Friday, September 29, 2006

Statesman Journal Endorses Sal Peralta

The Statesman Journal out of Salem today endorsed Salvador Peralta in the race for House District 24. They cite as their primary reason Peralta's vision compared with Nelson's complete absence of acheivements.
He's passionate about campaign-finance reform; he helped get two measures on the November ballot.

Peralta is clear about what he wants to achieve, and he has ideas about how to pay for it. For instance, his top priority is improving Oregon's funding for K-12 and higher education, which he says ranks among the lowest in the nation. He would find money by eliminating the corporate kicker and allowing communities to expand systems-development charges to pay for school construction.

He would be a strong advocate for doing the people's business in public and giving citizens the same access as lobbyists. He wants to put more money into providing health insurance for children and combating meth addiction.

Peralta has so much conviction in the importance of campaign finance reform that he has refused to take any out of State PAC money. This race comes down to two very different visions of Oregon, someone who brings fresh ideas and a commitment to bettering people's lives by improving schools and healthcare, versus someone who wants to drop the Oregon minimum wage all the way down to the federal minimum of $5.15 an hour. The choice should be clear here in McMinnville and across Yamhill County.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

This is not America

The Bush Torture Act of 2006 passed the Senate today, I don't know what to say except to ask the following questions:
Is this China?
Saudi Arabia?
the return of the USSR?
We have now gone down the path of dictators everywhere, following in the footsteps of Augusto Pinochet. The United States does not torture. Not the United States I know. What country is this? The United States has always been a beacon of hope for the world. We have been the light of liberty, and of due process to the world, now we torture. We were once a great nation, now we've lowered ourselves to the company of lowly dictatorships. Lowly dictatorships that have no respect for human rights. This is not America. Where has my country gone?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

CNN Is Unbelievable

Apparently CNN cannot read their own transcripts or listen to their own shows. summed up an interview with Former FBI Agent Dan Coleman with the incredible headline "Former FBI agent: Clinton never approved a plan to kill bin Laden," this gives readers the impression that Clinton lied on Fox News when he said that he did. However, what Coleman actually said was nearly the opposite, in fact Coleman expressed some gratitude the Clinton reacted like he did in the Fox interview.
ARRIS: What do you give Clinton credit for in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his attempts to disrupt al Qaeda?

COLEMAN: President Clinton is very careful in his comments. I was at least happy to see him get angry about something and at least try to fight back.

I doubt that anything he said was incorrect because he's too careful a man. But as far as I know, he may -- he approved the assassination of bin Laden, but he never approved a particular plan.

HARRIS: His claim is that he couldn't get the CIA and the FBI to agree on responsibility, for example, for the Cole attack and to launch countermeasures.

COLEMAN: I disagree with that.

HARRIS: He said he had a battle plan drawn up to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full-scale search for bin Laden.

COLEMAN: Well, he didn't do it.

HARRIS: Did you see evidence of a plan?

COLEMAN: Not at my level. No, sir.

HARRIS: So what do you make of his claim?

COLEMAN: He was saying that he made a very specific statement about getting a forward operating base in one of the former Soviet republics which he was not able to get. ... You don't need a forward base in one of the former Soviet republics to go in and do a quick operation.

Coleman never says anything approaching what CNN lead with, and of course the headline has far more impact than the transcript, for example I didn't read the rest of this interview, only the parts pertaining to Clinton, so if they made a sweeping claim about something else I wouldn't have known about it because I, like most people am busy and too fundamentally lazy to read the entire transcript. Now that I've established what Coleman did not say, lets look at what he did say. I have put the important parts of this in bold. He said, "I was at least happy to see him get angry about something and at least try to fight back." The implication of this statement is apparent, Coleman thinks that in the face of outrageous charges against President Clinton in relation to how he responded to terrorism, Clinton has generally not done enough to defend himself and the work of his Administration. That is the only reason that Coleman would be "happy to see him [Clinton] fight back." Next Coleman says "I doubt that anything he said was incorrect." Coleman claims no real inside knowledge to Clinton's claims, but states that as far as he knows its correct and he doubts that Clinton would have been dumb enough to say something untrue in the interview. Yet CNN leads with a headline that clearly suggests that Coleman believes Clinton lied in the Fox News Interview. Finally He says that Clinton did approve the assassination of Bin Laden, the exact opposite of what the lead suggests, the lead claims that Coleman said Clinton did not, when Coleman in no uncertain terms stated that Clinton did in fact approave the assassination of Bin Laden.

All Coleman said in this interview was that he had no knowledge of a specific plan to assassinate Bin Laden, that while Clinton did approve Bin Laden's assassination, he did it in general terms and did not give an explicit instruction based on specific information of where Bin Laden was at a given time to assassinate him. This headline really teeters on the line between misleading, and flat out lying. CNN should be ashamed of themselves.

Friday, September 22, 2006

US House Passes Anti-Oregon Voting Law

The United States House of Representatives today passed a law that would require all voters to show identification at the polls. There are two major problems with this that are immediatly obvious. First, and most importantly, it violates the 24th Amendment banning poll taxes. And Secondly, because it is blatantly anti-Oregon.

This seems to me clearly to violate the 24th amendment as it essentially is a poll tax. Unless all United States citizens are given a free voter ID card, then the cost of obtaining an ID or drivers license, makes requireing their presentation at the polling booth in order to vote unconstitutional. Two Courts have recently ruled precisely this, one overturning a Georgia law requiring ID in order to vote, and the other in Missouri doing much the same thing. Why are judges throwing out these laws right and left? Because it isn't really a difficult Constitutional question, clearly these laws are fundamentally the same as a poll tax as banned by the 24th Amendment.

The bill also is anti-Oregon, or rather anti-Oregon voter. With the highly successful mail-in ballots (Oregon has about a 67% voting rate), sending a drivers licence or other identification would be highly inconvenient to Oregon voters, and would undoubtedly cause Oregon's voting rate to decrease, as some voters would be unable to run to kinkos before mailing their ballot. Representative Peter DeFazio points this out.
"There are going to be plenty of people who are going to be reluctant to take some of their most secure identification, Xerox it, stick in an envelope and send it to the Elections Division," DeFazio said. "What are they going to do with it? Do they keep it on file? Do they shred it?"

Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury agrees calling it the "Oregon Copier Acquisition Act." Stating:
"This bill does nothing other than destroy the accessibility of vote by mail, and makes it a chore, not a right, to vote," wrote Bradbury, who oversees the state Elections Division.

Anyone who voted in favor of this piece of crap bill should be ashamed, and anyone from Oregon who voted for this piece of crap bill should be chased out of the State. Shall we see if any of them did (as the law passed in a 228-196 vote).
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., the only Oregon representative to vote for the bill, said he has received an assurance from House leadership that the final version will address Oregon's concerns.

Aha, Eastern Oregonians should promptly vote Mr. Walden out of office shortly, due to his desire to prevent his constituents from voting. Congrats to the entire Democratic Oregon delegation for soundly opposing this anti-Oregon bill. How does Mr. Walden justify himself? Better question is how does he live with himself, but we'll answer the one that can be answered here.
"In my district, 70,000 square miles, if every voter every time has to photocopy their ID and put it with a ballot that they send in, it raises some issues," Walden said on the House floor Wednesday. "I think there are other ways to guarantee that only citizens get ballots to vote."

Walden said he'd like to address those issues when the bill moves to conference committee. During Wednesday's floor debate, he asked one of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., for his support in "trying to address that issue" in conference committee.
Walden spokesman Matt Daigle said Walden secured a "really solid concession."

"He supported the bill because he supports this sort of reform and trying to not disenfranchise voters," Daigle said. "But his support was strongly conditional."

Aha! A "really solid concession," he just won't tell anyone what that concession was. In addition to all I said before, Bradbury brings up a good point. All this effort, and high risk of voter disenfranchisement, is in response to a complete non issue.
Oregon, Bradbury wrote "does not have a problem with ineligible voters." Of the more than 10 million votes in Oregon cast since 1991, Bradbury wrote, "only 10 people have met criteria that would even warrant an investigation into their citizenship. Of those 10, two have been prosecuted."

Sure, some States are probably higher, but there has been no real reason to suspect that masses of noncitizens are voting, and the rates in other States I feel confident in saying, is also extremely low. This is really a cynical attempt to keep poor people away from the polls, and has the added side affect of keeping Oregonians in general away from the polls. This unconstitutional bill must be stopped in the Senate.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The GOP "Rebels" are Anything But

I could also have entitled this post "David Broder has lost all contact with reality," for the day's outrage begin when I read Broder's collumn printed in the Oregonian.
American politics reached a critical turn last week. The revolt of several Republican senators against President Bush's insistence on a free hand in treating terrorist detainees signaled the emergence of an independent force in elections and government.

This movement is not new, but the moral scale of the issue -- torture -- and the implications for both constitutional and international law give it an epic dimension, even if it is ultimately settled by compromise.

The senators involved -- John McCain, Lindsey Graham and John Warner -- were also instrumental in forming the "Gang of 14," the bipartisan bloc that seized control of the Senate last year and wrote the compromise that prevented a drastic change in the filibuster rule that otherwise would have triggered a bitter partisan divide.
They were joined in their opposition to Bush's call for extraordinary interrogation techniques by Colin Powell, the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is still, despite the controversies over his role in Iraq policy, one of the most admired Americans.

That these Republicans -- and others -- were ready to join the Democrats in rejecting Bush's plan caused the White House to scramble for alternatives and House Republican leaders to postpone a scheduled vote. The revolt goes well beyond three men.

What it really signals is a new movement in this country -- what you could rightly call the independence party. Its unifying theme can be found in the Declaration of Independence's language when Jefferson invoked "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind."

Ok Broder, now to begin with, the Republicans on the "gang of 14" evidently were just using the agreement to bully Democrats into not filibustering a few of Bush's extremist judges, since Lindsey Graham has publicly stated that the agreement didn't mean a goddamn thing.
[a filibuster] based on a judicial philosophy difference or an ideologically driven difference, I don't believe that, with all sincerity, I could let that happen.

Secondly, everyone praised in the Broder article has been a major enabler of the Iraq war, with the only people showing any inklings of dissent on Iraq mentioned as the heroes of "indendepence" in the Broder article have only dissented by saying we need more troops there. If they were truly independent of the Bush Administration, the people Broder turns to have more than enough clout to force an investigation into Iraq, which has had no investigations yet, the only American war that has not had Congressional investigations and oversight as Harry Reid noted on the Senate floor yesterday.

Broder really bases his article off a specific case of "independence" where some Republicans have broken off of the Bush Administration to not allow torture, which should be a no brainer to any sane person that we shouldn't be torturing people. However, the alleged "independence" of these Senators fails to hold true even in this current case, as they struck a deal with the White House today on an interrogation bill which gives the White House exactly what it wants, the authority to torture people and use secret evidence in judicial proceedings, the Constitution be damned.

Seeing as how they are announcing this with Steven "Probable Cause is Irrelevant" Hadley, forgive me for having my doubts on that one. Doubts that are confirmed by this next statement:

Mr. Frist said the agreement had two key points. "Classified information will not be shared with the terrorists" tried before the tribunals, he said, according to Bloomberg News. And "the very important program of interrogation continues."

And how was that "very important" program viewed by these would-be rebels prior to this compromise?

The three senators have contended that the administration was undermining Geneva Convention protections in a way that could leave Americans vulnerable in the future, and that its plan for military tribunals of terror suspects would allow evidence obtained coercively, and information they were not allowed to see to be used against them.

The "very important program of interrogation" that they have agreed to preserve is torture. Torture is at the heart of this program and is what the administration has been fighting for since the Supreme Court handed down Hamdan. What's more, Frist's statement makes clear that the Uniform Code of Militart Justice, which guarantees that defendants have the right to see the evidence against them, is going to be gutted in this "compromise."

Talking Points Memo has a slightly different but equally frustrating take on the agreement, which shoots down Broder's rosey picture just as well.
from what I could tell the torture compromise is that we agreed not to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, only to continue violating them. The Post now has its editorial out. And they appear to have to come to something like the same conclusion. (Can't wait to hear the Dean's verdict.) The senate won't formally reinterpret the Geneva Convention or explicitly sanction the president's torture policies. But they'll allow him to keep using them.

That's the compromise.

So the alleged independence doesn't even exist on this issue that Broder is specifically writing about, now admittadly this deal developed after Broder wrote his article, but a little bit of skepticism about a group that has a past more than shady enough to warrant skepticism would be nice. In fact, Talking Points Memo goes on to call Broder out in a different post.
I must confess that I am simply dying to hear what Dean David Broder has to say about this torture compromise. In yesterday's paper he was positively rhapsodic about his prized Republican moderates channeling Thomas Jefferson and standing up to President Bush's lawless presidency. He even managed to get in a few digs against the only people who've actually opposed this lawless chief exeecutive. So where does he come out now that his 'independence party' has conceded most of the points of contention, folded abjectly and basically given up?

Broder goes on about the hope that comes with this new coalition of independents.
A "decent respect" begins at home, with an acknowledgment of public opinion. Americans are saying no to excess greenhouse gases and no to open borders; yes to embryonic stem cell research, yes to a path to earned citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants and yes to a living wage. Six more states are likely to approve increases in the minimum wage through ballot initiatives in November.

That paragraph came right after Broder trashed Sherrod Brown, praised Lincoln Chaffee, and accused Ned Lamont of being controlled by "rthe vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers on the left." What the fuck having a foul mouth has to do with anything is way the hell beyond me, but I guess I don't give a damn. The point is this, Broder singles out Democratic Party platform issues, that have been opposed by Republicans. Republicans will not pass a living wage, by and large do not want a path to citizenship, and do not take greenhouse gasses seriously. The "open borders" argument is nothing but a straw man so I'll dismiss it. If Broder really sincerely cared about these issues, he would understand that the way to get them passed would not be to send back Chafee and DeWine who will vote for probably Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader, who will in turn put all those issues on the backburner. The way to advance the very agenda Broder wants acheived is to elect Democrats in November. Broder's article serves as nothing but an argument for Republicans to use to pretend to be independent from the White House and to hide the fact that they are Republicans.

But what do I know? I'm nothing but a goddamn foul mouthed blogger.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Race to Watch: OR House Dist 24

I, along with the rest of the Linfield College Democrats met with Salvador Peralta tonight, the Democrat challenging Incumbent Donna Nelson in the McMinnville race for the 24th House District in Oregon.

This is not a seat commonly thought of as one that would be up for grabs, its a very conservative district, as demonstrated for its amazing ability to elect someone as far right as Donna Nelson, who even proposed a bill in the State Legislature to lower the State minimum wage to the national minimum, $5.15 an hour. She is the worst kind of anti-worker, anti-gay, far right Republican, someone who definately deserves to go.

In spite of the trends of this district I was struck by Peralta's passion and his strong belief that he can win this race, and indeed it looks plausible, as he pointed out to us, and points out in a diary at Daily Kos, his race has been targeted by multiple election observers and Democratic activists as key to winning back the State House of Representatives. On the Democracy for America Endorsement I just linked to, Peralta is in with some impressive company including Sherrod Brown, Ned Lamont, Francine Busby, Bernie Sanders, Mary Jo Kilroy, and Ciro Rodriguez.

Peralta's talk with us in many ways mirrored the diary that I linked to above from DailyKos. Something very important that was left out of the diary is that he was told when he got into the race not to bother talking to Republicans because it is a waste of time. But Peralta defied their advise and has found that many Republicans in the current political climate are very frustrated with the direction of the country and ready for change. The simple truth of the matter is that in a county like Yamhill, you cannot win as a Democrat unless you get the support of Republicans. The only way to win is to reach out to Republican moderates, and Peralta realizes that, and also realizes that if there is any time that these people can be reached it is now, when more than ever people are open to new ideas, to voting differently than they have in the past. I was bowling a week ago and had a discussion afterwards with the team I was subbing with about the state of our political world. These were clearly conservative people, people who had voted Republican their entire lives, people who believed that Iraq was involved in 9/11 even in spite of all evidence to the contrary. And yet, in spite of all this, they were clearly open to new ideas, they were clearly frustrated with the same things that we all are frustrated with. With the way the war in Iraq was going, with the state of the economy, particularly with the state of the economy in Oregon. They could be reached by a candidate who tried to reach out to them, but the conventional wisdom says not to try. Peralta understands how wrong that conventional wisdom is, for if the last 5 years have revealed anything it is the failures of conservatism and Republican ideology. People want representatives who will work to ensure as the founders put it "a more perfect union". They want change, and while their mindset is still conservative what they want more than anything is a change of course, and a change of course is precisely what the Republicans cannot and will not provide.

Salvador Peralta can do great things for Oregon and great things for Yamhill County, his race is key to ensuring a Democratic legislature that can push through serious reforms in the next session, reforms that help ordinary Oregonians. Getting rid of Donna Nelson even without consideration of the power for change that a Democratic Oregon House of Reps can wield, is an added bonus. Salvador Peralta's campaign website can be found here.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Lieberman Republican Campaign

An amusing quote, I won't say yet who supplied this rich line to the Hartford Courant, but it reveals something important about the Lieberman campaign.
I oppose the Lamont model of leaving now or prematurely in a few months

One would think that it is Joe himself, attacking his opponents position on the war. That would be respectable enough, but wait, its not Lieberman at all, it is Connecticut Republican Congressman Christopher Shays who is in a tight battle for reelection in a race that could shift the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Why would Shays be singling out Lamont? A separate race involving 2 "Democrats"? A race that on a surface level does not effect Rep. Shays? Because Shays needs to coordinate his campaign with the Lieberman campaign to be viable, Lieberman currently as much as 15% up on Ned Lamont in some polls has become the de-facto Republican nominee for Senate as Alan Schlesinger is polling arround 5%. Lieberman, with his Sean Hannity, Anne Coulter, and Michelle Malkin endorsements has become a symbol for Republicans, particularly on the war for preventing a pullout from the mess in Iraq. The solidarity that he has expressed with the President ove the war has tied him closely to many figures on the far right. Lieberman's support in the polls is coming heavily from Republicans who have abandoned Schlesinger for not being viable. That's why Shays must coordinate his talking points with the Senate race, because the better Lieberman does, the more Republicans in Connecticut will have voted. Of course Shays denies all this, but that's just an attempt to hide what he's doing, trying to link his campaign with Liebermans.
One thing I'd like to say to all of you [reporters] is that you are dead wrong if you think the Lamont-Lieberman race had anything to do with what I'm going to decide on war or peace.

Shays needs Lieberman, and by attacking Lamont together they drive up Republican turnout. With three endangered Republican incumbents in the State of Connecticut, Lieberman's very presence in this race is a threat to a Democratic House as the Shays comment demonstrates. Lieberman can no longer seriously be called a Democrat when his fate goes hand in hand with the fate or Republicans in his State. If Lieberman does well he dramatically improves the chances of Shays, Johnson, and Simmons. And all the players in this game know that, that's why Shays joins Lieberman to attack Lamont's position. If Lieberman expects to be welcomed back to Washington as a Democrat with his committee seniority in place its time he does something for the Democratic Party instead of standing with Republicans. Lieberman should be standing with Dianne Farrell, Chris Murphy, and Joe Courtney instead of standing with Shays.

Here's the link to the article with the Shays quote, I just didn't want to give it until after I had revealed who said it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9/12 Primary Day

Incumbent Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee has beaten back a far right primary challenge from Steve Laffey today in the Rhode Island Senate primary. Chafee now has his work cut out for him to hold the seat. Chafee trails in the polls to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse by 2-4% depending on what poll you look at. We're still waiting for a result out of Maryland where Congressman Ben Cardin is in a battle with former Congressman and former head of the NAACP Kweisi Mfume. Cardin currently leads by just under 10%, 46-37 with nearly 60% reporting. Whoever wins that Maryland primary seems well positioned to squash Michael "stem cell research is the same as the Holocaust" Steele the Republican nominee. When I get a final result from Maryland I'll post it here if I feel like it. Maybe not, depends on my mood and whether I'm awake or not.

Monday, September 11, 2006

John Yoo's Rejection of American Government

This is a great post on John Yoo, the crazy man who is actively destroying the system of checks and balances that characterizes government in the United States, go read it. The juicy outrageous John Yoo quote is as follows.
"We are used to a peacetime system in which Congress enacts the laws, the president enforces them, and the courts interpret them. In wartime, the gravity shifts to the executive branch.''

Friday, September 08, 2006

Final Change to the Cwech Dozen

My list of a dozen candidates to support for the November election is now complete with the addition of Peter Goldmark. A recent Rasmussen poll showing Harold Ford within 1% of Bob Corker in the Tennessee Senate race told me that I better get rid of that free spot before abe starts lobbying me hard to add Ford. So, coming in at #12 is Peter Goldmark, an excellent candidate in the Washington 5th covering the far eastern part of Washington State stretching from the Canadian border all the way down to the Oregon border. This rural district was once represented by Tom Foley and is made up primarily of farming communities, Goldmark brings an expertise as a molecular biologist specializing in wheat genetics. He has raised cattle and farmed wheat, a perfect background to represent this district in Congress. For more information check out his diaries at Daily Kos

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bush's Puppet in the Judiciary Committee

Arlen Specter's warrantless wiretapping bill that pretends to provide oversight on the President's surveilance program which bypasses the FISA Court to spy on Americans without a warrant, was beaten back at least temporarily in committee today. Specter's complaint about the day's event is very interesting.
Forced to delay his committee's vote, Specter grumbled that without his legislation the White House would continue its domestic wiretapping program virtually unchecked by the courts.

I've written before in these pages about how Specter's bill only pretends to provide oversight when in fact it is a blank check to the executive for Bush to continue doing whatever he wants.
Gonzales said the bill gives Bush the option of submitting the NSA program to the intelligence court, rather than requiring the review.

An administration official said Bush will submit to the review as long the bill is not changed in ways that he sees as undermining security. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deliberations are internal, said the bill would preserve the right of future presidents to skip that court review.

Right Specter, not passing your rubber stamp bill allows the President to continue to excercise too much power, but passing it wouldn't. I really hope Specter doesn't believe the crap that comes out of his mouth, because if he does I really worry about his mental state.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Post

I woke up this morning and went to the Linfield campus convenience store for a coffee. The woman who was working the store at that time said to me "it sure is quiet on campus this morning, is there no class? I thought you only had major holidays off." This statement struck me as odd, that someone within the category of people who labor day is supposed to celebrate did not even consider labor day to be a "major" holiday. I responded, "well, it is labor day." To which she said nothing at all and I went on my way. But if anybody is going to have labor day off it shouldn't be the students and the professors, it shouldn't be the CEOs of corporations, it should be the working people who the holiday celebrates, rather those very people are the only ones who do work on labor day. The Oregonian pointed this out this morning in a short collumn in the "Metro" section. Given this, its no surprise that the woman I talked to this morning did not consider labor day to be a "major" holiday, because labor day does not celebrate her contributions to society, rather it pretends to celebrate them while in actuality it celebrates their employers. Labor day is supposed to be the workers holiday yet it has been robbed from workers to such a large extent that they don't even feel any connection to it.

New York Times Does About Face

The New York Times, apparently realizing the stupidity of their series of "the Democrats just can't get their act together" articles, now turns arround suddenly and gets the picture that the Republicans are in trouble. The growing conventional wisdom is that the Democrats will likely take back the House in November, something that I've been saying for several months now. That conventional wisdom may or may not prove to be correct, but the national climate certainly seems tilted in the Democrats favor. In response, Republicans have turned to the argument that the national sentiment doesn't matter.
“Democrats are trying to indict an entire class of people, who happen to be called Republican candidates for Congress,” said Glen Bolger, a Republican pollster handling dozens of House races. “We have to bring individual indictments with different cases and different pieces of evidence.”

Bolger here hits on precisely what the Democrats need to be doing, running against the Republican Party and Bush Administration as a whole. It was Republicans who created the Iraq mess, it was Republicans who screwed up the Katrina response, Republicans who created the massive deficit, Republicans who want to destroy social security, Republicans who ignore the law to spy on Americans, Republicans who refuse to question the President when he ignores the law to spy on Americans, Republicans who want to change the law to make it legal for the President to spy on Americans. I could keep going but I think I've made the point. When you control all three branches of government and govern as badly as the Republicans have, its hard to expect that blame will be placed anywhere but on your Party, and when you run for office as a Republican you associate yourself with all of that. It makes perfect sense that Republicans want to make this about individual candidates and take the national scene out of the debate, but Democrats need to be doing the exact opposite and placing them all in the same boat, for that's where they belong.