Saturday, August 9, 2008


Posted originally at EENR Blog

Today is here and yesterday is over. Why am I writing this? Because as a reader and a John Edwards supporter I want to urge you not to change a damn thing about this blog. Why? Because the issues that are so important to us may not be as in focus today if it hadn't been for what John Edwards did throughout the campaign season. I believe this wholeheartedly.

What John did in 2006 has no bearing on Universal Health Care. What happened in 2006 does not make poverty in this County any less of an urgent issue. The corporate media would love to believe that what John did in 2006 would mean one less powerful voice talking about the strangle hold that corporations have on every facet of our lives in this Country.

Nothing can take away from these issues unless we let it happen.

Secondly, people will look to the die hard Edwards supporters to see how they should feel about this. Regardless of those people who are not really about the issues but about destroying a man, we must stand with Elizabeth and John. I believe that with all my heart.

The only person who truly can be angry is Elizabeth and it is their private matter, theirs to struggle with and theirs to deal with, it is not our pain.

Today, by Elizabeth Edwards

Our family has been through a lot. Some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some – most recently – caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences. None of these has been easy. But we have stood with one another through them all. Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him.

John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007. This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well. Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.

The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame. The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown. But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue. I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.
My response...

Dear Elizabeth,

It pains me to see you here, feeling you have to explain anything in your personal life. Both you and John have given a great deal for causes that many of us believe in and have elevated the conversation this campaign season. Everything else is noise.

I wholeheartedly supported John's campaign and wrote as part of EENR, I'm still very proud of what I wrote and all of it remains as true and important now as it did then.

Know that you are in my prayers, you and your entire family. It is unfortunate that those who chose to serve the public must suffer such invasions of their private matters. We are all human, we all make mistakes and we are all worthy of love and forgiveness. Until this is restored to how people in "public" office are treated, nothing much can change, even those issues we hold so dear because the sensational will aways overpower the most important priorities.

Thank you for fighting the good fight, for us and for your health and your family. Know we are behind you in this fight whenever you need us for whatever reason.

My love and respect,
Yes, I understand feeling betrayed. I defended him too. And I don't regret that one bit, by keeping the talk off of supposed affairs and love children we helped push the ISSUES. And by abandoning John I feel that we are abandoning Elizabeth when she needs us the most. Her voice is just as powerful and clear when it comes to speaking about health care for all. Her voice is just as vital to the cause of ending poverty in our life time. Elizabeth needs us too and if we leave John behind, we leave her by the wayside as well.

I have no sway here, I can only speak for myself and this is what this diary is intended to do. But I hope you search your hearts and your consciences and reconsider your actions regarding the blog.

Yesterday Gary and I went to file his candidate statement for the ballot handbook that voters receive prior to the election. We stood there having raised the money to pay for the majority of the ballot through donations (Something they rarely see according to the woman who helped us) and they told us we could not file this statement because we had failed to file a form. One form.

As I stood there absorbing this I was browsing my email and saw the news alert regarding the news. I was going between the two in my mind. As I stood next to my husband I felt the world caving in on me.

We had taken this money from people, good people who wanted to support us and because I had failed to do something we would be wasting their money. I could feel the tears welling up and my stomach turning. I've put so much into this campaign and I was the one who pushed him to run and I felt I had failed him once again and not only that, I had failed hundreds of others who had donated to our campaign.

Now, they said they couldn't find said forms and I was sure we had filled them out, in fact, the copies of both forms (we filled it out TWICE) were sitting on our kitchen table with the official stamp of the Registrar of voters (ROV) on it. We told them this.

As we drove home to get these documents, Gary was visibly shaken and upset. I was still feeling sick. We went over it, we filled them out! We sent a copy to the Secretary of State (without using certified mail, something we've learned to be a big no no.) Now what?

When we got home we had a message that stated they had found both ORIGINAL documents. Gary was in contact with the SOS and they were clear that we could file our statement, no big deal, you filled it out, get it to us ASAP.

But the ROV was still not going to let us file, they wanted written approval from the Secretary of State (SOS). Thankfully the wonderful woman who was helping us gave them written approval and we were able to file the statement. But what a roller coaster ride of emotions. What an up and down for us.

We had spent the day calling people to see if they could give us more money. Our bank account was still a good $1,500 below what we needed to file and even though good souls had donated to ActBlue, we were not going to get that money until Thursday August 14th (GOD bless every single person who donated and who helped spread the message of a good man standing up to an entrenched party in our County).

People delivered. We got checks in the mail, my uncle donated ANOTHER $250 as well as a good blogger friend who lives in Gary's district. Someone wrote us a check for $50 and let us pick it up at his home. People were helping us and when they said we couldn't file, all I could think was telling these people that I had failed them. That we had failed them.

This is only a microcosm of what Elizabeth and John have been through. This is minuscule compared to the turmoil, emotional trauma and upset that campaigning can drag one through, including the spouse if they choose to be as involved as Elizabeth is.

I hope you will consider my words. I hope you will choose to stand with Elizabeth if you cannot stand by John right now. I hope you will consider that what we did is not diminished in any way because of something that happened in 2006. That was yesterday and that was many yesterdays ago. We have to look to tomorrow. We have to keep going forward and we cannot leave the Edwards family behind us.

And they call it Liberal Media

Cross Posted at MyDD and ComputerQueen.Net

The past week has seen the mainstream corporate media continue their love affair with McBush. Ironically, this is the same media that Republicans have for years termed liberal.

Now, follow me on this one, as I'm moving quickly ...

The following block quotes are from an e-mail sent out by the Obama Campaign:

Just last week, McCain and his party attacked Barack Obama and ridiculed the idea that keeping your car tires inflated is an effective way to improve fuel efficiency and keep down the cost of gasoline. They even mailed out tire gauges as a joke.

I think the shortest response I can give is "Duh!"

Anyone who has limited mechanical experience with vehicles (or has a loved one who possesses such experience) has heard preaching ad nauseum regarding the need for properly inflated tires. This has been something known to millions for decades, but the MSM has gotten away with discounting this because McBush says it's simplistic. Sometimes the best ways for John and Jane Doe to assist with global issues, is something as simple as maintaining your vehicle properly. Not to mention it helps the pocketbook immensely.

The even more shocking thing to me, however, is that the MSM didn't call McCain or the RNC on this. All they did is laugh it off. McCain wasn't even made to eat his share of crow over such a stellar gaffe.

NEXT! . . .

Earlier this week, the McCain campaign put out an ad saying that Washington is broken.

Again, another obvious statement. The thing that the Rethuglicans don't mention is that Obama's been there 4 years ... their guy has been there 26 years. McBush has had a LOT more time to fix things, yet chooses to play the blame game. Look at McSame's voting record ... in the past 7.5 years, he's voted with Bush and the Republican Party 95% of the time. Maverick my @$$!

And again, the MSM is allowing him to make baseless claims without repercussions.

And Finally ...

Another ad uses scare tactics to claim Barack's tax policy will hurt middle class Americans.

The Media conveniently forgot that McSame's plan only helps the top echelon of wage earners. Over 100 million middle class families will take the tax burden of the upper class . . . the SAME upper class that has the ability to have people lobby for their tax loopholes, and who perpetuate the broken system that McSame talks about. Which party has spoken out against lobbyists and special interests? Certainly not the Rethuglicans!

Again and again it's painfully clear that McSame is truly the darling of the Mainstream Corporate Media ... the same media that the Right Wing-nuts loves to call Liberal!

And to hear the candidate speak to it himself:

So, how is McSame's campaign different than the normal Rethuglican faire? Where's the "Straight Talk Express"? And, lord knows if he can't campaign differently than the Republican standard of smear and fear, then how will he TRULY Govern?

Just my 2 Cents ... /me steps off the soapbox.

Platforming It.

Earlier this week a draft of the 54-page 2008 Democratic National Committee's platform was sent to its committee members. Since the 80's, the real writing of the platform has been done by the campaign of the presumptive nominee. Certainly the document reads more like a stump speech from the Obama campaign than cutting edge reform. This is not surprising.

An Obama aide, Karen Kornbluh, has been designated by the Democratic National Committee as the "Principal Author" of the document. Kornbluh is on leave from Obama's Senate office, where she serves as policy director.

Indeed the platform contains a section on fatherhood, a definition of patriotism, a section detailing Obama's economic stimulus plan, a call for more service, through an expanded AmeriCorps and Peace Corps, and several mentions of hope. The draft's preamble uses the wording "It is time for a change."

The document did however include nods to both Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards.

A pledge to elevate poverty eradication as a policy goal. "Working together," the platform states, "we can cut poverty in half within ten years."

Health care

In return for the guarantee, activists dropped a tougher platform amendment seeking a government-run, single-payer system and another amendment explicitly holding out Clinton's plan as the one to follow.

The party now declares itself "united behind a commitment that every American man, woman and child be guaranteed to have affordable, comprehensive health care."

Under any system in play, most people would still put out money for health insurance as they do now, but they would get help when needed.

Despite loud rumblings to amend, there were no changes made to the caucus system. However an extensive section on women's rights was included that uses highly anticipated language many yearned to hear.

We believe that standing up for our country means standing up against sexism and all intolerance. Demeaning portrayals of women cheapen our debates, dampen the dreams of our daughters and deny us the contributions of too many. Responsibility lies with us all.

The Democratic National Convention will vote on it in Denver later this month.

Weekend Polling Report

Check out the most recent report from We have a mixed bag of new state polls:

Missouri- McCain +7
Michigan- Obama +4
Washington (state)- Obama +12

Obviously, Washington state won't be in contention for McCain. That's the good news for this weekend, along with Obama maintaining an edge in Michigan despite the recent turmoil there surrounding the Democratic Governor and the Democratic Detroit Mayor. Missouri, on the other hand, is starting to look less like a "Toss-up" state & more like a "Lean McCain" state. He's had the upper hand there for most of the summer, and unless Obama can bring about a major turnaround by Convention time he may need to shift his resources over to more winnable swing states like Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, & Nevada.

So what are you thinking? Which states do you think Obama should focus on winning to win the November election? Are you feeling good about our chances this fall?

Let's talk about the state of the race... Chat away!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Night Open Thread

Check this out.

Let our friends at Yes to Democracy know you appreciate their work. Feel free to spread this to all your friends who still think John McBush is "pro-women". Otherwise, consider this an open thread. Chat away. ;-)

Help Hillary Protect Reproductive Health

A couple of weeks ago, Hillary Clinton wrote An Outrageous Attempt by the Bush Administration to Undermine Women's Rights about the Bush administration's attempt to define birth control as "abortion" via HHS rules:

The Bush administration is up to its old tricks again, quietly putting ideology before science and women's health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to put in place new barriers to accessing common forms of contraception like birth control pills, emergency contraception and IUDs by labeling them "abortion." These proposed regulations set to be released next week will allow healthcare providers to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it. We can't let them get away with this underhanded move to undermine women's health and that's why I am sounding the alarm.
As reported in Medical News Today (emphasis mine):
HHS' draft regulation would define abortion as "any of the various procedures -- including the prescription and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation" (Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/16). Under the draft, to receive funding under any program administered by HHS, researchers, clinics, medical schools and hospitals would have to sign "written certifications" that they will not discriminate against people who object to abortion -- however a provider or entity chooses to define it.
So what would this rule mean? That the health care worker's "choice" is more important than a woman's right to control her own health. Ectopic pregnancy that might kill you? Too bad, your health care worker doesn't like that procedure. Out of control menstrual cycles? No birth control pills for you to get them regular because your health care worker thinks preventing implantation is abortion. Raped and worried you might get pregnant? No Plan B for you if your health care worker doesn't approve!

If you aren't a woman of child bearing age or otherwise don't find this to be an important issue, realize that this is about much more than reproductive "freedom" or a woman's right to "choose", this rule would deny women access to reproductive health care. (And "reproductive health care" is not limited to having babies or preventing having babies. Women have all sorts of health care issues related to their reproductive organs throughout their entire lives.) Once health care workers have a right to refuse one medical treatment based on their own religious or personal beliefs, how many other medical treatments can this be extended to? It's a very slippery slope that we should avoid altogether.

Now, Hillary is asking for our help on this important issue. She is sending the following petition to Secretary of HHS:

Dear Secretary Leavitt,

I am appalled at the proposal now under consideration at HHS which will endanger family planning services and undermine the health of women across the country. I strongly urge you to refute this outrageous policy that threatens to affect Medicaid and Title X programs that are important to millions of families.

I stand with Hillary Clinton and women and men across America in speaking out against this proposal. We've had enough of putting ideology over science and failed policies harming healthy families.
Please visit HillPac and show your support by signing the petition.

Protect a woman's right to choose. Protect access to reproductive health care for women. Protect your right to make your own health care choices.

If "PUMA" Was Really Pro-Hillary, They Wouldn't Be "PUMA"

(Originally posted at Yes to Democracy: The ANTI-PUMA)

If you're anything like me, you're getting sick & tired of all the ugly smears being thrown at Democrats by the McCain campaign... With the help of the corporate media. Fortunately, Democrats are now fighting back. Unfortunately, there's a group of so-called "Democrats" that are actively working to further the right-wing smears against us & our candidates.

OK, I'm sure you know who I'm talking about now. While Alegre's Corner obsesses over media-hyped "tension" between the Clintons & the Obamas, The Confluence celebrates whatever polls they can find showing McCain within "striking distance" of Obama. Oh yes, and let's not forget the continuing devolution of No $0.25 to complete right-wing propaganda machine. Basically, these "Clinton Democrat" PUMAs are carrying water for the GOP. Why?

Once upon a time, I was close to some of these "PUMAs" before they broke off from

the party and began to actively work against Democrats. These bloggers used to be rational people, working for Democratic candidates and progressive values instead of trashing them. I used to be awestruck by the good work they did for Hillary Clinton.

But ever since the primary season ended, I've wondered what went wrong. Has their anger really gotten the best of them while bringing out the worst? Have they become so gullible to GOP lies to actually start believing these untruths and proclaiming them as "important news"? What happened to the Hillary bloggers I once knew?

If these folks really think they are helping Hillary by smearing her, Barack Obama, and the entire Democratic Party, I think they're sorely mistaken. If anything, their efforts are only fueling efforts by the "Clinton Haters" to smear Hillary Clinton even more than they already had during the primaries by using these rumors to suggest that Hillary is trying to divide the party to make Obama lose. The "PUMA" followers who think what they're doing is "in honor of Hillary" need to rethink what they're doing.

This is why my friends and I are doing all we can to help Barack Obama win while also sending more & better Democrats to Congress. As true Hillary Clinton Democrats, we know the only way the progressive agenda Hillary advocated can be enacted is if & only if we have a Democratic President & Democratic Congress. If "PUMA" really cared about honoring Hillary Clinton, they'd be doing that instead of working full-time to spread lies for the Republicans.

I Am McTroll! See Me BS!

I am McTroll. I am right-wing Freeper progressive!You can't control me. This site is dedicated to MY free speech rights, dammit! I can say whatever I damn well please. The Democrat Party is all about free speech, so you can't silence me!

If I want to obsess over the John Edwards affair, I can do it. He's a cheater and a skank, just like the rest of the Democrat Party. Because I am part of Democrat Party, I can use my free speech to bash Edwards.

If I want to show the whole damn f***ing world that Hillary Clinton is a lying, cheating, conniving f**ing b***h c***, that is my right. The f***ing Democrat Party is the f***ing free speech party, so I don't want to be a part of your f***ing revolution if I can't rant all I want. I am your f***ing Democrat Party you s**tface fat f**ks, and I f***ing hate the bulls**t f***ing liar Clintons!

If I want to use this site to promote my theory that Barack Hussein Obama is a black liberation Christianist, secret Islamofascist, and undercover godless atheist who is out to do the dirty work of the Trilateral Commission and conquer the world, I can do it here. Isn't this a Democrat blog? Democrat Party is all about free speech, so I can just say no deal and tell you all party unity my ass.

Oh yes, and have you seen the new poll? McCain is up 1000%! McCain will win. The Democrat Party is doomed. McCain will win. I am Democrat Party, and I know McCain will win.

I am McTroll. I am Republican, no Democrat! Even though I do nothing to help Democrats, I have free speech right. I demand your attention!!!11111!!!!! Look at me!!!11!!!!!111!! Now go rec this diary, biotchez!11111!!!!111!

Barack Obama (President)$
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Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)$
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And donate, donate, donate!

(Author's Note: This diary is obviously snark. You're supposed to laugh now. If you don't get the joke, then you've obviously been spending too much time engaging McTrolls in pointless flame wars. And yes, I've cross-posted this at MyDD because the trolls there are pissing me off.) ;-)

Democrats Hit Back!

Democrats have hit back with a response to the McCain campaign's web ad which featured clips of Democrats praising John McCain.

Wisdom from Paul Krugman

Ain't this the truth?

What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism - the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there's something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise - has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party's de facto slogan has become: "Real men don't think things through." [...]

In any case, remember this the next time someone calls for an end to partisanship, for working together to solve the country's problems. It's not going to happen - not as long as one of America's two great parties believes that when it comes to politics, stupidity is the best policy.

Why isn't anyone else in the "mainstream" corporate media asking this about the GOP's electoral "strategery"? Have you ever before seen so much idiocy packed into one party's platform? I didn't think so.

But hey, remember not to think in public when you're around Republicans... :-D

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Late Nite Open Thread

Now with awesome video! Here's Obama at a town hall in Indiana yesterday:

So what do you think? I wonder when McBush will ever get his nose out of the gutter & start talking real issues.

Consider this an open thread. Chat away. ;-)

The Elephant in the Room

Alright Clintonistas, we all knew that this quote by Hillary was going to come back to haunt Democrats. Hold onto your pantsuits and press play.

I don't want this thread to turn into a debate on the appropriateness of Hillary's comment. I felt at that time and still do now that her comment was within bounds. From having spoken with my co-bloggers, I have the sense that I am in the minority, if not alone, in my thinking.

As Hillary stated in her concession speech, this isn't about the past. It's about the future. The Republicans have no plans for the future beyond the failed policies of Bush/Cheney/McCain, so all they can do is dredge up the past. Remember two things. First, this is going to happen over and over and over again. Prepare yourself. Second, the only way this strategy works is if we let it work. McCain's only path to victory goes through Denver and a divided Democratic Party. If we allow past battles to get in the way of future victories, then we lose and our country loses as well.

The Republicans are at it again. Don't fall for it!

As the Media Joins the Low Road Express

How much have you heard so far about Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton supposedly "not getting along"? How much have your heard about the "maverick" McCain? How much total crap have you heard coming out of the media & the McCain campaign so far that you just can't get our of your head?

Well, let me help you get past the garbage & get back to focusing on what matters...

So how do you really feel about McCain's negative campaign & the media's love affair with that kind of nonsense? I think this says it well for me. Take a look.

As I was saying earlier this week, I've had it with this trash. And frankly, I think there are many more Americans like me.

I've had it with the media continually giving McCain a free pass. I've had it with McCain's endless substance-free smear attacks on Barack Obama. I've had it with the media obsessing over rumors about Bill & Hillary Clinton and how they get along with the Obamas instead of... Well, instead of the media doing its job in informing the American people about what Obama & McCain stand for.

So have you had it like I have? Well, then let's do something about it. Hold the media accountable. Tell everyone who John McCain really is. Oh yes, and let's elect some great Democrats who will persue real media reform.


CA-46: Better Leaderhsip for Our People & Our Planet


(Proudly cross-posted at Swing State Project & MyDD)

I live in Orange County, CA. I'm used to seeing scary Republicans that care nothing about environmental justice. But of all the crazy Republicans here, none can be crazier than "Crazy Dana" Rohrabacher. He's consistently voted against the best interests of our people and our planet, and it's time we do something about this. That's why I'm so glad to see some good friends of ours take real action for real change.


Here's the big announcement from the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV):

“We’re proud to support Debbie Cook because she has shown time and again her commitment to protecting our coastal resources,” said CLCV’s Southern California Director David Allgood. “Mayor Cook has a long record of achievement on environmental, public health and other issues important to the people of the 46th District.”

Huntington Beach Mayor & Democratic Congressional Candidate Debbie Cook has worked so hard to do so much to protect the California coastal environment. She successfully sued the state Coastal Commission to protect the ecologically sensitive Bolsa Chica Wetlands. She successfully convinced all the Republicans on the Huntington Beach City Council to join with all the Democrats on the council in unanimously agreeing to sign the city onto the US Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement. And today, she's working to stop a dangerous desalination plant that would harm the regional coastline while fueling more exurban sprawl.


(photo coutresy LA Times) 

Debbie Cook truly is the people's environmental champion here in Orange County, CA. And if we elect her to Congress, she can be a champion for all of us. So will you please join the League of Conservation Voters in supporting Debbie Cook?

I've come to know Debbie Cook pretty well as I've helped out with the campaign. She's the real deal. That's why she's earned my full support. I hope she can earn yours as well. :-)

Barack Obama (President) $
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Jeanne Shaheen (NH-Sen) $
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Jeff Merkley (OR-Sen) $
Dina Titus (NV-03) $
Darcy Burner (WA-08) $
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01) $
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) $
Linda Stender (NJ-07) $
Christine Jennings (FL-13) $
Martin Heinrich (NM-01) $
Gary Peters (MI-09) $
Charlie Brown (CA-04) $
Glenn Nye (VA-02) $
WesPAC - Securing America's Future $

More MSNBarack

It's my fault for going to MSNBC. I don't browse the site like I used to, but when something shows up on my newsfeed, I check it out. Big mistake. The Clinton-deranged political commentariat at MSNBC is now obsessed with this video of Hillary Clinton discussing her role and the possibility of a roll call vote at the convention:

If you haven't seen this clip, watch it before reading the rest of my post. In a post called More Clinton Drama, Mike Murray of MNSBC's First Read political blog, argues that this clip clearly shows that Hillary hasn't gotten over her loss yet.
It now has been exactly two months to the day when Hillary Clinton officially ended her candidacy and endorsed Obama. But even two months -- and it seems longer ago than that, doesn't it? -- can’t erase the Clinton drama, even as polls show that women and Clinton’s supporters are firmly behind the Illinois Democrat. First came the Bill Clinton interview in which he wouldn’t say that Obama is qualified to be president beyond the requirements set in the Constitution that you have to be 35 or older and born in the US. And now -- right before she stumps for Obama tomorrow in Nevada -- comes a YouTube clip of Hillary telling her supporters that she wants a “strategy” to have her delegates heard at the convention. (After talking to a Dem operative, Clinton must approve, in writing, for her name to appear on the ballot.

So this is in Clinton's power whether her name is put into nomination, not Obama's nor Howard Dean's.) Watching the video clip, you can tell that Hillary still hasn’t gotten over losing, and given all of the people she had telling her that she’d be the next president, we can understand the denial; she had been preparing for this moment for nearly four years. But we've asked this question a million times and we ask it again: Would the Clintons have been as deferential (or be expected to be as deferential) to Obama if the roles were reversed? What has happened over the last few days has given Obama the high ground here.
Hillary's only remaining bargaining chip with the Obama campaign and the DNC is her right to a roll call vote at the convention. That's it. If she wants to wield any influence over the platform or the convention at all, she needs to keep that card in her pocket. That's smart politics.

Hillary has endorsed the presumptive nominee. She's asked her supporters to donate to his campaign and vote for him. She's publicly said that her supporters who do not support the nominee are making a mistake. And if that's not enough, the Clinton and Obama campaigns yesterday released this joint statement on the convention:
"We are working together to make sure the fall campaign and the convention are a success," said a joint statement released late Wednesday by the Clinton and Obama campaigns. "At the Democratic Convention, we will ensure that the voices of everyone who participated in this historic process are respected and our party will be fully unified heading into the November election."
Hillary Clinton is not the problem. The problem is the media who are jumping on any tiny morsel of evidence of party disunity. Given that two months have passed since Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Senator Obama, it is sad that Clinton Derangement Syndrome continues to permeate MSNBarack's coverage of Bill and Hillary Clinton. It's beginning to remind me of the Republicans continuing to bash the Clintons long after they left the White House..

Mike Murray, MSNBarack, here's some advice from a die-hard Clintonista who has had trouble getting over the primaries: It's time to let go of the primaries. It's over. You won. Your guy is the nominee. It's time to get over the Clintons.

Obama Artwork can send Democratic Delegate to the Convention!

That's right. Misha(Ma’Heo)Houser, a good friend, an amazing democrat and a brilliant artist put forth a breathtaking piece of digital art for Orange County's Artists for Obama. This was a fundraiser meant to raise money to send local delegates to the convention in Denver. Both Charlotte and I attended this event Saturday night and the print is even more gorgeous in person.

So, what does it take to get one of these amazing prints? Just $300! That's it for an original, limited edition print that symbolizes the hopes and dreams that we have for an Obama presidency. This money is to help send a Democratic delegate to the Denver convention as well, it's money well spent with a great piece of history to keep for a lifetime.

Misha is only printing and selling twenty of these pieces and I'm hoping that you will help her get to Denver and show your pride in supporting Obama. It's a wonderful piece that would look great anywhere and I wish I had the money myself to buy one!

The proceeds to this sale will also benefit the proposed web cast for our local blog, The Liberal OC. It's a breath of fresh air in our very red County and I can't wait to get back to blogging there! (I've taken a break in my local blogging to concentrate on helping my husband run for California State Senate!)

A quote from Misha herself about the event...

This will be my first convention & I'm so excited! A fellow delegate and I will be doing daily webcasts from Denver so that you can share the experience with us! Our webcasts will be hosted through

We plan to do interviews, cover behind the scenes happenings, and share video from the convention floor. This is your chance to see our political process in action!

So, there you go. Twenty only! Get to buying!

If you are interested in purchasing one of the prints, you can email me at and I will pass on your request!

Roundup of National Polls over the Last Couple of Days

Last week, there was a spate of polls that suggested some tightening had occurred in the race for president, but the new polls released the past couple of days seems to indicate that Obama maintains roughly a five to six point lead.

A CBS Poll released yesterday portrays the race this way:

Obama 45
McCain 39
Undecided 13

The economy, Iraq, fuel prices, and health care were the primary concerns of voters. This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,034 adults nationwide, including 906 registered voters, interviewed by telephone July 31-August 5, 2008.

Time Magazine interviewed 808 registered likely voters and found Obama with a five point lead:

Obama 46
McCain 41

In June, this poll suggested that Obama led McCain 47 to 43.

AP/Ipsos the day before yesterday reported Obama has a six point lead:

Obama 47
McCain 41

The poll was conducted from July 31-Aug. 4 and involved telephone interviews with 1,002 adults, for whom the margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Karma's a Bitch.

With last week GM reporting a $15.5 billion loss in the second quarter, it is quite clear that American car manufactures are getting their come-uppance. published a list of the top 10 most efficient 2008 sedans available. They ranked the cars based on EPA fuel economy numbers. And sweet moses would you guess that not one from an American manufacturer made the list! Even the Wall Street Journal, not known for its criticism to big business, has sharp words about American car manufacturers.

Now we see the results of the myopia that has afflicted Detroit auto executives. These are the people who staked their companies' futures on gas-guzzling, heavyweight behemoths.

Auto execs claim they were giving Americans the products they wanted. Really? For proof to the contrary, look at their U.S. market shares, which are slumping to historically low levels as Japanese auto makers gain ground.

In lieu of GM's stunning losses, I was reminded of the complete and utter arrogance they displayed when they crushed its fleet of EV-1 electric vehicles in the Arizona desert. The EV-1 was among the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions and catapulted American technology to the forefront of the automotive industry.

The story of the EV-1 is documented in the amazing film Who Killed the Electric Car? It chronicles the life and mysterious death of the EV-1 and it examines the cultural and economic ripple effects caused by its conception and how they reverberated through the halls of government and big business.

A summary:

The film deals with the history of the electric car, its development and commercialization, mostly focusing on the General Motors EV1, which was made available for lease in Southern California, after the California Air Resources Board passed the ZEV mandate in 1990, as well as the implications of the events depicted for air pollution, environmentalism, Middle East politics, and global warming.

The film details the California Air Resources Board's reversal of the mandate after suits from automobile manufacturers, the oil industry, and the George W. Bush administration. It points out that Bush's chief influences, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Andrew Card, are all former executives and board members of oil and auto companies.

A large part of the film accounts for GM's efforts to demonstrate to California that there was no demand for their product, and then to take back every EV1 and dispose of them. A few were disabled and given to museums and universities, but almost all were found to have been crushed; GM never responded to the EV drivers' offer to pay the residual lease value ($1.9 million was offered for the remaining 78 cars in Burbank before they were crushed).

Embedded below, the film in its entirety:

If the above does not work, visit this LINK.

However its not all bad news. In the same WSJ piece - it would seem that some have climbed aboard the bus.
In a recent meeting with Ford executives, CEO Alan Mulally dared to challenge the Detroit gospel that you can't make money on small, fuel-efficient cars.

At last Ford appears to be making bold moves to design and sell vehicles that people want. In Paris earlier this summer I spotted an unfamiliar car so attractive that I went over to see what it was. It was a Ford. Presumably this is one of the six European models that, as part of the "Drive One" campaign, Ford will introduce in the U.S. Ford is also boosting production of its fuel-efficient "EcoBoost" and four-cylinder engines, speeding up hybrid introductions and converting three truck plants to small-car production.

Even GM seems to be facing reality. It said it's planning for oil prices in a $120-$150 range for the foreseeable future, boosting light vehicle production, and suspending production at four truck plants. It, too, is accelerating production of efficient four-cylinder engines, and announced a global Chevrolet small-car initiative.

While promising, what pulls my chain about the above is that rather than take responsibility for the planet and in the role these car companies play in emissions, the American car manufacturers are only taking these steps because of the price of gas. Let's hope their successful. However as they say, karma's a bitch.

Chat With Hillary Tomorrow Afternoon!

(cross-posted at MyDD)

Just a quick note because atdleft reminded me, and I know a lot of us don't want to miss this. Tomorrow (Thursday, August 8) at 12 PM EST at, Hillary will be holding a web chat (watch her video invitation) to talk about upcoming events and activities. She's constantly reminding us of the importance of electing Obama our next president:

In just the past few weeks I've been incredibly moved by your continued commitment. You've helped me so much make progress on raising the funds to retire the campaign debt, to pay the small vendors who helped us take our message across the country. Your continued support has made such a difference as we continue to champion universal healthcare and an economy that sustains the American Dream, and especially as we work together to elect Barack Obama President of the United States so we'll be able to fulfill the goals we care about so deeply.

And that's what we're trying to accomplish -- we need a Democrat in the White House if we're going to have any chance of getting this country back on track. Hillary is supporting Obama not only because she's a good Democrat, but also because he will fight for the causes she (and all of us) believe in. She'll have a much easier time fighting for us in the Senate if Barack is president, so let's help get him elected and push Hillary's legislation through.

So don't miss out on her web chat tomorrow (especially if you're going through Hillary withdrawal like I am), and keep checking in at her website for updates on the convention and upcoming events.

And of course, don't forget to donate to Hillary and Barack, either via their websites or through the new Clintonistas for Obama Act Blue page. I recommend the latter, naturally. It will also give you an opportunity to donate to other great down ticket candidates. Exciting though the presidential race may be, gaining seats always a top priority.

Pooties for Democracy, help them raise $$ for my Husband's Ballot Statement!

Yes, I know crazy huh? We're just $1,200 away from being able to pay for our ballot Statement on Friday and I'm asking you for your help. We can't put this money out there, it's just not possible.

Behind the cut? My various Edwards pooties, Democratic Pooties and randomness. Why? Because, I'm tired. I want a happy post rather thank thinking of the people telling us not to bother running in this very red County. No race is lost unless no one stands up to run.

Do you want to know something about Gary? Here is our website. Gary has also been endorsed by Debbie Cook and the Orange County Employees Association. Unfortunately tomorrow, Gary and Charlotte will be driving to Bakersfield for a funeral, Gary's grandmother passed away last week.

So, just for fun people.

Goal Thermometer


Our Walk Piece


A favorite of mine that is still applicable.


I just couldn't help this one...I mean come on! PUMAS?


Some of my disappointed Edwards Pooties.








Democrats in Orange County California

Oh and some random Pooties...












Pooties for McCain








Won't Be Neoconned Again

(Cross-posted at MyDD)

I noticed something today. I noticed that something very interesting happened on this day seven years ago. Think Progress reminded me about it.

Today marks seven years since the day President Bush received a President’s Daily Brief entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” (See the memo here.) At the time, Bush was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, TX and stayed on vacation the rest of August 2001.
Of course, our nation would be attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists the following month. But instead of investigating the leads provided by these memos given to the Bush Administration earlier in 2001, they did nothing. And have the Bushies even learned from their earlier mistakes as they embarked upon their "GWOT"?

As I was remembering that memo our President received seven years ago today, I was thinking about another massive intelligence failure of this Administration. Specifically, I was thinking of this.

"The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001. It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq -- thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President's Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link. The letter also mentioned suspicious shipments to Iraq from Niger set up with al Qaeda's assistance. The idea was to take the letter to Habbush and have him transcribe it in his own neat handwriting on a piece of Iraq government stationery, to make it look legitimate. CIA would then take the finished product to Baghdad and have someone release it to the media.

"Even five years later, [Rob] Richer remembers looking down at the creamy White House stationery on which the assignment was written. 'The guys from the Vide President's Office were just barraging us in this period with one thing after another: run down this lead, find out about that. It was nonstop. Of course, this was different. This was creating a deception.'"

Apparently, we have even more evidence that the Bush White House misled the nation into the current failed occupation of Iraq. But really, should we be surprised? Unfortunately, they've developed a penchant for deceiving the American people.

Obviously, we've been "neoconned". By way of a rigid set of thinking that led the Bush White House to ignore real threats to manufacture false threats, we're failing miserably in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh yes, and thanks to all our money being diverted to the failed Iraq occupation instead of being used here at home, our nation is no safer now than it was before 9/11.

So what can we do to fix this mess that the Bush Administration got us into? Well, we can start by not being "neoconned" again. Believe it or not, John McCain is a neoconservative. He doesn't seem interested in ending the Iraq occupation. He'd rather continue pursuing his megalomaniac, imperialist fantasy than focus on our real security crises. Now who does John McCain sound like? Anyone want to guess?

We've been neoconned once before, but we can't afford to be neoconned again. John McCain is just as dangerous as George W. Bush. He wants to continue Bush's "foreign policy" of endless war while continuing to ignore our real security concerns abroad and at home.

So do we want more failure? or are we ready for real change? I think you know what to do.


Why Does Paris Have a Better Energy Plan Than McBush?


See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Hillary Takes on Dubya...

In today's Wall Street Journal. Check it out. Oh yes, and aren't you glad we have someone like Hill who's always looking out for us? :-)

Obama's Energy Speech: A Winning Issue

(Cross-posted at MyDD)

On Monday, Barack Obama delivered a well-received speech on energy policy in Lansing, Michigan - a speech that was so ambitious and on-point that it could singlehandedly put Michigan in the Obama column in November, in the opinion of this Michigander.

Yet for the most part, people aren't hearing about this speech. They're hearing about tire gauges and whether Obama flip-flopped on this or that, but they're not hearing about his 21st-century Manhattan Project to invest in the energy sector and solve the current crisis while strengthening our economy at the same time.

That needs to change. Let's talk about it.

The Speech

The core of the speech itself was a trio of strong and effective proposals for federal government intervention in the energy issue.

First, we will help states like Michigan build the fuel-efficient cars we need, and we will get one million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on our roads within six years....

With technology we have on the shelf today, we will raise our fuel mileage standards four percent every year. We'll invest more in the research and development of those plug-in hybrids, specifically focusing on the battery technology. We'll leverage private sector funding to bring these cars directly to American consumers, and we'll give consumers a $7,000 tax credit to buy these vehicles. But most importantly, I'll provide $4 billion in loans and tax credits to American auto plants and manufacturers so that they can re-tool their factories and build these cars. That's how we'll not only protect our auto industry and our auto workers, but help them thrive in a 21st century economy.

The second step I'll take is to require that 10% of our energy comes from renewable sources by the end of my first term - more than double what we have now. To meet these goals, we will invest more in the clean technology research and development that's occurring in labs and research facilities all across the country and right here at MSU, where you're working with farm owners to develop this state's wind potential and developing nanotechnology that will make solar cells cheaper.

I'll also extend the Production Tax Credit for five years to encourage the production of renewable energy like wind power, solar power, and geothermal energy...

We'll also invest federal resources, including tax incentives and government contracts, into developing next generation biofuels...

In addition, we'll find safer ways to use nuclear power and store nuclear waste. And we'll invest in the technology that will allow us to use more coal, America's most abundant energy source, with the goal of creating five "first-of-a-kind" coal-fired demonstration plants with carbon capture and sequestration...

As we develop new sources of energy and electricity, we will also need to modernize our national utility grid so that it's accommodating to new sources of power, more efficient, and more reliable. That's an investment that will also create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and one that I will make as President.

Finally, the third step I will take is to call on businesses, government, and the American people to meet the goal of reducing our demand for electricity 15% by the end of the next decade. This is by far the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to reduce our energy consumption - and it will save us $130 billion on our energy bills...

We will set a goal of making our new buildings 50% more efficient over the next four years. And we'll follow the lead of California and change the way utilities make money so that their profits aren't tied to how much energy we use, but how much energy we save.

In just ten years, these steps will produce enough renewable energy to replace all the oil we import from the Middle East. Along with the cap-and-trade program I've proposed, we will reduce our dangerous carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and slow the warming of our planet. And we will create five million new jobs in the process.

Why It Matters

This is a strong, visionary energy plan that addresses the pressing issue of the day and shows us the way to the future. And it squarely rebuts the GOP talking point that making efforts to reform the energy sector and address climate change will destroy our economy. In fact, with the right investments in the alternative energy sector, we can create new jobs and grow the economy by leaps and bounds.

Energy is a winning issue for progressives because people already understand that this is a problem which will require large-scale government intervention. There are some issues where the GOP will be able to persuade people to just step back and let the free market sort it out. That approach is not going to work with the energy problem, and as long as we're proposing positive, proactive solutions, the GOP is going to be left unable to make a competing set of proposals unless they're prepared to propose major government intervention of their own.

Not everything Obama has proposed on energy will be noncontroversial among progressives. Attention has already been focused on his decision to remain open to a limited increase in offshore drilling and his proposal to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for short-term relief. And nuclear power and "clean coal," of course, have long been subjects of debate among progressives.

But I would urge everyone to keep their eyes on the big picture. If Obama's plan is 90% good and 10% bad, from your perspective, it is counterproductive to spend all your time trying to fix the bad 10% when you could be focusing on publicizing a plan that is 90% good and electing the candidate who will make it happen. And from a political standpoint, some of the concessions - like supporting a limited role for nuclear power - help to keep wedge issues off the table and deprive the GOP of their standard arguments that distract voters from the real issues.

What Needs To Be Done

Barack Obama is fortunate to have a grassroots army that is ready and willing to get the word out. But there are two things that need to be done at the campaign level to make it possible, and here's hoping they will be done.

The first thing is to make the plan accessible. I don't mean go-to-his-website accessible, I mean that it needs to be reduced to a SOUNDBITE or ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARY that, through repetition, will become shorthand for "Barack Obama's awesome energy plan."

When some guy at the office says, "I hear Obama thinks we can fix the energy problem by inflating our tires," you should be able to say, "Actually, he proposes that we _______." When Democrats in local races want to show voters that they have real solutions to gas prices and the energy problem, they should be able to say "I support Barack Obama's plan to _______." Maybe the message gurus will come up with something like "invest in the alternative energy sector and create millions of new jobs" or perhaps they'll come up with something considerably wittier. That one's not on me. But we can't all go door-to-door passing out copies of Obama's full speech, so they need to distill the essence of this message into a soundbite pronto.

The second thing the campaign has to do is keep talking about this. In stump speeches, interviews, everywhere until there is not a shadow of a doubt that Barack Obama has a comprehensive, serious plan to address the energy crisis. This is not the typical election where you give a "big speech on energy," and then the next week you've moved on to giving a big speech on education or foreign policy or whatever. Energy is clearly the #1 issue on people's minds for this election and it cannot be left by the wayside as "last week's issue." People want to hear real solutions and this plan provides them.

No one should underestimate the potential for millions of voters to show up on election day because they trust Barack Obama to solve the energy crisis. I think the planet would kinda like that outcome, too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Late Nite Open Thread

Wazzup? Has your day been as fun as mine? I don't want to talk about me right now, so I'll just shut up and let you talk. :-)

So Much for the "McSurge"...


Obama is ahead of his Republican rival 47 percent to 41 percent, The Associated Press-Ipsos poll showed. The survey was taken after the Democratic senator from Illinois had returned from a trip to Middle Eastern and European capitals, and during a week that saw the two camps clash over which had brought race into a campaign in which Obama is striving to become the first African-American president.

McCain, the senator from Arizona, is leading by 10 points among whites and is even with Obama among men, groups with whom Republicans traditionally do well in national elections.

Obama leads by 13 points among women, by 30 points among voters up to age 34, and by 55 points among blacks, Hispanics and other minorities, the poll shows.


The poll showed a huge Democratic advantage when voters ponder which party they would like to see control Congress next year. Democrats were favored over Republicans 53 percent to 35 percent, underscoring the mountainous disadvantage McCain and other GOP candidates are facing in the Nov. 4 voting.

Whoops! McBush isn't "surging" ahead as planned. ;-)

In Lieu of Today's Strategy Session...

I just have one request for all of you. Will you please check out our new sister blog? Stop by. Say hi. Tell them we're their friends at C4O. :-)

You Told Us Who to Love...

My contribution: $

(Proudly cross-posted at Swing State Project

And we're listening. Last weekend, I asked for you to help us at Clintonistas for Obama create the perfect ActBlue list. And guess what? Thanks to your help, I think we've created something quite remarkable!

Here are the full results...

Barack Obama (President) $
Hillary Clinton (President) $
Debbie Cook (CA-46) $
Jeanne Shaheen (NH-Sen) $
Kay Hagan (NC-Sen) $
Jeff Merkley (OR-Sen) $
Dina Titus (NV-03) $
Darcy Burner (WA-08) $
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01) $
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) $
Linda Stender (NJ-07) $
Christine Jennings (FL-13) $
Martin Heinrich (NM-01) $
Gary Peters (MI-09) $
Charlie Brown (CA-04) $
Glenn Nye (VA-02) $
WesPAC - Securing America's Future $

These are our new C4O All-Stars! These are the candidates who we think:

1. Best embody Barack Obama's message of change
2. Best represent Hillary Clinton's strong progressive values
3. Have a terrific shot of winning this fall

We listened to your suggestions on which races we should pay attention to. We did our own research on which races are truly winnable. And today, we've come up with a list of terrific candidates who we think will make great additions to the 111th Congress! While I don't have enough time to talk about all of these candidates, I'd like to highlight some of our new additions.

Martin Heinrich is an awesomely progressive Albuquerque City Council member who has a great shot at turning this red New Mexico district blue once and for all. Glenn Nye knows what real patriotism looks like, and he's a true patriot who will make Southeast Virginia proud. Linda Stender nearly upset the entrenched far-right GOP incumbent in this moderate New Jersey district in 2006, and she has what it takes to finish the job in 2008. Ann Kirkpatrick has changed people's lives for the better in the Arizona Legislature, and she's looking to make more positive change as Northern Arizona's representative to Congress. And finally, I must mention proud veteran Gary Peters in Michigan and smart businesswoman Suzanne Kosmas in Florida.

I can guarantee you that if we support these & all our other fantastic C4O All-Star Democrats, we'll see real change for the better in Congress next year. I'm doing all I can for Debbie Cook here in Southern California because I know she's a true-blue agent of change. I urge all of you to support your local Democratic candidates as well.

Take a look at our list, and see if we have a candidate listed near you. Donate. Volunteer. Just go out and get active! You told us who to love, so let's all work together to make sure they win! :-)

My contribution: $

The Ultimate Meta Diary.

Okay - you know things are bad when you stop yourself in the midst of writing 2 diaries, one on Darfur and Electric Cars to write about trolls, MyDD and the latest round of GBCW diaries.

Seriously guys the only reason trolling and flaming is happening is because - you are participating! Many incredible diaries go unnoticed because they - shall we say - have no flavour....

Not only are there McBloggers taking over, but also the Purity Trolls are out in full force - policing everyone's motives. Stop the insanity!

The site owners and administrators have promised site updates and clearly this is an acknowledgment that there is some work necessary here. That said - I want to nip this in the bud by proposing a few things...

1. No more flame wars.
If a diary is particularly enticing make a personal commitment to only respond to another user who commented to whom's opinion your respect. That way - even though the diary may be a 'turd sandwich' (thanks thepurplestuff) you may participate in elevating the discussion.

2. Stop complaining about MyDD in your comments.
If you are aggravated with the situation - email the admins. And I mean - every time you see something 'trollish'

3. Be intellectually honest.
There tends to be a double-standard applied here by many whereby opinions they share deserve respect and general politeness - whereas opinion's they don't share - deserve snarky and rude receptions.

4. Kindness is a very underrated value in the Blogosphere.
Some people's hate-spewed speech is shocking. I cannot imagine many speaking to others this way in real life. But guess what folks - this is real life. A good general rule of thumb is speak as you would hope to be spoken to.

5. Contribute.
Hunting trolls or adding smart-ass commentary is not contributing - sorry. Write diaries, think about your 'progressive' ideals - and suggest ways to applying it to better the world.

I think that's a good starting off point for ways in which to make our little community better and hope that you guys can share with me your suggestions and enthusiasm for making MyDD a better place.

Please excuse any grammar and typos - this one was done on the fly!

Monday, August 4, 2008

What Does Good Press Look Like?

Cross-posted at MyDD

If you, like myself, supported John Edwards and then Hillary Clinton during this year's primaries, the question posed by this diary may be a bit of a head-scratcher. What, indeed, does good press look like? How would I know?

While Barack Obama has hardly escaped unfair treatment at the hands of the media, at least he's gotten a little love here and there. The $64,000 question was always going to be, once we got into the general election, would Obama continue to get a decent amount of positive treatment or would the media rush to embrace its one true love, John McCain?

Savvy observers have noted that as McCain has gone sharply, crassly negative against Obama in recent weeks, the media has shown signs of starting to turn on him, perhaps realizing that he's not actually the honorable straight shooter they've been telling us about all these years. Let's take a look at an example that supports this thesis - yes, a case of the media actually doing its job!

You're probably aware that even though Obama gave a spectacular speech on energy today (which I may blog more about later), the GOP is up to their usual immature antics, trying to pretend that Obama has no energy policy at all. Seizing upon an innocuous remark of Obama's to the effect that we can all conserve energy simply by getting regular tune-ups and making sure our tires are properly inflated, the McCain campaign has begun to distribute tire pressure gauges labelled "Obama Energy Plan."

Get the joke? See, while McCain is wise enough to support an increase in offshore drililng, Obama thinks we can just ignore the problem as long as we inflate our tires! Ha, ha! As silly as it seems, though, I started to worry about the possibility that people might enjoy the gag, that it might become the new "invented the Internet" line of 2008. Remember Barack Obama? The candidate so awful that he said we could solve the energy crisis by inflating our tires? Thank God he didn't win!

But then something interesting happened. In clear violation of the "Reagan Rules" that forbid the media from ever calling Republicans out on their folly, the truth started getting told. I first noticed this while checking out local coverage of Obama's energy speech in the Detroit Free Press:

McCain, Obama air views on tire pressure

...The Republican National Committee offered today to send reporters tire gauges as a stunt to mark Obama’s birthday, and McCain’s campaign sold an “Obama Energy Plan” tire gauge for a $25 donation.

“We need to offshore drill for oil and natural gas. We need to drill here and we need to drill now. McCain said today at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, adding “We’re not going to achieve energy independence by inflating our tires.”

But the numbers give Obama a strong argument.

Tire pressure checks have been a key fuel-saving tip that automakers, tire companies and government experts have recommended for years. On its fuel economy Web site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that underinflated tires can shave up to 3% from a vehicle’s fuel economy.

Over a couple hundred million vehicles, those shavings add up. The Department of Energy estimated in 2005 that U.S. motorists wasted 1.2 billion gallons of gasoline a year from driving on underinflated tires -- roughly 61 million barrels of oil.

By comparison, the U.S. Department of Interior says there are 17.9 billion barrels of oil available off-shore in areas under the federal drilling ban. Due to a shortage of equipment and legal hurdles, experts estimate that if the ban was lifted, it would take at least five years to produce an additional drop of oil from those areas.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said last year that new off-shore drilling could add about 200,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. output -- not enough to have “a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.”

Then I noticed, on the front page of CNN, a link to an even stronger story by Time:

The Tire-Gauge Solution: No Joke

How out of touch is Barack Obama? He's so out of touch that he suggested that if all Americans inflated their tires properly and took their cars for regular tune-ups, they could save as much oil as new offshore drilling would produce. Gleeful Republicans have made this their daily talking point; Rush Limbaugh is having a field day; and the Republican National Committee is sending tire gauges labeled "Barack Obama's Energy Plan" to Washington reporters.

But who's really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right.

Politics ain't beanbag, and Obama has defended himself against worse smears. The real problem with the attacks on his tire-gauge plan is that efforts to improve conservation and efficiency happen to be the best approaches to dealing with the energy crisis — the cheapest, cleanest, quickest and easiest ways to ease our addiction to oil, reduce our pain at the pump and address global warming. It's a pretty simple concept: if our use of fossil fuels is increasing our reliance on Middle Eastern dictators while destroying the planet, maybe we ought to use less.

When Hillary's gas tax holiday was savaged in the media, I was kind of upset - not because I thought it was the greatest idea ever, but because they were giving Hillary the sort of full-blown factchecking they would never, ever apply to Republican claims. Well, as it happens, John McCain is starting to pay the price for his negative campaign and experience a little bit of the Hillary treatment for himself. And it couldn't happen to a nicer guy, don't you agree?