Iran said on Monday it rejected any preconditions for talks with the United States, which suspects it wants an atomic bomb, and a member of parliament was quoted as saying Tehran planned 19 nuclear power plants.
Given the recent National Intelligence Estimate concerning Iran, does this announcement from Tehran act to support the Administration's view that Ahmadinejad represents a growing nuclear threat, or that of liberals and media who cited the NIE as evidence Bush and Company have been all wet regarding this nation's activities?
[A]n important development in the 2008 Democratic battle may be the building backlash among African Americans over comments from associates of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that could be construed as jabs at Sen. Barack Obama's race.
These officials, including Clinton aides and prominent surrogates, have raised questions or dropped references about Obama's position on sentencing guidelines for crack vs. powder cocaine offenses; on his handgun control record; and on his admitted use of drugs as a youth. The context was always Obama's "electability." But the Illinois senator's campaign advisers said some African American leaders detect a pattern, and they believe it could erode Clinton's strong base of black support.
Is this a fair criticism of Hillary's campaign, or a stretch? Will this impact her success as a candidate, especially if media outlets like the Post focus on it?
The people of this country recognize that the war in Iraq was the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country. And we've done everything we can to support the troops. It was us, the Democrats, who realized that parents shouldn't be buying armor and sending it to Iraq for their sons and daughters, so we pushed, and we got body armor.We're the ones that pushed for up-armoring the Humvees and other vehicles.
Rush predicted last week the Dems would eventually try to take credit for the war once we do indeed prevail. Any thoughts?
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Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in November by the most in more than two years as incomes grew and shoppers took advantage of early holiday discounts. A bigger-than-forecast 1.1 percent increase in purchases followed a revised 0.4 percent gain in October that was more than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said today in Washington.
Hmmm. Incomes up. Spending up. Where's that bleeping recession we keep hearing about?
... "Our whole mission ... is to say: These people are not objective. They're not disinterested, the press and people need to see them for what they are," (Tim) Graham said in a recent telephone interview.
Demystifying the relationship between the press and the Clinton camp is essential for Americans to decide this year's race, (L. Brent) Bozell said.
"Past is prologue," he said. "The kind of behavior that was going on 15 years ago is going on today."
"House Republicans were almost in a state of euphoria as they left Washington, D.C., on Wednesday."
As Congress now adjourns for the year, has 2007 been an absolute disaster for Pelosi, Reid, and new Democrat majorities in both Chambers ushered in last November with so much optimism? In fact, given what appears to be failure after failure to deliver on 2006 campaign promises, do Congressional Democrats possibly represent lamer ducks than the President? How does the ineptitude of the first year of the 110th Congress impact next November's elections if at all?
Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president — Bush's son, George W. Bush.
Is this another Clintonian fantasy, or something that could really happen?
"Being a Republican is important. Being a Democrat is important. But you know what's more important than that? The interest and well-being of the United States of America," the Democrat-turned Independent said in announcing his decision Monday morning in New Hampshire.
"Let's put the United States first again, and John McCain is the man as president who will help us do that," he said.
Months ago, I opined to friends, family, and colleagues that the GOP ticket could be McCain/Lieberman. Is this possible? How does this announcement change the landscape if at all?
Does the position that Letterman and Leno are in make anyone chuckle? After all, these guys are comedians, right? The scripted part of their programs is a three minute monologue, and a couple of "skits". For the money they're both paid, couldn't they write this stuff for themselves, albeit potentially in a briefer fashion, and still have guests on to yack about their lives and naughty bits?
I know, this might look anti-labor, and they should be standing with their writers. But, would Johnny Carson have cancelled his show for this long because of a writers' strike?
She was a disciplined candidate atop a polished campaign, but Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is now mired in the most serious crisis of her 11-month bid for the White House, as a rolling series of missteps threatens to topple her as the Democratic front-runner.
The large crowds that once came to see her have thinned. Trusted campaign surrogates have veered wildly off message. And a campaign operation that had built seemingly impregnable leads over the summer appears to be faltering, prompting former President Clinton to amp up his role as a public spokesman and campaign advisor.
Is this a blip? Is this intentional to focus attention on Obama? Is this a serious roadblock for her candidacy, or something she and hubby will easily navigate?
Cartoonist Bruce Tinsley has the perfect Christmas gift idea for biased liberal journalists: pointing them to the MRC, the parent organization of NewsBusters.org. In his December 14 "Mallard Fillmore" comic strip, Tinsley shows his title character reciting his "Christmas Gift Idea #35":
Since the media lean.... To the Left (as we've seen).... With their reportorial talents... Then I'm thinking we might.... Guide em to this Website.... To provide 'em with the gift of BALANCE.... Media Research Center www.mrc.org.
The screen capture above was taken from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Web site. "Mallard Fillmore" is distributed by King Features Syndicate and runs in the Seattle P-I, the Washington Times, and various other newspapers nationwide.
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Boys on Pills!
The Mitchell Commission released a list of 86 baseball players it believes take steroids. There are some high-powered names on this list like Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Miguel Tejada, and Andy Pettitte.
Does any of this surprise you? Will MLB do anything about it? Will this change your viewing or attendance habits next season?
Despite this Politico headline, authors Jim VandeHei and John Harris seem to fawn over the female Speaker (paragraph breaks removed for space):
For all her history-making status as the first woman to run the House, Pelosi has emerged as a fairly conventional leader. This is partly to her credit. She has run a highly disciplined operation, keeping a potentially fractious caucus unified on tough issues. And she has restrained some of her own instincts representing one of the nation’s most liberal districts. With a couple of prominent exceptions, she has not handed Republicans opportunities to exploit impolitic statements or legislative maneuvers.
Is this how you view Pelosi and the 110th Congress? Is this how history will look at her and it?
[T]he band that played underneath those memories last night was not the one that misfired at Live Aid in 1985 or again in New York in 1988. This one was rehearsed, ready and out to kill. This band was Led Zeppelin in every way.
Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham the Younger opened their two-hour show with the confident wit and colossal nerve of “Good Times Bad Times,” the first song on Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut album. Even before Plant opened his mouth, the original fury — a surprisingly lean, dub-like crossfire of cannonshot chords, frantic, gulping bass runs and polyrhythmic swagger — was in order and in force. “In the days of my youth/I was told what it means to be a man.”
Are you excited about this reunion, and willing to pay the big-bucks it's going to cost? Or, could you not care less?
MRC Director of Research and NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes appeared Monday night on the "O'Reilly Factor" to discuss his findings in the December 4 Media Reality Check, "Good News = Less News on Iraq War."
As we previously noted, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly cited the MRC study in his December 6 "Talking Points Memo" segment. Video (2:35) from that "Factor":Real (1.91 MB) and Windows (1.60), plus MP3 audio (1.19 MB).
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Nobel Laureate Al Gore said as he accepted the Peace Prize today --
We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency - a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here...It is time to make peace with the planet...We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war.
Other than chuckles and guffaws, are there any comments?
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: The alternative minimum tax. If Congress doesn't act before it recesses, an estimated 23 million more Americans will pay this tax in 2007 than 2006. This will be a HUGE tax increase for many, as my accountant told me the cut-off for a married couple could be $120,000 in income.
Once in the grips of AMT, the unlucky taxpayer can write-off less and less of his/her property and state taxes on his 1040. As such, not only is he/she taxed at a higher rate, but also on a higher adjusted gross income. This makes AMT a HUGE tax increase.
Questions: Why hasn't Congress moved on this, and why hasn't this been a huge on-going media story given the number of families that will be affected? Furthermore, do you think the media would have been mute about this if the issue hadn't been decided last year when the Republicans were still in charge and Democrats were trying to unseat them?
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: The Senate blocked the House's energy bill yesterday. It would have raised taxes on the oil industry and required electric utilities to generate fifteen percent of their power from alternative energy sources.
Are you saddened by this event, or pleased as punch?
FNC's Bill O'Reilly on Thursday night centered his "Talking Points Memo" around the findings in the MRC's Media Reality Check study released earlier this week, "Good News = Less News on Iraq War: As Surge Succeeds and Casualty Rates Fall, ABC, CBS and NBC Lose Interest In Iraq War." O'Reilly pointed out how U.S. casualties and violence are way down from six months ago. Then, citing the MRC's numbers with a chart displaying them on screen, he observed how now "there is far less carnage in Iraq and far less reporting about the war. Since the surge began, Iraq war stories on the nightly news programs have dropped from 178 a month to 68 in November. Those stats were compiled by the conservative watchdog group Media Research Center and you can read the report online at mrc.org."
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Subprime bailout. What do you think about it?
Is a program that will lock in a troubled borrower's teaser rate for five years fair to folks who borrowed money at virtually the same time, aren't having difficulties,and, therefore, will likely now have much higher interest rates and payments than those in trouble? Wouldn't this be rewarding fiscal irresponsibility rather than folks who saved, budgeted, and spent wisely?
In essence, wouldn't our government once again be rewarding bad behavior rather than good behavior? Or, does the end justify the means inasmuch as this could prevent a hit to the economy and is the moral thing to do?
How can a report stating that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons work in 2003 possibly be viewed by anyone as a negative for America, the world, or the Bush administration?
Coming coincident with the invasion of Iraq, the capture of Saddam, and the suspension of similar activities by Libya, should this report have validated Bush foreign policy in the region post-9/11, or is the press right that this demonstrates his failures?
Finally, if intelligence was so horrible prior to 9/11 and the Iraq invasion, why are media so quick to accept this report as unassailable? Given recent intelligence failures, and the press's continual pounding of such, shouldn't there be some skepticism about the veracity of this NIE? Or, is anything that can potentially be used to bash Bush above reproach?