You wanna talk humanitarian issues, Pastor Rick? Let's talk about your BFF in the fight on AIDS in Africa, Martin Ssempa who burns condoms, wants to jail gays, who thinks witches live under Lake Victoria, and whose crazy belief in exorcisms and[...]
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A group of progressive operatives from MoveOn and labor circles have teamed with a prominent Internet pioneer to try to give the Sam Bennetts of the world the final push they need -- and send even more Perriellos to Congress. The organization will be the first of its kind exclusively to focus on electing progressive Democrats in congressional elections.
It won't focus its energy on unseating conservative Democrats, but Green, a cofounder, didn't rule out the possibility. Instead, it will prioritize competitive open-seat primaries and help general election candidates like Bennett and Perriello run effective campaigns.
The group's first forays are likely to be in the Illinois district vacated by Rahm Emanuel, who left to become Obama's chief of staff. Green says the group is in talks with a progressive labor lawyer, Tom Geoghegan, in that district. Another potential target: the California district emptied by Hilda Solis, who's been tapped to be labor secretary. "Our belief is there are many more Tom Perriellos out there who are on the cusp of winning," says Green. "There's a pattern of progressive candidates who are written off in the beginning and who come inches away from victory, but lose due to inefficient campaigns.
Check out the 'Bold Progressives' website:
The PCCC is a new PAC dedicated to helping bold progressive candidates run first-class campaigns and win.
John Ziegler / Big Hollywood:
Video Exclusive: A Revealing Morning With Sarah Palin — If someone told me five months ago that in early January I would pay over $1,400 for an incredibly inconvenient plane ticket and $120 for a 3 a.m. cab fare to get from sunny Los Angeles to Wasilla, Alaska, I would have told …
Suzanne Goldenberg / Guardian:
Barack Obama administration ‘prepared to talk to Hamas’ — The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush's doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.
Former FEMA Chief Brownie driven from home by wildfire. "We never think of the fact that something like this can happen."[...]
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With the announced retirement of Missouri's senior Senator, Christopher "Kit" Bond, who is prepared to hang up his spurs after four terms in Washington, the field is wide open for Bond's potential replacement in both parties.
The most prominent likely Democratic candidate - and probably the only person in either party who could clear the field in her primary - is Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. A 2010 race makes a lot of sense for Carnahan, daughter of Governor Mel Carnahan, Senator Jean Carnahan, and sister of Rep. Russ Carnahan. She gets a free shot at the race without having to abandon her current job, she's one of the most prominent Democratic politicians in the state and she polled strongly even when pitted against Bond.
Ben Smith at the Politico seems to think a Carnahan run is likely:
On the Democratic side, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, daughter of the late Sen. Mel Carnahan, will likely be the nominee. One Democratic operative said she has already been preparing for a Senate campaign – even before Bond announced his retirement.
Carnahan won more than 1.74 million votes statewide in 2008 — more than any other statewide Democratic candidate in Missouri history.
If she doesn't run, there's a good chance her brother Russ will, and Kansas City Congressman (and former Mayor) Emanuel Cleaver might explore a run. State Auditor Susan Montee is another possibility, and there may be still others (perhaps an enterprising State Representative or Senator like 2008 Congressional candidate Judy Baker, or a former statewide elected official like Roger Wilson or Joe Maxwell).
On the Republican side, however, it looks to be full-on chaos.
Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent, still smarting from his 2006 loss to Claire McCaskill, looks poised to run:
Two Republican operatives close to former Sen. Jim Talent say he is likely to run for the Missouri Senate seat of retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.).
One Republican operative close to Talent said that he has been "itching to run" since losing to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in 2006, and is eager to make a political comeback.
He won't be alone. Also apparently mulling a run:- U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, one of the more controversial figures in the state party. - Former U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Roy Blunt. He's been in Washington dog's years, but he's still only 58. - Former Congressman (and failed 2006 gubernatorial candidate) Kenny Hulshof. Hulshof got absolutely waxed in the governor's race by Democrat Jay Nixon, so he may be persona non grata in the state party. - Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman. She lost in the Gov primary to Hulshof (she would likely have been a stronger general-election candidate), and may want to get back in the game. - Current Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton. - Current U.S. Attorney and former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway. - U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.
I don't think any candidate, including Talent, has the juice to clear the field, so it looks to get ugly.
I think I've found the perfect GOP candidate, however. He's young, handsome, and represents a fresh face for a divided Missouri GOP. He believes in "values", which surely both moderates and hard-core righties can agree upon. He gained valuable political experience from a failed 2006 run in the Ninth District.
His name even sounds like "Barack Obama", so he could become a fearsome general-election candidate appealing to Democrats and Republicans alike.
He is called Brock Olivo, and the Republicans should start recruiting him right away. I think it'll work out swimmingly for the GOP and good old Brock.
Seriously, though, the GOP is likely to have a pretty messy primary on their hands, while there's a chance Robin Carnahan could clear the field on our side. This would be a very, very good outcome for the Democratic Party.
But regardless of what happens, expect a tight race through November 2010. Consider the recent statewide results in Missouri:
MO-Sen 1998: Kit Bond (R) 53%, Jay Nixon (D) 44%
MO-Sen 2000: Mel Carnahan (D) 50%, John Ashcroft (R) 48%
MO-Gov 2000: Bob Holden (D) 49%, Jim Talent (R) 48%
MO-Pres 2000: George W. Bush (R) 50%, Al Gore (D) 47%
MO-Sen 2002: Jim Talent (R) 50%, Jean Carnahan (D) 49%
MO-Sen 2004: Kit Bond (R) 56%, Nancy Farmer (D) 43%
MO-Gov 2004: Matt Blunt (R) 51%, Claire McCaskill (D) 48%
MO-Pres 2004: George W. Bush (R) 53%, John Kerry (D) 46%
MO-Sen 2006: Claire McCaskill (D) 50%, Jim Talent (R) 47%
MO-Gov 2008: Jay Nixon (D) 58%, Kenny Hulshof (R) 39%
MO-Pres 2009: John McCain (R) 49%, Barack Obama (D) 49%
It's a good bet this one will be fairly close.
Craig Crawford makes a good point: Instead, Obama's idea of change seems to be less dramatic than advertised. But that does not mean that the status quo will be maintained. He is building a team that brings competence and experience to the work of making[...]
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Jesse McKinley / New York Times:
Oakland Turns Violent Over Shooting — Protesters angry over a deadly New Year's Day shooting of a young black man by a transit police officer erupted into violence in downtown Oakland on Wednesday night while investigators struggled to determine what prompted the officer to fire his gun into the unarmed man's back.
President Bush is fond of saying that he “liberated 50 million people” by taking military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the populations of those two foreign countries aren’t the only people that Bush claims to have liberated. In his last policy speech as President, Bush said today that No Child Left Behind has led to the “liberation” of America’s school children:
By the way, school choice was only open to rich people up until No Child Left Behind. It’s hard for a lot of parents to be able to afford to go to any other kind of school but their neighborhood school. Now, under this system, if your public school is failing, you’ll have the option of transferring to another public school or charter school. And it’s — I view that as liberation. I view that as empowerment.
During his speech today, Bush also finally fixed one of his most notorious Bushisms — “Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?” — stating, “Rarely was the question asked: Can you read? Or can you write? Or can you add and can you subtract?” Watch it: