Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Speaking of straight talk, John Edwards v.2.008 is trying a 'no more mister nice guy' approach to his run for the White House this time around. In this The Politico article, he suggests among other things that President Bush is not 'a good man'. Edwards, you'll recall, was derided as being The Breck Girl candidate by Republicans in 2004--for more on him please see this post.
The UK's Guardian has an interesting piece on the falling popularity of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad domestically, and how in an ironic twist of fate Dick Cheney and the rest of the US neocon hawks might prove to be his new best friends as struggles to remain in power.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
The Moderate Voice blog has an interesting post describing the delicate tap dance Hillary Clinton is doing regarding her 2002 vote giving Bush authority to invade Iraq. Using quintessential Clintonesqe language, Mrs. Clinton in Iowa over the weekend was quoted as saying:
“I have said clearly and consistently for quite some time that I regret the way the president misused the authority,” said Clinton. “He misled Congress and the country on what he was seeking and what he intended to do.”The question remains, a year from now will that type of an answer cut the mustard with Democratic primary voters? Roger Simon from The Politico has a fascinating piece from Iowa about a Democratic activist there who loves Hillary (she named her cat after her in 1992), but still might not vote for her. Her reason? Hillary's Iraq vote.
On the Republican side, there has been a recent flutter of concern among many regarding John McCain. His white-hot temper has always been an issue, and it flared up again in Davos over the weekend in an exchange with left-wing blogger Arianna Huffington, see the story here. Robert Novak,the dean of right wing columnists, chimes in with this article describing McCain's "Meet The Press" appearance last week.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has generally been regarded as, let's just say, the more serious Bush brother--and if he hadn't lost the 1994 Florida gubernatorial race to Lawton Chiles in the closest race in Florida's history (his elder brother, a guy named George W. won in Texas the same year) the world might indeed be a very different place today. Jeb addressed "The Conservative Summit" this weekend, and was met with a thunderously positive response. See the Washington Post article here. Jeb Bush will probably be elected president in 2012 or 2016--believe it or not.
Connecticut 'Independent Democrat' Senator Joe Lieberman seems to have taken his loss in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic primary very personally. This weekend on Fox News he suggested he might vote for a Republican for president in 2008.
Announcing your candidacy via the Internet is clearly the 'in' thing to do for 2008--the Washington Times looks at how the candidates are trying to differentiate themselves further via the web.
The New York Times covers Rudy Giuliani as he struggles to decide whether to toss his hat into the ring for 2008 or not.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Talk about gratitude, Reuters quotes the acting Iraqi VP in Davos, not exactly towing the Bush story line, calling the US invasion an "Idiot Invasion"...
Here is a story about a Martin Luther King Jr. party thrown at a university in Texas (anyone ever hear of Tarleton State University?). I wouldn't say it was exactly in keeping with the spirit of what the day is supposed to be about, close though--
This is a funny story about how Katherine Harris just refuses to go away. She was seen at the President's State of the Union address handing out business cards.
The gloves are officially off regarding criticizing Vice President Dick Cheney, as this article points out Illinois Senator Dick Durbin recently referred to him as being 'delusional'.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
"Very few people who run for president can just step in when they want, with a superstar, titanic presence," says James Carville, the dean of Democratic strategists. "But Gore clearly is one of those. He's going to run, and he's going to be formidable. If he didn't run, I'd be shocked."See the full story here.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" Nominated for Two Oscars--His Political Future Could be Very Inconvenient for Hillary Clinton
Political Wire discusses an interview John McCain gave today where in his continuing effort to distance himself from the administration on Iraq, he rips into both Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld over how the war has been managed.
This is a pretty gripping report from ABC News reporter Chris Cuomo, who was embedded with troops this morning in Iraq when the vehicle they were traveling in was hit by an IED.
The Carpetbagger Report tells us that the Fox News TV report from last week on how Barack Obama attended a Muslim extremist school was false. Big Surprise.
Media matters has an interesting post on how former Clinton political guru turned Fox News right wing analyst Dick Morris is telling people how he is planning to 'Swift Boat' Hillary. See the story here.
The Chicago Tribune has a pretty depressing article on how incredibly expensive the 2008 presidential campaign will be--experts say that in order to be taken seriously a candidate will have to raise $100 million this year, which is an average of roughly $2 million a week, or $274,000 a day.
The BBC News reports on a poll showing that the world's view of the USA has dropped dramatically over the past several years. Curiously our biggest allies today seem to be Nigeria, Kenya, and the Philippines.
Not many people know this, but Joe Biden is running for president--performances like this could actually get him some attention among Democratic primary voters, many of whom have a more favorable view of Dracula than Dick Cheney.
Monday, January 22, 2007
On The Eve of President Bush's State of The Union Address, The Focus is on Hillary (Just as she planned it.)
So just when was the video announcement of Hillary running for President taped? Judge for yourself, but the background does seem to be awfully green for the dead of winter, doesn't it?
"The fact is that Hillary Clinton could not stand up to a cheating husband, so how in the world would she stand up to North Korea and some of our other enemies around the globe?"Could the above comment be a preview of the attacks against Hillary from Republicans in a general election? Read more about Hillary's perceived electability problems in this USA today piece.
Speaking of election 2008, The Carpetbagger Report has an interesting story on how at this point in the 2004 election cycle Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt were leading in the polls for the Democrats. Translation: these early polls literally mean nothing.
On the eve of his State of the Union address, President Bush finds himself having a job approval rating of 33% This ABC News article discusses just how bad things have gotten politically for Bush, likening his situation to Nixon and Watergate.
It was a particularly bloody weekend in Iraq for US troops there, with another 27 dying in combat. War and Piece describes how in one brazen attack, insurgents disguised themselves as American soldiers in order to carry out their deadly attack.
In other news an Australian guy was prohibited from boarding an airplane because he was wearing an anti-Bush t-shirt, Reuters reports.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Hillary Clinton announced today on her website something that most people already knew, that she's running for president in 2008. Her announcement was probably rushed a bit due to Barack Obama's announcement that he's running last week and the breathless media attention that ensued. Here's how the New York Times covered her announcement.
Yesterday Fox News seemed to take upon itself the task of bloodying up Barack Obama a bit, with a piece on TV on how he attended a Muslim school for two years when he was six years old--which of course makes him a madman/extremist. With all the positive news he's been receiving in the media , a right wing hit job was probably long overdue.
Finally, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson will announce on Sunday that he, too, is running for president in 2008 and he will join a group of second tier candidates that include Tom Vilsack, Christopher Dodd, and Joe Biden who have a lot of ground to make up before they can be considered viable candidates.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Moving to politics, this article tells us that Rudy Giuliani means business--he recently hired a group of Karl Rove proteges from Texas to help out with his campaign for president. John McCain and Mitt Romney, beware: you are about to be slimed.
Sticking with politics, The Carpetbagger Report has an interesting piece on a report in today's Washington Post about the recent sale of John Edwards' five million dollar Washington D.C. mansion.
Finally, the conservative New York Sun checks in today with an article about how some long time Clinton supporters (both Bill and Hillary) are surprisingly hedging their bets regarding who to support in the 2008 election, fearing that backing Hillary might be a losing proposition. I think many Democratic operatives are waiting to see if Al Gore runs. Indeed, it could very well be Clinton/Gore all over again in 2008--however under very different circumstances than previous times.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
In other news and in the believe it or not category, according to Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki the only thing missing for better peace in his country are more guns and bombs. As reported in this article, he essentially tells Condi Rice to keep quiet, and for the US troops to go home. Talk about gratitude!
In this video, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who was crushed in November in his bid for reelection, is interviewed on Fox News and calls Bush's stance on Iraq 'Lincolnesque'. Rick, quotes like that are a big reason why you lost.
Here is a poll that was released yesterday taken by Rasmussen showing Barack Obama having surprising strength among likely Democratic primary voters heading into the 2008 election, it is important to note that similar polls taken four years ago had Howard Dean running away with the nomination, and John Kerry in about sixth place.
This article describes the tepid support John McCain is receiving in the crucial first primary state of New Hampshire. Like Hillary on the Dem side, this pre-ordained Republican 'frontrunner' is appearing to have major major problems early on--especially with his position on Iraq.
Finally turning to sports, here is an article about Falcon's quarterback Michael Vick who apparently was very reluctant to throw away his bottle of water before boarding a plane from Miami to Atlanta. Police say the reason is because the 20 ounce bottle had a secret compartment filled with marijuana.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Middle East Blowing Up: Iran Shoots Down US Drone Plane, Saudis Threaten to Send Troops to Iraq, Sunni/Shiite Split Widening Across Region
One man searched for his son and finally found his head and torso but no legs. "Where is his other half?" he asked and then shook with violent sobs.On a day that we learned that the official UN death count for innocent civilians killed in Iraq in 2006 topped 34,000, we also learned that Iran has recently shot down a US military spy drone (see title link above), and that Saudi Arabia is now considering sending troops into what was Iraq to protect their Sunni brethren minority from the Shiite majority. Additionally, the New York Times has a good article describing how the barbaric and botched hangings of Saddam and his henchmen has greatly fueled the sectarian war between Shiites and Sunnis which is threatening to envelop the region. Finally, in a continuing effort to win back lost support for the war from the American public, Mr. Bush gave an interview with Newshour's Jim Lehrer last night, in this clip he explains why he hasn't asked the American public, except for the military, to sacrifice anything for for war effort.
--The Mercury News, reporting today from Baghdad
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Apparently the audacity of John Edwards coming to her home turf of New York City and saying this:
"Silence is betrayal, and I believe it is a betrayal not to speak out against the escalation of the war in Iraq," Edwards told a crowd at Manhattan's Riverside Church, where Martin Luther King had declared his opposition to the Vietnam War.
"If you're in Congress and you know that this war is going in the wrong direction . . . it is no longer OK to study your options and keep your own private counsel," he said.
"Silence is betrayal. Speak out and stop this escalation now."
was too much for Hillary Clinton, and she responded by having her political spokesman release the following:
"In 2004, John Edwards used to constantly brag about running a positive campaign. Today, he has unfortunately chosen to open his campaign with political attacks on Democrats who are fighting the Bush administration's Iraq policy," said Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson.Hillary has a really big Iraq problem with Democratic primary voters, and her quick and surprisingly bitter broadside at Edwards means that she's taking him seriously. In typically coded Clintonesque language, it is aimed at eroding some of Edward's sunny optimism--which is one of his biggest strengths, by making him look more like a craven, ambitious, shifty politician.
It is important to keep in mind that every syllable attributed to Hillary Clinton or her spokespeople from now until election day will have been focus group and poll tested probably ten times for maximum effectiveness, utilizing her $20 million cash hoard and formidable political machine.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
"A dangerous president must be saved from himself, so that the American kids he's about to hurl into the hell of Baghdad can be saved along with him." --Frank Rich, New York Times Jan 14, 2007 (see link above)
Republicans took a sound beating in the 2006 midterm elections due mainly to the Iraq fiasco, but it could pale in comparison to the thrashing they could take in 2008, especially in the Senate. Twenty-one republican senators are up for reelection in 2008, only twelve for the Democrats. As Frank Rich notes it will be the defection of members of Bush's own party that will signal the end of his presidency. Iraq then very much becomes like Watergate, a watershed moment in American politics that drastically realigns Washington's power structure.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
In comments overheard on an open microphone between morning television interviews, including one with Fox, the top U.S. diplomat said:
"My Fox guys, I love every single one of them." But Rice told an aide that when she was next in Iraq she would like to do a "one-on-one" interview with CBS "The Early Show" anchor Harry Smith."He's a decent guy. I know they are like 55 in the ratings, but I like him," Rice said in comments monitored by Reuters on a television feed.
Fair and balanced, right? Give me a break.
U.S. troops raided an Iranian consulate in northern Iraq late Wednesday night and detained several people, Iran's main news agency reported today, prompting protests from Tehran just hours after President Bush pledged to crack down on the Islamic Republic's role in Iraqi violence.
Iran released news of the raid through its Islamic Republic News Agency in a dispatch that was broadly critical of Bush's plan to deploy about 21,500 more troops to Iraq.
The IRNA report said that U.S. forces entered the Iranian consulate in Irbil, in Iraq's Kurdish-dominated north, and seized computers, documents and other items. The report said five staff members were taken into custody.
The Iranian foreign ministry appealed to the Iraqi government to obtain the release of its personnel.
In April of last year renowned investigative reporter Sy Hersch wrote this piece in the New Yorker claiming that the Bush administration was secretly lusting for war with Iran, could we be now witnessing this becoming reality?
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The above story and this one both point out the fact that beginning with last night's prime time speech announcing a troop 'surge' (escalation) of up to 20,000 new American soldiers, and after almost four years of consistently deferring to the military brass regarding almost all decisions relating to Iraq, President Bush is taking control of the policy.
This surge flies directly in the face of the suggestions made by the Iraq Study Group, the blue ribbon panel chaired by Bush Sr.'s former Secretary of State Jim Baker, which advocated nearly the complete opposite of what Bush is now doing by suggesting a complete withdrawal of combat troops in Iraq by early 2008.
With this escalation Bush is defying not only the suggestions of the Baker report, but also the military, Congress, and the majority of the American public, which polls show are solidly against any 'surge'.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
As the above ABC news story indicates if the Iraq force authorization vote that was taken in October 2002 were to be taken now, it would not pass the Senate. A lot of good this does the country now. They all should have cracked the books a little harder, studied the issue a bit longer, asked more questions, etc. This baloney of 'having known what we know now' doesn't cut the mustard--23 Senators got the issue right (not including Al Gore who was also right but not in the senate at the time). This is what we call 'leadership'? Let's continue to wipe the slate clean in 2008.