Exposing more rifts in the Republican Party, disgraced former Majority Leader Tom DeLay clearly can't stand John McCain. I actually don't think hate would be too strong a word here either:
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) lambasted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Thursday for ?betraying? the conservative movement.On one level, this certainly makes the McCain nomination more appealing. And, it's actually comical to hear Tom DeLay say someone else has no principles.
During a private luncheon with Republican chiefs of staff on Capitol Hill, DeLay ? who has criticized McCain for years ? stepped up his attacks in the wake of the senator?s reemergence as a top presidential contender. DeLay said McCain has no principles and indicated he would not endorse the senator if he won the GOP primary.
?If McCain gets the nomination, I don?t know what I?ll do,? DeLay said at the Capitol Hill Club, according to a source in the room. ?I might have to sit this one out.?
He added that a McCain triumph for the GOP nomination would destroy the Republican Party.
ISCI's leader, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim is at it again - leveling spirited criticisms at the the Iraqi government for its poor performance. What goes unmentioned by Hakim, of course, is that ISCI is one the largest participants in that underperforming government. As I said before, dissing Peter to praise Paul:
A powerful Shiite politician accused the Iraqi government and legislators of allowing "personal whims" to delay national unity, addressing thousands of worshippers who rallied Friday to commemorate the death of one of the most revered saints.
The criticism in Baghdad by Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the head of parliament's largest Shiite political bloc, was among the strongest to date ...
Al-Hakim often has suggested he is displeased with the performance of the nearly 19-month-old al-Maliki government, of which the politician's Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, or SIIC, is a major partner. But his speech on Friday was among the strongest criticism to date, suggesting a growing impatience.
Speaking behind bulletproof glass, he called on the government and parliament to "make the issues of everyday life of the people a top priority and not to be completely preoccupied with the political struggle at the expense of the daily concerns of the citizens."
He urged them to pass stalled legislation on provincial elections and the distribution of Iraq's oil wealth, which are seen as vital to bringing Sunnis into the political process and stemming support for the insurgency.
"We are keen to form a national unity government despite the fact that election results allowed us to form a government that does not carry the characteristics of a national unity," al-Hakim said. "What is regrettable is that the national reconciliation process has been subjected to personal whims."
He also criticized government institutions of accepting "corruption and bribes" and called for mechanisms that would "prevent the blackmail of the people."
Politicians speaking behind bullet proof glass houses shouldn't throw stones - or something. There are at least two obvious methods to Hakim's mendacity.
First, Hakim is looking to create the impression of distance between his ISCI party and the enormously unpopular Iraqi government, despite the obvious involvement. In this, he is attempting to benefit from a tactic that Moqtada al-Sadr has long employed to great benefit. But then, Sadr's anti-government posturing tends to be a bit more authentic than ISCI's - even if not entirely accurate given that Sadr's current has long controlled certain government ministries and has enormous influence in legislative bodies.
In addition, Hakim continues to speak of the plight of "ordinary Iraqis" who have been neglected by the current government. Given that Sadr's organization derives much support from its delivery of social services to those Iraqis, Hakim's sudden interest is more than a coincidence. So, with elections in the South looming on the horizon, Hakim is doing his best to loosen the government millstone from around ISCI's neck while attempting to cut in to Sadr's populist support.
There is another possibility. Rumors have been swirling lately (again!) of a potential reshuffling of the Iraqi government that would involve (if David Ignatius' sources are to be believed) a sacking of Maliki with Adel Abdul Mahdi replacing him. Adel Abdul Mahdi is (surprise!) a high ranking member of Hakim's ISCI party. So Hakim's criticisms could be read in this light as well - a bankshot if you will. Even if the putsch peters out, at least Hakim could achieve some re-branding vis-a-vis Sadr in the battle for Shiite hearts and minds.
I'd throw the talk of "national unity" government in this pile as well, since Ignatius' formulation of the latest anti-Maliki alliance includes the participation of Sunni parties. That is one of the ways that Hakim would sell this palace coup to the Bush administration (or better yet, which the Bush administration would use to sell it to the American people). There has also been increasing chatter of Hakim reaching out to Anbar Salvation groups in an attempt to incorporate them into his nascent alliance.Something to keep an eye out for, even if these rumors don't have a very good track record in terms of arriving at fruition.
It's Friday, and my week has been annoying in an ephemeral, unquantifiable way. I suspect hormones, which is a terrific lady-excuse for vague ennui.
So, to cap off this useless span of days, I ask you, dear reader, to tell me your favorite blogs & bloggers that I should be reading.
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The Library of Congress has uncovered four new photos of the second inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1865.
They show the large crowds and the many soldiers who participated in an inaugural parade including African-Americans who proudly marched in the parade for the first time. Lincoln shook at least 6,000 hands that day.... a day of celebration for a country emerging from the bloody Civil War. A little over a month later Lincoln was struck down by an assassin at Ford's Theater.
Many people well remember the words from that second inaugural speech that are captured on Lincoln's memorial to "bind up the nation's wounds." But, how many recall the part of the address where he names the cause of those wounds? Here are his thoughts on that day......
"....One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union...."
While slavery constituted the "powerful interest" in the United States that took a Civil War to contain, so too are special and powerful corporate interests squeezing the lifeblood from our country now in the name of greed and profits.
The next president must stop these powerful corporate and foreign interests from stealing our hard-won Union, restore trust in the government and, yes, bind our wounds.
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Half a century ago, after the Supreme Court desegregation decision, an Arkansas governor named Orval Faubus stood in the doorway of Central High School in Little Rock with National Guard members to keep African American teenagers out. Now Mike Huckabee is doing a Faubus impersonation in South Carolina.
?You don?t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag,? the former Arkansas governor told a crowd in Myrtle Beach yesterday. ?In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we?d tell them what to do with the pole, that?s what we?d do.?
In doing a Faubus to court what remains of the redneck vote, Huckabee might want to recall what happened to his predecessor. President Eisenhower nationalized the Arkansas Guard, ordered them to stand down and sent in troops from the 101st Airborne Division to escort the kids into the school.
As John McCain continues to lead in the polls, Huckabee protesters are dogging his appearances by waving Confederate flags. But McCain refuses to cave in as he did in 2000.
"Probably the worst piece of advice I've ever given to myself," he tells Katie Couric, "was when the Confederate flag was flying over the state capitol in South Carolina, and I decided that I would say it's not an issue I should be involved in, that it should be decided by the people of the state of South Carolina.
"I knew it was a symbol that was offensive to so many people. And afterwards, I went back and apologized. But it was, needless to say, by saying that I wouldn't have anything to do with an issue like that was an act of cowardice."
If Huckabee believes he can win in South Carolina by going back to the past, he should take a look at the later career of Orval Faubus. A decade after the Little Rock standoff, he was managing the Li'l Abner theme park in the "Ozark Mountains, Dogpatch USA."
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Republicans are obsessed that unionized workers or colored people or college students are going to vote twice. Or worse yet, that twenty million Mexicans are going to sneak over the border and vote on the first Tuesday in November... any November. They are hysterical about it. And the same folks who have convinced them that Christmas and Easter and their guns are under siege have brainwashed them into thinking the damn libruls are stealing the elections. In their minds that makes it ok to... steal the elections.
Allen Raymond has a book out, How to Rig An Election, Confessions of a Republican Operative, and he ought to know. He spent some time in prison for doing just that. Author Raymond was one of several Republicans who took the fall for the GOP theft of the 2002 New Hampshire senate election-- which threw Bush control of the Senate-- and gave right-winger John Sununu an undeserved victory. Today AlterNet published an interview with Raymond-- who was angry because Mehlman and the RNC asked his firm to jam Democratic phone lines, but would not defend him in court after Democrats fought back and pressed court charges. Raymond went to jail. Mehlman, Rove and Sununu still haven't.
ALTERNET: The title of your book is How to Rig an Election. Can elections be rigged?
RAYMOND:: Sure. We're not talking about what people often think about, like ballot box stuffing. Certainly, that stuff goes on here and there. What we are really talking about in the book is how messages are created and delivered to the voting public, in a way that orchestrates and manipulates response. It's all about feeling an emotion; it's not about raw issues and logic.
In the book I give a lot of examples of rigging elections by, put it this way, guys like me-- I used to be a campaign manager. Once you are all said and done and deliver a message, two plus two equals whatever I want it to equal. The facts and sometimes even contorting the facts to lead voters to conclusions that may not necessarily, if you step back, make any sense-- but, in context, make all the sense in the world.
There's that aspect of it. Then there's just the more raw aspect of it, which leads up to the culmination of the book, which is the 2002 New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal.
RAYMOND: There is a difference between the line responsibility and the overall responsibility. So, a Karl Rove is going to be responsible for the overall strategic and tactical thinking. But when you get down in the trenches, there's line responsibility. And so most decisions don't go any higher than, say, the political director at the Republican National Committee.
But in my case, having worked there in those jobs, I knew two things, which was-- the first being, and I say that in the book, this (phone-jamming) was an unusual request. It prompted me to seek out an attorney. But what that tells me is such things don't see the light of day unless they have been vetted, particularly by someone who has worked at the RNC for as long as my co-conspirator had.
In the last week before its Jan. 19 primary, the Palmetto State is awash in stealth e-mail attacks, fake polling calls and other dirty tricks reminiscent of the scurrilous rumors that scuttled John McCain's candidacy in 2000.
The dubious tradition stretches back to native son Lee Atwater, the Republican operative who invented many of the modern techniques of negative campaigning, including the 1988 ad that linked Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Dukakis to the parole of murderer Willie Horton and contributed to the victory of President George H.W. Bush that year.
"Many understudies of Lee Atwater are still in this state, in the political-consulting business,'' said Blease Graham, a scholar of Southern politics at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
Among Republicans, the shenanigans this year include automated telephone pseudo-surveys trashing former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson's stance on abortion, mailings claiming Arizona Senator McCain turned his back on fellow prisoners of war in Vietnam and a phony Christmas card from former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney extolling polygamy.
...Some practitioners of the dark political arts defend these tactics. In 2004, Warren Tompkins, a veteran South Carolina political strategist who worked the Bush campaign in 2000, was asked why operatives spread false rumors about McCain in that race. ``It worked, didn't it?'' said Tompkins, who now works for Romney.
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Tags: Olbermann, Maddow, change, 2008 Presidential election, Clinton, Obama, Edwards
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That's OK though because Congress doesn't give a damn anyway. Heaven forbid accountability ever means being accountable. Until there are consequences for being so casual with personal data, this is never going to change. Losing over 200 million records in the US still doesn't register as an important issue, amazingly enough.
Good for John Edwards...
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Tags: John Edwards, Democratic primaries, US election 2008
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… and everybody refused to answer?Just a thought, since now that John Edwards has taken aim at the corporate media for ignoring his message that corporate America abuses it’s power, he’s been rewarded by being excluded from Survey USA’s polls.One way to express your displeasure is by joining in the JOHN EDWARDS MONEY BOMB TODAY. [...]
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