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Keystone Bill Vetoed!

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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Jeb Bush's damning secret history

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Red states that mooch

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Trust in government is 'dead, Jim'

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Keystone Bill Vetoed!

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 Explore Intel emissions

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)

 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 

 

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Wednesday
Dec062006

GUV K's BUDGET

    It's going to be fun to be in Salem during the '07 session.  For the first time since 1991 - there will be a chance to be pro-active instead of playing triage with basic services.  However, it's all about simple math.  The agenda Governor Kulongoski is proposing will require a 3/5s vote from both houses of the legislature since he's talking about revenue enhancement:

  • raising the corporate minimum income tax to support pre-K and higher ed;
  • raising the cigarette tax to expand health care coverage;
  • adding a surcharge on car insurance for putbacks for state police;
  • putting a hold on the corporate kicker for a rainy day fund;

    That means in the House he will need 40 votes; and in the Senate 18.  In the House the Ds will need to keep their 31 member caucus united plus harvest the votes of at least 9 Rs - a daunting task given the surly nature of Rs these days. In the Senate, it will require the 17 Ds to keep their caucus disciplined and get the two I's - at least.  As they say - the devil is in the details! 

Monday
Dec042006

POLITICAL POTPOURI

images-1.jpg     The Exodus:  Let's see - so far Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Ralp Reed, Donald Rumsfeld and John Bolton et al have been taken to the woodshed...  When will the highest hanging fruit get their walking papers?  Who's next - could be it, no way, but "keep hope alive" - can Dick Cheney be far behind in the Bushwacker's exit strategy?  Et tu Brutus! 

    Deja Vu:  Governor Ted Kulongoski, just back from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan has opined that Iraq is toast, but Afghanistan is salvageable.  Those rose colored Marine glasses the Gov wears must have fogged up.  RAD is waiting for Ted to wake up in Mahonia Hall some night, a la former Governor of Michigan George Romney (@ '68), screaming "they
brainwashed me." 
   Gates Hearing:  The Gates Senate confirmation hearing is not reassuring.  Except for Evan Bayh (D, Indiana), the mood in the room was that the US must figure out how to stay the course, not how to get out.  Hillary implied that we need more boots on the ground, not fewer!  The underlying assumption in the hearing room was US hegemony must not wither on the vine - we have too much at risk.  So much for "new" thinking! 
 

Sunday
Dec032006

RUMY'S "PENTAGON PAPER"

    Edtior's Note:  Below is the just released text of outgoing Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s Memo of Options for Iraq War which was written ironically enough a day before the November 7th elections.  To anyone familiar with the Vietnam war, the Rumsfeld memo, though short and sweet, is like an echo from that era when another Defence Secretary, Robert McNamara, commissioned a major study - The Pentagon Papers -  on that generation's war all the while he was the chief booster of the war, exactly as Rumsfeld has been of the Iraq war.  To resort to the obvious cliches - the bloom is off the rose and the fig leaf of optimism that Rumsfeld has maintained for 3 plus years has been removed - to show that the emporer has no clothes! 
    RAD has taken the liberty to print in bold those comments which most reflect the loyal opposition's analysis - which the Dubya team has routinely critiqued. 
    "Following is the text of a classified Nov. 6 memorandum that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld sent to the White House suggesting new options in Iraq. The memorandum was sent one day before the midterm Congressional elections and two days before Mr. Rumsfeld resigned."
    SUBJECT: Iraq — Illustrative New Courses of Action
    The situation in Iraq has been evolving, and U.S. forces have adjusted, over time, from major combat operations to counterterrorism, to counterinsurgency, to dealing with death squads and sectarian violence. In my view it is time for a major adjustment. Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough. Following is a range of options:
    ILLUSTRATIVE OPTIONS
Above the Line: (Many of these options could and, in a number of cases, should be done in combination with others)
        ¶Publicly announce a set of benchmarks agreed to by the Iraqi Government and the U.S. — political, economic and security goals — to chart a path ahead for the Iraqi government and Iraqi people (to get them moving) and for the U.S. public (to reassure them that progress can and is being made).
        ¶Significantly increase U.S. trainers and embeds, and transfer more U.S. equipment to Iraqi Security forces (ISF), to further accelerate their capabilities by refocusing the assignment of some significant portion of the U.S. troops currently in Iraq.
        ¶Initiate a reverse embeds program, like the Korean Katusas, by putting one or more Iraqi soldiers with every U.S. and possibly Coalition squad, to improve our units’ language capabilities and cultural awareness and to give the Iraqis experience and training with professional U.S. troops.
        ¶Aggressively beef up the Iraqi MOD and MOI, and other Iraqi ministries critical to the success of the ISF — the Iraqi Ministries of Finance, Planning, Health, Criminal Justice, Prisons, etc. — by reaching out to U.S. military retirees and Reserve/National Guard volunteers (i.e., give up on trying to get other USG Departments to do it.)
        ¶Conduct an accelerated draw-down of U.S. bases. We have already reduced from 110 to 55 bases. Plan to get down to 10 to 15 bases by April 2007, and to 5 bases by July 2007.
        ¶Retain high-end SOF capability and necessary support structure to target Al Qaeda, death squads, and Iranians in Iraq, while drawing down all other Coalition forces, except those necessary to provide certain key enablers for the ISF.
        ¶Initiate an approach where U.S. forces provide security only for those provinces or cities that openly request U.S. help and that actively cooperate, with the stipulation being that unless they cooperate fully, U.S. forces would leave their province.
        ¶Stop rewarding bad behavior, as was done in Fallujah when they pushed in reconstruction funds, and start rewarding good behavior. Put our reconstruction efforts in those parts of Iraq that are behaving, and invest and create havens of opportunity to reward them for their good behavior. As the old saying goes, “If you want more of something, reward it; if you want less of something, penalize it.” No more reconstruction assistance in areas where there is violence.
        ¶Position substantial U.S. forces near the Iranian and Syrian borders to reduce infiltration and, importantly, reduce Iranian influence on the Iraqi Government.
        ¶Withdraw U.S. forces from vulnerable positions — cities, patrolling, etc. — and move U.S. forces to a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) status, operating from within Iraq and Kuwait, to be available when Iraqi security forces need assistance.
        ¶Begin modest withdrawals of U.S. and Coalition forces (start “taking our hand off the bicycle seat”), so Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country.
        ¶Provide money to key political and religious leaders (as Saddam Hussein did), to get them to help us get through this difficult period.
        ¶Initiate a massive program for unemployed youth. It would have to be run by U.S. forces, since no other organization could do it.
        ¶Announce that whatever new approach the U.S. decides on, the U.S. is doing so on a trial basis. This will give us the ability to readjust and move to another course, if necessary, and therefore not “lose.”
        ¶Recast the U.S. military mission and the U.S. goals (how we talk about them) — go minimalist.
  Below the Line (less attractive options):
        ¶Continue on the current path.
        ¶Move a large fraction of all U.S. Forces into Baghdad to attempt to control it.
        ¶Increase Brigade Combat Teams and U.S. forces in Iraq substantially.
        ¶Set a firm withdrawal date to leave. Declare that with Saddam gone and Iraq a sovereign nation, the Iraqi people can govern themselves. Tell Iran and Syria to stay out.
        ¶Assist in accelerating an aggressive federalism plan, moving towards three separate states — Sunni, Shia, and Kurd.
        ¶Try a Dayton-like process."



Friday
Dec012006

THE QUESTION IS NOT "IF" BUT "WHEN"

    With the leaks of President Bush's national security advisor's negative assessment of Iraq's prime minister and the Iraq images.jpgStudy Group's report which suggests a regional diplomatic approach including Syria and Iran along with acknowledging the inevitability of a US withdrawal - it's only a matter of time when the US occupation of Iraq will end.     
    Prime Minister al Malaki himself has suggested Iraqi forces will be ready to take charge by June 2007 and the American side is talking about withdrawal by January 2008.  The latter is an intriguing scenario since it comes just as the '08 presidential primaries begin.  How ironic!
    However, events on the ground may very well eclipse these 'exit' dates for US troops.  Whether one considers the current conditions on the ground as a civil war or merely the intensification of the insurgency, these events make it clear that the US is no longer in charge of events - if it ever was.
    At best the debate over how to term the chaos in Iraq is a scholastic semantic debate which obscures the shambles of US policy in Iraq in particular and the Middle East in general.  What should worry American policy makers and the general public is that President Bush seems to be rhetorically bunkered in.
    What happens if upon receipt of the Baker/Hamilton report next week Bush simply says - thank you but no thank you - we're staying the course?  While public opinion here and abroad is against the administration's policy - as long as the GOP base is solid with Bush - nothing will happen!
    The president's lame duck status empowers Bush to ignore advice contrary to his goal of staying the course.  But here's where events will take over as they did for Nixon in Vietnam.  So while James Baker III sues for an "honorable peace" much like Kissinger did - the insurgency/civil war on the ground will determine the outcome.
    At best, current efforts to extricate the administration from its failed policy simply is akin to putting lipstick on a pig.  A pig is still a pig! 
 

Thursday
Nov302006

EARMARKED FOR '08?

By Russell Sadler
    The last election made Republicans vulnerable who have not been vulnerable before. That is not good news for Senator Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, who is up for reelection in 2008.
    Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 to replace the retiring Mark Hatfield, Smith was reelected in 2002. Smith has kept a low profile and is regarded as a “moderate” Republican.
    As regular readers know, this column has banned the term “moderate,” because it means so many different things to different people it is no longer a useful label. Smith has wrapped himself tightly in Hatfield’s “maverick” mantle, but a close examination of his voting record reveals Smith is no maverick. He consistently votes the Bush regime party line. Smith is an orthodox Republican. And that is why he suddenly appears vulnerable in 2008.
    This last election was not a triumph of Democrats over Republicans. This election was a repudiation of what has become the orthodox Republican Party at the federal, state and local levels. It is no longer the Republican Party of Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon or even Ronald Reagan.
    Although the Republican partisans mouth the slogans of traditional Republicans -- smaller, less intrusive government, less spending, balanced budget, no new programs, leave people alone -- that is not what the present Republicans deliver. In the  election just past, voters saw that Republican rule resulted in bigger government, more programs, more spending, record deficits, a mismanaged war, incompetence, corruption, cronyism and a flirtation with theocracy. Voters rebuked the Republican Party by voting for Democrats. They were not Republicans. It was enough.
    Republicans delude themselves if they think these were just narrow defeats under strained circumstances and they can regain their majority on 2008 by mouthing the traditional Republican litany. The brand is seriously damaged. The Republican Party substituted marketing slogans for substance. But even marketers must deliver on their slogans eventually. The Republicans failed to deliver.
    The damage to the Republican brand will linger. And it will affect Smith’s reelection chances in 2008.
    Hotline -- an internet blog sponsored by the prestigious National Journal -- already predicts a tough campaign for Smith and is handicapping challengers.
    Hotline suggests serious challengers could include former Gov. John Kitzhaber, State Treasurer Randall Edwards, State School Superintendent Susan Castillo, Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, State Sen. Ben Westlund and Congressmen Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer.
    Hotline has a seductive, if unrealistic, laundry list.
    Kitzhaber is working on his labor of love -- health care reform. He has joint custody of his son, Logan, with his former wife in Portland. He is unlikely to go to Washington, D.C. for anything less than a cabinet-level post that involves health care reform if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2008.
    Edwards and Castillo have been pleasant surprises in the Democrats’ farm club, but they are more likely to be candidates for governor than Smith’s U.S. Senate seat.
    Josh Marquis is a Democrat? Who knew? Marquis was Oregon’s most-traveled district attorney until he finally found a home in Clatsop County where voters have a soft spot in their hearts for odd ducks. Marquis should not challenge the Peter Principle.
    DeFazio’s passionate populism makes him a creature of the House. He would be uncomfortable and less effective among the stuffed suits in the Senate.
    Blumenauer would be a serious challenger, but now that the Democrats are in the majority, his seniority will restore his clout in the House.
    That leaves Ben Westlund who, I suspect, is about to do that most spectacular of political maneuvers -- a Wayne Morse double reverse with a twist.
    Morse was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican in 1944 and reelected in 1950. He had a falling out with Republicans over foreign policy and McCarthyism and declared himself an Independent in 1952.
    Morse became a Democrat in 1955 and was reelected in 1956 and 1960, before Bob Packwood, another Republican maverick, defeated him in 1966.
    Westlund won a State Senate seat from Central Oregon as a Republican. He quietly tried to end his party’s fake “surplus” rebates and their reckless “borrow and spend” policies. He was threatened with a purge from the party when he ran for reelection.
    Westlund got the message, became an independent and ran for governor instead. When polls showed he could not win, Westlund gracefully retired from the field. Some grateful Democrats are now urging him to join their party and run for Smith’s Senate seat in 2008.
    Given the voters’ rebuke of the Republican Party and Smith’s orthodox partisan voting record, Smith can no longer hide in Mark Hatfield’s maverick cloak. Smith is no maverick. Ben Westlund is. And Oregonians love their mavericks.
    Editor's Note:  RS poses an intriguing scenario here.  However, it would be foolish to underestimate Senator Smith.  He has cultivated a close working relationship with his Democratic counterpart, Senator Ron Wyden.  They may be a kind of political 'odd couple' but it seems to work for Oregon.  And while the Smith as Hatfield gig may be nothing more than a good PR job - it's worked so far very well.  Senator Smith has cast key, albeit losing votes, to save medicare and medicaid dollars.  He's also been a leader on the mental health issue largely due to his son's suicide.  And he exudes the "Senator" role - right out of central casting.  Ben Westlund would give him a run for his money, if he ran as a D.  But Ben is focused on being a leader on health care reform in Oregon.  Should he succeed with Kitzhaber and Kulongoski in putting Oregon on the map again in health care reform - then he would have something to run on in '08 besides not being a "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" candidate.