Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quote of the day.

Senator James Webb (D-VA), on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee…
“He’s so full of it.”
Yes, he is.

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She fought the law...

...and the law won. Disgraced GSA head Lurita Doan, on her resignation by Executive request, via The Gavel
“I would rather get fired for something I believe in, and a cause I was willing to fight for, rather than to believe in nothing worth being fired for.”
She 'believes,' apparently, in breaking the law. Special Counsel Scott Bloch, who investigated Doan for Hatch Act vioaltions…
“Doan solicited the political activity of over 30 of her subordinate employees.”
Heckuva job, Doanie.

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Credit where it's due.

Senator Clinton
"Anyone, anyone, who voted for either of us should be absolutely committed to voting for the other because it would be the height of political foolishness to have voted for one of us and what we stand for and then either to stay home or not vote for a Democrat and instead vote for Sen. McCain."

More of this, please.

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She cleaned up in Q1 cash…

…and now she's cleaning up, literally. Via PolitickerWA...
Darcy Burner, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 8th District, will be taking her campaign back to the earth this weekend. As part of an event to encourage community service, Burner will join the 47th LD Democrats and the national grassroots service organization Democrats Work to clean up garbage along the Green River at Flaming Geyser State Park this Saturday morning.
Which gives rise to the question - can Dave Reichert catch the Green River Cleaner?

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quote of the decade.

The Preznit, via WIIIAI...
“And so I’m perplexed, is the best way to describe it.”

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You might be getting older if...

...your youngest daughter is a mommy blogger.

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Oh, please.

"Now, I know there are some people who say, 'Oh my goodness she is tough,'" she said. "Well, if you'd had my life you'd be tough, too."
Cursed from birth with a stable, financially secure family, things would only get worse for Hillary Clinton. In school, she had to overcome the twin curses of intelligence and popularity. In time, she escaped to the tough streets of Wellesley College and Yale Law. After graduation, it took her almost six years to become a full partner in a major law firm in a state where she was almost simultaneously becoming First Lady. While her husband was busy governoring, Hillary was forced to spend endless hours sitting through corporate board meetings and depositing checks.

Mr. Clinton finally got a pretty good job with the federal government, with an excellent benefits package, and Hillary was able to take some time off to pursue personal interests and travel a bit. Ever the good citizen, she did some volunteer work as well, but her efforts in that respect weren't universally appreciated, poor dear.

Following her husband's forced retirement, Hillary was forced to take a federal job herself while he did odd jobs to supplement his pension. Though their income has averaged a respectable million dollars a month in the intervening years, it should be remembered that they had to cover Ivy League tuition for their daughter. We all know what that can do to the vacation budget.

Yep, tough life alright.


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The kids are alright…

…according to Pew.

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Good question…

…from Joe Sudbay
What is in those tax forms of Cindy McCain?

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Monday, April 28, 2008

What "working" looks like…

(AP) At least 44 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in April, making it the deadliest month for U.S. forces since September.

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It's probably true...

...that Barack Obama's appearance on Fox News won't win over any votes among that networks regular viewership, but I can see it having value looking toward November just the same. With a paucity of enthusiasm for John McCain within the Republican base, the obvious move will be the classic Rovian fear card. In this case, the object of fear will be the candidate himself, painting Obama as some sort of exotic, and possibly dangerous, figure. To the degree that exposure to this well educated, well spoken man of moderately liberal persuasion creates a familiarity that de-fuses the fear card, it could mean less enthusiasm, less money, and, ultimately, fewer votes for McCain.

For thos that are fretting that this is evidence that Barack Obama is not taking his place in the vanguard of the proletarian revolution, well, yeah.

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Quote of the Day.

Former Marine and Corpsman Rev. Jeremiah Wright, via The Editors...
“My goddaughter’s unit just arrived in Iraq this week while those who call me unpatriotic have used their positions of privilege to avoid military service while sending over 4,000 American boys and girls to die over a lie.”

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Coinage of the day.

Jackie Schechner
"Private Plane McCain"
Love it.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Big "if"…

…for Hillary.
"If you have any, any kind of loyalty to the Democratic Party, perhaps you need to rethink your strategy and bow out gracefully in order to save this party from a disastrous end in November."

Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO)

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Elizabeth Edwards…

explains it all.
Who is responsible for the veil of silence over Senator Biden? Or Senator Dodd? Or Gov. Tom Vilsack? Or Senator Sam Brownback on the Republican side?

The decision was probably made by the same people who decided that Fred Thompson was a serious candidate.
I keep hearing that Hillary's still in so that people in the remaining states have a choice, but millions of us were denied the chance to vote for our first choice without wrinkling her brow.

Heck we didn't even get a chance to vote for our first choice's husband.

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And now...


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Um, no she didn't.

The headline...

Clinton challenges Obama to Lincoln-Douglas style debate

The challenge...
"Just the two of us, going for 90 minutes, asking and answering questions, we'll set whatever rules seem fair."
Shouldn't somebody at the AP know what a Lincoln-Douglas style debate is? Whatever the merits of Senator Clinton's proposal may (or, from the Obama perspective, may not) be, it has nothing to do with the Lincoln-Douglas format.

Fair? How about an nationally televised uninterrupted hour for Barack Obama to lay out his vision and program for America, followed by ninety minutes of Hillary Clinton discussing her vision and program in contrast to that, with the time balanced with a thirty minute rejoinder from Obama. That's Lincoln-Douglas style.

Sounds fair to me.

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Quote of the Day.

Thers at firedoglake...
"John McCain has a bold plan for our nation and for the world, one that involves everybody dying."

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It's been Saturday for a little while…

…must be random ten time.
Bruce Springsteen - Pay Me My Money Down
Rodney Crowell - She Loves The Jerk
Paul Speidel Band - (It's) A Married Thang
Spottiswoode & His Enemies - Never Gonna Get That Girl
Bonnie Raitt - Thing Called Love
Elton John - Rocket Man
Ella Fitzgerald - Blue Skies
Tom Paxton - Talkin' Vietnam Potluck Blues
Ray Charles - Hallelujah, I Love Her So
Lisa Fraser - Such A Day

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Friday, April 25, 2008

As usual

...Len offers a batch of the best in political cartooning. Here's my pick (there's a bigger version right behind the click)...

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From the "Believe It or Don't" file.

Goldy in Wonderland?

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

From the "Glad somebody noticed" file.


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Shame, shame, shame!

The Senate Ethics Committee issued a letter of admonition Thursday to New Mexico Republican Sen. Pete Domenici for his role in contacting the U.S. attorney in his state about a pending federal grand jury investigation into public corruption.
I suppose an admonition is the next best thing to, well, to accountability.

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Following Carl's fine example…

…in response to the Seattle Times publishing a Dave Reichert press release on the news pages (That's what it was, right? It had to be.), here's a link to a spot where you can donate to Darcy Burner (and other fine Democratic candidates and committees).

Hat tip to Mr. Ballard for the fine precedent.

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Charlie Cook can’t change how the game is played once it has begun. The Democrats have decided that the nominee will be determined by the number of delegates won, not by the popular vote, and that primaries held in direct violation of party rules (in this case, Florida’s and Michigan’s) don’t count. End of discussion.
Rules are rules, and we can't be the Party of the rule of law, caretakers of a government of laws rather than of men, if we don't follow them.

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Godwin's Law of Campaigns?

Nah. Credit where it's due. Call it Schechner's Corollary to Godwin's Law…
"As a primary campaign grows longer, the probability of invoking imagery involving Osama bin Laden or 9/11 approaches one."

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Far from Pennsylvania...

...and too far from our attention...


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A one stop shop…

…for bloggity goodness. That's Alternate Brain today. This time Gordon snags a quotable QOTD from the LA Times' J. Peter Scobe…
McCain may know what he believes about the world, but the world bears little resemblance to his beliefs.

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Hate speech.

Literally. Via Fixer...
Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war.

"I hate the gooks," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."
It's my regular practice to call people out on hate speech. I don't use it, and I don't want to hear it. I confess to two exceptions - when veterans of the Pacific Campaign during WWII refer to 'Japs,' I tend to let it slide, and when combat vets of my war refer to the enemy they faced as "gooks," I'm similarly indulgent.

De-humanizing the enemy is a central component of military conditioning for combat. It's hard enough, even when your and your buddies' lives are at stake, to actually lock, load, identify your target, take aim and kill without reflecting that that target is, like you, a person. A person with a family, with hopes and fears, just doing what he is told, like you, and probably not understanding it much better than you.

Nope, that's impermissible thought in combat. And that de-humanization is powerful mojo. It gets you through the war and helps you cope with the memories of war and the changes war has wrought within you. I'm not going to call out a guy who's looked the enemy in the eye and opened fire.

Of course, I'm talking about private conversations with private citizens. John McCain is a United States Senator. He wants to be the President of the United States. His language, as he admits, is born of hatred. It's a hatred that I don't begrudge him, but language that his position, I think, obliges him to forgo. If I heard that John McCain, in private conversation, had referred to his captors as 'gooks,' I'd be inclined to take a pass on passing judgment. In fact, it's language that he has used repeatedly, in public, to the press, on the record.

We get it, Senator. You'll always You'll always consider your captors 'gooks.' You've got, in my opinion, the right. What you call them, on the other hand? Surely a modicum of self-restraint can't be to much to expect of a prospective chief executive.

No hate speech in the White House.

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The case of the incredible shrinking double digits.

Via Taegan Goddard...
Though most articles this morning say Sen. Hillary Clinton beat Sen. Barack Obama last night in Pennsylvania by 10 points, the official tally actually shows her margin at 8.6%.

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Songs were sung,,,

…pints of Ireland's fine brown brew were drunk and somewhere an election was held. Where It Stands sums it up...

Hillary apparently got her double-digit win, picking up a net ten delegates and closing the fabled "popular vote" margin by a couple hundred thousand. That leaves her about 150 delegates and a half a million votes behind. She reportedly raised $2.5 million dollars within 3 hours of the outcome being called, which sounds a little short of coverning the deficit she's run up. She'll need more. I doubt that political vendors will be extending any more credit to Clinton. Losers - and she's lost - pay cash.

All that, then, for 10 delegates. Less than 10% of the delegates she trails by, with precious few left to be had.

What have we learned? That white women of a certain age tend to prefer, when given the opportunity to vote for a white woman of similar vintage? That black folk, given the chance, tend to vote for black candidates? How many millions of dollars were spent, how much intra-Party blood splilled to learn what we already knew, lessons that likely have little to do with the final exam in November?

All that, then, for nothing.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Some results are in...

...and all kinds of spin is being spun. Me, I'm off to the perfect tavern to play folk music. We might know something about what actually happened when I get back.

Here's a chorus for all y'all...
Come back Woody Guthrie
Come back to us now
Take yer' eyes off paradise and rise again somehow
An' if you run into Jesus maybe he can help you out
Come back, Woody Guthrie, to us now...

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My Pennsylvania prediction.

At the end of the night, Clinton will trail by slightly fewer delegates than she does now. No matter how much she 'wins' by, though, she's lost.

Hillary Clinton entered the campaign selling the notion of inevitablity. She's Hillary Clinton, for jeebus sake. She lined up the machine, filled up the coffers and waited for the coronation. The problem seems to be that she consumed a bit too much of her own product. She has lost. She doesn't know it, can't beleive it.

I don't think the results will have anything to do with her decision to continue. If she was attuned to results, she'd have suspended her campaign after she lost Texas. (Yes, she lost Texas. This is a campaign for delegates.) I don't think even an outright Obama victory in PA would get her out. It's a shame, for several reasons, and an ill-service to her Party and its nominee, but it's her right.

There's another loser who continues, apparently, to campaign this year. Maybe Senator Clinton and Representative Paul should schedule a debate.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

And this?

Hamas is an enemy of Israel and it may be an enemy of the United States. But one doesn't make peace with one's friends. One makes peace with one's enemies. A lot of people don't understand that. And a lot of people don't understand that there's nothing wrong with at least attempting to foster dialogue. I applaud Jimmy Carter for trying.
Yep. Me too.

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Me too.

Matt Compton at The Democratic Strategist
From a progressive standpoint, I guess it is remarkable how much trouble John McCain has managed to get himself into without an opponent. But I'm looking forward to the day when I can see what the Democrats will do to this guy when they aren't so busy fighting each other.

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Fun with Google Analytics.

All y'all searching for..
"mccain is older than"

"older than mccain"
and even
"older than john mccain"
You'll find what you want right here.

Folks sure seem interested in John McCain's age.

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Maybe we're looking at it all wrong.

Maybe this didn't involve an accusation at all, but a moment of confession...
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the points Mrs. Edwards made in the Wall Street Journal, she said that your whole life, you had government health care. You were the son of a Naval officer, a Naval officer, now a member of Congress. And her point is, why shouldn’t every American be able to get the kind of health care that members of Congress get or members of the military get?

MCCAIN: It’s a cheap shot, but I did have a period of time where I didn’t have very good government health care. I had it from another government.
After all, invoking the "I was a prisoner" card to evade a central question in a debate that affects millions of Americans certainly is a cheap shot. McCain seems to see that "period of time" as an all purpose, unassailable "Get out of scrutiny free" card. It's relevant to his character, perhaps, but can't be used to cover every question on every issue. My health care, or, rather, the lack thereof is not a question of his character.

Your card's not honored here, Senator.

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Bonus random two.

The Manhattan Transfer's performance of Jon Hendrick's vocalese arrangement of "Four Brothers" just segued into Annie Ross singing "Twisted" with an organ trio.

Doesn't get much better than that.

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Good question…

…from Steve Benen.
Who’s been cheering on John McCain?
Maybe, just maybe, the campaign that's credited McCain with "...the experience necessary to be president, for passing the “commander-in-chief threshold,” for being a “moderate,” and even for being right about global warming."

Or maybe it's the candidate who has "...refrained from criticizing the Republican frontrunner John McCain."


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Darcy's right…

…about many things, including this
If ever there was a core government function that should not be contracted out, it is the right to use deadly force in our names.
One of Burner's finest qualities as a candidate is her consistent effort to match problems with solutions, and this is no exception...
H.R. 4102, the Stop Outsourcing Security Act, currently has 27 sponsors. The Senate equivalent, S. 2398, currently has 2 sponsors. I've listed them below. If your representative or senators aren't on these lists, it's probably time you asked them to be.
My own personal Congressman is on the list. If you're a Washingtonian outside the 7th, yours isn't.

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April 21 now...

...and more frozen water falling. Jeebus.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's April 20...

...and there's frozen water falling from the sky.

This is stupid.


And now...


Saturday, April 19, 2008


Senator Clinton...
“I don’t want to show up and give one of these whoop-de-do speeches and, you know, and just kind of get everybody whipped up," she said, "and those [of you who are for me] feel great and, you know, try to convince some of you to be for me.”
Why, I wonder? I mean, assuming a political candidate could make such a speech (and many can't), why wouldn't you want to to make your supporters feel great and convince others to come aboard? What else is a stump speech for, anyway? Or is every Clinton appearance supposed to be a policy address?

I know it's intended as a slap at Obama, reinforcing the "he's just a speech" meme, but in fact it's either just silly or a tacit admission that she can neither encourage her supporters nor attract support on the stump. Leaves me wondering why she would show up at all.

If that comment prompts a "Why?", then this observation certainly merits a "Why not?"...
Clinton refrained from criticizing the Republican frontrunner John McCain, and instead shared a story about their accommodations when they traveled overseas together.
I'll leave it to the Conspiracy theorists to sift the tea leaves for evidence of a new unity ticket.

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Under attack, al-Sadr threatens to start 'war'
Be afraid.

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Sad, really.

Take out the fallacious swipe at MoveOn, and it's even more pathetic on a very fundamental level. Just think about it...
"We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party."
A candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States, an honor which carries the corollary position of titular head of the Democratic Party, thinks the key to her lack of success is the participation of the "activist base of the Democratic Party." No wonder down-ticket candidates across the country, who don't raise millions upon millions of dollars and count on an energized base, are nervous about a Hillary Clinton nomination. The last time a Clinton led the Party, we lost the Congress, a bunch of governor's mansions and who knows how many state legislative seats. Would the next time be deja vu all over again?

(Still wonder which way most of those purple state uncommitted Congressmembers are going to throw their convention vote? There's a hint here.)

Of course, just because Hillary says the caucuses were flooded with dirty hippies doesn't mean it's so. In fact, the attendees at precinct caucuses tend to resemble the neighborhoods they're held in. All that record attendance? That doesn't come from the "activist base" of anything. If the Party's activist base was present at my own caucus, it would have been the four of us, out of 32, that had previously attended a caucus or Party meeting. The other 28? All first timers, folks who had never come out of the house to take a stand for a candidate in their lives (and they'd had chances. Average age was probably 50. No beards or Birkenstocks seen.). Some "activist base," huh?

The 'base' broke 3-1 for Hillary (including yours truly at the time). All those first timers, those brand spanking new Democrats, those middle-aged, working class folks who inhabit the 50 year old cement block tract houses around here? Broke big for Obama.

She doesn’t know who the Obama folks are, just who Mark Penn tells her they are. Heck, she doesn't even know who her own folks are, which is why she's lost some and will lose others.

And you start to get the sense that she just doesn't care about that.

Or you.

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When I say random...

...I mean something very much like this...
John Pizzarelli Trio - The Frim Fram Sauce
Earl Scruggs & The Foggy Mountain Boys - Salty Dog Blues
Elvis Costello - Alison
Lee Dorsey - Yes We Can Part 1
Vanilla Fudge - Shotgun
Diana Krall - Do It Again
Neko Case - If I'm Gonna Sink (I Might As Well Go To The Bottom)
Lyle Lovett - Church
Willie Nelson - The Red Headed Stranger
Mel Torme - Three Little Words

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Friday, April 18, 2008

John McCain is older than the Golden Gate Bridge…

…and Coke in a can. You might be surprised at what's Younger Than McCain.

Iceland? Wow.

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An encouraging word…

…from the presumptive nominee, via The Hotline
"I won't have this much restraint with the Republicans."

Barack Obama, responding to question of how he avoids getting “pummeled” as the Dem. nominee, NBC/National Journal, 4/17
Can't wait to see the general election Obama in action.

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Walk right through…

…the First Door On The Left for this week's selection of Len's favorite political cartoons. Given that I'm watching snow pile up in my yard on April 18, this one seems appropriate, if not exactly funny…

Yep. Snow. Started right after the hail stopped.

And, oh yeah, click the image for the glory of legible type.

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The National Institute for Strategic Studies...
"Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle."
That's not the dirty hippies, folks. That's the Pentagon.

Hat tip to Gordon.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quote of the day.

Senator Obama...
"Now, I don't blame Washington for this because that's just how Washington is. They like stirring up controversies and getting us to play gotcha games and getting us to attack each other. And I've got to say Sen. Clinton looked in her element."

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Put. The. Coffee. Down.

...or you're gonna need that towel.

Warned ya.

Tip of the 50 mission crush cap to The General.

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Hang on to your towel and…

Todd at The Blue State worries…
More than 10 million viewers tuned in to watch the Democratic debate last night, making it the most-watched debate this primary season. Throughout the verbal dual, Obama was constantly on the defensive. We will need to wait a few days to see whether polls indicate that viewers thought the questioning was unbalanced, or whether they thought Obama just did poorly.

Hopefully it was the former.
Hopefully, in fact, neither. 10 million viewers sounds like a lot, but it's still only one in 30 Americans. That's just not enough to move any properly constructed national poll. How many of those folks were in Pennsylvania might be a more interesting number, and doubtlessly closer to statistical significance. Same for other states and territories with impending primaries.

If there were millions of viewers, though, in New York, California, Ohio, etc., well, the immediate impact is considerably reduced.

For those of us who skipped the damned thing and are dependent on post-debate spin, the former seems to have it hands down, anyway.

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On Patriotism.

Who loves America? Jeremiah Wright loved it enough that while Dick Cheney was getting his string of five deferments, Wright voluntarily gave up his student deferment, left college and joined the United States Marine Corps. Wright was valedictorian of his class in Corpsman School. When asked about the sacrifices he'd made, Wright said he was inspired by the words of John Kennedy that he should "ask what he could do for his country."

And he did that at a time where there were many restaurants in this country that wouldn't serve him food, hotels where he could not get a room, neighborhoods where he could not hope to live, and whole states where he could not obtain justice. That, damn it, is how much Jeremiah Wright loves this country. What Stephanopoulos asked isn't fair, because there are very few people who have expressed their love for America as clearly as Reverend Wright, especially when America -- then and now -- rarely seems to appreciate their dedication.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beyond the Cascade Curtain…

Jimmy has an encouraging word from WA-4.
Pasco Democrat George Fearing out-raised U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco, during the first quarter in his bid to unseat the seven-term incumbent but still lagged far behind in overall fundraising and cash on hand. Fearing raised more than $38,000, bringing his campaign total to over $102,000. Fearing had about $36,000 on hand as of March 31.

Hastings raised almost $33,000 for his re-election campaign to bring his campaign total to over $272,000. He had about $227,000 on hand as of March 31.

Digging deeper, Jimmy reports that while all of Fearing's money came from individual donors, only nine individuals wrote reportable checks to Hastings, with $31k of his take coming from corporate PACs. It sounds like his COH bulge is based on a lot of maxed out PACs, with little grassroots interest in refilling the tank.

Fearing, on the other hand, has turned in the kind of performance that could attract the attention of labor PACs and Party committees that might otherwise overlook the race. The list of under-exposed challengers out-raiding entrenched incumbents is a short one, one George can be proud to be on.

This just might be the year we avenge Jay Inslee.

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There she goes again…

It's mind-boggling to contemplate how many millions of dollars Hillary Clinton has spent on people who put her name on stuff like this and think they can get away with it…
Clyde Thomas, who sports a goatee in the ad and says, “the good people of Pennsylvania deserve a lot better than what Barack Obama said,” is actually registered in New Jersey. He voted there for Clinton Feb. 5.
Not that earthshaking in a deep sense. Thomas has apparently moved to Pennsylvania since February and promises to be Pennsylvania voter by November. But he told the Clinton folks about his situation, and they put him in the ad anyway. When your candidate has a serious trust deficit with the American people going in, why go there?

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Good question.

For undecided 'Supers' from Kos...
Who do you think is more 'electable'? The candidate people like, or the candidate people don't like?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On the eastern edge…

…of the upper left, my friend Sharon Fisher is making her first financial pitch for her run for the Idaho State House. No online access yet, but here's the snail mail link...
Fisher for Idaho
450 E. Deer Flat Road
Kuna, ID 83634
This is a race where a five or ten dollar bill slipped into an envelope right now could make a significant impact. As Sharon explains… Idaho Legislative race costs on the order of $50,000, minor compared to what it costs in other major cities, and the incremental value of an additional Democratic seat in Idaho is *very* high -- with just one more Democratic Legislator, for example, the Democrats would gain an additional seat on the powerful Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, which sets budgets, as well as seats on other committees.
It's a way to maximize the rate of return on your political dollars this year. A very good way, for a very fine candidate.

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Via Horse's Ass we learn that Darcy Burner has raised $516,740 this quarter, pushing her total over $1 million and almost certainly swamping Brand W Dave Reichert once again. More impressively...
The vast bulk of Burner’s fundraising has come from individuals rather than PACs or political party committees – about $456,500 this quarter, or more than 88 percent of the total raised. Burner received 4,859 contributions from 4,416 individuals in the first quarter. Burner has received 11,615 contributions from 8,817 donors who have given over the course of the current campaign.
I have no idea what the record is, but I can't imagine there have been many Congressional campaigns, let alone challenger campaings, with nearly 9000 contributors 7 months out from an election. Yay for Darcy, and for all y'all, too.

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Big whoop.

John Aravosis...
Pennsylvania may give Hillary a 3 delegate bump. That's a 0.2% increase in her number of delegates, meaning that rather than losing to Obama by 143 delegates, she'll be losing to Obama by 140. Yep, it's going to change EVERYTHING. Stay tuned.
That's the cliffhanger outcome we've been waiting for?

It's over. Really. Nothing left to do but damage.

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Since you asked.

Jane Hamsher
Can we just dispense with the charade that Joe Lieberman is doing any of this because he's a man of principle who will back the best candidate, regardless of party, as he maintains?
Since you asked, yes, we can.

For some time now, actually.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Good questions…

…from Switzerblog.
This is what our public discourse has become? That speaking the obvious, plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face truth requires an immediate two-week long attack? That the media not only willingly joins in on this parade of lunacy, but drives it even after both campaigns have moved on? Is the truth so dangerous and hurtful that we're unable to hear it without being offended?
The answers? Probably not so good. Probably yes.

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Worth repeating.

Robert Reich
We’re heading into the worst economic crisis in a half century or more. Many of the Americans who have been getting nowhere for decades are in even deeper trouble. Large numbers of people in Pennsylvania and across the nation are losing their homes and losing their jobs, and the situation is likely to grow worse. Consumers are at the end of their ropes, fuel and food costs are skyrocketing, they can’t go deeper into debt, they can’t pay their bills. They aren’t buying, which means every business from the auto industry to housing to even giant GE is hurting. Which means they’ll begin laying off more people, and as they do, we will experience an even more dangerous downward spiral.

Bitter? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

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A shot of Crown, Hillary?

Sipping high priced imported spirits seems kind of, well, elitist, doesn't it? Must seem pretty patronizing to all those working class folks whose idea of a beer and a bump involves a shot of good old American well Bourbon, the label carefully tucked behind the bartender's sleeve.

Or maybe your preference for foreign elixirs reflects your lack of knowledge of the fine products of our own country's craft distilleries. Yep, that's it. You're just out of touch with America.

Hat tip to The Political Realm.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Quote of the day.

Senator Obama
"She knows better. Shame on her."
She should know better, at any rate.

And shame on her if she doesn't.

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The intertubes…

…are chockfull o' bloggity goodness today. Fixer on patriotism…
When I took my oath to defend my country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, I also took an oath to protect the Constitution, not the President of the United States. When the President sees the Constitution as "just another piece of paper", he receives no defense from me. That document is what separates us from monarchies and dictatorships. If our leaders don't take it seriously, they are not fit to lead.
Me, of course, too.

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Glenn Greenwald says...

Like most right-wing leaders, the life of John McCain is chock full of dishonorable, ugly behavior... His public life is filled with corruption, deceit, lobbyist dependency, and a complete lack of principle.
He's right, of course, and has examples. He says a lot of other stuff, too.

And the new book sounds like one of those must-read deals.

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From the "Lather, rinse, repeat" file.

There is no longer the shadow of a doubt that the torture of prisoners was planned at the highest levels of the US government with the explicit knowledge and approval of the president. How do we know this? Bush himself admitted it.

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And now...


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Not that there's ever a good one...

US GIs in Iraq suffer worst week of '08
"At least" 19 dead this week.

Some larger number maimed, disabled, disfigured or otherwise injured.


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Me too.

Steve Benen...
If I were advising the Obama campaign, I’d actually embrace the controversial quote. Of course folks in small towns are clinging to their guns; they’ve been led to believe the state is coming to take away their 2nd Amendment rights. Of course they cling to their faith; given the economic turmoil in their communities, they have to cling to institutions that give them strength and hope. Of course they’re bitter; while millionaires and wealthy corporations have been well represented in corridors of power for as long as they can remember, they’ve been working harder, making less, and feeling like they’ve been left behind.

That’s not an un-American sentiment. That’s not reflective of poor values. That’s not elitism. That’s reality.

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And again…

…a random ten.
Jefferson Airplane - Triad
The Beatles - I Want To Tell You
Phil Ochs - Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends
Carly Hennessy - You'll Never Meet God (If You Break My Heart)
David Gans - Return Of The Grievous Angel
Ray Wylie Hubbard - Without Love (We're Just Wastin' Time)
Otis Redding - Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
Pancho Sanchez - El Conguero
Harry Chapin - Better Place To Be
Elizabeth Cotton - Freight Train

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Obama, of course, is right.

Dylan, of course, said it better…
A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers' blood
A finger fired the trigger to his name
A handle hid out in the dark
A hand set the spark
Two eyes took the aim
Behind a man's brain
But he can't be blamed
He's only a pawn in their game.

A South politician preaches to the poor white man
"You got more than blacks, don't complain
You're better than them, you been born with white skin" they explain
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.

The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
And the marshals and cops get the same
But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool
He's taught in his school
From the start by the rule
That the laws are with him
To protect his white skin
To keep up his hate
So he never thinks straight
'Bout the shape that he's in
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.

From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks
And the hoof beats pound in his brain
And he's taught how to walk in a pack
Shoot in the back
With his fist in a clinch
To hang and to lynch
To hide 'neath the hood
To kill with no pain
Like a dog on a chain
He ain't got no name
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.

Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
They lowered him down as a king
But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
That fired the gun
He'll see by his grave
On the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain:
Only a pawn in their game.
Ya'll really think the game is over? They've adopted new targets for resentment as the old ones start to wear thin, but the game's the same.

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Warning sign for McSame?

PRINCETON, NJ -- President George W. Bush's job approval rating has dropped to 28%, the lowest of his administration. Bush's approval is lower than that of any president since World War II, with the exceptions of Jimmy Carter (who had a low point of 28% in 1979), and Richard Nixon and Harry Truman, who suffered ratings in the low- to mid-20% range in the last years of their administrations.

No third term.

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Worth repeating.

Brent Budowsky at The Hill...
...there is a very clear pattern to the polling over the last three months almost without exception. When Hillary takes cheap shots at Obama, Obama remains nearly even to slightly ahead of Hillary, while both candidates lose to McCain.

When Hillary avoids the cheap shots, which to her credit she has been doing the last few days, the Obama lead over Hillary rises, but both Hillary and Obama defeat McCain.
Which is to say that it's not a matter of whether Clinton continues to campaign - which she has every right to do - but rather how she campaigns - where she tends, I fear to too often go wrong.

Budowsky predicts an early end. Here's hoping.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Good question.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)…
Why Let Contractors Defraud Us Overseas?
After all, it's not like there isn't a fortune to be made by defrauding us right here at home.

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates has signed deployment orders that will send U.S. military trainers to Pakistan this summer, CNN has learned.
And, you know, maybe a brigade or two to protect the trainers when it turns out the locals don't completely appreciate their sacrifice, and some air support, of course, for those brigades, and, well, a division to help stabilize the new government that suddenly exists and…

I think I've seen this movie.

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Have I mentioned lately…

…that I hate what they've done to my Army? Well, I do...
WASHINGTON -- U.S. soldiers are committing suicide at record levels, young officers are abandoning their military careers, and the heavy use of forces in Iraq has made it harder for the military to fight conflicts that could arise elsewhere.

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Since you asked…

Jake Tapper...
"We have created a parallel public financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign they can get on the Internet and finance it, and they will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally been reserved for the wealthy and the powerful," Obama said.

Do you buy it?
Since you asked, sure.

Of course, I'm hardly a public financing purist. I'm in favor of its most salutary effect, the dispersion of financial influence in politics, but thanks to new tools and technology, public financing is no longer the only, perhaps not the best, means to that end. Obama's success is an example, but only one. The Clinton campaign has raised more money, with more of it coming from small donors as she pushes on, than any Democrat in history, save Barack Obama. The Edwards campaign, too, raised millions in small donor donations. There's been a paradigm shift in political fundraising, one that might have been predictable to a degree when Obama made some earlier commitments to the principle of public financing, but hadn't been proven. Now, the proof is in the reports.

That "parallel public financing system" would be enhanced, I think, by the adoption of Taegan Goddard's suggestion...
For instance, Obama could easily turn a flip-flop story to his advantage by pledging to cap all campaign contributions at $250. Harnessing new voters, his popular brand and the Internet, he could promise to really build a people-based campaign. A million individuals could literally "max out" and feel like they have just as much influence as anyone else.
It's a notion reminiscent of Jerry Brown's 1992 campaign, when Brown adopted a self-imposed limit of $100, with an 800 number as the technological advance that made the campaign accessible to a flood of new contributors who would never have attended a fundraiser or a rally, who didn't appear on anyone's political mailing list. People who could sent $100, but the people who could only offer $20 or $50 felt more empowered as well, knowing that their contribution wasn't being dwarfed by the attendees at some $1000 a plate fat cat fundraiser, or by thousands from PACs and boardrooms. It's a notion whose time seems to have truly come. It's a challenge worth putting to McSame.

Yep, I buy it.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Army soldiers to see shorter war tours
Not short enough.

Not few enough, either.
Florida lawmakers pass "take your guns to work" law
Hmmm. I imagine an armed bartender could do pretty well, tips-wise...
Clinton, Obama skirmish over Iraq
Near as I can figure, she's mad because he hasn't stopped the war yet, even though he says he will. Of course, he didn't start it. Didn't even help.
A-Rod whiffs 4 times as Royals top Yanks
And they say I never report the good news.

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Monsters, alright.

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That trade deal with Colombia?

It's bad.
Colombia leads the world in the killing of labor activists.
Wow, leads the world. can it get any worse than that?

Last year, an average of six union activists were murdered per month. And until now, far too few of these crimes have been energetically prosecuted. Of the 2,100 labor murders recorded since 1991, there have been convictions in only 37 cases.
But it could be better...
Before Congress approves the Colombia trade agreement, the Uribe government must expand its investigative efforts, improve its conviction rate and send a clear message that this form of terrorism will no longer be tolerated.
Not in 90 days, though. Not nearly.

Happily, it's delayed, if not dead.

Sic 'em, Madam Speaker.

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Over 2 a day again…

...which brings us to…




Tuesday, April 08, 2008

As a matter of facts…

The Speaker's blog has got 'em again…

The Cost of Iraq War Broken Down
Second: $3,919
Minute: $235,160
Hour: $14.1 million
Day: $338.6 million
Week: $2.4 billion
Month: $10.3 billion
Year: $123.6 billion

[Congressional Research Service, 2/22/08]


From the "Interesting if not meaningful" file…

…a folder often stuffed to overfull lately, we draw karichisholm's Power Ranking of Uncommitted Superdelegates. My own personal Congressman leads the pack from the upper left, in a six-way tie for 28th most influential uncommitted PLEO. Pretty cool, huh? I guess.

By comparison, here's the local standings...
#28 Rep. Jim McDermott

#84 Rep. Rick Larsen

#100 Dwight Pelz (State Chair)

#163 Eileen Macoll (DNC)
#163 Ed Cote (DNC)
#163 Sharon Mast (DNC)
#163 David McDonald (DNC)
If it means anything, I suppose it's one more sign that Jim McDermott has a fair bit more clout - both Congressional and partisan - than some folks are willing to credit him with.

Interesting, anyway.

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A melancholy Heh™…

…but Heh™ just the same. Shorter Crocker, via Turkana...
The surge is working so well that we must keep it working forever.

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I hate it…

…when people have to apologize for being right. It seems, though, that they must, just as the truth must so often be repudiated.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

The facts…

…via The Gavel.
For the $339 million we spend in Iraq every day:

· 2,060 more Border Patrol agents could be hired to protect our borders for a year.

· 18,000 more students could receive Pell Grants to help them attend college for a year.

· 48,000 homeless veterans could be provided with a place to live for a year.

· 317,000 more kids could receive every recommended vaccination for a year.

· 955,000 families could get help with their energy bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for a year.

· Nearly 480,000 women, infants and children could receive nutritional help with the WIC program for a year.

· 2.6 million Americans without adequate health insurance could have access to medical and dental care at community health centers for a year.

· More than 100 local communities could make improvements to their drinking water with help from the Clean Water State
Revolving Fund for a year.

· 937 additional National Institutes of Health grants for research into diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes could be provided for a year.

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The judgment of history…

…or of a gaggle of historians, at any rate, is in…

"His administration has been the most reckless, dangerous, irresponsible, mendacious, arrogant, self-righteous, incompetent, and deeply corrupt one in all of American history.”

Hat tip to Gordon at Alternate Brain.

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That Kerry fella…

on McCain v. McCain.
"I think John McCain has taken positions in the course of trying to win the Republican nomination, whether it's the reversal and flip-flop on the intolerance with respect to Jerry Falwell and others, or whether it is the Bush tax cuts flip-flop, or whether it is this flip-flop now on the issue of Iraq, or whether it is, you know, global climate change, where he has not yet signed on to Joe Lieberman and John Warner's bill. There is a clear indication of a Nomination John McCain versus the Senator John McCain."
Even his friends don't recognize him now.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

And now...

Click image for a bit larger version


Saturday, April 05, 2008

From the "Be careful what you wish for" file.

She's correct, actually…if not exactly 'right'.
Clinton made it clear to North Dakota Democrats last night that she believes there is no such thing as a pledged delegate and highlighted that stubborn streak in her appeal for delegates to switch from Obama to her when the Democratic national party holds its nominating convention this August.
Of course, that line of argument might lead to this kind of result
While it's too early to have state-wide results from these LD caucuses, the data points from the 48th district and from the neighboring 45th are indicative: the February 9th statewide vote went just about 60/40 for Obama vs. Clinton, whereas today's results in those two district both came out at 73/27. That's a 26 point swing for Obama in the two months since the precinct caucuses.

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Good start...

Via DKos...
Mark Penn yesterday called his meeting with Colombia, a client of the firm he heads, a "error", and the Colombian government, in a statement from its embassy, calls the notion that its hired gun won't meet with it "unacceptable," and fires the firm.
But Change To Win is right, anyway. Clinton should fire him too. Should'a fired him long ago. Never should'a hired him in the first place.

Time to clean up the Democratic consulting corps. Dumping the union busters among 'em would be a good start.

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Definitely random.
Townes Van Zandt & Doug Sahm - Two Girls
That Dog In Egypt - Blood Red Moon
Nanci Griffith - Listen To The Radio
Steve Earle - State Trooper
Tower Of Power - What Is Hip
Dizzy Gillespie with Joe Carroll - Oh Lady Be Good
Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Chinese Rocks
The Crystals - Uptown
Arlo Guthrie - Dust Storm Disaster
Warren Zevon - Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

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Friday, April 04, 2008

It's not your imagination.

Or mine. It's happening. Via The Gavel
Facts on the Bush Economy:

· The number of Americans jobs has declined in each of the past 3 months by a total of 232,000.

· The unemployment rate increased to 5.1 percent – the highest level since Hurricane Katrina — in March.

· On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman said “A recession is possible… We’re slightly growing at the moment, but we think that there’s a chance that for the first half as a whole there might be a slight contraction.”

· Gas prices have reached a record $3.29 a gallon – 58 cents more than a year ago more than double in 2001—and recently oil prices hit an all-time record high of more than $110 per barrel.

· Since 2001, premiums for family health coverage have climbed 78 percent, with workers paying more than $3,200 per year. A record 47 million Americans are without health insurance.

· Since 2001, the real income of a typical family has fallen by nearly $1,000.

· Economic growth virtually stalled at the end of 2007 with consumer confidence at a 16-year low and consumer spending in February at the slowest in a year.
Buckle up.

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Every Friday…

...First Door On The Left rounds up a passel of the week's best political cartoons. It's always one of my favorite features in blogtopia (™ Skippy). Here's a favorite from this week's batch…

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Hard times…

Consumers fell behind on car, credit- card and home-equity loans at the highest level in 15 years, another sign the U.S. economy is slowing, according to the American Bankers Association's quarterly survey.
…just got a little harder for about 80,000 folks.

Is it January yet?

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Good news…

… from the BBC, via pal o' Upper Left Dr. Streak...
Daily caffeine "protects brain"
Heck, with news like that to share, I may have to upgrade Streak to BFF. I'm going to get to work on my "blood brain barrier" right now.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ad copy for PA…

…via The Hotline.
Barack Obama: I moved to Chicago to help workers whose lives were torn apart when steel plants like this one left town.

For decades, politicians have talked about protecting jobs. But the power of Washington lobbyists stops anything from changing.

I’m Barack Obama. I’m the only candidate who doesn’t take their money – and they won’t run my White House.

We’ll fix our trade laws.

End tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas. And give them to those who create jobs here – in America.

That’s why I approve this message.
And that's why I approve this candidate.

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From the "You just can't fool 'em anymore" file.

Hat tip to AMERICAblog.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

From the "Just Wrong" file.

Nothing in particular against Ms. Carey, but this is just wrong.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Today on the intertubes…

PolitickerWA has profiles of George Fearing, challenging Doc Hastings in WA-4 and Dr. Mark Mays, who's running against Cathy McMorris-Rogers in WA-5. Fearing, one of the original eight co-sponsors of the Darcy Burner inspired Responsible Plan, hit his $100K fundraising target on schedule last month. Mays is a first time candidate but hardly a newcomer to Democratic politics in eastern Washington.

These may seem like long shot races, but the last time the political climate was this favorable to Democrats, we ended up with both seats. Sounds like we've got candidates both eager and able to complete the hat trick with Darcy and take 'em back for a clean sweep in November.

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Vive Fáfnir! Vive Gibléts!

Long live Fafno-Gibletsian rule over the cosmos!
Welcome back Fafblog.

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