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I am moved to write after reading Shuruq's diary of the experience of attending Paul Broun's townhall meeting, and seeing the totality of this ranting behavior urging possession of firearms, violent revolution, etc. against the legitimate government of the United States, both from low level teabaggers and the highest reaches of government (Rick Perry, et al) and media (Limbaugh, Beck). With empty rhetoric and vacuous citation of irrelevant nationalist cliche, these individuals claim the mantle of defending the "true" or "real" United States, defense of "freedom" and "choice" and the like. They do this through disinformation, through manipulation, through subterfuge of the fundamental political process of the United States.  They do this in the name of the United States, in the name of our republic - yet they know so little of the country they claim to defend.

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by Ron Fournier, Associated Press Writer

In news that excited pundits, sent Republican operatives into delight, and turned Democrats to disarray and full out spin mode, it was revealed today that Michelle Obama, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, had long standing ties to a fringe party advocating for Illinois' secession from the United States of America.  

From 1995 to 2002, Illinois Division of Elections documentation shows that Michelle Obama was registered under the Illinois Independence Party, a radical party pushing for Illinois' secession.  Joe Vogler, the party's controversial leader, has frequently and frankly spoken of his vociferous hatred for America, saying he has "hatred for the American government" and "the damn [American] flag."  

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On the day of the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, I couldn't hold back any longer - for so long, I had been free riding on the generosity of others, and as a financially challenged student living thousands of miles from the action, there was only so much I could do.  Eventually, I just had to pony up, and here's what I wrote at the time:

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I just hope it's not too late to count.  I'm not sure exactly what did it for me, and it's only $20, but it's all I could afford. I'm a student living in London with no income, and getting drained by the exchange rate.  I've been free riding up until this point, but no longer.

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Amazing, another "Democrats divided" story.  You'd think that with the hate much of the right wing blogosphere felt towards the Republican candidates, they might have been worth a story.  But now wired.com takes up the traditional media torch and makes sure it's absolutely clear that Obama has problems from the left too, not just right and center.

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Just a quick polling update here from SurveyUSA and Rasmussen - also a few points from ARG (for what they're worth) in North Carolina and Gallup.  Essentially, Obama is holding steady or improving by virtually any measure. No recent poll nationally, or in the upcoming states, has him suffering significantly from his 9 point loss in Pennsylvania.  Quick numbers:

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As of this moment, about 9:25 PM Eastern Time, there are less than 15% of precincts reporting, a Clinton margin of 6%, and most networks have already called Pennsylvania for Clinton.  But I took a quick look at some critical numbers, and this thing could end up really, really, really close.

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Apparently, the activities of a 1960s fringe radical are very relevant to the 2008 presidential election.  At least ABC says so, even though Barack Obama was less than 10 years old when the group in question was active.  10 years old.  I think the limit of my political activism when I was 10 was simply grasping the notion that my parents voted for Bill Clinton (if that).  And yet, Barack Obama is confronted with an endorsement he neither solicited nor accepted, from a man whose questionable tactics were conceived at a time when the only tactics on Barack Obama's mind related to G.I. Joe.  Not that it matters that former President Bill Clinton (no relation to Hillary, right? Right?) pardoned Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans, two members of the same exact organization in 2001.

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It was suspected by many that Public Policy Polling's results in North Carolina on March 24th (the first NC poll after Wright) represented an outlier.  Obama's lead, which was previously 44-43, had increased dramatically to 55-34, a simply massive swing.

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A couple of weeks ago, Anne Estabrook, a wealthy moderate businesswoman recruited by John Ensign and Mitch McConnell to run against Frank Lautenberg, dropped out of the New Jersey Senate race after suffering a stroke.  This left the New Jersey Republican Party in the unenviable position of choosing between Ron Paul devotee and former Libertarian candidate for governor Murray Sabrin and State Senator Joe Pennacchio, a kind of crazy backbencher from Morris County.  

Indeed, things looked so good for New Jersey Republicans that after more than half a dozen state legislators and other current and former officials declined to run, one county chair floated the name of, I kid you not, Rudy Giuliani, and someone else said "How about Mike Huckabee?"  This left Pennacchio the de facto leader for the Republican nomination, despite the discomfort of party leadership. Just a few examples of Pennacchio's brilliance:

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Because sometimes, this community is more about people than it is about candidates.

Obviously things have been neither pretty nor peaceful lately here at DailyKos, but as in all things, there are good times and bad, thick and thin.

But you know what? Instead of tips and flames, recs and HRs, let's just give thanks for the decent, thoughtful people who post here on a regular basis.

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I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, and falls on the other...

Macbeth, Act I, Scene VII

...As for the pleasure in hubris, its cause is this: men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater...

Aristotle, Rhetoric

I bear a charmed life, which must not yield...to one of woman born, I will not yield
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet, and to be baited with the rabble's curse.
Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane, and thou opposed, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try the last. Before my body I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damn'd be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!"

Macbeth, Act V,  Scene VIII

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