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By Gore Vidal

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Ear to the Ground

Joe Klein on the ‘Flagrantly Dreadful’ Joe Lieberman

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Posted on Nov 7, 2008
Flickr / Lieberman 2006

Time’s political sage offers the thorniest of olive branches to the Connecticut senator, who, he writes, “has been a flagrantly dreadful public figure these past two years.”

Joe Klein in Time’s “Swampland” blog:

And so I’m inclined not to be too hard on Joe Lieberman, even though he has been a flagrantly dreadful public figure these past two years. I think he should be allowed to continue to caucus as a Democrat, if he chooses to do so. I don’t think he should be rewarded, though, for being a traitor to his former party—which he frequently accused of favoring “surrender” in Iraq—nor do I think he can be trusted on matters of national security. The best course of action would be to remove him as chair of the Homeland Security Committee, but allow him to retain his seniority. That’s about as gracious as I think Democrats should be, and far more than Lieberman deserves.

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By JimM, November 9, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Lieberman’s leering, decrepit face is right out of an Insane Clown Possie movie.
He is the worst sort of sewer scum, betraying any morals he had for the shitty, superficial thrills he is getting fronm the gop.

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By LVogt, November 8, 2008 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Joe has voted his conscience. For that I applaud him even though I disagree.
it took guts. Joe broke a promise not to criticized Obama.He attacked his patriotism.  For that he is to be condemned. It was a betrayal. What to do? Give him chairmanship of a committee for which his loyalty is not questioned.  Take him off of anything about which he may have sided with McCain.

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By Fadel Abdallah, November 8, 2008 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

After Bush, I never hated anyone as I hated this hateful scum of the political establishment. When I am forced to see his ugly face in print or on TV, I always feel like throwing up. I know now that my nightmare is not over with Bush’s disappearance from the public scene!

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By s.c, November 8, 2008 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama and the rest of Democrats need to understand people want real change in all branches of government.There is too much corruption in power influencing the decision makers in this so called “democratic” country. Now the Democrats are in control of the Whitehouse and congress. Lets see if they can deliver or will it be politics as usual.

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By OGP, November 7, 2008 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey - anybody remember Ned Lamont? He was the winner over Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Primary. Then old Joe ran AGAINST his old party as an Independent. So much for party loyalty. Kick the SOB out.

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By Big B, November 7, 2008 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Hey Howard,

If Joe’s cadillac liberal constituancy would have know that old Joe was bitter, and was ready to side with with a bunch of jew-hating christian nut jobs, he would never have been elected.


I still think to this day that the election would not have been close enough for W to steal if Gore would have chosen anybody but Lieberman for veep. Democrats are just as anti-semetic as repugs, but they like the yearly influx of contributions from jewish based PAC’s.

While I agree that it is nice to see a senator who stands against his own party on occasion, but we all know why Joe did it. It was a case of political revenge, plain and simple. Ol’ Joe the pragmatist was hoping for the veep nod, or at least a cabinet position under Johnny. But alas, Joe’s dreams of being the sec. of state have spun down the toilet along with his political future.

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By Kurt, November 7, 2008 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think Lieberman has not been contrite enough, he (and the malifactors of great wealth who need to be bailed out) should voluntarily wear those coconut doormats as shirts, crawl up to the doors of Congress, and beg for forgiveness.  Yeah, he supported the most conservative of senators who if elected would have (the Iraq war aside) continued to demolish all the progressive ideals Lieberman fought for in his life.

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By diamond, November 7, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad you mentioned Iran, purple girl. Here’s some information to keep in mind when you hear these lunatics raving about Iran being a sponsor of terrorism:

Iran was placed on the American government’s official list of terrorist states on the 18th January 1984 and William Casey, Director of the CIA, routinely referred to the country in speeches as ‘the most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism in the world’. The United States had claimed it would be neutral in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88 but it did this by arming both sides. The arms industry grew rich while Israel and America watched two enemies of Israel waste blood and treasure in a futile war. More than a million Iraqi and Iranian citizens died.

Israel also armed Iran. Ari Ben-Manasche, an Israeli military intelligence officer was involved in some of the secret deals and gave details in his memoir called, appropriately, Profits of War. In 1983, Ben-Menasche negotiated the sale of 4,000 TOW anti tank missiles to Teheran, he says. The missiles were part of an old stock and their power supply was due to run out in two years’ time. The first supply came from NATO stock in Europe, the second came from America but was shipped via Guatamala and Australia. 12,000 TOWS went to Iran between 1983 and 1987. Ben-Menasche believes these weapons completely changed the course of the war. According to this whistle blower, Israel used a slush fund constantly replenished by weapon profits to buy the silence of politicians in the U.S., Britain and Australia. Democrats on the Iran Contra panel also received payments: some of them through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Lieberman is a repulsive example of someone who has been bought off but he’s a symptom, not the disease.

When Richard Brenneke gave evidence to a joint investigation of the United States Congress and the office of the Arkansas State Attorney General he described his dual role as a contract pilot and money launderer for the CIA. Brenneke said he had flown weapons from Mena airport in the southern state of Arkansas to Panama, a staging post on their journey to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua between 1984 and 1986. On return flights, Brenneke said he carried cocaine and marijuana for delivery to representatives of the Gambino crime family and its then head, John Gotti. Brenneke made this deposition on the 21st June 1991 in the presence of Congressman William Alexander Junior and Chad Farris, Chief Deputy Attorney General for the state of Arkansas. He said the Gotti organization paid the CIA $50 million for the drugs. Brenneke confirmed that the CIA was in the business of bringing drugs into the United States and that there was a close alliance between the agency and Gotti’s organization. Brenneke told investigators that he had begun laundering drug money for the New York crime families on the CIA’s instructions in 1969, putting the money in nice safe accounts in places such as Swiss banks. Most disturbing of all were Brenneke’s claims that he had, on orders of the CIA, laundered $40 million of drug money specifically to grease the palms of the Iranian mullahs so that they would delay the release of the American Embassy hostages and thereby destroy Jimmy Carter’s chances of re-election as President.

The CIA denied Brenneke ever worked for them but when he was put on trial on five counts of lying under oath, the jury acquitted him on all counts in May 1991, believing him, rather than his federal accusers. Bob Gates, once a senior CIA official, is alleged to have called the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the Bank of Crooks and Criminals International. In view of recent developments within world banking it’s easy to see what he meant. Lieberman is a joke but he’s also a loaded gun and he’s not pointing at the Republicans, because he essentially supports their ‘greed is good, save the rich’ philosophy.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, November 7, 2008 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

If Lieberman was responsible to his country, he would feel shame. If he were loyal to his former (or any) political party, he would feel shame. If he was acting in the interests of the people of Connecticut, he would feel shame.

So ask yourself why this man feels no shame. Indeed why has he spent the last couple of years strutting around the capital as though he’d just been adopted by Angelina Jolie?

There is a word for those in government who act in the interest of a foreign country. The word is traitor.

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By Alejandro, November 7, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lieberman; screw him and all who would defend this puke of a human being. No military service yet willing to sacrifice so many young for a few pieces of gold. Take his citizenship and exile him to Israel along with the AIPAC; better yet take him, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed, the entire AIPAC lobby put an Israeli military uniform on them and stick them in the middle of Faluja. Yea; that would be justice served.

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By Allan Krueger, November 7, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

In a few words: FUCK Hagee, Lieberman and the rest of the Christian Zionist lunatics! They can go on a pilgrimage to Alaska, check out Palin’s church - maybe have an exorcism or two! They might want to check out the New Testament of the bible for a few tidbits about human rights!

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By Benjamin DeGuia Martinez, November 7, 2008 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thought Judas was gone centuries ago.What is Reid thinking? Would you like somebody in your party that you think is loyal and trusted friend? And when you turn around will stab you in the back. How could any body in the senate trust this individual?  I him called an individual because,He is nothing but a mere figure there now.

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By mud, November 7, 2008 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Remember back: This Joe L. would have been our VP if W. hadn’t ripped off the 2000 election. We now have another Joe, Joe B. as VP elect.

Both these Joes have long records of service to the elite few while stomping on the average American. Makes it hard to tell the two Joes apart when they are working for the same bosses.

And people are still riling at Nader.

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By Robert, November 7, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Joe Lieberman does NOT represent Connecticut. This evil zionist neocon represents Apartheid Israel more than anything else. He has been & still is one of the most evil characters in the senate & part of GW’s administration.

He has been beating those war drums for the war on Iraq for years now and he wants more wars on Iran and Syria. Lieberman wants American GI’s & $$$ billions of US taxpayers money to be sacrificed for his beloved Israel & its damn zionist causes.

He was supporting “McInsain” & hoping for a big win so that the wars will continue & that he will be part of that administration.

Joe Lieberman is an active member of AIPAC. He knows quite a bit about Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Chertoff and what the rest of the neocon gang have been up to in the last 8 eight years. Lieberman most likely knows quite a bit of the classified information that Cheney & his gang knows.

Harry Reid has NO spine. He is worried about what AIPAC might do to him. He has been getting a lot of support & PAC money from AIPAC for many years.

Lieberman knows this & his arrogance reflects it. If Reid had any spine, he would have stripped Lieberman from that committee chairman position on day one.

Lieberman’s days in the senate are numbered…but he is a chameleon and will fake his way through.

Lieberman does NOT care about what Americans have lost and are still losing in GI lives and billions of $$$; he cares more about his Israel & his evil Zionism!

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By Fahrenheit 451, November 7, 2008 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

I’m thrilled Obama won.  It is a signature moment!  I’m looking for more than signature moments; I’m looking for real change and I don’t see it.  Lieberman?  He’s a buffoon/Zionist Nazi and should be purged/jailed!
The wife and I just landed in S.E. Asia after months of research.  We can accept a lot, but not any more of the lies, broken promises, outright grand theft of taxpayer’s money, fascist behavior, gestapo tactics against legitimate demonstrators, invasion of privacy, and the general trashing of the U.S. constitution.  Obama, wow, what an accomplishment, never thought I’d see it; he sold out and the piper will be paid.

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By Jim Yell, November 7, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course Lieberman is not the only politician who thinks the office he holds is hereditary and permanent. It is an affront to democracy to have such arrogance from elected officials.

Lieberman should be dismissed from the Democratic Party participation. He is a traitor. As far as bi-partisianship is concerned that is how the Democratic Party Leadership became the enablers of the crimes of Bush and Cheney. It is beyond time for Democratic Leaders to be replaced by Democratic Activists. No more letting CEO’s call the shots in Washington. We are suffering from 8 years of their treason, already.

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By Howard, November 7, 2008 at 6:57 am Link to this comment


If his party rejected him in Ct.; what courage and savy to run as an independant.  Everyone complains about the ruiness of party partisanship that slows down Congress immesuarbly.

How wonderful to see someone who votes and backs another because of who they are instead of voting and backing the PARTY, no matter who, always and always.

Goodness gracious, what abilities do all his critics here have in comparison? 

Need more men like Lieberman in Congress.  He leads the way to true, true bipartisanship.  Sorely lacking at the moment in our nations capital.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, November 7, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

What Jew would called Hagee a ‘Man of God like Moses’?
What Jew would befriend a man who’s Religious Zealotry includes ‘End of Day’ fantasies.
What Jew would accept the limitation of 144,000 seats available for the ‘Rapture’ONLY if they Convert to Hagee’s sociopathic doctrine.Hagee isn’t even a Chrisitan…Jesus told his followers He did not know when the End of Days would come, His respsonse..“Only the Father Knows”. Hagee’s a Heretic to even Christians
Hagee thinks we should pre emptively strike Iran to Kick Off Armegddon. What Christian (or Truely Faithful) is so Arrogant and Bold to assume they may begin something Jesus would not even dare Fathom! Hell Hagee has already completed Judgement over the rest of Humanity.He puts on a smiling face calling himself a Friend of Israel, but only so he can instigate this WW3 scenario.
Hagee is as much as a God Fearing Christian as Charlie Manson….And LIEberman is one of his henchmen!
How can you trust a man who would betray his own Religious Comunity, In hopes of Personal Rewards.
Frankly I find Hagee, Lieberman and their followers to be Satan Worshippers, DECEIVERS!LIEberamns Political Rangling and self promotion prove this man has No Morals Nor Ethics, he will Do anything to ‘Be Somebody’.
Connecticut and the Jewish Community should kick this traitor OUT!

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By kushk, November 7, 2008 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Lieberman is the most shameless, unprincipled politician around.  A turncoat like him should be banished.  Why is Reid waffling?  What is there to decide?  Why are the democrats still frightened by this hypocrite?  What is taking Harry Reid so long to decide?  The democrats should stop being such wimps if they want people to be behind them.  This unprincipled Washington politicking which Harry Reid is indulging in is what has eroded confidence in the Democratic party. 

The time is here when politicking should end and principle should take over.  When does Harry Read think such a time will come?  Who is Harry Reid trying to appease?

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By Jaded Prole, November 7, 2008 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

If the Democrats were a real political party they would boot Leiberman out. Unfortunately, the Dims and the Repugs are not all that far apart and Joe is the missing link between them. He could have been on the ticket for either party as VP and McCain favored him. I don’t think he should be allowed to hold office at all because his dual citizenship with Israel could cause a conflict of interest and loyalties.

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By Sean Maurice Hunt, November 7, 2008 at 5:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lieberman’s Arrogance is incredible! We need to stop people like him from attaining real power.  He might as well have been an paid agent for Israel not the USA.  Israel is the lightening rod and the USA is the whipping boy for this Israel centric policy of war and punishment of the Islamic states.

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By nrobi, November 7, 2008 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

And what of Mr. Lieberman? How are we to think of a person, for whom power is more than an afterthought and
wielding power an aphrodisiac more thrilling that just about anything?
Mr.Lieberman deserves no more consideration that he gave, America was at a crossroads and he chose to go rogue and deny the will of the people who had kept him in the halls of Congress those many years.
In the primary for the elections of 2006, the people of the Democratic Party spoke loudly that his view of the war and his stances on some issues were not the people’s stances.
It is certainly the right of anyone who is a citizen to run for Congress or any position of power, yet the people of the Democratic Party of Connecticut, chose a different person to represent them in the Senate, Mr. Lieberman, chose to go rogue.
For his choices he should pay the price of losing the positions of power that the Democratic Party could give him and show him the door.
He was not the loyal party member that he claimed, and was only in this for himself. Senator Reid, show Sen. Lieberman, that his choices have consequences and the choices he made were wrong for the people not only of Connecticut but of the country.

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