Friday, July 27, 2007


Fan Mail Follies

Of all the obnoxious emails from random critics I have gotten after doing TV or radio interviews, this one may be my favorite yet:
Just saw you on FSTV with Gail Sheehan. . .

It's unbelievable what kind of morons the democrats
are hiring for advice.

In my opinion, you're in the wrong business.

David Smith
I politely informed Mr. Smith that was CINDY Sheehan, one of the most famous women in politics these days, and told him he might want to be a little more careful the next time he sends an email to a random stranger calling them a moron.

God bless the Internet.

P.S. You can listen to the interview I did this morning with Sheehan and Democracy Now's Amy Goodman here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Upcoming Media Interviews

FYI, I will be appearing on the nationally-syndicated radio program "Democracy Now" on Friday morning with Cindy Sheehan to talk about the pros and cons of trying to impeach President Bush, following up on my Politico column from earlier this week. If you are interested, you can listen (or watch the TV simulcast) live at 8 a.m. or catch a taped version of the show on the DN website.

Also, I will be returning to Tucker Carlson's show on MSNBC next Wednesday, August 1st, to discuss the presidential campaign and other political events of the day. The show now airs live at 6 p.m.

Monday, July 23, 2007


My Latest Politico Column

For my latest Politico column, which was posted yesterday, I explored the looming clash between Cindy Sheehan and Nancy Pelosi over impeachment and the tricky challenge this fight will pose for national Democratic leaders. Later this week I will be writing a follow-up piece looking at the issue of impeachment itself and outlining why I think it would be a strategic mistake for Democrats to pursue it.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Edwards Fully Un-Hedged

Seems like John Edwards is really finding his legs (and maybe even legislation) on the hedge fund tax issue I wrote about in my Politico column last week.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Edwards is now prepared not only to close the loophole that allows hedge fund and private equity managers to have their income taxed at the much lower capital gains rate of 15 percent, but to take on two other related tax inequities that have been getting increasing attention on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Edwards, campaigning in New Hampshire, said in an interview that he supports the so-called Blackstone bill levying corporate taxes on publicly traded private-equity partnerships, a move to tax hedge-fund managers' "carried interest" at ordinary income rather than the lower capital-gains rates, and eliminating the ability of those managers to defer taxation by shifting income into offshore entities. Taken together, the former North Carolina senator asserted, these steps would raise $4 billion to $6 billion a year.

"We want to see significant economic growth, and we want capital to be used efficiently," Mr. Edwards said. "But we want to have a system that's fair" to average workers as well as investors."
Over to you, Senators Clinton and Obama. . .

Friday, July 06, 2007


Latest Politico Column

How's this for an interesting coincidence?

Yesterday morning The Politico posted my latest column, which explored the hard choice that a small arcane tax bill moving in the House will soon force John Edwards and his leading Democratic presidential rivals to make between the two Americas they have to straddle (i.e. big money donors and progressive primary voters).

I argued that the neopopulist Edwards (who doubles as a paid hedge fund advisor) had both the most to lose and the most to gain on this issue, in large part because his credibility as a crusader for the little guy has taken a beating for the last several weeks. And that as such, he would be wise to get out front of the House bill -- which would close an outrageous loophole that allows the work of billionaire hedge fund managers to be taxed at a much ower rate than their cleaning ladies -- and challenge Clinton and Obama to take the same strong stand for basic fairness.

Well, later in the afternoon, I got an email from a reporter at Bloomberg News alerting me to a story that had moved on their wire that day reporting that Edwards had "embraced the idea" of raising taxes on the managers of private-equity firms and hedge funds. The story went on:
Edwards, who has made economic fairness a central issue of his campaign for the Democratic nomination, said he would announce within 10 days his position on a House bill that would force fund managers to pay taxes as high as 35 percent on their share of profits instead of the 15 percent capital-gains rate most pay now.

``It's not a big secret that I believe there's some unfairness in the tax code, and I think some of that unfairness applies to hedge funds and hedge-fund managers,'' Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt,'' scheduled to air today.
I am in NO way claiming credit for this -- in fact, I know from friends within the Edwards campaign that they were already moving in this direction several days ago, as Edwards himself hinted at in last Thursday's debate at Howard. It's just one of those little quirks of timing that catches your eye.

The real important thing to note is that Edwards is showing leadership here where his opponents are not, and he deserves credit for doing so.

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