"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Political Ticker Tape (Ed’s Notes)

The Impeachment Tool Box | Use It Before World War III

July 2008: Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment? Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there's plenty to put him on trial. 713,961 responses as of 29 July 2008, and 89% — 635,425 say yes. MSNBC

November 2005: If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, should Congress hold him accountable through impeachment? 52.7% say yes of 1,200 randomly selected adults nationwide, 10/29-11/02/2005, Zogby International Polling


By Ed. Dickau(Ed. Dickau)
Recent evidence includes Articles of Impeachment that will again be presented by Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich tomorrow. Vincent Bugliosi's new book "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" carefully lays out a case against ...
The Impeachment Hearing Room - http://theimpeachmenthearingroom.blogspot.com/

Top 10: Democrats Dominate Best-Funded Challengers


Democrats comprise nine of the 10 most cash-rich challengers to incumbents of the opposite party, which is one more reason they can be optimistic about November. Read More

One reason why Democrats are expected to make gains in the U.S. House in the November elections is they are fielding a number of well-financed challengers to Republican incumbents.

Democrats comprise nine of the 10 most cash-rich challengers to incumbents of the opposite party, according to a CQ Politics analysis of campaign finance reports that were recently filed with the Federal Election Commission. The large cash-on-hand totals posted by these Democrats are one sign party officials are hopeful of a number of seat takeovers in November.

The challenger candidate with the most cash-on-hand is Connecticut Democrat Jim Himes, a former investment banker who has $1.4 million on hand as July began to oppose Republican Rep. Christopher Shays . Himes is followed by Sandy Treadwell, a former New York Republican chairman who has $1.3 million in his account to challenge Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand .

Treadwell is the only Republican on this Top 10 list. If the list of opposite-party challengers with the most cash-on-hand is extended to 20 House candidates from 10, the partisan ratio becomes less lopsided, with 13 Democrats and 7 Republicans.

In some cases the Democratic challenger has even more cash-on-hand than the Republican incumbent. Darcy Burner, a Democrat from Washington state, reported having more to spend than Republican Rep. Dave Reichert , who narrowly beat Burner in 2006.

1. Jim Himes, Democrat, Connecticut’s 4th ($1.4 million). Himes is challenging 10-term Rep. Shays in a district that includes Bridgeport, Stamford and other southwestern Connecticut communities near New York City. Long the preferred candidate of Democratic officials in Washington and Connecticut, Himes faces a Aug. 12 primary with little-known Democrat Lee Whitnum that Himes should win easily and that shouldn’t require him to draw down his treasury too much. Shays has $1.7 million left in his campaign account. CQ Politics Race Rating: No Clear Favorite.

2. Sandy Treadwell, Republican, New York’s 20th ($1.3 million). Treadwell, a former New York Secretary of State, is the leading Republican candidate against first-term Rep. Gillibrand, whose district along the eastern border of New York stretches from Lake Placid in the north to near Poughkeepsie in the south. Both Treadwell and Gillibrand have been among their respective party’s best-funded candidates throughout the two-year campaign cycle. Gillibrand, who has $2.8 million left to spend, is unopposed in the Sept. 9 primary election, while Treadwell is favored against two lesser-known Republicans. CQ Politics Race Rating: Leans Democratic.

3. Darcy Burner, Democrat, Washington’s 8th ($1.2 million). Burner, who was formerly employed by Microsoft, is taking on two-term Rep. Reichert ($916,000) in a suburban Seattle district in which she came within three percentage points of unseating the congressman in 2006. Burner’s challenge is one reason why Reichert is among the most vulnerable Republican incumbents; so too is the likelihood that his district will back Barack Obama over John McCain for president. CQ Politics Race Rating: No Clear Favorite.

4. Dan Seals, Democrat, Illinois’ 10th ($1.18 million). Seals, a business consultant, is waging a rematch campaign against four-term Republican Rep. Mark Steven Kirk , who won by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent that was closer than in his previous two re-election campaigns. Seals’ respectable showing spurred him to try again — and begin his rematch campaign at an earlier point in the campaign cycle. That helps explain why Seals is among the best-funded challenger candidates. But Kirk has been ramping up his fundraising, tallying $3.8 million in receipts since the beginning of 2007 and posting $2.9 million cash-on-hand as July began. The latter figure is the second-highest among House Republicans. CQ Politics Race Rating: Leans Republican.

5. Gary Peters, Democrat, Michigan’s 9th ($1.1 million). Peters, a former state senator, is taking on eight-term Republican Rep. Joe Knollenberg ($1.9 million) in a district that takes in eastern Oakland County suburbs near Detroit, like Farmington Hills, Troy and Rochester Hills. Peters is substantially better-funded than 2006 nominee Nancy Skinner, who raised and spent a little more than $400,000 in taking 46 percent of the vote against Knollenberg. Peters and Knollenberg, whose cash-on-hand totals are current as of July 16, are unopposed in the Aug. 5 primary. CQ Politics Race Rating: Leans Republican.

6. Raul Martinez, Democrat, Florida’s 21st ($1.08 million). Martinez is a former mayor of Hialeah, a south Florida city of 226,000 residents, most of whom live in the 21st. The Republican incumbent is Lincoln Diaz-Balart ($1.8 million), who has run without Democratic opposition in six of his eight elections. One of the exceptions was in 2006, when Diaz-Balart took 59.5 percent of the vote against a little-known Democrat. CQ Politics Race Rating: Leans Republican.

7. Michael Skelly, Democrat, Texas’ 7th ($1.05 million). Skelly, a wind energy executive, is taking on four-term Republican Rep. John Culberson in a district that takes in western Houston and some suburbs. Culberson won by more than 20 percentage points in 2006, but Skelly’s strong fundraising prompted CQ Politics recently to reclassify the Texas 7 race as “Republican Favored,” a more competitive category than the “Safe Republican” category that had previously applied to the race. To get an idea of how seriously Culberson is treating the race, consider that he raised $394,000 in this year’s second quarter and began July with $550,000 left to spend — compared to $99,000 he raised in the second quarter of 2006 and $156,000 he had on hand at this point two years ago. CQ Politics Race Rating: Republican Favored.

8. Kay Barnes, Democrat, Missouri’s 6th ($962,000). Barnes last year ended an eight-year tenure as mayor of Kansas City and segued to a campaign for Congress in a district that takes in part of that city and its suburbs and also substantial rural territory in northwestern Missouri. The race between Barnes and Republican Rep. Sam Graves ($936,000) promises to be the toughest re-election campaign for the congressman, who has taken more than 60 percent of the vote each of his three re-election campaigns. Their fundraising figures are current to July 16. CQ Politics Race Rating: Leans Republican.

9. Suzanne Kosmas, Democrat, Florida’s 24th ($936,000). Kosmas, a former state representative, is taking on three-term Republican Rep. Tom Feeney ($795,000) in a district that takes in some suburbs of Orlando and part of Florida’s “Space Coast.” Feeney is unopposed in the August 26 primary election, while Kosmas is favored against Clint Curtis, who took 42 percent of the vote as Feeney’s 2006 Democratic opponent. CQ Politics Race Rating: Leans Republican.

10. Mark Schauer, Democrat, Michigan’s 7th ($929,000). Schauer, a state senator, is opposing Republican Rep. Tim Walberg ($855,000), who was narrowly elected in 2006 to a south-central Michigan district that takes in Battle Creek and Jackson. Neither candidate is opposed in the Aug. 5 primary. CQ Politics Race Rating: Leans Republican.

WaPo looks at Obama hurdles in expanding black vote


With a Macon, GA, byline the story finds some daunting challenges:

If 95 percent of black voters support Obama in November, in line with a recent Washington Post-ABC News national poll, he can win Florida if he increases black turnout by 23 percent over 2004, assuming he performs at the same levels that Democratic candidate John F. Kerry did with other voters that year.

Obama can win Nevada if he increases black turnout by 8 percent. Ohio was so close in 2004 that if Obama wins 95 percent of the black vote, more than Kerry did, he will win the state without a single extra voter. But an increase in overall black turnout could help offset a poorer performance among other voters.

The push has also raised Democrats’ hopes of reclaiming Southern states with large black populations, such as Georgia and North Carolina, where low turnout among voters of all races has left much more untapped potential than in traditionally competitive states such as Ohio. Obama, who himself led a huge voter-registration drive in Chicago in 1992, has said he could compete in states such as Mississippi by increasing black turnout by 30 percent.

A Post analysis suggests it will take more than that to win across the South. If Obama matches Kerry’s performance among white voters and increases Democrats’ share of black voters to 95 percent, he will still need to increase black turnout in Georgia by 64 percent and in Mississippi by 51 percent to win. Virginia and North Carolina would be in closer reach, requiring increases of 30 and 36 percent, respectively.

The drive is unprecedented in scale and exemplifies Obama’s call for government that works “from the bottom up.” But as Bass’s efforts in Georgia show, the undertaking is laden with challenges, raising questions about the kind of return the campaign will get on its big investment of manpower.

I’ve been hyping the hope of an Obama win in Georgia — helped along by Bob Barr’s libertarian candidacy. The more I read the more I see just how much of a long-shot that would be:

Black turnout overall does not lag behind the national average by much, and Obama’s rise already inspired many blacks to get involved for the first time during the primaries.

That means that in seeking to further drive up black turnout, the campaign is in many places reaching out to a disconnected segment of the population that long ago gave up hope in politics.

For many of these disengaged people, racial solidarity with Obama does not automatically trump apathy or despair. Even if volunteers manage to get them registered, it will require intensive follow-up to make sure they know where to vote, have the necessary identification and then turn out.

Some unscientific numbers:

In three hours, Bass collected 20 registrations — a good haul. After a month, she and two other volunteers have collected more than 700.

In the area around Macon, an estimated 40,000 African Americans are eligible to vote but are not on the rolls, out of about 600,000 black people in the state who are eligible but unregistered. The campaign’s goal is to sign up at least 4,000 in Macon.

With months to go before the Oct. 6 registration deadline, there was an increase of 367 black registered voters in Macon’s congressional district in June, compared with 24 white voters. Statewide, the rate of registered African American voters is 28.1 percent, up from 27.2 percent in January.

Bass is aware of the hurdles ahead in turning the registrations into votes, though the campaign has signed up 300 Macon volunteers to assist with that.

Hm. Tough, but doable.

Is Pennsylvania Really Turning Blue?
Campaigns & Elections - USA
The major factor in Oxman's analysis is the immense voter registration efforts undertaken by both the Obama and Clinton campaigns in the month leading up to ...See all stories on this topic

Election coverage in Southwestern Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh

When Democrat Barack Obama was somewhere between Baghdad and Berlin last week, Republican John McCain was in a far less exotic locale: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Sticking to his favorite format-the town hall meeting-McCain made it clear that despite a vastly expanded Democratic registration advantage in the Keystone state, the GOP is buoyed by Obama's less than decisive lead in state polls.

"I predict to you that you will see commentators on television saying, 'Well, we're waiting to see what happens when Pennsylvania comes in' [on Election Night]," McCain told the crowd of about 1,500 supporters last week. "You've seen that movie before."

Most polls out of Pennsylvania show Obama with a single-digit lead in the state. "Obama's not wiping him out," says Franklin and Marshall College pollster G. Terry Madonna, who thinks McCain's image helps insulate him against Bush fatigue. "If this were a party against party election, it would be over. In my judgment, McCain is the best candidate the GOP could have nominated this year."

McCain has made three appearances in the state since the Democratic nominating contest ended in early June, while Obama has visited both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

One of the reasons Obama's not yet pulling way ahead of McCain statewide: He hasn't been able to expand his margins in those parts of the state that so solidly supported Hillary Clinton in April's primary.

A recent Quinnipiac poll had Obama beating McCain by 12 percentage points statewide, but showed sharp divisions by region. In the Northwest portion of the state, McCain bested Obama by a point, and in the central portion of the state the two are tied.

The major factor in Oxman's analysis is the immense voter registration efforts undertaken by both the Obama and Clinton campaigns in the month leading up to Pennsylvania's April primary. Two years ago, Democrats had a 550,000 voter advantage over Republicans. Now it's over a million. "This is an enormous turning point," Oxman says.

(12% is the “magic margin” necessary given the race factor pollster can’t really deal with up front)

If polls in SW Pennsylvania + S Ohio + Kentucky and Tennessee would give Obama a 12% edge the election would be over! (Ed.)

McCain gains on Obama in poll | http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-07-28-poll_N.htm





Poll Date Sample Obama (D)McCain (R)Spread RCP Average07/18 - 07/27--46.543.3Obama +3.2

USA Today/Gallup 07/25 - 07/27791 LV 45 49 McCain +4.0

Rasmussen Tracking 07/25 - 07/273000 LV 48 45 Obama +3.0

Gallup Tracking 07/25 - 07/272674 RV 48 40 Obama +8.0

Democracy Corps (D) 07/21 - 07/241004 LV 50 45 Obama +5.0

FOX News 07/22 - 07/23900 RV 41 40 Obama +1.0

NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 07/18 - 07/211003 RV 47 41 Obama +6.0





http://www.slate.com/id/2121614 (Cartoons)

Kaine in 'Serious' Talks With Obama (TWP)

Kaine for VP? Look at the fallout
Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond,VA,USA
Because he hasn't, assume that he -- unlike Mark Warner and Jim Webb -- is hot to trot with Barack Obama. A naif on diplomacy, defense and the national ...See all stories on this topic

Justice finds that Gonzales aides broke federal hiring laws
McClatchy Washington Bureau - Washington,DC,USA
But lying to Congress or federal investigators is a criminal offense, and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said the possibility of perjury ...See all stories on this topic

Attorney Gate Update: Hiring Laws Were Broken, Far and Wide
About - News & Issues - New York,NY,USA
On May 23, 2007, Goodling testified before the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary under to a grant of immunity. ...See all stories on this topic

Clean Up America in Three Easy Steps
Yahoo! News - USA
In response, I offer the Play-doh visage of Mr. Karl Rove, who refused to obey an order to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing. ...

It’s the people’s house ... and also Pelosi’s
The Hill - Washington,DC,USA
By Bob Cusack and Mike Soraghan House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stops mid-sentence as the C-SPAN screen that she’s had one eye on captures her full attention. ...See all stories on this topic (Don’t miss these Pee..Loosi Things!)

Who will help whom in November?
The Virginian-Pilot - Norfolk,VA,USA
I was squinting at a half-dozen royal blue signs urging passers-by to vote for Republican John McCain for president and Democrat Mark Warner for US Senate. ...See all stories on this topic

Rove's Answers Don't Satisfy Lawmakers

Despite Written Statements, Former White House Aide Still Wanted for Testimony on Alabama Gov's Case http://www.washingtonindependent.com/view/roves-answers-dont

The US Department of Media
By Brian(Brian)
The legislative and judicial branches have been eliminated. Or, rather, they are constantly and effectively being shut out of the government, in no small part by the Media Department. But "department," too, is not the right word if one ...
Brian 'C3' Hamby - http://c3hamby.blogspot.com/

I/I/I (Iran, Impeachment and Insanity) & Pelosi Pissings.
By Ed. Dickau(Ed. Dickau)
But today's hearing by the House Judiciary Committee -- billed as an inquiry to the Bush administration's use of executive power -- was ripe with opportunity for those who want to evict the president from office. ...
The Impeachment Hearing Room - http://theimpeachmenthearingroom.blogspot.com/

Bush. Cheney, Lieberman, McCain, Iran...WW III In The Balance.
By Ed. Dickau(Ed. Dickau)
At the annual meeting of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in Washington its leader, popular televangelist John Hagee, refrained from the kind of controversial comments that have led Senator John McCain to repudiate his endorsement. ...
The Impeachment Hearing Room - http://theimpeachmenthearingroom.blogspot.com/

Sen. Stevens indicted: 7 false statements counts | So Much For The "Bridge To No Where!