Comments for en-gb 30 Mon 04 May 2015 06:18:29 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Streathamite MarcusAureliusII (post 76):is there ANY subject on which your dream combination of complete ignorance and stunning, impairment-level stupidity might dissuade you from comment? You would think that the prospect of looking that dumb on the WWW might haul the reins, but no.If you knew ANYTHING about either Islamic Iran or Al-Q (hint; you don't, not a dicky), you'd know their ideology is essentially a defensive one, they want the infidels (i.e. the non-Islamic west) out of what they see as their lands. They have NOT said, not once, they want all our lands, with all of us dead. For god/yahweh/allah/buddha's sake give up commenting on anything outside of N America, it's becoming embarrassing to haven't actually BEEN to Europe or any muslim country, have you? Fri 16 May 2008 15:20:55 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Wicked Wolfie #80Ever hear of amending a constitution Wicked Wolfie? It isn't cast in concrete forever. America amended its own nearly three dozen times. How convenient to have a mutual defense pact with a nation which cannot defend you because it always has a constitutional prohibition to hide behind. I wonder what the French, Belgians, Dutch, and even the British would do if Germany did amend it its constitution and started to re-arm. So much for the EU. And what about Poland and Russia. Wed 14 May 2008 11:06:17 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart More indigestible bovine excreta! In virtually every case (bar 1973), the colonial zionists struck first. In particular, the proto-Israeli guerrilla forces (terrorists) had created half a million Palestinian refugees BEFORE the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace Wed 14 May 2008 10:49:34 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Wiked WolfieThe UN Charter and other so called international laws are brought out when someone wants to make a political point or justify an action or attitude and then put back in a drawer and ignored, forgotten, violated with impunity when it is not longer suitable. There is no such thing as a law which is only enforced or even citd selectively. For instance, the Arabs always yammer that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law but conveniently forget that four genocidal wars they fought to destroy it were infinitely greater violations. International law is rubbish, a total failure. It was a naive effort by well meaning naive people. It proves the old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It would be better for the US to pull out of all of these treaties and go its own way in its own interests. If you are going to constantly be called a rogue nation, you might just as well be guilty of it. Wed 14 May 2008 04:54:56 GMT+1 ianhy55 All I want to know about the video is, which one in the bunker is Bill? Tue 13 May 2008 19:22:59 GMT+1 jacksforge Four more years of the Clintons could seem quite dreary to a jaded journalistic eye. And who cares about the economy, education or health care, or indeed anything but tired male jokes.# 65 what have you been reading.At all stages she has been given far more credit than she deserves. Most have been so bias in favour of clinton it has amazed me . So let my jaw drop.In the UK pollutitions (that deliberate) are regularly lambasted.Hillary has behaved like a nazi recently.(by starting to actively TRY to devide people by colour .She has lied , cheated , thinks that being evasive and slimy as Rove and the republicans is good.Rules do not apply etc. But then I can see you hate men.So stand up to you hubby for once don't vote for someone just because it might make you think you some how got the liberation that YOU never fought for. Tue 13 May 2008 16:51:48 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart WickedWolfie,Can shallow have depth?;-)ed Tue 13 May 2008 14:03:22 GMT+1 WickedWolfie MarcusYour post no 78 just showed the complete depth of your ignorance.Why does Germany have a constitution which effectively forbids the country from offensive military action? Well, the clue is in the fact that the constitution of the then West Germany was drawn up when Germany was an occupied country, with French, British and yes, US troops there in large numbers! The clause is in Germany's constitution because the US wanted it there!!!It is NOT coincidental that a very similar, if not identical, clause is in the Japanese constitution (occupying power when it was written - clue: their anthem is the Star-Spangled Banner!!!). Tue 13 May 2008 12:46:02 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Marcus,It was the USA and UK who betrayed the UN and its charter, not the other way around.I still wish your verbal excreta would compost as well as the bovine material it so closely resembles.Enjoy your echo chamber.ed Tue 13 May 2008 12:20:14 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII What's the matter Ed, can't palate a taste of your own medicine? Funny how much it hurts when the shoe is on the other foot. Europeans can sure dish it out but they can't take it. They're completely unused to it. It comes as a rude shock when they get it. And they are so vulnerable. They are so sure of themselves but in reality they know very little about their most dangerous adversary. Why is America Europe's adversary? Because Europeans have always wanted it that way except for short lapses when they needed something from it. Nobody wanted it more than Chirac. Now they have it. Live with it, it is not going to change, not in our lifetimes. It will be hard for Americans to forget Europe's betrayal during their worst security fears by a continent of self serving, cynical, fair weather friends who would not even part with illegal profits from circumventing a UN boycott to abstain in a meaningless vote in the Security Council. When the US leaves Iraq prematurely as Clinton or Obama will have it, the shock waves will be much closer to Europe than America. The problem with Europeans is that they don' t think, don't consider the consequences of their actions. Then they are horrified when they are hit with them. I don't think America will be around to bail it out again for a very long time. One thing Americans do have a long memory for and that is betrayal. We have never forgotten Benedict Arnold. We will not forget the vote in early 2003. It makes most Americans disgusted with the UN, NATO, and anything else that creates sacrifice to help Europe. How convenient of Germany to have a constitution that allows them to join a mutual defense pact where they never have to fight or die defending anyone but can rely on others to defend them. I wonder how friendly the French would be to Germany if it re-armed. Tue 13 May 2008 10:58:24 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Marcus,"I'm talking about giving the bashers a taste of their own medicine..."Comfortable in the gutter, are we?Assalaam 'alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you Tue 13 May 2008 09:39:50 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII watermanaquarius #67You see a lot of America bashing in the media and on the internet especially among Europeans. I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to make a case for the other side. I'm not talking about defending America, I'm talking about giving the bashers a taste of their own medicine. And it seems to me it's a rather easy case to make. I don't know why other Americans don't do it more often. Perhaps it's out of ignorance of the world or perhaps out of politeness. Even high government officials sit still for abuse most foreign government officials would be furious at. For example, what do you suppose the Prime Minister of China or North Korea would say if a day after he made a speech at the UN, the President of the United States made a speech and said you can still smell the sulfur? "...his comment about your snide remark. I was beginning to warm to you..."Am I supposed to care if you don't?"A sharp tongue is no indication of a keen mind."Frankly, if you bother to read my entries at all, and I am not suggesting or recommending that you do, then respond if you must to the substance of what I say, not to the tone of it which may not suit your delicate sensibilities. Don't expect me to be polite here. I've taken off the gloves. gunsandreligion;I posted elsewhere that nobody can do worse to us than we do to ourselves. If we elect people who let our guard down, then we will get what we deserve. The Kennedy McCain bill was not only an abrogation of their sworn duty to uphold the laws of the United States, it was an open invitation for anyone and everyone to freely enter the US including terrorists. Don't think McCain won't sell us down the river in son of Kyoto. This is a plot to destroy America's economy. If it happens, the surprise will be that it will take the rest of the world down with it. Already you can see from just a small diversion of grain production in the US from food and animal feed to alcohol what it has done to food prices all over the world. Imagine if farmers decided it wasn't worth it to work their land but instead to sell their carbon credits to power companies so they could still burn coal. Can't burn coal, must burn oil? Then expect your winter heating bill to double or triple next year. Can't burn oil either? Then expect to sit at home unemployed freezing to death because you won't be able to afford to heat your home because you won't be able to afford the gasoline to go to work...and there won't be any work to go to anyway.gunsandreligion, al Qaeda and the Islamic revolution in Iran are both out to destroy our nation. How do I know? Besides the fact that they are doing everything possible to be in a position to do it, they openly say so again and again. And it looks like our leaders and voters may be stupid enough to let it happen. They are more worried about who might be eavesdropping on their dumb cell phone calls than they are about whether or not their country will still be around in five years. Tue 13 May 2008 01:02:13 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Quiet WatersYou're both very welcome ;-)My mother was far more disturbed by mis-spellings of our surname than I am.Best to be like water;-)ed Mon 12 May 2008 16:58:25 GMT+1 quietlaurieann Ed Inglehart # 68Thank YouI have always appreciated Obama's mother- so much so that whenever I look at a picture of him, I see his mother's face staring out. I also appreciate Hillary Clinton's mother-a young girl who was put out to service at the age of 15 (or was it 16) by her grandparents. However my post was not about them nor their progeny, but about Justin Webb's inbred misogyny and the institutional use he makes of it. Mon 12 May 2008 15:58:41 GMT+1 watermanaquarius quietlaureannGive up about complaining about Justin Webb and the BBC. I started out as one of his admirers to turn into one of his harshest critics. Since the start of these elections he seems [ at least to me] to have lost his way. Any questioning of his stance or our negative comments are like water off a ducks back. To be fair to him if you track back to January 29th he makes a link to negative comments about his "reporting" from a fellow hack John Pilger. Change or response is there none. I don't know whether to admire his tenacity or cry from his obstinacy. Thats journalism for you.You question his qualifications. He does have some.Fortunately not from one of our élite universties that only supply disenfranchised presidents, dubious prime ministers, spies and Justin's fellow colleagues that get pulled in by the police in America for this and that , but yes a diploma from a recognised University here.Look on it this way. After years making a meagre living with the cattle and the sheep in Northern Ireland, with the locals driving round in their JCB Digger gti's and Caterpillar tractor cabriolets he eventually found his way to America. There, he suddenly sits in luxury between the lambs and the goats where everybody drives their Chevrolets and Hummers. No wonder the guy's disorientated and suffering a mind block. Be happy that he's churning out this garbage link, so that you can be part of the life blood of this site, as made up by the good comments of the [other] posters. Mon 12 May 2008 15:30:46 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Marcus, if you thought Saddam was bad,wait until you see what is coming our way.These terrorist groups are far more dangerousthan any nation state because they spreadlike a virus. Mon 12 May 2008 15:17:33 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart From California and Oregon, comes this ironic observation:"The biggest change in human history over the last 5,000 years, [name removed to avoid moderation] said, "is the rise of the feminine . . . slowly, but surely, to full partnership with men over the whole domain of human affairs. This is shifting everything." This was what [name removed to avoid moderation] and [name removed to avoid moderation] tried to convey to HRC in 1995 when they helped her understand why, quite apart from political strife, she was the object of so much loathing.".."It's the fear of the 'rising feminine,' " [name removed to avoid moderation] said..."Ironically, HRC's problem today, [name removed to avoid moderation] said, may be that [name removed to avoid moderation] has given better voice to that new pattern of possibility -- that he embodies a more female, inclusive approach to problem-solving, while [name removed to avoid moderation] has become mired in proving herself capable of emulating the male model, which requires combat and the demonization of enemies...."[emphasis mine -ed]This woman has some pretty impressive associations, including [name removed to avoid moderation] and [name removed to avoid moderation]. Both are in my hall of heroes, as is [name removed to avoid moderation], husband to one and father to the other.xxed Mon 12 May 2008 14:59:04 GMT+1 watermanaquarius Ed Inglehart # 68Thank you. "Every person in this life has something to teach me, and as soon as I accept that, I open myself to truly listening." Mon 12 May 2008 14:08:40 GMT+1 DutchNemo 'chewbaccadefense.I assumed that being Dutch you would like help fighting with other countries pulling their weight.'I'm in favour of the War on Terror in Afghanistan and I agree that Spain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and France should send more troops (especially to the Kandahar, Helmand and Uruzgan region). I'm just saying talking tough won't help. Germany has to change its constitution if they want to send combat troops but their isn't enough support in the Bundesdag on this moment. France will send combat troops to the south. This means the French will actually fight! The French people are against but Sarkozy is in favour. No chance Spain will send troops. The current socialist government is against. Turkey has problems of its own (PKK). Italy could send troops because Berlusconi is very Pro-American (just like Sarkozy). If we want the Germans and Spanish to send combat troops we have to sit down and wait until the right moment. 'Kicking' them out of NATO will fuel even more Anti-American tensions in these nations. So, that isn't a solution either (unless you want Germany and Spain to become best friends with Russia and China). Mon 12 May 2008 13:41:41 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Quietlaurieann,Maybe you'll like this for its evocation of a strong woman:A Free Spirited Wanderer Who Set Obama's PathI found it of great interest.xxed Mon 12 May 2008 11:52:14 GMT+1 watermanaquarius Marcus AureliusII,I rarely agree with any of David_C's observations but must concur with his comment about your snide remark.I was beginning to warm to you, still not agreeing with many of your standpoints, but at least trying my best to listen to your arguments and deductions. It seemed to be going well. Was I now finally getting an insight into the man behind the blogger's mask.? Wrong again. Hollow. "A sharp tongue is no indication of a keen mind.""If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins them " Francis Bacon Mon 12 May 2008 10:42:23 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII peterm99On 9-11 I was 30 miles from the WTC. When I lived in Manhattan I'd been there at least a thousand times. Where were you on that day? How many times had you been there? What do you think it will be like if London is nuked by terrorists? What do you think will happen in the aftermath if New York City and Washington DC are nuked? The world you now know will be gone forever. You will see fury and revenge the like of which the world has never seen before. Your life wherever you are will be in jeopardy. The USA may be in permanent lockdown. The Constitution may not survive so that the Republic can. If you didn't like America these last 7 years, you will wish it was back to where it was now in the aftermath of an attack. It will probably be only a matter of hours before a whole slew of countries which harbor terrorists on the other side of the world no longer exist. The Islamic world and North Korea will be getting nuked left and right.I am happy that the US continues to spend money to build up its military to defend me. As a tax payer and citizen, that is exactly what I want it to do.As for Europe, the only war it is capable of waging is a war of words. That is because talk is cheap. And that is why America has turned a deaf ear to it, its useless jabber, now a faint din from far away.gunsandbutterSaddam Hussein wasn't really that bad? And I suppose Hitler wasn't that bad because he fought Stalin and the USSR for us. Go back to school and get a refund of your tuition. Your teachers didn't earn it. Mon 12 May 2008 09:53:36 GMT+1 quietlaurieann My jaw dropped when I clicked onto the "tasteless" but "funny" Hitler link. The first thing I noticed was that they were all men- possibly it made Justin Webb and his cronies piss in their pants laughing. But I doubt if Justin has many cronies-they all seem to me like drooling schoolboys poking themselves in the ribs. I have been following this blog for over a month now, hoping to get at least some partly true information out of it- but of course it's as empty as candyfloss. I wonder just what kind of qualifications Justin Webb has to get a comfortable job at the BBC. At the least he should be impartial- his wages are paid by the British Public -and they're getting a very poor return for their money.I understand, of course, that journalists prefer a candidate that isn't a Clinton. Most of the copy that could be written about the Clintons has already been written. It's nice to have something new-fresh candidates, fresh scandal, fresh arguments, fresh dreams to pander to. Four more years of the Clintons could seem quite dreary to a jaded journalistic eye. And who cares about the economy, education or health care, or indeed anything but tired male jokes. Mon 12 May 2008 09:36:21 GMT+1 peterm99 A further comment to expand on #62This was instituted quite recently (~20 years or so ago, I believe.) This was actually done to give more power to the voters than they had previously.Up until that time, the real decisions were made by party bosses in the proverbial "smoke-filled rooms" and the primary elections amounted to little more than sideshows to keep the voters believing that they had a real say in the outcome. Of course, party bosses still have inordinate influence over the entire process, as decisions regarding convention rules, allowable participants, who is allowed to speak, who is and isn't allowed to vote at the convention, etc. are still quite firmly in their control. Mon 12 May 2008 06:29:08 GMT+1 echowood A friendly reminder to all Democrats out there who say you will vote for McCain if you candidate is not the nominee... It is estimated that as many as 2 to 4 seats on the Supreme Court could become vacant during the next Presidential term. Justice Ginsburg is 75 year old and Justice Stevens is 88 and they will both likely retire within the next 4 years. This means it is likely that whoever is President will make appointments that will shape our entire society for decades to come.John McCain has said that he would appoint conservative judges if elected President. McCain sited Justices Roberts, Alito and Renquest as his models for the type of judge he would appoint to the court if given an opportunity. McCain voted for all of Bushes appointees to the Supreme Court. If we take McCain at his word, and in this case I do, he would have and will act exactly as Bush has in regards to Supreme Court appointments.Both Obama and Clinton voted against Roberts and voted to filibuster Alito.Before you decide that you will vote McSame or not vote at all if your candidate does not become the nominee, I urge you to think about a few things...Roe vs. WadeEnvironmental ProtectionPersonal Privacy in AmericaEqual RightsConsumer ProtectionI could go on...Now imagine all those things going away, because that is what will happen if McCain is the one doing the nominating.McCain's voting record in the 109th Congress was the second most conservative in the Senate. He has also promised to greatly increase the size of the US military, and increase the use of nuclear power in the US.I made a mistake in 2000 and voted for Nader. Yes I proclaimed it as a message to the DNC and guess what it got me...George W. BushDon't make the same mistake I made in 2000. Think people. Mon 12 May 2008 05:22:33 GMT+1 peterm99 re: #61 gunsandreligionActually, I wasn't referring to the Electoral College in my comment about similarity to the way Washington works. The similarity I was thinking of was ". . . a vast jigsaw of office holders, union officials, 'NGO' officials, trial lawyers, academics, etc., all of whom can trace the cash flow of their careers to taxpayer dollars or favorable legislative and judicial environments" that actually create policy and laws, rather than the elected politicians.Regarding your question, the explanation I have heard most often as to "why", is that it was designed to be able to temper the voters' decision in case someone who might have been popular with the hoi polloi was deemed by the party leadership to be detrimental to the long-term interests of the party as a whole should he/she be nominated. (Paraphrasing Donna Brazile, a Dem party leader who is also a superdelegate). Think of it as "adult supervision" over children who can't be trusted with their own decisions. Mon 12 May 2008 05:17:35 GMT+1 gunsandreligion OldSouth, peterm99, I have to agree that theDems are on thin ice with their superdelegatessystem. But, it's even worse than the electoralcollege, because in that system, there are nodelegates which are not elected.I wonder why the Democrat party was set upthis way? Mon 12 May 2008 04:15:16 GMT+1 peterm99 Re: OldSouth, post #58Very, very well put.The very concept of superdelegates is anathema to the principle of the voters having the power to select their leaders. It is a political party's equivalent to the way the government actually works in Washington.Since it is so well-entrenched, nothing short of violent revolution is likely to change the system.(Disclaimer: This post should not be construed as advocacy for violent revolution.) Mon 12 May 2008 03:42:29 GMT+1 peterm99 MarcusAurelius:Regarding your comments about Al Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, pre-emptive war justifications, WMD, terror nexus, etc. - We obviously have major differences of opinion on cause and effect, proper response, etc., etc. I strongly doubt that either of us could persuade the other of the errors of the other's point of view in a reasonable time frame on a forum such as this, and an extended argument is likely to generate more heat than illumination, anyway. History will judge which position is closer to being the correct one long after we are both dead. Regarding the new Cold War, etc. I can understand why this might happen. Even thought the Soviet Union is dead, Russia's historical fears of external threats cannot help but be exacerbated by recent history. NATO is expanding its reach to Russian borders, the US has continued, even accelerated, the expansion of its military strength in spite of the fall of the Soviet Union, and the US has demonstrated its willingness to impose its will by military force on nations that are unable to provide an effective defense. I see Russia and China as responding in a manner consistent with what appear to be their own best interests.I agree with your views about NATO. It was formed to protect against the Soviet threat, and deserved to expire after the Soviet collapse. It was designed to protect against a conventional, massed army attack possibly/probably supported by nuclear weapons. That type of threat no longer exists. I seriously doubt if anyone is currently worried about a massive nuclear strike on Europe from Russia.Europe should implement whatever defensive strategies it feels are necessary in the current world environment, unencumbered by US pressures to militarily support American foreign policy. On the flip side, the US would benefit by not having to provide the vast majority of the expenditures for European defense. Mon 12 May 2008 03:22:25 GMT+1 OldSouth The Clintons have either elicited disdain or deep affection for almost twenty years years now, from people of all political persuasions here in the US.Far from disdain within the party being 'at a fever pitch', Mrs. Clinton has a large and passionate following, who will be deeply disappointed if she withdraws before she 'slugs it out' on the convention floor. But most of those people are just normal voters, lifelong Democrats counted upon to show up and loyally vote the ticket, no matter how badly their candidates perform or behave.They aren't 'superdelegates'.The 'superdelegates' are members of the Democrat party machine, first constructed during the Franklin Roosevelt presidency--a vast jigsaw of office holders, union officials, 'NGO' officials, trial lawyers, academics, etc., all of whom can trace the cash flow of their careers to taxpayer dollars or favorable legislative and judicial environments. The longer the battle between the two contenders continues, the more they all risk loss of power. Now, THOSE folk can't wait to throw Mrs. Clinton under the wheels of the train. It's just 'business', nothing personal, you understand.In their view, she has to go, because she threatens the enterprise. She's used and disposed of plenty of people over the years, and now it's her turn to be sacrificed. It's just politics, in the great Democrat tradition.Now, US readers, think carefully: Do we really wish America to continue to be ruled by this political machine? Mon 12 May 2008 03:06:47 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Marcus, I just believe in getting the biggestbang for the buck, and not going aroundstarting fires where none existed before.It turns out that Saddam wasn't really thatbad! There, I said it! O.K., so he was a bloodthirsty thug. At least he was secular, meaning that he andhis followers wanted to live. Now we haveto deal with people who are worse than him.It turns out that he was inbetween us and Iran,and now we have to completely rewrite thousandsof years of history in the region in order to contain them.I saw a misguided soldier on TV (the pentagon channel) who was a marine in Afghanistan explaininghow we were going to "build schools" andeducate these ignorant souls so that they would not resort to "tribal politics."I'm sure that Alexander the Great did essentiallythe same thing thousands of years ago in the same area, but amazingly, all vestiges ofwestern civilization seem to be absent today!There were many ways of dealing with Saddam which would have put us in a more favorable position than our current one. Mon 12 May 2008 03:01:13 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII gunsandreligionA lot of people including some Americans would prefer to stick their heads in the sand than look around and face the danger that threatens them and the rest of us. You seem to be among them. So is much of Europe and I am sorry to say much of the Democratic party. The war on terror is real and it is a war for survival of our country and civilization just the way World War II and World War III was. To imagine it as anything less is a dangerous self delusion. What do we have do to, wait for a nuclear 9-11 before people like you wake up? Mon 12 May 2008 02:39:05 GMT+1 David Cunard chewbaccadefense - As I thought, you have misconstrued what I wrote - the qualifying phrase was "However, from what has been written in this space . ." - which indicates (or so I hoped) that those other views did not represent my own, but rather those of the pro-Obama -anti-Clinton writers. Whether one would vote for Obama over McCain would be considered by what he does and says between now and November. Much earlier I had suggested that Condi Rice would make an appropriate VP for Mr McCain, but at the time it was dismissed as a fantasy. The downside is that although she might help the Republican ticket in the short term, is she actually presidential material? There is the not unimportant consideration of John McCain's age and health - two cancer surgeries and the potential of recurrence - and so a successor must be as able (or more so) than he.wristband621 - the numbers you ascribe to supporters of Mr Obama - 90+% backing - indicate to me that colour rather than policy was the deciding factor in their vote. If he should become president, which at this stage I doubt, then he will likely be a great disappointment to many when the reality of government comes into play. Hope and change won’t help an administration, and if his advisors are not a rainbow of hues, he will alienate a large number of his other supporters, which would not bode well for a second term. My gut feeling is that there are more surprises on the way before we get to August, let alone November. I have no idea what they may be, but this period does seem to be the calm before the storm. Mon 12 May 2008 02:10:12 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Marcus, you are way off base with #53.You sound like the kind of guy who wouldhave voted for Robert A. Taft in the depression,or Ron Paul now.As far as Iraq goes, all we have done isto create another failed nation-state, whichis a breeding ground for terrorists. Mon 12 May 2008 01:27:11 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII peterm99The United States is NOT a rogue member of NATO and it was attacked by al Qaeda which was given sanctuary by the Taleban in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. The Taleban were told they would not be attacked by the US after 9-11 if they surrendered al Qaeda. The attack on Iraq as President Bush pointed out in a speech was a pre-emptive strike to prevent the growing likelihood of a nexus of terrorists and WMDs. He didn't say it already existed, it was a preventitive measure. This is necessary in this world because even a single WMD attack on a major nation such as the US will have a profound effect on the entire world and the course of human history. The comparatively minor attack on the US on 9-11 made that clear. It is not to be dismissed lightly, disparaged as rogueishness, or as unwarranted aggression. The invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq were correct and entirely justifiable. The NATO alliance has failed because most members did not come to the defense of the US. In that case, it appears to me that NATO is for all practical intents and purposes not a mutual defense alliance at all but a mechanism for the US to defend European security when it suits their needs but the US is on its own when it is attacked. Therefore, IMO the US should withdraw from NATO immediately and completely, maembership no longer can be justified as serving America's national interest. I just saw a very interesting interview of the American Soviet and Russian expert Steven Cohen by Leon Charney. Cohen believes the US and Russia are on the verge of a new cold war and that Russia and China are also on the verge of an anti-NATO alliance. They are also on the verge of much stronger military and commercial ties and much of the sale of Russian oil and gas could be shifted to China and India. Let's see what Europe can afford in the way of social safety nets and armchair generalship when they have to face the bear alone. I see no profit in the US wasting any more of its blood or treasure defending Europe. Time to cut the cord, pull out, and leave it to its fate. Europe will either wake up and face the dangers of the real world we live in with its own blood and treasure or die. Mon 12 May 2008 00:45:13 GMT+1 wristband621 chewbaccadefenseUsually don't comment but your statement on a McCain-Rice ticket splitting the black vote couldn't be more wrong. Generally speaking, in America, Rice is widely viewed by many black Americans as a puppet or token for George Bush and the Republicans. She may help him get a few votes but believe me, it will have very little impact. Black Americans finally have a candidate they believe is "Black enough" and is accepted by white voters as well. Look at the numbers - 90+% backing and almost complete abandonment of the once revered Clintons. Condi's not going to help McCain much and I think the GOP knows that. Mon 12 May 2008 00:19:56 GMT+1 chewbaccadefense David_CunardSo you didn't write this then:"There has been the repeated observation that the electorate is not bright or intelligent, which by implication suggests that only those who post on forums such as this are actually worthy of the franchise, and even then possibly not all. It seems to me that, contrariwise, the voting public is more sophisticated than is generally thought - a majority preferred Al Gore but were thwarted by the Supreme Court. In the present situation, one can see how appealing Mr Obama is to younger voters - youth always wants to change the status quo - but those for whom this is their first election cannot have experienced many of the hardships of life, let alone war and deprivation. However, from what has been written in this space, it would appear that only Mrs Clinton's supporters, who may have rather more acquaintance with the realities of the world at large, are those who are lacking in sophistication. As with the British, who were seduced by the promises of "New" Labour, younger American voters will doubtless learn by their mistakes.# 34 rupertornelius - Sorry to disappoint you, but no, johnnybliss and I are not the same person, nor are we related, except perhaps in our preference for Mrs Clinton."I believe once I had written "I".... The letter I being operative and referring to chewbaccadefense. The read would now understand that the following views were in fact mine. If you would blindly vote for a turkey if he had a Dem. badge on then that would lower you greatly in my estimation. Clearly Obambi is not presidential material. If the Dem party due to their own internal issues turn their back on the best candidate and left the choice of McCain or Obambi then I would prefer McCain. If McCain was smart he would offer Ms Rice the VP slot which would reduce Obambi's black vote after which it would be game over. This would be followed by Clinton saying I told you so. Like Man City they'd conspire in their own destruction. In this case snatching defeat from the jaws of victory Sun 11 May 2008 23:54:45 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart A message from Hillary Clintonxxed Sun 11 May 2008 23:44:13 GMT+1 peterm99 David Cunard:Again you are correct: we are all speculating with our own crystal balls; it will be interesting to observe how things play out. For me, at least, I find all three completely unpalatable for different reasons. I am dismayed that the political process has once again succeeded in presenting a poor selection from which to choose.Regarding the intelligence of the electorate: it has been repeatedly demonstrated that a large number of voters will vote based solely on party label, or on sound bite presentations of issues, and the candidate with the best 30-second commercial or best campaign mailer has a distinct advantage. Candidates are not stupid - were this not the case, they wouldn't continue spending many tens of millions on advertising election after election. Posters on fora such as these may not be any more intelligent than others, but at least they have demonstrated that they expend some effort in the thought process. That has nothing to do with "more worthy" or "more qualified", however.chewbaccadefense:You seem to have missed the point that NATO was set up as a defensive alliance, not as a mechanism to assist in the aggressive military (mis)adventures of a rogue member.You might recall two things: first, preparation for the US invasion of Afghanistan predated the 911 attacks; and, second, the Taliban government offered to deliver Bin Laden into US hands if the US were to provide evidence of his responsibility (this is the "normal" criminal extradition process between civilized nations). The US refused that offer and subsequently invaded.I am not intending to portray the Taliban as an example of an enlightened or progressive government, merely trying to point out that the Afghan invasion, too, was not a legitimate action. In the broadest terms, the situation is not much different had Great Britain decided to bomb and invade the Republic of Ireland in order to combat the IRA a couple of decades ago, and then demanded that the NATO allies join in. Sun 11 May 2008 23:38:09 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart It seems one should not mention politicians by their real names;-) Sun 11 May 2008 22:36:39 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart TEST TEST(for some reason as yet to be determined, the software is not accepting this post)Marcus,"don't think that I give the publics of other nations more credit. If anything they are IMO even dumber."It seems I have to give you more credit. ;-)Thoughts on the nature of Parties, with an admitted UK observational bias: Heavens for the wisdom (or bias) of the French and Germans! al Toady, if possible, even more self-serving than HRC. The likelihood of him having any useful effect in the Middle-East is vanishingly small.TEST TEST Sun 11 May 2008 22:35:55 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart test Sun 11 May 2008 22:25:56 GMT+1 David Cunard # 43 chewbaccadefense - You appear to have either misread or misunderstood my earlier post, unless of course you meant to write "I'm also sick and tired . . ." in agreement with my thoughts on Mrs Clinton's supporters. I'm not sure that I prefer John McCain to Barack Obama, I'll leave that judgement until the latter's nomination takes place which (although difficult to see how) could be never. Sun 11 May 2008 21:32:18 GMT+1 chewbaccadefense I suggest Germany, France and Spain consider Article 13 in the treaty!Article 13After the Treaty has been in force for twenty years, any Party may cease to be a Party one year after its notice of denunciation has been given to the Government of the United States of America, which will inform the Governments of the other Parties of the deposit of each notice of denunciation Sun 11 May 2008 21:04:09 GMT+1 chewbaccadefense David_Cunard:I'm sick and tired of this perception that only dumb people prefer Clinton; in fact it's Prof ChewbaccaDefense. Obviously I would prefer the US elect someone who can do the Job. Clinton I would prefer but McCain would do also. That said I'm sure some young idealistic voters are about to find out that politicians say anything to get elected. It's track record that counts! Shame about Obambi then........ Sun 11 May 2008 20:57:56 GMT+1 chewbaccadefense DutchNemo,Rubbish! The French troops will not fight as you well know. As for the German troops you well know, no country will oppose this now. I stand by my gutless view. Unless you can provide me with evidence that French, German or Spanish troops are doing some of the fighting. However this they let the US, UK, Canada and Dutch do!As for NATO. NATO is an alliance, with each member pulling their weight. With the aforementioned countries not doing so. The European public (Except Holland) and therefore the politicians are too preoccupied with being anti-American, to realise the UK and others are in there fighting and dying. To be frank your views are misguided and just goes to show how little you know about the role of NATO and how it was/is set up. The only reason this has not come to ahead is due to the fact at the minute the troops on the ground are just copping. If this is reversed I'm sure things will change. I assure you the European countries failure to play their role will have consequences. I was pro-Europe now I am not. I know gutless when I see it and Germany, France and Spain are cowards. Their troops are on holiday while others are dying. I'm proud to be British, I'm proud of my country. I would be ashamed to be a citizen of either of the countries I have named above. Iraq I can some what understand, Afghanistan I cannot. I am sure US, UK and for you Dutch soldiers have died while other countries sit on their hands. Shame on you, all of you who profess ideals you are too gutless to fight for! Oh but you have the US, UK, Canada and Holland to do that for you, don't you, pathetic, simply pathetic. I assumed that being Dutch you would like help fighting with other countries pulling their weight. Or maybe you didn't realise Dutch troops unlike the German, French and Spanish gutless counterparts are actually doing/did some of the fighting!I suggest you see: Sun 11 May 2008 20:40:02 GMT+1 jonnyrobb I've always found Justin Webb's clear bias towards Barack Obama slightly distasteful. Especially coming from the supposedly fair and balanced BBC.Today he reached a new low. By linking the Youtube video comparing Hillary Clinton to Hitler, he is creating a new and frankly unnacceptable level of offence.How dare he do this! To make this comparison is unnacceptable.Justin has created controversy in previous posts and obviously is enjoying the sensationalism that this is causing, but this is not the work of the BBC. We're used to this kind of 'trash for ratings' culture of the American news networks but I expect more from the BBC.Justin Webb doesn not deserve to represent the BBC and until this is no longer the case, I shall no longer be coming to the BBC for my news. Sun 11 May 2008 20:27:52 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill Dylunydd understands our system well enough. Our analysts don't like the mud-slinging in primaries, either, for the reasons stated.However, it does not follow that two equally strong primary candidates make a strong team for the general election, because both the electorate and the method of voting are different. Sun 11 May 2008 20:12:13 GMT+1 David Cunard #30 MarcusAureliusII - what a shame that you cannot accept praise gracefully; you discredit your posts by such remarks.I can't speak for all of Europe in which each nation has its own procedures, but the difference between British and American party politics is largely a product of the system - there are no quadrennial conventions in Britain but rather annual Party Conferences. These do not have the excitement of an American convention and any change in leadership is confined to voting by those present. There is simply not the occasion for a public discourse to select a party leader, who may or may not become prime minister if his or her party receives a majority of seats in the House of Commons. Tony Blair made an effort to make British elections and his own style of government more presidential, but the general rule has been that it is the Cabinet which decides policy when in power, and that Parliament itself is pre-eminent in everything. However, a prime minister effectively holds the power which in previous centuries was wielded by the Monarch, hence Blair's decision to assist in Iraq. There was a move to impeach Tony Blair as an individual but, as is obvious, that did not get far.# 25 peterm99 - since I don't have your crystal ball to predict the state of the dollar, the price of oil or Mrs Clinton's thoughts on strategy, neither am I persuaded by your own analysis; in all likelihood. neither of us is correct.There has been the repeated observation that the electorate is not bright or intelligent, which by implication suggests that only those who post on forums such as this are actually worthy of the franchise, and even then possibly not all. It seems to me that, contrariwise, the voting public is more sophisticated than is generally thought - a majority preferred Al Gore but were thwarted by the Supreme Court. In the present situation, one can see how appealing Mr Obama is to younger voters - youth always wants to change the status quo - but those for whom this is their first election cannot have experienced many of the hardships of life, let alone war and deprivation. However, from what has been written in this space, it would appear that only Mrs Clinton's supporters, who may have rather more acquaintance with the realities of the world at large, are those who are lacking in sophistication. As with the British, who were seduced by the promises of "New" Labour, younger American voters will doubtless learn by their mistakes. # 34 rupertornelius - Sorry to disappoint you, but no, johnnybliss and I are not the same person, nor are we related, except perhaps in our preference for Mrs Clinton. Sun 11 May 2008 19:07:39 GMT+1 DutchNemo Without the support of the Clinton it could become very difficult for Obama to convince the 'Reagon Democrats' to vote for him. Winning these people is the key to victory this election. Sun 11 May 2008 19:03:19 GMT+1 DutchNemo chewbaccadefense,'It is time that France, Germany, Spain and the rest of the gutless countries where kicked out of NATO!'You missed the point France will send 1000 soldiers to South Afghanistan this year (they've 2000 in the North and 1500-2000 in Chad. They're protecting oil fields in Chad mostly owned by American oil companies). BTW: you can't force Germany and Spain to send troops. NATO is an alliance of friends, not slaves. Friends must accept they can think differently. I agree Germany and Spain should send more troops but talking tough on them won't work. Germany is, constitutional, not allowed to send combat troops (just like Japan) and the Spanish public opinion is against sending troops (don't forget they've to deal with ETA to). The current populist/socialist government won't send troops until a new president enters the White House.'IMO ever citizen of a democracy is responsible for the actions of their government, since they voted them in.'Wrong, European governments (excluding a few exeptions) never listen to their people (they listen but don't care about what their people have to say). Europe is still a elitist society. Large parts of the Feudal system survived and will probably continue to survive. In the future large parts of Europe could be ruled by cruel dictators again. Sun 11 May 2008 19:00:36 GMT+1 ukcowgirl This post has been Removed Sun 11 May 2008 18:45:15 GMT+1 chewbaccadefense As for Tony Blair not being the EU President to be frank it is the EUs loss. At least in the UK we do our own fighting not like the cowards in France, Germany and Spain. Every citizen of those countries doesn't have the right to walk on the same ground as those that have lost loved ones, doing their job and their bit in Afghanistan and Iraq. IMO ever citizen of a democracy is responsible for the actions of their government, since they voted them in. This is in contrast to a dictatorship where they don't.It is time that France, Germany, Spain and the rest of the gutless countries where kicked out of NATO! Sun 11 May 2008 18:02:29 GMT+1 rupertornelius Thanks for the amusing video link, Justin. The outhouse line was my favourite. P.S. I think David Cunard and johnnybliss are the same person. Sun 11 May 2008 17:54:47 GMT+1 chewbaccadefense Obambi will win the nomination and lose the race. If he is elected, which I doubt he has made promises that he can't keep. Just as all you Obambi followers tout how different he is blah blah..... What will happen when you find he is not different at all but the same. You will come crashing down from your high and so will he. I personally find it quite disturbing that 90% of a particular race votes for one person. I believe this is in a mistaken belief that once this person is elected then they will have the big stick etc.... I think again here they are set for a incredible disappointment. If McCain chooses Ms Rice this will split the black vote and then Obambi will lose. Ms Rice unlike Obambi has a proven track record. It may be not of your taste by at least there's a record. A McCain-Rice ticket would almost be impossible to beat. Sun 11 May 2008 17:51:48 GMT+1 MaryInNashville The Obama campaign, through its supporters, often promoted that it would be a wonderful thing for America to have its first African-descended president, while simultaneously spreading essays on popular liberal websites and blogs decrying the notion that any woman, but especially feminists, should vote to bring about the first female president. One infamous essay published on the very popular Huffington Post broadcast to the world that the author wasn't going to "vote with my vagina." She went on national television to expand on the essay. I've been through seven primary seasons and this is, by far, the most cynical display I've ever seen by a Democratic Party whose leaders were determined to insure the outcome of the primary season. Sun 11 May 2008 17:47:16 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 I hope that Bill and Hillary are HAPPY in there respective new careers...... Sun 11 May 2008 17:34:55 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Slainte ed, I'm surprised and flattered that you credited me with anything. That's more than I would have done for you.dylunyddOne difference between American politics and European politics I think is that in America, the political parties are vehicles to personal power. In Europe it seems to me the candidates are vehicles to the party's power, a difference of importance between the individual and the collective. In America we impeach individuals when they fail to perform in office, in Europe you impeach the party and the entire government falls. On occasion in the US, when a party thwarts the ambitions of an individual, they will switch parties without changing their philosophy. Clinton needs to deliver a knockout blow to Obama now if she is to have a chance to win. This would come behind closed doors with promises to super delegates in wheeling and dealing the Clintons are very good at. She is interested in becoming President of the United States, not in advancing the prospects of the Democratic Party. Adversaries in this type of battle rarely form a coalition when its over. To stay in good standing in the party, she will have to support Obama if he is the nominee but it will not be with anything like the effort or enthusiasm she would have shown if she were the candidate. (The reverse is also true.) Her best hope if she loses this nomination is for Obama to be soundly defeated or quite frankly if he is elected, for him to have a failed single term as president (very likely IMO if he is elected.) This would clear the way for her in 2012. Even though we haven't gotten to the conventions in the 2008 election yet, don't be surprised if you start hearing people talk about 2012. It's a never ending cycle here. One person who is probably rooting for this to go all the way to the convention is BBC TV's Katty Kay. She seemed to really enjoy the rather bland by American standards conventions of 2004. This one could be the greatest political battle she'll see in her lifetime. After this, a British political convention and election is a real snoozer. If the super delegates collectively decide that despite Obama's greater number of elected delegates and popular votes, he is uneletable and therefore they throw the nomination to Clinton, will there be violence in the streets of major cities? Can't say but it is a possibility. In some regards, American politics is closer to Kenya's than to Britain's. BTW Mr. Iglehart, while I have repeated a long known observation about the intelligence of the American public, don't think that I give the publics of other nations more credit. If anything they are IMO even dumber. Their fate in Euroland including the UK is being decided by a group of elites as kecsmar suggested in another thread and they aren't even aware or incensed enough to mount a major protest. They are so numb and impotent in the wielding of power, they don't exercise what little they have. As a consequence, it has atrophied to the point where for all practical intents and purposes it no longer exists. For example, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have already decided that the EU President will not be Tony Blair. How nice to know they don't have the power to decide who our president won't be too. Sun 11 May 2008 14:22:24 GMT+1 Political_Incorrect Blacks vote 90% for Obama but whites 'tend to be motivated by visceral attachment to social rather than economic interests'?? As Mr White acknowledged even Obama recognises this. I think Justin White and the academics in their politically correct ivory towers are the ones in denial, not Hillary Clinton.When it comes down to it in the secrecy of the ballot box I think the majority of white votes will go for McCain if he is up against Obama. Race matters more than the BBC wants to admit. Sun 11 May 2008 14:12:52 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart P3eter,". Her recent behavior is entirely consistent with trying to cripple Obama for November 2008 although she is failing miserably at being subtle in her efforts.(Although, as MarcusAurelius has pointed out, the US electorate is not particularly bright, so she may not be too concerned with appearing subtle.)"I couldn't have said it better! However, I resist crediting Marcus with any more incisive observation than the above.SlainteedP.S. A new superdelegate for Obama! Sun 11 May 2008 12:40:26 GMT+1 dylunydd As a Welshman the American electoral system is largely going over my head.However would not have been better for both the Obama and Clinton campaigns (in fact the Democratic party in general) to reserve their "personal" baiting for November?All they seem to have done is put whoever loses in the unenviable position of either taking back everything negative they said about the others campaign, making them look opportunistic, or say they didn't really mean it, making them look stupid or worse make them, and possibly all politicians, a liar.Surely the Obama-Clinton team for 2009 would be unstoppable, even against a rather more balanced Republican in John McCain.I may be being naive, but I have not experienced this level of public personal anamosity between leaders of the same party in British politics. At least Blair and Brown had the decency to keep it (largely) behind closed doors. Sun 11 May 2008 11:30:34 GMT+1 righteousmistyfog LOL ... there's a dark genius at work in the video. Exactly why Hillary shouldn't even get anywhere near the VP. Hillary ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. Auf Wiedersehen! Sun 11 May 2008 07:21:49 GMT+1 peterm99 re - David Cunard post #22, last paragraphI am not persuaded by your analyses/scenarios.I believe that the situation in which the US finds itself today is not one which can be significantly ameliorated within a single presidential term, whether the president is Dem or Rep - the dollar's fall will likely continue, thus oil prices will remain relatively high; four years are insufficient to realize any meaningful contributions from nuclear, solar, or other energy sources; even if a recovery from the recession and/or financial sector upheaval occurs in the near term, rising inflation will severely erode economic progress; the deficit/national debt will preclude significant expenditure increases for national health insurance and/or other social programs, even if the Bush tax cuts are repealed; the military-industrial complex and pressures to increase/retain employment levels will keep the military budgets high; pressure from AIPAC, etc., will prevent a significant military disengagement from the Middle East; and many, many more. I feel that it is improbable that the next President, whoever he/she may be, will succeed in overcoming these and many other problems in a first term and thus will be unlikely to secure a second term (or, if Sen. McCain were to win in 2008 and then not seek re-election, his VP is unlikely to be elected in 2012). However, if it is Sen Obama who presides over the next 4 years and fails to perform, 2012 will likely result in a Republican win, but if he were to succeed during his first term, he is likely to be re-elected.Because of this, it is in Sen. Clinton's self interest to assure an Obama loss to McCain, without appearing to have been a party thereto, thus being well positioned for a more propitious run in 2012. Her recent behavior is entirely consistent with trying to cripple Obama for November 2008 although she is failing miserably at being subtle in her efforts.(Although, as MarcusAurelius has pointed out, the US electorate is not particularly bright, so she may not be too concerned with appearing subtle.) Sun 11 May 2008 07:00:00 GMT+1 David Cunard Carl Bernstein's analysis for CNN, "Could Clinton land the VP nomination?" makes interesting reading, providing both sides of the argument. Worth a few minutes of posters' time. See: Sun 11 May 2008 06:04:39 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Very humorous! And, after cocktails, are wethinking about poison or a bullet from a Luger? Sun 11 May 2008 03:47:02 GMT+1 David Cunard #17 - "the media circus is far from over" - agreed! It's not in the interest of the media to allow it to cool down - inflammatory statements, polls and intra-party scandal drives sales of hard copies and readers to web sites which include third party advertising. The headline of this "Americas" section states uniquivocally that "Obama takes superdelegate lead" as if to say there is a formal end to his campaign - omitting to mention that there are still 250 delegates who have not yet made their choice known. It doesn't take many to swing in the opposite direction and, should that happen, then yet another shrill and overblown statement will be heard or printed.With regard to the effect that the result of West Virginia will have, the voters there are typical of those necessary to a Democratic success and which could well shape the opinion of some of the unaligned superdelegates. It would never surprise me if this did go all the way to Denver - after all, the roll call of the states is an integral and exciting part of the process. Perhaps a couple of ballots would pique the interest of the entire nation, indeed, the Western World, since its very theatricality would make good television. Perhaps a Gil Cates or someone with the sensibilities of the late Allan Carr could be drafted to make it a true celebration. Unlikely of course, but it works for Billy Graham and indeed, the Rev Wright.I do not believe that Mrs Clinton would set out deliberately to destroy Mr Obama in a General Election - what purpose would be served? If John McCain should be elected then whomever is his vice-president would stand a better chance as the incumbent VP to win the nomination and election following. Should the forty-fourth President die in office, then there would be even more likelihood of that individual's success. I cannot see that Mrs Clinton would even want to consider running in 2016 and it could be be difficult for Mr Obama, unless by then he had become Governor of Illinois, a much better springboard to the Presidency. Perhaps Mrs Clinton would round out her political career much as Ted Kennedy has, although we hope she would be a more careful driver. Sun 11 May 2008 02:58:22 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Ed Iglehart;How do you know? Hillary Clinton is a United States Senator. Only 100 people in the world have that distinction at any given time. The amount of power that confers is dazzling. People have counted Clintons out before and eaten their words, you wouldn't be the first if she stages a comeback. Don't count her out yet, Obama hasn't. BTW, Obama would nuke Pakistan or Iran just as quickly as Hillary, maybe faster. That's not what this is about. Sun 11 May 2008 02:30:13 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Hillary is a spent force, a busted flush. peter is right, Marcus is dreaming.Salaam, etc.ed Sun 11 May 2008 02:11:25 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII peterm 99I don't agree. You are forgetting how short term the memory of most Americans is and how quick they are to forgive. There's an old saying "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." By 2012 they will completely have forgotten 2008 unless she actively campaigns for McCain. She who fights and runs away will live to fight another day. BTW, I do not like her or her husband. I am just telling you the politics of it as I see it. (I telz um az I seez um :-) Sun 11 May 2008 01:48:29 GMT+1 peterm99 re: MarcusAureliusII's commentHowever, if she is seen as having weakened Obama's candidacy by her (especially) recent actions/comments, I doubt if anyone (except her most rabid supporters) will give her the chance to run.If she continues to contest the nomination "to the end" by being critical of Obama and/or pointing out his negatives, she diminishes his chances this election, as well as torpedoing her own chances in 2012. Sun 11 May 2008 01:31:56 GMT+1 johnnybliss much as I'd like to be excited by this news, I have to say: I'll be very surprised if all the traditional media outlets don't get all shaken up next week when Hillary wins two of the next three states by large will be precisely what we're all expecting. usually the polls are not so far off. yet everyone will act as if "Hilary just pulled off a late victory!" and "Hillary fights on... but will it be enough!?"and then obama will accidentally say something that can possibly be misconstrued in some way or another if you analyze it to death.i think he will win, mind you, but the media circus is far from over. Sun 11 May 2008 01:26:40 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII If Obama wins the nomination, it will be to Clinton's advantage if he is destroyed in the election. This will give her another shot in 2012, and a good one if McCain's Presidency is a failure and he only serves one term (the incumbent in a re-election always has the advantage unless things have gone badly as with Carter and Bush I.) She will be able to run on the slogan "I told you so." Sun 11 May 2008 00:57:40 GMT+1 peterm99 Gary_A_Hill - You're quite correct: everything is anecdotal until the polls actually close. I wasn't attempting to confirm Mr. Webb's statement, just explaining why I found it to be more credible than David Cunard and others did.Barring any cataclysmic or unexpected events, e.g., unless she wins almost unanimously, I don't think any WV results or any other Clinton wins from now on are are going to be considered by most to be much more than just going through the motions - not particularly meaningful but providing a small level of personal satisfaction to her and her remaining supporters. (Probably same can be said for any future Obama primary wins or losses.)I do, however, disagree with your last sentence. If there is dismay/disgust/whatever with Sen. Clinton's behavior by people who in the past did not have negative feelings about her, I expect that it will certainly lessen her influence within the party in the future. Also, if Sen. Obama should lose to Sen. McCain, I believe she will most certainly be permanently diminished for all Democrats except her most rabid supporters, as those who are offended by her behavior will place much of the blame on her, whether deserved or not, because they feel that by her recent actions, she is damaging Sen. Obama for the November election. Sun 11 May 2008 00:13:25 GMT+1 AJAGUIRRE The NYTimes article is wrong. Bartels criticism is weak, and based solely on some particular statistical differences from one source in 2004This book by Thomas Frank argues that the Republicans have been able to portray themselves as populists through their stance on social issues. That is to say, that they are "in touch" with the people because they champion issues that are important to them. Obviously it doesn't bode well when a candidate generalizes a group in order to explain why he or she has not been able to gain their support, but Obama is not completely wrong on this matter. The video was over the top. I have more respect and appreciation for Senator Clinton that I had at the beginning of the race. She is in danger causing a split in the party, but this extended primary race will in the end be good for Obama and for the party. Obama has been forced to campaign in every state. He has been vetted and has survived. As a consequence he is better prepared to face McCain than if he had won after Texas and Ohio. So as long as Clinton begins to have a more conciliatory tone, they will be able to triumph in November. However, I don't believe that Clinton is a good VP choice she and Bill would carry to much weight at the bottom of the ticket. It doesn't make much sense for Obama or for the Democratic party. It may be Hillary's last hope at holding presidential power, and that is probably what she will ask at the end of the primary season. Sat 10 May 2008 23:32:57 GMT+1 heather71 It's only a matter of when and where HRC will end her campaign. I have no doubt that there are some back room deals going on between the Clintons and the Democratic Party about the details. I'm hopeful that once the dander settles between Obama and Clinton, the supporters of both candidates will back the nominee rather than jump ship to McCain, in part because both of them have pretty much the same views on most of the major issues, except the war and gasoline tax.BTW, the video was hilarious. Sat 10 May 2008 23:10:27 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill Peterm99:Anecdotal evidence doesn't mean much. Clinton is expected to win West Virginia handily. Will this, then, offset the NC results as a basis for the "fever pitch" remark?Yes there is a lot of dismay and disgust over Clinton's recent marks. There was also dismay among Obama supporters over his recent remarks and the earlier remarks of his wife, and disgust over paster Wright's rantings.I don't see any point to drawing a conclusion on this subject other than that Clinton is still strong, but not strong enough to win the nomination. Sat 10 May 2008 22:14:31 GMT+1 peterm99 Given Sen. Clinton's behavior since the blowout in NC, I cannot find fault with Mr. Webb's comment about "the dislike of the Clintons" being at a fever pitch.Sen Clinton still insisting on changing the rules regarding Florida and Michigan illustrates the extreme hypocrisy of the Clintons, especially given this recent quote from former President Clinton: "The great divide in this country . . . is by those who think they are better than everyone else and think they should play by a different set of rules."Anecdotal evidence: Except for a few (very few) passionate Clinton supporters, everyone I know who had positive feelings for her earlier is dismayed and/or disgusted with her recent antics which serve only to reduce Sen. Obama's chances against Sen. McCain. Sat 10 May 2008 21:59:01 GMT+1 Candace9839 Too funny. With Obama ahead in pledged superdelegates, not a happy time in der bunker. Sat 10 May 2008 21:19:55 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill Marcus (7), it certainly is funny, and there may be a touch of truth in it, but I don't see how Mr. Webb comes up with such sweeping generalizations from so little material. Sat 10 May 2008 21:11:11 GMT+1 websmith Hillary is just staying in to drive support towards McCain on behalf of the people who support him and her and pay her husband's huge speaking fees. She's cashing out. There's now a lot more money in her future. Sat 10 May 2008 21:03:04 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII What makes it even funnier is that there just may be a touch of truth in it. Sat 10 May 2008 20:58:47 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill The video is just entertainment which proves nothing. Sat 10 May 2008 20:54:17 GMT+1 proles why doesn't it connect?????what is wrong with this website field????? Sat 10 May 2008 20:49:00 GMT+1 Stakopopolips That video was hilarious, although I'm not sure about it portraying the alleged dislike of Clinton within the party, given that the focus was largely on what Clinton was saying and there was no insubordiation demonstrated. I think it more (as stated within the video) contradicts your idea that Clinton might side with Obama in the end ('...when I blow myself up!'). Sat 10 May 2008 20:46:59 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill Projecting voter behavior from past elections is not reliable, because the demographic of the electorate changes significantly over the years, and because current events dominate.In 1968, for example, Mr. Humphrey's loss can be attributed to his unwillingness to break with President Johnson's Vietnam policy.This year, a contest between McCain and Obama will largely be a referendum on Iraq policy. Sat 10 May 2008 20:37:57 GMT+1 proles why doesn't this thing work? Sat 10 May 2008 20:28:52 GMT+1 David Cunard "the dislike of the Clintons within the party is at fever pitch" - Justin, where do you find these dubious nuggets of information? The entire Democratic Party cannot be summed up in a phrase. Possibly you mean staff members or the party hierarchy, Howard Dean et al., to whose conversations I very much doubt you are privy, but they are not "the party" as Mrs Clinton well recognises. The millions of registered voters are the Democratic Party and I don't see a great dislike of her "at fever pitch". I suggest you ask a sampling of voters in West Virginia - but possibly you and your media colleagues will dismiss them as "poor and badly educated" whose opinions do not count in the scheme of things. The patronising attitude that the BBC and the Anglo-American media has toward the backbone of America is frankly contemptible. Sat 10 May 2008 20:21:32 GMT+1