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Category Archive for ‘Foreign policy’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'Foreign policy' Category


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Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

Health care can move over. A new topic is sure to consume the political world over the next few days: Barack Obama was just awared the Nobel Peace Prize.

I for one remain speechless by this decision. Even if Obama has improved international dialogue, he has been in office for only nine months. He might very well go on to doing great things, but he has yet to devote anywhere near as much of his energy to do this as thousands of people around the globe who have devoted decades of their lives to resolving conflict and promoting human rights. At this point of his presidency, what does Obama have above them apart from power and fame?

This is all the more problematic given the Nobel Prize Peace’s potential to shine light on areas of the globe that are undercovered yet plagued by conflict. Obama has little use for this prize, but think of how international recognition could help human rights activists and associations in dozens of countries the media has gotten bored of covering? What about reminding the world of Darfur or of Burma- and those are still the most famous examples? (Relatedly: the committee has become bizarrely US-centric: In 3 of the past 8 years, the prize has been given to Democratic politicians: Jimmy Carter in 2002, Al Gore in 2007 and now Obama.)

Even if the committee prefers to reward people working in higher-profile situations, they could at the very least wait for some type of clear milestone to be achieved: Nelson Mandela did not receive the prize until 1993, after apartheid was abolished, despite having spent 27 years in jail as a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement.

Then, there are political reasons that make Obama’s prize bizarre. He is funding two wars (against the desires of the left of his party), he is considering escalating one of them (against the desires of the Speaker of the House) and he is attracting a lot of criticism for Bagram, for his policy surrounding torture and for his administration’s pursuing the use of state secret arguments. (Update: Not to mention his 2008 vote to legalize of warrantless surveillance. The majority of House Democrats voted ‘no.’) Shouldn’t the committee have at least waited until Obama completed Guantanamo’s closure?

I don’t want to overstate this news’s importance on the domestic stage. But to the extent that it does have consequences, it should make it more difficult for anti-war Democrats to voice their displeasure at administration policies.

Remember the intensity of the debate over last June’s supplemental war funding, which the Democratic leadership barely managed to pass through the House after days of lobbying; next time around, Obama will be able to point out that he won the Peace Prize - pushing progressives against the wall. Right now, two burning political questions are the renewal of controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, which Obama has said he supports, and the White House’s Afghanistan policy; whatever it decides to do on the latter, the White House now has more cover to argue it is dramatically shifting the direction of US policy.

Looking forward to electoral consequences, I here again don’t want to overstate this prize’s importance. But it will certainly be useful for Obama in the 2012 presidential campaign. The United Nations have a popularity problem in the US, but I doubt most have the same skepticism toward the Nobel Peace Prize, which should make it hard for the GOP to use this against Obama (though I imagine they will try to do so, just as they attempted to turn his Berlin speech against him).

It will also help Obama argue he has turned the page of the Bush years and fostered better international relations - a central promise of his presidency whose success conservatives put in question last week over the unrelated matter of Chicago’s failed Olympic bid.


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McCain plays up Obama’s canceled event, shifts his argument on Iraq

As Obama’s latest national numbers are rising, Republicans are clearly worried that Obama significantly shifted the electorate’s impression of him. I explained two nights ago that McCain’s increasingly negative tone, his new ad and his attacks on Obama’s character indicate that his campaign is worried that it needs to up the volume to play on voters’ doubts about Obama and cut whatever advantage he might have gained this week.

Yesterday, McCain continued in that vein by focusing on foreign policy and stepping up his attacks on Obama’s trip. On ABC, he harassed Obama for having canceled that now (in)famous visit to wounded troops in Germany: “Those troops would have loved to see him, and I know of no Pentagon regulation that would’ve prevented him from going there.”

This was the main novel attack of McCain’s ad released on Saturday. I still question how effective this charge could be for voters who just see the ad and have no idea what the canceled visit is referring to. Can the ad’s sarcastic’s tone (”It seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow cameras…”) appeal to those who don’t have a prior sense of what is going on and don’t already share the contempt of McCain operatives? And I am still amazed that this is being made into a controversy given the clear evidence that the trip was canceled when the Pentagon intervened at the last minute to tell Obama that he could not take the staff he has wit him because they were part of his campaign. First Read confirms that this had nothing to do with the press:

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports that there was never a plan for Obama to take the press to Landstuhl. The plan was to go with his military aide, retired General Scott Gration. The Pentagon said Gration was off-limits because he had joined the campaign — violating rules that it not be a political stop. Obama had gone to see wounded troops in Iraq earlier in the week, without even confirming he’d been there. No press, no pictures. He has done the same when he goes to Walter Reed — never any press.

Senators Reid and Hagel were quick to denounce McCain’s line of attack today and the Obama campaign accused McCain, an “honorable man,” of running a “dishonorable campaign. (On a side note, Chuck Hagel’s increasingly prevalent role as an Obama surrogate confirms Hagel’s growing hostility towards his former friend John McCain and Obama will be able to benefit greatly from this given Hagel’s profile as a conservative Republican who has shown few signs of hostility towards his party beyond the Iraq issue. In fact, the fact that Hagel hasn’t even endorsed Obama makes his rebuking McCain an even more powerful weapon in Obama’s arsenal.)

In an instructive article published today on Politico, Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin take a closer look at McCain’s character strategy and the GOP’s increasingly powerful temptation to play on the online smears that have been circulating about Obama. McCain’s latest ad evokes a recent debunked e-mail recanted by its author sent around accusing Obama of having “shunned” the troops in Afghanistan. The article also quotes a Clinton voter saying she could not support Obama because she questions the fact that he is “a true American,” perhaps because “of his name.”

As McCain steps up his attacks on Obama’s character, however, his attacks on Obama’s Iraq policies are getting increasingly muddied because the Arizona Senator is shifting his argument on the issue. On Friday, McCain called a 16-month plan a “pretty good timetable.” On Sunday, he denied that he had endorsed an Obama-style timetable. What gives? McCain no longer appears to be focusing on the argument that withdrawal would lead to chaos and civil war (Maliki endorsing Obama’s timetable makes that claim politically more difficult).

McCain appears to be downplaying his opposition to timetables (which is by itself a victory for Obama); his argument is reduced to the claim that he would be attentive to conditions on the ground whereas Obama would not and would stick to 16-months no matter what is happening in Iraq. Thus, McCain both fudges his position to imply he favors some kind of withdrawal plan (as Heather Wilson suggested last week and as McCain did too on Friday by talking about a “pretty good timetable”) and he plays up the contrast between pragmatism and ideology.

This ignores most of what Obama has said on the subject, as the Illinois Senator talks about these ground conditions just as much as McCain and seems more willing to adapt his timetable than the anti-war movement would like him to be. (You might remember that he joined Clinton and Edwards in refusing to have all troops out by 2013 at a Democratic debate this fall.)

Practically, then, McCain is leaving increasingly little space between himself and Obama on the one issue that is supposed to define him the most, the issue he is the most comfortable talking about - a turnaround that would have been quite unpredictable just a few months ago. With McCain ceding so much ground on Iraq, what does he have left to draw a contrast between himself and Obama? By taking issues like the appropriateness of talking about withdrawal off the table, McCain will be forced to spend more time on issues like Afghanistan and the economy. Unless, that is, his plan is to get issues out of the way and make the election entirely a contrast of character and biography. McCain’s comments over the past week are certainly a step in that direction.

Republicans have long been looking to make the election a referendum about Obama, and it looks like the McCain campaign has decided to embrace that strategy. How far will they go - and how far will McCain (who did denounce the Swift Boat ads in 2004, after all) take this?


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FISA bill: Obama’s about-face disappoints, in first renounciation of strategy of clear contrasts

It was just last week that Obama delivered an admirably strong response to Republican accusations that he was stuck in a “September 10th mindset,” hitting back that he would not be lectured on September 11th by “the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11.” This prompted me to remark that Democrats in 2008 seemed perfectly happy to draw clear contrasts on national security issues, in a clear departure from the the 2002 midterms and the 2004 presidential election.

Well, that didn’t last long. On Friday, Barack Obama announced that he would support the FISA bill that dramatically extends the state’s surveillance powers. Ever since the New York Times revealed Bush’s wiretapping program, Republicans have been clamoring that these are essential tools in the fight against terrorists and that anyone who holds a contrary position is weak on terror (starting with the NYT, accused of treason).

In mid-February, Obama missed a vote on a previous version of the FISA bill but issued a statement announcing he stood with those “who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty.” Something evidently changed over the past four months. Might it be that Obama won the Democratic nomination in the interval, and is now starting his drift rightward to contest the general election?

Given the Democratic Party’s record in standing up to George Bush over the past 6 years, this would hardly be a surprise if it weren’t for Obama’s insistence that he would usher in a new era of American politics, an era in which Democrats would no longer automatically cave in when accused of helping terrorists. After all, it is for similar reasons of political expediency that Hillary Clinton and John Edwards voted in favor of the Iraq resolution in 2002 — and we know how central a moment that became in Obama’s campaign against them. Yet, opposing one of the most controversial programs of the Bush Administration and insisting on the importance of court-issued warrants became too much to ask of the Illinois Senator.

Particularly frustrating is Obama’s revisionist attempts to change the terms of the debate. Just as Hillary Clinton argued that the 2002 vote was not about taking the country to war but about prolonging the diplomatic effort, Obama is reducing opposition to Bush’s program to criticism that it was illegal. “Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President’s illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over,” Obama wrote in a letter released on Friday.

So was the only problem with Bush’s surveillance program that it was illegal? Are we forgetting that the first issue here is the expansion of executive authority and the strengthening of the police state — policies that are questionable whether or not they are authorized by law? By accepting the FISA bill and by calling it a “compromise,” Obama and a depressingly high number of Democrats are essentially saying that the way to address the executive branch’s illegal actions is to make those acts legal… and the problem will be resolved!

What will not be resolved, however, is the fact that this bill grants extensive and excessive powers to government and limits civil liberties. Sen. Feingold, one of the bill’s main opponents, blasted this latest bill in a statement for “fail[ing] to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home” because “the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power.” This deal “is not a compromise; it is a capitulation,” Feingold laments, joined by other Democratic lawmakers like Senator Chris Dodd and Rep. Holt.

A second bit of revisionism is Obama’s acting as if retroactive immunity for telecommunication companies is the only part of the FISA bill that is controversial and worthy to fight. He promised to fight on the Senate floor to remove the provisions granting immunity to telecommunication companies, though he indicated that he would still vote in favor of the overall package if his efforts fail (as they are likely to). MoveOn is particularly furious and is insisting that Obama keep the promise he made this past October that he would filibuster any bill granting immunity.

But as is obvious from Russ Feingold’s statements and the anger of many liberal activists, the reasons to oppose the FISA deal go far beyond the immunity question and into the problem of insufficient judicial oversight and the extension of the surveillance state. Obama’s using his renewed opposition to the immunity issue to mask his about-face on the rest of the bill is particularly frustrating given that it is the parts strengthening executive authority that are the bill’s most problematic provisions.

Washington Monthly has a strong explanation of the issues with the FISA bill, including the extension of the period the NSA can conduct wiretaps without FISA approval and the fact that they can still be used in court evne if they are struck down, as well as disregard for what has come to be defined as probable cause, as algorithms will now come to define who is suspect and what merits surveillance. Kevin Drum explains that,


We’re tapping the phones of anyone who fits a hazy and seldom accurate profile that NSA finds vaguely suspicious, a profile that inevitably includes plenty of calls in which one end is a U.S. citizen. But the new FISA bill doesn’t require NSA to get a warrant for any of these individuals or groups, it only requires a FISA judge to approve the broad contours of the profiling software. (…) The oversight on this stuff is inherently weak. (…) For all practical purposes, then, the decision about which U.S. citizens to spy on is being vested in a small group of technicians operating in secret and creating criteria that virtually no one else understands.

And Salon’s Glenn Greenwald adds:

It is absolutely false that the only unconstitutional and destructive provision of this “compromise” bill is the telecom amnesty part. It’s true that most people working to defeat the Cheney/Rockefeller bill viewed opposition to telecom amnesty as the most politically potent way to defeat the bill, but the bill’s expansion of warrantless eavesdropping powers vested in the President, and its evisceration of safeguards against abuses of those powers, is at least as long-lasting and destructive as the telecom amnesty provisions. The bill legalizes many of the warrantless eavesdropping activities George Bush secretly and illegally ordered in 2001. (…)

This bill doesn’t legalize every part of Bush’s illegal warrantless eavesdropping program but it takes a large step beyond FISA towards what Bush did. There was absolutely no reason to destroy the FISA framework, which is already an extraordinarily pro-Executive instrument that vests vast eavesdropping powers in the President, in order to empower the President to spy on large parts of our international communications with no warrants at all. This was all done by invoking the scary spectre of Terrorism — “you mus
t give up your privacy and constitutional rights to us if you want us to keep you safe” — and it is Obama’s willingness to embrace that rancid framework, the defining mindset of the Bush years, that is most deserving of intense criticism here. (…)

He’s supporting a bill that is a full-scale assault on our Constitution and an endorsement of the premise that our laws can be broken by the political and corporate elite whenever the scary specter of The Terrorists can be invoked to justify it.

And Yale Law School professor Jack Balkin adds:

Most Americans don’t realize that the FISA compromise comes in two parts. The first part greatly alters FISA by expanding the executive’s ability to wiretap and engage in much broader searches of communications than were permissible under the law before. (…) People aren’t paying as much attention to this part of the bill. But they should, because it will define the law of surveillance going forward. It is where your civil liberties will be defined for the next decade.(…)

So, let’s sum up: Congress gives the President new powers that Obama can use. Great. (This is change we can believe in). Obama doesn’t have to expend any political capital to get these new powers. Also great. Finally, Obama can score points with his base by criticizing the retroactive immunity provisions, which is less important to him going forward than the new powers. Just dandy.


Sure, Obama’s move is shrewd and designed to prevent the GOP from using FISA as an issue against him. Sure, most other Democrats would have done the same and are doing the same, and Hillary Clinton was moving rightward on national security as early as late September, when she was shifting to general-election mode and voted for Kyl-Lieberman. But that doesn’t obscure the fact that (1) the FISA bill is a major issue and a dramatic extension of executive authority and the surveillance state and (2) those who are against its provisions have to speak up against Obama’s decision and those of other Democrats (and there will be a lot) who support the bill.

It makes no sense to hold criticism on a bill of this importance, on an issue on which Democrats have been fighting for years now. It also makes little sense to silence criticism to win this election. For one, since when have liberals criticizing a Democratic nominee hurt that candidate? If anything, Democratic candidates have purposefully sought such criticism. Unfortunately, Obama changing his mind has prompted many Democrats to conveniently give up a difficult fight. As Greenwald points out:

People who spent the week railing against Steny Hoyer as an evil, craven enabler of the Bush administration — or who spent the last several months identically railing against Jay Rockefeller — suddenly changed their minds completely when Barack Obama announced that he would do the same thing as they did. What had been a vicious assault on our Constitution, and corrupt complicity to conceal Bush lawbreaking, magically and instantaneously transformed into a perfectly understandable position, even a shrewd and commendable decision… Numerous individuals stepped forward to assure us that there was only one small bad part of this bill — the part which immunizes lawbreaking telecoms — and since Obama says that he opposes that part, there is no basis for criticizing him for what he did.

This bill’s acceptance by many in the Democratic Party — including now Obama — is nothing but the party’s continued willingness to be boxed in into Republican positions out of fear of being portrayed as weak on terror. This is exactly what Obama was supposedly going to rebel against last week, and exactly what we are back to today. Maybe this was necessary for Obama to avoid accusations that he was too soft in his commitment to securing America, but has that not gotten the country into enough trouble from the Patriot Act to the Iraq War and now to wiretapping and surveillance laws? As Hunter points out over on Kos, it is the fact that enough Democrats are supporting this bill to make it a “compromise” that is a true sign of weakness:

FISA was not expiring. FISA was not falling into a legislative black hole. It continued to exist, as the exclusive means for electronic surveillance of the American people, and all it required was a warrant, and all the warrant required was probable cause. That’s it. That’s what this entire, months-long parade of panic, bluster and torn hair has been about, that it was just too damn difficult for the administration to be asked to show two sentences of probable cause to a judge in a secret hearing before collecting whatever electronic information about you (…)

And if you object to it, then even Barack Obama will hold the threat of imminent Terror over your head as justification for why we should ignore past violations of Constitutional rights and declare a massive, flag-waving, star-spangled do over that simply declares there’s no more problem.

As for electoral consequences, none of this is likely to hurt Obama, of course. The enthusiasm of liberal activists and groups like MoveOn will not fade based on this, especially since most Democratic presidential candidates behave this way once they have wrapped up the nomination (see John Kerry and the Missouri anti-gay amendment). But it does call into question what sort of campaign we will see over the next few months: Will Obama keep firm on his determination to draw clear contrasts with the Republican Party? Or will he minimize differences on issues relating to national security to concentrate on the Iraq War?


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Bush, the general election and Nazi appeasers

Speaking in front of the Knesset yesterday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Israel’s creation, President Bush did something few politicians do: He interjected talk of domestic politics in a speech given abroad. In what was a veiled but unmistakable attack on Barack Obama’s proposal to meet with foreign leaders from ‘rogue states,’ Bush compared the desire of some American politicians to meet with “terrorists and radicals” to Nazi appeasers:

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along… We have an obligation to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

The remarks predictably created a firestorm in the United States and the net result is very good for Obama. First, it cast him in the role of the main Democratic figure, projecting him ahead to the general election at a time his campaign is trying to portray the general election as over. All Democrats rallied at Obama’s defense yesterday, denouncing Bush’s partisan speech in a foreign country as well as the ugly nature of the attack. Joe Biden got noticed (think veepstakes or cabinet post…) for offering the most forceful response, calling Bush’s speech “bullshit.” Even Hillary Clinton ended up defending Obama, probably not what she was expecting to be doing with her day yesterday:

President Bush’s comparison of any Democrat to Nazi appeasers is offensive and outrageous, especially in the light of his failures in foreign policy. This is the kind of statement that has no place in any presidential address.

Second, Obama would love nothing more than to be running against George Bush in the fall. The Republican president, whose approval rating is hovering around 30%, is the main reason the GOP is in so much trouble right now, surviving only because of John McCain’s uncommon appeal to independents and moderate voters is keeping his numbers afloat. The main Democratic strategy in the coming months will be to tie McCain to the incumbent president — McSame, a third term for Bush, etc… — and Bush did the Arizona Senator no favor by contaminating an attack that the GOP was sure to use against Obama, an attack that will now be associated with Bush. This also gives an opportunity to Obama to (1) rehearse his defense of his proposal to talk to foreign leaders in favorable conditions and (2) hit back forcefully against Bush, painting himself to be running in opposition to the current Administration as much as against McCain and articulating a coherent alternative foreign policy at a time people are starting to pay attention to the general election.

To make matters worse for the GOP, Bush’s speech came on a day McCain was trying to distance himself from the president, giving a speech (”2013″) which was supposed to be his latest attempt to show the ways in which he would be a different kind of Republican and the ways in which he propose a bi-partisan (post-partisan?) approach (expect the debate over who is the true post-partisan to pick-up in the coming months…). Instead, not only was McCain’s speech completely overshadowed but McCain was left defending Bush’s statement — one he would have made sooner or later but that he would have rather made first by himself:

I think that Barack Obama needs to explain why he wants to sit down and talk with a man who is the head of a government that is a state sponsor of terrorism, that is responsible for the killing of brave young Americans, that wants to wipe Israel off the map, who denies the Holocaust.

The McCain campaign has to be worried about this kind of thing happening over and over again in the coming months. They are hoping for President Bush to make as little news as possible and not try to interfere in the general election campaign, but yesterday’s show proved that Bush can do pretty much anything he wants and get instant attention (Marc Ambinder isn’t even sure that the Administration warned or coordinated this with the McCain campaign).

And it did not help McCain’s cause that an interview he gave to the Washington Post in 2006 was unearthed today in which McCain said the time had come for the United States to accept the “new reality in the Middle East” and start talking to Hamas. That’s not exactly what he was saying yesterday and puts him dangerously close to the type of politician Bush described as Nazi appeasers… (As TPM notes, McCain’s desire to “deal with” Hamas isn’t exactly the same as what the GOP is criticizing Obama for, namely wanting to meet foreign leaders with “no preconditions,” but since Obama has never proposed to do that with Hamas, the point is moot.)



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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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