Hawaii

Setting aside all the questions about air travel and global cooling, have there been any other environmental consequences from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull? As best I can tell from trawling around various news sources, the effects have actually been pretty mild—though they could get a lot worse if Eyjafjallajökull's sister volcano Katla erupted (the two have a storied history of blowing up one after the other).

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Why does Sarah Palin talk the way she does? Just what is this sort of thing below? We realize that more and more Americans are starting to see the light there and understand the contrast.

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I honestly can't tell if this, from the Weekly Standard, is a parody: I can't resist asking a few questions about the president's "shooting competition" versus Clark Kellogg: 1. Why wear shorts on Air Force One in Europe -- and regularly not wear ties at events of a somewhat formal nature -- and then wear a tie to play hoops? 2.

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Via Joe Klein, here's Rush Limbaugh confronting the increasingly likely enactment of health care reform: I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented--I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica. As Karen Tumulty notes, Costa Rica has actual government-run medical care. Maybe the Hawaii experience awakened Limbaugh's inner socialist?

I occasionally accompany my posts about the disarray of the Democratic Party with pictures of Will Rogers, like the one at right. If you don't get the reference, it's because Rogers once joked, "I belong to no organized political party. I'm a Democrat." Here's a good case in point. Democratic representative Neal Abercrombie of Hawaii resigned from Congress and departed, depriving the party of another health care vote. Republican representative Nathan Deal also announced he's resigning, which would seem to cancel that out. But no: U.S. Rep.

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The way that Republican governors made a fuss last year about accepting stimulus dollars, and their continued uproar about growing deficits, it's worth another reminder that the most Republican states also get the most money from the federal government over what they put in. Here's a chart put together by a reader showing that, since 1981, some of the most conservative states have been the biggest beneficiaries of federal spending.  The 48 blue marks (the chart leaves off Hawaii and Alaska) show how much federal funding each state receives beyond what it pays in federal taxes.

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Nashville Nation

Sunday, February 7, 3:28 p.m. Among the convention’s several last-minute saves—opening the conference to media, replacing one speaker who fell ill and another who dropped last minute—was bringing on Andrew Breitbart. Convention spokesman Mark Skoda knew the conservative media mogul through their mutual friend Mike Flynn, who manages the Breitbart site BigGovernment.com, and when Marsha Blackburn and Michele Bachmann backed out, Breitbart swooped in to help. At first, Breitbart himself was just supposed to introduce Sarah Palin. But to no one’s surprise, really, his portfolio grew.

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He’s a Yuppie

Here is a fact: Barack Obama has trouble generating enthusiasm among white working class voters. That’s not because they are white. He would have had trouble winning support among black working class voters if they had been unable to identify with him because he was black. He has trouble with working class voters because he appears to them as coming from a different world, a different realm of experience, a different class, if you like. And that’s because he does. I have recently read several stories about Obama that treat these difficulties as if they were paradoxical.

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Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access Weblog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment.  While vacationing in Hawaii, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh had to visit a hospital for chest pains.

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So very “2004” by now – the days when the kickoff question for an interview on black issues was whether you agreed with the views of Bill Cosby.

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