Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Battle For New Hampshire

The Battle For New Hampshire

Posted: 29 Dec 2007 06:33 AM CST

Things took a nasty turn yesterday between Mitt Romney and John McCain in the battle for New Hampshire. Here's a quick tick-tock of the day's events: - Things started yesterday morning when Mitt...

RCP Update

Obama Transcends Racial Confinements

Posted: 30 Dec 2007 12:00 AM CST

WASHINGTON -- America's foremost black intellectual has published a slender book about the most interesting presidential candidacy since 1980. Shelby Steele's characteristically subtle argument is...

World Conflicts Should Weigh On Voters' Minds

Posted: 30 Dec 2007 12:00 AM CST

WASHINGTON -- Once again, the cold, cruel outside world has intruded on the quiet of a holiday season. The assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto two days after Christmas...

The Minutemen Circus

Posted: 30 Dec 2007 12:00 AM CST

SAN DIEGO -- Tired of playing cop, some in the Minuteman movement are trying to influence the 2008 presidential election by playing powerbroker. And like just about everything this bunch does, the...

McCain On "Hannity & Colmes"

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 10:26 PM CST

LOWRY: Welcome back to HANNITY AND COLMES. I'm Rich Lowry, siting in for Sean Hannity tonight. Joining us now is GOP presidential hopeful John McCain. Senator, thanks for being with us....

Breaking Down The Closing Arguments

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 10:23 PM CST

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAVED IQBAL CHEEMA, PAKISTAN INTERIOR MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: There is no external body inside Pakistan, so let it be very clear that there was no bullet that hit Benazir...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

In Iowa, Obama Says He'll Bring Change

In Iowa, Obama Says He'll Bring Change

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 10:40 AM CST

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani 9/11 Ad Riles John McCain

Rudy Giuliani 9/11 Ad Riles John McCain

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 10:39 AM CST

New York Daily News

Romney Fights to Regain Lead

Romney Fights to Regain Lead

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 10:38 AM CST

Concord Monitor

Clinton Continues Talk on Iraq, Health Care

Clinton Continues Talk on Iraq, Health Care

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 10:37 AM CST

Des Moines Register

PACs Love, Loathe Hillary in Iowa

PACs Love, Loathe Hillary in Iowa

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 10:31 AM CST

Washington Times

Criticism Aside, 'FairTax' Boosts Huckabee Campaign

Criticism Aside, 'FairTax' Boosts Huckabee Campaign

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 10:31 AM CST

Washington Post

Fred On Air - For Now

Fred On Air - For Now

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 01:19 PM CST

The Thompson campaign announced it has raised enough money to get on air in Iowa, though it's not clear for exactly how long they'll be able to keep this ad running:...

A One Way Conversation

A One Way Conversation

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 08:46 AM CST

Peter Nicholas of the LA Times reports that Hillary isn't taking any questions on her final "Time to Pick a President" tour of Iowa. What ever happened to "let's chat?"...

The Daily 2008

The Daily 2008

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 08:30 AM CST

On this day in 1856 Woodrow Wilson is born in Staunton, Virginia. Also on this day in 1973 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn published the first of his three-volume The Gulag Archipelago in the original Russian...

Ad War: Romney vs. McCain

Ad War: Romney vs. McCain

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 07:32 AM CST

The ad war between Mitt Romney and John McCain is heating up in New Hampshire, with both candidates releasing new spots this morning. Here they are, starting with Romney's ad, titled "Future":...

Chatter in the Blogosphere

Chatter in the Blogosphere

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 07:02 AM CST

2008 is just around the corner, and Iowa will soon be upon us. Check out RealClearBlogs for all of the latest from around the blogosphere. Here are this morning's headlines: To The Wire: Are...

Bhutto, what are they saying now?

What the newspapers are saying about Bhutto

Posted: 28 Dec 2007 07:31 AM CST

Yesterday we heard statements from the presidential candidates on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan. Today, the major newspapers around the country have...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Today's RCP Articles

Republican Race Twists & Turns Even Before Bhutto Assassination
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:52 AM CST
Even before the death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Thursday, there were signs of continued churning in the GOP race, with Arizona Senator John McCain pulling even with and ahead of...

The Legacy of Benazir Bhutto
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:50 AM CST
AVON, Colo. -- Try to imagine a young Pakistani woman bounding into the newsroom of the Harvard Crimson in the early 1970s and banging out stories about college sports teams with the passion of a cub...

When an Assassin Succeeds
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:41 AM CST
The roll call of U.S. allies in the Middle East and its neighborhood has always read like a target list: Maliki, Karzai, Sistani, Musharraf. One bullet or one suicide blast could wipe out all our...

A Crisis Intrudes On Iowa
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:40 AM CST
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The assassination of Benazir Bhutto came as a brutal reminder of the gravity of the decision Iowa's voters will be rendering in their caucuses next Thursday night. Its impact may...

What the Campaign Vets Are Saying
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:36 AM CST
LOS ANGELES -- At Christmas dinner at my friend Lynne's, the talk was politics. What else? Scattered around the room were veterans of more campaigns than anyone wanted to count, and the best news,...

Obama & the Burden of Liberalism
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:33 AM CST
"If you want conventional Washington thinking, I'm not your man. If you want rigid ideology, I'm not your man. If you think that fundamental change can wait, I'm definitely not your man. But if you...

The Real World Intrudes
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:25 AM CST
The next to last assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto came on Dec. 13, when a man in the crowd got the former prime minister's attention. He was holding a 1-year-old baby -- Bhutto said later she...

Annus Horribilis Ahead?
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:20 AM CST
With the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8, and the Iowa caucuses dead ahead, the nominees of both parties may be known in two weeks. Surely, after Feb. 5, when a slew of primaries are held, both races...

My 'Persons of the Year'
Posted: 28 Dec 2007 12:20 AM CST
WASHINGTON -- While I was in Fallujah, Iraq, embedded with a U.S. Special Operations Command Task Force, Time magazine gave Russian President -- and soon to be Prime Minister (and long to be ruler)...

Iowa And New Hampshire: Same Old, Same Old
Posted: 27 Dec 2007 09:00 AM CST
One definition of crazy is to keep doing diligently the same thing over and over when it's not working. By that definition America's presidential primary system is seriously loony, for with respect...

How McCain Wins
Posted: 27 Dec 2007 08:11 AM CST
If you've been watching the news or reading the paper in the past couple days, you're sure to have noticed a new tone emerging when reporters and pundits discuss John McCain. "He can win", "McCain...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mitt v. McCain, McCain v. Mitt, and on and on

by Jill Zuckman
Henniker, N.H. – What if you went to a popular New Hampshire spot and couldn't find anyone who actually votes in the state?

That's what happened to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Wednesday when he visited Pat's Peak, a popular ski area where he says he taught his five sons to ski. The place was packed with children, a.k.a non-voters, as well as vacationers from places such as Ireland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Israel and Canada, a.k.a. non-New Hampshire voters.

But perhaps the real point of his visit was to level a couple zingers at Sen. John McCain, his closest rival in the New Hampshire primary. Romney said it is "totally appropriate" to "compare and contrast" the candidates' positions before criticizing McCain on illegal immigration and taxes. He also accused McCain of sending a mailer to voters that attacked him personally.
The back and forth between the two campaigns and the dissecting of comments went long past the Pat's Peak visit and into the night. Let's review the bidding.

Romney launched the first salvo, saying that McCain was "wrong to say all illegal aliens can stay here permanently" and "he was wrong to vote against the Bush tax cuts."
McCain mocked Romney, saying his campaign is in a "tailspin," and called his attacks "desperate, flailing and false."

Full Story:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2008 Presidential Race in crunch time

Iowa Races Entering the Home Stretch

Posted: 26 Dec 2007 10:59 AM CST

Los Angeles Times

Mitt, Huckabee Present Stark Choice for Iowans

Posted: 26 Dec 2007 10:56 AM CST

Wall Street Journal

Courting Students, And Hoping They'll Cast Votes

Posted: 26 Dec 2007 10:52 AM CST

Washington Post

Edwards Gets Demerits for Tardiness on the Trail

Posted: 26 Dec 2007 10:50 AM CST

New York Times

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Web Troll's Toll on the Clinton Campaign

December 24, 2007; Page A6

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. -- In Norse mythology, trolls steal babies and leave their own shape-shifting offspring behind. On the Internet, they just steal attention.

As candidates increasingly use the Internet to build political bridges, their message boards have become homes for trolls, users of an online community who leave messages that are ideologically opposed, off-topic or off-color.

WSJ's Timothy Farnam delves into the furtive life of an Internet troll. He meets Brian O'Neill, a 33-year-old student at Northern Kentucky University, who posts anti-Clinton comments and links on the candidate's campaign website.

Brian O'Neill, a 33-year-old part-time bartender and full-time college student, has been marauding on Sen. Hillary Clinton's Web site for the past few months, even though his posts attacking the candidate are frequently scrubbed from the site within hours. Mr. O'Neill turned to Mrs. Clinton's site after being booted from online forums of former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee.

Although Mr. O'Neill says he isn't familiar with the term "troll," he has been labeled as one -- and not just once. "I thought they were calling me like the, you know, little garden trolls," Mr. O'Neill says, "and I'm, like, 'I'm not a garden item.' "

Mr. O'Neill, who lives in this small town outside Cincinnati, has a "special blogging place" two levels underground at the library on the campus of Northern Kentucky University in nearby Highland Heights. On a break between classes, he sits down at a bank of computers in the back corner of the stacks, places his large cup of nutmeg-seasoned French roast coffee on the table and logs on.

While many of the students browse the social-networking site MySpace, Mr. O'Neill gets right to work posting an unfavorable article from the online Drudge Report to a bulletin board on Mrs. Clinton's site. He keeps looking for disparaging news before finding a link to her personal financial disclosure filing. He adjusts his chair and leans in toward the screen, muttering, "Let's get me some dirt." Grabbing a piece of unlined copier paper left on the desk next to him, he begins scribbling notes about her stock holdings for his next raid.

Mr. O'Neill is hardly alone. Although the number of trolls can't be measured, they regularly haunt online political sites, which have mushroomed in recent years. Technorati, which follows blogging trends, now tracks 40,000 English-language politics blogs. "The ability of trolls to gain attention, to secure an audience, if ever briefly, is much greater than before," says Derek Gordon, a former vice president at the company.

Who they are: "Trolls" disrupt Internet message boards with postings that are ideologically opposed, off-topic or off-color.
Counteroffensives: Many sites fight trolls by banning them, but they often return by setting up new accounts. Mainly, it's a matter of policing the posts and yanking offensive ones.
Mushrooming: Although the number of trolls can't be measured, they have proliferated along with political blogs.

Sites try various weapons to combat trolls. Campaign trolls popped up en masse in 2004 on Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean's Web site. Dean supporters batted them back with a "troll goal," donating money to the campaign's coffers each time they spotted an offending post. The supporters crowed about each sighting, eliminating the trolls' incentive to disrupt.

Most campaigns and individual bloggers invite readers to report offensive comments, and others approve each comment before it appears. At the liberal discussion Web site Daily Kos, "trusted users" can block people whose comments regularly offend members.

Daily Kos has another tactic: the recipe. When a troll attempts to start a conversation at that site, loyalists post recipes instead of engaging them. With so many trolls, the recipes have proliferated -- enough so that Daily Kos compiled a 144-page "Trollhouse Cookbook," including crab bisque inspired by President Bush's second inauguration and "Liberal Elite Cranberry Glazed Brie."

While that approach seems comical, the problem is real. Michael Lazzaro, a Daily Kos contributing editor who goes by "Hunter," says about 10 people are banned each week, but many return by setting up new accounts. One person, easily identified by his writing, has opened more than 100 accounts since 2005, he says. "He basically comments for awhile really nicely and then out of the blue he'll start ranting about women or Jews or something like that," Mr. Lazzaro says.

The Clinton campaign simply yanks the posts of Mr. O'Neill and others. "We have very clear-cut terms of service that we ask people to read before posting to the site," says Peter Daou, the Clinton campaign's Internet director. The terms of service prohibit content that is "harmful" or "defamatory," among other things, and lets the campaign delete comments for any reason. Mr. Daou declined to comment on Mr. O'Neill's posts or the extent of the abuse at the site.

Readers on the Clinton site often take measures into their own hands. "Its nice to see you here on Hillary's sight, [sic]" one wrote to Mr. O'Neill. "It shows your fear that Hillary can win."

[Brian O'Neill]

Mr. O'Neill, who goes by the handle "thepoliticalguy," doesn't let the comments get him down. "If they think I'm a troll, then so be it," he says, before immediately rejecting this premise. "It's wrong! It's wrong! Where's the freedom of ideas?" He pounds the table. "If you're on a site and you're just agreeing with each other all day, where's the argument?"

Mr. O'Neill has lived in northern Kentucky since he was 6, save for a few years spent in the Army. He worked 12-hour shifts for seven years, he says, keeping baggage flowing underneath the Cincinnati airport.

He returned to college three years ago, where he started to follow domestic politics with newfound zeal. "It's the arguments," he says. "I love to argue."

When he returns to his one-bedroom apartment, Mr. O'Neill flips on the computer and checks Mrs. Clinton's Web site. His comment on her stock portfolio is already gone. His brief disappointment gives way almost immediately to elation. "Wait a second!" he says, jumping to his feet, "I still have the little piece of paper." He retrieves the notes from his backpack near the door. "We'll just rewrite it."

He re crafts the post, and titles it "Hillary Clinton, the Oil, War and Fox News Profiteer." He lists Mrs. Clinton's ownership in BP PLC, Chevron Corp., Boeing Co. and News Corp., despite the fact that the candidate and her husband liquidated their blind trust in April to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. "So the truth comes out," Mr. O'Neill concludes, "if she is elected, looks like we may spent a couple more years in Iraq, so someone can make more money on there stock dividends and guess what, its not Bush."

Mr. O'Neill's comment is back on the Clinton site in 20 minutes. And off again.

Romney and McCain Exchange Christmas Jeers

Romney and McCain Exchange Christmas Jeers
Monday, December 24, 2007

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney leveled his sights on GOP rival John McCain this weekend as he sought to maintain his shrinking lead in the Granite State.

On the primary trail in Petersborough, N.H, Romney on Sunday poked McCain in the eye over his vote against the Bush packages of tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, as well as for refusing to vote to eliminate the estate tax, known by opponents as the “death tax.”

While calling McCain a “good man” and noting they agree on foreign trade, Romney’s sharpest points for the Arizona senator were over taxes.
“Right now Senator McCain and I are both battling for your support and your vote. He’s a good man but we have differing views on this. He voted against the Bush tax cuts. He voted against eliminating the death tax forever, and so we’ve got some differing views here,” Romney said.
“I believe in pushing taxes down. I also believe in trade around the world and that’s a place where Senator McCain and I agree.”

McCain’s campaign didn’t take long to fire back, needling Romney on the tax issue as well as a number of the former Massachusetts governor’s recent public relations gaffes.
“Welcome to Mitt Romney’s bizarro world, in which everyone is guilty of his sins,” McCain adviser Mark Salter said.

Salter continued, saying Romney “didn’t support Ronald Reagan. He didn’t support President Bush’s tax cuts. He raised taxes in Massachusetts by $700 million. He knows John McCain is gaining on him so he does what any small varmint gun totin,’ civil rights marching, NRA endorsed fantasy candidate would do: he questions someone else’s credibility. ”

“New Hampshire is on to you, Mitt. Give it a rest. It’s Christmas.”
Salter’s statement drew its own response from Romney’s campaign.

The Full Story:

Ouch..... it's getting personal now

One Paper says he walks on water and the other says he's a Mormon devil

Sounds like they have newspapers like the Tribune and Deseret News there in Boston

Endorsement Wars

Posted: 23 Dec 2007 08:11 AM CST

The Concord Monitor did the opposite of endorsing Mitt Romney by publishing an editorial yesterday afternoon urging people to vote against the former Governor of Massachusetts. The Monitor concluded:...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Let the Spiking Begin Lefty Bloggers

I had mentioned in an earlier Spyglass post that the lefty authors of Amicus, Bell, etc, etc, etc (Shall we Dance) would wait till the last minute on Saturday night to intentionally spike down the ratings of the Spyglass. Well I just happened to be reading some of the lefty blog posts this evening and what do I see? , nearly every article I posted early this morning was repeated by the left.

Well I couldn’t have felt more proud that many of you thought what I had already posted needed to be repeated under your byline. I also thought I must be running around 10 out of 10 possible in highest ranking, since every post I made today was repeated by somebody, but NOOOOO, the Spyglass was spiked down to 4 , FOUR!!!! You know who you are.

So the Gloves come off you ingrates, just watch in shock as your favorite Amicus, Bell, Track, and the rest feel the sharp attacks you have chosen to dish out on the old Spyglass.

And in closing, I will say for the record that Romney’s campaign is done. He painted himself with previous lies right up to the cliff’s edge. This latest whopper pushed him over the edge as far as this voter stands.

I and many others don’t want a prejudiced anti Mormon Southern Baptist minister as the leader of this great country (along with 5 million other voting Mormons) so Huckleberry Hound is toast. This latest thing with Rudy is going to bring back memories of his excuse of Prostate Cancer when he bowed out against Hillary “the ROD” Clinton, when his pollsters gave him the losing numbers.

So I’m going out on a HUGE Limb tonight and tell you who I feel will be the nominees for their respective parties.

Obama will be like Fox’s 24 David Palmer, the first African American Presidential Nominee for the democrats, who will be his running mate? Wesley Clark most likely

As for the Republican’s, hold onto your hats folks, but here is the actual winning team that can take the White House. Drum roll please. You gatta hand it to Governor Jon Huntsman and AG Mark Shurtlef, they ignored them all and stayed loyal to Senator John McClain. He will likely win New Hampshire after Mitt stepped in it again by opening his mouth, and then come in second to Huckabee in SC. Mitt will likely win Iowa, but not by much, and he had to pander to those multi millionaire farmers about ethanol if he does.

At least McCain told them where they can stick their corncobs subsidies. And guess who will be his running mate? , the democratic Vice Presidential nominee of 2004 Joe Lieberman. Uncle Joe is squeaky clean, smart, and really wants to stick it to the Democrats who tried to toss him out of the US Senate. He is well respected on both sides of the aisle of the Senate, and probably could get some real work accomplished.

What’s happened to Romney? The more prevalent this revelation about Romney’s pattern of lying (especially about stuff that happened during the Olympics) gets out, he should save the Millions he would throw down the toilet, and give his son about 3 million to take on Matheson here in Utah’s second district. I actually herd that the party is considering Merrill Cook as a possibility again. If the Republican Party can’t get a fresher candidate to run against Matheson, they should concede the inevitable and put their money in a race they actually might win.

This guy is plain scarry: Video of Ron Paul's revolution

The lights are on, but nobody’s home

U.S. Congress is sinking to new lows

By George F. Will

Published: Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007 12:03 a.m. MST

WASHINGTON — Hell bent on driving its approval rating into single digits, Congress adjourned after passing an omnibus spending bill larded with at least 8,993 earmarks costing at least $7.4 billion — the precise number and amount will be unclear until implications of some obscure provisions are deciphered. The gusher of earmarks was a triumph of bipartisanship, which often is a synonym for kleptocracy.

This was the first year since 1994 that Democrats controlled both houses. Consider Congress' agreeably meager record: It raised the hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 — less than the $7 entry wage at McDonald's — thereby increasing the wages of less than 0.5 percent of the work force. Rebuffing President Bush, who advocates halting farm subsidies to those with adjusted gross incomes of more than $200,000, the Senate also rejected — more bipartisanship — a cap at $750,000. This, in spite of the fact that farm income has soared to record levels, partly because Congress shares the president's loopy enthusiasm for ethanol and wants more corn and other agricultural matter turned into fuel.

Although Congress trembles for the future of the planet, it was unwilling to eliminate the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol. But our polymath Congress continued designing automobiles to make them less safe (smaller) and more expensive. It did this by mandating new fuel efficiency — a 35 mpg fleet average by 2020 — lest the automotive industry design cars people want. And Congress mandated a 12-year phaseout of incandescent light bulbs.

Read Full Story:,5143,695237868,00.html

Rolling on Floor, No comments necessary

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Romney Backpedals on Statements _ Again


BOSTON (AP) - Mitt Romney, who earlier this year had to backpedal on his hunting exploits, is explaining himself again after claiming an endorsement he did not receive and saying he witnessed his father in civil rights marches he could not have seen.

"It's a figure of speech," Romney said Thursday after media inquiries into the Republican presidential contender's statement during his recent religion speech that he watched his father, the late Gov. George Romney of Michigan, march with Martin Luther King Jr.

Romney, who was in high school at the time, later said he only heard of his father marching, and some historians have questioned whether his father, in fact, did march with King. The Romney campaign provided books and news articles it said supported his statement.

Romney said it was akin to him stating, "I saw my dad become president of American Motors." He told reporters in Iowa, "I wasn't there when he became president."

(AP) Republican presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, walks to his...Full ImageRomney similarly backtracked after telling a national television audience Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "I received the endorsement of the NRA" in 2002 while running for governor of Massachusetts.

The gun rights group did not endorse either candidate, and gave a higher issues rating to his Democratic opponent.
Romney said Monday, "It was, if you will, a support phone bank, which is not an official endorsement."

The questions are especially sensitive for Romney, who is trying to rebound against rival Mike Huckabee in Iowa and maintain a lead in New Hampshire, the leadoff contests in the voting for presidential nominees.

Throughout his campaign, he has been dogged by allegations of flip-flopping on key issues, from abortion rights to gun control and gay rights.

It's the fine-tuning that's created the problem. It's always that one extra step that causes him the trouble," said Tobe Berkovitz, a longtime Romney observer and the interim dean of Boston University's College of Communication. "You can't just say that African-Americans were accepted into the church and I was happy, you have to say you pulled over and you cried."

The latter was a reference to another statement Romney made on "Meet the Press," in which he tried to convey his emotion after learning in 1978 his Mormon church had given full privileges to blacks.

Romney recalled his exact location when he heard the news - the Fresh Pond traffic rotary in Cambridge - but he misspoke when he said he thought he was in law school at the time. In fact, he had graduated from Harvard Law School three years earlier.

"If this had been three months ago, it would have been more water off the back of the duck, but right now, everything is magnified not only for him but Rudy and Hillary and everybody else," said Berkovitz, mentioning fellow presidential contenders Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Democrat Al Gore faced similar questions during the 2000 campaign, when he falsely claimed to have accompanied a federal disaster relief official on a tour of a fire zone, and on previous occasions when he claimed more credit than many felt he warranted about the creation of the Internet, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the Love Canal toxic waste investigation.
Romney is well aware of the power of words in politics. His father saw his own presidential campaign founder in 1968 amid questions about his statement that he was subjected to "a brainwashing" by U.S. generals during a visit to Vietnam.

The elder Romney switched from supporting the war to opposing it, despite the generals' efforts to maintain his backing, but in campaign discussions his observation morphed into the suggestion that he was mentally unfit for office.

Mitt Romney says that experience is why he detests "gotcha" journalism. Aides say it also explains why he blows by reporters except for scheduled news conferences, and why he is wary of a "YouTube moment" in which stray tape recorders or cell phone cameras capture him making an offhand remark.

"I try to be as accurate as I can be," he said Thursday.
Nonetheless, Romney faced snickers in April after his staff said he had been hunting on only two occasions despite his telling a New Hampshire voter, "I've been a hunter pretty much all my life." Romney later said he had hunted more than twice but only for "small varmints" and that he did not own a gun or have a hunting license.

This week, there were fresh examples of Romney treading a rhetorical line on what he says and doesn't say.

Speaking at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., he told an audience likely to have an aversion to its southern neighbors, "I came out of school and got a job in Boston. People always ask me, why'd you choose Boston? It's, like, pretty simple. That's where I got my first job."
The "school" Romney mentioned was Harvard, where the Michigan native attended both law and business school after graduating from Brigham Young University in Utah. Three of his five sons also attended Harvard Business School, but Romney is more likely to condemn Harvard or its fellow Ivy League institutions for inviting speakers from Iran than he is to note it was his alma mater.

During the same town hall meeting, Romney also cast himself as a reluctant politician, focusing instead on his 25-year business career and stint helping to resurrect the financially troubled 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

"When I came home, some people in the Massachusetts Republican Party encouraged me to run for office and said, 'We need somebody who can win and who can fix Massachusetts,'" Romney said.

Romney returned to Massachusetts from Utah on Sunday, March 17, 2002. He declared he was running for governor on Tuesday, March 19, just hours after his fellow Republican, acting Gov. Jane Swift, announced she was yielding to the Romney juggernaut.

"I'm in," he said roughly 48 hours after returning to Massachusetts. "The bumper stickers are printed, the Web site's going up. The papers are going in today."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

If you were married in a LDS Temple

You need to read this:

My months of Hell and drugs…

My months of Hell and drugs…

When I read the post from Jeff Bell about his experiences with his problems with the Healthcare system, I almost cried.

To provide a little background, my wife and I started a Medical Billing and consulting company in 1980. My wife was heavily involved with MGMA, and received CME the early 1990’s. After nearly 20 years our business had grown to operations in Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah.

In 1999 we were approached by WebMD Corporation about selling our company to them. I hired the best experts and attorneys to handle the transaction. The purchase was partly cash and the majority was stock in WebMD. Because I was an insider, I was restricted from selling my stock for 1 year. During that year WebMD stock soared to $90+ dollars a share. Then the dot com boom crashed, and when I was finally able to sell my shares, the price had fallen to $17.00 per share. My deal had a strike price of $47.00 so I lost $30.00 per share.

I thought I was financially independent one minute, and then saw my retirement nest egg get cracked, broken, and disappear.

Realizing that my wife an I needed to start over, my wife applied for Law School and was accepted. She graduated this spring and is now the managing associate for a downtown firm.

In order to survive, I took jobs with Harmons, Lowes, and The Home Depot. This provided just enough to pay our bills and provide good benefits. Earning a wage that I was paid 20 years earlier, and having supervisors 30 years younger has been a challenge. But I needed the health care insurance. I have an untreatable kidney disease (PKD) and am uninsurable with any small or individual plan. Working for a large company like The Home Depot provided a way to get the benefits I needed, and to try to rebuild my retirement. I love working at THD and I love helping customers with their projects, so even though my pay is low, I always had fun.

On October 10th however that would change. While lifting and stocking 10 ft sections of electrical pipe, suddenly my lower left flank screamed out. I continued to finish the job and worked the rest of my shift but the pain was getting worse and worse. I went home thinking there was something wrong with my left kidney. At around 3am the pain was so bad I had to go to the ER. Explaining my kidney condition, they said that I should see my doctor as soon as possible and have a CT scan. 3 Injections of pain meds and 2 oral pills was what it took to allow me to go back home.

I had the CT scan the next day, but LDS hospital forgot to get a pre authorization. United Healthcare will not pay for the procedure. The CT scan ruled out any problem with my kidney, but my doctor could see my back having muscle contractions. Subsequent MRI and X-ray and another trip to the ER showed that my back suffered a traumatic injury. I have never had any back problems ever and this has been the first time to experience back pain.

I was put on medical leave and thought I was going to be taken care of. Then the company that administers workman’s comp for The Home Depot denied my claim. Fortunately I had short and long term disability insurance. But Metlife after seeing the X-Ray, MRI, etc says this is a workman’s comp injury.

So now my wife has taken my case and we will likely have to litigate. I sent a message to Jeff Bell that if he needed any legal help from someone who is an expert in medical reimbursement to call me.

I’m currently taking 4 pain medications and being treated with PT. I’ve now been off work for nearly 4 weeks, and I still can barely walk. I cannot pick up anything, or twist. It will be interesting what happens with this.

On another note, several Utah Bloggers have called me some pretty nasty things. These are seen by my mother and kids. I have shown privately information to refute all these allegations, but have never received a retraction from anyone but Rob Miller.

You guys know who you are. So basically my life sucks right now and the only thing I can do is blog and watch TV.


Hot off the Wire

As Voting Nears, Romney Shifts Political Narrative

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 10:54 AM CST

New York Times

Clinton Toeing the Line of Campaign Negativity

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 10:51 AM CST

Los Angeles Times

Polls Show McCain Gains

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 10:50 AM CST

New Hampshire Union Leader

Why Did Clinton Overlook Obama

Why Did Clinton Overlook Obama?

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 08:30 AM CST

Most neutral observers would agree that Hillary Clinton's response to Barack Obama's rise has been bungled. Over the past few weeks, we have seen her campaign attempt again and again to attack him,...

A Middle East Transformed? Hardly

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 08:25 AM CST

While the clock has not yet run out on the Bush presidency, one can already discern the tragic irony that will plague his foreign policy legacy. The administration so deeply committed to reversing...

Back from the Dead Again: McCain Rising

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 08:15 AM CST

Political journalists all too often get caught up in the day-to-day momentum of a race and have short memories, making them poor judges of character. A few months back, John McCain's run for the GOP...

Real-Deal Conservatism Missing From Race

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 08:00 AM CST

Ask Republicans how they intend to vote in the upcoming primaries and you often hear, "There are two or three candidates I'd consider voting for...." Press the question, and "I don't know" is the...

A Jumbled GOP Race

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 06:05 AM CST

Just two weeks before the first votes are cast in the 2008 primary campaign, every Republican front-runner is facing serious problems. Whether it is harsh examination of their past records and...

That 70's Campaign

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:45 AM CST

WASHINGTON -- In a political season that has become a '70s Show, a Richard Nixon revival infects both parties' primaries. Even Spiro Agnew -- Nixon's Nixon -- is being reprised. Hillary Clinton...

Huckabee's Baptists

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:42 AM CST

WASHINGTON -- When Mike Huckabee went to Houston Tuesday to raise funds for his fast-rising, money-starved presidential candidacy, a luncheon for the ordained Baptist minister was arranged by...

2007: Damming the Flow of Freedom

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:42 AM CST

For a few years in the 1980s and 1990s, the world was changing for the better and seemingly destined to keep doing so indefinitely. Back then, freedom resembled justice as described in the Bible --...

She's Still In This Race

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:42 AM CST

Not so long ago, the conventional wisdom of Washington proclaimed that Hillary Rodham Clinton could not be stopped from winning the Democratic presidential nomination. Today, the same wise men and...

The Clinton Albatross

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:41 AM CST

If polls are accurate, Sen. Hillary Clinton's once-sure bid for the Democratic presidential nomination is now not so sure. Her wide lead vanished without warning in Iowa and New Hampshire -- and...

Resolve To End Hyper-Partisanship

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:40 AM CST

Suppose Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) wins the Democratic nomination and picks Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) or Independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his running mate. Or, suppose Sen. John...

Confusion Reigns On Campaign Trail

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:35 AM CST

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Maybe it's the rush of pre-Christmas preparations. Or maybe it's the effects of too many holiday parties. But life has suddenly become very confusing on the way to the 2008...

Obama Still Faces an Up-Hil Climb

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:34 AM CST

Those in the press always prefer presidential races to be close contests, and this year they've seemingly lucked out again. The latest story line has Hillary Clinton on the defensive, as a surging...

The Right Gift

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:33 AM CST

Thanksgiving is supposed to be about gratitude and Christmas about ... what? Getting more stuff we don't really need, but sometimes selfishly want? It's also the political season, which will outlast...

Bear Paws with Iran's Nukes

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 12:31 AM CST

LIKE the bone-chilling Siberian winter winds, the bad news just keeps howling out of Mother Russia these days. Following on the heels of less-than-free-and-fair parliamentary elections, last week...