SD-SEN: Johnson Destroys Kirby

A few days ago I wrote about Steve Kirby, the Republican Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota, who’s being recruited by the NRSC to run against Tim Johnson this November.

Turns out that Kirby has some disturbing skeletons in his closet:

Following information on the Web site of Kirby’s Bluestem Venture Capital, [oppo researchers] began investigating Collagenesis, a Massachussetts-based company backed by Bluestem to the tune of a million dollars.

Two years before, Collagenesis had been the subject of an investigative series by the Orange County (California) Register that discovered the company had obtained donated cadaver skin and processed it into a very expensive product called Dermalogen, that was widely used in cosmetic surgery. The skin from one cadaver produced $36,000 worth of Dermalogen, which was used primarily to enlarge lips and smooth out wrinkles.

The Register expose thoroughly demonstrated that the cadavers were donated to tissue banks by family members who had no idea the remains of their loved ones were being used for profit in the cosmetic surgery industry. While it is against federal law to buy or sell tissue for a profit, the law allows for “reasonable fees” to cover processing costs, without defining what is reasonable. The loophole had resulted in large amounts of donated skin being used for cosmetic surgery while thousands of severe burn victims went without desperately needed grafts.

Well, the latest poll out of SD shows Johnson handily beating Kirby.  Badlands Blue has the scoop:

NEW POLL: JOHNSON LEADS KIRBY 70-19 IN SOUTH DAKOTAWith 72% Job Approval, Senator Positioned for Re-election

A new poll taken for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee shows that South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson holds a commanding 70-19 lead over potential Republican candidate Steve Kirby.  The poll also shows that 72 percent of South Dakotans approve of the job Johnson is doing, with only 15 percent disapproving.  South Dakota’s senior Senator is rated favorably by 79 percent of voters and unfavorably by only 12 percent.

Johnson is a great Senator and a legedary campaigner.  Even if Kirby jumps in the race, I don’t expect that he’ll  give Johnson much trouble at all.

Numbers, Dollars & Spin

Today was a big day in politics, so let’s get down to it.

NUMBERS:

The latest Rassmussen poll shows Clinton and Obama virtually tied in Ohio–Clinton now has 47% to Obama’s 45%. In addition, Reuters/Zogby show Obama widening his lead over Clinton in Texas, now carrying 48% to her 42%. ARG shows Clinton leading in Ohio, 50% to 45%, but trailing in Texas, 51% to 44%.

It’s clear that Obama is closing the gap, and by every indication he seems to be leading in Texas and trailing by a relatively small margin in Ohio. With just 4 days left until VOTR Day, Clinton is going to have to start making up ground–and fast–lest she walk away the loser.

DOLLARS:

It’s the last day of February, and the campaigns are releasing their monthly fundraising statistics.

Hillary Clinton raised $35 million in February, a considerable haul nearly equal to what Obama raised in January.

Obama’s exact fundraising numbers are unknown–they haven’t been announced yet–but his campaign advisers have said that it will be “considerably more” than $35 million.

And John McCain trails both Democrats, picking up a pathetic $12 million in February. After his victory on February 5th, it was clear that he would be the Republican nominee–after that, the floodgates were supposed to open up and he was supposed to start raking in the cash. Instead, it looks like the deep pockets and big wallets in the GOP haven’t opened up to him yet–possibly because of his shaky support among conservatives or his numerous scandals. Still, if he can’t start tapping into bigger reserves of cash–and fast–he’s going to get buried by the Democratic nominee.

Of course, even raising money at this point might be a problem for McCain–until the FEC releases him from public financing, he’s still technically in the system, and that means he can only raise and spend $54 million until this summer. Since his last FEC report shows him with over $53 million, it’s imperative for McCain to release his February expenditures as soon as possible–if he violated the $54 million, McCain’s campaign could very well end up in court.

SPIN:

In the wake of their flagging poll numbers, the Clinton campaign has released some of the most ridiculous spin I’ve ever read:

Clinton Campaign Chief Strategist Mark Penn today released a memo to the media, though, with the subject, “Obama Must-Wins.”

“If he cannot win all of these states with all this effort, there’s a problem,” Penn writes. And not only does he have to win, they have to be “decisive,” according to the memo.

“Should Senator Obama fail to score decisive victories with all of the resources and effort he is bringing to bear, the message will be clear,” Penn continues, “Democrats, the majority of whom have favored Hillary in the primary contests held to date, have their doubts about Senator Obama and are having second thoughts about him as a prospective standard-bearer.”

Obama has more delegates. Obama has won more states. Obama has raised more money. Obama has the support of a majority of Democrats nationwide. But if he fails to win every single state on VOTR Day, then Clinton should be the nominee?

This doesn’t make any sense. It’s well known that if the Clinton camp doesn’t win at least Ohio and Texas on Tuesday, her candidacy’s basically over–and, in fact, Clinton campaign surrogates like James Carville and Bill Clinton have already said as much. TX and OH are her campaign’s self-declared firewall, and have been for weeks. But now, when it’s likely that they’re going to fall short of their goal, they declare that Obama has to win every single state? What kind of sense does that make?

And as I wrote about earlier today, the Clinton camp is trying to muck up Texas by filing a lawsuit over the Lone Star State’s delegate selection rules. Glenn Smith at Burnt Orange Report–a great Texas-based blog–tells us why:

There is method to the Clinton campaign’s mad preemptive sword rattling over the Texas primary/caucus. They want to delay and disrupt the reporting of the delegate count. They hope that if they win the popular vote, they can avoid, at least for one news cycle, news reports that even if they do so they will very likely lose the delegate fight in Texas and fall further behind Obama in the national delegate contest.

This is not speculation. This has been the subject under discussion. While I have not been part of that discussion, plenty of sources last night and this morning confirmed this as the core of the dispute.

It is widely assumed that Obama’s organizational advantage will achieve in the caucus portion of the Texas election just what it has achieved in earlier caucuses: a significant victory in delegates. There are 67 delegates at stake in those caucuses. The Clinton campaign would like to delay the reporting of the caucus results, and that is why they have continually “reserved the right to challenge” Texas law and Democratic party procedures.

Throw the Texas delegate results in dispute, and win or lose the popular vote, they will have advanced their case that the contest remains close and should go all the way to the convention if necessary.

[…]

The Clinton campaign strategy is to justify taking the fight beyond Texas even if they fall further behind Obama in the national delegate count. To do that, they must cast doubt over the fate of the 67 delegates that will be chosen at the caucus level. Hence, their tough positioning in phone calls with Texas Democratic Party officials and others involved in the primary here.

The Texas rules have been in effect for decades. Bill Clinton ran twice under these rules. They are no surprise to anyone, and both campaigns know they have to play by the same rules. There is little point to raising concerns before the election — except one campaign finds itself running a very unique kind of effort. To remain viable, the results of the caucus in Texas must be thrown into doubt. Almost any legal challenge will do. The Clinton narrative can be maintained– but only if their falling further behind in delegates is not reported or is at the least cast into doubt for a news cycle, or two or three news cycles.

If Clinton loses Texas, it’s going to be over for her. The classy thing to do would be to drop out, let Obama assume the mantle as the nominee and focus on salvaging her political career. If her campaign continues to rely on ridiculous spin and tries to solder on, despite falling short of goals they themselves set, then there’s going to be a huge outcry (as well as significant damage to Clinton’s overall political career). We will not have a brokered convention, and I certainly hope the Clinton camp won’t force us any further down that road than we need to go.

Today, Obama picked up the support of West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller today; that makes an even dozen sitting Senators in the Obama camp, while Clinton has the support of 13 Senate colleagues.

And in response to the John Hagee flap–where John McCain accepted the support of radical, bigoted preacher John Hagee–McCain released this tepid statement:

“Yesterday, Pastor John Hagee endorsed my candidacy for president in San Antonio, Texas. However, in no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee’s views, which I obviously do not.

“I am hopeful that Catholics, Protestants and all people of faith who share my vision for the future of America will respond to our message of defending innocent life, traditional marriage, and compassion for the most vulnerable in our society.”

In other words, McCain will be glad to take the support of Hagee and his extremist followers, as long as he also gets to distance himself from Hagee’s more radical statements. Too bad he can’t have it both ways–either he sides with Hagee and his bigotry, or he denounces him and rejects his support.

Finally, the Roadblock Republicans are hard at work blocking funds to help communities struggling with the mortgage crisis as well as an independent Congressional ethics panel. They’re going to need a lot of spin to explain these decisions away before November.

Primary Colors: February 29, 2008 (UPDATED)

Let’s get to it.

In response to Texas’ convoluted primary system, the Clinton campaign is threatening to file a lawsuit challenging the delegate selection rules:

The Texas Democratic Party is warning that its March 4 caucuses could be delayed or disrupted after aides to White House hopeful Hillary Clinton raised the specter of an “imminent” lawsuit over its complicated delegate selection process, officials said Thursday night.

In a letter sent out late Thursday to both the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns, Texas Democratic Party lawyer Chad Dunn warned that a lawsuit could ruin the Democrats’ effort to re-energize voters just as they are turning out in record numbers.

Spokesmen from both campaigns maintained there were no plans to sue before the March 4 election.

“It has been brought to my attention that one or both of your campaigns may already be planning or intending to pursue litigation against the Texas Democratic Party,” Dunn said in the letter, obtained by the Star-Telegram. “Such action could prove to be a tragedy for a reinvigorated Democratic process.”

Democratic sources said representatives from each campaign had made it clear they are keeping all their options open but that the Clinton campaign in particular had warned of an impending lawsuit.

This is just like the lawsuit filed by a pro-Clinton union to shut down some caucusing sites in Nevada, and it should be dismissed for the exact same reasons. The rules for the primaries and caucuses were set months ago; there has been plenty of time for people to challenge the process. The time for that isn’t less than a week before the election. Just like in Nevada, the time has passed; any lawsuits filed now would serve no other purpose than to disrupt the election. This is going to make the Clinton campaign look desperate, and that’s not what they need right now.

I don’t blame Clinton for being worried–according to Pollster, Obama has widened his lead in Texas and is now beating Clinton 47.8% to 44%. In addition, Obama is also catching up in Ohio and now trails Clinton by just 7.4%. It’s clear that Obama has major momentum as we head into the weekend; Clinton’s latest assault hasn’t stopped his momentum one bit, she’s just spinning her wheels. If Clinton can’t pull it off on Tuesday, the pressure on her to drop out will be enormous; everyone will treat Obama as the nominee, even if she keeps running.

I’m not ready to write Hillary 08’s eulogy yet, but some people already are–Harold Ickies, who helped Bill Clinton win re-election in 1996 and who helped Hillary Clinton get elected to the Senate in 2000, is laying the blame at the feet of Mark Penn:

Harold Ickes definitely doesn’t buy the argument that Mark Penn isn’t responsible for everything that has happened to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

“Mark Penn has run this campaign,” said Ickes in a brief phone interview this morning. “Besides Hillary Clinton, he is the single most responsible person for this campaign.

“Now, he has been circumscribed to some extent by Maggie Williams,” said Ickes, who then pointed out that that was only a recent development.

When asked about the assertion by one senior Clinton official the campaign was effectively run by committee, diluting Penn’s authority, Ickes was incredulous.

“I don’t know what campaign you’re talking about,” said Ickes. “I have been at meetings where he introduces himself as the campaign’s chief strategist. I’ve heard him call himself that many times, say, ‘I am the chief strategist.’”

Asked if Penn preferred the title of chief strategist to pollster, Ickes said, “Prefer it? He insists on it!”

When asked if Penn was therefore responsible for the campaign’s strategy, Ickes said, “It’s pretty plain for anyone to see that he has shaped the strategy of the campaign. He has called the shots.”

“Mark Penn,” he said, “has dominated the message in this campaign. Dominated it.”

Penn doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he’s largely repsonsible for driving the Clinton campiagn into the ground. He’s been responsible for their stilted, discordant and often off-putting messaging; he was also an advocate of going fully negative against Obama, which has brought the Clinton camp no success.

If Clinton loses on Tuesday, expect a lot of finger-pointing and buck-passing. There will be a lot of eulogies written, a lot of post-postmortems and analyses; I fully expect Penn to get much of the blame, and for good reason.

Bottom line: Obama’s hot, Clinton’s not; let’s move on to John McCain:

McCain recently announced that he was ‘very honored’ to receive the support of Pastor John Hagee. Who is John Hagee?

Demonstrating how wildly out of the American religious and political mainstream Hagee’s views are, McCain’s acceptance of Hagee’s endorsement was condemned today by conservative William Donohue, president of the Catholic League. Calling Hagee a “bigot,” Donahue said the right-wing pastor has waged “an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church” by “calling it ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’”

Hagee holds many other radical beliefs. In a 2006 address to CUFI, Hagee declared:

The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.

Speaking to the 2007 AIPAC conference, Hagee compared supporters of a two-state solution in the Middle East to Nazis. Hagee also echoed right-wing Israeli politician Binyamin Netanyahu, telling the audience that “Iran is Germany and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler.”

Obama was called upon to repudiate the support of religious extremist Lous Farrakhan, despite the fact that Obama didn’t seek out his support, didn’t want his support, and was all too happy to reject and denounce Farrakhan.

So why isn’t the media calling on John McCain to repudiate Hagee’s support? Especially since McCain sought Hagee out, praised him and accepted his support? How can the media allow such a huge double standard to exist?

Oh, and there’s also a corruption angle to the McCain-Hagee relationship:

Hagee’s tv show, “John Hagee Today,” is also broadcast on Cornerstone Television. In 1999, McCain wrote to the FCC on behalf of campaign contributor Lowell “Bud” Paxson, urging a deal that would have made $17.5 million for Cornerstone.

Will McCain do the right thing and denounce Hagee? Or will he let intolerance, extremism and corruption come to define his campaign? And will the media do the right thing and demand McCain denounce Hagee? We’ll have to see.

In more McCain news, the House is opening up an investigation into Rick Renzi, a McCain campaign Arizona co-chairs who was recently slapped with a 35-count federal indictment:

The House ethics committee said Thursday it was beginning an investigation into the conduct of Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., who was indicted a week ago on conspiracy, extortion and other charges.

The panel said in a statement it had created a four-member subcommittee to determine whether Renzi violated any laws, rules or standards of conduct with respect to any of the matters for which he was indicted.

Renzi was one of McCain’s biggest supporters in AZ; this incident it speaks volumes about McCain’s poor judgment.

We’ll leave off today with a quote from John McCain himself, trying to outline his beliefs:

“I’m a proud, conservative, liberal Republi — Hello! Easy there.”

John McCain, in his own words–conservative, liberal, Republican. When, exactly, does the straight talk kick in?

UPDATE:Clinton has released a new ad; unfortunately, it’s the same kind of visceral fearmongering that we’ve come to expect from Republicans, not Democrats:

“It’s 3:00am and your children are asleep,” a voice over says in the ad. “There’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing. Something is happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.”

“Whether someone knows the world’s leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead. It’s 3am and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?” the ad concludes.

Obama responds:

Addressing a group of veterans at an American Legion post in Houston, Obama said: “We’ve seen these ads before. They’re the kind that play on peoples’ fears to scare up votes.”

Jack Kingston: Republican Hypocrite (UPDATED)

Cross-Posted at Daily Kos

Two days ago I wrote about the right wing’s latest attack on Barack Obama–basically, that he’s unpatriotic because he doesn’t wear an American flag lapel pin.

Some key excerpts:

Of course, anyone with $2 in their pocket can wear an American flag pin, regardless of what they believe. In fact, how many politicians have worn that pin while tearing down nearly everything this great country stands for?

Patriotism isn’t defined by what we wear–it’s defined by what we do. And through his actions, Barack Obama has shown us what true patriotism is

[…]

So, Barack Obama doesn’t wear a flag lapel pin. But you know what? Neither does Mitt Romney. Or John McCain. Or Mike Huckabee. Or John Boehner. Or Mitch McConnell. Or RNC Chair Mike Duncan. And neither did Newt Gingrich. Or Tom DeLay. Or Bill Frist. Or even Ronald Reagan, for that matter.

Well, today GOP Congressman Jack Kingston ressurected the smear:

On MSNBC’s Live With Dan Abrams last night, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) said it was okay to “question” Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) patriotism because he doesn’t regularly wear an American flag lapel pin. Kingston claimed that “everybody” in politics “wears them.”

Here comes the hypocricy:

Asked by Abrams if he was wearing one, Kingston had to admit he wasn’t

In fact, Jack Kingston has made a habit of not wearing his American flag lapel pin–he’s not wearing one here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. By Kingston’s own logic, then, I should be questioning his patriotism.

I won’t, though–it’s just plain stupid to judge someone’s patriotism on whether or not they wear a $2 flag lapel pin. This all just shows how desperate Republicans are to attack Obama–they don’t have legitimate criticism to throw at him, so they come up with this kind of gutter politics nonsense.

Of course, it’s backfiring because these guys keep getting caught with their pants down. Note to Republicans: if you’re going to criticize someone for not wearing a flag pin, you better make sure there aren’t a bunch of pictures out there of you not wearing yours. Because this hypocricy exposes you for what you are–desperate, shameless partisan hacks.

Just like Jack Kingston–the shame of Georgia.

UPDATE: Jack Kingston has an announced challenger in Democrat Bill Gillespie.

Here’s part of Bill’s compelling biography:

Bill Gillespie of Chatham County served 23 years in the U.S. Army, retiring this year as a Lt. Colonel. In 2003, he served in Iraq as Senior Logistician for the Third Infantry Division, earning a Bronze Star.

Other positions held in the military include Inspector General, West Point professor, Operations Director of the Army Ordinance Center and Chief of Leadership and Tactics at the Army Ordinance Center. Gillespie has traveled to six continents and been stationed overseas in Kuwait , Korea and Germany . His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Combat Action Badge, Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, Master Instructor Award, and three NCAA Championships as coach of the West Point Orienteering Team.

Bill’s a Fighting Democrat, and reading about his life reminds me of another young Iraq veteran who was once an unknown political up-and-comer–Pennsylvania’s Patrick Murphy, who pulled off an unexpected victory against Mike Fitzpatrick in 2006.

Want to send Jack Kingston to the unemployment line? Then spare a few dollars for Bill Gillespie, and help trade a partisan hack for a true blue fighting Democrat.

Primary Colors: February 28, 2008

A few days ago, I wrote about The Washington Times–part of the Right-Wing Noise Machine–publishing a bogus piece on the military supposedly having reservations about Barack Obama.

Well, it turns out that the only member of the military quoted by name–retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney–is basically a right-wing hack:

In 2006, it was McInerney who insisted that Russian Special Forces entered Iraq before the invasion and moved Saddam’s WMD to Syria.

In 2002, McInerney assured Americans the war in Iraq “will be a war that is shorter than” the 1991 Gulf War, which lasted 42 days.

In 2005, McInerney insisted that terrorists no longer feel the need to attack inside the United States because we have “leftists in America who have aided and abetted the enemy more than Tokyo Rose did in World War II.”

And it turns out another member of the military–retired Air Force Gen. Merrill A. McPeak, who campaigned for Bob Dole and George W. Bush–has high hopes for an Obama Presidency:

McPeak told the Times, “I think Obama is going to be an outstanding commander in chief, not just an ordinary commander in chief. He has the potential to be one of the all-time greats. I think the senior military will learn that about him starting from the first minute he occupies the Oval Office.”

[Emphasis Added]

Once again, the Right-Wing Noise Machine is discredited, so let’s put this idiotic meme to rest.

Moving on, we are just six days away from VOTR Day. The latest Rasmussen poll out of Texas puts Barack Obama just one point behind Hillary Clinton; ten days ago, Rasmussen had Clinton leading Obama by 16%.

Following this trend, Pollster shows Obama slightly ahead in Texas (47.8% to 45.7%) and a few points behind in Ohio (41.7% to 50.1%). Right now, Clinton has the advantage but Obama has the momentum–in 6 days, it’s likely that he’ll have the lead in Texas and could be nearly tied in Ohio.

In addition, MSNBC’s First Read reports that Obama is vastly outspending Clinton in both of the major VOTR Day states:

Watching local TV here in Ohio, it feels like Obama has a 4-to-1 advantage — with SEIU, UFCW and Obama just blitzing the airwaves compared with Clinton. It’s happening in all four states. In fact, per TV ad expert Evan Tracey, Obama has outspent Clinton $23 million to $14 million in the last 30 days. How is she expected to hold a big lead if she gets outspent this badly? The third party groups are like salt in the Clinton wound.

I’m not counting Clinton out, but she’s definitely suffering. Her negative ‘kitchen sink’ offensive against Obama isn’t sticking–in fact, it seems to be backfiring on Clinton, driving her support down. With Obama gaining momentum and spending more, it’s hard to see how she’ll hold on to–let alone grow–her already-slim leads in OH and TX. Clinton only has 6 days to pull this out, and she’s spinning her wheels as time runs out.

On the Republican side, McCain’s FEC shenanigans might land him in a heap of trouble. He’s quickly approaching the $54 million limit imposed by public financing laws and–unless the FEC releases him from public financing soon–McCain will exceed that limit and land his campaign in court.

In addition, it’s questionable whether or not McCain can even withdraw from public financing at this point, seeing as how he used public financing to secure a loan to his campaign (receiving other benefits as well, such as ballot access). The McCain is arguing that they didn’t use public funds as collateral for that loan, but even if they didn’t, the campaign will still be screwed. The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber has this to say:

Bottom line: Either McCain used the promise of public campaign funds as collateral for his loan, in which case he’s locked himself into the public campaign finance system (and its strict spending limits) and is massively screwed until September. Or he didn’t use potential public funds as collateral, which means he didn’t have anything to offer as collateral, which means he received an improper loan. Neither one of those scenarios is very good for the Straight Talk Express.

McCain has some explaining to do. No matter what, his attempt to weasel around campaign finance reform laws dispels the myth of McCain as a clean government crusader and campaign finance reformer–when push comes to shove, McCain has shown himself to be an expert parser with pure Washington flowing through his veins.

In other news, Michael Bloomberg announces he isn’t running for President; in response, the nation yawns.

Let’s face it, Bloomberg isn’t an independent, he’s an opportunist–he became a Republican so he could win Giuliani’s endorsement and become mayor of New York, then he became an independent to set the stage for his (now aborted) Presidential campaign.

We have enough egotistical opportunists running for President (see Nader, McKinney) as it is–we don’t need another one, so I’m grateful for this announcement.

That’s all the election news there is for now. If you live in Texas or Ohio, (or Rhode Island or Vermont, who also go to the polls on Tuesday) make sure to get out there and vote. I’ll bring you more news as it develops…

The GOP Extorts Democrats Over Ethics Panel

Are there any Republicans in Congress who aren’t absolutely corrupt? I know the GOP has a culture of corruption, but now they’re resorting to blatant political extortion.  Think Progress reports:

In 2007, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pushed forward on her pledge to run the most ethical Congress in history and established the House Ethics Enforcement Task Force. She charged the group with setting up an Office of Congressional Ethics, an “independent ethics panel” composed of six “nonpartisan professional staff” members who were jointly appointed by the Speaker and Minority Leader. Lawmakers and lobbyists would be barred from serving.

The House is expected to vote on the task force’s proposal on Thursday. Even though this committee will be independent and nonpartisan, the GOP is already resisting. In an attempt to dissuade Democrats from voting for the ethics office, senior House Republican aides are drawing up a hit list of 10 Democratic lawmakers who would be pursued with ethics investigations if the measure passes. National Journal reports (sub. req’d):

Senior House Republican aides are drawing up a list of Democrats to target if the House votes Thursday to create an independent panel to weigh ethics complaints against lawmakers.

In a move that one top Democratic lawmaker called “political extortion,” House GOP aides said Tuesday the names of more than 10 Democrats are likely to end up on the list and that investigations would be pursued against all of them.

It is not clear how much support House Republican leaders are giving to the staff effort, but several GOP leadership aides who were asked about the list said they were aware of it.

In other words, if the House investigates real corruption complaints against Republicans, then the Republicans will file a bunch of fake ethics complaints against Democrats, all in an effort to muddy the Congressional waters.

John Boehner and his Roadblock Republicans are clearly afraid–they’re so corrupt they know any attempt to investigate Congressional ethical lapses will result in more GOP indictments.

And their threat to extort Democrats is transparent partisan nonsense.  If the GOP knows of legitimate ethical problems among Democrats, they’d have filed complaints already.  They’ve got nothing–and they know it–so they’re resorting to this.

We Democrats won’t go back on our promise to establish the cleanest Congress in American history.  f the Republicans want to tie up Congress and waste taxpayer dollars to pursue bogus ethics complaints against Democrats, so be it–the American people want a clean Congress, and they won’t tolerate this type of shameful politicking.

“You Kids Get Off My Lawn!”

John McCain doesn’t like children:

Today, the Children’s Defense Fund Action Council released its 2007 Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard. CDF reports some positive news, particularly that average scores for members of Congress “improved from the previous three years with more Members scoring 100 percent than in 2004, 2005 or 2006.”

Many, however, did not fare so well. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) received a 10 percent rating — the worst in the U.S. Senate.

[…]

McCain has missed 57 percent of Senate votes this session, being absent or voting “present” for 8 out of 10 children-related votes. McCain voted “yes” to increase the minimum wage; his only other vote was voting “no” on SCHIP reauthorization on Aug. 2, 2007

Furthermore, the rankings weren’t divided by party. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Gordon Smith (R-OR) received strong 70 percent rankings.

McCain’s CDF score has steadily declined over the years. In 2004, he received a 38 percent; in 2005, 22 percent; in 2006, 10 percent.

[Emphasis Added]

This study reveals two major problems–one, McCain routinely votes against pro-children legislation.  Two, he’s missed so many Senate votes it’s skewed his score even further downward.

It begs the question, which one’s worse? Senator Curmudgeon or Senator Gone? Personally, I wouldn’t want either man as President.