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Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:43 PM PST

History of Ireland in 100 Objects

by blaneyboy

Follow the link below to a fascinating history of Ireland through 100 objects. The objects range from the mundane (cast iron cooking pots) to the magnificent (fabulous ornamental brooches worn by Irish nobles in the Middle Ages), to the historical (pikes used in the Rising of 1798). At the height of his influence and popularity in 1844, Daniel O'Connell, Ireland's Emancipator, was drawn through Dublin seated on the extravagant chariot on the right.

Selected by Irish journalist Fintan O'Toole, the items represent not a complete history but images of significant developments in Ireland throughout the ages.

Follow the link to the 100 objects and click on each for an informative description of what it is and what it represents.

History of Ireland through 100 objects

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OK. So it was in England.  And it was Parliament not Congress. But we can dream, can’t we?

According to a story in today’s Guardian, a former Labour minister was ejected from the Mother of Parliaments after two high court justices ruled he lied about his Liberal Democratic opponent during the recent general election.

The judgment is likely to have profound consequences for how future campaigns are waged in Britain. Be nice if it set a precedent to fix the ugly dishonest process known as democratic elections in the United States.

More below the fold.

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 09:35 AM PDT

Why wouldn't it pass?

by blaneyboy

JekylnHyde had a wonderful diary yesterday on the Week in Editorial Cartoons.   Absolutely fabulous cartoons about the ups and downs of the last week. Everyone should visit the diary.

It was accompanied by a poll asking how confident each of us was that health care reform would pass. I must have come upon the poll early, because when I checked "always confident it would pass," it turned out I was alone, although reinforcements have come up.

I thought I should explain why I was so confident and dkistner was good enough to say my comment should have been a diary. So, you'll find the comment below the fold. (And just to demonstrate that this confidence is not new-found now that the legislation has passed, I point out that toward the end of January, when things looked bleak, I posted a long diary on reconciliation  anticipating the end game and how it would play out.)

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:05 AM PST

A primer on reconciliation

by blaneyboy

I was working on a diary yesterday about the reconciliation process, but wasn’t sure I had it quite right. Today's Talking Points Memo has a story that confirms my understanding of the process and the procedural challenges it presents.

It’s not that it can’t be done, but it’s unlikely to be done immediately as some bloggers seem to think.

Plan B is our best option. I think we can get there. In fact, I am sure we will, but it won't be this week or next or probably next month. More below.

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Tue Nov 03, 2009 at 09:33 PM PST

Good news from Washington

by blaneyboy

Four big sets of returns are coming in and things look a lot better today for liberal and progressive values than they did yesterday.

Teabagger initiative going down to defeat, handily.

Gay rights initiative receives strong support.

Right wing creationist thrashed in race for King County Executive.

Environmentalist running ahead in early returns for Seattle mayor.

More below.

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I’ve been watching the blowup in the blogosphere about Joe Sestak with a mixture of amusement and alarm. They both stem from the same source:  the naivitë of so many of our posters who seem to believe that it's time to throw a Democratic senator from Pennsylvania overboard now that the state has two of them for only the third time in it's history.

As someone who has been around national politicians for a long time, that strikes me as unrealistic and self-indulgent.

Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo has a really powerful letter from a constituent of Sestak's that puts the issue in perspective.  Jump up and down and stamp your feet if you want to, but no mature politician is going to disown Specter as a member of the Democratic party.  Sestak’s constituent explains why.

Talking Points Memo

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While some of us are already taking victory laps, the Republicans are fighting furiously for the dollars they need to turn this campaign around. You find that hard to believe?  Today in my mailbox landed a fundraising appeal from Barbie Doll.  When I got over the shock and got out my calculator to add up the bits and pieces, Sarah was putting the arm on me for a cool $67,800.   It ain’t over, as Yogi Berra once put it, until it’s over.

Yes, indeed, to make sure "Obama Democrats" don’t get "total control of our government" so they can "raise taxes, bring back the ‘era of big government,’ block domestic oil drilling and yada, yada, yada," Sarah and McCain-Palin Victory 2008 have set out to raise $2 million a day between now and election day to put them over the top.

You thought the McCain campaign was fueled with taxpayer dollars?  I understand there’s a bridge on the market in Brooklyn you might want to consider.  Follow me over the break for the details.

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Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:19 PM PDT

$700-a-night Sarah and child abuse

by blaneyboy

This comical candidate that McCain pulled out of a hat about a week ago hasn’t spoken with voters apart from a few stump speeches, hasn’t met with reporters, hasn’t answered any questions.  But some facts are emerging about this "ethics reformer" and opponent of big government.  Hardly a word emerges from her mouth that isn't some kind of lie, falsehood or fabrication.  

It can't be accidental. It seems almost pathological.  Here goes:

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Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:16 PM PDT

Obama v McCain ads on Olympics

by blaneyboy

I don't have a lot to say here except to ask the Daily Kos community to keep an eye on the volume of ads they see for both Obama and McCain during Olympic coverage.  I'm in Seattle and watching the Olympics quite a bit on NBC, MSNBC, and CBC (Canadian). So I bounce around a bit, depending on who is showing what, but prefer the HD picture of NBC.

During the first three days (including Opening Ceremony) I wasn't keeping close track but seem to RECALL about five McCain ads and maybe three from Obama.  That surprised me a bit, given how excited the Kos community was at the announcement of Obama's buy (later muted a bit when McCain announced a bigger buy).  What I'm not able to tell is how many of these ads I'm looking at are national as opposed to local.  (Suspect most are national, but there are a lot of local ads around the gubernatorial election in Washington State.)

I'm going to start keeping track for the next two weeks. I ask the Kos community to do the same. When it's all over, I'll put up a poll and we'll see how the political coverage shook out, according to the members of the Kos community who cared to watch.

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I consider myself to be reasonably literate.  If I don't understand something, there's a good chance that it's either a specialist's language or I'm being deliberately buffaloed.

So, I was doubly disadvantaged when Fox News ran an in-your-face visual that called Michelle Obama "Obama's baby mama" and then apologized for using this chyron.

What's with the baby mama insult?  What does it mean?  And a chyron?  What's that?  A figure of speech?

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Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:02 PM PDT

McCain plagiarizes from Jimmy Carter

by blaneyboy

Hmmmm...  we've had a lot of attention paid to charges of plagiarism during presidential campaigns.  Let's see.  

White House aides fired.  Presidential candidacies abandoned.  Tough charges of plagiarism by Hillary about Obama.

This plagiarism business is clearly serious stuff, unless a Republican is involved.  In that case, it can be safely ignored. More below.

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Tue Oct 02, 2007 at 04:42 AM PDT

Gordon Brown: English troops out now

by blaneyboy

British prime minister Gordon Brown confirmed to reporters today that large numbers of English troops now in Iraq will be brought home shortly.  An official announcement is expected in Parliament early next week.

The news developed during the first visit Brown has made to Iraq since he became prime minister. During the visit he plans meetings with political leaders from the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish communities, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shia. During the meetings, aides say he  will discuss the security situation in the country.

News accounts differ on the extent of the English withdrawal.  One report describes plans to withdraw nearly 20% of British forces by Christmas. Another suggests withdrawals approaching 40% by early Spring. Compared to the number of American boots on the ground, the English numbers are relatively small; but the proportions speak volumes.  More below.

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