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Playing President

By Robert Scheer
Paperback $13.16

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Tag: Democrats

Conservative, or Just Plain Corrupt?

Through their ethics scandals, Republicans in Washington long ago began making the word conservative synonymous with the term corrupt. Surprisingly, though, it is a group of Democrats that is cementing this definitional conversion for good.

Posted on Nov 30, 2007 READ MORE


Have They No Shame?

The Democrats have gotten in bed with torturers, those who support cruel treatment of military prisoners and some who may have authorized such abuse.

Posted on Nov 27, 2007 READ MORE


Obama Taps the ‘Oprah Effect’

The conventional wisdom says that celebrity endorsements don’t mean much in politics. But the conventional wisdom also says that enormously long, difficult novels published more than a century ago don’t suddenly become best-sellers today.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Liberals’ Lesson Down Under

Kevin Rudd, Australia’s new prime minister, combines iron discipline with a puckish sense of humor, political toughness with a reflective spiritual side, and a youthful disposition with an old pro’s skill at divining where a majority lies.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Was Ross Perot Right?

“Ross Perot was fiercely against NAFTA. Knowing what we know now, was Ross Perot right?” It was a straightforward query about a Clinton administration trade policy that polls show the public now hates, and it was appropriately directed to a candidate who has previously praised NAFTA.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


Garble Garble

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Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


The Democrats’ Facebook Primary

The contours of the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination are set, and it is not a battle about “issues.” Advisers to the major contenders largely see things this way, and Democratic voters are in a quandary about what to do.

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Gravel with Clinton on TV

Gravel Has His Own Debate

Mike Gravel wasn’t invited to CNN’s Democratic debate last Thursday, but that didn’t stop him from taking on the other candidates anyway, armed with the power of TiVo. What follows is part history lesson and part Howard Beale polemic. Enjoy.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


obama
trb.com

Obama Pulls Ahead in Iowa Poll

Barack Obama has taken the lead in Iowa, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.  However, his lead is within the poll’s margin of error, so he remains in a statistical tie with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Much of Obama’s strength may come from “new direction” voters, and the sense that voters have, according to the survey, that he is “the most honest and trustworthy.”

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
cnn.com

Clinton and Obama in ‘Scandal’ Feud

Conservative columnist Robert Novak initiated a scuffle between the Clinton and Obama campaigns over the weekend by reporting that “agents” of Hillary Clinton claimed to possess “scandalous” information about Barack Obama. Obama promptly accused the Clinton campaign of trying to “Swift-boat” him and demanded that the front-runner come clean.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


It’s All Down Hillary From Here

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Posted on Nov 18, 2007 READ MORE    


Karl Rove

Karl Rove’s Campaign Analysis

The man who turned an inarticulate failed businessman into an inarticulate failed president offers his take on the campaign so far. It’s a real shocker: Rove is impressed by the Republicans, while he finds the Democrats “weak.”

Posted on Nov 16, 2007 READ MORE


A Faith-Based Boondoggle

Countless studies show that abstinence-only sex education just doesn’t work, so why is it getting more money than ever from the federal government?

Posted on Nov 15, 2007 READ MORE


dems
cbsnews.com

Dead Heat in Iowa

Hillary Clinton’s lead in Iowa is statistically nonexistent, leaving in a virtual tie the top three Democrats running in the nation’s first electoral test, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll. On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee has sprinted past Rudy Giuliani to be within striking distance of Mitt Romney.

Posted on Nov 13, 2007 READ MORE


Take the Cost of the War and Double It

According to the calculations of congressional Democrats, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost about $1.5 trillion. That’s nearly double the (already staggering) $804 billion that’s been appropriated or requested. Lawmakers arrived at the revised estimate by considering larger economic factors, including interest on debt and health care costs for wounded veterans.

Posted on Nov 13, 2007 READ MORE


Who Said Politics Was Fair?

Democrats in Congress are discovering what it’s like to live in the worst of all possible worlds. They are condemned for selling out to President Bush, and for failing to make compromises aimed at getting things done.

Posted on Nov 13, 2007 READ MORE


It’s Still the Economy, Stupid

Sometime before the average price of gas topped the $3-a-gallon mark,  an inevitable moment arrived. The economy beat Iraq as the issue of most concern to Americans.

Posted on Nov 13, 2007 READ MORE


Gen. Casey
AP photo / Brennan Linsley

In the Hands of the Military

The last, best hope for averting a war with Iran lies with the United States military. We will be saved or doomed by our generals.

Posted on Nov 12, 2007 READ MORE


Now Is the Winter of Voters’ Discontent

The Democratic surge that began in 2006 continued in elections around the country on Tuesday. But how the Democrats won provides a cautionary tale for the national party.

Posted on Nov 8, 2007 READ MORE


Driving the Masses Mad

Bush Derangement Syndrome is now a full-blown epidemic. George W. apparently has reduced more of his fellow citizens to sputtering rage than any other president since opinion polling began, with the possible exception of Nixon.

Posted on Nov 8, 2007 READ MORE


A Phony Social Security Debate

As Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton spar over Social Security, their argument has shed little light on America’s most successful domestic program but has instead revealed unattractive aspects of both candidates.

Posted on Nov 8, 2007 READ MORE


Standing Up for Torture, at Home and Abroad

Sheldon Whitehouse, new to the Senate, was searching for what he called a “moment of moral clarity.” Seated alongside the other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in its crowded hearing room, the Rhode Island Democrat was looking in precisely the wrong place.

Posted on Nov 8, 2007 READ MORE


Schumer and Feinstein Hand Torture a Victory

Do we really need another attorney general who doesn’t know what torture is? The Senate Judiciary Committee just barely approved the nomination of Michael Mukasey on Tuesday. He is expected to breeze through the rest of the process. Remember some weeks from now, when the head of the Justice Department is a man who, despite fact and testimony and common sense, can’t call torture by its name, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer are responsible.

Posted on Nov 6, 2007 READ MORE


Dems Threaten to Charge Mute Bushies

House Democrats have threatened to push ahead with contempt-of-Congress citations against past and present Bush intimates Harriet Miers, Joshua Bolten and, possibly, Karl Rove. The White House appeared unimpressed, probably because the administration would ultimately oversee any prosecution, via the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

Posted on Nov 5, 2007 READ MORE


Scheer and Nader
Zuade Kaufman / Truthdig (left) and Carolyn Kaster / AP photo

Robert Scheer Debates Ralph Nader

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer goes head to head with progressive icon Ralph Nader, who denies the charge that he has been a spoiler and challenges the value of the Democratic Party.

Posted on Nov 5, 2007 READ MORE


Obama Gets Aggressive

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Posted on Nov 5, 2007 READ MORE


Mukasey and Bush
nytimes.com

Bush: You Get Mukasey or No One at All

President Bush issued an ultimatum of sorts on Thursday over his embattled nominee for attorney general, Michael Mukasey, who refuses to say whether he considers waterboarding a form of torture. Bush said if the Democrats block the nomination, it “would guarantee that America would have no attorney general during this time of war.”

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 READ MORE


Dems Tread Lightly on Immigration

More significant than Clinton’s supposed gaffe in the Philadelphia debate is the subject around which she tiptoed so delicately: Immigration is the issue Democrats fear because it could leave them with a set of no-win political choices.

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 READ MORE


Clinton Camp Regroups After Debate Onslaught

Judging by the rallying call for support that two key members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff made to supporters following Tuesday’s debate in Philadelphia, Team Hillary is well aware that she has had better debating moments—and that her rivals will continue to pile on in coming weeks.

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 READ MORE


I’m Talking to the Ass in the Mirror

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Posted on Nov 1, 2007 READ MORE    


Racist, Distorted and Effective

A contemporary Willie Horton has turned up in the Democratic presidential campaign, and so far he is winning. No such person sat in the Drexel University auditorium during the Democrats’ debate on Tuesday night. But the candidates, especially the unprepared front-runner, Hillary Clinton, should long ago have recognized that Republicans and a shrill conservative chorus intend to make Hispanic illegal immigrants the Willie Hortons of 2008.

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 READ MORE


Giuliani in drag

Top 5 Political Costumes

In the spirit of Halloween and the idea of dressing up as something you’re not, we’ve decided to pay tribute to the five best political poses from the other 364 days of the year.

Posted on Oct 31, 2007 READ MORE


Democratic debate

Relive the Magic: The Democratic Debate in Philly

In case you missed it (or are simply, and understandably, a bit maxed out on the whole debate thing), The Largest Minority’s John Harrison has done his civic duty in lining up complete footage of the Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia on Tuesday.  This way, you can fast-forward through the boring bits!

Posted on Oct 31, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Cronies Defend Torture

CIA Chief Michael Hayden has issued a passionate defense of extraordinary rendition, claiming that the practice, which so often involves abduction and torture, is justified by the “irreplaceable” intelligence it produces. Meanwhile, President Bush’s preferred successor to loyal henchman Alberto Gonzales refuses to call torture by its name, though he claims to find it “repugnant.”

Posted on Oct 31, 2007 READ MORE


Giuliani Lowers the Discourse

Historians may one day debate Rudy Giuliani’s recent preposterous comments at a New Hampshire town hall meeting. “Did he mean it?” they might ask. “Or was he just dehydrated?” While addressing voters, the candidate said that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were debating whether to invite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama bin Laden to their inaugurations. But wait, there’s more.

Posted on Oct 29, 2007 READ MORE


Electoral Dysfunction

An impotent GOP is beating up immigrants, sick kids and foreign countries in the feeble hope that grateful voters will stick it to the Democrats next year.

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 READ MORE


Hillary’s Firewall

Clinton knows she has to win in New Hampshire.  That might not be too difficult if Obama continues to fail to captivate Granite State voters.

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 READ MORE


Rice Takes a Licking in Congress

Typically cool as a cucumber, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice struggled to hold it together Thursday as members of the House Oversight Committee let her have it on everything from the enormous, expensive and incomplete U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Blackwater’s killing spree.

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 READ MORE


Spineocrat

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Posted on Oct 24, 2007 READ MORE


Don’t Give Mukasey a Pass

The nominee for attorney general doesn’t know “what is involved” in waterboarding, and he appears to back Bush’s usurpation of power.  Isn’t it time for the Democrats to grow some spine?

Posted on Oct 24, 2007 READ MORE


Moral Minority

Those who went to the Values Voter Summit left without a candidate to call their own. But the lack of a golden boy isn’t their only problem: There are signs of ideological rigor mortis among the old guard.

Posted on Oct 24, 2007 READ MORE


Speaking Truth to Nonsense

Triangulation aside, when it comes to the phony Social Security crisis, Hillary Clinton has stood up for the truth: There isn’t one.

Posted on Oct 23, 2007 READ MORE


Bush
aftonbladet.se

Bush Wants Even More Money for the Wars

The White House’s latest request ($46 billion) for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was greeted with fighting words by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “President Bush should not expect Congress to rubber-stamp his latest supplemental request. We’re not going to do that.” For those keeping track at home, Bush has now asked for $196.4 billion so far for the budget year that began in October.

Posted on Oct 22, 2007 READ MORE


Bobby Jindal and friends
nytimes.com

Indian-American Could Beat the Odds in the South

The voters of Louisiana are very close to electing as their governor Bobby Jindal, a conservative Republican congressman of Indian descent. While the chattering class is preoccupied with whether the nation is ready for a black or woman president, the conservative Republicans of Louisiana, many of whom once threw their support behind former klansman David Duke, seem to have moved on.

Posted on Oct 19, 2007 READ MORE


Pelosi
politico.com

Dems Blow Override, Vow to Keep On Fighting

House Democrats managed to pick up a few more votes for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but not enough to override the president’s veto. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised to keep fighting for the overwhelmingly popular program: “In the next two weeks we will send the president another bill that insures coverage for 10 million children.”

Posted on Oct 18, 2007 READ MORE


Arrest in Iraq
AP photo / Hamza Hendawi

Dissent From the Front Lines

When will we listen to the troops?  I’m not talking about soldiers used as props for a George Bush photo op, telling reporters what Washington wants to hear. The Iraq war has produced brilliant messages of dissent from the ranks that should cause us to stop in our tracks and reconsider what we have wrought.

Posted on Oct 16, 2007 READ MORE


Hillary’s Secret Weapon

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Posted on Oct 16, 2007 READ MORE    


Pelosi

Huffington Probes Pelosi on the War

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explains to a persistent Arianna Huffington why the Democrats haven’t yet cut off funds for the war, why Mitt Romney isn’t going to be the next president and why she opposes a war tax: “This war has to end. I don’t want any accommodation made to pay for it or to prolong it.”

Posted on Oct 16, 2007 READ MORE


Running on Yesterday’s Ideas

One of the few things the Republican and Democratic presidential contests have in common is the relentlessness with which candidates on both sides are wrapping themselves in orthodoxy. Heretics need not apply.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE


Al Gore
Eric Lee / Paramount Classics via NYT

Draft Gore for President?

Al Gore and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their crusade against global warming. Now, just imagine what would happen if the Nobel laureate applied himself with equal intensity to ending the war in Iraq.  That could be the beginning of a thrilling presidential campaign.

Posted on Oct 12, 2007 READ MORE


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