Folks, many of whom are old friends on this blog, are miffed, peeved, perturbed, pissed off, or downright grumpy about the recent thread of articles about Mr. Obama.  I hope you appreciate I am not censoring those who think Susan and I are full of shit.  I welcome your opinion and dissent.

I am not going to force you into some sort of Orwellian Kossack public confession about your mean spirit or ugly talk before I let you post.  I will take down material that involves a threat of violence against anyone (telling someone to kiss your ass is not a threat of violence).  I also realize in the heat of the moment tempers flare.  I try to moderate as I can to keep that in check.

Finally, I am very concerned about Obama’s lack of experience and the adulation surrounding his campaign.  I bought into the nonsense that George Bush was a “uniter” and not a “divider.”  I ignored his failed business enterprises.  I overlooked his ignorance of foreign affairs.  Well folks, never again.  And in my book, Obama shares too many of the Bush qualities.  I find it creepy and alarming.  A guy as weak as Obama, who has a track record of making bad decisions while currying favor with the likes of Rezko and Ayers, bugs the hell out of me.

So, for Oldtree and others, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Previous articleThe Economist: “But could he deliver?” [UPDATED]
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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • crazymoloch

    Odd how someone who was taken in by Bush thinks we should trust his judgment on Hillary and Obama. But I guess it isn’t surprising that someone who voted Republican so very recently has also made it their mission to publish any trash they can use to smear Obama.

    • Mike Howell

      Smear Obama – now there’s an oxymoron!

  • “I overlooked his ignorance of foreign affairs. Well folks, never again. And in my book, Obama shares too many of the Bush qualities. I find it creepy and alarming. I guy as weak as Obama, ………..”

    That defines pretty much all of Congress. That alone doesn’t make them dangerous.

    What makes Obama dangerous is the obsession and hysteria which, though none of his doing, he has masterfully used.

    The basic problem with humans is that we are not successful evolutionary survivors because of our intelligence but because of the skill with which we transmit our genes.

    We have had these obsessions and fads for centuries. I have been taken by how much the Obama phenomenon resembles the surge of fame which struck Lillie Langtry just after John Millais sold several sketches of her in that famous black dress after meeting her at a dinner party. She ended up being courtesan to Albert, Prince of Wales, the future king Edward VII.

    This all goes to show you that we exhibit all the features of Einstein’s definition of insanity.

  • TeakWoodKite

    the CIA as an agency dominated by conservative Republican types.

    Valerie Wilson made a reference to Fox News being on 24/7 at Langley in her book and how distracting it was.
    Stephanie Miller is where I heard Mr Johnson as well.

    A thoughtful post Ron Cownin. Thanks.

  • Ron Cowin

    My questions about Obama were of a different nature. With a Harvard Law degree and experience in local government, plus living abroad, I was not reminded of Bush at all. At 62, I had gone the charisma route in 1960 with JFK. After living through 11/23/63 and 6/6/68, I am more cautious in my politics. I was more concerned with Obama’s lack of experience on the national and international level. I am also concerned as th whether he wants to take troops out of Iraq to use them in Kenya where he has tribal links to one side in the increasingly tense situation there.

    I confess that I am curious about your background, especially Larry. How does one go from “Spy Guy” to where you are now? Now offense, but I always thought of the CIA as an agency dominated by conservative Republican types. It is also ironic that I was introduced to your web site through a devout obama supporter (Stephanie Miller). You haven’t been on her show much of late. I was born a liberal Democrat and have stayed that way ever since, except for a few steps further left during my college days, but who didn’t? So I would appreciate any biographical information you would care to share. Or even where such information might be obtained. Sincere thanks for your previous government service.

    • simon

      I can’t, and DO NOT speak for Larry, but it was my impression many were taken aback at Plame being outed, and the fatuous neocon new world vision.

      It seems it’s viewed as a game, by some, not life and death, a complete lack of respect for the agencies that PROTECT this country. It isn’t a slam dunk, it would appear to be very real work, the US has enemies, PNAC’s vision of a safe empire was always false. Unfortunately, they believed their own reality, and harmed US defense, that group of stupid corrupt neocon cowards.

      It wasn’t OK to out Plame, it isn’t OK to commit treason, we have a government we must respect, despite our political differences, we don’t run our own little wars, outside of Congress, IMO, anyway.

      And I guess all organizations are made of people from different political persuasions, the WW2 Roosevelt supporter was a liberal fighter, as was Kennedy, nothing new under the sun, one would expect that tradition to follow.

      I read various blogs, this is what I picked up, it’s probably not accurate, JMO.

    • SirScud

      Re: Ron Cowin
      Your wise and thoughtful query will most likely be ignored, or if responded to, it will be replete with obfuscations and dissembling. My years of experience with our government’s IC, both military and civilian, supports your belief that the vast majority of the people thusly employed are indeed very Conservative in their world view; both Republican and Democrat. During my service, most of the effective, more creative, and competent leaders were not; especially those working in operations and in foreign service. The analytical branches were almost exclusively Conservative, and most times Republican; especially after George H.W. Bush’s stint as DCI. This is when I resigned in disgust, because it became obvious that the stated mission of protecting our country was being corrupted, and instead of the work product of our field officers being used to inform our government, a new layer of bureaucracy was installed between the two existing branches of career officers to politically filter and “sanitize” the “raw” field reports, before the analysts ever saw them.
      There are many of us “oldies” that consider it the ultimate oxymoronic insult, for the CIA headquarters to bear the name that it now does.
      Regarding the viability of the Obama candidacy, I recommend that you contact Professor Tribe at Harvard, this is not the place to collect reliable information about much of anything, upon which one intends to base an informed decision. It’s fun to visit as a source of levity, when Stephanie Miller is off the air.
      Is it not amazing that her father was Barry Goldwater’s running mate?

  • Mike Howell

    Larry –

    Maybe you could have a blinding website like this?

  • SirScud

    At this writing, instead of trying to comment on or dissect the partisan vitriol that has been preoccupying our gracious and understanding hosts of late, or of risking the possible misconstruing of my own intentions, I have chosen to relay the following succinct and informative missive by Robert Parry of; someone who’s objectivity and sense of reason I have come to respect, both as a fellow historian and, for my part, as a 67 year old veteran of U.S. Naval Intelligence, the civilian IC, and 30 plus years of academia in the world of cultural anthropology.
    This short and concise testimony speaks to the issues addressed in Larry’s topical introduction, and it expresses my own observations and opinions more clearly than I could have myself.
    Truth needs no exaggeration, it lives within its own merits.

    Explaining Our View on Clinton-Obama

    By Robert Parry
    February 16, 2008

    Over the past few months, as the Democratic presidential race has heated up, we have received a number of complaints about critical stories we have written about Barack Obama and, especially, Hillary Clinton.

    A common theme in the complaints is that we should lighten up on the Democratic frontrunners and concentrate more on John McCain and the Republicans. Some readers have accused us of sounding like the MSM in our reporting on Sen. Clinton in particular.

    Since we value the views of our readers, we feel we owe you a response, albeit one that is not likely to please everyone.

    First and foremost, is an independent journalistic entity that is not beholden to either the Democrats or the Republicans. Over the past several years, the bulk of our critical reporting has focused on the Bush administration, but we have not spared Democrats from criticism when they have deserved it.

    As for our stories on Campaign 2008, we feel that each one was legitimate, raising fair questions about positions taken by the candidates or their actions.

    We took some grief from Obama supporters when we challenged Obama’s comments about Ronald Reagan as a transformative leader who had brought a measure of accountability to the supposed excesses of the 1960s and 1970s. [See’s “Obama’s Dubious Praise for Reagan.”]

    Our article recalled Reagan’s real history of covering up horrendous human rights crimes in Central America and other examples of Reagan’s avoidance of genuine accountability.

    Another article from last year noted Sen. Obama’s tendency to duck head-on fights with the Bush administration over the Iraq War, particularly his joining with Sen. Carl Levin in rejecting a showdown over war funding. [See’s “Is Obama Getting Colin-ized?”]

    Hillary Articles

    As for Hillary Clinton, we have noted that she didn’t just vote to authorize the Iraq War; she remained a stalwart war supporter almost until the eve of the Democratic primary race when she realigned herself with the anti-war views of rank-and-file Democrats.

    Clinton’s endorsement of the war also isn’t a minor issue. Once George W. Bush was allowed to proceed with the invasion in March 2003 – and once it became clear that many Iraqis would resist occupation – there were no good options left for resolving the conflict.

    Indeed, all the post-invasion options were terrible. The United States could remain in Iraq indefinitely as an imperial force, taking and inflicting casualties (essentially the Bush/McCain position), or U.S. forces could leave, unleashing a potential civil war in Iraq and recriminations about “surrender” back home.

    Sen. Clinton, who insists that she will be “ready on Day One,” wasn’t ready on that day in October 2002 when President Bush demanded a blank check to invade Iraq. She did what many other aspiring Democratic presidential hopefuls did; she tested the political winds and voted yes.

    (Though Obama was not in the U.S. Senate in 2002, he did speak out against the invasion and thus cannot be fairly blamed for this cardinal misjudgment.)

    We also noted that last September after Sen. Clinton solidified her frontrunner status, she reverted to her hawkish stance on the Middle East, voting for a resolution that urged Bush to take a more belligerent position toward Iran by declaring its Revolutionary Guard a “global terrorist organization.” [See’s “Hillary Prods Bush to Go After Iran.”]

    In our view, there have been other legitimate questions and concerns raised by how Sen. Clinton has run her campaign. [See, for instance,’s “Hillary Plays a Risky Gender Card,” “The Clinton Audacity,” and “Hillary’s Curious Campaign Loan.”]

    Though the mainstream media has since picked up on the points that we raised in those stories, our articles preceded – rather than followed – the MSM’s coverage.

    Not ‘Clinton Haters’

    We are not “Clinton haters.” Indeed, when the Clintons came under unfair attack in the 1990s, we were one of the few news outlets that pointed to the larger picture – that a right-wing attack machine was trying to mount what amounted to a political coup d’etat.

    [Peruse, for example, our Archive on the “Clinton Scandals,” in particular a two-part 1998 article entitled “The Clinton Coup d’Etat.”]

    Both on the Web site and in my book Secrecy & Privilege, we recounted the otherwise untold story of how President George H.W. Bush green-lighted an illegal search of Bill Clinton’s passport files in fall 1992 in a bid to paint Clinton as a traitor. We also showed how Bush’s dirty trick was whitewashed by Republican special prosecutor Joe DiGenova.

    We explained, too, how Chief Justice William Rehnquist set the stage for the Right’s assault on Clinton’s presidency by ousting a moderate Republican judge, George MacKinnon, from the panel responsible for picking special prosecutors and replacing him with Judge David Sentelle, a protégé of right-wing Sen. Jesse Helms.

    Sentelle then selected right-wing special prosecutors who used their extraordinary powers in an ideological war to destroy Bill Clinton and his administration. That assault was aided and abetted by a well-funded right-wing news media and a compliant mainstream press that seemed most eager to avoid accusations of “liberal” or “Clinton apologists.”

    At, we ignored those pressures and told the story the way I believe history will eventually record it.

    Missed Opportunity

    That said, we have been critical of how Bill Clinton turned his back on his unique opportunity as the first president elected after the Cold War to reveal its true history. He wanted to focus on the future, not the past, without realizing that a truthful history is crucial for setting the course for a better future.

    Clinton’s gross miscalculation kept the American people in their extended childhood state, woefully uninformed about what their own government had done over the previous half century.

    Also, by failing to assist investigators looking into abuses by his immediate predecessors, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush – from secret dealing with Iran and Iraq to protection of drug traffickers associated with wars in Nicaragua and Afghanistan – President Clinton left open the back door of the White House for the eventual restoration of the Bush Dynasty and the catastrophe that has followed.

    While it would be unfair to fault Hillary Clinton for the mistakes of her husband, the only precise information the public has about what she would do on Day One is her husband’s unchallenged statement that her first act in office would be to send him and George H.W. Bush on an international fence-mending tour. [See’s “Hillary Signals Free Pass for Bush.”]

    That would suggest that she intends to follow a similar course as her husband did in forgiving the Bushes their sins in exchange for some faux “bipartisanship.” Pro-Hillary Democrats who are now bashing Obama for his so-called “Kumbayah” reconciliation might ask what campfire song the Clintons and the Bushes would be singing.

    So, in conclusion:

    While we understand some of our readers won’t always like what we write about political figures – whether about Bush and McCain or about Clinton and Obama – we do hope that you will look at the body of our work in judging us.

    Please also accept our assurance that our only goal is to provide you with as honest an assessment of what’s going on as we can.

    • simon

      That said, we have been critical of how Bill Clinton turned his back on his unique opportunity as the first president elected after the Cold War to reveal its true history

      But the cold war never really ended, it just transformed it’s methods.

      Really, the authors should look at this from Putin’s (the old KGB communist), point of view, from Russia’s point of view, the idea they would accept defeat, be vanquished is Western wishful thinking.

      Nobody wants to be a has been, what is the Russian psychology? Why the recent Russian military aggression, that’s a rather BOLD move on behalf of Putin, isn’t it?

      Secondly, in relation to Obama, and his votes, and positions, look at the parallel line of Rezko, what did Rezko want, who was giving Obama money, how could Obama best pander to the public, to insure winning future elections?

      Just for fun, see if there are any correlations, go in with an open mind.

  • Steve Fuller

    I appreciate the post. I think some anti-Obama posts are over the top, meaning that the normally candid but well-thought out posts are more persuasive than tabloid-style headlines. I do feel Susanpc went a little crazy about my past posts about this–immediately assuming I was an Obama troll when nothing could be further from the truth. It is easy to start using your oppenents methods back at them, but it’s usually counter-productive.

    Having said that, I am total agreement that the “popular” opinions about Obama have more to do with withful thinking and the herd mentality than rational thought.

    I do feel that Obama’s inexperience in NO way can be compared to Bush’s. Bush’s biggest problem is not inexperience, but attitude. Bush seems to actually believe every GOP press release written since his grade-school days.

    But, as you have said, these are not normal times, and chances should be not taken. Emotion over logic is not the way to chose a president when so much is at stake.

    • Delia

      I agree with a lot of what you say here. I haven’t been reading most of the anti-Obama posts here. I scan the site for posts on the Middle East and foreign policy, and for something like this which seems more thoughtful and even-handed. (I don’t read dKos anymore, either, unless I get linked to an interesting story.) I only have so many hours I can spend on the internets, and I just don’t feel it’s worthwhile to get caught up in every little fracas between these two candidates.

      One other thing: both on radio talk shows and in real life I have begun to hear both Hillary and Barack supporters say that if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination, they’ll vote for McCain. Now that’s just insane, and it’s an example of how emotion is taking over from reason on both sides.

  • shirin

    Larry, the concerns you expressed in this post sound well reasoned and rationally thought out. They do not, however, fit with or justify some of the far-fetched, and inflammatory stuff we have seen here.

    • Independent


  • I just want to say thank-you to Larry and Susan for continuing to be one of the few remaining voices of reason throughout this Obama-Nation abomination.

  • PseudoCyAnts

    Mr. Johnson,

    I am certainly not a regular poster, but am a fairly regular lurker, and appreciate what you’ve been doing over the last several years. We’re Americans, and we damn well all have the birthright to choose our own poison, eh? To hell with those whose actually believe any politician is worthy of sainthood.

    Still, in the midst of election fires, please do not forget, what has compelled us to action.

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Did you see what this asshole has been spewing?

    Connecticut Post – February 15, 2008
    Lieberman says some waterboarding OK
    By Peter Urban

    Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman reluctantly acknowledged Thursday that he does not believe waterboarding is torture, but believes the interrogation technique should be available only under the most extreme circumstances.
    [. . .]
    “We are at war,” Lieberman said. “I know enough from public statements made by Osama bin Laden and others as well as classified information I see to know the terrorists are actively planning, plotting to attack us again. I want our government to be able to gather information again within both the law and Geneva Convention.”
    [. . .]
    The difference, he said, is that waterboarding is mostly psychological and there is no permanent physical damage. “It is not like putting burning coals on people’s bodies. The person is in no real danger. The impact is psychological,” Lieberman said. Lieberman said that his position on waterboarding differs from that of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who he has endorsed as a presidential candidate. As a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam, McCain was tortured. McCain, he said, believes waterboarding is torture.

    There is a difference between adversaries, and scum-sucking enemies of The American Dream.

  • oldtree

    And me too, NQ is one of the first places to go to find reality in the morning. There are more and varying opinions and experiences than any other spot I have found. I thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.

    • simon

      NQ is one of the first places to go to find reality in the morning. There are more and varying opinions and experiences than any other spot I have found. I thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.

      I agree, thank you Larry, thank you, Susan.

  • Independent

    If you are going to dish it out you also need to be able to take it. Some posts around here just all the sudden disappear… touchy.

  • briank

    Larry, this post is a prime example of why I continue read this blog every day. Thanks.

  • teknikAL

    Yeah FUCK the Kos-sacks, I get more respect commenting at Townhall.

    Obama has a few things going for him:
    He has one of the four lowest incomes of the Presidential candidates; If it wasn’t for his books, he wouldn’t be close to the millionaire’s club. Personally, I think this gives him a connection with over half of America; Clinton hasn’t released her financial records. ~CNN
    Millionaires are 1% of the population and as we know, don’t know how much bread and milk cost…, the only reason Clinton may know what bread and milk cost, is because she paid someone to tell her.
    Regardless of Obama’s Exelon and nuclear connection goes, Clinton cosponsored the bill, S. 2348, that has been used to smear Obama. Hill has her own (and greater) lobbyist problems including Mark Penn/Exelon. Here I believe Obama’s “lack of experience” or better said experience outside the beltway, again, creates a connection with over half of America. A shorter list of IOU’s to uhh, repay. Also his experience is bottom up grassroots, he can organize and build consensus.

    Overall though, niether Clinton or Obama were in my top two candidates; bottom of the top 5, maybe.

    • Mr.Murder

      You’re wrong.

      Google shows the billnumbered to be one on border security, and she’s not listed as a sponsor.

      Title: A bill to ensure control over the United States border and to strengthen enforcement of the immigration laws.
      Sponsor: Sen Cornyn, John [TX] (introduced 11/13/2007) Cosponsors (12)
      Latest Major Action: 11/14/2007 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 486.
      COSPONSORS(12), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)
      Sen Burr, Richard [NC] – 11/14/2007 Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] – 11/15/2007
      Sen Domenici, Pete V. [NM] – 11/14/2007 Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] – 11/13/2007
      Sen Gregg, Judd [NH] – 11/16/2007 Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 11/14/2007
      Sen Kyl, Jon [AZ] – 11/14/2007 Sen Martinez, Mel [FL] – 11/14/2007
      Sen McCain, John [AZ] – 11/15/2007 Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] – 11/14/2007
      Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] – 12/3/2007 Sen Sununu, John E. [NH] – 11/14/2007

      -Library of Congress

      • Mr.Murder

        There’s now another s2348 on the same search page:

        Legislation > 2005-2006 (109th Congress)
        S. 2348 [109th]: Nuclear Release Notice Act of 2006
        A bill to amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to require a licensee to notify the Atomic Energy Commission, and the State and county in which a facility is located, whenever there is an unplanned release of fission products in excess of allowable limits.

        Overview Summary Other Info

        Bill Status
        Sponsor: Sen. Barack Obama [D-IL]hide cosponsors
        Cosponsors [as of 2007-01-08]
        Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-CA]
        Sen. Hillary Clinton [D-NY]
        Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL]
        Sen. George Voinovich [R-OH]

  • dave31175

    It’s interesting to me that you discount Obama for what you see as his similarities to Bush. On the other hand, I’m appalled by what I see as Clinton’s similarities to Bush: pro-war, pro-imperialism, anti-constitution, anti-accountability.

    It’s just too bad these are the three viable options. Sadly, we’re left with three members of the “More Government is the Answer to Everything” cult.

    • simon

      It’s interesting to me that you discount Obama for what you see as his similarities to Bush. On the other hand, I’m appalled by what I see as Clinton’s similarities to Bush: pro-war, pro-imperialism, anti-constitution, anti-accountability

      No, actually, you’re wrong.

      What it come down to is Obama’s level of corruption, and with whom.

      On that matter,he is just like Bush, Clinton not quite as much.

  • SirScud

    Larry/Susan, thank you both for running an open discussion forum. The only bone I have to pick is the recent torrent of vitriolic attack postings presented as facts, instead of the biased opinions that they obviously are. The recent smear involving the “Weather Underground” exemplifies this phony style of propagandizing. You intentionally construct a factually flawed revisionist description of a person who you obviously know nothing about, lest it possibly be from some nefarious Nixon era file you are privileged to, and then use your fictitious construct to assail the character of a person who could not possibly have been involved with the fiction you have presented as fact. This nothing but bull shit on steroids! The problem is, you are denigrating real people with your lies and distortions, to achieve your ends.
    By the way, in the small chance that you are interested in correcting your “notes” on the “bombing” of the Pentagon:
    A. The Pentagon was not bombed!
    B. A Broom closet in the heart of the Pentagon was
    incinerated with a non-explosive pyrotechnic
    device, and NO injuries resulted!
    C. This action was a warning to the thugs in the
    Nixon Cabal to cease ordering their goons to
    attack VietNam veterans who were gathering in
    DC to demonstrate against the war at the
    D. I was there, and knew the highly decorated
    Marine veteran that planned and carried out
    this action. He died last year, from
    complications resulting from being sprayed with
    Agent Orange while manning a one-man intel
    outpost in ‘Nam.
    So you see, comrade, your cover is blown, you can not fool all of the people, all of the time; but you are an excellent candidate for the “Clinton Medal of Shame.” We the people are not taking America back simply to hand it back over to a repackaged gang with a different logo; as the saying goes,”You can put lipstick on a pig, but all you get is a pig wearing lipstick.

  • Surge07

    I have been disappointed that the pro Hillary voices on NQ have been running with blinders on. One has to overlook a lot that happened in Arkansas and during the Clinton administration to be in rapture of Hillary Clinton. She is intelligent, well informed, hard working and she takes no prisoners. What no one wants to talk about is Bill. What is his role? Many of Hillary’s close advisors were his advisors. They were not very effective with him; why will they be better with her?

    Is Hillary her own person? Is her approach to governing different from Bill’s? Though we enjoyed peace an prosperity under Bill Clinton, he had little to do with it. He was in the right place at the right time. Bill Clinton showed little interest in preparing us for the challenges that were emerging then and are squarely in front of us now.

    For all his intelligence and political instinct, Bill Clinton was a very conventional thinker, more interested in sounding good, manipulating public opninion and winning tactical political battles than in charting a new course. Hillary seems to follow the same path. Health care is an example. For all her talk about her health care plan it is only a patch on a broken system. We are at this time a nation in decline. We need more than incremental change to turn things around.

    • briank

      I don’t really see the problem with the focus on Obama, and the “blinders” on Clinton. Despite all the sound and fury coming from the anti-Clinton folks on sites like Kos, they haven’t really come up with anything new. Hillary is what she is; there’s very little we don’t know about her or her positions.

    • Glimmer

      Something about your post struck me, and as I worked it through I realized a couple of things. I’m just putting them on the table as an offering.

      Hard situations lend themselves to hard lessons, and that leads me to your very good point about independence.

      My feeling is that Hillary is not, in fact, Bill. (That’s not meant to be a blinding flash of the obvious.) Let me explain.

      Watching how known and trusted associates respond to changes in a relationship’s balance of power and division of responsibilities is one good way to shake out who’s adjusting, and who isn’t. When someone argues with my spouse, it’s very clear that they are not arguing with me: we are different people. A mutual commitment did not make us identical. I suspect the advisors are exploring that difference. I’m very sure that the Clintons themselves are.

      The searing experiences, personal, political, and professional, that she endured, largely on his account, will have hardened her character. The judgments on her responses, many gender- and age-specific, happened to her. Not to him.

      I think Hillary and Obama need each other’s strengths. How that should be expressed in terms of job assignments is what I want to examine next. I can do this in two questions:

      1. What does the President of the United States do that is unique to the office?

      2. What is required of the character, heart, and mind of the person who feels called to live that job? (Not entitled to it, but called to it.)

      Some ideas on #1: If the unique responsibility is setting the tone of the Administration and being the face of American character, Obama has the edge; he inspires. If I need a leader, I need to be inspired.

      If the unique responsibility is bringing a rogue government back to its Constitutional principles, Clinton may be the one; she’s demonstrably got the discipline.

      However, I just finished a very provocative book on hiring people, called First, Break All the Rules. The point of the book: hire people for aptitude. Jobs are not reliably “replays” of prior experiences due to the changes in the circumstances and all the independent variables involved. “Experience” does not count, argues the author, as much as “Aptitude”–the ability to learn faster than the competition. That skill is the only strategic advantage that persists.

      How could you, really be “experienced” at a job you simply haven’t had? You can’t be. I fault the campaign messaging, here. However, your knowledge, skills, and abilities–the holy trinity of HR people everywhere–are what should get you the job.

      I’d like to think that whatever the outcome, some kind of alliance could be formed between them. The “loser” won’t cease to be significant just because only one can hold the topmost role.

  • artistmate

    Hi Larry
    As a canadian watching the democrats self destruct by buying into pipedream of change I have had a helpless feeling that idealism is going to derail the Clinton express. I love this womans poise and her balls. Thanks for your effort and providing me with some hope.

  • S. Markom

    That’s fair and honest.

    I only wish you had done this earlier and in support of Joe Biden – someone who had real experience.

    You could be right about Obama’s lack of experience and willingness to curry favor with the wrong people as a result. But I don’t see much different with Hillary, in fact we have already seen that the same cast of unsavory characters we were introduced to during the Clinton presidency made a return appearance for this run.

    The more this goes on the more I am inclined to sit this one out.

    • simon

      You could be right about Obama’s lack of experience and willingness to curry favor with the wrong people as a result. But I don’t see much different with Hillary, in fact we have already seen that the same cast of unsavory characters we were introduced to during the Clinton presidency made a return appearance for this run.

      I understand what you are saying, and this is why I choose to support Edwards.

      That no longer being a factor, the choice between Obama and Hillary is clear cut.

      Obama’s relationship with Rezko, the truth, not what you might think you know, should be enough to tell anyone he is corrupt, in a manner Clinton can’t approach. The two candidates are not equal, no matter how much you forget, or equivocate, we simply don’t know enough about Obama, and the stench seems to bring with it new information every day.

      ANYONE with connections to Middle Eastern money men, corrupt middle eastern money men, should be investigated thoroughly, there seems to be this massive denial, oh, it’ can’t be that bad, no American would be involved that closely with terrorism, they just wouldn’t.

      I feel that way about Marc Grossman, he was number three at the State Department, and he’s on tape warning Turks away from Brewster Jennings. What the hell is a guy like this doing in State? It must be wrong, our government would never let something like this happen. But it does, and in this same way, Obama may be corrupt, connected to a man with ties to terrorism, ie Auchi, at the very least Rezko.

      What, and who, did Rezko’s business deals involve?

      Do we really want a President with connections to man like Rezko?

      But no one wants to acknowledge the HORROR of that thought.

      Terrorism murdered over 4,000 Americans on Sept 11, why aren’t we investigating Sybil Edmonds information, or the information presented by the London papers?

      Are we too busy, or it’s just too unpleasant?

      • S. Markom

        Terrorism murdered over 4,000 Americans on Sept 11

        I agree. More specifically bin Laden and Al Qaeda killed those people.

        People make decisions and they must be held accountable for those decisions as far as I am concerned. There is no good reason why bin Laden was even alive when Clinton left office. To be commander-in-chief you must have good judgement and courage. That is a major reason why I will end up sitting this one out and I believe there will be many Democrats who will not be able to vote for either Hillary or Obama.

        • simon

          I agree. More specifically bin Laden and Al Qaeda killed those people


          But the more we look at that, the more we see men LIKE Auchi involved with both a group like Al Qaeda, and politicians like Obama.


          Why are American politicians dealing with these middle men?

  • CK

    The thing that bothers me about Hillary is this.
    She voted for the Iraq AUMF.
    6 years later she votes for the Iran AUMF.
    In between, did she not realize she and all the rest of her constituents had been conned?
    Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice — won’t be fooled again as someone once said.
    So even if I believe her reasoning for her Iraq vote, given all that has come out in the interim, why does she do it all over again on Iran?
    Why does she still appear to trust Bush?
    Why does her husband make that idiot offer that he and Bush the Older would work together in a Hillary administration to set the world aright only to find Bush the Older saying nuh uh the next day?
    Bill and Bush the older were the chosen two after the boxing day tsunami. The american face to the tsunami victims and the american face to americans pleading with us to contribute to assist Indonesia.
    Where was Bill after Katrina? Where was Bush the older?
    My suspicion is that on the issue of war with the moslem religion, war against the nations that sit on top of the oil, there is not any substantive difference between Hillary, Bush and McCain. Other than maybe finding some way to put Wes Clark in charge of Iraq instead of the current group of perfumed princes.

    • Delia

      Yeah, this bothers me, too. It makes me afraid that most of the current criticism of GWB is not that he was wrong to invade Iraq in the first place, but simply that he screwed up all the plans from the get-go. There’s a big difference. The second alternative implies that once we put the real grown-ups back in charge — the Clintons, the sensible Bushes, McClain — everything will be fine and dandy, when in fact this is a dangerous and bankrupt foreign policy in the first place and it just took putting the Presidency in the hands of a couple of sociopaths to force the policy to its logical and ghastly conclusions.

      I don’t know that Obama will be any different. He might be fractionally better. Frankly, I think that Kucinich and Paul were the only candidates who were willing to be honest about foreign policy, probably because they knew they were marginal. The one thing that give me hope about the perceptiveness of the American populace is that Paul was able to raise a lot of money for his campaign. His message connected somewhere.

  • I suppose I’m a regular here. I visit just about every day, even if I don’t comment. Yes, I’m a little bored with all the pro-Clinton and anti-Obama articles here, but so what? There are other blogs to read.

    I appreciate that you allow opposing viewpoints – I’ve availed myself of that opportunity a few times. That people can discuss or argue about things here is wonderful. Clearly, that’s not true everywhere. It’s not always an easy thing to do.

    So, keep up the good work.

  • oldtree

    Just so you know, I am not made up on either. What I don’t understand is some of what we know about voting. We must guess a lot about his position, agreed. But no one can express an opinion in today’s pre election nightmare without having 50 million bucks spent to crush them from the GOP?
    I am ready for either to prevail. My candidate isn’t in the race, I have to settle for someone.
    One of the overriding things is he voted against the war before that was popular. It was correct at the time. He doesn’t applaud the acts of Bush in his congressional dog and pony show.
    I guess that some of us lack further tolerance with the decorum that seems to be the driving reason for the congressional standstill that ignores the laws broken and is concerned only with a campaign primary season and how that can distract from the criminal investigations being sidelined and derailed. I want facts as much as any one. And those facts are going to be the subject of the biggest and fastest swift boat we have ever seen. I agree, Clinton knows how to fight back. It is unknown if Obama does. He has never been attacked.

    there is no option. the opposition has just endorsed all that Bush has promoted. that is what needs to be defeated. the endless war.

    • shirin

      he voted against the war before that was popular.

      No, Oldtree, he did not. He could not have because he was not in the Senate at the time of the Authorization bill. Since he has been in the Senate, he has not voted against a single funding bill. His voting record on Iraq is just like Hillary’s except that he did not vote on the first one that authorized the invasion.

      • Banquo’s Ghost

        This is absolutely correct.

        When I think of voting for Obama, I see myself as voting for the only figure remaining whom I could vote for and maintain at best a minimal amount of integrity.

        Through all the protests and activist “stuff”, long before the invasion of Iraq, I held on to one clear understanding: the knowledge that the war *was* going to happen, no matter what any of us wanted, and it was going to happen because of the corruption and lunacy of our government officials.

        Well before the invasion, I was promising myself that I would never, ever support anyone who had a hand in starting that damn war, ever in my life. It was a ballot-box capitol sentence. Anyone who had a hand in starting the war … that’s it.

        I have a long memory, much longer than just a few years. And I keep my promises. While there are many reasons I deplore the Clintons’ candidacy, its the simple fact of the matter that I could never vote for her because of her AUMF vote. There can be no accountability in America without voters holding the politicians accountable at the ballot box. And so be it – I almost don’t have any representation at all in this race at this point – but I’ll be able to vote and minimally maintain my integrity with Obama, though I think he is probably no saint at all.

        • chris

          your words so closely reflect my sentiments until the last few weeks. And what has changed is that I am convinced Obama is blowing smoke about what he will or will not do.

          You said, you would never support a candidate who had a hand in starting that damn war. May I point out that Obama didn’t even blink when suggesting he’d launch missle strikes into Pakistan. If you do not think this will not start a war, then …I’ll not second guess you ..I’m sure you know what that would do.

          In fact, what those comments already did was provoke Musharaf, the pathetic pile of shit for a man, to start blasting Obama as naive and careless. He’s right, even though he’s a thug.

          I really get what you are saying about never vote for….but my only other option would be, don’t vote. I won’t vote for a dream candidate, but a real candidate. I don’t have my preferred either, so I have to vote for a realistic candidate.

          This ain’t fun.

          • Banquo’s Ghost

            Fair enough. We disagree on the need to vote. For me, there will be no better future possible until voters hold these politicians accountable. So I keep my promise, first and foremost.

            Pakistan etc.: Yes, Obama definitely doesn’t support a foreign policy picture there I like. Ditto with the Clintons. Ditto with Bush. My conclusion is that there is no hope for any head of state to improve the foreign policy in Pakistan any time soon.

            “This ain’t fun”: I wouldn’t want you to believe that I see this election as anything other than a testimony to the failure of the American political system to respond to its own discrediting by Bush and numerous real disasters in the world it has created. If I vote, it’s not out of inspiration.

            • simon

              For me, there will be no better future possible until voters hold these politicians accountable.

              Yet you give Obama a pass on Rezko, despite the filth, just look at Rezko’s true dealings in IL politics.

              It’s either cognitive dissonance, or you’re disingenuous.

              So, you lack a certain credibility, to me.

              • Banquo’s Ghost

                I think I consider the Iraq war to be of greater importance. It is a “priorities” thing. I hope you can understand. I personally can’t compare Rezko to the Iraq war. You are free to do so if that fits your moral universe.

          • shirin

            Don’t forget Obama’s bellicosity toward Iran (which is more than matched by Hillary).

            • Banquo’s Ghost

              Clearly bellicose, and clearly more than matched by ol’ nuke’ em’ Hillary.

        • shirin

          It’s not clear to me how you can maintain integrity by voting for Obama given that once he was in the Senate he has done nothing but support the continuance of the occupation, which rather calls the sincerity of his initial opposition into question. Didn’t he, like Hillary, even support The Surge™?

          And what’s up with his plan to increase the military by 100,000? What is he going to need all those additional troops for if he really plans to withdraw from Iraq and refrain from further military aggression?

          • Banquo’s Ghost

            He didn’t start the war. I don’t think he is great.

            Hillary, on the other hand, never met a war she didn’t like.

      • Sometime-CIA-Defender

        Interesting how that’s become the conventional wisdom, though isn’t it? The way he’s worded various sound bite comments has made it SEEM like he voted against the war. Sleazy, but a smart thing to do.

        He did, however, sponsor (or similar act) a state resolution in Illinois against the invasion. However, I don’t happen to know the timing of that. (As has been stated on this blog many times, Clinton gave Bush the benefit of the doubt, that he was going to use it as Bill had, to force S.H. to comply with weapons inspections). Could have been later, when it was obvious Shrub meant to actually invade.

        • Banquo’s Ghost

          I personally believe her giving Bush the AUMF was all about setting up her presidential run. Random assholes in street protests who read the Guardian UK online could recite chapter and verse on how the “bulletproof intelligence” was bullshit, the issues with Feith and the Office of Special Plans, the PNAC, etc.

          The Nation magazine, an underfunded lefty journalist outfit, ran a multi-page investigative piece called “The Men from JINSA and CSP”. This piece covered 30 years of history of the key “neoconservatives” (Kristol, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Wurmser, etc.) and anyone who read that had a huge perspective on the “threat” to the US being fabricated.

          Hillary Rodham Clinton was a sitting US Senator from New York at that point, and the wife of the previous President.

          She voted for the AUMF because Bill’s campaign advisors were setting her up to run and told her to look “tough”. She had no shortage of information on the Big Lies being sold to the broad public. Neither did John Kerry, for that matter, who was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and certainly had access to better information than the Guardian UK, which is all that was necessary to have counter-arguments available against what Bush, Powell, Rice, and Rumsfeld were telling the public.

          • Glimmer

            This post (indeed, this thread) made me think. I enjoyed the exercise.

            I began wondering about a fine line between acting on the facts given you about a situation, such as AUMF, and the equally valid problem that “perception is reality.” Smart, savvy people in representative positions have to appreciate the gap between what they know and what the public knows–and what the public believes. A leader who gets too far out in front–based on private facts–may find himself, or herself, abandoned by an angry public that is convinced it has been betrayed.

            A leader who can’t take a stand based on the earned trust of that same public has abdicated leadership responsibility.

            I don’t remember who said or wrote this, but it seems to apply: “When two people meet, there are six people present. Each person as he sees himself, each person as he sees the other, and each person as he really is.”

            I’m finding that as I grapple with the problem of who I’ll back, I’m less and less troubled by inconsistencies or changes in this or that position, and slowly paying more and more attention to which principles I will not abandon. It’s slow work. So far, all I can say is, the Republican position is “whatever gets ‘us’ the White House” (my interpretation of the Romney and Giuliani decisions) doesn’t work for me. “Winning at any price” sounds too much like BushCo.

            So I find my attention swinging more closely to the so-called “long Clinton memory” as a worry. I’m troubled by the ease with which a handsome young man without enough of a history to attack can seem invincible.

            I can’t know who they really are. I can’t know how they see themselves. I can know how I see them, but I find that how I see them is really a reflection on how I see myself.

            Hillary cannot help but be about change, because she’s not who she was before Bill’s presidency. Barak cannot help but be about part of the establishment, which will change him before he can revolutionize it. Organizations are heavy things, not easily “changed.”

            So the promise of this election, as I see it, is the opportunity to examine myself. It’s the only lens I have through which to look through the endless pile of valid observations about any of the candidates.

            I’ve really loved reading this blog, because unlike 2000-2001, the liberal blogs (one of which I served as an advisor and moderator, briefly) have become echo chambers. I remember when Freeping was a right-wing behavior.

            Be careful out there! And thanks. I’m so sorry you were badly treated by Kos.

            • Sometime-CIA-Defender

              Wow. Good posts you guys.

              Yes, I thought, “This is bullshit!”, even before Wilson’s OpEd. Didn’t even need the Guardian. One example, Scott Ritter on CNN explaining in full detail why and how the centrifuges and other materials S.H. bought COULD NOT be used the way that the WH said they might. I’ll be damned if CNN didn’t cut him off mid-sentence in order to go to the WH and show Rice saying the exact bullshit that Ritter was debunking. (Which is by the way the reason I think Anderson Cooper is full of shit also… on Maher’s show he said, “Well when everyong in the world thought he had WMDs…” Fucking hacks!).

              But the fact that it would have been POLITICAL SUICIDE for Hillary to vote against it in 2002 is clear to see. Backed into a corner by weasels and MSM assholes who helped them in the hopes of getting a pulitzer or other recognition (like Bernie “I think I crapped my pants in a Bagdad Hotel” Shaw).

              Well, more cursing than I usually do. But I do like to dredge up the stuff we should be angry about and point in the direction it should be aimed now and again.

              • Banquo’s Ghost

                We live in a country steeped in Christian mythology and, as we can see in the case of Al Gore, suffering political destruction while maintaining or even restoring one’s own integrity and vision, can be a very powerful thing and lead to an even bigger future for a politician. Hillary Clinton should not have done wrong. Political suicide, as you describe it, would have made her an absolutely unstoppable primary and general season candidate this year.

                Instead, she approaches the public from the standpoint of being someone who failed.

              • shirin

                Sounds like a lot of excuse-making to me.

                Also sounds like a real lack of integrity on the part of Hillary.

                Of course, expecting integrity in a politician is foolhardy to put it mildly.

              • TeakWoodKite

                Like everyone else that night, I’m sure he was not alone.
                like Bernie “I think I crapped my pants in a Bagdad Hotel” Shaw

                I remember him calling in CNN on live TV calling in hits and misses.

                In memory of:

        • shirin

          As has been stated on this blog many times, Clinton gave Bush the benefit of the doubt, that he was going to use it as Bill had, to force S.H. to comply with weapons inspections

          That’s what she CLAIMS. However, there are a few things that call that claim into question:

          1. It was BUSH, not Saddam who was refusing to have inspectors in Iraq. At the time of that vote Saddam had been virtually begging for weeks to have inspectors come into Iraq. They could send just about anyone they wanted, he said, and they would get full cooperation. It was Bush who was saying “no way”. Therefore, there was no need to give Bush approval to attack Iraq in order to “force” Saddam to do anything. If anything, it was BUSH who needed to be forced. Does anyone think Hillary was unaware of that dynamic?

          2. The real story of Bill Clinton’s use of military violence “to force Saddam to compy with weapons inspectors” is a tad different than what has been presented to the public. In brief, by 1998 the U.N. inspections were rapidly becoming the “property” of the U.S. administration, which violated the terms of the inspections to their own interests and to serve their own policies, which included regime change. The U.S. administration planted spies in the inspection teams, whose job it was to locate targets the U.S. could use to attack the regime. They also provoked Saddam into ceasing his cooperation by violating the terms and limitations of the inspection agreement. It appears that the provocations were intended to result in an excuse to bomb. Therefore, the use of military violence by the Clinton administration was not intended to force compliance, but rather just the opposite. The cessation of compliance was provoked in order to provide a pretext for the bombing.

          And do you believe Hillary was not aware of this? I don’t.

          3. Hillary voted against an amendment that would have explicitly included a requirement for Saddam’s compliance in the bill. If forcing compliance was her main reason for voting for the bill, why would she not want this amendment included?

          4. Hillary has a history of supporting military violence as a legitimate tool of U.S. foreign policy, and has given every indication that this is not about to change. The fact that she intends to enlarge the size and budget of the military is a good indication that she is likely to make considerable use of military violence as a way to force the U.S. will on other countries. That is one of the major reasons I cannot support her (it is also one of the major reasons I cannot support Obama).

          • Delia

            The sad fact is, neither one of these candidates is even willing to acknowledge the threat the American Imperium poses to the world and to the American polity. (read Chalmers Johnson.) Although, in their defense, any president, however well-meaning in this regard, would face enormous bureaucratic and political resistance to any significant change in direction. But any attempts to revive the health of American domestic life while the military continues to suck up such a large percentage of the national budget is like applying a band-aid to a gaping wound.

            • shirin

              Oh, Delia, I don’t think any of the candidates is sufficiently enlightened to believe the American imperial project should end. I think they all support it and have every intention of continuing it. They see it, no doubt, as America’s destiny.

              • TeakWoodKite

                by 1998 the U.N. inspections were rapidly becoming the “property” of the U.S. administration

                Scott Ritter and the Aussie gentelman (drawing a blank) were expressing this opinion prior to the invasion.

                • shirin

                  The information about the way the Clinton administration abused the inspections regime has been available for close to a decade. Scott Ritter resigned over it.

          • Mike Howell

            shirin –

            What rock were you under when the Clintons exercised admirable restraint after the World Trade Towers were attacked the first time?

            • TeakWoodKite

              An interesting point in that Bill Clinton was aware that there was a law enforcement component to the threat and certian responses should meet certain thresholds.
              Bush on the hand, had a “different idea”. Dictatorship.
              History will bring a focus, while the public memory fades, America won’t wish to look at but will foolish not to learn from it…if we survive it.

            • shirin

              Nice non sequitur, Mike Howell.

          • Sometime-CIA-Defender

            #1) Many pols said so at the time, including Edwards. Obama’s POV is kind of irrelevant since he wasn’t in the US Senate at the time. That he voted the way his own constituency would is a good sign.

            #2) Sounds smart to me, especially since the UN resolutions included provisions for bombing. A shame we hit a Chinese embassy by mistake. Perhaps we should have sent in more spies.

            I am a little bit on the fence in terms of the Imperialism question, frankly. Every country (at least the semi-stable ones) looks out for their own interests. I certainly see Baer’s point about how we used and abused arabs when it came to oil production. Christ, it appears as though a ridiculously small amount of money (we’re talking less than a million per year!) would have rendered al Queda and their schools impotent. If we took a “leave it better than I found it” approach, we’d have a lot more good will coming our way and probably better business opportunities. But I’m about to get on my soapbox about radical libertarianism again and how it works against its own self-interests…

            On the other hand, I think we’d have alternative fuels right now if we really wanted them and wouldn’t be needing to continue the foolish fights in the desert. Somehow, I think it’s as much to do with seeing our opponents lose (China, Russia, India, perhaps France and/or the EU) than it is about us ‘winning.’

            #3) We all know how ridiculous the horse-trading is when it comes to bills. “How could you vote against a law called the Patriot Act? What are you, un-Mer’can? Comminist?”

            #4) I think any rational person knows that as a woman, unfortunate as this is, she’d be chucked into the pile of Dukakis, Carter and Mondale, ie, weak, if she didn’t constantly remind everyone that she is willing to use force. For God’s sake, Kerry tried hunting to try to prove he was tough, and he was Nam vet. Didn’t work. Dems have to live down the “weak” Carter administration to this day (just ask my dad… that’s why he continually votes GOP…).

            I agree, she is a consummate politician. But so is Obama, his claims to the contrary.

            • simon

              I agree, she is a consummate politician. But so is Obama, his claims to the contrary

              It is my belief, though, she is proving right now she can play with the big boys, they’ll give her grief, but at least they’ll see her as a player.

              Obama, on the other hand, is a shill. Just watching his face every time he finishes with another faux Bush type propaganda orchestrated oratory technique tells me everything I need to know about his shrill, contemptful, specious, lightweight intellect, a fish who can’t make it in the political swim of the toxic tank, but yet thinks he’s Jesus, too stupid to GET it, because he really thinks he’s better than the rest.

              Who thinks Obama is tough, he’s nothing but a prissy little mouse, the cats are simply batting him around.

              • simon

                As an aside, people really fail to realize the viciousness, the vituperative attacks on both Bill, and Chelsea, Hillary had to witness, and endure, her family. Life is tough, I’m not making excuses for her.

                Her family was excoriated in ways we can only imagine, and it would be my guess she FELT it, and coped, very well, just like her daughter, GREW from the experience, as opposed to becoming embittered, and that should tell us all a lot.

                I simply don’t see this in the simpering, whiny, racist, sexist shell, Obama.

    • ybnormal

      Prognosis: the floggings will continue until world moral improves. Might as well see it coming.

      1. prevent what you can
      2. fix what you can, that you couldn’t prevent
      3. for whatever 1&2 don’t resolve, have a backup contingency plan

  • Sometime-CIA-Defender

    Well-written, Lar. I have to agree on the Bush-like qualities, though I think he’s a lot more competent, and it would be difficult to be as crooked. Lack of experience IS a genuine concern, and seeing people who (after the last eight years) think it’s no big deal is worrisome.

    For those who don’t see the similarities to Bush, I would then suggest you at least look at the similarities to the Clinton-42 campaigns. It wasn’t that Bill was a bad president, it was that he underestimated his enemies ire and the lows that they would stoop to. Obama appears (and maybe he’s just playing them) to be making the same damn mistake.

  • GR3

    I try to stay well informed. Don’t have cable or high speed internet, so I prefer the text based websites. (For Keith Olberman’s Special Comments, I will download for hours; Thursday the 14th was special indeed!)
    The articles that made me realize I might be able to vote for Clinton were at No Quarter. Larry thinks highly of Hillary Cinton because of personal experience and personal experience with a candidate counts for a lot. (This is also why Iowa and New Hampshire are important first caucus/primary states.)
    As with other comments here, neither Obama nor Clinton was my first or second choices. I’m still not compelled to change my voter registration to support either in the May 20th primary.
    But one thing is for sure. I will NEVER vote for another Repug. Their actions in the last ten years border on treason. Emptying the US Treasury, allowing corporations to write legislation, not investigating the military anthrax attack on Senators Leahy and Daschle, lying about WMD and just about everything else… Need I mention revealing Val Plame’s identity for political gain?
    So I do not fear that Obama or Cinton will not be up to the task if elected. I fear instead that there will be a continuation of an imperial presidency with no investigation of past crimes. Regardless of who is elected.

    • TeakWoodKite

      Repugs…actions in the last ten years border on are treason.

  • Retired

    I’m kinda worried about you, my friend. It’s obvious that you haven’t accepted the Lord Barry Obama as your political Lord and Savior, and, worse, that you are succumbing to the sinful temptations of Lucillary.
    Next time you are in town, let me take you to the local Branch Barakian office. We’ll sing a few inspiring hymns of change, and you’ll hear my brothers and sisters testify as to how they came to see his low power, ecologically sound, sustainable light. If we sit close enough to the aisle, perhaps you can even touch his $3K suit as he passes by, while Sister Michelle is stuffing the offering from the Altar of Hope into the Night Depository bag.
    Please come with me to the Church of Faith-based Change.
    Or, if it’s more your style, we can go next door to the local pub, have a few drams of whiskey, light up a couple of contraband Cubans in the cigar patio and shoot some darts at the twerp’s photo. You choose.

    • chris

      halleluya, I choose Change. Yes, We Can!

    • Mike Howell

      Retired –

      I was thinking how funny your post was until I realized it was like the Madonna Concert Tour video vs. the mockumentary Madonna Concert Tour video.

      It was too difficult to distinguish between the two, which simply lingers as sad.

    • ybnormal

      Retired – write more!
      Funny sarcasm minus the anger is good to wake up to on Saturday morning.

  • Paine from the Left

    John Edwards was my first choice. I moved on to Hillary Clinton with the strong reservation of continuing the Bush Clinton dynasty. I was willing to overlook that fact and welcomed Hillary’s in-depth explanations and serious policy statements. Yesterday, however, I moved to Obama. Senator’s Clinton decision not to cast a vote against telecom immunity was something I could not overlook.
    Concerning your point equating Bush to Obama in their smooth demeanor masking disastrous decision making doesn’t wash. In my opinion Bush is not very bright, contrary to those who try to burnish his intellect. More than that he is intellectually lazy!
    Obama is demonstrably bright. I may not get all the policies I want from Obama but at least as president, for the first time in eight years, someone with brains and intellectual drive will inhabit the oval office.

  • larry i appreciate your article even if i dont feel you have a damn thing to explain to anyone. if anything, i think sometimes you are too tolerant with some posters … especially when it comes to personal attacks. i have been part of this blog, in my very small way, for about six months now … i want to thank you, susan, and the other participants for allowing me to be involved … i am most grateful that this blog is what it is … everyday, even if i dont agree with a particluar article it gives me something to ponder. what more could i want?

  • TeakWoodKite

    Larry I want to express my sincere appreciation for you and your crew. At some point if you can, It would be instuctive in understanding what your mind set was in 2000, that would have a pro with your experience and insights voting for Bush. Although I did not vote for Bush, I found comfort in the appointments Bush made. They were individuals with a lot of experience and would be able counterbalance the lack of experience I saw in GW. Boy was I ever so WRONG. Strong leadership AND experience are required. Thanks for the breeze.

    Never Again

    He’s drunk again, it’s time to fight
    Same old shit, just on a different night
    She grabs the gun, she’s had enough
    Tonight she’ll find out how fucking
    Tough is this man
    Pulls the trigger as fast as she can
    Never Again

    Seen it before, but not like this
    Been there before, but not like this
    Never before have I ever
    Seen it this bad
    She’s just a woman
    Never Again


  • mimi

    Count me in the ‘never again’ column. I did voice a concern earlier, but I’m glad you wrote this piece. I guess you have to do what you have to do.

    I came here for the first time 2 days ago because I’m on a self-imposed media blackout. I WILL NOT WATCH THE NEWS until they get off this ‘golden pass’ they’ve given Obama. And that means no HuffPo either. I will not give Arianna’s rag one ‘click’ on my computer to help her advertising revenue. I hope other Clinton supporters do the same. This is still February Sweeps on tv.

    After 8 years of Bush, I’m tired of ‘stumble bum’ politics. Look, I’m an AA and even I’m concerned about this guy’s experience. I read on another blog that the other day Obama’s telepromter didn’t work and he had to use index cards or some such and their was a big difference with all that glorious oratory. Hillary is a good extemporaneous speaker and her comments are fluid. She always demonstrates a solid command of her facts and knowledge. Obama hesitates, is tentative, says ‘uh’ a lot. He doesn’t dazzle beyond those empty speeches that say absolutely nothing.

    Yes, maybe it was a little over the top around here, but to me the left wingers are acting like raving lunatics over Obama because of their Hillary hatred. I give you respect because at least you are not closing down any discussion. And that’s the way it should be in Democracy!!!!

  • Xeno

    Thank you for the work you’re doing here, Larry. As others have said, it’s your blog and you don’t need anyone’s permission or agreement to write whatever you want. When I see posts from people who demand that you stop writing about their precious, I wonder what the hell they’re thinking. If they don’t like it, no one is forcing them to read it. Attempting to squelch dissent — on a site owned by someone else, no less — is utterly ridiculous.

    From my point of view, it’s imperative to find out all that we can about the cipher named Barack Obama. We can rest assured that the republicans are doing detailed oppo research on him. In fact, they undoubtedly have everything you’ve written about here and a hell of a lot more. And we can be equally certain that they won’t hesitate to use it if the need arises, nor will they be warned off by protestations of unfairness or accusations of racism. Actually, pulling those old chestnuts out will only spur them on. If Obama’s supporters think their guy can’t withstand this level of scrutiny, how will he be able o deal with the gop slime machine when it really goes into overdrive?

    I hope no one in the Obama camp is naive enough to think he’ll continue to get a free ride right up to the general election. The press ain’t in love with the guy, no matter how many thrills Tweety gets watching him. (Does anyone else think they ought to rename that show Hard-On for the many man-crushes of Chris Matthews?) After their one true love McCain gets everything in train, they’ll turn their fire on the Democratic nominee, whoever that happens to be. If it’s Obama, Rezko, Kenya, Auchi, the Weather Underground, etc., will be used to bludgeon him in the weeks leading up to the election. Bear in mind that there are a scant two months between the party conventions and Election Day. Our worst nightmare should be the republicans springing all of this (or worse) just after the convention, with no time to effectively counteract it. In light of that possibility it’s best to thresh it all out now, before we’re locked into a death-spiral with a potentially mucked-up neophyte.

  • Delia


    I was an Edwards supporter. After he withdrew, I really hesitated between the remaining two. I’m way too old and suspicious to get swept up into any sort of general enthusiasm for any candidate, but frankly I think it’s kind of nice that the wall of apathy that surrounds so many of the young has finally been breached. They’ll learn soon enough that it’s a lot harder to bring about actual change than it looks from the beginning end of the process.

    I can appreciate your suspicions after being burned by Bush, but, to be honest, the red flags that indicated that he was callow and feckless and a mere creation of the press and the repub establishment were hiding in plain sight from the beginning. Obama is nothing like Bush. He has genuine intellectual achievements. His record in the Senate isn’t long, but neither was John Kennedy’s. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter (who I rate a lot higher than a lot of folks) also came to the White House without a lot of Washington experience. Part of the issue is his learning curve. In the last debate in which Edwards took part what impressed me was the general high caliber and intellectual ability of all three candidates.

    I think both Obama and Clinton are able and intelligent. Certainly she’s more experienced, but I think his learning curve is very steep. I’ve been very unhappy with Clinton’s expressed views on the war, not just in the past, but her recent rationalizations for it, as well as for such things as support for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment on Iran. While I know that either one of them will run up against the bureaucratic and political realities of our existing military-imperial entanglements, my impression is that Clinton does not see them as problematic, and that Obama, perhaps, has a greater awareness that they are. I’m also unhappy with a number of aspects of the way the Clintons have been conducting the campaign against Obama. Such tactics are best left for the race against the repubs, where they will need them. They don’t need to destroy each other now.

    I have no illusions of political transcendence or magical unity ponies. I know how quickly such things wear off. But I think Obama is actually pretty tough. I’m going to support him in my state’s primary, which is one of the last ones. If he loses, I’ll support Clinton. My big fear is that the contest is turning so angry for both sides that they won’t be able to reconcile for the fight against McCain.

    And thanks for inviting these comments.

    • Sometime-CIA-Defender

      but frankly I think it’s kind of nice that the wall of apathy that surrounds so many of the young has finally been breached. They’ll learn soon enough that it’s a lot harder to bring about actual change than it looks from the beginning end of the process.

      Yeah, that’s the plus-side to the mania. Though if he dashes their hopes, he’ll have created another generation of apathetic voters. I’m thinking that’s an unforgivable sin.

      • Delia

        Well, nothing ever works out as we hope. There are no shining knights. That’s the lesson of life. The activists of the 60s and early 70s learned it. But there have been very few people under the age of fifty who have been involved in progressive causes in the old sense. If they can get involved and stay involved once the first fine careless rapture wears off, I guess that’s the critical point. Some will and some won’t.

  • Hope

    I find nothing to fault you for Larry. I’d much rather read someone who is honestly passionate about their politics and expresses it in such a way that I don’t feel patronized.

    My lack of support for Obama just simply stems from a gut feeling that he is weak, vulnerable and generally silly. I don’t find him brilliant as some Harvard scholar has written and I don’t find him inspiring. I’m far too old to buy into this idealistic fervor that seems to have a choke hold over so many people. It can only come to naught in this dangerous time in which we find ourselves currently living.

    People want so badly to relieve themselves of all the horrible crimes Bush has and continues to commit against the American People and the Constitution. And that is as right a thing as it should be. But why, once again, throw ourselves into the arms of disengenous politicians who sharpen their teeth at the thought of devouring us, as their unwitting victims?

    America needs balance. We are swinging like a mad pendulum from right to left ad infinitum. Moderation, moderation, moderation! When are we going to get it right?

  • Montag

    Yeah, but the trouble is that Hillary may end up as another JOHN KERRY! I found an old column by Cragg Hines:

    “…Republicans have learned to construct a strong narrative, good stories, which is ‘a structure our brains naturally crave’ if only because that’s how culture was transmitted for millennia.
    Democrats, searching for elusive agreement or even unanimity, shy away from emotionally compelling language or images, Weston said, substituting ‘laundry lists’ for a coherent narrative.”

    So basically Obama is running like a Republican and Hillary is running like a Democrat. So if Obama beats Hillary for the nomination then that means that Obama is running a winning campaign, whereas Hillary is running a losing campaign, even among Democrats! So if Hillary is running a losing campaign even among Democrats, how is she supposed to get elected, even if she wins the nomination somehow?

    I heard a good one from Laura Ingraham. While McCain was still Pure Evil from her perspective she told her listeners to forget McCain’s stance on the war, it was everything else that he was wrong on that they should remember. Then McCain gets a lock on the nomination and she says they have to support McCain. Why? Because he’s good on the war!

  • ces

    no quarter.
    no complaints.

  • Mike Howell

    Larry Johnson is a courageous leader and patriot and has been for years. Susan must be the toughest woman alive. I have no idea how she is coping, much less posting.

    They really are good shepherds. There are always a bunch of sheep wanting to herd you off a cliff.

    I’m glad they aren’t just following the herd.

    If people don’t find anything they like here they can watch MSNBC or go to Kos.

    • Hope

      Yeah go sit in the old oak tree with Big Foot and that old Owl Olbermann!


  • Patrick Henry

    Thanks Larry..

    as you know..I have not attacked Obama in any mean spirited way..But I have agreed with may of your Posts going back to your concerns about the bush administration just after 9/11 and when you first started this block…I know that when it comes to larry johnson..what you see is what you get…and you have never changed your style..You are a two fisted puncher and most of the time I agree with you..or understand where you are coming from and why..

    This is YOUR Blog..You can run it any way you want..or call it like you see it..I understand why you are often angry ..about the Issues..and about the bureauracy and Political Abuses..You understnd events better than most ofg your Critics ever will..
    and there is always some truth in what you say..and you have been Fair and Tolerant with the rest of us who post here..

    As Far as Mr.Obasma is Concerned..he is Running for PRESIDENT of the United States…Wiould be the CIC..the Decider…and could potentially run the Government the way HE wants to and make expenditures and Appointments in the Same Manner George W. Bush has..

    George W. Bush and most of the members of his administration were pretty well known and Vetted by the time they got into office..Thwere were those who understood the Agenda of the Neo Cons..and expressed thier concerns..they were ignored..and look what happened with the Bush adminstration..and possibly will again with aMcCain Administration..

    I am with you Larry…NEVER AGAIN…

    I am a lifelong Democrat..and deeply want the democrats to win the coming elections..I would like to think Mr. Obama is the real Deal..but He MUST Be Vetted..and the Tree needs to be shaken..We need to Examine the Bath Water..NOW..

    we know what we are getting with Hllary after the Republicans did thier 85 million dollars Investigations..She is a great Lady..a great Public Servant..We have seen the XRAYS..

    I don’t know much abour Mr.Obama..but if he is going to be given a Palm branch escourt to the White House..

    I want to know what horse he is riding to get there..

  • ebonyscrews

    Larry: I happen to think you rock for what you’re doing–and believe me so do plenty of others. (come on guys–a little love for Larry 🙂 Do you know why? Because it’s long fucking overdue. Someone needs to air this shit out and it may as well be you. I’ve noticed the past few days, however, that articles like yours with a serious vetting tone against Obama have been surfacing, and becoming more mainstream–like it’s finally breaking through the blogs and into the MSM that Obama just may not be ready for primetime or needs to be looked at more closely.

    Or maybe they just realized how fucking ridiculous they’re looking (ie Tweety and the chill he gets up his leg for Obama) fawning for this Junior senator with dubious political Chicago ties.

    Whatever the case may be, consider yourself part of a vanguard community that’s taking it upon itself to enforce this rule of running for high office: You must be and you will be completely vetted and put through the grinder. Fuck this goo goo gaga love affair already–we have an important election going on. They don’t call it the “Crown of Thorns” for nothing.

    • Right on. Enough with the goo goo gaga. Btw, it is STRESSFUL to write this stuff. First, what we find out is disillusioning as hell — and it’s no fun to go after someone. I don’t get a minute’s pleasure out of it. Then there’s feeling like I’m swimming upriver in a stream full of mud and rocks because of the media bias towards Obama, which makes it very difficult to get the word out. All we can do is hope that people read the blogs that are speaking out, and spread the word themselves.

  • dcgaffer

    Larry, just posted on the GBCW thread but it would have been more appropriate here. Again, thank you for your public and courageous support of Mrs. Wilson.

  • Jesus Reyes

    It’s more than just a little weird. Obama was elected to his first national office four (sic) years ago, and has done little else that run for president since. No one knows what his positions are. He has come from nowhere to the top. His drawing unprecedented crowds, 20,000 at a pop. Things like this do not “just happen”, they are highly engineered.

    Becoming aware of the crowds just today my initial reaction was that we are being “colored (flower)-revolutioned”. Large crowds of young people are the hallmark of the various “Soros revolutions”, orange-Ukraine, rose-Georgia, tulip-Kyrgystan. There is a methodology to getting out the crowds. When you factor in that Soros is one of the principal sponsors behind, then something that is already very strange starts to get even more stranger

    • chris

      Where is the evidence that George Soros is a “sponsor” of I’ve only heard that on FoxNews, and its been denied several times. Just curious for the cited material to back it up.

      Other than that, yes, Obama’s overall campaign does not ring my bell. And all the huffing and puffing of the rabid ones cannot change that. What has happened as a result….

      Hillary Clinton was absolutely my NotMyCandidate nonOption. You have no idea how much I was not going to vote for a Democrat if it was going to be Hillary Clinton. I wanted something very different and he is too short for many to see. He’s funny looking and sounds a bit squeeky when he talks apparently. But Dennis Kucinich earned my vote in 2004, and this year he’s been even more lampooned. Is he a perfect candidate?
      Yes, in my opinion. Shaft it if you can’t deal with it.
      He calls for a Department of Peace. Why not!
      Great idea! Ghandi’s legacy lives in ashrams in his name, organizations in his name. Dr. King has a legacy here including a federal holiday. But no Department focused on Peace. Some might argue the State Department is that branch because thats where our ambassadors operate.

      He was willing to step up and seek impeachment of the Vice President and to challenge him directly about attacking Iran. I didn’t see either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama call for impeachment, step to his side at all. I’m disappointed in any politician who cannot call for impeaching Cheney.

      I couldn’t ever hear his positions in debates because he wasn’t going to have cameras or mics on him. The front runners were already designated by Matthews, FoxNews, CNN, and many of the print writers. It got more and more narrow as they fed from the beast.

      Now, I know there are areas I disagreed with Dennis, but in the times I met him in 2004 he was open to my responses and opened up. This won me over as a friend to him from then on.

      But, now I’m left with Obama and Clinton.
      Clinton, I know…well enough that is. There are areas I cannot know her unless she becomes President, just like some didn’t know Bush until he became President, or even worse…That dickweed Dick “Should be tried as a traitor” Cheney…did anyone really know he would be nearly as bad as he actually was?

      I knew Bush was a lameass because i live here in Texas. I wish I knew you back then to tell ya he’s a chump. I tried to tell that to all the Gore supporters who were bashing my candidate back then. “LOOK, If you can’t beat this idiot on his record, then that’s your f—ing problem friend!”

      He had shown no mercy for Karla Fay Tucker here, or anyone else. His ilk were changing Texas politics in ways that I never had seen before. I was not a partisan in anyway. It just didn’t occur to me because my family isn’t particularly political. But there were Republicans running Texas. This new batch of assholes were mean too.

      To have a candidate who says, “I’m not from Washington”…is nothing new folks! Its Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with Jefferson Smith. Didn’t you watch that flick? It inspired me my whole life. And in that utopian spirit, Americans want an outsider. Its how Bush got any traction at all in 2000. I believe he didn’t win, but am absolutely convinced it was the fault of the Democrats that it wasn’t a shut out.

      When you watch a mediocre to good team blow a game because they can’t get their shit together in the big moment, you can’t help but want to slam their coaches and captains. The Democrats haven’t learned a goddamn thing it seems except to continue to assume that unless you are the Deep Red Republican base you will vote for their candidate.

      Tell that to John Kerry in 2004. Anyone but Bush was the mantra. John Kerry got the nod…a Vietnam Veteran against a Champaign Division AWOL Jerk….and guess who won.

      Now you have a total creep John McCain vs…..

      Who will it be?
      I know what I don’t like about Clinton…and that is more comforting than it was a few months back.
      THANK YOU!
      I know there are so many areas I disagree with her, and find her bothersome.
      Oh my God, Thank you.
      See, because I was popped out of my comfort zone in the conversation…I’m using my critical thinking now.
      And guess what, Obama looks like a cloud of smoke right now. He isn’t playing a straight up game. Today he pulled some hypocritical crap about “attacks”
      “she says nice words won’t help America, I say, negative attacks don’t help america either (applause line)
      What the hell are they drinking to not see this as bullshit hypocrite nonsense?
      Mr. I’m So Above the Fray is biting his own ass then.

      March 4th cometh in Texas. I wasn’t going to vote in the primary, but will now. Thanks folks.

      Big ups to NoQuarter. Thanks for what you are, you’ve done your job. Keep it up.

      • Now that’s a hell of a top-notch rant! BRAVO!

        I just wish that Edwards were Hillary’s remaining opponent. Him I could not only live with but enthusiastically support. Praying he’ll endorse her — she can promise him anything, incl. the VP slot, and I’d be great with it.

        • chris

          appreciate the feedback. had to let that out.

          Yes, I really liked Edwards. Edwards is well liked in our house. I don’t fall for Lawyers joke crap because I grew up with a big law firm in the family. I know what a “lawyer” is, and how many types there are. Edwards sniped so well when he owned his ties to the Law lobby. There was a sense he wanted to be a lawyer to help people and wasn’t ashamed about it.

          Seasoned fellow I hope we hear from him again too. Yes, VP would be something I’m comfortable with. He’d be critical I believe. I appreciate having a critical VP. (lets not even honor the snake in office).

          • TeakWoodKite


        • Jess Wonderin

          Susan – I agree – Edwards was my choice but MSM just “ignored him” to death and got dazzled by the idea that Bubba Six Pack would actually vote for a “person of color” (fuck the record of un-acconplishments – did it for Bush) . . . a Hillary/Edwards would work just fine, followed by a Edwards/Anyone for the next cycle – and maybe enough time will have passed the the Justice Department and Supreme Court would be returned to sanity . . .

          • Mike Howell

            Jess Wonderin –

            I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

      • And I’m totally cool with your support of Kucinich — the man has the courage of his convictions.

        Wasn’t it incredible about Bush and his piss-poor record … and if Kerry had run a better, more aggressive campaign, he might have pulled it off. (I don’t think he would have been a great president, but better than the Shrub,)

        • chris

          Kerry became the embodiment of the Swiftboat coward. It wasn’t cool. I know he didn’t lie about his Vietnam record, but there comes a point when a person has to stand for their honor and not flinch. And when a people can see you do that and not flinch, even as a nice guy, they instinctfully seem to follow you.

          Kerry is a pretty noble character overall in my view. I have been delighted to have bullshit glow about elders cloud my judgement of their wisdom. I think many of these veteran statesmen are thick headed now and haven’t been in regular old America for a while. Must be tough, I have no clue.

          I love tha Kuch. He’s got a well ventelated ego. I’m nothing like him. He’s consistent in his principles. I even really had a great time hearing that great whacked out Mike Gravel. God bless him for shouting at the top of his lungs.

          Democracy isn’t such a bad thing if its applied and appreciated. It was fun to read Heroditus talk about the basic Greek city state life and to imagine how that sort of citizenry could emerge from our McNation.

          • Mike Howell

            Chris –

            John Kerry was painfully dull. I gave his campaign thousands of dollars and grew to hate him. He couldn’t pull off a sound bite if you put a gun to his head. He bored democrates into not voting.

            The MSM finally stopped going to him for interviews because there simply isn’t enough time. I’m sure that they’ll dust his ass off for the General Election for a little while, but ugh – please find a way to make him stop!

    • Mr.Murder

      That’s quite an assertion.

      Soros doesn’t direct MoveOn, he does endow them.

      • Mike Howell

        Mr. Murder –

        If you endow enough you direct.

    • norrismorris

      Soros the multibillionaire is behind Obama. A self hating Jew who despises Israel and a huge contributor to Russia.

      He is all part of the Carter administraton bloc of anti semitic and anti Israel oldies like Zybignew Brezinsky who is as old Washington as you can get. Obama lies about this as well as his entire cadre of foreign policy advsors who are left overs from the failed and horrible Carter administration that helped sink the party. A few leftover Clintonites, too. All seasoned DC hacks.

      They are an incompetent bunch who failed miserably at handling the hostage crisis, and not a one is an innocent. They are ALL Washington hacks. Obama is full of s**t. Trouble is the children voting for him, and those that are considered “elite” [ugh] haven’t a clue about Carter and his dreadful foreign policies.

      Expect nothing good in foreign policy here from Obama’s proven incompetents. The childrens is not learning.

      • shirin

        Ah yes! The old self-hating Jew canard! A sure sign of desperation and incoherent mental process when they drag that one out.

      • chris

        For the record, your “self-hating” jew comment is pretty damn offensive. Has he called himself that? Its little different than calling someone High Yellow or other smears of division.
        Criticize him however else you wish, people of his power need scrutiny. But can ya leave the “self-hating” jew crap out?

        • shirin

          Chris, it’s the only answer they have to Jews who criticize Israel. They can’t argue their case logically based on facts, and they can’t use the anti-Semite canard, so they hurl the old self-hating Jew thing.

  • Sha

    At least we have an outlet to voice our opinions. At DKos I was called vile names just because I tried to make a case for Clinton…and I did not demean Obama.

    I can handle balanced controversy…but I sure do hate being shut out of the dialog.

    Thanks, Larry and Susan, et al.

    • No orthodoxy here. Make any case you want. Hell, I let the Obamatons lather up their guy. Blog away and welcome.

      • Banquo’s Ghost

        Larry: I *do* respect that you are not censoring anyone, greatly to your credit. I am glad that you finally discovered just how obnoxious “Kos” is when it comes to enforcing idiotic group think.

        I want you to know that I find Clinton to be the Entitlement Candidate in the race, and that I see major issues with her history and the Clintons’ history in general. I regret that it is not possible on your web site to communicate with you about these issues. The race is now all about two sides in a football match after a whole lot of beer getting angry at each other.

        Conversely, I am no Obamamaniac. I want you to know that as well. So my regret that we cannot talk about Hillary is not just about some sort of mindless worship of the other figure.

        While I completely respect the candid and uncensored aspect of your web site, I really wish it was possible here for intelligent people with serious things to say to do so without it degenerating into a food fight.

        One contributor to the food fight is YOU when you start putting up headlines like “Obama’s Ties to Terrorists”. This sort of thing is so hysterical as to border on hyperbole, and it does not create a calm frame of mind in the subsequent comment thread, which resembles, frequently, Mrs. Wallaby’s third grade “special needs” class out of control while she steps out of the room to go take a break on the can.

        I believe personally that you are capable of a hell of lot more, because you are obviously going to be very intelligent and sophisticated, judging by where you’ve been professionally.

        I hope for the best in terms of improvement.

        • Banquo’s Ghost

          and to clarify when I write “finally discovered” how mindless and creepy “Kos” is, I mean that I gave up on “Kos” years ago simply because it is really is just a goober web site for a minimally-informed mob who decide to agree with each other while being presided over by a huckster and an operator (Moulitsas) who is just looking for a ride to a bigger time and cash prizes.

          Perhaps in 2002-2003, that web site was OK, but once it started getting traditional media attention, and the traffic level went up, it got worse and worse. Come 2004 and the “diary” feature, it was a total flaming pile of shit.

          Glad to see you’ve rescued yourself from “Ko”. The banning for thinking differently has rescued a large number of us from using our personal time to participate in Markos’ Magic Money Machine.

        • shirin

          BG, the “Obama’s Ties To Terrorists” headline not only qualifies as hyperbole, it is blatantly misleading. It implies that Obama has real ties to present-day terrorists, which is hardly the same thing as knowing some guy who was involved in the Weather Underground more than thirty years ago and has lived an ordinary life ever since. The post itself was also a hysterical and hyperbolic piece of hype.

          Very disappointing.

          • norrismorris

            Regarding terrorism. Obama’s Kenyan cousin happens to be on the wrong side of the current conflict in Kenya. Obama has been said to have reached out to him and supported his terrorist cousin. If not true, he should respond. If the old weatherman story is no longer valid, he should simply say he has no ties to this whatsoever categorically.

            These things may or may not have legs but they require more than Bill Burton’s evasive answers. Burton is an old hand and not responding or giving half truth answers.

            Just answer the questions.

            • shirin

              Norrismorris, you are missing the point. Barak Obama was only around twelve years old when the Weather Underground was active. That all took place more than 30 years ago. It’s been over for about 30 years. It is ludicrous to say that he has “ties to terrorism” because he has a connection of some kind to some guy who was part of an organization that has been defunct for 30 years, and who, by the way, has been walking around free for all those years and was never prosecuted for anything.

              And why should he say he has no ties to the Weather Underground? Of course he has no ties to the Weather Underground. It died when he was still a child.

              For god’s sake, if you people really want to get stuff on him, find something real.

      • Banquo’s Ghost

        wrt a “track record of bad decisions”, can you comment on Hillary’s track record? She clearly has one. I wonder if you could identify the obvious (and enormous) flaws in her record, in addition to the lack of “experience” of Obama.

        • norrismorris

          Her flaws have nothing to do with Obama’s dealings with criminal Tony Rezko his fundraiser and donor, and many, many, questions that remain unanswered that reflect on his honesty, character, and pretense of purity.

          Hillary is not the issue here. It is not a matter of experience either. There are real questions. Read and pay attention to the unanswered questions and Obama’s contradictory record on quite a number of matters and issues of importance. Obamatons never question. They follow.