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Archive for June 10th, 2008

Video: Dennis Kucinich Introduces Articles of Impeachment Against Bush

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts), Videos on June 10th, 2008 11:33 am by HL

Why didn’t you fools vote for this guy? He’s the only one with balls to do this.


Pelosi Backs Emanuel for Obama’s Senate Seat

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Pelosi Backs Emanuel for Obama’s Senate Seat
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “is reported to be privately talking about Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the House Democratic Caucus chairman, as the next senator from Illinois if Sen. Barack Obama wins the presidential election,” according to Robert Novak.

“The same source said Pelosi indicated that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer would be her eventual successor as speaker, even though she opposed his election to the second-ranking leadership position. Emanuel has been widely mentioned as the speaker of the next decade.”

The Race to Solidify the Base
As they gear up their general election campaigns, the first goal for Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain is to shore up support among base voters — a task made more difficult by tough primary fights.

USA Today notes Obama “at last has won the endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the woman who came closer to the Democratic presidential nomination than any other. Now he has to win over her millions of female supporters.” The main reason: “Four years ago, women made up more than half the electorate.”

Meanwhile, one of McCain’s biggest challenges, according to the New York Times, is the “continued wariness toward him among evangelicals and other Christian conservatives, a critical voting bloc for Republicans that could stay home in the fall or at least be decidedly unenthusiastic in their efforts to get out the vote.”

But the Washington Post notes one complication for both campaigns: “McCain and Obama offer a rare combination of nominees able to poach on the other party’s turf. Both have proven appeal to independents. McCain will target disgruntled Clinton supporters; Obama will target disaffected Republicans. Women, Latinos and, especially, white working-class voters will find themselves courted intensely by the two campaigns.”


The Press Seems Unable To Hear Those Obama Dog Whistles

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

The Press Seems Unable To Hear Those Obama Dog Whistles
Yesterday the Los Angeles Times ran a story about Floyd Brown’s plans to use racially incendiary ads against Barack Obama in the upcoming campaign with the headline “Opening shot in the battle over crime.” Now, did you know that crime was going to be a major electoral issue this year? Me neither.

whistling.JPGYesterday the Los Angeles Times ran a story about Floyd Brown’s plans to use racially incendiary ads against Barack Obama in the upcoming campaign with the headline “Opening shot in the battle over crime.”

Now, did you know that crime was going to be a major electoral issue this year? Me neither. In fact, with violent crime rates continuing to reach record lows, the issue hasn’t exactly been burning up the front pages or the wires.

Of course, “crime” is also one of those code words for “black thuggery” that has been used by racists and white supremacists since the 1960s as a way of scaring insecure white men with guns and their insecure housewives.

Indeed, the LAT headline should have read “… in the battle over scary black people”. Its story was about the ads that Brown has already field-tested in North Carolina, as we noted at the time:

The new ad recounts the deaths of three Chicago residents in 2001 at the hands of criminal gangs. “That same year, a Chicago state senator named Barack Obama voted against expanding the death penalty for gang-related murders,” an ominous female narrator intones. “So the question is, can a man so weak in the war on gangs be trusted in the war on terror?”

The story does discuss the fact that Brown was responsible for the 1988 anti-Dukakis “Willie Horton” ad, which made the same sort of dog-whistle racial appeal, a well-known component of classic race-baiting. But you won’t find a word discussing the fact that these current ads are every bit as racially incendiary as the Horton ad, especially considering that Obama himself is a black man.

Neither, we might add, does the story mention that Brown’s outfit, ExposeObama, is being run by a scam artist with a long history of involvement with far-far right tax-fraud schemes.

This is, frankly, a disturbing trend. We know that Republicans are going to try to make race a major issue in the coming campaign, and we know that their favorite tactic is going to be engaging in dog-whistle politics that employ coded but clear racial appeals without being explicit about the matter. Indeed, they already have been warming up for awhile.

The only way that it will work, however, is if the press continues to pretend that it can’t hear the whistle — and that the people doing it are legitimate political operatives, when in fact they’re fringe nutcases who the GOP is letting do their dirty work, as always.

So far, they’re doing a splendid job of that.


$4.00 a Gallon and Rising

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

$4.00 a Gallon and Rising

Gas is $4.00 across the country. Driving to Aspen this weekend, I paid $4.27 a gallon. I knew better than to wait to refill until reaching Aspen, where everything costs more. Sure enough, one station in town was charging $4.65.

It's going to keep rising. I think we'll see $5.00 across the country in July. The New York Times says rural residents are being hit the hardest.

Across broad swaths of the South, Southwest and the upper Great Plains, the combination of low incomes, high gas prices and heavy dependence on pickup trucks and vans is putting an even tighter squeeze on family budgets.

Here in the Mississippi Delta, some farm workers are borrowing money from their bosses so they can fill their tanks and get to work. Some are switching jobs for shorter commutes. People are giving up meat so they can buy fuel. Gasoline theft is rising. And drivers are running out of gas more often, leaving their cars by the side of the road until they can scrape together gas money.

The Democrats need to reach out these rural voters on the gas issue. They make up 26% of the voting public. [More…]

A year ago, NPR reported on a poll saying the Republicans could no longer take rural voters for granted.

Three weeks ago, Rural Strategies reported McCain leads Obama by 9 points in the rural battleground states, although they preferred Obama to McCain on economic issues.

There aren't many needs more basic than food and fuel. Rural voters are a critical voting block in November. I really don't think they care about lobbyists and oil company profits — or mass transit or carpooling or electric bicycles — as much as they do about what they pay at the pump.


GI Bill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

GI Bill
Father of soldier awarded posthumous medal of honor thinks Bush should support GI Bill.

Just some focus group.


Will Obama’s Hopes Be Tied to ‘Angry White Women’?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Will Obama’s Hopes Be Tied to ‘Angry White Women’?
Obama can improve his chances of beating McCain in the general election if he makes inroads among non-college educated white women.


Gov. Kaine Commutes Sentence of Mentally Ill Man

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Gov. Kaine Commutes Sentence of Mentally Ill Man
Earlier tonight, Gov. Tim Kaine commuted the sentence of Percy Walton, the mentally ill and mentally retarded man who was scheduled to die tomorrow night. Percy Walton had killed three people, but has an IQ of 66 (70-80 is borderline), and is schizophrenic and shows no comprehension of what he has done, where he […]
—- link

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Powwow

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Powwow
TPM Election Central reports on the Obama team’s effort to woo Hillary’s biggest donors to a sit-down in mid-town Manhattan later this week….


Deep Bench

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Deep Bench

In 2004, I could plausibly do a “Veepstakes Handicapping” because the list of possibilities was limited.

Now, the list of plausible swing-state governors, respected Senators, intriguing fresh faces and elder statesmen in the Democratic party is so long, there’s no way to do it with any confidence.

It’s a sign of a deep bench, and a healthy party.


First Lady admires Hillary Clinton

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

First Lady admires Hillary Clinton
First lady Laura Bush said Monday she admired the “grit and strength” Hillary Rodham Clinton demonstrated in the Democratic Party’s long, hard-fought primaries, but said she would want to see a Republican woman as president. She also came to the defense of Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, who’s been harshly criticized by Republicans for saying last February in a Wisconsin campaign appearance that for the first time in her adult life she’s proud of the United States.

Gates hints at Cold War redux
Defense Sec: US nuke arsenal needs to compete with Russia’s stockpile.