Monday, March 31, 2008


I don’t know if it’s the Clinton campaign, but someone is challenging Obama delegates. I just looked at a list of 38 challenged delegates in Skagit County. Every one questions the validity of an Obama delegate. There are no challenges against Clinton delegates...

...This really appears to be less an issue of voter misconduct or sloppy record keeping then it is about an aggressive, post-caucus attempt by Clinton supporters to increase their numbers before the next round of caucuses.
If it is the Clinton campaign pursuing these kinds of challenges at the upcoming Legislative District and County caucuses and conventions (and it's hard to imagine who else it might be), well, it's just another demonstration of their general inability either to grasp or to implement the kind of grassroots, neighbor to neighbor campaign that a successful caucus strategy requires.

They can file all the challenges they want, but you can bet the majority of them, when examined by the local credentials committees, will be denied. It's safest to expect the most expansive view of the rules, and most of the surface sins the complaints seem to rest on, matters like dates of registration and voter names, will be resolved in the delegate's favor without much rancor. Where there is ground for real concern - delegates not residing in the precinct they were elected from, for instance - there will still be a bias in favor of the delegate, and of all the precinct delegates who sent her or him forward. That neighbor to neighbor business, after all, is real.

The final decision on credentials belongs to the body of delegates assembled. These meetings are often populated by folks who actually see quite a bit of each other, at Party meetings, perhaps, and fundraisers, and at the grocery store and gas station, too. The solution producing both the least political and, no less importantly, social friction will always be favored.In many, perhaps most, of these meetings, Obama delegates will predominate, and will finally determine who is seated. When all else fails, every delegate has a corresponding alternate.

Challenges are the weakest strategic approach to a contest that's almost entirely turnout driven. The negligible gains that might be made by bogging down the process with a credentials fight don't mean a great deal in the first place, and even less if your own troops aren't on hand for the battle. The Clinton campaign's efforts would be better invested in stopping their own delegates, like Karina Putnam-Kaminsky, from taking Hillary's advice, which is true enough, that their pledges aren't binding too much too heart and signing in for Barack in a couple weeks. Of course, for every one of those there's some number larger than one more who simply won't show up, a number I suspect will grow as the desperation of the Clinton camp becomes continually clearer.

Don't beleive any national convention delegate count you've seen from Washington. This one's really just getting started.

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Not without some effort...

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
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From the "He never returns my calls" file.

Al Gore...
“I’m not applying for the job of broker.”
Actually, the job hasn't been posted.

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From the "Who’s milking this cow?" file.

Shorter al Sadr
Stop fighting, go home, let all my guys out of jail and I'll let you pretend you're a government for a little while longer.
At least someone seems to be in charge of something over there.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another day...

...another shift (a double, in fact) and the promise of a jar full of birthday tips.

Birthday tips...did you know you can leave them here, as well?

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And now...


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hi ho, hi ho....'s off to the perfect tavern I go to dish up fish, chips and brew for the March Madness crowd (as always, if you're in the neighborhood and mention the blog, the first round's on me). Then it's, well, whatever festivities the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left has planned in observation of the anniversary of my birth (that's tomorrow actually). All this by way of saying blogging will be spotty at best until at least the wee smalls.

Consider this an open thread if you have need of one. See ya' later.

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...they're random, alright.
Cristina Williams Band - What Did I Do?
Kevin Mahogony - Parker's Mood/Kansas City
The Yardbirds - Smokestack Lightning
Billy Holiday - They Can't Take That Away From Me
Buddy Holly - Not Fade Away
Emmylou Harris - Leaving Louisiana
Elvis Presley - Teddy Bear
Jelly Roll Morton - The Pearls
The Temptations - The Way You Do The Things You Do
Del Rey & The Devils - Luche Libre

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Friday, March 28, 2008


Mike Lux...
If all the superdelegates and other influential friends that I have talked to who believe that the best path for the party is for Obama to win a clear victory would come out in his favor, this thing really would be over.

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Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)...
“Senator Clinton has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to."
…but aren't there times when exercising a right is, well, wrong? I mean, Nader has a right to run, doesn't he? Do you really think he should? Isn't 'why' at least as important as 'whether'?

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"…top Dem strategist…"
"Gore buzz is crack-smoking Fox chatter."

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Well, yeah....

Tim Hames of the TimesOnLine, via Talk Left...
...there are nagging doubts about whether Obama, if nominated, could carry states such as Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which will determine the outcome of this battle.
…but there are nagging doubts, too, about whether Clinton, if nominated, could carry Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania, not to mention Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, Nevada and Colorado, all states currently favoring Obama in November where Clinton currently trails.

Then again, there's a whole national campaign that hasn't been conducted yet, which is likely to have an effect on the outcome.

Electability is still a stupid argument.

Hat tip to Darryl, my guru on all things statistical.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Well, no…

…he doesn't actually have super powers, Bill Clinton's claims notwithstanding…
PARIS, KY. -- Bill Clinton raised the issue of seating FL and MI's delegates again today, telling a Kentucky audience that Barack Obama's camp is "desperate to disenfranchise" those states. He said Obama's team wants to prevent votes from being counted in upcoming states because they "know she can" win.
In fact, it's not within Barack Obama's power to disenfranchise anyone in the Democratic delegate selection process. That's a matter between the Democratic National Committee and the respective State Committees. The leadership of the Michigan and Florida Democratic Parties chose to use the results of procedures which they understood at the time of their decision were in violation of the Party rules. Whatever the reasons for their decisions, whether Republican mischief, pandering to local broadcasters hungry for early primary ad revenues or, well, whatever, they decided to break the rules, telling themselves that the national Party wouldn't dare enforce its rules. Michigan and Florida, after all, are too big, too important, too likely to provide make or break electoral votes in November. Obviously, states of such political import are above the rules, right.

Well, no again. It turns out that the people who make the rules and the people charged with enforcing the rules take the rules rather seriously. They've informed the Florida and Michigan Democrats that until they follow an approved delegate selection plan that respects the rules that the other 48 states and the various territorial and expatriate delegations have managed to adhere to, they needn't bother showing up.

Of course, it's not exactly 'disenfranchisement,' because absent an approved delegate selection process in the first place, there's no enfranchisement. Similarly, 're-vote' is a misnomer in this context, since there's never been a vote in an actual Democratic delegate selection process. All we've had in those states is what we were forced to endure here in the upper left - a state sanctioned straw poll conducted without the proper sanction of the Democratic Party. Of course, here in Washington, respectful of the rules, we don't use the state straw poll to select our delegates.

Nope, folks, it's not Obama. He didn't have the power to cause the problem, he doesn't have the power to solve the problem and he doesn't have the power to forestall a solution. He's something, alright, but he's not all that.

As far as votes in upcoming states, I haven't heard anyone suggest that the calendar be scrubbed. Every upcoming primary and caucus will be held, and there's nothing Barack Obama can do to stop those votes from being counted. We will not see an army of chino-clad Obamanites descending on Guam to stop the count by threats and intimidation. In every case, Democrats will vote, ballots will be tallied and the results will be announced. All within the rules of the Democratic Party.

I get that there's an element of anti-establishment sentiment out there, a small 'l' libertarianism that chafes at the concept of rules. I don't expect to find it among our presidential candidates or their top-tier surrogates. Overriding every other
issue in this election is the need to restore the principles of Constitutional government in the conduct of our national affairs. Enduring peace depends on it. Civil liberties are meaningless without it. Tax codes are trifles beside it. No, for Democratic victory to be meaningful, it must be a victory for the Constitution as well.

So, again, how can we be the Party of the rule of law if we aren't a Party that follows the rules?

And Bill? No she can't. But we could all lose.

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Since you asked…

Matt Stoller...
[W]hy should anyone listen to people who don't believe in global warming, think we're winning the war in Iraq (whatever that means), and believe the economy is basically fine?
Since you asked, no reason whatsoever.

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Things that make me go hmmm.

Things like this. Harry Reid
I had a conversation with Governor Dean today. Things are being done.
…and this. Brent Budowsky
I am detecting a significant “behind the scenes” change, in the last 48-72 hours, from a growing number of superdelegates who want the Clinton carnage to end and will soon be moved to action.
Is there a "superdelegate surge" coming? Will this one work?


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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The landmarks never last...

+ 1 =




Oh hell...

...since I'm piling on today...Where It Stands...

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"He would not have been my pastor. You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."
…but that begs the question, who would be your pastor? And where do you worship?

Clinton's prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or "the Family"), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to "spiritual war" on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship's only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has "made a fetish of being invisible," former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God's plan.

Do we have another candidate who believes she's divinely ordained? An Aimee Semple McPherson, as it were, to W's, say, Oral Roberts?

And your "spiritual mentor"?

The Fellowship leader is Doug Coe, who Clinton has described as "a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God."

Coe's friends include former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Reaganite Edwin Meese III, and ultraconservative Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). Under Coe's guidance, Meese has hosted weekly prayer breakfasts for politicians, businesspeople, and diplomats, and Pitts rose from obscurity to head the House Values Action Team, an off-the-record network of religious right groups and members of Congress created by Tom DeLay. The corresponding Senate Values Action Team is guided by another Coe protégé, Brownback...
I'll take Rev. Wright, thanks.

You really want to have this fight, Senator?

Hat tips to Mother Jones and The Booman Tribune.

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Some people?

Like who? Senator Clinton...
"So I made a mistake," she said. "That happens. It proves I’m human, which you know, for some people, is a revelation.”
I mean, is there someone, anyone, out there, who actually believes that Hillary's inhumanly perfect, incapable of error?

And what does it say if she actually imagines there might be?

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.



meet fan.
"The cease-fire is over; we have been told to fight the Americans."
h/t Atrios.

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On sleep deprivation.

Chris Bowers...
I mean, if you are arguing that you are better at answering the red phone at 3 a.m., it seems like a really good idea to claim that you misspoke about national security experience because you were too tired. It really instills a lot of confidence in the 3 a.m. claim.

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BAGHDAD — A cease-fire critical to the improved security situation in Iraq appeared to unravel Monday when a militia loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al Sadr began shutting down neighborhoods in west Baghdad and issuing demands of the central government.

Simultaneously, in the strategic southern port city of Basra, where Sadr's Mahdi militia is in control, the Iraqi government launched a crackdown in the face of warnings by Sadr's followers that they'll fight government forces if any Sadrists are detained. By 1 a.m. Arab satellite news channels reported clashes between the Mahdi Army and police in Basra.
Muqtada al Sadr. Didn't we kill him or capture him or something? No, huh?

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Monday, March 24, 2008


"The president carries the biggest burden, obviously," Cheney said.

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Cameron Fredman...
Total number of Commonwealths

CLINTON: 1 (Massachusetts)
OBAMA: 1 (Virginia)
Here the race is neck and neck, but Clinton is expected to take Pennsylvania. As there are only four commonwealths total, it is virtually impossible for Obama to beat Clinton on the Commonwealth count. If Clinton beats Obama in Kentucky, his claim that he has won more states will be canceled out by her claim that she has won more Commonwealths.


There's more.

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From the "Truth Hurts" file.

Daniel Kirkdorffer...
This game they keep playing is more than getting old, it is dead annoying. The only measure that counts in a primary race is the delegate count. Clinton claims that the Florida and Michigan penalties for running early primaries has disenfranchised voters in those states. So what does her camp do now? They disenfranchise every delegate already determined by suggesting those in the states she didn't win don't matter, only the electoral vote weight of the state matters.

The Democratic primary process is a proportional allotment system. If she wants a winner take all primary she should have run as a Republican.

Then again, it is becoming increasingly hard to tell whether she isn't already doing so.

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A reminder…

…from Katrina vanden Heuvel.
One in eight Americans -- approximately 37 million people -- now live below the federal poverty line of $19,971 for a family of four. (A woefully inadequate measure that is 42 years old and fails to account for basic necessities.)
Which reminds me of John Edwards. Remember John Edwards? Remember the candidates who were going to honor his commitment to the poor among us? Whatever happened to that?

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An Upper Left Endorsement.

My longtime online friend from another venue, Sharon Fisher, has filed for House Seat 21-A in the Idaho Legislature. I've followed Sharon's views and adventures via The Well for about 13 years, and she's just the kind of person I'd want representing me in the State House if I didn't already have two fine (and perfectly safe) Democratic State Reps already on the job.

Sharon's a certified community planner, journalist, Democratic activist and blogger - a perfect blend of the grassroots, the netroots and real expertise in the kinds of issues legislatures struggle with. Since it's not likely my own representatives will need any help, I'm making Sharon's campaign a cross-border adoptee for the duration. She's challenging in a currently Republican seat. She's the only Democrat on the ballot, while the incumbent has drawn a primary challenge on the GOP side.

She's off too a good start, drawing raves from Idaho's lefty blog blogosphere. Under the heading "great news," Red State Rebels makes note of that expertise...
Sharon Fisher, who really knows her way around the statehouse, has stepped up to the plate in District 21.
Tara Rowe at Political Game writes...
I'm very happy to see Sharon Fisher throwing her hat into the ring.
I'm very happy to see that kind of rapid postive response to Sharon's filing. You'll be hearing more. Contact and donation information ASAP.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008


Get that?




Don't be fooled!

Peeps are little yellow marshmallow treats shaped like baby chicks. Marshmallow treats in other shapes and colors, attractive and tasty as they may be, are not the True Peep®.

Happy Easter to all y'all that celebrate.

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And now...


Saturday, March 22, 2008


…her head is down.

Hat tip to Dan Savage at Slog.

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More of this, please.

Via The Real McCain Blog
The "Bush-McCain policies," Obama continued...

No Third Term.

Y'all keep calling him out, Barack.

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The war in brief.

Nicholas Kristof
The improvement in Iraq amounts to casualty rates that have decreased to the unacceptable levels of 2005, no exit plan for years and a bill accumulating at almost $5,000 per second.
As The Poet told us long ago, there's no success like failure.

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Something's happening here...

...and it's completely random.
Dan Bern - one thing real
Art Pepper - Straight Life
Marshal Vente - Bright Moments
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Freaks For The Festival
Sonia Dada - Don't Go (Giving Your Love Away)
Steely Dan - East St. Louis Toodle-Do
Townes Van Zandt w/Freddy Fender - Pancho & Lefty
Julia Fordham - Jump
Merle Haggard - I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am
David Gans - Sin City
Just the same, sometimes interesting relationships appear where none are planned. A Roland Kirk cover is rare, and to have it followed randomly by a Roland Kirk track seems almost impossible. Similarly, the set starts with Dan Bern and ends with David Gans. Last time I saw Gans, he was opening for Dan Bern.

Why? How? Hmmm...

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Friday, March 21, 2008


Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen
Unless Clinton is able to at least win the primary popular vote — which also would take nothing less than an electoral miracle — and use that achievement to pressure superdelegates, she has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else.

People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet.
It's all over but the bloodletting, which needs to end.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

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Bill Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama is worth a little more than the Governor's own PLEO credentials, I'm sure. It's a good news story involving a high-profile Democrat who is better regarded than his primary performances might indicate. He's been a Clinton ally for decades and earlier on might have been expected to take her side, so there's a bit of a signal to former Clintonistas still hanging on the sidelines.

Another endorsement came down last week, though, that got less attention and may yield higher dividends...
The Oregon Council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States. The union's executive board made the endorsement today (March 15) in Portland.
AFSCME, of course, is a long-time Clinton union, and the heart and soul of the labor coalition she has cobbled together while staking her claim as the exit-poll champion of working class Democrats. For Oregon AFSCME to make this break, at this time, may signal a new push for labor solidarity. While they've put themselves at odds with their national leadership (only Illinois, where AFSCME has stuck with their favorite son, has broken ranks before this), but they're hardly lonely at home…
With the Obama endorsement, Oregon AFSCME joins the other biggest unions in Oregon supporting Obama in the Oregon primary, including the Oregon Education Association, the Teamsters, Service Employees International Union, the United Food and Commercial Workers and others.
At the very least, it should contribute to an even larger margin of victory for Obama in Oregon, where 52 delegates are at stake. Does that matter? Well, if you think the Richardson endorsement is meaningful, consider where they sent him first to deliver it in person.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quote of the day.

Via Political Wire
"If there is simply a caving on this, we'll end up with primaries on Halloween."

DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee Chairman James Roosevelt Jr., in an interview with the Boston Globe, saying Florida and Michigan delegates will not be seated at the Democratic convention.
Sic 'em, Mr. Chairman! We can't claim t0 be the Party of the rule of law if we can't follow our own rules.

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It's something.

Not the frog-march of my dreams, maybe, but something…
WASHINGTON -- Former top White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was banned Thursday from practicing law in the nation's capital following his perjury conviction in the case of a CIA operative's leaked identity.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

He didn't ask me

…but, well, since he asked. Steve Soto...
Is toppling Saddam so important that it warranted a trillion dollars of crippling debt, a busted military, thousands of dead innocents, a new haven for Al Qaeda, and the destruction of an occupied country?
Since you asked, no.

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From the "Preacher Problems" file...

Barbara Ehrenreich
Obama has given a beautiful speech on race and his affiliation with the Trinity Unity Church of Christ. Now it's up to Clinton to explain -- or, better yet, renounce -- her longstanding connection with the fascist-leaning Family.
For instance, is this really so?
...the Family takes credit for some of Clinton's rightward legislative tendencies, including her support for a law guaranteeing "religious freedom" in the workplace, such as for pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions and police officers who refuse to guard abortion clinics.

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Since you asked…

Brent Budowsky...
Have You No Shame, Lanny Davis?
Since you asked, apparently not.

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I mean, I know it, but I don't expect to hear 'em admit it out loud...

RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.


RADDATZ So? You don’t care what the American people think?


A point for honesty, I suppose, but damn...

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Five years.

3990 US fatalities.

40,229 US casualties

An untold (literally) number of Iraqis dead, tortured and maimed.

Hundreds of trillions of dollars pissed away on no bid contracts for inferior goods and shoddy services.
And the headline?

President Bush: Iraq War Must Go On

Until, I suppose, God does damn us.


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Probably even. Senator Obama...
"Just yesterday, we heard Sen. McCain confuse Sunni and Shiite, Iran and Al Qaeda. Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no Al Qaeda ties. Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America's enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades."
In fact, I'm pretty sure.

The reason McCain keeps getting it wrong is because he simply doesn't know, and he doesn't care to know.

And like his friend in the White House, he doesn't care about you, either.

Hat tip to AMERICAblog.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

To the barricades!

"You have nothing to lose but your links!"


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Of course…

…human activity can't possibly have anything to do with this...
“The thickest, oldest and toughest sea ice around the North Pole is melting, a bad sign for the future of the Arctic ice cap, NASA satellite data showed on Tuesday.”
Of course.

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Sounds about right…

…and yet so very wrong. Kos...
First of all, the only path to victory for Clinton is via coup by super delegate.

She knows this. That's why there's all the talk about poaching pledged delegates and spinning uncertainty around Michigan and Florida, and laying the case for super delegates to discard the popular will and stage a coup.

Yet a coup by super delegate would sunder the party in civil war.

Clinton knows this, it's her only path to victory, and she doesn't care. She is willing -- nay, eager to split the party apart in her mad pursuit of power.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Quote of a day gone by...

“It’s clear. This election they’re having is not going to count for anything.”

Senator Clinton, before she "won" the election that didn't count for anything.
And then the fog rolled in.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

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If you're Irish...

...or just wish you were...

And if you're anywhere near the perfect tavern, drop by for some corned beef and green beer. Happy St. Pat's.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

And now...


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Once again...

...a random ten.
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels - Little Latin Lupe Lu
Jerry Dugger - Papa La Ska
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Mr. Bojangles
Marshall Chapman - Leaving Loachapoka
Carrie Newcomer - Straight To The Point
Diana Krall - Do It Again
Jack McTanney - Mr. Ford
Bo Diddley - Who Do You Love
Emmylou Harris - Together Again
Little Milton - Cheatin' Is A Risky Business

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Friday, March 14, 2008


I'm working on the template and some graphic storage options, so things could get even more futzed up than usual around here. Hang tough. When I'm done, Upper Left will be, well, maybe not bigger and better, but at least newer and bluer...

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The Solomon Solution.

Todd at The Blue State likes it...
Make both Florida and Michigan split their delegates 50-50 between Obama and Clinton, then call it done.
Me? Not so much.

The solution is for the Democratic central committees of Florida and Michigan to submit new delegate selection plans to the DNC and follow them to assemble a slate of delegates to the National Convention. It doesn't matter what mechanism they use as long as the DNC approves, and I've got a hunch the DNC would cast a pretty approving eye on almost anything rational. Those are the rules, that's all that matters.

Seating the MI and FL delegations only on the condition that they be, in effect, irrelevant? I really don't get the appeal.

This isn't about the nomination. This is about the rules, the only real infrastructure the Party has. If we don't enforce those rules, do we really have a Party at all?

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From the "They'll do it every time" file...

Hat tip to BlatherWatch.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Not really surprising...

After all, there are young blond women in peril all over the world.

Hat tip to Meteor Blades.

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Quote of the day.

The Speaker
“The president is wrong and he knows it.”
Of course, Nancy's a lady. Propriety is the enemy of candor in this case, I'm afraid. What she means, of course, is that the preznit is a…

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From Joe Sudbay...
It's always the loser who wants to change the rules.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sorry Spitz.

Deeply sorry? Not really. Or, at least, not comparably…

Hat tip to Where It Stands.

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In the real world…

…according to Yglesias...
"...when Republicans are president, we do what Republicans want with the military, whereas when Democrats are president, we do what Republicans want with the military."
Me too. So, I wonder, who's most likely to change that?

Oh hell, no I don't…at least, I know who it won't be.

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Me neither.

Blue Texan...
Funny, when the Bush/McCain Surge was announced, I don't recall the stated goal being reducing the level of violence in Iraq to 2005 levels, while the Mahdi army takes a breather.

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Jeff Fecke
You know, if Barack Obama is where he is based on his race, and Hillary Clinton is where she is based on her gender, then Cynthia McKinney should be an unstoppable force come election day.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Between 125,000 and 150,000 voters were expected to cast ballots Tuesday, according to Pamela Weaver of the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office.

While the number would represent a 25 to 50 percent increase in turnout from the 2004 primaries, Weaver still described the voting rate as light to moderate.
With 99% of the precincts reporting, some 551,409 votes had been counted, 408,293 of them on the Democratic side of the ballot.

I wonder how Ms. Weaver would describe that?

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OK, then, it's official.

America is the kind of country that tortures people…
The 225-188 roll call Tuesday by which the House failed to override President Bush's veto of a bill that would have prohibited the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on terrorist suspects.
My America is gone. I want it back.

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Good question…

…from litbrit.
What If Geraldine Ferraro's Convicted-Felon Son Had Been Black?
'Cause, you know, black guys get all the breaks.

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Buckle up, settle down…

…let the shiny scenery pass and concentrate on real obstacles in the road forward. Lloyd Constantine, senior advisor to Gov. Eliot Spitzer…
"It is more correct to say that he is not resigning."
My last word until he does.

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Getting ugly early.

The Hotline
The crowd last night booed Clinton several times when Obama mentioned her name.
Not sure that helps, but only one thing will solve it…

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McCain, neither.

Obama adviser Greg Craig...
"As far as the record shows, Senator Clinton never answered the phone either to make a decision on any pressing national security issue -- not at 3 AM or at any other time of day."
Hat tip to AMERICAblog.

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The Speaker's blog has a round up of links and excerpts for a dozen editorials from major newspapers from coast to coast (including the P.I.) calling for an override of the Intelligence Authorization veto over its anti-torture provisions. It's shaping up to be a fight we can win.

Whatever you think we were, or should be, right now America, by executive edict, is the kind of country that tortures people.

The Constitution? Pish. International treaties? Tosh.

Someone scared the Preznit and now we torture people.

Override? Damn straight.

Sic 'im, Madam Speaker.

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Senator Obama
"You have to make a choice in this election. Are you gonna go along with the past, or are you gonna go towards the future? Are you gonna do the same old thing, or are you gonna try something new?"

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Monday, March 10, 2008

I scream, you scream…

…we all scream for ice cream!

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Bad Obama news getting you down? Kos offers encouragement...
So officially, Obama has a 13-delegate advantage for the week even before Mississippi votes tomorrow. Throw in the unpledged delegate in Wyoming who will certainly be an Obama delegate, and unofficially, Obama notched a 14-delegate gain in this "week from hell" for him.

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Will Clinton do anything to get elected?

I dunno. Seems people will say anything to get her nominated, though. Clinton surrogate Geraldine Ferarro, for instance...
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position, and if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
A snide racial slur wrapped in an insult to the whole country. Heckuva job, Gerry…

Hat tip to Todd at The Blue State.

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Good question.

Barack, on Hillary's expressed interest in a joint ticket...
“I don’t understand if, I’m not ready how is it that you think I should be such a great vice president? Do you understand that?”
Nope, I don't.

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+ 5 =



And before the day could end...

+ 3

God damn.


Permission granted.

If you're a Washington State Democrat starting to wonder about that caucus day decision for Hillary, but got elected as a precinct delegate and feel some kind of obligation because of your "pledge," set your worries aside. The candidate has released you...
“There are elected delegates, caucus delegates and superdelegates, all for different reasons, and they’re all equal in their ability to cast their vote for whomever they choose. Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to.”
She's right, you know. If you've begun to have doubts about a candidate who will smear her opponent, trash the Party, challenge the rules in the middle of the game and tout the Republican nominee's qualifications, you can march proudly into your Legislative District caucus and sign in for Barack. There's no rule against it, no penalty for doing it.

And Hillary, it seems, endorses it.

I, naturally, encourage it.

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Fun with Google Analytics.

I hope the surfer searching for "brother" "likes wearing diapers" wasn't too disappointed. On the other hand, "washington state", "political trivia"?

WA? Check. Political? Check. Trivial? Often enough.

Another satisfied customer.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008


Hat tip to Blue Gal.


Well, if you put it that way…

Put it this way: if I told you in the middle of 2006 that Democrats would control Tom DeLay AND Dennis Hastert's seats in Congress within two years, would you believe me?
…I suppose not.

And I'm usually an unusually optimistic sort.

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And now...

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Worth repeating.

Matt at Think Progress reminds us...
"…as is so often the case, McCain has the same position as Bush when it comes to condoning torture."
So often.

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Maybe they can't read the field manual.

Lt. Gen. Harry E. Soyster (USA-Ret), former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency...
And the idea, in fact, these techniques [used by] the experts at the CIA — waterboarding, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, whatever those techniques are — it doesn’t take much expertise to use those. You know, dumb guys in the Middle Ages were doing the same thing. The KGB were strong on sleep deprivation. So there’s no skill required from the CIA. They may need those techniques because of their skill level. And they think that they need them.

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This one's for you, Speaker Tom.

It's official...
Democrat Bill Foster has won the special election in IL-14, and by a stunning margin.
And he gets a golden ticket to the convention, too. New target, 2025.

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Joe Sudbay
It's "Al Gore created the Internet" all over again.
Except, of course, she's doing it to herself this time.

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Put another nickel in…

The Capitols - Cool Jerk
The Mama & The Papas - Creeque Alley
Amos Lee - Shout Out Loud
Beausoleil - Bon Temps Rouler
William Bell - You Don't Miss Your Water
Chad & Jeremy - A Summer Song
Crazy Mary - El Retro Street
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Lodi
Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove
Curtis Stigers - Blue Skies

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Friday, March 07, 2008


Colbert: Let me put this a different way. If I were a waiter and I were to offer you two different slices of pizza, and one was half-Hawaiian and you weren't entirely sure what it was going to taste like. And the other was plain with cheese and had been under a heat lamp for 35 years, I mean, it had seen everything. Which would you go for?

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The kind of difference...

...that demands a decision. Where It Stands

Haven't we heard more than enough about the monster under the bed over the last seven years? Time to turn the lights on and get about our business, isn't it?

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They represent you.

How they doin'?
Washington State PLEO Delegates

Rep. Brian Baird: Obama.
Sen. Maria Cantwell: Clinton.
Democratic National Committee member Ed Cote: Uncommitted.
Rep. Norm Dicks: Clinton.
Former House Speaker Tom Foley: Clinton
Gov. Christine Gregoire: Obama.
Rep. Jay Inslee: Clinton.
Rep. Rick Larsen: Uncommitted.
State party Vice Chairwoman Eileen Macoll: Uncommitted.
Democratic National Committee member Sharon Mast: Uncommitted.
Rep. Jim McDermott: Uncommitted.
Democratic National Committee member David McDonald: Uncommitted.
Sen. Patty Murray: Clinton.
Democratic National Committee member Pat Notter: Obama.
State party Chairman Dwight Pelz: Uncommitted.
King County Executive Ron Sims: Clinton.
Rep. Adam Smith: Obama.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008


Think Progress via The Real McCain Blog...

TORTURE: Despite McCain’s reputation as an opponent of torture, he has consistently supported legislative language that protects the Bush administration’s prerogatives to use it. Most recently, McCain voted against a ban on waterboarding and urged President Bush to veto the bill.

SURVEILLANCE: Echoing Bush in his CPAC speech this year, McCain called it “shameful and dangerous” for Democrats to oppose a surveillance bill that contains retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies. He then voted “to terminate lawsuits against” those companies.

IMMIGRATION: In 2005, McCain told the New Yorker that “the President and I share exactly the same views on the issue.”

SOCIAL SECURITY: In 2005, McCain was “a big booster” of Bush’s Social Security privatization plan and last week he told the Wall Street Journal that as president he wants to reform Social Security through private savings accounts “along the lines that President Bush proposed.”

HEALTH CARE: After examining his health care plan, the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn recently concluded that McCain will act “like George W. Bush” as he supports policy ideas that “President Bush has embraced.”

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This just in…

WASHINGTON -- GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is hinting to supporters that he is ending his long-shot campaign for the presidency.
In other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

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And this too…

Clinton's top campaign people (read Wolfson and Penn) are embarrassments. I don't want those kinds of nitwits near the White House, and I don't trust a decisionmaker who relies on them.
I feel like I'm headed toward as serious binge of Hillary-bashing, and ya' know? It doesn't feel bad.

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PolitickerWA has the latest power rainkings. Overall the Washington delegation ranks 20th among the 50 states. A better than middling ranking for a state our size, I suppose. Senators Murray and Cantwell rank 21 and 48 in the Senate, both in top half, though I’d think Patty's position in the Democratic leadership would have given her more of a boost. Both rankings suffer, I suspect, from a lack of tenure.

In the House, our ranking is boosted by two top-ten percenters, Democrats Norm Dicks (22 out of 435) and my own personal Congressman, Jim McDermott (39). Jay Inslee's an up and comer at 72, while the remaining Democrats, Brian Baird (212), Rick Larsen (236) and Adam Smith (252) fall nearer the center.

The Republicans, naturally, are a drag on the delegation. The senior Republican from our fair state, Doc Hastings, checks in at 301 while Cathy McMorris Rodgers trails at 356.

Sherrif Dave? Almost off the chart at 401.

You can start making things better from the bottom up by doing your bit for Darcy.

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Nick Beaudrot...
At the moment, Barack Obama is the better general election nominee. Period. Full stop. He will have to spend less time defending blue states. He's competitive in a larger number of red states. And he's more competitive in states that have Senate elections. Barack Obama: because this is the year to bust the map wide open.

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Since you asked...

Joe Sudbay
When exactly did Hillary Clinton demonstrate that she was able to "cross the commander-in-chief threshold"?
Since you asked, she didn't.

That privilege follows the "inauguration threshold," which follows the "election threshold," assuming you can get past the "nomination threshold." Not a particularly safe assumption for Senator Clinton to make at this point.

If you don't know what we're talking about, we're talking about this...
“I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.
Enough of that.

Barack Obama for President.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A hurrah for Howard.

While some are encouraging The Chairman to do exactly what he shouldn't (pick a winner), he's busy doing exactly what he should (enforcing the rules).
“The Democratic Nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules, and out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game.”
The striped shirt and whistle become you, Dr. Dean.

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Jerome Armstrong
Obama has a huge electability problem in the state. He took a total of 5 counties, and lost in 82 counties...You don't win a general election in Ohio if you can only win in 5 counties.
I mean, I've got to admit, the map's pretty impressive…

…but couldn't it just as well be said that Hillary Clinton has a huge electability problem in a state where she can't win the five counties that contain more than half the state's population?

It's the same thing as those US maps showing those huge patches of red covering the 'empty' states. Hillary's 82 counties have fewer citizens combined than Barack's five.

Of course, it doesn’t say much about how either might fare against John McCain in November, which is, or should be, a far different dynamic. That is, unless the argument is that the March Clinton and the November McCain will be indistinguishable to the Democratic regulars that provided most of Clinton's margin. Or are we supposed to believe the well has been so poisoned that none of Clinton's support is transferable? That most of it isn't? And why, I wonder, might that be?

What's more likely is that she's likely to do better in Columbus and Obama's likely to do better in the hinterlands than this map shows. In other words, the probability is that Clinton will be a lot more popular in Cincinnati and Obama will take a lot more than five counties come November. If anything, Obama's edge with wayward R's and independents is something Clinton's less likely to replicate in the fall, creating an electablity issue of another kind.

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From the "Didn't see that coming" file.

When Donna Brazile threatened to quit the Democratic Party if a few hundred of her "colleagues" ended up deciding the nomination, I figured it was an expression of support for the power of the people over the threat of a PLEO oligarchy. Well, once again I was wrong. Seems that turning things over to a few hundred elected Party and public leaders was just a bit too democratic for Ms. Brazile. Nope, she'd prefer a tidier dictatorship, apparently. Via The Carpetbagger Report...
“If these attacks [between Clinton and Obama] are contrasts based on policy differences, there is no need to stop the race or halt the debate,” Donna Brazile, a superdelegate, said. “But, if this is more division, more diversion from the issues and more of the same politics of personal destruction, chairman Dean and other should be on standby.”
Sure. Have Howard tell somebody to get out. That'll bring us together. And if he can't do it, I'm sure "other" can.

Can't someone stop her?

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March Madness.

Nick Beaudrot...
At this point, the nomination is like the end of a college basketball game; the Clintonites will play a full court press, foul if Barack Obama makes it past the half court line, and hope he misses his free throws while Hillary Clinton hits a series of consecutive three point shots. It's not likely to lead to victory, but it's the only strategy available, and every once in a blue moon miracles do happen.
Sounds about right.

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Breathing room for Clinton?

Not really.

Kos has some more numbers, but Clinton fans will probably want to cling to the less complete MSNBC stats. He's got Hillary with a one delegate pickup so far, against an opening deficit of 159. If it looked like too little, too late before, it seems to have become less and later.

More like a last gasp than a comeback, I suspect.

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Like I said…

duck and cover.
Tonight, Clinton said, "there is no time for speeches and on the job training." And she vowed to turn "hope into reality."
Of course, she said that in, ahem, a speech, and she's never had the job either. Everybody's OJT in the White House, and there's never enough time to learn it all. Just ask Bill if he wouldn't like one more chance.

I guess the message here is "If I can scare you enough to choose me, you'll just have to trust me on the hope thing."

It's scaring me away.

Well, further away.

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It's not about winning states...'s about winning delegates. The latest delegate allocation from MSNBC...

Clinton 73
Obama 62

Rhode Island

Clinton 13
Obama 8

Texas (Primary)

Clinton 46
Obama 34

Texas (Caucus)

Clinton 0
Obama 0


Obama 9
Clinton 6
A net pick up of 25 for Clinton at this point, with a less encouraging result expected from the Texas caucuses. Once again, the Clinton camp knew there was a caucus involved, they just didn't know what to do about it.

At any rate, with Obama going into the night with a lead of 122 pledged delegates (MSNBC numbers again), +25, give or take, isn't going to get the job done. I don't know if Hillary can pull of a win, but I'm pretty sure she can't pull one off a clean one.

Still, this is more than the encouragement she was looking for to press on. Duck and cover.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008


So screw that noise, vote as it pleases you, respect the fact that honest people will honestly disagree, and then whether you win with a generous spirit or lose with good grace, if we keep our eye on the ball and our foot up their ass, I’m sure everything will turn out fine.

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Find the cost of "freedom"…

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, via Alterman...
"Because the administration actually cut taxes as we went to war, when we were already running huge deficits, this war has, effectively, been entirely financed by deficits. The national debt has increased by some $2.5 trillion since the beginning of the war, and of this, almost $1 trillion is due directly to the war itself ... By 2017, we estimate that the national debt will have increased, just because of the war, by some $2 trillion."
Finding freedom, of course, is another matter entirely.

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From the "Sad but true" file…

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog...
I wish we voted on issues. But this America. We don't. Personality is the necessary delivery system for any issues payload. Krugman suggests that we'd be running an issues campaign if Obama hadn't run and done well, but we wouldn't -- we'd be running a personality campaign with, in all likelihood, no one the voters want to have a beer with as much as they do with John McCain. And that's why we'd lose.
Sorry to say it, but yep.

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I am what I drink?

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Mostly true, by the way.

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China's military budget up 17.6 percent in 2008: spokesman
They've got to spend our money on something, I suppose.
Texas, Ohio could decide Dem nomination
Or not. Still, one hopes...
Buddhists: ‘Please Don’t Do Politics’
be politics.
Clinton: I'm 'just getting warmed up'
Um, Senator, they said "You're in the stretch run," not "It's time to stretch for your run."
Wollongong Council sacked
Heheheh. They said "Wollongong."

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Monday, March 03, 2008

And again…

…myself, as well. Dave Neiwert
I like to consider myself an environmentalist, but I almost never call myself one. Mainly because I really don't want to be associated with a lot of the people who do.

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Tuesday's Forecast: Rain and Possible Periods of Electoral Confusion. Chance of Spin 100%

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Me too.

“If Barack Obama happens to be the nominee of this party, there’s going to be enthusiastic support of his candidacy from this campaign.”

HRC spokesman Howard Wolfson
And this blog.

And vice versa.

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A fundie scorned.

Mike Huckabee
Now, if you want me to renounce something John Hagee said, let me renounce something. I renounce his endorsement of John McCain. I think that was something that I can easily repudiate.

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Heard the buzz?

Shai Sachs wants you to know...
· McCain has a very conservative voting record
· McCain is breaking campaign finance laws
· McCain is a Bush lapdog
· McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years
· McCain is a lapdog of the Religious Right
· McCain kissed up to Jerry Falwell to win the nomination
· McCain is rehashing forty-year-old ideas that don't work
· McCain is tied to lobbyists
Don't forget to tell a friend.

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Glad tidings…

…via Andrew at the NPI blog. Pew's done a new 50 state report card, and Washington's one of only three (with Utah and Virginia) to get an A.

Why, you might ask? Because of stuff like this (Andrew's emphasis borrowed)...

Washington has been a consistent leader in results-based governance. It was ahead of nearly all other states in controlling spending by keeping track of where investments were and were not paying off.

Under Governor Christine Gregoire, Washington’s government has, if anything, moved further ahead on this front.
Four more years.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

…and then he fell in with bad companions.

Media Matters, via Fire Dog Lake
Lobbyist fundraisers. Two of the co-chairmen of McCain's national finance committee were registered to lobby Congress as of year-end 2007 (the latest disclosure data available), and a third previously lobbied Congress. Another co-chairmen is one of Florida's "most powerful lobbyists" (St. Petersburg Times, 10/1/06). McCain's "top fundraising official" (Washington Post, 2/22/08), one of the two co-chairmen registered to lobby as of year-end 2007, is the founder of a prominent Washington lobbying firm that has made "millions inserting earmarks into spending bills" (Politico, 2/8/08). McCain's reliance on lobbyist fundraisers, which according to Public Citizen includes 59 former and current lobbyist bundlers, follows a multi-year effort by McCain of "reaching out to K Street to strengthen his national fundraising network" (The Hill, 3/8/06).

Lobbyist advisers and staffers. At least 24 McCain staffers or advisers were either registered to lobby Congress (as of year-end 2007) or were previously lobbyists, according to a Media Mattersreview. Former and current federally registered lobbyists include McCain's campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, chief political adviser, senior policy adviser, more than half a dozen economic policy advisers, and numerous national and state co-chairmen.

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And now...

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Quote of the day…

…a number of days ago.
If one candidate's trying to scare you and the other one's trying to get you to think, if one candidate's appealing to your fears and the other one's appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope."

Bill Clinton, about another race, at another time.
Excuse me, I think the phone's ringing...

Hat tip to Andy at The Political Realm.

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Kinda depressing…

Charles McMillion at Economic Populist...
Despite no real change in January spending, for the first time on record households spent more than all current incomes for the 3rd consecutive month.
(waving hand)

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Can you say 'culture of corruption'?

Via Think Progress...

In 1998, McCain wrote the FCC a letter asking it to give “serious consideration” to allowing BellSouth to enter the long-distance market. Just four months earlier, on May 6, 1998, BellSouth officials had donated $16,750 to McCain. [Boston Globe, 1/9/00]

In June 1998, McCain wrote to the FCC “on behalf of AT&T, Spring, and MCI Worldcom,” even though he had “long favored the so-called Baby Bells.” Two weeks later, Spring donated $2,000. In October 1998, AT&T officials gave him $25,800. [Boston Globe, 1/9/00]

In May 1999, McCain wrote to the FCC and accused it of “bias against Ameritech and SBC Communications,” two companies seeking to merge. Just before his May letter, “officials and lobbyists for the two companies helped him raise almost $120,000.” Ameritech was led by Richard Notebaert, a “friend and leading fund-raiser” for McCain. [Boston Globe, 1/7/00; New York Times, 1/6/00]

In 1998, McCain wrote two letters on behalf of satellite television companies Echostar and DirecTV, “in an effort help them win permission to carry local broadcast signals. Echostar’s chairman raised about $25,000 for McCain” in the period between the two letters. [Boston Globe, 1/9/00]

On Dec. 1, 1998, McCain wrote a letter to the FCC advocating against tighter restrictions, which were “clearly not in the spirit” of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. In the months before the letter, Paxson and Sinclair officials donated about $17,000 to McCain’s campaign. [Boston Globe, 1/9/00]
So, the 'maverick' turns out to be, well, just another Republican after all.

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Ten more tunes...

Gene Pitney - 24 Hours From Tulsa
Buddy Blue - Conversations With The Bottle
The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Gil Cook - It's Too Darned Hot
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five
Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Compared To What
Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Sixteen
Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty - Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man
John Doe - Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Don't Think Twice, It's All Rght
Yep, pretty random alright...

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