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My haircut - and Hillary on the Supreme Court?

Justin Webb | 19:02 UK time, Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Apologies over that FT article which no-one could open: I have no subscription but perhaps found it on some backdoor link. It revealed that US consumption of foreign oil was dropping quite dramatically. But the moment has passed....

Adrian_Evitts kindly notes my new haircut: less than four hundred is the answer.

Thanks to David_Cunard for a stonking thought he passes on from an opinion column in the Washington Post that Hillary could the first of Obama's Supreme Court picks. But didn't the Clintons steal a load of stuff when they left the White House? (Only kidding...)

AnonymousCalifornian raises an interesting point as well that in Oregon Obama did perfectly respectably among less well-educated whites. It's an Appalachian problem that he has, not an American problem. You can solve that kind of problem in the suburbs.

And in Florida? Well perhaps...

Meanwhile, I had missed this in the US papers but the London Times comes up with a fascinating side-bar issue.


  • 1. At 8:19pm on 21 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    In it's article, the Daily Kos says about Florida "Mostly, it's Clinton supporters either wishing revenge on Obama for beating Clinton" How could Kos (whoever that is) possibly know the motives for wishing the votes to be included? That's really grasping at straws. All voters want to be counted or they wouldn't have gone to polling places in droves - and the state wouldn't have paid for it. Perhaps the blame should be put on the shoulders of the State of Florida which permitted and funded the primary there - they must have known that the DNC objected.

    A stonking thought! A word that has apparently been around for a long time, but I had to look it up; nice to see that Justin is using British vernacular to offset his American slang! But anyway, thanks for the approval.

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  • 2. At 9:44pm on 21 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Is this the one?

    It's refreshing when someone makes the effort to advance the discussion of this year's election beyond debating a black/white divide. So when that someone is oft-mentioned potential Democratic running mate Jim Webb, it's worth taking note.
    ....Webb weighed in on the election results and his Scots-Irish heritage.

    Webb suggested that race is indeed a factor in Obama's poor performance among white voters along the east of the country, saying, "we shouldn't be surprised by the way they're voting now." But he bristled at what he suggested is a simplistic interpretation of the issue. "When I hear people say this is racism, my back gets up a little bit, because that's my cultural group."
    Webb sought to explain what motivates Scots-Irish Americans. First, says Webb, it's not a generic race or geographic label, but rather "a very powerful cultural group that's always underestimated, and it's not always in the Appalachian mountains......."

    It's my cultural group too! My people are Scots-English Virginians, and by my generation most (but not all) of us have transcended our in-built racial prejudices.

    My (play) money's on Jim Webb, and he's the favourite in the betting. Watch out McCain, this one can talk military, and I reckon he did better at Annapolis than 894th out of 899.


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  • 3. At 10:09pm on 21 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 10:09pm on 21 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Actually, I inadvertently mis-spoke. My people were more the "plantocracy", with very little of the Scots-Irish component, and probably looked down their noses at the latter.

    I still like Webb, but I'm a bit alarmed at his pro-nuke views...

    (edited so link will work)

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  • 5. At 10:11pm on 21 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    I think James Webb would be a better choice for Secretary of Defense than Vice President. I would like to see Obama announce his key cabinet choices prior to the election, as did Eugene McCarthy in 1976, picking a team that compensates for his inexperience.

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  • 6. At 10:25pm on 21 May 2008, Reuben33g wrote:

    In a democratic republic, laws are created by legislatures elected by the people.

    Activist judges that 'legislate from the bench' usurp the power of the people who elected the legislature.

    Hillary has absolutely no experiance in the judiciary, and she doesn't belong there. She is the kind of leftist liberal who imagines the world to be as she thinks it should be and then acts as if her fantasy was reality.

    As a judge Hillary would pay absolutely no attention to what what the law actually says, and instead make her decisions based on what she thinks the law should say.

    No, Obama won't appoint Hillary as a superme court justice, and the senate would not confirm her appointment.

    Obama is so close to clinching the nomination, and so far ahead of Hillary, that nearly all of the superdelegates would have to vote for Hillary in order for her to win.

    Unfortunately, democrats will have to wait for the convention for someone high up in party to tell Hillary that the time for 'let's pretend' is over.

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  • 7. At 10:26pm on 21 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    After reading up on Webb, I'm not sure he would want to run for Vice President anyway, or for that matter accept a cabinet post. He is only in his second year as a Senator, a pretty good job in itself, and he is on the Armed Services Committee. He may well view that as his highest calling at this time. Why would he want to be Vice President?

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  • 8. At 10:32pm on 21 May 2008, nauger wrote:

    More of a general question on Sen. Clinton:

    Why did the senator loan herself the money as opposed to donating it? How can someone speak of understanding the hardships that people are going through and ask them to make a contribution while they are merely lending themselves money that they will presumably get back?
    Will HRC be paid interest on the loans??

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  • 9. At 10:41pm on 21 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    You may well be right, and he has been quite non-committal on the matter. There is also the fact that two Senators on the ticket is a hazard to the Dem majority, although the betting is pretty strong for Dem gains down-ticket.

    Webb's reply to Shrub's 2007 SOTU address is worth a read.

    As with all of this, we'll see in due course. The only VP possibility in double-digits besides Webb and HRC is some person named Field, who I've never heard of.

    Salaam, etc.

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  • 10. At 10:45pm on 21 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "Will HRC be paid interest on the loans??"

    It's my understanding that the loans are interest-bearing. If so we have the spectacle of a millionaire asking for donations from "ordinary white working people" to supplement her investment income....

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  • 11. At 10:46pm on 21 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    The proposal by James Andrew Miller to appoint Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court was merely an op-ed piece. These items are generally not written by regular columnists, and are chosen because they are provocative, not necessarily because they make any sense. What are Mr. Miller's credentials anyway? His most recent book seems to be a history of the television satire program Saturday Night Live. Maybe this idea originated there.

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  • 12. At 11:00pm on 21 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    I believe that it is necessary for the money from Clinton to her campaign to be a loan. If a campaign accepts public money, it must also accept conditions, one of which limits the size of contributions.

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  • 13. At 11:52pm on 21 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #11 Gary A Hill asks "What are Mr. Miller's credentials anyway?" If he had troubled to go to the link and read the article completely, he would have found this at the end: James Andrew Miller, who served as special assistant to Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr., is the author of Running in Place: Inside the Senate

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  • 14. At 00:04am on 22 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Somehow, I'm just not buying this Supreme
    Court thing.

    Clinton is in this to win the presidency.
    I don't know how she plans to do it,
    or even if there is a plan. If she has
    a tape of Obama in bed with a dead
    woman or a live man, she can do it
    in '08. If not, then 2012.

    Hillary as VP is not an attractive option for
    either Hillary or Obama, because then Bill
    is on board, and the VP is a significantly less
    powerful position than her current one.

    Being a Supreme Court justice is not
    attractive to Hillary, because it is not an
    executive position.

    If she loses the nomination and $10-20 mil,
    so what? Bill and her have 4 years to get
    back to where they were, and Obama is out
    of the way at that point.

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  • 15. At 00:08am on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Yes we can!


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  • 16. At 00:09am on 22 May 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Obama nominating HRC to the Supreme Court would merely prove Obama is every bit as unqualified to be President as a lot of people like me think he is. That's because HRC is even less qualified to be a Supreme Court Judge than Obama is to be in the White House. She has no experience as a judge whatsoever. But getting her appointed would solve a problem for him. If he has a weak first term, he wouldn't have to face her as a potential challenger again in a 2012 bid for being renominated. Most sitting Presidents who want to run for a second term get nominated but it is not automatic. Of course in this culture where many Americans can't tell where Disneyland and Hollywood end and the real world begins, anything is possible.

    Obama's problem is not with "Appalachian white America" it is with middle class middle of the road America. They don't know him or trust him and they think he is too inexperienced and too liberal to be President now. They don't call California, Oregon, and Washington State the left coast for nothing. I wouldn't judge the whole country by what you saw in Oregon last night.

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  • 17. At 01:37am on 22 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    If you really want to see what is
    happening in HRC's campaign headquarters,
    I suggest watching the main titles from
    an old movie:

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  • 18. At 02:02am on 22 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    Gary_A_Hill - "nearly all of the superdelegates would have to vote for Hillary in order for her to win." And who knows, come August they, together with some of those who have "defected" to Mr Obama, may vote for Mrs Clinton and take former Obama supporters with them. A lot can happen in eight weeks or so.

    #16 MarcusAureliusII - Nice point about the Supreme Court, but I'm not sure that one should say "I wouldn't judge the whole country by what you saw in Oregon last night" since Mr Obama's supporters could suggest the same applies to Kentucky. Aside from that, the calls for Mrs Clinton's exit have become tedious since it's only fair to the remaining states that they should have their say - and that includes those which have been disenfrachised. If it were Mr Obama who was struggling, you can be sure that his supporters would demand that he remain in the race. Fair's fair!

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  • 19. At 03:39am on 22 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Re post #13 (Cunard), I was aware that Mr. Miller was an assistant to Sen. Howard Baker. So what? His proposal is still cockamamie, as well as illegal.

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  • 20. At 04:18am on 22 May 2008, peterm99 wrote:

    re: #19 Gary A Hill

    cockamamie, yes; unethical, yes; contemptible, yes; however, to the best of my understanding of the system, there is nothing illegal about "deals" like that.

    Over many years, politicians have taken great care to make sure that many things considered to be illegal in the "real" world (e.g., bribery, influence peddling, conspiracy, etc.) are not illegal when performed by those holding elective office. The American political system, a shining example to the world!

    Although I'm not pleased about the prospects of an Obama presidency (or Clinton or McCain, for that matter), Obama strikes me as having a higher ethical standard than the average politician, so I doubt that scenario would come to pass in any event.

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  • 21. At 04:43am on 22 May 2008, Des-Pondent wrote:

    Oh dear, when will Hillary's bizarre behaviour be seen as unacceptable for a Presidential candidate. Surely her numerous delusions do not augur well for any position whatsoever.

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  • 22. At 05:18am on 22 May 2008, GavrielleLaPoste wrote:

    Hillary isn't qualified to be a Supreme Court justice. First, she's never been a judge. And second, her area of expertise isn't Constitutional Law. A background in the second, leading to written opinions and articles as the first would be necessary in order for a bipartisan congressional committee to even consider a confirmation hearing. The president doesn't appoint Supreme Court justices as if he were doling out favors, he merely nominates them.

    Even if one ignored all of the above, the 27 year old Hillary would still have been fired for lying and unethical behavior from her position as an assistant general council for the judiciary committee during the Watergate investigation. No judgeship for her -- ever.

    In truth, I'll be very surprised if she manages to hold onto her senate seat in New York at the next election. Even her supporters here are disgusted by how she's insulted the party leadership with her willfully ignorant behavior.

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  • 23. At 05:35am on 22 May 2008, peterm99 wrote:

    re: #22 GavrielleLaPoste

    I think you misunderstand the issue.

    The qualifications for the Supreme Court are minimal - there is no requirement for a high school diploma, there is no requirement to be able to read and write, there is no requirement for a legal background of any kind.

    The "qualifications" you mention and imply are merely custom that has developed over many years.

    In the final analysis, the only real qualification is that the President is able to persuade the Senate to confirm the nomination. US history has many examples of Presidents getting people onto the court for political and other reasons that an objective observer would consider "unqualified".

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  • 24. At 06:36am on 22 May 2008, GavrielleLaPoste wrote:


    I do not misunderstand. The original framers of the Constitution assumed (perhaps foolishly given your response) that most people were smart enough to figure out that Caligula's horse -- er, I mean, Hillary or someone just like her, isn't a fit candidate to serve. More importantly, convincing senators in an age of televised hearings to overlook and ignore the "custom" of hiring people who are actually qualified for a particular job would be akin to asking them to end their political careers immediately. Please bear in mind, that this isn't the 19th century. I may not like John Roberts' politics, but at least he is qualified.

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  • 25. At 07:37am on 22 May 2008, peterm99 wrote:

    re: #24 GavrielleLaPoste

    Obviously, our opinions differ.

    I believe that history, even recent history in the age of televised hearings, has shown that political influence and political expediency will very often trump competence and qualifications for confirmation of individuals for all types of government positions.

    Even though Sen Clinton only slightly surpasses Caligula's horse (thanks for a great analogy, btw) in terms of qualifications, I believe that should a Pres Obama nominate her, and should the Repubs fall below a cloture-proof threshold, and should Sen Clinton actually want the job, the level of public support for her as an individual would make her confirmation a not unlikely event.

    Fortunately, McCain will not and I believe that Obama has enough sense not to nominate her.

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  • 26. At 07:46am on 22 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Ed, David_C, and others:

    This relates to the previous thread about
    educational systems.

    I am not an educator, but I am a technical
    professional. In my work, I am basically
    a link between different organizations
    which are consumers and producers of
    software technology.

    My background is technological, but my
    responsibilities are to help put projects

    During the course of this work, and my
    previous career as an engineer, I have
    worked with engineers from all over the
    world. I believe that I'm actually able
    to form some concrete opinions about
    the educational systems of different
    societies based on the performance of
    individuals and teams from these different

    I have primarily worked with Indians,
    Pakistanis, Europeans, Chinese,
    Vietnamese, Israelis, and, of course,
    North Americans.

    First of all, there is a gap between the
    educational systems of all of these cultures
    and the commercial world. There is
    no educational system in the world
    which produces engineers who have
    all of the skills needed for success in
    software engineering.

    We have a peculiar culture in America
    which originated in Silicon Valley, and drove
    all of its competitors to either adapt or go
    out of business. So, it should come as
    no surprise that even someone with a
    University education would need to learn a
    few things to survive here.

    People come here from all over the world,
    including quite a few from the UK.

    Here are my observations:

    The Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese,
    Vietnamese, and eastern Europeans
    are the hardest working. However, of these groups, the Indians and Vietnamese have
    the easiest time adapting to our system,
    probably because of their proficiency with
    English or because of trans-pacific
    family ties.

    Increasingly, we are seeing well-qualified
    Chinese engineers.

    The eastern Europeans and Chinese often
    do well after they get over this barrier.

    Of the Europeans, the central Europeans
    and Scandinavians seem to be the best
    prepared from a technical point of view.

    The Americans' technical background varies
    widely. Some don't even have a formal
    technical background, such as a computer
    science or math degree, but learn on the job
    and do very well. Others have extremely
    good formal backgrounds.

    I have also worked with quite a few Israelis,
    and they are a breed unto themselves.

    The Americans and the Israelis consistently
    seem to be the most creative, in terms of
    thinking outside of the box, and of being
    willing to risk their career on a new idea.

    The Brits are somewhere between the
    Americans and the Central Europeans
    in terms of technical preparation and

    There is quite a bit of overlap, of course,
    because we're talking about individuals
    in every case. My sample is also
    probably skewed somewhat because
    I tend to work with some of the smartest
    people from each organization.

    I'm sure that someone who worked in
    a different field, such as a different field
    of engineering might come to completely
    different conclusions.

    In all cases that I have seen, the engineers
    from each culture are far more intelligent
    and hard-working than their management,
    American or otherwise.

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  • 27. At 08:00am on 22 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    # 19 Gary_A_Hill - If you knew Mr. Miller was an assistant to Sen. Howard Baker why did you ask about his credentials? There's nothing "illegal" about someone has not previously been a judge being appointed to the Supreme Court. You may care to read other comments on the Slate site, the first and third sections will be of interest.

    #24 GavrielleLaPoste - if the Senate had a Democratic majority and a Democratic President appointed a Democratic candidate for the post, the televised hearings would not matter a jot. You may care to read the Slate blog as well. I suggest that if, as millions believe, Mrs Clinton is well qualified to be President, then she would be qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. The Founding Fathers were wise enough not to place limitations on who could serve.

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  • 28. At 08:28am on 22 May 2008, jaybs1 wrote:

    I just can't believe Justin how Hillary is still stirring up Michigan and Florida, why will he and others not accept that Rules where set and the Rules were Broken! - do voters not see it is only for her own self greed and benefit?

    As far as Hillary is concerned and an position, I think the time has come now if Hillary wants to fight Dirty as she is, then it is All or NOTHING! and it will be a sad end for her but that is life. Both Hillary and Bill are making fools of themselves, Bill's rant on Monday evening was so sad to watch.

    With Hillary's debt so growing, where is she going to get the money if as rumoured she is going to stand Independent in November's Election, or is it just another Clinton Threat! to try and hold the Party to ransom, she is Finished! and that is what is best for her and Bill after this sorry episode of events and what has been a Campaign of Errors.

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  • 29. At 09:04am on 22 May 2008, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Even if one ignored all of the above, the 27 year old Hillary would still have been fired for lying and unethical behavior from her position as an assistant general council for the judiciary committee during the Watergate investigation. " [#22.]

    More importantly, and much more recently Mrs. Clinton lied during the Whitewater investigation and made other people lie for her. No that that in itself would disqualify her as Democratic candidate. Sen. Gary Hart lied as well.
    And so did that governor of Arkansas, who, when elected president, "never had sex with that woman...".

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  • 30. At 09:32am on 22 May 2008, quietlaurieann wrote:

    Hi, Greetings everybody! Love the haircut Justin!

    How can Obama possibly promise a Supreme Court position to Hillary. He hasn't won the election yet. This reminds me of the media hype we got a few weeks ago saying that his campaign would pay off her debts. This turned out to be actually illegal.

    When are journalists going to do their homework. Hillary has absolutely no experience in the Judiciary. What she is, is a lawyer and politician. What politicians do is run races, and fight hard to win them.

    Just my 2 cents.

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  • 31. At 10:01am on 22 May 2008, amanfromMars wrote:

    "12. At 11:00 pm on 21 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    I believe that it is necessary for the money from Clinton to her campaign to be a loan. If a campaign accepts public money, it must also accept conditions, one of which limits the size of contributions."

    Surely a failed campaign runner is indebted to the tune of endorsements which they have failed to deliver on ... Dodgy Promisory Speculative Rhetoric. It is madness to think there is not a price to pay if embarking on a race which can deliver an Absolute Kind of Control and Destructive Power, which are not anything like being One and the Same.

    After All, if IT does not Cost Everything how are you ever likely to be able to Give Everything? And if you cannot give All, you should probably rightly be Penalised with the Losses suffered by Supporters, for Thinking to Infect the Race at All with anything Less....... for IT only gives False Hope and Succour to Chancers and Sub-Prime Candidate Joint Ventures.

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  • 32. At 10:02am on 22 May 2008, Board Stupid wrote:

    #22 "In truth, I'll be very surprised if she manages to hold onto her senate seat in New York at the next election. "

    I think that is wishful thinking on your part - it's not going to happen.

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  • 33. At 10:17am on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Welcome amfM! Namaste


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  • 34. At 12:02pm on 22 May 2008, Adrian_Evitts wrote:

    Part 1 of 2


    These postings are respectfully dedicated to all of the many thousands who have suffered needlessly on, and as a consequence of, 9/11

    On 11 September 2001, there were - including the missing and those reported dead - 2,996 victims, out of a total US population estimated at just over 300 million. That's ten victims per million of America's population – Jews, Christians, Muslims ...

    A partial list of Muslim victims – I counted 59 names - can be found here:

    Estimates of the number of American Muslims vary between just over one and just under seven million. Using both lower and upper figures, we see that 9/11 claimed between ten and sixty Muslim victims per million of America's Muslim population.

    The inescapable conclusion is that Muslims paid at least as heavy a price, proportionately, as other Americans on 9/11. What is also inescapable is that, since 9/11, Muslims and non-Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and the United States have been killed, maimed, widowed and orphaned in massively greater numbers. Think!

    No human being knows any of these numbers precisely. But Jews, Christians and Muslims agree on one thing – God knows intimately the lives of each one of these His precious creations.

    Part 2 follows shortly: a possible future after Justin got his hair cut!

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  • 35. At 12:25pm on 22 May 2008, Adrian_Evitts wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 12:26pm on 22 May 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    If nominated to the Supreme Court, Clinton would have to be confirmed, and she has been quiet about her own radical ties
    She is currently comparing the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates to the Civil rights Movement, Suffragists, Bush v Gore and Zimbabwe.
    What was that about the kitchen sink Obama mentioned?

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  • 37. At 12:38pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Nuke option a dud?



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  • 38. At 1:18pm on 22 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    In many ways, Webb reminds me of Harry Truman - became famous because of his committee work during wartime, and then became Vice President despite only being in the Senate for two terms.

    Despite that, I think that picking Webb would be a mistake. The most important balance to the ticket is not ethnic, regional, or ideological - it's experience, and specifically experience of the executive branch or of state government. Balancing a two-term senator with a two-term senator? It's a construction so lopsided that it's going to fall into the sea within months of the convention. I'm still putting my bets on Richardson. Unfortunately, there is a block on that - it may be too much for Middle America to have (the horror!) a Black-Hispanic ticket.

    Regarding Clinton the Supreme Court - which one? One of them taught Constitutional Law (amongst other things) at the University of Arkansas, after all.


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  • 39. At 1:19pm on 22 May 2008, powermeerkat wrote:

    So now we know why McArthur called Eisenehower " the best quartermaster in the US Army."

    Unfortunately I cannot quote Patton's opinion of Ike: it would clearly violate House Rules.

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  • 40. At 1:42pm on 22 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    Two more points.

    Firstly, how much is Clinton's desperately dirty tactics down to one of her strategists, Harold Ickes? The Ickes family is known for its hardnosed politics (I'm thinking of FDR's Secretary of the Interior) , but Harold Jnr. takes the biscuit. In his campaign for - funnily enough - Jesse Jackson in 1988, Ickes threatened to break up the convention with the dispersal of plastic whistles to Jackson supporters in order to break up the convention. This was too much for Jackson, who asked Ickes, 'you want to get me run out of white man's America?',1,6042048.story?page=1

    Secondly, Marcus referred to California, Oregon and Washington as the 'left coast'. I dislike the idea of entire states being 'blue' or 'red'. Some areas are overwhelmingly Democratic or Republican - it would be foolish to deny it - but it should also be remembered that 40.5% of the citizens of New York State voted for Bush in 2004, and that 38.25% in Texas voted for Kerry. Kerry actually only won Oregon, the most marginal of the three states, by 51.47% to 47.57% in 2004. 'Purple America' is much more than a nebulous slogan.

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  • 41. At 1:46pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Webb is actually only a one-third-term Senator, but does have national executive experience, including as Navy Secretary under Reagan. Obama, only a two-thirds-term Senator, has specialised in (US) constitutional law, and lectured in it.

    I have to admit that I'm intrigued by Webb's expressed hope of forming an alliance between the AA community and the Hillbillies (sorry - Scots-Irish Appalachians!) I agree there are huge, but as yet unrecognised commonalities of interest.

    Those who are so good at dividing to rule have long kept the r-dn-cks and blacks at daggers-drawn in competiton for second-bottom of the heap.

    Salaam, etc.

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  • 42. At 2:01pm on 22 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    You're quite right - but I still think that an Obama-Webb ticket is far too inexperienced, even with his previous work as Navy Secretary taken into account.

    Perhaps a Cabinet post might be appropriate - and not necessarily Defence, since he has such an interesting grasp of internal affairs. Or, alternatively, he could simply wait another 4/8/12 years. He undoubtedly has a promising Senate career in front of him, and from that he could go straight to the presidency.


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  • 43. At 2:15pm on 22 May 2008, AndreainNY wrote:

    Webb sounded bitter when he spoke after a State of the Union address. The last thing we need is to drag that anti-Bush tone into the next Cabinet.

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  • 44. At 2:18pm on 22 May 2008, AndreainNY wrote:

    Hillary is doing just fine in New York. She has the loyalty of groups that, in other states, have gone for Obama.

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  • 45. At 2:20pm on 22 May 2008, DougTexan wrote:


    I find so much wrong with the trading of a Supreme Court seat for votes. Can a Hillary supporter be bought with her 'promise' of a seat.

    Doesn't the House and Senate both get a say in the selection process. You are not kidding when you mention the Clintons stole from the White house, it's a matter of record. What would that do to for her security clearance?

    Speaking of security clearance, I couldn't get a job at an airport nor federal building with the acquaintances and reverend that Obama has, and he is in line as Commander and Chief.

    This election cycle has changed the Republican parties core value to liberal, the Democrats to socialist, changed whose vote gets counted and whose doesn't and changed the issues to personal attacks and no one cares as the canidates opinions have only a nominal difference between them.

    This year has turned the presidential office into a seat for sale. Sort of like purchased royalty, have enough money, support (buy)the right leaders, carry enough weight with voters (the ability to promise them everything and do nothing after the election so the next in line can do the same) and your in for life.

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  • 46. At 2:27pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    In even eight years, Webb will no longer be describable as 'young' (born 1946, he'll be nearly 70 in 2016, like McChip today)

    One of the attractions of Webb is that with him in the VP role and 'too old', it may allow for a substitution in 2012 for an emerging younger talent, perhaps even a female, who could then 'succeed' in 2016.

    All speculation, at the moment, but Webb is steadily gaining on Field as the betting favourite, while HRC seems to be faltering...


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  • 47. At 2:34pm on 22 May 2008, peterm99 wrote:

    re: #40 SlashDashUnderscore

    The candidate is responsible for __everything__ in his/her campaign.

    If sleaze and/or questionable tactics occur in other than one-of situations which are dealt with swiftly and forcefully, it indicates inability/unwillingness to accept responsibility, poor judgement in the selection of underlings or "advisors", inability to control subordinates, and/or susceptibility to being swayed by bad advice. None of these are indicative of qualities necessary to be a good leader.

    Your anecdote about Jackson reveals that he at least had the sense to eschew some of the questionable tactics proposed by his advisor(s). This anecdote has raised him significantly in my estimation (from 3 to 4 on a hundred point scale).

    I agree with you regarding the red/blue and other arbitrary divisions. It is done because it makes it easier for an uncritical media to report, and plasters over nuances that are beyond the inclination/capability of most TV viewers to grasp in the "30 second soundbite" style that passes for news reporting here in the US.

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  • 48. At 2:35pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    I didn't find Webb's response
    at all "bitter". Pure strong politics and Right ON1 so far as I'm concerned, and I think we need to keep some "anti-Bush" perspective, lest we fall into the same stinking pit.

    In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy ­that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today.
    The president took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable ­and predicted ­disarray that has followed.
    The war's costs to our nation have been staggering. Financially. The damage to our reputation around the world. The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism. And especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve.

    Bitter? NO. Righteously angry? Yes.


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  • 49. At 2:39pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "This year has turned the presidential office into a seat for sale. "

    But this time it's a million and a half small donors who're buying, instead of a small clique of the super-rich. That's gotta be an improvement.

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  • 50. At 2:49pm on 22 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    I always find it hillarious when the Americans talk about such-and-such a politician or faction of a party as 'socialist'. Funny, quite simply, because America is the only country to never have a considerable socialist movement (Americans have only ever elected one Socialist senator, for example - Bernie Sanders - but he sits for Vermont, which is pretty idiosynchratic).

    We Brits have lived with socialism, and we know that, although it is not the best political or economic system, it is very rarely the bogeyman that Americans, with their dread fear of 'socialised medicine', seem to think it is. Perhaps - dare I say it? - our relatively brief period of moderate socialism (1945-51, 1964-70, 1974-79, with a moderate socialist opposition during most of this time) has left a generally positive residue (that, I should point out, is my personal opinion, and not one shared by many of my fellow countrymen).

    Obama is not a socialist. A truly socialist way of dealing with the health problem would probably be to nationalise the healthcare establishment a la NHS. This he has no intention of doing - in fact, he isn't even going after universal coverage from what I can work out, and he isn't going for the French system, which I (and the United Nations) consider the best model.

    There are a number of distinct differences between socialism and liberalism, one of which is a planned economy. Nixon's administration enforced price and wage restrictions - does this make Nixon a socialist? It certainly puts him economically to the left of both Obama and Clinton.


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  • 51. At 2:50pm on 22 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    Regarding Webb being 'anti-Bush' - is it wrong to be bitterly opposed to the worst president since James Buchanan?

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  • 52. At 3:06pm on 22 May 2008, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Skeleton in the Closet. / Dirty tricks?
    May I interject a piece of trivia into this interesting comment and ask a hypothetical question, similar to anonymous letters sent to advice columns in the magazines.
    Dear Doctor Ed,
    I am a "decided" superdelegate who has yet to cast his vote, but I have a problem.
    During my time in past administrations my life was one constant party a la Spitzer. My wife had an alcohol problem, my son did drugs, my daughter took cash from the school prom fund and our toddler was expelled from the creche, for demanding money with menaces. All in all a typical political family lifestyle.
    Fortunately, President Blogs managed to hush-up all these things and we settled down into becoming the average American family - Church, bowling - you know, the normal folksy face for the public.
    I see colleagues with a similar history, in fact we are all in the same boat, together even with the clean guys, being pushed to make a decision. Everybody is getting the third degree, and the peasants are asking for us to stop waiting!
    Should I jump now, and risk it all being leaked to the press, or wait for a colleague with a drunk-driving offence to make the first move, the rest of us following like a rocket so that our discressions are lost in the election euphoria. I don't mind risking my own "good" name, but we would hate to be banned from church and our youngest is doing so well in Little League.
    What would you suggest? Suicide is not an option. My party deperately needs my vote.
    signed Worried from Kansas.

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  • 53. At 3:26pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Dear Worried,

    Not to worry! All will be out of the closet soon.

    If you'd had political courage, you'd probably have demonstrated your conviction and let your position be known by now. As you don't seem to, you probably hope the decision will be made for you, and prefer your position be revealed (or more likely not) after the outcome is known.

    Probably, anyone left uncounted at this moment, is probably frozen by the prospects of 5/31, and stands firmly in the same position as yourself, so at least you're not alone.

    I also suspect a strong correlation between the character of the reticent decideds, and the candidate y'all support, and thus the temptation to keep open the option of betrayal.

    All the best
    Dr Ed

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  • 54. At 3:34pm on 22 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Re post #20, here is the link to 18 USC 599 wherein it is illegal for a candidate to promise an appointment in exchange for support:

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  • 55. At 3:47pm on 22 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Re post #27: The illegality is in the quid pro quo, not the lack of qualifications. It is true that there are no standards of competence required except those that the Senate chooses to demand. In modern times, the Senate has rejected Supreme Court appontments for inadequate credentials several times, most recently for Harriett Miers.

    Mr. Miller's proposal is idiotic and illegal.

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  • 56. At 3:47pm on 22 May 2008, Healy2012 wrote:

    Supreme Court? Puh-lease! She'll be lucky to get a Canadian Visa at this rate!

    This has just reached the heights of the funny-farm in the clouds!

    We've seen how she treats on earth would she get on with other judges???

    Furthermore - isn't there a safeguard on appointments for favours?

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  • 57. At 4:07pm on 22 May 2008, GavrielleLaPoste wrote:

    #25 peterm99

    Hillary would never accept the job, even if it were offered. She's an Evita Perone wannabe. It's all about the "game" and the adulation for her. Hence, her endless fight to be number one.

    # 27 David_Cunard

    "The Founding Fathers were wise enough not to place limitations on who could serve."

    True, but I'm pretty sure that, for the most part, they expected the wise, if not the great and the good, to pick someone with the ability to read and write.

    #32 Board Stupid

    re: Hillary losing her senate seat because of her behavior.

    It isn't wishful thinking. Hillary has never been all that popular here in New York. And you haven't been listening to average New York voters (like me) complaining about how she is insulting our intelligence, the party and the rest of the nation at large. She thinks she's Tip O'Neill. That she can just sit around, nod her approval at some piece of legislation and it will come to pass. She bought his vacated seat with the power of her name and the Democratic machine. We have long memories. And being a "blue" state through and through we dislike mixers who cause problems within the party. If the Democratic rank and file turns on her, which from what I'm already hearing around the office and in the papers, is happening, she's toast.

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  • 58. At 4:15pm on 22 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Both Clintons taught Constitutional Law for a time, by the way. That doesn't change the fact that they are politicians, not constitutional law scholars. I don't believe either one could get through the Senate confirmation without a filibuster-proof majority of 60.

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  • 59. At 4:29pm on 22 May 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Wow hillary in the supream court. well I agree with all that laugh at this idea.
    when talking of her lies (of which I am sure there are too many to record) one should not forget BOSNIA.
    As for fairness her recent record on race baiting would make that suspicious.
    Her campaign in general would seem to show her as someone who is economic with the truth.
    Her insistance that she is the better cantidate for america would show that she may not be the most impartial observer of facts.
    Then there is the fact that she is not very good at reading.
    (evidence: she did not think she was authorising a war.
    she did think wmd's existed, even when there was a line in the report saying this evidence is dubious)
    But she would look good in front of the supreme court for her part in convincing the senate and house that WMD were a threat that could only be resolved by taking millitary action.
    Many other senators not privileged enough to read the full evidence (because it was too sensitive to allow all the law makers to read). :( were misled when she threw her "i'm no walk over" view into the arguement.
    Some probably thought she had read something they did not get to read that was more damning than all the lies they had been told(not that many were concerned they also were too busy showing how tough they were for the 06 elections).
    Then there is the other problem, a supreme court position would not give her time to write her memoirs and make millions on the lecture circuit with Bill.
    Oh and Adrian ,Thank you for daring to take time to realise that it was not just americans that died in 9/11.The rough statistical evidence was thought provoking.
    And to those that cannot separate this Iraq war with 9/11 .they should remember that Saddam HATED al Quieda.
    That the whole world was in sympathy for the US after 9/11.
    Syria did help the US with intelligence.
    Iran probably helped in some way(though not sure)
    And Bush Cheney the neo-CONS and HILLARY, and Edwards and kerry THREW IT AWAY with this war to pander to the vicious side of the United States of America.
    A vicious war for no reason.
    Given her vote on that one I would not say she has any qualification to read complex evidence and comprehend it to a sufficient level so as to determine the fate of the US and by extension the Free world so I would not give her the right to vote beyond those right afforded to us by the state.

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  • 60. At 4:39pm on 22 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Re post #57 (Gevrielle LaPoste):

    Tip O'Neill? He was from Massachusetts and was Speaker of the House. Hillary Clinton took the Senate seat of Moynihan of New York.

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  • 61. At 4:42pm on 22 May 2008, jalvarezv wrote:

    HRC should not be in the supreme court judge, you need integrity to be there (or at least you should). Also, It seems like she has no problem with people lying under oath (like her husband).

    Although there might be some wiggle room about what lying under oath means for a supreme court judge. Take for example Scalia's comment about torture on an interview for 60 minutes: "Has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don't think so." You can watch (and read) the interview here:

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  • 62. At 4:52pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Obama calls McChip out
    on lobbyists

    let me be fair about this. Now, John McCain has agreed with me on some of the steps we need to make our government more ethical and accountable. Almost a decade ago, he offered a bill that, in his words, would ban a candidate from paying registered lobbyists. Let me repeat that. This -- ten years ago, John McCain offered a bill that said he would ban a candidate from paying registered lobbyists. And he did this because he said that having lobbyists on your campaign was a conflict of interest. This is what he said ten years ago.
    "Well, I'll tell you that John McCain then would be pretty disappointed with John McCain now, because he hired some of the biggest lobbyists in Washington to run his campaign. And when he was called on it, his top lobbyists actually had the nerve to say, 'The American people won't care about this.'

    Meanwhile, McChip entertaind VP hopefuls at his modest home...

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  • 63. At 5:15pm on 22 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    For those who would dismiss Ed's
    remark in #48, because from time
    to time he puts out some pretty
    left-wing stuff, I recommend the
    following article about Ken Shinseki:

    I have never seen a war where so many
    military people have resigned in protest
    over incompetence of an administration.

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  • 64. At 5:16pm on 22 May 2008, GavrielleLaPoste wrote:

    #60 Gary_A_Hill

    You're right. I blame it on a long work day and the fact that I've had Mass. on my mind due to Ted Kennedy's unfortunate diagnosis. Shame on me forgetting Pat's name. He was a lovely man.

    But the analogy (name not withstanding) still holds. Hillary has done nothing during her tenure in the Senate. She's been there long enough to create and push through legislation if she wanted to get something done. She hasn't. And it's only now that this fact has become common knowledge in New York and her competence is coming into question.

    Her campaign fliers and adverts usually state, quite boldly, that she "supported" this or that piece of legislation, but they never show her name attached to a bill such as the Obama-McCain or Obama-Feingold bills. She acts like she's the senior Senator and not the junior with something to prove. The truth, we are beginning to realize, is that she has never wanted to create and pass legislation to help her constituency, but to simply be a power broker, trading on her husband's good name.

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  • 65. At 5:28pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    And meanwhile we are reminded again just how profitable the arms industry is, especially with all those taxpayer subsidies.

    "Sell us your oil and you can use the money to pay our contractors to rebuild the damage we've done, and we'll even sell y'all some guns and stuff to keep your population in line..."

    Sad, isn't it?

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  • 66. At 5:39pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    I wouldn't go round calling Jim Webb a lefty if you value your front teeth. He was a boxer at Annapolis (but lost a bout with Ollie North), and says he's a proud member of the Scots-Irish clan - They're not known for being filthy pinkos.

    As for me, If believing in social justice is left, then I'm left, but I'm a fiscal conservative and a conservationist and (small 'c' conservative in many ways.

    I do find it rather amusing that, with all our multi-dimensional technologies, we still speak of politics and philosophies in terms of one-dimensional "spectra".


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  • 67. At 6:00pm on 22 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:


    I didn't mean to imply that Jim Webb
    was left of center, my comment applied
    to you.

    No offence intended, that's just my
    impression. You'll have to realize that
    I'm really pretty conservative, just
    not a nut like Bush.

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  • 68. At 6:04pm on 22 May 2008, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    #39, here's another opinion of Eisenhower

    Patton's opinion of Eisenhower may illustrate the difference in perspective between masters of tactics and strategy/politics, more than it illuminates the men themselves. Same for McArthur's opinion.

    The more I learn about Eisenhower the more respect I have for his intellect and Washington-like sense of restraint, with swift action when clearly needed. He gets credit for a no-nonsense approach to enforcing at Little Rock the Supreme Court decision for school integration; for effective foreign policy (caution about exaggerating the extent of Soviet arms build-up, his 'open skies' program); Middle East diplomacy (his actions opened doors with Egypt and for Lebanese democracy, although Europeans may resent his Suez stance); and his infrastructure program and 'dynamic conservatism' New Deal continuation at home. He sought considerable advice from the scientific community without mistrust or political 'spin'. He was an effective bipartisan president.

    His failures or mis-steps as president seemed to result from too much faith in intelligence services (rather than the current White House who cooked up Iraq intelligence over CIA objections, Eisenhower on the contrary may have been over-trusting of CIA and cabinet counsel about Mossadegh in Iran and the U-2 overflights of Russia).

    As far as McArthur's opinion - he has always reminded me of the staunch anti-communist US official in China, who when met with a note from Mao, delivered by US military officers, asking to meet with the US president to discuss the future of China - discarded it without any communication furhter up the chain of command. So much for not talking to people you don't like. If there was any chance of avoiding the full human cost of Korea, Vietnam and the Cultural Revolution, it was literally thrown away by not talking then.

    More to the point, Eisenhower was effective because he was not anti-intellectual, he tried to be bi-partisan, pursued both miltary and diplomatic solutions, and he recognized restraint and compromise as political virtues when time allowed them to temper policy and legislation. Most of those traits would be a "change" from presidential practice today.

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  • 69. At 6:07pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Speaking of 'sweetheart contracts, I wonder
    who had the contract for the Knesset interior decorations?


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  • 70. At 6:09pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    I know, and I love you anyway!

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  • 71. At 6:19pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Flow chart

    Yes we can!

    Anybody got an aspirin?

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  • 72. At 7:05pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Presidential material?
    And Vice Presidential Material?
    The story is here.


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  • 73. At 7:34pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    From the Washington Post
    , an examination of "Maverick" John McCain's chief controller:

    Longtime uber-lobbyist Charles R. Black Jr. is John McCain's man in Washington, a political maestro who is hoping to guide his friend, the senator from Arizona, to the presidency this November.
    But for half a decade in the 1980s, Black was also Jonas Savimbi's man in the capital city. His lobbying firm received millions from the brutal Angolan guerrilla leader and took advantage of Black's contacts in Congress and the White House.
    In addition to Savimbi, Black and his partners were at times registered foreign agents for a remarkable collection of U.S.-backed foreign leaders whose human rights records were sometimes harshly criticized, even as their opposition to communism was embraced by American conservatives. They included Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Nigerian Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre, and the countries of Kenya and Equatorial Guinea, among others.

    Really taking on the special interest groups and fighting the established way of doing business in Washington DC, eh John?

    Who needs a "straw man"?

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  • 74. At 7:55pm on 22 May 2008, nobleFloridian wrote:

    Gavrielle Blog 64: Hillary trading on her husband's "good name"! Surely you jest! And what exactly has Obama done in his short stint in the Senate to qualify him to aspire to the Presidency? On his own website I found his voting record heavily sprinkled with "Not voting".

    On another note, strangely I find myself in accord with Ed Iglehart on Jim Webb, except that I would like McCain to choose him! We Navy men stick together! Let's hope our votes are enough to send either Hillary or Barack to the political Davy Jones' Locker!

    Noble is ex-Royal Navy by the way, Justin.

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  • 75. At 8:07pm on 22 May 2008, MMarcelo wrote:

    I like Ike. In addition to the relative calm of the Cold War during his administration he also appointed Earl Warren 14th Chief Justice of the United States. Warren was governor of California and had no judicial experience, though he was previously the CA Attorney General.

    The Warren Court sustained social progress in the U.S. by protecting civil liberties in decisions like Brown vs. Board of Education, Griswold vs. CT and Miranda vs. AZ - ruling against de jure racial segregation; infringement of privacy; and self-incrimination, respectively.

    It is possible that Ike nominated Warren to keep him from running for president and yes, Eisenhower later said Warren's nomination was one of the biggest mistakes he's ever made, but all things considered - appointing someone without judicial experience, for personal reasons, can work out.

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  • 76. At 8:17pm on 22 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #38, Richardson is way too nice a guy
    for an executive position. He's the kind
    of guy that the North Koreans love because
    they think that he'll cave in.

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  • 77. At 8:28pm on 22 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #34 Adrian "God knows intimately the lives of each one of these His precious creations." What makes you think that god is concerned with what goes on here? Who/whatever it is, is concerned with making something else a billion billion light years away from our little planet. We just have to get on by ourselves without relying on help from an entity which doesn't care much about pestilence or war, let alone flying aircraft into buildings. If there was a concern, I'd assume that such horrors as mass starvation, Aids and other diseases would never have occurred. Like Santa Claus, he (she or it) is busy with other things and expects the human race to sort out its own problems.

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  • 78. At 8:32pm on 22 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #71 Ed - your 'yes we can' link just goes to prove that it's bird brains who think and repeat the phrase!:)

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  • 79. At 8:42pm on 22 May 2008, MMarcelo wrote:

    David_Cunard (#77) - people are entitled to their beliefs (yourself included, of course). There is no point arguing faith on these forums.

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  • 80. At 8:53pm on 22 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    David, David,

    I thought you were a supporter of civility and manners! You wilfuly mis-interpreted Adrian's statement that Muslims, Christians and Jews agree. You launch into a testy and unnecessary condemnation of religious faith, and apparently expect me to conform to the stereotypical American bird-brained irony-deficiency.

    Sit down and have a nice cup of tea.

    Thanks to Jaybird and Marcello on Ike, and G'nR for the link to Shinseki. Good to have thoughtful views exchanged.

    Enjoy the evening, y'all!

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  • 81. At 9:02pm on 22 May 2008, peterm99 wrote:

    re: #54 Gary A Hill

    Thanks for the reference. I am obviously in error on the "illegality" point.

    However, given the legal interpretations and burdens of proof that have allowed politicians to avoid prosecution for bribery (with very rare exceptions) for things like contributions, perks from lobbyists, jobs for family members, offers of remuneration following retirement, etc., I fear that this law too, will be more symbolic than effectual.

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  • 82. At 9:10pm on 22 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Ed, you have unfairly sullied the reputation
    of Avians.

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  • 83. At 9:19pm on 22 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #77, David_C,

    Or, to paraphrase some lines in
    "Schindler's List", one character says
    something like, "What in God's name
    is going on here?", and the response
    from another character is something
    like "God appears to be on leave at
    the moment."

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  • 84. At 9:24pm on 22 May 2008, Adrian_Evitts wrote:

    Part 2 of 2


    These postings are respectfully dedicated to all of the many thousands who have suffered needlessly on, and as a consequence of, 9/11

    It's possible to interpret every holy book in a hateful way. This happens every precious minute of every hour of every day! Or shall we consider instead three scriptures - one Jewish, one Christian and one Islamic - with love and understanding for all who share our planet?


    If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.

    (Leviticus 19: 33, 34, World English Bible)


    "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And [Jesus] said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

    (Matthew 22: 36-40, New American Standard Bible)


    Recite to them the story of the two sons of Adam; truly when they offered an offering and it was accepted from one of them, and was not accepted from the other, that one said, 'I will surely kill thee he said, 'God only accepts from those who fear. If thou dost stretch forth to me thine hand to kill me, I will not stretch forth mine hand to kill thee; verily, I fear God the Lord of the worlds; verily, I wish that thou mayest draw upon thee my sin and thy sin, and be of the fellows of the Fire, for that is the reward of the unjust.'

    But his soul allowed him to slay his brother, and he slew him, and in the morning he was of those who lose. And God sent a crow to scratch in the earth and show him how he might hide his brother's shame, he said, 'Alas, for me! Am I too helpless to become like this crow and hide my brother's shame?' and in the morning he was of those who did repent.

    (Holy Quran 5: 27-31, translated by E. M. Palmer)

    Are these three religions really worlds apart?

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  • 85. At 01:18am on 23 May 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Two rocks in an empty oil barrel tumbling down a hill can make an awful lot of noise for no useful purpose at all. :-)

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  • 86. At 02:50am on 23 May 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:


    I am proud of you getting a hair cut! Not costing you four hundred dollars!!!.

    FINANCIAL TIMES: Why don't you have a subscription to the newspaper (i would have thought that the BBC would have it available to its staff.)

    Hillary and Supreme Court: I hope she can make it more liberal.

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  • 87. At 1:13pm on 23 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    With all Adrian's Biblical references, I began to wonder.
    Cain = Not Able ;
    McCain = Son of Cain = Son of Not Able.
    Like father, like son.

    Explains a lot.

    P.S. Before the spelling pedants strike, may I remind them that names came long before letters, and that Adam's children probably weren't named using the present alphabet.

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  • 88. At 2:21pm on 23 May 2008, powermeerkat wrote:

    "So much for not talking to people you don't like". [#68]

    Well if I recall, both Chamberlain and Daladier talked to Mr. Hitler rather extensively, while "warmonger" Churchill postulated a pre-emptive attack on III Reich
    (in 1938)

    The fact that both those great statesmen are completely discredited today is a very small compensation indeed for what Nazi Germany was allowed to "accomplish" for quite some time, and with total impunity.
    ["drole guerre"]

    P.S. I've noticed that in recent days sen. Obambi, trying to sound more like Obomber, has changed his position somewhat and now states that any talks with assorted dictators/thugs would have to be first "carefully prepared". :-)

    (Mahatma Ghandi- 1939)

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  • 89. At 3:03pm on 23 May 2008, The Fickle Finger wrote:

    If Hillary persists in claiming the Fl and M delegates, then perhaps Obama should be entitled to the equivalent delegate power of everyone who did not vote.... after all, they must have been against her if they didn't vote for her (I think this is the logic she is using to claim her delegates....). What would that do to the numbers?

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  • 90. At 3:29pm on 23 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "in recent days ... now states that any talks with assorted dictators/thugs would have to be first "carefully prepared"

    NOT recent. He has said that all along, or at least for the four months I've been watching (and listening) closely, especially on just such matters, which are important to me.

    Anyway, who would imagine any such encounters would not be carefully prepared, particularly by a team which has so clearly out-prepared all opposing teams?


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  • 91. At 5:45pm on 23 May 2008, turningblueandgrey wrote:



    You must admit that Chamberlain and Hitler are the "reduction to the absurd" of arguements against diplomacy. Every foreing policy deccision does not boil down to 1930's Europe, and your comparison does not apply to what I brought up.

    The letter from Mao came at the close of WWII, when he was our ally and US advisors were with the Chinses communists, and at that time our ambassador took it upon himself to not talk to Mao and Zhou En Lai - cutting off more than 3 decades of US-China communications.

    When I read about that (American Heritage a fairly reliable magazine), it staggered me to think that we might have avoided untold suffering - had China restrained N Korea, or not joined the conflict; had Vietnam (former French Tonkin and Annam China) been better understood; or had the 'cultural revolution' been avoided by building on existing ties to help postwar China be more democratic and open. We instead 100% backed the corrupt nationalist leader Chiang Kai Shek, who was despised by the Americans closest to him (Gen. Stilwell, etc.) but had great PR stateside, where he was seen, with misplaced confidence, as the heir to Sun Yat Sen.

    That's all water under the bridge now, and Taiwan has emerged as a democracy so there is some bright side I suppose - but my point is that unilateral and myopic tough talk lost decades of opportunity and not talking may have been just as bad as not standing up to Hitler.

    In modern terms I know several Iranian Americans who assure me that the majority of Iranians do not want the hard line government, and believe that some form of engagement would get more results than all tough talk feeding the hard-liners their anti-American lines to stir up nationalistic sentiments.

    Obama (that's how it's spelled by the way) McCain and Clinton all know that the US carries what is by far the world's "biggest stick", and that will not change for decades. The question voters should consider is who will follow TR's advice and use that stick to best achieve foreign policy goals which may be accomplished by "speaking softly", or remembering to speak at all.

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  • 92. At 6:03pm on 23 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Go Jaybird! You tell 'im! (but softly|)


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  • 93. At 7:37pm on 23 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Jaybird and Meerkat,

    Republicans and Our Enemies
    Wall Street Journal

    (Joe Biden, a Democratic senator from Delaware, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and has been mentioned as a possible VP for Obama)

    The president had a historic opportunity to unite Americans and the world in common cause. Instead – by exploiting the politics of fear, instigating an optional war in Iraq before finishing a necessary war in Afghanistan, and instituting policies on torture, detainees and domestic surveillance that fly in the face of our values and interests – Mr. Bush divided Americans from each other and from the world.
    ...Mr. Bush has turned a small number of radical groups that hate America into a 10-foot tall existential monster that dictates every move we make.
    The results speak for themselves.
    On George Bush's watch, Iran, not freedom, has been on the march: Iran is much closer to the bomb; its influence in Iraq is expanding; its terrorist proxy Hezbollah is ascendant in Lebanon and that country is on the brink of civil war.
    Beyond Iran, al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan – the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 – are stronger now than at any time since 9/11. Radical recruitment is on the rise. Hamas controls Gaza and launches rockets at Israel every day. Some 140,000 American troops remain stuck in Iraq with no end in sight.
    Because of the policies Mr. Bush has pursued and Mr. McCain would continue, the entire Middle East is more dangerous. The United States and our allies, including Israel, are less secure.
    ...the controversy over engaging Iran is especially instructive.
    Last week, John McCain was very clear. He ruled out talking to Iran. He said that Barack Obama was "naïve and inexperienced" for advocating engagement; "What is it he wants to talk about?" he asked.
    Well, for a start, Iran's nuclear program, its support for Shiite militias in Iraq, and its patronage of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

    Beyond bluster, how would Mr. McCain actually deal with these dangers? You either talk, you maintain the status quo, or you go to war. If Mr. McCain has ruled out talking, we're stuck with an ineffectual policy or military strikes that could quickly spiral out of control.
    The Bush-McCain saber rattling is the most self-defeating policy imaginable. It achieves nothing. But it forces Iranians who despise the regime to rally behind their leaders. And it spurs instability in the Middle East, which adds to the price of oil, with the proceeds going right from American wallets into Tehran's pockets.
    The worst nightmare for a regime that thrives on tension with America is an America ready, willing and able to engage. Since when has talking removed the word "no" from our vocabulary?
    It's amazing how little faith George Bush, Joe Lieberman and John McCain have in themselves – and in America.

    Good stuff, Joe!

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  • 94. At 7:55pm on 23 May 2008, AAlvinTwiningham wrote:

    On the other hand, $8 billion in Iraq has been spent with no regard for accountability. Someone is making a very nice living from fear-mongering and baseless war!

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  • 95. At 8:45pm on 23 May 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    94. AAlvinTwiningham wrote:
    On the other hand, $8 billion in Iraq has been spent with no regard for accountability. Someone is making a very nice living from fear-mongering and baseless war!

    How much did hillary make

    It's amazing how little faith George Bush, Joe Lieberman and John McCain have in themselves ? and in America.

    what about Hillary.

    In all these debates what is apparent is that the OLD GUARD" got it all wrong . Including the democrats .

    The sign up for war and all that made any money in this war (ALL). And the not talked about Impeachement of the top two is important for history and calming the world at large.
    but then I'm just a little left of Ed so what do my thoughts matter.

    The whole war mongering before this war was bi partisan. the democrats were too busy trying to win 06 to be they voted as Hillary did to "be strong","tough".
    Lock them all up ,take all their money(petty drug dealers here lose more due to forfiture laws that do not apply to those starting wars for profit or glory.) use those funds to promote peace.

    Then I think the voting for war without first checking the validity of th claims of bush should be a criminal offence.
    Oh no 'it's more worthwhile spending millions of dollars(we don't have to jail pot heads) .
    back to where I was starting from.
    The older generation has really screwed up the decisions for decades , so retire.(your the last generation that will be able to. so enjoy yourselves. go rock climbing, I hear it is fun.

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  • 96. At 00:33am on 24 May 2008, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    One last thought - Winston Churchill's famous 1954 "better to jaw-jaw that to war-war" (or "better to talk jaw to jaw than have war"). I'll have to re-read his autobiography (which is a bit self-serving, but who wouldn't cut such a figure some slack) to see what he said about 1938 - that must be in "The Gathering Storm" volume.

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  • 97. At 09:37am on 24 May 2008, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #91

    1. It's highly unlikely that Mao-Tse-tung would have not supported Communist North Korea's, talks or no talks. A presence of Yankee imperialist force so close to PRC was simply unacceptable from Beijing's goestrategic point of view.
    [it still isn't]

    2. The point is moot anyway, because SOVIET UNION supported North Korean invasion as well and Russian pilots supplied almost all air support to N. Korean land forces.
    And Stalin's position of re Korean War was unambiguous from the start.

    3. If McArthur had his way we wouldn't have had to be dealing (at great cost) with nuclear-arming and proliferating, people-starving North Korea today (there'd simply have not been such an entity) and both USSR and China would have been most likely incapable of doing as much harm as they have done - for many decades.

    4. Vietnam War ended with a peace accord worked out during Paris talks.
    Soon after that "great success of diplomacy" North Vietnam broke the Paris Agreement and invaded South Vietnam. With full impunity.
    [BTW Have you been to Vietnam, lately?
    Do you know what citizens of Sai...err...Ho-Chi-minh City think about Hanoi regime and Americans "abandoning us"?]

    5. I fail to see any diplomatic efforts succeding in getting China out of Tibet and Uighura and Russia out of Chechnya, Dagestan, Moldova or even Kuril Islands.
    [It wasn't diplomacy which made Russians leave Afghanistan ]

    5. "Obama (that's how it's spelled by the way)". I don't think I wrote 'OSama', being fully aware that commander in-chief Obama (unlike wimpish president Bush) will chase and kill the al-Qaeda leader the moment he learns how to tell a difference between rifle's butt and muzzle. And the moment we invade Pakistan, of course.
    (Chairman Mao)

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  • 98. At 05:16am on 25 May 2008, kayhype wrote:

    I agree - your haircut is smashing. Makes you look younger.

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  • 99. At 05:58am on 25 May 2008, Jakobi87 wrote:

    Thank god someone has finally mentioned the West Wing so I can bring this up:

    Obama v McCain

    Santos v Vinick

    Am I the only one who see's the similarities here? In the original script Vinick was suppose to win out. I wonder if this says anything about McCain's prospects.

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