Friday, March 7, 2008

How Dumb "Does She Think We is"

by P.M. Carpenter

Probably my most cherished memory of the many talk-radio callers I've heard over the years is that of an intensely fatuous regular who asked one morning in the 1990s of Hillary Clinton (who, as I recall, had just committed some now-unremembered political sin): "How stupid does she think we is?"

That caller was always immeasurably good fun, but after the Clinton administration retired he retired as well, from the airwaves, to delight me nevermore. Yet the other night -- primary night -- his words that morning came back to me in a flash as I listened to his old bugbear, Hillary, address a victory rally in Ohio. As she spoke I found myself asking, How stupid does she think we is?

Her first brazen insult to electoral intelligence came early, loud, and wrapped in the following implausible laundry list: "You all know that if we want a Democratic president, we need a Democratic nominee who can win the battleground states, just like Ohio. And that is what we've done. We've won Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arkansas, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee."

Her stately recitation reminded me of the teenager Toad in "American Graffiti" who casually added a bottle of hooch to a lengthy list of items requested at a liquor store, hoping the clerk wouldn't notice the illicit incongruity. Right, I'll have some gum, hair tonic, a pint of Jack Daniels, Florida, Michigan and a comb, please.

When you want to get away with political larceny, just act like it's nothing out of the ordinary. And sure enough, Hillary's crowd went wild in violent agreement.

Another non sequitur that Hillary even more chronically serves up is that in the primaries she alone has won the "big" states, the "important" states, such as California and New York -- states, she goes on to say, that Democrats must carry in the general if they're to have any hope. Ergo her primary victories and Obama's losses in these states, she implies, prove that she alone can win them in November.

Again, it's a kind of underhanded, bullying assumption of the electorate's stupidity -- trusting that few stop to realize how solidly blue these states are; that sure, in a contested primary some Democrat must lose, but that loser would slide home in the general as easily as the primary victor.

I don't really blame Hillary for retailing these insults to what passes for the multitudes' intelligence -- after all, 62 million of us voted for George W. Bush in 2004 -- but it does irk that the reportedly harsh and Hillary-hating media don't stop her after each and every campaign conclave and press the question: Were you honestly saying, just now, that you don't believe Obama can carry the Republican-repellent state of California? Oh, and by the way, how did Florida and Michigan primary victories in the non-competing non-primary states of Florida and Michigan get in there?

Also nonchalantly slipped by the electorate is Hillary & Co.'s screeching U-turn on the momentum vs. math superhighway. Originally the Clinton campaign insisted with businesslike solemnity that the race is all about math, not momentum. That was when they believed the math was on their side. Now, whoosh, they insist with equal solemnity and without a dram of self-aware shame that the race is actually all about momentum, not math.

Simultaneously they've tried to muddle what is, in fact, the rather straightforward matter of math. And based on the plentiful emails I've received from Clinton supporters, they've been robustly successful in their muddlement.

This really, as they say, isn't rocket science. For the inescapable basics are these: True, neither Clinton or Obama will reach the magic 2,025 delegate count by convention time. Obama, however -- barring unimaginably staggering victories by Clinton from here on out -- will still hold a plurality of those pledged delegates by convention time. Which is to say, simply, he'll go into the convention with more delegates derived from voters than Hillary. That reality is as close to an absolute certainty as absolute certainties come.

And from this further derives some rather unassailable logic -- basic democracy stuff, you know, wherein the majority rules. If, among two candidates at a nominating convention, one holds more votes popularly won than the other but is still short of a needed 2,025, it would seem, democratically speaking, that the leading candidate deserves the deciding votes cast by superdelegates. To argue otherwise -- that the second-place candidate is more deserving in a (D)emocratic forum than the first-place candidate -- is a real head-scratcher.

Appearing on "Hardball" yesterday, Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe was asked about the democratic virtue of even a single-vote majority, with Chris Matthews adeptly quoting the Democratic Party's founder, Tom Jefferson: "the majority of a single vote as [is] sacred as if unanimous." What said Terry to this democratic axiom? Not much, for he bobbed and dodged the question by trying to cite legalistic rules and technicalities as the ultimate authority. But in other, plainer words, he was saying no, the Clinton campaign gives not one whit about all that democratic fussiness stuff. He also clearly believed that if he just dispensed with it quickly enough, no one would notice.

How stupid, indeed, do they think we is?

I should like to not altogether whimsically float, however, a possible resolution to the prevailing madness that faces no end in sight, except a severely and debilitatingly divided party. And the solution, not a speech, is this: If the party is intent on abusing democracy, then it can nominate neither Clinton or Obama.

If, that is, it looks like sufficient superdelegates are about to steal the popular will by siding with Hillary, then, in league with his pledged ones in addition to as many supers as he can muster, Obama could throw his support to, say, a Senator Russ Feingold or Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky -- anybody who denied authorization for Bush's idiotic and illegal war. Joe Biden would have been an appealing natural, but, alas, he committed the same unconscionably opportunistic sin as Hillary.

Such an escape route might convince enough superdelegates to pull in the reins before careening over the divisive edge. If it's democracy denial they seek, they might as well go whole hog and at least nominate a potential unifier, and not a certain divider.

(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, March 6, 2008

People Losing Homes In Big Numbers

Not so happy.

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Home foreclosures soared to an all-time high in the final quarter of last year, underscoring the suffering of distressed homeowners and the growing danger the housing meltdown poses for the economy.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, in a quarterly snapshot of the mortgage market released Thursday, said the proportion of all mortgages nationwide that fell into foreclosure shot up to a record high of 0.83 percent in the October-to-December quarter. That surpassed the previous high of 0.78 percent set in the prior quarter.


The delinquency rate for all mortgages climbed to 5.82 percent in the fourth quarter. That was up from the 5.59 percent in the third quarter and was the highest since 1985. Payments are considered delinquent if they are 30 or more days past due.

(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 There Revolution In The Air?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Call Out the Instigator; There's Something in the Air!

A revolution is justified! Since King John signed the Magna Carta, no monarch in our tradition has successfully assumed powers that are now claimed and assumed by the Bush/Cheney regime.

Revolutions often begin with an indictment of those in power, literally, a list of crimes or atrocities committed against the people themselves. Over a period of some centuries, essential principles were won and established. Kings have been deposed and executed for less flagrant abuses than those that must be charged to George W. Bush.

  • Bush's 'unitary executive' doctrine places Bush above the law;
  • Bush has decreed an end to habeas corpus
  • Bush has denied other basic rights guaranteed the people in the Bill of Rights.
In effect, Bush has re-written the US Constitution. He has claimed dictatorial powers because the nation was at war but--significantly --the nation was and remains at war because Bush conducted an orchestrated campaign of bald-faced lies in order to begin the war. This is the case that must be made when Bush is compelled to stand trial for high treason, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Capital crimes.
It's not that they lied about justifications for war, but in their failure to allow oversight into the processes that produced those lies. It's not in the firing of federal attorneys and the refusal to substantiate the firings, but in the pure partisanship of their actions. It's not their countless refusals to comply with subpoenas from Congress or Freedom of Information Act from the people, but in their arrogated stance, setting themselves above the requirements themselves.Once when challenged for his unwillingness to submit to the rule of law in an obvious snub of the Constitution, Bush screamed, "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"And thus our Constitution has now become what Bush has made it. This annihilation of the foundational document of our republic was orchestrated by a president who swore an oath of honor to protect it, a devout Christian who promised to restore honor and integrity to the Oval Office.Congress, in its acquiescence and subservience, is equally culpable. When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced, "impeachment is off the table," she not only absolved Bush of all previous transgressions but paved a figurative superhighway for any to come. There's a reason Congress's approval ratings are even lower than the administration's.

--Michael Abraham, Bush's legacy is the end of law

Until these issue are addressed, the primary process seems all but irrelevant. Those candidates daring to address these questions were all but ignored --victims of the media and an absurd primary process that is designed to weed out anyone wishing to conduct a real debate, anyone not controlled or given a wink and a nod by the MSM. But --there are signs that a 'revolution' of sorts may be afoot.
Voters in two Vermont towns approved measures Tuesday calling for the indictment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for what they consider violations of the Constitution.More symbolic than anything, the items sought to have police arrest Bush and Cheney if they ever visit Brattleboro or nearby Marlboro or to extradite them for prosecution elsewhere — if they're not impeached first.In Brattleboro, the vote was 2,012-1,795. In Marlboro, which held a town meeting on the issue, it was 43-25 with three abstentions."I hope the one thing that people take from this is, 'Hey, it can be done,'" said Kurt Daims, 54, who organized the petition drive that led to the Brattleboro vote.

--Vt. Towns Approve Bush 'Indictment'

One hopes these indictments address the fundamental treason from which all other administration crimes followed, that is, Bush put himself above the law of the land. The US Constitution, drafted by the 'founders' and duly ratified by the people of the United States affirms as a principle of law the very source of sovereignty: the people themselves.

In putting himself above the law, Bush claims absolute powers that even European monarchs dared not claim. Certainly, when those European Monarchs found themselves 'outside the law', they were often 'brought to book' for violating it. King John was literally forced to concede to the principles of Magna Carta. Later, Charles I, when he presumed to authority above that of Parliament, was prodded out a window in the Banqueting House in White Hall where, on a makeshift platform, his head was chopped off by a French swordsman imported for the occasion. Bush could not have placed himself above the law without help from Republicans of all stripes as well as timely betrayals and sellouts by key Democrats. Without effective opposition, Bush-Cheney were able to assume a "unitary executive", a dubious doctrine without precedent in either American history or English Common Law to which we are heir. This Republican-birthed 'doctrine' --utter claptrap --places Bush above regulation, above oversight or supervision, above the decisions of the courts, including the Supreme Court, above laws passed by Congress, above responsibility to the people. It is treasonous on its face. Tragically, I don't hear the candidates talking about this. All I hear from the 'candidates' is eyewash, focus group approved monkey chatter, platitudes and bullshit!
"[Since Watergate] I have repeatedly seen an erosion of the powers and the ability of the president of the United States to do his job. ... One of the things that I feel an obligation [to do] ... is to pass on our offices in better shape than we found them to our successors."

--VP Dick Cheney, [Interview with Cokie Roberts] New York Times, Recent Flexing of Presidential Powers Had Personal Roots in Ford White House, SCOTT SHANE. January 2002,

There exists now sufficient probable cause to formally charge Dick Cheney with the crime of mass murder in connection with his 'supervisory role' on 911. Even before 911 consolidated the powers of the Bush/Cheney 'administration', it was clear that real power in the US had accrued to an increasingly tiny elite, what had been called a "commercial class".
The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.

--Steve Kangas, The Origins of the Overclass [as quoted here: How the CIA Created a Ruling, Corporate Overclass in America]

The trend is not new and history is, indeed, our guide. Throughout the sixteenth century, the grandfathers of the Parliamentarians, were the source of the monarchy’s strength. Parliament had supported efforts by Henry VII and Henry VIII and Elizabeth to police England. The specter of a foreign enemy was often raised. In our own time, the GOP has become, increasingly, a party of privilege thanks to inequitable tax cuts by Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Jobs have been exported, proverty has increased. Three GOP Presidents since 1989 have hollowed out American industry and subverted the dollar as they made the rich much richer and the poor much poorer.

These are reason enough to forever bar the GOP from positions of responsibility and that includes John McCain --the biggest political disappointment since Dan Quayle compared himself to JFK. Historically, revolutions are fought for considerably less than what is at stake now!
People must see clearly the futility of maintaining the fight for social goals within the framework of civil debate. When the forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law; peace is considered already broken.

--Che Guevara, General Principles of Guerilla Warfare

Thomas Jefferson had articulated the same principle in a document that is, supposedly, revered by Americans: the Declaration of Independence, in effect, an indictment of King George.
...whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

--Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
Our own declaration of independence of the illegitimate regime of the liar and criminal that has seized the White House must include an indictment of both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. A true revolution must include the impeachment, trial and removal of GWB and all his crooked henchmen. It must declare undone all the many harms done to the Constitution by Bush.

It is hoped that the actions taken in Vermont are but the beginning of a revolution.

Brattleboro, Vermont passes indictment of Bush and Cheney To be arrested in Brattleboro "if they are not duly impeached"

The courageous people of Brattleboro, Vermont have taken the lead! Frustrated that elected officials have refused to introduce articles of impeachment in defiance of their constituents' demands, the people of Brattelboro voted to direct town officials to draw up indictment papers against George Bush and Dick Cheney for violating their oath of office.

The Brattleboro vote took place during the Tuesday's Vermont primary election. Bush supporters launched a major campaign to discredit the referendum resolution and the organizers. Yet the resolution passed by a vote of 2012 in favor to 1795 against.

"Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities and shall it be the law of the Town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro Police, pursuant to the above-mentioned indictments, arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro if they are not duly impeached, and prosecute or extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them?" The people of Brattleboro answered, "yes!"

The indictment means that Bush and Cheney can be arrested for criminal acts should they ever enter Brattleboro. The indictment would go into effect after Bush and Cheney leave office.

The Brattleboro resolution is becoming a powerful organizing model for cities and towns around the country. The impeachment movement has sunk deep roots throughout this country. The people of the United States are demanding not only that the Constitution be restored, but that the President, Vice President and other officials be held accountable for committing high crimes and misdemeanors.

The Brattleboro resolution shows that even where Congressional representatives are refusing to follow the majority sentiment demanding impeachment, that the people themselves can take action.

Please make an urgently needed donation so that we can continue to build this momentum. The movement can't do it without your continuing support. Please click this link to make a generous donation online or to get information to write a check.
When Ramsey Clark launched the ImpeachBush / movement in January 2003 he sparked something entirely new. In the face of the aggression and arrogance of the Bush Administration, he launched a movement for the people to take back the Constitution. In Vermont, more than 40 town councils voted in favor of impeachment. Throughout California and in the other states of the union, the grassroots movement has put impeachment on the table through referendum, resolutions, demonstrations, rallies, newspaper ads and door-to-door petitioning.

In the next two weeks, is joining with the anti-war movement for mass protests around the country. We are organizing buses, car caravans, printing placards and banners and making sure the call for Impeachment resounds on this coming 5th anniversary of the criminal war in Iraq. These will be locally and regionally coordinated mass actions in cities and towns throughout the country. Please click here to donate to this effort.

The movement is spreading because of the commitment and sacrifice of thousands of individuals who are engaged as volunteers in day-to-day organizing. Everyone should be proud of their work because this is a movement that belongs to all of us.

Please make an urgently needed donation so that we can continue to build this momentum. The movement can't do it without your continuing support. Please click this link to make a generous donation online or to get information to write a check.
Another important beginning can be found in the text of an indictment of George W. Bush prepared by former Federal Prosecutor, Elizabeth de la Vega. All this indictment needs is a courageous Federal Judge and a Federal Grand Jury, which a Federal judge can convene upon his/her own motion. I found the following steps for taking back America on The Republican Party Offers A Choice: "Fascism Or Anarchy?":
  • The key goal of "total anarchy" is to make the leadership of the Republican Party, and their supporters, so uncomfortable that they will run off and hide in fear for their bank accounts and their lives. This level of discomfort will make the GOP's key supporters want to stop supporting the Republican's fascist ideology and they will want to seek a new democratic ideology that can offer them a much more stable, secure, and friendly form of government.
  • Bring world wide attention to our cause. This can be done through mass resignations by the Democrats in Congress, mass education efforts, by boycotting of all businesses and real estate owned by the GOP's key supporters, by lobbying local law enforcement to join the fight, and by staging mass protest and demonstrations. If this step is successful no other steps will be necessary.

  • Hold mass protest in public, and at the private homes of the GOP's members and the private homes of their key financial backers. If they leave follow them. If they run, run after them. And if they fight then we must fight back even harder. The key is to make them extremely uncomfortable until they realize that their cause is no longer winnable because their risk/reward ratio has turned negative. If this step is successful no other steps will be necessary.

  • Take control of key roads, businesses, homes, and government buildings. The purpose is not necessarily to destroy but to take control and begin to organize a new government, new businesses, and a new social structure. If this step is successful no other steps will be necessary.
  • If these three steps fail then it will be time for the final step and last hope of our democracy, REVOLUTION. Load your guns, dig in, and fight for your life and the lives of your family.

(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.

Rush Limberballs Has It All Figured Out....God Help Us.

It seems that people from both sides of this election keep grasping for historical straws in order to explain 2008.

The thing is, there is no historical precedent for this election, unless it is, maybe, 1968. But in order for that to be a sure fit, there would need to be bullets, not ballots. We must be over that, by now.

Limbaugh, the clown, seems to think that it will take Clinton to bloody up Obama for McCain to win. Sorry statement on the GOP; that they need Hillary to do their bidding for them. Huh, maybe they do and maybe she is doing just that. After all, the two of them are good buds, from what we hear.

Perhaps the GOP has to have McCain v. Clinton. Either way, the sins of Bush/Cheney will be forgotten quickly, swept under the rug, whatever. We remember that is exactly what happened when Bill was elected. Iran/Contra was forgiven and forgotten quickly.

Sometimes, forgiveness is not the best thing for the country.

This is definitely one of those times. There can be no forgiveness, nor can we forget what Bush and Cheney have innocents in foreign countries and to our own country.

Now It Gets Dangerous for Democrats

by John Nichols

Here is what conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh said about the prospect of a continuing contest for the Democratic presidential nomination on the eve of the Ohio primary and the Texas primacaucuses that have - with “good enough” finishes for Hillary Clinton — assured the race will go on:

“We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically.”

Limbaugh explained to fellow right-wing gabber Laura Ingraham - yes, they are now interviewing each other — that Obama has gotten this far in his race for the presidency with most of his popular appeal intact. As such, he would be hard to beat as the Democratic nominee in a race with Republican John McCain.

“I want our party to win. I want the Democrats to lose. They’re in the midst of tearing themselves apart right now. It’s fascinating to watch, and it’s all going to stop if Hillary loses,” Limbaugh argued, as he suggested that Republicans in primary states should cross party lines to vote for Clinton.

Only by keeping Clinton in the race, Limbaugh explained, will it be possible to “sustain the soap opera” that might ultimately diminish Obama sufficiently to secure an undeserved Republican win in November. Well, the soap opera has been sustained.

With her big Ohio and Rhode Island wins and a narrow victory in Texas, Clinton can do more than just carry on. She can say, credibly, that, “We’re going strong and we’re going all the way.”

Tuesday night belonged to Clinton, and she owned it.

As Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising” played, the senator claimed the victory she needed with the line: “Ohio has written a new chapter in the history of this campaign, and we’re just getting started.”

What is getting started is an edgier, rougher Democratic presidential race.

And don’t think that the New York senator will pull any punches.

If the Clinton campaign has learned anything from the two-week campaign that preceded the Ohio and Texas votes, it is that Hillary Clinton will not win unless Barack Obama loses. The senator from Illinois must be damaged, badly, or so the theory goes, in order for the senator from New York to grab the Democratic nomination from his clutches.

Make no mistake: The candidate and her Clintonistas have sought to inflict that damage.

This campaign moves so fast that it is easy to forget everything that happens in a two-week timespan. But, since Clinton lost Wisconsin’s February 19 primary, the hits really have kept coming. There was “Barack stole lines from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick” hit. There was the “Barack stole a page from Karl Rove when he sent out negative mailings” hit. There was the “Barack dresses like a Muslim” hit. There was the “Barack’s campaign told the Canadians one thing about trade and Ohio another thing” hit. There was the “Barack’s not the guy you want answering the phone in the White House” hit. There was even the “Barack’s defiling the memory of Ann Richards because she would have wanted Hillary to have a clean shot at the nomination” hit. And always, always, always, there was the steady drumbeat from candidate Clinton that: “”I have a lifetime of experience I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech (against authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq) he made in 2002.”

Now, the strategy has been sufficiently-if-not-completely validated.

So Clinton will go on, and chances are that she will go on rough. Will it be enough to secure her the nomination? Clinton and her aides think so. Their calculus goes like this: Obama is really just another Democratic presidential “flash-in-the-pan” who started strong but will ultimately wear thin- like Gary Hart in 1984, like Paul Tsongas in 1992, like Howard Dean in 2004 - and Clinton can slowly but surely take advantage of uncertainty about Obama until she “closes the deal” at a convention where she arrives with momentum from late primaries and caucuses, maybe even re-vote victories from Michigan and Florida, and a clear advantage among super delegates.

The scenario is not a likely one. More likely is a repeat 1972, when South Dakota Senator George McGovern seemed to have the nomination secured by early spring but former Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s campaign kept “raising doubts” about McGovern to the very end. The Humphrey campaign and its allies pulled no punches. They suggested, with none-too-subtle encouragement from incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon’s surrogates, that a McGovern candidacy - and, presumably, a McGovern presidency — would be all about “acid, abortion and amnesty”: legalizing drugs, attacking moral values and forgiving military deserters.

Democrats did not buy it; they gave McGovern more primary wins and the nomination. But McGovern and his campaign were done severe damage. A World War II hero with a stellar Senate record on serious issues like providing food aid to the world - so stellar that Bob Dole and George Bush would ultimately celebrate his work in this particular area — was redefined as what Republicans and their amen corner in the media now refer to as a “McGovernite.”

Clinton’s campaign has been given a new lease on life.

It will continue.

But she and her supporters - as well as Democrats who may still be undecided about this contest — need to think long and hard about the kind of campaign will now run against Barack Obama. If the Clinton camp runs the right campaign on legitimate issues, and if it does so with dignity, they will not harm Democratic prospects in November - no matter who the nominee turns out to be. On the other hand, if they run wrong, and seek to destroy Obama by any means necessary, they could be responsible for two defeats: Clinton’s for the nomination and Obama’s for the presidency in November.

Those are the stakes as the long campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination now enters its most dangerous stage.

John Nichols’ new book is The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders’ Cure for Royalism. Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson hails it as a “nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the ‘heroic medicine’ that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to ‘reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.’”

Copyright © 2008 The Nation

(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.

Politics As Usual For Senator Not-So-Clean

March 5, 2008
2:39 PM

CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

With McCain Visiting the White House, New Spotlight on Lobbying Scandal

"At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust nor make a decision which in any way would not be in the public interest and would favor anyone or any organization."
-- Sen. John McCain, Feb. 21, 2008

Starr just wrote the Nation magazine piece "The Other Side of the McCain Lobbyist Scandal," which states: "I don't know whether Senator John McCain had sex with lobbyist Vickie Iseman, but I do know, first hand, that he broke the rules while doing the bidding of media mogul Lowell 'Bud' Paxson [for whom Iseman was working], a major contributor to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. McCain's staff lied about it then and they are inventing new lies even now. ...

"Now McCain's camp has issued a 1,500-page document of 'facts' the recent New York Times exposé did not include, such as that 'No representative of Paxson or Arcade and Fay asked McCain to send a letter to the FCC regarding this proceeding.' However, within days, Paxson himself advised the Washington Post that both Iseman and he had met with McCain about the matter.

"At the time, according to well-documented reports, Paxson's family, company and law firm were contributing tens of thousands of dollars to McCain's campaign while McCain flew around on Paxson's private jet to rallies and to fundraisers on Paxson's yacht."

Starr was co-chair of the Save Pittsburgh Public Television Campaign and wrote the book Air Wars: The Fight to Reclaim Public Broadcasting, about the battle for a public TV station in Pittsburgh that Paxson was seeking. Starr is now visiting professor of communication at the University of California at San Diego.

LINDA WAMBAUGH's piece "Public Broadcasting Activists Refute McCain Campaign 'Facts' on FCC Letters" reports: "After the story broke, the McCain campaign distributed a lengthy document stating that the senator's commerce committee staff 'met with public broadcasting activists from the Pittsburgh area' who opposed a controversial license swap involving Iseman's client, Paxson Communications, before it sent two letters to the Federal Communication Commission urging the commissioners to vote on the issue. ...

"Starr's co-chair on the campaign, Linda Wambaugh, said that she and Starr handled all the lobbying for [the] campaign. 'We were it. Anything would have come through us,' said Wambaugh. 'There was absolutely no contact whatsoever -- no meetings, no phone calls, no correspondence.'"

Currently director of the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center, Campbell was the attorney for the Save Pittsburgh Public Television Campaign.

She said today: "Some are claiming that McCain just asked the FCC to act, so he really wasn't doing Paxson a favor. But Paxson needed the FCC to act by a certain date. The chair of the FCC was not inclined to take up the matter. McCain's letters were clearly to Paxson's favor."

(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.

Would They Actually Arrest Them?

If there is a warrant in Vermont, is it incumbent upon all police forces to arrest Junior and/or Dick?

This could get interesting.

Why the hell not?

Everything else has gone to hell.

Why not arrest the war criminals in the W.H.?

by Dave Lindorff | March 5, 2008 - 12:35pm | permalink
article tools: email | print | read more Dave Lindorff

In Mansfield, CT, the town where I grew up, there were no police. Oh, there was a resident State Police officer with a big cruiser, but mainly, his job was patrolling the stretch of four-lane highway that ran north of us between Hartford and Boston. The University of Connecticut, a sprawling ag school at the time, had a few police, but their job was limited to patrolling the campus. If something happened, like a kid stealing candy from Phil's, the local Five and Ten, or if there was some kind of domestic dispute, it fell to the local town constable--an elected position--to handle.

Up in the town of Marlboro, VT, population 1000, the town constable may have a new job. If President George W. Bush, or Vice President Dick Cheney should happen to stop by there, perhaps to pick up some freshly made maple syrup or maple sugar candy, he'd have to arrest them. Last night, the citizens of Marlboro voted in their annual town meeting to indict both men for war crimes, obstruction of justice and perjury. The vote was 43-25, with three abstentions.

» article continues...

(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.

Thank You, Kind Sirs, For Spying On All Of Us For The GOP

Now, we must find a way to thank you and that nut-case in the W.H.

Hmmmmm, let's see now.....

by Alicia Morgan | March 5, 2008 - 2:24pm | permalink
article tools: email | print | read more Alicia Morgan

Just when I think George W. Bush can't get any more insulting, condescending, arrogant, and despotic, I hear this, about telecom immunity:

"Now the question is, should these lawsuits be allowed to proceed, or should any company that may have helped save American lives be thanked for performing a patriotic service; should those who stepped forward to say we're going to help defend America have to go to the courthouse to defend themselves, or should the Congress and the President say thank you for doing your patriotic duty? I believe we ought to say thank you."

"Thank You?!?"

» article continues...

(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.

WTF Do We Do?

The Malign Magic of Misdirection
By Terry J. Allen
In These Times

Tuesday 04 March 2008

It’s the oldest trick in the book. The magician flashes the shiny object to misdirect the audience’s attention from the real action. In the theater of politics and economics, the magic consists in getting people to focus on poor options so as to shift their sight from wider, more fundamental possibilities for reform. Distracted by half-truths and seduced by shortsighted strategies, we squander time, energy and political capital.

Think of it as the plastic vs. paper bag choice at the grocery store checkout line. Forget about parsing the relative carbon footprints and recycling potentials. Even if one bag is marginally less worse for the environment, both paper and plastic are lousy solutions. Reusable bags are the way to go.

Misdirection proliferates: We are distracted by arguments over such fundamentally flawed propositions as whether it is unhealthy to drink milk from cows dosed with bovine growth hormones (BGH) or eat meat from cloned cows.

Or whether increasing gas mileage of cars, substituting alternative fuels and switching to hybrids are effective strategies for countering global warming.

Should we help the environment by consuming Midwest lamb rather than chops all the way from New Zealand?

How can we alter lifestyle choices to lower cancer risks?

Is irradiated food toxic?

Is Sen. Hillary Clinton’s or Sen. Barack Obama’s proposal the better solution to America’s healthcare crisis?

Although each of these misdirections glitters with argumentative allure, they give aid and comfort to sloppy thinking and relatively trivial positions. The wrong question is unlikely to yield the right answer.

The problem with cloned meat, BGH milk and irradiated food is not the danger to personal health. Even if real, these risks pale in comparison to economic and environmental effects.

Safe to eat or not, meat from cloned animals should be banned because the proliferation of such herds would strengthen the worst aspects of factory farming and weaken the genetic pool. Cloned herds would take enormous up-front costs and become a monoculture crop of genetically identical animals susceptible to the same stresses and diseases.

The key harm from treating a dairy herd with BGH is not to us, but to cows and independent farmers. The treated cows burn out quickly and get sick; the farmers become economically dependent on chemical companies for the next fix of the drug.

And the larger impact of irradiated food is to allow manufacturers to sell fecal matter-laced foods, create a market for nuclear waste, and endanger workers and the environment. The argument over whether irradiated food is safe to eat is largely a distraction.

While raising fuel economy for the family car is a good thing, it is no substitute for an extensive public transportation system. Nor is the switch to biofuels—which raises global food prices by diverting farms from food production, encourages clearing new land and, in the case of palm oil production, devastates communities and the environment. Rather than providing an economically and environmentally sound solution to the oil crisis and global warming, these short-sighted choices allow us to perpetuate an insane system.

As for the lamb chops: It turns out that the carbon foot (hoof?) print of New Zealand lamb, which graze in open pastures, is lower than that of Midwest sheep that rely on factory farming, drugs, and grain raised with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. But the distinction is tiny. The critical problem centers around the amount of meat we eat and the way we raise animals.

When it comes to cancer, until research money goes into examining the effects of carcinogens in the environment, and until we ban the poisons, lifestyle tinkering will do little to lower most cancer rates. (Smoking being the big exception.) But eliminating environmental carcinogens is less profitable than treatment—and far less attractive to pharmaceutical companies or to politicians reaping largess from polluting corporations.

And finally, neither the Obama nor the Clinton health insurance plan does the one thing essential to lowering costs and improving access to quality healthcare: Eliminate profit from the system by cutting out the insurance companies and for-profit hospitals. By shying away from fully funding healthcare with tax money, both plans diddle around the edges of the problem and create convoluted systems that diffuse demands for fundamental change.

When the magician is waving the shiny object, it is sometimes hard to focus on the other hand that is quietly picking our pockets and stealing our future.

Contact Terry J. Allen 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.

FBI Obtained Personal Data On Americans With NSLs

Just as we suspected.

Wonder what they plan on doing with it?

This is clearly abuse of power. Where are the Impeachment hearings?

Go to Original

New FBI Privacy Violations Confirmed
By Lara Jakes Jordan
The Associated Press

Wednesday 05 March 2008

Washington - FBI Director Robert Mueller says an upcoming Justice Department report will show the bureau improperly used national security letters to obtain personal data on Americans during terror and spy investigations.

Mueller says the report focuses on national security letters issued only in 2006 - a year before the FBI enacted sweeping new reforms to prevent future lapses.

Mueller's comments Wednesday morning in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee came just days before the Justice Department's inspector general is scheduled to release the follow-up to a similar audit in 2007.

Last year's report found that over a three-year period, the FBI had demanded personal data on people from banks, telephone and Internet providers and credit bureaus without official authorization and in non-emergency circumstances.

(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.

Ohioans Skunked By The Clintons

Does Ohio have the Internet, or even Cabal Teevee?

March 5, 2008 10:33 AM

The Clinton-Lieberman Connection

Confusion and misinformation are two of the most powerful weapons in a desperate politician's arsenal. They were used by Joe Lieberman in the 2006 general election against Ned Lamont, and exit polls suggest that they helped Hillary Clinton blast her way through yesterday's primary in Ohio.

Just ask Karl Rove. He is the master of misinformation, confusion and chaos.

Over the last few weeks, Clinton has been telling Ohio voters she never supported the North American Free Trade Agreement - an agreement that has become a symbol of corrupt economic policies to many working-class voters. Clinton has made these claims expecting everyone to forget her speeches over the last decade trumpeting NAFTA as a great success.

Her direct quotes praising NAFTA repeatedly are not up for interpretation - and neither are her absurd claims to "have been against NAFTA from the beginning." We're talking about pure, unadulterated lying here - and lying with a purpose: To confuse enough voters into thinking she actually did oppose NAFTA and that her strong support for NAFTA is somehow the same as Barack Obama's longtime opposition to the pact. Last night's results prove the scheme worked.

CBS News reports that "among Ohio voters who expressed that trade takes jobs away, 55 percent supported Clinton." The Associated Press has some more details:

"Clinton's past support of the North American Free Trade Agreement didn't hurt her in Ohio where most voters think trade with other countries has cost the state jobs. Blue-collar workers and voters who live in union households backed Clinton as did voters in northern Ohio where manufacturing job losses have been staggering the past decade, according to exit polls for The Associated Press and television networks. Clinton won nearly six in 10 votes from union households in Ohio's Democratic primary Tuesday and the same number among people who earn less than $50,000 a year."

If this all sounds familiar, that's because it is. Here's an excerpt of a 2006 article I wrote for In These Times about the Lieberman-Lamont race:

"As the Associated Press confirmed, Lieberman's margin was provided by a segment of voters who are strongly against the war, but who (wrongly) believed Lieberman is strongly against the war. Their misperception was no accident. Immediately after the primary, Lieberman unleashed an ad campaign to portray himself as anti-war, airing an ad where he says to the camera "I want to help end the war in Iraq."...Lieberman won the election not by defending the Iraq War, but by successfully convincing a key segment of voters that he was anti-war...[Lamont's] internal polling showed that somewhere between 12 and 15 percent of the population said they simultaneously opposed the war and supported Lieberman's position on the war--a signal that Lieberman's confusion campaign was working."

Clinton was actually even more brazen than Lieberman. Not only did she lie about her record, she actually went on the offensive attacking Obama over the very trade deal she has long championed, "rais[ing] doubts about whether he was committed to reworking NAFTA," as the AP noted. To use the Lieberman-Lamont analogy, that's would be like Lieberman not only pretending to be against the war, but actually attacking Lamont for not opposing the war more strongly. Even Lieberman wasn't cravenly dishonest enough to do that - but Clinton was.

The tragedy, of course, is that when such tactics are validated - whether on the war in Connecticut or on trade in Ohio - it encourages candidates and politicians to continue lying about the most important issues. And those lies end up polluting the debate and ultimately preventing any real change. If politicians can be rewarded for lying about their record on the war and on globalization, then they will feel emboldened to keep lying when those rhetorical debates turn into legislative negotiations.

(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.

National Security Experts Are Grim on Iraq and GWOT

Published on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 by the Inter Press Service
National Security Experts Grim on Terror War
by Jim Lobe

A new survey of more than 100 U.S. foreign policy experts -- both Republicans and Democrats, as well as retired military and intelligence professionals -- has found deep pessimism over the "global war on terror" and even deeper pessimism over the war in Iraq.

According to the survey, the second in the last six months carried out by Foreign Policy magazine and the Centre for American Progress, two out of three foreign policy experts oppose President George W. Bush's plans to increase troop levels in Iraq, while nearly nine out of 10 say the war there is undermining U.S. national security.

Overall, three out of four respondents disagreed with assertion that Washington "is winning the war on terror", while 81 percent said the world is becoming "more dangerous" to the United States and its people.

The survey also found wide, although narrowing differences compared to six months ago, between expert opinion and the views of the general public on a range of issues related to Iraq and the war on terrorism. Experts were significantly more pessimistic that the public at large and voiced considerably less confidence in the Bush administration's performance.

The survey, called "The Terrorism Index" and published in the upcoming issue of Foreign Policy, is based on interviews with former senior government officials who have served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, as well as independent analysts, experts and journalists who have covered national security issues.

Eighty percent of respondents have served in the U.S. government, and more than half in the executive branch, including in the White House or in top cabinet posts. Twenty-six percent served in the military and 18 percent in the intelligence community.

As to their political leanings, 30 percent of respondents identified themselves as "conservative"; 42 percent said they were "moderate"; and 44 percent "liberal". But the survey organisers weighted the results so that the views of self-described "conservatives" were given equal representation with those of the "liberals".

When broken down ideologically, 43 percent of the conservatives polled said they believed the U.S. is winning the war on terror, compared to 50 percent of conservatives who disagreed. Only five percent of both moderates and liberals said they thought Washington was winning.

By contrast, 46 percent of the general public told interviewers in a Pew Center for the People & the Press survey conducted last November that Washington is winning the war on terrorism, although that number has shrunk to around 33 percent in the most recent polling.

Asked whether they believed Bush had a plan to protect the country from terrorism, seven out of 10 of the expert respondents -- including nearly 40 percent of the self-described conservatives -- said no. By contrast, 51 percent of the public said last November that Bush does indeed have a plan.

Experts were particularly pessimistic on Iraq and U.S. policy there. Eighty-eight percent of the experts said the war is having a negative impact on U.S. national security.

Asked to rate the administration's job in Iraq on a 10-point scale, 92 percent of respondents -- including 82 percent of conservatives -- described it as below five. Fifty-nine percent of the entire group gave the administration the lowest possible rating (1-2), including a plurality of 48 percent of conservatives.

Significantly, among 81 percent of experts who said the world is becoming "more dangerous" to the U.S., a large plurality identified the Iraq war as "one principal reason" why. Only six months ago, the reason most cited by the experts who believed the world was becoming more dangerous was anger and hostility among Muslims.

Only one-third of the expert pool agreed with the administration's notion that Iraq has become the "central front on the war on terrorism," while two-thirds said they disagreed.

That may help explain why two-thirds of the experts said they disagreed with Bush's plan to increase troop levels in Iraq, but 69 percent said they favoured adding troops in Afghanistan. In the last six months, according to the survey, expert confidence about the situation in Afghanistan has fallen sharply, according to the survey.

Indeed, asked to rate the relative strength of the Taliban in Afghanistan today compared to one year ago, a total of 83 percent of experts rated it either "somewhat" (57 percent) or "much stronger" (26 percent).

The experts also rated Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestine's Hamas as "much" and "somewhat" stronger, respectively, than a year ago. A large majority (72) percent said they believed that Islamist extremism was also growing in Western Europe.

The experts also voiced strong concern about Pakistan. Asked to choose the country most likely to become the next stronghold of al Qaeda, Pakistan (30 percent) was rated second, just behind Somalia (34 percent, but that was before Ethiopia's recent military campaign there), and 91 percent of the experts said the U.S. must increase pressure on Pakistan to crackdown against Taliban and al Qaeda militants in tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Asked to identify the world's most dangerous government, 40 percent of the experts named Iran, while 35 percent cited North Korea, and nine percent -- including 14 percent of self-described conservatives -- identified the United States itself.

At the same time, a plurality of 26 percent rated "a denuclearised Korean Peninsula" as the "most important policy objective" for Washington to achieve in the next five years. Seventeen percent identified a stable Iraq as the most important objective, and 12 percent named stopping Iran's nuclear programme.

North Korea's status at the top of the list may be explained by the experts' assessment that Pyongyang was significantly more likely to transfer nuclear technology to terrorists than any other country, including the two most-often-cited countries, Pakistan and Iran.

The experts voiced little confidence in Bush's ability to address the challenge posed by Tehran, with 73 percent voiding disapproval of his performance to date. That, too, was a significantly higher percentage than the general public's view. Last November, a plurality of 40 percent of respondents told Pew they approved of Bush's handling of Iran.

Asked to rate the impact of 14 specific policies or actions by the administration, the experts cited the war in Iraq as the most negative by far, followed by the detention and treatment of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo and elsewhere, and U.S. positions during the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

On the more positive side, experts said the administration had made real progress in stanching the flow of money to terrorist organisations around the world and the least progress in public diplomacy.

Copyright © 2007 IPS-Inter Press Service

(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.

Arrest Warrants Out For Bush and Cheney

Voters in two Vermont towns on Tuesday approved a measure that would instruct police to arrest President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for "crimes against our Constitution," local media reported.

The nonbinding, symbolic measure, passed in Brattleboro and Marlboro in a state known for taking liberal positions on national issues, instructs town police to "extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them."

(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, March 5, 2008

Joe Wilson Is On The Clinton team, It Seems

Joe doesn't believe that Obama's judgment can be all that well reflected in a 2002 speech in a re-election campaign in a very liberal district where saying anything else would have been political suicide.

Besides, as we have heard from Senator Clinton say hundreds of time by now, a speech in the Illinois state senate is miles from having to make the choice as a U.S. senator.

I totally buy that. There is a world of difference.

But here is what I can't swallow when it comes to Hillary's war vote. Was it not the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, or maybe it was the Armed Services Committee, who handed her the NIE and told her that she had better read it. (I assume he meant the fine print) I assume that because anyone who did read it got a sense of something strange....not quite right.) Excuse the expression if there are any Danish Readers out there, but something was clearly rotten in Denmark.

When I heard this, my jaw hit the floor! What was really going on with you Hillary? You couldn't read one page (that in itself, suspicious)? You knew damn well what was coming and you voted for it. I can't find a way to see it any other way.

Sen. Clinton did not read that N.I.E nor the fine print before she voted on a resolution that gave George W Bush and Dick Cheney permission to preemptively bomb the hell out of an oil rich country, invade and occupy it for no good or moral reason. The N.I.E. was thrown together only at the insistence of Congress and it was a piece of page long.

Say what?

We're talking about war here, Sen. Clinton. You used to be against senseless war, based on lies and fabrications, or so the story goes.

Everyone knows that Congress-critters don't read every piece of legislation they may vote for or against. They are often briefed by aides as you said you were. But this is a matter of lives and deaths. This is a war resolution!

I can understand what you meant when you said that having been in the W.H. and the president's wife, you would want the president to have the flexibility and the power to do what he needed to do to protect America or get bin Laden. But there was an amendment that would have given Bush all the flexibility and power without giving him a blank check. You wouldn't back or sign off on this very sensible amendment.

Your husband ran against Poppy. You guys had the know on the Bush family; the good, the bad and the very ugly. Surely you knew what kind of person Junior is. You had to know about the NeoCon plan for The New American Century, because they tried to sell it to your husband.

At one point, you said you had other people to talk to and get advice about Iraq. I imagine you meant that you were consulting with old Clintonites. But you should have been listening to that committee chairman who told you to read the g_damned N.I.E.

I know I would have read it, not once, but several times before I signed the death warrants of millions of people.

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

There's Winning and Then There's WINNING

CLINTON: Energizing Victories, But Difficult Delegate Math

By Peter Baker and Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, March 5, 2008; A01

As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton raced from border towns on the Rio Grande to farm communities in the Midwest trying to salvage her troubled presidential campaign in recent days, advisers at her Arlington headquarters were awash in mixed feelings about whether she should go on.

There was never any doubt in my mind that she would go on.

Decisive victories in both Ohio and Texas, they agreed, would justify staying in the race until the next big primary in Pennsylvania in seven weeks. Defeats in both of the big states would spell the end. But the prospect of a split decision or close results generated sharply different judgments from her strategists about her future.

Clinton wiped away the debate last night with a robust victory in Ohio and a narrow win in Texas. But as she vowed to keep campaigning, the tight vote in Texas signaled she may yet face a tough decision in coming weeks. The slim margin in the Texas popular vote and an additional caucus process in which she trailed made clear that she would not win enough delegates to put a major dent in Sen. Barack Obama's lead. And regardless of the results, she emerged from the crucible of Ohio and Texas with a campaign mired in debt and riven by dissension

Clinton plans to use her triumphs in Ohio and Texas, as well as in Rhode Island, to argue that she still has a credible claim to the Democratic nomination, despite the delegate math. Many in her circle believe she finally recaptured momentum on the campaign trail in recent days and managed to put Obama on the defensive by questioning his readiness to serve as commander in chief. If nothing else, they hope she has earned a new lease to make her case to the nation.

Appearing before jubilant supporters in Columbus last night, an energized Clinton seized on the Ohio victory and declared that she will go "all the way" to the White House. "Keep on watching," she said. "Together, we're going to make history."

As the results came in, aides reported that the dark mood that has clouded her campaign headquarters for weeks had finally lifted, and talk of dropping out was fading. "It means she goes on," a senior campaign strategist said on the condition of anonymity. "All the late-breaking voters went with her, and the next batch of states favor her. He is starting to get scrutiny like he has never seen before, and he is out of material to talk about on the trail."

Another Democrat who has advised her noted that Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have made a career of refusing to give in when the establishment has counted them out. "She doesn't give up," the Democrat said. "He doesn't give up."

Critical to Clinton's prospect of victory are the superdelegates, the nearly 800 elected officials and party leaders who can vote any way they choose. Her campaign envisions what aides call a "buyer's remorse" strategy of raising enough doubts about the first-term senator from Illinois through increasingly vigorous attacks and tougher media scrutiny to convince the superdelegates that it would be too risky to nominate him.

That reflects the recognition that it would be enormously difficult for Clinton to overtake Obama in the pledged delegates chosen by voters in primaries and caucuses. By some calculations, Clinton would need to win more than 60 percent of the vote in the dozen contests remaining between now and June 7 to catch Obama in pledged delegates -- a steep challenge given that, so far, she has won that much in only one state, her onetime adopted home of Arkansas. Even in New York, where she is a sitting senator, she won 57 percent of the vote. She won 55 percent in Michigan, where Obama was not even on the ballot.

"Her durability is impressive if not astonishing, but she is still looking at some pretty cold, hard numbers in the race," said Jim Jordan, a Democratic strategist who initially ran the 2004 primary campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). "She's running out of time, she's running out of space." He described a Clinton nomination even with wins in Texas and Ohio as "impossible, really."

This guy apparently doesn't know the Clintons very well.

Steve McMahon, another Democratic strategist who is not working for either candidate, said the odds are long. "It's difficult to see how the math works for Senator Clinton," he said. "If you look at most models out there circulating, the one thing that's consistent is that she has to perform pretty strongly in order to have any hope of making up the deficit among elected delegates."

Still, Clinton supporters said yesterday's results suggested that Obama has not been able to close the deal, leaving her an opening. "She has lost 11 states in a row -- and the closest was Wisconsin, which she lost by 17" percentage points, said Paul Begala, who was a White House aide to her husband. "The theory of momentum suggested Obama should roll up equally large margins today, but voters seem to want to keep this race going. I suspect Senator Clinton agrees with them."

Indeed, Clinton had hinted Monday that she was ready to keep the race going. "I'm just getting warmed up," she said. She seemed to surge on the strength of attacks on Obama's leadership preparation, conflicting statements about the North American Free Trade Agreement and connections to fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, whose trial on unrelated extortion and money laundering charges opened Monday.

OK, what about the leadership thing?

Take a look at the campaigns. Examine the organizations of both candidates. I don't think I could tell you who the main players are in Obama's campaign (with the exception of the economic adviser who talked to the Canadian and a memo was leaked saying that Obama was being two faced about NAFTA), other than he and Michelle. Frankly, I think that is the sign of a damn good organization. It is a sign that these people, who cooked up one of the most astounding ground organizations I've ever seen, believe in themselves and their candidate; they believe in a movement....more specifically, perhaps, a bloodless revolution. That is more important to them than getting recognition for this or that, which is what starts all the internal back-biting and blame-slinging we are seeing and hearing about in the Clinton camp. The next president is going to have to be able to pick a team; actually several of them, the members of which may not always be "revolutionaries," and that is as it should be. The last thing we need this time is a president who wants only "yes men and women." We need someone who can listen, with an open heart and mind, to all kinds of opinions when it comes to policy-making and relating to congress and communicating with the American people, and yet who can act quickly and deliberately in a time of emergency because he has chosen those people he wants in the situation room, sitting around the conference table with him shortly after that 3:am phone call comes in, thinking quickly and wisely and calmly. The last thing he needs is those who have been considered wise men and women in the past, but who are known, now, far and wide, as cover-up specialists, "respected in a bipartisan way," probably because they will eventually reach their limit and spill the beans. Unfortunately, by that time, thousands have been injured, maimed and murdered

Obama's people apparently don't have egoitis, to the point where they are bigger than the campaign like the Clinton team apparently has. Of course they want to win, but is it because they really believe in Hillary or because that win would look damn good on their resumes?

But candidates rarely admit they are considering dropping out until the moment they do. And Clinton, until the Ohio results came in, deflected questions about her plans yesterday, saying that she did not like to make predictions when asked repeatedly what she would do if she lost Texas, Ohio or both.

Hillary isn't going anywhere, now, even if she had ever intended to, which I doubt. There is that air of entitlement thing going on. We are headed for an old fashion DNC with floor fights and hair-tearing and heads exploding among the masses. No doubt there will be some kind of political hanky-panky and the voters will have to decide for themselves if they really want change; drastic change right down to the molecular level of our political system. Vows will be sworn (like for example; they are all crooks and thieves and it's time to bust this system wide open and throw all the bums out. From now on I'm a solid independent until we have a more transparent, honest, multi-party system") and our numbers will rise (independents), which is fine with us.

Whether or not the Democrats can come out of this convention with even the hope of unity will depend largely on the candidate that can lead his/her campaign in a way that will impress not only the voters within the party but independents and fed-up Republicans.

What do the voters really want for the next 4 to 8 years?

Government by investigation, like we had with Bill Clinton and the Rethugs?

Smart, outside-the-box thinking on the big three issues facing the country?

A president willing to do anything to win? (Why not re-elect BuCheney and the rest of those Democracy stealing thugs and liars? Remember, we don't have a constitution anymore that is actually enforced so the election could easily be canceled under the right circumstances. No pun intended.)

A president with real principles by which he/she lives and leads; a president who clearly understands that the time we face is like no other in our history. (As Chris Matthews said not long ago, "all bets are off." ) and who understands that he/she will need the American people really with him/her in a way no president has since, maybe, FDR; that he/she will need more than the voters to vote and go back to business as usual, because there won't be any such thing as business as usual for millions of Americans on inauguration day. I can't remember when the last good day on Wall Street or Main Street was being talked about on the news and it's only getting worse. New Orleans is still a drowned city except where citizens have gathered together to fix and restore, like the musicians village. There are other places around the country, the inhabitants of which are still living lives that have been torn asunder by natural disasters. There are more who are living through man-made disasters, like the sub-prime lending meltdown and a never ending war, prosecuted on lies and illegalities, which only contributes to an energy crisis which is finally effecting the price of everything, including those products necessary for life.

"No person has ever won the White House without winning the Ohio primary in either party, so I think Ohio is pretty important," Clinton said in an interview with the NBC affiliate in Columbus. "The voters are not ready for this to be over. They want to be sure they are picking the person who would be the strongest nominee against John McCain."

Like I said before, this is a new era. There is nothing standing in the way of a candidate winning the W.H. without winning Ohio. Old wives tales and superstitions don't matter anymore. If everyone is so sure that Ohio picks the president every 4 years, then why should the rest of us bother to vote at all. Just let Ohioans vote, and we'll have our president.

Clinton has been counting on Ohio and Texas to vault her back into contention after losing every contest since Super Tuesday on Feb. 5. Her strong showings in those states may now help curb what some Clinton strategists had expected to be escalating calls from senior Democrats to end her campaign in the interest of pulling the party together to face McCain, the Republican nominee. But Obama's allies said they would try to avoid piling on, recognizing that it might only prod her to stay in.

Look at the math, people, as in committed delegates. Any funny business with the super-delegates will lead to a McCain win as fed up Dems, independents and Republicans stage a very visible voter's strike so the TeeVee speculators won't have to speculate.

"I don't think anybody in the Obama campaign is going to tell her to get out," said former Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.), an Obama supporter. "Only Hillary can decide what's right and what her future course should be. It becomes increasingly difficult to see mathematically how she can do it, but there may be other reasons to stay involved other than winning the nomination."

Not if, in the process, she deeply scars the eventual candidate, Obama, making McCain's job much easier. McCain has shown already that he can and will make huge mistakes when it comes to dealing with Obama. It's clear that he isn't going to have fun dealing with the crusading crackpots of the Christian Right. He tries to make their hate speech, dressed in religious garb, a first amendment issue. That's not what it is at all. No one cares what kind of idiocy Hagee and the rest of the Preachin' Macadamias say to their flocks. No one is saying that he can't say whatever he wants to. He is, however, not guaranteed a huge megaphone by the constitution, not is he given direct access to the W.H., nor is he given the right to write policy, foreign (Armageddon; nuclear Holucaust) nor domestic (social programs to be run only by the crusading crackpot churches, public education will include that well known, proven scientific theory of creationism.)

Her organization, though, is drained of money and energy. Outgunned by Obama in the fundraising department, the Clinton campaign is carrying millions of dollars in debt, although officials would not say how much, and it threw everything it had into Texas and Ohio. Campaign aides expressed optimism that she will draw a new infusion of money after these primaries and have enough to go forward, although that remains unclear.

I'd say that's a pretty fair bet. She'll get a good sized infusion of money. My big concern is her elect-ability against McCain. What are the differences between them? Either of these candidates will mean business as usual, I feel sure. Of course I could be wrong. I really hate being right these days.

I do, however, believe that Hillary has a plan. There is something she wants to do as president, not just be president, unlike Bill. Bill never seemed to have a place to stand. It's really all a game with him, so when 1994 rolled around, he didn't have the people with him, not even his own. We wound up with a Congress so ideological and fierce, it began to awaken some of us.

D.C. can breathe easy. Nothing will change. Quid Pro Quo is as safe as it's always been. Status Quo will remain unless and until the people decide they've had enough and blow it to kingdom come (figuratively speaking, of course) and tear down K Street with their bare hands.

If the people really want change in the way our nation is run, neither of these two will do. They are both too invested in the status quo. McCain, so-called Maverick and reformer, has set himself up more as the gate-keeper; deciding what gets reformed and what doesn't and, from what I hear lately, withholding information from the public that might prove to be embarrassing to the GOP. Politics as per usual.

Perhaps just as significant, many on her team appear exhausted and dispirited. Advisers have not waited for Ohio and Texas to launch into a furious debate about whom to blame for her problems. Senior advisers described the infighting as debilitating and destructive, with some members of her inner circle barely speaking to one another. Many fault Mark Penn, the campaign's chief strategist, for crafting a message they said did not match the mood of the year. Penn's allies blame other advisers for mismanaging campaign finances and not putting organizations on the ground in many caucus states.

If they think more smearing is the answer, they might ought to re-think that. The thing about Canada and the crook in Illinois came out at the very last minute, as was planned I'm sure, not giving people time to digest what was being said and Obama's response, if the attacks had any effect at all. I guess we'll have to wait to find out from the pollsters.

I guess we've gone from White Water to Black Real Estate. (Yuck. That was bad, even for me.)

As recently as last week, there were divisions among top advisers over which advertisement to use against Obama -- one attacking his Iraq war position, or one featuring a "3 a.m. call" to the White House that describes Clinton as better prepared to be president. The latter advertisement won out. But Clinton advisers were infuriated about the original debate, blaming Penn for encouraging her to cling to an unsuccessful argument -- that Obama's deeds have not matched his stated opposition to the Iraq war.

It really pisses me off when it seems that politicians think I'm stupid or think my neighbor or people all over America are stupid, for that matter. Obama explains it all pretty well when he says that once someone drives the bus into the ditch, the problem then becomes, how do we get it out with the least further damage possible. Hell, no one knows what the situation will be when the next president takes office, if one does, in fact, take office. These people have 11 months to wreak as much havoc as they please. No one seems at all interested in stopping them. Junior breaks a big law, so what does Congress do? Write a law that makes whatever he did legal. I sometimes feel as if I have fallen into a super twilight zone from which I may never emerge.

Even though Penn claimed credit for the phone-call ad, senior Clinton advisers expressed confusion over whether Penn or Austin ad guru Roy Spence had made it. Penn's allies said he made the ad -- and insisted on airing it over the objections of other senior advisers, including Mandy Grunwald, who is technically in charge of ad making. Penn wrote the ad, his allies said, and Grunwald reluctantly made it, but then tried to get it spiked.

The sniping over the ad was the latest expression of divisions within a team that has never been cohesive. Advisers complained bitterly about one other, and stories in the media delineated their differences. Several people inside the campaign said earlier that if Clinton won last night, it would be despite her campaign, not because of it.

Moving forward, Clinton officials think she will probably lose the next two contests, in Wyoming on Saturday and Mississippi on Tuesday. Their firewall, they hope, is Pennsylvania on April 22, giving Clinton time to continue raising doubts about Obama's experience, questioning his sincerity about toughening trade laws and appealing to women in a state that mirrors Ohio's working-class demographics. Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a strong Clinton ally, believes he could engineer a victory for her.

Wait a minute! Engineer a victory for her? Who the hell does Rendell think he is, Karl Rove? I've had about all the electioneering I can take! No more funny business, from either side, unless the powers that be want change much faster than had been anticipated by anyone. The kind of change that blows the status quo to hell . If the politicians don't think they are being watched like a suicidal patient in a nut ward they are really out of touch, because they are under a microscope. If there is one good thing that has come out of this dreadful, appalling administration it is that Americans are highly awake, alert and watching their elected officials and everyone else's for that matter. I have friends who wouldn't have known a super-delegate from a toad frog 5 years ago. They do now and they have very strong opinions about super delegates who go against the clearly expressed will of the people they represent.

In my life, I have done a lot of traveling, mostly in my own country, the USA. I've seen signs of prejudice in parts of Pennsylvania, but that isn't what may well win that state for Hillary. Certainly, Bill Clinton was a very good friend to that state when it was going through really tough times economically, as many of us were after 12 years of Voodoo Economics I, which can't hold a candle to Voodoo Economics II, under the current Bush regime, which is in the process of devastating our economy and which will negatively affect national economies all over the world.

We have seen only the bare beginnings of what is to come and no one will be able to stop it.

It is like a snowball rolling down a very steep hill. The plan is and has been, for a couple of years, to duct tape the American economy together until Bush and Cheney are gone.

Pennsylvanians may not be in a betting mood, which Bill Clinton says Obama is; a gamble. They may want a known entity, as they are, once again, one of the states that have been torn asunder by Junior and the Dick and their strange ideas of economics, the goal of which seems to be to break the federal government to the point where it can serve no purpose but national security and war. God help the next president, and the American people had better be prepared to help as well. There are no saviors except ourselves.

Anyway, Wyoming will go GOP in Nov, so I don't see that it matters all that much, except for winning a few more delegates and the nomination. Mississippi and the other deep south states that Obama has won, like Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana could well follow the pattern set up by Nixon's southern strategy in '68, but the GOP can't count on that this year. I've personally seen quite a few pick up trucks with gun racks and Obama bumper stickers in south Georgia (shocked the hell out of me). The Gulf States, especially Louisiana, have good reason to vote Democratic and with the exception of the Klu Klux Klan in Pearl River, La. and other small holdouts of hate, may well be inclined to vote for change no matter the color in which it comes rapped. These folks see the writing on the wall if the GOP remains in power, not only in the White House but on the Hill as well: "You're On Your Own, no matter how bad the catastrophe. Insurance companies will bail and the government will do nothing to stop them. The only entity with the legal authority and man power and the equipment to actually do any good in an emergency, like Hurricane Katrina, will do as little as possible and will show unbelievable incompetence when it finally does act, convincing the people, even further, that the federal government is the "problem not the solution." You're Own Your Own, Suckers!"

"The streak of losses has been snapped," one adviser said last night. "I think we touched bottom a week ago, and we've been coming back up, and the question was: Did we have enough time? And so far, based on the results, we did."

It's the math, stupid

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