Saturday, May 24, 2008

Obama: Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs Responsible For Rise In Hate Crimes Against Hispanics

At a fundraiser in Florida Thursday night, Barack Obama accused anti-immigrant crusaders Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh of "ginning things up" to such an extent that there was a rise in hate crimes against Hispanics last year.

"A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia. There's a reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year," Obama said. "If you have people like Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh ginning things up, it's not surprising that would happen."

Politico's Jonathan Martin writes that Limbaugh addressed Obama's remarks on his radio show today and said that the remarks hurt his feelings.

"I actually don't believe this. Barack Obama, in my own state, raising money for his presidential campaign called me xenophobic at a fundraiser," Limbaugh said. "I thought this guy was the unity candidate? Calling me a Xenophobe? Responsible for hate crimes? My feelings are hurt here."

Earlier this year, promoting his book "His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S.," Geraldo Rivera called Dobbs a "hate-monger" and said "I would not shake his hand because this is a man that's done more damage to the cause of sensible, comprehensive reform than anyone with a microphone."

Original here

Get Out.

Senator Clinton, I cannot give you the benefit of the doubt.

You are too smart.

You are too intelligent.

You are too politically astute.

Your statement was not mistaken.

It was intentional.

It is now obvious that you and your campaign are in fact staying in this race, knowing that you cannot possibly win the nomination, in some sort of morbid fantasy that something horrible befalls Senator Obama. Whether that something horrible be a scandal, a devastating revelation, or death (intentional or otherwise), it does not matter.

It is now revealed that your real reason for staying in this race, and thus prolonging the party disunity and your supporter's acceptance of reality, is some sort of intentional Plan B. Thus, it has been your intention to wait for something bad to happen.


It means you have been thinking about it.

It means you have been considering it as a possibility.

And because of your contemplation, you decided to stay in the race for that reason.

Now, if you were considering Obama's death as a possibility, and considered yourself an alternative, or a Plan B, surely you are smart enough to know that the Democratic Party would have obviously turned to you as our candidate, if Obama had been assassinated, or died, or could not serve as our nominee.

And surely you would have known that it mattered not if you had previously suspended your campaign. Hell, even if you had conceded to Obama, and Obama died, you would have been tapped to be our nominee.

But you decided to stay in the race anyway, and you decided to advance this notion of assassination and other bad calamaties befalling our presumptive nominee not once, not twice, but FOUR times. Going back to March.

So I cannot give you the benefit of the doubt.

It is now obvious you have considered Obama's murder as a political possibility and a reason to prolong our disunity.

And that makes you immoral. And unfit to lead. It reveals that you have no character.

It makes me not want you in my political party.

So get out, Senator Clinton. Get out of this race. Now.

Yes, I am shoving you out, because you deserve it.

Contact the Senator and her campaign here:

Original here

Worst Person In The World

The growing syllabus of arguments against Senator Clinton's seemingly endless candidacy has yet to successfully convince the remaining superdelegates to end this primary nominating process. But this newest quote from the Senator today ought to be the inciting incident -- the scream that stirs the avalanche.

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."

To translate from Desperate Clinton into English: Senator Obama could be assassinated at any moment, and such an event would represent another -- goddamn, this is awful -- another path to the nomination for her. It's all about her path to the nomination. A possible assassination of Senator Obama. Yep. This is what it's come down to.

Coupled with the well-known, ridiculous and dangerous rumors about Senator Obama, invoking an assassination attempt against him represents a new and ghoulish low for already bottom-feeding campaign.

To date, the Clinton campaign has exploited every despicable tactic and mongered every fear. How much more embarrassment and desperation can she heap upon herself and her party?

Senator Clinton didn't believe the rumors about Senator Obama... as far as she knew. Senator Clinton didn't shy away from using the politics of fear with her 3AM commercials and warning Americans about a terrorist attack should her opponent win. Senator Clinton has endorsed Senator McCain's qualifications over those of Senator Obama. Senator Clinton has accused Senator Obama of everything from plagiarism (her "change you can Xerox" line was written for her by the chairman of the DLC, by the way) to the disenfranchisement of voters in Florida and Michigan. Senator Clinton has invoked Bin Laden; painted her black opponent as an elitist despite her $100 million fortune; glad-handed with Richard Mellon-Scaife; and borrowed ("Xeroxed," if you will) an electoral map created by Karl Rove.

And then there are the numerous paths to the nomination. From Michigan and Florida to racist white people won't vote for Senator Obama (and what's his problem anyway?), her campaign has tried every excuse short of "we thought these primaries would be graded on a curve!"

And now...what if her opponent is killed? What about that? Don't be so hasty, superdelegates. Senator Obama might be killed! And what then, hmm?

The only tactic worse than this would be if she were to hire a band of goons to take Senator Obama hostage -- holding him for ransom. Gimme the nomination or my goons start pulling out "my opponent's" fingernails, see!?

If nothing else, the superdelegates ought to receive this as a blaring, siren-light warning. A giant red flag. Senator Clinton is embarrassing herself and the Democratic Party. She has ceased to be a viable, respectable candidate and has, instead, become a ghoulish, desperate shell of her formerly strong and admirable self.

UPDATE: To further clarify, I'm not suggesting that she's literally hoping that something happens to Senator Obama. I'm suggesting that Senator Clinton is using the potential of such an event as an argument for staying in the race -- a "what if" scenario. And if she was merely referencing June as an historical benchmark, well then, she's being intellectually dishonest. The primary election calendars in 1992 and 1968 were longer and extended well beyond this year's end date. Either way, it's a terrible and desperate argument.

UPDATE THE SECOND: In reality, President Clinton essentially secured the nomination after the Illinois primary. The date was March 17, 1992. And if she wants to use 1968 as an example, she ought to mention that only 13 states held primaries that year. No Michigan primary in 1968 either.

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Hillary's Bizarre RFK Comment

Though she has now apologized for that very strange and tasteless comment to the Argus-Leader, this was not the first time she's said it. This from her interview with TIME Managing Editor Richard Stengel, published March 6:

TIME: Can you envision a point at which--if the race stays this close--Democratic Party elders would step in and say, "This is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall"?

CLINTON: No, I really can't. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.

Her excuse now is that the Kennedys have been "much on my mind these days" with the illness of Senator Edward Kennedy, but that doesn't explain what brought it to mind more than two months ago.

UPDATE: H/T to commenter Elvis Elvisberg, who notes that even the reference to her own husband's campaign was wrong. Bill Clinton's primary race was effectively over in March.

UPDATE2: Last night on NewsHour, Mark Shields pointed out something else that is misleading about Clinton's comparison of this race to 1968. RFK's candidacy was not a long, drawn-out one, as you might believe from Clinton's suggestion:

MARK SHIELDS: I think it was, at the best, totally reckless. I mean, her history is absolutely faulty. Robert Kennedy's first primary, Ray, was in May 7th of 1968. He was murdered four weeks later. She's talking about a long campaign.

This campaign began the first week in January. She's still talking about June. So, I mean, it's faulty there.

Here's the text of RFK's March 16, 1968 announcement speech, which came only after the New Hampshire primary earlier that month (how late that seems now) in which Eugene McCarthy came surprisingly close to beating LBJ. This is how RFK explained his decision to enter the race so late:

The remarkable New Hampshire campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy has proven how deep are the present divisions within our party and within our country. Until that was publicly clear, my presence in the race would have been seen as a clash of personalities rather than issues.

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Obama VP Will Be...

After clinching a pledged delegate victory, Barack Obama and his campaign are looking forward to the General Election. It is time for Obama to begin the Vice Presidential selection process.

Here at we have been looking forward to the General Election for months and one of our favorite pastimes has been playing the Veepstakes game. We even have a new section of the site devoted to it. You should check it out if you haven't already.

We're not the only ones though. The blogosphere has been buzzing with speculation as the nomination battle has neared the end.

Back in 2004, John Kerry claimed to have considered a list of about 25 potential candidates, however, there were really only three serious contenders; Gov. Tom Vilsack, Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. John Edwards. So it was no surprise when Kerry selected Edwards as his Vice Presidential running mate.

In 2008 there are more than just three names being thrown around as serious contenders for the nomination. In our Veepstakes section here at we have 24 potential candidates listed, and that's before we've even added my personal favorite potential VP, Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Sure some of them are total long shots, but people like Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Wesley Clark, Chris Dodd and Ted Strickland have all been very seriously discussed as real possibilities. In fact, Wesley Clark has even been mentioned as the most likely according to one of MSNBC's sharper correspondents, Lawrence O'Donnell.

The main stream media hasn't been able to narrow down the number of candidates on the list, although in recent days they have tried to cram Hillary Clinton down our throats and John Edwards' name is often mentioned.

Several times in the past I have discussed the candidates that I would like to see on the ticket with Barack Obama, but with the time to pick a running mate rapidly approaching it is time to discuss not who I want to see as the Number Two, but who's name will be to the right of that slash come General Election time.

So without further ado, here are the four candidates we are most likely to see teaming up with Barack Obama against John McCain in the fall:

Jim Webb: In any discussion about potential vice-presidential candidates balance is an important word. The goal is to "balance" the ticket with someone who covers some of the bases that the person at the top of ticket will have a harder time with. Jim Webb offers more balance than most of the alternatives.

For starters Webb is a decorated military veteran. One of Obama's primary goals is to get out of Iraq, but many are concerned that a quick withdrawal could be dangerous if not done properly. Webb would not only be able to help devise a strategy, but his stamp of approval would add credibility to whatever plan an Obama Administration comes up with. So Webb would pay dividends beyond November as well as in the election.

The election dividends could come in the form of Electoral Votes. Sen. Webb is from Virginia. A state the Democrats have their eyes on this year. Obama has shown he can close the gap on the Republicans in Virginia, but on his own he seems to fall short. An Obama/Webb ticket may finally push the Democrats over the top and hand them Virginia's 13 Electoral Votes which they have not had since Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater there in 1960.

Finally, what some of Obama's more liberal supporters may view as a drawback, Jim Webb is a conservative Democrat. He even used to be a Republican, but that conservative streak in the Senator from Virginia provides more balance to the ticket.

On the negative side, some have described him as a bit of a chauvinist so his addition to the ticket could further offend many Hillary Clinton voters who incorrectly or not, are angry about a perceived sexism from the Obama camp. That issue alone could be enough to derail Webb's nomination, but if the Obama Campaign thinks it can overcome this, an Obama/Webb ticket is something many people could get excited about.

Ed Rendell: The case that Obama should select a Hillary Clinton supporter as his running mate is a powerful one. There is no doubt it would help soften the blow of a primary defeat for Clinton's fans.

The Popular Governor of Pennsylvania and former Mayor of Philadelphia has been one of Hillary Clinton's most high profile supporters throughout the campaign. Rendell, however, has distanced himself from some of Clinton's more absurd claims against Obama. The Governor is a true Party Man, in the political sense, although I'm sure he'd be fun to have a few drinks with as well.

An Obama/Rendell ticket would all but guarantee Pennsylvania's 21 Electoral Votes for the Democrats. While it seems that Obama can handle Pennsylvania on his own a little insurance never hurt. What is more important electorally however, is Rendell's ability to help out in other rust belt states, particularly Michigan and Ohio.

Michigan could become a bigger target on the Republicans radar if John McCain decides to take Mitt Romney as his VP. McCain has already met with Romney to discuss this possibility and Romney is very popular in Michigan. If McCain selects Romney before Obama makes his choice you can expect to hear a lot more discussion about Rendell.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh would also be discussed as a counter to Mitt Romney, but both lack any charisma at all and would do more to deflate the enthusiasm of Obama's supporters than to help the chances of the ticket.

Hillary Clinton: Speaking of deflating enthusiasm, it is looking more and more like Hillary Clinton has a chance to force her way onto the ticket.

With a huge chunk of delegates in her corner, Clinton will have the power to threaten the Democratic Party with disaster at the convention in Denver this summer if she doesn't get her way. As she has consistently displayed throughout the campaign, Sen. Clinton will not hesitate for a moment to put her own personal ambition above the good of The Party.

Rumors have been flying in recent days that Bill Clinton is privately advocating the case he made publically months ago, that a ticket with both Barack and Hillary would be nearly unstoppable. Only now the order of the names will be reversed.

There are too many problems with this ticket to list in this post. Many of us here at have already discussed these problems in depth, but there is one huge positive to selecting Hillary Clinton as Vice President; this long, damaging nomination battle will instantly come to an end.

While an end to this nomination battle is appealing in the short-term, I don't believe the long-term downside is worth it. I also don't believe Obama or anyone on his staff want Clinton to fill out the ticket for the Democrats, but the pressure may be too great.

Clinton supporters, the Clintons themselves, Party leaders and Clinton superdelegates may demand the VP slot for Hillary Clinton. It will be interesting to see if Obama can resist the pressure and exactly what the reaction from the Clinton camp will be if he does.

Clinton is still not the most likely pick to become Obama's Number Two, but the likelihood of an Obama/Clinton ticket is increasing.

That being said I would never leave you on such a depressing note unless I had to. So I've left the best of the four for last.

Kathleen Sebelius: Sebelius is a natural Obama ally. She has made a political career of bridging wide political gaps while gently nudging a solid, progressive agenda forward in a way which most people, even in conservative Kansas find acceptable.

She will also immediately end the completely unwarranted calls of sexism being hurled at Obama from the Clinton camp.

Furthermore Gov. Sebelius has the honor of being the only potential Vice President on this list who is also on the Stonecipher shortlist for favorite VP picks. Plus she is receiving a growing amount of attention from the main stream media.

Like every other potential VP the Governor from Kansas is not perfect. Some have suggested that her selection will anger some Clinton supporters who will take it as a slap in the face that Obama chose a woman, but not their woman. This seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

Hillary Clinton is not exactly the feminist's feminist. And I find it hard to believe that those who strongly desire to have a female on the ticket would find Sebelius anything other than the ideal female role model

Aside from that the only "knock on her in the media has been that she botched the rebuttal to the State of the Union, her first real national appearance." Well I know a guy who's great at public speaking. And I think he can help her out.

Conclusion: Over the past few months I have discussed many other well qualified candidates to become Barack Obama's Vice Presidential running mate, but when it is all said and done, I believe we'll see one of the above four names to the right of the slash.

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Journey To The Center Of Hillary Clinton's Mind: "Why Would I Drop Out Before Barack Obama Is Assassinated?"

(The title of this post is satirical. It is not a direct quote from Senator Clinton.)

Anybody watch Step It Up And Dance last night? HOT STUFF!

Anyway gang, I just read something remarkable. "Remarkable" as in, "It is remarkable that my eyeballs are still in my head after reading that."

In an interview with the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader today, Hillary Clinton brought up Bobby Kennedy's June, 1968 assassination as an argument against her dropping out of the Democratic primary.

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said, dismissing calls to drop out.

She has a point: June is a great month for political assassinations.

Why drop out of the race before all the assassins have had their say?

After all, we know Barack Obama has received multiple death threats -- because he is black, of course, and because some of our fellow citizens think he's a secret Muslim terrorist who is going to take the oath of office on the Koran and make us all pray to Mecca five times a day with that screechy music coming over the loudspeakers(?) and then he'll crash Air Force One into the White House(?) and force our wives to wear those Muslim beekeeper helmets(?).

And the truth is, Obama has consistently failed to win over those voters who want to see him murdered.

UPDATE (5:45 PM):

In the interest of fairness, I should note that Hillary has since apologized for her curious statement. That is, she has apologized to the Kennedys.

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Superdelegates Shift To Obama

UPDATE: Obama has picked up another superdelegate

from Oregon.

Barack Obama has picked up a series of superdelegates this morning, one of which at the expense of Sen. Clinton.

Today, two California superdelegates endorsed Obama, Reps. Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza. Cadoza has previously endorsed Hillary Clinton.

In addition, two of John Edwards' New Hampshire delegates, who have since been designated as unpledged delegates, endorsed Obama.


"This is the most important election of my lifetime. While I continue to greatly respect and admire Senator Clinton and feel she has made history with her campaign, I believe that Senator Obama will inevitably be our party's nominee for President. He has proven himself to be a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and inspirational leader and will take America in a new direction, which we desperately need."


"In my conversations with Senator Obama, I explained to him that our San Joaquin Valley is the number one agricultural region in the country and in the world. Before the election in November, he needs to come to our Valley and understand the water challenges we face, the diversity of our farm crops, and the combination of the wonderful ethnic communities that make up Valley families, which is truly a reflection of our nation."

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McCain's Ethical Dilemma: Campaign Filled With Lobbyist Kingpins

The steady disclosures of past lobbying activity by campaign aides, and the struggle to minimize firings, continue to plague John McCain's presidential campaign -- but the reality is that these problems only get worse the deeper anyone digs. There you'll find an anti-cigarette tax campaign on behalf of Lorillard Tobacco and a full-scale campaign to persuade the US Senate to approve use of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste site.

McCain has sprung a trap on himself, demanding exceptionally high ethical standards for public officials, while simultaneously turning his campaign operation into a home for some of Washington's lobbying kingpins -- men and women who specialize in just the influence peddling McCain has repeatedly deplored.

On his own campaign web site, McCain declares:

"Too often the special interest lobbyists with the fattest wallets and best access carry the day when issues of public policy are being decided.... [McCain] has fought the 'revolving door' by which lawmakers and other influential officials leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided....As President, John McCain will see to it that the institutions of self-government are respected pillars of democracy, not commodities to be bought, bartered, or abused."

In glaring defiance of such reformist claims, McCain selected former Texas Congressman Thomas G. Loeffler as his national finance co-chairman, despite the fact that Loeffler matches to perfection those officials McCain demonizes, the ones who pass through a revolving door in order to "leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided."

After dumping Loeffler and four other high-dollar Capitol Hill rainmakers, McCain is twisting in the wind as he tries to justify retaining in key campaign posts three other leaders of the special interest community: Campaign Manager Rick Davis, senior strategist Charles (Charlie) Black and top foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann. Every one of them would feel more pride than shame in being described as "special interest lobbyists with the fattest wallets and best access who carry the day when issues of public policy are being decided."

Once a politician is forced down the path of ethical purity, however, the genuine difficulty emerges with the realization that few if any of the men and women who help run campaigns have clean hands.

Were McCain to decide to really turn over a new leaf, what would he do, for example, in the case of Mike Hudome, president of MH Media in Bethesda, Md., a firm which has been paid $10.6 million for television ads by the current McCain campaign? Year in, year out, who pays the bread and butter fees that keep food on Hudome's kitchen table? Just take a quick trip on the web to MH Media's web site and you will get a taste of the kind of work MH Media does:

This is an example of an "issue campaign" MH Media proudly undertook in behalf of Lorillard Tobacco Company, aimed at killing a proposed $1.50 tax on each package of cigarettes in New York. The US Chamber of Commerce has also been a MH client. Here is what MH claims on its website to have done for the business association:

"Faced with powerful opposition from a coalition of casinos and environmental groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce turned to Mike Hudome at [MH Media] for an issue advocacy campaign to secure support for President Bush's proposal to store the nation's nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. On the other side, were [environmental and tourist] interests.... raising questions about the safety of President Bush's plan. In just a weekend, MPGH produced 12 different radio ads and purchased $1.5 million of media time in 44 markets. The ads presented a clear choice for Senators: Stand up for your constituents and support President Bush's plan to get the waste out of their communities or side with the out-of-state special interests who want the waste to continue piling up in their communities. The ads, which aired during Congress' weeklong 4th of July recess, were pivotal in securing Senate support for President Bush's Yucca Mountain plan. On July 9, 2002, the Senate voted 60-39 to move forward with the proposal."

One of the Senators voting yes on filling Yucca Mountain with radioactive waste was John McCain.

At a more subtle level, the McCain campaign is enmeshed on every front in the network of Washington special interests: for example - and there is nothing illegal about this - the campaign uses Public Opinion Strategies (POS), a polling firm with a stellar ethical reputation, to conduct surveys. But POS is also pulling in hefty fees from an astonishing range of corporations and associations that want something from government - something they are paying to get. Go to the POS web site and check out the client list. Here is a small sampling:

Aetna Inc.; American Hospital Association; American Plastics Council; Associated Builders & Contractors; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Chemical Bank; Food Lion, Inc.; McDonalds; The National Association of REALTORS; The National Football League; NBC; Pfizer Incorporated; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America; Proctor & Gamble; Software Publishers Association; The Trump Organization; Verizon; Waste Management, Inc.

The more you look at McCain's dilemma, the more he appears to be the victim of his own ethical crusades.

Now, he and his lobbyist-strategists, including Davis, Black and Scheunemann, must figure out some way to get out from under this paralyzing issue and bring to an end the repeated questions raised during every McCain television appearance about the propriety of having lobbyists in charge.

When hit with a major lobbying flap in February, McCain declared, "These people have honorable records, and they're honorable people, and I'm proud to have them as part of my team." He then sought to bring the subject to a close:

"I don't have any more comment about this issue...I'm moving on. I'm talking about the issues and the challenges of America and the big issues that Americans are concerned about. I addressed the issue and addressed every question that was addressed to me."

It didn't work. New controversies emerged, staffers were unceremoniously fired, and McCain has not found a way to get what had been his signature issue - reform - to stop nipping his ankles at every turn.

If McCain junked his entire campaign and tried to live up to his "own" standards, his bid for the Presidency would become a lonely endeavor with very uncertain prospects.

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Republicans and Our Enemies

On Wednesday, Joe Lieberman wrote on this page that the Democratic Party he and I grew up in has drifted far from the foreign policy espoused by Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy.

In fact, it is the policies that President George W. Bush has pursued, and that John McCain would continue, that are divorced from that great tradition – and from the legacy of Republican presidents like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

[Republicans and Our Enemies]
David Klein

Sen. Lieberman is right: 9/11 was a pivotal moment. History will judge Mr. Bush's reaction less for the mistakes he made than for the opportunities he squandered.

The president had a historic opportunity to unite Americans and the world in common cause. Instead – by exploiting the politics of fear, instigating an optional war in Iraq before finishing a necessary war in Afghanistan, and instituting policies on torture, detainees and domestic surveillance that fly in the face of our values and interests – Mr. Bush divided Americans from each other and from the world.

At the heart of this failure is an obsession with the "war on terrorism" that ignores larger forces shaping the world: the emergence of China, India, Russia and Europe; the spread of lethal weapons and dangerous diseases; uncertain supplies of energy, food and water; the persistence of poverty; ethnic animosities and state failures; a rapidly warming planet; the challenge to nation states from above and below.

Instead, Mr. Bush has turned a small number of radical groups that hate America into a 10-foot tall existential monster that dictates every move we make.

The intersection of al Qaeda with the world's most lethal weapons is a deadly serious problem. Al Qaeda must be destroyed. But to compare terrorism with an all-encompassing ideology like communism and fascism is evidence of profound confusion.

Terrorism is a means, not an end, and very different groups and countries are using it toward very different goals. Messrs. Bush and McCain lump together, as a single threat, extremist groups and states more at odds with each other than with us: Sunnis and Shiites, Persians and Arabs, Iraq and Iran, al Qaeda and Shiite militias. If they can't identify the enemy or describe the war we're fighting, it's difficult to see how we will win.

The results speak for themselves.

On George Bush's watch, Iran, not freedom, has been on the march: Iran is much closer to the bomb; its influence in Iraq is expanding; its terrorist proxy Hezbollah is ascendant in Lebanon and that country is on the brink of civil war.

Beyond Iran, al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan – the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 – are stronger now than at any time since 9/11. Radical recruitment is on the rise. Hamas controls Gaza and launches rockets at Israel every day. Some 140,000 American troops remain stuck in Iraq with no end in sight.

Because of the policies Mr. Bush has pursued and Mr. McCain would continue, the entire Middle East is more dangerous. The United States and our allies, including Israel, are less secure.

The election in November is a vital opportunity for America to start anew. That will require more than a great soldier. It will require a wise leader.

Here, the controversy over engaging Iran is especially instructive.

Last week, John McCain was very clear. He ruled out talking to Iran. He said that Barack Obama was "naïve and inexperienced" for advocating engagement; "What is it he wants to talk about?" he asked.

Well, for a start, Iran's nuclear program, its support for Shiite militias in Iraq, and its patronage of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Beyond bluster, how would Mr. McCain actually deal with these dangers? You either talk, you maintain the status quo, or you go to war. If Mr. McCain has ruled out talking, we're stuck with an ineffectual policy or military strikes that could quickly spiral out of control.

Sen. Obama is right that the U.S. should be willing to engage Iran on its nuclear program without "preconditions" – i.e. without insisting that Iran first freeze the program, which is the very subject of any negotiations. He has been clear that he would not become personally involved until the necessary preparations had been made and unless he was convinced his engagement would advance our interests.

President Nixon didn't demand that China end military support to the Vietnamese killing Americans before meeting with Mao. President Reagan didn't insist that the Soviets freeze their nuclear arsenal before sitting down with Mikhail Gorbachev. Even George W. Bush – whose initial disengagement allowed dangers to proliferate – didn't demand that Libya relinquish its nuclear program, that North Korea give up its plutonium, or even that Iran stop aiding those attacking our soldiers in Iraq before authorizing talks.

The net effect of demanding preconditions that Iran rejects is this: We get no results and Iran gets closer to the bomb.

Equally unwise is the Bush-McCain fixation on regime change. The regime is abhorrent, but their logic defies comprehension: renounce the bomb – and when you do, we're still going to take you down. The result is that Iran accelerated its efforts to produce fissile material.

Instead of regime change, we should focus on conduct change. We should make it very clear to Iran what it risks in terms of isolation if it continues to pursue a dangerous nuclear program but also what it stands to gain if it does the right thing. That will require keeping our allies in Europe, as well as Russia and China, on the same page as we ratchet up pressure.

It also requires a much more sophisticated understanding than Mr. Bush or Mr. McCain seem to possess that by publicly engaging Iran – including through direct talks – we can exploit cracks within the ruling elite, and between Iran's rulers and its people, who are struggling economically and stifled politically.

Iran's people need to know that their government, not the U.S., is choosing confrontation over cooperation. Our allies and partners need to know that the U.S. will go the extra diplomatic mile – if we do, they are much more likely to stand with us if diplomacy fails and force proves necessary.

The Bush-McCain saber rattling is the most self-defeating policy imaginable. It achieves nothing. But it forces Iranians who despise the regime to rally behind their leaders. And it spurs instability in the Middle East, which adds to the price of oil, with the proceeds going right from American wallets into Tehran's pockets.

The worst nightmare for a regime that thrives on tension with America is an America ready, willing and able to engage. Since when has talking removed the word "no" from our vocabulary?

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

Mr. Biden, a Democratic senator from Delaware, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Original here

Rand Paul's introduction speech in Louisville

“The Cardoza 40″: Exodus of Clinton Delegates Begins

The endorsement by US Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-California) of Obama today sends an extremely firm message to the Clinton campaign, and not only because he was, until today, a Clinton superdelegate.

The Field has learned that Cardoza is the first of a group of at least 40 Clinton delegates, many of them from California, that through talking among themselves came to a joint decision that all of them would vote for Obama at the convention. They have informed Senator Clinton that it’s time to unite around Obama, and that they will be coming out, one or two at a time, and announcing their switch between now and the convention if Senator Clinton doesn’t do the same.

Cardoza is one of the leaders of this effort (which includes not only superdelegates, but here’s something that should set off some paranoia in Camp Clinton: there are pledged Clinton delegates in “The Cardoza 40,” too). One Field Hand reports that during a recent Cardoza fundraising event in California the effort was discussed openly in front of other Democrats. Cardoza’s announcement, today, sent the message that the effort is serious and for real.

This is not “excellent news for Hillary Clinton.”

An exodus of 40 delegates from Clinton to Obama, mathematically, increases his lead by 80 delegates, because she loses one for every one he gains.

Cardoza, in his endorsement today, said:

“I am deeply concerned about the contentious primary campaign and controversy surrounding the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan – two states Democrats need to win in November. I will not support changing the rules in the fourth quarter of this contest through some convoluted DNC rules committee process. Yet, we must find a resolution to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates so these states’ voters are represented at the Convention. I believe we need to avoid this potentially divisive situation by uniting behind one nominee and bringing the party together immediately. Therefore, I have made the decision to support Senator Obama at the Democratic Convention in my role as a super delegate.”

If that was a little wordy for ya, let me translate. It means:


Update: A commenter here has asked a question:

jimmyhoffa2222, on May 23rd, 2008 at 12:35 pm Said: Edit Comment
Al, Is your source a DailyKOS comment?

Al replies:

I would never cite an anonymous comment as a “source” on a story. All the sources I have cited in two decades as a journalist have been known to me. It is likely that the same person that made that comment contacted me via email with a tip. That was about a week ago. Obviously, I didn’t then publish this as a “story” based on a single tip. I then spent the week following up with sources that are known to me, and published the story - as always - only after I could confirm it.

I also sign my names to my reports. “Jimmyhoffa2222″ doesn’t, not here, not over on DKos where he has been trolling diaries for two days trying to raise doubts about my reporting. I know Steven, er, “Jimmy’s” name, but it doesn’t really matter, does it?

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Lieberman's Step-Son: I'm Voting For Obama

There's one less Democrat listening to Sen. Joe Lieberman. Rabbi Ethan Tucker, the senator's step son, offered up his opinion on the difficulties facing Obama in reaching out to the Jewish community:

Tucker, 32, the biological son of Lieberman's wife, Hadassah, opines that an age split is apparent within the Jewish community in attitudes about Obama (as has also been shown in the overall Democratic constituency). Tucker, as paraphrased by reporter Jodi Kantor, asserts that younger Jews "have grown up in diverse settings and are therefore less likely to be troubled by Mr. Obama's associations than their elders."

So where does Rabbi Tucker fall on Obama, whose foreign policy bona fides were bashed by his stepfather in a recent editorial? Actually, he's backing Obama. Apparently, Obama's associations aren't a problem for him:

"Rabbi Tucker said he had given money to Mr. Obama and would vote for him in the fall. 'If association was the litmus test of identity, everyone would be a hopeless mishmash of confusion, or you'd have no friends,' he said."

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Hamas Condemns the Holocaust

As the Palestinian people prepare to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Nakba ("catastrophe") - the dispossession and expulsion of most of our people from our land - those remaining in Palestine face escalating aggression, killings, imprisonment, ethnic cleansing and siege. But instead of support and solidarity from the western media, we face frequent attempts to defend the indefensible or turn fire on the Palestinians themselves.
One recent approach, which seems to be part of the wider attempt to isolate the elected Palestinian leadership, is to portray Hamas and the population of the Gaza strip as motivated by anti-Jewish sentiment, rather than a hostility to Zionist occupation and domination of our land. A recent front page article in the International Herald Tribune followed this line, as did an article for Cif about an item broadcast on the al-Aqsa satellite TV channnel about the Nazi Holocaust.
In fact, the al-Aqsa Channel is an independent media institution that often does not express the views of the Palestinian government headed by Ismail Haniyeh or of the Hamas movement. The channel regularly gives Palestinians of different convictions the chance to express views that are not shared by the Palestinian government or the Hamas movement. In the case of the opinion expressed on al-Aqsa TV by Amin Dabbur, it is his alone and he is solely responsible for it.
It is rather surprising to us that so little attention, if any, is given by the western media to what is regularly broadcast or written in the Israeli media by politicians and writers demanding the total uprooting or "transfer" of the Palestinian people from their land.
The Israeli media and pro-Israel western press are full of views that deny or seek to excuse well-established facts of history including the Nakba of 1948 and the massacres perpetrated then by the Haganah, the Irgun and LEHI with the objective of forcing a mass dispossession of the Palestinians.
But it should be made clear that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian government in Gaza denies the Nazi Holocaust. The Holocaust was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history. We condemn it as we condemn every abuse of humanity and all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, gender or nationality.
And at the same time as we unreservedly condemn the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe, we categorically reject the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists to justify their crimes and harness international acceptance of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and subjection they have been waging against us - to the point where in February the Israeli deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai threatened the people of Gaza with a "holocaust".

Within 24 hours, 61 Palestinians - more than half of them civilians and a quarter children - were killed in a series of air raids. Meanwhile, a horrible crime against humanity continues to be perpetrated against the people of Gaza: the two-year-old siege imposed after Hamas won the legislative elections in January 2006, which is causing great suffering. Due to severe shortages of medicines and food, scores of Palestinians have lost their lives.
It cannot be right that Europeans in general and the British in particular maintain a virtual silence toward what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians, let alone supporting or justifying their oppressive policies, under the pretext of showing sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust.
The Palestinian people aspire to freedom, independence and peaceful coexistence with all their neighbours. There are, today, more than six million Palestinian refugees. No less than 700,000 Palestinians have been detained at least once by the Israeli occupation authorities since 1967. Hundreds of thousands have so far been killed or wounded. Little concern seems to be caused by all of this or by the erection of an apartheid wall that swallows more than 20% of the West Bank land or the heavily armed colonies that devour Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.
The plight of our people is not the product of a religious conflict between us and the Jews in Palestine or anywhere else: the aims and positions of today's Hamas have been repeatedly spelled out by its leadership, for example in Hamas's 2006 programme for government. The conflict is of a purely political nature: it is between a people who have come under occupation and an oppressive occupying power.
Our right to resistance against occupation is recognised by all conventions and religious traditions. The Jews are for us the people of a sacred book who suffered persecution in European lands. Whenever they sought refuge, Muslim and Arab lands provided them with safe havens. It was in our midst that they enjoyed peace and prosperity; many of them held leading positions in Muslim countries.
After almost a century of Zionist colonial and racist oppression, some Palestinians find it hard to imagine that some of their oppressors are the sons and daughters of those who were themselves oppressed and massacred.
Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust but find themselves punished for someone else's crime. But we are well aware and warmly welcome the outspoken support for Palestinian rights by Israeli and Jewish human rights activists in Palestine and around the world.
We hope that journalists in the west will begin to adopt a more objective approach when covering events in Palestine. The Palestinian people are being killed by Israel's machine of destruction on a daily basis. Nevertheless, we still see a clear bias in favour of Israel in the western media.
The Europeans bear a direct responsibility for what is befalling the Palestinians today. Britain was the mandate authority that handed over Palestine to Israeli occupation. Nazi Germany perpetrated the most heinous crimes against Jews, forcing the survivors to migrate to Palestine in pursuit of safety. We, therefore, expect the Europeans to atone for their historic crimes by restoring some balance to the inhuman and one-sided international response to the tragedy of our people.
Bassem Naeem is the minister of health and information in the Hamas-led Palestinian administration in Gaza.

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Spending On Iraq Poorly Tracked

The inspector general for the Defense Department said yesterday that the Pentagon cannot account for almost $15 billion worth of goods and services ranging from trucks, bottled water and mattresses to rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns that were bought from contractors in the Iraq reconstruction effort.

The Pentagon did not have the proper documentation, including receipts, vouchers, signatures, invoices or other paperwork, for $7.8 billion that American and Iraqi contractors were paid for phones, folders, paint, blankets, Nissan trucks, laundry services and other items, according to a 69-page audit released to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

An earlier audit by the inspector general found deficiencies in accounting for $5.2 billion of U.S. payments to buy weapons, trucks, generators and other equipment for Iraq's security forces. In addition, the Defense Department spent $1.8 billion of seized Iraqi assets with "absolutely no accountability," according to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), who chairs the oversight committee. The Pentagon also kept poor records on $135 million that it paid to its partners in the multinational military force in Iraq, auditors said.

The Army disagreed with some of the auditors' findings, saying that it is difficult to maintain an adequate paper trail in a war zone and that it has improved its record-keeping and accountability efforts. Robert L. Wilkie, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, declined an invitation to testify before from Waxman's committee.

Of the $7.8 billion in payments detailed in the audit released yesterday, about $1.4 billion did not meet the most minimal requirements for documentation, making it highly possible that waste, fraud or abuse had occurred, according to auditors. In one case, there is a copy of a $5.6 million check from the U.S. Treasury paid to an Iraqi contractor but no documents saying what was purchased. In another, a South Carolina contractor was paid $11 million, according to a voucher, but auditors said they could not tell what goods or services were received.

"Without a receiving report and invoice, we don't know what we paid for," said Mary Ugone, the Defense Department's deputy inspector general for auditing. She said internal controls and paper trails were inadequate and that the Army's "finance personnel were not adequately trained" in overseeing the billions of dollars paid.

Auditors referred more than two dozen vouchers, totaling $35 million, to criminal investigators at the Pentagon.

Waxman said the poorly documented expenditures of seized Iraqi assets included a $320 million cash payment for employing 1,000 people that was handed over to the Iraqi Finance Ministry with "little more than a signature in exchange."

"Investigators looked at 53 payment vouchers and couldn't find even one that adequately explained where the money went," Waxman said.

The money paid to military coalition partners, including Britain, Poland and South Korea, was intended to help local reconstruction and humanitarian projects. Auditors said that none of the files reviewed "contained sufficient supporting documentation to provide reasonable assurance that these funds were used for their intended purpose." In one case, the Defense Department made an $8 million payment to Polish forces with minimal documentation, according to the audit.

An audit report issued in November found that $5.2 billion of U.S. payments to buy weapons, trucks, generators and other equipment to support Iraqi security forces had major deficiencies in how items were accounted for, saying that the Defense Department did not know "what equipment is due in, due out, issued and on hand." The inspector general found that the Defense Department could not account for 12,712 of 13,508 weapons, including assault rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers for Iraqi forces.

"When we turned them over to the Iraqis, they weren't properly accounted for," said Gary Comerford, a spokesman for the Defense Department's inspector general, saying serial numbers were not consistently recorded. "The paper trail is not complete."

The November audit also described how the Pentagon paid $32 million for the construction of an Iraqi military facility in Anbar province that was never built. Defense Department officials told staff members of the oversight committee that "this is embarrassing" because "not a spade of dirt was turned."

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Kevin Spacey Recounts the 2000 Election and Talks Hollywood Politics

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," May 22, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DENIS LEARY, ACTOR: It actually added 3,000 votes to Bush's total and subtracted thousands of votes from Gore. They went backwards. I mean, Gore's count right now is negative 16,000 in that county.

KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: So what are the real numbers?

LEARY: Well, when you recalculate the entire state, we're down by less than 15,000.

SPACEY: So it's a machine recount?


ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: That was clip from the new HBO movie "Recount." The film covers the controversial Florida recount of 2000 and premiers this Sunday on HBO. Yesterday, Sean and I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the film's stars, Kevin Spacey.


COLMES: Welcome, Kevin Spacey. Very nice to meet you. Thanks for — for doing the show.

SPACEY: Thank you.

COLMES: Thank you very much. So "Recount," I mean, this really tells the story about what happened in 2000. You play Ron Klain...


COLMES: ... a key Gore advisor.

SPACEY: Yes. Ron, actually, it's funny. I knew Ron Klain for years. I did a lot of work over the years for the Democratic Party and for the Clinton administration...

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: I'm sorry to hear that, by the way.

COLMES: ... alienated...

SPACEY: We haven't started with you yet. Just sit down.

COLMES: Thank you. Could I have you here every night to say that?

SPACEY: I actually — in the second inaugural I hosted the Tennessee ball...


SPACEY: ... for Al Gore. And I spent the afternoon in Ron Klain's office. I could never imagine that years later I'd be playing him. But in a weird way, he is sort of the perfect figure in this whole recount to sort of be the focus of the movie. The truth is, you do follow the Democrats, because it is an underdog story. And the truth is they were always the underdogs in that 36-day battle. And really, what I liked about Klain and what I discovered about him and the process of what happened in that 36 days was really, at the end of the day, it wasn't so much about Al Gore. Of course, that was his candidate. But it was more about Ron Klain's feelings that it was about the process.

COLMES: Gore's not a big part of this movie?

SPACEY: No, actually, Gore and Bush are kind of ghosts in this film. You only really see them from behind or you hear their voices.

COLMES: You were at a screening with — and Klain was there.

SPACEY: Yes, yes.

COLMES: That's got to be sort of — does that get under your skin, the guy's watching you do him?

SPACEY: Well, he seems pleased about it, although I did ask him — he and I did an interview together. And I interviewed him, and I said, "Look, when you found out that this movie was going to be made, who did you dream should play you?" And he immediately said Brad Pitt. And I said, "Yes, but we were trying to make a realistic film." All right. Go ahead.

HANNITY: When did you become a big liberal? What happened?

COLMES: You can tell the stand-up comedy background that you...


COLMES: By the way, your Carson impersonation is pretty good.

SPACEY (as Johnny Carson): I'll ask Sean. Sean, go ahead. Take your best shot, Sean.

HANNITY: I'm going to try. So you're — you were in Democratic politics.


HANNITY: Are you passionately a Democrat today?

SPACEY: Absolutely.

HANNITY: What happened?

SPACEY: What do you mean what happened?

COLMES: It's called being a good American.

SPACEY: The same thing about you. What happened to you, Sean?

HANNITY: Where do you think I'm wrong on? What opinion?

SPACEY: Well, you would — go ahead. Start.

HANNITY: Well, I'm asking.

COLMES: Would you like to fill in for me one night?

HANNITY: First of all, I've only seen snippets of the movie. And I actually have a couple days off, so I've got a copy, and I'm going to take it home. But this — what I love about the fact that you did this movie, and you even said — in one of the press releases, it said this movie is not about who should have won.

SPACEY: That's right.

HANNITY: That this is about our electoral process and gives us insight. I mean, night after night we were right here on FOX News following this, and dimpled and pimpled and hanging and swinging chads, an incredible moment in history. It really is.

SPACEY: I think what — I guess what we hope is that, by making the film not a boring historical polemic, but trying to make, actually, almost a political thriller. I mean, if you think about it, maybe one of the last great political thrillers that was made was "All the President's Men," which is again, like this, a movie where you know the ending. But it's about the detail. It's about, I think, that probably most people in the United States don't really know what happened in Florida. They have kind of a vague — you know, you hear, "OH, it was stolen" or "it was this," "the whining Democrats" or "the Republicans did that." But I actually think when you look at the film, how we've tried to make it, which is we've just tried to get the story right, that you realize it was not one thing or one person or even the Supreme Court. It is the fact that it was a confluence of events, of personalities, of agendas, some people who perhaps were not qualified for their jobs. It is an important look at the whole thing. And I think mostly what we hope is at the end of the day people will watch this movie and realize that our electoral process is not equipped to handle margins of victory so small.

HANNITY: I agree with that.

SPACEY: Or margins of error so big.

HANNITY: And I think we also need to have a better system where every vote is counted and that we can be confident in the outcome. I wouldn't want to win by, you know, a court fiat, which I don't think happened here. I think if Al Gore made a mistake, it was going for a selective recount. They were going to recount everything. They should have recounted the entire state, which I think was a mistake. The only — in every review that I've read about the movie, you know, gave you and everybody working on the movie credit for being fair, except there seems to be a caricature, an unfair caricature of Katherine Harris. Why?

SPACEY: Did you watch her on television?

HANNITY: I watched the snippets of her. It seemed unfair.

SPACEY: I mean, her.

HANNITY: On television.

SPACEY: On television.

HANNITY: I did. I like Katherine Harris. I like her.

SPACEY: Well, I think then this would actually probably be underplayed.

HANNITY: Why are you being mean?

SPACEY: I'm not being mean. I'm saying she was — she was a very interesting character on television. There's no doubt.

HANNITY: So you think that she — what, the power went to her head?

SPACEY: Until you see the movie, it's difficult for you to criticize a performance. You're going to have to look at it.

HANNITY: You can see in the clips that I saw of her standing up there and — you seemed like, in that character, to create a caricature.

SPACEY: All I can say is that I think if it was enough for David Letterman to start making jokes about her makeup and hair...

HANNITY: David Letterman makes jokes about everybody. That's his job. He does that. All right...

COLMES: Can you do Letterman?


COLMES: Can you do a Letterman impression.


MARK STEYN, GUEST HOST: I like Katherine Harris, too. More with Kevin Spacey after the break. Sean confronts the Oscar-winning actor about liberals in Hollywood. You won't want to miss it. Stay with us.


STEYN: We now continue Sean and Alan's interview with the actor Kevin Spacey.


HANNITY: Let's talk about — a little bit more about your political background. Why is it that Hollywood seems to slant so solidly left?

SPACEY: Well, you know, that's one of those statements that just — I think there are as many prominent Republican conservatives...

HANNITY: Name them.

SPACEY: ... who live in Hollywood and who believe in what the Republicans believe in, as many as there are Democratic, liberal Hollywood actors or people in the media. I think that's an oversimplification.

HANNITY: Well, I can name — all right, we've got Arnold Schwarzenegger, very moderate Republican.

COLMES: Hollywood liberal.

HANNITY: Mel Gibson, Charlton Heston, who recently passed away. I mean, some of the more — the old-timers, the Bob Hopes, seemed to be more conservative. The friends of Ronald Reagan. But it seems that Hollywood today, overwhelmingly, is solidly left. Is there — is there any reason or is there any culture? I have spoken with actors, and I won't mention the names. They say they're punished for their conservative political views.

SPACEY: In what way could they be punished?

HANNITY: In that they're not hired, that roles are passed over because they don't like their views.

SPACEY: You know, look, I can't imagine that anyone in Hollywood is sitting around trying to decide what actor is good or right or qualified for a role and is being denied a role because of their political views. I don't think that's the way Hollywood works. We're not living in an era of blacklisting.


COLMES: I want to ask you more about the film here. James Baker, who saw the film...


COLMES: ... and actually hosted the other night an event at Rice University, has said he's not as ruthless as he's portrayed in the film.

SPACEY: That's the way he likes the performance.

COLMES: And Warren — and Warren Christopher said he's not as much of a wuss as portrayed in the film.

SPACEY: Well, let me say this, that I know that there's been criticism from — from Warren Christopher about the way he's portrayed, but the truth is, is that the portrayal didn't come out of thin air. I mean, Danny Strong, who wrote the screenplay, based the portrayal of the views and the facts on all of the evidence that had been written by some of the best political journalists in the country, the four books that were the source material for the film, and also countless, countless interviews. So if Warren Christopher wanted to object, he might have objected to the books that came out a number of years ago, rather than just the film. But I also know that he objected before he'd seen the film. Maybe he was predisposed not to be happy with it.

COLMES: And the take-home information, the plural of chad?

SPACEY: The plural of chad, ladies and gentlemen, is chad.

COLMES: Not the country?


HANNITY: By the way, I do think you're a terrific actor, I want to be clear.

SPACEY: Thank you.

HANNITY: Although "American Beauty" was strange.

SPACEY: Now why was it strange?

HANNITY: Because it was just odd to be...

COLMES: He won an Academy Award.


HANNITY: ... you're hitting on his daughter's, you know, girlfriend.

COLMES: Kevin won an Academy Award for that.

HANNITY: I know he did. It was odd.

SPACEY: Sean's saying he's never had those feelings.

HANNITY: No, never. My daughter is six. No, but in all honesty, that was an uncomfortable movie for me to watch.

SPACEY: Yes, exactly. I think that was the intention of the movie, was to — was to examine — you know, look, we all have this notion of what the American dream is. I mean, what that film did and why it — why for some reason, not only did it land quite specifically, in terms of Americans responding to it and liking that film, but around the world. I think it took a look at what is the American dream, and is it all it's made up to be?

HANNITY: But it showed a dark side of the human soul, which is...

COLMES: That's what he thinks every time I speak.

SPACEY: But it was also funny. I mean, it wasn't — it wasn't entirely dark.

HANNITY: But the part of the — the role that you played, and you played it magnificently, and you won the award for it, but it was just dark, inasmuch as I think — I just believe real, mature, loving adults protect children and don't smoke pot with them and don't lust for their daughter's girlfriends.

SPACEY: I guess — I guess you haven't seen — what is that predator series that's on, you know, where you see...

HANNITY: Which one is that, Keith Olbermann?

COLMES: Where they had this guy...


SPACEY: Where did you just go?

HANNITY: Oh, just you know...

SPACEY: No, you know, it's shocking sometimes to see how normal Americans do have emotions and feelings that are unexpected and strange.

HANNITY: But you would agree that's evil, right? That's dark.

SPACEY: I'm not saying it's not evil.

HANNITY: ... shows a side of the human...

SPACEY: Our job, you know, in the entertainment profession is to try to illuminate and show people all sides of humanity, and it doesn't just mean that you can only do movies that are only about the good parts of us. You have to be able to eliminate the bad parts.

HANNITY: I agree.

COLMES: And Kevin, he feels uncomfortable every time I speak, so don't — don't feel bad.

HANNITY: Very nice to meet you, Kevin.

SPACEY: Thank you.

HANNITY: Thank you for being with us.

COLMES: Thank you so much for being with us.

Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2008 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2008 Voxant, Inc. (, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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Hill: We Remember When RFK Was Assassinated

There Is No "Right" To Vote In Primaries!

HRC has hijacked this notion of the rights of voters to be heard. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but this is absolute horseshit!

There is no mention of political parties in the constitution!

The political parties are NOT part of the US government!

They have primaries to try to make sure that they have a candidate that will be supported in the general election, but if they wanted to change their own rules to just simply have the nominee selected by committee they could.

It wouldn't be popular, but it wouldn't be illegal either.

The penalties imposed on FL and MI are matters of the democratic party, not great social issues in American history!

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