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Fox News vs. Obama for Next 4 Years?

Watch Megyn Kelly go off on Obama press secretary Bill Burton.

It's pretty stunning.

Is it me or she yelling almost the ENTIRE time.

Also, do the folks over at Fox really believe that their news is fair and balanced?

One thing's for sure...Fox News will be VERY popular the next four years. An Obama presidency is the best thing that could have happened to them.

Justin blogs daily at

Debunking Palin Rumors

So far, Sarah Palin's record has provided a lot of fodder for gossip and speculation. I've detailed a lot of the hard facts on this blog, but now it's time to address the stuff that isn't true.

This from

  • Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn't cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.
  • She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.
  • She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She's been registered as a Republican since May 1982.
  • Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a "courtesty" when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.
  • Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools. She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution question, but she also said creationism "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

One thing I do want to add to FactCheck's reporting regarding Palin's affiliation with the Alaska Independence Party...Todd Palin has registered twice as a member of the AIP, Sarah attended their 2006 convention, she did record a video greeting for their 2008 convention and one her political mentors, former governor Wally Hickel, is currently a member.

So, while FactCheck's reporting is accurate that she isn't a member of AIP, she's still extremely cozy with a political group that advocates secession.

In any event, does anybody else have any other Palin rumors you want to debunk beyond the obvious ones about her kids?

Justin blogs daily at

Sarah Palin's 1,100+ Secret Emails

The more you dig, the goofier it gets...

Some background...

In June, Andrée McLeod, a self-described independent government watchdog in Alaska, sent an open records act request to the office of Governor Sarah Palin. She requested copies of all the emails that had been sent and received by Ivy Frye and Frank Bailey, two top aides to Palin, from February through April of this year. McLeod, a 53-year-old registered Republican who has held various jobs in state government, suspected that Frye and Bailey had engaged in political activity during official business hours in that period by participating in a Palin-backed effort to oust the state chairman of the Alaska Republican party, Randy Ruedrich.

I hope you noted that the open records request was made by a registered Republican.

So then, what's so goofy?'s one potential bombshell...

Several of the emails suggested to her that Palin's office had used its influence to reward a Fairbanks surveyor who was a Palin fundraiser with a state job. In early August, McLeod filed a complaint with the state attorney general against Palin, Bailey, and other Palin aides, claiming they had violated ethics and hiring laws. Palin, now the Republican vice-presidential candidate, told the Alaska Daily News that "there were no favors done for anybody."

And it gets even goofier...

But more intriguing than any email correspondence contained in the four boxes was what was not released: about 1100 emails. [...]

The list of still-secret emails includes a series of messages that circulated on February 1, 2008, among Palin, Bailey, Frye, and Todd Palin "re Andrew Halcro." A former Republican, Halcro ran as an independent against Palin for governor in 2006, collecting only 9 percent of the vote. [...]

The list of confidential emails [also] includes a number of communications related to the Public Safety Employees Association, a union for the state's police officers and state troopers, and the headings refer to PSEA ads and a "PR campaign." Many of these PSEA-related emails were CC'ed to Todd Palin--and were also withheld under the deliberative process and executive privileges.

Obvious question #1: Why is Todd Palin being CC'd on ANY email that is official government business?

Obvious question #2: How can Sarah claim executive privilege and keep the emails secret if Todd was included in the correspondence?

Obvious question #3: How did Palin treat McLeod after this records request?

The answer to that last one: not well.

Palin has denounced McLeod's efforts. After McLeod filed the ethics complaint, Palin told the Anchorage Daily News, "This is the same Andrée McLeod that follows us around at public events and camps herself out in our waiting area and hounds us for a job, asking us if there's a way she can...not have to go through the system to get a job with this administration." Palin also called McLeod "the falafel lady," because McLeod once sold falafel.

On his website, Halcro has posted excerpts of emails Palin sent McLeod between 2002 and 2005, in which she praised McLeod. In one of these messages, Palin wrote, "You're all about accountability." In another, Palin said, "Thanks for working to instill the public trust." Palin also wrote her, "I'm proud to know you." And in one email, Palin hailed McLeod: "Holy Moly you are powerful regarding getting the word out to the press about questionable activity."

The more you dig, the goofier it gets...

Justin blogs daily at

Why is Cindy McCain Going to Georgia?

This is just odd...

McCain is traveling with the U.N.'s World Food Programme, whose work she monitored in Southeast Asia and Africa this spring and summer. McCain plans to meet with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and to visit wounded Georgian soldiers. She would also visit representatives of the HALO Trust, which works to remove land mines and on whose board she serves. [...]

Cindy McCain said she has been trying to get into Georgia since the conflict started, but it took time to arrange the logistics. Her husband, she said, is "very supportive. As soon as he saw what was happening -- he and I, we connect on many levels. I mean, he knew immediately [that I would want to go]. I've been to Georgia with him; I know the country."

Imagine if Michelle Obama was taking this trip. Imagine the outrage on the right as they'd accuse her of turning a foreign policy crisis into a photo op. And you know what? They'd be right.

I mean, what else can this trip be seen as since Cindy is essentially going to be in the country for less than a day? Yes, I know she has worked with the UN before, but folks, this is not "monitoring."

Again, just odd.

Justin blogs daily at

McCain/Whitman 2008?

That's the buzz coming from Denver, via Ambinder.

As I mentioned earlier in the day, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman could do numerous things to help McCain, not the least of which is act as a Hillary surrogate for many of those security moms and independent women who saw Hillary as the true candidate for "change."

Also, let's not forget that McCain named Whitman as one of those people whom he admires most at the Saddleback conference recently and who else could talk the talk when it comes to the economy?

Still, there are pretty obvious drawbacks.

For one, few know where Whitman stands on a lot of the hot button issues (she is pro-life), and while that may excite some independents, it'll still scare McCain's religious base...a lot. Basically, there's no legislative record behind Whitman, only private sector work...most of which never sees the light of day.

Ambinder has more negatives...

But eBay's lost a lot of value in ten years. There's a lot about Whitman we don't know. A lot that social conservatives might object to: eBay is very good to its gay employees, for one thing. And Whitman has her heart set on the governors's mansion in California. Is she ready to lead from day one? When was the last time she went to Iraq? Etc. Etc.

Also, does anybody think Whitman would be ready to lead on day one if something happened to McCain. Dems would have a field day with that one.

Still, a female VP for McCain is extremely intriguing notion and I think it would be a game changer. In fact, it would be the only game changer.

Justin blogs daily at

Obama Seeks to Take 'Super' Out Of Superdelegates

After the nonsense this primary season, I can understand why Democrats across the board would want to diminish the importance of these folks.

From Wash Post:

Barack Obama's campaign will call next week for the creation of a new commission to revise the rules for selecting a presidential nominee in 2012 with a goal of reducing the power of superdelegates, whose role became a major point of contention during the long battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton. [...]

The proposed changes grow out of discussions between Obama's campaign team, officials at the Democratic National Committee and representatives of Hillary Clinton's former presidential campaign, Plouffe said. [...]

"The number of super delegates has gotten too large in relation to overall delegates," Plouffe said. "We want to give more control back to the voters.... Everyone thinks there ought to be more weight given to the results of the elections."

Also, this new commission will be looking at changing up the primary schedule, although it doesn't look likely that Iowa or New Hampshire will be moved around...

The other significant change is the call to redraw the primary and caucus calendar. The 2008 calendar drew significant criticism both for the early starting dates for the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, and also because there were so many states crowded into the first month of what turned out to be a five-month campaign.

As envisioned by the Obama and Clinton campaigns, most contests could not be held before March, except for a handful of states authorized to go earlier -- presumably in February rather than January.

I think these are all good changes, but I wish they'd mix up the primary calendar A LOT more. Give other states a chance to go first instead of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Justin blogs daily at

Colin Powell: Most Important Endorsement This Campaign Season?

Heard the rumor today? That Colin Powell was going to the Democratic Convention and endorsing Barack Obama?

Well, considering the gossip came from conservative gadfly Bill Kristol, I immediately didn't believe. And soon enough it was dispelled by Powell himself...

"I do not have time to waste on Bill Kristol's musings," Powell told ABC News. "I am not going to the convention. I have made this clear."

But this raises an interesting question: what could Powell's endorsement do for Obama? And then, of course, there's the flip side: what could it do for McCain?

Honestly, I think it could swing a significant number of Independents to either candidate's favor. After all, Powell is one of the more popular moderate political figures we've encountered in the past couple decades, even with that infamous speech at the U.N. looming in the background.

My guess? I think he would have come out for McCain a lot earlier if he was going to support John, so I think he's leaning heavily towards Obama because he shares a similar approach to foreign policy with the Illinois senator. That doesn't mean he'll explicitly endorse Obama, but Powell's silence would be telling in a year like this...especially considering he has been a lifelong Republican...albeit a moderate one.

Now, if he does actually come out for Obama, I think it would be much closer to November. Hell, he may even wait until just a couple weeks before the election, just to make sure the Republicans don't fish something really nasty up. After all, Powell has a reputation to think of too.

So what are your thoughts? Think he's backing Obama, but doesn't want to admit it? Or does he still have a soft spot for McCain? And would his endorsement mean that much?

Justin blogs daily at

Former Iowa GOPer Endorses Obama

First, the story of a man who has never endorsed a Democrat...

Former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach -- a Republican -- endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama this morning. Leach, as you may recall, lost his bid for re-election in 2006 after three decades representing portions of eastern Iowa in congress. Leach was considered a "moderate" Republican and was a backer of campaign finance reform. Leach did not accept campaign contributions from political action committees.

Then, John Cole provides the appropriate snark considering all of this nailbiting about Obama not leading by more...

If it wasn't enough bad news that Obama only had a 5-7 point lead in national polls instead of a blow-out, this really should set Obama supporters on their heels. I mean, only one former Republican House member from Iowa is endorsing Obama? What about all the other Republican House members from Iowa?

I think this is terrible news for Obama and really am worried about this turn of events.

As I've mentioned in the past, the electoral map definitely favors Obama. But this meme that suggests he should be destroying McCain is definitely a head scratcher.

Justin blogs daily at

Independents Split Evenly Between the Candidates

So goes the swing vote, so goes the election. At least that's what these numbers from Gallup suggest...

So who are these swing voters?


Major subgroups of the U.S. population giving neither candidate a large or consistent edge include 30- to 49-year-olds, 50- to 64-year-olds, college grads, those with some college education, those with no college education, political independents, and Catholics.

Many in the moderate/centrist/independent blogosphere have suspected this for quite some time, and with only 90 or so days until the election, it looks like this contest will be won or lost somewhere in the muddy middle.

So if you thought you had seen a lot of flip flopping before...just wait. It's about to become an art form.

Justin blogs daily at

Why Won't Tim Kaine Be VP?

Well, first off...he keeps on talking...

There has been a long list. It seems to be getting shorter. And I'm still being mentioned. A lot can change day-to-day. But we'll see.

...and talking...

Kaine insisted that he has "no hints about timing" for the veep rollout, whoever the choice may be. But he doesn't seem to mind the spotlight in the meantime. "It's nice to be speculated about," he said with a smile.

...and talking about it.

Of course this is just my own opinion of how this stuff goes, but I think him speaking so openly about it pretty much means he won't get the nod. It's just bad form, and the "gee gosh golly" routine doesn't seem very presidential.

Also, Brendan Nyhan raises a very superficial, but very real point about the look and feel of Kaine. Yes, it does matter, regardless of how much we don't want it to.

So no, I don't think he's the guy, and I think it's down to Biden and Sebelius at this point.

Justin blogs daily at

Hillary to Speak on Second Night of Convention

Well, looks like the Obama and Clinton camps have settled on a spot for her to talk on August 26th

From CNN:

Two sources close to Clinton said the former presidential candidate will speak August 26 with all female U.S. senators on stage with her.

"Tuesday night is Hillary night," said one supporter.

The significance?

That night is the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

And then two days later on August 28th Obama will speaking on the 45th anniversary of MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech.

Could the historical timing be any better for the Dems?

Justin blogs daily at

Obama's Bi-Racial Background Hints at Communism?

I literally could not believe it when I read it (the article is from February), but here we go...because Obama came from a white mother and a highly educated black follows that he's more predisposed to be a Communist.

I know, it sounds like the stuff of fiction, but take a read from Lisa Schiffren of the National Review:

Obama and I are roughly the same age. I grew up in liberal circles in New York City -- a place to which people who wished to rebel against their upbringings had gravitated for generations. And yet, all of my mixed race, black/white classmates throughout my youth, some of whom I am still in contact with, were the product of very culturally specific unions. They were always the offspring of a white mother, (in my circles, she was usually Jewish, but elsewhere not necessarily) and usually a highly educated black father. And how had these two come together at a time when it was neither natural nor easy for such relationships to flourish? Always through politics. No, not the young Republicans. Usually the Communist Youth League. Or maybe a different arm of the CPUSA. But, for a white woman to marry a black man in 1958, or 60, there was almost inevitably a connection to explicit Communist politics. (During the Clinton Administration we were all introduced to then U. of Pennsylvania Professor Lani Guinier -- also a half black/half Jewish, red diaper baby.)

I don't know how Barak Obama's parents met. But the Kincaid article referenced above makes a very convincing case that Obama's family, later, (mid 1970s) in Hawaii, had close relations with a known black Communist intellectual. And, according to what Obama wrote in his first autobiography, the man in question -- Frank Marshall Davis -- appears to have been Barack's own mentor, and even a father figure. Of course, since the Soviet Union itself no longer exists, it's an open question what it means practically to have been politically mentored by an official Communist. Ideologically, the implications are clearer.

I like how the author of this piece of agit-prop talks about New York City as if it's the place where Communists meet, and then goes onto say she doesn't know how his parents met in Hawaii, but hey...there's this Communist that his parents knew and so...

Paging McCarthy...Joseph McCarthy...

And here's the best part...

Political correctness was invented precisely to prevent the mainstream liberal media from persuing the questions which might arise about how Senator Obama's mother, from Kansas, came to marry an African graduate student. Love? Sure, why not? But what else was going on around them that made it feasible?

Yes Lisa, that's why political correctness was invented...precisely to make sure that your inane theories don't get any traction.

Obviously this meme never stuck to Obama, but make no mistake...if this is the level of crazy we were seeing in February just wait until after the convention.

Justin blogs daily at

GOP Concerned About Georgia


Two words: Bob Barr.

Republican strategists are privately conceding that the GOP could lose Georgia's 15 presidential electors for the first time since 1992 because of Bob Barr's ballot position as the Libertarian Party presidential candidate.

The most recent Georgia survey by the polling firm Insider Advantage, conducted July 2, shows 46 percent for Sen. John McCain, 44 percent for Sen. Barack Obama and 4 percent for Barr. George W. Bush, who carried all 11 states of the old Confederacy in both 2000 and 2004, had 58 percent of Georgia's vote in the last election.

But can Barr realistically keep that level of support up? Actually, I think he can because we're talking about a very small % of conservatives who simply won't vote for McCain because he's too aligned with Bush when it comes to fiscal and foreign policy matters. There's a healthy number of conservatives who are really angry with the current Republican status quo, and McCain isn't doing enough to convince them that anything will change.

So, do I think Obama has a shot at the state? No. But it'll be close enough that McCain will have to spend money, and that has to drive the Republicans nuts.

Justin blogs daily at

The Real Reason Republicans Are Backing Obama?

They're not Obamacans, they're Obamacons...and they're pissed at George W.

From SF Gate:

[...] the Iraq war and President Bush's "compassionate conservatism" that led to an expansion of government have ruptured the coalition. Many conservatives are aghast at the rise in spending and debt under the Bush administration, its expansion of executive power, and what they see as a trampling of civil liberties and a taste for empire.

"I do know libertarians who think Obama is the Antichrist, that he's farther left than John Kerry, much farther left than Bill Clinton, and you'd clearly have to be insane to vote for this guy," said David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. "But there are libertarians who say, 'Oh yeah? Do you think Obama will increase spending by $1 trillion, because that's what Republicans did over the past two presidential terms. So really, how much worse can he be?' And there are certainly libertarians who think Obama will be better on the war and on foreign policy, on executive power and on surveillance than McCain."

So what is it about Obama that some Obamacons do seem to trust?

As I've said in the past, tone matters and Obama can often be one of the best at setting the right kind when talking to philosophical opponents:

Many conservatives and their brethren, the free-market, socially liberal libertarians, are deeply skeptical of Obama's rhetorical flirtations with free-market ideas and view his policies as orthodox liberalism. Yet one measure of their rupture with the GOP is their open disregard for Republican nominee John McCain and their now almost-wistful view of a president the Republicans tried to impeach.

"When he leaves the room, everybody thinks he just agreed with them," Greve said of Obama. "We don't know if you're really buying a pig in a poke here. It could be the second coming of the Clinton administration. If people have any confidence in that, I think a whole lot of conservatives would vote for him."

Will they? I think so. After talking with many Republicans who just can't or won't get excited about McCain, they're willing to give somebody like Obama, a guy who seems reasonable, a chance. And let's be clear...we're not talking about a massive party swing here. That's not needed for him to win big. More like a 10% shift and you're starting to get into landslide territory.

We shall see...

Justin blogs daily at

Obama's Plan to Address Energy Trading

This is one way to bring some sanity back to the price of oil, and I'm glad to see that not only is Obama backing this bi-partisan push to put some limits on out of control speculation, but also calling for tougher restrictions on market forces that aren't doing anything to help out consumers...

Obama wants to close a loophole in federal law that exempts some energy traders from regulations that govern other exchange-traded commodities. Democrats call this "the Enron loophole" because it benefited the Houston energy-speculation firm that collapsed in an accounting scandal. [...]

Obama said in a statement: "My plan fully closes the Enron Loophole and restores common-sense regulation as part of my broader plan to ease the burden for struggling families today while investing in a better future."

The campaign calls the loophole "one example of the special interest politics that put the interests of Big Oil and speculators ahead of the interests of working people."

Here's why this is important...

Michael Masters, a portfolio manager, told Congress last month that index speculators had bought the equivalent of 1.1 billion barrels of oil - eight times as much as the United States has added to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the last five years. Speculators also had purchased enough corn futures to fuel the entire U.S. ethanol production for a year.

Masters said the strategy is to buy futures contracts for items in limited supply and hold them - which he called "virtual hoarding."

"Individually, these participants are not acting with malicious intent," he said. "Collectively, however, their impact reaches into the wallets of every American consumer."

Justin blogs daily at

Is Alaska Up for Grabs?

Lots of polling today, and most of it favoring Obama in traditional swing states and at least one Republican stronghold.

The numbers...
McCain - 45%
Obama - 41%

Rasmussen breaks down the demos...

This is the third straight poll showing Obama within single digits of the presumptive GOP nominee. A month ago, McCain was up by nine. Two months ago, it was McCain by nine.

McCain is supported by 78% of Republican voters while Obama attracts 74% of Democratic voters. Among those not affiliated with either major party, it's Obama 48% McCain 33%. A month ago, Obama attracted 47% of unaffiliateds while McCain was supported by 41%.

McCain is viewed favorably by 57% of Alaska voters, Obama by 53%. Both figures are up a point over the past month.

Just to give you an indication how surprising this is, Bush beat Kerry in Alaska in 2004 by 61% to 35%. The fact that Obama is within striking distance at all is a testament to his crossover appeal and the discontent with the Republican brand.

At the very least it'll hurt McCain because he'll have to spend resources there that he could otherwise use for swing states.

Justin blogs daily for Donklephant

Is it Important When American Troops Come Home?

I think yes. McCain thinks no.

First, his side...

Now, mine...

Once again it appears that McCain is trying to reframe the goal of the surge by saying it's a success because fewer troops aren't getting killed. And while he's correct that casualty rates are dropping, our men and women are still dying at an average of 1 every 1.5 days. More still are getting seriously wounded or injured. And let's not even get into the military's massive PTSD problem.

As I and many have said in the past, reducing violence in Iraq was only meant to be a strategy to enable the goal of political progress...which hasn't happened and is presently in limbo. How much longer will we wait until the Iraqis get their act together? McCain seems to suggest as long as it takes, but there's no evidence to suggest that continuing to stay will make things any better or motivate Iraqi politicos to move faster to secure their own country and work towards a stable democracy.

Another thing, McCain is attempting to draw parallels to other locales we've occupied as the model for Iraq. However, his argument just doesn't square. America wasn't pouring hundreds of billions into South Korea, Japan or Germany, nor were we experiencing post-war casualties anywhere close to rate in Iraq. And I know that McCain is talking about getting to a similar reality in Iraq, but there are no guarantees of that.

So this leads me to the reasons why it's important to know when our troops are coming home...

Continue reading "Is it Important When American Troops Come Home?" »

Bob Barr: War on Drugs Has Failed

He admits he was wrong and that it's now time to call this "war" off because it's doing far more harm than good.

From Huff Post:

For years, I served as a federal prosecutor and member of the House of Representatives defending the federal pursuit of the drug prohibition.

Today, I can reflect on my efforts and see no progress in stopping the widespread use of drugs. I'll even argue that America's drug problem is larger today than it was when Richard Nixon first coined the phrase, "War on Drugs," in 1972.

America's drug problem is only compounded by the vast amounts of money directed at this ongoing battle. In 2005, more than $12 billion dollars was spent on federal drug enforcement efforts while another $30 billion was spent to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders.

The result of spending all of those taxpayer's dollars? We now have a huge incarceration tab for non-violent drug offenders and, at most, a 30% interception rate of hard drugs. We are also now plagued with the meth labs that are popping up like poisonous mushrooms across the country.

While it is clear the War on Drugs has been a failure, it is not enough to simply acknowledge that reality. We need to look for solutions that deal with the drug problem without costly and intrusive government agencies, and instead allow for private industry and organizations to put forward solutions that address the real problems.

Still, is this too little too late? Because what can he really do now? What's more, Barr's Libertarian run for President isn't exactly setting the world on fire. And sure, it's early, but how is he going to get this message out?

Here's my opinion...if Barr made this THE central issue of his campaign he may be able to have a larger voice...but 3rd party candidates who are starting out late need ONE big issue. Perot had the deficit, and as a former federal prosecutor, Barr can make a very Libertarian case to end this "war", but he needs to be absolutely dogged about it.

Will he do it? I have my doubts.

Justin blogs daily at

Can Obama Put Mississippi in Play?

There's been a lot of talk about Obama's 50 state strategy, and while I don't buy that idea completely, the Votemaster over at notes that some states could be in play that would never be if a traditional candidate was running...

But Obama might put strange states in play, like Mississippi. About 37% of the state's population is black. If they go for Obama for 95%, all he needs is 25% of the white vote. Where might he get that? Young voters and college-educated voters. If the Obama money machine gets up to speed, he could raise $200 million, maybe $300 million, which would make it possible to burn $5 million in Mississippi. He might also go there to campaign for former governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) who is trying to replace Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in the Senate. And many western states such as Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada will certainly be in play, and likely Virginia as well. Maybe Pennsylvania and Michigan, too.

I definitely think we seen evidence that's suggest Obama has the potential to change the electoral map in ways that Hillary never would, but those discussions have always been about Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada...not necessarily Mississippi. If Obama can land that state, we could be looking at landslide territory.

Justin blogs daily at

Could Bill Prevent Hillary from Getting VP Slot?

WSJ explains why:

[...] close advisers to Sen. Obama signaled an Obama-Clinton ticket was highly unlikely. People in both camps cited what several called "a deal-breaker" -- Bill Clinton may balk at releasing records of his business dealings and big donors to his presidential library.

Remember, many feel (including myself) that the financial records of politician's spouses are fair game now, and none moreso than a former President's. The logic for the full disclosure argument is if you jointly benefit from each other's incomes, both incomes should be open to the same intense scrutiny.

Obviously this doesn't mean Hill won't get the VP slot, because maybe Bill will want to release all that info above and beyond his tax returns.

But if it's the case that Bill won't release those records...I'll make the case again that Bill is probably the single biggest reason Hillary failed this year. Yes, there were a bunch of organizational problems with her campaign, but if he hadn't gone off script repeatedly Hillary may have pulled tighter in many states and come out with more delegates. At least it would've been a hell of a lot closer race and she'd have increased leverage. She may have even been able to take this to the convention.

Justin blogs daily at

Hillary Claims She Won Most States...

...after February 20th.

Here's what she said...:

"I've been closing very strongly since Feb. 20," she said, referring to the day after Mr. Obama won Hawaii and Wisconsin. "I have won more votes and won more states than Senator Obama. All the independent analyses break in my direction. A lot of the key states that we have to win, I win those states."

So why February 20th?

Well, because before that Obama racked up 11 victories in a row after Super Tuesday. So if you count contests after Super Tuesday, Obama has won 17 and Hillary 8.

However, if you start with the Ohio and Texas contests, well, she's beating him by a count of 8 to 6. So yes, after more than 3/4ths of the contests were over, Hillary leads in states won.

This one definitely goes in the Dumb Things Said By Smart People category.

Justin blogs for

Is Sebelius at the Top of Obama's VP List?


Personally, I've been skeptical because I don't think she could deliver Kansas. McCaskill made a lot more sense.

However...look who popped up on MSNBC as an Obama surrogate tonight to respond to Hillary's win in Puerto Rico:

Okay, so why is this significant? Because note the background for her interview. That ain't's San Francisco. So why would she be in San Francisco of all places? Could she be meeting with Pelosi? Is she being vetted?

Something else about the intervew that struck me as curious...I can't help but think Chris Matthews knows something we don't when he lavishes praise on her at the end of the interview. He doesn't often do that, and if Matthews is anything, he's a very shrewd politico.

Also, I can't discount that she's been able to have a fairly progressive record as the Governor of a red state and still keep her approval numbers up. And she's a perfect fit with Obama's change message because she's been able to set the tone in Kansas that he'll be looking to duplicate in Washington.

Food for thought...

Justin blogs at

McClellan's Scathing Tell-All


After the administration threw Scott McClellan under the bus in the Plame affair, you knew this had to be coming. But most revealing is his inside info about the Iraq war.

Politico details some of his assertions:

• McClellan charges that Bush relied on "propaganda" to sell the war.

• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.

• Steve Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser, said about the erroneous assertion about Saddam Hussein seeking uranium, included in the State of the Union address of 2003: "Signing off on these facts is my responsibility. ... And in this case, I blew it. I think the only solution is for me to resign." The offer "was rejected almost out of hand by others present," McClellan writes.

• Bush was "clearly irritated, ... steamed," when McClellan informed him that chief economic adviser Larry Lindsey had told The Wall Street Journal that a possible war in Iraq could cost from $100 billion to $200 billion: "'It's unacceptable,' Bush continued, his voice rising. 'He shouldn't be talking about that.'"

• "History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided: that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact. What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary."

McClellan also offers a cautionary tale about the Bush administration's legendary take-no-prisoners partisanship...

Decrying the Bush administration's "excessive embrace of the permanent campaign approach to governance," McClellan recommends that future presidents appoint a "deputy chief of staff for governing" who "would be responsible for making sure the president is continually and consistently committed to a high level of openness and forthrightness and transcending partisanship to achieve unity.

Some will call McClellan a traitor. Others will praise him as a patriot. But as is the case with so many ex-White House insiders, the answer is much more complicated. See, I think a lot of people believed in Bush, but his stubborn partisanship and blind resolve failed them all miserably. That's why we're seeing exposés like this...because Bush is a woefully flawed leader.

And in this case, at least, history isn't waiting to be unkind.

Justin blogs at

House Committee Subpoenas Rove

We've detailed the seemingly politically motivated prosecution and conviction of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman's in February and March of this year, and now it appears that the House Judiciary Committee wants to put Rove in the hot seat to answer questions about whether he had a hand in it.

Here's the scoop...

Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the committee chairman, said the subpoena was necessary because Mr. Rove had explicitly declined an invitation to appear voluntarily. Mr. Conyers and fellow committee Democrats say they want to question Mr. Rove about the dismissals of several federal prosecutors and ask whether he knows anything about the decision to prosecute former Gov. Donald E. Siegelman of Alabama, a Democrat.

Mr. Siegelman, who was convicted on a bribery charge, was released from prison in March pending an appeal after an appeals court ruled that he had raised "substantial questions" about his case.

Mr. Rove's lawyer, Robert D. Luskin, in a letter to Mr. Conyers this week, said the chairman was "provoking a gratuitous confrontation." Mr. Luskin asserted that Mr. Rove would not appear because he had been directed not to do so by the White House. Although Mr. Rove has left the White House and is now a political commentator, Mr. Luskin said that Mr. Rove "in these matters is not a free agent" and must comply with instructions from the White House not to testify.

So will he agree to testify? Well, his lawyer is signaling that the White House will try and make the "executive privilege" case, but the problem with that is Rove's on the record as saying he never had any conversations with anybody in the White House about this case. So he shouldn't be able to claim "executive privilege", right?

And to the point about being on the record...

On April 7, MSNBC anchor Dan Abrams reported that Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said Rove would agree to testify if Congress issues a subpoena to him as part of an investigation into the Siegelman case.

Ten days later, committee members invited Rove to appear, citing among other things Rove's interview with GQ magazine. In that interview, Rove hurled insults at CBS News for airing a 60 Minutes segment on the Siegelman case, called his chief accuser a "lunatic" -- but didn't specifically deny any of the accusations.

This doesn't look good for Karl. Justin blogs regularly at Donklephant

Gen. David Petraeus: Appeaser?

He apparently thinks diplomacy with Iran is the best option, and as the following suggests, he's right in line with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

From Wash Post:

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, President Bush's nominee to lead U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, supports continued U.S. engagement with international and regional partners to find the right mix of diplomatic, economic and military leverage to address the challenges posed by Iran.

In written answers to questions posed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he will testify today, Petraeus said the possibility of military action against Iran should be retained as a "last resort." But he said the United States "should make every effort to engage by use of the whole of government, developing further leverage rather than simply targeting discrete threats."

Petraeus's views echoed those expressed by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who this month said that talks with Iran could be useful if the right combination of incentives and pressures could be developed.

So what to make of this given Bush's recent statements? Are we supposed to just ignore him and focus on what the real policy seems to be?

Justin blogs regularly at

Clinton's Popular Vote "Lead"

(numbers via Real Clear Politics)

That's right. If you count Florida and Michigan, but don't count any votes from those 4 caucus states, she leads by just over 26K votes. That's her argument.

And do note that Obama gets ZERO votes out of Michigan because his name wasn't on the ballot. But if you count half the "Uncommitted" votes from Michigan for Obama (and he probably got more than that), he's ahead of Clinton by nearly 100K votes.

What Hillary and her campaign are taking part in right now represents one THE most dishonest and disingenuous strategies they've employed yet.

How very shameful...

Justin blogs daily at

Hillary Still Claims Popular Vote Lead

Hillary Clinton

It's all about Florida and Michigan for her, and MSNBC has the details about how she's using this narrative to spin, spin, spin...

"There were some folks who didn't want Kentucky to vote," she said. "There are some folks, you can see them on TV every night, who wanted it to be over for me after Iowa. And every time they say it, something funny happens. The voters don't agree."

She said these talking heads are "talking at us instead of with us," and that they don't have as much at stake in the election.

"I would bet every single one of those folks, they've got a job; we can see that. They've got good health care; we know that. They can pay whatever the charge is at the gas pump most likely. They can send their child to college. I'm not running to represent them, I'm running to fight for you and to be your champion."

Yes, it's Hillary against the pundits. Because, you know, the pundits want this thing to be over...they don't enjoy a longer, not at all...

And about the popular vote...

Clinton also repeated that she is "leading in the popular vote" -- although that claim is based only on when you add the votes she gained from the contests in Florida and Michigan, and Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot in the latter race.

That's right. She's leading in the popular vote if you count ZERO votes for Obama in Michigan. But if you split the votes for "Uncommitted", you'd get about 120,000 votes for Obama...which would put him in the lead in the popular vote. And my guess is that more voted "Uncommitted" for Obama than they did Edwards, so he'd probably lead by even more.

I am really, really looking forward to the middle of June.

Justin blogs regularly at

Secretary Gates: Appeaser?

Robert Gates

How exactly does Bush explain his speech when his own defense secretary's opinions seems to place him in the "appeasement" camp with Obama?

Here's what Gates said...

The United States should construct a combination of incentives and pressure to engage Iran, and may have missed earlier opportunities to begin a useful dialogue with Tehran, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday.

"We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage . . . and then sit down and talk with them," Gates said. "If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us."

Note the emphasis..."sit down and talk with them."

If Obama wins in the fall, maybe he should look to Robert Gates for his defense secretary. It'd be like a big appeasement sundae with extra appease sprinkles on top.

Justin blogs regularly at Donklephant

Hillary's New Number: 2,209

Yep, it's goal post moving time.

She took the opportunity in tonight's victory speech to rewrite the rules and claim specifically that 2,209 was the new number of delegates needed to win the nomination.

She also claimed Obama agreed with her. I'll let you parse that however you want.

Listen folks, you don't get to mile 199 of a 200 mile race and claim another 2 miles should be added to the end of the track. You don't get to the 2-minute warning and argue for another 20 seconds. You don't get to the last inning and the last strike of the last out and ask for a few more pitches just in case you get another strike. You just don't do it.

Yet for some reason she does do it...and so it should be clear to everybody that Hillary will literally say and do anything to win.

But hey, I hope she continues to keep this up. Because it will discredit her and make people realize that she doesn't deserve any type of leadership role in the Democratic party.

Moving on...

Cross posted at Donklephant

Purple Hearts for Psychological Wounds?

That's what the Pentagon is pondering, and although it's nothing more than a gesture, making PTSD and other invisible battlefield scars worthy of this historic recognition would be something I'd welcome wholeheartedly.

From Wash Post:

WASHINGTON -- Centuries before Iraq and Afghanistan, George Washington created the Purple Heart to honor troops wounded in combat.

But with an increasing number of troops being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the modern military is debating an idea Gen. Washington never considered -- awarding one of the nation's top military citations to veterans with psychological wounds, not just physical ones.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered cautious support for such a change on a trip to a military base in Texas this month.

"It's an interesting idea," Mr. Gates said in response to a question. "I think it is clearly something that needs to be looked at."

Others are opposed...

Opponents argue that the Purple Heart should be reserved for physical injuries, as has been the case since the medal was reinstituted by Congress in 1932. Military regulations say the award should go to troops with injuries "received in action with an enemy." Some opponents also note that PTSD can be faked, which can't easily be done with a physical wound.

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