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By all accounts Senator Kennedy does not plan to be a passive supporter of Obama. He’s going out on tour. He will be campaigning for Obama in Arizona, California and New Mexico. The Kennedy’s have some respect with Hispanic communities and they’re popular in the west, but I think his value to Obama is something else entirely. I think Kennedy is going to be Obama’s anti-Clinton, to brawl with Clinton while Obama keeps his halo on and talks transcendence. He wasn’t in best form last week (though you certainly wouldn’t guess it from the results).

It was evident already today when Kennedy said that Obama would be “ready on day 1,” stealing Hillary Clinton’s line which she used while tearing up in New Hampshire among other times – a reference to suggest that Obama is unprepared and hasn’t really thought about his presidency.

Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I’d love to see Kennedy and Clinton in a rhetorical brawl. That’d be something to watch!

Photo comes from this NY Times article.

Addendum: Meanwhile, Tom Hayden endorses Obama.

And for the record, my wife, my mother, and aunt still intend to vote for Edwards. My father forgot to switch from Green registration. He’s not inclined to vote for Nader or McKinney, but doesn’t know anything about the other candidates. Wasn’t Elaine Brown running?

Second addendum: More on the endorsements war. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius who put to sleep any viewers who were still awake after the SOTU has endorsed Obama. And an Arizona Hispanic superdelegate Rep. Raul Grijalva switched his support from Edwards to Obama (because “Obama is the future”) shortly before Obama and his Kennedy entourage are to show up for a brief tour of Arizona.

However, Clinton landed a surprising (maybe not so surprising) endorsement from Maxine Waters, probably one of the most left wing members of congress excepting maybe Conyers and Lee, who both support Obama.

Third addendum: There are whispers of a Bill Richardson endorsement for Obama. From WAPO:

And he said he likes Obama, telling a story about how Obama saved him during one of last year’s Democratic debates:“I had just been asked a question — I don’t remember which one — and Obama was sitting right next to me. Then the moderator went across the room, I think to Chris Dodd, so I thought I was home free for a while. I wasn’t going to listen to the next question. I was about to say something to Obama when the moderator turned to me and said, ‘So, Gov. Richardson, what do you think of that?’ But I wasn’t paying any attention! I was about to say, ‘Could you repeat the question? I wasn’t listening.’ But I wasn’t about to say I wasn’t listening. I looked at Obama. I was just horrified. And Obama whispered, ‘Katrina. Katrina.’ The question was on Katrina! So I said, ‘On Katrina, my policy . . .’ Obama could have just thrown me under the bus. So I said, ‘Obama, that was good of you to do that.'”

So instead of voting for the guy you’d like to have a beer with, you can vote for the guy who you’d rather have sat next to in the back of your high school English class.


I wasn’t there, and there are some accounts in the thread below. This one was posted by Margaret, and it is somewhat different from another account I heard tonight, though not drastically so. In fact, I think most of the differences are in the nuances.

In any case, I am posting the only first hand account I have in print. I will add some items later after I’ve sorted them out. I wasn’t taking notes in my conversation tonight.

Bob Doran was there and not in disguise. He said he couldn’t stay all day but he was there quite late.

The start was rocky, not sure why. Tom’s lawyer basically said they still weren’t ready due to the scrambled documents and depositions they hadn’t gotten. Bragg offered to pay sanctions on the scrambled documents and said the board members in question had been and still were available for deposing, Tom’s lawyer decided he didn’t need them. There was some mention of the document scrambling being a retaliatory measure since the other side did the same but it was all pretty low key. The judge put a cap on how much time the Mateel would actually pay for.

Tom’s lawyer gave a very long and tedious opening statement, even the judge got tired and asked if it would end soon. A break happened and all future witnesses except Carol were asked to leave.

Tom took the stand. It was long and painful like a tooth extraction. He said he’d gone through 2 lawyers and then relied on PB to negotiate for him. The first tooth was the necessity of PP producing. First they went through the background. The 2004, probably a typo, contract in which the MCC is not mentioned. Later contracts which also did not involve the MCC or any guarantees of who would produce, except other large festivals were planned and PP would have first rights of production refusal.

Then the MCC became part of it but he never actually talked to any representatives. First it was because he hated Taunya, in Spring 2005, and wouldn’t sit down anywhere with her. Oh, except for their breakfast meeting in fall 2006 where she told him she was concerned about Carol’s performance. He continued to sign contracts with the MCC without talking to them because he thought Carol was their representative. Carol was the only person competent to produce Reggae, at least for 6 years, well maybe 5, and if/when she quit he could rely on those staff who had always worked for the MCC. Well, actually the contract says if Carol couldn’t/wouldn’t do it he needed written notification. There was no provision for his approval of said other producer.

Now Bragg is in the process of extracting the second tooth. Up until they knew how expensive the move would be the MCC was involved in no contracts. Even after they were it was PP who was entrusted with determining the work to be done and the MCC was bumped from that committee. Once again because Carol was representing their interests. And basically Tom was making all decisions based on info from PB. All improvements to be returned to MCC if lease ended. I think we can see where this is going but I don’t know that for a fact.

Brief side track by Bragg. There is a clause stating that the MCC is responsible for insuring that the producer does not violate any legal or permit rules.

Dropped for lack of foundation but can be revisited with other witnesses I think.

Tom’s lawyer objected to 99% of the questions, the judge sustained 2 but allowed 1 to be reframed.

Okay, now the account I heard suggested that the opening salvos weren’t really low key, but maybe it was in the content of the discussions rather than the tone. In any case, my source’s understanding was that Tom’s attorney had decided that he didn’t need the depositions, but that they would actually be taken after hours during the trial.

Why did Bill Bragg waive the opening statement? Well, if trial briefs are filed they are redundant, so unless you have something new to say since you finished the brief, there is really no point. But if the other side doesn’t waive opening, I usually opt to at least respond to points of concern. Either Bill sees it differently, or he felt that his brief had adequately addressed everything.

I hear that Boots was very upset about having to wait around and was planning to drive back to the city and come up each day charging Tom for his 22 cents per mile until he’s finally called. I don’t know if he was just blowing off steam, but I wonder why he had to be called up for today when the Mateel will be calling its witnesses for the next couple of days.

Addendum: Nothing on KMUD news tonight! What’s up?

But the first 5 minutes of Politically Correct Week in Review was, very spontaneous and… postmodern? It’s listed as “Monday Night Talk.”

In between cleaning up dishes and breaking up kid fights, I’m listening. So far I haven’t heard of any new initiatives, which is par for the course in a president’s last year. A few…

Oops. It just ended. More later.


Okay, well, the pundits are underwhelmed because it was as Olberman said “a litany of oldies but not goodies.” They kind of repeated what he said, talked about the 5 deaths in Iraq, then Chris Matthews changed the subject to Kennedy/Obama and said something about that being the “real state of the union.”

No, I don’t know what he meant either.

Margaret Carlson says the president treated it as “the night to get through.”

None of the presidential candidates of either party approached the President afterward.

Hillary Clinton sat next to Joe Biden, which is cocking eyebrows.

More to come…


For their response, the Democrats have put up Kathy Sebelius, governor of Kansas. I think they must have been looking for bland. I’m trying to stay awake.

Date and time: Saturday, February 9, from 3 to 5 p.m.
Location: Miranda, Stevens Hall (the Grange Hall up School Rd opposite Miranda VFD)

Directions: Take the Miranda exit from either North or South. Go over the river to stop sign at Avenue of the Giants. Turn left. Go into Miranda, past the post office and Cafe and turn right on School road, before the high school. Stevens Hall ( The Grange) is up about a block on the right across from the the fire department. It has a sign in front that says Stevens Hall and parking in front.

All are welcome to attend whether you are committed to Clif or not.

The campaign is planning additional events, including one at the Weott Community Center and another on March 21 at Beginnings.

Events are being planned for the northern portion of the district as well including April 13 at the Fortuna Riverlodge. Southern Humboldt residents are encouraged to join the campaign in those events to help bridge some of the historical gaps between the communities.

More details on all events as they become available.

Note: while I am supporting Clif, this blog is equal opportunity when it comes to announcing events. Any candidate who wants his/her events noticed here please send me an e-mail with the details.

She’s endorsing whom she hopes will be the second black president.

Addendum: A new website –

Second addendum: In the celeb endorsements department, McCain just recently landed Silvester Stallone, who he said is going over to Huckabees office to take care of Chuck Norris.

Good news as far as I’m concerned.

Addendum: From Daily Kos:

Here is the contact information for the group of Senators we particularly need to influence today in order to defeat the vote for cloture on the version of the FISA bill that includes retroactive immunity.

These Democratic Senators voted last week with Republicans to table the version of the FISA bill that excluded telcom amnesty. One of them, Sen. Rockefeller, has already said he’ll vote no on cloture on this bill. That means we need to convince three other Democrats on this list to vote against cloture:

  • Bayh (202) 224-5623
  • Carper (202) 224-2441
  • Inouye (202) 224-3934
  • Johnson (202) 224-5842
  • Landrieu (202)224-5824
  • McCaskill (202) 224-6154
  • Mikulski (202) 224-4654
  • Nelson (FL) (202) 224-5274
  • Nelson (NE) (202) 224-6551
  • Pryor (202) 224-2353
  • Salazar (202) 224-5852

In addition, remember to call or e-mail your own Senators. You can also use the tools created by CREDO and EFF if you prefer.

Update: Cloture defeated. The filibuster lives! Liveblogging from DKos:

Update: We flipped Bayh. Good job.
Update 2: And McCaskill. And Landrieu.
Update 3: Turning into a rout, folks. The Democrats showed up in force today. Republicans will be lucky to get much more than 50 votes. – smintheus
Update 4: Harvest of shame time: After Democrats locked up more than 40 ‘nays’ to block cloture (yay!), Mary Landrieu changed her vote from ‘nay’ to ‘aye’. Yes, you read that right, she changed her damned vote. – smintheus
Update 5: Cloture defeated by a vote of 48 ayes to 45 nays! Debate continues on the FISA bill. Take a bow, this is a tremendous victory and a big humiliation for Bush and his Republican enablers. – smintheus
Update 6: Now the Senate is proceeding to the second cloture vote, this time to vote on a bill to extend the current temporary FISA bill for 30 days beyond its expiration date on Feb. 5. Republicans are trying to block cloture on this bill. McConnell was blubbering on the floor that the bill is no good because Bush has threatened to veto it. He doesn’t seem to realize that there are a lot of Dems who’d like to call Bush’s bluff: If Bush vetoes the extension, then it shows he doesn’t think the FISA bill is essential – or else he cares more about giving telecoms amnesty than he does about protecting America. – smintheus
Update 7: The second cloture vote fails as well (by the same margin, 48 ‘aye’, 45 ‘nay’). So we’re back to debating the original bill. – smintheus

The back of my head anyway. My son’s in full view however. We were at the chess event in Arcata. A friend saw us on the 6:00 news.

We may also be in tomorrow’s Times Standard.

It’s the first time I’ve been in the Arcata Community Center. Nice facility, although my son thought the bathroom was “scary” because everything was invisible light automated.

Thanks to Jacoby Creek School and the Arcata Chess Club, especially Brad (didn’t catch his last name) who engaged a daunting task of trying to create a chess teaching plan with multi-skill level kids. It was a little chaotic at first, but once the grown-up volunteers and parents understood the program everyone bore down and I think most of the kids got a lot out of it.

In contrast to my childhood, I’d estimate that a fourth of the participants were girls. The ratio would have been higher if I hadn’t brought four boys.

Some of the younger kids opted out of the blitz tournament afterwards (speed chess can be a little too much pressure on them). Fortunately there was a great playground outside and… snow!

The drive home was a bit of a challenge, though gorgeous while we had daylight. I had four kids in the car who weren’t nervous about the conditions as I, and I had to quiet them down a few times. By the time we reached Scotia the road was covered with snow. By Redcrest it was all rain. Kind of an odd little pocket of weather today, because it wasn’t snowing in Eureka when we left.

At about the Miranda exit the kids started playing a game where they all stared at each other in silence, the loser being the first to make a noise. I kicked myself for not suggesting that game back in Eureka.

We got home to a warm house safely. My wife, who is on a remodeling tear, had torn away some of the gaudy wood wall paneling to reveal a pea soup colored wall paper with flowers and a kind of Currier and Ives version of abstract art in pattern. She actually likes it. For me it lacks context. Maybe if we buy an old plastic bread box and a Formica table with tin strip trim.

Update: Yep. That was my head. And my kid.

Addendum: We are also in this morning’s Times Standard.

I wanted to get them up before too many people submitted their absentee ballots, but I know that some are just starting to think about next week’s election. Here are my thoughts.

I will also post Jared’s picks when I get them.

They’re blabbing about what that means. Clinton may not even come in second.

More as it comes in and if my flu-ridden 3-year-old lets me type.

Addendum: Racial breakdown from the exit polling:

Obama 81 24
Clinton 24 36
Edwards 1 29

Obama won 49 percent of White voters under the age of 29 but just 16 percent of White over the age of 60.

It was one of the fastest calls in CNN network history. That suggests a very big win. Clinton knew it, which is probably why she is having her “victory party” in Tennessee.

Addendum: It looks like Obama has broken 50 percent, routed Clinton in almost all of the SC counties, and may have beaten her by as much 25 percent.

Also, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg will be endorsing Obama in a NYT editorial tomorrow.

The nation turns its lonely eyes to Ted.

Second addendum: From Kennedy Schlossberg’s Op-ed piece, she’s not couching her endorsement in nuances. It’s entitled: A President like my Father.

OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals. …

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960. …

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

He’s got the momentum – however much infrastructure he’ll be facing for the biggest Super Tuesday in history.

Third addendum: John Nichols of the Nation thinks Clinton should lock her husband in the basement for the next month or two.

Fourth addendum: Another entry into the bandwagon department, the SF Chronicle (notorious for defaulting to machine candidates) is now endorsing Obama.

And here’s a prediction. If Obama really does pull out a win, he will nominate a woman for V.P. – Claire McCaskill. They’re meeting for photo-op in Kansas City on Tuesday.

Fifth addendum: CNN reports that Senator Ted Kennedy is endorsing Obama. Oddly enough, it was leaked by the Clinton campaign, probably to avoid a blitz of the Monday news cycle.

Sixth addendum: Obama’s coalition is formidable, but unless he makes some serious headway into the Latino communities, the Hispanic vote may be Clinton’s ace-in-the-hole. The Clintons are scrambling to spin SC into a “Jesse Jackson” box and make Obama the “black candidate.” The Kennedy endorsements make for a good counter, but Obama knows he’s going to need more. He made some explicit references to Hispanics in his speech and he’s got a ground game running in that direction. But he needs some photo-ops.

Oh, and how does Attorney General Edwards sound?

And did you know that Lieberman is stumping for McCain? Looks like McCain suffered a misstep. Probably minor, but it’s the type of thing that makes its way into opponents’ hit ads.

Seventh addendum: From the Memphis Flyer, Hillary Clinton campaigning in the State of Denial:

After a perceptible pause, she began awkwardly: “I was honored to run in South Carolina… and it was very close….”


Oh, and Rev. Al Sharpton tells Bill Clinton to “shut up.”

I’ll be there with four kids from Beginnings. Unfortunately my car’s full, but there are other local kids who want to go. If you’re kid is interested and you have space in a car, please contact me.

Chess Lover’s Carnival
Winter 2008
January 27, 1:00 – 3:15 PM

Arcata Community Center
321 Community Park Way
Arcata, CA

INVITATION: This family event is geared for kids from Kindergarten through HIgh School who enjoy chess. Adults who want to help, compete, or learn some chess with the kids are also encouraged to participate. Beginners and experienced players will all be accommodated. Expect a motivating environment, interesting challenges, and a variety of resources from which to learn chess tactics and strategies for openings, middle games, and end games.

PRIZES: Chess sets, chess clocks, and other prizes will be awarded for participation or performance of teams/schools, families, and individuals.

CHALLENGE TABLES: Various puzzles, quizzes, timed exercises, and one-on-one challenges await participants at each Challenge Table, where points will be awarded.

RESOURCE TABLES: Printed material, exercises, tutors, and practice boards will be available at Resource Tables. Parents are encouraged to take part with younger and inexperienced children to help them learn chess basics at the Resource Tables.

REGISTRATION: Register at the door. For a discount, pre-register by Saturday, Jan 26 by notifying us of your intent to come. Send an email to, or phone (707) 825-8793, with the following information: Name, Grade, School, and Contact Info (email or phone number).

Fees will be collected at final registration upon arrival at the tournament.

ENTRY FEE: The cost is $10.00 per participant ($5.00 if pre-registered) or $25.00 per family ($15.00 if pre-registered). Parents can pay and compete for family prizes and school team prizes, or they can come free to learn and help their kids at the Resource Tables.

OPTIONAL “INVERTED BLITZ TOURNAMENT“: After the carnival, a short blitz tournament will take place from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Stronger players will be time handicapped, giving inexperienced players better odds of winning. The action will be fast and furious, fitting eight rounds in the ninety minute period. The tournament will be free for anyone bringing a digital chess clock; otherwise, it will cost $2.00. Trophies will be awarded, mostly to the younger participants, thanks to the generosity of Robert Snyder.

GENERAL INFO: A limited selection of snacks will be provided at reasonable costs. Contact Brad Morin at or 825-8793 with questions. This event is sponsered by Jacoby Creek School, Arcata Chess Club, and Arcata Recreation Department.