Bush Kept On Plame Leakers Despite Promises

The New York Daily News quotes George Bush as promising that any staffer proven to have leaked CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity “would no longer be in this administration.” They note that Bush hasn’t fired anyone even though Libby’s trial showed that at last ten others had leaked Plame’s name:

Vice President Cheney
When Libby reminded his boss the vice president that he learned about Plame from him, Cheney tilted his head quizzically and said, “From me?”

Karl Rove
Bush’s top political mastermind told reporters Robert Novak and Matt Cooper about Plame.

Richard Armitage
The former deputy secretary of state gossiped about Plame to Novak, and marveled to Watergate icon Bob Woodward, “How about that?”

Ari Fleischer
Bush’s former spokesman got immunity before admitting he told reporters John Dickerson and David Gregory about Plame. Reporter Walter Pincus said Fleischer told him about her, too.

Dan Bartlett
Fleischer claimed Bush’s counselor blurted out to him on Air Force One in July 2003 that Plame “worked at the CIA.”

Robert Grenier
The top CIA official overseeing Iraq operations got nervous over Libby’s pestering and later “felt guilty” about telling Cheney’s chief of staff about Plame.

Bill Harlow
The CIA spokesman told Cheney flack Cathie Martin.

Cathie Martin
She told Cheney and Libby about Plame.

Marc Grossman
The No. 3 at the State Department also told Libby about Plame.

Craig Schmall
Cheney’s CIA daily briefer discussed Plame with Libby.

It sure looks like you can’t trust George Bush to keep his word, and you can’t trust Republicans to keep a secret regarding our national security.

Hillary Clinton Opens Blog, Plays it Safe

Hillary Clinton’s blog has opened. Clinton is unlikely to face the controversy faced by John Edwards with the hiring of Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. Clinton previously hired Peter Daou for her outreach to the blogosphere, and the blog is being written by Crystal Patterson, who previously ran Ted Kennedy’s blog. Unfortunately being out spoken is expected in the blogosphere, but a different style is needed by those representing public officials.

Besides Patterson, the blog is utilizing guest posts by supporters. Considering that the typical entries on a candidate’s blog are not the most notable products of the blogosphere, increasing interest by allowing supporters to have their posts on the main page is a good idea. The goal, after all, is to keep those interested in the campaign coming back and helping to crate buzz for the candidate (and perhaps donate a few bucks).

Hillary’s blog is most like the candidate blogs we became accustomed to in the 2004 race. In contrast, Obama’s blog combines a traditional blog with a My Space clone and Edwards uses every bell and whistle developed in the last few years. While Obama and Edwards offer more at their blogs, sometimes simpler is better. If the goal is to keep supporters hanging around your site, Edwards has the edge. However if the goal is to keep current supporters interested (but perhaps not so busy with the site that they have no time to campaign in other ways), and to also be user-friendly to voters who are not yet familiar with the blogosphere, Hillary’s blog might be the best from the top tier Democratic candidates.

Flip Flopping Becomes Major GOP Problem

In 2004 Republicans attacked John Kerry by claiming he was a flip flopper. Republicans couldn’t run on either their record in office or the issues, so they had to resort to inventing charges such as this.The fact that Kerry has had a consistent stand on the issues didn’t stop them from distorting Kerry’s views to convince some voters both that flip flopping is evil and that Kerry had was a flip flopper.

This may come back to haunt the Republicans in 2008. While Kerry’s flip flopping was manufactured by the right wing noise machine, the three top candidates for the GOP nomination have all altered their views to make them more acceptable to the far right base of the party. Most likely they will also have to moderate the extremist positions they have taken in a general election campaign, which will further expose them to the flip flopping charge.I’ve recently noted this flip flopping by John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani. It doesn’t matter much if at most a couple thousand people read it here, but the three are beginning to face this charge in the mainstream media. Sunday the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about McCain’s Flip Flop Express. They note that Politico.com has referred to him as “the onetime maverick.”

Today Richard Cohen writes about The Talented Mr. Romney. The talent he refers to is zig zagging on the issues. He notes that McCain and Giuliani have also done this, “but Romney is in a class of his own.”

Besides the notice in Cohen’s column, Giuliani’s flip flopping was noted gently on The Situation Room on CNN recently. Media Matters reports on this, as well as the many flip flops they failed to mention.

If Republicans convinced voters that flip flopping is the ultimate evil, they might be in for some hard times. Of course the Democrats might not even need to resort to using charges of flip flopping as the center of their campaign. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats don’t have to hide from their record, and can discuss the issues.

Robert Reich: Gore May Enter Race At Oscars

It would certainly be exciting for Al Gore to go up on stage to win the Oscar and announce he is running for President. Robert Reich writes that this is a possibility on his blog:

The odds are better than 50-50 that Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” will win an Oscar for best documentary at next Sunday’s Academy Awards. The odds are better than one in three that, when accepting the Oscar, and while being watched by 29 million people, Gore will announce he is running for president in 2008.

I agree with his odds regarding the Oscar, but I’m betting that if Gore decides to enter the race he will wait longer. The speculation about him possibly running keeps him in the headlines, bringing attention to his planned concerts to promote climate change research. It will also help increase sales of his upcoming book, The Assault on Reason, which in tern might increase interest in him as a candidate even further.
Gore has enough name recognition and support that there is no need to set himself up as a target this early. Let Clinton, Obama, and Edwards establish a circular firing squad to knock each down a bit, while suffering additional pot shots from the second tier candidates. Let the others suffer the type of media scrutiny received by candidates. Gore has plenty of time to watch how the race develops and see what his chances are before deciding to enter. Why enter the race if it doesn’t look like he can win risk being seen as a loser, in contrast to his current reputation as the man who actually won in 2000 but was denied the Presidency? Besides, on top of the Oscar he just might have a Nobel Peace Prize this fall, although he might not be able to wait that long to decide upon running.

Gore has plenty of time to decide upon running. While an announcement at the Oscars would make a tremendous impact, a Gore announcement at any point would also be big news.

Dinosaurs in the Ark

Archy tales a literal look at the bible to examine what it meant to have all the animals of the world aboard–including dinosaurs. As he notes, taking the bible literally leads to some far fetched conclusions–far harder to accept than Darwin’s theory of evolution.