Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hillary Clinton Flip-Flops Yet Again - This Time On Nukes!

Let's see. She's flip-flopped on Iraq, diploamacy, and now the use of nuclear weapons. And all to counter Senator Barack Obama. She's really scared of losing to him, so much so she's endangering the Democratic Party's chance of winning against the Republicans should she win the nomination.

Clinton Expressed Views on Nukes in 2006 - Huff Post

BETH FOUHY | August 9, 2007 04:33 PM EST |

NEW YORK — Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who chastised rival Barack Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons in the war on terror, did just that when asked about Iran a year ago.

"I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table," she said in April 2006.

Her views expressed while she was gearing up for a presidential run stand in conflict with her comments this month regarding Obama, who faced heavy criticism from leaders of both parties, including Clinton, after saying it would be "a profound mistake" to deploy nuclear weapons in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"There's been no discussion of nuclear weapons. That's not on the table," he said.

Clinton, who has tried to cast her rival as too inexperienced for the job of commander in chief, said of Obama's stance on Pakistan: "I don't believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non-use of nuclear weapons."

But that's exactly what she did in an interview with Bloomberg Television in April 2006. The New York senator, a member of the Armed Services committee, was asked about reports that the Bush administration was considering military intervention _ possibly even a nuclear strike _ to prevent Iran from escalating its nuclear program.

"I have said publicly no option should be off the table, but I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table," Clinton said. "This administration has been very willing to talk about using nuclear weapons in a way we haven't seen since the dawn of a nuclear age. I think that's a terrible mistake."

Clinton's views on the potential use of nuclear weapons appear to have changed since then.

Her campaign spokesman, Phil Singer, said the circumstances for her remarks last year were different than the situation Obama faced.

"She was asked to respond to specific reports that the Bush-Cheney administration was actively considering nuclear strikes on Iran even as it refused to engage diplomatically," he said. "She wasn't talking about a broad hypothetical nor was she speaking as a presidential candidate. Given the saber-rattling that was coming from the Bush White House at the time, it was totally appropriate and necessary to respond to that report and call it the wrong policy."

TPM: Obama Spot On About Pakistan, Gives Washington Insiders Bellyache

Obama and Pakistan
08.09.07 -- 11:16AM

By Josh Marshall -

I'm always interested to try to tease apart and find the meta-debates operating beneath the surface of campaign debates. As I wrote a few years ago in what I called the bitch-slap theory of GOP electoral politics, the whole swift-boat saga was less about the specifics of Kerry's injuries forty years ago than whether he could defend himself from the charges today. Someone who can't defend himself is weak; and if a guy can't defend himself he can't defend you.

That's what that whole song-and-dance was about.

So what is this back and forth about Obama and Pakistan about?

What this has boiled down to -- and this became even more clear after Tuesday night's labor-hosted debate, when Biden and Dodd acted as Hillary's proxies -- is Hillary, in league with the party's foreign policy establishment, trying to make Obama, implicitly or explicitly, concede an error, that he misspoke.

Precisely what he misspoke about is largely beside the point. The key is that they get him to concede that in the complex and serious world of foreign policy big-think, where words have consequences, he made an error. Of course, it's almost good enough if most observers decide that Obama screwed up. But once he concedes it himself, if he does, he stipulates from now through the end of the Democratic primary campaign that his inexperience in foreign policy is a basic premise of the campaign upon which the battle between him and Hillary will be waged. He can learn, improve, make progress, whatever, but his inexperience compared to Hillary will continue to be the reference point throughout.

But I think he's done a pretty good job so far refusing to get put in that box. And the truth is that I think Obama's actual words are so clearly unobjectionable that this is all Kabuki theater of a particularly strained and disingenuous sort. All Obama said was that if we have actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of high-value al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, and Pakistan won't act, we will act.

Clearly, no Republican can quibble with this. They're on the record for invading countries because they might become dangers to us at some point in the future. They're hardly in a position to disagree with Obama if he says we'll hunt down people who committed mass casualty terror attacks within our borders. And I'm not sure Democrats are in much of a position to do so either.

The unspoken truth here, I suspect, is that Obama has struck on the central folly of our post-9/11 counter-terrorism defense policy -- strike hard where they aren't and go easy where they are. I think everyone can see this. But Obama got there first. So they need to attack him for saying it.

Courant's Jessica Marsden Reports We've Got Too Much Media

Media Consumers Finally Saying, `Enough Already!'
Begin Cutting Claims On Time

By JESSICA MARSDEN | Courant Staff Writer
August 8, 2007

Americans' appetite for time in front of the computer, iPod or television may finally be on the wane, after almost a decade during which our media consumption grew steadily.

Consumers spent slightly less time with media - including both traditional and digital offerings, in print and onscreen - in 2006, compared with 2005. It was the first decline since 1997, private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson reported Tuesday.

We now log an average of 9.7 hours each day consuming media. Some experts say we're at the saturation point.

"There's only so much time available to add more kinds of media," University of Hartford communications Professor Jack Banks said. "At some point, something's gotta give."

That something is likely to be traditional, ad-supported media like broadcast television and printed newspapers, which the report found are enjoying less attention from consumers as emerging media take up more of their time.

The 3,530 hours that the average consumer spent with media in 2006 - a whopping 40 percent of all hours, including sleep time - represented a 0.5 percent drop from 2005. Over the previous decade, media usage typically increased 1 percent to 3 percent a year, said Leo Kivijarv, vice president for research at PQ Media, which produced the report with VSS.

The term media was widely defined, including TV, newspapers, movies, books, music and video games, not to mention the wide world of the Internet.

Much of the previous decade's growth in media consumption stemmed from new technologies that generated new excitement. Kivijarv said. For example, consumers replacing VCRs with DVD players tended to spend more time with the new devices.

The slowdown in media consumption in 2006 represents a saturation point, Kivijarv said, but that doesn't mean Americans are waning in their hunger for the offerings on the vast media menu. Rather, he suggested, "on-demand" digital technologies allow consumers to be more efficient. Instead of leafing through several sections of a newspaper, readers are able to call up the two or three articles of interest to them, almost immediately on a newspaper's website, he said.

"Somebody goes online, they're very specific for what they're looking for," he said.

In a landscape as broad as American media, there could be plenty of room for growth in some areas even as others are saturated. For example, we could be unable to digest more active, leisure-time media at home, but have time available for more at the office, said Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University.

The VSS report notes that media use at businesses and government offices - for legitimate work purposes - increased by about 3 percent in 2006, to an average 260 hours per employee. With a 40-hour week totaling 2,000 hours a year, that represents room for growth.

Then there is the matter of procrastination at work, as computers bring a festival of time-wasting opportunities that expand as old-line media jump online, Thompson said. Now that TV networks have started to offer their programming online, you can spend a very long lunch hour catching up on the latest episode of "Grey's Anatomy."

Last year, Thompson said, "was a big year for being able to watch TV at work and get away with it. You could never have dragged a portable TV set into your cubicle."

Young people are "probably at 100 percent media saturation, even counting sleeping," he said. Multitasking intersperses media consumption with the rest of life, and portable technology makes it possible to bring those habits anywhere, he said.

The report draws a sharp distinction between media that are mostly paid for by advertisers, such as broadcast TV and print journalism, and subscriber-funded media, including cable TV, video games and some websites. The first group, the heart of traditional mass media, is declining. The latter group is growing.

Advertisers have already followed audiences into new media, and that trend will gain speed. By 2011, the VSS report estimates, the Internet will surpass newspapers as the largest medium for advertising.

Contact Jessica Marsden at

Someone Help ESPN Redesign The ESPN 360 Website

According to Valleywag, ESPN's ESPN 360 website is getting a makeover, adding live streaming video of certain sports events. Frankly, I still don't think ESPN really gets new media.

Given its presence in sports, one would expect a state-of-the-art approach, as well as the realization that they can do better than just sticking videos on a page.

Oh well. It's obvious ESPN's not located in the SF Bay Area.