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Archive for August 7th, 2008

Insiders Suggest Obama’s Pick Not Coming Soon

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:41 am by HL

Insiders Suggest Obama’s Pick Not Coming Soon
Obama aides tell the Financial Times that “it is unlikely a running mate will be selected before the candidate returns from a week’s holiday in Hawaii, which starts this Friday. That leaves about 10 days until the start of the Democratic party convention in Denver.”

They also say it’s not likely to be leaked. “In addition to Michelle Obama, the candidate’s inner circle consists of just three people: David Axelrod, his senior strategist, David Plouffe, his campaign manager, and Robert Gibbs, a senior adviser. All three are intensely loyal and discreet Obama professionals.”

Nonetheless, the newspaper suggest Sen. Hillary Clinton “has made a comback” in recent days and may be on the short list.

Smith Maintains Edge in Oregon Senate Race
A new SurveyUSA poll in Oregon shows Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) fighting off rival Jeff Merkley’s (D) challenge, 49% to 37%.

Key findings: “Smith, considered by some to be vulnerable among the Republicans who must defend US Senate seats in 2008, leads today among both men and women, leads among the rich and poor, leads among the more educated and less uneducated, and leads in both the Portland area and the rest of the state. 9% of Republicans cross-over and vote Democrat. 3 times as many Demorats, 28%, cross-over and vote Republican. Independents split.”

CQ‘s backgrounder says the race Leans Republican.


McCain Surrogates Cannot Name One Energy Accomplishment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

McCain Surrogates Cannot Name One Energy Accomplishment
Twenty-six years in Congress, and neither Willard “I’m not a historian” Romney nor Carly “right-shoring” Fiorina can name one energy-related legislative accomplishment on energy for their candidate John McCain.

Twenty-six years in Congress, and neither Willard “I’m not a historian” Romney nor Carly “right-shoring” Fiorina can name one energy-related legislative accomplishment for their candidate John McCain.

Andrea Mitchell seems to see the wind blowing a new direction(Salon). Her previous Villager worship of McCain has soured into challenging his campaign at every turn. Perhaps Mrs Greenspan sees the Rachel Maddow fanmail piling up at letters@msnbc.com, phil.griffin@nbc.com, viewerservices@msnbc.com, countdown@msnbc.com.

{YouTube h/t Matt Ortega at The DNC Blog}



Hillary On BushCo “Crisis For Cronies” Program

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Hillary On BushCo “Crisis For Cronies” Program

Hillary Clinton writes today:

There appears to be no crisis, tragedy or disaster immune from exploitation under the Bush administration. The examples of the waste, fraud and abuse are legion — from KBR performing shoddy electrical work in Iraq that has resulted in the electrocution of our military personnel according to Pentagon and Congressional investigators, to the firing of an Army official who dared to refuse a $1 billion payout for questionable charges to the same company. In another scam, the Pentagon awarded a $300 million contract to AEY, Inc., a company run by a 22-year-old who fulfilled an ammunition deal in Afghanistan by supplying rotting Chinese-made munitions to our allies.

[More . . .]

But the fraud and waste are not limited to the war. In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, for example, FEMA awarded a contract worth more than $500 million for trailers to serve as temporary housing. The contractor, Gulf Stream, collected all of its money even though they knew at the time that its trailers were contaminated with formaldehyde.

While touting fiscal responsibility, President Bush and his administration have lined the pockets of political cronies like Halliburton and Blackwater. While calling for earmark reform, the president has allowed no-bid and questionable contracting throughout the federal government to dwarf earmark spending by a 10-to-1 ratio.

Read the whole thing.


Adjourned

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Adjourned
No provincial election law in Iraq.


Nasty Attack Ad Hits Jewish Dem Congressman For Visiting “Our Churches”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Nasty Attack Ad Hits Jewish Dem Congressman For Visiting “Our Churches”
This brutal new attack ad from House candidate Nikki Tinker, who is challenging liberal Tennessee Rep. Steven Cohen in tomorrow’s Democratic primary, just might be the nastiest, most race-baiting (and Jew-baiting) ad of the entire cycle: “While he’s in our…


Can someone explain the Chet Edwards boomlet for

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:36 am by HL


Can someone explain the Chet Edwards boomlet for me? That’s not a rhetorical question, or snark. He may be a great pick. I just need a little more background on this one….


Is Obama Underperforming?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Is Obama Underperforming?

Pundits from Bob Novak to Paul Krugman have argued that Sen. Barack Obama is underperforming because his lead of about 5 to 7 points lags behind how a “generic” Democrat fares in congressional election polls, leads ranging from 10 to 18 points.

But looking at the leads can be misleading.

Look at the levels of support
in generic congressional ballots:

AP-Ipsos
Dem: 53%
GOP: 35%

Research 2000
Dem: 51%
GOP: 37%

NBC/WSJ
Dem: 49%
GOP: 36%

Pew
Dem: 52%
GOP: 37%

ABC/W. Post
Dem: 53%
GOP: 38%

CNN
Dem: 54%
GOP: 44%

The generic Democratic candidate generally polls in the lower 50s, the generic Republican generally polls in the upper 30s, with a bunch of undecideds left over.

I would not expect the generic Democrat to pick up much more from that pool of undecideds, which probably contain a lot of disaffected conservatives and conservative-leaning independents sitting on their hands. (Democrats won 53.6% of the vote in 2006 when they took back the House, already a pretty strong number historically.)

Obama performs a little bit under that. The most recent polls from CNN, Pew and AP-Ipsos have him at 51%, 47% and 47%.

(A Zogby poll has Obama at 41%, slightly trailing McCain by 1, but that would appear to be an outlier, and one where McCain still languishes at 42%.)

But the difference between Obama’s high 40s and generic Dem’s low 50s is not as stark a gap as the contrast between a 6 point presidential lead to a (probably overstated) 15-point generic Dem congressional lead would appear to be.

Furthermore, does even that small gap speak to any flaws specific to Obama?

Nate Silver argues that Dem voter loyalty to presidential candidates has always been soft.

As the front-runner, Obama faces a daily barrage of attacks that a generic Democratic does not, swing doubt that keeps some folks on the fence. Anyone else in his place would also likely trail a generic placeholder by at least a similar amount.

And McCain is a candidate who has long polled well with independents, allowing him to outperform a generic Republican — also something that would be the case regardless of Dem nominee.

Meanwhile, McCain still can’t crack 45% in nearly every poll, and he’s caught in a bind: trying to consolidate the conservative base and appeal to independents at the same time.

Childish attacks against Obama can get McCain out of the 30s and into the 40s by consolidating conservatives, but they can’t get him the independents needed to get in spitting distance of 50%.

The bottom line is as it was: Obama is in a good position, but there remains a pool of undecideds around 10% of the electorate — many of whom are disengaged voters that won’t choose until late — that can’t be taken for granted.


Chris Matthews Senate run viable?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Chris Matthews Senate run viable?
Coming soon: A filibuster-proof Senate majority led by Stuart Smalley and a guy known to refer to Hillary Clinton as “the Al Sharpton of white people.” Wonderful…


Flashback: Seven years ago today, Bush received ?Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.? memo.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Flashback: Seven years ago today, Bush received ?Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.? memo.
Today marks seven years since the day President Bush received a President’s Daily Brief entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” (See the memo here.) At the time, Bush was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, TX and stayed on vacation the rest of August 2001. Here’s how the administration reacted, according to the […]

Today marks seven years since the day President Bush received a President’s Daily Brief entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” (See the memo here.) At the time, Bush was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, TX and stayed on vacation the rest of August 2001. Here’s how the administration reacted, according to the 9/11 Commission report:

buh34.jpg[President Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so. [p. 260]

We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States. DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 17 and participated in the PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period. [p. 262]

The day after he received the memo, “Bush seemed carefree as he spoke about the books he was reading, the work he was doing on his nearby ranch, his love of hot-weather jogging, his golf game and his 55th birthday,” the Washington Post noted. Today — 2,557 days later — Bin Laden still remains free and “determined to strike in U.S.”

Digg It!


Boehner and the Bunker Mentality As his troops

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 7th, 2008 4:32 am by HL



Boehner and the Bunker Mentality
As his troops forsake their August recess this week to raise Cain over gas prices, their No. 1 campaign issue, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has been home tending to his golf game and his fundraising.