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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Daily News, 3/24/08: A Mixed Basket

Over Easter Weekend we had some revelations both interesting and somber, including news about oil prices and production, political interplay, and violence in Iraq.

Good Friday brought a mixed bag of news, kicking off most notably with the stream of stories about passport file security breaches on one, and then two, and then all three presidential candidates. This prompted me to wonder what was going on over at the State Department.

Good Friday also brought some good news for Obama in the form of Bill Richardson's endorsement, which had been long-rumored and finally happened. As Richardson was appointed to executive branch positions twice during the Clinton administration and had a long history with the family, I was not surprised that James Carville described Richardson's endorsement of Obama as a betrayal of Biblical proportions. Former Governor Jeanne Shaheen also got the good news that she is running far ahead of incumbent Republican John Sununu in the polls for New Hampshire.

But Friday could not be a basket of good news for everyone, and John McCain got the business end of that when he surpassed the public financing spending threshold that he may or may not be required by law to adhere to, as his application for public financing has not officially been withdrawn as he requested.

The DNC also got a mixed set of news in the form of a court ruling on a lawsuit brought against them by a Florida Democrat over delegates. The suit was dismissed, but it was dismissed largely for technicalities — essentially, the plaintiff brought the case asserting that he had been disenfranchised before he had voted in the Florida primary, so the court ruled that no real damage had been suffered and that they had no jurisdiction. In dismissing it, however, the court not only said the plaintiff could bring the case again now that he has voted, but also suggested some relevant case law, so more action on that front would not be surprising.

It was also not a great day for Rush Limbaugh, who has been imploring his Republican listeners to vote in Democratic primaries in what Alternet's Steven Rosenfeld thinks might be a violation of election law. When I first read about that in Wired I thought it was an interesting academic exercise that wouldn't go anywhere. The story keeps sticking around, however, so I am beginning to wonder if it might have long-term legs.

Over the weekend, executive editor George Nassar found some unfortunate manipulations of endangered species laws by the Bush administration, which seem to aggressively encourage the extinction of rare animals — at least, that's my take on it when the government actively makes it harder for animals to make it on to the list in the first place. George also pointed us to an article about the Bush administration's international relations plan. It consists of bullying friendly countries into doing what we want, and then handing out the foreign policy equivalent of Indian burns when those countries do not comply. I am not surprised to read things like this, but it doesn't make them any less depressing.

Rounding out the weekend news, we had reports that ExxonMobil is actively and and overtly manipulating oil prices and profit margins, and we had a newspaper in Connecticut retract the endorsement it gave to Senator Joe Lieberman in 2006.

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