Soundbytes For December 10

You have to be able to make your point in a sentence or two. Learn that from Laloo Yadav, the most talked about politician on the planet according to a Harvard study.

"Bill Clinton has spent more time in Iowa this past month than in all of 1992 and 1996."

"Hillary takes money from lobbyists. And she pays back in kind. Her health care plan is written for the insurance companies. Her stance on Iran is written for the defense contractors."

"The Clintons have been making too much money since they left the White House. Their definition of middle class has changed. People in the top 6% income bracket are now middle class."

"If you think the top 6% are middle class, you are out of touch."

"On social security, achieving overall fiscal responsibility is breakfast. Both Hillary and I are for that. But lifting the cap to also tax income after $200,000 in lunch. And Hillary refuses to look at the lunch menu."

"If you can't beat them, join them. Hillary fought the insurance companies in 1993. She got beat, so now she has joined them."

"Hillary has been leading the national polls since February. Folks, it's called name recognition. Joe Lieberman was also leading for big parts of 2003. As was Ted Kennedy in 1980."

"Asbestos pantsuit, now that is not an idea for an Iowa winter."

"Is Bill Clinton running for a third term?"

"How many of Hillary's millions are lobbyist and special interest money?"

"The average contribution to my campaign has been 25 dollars."

"We went to the moon. We can tackle global warming."

"We have to invent our way out of our energy dilemma."

"Strong countries and presidents talk to adversaries. Kennedy did."

"Yes, this country is ready for someone whose mother was white, father was African, and whose cousin is Dick Cheney."

"I have a soft spot for my cousin Dick Cheney, but I disagree with him on both Iraq and Iran. I disagree with Hillary too."

"Hillary wanted Rumsfelt out in 2006. That was to say she thought the decision to go to war was right, the execution got messed up. My position has been the decision to go to war itself was messed up."

"Close to 400,000 Americans have donated to my campaign. That is more than for all other Dems combined."

"This country has not seen a larger grassroots movement in its history."

"We are going to need this grassroots movement even more after I am in the White House because the special interests will still be there."

"You get a presidential election every four years. But you get a movement once a generation, maybe."

"I can imagine my cabinet being about 40% female. This is a brave, new century."

"I take great pride in my African heritage. I take great pride in my Kansas heritage."

"I feel the need for a global war on domestic violence."

"Equal pay, it is time for equal pay. This applies to both race and gender."

"The information age is going to be about universal broadband, but it is also going to be about lifelong education, and universal health care, and access to credit by people in all income brackets."

"Predatory lending has got to stop."

"It is in our interest that India and China grow."

"Globalization is overall a positive force. But it is not if its fruits are not distributed among the people at large."

"This is the internet century. It is a problem that Hillary can't think in front of a computer and thinks bloggers are people talking to themselves."

"Hillary, why do you work so hard to sound like the Bush Republicans on foreign policy?"

"If Warren Buffett is willing to pay his dues, people less rich than him should not have a problem either. And that guy more than most understands entrepreneurship and wealth creation."

"Denis, I like your wife." (Sorry, can't use this. Joe Biden already did.)

"John Edwards wants to nuke the insurance companies on his way to universal health insurance. Hillary wants to write them a black check. Both are problems looking for more problems."

"Hillary, did you go to an all white high school? How does that prepare you for globalization?"

"A white woman has to be 90 to remember a time when they could not vote in this country. A black person - man or woman - only has to be 50. My election to the presidency will be more historic."

"If you want symbolic progress on gender, you go with Hillary, if you want substantive progress on gender, you come with me."

"Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto did not do much for gender in their countries."

"If you don't have judgment and character, can you claim you have strength and experience?"

"Two of our greatest presidents Lincoln and Washington had no experience."

"I have been an elected official for much longer than Hillary."

"Hillary has never held a local or state level office."

"If Hillary's White House years are to count, she is going to have to release her records from the period."

"Hillary has been an excellent Senator. That is why I think she should continue in the Senate."

"So what is Hillary's latest position on driving licenses for undocumented workers?"

"How is Hillary going to compete with Mitt or Rudy on Iraq and Iran? How are their positions different?"

"This election cycle has been no different from any other. People are only now beginning to pay attention."

"I provide universal health insurance for half as money as Hillary and in half as much time. No wonder Hillary thinks I don't intend to cover everybody."

"With me you get an end to war in Iraq and democracy and stability there, and normal relations with Iran."

"The message of democracy and human rights do not run counter to our national security. True national security can only be achieved through a total spread of democracy in the Arab world brought about by local, mass movements."

"Invading Iraq was to take one eye off the Al Qaeda. Invading Iran would be take both eyes off the Al Qaeda."

"Bin Laden is still at large. The Al Qaeda is stronger today than it was before 9/11. Whatever we have been doing has not been working."

"If the US were to invade Iran, we are going to have to reinstate the draft in a major way or we have to nuke Tehran out of existence. Neither option is on my table."

"A five minute air raid of Iran is a neocon fantasy just like a quick victory in Iraq was."

"Yes, I would be willing to talk to our adversaries. I don't fear them."

"Global warming is no hoax."

In The News

Fighting to Fix What’s Not Broken New York Times, United States The program has enough in projected revenues and guaranteed Treasury i.o.u.’s, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, to pay its promised benefits fully through 2046....... While Mrs. Clinton was right that eliminating the cap entirely would raise about $100 billion a year, or $1 trillion over 10 years, it is not clear that is what Mr. Obama intends to do. ...... what is at stake with Social Security is to recognize that its problems pale next to the escalating cost of health care. ....... the cost of Medicare and Medicaid will soar to about 20 percent of gross domestic product by 2050, from 4.6 percent today. By comparison, Social Security rises to just a little over 6 percent from about 4.2 percent. ...... our country’s financial health will in fact be determined primarily by the growth rate of per capital health care costs ....... just because Social Security has less severe problems doesn’t mean that they are non-existent. ...... some of the liberal bloggers were out of touch with the concerns of ordinary voters, who want reassurances that Social Security will remain on a sound footing. ...... the Obama view that Social Security is the best program the government has ever had ...... “A sensible approach is to modestly adjust the regressive payroll tax so that the highest-income people share in the burden now, rather than wait until the problem gets worse and the program’s opponents try to force major benefit cuts.” ...... “Social Security is not a crisis, but there is a problem,” he said. “That problem is solvable, as Henry is fond of saying, but the longer you wait, the harder it is. The sooner you do something, the easier it will be.”
On The Campaign: 2008 Already Settled? Not by a Long Shot strategists in both parties say it is too early to hand the White House keys over to the Democratic Party ...... “She is an habitual evader,” said David Axelrod ...... If Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination and loses the White House to a Republican who challenges her candor, she might look back at these months as the time her fellow-Democrats softened her up for the Republican kill. ....... Most polls suggest that the nation sees the Iraq war as a mistake, and that voters will be looking for a president who will end it; the Democratic presidential field is united in saying it would do so. But the downturn in violence in Iraq over the past month — taking the war off the front pages, and leading Mr. McCain to argue that the so-called surge may be working — is a reminder of one of the great unknowns of this election: What will the state of the war be 10 months from now? ....... Three of the party’s top strategists under Mr. Bush — Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman and Matthew Dowd — have moved on. The Republican National Committee is in the doldrums; its chairman, Mel Martinez, stepped down last month. ....... even Republicans say the exuberance Democrats are exhibiting today is hardly irrational
Obama Takes Pointers from Karl Rove OpEdNews, PA The similarities between Barack's campaign and what Karl Rove is calling on the next GOP candidate for president to do to win are frighteningly similar. But that could be because to beat Karl Rove, you have to campaign like Karl Rove. Or it could mean that Barack Obama is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
The Left's Obama Problem TPMCafe we're constantly reacting to the other side instead of setting our own terms for the debate ...... There, in a nutshell, is the lingering concern a lot of folks on the Left have with Barack Obama: his policies are suitably progressive, but his framing of those policies, from his constant invocation of bipartisanship to his occasional violation of progressive taboos (e.g., lecturing teachers about their opposition to merit pay, and bloggers about their "incivility", and consorting with anti-gay gospel singers), makes them suspect he's really talking past them in order to appeal to the David Broders of the political world. ....... If Obama wins Iowa, and gets the desired one-on-one with HRC, the Left's Obama Problem may be resolved in the opposite direction, though the agony inflicted by Obama's "centrist" rhetorical tendencies could grow with the realization that the Left has nowhere else to go.
Las Vegas Smackdown? Nah, Clinton, Obama and Edwards Play to a Draw Mother Jones
Obama, at fundraiser, thrills supporters with promises of real change
Austin American-Statesman, TX tieless and without a jacket, he delivered a tighter, more polished speech ...... Arduengo said before Obama spoke that he liked former U.S. Sen. John Edwards .... After the speech, Arduengo said, "If the Texas primary actually mattered, I'd be inclined to vote for Obama." ..... the crowd, which included people of different ages and races ..... "He's my man," Anette Ussery, who wore a Burnet County Democrats shirt, said of Obama. "He's fresh; he's worldly." ..... Emily Schrader, a senior at Westwood High School, marked her 18th birthday by cheering Obama with her parents, Beth and Steve Schrader. She appreciated Obama's vow to stop big-business lobbyists and fat cats from running Washington. She said that if she gets into Northwestern University, she hopes to help the Obama campaign in Chicago. Obama, who next headed to a private fundraiser, said, "Let's reach for what we know is possible: a nation healed, a world prepared, an America that can believe again."
Michelle Obama tickets available The Times and Democrat, SC
Obama's wife making stop here Tuesday Orangeburg Times Democrat

For Clinton, More Time and More Advertising New York Times nearly doubled the size of her staff in Iowa and has substantially increased her advertising ....... Seldom will a day go by, aides said, when either she or former President Bill Clinton will not be on some patch of Iowa soil ..... The intense attention is the latest indication of the Clinton campaign’s worry about establishing dominance in Iowa ...... unease with Mrs. Clinton among many voters. ..... The Clinton campaign has been flying in operatives from across the country to bolster the Iowa effort. ..... If candidates do not reach a 15 percent threshold in each of the 1,784 precinct caucuses on Jan. 3, their supporters make a second choice, a procedure that Mrs. Clinton’s aides fear could favor Mr. Edwards or Mr. Obama. ...... final seven weeks .... rivals are also planning to spend nearly all their time in Iowa in December ...... hiring 100 new workers to concentrate on a person-to-person drive to explain the quirky process of the caucuses, with a goal of having 50,000 in-home visits by Christmas. ...... More than 60 percent of those who have identified themselves as Clinton supporters, senior strategists say, have never participated in the Iowa caucuses. It is a far higher share than the campaign had been anticipating, which suggests that many of the reliable rank-and-file Democrats have chosen another candidate. So the Clinton campaign is working to expand its universe of supporters to women who have never participated. ........ hired eight deputies charged solely with drumming up media coverage in smaller cities across the state. ..... new anxieties about Iowa and a sense of heightened importance in the vote’s outcome ..... the Clinton campaign held a job fair in Washington to recruit many of the 100 new workers, but it remains an open question whether the late influx of young aides will be able to build the relationships with Iowa voters that other campaigns have been working on for months. ......... “At the beginning, she didn’t understand the whole notion of relationship building,” said Mr. Vilsack, the former Iowa governor, who often travels the state with Mrs. Clinton and introduces her to voters. “She now gets it. She now understands the psyche of this process.”
Obama criticizes Clinton campaign at Austin rally Dallas Morning News "If my opponents come at me with fear-mongering and swift-boating, I will take them head-on," he said. "The American people are tired of fear and they are tired of diversions and distractions." ........ Obama is coming off a shaky performance in Thursday's Democratic debate, where Mrs. Clinton demonstrated skill and polish in putting her rivals on the defensive. ....... her campaign has been described by analysts as disciplined and methodical.
Nepal: Full proportional voting system unacceptable, NC Mr. Poudel however, said that the NC could make a compromise, if the Maoists’ came with the idea of at least ten percent regular voting (FPTP-first past the post) and the rest of the ninety percent voting through proportional system.
Nepal: India can’t solve Terai crisis, MJF leader unless the genuine demands forwarded by the Madhesis were not met with by the Government, the Terai/Madhesh problems will remain intact.
Nepal: We are a nationalist force, MJF leader Yadav
Nepal: CBES warns of armed revolt, 25000 volunteers ready..
Nepal: Maoists threaten parallel government it is not that easy to weaken the Maoist Party that has more than six lakhs members
Nepal: Mahato warns of yet another Madhesi revolt Mr. Mahato was today talking to journalists in Parasi Bazaar in the district of Nawalparasi. ..... “Our party supports the recently passed proposals for declaring a federal democratic republic and the adoption of full proportion system of voting for the CA elections”, Mahato concluded. .... Mr. Mahato who was a minister in the present government under Koirala had to resign from his position only after an inner party feud. His ministerial seat yet remains vacant. ..... Mr. Mahato since then has been actively involved in uniting various Terai outfits under a single umbrella and voicing for the Madhesi rights.
Mormon smears turn Republican race sour Times Online Callers also claimed the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints did not consecrate blacks as bishops until the 1970s and believes the Book of Mormon supersedes the Bible. Romney called the attacks “unAmerican”. ....... Robert Redford, the film star, joined in the Mormon-bashing this month, claiming that church followers were “very adept at not being fazed and speaking fluently and gracefully” because they “learn how to deflect blows and stay on message” when they go on missions “when they are 19 or 20”. ...... “only Romney has the cash and the organisation to go one-to-one with Rudy”. ...... “if the campaign that used appeals to religious bigotry is identified, it will be over for that candidate”. ...... polling was carried out by Western Wats, which is based in Utah ..... members of the company were revealed to be Romney donors. ....... Romney’s camp has been debating whether to sharpen its attacks on Giuliani, with some advisers cautioning that it could result in a “murder-suicide”, destroying both candidates. But the tone between the rivals has hardened
UN Panel Gives Dire Warming Forecast The Associated Press
Novak column inflames Clinton-Obama feud Newsday unspecified "agents" working for Clinton "are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information." ...... Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said he has "absolutely no idea" what Novak or Obama were talking about. He ridiculed Obama for allowing Novak to drive a wedge between Democrats. ...... "He's parroting Republican talking points from a columnist of questionable credibility," Carson said. "If you don't have the experience not to fall into a Bob Novak trap you have no business seeking the presidency." ....... She kept up the pressure on Obama Saturday, criticizing his health care plan before a group of steel workers in North Las Vegas.
Clinton camp fires back over column Reuters “I am prepared to stand up to that kind of politics, whether it's deployed by candidates in our party, in the other party or by any third party." ..... the "Washington art of evasion and deflection." He asked: "Are 'agents' of their campaign spreading these rumors? And do they have 'scandalous' information that they are not releasing? Yes or no?”
Column by Novak Inspires 'Swift' Obama Reaction Editor & Publisher
Is Barack Obama just another high-toned liberal doomed to failure? Slate Stevenson, the famously virtuous Illinois governor who nobly went down to defeat against Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956, remains the model Democratic loser. He was the sensible champion of civility who gallantly upheld the liberal banner in a conservative age, even while getting drubbed at the polls. One of his favorite tactics was to proclaim his ability to flout his audiences and instead act on behalf of the whole public. ..... most Democratic politicians have succeeded by building alliances of disparate groups, each with its own pet issues ...... resonated most with intellectuals and well-educated upscale professionals. ....... the quest for common ground with a language of enlightened reason. It disdains the passionate and sometimes ugly politics of backroom deals, negative campaigning, sordid tactics, and appeals to emotion. It extols sacrifice and denigrates self-interest. ........ Mugwump-style reformism went into eclipse during the New Deal. Franklin Roosevelt and his circle preferred a strategy of coalition building that had roots in Democratic urban machine politics. In their policies, they focused unsentimentally on economics—passing programs that would put food on people's tables. They dispensed with the Mugwumps' and Progressives' moral uplift in favor of a pragmatic approach. ....... From Eugene McCarthy in 1968 to Paul Tsongas in 1992 to Bill Bradley in 2000, these figures typically commanded strong followings among students and upscale liberals, while generating comparatively less enthusiasm among labor and African-Americans, among other core Democratic voters. ......... In 1952 and again in 1956, Stevenson tried to avoid negative campaigning at first, considering it undignified and an insult to voters. (He felt the same way about TV ads.) And so when he finally, of necessity, resorted to attacking Eisenhower—mainly by going after his running mate, Richard Nixon—Stevenson came off as desperate and hypocritical. The same was true for Tsongas and Bradley when they flailed haplessly at Bill Clinton and Al Gore. ....... If he continues to heed the advice of friendly pundits to attack Hillary Clinton more forcefully, he risks undermining the very premise of his campaign, tainting his image as a new kind of politician while failing to land his punches, because in the end he's not really a street fighter. What he doesn't seem to understand—as Stevenson did not—is that democratic politics fairly demands a measure of thrust and parry, of appeals to self-interest, and of playing the political game. And so does being a good president.
Novak: Clinton has secret dirt on Obama The Carpetbagger Report This word-of-mouth among Democrats makes Obama look vulnerable and Clinton look prudent. ...... Novak claims that Clinton “agents” aren’t spreading Obama rumors — they’re spreading rumors about rumors. They have “scandalous information,” which they won’t use, but which nevertheless “makes Obama look vulnerable.” ....... Notice that the campaign took a derisive tone towards Novak, which was the right call.
A sweet Saturday mystery: Clinton, Obama and Mr. X Los Angeles Times Novak is a curmudgeonly old Washington veteran much courted by GOP sources seeking to reach their base ...... The column even got a red-letter mention on the Drudge Report, which guaranteed wide notice in political circles. ........ the Clinton machine is notorious for playing hardball and this is just the kind of thing that team might do ...... Notice how Obama tries to tie Clinton to the old Washington politics, using the unsourced, unconfirmed innuendoes of a conservative Republican reporter initially aimed at him. ....... the races in both parties appeared to be tightening. ..... Political leaks--or in this case, insinuations of a non-leak--can be tricky things with unintended consequences. Back in 2000, five days before the general election, thinking there would be insufficient time for the Bush-Cheney ticket to recover, someone leaked word to a Maine TV station about a long-ago DUI arrest there of George W. Bush. Democrats often forget it was Carl Cameron of Fox News who made that a national story. ...... his five-point lead in Maine became overnight a five-point deficit there and he lost that state in the Electoral College.