As far as WA-08 goes, not nefarious at all. They're both probably more moderate than Burner (who I assume would align with the Progressive caucus if she were elected), but they're there on their own merits and not as GOP stalking horses. I think the rationale for both of them is the 'electability' argument, in that most people seem to think that Burner didn't quite get over the hump against Reichert in 06 because of the gravitas factor: she's young and hasn't held electoral office before... and there really isn't anything she can do to change any of those things before the next election. They're both older, are legislators (and are maler). (The counter-argument, of course, is that running for House is often a two-attempt project these days, as with Paul Hodes, Nancy Boyda, Jerry McNerney, etc., so don't kneecap Burner when she's still building momentum.)
The two guys in question are Rodney Tom (a state senator from the wealthy suburban portion of the district who's pretty avowedly moderate... he was a Republican when first elected to the state house, switched along the way when it became clear the GOP had lost its mind, and in 06 got upgraded to the state senate, defeating a long-time GOP incumbent), and Chris Hurst (a state representative from the blue-collar rural portion of the district... I don't know much about his voting record, but he's probably working more of a populist angle than Tom... and he's an ex-cop and a vet, so his presence would help neutralize Reichert's tough-guy image). I suppose I'd prefer Burner, in terms of how she's likely to vote once she gets there, but I think these guys are more 'electable' for what's that's worth (especially Hurst, whose home base is in the rural part of the district, where Burner got hosed). But the 8th becomes bluer every year (for instance, 3 of the 6 state senate seats that changed from red to blue in 06 were all or partly in the 8th), so any of them can win, with enough DCCC and netroots money.
When I first discovered the blogosphere in the run-up to the 2004 election, myDD became my first stop during every morning's blog-reading, mostly based on your writing. I first liked the more hard-headed poll-crunching and electoral strategizing, but what gradaully impressed me even more were your ventures into more philosophical territory and explorations of the nature of ideology... and how to fight back effectively while constrained by the rules of the existing discursive arena. Unlike most of the rest of the blogosphere, you actually have a) a sense of humor about it, and b) the ability to incorporate some academic theory without being incomprehensible or pedantic. I'm glad to see you're ready to take it to the next level, whatever that might be, and I'll certainly check out your new site.
Calvert's district has had the largest 2000-2005 population growth of any district in California. It's gained 130,000 people since the 2000 redistrict, more than 100,000 of whom are Hispanic. I don't know how many of them are voters, but that portends Democratic growth.
Ooops, you probably mean you want 2005 numbers. Go to 2005 American Community Survey (which is an estimate, not actual count); from there, for some reason, you can get the data according to 109th Congressional districts, not 110th, so everything's current except Georgia and Texas. Interestingly, Nancy Pelosi's district has gotten whiter, not less white (43.6% in 2005 instead of 42.9% in 2000); guess that's gentrification at work for you. But you're absolutely right about Pete Stark's district, which has gotten a lot less white (from 38.3% in 2000 to 30.4% in 2005), and now has an Asian plurality (28.1% in 2000 to 35.4% in 2005), making it the only district outside of Hawaii to have more Asians than anyone else!
There are three Anglos who represent districts where the majority is Latino (Gene Green in Houston, Bob Filner in San Diego, and Howard Berman in Los Angeles). Also, Neil Abercrombie in Hawaii represents a district that's majority Asian.
If you throw in districts where nobody is a majority but Latinos are a plurality, there's also Steve Pearce in rural New Mexico, Joe Crowley in the Bronx, and Zoe Lofgren in San Jose. Plus, there are three districts where there is a Latino plurality but a black representative (Charles Rangel in Harlem, Maxine Waters and Diane Watson in Los Angeles). Nancy Pelosi and Pete Stark's districts have a white plurality (for now).
To answer your second question, go to the Census Bureau's website, go to American Fact Finder, click on 110th Congressional districts, and that'll give you population numbers based on the 2000 census. The most recent edition of Almanac of American Politics should also have that information (except for the Georgia and Texas redistricts).
I agree that he's the least viable of the 4 Dems in the House from Oregon... even Hooley, who's a backbench non-entity as far as I can tell, doesn't have any skeletons in her closet. However, his district isn't particularly vulnerable, in terms of keeping it blue in the event of a retirement, compared with De Fazio or Hooley's. OR-1 has a PVI of D+6, while OR-4 is D+0 and OR-5 is D+1, plus there's probably a deeper state legislature bench in OR-1 to draw on.
In 2005, I used to post here a lot and this was my first stop in the blogosphere. I'd read Kos every day but not post or delve into the diaries too much. Kos seemed kind of like a big confusing public high school with all manner of cliques and chaos to navigate, while MyDD was more like the small magnet school where everyone knew each other and we were all on the same page in our focus more on the quantitative nuts and bolts stuff instead of the ranting and hand-wringing that's a big element at Kos (at least in the comments).
In 2006, I pretty much switched loyalties to Kos, started posting there every day, and rarely did more than do a quick read here. I think that was mostly because I discovered it was more gratifying to get dozens of comments on a diary instead of two or three, and that, in spite of the herds of ill-informed whiners running around there always looking to start circular firing squads, you can always find someone to talk hard-headed stuff with in the comments (or about anything else under the sun). (Also, I think I was less enthused about the content in 2006, as Jerome disappeared and Chris started to focus less on quantitative and macro-level stuff and more on activism.)
But what's weird is that another thing that happened in 2006 is that I turned 35. I passed from the oh-so-desirable 25-34 demo into the much frumpier 35-49s. So... in the same year I turned middle-aged and Kos suddenly started to be much more palatable to me. Coincidence?
Oh, and as to the main point of the post, I'm a soft Obama supporter (to the extent that I voted for him at Kos; I didn't vote here), although I'm certainly happy with Edwards too (I always had him at #2 in the IRV polls here back when Feingold was dominating the field). I suppose a lot of that is style over substance in that Obama's positivity and transformational potential appeals to the idealistic college-kid part of my personality that still remains. I suppose I don't feel as motivated by kitchen-table issues as a lot of people at Kos do. So, yes, I think you're accurate in describing the tensions between the two sites... and even the tensions that exist within me.
I just wanted to follow up on the Ellen Tauscher thing since, while I support riding herd on the Democrats who are on the right flank of the Democratic House caucus, I think the single-minded focus on her is a little misplaced. If you look at Progressive Punch but remove freshmen from the equation (since their voting records are almost uniformly 100% progressive at this point!), it turns out Tauscher is the 63rd most conservative House Democrat (81% score) and represents the district (of all districts represented by Democrats who are not freshmen) that's tied for 77th most conservative (PVI D+9). That's not too far out of whack.
The one who's the most out of whack is Mike Doyle (PA-14). He's the 28th most conservative Democrat (72%), but his district is the 155th most conservative (D+22). Trailing behind Doyle in out-of-whackness are usual suspect Jane Harman (41st most conservative at 75%, in a +11 district), Artur Davis (49th most conservative at 77%, in a +17 district), Rob Andrews (51st most conservative at 78%, in a +14 district), Jim Moran (53rd most conservative at 79%, in a +14 district), and David Scott (32nd most conservative at 73%, in a district that used to be +12, although Georgia redistricting may have made it more conservative).
Not saying let Tauscher off the hook (and I understand that the antipathy may be less related to her voting record as to what she's doing on talk shows or with her money), just saying there are other places to start spreading the love around.
(I think.) According to Wikipedia, "In June 2006, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed a bill into law that will, starting in 2008, return Congressional races to the closed primary system. However, the nonpartisan primary will remain for state and local races, including the 2007 governor's race." I'd assume "Congressional" is meant to include Senate, though I'd prefer to hear from someone in Louisiana on the topic.
I think when Kitzhaber started the Archimedes Movement, some people assumed it would gradually morph into his presidential exploratory committee. I have no idea what they were basing that on, other than wishful thinking. It seems like he's actually focused on experimenting with health care policy without an ulterior motive (although he might be angling for HHS, Surgeon General, or FDA in a Democratic administration). I suppose it's possible he might go back to being Governor of Oregon too (he can run again; he was only barred for serving more than 2 terms in a row); he'd probably enjoy turning the state into his own health care policy crucible, now that the Dems control both chambers of the legislature.
I'd take the $1 mil and endow a left-wing foundation/think tank that could employ a couple intellectual progressives to work full-time on message testing and talking-point dissemination so that we could at least begin to compete with the Olins and Scaifes of the world in that arena. Think of it as $1 million in fishing lessons instead of $1 million in fish.