Monthly Archives: January 2008

Post mortem on the Edwards campaign

Eric Alterman:

On John Edwards: The Edwards campaign was a surreal experience that should inspire a doctoral dissertation or two. He was both the most progressive candidate on issues and the most electable on paper, and yet he did not get the support of most progressives or most professionals. This despite the fact that he actually ran a terrific campaign and, more than Obama and Hillary, defined it in a positive direction. That he forced the other candidates to respond did not end up mattering as much as the media’s fascination with all things Clintonian, Obamian, and the egregiously awful coverage of Edwards. The Washington Post deserves special mention for its idiotic 1,300-word piece on his haircut and an even longer one on his house. Richard Cohen and Michael Dobbs both called him a liar and presented no evidence. The editorial board attacked him constantly. The New York Times also went in for the “How can you care about poor people when you’re so rich?” line of questioning, which implies that poor people are unentitled to representation in the American political system, since it allows for only wealthy people to run. And Maureen Dowd was her usual awful, substanceless self, helping to set the tone for the rest, to the shame of all of us.

No one can win the presidency with a campaign whose primary focus is poverty. To think it could be done was foolish. The American electorate, the “middle class,” don’t like poor people and don’t identify with them, and don’t understand the universal benefits of eliminating poverty in this country. Had Edwards, instead, come out with a single-payer, tax-supported healthcare program he would have had a much better chance, because most Americans recognize that healthcare is a huge problem.

Too bad. He would have been a great president, I think.


Filed under John Edwards: has he reinvented himself?, media, Politics, Wordpress Political Blogs

Bush promises clean coal plant, then kills it


During Monday’s State of the Union address, Bush said, “Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions.”

Yet just 24 hours after his SOTU declaration, Bush’s Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman indicated the White House was pulling the plug on the ambitious FutureGen project, a clean coal plant that was touted as “the cleanest fossil fuel fired power plant in the world.”

In a meeting with lawmakers from Illinois — where FutureGen was set to be installed — Bodman “all but drove a stake in” the $1.5 billion project:

[Rep. Timothy] Johnson [R-IL] said Bodman told the group that he planned to disband FutureGen and go “in another direction.” At one point, Johnson and Bodman snapped at each other. At another, U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a Chicago Democrat, told Bodman that “the first action taken by the president after the State of the Union was a series of broken promises.”

“In 25 years on Capitol Hill, I have never witnessed such a cruel deception,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said, hinting at the administration’s political considerations for the project’s demise. “When the city of Mattoon, Illinois, was chosen over possible locations in Texas, the secretary of energy set out to kill FutureGen.”

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Filed under Bush blunders worldwide, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, science: not a very Republican thing to do, Wordpress Political Blogs

Old John McCain falls off the straight talk bus

Old John seems to have lied about Mitt Romney’s stance on timetables for the Iraq war. And this time, the right and the media aren’t letting him get away with it.  Unbelievable.

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Filed under Iraq, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista

What, exactly, is this supposed to mean?

Washington Post:

…. Bush… prepares to deliver his seventh and probably final State of the Union address tonight

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Filed under Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Politics, Wordpress Political Blogs

Israel continues to outkill Palestinians 10 to 1.


According to the 2007 annual report of B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, Hamas and Jihad killed twenty-four Israeli civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during 2006 and 2007 and thirteen Israeli military personnel.

In retaliation, Israel escalated the pace of its targeted assassinations of Hamas and Jihad militants, killing hundreds of civilians in the process. Based on B’Tselem’s 2007 annual report, a Ha-Aretz investigation (Jan. 14, 2008) concluded that Israeli forces killed 816 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during 2006 and 2007; at least 360 of them were civilians not affiliated with any armed organizations; 152 of the casualties were under age 18, and 48 were under the age of 14.


Filed under Middle East, perpetual war: fascism in disguise

Sushi has too much mercury; EPA: yawn….

NY Times

Recent laboratory tests found so much mercury in tuna sushi from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants that at most of them, a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Filed under food/drink, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, healthcare

New Harris Poll: 81% of Americans now negative; economy, war top issues

The new Harris Poll is coming out (no link yet) in advance of the State of the Union address, and it should be a guide to what our candidates and dKos should be doing to the Republicans and their leading candidate for president, John McCain: Tying the enablers to the Bush economy and the Bush war.
Overall, the Harris Poll found that 81% of Americans feel rate the current state of the country as “fair or poor.”

Four in five Americans (81%) say that plans to strengthen the economy are going poorly while just 16 percent say it is going well.
Three in five (61%) Americans think the war on terrorism, …is going poorly with just one-third (35%) saying it is going well.
The war in Iraq fares even worse, as two-thirds (66%) say that is going poorly.

The new Harris Poll comes on the heels of the recent Reuters/Zogby poll which found 48 percent of Americans expect a recession in the next year…and a growing majority of more than two-thirds think the United States is headed in the wrong direction.

If our presidential candidates could can spare the time from elbowing each other around, it’s time to take the Republican Bush enablers to the woodshed, and John “I don’t know anything about economics but let’s stay in Iraq for 100 years” McCain is certainly one of those.

Unfortunately, one of our three major candidates voted for the Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq, the Patriot Act (twice) AND for the bankruptcy law. That is why John McCain can beat Clinton; she’s a Bush enabler, and McCain will hit her over the head with it through the whole campaign.

That is why I don’t think Clinton should be our nominee. She’s not what America wants.


Filed under Barack Obama, Bush blunders worldwide, Congress, economics, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Hillary Clinton:what does she stand for?, Iraq, John Edwards: has he reinvented himself?, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, Politics, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Torture: you're next, Wordpress Political Blogs

Old John McCain: NOT a straight talker


You see, any good novel is built on strong characters—and McCain was invented, long ago, as an authentic straight-shooting truth-teller—the king of the Straight Talk Express! Pundits like Broder have spent ten years reinventing facts to kept that portrait pure. How far have they been willing to go to keep their character profile unsullied? Let’s return to that 2000 Michigan race, when McCain simply lied in their faces.

Yep! During that 2000 Michigan race, the deeply authentic straight-talking truth-teller had been baldly dishonest. Uh-oh! His campaign had placed anonymous “Catholic Voter Alert” phone calls, suggesting that Bush was a vile anti-Catholic. And when Saint McCain was asked about this, he baldly lied to the press corps; he flatly denied that he had done this, before later saying he had. Result? The press corps sent this embarrassing episode straight down the nearest memory hole. They liked Saint McCain, and—to quote the Post’s E. R. Shipp—the episode didn’t fit the “role” they had “assigned” him “in this unfolding political drama.” Result? McCain’s blatant lying up in Michigan has gone unmentioned from that day to this. And later, the novel got even more clownish. When McCain said that he’d also lied in South Carolina (about that state’s controversial flag), they rushed to praise him for his high character! McCain has been honest about his lying, these novelists stupidly said.

Future generation will laugh—and cringe—when they look back on such episodes.

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Filed under John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista

US attorney scandal not going away; federal probe deepens

It is difficult to believe this will result in any indictments, given the suppressive nature of the Bush administration. But it’s a sign that there is still some life in the Justice Department.


….recent behind-the-scenes activity in several investigations suggests that the issue that roiled Congress in 2007 could re-emerge in the heat of the election year. Two inquiries by the House and Senate ethics committees are examining whether several congressional Republicans, including one running for the Senate this year, improperly interfered with investigations.

As potent as the congressional probes might be, they appear to be far narrower than a sprawling inquiry launched by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

Investigators from these offices have been questioning whether senior officials lied to Congress, violated the criminal provisions in the Hatch Act, tampered with witnesses preparing to testify to Congress, obstructed justice, took improper political considerations into account during the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys and created widespread problems in the department’s Civil Rights Division, according to several people familiar with the investigation.

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Filed under Alberto Gonzales:boob or simpleton-you decide, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, US Attorneys, White House emails, Wordpress Political Blogs

The GOP’s plan to win in 2008: Freedom’s Watch


The group aims to raise and spend approximately $250 million for the 2008 cycle, a vast amount of money they apparently plan to use not only on the presidential election, but to greater effect in numerous House and Senate races throughout the country, where six figures can go a long way.

To review the White House connections: the group is headed by Bradley Blakeman, a former Bush White House official, Mel Sembler, a millionaire former Bush admbassador to Italy, and Ari Fleischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman. Much of its support so far has come from Sembler and casino magnate and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the sixth richest person in the world. (The group intends to “broaden its base” as time goes on, Fleischer says.) The group got off the ground with a $15 million effort to support the president’s surge strategy in August, but it’s sticking around for the long haul.

from the comment thread:

Freedom’s Watch will be in existence just long enough to have an impact, be found by the IRS NOT to be a legitimate charity (their website only indicates that they PLAN to register as a 501c), pay some fines, and disband.

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