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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

News Roundup, 4/9/2008: A Long Day In Washington + Runoff Results

Yesterday's big story was the testimony before Congress by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker on Iraq, at least until late last night when the runoff for the Democratic candidate for railroad commissioner was decided.

We'll start with the railroad commissioner's race. Mark Thompson's leading vote total on March 4 was a surprise to pretty much everyone I know, but since that happened, I guess you can say that his win in the runoff against Dale Henry should be less surprising. Thompson had a wide lead throughout the count and finished up with it, winning 59-41.

But that's it, and now the entire Democratic slate is decided. Well, except for that one important race on top of the ticket.

Both Democrats still fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination, along with the presumptive Republican nominee, were on Capitol Hill yesterday for testimony by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker on progress in Iraq. The Democratic candidates — as well as their colleagues who are not running for president (anymore) and even a few Republicans — made salient points and performed pretty well.

The disappointment was plentiful, though, in what Petraeus and Crocker had to say. Essentially, they would like more time and money and soldiers. On NPR this morning, Steve Inskeep described Petraeus' report as painting a picture of Iraq where it is too dangerous to allow the troops to pull out, but too safe to merit pulling the troops out.

You'll get the usual divorced-from-reality war cheerleading from McCain all week (and no doubt a continuation of same from Texas Senator John Cornyn), and why not? He's been treating audiences to it for what seems like forever. I will be interested, though, to see how Petraeus' proposed pause polls.

And finally, Jay Root's due diligence was much appreciated, as was the Lone Star Project's efforts to keep State Senator Kim Brimer honest about his 'rent to own' hijinx. That is a story that I am almost certain isn't going away any time soon.

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