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Hillary Now Opposes Drivers' Licenses for the Undocumented

I'm disappointed to see that Hillary Clinton has now come out against drivers licenses for the undocumented.

Her advisers think this will take the issue "off the table." I think it opens her up to new attacks in tomorrow night's debate for being inconsistent.

She said at the last debate she wasn't particularly familiar with the proposals. I assume she is now. That's what makes her statement so disappointing. I thought that with more information on the issue, she would have seen the wisdom of the plan.

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Newweek Poll : Hillary Maintains Lead Post-Debate

Newsweek today:

In a new NEWSWEEK poll, Hillary Clinton took the heat at this week's Democratic debate and emerged undamaged.

....The New York senator gets 44 percent of the overall Democratic vote, compared to 24 percent for Obama (down a point since NEWSWEEK's August poll) and 12 percent for Edwards (down two points). She is the first choice of 45 percent of self-identified Democrats (compared with 39 percent of Democratic "leaners"). She also trounces Obama among Democratic female voters (48 to 19 percent) and enjoys a marginal lead among male Democratic voters (38 to 32 percent). Obama runs better among younger Democratic voters and minorities.

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Hillary Clinton Opposes Mukasey Confirmation

Hillary Clinton released this statement today, opposing the nomination of Michael Mukasey for Attorney General.

We need an Attorney General who has the strength to challenge this Administration when it is wrong, who is committed to reestablishing the independence of the Department of Justice and to restoring respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. I am deeply troubled by Judge Mukasey’s continued unwillingness to clearly state his views on torture and unchecked Executive power.

The Attorney General is the chief defender of the rule of law in our country. After Alberto Gonzales's troubled tenure, we cannot send a signal that the next Attorney General in any way condones torture or believes that the President is unconstrained by law. When we leave any doubt about our nation’s policy on torture, we send a terrible message to the rest of the world.

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Happy Birthday, Hillary

Happy Birthday to Hillary Clinton who turns 60 today.

She celebrated last night at a party in New York. Elvis Costello and the Wallflowers provided the music, Billy Crystal was M.C. The event raised $1.5 million.

The latest AP poll numbers make a good birthday present for her. Among Democrats:

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, 43 percent
  • Barack Obama, 22 percent
  • John Edwards, 14 percent
  • Bill Richardson, 6 percent

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Hillary's Visit to Denver

Hillary Clinton came to Denver yesterday. She held a rally at the Auraria campus of Metro State. Big Head Todd and the Monsters played until she arrived. More than 1,000 attended.

The reviews are in and she did very well. She's taking a firmer stand on issues and was well received by the crowd.

Her promises:

She would withdraw the troops from Iraq, create millions of jobs in renewable energy by taking $50 billion in tax subsidies away from Big Oil, create universal pre-kindergarten, forgive more student loans and open up the congressional health care plan to all Americans.

On Bush:

Clinton also took aim at President Bush. She called Hurricane Katrina "a natural disaster turned into a national disgrace. If you had turned the sound off, you wouldn't have believed you were looking at pictures of America."

Increasingly in the campaign, there is only one Hillary for folks to see. (More...)

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Fundraising With the Stars

On 5280.com today I wrote about Hillary's fund-raising success this quarter in Colorado.

Over at HuffPo, there's an article "Hollywood Still Hearts Obama" about how Obama is raking it in with Hollywood stars. Since I already had the link to the FEC stats, I went and checked.

Obama raised $3,724,772.18 in California this past quarter. Hillary raised $4,869,227.82.

How about Beverly Hills zip code 90210? Obama raised 69,102.81. Hillary raised 154,515.00.

The HuffPo article doesn't give totals, just lists some stars' donations but it gives the wrong impression. A better, not to mention more alliterative title would have been "Hollywood Hearts Hillary."

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Obama's Latest Criticism of Hillary Over Kyl- Lieberman Amendment

Barack Obama has an oped today criticizing Hillary Clinton for her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment which designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization.

Obama today also penned an op-ed in The Manchester Union-Leader warning that Congress -- including, notably, rival Hillary Clinton -- has given Bush the pretense to invade Iran by approving a recent Senate amendment. "When you give this president a blank check, you can't be surprised when he cashes it," Obama writes. "I strongly differ with Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was the only Democratic presidential candidate to support this reckless amendment."

But Obama didn't vote against the Amendment, which was a non-binding resolution. He didn't show for the vote. His supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, voted for the Amendment also. (Roll call vote here.)

If Obama so strongly opposed the Amendment, why didn't he show up, argue against it and cast a "no" vote, instead of staying on the campaign trail?

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Hillary Does Not Support Torture

Update: TPM has the transcript.

*****

Kevin Drum is angry over Hillary's comments on torture. I'm not. Hillary was very clear she opposed torture last year.

From her comments then:

The rule of law cannot be compromised. We must stand for the rule of law before the world, especially when we are under stress and under threat. We must show that we uphold our most profound values.

The bill before us allows the admission into evidence of statements derived through cruel, inhuman and degrading interrogation. That sets a dangerous precedent that will endanger our own men and women in uniform overseas. Will our enemies be less likely to surrender? Will informants be less likely to come forward? Will our soldiers be more likely to face torture if captured? Will the information we obtain be less reliable? These are the questions we should be asking. And based on what we know about warfare from listening to those who have fought for our country, the answers do not support this bill. As Lieutenant John F. Kimmons, the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence said, "No good intelligence is going to come from abusive interrogation practices."

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Hillary Unveils Retirement Plan

Hillary Clinton unveiled her retirement plan, American Retirement Accounts, today.

As with her biggest policy plan for universal health insurance, Mrs. Clinton cast her savings proposal in terms of choice: If Americans like their 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts, they can keep those, while those who lack any savings plan will have a chance to start one with government help and save $5,000 a year on a tax-deferred basis.

“Saving in the accounts will be easy — it should not require a Ph.D. to save for retirement,” Mrs. Clinton said.

The Wall St. Journal has more specifics.

As to why it's needed:

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Hillary, Rolph and Taylor

Taylor Marsh recounts the latest dust-up over Hillary being called a "harpie" after an exchange with Randall Rolph. She's also got the video.

I missed the whole story but Taylor moves on to a discussion of people who criticize bloggers for favorably writing about Hillary, accusing them of somehow being part of her presidential campaign. I've gotten quite of few of those comments myself.

Since Taylor responds so well, I'll just quote her:

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Joseph Wilson on Hillary and Iran

(Guest Post by Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson)

On Iran, Hillary has been right in her strong criticism of Bush

I was pleased to see that last Monday Hillary joined Senator Jim Webb in co-sponsoring a bill that would prohibit the use of funds for military action in Iran without specific authorization from Congress. Last week, Hillary voted to support a non-binding resolution that designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. As a former diplomat, I have had considerable experience in the use of such resolutions to bring pressure – diplomatic pressure – to bear on a regime to rein in rogue elements. And make no mistake about it, the Guards are not only in operational control of Iran's policy toward Iraq and Afghanistan, where Iranian supplied munitions are costing American lives; they are agents of reaction and repression inside Iran. While it is a fact that the Bush administration's duplicity should give all Americans pause, we cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that we have real enemies in the world, and that we must be prepared to exercise the appropriate levers of power in support of our interests.

Both Hillary and Jim Webb correctly worry that the administration is considering a preemptive military strike against Iran. That is why Hillary continues to confront the Bush-Cheney White House and to challenge the legitimacy of any attack against Iran without prior Congressional approval.

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Poll: Hillary's Lead Widens Over Obama and Others

A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll finds Hillary Clinton increasing her lead over Barack Obama and the other Democratic candidates:

For the first time, Clinton (N.Y.) is drawing support from a majority of Democrats -- and has opened up a lead of 33 percentage points over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). Her popularity, the poll suggests, is being driven by her strength on key issues and a growing perception among voters that she would best represent change.

....Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 53 percent support Clinton, compared with 20 percent for Obama and 13 percent for former senator John Edwards (N.C.).

As to her electability factor,

A clear majority of those surveyed, 57 percent, said Clinton is the Democratic candidate with the best chance on Nov. 4, 2008.

Interesting note: Edwards is seen as more electable than Obama:

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Sexist Attacks on Hillary's Laugh

Shakespeare:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

A writer named Patrick Healy yesterday critized Hillary Clinton in a tabloid-type trash article in the New York Times because of her laugh which he calls a "cackle." The implication: Hillary is a witch.

The weirdest moment was with Bob Schieffer on the CBS News program "Face the Nation" when Mr. Schieffer said to Mrs. Clinton, "You rolled out your new health care plan, something Republicans immediately said is going to lead to socialized medicine." She giggled, giggled some more, and then could not seem to stop giggling — "Sorry, Bob," she said — and finally unleashed the full Cackle.

As Media Matters has reported, Healy has been doing hit pieces on Democratic candidates for years while giving Rudy Giuliani a pass. More inexplicable is that Maureen Dowd, whom Atrios calls Wanker of the Day today, chimes in.

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Bricklayer's Union Endorses Hillary, Prison Guards Endorse Obama

The 100,000 member International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers today endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

Why? They say she has the best chance to win.

This is the fifth major labor union endorsement for Hillary. She leads the other candidates in overall union endorsements.

Obama got his first union endorsement today -- from a prison guards' union. Thanking the 9,000 member New York City's Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, Obama said:

"It's an honor to have the endorsement of these men and women who put themselves at risk everyday to serve on the front lines of our nation's criminal justice system." he said.

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Hillary Clinton to Be on All Five Sunday Talk Shows

If you watch the Sunday talk shows today, you won't miss Hillary. She's going to be on all five: “Meet the Press,” “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” “Fox News Sunday,” “Face the Nation” and “Late Edition.”

The New York Times reports she's also solidifying her lead over the other Democratic candidates.

Even John Edwards advisor Joe Trippi says so:

“You used to be able to say the front-runners — her and Obama — but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. It’s pretty clear that she has sort of pulled away.”

Obama has raised a ton of money but it doesn't appear he's catching on. What you can expect in the next few weeks: Both Obama and Edwards to criticize Hillary. The questions are, are they too late and will their attempts backfire?

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