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Archive for May 31st, 2008

Dole Faces Tough Challenge in North Carolina

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Dole Faces Tough Challenge in North Carolina
A new Civitas Institute poll shows Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) just two points ahead of challenger Kay Hagan (D), 45% to 43%, within the poll’s +/- 3.7 percent margin of error.

Warner Rated More Favorably Than Gilmore in Virginia
A new Virginia Commonwealth University poll finds many more Virginians have a favorable view of former Gov. Mark Warner (D) than former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) as the two prepare to face off in a U.S. Senate race.

Warner’s favorability is at 47%, while Gilmore’s is only 23%.

Said pollster Cary Funk: “These results suggest that Jim Gilmore will need to re?introduce himself to Virginia voters if he is the GOP candidate for the Senate. As the contest for the U.S. Senate seat begins in earnest, Mark Warner has a clear advantage in terms of name recognition. And, those with an opinion about Warner tend to think well of him by a margin of nearly 5 to 1. That compares with a positive to negative image of about 1.5 to 1 for Gilmore.”


Showdown at the SOFA Corral

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Showdown at the SOFA Corral
ABC News reports from Iraq this afternoon: “Thousands of Iraqis filled the streets of Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood this afternoon to demonstrate against a long-term United States presence in Iraq, the first significant anti-American rally in the massive Shiite slum in more than two years.”

sistani.jpgbushphillipsmall.jpg

ABC News reports from Iraq this afternoon:

Thousands of Iraqis filled the streets of Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood this afternoon to demonstrate against a long-term United States presence in Iraq, the first significant anti-American rally in the massive Shiite slum in more than two years.

As American helicopters hovered overhead, young and old men and even children flowed out of their weekly Friday prayers and began burning American flags and chanting “no, no to America” and “yes, yes to independence.”

The residents carried posters of Moqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric whose Mahdi Army has fought against U.S. soldiers and who is accused of carrying out much of the violence here. Two days ago Sadr called on supporters to rally against an agreement currently under discussion that could allow the U.S. to build permanent bases in Iraq and grant American citizens in Iraq immunity from prosecution.

. . . Sheikh Mohannad Al-Gazawi, the imam who led Friday prayers during 105-degree heat, told attendees that the agreement “aims at paving the way for a 99-year period of American control of Iraq.”

. . . The protestors carried signs that called the long-term agreement “worse than the occupation itself” and a “war declaration against the Iraqi people.”

. . . “The reasons for the peaceful demonstration were not made obvious,” the U.S. military said in a statement.

Which goes to show that denial isn’t just a river in Egypt — it flows through the Green Zone in Baghdad as well. But it’s not just Sadr and his supporters who are unhappy, as the New York Times notes in a story on their website:

Aides to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most powerful Shiite cleric in Iraq, have also expressed concerns about the negotiations . . . [and] some other Iraqi lawmakers are raising questions about the timing of the deal.

One American official in Baghdad said that the Iraqis appeared to be unwilling to make any concessions before the country’s provincial elections later this year to avoid seeming, to Iraqi voters, — to be too accommodating to the occupying forces. “They are playing hardball right now,” the official said.

The recalcitrant Iraqi politicians include some of our erstwhile closest allies:

Mahmoud Othman, an independent Kurdish lawmaker, said many Iraqi leaders were being kept in the dark about the security pact, which he thinks should not be completed until after the American presidential elections in November.

. . . Even one of the prime minister’s closest allies, Ali Adeeb, a senior member of Mr. Maliki’s Dawa Party, expressed similar reservations.

“This agreement is between Iraq and the United States president, and the American policy is not clear,” Mr. Adeeb said. “Therefore, we can wait until the American elections to deal with a Democratic or Republican president.”

Get the feeling that maybe they’d prefer to deal with someone sane Barack Obama rather than another Republican president reading from the neocon playbook?

The Washington Post noted this morning that “the war in Iraq has moved back to center stage in the presidential election,” but that “the war is more a wild card than a slam dunk for either side.” That’s even more true if you consider what more Iraqis might do to make their preferences known between now and November.


Open Thread and Diary Rescue

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Open Thread and Diary Rescue

I'll be at the jail the rest of the afternoon. Here's an open thread. Just step over the hate-stuff that is really piling up out there in the blogosphere. They manufacture and misrepresent what others write when the others don't share their views. Tolerance? Unfortunately, it's sorely lacking. [More…]

Should you spot a site violator here, just respond to the comment with “site violator” and the commenter's name. I'll take care of the rest when I return. Otherwise ignore them and don't hit back with the same tactics. Don't take the bait. Your response likely will go down the rabbit hole with their objectionable comments.

I'm not talking about those who express a different point of view civilly and without chattering or trying to dominate or hijack threads. I'm talking about those who engage in personal attacks, insults, name-calling or purposely spreading misinformation.

A word to our regular commenters as well: Please refrain from personal and character attacks on each other and on the candidates and their families. If you can't express yourself without resorting to personal attacks or race or gender-baiting, you're on the wrong site.

BTD and I take this election seriously. We are trying to inform readers while sharing our individual points of view. Personal attacks, ridicule, name-calling and race-baiting lowers the level of discourse on the site. It's unacceptable regardless of who you support.

We've got new reader diaries up — check them out and recommend those you like. They may or may not coincide with the views of TalkLeft.

Comments now closed.


Pelosi

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Pelosi
Indeed, Pelosi does deserve the credit for saving Social Security. Back in those fun days beltway conventional wisdom was that Democrats HAD TO offer a plan to “save” social security of their own or they’d be DOOMED. This was despite the fact that Bush himself had yet to formally offer a plan. Dirty fucking hippie bloggers knew how this game worked, that if the Democrats offered a plan they’d ensure that something would happen and that something would inevitably be pretty much what Bush wanted. Our plan was to not offer any plan, and in fact go nuclear on any Dem who did try to offer a plan.

Fortunately Pelosi had the same idea.

As the spring of 2005 wore on, some pestered her every week, asking when they were going to release a rival plan.

“Never. Is never good enough for you?” Pelosi defiantly said to one member.


Maine Jury Says It’s Legal to Protest an Illegal War

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Maine Jury Says It’s Legal to Protest an Illegal War
A rare bit of good news for the anti-war movement goes largely ignored by the media.

Maine Jury Says It’s Legal to Protest an Illegal War
A rare bit of good news for the anti-war movement goes largely ignored by the media.


Ickes: Uncommitted Delegates Must Stay Uncommitted

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Ickes: Uncommitted Delegates Must Stay Uncommitted
The Hillary campaign has taken a great deal of heat for their demand that Hillary be awarded all her delegates in Michigan and that none of the so-called “uncommitted” delegates go to Obama. On a conference call with reporters this…


McCain Staffers Questioned in Corruption Probe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:33 am by HL

McCain Staffers Questioned in Corruption Probe
Federal prosecutors questioned staffers of Sen. John McCain as part of their corruption investigation of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ). U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Diane J. Humetewa and fellow prosecutors disclosed the interviews with aides for McCain and…


Learn From “Experience”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:32 am by HL

Learn From “Experience”

MSNBC’s First Read observes:

CBN’s Brody has a sitdown with McCain senior adviser Charlie Black. Check out how many times Black utters the word “experience” in this one answer: “Senator Obama for all his magnetism and appeal is not very experienced and the experience he has had is that of a sort of a conventional, liberal politician. It’s hard to find incidents where he has taken political risks to work across party lines or get things done like Sen. McCain has, but it’s most important in the area of national security. We’ve been debating about a Iran and Iraq with him, and Sen. McCain truly believes that if he had more experience and especially if he went to Iraq and got experience meeting with the generals and the troops and seeing what’s going on in the ground maybe he would see we shouldn’t pull out of Iraq. But as we say, experience informs judgment and it’s hard to have good judgment on national security if you have no experience.”

Six times in about 30 seconds.

In 1960, Vice-President Nixon tried to beat Sen. Kennedy with the slogan “Experience Counts.”

In the first 1992 presidential debate, when President George H.W. Bush was asked about the “single-most important separating issue” in the race , he said “I think one thing that distinguishes is experience.”

And this year, Sen. Clinton tried to make experience an argument Sen. Obama.

They all lost.

Voters ultimately care more about where a candidate will take the country than the length of the candidate’s resume.

You’d think an experienced politician would learn from past experience. Apparently not.


Exclusive: White House doesn’t deny former spokesman’s Bush-to-Libby leak allegation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:31 am by HL

Exclusive: White House doesn’t deny former spokesman’s Bush-to-Libby leak allegation
Exclusive: White House doesn’t deny former
spokesman’s Bush-to-Libby leak allegation


Pentagon Pushing 9/11 Trial For 10 Days After McCain Receives GOP Nomination

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 31st, 2008 4:30 am by HL

Pentagon Pushing 9/11 Trial For 10 Days After McCain Receives GOP Nomination
Despite the fact that defense attorneys for five suspected al Qaeda members being held at Guantanamo Bay have not yet received security clearances from the Pentagon that would allow them to participate in hearings, the Bush administration is aggressively pushing ahead with the prosecutions. The lawyers also claim that so far, they have had […]

Despite the fact that defense attorneys for five suspected al Qaeda members being held at Guantanamo Bay have not yet received security clearances from the Pentagon that would allow them to participate in hearings, the Bush administration is aggressively pushing ahead with the prosecutions. The lawyers also claim that so far, they have had only a few hours to meet with their clients and have not had time to sufficiently “prepare a defense” in the death penalty cases.

A newly released e-mail, dated May 27, shows a civilian member of the prosecution team suggesting a trial date of Sept. 15:

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As the attorneys write in their brief asking the military judge to dismiss the charges against the detainees, “Not coincidentally, the Prosecution has now proposed a trial schedule that would force the trial of this case in mid-September, some seven weeks before the general election.” The Miami Herald notes the additional political significance of Sept. 15:

The date, in fact, is 10 days after Sen. John McCain, an architect of Military Commissions law, is expected to be officially nominated as the Republican presidential candidate at the GOP national convention in St. Paul, Minn.

In October, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, formerly the lead prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay, also revealed that he was pressured to pursue “sexy” cases, instead of ones that were the most solid. “There was a big concern that the election of 2008 is coming up,” Davis said. “People wanted to get the cases going.”