Thursday, January 31, 2008

From the "If you can't beat it, swipe it" file.

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog…
CNN says al-Qaeda's #3 is dead.

The dead man is not to be confused with the six al-Qaeda #3s who had been killed or captured as of May 14, 2005, or the al-Qaeda #3 who died in late 2005.

And the newest al-Qaeda #3 is not the al-Qaeda #3 who was said to be in Iran last summer, according to The New York Sun, and was also said to be in Iran in 2003, according to The New York Times.

Nor is he Adam Gadahn, the American al-Qaeda member who's also called al-Qaeda's #3.

Just wanted to clear all that up.

(See Steve for enlightening links.)


"Right now…

...we don't have the forces we need, we don't have them trained, we don't have the equipment."

Arnold Punaro, Chairman of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves
Less than 12% of Guard and Reserve units are mission ready. That's shameful, and dangerous.

Republicans did that. Republican politicians pursuing Republican policy goals. A Republican President with a Republican Congress. They've practically disarmed America.

And still the shameless bastards talk about national defense and security. Jeebus.

Hat tip to Turkana.

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Personally, I'd find this pretty encouraging…

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal’s 27th annual vote ratings. The insurgent presidential candidate shifted further to the left last year in the run-up to the primaries, after ranking as the 16th- and 10th-most-liberal during his first two years in the Senate.

…'twere it true. As Steve Benen points out, though...
...Obama and Joe Biden were both considered more liberal than Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders. This, alone, should make one wonder about the reliability of the rankings.
With a deeply flawed methodology and an apparently arbitrary ideological screen, the National Journal rankings are, well, they're silly. Obama is a fine Democratic Senator, and typically in sympathy with the Party's liberal wing, but most liberal senator?

I wish.

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News flash...

...from Todd Beeton.
They. Are. Not. Going. To. Cooperate. They. Are. Not. Going.
Down. Without. A. Fight.
And. That's. A. Fact. Jack. Nevertheless...


Once again, the news is…

…nobody knows.

msn1 gives the old crystal ball a workout trying to reassign the national convention delegates Edwards has already booked. Among other things, he dismisses the Iowa results out of hand...
Since Edwards won't meet the 15% threshold at the county conventions, he won't have any representation at the CD conventions, and won't get any CD-level delegates. Where they go at this point is impossible to say.
The only sure thing in that statement is the part about "impossible to say." Later, msn1 discusses the difference, or lack thereof, in his view, that suspending a campaign might make, versus withdrawing from the campaign. With a suspended campaign, the candidate remains on ballots and his earned delegates retain their credentials at every level, including the national convention. There are circumstances under which his name may ultimately be placed in nomination. In fact, in the delegate selection process there's little practical difference between an active and a suspended campaign.

In a case like Iowa with a multi-tiered delegate selection process, it's hard to generate turnout for a candidate who is no longer actively campaigning, but it's not impossible. One approach is to make the campaign larger than the candidate, to make it a cause. In the case of the Edwards campaign, that transition was begun in Iowa, where only a win might have altered the HillObamaRama media script, and was finalized after New Hampshire, when it started to become clear that there wasn't a win in sight. I admit that I've been contemplating second round choices for my own caucus, in the event I couldn't get through as an Edwards delegate, hoping to help hit the threshold with another switch down the line. I had no expectation of an Edwards nomination, really, and didn't even hold out much hope for a power broker role in the nomination, but that wouldn't keep me away from my Feb. 9, almost certainly after the fact caucus, and it still won't. It won't keep me from trying to go on as a delegate, and won't keep me from joining the Edwards faction at any level it makes threshold. Not just yet, anyway. I'm guessing a lot of those county convention delegates in Iowa feel the same way. In fact, a lot of them have been with Edwards for four or five years, and their feelings likely run stronger than mine.

If there's enough local organization and enthusiasm to work turnout hard, there's no reason that Edwards shouldn't retain all of his potential delegates in Iowa, and there's actually a possibility that his numbers could improve if there were a significant attendance drop off in another camp. Jerry Brown didn't suspend his campaign in '92, which made my job organizing caucus delegates somewhat easier, I suppose, but with a concentrated turnout effort, we actually increased our vote count at every level of the process, including on the floor of the national convention, although the nomination had been decided long before Washington's votes were cast. Turns out there was a fellow who came through the entire process as uncommitted, just waiting to join us on the first ballot. Precinct to the national convention as uncommitted to cast a vote for a candidate who had already lost. That's the kind of commitment you find when campaigns become causes. That's why it's way too early to write off all of Edwards' Iowa delegates, or any of them.

Of course, it's a lot harder going forward. People rarely vote for people who don't ask for their votes, and suspended means Edwards won't be asking. That doesn't mean that no one will be asking on his behalf, though. Tonight I attended a training for the upcoming precinct caucuses, since, as Precinct Committee Officer, I'll be chairing mine. We did a full simulation and when it came time to sign in to my assigned mock precinct, the pen caught as I started to write "uncommitted" and it came out "Edwards." Although the 15% threshold has been waived at the precinct level this year, there were only four delegates to distribute among the five candidates, including uncommitted, on the sign in sheets (my legislative district is, for some reason, a hotbed of hard core Kucinichism). At risk of being cut out, I gave a "send 'em a message" pitch to the uncommitteds on behalf of Edwards and secured the switches we needed to guarantee an Edwards delegate (Dennis got his, too. Uncommitted got cut). Right now, I expect that's just what I'll do February 9th - sign in for Edwards and pitch hard to come out for him.

Of course, it's not February 9th yet, and I'm still open minded.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hey, without David Neiwert….

…I wouldn't be an award-winning blogger.

Go. Give.

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If he's trying to win me over…

…he's on the right track. Obama on Edwards...
"At a time when our politics is too focused on who’s up and who’s down, he made a nation focus again on who matters."
Yes, he did.

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Quote of the day.

An anonymous pair of boots on the ground, via Juan Cole...
"The people who created this war need to be thinking about the families of these 18-year-olds who are dying."
Yes, they do.

And we need to retire the whole damn lot of 'em in November.

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A great thing, indeed.

Joe Trippi...
"Look, the guy led on every single issue out there, whether it was poverty, the economy, global warming, or universal health care. He moved the progressive agenda much further than any other candidate -- so much so that both Clinton and Obama adopted a lot of his language and agenda. Which is a great thing to have done."
Thanks, John.

The remaining contestants have a few days to convince me who's the best to turn that language into action. If my caucus convened today, I'd sign in uncommitted.

Open minded, though.

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One reason not to vote for Edwards.

If He's not running.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Well, yeah...

...this breaking from Obama spokesman Bill Burton ... "Obama and Clinton tie for delegates in Florida. 0 for Obama, 0 for Clinton."
…but in fairness to my man John, it was a three-way tie.

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Once again, I'm with that Kerry fella
"The bottom line is that Florida does not offer any delegates. It is not a legit race. It should not become a fabricated race."

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Quote of the day.

Quote of the day.
"I did more than anyone else to help get this president elected in 2004."

John McCain

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I'd settle for #8.

David Mizner offers Ten Reasons To Vote For Edwards. OK, nine. Who's counting. Any one will do…
By Voting for Edwards, you…

Reward and advance progressivism.

Pull the race to the left.

Preserve the possibility of (an unlikely) victory.

Make Edwards kingmaker (or platform editor).

Reject the self-fulfilling nominating system driven by polls, pundits, and money.

Sign on to a movement

Increase the likelihood of a meaningful convention, which would be good for Democrats.

Piss off the establishment.

Do something good for your soul.

Come Up with Your Own Reason (I ran out of time but didn't want to change the title)

He elaborates here.


Monday, January 28, 2008


Matt Yglesias...
Ted Kennedy is just a great liberal leader. He's the guy you wish every senator with a safe seat would be. A guy who doesn't just vote the right way, but who's willing to give voice to unseasonable opinions.
The dream will never die. Not while Ted's on watch.

And yep, it's a big deal for Obama.

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Five more.


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I want to believe…

this too. Even more.
Suppose Clinton and Obama continue their scorched earth fight for delegates through the spring, with Edwards able to stay above the fray and run a more positive campaign. By the time delegates gather in Denver on August 25, both frontrunners' negative ratings would have been driven up considerably, and either would probably be able to expect an uphill general election race. In a modern version of Gore Vidal's "The Best Man," wherein the all-but-forgotten third candidate wins a party's nomination after the two frontrunners bludgeon each other into oblivion, the Democrats could take another look at the comparatively unsullied Edwards. Again, it's highly unlikely -- but in this election, no possibility can be entirely ruled out.
Just suppose.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Me too.

Goldy at his best.

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Ya' think?

Anonymous Liberal weighs in on Bill Clinton and the Obama/Jackson comparison...
The goal has been to transport us back in time 20 years, to turn what had begun as an almost post-racial election into a replay of 1988...
"Post-racial"? Ya' think? I mean, I would hope, but I don't believe it. Does anyone, really? I mean, does anyone think we're going to elect a black man President of the United States without noticing that he's black?

There certainly seems to be an element of Obama's support for whom that may ring true. It's heartening to believe, and there's evidence to sustain the belief, that there is a politically aware and active generation who judge candidates from a post-racial perspective. That's been a goal of a lot of folks for a long time, and if I'm living to see it come to fruition, I count myself a very lucky man.

That's only part of America, though. There's still a lot of America where race matters. Just as he's racked up impressive percentages among young voters, Obama has as consistently registered his poorest performances among the oldest voters. Does anyone really believe that that has nothing to do with race? That his overwhelming support among African American voters in South Carolina had nothing to do with his race?

Barack Obama's race will be a benefit with some folks, a detriment for others. It will be meaningless to some, but not, I fear, most. I can't say it's meaningless to me. If he becomes our nominee, it will be a historic cause for celebration for reasons that, in my mind, certainly include his race. I concede that that disqualifies me for membership in the "post-racial" caucus. In Senator Clinton's case, there will be similar cause for celebration for reasons that would certainly include her gender. Gender still matters in America, too. Even, I admit, to me. It would, I believe, be a great thing to elect a woman to the White House, and perhaps a greater thing to elect an African American. (Best of all? Both of them serving us ably in a Senate busy implementing President Edwards' agenda.)

A word, too, about the backhanded treatment Jesse Jackson has received in this affair. Jesse Jackson never ran as 'the black candidate,' and considerable effort was put into the Rainbow Coalition brand to make exactly that point. Jackson took his platform far beyond the parochial concerns of the black community to build a coalition based on class consciousness and progressive concerns that created new coalitions in the Democratic Party and spawned a generation of consultants, candidates and activists who are making an impact to this day. Bill Clinton certainly remembers that at the 1992 convention, without a delegate on the floor, Jesse Jackson still held a constituency that earned him a place at the podium. I don't think Bill would intend any slight in referencing Jesse Jackson, who, whatever he may be today, was a major Democratic power broker during Bill Clinton's own political ascendancy.

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Small blessings.

The home folks still love him...
Edwards won Oconee County on Saturday, handily defeating Hillary Clinton and primary winner Barack Obama, who finished third there. Edwards was born in the Oconee town of Seneca.

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And now...


Saturday, January 26, 2008


Josh Marshall drops the gauntlet...
Try To Explain This
…he inveighs, offering a video link. Since I'm a dial-up kind of guy (the tip jar is to your right), I prefer transcripts, which Steve Benen obligingly provides...
...the video shows a report asking the former president earlier today, “What does it say about Barack Obama that it takes two of you to beat him?”

Bill Clinton responds, “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice, in ‘84 and ‘88, and he ran a good campaign. And Sen. Obama’s run a good campaign here; he’s run a good campaign everywhere. He’s a good candidate with a good organization.”
Explain that? I think it's pretty clear. Bill Clinton is saying that in the fairly brief history of the modern Democratic delegate selection process, serious African American candidates who wage serious campaigns in South Carolina have done very well. If there's an implication that because there are so many black voters in the South Carolina Democratic Party, and because historically black folk seem likely to vote for good black candidates with good organizations, a good black candidate might have and advantage in South Carolina, well, that seems to be a fact in light of experience.

A fact worth celebrating, it seems to me. Lot of folks voting who not so many years ago wouldn't be permitted at the polls for a fellow whose name would certainly not have appeared on the ballot. Yep. Worth celebrating. Democrats did that, you know.

If there's any "discounting" being done, I think it's by inference, not implication.

Of course, the comparison rest on recognizing that Barack Obama is, in fact, an African American candidate, thus raising the spectre of "misuse" of race in the campaign. But Barack Obama is an African American candidate, and a lot of smart money's saying he's going to be the next President of the United States of America. That's worth celebrating, too.

And if it happens, it'll be Democrats that do it.

Meanwhile, deep breaths everyone, for the jump from pan to fire. Whee...

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Since you asked...

Buckarooskidoo's got questions...
First, I wonder if it is true, as pundits suggest, that the Clintons have succeeded in defining Obama as the "African-American" candidate in the race and somehow marginalized him?
Since you asked, no. As it turns out, Barack Obama's been an African American candidate all along. The Clinton's had nothing to do with it. They weren't even the first to notice.
Second, maybe basic tribalism kicked in again here. I think you could say women were outraged in New Hampshire by the admittedly misogynist coverage of Hillary Clinton in the media after Iowa...Could it be that we've seen the same reaction among African-Americans re some of the punches the Clintons and their surrogates threw at Barack Obama?
Maybe. I'd say probably, except that it's more likely that those African American folks who noticed Barack was one of 'em are just naturally pretty, ahem, fired up about voting him. Same folks voted for Jesse. Attacks? I figure they figure that's bound to happen. Might make voting for him seem just a bit more righteous, though.
And if the latter interpretation is on the mark, can we now move beyond race and gender and get some serious discussion of where the two leading contenders stand on the key issues, namely the ones Tomcat reiterates all the time on politics plus--the ones that never seem to get asked in the lust for horserace gossip?
Umm, no. I don't suppose so.

Of course, the third candidate talks about 'em all the time.

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I didn't make a prediction...

…for South Carolina, and now there's enough counted to consider it done. No surprises. Actually, if I had published a prediction here, I probably would have come closer than usual. My best wild guess was around a 50-30-20 split, Obama on top, Edwards trailing. Here's CNN's latest (96% reporting)...
Obama 55% 15 delegates
Clinton 27% 6 delegates
Edwards 18% 5 delegates
Actually, with one of the most heavily African American Democratic electorates in the country and women making up over 60% of the turnout as identity politics have taken center stage in the debate, five delegates for the white guy isn't really bad at all. Another shutout, especially in SC would have been crippling, but I think Edwards can take some encouragement from the result. Obama deserves congratulations for securing his base and running an effective field operation. Hillary takes a little momentum hit, I suppose, but I don't think she was counting on South Carolina to put her over the top.

Now it's gonna get real interesting...
More delegates apportioned with 99% reporting...
Obama 25
Clinton 12
Edwards 8
Nice haul for Obama, no doubt.

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Ten each. Random.
Johnny Otis Orchestra - Harlem Nocturne
Isley Brothers - Shout (Pts 1 & 2)
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
Elvis Presley - Stuck On You
Dan Montgomery - When I Was A Drunk
Yonder Mountain String Band - Bloody Mary Morning
Wylie & The Wild West - Yodel Boogie
Ekoostik Hookah - Highway Home
Mose Allison - Baby Please Don't Go
Joe Pass - A Summer Song

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Be afraid.

"They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."

Bill Clinton, via Political Wire, on Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain.
While I'd willingly toss off a snappy salute to a John McCain who once was, the John McCain who is has forfeited any reasonable claim to contemporary respect. He just has. "Liking and respecting" him in 2008 is suspect behavior. It just is.

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This week on DiGrassi Junior High...

Democrats Tear Into Bill Clinton for Going After Obama

Obama Surrogates Go After Bill Clinton

Obama on Economy Turns to Obama on Clinton
The grownups are assembling over here.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

From the "Fog of war" file.

10 Die in Mistaken Afghan Firefight

The victims, nine Afghan police officers and a civilian, were mistaken for Taliban and shot by American forces.


From the "Can't hurt" file…

…another Edwards endorsement...
On Wednesday, long time Secretary of State Doug LaFollette indicated he is supporting John Edwards for president. LaFollette, a strong environmental advocate, is the first cousin, twice removed of Wisconsin's great Senator Robert "Fighting Bob" LaFollette.
There are some individual endorsements with inherent value - the "superdelegates" to the national convention, for instance - and a few with real subsidiary benefits, such as the Shaheen operation in New Hampshire, so essential to Clinton's success there. For an insurgent campaign like Edwards', any resources, however slight, can be significant and a continued stream of endorsements can provide a critical sense of momentum that nourishes the faithful.

I don't know if Doug LaFollette's endorsement carries inherent, subsidiary or simply symbolic value. It may, in fact, carry all three. At the very least, he carries the most legendary name in Wisconsin politics, has won statewide office in his own right and is well connected to a key Democratic constituency.

Can't hurt.

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He pushed it a little too far…

…in my opinion, but along the way he did push some buttons that needed pushing.

Dennis Kucinich is on his way back to Ohio to give his attention to his Congressional re-election campaign. While I've taken my share of shots at the Congressman, I think his voice is a valuable addition to the Democratic caucus in the House, and I hope he makes an effective case to his constituents for another term.

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John Edwards...
"Absolutely, I say that right now. You know, I intend to be the nominee, so, I hope to get the support of Senator Obama and Senator Clinton's supporters but we should absolutely support the nominee."
Just another reason we should absolutely nominate John Edwards.


Umm, Senator?

Politicians "don't always say what they mean, or mean what they say," the Illinois senator told about 900 people at Winthrop University. "That is what this debate in this party is all about."
If you mean she's lying, why don't you just say she's lying?

Or did you mean someone or something else?

I mean, maybe "politicians" don't say what they mean, or mean what they say, but what about, well, you? What's that all about?

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Well, yeah...

John Aravosis...
Hillary and Obama are going to destroy each other, or die trying. She hits Obama with a radio ad implying he's a fan of Ronald Reagan, and he's hitting back with a radio ad saying she's a liar and it's her fault we're in Iraq. Absolutely fascinating how vicious it's gotten. And equally fascinating will be how the voters react to either or both of them.
…but happily, the voters sill have an alternative.

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Still Trying to Find bin Laden
Still failing.
Unsuccessful robber shoots self in foot
Where would the shot have landed had he been successful, I wonder?
Plane crashes after flight safety meeting
In Poland. Just sayin'...

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Don't worry, Barack...

OBAMA: I think there is no doubt that [Hillary Clinton] has higher negatives than any of the remaining Democratic candidates, that's just a fact...

…it sounds like you'll be catching up in record time.

And I'd vote for you in November anyway.

Her, too.

But I'm still pulling for my man John.

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Good news from the House of Labor…

The Communications Workers of America in South Carolina today announced its endorsement of Senator John Edwards for president. The Communications Workers of America represents both active and retired members throughout the state of South Carolina.
Why is John Edwards still running? Lots of reasons, I suppose, but a big one is because people want him to. People like the South Carolina Communications Workers. People like me. People that are keeping him in the running, if against the odds.

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If I've said it once…

…I've said it 935 times.

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From the "Encouraging news" file.

Survey: No astronaut seen drunk on launch day
That's encouraging. I'd like to think it's not - or should I say, I wish it wasn't - really news, though...

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Tim Tagaris takes aim at the Majority Leader's travel plans...
If you were ever led to believe the Constitution is a priceless document, we appear to have found the going rate.
I've been a pretty consistent cheerleader for Harry, but he's just wrong on FISA, both in form and substance. Notably, maybe critically, wrong. 'Majority Leader Dodd' is starting to sound pretty damned appealing.

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Gotta admit…

this stuff...
OBAMA: . . . Because while I was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart.

CLINTON: . . . I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.
…makes Edwards seem like Clarence Darrow in comparison. Will it help him in the long run? I dunno, but it makes me feel better about him sticking with the fight and me sticking with him.

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From the "Déjà vu all over again" file...

…via Dave Johnson.
Ladies and gentlemen, there was a REASON that Americans were loath to elect a Republican into the government for an entire generation after the Great Depression: They remembered.
And we're being reminded.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008


MLKIII writes to JRE…
...I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.

Martin L. King, III

Keep going. Keep fighting.

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Hang in there.

Hat tip to Where It Stands.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

From the "Glimmers of hope" file.

CNN readers respond angrily to 'race or gender' story
Good on 'em.

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Quote of the day.

John Edwards:
“Our Plan B is to win.”

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Google says…

…we're winning.

Results 1 - 20 of about 1,610,000 for Martin Luther King Jr.

Results 1 - 20 of about 183,000 for Bull Connor.

Not sure what that means, but I'm sure it means something.

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While I'm swiping sharing the good stuff…

…there's this, via Natch...

Could be, could be...

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Jane Hamsher watched the debate…

…so I could steal share her best catches. Like this
Obama: "I feel bad for you, John..."
Edwards: "You don't feel that bad..."
Heh™. And this...
Hillary then went after Obama for his "present" votes in the Illinois legislature. Obama defended himself by saying it was a way to support a bill he had technical problems with, and Edwards said Obama had criticized him for taking bad votes -- would it just have been better if he'd acted for political opportunity and just didn't take tough votes?
Really? That's new, isn't it? I thought the story on the Illinois Senate (non) votes was based on strategic concerns worked out in cooperation with the supporters of the legislation in question, not on any problems, "technical" or otherwise, he had with the legislation on which he voted present - much of it pro-choice legislation.

What were the objections, then? The whole story, please, not the one slip of the tongue at a time version.

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Hammer, nail…

…bang! Via the Hotline blog
The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel, on Clinton: "He's like a Little League dad."


Sunday, January 20, 2008

From the "Nobody knows" file…

…via Political wire. Dueling delegate counts...
ABC News:

· Democrats: Clinton 203, Obama 148, Edwards 43


· Democrats: Clinton 210, Obama 123, Edwards 52

CBS News:

· Democrats: Clinton 231, Obama 126, Edwards 59
Confused? Don't worry. Nobody knows. We're just getting started.

We'll know when somebody hits 2025.

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Ronald Reagan Is Still Dead
…and I feel fine.


Hard work still works.

Zack Exley looks at the Clinton field team's efforts in Nevada. It's the article I thought should have come out of New Hampshire, frankly, but it's good to see someone acknowledging the value of good old-fashioned field work (with some new-fangled twists, of course. There really was a time when we did that stuff without cell phones, email, fax machines, data bases, photocopies - hell, when scrounging a typewriter and mimeograph for the office was a coup).

Good stuff, about some folks who deserve the attention.

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And now...



97% Mike Gravel
89% Dennis Kucinich
80% John Edwards
78% Barack Obama
77% Joe Biden
77% Chris Dodd
75% Hillary Clinton
75% Bill Richardson
32% Ron Paul
32% Rudy Giuliani
22% John McCain
21% Mike Huckabee
20% Tom Tancredo
18% Mitt Romney
11% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
Hat tip to PSoTD.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008


…we're just getting started.
Statement by Nevada Democratic Party Chair Jill Derby Regarding the Nevada Caucus (my emphasis)

(Las Vegas, NV) Today, two out of three Nevadans who caucused chose a Democrat instead of a Republican for president. That is an overwhelming majority vote for a new direction. Just like in Iowa what was awarded today were delegates to the County Convention. No national convention delegates were awarded. The calculations of national convention delegates being circulated are based upon an assumption that delegate preferences will remain the same between now and April 2008. We look forward to our county and state conventions where we will choose the delegates for the nominee that Nevadans support.
I may not know much, but I try never to assume anything, certainly not on a convention floor.

Hat tip to Turkana at The Left Coaster.

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About those credentials…

…this is the kind of thing that can make state conventions so much fun (and where marginal votes on a credentials committee can make a big difference). Via Marc Ambinder...
David Plouffe, in a succinct statement appended to a released quotation from his boss, Barack Obama, said the Obama campaign was investigating more than 200 reporters of irregularities in Nevada.
“We currently have reports of over 200 separate incidents of trouble at caucus sites, including doors being closed up to thirty minutes early, registration forms running out so people were turned away, and ID being requested and checked in a non-uniform fashion. This is in addition to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to confuse voters and call into question the at-large caucus sites which clearly had an affect on turnout at these locations. These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week’s worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself."

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My perfect record is secure.

Yep, wrong again. First, I overlooked the 3 pledged PLEO delegates from Nevada, which means three more were in play than I divided. I imagine I would have split them 2-1 in favor of Clinton. Where I really went off track was imagining that Edwards could snag a meaningful share of the delegates. Actually, I had mentally written off Nevada when UNITE HERE made the (erroneous) calculation that they could put Obama over the top. Union solidarity was Edwards' only real shot in Nevada, and solidarity was not to be obtained (nor was union turnout, as Carl notes in a comment). Here’s the latest from CNN, with 98% reporting (numbers reflect state convention delegates & percentatge and estimated national convention delegates)…

Clinton 5353 (51%) 12
Obama 4771 (45%) 13
Edwards 395 (4%) 0
Yep, it says Clinton has more votes (in the form of delegates to the state convention) than Obama, yet Obama has a higher estimated delegate count. Just one of the things worth keeping in mind as you watch upcoming results - delegates are not always apportioned on the basis of statewide results. Most Nevada delegates are awarded at the Congressional district level, and will be selected in sub-caucuses at the state convention. That means, of course, that all the state delegates show, and that all of them are faithful to their caucus outcome, and that everyone's credentials hold up, and, well, we've got a ways to go, in Nevada and nationally. All national delegate counts now are estimates, and while a number of superdelegates have made an endorsement (overwhelmingly for Hillary), none of them are, in fact, pledged.

Of course, third place with no delegates is a hard spot for Edwards. With the diminished field, he's more likely to be the odd man out in a caucus, and has no second tier to draw from. He may fare better in primaries going forward. To maintain anything more than an emotional rationale (and it's a powerful emotional rationale, no doubt), he needs more delegates, enough for some leverage, on the platform, rules and ultimately the nomination.

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Crystal ball time again.

Nevada Democrats will be gathering in a few hours to apportion 22 pledged delegats (16 by Congressional district and 6 at large). Lotta hoopla for 22 delegates, huh? Yeah, I know, there will be 33 Nevadans on the National Convention floor, but a third of their delegation will be 'Party Leaders and Elected Officials' and unpledged delegates. Today they pick 22.

Since it's a caucus, percentages don't mean much and are hardly reported. It's delegates that count, and my prediction is based on the final apportionment. For no particularly good reason except "I figure," here 'tis...
Clinton 9
Obama 8
Edwards 5
You got a guess?

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More like schizophrenic this time...
Frank Carillo & The Bandoleros - Watcha Gonna Do (When The Levee Breaks)
Ricky Nelson - Young World
Nancy Wilson - A Lot Of Lovin' To Do
John Coltrane - Naima
Wes Hollywood - Goodtime Girl
Jim's Big Ego - In A Bar
Nat King Cole - Straighten Up And Fly Right
Chad Mitchell Trio - Your Friendly, Liberal, Neighborhood Ku Klux Klan
Keely Smith - One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
Pete Seeger - Solidarity Forever
The Brilliant And Beautiful Bride Of Upper Left loves her some Ricky Nelson.

Me too.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Numbers at home…

…from a soldier in the field. RockRichard at VetVoice...
195,827 Homeless veterans in the United States

15,000 Cost in dollars to house a homeless veteran for one year in Denver, Colorado

32,463,906 Veterans that could be housed in Denver, Colorado for one year for the cost of the Iraq war as of 6:00 PM EST

0 Homeless veterans in the United States housed by Bill O'Reilly

600 Homeless veterans that could be housed by Rupert Murdoch in Denver, Colorado if Bill O'Reilly was fired and his salary used to house veterans.
RR's a two digit midget. 90 days and a wake up.

I'm counting 'em with you, brother. God speed.

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Rothenberg rates...

· WA 8 (Reichert, R)
Time to turn the tilt.

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Dan Savage, behind enemy lines...
But here's what I found really interesting about the Huckabee supporters I met in South Carolina: Over and over again Huckabee supporters told me - on the record, cameras rolling - that they supported Huckabee because they wanted to see "a good, Christian man in the White House." Because... uh... just look at the pickle all those Buddhists, Atheists, agnostics, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians presidents have gotten us into.

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Pierce remembers…

the Clinton years.
"...the years of an overly punitive welfare-reform bill, the Defense Of Marriage Act, the several dozen new federal death penalty offenses, and those elements of the Patriot Act that had their birth during the Clinton administration, particularly in the 1996 Antiterrorism act."
I'll toss in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for good measure.

It was that kind of stuff that led Paul Wellstone to coin his famous "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" line.

Damn, I miss Paul Wellstone.

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It's not just an "independent expenditure…"

…it's a smear. The UNITE HERE Nevada ad, translated via AMERICAblog (my emphasis).

Hillary Clinton does not respect our people. Hillary Clinton supporters went to court to prevent working people to vote this Saturday - that is an embarrassment.

Hillary Clinton supporters want to prevent people from voting in their workplace on Saturday. This is unforgivable. Hillary Clinton is shameless. Hillary Clinton should not allow her friends to attack our people's right to vote this Saturday. This is unforgivable; there's no respect

Sen. Obama is defending our right to vote. Sen. Obama wants our votes. He respects our votes, our community, and our people.

Sen. Obama's campaign slogan is "Si Se Puede" ("Yes We Can").Vote for a president that respects us, and that respects our right to vote. Obama for president, "Si Se Puede" ("Yes We Can").

"Shameless"? "Unforgiveable"? Based on what she "allows" her supporters to do?

Pot, meet kettle.

Look, the Culinary Workers have enough clout with the Nevada Democratic Party to get a special rule, one I've never seen used in any state, any year, to allow workplace caucuses, but only in the workplaces their of members. I agree with the courts, it's a rule the Party has a right to make, but it's hardly surprising, let alone "shameless," that other union, having apparently been snookered by the rules process, are offended that their workers are not given the same advantage as the casino employees.

And about those "friends." Hillary can no more control the actions of the Nevada teachers than Barack can control the content of the UNITE HERE ad. If they're going to hold her personally responsible for the teacher's unsuccessful suit, the can't we similarly hold Obama responsible for going to the airwaves accusing Hillary of a racist attitude toward the Hispanic members of the Culinary workers, and of being shameless and unforgivable?

Of course, there's a substantive difference between the two cases. The lawsuit was a challenge to a process, not a person. No one held Obama out as "shameless" for accepting the advantage his supporters obtain from the rules, they challenged the rule. Certainly no one suggested that the UNITE HERE defense against the suit was a signal that Obama "does not respect" teachers, or non-Hispanic voters, or anyone. No one has proposed that Obama benefiting from UNITE HERE's success in the rules process and the courts is "unforgivable."

It's too late to stop the ad, but Obama should go on record strongly condemning the notion that Hillary Clinton is an unforgivably shameless bigot. If UNITE HERE repeats this performance in other western states, Obama should make comparable buys on Spanish language stations disavowing the accusations.

And that slogan? The one Caesar Chavez made famous in the lettuce fields and vineyards of California? The one The one Obama picked up enroute to Nevada?

The rally just ended and guess what's back? "Fired up! Ready to go!" Somewhat annoying but it makes sense since it originated in South Carolina and now it's going to serve as the "onward to South Carolina" rallying cry.
How does shameless pandering reflect respect?

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Good question…

…from Big Tent Democrat.
How come Obama criticized union expenditures in the Iowa caucus campaign and refuses to do so regarding UNITE HERE's independent expenditures in Nevada?
Of course, if Obama could stop them, well, it wouldn't really be an independent expenditure, but he was so emphatic about the curse of 527s just a couple weeks ago - when he didn't have any meaningful labor endorsements. So much for this year's version of Way New Politics®.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


…it's not your imagination.
“The Project for Excellence in Journalism has done a study of which candidates have gotten the most media coverage in recent days. It found that poor John Edwards has gotten the least attention of any major candidate from either party.”

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Nope, not even him.

I've grumbled a bit about the misappropriation of the term "swiftboating," arguing that it's not just any attack, but a particular kind of lie about a candidate's military record. Like this...
“Today, a shadowy political organization calling itself ‘Vietnam Veterans Against McCain’ launched a vicious attack on John McCain in an attempt to impugn his character in the closing days of the South Carolina Republican Primary,” Orson Swindle, who was a fellow prisoner of war in Vietnam with Mr. McCain, said in a statement put out by the campaign. “The group claims that John McCain turned his back on his fellow POWs in order to save his own skin.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Mr. Swindle, a former assistant commerce secretary, said in the statement. “I know because I was there. The truth is, the North Vietnamese offered John McCain early release, and he refused.”
I'm a Vietnam vet myself, and as a proudly partisan Democrat, I'm against John McCain. I think he's wrong about, well, about damn near everything. I also believe that his tenure as a POW, a time when he forsook the advantages he might have gained as the son of a prominent naval officer, can only be characterized as heroic. While he hasn't always displayed the political courage you might hope that experience would inspire, his courage in captivity is well documented and unreservedly admirable.


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Uniquely Minnesotan?

Not hardly, I'm afraid, and certainly nothing to be proud of…
I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We’re the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
Has she got a challenger yet?
Update: There are candidates, in fact. Hat tip to Political Muse for an illuminating comment.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Since you asked…

David Sirota
Since when did "conservative" mean corrupt?
Since you asked, since pretty much forever. Long as I can remember, anyway, and I'm gettin' on.

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If you're still keeping track…'s the latest on Preznit 30something% and his war.
Just 32 percent of Americans now approve of the way Bush is handling his job, while 66 percent disapprove. Bush's work on the economy has likewise reached a new low. And he shows no gain on Iraq; despite reduced violence there, 64 percent say the war was not worth fighting, 2 points from its high.

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Republican, criminal, traitor
WASHINGTON -- A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.
So, they're side's gonna keep us safe, huh?

Only if it pays more...

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008


No G.O.P. Anchor in Sight
Seems to me like any of 'em can head a ticket that's well secured to the bottom.

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No, Nay, Never.

Mike Huckabee, via Steve Benen...
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.”
As Steve says...
Anyone who believes the U.S. Constitution is flawed because it insufficiently meets “God’s standards” is almost certainly living in the wrong country.
Borders on treason, in my sworn to protect and defend the Constitution mind.

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Well, maybe not holy…

"Holy smokes!"

Dennis Kucinich, learning that a NV judge ruled he can attend tonight's debate...
…but they've got to be pretty special smokes if they make Dennis believe he belongs on the stage. Some say it's not fair to write him out of the race. News flash. He's not in the race. He hasn't got a single pledged delegate, or a prospect of one except perhaps from his home congressional district (and that, I've heard, isn't a lock).

It's been fun, Dennis, but goodbye. Please.

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There are so many reasons…

…both idealistic and practical, for John Edwards to campaign 'til the Convention. He's driving the message, accumulating platform clout and continues to hold the balance of power in the delegate count. There's one reason, though, that looms aboves all others and makes Edwards' perseverance as much a moral as a political matter.

Dick Morris says he should pull out.

Run, John, Run.

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It's a good thing, I suppose…

…that Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr worries about fairness…
"I worry about being fair to the 20,000 people we charge here" annually.
…but to be fair, should we be charging 20,000 people a year? That seems a lot of citizens to be hauling into court. How many of those folks have actually injured another citizen? How?

And where will we site the next jail?

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Monday, January 14, 2008

You think it's gotten better since last year?

It hasn't. Via TRex
“I believe that we, as a nation, are at risk of mission failure should our Army be called to deploy to an emerging threat,” Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee, said last year, basing his assessment on classified Army readiness reports.
"Mission failure." Helluva a way to put "Can't defend our borders," isn't it?

Really. If, say, a division of Chinese infantry was airdropped onto the Pacific coast, our only real option would be to evacuate the civilian population and try to bomb the invaders into submission. Shock and awe on our own soil, as it were. (Of course, if San Francisco slid into the sea in the process some would even see it as a side benefit. Kind of like the Bushco™ urban renewal/voter relocation program down on the Delta.)

That's all we've got. Everything else is broken.

Have I mentioned lately that I hate what they've done to my Army?

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Bush says Iran threat to world security
…I was just saying that about Bush.

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Me too.

The two frontrunners are senators, and I wish they'd show us some of those leadership skills by engaging in a little Senatoring...
'Course, Chris Dodd tried that, and now he's Senatoring full time again.

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That Kerry fellow
"I'm here supporting Barack Obama, not against Hillary, not against John Edwards, either of whom would take this country and fight to take this country in the right direction."
Though I'd juggle the names a bit, that's a good expression of my sentiments at this point. The differences are largely matters of pace and emphasis. My preference for Edwards is strong, but a a Democrat, I'm fairly excited about the quality of the field, regardless of the problems that poses for my favorite.

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From the "Not in my name!" file...

US president to court Saudi allies
It's humiliating.

Probably means more smooches and handholding for the paparazzi.

And prestige? Hell, we have no more international dignity, let alone prestige. We got bupkus, is what we got.

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I thought he took advice from his Generals?

Why not, then, from an Admiral? The top Admiral. The top flag officer in the whole United States armed forces? Via Think Progress...
“I’d like to see it shut down,” Adm. Mike Mullen said of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Asked why he thinks Guantanamo Bay should be closed, and the prisoners perhaps moved to U.S. soil, Mullen said, “More than anything else it’s been the image — how Gitmo has become around the world, in terms of representing the United States. … I believe that from the standpoint of how it reflects on us that it’s been pretty damaging.” Nevertheless, Mullen said he’s “not aware that there is any immediate consideration to closing Guantanamo Bay” inside the Bush administration.
When an Admiral (or General) says "pretty damaging" he means "to my mission," which translates to "gets my troops killed." Admirals and Generals care about stuff like that, even if the Bush gang doesn't.

Close it down.

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Since you asked...

Tristram Korten and Kirk Nielsen in Salon
Anti-Castro Cuban exiles who have been linked to bombings and assassinations are living free in Miami. Does the U.S. government have a double standard when it comes to terror?
Since you asked, yes.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008


The primaries are a great way to get basically nice, friendly people who agree on broad principles to despise each other because they support different candidates. That's why primary season is so much goddamn fun.
…pretty much.


If you lived here…

…you could register to vote online.

Hat tip to John Stahl at Evergreen Politics.

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Odds are growing for economic recession
At least, that's how to bet whatever's left.
Iran agrees to give answers on nukes
Aw, they're no fun. They fall right over.
SC primaries could be pivotal for both parties
Yep. Or not, of course.

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And now...

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OK, I bit.

How's this for a detail...
Saudi Arabia beheaded 137 people last year, up sharply from the 38 in 2006.
Sounds like they'be been hanging out with that Texan too much.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008


Saudis behead Indonesian maid

Read full story for latest details.
I don't think I need details.

Our "friends."


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…from philgoblue at Michigan For Edwards.


Good advice for the Obama folks out there, too.

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Umm, wrong.

Hillary, via David Postman, abridged by yours truly...
"You know in a situation of a caucus...they're disenfranchised. People who can't be in the state or who are in the military, like the son of the woman who was here who is serving in the Air Force, they cannot be present."
Or, at least, not necessarily, at least not here, thanks to the Washington State Democrats...
Caucus Surrogate Affidavit Form for Religious Observance, Military Service or Disability.
The deadline is February 1. Pass it on to friends and relations.

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Just a reminder...

You're welcome.

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And another...

...random ten. Lot's of indie stuff you've probably not heard this time. All of it's worth looking up...
Lisa Fraser - Keep Walkin'
Alice Stuart - Paint Your Money Green
Bob Schneider - The Way I Supposed To Be
Buddy Holly - It's So Easy
Christopher Williams - Take Me Higher
Taj Mahal - Dust My Broom
Crosby, Pevar & Raymond - Ohio
Culture - Babylon Falling
Little Milton - Cheatin' Is A Risky Business
Crazy Mary - Dancin' With Snakes

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Not that there's a particular need...

...for open threads around here, buy you might as well consider this one.

I'm off in a bit with the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left, the Big Bro' of UL and his bride, the Boss Lady, to see a touring production of 'Jersey Boys' at the 5th Avenue. It's gonna be big fun, I'll likely be back late (and probably impaired), so y'all talk among yourselves...

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Good question…

…from Joe Sudbay.
What was Susan Collins doing all those years she chaired the Senate's Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee?
Joe offers the obvious to get the conversation started...
Not oversight of George Bush, that's for sure.
But really, what's she done? Signature accomplishments? Significant crimes against the Constitution?

Whatcha got?

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Works for me.

BooMan offers a second ballot scenario...
If he can convince Obama that he is willing to throw his delegates to Clinton, but will accept Obama for the vice-presidency, then Obama might take what he can get. It would be all about gamesmanship.
Edwards-Obama '08.

Yeah, that works for me.

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Brent Budowsky...
Remember where you heard it, folks: When the insiders tell you “the campaign is over,” hold on to your wallet with both hands, because when they all agree, as they almost always do, they are almost always wrong. We will see who is right, but I do not believe that the nomination of either party will be decided on Super Tuesday unless some non-campaign mega-disaster befalls one of the leading Democrats, which is highly unlikely.
Until someone has a majority of national convention delegates, everybody with delegates is viable, and we're no where near a decision on this one.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Yeah, maybe...

"We're saying that we cannot make a direct connection to the boats there," said the spokesperson. "It could have come from the shore, from another ship passing by…"
…or maybe that Petty Officer in the galley who thinks he's sooo funny.


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Vaya con Dios, Governor.

Chad Shue has Governor Richardson's farewell to his supporters. His nod to the field he entered may be the best thing I hear from him during his campaign...
Senator Biden's passion and intellect are remarkable.
Senator Dodd is the epitome of selfless dedication to public service and the Democratic Party.
Senator Edwards is a singular voice for the most downtrodden and forgotten among us.
Senator Obama is a bright light of hope and optimism at a time of great national unease, yet he is also grounded in thoughtful wisdom beyond his years.
Senator Clinton's poise in the face of adversity is matched only by her lifetime of achievement and deep understanding of the challenges we face.
Representative Kucinich is a man of great decency and dedication who will faithfully soldier on no matter how great the odds.
And all of us in the Democratic Party owe Senator Mike Gravel our appreciation for his leadership during the national turmoil of Vietnam.
And you, Governor? A class act. Good luck.

And, of course, condolences to the Governor's supporters. Can I interest all y'all in a slightly bruised populist?

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See, that's what I'm talking about.

TeddySanFran offers up a new-fangled application of that old-fashioned foot-leather...
Twenty-four hours after I signed up to vote-by-mail, the Hillary Clinton for President campaign had an email in my inbox reminding me to vote (for Hillary ) when I received my ballot in the mail. The email included a clickable link, where I could provide my contact information and advise the campaign when I cast my ballot (for Hillary).
Followed up with a good ground game, that stuff wins elections, folks. Doesn't win caucuses, maybe, but it wins elections.

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It was just a year ago…

…that we "surged." Remember why? To make this happen...
To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution.
Whatever the escalation of deployments to Iraq may have accomplished, you can't call it a success when its stated purpose is completely unfulfilled.

It did help this happen, though...



Hat tip to Atrios.

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I'm starting to feel bad…

…for Hillary's New Hampshire campaign crew. Everybody seems to have an opinion about what happened, but it seems no one wants to consider the notion that a whole bunch of smart, well organized people worked their butts off to in an old fashioned shoe-leather retail campaign.

Given the resources she had, I wonder how deeply she targeted. One reason the polls were off is the record turnout, of course. Many people who voted wouldn't have survived the pollster's 'likely voter' screens. The weren't 'likely voters.' They were turned out, and more of them by Hillary's field operation than any other, it seems.

Sometimes the secret of success isn't complicated, though it's hard. Sometimes the secret is just work. Clinton's not my first choice, but she's a good candidate, and her field operation had resources that just weren't available to the other candidates. They apparently exploited those resources brilliantly. Why is that so hard to consider, let alone admit?

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Doolittle to Doo even less

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Let's see,,,

...since he 'lost' New Hampshire, Barack Obama has picked up a national endorsement from UNITE-HERE (including the pivitol Culinary Workers local in Nevada), a statewide endorsement from SEIU Nevada and personal endorsements from Senators John Kerry and Tim Johnson and Rep. George Miller of California.

Stunning setback, huh?

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's a good idea...

...maybe a few days past its time, in fact, but if Bill Richardson's going to drop out, can't we all just wait until he says so before piling dirt on the carcass? Surely he merits that much respect.

Frickin' vultures.

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Those who cannot remember the past…

Bush strongly warns Iran on naval clash

Uh huh...
...not only is it not true, as (then US) secretary of defense Robert McNamara told Congress, that the evidence of an attack was 'unimpeachable,' but that to the contrary, a review of the classified signals intelligence proves that 'no attack happened that night.

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Hey, when they're right…

…they're right.
"Partisanship is underrated. There is a time and place for it, and more time and place than we realize."

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
Right idea, wrong party, and a note of caution for those who imagine the other side's ready to fold without a fight.

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The Big Dog bites...

And finally, Bill Clinton was confronted by a group of Ron Paul supporters in New Hampshire yesterday, which insisted that 9/11 was an “inside job.” The former president responded, “You wanna know what I think? You guys who think 9/11 was an inside job are crazy as hell. My wife was the senator from New York when that happened. I was down at Ground Zero. I saw the victims’ families. You’re nuts.”
Sic 'em, Bill!

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Big Tent Democrat...
By stopping the Obama Unity train in New Hampshire, the results tonight will force all of our candidates to appeal to Dems and Dem values. Obama will have to do what he should have already, become a Fighting Dem. Hillary started already. Obama is sure to follow.

This is good for the Democratic Party and for Democratic values.
A point worth repeating in the Nagourney piece he links to, too. The future will be a bit more partisan for the thus-far independent dependent Senator Obama.

Maybe some friendlier territory for my man John, too. Hopefully.

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Triple threat.

Wasn't sure when I posted below, but Ari Melber confirms what I thought I'd heard...
The Clintons shared another political asset in New Hampshire, though farther offstage. Michael Whouley, the most respected field strategist in Democratic politics, was dispatched to overhaul the mobilization program in the state. Clinton aides had debated whether to deploy him in Iowa, where he had helped engineer John Kerry's huge comeback in 2004, or task him with fortifying the famous "firewall." Some feared that his efforts would simply be wasted in New Hampshire if Clinton lost Iowa, but the "Plan B" advocates won, and now they look pretty shrewd.
Yes, they do.

A nice day, an established statewide turnout organization and Michael Whouley.

Whap, bam, boom.

If we're surprised, it's because we weren't paying attent….oh, look! Shiny!

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Via The Democratic Strategist...
Obama's speech...hit a few more explicitly progressive licks as well.

HRC... like Obama, threw in some sharp populist notes…
Wonder what that's all about...not.

A small moral victory for my man John? Sure, though getting a share of the NH delegates is a bit sweeter.

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Well, then.

First, congratulations to Senator Clinton. Yep, I was wrong again, and I should have known better, I suppose. I'm surprised that I've seen little mention of what I suspect was one of a pair of keys to victory. The weather was unseasonably good, which helps typically turnout generally, and which can make organized GOTV efforts more effective.

There's the second key, the one that should have garnered more notice in many quarters, the one I'm surprised I've seen no mention of as I scan the blogs and wires. The Clinton campaign had access to the Shaheen turnout operation, and it's one of the best anywhere. I have a pretty good sense of how important it was to the Kerry victory in '04 - very important. I suspect it was equally, or more, important today. It's nothing particularly original, just the standard network of precinct captains and poll watchers that between them know where pretty much every uncast ballot resides, and how it's likely to be cast if the voter can be summoned, led, chased or escorted to the polls. In other words, they know who to turn out and who to leave home, and they know how.

Or did you think pulling Bill Shaheen's name from the campaign stationery meant any more than, well, just that?

Sure, all kinds of things may have had some degree of impact, but give fair credit good old-fashioned grit and shoe leather for giving Hillary her win tonight.

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NH primary could make, break candidacies
Yep. Could. Maybe not.
Analysis: NH primary could launch McCain
That too, maybe. The news is nobody knows, but that's not news, is it?
US recession is already here, warns Merrill
A safe, sound recession, I'm sure.
Bush's trip to Mideast to test his credibility
Great. A pop quiz on a subject he's never studied.

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Every time you hear...

...that "no candidate has ever" or "every candidate has always" achieved a given result based on their performance in early primary states, it's worth remembering that our current system of choosing a Democratic nominee is of relatively recent vintage. The system before the McGovern reforms in the wake of the '68 convention hardly resembled what we have today.

That means our early predictions are based on a sample of 9 elections. Two of those featured a Democratic incumbent, one the sitting vice president during a time of relative peace and prosperity. Strike those. 6 elections.

I took a gentleman's C in statistics, but 6 seems like a mighty small sample to me.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

It's cheating, I suppose…

…to offer predictions after the first ballots have been reported, but I promise the Dixville Notch outcome hasn't unduly influenced my analysis. In fact, the only undue influences are my own biases, but that's why I have a blog in the first place. So here goes.

Barack Obama seems unstoppable in New Hampshire. A big lead in the end, I imagine. High thirty's, maybe 40%?

Hillary in a weak second, double digits behind. 26, 27%? No "comeback kid" for this Clinton, though. She was supposed to own New Hampshire. No honorable mention. Anything but a win is a loss for the Senator.

If Edwards can finish in the twenties, say two or three points behind Clinton, and snag another decent share of the delegates, he'll be in fair shape to move on. Just because his opponents have raised enough money for three or four primary campaigns - it's amazing in a historic sense, distressing in several others - doesn't mean he can't afford his, and with the likelihood of a three-way race to the convention, well, those chunks of delegates can be very powerful.

This, of course, is predicated on Richardson picking up a few percent and Kucinich a couple. While they'll each fall short of the delegate threshold in that event, their impact would be felt. I suspect that any Kucinich defections would be to Obama, and Richardson's likely to Hillary, in both cases at Edwards' expense, but don't expect him to encounter any threshold problems.

Or, as pal o'Upper Left Terry is apt to say, I could be wrong…

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From Dixville Notch…

…via The Left Coaster.

Democratic results from Dixville Notch
(numbers are votes, not percentages):
Obama 7
Edwards 2
Richardson 1
And off we go.

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Matt Yglesias
I wouldn't be surprised if this inane "Clinton crying" pseudo-story winds up redounding to her benefit; it's a stark reminder of how much sexist BS there is out there which, in turn, gets people back to thinking about how the first woman president in American history would be a pretty damn transformative event all on its own terms.
Me neither.

Early reports of Edwards' comments on the episode are, I agree, disappointing on the surface, but I think it's largely the clumsiness of impromptu comments on breaking developments (something no pol should ever be caught doing, and all of them do. One reason I'm not in the consulting biz anymore, in fact. Bar customers are easier to manage), providing grounds unseemly - and unintended - inferences. The passage of time may provide more light.

But the notion that this is news is, indeed, sexist BS.

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...he's good.

“I am here to tell you that hope is real. In a life of trials and a world of challenges, hope is real. In a country where families go without healthcare, where some go without food, some don’t even have a home to speak of, hope is real. In a time of global chaos and instability where our faiths collide, as often as our weapons, hope is real. Hope is what gives us to the courage to take on our greatest challenges, to move forward together.

We live in cynical times, I know that, but hope is not up for debate. There is such a thing as false science, there is such a thing as false promises, I am sure I will have my share of false starts in this campaign. But there is no such thing as false hope. There is only hope.”

Right, too.

Not Obama, though. That's Matt Santos, the fictional Democratic candidate in season six of the West Wing.

And it's right, anyway.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

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Odds that the 46-year-old Illinois senator will prevail in tomorrow's vote jumped after he won last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, while wagers on New York Senator Hillary Clinton, the third-placed finisher in Iowa, tumbled. Online traders say Clinton, 60, has an 8.7 percent chance of winning in New Hampshire, according to futures contracts at Intrade...
…but, the expectations of online gamblers aside, could someone at Bloomberg explain what possible relevance the candidate's ages have to the story? Neither candidate is notably young nor aged in the context of presidential candidates. So, we couldn't distinguish them otherwise? What?

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Democratic Debate: Edwards Backs Up Obama

Obama and Edwards Press Clinton
Hey, who let Edwards in? (At last.)
Richardson: I Have the Experience to Change
Into what?
Candidates to New Hampshire: Pick me
Clemens Files Suit Against Former Trainer
I guess the shots didn't work as promised.

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And again I wonder, why not Washington?

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It's déjà vu all over again.

Bill Kristol
After the last two elections, Americans — even Republicans! — are ready for a likable regular guy. Huckabee seems to be that.
Like, you know, what's his name. The other teetotaler voters said they'd like to have a beer with.

Spare me the historical revisionism. Next I suppose we'll get the "George W. Bush - D" chyron from FOX...

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Sunday, January 06, 2008


he's good.
"You know, I've been teased, even derided lately for talking hope," he said. " Last night in the debate one of my opponents said that you know, 'you need to stop offering the American (sic) false hopes about what can get done. You need a reality check.' You remember that?"

"Now think, think about that as a concept. Think about that - not not - 'imagine that we're going to the moon, and we'll figure out a way to do it," he said. "Understand we can't do that. We can't rebuild Japan and Germany after we defeated them in war - that would make no sense. Why would we do do that?"

"Imagine a country that was no longer half slave, half free. How can that be? How can you offer people false hopes?' We don't need leaders who are telling us what we cannot do. We need a president who can tell us what we can do! What we accomplish! Where we can take this country!"
Right, too.


But I thought...

that 'covert' meant, you know, kind of secret. The kind of thing you don't see in the papers, you know?

Be vewy quiet, we're hunting tewwowists.

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How bad?

Even worst than that. By now, everyone who cares has heard about the rotten employment numbers last month, but one data point really jumped off the screen (my emphasis)...
Manufacturers, construction companies, financial services all cut jobs in December - casualties of the housing slump. Retailers also sliced jobs.
Retail layoffs in December? Jeebus.

Oh, well, at least we can take some comfort in knowing Clinton (the husband) was wrong. The era of big government survives, thanfully...
The government added 31,000 jobs in December, while private employers actually cut payrolls by 13,000...


And now...


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to hit 'play'…

…another random ten.
Stanley Jordan - 'Round Midnight
The Limelighters - Generic Up Tempo Folk Song
Bing Crosby - I'm An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)
Hank Williams - Move It On Over
Utah Phillips - The Goodnight-Loving Trail
Jade Redd - Rivers Of Stone
Reverend Gary Davis - Samson & Delilah
Paris Combo - Pas à Pas
Judy Collins - Sunny Goodge Street
Glen Miller - In The Mood

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No, it's not over…

over there.
· DIYALA PROVINCE - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and one injured in a small-arms fire attack in Diyala province, the U.S. military.
· SOUTH OF BAGHDAD - The U.S. military reported one of its soldiers had been killed on Wednesday by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad.
Not hardly.




Why, I wonder?

Erica Jong at the Huffington Post…
I believe Hillary is far more progressive than she has shown.
I hear that a lot, actually, but shouldn't there be some evidence of that after her famous 35 years in the fight? How can she hide her progressive instincts so well for so long? And when will those instincts start to show up?

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Friday, January 04, 2008


Obama and Clinton turn battle to New Hampshire
After Obama win, Clinton warns of "false hopes"
Clinton, Obama contrast on path to WH
Clinton, Obama offer study in contrasts
Hmm…something seems to be missing.

Oh yeah, the guy who beat Hillary in Iowa and trails Obama by an estimated one whole National Convention delegate out of a possible 4049 (though none have actually been selected).

Not even a pretense of objectivity. They wrote a Clinton-Obama script, they're gonna stage a Clinton-Obama show.

Ready for a fight?

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Senator Clinton…
"We have people who are plotting against us right now, getting ready to repeat the atrocity of Sept 11. We know it, I see the intelligence reports."
Hat tip to PSoTD.

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"...a bridge to the 20th Century, as it were."


Me too.

Charles Pierce...
As to Obama, well, I'm still waiting. He gives a good speech and he plainly can get people off the parliamentary side of their arse. However, after seven years of God Told Me To Screw This Up, and people telling me that it's the president's job to "protect" me and my family -- Give me a break. I wouldn't hire the incumbent to park my car -- I am very wary of messianic appeals to the better angels of my nature. I don't want reconciliation with this party full of vandals until we have truth first.
Yep. I'm more in the mood for a tribunal than a truce.

On the other hand, Atrios...
And then those of us in the cheap seats think that there's no way all of those new/young voters show up to vote in Iowa, that Obama's inclusive rhetoric doesn't have the appeal he imagines, etc.. etc... And then he pulls it off. Maybe he does know what he's doing.



I was afraid of this...
"We made it to the final four," Richardson said. "My staff and volunteers worked their hearts out to get us here. Now we are going to take the fight to New Hampshire."
OK, Governor. One more and then straight to New Mexico.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Worth repeating.

Scott at the NPI blog
The Iowa caucuses are regarded by many as a crucial harbinger of the campaign leading up to the party conventions. However since 1972, when Iowa started its "first in the nation" tradition, its track record has been mixed.

George McGovern came in third in 1972.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter came in second. In first place was an uncommitted slate. George H. W. Bush won in 1980. In 1988, he came in third.

Recently Iowa has done better as a predictor. John Kerry won the 2004 Democratic caucus by 6%. In 2000, George W. Bush won solidly over a crowed field and Al Gore defeated Bill Bradley by 26%.

In 1996 Bob Dole beat Pat Buchanan by 3%.

So enjoy the political theater that is Iowa, but remember that while a victory does give momentum going into New Hampshire and beyond, it does not guarantee victory or defeat. Just ask Bill Clinton. In 1992, he only received 3%!
Yep. We've only just begun.

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Don't ask me why…

…but apparently someone called "Mike Gravel" claims to have dropped out of the Democratic race.

Me too.

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Hey, don't take my word for it…

…ask conservative godfather Richard Viguerie.
If you like President George W. Bush, you'll love Mike Huckabee.
Of course, Dick's pretty whack. Calls Huckleberry a "Christian socialist."

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I'll take it.

Matt Yglesias...
Playing it straight, second place is second place and John Edwards is now the populist alternative to front-runner Barack Obama.
If that's really how this falls out, it's almost as good as a win for Edwards. That's a whole different election than the one we've been having.

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Make that "very short order"…

Biden to abandon presidential bid

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Precincts Reporting:

1781 of 1781:
Senator Barack Obama : 37.58%
Senator John Edwards : 29.75%
Senator Hillary Clinton : 29.47%
Governor Bill Richardson : 2.11%
Senator Joe Biden : 0.93%
Uncommitted : 0.14%
Senator Chris Dodd : 0.02%
So I was wrong. I thought Obama's strategy of dependence on young voters and non-Democrats was risky, and that his open attacks on key Democratic constituencies in recent days would cost him. Turns out the kids turned out, and a whole bunch of brand new Democrats, too. Caucus attendance nearly doubled, and young voters turned out in numbers to rival the over-65 crowd, a tremendous credit to the Obama campaign's ability to translate inspiration into action. As a Democrat, I've got to feel good about that even if the results offer some disappointment.

Little of that disappointment is felt on behalf of John Edwards. It's better to win than to place, of course, but it's also better to place than to show, particularly in this case. One of the tougher struggles for the Edwards campaign has been fighting the impression that this is a two-way race between Clinton and Obama. If Edwards has been covered at all, he's usually been depicted as some kind of angry crank, scaring off voters with wild-eyed rants bordering on anarchy. A lot of people are going to be taking a second look at the second place finisher, since it's hard to argue that he can't compete with someone he just beat.

At the same time, a lot of people who've been holding their cards close to their vests, waiting to see if there really was a possibility that a populist message might resonate this year. Clearly, it does. Not just because of Edward's finish tonight, but because of the way his example has framed so much of the debate. Hillary? She's all about change and fighting for the middle class now. Senator Obama? He's putting corporate lobbyists on notice that while they're welcome to his bargaining table, if they forget their manners and hog the gravy he'll push right by 'em and get some. Health care as a centerpiece of everyone's campaign, with the debate revolving around what universal means? Thank John Edwards and the SEIU.

It's not the finish I hoped for, of course, but it's a finish Edwards can build on. No sense of elation here, perhaps, but not too much disappointment, really.

None, naturally, for Obama. Some elation, in fact. I was born in the Jim Crow era. The deed to the house I was raised in included a covenant forbidding it's sale to non-white buyers (It was still in the text long after changing laws had rendered it moot). Tonight I watched a black American win an election in Iowa. Win it decisively, with support that crossed racial, generational and ideological lines. I've got to admit that I still don't get it, but I'm starting to believe that may be my own fault. Nope, no share of disappointment for Obama. Just congratulations.

A little disappointment for Senator Clinton. Not so long ago, her star was so bright, her hopes were so high, the expectations were so strong. I mean, it was going to be Hillary, right? Clear shot. She's so contained, so confident, so, well, 'presidential.'

And so 90's, I'm afraid. Poor Hillary.

Most of my disappointment, though, is reserved for the second tier. Senators Dodd and Biden both rank above Clinton on my personal preference scale (Edwards, Dodd, Obama, Biden, Clinton, Richardson, in that order). Both of them committed all the resources they could muster and ran postive, honest campaigns, making their best cases on their respectively considerable merits. I thought they'd do better - not well enough to continue, perhaps (Dodd is reportedly ready to withdraw, Biden will likely follow him in short order), but at least 2 or 3, maybe even 5 percent.

On the bright side, for us if not them, the Senate will be strengthened by the full-time attention of the duo.

And, OK, just a spot of disappointment on behalf of Governor Richardson. Though he sat at the bottom of my acceptable list, primarily because of his foolish commitment to a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and though desperation drove him to foolish and fruitless negativity, he too worked tirelessly to share his version of the Democratic vision. And he should drop out in the morning.

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