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Archive for May 14th, 2008

Democrats Pick Up MS-1

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Democrats Pick Up MS-1
Democrats “appeared to regain control of north Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District” as Travis Childers (D) beat Greg Davis (R) in their special election runoff, the Clarion Ledger reports.

Childers victory means he will serve the final months of a term vacated by Roger Wicker. Wicker, a Republican, was appointed to the U.S. Senate after former Sen. Trent Lott resigned in December.

Democrats now have a 37 seat majority in the House of Representatives.

Democrats Look to Take MS-1
Democrats and Republicans “may be more focused on Mississippi tonight than on the West Virginia presidential primary,” CQ Politics reports. “After all, the primary’s outcome is already predicted, while the outcome of the Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District special election is much less certain.”

If Travis W. Childers (D) beats Greg Davis (R), “he would be the third Democrat in recent weeks to take over a Republican-held seat” in a special election.

Interestingly, the New York Times notes Republicans “in this mostly white and very conservative district are trying to make the vote more a referendum on Senator Barack Obama than on the candidates themselves.”

CQ has a good backgrounder on the MS-1 district.


McCain’s Cronies: Lobbyist Connections Come Home To Roost

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

McCain’s Cronies: Lobbyist Connections Come Home To Roost
Oh, look whose lobbyist crony connections have come home to roost. Welcome to the spotlight, Sen. McCain:

Campaign Money Watch has a new petition up:

John McCain’s campaign relies on well-heeled Washington lobbyists to run and raise money for his White House bid. In fact, he’s relying on at least 112 lobbyists as staff or fundraisers, including at least ten who represent brutal dictators, human rights abusers, and other unsavory foreign interests…

Oh, look whose lobbyist crony connections have come home to roost. Welcome to the spotlight, Sen. McCain:

Campaign Money Watch has a new petition up:

John McCain’s campaign relies on well-heeled Washington lobbyists to run and raise money for his White House bid. In fact, he’s relying on at least 112 lobbyists as staff or fundraisers, including at least ten who represent brutal dictators, human rights abusers, and other unsavory foreign interests.

They are calling on John McCain to fire three lobbyists in particular: Charlie Black (McCain’s senior counsel and spokesman), Tom Loeffler (McCain’s national co-chairman), and Peter Madigan (a leading fundraiser).

Senator McCain has previously stated, “I will demand that people serve their country first and the special interests second.” Yet, the three lobbyists listed above together have taken in a whopping $16 million to advocate on behalf of foreign governments, often from dictators like Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos, Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire, Nigeria’ Ibrahim Babangida, and Angolan rebel and “classical terrorist” Jonas Savimbi. They have also worked for the repressive regimes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

There is no separation between campaign work and lobbying in McCain’s world. Charlie Black has made lobbying calls from onboard John McCain’s campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express. Tom Loeffler, who set up high level meetings between Saudi Arabia and White House officials like Karl Rove and George Bush, has said he will continue to handle “all the work” for the lobbying firm he founded while working on the McCain campaign. Saudi Arabia has played a key role in fostering Islamic terrorism and has received over $40 billion in U.S. weapons over the last few years.

All this begs the question: Who do the people who run the McCain campaign really serve – the United States of America or their foreign paymasters?

Maverick, my ass. K Street old bosses of the GOP, meet the K Street new bosses of the GOP. Just like the George Bush years…now with more cronies!

You can sign the petition here. And more information here. Plus, Media Matters has this handy interactive chart of all of McCain’s lobbyist cronies. Sweet!

(YouTube from the fine folks at Brave New Films. Classic!)



Overnight Open Thread

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Overnight Open Thread

This may be our first overnight open thread but I'm blogged out and you all seem to have more to say.

Here's your place. Big Tent Democrat will probably be back in the morning for a W. Va. wrap up posts.

My final thoughts: Obama is likely to do as poorly in KY as he did in W. VA. Counting MI and FL votes (not delegates), she's going to either top Obama or get really close to him in the popular vote total.

As to what you can do, here's my suggestion: [more…]

If you live in a state that went for Hillary, check out the superdelegates from your state that are in Congress. Write them and tell them that since Hillary won in your state and she's the most electable in November, if they do not support her, you will take that into account in deciding whether to encourage someone else to run for his or her seat in the Democratic primary next time around.

And, if Obama is the nominee and loses in the general, you will hold them personally responsible because they should have known Hillary was the more electable and they did a disservice to Democrats everywhere by voting against the candidate that had the best chance of winning.

Tell them you will do your best to make sure the primary opponent campaigns against them using the argument that not only did he or she go against the will of the voters in your state, he or she made a bad judgment call. People who make bad judgments like that shouldn't be serving in Congress.

There's nothing these Senators and Congresspersons hate more than a contested primary. It distracts them, costs money and keeps them on edge. They care about getting re-elected more than anything else. That's your leverage. In my opinion.


VoteVets

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

VoteVets
TRex is right; VoteVets is a good place to send some dough, if you’re in the mood to do some good and can afford it.

They Make Videos
Winner of the MoveOn video contest; donate to air it here.

UPDATE: AP calling Mississippi special election for Dem, Childers. This is good news for Republicans.


The Terrifying Normalcy of Assaulting Women

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

The Terrifying Normalcy of Assaulting Women
In West Africa, the war against women doesn’t end just because grim wars between men finally do.

Is Who Becomes the Next President All That Matters?
In many ways, Mao was right: The occupant of the oval office is a paper tiger.


GOP House Candidate: “Sometimes A Leader Has To Step Forward” To Spread Abortion Story About Opponent

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

GOP House Candidate: “Sometimes A Leader Has To Step Forward” To Spread Abortion Story About Opponent
We’ve obtained a copy of the campaign e-mail sent out to a reported 60,000 people by House candidate Kevin Mannix (R-OR), in which he re-distributes a 2006 e-mail accusing his primary opponent Mike Erickson of impregnating a younger woman and…


Never Die!!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Never Die!!
Even with Hillary’s blow-out win in West Virginia and the amazing Democratic victory in Mississippi, for me tonight’s going to be about Terry McAuliffe’s tour de force moment when he turned projectile nonsense into something approaching the sublime ……


Past The Polarization

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Past The Polarization

It’s sad to see such racial polarization manifest in West Virginia, but the sadness is lessened by a number of factors:

1) Obama has won with plenty of white voters to date.

2) He leads Sen. McCain in almost every national poll taken this month, including a 7-point lead the most recent poll from ABC/W. Post.

Those leads would not exist if Democrats were significantly fractured. There remains great unity on the fundamental issues facing the country.

3) Republican attempts to win congressional races by using Obama and Rev. Wright as boogeyman keep failing.

4) We’re seeing how well Obama can handle various smears with little help from surrogates, while other leading Democrats legitimize and foster racial divisions, and he’s performed quite well under the circumstances.

He will likely beat McCain even with the current level of racism weighing Obama down. And maybe past comments will have lasting damage.

But when all Democrats are fully on board, furthering instead of undermining Obama’s consistent message of unity and common purpose, that will maximize the possibility for the big win needed to usher major change.


Foreign students get ominous warnings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

Foreign students get ominous warnings
Security official: ?I have determined that you pose a security threat.?

Richest member of Congress a Dem
Harman worth $409m; Sen. Clinton had fastest financial climb in years.


ThinkFast: May 13, 2008

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2008 4:31 am by HL

ThinkFast: May 13, 2008
A House Judiciary Committee deadline passed yesterday “with former White House adviser Karl Rove standing by his refusal to testify about allegations that he pushed the Justice Department to prosecute former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.” Rove instead sent a letter offering to respond to questions in writing, rather than testify publicly under oath. With the housing […]

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A House Judiciary Committee deadline passed yesterday “with former White House adviser Karl Rove standing by his refusal to testify about allegations that he pushed the Justice Department to prosecute former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.” Rove instead sent a letter offering to respond to questions in writing, rather than testify publicly under oath.

With the housing crisis and volatile markets slowing the economy, the Treasury Department reported yesterday that “corporate income-tax revenue over the first seven months of the fiscal year” was 14.7 percent “lower than during the same period a year earlier” while “the federal deficit ballooned to $152 billion, 88 [percent] higher than the same period last fiscal year.”

$0.109: the cost that the average gallon of gasoline increased in one week, up to $3.722, setting a fourth consecutive record.

The House and Senate are expected to defy the White House today and pass legislation that would require the administration to halt oil shipments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. “The strong bipartisan support represents a major shift for Republicans, who until now have generally followed the lead of President Bush.”

In order to “counter the Democratic push for change,” House Republicans have adopted a new message: “The Change You Deserve.” But “the change you deserve” is also the advertising slogan of Effexor XR, a drug used to treat depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in adults. (more…)