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Ezra Klein has big news.

That’s the bottom line of the statement that Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, gave me today. ”Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit,” he said.
Parsing and speculation below Jack Lew's signature.
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Follow me below the orange squaducci for the facts as found by the 111th Congress

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The end is clearly within the scope of the Constitution. Is the tax imposed by Code Section 5000A a means that is appropriate, plainly adapted to that end, and consistent with the letter and spirit of the constitution?

0%0 votes
60%3 votes
40%2 votes

| 5 votes | Vote | Results

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Big hat tip to Chuck Todd who gestured this morning towards what follows in this diary, and who now suggests that a compromise is forming.

The Rules and By-laws Committee of the DNC being a political body, one should expect its decision to reflect political expediency rather than a strict reading of the Delegate Selection Rules.  Nevertheless, the best political decision regarding Michigan and Florida may be one that gives rational Clinton supporters the least to complain about while strictly adhering to the text of the Delegate Selection Rules.  My reading of the Delegate Selection Rules and the 5.28.08 memo by DNC staff lawyers leads me to conclude that the RBC is limited to approving a maximum of 86 pledged delegates from Florida and 59 pledged delegates from Michigan to be placed by the Secretary of the DNC onto the Temporary Roll of delegates to the 2008 Convention.

Why strictly adhere to the Rules?

Poll

How many pledged delegate votes will Clinton net as a direct result of Sat.'s meeting?

3%2 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
11%6 votes
7%4 votes
16%9 votes
12%7 votes
14%8 votes
1%1 votes
5%3 votes
0%0 votes
3%2 votes
0%0 votes
5%3 votes
14%8 votes

| 54 votes | Vote | Results

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MAJOR UPDATE: Please go to the Iowa Democratic Party for the results!  They have announced the declared presidential preference of about 85% of the state convention delegation.  Obama has a majority of that tally (52%), while Clinton has picked up very little support (31.5%).  The numbers will change as the night progresses, I imagine, so click that link above for updates.  Right now Edwards (16%) is above viability for the state convention; that is one threshold to watch.

MAJOR UPDATE II:  Galois and burton00 concur that Obama will pick up at least 8 delegates (to 24) and that Clinton will probably lose a delegate (to 14).  A 9 delegate net change would make tonight as significant as the Ohio primary in terms of delegates. (end of updates)

Iowans, please share your stories and late results!

Today 99 caucuses (aka "conventions"), one in each county, elected 2500 state convention delegates.  The rules are pretty much the same as the first tier of caucuses:  If any candidate fails to break the 15% viability threshold, his/her supporters must either abstain from voting or realign to another candidate.

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Caucuses...

39%60 votes
11%18 votes
11%18 votes
1%3 votes
30%47 votes
3%6 votes

| 152 votes | Vote | Results

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Per the Las Vegas Sun website, the fairness of today's Clark County Convention is being called into question.  So far, there is no evidence that the chaos is benefiting one side over the other.

The seventeen county conventions today select delegates to the state convention in April.  The votes of Clark County Dems are to be tallied by Congressional District so that the convention properly selects delegates separately from each of the 3 CDs found in Clark County.  About 70% of the delegates to the state convention will come from Clark County.

Nearly 7500 county convention delegates were selected in Clark County on Jan. 19.  Some of them, though they showed up an hour before the convention starting time of 10am, have been prevented from voting.

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I apologize for the brevity of this diary, but I believe this will be a major story that Obama supporters should know about now, so they are psychologically prepared.

Survey USA has a new poll out on California (data collected Sunday).  It has pretty decent news for Obama supporters.  Overall, it's Clinton 49% to Obama 38% with Edwards at 9%.

But Clinton supporters should be very pleased to see what the cross-tabs say.

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In future years, do you think California should be allowed to begin "early voting" so early in the process?

37%42 votes
1%2 votes
27%31 votes
23%26 votes
0%0 votes
4%5 votes
6%7 votes

| 113 votes | Vote | Results

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In the wake of the pitched battle here on Saturday night over who won Nevada, and in light of the renewed discussion of the scenario--mentioned here, and favored by most DKos users--in which Edwards will pick up delegates in almost every state from here to the Convention, making him and his supporters the "kingmakers," I thought to write a little diary on how the pledged delegates are chosen in primaries.  This diary is based mainly on this source on the S.C. Dem. Party website.

I hope this explanation will help everyone make a little more sense of what happens not only on Saturday but also in their own state on Feb. 5 and beyond.

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