Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Bush gives a press conference (yawn) – and it is only noteworthy for the utter lack of energy and seriousness with which he performs
Blaming Congress For His Failures . . .

On the economy: “It’s not my fault”

On how tax cuts cure all ills:

On gas prices:

On the other war:

[Daniel Politi] Instead of proposing something new and innovative, Bush went back in time "to the earliest days of his administration" and called on lawmakers to approve drilling on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and expand nuclear power, among other measures that include reducing restrictions on oil companies so they can (theoretically) increase production. . . .

Flag pins! Flag pins!
[Daniel Politi] In a blunt news analysis, the NYT's Carl Hulse writes that as more crises keep piling up, "official Washington" is doing what it does best: nothing. (Well, that's not entirely true. The House did vote to designate National Watermelon Month yesterday.)


I’m not happy to see the Democrats take the lead on drafting an Iraq war supplemental, but it does give them a chance to put funding for their own domestic priorities in it
House Republicans and the White House — both of whom signed off on bills that combined war spending with domestic needs in the past when Republicans controlled Congress — say they want a “clean” bill this time, one that doesn’t contain the domestic spending many Democrats say is needed to address the nation’s economic woes. . . .

[Paul Kiel] On the witness stand was the former chief prosecutor for the tribunals, Col. Morris Davis. Called to testify by defense lawyers, he told the court what he'd told the press -- that he'd quit after becoming convinced that the political appointees overseeing the system were about politics first and justice second, that he was told "we can't have acquittals," and that he was pushed to land indictments or plea deals before the election. He also said that his superiors saw no problem with using confessions obtained through torture, including waterboarding. Everything is "fair game," he says he was told, "let the judge sort it out." . . . [read on]


The Dems try again to outlaw torture

The Bush gang denies that their policies authorized torture, but they don’t want to discuss them before Congress

Dick Cheney, totalitarian
[Dan Froomkin] How far will Vice President Cheney go to shield himself and his office from public scrutiny?

Last spring, Cheney asserted that he wasn't subject to executive-branch rules about classified information because he wasn't actually part of the executive branch.

Now his office argues that he and his staff are completely immune from congressional oversight. That's right: Completely immune. . . .

Arnita Doan, finally O-U-T (and she’s pissed)
“Early this evening I was asked to submit my resignation, and I have just done so . . .”

Who is she?

Watch, and laugh:

100 years in Iraq: McCain said it, and he said it repeatedly



By the way: once upon a time. . . .
[Sam Stein] When it comes to getting U.S. troops out of Iraq, Sen. John McCain was for the idea before he was against it.

Three years before the Arizona Republican argued on the campaign trail that U.S. forces could be in Iraq for 100 years in the absence of violence, he decried the very concept of a long-term troop presence. . . .


We need a working Federal Election Commission: McCain is getting a free ride on some highly questionable funding practices


McCain’s mindless economic policy: just like Bush, only worse
[Robert Borosage] The core of the McCain economic plan consists of heroic promises to cut taxes on the wealthy and the corporations. Cobbled together to appeal to conservatives in the earlier Republican primaries, when the economy was growing, these aren’t designed to counter the recession and won’t kick in completely until 2012. McCain starts by pledging to extend all the Bush tax cuts -- which he opposed in 2001 because he could not "in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us.” That will cost an estimated $2 trillion over the next 10 years, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartison group.

Then McCain proposes new tax cuts – even more skewed to the wealthy than the Bush cuts. The soon-to-be Republican nominee would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. He calls this a “middle-class tax cut,” but most of the benefit of eliminating the provision – as opposed to limiting its reach to middle income taxpayers – goes to those making more than $500,000 a year.

He would also lower the rate and coverage of the estate tax. He’d cut the top corporate tax rate across the board from 35 percent to 25 percent; allow corporations to write off all investments in their first year, and make the corporate research and development tax break permanent. He would double the child tax deduction -- providing the greatest benefit to families paying the top tax rates, and offering nothing to those making less than $28,000 a year.

The Tax Policy Center did the math. When all the McCain tax cut promises kicked in by year 2012, they would cost more than $550 billion a year -- with an estimated total of nearly $6 trillion over 10 years. . . .

McCain’s worthless, counterproductive health care “plan”



More evidence that McCain’s photo-op team isn’t quite ready for prime time
[Adam Jentleson] Today at a campaign event, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) toured Miami Children’s Hospital and met with some of the facility’s young patients. As The New York Times reported, McCain heard the story of Jake, a 9 year-old child with a cleft palate. Cleft palates can be fixed with a simple operation, but as Jake’s father told McCain today, his family has been struggling to get their insurance company to cover the post-operation therapy Jake needs.

While Jake’s father related his story, McCain “nodded intently” –- but failed to tell him that Jake would not get coverage under his health care plan. . . .


More voter suppression: who’s making these robo-calls?
Calls have gone out to an untold number of North Carolina voters telling them that they need to fill out a registration form before they vote. Democracy North Carolina, a government watchdog that has posted audio (wav) of the call, says that the calls went out to "black neighborhoods." . . .

Rev. Wright does Obama a favor of sorts, giving such an outrageous public performance that it enables an angry Obama to disavow him completely and irrevocably. Does this put an end to the issue? Does any fair-minded person still want to say that Wright’s views are Obama’s problem?
"I have spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people. That’s in my DNA, trying to promote mutual understanding to insist that we all share common hopes and common dreams as Americans and as human beings. That’s who I am, that’s what I believe, and that’s what this campaign has been about," Obama said.

"I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday," he said. . . .

"The person that I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago," he said. "His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church."

"They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs," he said.

"If Reverend Wright thinks that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well and based on his remarks yesterday, I may not know him as well as I thought either."

"I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church," he said. "But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS; when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century; when he equates the U.S. wartime efforts with terrorism – then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced, and that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today."

"It is antithetical to my campaign. It is antithetical to what I’m about. It is not what I think America stands for," he said.
[Digby] I watched Obama today and felt very sorry for him on a human level. As Joan Walsh pointed out in a series of sensitive posts on the subject, this is a guy who has written a book about being abandoned by his father and here comes father figure Wright, so self-centered that he apparently couldn't accept that his own star burned less brightly than the younger man who was very possibly on his way to becoming America's first black president. James Carville famously called Bill Richardson "Judas" recently for endorsing Senator Obama over Hillary Clinton. I would say Wright has a much greater claim to the name.

We don't know how much Obama has been politically hurt by this. But we can be sure that the right wing will flog it with everything they have in the fall. They can't run on issues and their candidate is second rate (although he's the best they can hope for, which says something.) They can only win by attempting to destroy the Democratic candidate. And as bad at governing as they are, they are very, very good a character assassination. Wright seems intent upon helping them --- perhaps so that he can drag Obama down into his martyrdom with him, I don't know. . . .



Just to show that EVERYTHING can be spun through an anti-Obama lens – for some people, he just can’t win. Either he doesn’t do enough to distance himself from Wright, or he does too much
[Andrew Sullivan] That was a very impressive, clear and constructive re-framing of the core message of his candidacy; and a moment given to him by Wright. No one will ever be able to say that Obama threw his father-figure and pastor under the bus. . . .
[Jeralyn Merritt] Barack Obama is on CNN now giving a live press conference on Rev. Wright. . . . He's throwing Wright under the bus.
[Vastleft] Welcome, Reverend Wright! . . . It’s getting mighty crowded here under the bus, but please make yourself t’ home! . .
[Glenn Reynolds (“Instapundit”), always fairminded] Too little, too late, and too lawyerly . . .

Fox News:

The obsessive focus on Wright, Ayers, and flag pins has given Obama an opportunity to reopen the question of whether people want to see elections decided on the basis of that sort of crap. I think there is a big audience, across the political spectrum, for this line of reasoning
Sen. Barack Obama said today that the success of his campaign has caused his opponents to raise questions about his character, rather than talking about differences they have in policy. . . .

"They're gonna suggest, well, you know he's got a funny name, and you know, he hasn't been wearing a flag pin lately. So people want, you know, they are asking questions about my values and my character and my patriotism," he said.

Obama still winning the battle for superdelegates

Obama goes on Fox, so now I guess Clinton has to

The gas tax proposal that McCain and Clinton share: bad policy
[David Weigel] There is a debate to have about whether the gas tax is an effective way of collecting revenue, but no one seriously thinks it's too high. It's 18.4 cents per gallon. The average consumer will save about $30 over the entire summer if we scrap the tax. . . .
[Alex Koppelman] [T]he money collected from it goes into a highway trust fund that helps state and local governments pay for various road-related expenses. . . . The merits of the suspension proposal are, at best, debatable. . . .


You know, Obama’s vulnerabilities have been on display for several weeks – so much so that people have stopped talking about Clinton’s (considerable) vulnerabilities. How do you think THIS is going to play in a national election, for example?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has requested nearly $2.3 billion in federal earmarks for 2009, almost three times the largest amount received by a single senator this year.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s staggering request comes at a time when Congress remains engaged in a heated debate over spending federal dollars on parochial projects.

It also has gained traction on the campaign trail. Presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), a longtime foe of earmarks, has called for eliminating what he dubs “wasteful Washington spending.” Democratic front-runner Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has spurned earmarks, seeking no funds for pet projects in the upcoming fiscal year.

Yet Clinton is continuing to request billions for earmarks, most of which will go to her home state.

Bonus item: What do you say when you have nothing to say?

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


This explains everything: for the Bush gang, prisoner mistreatment that “shocks the conscience” is a relative, not an objective, criterion – for them, it depends why you’re doing it


[NB: Can’t you just imagine Cheney sitting around saying, “Well, it doesn’t shock MY conscience!”]

Ah, so THIS is why we fought so hard to win in 2006
House Democratic leaders are putting together the largest Iraq war spending bill yet, a measure that is expected to fund the war through the end of the Bush presidency and for nearly six months into the next president’s term. . . .
[AP] At least 44 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in April, making it the deadliest month for U.S. forces since September. . . .

Great, just great
[FT] Opec’s president on Monday warned oil prices could hit $200 a barrel . . .

Exposed by the NYT, the Pentagon puts a TEMPORARY halt to its media propaganda program – and the rest of the press is still ignoring this embarrassing story


Bush’s panopticon
Across the country, and especially here in Oregon, it seems, lawyers who represent suspects in terrorism-related investigations complain that their ability to do their jobs is being hindered by the suspicion that the government is listening in, using the eavesdropping authority it obtained — or granted itself — after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Steven T. Wax, a Portland lawyer involved in several terrorism cases, said he has told clients to assume that everything they say to him is being secretly monitored. Mr. Wax said he “self-censors” his e-mail messages, even to other lawyers and friends. The situation, he said, has elements of “Kafka and ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ ”

The Justice Department does not deny that the government has monitored phone calls and e-mail exchanges between lawyers and their clients as part of its terrorism investigations in the United States and overseas. . . .

Indiana voter ID law OK’d by Supreme Court
[Paul Kiel] Finally, the country will be rescued from its long nightmare struggle with voter fraud! And if certain voters find it harder to get their ballot cast, then so be it. . . . [read on]
[Justice Stevens] The record contains no evidence of any such fraud actually occurring in Indiana at any time in its history. . . . [read on]
[Digby] The Supreme Court has just legitimized the notion that "voter fraud" is a problem when, in fact, every study shows that it simply does not exist in any systematic way and that the voter disenfranchisement that results from such laws is a far more serious problem. . . . [read on]
[Alex Koppelman] How much voter fraud is there, really? . . .


Can we say it now? Scalia is stupid

Rove’s mouthpiece

The Republicans are scared . . . to . . . death of McCain’s “100 years in Iraq” comment. They are in a full-out, backs to the wall fight to keep any ad from mentioning it
[Marc Ambinder] The Republican National Committee wants CNN and MSNBC to stop airing the DNC’s new national television advertisement, calling it “false and defamatory” . . . [read on]

The AP helps:
"The Republican National Committee demanded Monday that television networks stop running a television ad by the Democratic Party that falsely suggests John McCain wants a 100-year war in Iraq." . . . [read on]

[NB: It does NOT say that. The AP has taken the GOP spin at face value.]

Watch the fun:


The RNC “threatens” to sue:
[Howard Dean] "Let them do it."
[BarbinMD] Yes, the RNC wants to protect America from misrepresentations and falsehoods. . . .

McCain: there’s no there there
[Reed Hundt] John McCain is setting a remarkable record: he is the major party Presidential nominee with the skimpiest policy platform since Warren Harding or perhaps Calvin Coolidge. He's making George Bush's year 2000 policy work look encyclopedic by comparison. . . . [read on]
[Matt Yglesias] McCain offers Bush-like ideas -- indeed, Bush's ideas in a rawer, purer form -- but without Bush or necessarily too much of Bush's personnel. To make the case against McCain you need to be able to make the case against their ideas and not just against the alleged incompetence of Bush and his key subordinates. . . .

The kind of man he is
[MSNBC] On whether he has the ability to stop the NC GOP from running an ad with clips of Wright, McCain once again said that he had done all he can do, although he did admit that he has not personally tried to contact the state party . . .


This is a flat-out lie
[McCain] Senator Obama says that he doesn’t want to raise taxes on anybody over — making over $200,000 a year, yet he wants to nearly double the capital gains tax. Nearly double it, which 100 million Americans have investments in — mutual funds, 401(k)s — policemen, firemen, nurses. He wants to increase their taxes. . . . [read on]

Once again, Clinton sides with McCain against Obama


Big names line up to call for a final decision on the Democratic nomination in June
Howard Dean, on ABC this morning, makes it absolutely clear that he and all the other "party elders" want the race to end well in advance of the convention . . .

Including . . .
[Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe, interviewed by David Corn] So, when does this end?

"June 15," he said without a nanosecond of hesitation.

Why then? I asked. The primaries finish on June 3, he noted, and after that there will be pressure on the uncommitted superdelegates (who now number about 300) to commit to one candidate or another. It should not take too long for these undecided insiders to make up their minds and declare their intentions--even if there are some who would rather not choose between the two.

So all done by June 15? You won't contend the nomination contest beyond then? I asked.

"Oh, I'm confident we'll be the nominee," he said, smiling. . . .

So, I asked, I have a promise? June 15? "June 15," he said. . . .


The consensus seems to be in: it was a bad idea for Obama to go on Fox News
[Kos] So let's see ... a right-wing media outlet taunts you for a few months, and the way to show strength is to cave in to those taunts? Kind of an odd approach. . . . [read on]
[Josh Marshall] My take is that it was stupid for an unnamed Obama advisor to tell TPM Election Central's Greg Sargent that Obama was going to "take Fox on" in the Sunday interview, since obviously he didn't. . . . [read on]
[BarbinMD] The questions (paraphrased):

* Why can't you close the deal?

* How do you overcome being an elitist?

* Won't being Black make it hard to get elected?

* Has Hillary played the race card?

* Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright?

* What you call distractions, we call values. Respond.

* William Ayers, William Ayers?

Mr. Wallace finished the interview with the questions that concern every American; John McCain; maverick or super maverick? Republicans; great ideas or the greatest ideas? Taxes; high or higher? Iraq; cut, run or cut and run? Debate with Hillary; scared or terrified? . . .


[NB: I doubt this was choreographed, but it's probably a good thing right now for Obama to be able to point out that D-Kos and MoveOn are criticizing him.]

Bonus item: Thank goodness for Ron Paul – always good for political entertainment. (In my town, the ONLY Republican signs you see are for Paul.)

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Monday, April 28, 2008


This is simple, folks. McCain said (repeatedly) that he wouldn’t mind having troops in Iraq for a hundred years. He and his supporters know that this is electoral poison, so they have mounted a heavy pushback to discredit the quote as misleading and “out of context.” Unfortunately for them, McCain’s plain meaning is right there for all to see – context has nothing to do with it. It is the job of the Dems to hammer him with this at every opportunity. Here’s a good start

Listen to the GOP howl:

How does McCain rationalize his broken pledge not to politicize issues like the Wright controversy?

McCain’s questionable use of his wife’s plane: big disclosure, right? But ask yourself this – how many members of the press received cushy flights with him, and chose not to write about it?

LETTERMAN: You got into financial trouble, and all of that changed, turned around. What did you do—did you ever consider getting out?

MCCAIN: Well, I was riding on a well-known airline in group D, you know, that’s the one where you get to sit in the center seat between two heavyset Americans… I was carrying my own bags, which was good training, good experience. . . .

Did you know McCain said this? I read everything, and this is the first I’ve heard about it – where is the press?
[Fareed Zakaria] On March 26, McCain gave a speech on foreign policy in Los Angeles that was billed as his most comprehensive statement on the subject. It contained within it the most radical idea put forward by a major candidate for the presidency in 25 years. Yet almost no one noticed. . . . In his speech McCain proposed that the United States expel Russia from the G8, the group of advanced industrial countries. . . .

[AP] McCain calls Obama insensitive to poor people . . . [read on]


Republican economics 101: Huge government subsidies to ailing (and often mismanaged) industries is “investment.” Government subsidies to poor people is “socialism”

What’s behind the Bush gang’s release of those Syrian reactor “videos”? A lengthy analysis

Hillary’s threat to bomb Iran hasn’t gotten much attention in the American press — but the rest of the world has noticed

One exception:
[Boston Globe] While Clinton has hammered Obama for supporting military strikes in Pakistan, her comments on Iran are much more far-reaching. She seems not to realize that she undermined Iranian reformists and pragmatists. The Iranian people have been more favorable to America than any other in the Gulf region or the Middle East.

A presidential candidate who lightly commits to obliterating Iran - and, presumably, all the children, parents, and grandparents in Iran - should not be answering the White House phone at any time of day or night. . . . [read on]

Our fickle press
[Tom Edsall] In a blink of an eye, the media has jumped ship from the Obama campaign and become a crucial Clinton ally, pressing just the message -- that Obama is a likely loser in the general election -- that Hillary and her allies have been promoting for the past six weeks. . . [read on]


“Cliff’s Notes”

Flag pins




Kitchen sink versus . . .?
[Hendrik Hertzberg] Hillary and her lieutenants, many of them, have evidently persuaded themselves that (a) it is absolutely certain that Obama would lose in November and (b) they are courageously braving the squeamish disapproval of bien pensants such as the Times (and The New Yorker) by destroying him before he can lure the Democratic Party to disaster. To the extent that they sincerely believe this, they are acting in a kind of twisted good faith—the kind that often marks those who have got hold of an end they see as justifying almost any means.

Their backup justification is that they are performing a service to the Party and to Obama by toughening him up and giving him practice in parrying the Republican thrusts he would face as the nominee. And they are surely right that those thrusts would be nastier than the ones he has faced from the Clintons. The reasoning is that while Clinton is (to quote myself from this week’s Comment) “a seasoned survivor of the worst that the Republican attack machine can dish out,” Obama isn’t.

Or is she? Clinton has thrown her kitchen sink at him, but—for hardheaded as well as high-minded reasons—he has not thrown his at her. . . . [read on]
[Carrie Brown] After Sen. Barack Obama’s third major primary loss and endless media coverage dedicated to dissecting the apparent weaknesses of his candidacy, one of the most striking elements of his campaign this week was what’s missing: any hint of internal upheaval.

At Obama headquarters in Chicago, hundreds of miles removed from the Beltway bubble, advisers held steadfast in their adherence to The Plan, a blueprint devised 15 months ago . . .


Obama on Fox
[Greg Sargent] The Fox News Sunday interview is over. And Obama didn't take on Fox at all in any meaningful sense. . . .

To be clear, Obama wasn't obliged to go after Fox. But a senior adviser said Obama would, as a way of quieting criticism of him. And he didn't.

This will likely further dismay liberal bloggers who had worked very hard to get Dems to boycott Fox as a way of deligitimizing the network and who already criticized Obama for agreeing to appear in the first place.

Obama turned in a perfectly solid performance. He probably succeeded in making a positive impression on many voters he might otherwise not have reached. But the broadcast was clearly a big victory for Fox and Chris Wallace, too. . .

Video clips:

Read it all:

Justice Antonin Scalia: what a prince
Torture is not punishment when you are trying to get information out of someone . . .

A question for Rush
[David Neiwert] Rush Limbaugh, like so many right-wing pundits, loves to make jokes about violence befalling liberals and "government bureaucrats", usually in a wistful manner. And then when said violence actually occurs, he wants everyone to know he had nothing to do with it.

Which raises the question: What exactly is the difference between publicly wishing for an event to occur and actually advocating it? . . .

Bonus item: The bowler

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Sunday, April 27, 2008


They won’t stop (until we stop them)
The Geneva Conventions' ban on "outrages against personal dignity" does not automatically apply to terrorism suspects in the custody of U.S. intelligence agencies, the Justice Department has suggested to Congress in recent letters that lay out the Bush administration's interpretation of the international treaty. . .


“I – know – nothing!”
McCain said flatly that he had not been fully briefed on the classified program, which means he does not know the specifics of the techniques now permitted by the CIA and the White House. "I have not," he said of his lack of a full briefing, "not any more than is available to non-members of the Intelligence Committee." As a practice, only Congressional leaders and members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are told such highly-classified matters.

This answer is interesting because it means that McCain cannot know for certain if the Bush Administration is currently following the letter of the law, which was authored by McCain, requiring the U.S. Government to avoid cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment. . .

[NB: And, believe me, he doesn’t WANT to know. Otherwise he would have to take a stand against it, or admit his own hypocrisy.]

So, foreign policy is McCain’s strength, eh?

Joe Klein, wrong again
[Josh Marshall] A couple weeks ago Joe Klein wrote a column in Time, which provided an overview of the coming campaign wrapped around the question of what kind of campaign John McCain will run -- whether he will he run a Bush-Drudge-style knock and sleaze campaign in which opponents are painted as crypto-terrorists and Hollywood-loving-pansies or embrace a "substantive debate."

Though not without doubts said he believes McCain will run an honorable campaign. "I suspect that he will. It's McCain's way. He sees the tawdry ceremonies of politics -- the spin and hucksterism -- as unworthy." If he doesn't "McCain will have to live with the knowledge that in the most important business of his life, he chose expediency over honor. That's probably not the way he wants to be remembered."

Well, the last two weeks haven't been kind to that confidence. . . . [read on]
[Steve Benen] About a month ago, lobbyist Charlie Black, John McCain’s senior campaign advisor, said the McCain campaign would not go after the Democratic candidates on the basis of guilt by association. The Dems might try it with McCain, Black said, but that’s just not the way McCain operates.

“What Senator McCain has said repeatedly is that these candidates cannot be held accountable for all the views of people who endorse them or people who befriend them,” Black told a national television audience, adding, “John McCain believes is that Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton should be held accountable for their public policy views, the things we’ve described before, big government versus smaller government.”

Like far too many McCain commitments, apparently, the Republican campaign didn’t mean a word of it. . . .
[Josh Marshall] The truth is that the guy doesn't actually have any real convictions -- or to put it more precisely, no real consistent convictions. That's evidenced in part by the kind of campaign the guy's running now. And at least a few of his press admirers are starting to sense that. But where you really see it most clearly is in the policy agenda he embraces. . . . read on]

[Josh Marshall] The Times finds another instance of McCain gaming the campaign finance laws, enabled again by the fact that there's no quorum of members of commissioners at the FEC, the same situation that's allowing him withdraw from the public financing system over the FEC commissioners objections. . . . [read on]

Dick Cheney, still running his own branch of government

Bush’s EPA
[WP] More than half the Environmental Protection Agency scientists who responded to an independent survey made public yesterday said that they had witnessed political interference in scientific decisions at the agency during the past five years. . . [read on]

Where is Obama?
[Josh Marshall] Hillary's controlling the agenda, defining the race at the moment. And that's made him recede into the background, even as he's a constant topic of conversation. . . .

Clinton wants to debate Obama several more times under a new no-moderator format. You know, it’s probably smarter for him politically to duck this – but I actually wish he would take it on
"Just the two of us going for 90 minutes asking and answering questions. We'll set whatever rules seem fair," Clinton said. . . . [read on]


Lincoln/Douglas style? Not really:
[Mark Kleiman] If you're the Obama camp right now, with victory seemingly secure, it's hard to resist the temptation to play it safe. But this is one temptation that should be resisted. Obama ought to jump on this. At a minimum, it would get the taste of that disgusting ABC debate out of the voters' mouths.

A brief on behalf of Clinton: why some of her supporters aren’t giving up hope
Michael Barone at Real Clear Politics examines the popular vote totals, including caucus states, and says Hillary Clinton is ahead. . . .
William Arnone, long-time Democratic party activist and the author of the key state series I've quoted many times, has just finished his preliminary electoral vote preview and again graciously agreed to let me publish it.

Arnone says there are 17 battle ground states among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, which also has electoral votes.

As to Hillary or Obama, who's more likely to get the Dems over the 270 mark? Arnone says it's Hillary. . . .


Why others are . . .
[Joe Sudbay] The Washington Post has an article, with two major developments about the ongoing primary battle and the fallout from the negative campaign of Hillary Clinton is running. One part of the article deals with the impact Clinton's approach is having on key constituencies in the Democratic party -- starting with African-Americans . . .

The other part of today's Washington Post article deals with the anger Clinton has generated among her own supporters, particularly donors. There are some choice quotes about Clinton's campaign from people who used to support her. As you read these statements below, keep in mind, they came from people who supported and donated to the Clinton campaign. . . . [read on]

DNC to hear Michigan, Florida appeals

Hmm . . . if Obama had said this (thanks to Jim A. for the link)
[Jim A.] Imagine if Barack Obama had praised Farrakhan the way that Governor Ed Rendell does in this video. Recall that Governor Ed Rendell was the campaign organizer and leader for Hillary's Pennsylvania's campaign. No one in the media has played this clip and no one has asked Hillary to reject and renounce Ed Rendell. In fact, no one has asked Rendell to reject and renounce Farrakhan. . . .

Not good,1,7650855.story
After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama faced serious financial pressure: numerous debts, limited cash and a law practice he had neglected for a year. Help arrived in early 2001 from a significant new legal client -- a longtime political supporter.

Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell Jr. paid Obama an $8,000-a-month retainer to give legal advice to his growing technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. It allowed Obama to supplement his $58,000 part-time state Senate salary for over a year with regular payments from Blackwell's firm that eventually totaled $112,000.

A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company . . .

Obama goes on Fox News today (it’s already been taped) – was this a good idea?
[Hunter] Obama has said he would use his Fox appearance to "take Fox on." We'll see: if he gave better than he got, it may have been a useful exercise. . . .

Sunday talk show line-ups
FOX NEWS SUNDAY: Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

THIS WEEK (ABC): Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) and Artur Davis (D-Ala.) and former senator Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.).

NEWSMAKERS (C-SPAN): Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

FACE THE NATION (CBS): Obama chief strategist David Axelrod and Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson.

MEET THE PRESS (NBC): Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.

LATE EDITION (CNN): Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), Clinton foreign policy adviser Jamie Rubin and Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice.

Here’s how it goes: Tony Snow is a Bush flack at Fox News, then he is hired to be WH Press Sect’y, then he’s hired as a Bush flack at CNN. Watch

Bonus item: Well, we have Rush Limbaugh calling for riots at the Democratic Convention, and Ann Coulter calling for the assassination of political figures (just joking, of course) – so why is it that WE are being accused of cozying up to terrorism?

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Saturday, April 26, 2008


The first question that should have been asked about the Bush gang’s release of the Syria reactor “videos” – Why now?
[Meteor Blades] Since about five minutes after Israel sent its warplanes to attack a site near Al Kibar, Syria, became known eight months ago, the speculation has been that Israel took out a nuclear reactor. Although the immediate public response from Washington officials was that the target wasn’t a nuke, we now know that those officials thought they knew better and had for months. The question now is whether this attack last September was a prelude to an attack on a nuclear reactor in Arak, Iran. . . .

Reasons for skepticism
[Glenn Greenwald] There are multiple reasons why substantial skepticism is warranted concerning the Bush administration's claims that the structure which Israeli jets destroyed inside Syria last September was a nuclear reactor Syria was developing with the aid of North Korea . . .
[Dan Froomkin] Intelligence reports from this administration can't be taken at face value. . . .


The government of Iran continues to supply weapons and other support to extremists in Iraq, despite repeated promises to the contrary, and is increasingly complicit in the death of American soldiers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday in a stark new assessment of Iranian influence. . . .

A civilian ship contracted by the U.S. military fired warning shots at two small boats approaching it in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy said Friday, describing the latest of a string of similar incidents that have triggered concern in Washington. . . .

Senior U.S. military officials have warned Iran about the risk of triggering an unintended conflict if its boats continue to harass American ships in the Gulf. . . .

Ike Skelton, Democratic chair of the House Armed Services Committee, is ready to look into the Pentagon’s media-propaganda operation. Suddenly, the program is put on hold. . .
Ike Skelton is angry . . .
[Stars and Stripes] The Defense Department has temporarily stopped feeding information to retired military officers pending a review of the issue . . .

Doug Feith: the banality of evil


GOP still trying to sneak telecom immunity past the Dems

They’re also trying to slip this through
[TChris] If Rep. Darrell Issa has his way, you'll need to read the fine print carefully before signing up with an Internet Service Provider . . .

Antonin Scalia: liar

John McCain: flip, flop . . . . . flip


Don’t kid yourself: McCain can be a vicious asshole when he wants to be. What a hypocrite
[Steve Benen] Back in November, when most of the Republican presidential candidates were taking cheap shots at Democratic candidates, John McCain said he was above such behavior. “I think people want a respectful debate and a respectful discussion. And if they don’t, then obviously, I’m not the person to be their candidate,” McCain said at the time. “Legitimate policy differences, those should be debated and discussed. But I don’t think you should take shots at people.”
[Yesterday] “I think it's very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States. So apparently has Danny Ortega and several others. I think that people should understand that I will be Hamas's worst nightmare....If senator Obama is favored by Hamas I think people can make judgments accordingly. . . .”


The kind of people they are, and the kind of campaign they will run

You won’t find the media talking about it, but John McCain is a lousy fundraiser, a lousy debater, a terrible speech-giver, and a deeply dishonest politician. His campaign is off to a miserable start, really. But one thing he’s good at: he’s good with the media
McCain's Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Week . . .
Things are a little easier if your name is John McCain -- after all, who needs the RNC when you have MSNBC? . . .

No, the GOP does not care about voting rights

Terry McAuliffe, Clinton advisor, circa 2004 (in the midst of another Michigan state credentials fight)
[Then] "I'm going outside the primary window," [Michigan Sen. Carl Levin] told me definitively.

"If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses," I said. "We will have chaos. I let you make your case to the DNC, and we voted unanimously and you lost." . . .

"You won't deny us seats at the convention," he said.

"Carl, take it to the bank," I said. "They will not get a credential. The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules. . . .”
[Now] "We just can't leave 2.3 million voters, 1.75 million in Florida, and over 600,000 in Michigan, who went in and voted. They've already voted. And we just need to count the votes.”

Clinton backer Evan Bayh
Senator Evan Bayh: Do as I say, not as I do . . .

Charles Krauthammer, one of the most intellectually dishonest columnists out there
[BarbinMD] n an attempt to make the case that Barack Obama's "character and cultural attitudes" somehow disqualify him from the presidency, Krauthammer distorts (Jeremiah Wright as an inciter of racial hatred), uses code words (jihad and tribal), lies (political career "launched" in William Ayers home), and projects ("self-congratulatory fatuousness"), which of course says quite a lot about Krauthammer's own character and cultural attitudes, not to mention his journalistic ethics. . . .


The press’s new line is, Why doesn’t Obama talk more about substance? So he comes out with a major new proposal, and what does the press want to ask him about?
[The Page] Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is planning to unveil a "massive" voter registration drive, one that will reach all 50 states . . .
Obama deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand spoke, followed by NC Congressman G.K. Butterfield. Hildebrand then opened the call for questions, which led to . . .


“Is the media turning on Obama?”

This is very smart
Obama spokesperson Bill Burton just confirmed to me that the campaign has set up a joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee. . .

The move is unusual in the sense that it's typically the sort of thing that's done once there is a nominee. . . .

The electability argument: both sides

Clinton’s perseverance: virtue or vice?

[Anne Taylor Fleming] Am I crazy, or does she actually look better, glowier, more vital than she did months past when the nomination seemed to be hers for the taking? She is a radiant warrior -- or warrioress, if you will -- bringing to bear on her White House hunt the same grit and tenacity she has so clearly brought to her marriage. . . .

But seldom do we see a woman show such ferocity in the service of her own blazing, trail-blazing ambition. Seldom have we seen a woman subtly, or not-so, go for the masculine jugular as this one has -- slashing at her male opponent with a kind of baiting, patronizing, survivalist's glee. You want to go a few more rounds? Great. I'm in. This is just getting fun. She seems more and more lit up, he more and more defeated, defensive, even though, technically, he is still in the winner's column.

It's quite a spectacle. One that leaves many of us with two minds . . . [read on]

Dubbed the "Billification" of Sen. Clinton's campaign by some insiders, Mr. Clinton has become something of a strategist-in-chief in recent weeks. He has been pushing for harder and sharper attacks on Sen. Obama. . . .

The former president says he's in uncharted territory. "Being the spouse is more difficult than when I was the candidate," he says in a brief interview. "When you're running, you're out there driving every day. But when you're the spouse, you feel more protective. It's much harder."

Mr. Clinton has placed several of his own aides at headquarters, including his former lawyer and a bevy of strategists. Known as a bad loser, Mr. Clinton privately buttresses his wife's drive to push on, telling her, according to aides: "We're not quitters." . . .

Are the Democrats brewing a race war?

Race, or gender?
But what [Jonathan] Tilove points out is that at least a very substantial part of what's going is not whites voting against Obama because of race but women, particularly white women, voting for Hillary because of gender. . . .

This doesn’t help, either
Keith Olbermann's latest: A discussion with Howard Fineman about the need for a superdelegate to "take [Clinton] into a room and only he comes out." . . . [read on]
Olbermann apologized in response to criticism of a crack he made the other night about Hillary. . . .


You can’t ask Obama about his association with Bill Ayers, former member of the “Weather Underground,” and not ask the Clintons about this

Has Hillary “turned the tide”?

Hillary’s debt
Hillary Clinton's campaign debt at the end of March was bigger than it appeared . . . [read on]

More bad news:
Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon served as an ambassador to Chile during Bill Clinton's presidency, considered himself a close friend of Sen. Hillary Clinton and became a "HillRaiser" by raising six-figure sums for her presidential bid.

But Guerra-Mondragon has had a fitful time of it in recent weeks as Clinton battled Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. Last week, he decided he had seen enough and joined Obama's finance committee.

"We're just bleeding each other out," Guerra-Mondragon said, when asked about the switch. "Looking at it as coldly as I can, I just don't see how Senator Clinton can overcome Senator Obama with delegates and popular votes. I want this fight to be over, the quicker the better." . . .

Hillary’s last, best hope
[Greg Sargent] Here is Hillary's long-shot best-case-scenario game plan, as best as I can understand it . . .

The state of the superdelegates
[Elizabeth Drew] The torrent of speculation about the end game of the Democratic nomination contest is creating a false sense of suspense – and wasting a lot of time of the multitudes who are anxious to know how this contest is going to turn out.

Notwithstanding the plentiful commentary to the effect that the Pennsylvania primary must have shaken superdelegates planning to support Barack Obama, causing them to rethink their position, key Democrats on Capitol Hill are unbudged.

“I don’t think anyone’s shaken,” a leading House Democrat told me. The critical mass of Democratic congressmen that has been prepared to endorse Obama when the timing seemed right remains prepared to do so. Their reasons, ones they have held for months, have not changed – and by their very nature are unlikely to. . . .
[FT] The Democratic party’s “superdelegates” have every right to overturn the popular vote and choose the candidate they believe would be best equipped to defeat John McCain in a general election, according to Howard Dean, chairman of the US Democratic National Committee. . . .

“If it’s very very close, they [the superdelegates] will do what they want anyway,” said Mr Dean.

“I think the race is going to come down to the perception in the last six or eight races of who the best opponent for McCain will be. I do not think in the long run it will come down to the popular vote or anything else.”

However, he added that it was highly unlikely that the superdelegates – of whom roughly 300 out of 800 remain undecided – would go against whichever candidate was ahead on the popular vote and among pledged delegates in practice. “I think it is very unlikely – I have never seen it happen. In fact it has never happened. But it is possible and they have every right to do it.” . . .

Senate “Ethics” Committee lets Pete Domenici off with a slap on the wrist

[Steve Benen] My suspicion is that the Ethics Committee went easy on Domenici because he’s retiring. He’s old (76) and suffering from a neurological disorder, and senators probably didn’t want his career to end on a scandalous, humiliating note.

Another Senate Republican to quit?

Rush Limbaugh, terrorist
Talk show host Rush Limbaugh is sparking controversy again after he made comments that appear to call for riots in Denver during the Democratic National Convention this summer.

He said the riots would ensure a Democrat is not elected as president, and his listeners have a responsibility to make sure it happens. . . .

[Steve Benen] Let’s play, ‘Imagine If A Democrat Had Said This’ . . .

Bonus item: The Age of the Jellyfish (something more to worry about)

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Friday, April 25, 2008


Dick Cheney, dead-ender, still believes Hussein had WMDs. Now he’s pushing a new story

The Syrian nuclear reactor videos – well, not really videos, not quite proving what they were intended to prove, and not really showing that the reactor was a threat. Otherwise, very, very significant
[Josh Marshall] We've been hearing for several days now that the White House was poised to released new videotape showing incontrovertible evidence of North Korean helping the Syrians build the alleged nuclear facilities the Israeli air force destroyed last September.

Well. Read down in the details. Now it appears there's actually no videotape -- only still photos. The 'videotape' is a videotape of the still photos. . . .
[David Kurtz] First, it was supposed to be video of North Koreans inside of Syria's alleged nuke facility. Then it turned out the "video" was really just the intel community's own presentation, which contained still photographs.

Now Reuters seems to knock the story back another notch . . .
[Juan Cole] We would have to know exactly what kind of reactor it was to know if it was suitable to help in a weapons program. As the Bush administration admits, there isn't any evidence of that. . . .


Get it?
The White House also used its statement as an opportunity to denounce the nuclear activities of Iran, which it says is a threat to the stability of the Middle East. . . .

Our friends
Pakistan's new government is negotiating a peace deal with militants in the Taliban-controlled Waziristan region, the rugged mountainous area that's thought to be Osama bin Laden's refuge.

The move reflects the changing approach of America's longtime ally in the war on terror, and news of the talks set off alarm bells in Washington . . .

7000 documents on the Bush gang’s torture policies. Guess what? They don’t want us to see them


The FBI wanted the CIA to know that their torture policies were wrong. What did they do about it?
[Paul Kiel] Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, FBI Director Robert Mueller made it as clear as he could what the FBI's reaction to the CIA's use of waterboarding and other forms of torture in 2002 had been: keep FBI agents out of trouble.

But when House Democrats pressed as to why the FBI hadn't investigated the abuses, Mueller said his hands were tied. The CIA and the Defense Department had the green light. "There has to be a legal basis for us to investigate, and generally that legal basis is given to us by the Department of Justice." Thanks to John Yoo and others in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the CIA had its "golden shield."

He also testified that in 2002, he'd "reached out" to the Pentagon and the Department of Justice "in terms of activity that we were concerned might not be appropriate -- let me put it that way." Mueller said he couldn't testify as to what the reply was, since it might be classified. Given the fact that a group of senior administration officials had agreed on the use of the techniques, you can guess what the answer was.

Oh, really?
[Emptywheel] The Israelis say that George Bush gave them written permission to expand settlements in the West Bank . . . Colin Powell says he never made such an agreement. . . .

[T]he final settlement came in an agreement with Iran-Contra alum Elliott Abrams. . . Would it surprise anyone that Elliott Abrams concluded some super-secret, cross-my-fingers, Neocons-only deal with the Israelis? Or that Condi Rice, agreed to that settlement, but now pretends she didn't?

Condi Rice: simply hopeless

Why does this Navy captain hate America?

Antonin Scalia – does this guy understand what the Supreme Court is all about?
[Reuters] Justice Antonin Scalia, in an interview to be shown on Sunday, defended the U.S. Supreme Court ruling's that gave George W. Bush the presidency . . .

"I say nonsense," Scalia said, when asked about critics who say the 5-4 ruling was based on politics and not justice. "Get over it. . .” . . [read on]

[NB: Justice Scalia – people are going to be writing about this decision for a generation. Do you have any idea how momentous it turned out to be? Do you have any sense of how you damaged the reputation of the Court by intervening in such a partisan way? Do you really imagine “get over it” is a legitimate response to jurisprudential criticism?]

Oh, and this gem
“I am a law-and-order guy. I mean, I confess to being a social conservative, but it does not affect my views on cases,"

Pretty weak tea: Pete Domenici chided by his colleagues for “the appearance of impropriety”

Congress opposes new FCC rule

Yes, the Democrats should always sit up and take notice when Republicans tell them what’s in their electoral self-interest

McCain trashes Bush’s response to Katrina. Okay, easy target. But what was Bush doing on the day he should have been focused on the problem? And what was McCain doing?
[AP] John McCain toured still hurricane-damaged areas of New Orleans and declared that if the disaster had happened on his watch, he would have immediately landed his plane at the nearest Air Force base. . . .
[Newsweek] As the deadly storm system moved ashore almost three years ago, sending fatal floods through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Bush was in Phoenix, on a tour aimed at boosting participation in what was then the administration's new Medicare prescription-drug plan. McCain had opposed the bill, but showed up to meet Bush at the airport anyway, along with other Arizona lawmakers. It was Aug. 29, McCain's 69th birthday, and on the tarmac, Bush presented his old political rival with a cake. The two posed, holding the cake up for cameras, and within seconds, went their separate ways. The cake, melting in the 110-degree Arizona heat, was left behind, uneaten. . . . [read on]


Hey, Reverend Hagee, here’s what McCain thinks about your theology
"It's nonsense, it's nonsense, it's nonsense, it's nonsense, it's nonsense. I dont have anything additional to say. It's nonsense, it's nonsense, it's nonsense, I don't have anything more to's nonsense. I reject it categorically."


How badly does McCain want to be President? And what is he willing to do to get it?

Why, he’ll do anything, of course
Now that he is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, however, McCain is marching straight down the party line. The economic package he has laid out embraces many of the tax policies he once decried . . .

McCain gets to have it both ways: says he really, really really tried to get the NC GOP not to run its ugly anti-Obama ad, but benefits from it (and the relentless press repetitions running the ad) all the same. As pointed out here, how weak a President would he be if he doesn’t even have this much persuasive force?
Cable news nets run ad attacking Obama over and over -- even as pundits note win-win for McCain . . .
McCain Says He'll Bring "Every Pressure To Bear" To Stop Obama/Wright Ad -- But It's Still Set To Run . . .
Anti-Obama ad a winner for McCain . . .
NBC's Mitchell said McCain took "very strong stand" against NC GOP's anti-Obama ad . . .
NY Times, LA Times reported that McCain asked NC GOP not to run ad, but did not report Obama's response . . .

Qui bono?

The media love affair with McCain continues
[David Broder] John McCain "is the rare exception who is not assumed to be willing to sacrifice personal credibility to prevail in any contest." . . . [read on]

Will Alan Keyes be John McCain’s Nader?

[Madison Powers] By any ordinary measure, Senator Clinton’s win in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary would be counted as an impressive victory. She won by a 10 point margin. She reduced the 700,000 vote gap in the nationwide popular vote by over 200,000. (In her count, which includes Michigan and Florida, she has pulled ahead). She closed the evening by delivering a gracious and dignified speech that was a refreshing departure from her usual format of staccato, pep rally shout-outs, punctuated by 5 point policy plans.

But the victory is tainted in many ways. Her team left Pennsylvania broke, bitter, and diminished in national stature. . . .
Pennsylvania Win Makes Clinton Victory Less Likely . . .

Obama: wounded, but still winning?

The electability map: three analyses



Pro-no one:

Simple truths
‘State primary results do not necessarily translate into general election victories’ . . . [read on]

Where are the superdelegates?
[Greg Sargent] * After Pennsylvania, many super-dels are accepting the fact that the contest won't end until the voting is over, and some even say that's a good thing for the party.

* Hillary's Pennsylvania win has persuaded many super-dels to remain neutral for the time being -- in hopes that the voters will render a clear verdict and relieve them of the burden of having to pick sides.

* A Hillary adviser says that her Pennsylvania win was what persuaded Tennessee Rep. John Tanner to come out for her yesterday.

* Fifteen House Dems gathered at Hillary headquarters yesterday to strategize about how to corral more super-dels for her -- the goal being to erase the sense of inevitability that surrounds Obama's candidacy.

Remember when?
[January 9, 2008] WOLFSON: I guess one other thing I'd add is that, as you know, this is a race for delegates. And we currently enjoy a lead in delegates, thanks to the great -- some of the great super delegates that we have on this call and around the country. . . .

MCAULIFFE: I've said from day one, and this is the point I tried to make yesterday on television when everybody was asking me questions about after Iowa and New Hampshire what happens, I've always viewed it sort of as a 27-state contest. . . [A]t the end of the day it's getting a basket of delegates.

“Why Can’t Clinton Close the Deal?”

How does this end?
[Taegan Goddard] 1. Clinton loses Indiana on May 6 and pulls out

2. Party leaders end it in June

3. A fight all the way to Denver

Looks like #2:
[The Hill] Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that three of the party's most influential figures might join to convince Democratic superdelegates to make up their minds on which presidential candidate to support.

Reid said he, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean might write a joint letter, or individual letters, to superdelegates after the last primaries in early June . . .

"That’s a dumb idea”:

So much for Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” nonsense (his plan to persuade his wingnut listeners to cross over and vote for Clinton as a way of extending and confounding the Democratic nomination race)
RUSH: What a night for Operation Chaos, even acknowledged in much of the local media throughout Pennsylvania. . . The elites in the media are just fit to be tied. . . . There is total chaos in the Democrat Party, and I'm going to spell out exactly what that chaos is in mere moments. But first I want to thank and congratulate all of you troops, all of you volunteers in Operation Chaos for a job well done. . . .

One in ten voters say they changed party registration to vote in this year's Pennsylvania primary. Ten percent of the vote is huge. That would be five times the past high for a crossover vote with a closed primary. That's an absolutely huge number -- and once again, ladies and gentlemen, that is Operation Chaos. . . .

Ah, not so much:;_ylt=Av4L8PE.ucUHJDjRbc0.LBOs0NUE
Most of those new Democrats were mobilized to come out for Obama, and they were nearly one-fifth of Obama's supporters. Even the former Republicans favored Obama over Clinton, largely invalidating rumors that Republicans would vote strategically in the Democratic primary in support of Clinton, hoping she would be easier to defeat in November.

Bonus item: Ha! Jenna Bush may not vote Republican this year

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***