The President Stumps for GOP Congressman Dave Reichert, Democratic Challenger Profits--As President Bush paid a fundraising visit to Bellevue on August 27, three telling scenes unfolded. The first, and the most closely watched, took place inside the Bellevue Hyatt, where Bush was the big draw for a $1,000-a-plate (and $10,000-a-photo-with-the-president) event designed to fill up the campaign coffers of Republican Congressman Dave Reichert.
Those Bush protesters, who numbered in the hundreds on a warm Monday afternoon, created the last important scene from the president's visit. As Bush's motorcade whisked him into the Hyatt, the demonstrators held aloft signs celebrating the resignation that morning of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and called for the heads of Dick Cheney and Bush next. The dominant theme of the protest, however, was fury at the continuing cost of the Iraq war—a reminder to both Reichert and Burner, as if they needed another, that the coming campaign, like the last one, is probably going to revolve largely around a single, volatile issue that is unlikely to be resolved to anyone's satisfaction by next November.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
At the end of a perfect summer day in Iowa, it is almost possible to believe that John Edwards' presidential campaign is right on track. At stop after stop on his mid-August bus tour, the pretty small-town squares fill with voters who say they feel a strong attachment to the former Senator from North Carolina. They relate to his rural Southern style. They agree with his argument that Washington insiders have twisted the system to rip off people like them. They don't care how much he pays for his haircuts. And they plan to caucus for him.
"That's right," he concedes. Then he adds, optimistically, "But the differences between us are clear." That may be true in a union hall in Ottumwa at the end of a perfect summer day. But for much of the rest of the country, John Edwards hasn't yet managed to cast that spell.
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Rep. Adam Smith has been named chairman of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign in Washington state, Obama's campaign announced Thursday.Howie P.S.: I thought he already had this job. Wasn't Adam also in this role for John Kerry in 2004?
In a statement, Smith said that "Barack Obama is the right man for the job."
"We need a change from the divisive politics of the past few years," he said.
Smith will also advise the campaign on policy issues, including foreign policy and economic policy.
"U.S. Rep. Smith is a strong Democratic voice on foreign policy and works in Congress to help our nation fight the spread of terrorism," Obama said in a statement.
Smith is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of the House Armed Services terrorism subcommittee.
There's a lot of evidence that the American presence is in an of itself making things worse. McGovern's plan - apologize for the invasion, full withdrawal, no bases, no oil laws, and pay for a Muslim internnational peacekeeping force - seems to me to make the most sense. Bush/Cheney would never consider it, of course, but neither will any of the leading Dems, which is pretty damn discouraging.UPDATE: Howie Opinion--I think I'll put myself in with the Postman-Shue option. As dinazina commented to me:
What evidence does Baird have that Bush & Cheney (they are controlling everything, after all) will do ANYTHING decent, moral, or constructive for the people in Iraq?David Sirota seems to agree.
switzerblog (Evergreen Politics):
So I'll be the 38th blogger to weigh in on Brian Baird's "change of heart" concerning Iraq. Since voting for a bill containing a timetable for troop withdrawal, he's visited Iraq and decided he can no longer support such an idea. Truth be told, of course, his heart didn't have to go far; he was reluctant to vote for the withdrawal amendment in the first place. Our moral clarity is creating a moral vacuum around Iraq, and in the end may be the biggest moral failure of all.
Ellen Tauscher, just back from Iraq, essentially calls Baird naive and easily manipulated:
Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), who recently returned from Iraq as well, said his experience led him to believe the escalation should be sustained until next year. Asked to address Baird’s comments, Tauscher suggested he had become a victim of the “green zone fog”:I will tell you that when you get in the Green Zone, there is a physiological phenomenon I think called Green Zone fog. … It’s death by powerpoint. … It’s always that their argument is winning.
She added later, “It’s very, very easy to be influenced, from their point of view, that things are better.” She said they will “shape” facts to show gains being made. Meanwhile, the reality in Iraq is that there is a lot of sectarianism in the government, particularly at the Ministry of Interior. “The MOI is basically this sleeper cell organization of Shiite death squads,” she said.
Don't you sense a "night and day" difference with Rep. Ellen Tauscher? She's apparently decided that being a Lieberdem isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
As for Baird, if there are any credible, hungry Democrats in that district looking for a promotion, now might not be a bad time to consider their options.
A growing clamor among rank-and-file Democrats to halt President Bush's most controversial tactics in the fight against terrorism has exposed deep divisions within the party, with many Democrats angry that they cannot defeat even a weakened president on issues that they believe should be front and center. But political fear still hovers over any legislation that touches on the fight against terrorism, which, for Democrats, may be the new third rail of politics.
"We can do this, but you have to keep in mind Republicans care more about catching Democrats than catching terrorists," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. "They have spent years taking Roosevelt's notion that we have nothing to fear but fear itself and given us nothing but fear."
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
With former President Jimmy Carter by his side, Edwards visited Georgia Southwestern State University to discuss his vision for America and his plans to build One America. Edwards began his speech with an attack on Bush's request for more money to fund the surge in Iraq. Using his fingers to make quote marks while saying the word "surge," Edwards dismissed the idea as a good plan.
"I can say without equivocation,” Carter said, “that no one who is running for president has presented anywhere near as comprehensive and accurate a prediction of what our country ought to do in the field of environmental quality, in the field of healthcare for those who are not presently insured, for those who suffer from poverty and with a special attention to a subject he knows quite well, and that is the rural areas of America.”
Rep. John Conyers declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could not stop him from beginning impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee against a 'long list of people'in the Bush administration, although he did not make a firm commitment to begin proceedings.AdveHe told the activists he would not begin impeachment hearings because there is not enough support among Democrats, who control the House, for the move.
"I understand the politics of impeachment," Conyers said. "But we have something going on now that we've never had before."
The following video was posted online Wednesday.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
From time to time, those of us who are urgently and diligently working to "take our country back" are drawn to one of our own who needs our assistance. Susan Hu has been blogging on Kos, Booman Tribune and more recently on No Quarter for some years now, but her health issues call us to action today.Howie P.S.: Cross-posted on Daily Kos right now. Please rec!
Susan Hu's predicament is one of many caused by our nation's failure to provide health care for its citizens. Because she is one of "our own" netroots family, I am asking you to contribute what you can today to support Susan Hu and help her come back to the front lines of the blogosphere and realize her dreams of renewed health and strength. If we can raise $4,000 to keep her afloat until she comes back, we will be doing a lot for this member of OUR community. We can do this for Susan Hu. Go here now, go to "Send Money" and enter Susan's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Howie in Seattle.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Click on the thermometer!!!
Bush visited Dave Reichert in Bellevue today and they stopped traffic and blocked off roads for their private fund raiser. Here's a look back at the day in photos...
Hello (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)
Tanned (Joshua Trujillo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
En Route (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)
Introductions (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Good Buddies (AP Photo/Ken Lambert, Pool)
Esser Lurking (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Say Cheese! (REUTERS/Jim Young)
Bush as we see him (AP Photo/Ken Lambert, Pool)
Man of The People (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
The People (John Lok / The Seattle Times)
This report is being filed by Josh, who’s down in Vancouver. He couldn’t find WiFi in the trendy Uptown Village neighborhood. The Starbucks on the corner of Main was closed and the password at the friendly Ice Cream Renaissance didn’t work, although they let Josh hang out well after closing. He’ll provide a longer report tomorrow, but he phoned this in.To a person, everyone shook their head “no way,” including Doris Holmes, active member of the 18th district Democrats, who said, “He lied. He’s towing the Bush party line. I can’t believe he’s a Democrat.”
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement on the news of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation:
"It's about time that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned," said Dean. "From illegally firing US Attorneys to limiting voting rights to warrantless wiretapping, Alberto Gonzales' Justice Department has promoted a culture of lawlessness designed to serve the Bush White House's narrow political agenda, not the American people. Gonzales now joins a long list of Republican officials resigning under a cloud of scandal, but these resignations cannot purge the Bush Administration of its problems. The true problem rests with the Bush White House itself, which continues to put what's best for the Republican Party ahead of what's best for America."
'Domestic Surveillance Begins at Home,’ Former A.G. Says--Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned today, effective immediately, telling reporters that he wanted to spend more time eavesdropping on his family.
Mr. Gonzales, a champion of domestic surveillance and warrantless wiretaps while in office, said he was “totally stoked” about turning his prying eyes on his own family.
Dave Reichert's record of independence and bi-partisan leadership.
Please consider giving a bit to Darcy Burner. Apparently total online donations have rounded $75,000 and are heading towards the goal. Help make it happen.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
After three decades in Washington, Pete Rouse is a voice of experience for Sen. Barack Obama.---Sen. Barack Obama had hired Pete Rouse for just such a moment.
It was the fall of 2005, and the celebrated young senator -- still new to Capitol Hill but aware of his prospects for higher office -- was thinking about voting to confirm John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice. Talking with his aides, the Illinois Democrat expressed admiration for Roberts's intellect. Besides, Obama said, if he were president he wouldn't want his judicial nominees opposed simply on ideological grounds.
And then Rouse, his chief of staff, spoke up. This was no Harvard moot-court exercise, he said. If Obama voted for Roberts, Rouse told him, people would remind him of that every time the Supreme Court issued another conservative ruling, something that could cripple a future presidential run. Obama took it in. And when the roll was called, he voted no.Then again, even that may be a Rouse special. Durbin's chief of staff back when he was a congressman? Pete Rouse.
Campaign of Edwards, a Southerner, Sees an Advantage With White Men--BERLIN, N.H. -- When a woman in the crowd shouted a question about education testing here on Saturday, former senator John Edwards made a casual farming quip.Howie P.S.: My question for David "Mudcat" Saunders:
"You don't make a hog fatter by weighing it," he said, meaning that constantly testing children does not make them smarter.
The line was, Edwards acknowledged, borrowed from a friend. But it reflected a persistent subtext of the Edwards campaign: the argument that he is the sole Southern Democrat and cultural conservative in the Democratic presidential field, making him the only top-tier candidate in his party who can appeal easily to white men.
"I voted for Bush, but I kind of got disenchanted," Chess said. "I had thought maybe Barack, but I'm beginning to waver, and I like Edwards more. Definitely not Hillary."
Is the message of this story that Edwards is courting the "rural" and "older and white" voter with a "straight talk" approach? Or is there another subtext (unspoken) here? Please advise.