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Archive for July 16th, 2008

Udall Maintains Lead in Colorado Senate Race

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:42 am by HL

Udall Maintains Lead in Colorado Senate Race
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado shows Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) leading Bob Schaffer (R) by 9 points, 47% to 38%. 

After a year of polling that showed a very close race, this is the fourth poll in a row that has shown Udall with at least a 9 point lead.

Clinton Asks to Keep Campaign Donations
Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign “is sending out letters to donors asking permission to roll a $2,300 contribution to Clinton’s 2008 general election coffers to her 2012 senate election fund instead of offering a refund,” the New York Observer reports.


Ted Stevens Poetry Contest! Enter Early. Enter Often! Win the Admiration of Your Peers!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:41 am by HL

Ted Stevens Poetry Contest! Enter Early. Enter Often! Win the Admiration of Your Peers!
Ted Stevens was so weird, clueless, stuttering and – uh, even more weird – in his statement at that press conference, we need to have another poetry contest. Does he inspire you? We had Dickfest 27 months ago, what we need now is Tedfest. Or whatever it ends up being named in the next couple of days.

(Phillip blogs at Progressive Alaska, which is more than worth your while. Also joining us is Celtic Diva, who blogs at her Blue Oasis. Both blogs are worth a thorough read and the pictures at Diva’s are enough like BC to make me homesick—Ian)

Alaska’s very senior senator, Sen. Ted Stevens (R – the Toobz), through his addled defense of retroactive FISA immunity, torture, the Enron loophole, sneaky fisheries deals with campaign supporters, every Bush war proposal, loony immigration restrictions, ingenious new forms of corporate welfare and almost insane rants on the floor of the Senate, is unparalleled in recent Senate history – and histrionics. Not only that, he’s the only U.S. Senator to have had his house searched under Federal warrant, by the FBI. They searched William Jefferson’s ‘fridge, but they took Ted’s entire friggin’ wine cellar.

This has all happened since Ted created a lot of awesome art, by saying, “The internet is a series of tubes.” The talk on the floor of the Senate, in which he uttered those words that will go down in our history, probably helped create more internet art than any other speech in American politics. Name me another. The YouTube archive he inspired is the main repository. Thanks for the classics, Ted.

But there is another U.S. politician who probably created more art from one single event. And that art was created here, at firedoglake. It was when Dick Cheney shot his longtime friend in the face.

I was here, and saw it develop almost spontaneously, late one evening. A commenter wrote a snarky poem. It was answered. Again and again. It ended up becoming a poetry contest, called Dickfest, with judges and everything. There were prizes. I think first prize was lunch with Dick Cheney, and second was two lunches.

Ted Stevens was so weird, clueless, stuttering and – uh, even more weird – in his statement at that press conference, we need to have another poetry contest. Does he inspire you? We had Dickfest 27 months ago, what we need now is Tedfest. Or whatever it ends up being named in the next couple of days.

Or, you can take off on your own, on other things about Ted that have inspired you. Or have now inspired you to write. We do prefer snark to spite, even if you think he deserves the latter more.

We’ll be sending the results to Ted. We might even ask him to help judge the contest. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, who is Ted’s most likely opponent – Mark has to beat Alaska’s Muckraker of the Year, Ray Metcalfe, in the primary first – doesn’t know about the contest. But he probably will soon. Not only does he read firedoglake, he’s been on it twice now, at Blue America.

Mark will be speaking at Netroots Nation this coming Friday, on Energizing America: Setting an Agenda for Progress. I doubt Ted Stevens will be there…

Here are the rules:

There are four categories:
1) Verse
2) Haiku
3) YouTube
4) Open

Entries begin right now, and can also be entered tonight, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in the contest proper’s comments or during Late Night or Late Late Night Firedoglake.

Entries close Friday, July 18

Eliminations begin Saturday, July 19, and end Monday, July 21

Judging concludes Wednesday – Results announced Thursday

Prizes are open to suggestion

Go for it, pups!



Monday Night Open Thread

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Monday Night Open Thread

I've been out the past several hours. Did anything newsworthy happen?

This is an open thread.


Dare To Dream

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Dare To Dream
McCain’s ability to be on 15 sides of an issue which really only has 2 sides is quite astounding. I suppose that’s what his base in the mainstream media are talking about when they refer to his mavericky straight-talking action.

The actual problem with “flip-flopping” was forgotten at some point during Tim Russert’s tenure at Meet the Press, where even just changing your mind in response to new facts became a political sin, but surely McCain’s tendency to tell different audiences different thing would qualify as that or as that other sin supposedly loathed by journalists, “pandering.”


Naomi Klein: Bush Sees Crises in Fuel, Food, Housing and Banking as Chance to Exploit Us More

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Naomi Klein: Bush Sees Crises in Fuel, Food, Housing and Banking as Chance to Exploit Us More
People are desperate for solutions but instead they’re handed policies that don’t solve the crises, and are highly profitable for corporations.

Why I Don’t Flush
The toilet is the biggest water culprit in the home — gulping down nearly one third of your total water consumption.


Polls Show Close Races In North And South Carolina

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Polls Show Close Races In North And South Carolina
A new set of polls from the Carolinas show that both of these states could be close this Fall, despite the fact that neither has voted Democratic since Jimmy Carter was the South’s favorite son in 1976. The new North…


Let The Investigations Begin!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Let The Investigations Begin!
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) plans to investigate reports that a Homeland Security adviser was soliciting donations to the Bush presidential library fund in exchange for access to high-ranking government officials. Waxman sent a letter to Stephen Payne’s Houston office requesting…


New Yorker cover – Not Funny

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

New Yorker cover – Not Funny

I like to laugh as much or more than the next guy. I can laugh at myself and my candidate. Unfortunately, I think that the New Yorker has gone too far. Barack Obama and his supporters have fought hard to inform the American public that he is a Christian American. It shouldn’t matter what religion that Obama is but it does. That’s the reality of 2008. Racism and religion are touchy subjects and New Yorker’s satire isn’t funny. It is insulting.

Update: I didn’t even notice the American flag burning in the fire place. This is all kinds of wrong.

Update II: 13% of Americans still believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

C&L has an excellent summary of progressive blogs.


Bush: Financial system ‘basically sound’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Bush: Financial system ‘basically sound’
Bush: Financial system ‘basically sound’

Subpoena sought to ID bloggers
NY case highlights ‘uneasy intersection’ of bloggers and the law.


DHS And House Oversight Committee Open Investigations Into Payne?s Cash-For-Access Scandal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

DHS And House Oversight Committee Open Investigations Into Payne?s Cash-For-Access Scandal
Stephen Payne, a longtime Bush associate who was revealed to be selling access to top Bush administration officials in return for contributions to the Bush library, is now under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Payne currently serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. A spokesman for DHS called the revelations a […]

paynebushbrush.jpg Stephen Payne, a longtime Bush associate who was revealed to be selling access to top Bush administration officials in return for contributions to the Bush library, is now under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Payne currently serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. A spokesman for DHS called the revelations a “horribly unfortunate story” and said the Department is currently “looking into the facts.”

House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has initiated his own investigation. “If true, this raises serious concerns about the ways in which foreign interests might be secretly influencing large donations to the library,” Waxman wrote in a letter to Payne.

Additionally, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is urging the Justice Department to begin an “investigation into whether…Payne violated any criminal laws.” Yesterday, CREW explained the legal basis for a criminal investigation of Payne and his relationship with the White House:

Federal law prohibits public officials from directly or indirectly demanding, seeking, receiving, accepting, or agreeing to receive or accept anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act. If Mr. Payne was authorized by any member of the Bush administration to trade meetings with top level officials in return for financial contributions to the Bush library, those officials may have violated the bribery statute. Similarly, by offering to serve as a conduit to deliver contributions to the Bush library in exchange for meetings with administration officials, Mr. Payne may have violated federal law.

While Payne has admitted that his actions could be “perceived to be bribery,” he insists they are legal. Both Payne and the Bush administration deny that he had “top-level access” to the White House. Noting the six-figure sums Payne solicited, CREW executive director, Melanie Sloan said, “He wouldn’t get paid that way if he couldn’t deliver.”

The public record demonstrates clearly that Payne did, in fact, have “top-level access,” as he has been photographed on several occasions working and relaxing with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and foreign leaders, and has served Bush in a number of capacities on campaigns and in the executive branch. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, any “perceptions” of impropriety on the part of Payne and Bush administration officials could be up by giving the public access to the White House visitor logs.