Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When Old Things Become New Again: Nader Exploring a Possible 2008 Spoiler Candidacy

So Ralph Nader has launched an exploratory website that ironically asks “Which side are you on?” Right back at you Ralph.

Last time around Nader was backed by Koch’s rightwing think tank/corporate front group, Citizens for a Sound Economy (now FreedomWorks), so don’t be surprised this time when the billionaire-financed rightwing attack machine Freedom’s Watch backs him with their supposed $250 million dollar war chest. I’m just saying. CNN’s Abbi Tatton tells that Nader is saying that if he can “raise 10 million dollars and to rustle up enough lawyers to help him get ballot access, then he is definitely going to do this,” and we already know Ralph doesn’t have a conscience problem with getting his back scratched by republicans.

[Update] And if you thought I was hard on traitor-Nader. Check John Aravosis out.

John Edwards Bows Out.

John Edwards ends Presidential Bid 1-30-08
I'm sorry to see this. I've tried to remain impartial in my postings, but I guess I can say now that I was solidly in the Edwards camp even after it became apparent he wasn't getting the traction needed to compete, and was really looking forward to caucusing for him next week.

So, does this help Clinton or Obama more? Dick Morris says neither.

Monday, January 28, 2008

KS Gov Sebelius' Democratic Response to the SOTU

That's my Governor. Oh Yeah!

KS Gov Kathleen Sebelius
Transcript here.

Rumors are Gov. Sebelius going to endorse Barack Obama on "Tuesday or Wednesday." If so, I'm guessing it'll probably be Tuesday when Obama will be in Eldorado, Ks., "his grandparents' hometown."

Also, I know that it's putting the cart before the horse, but it's not surprising that there is further speculation that Sebelius may be lined up to become Obama's running-mate should he win the nod. We'll see. Obama's still got a steep hill to finish climbing with only a week before Super Tuesday. I do think that she would be a great choice for a number of reasons though. She's a two term red state Gov with a 64% approval rating who knows how to get the job done, and she aint afraid to go up against the big energy boys to do what's right.

I can see a few reasons to suspect Sebelius is aspiring, deservedly so imho, for bigger and better things. She's been making rounds outside the state for a while now. She's also featured in Feb's Vogue magazine (hence the pic), and conspiracy theorists will just love the fact that she attended a gathering of the Bilderberg Group, "a select group of international business leaders, diplomats, thinkers and statesmen," in Istanbul, Turkey last year. Just like Clinton and Bush!! Oh No! Get real. Alright, sorry about that, but I've already seen it on threads so I know it will only increase if she does move up the food chain, as she seems poised to do. Is her next stop going to be Cheney's place? Who knows? If so, I sure hope she consults a feng shui expert, exorcist, or something along those lines before she moves in to make it suitable living quarters for the undead, but I digress. I'd say it all adds up to one really classy lady with the smarts to match who's ready for whatever comes next, so it's no surprise the movers and shakers would want to hear from her.

[Update] Lest anyone think I'm way out there bringing up the whole Bilderberg thing the way I did, here's the KC Star reporting on yet another visit to the mysteriously elite Bilderberg group, this time in VA.:
Illuminati watch

For the second year in a row, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius attended a gathering of the Bilderberg Group. ...

AP: Obama Wins Backing of Kansas Governor

video - Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius Endorses Barack Obama

Bush, Rep Chris Shays, and the ol' SOTU Kiss of Death

The Bush - Rep Chris Shays SOTU kissSo, who's making the float this time?

[Update] Jane: What a lovely gift to the Jim Himes campaign.

[Late Update] It took Bush less than 20 min to put Rep Dingell (D-MI) to sleep.
Mitt Romney wants your grandma to mow his yard.
And, it may sound hard to believe, but Jenna Bush apparently got the clap from an orangutan. (h/t Wonkette)

Watching the SOTU tonight.

The Chimperor bears no cause
I'll probably have some video later. Maybe of Bush, I don't know, but definitely of KS Gov Kathleen Sebelius' Democratic response.

More Wars McCain!

Steve Benen:
A few weeks ago, John McCain raised a few eyebrows when he said he’s prepared to leave U.S. troops in Iraq for another century. Yesterday, he made matters worse, assuring voters that there are more wars on the way. ...
The man is CRAAAAAZY!

And a major hypocrite. Or both.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sen Barack Obama Wins SC Primary

It was a big night for Barack Obama. Here's his victory speech from Columbia South Carolina.

(transcript) Watch the second part here. And here's the vote breakdown from CNN and MSNBC.

Caroline Kennedy with her father, John F. KennedyBarack Obama also got an incredible endorsement from Caroline Kennedy in tomorrow's NYT:

A President Like My Father

OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama. [...]

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans. (read the whole thing)
Wow. Just. Wow.

It was a huge night for the Democratic Party too in a red state. As Sullivan points out from his readers:
In last week's SC GOP primary, McCain and Huckabee (the top 2 finishers), got 147,283 and 132,440 votes respectively. That's a total of 279,723. Obama just pulled down 291,000 by himself. Here's the data. [...]

This ... shows that George W Bush is a uniter after all: People are so fucking frustrated that even rednecks are willing to give a black guy a chance.
Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark. If the Democrats can bring almost 20% more voters total to the polls than the Republican Party in a solidly red state like SC then that spells really bad news for Republicans come Nov. With the flood of GOP incumbents retiring leaving 4 times as many GOP open seats in the House and the fact that 22 of the 34 Senate races this year are currently held by Republicans, the deck was already heavily stacked against them.

[Late update] Or rather, late Red State Update: Obama Beats Hillary In South Carolina

Friday, January 18, 2008

Early NH Primary Recounts Full of Errors

NH SoS primary recount full of errors so far (click on the pic to enlarge)

I can't see that it would swung the primary for Hillary as many of the conspiracies claim (this is just the first county reporting though so who knows what the rest of the results will bring), or altered the end result in any way, but just look at the recount totals being posted by the NH Secretary of State.

They are full of errors in most of the precincts/wards reporting so far. Maybe they are errors in these hand recounts. If so, how would you know? I doubt it but it was worth mentioning. I'm not positive whether/which some or all of Hillsborough county's precincts/wards' ballots were hand-counted for the official primary results or whether they were machine read. It's my understanding that some precincts/wards in NH hand-count the official results and others use Diebold's optical scan machines that read paper ballots, not the electronic touchscreens. It's not the bunch of undervotes in Manchester Ward 5 that worries me so much. Those could be a malfunctioning optical reader that has trouble reading the ballots. A serious problem indeed, but it doesn't seem nefarious or like it favored one candidate so much over another.

What worries me is all of the overvotes! (the numbers in blue) How exactly do the machines count votes more than once?

If you ask me, this isn't even close to good enough for any democracy.

* I moved the columns around to put the candidates side by side and added the plus/minus in blue/red respectively.

Bradblog has more

[LATE UPDATE] Partial Primary Recount Ends After Finding Few Errors
Results Don't Change Significantly For Candidates

And again: Bradblog has more (including an updated recount graphic like the one above by yours truly)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rep Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) Says More Corporate Tax Cuts OK Because People Like Working Longer Hours

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is proud people have to work two jobs
On the same day the House GOP unveiled their "Middle Class Job Protection Act" — which does nothing for the middle class (there goes that GOP doublespeak again). Instead, it reduces the corporate tax rate by 25 percent. ...


At a press conference today unveiling the stimulus proposal, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) justified the conservative plan to give tax breaks to corporations — instead of working Americans — by arguing that people actually like working long hours:
I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We’re the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs.
And this has been reason 84,257 why the Republican Party is destined to get their asses handed to them this Nov.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oh Well, Whatever

I was going to post my latest Billo post I put together for C&L but YouTube was being a pain and I'm not up to trying over and over to put the vid up there. Oh well, Whatever, you'll just have to wait like everyone else to see it if and when it gets put up tomorrow.

btw, have you seen Jimmy Carter's new Op-Ed yet?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Bradley Effect - The Barack Man's Burden?

As soon as the NH results started trickling in the explanations began as to how the polls could have been so wrong. Was it the voters reaction to the media’s coverage of a show of emotion from Hillary? Or could it have been those damn Diebold machines again?! On MSNBC, WaPo’s Eugene Robinson brought up one explanation that’s now being floated around: the Bradley Effect, in which people supposedly lied to pollsters about whether they would vote for a black candidate.

NBC’s political director Chuck Todd on the Bradley Effect and why it may have been an influence in New Hampshire primary and not in the Iowa caucus:

In Iowa - a very public caucus . In New Hampshire, you have a voting curtain. And the privacy of the vote versus not.

And Howard Fineman explained why he thinks that could be a problem for Obama if true:

It’s Barack Obama’s burden and blessing that he can’t really - I don’t think - talk about this a whole lot. His whole message is about bringing people together. He can’t start complaining about miscalculations in the polls.

Do note that there seems to be some reason to doubt that the Bradley Effect explains the outcome, especially considering the polls were actually right about Obama, they just didn’t account for the surge in votes for Hillary. Ezra wonders if it wasn’t the caucuses that did the discriminating.

Don’t look to me to postulate one way or another (I will say that Pam’s “Tweety Effect holds some appeal for me though). We’ll be hearing lots more about it in the days to come. I’m just enjoying the fact the polls lied so the pundits now have to eat crow and it’s starting to look like we might have an actual race on our hands where the voters and not the powers that be get to do the deciding. Who’d have thunk?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Iraq Blogger Major Andrew Olmsted Killed in Ambush

Major Andrew Olmsted 'From the Front Lines'
Just 2 months ago, following a three week absence from his blog due to a death in his family, Major Andrew Olmsted reassured his readers on his Rocky Mountain News blog that he was Not Dead Yet. Major Andrew Olmsted 'From the Front Lines' Sadly, Andrew will not be able to do so again this time (This news comes to us via hilzoy).

Final Post
"I am leaving this message for you because it appears I must leave sooner than I intended. I would have preferred to say this in person, but since I cannot, let me say it here."
G'Kar, Babylon 5

"Only the dead have seen the end of war."
This is an entry I would have preferred not to have published, but there are limits to what we can control in life, and apparently I have passed one of those limits. And so, like G'Kar, I must say here what I would much prefer to say in person. I want to thank hilzoy for putting it up for me. It's not easy asking anyone to do something for you in the event of your death, and it is a testament to her quality that she didn't hesitate to accept the charge. As with many bloggers, I have a disgustingly large ego, and so I just couldn't bear the thought of not being able to have the last word if the need arose. Perhaps I take that further than most, I don't know. I hope so. It's frightening to think there are many people as neurotic as I am in the world. In any case, since I won't get another chance to say what I think, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. Such as it is. ...(read on)
UPDATE: From the comments on his last post:
This is Maj Andrew Olmsted's mother-in-law. My Daughter, Amanda, Andy's wife, was notified today 1/3/08 that Andrew was killed today in Iraq when his team was ambushed.
I want to thank all you wonderful people who commented on Andy's blogs and wished him and his team. He will be missed by many. Thank you also for all your prayers. I'm sure Andy has a special place in Heaven.
Posted by Kathy on January 3, 2008 08:18 PM
Major Andrew Olmsted and Captain Thomas Casey were both killed when we were ambushed. They both displayed tremendous courage under fire. I am proud to have served with them. They will be greatly missed. We were all blessed to have known them. They will always be my brothers in arms.

Captain John Thompson
Nightmare 3
Posted by John Thompson on January 4, 2008 06:37 AM
I have no words to add. Tears - yes. Words - no.

AP: 3 soldiers die in Iraq, the 1st of '08

Huckabee, Obama Win In Iowa

Jackie and Dunlap give you their take:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

This Year's 'Golden Dukes' Award Winners and Other Noteworthy D*¢%heads

After poring for weeks over the list of nominees, Josh Marshall's first annual "Golden Dukes Awards" winners are finally here.

Watch for them soon to be featured on Bill Moyers Journal.

Also worth checking out are Bill Maher's 'D*¢%heads of the Year' (perhaps nsfw) for Rolling Stone magazine and I'm sure you won't want to miss TPM's Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials.

And a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours.