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Hillary & the Military

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has virtually wiped his public schedule clean to bone up for his long-awaited April 17 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee--a session widely seen as a crucial test as to whether he will survive the U.S. attorney mess. But even his own closest advisers are nervous about whether he is up to the task.

"At a recent 'prep' for a prospective Sunday talk-show interview, Gonzales's performance was so poor that top aides scrapped any live appearances. During the March 23 session in the A.G.'s conference room, Gonzales was grilled by a team of top aides and advisers--including former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie and former White House lawyer Tim Flanigan--about what he knew about the plan to fire seven U.S. attorneys last fall. But Gonzales kept contradicting himself and 'getting his timeline confused,' said one participant who asked not to be identified talking about a private meeting. His advisers finally got 'exasperated' with him, the source added. 'He's not ready,' Tasia Scolinos, Gonzales's public-affairs chief, told the A.G.'s top aides after the session was over, said the source."

Kevin Drum reacts at the Washington Monthly:

"Everyone prepares for congressional testimony, but this is ridiculous. If Gonzales was planning to simply tell the truth, he wouldn't 'keep contradicting himself' in practice sessions and he wouldn't need to bring his schedule to a standstill in order to figure out what he's planning to say. He'd just review the appropriate documents to make sure he had his dates straight and then tell Congress what happened.

"Obviously, though, that's not quite what he's planning to do, is it?"

Could Obama lose votes over this?

"here's a lot to admire about Barack Obama- his views, his forcefulness, his life experience growing up in various parts of the world. And he has a lot to say about how we, the United States, can be more humane and respectful citizens of the world," says Russell Shaw.

"But as do many of us, Sen. Obama has had a bad habit. He's been a smoker for most of his adult life.

"Obama is trying to quit, but until he does, I have a problem with him lighting up.

"The issue for me is that here is a guy while professes that we should respect the third world and its citizens, his smoking habit directly feeds the marketing and distribution engines of tobacco companies that have much if not most of the same Third World hooked. These companies are viciously aggressive in promoting their poison. Look at the billboards, and then see crowds with cancer sticks in their mouths."

Joe Klein warns the left to "think about the effects of impeachment: If successful, you get President Cheney. If unsuccessful, you get a latter day precedent--any President, and especially the next President, is more likely to be impeached than not. Impeachment was cheapened by Republicans in the last administration; it shouldn't be cheapened by Democrats in this one. It should be saved for the most blatant cases of serious criminality, not for criminal adolescence and incompetence."

Even though conditions look favorable for the Dems in 2008, says Dick Polman, "actual Republican candidates (Rudy Giuliani, John McCain) are consistently beating actual Democratic candidates (Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards) in the early survey match ups. No matter who does the polling -- Time, NBC-Wall Street Journal, Zogby, Fox, Rasmussen, Newsweek -- the results have been the same: Giuliani and McCain defeat the Democratic first tier. You're not likely to see those results advertised on the liberal websites.

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