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Obama draws the crowds

By NEDRA PICKLER

Barack Obama’s campaign says 9,000 people showed up for his Los Angeles rally, but it’s hard to know for sure. The crowd sprawled around the stage set up in a park, a sea of upturned faces and waving campaign signs.

What is clear is that Obama is sparking unusual turnout early in the presidential campaign. Massive crowds are signing up for tickets, standing in long lines and taking time out of their day for the chance to hear the freshman Illinois senator speak in person about his vision for the country.

War of words erupts between Hillary, Obama campaign camps

By NEDRA PICKLER and BRENDAN RILEY

The rival presidential campaigns of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama traded accusations of nasty politics Wednesday over Hollywood donor David Geffen, who once backed Bill Clinton but now supports his wife’s top rival.

The Clinton campaign demanded that Obama denounce comments made by the DreamWorks movie studio founder, who told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in Wednesday’s editions that while “everybody in politics lies,” the former president and his wife “do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”

Lies, damn lies & statistics

By DALE McFEATTERS

The Justice Department’s post-9/11 statistics on terrorism cases have been deeply flawed, sometimes inflated, sometimes underreported — in any case, just highly inaccurate. Only two out of 26 sets of statistics reported between 2001 and 2005 were found to be accurate by the department’s inspector general, Glenn Fine.

Losing the idea war

By CLIFFORD D. MAY

In Iraq, we have been losing not clashes of arms but clashes of perceptions. Our enemies understood early on that they could not defeat American troops in combat. But they were clever enough to realize they didn’t need to. Instead, they could win a war of ideas.

Hey, Dubya could do a lot worse

By REG HENRY

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It is time to start thinking about the legacy of President George W. Bush — you know, other than making half the world hate us and putting ourselves in debt to the other half.

But his real legacy may be much worse. I think he has prepared this great land for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be president, which, when it happens, will be a pathetic enough occasion that “In God We Trust” can be taken off our money and replaced with “It Has Come to This.”

Advocating murder?

By PAUL C. CAMPOS

Murder is the premeditated unlawful killing of a human being. Glenn Reynolds, the well-known University of Tennessee law professor who authors one of the Internet’s most popular blogs, recently advocated the murder of Iranian scientists and clerics.

“We should be responding quietly, killing radical mullahs and Iranian atomic scientists. … Basically, stepping on the Iranians’ toes hard enough to make them reconsider their not-so-covert war against us in Iraq,” Reynolds wrote.

Playing the blame game

By JOSE de la ISLA

Twenty-one years ago, in 1986, Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone said his country had “become quite an intelligent nation, much more than the United States.”

Then he threw dynamite onto the boast by adding, “In America there are quite a few blacks, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans. On average (the level) is extremely low.”

Confusion reigns

By BONNIE ERBE

February is American Heart Health month. Last week was Women’s Heart Health Week, which leads me to the question: What month or week of the year hasn’t been co-opted by some darned cause or marketing cliche?

Can Richardson build national appeal?

By KATE NASH

Gov. Bill Richardson knows how to win elections in New Mexico. But how can he do in states where he’s not well-known — or not known at all?

That’s the question Richardson must answer in the next several months as he sets sail for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Cheney claims U.S. wants to leave Iraq ‘with honor’

By CAREN BOHAN

Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday the United States wants to finish its mission in Iraq and “return with honor,” despite the war’s growing unpopularity at home and doubts among U.S. allies.

Cheney, whose visit to Tokyo comes just weeks after Japan’s defense minister said starting the Iraq war was a mistake, also insisted Americans would not back a “policy of retreat.”

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