Monday, July 30, 2007

Obama, Pick Up The Phone, Talk To Hillary

The Exchange

Obama is right. Hillary is wrong. But when you look carefully, their positions are not that different after all. Hillary said early this year what Obama said during the debate. Obama said a few days before the debate what Hillary said during the debate. They both believe in engaging Third World dictators like Bill Clinton engaged Kim Jong Il. But they don't want to do it in a way that might hurt US interests.

This is much ado about nothing.

And, besides, Hillary is no Third World dictator. If Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Bashar al-Ashad are worth talking to, Hillary is worth talking to. And so Obama should pick up the phone and talk. They should perhaps meet.

There are genuine differences between the two. And the voters should get to know what they are. That is why we have elections. But I think it is inevitable that both end up on the same ticket. Obama alone, or Hillary alone will accentuate the race or gender factor and the Republicans might get tempted to try and appeal to the baser instincts of the American people.

I want an Obama-Hillary ticket, and Obama is on schedule to deliver. Only twice in the past eight contests has a Democrat who led at this stage also gone on to win the nomination. The odds are against Hillary.

But Hillary-Obama is my second choice combo. I like Hillary, I have always liked Hillary. And Bill Clinton continues to be a major presence in the Democratic party for the good work he did during his two terms. He is an asset. I salivate at the prospect of President Obama sending Bill Clinton out to carve out a Palestine state. Go win your Nobel Peace Prize. (Blair For Palestine, Blair For Europe)

It might look like it is inevitable we will win in 2008. But that is no reason to squabble and take the eyes off the enemy. We have to compete in a way that we take over the White House for a generation.

Hillary leads among women 2-1. That is where Obama will have to compete. (20 Million Single Moms: Will Obama Go For Them?, Michelle Obama Is Just Fabulous, Wife Won't Do, Got To Court Women With Policy And Outreach)

But then Obama has genuine strengths. Hillary was fundamentally wrong on Iraq and still does not seem to get it. Obama will deliver health care faster than her. Obama is a fresh face. He is offering a new kind of politics. He is outraising her. Those are five huge advantages.

Hillary Messed Up On Iraq, And Al Qaeda Is Strong, America Insecure

If he were also to actively go for women voters, he would take less time to catch up in the polls.

Formula For Greatness

In The News

Supreme Court Chief Suffers a Seizure
Washington Post
Britain will take troops out of Iraq regardless of US, says PM
Former President Clinton touches on spat between wife and Obama
USA Today "I don't want to get in the middle of that whole spat Hillary and Senator Obama had, but there's more than one way to practice diplomacy," Bill Clinton told a gathering of the Democratic Leadership Council. ..... He said all the major Democratic candidates had "a vigorous agreement on the big question, which is 'Should we have more diplomacy?' The answer is yes. Then you can parse their answers to the specific questions and decide who you think is right." ..... "I've heard no fewer than four candidates in the last month remind us that in the middle of the Cold War, in the darkest hours, we never stopped talking to the Soviets at some level. So nobody disputes that. And we're going to have to do that," he said. .... "I really do like them all, though clearly I do have a favorite," he said.
Bill Clinton seeks truce with Obama Politico Bill Clinton said Monday that he had no interest in wading into “that little spat” that broke out last week ..... all the candidates basically agree on the big picture. .... the 42nd president’s remarks might be a sign that Obama had succeeded in his pushback last week against Hillary Clinton .... Bill Clinton, according to an aide, was speaking extemporaneously about the Obama controversy, trying to strike a conciliatory tone but not with a message coordinated through his wife’s campaign. ...... -- though he did not mention Edwards by name -- Clinton said it “galls” him that fighting poverty is now seen as a voguish issue, and that people assume he and the DLC cared only about the middle class and not the poor. ....... a sign that Democratic candidate John Edwards is getting on Clinton’s nerves“We had the most successful antipoverty program in a generation and it still works.”
Democrats 2008: Hillary 42%, Obama 23% Angus Reid Global Monitor
Chelsea Clinton Is Primed for Another Parent’s White House Run
New York Times the habit of pre-empting questions by asking lots of them. The passionate interest in health care. The tendency to sound a bit scripted when talking about policy, even in private. The way both borrowed on family contacts to establish post-White House careers, but won over skeptical colleagues with their diligence and enthusiasm. ....... the first first child twice over. ..... When Mrs. Clinton ran for the Senate, her 20-year-old daughter crisscrossed New York State by her side. Now, at 27, Ms. Clinton is still clapping and beaming on her parents’ behalf. She accompanied them recently on trips to Aspen, Colo., Germany and Israel. Her fund-raising efforts helped bring in more than $20 million for her father’s foundation. ...... Along the way, she is playing a more glamorous version of her lifelong role: model daughter. ..... It’s ‘The Truman Show .... whose entire life is a reality television program. .... a hedge fund job, a serious boyfriend, a tight circle of friends, and a permanent place setting on the New York party circuit. ...... She retains a publicist, but mainly to fend off publicity ..... she will continue to focus on her own professional and personal interests as a private person ...... “She’s a very talented girl, she’s very smart” ....... graduating with honors from Stanford University in June 2001 ...... she was a good consultant, because we are professional question askers and professional listeners ...... “From what I know of her father, he has never been in any room in which he was not the center of attention, starting from before he became president. Chelsea has a deeply admirable ability to yield focus.” ...... she may improve on her low-six-figure McKinsey salary by hundreds of thousands of dollars at Avenue because of potential bonuses ..... she came early, stayed late, showed sound judgment and asked no special favors .... Ms. Clinton is a down-to-earth presence, recently helping to win an argument to keep entry-level tickets to an event to $75. .... a sincere, serious woman who, consciously or not, has picked up a few politicianlike habits. ....... Ms. Clinton discusses policy more than politics, and easily summons statistics — the number of uninsured in this category, the cost of expanding coverage in that one ....... At dinner parties and weddings, she seems wary of eavesdroppers and gawkers. ...... navigate a dinner table full of strangers by asking well-informed questions about subjects from Iranian history to antique carpets to Russian literature. ..... recently tried to carry on a conversation with Ms. Clinton at a party as fan after fan interrupted to talk about her parents. ....... She rarely says anything surprising. She doesn’t have to; people seem delighted just to watch her lips move and hear sound emerge. ...... Terry McAuliffe, her co-chair, stressed Ms. Clinton’s role in an interview at the time. “She and I have been very involved since Day 1,” he told a New York Times reporter. ...... a bit leery of the accompanying madness of the race .... “My skin never thickened,” Vanessa Kerry said. ....... a partner whose life is an uncanny mirror of her own. Marc Mezvinsky, who works at Goldman Sachs in New York, is also the child of two politician parents ....... Mezvinsky, a bespectacled, mop-headed Stanford graduate known for his confidence and teasing sense of humor ...... Ms. Clinton and Mr. Mezvinsky seem serious about a future together ...... Judaism, Mr. Mezvinsky’s faith. (Ms. Clinton is a Christmas-cookie-baking, churchgoing Methodist.) ...... Their bond is apparent; friends say at parties and other events, the couple are cuddly and affectionate. ...... Ms. Clinton was present when her father and his advisers debated how to acknowledge his affair with Ms. Lewinsky to the nation ... During the marathon Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations at Camp David in 2000, Ms. Clinton helped break the tension by chatting with the delegations during breaks. ..... Senator Clinton has called her daughter one of her two “greatest advisers,” along with her husband. ...... A life in finance? The Clinton Foundation, which could pass from one generation to the next? Or, would Ms. Clinton run for office herself?

Clinton vs. Obama MSNBC Obama said: “It’s time to turn the page on the Bush-Cheney diplomatic strategy that has isolated America from our allies and reduced our moral standing in the international community. We need a president who’ll have the strength and courage to go toe-to-toe with the leaders of rogue nations because that’s what it takes to protect our security.” ..... “The politics of hope requires us to shake up the establishment status quo that has to change. Obama has been crystal clear in saying that he be the most aggressive in fundamentally changing our nation’s foreign policy. This is a substantive debate during which she called Obama irresponsible and naive. Obama has been entirely consistent -- he never said he would invite dictators over for a cup of coffee and he said he wouldn’t let these dictators use him as a propaganda tool. What he did say was that he would be willing to meet with them.” ...... Obama seems to have acquired a new confidence. Here he is in Iowa on Saturday: "I was called irresponsible and naive because I believe that there is nobody we can't talk to," said Obama, drawing loud cheers. "We've got nothing to fear as long as know who we are and what we stand for and our values." ....... The Des Moines Register’s Yepsen declares Edwards the winner of the Clinton-Obama dispute.
Obama embraces foreign policy dust-up with Clinton Houston Chronicle

Wikia details plans for search rival to Google Reuters The new Wikia search service will combine computer-driven algorithms and human-assisted editing when the company launches a public version of the search site toward the end of 2007 ..... .... Wikia has raised $14 million in outside financing, including its latest round of $10 million from
Naive? Clinton charge puts Obama on attack Chicago Sun-Times -- the Obama campaign mounted a ferocious response, giving a taste of what is in store in the months ahead. ..... With Obama's theme of "change" and "hope" threatened by a word that raises questions about his experience ...... there is "one candidate who knows it's naive to believe we can resolve conflict without talking to our adversaries." ....... Obama, in a Miami Herald interview last Sunday, said he would meet with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. "Under certain conditions, I always believe in talking," Obama said. ....... "I was called irresponsible and naive because I believe that there is nobody we can't talk to," Obama said. ..... The bottom line is Obama and Clinton, unlike President Bush, would have a diplomatic policy that the United States needs to be talking to enemies as well as friends. At issue in this escalating war of words is the exact process.
Hillary Clinton: The Tortured Teen Independent one of the most carefully choreographed, cautious and calculated in modern campaigning. She herself is a study in on-message moderation, with answers so carefully scripted for focus groups that she has been damned as a political automaton ....... a fascinating insight into the emotional turbulence that once lay below the surface of the young student at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, who grew into one of the most scrutinised and yet ultimately inscrutable women at the centre of power in the US. ....... John Peavoy, an equally smart classmate from Clinton's native Illinois, with whom she had formed a strong, if not particularly close, intellectual bond before they both headed to separate east coast universities. ...... "This was what college students did before Facebook." ..... reveals an undercurrent of self-doubt even as the civic-minded Ms Rodham was pursuing a life in student activism, first in the Republican tradition she inherited from a bullying father, and soon in the Democratic party. ....... a "February depression". She catalogues a long, paralysed morning skipping classes, languishing in bed, hating herself. "Random thinking usually becomes a process of self-analysis with my ego coming out on the short end," she writes. ....... "Define 'happiness' Hillary Rodham, acknowledged agnostic intellectual liberal, emotional conservative." ....... a streak of depression that runs through the Rodham family ..... Clinton's tendency during her college period to fall into "debilitating, self-doubting funks. During the early weeks of her freshman semester, she was so deflated that she called home and confessed failure and an inability to cope". ....... her "emotional state'' was "as fragile as it had ever been'' in late 1994 after her close friend Vince Foster had committed suicide, her father had died and the rejection of her healthcare proposals had put Democrats on the road to a crushing mid-term electoral defeat. ...... "but she was depressed," said David Gergen, who was counsel to the president. "Deeply depressed. I just felt she went into a downward spiral." This was a near-universal view in the White House." ....... It wasn't until she was at law school at Yale that she met the charismatic Bill Clinton, who she married in 1975 at the age of 27. ..... she tells how she spent a "miserable weekend" arguing with a friend who believed that "acid is the way and what did I have against expanding my conscience". ........ unbalancing Clinton's efforts to shift the focus of the campaign on to issues of policy rather than of personal peccadilloes, character and appearance. ....... For the past week, much of the attention on her has focused on her cleavage ... A Washington Post article after last Tuesday's Democratic candidates' debate dedicated itself to her outfit and a neckline that "sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. ...... "Frankly, focusing on women's bodies instead of their ideas is insulting. It's insulting to every woman who has ever tried to be taken seriously in a business meeting." ..... she details the constant rows with her father ..... "God, I feel so divorced from Park Ridge, parents, home, the entire unreality of middle-class America," she opines in one letter ....... She drifted soon enough, too, from her friendship with Mr Peavoy. The pair have not met face to face since, bar a high school reunion evening when Clinton, by then America's first lady, was a guest of honour...... "For all I know she's mad at me for keeping the letters," Mr Peavoy told The New York Times yesterday, as he highlighted a neat irony in one of the letters. "Don't begrudge me my mercenary interest," she wrote, but she was going to keep his correspondence safe and "make a million" when he became famous.
Hillary Clinton student letters reveal high mind "not yet reconciled myself to the fate of not being the star" at university and was unimpressed by the "boys" she had met "who know a lot about 'self' and nothing about 'man'" ...... "Since Xmas vacation, I've gone through three-and-a-half metamorphoses and am beginning to feel as though there is a smorgasbord of personalities spread before me. So far, I've used alienated academic, involved pseudo-hippie, educational and social reformer and one-half of withdrawn simplicity." ..... "Can you be a misanthrope and still love or enjoy some individuals? How about a compassionate misanthrope?" Six months later she informed him: "Sunday was lethargic from the beginning as I wallowed in a morass of general and specific dislike and pity for most people but me especially." ....... "my usual drivel", are signed "Hillary", "H", or "Me" - which she suggests is "the world's saddest word". Their spelling is near-perfect, the handwriting neat and legible and the punctuation flawless. ....... She wrote in late 1967 that she "met a boy from Dartmouth and spent a Saturday night in Hanover" ..... appears to disapprove of girls sleeping with their boyfriends. Reporting that a fellow student had been caught in her boyfriend's apartment at 3.15am, she declared: "I don't condone her actions, but I'll defend to expulsion her right to do as she pleases - an improvement on Voltaire." ........ the "indispensable task of criticising and constructive protest". ..... was apparently having fashion trouble even as a student. "I'm sitting here at a stolen table in a pair of dirty denim bell-bottoms, a never-ironed work shirt and a beautiful purple felt hat with a purple polka-dotted scarf streaming off it," she wrote in her final letter in March 1969.

Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney Plan to Skip Youtube Presidential Debate FOX News
Rudy and Mitt get cold feet before debate
Miami Herald
India warns of dispute over visa "If Dr Haneef has been cleared of all the accusations brought against him, and on that basis has been released, how can the Australian minister insist his working visa should not be returned to him?" .... "It's not easy being called a terrorist and then getting a job in India or anywhere else," the family member said.
China awaits environ study before upgrading road to Everest Times of India
Planned road up Everest faces hurdles International Herald Tribune
US to announce $20bn Middle East arms deal
Google prime stop for US presidential hopefuls Google's hip factor and show voters that they understand the power of the Internet and can communicate in a Web 2.0 world. ...... Google staff may come in shorts and flip-flops for the political appearances, but their casual workplace culture does not preclude pointed questions. Few other Silicon Valley workers have the perk of grilling politicians on the campaign trail. ....... Last month Google raised its level of political involvement when it launched a blog dedicated to the company's views on government, policy, and politics. ..... "Google has found an increased number of policy issues that affect our users, and we have no choice but to be part of those debates," said Kovacevich. "We aim to do policy advocacy with complete transparency, and not a lot of other companies are doing that." ...... Google, which employs 12,000 worldwide, has also taken an immigration position that calls for allowing more skilled foreign workers into the country.
US presidential race turns nasty Times of India
Amitabh set to return to TV Times of India
A united Iraqi soccer team wins the Asian Cup
Los Angeles Times
Iraqi refugees in Syria celebrate soccer Asian Cup victory
International Herald Tribune
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ABC News
For YouTube, a System to Halt Copyright-Infringing Videos
New York Times video recognition technology as sophisticated as the fingerprint technology used by the F.B.I. .... the video recognition technology would allow owners of videos to provide a digital fingerprint so that if anyone tried to share a video that infringed copyrights, the system would remove it within a minute or so. ...... the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which gives Web hosts protection from copyright lawsuits as long as they comply with requests to remove unauthorized material.
Is Hillary showing too much edge? Newsday For seven years Hillary Rodham Clinton has played against type, courting skeptics and sandpapering away her sharpest edges to counter perceptions that she was caustic, short-tempered and politically ruthless. That charm offensive came to a screeching halt after last Monday's YouTube/CNN debate when she ridiculed Barack Obama's promise to meet with hostile foreign leaders unconditionally during his first year in office. .... if she's sacrificing long-term image-building for a few whacks at an opponent who's been getting under her skin. ..... "She threw some of that goodwill out the window by attacking Obama," said Andrew Polsky, a Hunter College political science professor. ..... "She has a very difficult road ahead of her," he added. "Her negatives are so high, 40 to 45 percent of the American people won't vote for her under any circumstance. Can she really afford to alienate anybody else? That's the real risk they are taking when she goes into attack mode." ..... Clinton's negative ratings are still higher than any Democrat other than Al Gore (her negatives are in the high-30s to mid-40s; Gore's are a few points higher) ..... For the first six months of the 2008 campaign she remained in Dale Carnegie "How to Win Friends and Influence People" mode, declining to attack primary opponents in the name of party solidarity. ...... Obama -- nicknamed "Obambi" by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd because of his reluctance to attack adversaries -- used the exchange to prove his toughness by attacking her support of the Iraq invasion, describing her foreign policy as "Bush-Cheney Lite." .... Clinton then mocked the theme of his 2004 Democratic convention speech, sarcastically asking a CNN interviewer, "What's ever happened to the politics of hope?" ..... A few hours later, Clinton's spokesman went on cable to accuse Obama of wanting to chat with a "Holocaust denier" -- Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- and things went downhill from there. ...... The Clinton team showed no signs of letting up over the weekend, e-mailing reporters an interview given by Obama a day before the debate in which he says he'd place conditions on meeting with dictators -- seeming to contradict his onstage remarks........Mark Penn, Clinton's pollster and a top political adviser, said Clinton isn't attacking so much as mounting a very, very vigorous defense against Obama's criticism of her war record. ..... "He always intended to use the debate to open a much wider range of attacks against her," Penn said. "So we had to come back at him ... I think people see him as much more the aggressor." ..... places like Miami where they're not so crazy about his willingness to unconditionally meet with Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. ...... The Obama campaign is running a new Web ad that disparages Clinton's Iraq stance. Clinton's camp, in turn, is circulating a fundraising e-mail portraying her as "under attack from opponents on all sides."
American Values, Glimpsed Through Our Health Care Policies Huffington Post we are a practical, bottom line people, and the bottom line is plain, we are 36 th in world - behind Cuba--in infant mortality rates ...... we are in the 29th spot in life expectancy ..... "How much does that guy weigh anyhow?" .... "My wife and I are in our sixties. Neither one of us has health insurance. But we just can't understand why you keep bashing America." ...... It took riots and mass demonstrations for Americans to finally act on the idea of equal rights ..... as though we were about to perform radical surgery on our public policy .... "We are a nation of me instead of we." ..... for us being free mainly means having disposable income and the freedom to spend it .... Europeans have had plenty of chances to vote down universal health care. They don't .... we as a people are not exactly overly empathic. .... "what's going to be next - a universal right to food and clothing?" ..... the logic of rugged individualism
Clinton or Obama? Many backing both Chicago Sun-Times Four days after a bruising dust-up between Obama and Clinton over foreign policy, many of them wore Hillary buttons on one side of their tops and Barack's stickers on the other. ...... John Edwards stumbled into a round of audible "boos" when he criticized Obama and Clinton for their ongoing war of words over foreign policy. ...... Clinton continues to be a dominating presence in the debate arena. Although Obama has gotten better at delivering snappy sound bites, Hillary's oratory -- as one observer remarked -- had many in the audience on the "edge of their seats." ...... the National Urban League's ambitious "Opportunity Compact" that lays out a blueprint for moving black America closer to parity in education, housing, entrepreneurship and employment. ...... the spat between Clinton and Obama about the proper way to conduct diplomacy with hostile nations can only elevate Obama's standing among black voters ...... black leaders have long argued that America's foreign policy toward Cuba is outmoded and unjust. ..... state legislator who helped Illinois become the first state to require videotaped confessions in homicide cases. ...... "The day a minority becomes president, the country looks at itself differently," Obama said, raising his right hand as if taking the oath of office. ..... "I have never met a child without potential, and these 1.4 million [incarcerated] young men are no different. When we write them off and leave them behind, we squander their potential. We squander America's potential," she said. While many gave Clinton points for her presentation, they still appeared to be leaning toward Obama.
Former GOP House Speaker Predicts Clinton-Obama Ticket Fox 28
Gingrich Says Republicans Likely to Face Clinton in 2008 Race
Edwards tells Clinton and Obama to stop fight
Seattle Times
New polls: Obama strongest in general election, Romney leading GOP ... USA Today Real Clear Politics has posted the results of three new polls. One shows Democrat Barack Obama to be a stronger general-election candidate than fellow Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. A second shows a three-way statistical tie for the Republican nomination. A third shows Democrat John Edwards and Republican Mitt Romney leading in Iowa, the first caucus state. .... Rudy Giuliani beats Clinton by 6 percentage points but loses to Obama by 9 points. Both Democrats would beat Republican Fred Thompson -- Clinton by 2 points and Obama by 23 points. ..... Iowa has Edwards at 27% followed by Clinton at 22%, Obama at 16% and Bill Richardson at 11%. On the Republican side, it's Romney at 25%, Thompson at 14%, Giuliani at 13% and McCain at 10%.
Going gets nasty between Clinton and Obama
ABC Online The row, which boiled all last week and erupted again on Saturday, drew new battle lines in the Democratic field, opened a debate on future US foreign policy, and shed light on the characters of the two top Democrats. ...... a row both sides seem to want. ... He also benefited by standing up to Senator Clinton, who argues she is the only candidate tough enough to take on the Republican attack machine. ...... an implied theme of her campaign, that despite his charisma, the 45-year-old first-term senator is simply too green to be commander-in-chief. ..... The row's swift escalation was a foretaste of fierce combat .... poised to dog her every move ..... Obama used the row to argue he stands for hope, a fresh approach and change and that Senator Clinton is a relic the past. ...... the "tough but smart approach to America's diplomacy is exactly the kind of change and new thinking that excites voters about an Obama presidency". ..... Clinton may pay a price by granting her challenger a straight-up fight. ..... the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them - which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration - is ridiculous".
Top two come out snarling New Zealand Herald
Clinton, Obama quarrel anew over foreign meetings Washington Post nearly week-long verbal joust. ... Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela ...... "Sometimes it's more important to talk to your enemies than to your friends." ..... "He never said he would invite dictators over for a cup of coffee and he said he wouldn't let these dictators use him as a propaganda tool. What he did say was that he would be willing to meet with them," said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki. ...... Psaki also directed Reuters to an interview Clinton gave to MSNBC in January saying she would reach out immediately to the Syrians and Iranians in order to further Washington's interests in the Mideast. ...... Clinton said in the January 27 interview. "I see it as a sign of strength. You know our president will not talk to people he considers bad. Well there are a lot of bad actors in the world and you don't make peace with your friends. You've got to deal with your enemies, your opponents, people whose interests diverge from yours."
Democrats hurt by war of slurs Guardian Unlimited An ugly fight between the two politicians raged all last week in the first serious bout of open infighting in the current Democratic political campaign. Previous spats had broken out between campaign officials, but now the candidates are openly attacking each other. ..... There are signs that the fight has damaged both the top-tier candidates and perhaps opened a door of opportunity to another Democrat contender. A CNN poll in the vital first voting state of Iowa showed both Clinton and Obama had dropped six per cent each ...... The duration and viciousness of the Clinton-Obama spat has caught Washington by surprise and marks the end of the 'phoney war' between the two leading campaigns. It throws serious doubt on whether Clinton - if she wins the nomination, as many expect - can now choose Obama as a running mate. Democrat insiders make little secret of her dislike for Obama's campaign and anger at the challenge it represents. ..... Obama's campaign also started running an 'attack ad' in Iowa and the other key early voting state of New Hampshire. The advertisement asks 'Ready for a new direction?' - a reference to Clinton being a member of the establishment. ..... by attacking Obama she has conferred extra status on his challenge. It is an old saw of American politics that frontrunners should be very careful about picking fights with challengers. ...... Obama has shown he will immediately go on the offensive when attacked. That is likely a lesson learnt from watching the ill-fated campaign of the 2004 Democratic candidate John Kerry who was widely seen as responding too slowly to Republican assaults. ..... the real winners could be Edwards and the other second-tier Democratic candidates

Clinton-Obama flap shifts race to negative tone Reuters
Edwards Chides Clinton and Obama
ABC News
Clinton raises money off diplomacy and cleavage disputes
USA Today The gist of the new fundraising appeal: The article was "grossly inappropriate," and please send money. .... How did this start? Oh yes. Clinton called Obama "naive and irresponsible" to say he'd meet with rogue-state leaders without preconditions. Obama called Clinton "Bush-Cheney lite" for saying she'd impose them. To which Clinton responded, "What's ever happened to the politics of hope?" And on and on.
Clinton campaign insulted by cleavage article Washington Post
Clinton: Body politics Boston Globe
Obama Faces Doubts Among SC Blacks
Washington Post the popularity of the Clinton name and doubts among blacks that white America is ready for a minority president. ..... either candidate could smash barriers .... a lot of people with old South mentality ..... I don't believe in this can't do, won't do, won't even try, style of leadership. ....... "Every Democrat running on that ticket next year would lose _ because he's black and he's top of the ticket. We'd lose the House and the Senate and the governors and everything," said Ford, who is black. ....... A lot of the African-Americans are with Hillary because I think they don't believe white America is ready for a black president ....... in the South where the remnants of the old South are still in the older folks mind. They just can't believe in their right mind that white folks will elect a black man president, so let's not put ourselves through that agony. ..... Much of her lead comes from women and blacks, and it's strongest among black women. ...... 59 percent of black women said they support Clinton and 27 percent Obama. ...... Part of the campaign's strategy is to host small meetings in voter's homes ....... "I see problems with both," she said. "Obama because he's black and Hillary because she's a woman. Are we ready? Is America ready to go there?" ...... "If the election were held today, Clinton would carry the state. It's not going to be held today."
YouTubing The Beltway Boys Town Hall
Will the GOP Bag the YouTube Debate? TIME a potentially costly reluctance to engage with voters ..... the event received warm reviews from most observers in the mainstream media ..... the President had not even watched .... Bush was "not big on YouTube debates." ..... "The problem isn't YouTube, it's CNN." ..... the unpredictability of the format ..... shying away from YouTube will make their candidates seem technophobic or out of touch. ..... will set the G.O.P. back an election cycle or more on the Internet ...... Romney .. "YouTube looked to see if they had any convicted sex offenders on their web site. They had 29,000," he said, mistaking the debate co-sponsor for the social network MySpace ..... allows CNN to present questions that may be too aggressive or controversial for the confines of a standard campaign interaction
Report: Few US Republican candidates to join CNN/YouTube debate Xinhua

Controversy? Nepal's "goddess" prefers instant noodles Reuters South Africa
Food shortages, security threaten Nepal peace: UN
Time to admit India's future as world power
Sydney Morning Herald OF ALL the foreign policy shocks delivered to Australia and other allies in Asia by the US President, George Bush, probably none will resound more deeply than his embrace of India as a nuclear power. ...... India, a non-signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty .... the Bush Administration announced that it sought "to help India become a major world power in the 21st century. ..... India had to put up walls between its military and civilian nuclear installations, and allow international inspections ....... India is among three significant countries that did not sign the non-profileration treaty when it was launched in 1969-70. Pakistan followed India by going overtly nuclear in 1998, and Israel has a well-known but undeclared capability. North Korea withdrew from the treaty in 2003 and tested a bomb last year. .... the US is out to limit India as a nuclear power. The draft agreement just reached in Washington in effect allows India to continue testing and to reprocess spent fuel. ...... "The deal would give India the fuel and cover to accelerate its nuclear weapons program and counterbalance the Chinese." .... a seismic shift in our region's geopolitics ..... In 1996 Mr Howard decided not to attend a $3 million Australian promotion in India, and refused to back India's attempt to enter APEC that year, while meekly allowing the US to bring in Russia. ..... Manmohan Singh would be the only professional economist, and a very good one, among the leaders at the summit.
Indian Pledge on Reprocessing Led to Breakthrough (Update1) Bloomberg
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Google 'the most improved brand' BBC News Coca-Cola came top of the league for the seventh year running .... American brands made up more than half of the top 100.
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Bachchan is stuck with his land
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Screen Weekly In the game of Hindi actors-turning-farmers, trio:Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Jeetendra have landed up the bandwagon, though they have nothing to do with farming even remotely.
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US, India complete negotiations on nuclear cooperation deal Xinhua
Red Mosque suicide attack kills 13 in Pakistan
Readers Weigh In On Clinton, Obama
Washington Post
And The Debate Goes On For Obama And Clinton
Hartford Courant
For Clinton and Obama, A Debate Point Won't Die Washington Post
YouTube debate for GOP looking iffy Minneapolis Star Tribune front-runner Rudy Giuliani said scheduling conflicts would keep him away from the planned Sept. 17 face-off ...... Mitt Romney, has been cool to the forum's format. "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman" ...... The battle between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama picked up Thursday when Clinton mocked Obama's "Politics of Hope" speech, suggesting his call for altruistic politics at the 2004 Democratic National Convention is now an empty slogan. ..... "I'm not afraid to lose the PR war to dictators," said Obama, keeping the fight alive Thursday in a speech in Concord, N.H. "I'm happy to look them in the eyes and say what needs to be said. ... I don't want Bush-Cheney Lite." ..... "I've been called a lot of things in my life, but I've never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney, certainly," she said. "We have to ask what's ever happened to the politics of hope?"
Clinton, Obama step up their sparring along the trail Boston Globe
Roberts: Obama’s stance on Castro sensible Greensboro News Record
Craig Crawford’s Trail Mix: Give Obama a Break on Talking to Dictators New York Times

Where the wind blows Economist high-voltage DC lines could be used to bring solar energy to market from places such as the Sahara. Wind and geothermal power could be gathered from as far afield as South America and Siberia. Such a globalised market has its attractions. Whether the world is ready for the Organisation of Electricity Exporting Countries to take over from OPEC, though, remains to be seen.
Putin versus nobody serious Russia’s opposition may not yet be dead, but it is in a deep coma. The Kremlin has hollowed out politics by rigging rules on parties and elections. It has made it hard for the opposition to put its case on television and sent truncheon-wielding police to dispel protesters. But infighting, lack of ideas and above all low public support have done as much to hurt the opposition. Just four months before a parliamentary election and eight months before the presidential poll, it is divided, demoralised and lacks a single candidate. Mr Putin’s approval rating, meanwhile, stands at a majestic, if propaganda-fuelled, 85%. ..... “The Kremlin has done a deal with the Russian people,” says Mr Kasyanov. ‘“Citizens! Enjoy life, travel abroad, buy cars, but don’t get involved in politicsIf your patriotic feelings start to stir, we’ll satisfy them.’”

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Obesity spreads to friends, study concludes Boston Globe This doesn't replace the effects of genetics, failing to exercise, or supersizing food portions. ... nearly one-third of US adults are now obese. .... "social contagion," a tendency of people who become obese to influence the behavior of others and to convey -- perhaps subliminally -- the message that being overweight is OK. ..... "treating people in groups may be more effective than treating them individually." ..... obesity seemed to spread even if friends were geographically distant. ..... "We were stunned to find that friends who are hundreds of miles away have just as much impact on a person's weight as those who are geographically close" ...... sharing ideas about what constitutes an appropriate weight. ..... "one of the most exciting studies in medical sociology . . . in decades" ...... "We actively encouraged each other to order dessert" ...... strong forces in this country that are moving us toward obesity ..... the abundance of fast-food options and people so busy with jobs and family life that they don't exercise. ...... obesity seemed to spread quickly -- in as few as two to four years. ..... Among friends and siblings, obesity seemed to spread only between those of the same gender. It was strongest between male friends ...... "But forming ties with underweight or normal weight friends may be beneficial to you."
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Digg Fires Google for Online Ads Forbes
Microsoft In, Google Out for Ads on Digg BusinessWeek

Court strikes down city's illegal immigration law Reuters a local law designed to crack down on illegal immigration, dealing a blow to similar laws passed by dozens of towns and cities across the country ..... a law that would fine businesses that hire illegal immigrants and penalize landlords who rent rooms to them. .... a 206-page opinion following a federal trial in which Hazleton's law was challenged by civil rights groups. .... The city of 30,000 blames a recent rise in illegal immigration for boosting crime and overburdening social services. The law was passed in July 2006 but was not implemented because of a court injunction won by opponents. ...... About a third of the city's residents are immigrants from Central America and around a quarter of the immigrant population is believed to be undocumented ..... Dozens of towns and cities have modeled their own immigration laws on Hazleton in a bid to deal with an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.
Judge Strikes Down Hazelton Immigration Law CBS 3
Judge voids Pa. city’s illegal immigration lawMSNBC
US presidential hopeful Giuliani says Democrats are a 'party of ... International Herald Tribune Never in history of war has a retreating army been asked to give a timetable. .... "I'm for victory," Giuliani said. Democrats, he added, are "living in a world where they refuse to admit the existence of Islamic terrorism." As president, Giuliani said, he would take the offensive on terrorism, balance the federal budget and deal with illegal immigration. "I don't think that's any more complicated than reducing crime in New York," he said.
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Obama: Clinton same as Bush on meeting with dictators
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Obama says Clinton has foreign policy like Bush's Reuters
Clinton 1, Obama 0 Washington Post
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Hodes endorses Obama Boston Globe
Obama Snags NH Endorsement New York Times “Is Paul Hodes endorsing me tomorrow?” Mr. Obama said, barely able to keep a straight face. “That’s great.” .. Congressman Paul Hodes .. In Democratic circles, he is viewed as something of a giant slayer. Last fall, he defeated a 12-year Republican incumbent .. in a district that stretches from the Massachusetts border to the northern tip of New Hampshire. ...... a musician, recording rock-and-roll for more than two decades. ..... among the top three Democrats in the state .. it would be the most significant one of the year.
Pentagon Responds to Clinton New York Times

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Exchange

SEN. OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this: That the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous. (Applause.) Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them, they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we have the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward. And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them. We've been talking about Iraq. One of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria, because they're going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses. They have been acting irresponsibly up until this point. But if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight in terms of stabilizing the region.

SEN. CLINTON: While I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these during my first year, I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort, because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don't want to make a situation even worse.
But I certainly agree that we need to get back to diplomacy, which has been turned into a bad word by this administration. And I will pursue very vigorous diplomacy, and I will use a lot of high-level presidential envoys to test the waters, to feel the way. But certainly we're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be. (Applause.)
To many who have been waiting for an end to civility, the fight finally arrived. Obama and Clinton sparred. To Clinton it felt like victory: she had scored in the so-called experience department. To Obama it felt like vindication: Clinton was not into the new kind of politics that Obama has been promising. She is "Bush light."

Obama mentioned Reagan. I would also mention Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton talked to Kim Jong Il. That engagement was necessary to prevent that state from going ahead with its nuclear plans. Ronald Reagan talked to Gorbachev. He got engaged.

The chances of North Korea, or Iran, or Venezuela, or Syria, or Cuba physically attacking the United States are nil. The next attack on the US, if there is one, will not come from some state with a standing army. It will come from a non-state actor with no standing army: the Al Qaeda.

So talking to Kim Jong Il,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Bashar al-Ashad is not security stuff, or at least not directly. By the way, Bill Clinton also talked to the president of Syria, the current president's father.

It might not have been intentional on the part of Hillary, but she twisted what Obama said. When a President of the United States says he wants to talk to a head of state, he is not talking about having a cup of tea. He has an entire state machinery at his disposal. That whole machinery talks, in part or full, as might be ordered to do. When you send an envoy, you are talking. When you hold a summit, you are talking. When you together participate in an international conference, you are talking.

The US does not face physical threats from any of these countries directly, but it does want to see each of these countries turned into full fledged multi-party democracies. And engaging their governments at all levels and possibly opening doors for much trade and people to people exchange and interaction is what will bring about such desirable change. Shunning them will keep the status quo in place in those countries.

Reagan talked from a position of strength, but he still talked. That talking is what helped.

When Obama says new kind of politics, he really means it. This exchange reveals that. The difference between them is obvious.

Talking is also the thing to do when the need is to talk tough. Talking is not a sign of weakness.

To keep these states engaged in dialogue is also to make sure they don't forge a strong, undemocratic alliance with a power like Russia.

And all the big problems of the day have global dimensions: terrorism, global warming, nuclear proliferation. A power like America has to get engaged and stay engaged with as many countries as possible.

Talking is also the way of global trade and overall globalization. Disengaging is less and less often an option.

Hillary missed all these points in claiming victory in this brief exchange.

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Hillary: Obama 'naive' Chicago Sun-Times An underpinning of Obama's presidential bid is his belief that solutions to problems -- domestic and international -- can be found through a search for common ground and consensus. ...... The exchange in the debate marked the sharpest divide between Clinton and Obama, the Democratic front-runners. .... He stood by his response and that Clinton's position was not that different from the Bush administration policy, so she "can't claim the mantle of change." ..... two leaders who top South Florida's most-hated list: Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez." ..... If he met with Chavez, Obama told the Iowa paper, it would be to tell him "what I don't like" while finding areas to "potentially work together." "I didn't say these guys were going to come over for a cup of coffee some afternoon," Obama said.
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Clinton vs. Obama MSNBC Obama responded swiftly, saying the Clinton campaign was concocting a ‘fabricated controversy.’ He also contended that Mrs. Clinton’s skeptical view of such meetings was similar to that of President Bush.” .... Obama argued that America needs to chart a new course.” ..... “It's finally on!” The paper adds that Clinton will use the spat “to shore up her standing among key voter blocs, such as Cuban-Americans in bellwether Florida and Jewish voters who may find the idea of a sitdown with the Holocaust-denying president of Iran disturbing.” ...... header: "Clinton, Obama spar over `meeting Castro'"
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