Saturday, February 9, 2008

Everyboby At MSNBC Is Apologizing For What One Man said

Admittedly, David Shuster needed to apologize for eluding to some of Chelsea Clinton's phone calls on behalf of her mother as "pimping."

Over the top?

You bet, Mr Shuster.

You should not have said it. It was a comment that was beneath you. Perhaps that is why you are nearly getting your head ripped off, while people like Limbaugh refer to Chelsea as a dog and nothing is said about it.

Tonight, even Olbermann apologized, and Shuster wasn't filling in for Keith when he made the offending remark, but for Tucker Carlson, who is more unseemly and insulting in 5 minutes than Shuster usually is in an hour.

It is, indeed, a very, very sad thing to have to say, but the simple fact of the matter is, recent USA politics are ugly, barbaric and far beneath the people whom we have believed we are as a people; the people who make up this nation.

I like Chelsea Clinton. She has grown into a lovely, graceful, poised young woman. She seems intelligent, curious and probably has much more going for her than many of here countrymen can imagine.

She may well be the first female president in the USA.

I hope my granddaughter votes for her. LOL

Tell MSNBC An Apology Is Not Enough

I may be a pacifist, but if some asshole said this about my kid, let alone on television, I would be one mightily pissed off mama. It doesn’t matter if you are supporting Clinton, Obama or for that matter, McCain or Huckabee, or even Ralph Nader (no don’t even think about it)–this isn’t ok.

Write to MSNBC’s Phil Griffin, and their News Director Steve Capus and share your thoughts about this:

“Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson today blasted MSNBC for a remark made by talk show host David Shuster about Chelsea Clinton’s efforts in campaigning for her mother. Shuster, filling in for talkster Tucker Carlson, said Thursday that Chelsea was being “pimped out” by the campaign after noting that she had called panelists on “The View.”

Here’s the full exchange between Shuster and Democratic pundit Bill Press:

DAVID SHUSTER: Bill, there’s just something a little bit unseemly to me that Chelsea’s out there calling up celebrities, saying support my mom, and she’s apparently also calling these super delegates.

BILL PRESS: Hey, she’s working for her mom. What’s unseemly about that? During the last campaign, the Bush twins were out working for their dad. I think it’s great, I think she’s grown up in a political family, she’s got politics in her blood, she loves her mom, she thinks she’d make a great president —

SHUSTER: But doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?

Shuster reportedly has apologized, but Wolfson said today on a conference call with reporters that that wasn’t good enough. “I haven't received any phone call. I’m not familiar with any apology,” Wolfson said. “Look, I think the comment is disgusting. Its beneath contempt. It’s the kind of thing that should never be said on a national news network.”"

In a word, no shit. This kind of vile garbage isn’t cute, it isn’t politically acceptable, and it is irrefutable proof of the fact that what passes for news coverage and political commentary in this country is beginning to look like the contents of a clogged up toilet.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dem-Bulbs And Super Dels

God help the Clinton's and their ilk if they don't realize what messing around with those superdelegales, so that it looks as if the candidacy has been stolen..

Bill has been spending a lot of time with American's number one crime family

The Three Co-Chairs of the DNC Delegate Credentials Committee All Served in Clinton Administration


Mark Karlin, Editor and Publisher,

February 8, 2008

If I've learned one thing this primary season, it's that passion is back among the Democrats for their presidential candidates. Anybody who reads the BuzzFlash mailbag can see that in an instant. That can be a good thing or a bad thing.

It is the most fundamental sign of health in a democracy to see people so energized and willing to voice their opinions. But if it leads to a split party after the nomination, it would mean four more years of Republican rule and that would not be good for our Constitution and our freedom.

With that in mind, we'll throw some more wood on the fire with this follow-up to our alert yesterday on the likely role of the DNC Credentials Committee in deciding what to do about the unsanctioned Michigan and Florida "primaries." (In our view, they weren't primaries because there was no real campaigning in the states -- and in Michigan only Hillary Clinton's name was on the ballot.)

In January, BuzzFlash proposed one possible solution; some people in the DNC are proposing another. The latter plan would include party caucuses in Michigan and Florida in the early summer. That would be a sensible idea, but the Clinton campaign opposes it. One can assume that they are not happy with Obama's strength in caucus states.

But there may be another reason. If the "results" of the non-primary primaries were upheld by DNC Credentials Committee prior to the convention, and the convention delegates accepted the Credentials Committee recommendation to seat the delegates under the current distribution, Hillary Clinton would likely win the nomination.

According to the Washington Post, mathematically it is almost impossible for either Clinton or Obama to win based on the pledged delegates in the upcoming contests. So, at this moment, it is likely that the superdelegates will potentially decide the winner. But remember that there are still a small number of delegates pledged to other candidates sitting out there. It is possible that Clinton and Obama will end up so close in the delegate count that neither of them will attain the threshold number of delegates needed to be nominated.

That is why the DNC Credentials Committee could play such a pivotal role in terms of a decision regarding the status of the Michigan and Florida delegations, if the Clinton and Obama camps do not agree to caucuses that would allow for a full campaign in each state.

That leads us to the three co-chairs of the DNC Credentials Committee: Alexis Herman, James Roosevelt, Jr. and Aliseo Roques-Arroyo. All three of them served in the Clinton Administration. Okay, as far as we know they are all reputable, upstanding people, but if you were Hillary Clinton and these three people worked for you and your husband during the 8 presidential years Hillary includes on her "35 years of experience," wouldn't you feel like you might have some influence on the three co-chairs? After all, the decision of the DNC Credentials Committee will be political; this is not a judicial process.

According to the official background statements, in a DNC convention committee .pdf file, here are the Clinton connections:

Alexis Herman
Alexis Herman served as U.S.
Secretary of Labor from 1997 to 2001.

Her accomplishments as Labor
Secretary include negotiating between
UPS management and Teamsters
Union leaders, ultimately ending the
ten-day strike. Her extensive political
experience began during the Carter
Administration when she served as the
Director of the Women’s Bureau. In
1980 she left government to become
an entrepreneur and labor relations
expert. Secretary Herman served as
DNC Chief of Staff for Chairman Ron
Brown and later was named CEO of
the 1992 Democratic National
Convention. In 1993, she was
appointed assistant to the President
and Director of the White House public
liaison office. Since 2005, Secretary
Herman has served as a Co-Chair of
the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee
and also served as a Co-Chair of the
Commission on Presidential
Nomination Timing and Scheduling

James Roosevelt, Jr.
Jim Roosevelt is President and CEO of
Tufts Health Plan, a Massachusetts
based HMO. Prior to joining Tufts
Health Plan, Mr. Roosevelt was the
Associate Commissioner for
Retirement Policy of the Social
Security Administration in the Clinton
and a partner in Choate,
Hall & Stewart, specializing in health
care law. Mr. Roosevelt is the chief
legal counsel for the Massachusetts
Democratic Party. Since 1995, he has
served as Co-Chair of the DNC Rules
and Bylaws Committee and has
served as a DNC member since 1980.

Eliseo Roques-Arroyo
A native of Puerto Rico, Eliseo
Roques-Arroyo served as Executive
Assistant to Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico Senate Minority Leader Miguel
Hernandez-Agosto and to Puerto Rico
Delegate to Congress Antonio J.
Colorado. A former Executive Director
of the Democratic Party of Puerto
Rico, Mr. Roques-Arroyo served as a
consultant on travel and advance for
President Clinton from 1998-2000.
is a graduate of Cornell University and
the Inter American University of Puerto
Rico School of Law. He is presently a
member of the Democratic National

(Yes, James Roosevelt, Jr., is the grandson of FDR.)

Politics is politics -- and Hillary Clinton got the luck of the draw in the appointment of the three co-chairs of the Credentials Committee. They were appointed by Howard Dean, we believe, and Dean will be toast as DNC Chairman if Hillary is elected. Although he is neutral, as he should be, in the battle for the nomination, there is no love lost between Dean and the Clinton camp. So, we're no in anyway implying some vast conspiracy here.

It is true that the Credentials Committee itself will consist of many, many people by the time it makes the crucial Michigan/Florida decision, if it comes down to that. Only the core committee has been chosen as of now, so it is impossible to project the political leanings of the committee as a whole. However, there is no doubt that the Clinton camp has the inside advantage when it comes to the three co-chairs.

That's just the reality of the situation

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Elsberg: Here We Go Again! IMPEACH NOW

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg: Bush Likely to Attack Iran, Impeachment a Must

By Sari Gelzer,
Posted on February 7, 2008

Daniel Ellsberg, perhaps the country's most famous whistleblower, fears that before the Bush administration leaves office, it will try to attack Iran.

Indeed, Ellsberg's argument gained merit as George W. Bush increased his rhetoric against Iran when he delivered his final State of the Union Address. Bush accused Iran of training militia extremists in Iraq and emphasized the United States will confront its enemies.

In a wide-ranging interview with Truthout, Ellsberg uses insight from his experience as a Pentagon analyst under the Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon administrations to discuss Bush's plans to begin a war with Iran, the role of the press to give whistleblowers exposure and how American democracy can be restored.

Due to Ellsberg's experience working within the government, I wanted his insight into how the Bush administration is attempting to begin a war with Iran.

When I highlighted his experience working for Secretary of Defense Robert Macnamara in 1965 to draft a speech with the goal of rationalizing and gaining public support for the Vietnam War, Ellsberg gave a very long sigh.

"That was not my finest hour that I look back on. That was something that I am ashamed of," he tells me with a heavy heart.

Ellsberg wishes he had spoken out against the Vietnam War sooner. As a civilian working for the government, he says his oath was always to the Constitution, and he violated that oath until the day he decided to leak the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to reveal the war was unlawful.

Ellsberg now spends his time ardently encouraging and supporting whistleblowers to come forward when they see constitutional violations. He emphasizes the importance of documents as evidence and of timeliness so that lies are exposed before an actual war occurs.

Pending war with Iran or Gulf of Tonkin deja vu

The recent announcement in December by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) revealed, counter to the president's claims, that Iran did not have an active nuclear program. This was unexpected, says Ellsberg.

The administration had said, weeks before this release, it had no intention of putting out NIE summaries, Ellsberg says. However, the information was released because, according to newspaper reports, there was a threat of leaks:

"As one news story put it, intelligence officials were lined up to go to jail if the administration did not release those findings," says Ellsberg, emphasizing his creed in the need to take risks for the sake of revealing truth.

"I wish I could say it made an attack on Iran zero, and it hasn't, but it has reduced it and confirms, in my opinion, the power of being willing to risk prosecution, willing to give up your career, your clearance, which these people would have done if they'd put that information out -- and the mere threat was enough to get it out in this case," emphasizes Ellsberg.

Ellsberg says Bush will simply find a different pretext from the nuclear program.

"After all, it was about a year ago that he really stopped pressing the nuclear program as the main reason to start attacking Iran and start talking about what they were doing against U.S. forces in Iraq," says Ellsberg, who claims people in the military have recently undercut this statement by saying there is no evidence of Iran's involvement against U.S. forces in Iraq.

Bush could also use an incident that is blamed on Iran as a means to begin a war with them.

Early this year, Ellsberg experienced deja vu when the White House and a complicit media portrayed an incident in the Strait of Hormuz that deeply paralleled the Tonkin Gulf incident of 1964.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was an alleged attack by North Vietnamese ships upon American boats. As a result of this alleged aggression, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave former President Johnson the permission to expand the Vietnam War.

The recent incident involving Iran alleged serious threats were being made to U.S. ships by Iranian speedboats. Within days of the events in the Straight of Hormuz, information revealed the details of the entire event had been fabricated. Ellsberg sees promise in the quickness of this revelation because, in contrast, it was only in 2005 and 2008 that the inaccuracies and deceptions of the Gulf of Tonkin incident were revealed by the declassification of National Security Administration reports.

Ellsberg is worried Congress has not put forth an effort to demand it be informed before an attack on Iran should occur. Currently, there is a Senate resolution to demand Congress be consulted in the event of plans to attack Iran, but it has not gotten out of committee.

Instead, the Senate has virtually endorsed the president's power to begin a war with Iran, says Ellsberg, with the passage of legislation last September declaring that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is a terrorist organization.

"To say that the Revolutionary Guards in Iran are a terrorist organization ... is very close to saying that the president is able to attack them at his discretion. Now to give this president that discretion is inexcusable, outrageous," says Ellsberg.

The Democratic Congress should be having open hearings on Iran, says Ellsberg, as well as on how we got into the war against Iraq and regarding Guantanamo. But the Democratic chairmen are not holding such hearings.

The American public, and media in general, have not picked up on the urgency surrounding a pending war with Iran, Ellsberg says. For over two years, Sy Hersh and others have been writing detailed articles stating operational plans against Iran are being updated to the minute, so that within hours or a day they can be implemented.

The problem with these articles, says Ellsberg, is not that Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, lacks credibility, it's that his sources are not willing to go beyond their anonymity. Ellsberg emphasizes the sources in Sy Hersh's reports, and others within the government, must reveal documents, risk their career and testify before Congress if they wish to profoundly alter the course of a pending war with Iran.

Gateway for whistleblowers: the press

Whistleblowers depend strongly on the press to relay their information to the American public, who will then be able to exert pressure in politics. When I ask Ellsberg if he believes the press is doing a good job of this, he gives me the most matter-of-fact answer of the evening: "No."

In October of 2004, whistleblowers gave the New York Times knowledge of an illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying program that was being carried out by the U.S. government. The newspaper waited a year to reveal this information.

This was not just any year, says Ellsberg. The Times held this information at the request of the White House until after the 2004 election, avoiding the possible impact it could have had in swaying voters.

The New York Times, says Ellsberg, was pressured to publish the article because its internal reporter, James Risen, was going to release a book regarding the Times' decision to remain silent at the White House's request.

The New York Times received a Pulitzer Prize for releasing this story. Ellsberg says he believes not only reporters but whistleblowers who reveal important information should also receive a prize in recognition of their public service. This is not a retroactive attempt on his part, he says, to receive an award.

Ellsberg smiles. "In my case my prize was the indictment," which he says he has taken to be as great an honor as he needs in life.

The press in America, says Ellsberg, is currently avoiding the story of an explosive whistleblower by the name of Sibel Edmonds. A former FBI translator of Turkish and Persian, he says she has been attempting to speak before Congress for five years.

Early last month, Sibel Edmonds appeared on the front page of the London Sunday Times to reveal information she learned as an FBI employee. Ellsberg describes her claims that the U.S. government is giving nuclear materials, equipment and expertise to countries, including Turkey, which in turn sell them to other countries, including Pakistan. In effect, says Ellsberg, criminal bribery is occurring.

Ellsberg says Edmonds is also revealing the U.S. government is allowing a drug trade that finances terrorist operations, such as al-Qaeda, to continue. Ellsberg describes her revelations further, saying the U.S. government is turning a blind eye to the drug trade of U.S. allies such as Turkey and Pakistan, as well as countries such as Uzbekistan, where the United States wants to gain military base rights.

These allegations are only part of the knowledge Edmonds wishes to share before Congress, and she awaits the chance to do so, claiming she knows people in the FBI, CIA and NSA who will corroborate her statements, says Ellsberg.

This is in direct parallel, says Ellsberg, to what happened to Catherine Gunn, a British whistleblower whose actions, he believes, were more important than the release of the Pentagon Papers, because she provided information early enough to have prevented the Iraq war.

Gunn, who worked as an employee for British Intelligence, Government Communication Headquarters, revealed a document showing the United States was "tapping the U.N. Security Council members in order to influence their votes in support of an aggressive war, which was about to take place," says Ellsberg.

This was front-page news, not only in London, says Ellsberg, but all over the world, except the United States, where it did not appear for about 11 months. Ellsberg says it was reasonable to believe Gunn could have stopped the war, and he believes she prevented a U.N. Security Council vote in support of the war.

"The same thing is happening to Sibel Edmonds as we speak," says Ellsberg, intensely.

How to restore American democracy

As the days of Bush's final term in office dwindle, Ellsberg emphasizes that, no matter how much time is left, impeachment is one thing that must happen for the sake of preserving American democracy.

Impeachment proceedings are essential, says Ellsberg, "both for the information that it will produce and above all to make it clear that Congress perceives the illegal and unconstitutional acts taken by this administration to be high crimes and misdemeanors, and for the deterrent effect that they will have on future presidents."

In addition to impeachment hearings, Ellsberg says Congress must reverse the laws that have "outrageously" passed under "intimidation" by Bush. These include say Ellsberg: "The Patriot Act; the Military Commissions Act, which among other things essentially denies habeas corpus; the signing statements, which essentially give the president the power to ignore constraints on torture; and they could change the so-called Protect America Act which legalized much of the unconstitutional surveillance that the NSA was doing without Congress even knowing what they were legalizing."

For those things that Congress cannot overturn, Ellsberg suggests hearings by Congress to show, for example, that "not only was torture illegal, it should continue to be illegal because it hurts our national security."

None of these changes will happen without an active American movement, says Ellsberg, which must demand Congress members uphold their oath to support the Constitution rather than their political career.

Looking at the current primaries and the future presidential election, Ellsberg says the American public must create priorities that are different from those offered by the current candidates.

The changes that need to occur are drastic, and given the stakes, Ellsberg believes the American public should be willing to invest its time so that the crisis we currently find ourselves in can be met with strong action:

"If enough people simply look clearly at what we are doing in our course towards an abyss right now, they do have the power with the remaining democracy we have still in this country to turn it around."

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Sounds Like Obstruction Of Justice To Me.

C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes as Judge Sought Interrogation Data

WASHINGTON — At the time that the Central Intelligence Agency destroyed videotapes of the interrogations of operatives of Al Qaeda, a federal judge was still seeking information from Bush administration lawyers about the interrogation of one of those operatives, Abu Zubaydah, according to court documents made public on Wednesday.

The court documents, filed in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, appear to contradict a statement last December by Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, that when the tapes were destroyed in November 2005 they had no relevance to any court proceeding, including Mr. Moussaoui’s criminal trial.

It was already known that the judge in the case, Leonie M. Brinkema, had not been told about the existence or destruction of the videos. But the newly disclosed court documents, which had been classified as secret, showed the judge had still been actively seeking information about Mr. Zubaydah’s interrogation as late as Nov. 29, 2005.

The destruction of the tapes is under investigation by the Justice Department and Congress.

One of the documents, a motion filed by Mr. Moussaoui’s lawyers to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, cites several instances in 2005, including one after the videotapes were apparently destroyed, when government lawyers produced documents to the court that came from the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah.

The document states that on Nov. 29, 2005, government lawyers produced documents, including “intelligence summaries,” about Abu Zubaydah but never told the court about the existence or destruction of the tapes.

A response that was filed to the appeals court by federal prosecutors remains classified, government officials said. Mr. Moussaoui was convicted of terrorism-related charges in 2006, and the government officials said that last month an appellate judge had denied a motion by his lawyers, who argued that the destruction of the C.I.A. tapes meant the Moussaoui case should be sent back to a district court.

The tapes destroyed by the C.I.A. documented the interrogation of Mr. Zubaydah and a second Qaeda operative, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, according to current and former intelligence officials.

After The New York Times notified C.I.A. officials in December that it intended to publish an article about the destruction of the tapes, General Hayden issued a statement to employees.

In it, General Hayden said he understood that the tapes were destroyed “only after it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any internal, legislative or judicial inquiries — including the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui.”

Paul Gimigliano, a C.I.A. spokesman, said Wednesday: “The rulings in this case are clear, and the director stands by his statement. Nothing has changed.” A Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, said he could not comment on the unsealed documents.

It is unclear whether the C.I.A. notified federal prosecutors in the Moussaoui case about the existence and destruction of the tapes before the matter became public. But one of the documents released Wednesday, a letter from Chuck Rosenberg, United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said a prosecutor in the Moussaoui case “may have been told in late February or early March 2006” about the Abu Zubaydah videotapes, but “does not recall being told this information.”

The papers made public on Wednesday were filed in the appeal of Mr. Moussaoui, who was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Brinkema, of the Eastern District of Virginia, in May 2006. The documents were filed in December under seal and made public this week with some redactions.

Mr. Moussaoui attended a flight school in Oklahoma in 2001 but was arrested in Minnesota on immigration charges before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He admitted in 2005 to participating in terrorist plotting with Al Qaeda.

The new documents also raised new questions about a letter sent to Judge Brinkema in October by prosecutors in the Moussaoui case.

In that letter, prosecutors acknowledged that two declarations filed in the case by C.I.A. officials were inaccurate. The C.I.A. officials had denied the existence of video or audiotapes of interviews of certain Qaeda suspects, but the letter said the C.I.A. in fact had two videotapes and one audiotape of interrogations.

Intelligence officials have said the three tapes, which still exist, are separate from the hundreds of hours of videotape of Abu Zubaydah and Mr. Nashiri that were destroyed. It is unclear why the October letter did not mention those tapes or their destruction.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Obama Rakes In The Cash, While Hillary Borrows From Herself

Maybe it's just that I will never see $5 mill, but there is something highly suspicious to me about someone who uses their own money to get into office (so one can well imagine how I feel about the Mittster.)

It gives me the creeps; the thought of out-right buying power with their own money. They must want it pretty bad. The question then becomes, WHY?

This is nutso. The Obama campaign's response to the news that Hillary lent her campaign $5 million last month is to highlight the fact that they raised nearly that sum in the brief period that's passed ... since the polls closed yesterday!

In that time span, the Obama camp has raised: $4, 252, 184.

This highlights, yet again, a key emerging factor in the race: The Hillary camp faces the prospect of a weeks-long contest, perhaps leading all the way to the convention, during which they could find themselves dramatically outspent by their rivals.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

As Demographics become Clear, It's More Bad News For Clinton

Tis true that Dems haven't gotten behind one candidate yet and merrily trooped along alfer him/her, as P.M. ponts out. Nothing new there.

Cold shall be the say in hell when those to the left of center do that. That is a Gopper thing. They look for Daddy, think they have found him and get in line.

I hope to the highest of heavens that that never happens to the rest of us. I'm looking for a revolution, not a devolution.

As I have said before, time and time again, Americans need to grow the hell up and get over the need for a father/president...and please, please, not a mother/president. While we are at it, let's get rid of the nanny too.


P.M. Carpenter

February 06, 2008

The One Indicator of Yesterday's Rampaging Hodgepodge.

So here we sit, once again faced with the post-primary hangover question of: What did it all mean?I dunno. No one really knows -- not on the Democratic side of things, anyway. But three conclusions that transcend the present do occur, in increasing order of human interest:*

Republicans still know how to get behind their one electable candidate the earliest, notwithstanding the bloody trail they traveled to get there this time around.*

Democrats still do not.*

Chris Matthews is, in clinical fact, physically, intellectually and emotionally incapable of keeping his mouth shut for longer than five seconds. Good lord, his is the most severe case of logorrhea ever known to medical science. I marvel at his guests' supreme self-control, though I suspect the day is coming when, in a mad and desperate attempt to finish just one declarative sentence, one of them reaches over and throttles him.

Oh, please, please don't let me miss it when it happens. I like Chris OK as a person and he is the only news person who had the guts to say, on live TeeVee, that those of us who were against this incredibly stupid war were right, unless Olbermann said it and I wasn't tuned in.

Permit me, however, to backtrack just a bit on my otherwise relevant, opening agnosticism. For there was, perhaps, one reasonably reliable indicator last night of what lies ahead for the Dems. It was the thinnest of squeakers -- 49 to 48 percent -- but it was one that favored Obama and the state's traditional role as signpost may well have signaled the remaining squeaks to the finish line.

And that signpost was? Missouri. Most of the states in the Democratic contest yesterday were predicted and predictable, from Georgia to California. Missouri, however, was not. It was the one to watch. Sure enough, it remained in play and indeed went right down to the wire, even to the point of the Associated Press at first calling it for Clinton. But that wasn't to be. Obama pulled it out.

The state's major metropolitan areas saved him, according to the sketchy data yet available from exit polling. And in those areas Obama did more than just win -- he crushed Clinton, and I mean crushed, such as by nearly 70 percent. Missouri has an intriguing knack for picking winners, and I say that out of more than just fondness for my native land. It's a historical fact.

With the exception of opting for Adlai over Ike in 1956 -- I was, then, but a babe in arms and therefore immaturely unable to help save the state from its electoral embarrassment -- Missouri has somehow sided with the victor in every presidential contest since James Buchanan. If one can extrapolate from its primary as well, it's not that audacious to conclude more than just hope for Obama and his remaining road.

Furthermore, Obama's dominance in Missouri's metro areas (which lie in the north) would rather obviously indicate that Clinton dominated downstate, which, I can tell you from firsthand familiarity, is as red as Ozark clay. Any downstate denizen who knows anything of the universe outside of what Fox News broadcasts is instantly labeled an unnaturally inhuman Limbaugh-hater of communistic proportions, and presumed to be in cahoots with al Qaeda as well.

In other words, and extrapolating further, it would seem that Clinton did exceptionally well mostly among the most conservative of Democrats -- that peculiar breed of muscular foreign-policy fixations that resides largely in red states, which is to say, states that won't vote Democratic in November. Hence in further, other words, her 48-percent Missouri showing was largely a throwaway, as were her victories in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Broader demographic data from around the country offered even more hope for Obama. According to CBS News exit polling, "Clinton had only a slight edge among women and white voters, both groups that she has won handily in earlier contests." Such is the stuff of indisputable momentum. Whether it lasts or not is, of course, the unanswerable question for now. But for my money, Missouri was the one solid and leading indicator.Hence by next Wednesday morning -- after the primaries in D.C., Maryland and Virginia in which Obama is already favored -- he may be justified in parroting McCain from last night: "I think we must get used to the idea that we are the ... party front-runner."

McCain still has his problems with the Nazi wing of the GGOP.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

CNN Updates Yesterday's Primaries

We'll be keeping our eyes on this site/page all day long.

Yesterday, Obama took Georgia and Alabama. 40 years ago, men with his skin color were being hung for daring to fight for the right to vote in those states, let alone run for the highest office in the land.

I thought about that last night, when Georgia led the way, as the first state announced for Obama. I had tears in my eyes.

I wonder if Bobby, Martin and John were somewhere, watching as some dreams were fulfilled.

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Yes, Waterboarding Was Done 3 Times, In Our Name

...and the SOB (as the C-I-C is known around here) signed off on it.

The CIA admits it.

When are we going to do something about it?

Gee, for a nation that doesn't torture, this shouldn't be happening:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA director on Tuesday publicly named for the first time the three suspected al Qaeda detainees who were subjected to the harsh interrogation technique of waterboarding.

"It was used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It was used on Abu Zubayda, and it was used on [Abd al-Rahim] al-Nashiri," CIA Director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing.

Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, who also testified at the hearing, said waterboarding remains a technique in the CIA's arsenal, according to The Associated Press. He said it would require the president's consent and legal approval from the attorney general, the AP reported.

There you have it, folks.

Bush, in his speeches where he insisted "we do not torture," constantly referred to the Attorney General's tortured definition of torture that was rewritten to exclude waterboarding, so that he could claim that "we do not torture" and still not technically lie, even though he knew he had personally signed off on Waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" ("torture") techniques.

That's how he plans to get off the hook -- he'll claim he was following the legal definition.
Unfortunately for him, he and the DoJ knew that there were already existing cases (read: precedent) clearly establishing that the US Government viewed waterboarding as torture, so their shell game with word definitions doesn't protect him (or the DoJ) from war crimes and from federal criminal law prosecution.

Just because he's using a convenient re-definition of the word "torture" that doesn't mean that he's not actually torturing people; it just means he's even more guilty of trying to lie and cover it through -- quite literally -- a lie / sin of omission: their convenient new definition and what it leaves out of the list of things considered to be torture.

Now, of course, we have a stronger case for his willful signing off on the use of it. The case for "plausible deniability" is shot from the get-go; if you take the time to watch videos where Bush denied that our nation engaged in torture, and examine how he careful confabulates and incorporates the shiny-new DoJ definition as his working (read: "relevant") definition of "torture" it becomes very clear that he is explicitly attempting to establish that excuse.

He and his entire Administration should be immediately impeached, removed from office and prosecuted for War Crimes.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Hillary Claimed It, Barak Won It: Misouri

Missouri Lead Flips After Clinton Claimed It

Updated 1:07 a.m.By Shailagh Murray

CHICAGO -- Whoops, Missouri did it again.

After the Clinton campaign sent out a press release this evening claiming a win in Missouri, under the heading "Hillary's Big Night," the lead in the Show-Me State flipped -- with Barack Obama moving ahead by a few thousand votes to claim victory. One spectator at the Obama rally who wasn't surprised: Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, whose upset in 2006 was the last Senate race called on election night, after she had trailed all evening to incumbent GOP Sen. Jim Talent.

Blame it on St. Louis, in particular the Fourth Ward, a heavily Democratic area that is a notorious reporting laggard. "Where Barack Obama is doing so well in Missouri is where the Democrats live," said McCaskill, smiling slyly. "And in St. Louis, those returns come in very late."

Posted at 1:09 AM ET on Feb 6, 2008 Category

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Beth Arnold Seems Excited About The Obama Revolution

I'm talking about a 21st Century American Revolution that we are witnessing with our own eyes. It is the electricity that is burning through our air and the fresh words and ideas that are spilling into our ears. It is freedom itself we're beginning to smell again and a chance for a new beginning we've truly never had. Americans have been starving, and a healing future is tempting us to the table for an essential feast.

The notion that Americans can come together -- people of every generation and color -- to rebuild our country is a tonic that Barack Obama is offering us. The image of the United States again standing tall in the world after the last seven years we've suffered is a magnificent relief.

This revolution that has burst open in the baby (sic) days of 2008 is the opposite of The Civil War. This is the Civilizing War to make us one and whole again. It is a revolution of hope and faith that Senator Obama has inspired by his belief in himself and in us. It is a fire that is sweeping through our land and leaping across oceans to light up the peoples of other nations to give them hope and confidence in us again.

(Beth, it has become a habit for all Americans, except maybe the Quakers, to always use the word, "war," even when one has just said that it isn't a war (civil or otherwise). Beth, there is no such thing as a civilizing war. We all know that there have been non-bloody revolutions, but never a civilizing war. It really is amazing how we have all been herded into the "war on everything" mindset.")

It is the first real chance in several generations -- since JFK's presidency and the revolutions of the 60's and 70's -- for Americans to sense the power behind such social and cultural movements and to feel the magnetic pull to participate. My God, this is good! It is injecting energy that will continue to push us forward light years ahead of where we have been in the Dark Ages of George Bush. As a middle child and natural born rebel as well as a child of the 70's, I am thrilled by this. I believe it strengthens our people and country. It will tide us over until the next revolution is needed.

I first felt this gigantic shift on the night of the Iowa caucuses. Watching Obama and his supporters gave me goose bumps, while the Clintons seemed passé and stale. Of course, Obama's win gave his campaign a tremendous lift and proved what I suspect he and his true believers knew the whole time: He has the vision. He has what it takes to cross the imaginary lines his critics try to mark in his and our sand. More than that, at that crucial point for his campaign, he showed the country and world that he could defeat the massive Clinton Old Guard -- even while they threw their machine's atomic arsenal at him. What was becoming clear to voters was that Obama was their man. He could even co-opt a cache of Republican voters and beat the GOP candidate in November, when Hillary and the Clinton baggage would be stuck in their own mud.

In the middle of October, I'd felt that we were already in or were going to be part of a revolution of a different sort. I'd mentioned this to a Wall Street Journal journalist who was visiting Paris. That if people didn't wake up to the fact that if Hillary was chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate, the Republican contender -- whoever it was -- would make quick work of her and, voila, we would be in for more of the Republican agenda that has been strapped on our backs since 9/11. I had been afraid that the revolution that would be a sign of our times was going to be the slow and excruciating digging out of the massive assault that hit us after the Twin Towers were attacked, the one that came from our own president and his unethical administration -- which sank this country into an abyss of fear and quickly dispensed with American democratic values. The one that meant that our country went from being a beacon to the world to the one our enemies want the world to think of us -- that we are a white racist imperialist nation, which doesn't deserve its respect. I was afraid the revolution we were going to be immersed in was going to be about learning the lessons of humility and struggle on an even deeper scale, before the light would come again.

Instead, during the past week I read Caroline Kennedy's moving letter that knighted Senator Obama with her father's legacy. The next day I watched as Ted Kennedy delivered his brilliant speech extolling Obama's experience, spirit, and character (and in fact, most dutifully and beautifully slammed the door on the knocking Clintons) and crowned this glimmering presidential candidate as the Kennedy prince. I was blown away. The Clintons must have been hissing and calling in every marker they ever had. (To the critics of the Kennedy blessing: Who are you to impugn them in any way? This was Caroline's father. It was her right. It was her mantle to give. Your sour grapes about Hillary, at the least, are colored green with envy.)

One of the most compelling stories I've been told about the power of Obama's bringing Americans together comes from a man I met in Paris:

My wife and I have seven children and twelve grandchildren. Of the seven children, six are married. Number of voters: 16, including our oldest grandchild. We represent the full the political spectrum: a non-voter, a greener, a couple of independents, and the rest are split pretty evenly between Democrats and Republicans. (One of the Republican couples is fundamentalist and home-schools their seven children!) My wife and I have always voted Democratic. In 1992 and 1996, we voted for Bill Clinton, but we couldn't discuss politics with half our family because they were adamantly anti-Clinton. We faithfully supported Al Gore in 2000, but again, discussing politics with half our family was off-limits because of the Clinton legacy... Dean brought us out of our political shell -- he's the first political candidate who got us active and "out on the streets." ...Half our family thought we were nuts, but we had some really good discussions with our Republican faction. At least we were talking again! We held our noses and voted for Kerry, but our hearts weren't in it. And now there's Obama. Oh, my. We're having really positive discussions with our entire family -- even with the fundamentalists. And there's been a sea change. Two of our Republican couples have declared for Obama. One of our Republican sons has even gone so far as to register as a DEMOCRAT so that he can vote for Obama in his state's Democratic Party primary. This is the sort of shift in thinking that Barack represents. If our family is remotely representative - and short of a ton of Republican dirty tricks - Barack should win the general election in a landslide because his appeal to Independents and, if I can coin a phrase, "Obama Republicans" is so strong. But that'll happen only if Obama wins the nomination. All our crossover voters have declared that they'll NEVER vote for Hillary. And we're not sure that we can, either.

Democrats must learn to connect to their base again, and this is a lesson John Edwards has been teaching us. Al Gore has taught us that doing the right thing brings lasting results. The younger generations have taught us the power of the new media. These are all important revolutionary tools.

A friend recently said to me, "I have this horrible feeling that once again the Dems will snatch defeat out of the hands of victory..." Our Democratic Congress is still practicing this every day.

Another friend commented, "It is so sad that they (the Clintons) are sacrificing their reputations on this campaign..." There was more to that point, but you get the drift.

The good news is this: It is as if the ghost of Paul Revere climbed onto his horse in order to shout this news to the American conscious and unconscious, "Obama is coming! Obama is coming! Get ready for change, because it and he are already here."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Is McCain Stable?

Santorum brought this up. Romney says he isn't going to talk about personal matters.

If McCain does have these "temper problems" it's best that the voters know it and understand what it may mean, in terms of what kind of president he will make.

This is a matter of concern. We've had enough mental insability in the White House these past years and look what it's done.

Romney call raises McCain temper as issue

Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor February 3, 2008 06:38 PM
By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- Mitt Romney's campaign is blasting out automated phone calls that feature a recording of former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania raising questions about John McCain's "temperament" -- a hot-button issue that Romney himself has assiduously avoided.

Santorum said in an interview today that he wrote the script himself, and the campaign deferred to him and approved it.
"John McCain has written about and talked about the issues that he has with respect to his temperament and his ability to work with other people and to do so in a way that's productive," Santorum said in an interview after stumping for Romney at Dave & Buster's restaurant.

"This is not something he hasn't spoken about and talked about and admitted to and I think that to me it is a relevant issue for people to consider…I think it's one without question that factors into his ability to govern, to form coalitions and to get things done."

But Romney had insisted as recently as last week that he would not make an issue of McCain's temperament, which some critics have said tends toward the hot-tempered and angry.
"I think the contrast that I'll seek to draw is, as in the past, we disagree on a number of issues, I'll talk about those issued ifferences," Romney told reporters on Thursday in Fountain Valley, Calif. "We have very different backgrounds in terms of our life experience but I'm not going to be talking about personality matters"

Santorum said he had personally witnessed problems with McCain's temperament, which he declined to detail.

"I don't know anybody in the Senate who hasn't," Santorum said. "Everybody has their McCain story."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Iraqi MPs Offered $5 Mill For Selling Our Their Country's Reseources

By Guess Who?

Thursday, January 31, 2008


by digby

Small investment, big reward:

Reported today on Akhbar Alkhaleej newspaper [link updated]

An Iraqi MP preferred to remain anonymous told the newspaper that highly confidential negotiations took place by representatives from American oil companies, offering $5 million to each MP who votes in favor of the Oil and Gas law.

The amount that could be paid to pass the votes do not exceed $150 million dollars in the case of $5 million to each MP, pointing out that the Oil law requires 138 votes to pass, which the Americans want to guarantee in many ways, including vote-buying, intimidation and threats!
Focusing on the heads of parliamentary blocs and influential figures in the parliament to ensure the votes, the Americans guaranteed the Kurdish votes in advance but they are seeking enough votes to pass and approve the law as soon as possible.

Don't you love how we're spreadin' democracy 'n freedom? It's inspiring.

I wonder if they handed out hats that said "Corrupt Bastards Club" on them, just like they do in America's oil state.

Actually, this sum of money is quite substantial compared to the chump change they spend here to arrange for the United States to invade Iraq, but it still isn't much. This is a very cheap investment.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Same old Adrenalin Pushin' Bush

Richard A. Clarke is former head of counterterrorism at the National Security Council.

When I left the Bush administration in 2003, it was clear to me that its strategy for defeating terrorism was leaving our nation more vulnerable and our people in a perilous place. Not only did its policies misappropriate resources, weaken the moral standing of America, and threaten long-standing legal and constitutional provisions, but the president also employed misleading and reckless rhetoric to perpetuate his agenda.

This week's State of the Union proved nothing has changed.

Besides overstating successes in Afghanistan, painting a rosy future for Iraq, and touting unfinished domestic objectives, he again used his favorite tactic - fear - as a tool to scare Congress and the American people. On one issue in particular - FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) - the president misconstrued the truth and manipulated the facts.
Let me be clear: Our ability to track and monitor terrorists overseas would not cease should the Protect America Act expire. If this were true, the president would not threaten to terminate any temporary extension with his veto pen. All surveillance currently occurring would continue even after legislative provisions lapsed because authorizations issued under the act are in effect up to a full year.

Simply put, it was wrong for the president to suggest that warrants issued in compliance with FISA would suddenly evaporate with congressional inaction. Instead - even though Congress extended the Protect America Act by two weeks - he is using the existence of the sunset provision to cast his political opponents in a negative light.

For this president, fear is an easier political tactic than compromise. With FISA, he is attempting to rattle Congress into hastily expanding his own executive powers at the expense of civil liberties and constitutional protections.

I spent most of my career in government fighting to protect this country in order to defend these very rights. And I know every member of Congress - whether Democrat or Republican - holds public office in the same pursuit.

That is why in 2001, I presented this president with a comprehensive analysis regarding the threat from al-Qaeda. It was obvious to me then - and remains a fateful reality now - that this enemy sought to attack our country. Then, the president ignored the warnings and played down the threats. Ironically, it is the fear from these extremely real threats that the president today uses as a wedge in a vast and partisan political game. This is - and has been - a very reckless way to pursue the very ominous dangers our country faces. And once again, during the current debate over FISA, he continues to place political objectives above the practical steps needed to defeat this threat.

In these still treacherous times, we can't afford to have a president who leads by manipulating emotions with fear, flaunting the law, or abusing the very inalienable rights endowed to us by the Constitution. Though 9/11 changed the prism through which we view surveillance and intelligence, it did not in any way change the effectiveness of FISA to allow us to track and monitor our enemies. FISA has and still works as the most valuable mechanism for monitoring our enemies.

In order to defeat the violent Islamist extremists who do not believe in human rights, we need not give up the civil liberties, constitutional rights and protections that generations of Americans fought to achieve. We do not need to create Big Brother. With the administration's attempts to erode FISA's legal standing as the exclusive means by which our government can conduct electronic surveillance of U.S. persons on U.S. soil, this is unfortunately the path the president is taking us down.

So it is no surprise that in one of Bush's last acts of relevance, he once again played the fear card. While he has failed in spreading democracy, stemming global terrorism, and leaving the country better off than when he took power, he did achieve one thing: successfully perpetuating fear for political gain.

Sadly, it may be one of the only achievements of his presidency.

Richard A. Clarke is the author of "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror." E-mail him at

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Startling Surge For Obama In California

A startling surge of support for Barack Obama has catapulted the Illinois senator into a virtual tie with Hillary Rodham Clinton in California's Democratic presidential primary, a Field Poll released Saturday shows.

Arizona Sen. John McCain lengthened his lead in the state Republican primary, grabbing a 32 to 24 percent edge among likely voters over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was at 13 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 10 percent.
But the Democratic numbers are the shocker. Clinton, a longtime California favorite, saw her once-commanding lead slip to two percentage points, 36 to 34 percent, in the new survey. That's down from the New York senator's 12 percentage point lead in mid-January and a 25 percentage point margin over Obama in October.

But with 18 percent of Democratic voters still undecided just days before Tuesday's primary, the election is still up for grabs, said Mark DiCamillo, the poll's director.

"It's an unusually volatile election, with a very high number of undecided voters and so many moving parts," he said. "It could be a very, very close election."

The head-to-head matchups between the Republican and Democratic candidates highlight both Clinton's loosening hold on California voters and McCain's growing strength in the state.
Clinton now clings to a bare 45 to 43 percent lead over McCain in a projected California presidential vote, down dramatically from her 17 percentage point margin just two weeks ago. Obama now holds a stronger 47 to 40 percent margin over the Arizona senator, but that's only half the 14 percentage point advantage he had in mid-January.

Both Democrats still run well ahead of Romney, collecting more than 50 percent of the vote in those matchups.

Obama's California campaign team said the latest polls reflect a hard-charging effort to track down potential voters in every precinct - undeterred by polls that showed the Illinois senator behind by double digits here for most of the race.

"If we hadn't laid the groundwork for the last year, we couldn't be delivering now," Debbie Mesloh, spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, said Saturday.

Averell "Ace" Smith, Clinton's California campaign manager, said the last-minute dead heat is to be expected in the nation's most populous state, which is "critical" to Clinton's effort to win the nomination.

"We always knew it would tighten," he said. "But we're incredibly confident in the organization we have to get out the vote."

The new poll shows why Obama's campaign has been targeting decline-to-state voters, who can cast ballots in the Democratic primary. While Clinton has a 37 to 31 percent lead over Obama among Democrats, Obama leads by an overwhelming 54 to 32 percent among nonpartisans, who will make up an estimated 13 percent of the primary voters.

The poll also highlights the dramatic split the Clinton-Obama battle has caused in the state's Democratic Party. Rich versus poor, young versus old, liberal versus conservative, men versus women: Each of those groups has lined up on different sides of the primary divide.

While people aged 18 to 29 back Obama by a margin of 11 percentage points, voters 65 and older support Clinton, 40 to 18 percent. Voters with household incomes of $40,000 or less back Clinton by an advantage of 11 percentage points, while those making $80,000 or more are strong Obama supporters.

Obama attracts voters who call themselves liberal, who have gone to graduate school and who are from the Bay Area, which backs him 41 to 31 percent. Clinton's strength is among conservatives and moderates, those with a high school education and residents of sprawling Los Angeles County, where she holds a 42 to 34 percent lead.

There's also a broad ethnic and gender gap between the campaigns. While white voters are split evenly between Clinton and Obama, the Illinois senator, whose late father was a black African, has a 55 to 19 percent lead among black voters, while Latinos back Clinton 52 to 19 percent.

Among men, Obama holds a 13 percentage point lead, the same advantage Clinton holds among women.

But for Clinton, even her good numbers show some ominous changes. In mid-January, the Field Poll showed her with a 19 percentage point lead among women and a huge 59 to 19 percent advantage with Latino voters. In two weeks, much of that backing has melted away.

While part of the reason for the huge number of undecided voters is last week's departure of John Edwards from the race, most of it seems to be honest angst among Democrats pressed to make a choice between two favored candidates, DiCamillo said.

"This is the Democratic rank and file having a hard time making a choice, because they like them both," he said.

On the Republican side, McCain continues to make an astounding comeback in a state where he was virtually given up for dead just months ago. He's moved from 12 percent in December to 22 percent in mid-January to 32 percent and the lead in the most recent poll.

"McCain's had a very good month," DiCamillo said. "He also benefits from Huckabee, who peels off some votes from Romney."

McCain's lead comes courtesy of a strong showing among moderate and moderately conservative Republicans, where he holds a 39 to 16 percent advantage over Romney.
Steve Schmidt, a senior strategist for McCain, said the new poll numbers reflect a national surge for the Arizona senator.

"From California to Massachusetts, Sen. McCain is on the move and getting ready for a big night on Tuesday," said Schmidt.

But Romney spokeswoman Sarah Pompeii said the latest figures will not stop them from pushing hard in California.

So much of the election still depends on who turns out to vote on Tuesday, which DiCamillo admitted is the hardest thing to project.

"There are cautionary notes," he said. "With those big differences among (Democratic) subgroups, an unexpectedly large turnout by any one of them can shift the final result. We don't know if Obama's surge will continue or if something will arrest it in the days before the election."
Both Democratic campaigns were working hard in the Bay Area on Saturday. Chelsea Clinton, the 27-year-old daughter of Sen. Clinton, spoke Saturday to hundreds of students at Oakland's Mills College, while Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was in San Francisco to boost Obama's campaign.

Kerry was pleased Obama was closing the gap in California, but warned that "we've got to try even harder over the next few days because there are all of these absentee ballots out there - people who voted a few weeks ago when they thought the race was a foregone conclusion (for Clinton). It's proven not to be."

The poll was based on a telephone survey of 511 likely voters in the Democratic primary and 481 likely voters in the Republican primary and was conducted between Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points among Democrats, plus or minus 4.6 percentage points among Republicans and plus or minus 4.2 percentage points among general election voters.

Chronicle staff writer Joe Garofoli contributed to this report. E-mail the writers at and

This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Edwards Is No Loser

The Democrats will find that out if they drift away from his vision of one America.

The Edwards EffectPaul Krugman:

"So John Edwards has dropped out of the race for the presidency. By normal political standards, his campaign fell short. But Mr. Edwards, far more than is usual in modern politics, ran a campaign based on ideas. And even as his personal quest for the White House faltered, his ideas triumphed: both candidates left standing are, to a large extent, running on the platform Mr. Edwards built."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.