Saturday, May 24, 2008

X-Ray Of A Dark Soul

Another take on Clinton's assassination gaffe:
Hillary Clinton's colossal blunder simply the last straw
SICK. Disgusting. And yet revealing. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in the event some nut kills Barack Obama. It could happen, but what definitely has happened is that Clinton has killed her own chances of being vice president. She doesn't deserve to be elected dog catcher anywhere now.
Her shocking comment to a South Dakota newspaper might qualify as the dumbest thing ever said in American politics.
Her lame explanation that she brought up the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy because his brother Ted's illness was on her mind doesn't cut it. Not even close.
We have seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way. Otherwise, why is murder on her mind?

We could have seen it coming, if only we had realized Clinton's thinking could be so cold. She has grown increasingly wild in her imagery lately, invoking everything from slavery to the political killings in Zimbabwe in making her argument for the Florida and Michigan delegations. She claimed to be the victim of sexism, despite winning the votes of white men.…
Clinton has now fed that fear. She needs a very long vacation. And we need one from her.
Update: It's a pile on through the blogosphere. Ironically, it seems she's finally killed her campaign with her callous comment.

Noonan & Paglia On Clinton

Short version: Stop with the sexism shit already, you're hurting women with it. 

Peggy Noonan sizes up Hillary Clinton in comparison to Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir and Indira Gandhi:
Sex and the Sissy
Where to begin? One wants to be sympathetic to Mrs. Clinton at this point, if for no other reason than to show one's range. [ed: HA!] But her last weeks have been, and her next weeks will likely be, one long exercise in summoning further denunciations. It is something new in politics, the How Else Can I Offend You Tour. And I suppose it is aimed not at voters -- you don't persuade anyone by complaining in this way, you only reinforce what your supporters already think -- but at history, at the way history will tell the story of the reasons for her loss.
Camille Paglia's take: 
Hillary Clinton's candidacy has done feminism no favours
Hillary has tried to have it both ways: to batten on her husband's nostalgic popularity while simultaneously claiming to be a victim of sexism.

Well, which is it? Are men convenient sugar daddies or condescending oppressors?

As her presidential hopes have begun to evaporate, Hillary has upped the ante in the crusading feminist department. Her surrogates are beating the grievance drums, trying to scare every angry female out of the bush.

From that rag-tag crew, she will build her army. Let the red flags fly! Hillary is positioning herself as the Crucified One, betrayed, mocked, flogged, and shunted aside for the cause of Ultimate Womanhood. But doesn't this saccharine melodrama undermine the central goals of feminism?

For all her claims of media bias and ill treatment by her male fellow candidates, Hillary has got off absurdly softly in this campaign. No one — neither her rivals nor mainstream journalists — has had the guts to explore or even list the bursting catalogue of past Clinton scandals, in which Hillary was nearly always hip deep.

Charges of sexism have become Hillary's rote strategy for evading scrutiny. But by entangling the noble movement of modern feminism with her own knotty psychodrama, Hillary is reinforcing hoary stereotypes about women. Will every losing woman candidate now turn on the waterworks and claim to be maimed by male pride and prejudice?
I can't wait for this Oppression Olympics primary to end.

What's Missing

Hilzoy takes Hillary to task.
Note what's missing here: any sense that Clinton herself is a responsible moral agent. People are writing about her as though she were a bomb that needed to be expertly defused, as opposed to a person who can govern her own life, and is responsible for her own choices.

I am aware that it must be hard to face the fact that you've lost. But it became clear that she was not going to win the nomination months ago -- I would say after Wisconsin, but certainly after Texas. Moreover, this is not unprecedented. People lose the nomination every four years. Most of the time, they do not stay on until it is mathematically impossible for them to win; they leave when it has become clear that they will not win. They do not complain about disenfranchising all the states with later primaries, they do not threaten to keep their supporters home, and they certainly do not threaten "open civil war" if they don't get nominated for Vice President. On those rare occasions when some candidate does this in the absence of some truly monumental issue, we normally think that that candidate is a narcissistic and unprincipled person who has just shown why s/he should never, ever be President.

There is absolutely no reason not to apply these same standards to Hillary Clinton. Right now, instead of floating demands in the press and comparing herself to abolitionists and suffragists, she could be telling her supporters that she lost fair and square; that while there was a lot of sexism in the campaign, there was racism as well, and that sexism does not explain why a candidate with literally every institutional advantage over her opponent lost the nomination. She could be reaching out to the voters who supported her in places where Obama has had trouble, and urging them to vote for him. She could, in a word, be doing the right thing: trying to earn that respect she seems to want.

Instead, she's throwing tantrums, making demands that she has no right to make, and threatening civil war.

I can't imagine a better demonstration of why she should not be President or Vice President. Nor can I imagine a better demonstration of why some of us who are committed feminists are not happy with her as our standard-bearer. She lost. It happens. If she were an adult or a professional, she would deal with it. Apparently, she is neither.

Last Gasps Of The Old Guard?

This sounds about right to me. Those with power don't usually give it up willingly or easily. Still, the jig is up. It'll just take some time for the info to sink in.
Another Clinton money person threatening the party
This dude is clearly in the "bargaining" stage of grief, and it manifests itself with threats.
In a move that could foreshadow a public push from the Hillary forces to get Barack Obama to invite her on the ticket, Hillary's top campaign fundraising official said in an interview that there's a "risk" that Hillary's political and financial supporters won't get behind Obama in time for him to win in November if she's passed over for the veep slot.

The fundraiser, businessman Hassan Nemazee, is Hillary's leading finance chair and one of the most influential money men in the party. He's the first prominent Hillary campaign official to raise the possiblity of an Obama loss should she not be invited on the ticket, and his comments suggests that this argument could emerge as central to any Clinton camp push to make her veep.

"There's a desire on the part of the party to come together under any circumstances, and Hillary and her supporters will do everything in their power to help Obama win, should he become the nominee, whether or not she's on the ticket," Nemazee said to me this morning.

"But there's a risk that if she isn't invited on the ticket, Hillary's political and financial supporters may not feel compelled to be as integrated and involved in the Obama campaign in order to provide the maximum support that he'll need to prevail in November."
It really is a sort of "last gasp" of the old establishment. They still don't realize that their money, while helpful, no longer buys them a political party. In fact, the more this asshole threatens, the more Obama can raise money off him.

Really, what is most useful to party building -- one blowhard businessman with a fat checkbook, or millions of small dollar donors? It's not even close.

It's Not 1692, It's 2008

Group wants Wi-Fi banned from public buildings
A group in Santa Fe says the city is discriminating against them because they say that they're allergic to the wireless Internet signal. And now they want Wi-Fi banned from public buildings.

Arthur Firstenberg says he is highly sensitive to certain types of electric fields, including wireless Internet and cell phones.

"I get chest pain and it doesn't go away right away," he said.

Firstenberg and dozens of other electro-sensitive people in Santa Fe claim that putting up Wi-Fi in public places is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The city attorney is now checking to see if putting up Wi-Fi could be considered discrimination. But City Councilor Ron Trujillo says the areas are already saturated with wireless Internet.

"It's not 1692, it's 2008. Santa Fe needs to embrace this technology, it's not going away," Trujillo said.
Couldn't they just wear tinfoil flak jackets?


A never-ending task. 
The 6 Most Frequently Quoted Bullsh*t Statistics
Every once in awhile, you'll hear a statistic so striking you can hardly believe it's true. Our first impulse is to repeat it, because knowing interesting things tends to make people like us better.
Unfortunately, some people are so desperate for interesting facts to quote, that they'll just pull them right out of their ass. Then those facts get repeated, by--you guessed it--people like us.
The six most quoted "too awesome to be true" stats that, in fact, are ...

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Knew It!

Classy As Ever

Nice of her—concern trolling for Obama's well-being.

Update: Sullivan's take:
I was on the stairmaster when the news came through. And I saw the apology as well - an apology to the Kennedy family, I might note, not to Senator Obama. Since some seem unwilling to point out why this remark was more than unfortunate, it is worth remembering that we have the first black candidate for president. You only have to spend a few minutes talking with African-Americans about this campaign to discover that the fear that Obama could be assassinated is very much on their minds. It is in everyone's subconscious, especially Michelle Obama's. To refer to the June assassination of Bobby Kennedy in the context of reasons to stay in this interminable race against Barack Obama is therefore catastrophically inappropriate. Coming after her pitch for "white votes", it is reckless.
As for her argument that June primaries are nothing new, she is correct. But in no previous primary election did the voting start just after New Years' Day. The New Hampshire primary in 1968 was on March 12, two months later than this year. For June, therefore, read August. Yes, this season has gone on for ever. And for Senator Clinton, it has now obviously gone on too long.
She's been waiting for Obama to implode. Instead, she just has.
That last point is particularly astute, though I'd argue that she's been in one long slow-motion meltdown. 

The Cardoza 40

While Hillary furiously spins into self-parody and the remaining undeclared super-delegates sit perched upon their fences, shields clinging tightly to their asses, some 40 super-ds who have up to now been Clinton supporters have decided to do what's right for their party and for the country and have decided to back Obama. 

As usual, Al at The Field has the scoop:
“The Cardoza 40″: Exodus of Clinton Delegates Begins
The endorsement by US Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-California) of Obama today sends an extremely firm message to the Clinton campaign, and not only because he was, until today, a Clinton superdelegate.
The Field has learned that Cardoza is the first of a group of at least 40 Clinton delegates, many of them from California, that through talking among themselves came to a joint decision that all of them would vote for Obama at the convention. They have informed Senator Clinton that it’s time to unite around Obama, and that they will be coming out, one or two at a time, and announcing their switch between now and the convention if Senator Clinton doesn’t do the same.

Cardoza, in his endorsement today, said:
“I am deeply concerned about the contentious primary campaign and controversy surrounding the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan – two states Democrats need to win in November. I will not support changing the rules in the fourth quarter of this contest through some convoluted DNC rules committee process. Yet, we must find a resolution to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates so these states’ voters are represented at the Convention. I believe we need to avoid this potentially divisive situation by uniting behind one nominee and bringing the party together immediately. Therefore, I have made the decision to support Senator Obama at the Democratic Convention in my role as a super delegate.”

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Solidly Progressive, Remarkably Consistent

Video of Obama speaking extemporaneously at a Chicago labor rally in 2003 courtesy of Mike Lux at Open Left.

Remember This Guy?

He's Florida State Senator Steve Geller, the knob who mockingly pretended to object to the Republican-led legislature moving their primary up to mid-January. He's pretty clearly an asshat. Just the sort of person the Clinton's like to have around.  

Here's why he's back in the news:
Sen. Steve Geller, D-Cooper City, filed a federal lawsuit today force the national Democratic Party to recognize the 1.75 million votes Floridians cast during the Jan. 29 primary and seat the state's delegation at the convention.
What the hell is wrong with people down there? Can the rest of the country secede?

If Ever There Were An Argument Against White Supremacy

This is it:

And these were the people and sentiments that Clinton pandered to. Disgusting.

More On Clinton's Poisonous Turn

Al Giordano over at The Field (which is, as I've mentioned numerous times, the BEST politiblog of the season) posits that Clinton's latest ratcheting up of poisonous rhetoric is due to sour grapes:
The Field can now confirm, based on multiple sources, something that both campaigns publicly deny: that Senator Clinton has directly told Senator Obama that she wants to be his vice presidential nominee, and that Senator Obama politely but straightforwardly and irrevocably said “no.” Obama is going to pick his own running mate based on his own criteria and vetting process.
And that is all that anybody needs to know to understand the childish and wounded behavior of Senator Clinton yesterday, grandstanding hypocritically to senior citizens in Florida, telling them they should consider themselves under sniper fire in Bosnia, er, Zimbabwe, aggrandizing herself as some kind of civil rights leader (MLK? or LBJ? She didn’t say this time) and attempting to corner 30 members of the DNC’s Rules & Bylaws Committee that will meet on May 31 to resolve the disputes over whether, and, if so, how, delegates from Michigan and Florida might be seated at the convention in August.
There are more good reasons why an Obama-Clinton ticket can’t, shouldn’t and won’t happen than the dozen offered by my old friend, ad-maker extraordinaire and political wise man Dan Payne so cogently via today’s Boston Globe.
Now that Time magazine has put the Clinton gambit out into the open, we are likely to witness, in the coming weeks, an extremely sad spectacle for Senator Clinton, whose spouse just can’t help himself and obviously is not helping her. Through being so indiscreet about his obsession with getting near the levers of state power again that the first major media confirmation of the Clinton vice presidential aspirations involved a report that he’s the one who wants it most, he has definitively reinforced that the “nightmare ticket” is deservedly off the table, and created a monstrous distraction that impedes Senator Clinton from consolidating all she has built for herself this year in the short term.
So now, when the Clinton surrogates continue to advocate that Obama choose Senator Clinton as veep, everybody will know: It’s Bill, and not Hill, stoking the fire. When New York political insider Mark Green’s Air America sent an email blast this morning to its entire mailing list featuring the milquetoast, boring and Arbitron-ratings neglected Thom Hartmann’s plea - “Obama: Ask Hillary First” (and this Air America subscriber summarily unsubscribed from that list this morning upon receiving that piece of corporate-paid advertising), everybody knows: the ventriloquist behind these Muppets is Bill Clinton.
And it’s not even about the vice presidency. For Bill, it is about wrestling back “the Clinton brand” from his spouse. How’s that for petty? Arianna Huffington wrote a compelling essay last week listing the triumphs of Senator Clinton’s campaign, paving the way for other women in politics, and noting that, “she has redefined and taken over the Clinton brand… she is the Clinton who will now be most relevant to the country’s future.”
Not so fast. “The Clinton problem” today is not: what will the Democratic Party or Barack Obama do about Senator Clinton? It is: what will Senator Clinton do about that loose cannon of a former president?
You shall know the politically inept among us by those that continue to advocate for The Disaster Ticket now that Bill has pushed himself so unnecessarily into the photo, confirming that he is the most compelling reason why an Obama-Clinton ticket will never happen, and you shall know them also even by those who oppose it but who worry, fret and gnash teeth aloud that somehow it could be forced to happen after this latest development.
The nightmare has died. Smile and get over it.
Here's Josh's take at Talking Points Memo:
But Sen. Clinton is doing much more than this. She is embarking on a gambit that is uncertain in its result and simply breathtaking in its cynicism.

I know many TPM Readers believe there is a deep moral and political issue at stake in the need to seat these delegations. I don't see it the same way. But I'm not here to say they're wrong and I'm right. It's a subjective question and I respect that many people think this. What I'm quite confident about is that Sen. Clinton and her top advisors don't see it that way.

Why do I think that? For a number of reasons. One of her most senior advisors, Harold Ickes, was on the DNC committee that voted to sanction Florida and Michigan by not including their delegates. Her campaign completely signed off on sanctions after that. And there are actually numerous quotes from the Senator herself saying those primaries didn't and wouldn't count. Michigan and Florida were sanctioned because they ignored the rules the DNC had set down for running this year's nomination process.

The evidence is simply overwhelming that Sen. Clinton didn't think this was a problem at all -- until it became a vehicle to provide a rationale for her continued campaign.

What she's doing is not securing her the nomination. Rather, she's gunning up a lot of her supporters to believe that the nomination was stolen from her -- a belief many won't soon abandon. And that on the basis of rationales and arguments there's every reason to think she doesn't even believe in.
Here's Jonathan Alter at Newsweek:
But Clinton has continued with one claim that could have a pernicious effect on the Democrats' chances in November. While she knows that the nomination is determined by delegates, Hillary insists on saying at every opportunity that she is winning the popular vote. And she has now taken to touting the new HBO movie "Recount," which chronicles the Florida fiasco of eight years ago. Everyone can agree that the primary calendar needs reform. But popular-vote pandering is poison for Democrats. For a party scarred by the experience of 2000, when Al Gore received 500,000 more popular votes than George W. Bush but lost the presidency, this argument is sure to make it harder to unite and put bitter feelings aside.

Oh, and it's not true.…
Read his complete debunking of the popular vote total canard here.


Just think, five short (okay, really loooooong) months ago, the Clintons were relatively respected in most Democratic circles. Some still respect them, obviously, but they've more than lost the respect and support of most thinking liberals. It's ever more apparent that the right wing wack jobs were right about the Clintons all along…just for the wrong reasons. What a sad turn of events. The sooner their cynical, Janus-faced asses are ushered from the stage, the happier I'll be.

Scraping The Bottom Of The Bottom Of The Bottom

Wow. Just when I thought Clinton could go no lower, she done went and proved me wrong. Her comments in Florida today—comparing an interparty disciplinary issue with slavery, the 2000 presidential election, and the problems in Zimbabwe(!)— went beyond disingenuous straight to despicable. 

Johnathan Chait at The New Republic has her number. I'm posting the whole thing, rather than a clip because it's so spot on. 
Clinton's Shocking Florida Gambit
Hillary Clinton's rhetoric today about counting the results in Florida and Michigan is simply incredible. Her speech compares discounting the Florida and Michigan primaries to vote suppression and slavery:
She said "there's a reason why so many have fought so hard and sacrificed so much. It's because they knew that to be a citizen of this country is to have the right and responsibility to help shape its future. Not just to have your voice heard but to have it count. People have fought hard because they knew their vote was at stake and so was their children's futures.

Those people, she said “refused to accept their assigned place as second-class citizens. Men and women who saw America not as it was, but as it could and should be, and committed themselves to extending the frontiers of our democracy. The abolitionists and all who fought to end slavery and ensure freedom came with the full right of citizenship. The tenacious women and a few brave men who gathered at the Seneca Falls convention back in 1848 to demand the right to vote.”
It's worth repeating: They supported this "disenfranchisement." Here's a New York Times story from last fall, headlined, "Clinton, Obama and Edwards Join Pledge to Avoid Defiant States."

Moreover, it's obviously true that Obama not campaigning, organizing, or advertizing in those states hurt him, and helped the more familiar candidate in Clinton. She decided to campaign to change the rules only after it became her interest to do so.

This gambit by Clinton is simply an attempt to steal the nomination. It's obviously not going to work, because Democratic superdelegates don't want to commit suicide. But this episode is very revealing about Clinton's character. I try not to make moralistic characterological judgments about politicians, because all politicians compromise their ideals in the pursuit of power. There are no angels in this business. Clinton's gambit, however, truly is breathtaking.

If she's consciously lying, it's a shockingly cynical move. I don't think she's lying. I think she's so convinced of her own morality and historical importance that she can whip herself into a moralistic fervor to support nearly any position that might benefit her, however crass and sleazy. It's not just that she's convinced herself it's okay to try to steal the nomination, she has also appropriated the most sacred legacies of liberalism for her effort to do so. She is proving herself temperamentally unfit for the presidency. [Emphasis added.]
Ya think?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reason Enough To Be Glad Obama's The Nominee

Is it any wonder the Clinton campaign has lost so much respect from liberals when her sycophants not only engage in ridiculous spin but then bend over for Fox News? Try not to throw up in your mouth as you watch.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bathroom Porn



Best Year Ever!

One of the most supremely satisfying aspects to this years election cycle—more than Obama's inspiring rhetoric, more than the huge surge in registered Democrats, more than the growing strength of progressive institutions and the lefty blogosphere—is watching as virtually every sophomoric, denigrating move from the Republican playbook flops ineffectively. It's almost as if the greater share of the American populace is waking up or getting wise to the Republicans bullshit (well, after 40 years it's about time). 

In the past three special elections where Dems have won previously safe seats, Repubs pulled out all the stops and tried all of their tried and true homophobic, xenophobic, nativistic, egghead-bashing tricks only to watch as they failed miserably. It's been a beautiful thing to behold. 

Courtesy of Josh at TPM, here are ads from another contest where the Repub is trying the same old, same old and his Dem opponent hits back hard. This one in Missouri. Given the way things are going this year, I think we can guess how it's going to turn out.

Choice cut:
One of the more diverting aspects of the 2008 campaign is watching how the GOP wedge issue playbook descends toward self-parody as its effectiveness diminishes.

Here's the ad running from Missouri Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) against challenger and former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D-MO) and her ad responding.
Barnes' response:
In terms of electoral politics, this is the best year ever!

Monday, May 19, 2008

O In O

More great pics from Obama's Sunday Portland rally via torridjoe at Loaded Oregon.

And finally, some decent video footage:

Quote Du Jour

Here's the truth: the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons and Iran doesn't have a single one. But when the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn't we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That's what strong countries do, that's what strong presidents do, that's what I'll do when I'm president of the United States of America.

So, you know, for all their tough talk, one of the things you have to ask yourself is what are George Bush and John McCain afraid of? Demanding that a country meets all your conditions before you meet with them, that's not a strategy; it's just naïve, wishful thinking. I'm not afraid that we'll lose some propaganda fight with a dictator. It's time for America to win those battles, because we've watched George Bush lose them year after year after year. It's time to restore our security and our standing in the world. [emphasis added]
—Barack Obama responding to
W's and McCain's jingoistic attacks
on the practice of diplomacy

Sister Rosetta

God, it's things like this that really make me love the Internet in general and blogging in particular. In the course of my usual blog browsing (blowsing? brogging?), I stumbled upon this post from Kathy G. at The G Spot. She has a regular feature called "Diva of the Week"; this week she featured a woman named Sister Rosetta Tharpe. I'd never heard of her before (though she was described by Kathy as legendary) which is a crying shame, because she rocks the house. Here's a clip of the post as well as vid clip:
This week's diva is the legendary gospel and blues singer and guitarist, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Born in Arkansas in 1915, she began playing music as a child, accompanying her mother, who was a traveling evangelist, in tent revivals throughout the South. She became a star attraction on her own, mainly as a gospel singer, although she also made significant jazz and blues recordings. Indeed, her combination of the sacred and the secular was considered somewhat scandalous back in the day.

Sister Rosetta, who died in 1973, is probably best known as an important precursor to early rock and roll. With her virtuoso rocking guitar playing, she pioneered an original sound all of her own. Musicians from Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to Bob Dylan to Isaac Hayes and Aretha Franklin have cited her as an influence, and both Little Richard and Johnny Cash have said she was their favorite singer.

Here's Rosetta in a clip from the early 60s, performing her classic rendition of "Down by the Riverside." As you'll see, she totally rocks.
Here she is performing "Didn't It Rain" circa 1964-66. She arrives onstage in true diva style -- via a horse-drawn carriage!
Click here for a couple more videos.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Walt Whitman's "America"

This is very cool. Somehow Sully found a recording of one of America's brightest lights and one of my favorite poets, Walt Whitman, reading from his poem, "America." If you've never read Leaves of Grass do yourself a favor and remedy the situation. In the meantime listen to Whitman speak to us from across a century of time.

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love.

Enjoy the recording:

And for more background on Whitman, go here, here or here

Obama In Roseburg

Putting the lie to the idea that Obama has a white, working-class voter problem (outside of Appalachia), Obama brings over 1,000 out in one of the state's more conservative regions.
Obama visting several Oregon towns

Sunday morning, Obama spoke in Gresham. The day before, he came to the heart of Republican timber country in Oregon on Saturday, and drew a favorable reception from a large audience with his promises to end the Iraq war and deliver universal health care.

The Illinois senator packed nearly 1,500 people into the Roseburg High School cafeteria for what was his first campaign foray into one of Oregon's conservative rural areas.

After Obama took a shellacking in last Tuesday's West Virginia primary, some analysts suggested the loss showed the Illinois senator was having problems connecting with blue-collar, working-class voters.

None of that was in evidence Saturday in this Douglas County timber town -- the first stop in a weekend of campaigning in Oregon for Obama, who holds a large lead in polls leading up to Tuesday's primary election.
As Obama took the stage Saturday, he was greeted by one man's shout of "Obama rocks!" and he received several standing ovations in a county that has voted for Republicans in every presidential election since 1964, when the county went for Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

Douglas County is among the rural Oregon counties that have suffered economically with the decline in the timber industry -- the main source of jobs in Roseburg and surrounding areas.

Obama drew cheers when he called for more research into converting wood chips into an alternative fuel source -- both to boost supplies of renewable energy and to create new jobs in timber-dependent communities.

Audience members -- including some Republicans -- said afterward Obama had scored points with them in his Saturday address.

Mike Croning, 54, a registered Republican, said he is "strongly leaning" toward backing Obama in November.

"He's a Kennedy-esque type of person. He's a thoughtful person," said Croning, a financial planner. "I don't think he's the old-style partisan politics."

Roseburg dentist Bill Schuyler, 62, said he's been a Republican all his life but now is backing Obama.

"He's the most honest candidate we've had. He speaks what he believes," Schuyler said.
The Illinois senator's response to that and other issues cemented registered nurse Kim Rockingber's support for Obama.

"He's an inspiring man," Rockingber said.

She also disputed assertions by some that Obama doesn't relate to working-class voters.

"We've heard a lot of stereotypes about who is voting for who. Well, I'm one of those `hardworking white people' that we heard Hillary Clinton's campaign make reference to, and I'm voting for Obama," she said.
The man is a fucking phenomenon.

I'm Lorne Michaels, And I Approve This Message


That's how many showed up in Portland, Oregon to see Obama this afternoon. His biggest crowd yet. I'm so proud of my state!

Here's the report from NBC's First Read:
Per the Obama campaign, 75,000 people (60,000 in the gates and 15,000 outside of them) turned out in Portland to hear Obama speak there this afternoon -- making it the largest Obama crowd to date.

Duane Bray, the battalion chief with Portland Fire and Rescue, validated that crowd estimate, the campaign says.
And here's coverage from another source:
At a rally today in sunny Portland, Barack Obama spoke to some 75,000 people, according to the campaign. The mammoth crowd stood on Waterfront Park in downtown Portland adjacent to the scenic Willamette River. People even came by boat and kayak to catch a glimpse of the likely Democratic nominee.

“Hello Portland! Wow. Wow. Wow,” he said as the crowd chanted “Obama!” Looking out at the seemingly never ending crowd, he said, “We have had a lot of rallies around the country. I think it is fair to say that this is the most spectacular setting for the most spectacular crowd that we have had in this entire campaign. This is unbelievable.” He added, “It doesn’t hurt that it’s a perfect day.”
This vid (which has terrible sound quality) shows what 75,000 people look like:

Update: Here are some pics of the event:

I'm guessing Republicans are shitting themselves.

Update: More pics here.