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Classified US military briefing says Iraq sharply moving towards "chaos"

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From today's New York Times, we learn that the US military is watching Iraq slide towards chaos -- and they have the visual to prove it:
The conclusions the Central Command has drawn from these trends are not encouraging, according to a copy of the slide that was obtained by The New York Times. The slide shows Iraq as moving sharply away from “peace,” an ideal on the far left side of the chart, to a point much closer to the right side of the spectrum, a red zone marked “chaos.” As depicted in the command’s chart, the needle has been moving steadily toward the far right of the chart.

An intelligence summary at the bottom of the slide reads “urban areas experiencing ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaigns to consolidate control” and “violence at all-time high, spreading geographically.” According to a Central Command official, the index on civil strife has been a staple of internal command briefings for most of this year. The analysis was prepared by the command’s intelligence directorate, which is overseen by Brig. Gen. John M. Custer.

Bush says Iraq isn't in a civil war. Bush says he listens to the military. Does chaos register with him? Chaos is the direct result of staying the course. Read the rest of this post...

Oh my God. New video of George Allen supporters assaulting questioner at press opp

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Go to this page and click on the video link. This guy didn't do a thing - they jumped him and threw him into a window.

This might be a direct link to the video. Read the rest of this post...

Another Republican House member reportedly likes to beat up women

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UPDATE: The NY Daily News has more on this, including the police report.

You really can't make this stuff up.
The wife of U.S. Rep. John Sweeney [R-NY] called police last December to complain her husband was ``knocking her around'' during a late-night argument at the couple's home, according to a document obtained last week by the Times Union.

The emergency call to a police dispatcher triggered a visit to the couple's residence by a state trooper from Clifton Park, who filed a domestic incident report after noting that the congressman had scratches on his face, the document states. No criminal charges were filed.

Gaia M. Sweeney, 36, told a trooper that her husband had grabbed her by the neck and was pushing her around the house, according to the document....

The alleged incident at the couple's home off Kinns Road took place at the end of a tumultuous year for Sweeney. Less than two weeks earlier, his son, John J. Sweeney, then 19, pleaded guilty to felony assault charges for his role in a fight that left another young man with skull factures and blurred vision. The younger Sweeney initially faced the prospect of spending up to 15 years in prison, but a plea deal gave him youthful offender status and a sentence that included four months of weekends in jail and community service.

Sweeney, 51, has blamed his political opponents for his son's prosecution on felony charges.
A skull fracture? And he thinks that isn't a felony? These men are simply out of control. More from the police:
``Complainant stated that she and husband got into verbal argument that turned a little physical by her being grabbed by the neck and pushed around the house,'' Gunsel wrote in the narrative portion of the blotter entry, according to the document. ``Suspect had scratches on face. Both parties refused medical attention. Complainant removed to friend's house for the evening ... refused any type of prosicution (sic) arrest.''
His opponent is Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand. Read the rest of this post...

My "Larry King Live" appearance yesterday

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Parts 1 and 2, it's 13 minutes in total, ugh.

Read the rest of this post...

Wash Post: Allen supporters shove, put into a chokehold and throw against a window man who asked Allen question at press conference

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Washington Post
A Democratic activist who verbally confronted U.S. Sen. George Allen (R) at a campaign rally in Charlottesville today was shoved, put into a chokehold and thrown against a window by three men wearing Allen stickers, according to a widely disseminated video of the incident.

W. Michael Stark, who identified himself in an e-mail after the incident as a law student, yelled a question at Allen about whether he had ever spit on his first wife, an unsubstantiated charge that has been circulating on liberal blogs on the Internet. Allen supporters hauled him away from the senator as television cameras rolled....

The event was caught on tape by a local television station, and was broadcast widely on CNN today. Within hours, the video was also uploaded to YouTube, a video-sharing Web site.

In the video, Stark can be seen being shoved back by several Allen supporters. A man puts a choke hold on Stark, who wiggles out and struggles. The man then wrestles Stark to the ground, knocking his head on a window.
You can see the video, and still photos of it, here. There's an even better video clip here. In this last clip, it's clear there was no provocation for the assault. Read the rest of this post...

Cliff exposes the ugly side of Lieberman

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Cliff Schechter takes an in-depth look at the real Joe Lieberman. Behind the sanctimonious persona lies a Senator who will do and say almost anything. It's not a pretty picture -- and Joe isn't a guy who should be Senator. Read the whole article titled, "Joe Lieberman's Endless Hypocrisy." But this excerpt gives the flavor:
It is this willingness to say or do whatever is necessary to hold on to his U.S. Senate seat, damn the consequences to what he claimed to believe last year or even last week, that makes Lieberman, a smarmy, power-hungry little yapping poodle of a politician, the perfect poster-boy for the amoral might-makes-right culture that currently animates our political system.

Ever since Lieberman defeated elder statesman Weicker in that 1988 race, largely by portraying him as weak on Communism -- along the way garnering the support of William F. Buckley and the McCarthy-loving National Review -- there hasn't been a single issue on which Lieberman has been willing to risk an unpopular position or maintain a modicum of consistency.

He would seemingly invade Cuba tomorrow, but charges forth into slave-labor trade deals with Communist China at the behest of his corporate paymasters (and at the expense of his constituents' jobs). He once marched with Martin Luther King Jr., yet now forebodingly and dishonestly refers to Al Sharpton as "one of Ned Lamont's closest advisors," hoping the mere mention of the controversial African-American preacher will summon white-suburban fears of unruly invading black hordes who crave white women and seek Rotary Club membership.

Sharpton's response? "I've given more advice to Joe Lieberman than I've given to Ned Lamont," he told Election Central's Greg Sargent.
Veterans, health care, the environment. Lieberman has dissed them all.

Worst of all, Joe has been a leader of the "Stay the Course" cheering section for his good friend, George Bush. Connecticut showed America they were willing to change the course when Joe lost in August. Now, they can change the course for sure when Joe loses in next week. Read the rest of this post...

Iraqi Prime Minister al Maliki demands US call off effort to find abducted American soldier, Bush agrees

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This is sickening:
Exploiting GOP vulnerability in the Nov. 7 elections, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki flexed his political muscle Tuesday and won U.S. agreement to lift military blockades on Sadr City and another Shiite enclave where an American soldier was abducted.

U.S. forces, who had set up the checkpoints in Baghdad last week as part of an unsuccessful search for the soldier, drove away in Humvees and armored personnel carriers at the 5 p.m. deadline set by al-Maliki. Iraqi troops, who had manned the checkpoints with the Americans, loaded coils of razor wire and red traffic cones onto pickup trucks.
So the Prime Minister of the country we "saved" said we can't look for our missing soldier. And, George Bush said "okay."

Seriously, could Iraq be any more of a disaster? And could George Bush be any more off course? He just left a US soldier to die. Read the rest of this post...

Latest on sexual assault allegations against Nevada GOP governor candidate

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Big surprise, he's a sitting Republican US congressman. Read the rest of this post...

Increasing numbers of American military officers want US to set a deadline for troop withdrawal in Iraq

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So much for the latest lie from George Bush and the Republicans about Iraq.

LA Times
Growing numbers of American military officers have begun to privately question a key tenet of U.S. strategy in Iraq — that setting a hard deadline for troop reductions would strengthen the insurgency and undermine efforts to create a stable state.
Had enough? Read the rest of this post...

Why George Allen's supporters (staff?) attacked a man today at a press conference

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Because the man, Mike Stark, a UVA law student and former US Marine, asked a question about a story that's been discussed for a while now, but the media has yet to report: Why Virginia Senator George Allen has sealed his divorce records and won't explain why there were warrants out for his arrest in the 1970s?

There have been rumors that the divorce records included details of Allen's treatment of his wife, including a rumor that Allen spit on his former wife. That is what Mike Stark's question was about - whether Allen did in fact spit on his former wife.

Do you think those divorce records and arrest warrants are news now? Read the rest of this post...

BREAKING: Virginia GOP Senator George Allen staffers tackle/assault man asking Allen question at event

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UPDATE: AP now has the story. CNN showed the video.

UPDATE: The man assaulted is Mike Stark, a first year law student at the University of Virginia. I have Mike's email contact info for any journalists who would like to speak with him. Email me.

And there's video. You really need to watch this video. The reporter says the man was simply asking questions that the Allen staff thought were rude. So they tackled the guy and threw him against a window. George Allen's sticker is clearly visible on the guy who grabbed the questioner in a headlock. According to NBC, when Allen was asked later about the assault he replied that stuff like this happens.

You are witnessing a multi-million dollar lawsuit, not to mention a crime.

Read the rest of this post...

Happy Halloween - watch it

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Read the rest of this post...

Latest AMERICAblog fundraising tallies

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Well, we're almost at $100,000 after 9 days or so of fundraising. That's damn good in any universe, let alone considering this is the first time we've tried to fundraise for candidates. You guys really came through, and I know the candidates appreciate it - several of them have contacted us in person. So thank you. We've intentionally picked races, for the most part, where your contributions, even a small contribution, will buy a lot of advertising and voter turnout efforts. Remember what Jill Derby (NV-02) said, she needs $50 a precinct for their "get out the vote" operation. Every little bit helps. Again, thank you.

Now, time for a little challenge. I've set some fundraising goals for each candidate (you'll find them in the chart below), some more ambitious (for candidates that I can tell you guys really like - like Duckworth, Wulsin, Paccione and Kleeb - and some less ambitious. Let's see if you can meet them. Please :-)

Use the links at the top of the blog, or in the left-hand column of the blog, to donate. And fyi, we lost the feed for the minute-by-minute updates as to fundraising totals, now you need to click on the "contribute" button to see the latest donation totals (don't worry, clicking "contribute" will not commit you to anything, it just links to the donor page). Read the rest of this post...

Arizona Senate race is tightening, Pederson is on the move

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The Arizona Senate race between Democrat Jim Pederson and incumbent Jon Kyl hasn't been garnering a lot of attention outside of Arizona. But the state-based media is reporting on a close race. Tight and tightening are the operative words in Arizona.

Today's headline in the Arizona Republic reads "Giuliani touts Kyl's experience in tight Senate race."

Also today, the Tuscon Citizen reported:
The U.S. Senate race has shown signs of tightening in recent weeks. Pederson spent much of the year 10 to 20 percentage points behind Kyl. Polls now show Pederson within 6 points - largely because Pima County has begun to warm to him, Merrill said.
Governor Janet Napolitano is way ahead. There are three key House races in the state, too. The Democrats in Arizona know how to do the ground game. I've heard (from someone who really knows) that the coordinated campaign is very impressive. One of the best around. They're hitting thousands of doors targeting the infrequent Democratic voters -- the people who don't vote in non-Presidential years. Those are the votes they really need to win this year.

Put the Arizona Senate race on your radar screen. Read the rest of this post...

Republicans on House intel get desperate

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There's a battle going on just beneath the pre-election radar that involves some of the issues you've read about recently on this blog, and it seems that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are trying to start a witch hunt against the Democratic staffers who have successfully fought back against some of the greatest idiocies of this past Congressional session.

After accusing a Democratic staffer of leaking the terrorism NIE that helped show the American public just how bad a strategic error Iraq continues to be, and revoking his clearance and smearing his name without a shred of evidence, House Republicans then announced a plan to investigate all Democratic intel staffers, including phone logs, email, and all other 'relevant' records. The staffer has signed a sworn affadavit that he had nothing to do with the leak, but in the face of such Republican perfidy, it's having little effect. These McCarthyist tactics -- and I don't use that description lightly, but this staffer was accused without any apparent evidence, on a political basis, and has been the target of physical threats and baseless vilification -- are yet another example of the shameful and harmful politicization of intelligence.

Republicans are afraid of the U.S. knowing just how badly they've governed, especially when it comes to Iraq, the war on terror, and the intelligence process. Their panic and retaliation in this case is a sure sign that they are willing to do ruin innocent, hard-working civil servants to cover up their failures of leadership and government.

Josh Marshall has an excellent wrap-up that includes (House Intel ranking member) Rep. Harman's response; America Abroad examines the timeline that appears to prove the innocence of the staffer. Read the rest of this post...

Menendez moving ahead in New Jersey

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Independent polls have Bob Menendez moving in to a solid lead in New Jersey.

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez held a 51-44 percent edge among likely voters over his GOP challenger, state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. However, that gap was within the sampling error.
Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez has a 49 - 44 percent likely voter lead over Republican State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr., according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Six percent remain undecided and 12 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind before Election Day.
The movement is in the right direction. New Jersey is a Democratic state, but the GOP brain trust thought they had a chance with Kean, Jr. Wrong. Read the rest of this post...

Key to redistricting, state legislative races show potential for Democratic pickups

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Those races further down the ticket have national implications. Today's NY Times examines what's happening in the state legislative races -- and why they matter:
Most significantly, the groundwork for redrawing Congressional districts after the 2010 census will be done under the 50 capitol domes, and the party in power will set the table for those discussions in ways favorable to its interests. Gains made this year, analysts say, will help give incumbents a leg up in the final elections leading up to the redistricting.

If the Democrats take control of a majority of the legislatures, which polls indicate could happen, women could also attain leadership positions in greater numbers, since Democratic women in state capitals outnumber Republican women by nearly two to one. The next generation of national political leaders, by tradition, is nurtured in the state legislatures.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) will be spending around $10 million this year to help Democrats in state legislative races. But, the GOP is spending double that amount. However, the Times predicts that the Democrats could "possibly gain[ ] control of a majority of state capitols for the first time in a decade."

In addition to redistricting, state legislatures do provide future Congressional leaders -- on both sides. Some of the biggest menaces in Congress, like Marilyn Musgrave, got their start in state legislatures. Beat the evil ones in their state races so we don't have to deal with them later on.

Show some love to your state legislative candidates and the DLCC. Those candidates are on the very front lines and often serve as the backbone of get-out-the-vote efforts. Read the rest of this post...

Tuesday Morning Open Thread

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One week left. Tony Snow is on the Today Show smiling and spinning away. The Bush White House sure loves Michael Steele in Maryland. Steele likes to pretend he doesn't love Bush back so much. But, Snow said he will be the Bush surrogate campaigning for Steele tomorrow.

New firewall state polls from CNN. In Missouri, McCaskill and Talent are tied at 49 among likely voters. In Tennessee, Corker is ahead of Ford 52 - 44 among likely voters. In Virginia, Webb leads Allen by a margin of 50 - 46 also among likely voters.

The issue is Iraq. Turnout is the key. Read the rest of this post...

Blair wants to just say "no"

View Comments | Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK an official inquiry into the Iraq fiasco. With all of the failures, lies and death it comes as no surprise that he wants to kill this inquiry but it looks like that might not happen.
Tony Blair faces the risk of a humiliating Commons defeat today over his refusal to allow a wide-ranging inquiry into the crisis in Iraq. The Tories, Liberal Democrats and as many as 40 Labour rebels are threatening to support a nationalist demand for a parliamentary examination of the war and its aftermath.

The suggestion of any investigation is being fiercely opposed by Downing Street, which argues that it would undermine the British forces and give succour to Iraqi insurgents.

David Cameron turned up the pressure on the Prime Minister by warning that the Tories were ready to vote against the Government unless it bowed to demands for an inquiry.
Imagine opposition. I am looking forward to seeing an opposition in a matter of weeks in the US. We are in desperate need of asking questions and forcing the administration to answer. I know that the GOP doesn't believe in asking questions but sweeping it all under the rug is no answer and no way to run a great country. Read the rest of this post...

More Iraqi troops? A good idea in theory, but in reality?

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I'm just back from the US, despite the best efforts of United Airlines to make a mess of my flight home. What a difference a few years makes, as I struggled to hear anyone say anything positive about either Bush or Iraq. A few years ago when I questioned the intelligence of invading, I was called anti-American, as if questioning the support of an invasion with no evidence was somehow anti-American. Now, even the most loyal Republicans that I met were overflowing with negativity towards the war and unflattering words for Bush. Even as I overhead conversations on the trains, I heard lots of complaints about the failures and incompetence of the administration.

What struck me as especially interesting (though depressing) was a conversation I had with a family member of a US soldier who served in Iraq. I think that I now see where the missing $800M has gone over there, or at least a chunk of it. This person told me that on patrols in Iraq when US (and Iraqi) soldiers encountered insurgents, they would be fighting against well trained people who were all too often geared up in American uniforms and weapons that were provided to the Iraqi army. How can we ask American troops to engage an enemy that is equipped by America? What a bizarre situation and it unfortunately highlights the failures of this administration and Congress to offer any oversight.

So now when I read that the US wants more Iraqi troops, I wonder where the hell they have been so far, what has taken them so long and can we afford to equip more of them only to see them pass on everything they have to the other side? Who hasn't had enough of this rubbish? Read the rest of this post...

Check out the kid, then check out the guy on the right

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Read the rest of this post...

Wash Post: "May take decades" for Iraqi security forces to be ready to take over for US troops

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The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., predicted last week that Iraqi security forces would be able to take control of the country in 12 to 18 months. But several days spent with American units training the Iraqi police illustrated why those soldiers on the ground believe it may take decades longer than Casey's assessment....

"I wouldn't let half of them feed my dog," 1st Lt. Floyd D. Estes Jr., a former head of the police transition team, said of the Iraqi police. "I just don't trust them."....

[Jon Moore, the deputy team chief] estimated it would take 30 to 40 years before the Iraqi police could function properly, perhaps longer if the militia infiltration and corruption continue to increase. His colleagues nodded.

"It's very, very slow-moving," Estes said.

"No," said Sgt. 1st Class William T. King Jr., another member of the team. "It's moving in reverse."
I'm sorry, did we say 18 months? We meant 40 years.

Had enough? Read the rest of this post...

Back from CNN

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I just got back from CNN, doing Larry King Live. Thanks for all the comments, I just read the thread below that Joe started. It didn't feel that great when I was there, so I appreciate hearing that it went well from your perspective. It was very strange, having 5 people on the panel, and most of us in different cities. I find that a very confusing way to have a conversation. I also was hoping to talk more about specific races, like Kleeb in Nebraska, Derby in Nevada, Paccione in Colorado - races that show how badly things are going for the Republicans even in states and regions that are/were solidly Republican. Oh well.

I did have a fun time in the Green Room (the room they have you wait in before you go on). James Carville was there, so had a long talk with him about the races. The man is just plain funny, and smart as hell. He came in laughing and asked if I'd seen him on Wolf's show a minute before, right before 8pm. I told him no, sorry, I was getting a tour of the studio. Apparently Carville told Wolf "I came on here to talk about my children's book"!

I'm working on the video of the segment, maybe will get it up later tonight or tomorrow. Read the rest of this post...

Cook Report: "There is no ebb in the wave"

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NOTE FROM JOHN: Cook says Paccione and Kleeb are both gaining in the polls.

The Cook Political Report released a slew of new ratings changes today. All of them are headed in the right direction -- and they are in places where the GOP usually rules. Charlie Cook provided this update:
With the election just eight days away, there are no signs that this wave is abating. Barring a dramatic event, we are looking at the prospect of GOP losses in the House of at least 20 to 35 seats, possibly more, and at least four in the Senate, with five or six most likely.
Governor's rating changes:
AK Open Lean Republican to Toss Up

ID Open Lean Republican to Toss Up
Yes, Alaska and Idaho.

Now check out the House changes. There have been positive upgrades in some of the key races we've all been supporting. This is very encouraging:
AZ-05 Hayworth [Mitchell] Lean Republican to Toss Up

CA-11 Pombo [McNerney] Lean Republican to Toss Up

CO-04 Musgrave [Paccione] Lean Republican to Toss Up

CO-05 Open [Fawcett v. Lambron] Likely Republican to Lean Republican

IA-01 Open [Braley v. Whalen] Toss Up to Lean Democratic

KS-02 Ryun [Boyda] Likely Republican to Toss Up

MN-01 Gutknecht [Walz] Lean Republican to Toss Up

NE-03 Open [Kleeb v. Smith] Likely Republican to Lean Republican

NH-02 Bass [Hodes] Lean Republican to Toss Up

OH-02 Schmidt [Wulsin] Lean Republican to Toss Up

WY-AL Cubin [Trauner] Lean Republican to Toss Up

CA-50 Bilbray [Busby] Likely Republican to Lean Republican
One week from tomorrow. Do everything you can do between now and then to make the change happen. Read the rest of this post...

Open Thread

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John's on Larry King Live at around 9:30 pm Eastern time tonight. He's on a panel discussing the elections.

Should be good. Read the rest of this post...

Chicag Trib and Sun-Times both endorse Tammy Duckworth in suburban Chicago

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Wow. That's rather amazing that she got the endorsement of the Trib. Their editorial board is decidedly conservative, and let's not forget that this is/was Henry Hyde's district. Wow.

Here is Tammy's final ad:

(Hat tip, Election Central) Read the rest of this post...

Our message over the next week

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Arianna says:
This election is about the fact that Republicans have made us less safe and that Congressional oversight is critical to ensure that Bush and company, with their tragically misguided decisions on Iraq and homeland security, don't make us even less secure over the two years they have left. Period. End of message.
It's a good message. I'm going to try to use it tonight when I'm on Larry King Live at around 930pm Eastern or so :-) Read the rest of this post...

DCCC jumping into Nebraska 03, Scott Kleeb's race

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Markos is reporting that the DCCC (the Democratic organization that helps elect Dems to the US House) will be dropping new ads, money, and other support in a number of additional races, including Scott Kleeb's race in Nebraska 03, and a number of other races that we've been pushing the past week.

Among the races we've been talking about, and fundraising for, that the DCCC is now going to be offering more help:

WA 05: Peter Goldmark
MN 01: Tim Walz
NY 25: Dan Maffei
IL 10: Dan Seals
NV 02: Jill Derby
NE 03: Scott Kleeb
KS 02: Nancy Boyda

Excellent, Smithers. Read the rest of this post...

District Attorney re-opens investigation of assault charge against GOP Congressman/Candidate for Governor Jim Gibbons

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AP reports some big news -- that spells big trouble for the GOP -- in Nevada:
The district attorney said Monday that authorities have reopened their investigation into a cocktail waitress' claim that a Republican congressman running for governor assaulted her in a parking garage after a night of drinking.

District Attorney David Roger said the case involving Rep. Jim Gibbons - which had been closed after the woman, Chrissy Mazzeo, dropped charges - is under investigation again.
This case has had many twists and turns. The latest involves the appearance of previously missing surveillance tapes. That was apparently the tipping point for Ms. Mazzeo. Read the rest of this post...

New poll shows Paccione ahead of Musgrave in Colorado

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Very interesting. While the poll didn't include the independent candidate, who has been polling as high as 10%, the same polling company did a survey in August that also didn't include the independent candidate. What they found is that Paccione was behind in August, and she's ahead now, which means the momentum is clearly on her side. And the local media is taking note.

This is perfect timing, one week before the election, for the public perception to be momentum in one candidate's favor.
The 4th Congressional District race has tightened considerably, according to a new independent poll, with Democrat Angie Paccione now showing a slight lead that’s within the survey’s margin of error....

A pervious poll by the same two companies – one that regularly polls for Democrats and the other for Republicans – showed Musgrave with a six-point lead in late August. That poll also didn’t include Eidsness....

[T]he National Republican Congressional Committee spent $19,000 for two polls in the 4th Congressional District in October, according to Federal Election Commission records. While the NRCC didn’t make public the results of those polls, the committee spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on anti-Paccione ads immediately following both surveys, FEC records show.
The Republicans did a private poll, then freaked out. That tells you everything you need to know. We are on the verge of a possible landslide election nationwide.

Angie Paccione (CO-04): $

Read the rest of this post...

It's official, GOP is freaking out over House race in Nebraska

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From the Lincoln Journal Star:
It is obvious now. The late injection of national Republican money and TV ads into Nebraska’s 3rd District congressional race is confirmation the GOP fears it may be about to lose a “safe” House seat in eight days....

No one is sharing results from the Republican poll, but it’s clear they were sufficiently alarming for the GOP to send in the cavalry with TV ads attacking Kleeb.

One recent private poll in the district showed Kleeb moving into a narrow lead....

The Sidney Sun-Telegraph, which chose Pete Ricketts over Ben Nelson in the Senate race, endorsed Kleeb with this observation: “As we watched Kleeb speak at the Sidney Community Center, we could not help notice just how many Republicans came out to meet the Democratic candidate.”

We’ve got a race to the wire out there with a week to go.

Kleeb on horseback in TV ads; Smith riding an elephant.
Scott Kleeb (NE-03) $

Read the rest of this post...

Poll: Bush popularity is stalled

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A wise man once said:
"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
Read the rest of this post...

One of the fathers of the 1994 Republican Revolution slams religious right

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Challenge time!

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Let's see how much you can donate to the AMERICAblog-endorsed candidates above - and don't forge the 13 new candidates posted in the left-hand column - before Blogger dies again.

On that front, Colorado Republicans are increasingly freaking out - they're in full meltdown mode, and our Angie Paccione is helping fuel the meltdown. Also, I hear that the anti-farm-subsidies Club for Growth and the Republicans are probably going to be kicking in nearly a quarter of a million dollars to take down our favorite cowboy, Scott Kleeb (D-NE).

So do what you can to help, please :-) Read the rest of this post...

CNN hosting blogger event election night - I'll be attending

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Wouldn't it be fun for me to blast Google and Blogger on TV before millions of Americans? Read the rest of this post...

Calls increase for GOP Senator George Allen to explain his multiple arrest warrants

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From the DSCC:

Stonewall: Allen Refuses To Say Why He Was Arrested, Refuses To Release Documentation Detailing Arrests

With George Allen refusing to explain why multiple warrants were issued for his arrest, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today asked the Virginia State Bar to release Allen’s bar application. Allen would have had to explain the warrants on the application and its contents could be the only document shedding light on his arrests. A copy of the letter is below:

October 30, 2006

Virginia State Bar
Attn: Thomas A. Edmonds, Executive Director
707 East Main Street
Suite 1500
Richmond, Virginia 23219-2800

Dear Mr. Edmonds:

I am writing today to request that you make public the application Senator George Felix Allen submitted to the Virginia State Bar Association.

In the late 1970s, Mr. Allen applied to, and was subsequently admitted to, the Virginia State Bar. Mr. Allen’s Bar application was submitted less than five years after two arrest warrants were issued in his name in Albemarle County, Virginia. Since the official arrest records have been purged, your organization may be one of a handful with official documentation regarding these arrests.

Mr. Allen’s name appears in an Albemarle County court index from 1974 and a campaign aide claims Allen was arrested for unpaid parking tickets and fishing without a license. To date, though, Mr. Allen has refused to produce any written documentation verifying his explanation for why the warrants were issued and has not personally addressed the matter.

As such, we are asking that the Virginia State Bar immediately release Mr. Allen’s Bar application on which he was asked about his arrest record. The application will shed light on whether Mr. Allen was arrested for unpaid parking tickets or for something much more severe like assault or battery.

With Mr. Allen suspiciously refusing to disclose the details of his arrests to the public, releasing this information may be the only way for Virginians to learn the truth about Mr. Allen’s arrest record.

Thank you for your kind consideration and timely response.

J.B. Poersch
Executive Director
Read the rest of this post...

Blogger Is Basically Dead

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Image Hosted by Read the rest of this post...

GOP invited known porn star to dinner with Bush, lunch with Rove, AGAIN in 2006

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NOTE: Blogger has died again. We are doing all we can to launch AMERICAblog 2.0 on its own server this week.

Remember how I wrote earlier about how the Republicans gladly and openly accepted a $5000 donation from porn superstar Mary Carey last year? Well Carey donated again this year, and again the Republican party was happy to accept her donation AND to give her the reward of a dinner and lunch with George Bush and Karl Rove. Carey had the following to say on her return to Washington:
"I'm always excited to learn more about what's going on in our nation's capital, since most people in the porn industry think an Iraqi pullout is a form of safe sex."
And the best part, the Republican party invited her to come. Who exactly invited her? Why, none other than embattled Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) and his Nation Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

Yep, money she earned she earned having sex with men and women on a film set, that's the money the GOP gladly accepted. Then they invited her to have dinner with George Bush. And keep in mind that Carey attended last year as well, and caused a media firestorm. So the GOP knew all about her, and had no problem inviting her again.

You can find out more about George Bush's invited dinner guest here via her video interview with, uh, Rusty Boner.

Read the rest of this post...

Which races to watch closely on election night

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A very interesting analysis from ContraPositive blog, looking at election night, hour by hour, as each region's polls close, noting which races are the most important to watch for the trends they may suggest for the rest of the evening. It's very interesting, check it out. Read the rest of this post...

Stay the course statistics: 100 US troops killed in Oct.

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When the war plan is a campaign slogan, this is what we get:
A bomb tore through food stalls and kiosks in a sprawling Shiite slum Monday, killing at least 31 people, while the U.S. military announced the death of the 100th servicemember in Iraq this month.

The 6:15 a.m. explosion in Sadr City targeted poor Shiites who gather there each morning hoping to be hired as construction workers. At least 51 people were wounded, said police Maj. Hashim al-Yasiri.
In eight days, we can change the course, finally. Read the rest of this post...

Open thread

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Tomorrow starts a very busy week. Read the rest of this post...

Wyoming US House race, Dem almost tied with Republican now

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That's how bad things have gotten for the Republicans, they're fighting to hold onto Wyoming, where Gary Trauner is fighting on behalf of the Dems. You can give Gary a little love via the link at the top of the blog. Read the rest of this post...

More fall-out from Lynne Cheney losing it on Friday's CNN show

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Wolf Blitzer responded today to VP wife Lynne Cheney's bizarre performance on CNN this past Friday. Cheney, who used to co-host CNN's uber-combattive show Crossfire, pretended she was just a little old southern belle on Friday and couldn't believe the big bad Wolf was asking her serious questions about the politics of the day, including questions about the lesbian sex novel she wrote called "Sisters." Oh puhleeze, Cheney is a longtime political hack and hardly some newby to national TV. Our own Joe in DC debated her on Crossfire years ago and, well, let's just say that if she weren't sitting in that chair...

ThinkProgress has Wolf's comment on l'Affaire Cheney from today's CNN show.

I'd also add, as an aside, that Cheney had the audacity to ask Wolf "do you want us to win?" the war in Iraq. A comment I find extremely troubling from a national political figure in a democracy. CNN's job isn't to help the US, or anybody else, win or lose. Their job is to report the news. Aside from reporting a story that they know, or suspect, will cause massive damage to US national security, it is not the media's job in a democracy to further some governmental agenda. Mrs. Cheney knows that, but she, like so many others now leading the Republican party, don't really believe in democracy. So it's no wonder she wants to know whose team the press is on since in her sick little world freedom is always partisan.

Read the rest of this post...

Former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey blasts GOP

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From the Washington Post:
Now spending is out of control. Rather than rolling back government, we have a new $1.2 trillion Medicare prescription drug benefit, and non-defense discretionary spending is growing twice as fast as it had in the Clinton administration. Meanwhile, Social Security is collapsing while rogue nations are going nuclear and the Middle East is more combustible than ever. Yet Republican lawmakers have taken up such issues as flag burning, Terri Schiavo and same-sex marriage.

They're fooling only themselves.
Then Armey loses his mind, and ironically pulls the same gay boogeyman out of his hat that he just criticized the GOP for pulling:
In essence, Pelosi will be forced to choose between a vocal base -- expecting immediate satisfaction on issues such as withdrawing from Iraq, legalizing same-sex marriage and the impeachment of President Bush -- or policies that are tolerable to a majority of Americans. That's quite a dilemma: appeasing a base that has been hungry for political revenge since 2000 and 2004, or alienating moderate and swing voters.
Oh puhleeze. No one, and I mean NO ONE, is calling for Congress to legalize same-sex marriage any time soon. That's just absurd. As for withdrawing from Iraq - newsflash, Mr. Armey - that would be over 60% of the country that wants us out of there. And finally, impeachment is hardly the top priority for Democrats, though it's understandable why it seems to be the top Republican fear. Breaking six years worth of laws and constitutional protections has a way of instilling fear in people who grow too proud. Read the rest of this post...

GOP Rep. Barbara Cubin's slap

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Latests numbers on overall House and Senate

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DailyKos has a really nice summary of many of the top pollsters and what they're currently saying about how many seats the Ds and Rs will get in the House and Senate come election day. Read the rest of this post...

GOP porn scandal widens: In addition to accepting donations from gay "porn king," GOP also took money from "porn queen" Mary Carey

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You'll recall that late last night Josh Marshall reported that the national Republican party has repeatedly accepted donations from one of the top gay porn producers in the country. This story is relevant since the Republicans have been hitting Democrat Harold Ford in Tennessee with ads claiming he took donations from a Hollywood porn producer.

Now, as you might imagine, the Republicans will probably say they had no idea they were taking money from a man whose living is making films such as "Fire in the Hole", "Flesh and Boners", even a "Velvet Mafia" series.

But that excuse rings hollow when you consider that the GOP had no problem tarring Harold Ford with the same charge. But far more damning is the fact that the Republican party has a history of accepting money from the porn industry. It hasn't just happened before - the GOP openly welcomed porn money.

Case in point, my girl Mary Carey, who just last year gave $5,000 to the GOP, the GOP knew who she was, and they gladly accepted her money made from screwing guys on film. (Visit Mary Carey's Web site, but be warned, this link is not work-friendly, though Lynne Cheney might disagree.)

Mary is one of the top female porn stars in America. She is the lead thespian in such movies as "Tit Happens," "Lesbian Big Boob Bangeroo" ("Eight kinky, nasty, big-titted, snatch-sucking, muff-diving, pussy-eating, horny sluts can't seem to get enough of that sweet cooch juice!"), and "Everybody Loves Big Boobies."

Mary and her boss donated $5000 last year to the National Republican Congress Committee (NRCC) - the organization that helps elect Republicans to the US House, and which is ironically headed by embattled Congressman Tom Reynolds (R-NY), who is now embroiled in the Mark Foley child sex predator scandal. Their $5k donation got them dinner with the president and a slew of top Republican congressional leaders, and even lunch with Karl Rove.

And before you say the Republicans had no idea they were taking a porn superstar's money, think again:
National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Carl Forti admitted as much to the AP and said, “Their money was donated to the NRCC. The NRCC’s job is to elect Republicans. We’ll take that money and use it to elect more Republicans.”
Yes, Mr. Reynold's top staffer on the NRCC knowingly, openly, and gladly, took money from one of the top porn stars in America. And he had no qualms doing it.

Now ask yourself again if the Republican party had no knowledge that they were taking money repeatedly from the the gay porn king of America? And then ask yourself why the Republicans seem more concerned about Democrats accepting porn money than the porn-lovers in their own midst. Answer: The GOP only pretends to care about religious right values. And so long as the religious right doesn't make the GOP pay a price for taking them for granted, the GOP will continue to cavort with gay porn kings.

And they'll even continue to take the money of a porn superstar who told me last year (and I have it on tape) that she wants to have a lesbian menage-a-trois with the Bush twins:
"Oh my God, his daughters! I’d LOVE to party with his daughters. I’d love to meet them. I totally want to have sex with them. You can write it the day after I leave here."
This ain't your daddy's Republican party. Read the rest of this post...

NBC: Mark Foley investigation will shortly "widen"

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Watch the video on Huffington Post. Read the rest of this post...

Iraqis to announce Saddam verdict 2 days before the US elections this fall

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UPDATE: I'd written this hours ago, but since Blogger doesn't work anymore you're seeing it now. Anyway, there's an update - it seems the Iraqis may be getting the message that it doesn't help their image as George Bush's poodle to be seen trying to influence the US elections in favor of Bush's party.

That is simply outrageous. The Bush administration has clearly arranged this, there is no other possibility. The Iraqi government should immediately demand that the verdict be postponed 3 days until after the US elections. This is simply outrageous that the Iraqi government is conspiring with the Bush administration in order to influence the US elections. It's also rather ironic that the US puppet Prime Minister in Iraq Nouri al-Maliki spent the past week visiting his masters in Washington, DC, all the while proclaiming that he was a real boy and not a wooden toy, and now we find out that he's doing George Bush's bidding by interfering with the US elections on behalf of George Bush's party.

Is Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki his own man, or a US puppet who is more concerned with interfering with America's democracy than shoring up his own? I think we have our answer.

It's no wonder the Iraqis don't trust al-Maliki. He's nothing more than a member of the Bush administration, about as high up on the totem pole as Barney. Pathetic. Read the rest of this post...

Dems ahead in Maryland Gov. and Senate races

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(NOTE: Blogger is down AGAIN. We, like every other blog on Blogger, are only able to post intermittently - literally we're publishing each post a good 50 to 100 times before it shows up. We are frantically trying to launch the new blog, with a new non-Blogger server this week. And for any tech repoters out there, Blogger is lying to you. They're saying if we'd just switch to Blogger Beta everything would be fine. Well guess what - you have to be invited to join Blogger Beta, and haven't been invited, nor has anyone else I know. Not to mention, the fine print tells you that blogs of over a few thousand posts, which is every decent sized blog out there, can't use the beta yet. So basically, Blogger is melting down the week before the elections and Blogger and Google are making excuses. Nice.)

This is welcome news 10 days out. Bush is bringing down the GOP in Maryland, too:
A strong Democratic tide in Maryland threatens to swamp Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s reelection bid and bolsters the party's efforts to retain control of an important U.S. Senate seat, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) held a 10 percentage point lead over Ehrlich, and Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin had a similar advantage over Republican Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele among likely voters in the Post poll, which was conducted last Sunday through Thursday. The leads were well beyond the survey's three percentage point margin of error.
Steele has been getting buzz, but it's not translating in to support. People in Maryland know he really is a Bush Republican. Read the rest of this post...

CBS's Bob Schieffer calls GOP head Ken Mehlman "lame"

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Unfortunately I can't give you the video because CBS is making YouTube take down video we post there, claiming copyright infringement, so we're no longer posting CBS's video. I can however quote CBS's Bob Schieffer from this morning's Face the Nation with Ken Mehlman.
CBS'S BOB SCHIEFFER: Why is the Republican National Committee spending its money on an ad down in Tennessee, the purpose of it seems to be to suggest that the Democratic candidate Harold Ford is an African-American?

RNC CHAIRMAN KEN MEHLMAN: The ad that you're talking about is an ad that is being run independently of the Republican National Committee.

SCHIEFFER: Just a minute, let's run the end of the ad, let's hear what it say.

[Woman's voice: "The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising."]


MEHLMAN: The way that the law works, unfortunately it's a law that I think ought to be changed, and by the way it's a law on which people on both sides of the campaign reform think ought to be changed, is that if I talk like I do on a regular basis to candidates like Mr. [Republican Senate candidate Bob] Corker then the TV ads that are run beyond a very small limit are run independently of me. This ad is down, I'm please the ad is down, and I'm pleased that the focus of that campaign is now about questions like...

SCHIEFFER: But you paid for it.

MEHLMAN: I've talked to Senator McCain and to Senator McConnell, both of whom have been on different sides of the campaign reform issue. Both agree that a law which says the Republican National Committee pays for the ad, but it's also illegal for the Chairman of the RNC, for the political director of the RNC, or the communications director of the RNC...

SCHIEFFER: But, but Mr. Mehlman, the logic... if I think something is wrong but I take advantage of a law that allows me to take advantage of that, that's pretty lame, if I may say so.

MEHLMAN: My response to that ad is the same response Mr. Ford had from a race perspective. I would not have put the ad up. I did not think that it was necessarily a racist ad, at the same time...

SCHIEFFER: But you approved of it.

MEHLMAN: I did not approve of it.

SCHIEFFER: You said you thought it was "fair." You're on the record saying that.

MEHLMAN: Well I thought some of the issues raised in that ad, the issue of taxes, I think those are fair issues, on the other hand I personally would not have put that ad up.

SCHIEFFER: But what does that say, you talk about "values" and stuff, that you're taking advantage of an ad when you know what it says is wrong and you admit that it ought not to be that way but you're willing to take advantage of it.
Ok, so Wolf Blitzer actually demands answers from Lynne Cheney. Bob Schieffer doesn't let Ken Mehlman get away with his usual non-responsive BS. What's next, Spock with a goatee? Read the rest of this post...

Republicans growing increasingly worried about our boy, Scott Kleeb

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And they should be. You'll recall that Scott Kleeb was the first candidate we raised money for last week. Seems we may have been prescient.

From the Lincoln Journal Star:
In the surest sign the 3rd District congressional seat is up for grabs, the National Republican Congressional Committee may be poised to commit resources to the race....

If the GOP congressional committee enters the race in the final 10 days of the campaign, it would be confirmation that poll numbers have uncovered a tight struggle between Republican nominee Adrian Smith and Democratic nominee Scott Kleeb.

The 69-county 3rd District seat had been considered safely Republican at the beginning of the campaign.

Western and central Nebraska hasn’t elected a Democrat to the House since 1958, when Don McGinley won a single term.

Kleeb, 31, a Dunning ranch hand with two post-graduate degrees from Yale, has raised more than $700,000, far more than any previous Democratic candidate in the district.
If you can spare any more change, please help Scott out. I've met him, he's good. We've already raised $12,000 for Scott, let's see if we can make it a cool 15 or 20 by the end of Sunday (more on Scott here), and keep you contributions coming in to the other candidates (links at the top of the site). Thanks.

Scott Kleeb (NE-03) $

Read the rest of this post...

Sunday Talk Shows Open Thread

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Here's the lineup one week out. George Allen will be on Fox News. What are the chances anyone on the GOP network will ask him about the divorce and arrest records that he won't make public? Will Scheiffer ask Mehlman about Abramoff?:
ABC's "This Week"...— House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio; actor and stem-cell research activist Michael J. Fox; actress and UNICEF ambassador Sarah Jessica Parker.

CBS' "Face the Nation"... — Reps. John Murtha, D-Pa., and Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman.

NBC's "Meet the Press"... — Democratic Rep. Ben Cardin and Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, Maryland Senate candidates.

CNN's "Late Edition"... — Sens. Joseph Biden, D-Del., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind.; Samir Sumaidaie, Iraqi ambassador to the U.S.; Reps. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.; retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton.

"Fox News Sunday"... — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif.; Sens. George Allen, R-Va., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
Read the rest of this post...

Republican National Committee regularly takes contributions from gay porn "king"

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Why is this relevant? Because the RNC went after Tennessee Democrat Harold Ford last week claiming he took money from Hollywood porn movie producers. Leave it to the Republicans to one up the Democrats and not just take porn money, but take GAY PORN money :-) I love Republicans. They make me smile.

More from Josh Marhsall:
RNC Chief Ken Mehlman accepted political contributions from gay porn king?.... the Republican National Committee is a regular recipient of political contributions from Nicholas T. Boyias, the owner and CEO of Marina Pacific Distributors, one of the largest producers and distributors of gay porn in the United States....

Some recent releases include "Fire in the Hole", "Flesh and Boners", even a "Velvet Mafia" series.
Maybe we can get Ken to guest blog a few reviews for us.

PS As Josh notes, I have no problem with porn, gay or otherwise. But Ken Mehlman (who will always be my king of porn) does. Or so we thought. Read the rest of this post...

Virginia Republican George Allen & Lesbian sex novelist Lynne Cheney owe the US Marine Corps an apology

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Very interesting find a reader just sent me. One of Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb's books that Republican Senator George Allen thinks is vulgar and inappropriate reading is actually on the recommended books list for the US Marine Corps. VP spouse Lynne Cheney also finds this literature inappropriate for children, which is kind of obvious considering it's literature for the Marines.

The book, Fields of Fire, is one of the three books that Allen has a problem with. I guess Mr. Allen will need to take his complaint all the way to Iraq and tell our troops that they're unfit for command since they have read, and recommend for reading, Mr. Webb's book.

Not only that, but the Commandant of the US Marine Corps put Webb's book on the Corps' "official reading list."

So George Allen thinks he the Commandant of the US Marine Corps is having our soldiers read trash? I think George Allen and Mrs. Cheney owe the Commandant, and all of our troops risking their lives in Iraq, an apology. Read the rest of this post...

Karl Rove, military strategist

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This may explain why the U.S. is in so much trouble in Iraq. Rove is dispensing military advice...well, to Rove and Bush the military is political:
Presidential advisor Karl Rove blasted Democrats on Friday for even suggesting the U.S. withdraw from Iraq, saying the U.S. can't leave one of the world's largest oil reserves in terrorist hands.

However, Rove also said the military must be flexible in its tactics. He did not elaborate.

"More sacrifice is going to be required," Rove, President Bush's chief political strategist, told a ballroom full of Republicans at a fundraiser for Wisconsin candidates. "We will either create a world in which our children and our grandchildren have a hope of an optimistic future or we will leave to them a world with a hateful empire centered in the Middle East."
That sacrifice of which he speaks isn't coming from Republicans. Read the rest of this post...

Negative Ads - My discussion on CNN earlier today

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Read the rest of this post...

GAO Chief: Republicans have put US on path to financial ruin

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We had a $400 billion dollar a year surplus when Bush took office. We now are suffering under a staggering deficit. Had enough? Read the rest of this post...

Off to CNN, I should be on at 530pm Eastern or so...

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Going to be discussing negative advertising, and the like, around 530pm or so on CNN. Read the rest of this post...

Keep the donations coming for Dem candidates

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Your donations over the past week are detailed below (the smaller figures, under $3,000, are for candidates who we just added yesterday). And remember what I wrote earlier, the crucial time for last-minute donations is between now and Monday. After that, yes the campaigns can use donations, but for their last-minute ad buys, it's good for them to know the cash-on-hand they will have by Monday, if possible.

Give to our new list of 13 candidates here. Or us the links at the top of the blog to give to one of premiere candidates: Jill Derby (D-NV-02), Gary Trauner (WY), Angie Paccione (CO-04), and Scott Kleeb (NE-03). Read the rest of this post...

Open thread

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The view today from my balcony. Coming storm or clearing skies? You decide. (Click to photo to see the larger version.) Read the rest of this post...

Jim Webb blasts Bush/GOP for their failures on Iraq

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Jim Webb delivered the Democratic radio address and he was tough, tough, tough. Webb's opponent, George Felix Macaca Spitter Allen, has been a staunch follower of the failed Bush "stay the course" strategy":
"Since 2003, President Bush has laid out nine different plans for victory in Iraq, none of them serious and none of them workable. And most seriously, this incompetence has hindered our ability to fight international terror," Webb said.

It marked the second time since July 1 that Webb, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, has given the Democrats' address. Both times, his focus has been Iraq.

Webb warned in a newspaper column in 2002, the year before Bush ordered the Iraq invasion, that a war there would destabilize the oil-rich Middle East and mire U.S. forces in a bloody and protracted conflict. As of Friday, 2,810 American troops had died in Iraq.

"It gives me no great pleasure today to be saying `I told you so,'" said Webb, whose son, Jimmy, is a Marine on active duty in Iraq. "It pains me as an American that our casualties are again escalating while this president and his followers are still incapable of bringing forward an intelligent, commonsense approach to ending our involvement there."
Unlike Webb, Allen has no military experience. He just likes to pretend he's tough. Just like he pretends he's a cowboy. The image that sums up this race is their boots. Webb wears his son's combat boots. Allen wears his costume cowboy boots:

Read the rest of this post...

BREAKING: George Bush endorses civil unions and legal benefits of marriage for gay couples

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Okay, this isn't "breaking" news because it happened two years ago, but the mainstream media seems to have forgotten. So in an effort to remind them, and get them to do their job, here is the original ABC footage from two years ago in which George Bush specifically endorses civil unions, and the legal benefits of marriage included therein, for gay couples. This guy couldn't give a damn about "family values."

Read the rest of this post...

2008 presidential contender "once spit on his wife" - George Allen asked to release his divorce records to confirm if it was him

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George Allen is now obsessed with Jim Webb's fiction. It's the facts about George Allen that people want. The facts that Allen is hiding. The facts about Allen's sealed divorce records.

Josh Marshall first broached the subject Thursday night:
If Allen really wants to play rough, maybe it's time for some Democrats to start going on the shows and asking about that sealed divorce records of Allen's. All those reporters have a pretty good idea of what's in there. But Sen. Allen (R-VA) just won't agree to let them see it.

It's almost like he's spitting in their face.
Political Wire follows up:
Update: A very reputable political reporter tells me this isn't from Democratic opposition research and that it's probably coming out because many feel Allen "crossed the line" when he started talking about Jim Webb's novels.

I'm told divorce records are usually sealed for two reasons: (a) to protect kids, and (b) to protect large financial fortunes. Neither situation applies in Allen's case, so the suspicion is that it's something not very nice.

Update II: A clue might be in Ryan Lizza's recent piece on Mark Warner that cites a story that had been "making the rounds" about a 2008 presidential contender who "once spit on his wife." That rumor was also about Allen.
Allen is a renowned spitter. A former reporter posted a diary at DailyKos based on a column she wrote for a paper in Virginia:
I stepped near the governor and smiled, told him my name and that I wrote for the local newspaper. Then I asked him a softball question, what some reporters call a "set-up."

"Does Southwest Virginia need these jobs?" I asked.

He stopped and looked straight at me. He had to look down at me, because he stood so tall in those cowboy boots. I thought I spotted a twinkle in his eye, and for a moment, I suspected he might give a humorous, light-hearted answer. Then he leaned forward and looked all the way down at the pavement. I figured he was planning a perfectly crafted answer to my question. I put pen to paper, ready to take it down. His lips puckered as if he might speak.

Then, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia gathered up a glob of tobacco-laced saliva. He used his lips to squirt it out, as if he had practiced. The spit landed just at the tip of my shoe. He grinned, but didn't say a word. Then he walked into the building.
Allen is disgusting. He's quick to attack Webb for writing fiction about the military. Allen wouldn't know fact from fiction when it comes to the military. But, Allen does know the facts that are in the divorce records he won't publicize.

Allen wants to play hard ball. Well, give us the facts, George. Read the rest of this post...

Nebraskans, kiss your farm subsidies goodbye if Republican Adrian Smith wins your House race

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If you're from Nebraska, be very afraid. The Club for Growth is all about eliminating farm subsidies, and they just bought the Republican candidate in Nebraska's 3rd District to the tune of over 40% of all of his money raised in this campaign.

Yes, you heard that right.

40% of all the money received by Republican candidate Adrian Smith in Nebraska 03 is from ONE SOURCE - an organization devoted to eliminating farm subsidies, the lifeline of Nebraska. And the word on the street is that the Club for Growth is planning on dropping another $100,000 in Adrian Smith's lap.

Now, imagine that one guy pays over 40% of your salary. Do you think that one guy is gonna have any influence on you? You don't need to be a big Washington lobbyist to figure that one out. Vote for Smith and you'll find out fast.

Scott Kleeb is Smith's opponent. Kleeb isn't beholdened to corporate special interests, he's beholdened to regular people, regular Nebraskans.

McJoan over at DKos has more.

Scott Kleeb (NE-03) $

Read the rest of this post...

Saturday Morning Open Thread

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Here's some news to get you started. Chuck Todd from HOTLINE updated his top House races again yesterday:
There aren't too many shake-ups this week. Focus mainly on races ranked 17 to 36; they are among the closest contests in the country right now. The first 10 are all but gone for the majority party, and districts ranked 11 through 16 are teetering but still in play.
Check out the full list. Many of the races on our ActBlue pages are moving up. Scott Kleeb in Nebraska-03 made the list for the first time as did Peter Goldmark in Washington's Fifth CD.

The DCCC is now running ads for Nancy Boyda in Kansas:
House Democrats launched a surprise television attack against Rep. Jim Ryun of Kansas on Friday night, hoping to increase the number of competitive races in the battle for control of Congress.
Surprise television attack...because Ryun, as a Republican in Kansas, should never be challenged.

What else is happening? Read the rest of this post...

Friday Orchid Blogging

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I'm being a bad orchid blogger. I took this shot a few weeks ago at the orchid festival here in DC, and now can't recall what this is. It is an orchid, and I thought it was a dracula, but now don't think so. Ugh, I have friends who know, or maybe one of you do. But it is an orchid, and it's one I most certainly can't grow. But it's cool, isn't it?

Enjoy, JOHN Read the rest of this post...

Bush White House official gets 18 months prison for role in Abramoff scandal

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The Republican culture of corruption. They have simply been in office too long. Read the rest of this post...

Big business starting to shift its lobbying dollars to Democrats

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Rats fleeing the ship. Read the rest of this post...

U.S. military death toll in Iraq worst in a year

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Had enough?

And there were five US soldiers killed yesterday. All because our president, and the Republican congress, were too proud to admit a mistake and change the course. Read the rest of this post...

Cliff's Corner

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The Week That Was 10/27/06

Another week. More preposterousness to report.

Well I thought I would run an informal competition this week. As we all know, it was rather amusing of Rush Limbaugh to accuse anyone of voluntarily stopping self-treatment, for there is a word for four buckets of extra-crispy KFC drumsticks topped off with mushy lard, compressed Viagra and a Hillbilly-Heroin twist in Rush’s house.


Yet, it is also rather amusing in that he might as well have been talking about the paranoid, conspiracy-laden, bigoted troupe of resentful belly-picking white men with small penises that make up the core of his party. Sadly they have all been off their meds for the better part of four decades now. And we have all been the worse for it.

Particularly Sarah Evans. Although her husband’s hundreds of pictures on his PC of himself turned on could be a big seller at next year’s first annual Charlie Crist picnic down in Florida.

But I digress. The competition I was thinking of was this. Which region of country’s Republican Party has the largest sheer number of criminals, lunatics, self-haters and those for whom a lobotomy would send their IQ soaring straight up like J.D. Hayworth’s arm when he hears German?

Well speaking of old goosestepping J.D., I nominate the West. I mean, look at this collection of obtuse, CEO-slurping, AntiSocial-Personality-Disorder-suffering, atavistic cretins.

Representative Barbara Cubin of Wyoming likes to pummel the disabled. Congressional candidate Bill Sali of Idaho...well here’s what retiring Idaho House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, a Republican, was quoted saying about him, "That idiot (Sali) is just an absolute idiot. He doesn’t have one ounce of empathy in his whole fricking body. And you can put that in the paper." That’s one of the nicer things Idaho Republicans have said about a guy who's more offensive than Denny Hastert's man-boobs.

Congressmen Doolittle (and his wife) and Pombo of California just love Jack Abramoff. Love, love, love him. You know, what’s a little forced abortion in the Marianas between friends?

Rep. Lewis, also of California is under federal investigation for some things discovered in the Randall “Duke” Cunningham case and for having a record in public service as ludicrous as his namesake’s comedy.

Nevada gives us Jim Gibbons for Governor, who likes to hide illegal-immigrant nannies in his basement and have his wife perjure herself when discussing it (this from a man who wants The Great Wall of China imported to the Mexican Border, because it worked so well with Genghis). He also had an accident in a parking lot, where he claims he tripped and somehow a woman’s breast just up and hopped into his hand.

Funny, when you spend a night propositioning a particular woman over 100 proof liquid refreshments and getting rejected, the young woman involved might describe it a different way.

Sexual assault.

Other ways of describing this episode might be “another day in the life of Don Sherwood” or "the only way Rush got any until he was famous."

Continuing our hit parade: Representative Porter of Nevada likes to make shakedown calls from his federal office, while Representative Renzi of Arizona likes shady land deals that start federal investigations into his activities.

And let’s not forget that lunatic running to hold his Senate seat, Jon Kyl. He has quite a list of greatest hits, which doesn't even include having Brit Hume's hairdo.

Here’s Kyl on Native Americans: "I'm concerned that too many Indian people -- and I will not characterize where they come from -- talk about trust and responsibility when they really mean, deep in their heart, having someone take care of them."

I totally understand. I’m concerned that too many pale-faced preppy corporate-humping jackwads, like let’s say Jon Kyl, expect the government to take care of them, from their healthcare to their yearly pay raises, while they screw the rest of us like we’re a prostitute at a Republican poker party at The Watergate.

Sadly I must run, but next week we’ll get to Colorado, Alaska, Montana and some other Californians, as I need thousands of words to discuss a throng of criminals that would make Pablo Escobar envious: The Republican Party.

(See my new piece on how populism can rebuild a Democratic majority in In These Times. My weekly Republican Sexcapades segment on The Young Turks on Air America this week) Read the rest of this post...

An annual classic

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Don't miss Charlie Brown tonight, it's the Great Pumpkin. Read the rest of this post...

I've added additional candidates in the left-hand margin of the blog

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In the left-hand column of the blog you'll find an additional 13 candidates who are in especially competitive races - meaning, they have a real chance - and who could really use your support. Simply fill in the box of each candidate you want to give to, and ignore those you don't wish to give to, then click the "contribute" button at the bottom and it will take you to another page to get more information.

I've left our other candidates at the top of the page, so you can still give to them as well. All totaled, you've given $68,000.00 to a small, targeted group of Democratic candidates over the past week. Amazing. Read the rest of this post...

Lynne Cheney tells CNN that lesbian love novels are appropriate reading for small children

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Lynne Cheney just told CNN that, in contrast to her own lesbian love novel, Jim Webb's novel isn't appropriate for grandchildren to hear. Cheney insisted that her lesbian love novel isn't sexual at all, even though it includes lesbian love affairs, brothels and attempted rapes.

Man, those Cheney girls sure have a funny definition of family values. I wonder if their religious right supporters agree?

Let's find out whether Lynne Cheney's book about lesbian love, attempted rate, and whorehouses is appropriate for your grandchildren. Gather the kids around and read a few passages of Lynne Cheney's lesbian love novel, Sisters. Then ask the kids what they think. If you need to define the word lesbian for them, I'm sure it won't be anything they haven't heard in Sunday School.

Excerpts from Sisters:

From CNN:
CNN'S WOLF BLITZER: But you had written a book entitled "Sisters."

LYNNE CHENEY: I did write a book entitled "Sisters."

BLITZER: And it did have lesbian characters.

CHENEY: No, not necessarily. This description is a lie, I'll stand on that.

BLITZER: There is nothing in there about rapes and brothels?

CHENEY: Wolf, could we talk about a children's book for a minute?

WOLF: This is an opportunity for you to explain on these sensitive issues.

CHENEY: Well I have nothing to explain.
Not necessarily? What kind of an answer is that? Read the rest of this post...

A thank you message to AMERICAblog's readers from Angie Paccione (D-CO-04)

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My name is Angie Paccione, and I’m running for Congress against Marilyn Musgrave in Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District.

I want to say thank you to the team here at AMERICAblog and all of you readers for your generosity on Monday. Thank you for letting me blog here too. This blog’s ActBlue contributions have been amazing, and are going to help me win. Even though many of you may not live in Colorado, I think many of you agree that Marilyn Musgrave is a national problem. I believe her extremist agenda -- where she openly declares “cultural war” against a minority of Americans -- threatens the liberty of all Americans.

America, however, has had enough. It’s no accident that Marilyn is one of the single most vulnerable Republican incumbents in Congress. Her unquestioning support for the President’s failed foreign policies is leaving America less secure. Her unquestioning support of Tom DeLay has fed the culture of corruption in Washington, so that she is one of the 13 Most Corrupt members in this Congress. Her unquestioning support of the politics of divisiveness and anger is undermining America’s greatness!

That’s why I’ve been proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Michael Schiavo, who came to Windsor High School to attend the Fourth Congressional Debate. We are coming down to the wire in an election that is going to change America’s future.

Our internal polling shows we are ahead, even after the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has dumped well over $1.5 million into this race to try and save Musgrave! They are definitely not getting a very good return, are they? Not only is Musgrave one of the most ineffective and most corrupt members of Congress, she is also one of the most vulnerable. I’m proud that bloggers and their readers from all across America have been so supportive of our fight -— that support has helped make this seventeen month race one of the most competitive in the country.

The people of the Fourth are ready for change, and I’m ready to bring it! With your help, we are going to win this thing, and retire Marilyn Musgrave!!!

Best to you,

Angie Paccione

NOTE FROM JOHN: You can donate to Angie's campaign here...

Angie Paccione (CO-04): $

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Additional candidates who can use your help

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I've created an additional donor page which includes another 13 Democratic candidates you should seriously consider helping out. As always, they're candidates who have a real chance of winning, and who can really use some help.

Read the rest of this post...

New NBC policy bans Dixie Chick TV ads that criticize Bush

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"[NBC] cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush." - NBC's letter to the Dixie Chicks.
Let's just all pack up and move to Canada because this isn't our country anymore. But then again, I have a better idea. Once Democrats win back the congress we have a long and hard look at media consolidation, and more importantly, media bias and whether the large networks have essentially been bought off by the Republicans. The Fairness Doctrine went away a long time ago, and as a result, whether through coercion or wooing, the networks have gone Republican.

For NBC to say that they won't run ads that "disparage" the president is beyond sick, it's beyond un-American. This was an ad for a new movie about how the Dixie Chicks were censored in this country for simply being critical of the president. So now NBC is going to censor their movie about being censored because the ad for the movie is critical of the president.

Seriously, NBC needs to pay for this. Just like ABC needs to pay for its Path to 9/11 fiasco. The major media has gone conservative because they think that's where the money is. Come November 7, let's show the meeting who's really in charger.

ThinkProgress has the commercial that NBC has banned for being critical of our president. Funny, but the networks don't seem have a problem with racist or homophobic ads, but when ever the ads are critical of Bush, or worse, promoting inclusive religions, suddenly they're not fit for television. The irony of course is that in Russia, Vladimir Putin has to threaten and kill reporters in order to get them to do his bidding. In America, folks like NBC and ABC don't even need to be threatened in order to lose any sense of journalistic credibility.


PS I'v set up a new page of additional Democratic candidates you really ought to consider helping out. You can view the page here, and donate if you like. (Sorry, the fundraising page is slowing down, please give the link time to load.) Read the rest of this post...

Musgrave tried to have Terri Schiavo's husband thrown out of the audience during her debate, Schiavo claims

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Wow. So much for the courage of her convictions.
[J]ust minutes after taking my seat, I noticed a flurry of activity around my seat including about four uniformed police officers who were - I would learn later - called in by Musgrave staffers and asked to remove me from the building.

At this point, I had made no speeches, I had no signs, had made no attempt to disrupt or cause any commotion. I only came into the auditorium, spoke to a dozen or so reporters and took a seat.

To their credit, the police refused the Musgrave campaign's appeal to have me removed.

There's more to come, but I still can't get over even that part. A sitting member of Congress asked the police to remove me - a taxpaying citizen - from a public debate. Obviously, I misunderstand the concept of a political debate. I thought a debate was a place to share ideas, answer questions, defend your record and tell citizens what you've done and what you will do. Marilyn Musgrave believes, I have to gather, that debates are places to have the police remove people who don't agree with you.

After the police talked with obviously irritated Musgrave staffers and the debate organizer, the Musgrave campaign complained that my seat, next to the timekeeper, was inappropriate because - get this - Marilyn Musgrave would have to look at me. In an effort to appease the Musgrave camp, the debate organizers moved the timekeeper to the other side of the stage - about 15 seats away.

If you need to re-read that again, it's okay. A member of Congress who took to the floor of our Congress to speak about my wife, my family and my values made the debate timekeeper move so she wouldn't have to look at me. Just amazing....

But underneath it all I'm left with something I can't get past. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, as I said, had no problem at all in speaking about me and my family on the floor of Congress. Yet she can't bring herself to even look at me. She has to seek help from the police to have me removed from a public debate.

It's crystal clear that Marilyn Musgrave not only can't admit she's wrong, she can't even face the consequences of her own actions. She must believe that if she runs away fast enough or surrounds herself with enough people who tell her she's great, it never happened.

Well, Marilyn, it did happen. You were wrong. And that you don't have the decency to admit it or even face me - even to disagree with me - is more than cowardice. It's un-American and disgusting....

After seeing Marilyn Musgrave in action, I hope more than ever before that voters in Colorado are wise enough to make a change. I just can't think of any better reason to dump her from Congress than her refusal to even see the people she hurts. I just don't know how you can get any worse than that.

Angie Paccione needs your help.

Angie Paccione (CO-04): $

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Michael J. Fox responds to Rush -- classy guy without pity, without rancor

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I watched Katie Couric interview Michael J. Fox last night. He was amazingly classy and dignified given the outrageous attack by Rush Limbaugh.

Think Progress has the video. It's worth a watch. You'll be inspired:
COURIC: I called Rush Limbaugh and he told me: I believe Democrats have a long history of using victims of various things as political spokespeople because they believe they are untouchable, infallible, they are immune from criticism.

FOX: Well, first thing, he used the word victim. And on another occasion I heard him use the word pitiable. And understand, nobody in this position wants pity. We don't want pity. I could give a damn about Rush Limbaugh?s pity or anyone else?s pity. I?m not a victim. I?m someone who is in this situation. I think I?m in this situation along with millions of other Americans, and we have a right, if there?s answers out there, to pursue those answers with the full support of our politicians. And so I don?t need anyone?s permission to do that.
Rush has done one thing. He has helped insure that the stem cell issue is widely debated this year. Most Americans support the position of Fox, Claire McCaskill, Ben Cardin, Jim Doyle, Tammy Duckworth. Rush made sure that Americans know the GOP candidates are on the wrong side of the issue. Most Americans have a family member or know someone who will benefit from the research. Rush helped put the issue front and center. It's like Bush doing his press conference about Iraq on Wednesday when polls show Iraq hurts the GOP. If Bush and Rush want to help our side, so be it. Read the rest of this post...