Weird Delegate Allocation Rules for Democrats
This is closer to the Obama that I remember
Many national politicians, including Clinton, have moved toward the center over time. But Obama’s transitions are still quite fresh. A questionnaire from his 1996 campaign indicated more blanket opposition to the death penalty, and support of abortion rights, than he currently espouses. He spoke in support of single-payer health care as recently as 2003. . . .
Crime as a big issue in campaigns this year?
WASHINGTON -- From Pakistan to Serbia, and recurrently in Iraq, the headlines point to the dangers of the world -- most notably the threat of terrorism. And yet when the polling firm Cooper & Secrest Associates asked
1,139 Americans in December which threat they took most seriously, 69 percent chose violent crime and only 19 percent named terrorist attack.
The survey was part of a striking report released Saturday (Feb. 23) by Third Way, a liberal think tank, and several governors, warning that the crime issue, which has slipped off the political agenda since its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, is about to return.
"Four new and dangerous sociological trends are converging to disturb the peace and are threatening a crisis of crime, if not addressed," says the report. . . .
Possibly it is because of misleading claims put out by places such as the Police Executive Research Forum (for my discussion of this see here). Yet, the most recent numbers indicate that all cateogries of violent crime were falling for at least the first half of last year and that crime rates have been falt during this decade. Except for the news coverage of this, it is very hard to see where these fears are coming from. Things are certainly no worse off than a few years ago when there was no similar concern about crime rates.
Nader announces another run for the Presidency
WASHINGTON (AP) –Ralph Nader is launching a third-party campaign for president.
The consumer advocate made the announcement Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He says most Americans are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties, and that none of the presidential contenders are addressing ways to stem corporate crime and Pentagon waste and promote labor rights.
Obama's Mystery Soldier?
Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, sent a stern letter to colleague Barack Obama yesterday, challenging him to provide information about an Army officer he cited in Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate.
The senator from Illinois said he had heard complaints from an Army captain who led a rifle platoon in Afghanistan that had to scrounge for weapons because it was poorly equipped. Obama described how Iraq war deployments winnowed the platoon to 24 soldiers and argued that the conflict has so strained the Army that units are going to war without the necessary numbers of troops and weapons. . . . .
ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper reported yesterday that the Obama campaign put him in touch with the unidentified captain -- who was deployed to Afghanistan from late 2003 to early 2004 -- and that the West Point graduate verified Obama's statement. He said, according to Tapper, that soldiers sometimes used enemy AK-47s. The captain also said his platoon used Toyota pickup trucks and unarmored flatbeds to get to the fight because they didn't have enough armored Humvees . . .
This could become a huge issue if this person's name becomes public. The military and others have claimed that this is simply not true. Most embarrassing is that Obama makes several serious errors about military organization and the chain of command in just a few sentences.
Robert J. Samuelson nails the Obama Campaign
It's hard not to be dazzled by Barack Obama. At the 2004 Democratic convention, he visited with Newsweek reporters and editors, including me. I came away deeply impressed by his intelligence, his forceful language and his apparent willingness to take positions that seemed to rise above narrow partisanship. Obama has become the Democratic presidential front-runner precisely because countless millions have formed a similar opinion. It is, I now think, mistaken. . . . The trouble, at least for me, is the huge and deceptive gap between his captivating oratory and his actual views. . . . . He has run on the vague promise of "change," but on issue after issue—immigration, the economy, global warming—he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the stalemates. . . .
"they've never paid more for college, never paid more for gas at the pump"
You see it in your own lives and in your own neighborhoods. The stories I told you are not unique. Everywhere I go, I hear the same stories. People are working harder for less; they've never paid more for college, never paid more for gas at the pump. (APPLAUSE)
Well, doesn't the overall price level matter? If the inflation rate is 2 percent and college and gas are going up, that means something else is falling. A 2 percent or even a 3 percent increase in the price level seems awfully small.
Clinton has election eve conversion on hunting
WAUSAU, WIS. -- At a campaign stop this afternoon, Hillary Clinton’s focus was on the economy and health care but some in the crowd had other things on their minds. Clinton was asked to discuss gun control which prompted Clinton to talk about her days holding a rifle in the cold, shallow waters in backwoods Arkansas.
“I’ve hunted. My father taught me how to hunt. I went duck hunting in Arkansas. I remember standing in that cold water, so cold, at first light. I was with a bunch of my friends, all men. The sun’s up, the ducks are flying and they are playing a trick on me. They said, ‘we’re not going to shoot, you shoot.’ They wanted to embarrass me. The pressure was on. So I shot, and I shot a banded duck and they were surprised as I was,” Clinton said drawing laughter from the crowd. . . .
Emphasis added by me to the word "rifle" in the text. Does Hillary know the difference between a shotgun and a rifle? Does she realize how hard it is to shot a duck with a rifle and to even do it on one's first shot? I doubt it.
Thanks to Ben Zycker for the link.
Obama leftwing contradictions: One example, campaign finance regulations
As an aside, this basically shows what I wrote in 2004: that presidential campaign finance regulations are dead.
Hugh Hewitt has an amazing speech by Michelle Obama
Obama claims to support individual's right to own guns, but simultaneously supports DC's ban on handguns
At his news conference, he voiced support for the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, which is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.
I have blogged on this issue before, but I would like to see someone ask Clinton and Obama in their debates about how they can reconcile their position on the gun ban with their claimed position of gun ownership as an individual right.
Faintings at Obama Rallies Staged?
These clips are also available here.
Thanks to Sonya for sending this to me.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are not free-traders, McCain is
Barrier Votes: 31% (9 votes out of 29 opposing trade barriers)
Subsidy Votes: 14% (1 votes out of 7 opposing trade subsidies)
Barrier Votes: 36% (4 votes out of 11 opposing trade barriers)
Subsidy Votes: 0% (0 votes out of 2 opposing trade subsidies)
Interventionists -- Members of this group consistently support government intervention at the expense of the free market—favoring both subsidies and trade barriers. They tend to oppose bills and amendments that would lower trade barriers, as well as those that would cut or eliminate trade and investment subsidies. Interventionists reject the judgment of Americans twice, first by denying them full liberty to spend their private dollars beyond our borders and then by seeking to divert public tax dollars for export promotion and government-to-government bailout packages
By contrast, McCain is classified as a free trader
Barrier Votes: 88% (35 votes out of 40 opposing trade barriers)
Subsidy Votes: 80% (8 votes out of 10 opposing trade subsidies)
My guess: I think that Clinton will win the nomination
Add to all that that Clinton will push for the large Democratic delegations from Florida and Michigan to be seated. If she pushes hard with legal action, it could really produce hard feelings among African-Americans. The more that it seems today that Obama is going to win, the more his supporters will be angry if she gets the nomination. It will be a bloody and difficult win, but the Clintons will do what they can and conditional on Texas, I give her the edge.
All that said, I also think that Obama would be the easier candidate for Republicans to beat in the general. He is the most liberal member of the Senate, and his record will just be too much to defend. Take for example, his opposition to renewing FISA because it would allow us to spy on conversation where foreigners are talking to foreigners. I think that will be hard to explain to people.
UPDATE: I have just come across a poll for Texas and it shows that Obama is in the lead. Obama is ahead 48 to 42 percent. "Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama among self-described Democrats 47% to 42%. Obama leads Clinton among self-described independents and Republicans 24% to 71%." On the other hand, I wouldn't put too much weight on this right now. The main reason for this is that I am becoming more convinced that she will take Wisconsin. If so, I think that Clinton will take Texas along with Ohio and Pennsylvania. Obama will be edged out because of the super delegates and the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations.
UPDATE2: Several new polls give Clinton an average of a double digit lead in Texas.
Some Democrats talking about Al Gore as nominee
Despite the Obama momentum and recent landslides in many states, if Hillary were to win Texas, where there is a very large Hispanic vote, she would have won the four big electorate-rich states: New York, California, Florida, and Texas. That would be a strong case for many undecided Democratic superdelegates to support her notwithstanding Mr. Obama's strong showing.
What happens in a deadlocked convention? If neither candidate throws in the towel and neither can get a majority of delegates, one option is a brokered convention, where both candidates step aside for a compromise candidate. That's the way smoke-filled, dealmaking conventions used to work. One name keeps resurfacing as the ideal brokered candidate: Al Gore. Many Democratic pundits still believe the Oscar and Nobel Peace Prize winner would have the best chances against the GOP in November. His record is not nearly as far left as Senator Clinton's or Senator Obama's and he may stand a better chance of winning independent voters than either of them.
But a problem with this scenario, as one Democratic insider tells me, is that Al Gore and Hillary Clinton are "mortal enemies." She would rather sleep on a bed of coals than hand the nomination to her husband's vice president, whom she constantly squabbled with in the White House. . . .
Markets indicate Obama's chance of winning the nomination are about 2.5 times that for Clinton
Rumor: Huckabee will drop out of the Republican Presidential Contest by March 10th to Run for the Senate from Arkansasential contest by
Bitter fireworks about ready to blow up among Democrats
For over seven years the Democratic Party has fulminated against the Electoral College system that gave George W. Bush the presidency over popular-vote winner Al Gore in 2000. But they have designed a Rube Goldberg nominating process that could easily produce a result much like the Electoral College result in 2000: a winner of the delegate count, and thus the nominee, over the candidate favored by a majority of the party's primary voters.
Indeed, it has already been reported that Sen. Clinton will demand that the convention seat delegates from Michigan and Florida, two states whose delegates have been disqualified by the party for holding January primaries in defiance of party rules. The candidates agreed not to campaign in those states. But Sen. Clinton opted to keep her name on the Michigan primary ballot, and staged a primary-day victory visit to Florida, winning both of those unsanctioned primaries. Her campaign is arguing that the delegates she won in each state be recognized despite party rules and notwithstanding her commitment not to compete in those primaries. Of course. "Count every vote." . . .
My understanding from a well-placed friend is that the Hillary campaign is talking about actually bringing a lawsuit in Florida to force the delegates to be seated.
Hillary's campaign imploding?
The day she admitted she'd written herself a check for $5 million, Obama's people crowed they'd just raised $3 million. But then his staff is happy. They're all getting paid. . . .
These announcements from the Clinton campaign were associated with a big drop in the probability of her winning.
McCain's voting record.
McCain's ACU ratings (100 most conservative, 0 most liberal):
2006 65 Average for Republicans 81 Average for Democrats 11
2005 80 Average for Republicans 86 Average for Democrats 12
McCain's Americans for Democratic Action ratings (higher means more liberal with 100 as the highest):
Here are the two liberal votes in the index that he made that year:
amendment to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug manufacturers for lower drug prices under Medicare. Rejected 49-50.
McCain (R-AZ) amendment to establish the U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation as the uniform standard for interrogating persons detained by the Department of Defense, and prohibit cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of any prisoner detained by the U.S. government. Adopted 90-9. October 5, 2005.
In only the first of the two votes could his vote have mattered.
Here are the seven liberal votes included in the index that he made that year:
1) Voted to require gun locks sold with guns. 70-27
2) increasing funds for childcare by $6 billion over five years. 78-20
3) extending unemployment benefits 59-40
4) "amendment blocking reclassification of nuclear waste that would allow the Defense Department to leave the waste in place." 48-48
5) Voted for Ted Kennedy amendment on Iraq. Given his claims on the Iraq war, this is very strange since it was a pretty much party line vote with Kennedy trying to cause trouble for the Republicans. 48-50
6) Against constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. 48-50
7) "A bill reorganizing 15 U.S. intelligence agencies and creating a national intelligence director with power to freely transfer money among the CIA, National Security Agency and other defense and civilian agencies." 96-2
The Emptiness of Campaign Finance Reform
Former President Clinton stands to reap around $20 million -- and will sever a politically sensitive partnership tie to Dubai -- by ending his high-profile business relationship with the investment firm of billionaire friend Ron Burkle. . . .
Obviously Clinton has gotten a lot of money from other sources so there is no need to single out Burkle, but Burkle obviously can't donate $10 or $12 million to Clinton's campaign. Yet, if he pays Clinton for work that isn't very obvious, Clinton can then turn around and spend it on a campaign. Does it really matter that Burkle can't give the money directly to Clinton?
Typical email that I am getting on the Republican Presidential Candidates and Gun Control
First of all thank your hard work defending the 2nd Amendment. I have to vote today and am quite torn as usual. I am not a one issue voter. I have always admired John McCain's sacrifice for our country, but seeing him chumming up with Arnold really bothers me. I have a lot of friends in CA that are furious about The Governor signing yet more anti gun legislation, as as they say so goes CA, so goes the Nation. So I may end up voting for a man I don't respect as much...
Well, with Romney you will likely get an new assault weapons ban. With McCain, you will get a gun show regulation bill that will regulate all private transfers of guns. I would also guess that you could get a bill requiring that people use gun locks. I am not sure what Romney really believes because he has changed his positions on too many issues. Of these different laws, I think that the gun locks rule is the worst because if prevents people from using guns defensively.
Personally, I worry that both Romney and McCain will be weak general election candidates though for different reasons. Romney because he has changed his position on too many issues. McCain will be attacked as too old and will have a tough time getting the conservative base to turn out.
My bottom line is the courts. I think that Romney is probably more likely to appoint conservatives to the courts than McCain. I think that McCain will have a very hard time appointing conservatives to the court if he really wants his campaign finance regulations put in place. I believe that there is a strong correlation between their views on protecting the First Amendment on political speech and the Second Amendment.
I hope that this helps.
League of Conservation Voters endorsed McCain in 2004
LCV has endorsed Republican John McCain for reelection in the U. S. Senate to represent Arizona. Senator McCain has been a leader on global warming, a strong voice of reason against drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, and has voiced his opposition to the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill. He is the lead sponsor on the bipartisan McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 that would require a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions to 2000 levels by the year 2010. Senator McCain said, "We must take action, and act appropriately. Many have hidden for too long behind what we do not know or the uncertainties around climate change. Their shield is shrinking." The Senator voted against an amendment that would have opened the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling and in a letter addressed to the President said, "I have thought long and hard about this debate and the vote that I will cast. I still hope we can achieve a more balanced national energy strategy, but I am not convinced that a key component of that policy should be to drill in ANWR." Before voting against the Energy Bill, he sent a letter to Congress stating his opposition to the manner in which the bill was developed, he said, "One of the other problems that I have with this bill is the way in which it was developed. This secretive, exclusive process has lead to a 1200 page monstrosity that is chock full of special interest giveaways and exemptions from environmental and other laws that frankly can´ withstand the light of scrutiny." If you would like to support Senator McCain's campaign, please contact Vivien Braslau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is an interview where McCain is arguing that he is the strongest green candidate:
Why should voters consider you the strongest green candidate? What sets your platform on energy and the environment apart from the others?
My clear record of environmental advocacy and activism, ranging from my efforts to protect the Grand Canyon to working with [Connecticut Sen.] Joe Lieberman to get a cap-and-trade proposal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through the United States Senate.
You've said that global warming would be one of three key issues for your presidency. Why do you think the issue is important?
It's like Tony Blair said: Suppose we're wrong, and there's no such thing as greenhouse-gas emissions, and we adopt green technologies. All we've done is give our kids a better planet. But suppose we're right, and do nothing? Then what kind of a legacy are we handing on to future generations of Americans? I think we ought to frame the debate that way.
And I think most, if not all, of the ways that we can address this issue are through profit-motive, free-enterprise-system-driven green technologies. General Electric dedicated itself to green technologies, and guess what? They're still making a lot of money.
Yet, for the evidence on the global warming see here.
Hillary versus Obama on Delegates
Mitt Romney Giving Up?
Mr. Romney has only a few days left to change the dynamic of the race before 21 states vote next Tuesday. As of yesterday afternoon, his campaign had purchased no television ad time in any of the Super Tuesday states. "If Thursday goes by without an ad buy, it will be a sign the Romney campaign is only going through the motions," says one TV advertising expert with ties to no candidate. "After all, we know he can write a check if he has to."
UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt writes me that: "John: He's already up in CA with a 7 figure buy. HH" So it looks as if John Fund might be wrong this time.
Identity politics out of control
Exit polls from Florida
Clinton campaign tactics
Mr. Obama is indeed frustrated by the attacks on his character, as he made clear to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. What peeves him most are mysterious emails circulating among voters that claim he is actually a Muslim and has sympathy with the ideas of the radical Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Mr. Obama says the charges are preposterous.
"We have no way of tracing where these emails come from, but what I know is they come in waves, and they somehow appear magically wherever the next primary or caucus is, although they're also being distributed all across the country," he told Mr. Brody. "But the volume increases as we get closer to particular elections. That indicates to me that this is something that is being used to try to raise doubts or suspicions about my candidacy." . . .
More on the Clinton campaign can be found here, where Ed Schultz accuses Clinton of lying. Obama pretty much says the same thing here, where he says Clinton "was making things up."
Fred Thompson Drops Out of Race
Former US Senator Fred Thompson has withdrawn from the Republican presidential race, after a string of poor finishes in early voting rounds.
"I have withdrawn my candidacy... I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," he said in a short statement. . . .
John Fund, writing in WSJ's Political Diary, as usual has very insightful insights on the entire campaign:
Fred Thompson spotted an opening in the field of Republicans candidates last spring: a yearning for an uncomplicated Reaganite who would unite all wings of the party and take the fight to the Democrats with brio. Until late September, Mr. Thompson actually led national polls among GOP voters. But the seeds of his downfall had already been planted.
His first mistake was not fully realizing that in entering the race so late, he would have trouble building the infrastructure necessary for a modern campaign. The best talent had already been snapped up by other candidates. Mr. Thompson ended up hiring a corporate manager to run his campaign. While a good organizer, the man had never run a political effort of any size, and the resulting confusion cost the campaign precious momentum and money. New leadership wasn't installed until just before Mr. Thompson formally entered the race after Labor Day.
The former Tennessee Senator's second mistake was making it too easy for reporters to paint him as a lazy, disinterested candidate. His campaign committed enough unnecessary gaffes to feed that story line (such as speaking for only five minutes before an enthusiastic crowd of Florida Republicans last October) and the perception set in among many supporters that they were backing a walking horse, not a warhorse.
Lastly, the candidate's theme that he was the "Consistent Conservative" in the race was developed too late and could not be sufficiently exploited because of a lack of money. When Mr. Thompson finally did hit his stride in December, he became a good candidate who performed memorably in recent debates. But, by then, his potential audience had already drifted away to other candidates who looked like they had a better chance of winning.
Mr. Thompson intends to remain active in politics and public affairs, although he has flatly ruled out any plans to serve in someone else's administration. Don't be surprised to find him returning to the airwaves he left just a few months ago -- but this time with much higher name-recognition as a political figure.
Political balance at Princeton
All Princeton faculty members who have given to 2008 presidential candidates so far have donated to Democrats, according to federal records of donations to presidential campaigns from Princeton University employees. . . .
How things have changed over people's reactions in the South to the Confederate Flag
Mike Huckabee tried his best to expand beyond his evangelical base in South Carolina and appeal to what his campaign called "Joe Six Pack" voters. Mr. Huckabee was the only candidate to pander to devotees of the Confederate flag, telling crowds that outsiders should leave the banner flag, now displayed in a corner of the grounds of the state capitol, alone: "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell 'em what to do with the pole, that's what we'd do." Contrast that with the comments of Mr. Huckabee's fellow Southerner Fred Thompson: "For a great many Americans, [the flag] is a symbol of racism. I'm glad people have made a decision not to display it . . . in a state capitol." . . .
Behind McCain's win in the South Carolina Primary
The backlash to DOJ DC gun ban brief
The Bush administration's position in the case before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the District of Columbia's ban on handguns has created an unexpected and serious backlash in conservative circles, disappointing gun enthusiasts and creating implications for the presidential campaign.
The government's brief, filed by U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement just hours before the court's deadline Jan. 11, endorses the view that the Second Amendment conveys an individual right to gun ownership, a finding long sought by gun rights activists.
But it also said an appeals court used the wrong standard when it struck down the District's ban on private handgun ownership, and it urged the Supreme Court to return the case to the lower court for review.
If the justices accept that advice when they hear the case in the spring, it could mean additional years of litigation over the controversial Second Amendment and could undo a ruling that was a seminal victory for gun rights enthusiasts. . . .
The piece notes that Senator Fred Thompson spoke out against the brief, though it doesn't make clear that he was the only one to do so.
In a debate last week in Nevada, all three major Democratic candidates pledged their fealty to the Second Amendment -- "People have a right to bear arms," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) said -- although none mentioned the District's handgun ban.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, it would seem that it was the moderator's job to put the question squarely to them.
Here was my earlier take on all this.
Democratic Presidential Candidates Talk About Guns
Hillary Clinton though said that "I believe in the Second Amendment. . . . But I also believe that we can common-sensically approach this." If Russert was at all on his feet, he would have asked her whether she thought that the DC gun ban, soon to be going before the U.S. Supreme Court was unconstitutional. It would be a tough question. If she said it was unconstitutional, she would get a lot of Dems upset. If it was constitutional, the question is what would be the benefit from saying you believe in the Second Amendment?
Democrats and Hispanics
Sergio Bendixen, one of Hillary Clinton's pollsters, claims Hispanics back his candidate because of her stand on health care and affinity for the Clinton presidency of the 1990s. He told reporters that he viewed Hispanics as Mrs. Clinton's "firewall" against an assault by Barack Obama. "The Hispanic voter -- and I want to say this very carefully -- has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates," he added.
That comment upset Team Obama, which quickly jumped at the opportunity to tarnish the Clinton image after Clinton allies in the Nevada teachers union sued to close down polling places set up in Las Vegas casinos to allow Hispanic casino workers easily to participate in that state's caucus this Saturday. A federal judge threw the suit out yesterday, but the incident left a bad taste in the mouths of many Hispanics.
Yesterday, Obama-supporting labor unions began airing Spanish-language radio ads attacking the lawsuit in Nevada. "Hillary Clinton does not respect our people," the ad says in Spanish. "Hillary Clinton is shameless. But Sen. Obama is defending our right to vote. Sen. Obama wants our votes. He respects our votes, our community, and our people."
Clinton supporter Dolores Huerta, an Hispanic labor leader, denounced the ad as "pathetic" and claimed it was an attempt to conceal Mr. Obama's total lack of support in the Hispanic community. "I have yet to find even one worker -- a Latino worker -- who is supporting Barack Obama," she told Politico.com.
Nevada votes tomorrow, and estimates suggest that 45% of casino workers on the Las Vegas Strip are Hispanic. We'll be able to see just how accurate Ms. Huerta is in her prediction by looking at the results from caucus sites in those casinos.
If you believe Hillary's pollster, Obama winning the nomination could alienate Hispanics. If one listens to the traded charges over racism in the campaign, a Hillary win might alienate some blacks. I wonder if this would almost ensure that if Hillary wins the nomination, she would have to pick Obama for the VP position. If Obama wins, would he have to pick RIchardson? You might have heard it here first: Obama/Richardson for the Dems.
Thompson on the issues
Fred Thompson is perhaps the most substantative candidate to run for President in many years. He has taken the time to think about what should be the relationship between the government and the governed. He has framed his thoughts within the context of a set of bedrock conservative principles that animates his thinking and generates sound ideas about where America should be headed.
There is a heft to Thompson, a seriousness of purpose that none of the other candidates can match. It is most pronounced during the debates where Thompson's answers to questions are more subtle and nuanced than those of his rivals. His sometimes laconic style zings his opponents with brutal accuracy. Often, the candidate will answer a question by stating "Yep" or "Nope" and pause a few seconds to gather his thoughts. What follows is almost always coherent and is informed by years of experience in government.
Podcast Interview With Michael Bane
More Romney Flip-flops: Campaign Finance Reform
Is Romney the Weakest of the Possibly Republican Nominees?
Average difference in races between Clinton or Obama and Republican
McCain . . . . +3 Percent
Giuliani . . . . -8.8 percent
Huckabee . . -9.3 percent
Thompson . . -9.75 percent
Romney . . . . -13.9 percent
Between Clinton and Obama it isn't even close. Obama is a much stronger candidate than Hillary. I haven't figured out the average difference but it looks like about 7 percent on average. Plus every Republican would apparently lose to Obama. One warning with all these numbers is that the general election is a long ways away, but these are big differences.
Animal Rights Groups Merge to Fight Hunting
The voice of America's anti-hunting forces is trying to become more powerful.
In what the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is calling a "precisely-calculated effort," the Humane Society of the United States is attempting to consolidate all of the animal rights movement's political power under a single umbrella.
Humane Society director Wayne Pacelle reportedly told one publication that his organization may soon merge with at least three unnamed animal rights organizations.
OK, so if they end hunting deer, what will happen to the deer population? What will happen to the cost of food as farmers have deer eat more of their crops? What will happen to the additional motorists who run into deer?
Meanwhile, Obama "pledges support for Animal Rights."
He said he sponsored a bill to prevent horse slaughter in the Illinois state Senate and has been repeatedly endorsed by the Humane Society. "I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other," he said. "And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals."(emphasis added)
Am I missing something here?: I thought that Democrats were supposed to get upset with anything that increased the cost of voting
[Clinton] is scrambling for every possible advantage -- down to having her supporters file lawsuits to close some poling places -- in Nevada's Democratic caucus this coming Saturday.
How is this consistent with Democrat Party rhetoric on voting? We can't even have voter IDs because they might discourage people from voting.
Thompson first to come out against Bush Adm Brief on DC gun case
Asked his opinion of the Second Amendment and the Solicitor General’s request that the DC Circuit Court remand the appeal back to the trial court for “fact-finding”, the lawyer turned Senator from Tennessee said the Bush Administration was “overlawyering” and stated that he opposed remand and that the case should move forward to the U.S. Supreme Court. . . .
Fred Thompson is the first and only presidential candidate to oppose the Solicitor General's brief that was filed in the DC gun case last Friday. You can read his entire response here.
Both Romney and McCain have it wrong
Steve Schmidt, a top McCain strategist, attributed yesterday's loss to "Mitt Romney's pandering up in Michigan" by promising what Schmidt called a "$100-billion bailout of the auto industry...Mitt Romney should explain to the rest of the country how he's going to pay for it."
While Romney has proposed a five-year, $20-billion-a-year effort to revitalize the ailing auto industry, the Arizona senator has emphasized worker retraining and research into green technologies. Schmidt would not put a price tag on that but minimized the retraining plan as a consolidation of existing programs.
Here is a suggestion: why have the government pick which industries should be subsidized?
Obama Stimulus Package
1.Cut $250 checks for some 150 million low and middle income workers and send them out. If needed, send out an additional $250 per worker, totaling $500 for these workers
2.Likewise, send $250 to seniors earning under $50,000 as a Social Security supplement, and and prepared to send out a second $250 payment
3.Establish a $10 billion fund to help “responsible” families avoid foreclosure. The money would be given to homeowners who did not lie about their incomes and were “mindful of personal responsibility.”
4.Provides money to state and local governments hardest hit by housing crisis to prevent them from slashing infrastructure and other important state spending
5. Expand unemployment insurance
Can you say Keynesian economics? The problem with this is that the money has to come from someplace else. Obama doesn't want to pay for this with taxes, but then you have to borrow the money. Borrowing takes it away from other uses as much as taxes.
The subprime problem was due to government regulation and point 3 will encourage home buyers to take more risks because they will believe that the government will bail them out.
Point 5 is political and will be pushed to increase the unemployment rate before the election. Never have the Democrats before asked for an extension in benefits with an unemployment rate as low as 5 percent.
Huckabee Versus Thompson
When to joke and when to give serious answers?
COLBERT: South Carolina gun laws are so loose that you can go into any gun shop and buy as many handguns as you want. I mean 200 of them and then just ship them up here to New York and sell them illegally on the street and raise some serious scratch.
HUCKABEE: How do you think I've financed my campaign for the past 11 months?
COLBERT: Smart man!
COLBERT: Pick me up a couple?
HUCKABEE: On their way. What kind would you like?
COLBERT: Something with the serial numbers scratched off.
HUCKABEE: Consider it done.
COLBERT: I know you're a man of your word. You would never rescind your offer of making me vice president no matter how well you do in the campaign. But I'm going to give you one more chance to get out of it. Just ask me, I'll say no ...
HUCKABEE: Steven, be my running mate?
Could Fred Thompson be the Last Conservative Standing?
Given Romney's stands on everything from global warming to the assault weapons ban as well as his changed positions on many other issues, I am not sure how conservative he is, but I think that Romney has backed himself into a corner. By concentrating all his effort on Michigan, he has raised the stakes dramatically. The problem that he faces is that Michigan allows non-Republicans to vote in their primary and that is compounded by the fact that there is no Democratic race (Hillary Clinton is the only one on the Democratic ballot). Independents and Democrats who have no reason to vote in the Democratic primary will feel tempted to wreak all sorts of havoc on the Republicans by voting for McCain or even Huckabee (of course, some of these other voters probably actually like McCain). My bottom line is that I think that this will be a tough race for Romney to win, and I think that he may drop out of the race if he loses in Michigan. Given that I don't think that even their current positions would classify McCain and Huckabee as conservatives on economic issues, that would leave Thompson and Giuliani. Giuliani's strategy seems to depend a lot on what happens in Florida (his staff is being asked to work without pay because of money problems). Of course, all this might depend upon Thompson doing well in South Carolina. That is surely possible given how people in South Carolina appreciated his debate performance on Thursday.
UPDATE: The Democratic DailyKos is advising Democrats in Michigan to vote for Romney. They apparently believe that McCain would be the strongest Republican nominee.
Another reason why Campaign Finance Regulations help Bloomberg
So far, the surprise outcomes of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have added urgency and strength to the Bloomberg operation, Schoen said.
"The uncertainty in the nominating process on both sides makes it more likely that Mike Bloomberg will explore a candidacy," he said.
I agree with this, but for possibly different reasons than the person here. Take the extreme case. If a nominee is not picked for a party until the party convention in August, that person will have little time to raise what would likely be a hundred or two hundred million for the general election. The less time that the Republicans or Democrats have to raise money, the easier it will be for Bloomberg to win.
Fred Thompson's Plan for Cutting Federal Government Spending
Clinton's crying made her appear sympathetic
Edward Morrissey asks
UPDATE: From John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary:
A senior Obama adviser told Politico.com that he had no other explanation for his candidate's startling loss. "Did her choking up have a positive effect among women? Did they say, 'We are not going to run her out of the race here?'" the adviser asked. "There is no other reason we can see. Every poll showed us even with Clinton with women, and then we lose women to her. There was a big gender gap that didn't show up until yesterday."
Clinton's Muskie Moment, Or was it planned?
If it was not an Ed Muskie moment — Mrs. Clinton did not cry (or look like she was crying) — she was certainly on the verge of it after a woman asked her, at a round table discussion at a coffee shop here, how she managed to get out of bed and soldier through each day.
How will voters react to a candidate who cries about having a hard time in the campaign? If it was a man, he would be out of the race very quickly. With a woman, will people feel sorry for her? Do they think that she needs to show even more toughness?
Here is the big question. I hate to be really cynical about all this, but with the desire to make Hillary appear more human and likable is there any chance that her crying was planned? I guess that I wouldn't be surprised.
UPDATE: In the interest of fairness, here is Clinton's response to the concern that this display of emotion was staged. If you go to that link, Major Garrett has a video up of him asking her directly about this.
Iowa Curse?: Not much for Democrats
Iowa Campaign: $200 spent for every voter
This year, with a couple of exceptions such as Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, candidates went beyond participation and virtually wallowed in them. The best estimates are that some $50 million will be spent by all the hopefuls on the Iowa caucuses this year, including $30 million in TV ads and salaries and expenses for at least 700 paid staffers.
That amounts to an eye-opening $200 spent for every voter who walks into a caucus. Of course, the winners in each contest will consider their money well spent. So too will the people of Iowa who will have gotten a healthy injection of cash into their economy, an inordinate amount of attention to their political opinions and pledges of undying devotion to their state's taxpayer-subsidized ethanol industry.
With all the political advertising, I wonder whether Iowa tends to have more TV and radio stations per capita than other states and whether it has increased after 1976 when Iowa started to get to be important. I might be interesting just to study the relative change in value of TV and radio stations in Iowa before and after 1976 relative to stations elsewhere.
Late breaking surge for Fred Thompson in Iowa
UPDATE: Do you want some evidence that Thompson is doing better in Iowa? How about that someone felt the need to start pushing this rumor.
GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson said in an in-studio interview with KCCI-TV in Des Moines that there is no truth to rumors that his campaign will fold before New Hampshire if he doesn't have a strong showing in Iowa.
"That is absolutely made up out of whole cloth," said the former U.S. Senator from Tennessee.
Thompson said a rival campaign was likely the source of that rumor.
"Can you imagine such a thing in politics?" he asked.
Giuliani On Gun Control
Why Romney's changing positions will be so harmful
Even conservative editorialists at places like The Union Leader in New Hampshire and The Boston Herald find his flip-flopping offensive.
It is not just issues like guns and abortion (this piece also hits him for his changing position on immigration). I have no problem with him learning on issues, but it is getting pretty obvious that Romney is an extremely poll driven candidate. Here is a decade ago arguing against cutting farm subsidies and here he is more recently saying how essential farm subsidies. Here he is saying that strict gun control helps protect Americans' safety, but now he is a defender of gun rights. (Personally, I am not sure that he knows what the current gun control laws are.) Here used to oppose Boy Scout policy on homosexuals.
The thing that is important is not what his stands used to be nor what they are now (though I am very bothered by his current stand on global warming), but that they change so much on so many incredibly different things. My book, Freedomnomics, has a long discussion about why it is difficult for politicians with these changing positions to get elected.
Thompson trying something different: "something more substantive"
Peter Robinson, a former speechwriter for President Reagan who is now at the Hoover Institution, notes that Mr. Thompson is trying something no other GOP candidate this year has done: appeal to Democrats. His key passage begins: "You know, when I'm asked which of the current group of Democratic candidates I prefer to run against, I always say it really doesn't matter. These days all those candidates, all the Democratic leaders, are one and the same. They're all NEA-MoveOn.org-ACLU-Michael Moore Democrats. They've allowed these radicals to take control of their party and dictate their course.... This election is important to salvage a once-great political party from the grip of extremism and shake it back to its senses. It's time to give not just Republicans but independents, and, yes, good Democrats a chance to call a halt to the leftward lurch of the once-proud party of working people."
Certainly the other GOP candidates might argue with Mr. Thompson's claim that his track record and approach make him the best candidate to win Democratic votes in the general election. Rudy Giuliani would be expected to put blue states such as New Jersey and Connecticut in play, and John McCain has proven support among some independent voters. But Mr. Robinson gives Mr. Thompson credit for trying to change the tone of the last days of the Iowa caucuses to something more substantive: "We have here a serious man, making a serious case -- and doing so in the context of a campaign that has otherwise descended into mere caterwauling."
Fred Thompson's Closing Message for the Iowa Caucuses
Brought to you by Campaign Finance Regulations: Bloomberg's Presidential Run
Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of launching an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run.
On Sunday, the mayor will join Democratic and Republican elder statesmen at the University of Oklahoma in what the conveners are billing as an effort to pressure the major party candidates to renounce partisan gridlock.
Giuliani On Global Warming
Sockpuppets used by Hillary Clinton Campaign
1) Here is the original post on December 13th:
BlueHampshire.com, a progressive site in the Granite State, has found that several Clinton staff members slipped into sock-puppet mode to beef up the pro-Clinton diary recommendations on its site.
The Caucus learned of this through techpresident.com, which is surprised that anybody still uses sock puppets.
“I’m still amazed that anyone with a basic knowledge of computers would think that they operate anonymously from a campaign office,” Joshua Levy writes. “Haven’t we learned anything from Wikipedia?”
The Caucus too is shocked — shocked! — at the use of sock puppets. We have nothing like that on our site, right readers? We thought sock puppets were “in” for about as long as Paris Hilton’s stay in jail.
In any case, BlueHampshire handled the whole thing with class and their story says a lot about maintaining site integrity in these wild and wooly times.
Blue Hampshire’s Dean Barker writes that the site administrators grew suspicious when they saw that several users had signed up in quick succession. They then discovered that they all used the same IP address, which is registered to the Clinton campaign.
2) Here is the entire reference on December 20th to her campaign's sockpuppet postings:
‘Vote for Me. I’m a Sock Puppet.’
By MATT BAI
You may have seen that some Hillary Clinton “sock puppets” were recently outed on a New Hampshire blog, to the campaign’s great embarrassment. A sock puppet, for those of who you aren’t immersed in blog culture, is what they call someone who pretends to be commenting as a regular voter but who is in fact posting propaganda. . . .
Nathalie Guyol writes: I hope you can find out (and publish, if you do) how many Iowans would support Hillary Clinton if Bill Clinton did not exist. I suspect a huge preponderance would not have even given her serious consideration.
Good question. I say we get that car that Christopher Lloyd had in “Back to the Future,” go back to the Yale Law School library in the spring of 1971 and ask Bill Clinton for a lighter at exactly the moment that Hillary first walks by. It could work. Barring that, we’ll never know.
The Washington Post mention can be found here. Here is all the blog commentary that I could find here, here, here, and here. At least this is all the blogs that gave me a hit for "Clinton Sockpuppet" after the beginning of December.
Thanks to Joe Olson for sending these links to me.
Fred Thompson's Christmas Ad
Why Hillary might be in real trouble
[filmmaker Ken] Burns, a Walpole, N.H., resident, said the back-and-forth between Obama and Clinton shows the country needs “a leader who calls upon on each and every one of us to heed the better angels of our nature and not — and not — our basest fears.”
Mitt Romney inaccurately claiming that he had the NRA endorsement when he ran for governor
"Last Sunday, Mr. Romney appeared on NBC's 'Meet the Press' and twice claimed he had won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in his 2002 race for governor of Massachusetts. Wrong. While Mr. Romney got a respectable 'B' rating from the NRA, it was his Democratic opponent, Shannon O'Brien, who actually got an 'A' grade from the gun-rights group, which ultimately made no endorsement in the race. Ouch."
My guess is that Shannon O'Brien didn't want the endorsement because it would have hurt more than helped in Massachusetts.
An explanation too far
In a new television ad debuting Tuesday in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee does the unthinkable - he wishes early voters “Merry Christmas.”
Wearing a red sweater and standing before a glowing Christmas tree as “Silent Night” plays in the background, the former Arkansas governor asks viewers if they’re “about worn out of all the television commercials you’ve been seeing, mostly about politics.”
Behind Huckabee appears to be a white cross, which may be intersecting shelf lines or a window pane and slowly moves to the right on the screen until it’s behind his head.
But the ordained Baptist minister, who has been riding a wave of evangelical support with his open religious appeals, said Tuesday that it’s just a bookshelf and defended the ad.
Huckabee shouldn't have tried this explanation because it makes him look dishonest. True the cross in the ad is just a "bookshelf," but to imply that Huckabee and his people just saw it as a bookshelf and not as a cross isn't believable. If you haven't seen the ad, the cross image just dominates the picture. Does the image bother me? Hardly, but this explanation is just not credible. You can see the ad here.
For Jason Lewis' typically perceptive comments on this ad go here.
Prediction: Hillary Clinton to come in third in Iowa
So what will this do to her supposed invincibility? What will this do to her very narrow leads in NH and South Carolina? The polls showing her far ahead in Michigan are over a month old and I am not sure that they are worth very much right now.
Barack Obama is the top 2008 United States presidential contender for Democratic Party supporters in Iowa, according to a poll by Research 2000 released by the Quad City Times. 33 per cent of respondents in the Hawkeye State would vote for the Illinois senator in January’s caucus.
New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former North Carolina senator John Edwards are tied for second with 24 per cent, followed by New Mexico governor Bill Richardson with nine per cent, Delaware senator Joe Biden with three per cent, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich with one per cent, and Connecticut senator Chris Dodd also with one per cent. . . .
A lot is at stake in this next election regarding global warming
Germany’s environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel, who led the criticism of the United States earlier in the week, said Friday, “The climate in the climate convention has changed a little bit.”
He added: “It’s true that during the last night and during the negotiations America was more flexible than in the first part of the conference. We very much appreciate this. Not only the Americans but also other parties.”
It was not clear what had brought about the improved mood of cooperation. Amid the escalating bitterness between the European Union and the United States on Thursday, former Vice President Al Gore told delegates in a speech that, “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali.”
He urged delegates to agree to an open-ended deal that could be enhanced after the Bush administration leaves office and the United States policy changes.
“Over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere it is not now,” Mr. Gore said to loud applause. “You must anticipate that.”
Michelle Obama (Barack's wife) sees need for guns in rural America
“My wife, she was traveling up, I think, in eastern Iowa, she was driving through this nice, beautiful area, going through all this farmland and hills and rivers and she said ‘Boy, it’s really pretty up here,’ but she said, ‘But you know, I can see why if I was living out here, I’d want a gun. Because, you know, 911 is going to take some time before somebody responds. You know what I mean? You know, it’s like five miles between every house.”
Well, I know Barack from when we were both at the University of Chicago Law School, and I have the strong belief that he does not people that any private citizens should be able to own guns and that he never came across a gun control law that he didn't like. This appears to be a bit of election time conversion or that his wife has different views than he does.
Rush Limbaugh's Take on Last Night's Republican Presidential Debate
Obama the strongest Democratic Candidate, Clinton the Weakest
Possible match-ups - 2008 U.S. presidential election
John McCain (R) 38% - 45% Barack Obama (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 41% - 46% Barack Obama (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 41% - 46% Barack Obama (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 40% - 46% Barack Obama (D)
John McCain (R) 41% - 42% John Edwards (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 43% - 44% John Edwards (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 42% - 44% John Edwards (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 42% - 45% John Edwards (D)
John McCain (R) 42% - 38% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Rudy Giuliani (R) 43% - 40% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Mitt Romney (R) 43% - 40% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Mike Huckabee (R) 44% - 39% Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Source: Zogby Interactive
Methodology: Online interviews with 9,150 American adults, conducted from Nov. 21 to Nov. 26, 2007. Margin of error is 1 per cent.
I just hope that James Taranto is correct about Guiliani
What about those social conservatives Mr. Giuliani has to win over? A few hours after I interviewed Mr. Olson, he introduced Mr. Giuliani's speech at the annual conference of the Federalist Society, the hub of the conservative legal community. Sure enough, the former mayor promised that as president he will choose judicial nominees "with the advice of people like Ted." He seemed to be on the same page as his adviser: "We need judges who embrace originalism, endeavor to determine what others meant when they wrote the words of our Constitution--justices like Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts. That would be my model."
He reassured the gun-rights constituency, praising the recent appellate decision that struck down the District of Columbia's handgun ban as a violation of the Second Amendment.
Well, I was at Guiliani's talk to the Federalist Society and I wasn't convinced:
John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime" told Cybercast News Service he was disappointed he did not have the opportunity to ask Giuliani questions.
"He talks about how it's an abuse of the legal process for people to bring suits that try to accomplish public policy goals," said Lott.
"So I wanted to ask him about his suit against gun manufacturers. He has talked about how this suit has morphed into something he disagreed with and I wanted him to be specific and tell how this suit had changed and what had been included that now he disagreed with," he added.
James is a smart guy. Possibly he is right, but I have my doubts.
Anti-Mormon Push Poll May Have Been Done by Romney?
Who would be behind such a thing, given that the risks to any campaign caught dragging religion into the race would be enormous? After an extensive investigation, Mark Hemingway of National Review has fingered a likely culprit: "Although the Romney campaign denies involvement, evidence points in its general direction."
Why? One plausible motive would be to gather data about public reaction to negative information about the Mormon Church. Another might be to arouse sympathy for Mr. Romney and provide him a needed pretext to give a major address on why voters should not factor in his Mormon religion when making their presidential decision.
the firm making the calls is the Utah-based Western Wats, which may have direct ties to the Romney campaign. Back in August, people in Iowa and New Hampshire who received unwanted telephone calls of a political nature were able to trace those calls back to Western Wats. The client paying Western Wats was Target Point Consulting, a firm that had been received $720,000 from the Romney campaign. Alex Gage, president of Target Point, has been identified in the media as "Romney's Data Cruncher" and part of "Mitt Romney's Inner Circle."
UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt has been all over this on his radio show and his guests have argued that it is most likely funded by George Soros.
I was wrong about Huckabee, he is even worse then I thought
I have mentioned previously his obsession with the hysteria about man-made global warming being a real threat, but now he wants to further expand conservation, make us energy independent within four years, and expand ethanol and other biofuels. This is a recipe for economic poverty. Subsidize the sale of fruit and vegetables. Force use of fluorescent lights. This guy is a disaster. Is there anything that this guy won't mandate or subsidize or tax?
Talk about micromanaging. People aren't eating enough fruit, subsidize it.
You've vowed in your presidential platform to achieve energy independence by your second term. . . . .
The key is to create [energy independence is] the kind of unbridled marketplace that turns innovators loose to find the solutions. I don't think we're going to find one big answer. I think it's going to be a combination of many that will include hydrogen, solar, wind, nuclear, domestically produced fossil fuels -- at least for the short term. . . . .
You mentioned your support for ethanol and other biofuels. . . . . .
replace light bulbs with the fluorescent types. We need to shoot for less fossil fuel, go to more energy-efficient and certainly non-carbon-producing methods of energy. . . . .
we can start making a genuine transition to healthier, more whole-food products, doing more to subsidize fruits and vegetables, rather than just the processed food, and creating the appetites in children by exposing them more to fruits and vegetables at the marketplace, and the schools, and their homes and neighborhoods. . . .
Among Extremely Likely Voters Gallup Shows Giuliani and Thompson Very Close (25 to 21 percent)
There appears to be three tiers of candidates, with Giuliani and Thompson all by themselves at the top.
Huckabee concerns me a great deal, part II
Some not so close fans of Huckabee
More important, Huckabee revealed an enduring weakness as glaring as that other Arkansas governor's fondness for women. Huckabee seems to love loot and has a dismissive attitude toward ethics, campaign finance rules and propriety in general. Since that first, failed campaign, the ethical questions have multiplied. . . . .
Huckabee Not Exactly Tough on Keeping Taxes Low
Oops . . . Hillary Caught Planting Questions in Audience
"After her speech, Clinton accepted questions. But according to Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff ’10, some of the questions from the audience were planned in advance. 'They were canned,' she said. Before the event began, a Clinton staff member approached Gallo-Chasanoff to ask a specific question after Clinton’s speech. 'One of the senior staffers told me what [to ask],' she said.
"Clinton called on Gallo-Chasanoff after her speech to ask a question: what Clinton would do to stop the effects of global warming. Clinton began her response by noting that young people often pose this question to her before delving into the benefits of her plan.
"But the source of the question was no coincidence — at this event 'they wanted a question from a college student,' Gallo-Chasanoff said." . . . . .
We after saying that it was an unusual event and not something that would happen again, it turns out that the Clinton Campaign had planted a question at another event:
Mo Elliethee, spokesman for Clinton's campaign in Iowa, told Fox that Hayler and Mitchell "had a previous relationship" and that a discussion about Clinton arose out of a normal conversation between two people who knew each other well.
"They had a previous relationship and were talking before the event and the topic of the senator's position on Iraq came up and Geoffrey said he had some questions," Elliethee said. "Chris suggested Geoffrey ask a question."
Mitchell, however, said that he and Hayler did not know each other personally before the event.
"I had no previous relationship with him," said Mitchell. "I knew his name and by name only as some who worked for Sen. Evan Bayh. But we didn't know each other and I had never met him before this event."
Holman W. Jenkins Jr. on Tipgate
The plot thickens. She tells NPR that yesterday's staffer said the tip had been included in the credit card payment. However, the credit card receipt, when examined, was apparently bereft of tip. So the staffer then opined the tip must have been left as cash with the expectation the diner crew would divvy it up. Where's the Zapruder film? Her aides were seated at tables around the diner, but Mrs. Clinton was sitting at the counter. Ms. Esterday doubts her colleagues stiffed her for her share of the tip. The restaurant's manager tells AP it may have happened.
As the truth recedes into the region of mist and shadows where many things Clinton reside, another question suggests itself: Wouldn't it have been better for the campaign simply to have said, "If we didn't leave a tip, it surely was an oversight, and we'll rectify it immediately?" What good can possibly come from quibbling with a waitress over such a trivial matter?
But the most cringe-inducing aspect was reporter David Greene, in a scripted dialogue with an NPR host this morning, bathing himself in recrimination for failing to check with the Clinton campaign before running the tip anecdote yesterday in a longer report about how campaigns impact the lives of local folks when they land in town.
Apparently, this is not the first time that Hillary has been accused of stiffing waitresses on tips.
What "civility and bipartisanship" means
Huckabee worries me a great deal
Fred Thompson Answers Questions on Guns for Field and Stream
John Edwards Ad Effectively Smashes Hillary Over Inconsistencies.
What if Hillary's Campaign Implodes?
Backlash by Women Because They Feel People have been Attacking Hillary?
I am not sure that Obama or Edwards would have had a chance with these voters in the first place.
One Vote Hillary Probably didn't Want to Win
About one-third of independents, nearly half of whites and just over half of conservatives selected her.
Senator John Edwards asks for 2 Year Ban on all New Drug Ads
Heck, why should customers know about a new drug for the first two years that it is out? If these new drugs are beneficial (presumably why the FDA approved them), what is the loss in poorer health that results from not letting people learn about these drugs? Many years ago there used to be bans on all sorts of advertising such as for optometrists. There have been studies that showed that when advertising was allowed the prices for that type of care went down substantially.
If ads are so misleading, why allow them to be advertised when they have been out for 2 years and one day?
Well, in some sense all this might not really matter very much since the price regulations that the Democrats want to impose on drugs will mean that very few new drugs will be being made.
Giuliani Tries Reassuring Voters on Gun Control
During a town hall meeting in northwestern New Hampshire Tuesday night, Giuliani told a former police officer blinded in the line of duty and concerned about the former New York City mayor's stance on guns, "You don't have to worry."
"You have a constitutional right, that is protected, to bear and carry arms. It is the Second Amendment," Giuliani told about 200 attendees in a high school gymnasium in Lebanon. "If someone disagrees with that, you have to get the Constitution changed."
He added that he believes in only three restrictions for those wishing to exercise their Second Amendment right — a previous criminal record, a history of mental instability and an age requirement. . . . .
Giuliani's answers are all over the map on guns as I discussed here. I have a hard time believing almost anything he wants to say on guns. One time he gives big qualifications, the next time he seems to believe that there are only three reasons for someone not being able to own a gun. If true, that would rule out most gun control.
Zogby Online Poll claims that 50 percent of Voters would never vote for Hillary Clinton
On the other side, Fred Thompson has the fewest number of people who say that they will not vote for him among major candidates from both parties.
Hillary Clinton listened in on illegal tapes of telephone calls
In their book about Clinton’s rise to power, Her Way, Don Van Natta Jr., an investigative reporter at The New York Times, and Jeff Gerth, who spent 30 years as an investigative reporter at the paper, wrote: “Hillary’s defense activities ranged from the inspirational to the microscopic to the down and dirty. She received memos about the status of various press inquiries; she vetted senior campaign aides; and she listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack.
“The tape contained discussions of another woman who might surface with allegations about an affair with Bill,” Gerth and Van Natta wrote in reference to Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. “Bill’s supporters monitored frequencies used by cell phones, and the tape was made during one of those monitoring sessions.”
So should this be considered a campaign contribution?
The banned ads were placed by the campaign of Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, for her re-election. The reason given for the ads' removal was that they violated Google’s copyright infringement policy. . . . .
While the Google people are obviously strong Democrats anyway, here is some additional information from John Gibson that makes this contribution to the Democrats even more interesting:
Why do you think Google has denied Republican Collins ad space to fight back against MoveOn, which is trying to put her out of business?
Google says her ad against MoveOn violates some policy or other and they have to tell her no. Translation: It's Al Gore's Google in this situation and Al Gore is more interested in MoveOn getting its anti-Bush, anti-war message out there than helping a Republican fight the Soros MoveOn machine to hold onto to her Senate seat.
MoveOn has been a very, very Clinton-centric organization, of course. But do you think maybe, just maybe, MoveOn might be interested in the candidacy of the environmental saint Al Gore if she should stumble?. . . .
Futures Market predicts Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize
Although the Nobel committee never informs the winner in advance, online speculators drew energy from the fact that Mr Gore cancelled his attendance at a global warming event in San Francisco on Thursday night, citing an unspecified overseas event on global warming. . . . .
Nine of the Eleven errors that the British Court found with Gore's movie can be seen here:
Mark Levin Nails the unfair treatment of Fred Thompson
I have also seen and talked to Senator Thompson in person and the description of him as tired and being without energy is simply inaccurate.
One reason why this presidential election counts so much
It seems difficult to believe that John Paul Stevens won't retire within the next five years. He is already in his late 80s and one of the longest serving justices ever. Three replacements would be a likely outcome and thus a huge role in shaping the court for decades to come.
Clinton Campaign getting only a small amount of flak from having Sandy Berger as an advisor
Fox News has a report on this, but I couldn't see anything on this on CNN, MSNBC, or the New York Times.
Newt Gingrich's Potential Presidential Run is Victim of McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Regulations
More on Romney and guns
When Mr. Romney took charge of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, we politely asked him whether lockers would be put in place as required by law. He curtly informed us that no lockers would be provided. The absolute disdain with which he treated us left a bad taste that still lingers in the gun-rights community in Utah.