Smears on Obama simply don't hold water

I'm all for critiquing a candidate based on facts and logic.  When Paul Krugman critiques Barack Obama's proposals, I don't blow him off.

What I am against is using utter garbage -- especially garbage that's already been debunked -- to attack a candidate.  I didn't like it when the Republicans built up Whitewater (a land deal where the Clintons LOST money) into first a scandal and then an excuse to go on an insane and immoral fishing expedition, and I don't like it when Hillary partisans promote similar nonsense about Barack Obama, zombie-like nonsense that the Republicans and their media friends will thank them for keeping alive beyond the grave.

More on this after the jump.

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Obama Won States He Was Supposed To Lose Last Night

Obama not only held all his firewalls, particularly Georgia and Illinois, but he took a few he wasn't supposed to take.  To name but a few:

Obama won Minnesota -- where polling had Clinton by seven.
Obama won Connecticut -- a Clinton almost-firewall.
Obama won Utah -- White People Central.
Obama won North Dakota -- Even MORE White People Central.

And it looks like Obama won New Mexico and Missouri, too. (And Missouri has a higher percentage of Hispanics than California.)

The race isn't over -- it's just beginning.

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Big Media Lie: "Defunding 'Nam Hurt Dems!"

Mark Shields, purveyor of Beltway Conventional Wisdom from a faux-liberal POV, claims that voting to defund the war in 1974 hurt the Democrats politically.  (Hidden message:  Dems must always capitulate to succeed.)

There's one thing wrong with his statement:  From 1974 through 1976 -- when we pulled out to over a year after the fall of Saigon -- the Democrats gained fifty House seats, three Senate seats, and the White House. If that's being hurt politically, I'll take some more, please!

And even if you say "Yeah, but Watergate helped, too" -- remember, the Democrats pushed Watergate as much as they pushed ending the Vietnam War.  So this further undermines Shield's hidden message that Dems must always capitulate to succeed.  Pass it on!

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Progressive Blogging 2.0 (or 3.0?)

I've been online since 1995.  I have my own blog, Mercury Rising, which has been around Blogspot and now WordPress since December of 2004; before that, I'd spent a number of years hanging around Eschaton, DailyKos, Hullabaloo and other first-generation progblogs; before that, I spent a lot of time at Salon's "Table Talk" message boards, from whence a number of progbloggers (TBogg, Atrios (who posted as "Kurt Foster"), etc.) apparently got their start.  Recently, I was invited to be a part of Fire Dog Lake's guest crew of posters.

I'm writing this because I wanted to make some (deeply subjective) observations on the pre-progblog era (1995-2001), ProgBlogs 1.0 (2002-2004), ProgBlogs 2.0 (2004-present), and ProgBlogs 3.0 (now?).  

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Edwards: The Wisdom of Doing Nothing

Chris Bowers and other A-list political bloggers are wondering why there's been no response from the Edwards campaign on the whole caving-to-Bill-Donohue thing.

Well, I think I can tell you why right now:  I just got done listening to both drive-time radio and the ABC, CBS and NBC network TV news programs, and guess what wasn't mentioned once?  Not once?

That's right, this whole brouhaha.  (More after the jump.)

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GOP/Media Blogger Scandals

As Atrios and Media Matters note, if we're going to put campaign bloggers under a microscope, John McCain's hired gun wouldn't come off looking too well.  

And looky here -- ABC's Terry Moran writes an article bashing Edwards and Amanda and Melissa, yet doesn't mention that his own brother has a right-wing blog that sets new lows for vileness.

Edwards should bring this up to any pressies trying to dig at him about Melissa and Amanda.

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Sandy Berger Smear, Part Deux: Second Verse, Same As The First

So instead of, you know, talking about the Bush Junta's ramping up its saber-rattling (or rather, missile-rattling) at Iran, the GOP/Media Complex is talking about Sandy Berger. Whoop dee doo.

Remember the last time they got all het up about Berger and -- gasp! -- classified documents!  Turns out they weren't originals, but copies. (And the docs shouldn't have been classified in the first place.)  And the same looks to be true this time out.

More after the jump.

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Reid backs 20k troops -- BUT ONLY FOR RETREAT

The NBC evening news (and the WaPo) played up their favorite theme, the idea that "the Democrats are in disarray!", yet again today, by highlighting a difference between Harry Reid and several other key Democratic Senators on how best to get our troops home before the end of next year.

The people in the GOP/Media Complex were hoping that this scam of "let's you and him fight" would drive a wedge between the netroots and Reid. And to judge by the sounds in the netroots tonight, their scam worked perfectly.

More after the jump.

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Impeachment: If It's Not About Punishment, What Is It About?

One thing that many if not most of the pro-impeachment people keep saying is that it's not about revenge or punishment or whatever, but about using impeachment to try to make sure no future president follows Bush's example. (Though many pro-impeachers are openly saying that they DO want to see him punished -- at least one person tonight has mentioned hanging as a punishment for Bush.) 

Actually, limiting the powers of signing statements (or eliminating them altogether) would be a much more effective way to try to rein in the executive branch; impeachment wouldn't do anything except show future presidents, once again, that the way to tie up a Congress controlled by the opposition party for years on end is to give them impeachment fever.  Oh, and it wouldn't punish Bush one iota, either.  (More after the jump.)

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Steny Hoyer's first test under Pelosi

We are all familiar with Hoyer's longtime efforts to backstab Pelosi in particular, and progressive (or just plain gutsy) Democrats in general, in order to get her job.  

Now that he's kept his current job, he's getting an immediate test that will show whether or not he's willing to help put forward a united front of effective opposition to Bush, or if he's going to continue to hamstring Pelosi and the Backbone Democrats on Iraq and other issues.

Chris Dodd in Connecticut has just put forward a proposal to restore habeas corpus and our Constitution. We know that Hoyer's good friend Joe Lieberman will oppose this tooth and nail.  But what about Hoyer?  Will he back it?  Or will he back Bush and Lieberman?  Let's call him and find out.

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