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The Morning Plum

* Last chance for Dems to make their pitch pitch on the economy: With the last monthly jobs numbers before election day due out this morning, and with economists expecting little change in unemployment, Dems are set to give their message a final two week push. Without our policies, things would be incalculably worse. Giving us the time we need to turn things around is a far better move than returning to the policies that practically destroyed our economy.

In short: Dems will plead for patience and trust, in the face of an electorate that's very impatient, very angry, and in a distinctly untrusting mood.

Whatever the jobs numbers say, Obama will comment on them this morning during a tour of a small business in Maryland. He'll likely acknowledge widespread economic suffering, but insist things are slowly brightening, and hammer the GOP for creating our mess.

* The GOP counterargument: House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner will deliver a speech today in Ohio that a Boehner aide says will cast the coming election as "a referendum on President Obama and Washington Democrats' job-killing record."

Assignment desk: Count how many times Boehner uses a variation of the phrase "job-killer."

* Not a well-timed poll for Dems: As the final battle lines get drawn today on the economy, a new CBS poll finds the GOP has widened its generic ballot matchup lead to eight points, with approval of Obama on the economy at a new low of 38 percent.

* More detail on the Chamber's foreign money: Jake Tapper notes that Think Progress is correct in reporting that the Chamber brings in foreign cash, but a Chamber spox also tells him all foreign money goes to the general fund and then the international division, keeping it separate from political activity.

* Chamber running ads supporting...moderate Dems? Alex Burns reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is going up on the air with ads giving air cover to moderate House Dems who opposed health reform, such as Frank Kratovil, Jim Marshall and Bobby Bright. Guess the Chamber knows whose side they're on!

* Don't worry, Darrell Issa won't impeach the president: The man who's in line to unleash a hurricane of subpoenas in the White House's direction if the GOP takes back the House promises not to be too nasty and partisan in the job, perhaps trying to undercut a key Dem effort to scare folks about a GOP takeover.

* Explaining the enthusiasm gap: Gerald Seib says all the chatter about Dems being disengaged is off-base: What's really creating the enthusiasm disparity is that Republicans are jacked up in an extraordinary way.

* Fact-check of the day: Andy Barr skewers the ridiculous claim in Sharron Angle's new ad that Harry Reid supports government-funded Viagra for sex offenders:

The vote Angle cited was an amendment offered to the major health care bill by Sen. Tom Coburn in hopes of killing it. While the amendment sought to prevent the sale of Viagra to sexual predators using health care funds, there was no portion of the bill authorizing funds to provide the drug to sex offenders to begin with.

* But if Sean Hannity were in charge: Republicans would be running ads making that claim against evern Dem in the country.

* I didn't go to Oxford or Yale: And Christine O'Donnell is up with another ad that says: "I didn't go to Yale. I didn't inherit millions like my opponent. I'm you." Won't this just remind folks of O'Donnell's extensive embellishment of her education record?

* Narcissism as campaign strategy? And Dave Weigel wonders why O'Donnell keeps talking about herself, rather than about kitchen table issues. After all, her opponent, Chris Coons, is doing just that.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | October 8, 2010; 8:31 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Next: AUDIO of Sharron Angle suggesting Sharia Law a threat in America

Comments

"Chamber running ads supporting...moderate Dems? Alex Burns reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is going up on the air with ads giving air cover to moderate House Dems who opposed health reform, such as Frank Kratovil, Jim Marshall and Bobby Bright. Guess the Chamber knows whose side they're on!"

Exhibit No. 4,396,472 that the Republicrats are killing the Democratic Party.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans aren't just jacked up...they're enraged, appalled, furious, apoplectic, aghast...and determined to take their country back.

I can't wait to see Inside Job. From what I can tell, there's blame enough to go around for Clinton, Summers, et al. But the mania for deregulation and unfettered capitalism all goes back to St. Ronnie. And the Republicans just don't get it and refuse to see it.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 8, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"the mania for deregulation and unfettered capitalism all goes back to St. Ronnie"

Even before that but, yes, St. Ronnie ushered in the Golden Age of Greed & Gluttony. Here's what happened in my view: The U.S. economy began to slow during the 60s and by the early 70s it was obvious that that the U.S. was in a period of economic decline. The economic pie that had been expanding wildly since WWII suddenly began to shrink. Some parts of Big Business has, until then, been relatively supportive of Liberalism and social causes. But as soon as the pie starting shrinking Big Business decided that its slice of pie would not get smaller, which meant that everyone else would just have to do with less. That was when Big Business said FU to America and Americans. And it's been all downhill since.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

What else?

The Newark Star Ledger's Editorial Board savages Christie's political decision to kill the long-planned and desperately-needed Hudson River tunnel just to boost his standing with the national Conservanuts:

"The governor’s decision to kill the Hudson River tunnel project will go down as a blunder of historic proportions. It will stunt the state’s job market, depress home values, and leave us with nightmarish traffic jams and dirtier air. He is leaving $3 billion in federal money on the table. And he’s putting at risk another $3 billion in Port Authority money that had been set aside for this project. Those are collosal sums.

So why did he do it? Why would he kill a project that even he concedes is critical to the state’s future? He wants you to believe he had little choice because the costs were skyrocketing. Don’t buy it. The evidence makes it clear that he wanted to kill this tunnel project so he could grab the money New Jersey had set aside for it. That is the only way he can avoid raising the gas tax to finance transit projects within the state’s borders.
If he wanted to build this tunnel, why did he refuse to even ask the Port Authority for more help? And yesterday, when federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called and asked to discuss new ways to keep the project alive, why did the governor turn him down?

The governor quit on this project before he had to. He seized on inflated cost-estimates from mid-level bureaucrats who were asked to examine worst-case scenarios under a tight deadline, and he ran with it. Instead of finding a way to make this project work, he killed it so he could grab the money.

The kindest explanation is that he is a true anti-tax ideologue who can’t bring himself to make drivers pay a few more pennies for a gallon of gas, even in a state where the gas tax is among the nation’s lowest. Maybe. The darker possibility is that his motive was purely political. He knows that raising the gas tax would spoil the political image he has built for himself, all the way to Iowa. He’s a rock star on the national conservative circuit now, and that’s hard to give up.

For New Jersey, this is a serious blow. Roughly 250,000 people commute to jobs in Manhattan that pay 60 percent higher salaries than the average. Rail ridership has quadrupled in the last two decades. But the tunnel is now at capacity. The governor, in effect, is slamming this door shut. The boom in commuter job growth is now doomed to end. And that will reduce home values and worsen the state’s budget shortfalls.
One final insult: Sen. Frank Lautenberg said yesterday that New Jersey will have to pay $300 million to reimburse Washington for the work that’s already been done. That’s quite a price for a tunnel to nowhere."

Christie applies the GOP-Conservative creed: Do whatever benefits yourself: It's all about me. Let my community, my state, my nation, the world be d*mned. Greed and gluttony. Selfish pigs. Oink Oink, Gov. Christie.

(Re-posted)

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

In interview, the maker of the documentary film "Inside Job" (on the financial crisis and the international financial powers that brought it about) makes a very significant observation...

"In a number of conversations I've had with bankers, I've been struck that they find it surprising that somebody would raise ethical questions. They don't find it surprising that legal questions could be raised. "Could I get in trouble?" That's a discussion they're very familiar with. But, "Is this right or wrong?" That's not a discussion they have often."

Read the full interview... http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/our_picks/index.html?story=/ent/movies/andrew_ohehir/2010/10/07/inside_job

Posted by: bernielatham | October 8, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Why would he kill a project that even he concedes is critical to the state’s future?"

Did he actually say that the project, which he is killing, is critical to the states future? Would indeed be difficult to reconcile those two positions.

"The evidence makes it clear that he wanted to kill this tunnel project so he could grab the money New Jersey had set aside for it."

Yes, the way I'm always raiding the iPad and Giant-Flat-Screen-TV budget to pay for groceries. Very sinister.

"He seized on inflated cost-estimates from mid-level bureaucrats who were asked to examine worst-case scenarios under a tight deadline"

Which, if the project was consistent with the history of such projects, would turn out to still have low-balled the costs. The Big Dig in Boston was estimated to cost $6 billion and ended up costing over $14.6 billion. And it just one example.

"The kindest explanation is that he is a true anti-tax ideologue who can’t bring himself to make drivers pay a few more pennies for a gallon of gas, even in a state where the gas tax is among the nation’s lowest."

I'm pretty sure that's not the kindest explanation. He could believe the state has been fiscally undisciplined, and that getting paid $40 to spend $100 is not a good deal, even if you get a nifty new tunnel at the end of it. And that as useful as a new car would be, the holes in the roof need to be patched, first. And that it needs to be done within the budget they've got.

"Christie applies the GOP-Conservative creed: Do whatever benefits yourself: It's all about me. Let my community, my state, my nation, the world be d*mned. Greed and gluttony. Selfish pigs. Oink Oink, Gov. Christie."

Or, as it's called when the tax payers have to do it in their own personal lives: living within a budget, and living within your means.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Darrell Issa won't impeach Obama. It takes a GOP majority to do that.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 8, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: " But, "Is this right or wrong?" That's not a discussion they have often"

That's not a discussion many people have all that often. Ethics is, generally, something we question about other people and industries, not ourselves or our own. Of course it's ethical, if we're doing it! Or, this is just how it's done. When they look at it from outside, it appear unethical--but seeing unethical behavior almost always involves looking from the outside.

We only become acutely aware of unethical behavior from the inside when we become victims; then, suddenly, we are hyper aware of the lack of ethics of our boss, co-workers, industry, etc. Thus, why the whistleblower is so often someone who has been personally wronged in his job, industry, or by employer or colleagues.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Kevin: You must have missed the first paragraph of the editorial so I'll repeat it for you:

"The governor’s decision to kill the Hudson River tunnel project will go down as a blunder of historic proportions. It will stunt the state’s job market, depress home values, and leave us with nightmarish traffic jams and dirtier air. He is leaving $3 billion in federal money on the table. And he’s putting at risk another $3 billion in Port Authority money that had been set aside for this project."

That is from the editorial board of the Newark Star Ledger. And Christie did it solely to benefit himself and further his personal political ambitions, with dreams of becoming the resurrection of St. Ronnie dancing in his head.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"Fact-check of the day: Andy Barr skewers the ridiculous claim in Sharron Angle's new ad that Harry Reid supports government-funded [Name brand of a popular erectile dysfunction medication] for sex offenders."
---------------------------------------------

Fact of the day: What Andy Barr does or doesn't skewer really has very little bearing on anything. Voters in Nevada are getting their information, directly or indirectly, from 3 primary sources right now: the morning paper, the evening news, and probably most importantly, campaign commercials.

If it doesn't appear in one or more of the above, it simply doesn't matter. And if you're reading the Politico, that's no one's fault but your own.

Posted by: CalD | October 8, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin
Your experience does not match mine. Of the three professions with which I'm most familiar, education and medicine/psychotherapy, both are constantly in self-conversation on moral/ethical matters. Even the third profession which I worked in for quite a few years, home-building, there are constant constraints on craftsmen from themselves and their employers to operate within a set of moral standards (exceptions, of course, but these people or enterprises were a minority). Empathy is, of course, the ability to (however abstractly) view from the outside.

We can't, if we are careful, ignore the existence of social psychopathy. Some percentage of any human population are without of with little capacity to empathize with others. When individuals such as these move into positions of power or influence, there are fairly predictable consequences.

We all know people like this from our personal or business lives and we all understand that not all people are like them.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 8, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "You must have missed the first paragraph of the editorial so I'll repeat it for you:"

Why would you think I missed it? To be clear:

"The governor’s decision to kill the Hudson River tunnel project will go down as a blunder of historic proportions."

I'm dubious. I don't see how. "The decision to fix the leaky roof instead of put on additional guest room considered a blunder of historic proportions, says mother-in-law from hide-away-bed in baby's room."

"It will stunt the state’s job market, depress home values, and leave us with nightmarish traffic jams and dirtier air. "

You know, I forgot to mention if a $8 (probably $16) billion dollar tunnel is what's going to fix all of New Jersey's problems, then similar projects should be proposed for every state in economic distress. Nevada could use two of them about now.

"And Christie did it solely to benefit himself and further his personal political ambitions"

Which is the only reason any politician does something that liberals disapprove of. /snark

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

ps on last...

There's a local elderly lady here who collects and sells vintage jewelry through our store. She's single and a social worker (the jewelry is a passion and sideline) and has the sort of income you'd expect from these two sources. Yet she has set up, by herself, a small NGO and which she funds and manages which operates in Africa to educate the people of a particular village in health and HIV issues (including getting medical people to the village). Contrast with the folks who want to make multi-millions per annum coincident with strategies to pay zero income tax if possible.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 8, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: ":Of the three professions with which I'm most familiar, education and medicine/psychotherapy, both are constantly in self-conversation on moral/ethical matters"

I will take your word for that. My experience has been minimal with psychotherapy (where such a conversation does make a lot of sense), although as a patient (and friend of patients) within the medical industry, I see no sign that there is any sort of conversation regarding ethics, morality, or bedside manner. I'll take your word for it--I've just seen zero indication of it. Of course, most doctors I've encountered had the bedside manner (and general arrogance) of House, but lack the brilliant deductive prowess.

However, my entire family (sans myself) is/was in construction (the Willis construction empire is, alas, fading away--I went into graphic design, then database development). If there was any time spent on ethics, I missed it. Legality, yes. Building codes, yes. Aesthetics, most definitely. Perhaps a conversation as to if it was morally wise to build a million dollar house in a neighborhood full of $250k houses would have been useful, as it certainly wasn't a good idea (though repeated more than once) for making money.

Although I see empathy, and a dialog regarding morals and ethics, as two different things. Arguably, empathy is more valuable. Google has the ultimate statement of ethics--don't be evil--as part of their foundation. And yet, I'm not sure they have exhibited the empathy to consistently pull it off. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"Angle: Muslim law taking hold in parts of U.S.
Tells Tea Party crowd the country needs to address a "militant terrorist situation"; compares 9/11 to Holocaust "

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/2010_elections/index.html?story=/news/feature/2010/10/07/us_nevada_senate_angle

"U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle told a crowd of supporters that the country needs to address a "militant terrorist situation" that has allowed Islamic religious law to take hold in some American cities.

Her comments came at a rally of tea party supporters in the Nevada resort town of Mesquite last week after the candidate was asked about Muslims angling to take over the country, and marked the latest of several controversial remarks by the Nevada Republican.

In a recording of the rally provided to The Associated Press by the Mesquite Local News, a man is heard asking Angle : "I keep hearing about Muslims wanting to take over the United States ... on a TV program just last night, I saw that they are taking over a city in Michigan and the residents of the city, they want them out. They want them out. So, I want to hear your thoughts about that."

Angle responds that "we're talking about a militant terrorist situation, which I believe it isn't a widespread thing, but it is enough that we need to address, and we have been addressing it."

"My thoughts are these, first of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil, and under constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don't know how that happened in the United States," she said. "It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States." "

Posted by: Liam-still | October 8, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Issa is a punter. Nice snark, Greg, re: being "nice".

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | October 8, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Imagine if Norm Orstein had as many appearances on cable media as Gingrich (or even Gaffney, for gods sake)...

"To me there is absolutely no doubt that this is a back-door way to get around what are long-standing and legitimate restrictions. This is happening not just because of Citizen’s United, it’s also happening because we have an utterly worthless and feckless Federal Election Commission and an IRS code that needs serious toughening and revamping. We also have a very serious need to have the IRS look at the regulations involving 527s and especially 501(c)(4)s — regulations that are being flouted and abused even as we speak." http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/07/reaction-coc-story/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 8, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Apparently, "moderate" Kevin_Willis is this morning's token mindless Republican hack.

Shame on you, Kevin.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Liam,

I'm sure the mayor of Dearborn, MI, JACK O'REILLY, will be quite surprised to learn he is administering sharia law.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | October 8, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Ethan,

Knock it off.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 8, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Liam, do you live in the NY-metro area? Do you have any idea how ludicrous it is the idea that NJ doesn't need major transit renovation? Do you have the SLIGHTEST idea? You knock it off. But more precisely, Kevin is talking out of his a$$ and being an obtuse partisan jerk just for no other reason than the fact that he is a partisan jerk.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Liam,

I'm sure the mayor of Dearborn, MI, JACK O'REILLY, will be quite surprised to learn he is administering sharia law.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | October 8, 2010 10:30 AM

.............

We Irish have always been crazy about the stylings of Sunni & Sharia. They've Got Us, Babe!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 8, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Chris Christie is driving a stake into the heart of the NJ economy.

And the Republican Tea Party gives him a standing ovation.

It is deeply insulting to those of us in the NY/NJ metropolitan area who have to breathe the exhaust produced by a million cars stuck in traffic EVERY GDMN DAY.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

O'Donnell should also point out that she's never held a post in government.

"I have no experience in government. I am you if you got your new job by lying on your resume." (wink)

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 8, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Chris Christie and his buddy "moderate" Kevin_Willis need suck on a tailpipe for an hour or two so they can appreciate what people in the area go through. Maybe they both need to look at the health effects that poor air quality has caused in NYC. Maybe they both need to look at the fact that it was big transportation and construction projects that MADE NYC the WORLD capitol of commerce.

Maybe Kevin_Willis needs to lose his bu__s_t partisan mocking tone before I even begin to take him seriously.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Contrast with the folks who want to make multi-millions per annum coincident with strategies to pay zero income tax if possible."

Do you actually know any such people? I do, and I assure you they are nothing like the ignorant caricature that you and others here imagine. As I said to you once before quite some time ago, the wealthy people that I know have almost certainly done more to help less fortunate people than you have ever dreamed of doing yourself, and probably more than all of the people on this board combined.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 8, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

All, I've got Audio of Sharron Angle claiming Sharia Law may be a threat in America:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/audio_of_sharron_angle_claimin.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 8, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin
I don't want to overstate the case (and as to arrogant doctors, bring that subject up in with a group of nurses and your ears can bleed). And we could observe that there are quite direct and immediate moral issues for many medical specialties (Oops! I hope that part of the brain isn't important) which get foggy as one moves to abstract relationships to others such as finance.

But I think we can presume that, in a general sense, those who enter the "helping" professions are differently motivated than those who head for wealth and dominance. I think we can also presume that 'empathy' - amount of - will be a key variable in this difference.

Someone without empathy (the psychopath) will not understand moral questions. They won't apply to his/her internal universe. It's a key indicator of such an individual, of course. And they are definitely not the sort of people we would wish to have in positions of power though they may very well head precisely to such positions.

I've found it a commonplace for people to skip away from moral questions/dilemmas when in political discussions. There are a number of reasons, I think, for this. Not least is the difficulty and complexity of them (far easier to measure something or count up some total or to merely observe a thing). But we can't avoid this stuff.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 8, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Shame on you, Kevin."

I'm sorry, SaveTheRain--I mean, Ethan.

"Apparently, 'moderate' Kevin_Willis is this morning's token mindless Republican hack"

I'm not moderate. I've repeatedly stated that I am not a moderate. I'm a rock-ribbed Republican. A crazed right winger. I brush with Frothing At the Mouth™ radical right wing toothpaste.

Do you suffer from memory loss, short term or otherwise? First and second time, I can see, but I think this is the 3rd or fourth time you've gotten that wrong.

Regarding the Republican hack stuff--I agree with Chris Christie. Because he's right. You want to think he's a shill? Fine. Want to think I'm a hack? I can't tell you how hurt I am, but I will attempt to go on with my morning, even so.

"Maybe Chris Christie and his buddy 'moderate' Kevin_Willis need suck on a tailpipe for an hour or two"

Nobody elevates the argument like you, Ethan. It's an honor just to be in your presence. ;)

"Maybe Kevin_Willis needs to lose his bu__s_t partisan mocking tone before I even begin to take him seriously"

I'm not going to try and adjust things that aren't there, or stop doing things I'm not actually doing anyway, in order to have you "take me seriously".

Ethan, I'm sure you're a fine fellow, and a deft hand with the ukelele, but you only take people seriously when they agree with you. As such, you will never take me seriously, on almost anything, and I'm just going to have to learn to live with that. As hard as it's going to be for me. :)

"Kevin is talking out of his a$$ and being an obtuse partisan jerk just for no other reason than the fact that he is a partisan jerk."

Ethan, you've hurt my feelings. Next thing I know, you'll be calling me a "quisling". :)

All in good humor. I'm not sure you're going to get that, Ethan, but it's a fine morning and you're in rare form. I applaud your passion, and hopefully you'll direct some of that towards someone, or something, that would actually have something to do with New Jersey transit projects. However, that's not me, and that's probably a good thing, as I'd most likely agree with Chris Christie.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"I'd most likely agree with Chris Christie"

Why? The editorial by the Star Ledger, which is the paper of record in Northern NJ, presents a powerful case that what Chrisitie has done is detrimental to the state. But you say Christie is right: what do you base that on, other than ideological compulsion?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for proving my point, Kevin_Willis.

You are NOT a moderate. That's why I put that word in quotation marks.

You are a partisan hack. You agree with Chris Christie based on your shared extremist far-right ideology that cheers corporate take-over of America while subjugating and MOCKING clear historical FACTS.

Got it?

Clear historical FACTS.

This is not some subjective issue that you can agree with or not. It is a FACT that NJ needs transit upgrades. It is a FACT that these upgrades improve the economy. It is a FACT that mass-transit and major projects have historically propelled NYC area to the apex of global commerce.

I don't dislike you because I disagree with you -- although you are being too obtuse and ignorant to acknowledge that -- I dislike you because you side with partisan ideologues in the Republican Party over INDISPUTABLE FACTUAL EVIDENCE.

You pretend that you are smart and fair-minded, but you really are no better than Karl Rove or any other brainless ideologue Republican.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - Yes, not many but a few. BC logging money mainly. One gave 23 mill to UBC a few years back. I like the fellow, personally. But on the other side of that 23 mill are a set of realities re forest practices and working conditions/remuneration for loggers that don't follow the benign model you suggest.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 8, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "My thoughts are these, first of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil, and under constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don't know how that happened in the United States"

So. I'm still not sure my theory that he Tea Parties have largely been to the Democrats benefit is wrong. I think Harry Reid was doomed to lose against a run-of-the-mill Republicans, but the Tea Party gave us Sharron "Got the Juice" Angle. We also would have probably gotten the Biden seat with Mike "I Only Vote With Republicans 90% of the Time, So Kick Me Out" Castle for a hefty 6 year term. Now, instead, we have Christine "I'm An Attractive Woman and The Boys Are Being Mean to Me" O'Donnell.

Nikki Haley may have been the best candidate to come out of the Tea Party revolt, and even she is suggesting we expand government and spend tax payer money to test unemployment recipients for drug use, even though that's increasing the scope of government, and is stupid besides, and addresses something that's not any kind of problem ("the unemployed are all cocaine addicts"!). Last I saw, Lindsey Lohan was not on unemployment. But I digress. She's still a better candidate than her Republican primary opponent, so . . . the Tea Party was almost certainly a good thing in that instance.

Joe Miller may be good. Alaska is very red, and Joe Miller is sort of like Rand Paul, only with the courage of his convictions. Such folks are often hated by the left, but very productive in regards to moving the national agenda to the right. So, a positive there. But I still think O'Donnell and probably Angle present easy wins that are now difficult, if not impossible, because of the tea parties. Indeed, Angle could have won if the election had been held directly after the primary, but since she got the nomination it's as if she's been campaigning against herself as much as Harry Reid.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"As part of its $75 million ad campaign this election cycle, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is poised to spend more than $10 million on attack ads just over the next week"
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_10/026037.php

This really has to stop. If the word "corruption" has any serious meaning at all, it applies here. These are people and entities which are gaming democracy for their own ends and profits and they'll continue to do it (and do it increasingly effectively) unless they are prevented from it.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 8, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "You are NOT a moderate."

Um, yes. That's what I've been saying. Repeatedly.

"You agree with Chris Christie based on your shared extremist far-right ideology that cheers corporate take-over of America while subjugating and MOCKING clear historical FACTS."

Or because he's correct, and we both believe that individuals, companies, and governments should live within their means, even when that means making hard choices. Not sure what you consider MOCKING of clear historical FACTS, but, generally, I try not to mock history. Doesn't seem prudent.

"It is a FACT that NJ needs transit upgrades."

It's a fact I need a vehicle upgrade. It's also a fact that it's a bad idea from me to go into debt to fund said vehicle upgrade. So it's also a fact that I'm not getting a new car. Again, it's called living within a budget, and setting budget priorities. House note, and food on the table, before a new car.

"I dislike you because you side with partisan ideologues in the Republican Party over INDISPUTABLE FACTUAL EVIDENCE."

That's just wrong, and no matter how vigorously you throw down the caps lock key, it will continue to be incorrect. I do not and have not disputed indisputable factual evidence.

"You pretend that you are smart and fair-minded"

Well, while I like to think I am both smart and fair-minded, I am probably not as smart, or as fair-minded, as I like to fancy myself. So, probably fair enough, there.

"but you really are no better than Karl Rove or any other brainless ideologue Republican"

Then I'm a little confused as to why you bother to engage me at all. Given that you are indisputably right (and so much smarter) than I, it hardly seems sporting. Like shooting fish in a barrel, really.

So, anyway. How's your day going today? Work good?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Three cheers for Christie and Kevin!

No doubt the tunnel is needed but what do you do if there's no way to pay for it?

"Christie said the initial $8.7 billion cost might have reached $14 billion and the state couldn’t afford it....“I will not allow taxpayers to fund projects that run over budget with no clear way of how these costs will be paid for,” said Christie. “The only prudent move is to end this project.”...Christie said in September that his state might be forced to cancel the project after federal officials estimated it might cost $5 billion more than projected. The federal commitment is capped at $3 billion, and cost overruns would have to have been absorbed by New Jersey, Christie said yesterday."

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-08/christie-s-tunnel-move-agitates-commuters-to-new-york.html

Posted by: sbj3 | October 8, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

" Joe Miller is sort of like Rand Paul, only with the courage of his convictions. Such folks are often hated by the left, but very productive in regards to moving the national agenda to the right. So, a positive there. "

You honestly believe that the United States should move FURTHER to the Right? Good lord. This is Conservative-GOP the modus operandi: cause disasters with idiotic, ideological policies then blame everyone else and make off with the money as everything falls apart.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Three cheers for Christie and Kevin! No doubt the tunnel is needed but what do you do if there's no way to pay for it?"

A load of ideological hooey. Just read the Star Ledger's editorial for refutation. But facts don't matter when you're an ideologue. The GOP's War On Reality proceeds apace. No doubt, Christie will go national before NJ suffers the full consequences of his political ambitions. It's the Conservative Way. Just make sure you get yours. Everyone else -- even the people you're supposed to represent -- can fend for themselves.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - I don't think your math works. The Big Dig was an object lesson for highway construction projects. The largest project going on right now is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement. It involved not only replacing the bridge, but redoing five major interchanges and about 10 miles of the Beltway. The project has been conducted on time and on budget. The Mixing Bowl, where I-95, I-395, and I-495 meet, was the one portion of the project that ran into trouble.

In order to save $2B of NJ funding, Christie is foregoing $6B of matching funds. That's short term. Similarly, the budget gap is closed by giving up on the pension fund contributions. That simply leaves a bigger hole to fill (the magic of compound interest). Christie might be a hero to the right, but he's blowing the future of his state.

For what it's worth, I think you have been engaging the subject on topic without rancor. Ethan is out of line. Then again, I'm new around here.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Why? The editorial by the Star Ledger, which is the paper of record in Northern NJ"

Well, then, the folks at the paper said it. No doubt, they no better than I, but as regards to "presents a powerful case", aside from pejorative adjective, I'm not sure that I see it.

"that what Chrisitie has done is detrimental to the state."

Time will tell. Perhaps it is. The people of New Jersey will have an opportunity to vote him out soon enough.

"But you say Christie is right: what do you base that on, other than ideological compulsion?"

The fact that, in the real world, budgets have to be made, and lived within. There are no end to the things that would improve my quality of life--I cannot afford all of them, and will likely never be able to afford all of them. So, I have to prioritize my purchases. I have a limited amount of money. Do I always make the right decision? No.

But if the money isn't there, then it isn't there. More to the point--in the money allotted would be better spent on existing infrastructure, then better to spend it on existing infrastructure that new infrastructure. But there are many states--New Jersey included--that, observed from a distance, seem like they could use a few lessons on learning to operate within a rational budget, and it appears (to me) that that's what Chris Christie is doing. I'm sure a new transit tunnel would be lovely. Other things come first.

The tax payers of NJ should be on the hook for $11 billion dollars, potentially, in return for $3 billion from the federal government? Given the economy, and New Jersey's economy, I think Christie made the right call.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"This is Conservative-GOP the modus operandi: cause disasters with idiotic, ideological policies then blame everyone else and make off with the money as everything falls apart."

Bingo.

WB, you are a true patriot. Thank you for supporting the United States of America over all enemies both foreign and domestic.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Ack! In editing my comment, I left out the most important point.

The Woodrow Wilson project is ON TIME and ON BUDGET. Doubling an $8B project to score a political point isn't realistic.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 8, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"Given the economy, and New Jersey's economy, I think Christie made the right call."

Ideological drivel utterly divorced from reality. More cars on the roads (ever driven in NJ?). More pollution. More crowded public transportation. Lost federal and PA money. More unemployment during a recession. Idiocy. But Christie does stick it to the Trade Unions, which as St, Ronnie, proved is always good.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 8, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

@FairlingtonBlade: "Christie might be a hero to the right, but he's blowing the future of his state."

I'm not saying, by the way, that this is impossible. You may be right. But I don't agree that you are, but I've been wrong before. But even if it turns out to be a mistake, the tunnel could happen in the future. Not building it now doesn't make it impossible in the future, it just delays the benefits.

Or it may never happen. When 1-40 was being constructed, it was supposed to cut (neatly) through Overton Park (which is a big park) in Memphis. There would have been, no doubt, a handy exit for the Park (and the art gallery, and now world-class zoo in the park) off 1-40, but would also have provided an expressway corridor to downtown and midtown from east memphis, which would have relieved traffic on several major streets (which would have been a very good thing) as well as allowing interstate traffic through the city for several years before it actually happened.

Protestors got the project killed, so the Interstate never went through the city. Instead,the 240 loop was built around the city. Which went right past the airport, allowing for an easy exit at the airport earlier than there would have been one otherwise, and helped in the creation of several 240 loop based neighborhoods, businesses, and office parks.

In the end, it probably would have been better if I-40 had just gone through the city. But it wasn't the end of the city, just because it did not.

Would it be better, in a perfect world, if the transit tunnel was built? Of course! It would also be better if I had a Delorean custom outfitted to mimic the time machine in 1985's Back to the Future movies (there is a guy who has done that--time circuits, Mr. Fusion, sounds and all). However, there is the budget issue. Just funnin'! I'm not comparing the two, I just really like BTTF.

Regarding comparisons for possible budget over runs, I think the Big Dig is apropos, as it is a tunnel project, which seem (to me) to be more likely to go over budget. The Chunnel, for example, went 80% over budget from original projections. It was, admittedly, a much larger project. But that whole building a tunnel under water . . . I think the budgeting for such things is less precise. But I could be completely mistaken about that.

"For what it's worth, I think you have been engaging the subject on topic without rancor. Ethan is out of line."

Thanks, but Ethan just very passionate about his opinions. Which is better, I think, that being completely disengaged.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The tunnel would have doubled the number of New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains into Pennsylvania Station.

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/126724/christie-pulls-plug-on-manhattan-nj-rail-tunnel-project

Heckuva job Republicans.

F___KING PATHETIC.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Ideological drivel utterly divorced from reality."

Well, what can I say. You've convinced me! Sounds to me like they ought to building two new transit tunnels, not just one!

Finally, I see the light. Thanks, man!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

It's simply new math. The $11B number is made up from thin air. It took a bit of hunting to find info on Wilson project over-runs. The total number is, drum roll please, 1.3%. Since it's New Jersey, we'll double that number. Christie is tossing $6B to avoid a $200M risk. Duh....

http://www.americastransportationaward.org/Default.aspx?ContentID=40

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 8, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The political junkies here will recognize the significance of this. Among likely voters Rep. John Dingell is trailing ,but statistically tied with, his GOP challenger:

http://polltracker.talkingpointsmemo.com/polls/13479

Posted by: akaoddjob | October 8, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

* Critics say Christie's decision to scrap Hudson tunnel project will cost N.J. homeowners, commuters jobs *

...Christie’s decision "casts a dark shadow over the economic future of New Jersey." Canceling the project will effectively cost New Jersey homeowners $18 billion dollars. That’s how much home values would have increased as a result of the tunnel’s construction, according to a study by the planning association, based on the impact of three previous rail projects. The study found that the value of homes within a half mile of a rail station would have increased by $29,000, while homes within two miles would have appreciate by $19,000.

"When you’re talking about property values, you’re talking about creating a larger tax base, and a larger tax base means you don’t have to raise property tax rates," Pranger said. "I feel like everybody knows and understands the merits of the project. I think the governor even understands the merits. It’s just that he’s stuck on this one very popular message that he’s not going to spend any more money than he has."

[...]

Also lost, said Pranger, are the 6,000 construction jobs the project would have created through its estimated completion in 2018, plus up to 40,000 permanent jobs estimated to result from enhanced economic activity.

"Construction jobs will go away, $3 billion dollars in federal funds will go way," Pranger said.

A very real economic consequence of the decision, said Pranger, is that New Jersey will now have to come up with $200 million in federal funds already spent to return to Washington.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/critics_of_christies_decision.html

But he's "fiscally conservative"...

Putting the economic prospects of your STATE in serious jeopardy is NOT being "fiscally conservative".

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Finally, I see the light. Thanks, man!"

Haha, wow Kevin you're SOOOOOO FUNNYYYY!

Idiot.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "You honestly believe that the United States should move FURTHER to the Right?"

Um, well. I am a radical right winger, after all.

"Good lord. This is Conservative-GOP the modus operandi: cause disasters with idiotic, ideological policies then blame everyone else and make off with the money as everything falls apart."

Well, look at this way. At least you aren't a evil, mustache-twirling right-wing Snidely Whiplash like me, or Chris Christie. You can occupy the moral high ground, avoid any sort of arduous pretense of treating right-wingers as anything other than sub-human scum, and enjoy repeated moral victories while losing at the ballot box. /snark

Seriously, I'm pretty sure most Republicans aren't intentionally causing disasters, maliciously blaming others for their own evil and incompetence, and stealing all the money while the working poor are all ground to powder under the remorseless wheels of modern commerce.

However, it's certainly understandable why the Republicans would choose to be (and the rank-and-file would support them in doing so) the party of 'no', when that's the belief structure, on the whole, of the other side.

Where do you compromise, or find common ground, with "You're evil and you want to destroy the country and kill everybody for your own greedy self-satisfaction". There is no compromise with that position, and "um, no" is the correct stand to take when faced with it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Regarding comparisons for possible budget over runs, I think the Big Dig is apropos"

I agree, but what you leave out is the improvements it's caused to Boston. The Republican's Great Recession has put a huge crimp in the development of the open area left by burying the Central Artery, but sooner or later that will abate, and the park in that open area is going to turn out to be some of the most sought after real estate in the entire city.

The traffic already is so much better it's difficult to explain.

Therefore, in the long run even with the huge cost overruns this project will more than pay for itself in prosperity.

Posted by: akaoddjob | October 8, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Haha, wow Kevin you're SOOOOOO FUNNYYYY!"

Finally, you appreciate me!

"Idiot."

Oh. *Sigh*

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

(Apologies for the crappy grammar.)

Posted by: akaoddjob | October 8, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@akaoddjob: "I agree, but what you leave out is the improvements it's caused to Boston"

Not on purpose! I don't live in Boston. But that's good to hear.

"The traffic already is so much better it's difficult to explain."

Excellent. And a potent, and a very compelling argument for the NJ transit tunnel, which I find (call me crazy) much more convincing than "You're a Republican hack and and idiot and should suck on a tail pipe", as an aside. ;)

A before-and-after argument regarding the Big Dig would be an excellent way to make the case that the Transit Tunnel, even with cost overruns, might be worth it, despite everything.

"Therefore, in the long run even with the huge cost overruns this project will more than pay for itself in prosperity."

You make an excellent point. It could indeed be that Chris Christie is in the wrong, on this one. Not that I still don't see the reasoning (and don't consider it to be evil or stupid), but there clearly is a good argument for going forward with this particular project, even with the budget risks entailed. And the Big Dig might just serve as the "yes, it was crazy expensive, but look how it turned out" example.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin,

This is not funny. This is not to be mocked. Passions run high on these issues around this area. I do NOT appreciate your mockery and insensitivity.

How would YOU like it if I mocked the Memphis flooding? HAHAHA. Grab a bucket. HAHAHA.

It wouldn't be funny if I did that to you -- I didn't and wouldn't -- and it's not F'ing not funny when you do it to millions of people who live in one of the, if not THE, top economic engines in the country and, in fact, the entire world.

Wake up and stop being a jerk.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

A before-and-after argument regarding the Big Dig would be an excellent way to make the case that the Transit Tunnel, even with cost overruns, might be worth it, despite everything.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

---

And the managers of that project need only study the Wilson Bridge project to keep those cost overruns to peanuts, relatively speaking. Of course, admitting to the existence of a well-run constructions project would run counter to your thesis.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 8, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"admitting to the existence of a well-run constructions project would run counter to your thesis"

He HAS no thesis.

It is called blind partisan ideology.

Kevin makes a mockery out of LOCAL issues of great concern to millions of local residents because that is the Republican way.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I saw one of those Chamber ads for a Blue Dog last night during David Letterman's show.

I'm wondering if these Blue Dogs care at all about the votes of their Democratic constituents. How much abuse can they pile on the Democrats before they turn off the votes of the Democrats in their districts. They can't win just with Independents, and they are not going to get many Republican voters this year. They need the votes of the Dems in their districts, as well.

What's the tipping point? Given all the latest news about the Chamber's suspicious funding, it just might be a pretty dumb idea for a Blue Dog to be seen cozying up to the Chamber of Commerce right now.

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@FairlingtonBlade: "And the managers of that project need only study the Wilson Bridge project to keep those cost overruns to peanuts, relatively speaking. Of course, admitting to the existence of a well-run constructions project would run counter to your thesis."

And what thesis is that? Where did I posit that all construction projects are poorly run? Even cost overruns don't = poorly run, and not all construction projects come in over budget.

@Ethan2010: "Kevin makes a mockery out of LOCAL issues of great concern to millions of local residents because that is the Republican way."

I didn't want to do this, but you forced me, RainFore--I mean, Ethan.

"In your pants!"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"I didn't want to do this, but you forced me, RainFore--I mean, Ethan."

As Ronald Reagan once said:

THERE YOU GO AGAIN.

Why do you subjugate historical and empirical FACT in siding with ideologues?

Answer me that one question, if you can.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The wild cost overruns on the Big Dig also didn't have to be as wild as they were. Too many (largely state) legislators viewed it as a cash cow to be milked. The oversight was also left to the same company that was doing the construction, which I find gobsmacking each time I think about it.

There is no question in my mind that the way they went about arranging the project's details was full of glaring mistakes, but that doesn't change the underlying merit of the idea. The Central Artery (an elevated interstate highway running through the heart of downtown Boston) was not only damaging to the city's architectural sense of itself, it was truly, truly ugly.

Now there's something like a mile of open space that is being turned into a new city park where that ugly, scarring elevated superstructure had been.

Posted by: akaoddjob | October 8, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@elscott....I agree with your point but living in Florida of course I didn't get the Blue kitty commercial.

HOWEVER...Letterman's top ten list was hilarious and shows once again what a joke..literally...Faux news has become.

Hate to have to link to Huffpo but it's the fastest way I know to get to the Letterman video.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/07/letterman-suspects-theres_n_754972.html

Last night on "The Late Show," David Letterman mocked Fox News for picking up a story originally reported by notorious tabloid "Weekly World News." The story stated that Los Angeles had invested $1 billion in jet packs for its police force.

"We report, you decide," Letterman said, referring to Fox News' slogan. "We decide not to listen."

The story was obviously a hoax, but the fact that Fox fell for it had Letterman a little worried. Suspecting that something must be wrong, Letterman offered his "Top Ten Signs There's Trouble At Fox News."

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Last Chance for the democrats to make their case on the economy -


Avoid saying any word which begins with the letter E.

- ----- That is their ONLY chance.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

And what thesis is that? Where did I posit that all construction projects are poorly run? Even cost overruns don't = poorly run, and not all construction projects come in over budget.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Easy. You repeatedly use a estimated cost of the NJ project twice that of the project, citing the Big Dig as the model. No well run project should have a cost overrun of 100%. Period. Detailed studies have been done on exactly what went wrong.

You've constructed a straw man in which the purported $16B cost is pilloried as wasteful to the taxpayers of NJ given the relatively modest ($3B) federal contribution. Were these reasonable fears, I would completely concede that a $11B risk isn't worth $3B of federal money for a project that's supposed to cost $6B.

Now, consider the alternative. A debate amongst reasonable people if you will. Let us assume that this is a well run project such as the Wilson Bridge replacement. Cost overruns kept to several percent. The budget of the project is $8.7B, of which $6B is coming from the Port Authority and the federal government. New Jersey has already spent $600M on the project. In order to save $2.1B, Christie is forgoing $6B in funding. That's 3 for 1 matching. Is THAT an unreasonable decision?

Aw, heck. Let's assume significant cost overruns, but not wildly inflated ones. 25%, a substantial number. In that event, the potential NJ contributions doubles to a bit over $4B. Is it worth forgoing $6B of funds to save $2B and $2B of reserve outlays?

Of course, all of this suggests that Christie is unable to find competent managers. I'm sure that NYC thanks him as the Port Authority doesn't have to spend that money in the Garden State.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The Chamber of Commerce can be your friend if you don't dump tons of regulations and taxes relating to health care on them.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@Fairlington: "Easy. You repeatedly use a estimated cost of the NJ project twice that of the project"

Um, twice, I think? Okay.

"citing the Big Dig as the model"

As one example.

"No well run project should have a cost overrun of 100%."

Indeed. I'm not sure I meant to suggest that all construction projects of any scope suffer from 100% cost overruns.

"Detailed studies have been done on exactly what went wrong."

Fair enough, so hopefully that wouldn't be the case again. Still, if I were going to suggest that all construction projects were necessarily poorly run, I would have said that specifically.

"Is THAT an unreasonable decision?"

Good point.

"Aw, heck. Let's assume significant cost overruns, but not wildly inflated ones. 25%, a substantial number. In that event, the potential NJ contributions doubles to a bit over $4B. Is it worth forgoing $6B of funds to save $2B and $2B of reserve outlays?"

Hmm. Well, now, put that way I might have to change my mind. Couldn't you just call me a flack and an idiot? That's so much easier to dismiss out of hand. ;)

Regarding the NJ Transit Tunnel, that is. I'm still pretty sure I didn't suggest any thesis that involved all construction projects being wildly inefficient.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Why do you subjugate historical and empirical FACT in siding with ideologues?"

I don't.

"Answer me that one question, if you can."

I just did. Next.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"I don't."

Wow, what a brazen liar you are. You just admitted that you didn't know what you were talking about at 2:04 PM.

All you had to do was read the article, but instead you acted like the knee-jerk ideologue that you are, mocking the issue because of your blind partisanship. Now you are lying about it. You are such a fraud.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

What Christine O'Donnell is doing is building the case for representation by ordinary citizens in the Senate. Much like Patty Murray did 18 years ago in Washington state by saying she was just a mom in tennis shoes.

It works and it does connect. After all she has 3 weeks left to convince people and a pile of money.

Meanwhile Coons is bringing in the clowns and the gaffemester himself to support his campaign.

Posted by: SeattleRain | October 8, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7,

Thanks for the link. That was hilarious. I actually missed the Top Ten last night. I had turned on Letterman just in time to see Stephen Colbert.

I love #2, complete with the Glenn Beck visual aid. Hahaha!

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin - Thanks for engaging. I regret having misread your statements. That's Washington for I apologize. You mentioned the channel tunnel (it's a really cool tunnel, by the way, I've traveled through it a few times). Truth to tell, there's any number of transportation projects that have had 100% overruns, so focusing on individual projects one way or the other is mostly point scoring.

I think we've come to a couple of points of agreement, though I'm not sure. If the project were to double in price, Christie was right in rejecting it, notwithstanding Lautenberg's squawks of outrage. If the project were to be complete close to on budget, Christie was foolish to kill it. It isn't easy to satisfy DoT's requirements on feasibility of a project. Extension of Metro to Tyson's Corner in NoVa being an example.

So, it comes down to the wisdom of his choice. My understanding is that a 30 day review was conducted. Its conclusions should be made public and then Gov. Christie's constituents can judge the wisdom of his decision.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 8, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

elscott..

#2 was also my favorite. I can never get enough of that clip of Beck...it shows him at his best!!! LMAO

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Just as I'm still giggling over Letterman's Top Ten, I read the post from SeattleRain about "Coons bringing....the gafeemaster himself to support his campaign."

Oh yes, that's such a dumb idea, isn't it. What on earth could Coons be thinking? Why does Coons think that the man who won that Senate seat 6 times with 60% of the vote will be any help at all with the voters in Delaware?

After all, Ms. O'Donnell is bringing in someone with a 22% approval rating who lives in Alaska and who more than holds her own in the gaffe department. That's sure to resonate in Delaware!

Thanks for keeping up the hilarity. ;)

Posted by: elscott | October 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin & FairlingtonBlade

Thanks for an interesting and informative discussion on not only the N.J. tunnel project but Governmental capital improvements in general.

You both delivered well reasoned and thought out posts...and while I'm afraid I have to end up siding with the 'Blade on this one Kevin...I'm still pretty sure you're not Hitler. I'll try to work on Ethan for you. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"I'll try to work on Ethan for you. :-) "

Bah humbug!

;-)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan....OK I give up about Kevin...LMAO

But here is a spot that just went on the air last night here in Pinellas County...which of course will cover the entire Tampa Bay market. I've posted it on two threads already but it is terrific and as somebody who pays attention to Florida politics I thought you might enjoy it...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dXUREILZWQ

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 8, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, ruK (and Kevin).

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 8, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: "and while I'm afraid I have to end up siding with the 'Blade on this one Kevin"

I may have to end up siding with Blade, too! A very reasonable argument (and perhaps I should have mentioned at the outset: I am, and have very long been, pro-infrastructure, in the abstract, so it's not like I'd be hard to convince).

"I'll try to work on Ethan for you. "

Ruk, there are unsullied women and uninhaled herbal remedies out there awaiting you that would probably be a more productive use of your time. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Wow, what a brazen liar you are."

Like you, when you keep saying that I said I was a moderate? After I've repeatedly corrected you? That kind of brazen liar? /snark (+mirthful good humor)

"You just admitted that you didn't know what you were talking about at 2:04 PM"

Um, what part of that do you consider an admission that I didn't know what I was talking about? Or does engaging folks in conversation, and allowing your opinions to involve based on the arguments others make, considered "not knowing what you're talking about"?

Because I wouldn't characterize it that way.

"mocking the issue because of your blind partisanship"

. . . he says without a trace of irony . . .

"Now you are lying about it."

Nope.

"You are such a fraud."

Sorry, I just gotta disagree. I guess this is one of those things we'll have to agree to disagree about. I'd hope agreeably but, based on previous experience, I'm guess that's probably not going to be the case. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 8, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

JournoLister, are you still getting paid to blog while the real unemployment rate keeps rising and people with real skills can't find work because of the man you help get elected? Yup, no matter matter how much you want to blame others, your PR client has been in office now for nineteen months and the unemployment rate IS WORSE (no matter how you try to spin it) after hundreds of billions of dollars wasted. Truly an injustice.

Posted by: frankensundae | October 8, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

When The Washington Post goes under and the Democrats lose their power, you can always run off to Soros for a PR gig with him. And with his background, you should be busy.

Posted by: frankensundae | October 8, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Your posts at 9:23 AM and 9:57 AM are littered with fallacies and outright snobbery.

To quote FairlingtonBlade at 1:51 PM, "You repeatedly use a estimated cost of the NJ project twice that of the project, citing the Big Dig as the model."

Your entire snob attitude was built on a faulty premise that didn't even come close to passing the smell test.

Then finally at 2:04 pm -- almost a full 5 HOURS after your initial insultingly mocking emails -- you admit that you're full of crud.

FairlingtonBlade, who obviously has more patience in dealing with someone as obtuse and snobbish as you, got you to admit that gee when you think about it your argument is based on nothing but a total fabrication, and when confronted directly, it falls apart:

"""Let's assume significant cost overruns, but not wildly inflated ones. 25%, a substantial number. In that event, the potential NJ contributions doubles to a bit over $4B. Is it worth forgoing $6B of funds to save $2B and $2B of reserve outlays?"

Hmm. Well, now, put that way I might have to change my mind."""

Yeah. Well, it only took you 5 hours.

And you're still pushing back.

Look, Kevin, clinging for 5 hours to a position that is based on nothing but a flagrantly false assumption is JUST PLAIN STUPID. I don't care what you say, or anyone else. It's STUPID.

I am not the partisan one. Sure, I am a Democrat and I am passionate about my positions. But most importantly, just so you know a little something more about me, I have NO problem with principled Republicans who use actual facts -- and not artificially inflated conjecture -- as the basis for their arguments.

What I've been doing is NOT partisanship.

What I've been doing has been pointing out in stark terms that you are rejecting FACTS.

You CANNOT do that. You CANNOT reject indisputable facts. You MUST use the same facts as everyone else who seeks to be intellectually honest. That is called being ACCURATE. What you were doing is both NOT accurate and intellectually dishonest. That's why I call you disingenuous and a liar. It's true. That's what you are. That's how you behave.

It pisses me off to NO END to see people go against clear facts. Again, debate policy based on factual, empiricle evidence? GREAT! Want to disagree based on facts? AWESOME! More power to you! I look forward to the debate.

But that is not our world today.

Rejecting facts on the ground and instead spinning reality into some obscene black versus white fantasy world is the entire basis for the modern Republican Party. That includes you, buddy boy.

I hope you change and will embrace the commonly held belief that arguments on public policy MUST be at all times -- or whenever possible which is most of the time -- based on EMPIRICAL FACTS.

But I'm sure you won't. Because that's just not who you are. You are a Republican and that's all there is to it. Sadly.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 8, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

This missive will probably be met with crickets, but I'll put it up there. Gov. Christie has been informed by the Secretary of Transportation that NJ would be liable for the $300M of matching funds it has received so far and that the $3B could not be used for other projects. He's, umm, back tracking.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 9, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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