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Now, longtime followers of the House of Representatives remember Virgil Goode as a Democrat who turned far-right Republican and then got swept out of the House

He's back.  The Virginia State Board of Elections ruled this morning that Goode will be on the ballot competing with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for Virginians' presidential votes.

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Ah, the optics of Mitt Romney.  As the Republican nominee tries to re-introduce himself to the American people, he does this:

Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.

The exclusive event, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht "Cracker Bay," was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney's bid.

"I think it's ironic they do this aboard a yacht that doesn't even pay its taxes," said a woman who lives aboard a much smaller boat moored at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina.

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Paul Ryan was just named as the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, but President Obama has been running against him and his ideas for more than a year.  As NBC's Domenico Montanaro observes, the president has made Ryan the focal point for Republican economic dogma on at least three separate occasions, concluding that Ryan is "not on the level" and his "deeply pessimistic" budget would have disastrous consequences for America.

Below the fold, quotes from each of three presidential speeches that encapsulate why the Obama campaign is delighted to hear today's news.  Because Mitt Romney has cemented the narrative the Obama campaign has been trying to establish.  Expect to hear a lot more like this in the weeks ahead:

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Obama vs. Ryan.  Those are comforting words in Chicago.  They comfort, in part, because Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is the architect of the Republican economic plan that the Obama campaign has spent months attempting to link to Mitt Romney.  That job just got easier.

Obama vs. Ryan is also a reminder of how the Republican Party can shoot itself in the foot when faced with Barack Obama.

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We've read the great news from Chicago this week that the antiquated Fisk and Crawford power plants will close over the next couple of years.  As diaries here stated, this was a great day for the Beyond Coal Campaign, as well as the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, residents of the affected areas, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who brokered the agreement with Midwest Generation.

This was also a victory for President Barack Obama, who has fought mercury poisoning ever since he came to Washington as a senator in January 2005.

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Adapted from a diary written in 2008.
I Am A Man

As we remember and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 83rd anniversary of his birth, events include a celebration of his legacy of environmental and social justice.  This diary remembers those dimensions of his work as they relate to his final campaign.

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"UC Davis has a long tradition of promoting community, particularly our Principles of Community. We are a campus known for its civility and our commitment to respect, equality and freedom of expression runs deep."

Those are the words of UC-Davis Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi, from less than a month ago.  How those words relate to deeds (and budgets) is worth considering in light of what has happened on the Davis campus over the past several days.

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In May, Rahm Emanuel will succeed Mayor Richard M. Daley.  Here are a few of the incoming mayor's statements on Chicago's environment.

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My job's taken me away from writing on the internet much of the past year, but I drop in with online news.  Much of my past year has been spent developing an new undergraduate degree program.  It is now up and running, and (as of early June) Roosevelt University's Sustainability Studies program has a new Sustainability blog with regular updates about food, energy, water, waste, biodiversity, policy, and courses.  

Some sample topics below the fold.

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That poblano blogger's gone far in the world.  In late 2007, Nate Silver took some time away from Baseball Prospectus to break down polls on this very site.  That led him to start FiveThirtyEight where his analysis of polling led to some of the most accurate forecasts of the 2008 primaries and general election.  The site continues to generate some of the most thoughtful analysis of polling data around.

The New York Times has noticed.  Today, Nate and the Times announced a three-year licensing deal in which FiveThirtyEight moves to the newspaper's site.  Nate will also contribute to the print and Sunday magazine editions.  This will all start in about ten to twelve weeks.

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As dsnodgrass diaried, Alex Chilton has died at the age of 59.  As this is a political blog, the following testimonial from Rep. Steve Cohen (a big music fan who represents the city of Memphis) on the floor of the House of Representatives is fitting.  

Steve Cohen remembers Alex Chilton.

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Tsutomu Yamaguchi is dead.  It is something of a miracle he lived this long.  In August of 1945, he was visiting Hiroshima on business when the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb on the city.  He was burned by the blast and suffered ruptured eardrums, but was well enough to return home the next day.

Home was Nagasaki.  Three days after the first bomb, Yamaguchi was in his office where "the same white light filled the room."  As he said last year,his life could have ended on either of those days, or shortly afterwards due to the effects of the blasts. Everything that followed is a bonus.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi did a lot more with his life after August 1945.  A little is below the fold.

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