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In the 2009 session of the Oregon legislature, the Democratic majority passed a health insurance premium tax that costs $94.8 million in state revenue and generates $191 million in matching federal funds to provide health insurance for Oregon's 80,000 uninsured children.

One House Republican made the repeal of this tax a priority in the current special session.  

See how he fared below the fold...

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My dad is a human astroturf machine.  He knows spin when he sees it.  And he knows elections.  Here's what happened:

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Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:57 AM PDT

France's Toxic Beaches

by salvador

A while back, I posted a diary on a 2100 square mile dead zone of oxygen-free water off of the coast of Oregon.

It was caused by a weakening of southern winds that some have linked to global warming and to algae blooms produced by high levels of agricultural waste such as phosphorus and nitrogen that are also responsible for a similar 6300 square mile dead zone off of the Louisiana Coast.

Read on for details on a related phenomenon, this one occurring on the Brittany Coast in northern France.

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Here's one for the "Gee, what a shocker" file...

The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, Utah's largest circulation newspapers pulled full page ads criticizing the LDS Church for its role in passing Proposition 8 in California.

My brother-in-law, Bruce Palenske, a Salt Lake businessman, had already paid for the ads and had a signed contract.

More below the flip...

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I thought Kossacks might be interested in seeing just how out of touch some members of the Republican base have gotten.  It seems that they have barred their own congressional nominee in Oregon's Congressional District 1 -- a top-tier pickup target for them just 4 years ago -- from participating in party events because he is "too liberal".

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According to this article on Raw Story by way of /., Mike McConnell, Bush's NIA director is currently drafting a plan to give the Feds access to any email, file transfer, or web search.

Sadly, the article suggests that much of the infrastructure to accomplish this is already in place, and McConnell may simply be seeking the legal right to engage in activities that may already be occurring at the NIA.

Discuss

For the past six months, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has held up Senate confirmation of Lyle Laverty as assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks.

Wyden, it seems, was upset that a member of the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Services had leaked internal documents to industry leaders who opposed some of the FWS's activities and that later showed up in lawsuits against the Department.  The employee, Julie MacDonald, who had no training or experience in natural sciences also forced FWS scientists to "alter findings, often with no scientific basis".

Read on below the fold...

Poll

Harry Reid is...

0%15 votes
19%350 votes
70%1265 votes
9%168 votes

| 1798 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 08:37 AM PDT

Our private armies

by salvador

Private armies got a whole lot stronger last week, with the announcement that the Department of Defense has awarded Blackwater, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin Co., Northrop Grumman Corp., Arinc Inc., a $15 billion contract to fight "narcoterrorism".

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The announcement of John Frohnmayer as an Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate had the chattering class in Oregon tripping over themselves to figure how his presence in the race will affect the outcome.

Bloggers at NW Republican, and noted OSU poli sci professor, Bill Lunch, have speculated that he will add his voice to the chorus of critics against Bush and Smith, pushing the state and debate to the left.

Commenters at BlueOregon and some members of the print press have speculated that his entrance into the race will hurt Democrats.

Read on for more info about John and his candidacy...

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An important challenge to parts of the federal "Patriot Act’ will be heard in Portland on Septmeber 10, 2007, by federal district judge Ann Aiken.   In late November 2006 the federal government agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit  brought  by Brandon Mayfield, the Oregon lawyer wrongly jailed because of a completely unverified supposed "link" to the 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid.   Mayfield’s  home and  law office were secretly entered without warrants, files breached, photos taken.  His young children were terrrified.   Former- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales issued a formal apology to the Mayfield family (although it is likely Mr. Gonzales "cannot recall" those events).

(crossposted from Oregon Independent)

-- more below the fold --

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Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 09:53 PM PST

Closing the Gates

by salvador

What follows is a brief response to Markos' diary on Friday.  

When talking about Kucinich, I usually leave it at "ugh". I've found that much kinder than actually getting into Kucinich's record. But his supporters are OUTRAGED(!) that I would be so dismissive, and they DEMAND(!) I explain myself.

Honestly, it would be better for your guy if I didn't. But since you all insist...

Frankly, I'm not surprised that establishment bloggers like Markos are trying to marginalize Kucinich this early in the campaign.  I'm more surprised by the naked hypocrisy involved in attacking a guy like Kucinich for his past positions on abortion while giving a free pass to Harry Reid or any of the pro-life candidates Markos supported in 2006.

The bottom line from where I sit is that these days, Markos is less about crashing the gates than he is about pacifying the hordes as he helps to insulate candidates who have the blessing of DC establishment from addressing the concerns of the Democratic base.

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As a member of the People party, I believe that we need to start rebuilding bridges to working class and small business conservatives.  With that in mind, I've started looking for reasons to engage in civil dialogue online with people with more conservative leanings.  What follows is a first epistolic exchange that began as a dicussion about immigration.

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