Editor’s Note: Readers had comments about the Democratic concessions on wiretapping, Barack Obama’s decision to opt out of public campaign financing, and the dangerous reach of American imperialism:

It is about as simple as it gets.

For Obama to effectively campaign while many opposing external forces will attempt to hijack his campaign, he needs much more money than what the feds can deliver to survive against the onslaught.

Publis II

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Charles Gibson is some weird duck.  He nearly cried when asking Obama about capital gains taxes too.  Charlie, me thinks you've been making seven figure salaries much too long.

Moreover, I don't recall him crying alligator tears when the Republicans were raising substantially larger funds for their campaigns, as I recall, in the run-up to the 2000 campaign, Bush and the Republican party substantially out-fund raised the Dems.

Gary Rose
Los Gatos, CA

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Obama's "strategic move" to Center is all well & good, PM.....BUT, that does not excuse Pelosi, Reid, Hoyer, Rockefeller, Harmon, Feinstein (et al, ad naseum) for being COMPLICIT with the Bush-Cheney administrations serial OBSTRUCTIONS OF JUSTICE.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, only the VP's Chief of Staff (and concurrently a senior advisor to the president) - was _convicted_, by a sympathetic jury, of Obstruction of Justice _and_ Perjury.... so of course Nancy Pelosi rolls out the red-carpet for George Bush to PARDON Libby (actually, commutation of sentence, the pardon will be coming this Christmas), "Go ahead George, Pardon the nice man, all he did was obstruct justice past the 2004 election, so you could keep that awful 'CIA outing' scandal on ice and 'win' that election, so our dear man, John Kerry, didn't have to take the eternal blame for your war."

Everyone in that jury, everyone in that courtroom, everyone (with an IQ greater than a flea) in Washington knew that Mr. Libby, in lying to FBI investigators and obstructing justice, was doing the bidding of his White House superiors (with Libby being COS to the VP, those names could be counted on the fingers of one hand) - but Speaker Pelosi pretended not to notice, the millions of dollars in that costly FBI investigation and IC prosecution (much less the cost of the "outed" CIA organization) be damned.

Then there is Harriet Miers, Joshua Bolton, and Karl Rove all traipsing around Washington - pertly _ignoring_ & scorning Congressional Subpoenas!
Can anyone IMAGINE Mafia godfathers, Vietnam war generals, tobacco company executives, Nixon administration "Watergate" officials, and (heaven forbid) CLINTON White House officials, IGNORING Congressional subpoenas?!
The above two examples are just the tip of the Pelosi-Reid-Hoyer "complicit in White House Obstruction of Justice" iceberg, from

#1. running kangaroo courts for female volunteer privates accused, tried, convicted and imprisoned (only) of "abuse" - while, mind you, the White House asserts its "right" - to TORTURE prisoners TO DEATH if need be, at their sole discretion, and with no accountability to anyone, anywhere!

#2. to the 9-11 Commission whitewash, even though we know that the Bush White House received such urgent warnings from CIA Director George Tenet (on July 10, 2001), that Attorney General Ashcroft stopped flying public airliners less than two weeks later;
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/07/26/national/main303601.shtml

#3. to Mr. Bush's connections with JACK ABRAMOFF, Abramoff only CONVICTED of BRIBING CONGRESS - and speaker Pelosi mirrors the WP/NYT/DC "conventional wisdom" that we have NO CURIOUSITY as to what Abramoff and Mr. Bush's senior aides were talking about?

#4. to Mr. Bush's close relations with CONVICTED fraudster KEN LAY of ENRON co...

#5. to Vice President Cheney STILL getting financial compensation from his "former" company, Halliburton - whose stock price goes up with every billion-dollar no bid, no oversight contract the Vice President hands out..

#6. to vast corruption in Katrina reconstruction (how did Democrats confirm Michael Brown as head of FEMA in the first place -when he had NO disaster experience?!)

#7. to TORTURE (with videos being watched live from the WH dungeon, er, basement war room)

#8. to trillions of dollars of Bush2 deficits leading to the Bush2 Recession http://www.uuforum.org/deficit.htm

#9. to the one TRILLION taxpayer dollars "injected" into Wall St. "big boys" - bankers, brokerage houses, mutual funds - by the fed and Treasury, to keep Wall St. from drowning in their own sea of greed, hype, inflated profit estimates, and outright corruption -
http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/7483/Fed-Heads-Back-to-the-Well-Will-It-Run-Dry?tickers=BSC,

#10. to of course the grand-daddy outrage of them all, Speaker Pelosi BRINGING TO THE FLOOR the TELECOM SURVEILLANCE SPYING bill, when she had ZERO necessity of doing so!

Each of the above could of course be reformulated as "10 basic questions the DC press corps is too cowardly & corrupt to ask of President Bush or VP Cheney", but let's assume for the moment that the DC press corpse indeed has ZERO civic obligation or journalistic responsibility (and that their sole lord and master is their paychecks, like a medieval courtier genuflecting to his lord)- where does that leave the Democratic "leadership"?

Since when does being "a leader" mean _FOLLOWING_ the dictates of the DC press minions, who are following the orders of their corporate robber baron masters?

The bottom line is, on these 10 issues, and at least a dozen more (did we even mention "Purgegate", the purging of US Attorneys and other DoJ officials who would not use the Justice Department to harass Democratic voters and activists?) - NANCY PELOSI is now FULLY COMPLICIT with Bush-Cheney White House OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE.

Somewhere along the line, the Democrat "leadership" forgot to notice - Republicans 'won' the White House, House, Senate, dominant control of federal agencies and federal judiciary, the Supreme Court, most state houses and governor's mansions, and control of the press/media "4th Estate" - by RELENTLESS ATTACKS and ACCUSATIONS against Democratic candidates and leaders.

It is only because blatant Republican CORRUPTION and INCOMPETENCE have dragged the American economy and military down, that Democrats are enjoying majorities in the House & Senate, and eying the White House. But while Repubicans can MAKE UP SCANDALS to keep their propaganda attack machine going - "Travel office 'scandal'", "Lincoln Bedroom 'scandal'", "White House Trasing 'scandal'" - cowering Democrat "leaders" can't even make a scandal connecting the White House to the CONVICTIONS of Jack Abramoff, Ken Lay, or Scooter Libby!

Great job of providing an example of women achieving high office there, Nance.
Since you became Speaker, Congressional Subpoenas get as much respect as discarded newspapers awaiting the trash can.

VerityFidelity

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I've known for a long time, I would say from before Bush was elected, that he was a liar.  All I had to do was listen to him.

My memory could be faulty so I'll say that it was before he was elected the second time that I knew he had been lying for some time.   I can also tell you that he and Cheney will definitely go to prison.

If you want to know how I know this, let me know, but be prepared for some profound knowledge about a subject that you may have no knowledge at all of--consciousness.

Laurence Topliffe

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Read your article re Plame (today 0617).  Not impressed by either of them [Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson], except negatively.  Read Plame's book & heard her speak at AU last winter (where she extolled the need for a strong Clandestine Service).

As Joe Trento says, her book is "unintentionally revealing".  In the beginning, she comes across as a low-level ditz & somehow works her way up to important jobs at the Lack of Intelligence Agency, where, mirabile dictu, she can no longer work because she was caught out as a spook.

From what she says in her book, am inclined to believe that Joe Wilson is another Clandestine Service Officer or, if not, a fellow traveler who did a number of jobs for them because he believes in them.

The both hyped their situations unbelievably, apparently in the hopes that, after cozying up to Billary C., they would get Valarie made head of the CIA & Joe Secretary of Mistake.

Mike Springmann

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You may have seen that Iraqis are comparing the US-Iraqi "agreement" now under negotiation to the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930. And if you read it, you'll see they're clearly right to do so -- the treaty is uncannily close to what Bush has been pushing for. I guess there are only so many ways to set up colonial fiefdoms.

Interestingly, before now the actual treaty text existed in only one place online -- a pdf in an obscure corner of the UN website. I had to ask Glen Rangwala to track it down. So I think it's worth getting it circulating.

http://www.democrats.com/anglo-iraqi-treaty-of-1930

Jonathan Schwarz

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When I was a young man living in a relatively small community, during the summer months, our town was on the carnival circuit. For us young people and our friends, the draw of the lights and the crowds, were cause for excitement.  One beautiful evening, when observing the gambling tent, on a major corporation pay day, a man was playing a game that consisted of a wheel with a pointer, and when the pointer stopped in a place where you made your bet you won.

However, as we watched, the field was almost full and the pointer still stopped on an empty spot. As I watched, I figured out how the game was crooked. I just could not stand to see this go on, and shouted out, and exposed what was going on. At that moment, the operator, jumped the counter and made chase, with the help of more of their goons. Good thing we were young and fleet of foot, and know the city, and eventually lost them. What would have happened to us if caught, is up to speculation. 

Years later, I read a tell-all book about how this can take place. It was written by a carnival advance man, who would go to the city fathers, in their next expected circuit stop, and in essence, bribe them to stay away from their operations.

I hope this special interest story did not bore anyone, but in my view, the “Carnival”, came to Wash. D.C. in 2000, with all the identifying footprints of what I saw, when I was a kid. When you look, at the financial abuse committed by these people, who are in power now, as this latest this GAO report points out, in part, their advance man was GWB, and has been there to keep anyone away, who can bring them to account.

Executive privilege comes to mind. There are people now, who are shouting out, because they cannot stand the injustices, being laid on the American people, and the convoluted way they have bent and twisted our system of justice, out legislative bodies, and the very Constitution and Bill of Rights, and oh yes, how they have managed to control what used to be referred to as the “free press“.  The “free press”,  now, has been relegated to what we call a struggling progressive online media, who has trouble mustering up the needed funds to have their voices heard, which is constantly being drowned out by the powerful enablers we call the legitimate media.

When you look at all the offenses that have been committed by these, “Carnival Hacks”,  our nation is almost unrecognizable from other rather questionable regimes in history.

When we look at the state of this nation, with terms like recession, inflation, indictments of key financial operatives from our financial institutions on Wall St., so called, manipulation of the counties oil supply, all made possible, if traced to the source, would be the advance man we know as GWB. Since they have pitched their tent over what used to be called the symbol of democracy, our White House, their pointer has always fell in favor of them, and has left the American society, in debt, their treasury bilked beyond repair, and shaking on its very foundations, and at the end of their “reign”, will leave soon with the wallets full of taxpayer monies, and lucrative jobs, in dark caverns of “corporate America”, who in the spirit of fair and balanced competition, could make them patriotic, but  in light of their methods of tearing down the very, balances that are supposed to be in place at the seat of our federal government, they come off, looking like one of the, untrustworthy,  “advance mans” facilitaters.

So our “advance man” will leave us with his promise, that he will be vindicated as history unfolds. In 40 years or so, it is likely he and is cohorts will not be around. And will this be just another of their monumental lies. 

We, in my view, we just lost one of our honest men, in comedian, George Carlin. In a T.V. interview, replayed by Keith Olbermen, he said, when he injected politics in his routine, he did not mince words when it came to our leaders, and he said he chose to smash them.  Which he said, was the only way to handle them. Truer words.

So now we all wait to see where the balance of power will fall, on Jan. 20th, 2009.

Bill    

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