Monday, March 31, 2008
Before I-872 the primary was a nominating process in which the Republican and Democratic Party's selected their candidates. By law, the major Party's (R's & D's) were required to use the primary to select their candidates, while the minor Party's used conventions to select their candidates.
Even though many voters loved it, the old blanket primary denied the constitutional right of free association to the members of the States Republican and Democratic Party's. The members of the major Party's were not allowed to select their own candidates. The blanket primary law said anyone, friend or foe, was entitled to vote on who the Party's candidates would be.
The Supreme Court ruled the blanket primary unconstitutional and that made Washington's "independent" voters mad. I guess those voters think constitutional rights are good only if they are the ones getting the benefit.
So we've ended up with, I-872, the top-two primary initiative and primaries are no longer about the political party's nominating process.
Now the primary, if it can still be correctly called a primary, is about limiting voters choices. No more picking from the candidates put forward by the various political party's. The general election ballot will have two and only two candidates for each position, all other candidates will be winnowed out.
Candidates will be trying to get voters attention during the summer; Official candidate filing is June 2 thru 6 and the top-two primary ballots go into the mail on August 1. Less than two month to campaign while most voters are busy with summer activities or maybe even away on vacation.
Who will be the real winners in this new winnowing process? Candidates who already have big-money connections; incumbents and candidates backed by special interests. They are the ones who'll be able to afford a summertime media blitz. New, more independent, candidates will be winnowed out before they ever have a chance to introduce themselves to most voters.
As usual, voter turnout will be lower for the primary and come November, many general election voters will be wondering why they have so few choices..
Friday, March 28, 2008
And he was right to oppose it. The Iraqi government has made no advances; Their performance has been so poor that no one even talks about them meeting benchmarks anymore.
Maliki's government has tried to us the surge and the ceasefire agreed to by Sadr as cover to arrest the leaders of the Mahdi Army, the militia's loyal to Sadr. That attempt by Maliki to consolidate power before provincial elections is spiralling downward toward all out civil war, with U.S. troops caught in the middle.
Credit where credit is due, Congressman Larsen saw that the surge wouldn't work.
But even now, some politicians can't figure it out.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Freed Alabama Ex-Governor Sees Politics in His Case
By ADAM NOSSITER
Published: March 29, 2008
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Former Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama, released from prison today on bond in a bribery case, said he was as convinced as ever that politics played a leading role in his prosecution.
In a telephone interview shortly after he walked out of a federal prison in Oakdale, La., Mr. Siegelman said there had been “abuse of power” in his case, and repeatedly cited the influence of Karl Rove, the former White House political director. full article
Judge orders jailed governor's releaseATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A federal appeals court Thursday ordered former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman released from prison on bond pending his appeal, saying he is not a flight risk and has shown his appeal will raise "substantial questions of law or fact."
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the ruling on the same day a House Judiciary Committee spokesman said the committee would ask that Siegelman be briefly released from prison in Louisiana so he can testify in its inquiry into selective prosecutions. "It's been a lot of work," said Hiram Eastland of Greenwood, Mississippi, lead counsel for Siegelman. "This is really huge, and we're gratified." He said he had not spoken to the former governor yet and wasn't sure if he knew of his impending release, which Eastland said would likely happen Thursday evening. Siegelman's appeal is pending before the 11th Circuit, Eastland said, adding it involves "profound issues that should concern every American, Republican or Democrat" regarding political expression through campaign contributions.
Court of Appeals Sets Governor Siegelman Free As Congress Calls Siegelman to Testify in Continued Probe of Political ProsecutionsToday was a news double-header for former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman. In an order issued by the Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Siegelman’s request to be set free pending his appeal was granted. The court noting that it had reviewed the decision of District Court Judge Mark Fuller for “clear error” and had considered legal issues de novo stated that:Siegelman has satisfied the criteria set out in the statute and has specifically met his burden of showing that his appeal raises substantial questions of law or fact.
Meanwhile in Washington, the House Judiciary Committee made clear that it was far from finished with its probe into allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the Siegelman case.
The Bear Stearns Welfare Program
Mike Papantonio of GoLeft TV and Air America's Ring of Fire talks about how the US government has become a crutch for big corporations seeking a bailout, while leaving millions of American citizens without enough money to even provide food for their
And of course when it comes to help for homeowners who face losing their homes: "White House resists pleas for mortgage bailout"
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Lawmakers from caucus states roiled over Clinton criticism
By Manu Raju (TheHill.com)
Democratic lawmakers from caucus states are agitated by the Clinton campaign’s attempts to dismiss Sen. Barack Obama’s (Ill.) victories in their home states.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and her campaign surrogates have tried to marginalize Obama’s caucus wins by saying the process is unfair because it limits participation. In a televised interview earlier this month, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell (D), a top Clinton supporter, went as far as to call the caucus process “undemocratic.” ...
... Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), an uncommitted superdelegate whose state and district were won by Obama, said the Clinton campaign’s attack on the caucus system is a “cause for concern” in evaluating her candidacy and one of a number of factors he’ll consider in making his endorsement.
He said his home state’s January caucuses “were one of the most democratic processes we’ve ever seen.” ...
... “The first thing I would say to any national leader, whoever they are, is, ‘Don’t boss around states and tell them how to select their delegates,’ ” said Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), who, like Braley, has not picked a candidate to support in the race. ... (full article)
Meanwhile... in an interview with Columbian Staff Writer Kathie Durbin, Senator Maria Cantwell stated:
... “I definitely don’t want the superdelegates to be the deciding factor,” she said.
The Democratic party should come together around the candidate with the most popular votes, the most states won and the most delegates, Cantwell said. The pledged delegate count will be the most important factor, she said, because that is the basis of the nominating process. ...
It seems pretty clear that Senator Clinton and her DLC elitist, authoritarian backers are driving away supporters by arguing that the nominating rules should be changed in the middle of the game so that she can be nominated without winning the nomination. Her attitude that she is entitled to be the nominee is revealing of a very undemocratic outlook. Hillary would do well to dump advisers like her cajun crap-meister James Carville and the other DLC weasels that surround her.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I hear everybody, those who call themselves Democrats, support Democrats in elections, are actually members of national, state, or local parties or not, pontificating about what “the Democrats” should do or how screwed up we are.
To be clear, I joined the party for the first time in my life in December 2004. Before, I voted Democratic (just voting is a D-grade according to Howard Dean) and usually voted. I had been to one caucus (not presidential nominating year) before 2004 and I am in my third quarter. Since then I have volunteered as a precinct committee officer, (since spring 2005 to now), currently serve as treasurer for my Legislative District organization and my county organization. I have worked on a campaign or issue every fall and served on the platform committee in 2006. I participate in my community to advance policies advocated by our platform. (local county platform)
Most of the work done to maintain our party is done by millions of volunteers, such as myself, and our financial support comes from our members. The way we promote candidates on all levels is put in place by our membership, who suit up and show up day in and day out. Many have served at local, state and national levels for many years and continue to do so. Are we perfect? No, we are human.
There is so much confusion these days and I believe much of the blame can be placed at the decision to use taxpayer funded elections to place presidential candidates for nomination before the voters. I will urge my party to maintain control of our nominating process and take it back where it has been given up. (still caucus, under assault, in my state.)
I am a huge fan of talk radio. Some talkers are truly heroes to me. And that is being said in the spirit of all the wonderful people who are working to take back our voice and our country. Many of us are new to our civic duty. We must all value our work and the work of others.
I certainly do not think everyone has to belong to or work within a party. I would only ask talkers to not assume you know how parties work. Some of us are in the fight of our lives, even within our own party, to keep our party out of the hands of corporatists. (media and otherwise) It makes it hard when people who don't know our process (trust me it is democratic and damn messy) speak as if they know.
Cheney On 4,000 Dead Americans: They Volunteered
March 24, 2008 01:49 PM
Wrapping up a nine-day overseas trip to Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney was asked, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, about the effect on the nation of today's grim milestone of at least 4,000 U.S. deaths over the five-year Iraq war.
Noting the burden placed on military families, the Vice President said the biggest burden is carried by President Bush, and reminded ABC news that the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan volunteered for duty.
and this little "brace yourself effie" moment.......what will this mean for those brave Americans in Iraq.......
Saudis Prepare for Nuclear Fallout from Iran
March 24, 2008 -
I think we can stop asking if Bush will attack Iran. This little gem was reported by the German news service DPA.
"The Saudi-based King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology has prepared a proposal that encapsulates the probabilities of leaking nuclear and radiation hazards in case of any unexpected nuclear attacks in Iran, the Okaz Saudi newspaper
said."Well, that little NIE report last fall was just a minor inconvenience. Bush and Cheney know that if they keep lying they get their way. They also know that the Democrats will do nothing. John Conyers swears that he really, really means it this time. He claims he will hold impeachment hearings if Bush attacks Iran. Puhleeze.
Spare us. The Democrats will do nothing and Bush knows it.I for one can't stomach being an accomplice to a war crime. Not enough people feel the same way, so many thousands of Iranians are about to die.
Hat tip to Chris Floyd.
ATTENTION CONGRESS: STOP THE MADNESS
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The Surge was supposed to give the Iraqi government breathing room to make progress, but Iraqi politicians have wasted the time... and the lives of Iraqi's and Americans.
U.S. death toll in Iraq conflict reaches 4,000
Four U.S. soldiers were killed by a bomb blast in southern Baghdad late
Sunday, raising the death toll for American forces since start of the war just
over five years ago to at least 4,000, according to the Pentagon.
On ABC's This Week this morning, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) defended his opposition to the surge last year, saying that, "We have lost over 900 dead Americans since the surge. Now if you want to dismiss that as 'success' that would be your interpretation."
Shelling Hits Green Zone; Scores Killed Elsewhere in Iraq
By Sholnn Freeman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 24, 2008; Page A09
BAGHDAD, March 23 -- Mortar and rocket attacks early Sunday pounded the Green Zone, the heavily fortified U.S.-Iraqi military complex, on a day in which at least 58 people were killed in violence across the country. ...
... The Green Zone shelling and the other attacks across Iraq marked an escalation of violence as the war has entered its sixth year. ...
Saturday, March 22, 2008
In an investigation carried out by GuardianFilms, they uncover how thousands of Iraqis employed at $10 a day by the US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to go on strike because they say they have been used by the 'Americans to do their dirty work' and haven't been paid
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Bush: Al Qaeda is in Iraq, stealing our oil
Published: Thursday March 20, 2008
I had a lot of fun at the White House Wednesday afternoon, and not because I made Dana Perino mad. In fact, I felt a little sorry for her today. It's not her fault that Bush's speechwriters put ludicrous statements into his speeches.It all started when I came across the following line in the President's Iraq War Birthday speech: "An emboldened al Qaeda with access to Iraq's oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations."
I almost started salivating
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
more to come later.....
kudos to the youth of Ferndale!!!!!!!
Peace Rally and Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the Iraq War (longer than World War II) at the Ferndale Riverwalk on Main Street at southwest end of the Nooksack River Bridge. Organized by Ferndale High School Students for the whole community.
Denny (sounds like Bob Dylan, awesome singer)
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
wake up america......
Frank James is asking the right questions.....
Rescue of Bear Stearns 'cowboys' questioneda little Bear Fact: on the welcome page....sounds like the cancer stage of unregulated capitalism to me....
by Frank James
President Bush said some very nice things about the Federal Reserve's rescue, once
removed, of Bear Stearns, the wobbly investment bank."... We've taken strong and decisive action," Bush said. "The Federal Reserve has moved quickly to bring order to financial markets. Secretary (Henry) Paulson is supportive of that action, as am I," said Bush, referring to the Treasury Secretary.
Not everyone is joining Bush in singing the Fed's praises. Some say the central bank's actions violate notions of fairness. Why is a large investment bank rescued while homeowners are left to the rough justice of foreclosure and bankruptcy?
This from Kurt Eggert
.......Why is a large investment bank rescued while homeowners are left to the rough justice of foreclosure and bankruptcy? ...........
........And that's what makes it bad. Bear Stearns gambled and lost. They took enormous risks with CDOs and such. When they made money, they kept it. Now they lose money, and they get a quasi-government bailout. That's wrong. The taxpayers should not have to pay for the lost wagers of some Wall Street cowboys. As for the "too big to fail" theory, if the Fed follows that, it will be spending countless trillions to bail out anybody and everybody in the subprime mess, and only encourage such reckless behavior in the future. "
Welcome to Bear Stearns.
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5th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq--
Wednesday, March 19th
3-6 pm, Downtown Ferndale, Peace Rally and Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the Iraq War (longer than World War II) at the Ferndale Riverwalk on Main Street at southwest end of the Nooksack River Bridge. Organized by Ferndale High School Students for the whole community. Make your own signs and/or some signs will be available. Speakers include Mayor Gary Jensen and Evan Knappenberger, Iraq War veteran. Music by local musicians!
Information: Amy Englesberg, 380-2238 or 305-4631.
Presentation of the plan is scheduled for 5:30PM ET today in the Palladium Room, Omni Shoreham Hotel, and will be live streamed at DarcyBurner.com
These are the 10 Democratic challengers who have initially signed on:
Darcy Burner (WA-08)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Eric Massa (NY-29)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Tom Perriello (VA-05)
George Fearing (WA-04)
Larry Byrnes (FL-14)
Steve Harrison (NY-13)
Sam Bennett (PA-15)
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Maj. General Paul D. Eaton (ret), the former Commanding General in Iraq discussing Darcy Burner's plan to responsibly end the war in Iraq.
Plan to End the War in Iraq to be released on Monday
The goal posts have been moved so many times that it's worth recalling that when President Bush called for a "surge" of troops in Iraq, the stated goal was to create the stability required for the Iraqi government to function effectively and begin the process of reconciliation. By that standard, General Petraeus conceded yesterday that the "surge" has failed. Petraeus informed the press that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the government's ability to provide basic public services. (Washington Post)
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The stop-gap tactic of "the Surge" had temporarily reduced violence in Iraq and suckered the mainstream media into reducing coverage of the occupation of Iraq.
Although there had been less violence to report, the root problems have not been fixed. Clear evidence that things aren't really better is the growing refugee crisis. Although the number of refugees is not growing, the 4.5 million Iraqi refugees are in increasingly desperate circumstances.
The Iraqi government is still dysfunctional. Bush's pet Generals still have only temporary tactics but no strategy to resolve the various conflicts going on within Iraq.
Bush and his McClone still babble on about fighting al Qaeda, but al Qaeda isn't in Iraq and never has been. That's right, al Qaeda isn't in Iraq! the group called 'al Qaeda in Iraq' isn't al Qaeda and has little or no connection to the original al Qaeda.
'al Qaeda in Iraq' operates only inside Iraq and exists only because U.S. Troops are occupying Iraq. They don't 'hate us for our freedom', they hate U.S. Troops because they are occupying Iraq.
The violence in Iraq is ramping up again. 'The Surge' was a sham. The occupation is a disaster. This disaster is the fault of those who give the orders, not the troops.
Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Thursday 13 February 2008
By Sahar Issa McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008
The daily Iraq violence report is compiled by McClatchy Newspapers Special Correspondents in Baghdad from police, military and medical reports. This is not a comprehensive list of all violence in Iraq, much of which goes unreported. It's posted without editing as transmitted to McClatchy's Washington Bureau.
5 civilians were wounded when an IED exploded near the local marketplace in al-Shurta al-Khamisa area at around 9 this morning.
Mortar rounds hit the Green Zone this morning at 11.15. No casualties were reported. The US Military do not generally comment on indirect fire.
An IED was successfully detonated under control in Oqba Bin Nafi' Square, Karrada, central Baghdad.
A car bomb, parked in al-Khayam Street, Bab al-Sharji, central Baghdad exploded killing at least 9 civilians and wounding 48 at 2 o'clock this afternoon.
3 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in 52 Street, Karrada; 1 in Washash and 1 in al-Shurta al-Khamisa.
Qasim al-Oqabi, a media assistant in al-Mowatin local newspaper, still a freshman in College of Journalism, was gunned down near the National Theater, central Baghdad by gunmen using a pistol with a silencer at around seven am, Thursday.
A roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy on Qanat Street, near al-Amin neighbourhood, east Baghdad at around 11 am today and no casualties were reported, said Iraqi Police. The US military have not confirmed the incident.
1 civilian was killed by gunmen near al-Farouq Mosque, central Baquba this morning.
Gunmen killed 3 Sahwa (Awakening Councils) members and kidnapped 4 from a location close to al-Hajaj village, 25 km to the north of Tikrit early this morning.
1 policeman killed and 2 Sahwa members injured by an attack by gunmen in west Tikrit this morning.
Gunmen attack a checkpoint manned by Support Forces of Baiji and kidnap 4 on the highway between Baiji and Tikrit at dawn today.
A suicide bomber detonated this afternoon in Zab district, west Kirkuk killing 3 civilians, injuring 7.
One civilian killed and 10 injured when a car bomb exploded on the highway between Kirkuk city and al-Rashad district, to the west of Kirkuk.
A Kurdish citizen, Mwaffaq Raheem Kereem was kidnapped this morning near Tuz Khormatu district, to the south of KIrkuk by gunmen. The kidnappers took Kereem and left his car on the side of the highway. District Police towed his car to Sulaiman Bek military garage for further investigation as to why this person was abducted.
3 IEDs were detonated under control by Iraqi Army in Tuz Khormatu district on the main route between Tuz and Baghdad.
3 Iraqi Army soldiers were injured when an IED exploded targeting their patrol in al-Farha village, Tuz Khormatu district, south Kirkuk at 8.10 this morning. Their vehicle was completely destroyed.
A body was found on the side of the route between Erbil city and Makhmoor district in Nineveh province. The body was found near Daybeka village, to the southwest of Erbil, it was the body of a 40 year old male and has not been identified yet.
2008 McClatchy Newspapers
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
John McCain boasts that he was crusading against excessive spending and legislative corruption when he helped block the Boeing-Air Force air tanker contract. But lobbyists in his campaign, including his finance chair, helped Airbus beat out Boeing last year for a $35 billion contract to build aerial refueling tanker planes. McCain is under scrutiny in this deal because he sent letters "urging the Defense Department, in evaluating the tanker bids, not to consider the potential effects of a separate United States-Airbus trade dispute." (Washington Post, New York Times)
For many years, John McCain has managed to project a public image as Mr. Clean, but it seems that's all been a front. His campaign is staffed by lobbyists and as it turns out, he has been working for them, not the other way 'round. HorsesAss.com has more details.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Girl in Clinton ad supports Obama
BONNEY LAKE, Wash. (AP) — Casey Knowles didn't much like a recent campaign commercial for Hillary Clinton — even though she's in it as a sleeping 8-year-old.
After all, she's about to turn 18 now and is a big supporter of Barack Obama.
"What I don't like about the ad is its fear-mongering," Knowles told ABC's "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" on Sunday. "I think it's a cheap hit to take. I really prefer Obama's message of looking forward to a bright future."
The well-known Clinton ad aired in Texas before last week's vote and implied a lack of experience on Obama's part. It showed an exterior of a Colonial-style home and old stock footage of Knowles sleeping in bed. A narrator describes a phone ringing in the White House: "It's 3 a.m. and your children are safely asleep. Who do you want
answering the phone?"
Clinton won the Texas primary by a 51-47 percent margin.
Knowles said she didn't see the ad until Jon Stewart lampooned it
Thursday on "The Daily Show." Her brother noticed it was her, and the family replayed the commercial on their digital recorder to be sure.
"They were parodying this ad, kind of poking fun at it," Knowles said. "My brother was like, 'Is that Casey?' And we just erupted. Sure enough, it's me."
The file footage was originally shot for a railroad company advertisement. The Clinton campaign bought it from Getty Images.
The little girl (Casey Knowles) in Hillary Clinton's red phone ad is all grown up now, thinks for herself and supports Barack Obama
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
White Noise - GOP Killing Floor
"McCain will make Cheney look like Gandhi" - Pat Buchanan / While the civilian economy is shrinking, the military sector is expanding. The Republicans, are pledged to an even bigger U.S. military. It’s good for business, if your part of the growing group of Americans whose livelihoods, and claim to some sort of social status, depend on the continuation of our foreign policy of perpetual war and civilian abuse. GOP KILLING FLOOR examines how Nixon’s ghost & ghoulies are ...
Thursday, March 06, 2008
The Rasmussen Reports website says:
"This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on February 28, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence."
I'm left wondering where Rasmussen got his numbers. Did all those "Likely Voters" live East of the Cascaded? What makes me so doubtful about Rasmussen's numbers is that a week before his survey, The Washington Poll did a survey that produced drastically different results:
Although Republicans continue to drone on about how bad they imagine things to be here in Washington State, I think most citizens have noticed that we are doing quite well in relation to other States. "Forbes’ annual survey ranked Washington state number five in the nation for business climate." "Fortune magazine rated Washington the fourth best state in which to start a business—specifically citing our “low taxes”." "The Pew-sponsored Government Performance Project (GPP) graded Washington state a B+. From the individual scores, Washington ranked as the third best state government, with only Utah and Virginia doing better."
While Republicans babble on about how over-taxed they imagine us to be, the fact is that our total state and local taxes here in Washington State are average. Our total state and local tax burden is 11.1% and the national average is 11%.
Over at HorsesAss.org, Darryl has written a very interesting analysis of the efficiency of Washington State governments. We get a lot of bang for our tax dollars.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Hillary's Inner Tracy Flick
Don't you just hate when some upstart comes along and threatens your best-laid plans? We were struck by how well one of Reese Witherspoon's monologues from the film Election fits the narrative of Campaign 2008.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Thom Hartmann - Air America Radio - is traveling to Darfur in the Sudan with other talk show hosts to bring "Sacks of Hope" and to provide awareness of the Sudanese Refugees March 10-18 2008
Thom will be doing his radio show from Darfur by Satellite Phone on March 14th
Donate $50 for each "Sack of Hope" to help out - here
we watched this at our movie night and our eyes were opened!!!........
(If you'd like to see an amazing documentary on Darfur, check out The Devil Came On Horseback)