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Elections have consequences, at least in countries other then the United States.  In Israel, for example, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struggles to put together a government several weeks after the Israeli election, there are signs of movement on the part of the next Israeli government. Future policy may be less hostile towards the Palestinians then seemed remotely possible before the election.  Indeed, with concerted pressure by the Obama Administration. for the first time in 13 years, the Israeli government may be willing to provide the Palestinians with an actual partner for peace.  Follow me beyond the orange cloud to find out what this may mean.

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I agree with E.J. Dionne that winning control of the House of Representatives is very important to Obama's ability to govern in a second term.  While I fear that President Obama's lead in the polls now may be exaggerated, I am working on a diary to explain why, if Obama does win a solid victory as indicated by the present polls, there is a good chance that the the Democrats will also win the House.

Comparing the number of House seats gained when a President is re-elected demonstrates how difficult this is going to be.  In the recent past, even Presidents who have won re-election by margins larger then what Obama is likely to receive did not have coattails long enough to bring in the 25 seats the Democrats need to regain control of the House.  For example, in 1996, when Bill Clinton was re-elected by about 8.5 points, the Democrats only gained two seats.  Even the Reagan and Nixon results only lead to the pick up of 16 and 12 seats respectively.  So, what basis is there for saying that if Obama wins the type of victory that the polls now indicate, the Democrats have a good chance of winning a majority of seats in the House of Representatives?  Follow me beyond the orange cloud to find out.

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Even though I am opposed to Hillary Rodham Clinton's bid for the presidency, there are many things about her that are worthy of praise. In light of the "warm praise" that Senator Bob Kerrey gave to Senator Obama, I thought I would write down some things about Hillary Rodham Clinton that I think are praiseworthy. Since the Clinton Collective is so supportive of Senator Kerrey's efforts, I am sure it will appreciate my efforts on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton

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There has been three issues that have arose recently and discussed in the liberal blogosphere: the Clinton campaign's "planting" questions at their events in Iowa; whether HRC's campaign tipped the wait staff at an Iowa restaurant; and Clinton's support for the Peru trade deal. In this post, I do not want to get into the (lack of) merits of any of these incidences. Instead, I want to review the statements made by Senator Clinton and her campaign staff and what they demonstrate about their credibility.

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Sat Nov 10, 2007 at 11:26 AM PST

Bush, Racism and Democratic Silence

by Andy Katz

Early in Bush's second term, Bush did a now standard ploy: find a way to bend the rules governing an institution to further their far-right agenda.  In this case, Bush abused the rule governing the appointment of members of the "Us Commission on Civil Rights, the nation's 50 year old watchdog for civil rights."  By law, half of the members of the Commission can not be from the same political party.  Since the US has always had a "two party" political system, this has meant that for approximately 50 years, the Commission has been made up of four Democrats and four Republicans.  Bush has changed that.  Bush has appointed two conservative Republicans, making them change their party registration from "Republican" to "Independant" right before the appointment was made.  The Boston Globe has the story here.  

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One of Senator Clinton's campaign's favorite talking points is how "battle tested" she is against the Right. She has stood toe to toe against the VRWC, Clintonites claim, and has emerged victorious. Tom Schaller, writing for The American Prospect's excellent blog TAPPED, notes that this is simply untrue.

Follow me over the flip to see why.

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Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 02:06 PM PDT

Former Segregationists For Obama

by Andy Katz

I am a FIRM Edwards supporter.  However, I am not a shill.  So, when I see something good about another Democratic candidate, I dont mind talking about it.  Well, Andrew Sullivan apparently got at least two emails giving examples of individuals who were known to be prejudiced against blacks, but still supported Obama.  Honestly, reading this put a lump in my throat.  Because Sullivan doesnt link to the specific email, a link to his blog can be found here, I have included the contents of the email on the flip:

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I am certainly not a fan of Joe Biden.  However, I noticed an article by John Nichols in The Nationdiscussing a very interesting campaign related site that Biden's people have put together.  As the article explains, Biden's site has collected youtube video from the different Democratic candidates on various issues.  To his credit, Biden has tried hard to be fair to his opponents.  The site displays balanced clips from all the candidates which shows in a fair way how each candidate stands.  Also, there are links back to the various candidates campaign sites. You can see the site here.

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Wed Apr 04, 2007 at 06:08 PM PDT

Clinton's Benefactors

by Andy Katz

On this and other center-left sites, there is a truckload of Clintonites swearing that HRC is not a DLC candidate but a true "progressive." Yet, somehow I still have my doubts. One thing feeding these doubts is where she has always received her campaign money from. Here is a great link which shows who has been paying for HRC's success so far. Note that this link does not include donations made for the first quarter of her presidential run. That will be interesting viewing too.

Poll

Do you think a political candidate is influenced by who donates to their campaign.

95%43 votes
4%2 votes

| 45 votes | Vote | Results

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After a slow start, there is curently some real coverage of the scandal regarding the firing of the US Attorneys.  However, one crucial point has not been made anywhere that I can see:  that the US Attorneys in question are Republicans who obtained their original appointment from President Bush.  

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This will be interesting to watch today.  Another sharply down day will start to knock investors' knees.  Follow me on the flip to discuss the political consequences.

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Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 07:22 AM PST

Rudy's "Catholic" Problem

by Andy Katz

Rudy Giuliani has the opportunity to become the first Roman Catholic to win the Republican Party's presidential nomination. The problem is, Rudy is not a very good Catholic, at least as measured by adherence to Church dogma. Rudy is "pro-choice," "pro-gay rights," "pro-death penalty" and, if his own personal history is a guide, pro serial marriage. While I am not a Catholic, I am pretty sure that this is not the Church's preferred social platform.

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