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Advancing Progressive Ideas

News Roundup, 5/12/08: The Proverbial Rich Tapestry

From McCain's lobbying ties to superdelegate shifts, this weekend had plenty to offer in the way of political news.

The big news trend on the Democratic side of things concerns the distribution of superdelegates and recent changes therein. Senator Barack Obama picked up several superdelegate endorsements over the last chunk of days, and now the focus is, of course, who has the most. The margin of error on superdelegate counts seems to be +/- 10 or so, so I imagine Obama will have to keep picking up more endorsements before all the outlets agree that he now has the lead in that category.

Senator John McCain drew a different brand of attention with the news that his former staffers lobbied for a land swap deal that benefited a donor (in a nutshell). Josh Marshall made the comment earlier this weekend that John McCain has significant ties to an awful lot of lobbyists for such an anti-special-interest guy. I agree.

The Bush administration celebrated a First Family wedding this weekend, but they were not without time to press for the usual litany of strange assertions. Take, for instance this item, in which they asked for fewer inspections meant to detect mad cow disease in stock. Oil is cruising toward $150, the Pentagon's military spin operatives are leaving trails of documentation behind that open their playbook, and the big ticket item at the table is tamping down on mad cow disease tests.

It could be worse for Republicans, I suppose. They could have gone on record in the House voting against moms. Or maybe they could be building a meaningful string of special election losses in once-favorable districts. But that would be an awful lot of bad to deal with all at once, right?

Speaking of election losses, Patrick dropped a little science from Rasmussen about the Oregon Senate race. The incumbent Republican is hanging out at under 50 percent, and has been for three months. Democrats Jeff Merkley and Steve Novick are taking a run at it, and both are seen as doing pretty decently against the incumbent at the moment.

Patrick also discussed the recent stirrings concerning the origin of weapons shipped to Iraq which had been widely proclaimed and assumed as coming from Iran. That is starting to look less likely.

Oh, and in one more tidbit of Senate race news, Club for Growth is running ads in New Mexico about SCHIP. Can you guess which way they lean on the issue?

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