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In Search of the Blues

In Search of the Blues

By Marybeth Hamilton

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Playing the Class Card

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Posted on Jan 8, 2008
Hillary Clinton
AP photo / Elise Amendola

A jubilant Hillary Clinton celebrates her primary win on Tuesday night in Manchester, N.H.

By Robert Scheer

As long as Hillary Clinton, and now Gloria Steinem, has chosen to play the women’s card against the race card, let me throw in a third one: the class card. Clinton claimed in the New Hampshire primary debate that she is the unmistakable agent for change because she is a woman and her election as president would send a strong signal of a new day aborning to America and the rest of the world. It is hoped that it would be a more progressive message than the one sent by Margaret Thatcher’s ascent in England.

Steinem put a finer point on the argument in her New York Times commentary, published Tuesday, New Hampshire’s primary election day, arguing that women get wonderfully more “radical” as they age, and therefore older women are more inclined to vote for Clinton, Steinem’s preferred candidate, as opposed to Barack Obama, whom younger women went for in Iowa.  Maybe those younger women were more worried about how to pay off college loans or swelling mortgage obligations than gender identity.

What is radical about voting for a corporate lawyer who, in defense of her Arkansas savings and loan shenanigans, once said you can’t be a lawyer without working for banks? Steinem boasts of Clinton’s “unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House” without referencing the Clinton White House’s giveaways to corporate America at the expense of poor and working Americans, the majority of them being women. Sen. Clinton’s key election operative, Mark Penn, was the other half of the Dick Morris team that recast populist Bill Clinton as the master of triangulation.

I am not trying to play the class card here by claiming that because Obama grew up black and middle-class he will therefore inevitably be that rare politician who remembers where he or she came from. Bill Clinton, who came from a poor family, disproved the notion about remembering. To his everlasting shame as president, Clinton supported and signed welfare legislation that shredded the federal safety net for the poor from which he personally had benefited. He faithfully served big corporate interests by signing off on Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the Financial Services Modernization Act, which, as a gift to the banks, insurance companies and stockbrokers, reversed consumer protection legislation from the New Deal era. Thanks to Bill Clinton, those pirates were allowed to merge into the largest conglomerates the world has ever witnessed and, adding insult to injury, to “data-mine,” thus sharing your most intimate financial and health information. Bill Clinton’s next biggest concession to the fat cats was the Telecommunications Act, which ended what was left of public control of the airwaves and permits mega-media corporations to grow even bigger. No wonder Rupert Murdock and Hillary Clinton now get on so famously.

Yes, Bill Clinton was a very good president compared to what came immediately before and after, and his wife has many strong points in her favor, not the least of which is her wonkish intelligence. What I object to is the notion that the perspective of gender or race trumps that of economic class in considering the traumas of this nation.  That is because the George W. Bush administration engaged in class warfare for the rich with a vengeance that has left many Americans hurting, and we desperately need change to reverse that destructive course.

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John Edwards deserves credit for putting this issue of the growing division of American society front and center, and certainly Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has related his politics to growing up in abysmal poverty. As Kucinich has pointed out, a permanent war economy in which more than half of federal discretionary funds go to the military leaves no room for needed social programs.  Question the honesty of any candidate who continues to vote for war funding while talking up all the wonderful domestic programs he or she claims to favor. At least Ron Paul is consistent in saying he would cut both.

Obviously, coming from an impoverished background does not ensure a social conscience, and there is no better example that the contrary can be true than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the scion of a wealthy family, who, as president, was a god in my Bronx home for expanding federal poverty programs that put food on our table when both my parents were out of work.

Yes, it is important for the health of our democracy to break barriers that have held back a majority of our citizens, and for that reason it would certainly be an advance to have a black or female president. But that alone is not enough to justify a vote. What we need far more than a change in appearance is one of perspective. Otherwise, Condoleezza Rice would make the ideal candidate.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By SaraB, January 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

Oh, just so I’m clear about my wholly irrelevant opinion of Dennis Kucinich I have just replied to an article elsewhere about his ‘crime’ of not being genuinely ‘pro-choice’ thusly: (I beg the indulgence of other posters but I do have quite strong personal feelings on the matter and I’ld prefer not to be mistaken for someone whose ‘go for the system not the man’ arguments only come about because because I do not ‘get’ Kucinich.

  “If he *were* still pro-life I’d feel like I’d come home. Pro-universal health care, against capital punishment, supporter of equal rights for gays, anti-war (especially this illegal one) , pro constitutional rights and pro impeachment of Bush I am deprived of my very own sterotype. So with the same brilliant logic applied to Mr. Kucinich (by those for whom there is only slogan, faction and ‘side’) I am held suspect by both right and left. This man’s stand for what was right re. Muny cost him his career. Being ‘pro-life’ (*all* life *and* decent quality of life), is a seamless garment not a smorgasbord from which cowards pick and choose according to the dogma and political correctness of their chosen socio-tribal ‘badge’. Dennis is not a coward and that is a rare and precious thing. The Tao says that in a nation of liars honesty is prized; when injustice is normal the just are revered - and a nation where heroes appear is a nation in trouble. Dennis Kucinich looks like a hero to me, in a nation of take the soft option, mouth your opinion as loud you as you can and look the other way while your neighbor struggles for survival, justice, freedom - so long as I’ve got mine (for now) - jellyfish. i.e. A nation in trouble.

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By SaraB, January 15, 2008 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Ernest, you really are exceptionally good with nail-heads and hammers! There are some really urgent and practical measures needed as we write; restoring the violated consitution before the violations *become* the de facto constitution (on which Ron Paul is quite good, isn’t he?); forcing corporations subsidized by ordinary Americans to make billions for themselves from the spoils of Iraq (thus looting two countries) to pay a ‘war tax’ to offset the depression the war has caused at home; restoring the checks and balances of the 3 branches of government; restoring the impartiality of the law for all, vice president and farm worker alike - et alia. And however good he may be, Denis Kucinich - or any other candidate - is going to be helpless to oppose the runaway train of corporate government, even as president, unless ‘we’ do something about the system itself.

But who wants to attempt anything they feel is hopeless from the start? So ‘we’ also have to believe we can invent and implement and be the change we want to see. We have to be able to explain - hopefully as well as you do - what is happening, its consequences and what we *can* do. And that has to be more important than RepubloCrat party politics, I think.

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By Paracelsus, January 13, 2008 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

Hi Yankee:

How ya been doing? I lived in a small Massachusetts town long enough to know the power of the Catholic Church. They are scary. I could tell you some stories. I heard of a progressive journalist who had his eyeballs, nose, ears and everything else that was free hanging cut off by some roughs. Something he had said, aye? But there are some very noble souls up there as well. New England is funny that way. Some of the very best and the very worst are there. Imagine the land of Emerson also has many eggheads at Harvard who can’t stand the man’s ideas. Lobster rolls are good, too.

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By cann4ing, January 13, 2008 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

I sincerely appreciate the thought that went into your replies.  But I think you miss my core point.  “We” are the system.  The first step to changing the system is to change our approach.  “We”—and by that I mean each of us on an individual basis—must be prepared to first break away from the herd, refusing to cast our primary votes for anyone other than the candidate who truly represents substantive change.  “We” must be prepared to do what we can to get others to follow, and, between elections, “we” must do what we can to awaken others from their apathetic slumber, by directing them to alternative media, by one-on-one discussions when and where they can occur.

So long as “we” knowingly permit the media to frame the issue as “Clinton or Obama” we will live not in a democracy but a corporatocracy.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 13, 2008 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thomas Jefferson said that there “...should be a revolution every 25 years.” This was not meant (IMHO) to be a call to arms, but a reminder that the feeling of “accomplishment” for any purpose, fades after the old die off and the young grow up expecting stuff to be handed to them… I am not talking about OUR young or referring to TODAY, BUT as a nation we have far too much and we sometimes forget that what we have needs defending. 

Those rights, the ‘freedom’ and the sense of entitlement are all on the line when “change” really occurs. One might say that folks who go out and work each day, struggle to get their children to school, worry that they may be a burden when they get older, are concerned that they have enough to heat their homes… MAYBE it is only the intellectuals, the adept who actually want change.

Instead of sheep, maybe they are just “worker bees”

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By Maani, January 13, 2008 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Ernest:

Despite the position I have taken re the Obama v. Hillary debate here, I am in agreement with you on this 101%.  Indeed, your post should be required reading throughout the land, as it perfectly sums up, in just a few paragraphs, the basic, bottom line, foundational problem with the system.

Sadly, of course, it is unrealistic to think that any significant change will ever come about, since, as you note, the problem is so deeply ingrained and, also as you note, perpetuated by the system itself (politics, media, etc.) AGAINST the people.

Indeed, in talking about “Clinton or Obama,” you imply another cogent point: that people see Obama as an “agent of change” more than Hillary - but completely IGNORE a TRUE agent of change like Kucinich (or Paul) because (i) they are led by the nose via the media, and (ii) deep down, they are AFRAID of too MUCH change.

Bravo, Ernest.  Keep those cards and letters coming…

Peace.

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By cann4ing, January 13, 2008 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

The issue is not the efforts of one man—Dennis Kucinich.  The issue is We the People.  “We” as a people have grown lazy.  Far too many of us have found it easier to play the passive consumer rather than the active citizen, passively taking in the propaganda fed to us daily by the conglomerated corporate media rather than actively seeking out information vital to a vibrant democracy—information that is available from alternative media like Democracy Now! or from books like Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine.”

It would be amusing if the results were not so tragic.  The PR produces empty shells posing as candidates who tell us “hope,” “change,” “coming together.”  The media pundits repeat the mantra, “hope,” “change,” “coming together.”  Then the blinded masses with blank stares repeat, “hope,” “change,” “coming together” as they sleep walk to the polls, casting their votes for they know not what.

Meanwhile, the corporate media works tirelessly to make sure the sleep walking masses are not awakened from their slumber by a real live candidate who is prepared to actually deal in substance.  They do this not by attacking that candidate—Kucinich—but by erasing the existence of his candidacy by omitting all mention of it; by keeping him out of the debates, and before that, when he was in the debates, by ignoring him for as long as possible and, when the media must give him any play at all, by asking him something inane, like had he ever seen a UFO.

The mind control exercised over the American masses by the corporate media is damn close to that displayed in George Orwell’s “1984”—a point underscored by the very fact that most Americans have been reduced to deciding “Clinton or Obama?”

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By Conservative Yankee, January 13, 2008 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I shall also mark my paper ballot in my 375 voter town, for Dennis.  I have convinced 22 of my neighbors to do likewise, and If we can get to 57 before the caucus on Feb 10, we will be able to send a delegate to the State convention in May. 

Unfortunately, I was just as rabid for Jerry Brown in 1992. Maine actually sent more Brown delegates to the Convention than they did Clinton delegates BUT “Honest George” Mitchell changed party rules so the delegate count was equal for Clinton and Brown, then he and his staff did a “call-in” to brown delegates asking them NOT to attend the State convention. I was not a Democrat at the time, but my disappointed parents were.  They went to the convention anyway (even though they liked Mitchell) and brought home tales of the bashing they and other Brown delegates got from the Clinton Camp… Even with all this, we would have won, had not one delegate suffered a medical emergency.  She tried to pass her vote to her “alternate” BUT this was disallowed by the party’s hierarchy.  So much for the “people’s voice…. sorry to be so cynical, BUT that is reality.

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By Maani, January 12, 2008 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

CY:

Never said I was okay with it.  Simply mentioned it as fact.  Didn’t think any more need be said.

Yup, run’em all out of town.  Wish we really could do that: clean sweep; throw out all 600 in Congress and start afresh.  But it aint gonna happen.

So…stating reality is not the same as being happy with it.

Peace.

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By cyrena, January 12, 2008 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

Well Ernest,

You’re still right about Kucinich, and I’m still gonna vote for him in the primaries, and hope for the best. (even though I told Maani I was gonna vote for Obama, just sort of hoping it might cause him a hate..er heart attack.)

I don’t know though, how possible it is to totally reverse the effects of NAFTA and the WTO. I see the WTO losing influence, as more and more of the former ‘3rd world’ countries are able to shrug them off. The effects of NAFTA though, (at least at this point) are now far worse on us, than they even are on some of the other countries that were initially so destroyed by them.

I mean to say that at what point, and how long will it take, to restore the know-how to become relatively self-sufficient again, in producing what we need? There’s no way to avoid trade, so it means coming up with fair rather than free trade, and it means we’ll actually have to start BUYING the stuff that the gangsters have been stealing for so long, and keeping to themselves. I don’t know how that will happen. Hopefully somebody on Dennis’ team does.

So, while I’m not ‘following the pack’, I’m trying to stay in the reality, since I personally have only this one vote.

Meantime, here’s something from a while back, on the health care thing. Not as ‘substantive’ as we’d like to see, but I think it displays SOME difference in the mindset between Hillary’s history, and Obama’s intent…while not necessarily articulated in his plan.

Obama Assails Private Medicare Plans
  By David Pitt
  The Associated Press
  Saturday 12 May 2007
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/051307F.shtml

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By cyrena, January 12, 2008 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Douglas, I’ve come to the same conclusion,
•  That is, people have yet to produce a viable alternative to our current system. It is not hard, really, but getting the momentum of change to make it happen is. It is coming but it will happen through crisis after crisis and resolution after resolution instead of being led intelligently.
In fact, it was stated as such in a lecture the other evening, though actually, Prof. Falk was a bit more drastic in what he believed it would take. I don’t know if it will be a ‘series’ of crises as much as the ‘final blow’ (I’m thinking that the ‘crisis after crisis’ has already occurred). So, I don’t see much happening by way of resolution after resolution, if only because we’ll never survive that long.

Still, I think this part of your post also sums it up really well:

•  First of all, though, it takes a fundamental step in choosing peace and co-operation instead of war and hegemonic powers vying for survival in a changing world. The fact that the USA is failing economically will, ironically, make this an easier option to choose. But the choice must be made…...
The fact that we are failing economically is going to FORCE the change, even if it isn’t ‘chosen’. At least that’s my opinion. Yeah, it would be BETTER to ‘choose’ than have it a forced option. But, I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I don’t know that there’s time for that now.

Thinking back, France actually DID choose, (at the last minute) or realized that they could NOT survive as an ‘empire’. I don’t know how much longer we have to voluntary choose that option.
Still, if anyone is likely to ‘choose’ it, (without destroying most of us in the process anyway) than it would be Dennis Kucinich.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 12, 2008 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Issues?

By Ernest Canning, January 12: ”...the one candidate the media has astutely marginalized…. Dennis Kucinich, the only real Democrat running….”

Perhaps so, EC, but the problem we face is exactly the one he faces. The US economic and administrative system is thoroughly corrupt, irrational and merciless and it is impossible for one person to trounce it. Even Jesus was murdered for trying.

Instead, people pick at single issues, whine and attack each other. In fact, it is a global problem and especially so since even the communist bloc reverted to capitalism. That was an inevitability in itself as their own alternative was also as dishonest and merciless.

That is, people have yet to produce a viable alternative to our current system. It is not hard, really, but getting the momentum of change to make it happen is. It is coming but it will happen through crisis after crisis and resolution after resolution instead of being led intelligently.

In other words, none of the candidates offering change (all of the Democrats including Kucinich) can possibly produce anything more than minor incremental change at the outset. Nevertheless, doing so will be an important step. A journey of a thousand miles…...

As you say, most of the herd don’t care less and most of those who can think are in refusal or denial to some degree or another. That is a lot of driftwood that the next hurricane Katrina (or drought) will float away. One of the main things that will effect extensive systemic change is accomodating climate change.

First of all, though, it takes a fundamental step in choosing peace and co-operation instead of war and hegemonic powers vying for survival in a changing world. The fact that the USA is failing economically will, ironically, make this an easier option to choose. But the choice must be made…...

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By Conservative Yankee, January 12, 2008 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Maani, January 12 at 2:43 pm #

“It is worthwhile to add that Hillary ALSO started out as a grassroots organizer (when Obama was still in diapers), something that seems to get lost in the (often cynical and weakly supported) Hillary-bashing.”

A grassroots organizer for Barry Goldwater as a Republican.  She lawyered for Tyson Chicken, Walmart, and worked as senior partner at the Rose law firm… Hardly sounds “grass roots” to me.

But don’t fret, it’s called “resume squelching”  the opposite of “padding” it happens when one wants to downplay their administrative experience at Enron, Drexel, or Global Crossings.

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By cann4ing, January 12, 2008 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, Maani, but NAFTA & the WTO are not one “single” issue.  They lie at the core of the global class war and both Clinton and Obama are on the wrong side.

Here’s another issue—health care.  The US system is thoroughly corrupt, irrational and merciless.  People die because they either do not have coverage or their carriers find ways to deny authorization even when they are supposedly covered.  Hillary Clinton is the second largest recipient of health care insurance lobby contributions—second only to George W. Bush.  The so-called “reforms” offered by Obama, Clinton and Edwards are but plans to subsidize the health care insurance industry.  None of them is significantly different from the one offered by Richard Nixon in 1970.

There is only one candidate who stands with the American people on this issue.  One candidate who would eliminate the unnecessary middle men (for profit carriers and HMOs) which account for 31% of U.S. health care costs.  He is the same candidate who is calling for a repeal of NAFTA and the WTO, a restoration of the Fairness Doctrine, a roll back of media consolidation, including expansion of public broadcasting and a requirement that the corporate media give free air time to candidates and parties.  He is also the only candidate who has consistently opposed the war in Iraq from day one; who has voted against every measure to fund it.  He is the only candidate with the courage to stand up to the Bush administration assault on the constitution and the rule of law by calling for impeachment—the candidate who has not been willing to play the “collect the corporate money to feed the media noise machine game” and therefore the one candidate the media has astutely marginalized.  His name is Dennis Kucinich, the only real Democrat running.

But I am sure you and the rest of the mindless crowd of passive consumers don’t want to hear about issues.  After all, the only important thing is to be able to say, “Hey, I gotta follow the pack and vote form whom the media polls says is gonna be the winner.”  Why waste time on substantive reality?  Just ignore the fact that Hillary voted to authorize the war and both Hillary and Obama, who change positions on the subject daily, have both voted to fund it.  I mean, after all, both of them tell us they’re for “change” right?  What more can we ask for?

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By cyrena, January 12, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

This is true. She was a grassroots organizer in her Yale days. But, while we’re at it, she was later a partner at Rose something, which was the firm that defended GWB in one of his many corrupt failures as the owner of Harken Oil. He screwed up enormously, (as usual, with anything he touches) and the investors lost big, and Hillary and Co got him out of it.

Oh the other hand, Chalmers is correct in saying that since she entered politics as first lady, she hasn’t really been a corporate lawyer in the sense of a full time career at it. Or, any other kind of lawyer for that matter.

In other words, not like Edwards or Obama.

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By Maani, January 12, 2008 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

It is worthwhile to add that Hillary ALSO started out as a grassroots organizer (when Obama was still in diapers), something that seems to get lost in the (often cynical and weakly supported) Hillary-bashing.

Peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 12, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Re: why we should elect a woman

By troublesum, January 12: “You’ve got to be kidding me.  Clinton is a lawyer for christ’s sake…”

I think you (and Scheer) are making too much of Hillary’s lawyer credentials, especially in comparison with other Democrats candidates. True, she was once a lawyer but it wasn’t a career to the same extent that Edwards is a lawyer or to the extent that Obama is a doctor of law and taught law.

In reality, troublesum, both you and Scheer are simply using the term “lawyer” to mask your usual sexist attacks. Trying to be less blatant about your shortcomings is being dishonest yourself. No wonder, then, that you want to accuse and to smear her to distract attention from your own miserable attitudes.

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By troublesum, January 12, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

You’ve got to be kidding me.  Clinton is a lawyer for christ’s sake.  How do you know when a lawyer is lying?: her lips are moving.  When people testify before senate committees they don’t say “I don’t recall” because they have poor memories.  When Hillary testified before the whitewater grand jury she didn’t answer a single question.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 12, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Maani, January 11 at 9:17 pm #

“Actually, you mus’ be awful goldarn stupid if you think that there is ANY politician in the race who is NOT talking down to you…”

This is some comment. No denial, no “I hate that too.” Just acceptance that those trying to get us to hire them (at a pretty good salary I might add) think we are stupid….and you are Ok with that.

If what you claim is accurate (and I do not necessarily agree it is)then we should (as the “southerner” above wrote)run all the bastards out of town on a rail (we did that in New England too) also some tar and chicken feathers might be appropriate… Where the hell did the pride of citizenship go?

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By cyrena, January 12, 2008 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

Ernest,

I just came across this on my favorite website…at least for access to lots of pertinent news, though it isn’t set up for reader comments. Anyway, reading it brought to mind your comments here. I don’t really have much of an opinion one way or the other, except for the last comment in the piece, which is exactly the same thing that I said at the time of the shutdown of the Florida re-count in 2000. The last sentence on this particular piece is this:

•  “Perhaps the best thing that could happen for us is to have a recount to show the people that ... the votes that were cast on election day were accurately reflected in the results. And I have every confidence that will be the case.”

Now, in this case, (from what I can tell from the article) they WILL be able to do this, because they do have a paper trail. Whether or not it comes out as accurately reflected in the results, remains to be seen. Still, it’s just as well to go ahead and redo it, if in fact that’s what Kucinich has requested.

And, that was my point back when the Coup took place, and all of my pro-Dick Bush colleagues were hollering about how and why they didn’t need a re-count in Florida. I suggested that if Bush was really about anything, it would seem like he’d WELCOME a re-count, just to prove that he had in fact won the state. Now of course we know that wasn’t what Karl Rove wanted at all. The dirty bastards.

Kucinich Seeks NH Dem Vote Recount
  By Stephen Frothingham
  The Associated Press

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011108C.shtml

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By Paracelsus, January 11, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

You mean Ralph Abernathy or Obama as the nice colored fellow? I haven’t heard that expression in years.  Hillary goes out of her way to be fake and phony. FDR and Kennedy kept their upper class accents, even with addressing the most down at heel crowds. I am not saying I hold FDR or Kennedy in that high regard either.

No, I don’t care for Obama. He has Zbig Brezinski as an advisor. Zbig is a real killer. Secession may be an excellent idea. I suggest every state try it.

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By Maani, January 11, 2008 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

Paracelcus:

Actually, you mus’ be awful goldarn stupid if you think that there is ANY politician in the race who is NOT talking down to you…and that includes that nice colored fella…

Maybe y’all should just secede and have done with…

Peace.

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By Paracelsus, January 11, 2008 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

I am by nature a Southerner. We are not stupid! We know when we are being talked down to. We once took crooked rock oil salesmen to be tarred and feathered, then we would put a pine rail underneath their nutsacks and rode them out of town.

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By Paracelsus, January 11, 2008 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxTnHx5qVQU

She chews chaw for the backy juice cuz it’s a good down home cure for the tapeworm. She knows stills, and she make shine with best of them. She’s a mountain mama. She has cheeks stained with tears for many a coal mining man folk who has been swallowed by the mountains with only a head frame to serve as a tomb stone. Her teats hang like iron and her belly sags hard from many a blessed young’un she brought into the world with gritted teeth. Yep, she is as real as sorghum syrup on cornbread johnnies.

Now I am kind of sad because what started out as irony for Hillary’s sake, just reminds of the hard dirt floor life of the South. I’m sorry but Hillary is not even worth the sweat of a chicken killer.

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By Maani, January 11, 2008 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Ernest:

Re troop withdrawal, they have both changed their positions since the debates.  As noted, both of them are now saying they would withdraw MOST troops one or two brigades at a time (~3,500 to 7,000 troops) within 18 to 24 months, leaving only enough troops to “fight terrorists” (whatever THAT means!).  This was reported in both the mainstream and alterative press, as well as on the websites of the candidates.

Re the Peru thing, simply go to Project Vote Smart, and check out their votes on the 12/04/07 bill re the U.S.-Peru Trade Agreement.  BOTH of them had “NV” votes, meaning they either did not attend that session, or attended but did not take a specific stand.  I have done a comprehensive exegesis of their respective votes, showing that, since Obama arrived in the Senate, the two of them voted identically 94% of the time.  My exegesis can be found at: http://www.michaelbutler.com/blog/civic/2008/01/09/mb-civic-original-opinion-reality-check-who-is-barack-obama/

Re NAFTA and WTO, I agree with you and others on this.  But that is ONE single issue (and one that is over and done with, no matter how bad it was), when there are DOZENS of important issues facing the candidates when they become president.  Without excusing NAFTA/WTO, it is time to “move on” and look at what they stand for on the current, critical issues facing the country.

Peace.

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By cann4ing, January 11, 2008 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Brief correction:  Democracy Now revealed on 1/11/08 that Dennis Kucinich has asked for a hand recount.

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By cann4ing, January 11, 2008 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

Interesting Maani that you make claims about how quickly Clinton will have us out of Iraq, yet chose to ignore that both Clinton and Obama, when confronted in a debate, refused to state that all combat forces would be out of Iraq by the end of their first term, 2013.  You claim that Clinton and Obama did not vote to extend NAFTA into Peru.  As this “claim” is at odds with information posted by several advocacy groups which had opposed that measure, please provide a link that substantiates what you say.

What you cannot deny is that it was Pres. Clinton who joined with Bush and Reagan in ramming NAFTA and the WTO through on the fast track.  Everything the Clinton I administration said about these neoliberal agreements has proved false.  Indeed, the only one to accurately predict their impact was Ross Perot when he said, “You hear that?  It’s a giant sucking sound of jobs headed south!”

Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Obama both served on the Wal-Mart Board.  In 1991 Wal-Mart did not have a single store outside the U.S.  Thanks to NAFTA and the WTO, Wal-Mart is now the world’s largest corporation.  It’s “always low prices” translates to “always huge profits”—$7 billion per year, profits that have placed five members of the Walton family amongst the world’s ten top richest people with a combined personal worth in excess of $100 billion.  This enormous wealth at the top is punctuated by poverty level wages of Wal-Mart employees, the more fortunate who receive $15,000/year.  The Scrooges at Wal-Mart are not satisfied with paying minimum wage.  At home, they devised an “off-the-clock” scheme in which employees are instructed to clock out, then assigned extra tasks for which they receive no compensation. Abroad, Wal Mart has aligned itself with sweatshop labor and has become the world’s largest purchaser of goods made in China.

NAFTA & the WTO represent the betrayal of the base of the Democratic party—working men and women.  Mr. Scheer is absolutely correct.  This election is about class.  We are in the midst of a global war on the middle class aspirations of working class men and women, and your friends, Obama and Clinton, are on the wrong side!

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By cann4ing, January 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

You hit the nail on the head, CY.

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By cann4ing, January 11, 2008 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

There is no question but that optical scanners can be manipulated to flip the vote.  But the potential fraud does not automatically equate to fraud.  There are two ways to measure the issue.  First, I have not seen exit polls released on the day of the election that would provide a basis for determining a discrepancy with the official count.  The difference between pre-election polls and exit polls is similar to predicting snow fall a week in advance and estimating snow fall on a given date by strategically placed sampling.

Since we deal with Diebold optical scanners and not with paperless DREs, there would be a paper trail.  The option would be to demand a hand recount, but none of the candidates made that demand.

A mere discrepancy between voting in rural areas on paper and metropolitan areas on optical scanners does not provide sufficient evidence of fraud.  Neither does the gap between the results and pre-election polling, though certainly it warrants raising the issue.

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By lib in texas, January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Douglas Chalmers, Sorry, my bad, I was replying to Goffredo, don’t know how I did that, took me awhile to figure out who I was responding to myself.

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By cyrena, January 11, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Dr Know it all,

You’ve definitely got a point. Maybe it should be your wife who should be addressed as Dr. Know it all. wink

Anyway, it’s a good idea, but here’s the rub…just because women remember everything, doesn’t mean that they’re likely to ‘recall’ it under Senate investigation. Hillary doesn’t remember a lot of stuff, that she SHOULD remember.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 11, 2008 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

My experience with women is that they never, ever forget.

This could come in handy were the female president ever called before a senate investigating committee and asked to try to recall what happened a day, a week, a month or even years before.

My wife remembers things I said or did a quarter century ago.

We’ll never again hear, “I’m sorry, senator, I have no recollection of that.”

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By MAR, January 11, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

There is no doubt about it: a better electoral process is needed desperately

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By Robert, January 11, 2008 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

January 9, 2008 at 11:16:19 New


New Hampshire Election Fraud

by Ron Corvus

http://www.opednews.com

Tell A Friend

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it….............I knew it HAD to be election fraud…......let the election season fraud begin.
New Hampshire Election Fraud: Hillary LOST the paper ballot count but WON the optical scan ballot count. Obama WON the paper ballot count but LOST the optical scan ballot count.

2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary Results—Total Democratic Votes: 286,139 - Machine vs Hand (RonRox.com) 09 Jan 2008

Hillary Clinton, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 39.618%
Clinton, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 34.908%
Barack Obama, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 36.309%
Obama, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 38.617%
Machine vs Hand:
Clinton: 4.709% (13,475 votes)
Obama: -2.308% (-6,604 votes)

2008 New Hampshire Republican Primary Results—Total Republican Votes: 236,378 Machine vs Hand (RonRox.com) 09 Jan 2008

Mitt Romney, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 33.075%
Romney, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 25.483%
Ron Paul, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 7.109%
Paul, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 9.221%
Machine vs Hand:
Romney: 7.592% (17,946 votes)
Paul: -2.112% (-4,991 votes)
I knew there was something a bit fishy about Hillary winning New Hampshire.
First of all, today, all the polls indicated a double-digit lead for Obama.
Obama internal polls had him winning by 14 points. Hillary’s camp had him winning by 11 points.
Even the Hillary camp conceded virtual defeat early on.
Even Hillary believed she had lost before the polls closed. I can’t recall a primary where a candidate had a double-digit lead the day of the election, but finished several points behind. Even the exit polling showed no sign of a Hillary win. The exit polls showed about even. Exit polls have a history of accurate projections.
Despite this, Hillary maintained about a three point difference the entire evening.
AP called it for Hillary with only 61% reporting. CNN still refused to call if for Hillary, as they explained and demonstrated on an electronic map how several key precincts had not come in yet. But that didn’t stop NBC calling it for Hillary.
With 94% reporting, those key precincts STILL showed zero per cent reporting. NONE of the TV pundits could explain the differences.
Here’s one pundit’s excuse: “Maybe it has to do with the voting curtain in New Hampshire (private voting) whereas Iowa was public voting.”

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_ron_corv_080109_new_hampshire_electi.htm

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By Sue, January 11, 2008 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’ve read my very thoughts!

I’ve been saying that all along.

There are two very good democratic candidates running.  It would be a shame to deny Hillary her time which is right now.  Obama I’m almost certain could do it again in 2016 with his charm and charisma and then could boast experience.

Hillary/Obama 08!

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By Conservative Yankee, January 11, 2008 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maani, January 10 at 3:07 pm #

“It really is too bad that there is such animosity between Hillary and Obama.  A Hillary-Obama ticket would be a win-win-win”

Just what we need TWO corporate lawyers.

Win win for Walmart, China, and the 1% who own most of everything!

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By republicanSScareme, January 11, 2008 at 12:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with your assesment. Both Bush and Cheney are extremely dangerous criminals and should be impeached immediately. If we don’t impeach these thugs then any politician in the future will feel free to do whatever he feels like.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 10, 2008 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

By lib in texas, January 10: “Your rational is just plain moronic and republican pundit regurgitation…”

They have Libs in Texas? Arrogant?? I don’t understand why you want to pillory me, ‘lib in texas’, I was agreeing with your main statement that:-

“Power hungry, arrogant, I think not. I honestly don’t see how she stands all of the abuse she takes very day…. Yes this election is very important and thank god we do have people who want to be president and I just hope for the right reasons…”

I’m sure that most people who criticize (crucify) Hillary wouldn’t be able to stand more than a single day on the campaign trial themselves. She is most deserving of admiration if not outright total support.  Think about it!

Douglas says Obama is a Neocon, cyrena says Hillary is a Neocon - as surely as night follows day, ha ha!

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By cyrena, January 10, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Hillary is a neocon. You need only look at her history. If you don’t wanna go back that far, just look at her record in the senate.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 10, 2008 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

anuary 9, 2008 at 11:16:19

New Hampshire Election Fraud

by Ron Corvus

http://www.opednews.com
       

Tell A Friend

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it….............I knew it HAD to be election fraud…......let the election season fraud begin.
New Hampshire Election Fraud: Hillary LOST the paper ballot count but WON the optical scan ballot count. Obama WON the paper ballot count but LOST the optical scan ballot count.

2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary Results—Total Democratic Votes: 286,139 - Machine vs Hand (RonRox.com) 09 Jan 2008

Hillary Clinton, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 39.618%
Clinton, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 34.908%
Barack Obama, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 36.309%
Obama, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 38.617%
Machine vs Hand:
Clinton: 4.709% (13,475 votes)
Obama: -2.308% (-6,604 votes)

2008 New Hampshire Republican Primary Results—Total Republican Votes: 236,378 Machine vs Hand (RonRox.com) 09 Jan 2008

Mitt Romney, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 33.075%
Romney, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 25.483%
Ron Paul, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 7.109%
Paul, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 9.221%
Machine vs Hand:
Romney: 7.592% (17,946 votes)
Paul: -2.112% (-4,991 votes)
I knew there was something a bit fishy about Hillary winning New Hampshire.
First of all, today, all the polls indicated a double-digit lead for Obama.
Obama internal polls had him winning by 14 points. Hillary’s camp had him winning by 11 points.
Even the Hillary camp conceded virtual defeat early on.
Even Hillary believed she had lost before the polls closed. I can’t recall a primary where a candidate had a double-digit lead the day of the election, but finished several points behind. Even the exit polling showed no sign of a Hillary win. The exit polls showed about even. Exit polls have a history of accurate projections.
Despite this, Hillary maintained about a three point difference the entire evening.
AP called it for Hillary with only 61% reporting. CNN still refused to call if for Hillary, as they explained and demonstrated on an electronic map how several key precincts had not come in yet. But that didn’t stop NBC calling it for Hillary.
With 94% reporting, those key precincts STILL showed zero per cent reporting. NONE of the TV pundits could explain the differences.
Here’s one pundit’s excuse: “Maybe it has to do with the voting curtain in New Hampshire (private voting) whereas Iowa was public voting.”


http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_ron_corv_080109_new_hampshire_electi.htm

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By truth hurts, January 10, 2008 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Clinton claimed in the New Hampshire primary debate that she is the unmistakable agent for change because she is a woman and her election as president would send a strong signal of a new day aborning to America and the rest of the world.”

right. because hillary has had to avoid traveling in the south in the middle of the night, lest she be pulled over by a racist white cops who hates ‘uppity boys’; or perhaps because she’s ever been passed over by a cab because the driver assumed she must live in a neighborhood where he’d get shot. discuss race with a white woman, and they immediately bring up sexism…whatever!

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By Blackspeare, January 10, 2008 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

Oh, OK if I have to :-(

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By Blackspeare, January 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

See my comments below.  Such a ticket would be unbeatable, but much can happen in 4/8 years to make both Clinton and Obama pariahs if they ran together.  The prime directive in politics is don’t wait when you’ve got momentum——go for the gold ring and so it shall be.  We may see an Obama /Edwards ticket yet.

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By Paracelsus, January 10, 2008 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Please look up Sir Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis Right near the close of the Elizabethan era, a book was written, explaining the foundation of a faux republic in the Americas. This republic would outwardly appear to be representative of the people but from its very foundations the strings were pulled by factions of elite interests, who cared not a whit about the interests of the ordinary citizens it ruled over. Please look up Alan Watt.

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By Paracelsus, January 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

I remember how Alan Watt spoke at length about The New Atlantis by Sir Francis Bacon. This book was published around 1598. The book expounds upon an outward republic in the New World that seems to operate as a representative democracy, but is really controlled by behind the scenes powers. He speaks of a puppet government from the very beginning that was never established in good faith. I recommend that all truthdiggers google Alan Watt and the phrase “Cutting through the Matrix”. I would like especially for Robert Scheer to look up Mr. Watt. I fervently hope that Mr. Scheer gives Alan a column to write in Truthdig. There is not a more original political commentator then Mr. Watt. Mr. Scheer is sure to increase his web traffic. And I feel Mr. Watt’s commentary would fertilize and stimulate the minds and intellects on Truthdig. He squares the circle in research and analysis. He is veritable polymath.

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By lib in texas, January 10, 2008 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

Arrogant??  Think about it!  Why would anyone want to be president at this time when we are so messed up.  Hillary could go home and she and Bill could go on the speech circuit and have a good life.  None of this crap would bother their lives. Power hungry, arrogant, I think not. I honestly don’t see how she stands all of the abuse she takes very day. Your rational is just plain
moronic and republican pundit regurgitation.  Yes this election is very important and thank god we do have people who want to be president and I just hope for the right reasons.

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By Maani, January 10, 2008 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

It really is too bad that there is such animosity between Hillary and Obama.  A Hillary-Obama ticket would be a win-win-win: it would be a landslide winner in November; it would give Hillary a chance to show whether her progressive side really WILL come out once she’s in the Oval Office, as well as giving Obama a chance to shine and get serious foreign policy experience; and it will all but ensure that Obama becomes president in 2016 - giving us the first woman president and the first black president back to back.

Peace.

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By Goffredo, January 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

If Obama gets the nomination, it will be Jim Webb as his running mate.  And then you can forget the Republicans even exist because if anyone wants to debate the Iraq war or the Global War of Terror, Webb will bring the smack down.

If Hillary gets it, to bring a more liberal flavor to the party, I think Feingold will get the question.  And I’m not against that ticket.  If Hillary wins, I’m okay with that.  As long as it is not a neocon fascist…we will be much better off.

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By loveinatub, January 10, 2008 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

No, hettie.

You are wrong. And wilfully blind.

<Neoconservatism emphasises foreign policy as paramount responsibility of government, seeing the need for the U.S. acting as the world’s sole superpower as indispensible to establishing and maintaing global order.>

And so far, Hillary Clinton has shown herself, in particular with her support of Bush’s invasion of Iraq to be a NEOCON!


To hettie,

To loveinatub: Hillary a “neocon?” Do you even know what that word means?  Please.  Hillary may or may not be as centrist as she claims, but to call her a “neocon” is simply willfully ignorant…or worse.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Douglas Chalmers, January 10 at 1:06 pm #

“Hillary is entitled…”

That is truly what she believes… thanks for the honesty…

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By John Borowski, January 10, 2008 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Clintons are smart enough to know that the only type Democrat that the British Electoral College will allow to sit as president is one who will at the maximum be twenty-five percent for the average American and seventy-five percent for big business. (Unfortunately this was yesterday, not today)  The primaries going on now are a charade for not so smart people. This pacifies them into believing we still have a republic election going on. We are currently in a covert dictatorship. Are American people blind to facts that are occurring right underneath their noses? (Attacks on our Bill of Rights and Constitution, chipping away on our quality of life and living standards, 9/11, rigged elections, one Republican (Aka Conservative right-winger) after another fleeing Washington, either for criminality or sexual perversion? When there is a transmogrification of the covert dictatorship into an overt dictatorship there will be no such thing as elections. I would never look at the primaries on TV because I might laugh or cry. I’m convinced that globalization and a democracy can’t exist in a symbiotic relationship. One has to go and it will not be globalization.

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By Robert, January 10, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

Fox News - Media Control over election process  
Good thing we still have PBS…. Fox News Corp… (more)
January 05, 2008

Good thing we still have PBS…. Fox News Corp - this may be the best explaination as to why Ron Paul was excluded from their debate, even after beating Rudy in Iowa and having 17 million more in campaign funds than Rudy… hummmmmm??? Oh ya Rudy is buddies with Rupert of course…

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b76_1199987921

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 10, 2008 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

By Goffredo, January 10: “She’s arrogant and thinks we should support her simply because she was Bill’s wife….”

You couldn’t be more wrong, Goffredo. That is exactly the realistic and no-nonsense approach needed in a president. That it comes from a senior person makes it authoritative. If Edwards or Obama said it, it would be arrogant, though.

Its not about throwing tacks on the dance floor for everyone else to step on, either. Hillary is entitled to expect that other democrats should co-operate. She is, after all, “the most experienced and the most qualified person” they have.

When the Democrats learn to dance to one single tune, they will succeed. If they continue with a childish knock-down fight to find their (best) presidential candidate, they could eventually lose entirely. Instead, the junior candidates should back their senior as the one true leader.

In that way, there will be a position for each of them. There is a vice-president to be selected out of all this too. It won’t be Hillary Clinton, though. She won’t stick around if they want to make this into another boys’ club game. You can predicate what happens next in Washington on that.

By the way, whatever Scheer wrote about “class” is garbage. In fact, he started off with that as a topic then failed to discuss it through his usual pathetic sexist attacks on Hillary. What he really meant by “play the class card” was the race card in regard to Obama, though.

Scheer is full of excuses for himself but what are you going to do to stop a Republican being elected and having to move across the Atlantic? As you say, this election is much too important to lose.  I know many Australians didn’t stay stay in their country after their former Neocon prime minister was elected in the 1990’s.

A million of them now still live and work overseas and it has had the most awful effect on their country. Almost all of the most educated/ most intelligent people left and the “monkeys” remained. Only the influx of South Asian and East Asian migrants kept things going forwards.

Now is the time to choose well what you all really want for your country, uhh…..

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By Goffredo, January 10, 2008 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Actually, no, I didn’t have Kerry mixed up with Clinton.  I was referring to Hillary’s remarks prior to the N.H. vote.  The context is similar to the neocon/Fox News tactic of fear-mongering.  She said this when referencing the failed bombing attack in London after Gordon Brown was named Prime Minister:

“I don’t think it was by accident that Al Qaeda decided to test the new prime minister,” she said. “They watch our elections as closely as we do, maybe more closely than some of our fellows citizens do…. Let’s not forget you’re hiring a president not just to do what a candidate says during the election, you want a president to be there when the chips are down.”

She’s arrogant and thinks we should support her simply because she was Bill’s wife.  She claims to have experience but sleeping in the White House for 8 years does not constitute foreign policy experience, especially in post 9/11-American empire expansion campaign. I don’t support her. 

The last thing we need on our side is a candidate who is going to through tacks on the dance floor for everyone else to step on.  This election is much too important to lose.  I like my job and want to stay in this country.  If a Republican is elected we’ll probably move across the Atlantic.

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By laughoutloud, January 10, 2008 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

when are americans going to figure out that the election is not a left or right issue, but a class issue?

if the republicans are going to lose the whitehouse, they want to lose to hiliary.

think about it.  two families in the white house for 24 consecutive years. (not including the years bush senior was vp to reagan)

come on people, wake up, follow the money trail.  this isn’t conspiracy, its right in front of you.

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By M Henri Day, January 10, 2008 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Posters to this thread may find the following notice from a Slashdot article of interest:

«A Black Box Voting contributor has compiled a chart of results from hand counted precincts vs. results from machine counted precincts. In machine counted precincts, Clinton beat Obama by almost 5%. In hand counted precincts, Obama beat Clinton by over 4%, which closely matches the scientific polls that were conducted leading up to the election.»

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By DuckPhup, January 10, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

you wrote: “Who was doing the “ideological hijacking”, DuckPhup? It couldn’t have been your boy with his mezmerizing ring-thing logo?”

LOL. I do not HAVE a candidate. I do not regard ANY of the candidates on EITHER side of the aisle to be qualified to lead this great nation. And the pool of candidates who are ACTUALLY qualified to lead this great nation… the most intelligent, most sane and rational, educated, most intellectually honest, most ethical and moral… are automatically DISQUALIFIED from seeking office by virtue of the fact that they are unelectable.

They are not electable by because they are NOT so gullible and drooling stupid as to believe in invisible, magical, all-powerful, supernatural sky-fairies (gods).

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By Maani, January 10, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

A couple more random comments:

Re “Both Obama and Clinton recentedly voted to extend a NAFTA-like agreement into Peru,” this is the second time this canard has been posted.  The truth is, NEITHER of them voted for it.  Both of their votes were “NV,” meaning they were either absent that day or chose not to take a stand.

Let’s at least be honest if we are going to debate the candidates’ positions.

Re Hillary and Iraq: As I noted, Hillary has been talking about a schedule of 1-2 brigades per month. Here is her actual statement, as reported by The New York Times: “I think we can bring home one to two combat brigades a month…I think we can bring nearly everybody home, you know, certainly within a year if we keep at it and do it very steadily.”

As well, here is her response during the YouTube debates: “You know, I put forth a comprehensive three-point plan to get our troops out of Iraq, and it does start with moving them out as soon as possible…I have done extensive work on this. And the best estimate is that we can probably move a brigade a month, if we really accelerate it, maybe a brigade and a half or two a month.”

As noted, a brigade is ~3,500 people.  This means bringing home between 3,500 and 7,000 soldiers per month.  Given a total current presence of about 100,000 troops, this means between 42,000 and 84,000 troops would be back within a year.

Obama’s plan is similar.  And note that he has gone from calling for COMPLETE withdrawal by May 2008 (in a bill he proposed to the Senate in January 2007) to withdrawal of all but a “small force” within one year of taking office.

Finally, let me ask a question that I have asked on other threads here: Does anyone here other than me actually take the time to do the research necessary to provide honest, factual, supportable responses? Given the amount of misinformation, error, omission of facts, and what seems like regurgitation of the GOP playbook vis-a-vis Hillary, I am inclined to say “no.”

Peace.

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By cann4ing, January 10, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

When measured by whom they truly represent, the upper crust, there is not a sliver of difference between Clinton and Obama.  Both provide bland generalities (“hope,” “change”), both speak as if they are truly concerned about the plight of ordinary Americans, yet both have received campaign funding from the health insurance lobby.  Both candidates provide lip service towards health care while advancing, as purported “reform,” variations on the same health care insurance subsidy scheme that Richard Nixon proposed back in 1970 to counter the single-payer plan then advanced by Sen. Kennedy.

How can Mr. Scheer ask us to consider that he is really concerned with “class” when he fails to mention the only candidate who truly represents the interests of the working and middle classes—Dennis Kucinich—the only candidate to advocate the elimination of the middle-man parasite (for profit insurers and HMOs) from the health care system; the only candidate calling for a repeal of NAFTA & the WTO (devices installed courtesy of the Clinton/Bush alliance that opened the door to the outsourcing of America’s manufacturing base by economic elites searching for the $2/day laborer as what remained of American labor has been Wal-Mart-ized).  If Mr. Scheer is serious about class, why not mention that both Obama and Clinton recentedly voted to extend a NAFTA-like agreement into Peru; that Hillary and Obama’s wife are both former members of the Wal-Mart’s Board.

We again deal with what Noam Chomsky describes as a “democracy deficit”—the substantial gap between where the elected representatives and their constituencies stand on issues that truly matter, courtesy of the fact that U.S. campaigns are the product of deceptive advertising and a conglomerated corporate media that will deal with personality, polls and money, but NEVER issues of substance.  It is the deceptive nature of campaigning in the U.S., Chomsky tells us, that frees up the elected representatives to protect the interests of “the substantial people.”

Here we are, just two states into the primary season, and the field appears to be narrowing toward two Democratic candidates (Clinton & Obama) who say we will still have our troops in Iraq in 2013 and a Republican candidate (John McCain) who says we should remain in Iraq for 100 years—which, when measured against how the vast majority of Americans feel about that imperial conquest, reveals the true effectiveness the Orwellian propaganda network, aka the conglomerated corporate media in deceiving Americans into voting against their own interests.

After all, why would you vote for someone who would actually represent your interests when you have a chance to join the pack and vote for someone the press has already told you will be the winner?

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By Conservative Yankee, January 10, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit The Wind, January 9 at 5:18 pm #

“What is this, the Young Republicans’ “We All Hate The Clintons” board?  All of you hypocrites are busy regurgitating the GOP talking points from 1992 to the present.”

Actually I’ve read much new, and convincing information from folks identifying themselves as “liberals”

ALSO talking points should not be confused with “facts” like the business-shill’s call for unlimited H-1b visas (because we need talented people)

Her membership on the Walmart board where she never once called for decent wages of health insurance for that company’s workers. Her shilling for Tyson while first lady in Arkansas, her change environmental laws for cash deal with that same firm.

“The Clintons are slammed for every action they took.  They are too liberal and too conservative.  What’s next, saying Bill should have been ousted for lying about a BJ?”

Well yes; One item that is always left out when discussing the presidential blow job is:

If your boss caught you in a similar situation, on company time would you keep your job?  I know I would not! Lying under oath is also a crime which would result in jail time for most non-connected people.  For Bill it didn’t even get him a fine.

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By Stephen Rose, January 10, 2008 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As far as I am concerned, Hillary and Bill—I will reverse the order in deference to her prominence now—are remedial politicians who are related to the conservative dominance of the past three decades. They have worked the system and ended up with a record that is largely one of minor, incremental changes that have helped push back the political agenda that has been crying to be made our national agenda.

Obama is enunciating that agenda on both his official site and in his speeches. It is politically-charged in somewhat the same way that RFK’s agenda was politically charged.

And if you think the Clintons would not be happy to let the marriage of convenience continue, so that political action is not seismic but mildly incremental and responsive to big interests, think again.

The Clinton’s are not just fighting for their political life. They are fighting to maintain the status quo, right down to waffling on Iraq and actually suggesting that what liberals have done in the last thirty-five years has been helping the American people.

The Obama agenda means moving beyond the tyranny of oil. Red flag.

The Obama agenda is seeking to break political gridlock by serious negotiation rather than play acting. Red flag.

The Obama agenda is a valid war on terror, a war fought not so much with weapons of violence as with the passionate reason which Obama has flowing in his veins. Another red flag.

It may well be that we will end up with an Obama-Clinton or a Clinton-Obama ticket. No one will argue for that in either camp now—at least publicly. But it cannot escape people that if change is really the agenda, this is somewhat like the 1960 election. It will be close. And it would be suicide to lose the woman’s vote after an incendiary pitched battle.

For this reason I am certain Obama, without laying down or failing to defend against outright Clintonian smears, will rise above pettiness in dealing with Hillary. As he admirably did after suffering defeat in New Hampshire.

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By Paracelsus, January 10, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

How does raining down uranium waste in Yugoslavia count as humanitarian? BTW, the UN mission was heavily involved in the prostitution of young girls in Yugoslavia. There were also covert operations in Yugoslavia that setup a heightening of tensions not unlike MI5 and MI6 juicing up the IRA.

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By Bronwen Rowlands, January 10, 2008 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was such a relief to read this piece by Robert Scheer.  I agree wholeheartedly.

We need to keep talking about class in America.

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By John Borowski, January 10, 2008 at 5:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To those that claim they are Liberal Democrats and concur with the denigration of Clinton. I can assure you that intelligent Do-Good Liberals (Good is bad) know that there are Liberal Democrats and there are Liberal Democrats.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 10, 2008 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

If I could reiterate, now it looks like the Bushman is about to fulfill his long-held dream of taking it on to Iran.  Wouldn’t this ensure the political suicide of the republican party in the ‘08 election? Won’t this outrage even the most loyal repub. voter?

He and Cheney (where is Cheney, BTW?) have just about destroyed their party.

If the Dems can’t take the WH and increase their majority in congress this time, then all us LIBERALS had better either move out of the country or found another LIBERALLY minded party.  Surely, the Dems must be thinking and talking about this—and the Republicans too, for that matter.

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By Siegfried Othmer, January 10, 2008 at 12:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with Robert Scheer on the class war issue, but we confront the disagreeable fact that the lower socioeconomic groups went for Hillary Clinton and the upper ones to Barack Obama.
We have had to ask, “What’s the matter with Kansas?” Must we now ask, “What’s the matter with New Hampshire?”

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By P. T., January 10, 2008 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

Hillary Clinton has made clear she intends to continue the war, although she hopes to do so with fewer troops.

Bill Clinton ran large trade deficits—essentially borrowed money.

As for Bill Clinton’s war crimes and support for ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia (not to even mention Palestine), click http://www.monthlyreview.org/1007herman-peterson1.htm

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By Maani, January 9, 2008 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

A few random responses.

To hettie, jackpine savage and Inherit the Wind: Brava/o!

To loveinatub: Hillary a “neocon?”  Do you even know what that word means?  Please.  Hillary may or may not be as centrist as she claims, but to call her a “neocon” is simply willfully ignorant…or worse.

Re Hillary vis-a-vis Albright: Even assuming Albright is actually advising Hillary, is this any worse than Zbigniew Brzezinski, who is Obama’s foreign policy advisor?

Re Hillary being “willing to deal”: uh…duh!  Why - do you think a president simply makes a decision and implements it?  Not!  Presidents much be willing to “deal” (at least potentially) in both domestic and foreign affairs, to say nothing of Congress.

Re NAFTA: Okay, okay - it was bad.  But it is only ONE thing, however bad it may be.  Get over it.  Move on.

Re Iraq: Hillary has stated that within 60 days of taking office, she will begin bringing home the troops at LEAST one brigade per month (~3,500 soldiers).  That means that within 12 months, at LEAST 1/3 (and likely more) of the troops would be home.  So all this talk about Hillary “continuing” the war is simply poppycock.  And Obama’s plan is not much different.

That said, whoever noted that “70%” of Americans want an end to the war and the troops home is correct.  And this is why McCain will NEVER be elected - no matter WHO runs against him.  Because he has made it clear that he LIKES this war, and intends to remain in Iraq indefinitely.

Re J Borowski’s comment that “I believe there will be no presidential election this year since the right-wing will cause an incident allowing them to justify a dictatorship in this country”: you’re not the only one thinking about the possibility of another false flag op like 9/11.  And anyone who thinks “it can’t happen here” doesn’t know their history, or understand how and why Bush & Co. has been undermining the Constitution and centralizing power in the executive branch.  Yup, a major 9/11-type incident in one or more cities between, say, late August and early October would certainly give Bush & Co. the opportunity to invoke a “national emergency,” and postpone elections indefinitely, using all those nice new powers they have, like unilaterally accusing ANYONE of being an “enemy combatant,” unilaterally invoking martial law (having undermined the Posse Comitatus Act), enforcing martial law via both the National Guard and…Blackwater (who, in case you didn’t know, are under contract to the U.S. government to “assist in times of national crisis or emergency”), and, once the Homegrown Terrorism Act passes this Spring - which makes certain speech “treasonous” - jailing any and all dissenters as “aiding and comforting the enemy” (remember “People should watch what they say?”).

Finally, to Michael Baum: Does anyone remember that Bill Clinton was the first president to balance the budget?  Does anyone remember that Clinton was the first president to pay down the national debt?  Does anyone remember that Clinton left office with a multi-billion dollar surplus (which Bush squandered in less than two years)?  Does anyone remember that Clinton signed the Brady Bill, which almost immediately decreased gun-related deaths?  Does anyone remember that Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act?  Does anyone remember that Clinton was the first president to increase the minimum wage in quite some time?  Does anyone remember that Clinton successfully ended the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, and brought an end to strife between Kosovo, Croatia and Serbia?  Does anyone remember…?

Peace.

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By yours truly, January 9, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Which means that what’s crucial is not the sex of whomever we choose as our candidate but whether or not, if elected, said candidate ends the Iraq war.

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By P. T., January 9, 2008 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

It was too much for Obama.

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By Outraged, January 9, 2008 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Thank you troublesum.  I found it strikingly odd myself that “somehow” things went EXACTLY the same way for Hill in NH after IA as they did for Bill.  On top of that, the media instead of ignoring it touted with abandon how “we” had another “comeback kid”.  Hmmm…. 

Douglas Chalmers:
I see you didn’t repost my entire quote, which was: “It’s not that I think Clinton doesn’t have the intelligence or drive to lead, the problem is WHERE will she lead us…over a cliff.”  I don’t have an issue with change as you imply DC.  “Change” can be a deceiving word.  It could mean for the better or for the worse.  We have LITTLE IF ANY reason to conclude that the “change” Clinton speaks of will be for the better.

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By MAR, January 9, 2008 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Why do males think that Hilary would or could be a disaster? With neo-cons and rightists, not to mention the Bushes and their coterie of idiot advisers who are trying to sell a new Utopia - a democratic, free market solution, which sounds good, but which is completely inappropriate to 15th century societies, and which so far has cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars in Iraq (as it did in Viet Nam) and results in the obverse - a worse regime than existed before (although the one under Saddam is different to imagine)  or no regime at all - anarchy while the US stands by hand-wringing, continuing in the delusion that their efforts will lead to “victory.” The be4st thing for the troops, the American economy and the and general happiness and welfare of the US people is to get their troops out of there as soon as possible.

The somewhat acceptable idea of chasing terrorists in Afghanistan, overturning the al Quaeda oriented Taliban, really went awry when the US attacked Iraq on the completely erroneous assumption of WMD - Iraq had not had dealings with terrorists in years. 

Hilary can certainly do no worse.

Add the spectacle that the US might just elect a coloured person because he is coloured and little other reason.

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By lib in texas, January 9, 2008 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

OK, SO HERES HOW TO WIN THE ELECTION….....MUST BE MIXED RACE,OBESE,TRANSVESTITE,DRUNK,DRUG ADDICT,NO DRIVERS LICENSE,UNEMPLOYED, BANKRUPT,PREGNANT,CAN’T SPEAK OR WRITE ENGLISH AND OF COURSE BE A REPUBLICAN…..LANDSLIDE VICTORY .....’‘’‘’‘’’

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By troublesum, January 9, 2008 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Women like Geraldine Ferraro, Elizabeth Dole, Shirley Chisholm, Margaret Chase Smith, couldn’t make it in presidential politics but Lady Macbeth Clinton pulls it out.  What does it say about this country that only an ice queen can be successful?  And then for the women of NH to fall for those phony, very carefully calculated tears….

What about those polls?  Did the Clintons put out false information from their own internal tracking polls in the days following the Iowa caucus?  Did the other polls assume that the internal Clinton polls must be accurate and then skew their own polling results to reflect those false polls so as not to be taken by surprise on election day?  The Clintons have been planning this campaign for at least seven years.  It can safely be assumed that they prepared for every eventuality including defeat in Iowa and how to overcome it in NH.  Anyone who thinks this is far-fetched should consider this:  in 1992 after losing in Iowa and trailing badly in NH following the Jennifer Flowers revelations, the Clintons put out false information from their own traking polls taken BEFORE the Flowers story hit the press but claimed that it was taken AFTER the fact.  It was on the basis of that false info that Clinton started calling himself “the comeback kid.”  Those false numbers were enough to keep the campaign going and the money from drying up.  Then they claimed a victory after finishing third in the primary.
If George W Bush finished first after polls showed him losing by double digits people would say the election was stolen.

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By Sammy, January 9, 2008 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hillary didn’t have anything to do with fraud in Whitewater dealings.

Bill didn’t inhale.

Bill didn’t have sex with that woman.

Hillary isn’t backed by large corporations.

Bill wasn’t the best president that companies in China ever had.

It all depends what the meaning of is is.

What can I say? It will be just more of the same. Believe it if you want, Hillary will make life better for the middle class .... BTW according to Hillary, that is everyone who makes more than $200K/yr.

So light up Bill’s cigar and enjoy the election.

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By Expat, January 9, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Brock, my point is; an ignorant, lazy and uninformed (redundant?) public will not know who the “best” (most honest) candidate is.  With rare exception today’s candidates lack the single most important quality; Integrity!  There is nothing wrong with making mistakes (human), there is nothing the matter with being wrong, likewise human.  Integrity is the main differentiating quality that would negate most mistakes.  Republicans?  Like today’s democrats, I have the utmost disdain for them.  My point was of their (repubs) ability and diligence to accomplish a goal.  Wear as the dems have shown no such conviction and I’m not certain they have shown much, if any more honesty.  I despise the Republicans for taking us where we have come and I despise the dems for allowing it.  Vote as you will, it will get you very little to no difference.

alicecbrown;
The frog thig is an old saw, I stand corrected.  How do you know?  I would never try it.

Southeast Asia…cheap and delicious.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 9, 2008 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

What is this, the Young Republicans’ “We All Hate The Clintons” board?  All of you hypocrites are busy regurgitating the GOP talking points from 1992 to the present.

The Clintons are slammed for every action they took.  They are too liberal and too conservative.  What’s next, saying Bill should have been ousted for lying about a BJ?

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 9, 2008 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

By Goffredo, January 9: “She’s annoying and she’s just “Bush-lite” .... Karl Rovinian tactics (“if you vote for Obama you’re voting for al-Qaeda”)...”

Go drink yer “Bush-lite” quietly somewhere, thanks Goffredo (groan). The rest was Kerrey, NOT Clinton….....

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president Sunday but stirred a continuing controversy by noting her chief rival’s name is “Barack Hussein Obama” and that Obama had Muslim ancestors.

“It’s probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim,” Kerrey, who made a failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination won by Bill Clinton in 1992, told The Washington Post. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004077664_obama17.html

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By Goffredo, January 9, 2008 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

She’s annoying and she’s just “Bush-lite”—-1/3 less stupid with all the arrogance and lack of humility.

If change is what we want, it’s not in the body or mind of Hillary Clinton.

To begin to adopt Karl Rovinian tactics (“if you vote for Obama you’re voting for al-Qaeda”) is exactly what WE DON’T NEED!

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By patsynow, January 9, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree that at this point, I really don’t care who gets in, so long as it isn’t a neocon religious right republican and I add to that John MCCain, who does not carry those name tags but is a war monger so I have to say any republican, perios.  And I think that any one of our democrat candidates accross the board would be better than any republican.

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By alicecbrown, January 9, 2008 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Sorry to puncture you allegory, but the truth is, a frog will jump out of that water LONG before it hits the boiling point, if he can.
Problem is, the pot is usually too high around the sides to facilitate that: ergo, the myth.
But do it yourself and watch him try.  Then let the poor thing go.  Only we the people are stupid enough to keep on buying lottery tickets for the $20 scratch win, to keep on paying HMOs to ruin our medical care and to throw our educational system away because of the ignorance that thinks you can have an education without paying for it.

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By loveinatub, January 9, 2008 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

<But what worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex.>

No, I do not see Hillary as devisive because she is a woman. What I DO see as devisive is that Hillary Clinton is a MAN-BITCH! And this country needs a WOMAN PRESIDENT and not a MAN-BITCH as president!

A WOMAN President is NOT a neo-con like Hillary. A WOMAN president supports single payer healthcare because it is the most COMPASSIONATE, HUMANE and WOMANLY position a WOMAN could take!

I don’t know what defines a WOMAN for Steinem but I for one know that Hillary as presidential material does NOT represent herself to me as a WOMAN but as a NEO-CON REPUBLICAN and it DISGUSTS me no END!

Yes, Scheer, we DO NEED A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE which is why I can’t understand why someone as intelligent as Steinem wouldn’t get that!

It’s not about gender OR race in 2008. It’s about abandoning the REPUBLICAN NEO-CON vision of the world and substituting it with a KUCINICH vision of the world most simply and elegantly stated as “strength through peace.”

Thank you, Mr. Kucinich, for at least making it known to me that a preciously small segment of the American population still believes in such a DREAM.

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By Third, January 9, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On the democratic side what we have is a mixed bag of confusion.  We have Obama, a charmer and possible Muslim extremist sympathizer and Edwards, a mega rich lawyer and southern gentleman who is rumored to be a born again extremist set against Hillary Clinton, the wife of a former president and a hawk in democratic [sheep’s] clothing.  How in the hell are we supposed to know who is best for our country’s survival with only these people to choose from?
On the republican side there is Romney, whose glib tongue is reminescent of the used car salesman trying to sell us a heap of junk, against McCain, a bush sympathizer with no clear plans for bringing the country from the edge of the abyss but has voiced intentions to follow the path of bush’s chosen war.
The front runners, Clinton and McCain, have vowed support for the war of insanity, a continued flow of our tax money into an inferno to be burnt.  This is the thing that has brought the country to its knees, not entirely Clintons cut to welfare.  If this isn’t brought to a halt, our country has no direction but down, down, down!

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By John Borowski, January 9, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Poole a member of the Federal Open Market Committee in a speech stated that he can understand how the naïve public can be. (A more kind word than stupid) However the rape of the publics’ pockets that led to the mortgage crisis and credit meltdown can’t be attributed to Investment professionals’ GREED. It was “shortsightedness” and mistakes by the Investment professionals that led to the debacle. Mortgage brokers put too many people in unsuitable mortgages. They knew, for instance, that adjustable-rate mortgages probably wouldn’t be right for many borrowers if interest rates rose as the market expected. (A mistake not avarice) Investment banks jeopardized their reputations by securitized mortgages without doing due diligence on the underlying assets, many of which were based on “inadequate or spurious information.” (A mistake not avarice)
Rating agencies put their stamp of approval on securitized mortgages without considering whether AAA ratings could be maintained if house prices fell. (A mistake not avarice) The analogy to Poole’s speech is anything coming out of the mouth of the boss. Seldom will he be contradicted by the underlings and as a result the boss becomes careless in what he says. He could say any kind of “plop-plop” that makes no sense and no one will challenge him.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 9, 2008 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

#Blackspeare, January 9: ”...let’s have the three top democratic candidates make a deal…. Hillary heads the ticket with Obama as VP, but agrees to only one term to give Obama his due.  Edwards will be Secretary of whatever he wants with the proviso that he will be Obama’s VP in 2012….”

Seeing that Obama loved Israel so much (according to his AIPAC speech), he will be packed off to the M.East to share his fate with the British very-ex prime minister Tony Blair. Edwards will be put to work sorting levees in New Orleans to look after his precious middle class there. Then some real work can get done around Washington….....


#By Mike Mid-City, January 9: “Hillary, just because she doesn’t have testicles doesn’t mean she is a change…. what we used to call Republican”

You have a problem with “ovaries”, Mike Mid-City? Didn’t your mother have them? Oh, I see…...

But, in case you haven’t noticed, everything in politics everywhere (not just the lil’ol’ USA) moved further right since 9/11. A great presidential legacy from GWB.

Belatedly, we might just be able to crawl out of that time-warp as we are about to be overtaken by climate change. The USA has a recession to bear as well (but NOT the rest of the world!).


#By P. T., January 9: “Hillary—Experienced At Failure…. She’s a master of disaster…”

At least she will be able to SUCCESSFULLY manage the disaster that she will inherit form the GOP. Recession, foreign debt, unwinnable wars, ignored climate change imperatives…... think about that.

#By Expat, January 9: “We are where we are because we didn’t care enough to guard our Constitution from the thugs who govern us.  You democrats are the worst; whiners all, but you just won’t get off you ass to make a difference…”

So true, so-o true, so-ooo true, uhh. Obama supporters don’t even seem to realize that there will be a vice-president as well as a president…...


#By jackpine savage, January 9: ”“Change” is easier said than done.  It makes a great speech and it rallies the masses, but what does it mean?  In a society so totally conditioned by advertising, it feels more like buying toothpaste than fixing the ills that plague this nation…”

Hillary is 60, Obama 40+, and who cares about the pretty white boy. The combination will bring change with a wise head to lead - or a headstrong dude but without anyone to mother him or “iron his shirts”, uhh. You all better think who is going to be VP.


#By Outraged, January 9: “It’s not that I think Clinton doesn’t have the intelligence or drive to lead, the problem is WHERE will she lead us…”

Would you prefer to just stay with Bush’s buddies and the “war on terror”, Outraged? Change DOES mean walking into the unknown to some degree…....

Its called the FUTURE! Stop living in the past and accept change - and accept that people have to trust each other enough to co-operate, too. That IS the human condition…...

#By DuckPhup, January 9:
“Once the magic word was revealed… change… almost EVERYBODY… overnight… became the most qualified ‘agent of change’...”


Who was doing the “ideological hijacking”, DuckPhup? It couldn’t have been your boy with his mezmerizing ring-thing logo?

Yes, it IS true that everybody is now an “agent of change” - that IS what elections are all about, uhh. Time to CHANGE!!!

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By Dr Wu--the last of the big-time thinkers, January 9, 2008 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sock it to ‘em Bronx Homeboy Bobby

Dysfunctional family, dysfunctional family–say it 10 times–that’s the Clinton’s. But what else is new: there are so many dysfunctional families: the Bush’s, the future Sarkozi’s, the Robotic Romney’s…

It seems that only crazies want to be leaders. Best bet: don’t vote for them.

My choice for this election cycle? Dennis the K. or Ron Paul. Humdrum, borderline boring, but smart enough to take the testosterone out of this Viagra mad country with delusions of grandeur. We need to become more like Great Brittan after the sun stopped setting on their empire.

— Posted by Dr WU-the last of the big time thinkers
(fellow homeboy)

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By William H. Bassett, January 9, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From a concerned citizen!

We must insist that the press put the following line of questioning to the Presidential candidates and publish the responses.

“Do you repudiate and reject the policy or practice of - 

[here insert one from the well known laundry list of Bush/Cheney executive violations of Constitutional limits, law and generally accepted norms of transparency, environmental transgressions and failures the majority of Americans find to be impeachable.]”

After a series of such questions, which must elicit refutations of a number of Bush/Cheney policies and actions, the candidate must then be asked if he/she then recognizes their Constitutional responsibility to call for impeachment as the necessary corrective.

While it is to be expected that all candidates will stand for a strong executive, they cannot afford to be seen favoring a secret government abusing and abridging the rights of citizens, weakening environmental protections for the benefit of corporate greed, failing to respect the rule of law at the highest level of government.  They must support the Constitutional balance of powers and the rule of law and join Dennis Kucinich in calling for impeachment to make the strongest statement available to condemn policies and actions that undermine our system of government.

If Bush/Cheney are not brought before the bar of impeachment now, as examples of the abuse of executive power, following Presidents will inherit all the precedents for the abuse of signing statements, secret violation of FISA statutes, toleration or tacit approval of torture, extraordinary rendition, cronyism, environmental degradation in the service of corporate greed, diminished protection of the separation of church and state, and the politicization of science. 
The 2006 elections put a Democratic majority in power to effect change. The people are not seeing the change they voted for.  Listen to the majority of people of this nation, who tell pollsters they want impeachment.  A simple change of Party, brought about at the polls, will not make the forceful and specific statement that would stand as the citizen’s demand that their elected officials observe their oath of office requiring them to preserve and protect the Constitution.

Listen to over 85 cities and towns that have passed impeachment resolutions.  Listen to the state senate of Vermont.  Listen to 16 State Democratic Parties.

The Bush/Cheney administration, with all the power of the Pentagon and the secret powers of the CIA and the NSA at their service, do not protect us from totalitarian domination.  The Constitution stands as the bulwark of the citizen’s defense!  The Constitution establishes a separation of powers to provide the checks and balances that restrain an Executive’s dangerous or inappropriate assumption of powers.  The Congress, the people’s representatives – are charged with the sworn duty to exercise checks on the Executive when that Executive oversteps.

At this point in our history, no political action rises to the level of necessity more urgently than the protection of the Constitution and the restoration of the rule of law.  George W. Bush and Richard Cheney must be impeached and the powers they have illegally assumed must be repudiated!

I refuse to fund any party or politician failing to honor their responsibility to the Constitution in calling for investigations into the actions of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney leading to the possible filing of articles of impeachment.

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By L Nickols, January 9, 2008 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a liberal, independent registered woman, I could not have said it better.  Bob Scheer, thanks for succinctly expressing my views, too!

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, January 9, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Alas, all the evidence available today indicates that a vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton is a vote for four more years of US wars of aggression, with, unless Messrs Bush and Cheney beat her to the fore, Iran as one of the larger stops on the road. Remember that one of Ms Clinton’s chief policy advisers seems to be the notorious what’s-the-use-of-a-powerful-military-unless-we-can-use-it?, we-think-it’s worth-it Marie Jana Korbelová (aka Madeleine Korbel Albright). I have always understood the term «feminism» to refer to working for a world in which both legal and economic equality characterised gender relations, and am dismayed (but not surprised) to hear it used to promote policies which risk exterminating all human genders, simply because they are fronted by a woman. Would Ms Clinton’s US fans vote for Laura Lane Welch Bush on that basis ?...

Henri

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By Blackspeare, January 9, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Wait a minute I have a better idea——why go through the time and expense of more primaries——let’s have the three top democratic candidates make a deal.  In 2008, Hillary heads the ticket with Obama as VP, but agrees to only one term to give Obama his due.  Edwards will be Secretary of whatever he wants with the proviso that he will be Obama’s VP in 2012.  Now wouldn’t that be a lot better?!

And the same can be done on the other side.  McCain could agree to be a one term president (actually he may not have a choice) with Romney as his running mate.  Huckabee would be given a suitable position within the administration though it is unlikely any Republican can win in 2008 unless a large anti-Black vote develops should Obama be the nominee.

All the money and time saved could be put to more essential needs and we could all watch the basketball games without having to flip back to CNN for updates!!!

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By Michael Baum, January 9, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does anyone remember that, despite the widespread nostalgia for the Clinton years, this country was hardly free from problems in those years—far from it?  Does anyone remember Clinton’s missed attempt to destroy Bin Laden’s compound in Afganastan?  Does anyone remember his mistaken bombing of what turned out to be a pharmiceutical lab in The Sudan?  Does anyone remember Clinton’s abysmal failure to offer any help stop the mass slaughter of 800,000 innocent Tootsies in Rwanda?  Does anyone remember the irrational exuberance and corporate greed that led to one of the biggest stock market crashes in decades?  Does anyone remember Whitewater?  Does anyone remember that the American public was so fed up with the direction the country was heading that in the middle of Clinton’s term the American public voted Democrats out of Congress en mass?  But Hillary says she has more “experience” than her competitors.  I know Hillary is not her husband.  But isn’t she holding her husband’s record up as a badge of honor?  Isn’t her “experience” as first lady a big part of what she claims makes her more prepared to run the country than her competitors?

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By rage, January 9, 2008 at 10:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Look people; it’s time to face the cold hard realities of American life/politics.  The Kuciniches, Naders, the knight in shining armor, Jesus returning, et al, just ain’t gonna happen!  Now is the time to determine which candidate will do the least damage according to your point of view.”—-Expat

You’re wrong, man. Jesus is coming back!

Kucinich - Richardson 2008!

Because, Jesus is coming back! And, we don’t want antichristian corporate shills lording over us when He gets back here!

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By Brock, January 9, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not sure what your point is. First you say it’s folly to vote idealistically, then you point out the fact that we’ve made our own bed. I’ll tell you exactly what got us here: horserace-style, shallow, uninformed votes for corporate puppets… by Democrats and Republican alike. I refuse to take part in that. Getting honest people into government “just ain’t gonna happen” because beliefs like yours have made it a foregone conclusion. The way you guard the constitution is to vote for people who have proven that they will defend it. 

How is it a good thing that Republicans “commit” when what they are committing to are thieves and liars?

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By GW=MCHammered, January 9, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
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It’s quite the feat, I suppose, to get cattle to cheer as they’re led to slaughter. There’s the beef.

SENATOR Hillary,

Herr Bush is in the Middle Friggin’ East! Why aren’t you and the other Senators protecting the USofA against this upright-walking jive-talking war-monger?

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By GB, January 9, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With impeachment of Bush and Cheney off the table and Hillary as a possible candidate for president means the democrats will continue the occupation in Iraq and the abuses of power against the citizens of this country.
It looks like Dwight Eisenhower was right on when he warned the US of the abuse of the military industrial complex and it’s never ending cash flow of our tax dollars.

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By MBG, January 9, 2008 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
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For those wondering, <a href = “http://theelectoralmap.com/category/new-hampshire/”>this</a>is where class and voting intersect.

BC did at least three really stupid things in his presidency: NAFTA, FCC reform of 1996, and falling flat on health care reform in an era when hospitals were closing or merging left and right. But he also got a lot done, the country prospered, more working class and middle class people made real strides against their bottom lines?  Why? Because the right hand of policy change wasn’t supported by a left hand of tax cuts and government contracts also helping the corporations. These gaffs helped sure up needed support elsewhere.  I hope HC can pull of the same.

That said, I cringe every time HC says she supports a stable middle class.  I think I’m the person she’s trying to support, and taking all things into account, I am way more than middle class.  I sure hope she’s setting her sights on those who are actually struggling.  The <a href = “http://theelectoralmap.com/category/new-hampshire/”>middle</a> is pretty tight.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 9, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Why doesn’t the frog jump out when it feels the temperature going higher?  Has it been lulled into complaceney but the warmth of the water? 

BTW, why would a person want to cook a living anything?

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By bc41, January 9, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Obamma says it is and that is what is drawing some glimmer of hope from the young voter.  The rest of us just caught in that nonsense of loyalties.  Let’s see now, we export jobs while importing labor, that’s common sense.  Now over tax the smoker, force everyone to be on insurance run by an overbloated corporate industry, lastly get everyone on a government list.

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By dissenter, January 9, 2008 at 9:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

well, the two most famous bad guys of recent years, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, came from “poor” backgrounds…hmmm, yes, they had a social conscience too…point is that it is what the politician “stands for” and practices, not where he (or she) came from.

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By Alice Brown, January 9, 2008 at 8:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where ARE you an expat, since I’m thinking of joining those ranks.  Agree with everything you say and, as a political activist for Moveon.org, I’m ashamed of the Dems we sent to Congress for losing their way.  What happened to them?  How did they get intoxicated…..made lunatic by the powerful scent of power?
We have to choose the lesser of the evils, as much as I love Kucinich.  I am working for John Edwards, but will be out campaigning for whatever flawed human being…..poisoned by our electorial process as much as anything…...gets the Democratic nod.
And Bob Scheer, tell us WHY you left NPR>...because it’s actually National Propaganda Radio?.  At least FOX is honest about their bigotry and bias.

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