburg police report, the suspect went to a home in the 900 block of Marye Street about 5:30 p.m. after finding one of the resident’s name on a Republican Web site
 
Beginning to feel the heat
That would be both Hillary and Obama. As has been reported for a couple of days, the Hollywood glitterati seem to be falling for Obama in a big and expensive way.Movie stars Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston and Denzel Washington wrote checks, and scores of producers and agents paid $4,600 per couple — the maximum allowed — to jam a hotel
 
The evolving basis of American Politics in graphic form
If you don’t believe me, just follow the ’08 races closely and tell me if it doesn’t all boil down to this.
 
Given the political climate, does anyone think this would actually work?
Advice from Indiana’s Senator Lugar:Indiana Senator Richard Lugar believes a bi-partisan meeting with President Bush would be the best way to produce results [about the dispute over Iraq]."Perhaps the President’s situation is improved if he calls on Senator Biden, Senator Levin, Senator McCain, Speaker Pelosi for example, and says you know we&rsquo
 
Ah, yes — it’s election time and so it’s "Confederate flag" time again (UPDATE)
Anyone else tired of this?Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag from its Statehouse grounds, in part because the nation should unite under one banner while at war."I think about how many South Carolinians have served in our military and who are serving today under our flag and
 
Why Hillary won’t apologize for her vote
The other day, in answer to the Iraq war vote question which seems to dog Hillary Clinton at every appearance, she answered:"If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast a vote or who has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from."As we noted on the podcast, that’s probably the best answer she could give. Bu
 
War of the "Advocacy" groups
The left has MoveOn.org, the well financed and effective advocacy group which has been integral to advancing the "progressive" and anti-war agendas. Now comes the "Victory Caucus" led by conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt.It’s purpose, per Politico.com (which
 
Senate: Cloture rejected ... again
What that means, despite the way most in the media will attempt to portray it is Senate Democrats failed in their attempt to end debate on Iraq by a vote of 56-34. As most know by now, in the Senate, 60 votes are needed to cut off debate.This is the third time the Democrats have attempted to end debate through cloture. 
House caves on tax breaks for business
After all the caterwalling by House Democrats about a "clean" minimum wage bill with no tax breaks for small business, they quietly voted yesterday 360-45 to accept a Senate Republican proposal which gives small business those breaks. In reality, the breaks aren’t much at all (1.8 billion over 10 years) while the impact of this economically stupid but politi
 
Culture of Corruption update
Apparently Democrats think enough time has passed that they can now ignore their own past claims about "the culture of corruption" and indulge in a little of it themselves:Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who’s facing an ongoing federal corruption probe, is being granted a spot on the Homeland Security Committee, accor
 
A tale of two polls
Of course you could spend your life reading and being guided by polls if you’re a politician (and many are), but if you choose to do so, you’d better choose wisely.In the USA Today/Gallup Poll the following question was asked:Would you favor or oppose Congress passing a non-binding resolution to express its disapproval of President Bush’s plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq?The result showed 51% in favor, 46% opposed and 4% with no opinion.
 
House Iraq Resolution: Bait, switch and spin
Some things you should know about the coming resolution by the Democratic House on the Iraq. The entire thing is a setup, using the power of the majority, to manufacture a particular point of view with which even all the Democratic members most likely don’t agree, by limiting debate and banning alternative resolutions. The concerns of members like Donnelly are behind Democrats’ strategy for this week’s Iraq debate, whi
 
Round 1: Hillary 1, Edwards 0, Obama 0
A couple of weeks ago we saw Hillary avert a potential bauble over the "evil men" remark, and in fact I praised her at the time:...I’m impressed. It’s very easy to let yourself get flustered when something like that happens. A key ability for avoiding that problem is to let people laugh a bit at your expense. I didn’t think Hillary had it in her, but it seems she does.Her principle
 
Hillary Clinton Spins Her War Vote Like a Top (UPDATE)
Hillary Clinton should get a clue. I swear, these people act like we haven’t had newspapers, video tape, archives and the internet since 2002 (or before). Hello out there in political oblivion land ... there’s a record of what you say:New York Sen. Hillary Clinton today insisted her 2002 vote for a resolution authorizing an invasion of Iraq was “not a vote for a pre-emptive w
 
The inconsistency of James Webb
This is just classic. Chris Wallace, interviewing James Webb on Fox News Sunday, asks Webb how he reconciles a previous statement with his actions today.It is an amazing non-answer:WALLACE: Okay. You, as you point out, fought in Vietnam where you won the Navy Cross. And back in 1985, you had this to say. Let’s put it up on the screen."
 
Pelosi, Pentagon and planes (UPDATED)
**Update - House Rebukes Speaker Pelosi (see below)****Update - House Sergeant at Arms says he’s the one who requested the larger airplane, not Pelosi (see below)**Let’s begin with this:"After Sept. 11, the Department of Defense — with the consent of the White House — agreed th
 
Harry Reid and the culture of corruption
Investors Business Daily has an article on the latest land deal that Senate Majority Harry Reid has been involved in, and it isn’t particularly flattering:Harry Reid’s skill at making money in real estate makes Donald Trump look like an apprentice. If he ever writes his autobiography, it should be ca
 
Hyperbole, spin, moral relativism and George Soros
Apparently the little sojourn in Davos over the past week has brought the best out in anti-American rhetoric. Not willing to be topped by John Kerry’s the "US is a sort of international pariah", George Soros, the bankroller of a $26 million dollar effort to unseat George Bush in ’04,  
Which HRC said this?
Two statements both from an HRC. But which HRC?Hillary Rodham Clinton? Or Hugo Rafael Chavez?1. Speaking of oil companies and their profits, HRC said "I want to take those profits ..."2. HRC said the "government would seize majority state control of four major foreign-run oil producing units by May 1 as part of [a] self-styled “socialist revolution”.
 
This ought to be fun
In case you missed it, Al Franken has announced he’s running for the Senate in MN.
 
The price of playing politics with war
I have less and less respect for Howard Dean each and every day. Not that I’ve ever been a particular fan of his, but he continues to find ways to lower even further my already low opinion of him. Speaking about the Warner/Levin Senate resolution about the surge he said:"You’re going to see a unified vote, I
 
Wow ... some honeymoon
Sean, at myelectionanalysis points out that Jim Webb, freshman Democrat Senator from VA, already has a negative rating within the state:So sayeth SurveyUSA. 42% approval, 47% disapproval. Approval ratings are below 50% in all geographic areas of the state, 45%-44% approval among independents. This stands in stark contrast to other members of Webb’s freshman class, all of whom ar
 
Tiptoeing through the minefield
That’s what Democrats are going to be trying to do this week as Sen. Russ Feingold introduces his resolution to defund the war. Congressional Democrats are nervous. Roger Simon reports:Senate Democrats oppose the war in Iraq, they just don’t plan on stopping it.They have discovered that standing up to the president is
 
Oh this would just make my day!
Go Curt go ...[Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt] Schilling downplayed talk of a future run for John F. Kerry’s Senate seat, but he also said he has considered politics as a possible next step to a baseball career that has brought him name recognition and enormous public admiration. “Since (politics) has come up, it’s something my wife and I have ta
 
Pelosi to Maliki: "We’re all with you"
Really?That’s the report:Iraqi MP Hassan Snid has said that during her meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi expressed admiration for Al-Maliki and for his program for security and democracy in Iraq.Snid said: "When Nancy listened to the details she told Al-Maliki: ’Go forward. We ar
 
When Reality Pierces the Facade
Regardless of your politics, this video is pretty funny. It’s generating a lot of attention. Some believe that Hillary is probably making a joke at Bill’s expense.
 
Our Next President: Barack Obama
James Lileks tosses out a victory prediction for Barack Obama:Obama is a smoker. Who knew? I like the way this story raises the issue – they’re concerned about the effect on his voice if he stops smoking, don’t you see. Hah! I’m waiting for the candid shot of Obama having a smoke – if he’s in a good suit, giving off that Rat Pack vibe, i
 
Two Peas in a Pod
Move over President Carter: You’ve got stiff competition in idiocy from the junior senator from Massachussetts, John Kerry. While speaking at the big policonomic shindig in Davos, Switzerland, Sen. Kerry popped off once again about how terrible the United States is, under the leadership of Chimpy McBushitlerburton.Massachusett
 
Fact checking Jim Webb
On Jan. 23rd, Senator James Webb (D-VA)delivered the Democratic response to the State of the Union address given by President Bush. In his speech, he said:The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military.Earlier in that day, while questioning
 
Political Pressure mounts on both sides of the war
Those who are against the war in Iraq and the President’s new plan are staging a protest in Washington DC this weekend in which, the New York Times believes, tens of thousands will participate. The obvious intent of the timing is to influence the resolutions being considered in Congress especially those
 
Senate Minimum Wage "setback"
You just have to learn to "appreciate" (see through?) reporting like this. According to the New York Times:Prospects for an increase in the minimum wage suffered a setback today in the Senate, where a move fell short, at least for now, to raise the minimum by $2.10 an hour without tax breaks
 
Hillary’s Biggest Problem
Michael Medved has an interesting column about Hillary Clinton’s biggest problem: What to do with Bill?Sure, he’s probably able to give really good political advice. I doubt there’s a better politician anywhere in America still alive. But that advice comes at a price.Most obviously, the former Pre
 
Thank the good Lord ...
Acknowledging the obvious, even to him, John Kerry said no bid in ’08:An emotional Senator John F. Kerry today said he will not run in the 2008 presidential race and vowed to use his Senate perch to hasten an end to the war in Iraq, saying he would work with lawmakers from both parties to reverse President Bush’
 
SOTU Liveblog 2007
And, we’re off for another SOTU Liveblog! In what follows, quotes from the president will be in blockquotes. Snide paraphrases will be in italics. My direct remarks will be in normal text.1749: Lots of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines—and families—will be guests in th
 
Technology and Political Campaigns (Updated)
Jon Henke’s new job is a clear example of the growing importance of Internet technologies in political campaigns. Some folks, intoxicated by Howard Dean’s early success, thought the 2004 presidential campaign would be dominated by the Internet. While blogs and other Internet factors such as fund-raising certainly played a part, the critical mass wasn’t quite there to really change the direction of a politic
 
Ken Mehlman says his GOP goodbyes
And he leaves the party with a warning:Ken Mehlman, the departing chairman of the Republican National Committee, warned on Thursday that his party would suffer even more devastating losses in 2008 than it did in 2006 if it did not reach out to minorities and address voter concerns about ethics.Might be nice if they could come up with a
 
Old Guard or New Guard, turf is still turf
As I pointed out yesterday, Nancy Pelosi plans on introducing "groundbreaking legislation that addresses global warming and energy independence."Er, well, maybe:House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to create a new congressional panel to address global warming and energy independe
 
Criticism from the peanut gallery
He just won’t shut up. He’s like Chatty Cathy on steroids. And now he’s managed to drag old "Landslide" Mondale in with him:Former President Jimmy Carter and ex-Vice President Walter Mondale sharply criticized the two men that currently hold the jobs they once did, in an exclusive interview with CNN Friday.
 
Rhetoric vs. Reality
Ted Barrett of CNN’s "Political Ticker" asks "whatever happened to Harry Reid’s five-day work week?"Just three weeks into the new congressional session, Democratic leaders who had promised to restore a five day work week to the Senate gave members Friday off and didn’t schedule another vote until mid-day
 
That was then...
Remember this? All of six and a half weeks ago?John McCaslin of the Washington Times did. On Dec. 5, Newsweek magazine touted an interview with then-incoming House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes as an "exclusive." And
 
Holding the Dems feet to the fire on fiscal discipline
According to Senate sources, there’s a fight brewing right now about a potentially significant step forward for budget, ethics and earmark reform. Apparently Republicans, taking Harry Reid at his word, have proposed an amendment to the ethics bill which would help reduce wasteful spending.Introduced by Republican Senator Judd Gregg, it is a way to require specific Congressional approval (or disapproval) for waste, pork and unnecessary spending item
 
The False Assumption Underlying the Fairness Doctrine
McQ’s post earlier today has already jumped on the left over the pretzel-like logic they use to defend the Fairness Doctrine. But it got me to thinking about the Fairness Doctrine in general. Is it an assault on free speech? Sure. But not just because Rush Limbaugh would have to shut up or cut back. The even bigger problem is that it’s based on a false and preposterous assumption. The Fairness Doctrine assumes th
 
Schrodinger’s Castro
There appears to be a consistent strategy employed by authoritarian regimes. Consider the following: Arafat’s death was quite secretive. No one really knows the exact time he died. We don’t know if Osama bin Laden is dead or alive. There has been no message from him that was verified as being new for at least a year. We don’t know much about the status of
 
Let the games begin
John Edwards and Hillary Clinton exchanged pretty direct shots at each other as the run for the presidential roses heats up:Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton last night ripped into 2008 White House contender John Edwards - her first direct assault on any of her potential Democratic presidential rivals.Clinto
 
More fallout in Carter Book flap
In Atlanta, 14 (of 200) advisory board members of the Carter Center have resigned as a result of Jimmy Carter’s defense of his latest book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid". In a letter, the 14 stated:"In our great country where freedom of expression is basic bedrock, you have suddenly proclaimed that Americans cannot express their opini
 
Senate Dems want their pork
As a prelude, the House Democrats have denied Republicans a voice in their 100 hour agenda, and have passed "tough" ethics reform including earmark reform (I put "tough" in quotes because it is a relative term and especially when you understand what happened in the Senate).Now it is the Senate’s turn. In the Senate, the rules won’t allow one party to deny the other party debate or the ability to offer amendments. So not at all satisfied with
 
Democrats Move on National Security
For any Democrats who wonder why their party is perceived as weak on National Security issues, they need look no further than the very first bill put before the House this Congress, HR1. As part of this bill, Section 1221 proposes to put the Proliferation Security Initiative essentially under the control of the UN:...[T]he President should strive to expand and strengthen the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) announced by the President on May 31, 20
 
A Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious
Michael Barone is really stepping out on a limb with this prediction:I think we’re going to see a very loud and bitter clash, one that will contrast vividly with the graceful words of Pelosi and Boehner on opening day. One side wants American victory and success, though it cannot promise that they are certain; the other wants only exit
 
Going after Wal-Mart not good for your political health
I have to admit it has always seemed counter-intuitive, politically speaking, to go after a company that, for the most part, is perceived as one which helps poorer consumers stretch their dollars. A recent poll seems to confirm that:Democratic presidential candidates who at
 
McConnell and the bloggers
I had an interesting experience yesterday as I got to sit in on a conference call with Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the new Senate Minority Leader. And yes, I begged Jon to get me into the planned blogger event for today, so there, you have full disclosure.First let me say I appreciated the fact that Sen. McConnell took time from an extraordinarily busy day, as I’m sure is the first day of any Congress, to speak with bloggers. Proof positiv
 
Real Ethics Reform
One more time so even the tone-deaf can enjoy the music.Ethics reform. Remember this? You have to have a program to know the players. In this case you have to understand what is smoke and mirrors and what is real ethics reform. From Barak Obama in yesterday’s Washington Post  
Taxes: Drawing the battle lines in Congress
In a conference call today with bloggers, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, while discussing cooperation with the Democrats, put two things on the non-negotiable list. One was staying on the offense in the War on Terror. And the other was tax increases - as in no new taxes.Today in the House, Rep. Dreier (R-CA) offered the Republican motion to "commit on the rule".
 
Democrat supported PAYGO rule "Timid" and "biased toward new taxes"
Those are the conclusions which Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) reached after reviewing the new PAYGO rules the Democrats have been talking about as a part of their incoming Congressional agenda. Ryan, who is the incoming ranking minority member for the House Budget Committee, outlined 5 problems with the PAYGO rule the Democrats are proposing:1. It is essentially a plan to raise taxes as it mostly ignores spending. The bias is plainly tilted drastically toward
 
Obama uses the Clintonian "Old News" gambit
Forget all the punditry about whether or not Barak Obama’s recent revelations of use of marijuana and cocaine are going to hurt him.They’re not.Say hello to the old Clintonian tactic of introducing bad news into the game when it can least hurt you and letting people get used to it, rationalize it and dismiss it. "I thin
 
Iraq and the Democrats (UPDATED)
More evidence that the the left plans on holding Democrats responsible for doing something about Iraq. The days of only criticising, apparently, are over. I mentioned this previously here and here.None other than Hardball’s Chris Matthews art
 
As the Capitol turns
Sometimes you just have to shake your head. Said President Bush today: "We’ve got to make sure we spend the people’s money wisely," the president said in a Rose Garden statement.*cough, cough * Medicare Part D, *cough, cough* No Child Left Behind, *cough, cough*, not a single veto of a spending bill, *cough, cough*A guy could get pneumonia around
 
Impeachment off the table? Oh no you don’t!
It appears that liberal activists have no intention of abandoning their agenda for impeachment and requiring a more confrontational approach in addressing Iraq and other issues:Democratic leaders set to take control of Congress tomorrow are facing mounting pressure from liberal activists to chart a more confrontational course on Iraq and the iss
 
The Dems first appeal to bipartisanship
After making a huge point about the American people "speaking" in the last election and saying they were tired of the partisanship and bickering, the Democrats promised a new era of bipartisan cooperation. As with many of their campaign promises, it appears they weren’t really serious:As they prepare to take control of Congress this week
 
Politics over promises
As the time approaches for the convening of the Democratically led 110th Congress, signs that Democrat campaign promises were nothing more than electoral hot air are becoming more numerous. The Democratic Party website offers the following promise:We are committed to immediate change to lead our country in a new direction, to put an end to Republican business as usual, and
 
It’s back to Two Americas with John Edwards
John Edwards announced his plans to run for president in ’08 yesterday in New Orleans:Today, former Sen. John Edwards begins testing his hunch that Americans, though focused now on the war in Iraq, can be won over to a campaign built on what he calls "the great moral issue of our time" — fighting poverty at home. He pl
 
Public Choice, in practice
Some weeks ago, I expressed tentative praise for some Democratic reforms on earmarks, while stipulating that "we’ll see if they follow through" and that the "new Republican leadership needs to hold Pelosi to this pledge". One can always hope.Specifically, one can hope in one hand and  
Mommy may I?
Oh please:Sen. Hillary Clinton told a TV audience of 3 million women Wednesday that the nation has "never had a mother" be president.Appearing on "The View" to push the 10th anniversary reissue of her book "It Takes a Village," Clinton chatted about family Christmas and raising kids these days.The former first lady noted, "We’ve n
 
Democrats inept. Already?
Wow, that was fast. Some are already deeming the Democratic Congress a failure before it ever has met:It’s a bad start, and the risk is that the Democrats are going to throw away their big chance.This week has brought comedy to their efforts, as the new Democrat head of a congressional committee on intelligence proved unable to tell Sunni from Shia, incor
 
Political shorts
The Des Moines Register reports that at the moment at least, it is a resurgent John Edwards that leads among Iowa Democrats:John Edwards came out far ahead of the rest of the pack of possible Democratic presidential candidates in a poll of Iowa Democrats conducted in October by an environmental group and released Wednesday.
 
Living and Working in DC...or not.
I understand the difficulty of working in a place many hundreds, maybe even thousands, of miles from your family, your constituents and your home — and I’m no fan of Congress being in session more than is absolutely necessary — but this comment by Rep. Jack Kingston was tone-deaf and misguided. "Keeping us up here eats away at families," said Rep. Jack Kin
 
Be careful what you run on
The Democrats won the Congress, and as Robert Reich notes, they won it primarily on two issues - Iraq and the economy and their claim they could "do it better".One problem - they have little or no control over either.Like the decisions of George Bush as commander-in-chief of the military, the decisions of Ben Bernanke and his Open Market Co
 
Silvestre Reyes to head House Select Intelligence Committee
Nancy Pelosi has decided to avoid the problems Alcee Hastings would bring if appointed to the chair of the House Select Intelligence Committee and plans to appoint Texas Representative Silvestre Reyes to the post.Of course Hastings took it like a man:In a sign of the bitterness that has surrounded the issue, a Hastings statement this week an
 
Promises, promises
Do you remember this from the 9/11 Commission?"Of all our recommendations, strengthening congressional oversight may be among the most difficult and important," the panel wrote. "So long as oversight is governed by current congressional rules and resolutions, we believe the American people will not get the security they want and need."
 
Alcee, we hardly knew ye
Presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has nixed Alcee Hastings as chair of the Intelligence Committee. But, she’s also telling Jane Harman to get stuffed, too.House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has decided against naming either Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House intelligence committee, or Rep. Alcee L
 
Can a Mormon become president?
Interesting article with that title at Time/CNN. It’s a good question. Despite the fact that we, as a country, claim that any citizen can become president, is that really true? Is it true for a woman? Blacks? To this point, obviously, no. And religion is no different. I recall, as a kid, listening too discussions in which participants wondered where Jo
 
Hastings v. Harman : Pelosi’s leadership dilemma
Brad Plumer boils down the Hastings v Harman controversy for the chair of the House Intelligence Committee pretty well. After discussing the obvious and well-known corruption problem from which Hastings suffers he says:More substantively, Harman knows a lot about intelligence. She’s very experienced. Very smart. But she’s also very
 
Newt Pelosi
The Boston Globe’s Peter Canellos echoes a point that I made on the podcast this week, which is that Nancy Pelosi is starting off making the same kinds of miscalculations that Newt Gingrich made when he became Speaker of the House.But Gingrich’s tenure as speaker also ushered in the intense partisanship
 
When the shoe is on the other foot ...
Digby is upset that now that the Dems are in power, journalists are taking shots at their leaders:Man are these catty little MSNBC snots enjoying their full-on Demo bitch fest. They are partying like it’s 1999. Norah O’Donnell, Lawrence O’Donnell, Mary Ann Akers and some other person I don’t know have just spent half an h
 
Best take on Political party leadership elections
It comes from Ben at RedState:The Democrats have their best political cycle in 12 years, and conclude that the way to start off is electing a Speaker and Majority Leader who don’t just hate each other, they won’t even return phone calls.The Republicans have their worst political cycle in 12 years, and conclude that everythi
 
The Blue Dogs Bark
Following the loss of her hand-picked candidate for the number 2 slot in the Democratic House leadership, Nancy Pelosi now faces a challenge to her desire to replace Jane Harman with Alcee Hastings as head of the House Intelligence committee:Eighteen members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of conservative House Democrats, wrote Speaker-to-be Nan
 
Republican Leadership elected
Contrary to the wishes we’d expressed at QandO, the Republicans have elected John Boehner (Minority Leader) and Roy Blunt (Minority Whip) to the leadership positions in the House. According to Human Events and Hotline on Call, the Minority Leader vote was:
 
Bait and switch: The Democrat Version
Knowing that Montana would probably be key to a Democrat victory, Harry Reid tried to allay the fears of the citizens of Montana that dumping Conrad Burns would see them loose their seat on the powerful Senate Appropriations committee.So Reid stepped up:The U.S. Senate’s top Democratic leader on Thursday promised Senate candidate Jon Tester a seat
 
Speaker Pelosi?
Nancy Pelosi isn’t even Speaker of the House yet, and she’s already leading congressional Democrats into a dead end.First, it’s difficult to spin John Murtha’s loss in the Majority Leader’s race as anything other than a loss for Ms. Pelosi as well. Not only did she publicly endorse Mr. Murtha, she apparently tried to do a little subtle arm-twisting on freshman members, by calling them inter her officer, asking them about the
 
May we live in interesting times
Dale mentions the fun blogging should be for the next few years as the Dems take Congress and the Reps try to get it back. What’s been interesting here lately is to watch triumphant Dems turn on each other. For instance, you have James Carville saying, in the wake of taking both houses of Congress, that Howard Dean, the Chairman of the DNC, should be shown the door for incompetence. And not just plain old incompetence, but a far worse category: " 
Swift-Boating Murtha
John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi’s preferred choice for the Number Two Democrat in the House, claims that all this talk about the Abscam scandal—where he was named by the government as an unindicted co-conspirator—is merely an attempt to "swift-boat" him. Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus isn’t buying that line, though.
 
Not exactly thrilled (Updated)
As has been said any number of times, perception is reality for many people. And you have to deal with that.Consequently Trent Lott, no matter how little or much you think of the guy, or how silly or serious you think the incident which had him step down from power in 2002 really is, the perception among many is he’s politically damaged goods.So why
 
(UPDATED) The Murtha debacle
Wow, this is turning into some fun:Rep. John Murtha, the anti-war congressman who is the likely new House speaker’s pick for majority leader, fended off what he called "swift boat-style attacks" on his ethics record Tuesday.Yeah, everything is now a "swift boat-style attack" isn’t it?But as  
Dan Lungren: An endorsement
I had the opportunity to hear from two of the candidates running for the Republican House Conference Chairman - Jack Kingston and Dan Lungren.Both had definitive ideas on how they saw their job in that particular office and the difference was a fairly stark.Kingston essentially defined his as being more of a technical job than a policy job. In fact I asked him if he might distill his job description as "enab
 
Mike Pence: An endorsement
I’ve been trying to put my thoughts together on the 4 conference calls I sat through yesterday. I’ve already endorsed John Shadegg as whip (and he further impressed me that was the right decision on yesterday’s call). Yesterday I got to hear from a candidate for House Minority Leader - Mike Pence.Although not quite as private a session as those that followed (it was a venue shar
 
What is the rush?
One of the more important points being made on the blogger conferences is the rush to have this upcoming election for the new House minority leadership for the 110th Congress. As Capt. Ed pointed out yesterday, it seems they’re getting the cart before the horse.Now many aren’t interested in these races and consider them to be "inside baseball" stuff. But in
 
The Agenda
It’s coming in waves. Yesterday I noted the LA Times piece which lays out what many liberal groups are demanding. At the forefront are changes to the Patriot Act and strengthening abortion laws as well as addressing gun control not to mention more for labor.Nancy Pelosi is sticking with her agenda to this point:With integrity, civility, and fiscal responsibi
 
National Health Care
The Democrats, being good liberals, are already talking about health care reform, and perhaps, finally, getting America to join the Europeans in having a comprehensive health care scheme. Well, fine, that’s an interesting debate to have. The devil for any such a scheme, especially in American terms, is in the details. You can talk all you want about Canada’s national Health service, or the French system, but, as Jane Galt  
Expectations
Interesting article in the LA Times about the expectations of many liberal groups now that Democrats have the power in Congress.The ACLU:Lobbyists for the American Civil Liberties Union, for example, are all but counting on Democrats to repeal the most controversial provisions of the Patri
 
Real reform
Credit where it’s due...Democrats aim to open the next Congress in January with a new rule that identifies lawmakers who use legislative "earmarks" to help special interests — a change Republicans promised but didn’t implement. ...that’s real reform. That’s what I had previously ref
 
I endorse John Shadegg for minority whip
MULTIPLE UPDATESI’ve been doing a lot of thinking and weighing of options this past week concerning the now minority leadership for the House Republicans in the upcoming 110th Congress. I’ve come to at least once firm conclusion. Somehow, some way, John Shadegg needs to be involved in that leadership. The Arizona Republic pretty well  
(UPDATE) The chance for bi-partisan agreement on Iraq starts to slip away
The bi-partisan siren song concerning solving "the problem" of Iraq is not looking good. Especially with this move:House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) yesterday as the next House majority leader, thereby stepping into a contentious intraparty fight between Murtha and her current deputy, Maryland&rsqu
 
Meet the New Boss...
Radley Balko observes that the Democrats hadn’t even been in the majority for 72 hours before they were working on their own culture of corruption. Naturally, this kind of thing is endemic and not a function of political ideology or identity, but many seem to forget that. In light of that, a recent rant from a friend deserves to be read widely."Dear Mr. [guy who blames Republicans for everythi
 
The 50 state strategy vindicated?
I think the Howard Dean 50 state strategy was mostly vindicated. Atrios tells us why:If you don’t have credible candidates in place - and, yes, even ones who are probably going to lose - you can’t take advantage of a potential "wave," or a sudden scandal, or surprise retirements. If nothing else it seems like every election about half a doz
 
Mehlman, Steele and the RNC
An interesting development:Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, whose party just lost both chambers of Congress, will leave his position in January, and the post as party chief has been offered to Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele. "It is true," Mr. Mehlman told The Washington Times when asked about reports last night that
 
Some things never change in DC, do they?
Especially inside the beltway and when a politician or politicians are involved, regardless of party ... or because of it:Mr.[Alcee] Hastings was, in the outgoing 109th Congress, the second-ranked Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. But the Washington Post’s Charles Babington first reported more than a year ago, in a story that has never been den
 
Out, out damn SOB!
Seems as if the economic know-nothing is going to evict the SOB:"Mr. Cheney enjoys an office on the second floor of the House of Representatives that historically has been designated for the Ways and Means Committee chairman," explained Rangel, who vaulted to the top slot of the tax-writing panel - one of the most powerful in
 
Meanwhile, the beat goes on
Jack Murtha:"I was disappointed to hear the same old rhetoric coming from the president. He did not speak about a change of policy in Iraq. Changing the secretary does not change the policy, and the policy is set by the White House. We need a change in Iraq that is based on redeployment because that is what is best for America," Murtha said.Ah the glow of bi-partisan cooperation is just warming
 
Revenge of the Middle — the implications and repercussions
Morris Fiorina wrote a book entitled "Culture War?" in which the question mark is very important to the theme of the book. The entire premise is that the conventional wisdom that America is a highly polarized society is a myth. He does a pretty fair job of supporting his premise in the book and frankly I think tuesday’s results do as well. As the Wall Street Journal said:In 2006, instead of heavy lifting on substantial reforms,
 
They’re called "rights", you fools
There are times I despair of ever understanding what my fellow Californians are thinking. Often, at those times, I can see the reasoning behind the Anarcho-Capitalist hatred of elections, as well, since elections can be method of allowing others to take away my rights. A good case in point from this election is Proposition 90. Proposition 90, which would have limited local
 
New "meme"?
Why do I feel I’m going to hear the phrase in bold print a lot in the next few weeks and months from Democrats. Howard Dean speaking of Rumsfeld’s resignation:I am glad that President Bush has finally listened to the growing chorus of retired Generals, civilian leaders and Democrats who long ago called for Secretary Rumsfeld’
 
(UPDATED) The New House
Some of the new players:Henry Waxman (D-Calif.): Described as "a pit-bull with a fantastic staff," Rep. Waxman is in place to take over as chairman of the powerful House Government Reform Committee. Insiders look for this to become the powerhouse investigating committee "where the action is at." Expect Rep. Waxman to start by issuing subpoenas for top Halli
 
What it all Means
The big surprise of the night was that the Republicans lost not only the House, which we all expected, but that they lost the Senate, too. Most observers thought the odds were simply too high for the Democrats to run the table on Senate seats like they did.The question, of course, is why did it happen?First and foremost, I think, the War in iraq was the primary motivator. We’re losing there, and we’re doing so as a result of poor
 
Election Day!
I have to move out of my house today, due to the start of the slab leak/mold-related destruction, so I won’t be able to blog anything until this evening. I’ll also have to try to drop into my polling place between moving loads of clothes, kitchen necessities and foodstuffs to the temporary housing I’ll be occupying for the next month or so. But, I wanted to drop a final, last-minute forecast on you, according to the simple probabilities
 
Trotting out the midterm strawman
You’ve got to give her this, Nancy Pelosi has the guts of a burgler:"This election is about Iraq,’’ said Pelosi, a consistent war opponent who has said her failure to prevent the United States from going to war in 2003 is her greatest disappointment in public life."If indeed it turns out the way that people expect it to turn o
 
A question
If you claimed that you botched a joke and never had any intention of impugning the intelligence of the troops, etc., why would you feature an editorial on your official web site which is entitled "Kerry’s Remark: Right either way"? Why wouldn’t you just let it go?OK, that’s two questions.
 
Disgusting Republicans
Back in April 2005, when the Penatagon was forced to releas pictures of flag-draped coffins, McQ wrote:I do, however, expect to see a mini casket-picture orgy from the MSM ("if it bleeds it leads") as well as the anti-war left. I also expect and fear the latter will use these photos to exploit the dead for their own political agenda.As it turns out, though, apart from one
 
Exposure and job security
Mike Stark, the fellow who got himself involved in a shoving match with the George Allen staff while shouting questions concerning Allen’s divorce of years past has a new gig. University of Virginia Law school student Mike Stark is now a member of the press.
 
A final word about Kerry
After first saying that his "poorly stated joke" was never intended to insult any troop, he says:I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.Mr. Kerry, your words were not "misinterpreted". They were properly interpreted. There is absolutely no mis
 
Political theater, Act 65,436
The adults have left the house.Dick Cheney on Charlie Rangel:Cheney fired the first shot when he predicted that Rangel - who is poised to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee if the Democrats seize the House next week - wouldn’t continue "a single one" of President Bush’s tax cuts.<
 
Netroots angst
Chris Bowers of MyDD:The netroots and the progressive movement have as much of an ownership claim to the Democratic Party as anyone else. We follow the rules, and we have provided an absolutely enormous amount of support to the party. As we work to move into the infrastructure of the party, LieberDems and "New Dems" alike do everything they can to distance themselves from t
 
(UPDATED x 5) Thank goodness he lost
John Kerry is an idiot:“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”Right ... no other reason to join the military than not being bright enough or hard working enough to do anything else, huh John? This chump never learns.
 
The $64,000 question
You can tell how old a guy is when he uses that in the title.But it is indeed the question concerning a Democratic win in the House and Rick Perlstein, in the Chicago Trib, asks it: "Democrats can win House, but can they keep it?"Most, given their leadership and probable agenda, don’t think so. So
 
The law of the jungle
The Webb novel gems that have been posted around the blogs from novels he’s written have been seen to fall, unsurprisingly, on the usual two sides.It’s no big deal:This is nothing like Foley. I agree that the Foley attacks were blown out of proportion. But it’s also clear that Foley was a sexual predator. Jim Webb was writing about a remote, foreign culture
 
Congressional oversight - as in "lack of"
MG John Batiste and I have had little to agree on. But in this we are in agreement:"The best thing that can happen right now is for one or both of our houses to go Democratic so we can have some oversight," Batiste, who led the Army’s 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, told Salon. Batiste describes himself as a "lifelong Republican." But now, he said, "It
 
The Horse Race
Well, I’ve been looking over the House and Senate races, and while I’m not yet ready to call it two weeks out, at the moment, its looking like another 50/50 election. Keeping in mind that a lot can happen in two weeks, and realizing that polls are very tricky things, here’s how the election is sorting our right now.Let’s start with the House of Representatives. The current situation looks like this:<
 
(UPDATED) An Obama presidential candidacy
Make no mistake, politics is all about ego, and there are some massive ones out there. The term "public servant" is for rhetorical purposes only.Barack Obama, Democratic Senator from Illinois, is an interesting and appealing candidate regardless of which side of the political spectrum from which you come. Young, articulate, fresh, attractive, black and, it seems, destined for higher political office, each party would love to have more such a candidates.
 
If they take the House, will Dems pay attention?
That remains the $64,000 question. From a Newsweek poll:Other parts of a potential Democratic agenda receive less support, especially calls to impeach Bush: 47 percent of Democrats say that should be a “top priority,” but only 28 percent of all Americans say it should be, 23 percent say it should be a lower priority and nearly half, 44 percent, say it should n
 
Kids in Charge
Congresswoman Nancy Peolosi certainly knows her party. Speaking about her expected election to the House Speaker’s chair, she tells the LA Times:The gavel of the speaker of the House is in the hands of special interests, and now it will be in the hands of America’s children.It&rs
 
Whistling Past the Graveyard?
I’m starting to see stuff like this appearing on some of the Republican cheerleading blogs. In this case, it’s Dean Barnett, who writes:Actually, I’m beginning to get the sense that November 7 may not be a disaster at all. The Republican base will never make as much noise as the nutroots. Add to that the fact that the Democrats’ noise gets furt
 
Screw ’em both
This is freakin’ hilarious, but indicative of the state of politics in this country right now. Apparently the editorial board of The Courier in Findlay, Ohio think Ken Blackwell is probably better for Ohio (as governor) but, well, screw him.Why?But while Blackwell may still get some of our individual votes, he’s lost our endorsement, fo
 
Senate election review
Since I think the House is going to the Dems, I’m more interested in monitoring the Senate races. So, using the template from a previous post (October 10) from a couple of weeks ago, let’s update with RCP numbers and discuss:CONNECTICUT - Sen. Joseph Lieberman, running as an i
 
A Democratic House
We’ve talked a lot on the podcast about what a Democrat-majority House of Representatives might look like. One of the things we’ve wondered about is whether the Democrats could reign in their senior members who would be looking at powerful chairmanship positions.A partial answer, perhaps, can be found in this article in the New York
 
It’s like they knew I’d be looking
Seriously. After writing my latest tome on why, as a libertarian, I can’t support voting for Democrats, it’s as though the left took pity on me and worked hard to make my point.Like The American Prospect:We reaffirm the great principle of liberalis
 
A pox on both their tribes - Part II
I am still amazed, given the supposed "progress" we’ve made in terms of race relations that political partisans still think it permissible to use racial stereotypes like Ms. Jane "Blackface Joe Lieberman" Hamsher and these idiots have done:A little-known Republican group that claims to have swayed the 2004 presidential election with provocative radio advertising aimed at black a
 
Sexual McCarthyism
You know, I simply don’t understand how you justify the sexual "outing" of someone and call yourself a person who believes in the right of privacy (or civil liberties).Now I’m going to resist the urge to paint with a broad brush, but it is also interesting to see who finds outing supposedly gay staffers of Republicans to be appropriate and manages, within their rationalization,  
The best poll?
Easy. Follow the K Street money:For all the Republican effort in the last decade to append Washington’s corporate lobbying community to the GOP coalition, K Street’s main project, as it were, is, was, and always will be to deliver for clients and companies. To ensure favorable legislation — or to block unhelpful measures — these lobbyists need to be able to
 
Whistling past the graveyard
First there’s Rove on the upcoming mid-terms:White House political strategist Karl Rove yesterday confidently predicted that the Republican Party would hold the House and the Senate in next month’s elections, dismissing fallout from the sex scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley. At a luncheon with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, Mr. Rove — who is wide
 
A pox on both their tribes!
Probably the most apt description of Congress specifically and the political parties in general that I’ve yet seen:Partisanship particularly increased after the 1994 elections and then the appearance of the first unified Republican government since the 1950s. Now it is tribal warfare. The consequences are deadly serious. Party and ideolo
 
Lamenting Lamont
Arianna Huffington is calling for readers at HuffPo to help write Netroots darling Ned Lamont’s concession speech. After a bit of posturing, Huffington says:It is bitterly ironic that instead of building on that momentum by continuing to make his case against Lieberman, Lamont has let himself become enmeshed in the same cons
 
How will the House race go in November?
Right now that’s anyone’s guess and, frankly that’s mostly what everyone is doing - guessing.Jay Cost at Real Clear Politics takes some of the more scientific guesses and does some number crunching building four models based on their numbers. His conclusion:As we can see, the results are somewhat contrary to the conve
 
California Ballot Propositions, 2006
The 2006 election is quickly approaching, which means that it is time once again to review, reflect, and reject them. (Or support them, as the case may be. I just couldn’t resist the alliteration, though). And it’s quite a crop of ballot measures on tap this year, including several that were put on the ballot by the aging San Francisco hippies that run the legislature.That’s never a good sign.So, let’s see what we&rs
 
Key Senate Races
****As some have pointed out, this compilation is from Oct. 5. So I’m going to put the RCP Senate averages by my comment for each race in [].****Nice summary of some of the key Senate races out there:CONNECTICUT - Sen. Joseph Lieberman, running as an independent, has a 5
 
The political impact of the Foley Flap
I was hoping to be able to "deFoleyate" this week, but let’s face it, this story continues to have legs and it appears is going to indeed have an effect on the upcoming midterms.As Dale mentioned on our podcast yesterday, Tradesports.com
 
Is the bloom off the Lamont rose?
Despite the Netroots crowing about beating Joe Lieberman in the CT Democratic primary, it appears their candidate is all but politically moribund:Democrats around Connecticut and in DC are concluding that Lamont has gone in two months since his primary victory from triumphant insurgent to stymied novice. His campaign was largely somnolent for the five weeks after the
 
Can Hastert survive?
A lot of things to discuss.The other day I called Foley’s announcement of an alcohol problem and his admission into a rehab program almost "pro-forma" for these sorts of things. Speaking of pro-forma, I wasn’t at all surprised then when he claimed to have been molested as a boy by a member of the clergy.But to  
Dems wary of "October Surprise", but Foley has already provided that
Frankly, I think it has been delivered.See Rep. Foley. This story has legs and it is expanding.And as David Frum reminds us the best October surprises have been delivered against Republicans, not by them. The first in 2000 when Bush&rsq
 
Foley into Rehab
This is becoming almost pro-forma isn’t it?Former Rep. Mark Foley is in an alcoholism treatment center three days after resigning from Congress amid allegations that he sent inappropriate messages to teenage pages.A letter containing the information was faxed by Foley to WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, said David Roth, Foley’s attorney, on Monday.<
 
National Security and Democrats
I think Sen. Barack Obama has hit on the right strategy (and slogan) for Democrats discussing national security:Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a potential presidential candidate for 2008, called on Democrats to embrace the national security debate in the campaign’s closing weeks."I am happy to have a national security de
 
The Big Question for Democrats
The more I consider the probable outcome of the ’06 midterms, the more I become convinced Democrats will take the House. The question is will that actually be a good thing for Democrats? By that I mean will winning the House lead them to a complete victory in ’08 or see them out of power again? As we mentioned yesterday on the podcast, trying to keep some of the senior members who w
 
Sloganeering
Nancy Pelosi on Bush’s speech in Alabama today:“The President needs to work on his slogans. ‘Cut and run’ is no more true than was ‘Mission Accomplished.’ After three and a half years of fighting and the loss of more than 2,700 of our troops, the American people deserve a plan that is going to work in Iraq. ‘Stay the course’ is a slogan, not a strat
 
Married with Children = more Republicans
This is fascinating stuff (well, if you’re a political junkie and don’t have a life).USA Today does a comparison of percent married in a district and which party represents the district.• Republicans control 49 of the 50 districts with the highest rates of married people.•Democrats represent all 50 districts that ha
 
Another one bites the dust - Foley resigns
Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla, resigned his House seat today over questions concerning emails he sent a former page.Foley was pretty much a lock for reelection.So this is a seat you can most likely put in the Dem side of the ledger for November given the closeness of the election and no Republican candidate.HT:  
The voices of reason in VA
From Vivian Paige and Conaway Haskins, a plea:As two black bloggers in the Virginia political blogosphere, we bring a unique perspective to the conversation regarding race that swirls around us. Each of our families have been in Virginia for more than 15
 
Irony alert
Matt Stoller of MyDD after finding an interview with Joe Lieberman on "right wing" Pajamas Media says:"Lieberman is throwing the whole party under the bus."Excuse me? Who threw who under the bus?I’m telling you, you
 
I guess everyone used the N-word - or not
The Senate race in VA has gotten pretty sad.
 
Gas is down, podium thumping is up and so are Bush’s approval ratings
Funny how that works, eh?I guess this is poll day:New Reuters/Zogby poll shows Republicans, weekly WalMart shoppers, Catholics, and men help buoy the President, but Democrats retain edge in battle for CongressWith control of Congress at stake in the crucial midterm elections six weeks away, President Bush is seeing a resurgence in support for the work he is d
 
The politics of the NIE
As discussion of the NIE continues, the political fallout from the NYT story which first broke it also continues. Some observations:A) Leaks have become a serious problem and one which this administration (and I’d say this about any administration) must do something about. There is a lot of speculation about who might be the source, but regardless, leaking classified documents is unacceptable. Leaking them for political purposes is equally unacce
 
Clinton on Fox: An alternate view
Yesterday I pointed to two articles by William Kristol and John Dickerson who were convinced that Bill Clinton’s tirade on Fox News Sunday was done on purpose toward three particular goals. One of them, and perhaps the primary one, was to help Hillary Clinton’s chances in ’08. As a reminder, Kristol said:Hillary Clinton has been having problems with the le
 
Rice fires back at Clinton Assertions
I have to admit I loved the NY Post’s headline: "Rice Boils Over". OK, it also had a "bubba" reference as well, but hey, nothing particularly clever there. I’ll tell you one thing though, for a Secretary of State, she doesn’t mince words, that’s for sure:Secreta
 
Detainee Bill: OK Democrats, here’s your chance ...
Not that I really expect them to take advantage of it. It would mean they’d actually have to take a stand:Lawmakers and administration officials announced last week that they had reached accord on the plan for the detention and military trials of suspected terrorists, and it is scheduled for a vote this week. But in recent days the Bush a
 
(UPDATED) More on the Clinton Fox "blowup": Done on purpose?
That seems to be the developing explanation from the left. In fact, it seems to be the developing explanation from some on the right as well. William Kristol, in "The Daily Standard" says:LET’S DO A THOUGHT experiment: Perhaps Bill Clinton, an experienced and sophisticated politician, knew what he was doing when he made big news by "lo
 
The Allen Campaign
At the outset, let me say to you, the reader, what I have already expressed to Jon. I don’t have a dog in the Allen senate campaign, don’t know much about it, and am uninterested in assisting it. That’s not in any way a slam against Jon, who lives in Virginia, and has an interest in the outcome of this election, but a simple realization that I live 3,000 miles away across the country, and don’t know Mr. Allen from Adam. As such, any blogging
 
(UPDATED) Clinton invokes Clarke on Fox News Sunday
Byron York does what Bill Clinton has said we all should do:“All you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s findings and you know it’s not true,”In fact, Clinton said it 11 times according to York. York’s findings? Well they sort of mirror mine. L
 
Bill Clinton Fights Back
The Democratic national Committee praises President Clinton for his edgy response to Chris Wallace during the FoXNews interview where he was asked why the Clinton Administration didn’t get Osama bin Laden.In an interview with Fox News televised this morning, President Bill Clinton fought back against the right wing misinforma
 
Chavez: A uniter not a divider
Leave it to Hugo to finally give the Democrats and Republicans something they can agree upon.Namely that he’s an ass.Charles Rangel (D-NY)"If there’s any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans, whether they voted for him or not," Rangel said at a Washington news conference."I just want to make it
 
Update on Body Armor post
It started slow, but it finally is building. That is the repudiation of the political ad which said that troops were deployed to Iraq in protective vests "left over from Vietnam" finally made it to  
McAuliffe to chair Clinton election campaign
The worst kept political secret in America just became, well, even worst kept. According to The Hill, former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe (the man no one really appreciated until Howard Dean took the job) has been telling associates he’s the man for Hillary’s presidential campaign next year.McAuliffe told The Hill yesterday that Clinton has not made a decision on running for president and will not do so until after Nov. 7. McAuliffe
 
Have Republicans hit on a winning strategy for November?
Interesting polls, interesting numbers:Amid falling gas prices and a two-week drive to highlight his administration’s efforts to fight terrorism, President Bush’s approval rating has risen to 44% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. That’s his highest rating in a year.The poll also showed likely voters evenly divided between Democratic
 
Jon gets a mention in WaPo
And no, he didn’t drop me an email and ask me to mention it (and, in fact, probably wishes I’d missed seeing it completely). I happened upon the link on another blog (HT: National Journal’s Beltway Blogroll "Buzz Columns"
 
The purge continues along with the drift to the left
Jonathan Singer is not at all happy with the Democratic Leadership Council. Seems Al From from the DLC attended a meeting in which NYC Michael Bloomberg apparently explored the possibility of running in the ’08 presidential race as an independent."Treason" says Singer:I don’t particularly like the theoretical aim of the DLC — bringing the Democratic Pa
 
Oh my gosh!
Dave Johnson, over at HuffPo is aghast, aghast I tell you:A new front group has appeared on the scene. Yesterday in her Patriot Project post Robert J. Perry is Back, Taylor Marsh wrote about Robert J. Perry plunking down $5 million (!) just to fund the Economic Freedom Fund (EFF). Perry - who has close ties to Karl Rove and Tom DeLay - was a
 
Sniffing out the Republican strategy for November
Well, not the entire strategy which, if you look closely has a large serving of "you’d trust them with national security" on the plate (and, naturally, Democrats are cooperating in the Republican characterization of a party which can’t be trusted with that issue). Nope, just a part of it. Call it the "put them on the record
 
Trying to understand Democrats
Ido try, but for the life of me I have difficulty doing so.I’ve documented the recent attacks by Democrats on Wal-Mart and the reasons why they seem to be doing it. I’ve also pointed out why I think that’s probably one of the most politically ridiculous thing they could do and why.Ge
 
Why, oh why, do I want divided government?
Joe Scarborough answers for me (yeah, I know, I’m not a Scarborough fan, but the numbers are compelling):With Republicans in charge of both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, spending growth has averaged 10.4 percent per year. And the GOP’s reckless record goes well beyond runaway defense costs. The federal education bureaucracy has exploded by 101 per
 
Political ad lies about body armor
Any long-time reader of this blog knows I’m an advocate for our troops when it comes to ensuring they have the proper equipment with which to do their job. Any doubt about that should have been erased during the time I was giving Rumsfeld and the Pentagon hell for not  
The Futures Market on Election ’06
There wasn’t a lot of time for any detailed blogging for me tonight, but I thought this was interesting and wanted to pass it along before heading off to bed.The Tradesports futures market has seen a big change over the past few weeks.Presently, the contract for the GOP retaining control of the
 
Bush: Invest, live normal lives, we’re not at war.
Below it is quote from a Paul Gigot interview with President Bush which appeared in the Wall Street Journal today. Obviously it caught my eye and I paraphrase it in the title:Five years after 9/11, I ask the president if he is surprised that—and can explain why—both Iraq and his larger antiterror policies have become so politically polarized.
 
Pelosi unknown ... but effective?
Jonathan Singer, over at MyDD entitles his post "GOP Tactic of Maligning Pelosi Failing". He then leads with:Republicans have been up on the air in a number of congressional districts around the country trying to paint Democratic canididates as excessively liberal and too close of allies of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi — a San Francisco liberal. Leaving aside
 
Is Hillary going to run?
A story I noticed last week but was unable to comment on at the time concerns Hillary Clinton and the possibility she won’t run for the presidency in ’08.Whatever you think of Clinton, she is one savvy and smart politician. I remember hearing Bill Clinton say that when he wanted to run for the presidency and everyone was urging him to run, Hillary said he shouldn’t and, he didn’t. When all were telling him not to run and stating that the timing just was
 
Americans are "angry" according to CNN
Things are bad in case you haven’t noticed:Most Americans are angry about "something" when it comes to how the country is run, and they are more likely than in previous years to vote for a challenger this November, a new poll suggests.A majority of Americans surveyed — and a higher percentage than recorded during the s
 
How solid is the group who disapproves of the war in Iraq?
Everywhere I look in the MSM the number 60% is used to describe those who "disapprove" of or "oppose" the Iraq war. But I’ve wondered, what does that really mean? Does that disapproval or opposition mean they want us to end our involvement now (or very soon) and that the war is a mistake? I just didn’t know, or, should I say, that hasn’t been clear from reading news and opinion pieces.So I looked for a few of the polls that were respo
 
More history lessons
A good number of Democrats are irritated by the inferences they feel have been made against them in a series of speeches by Bush and Rumsfeld. And they’re not to thrilled by either of them invoking the past as a lesson, especially that of WWII.Well at the risk of again irritating them, I give you Jeffery Lord and, well, more history:As America readies for t
 
Physician, heal thyself
When it was discovered that Republican Ted Stevens had put a secret hold on the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, Democratic Chairman Howard Dean was outraged. He sent this email to supporters:A Republican Senator famous for pork barrel spending placed a "secret hold" that’s preventing the proposal from even getting a vote. The mystery
 
For Republicans Is the Senate in jeopardy as well?
Seems possible that’s for sure. From USA Today, the formula:In the Senate, Democrats need to gain six seats, which would require winning at least two races where Republicans are now favored. The statewide polls found some GOP senators already in trouble:• In Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum trailed Democrat Bob Casey by 18 perc
 
Joe Wilson, please and finally - go away!
The Washington Post editorially sighs today for what might have been, but wasn’t. It then, surprisingly, puts the blame and the onus for the whole mess right where it belongs:It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House — that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity
 
Politics: Getting down to election message basics
Seems we’ve settled into familiar and obvious pre-election memes on both sides of the political spectrum for the upcoming midterms. Republicans are going to stress the war and the weakness of Democrats in the national security realm and Democrats are going to claim Republicans are doing a terrible job in that sphere and using the threat of terrorism as a "fear factor" in order to keep voters from putting them in power.  
Smither Update
Texas Governor Rick Perry has set November 7th as the date for the special election to replace Tom Delay in Congress for the TX-22 seat. The campaign registration deadline expired this evening, so, as the race stands now, there are two official candidates candidates: Democrat Nick Lampson, and Libertarian Bob Smither.In addition, the Republicans have the misfortune to be running  
The Plame Leaker: Richard Armitage
David Corn, after long leading the pack of braying hounds, now has to explain how the Armitage revelation fits into the conspiracist framework. And, for the most part, it doesn’t:The Plame leak in Novak’s column has long been cited by Bush administration critics as a deliberate act of payback, orchestrated to punish and/or discredit Joe Wilson after he
 
A big win for The Big D?
Al Hunt is confident. Very confident. The Democratic-leaning political analyst has declared the November elections all but wrapped up.Barring an unexpected and big event, Democrats will win control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November and conceivably the Senate, too. Whether it’s a tsunami or just a powerful wave, the political d
 
Biden: Did he really say that?
The more this guy opens his mouth, the less and less surprised I am at what comes out of it.In answer to a question about his ability as an ’08 presidential contender to take the south Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) said the following:"You don’t know my state," he said. "My state was a slave state. My state is
 
The new claim: Wal Mart monopsony bad for economy
Ezra Klein takes Jonah Goldberg to task over his "sneering, superficial treatment" of the Democrats obsession with Wal Mart in the LA Times today.Admittedly Goldberg is less than impressed with this obsession and says so in good old plain English on the pages of the Times. He essentially talks about the politics of the
 
Shays calls for Iraq time frame
Unsurprisingly, the "pull-back" continues on the Republican side:Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), once an ardent supporter of the war in Iraq, said yesterday that the Bush administration should set a time frame for withdrawing U.S. troops. He added that most of the withdrawal could take place next year.The real reason?S
 
Election ’06: another view
An interesting Investors Business Daily editorial on the upcoming midterms provokes some thoughts on the politics of all of this:The American people may not be happy with events in Iraq. But they do know, especially after events in Lebanon and the foiled British bomb plot, that we’re in a war in which failure is no
 
Still up in the air or whistling past the graveyard?
Donald Lambro thinks the midterms are still up in the air despite what some polls are saying: Other pollsters are finding that no matter how negative voters are about the Republicans who control both houses of Congress, less than a majority think the Democrats would do a better job of governing. Moreover, many voters who say they will vote for a Democrat in November
 
Why are Republicans "Red"?
Sounds like the beginning of any newsletter or blog entry one might see from the DNC:There are 19 weeks until Election Day, Tuesday November 7.Perhaps nothing underscores the significance of these mid-term elections more than the reality of 2500 killed and 18,000 maimed needlessly in Iraq, 100,000 Iraqi civilians lives lost.And then on Thursday, the Repu
 
...And a Rain of Frogs, and Flaming Hail Mixed With Blood
I guess Hugh Hewitt isn’t willing to sign on to the idea of splitting the government between the GOP and the Dems yet.Expect a major retreat in the war on Islamic fascism across many fronts if the Dems frenzy their way to a majority in either body, and hearings upon hearings. the Church Committee will look like child’s play compared to a John C
 
Scare Them back
John Dickerson presents what he calls "a better response to GOP fear-mongering" when it comes to National Security.The question the Democrats should be asking is whether Bush’s policies are inspiring the people who want to kill us. Since Republicans argue that if you elect Democrats, more Americans will die, it’s logical for Democrats to ask whether continuing the current policies will cause more American deat
 
Pandering for Votes: The Democrats war against Wal-Mart
Politically this still amazes me:Imagine a private group that pays billions in taxes, creates millions of jobs and sells things at ultra-low prices. Too good to be true? It’s called Wal-Mart — and Democrats, for some reason, want to kill it off.Here, for example, was Delaware senator and presidential wannabe Jos
 
Jimmy Carter: There you go again
Ronald Reagan had a pretty good line when he used it on old JC back in those presidential debates. I always thought of it as akin to saying "here he is with the same old song and dance." And, amazingly, that’s precisely what we have from Mr. Carter.At the risk of being called a petulant Bush-defending libertarian again, let’s start with this and
 
Follow the Money
In probably the best "poll" available at the moment concerning the expected outcome of the ’06 midterms, lobbying firms are preparing to shift their efforts toward the Democrats:Washington lobbying firms, trade associations and corporate offices are moving to hire more well-connected Democrats in response to rising prospects that the oppos
 
Name that moonbat!
Maybe we could make this a game show:Quote 1:"What I have learned from the corporate media is that they are there to protect the status quo. They are there to protect the powers that be, and anyone who becomes a threat in any kind of way by providing information that will go directly to the survival of the community, to the uplifting of the people, will become an enemy."Now I think the next quote is a dead giveaway, so I’m g
 
Not in the face!
Here’s another in a very long series of politicians who cry ’not in the face!’ at the very rhetoric they’ve used previously. In an interview on The Young Turks — via Atrios — John Kerry, in response to "Sen. Lieberman’s comments that the Democratic part
 
2008 Straw Poll
Instapundit is hosting a straw poll for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. At the moment, Rudi Giulinani is way in the lead.
 
The CT Senate Race: History v. Math
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, addresses an argument currently being made in some circles, i.e. that Lieberman is bucking history with his run as an independent and won’t succeed. Brown points out that it boils down to a contest between history and math, and while history may say Lieberman loses, math
 
Lamont as a Harbinger of...Something
The Nation’s John Nichols is giddy with delight at Ned Lamont’s primary victory over Joe Lieberman.At the very least, the Connecticut primary became a referendum on how the Democratic Party ought to respond to a war that it has often questioned but never effectively opposed. If Connecticut said "no" Lieberman and the war, Lamont supporters in the
 
Lieberman/Lamont: How it’s going to be spun
At least by a particular segment of the left:Let the resounding defeat of Senator Joe Lieberman send a cold shiver down the spine of every Democrat who supported the invasion of Iraq and who continues to support, in any way, this senseless, immoral, unwinnable war. Make no mistake about it: We, the majority of Americans, want this war ended — and we will actively work to defeat each and every
 
Lieberman and Lamont: what it’s all about
So, Jo Lieberman lost to Ned Lamont and will now run as an Independent. What does it all mean? Let me correct two misapprehensions.First, it does not mean that the Democrats are punishing their centrists, and trying to move the Pa
 
GA 4 - McKinney - Johnson
A little live blogging here. 9:50 pm with 20% of the precincts reporting it is:Johnson — 5,996 — 69.7%McKinney —2,607 — 30.3%Johnson has led since the beginning.10:30 pm with 52% of the precincts reporting:Johnson — 17,907 — 58%McKinney — 12,934— 42%
 
Cokie Roberts: A Lamont win wll be a disaster for Democrats
Interesting exchange on ABC’s "This Week" between Cokie Roberts and George Stephanopoulos about the Lamont/Lieberman race.You can read the whole exchange here (and they have a video link). It is something many of us have been saying for a while. Key point - when asked by Stephanopoulos if she really thought it would be a disaster, Roberts answered:Yes, I do because I t
 
Predicting the outcome of the ’06 midterms
OK, political junkie and/or speculation time ... all for good fun.Pollsters, pundits and analysts are getting more comfortable with their predictions as the ’06 midterms approach. One such outfit is "Crystal Ball", (Dr. Larry Sabato, the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia & founder of the Center for Pol
 
Elections are not the answer
Democratic institutions are.The race for president of Congo took a surprising turn Wednesday when election observers announced that Jean-Pierre Bemba, a warlord accused of severe human rights abuses, was leading against the incumbent, Joseph Kabila, in preliminary results. U.N. officials urged Congolese voters to stay calm and not race to
 
GA 4 - Showing McKinney the Door (again)
Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson had their debate and, as with most of them, it was more flash than bang. Accusations and charges flew but in reality not much of substance was debated.McKinney went after Johnson citing his past financial difficulties.Johnson acknowledged that he had financial problems involving nonpayment of t
 
Republicans? Democrats? Tell me again how they’re different?
John Kerry has repeated the call for universal health coverage he made in his ’04 run for the presidency. Sen. John Kerry on Monday proposed requiring all Americans to have health insurance by 2012, "with the federal government guaranteeing that they have the means to afford it."Of course it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a nuclear bra
 
Tired of Republicans
The Jaded JD:[T]he recent announcement by William F. Buckley Jr. that the president is no conservative [is] the conservatism equivalent of the pope calling Henry VIII no Catholic in that the edict is both authoritative and a statement of the obvious...[...]The fact is, a growing number of American voters are finding the president’s menu to be distasteful. If the Democra
 
The new American Dream: Clinton-style
Ms. Hillary Clinton is putting the theme for her ’08 presidential campaign together. Here is her version of the new American Dream:Every American should have the opportunity and responsibility to go to college and earn a degree, and to get the lifelong training they need.Every worker should have the opportunity a
 
Cynthia McKinney: "Political death" watch
Cynthia McKinney is in trouble in the 4th Congressional District of GA. Seems her opponent, who she describes as a "mostly unknown and unproven opponent, who will nonetheless have the unanimous backing of big national media and national money," has her trailing by over 20 points in the latest poll conducted in the district. McKinney’s opponent is a gentleman named  
“Monty, I’ll take what’s behind door #3”
***Guest Blogger: Billy Hollis***The mainstream press, the pollsters, and Internet  
The Republican’s "Joe Lieberman?"
Red State is calling for out ouster of Michigan’s Joe Schwarz in a move reminiscent of the campaign against Joe Lieberman, although seemingly much less nasty:It has been a long time since Republicans threw out one of their own in an ideological battle. This year with conservatives angry about inept Republican leadership in the House, we all have a chance to strike
 
Kerry: "If I were president, this wouldn’t have happened."
The increasingly irritating and irrational Senator from MA had this to say the other day about the war between Israel and Hezbollah:"If I was president, this wouldn’t have happened,’’ said the Massachusetts senator, during a lunchtime visit to "Honest John’s Bar and No Grill Inc." in Detroit while campaigning for Michigan
 
Impact of the Jack Bauer Voter
****Guest Blogger: Billy Hollis****Let me state at the outset that I don’t watch much television. In particular, I’ve never seen an episode of “24”. (If I ever do, it’ll be on DVD, so that I can skip the commercials.) But I’ve read articles about it. Actually, I gained most of my understanding of the show from the humorous list of fact
 
Look up "Political Moron" and you’ll find Hastert’s picture beside it
I mean, come on! Is this a good time, with Republicans approaching the ’06 mid-terms with a good possibility of losing the majority in one or both houses of Congress, to be picking this particular idiotic hill to die on?House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Sunday he may challenge a judge’s order allowing FBI agents to examine documents seized at a Louisia
 
Now he vetoes a bill
I’m going to stay away from all the moral arguments here:President Bush rejected legislation Wednesday that could have multiplied the federal money going into embryonic stem cell research, using the first veto of his presidency to underscore his stand on the emotionally charged, life-and-death issue.
 
GA: A couple of interesting primary races
Georgians have made me feel a little better about them given yesterday’s primary results. First in the 4th Congressional district where "the cutest little communist in Congress", as Neal Boortz calls her, finds herself in a runoff:With 90 percent of the vote counted, McKinney had 47 percent of the vote to Johnson
 
The 1st Law of Politics: Perception is Reality
At least to voters. And as Lois Romano notes in the Washington Post today, Hillary Clinton is confronting that law as she "unofficially" positions herself for a run for the presidency in ’08.The perception she’s fighting? "I think she’s a little hard," she said. "She may be strong, but at the same time, i
 
A simple question
Is using shots of the caskets of dead American soldiers appropriate for a political commercial?You can view it here.
 
Apparently, it Was a Rovian Plot! Sort of.
Robert Novak has, at long last, revealed the source—almost—of his information about Valerie Plame, that kicked off Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation.Novak said he told Fitzgerald in early 2004 that White House senior adviser Karl Rove and then-CIA spokesman Bill Harlow had confirmed for him, at his reques
 
Objectively pro-(whatever)
Mark Levin is accusing Andrew Sullivan of being insufficiently conservative by trotting out the ’objective pro-[whatever]’ argument...Andrew Sullivan considers himself an opponent of torture. But he’s not. He’s against the war in Iraq, which has ended a great deal of state-sponsored tor
 
Republicans: After Bush, who?
EJ Dionne takes a look past the ’06 midterms at the not too distant ’08 open-seat presidential election. As he points out, with no heir apparent, a diverse group is considered to be in the running for the Republican nomination. And the top 4, at least now and per Dionne, are McCain, Giuliani, Gingrich and Romney. His assessment of them:Parad
 
Chait: "Lieberman’s irritating, but his enemies in the party are worse"
Jonathan Chait’s LA Times article distills perfectly the point many of us have been trying to make concerning the vendetta launched by a faction of Democrats trying to take over the party and purge the less ideologically desirable:But if Lieberman’s allies are irritating and often wrongheaded, alas, his enemies are worse
 
Everyone is so sensitive these days
I can’t help it. Like most I can’t take my eyes off of a train wreck.But, in all honesty, if we all weren’t so damn touchy and sensitive anymore, this actually would have gotten a rim shot instead
 
Lieberman/Lamont: All about Iraq, all about partisanship
I didn’t see their debate, naturally (since it was only aired locally in CT), but the transcript is available. There’s alot to read and comment on, but I want to touch on one particular aspect. Lieberman makes a point that he’s made in the past. He supported the war in Iraq not for partisan reasons but because he thought it
 
The Patriotism Dodge — Paul Krugman edition
The Patriotism Dodge — i.e., pretending your opponents are challenging your patriotism — makes a return appearance in Paul Krugman’s New York Times Column...Things have changed since then: Mr. Bush’s ability to wrap his power grab in the flag has diminished now that most Americans no longer consider him either competent or honest. But the administrat
 
Lieberman: From VP Candidate to Pariah in 6 short years
The more I watch the developing Lieberman story the more bemused I am. Good enough to be the VP candidate with Gore in 2000, Lieberman is now actively derided and heckled by Democrats as he attends a 4th of July parade:Senator Joseph I. Lieberman was smiling past the hecklers yesterday in this town’s massive Independence Day parade. ``S
 
Democrats: Setting up the next Congress?
Democrats are planning on taking the House in November and apparently they also plan on shaking up a few things internally, especially if a member hasn’t been toeing the party line on the war:Incomprehensibly, there are reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has decided to oust fellow Rep. Jane Harman of California in January as the top Democrat on the House
 
Withdrawing from Iraq
Everyone’s favorite commenter, MKUltra, couldn’t restrain himself from commenting to this post:But that has been the criticism on this website for years, Dems are losers because, unlike Republicans, they don’t stand for anything. Now, when the activists in the party are trying to do the very thing they have been criticized as not doing, they get criticized for doing it.
 
The Patriotism Dodge
The Virginia Senate race between George Allen and James Webb looks like it will be a real firework display. Challenging Democratic Senate candidate James Webb, Allen’s campaign said that "By announcing his opposition to the Flag Protection Amendment, [Webb] puts himself firmly on the side of John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Charles Schumer". As one might expect of a libertarian,
 
The Republican Agenda: Social Conservatism
I touched on this yesterday with the "Wal-Mart voters" post, and the fact that the identified group was, in general, comprised of social conservatives who liked government programs.I also noted that the Republicans were losing ground in that group (see the poll results noted in the post) and would probably try to introduce issues which would appeal to social conservatives to try to wi
 
The GOP and the Wal-Mart voter: forget smaller government
To put Jon’s point, below, to practical use, let’s review Ryan Sager’s recent article. In it he identifies and emerging and seemingly powerful political faction which has, to this point, identified itself with Republicans. In some ways, it explains why Republicans ha
 
The Murtha Factor
Is John Murtha becoming more of a liability than an asset for Democrats?Robert Novak wonders if their national security star isn’t wearing a bit thin and points to his recent appearance on Meet the Press as an example. Murtha told host Tim Russert that the US could redeploy to Okinawa and support Iraq from there in a timely manner.In fact, a Pentagon sp
 
Truthout Explains It All (?)
Today was supposed to be the day that Truthout.org explained why the Karl Rove Indictment never materialized. Their explanation is...odd.On Tuesday, June 13, when
 
Kerry: He was for a Dec ’06 withdrawal date before he was against it
The man has become a running joke:Senator John F. Kerry is pushing back by six months the deadline he wants to set for removing combat troops from Iraq, as he seeks to build support in the Senate for his plan for troop withdrawal.If he continues to push it back, he’ll eventually be right. And I’m sure he’ll
 
Am I just missing something here?
Stumbled upon Juan Cole’s blog "Informed Comment" where he blasted the Bush administration for what he calls "falsehoods about American history consistently purveyed’:On Sunday, the most prominent among Bush’s spokesmen from the ranks of Fox Cable News anchors, Tony Snow, did it again. He compared our current situation in Iraq
 
Democrats: Forget the "New Deal", time for a "New Direction"
Well, apparently "America, we can do better" has lost out to "A New Direction for America". I can’t say I’ll miss the former "slogan" but what does the new one mean? Well it means the Democrats finally have a message. From a press release from the House Democratic leadership, the message:Democrats offer a New Direction, puttin
 
Overseeing Iraq
The editors of USA Today have written an editorial about withdrawing from Iraq,that is right on point.U.S. troops should not stay in Iraq, as in Vietnam, purely for pride in a hopeless battle. They should remain, however, as long as there is a reasonable chance that they can bring some stability, reinforce the fledgling democratic governmen
 
Hillary Clinton’s Nomination Problem
Barry Casselman takes a closer look at Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination problem.As a highly-visible elected official, Senator Clinton has been caught in the middle of an ideological and technological battleground. Months ago, I wrote about an "invisible" civil war in the Democratic Party. It is no longer invisible. DNC chairman Howard Dean, hi
 
Speaking of gloom and doom, Morris says the GOP is going down - maybe
Seems like each time I cite Dick Morris I use my standard disclaimer: "no matter what you might think of Morris personally, he knows politics". To which a commenter will invariably say "he’s a piece of (pick your favorite type of offal and insert here)."Can we skip that this go ’round?Thankyouverymuch!Morris opines:<
 
"Inside baseball" with the Democrats
Being an inveterate political junkie I remain fascinated by the internal goings on within the major political parties.I cannot, in some cases, imagine how groups that have such problems governing their own relatively small organization can ever hope to govern a nation. And that applies to both sides.But today, we look inside the Democrats
 
Immigration bill unlikely before November mid-terms
I hate to say I told you so, but I did:Hopes for a quick compromise on immigration were dealt a blow Tuesday after House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he wanted to take a "long look" at a Senate bill offering possible citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.Hastert said hearings on the S
 
Why I cannot trust the Democrats
I’ve criticized the Republican Party for abandoning the ideals of limited government, honesty and political modesty. Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave me with any good options. “When I become chairman [of a House appropriations subcommittee], I’m going to earmark the s—t out of it,” Moran buoyantly told a crowd of 450 attending the event.” —  
Harry Reid: "conservative Democrat"?
"If the truth doesn’t fit the existing frame, the frame will stay in place and the truth will dissipate." — George LakoffFraming in action: yesterday, Atrios called Harry Reid "the conservative Democrat from Nevada." On some issues &md
 
Republicans may win in November despite themselves
Dick Polman is apparently among many on the left pulling his hair out as he tries to figure out the Democrat strategy for ’06, much less ’08:Here we are on the cusp of June, and still we find that the Democrats (a) still haven’t agreed on what they stand for, (b) still haven’t decided whether to highlight those issues where they do a
 
Stupid political tricks: Has it come down to this?
I mean really:Republican U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave’s re-election campaign was already heated, and it just got smelly as well: Her staff accused a Democratic activist Thursday of leaving an envelope full of dog feces at Musgrave’s Greeley office.Musgrave spokesman Shaun Kenney said someone stuffed the envelope through the mail slot in the door on May
 
More analysis of the CA 50 race
It seems Republicans may be overly pleased with the narrow victory (4%) they pulled off in a the heavily Repubican CA 50th Congressional district against a Democrat candidate who managed to screw up her chances with a dumb statement near the end.Some other things that worked for the Republicans in that district. They spent twice as much money than did the Democrats (I’ve heard 4+ million to Busby’s 2 million). They used RNC assets to organize
 
Republicans hold CA 50th seat, barely
In yesterday’s special election, Republicans managed a narrow win sending Brian Bilbray to Congress to finish the 6 months remaining in former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunninghams current term.I’ve mentioned more than once that this race could be an indicator of what November holds. Of course that was before the Democratic nominee managed to shoo
 
Kerry’s Vietnam record and the NY Times
Thomas Lipscomb delivers a good smack-down of the Memorial day article in the NY Times by Kate Zernike. Speaking of Zernike’s story as well as previous Times coverage concerning charges by the Swift Boat Vets, Lipscomb notes:The Times used the term "unsubstantia
 
Goodbye, Republicans. Or Democrats. Or Both. Whatever.
Peggy Noonan nails it:The problem is not that the two parties are polarized. In many ways they’re closer than ever. The problem is that the parties in Washington, and the people on the ground in America, are polarized. There is an increasing and profound distance between the rulers of both parties and the people—between the elites and the grunts, between
 
Is CA’s 50th Congressional District the bellweather for ’06?
Will tuesday’s special election in California’s 50th Congressional District presage the results of the off-year elections in November? Some are speculating it might. The reason the district is having a special election is because it is the district of former Congressman and present jailbird Randy "Duke" Cunningham. The district is, and always has been, a Republic
 
Why I fear John McCain
Jim Henley notes my post on third party agitation and writes...Henke thinks the current politician most likely to succeed as the insect of an afternoon’s third force is John McCain. He’s surely right about this, and McCain is one of the least libertarian politicians going. McCain has a
 
But then Democrats don’t disappoint either
Al Gore on the Bush Administration:Al Gore has made his sharpest attack yet on the George Bush presidency, describing the current US administration as "a renegade band of rightwing extremists".In an interview with the Guardian today, the former vice-president calls himself a "recovering politician", but launches into the political fray more explicitly than he has
 
Why the War on Terror is in jeopardy
While reading an article by Owen West in the NY Times, I was struck by the thoughts in these three paragraphs:We are at the outset of a long war, and not just in Iraq. Yet it is being led politically by the short-sighted, from both sides of the aisle. The deterioration of American support for the mission in
 
Our native Criminal Class II
Well, it was only a matter of time until someone came up with this, of course:Naturally, t-shirts and caps are available.
 
America has no distinct criminal class. Except Congress.
I can’t think of any better way to put it than the editors of National Review expressed it:By nothing more than dumb luck, the Republican-controlled Congress—lambasted for the junkets, earmarks, and “culture of corruption” that have aligned to produce the lowest approval ratings in memory—was handed a shot at some desperately needed
 
Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell
I didn’t vote for current Virginia Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell, and this McDonnell-penned Richmond Times-Dispatch article make me glad I didn’t...Having previously helped disaster victim
 
The politics of Alternative Fuels: changing the subject
Inveterate poll watcher Dick Morris again gets his crystal ball out and describes how Bush can "come back". Now, I’ve always considered Dick Morris to be about as politically amoral as one can be ... if his job is to win, he’ll do what it takes to win. So I always find his insight useful given his track record. Whether I agree or not is an entirely different matter, b
 
A book deal to articulate the obvious
Maybe this is news to Chuck Schumer and his publisher ...Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who is heading the national Democratic effort to capture the United States Senate this year, has signed a book deal, the senator’s office announced on Sunday.Mr. Schumer said he was writing abou
 
Political Short Shots
John McCain found his popularity tested in a commencement speech at NYC’s New School:The Madison Square Garden crowd cheered loudly as Jean Sarah Rohe said McCain "does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded."It was university president and former senator Bo
 
Democrats: No message, no money
Things like Donald Lambro has written are a dime a dozen (no disrespect meant to Mr. Lambro) among right leaning pundits. The Democrats’ election-year agenda is still a work in progress as party leaders attempt the impossible: to draft a document that appeals to all of its disparate ideological factions. But the word coming out of the Democrat
 
Politics: Trial by public opinion
This is becoming tiresome and, frankly, worrying. The trend can now be found in many areas, not just justice. The trend has authorities making assumptions based on incomplete evidence that certain crimes have occurred (or not occurred as the case may be ... see the Duke rape case) and publicly airing their opinions. Instead of letting investigations take their course, allowing both sides to prepare and air their cases and allowing the system in place to ajudicate th
 
Democrat ’06 win may guarantee Republican ’08 win
Jim Geraghty over at NRO is a bit miffed:I doubted the strategic wisdom of conservatives sitting out this election to “teach Republicans a lesson”; several bloggers have responded. There are still doubters and skeptics, though. What’s really stunning is this absolute certainty of angry conservatives that A) Republicans will learn the r
 
The Rove Indictment
Byron York, who reports for Captitol Hill and National Review has spent the day trying to run down the Karl Rove indictment story.According to Jason Leopold’s original story at truthout.org-a lefty, indymedia-style web site:Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm represe
 
Howard Dean: How’d he screw this up?
Say what you will about Howard Dean (and I usually have plenty to say), he usually gets the party talking points right. So what happened here?Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean has contradicted his party’s platform and infuriated gay rights advocates by saying the party’s platform states "marriage is between a man and a woman.""The Democratic
 
Conservatives key to GOP win in ’06
I love the smell of politics in the morning. It smells of blogging.Yesterday I pointed to a 4 point plan the Democrats were developing in "Contract with America" fashion in a bid to take the House in November. Frankly, it’s not a bad plan. So what will be the Republican reponse. Well, according to  
Democrat ’06 plan: politically positive points and investigations
Buoyed by polls which show that 51% prefer Democrats to Republicans in Congress, Democratic leaders are finally putting together a plan to take the House in ’06.Let’s review how the Repubicans did it in ’94:To seize control in 1994, [Dick] Armey said, Republicans needed three key ingredients: scandal, which was prov
 
McCain
David Ignatius has a piece on John McCain entitled "A Man Who Won’t Sell His Soul". In it he says:[McCain] says liberals need to understand that he’s not a man of the left, or even the center. "I haven’t changed. My record is the same on all issues, which is that of a conservative Republican. Not a liberal Republican, not a mo
 
Political prostitution, Republican style
I’m sure you’ve seen the Republican plan to send you $100 because gas prices have risen?Look at this reasoning:David Winston, a Republican pollster who advises the Senate Republican leadership, called the rebate an intuitive way to show voters that Republicans were on their side. "It is like pu
 
The politics of oil, part II
As an example of the politics of high gas prices, we have Nancy Pelosi decrying them while making a statement about her opposition to the Republican bill on lobbying reform:At a time of record, historic, obscene profits, these companies are paying enormous fees to their CEOs. The CEO of Exxon is getting a retirement package of $400 million - record profits, high subsidies fr
 
The politics of oil: Recipe for a win?
I have to say I’m with Samuel Staley on this one:Watching Republicans jockey for a lead position to bash oil companies and rein in gas prices is...well...bizarre.President Bush, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., have all promised to investigate price gouging, though they know that isn’t what is dri
 
Howard Dean and the politics of "values voters"
There has been some discussion about a statement Howard Dean made concerning churchs and politics: "The religious community has to decide whether they want to be tax exempt or involved in politics."Full disclosure: I agree with Howard Dean. In a perfect world I think politics should be left outside of church doors.But politically it seems to me th
 
The Price and Profit Scarewagon
It’s disappointing to see Republicans jumping on the Price and Profit scare-wagon...Congress should consider a tax on excessive oil company profits, two senators said Sunday, as gasoline prices in some cities have risen above $3 a gallon.Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said on CNN’s Late Edition that President Bush should call for a windfall profits tax on the oil companies&r
 
Party Loyalty
Are you now, or have you ever been, a supporter of the Wrong Party? This is frightening...The White House also has recently barraged the agency with questions about the political affiliations of some of its senior intelligence officers, according to intelligence officials. This requires a lot more e
 
Cleland speaks ...
I have a lot of empathy for any wounded veteran. Any of them.But that empathy doesn’t extend to their playing politics with a war or the people that are fighting it. Their wounds don’t give them special dispensation to say stupid and untrue things. Take Max Cleland for instance:"It is immoral to abuse the good nature of our
 
Gallup: Congressional approval at 12 year low
Even though I’m not a big fan of polls, I found this Gallup poll interesting for one reason.This graphic:Why? Because the last time anyone saw ratings like this for Congress (and the President) was in 1994.Make of it what you will, but there are the numbers. The tre
 
Bush and Carter: Presidential Bookends?
Dick Morris comes out firing with both barrels today when he characterizes George Bush as the Republican version of Jimmy Carter.Yeow:George W. Bush is a one- term president now serving deep into his second term. Like his father, he shot his bolt during his first four years. Unlike his dad, he was able to persuade America to keep him around for another term.
 
Iraqi Intelligence Redux II
A few days ago, everyone was talking about how the Bush Adminstration was apparently pushing bad information about Iraqi intelligence, and the Iraqi effort to acquire nuclear materials from Niger. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth, etc., etc.Jon’s post, for instance, referred to stories here an
 
What to do About George?
If I was asked what President George W. Bush reminds me most of, I would have to say, even though I know many of you won’t like it, "Ronald Reagan".See? Now you’re getting all upset. But it’s true. Bear with me. What I mean is that Mr. Bush’s leadership and governance style is startlingly like Ronald Reagan’s.Ronald Reagan didn’t really give a fig about the government he ran. I mean, he simply wasn’
 
Iraq Uranium Intel Redux
I don’t know why Jon is so adamant about the Iraq/Niger nuclear deal. From what I can tell, the case isn’t as clear-cut as Jon makes it out to be. As Christopher Hitchens explainsIn the late 1980s, the Iraqi representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency—Iraq’s senior public envoy for nuclear matters, in effect—was a man named Wissam al-Zahawie. After the Kuwait war
 
McKinney: Serving GA’s 4th Congressional District
Until she occasionally she pops up like a gopher on the national scene as she did for the last week or so with her "much ado about a hairdo" nonsense, not many people are familiar with the important work Cynthia McKinney does as a congresswoman from the 4th Congressional district in Georgia.For instance, this:A few weeks before h
 
Leaks? Much ado about nothing
Is anyone else less than impressed by the story, or should I say spin, in which President Bush is accused of "leaking classified info?"Constitutionally, the authority to declare documents "classified" resides with the president. So, under the terms of an executive order first drafted in 1982, he can declassify a document merely by declaring it unclassified.Th
 
Democrat Strategy for November: all about Bush
It appears that Chuck Schumer is positive that a Democratic attempt to make the Congressional mid-terms "a referendum on President Bush" will lead to impressive Democratic gains in Congress come November:Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said yesterday that the 2006 midterm elections would be a referendum on President Bush and expressed optimism that Democrats c
 
Mass Health coverage bill: all about politics
A couple of points about the Mass. law mandating people within the state buy health insurance. Kevin Drum discusses it:UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE IN THE BAY STATE....Several emailers want to know what I think of the new Massachusetts universal healthcare legislation. Answer: I’m not sure.Well I’m not sure either but I am sure of a couple
 
McKinney case to Grand Jury
The Cynthia McKinney "much ado about a hairdo" kerfuffle has been elevated to a new level:No more he-grabbed-she-slapped — whether U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney should be charged over a confrontation with Capitol Police last week will be decided by a grand jury, perhaps as soon as next week, said federal law enforcement sources familiar with the case.Prosecu
 
Feingold: The far left’s candidate continues to emerge
He completely opposes the war in Iraq.He has attempted to censure the President (since he knows an attempt at impeachment isn’t possible right now).Now he speaks out in favor of gay marriage (when it really isn’t an issue under discussion and a position not shared by many in his party).Sen. Russell Feingold (D
 
Do the Democrats have a legitimate shot at the House in November?
Susan Page and Richard Wolf have an interesting analysis of the upcoming House races in USA Today. They look at how the upcoming elections remind one of 1994 and how they’re different.A Democratic takeover of the Senate seems distant, but Cook and others now figure it’s possible (though not yet likely) that Democrats will gain the 15 s
 
More reaction to McKinney
From USA Today:An officer who didn’t recognize her asked her three times to stop. When McKinney didn’t respond, he put his hand out to restrain her.At this point, a reasonable person might have identified herself without incident.A key point in this discussion, roundly ignored by her defenders ... what would a
 
Cynthia McKinney: Georgia’s race baiting embarrassment
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today weighed in on the Cynthia McKinney controversy with an editorial that roundly condemns how the Congresswoman has handled the fallout about a confrontation with a police officer on Capitol Hill. (For those of you not familiar with Ms. McKinney, a refresher done earlier by QandO can be found here.)In her embarrassing confrontation with the U.S. C
 
DeLay calls it a day
It appears that Tom DeLay has looked out upon the Texas political landscape and decided that it isn’t arranged in a way in which he can win reelection:Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), a primary architect of the House Republican majority who became one of the most powerful and feared leaders in Washington, told House allies tonight t
 
The Politics of Immigration
Mickey Kaus is one of my favorite political analysts who really does sport keen insight in matters political.He’s frankly puzzled as to why many pundits are sure the Republicans are in for a rough ride in the 2006 elections. He’s puzzled because of the rising visibility of one issue.Immigration. To Kaus, immigration seems to be a natural issue for Republicans:
 
The West Wing of the Republican Party
John Cole enunciates the current difficulty for proponents of limited government...The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods, and the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistributing wealth like their brethern on the left, instead have decided that the state must have excessive rights in order to ‘protect’ us all
 
What would Hillary do?
This is interesting mostly for the rhetoric involved.Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ratcheted up her talk about religion yesterday - saying a GOP-sponsored bill making it a felony to be in the United States illegally would have "criminalized" Jesus.Clinton, who’s considered the Democratic front-runner for the 2008 White House race, made the comments at a hastily s
 
Censure Lies, Censure Myths
FactCheck fact checks the RNC ad on the Feingold Censure...A GOP radio ad accuses Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin of proposing to censure President Bush "for pursuing suspected members of al Qaeda," which isn’t true. Feingold has stated he supports wiretapping suspected terrorists. His measure would censure Bush for ordering wiretaps on US soil without a court warrant, f
 
Republican strategy for 2006
I think Fred Barnes is on to something concerning the Republican strategy for 2006:Politics is pretty simple. If the debate in an upcoming election puts your party at a disadvantage, it makes sense to try to change the debate. At the moment, the 2006 midterm election is framed as a referendum on the Bush administration and congressional Republicans, p
 
Correcting Missapprehensions
Sometimes bloggers — pundits in general, really — get on a kick about something and I’m just completely baffled at the way they’re apparently just completely missing obvious answers. Cases in point:(1) Bush re-states the United States Doctrine of Pre-emption in an updated National Security Strategy. Pundits object vociferously...  
George Bush’s "compassionate conservative" brand
In an email exchange with a commenter I’ve been discussing my opinion that George Bush is indeed governing according to his principles and his principles include big government, spending and social programs. I also have contended that’s not the way he ran, and that is why so many people are disappointed (I didn’t understand "compassionate conservatism" to mean what it certainly has come to mean in terms of spending and big government)Sy
 
Overreacting to the Ports deal
Anne Applebaum makes the point that if Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Republicans like Duncan Hunter are really serious about protecting our "critical infrastructure" from being owned by foreigners, they have an impossible task. First it seem no one can define what constitutes "critical infrastructure". Secondly, it would be a horrible economic mistake
 
Fiengold hears the chirping of Democratic crickets
I’m not sure what he expected, quite honestly. Most politicians, regardless of party, hate surprises. A bunch of Democrats appeared surprised when they heard about Russ Feingold’s call for a presidential censure. Dana Milbank fills us in:"I haven’t read it," demurred Barack Obama (Ill.)."I just don’t have
 
2006: 1994 for Democrats?
Dale cites an article by David Keene which contends that 2006 may be shaping up for the Democrats like 1994 did for the Republicans. He notes that Michael Barone, alone among pundits, was the only one who got 1994 right.Keene is having a problem buying into Barone’s analysis this time as well. Barone is saying political conditions are not quite the same for Democrats now as the
 
The Christian Republican Union
This is a very apt description of President Bush...Bush is not a conservative. He’s a Christianist in social policy; and a left-liberal on entitlements. And there, I believe, is where the Republican Party will end up if the social conservatives — the "values voters" — continues to dominate the party. Read the platforms of the German  
Deja Vu
The chairman of The American Conservative Union, David Keene, writes in The Hill that this years’ Congressional elections are starting to feel a lot like 1994. But this time, it’s the Republicans who could lose their majority.The elements are all there. A series of Republican ethical scandals. Bad poll numbers. Declining preside
 
Anatomy of a debacle
I’ve been thrashing around for a way to voice my dismay on the way the Dubai port deal ended. Thankfully Robert Samuelson came to my rescue:The idea of letting an Arab-owned company, Dubai Ports World, run container terminals at some major U.S. ports struck many Americans as an absurdity. Why not just turn control directly over to al-Qaeda
 
Unsolicited Political Advice
James Miller, writing at TechCentralStation, unveils his brilliant plan for Republicans to dominate the upcoming elections:For the 2006 midterm elections, Republicans should propose an idea so big that it stretches to the stars. Republicans should commit the government to building a space elevator by 2020...
 
Political Grandstanding
Senate Democrats, while apparently eager to submit a censure resolution against President Bush for the NSA wiretapping deal. But they aren’t so eager to actually have a vote on it.Senate Democrats on Monday blocked an immediate vote on a call by one of their own to censure President Bush for his eavesdropping program.They ac
 
Time passes, and so does the drive for lobbying reform
The short public memory is aiding those in Congress who’d just as soon see the call for lobbying reform silently die.The drive for a tighter lobbying law, just two months ago a major priority on Capitol Hill, is losing momentum, a victim of shifting political interests, infighting among House Republicans and a growing sense among lawmakers o
 
Dubai Port Deal Scuttled
The port deal with Dubai Ports World has been dropped, according to CNN:United Arab Emirates-owned DP World said Thursday it would transfer its operations of American ports to a "U.S. entity" after congressional leaders reportedly told President Bush that the firm’s takeover deal was essentially dead on Capitol Hill."Because of the strong relations
 
The "reality based community" fails again
Far left bloggers from the "reality based community" are again patting themselves on the back for making it "close" in a Democratic primary race in Texas (remember Hackett in Ohio?). As you will see, "close" is apparently in the eye of the beholder.It looks like Henry Cuellar is going to take the Democratic nomination in Texas 28, but I just
 
Republicans may as well phone it in
Mark Mellman, former advisor to John Kerry and other Democrats thinks it’s all over but the shouting. He’s sure, if history is an indicator, that the midterm elections will see the Democrats prevail:By any standard, Bush and his party are in trouble. When Democrats lost 54 House seats in 1994, 38 percent approved of President Cli
 
How to save Santorum’s Senate Seat in one easy lesson
Two words: Kate Michelman.Seriously.A single issue independent candidate running for the senate focused almost exclusively on abortion rights because the Democrats are running an anti-abortion candidate against Santorum.Kate Michelman.Abortion rights leader Kate Michelman is thinking of jumping into the Senate race in Pennsylvania as an independent.<
 
Democrats: getting the message out
Wasn’t the Democratic lament last election cycle "we didn’t get our message out effectively?"If you read the Washington Post article by Shailagh Murray and Charles Babington today, nothing appears to have changed:Democratic leaders had set a goal of issuing their legislative manifesto by November 2005 to give vot
 
Fetishizing Democracy
Hendrick Hertzberg, writing in The New Yorker, uncovers a not-very-secret conspiracy to subvert the Electoral College for Presidential elections.The promoters of the Campaign for a National Popular Vote, as they’re calling themselves, have come up with an elegant finesse. Instead of trying to change the Constitution, they propose to apply it, one bit
 
Domestic Surveillance Program defended
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has released a letter [pdf] sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee detailing the administration’s argument for the domestic surveillance program. Volokh Conspirator Orin Kerr observes...Among the more interesting tidbits: The NSA surveilla
 
Port deal: Islamaphobia or Islamistphobia
The look pretty similar. Tony Blankely wonders which of them is manifesting itself in the Dubai port kerfuffle:Of course Islamophobia is a repulsive mentality — suggestive of old-fashioned hate of others. But, as Denmark’s leading Islamic scholar, Jacob Skovgaard-Petersen, explained in 2004, there is a different and growing phobia, which he named "Islami
 
Bad Politics
John Podhoretz looks at the Bush Administrations political skills on the Dubai Ports World deal, and echoes Casey Stengel’s famous question: "Can’t anybody here play this game?"[I]t was a very, very bad move for the president to come out and threaten a veto of any congressional action on the matter. By being so aggressive — and by accusing those with trepidations about the deal of being unfair to Muslims — Bush demonstrated a surprising unwill
 
Boilerplate pessimism
John Murtha at HuffPo:I’ve said for the last few months it’s a civil war and our troops are targets caught in the middle. If we had 100 Iraqis and seven Americans killed in the last couple days, that’s just an indication of how bad things have gotten: we’ve lost the hearts and minds of the people.They now have
 
The Politics of Ports
I think Jonah Goldberg hits it right out of the park with this observation:Besides, the same Dubai company bought CSX’s American port business in 2005, and nobody seemed to care then. So, why now?Well, Bush is in the second-term doldrums, and presidential wannabes are taking advantage of what was,
 
AlGore to the rescue?
Dick Morris thinks he has a legitimate shot as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008. His reasoning:Like a completely refurbished “pre-owned vehicle,” Al Gore seems to be positioning himself to Hillary Clinton’s left and as greener than John Kerry for a run at the 2008 Democratic nomination for president. His slogan might well read “reelect Al Go
 
Oh. Now he’s a Free-Trader
Free trade, is, of course, a wonderful thing. And I’ve criticized the Bush Administration for years for imposing tariffs and quotas (softwoods, steel, textiles) whever there were domestic votes to be had for doing it. So, when push comes to shove, why does the Bush Administration make this the big free trade issue?Brushing aside objections from Republicans and Democrats alik
 
The political value of adhering to principle
George Will points to the problem which separates political opportunists driven by careerism vs. those who adhere to principle vie to become our "leaders":He believes that the establishment is proof of a conservative axiom: Any political group or institution that is not ideologically conservative will become, over time, liberal. That is so because, in the absence of a princ
 
Saint Jimmy Speaks
Former president Jimmy Carter, who, in the last decade, has been miraculously transformed from a failed laughingstock of a president, who we drove out of the White House at the first available opportunity, into a some sort of secular saint, delivers another of his oracular pronouncements. This time, he’s upset that that both the US and Israel seem reluctant to work with the newly elected Hamas government in "Palestine".Israel moved yesterday to wit
 
The Electoral Breakwater
George Will notes that, despite the optimism with which Democrats are regarding this year’s Congressional elections, the Democrats have eagerly helped Republicans create an electoral breakwater that will be hard for Democrats to overcome.The breakwater has three components—gerrymandering, campaign-finance "reforms" and the particular form of profligacy known as earmarks. In state after state, redistricting after the 2000 Census proved that bipartisa
 
Politicians, Parties, Polarization and Partisanship
We see any number of articles these days about the polarization of the electorate and the shrillness of debate. Most noting the polarization and the screaming are appalled. They’re interested in why this apparent condition has evolved and what we can do about it.I’m not sure we can do anything about it. It is, unfortunately, a systemic flaw. In his book “The Failure of the Founding Fathers”, Bruce Ackerman makes a very strong case that what w
 
"This is my rifle, this is my gun ...."
Someone ought to advise Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Idiot), who found it necessary to remark on "Fuddgate", that there are other sources for gun safety courses than just the military (I learned more about gun safety in an NRA course at 12 than I did in 28 years in the military):And Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Republican and Vietnam war veteran, told The Omaha World-Herald, "If he&rs
 
NSA Wiretaps: The high-profile battle is over
ABC is reporting that a deal is in the making to "fix" the law about warrantless wiretapping:Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts said he has worked out an agreement with the White House to change U.S. law regarding the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program and provide more information about it to Congress."We are trying to get some m
 
Earmarks: Start the clean up now
Apparently Arlen Specter’s earmarks have been good news for the husband of a legislative aide:Sen. Arlen Specter helped direct almost $50 million in Pentagon spending during the past four years to clients of the husband of one of his top aides, records show.Specter, R-Pa., used a process called "earmarking" 13 times to set aside $48.7 mil
 
Gore and Coulter
Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics makes the following observation:Apparently, Ann Coulter called Muslims "ragheads" at the Conservative Political Action Conference this past weekend. How stupid, pathetic, and unnecessary. Coulter can often be sharp and funny - especially when attacking certain liberal sensibilities - but these comments crossed the l
 
Blogging Bayh baits Bush’s Buddy
OK, I just couldn’t resist the title alliteration offered by a piece on The Huffington Post by Senator Evan Bayh. Bayh, a possible presidential contender for the Democrats, took the opportunity of appearing on HufPo to fire at the left’s bete noir, Karl Rove:Two weeks ago, Karl Rove - the President’s deputy chief of staff and the ar
 
And then there were 10
US News and World Report gives us the most up to date list of possible presidential contenders from the Democrat side in 2008.Our friends at the Democratic Party have been drawing up a list of who’s running for president in 2008, and they tell us that it’s already reached 10: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New Y
 
Where in the world was Howard?
Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics updates us on Howard Dean (one of my favorites) who was essentially MIA on SOTU night:Speaking of Howard Dean, you may have heard he wasn’t in Washington, D.C. the other night for Bush’s State of the Union address. There were some snickering suggestions this wasn’t a coincidence and that Dean’s absence was part of a coordinated effort t
 
Playing at reform
Gloria Borger points to what she calls "fake reform" being the result of last week’s election of John Boehner as Majority Leader in the House. Her argument?Now, at least, Boehner’s talking about lobbying reform.But here’s the problem: He and other Republicans are decidedly cool to some of the reforms that would really make a difference. Th
 
Blunt: It’s the media’s fault
It’s the default position for most losers. Sour grapes alert:’The members read lots of stories, lots of editorials,’ Blunt said. ’They read lots of things, all of which took one view of this race, and that view was never to the advantage of someone like me who knows how to get
 
The Decline of the Democrats
Tony Blankely writes that the president’s State of the Union Address provided us with a defining moment for the Democratic Party.Surely, at the State of the Union address the Democratic Party provided such a moment when, as has already been well commented on by others, they wildly applauded President Bush’s statement that Congress failed to pass Social
 
Rep. Boehner is the new Majority Leader in the House
Well the good news is, Dale doesn’t have to lick fireants off a stick. And I’d guess we’ve been summarily deleted from the still majority whip’s email list. The bad news is our guy, John Shadegg, didn’t win. But you know what, after listening to the John Boehner interview twice (and I’m going to listen to it again just to make a few notes) I’m not at a
 
A little reality about today’s vote for Majority Leader
Maybe I just got up on the cynical side of the bed today, but upon reading this story, this quote pretty much summed up what I, for some reason, expect to see acted out today in the House vote for Majority Leader:Despite the focus on lobbying reform, many votes will hinge on friendship, said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scie
 
The Arrogance of Power
An emailer from inside the House of Representatives sends this quote along:"This is a secret ballot. Things happen. . .If it turns out I am not the majority leader, I will still be the whip."— Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), quoted by CQ’s Alan K. Ota ("Signs of Unrest Grow on Eve of Leadership Vote," Congressional Quarterly, February 1, 2006)Yeah. We know. We recognize that it’s a problem, too. Still, we’ll be hap
 
How serious are the Republicans about reform?
Jon has already mentioned this in the post below, but I wanted to add my 2 cents (apparently he and I were thinking the same thing at the same time).We’ll see tommorrow as they pick their new majority leader in the House how serious the Republicans really are. Tim Chapman, at Townha
 
John Shadegg for House Majority Leader
With one day left until House Republicans vote on their next Majority Leader, there’s not much time left to make them aware of popular sentiment on this election. Specifically, they need to know what the public thinks about Roy Blunt (a monumental disaster), about John Shadegg (an inspired choice), and the consequences of a poor choice. Both McQ and I have endorsed John Shadegg, because we believe that he’s most capable of leading th
 
SOTU Liveblog 2006
Once again, it’s time to prepare for the liveblog of the State of the Union Address. The address is set to start in another 25 minutes, and I’ll be here to blog it as it happens.The full text of the president’s speech is here.Statements from the president and other speakers will appear as italicized text. Direct quotes, if any, will be additionally set off with quotation marks. I w
 
Alito’s In
The whole Alito filibuster deal didn’t work out too well for the Democrats.The Republican-led Senate on Monday soundly defeated a Democratic bid to block Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito — clearing the way for confirmation of the 55-year-old federal judge, who could move the nation
 
Battling Earmarks in Congress
As we noted in our podcast yesterday, this will be an interesting week in Congress. The Alito vote starting today and on Feb. 2nd, the House chooses a new Majority Leader. Apropos of that, but in the Senate, two Republican Senators are waging a pretty lonely battle against earmarks:Sens. John
 
Caught betwixt and between
The Alito filibuster effort is gathering a few Democratic Senators to the cause, most notably Hillary Clinton. The NY Daily News tells us the obvious:The filibuster tactic could have repercussions for Clinton. Her move is bound to be seen as an appeal to the liberal base that dominates the Democratic presidential primaries, following several Senate votes that could be
 
The lesson of Canada’s election
One lesson is anti-American demagogury isn’t enough to get you through an election, as Paul Martin found out:ACCORDING TO his opponent, Canadian Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper exposed "an agenda really drawn from the extreme right in the United States." He favored the Iraq war, opposed the Kyoto treaty on global warming, an
 
Democratic plan: Same old Song
Yesterday Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the House Minority leader announced the much anticipated Democratic plan for 2006 (I assume this is the one that Sen. Schumer promised last year).“Democrats hear the American people and we have answers, which are designed to meet the challenges of the present and the future. We have laid out a series of specific goals, propos
 
Kerry’s attempt to marginalize himself with the center
Apparently John Kerry is driven to raise his visibility in anticipation, one assumes, of again boring us to death with another futile attempt at the White House.OK, yes, that was snarky, but you know what, I’m really tired of this guy:Sen. John Kerry will attempt a filibuster to block the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, CNN has learn
 
I guess we’re on Roy Blunt’s email list now
I just received the following email from Jessica Boulanger, Rep. Roy Blunt’s Press secretary:Below is the latest list of Congressman Roy Blunt’s public supporters in his bid for Majority Leader. New additions in red —- bringing his total public commitments to 92. Blunt has 117+ public and private supporters combined.She also included a pdf copy of a letter from Rep. Bartlett (R-MD) endorsing him. I’ve put the entire
 
Shadegg gains some momentum
The vote for the new Majority Leader in the House was considered by some in the race to be all but in the bag.But not so fast:Arizona Rep. John Shadegg’s longshot bid to become the No. 2 GOP leader in the House got a boost Thursday when he was endorsed by the leader of a
 
Unendorsement Part II
Well, I gues the question of whether Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) or his staff reads the blog has been answered, as McQ pointed out earlier today. “Dale Franks [libertarian blogger] should get the soothing balm ready and beware: Fire ants attach themselves to a person by biting with their jaws, then pivoting their heads and stinging from their abdomens in a circular pattern at multi
 
Republican SOS
Various readers and libertarians have occassionally been skeptical of my interest in seeing Democrats win some elections so they can challenge Republican dominance. This is why I think that’s important...House and Senate GOP negotiators, meeting behind closed doors last month to complete a major budget-cutting bill, agreed on
 
I’m for Shadegg
Dale and Jon haven’t specifically endorsed any of the three in contention for the House Majority position, but I feel moved to do so. Why? Because part of the purpose of neolibertarianism is to see libertarian ideals promoted and, eventually, implemented through the existing parties. That’s the pragmatic side of the movement. Find those who most closely mirror those ideals, support them and push for them to take leadership positions so those ideals can become reality.
 
Anybody But Roy Blunt
For the most part, my reaction is "what Dale said". It was hard to tell whether the stiff, tightly-controlled Rep. Blunt conference call was a artifact of Blunts’ (and his staffs’) discomfort with bloggers, or just his style in general. "I’m a Professional Politician, boys, and don’t you forget it." Clearly, suc
 
My Unendorsement
Jon and I took part in the conference calls today with the three candidates for House Majority Leader, John Shadegg, John Boehner, and Roy Blunt. These conference calls were organized through the efforts of NZ Bear, and each lasted about half an hour.I wasn’t inclined to endorse a candidate for Majority Leader; however, I certainly have made up my mind on an anti-endorsement Prior to the conference calls, I
 
Flying through the lobby reform loopholes
Apparently the House Repbulican lobbying proposal has a major loophole which would allow business as usual from the K Street gang if they set it up properly.But first words from the Speaker of the House:"We need to reform the rules so that it is clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what is ethically acceptable," said House Speaker J. D
 
Congress for Sale
Apparently making his pitch for the majority leader’s position in the House, John Boehner has the following to say in a WSJ op/ed:The Republican agenda is at risk because of a growing perception that Congress is for sale. The guilty plea of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham for bribery, the guilty pleas of scam artists Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, and rumor
 
Speaking Truth to Power
In the Alito hearings today, the Democrats have a panel of people like Kate Michaelman, former NARAL bigwig, and the like. Naturally, they are all testifying that Judge Alito is a horrific choice for the Supreme Court, and he’ll destroy personal rights, yadda, yadda, yadda.So, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), when he finished his questions, told the panel that he appreciated their courage, for appearing in front of the panel, because it’s, you know, so difficult to stand up in
 
Lieberman seat safe?
Seems so. As we’ve mentioned before, not all Democrats are as extreme as some of their leadership:Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., has lost some support because of his backing of the Iraq war, but 64% of voters in his state believe he should be re-elected, a Quinnipiac University poll found.The poll found 24% opposed his re-election and the rest
 
Alito: Fumbling the "Corn Gambit"
David Corn was pleased we named the Democratic strategy for defeating the Alito nomination after him (the "Corn gambit"). Credit where credit is due, he did indeed articulate it last year.Corn, having recently returned from Europe  
Pew Survey: "Democrats lead on every specific problem..."
Yes, I’m aware of the purported leanings of the Pew Foundation. However, read the results and discuss/analyze. This is the "generic Democrat" ballot which was mentioned here. As the Pew summary states:The Democratic Party leads on every specific problem mentioned, with the lone exception of security and terrorism, and in most cases its advantage has grown significantly compar
 
Body Armor: weight v. mobility
Despite Hillary Clinton’s "for shame" about the fact that body armor might have saved more lives in Iraq if it had been more extensive, there is a trade-off with this sort of thing. The more you lug around in weight, the less mobile you are. Then there are such considerations as the extra weight causing heat casualties and other mission limiting problems.First let’s
 
The reviews are in, and they’re not very flattering
Or you could call this a case study on how not to procede if you wish to build popular sentiment toward dumping a Supreme Court nominee. Richard Cohen on Sen. Joe Biden: The reviews for Biden’s first crack at Samuel Alito, the humorless Supreme Court nominee, were murderous. The New York Times had Biden out on Page One — normally a position to kill for
 
Too much success?
Dick Morris says that success in solving the Republican agenda may spell trouble for the Republicans in ’06 and possibly ’08.A big part of the reason is the success the Bush administration has had in solving and hence diminishing the importance of the Republican agenda. Taxes have been cut, we have not had a terror attack since Sept. 11 and
 
Political Theater at its most political
Ok, this is just screamingly funny to me. How does one define "denial?":Howard Dean with Wolf Blitzer. Wolf Blitzer: “Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, who has now pleaded guilty to bribery charges among other charges [and is] a Republican lobbyist in Washington, should the Democrats who took money from him give that money to charity or give it back?”<
 
The Alito nomination and the left’s strategy
If Howard Dean is any indication, it’s to base it’s opposition on a false premise. Speaking of the Alito nomination today in an op/ed in The Baltimore Sun, Dean says:The president hopes to make up ground with his right-wing base instead of appointing someone who will have the confidence of a wide range of Americans.Question: When were nominations to the Supreme Court dependent on "the confidence of a wide range of Americ
 
Murtha: Party over nation
Good grief. Byron York writes about a little "townhall meeting" attended by John Murtha (and James Moran ... now there’s a pair to draw too) and promoted by MoveOn.org:Representative John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who has come to national prominence since his call for a quick withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, said Thursday night that he worries about "a sl
 
The Allen ’08 Campaign
Hotline on Call reports that George Allen is running for President. Well, that’s not what they say, but that’s what this means...Ed Gillespie, one of the most well-respected, most well-connected Republicans in Washington — he’s the RNC chair once removed — has signed on to be the treasurer of Sen. George Allen’s political action committ
 
The GOP and the Hispanic vote - see immigration
Here come the ’06 midterms and The Latino Coalition has released its latest survey of Hispanics just in time to give the GOP heartburn. This survey has been pretty darn good in the past for predicting the behavior of the Hispanic population in this country:"This survey has become the most reliable and accurate study on Hispanic political and consumer behavior in the U
 
The "Michael Brown" of Immigration
You can’t call her the Harriet Miers of Immigration since Miers had the good grace to pull her name from consideration for the Supreme Court.But President Bush has again appointed an unqualified person to a position of importance. In a recess appointment, he’s named Julie L Myers to the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As National Review pointed out in  
ABA: Alito "well qualified"
Now if the argument is that the job of the Senate is to determine whether the nominee for a position on the United States Supreme Court is qualified to hold it, and if the Senate has previously used the American Bar Association’s rating of potential justices as an strong indication in that regard, it would appear that S
 
Now here’s a surprise
Not.Under new rules - fought vigorously by unions - unions must now disclose that on which they spend their member’s dues. This, according to unions, is a bad thing. Or it was. As you’ll see below, they now say they’re all for it. What they’re finding out is that their members may find what they’ve been spe
 
Murtha: Don’t join the military
Question of the day: What was he thinking?Rep. John Murtha, a key Democratic voice who favors pulling U.S. troops from Iraq, said in remarks airing on Monday that he would not join the U.S. military today.A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, M
 
The Problem with Democracy
McQ’s earlier post, detailing some ofthe concerns about fledgling democracies, has prompted me to revisit that particular subject in greater detail."Democracies don’t go to war against each other."We’ve all heard this bromide so often that we uncritically accept it as true1. Upon thinking about it a second time, however, I
 
Argument by Quotation
Finding the Center finds this wonderful pair of quotes... "Liberals and Democrats are only opposed to this because they don’t want anyone finding out what they’ve been up to...What have you folks been doing that you so desperately want to keep hidden?"—Rush Limbaugh"If Rush Limbaugh has nothing to hide and has done nothing wrong, wha
 
Safe, legal, rare? Not if the government can help!
Now and then, you come across a story that perfectly encapsulates the different mindset between the Left and the Right (or, perhaps, between liberals and libertarians). On Tuesday, the Washington Post did a story on North Dakota, where it’s difficult to get an abortion:The last doctor in South Dakota to perform abortions stopped about eight years ago; the consensus i
 
Kos Sez
Parts of an interview with Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of the Daily Kos by Susanna Schrobsdorff of Newsweek. I’m not going to deal with Zuniga’s political prognistications. His guesses are as good or as bad as anyone else’s at this point. I’m more interested in the other issues he addresses. A couple of hits but mostly complete misses:Q:How will the A
 
The politics of the national security issue
According to some Democrats, not good for their side:Some centrist Democrats say attacks by their party leaders on the Bush administration’s eavesdropping on suspected terrorist conversations will further weaken the party’s credibility on national security.That concern arises from recent moves by liberal Democrats to bloc
 
Turnabout: fair play, bad government
Alex Tabarrok writes the blog post of the year...Liberals are claiming that President Bush has violated constitutional restrictions on torture and spying on Americans. Don’t they understand that the constitution is a living document that must be reinterpreted in light of new events and understandings? An originalist reading of the constitution would throw us back into
 
Paying the price of political indulgence
Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution carried a story about the present national budget that throws some light on a looming problem that most political junkies have been talking about for years:Three growing entitlement programs consumed nearly half of all federal spending in 2004, and budget analysts expect them to make up an even bi
 
The Democratic Noise Machine
Washington Monthly has done a less than flattering feature on Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos...[The] most salient thing about Moulitsas’s politics is not where he falls on the left-right spectrum (he’s actually not very far left). It’s his relentless competitiveness, founded not on any particular set of political principles, but on an obsession with tactics —and in p
 
Want Govt Healthcare? Then plan for intrusions like this ...
Seriously. If the government is the health care provider, then, with pressure to keep costs down, it will most certainly lead to intrusiveness like this, or worse:THE public are to be told not to smoke in their own homes as part of plans to protect public sector workers from the effect of passive smoking.The move is the latest part of the Scottish Executive’s ba
 
ANWR’s 2,000 acre lie
Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is an obviously controversial subject pitting all sorts of special interest groups and citizen’s groups against one another. For decades environmental groups pretty much had their way in preventing such drilling. But since the Republicans have taken the majority in Congress as well as the White House, they’ve promised to drill in ANWR and help lessen our dependence on foreign oil
 
Condemnation: 1,391, Action: 0
While the condemnation number is fictitious it makes the approximate proportional point I’m shooting for:The United Nations and the African Union on Wednesday condemned an attack on a village in Darfur in western Sudan in which camel and horse-riding assailants killed 20 civilians and burned their huts.The 500 men, suspected Arab militiamen known as
 
We didn’t mean it, really!
This is just funny. Arnold turns the tables on his old home town, a place which has shamelessly exploited his name for years, and then bowed up and condemned him for his refusal to stay Tookie Williams execution:The mayor of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Austrian hometown on Tuesday begged the California governor to reconsider his decision to cut ties to the city after
 
Some interesting numbers and trends
Mort Kondrake points to some poll results (take them with whatever grain of salt you prefer, but they do note some interesting trends) and comments:Troop Withdrawals:According to the Dec. 15 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, voters oppose immediate troop withdrawals by a margin of 68 percent to 27 percent.So who do potential voters
 
Line Item Budgeting
Yesterday, I wrote about Democratic Virginia Governor Mark Warner legislating through the budget, and Republican pique at his end-around. Commenters generally agreed that the budget should not be used as a tool of policy creation. (though I wish some liberal commenters would have weighed in)I brought that up because, while Virginia Republicans decry legislating-by-budget, Washington Republicans are somewhat les
 
Legislative and Line Item Budgeting
There’s a bit of a fuss here in Virginia over something Governor Mark Warner has slipped into the State Budget. He "amended an executive order that for the first time explicitly bans Virginia state agencies from discriminating against gays in hiring and promotions", but he also went further than that, adding..."sexual orientation" to nondiscrimination language in th
 
Betting the Farm on Bush
John McIntyre of RealClearPolitics reviews the Democratic Party leadership’s strategy in opposing President Bush on the war, and he’s unimpressed.Not recognizing the