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BLOG ARCHIVE:

November 16-301, 2004
November 1-15, 2004
October 16-31, 2004
October 1-15, 2004
September 16-30, 2004
September 1-15, 2004
August 16-31, 2004
August 1-15, 2004
July 16-31, 2004
July 1-15, 2004
June 16-30, 2004
June 1-15, 2004
May 16-31, 2004
May 1-15, 2004
April 16-30, 2004
April 1-15, 2004
March 15-31, 2004
March 1-14, 2004
February 15-29, 2004
February 1-14, 2004
January 17-31, 2004
January 1-16, 2004

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POLITICAL BLOG ROLL:

KINDA NEUTRAL:
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DNC: Kicking Ass
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John Kerry
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Amer Prospect: Tapped
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Mathew Gross
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Off the Kuff

GOP/RIGHT:
RNC (GOP.com)
George W. Bush Blog
Bush Blog (Unofficial)
National Review: Corner
C-Log
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Andrew Sullivan
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Daily Pundit
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BLOG ARCHIVE: NOVEMBER 16-30, 2004

NEW BLOG STORIES ARE POSTED EVERY MONDAY AND THURSDAY. OUR "STATE PAGES" OF CANDIDATE LISTINGS ARE UPDATED AS NEEDED.

THE "RON IS ATTENDING A WORK-RELATED CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASS" OPEN THREAD. I'm tied up this week learning all about the income approach to commercial property appraising. So, until I can get done with this, keep the comments coming.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.29.04 |

THANKSGIVING WEEK OPEN THREAD. I'll be away on vacation this week, so you'll just have to amuse yourselves. The state pages for Alabama through Iowa and Minnesota through North Dakota have been updated for 2004/2006 ... and I'll wrap up the rest when I'm back.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.20.04 |

VACATION NOTICE: I'M AWAY ON A POST-ELECTION VACATION FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 22-28 ... AND MAY NOT BE ABLE TO POST MUCH DURING THE WEEK AFTER (I'LL BE IN A WORK-RELATED CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASS ... WITH A TOUGH TEST AT THE END ... FOR THAT WHOLE WEEK). SO, HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING ... AND SEE YOU SOON!

AND THE WINNER IS ... The race for Washington State Governor is guaranteed to go to a recount, so we won't know the ultimate winner for a few more weeks. As of Wednesday's state certification deadline, the official winner -- well, interim winner -- is State Senator Dino Rossi (R). With over 2.6 million votes cast, it appears as if Rossi defeated Attorney General Christine Gregoire (D) by a margin of 261 votes. Secretary of State Sam Reed (R) said he will call for an automatic recount. "I feel sorry for Attorney General Gregoire and Senator Rossi," said Reed. Libertarian nominee and out lesbian candidate Ruth Bennett -- who now says she ran just to draw votes away from Gregoire -- captured over 63,000 votes. "I have never seen anything like this before," quipped retiring Governor Gary Locke (D).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.18.04 |

YET MORE CABINET DEPARTURES (AND ARRIVALS, AND RUMORS). Out: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Maybe out: Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld. Maybe out ... or maybe just moving to another Cabinet post: HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. In: Condi Rice at State and Margaret Spellings at Education. Maybe in: US Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) at Agriculture. Maybe in: US Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) ... but who knows what he's being considered for, since he wanted State. FYI: the Omaha World Herald also reports that both of Nebraska's US Senators -- Chuck Hagel and Ben Nelson -- are interested in running for President in 2008. "I wouldn't take it off the table," said Nelson. The Arizona Republic reports that Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) plans to seek re-election in two years before weighing a possible White House bid for 2008.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.18.04 |

SO, SHOULD WE CALL THIS "KERRY-GATE"? US Senator John Kerry got the Democratic National Committee to spend lots of money on his behalf in the recent White House race and also gave big bucks to his campaign. So, what does this mean? It means Kerry is holding over $15 million in DNC funds given to his campaign ... PLUS $45 million more leftover in his primary campaign account (which he was able to hold onto, thanks to lavish Dem spending on his behalf). This will allow Kerry to start the 2008 race as the anointed one again, thanks to all of this DNC money he was supposed to have spent. What could that money have done if the party had been able to spend it on behalf of some US Senate and US House candidates locked in close races? Look for party leaders to put serious pressure on Kerry to donate it back to the party for the 2006 election cycle. Does Kerry comply, or does he hold onto the ill-gotten money to give himself a major advantage over his 2008 rivals for the nomination? Our guess: Kerry doles some of it out directly to Dem campaigns (so that Kerry himself gets credit for the assistance), and holds onto the bulk of it for another run.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.18.04 |

REPORT FROM IRAQ: FIGHTING (INSIDE THE RING) AND THREE TRUCKS WORTH OF MAIL. Our special correspondent Lt. James Crabtree of the 1/23 Marines found time amid the fierce fighting in the Annar province to send us another report.

Dear Politics1.com Friends,

Howdy once more from the Lonestar battalion in sunny Al-Asad, Iraq. We had an outstanding day today because of the sheer volume of mail we received in the way of letters and care packages. It was unreal. It took three 7-ton trucks to move all the mail into our camp and a working party of Marines spending several hours just to get everything sorted. We really appreciate all the support from home. Some of the more notable items include a box of signed CDs from a young country singer out of Texas named Allie Danielle, a box full of sports yearbooks from Street and Smith's, and a very patriotic letter from Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX). The young ladies from his office made a sign saying they love the Marines and posed with it in pictures while blowing kisses and so forth. Needless to say, our guys really loved that and now they want to know if any of these ladies are single. It was a nice diversion from their everyday routine.

This week we turn our attention back to the "Marine of the Week" feature. Our very deserving subject this week is 20-year-old Lance Corporal Edward Toppen from Houston, Texas.


LCpl Toppen on the radio.

LCpl Toppen has the highly trusted and valuable task of being the operations chief of the battalion's Command Operations Center (COC.) The COC is the nerve center that tracks and controls all operations for our battalion with an area of operations (AO) that is roughly the size of all of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts combined! It is a task that requires constant attention to detail, the ability to quickly discern actions amid chaos, and be able to effectively convey information. LCpl Toppen relishes the responsibility and enjoys his service in the Marines to such an extent that he plans to transfer onto active duty upon 1/23's return to Texas.

LCpl Toppen has been in the Marines for less than 2 years. His being in such a position at such a young age and with so little time in service is highly unusual and testifies to the faith his superiors have in him. "LCpl Toppen, despite his youth and short time in the Marines, is filling a billet of responsibility that would normally go to a much more senior Marine. He does an outstanding job," said Major David High, his watch officer. Every day for at least eight hours per day LCpl Toppen has served with Major High and his fellow Marines on their shift. "It's been everyday since August 27th and we really get to know one another," adds Major High. "LCpl Toppen's skills are greatly appreciated in the COC," echoes Cpl Tony Ruiz, a fellow COC member on the shift. For him though, LCpl Toppen smiles and laughs about all the attention and says simply, "I just try to keep everything up to date in here and ensure that everything is running smoothly."


LCpl Toppen conducts a update for the members in the COC. From left to right: LCpl Toppen,
Major David High, Sgt Julio Grimaldo, Cpl Wes Lord, Cpl Tony Ruiz, and Sgt John Toel

The COC is a room in the main headquarters with no windows, a plethora of radios, maps, charts, pins denoting troop movements, computers, and everything else one would imagine when it comes to the control of a battalion. LCpl Toppen might have honed some of his COC-like skills while working as a banker for Wood Forrest National Bank in Houston before his activation. Or perhaps he draws on the inner discipline that he uses while boxing, or in his quest to become a Marine Corps Drill Instructor. In fact, this coming Friday LCpl Toppen will be stepping into the ring for his first bout in part of the Al-Asad's "Friday Night Fights." These matches take place on the main side of the base and were made famous when Geraldo Rivera did a segment on them for Fox News. I'll be sure to let you know how he does.

Another interesting fact about LCpl Toppen is that his twin brother also serves in 1/23, which is ironic because one of LCpl Toppen's goals in the boxing match will be to knock his opponent so silly that they have double vision and see two of him. Let's hope it turns out that well. All of 1/23 will be rooting him on -- if not in person, then certainly in spirit.

Well, that's all the time and space I have for this update. As always, thanks for reading and for your support. I don't have the words to express how much it means to be able to share a small glimpse into our world this way.

Semper Fi,
James

P.S. - There is a chance that USA Today may send an embedded reporter to 1/23. I'm doing all I can to make that happen. I know our Marines would love to be able to tell their story to the world --.a story that everyday makes me proud to serve with them

P.P.S. - We just received a great letter from Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), who said he follows our exploits here on Politics1.

If you'd like to send the 1/23d any care packages, please address the packages to Lt Crabtree, 1/23 H&S Co, Unit 41900, FPO, AP 96426-1900 ... and James will ensure that whatever you ship gets distributed to the Marines in the 1/23. If you'd like to read more about our adopted 1/23 Marine battalion in Iraq, please click here.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.18.04 |

THURSDAY OPEN THREAD. Keep in going with your own postings in the blog.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.18.04 |

A HOLIDAY SEASON GIFT. We've slashed our BlogAd prices for this post-election holiday season. Advertise in our BlogAd column at left: $100 for one week, $150 for two weeks ... or $235 for a whole month. What a bargain! Click here to get your ad online now.

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