Obama's Senate Record on Nuclear Leaks

The New York Times examines Barack Obama's record on nuclear leaks legislation in the Senate.

The background: Exelon Corp. did not disclose some nuclear leaks in Illinois. Residents in Ill. were upset. Obama introduced a bill to help them.

Mr. Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks. He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was “the only nuclear legislation that I’ve passed.”

The Times reports, that's not quite true. [More...]

A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks.

Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama’s comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate.

Obama's willingess to compromise with Republicans makes me nervous.

“Senator Obama’s staff was sending us copies of the bill to review, and we could see it weakening with each successive draft,” said Joe Cosgrove, a park district director in Will County, Ill., where low-level radioactive runoff had turned up in groundwater. “The teeth were just taken out of it.”

His "working majority" is code for working with Republicans. I don't want compromise. The reason to get a Democrat elected is so we can get the Democratic agenda implemented, not so we can have our leaders agree to water down legislation until it's Republican lite.

Others may pick up on this:

Exelon, the country’s largest nuclear plant operator [is] one of Mr. Obama’s largest sources of campaign money.

I give Obama the benefit of the doubt on that one. I am not concerned about his character or ethics, they are both top-notch.

It's the casting of Obama as the top liberal I have a problem with. His record just doesn't seem to support it. I don't want a President who reaches out to Republicans when he should be fighting them.

Update: Barack Obama's website has this response to the New York Times article.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I don't see the Progressive anymore (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:30:14 PM EST
    it's funny---Obama is Progressive on process issues, but when it comes to legislation, he's really a moderate Republican.

    Bingo (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:50:49 PM EST
    Actually this is the question, where is the progressive, the appeaser, the uniter. I know...I know, it's not the 60's, but I just cannot help it. Not original : I'm reminded (appropriately enough_ of a couple of lines of lyrics from Jesus Christ Superstar: I don't know how to love him and He scares me so.

    Really? (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:56:43 PM EST
    If you are judging Obama by this bill then Clinton is also a "moderate Republican". She was a co-sponsor.

    Even if she co-sponsored it she isn't holding this (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Virginian on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 12:01:07 AM EST
    specific bill up on the campaign trail and claiming it giver her progressive bona-fide on energy policy...

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 06:07:05 AM EST
    listen to what I say, not what I do.

    True, But (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 12:06:22 AM EST
    Except for the bit where he said the bill passed, it is a very positive initiative. Nothing had to be done before Obama took the industry to task.

    It is not surprising that the bill got watered down in a Republican controlled congress. That says nothing about Obama except that he was tenacious in trying to get something regarding non-emergency nuclear leak reporting.

    It is not remotely fair to call him a moderate Republican based on this bill.


    Obama lied! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Josey on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 08:58:32 AM EST
    Integrity is still important to some of us.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#30)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 08:55:15 AM EST
    But that's kind of like the argument on the ethics bill Obama worked on: At least now they have to stand up when they eat the caviar and drink the champagne!

    Blame Clinton (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 11:34:34 AM EST
    She joined Obama to co-sponsor the bill after the first compromise, triangulation or whatever you want to call it.

    Fact is, before Obama stood up for his constituents against the Nuke Co. the were totally unchecked and ran the show,  there was no bill about leaks.

    At best this story is only about why he said the bill passed.


    I dunno (none / 0) (#46)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 02:49:55 PM EST
    why, when Obama does something egregious, it always comes back on Clinton.  The person who sponsors the bill is in charge of working out the details.  The co-sponsor is only saying, "This sounds like a good idea.  Pay attention to it."  I would liken it to the blurb on the back of a novel.  

    To me, this very soft piece of legislation, which thankfully did not get passed, is right up there with Obama voting for Cheney's energy bill, aka "the love letter to the nuclear power industry."

    It doesn't matter what Clinton did.  It matters what Obama did.  He is talking about his power to move bills into laws, to unite those who disagree, and here we have yet another prime example of his failure to deliver.


    Failure To Deliver (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 04:25:26 PM EST
    In a Republican controlled congress. Hahhaha. By that standard HRC is far worse than Obama.

    Hillary Clinton has sponsored 352 bills since Jan 22, 2001, of which 305 haven't made it out of committee (Extremely Poor) and 2 were successfully enacted (Average, relative to peers).



    Here Is Obama's (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 04:30:50 PM EST
    Record. Not so different than HRC regarding failures.  

    since the congress for the majority of that period (none / 0) (#51)
    by athyrio on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 04:42:28 PM EST
    has been controlled by the GOP, that isn't surprising for either one...

    Agree (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 04:54:02 PM EST
    If you look at Republicans record of passing bills they have been doing much better only because of their control of congress.

    That is why it is vital that we to get more dems in congress. I think that is at the root of BTD's support of Obama. Having the press favorable to the President would be a big help getting a super majority, or close to it,  in Congress.


    However (none / 0) (#53)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 06:31:47 PM EST
    Hillary is not running around the country saying she got bills passed that she did not.  She is not touting experience based on a factually incorrect statement.

    If I told you that I wrote the DaVinci Code, and you found out that I am not, in fact, Dan Brown, you would probably call me a liar.


    Running Around The Country? (none / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 08:31:08 PM EST
    He said it once in Iowa. Exaggerating is not helping you here.

    I wasn't aware (none / 0) (#55)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 09:23:44 PM EST
    that I needed help.  He has made the statement at least three times that I know of in three different states.

    Yes. That's what bothers me about him too. He (none / 0) (#43)
    by derridog on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 01:30:47 PM EST
    claims to be one thing, but he doesn't back that up with his actions. All those votes he didn't manage to show up for in the Senate, for instance, is the kind of thing that makes me nervous.  

    They were talking on NPR this morning about how he is blasting Clinton for voting for the Iran resolution, which of course, he would have voted against, he says, if he had showed up to vote, which he didn't.


    What are you talking about (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jgarza on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 12:30:24 AM EST
    Hillary is a co sponsor on this "moderate republican" bill.  As for the compromise, he only did it when the better bill couldn't get get through.

    Sounds like triangulating to me (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by BernieO on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 09:15:12 AM EST
    And then he lies about it by making his supporters think he was stronger on the issue than he really was.

    sounds like health care in Ill. (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by delandjim on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:39:08 PM EST
    In Illinois he worked on health care and similarly watered down the bill to get is passed after consulting with the lobbyists in poker games and pick up basketball. I read this from Eric Zorn Chicago Trib.

    Thats comforting (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Virginian on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:46:02 PM EST
    and then if it was REALLY controversial, he's just vote "Present"...

    I am starting to feel like this guy isn't a leader...that doesn't mean Obama is a bad guy, or a bad Democrat, or misguided...but these little insights are the antithesis of leadership...am I to believe that as soon as he is president he'd stop caving?

    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior...right?


    He would rather be liked (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by BernieO on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 09:37:50 AM EST
    unlike the Clintons who are used to being disparaged. They expect and can withstand the criticism. I think people underestimate the importance of this ability. I know I would have a very hard time bearing up under the kinds of withering attacks they have gotten.

    This is my biggest concern about Obama. Up until now he has never had to face any serious opposition in his career so we have no way of knowing how he will react. So far what I have seen is not encouraging. He seems to take offense whenever anyone dares to question him. If he is so bothered by what has come at him so far that he refused to sit with Hillary at the SOTU address, I have doubts that he can handle what will come at him if he is the nominee, let alone the president. It will be psychologically grueling.


    Well, I just hope the problem is merely that he (none / 0) (#44)
    by derridog on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 01:41:54 PM EST
    wants to be liked.  The whole Rezko thing and other things I've read about his record in the Illinois legislature make me nervous. Chicago politics are pretty dirty and if he has been "friends" for 17-20 years (he says 20) with a guy who is known for being a "pay for play" kingmaker, what does that say about Obama's character? The whole house deal doesn't have a good smell about it.

    I have absolutely no knowledge nor have I read anything that says he is corrupt, but these kinds of associations and saying one thing and doing another -just cause me concern.

    And, I agree, he has a very thin skin.   That's not going to serve him well in the general.  Look at how McCain and Romney call each other liars, not to mention that the MSM will turn on Obama as soon as it's clear he has the Dem nomination.  They work for the Rethugs and their corporate overlords. They  have  always worked to get the weakest Dem candidate to run against.  That's why they got rid of John Edwards.  No publicity, ignoring his successes, and so on. When someone is wildly popular, like Dean, that they don't like --they give that person the full treatment of ridicule and swiftboating, as they are doing with Hillary now.

    Please tell me I'm wrong. I'm very worried.


    I believe you have good (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by athyrio on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 03:34:34 PM EST
    reason to be worried derridog, as this is bordering on disaster....Obama right now is attacking Hillary on "core democratic party" issues like Universal Health Care...that can only hurt us in the GE...So if he is willing to do that, what else is he willing to do in order to be president...I don't believe he will back off after Tuesday, even if he wins just a few states...He would never put the party in front of his own interests...and that scares me...and his performance as our nominee would be a mess with his thin skin etc....they would eat him alive when he has to face their rancour...Hillary has faced it for years and just brushes it off...big difference...

    Problem Is (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:43:25 PM EST
    Not the bill that HRC and Durbin co-sponsored  The Nuclear Release Notice Act but that Obama said in Iowa campaigning that the bill passed:

    "Good.  Well I think it is an excellent question and let me tell you that I start off with the premise that nuclear energy is not optimal and so I am not a nuclear energy proponent.  It is true that Illinois has the most nuclear power plants of any state in the country and that makes me that much more concerned about safety issues since I have a nine year old and a six year old daughter who live in that state.  So the only nuclear legislation that I've passed has been to make sure that the nuclear industry has to disclose whatever they admit anything that might be considered radioactive and share that with local and state communities. I just did that last year.

    His campaign site article, Fact Check on New York Times Story, refutes the overblown charges except the main one where he said that the bill passed. It never even went to a vote.

    Not only that (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by BernieO on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 09:39:03 AM EST
    but he says the bill required the industry to report leaks which it did not.

    Thanks for the link (none / 0) (#6)
    by Virginian on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:50:30 PM EST
    The "fact check" is a bit confusing though...is it me, or do the first few "realities" basically state that the NYT doesn't say something similar to exactly what the NYT did say in the quoted passages?

    Most Of The (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:59:18 PM EST
    NYT is a hit piece. Innuendo galore. I did not go through the fact check, but my guess is most of it is correct.

    I still cannot fathom why he does not say that he misspoke in Iowa. That looks really bad.


    NYT hit peice? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Virginian on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 12:02:33 AM EST
    Say it ain't so...thats two in one week against the Democratic candidates...I guess the liberal gray lady is warming up for november

    oh, juicy link (none / 0) (#21)
    by Plutonium Page on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 02:34:00 AM EST
    As in, lots of stuff in there.  I'll have to comb through it when I'm more awake, but thanks for providing it.

    They have a good rapid-response team.


    the most interesting part (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Nasarius on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:49:49 PM EST
    He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was "the only nuclear legislation that I've passed."
    contrary to Mr. Obama's comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate.
    That is, at best, incredibly dishonest. I found the context of the Iowa quote on an Obama fan page:
    So the only nuclear legislation that I've passed has been to make sure that the nuclear industry has to disclose whatever they admit anything that might be considered radioactive and share that with local and state communities. I just did that last year.
    Wow. I'm sure the What-Obama-Really-Meant folks will do their usual Rose Mary Woods contortions to find an excuse, but Obama is either lying or somehow doesn't remember that his legislation didn't actually pass.

    Rose Mary Woods - LOL (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Josey on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 08:48:43 AM EST
    Obama has also lied about his health care plan - telling audiences that it covers everyone.
    Why does Obama lie?
    Because he can - with the media giving him a pass.

    Apologies for skipping you (none / 0) (#39)
    by Camorrista on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 11:36:22 AM EST
    I'm sorry we left your name off the mailing list.

    In any event, here's the memo:

    (1) Senator Obama said the nuclear legislation passed because he expected it to pass.  He's not responsible for the actions of those slippery pols.

    (2) In his entire life, Senator Obama spent only 5 hours in person with the indicted developer Tony Rezko and this harping on the deal that gave the senator a discount on his house, or the question of returning all of Rezko's campaign donations, or when the senator should have known what is way overblown.  (Anyway, Hsu and Clinton are far worse.)

    (3) Senator Obama did not actually praise Ronald Reagan; he simply said he was a transformative president, which no Democrat has been since 1932.

    (4) Senator Obama did not insult President Clinton by saying that all the ideas during his terms in office came from Republicans.  He added (or would have added if he'd had the time) that those Republican ideas were lousy.  (Anyway, President Clinton is famously thin-skinned.)

    (5) Senator Obama did not disrespect Senator Clinton by telling her, 'You're likable enough.'  He was only demonstrating that he had a sense of humor (and that he found her more likable than the press does).

    (6) Touring with Oprah Winfrey in no way shows that Senator Obama is playing the race (& gender) card.  She is a genuine fan of his, as he is of hers; they have been close friends for as long as he can remember.  (Which is a long time.)  

    (7) Senator Obama's record on the Iraq war is inviolate.  Before he was in the US Senate, he opposed it.  After, he voted for funding it, sometimes, but not always, as far as he can remember.

    (8) Senator Obama's has explained repeatedly why his health-care proposals will work, and nobody has ever disproved the rumors that Paul Krugman is a clandestine employe of the Clinton campaign.

    (9) Senator Obama did not snub Senator Clinton at the State of the Union by declining to greet her, and all evidence that he did is debatable.  Moreover, he has reprimanded those of his surrogates who told the press, 'she had it coming.'

    For additional or alternate explanations, please call the office.  


    Hmmmm (none / 0) (#41)
    by piezo on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 12:16:30 PM EST
    Are you a paid employee of his campaign? Sure sounds like it.

    I think this is snark. (none / 0) (#45)
    by derridog on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 01:47:17 PM EST
    Losing my touch (none / 0) (#50)
    by Camorrista on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 04:35:24 PM EST
    I thought it was obvious it was a snark.  Oh, well...

    Oh Really? (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:55:08 AM EST
    (Anyway, Hsu and Clinton are far worse.)

    Two wrongs make a right?

    Well, that is comforting to hear about a candidate that is going to set all the old folks right.



    I have always (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by NJDem on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:51:37 PM EST
    been suspicious of his environmental record.  

    I don't see how Gore can endorse him now (the Cheney Energy Bill vote would have enough) and I think the same with Edwards and the Harry and Louise flyer.


    Obama Introduced A Bill Promoting Liquified Coal (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 03:57:24 AM EST
    Gore was quoted as saying that it was a horrible idea. IIRC he introduced and cosponsored the bill in Jan. 07 and redrew his support in Jun. 07 after a lot of pressure from environmentalists.

    That also might make Gore think twice about an endorsement.


    Great points but (none / 0) (#9)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:55:43 PM EST
    Strategically for Edwards and Gore, they don't have to endorse. They can be in the high ground. Either man has more to lose than gain with an endorsement. They will help the winner, but why tip the scales. Unless they really don't want one of the two to not win.

    He and McCain are similar on environmental issues (none / 0) (#22)
    by Plutonium Page on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 02:38:42 AM EST
    They both believe global warming is real, and a problem that must be addressed immediately (and good for them on that).

    Their solution for it, in part, is expanding nuclear power for the first time in many, many years.

    So in terms of energy policy, if Obama's the nominee (and McCain will most certainly be the GOP nominee), we'll get similar deals no matter who wins.

    (As an aside, here is Grist's comparison of the candidates on environmental and energy issues.)


    When did Obama change his position (none / 0) (#27)
    by Geekesque on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 07:59:05 AM EST
    from considering nuclear power as an option to advocating it?

    The timing of compromises (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by child on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:58:04 PM EST
    I've been waiting all day for someone to comment on this NYT article, and Talk Left is the first I've seen.

    As an IL resident, I've been less than impressed with Mr. Obama's centrism, yet have a different take  on the article than Jerilyn.  I don't mind the consensus building that this bill seems to point out; I'm more interested in the fact that he told Iowa voters that he actually passed the legislation when the exact opposite is true. I'm sure Obama had the best intentions in his compromise, yet cannot respect blatant falsehoods from a public offical.  

    Additionally, as a former Edwards supporter, Obama's performance here is not what I want from a candidate. In my opinion the corporate control of our legislation is THE issue that lies behind all issues, from health care, to alternative energy sources, to our bloated military budget, involvement in Iraq, immigration reform, marijuana decriminalization, and a host of other issues.  

    Be that as it may, I can't say that Mrs. Clinton is any less of a compromiser with Republicans and corporate interests or that Obama is somehow a worse candidate than she.  I do find it curious that the Clinton-endorsing New York Times chooses to run this story on the eve of Super Tuesday, and am equally intrigued as to what this story's inclusion here at Talk Left as the second of consecutive anti-Obama entries could mean.  

    To be fair... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by OrangeFur on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 12:05:49 AM EST
    First, at these big papers the editorial board is generally walled away from the news section, so that the former can't influence the latter. As an example, see the Wall Street Journal. At least in its pre-Murdoch days, the news section was quite respected, while the editorial page was somewhere on Pluto.

    Second, the Times ran a very long article only a couple of days ago about Bill Clinton's friendship with someone who had something to do with operating uranium mines in Kazakhstan. I personally thought that story was way overblown, as is this one, to some extent. So I think this Obama article is not really evidence of the Times being biased.


    Thanks (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by NJDem on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 12:05:56 AM EST
    I would actually hope Gore and Edwards stay neutral and help us win the GE (w/o having to turn off any supporters)

    Also, let me add that I think this is site far more 'fair and balanced' than most, and it's not the author's fault that not all Obama news is good news.  Hell, even when it is good news for Hillary the MSN ignore it or turn it into something negative!

    Um, Jeralyn: (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Geekesque on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 12:37:55 AM EST
    Obama's willingess to compromise with Republicans makes me nervous.

    Obama was in the minority party at the time, and the committee chair was the anti-environmental Jim Inhofe.  The alternative to compromise was no bill at all.

    But, if you prefer people who would just not get anything done while in the minority . . .

    Strange, though.. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by TheRealFrank on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 04:31:16 AM EST
    Bill Clinton was faced with a Republican Congress from 1994 on. But when he compromised because they had a majority, it's "triangulation", which is Evil.

    Bill Clinton was head of a co-equal (none / 0) (#26)
    by Geekesque on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 07:57:17 AM EST
    branch of government.

    That's different than being the #100 Senator (out of 100) in seniority while also being in the minority party.


    That doesn't change anything. (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by TheRealFrank on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 08:24:27 AM EST
    The argument is, that when you're faced with a Republican majority, you have to compromise.

    It has nothing to do with seniority.


    And (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by BernieO on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 09:29:52 AM EST
    Obama supporters deride the Clintons for compromising, calling it "triangulation" but positively swoon when he talks about working with the other side to find solutions.
    Heck, he has already compromised on universal health care before he even gets started working with the other side. I have more audacity of hope on that issue, our most serious domestic policy problem, than Obama does.

    Obama had much less leverage (none / 0) (#36)
    by Geekesque on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 09:56:49 AM EST
    at the negotiating table.

    More to the point, he wasn't giving the Republicans anything they particularly wanted here.  


    Didn't you read page 2? (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by RalphB on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 10:39:32 AM EST
    I for one am glad this bill didn't pass because it would have weakened current regulations.  In particular this little nugget.

    "The rewritten bill also contained the new wording sought by Exelon making it clear that state and local authorities would have no regulatory oversight of nuclear power plants."

    That's a wet dream for the Nuclear power lobbyists. If you're going to defend this crap bill, at least address the most egregious parts of it.

    Seems to me the republicans and nuclear lobby got what they wanted for sure.


    Couple of points (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Plutonium Page on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 02:31:25 AM EST
    1. Campaign donations:  another reason the Exelon donations can't be used as a strict index of nuclear industry support for Obama is obvious.  I have friends at Sandia National Labs who donated to Kerry, but that doesn't mean that he was supported by the defense-industrial complex.  They just wanted a good president.  In other words, Obama has lots of fans at Exelon (including the CEO).  Whatever.

    2. However, the following IS somewhat shady:

      In addition, Mr. Obama's chief political strategist, David Axelrod, has worked as a consultant to Exelon. A spokeswoman for Exelon said Mr. Axelrod's company had helped an Exelon subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison, with communications strategy periodically since 2002, but had no involvement in the leak controversy or other nuclear issues.

      That clearly goes beyond simply donations.

    And people say Hillary is "beholden to corporate interests".

    p.s.  I'd love to know where Obama wants to store the waste.  But that's another story.

    Slightly Shady (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 11:39:00 AM EST
    Compared to what? Not Clinton's people.

    Obama will have it rough (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by observer on Sun Feb 03, 2008 at 01:05:27 PM EST
    Barack watered the legislation when he had to.- before Nov 2006 - but now what's the excuse ?  It's not law yet, so why give this away to the nuclear industry... Lack of oversight is part of the tragedy of the Bush legacy.

    If Barack wins the nomination, the big money behind the powersick will go with a full court press - He may be moderate, but he's a Democrat.  Uplifting rhetoric will not win the day.  

    The dreamers of Kennedy, like the dreamers of Reagan, replay a very selective history for us.  I say, green is green and new is new. On what would I base my suspension of disbelief that the brc will leave scorched earth behind?  

    As Frank Herbert noted "Anyone who thinks the Democrats are a lock to win in November has somehow forgotten about Karl Rove, the right-wing radio network, the hanging chads of 2000, the Swift boat debacle, the intimidation of black voters in Florida, the long lines of Democratic voters standing forlornly in the rain in Ohio, and on and on"

    I can't envision, nor would I want, a productive post partisan dialog until the this 21st century gilded age has ended.

    Hillary articulates needed plans, as well as a reasoned left leaning vision. I'm really eager to see her in action with an increased majority of legistators. Of these two candidates, Hillary is the best choice now for the USA.  

    For Hillary to win in spite of the attack machine, would put a proper smackdown onto the foes of democracy. The hate mongers are not her fault, and should reexamine their own motivation.  

    I'm gratified by the swing of devout Christians away from the morally bankrupt. Bleeding heart conservatives are like bleeding heart liberals. They can be our partners in politics when we stand for that which is right.